Even when you’re one of the worst teams in the NBA, like the Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats obviously are, there are always players (like Kemba Walker and Glen Davis) or aspects to your game you can feel proud of.
Most of the teams in the NBA featuring a good and efficient defense are on their way to the playoffs, at least if they stay where they are right now. But the Washington Wizards, only 7-28, worst in the NBA, are among the top 10 in the league when it comes to defense, and have actually won their last three games now that John Wall is back.
They’re 10th in point allowed (96.7 per game) and more importantly, 9th when it comes to low field goal percentage, keeping teams at 44% from the field. All the teams above them in these categories would be making the postseason if the season ended right now.
And some teams, even teams as bad as the Charlotte Bobcats (9-28), feature at least one thing to like about their offense. When it comes to the Bobcats, it’s their pick n’ roll plays and the way their ballhandlers take advantage of them. With Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions doing most of the damage, the Bobcats are second in the NBA, averaging 0.88 points per play for their ballhandlers in the pick-and-roll.
All three players lead their teams in PER; Walker is averaging 17.4 points and 5.8 assists per game; Sessions is averaging 14.2 points off the bench while shooting a terrible 40% from the field; Gordon, also coming off the bench in every single game he’s played is averaging 13.9 points per game. Most of the things regarding the Bobcats are bad, but there are always one or two rays of sunshine to hang on to.
Another interesting fact is the Orlando Magic and how they play when Glen Davis isn’t on the floor. Davis, averaging 32.4 minutes a night missed 11 straight games for the Magic, 10 of them losses. However, there’s quite a conflict when it comes to Davis, averaging 15.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
When Davis is on the floor, the Magic average 101 points per 100 possessions, 17th in the NBA. When he’s off it? 105.7, which is good enough for 7th in the NBA. The Magic, if you’re not up to date, are 13-24 this season, with the recent losing streak taking them out, for the meantime, of playoff contention.
But Davis has his advantages on defense, possibly due to all the time spent with Kevin Garnett talking in his ear. With Davis on the floor, the Magic hold opponents to 101.7 points per 100 possessions, good enough for 12th in the NBA. Without him, it deteriorates into an unbelievable 110.6, worst in the NBA. No wonder they couldn’t win more than one game without him.
Hat tip: Extra Pass