Fantasy Basketball 2010-2011 Team Preview: Washington Wizards (9/17/10)

The Washington Wizards have a few nice young fantasy prospects, but the team overall is going to be very weak.   Last season the Wizards had the Gilbert Arenas gun incident and chose to trade off Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, while keeping Arenas who was the actual root of the problem.  On top of that, they drafted John Wall to play the same position that Arenas occupies.   It’s going to be an interesting situation.  Wall should get the starting point guard spot with Arenas moving to shooting guard.  Kirk Hinrich will be the sixth man and backup both positions.  Al Thornton should start at small forward with Andray Blatche getting the nod at power forward.  JaVale McGee will get first shot at the starting center job.

Projected Fantasy Depth Chart
PG:  John Wall, Kirk Hinrich
SG:  Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young
SF:  Al Thornton, Josh Howard
PF:  Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlian, Trevor Booker
C:  JaVale McGee, Hilton Armstrong

2009 Team Stats
Pace:   #21, 91.6 (avg. 92.7)
Offensive Rating:  #25, 104.2 (avg. 107.6)
Defensive Rating:   #18, 109.4 (avg. 107.6)
Team eFG%:   #26, 48.1 (avg. 50.1)
Offensive Rebounding:   #7, 27.6 (26.3)
Defensive Rebounding:   #26, 72.4 (73.7)
Opposition eFG%:   #18, 50.2 (avg. 50.1)
Points Per Game:   #26, 96.2 (avg. 100.4)

Playing Time and Usage Rates
Usage rates illustrate a player’s involvement in the team’s offense.
Player  (2009 MPG)              Usage (2009/Career)
Arenas (36.5)                           31.9/28.1
Hinrich (33.5)                            16.6/19.8
Thornton (27.7)                       19.0/22.0
Blatche (27.9)                          25.8/22.2
Jianlian (31.8)                          20.1/19.6
McGee (16.1)                            19.1/20.0

The Wizards are going to have a problem convincing Gilbert Arenas to give up the basketball in favor of John Wall.  Arenas had a 31.9 usage rate last season before he was suspended and that just isn’t going to work this year.   If he repeats that rate, then the Wizards are just wasting Wall’s talent and hurting his development.  Kirk Hinrich was taken out of the Bulls offense last season, but I think he will climb back up to his career 19.8 usage rate in Washington.   Blatche ended up with a 25.8 usage rate in 2009 mainly because he was the only healthy offensive player left by season’s end.  Jianlian, McGee and Thornton should probably stay in the 18-20 range.


Shooting Ability and Shot Location
Player           Career eFG%          Career 3PT          Jumper/Inside
Arenas            48.6                   2.1/5.8 (35.7%)           79/21
Hinrich            48.2                   1.6/4.2 (37.9%)             86/14
Thornton        46.2                    .3/1.1 (30.8%)              67/33
Blatche           47.6                  .1/.4 (23.7%)                 64/36
Jianlian           42.4                   .4/1.1 (34.2%)               62/38
McGee             50.0                             0/0                     35/65

The Wizards finished 26th in the league in eFG% in 2009 and it’s very possible that they will be worse this year.   For some reason, the Wizards decided to bring in Jianlian and his horrible 42.4 eFG%.   Yi can’t shoot and he will never be a shooter.   I guess Blatche’s 47.6 and Thornton’s 46.2 just weren’t enough to just completely wreck the teams eFG% by themselves.    At least Blatche has the chance to improve his percentage if he gets more opportunities around the basket, but Thornton is probably stuck around 46%.   Arenas and Hinrich are barely average. 

The only quality three point shooter on the team is Kirk Hinrich, but I’m sure Arenas is going to launch his fair share of bombs somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% success rate.  None of the big men are a threat to shoot the three.


Player          Off/Def/Total
Arenas          2.6/10.2/6.3
Hinrich         1.3/10.0/5.6
Thornton        5.5/11.7/8.6
Blatche          9.4/18.4/13.8
Jianlian         6.9/19.4/12.9
McGee           11.2/18.5/14.8

The Wizards will again be a fairly weak rebounding team.  Al Thornton is just too poor of a rebounder for the small forward spot.  Blatche and McGee should be pretty solid and Jianlian will grab his share of defensive rebounds, but he’s soft on the offensive glass.   Arenas and Hinrich both have good defensive rebound rates for point guards.


The Wizards are going to be a below average defensive team, at least until John Wall and JaVale McGee develop.
PG:  Defense takes effort, which is something that Gilbert Arenas probably isn’t going to give this year.  Kirk Hinrich is a good defensive player and he covered many of Derrick Rose’s mistakes, so he should be able to do the same if Arenas is at point.  Wall should be a good defender, but it’s going to take awhile to learn the entire team defensive concept.
SG:  Nick Young is working on his defense and hopefully he can be at least average this season.
SF:  Al Thornton can play some effective high energy defense when he wants to.
PF:  Andray Blatche has the talent to be a good defender, but the question is his attitude.  He got benched last year for not giving full effort on defense.
C:  JaVale McGee is a big presence in the paint and he will eventually learn how to move his feet.  Hopefully, his experience this summer with the FIBA team will improve his defense and confidence.

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