For much of the season, Trevor Booker has been shuffled in and out of the Wizards rotation primarily due to roster situations that hadn’t necessarily pertained to him.
Booker started the season off in the starting lineup as part of a measure to get the newly donned Wizard Marcin Gortat eased into the rotation off the bench. Three games later (all losses), Booker would land on the bench and for the rest of the month of November, he would average just 3.8 minutes a game along with eight DNP-CD’s over a 14-game stretch.
Then came the inevitable. Nene’s aging calves began to give in which put him back on life preserve and a new rotation strategy was implemented. That was to leave Booker in the starting lineup, moving both Nene and Martell Webster to the bench as a method to not only keep Nene fresh, but also to revamp a second unit that had been virtually useless.
We are now 10 games into this stretch with Booker as the starter and he’s been about all that you can ask for. For those who faithfully watch Wizards basketball know that with Trevor Booker, it’s almost never about the numbers. The heart, the perseverance and strive, the nitty witty; practically any choice phrase to illustrate a man’s hustle all come to relevance when describing Book.
But as with any athlete, consistent production on the floor will eventually be revealed through numbers and that was evidenced last night for Booker, who chalked up a favorable stat line against the Mavericks. Booker’s 19 boards, which included seven on the offensive glass, gave the Wizards second chance opportunities all throughout the night. His anticipation for the ball combined with the awareness of his position on the floor helped Booker leap over the opposition for loose balls and instantly made him a crowd favorite for the night. He did this one for the fans. Fans love second chances.
After finishing off November averaging just 3.4 points, 3.5 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game, Booker leaped to statistical heights in December, nearly tripling his average in both categories. In his last 10 games as a starter, Booker is averaging 9.7 points and 9.5 rebounds a game.
As for what’s become of the second unit. Well, prior to Booker replacing Nene in the starting lineup, the Wizards bench averaged just 18.1 points per game. Over the last 10 games with Book in the starting five, the second unit has averaged 29.1 points per game, and 11 point jump. This has to be relieving for Randy Wittman on all angles; Booker producing enough to warrant his position as a starter, while the bench shows substantial improvement as well. Of course let us also credit the Wizards bench improvement to their resistance of #MaynorTime. But that’s a whole ‘nuhva story.
The Wizards are gradually molding into more of a complete unit as the season wears on, save for a few sluggish post-holiday performances. Kudos to Randy Wittman for showing confidence in Booker, and credit to Booker for reciprocating that confidence with ample production.
I’ll leave you all with some cookin’ pixels of Booker getting elastic under the rim..