It’s two games in, the Wizards have yet to get a win and they can’t seem to come through at the very beginning or at the very end of games. But have no fear, there is no reason to freak out. The solution lies right in the starting lineup.
After the loss to Boston on Saturday night, Randy Wittman was asked whether he might think about retooling the starting lineup. He didn’t give a solid answer but mentioned that when a team gets off to starts like this, "it’s something that’s got to be thought about."
The first lineup change that needs to occur is Trevor Ariza. He has yet to prove himself in the preseason or during the first two season games. He looks disinterested on the court, and during Saturday’s game was seen yelling back at Wittman after he was scolded for a turnover. And do I need to even remind you that he ended up scoreless in 17 minutes last night?
Martell Webster (although taking a poor shot at the end of the game with nearly five seconds on the clock) has been consistently proving his role on this team. He has the stroke from outside and is playing like someone who wants to be on this team. This is a no-brainer.
Another switch-- Bradley Beal. He’s just not ready to start on this team. Wittman should be breaking him in to this league especially since the Wizards have a weapon like Jordan Crawford sitting on the bench. He came into the game yesterday and his play (along with Seraphin’s) was the main reason that the Wizards had a competitive game with five seconds left.
With Crawford and Webster in the game, there’s an extra addition of energy that could possibly be the method to overcome the Wizards starts as of late. While I think Okafor has just had a couple of bad games, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to want to put Seraphin in at Center over him, although the Wizards would lose some height.
A.J. Price also continued his poor streak of play Friday night and could hardly do anything right on the court. While Pargo wasn’t lighting up the stat sheet, the offense seemed to flow a bit more smoothly in his hands.
Wittman has always been one to reward the players for their play and hustle on the court, so it’s surprising to me that Crawford and Webster sit on the bench while Ariza and Beal are obviously struggling. It’s also surprising to see Cartier Martin hardly getting any minutes after his performance on the team last season. And where was Earl Barron last night? Seraphin was lighting it up and Barron wasn’t going to take his place, but Booker wasn’t exactly on fire towards the end of the game and it would have been nice to see a bigger body in the game.
What should the lineup be in Boston this week you ask? Pargo, Crawford, Webster, Seraphin, Okafor. Yep, that’s right, only one of the five starters from Friday night should be starting on Wednesday.
Is it going to happen? Probably not. I’d expect Webster to get the start over Ariza but there probably won’t be any other changes from that. For now, Wizards fans will have to just hope that Wittman goes to the bench more quickly than he did in the Phone Booth on Friday.