Marcin Gortat might be the only member of the Wizards not prepping for 3-point attempts this season. That is absolutely cool with Washington's starting center.
"I love that. That's why you need me," said the smiling big man following Saturday's team practice at Verizon Center.
For Gortat, there is reason for happiness. The talk of training camp involves the Wizards going heavy with small ball lineups this season, which is another way of saying more shooters on the court. More shooters on the court means spreading the opposing defense. That means more room to roam inside which means more smiles for Gortat.
The 6-foot-11 center finished 11th in the NBA last season with 208 points as the roller on pick plays last season, averaging an efficient 1.01 points per possession. (By comparison, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge scored 217 points on 263 roll opportunities.) Gortat should have even more opportunities for one-on-one chances if the power forward spot is occupied more by stretch-4 types like Jared Dudley rather than Nene, another interior option who typically camps out in the lane. The lane is where you'll find the Polish Machine most of the time.
"Trust me, I'm going to feel good," Gortat said. "There are a lot of people in this league that want to shoot jumpers, stay at the 3-point line, pick and pops. Hey, I don't have problems rolling to the basket. I know it's a tough job. There will be a game I'm going to roll 30 times and nobody is going to pass me the ball. But for the next three games, trust me, I'm going to be the one open."
Having a pass-first point guard like John Wall as the primary pick-and-roll partner helps. Having learned the roll part from former coach Stan Van Gundy when the two were in Orlando earlier in Gortat's career helped as well.
"I learned a lot under Stan Van Gundy's development. That habit in my game of roll to the basket and rim run. [He said] you'll have a lot of layups. That's how I've made a living in this league," Gortat said. "I don't have a problem rolling to the basket, sprinting the floor, running [like a] gazelle especially with John."
The Wizards may end up taking many more 3-pointers this season compared to the 2014-15 campaign. In this modern NBA and with this roster, that's a good thing. Just ask the guy who won't take any, but is rolling with the plan.