The Washington Wizards are finding it hard to get that first win of the season. Sitting at 0-12 has to be embarrassing enough.
But for Wizards forward Jan Vesely, it gets even worse. To call Vesely a bust would be an understatement. Washington took him with the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft and he hasn’t even put up numbers that would be satisfactory for an undrafted player. He’s probably only still in the league because the Wizards aren’t playing for anything and are hoping his hard work in practice helps him mature into a better player.
Right now, it’s not looking good.
After last night’s game against the Spurs, where Vesely failed to score in 8 minutes of playing time but somehow managed to notch four fouls, he brought his season total for personal fouls up to 34, while his total points on the year stayed at 29. He’s shooting 43% from the floor and an abysmal 23% (3-13) from the free throw line. The fact that this guy still gets to play should probably clue you in to how the Wizards are winless on the season.
The problem for Vesely seems to be that things go well in practice but don’t translate to the games. Apparently he can knock down free throws with no problem when there’s nothing on the line, but get him in front of the crowd and it’s a totally different story.
The coaches are stumped too. Wizards head coach Randy Wittman can’t figure out why the repetitions of practice don’t show in a game, but he says Vesely will determine his own future.
“What does he want to be?” Wittman said. “Does he want to be a specialty one-dimensional guy or is he going to continue to develop, work and be a assertive when he’s out there? He needs to play better. He’s nonaggressive, and he can’t play that way.”
Vesely’s status for the rest of the season seems unclear. He’s sometimes in the starting lineup, but only averaging about 13 minutes a game. He seems to think that he can get it together.
“I’m trying to do my best to put everything on the court,” Vesely said. “I try to play hard defense, and offense will come. That’s what I do, I try to play hard defense and build on it.”
Vesely has a long way to go, but like the rest of his team, he’s a project that needs a lot of work.