Tag Archives: shelvin mack
According to the Twitter account of the Washington Post’s Wizards Insider, Michael Lee, the Washington Wizards have acquired the back-up point guard that fans have been clamoring for all summer. Price, who last played for the Indiana Pacers, had his qualifying offer rescinded after the Pacers acquired D.J. Augustin.
Price, over the course of his 150 game NBA career, has averages of 6.0 PPG and 2.0 APG in 14.9 minutes played per contest. It will be interesting to see what this means for Shelvin Mack’s future in the district. Terms of the contract have yet to be released but once they are we will address the contract, allegedly, signed by Price today.
Last week I made my case for why the Wizards should look towards signing A.J. Price to come in and fill the role of back-up point guard on this team, you can read those thoughts here. Look for a Pick and Pop concerning this free agent signing later tonight.
UPDATE: The Wizards have officially announced the signing of PG A.J. Price. Per team policy the terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Well, it finally happened. Andray Blatche is gone from the Wizards forever and with his exit, according to Ted Leonsis, comes a sign that the rebuild is over. Your longest tenured Wizards are now John Wall, Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker, let that sink in for a second. The “Big Three” era Wizards that we knew and sometimes loved, led by Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are a distant memory as we have turned the collective page as a franchise.
These Wizards, when compared to the Wizards or yore, are constructed quite differently. Before we were led by a volume shooting combo guard whose personality off the court sometimes outshined the things he did on the court whereas these Wizards follow the lead of a young, hungry point guard yearning for the same type of professional success that he has enjoyed at every other stop in his basketball career. John Wall seems like a much better, and more willing, leader of this franchise going forward than Arenas would’ve ever been.
Is this a fair comparison when you get down to the nitty-gritty of things? Probably not. There just seem to be less things in the peripheral distracting the team from the task at hand (winning basketball games) for Wall than there was for Arenas. Wall’s maturity level far surpasses that of his one-time, albeit shortlived, back court mate and that is something that resonates with the rest of the team on the floor as well as in the locker room.
The Wizards needed to completely clean house and hit the reset button on this franchise and that is exactly what they did. By dumping the “Three Stooges”, Nick “Swaggy P” Young, Javale “Pierre” McGee and Andray “7-Day Dray” Blatche from the roster the Wizards eliminated the “Knucklehead” element from the locker room all together. Horrible self-imposed nicknames aside, this was imperative for the rebuild and subsequent “rebirth” of this franchise to occur.
The question, however, still looms…Where do the Wizards go from here?
The Wizards are essentially locked into this roster as it is currently constructed through the 2013-2014 season. The additions of Nene, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor solidified our front court but at the same time ate up the majority of our salary cap space. It is a give and take type of scenario as the large contracts of these three hinder our flexibility with regard to free agency but they do serve as positive role models for our extremely young roster to look towards in learning the right way to be a professional.
As long as their respective bodies hold up (both Nene and Okafor have had major knee problems in their careers) they are going to be positives for this franchise on and off the court. What I hope is that their on the court productivity matches what they bring to the table in helping mold our young core of players (Wall, Beal and Seraphin) into what it takes to be a winner. The frontcourt has without a doubt gone from a question mark to a strength, at least on paper.
The most pressing need for the Wizards as we head into the 2012-2013 regular season has to be shoring up the back up PG position. We need to find someone who can competently spell John Wall when he is out of the game and I am not convinced that player is currently on this roster. Shelvin Mack simply did not look good in Las Vegas, whether he was pressing or not the results weren’t on par with what many Wizards fans wanted to see.
What options do the Wizards have to fill this role going forward? Earlier in free agency we had been linked to John Lucas III as a possible addition, however multiple outlets are now reporting that Lucas III is close to agreeing to a contract with the Toronto Raptors. This might not necessarily be a bad thing as I was not convinced that Lucas’ style of play would be the best fit for this team. Lucas had a coming out party against the Wizards last season going off for 25 points 8 rebounds and 8 assists while filling in for Derrick Rose. These numbers sound all well and good but when you note that Lucas took 28 shots to get to those 25 points it isn’t as impressive a feat. Add in that Lucas is a career 34% shooter from three-point range and you have another reason as to why I am not sold on him as the best option for the Wizards.
As the days bore on, the market for a veteran back up PG dwindles. Since it appears as if Lucas III is not in the cards for the Wizards, I would suggest looking towards a player like A.J. Price, most recently with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers renounced Price’s rights on July 8th making him an unrestricted free agent. The Indiana Pacers blog on the SB Nation network referred to Price as “their security blanket point guard and a locker room favorite,”. Price, who starred at UConn prior to being a second round pick by the Pacers in 2009, seems like the perfect fit to run this offense when Wall is getting a breather or gets into foul trouble. While he was mainly a utility player for the Pacers during his stint in Indianapolis he has shown, when given the opportunity to get rotation minutes, that he is a more than capable point guard for an NBA team averaging 6 PPG and a shade under 3 APG during a 16 game stretch this year where he averaged 18 minutes per game.
Another point of contention as the offseason continues is how hard the Wizards choose to pursue Courtney Lee. Lee, who had his rights renounced by the Houston Rockets today, is now an unrestricted free agent. While it is possible that Lee re-signs with Houston for a lesser amount I would have to think this is a sign that he is not in the Rockets long-term plans. The Rockets did retain his Bird Rights however, meaning that a sign and trade with another team is a legitimate option for Houston. As I was mowing my way through my Twitter timeline this morning I saw that Mike Prada, of SB Nation and BulletsForever.com, had floated the idea of a sign and trade where the Wizards send Jordan Crawford to Houston for Courtney Lee. This is obviously just a hypothetical but it is one I could absolutely get behind…that is if Houston would be willing to make that kind of deal. As much as I enjoy Jordan Crawford, I believe that we have seen the best he can deliver already.
It would behoove the Wizards much more to make an attempt at landing Courtney Lee and starting him alongside John Wall that way we could ease Bradley Beal into the NBA. Beal was quoted as saying that the transition to the speed of the college game took a while for him to become acclimated to; you would have to assume he will face the same sort of transition going from the SEC to the NBA. I am fully behind going after Courtney Lee whether it is through a sign and trade or offering him a contract as a free agent for this reason. The future of this franchise is John Wall and Bradley Beal, so if we can do anything to help nurture Beal along until he is ready to be “The guy” next to Wall than it would be in our best interests to do just that.
Compared to where this franchise stood going into the 2011-2012 lockout shortened season it is safe to say that Wizards fans feel much better about this roster than they do about the one we lined up against the, then, New Jersey Nets last December. The young guys have one more year of experience, the knuckleheads with awful nicknames have been cast out of town and we have brought in proven veterans to take their place. These Wizards aren’t the same as the Arenas/Butler/Jamison days and that is a good thing. That team had its flaws and peaked where they should have, with early playoff exits. It is a new era for basketball in the district and while we may not know exactly where our Wizards will go from here, I know I am extremely excited to be along for the ride.
UPDATE: Apparently the Celtics front office and I had the same idea. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports the Celtics have acquired Courtney Lee via trade.
Perhaps it the fact the Wizards were coming off their third game in as many nights, or it could have been that they did not take the D-League Select team, made up of the top players form last season who had not caught on with a team this summer, as seriously as they should’ve. Either way, the Wizards were dealt their second loss in their first three games in the Vegas Summer League after the D-League Select team withstood a late push by the Wizards to hold on for an 85-78 victory Sunday night.
The D-League Select team stormed out of the gate with a 9-0 run looking like the team that was much more prepared for the game. Shelvin Mack, presumably thinking we were in the white uniforms again last night, was turning the ball over left and right and the D-League took advantage. The Wizards battled back though and managed to cut the D-League Select lead to only three,19-16, by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was dominated by the Wizards as they outscored the D-League Select team 21-9. Earl Calloway got the Wizards started with two big three pointers on successive possessions and then Shelvin Mack and Bradley Beal took over going on a 14-2 run by themselves. Beal matched the D-League Select team’s output in the quarter by scoring 9 points for the Wizards.
As great as the second quarter was for the Wizards, the third quarter might as well have been a bad dream. The D-League Select team absolutely owned the game coming out of the half outscoring the Wizards by a 13-2 margin. The D-League continued their run as the quarter went on eventually out scoring Washington by 18 points in the quarter.
It literally felt like I was watching two completely different teams on the floor from the second quarter to the third. The Wizards looked tired and were not as quick to loose balls and rebounds as they had been earlier in the game. While three games in three days will take a lot out of any player the majority of this roster is fighting for a mini camp invite so I was surprised to not see a better effort.
The Wizards found their legs in the fourth quarter and made a late charge but ultimately fell short. The D-League Select team was not going to let a win slip away from them and closed the Wizards out at the foul line. When a team can go 32-38 from the foul line, hitting the tough ones late in the fourth quarter, they’re going to be tough to beat.
It was like a chapter out of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde for the Wizards on Sunday night. While, as a team, Washington fell short there were still some impressive individual performances for the Wizards worth noting.
Bradley Beal: The Wizards top pick continued to impress Sunday night finishing with a team high 20 points. While he only shot 6/15 from the field Beal lived at the foul line, converting on 7 of his 8 attempts. Beal’s outside shot was off (Shot 1/7 on the evening) but he was much more effective when he took the ball inside the arc where he was 5/8 from the field. Like we have seen in Vegas Beal is going to hit the boards and hit them hard, as evidenced by his 6 rebounds against the D-League Select team.
Shelvin Mack: Mack overcame a rough start to have a solid game. Once the case of hiccups he had with the basketball had concluded, Mack settled in and ended up being the Wizards second leading scorer finishing with 14 points. On a night where there weren’t many bright spots on offense for the Wiz Kids Mack provided Bradley Beal with some much needed support.
Chris Singleton: Singleton got the Wizards started with a ferocious dunk over a D-League defender but never seemed to settle into any sort of groove thereafter. He went 2/6 from the field the rest of the way finishing with 9 points, 8 renounds and 8 fouls, just shy of the elusive Summer League triple-double.
Jan Vesely: Jan had the type of game we have come to expect from him. He was all over the floor, seemingly involved in the action on most possessions. Vesely could have looked for his shot more, only attempting 6 shots from the field, but he contributed in other ways finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. It is worth noting that Vesely is making the most of the 10 foul rule in Summer League, after fouling out in Friday’s opener Vesely picked up 8 personals last night.
Tomas Satoransky: Satoransky didn’t play his best game so far in Vegas last night. He did, however, lead the Wizards in assists with three for the game so there is that.
Earl Calloway: Calloway was a major bright spot for the Wizards last night, and seemingly the only player who could make a three-pointer. Calloway went 4/6 from behind the arc last night and was the only other Wizards player to crack double digits. I have been impressed with the 28 year old guard in his first three contests with the Wizards in the VSL. If he continues to shoot like this in our final two games he would have made a strong case for a training camp invite.
The Wizards are off until Tuesday the 17th when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies Summer League entry at 6:00 pm EST on NBA TV.
Jan Vesely: B
You know when a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter and you’re really not supposed to talk about it? This is basically the situation with Jan Vesely right now, because he appears to have developed a
jump shot new weapon but I’m not about to speak out loud of it and jinx the entire thing. But that jump shot new weapon turns him into a completely different player than the one we saw last year. When a 6’11, long, player like Vesely has a jump shot new weapon like the one he’s been showing, it’s exceedingly difficult to try and guard. Dirk made a career out of being unguardable because of his length. If Vesely can keep this up and continue with his development in other areas of the game, look out!
That being said, his game wasn’t great overall despite his
jump shot new weapon being unleashed again. I think Vesely may have become a little gun shy after picking up 10 fouls in Game 1, because at times he looked to be disengaged down low. He didn’t play bad defense against Houston’s bigs of Terrence Jones and Royce White, but he could have had more rebounds than he did. Vesely was moving the ball relatively well on offense, but I’d like for him to be more aggressive like he was yesterday. And this time, convert the alley oops which he’s very good at getting.
Chris Singleton: C
Singleton played with a lot of tenacity, as per usual with him, but he didn’t match his fantastic summer league debut yesterday. His follow up performance was a bit of a dud, as he finished with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks. He failed to be as active on the boards when faced with the plethora of talented wing players thrown at him by the Rockets. When he was matched up with Terrence Jones, he got beaten down low. The occasional time he was covering Jeremy Lamb, he got shots drained in his face. Singleton did make a lot of attempts to get to the basket but because his dribbling isn’t where it needs to be, he often puts up a forced ugly, ugly, jumper. He’s still developing, but I was hoping for something better from Singleton.
Tomas Satoransky: C+
After yesterday’s performance, the old adage of not judging a book by its cover rings true right now, because Satoransky erased the memory of his previous stinker. No, his game wasn’t so good that it’s going to change my mind about him being ready for the NBA, but Sato did show that he might be able to play one day. He showed a little bit of range in hitting a long two pointer, and displayed his athleticism with a big dunk (and a Vesely-esque alley oop). I guess those Czech’s like to dunk, because it’s what they’re prone to doing this summer league. Because Satoransky doesn’t have a great first step, he does a good job shielding the ball with his body, then waiting for a screen to move around.
He’s a smart player, and I wasn’t upset with his 11 point performance. He does have to work on holding onto the ball a little better, as his 8 turnovers in two games isn’t going to fly forever. But overall, you can’t be upset with him when he shows clear improvement from one day to the next.
Shelvin Mack: C+
Shelvin on the shelf Mack didn’t get as much burn today as he did yesterday (he only played 17 minutes), likely because of him being incredibly unimpressive yesterday. In the minutes he did get, however, he played much better. Sam Cassell decided to let other, more athletic guards take the ball up the court and initiate the offense. Mack thrived when he wasn’t forced to create his own shot (which he’s unqualified for), and knocked down open jumpers when his number was called. He finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists but he still couldn’t keep control of the ball as he coughed it up 3 times.
His game two was better than the first one, but I’m not sure he did a whole lot to help his case for the backup PG spot. He can’t create offense, and he’s not an amazing shooter in spite of hitting a few this game. If he can’t create , he can’t shoot as well as others, and he turns the ball over a lot, then what’s the case for keeping him with the team?
Bradley Beal: B+
Real Deal Beal couldn’t repeat his performance in game one, where he scored 22 points in his debut as a Washington Wizards, but he did show off yet another skill of his. Beal finished with 14 points, but he could have scored a whole lot more than that if he is capable of hitting over 50% of his free throws. Beal left points on the board after going 5-for-10 from the line, but the good sign is that he actually initiates contact. He was not nearly as good at drawing fouls in college, so it appears that he’s either learned the skill or taken the necessary adjustments to get the calls. That’s going to help him a whole lot more later on in the year on those nights where his shot isn’t going in (much like tonight).
Overall, he played a more well rounded game than yesterday, as he grabbed 5 rebounds in total to go along with 4 assists. Beal grabbed three offensive boards, and it’s a credit to his deceptive length. At one point, he scored on a putback with two big men to the left and the right of him; he did that because his arms are long and his positioning was right. Beal can clearly rebound, and it showed tonight. He also displayed an ability to pass the ball, throwing cross court looks with ease while creating shots for others. That may end up being a welcome surprise for John Wall, to be sure.
Steven Gray: D
Gray didn’t look like a whole lot of anything special during game two, mostly because he’s really not physically capable of playing in the NBA. He looked slow at times, failing to create his shot or stay in front of his man. Even when he did get open, he failed to knock down shots from the wings all night. He proved himself to be a pretty decent passer, though, finding Vesely for a nice bounce pass en route to a jumper. Gray finished the game with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, but I wasn’t impressed with his game.
Garret Siler: F (for Fat)
I really hope Siler was wearing a Tyler Perry fat suit, because if his frame is actually that 305 lb. mess that we saw on Saturday night, he doesn’t belong on an NBA floor. It was downright gross to watch him plod up and down the court, and he looked like if he played more than the 13 minutes he got then he would end up having a heart attack. I’m not going to completely bash him, but I’m not sure he’s ever hit a weight room before. Jamarcus Russell looked better than him on that court, and while he did show off some low post skill and tenacity rebounding, there is no way he can keep that up for an entire game. Andray Blatche is already out of shape, the Wizards don’t need two big men occupying the same space.
Jeff Brooks: B
Brooks was the one reserve I was relatively impressed with during tonight’s game. His 6 point, 9 rebound performance wasn’t blow you away great, but his effort level was. He seems like a very competent rebounder and someone who might be able to help Washington out in the future. Brooks turned the ball over a lot, but he also got to the line and played quite aggressively. I’m hoping he gets a little more playing time, because he might be worthwhile to have on a bad rebounding team like Washington.
Jan Vesely: B
The knock on Jan heading into the offseason was that he was completely bereft of a jump shot. Though he had plenty of athleticism, his shot would be the thing holding him back from becoming a valuable player. Well, if today’s game was more statistical norm than abberation, Vesely is going to be a major contributor moving forward for this franchise. In the first half, Vesely knocked down all three of his jumpers from 15 ft. and out. He looked to have a newfound confidence in his shot, and it certainly showed. If he can continue doing things like that, as well as contributing with his defensive length, his career is going to be more like Andrei Kirilenko’s rather than (insert Euro bust here). On the night, he finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
He did miss three dunk attempts, which was a very disheartening thing to see, but somehow I don’t think that’s going to define his career. What Vesely needed to work on was being a more controlled player. He picked up 10 fouls in a Summer League game! That’s a joke, and shows me that he really has some work to do mentally in not getting overexcited out there. Part of the reason he was picking up fouls as such a high rate was because Shavlik Randolph and Kim Tillie were doing their best traffic cone impression out there. But a sixth pick shouldn’t be out there to collect fouls, he should be able to contribute in a lot of ways.
Chris Singleton: B+
Singleton deserves an A, but I’m not inclined to give out any of those. Despite struggling in the first half with turnovers (he had 4 total), Singleton picked it up to finish strong with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. It’s not his offense that is going to be his ticket into the NBA, but his versatility is becoming harder and harder to ignore. Sure, he has a very hard time getting to the basket because he can’t dribble, but his defense more than makes up for it. Singleton showed off his nose for grabbing steals, oftentimes just taking the ball from defenders using quick hands. He always seems to be in position on defense and rarely gets beaten in a one-on-one scenario. He just looks like a player who is going to stick in the NBA as a great defender, and his rebounding ability has greatly improved. His positioning helped, and as a result he was the best rebounder on the court.
But then, we already knew that. And don’t let his 18 points fool you, those were very hard earned buckets. He didn’t score those with ease, and they weren’t always pretty. Singleton gets his shots in crafty ways, like on the fastbreak off of steals or wide open threes after beating his defender in a crowd. It’s not necessarily going to translate amazingly at the pro level, as we evidenced similar play last year, but he did look a lot more assertive today. Unfortunately, that assertiveness comes at a cost; Singleton turned it over five times. His ball handling isn’t where it needs to be just yet, and he has to continue to show that he has enough quickness to beat anyone off the dribble. All in all, I’m not upset with his performance, but I expected this from him.
Tomas Satoransky: D
Satoransky wasn’t expected to do much, and turning it over three times in 5 minutes was pretty much par for the course. Tomas was flat out bad, and it shows why he is going to be considered a project. Another year in Spain playing top level competition will do him some good, because in his short stint with the Wizards he looked overmatched.
One thing he did well, though, was move the ball. When he’s not turning it over, he does know how to cut into the lane and make nice, spot on passes to bigs down low in the paint. Other than that, the cupboard is barren.
For the most part he was just hard to watch, guys.
Shelvin Mack: D
Shelvin Mack really wasn’t able to manage the offense with the poise of a backup point guard. He’s a step slow in everything he does, and the offense doesn’t flow when he has the ball. Mack dribbled into defenders too many times to not mention it, and failed to create too many shots for anyone. In fact, when he didn’t have the ball everything else started clicking. He defends just as well as he did last season, but he’s not going to completely shut down anyone. Mack’s jumper wasn’t really impressive either, and it showed little improvement from last season, where it was pretty horrible.
If Mack can’t get better and impress during this summer league, he may have to look elsewhere for a job because the Wizards could desperately use a veteran backup to spell Wall.
Bradley Beal: A
Real Deal Beal was everything the Washington Wizards expected when they drafted him, scoring 22 points in 33 minutes of play. Beal looked a little slow at first, but that’s because we didn’t realize that his game is just always completely under control. He never forces anything (almost to a fault), and gets shots within the flow of the game. He hit jumpers from everywhere on the floor, three pointers, long two’s, pull up jumpers at the top of the key. You name it, Beal shot it. He also showed, at least at first, an agressive side in that he got to the line a whole lot. Beal finished strong after contact and drove to the line looking for it. His sturdy frame really shows when he’s going at the rim, because he’s able to absorb hits and maintain body control.
One thing Beal might want to work on is his defense, because even though he got two blocks, he tended to sag off of defenders. I’m not suggesting he’s bad at defense at all, because he’s not. He gets in front of his man all the time, but I think he might be trying to compensate for his slower first step by backing off people around the perimeter. He also didn’t grab a single rebound despite being billed as one of the best rebounders at his position in college. That’s largely due to the size difference in the pro’s and not being aggressive enough in grabbing boards.
Either way, it’s incredibly hard to be upset with his first game in a Wizards jersey. Bradley Beal flat out killed it tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing him throughout this summer.
Everyone else: D
Where to begin with the players the Wizards brought in? Kim Tillie and Shavlik Randolph were horrible at the center position. They were completely abused down low, and looked like they hadn’t played basketball outside of a rec gym in a long time. The Wizards couldn’t find better talent than these two? Offensively, neither player hit a single shot from the field, though Tillie contributed with 6 points off of free throws. He drew contact down low, but didn’t show any amount of offensive game. Their five rebounds combined were pretty bad. Going forward, I’m not expecting them to get as many minutes on the floor.
In the backcourt, it didn’t really get much better. Ravern Johnson looked as he always has: like a chicken wing. He did come in immediately and hit a three pointer, showing off the range that made him dangerous in college. Other than that, he didn’t do anything of note and looks like the only way he’ll make a roster is as a three point specialist.
Earl Calloway was the only impressive player, to me. At 28 years old and having played numerous seasons of professional basketball overseas, it showed in his short amount of playing time. Calloway played with a bit of court savvy that’s hard to describe, but signifies that he knows how to manage an offense. That’s not a great thing, but he did have 7 points in 9 minutes, and I’d like to see him working with the first team offense to see how he sets people up.
Yesterday, the Washington Wizards officially announced their 2012 Vegas Summer League Roster. As you can see every Wizards draft pick from the last two seasons are listed on the roster. Tomas Satoransky, while on the roster, is still noncommittal to participating as he wants to continue to focus on training with the Czech National Team.
Like with any NBA Summer League team the Wizards roster is filled with familiar faces and total unknowns. That is the beauty of the summer league. Anyone (Marco Belinelli) can have a huge performance on any given day, it makes for intriguing basketball.
It will be interesting to see which players step up come tip off against the Hawks at 4 PM (EST). All Vegas Summer League games will be shown on NBA TV.
2012 Washington Wizards
Summer League Roster
3 Bradley Beal G Florida
40 Jeff Brooks F Penn State
51 Earl Calloway G Indiana
16 LaRon Dendy C Middle Tennessee St.
19 Steven Gray G Gonzaga
30 Ravern Johnson G Mississppi State
22 Shelvin Mack G Butler
32 Shavlik Randolph F Duke
14 Tomas Satoransky G Czech Republic
21 Mike Scott F Kent St.
9 Garett Siler C Augusta St.
31 Chris Singleton F Florida State
34 Kim Tillie C Utah
24 Jan Vesely F Czech Republic
2011-2012 Season Statistics
64 Games Played
Before I write this review, I have to profess something: I actually like Shelvin Mack. When we drafted him last year with the fourth pick of the second round, I thought we’d found a legitimate diamond in the rough. There are only so many point guards that have played basketball period who can claim to have gone to two straight national titles with a team full of players you’ve never heard of. And to think that he was going to be spelling John Wall for periods of time was a nice caveat since Wall was injured the previous year (likely due to stress on his body). The guy would bring a winning pedigree to the Wizards, and might even be able to teach Wall something about the point guard position. I’d watched the guy manage an offense in college with a rare ability to dictate the pace of the offense. Well, he couldn’t do that in the NBA.
Let me rephrase that: Shelvin Mack was better at tweeting for the Wizards than actually performing for them on the court. There is always something good to find in the performance of a Washington player, so let’s just start with that and see what we can churn out here. One thing Shelvin excelled at was holding on to the ball; something that the man Mack spelled could not say about his own game. Mack only turned the ball over 48 times all year long, and only turned it over more than twice in a game two times. He was very good at guarding the rock, and actually didn’t perform too badly with the second unit (even if it meant walking the ball up court then passing it off). Problem is, Mack’s game is not built for the offense that the Wizards run. He sets up in the half court (which the Wizards stink at) and seems to be trying to run a play (which the Wizards stink at). But at least he kept the second unit humming, because the Wizards surprisingly had one of the better benches in the NBA.
Mack is also a capable rebounder and defender, believe it or not. Though it’s not going to show up on paper, Mack is of a champion caliber pedigree and he is well aware that that starts on the defensive end. Oftentimes his on the ball defense made you wish that he got more minutes even though there’s not a lot of room in the rotation for him. He is a better defender than Wall is at this point in his career, and that might be his saving grace to play in the NBA. His lateral quickness and decent size make for a guy who could lock down a lot of point guards assuming he takes the time to do it.
The problem with Mack, however, isn’t what he is good at; rather, it is a jarring image to view on paper exactly how incapable Mack is of accomplishing anything offensive on the court. In spite of shooting 216 three pointers, that skill really did not translate over to the NBA. Shelvin only attempted 42 on the season and as a result made only 12. Three’s are hard enough to hit, and when you don’t take too many, your sample size is slightly skewed. 28% may not actually be indicative of how well Mack shoots the long ball, just like the 7% John Wall shoots from there is probably slightly higher.
Mack’s issues on offense begin to surface anytime he is outside of the paint. He simply isn’t a good shooter in any shape or form, but I’m not exactly sure why. His mechanics are fine, and yet he still simply cannot make them. Part of that might be a natural occurence from coming off the bench, but the truth is that Mack is a poor shooter who is unlikely to improve by much. His true shooting percentage is 47% (a decent shooter is above 50) because that number takes into account two-pointers, three-pointers, and free throws when determining how effective a player is. Simply put, he wasn’t even average in that regard. He is going to need to develop some type of go-to move. Typically backup point guards are spark plugs on offense, and if Mack cannot do that then he might find himself out of the league.
What also works against him? Those assist/turnover ratios. Point guards (at least the very talented ones) typically turn the ball over a whole lot in their first year, then in their second end up being very good passers who take care of the rock a bit better. Guards with lower turnover totals usually signifies that they have maxed out in their ability to do magical things with the ball. Mack is one of those guys. His passing ability is not going to wow anyone, and it isn’t likely to make him into anything except a third stringer in the NBA. Nothing really sets him apart from other guys; I’d rather have someone like Kendall Marshall running my point magnificently and not scoring than a guy who can’t pass in Mack (yet also doesn’t score). That’s the issue moving forward: What do you do out there, exactly, Shelvin?
All in all, his season was an utter letdown for someone like myself who happened to be a Mack fan. And I’m not sure there will be a return of the Mack next season.
Season Grade: C-
I say C- because Shelvin was an early second round pick and while he wasn’t what I thought he would be, at least he made the roster and played in almost every game. That in and of itself is something to be commended.