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Marcin Gortat says he’s unhappy with role, denies it

Dec 16, 2013, 5:38 PM EDT

Marcin Gortat is playing well for the Wizards, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy.

Gortat, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:

“I just don’t like the position I play. I’m constantly drifting more and more away from the basket. Quite honestly, that’s not my game. I’m capable of making or two plays like that but I feel more comfortable underneath the basket,” Gortat said. “I just got to talk to coach and clear things up. Just make sure we’re on the same page.” It’s something point guard John Wall has noticed. “He’s just not taking the same shots we’re used to him taking, especially in pick-and-roll situations. He’s turned a lot of those down the last couple of games,” Wall said. “He’s got to get his confidence back, especially in the fourth quarter when guys are going to trap me on pick-and-rolls. It’s up to him to make the play. We still believe in him to make those shots, to make those extra passes. He’s just got to get back into a rhythm.”

The numbers back up those assessments. Gortat is taking just 43 percent of his shots at the rim, by far his career low.

imageBut that doesn’t tell the whole story. When playing with Nene, a big man much more capable of stepping out of the paint, Gortat is actually getting shots at the rim in line with his time with the Suns.

image

Nene recently injured his foot, and that has put Gortat in the somewhat uncomfortable position of being the big who spaces the floor.

So, Wizards coach Randy Wittman doesn’t have to completely re-work his offense to appease Gortat, merely just tinker with sets while Nene is out.

Or maybe Wittman needn’t do anything. Gortat (hat tip: Matt Moore of CBSSports.com):

There are degrees of frustration.

Players are often frustrated with their roles, but they’re usually not so frustrated that they say so publically. When stuff like this slips out, it often indicates that the player’s frustration outweighs his ability to filter himself.

The Wizards have lost four straight since Nene’s injury, so that makes it even more likely Gortat just reached another level on the frustration ladder. Issues that would get swept under the rug on winning teams come out on losing teams.

My best guess is Gortat fell somewhere in between rungs – frustrated enough to say he’s unhappy with role, but not so frustrated that he wanted to stick with his statement publically after a chance to take a deep breath and filter himself.

When Nene returns, this should take care of itself. The Wizards are more likely to win with him, and Gortat is more likely to get touches where he wants him.

But considering how frequently Nene suffers injuries, Wittman should prepare an offensive scheme that better utilizes Gortat when Nene is out.

  1. adoombray - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    “I’m still capable of helping this team, and regularly recording a double double, but when the ball sticks to one person on offence, it’s hard to find a good rhythm.”

    -Gortat on Dragic last year

    This guy is an awful teammate. Must be a bummer having Steve Nash turn him into a star for like 2 seasons then having the bottom fall out so hard he’s suck on the Wizards.

  2. shanelsweet - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Beal is back tonight against the Knicks, and maybe Nene as well but more likely for him on Wednesday.
    Getting those 2 starters back will lead to a winning streak so that Gortat can get back to happy camper status. Wall is right, though, the Wiz could sure use Gortat to step up big at the end of games. That’s what the Wiz get from Nene that they really need. When they have another big pick and role buddy for Wall, they’ll start closing folks out late. I’ll be curious to see what they get from back up big man Seraphin tonight after his 16 point game last time out.

  3. 00maltliquor - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    This guy is never happy, no matter where he is.

  4. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    The guy is very immature, and I often hears scouts say he is very overrated. I havent seen enough to say myself.

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