Basic Stats: 9.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.2 APG, .39 3P%, .43 FG%
After beating Trevor Ariza for the starting small forward spot last year, most of us expected Martell Webster to remain in that position, but that quickly changed during training camp. According to several reports prior to the beginning of the regular season, Trevor Ariza had emerged as the starting forward during training camp, which turned out to be a great change by coach Randy Wittman, forcing Martell Webster to play off the bench.
Webster, who relied on John Wall for much of his success during the 2012-2013 regular season, didn’t have a playmaking point guard while coming off the bench, especially when Eric Maynor and Garrett Temple were still the backup point guards before Andre Miller‘s arrival via trade. Unlike in his first season with Washington which earned him the full mid-level exception, Webster struggled mightily, while Trevor Ariza was playing the best ball of his life.
Injuries have set Martell Webster back quite a few times during his career, and that was unfortunately the case for him during throughout the season. Although he did play in 78 games, Webster dealt with a few nagging injuries that left him a step slower than we became accustomed to seeing in his debut season with the Wizards. Webster noted that his issues started after he was hit by Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward, Xavier Henry, jokingly saying that Henry should consider playing football rather than basketball.
(Webster’s shot chart from this season–via NBA.COM)
With all that said, I still think Webster had an ‘OK’ overall season. He was obviously hindered by some nagging injuries, but he still shot the ball pretty well from deep and gave Washington a scoring option off the bench. If anything, it’s nice to have a reliable scorer, especially if Trevor Ariza is having an off night, which didn’t happen all that much this season.
Next Season and Improvement:
Martell Webster will be under contract for the next few seasons, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any uncertainty regarding his future with the Wizards. If Trevor Ariza is re-signed, and all indications are pointing to that he likely will be back, then the Wizards are going to have to find a way to insert Webster into the lineup as well as Otto Porter, who I’m sure is expected to crack the rotation next season. If Ariza is re-signed, Webster could potentially be moved in a trade to free up playing time.
Webster averaged just 4 points during the NBA Playoffs while shooting under 24% from three, but what was most concerning was his inability to stay in front of anybody on the defensive side of the floor. Although Webster isn’t a lock down defender, he’s still a capable one, and his struggles were clearly a result of injuries. Webster has to get healthy this offseason and show that he could still play at a high level, that is, after he finishes serving ice cream.
Final Grade: C