Season Evaluation: Drew Gooden struggled to make impact in third season with Wizards

At the end of the season, Drew Gooden insisted he had no plans to retire. Only thing is, it might be hard for the 13-year veteran to find a new home, at least in the NBA. Gooden averaged 2.7 points on 32 percent shooting this season; both career lows.

It looked like Gooden was going to be a part of the team’s rotation early in the season. He played nearly 20 minutes in the season opener. But just four games later, he racked up his first DNP of the season as Dudley started to return to form from offseason surgery . Gooden’s inability to make outside shots this season made him a poor fit for the Wizards’ pace-and-space style. As mentioned, Gooden shot just 32 percent from the field including a woeful 17 percent from three-point range.

Gooden also had plenty of nagging injuries throughout the season that kept him sidelined.

When he got minutes, Gooden provided some nice energy on the offensive glass. He averaged just shy of one offensive rebound per game.  The opposition still had to account for Gooden when he was on the floor to prevent him from getting any putbacks. His best game of the season came against the Bulls in mid-January where he notched 10 points and 12 rebounds.

At this point in his career, Gooden is purely an energy guy when he does get minutes. I don’t believe the Wizards will re-sign him but if they do, he’ll likely only see the court during garbage time.

Let’s end this season recap on a high note when Gooden came thiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to bringing the house down.

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Recap: Hornets at Wizards

The Wizards complete an improbable comeback to beat the Hornets in double overtime, 110-107. John Wall scored 32 points which is the second straight game for him with 30+ points. Drew Gooden was very valuable off the bench adding 15 points and 17 rebounds (5 offensive) for the team. The win snaps a four game losing streak.

The Wizards were looking to attack the rim and get some easy buckets early in this one. John Wall easily carved through the Hornets defense and was able to find Nene in transition for two easy lay ins to start the game. Three of their first five made field goals were in the paint as the Wizards started the game 5-10 from the field.

The Wizards defense came to play tonight. The Wizards had six blocks in the first quarter and nine overall for the game. Gortat had four of those six blocks in the first period. The Wizards started the game nicely and were up 28-19 after the first.

Mo Williams came in for the Hornets and picked up the scoring slack. Mo provided 26 points off the bench and came up just one rebound shy of a triple double (26 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds).

Drew Gooden provided a much needed spark off the bench. Drew came in and hit his first four field goals in the second quarter. Additionally, he provided some much needed energy off the bench and played Al Jefferson well for a majority of the night.

The Hornets were able to make a late push towards the end of the second quarter. The Wizards were up but just five, 59-54 at the end of the first half.

Kemba Walker who was quiet for most of the game came in and knocked down a three to open the second half. Al Jefferson hit a close up lay in and just like that, the game was tied at 59. Not much went well for the Wizards as the Hornets used a 14-2 run to take a seven point lead at the 6:17 mark of the quarter. Drew Gooden hit a late three pointer but the Hornets were up 79-75 after three quarters.

Bradley Beal hit a fadeaway jumper over Kemba Walker to take a 83-82 lead early into the fourth quarter. Rasual Butler then got in on the action knocking down a three pointer to put the Wiz up four.

The Hornets on the other hand started the fourth quarter ice cold going 0-10 from the field. They didn’t score their first field goal until the 3:50 mark on a put back dunk from Al Jefferson. With the game seesawing back and forth, Kemba Walker hit two free throws to put the Hornets up 95-91 at the 14 second mark. Fans started exited the Verizon Center assuming the Wiz would drop their fifth straight game.

Not so fast, Rasual Butler hit a three pointer and then John Wall would hit a tough elbow jump shot to tie the game and we were going into overtime.

Mo Williams hit a three pointer to open the overtime for the Hornets. John Wall answered with a three of his own. The Wizards were able to regain the lead 101-99 on a transition lay in from Rasual Butler at the one minute mark. The Hornets would tie the game and we were going to a second overtime.

The Wizards hit some huge shots in the second overtime, particularly from John Wall who had five points in the period. None bigger than a tough fadeaway jump shot to put the Wiz up 110-107 at the nine second mark. The Wiz hang on to win.

The Win guarantees that the Wizards will not have a losing season. Unfortunately they did not clinch a playoff berth tonight since Boston and Brooklyn both won.