Wizards Killer: An average or slightly above average NBA player who has mind-boggling, statistically great games against the Wizards. Doesn’t matter if this player is in a slump or on a bad team, he is almost sure to have a big game against the Wizards. In fact, if this player played against the Wizards 82 times a year, they would no doubt be in the MVP conversation.
Does this type of player really exist? Absolutely. Here are the three players who have been crushing the Wizards this year.
3. Kentatavious Caldwell-Pope – Caldwell-Pope is currently in his second year out of the University of Georgia. Coming out of college, the scouting report on him was that he was a volume scorer on a bad team and an elite perimeter defender because of his size (6’5 with a 6’8 wingspan). Since he played for a terrible college team, was his team that bad and he shined above them all or was it one of those “great players on a bad team” instances?
He has been pretty solid this year and is turning out to be one of the better players coming out of the 2013 draft. He’s currently averaging 12.1 points and 3.1 rebounds on an improving Pistons team who figured out momentarily how to win once Josh Smith left town.
Caldwell-Pope is averaging 17 points when he laces up against the Wiz including 20 and 26 point games. Not only is his scoring up 4.9 points when he plays the against the Wizards, his three point field goal percentage increases, significantly. Caldwell-Pope shoots a solid 34.5% from three point land against all teams not named the Wizards. Against the Wiz, this skyrockets to 44.3% from long range. In addition, Caldwell-Pope averages 1.9 made three pointers as a season average. He’s knocked down 3.66 threes per game against the Wiz including going 6-13 from long range against the team on 2/22.
Is this because the Wizards don’t guard the three very well? Maybe. Is it because the Wiz don’t have a super athletic wing defender? Probably. Whatever it is, whenever Caldwell-Pope sees the Wizards, someone better lock him down.
2. Aaron Brooks – The Wizards have always struggled against small point guards. The main reason is that they are not very good at guarding the pick-and-roll. Aaron Brooks and the Chicago big men are great at executing the pick-and-roll on offense. This is bad news for the Wizards.
Aaron Brooks is not afraid to shoot the ball and his light is neon green now that Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler are out for the Bulls. The Wizards have a tough time containing Brooks for a variety of reasons. He can shoot it from deep if the defender goes under the screen or he can drive right by the Washington bigs if his defender goes over the screen; pick your poison.
Brooks’ stats are skewed a bit since he spent a majority of the season coming off the bench but regardless, he brings it every single time against the Wizards. Brooks averages 10.8 points against all other NBA teams but averages 14.8 points per game against the Wizards. Might I add, he came off of the bench in 3 out of 4 of those games. Most recently, he scored 22 points and dished out eight assists in their matchup on 3/3.
Additionally, Brooks averages 2.8 assists per game but that jumps to 4.8 when playing the Wiz. Remember, Brooks is a shoot first point guard too.
The Bulls are kind of an unknown since they’ve been hit brutally hard by the injury bug this season. Even though there is a budding rivalry between the two teams, I don’t know how comfortable Wizards fans would feel going up against the Bulls in the playoffs. Then again, there’s no matchup right now that’s favorable for the Wiz. Let’s stay away from the Bulls if possible, we don’t need Aaron Brooks tearing us up for 25 a game.
1. Last but not least, the biggest Wizards Killer of them all this year………. Lou Williams.
I don’t know if he’s getting hype on Drake songs before the game or what:
Lou Williams torches the Wizards every time they play and the 2014-2015 season is no different. Williams is averaging 15.2 points per game which is 3.4 higher than his career average 11.8. Against the Wizards this year, Lou is averaging 19.6 points. Not only that, his field goal percentage, three point field goal percentage, and number of threes made per game are up when Lou Williams plays the Wizards.
Keep in mind, these are all minutes off the bench. When Kyle Lowry missed a couple of games, Grevis Vasquez started. When DeMar DeRozan was out at the beginning of the year, Vasquez got his minutes. What’s more impressive is that Williams is putting up these career highs in just 24.7 minutes per game.
So why does he torch the Wizards all the time? First off, he’s good. Also, he has a matchup advantage whenever he’s on the court against the Wizards and takes full advantage. He and Vazquez are the reserve guards for the Raptors and both players can play either the point guard or shooting guard positions. Since Lou is the 6th man, he comes in midway through the first quarter. At the time, the Wizards hadn’t been shuffling their lineup so most of the starters were still in. Either Beal or Pierce had the duty to lock Lou down. Williams is a volume shooter. He’s averaging 14.3 shots against the Wizards this season. It doesn’t matter who is guarding him, he is going to get his shots up.
Things would take a bad turn when the Wizards substitute in their second unit. At the time, Andre Miller was still with the team and had to guard Lou as this made the most sense matchup wise due to his size. As we know, Andre Miller can’t stay in front of his man. By the time the team would switch a different player onto Lou, he would already be in a groove.
You don’t score 4.4 more points per game and increase your shooting percentage from 40% to 48.5% against a team by accident. Put an average to below average defender on a volume scorer and things can get ugly, quick.
The numbers don’t lie, Wizards Killers are real. Fortunately, the team is capable of keeping these players in check from time to time (Honorary mention: Gerald Henderson). It’s looking like we are either going to see Brooks or Williams in the first round of the playoffs. Let’s just hope they don’t drop 20 a night.