WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Trevor Ariza has been having a resurgence, of sorts, in a contract season for the Wizards in 2013-14.
He leads the team in three-point shooting percentage (43%), has shot lights out from beyond the arc in the last eight games (63%), and even ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in Wins Produced (via Box Score Geeks).
“Going into the last year of my deal, you try not to think about it,” Ariza told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Thursday. “But sometimes it does get into your brain, or whatever, but I try to put that as far in the back of my mind as possible. If you think too much about that stuff, that can mess you up too.”
Whatever you acknowledge Ariza for this season, don’t let it be for his nickname, ‘Switchblade,’ which apparently is listed at the top of his bio page on basketball-reference.com.
Let this awkward exchange tell the story for you (listen):
Grant: Is ‘switchblade’ an actual accepted nickname that you use, and that you’ll accept?
Ariza: What? No. What does that mean?
Grant: I was gonna ask you. Probasketball-reference has your nickname as ‘switchblade.’
Ariza: Ah man, I like ‘Trevor’ or ‘T.A.’
In case you didn’t follow, ‘Trevor’ is his name, which seems code for, ‘Don’t call me switchblade.’[tweet https://twitter.com/granthpaulsen/status/441645759901888512 width=”420″]
Outside of uncomfortable nickname talk, Ariza did offer some valuable insight on the growth of teammates John Wall and Otto Porter.
Monday night against the Grizzlies – after 10 failed attempts earlier in the season – Porter finally hit his first NBA three-pointer, to which Ariza responded from the bench with exuberance.
“That’s exciting, man! It’s always exciting to see your teammates do well,” Ariza said. “Especially when they really haven’t had a chance to show what they’ve been working on, or everybody doesn’t get to see what they do in practice. So, it’s fun and exciting when other people get to notice the things that we notice.”
Ariza believes the greatest detractor from Porter’s growth was his early-season injury, and that eventually, as he gets more opportunities and grows through the game, he’ll begin to expose his “tremendous” upside.
Ariza was also asked about Wall passing up the opportunity for an open layup, in a recent game, to instead hit him on the wing for a wide-open three.
“That just shows the growth that he’s doing, because maybe two years ago, or last year, he would just try to get it himself,” Ariza said. “But now he’s looking for his teammates, he’s finding us when we’re open and he’s hitting us in the right places, and we’re knocking them down for him.”
As noted in the Wins Produced stat above, Ariza has not only been one of the more efficient shooters on the Wizards, but also in the entire league.
“I try not to take too many bad shots,” he said. “But it’s a tribute to my teammates – the way we’ve been moving the ball, finding the open man and just playing without a care on who gets the shots – I think that’s helped out tremendously for me, because I’m getting a lot of open looks.”
The moral of the story? Don’t call Trevor Ariza ‘Switchblade.’
Listen to the full interview in the clip above.