Okay, so he may not be the best play in the NBA, but at least he can do whatever he's doing here!!1!!111! Also, is that Jarrett Jack?
So, in [Mario] West's better stint, the defensive specialist played 12 possessions. Two were good, three were bad, and seven were neutral. His positive contributions came on the offensive end, getting a tip-in courtesy of using Antawn Jamison for a piggy-back ride (uncalled) and beating Nick Young* on a nice cut to the basket for an and-one. West had two other offensive rebounds in the second quarter: on the first he missed a tip-in and on the second he sprint-dribbled directly away from the basket, handed the ball to Jeff Teague 28 feet from the basket, then did a victory lap back to half court before running into the corner. Again, if not false, at least useless, showy hustle.
*Not coincidentally, Nick Young played 17:57 before allowing Mario West to score a basket and 3:17 after allowing the basket.
Offensively, West manages to turn the ball over twice despite only touching the ball once in the second half courtesy of an illegal screen and falling out of bounds immediately after grabbing his fourth offensive rebound.
21 defensive possessions: 5 bad, 3 good, 1 debatable between bad and neutral, and 12 neutral. Your defensive stopper, Hawks fans, and a man now ahead of Jeff Teague in the rotation.
That's just a portion of Bret LaGree's amazingly thorough breakdown of every Mario West possession in last night's Hawks victory over the Wizards. LaGree never really got on board with the idea of giving West a Gatorade Call-Up and his dissecting of every West play in a 12 point victory over the Wizards drives this point home even harder.
I'm all for giving D-League players an opportunity, obviously, but it seems familiarity trumps everything when it comes to NBA call-ups this season. While it may seem like any call-up is a good call-up, if teams are only going to keeep going back to the same well, it doesn't help the players that never received an initial NBA opportunity. As both myself and Matt Moore wrote (Me here, Moore here), West probably wasn't the most talented player available for a call-up.
At least we were right.