In his first season with the Washington Wizards, much was expected of the veteran small forward due to the price tag that came along with him. Many hoped his veteran presence would help boost this team and help progress the younger guys on the squad. Ariza had a very slow start to the season, frustrating fans with his poor shot selection and inability to get anything in the hoop.
Ultimately outshined by Martell Webster, Ariza ended up recouping for the slow start by having a much better second half of the season. His shots were starting to fall and, more importantly, he was a defensive staple on this team who, even with a losing record, was referred to as one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. With Ariza stating towards the end of the season that he planned to be back, it will be nice to see how he gets his feet under him in his second season with Wall, Beal and company.
Scoring: As noted above, Trevor got off to a slow start in the scoring department. But once his shot fell towards the midway point of the season, he proved to be a capable weapon off the bench. His three-point shooting helped bolster the squad to a few scrappy wins versus the NBA’s elite. He averaged 9.5 points-per-game this season, which was actually better than his career average of 9.1, but less than his career high of 14.9 back in the 2009-2010 season with Houston. His threat at the three-point line is something the Wizards desperately need for him to display in the future. For the season, I give Trevor a C+ in this section.
Court Awareness: Trevor has been in the league since 2004, so he’s gotten to learn the game on a vast amount of perspectives and teams. He never looks clueless on the court and is constantly moving to make or find a play on both ends of the court. He averaged 1.5 turnovers-per-game this season, which wasn’t too far off from his career average, and honestly isn’t too bad for a guy who handles the ball as much as he does when he’s on the court. He’s not the number one option for anything on the court, but that’s why he plays off the bench most of the time. I give Trevor a C+ for this, as well.
Offensive Value: Trevor shot a career high 36.4% from the three-point line this season, so his strengths were showing for this Wizards squad. Also notable was his career-high 82.1% free-throw percentage. The Wizards often struggled at the line, but he was a note of consistency on to make the most of the opportunities given to him. As noted above, there was a slow start for Trevor, but he ended up rounding out most of the issues as it progressed. I give Trevor a B- in this category.
Defensive Value: While I often harped on Trevor at the beginning of the season, one aspect of his game that I never criticized was his defense. He knows how to smother a ball handler like not many others can on this squad. He ended up pulling down an average of 4.8 boards per game, which isn’t much, but his defensive efforts along the perimeter were extraordinary. He was also good for just over one steal-per-game as well. Being a constant threat to the opponents, I would give Trevor an A- for his defensive value to this team.
Hustle/Effort: The one thing about Trevor is that, even when he was struggling, it was obvious he was giving it his all on the court. He fought through his struggles and pushed through his ineffectiveness to ultimately prove many of his critics wrong. He dove for many loose balls, stayed moving on the court, and was as frustrated as everyone else when he was benched due to injury. There was nothing out of the ordinary, but I still give him a B- for his effort this season.
Basketball Swag: Hardly ever talking to the media post-game, we did not get to see a lot of Trevor’s personality. He was usually one of the first out of the locker room after the game (after Vesely of course), but with the few times I did talk to Trevor this season, he seemed to have a rather dry personality. He wasn’t overly emotional on the court, and I hardly saw any reaction from him except for when a reporter mentioned that John Wall had not played like a captain after a poor performance. He cut him off and corrected him in a tone that I wouldn’t wish upon any of my enemies. But I’ll have to give him a D for this category.
Final Grade: B-