As the mediocre NBA All-Star weekend comes to an end, our focus shifts back to Washington Wizards. The team boasts a 7-26 record heading down the home stretch of this shortened NBA season (Not exactly where they wanted to be) but despite the record and inconsistent play, the answer to a lot of the team's woes can be solved with a little hard work, player development, and patience.
After talking to Phil Chenier, I've grown to become more patient. The legendary Bullets/Wizards star took a few minutes to talk to me following Washington's most recent loss to Sacramento before heading in to the All-Star break.
"I think we still fail to put our foot on the throat of opponents", said Chenier. The Sacramento game is actually a perfect example of how this season has gone for this Wizards team so far this year. The team shoots around 55% in the first half and build a double digit lead and then some how find a way to squander the lead in the 2nd half. specifically, the 3rd quarter.
Chenier also added that, "I felt a sense of relaxation. Every team is going to make a run at you. Six or seven points here and there, but when you have the opportunity to really extend the lead, you really have to take care of that. This was one of those games where if your heart's not in it, you can find yourself letting go of some opportunities."
When I asked him about the one specific thing that this team needed to work on to get better right away, Phil quickly responded with, "Rebounding." As they currently sit 3rd to last in the league in rebounds allowed, it's no secret for any Wizards fan that It's an area that they've has struggled on all year.
I don't necessarily expect them to be able to change these things over the course of the 2nd half of a shortened NBA season, but I do expect Randy Wittman to challenge his team's aggressiveness, hustle, and mental make-up.
If this team wants to be a contender for many seasons to come, the way they finish this season will have a lot to say about that