Another year is in the books for the Wiz Kids and summertime could not have come quick enough. A strong six-game win streak to end the cluttered campaign of 2012 did very little to erase what had become a weary, trying season for the Wizards.
Over the next few days, Wizards Extreme will evaluate and grade each Wizards' players performance based on several different basketball factors. First up, your self-appointed captain: Andray Blatche.
There was an interesting question posed by 106.7 the Fan’s Danny Rouhier on his show Saturday afternoon about Kobe Bryant. He asked the listeners their opinions on whether or not Kobe Bryant was done winning championship rings.
Danny argued that Kobe, as a closer, is not as solid as he is often implied as by the media. After looking at the numbers myself, I have to agree with him. Kobe, in my opinion might not win another championship ring in his career.
While it does have a lot to do with his inability to close out games lately, it really has more to do with his surroundings in L.A. And oddly enough, John Wall is facing that same problem right now in D.C.
In L.A., a defensively driven body in Metta World Peace, a rebound-hog in Pau Gaol, and an all-around man in Andrew Bynum surround Kobe Bryant. But the thing is, this is not the same team that won the 2009 and 2010 NBA Championships.
He is stuck in L.A. with mostly the same team, but now that they are constantly injured, behaviorally challenged, and unable to perform when it matters the most. Kobe has this 2011-2012 team’s responsibilities placed solely on him. And because of these extra duties, he has gotten all the blame when the cards don’t fall the Lakers’ way; which, in turn, could be clouding his attention, and even how much he really cares anymore knowing that this isn’t a championship-caliber team.
Come East towards Washington D.C., and John Wall is facing the exact same challenge. Whenever John Wall has an off game, it seems to stretch into a few more games after that. But look at the supporting cast he has (and has had to deal with). The Wizards’ roster has faced the same challenges that the Lakers have faced, but just on a much lower competitive level.
After the trade for Nene, John Wall saw significant improvements in his game from much more than just a box-score standpoint. He stopped running over people in the free court, he was able to finish drives without getting a charge, but also knew when to dish the ball to the big man down low.
But when you’re in an atmosphere like both Wall and Bryant are, it’s going to be difficult to compete to everyone’s expectations. As everyone has seen with Lebron James, there’s only so much one man can do.
And when that one man is pushed to the brink of realizing that, there’s only so much that one man can care until something is done. And until that atmosphere is changed, don’t expect anything better from either player.no comments
The playoffs aren’t even close to over, yet, but it’s never too early to discuss the roster options for the very customizable Washington Wizards.
One big question mark on the team is what they’re going to do with Rashard Lewis.
He spent most of this past season on the bench injured and since his arrival in DC, has not performed to anyone’s expectations.
But with question marks around the future of Mo Evans and Roger Mason, Jr, the Wizards need to take another look at Rashard.
I think it’s safe to say that Chris Singleton has more than earned his starting spot on this roster at the three-spot. The Wizards seemed to expect more from Rashard than he could really give to this team. They’re not in the wrong for expecting too much due to the absurd contract amount and length of his deal, but on a squad like the Wizards, he’s much more suited to come off the bench.
That being said, a lot of pieces are going to go into whether they hold onto Lewis or not. His contract is a bear, and there aren’t going to be too many teams willing to take on the contract unless he’s amnestied. But if the Wizards decide to let go of either Evans or Mason, they need to take a good hard look at keeping Lewis.
Both Mo Evans and Roger Mason had some very big games off of the bench this past season and, for a while, Mason was the reason the Wizards hung into some very big games.
It’s baseball season, so I’m going to use a Nationals metaphor here. Rashard Lewis on the Wizards is really what Jayson Werth is to the Nationals. He’s overpaid, hasn’t performed to anyone’s expectations since arriving, and is injury prone.
But when he’s on the court, there’s no doubt that his veteran experience has an affect on all the younger players. And for a team that’s looking to make the playoffs in the next couple of years, they’re going to need that body to keep them in the games, no matter what the potential consequences are.no comments
Well, here goes another coaching post about the Washington Wizards. I've stated before that I believe Randy Wittman should come back. But today, I'm going to play devil's advocate and wonder what happens if he doesn't.
Mike D'antoni? No thanks.
Stan Van Gundy? Nope, I'm good.
These marquee names that might become available for the Wizards are not what this organization need. If they were to bring one of these guys in, it would be Flip Saunders all over again.
These guys are not going to work for a rebulding team. In two or three years when (hopefully) the Wizards are a competing playoff-caliber team, the story will be different. But for now, the Wizards need someone who is used to developing players. Someone who knows about getting a new group of guys every year, someone who knows how to teach kids who haven't finished college.
I have to say that with this group of guys, if Wittman isn't going to be around, then I would have to go with somebody either coaching a college team now, or someone who has an immense history of coaching NCAA basketball.
The reason for this is that this team is one of the youngest in the NBA. Some of them are fresh out of college, opted out early, or just haven't developed their game to a professional level yet. So who better to coach than someone with a resume of a college-like background.
This team is a rebuilding team that needs a rebuilding coach. They can worry about a marquee coach when these guys turn into marquee players.
But for now, if Wittman is not in the future for this team, then it's time to look a step lower to guide this team a step higher.
I get it, The Wizards are pushing for their star point guard and #1 overall pick John Wall to replace Derrick Rose on the Olympic Roster in this summer's games that are taking place in London. It makes sense if you're Ted Leonsis and the Wizards Brain trust. Getting any kind of national exposure is great, but if you can market your superstar in an international competition, even better. However, let's all come down to earth for just a little.
I understand all the positives that can come out of this. I know Team USA are the odds on favorite to win the gold, I know the importance and significance of playing for a gold medal, I know the importance of how this can also help John potentially develop in to more of a leader by gaining more leadership experience. Any time you have the chance to be on the same team with guys like, Kobe, Lebron, Carmelo, and Durant, you can only gain more experience and leadership.
With that said, I understand the Wizards position on this, but as a Wizards fan, I don't want this. I don't think it's worth it to put your franchise player in a position where he can be injured and lose valuable playing time for his NBA team. John has a lot to work on right now in DC with his team and I just don't think playing abroad in the olympics is going to benefit the Washington Wizards as far as wins and losses are concerned for next season. I'd rather have John in D.C. for an entire full length NBA off season to work on a lot of very NOTICEABLE flaws in his game. His defense was shaky and inconsistent throughout the course of the season, he needs to work on controlling his speed as he penetrates the basket, and probably the most glaring flaw in his game was his inability to hit the mid-long range jump shot. I lost track over the amount of times I saw John get wide open looks at the basket and come up short. We have a young team here in DC and if John doesn't stick around to work on improving himself and the rest of the roster, I fear that we may lose him after next season.
He's a young guy. John will be 22 in September. He will have the chance to play in 3 or 4 more olympics before his career is over. There's no doubt that he's a world class player and should be recognized as such. I don't blame the Wizards for their lobbying efforts towards USA Basketball to have him on the roster. In fact, If I was Leonsis, I would probably do the exact same thing. But as a fan and as someone who's followed this team all year, there are other priorities that need to be established first.
One of my buddies called me late last night and asked if I was watching the Lakers -Nuggets game. He wanted to know how I felt about JaVale McGee blossoming before my eyes. I told him I wasn’t watching and as far as JaVale blossoming I’ll believe it when I see it.
After the Nuggets won game 3 and McGee put in 16 points and 15 rebounds, I received the “I told you so” calls. Then he followed it up with a pedestrian 8 point-4 rebound performance. Anyone who has followed JaVale over his NBA career should have learned to not put too much stock in his “Wow Games”, for he will surely make you rue the day.
The Nuggets are down 3 games to 2 against the Lakers. In the two Nuggets wins JaVale has averaged 18.5 points per game and 14.5 rebounds per game. Those numbers are impressive to say the least, but before you start thinking the Nuggets fleeced the Wizards let’s take a look at his numbers in the three losses: Without a significant drop in minutes, JaVale has averaged 5 points per game and 6.3 rebounds in the three losses. That’s the drop off in performance from McGee that Wizards fans are used to.
Wizards fans will tell you that the JaVale McGee from last night’s win versus the Lakers was a mirage, a teaser of the potential that will never be reached. They will speak of the hope and promise the young 7- footer showed during his tenure with the Wizards, only to revert back to his selfish and immature ways.
His mother will argue that this is the man child who is the future of the NBA. I’m not saying he's a lost cause or the superstar I once thought he'd be, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
The truth of the matter is that in Denver he is coming off of the bench and playing his role pretty well but JaVale is coming into free agency this offseason and is hoping to get paid like a starter and future all-star. He wants to be known for more than the never-ending blooper reels that he has accumulated. We will see the true measure of Javale when he gets paid and some team hands him the keys to the franchise….I’m just glad it won’t be my team.