Where Martell Webster Fits in the Wizards Rotation


Feb 19, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Martell Webster (9) shoots a three over Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Louis Williams (3) in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Martell Webster returned to practice fully last Thursday for the first time this season. The backup wingman had back surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back on June 26.

And, according to J. Michael of Comcast SportsNet, Webster plans to return to action about a week-and-a-half after returning to practice fully.

Well, that means Webster will be returning either over the weekend or just in time for the Wizards’ Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks.

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So, with Webster set to return any day now, where does he fit in the rotation?

To start, Webster should get more looks from head coach Randy Wittman over Otto Porter.

Early this season, I wrote how it was Porter’s time to shine, and that he was making good strides early in his second season.

Fast-forward to mid-December and Porter has been largely irrelevant for Washington. Since he scored 13 points in Washington’s 98-93 win over the Orlando Magic on Nov. 15, Porter has failed to score more than seven points.

He’s also seeing a significantly less amount of playing time than he was getting in November. Last month, Porter was averaging just under 22 minutes per game. This month, Porter is seeing action in just 14.5 minutes per game.

Nov 26, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Wizards forward Rasual Butler (8) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters (3) during the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards 113-87. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

One big reason for Porter’s decline in production has been the resurgence of Rasual Butler. Butler, who averaged just 2.7 points per game in 50 appearances for the Indiana Pacers last season, has come off the bench on fire for Wittman.

Butler is playing in 21 minutes per game and is scoring just over 10 points per game for the Wizards. His three-point shooting has been lights out, as he’s hitting 51.5 percent of his shots from behind the arc.

Factor that in with his .557 two-point shooting percentage, and it’s clear to see why Wittman has gone with Butler over Porter.

When Webster returns to game action, Wittman will certainly have a lot to think about with who he chooses to go with behind Paul Pierce off the bench.

With Butler’s recent performances, there’s no way that Wittman should lessen his minutes.

But, with Porter struggling offensively, Wittman needs to give Webster a look.

One lineup that Wittman should try is using Webster and Butler together with Andre Miller, Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin.

Webster has hit three-pointers with regularity throughout his career (.385 career three-point percentage), and with him and Butler on the court together, defenses would be forced to play more toward the wing. This would leave room in the paint for Seraphin, Gooden and Miller to get to work down low.

Webster has also started 75 games for Washington over the past two seasons, so if Wittman decides to give Pierce a night off, or just lessen his minutes, he has a reliable player to step in.

Washington will finish its three-game home stand tonight against Minnesota and former head coach Flip Saunders. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on CSN Washington.

**All stats gathered from Basketball-Reference and ESPN.com**