Hanrahan: Year-end player report cards: Guards

Hanrahan: Year-end player report cards: Guards
April 19, 2011, 3:09 am
Share This Post

Monday April 18, 2011 11:01 p.m.

By Frank HanrahanCSNwashington.com


With the Wizards' season mercilessly over after a 23-59 mark, the record speaks for itself. It was not a good year at all as a team, but there were some players who had solid seasons and even breakout ones at that. All was not lost from the 2010-11 campaign.

It's time for the final grades for every player who was on the season-end roster. We start with the guard position.

John Wall: Grade A

For a player who had so much heaped on him in his rookie season, Wall responded with a superb year, averaging 16 points and 8 assists. From the moment he was taken number one by the Wizards, he was designated by management as the team leader -- even though he was only 20 years old.

By season's end, through his stellar play, Wall had more than lived up to this responsibility -- and this truly was his team. He capped his first professional year by being named the Eastern Conference rookie player of the month four times in a row to close out the regular season. Wall is clearly an exceptional talent, with speed to burn and the potential to take over stretches -- if not the entire game.

Wall's jump shot and defense, though, need to be improved during this off-season if he wants to make that jump to elite guard status in the NBA.
Jordan Crawford: Grade B

The Atlanta Hawks are probably kicking themselves for trading away Crawford, who made the most of his opportunity in D.C. The streaky Crawford averaged 19.3 points in the 18 games he started for the Wizards. What makes him even more valuable in the future is his ability not only to shoot the ball, but handle it as well. In the one game he started at point guard, Crawford recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a win over Cleveland on April 1.

Crawford has to work on his shot selection next season, as he admits he never met a shot he didn't like. But Crawford brought a competitive edge to the team that was lacking at times and he always gave maximum effort.

Nick Young: Grade B

Crawford's emergence might make it easier for the Wizards to think about letting Young go via free agency, but it will be a tougher decision as Young had his best season as a pro, averaging a team-high 17.3 points a game. He recorded a career-high 43 points in a win over Sacramento in January. The second half of the season, Young was slowed by a sore knee and missed the teams final 10 games.

Not known for much else, Young will only be a shooter as long as he is in the league. The most assists he had in a game this season was five, on two occasions.

Wall, Crawford and Young were bright spots for the Wizards in an otherwise disappointing season. With Wall leading the way, there is a solid foundation in the Wizards' backcourt.

Next up: Frontcourt Grades handed out April 20.