Weight: 240 lbs
NBA Experience: 11 years
Nicknames: Polish Machine, Polish Hammer
By the Numbers:
Games Played: 82
Games Started: 82
Field goal shooting: .518
Three-point shooting: N/A
Free throw shooting: .675
Net Rating: +5 (112-107)
Public enemy No. 1 to Washington Wizards fans during an underwhelming season was the team’s starting center because of diminished play and potential shots fired, which he adamantly denies, at John Wall. It is not surprising that Gortat’s play took a bit of a tumble given his age, outdated style of play, and reduced playing time, but he was still an asset to the team.
- Gortat had his fewest points, rebounds, and minutes played per game since his Orlando days nearly a decade ago. He also had his worst field goal percentage since his rookie year when he only took 17 shot attempts. For whatever reason, mental or physical, Gortat seemed to miss too many shots at the rim where he only shot 65.1 percent after making 69.8, 70.4, and 74 percent of his shots at the rim in the previous three seasons.
- Despite the drop in classical box score production, Gortat still left his mark on the team by leading the NBA in screen assists for the second straight season. This season, the center had 365 screen assists along with Steven Adams. When Gortat is on the floor, there is less of a likelihood of stagnant isolation basketball where four players stand still on their respective spots on the floor, while John Wall or Bradley Beal try to break down their man and get to their spots one-on-one. Whether it is an off-ball screen to free up Beal or Otto Porter or an on-ball screen to give Wall the edge, Gortat’s screening ability worked wonders for a Washington offense that can often get bogged down.
- Far too often Gortat’s defense was questioned because of poor on-ball perimeter defense being blown by leaving him in no man’s land trying to guard two players. The lack of athleticism prevents Gortat from effectively protecting the rim and even though he is a very averaged defender, he can look worse than reality just because he may be the guy that is scored on last or the opponent’s big may be able to rack up easy layups. If the Wizards’ perimeter defenders guarded their matchups better, then many of Gortat’s shortcomings as a help defender would not be magnified.
With Washington likely already over the salary cap for next season, Gortat’s expiring contract might be the most realistic way for them to improve the current team because it may be the only contract that another team would even consider taking on. Should it be the end of the Polish Machine’s time in D.C., he should be celebrated for his five seasons for helping change the culture as well as being an integral part of their four playoff appearances. If Gortat is back, then it may be in an even more diminished role as the Wizards continue to embrace small ball, which will not have much of a role for the non-three-point shooting center.
The Best of Marcin Gortat Off The Court
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Thank you to all the special guest from last night for being with me!! we were celebrating 5th Polish Heritage night in Washington!! I was honored to to have some many wonderful polish people. Military veterans …. actress… senator… and ambassador with many many polish fans! #dc #polishNight #washington #poland #polishMachine