Trevor Ariza has been one of the most consistent players on the Washington Wizards’ roster, and despite his important contributions on both sides of the floor this season, he hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of credit he deserves. Ariza, who’s playing on his final season of his contract, has been one of the league’s best 3-and-D players, but hasn’t gotten the recognition for helping Washington make the postseason for the first time since 2008.
Well, much like the rest of the players on Washington’s roster, Ariza is finally back to playing on the big stage and his contributions aren’t going unnoticed. Though he’s been stellar all series long against the Chicago Bulls, he might’ve had his “breakout” playoff game yesterday during Game 4.
Mike Dunleavy scored a career-high 35 points in Game 3, making 8 of his 10 three point tries, and essentially led the Bulls to their only win of the series with minimal help from his teammates. Trevor Ariza has been a shut down perimeter defender throughout his career and he got the defensive assignment on Dunleavy yesterday. After scoring 35 points on Friday, Dunleavy was held to just 6 on Sunday and no made three point attempts. That’s defense.
Not only did Ariza shut Dunleavy down, but he burned the Bulls with his hot shooting. The Wizards began the game on a 14-0 run and Ariza knocked down multiple three point shots during that period. Basically, he set the tone right out of the gate and the game was all but over from that point on.
Ariza finished the game with 30 points and 8 rebounds on 10-17 shooting from the field.
Ariza has been an instrumental part of the Wizards and the rest of the league is beginning to take notice. The Chicago Bulls have done a great job at taking away the three point shot from Washington during the series, more specifically the corner three, but Ariza still managed to knock down some key threes from the corner with the help of John Wall.
To call him underrated would be an understatement as Ariza has been one of Washington’s best players all year long and helped them overachieve, with the great possibility of advancing to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
Three point shooting has undoubtedly been Washington’s best offensive weapon and Ariza has progressively gotten better at both sides of the floor throughout the year. It was great to finally see him put it all together in a playoff career-game yesterday against the Chicago Bulls.