Gortat Season Highlights
Marcin Gortat entered 2016-17 and produced arguably his best season at age 32 going on 33. In his tenth NBA season, Gortat averaged a double-double with 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. This was his second season averaging a double-double in the regular season and he was one of 14 players in the league this season to average a point-rebound double-double. The Polish center would end up with career-highs in rebounds and field goal percentage (57.9%).
Gortat’s 36 double-doubles were second on the team to John Wall’s 50. Those two combined for 86 on the season, second to only Cousins and Anthony Davis in the NBA for double-doubles among teammates. Gortat finished the season as one of five players (Rudy Gobert, Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard, and DeAndre Jordan) to average a point-rebound double-double while shooting 55.0% or higher from the field.
The Polish Machine proved once again his invaluable durability, starting all 82 games for the second time in his career. He was one of five players in the NBA to start all 82 games this season, joining Karl Anthony-Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Andrew Wiggins, and Jeff Teague. Gortat became the first Wizards player to start all 82 games since he did it in 2014-15. He was also prepared to play extended minutes any game of the season, often playing 35+ minutes in key games. Gortat took care of his body all offseason and season and continued to be a model of consistency in the middle.
Perhaps no statistic was more telling about Gortat’s season than his league-leading 506 screen assists and 6.2 screen assists per game. A screen assist is a screen set by a player that directly leads to a made field goal, and Gortat led the league in that category. These unselfish plays require an art – the screen must be considered legal – and a sacrifice of one’s body. Gortat set up his teammates all season long for shots they would have otherwise had to create off the dribble.
Gortat’s blocked shots were down from previous seasons, but he was a consistent defender all season long. In the playoffs especially, Gortat shut down Dwight Howard in multiple games in the Hawks series and made a big difference down low. His defense in the paint was important, but he also had to adjust to more bigs shooting jump shots this season. With players Gortat defended like Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, and DeMarcus Cousins taking more 3-pointers, Gortat adjusted accordingly to defend stretch-five players as the season went along.
All in all, Gortat had a career season for the Wizards in his 10th NBA season. He understands his role, often requiring unselfishness with screens and offensive rebounds, which makes him a valuable player and teammate. Heading into what would be his fifth season with the Wizards, Gortat's durability and experience will be important once again as the Wizards look for a deep playoff run in the 2017-18 season.