Trevor Ariza has arguably been the most consistent player on the Washington Wizards’ roster this season and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. He continues to score at a highly efficient rate and he’s certainly taken advantage of poor defenses. With that said, the Milwaukee Bucks are one of the worst defensive trams in the NBA and it definitely showed last night.
The Wizards squandered a 28-point lead in the second half against the Bucks last night, but behind Ariza’s hot shooting, they eventually sneaked out with another road win.
Ariza scored 17-points in the first quarter and it looked like he’d have another 40-point performance like he did against the Philadelphia 76ers last week. He went on to finish the game with 28-points on 9 for 12 shooting from the field, including 5 of 7 made three point shots.
Take a look at his shot chart from last night:
Unlike a lot of his teammates last night, Trevor Ariza didn’t take too many mid-range shots and he obviously reaped the benefits. He only took one shot outside of the paint that wasn’t a three, while knocking down 5 of his 7 three point attempts. It’s gotten to the point where any shot Ariza throws up from deep looks like it’s going to go in. He’s led the NBA in 3-point percentage since the All-Star break, but he’s also done a better job of scoring on the inside. Teams are starting to close out harder against Ariza, and it’s opened up driving lanes. He’s done a better job of picking his spots on the court this season, and he probably has the best shot selection of any player on the roster as a result. He’s cut down on the dribbling, but he’s also become effective when driving to the basket because he hasn’t forced the issue like he has in the past.
Ariza has stepped up when the Wizards needed him most this season and I’m certainly interested to see if his shooting will eventually cool off.