Washington Wizards 2016 Season Review: Ramon Sessions

Apr 3, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) guards Washington Wizards guard Ramon Sessions (7) as he drives to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) guards Washington Wizards guard Ramon Sessions (7) as he drives to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Wizards had a brutal 2015-16 NBA campaign, but Ramon Sessions was one of their lone bright spots this season

Basic Stats: 9.9 PPG (47.3 FG% and 32.4 3PT%), 2.5 RPG, 2.9 APG

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting individual player reviews for the guys that ended the season in a Washington Wizards uniform. We’ll continue with everyone’s favorite backup point guard…

Andre Miller had been a favorite of the Washington Wizards fans for a few seasons. He always seemed to make the right pass, had a legendary post-up game and pulled all of this off while showing no visible emotion on the court.

However, Miller was an basketball dinosaur in NBA years (37-years-old) and was no longer able to play at the pace Coach Randy Wittman wanted his second unit to play at.

The Wizards decided to trade Miller in the middle of the 2014-15 season to the Sacramento Kings for Ramon Sessions.

Sessions was 10 years younger than Miller and was able to push the ball with the second unit similar to the way John Wall pushed the ball with the first unit. Sessions played serviceable basketball the rest of the season but really opened some eyes after filling in and playing well for Wall during the playoffs after Wall went down with a hand injury.

Due to Sessions’ strong play in during the playoffs, he solidified his spot in the rotation and most basketball pundits only mentioned shooting forwards as something the Washington Wizards needed to contend in the East. The point guard position was essentially set.

Once the current NBA season started, Wizards fans could tell that after having a training camp under his belt, Sessions was a little more relaxed and knew the system even more.

Gone were the numerous missed easy layups that Sessions was starting to become infamous for in the Verizon Center and he showed flashes of why he was such a hot commodity on the free agent market a few seasons back.

Sessions will never be confused as a typical point guard that has a pass first mentality.

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His whole M.O. as an NBA player is about creating his own shot, pushing the ball up the court quick enough to catch the defense off guard, or getting to the free throw line after penetrating and he’s very good at all three.

However, one of Sessions’ biggest faults (and it’s a big one) is that he didn’t shoot the outside shot this year well.

Teams started to sag off of Sessions to clog the middle and make Sessions and (because of season long injuries to Bradley Beal) Garrett Temple or Gary Neal beat them from the outside and the results weren’t pretty.

The Washington  Wizards would usually play well enough to have the lead going into the second quarter after Wall and the starters had a strong first quarter, but once Sessions and the second unit came into the game, because of the offensive limitations, opposing teams would usually go on a run while taking advantage of Sessions’ inability to get others on the second unit going.

Towards the end of the season after the Wizards were officially eliminated from making the playoffs, a bizarre report came out that Coach Wittman gave Nene and Sessions preferable veteran treatment while riding the teams stars (Wall and Beal) pretty hard in film….um…sessions for mistakes.

Once Wall made the following comment: “If I able to take criticism as the teams best player, other players should be able to take criticism.”

While Sessions himself came out later to say he wanted to be coached and corrected like everyone else, the damage had been done.

During the entire 2015-16 NBA season, Sessions had been a good and prepared professional, rarely made mistakes on the court that cost the Washington Wizards, and got better and better as the year progressed.

But, weirdly, Sessions has never caught on with the Wizards fans at the Verizon Center.

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If we polled casual fans about potentially retaining Sessions, we would likely be met with shrugs.

Due to the plan to acquire a certain big name free agent with ties to the area and have enough money to entice him to actually come, the Wizards had most of their roster comprised of middle of the pack ballers on one-year contracts and Sessions was one of those players.

Fans usually connect with players that have stuck around for a number of years and have grown with the franchise.

It’s hard to think that Sessions is anything more than a mercenary that was hired for a season or two.

Unlike the Washington Wizards, Sessions himself had a very solid season and because of his success being an unrestricted free agent, he will most likely find another team come next season that will pay him more (possible as a starter) than what the Wizards are willing to pay for him to backup Wall once again.

One could make the argument that behind starters Wall and Marcin Gortat, Sessions had the most consistent success on the team for the whole season.

Next: Wizards Complete Off-season Mock 2.0

Sessions was definitely a bright spot in an otherwise wasted season for the Wizards and if he (likely) decides to sign elsewhere, the Wizards will have a tough job finding someone of Sessions’ caliber (maybe Satoransky?) that can be trusted to back Wall up.