Washington Wizards Player Grades: Week 6

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What can you say? We’ve all waited a long, long time for a team like this. This week was one of the best weeks to be a Washington Wizards fan in decades: four games, four wins (three over Western Conference teams), two giant blowouts, and one joyful Wall shimmy.

This week, the Washington Wizards showed just how many ways they can win. Against New Orleans the offense looked awful, but their top-ten defense carried the day. Against Miami, they simply hit every single shot they took. Against the Lakers, they persevered despite falling into an early hole and closed the game out viciously. Against Denver, the Wizards obliterated a surging team with gorgeous ball movement.

This team is for real. Let’s grade.

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall: 13.8 PPG (39.2 FG%), 5.0 RPG, 11.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.0 BPG

Last week reminded us that no matter how awesome John Wall may be, he’s far from perfect. This week reminded us that even when John Wall isn’t scoring, he can still dominate. Wall doesn’t need to score, and most importantly, the Washington Wizards don’t really need Wall to score.

Against Denver on Friday, Wall scored just 9 – the Wizards won by 30. Against the Lakers, Wall shot 6-18 – the Wizards won by 16. It’s everything else that Wall does that matters. Wall has just been overwhelming opponents with his energy, his court vision (which is truly, truly unbelievable and verging on the supernatural), his playmaking in all phases of the game, and most importantly, his unstoppable speed.

Even when Wall is having a shoddy night offensively – which definitely he did against New Orleans – he still makes some absolutely jaw-dropping plays and flies around the court like friggin’ Mothra. John Wall’s tendency to settle for jumpers is still frustrating, but you sometimes we need just to sit back and marvel at how good he is. There’s no one else in the league that can do some of the things John Wall does.

Grade: A-

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal: 15.3 PPG (51.1 FG%), 1.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.3 SPG

Bradley Beal is back in the starting lineup and his jumper is back to “sweeter than ambrosia from the halls of Olympus itself” status. Beal shot 64.7% from beyond the arc in four games this week – and against LA, Beal went toe-to-toe with Kobe Bryant and not only won, he serenaded the heathen Laker fans in the Verizon Center with the sweet sound of #PandaJams.

Beal and Wall are the perfect combo: they’re each phenomenal on their own, but when together they cover for each other’s weaknesses and augment each other’s strengths tremendously. They were made to play with each other. The Washington Wizards are really, really lucky to have them.

Grade: A

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce: 9.8 PPG (40.0 FG%), 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 BPG

Six weeks in, and I still haven’t gotten used to Paul Pierce being on the Washington Wizards. Pierce’s ability to get his own shot is amazing for a guy his age – he really knows how to manipulate defenders and pick his spots, which really compensates for his lack of athleticism at the age of 37. And it’s really a good thing that he can create opportunities by himself, because as a spot-up shooter, his performance has been disappointing to say the least.

Pierce has only hit multiple threes in four of 18 games played so far – he’s shooting just over 30% from deep this year, and he was just 2-13 on threes this week. Pierce’s all-around game has been a huge plus for DC, but our preseason expectation that his three-point shooting could at least somewhat make up for the loss of Trevor Ariza looks to be unfounded.

Grade: C+

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Humphries: 10.5 PPG, (51.6 FG%), 10.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG

$4.3 million. That’s all the Wizards are paying for Kris Humphries this year. I know we’ve all loved to rip on Ernie Grunfeld over the years, but boy did he hit on this deal.

Hump was the reason that the Washington Wizards didn’t miss Nene for a second this week, excelling in all phases of the game. Here’s a stat you might not have seen: opponents are shooting just 48.8% at the rim against Humphries, putting him directly ahead of Marc Gasol and Tyson Chandler. Think about that. Those are two players who have won Defensive Player of the Year awards in the last three years.

And as far as box score stats go, Hump went full James Singleton against the Lakers with 20 rebounds and then scored 20 points against Denver in a pair of performances worthy of a Shakespeare play, or at least a Steven Seagal movie. In short: Hump has been great. Thanks, Ernie.

Grade: A

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Marcin Gortat: 19.8 PPG (62.7 FG%), 9.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.8 BPG

It really seemed like Marcin Gortat hadn’t been as much of a focal point offensively going into this week. So much for that.

Gortat exploded for one of the best weeks of his Washington Wizards career – he hit everything he took, and made it all look easy. Against the Pelicans, in a game where the Wizards struggled mightily offensively, Gortat basically won it by himself with 24 points, 13 rebounds and his always-stout defense. What’s more, Gortat continued to carry that momentum throughout the week.

When the Wizards can get Gortat involved offensively, it’s good for everyone. Gortat is the pick-and-roll weapon that John Wall always needed, and there are few big men in the league who are as deadly as the Polish Hammer when he gets moving towards the basket.

Grade: A

Next: The Bench