Tenacious Webster not forcing the action

Tenacious Webster not forcing the action
October 12, 2012, 1:00 pm
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Considering Martell Webster's recent NBA campaigns have been marred by injuries, you might imagine the perimeter threat is in a hurry to make up for lost time.

Considering the 25-year-old is no longer branded with the same phenom tag he adorned after being selected sixth overall in the 2005 NBA Draft as a high schooler, you might assume some anxiety kicking in while settling in with his third team in four seasons.

Considering the free agent addition is attempting to impress a coaching staff on the hunt for a viable playing rotation, you might assume one the newest Wizards is pressing just a bit.

As it stands, those assumptions about this current version of the 6-foot-7 swingman with a shooter's touch, an insightful mind and an old man's beard would be wrong.

"My teammates keep encouraging me to let the game come to me, like I’ve been doing," said Webster after scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds Thursday in the Wizards second preseason game.

"I’m not going to force the issue. I’m here to do whatever coach needs me to do. I’m not coming here to steal anything. That’s one of the most important things I worked on this summer is being patient with the offense. Never forcing the issue."

The Wizards addressed the issue of subpar 3-point shooting by drafting Bradley Beal, retaining Cartier Martin and signing Webster, a career 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc during his seven seasons with Portland and Minnesota. Finding playing time for all the shooters is the issue considering Trevor Ariza, Jordan Crawford and Chris Singleton also are seeking minutes at the wing positions.

While the loquacious Webster can no doubt talk up his own exploits, he'd rather let his on-court actions speak for themselves.

"I’m here to compete to help make my teammates better," said Webster, who missed 55 games the past two seasons and underwent back surgery prior to the truncated 2011-12 campaign.

"I’m not thinking like, oh, I need to steal this spot. Because I know if I do what I’m supposed to do, it’s all going to speak for itself. Within that, it’s not about me. It’s about this team. So if I fight and I fight in practice and giving my best effort, so I know, that’s just common sense. When you get into somebody and they see you’re doing the right thing..."

Coming off his 18-point performance in Washington's preseason opener, Webster knocked down 4 of 6 six field goal attempts against New York. His chemistry with Beal and others on Washington's second unit during the first half rally against the Knicks proved obvious to the untrained eye or his well-versed coach.

"He gives us shooting, spacing on the floor," Randy Wittman said. "I think he’s gone and he’s tried to rebound the ball for us, help us on the boards some. Did he lead us tonight? Ten rebounds... He has good size, and he’s given us a good spark off the bench."

That rebounding effort is also a sign that there is no passivity from the new guy just because he's not desperately trying to impress.

"That’s just tenacity," Webster said. "When your team has that, it’s hard to keep the team off the boards and when you fight for every single rebound, it makes a big difference. But coach got on me, which is part of our game plan on offense that he doesn’t want the ones, twos and threes to go to the offensive boards, but to get back and I got burned on that a couple of times, so I take responsibility for that and those are things you have to learn from. But just be tenacious and you got to go in there knowing you can get the rebound."

Or knowing that even after setbacks along the way, you can walk the walk.