Washington Wizards Player Grades: Week 6

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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nene: 8.0 PPG (50.0 FG%), 8.0 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the Wizards looked lost without Nene’s presence on both ends of the floor – this week, the Wizards won three in a row without the Brazilian big man, and seemed to really figure everything out.

This hints at one of the big differences separating this year’s team with teams from seasons past. It used to be that the Wizards couldn’t win at all without Nene on the court. Now, with Kris Humphries behind him, they have the depth to survive, although the team is certainly weakened without him. Nene didn’t hold anything back in his 18-minute return from plantar fasciitis Friday night against Denver, and his all-around ability is huge for this team.

Grade: B

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rasual Butler: 14.5 PPG (56.4 FG%), 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.3 SPG

Please, nobody tell Rasual Butler that it’s legal to miss shots in basketball. Remember when Rasual got viciously dunked on by James Ennis in the first game of the season, and we all figured that we probably would never see him again? That Butler’s appearance on the court, brief as it was, was just an anomaly caused by injury and suspension and that he’d most likely spend the rest of the season on the inactive list? Wrong!

Rasual Butler has metamorphosed into the avatar of Tresos, the ancient Mayan god of three-pointers, and his thousand-year reign will bring nothing but sunshine and bountiful maize harvests.

Grade: A++++

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Otto Porter: 4.5 PPG (33.3 FG%), 4.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 BPG

When the jumper isn’t falling, Otto Porter usually isn’t going to provide much offensively… unless he swoops in for sweet alley-oop and blows all of our minds. Listen to Buck’s voice crack! It’s pure joy!

Otto has the ability to affect the game in a number of different ways, which he displayed in a very nice all-around efforts against Miami and Denver. Otto hasn’t been flashy, but he gets the job done – which brings up a question. How is Martell Webster going to get minutes when he comes back? Rasual Butler has been a total shock, and there’s no way that the Washington Wizards can take that hot hand out of the rotation.

Otto’s not the offensive threat that Webster is, but his defense and jack-of-all-trades ability off the bench has been valuable. If it were up to me, I’d keep Rasual and Otto in there. If Butler regresses – which, sadly, is probably likely to happen sooner or later – Webster can jump back in there. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

Grade: B-

Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Miller: 4.5 PPG (64.3 FG%), 1.3 RPG, 4.8 APG

Shabazz Napier was two weeks shy of his eighth birthday when Andre Miller was drafted into the NBA. The date was June 30, 1999 – the place, incidentally, the then-MCI Center, Washington, DC. On December 1, 2014, Andre Miller did this to Shabazz Napier. I simply don’t understand.

How is Andre Miller this good? He’s 38 years old. It’s not just that he can’t jump – it’s that he never jumps. The man plays NBA basketball without ever jumping. By all rights, Prof. Miller should be happily retired, embarrassing fools at the rec center when he’s not at his job teaching young men the secrets of life and basketball. But no. I say basically the same thing every week: the man is an absolute marvel.

Grade: A+


Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Seraphin: 7.0 PPG (61.9 FG%), 4.0 RPG

What warmed my heart the most this past week? Probably Kevin Seraphin taking JaVale McGee to school on Friday night. It was a pretty typical week for Seraphin otherwise – some good times, some bad. The good times: the aforementioned JaVale-schooling, a season-high 16 points against Denver, eight rebounds in 20 minutes against Miami.

The bad times: a totally ineffectual game against the Lakers, only six minutes played against New Orleans when Randy Wittman realized that having Seraphin and Drew Gooden out there against Anthony Davis is a sure ticket to utter destruction and defilement. Such is #KSLife.

Grade: B-

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Gooden: 4.7 PPG (38.5 FG%), 3.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 SPG

Drew Gooden can do good things for you. He hustles, for one. He can hit from the outside. He’s a joyful soul who it’s hard not to like. I’m a big fan. But in an ideal scenario, Gooden isn’t playing.

He’s extremely good for a shot in the arm when it’s needed, but when he’s going out there for 15-20 minutes every night, he’s a weakness. Although Anthony Davis had a huge night against the Wizards on Saturday, as many others have noted, the only times he truly dominated were against Gooden. Drizzle is pretty good for a fifth big man, but with Nene back, he’s not going to play. And that’s fine.

Gooden doesn’t have to play – he can sit for weeks, but when he’s called upon he’s gonna go out there and bring energy.

Grade: C-

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