Wizards trust Maynor despite rocky start

Wizards trust Maynor despite rocky start
October 11, 2013, 11:30 am
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John Wall knows the Wizards have much to work on

The most obvious difference between John Wall and Eric Maynor can be seen in their style of play.

Wall can be a blur, relying on speed and his 6-4 frame to get to the rim and engineer a break-neck pace.

Maynor is more understated, calling on his fundamental skill set to do a little bit of everything with the least bit of flair. 

That's why the Wizards signed him as a free agent this summer to replace A.J. Price as the backup. Maynor isn't just the perfect complement to Wall who can share the court with him. Being his polar opposite, he will give the Wizards a different look. The jury is still out on exactly what that'll exactly be like. Maybe Saturday, when the Wizards face the Chicago Bulls in Rio de Janeiro, there'll be an answer (NBATV, 5 p.m. ET). 

"His ability to lead the team and stay poised, he has a great demeanor for a point guard, especially for a backup point guard," said Garrett Temple, who is competing with Maynor for the primary roles behind Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal. "When John goes out, being able to calm guys down, he has a calming demeanor."

In the Wizards' preseason opener vs. the Brooklyn Nets, Maynor wasn't effective. Like Al Harrington, who also is in his first year with the team, he had trouble finding a rhythm. In 23 minutes, Maynor shot 1-for-7 and had three turnovers. 

But acclimating shouldn't take long for Maynor, who is entering his fifth season after playing with the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers. That means he has played alongside dynamic guards Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook and Damon Lillard. The first two are All-Stars. Lillard was last season's Rookie of the Year.

"This is a bunch of young guys. That's how it was when we started in Oklahoma," Maynor said, alluding to Westbrook and Kevin Durant who led them to the NBA Finals in 2012. "I'm just trying to be part of something special. That's it. I've seen it with the guys that they've got here."

Maynor represents another solid locker-room presence for coach Randy Wittman, who values the right attitudes as much as he does talent.

"His ability to run a team was my main (impression). He's played behind some pretty good players in Westbrook, even Lillard. He knows what that job responsibility means," Wittman said. "That was the main thing. I never had a chance to coach him until now, just his poise when he was on the floor, the ability to organize a team when he was on the floor….that was the thing that I thought was going to be important for us to have when John's not available."