The poll on the main page surprised me. I thought more people would be panicking. Maybe I've had too much coffee today. Maybe my knees are knocking a bit too easily. And maybe, just maybe, I shouldn't be panicking after just 3 games. But listen to me Wiz fans: the writing's on the wall and the words aren't pretty. This 07-08 team is in a bad way from the get-go, and there's no cavalry riding to the rescue.
Here are my 4 reasons why this season's gonna tank:
- Gilbert's knee isn't holding up. He's had it drained twice in the past 3 weeks, and he's still saying it's stiff. Does anyone remember his first year here when he tore an abdominal muscle, tried to come back too early, and ended up missing half the season? Even when he did play, he was a shell of his healthy self. I think we're seeing history repeat itself. Gil's gonna try and push through and end up REALLY hurting his knee. Without a healthy Gilbert, this team is Caron Butler and a bunch of schucksters.
- The whole continuity theme of this past offseason obviously didn't pan out. If it had worked, we wouldn't be 0-3. The 3 teams we've lost to all had major shake-ups recently (Indiana w/ the Golden State trade, Boston acquiring their big 3, and Orlando signing Rashard Lewis), and all 3 have shot out of the gate.
- This weak team somehow managed to get weaker. Ever since EJ started coaching us, our problem has been rebounding and defense. Even that one glorious ear when L. Hughes led the league in steals, we still played pathetic D because our big guys weren't very big. Things have done nothing but deteriorate since then. Big whup that Brendan's having a career 3-game stretch. Nobody else is doing anything, and for every block and rebound Brendan gets, there are 5 other trips down the floor when the opposing team scores easily.
- The best case ceiling for this team keeps getting lower. 3 years ago, we beat the short-handed Bulls to make the 2nd round. 2 years ago, we gave Cleveland all they could handle before the refs handed the series to Cleveland in round 1. Last year, Cleveland swatted us like an annoying gnat, but we had the excuse that our 2 best players were hurt. Now look at us: Going back to April 1 of last year, we're 3 - 18 (including playoffs). Say the optimists turn out to be right and the Wiz turn it around to make the playoffs this year. Is there any fear in the eyes of Cleveland, Boston, or Detroit at the prospect of playing us in round 1? Say, thanks to the Southeast's incompetence, the Wiz muster enough wins to win the division. I still don't see us being higher than a 4 seed, and even then we probably wouldn't have home court against the 5 seed (someone from the mix of Orlando, New Jersey, and Chicago is my guess). Should our organization's best case scenario be to eek out a division title in the NBA's JV division and whimper from the playoffs in round 1? I'd rather play for added ping-pong balls in the Derrick Rose sweepstakes.