Interim Head Coach Randy Wittman has, at the very least, made the Wizards a more competitive team; or was that the injury to Andray Blatche that has him out 3-5 weeks?
Since Flip Saunders dismissal four games ago the Wizards are .500 (2-2). Since Blatche’s injury, younger,and hungrier players are in the lineup and making an impact. Jan Vesely has had interesting stat lines, piling up steals and blocks as he learns the game. Trevor Booker provides the spark he always has while playing sound defense. It’s this young core of the Wizards that needs to develop and it’s in these games, meaningless to some, that they’ll learn how to play at the NBA level.
John Wall has improved on his shaky start to the season, becoming a triple-double threat every night. Needless to say that’s a rare thing in the NBA. With him running the show and improving every night, the Wiz’s future actually looks bright. Watching Derrick Rose torch Wall for 35 points on Monday wasn’t necessarily fun as a Wizards fan, but Wall needs to get knocked around some to improve.
Obviously it’s looking like another lottery season, another year of missing the playoff’s, but there is some hope. In Wall we have a building block, a guy who should improve into one of the best point guards in the East, possibly the entire NBA. Now we need to put better more mature pieces around him.
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again for good measure. Andray Blatche needs to go. His attitude and work ethic are not conducive to a winning basketball team. Although his trade value has plummeted this season, I’d be inclined to trade him for a bag of nickles if the opportunity arose.
Building a winning basketball team isn’t easy just ask GM Ernie Grunfeld. What is easy, at least at this point, is recognizing the right guys you want to build around. Is Blatche one of those guys? Is JaVale McGee? That’s still up for debate. What isn’t debatable is how important John Wall’s development is to the future of this organization. If we swing and miss with another #1 overall selection (what’s up Kwame Brown?) it’ll set the franchise back another decade.
Now is the time to look at what you have and make long-term decisions. Do we overpay for McGee this summer? Should we? If Grunfeld is still the GM come free agency our only hope is he makes the right decisions for once, otherwise Wall will be leaving when his contract is up.
The Wiz will visit the struggling Magic in Orlando tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 1st) then travel to Toronto Friday to play the surprisingly surging Raptors and then they’ll return home to face ‘Lob City’, the Clippers.
About the Author
Written by Frank Sullivan
Frank is a graduate of Old Dominion University, sports fan, author, and founder of TheBloosh.com. He's been working with prosportsblogging.com since April 2011, and has covered the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Ravens, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, and the Washington Wizards. Frank can be reached @franksullivan on twitter.