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Trevor Booker steps up for the Wizards while the other bigs are still struggling

Oct 19, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Trevor Booker (35) reacts during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Rupp Arena. New Orleans defeated Washington 93-89. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Wizards are coming off a disappointing loss that would’ve put them over the .500 mark against the Dallas Mavericks last night, Trevor Booker’s great performance didn’t go unnoticed. Scoring 10 points and grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds, Booker was virtually the only reason the Wizards didn’t collapse before the fourth quarter. Struggling to make any shots from the floor, Washington relied on Booker for second chance opportunities and he ultimately grabbed over 40% of the team’s total rebounds.

It was one of those nights where we couldn’t make many shots so they were coming off and I’m an offensive rebounder. I try to get every one and they rolled my way.

-Trevor Booker on his career night, via CSN Washington

With Nene still on limited minutes, Booker was moved into the starting lineup to help fill the void. He’s obviously not as skilled as Nene, but he has helped the Wizards do some of the dirty work which often goes unnoticed. Booker, along with many other forwards on the team, is on his final guaranteed season with the Wizards. Despite dealing with injury issues at the beginning of the season, Booker has stepped up when the Wizards needed him most. Booker’s averaging well over 11 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes and he’s been one of the most consistent players on Washington’s roster in terms of production.

Unlike some of the other bigs that are in their final season with the Wizards, Randy Wittman knows what he’s going to get from Booker. Booker isn’t the type of player that will come out and surprise the opposing team. He’s a blue-collar player that does all the little things that it takes to win basketball games. His athleticism and desire for the ball on the glass separates him from the likes of Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely, who are some of the most inconsistent players you’ll find in the NBA.

Booker might not be as offensively gifted as Kevin Seraphin or have the length of Jan Vesely, but it’s clear that  he’s slowly separated himself from the group. Seraphin has had positive spurts this season, but for the most part, he’s still the same player that makes boneheaded mistakes every time he steps on the floor. Instead of playing within themselves like Booker, Seraphin and Vesely try way too hard to get noticed on the court and it obviously doesn’t end well. The only consistent thing Seraphin does is take errant shots, while Jan Vesely is almost guaranteed to foul out if he got significant minutes (5.5 personal fouls per 36 minutes). All three of the players mentioned have gotten chances from Randy Wittman this season, especially when Nene sits out with injury, but only Booker has managed to step up.

You’d have to think that the Wizards will try and retain Booker once the season is over, especially if he continues to play at this level. There’s no indication that Nene will play regular minutes any time soon, so Booker will definitely get the chance to continue growing along side John Wall and the starters. Unlike some of the other players on the team, Trevor Booker is actually taking advantage of his opportunity and he’s getting rewarded as a result.

 

Topics: Booker Wizards, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Washington Wizards, Wizards Mavericks

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