Washington Wizards 2015-2016 Season Predictions: Alan Anderson Will Need To Show Consistency For Playing Time


The Washington Wizards had a nice, quiet off-season. They didn’t go after any of the big name free agents, but they still acquired a number of players that will help them remain one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

Last summer, Ernie Grunfeld‘s number one goal was to add front court depth.

After signing Kris Humphries, Drew Gooden, DeJuan Blair and Kevin Seraphin to new deals, the Washington Wizards had way too many big men. As a result, they didn’t have enough depth on the wing and their play suffered as a result.

This summer, it was quite the opposite.

Washington had a lot of success with a small-ball approach during the NBA Playoffs and carried that strategy over to the free agency period. Instead of re-signing their own players for the sake of continuity, the Wizards opted to sign versatile wing players.

During the first few weeks of July, the Wizards had already acquired Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Gary Neal — all of whom are capable of playing multiple positions and hitting the outside shot. Washington also traded up in the NBA Draft for Kelly Oubre, who is considered one of the most versatile players in the class.

Adding versatile players was the team’s goal this summer and they did a solid job of doing that.

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We know what we can expect from the players that were on the roster this past season.

With John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Nene and Marcin Gortat returning, the Wizards can pencil in another appearance in the playoffs.

The newly signed players have some question marks behind them, though.

Can Gary Neal find a way to stay consistent — something he hasn’t been in years?

Will Jared Dudley, who’s reportedly ahead of schedule for recovery, remain healthy for most of the season?

And finally, the Washington Wizards have to find out if Alan Anderson can stay on the court without becoming a hinderance.

After Paul Pierce decided to leave the nation’s capital for his hometown, the Wizards prioritized finding another player that can fill his scoring. Porter will likely start at the small forward position, but the Wizards were focused on adding another player that could play big minutes if called upon.

Anderson has played all over the world and finally found some stability with the Brooklyn Nets a few years ago. While I’m confident that Anderson, who’s been labeled as a 3-and-D player, will fit right in with John Wall and Co., he does have some flaws that are concerning.

Similar to Neal, Anderson is a streaky player.

The Washington Wizards haven’t had this many streaky players on their team in years. Randy Wittman doesn’t seem to be a coach that allows his players to deviate from the system. For instance, the Wizards had two good scorers in Jordan Crawford and Glen Rice Jr., but let them go for virtually nothing.

Now, I’m not saying that Anderson will have the same fate as the aforementioned players, but he isn’t the most consistent nor is he built for a team like Washington.

Last year with the Nets, Anderson shot just under 44 percent from the field in November.

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A few months later, he shot less than 40 percent in January.

That kind of inconsistency worries me.

Anderson has built a reputation as being a gunner, and quite frankly, that’s what he is.

Every NBA needs someone that can produce points at a high volume, but the Washington Wizards haven’t relied on a player like that in a very long time.

For Anderson to stay on the court and regularly play, he needs to do all of the simple things that Wittman looks for. Anderson will need to become a steady contributor on the defensive end of the floor, and perhaps more importantly, he’ll need to hit three point shots at a regular rate.

Anderson hasn’t played with an elite point guard (sorry, Deron Williams) in his career, so playing with someone like Wall should certainly help him stay consistent. He has the tools to become the team’s sixth man, it’s just a matter of producing on a regular basis. Hitting the corner three point shot will be huge for him, too.

The Washington Wizards have a few wing players on the team that will battle for playing time during training camp and preseason. We pretty much know who’s going to start, but the bench rotation still has to be decided. As cliche as it sounds, the players will determine who gets playing time by showcasing their skills before the season begins.

There are going to be guys like Martell Webster and Garrett Temple all fighting for playing time. Anderson needs to separate himself by simplifying his game and not doing too much.

I think we’ll see Anderson become a key part of Washington’s success, but nothing will be given to him. Anderson, like the rest of the bench players, will have to earn playing time.

Next: Kelly Oubre Is Developing A Mamba Mentality

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