Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster have been flying under the radar ever since they came into the league and these two swingmen have used that to their advantage as they are playing major roles in the success of the Washington Wizards this season.
Ariza and Webster are showing that the Wizards have a true connection to the number 3.
First of all, the obvious connection is that both Ariza and Webster play the three, or in other words the small forward position. Both of them do a heck of a job holding their own out on the court while playing arguably the most stacked position at the NBA level.
Ariza is a great two-way player and his hustle is often unmatched on the floor. Ariza is a 6-foot-8 inch energizer bunny that gives the Wizards 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Pay close attention to the next statistic! Out of all the ball-hawking small forwards in the league, Ariza leads all small forwards in steals at 1.92 pilfers per game.
All these analysts praise guys like LeBron James and Paul George for their ability to lock up on the defensive end and they deserve the praise but honestly… where’s the love for Ariza? This guy is ahead of all small forwards in steals but receives little praise. It doesn’t faze Ariza, who has been thrown away by multiple teams in his career. He has shown time and time again that he is going to continue to produce no matter how undervalued he is.
Next up is Mr. Webster. This sharpshooter is a solid 6-foot-7 inch, 230-pound small forward with an extremely pure jump shot. Webster won’t shock many people with overwhelming athleticism or highlight plays but he can seriously shoot the ball. As a matter of fact, he can shoot the lights out. Webster averages 10.6 points off the bench this year and as soon as he enters the game, the Wizards get a nice dosage of instant offense added to their offensive attack. Webster is 27 years old but he is already an 8-year veteran. After being drafted as the 6th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, Webster went through some inconsistencies while playing for the Trailblazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here comes that number 3 again though. Webster is now on his third different NBA team and he looks like he finally found the right fit with the Wizards.
Lastly, is the three-point shooting of these two small forwards. Ariza shoots an impressive 39.6 % from long range and is tied for first in the league in three-pointers made per game by a small forward by draining an average of 2.4 trey balls when he touches the floor. Thanks to a three-point percentage of 39.9 %, Webster shoots a little higher percentage than his teammate and also hits 2.1 threes per game.
3 is definitely a magic number for the Wizards. They have two reliable small forwards that provide tons of extra energy and can shoot the ball from three-point range with the best of the best on a nightly basis. Ariza and Webster have been slept on plenty of times before in their careers but they are trying to make believers out of those who doubted them. These guys are two unheralded players that are letting fans know that the Wizards are set at the small forward position and if people don’t know, they better ask somebody!