Wizards’ 2013-14 season report card: Mostly fridge-worthy grades

May 19

Coach Randy Wittman led the Wizards to the Eastern Conference semifinals this season. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

By any metric, this season was an unequivocal success for the Wizards, who qualified for the playoffs for the first time in six years and won a second-round game for the first time since 1982. After years of ineptitude, the future seems bright for the Wizards. They’ll look to maintain the momentum created by this year’s unit ­— which, as one might imagine, earns solid grades across the board in this end-of-year report card.

John Wall, PG

The lightning-quick guard learned how to harness his speed to become a better playmaker, which helped earn him his first All-Star appearance. He had an inconsistent playoff run, but there’s no doubt the Wizards follow his lead, for better or worse. Despite career highs in nearly all offensive categories, Wall will need to continue his work to become a better scoring threat. Grade: A-

Bradley Beal, SG

He overcame an injury-plagued rookie season to make a leap in his second year, emerging not only as a deadly shooter but also as a skilled all-around player. Playoff performances against Chicago introduced him to the national audience, but he still takes too many long 2-pointers and can be pressured into turnovers. However, his ceiling is really high. Grade: A-

Nene, PF

It’s been noted how important the Brazilian big man is to the Wizards’ success, but an inability to stay healthy combined with a penchant for disappearing at times makes it difficult to gauge his effectiveness, especially as he gets older. Nene started just 37 games this year and averaged a paltry 5.5 rebounds, yet he also chipped in nearly 3 assists per game. Grade: B-

Trevor Ariza, SF

He provided exactly what the Wizards brass wanted when they signed him two years ago — aggressive defense, veteran leadership and clutch outside shooting. Ariza came up big in the playoffs (with the exception of Game 6), which will make him an attractive free agent candidate. Washington’s logjam at the position may make him expendable. Grade: B

Marcin Gortat, C

Arguably the biggest move of Washington’s offseason was acquiring the “Polish Hammer” from Phoenix. Gortat helped anchor the middle and nearly averaged a double-double while becoming a well-liked presence in the locker room. Expect plenty of teams to throw cash at the free-agent big man, and Washington to try to lock him up with a long-term deal. Grade: A-

Otto Porter Jr., SF

It hardly seems fair to give the rookie from Georgetown a grade since he was rooted to the bench for the entire season, the victim of both an early injury and an influx of players at his position. He played in just 37 games (8.6 minutes per contest). Teams don’t let No. 3 picks die on the vine, however, so expect Porter to play a much bigger role next season. Grade: Incomplete

Randy Wittman

Wittman put together his best season as an NBA coach just in time for a contract extension. Whatever his in-game flaws may be, Wittman’s biggest strength was getting the players to buy into his vision of playing hard defense and smart offense. Wittman pushed all the right buttons in the playoffs, switching his player rotations and providing key motivational support to Wall. Grade: B

Bench

The veterans Washington acquired down the stretch — Drew Gooden and Andre Miller — played critical roles for this team, which says something about the rest of the bench. While Trevor Booker remains underappreciated, Martell Webster struggled after getting his new deal and players like Chris Singleton and Kevin Seraphim were nonfactors. Grade: C

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