C.J. Watson: An Unsolvable Storm (SEASON GRADE)

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013 by Benny Nadeau Comments
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C.J. WATSON LOOKING LIKE E.T., GOLLUM:

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AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

By The Numbers: 80 G, 8 GS, 19 MPG, 6.8 PTS, 1.8 RPG, .2.0 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.2 BLK,418 FG%, .780 FT%, 544 TS%, .514 eFG%

Advanced: 13.9 PER, 113 ORtg, 107 DRtg, 17.2 USG%, 2.9 ORB%, 8.4 DRB%, 5.6 TRB%, 17.2 AST%, 2.3 STL%, 0.6 BLK%, 3.8 estimated wins added

C.J. Watson is an unsolvable riddle. All year, I've tried to decipher the veteran PG, figure out exactly how much value he had to this Brooklyn team. Is he reliable? Is he unreliable? Should he take important shots that could make or break a game? After 89 games, I still don't have an answer.

There’s really not much to say about Watson as a ballplayer. He played his role, every single night. He hit threes, he played solid defense and provided nice minutes when Deron Williams needed a break. He took some bad shots, but he hit just as many crazy ones, too.  Which is still why we can’t quite figure C.J. Watson out.

More than anything, C.J. Watson brought stability. In the past, Nets teams have gone from Deron Williams or Devin Harris to… Jordan Farmar? Sundiata Gaines? What C.J. Watson gave Brooklyn was the ability to breathe when Williams wasn’t on the floor. A safety net. Whether it was hitting a three with the bench mob early in the half, or that same three inexplicably late in the fourth, it was comforting to know that there was another capable point guard and shooter on the roster.

WATCH: C.J. Watson's Top 10 Plays of 2012-13

Watson has the most infuriating ability to make you happy one second and hate him the next. For all intents and purposes, Watson filled his role perfectly and knew exactly where he fit. Need a blow Deron? Here comes C.J. Need a big shot? Here comes C.J. Need someone to rile Nate Robinson up? Here comes C.J. Quiet and soft-spoken, it was Watson who often showed up in the season’s biggest moments. So why can’t we figure him out?

Watson's biggest moment this season was also his worst; during a stretch of miserable basketball in which the Brooklyn Nets, up sixteen with under five minutes to play, practically handed the Bulls the game on a silver platter. With a chance to put the Nets up 16, C.J. Watson missed a wide-open dunk, and Nets fans were ready to sacrifice him to the basketball gods.

And yet, that’s why we love CJ Watson. He’s easy to love when he’s wrestling on the scorer's table with Robinson because his twitter handle is @quietstorm_32; but he’s so easy to hate when we’re all looking for a scapegoat. He’s easy to get frustrated with when Taylor gets another DNP as Watson goes 1-4 from the field. He’s easy to love, too, when he goes 4-4 from three and drops 25 points on Denver.

Watson is Russian Roulette. Which C.J. will show up today? He hits threes as he walks into the locker room and misses series-defining dunks. He's up, down, and even all at the same time. His defense was satisfactory and he never backed down from anyone, most notably the aforementioned Nate Robinson. He never spoke out or spoke up, he just played his role.

HIGH POINT: His 25-point outburst against Denver right before the All-Star Break:

LOW POINT: That dunk against Chicago. Without question. Nightmares forever.

UGLY MOMENT: It wasn't immediately clear why C.J. Watson and Nate Robinson disliked each other so much, but once we learned that Robinson is close with Floyd Mayweather, things started to make more sense.

Final Grade:


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Full List:
Deron Williams | Joe Johnson | Gerald Wallace | Reggie Evans | Brook Lopez | Andray Blatche | C.J. Watson | Keith Bogans | Kris Humphries | MarShon Brooks | Mirza Teletovic | Tyshawn Taylor | Tornike Shengelia