Every week Wizards Extreme will feature 5 burning questions and their answers pertaining directly to the Washington Wizards and the current state they are in. This week's segment addresses certain player evaluations as well as surprises and disappointments from the first half of the season, and also ways to improve the team moving forward.
Today’s feature includes responses from the Wizards Extreme’s team - Michael Andrews, Saam Bozorgmehr, Matt Naqvi, and Trevor Jackson, as well as one of our forum members, Calixto Perez.
1. What has been Washington's biggest problem in the first half of the season?
Mike: The biggest problem has to be the lack of a consistent offense. One game the Wizards score in the mid 60's and another game they are doubling that score. One game John Wall is scoring 38 and another he's scoring 2. The team has to find some sort of consistency within their lineup, and that might even mean blowing up the roster to create for a much quicker team. Mo Evans and Roger Mason provide good leadership but there are other leaders out there who still have some explosiveness.
Calixto: It's obviously their inability to play "team" basketball. Time and time again, they resort back to playing selfish basketball, which is normally a sign of a team with low basketball I.Q. They just don't get it and sadly, I don't think any amount of coaching is going to change that. The off-season "needs" is a solution to part of that problem.
Trevor: Scoring, efficiency, and selfishness. I will stick to scoring for now, as the selfish aspect would take up to much space. This team lacks scorers who have the ability to play within an offense. Sure Nick Young and Jordan Crawford have had big scoring nights, but only when they have a large volume of shots. Neither player is efficient: Young is shooting 40.3% and Crawford 39.4% from the floor. Inside scoring has also been a huge problem for the Wizards. Other than JaVale Mcgee alley oops, Washington desperately lacks an inside scorer they can go to in the half court set.
Matt: I think getting consistent has been the biggest issue; it’s hard to get into a groove if you’re starting different guys each night. Losing flip did not help but it seems the new leadership has a better handle on the situation. I also think not having a consistent scorer on the floor has hurt them. I only count Nick Young and Rashard Lewis as the only ones on the team that are threats from the perimeter. If thy can add another sniper they will set themselves up better.
Saam: I think the teams biggest problem all year been about learning how to close out games. Even by mid way through the 3rd quarter in to the 4th quarter, the games are mostly within reach. As the over used sports cliche goes, "The difference between the good teams and the bad teams is the ability for one to know 'how to win." The Wizards just simply aren't there yet. As Phil Chenier said in my interview with him following the loss to Sacramento, "I think we still fail to put our foot on the throat of opponents." I guess if I had to follow up on that and point out the biggest problem that leads to this team's inability to close out games… I'd say it's because they begin to panic when they fall behind in the 3rd quarter. Once they get behind by 7+ points, the ball stops moving, the offense never gets set, and before you know it Chris Singleton (previously Andray Blatche) or Rashard Lewis are putting up 25 foot jump shots with the shot clock winding down.