Charlotte Hornets Midseason Report Card: PJ Washington

In his rookie year, PJ Washington has exceeded expectations for the Charlotte Hornets. This article will analyze and grade Washington’s performance from the first half of the season.

For Charlotte Hornets fans, PJ Washington has been a special player for the team during his rookie season. Fans did not expect Washington to produce as much as he has so far, as he seems like the team’s best rookie as of late.

This rookie had a tough start to his offseason, as he could not play in Summer League. Washington was not expected to become an instant starter, but all heads were turned after his first preseason game against the Boston Celtics.

Without further ado, let’s begin to analyze PJ Washington’s play from the first half of the 2019-20 season.

Offense: B+

Fans have to be surprised by the offensive productivity that they are seeing come from Washington. Many were not sold on Washington at first, but he’s proved everyone wrong so far this season. As a rookie, he’s averaging 12.4 points per game, which gives him the third-highest scoring average per game for Charlotte right behind Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier.

In college, Washington was mainly known for his post-game, but now he has a full arsenal at his disposal on offense. Washington has been an effective three-point shooter, as he’s shooting 42% from deep.

Halfway through the season, it’s safe to say that Washington has proved to be a reliable option on offense.

If Washington finishes his rookie season strong, he will be the Hornets’ best offensive rookie since the team drafted Kemba Walker in 2011.

Defense: B-

The Hornets have lacked defense for a while now, but they got a defender in this year’s draft. While he’s had his rookie hiccups on this end of the floor, Washington has given the Hornets good minutes on defense.

In just 39 games played, he’s averaging 5.5 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. The numbers have been consistent, but he needs to continue to improve his defensive IQ.

Washington can play defense, and it was shown in the Hornets’ loss to Boston Celtics on November 7th, when he finished the game with four blocked shots. He’s even had two games where he’s finished with four steals in both.

Final Thoughts

I have been a believer since day one, but Washington has made me believe even more with his play. He’s a tough player that has proved he’s got a bright future in this league.

Coach Borrego believes in Washington, and he has started in every game that he’s played in so far. Even after suffering a finger fracture in early December, Coach Borrego believed in him enough to instantly start him when he got back from the injury.

Next: Charlotte Hornets 2020 NBA Draft Monthly Big Board - A shakeup at the top

With half of the season played, I see Washington getting a lot more playing time and opportunities. Could fans see him participate during All-Star weekend in the Rising Stars game?

Overall Grade: B

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