Nov 19, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Jan Vesely (24) dunks the ball as Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Corey Brewer (13) defends in the second quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Is Jan Vesely finally become a useful player for the Wizards?

For the first time in three seasons, it finally seems like Jan Vesely is starting to understand his role with the Wizards. It’s no secret that Washington’s bench has struggled this season, partially because of their lack of front court depth. Kevin Seraphin has been utterly disastrous and he’s been sent to Randy Wittman’s doghouse for the billionth time in his career. With no reliable big man off the bench, Wittman has turned to Jan Vesely for production and he may have found an answer.

Unlike Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely hasn’t been trying to do too much when the coach calls his name. Playing time has been scarce for Vesely, but he’s finally realizing what he needs to do to stay on the floor: Rebound and defend. Although he’ll inevitably struggle defending bigger forwards in the post due to his long frame, Vesely has done a great job deflecting loose balls and defending the pick and roll. Most importantly, Vesely has provided the energy and hustle that no one on Washington’s bench has been able to replicate. His length has allowed him to tip the ball into the back court numerous times during the game, resulting into multiple second chance shots for the Wizards which they’ve desperately needed. Every team needs an energizer off the bench and Vesely has become exactly that for the improving Wizards.

Vesely will never live up to his draft selection, but it’s great to finally see him succeed in a reserve role. Even though Vesely is still an offensive liability and has missed every free throw he’s taken this season, he does give John Wall another option in transition. He was originally drafted to become Wall’s running mate, but it’s pretty clear the Wizards will have to settle for his production off the bench. He’s been the anti-Kevin Seraphin in the defensive and rebounding department, but I’d like to see him become more aggressive with the ball in his hands. Vesely has a high basketball I.Q. , but his confidence with the ball is nonexistent. There’s been too many sequences where Vesely passed the ball when he’s literally 5 feet away from the basket. He’s no Nene, but if he’s that close to the basket he needs to shoot the ball.

The Airwolf has finally been freed and it’s been for the betterment of the team.


Tags: Jan Vesely Vesely Vesely Wizards Washington Wizards

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  • nich obert

    I dunno. I still think he hasn’t gotten close to where he was the last 6-7 weeks of his rookie year. People seem to be sleeping on the fact that the pick actually looked decent for a solid 20-25 games there.
    On the year he has a 10.5 PER / .075 WS/48, 49% TS ,averaging 5.5 Pts, 9.3 boards, 2 steals, a block, 0.4 assists, 3.8 fouls 1.8 turnovers per 36 minutes, shooting 46% from the floor. Offensive rating 104, defensive 105

    Those numbers are pretty similar to his rookie year as a whole, less efficient overall but with less fouls as well.

    But if we just look at his last 20 games his rookie year, when he started getting consistent burn and had double digit points or boards 14 times..

    Per36, 11 points, 9 boards, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 1 block, 3.5 fouls, 1.5 TOs, 55% from the floor, 1 FT/36 at 64%, TS% of 57% , offensive rating 109, defensive rating 102

    In the 3pt era, only 66 rookie forwards and centers have averaged 11/9/1.4 per36 with over 1,000 minutes. Only 8 of them shot 55%

    Obviously, Jan isn’t on the level with these guys – 66 names in 35 years isn’t a lot, you know? It’s a pretty high level of rookie production.. But man I thought he looked even better than those numbers. For every TO and foul because of an illegal screen, he got away with3-4 more, something most rookies can’t pull off. He tipped a ton of boards and passes that he didn’t get credit for, made very timely cuts and hockey assists.. I really thought of him as a guy who could be a cross between Tiago Splitter and Anthony Randolph eventually. I thought his only issue early had been his injury, but come to find out, he was probably just up against his ceiling late.

    This opens up a whole other can of worms about how the Wiz have 4 forwards under 25 who all look worse than they did 2 years ago. That shouldn’t be possible. But when you “fix” a shot that isn’t that broken 3 different ways, move everyone’s positions around, yank them onto the bench for a month and then put them In with a game on the line, re-dog housing them if they fail, it’s a pretty great recipe for failure.

    I’d love to know what DC would look like if they had cashed in all four forwards after the 11-12 season. Any one of Jan, Sing, Seraphin would have more value than all of them combined now. We could have had a ruthless bench if we had done the impossible and sold high on a player for once.