I completely overrated this team coming into the season and right now I can’t believe I actually thought this franchise was heading in the right direction. Losers in nine of their last ten games, Washington’s bleak playoff hopes have been all but dashed – in December. The roster has some talent, but it doesn’t seem like anyone knows what direction the team is heading. There are concerns with the players, coaching staff and front office - and the Wizards need to use the rest of the season to try to answer a myriad of questions.
Starting with the roster, John Wall was a pleasant surprise after winning the lottery, but numerous leg injuries have cost the rookie multiple games and stunted his development. Fellow rookies Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Hamaday Ndiaye have barely made an impact but it is still a mystery as to whether they will realistically help this team in the future. Andray Blatche has regressed offensively, settling for too many jump shots and not using his big body to bang in the paint. Gilbert Arenas is obviously not a future component on this team and the Wiz have to hope they can find a partner, or partners, at the trading deadline so they can go full speed with their rebuilding project. Yi Jianlian has been injured and inconsistent, although he seems to be a nice bench option. Hilton Armstrong hasn’t done much with his opportunities, while Kirk Hinrich has been put in a tough spot having to perform so many roles. Despite this, he has responded admirably. JaVale McGee is a rebounding and shot-blocking beast, but his offensive game is basically dunking. McGee must work on developing a hook shot and find confidence in a few post moves to really be a true force on the low block. Al Thornton has proved this year he is a role player and not a starter, while Josh Howard has been injured all season. Nick Young has been a bright spot for Washington and is a leading candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. A notoriously streaky scorer, Young has been incredibly consistent since seeing his playing time increase on November 13th against Chicago, scoring double figures in 12 of 15 games.
Flip Saunders and his coaching staff must be on the chopping block after another losing season which hasn’t shown there is much light at the end of the tunnel. A young, up-and-coming teacher is what this franchise needs, not another retread coach. I don’t know who the Wizards would specifically target, but someone in the Lawrence Frank/Scott Brooks/Erik Spoelstra mold would be the direction I would take. This team has a new owner, a new face of the franchise, and now they need a new coach to lead them into the next decade. It is obvious this team stinks out loud, but this is a pivotal season for the Wizards franchise if they don’t want to be a laughingstock for the foreseeable future.
About the Author
Written by Robert Bode
A sports die-hard through and through. I grew up playing almost every sport possible, and to this day I try to stay as active as possible. However, since I'm not a professional athlete, talking and writing about sports is the next best thing. A University of Florida graduate but living in my hometown of Washington D.C. (well Northern Virginia), my favorite teams are the Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Real Madrid, good up-tempo NBA teams (so not the Knicks), and Washington Capitals.