Grading Hasheem Thabeet’s 2013-14 season.
Professionalism: A. No complaints here. Thabeet was a true pro this year. Not once did you hear him complain about a lack of playing time or a reduced role. In the locker room, Thabeet was top notch teammate. If his situation ate at him in any way, you never would have known. He was positive, encouraging and supportive throughout the year.
Overall performance: C. Although he had a few solid showings, Thabeet simply didn’t have the same overall impact that he did last season. His reduced playing time certainly played a part, but Thabeet was worse across the board in 2013-14 and never put pressure on the coaching staff through his play to carve him out more minutes. It’s unfair to expect a ton out of Thabeet in limited minutes, many of which came in mop-up duty. But there’s no doubt that Thabeet could have done more to stand out.
Preparedness: A. Thabeet was in a tough spot this season, losing significant playing time to newbie Steven Adams. But by all accounts, Thabeet’s work ethic never faltered. He remained ready for whenever his number was called. And it showed. On multiple occasions this season, Thabeet supplied solid contributions despite drawn-out stints on the bench and uncertainty over when his efforts would be needed. In doing so, he showed coaches and management he can be counted on in emergency situations.
Team spirit: A. Thabeet might be the league’s biggest cheerleader this side of Patty Mills. Regardless of his situation, Thabeet always cheers for the success of the team and his teammates. He pops off the bench on good plays and greats players with high-fives during timeouts. It might not sound like much, but players on the end of NBA benches often are the most disgruntled employees the world has seen. Not Thabeet. Always positive, his infectious personality helps keep morale high.
Defending without fouling: D. The data is skewed considering Thabeet could afford to be ultra-aggressive given his lack of consistent court time. Still, the big man wasn’t good at playing straight up this season. He averaged 8.8 fouls per 36 minutes, a career worst and a rate that tied him with Greg Oden for second worst in the NBA this year. Thabeet has yet to prove he can play without fouling, and that, among other things, will continue to hurt his campaign for more minutes.