2012 Media Predictions: Beyond the answers (part 2)

2012 Media Predictions: Beyond the answers (part 2)
November 3, 2012, 10:30 am
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This week I posted results from 15 questions about the Wizards upcoming campaign yours truly and other media members answered. While I wouldn't task those doing me a solid for detailed responses, I thought I'd share my work as it were on each response and what the questions and answers suggest about the just started campaign. My answers are in parenthesis following each question. Click here for questions 1-5 and you can find all media responses here.

6) What percentage will Jan Vesely shoot from the free throw line? (63.7)

Whether you trashed the Wizards for using the sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft on an international player not ready for prime time or saw enough positives athletically and instinctively during the 6-11 forward's rookie campaign to justify staying positive, everyone can agree on this: that shot needs fixing. The form looks solid enough, but somewhere between the ball sliding off Vesely's fingers and clanking off its intended target, things went awry. And yet, I saw Vesely sink multiple 15-footers during the Las Vegas Summer League. Very recently I witnessed him drain 10 consecutive attempts from that distance during practice. He can make shots outside of dunks and putbacks. Can he when the lights come on is the question. Because of his ability around the rim and as a fast break finisher, Vesely's field goal percentage - 53.7 last season - will remain high likely regardless of whether his touch from further out. However, there is no hiding at the free throw line. Another 53.2 percent outcome like lasy year will have the doubters saying I told you so.

7) What percentage will Martell Webster shoot from 3? (39.8)

Last year the Wizards lacked consistent perimeter shooting from those in the primary rotation. Outside of Bradley Beal, one question entering training camp centered on whether any of the other shooters added over the summer would find their way onto the court with regularity. Webster, a 41.7 percent from beyond the arc during the 2010-11 campaign before back injuries slowed him last season, took care of that with arguably the best preseason on the team. He did so without the benefit of a speedy passing point guard feeding him open looks or a low post big man who's well-versed in the art of inside-out basketball. If preseason counts for anything, the player whose game screams of "I get it" is poised for a knockdown jumpers kind of year.

8) How many points per game will Bradley Beal average? (12.8)
9) What place will Bradley Beal finish in the Rookie of the Year race? (Third - Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard)

Las Vegas set the over/under on Beal's per game point total at 12.5. That's the same number for Jordan Crawford, which makes sense because both wing guards figure to play prominent roles and yet circumstances could greatly alter how and when both players are used. The rookie Beal started the season opener after a strong preseason where frankly the sweet-shooting kid earned the gig. However, right now defenses are coming hard at the kid and frankly they should considering the Wizards lack other consistent scoring threats on the court right now. Part of the poised Beal's appeal is that he doesn't force the action on the court even though his textbook jumper screams "fire away." That approach also leans on others to help set him up for open looks and right now, those type of playmakers are not around. If Beal's confidence survives the early stretch of the season and Randy Wittman keeps him in the starting lineup, 12.8 might be low. If Wall and Nene don't return when expected, Beal could be moved to a reserve role for his own protection.

10) Rank in order based on who will start the most games: (Seraphin, Booker, Crawford, Price)

Could make the case for any of the four - though the one for Price involves Wall missing more than the 10 or so games currently expected and nobody wants to imagine that right now. Both Booker and Crawford are perfectly designed as energy and high-confidence guys coming off the bench. If allowed, this is how Wittman will ideally utilize them. That leaves Seraphin. With Nene out, he's easily the Wizards top interior scorer. We saw in the opener Wittman not being afraid to use anyone in tight spots while at the same time sit those with fat contracts. Seraphin's improvement over the second half of last season so impressed me that I still believe he won't be pigeon holed into a pure reserve role. Nene's injury creates some starting opportunity. We'll see if Seraphin's development and Wittman willingness to look beyond contracts when it comes to minutes does as well.