Guess I'm getting tired of all of the moaning and groaning about improving our defense. Yes, we play lousy defense. But when I watched the games that we lost, I was always much more frustrated with the offense.
There were major stretches where we couldn't score. While it is often said that the Wizards have major firepower and "can score", if you look closely, you'll see the firepower consists of the Big 3 and the only time any of the others could score was on the fast break. As I watched the losses, I noticed that there were very few 125-121 losses. Instead most were of the 95-89 variety. In other words, it wasn't the defense letting us down, it was the offense.
So I decided to take a look at the numbers and see if this was in fact true. Since the team ended at 41-41, the comparisons between wins and losses was easy. Here it is:
In 41 wins, the Wizards averaged 112.7 points. The opponents averaged 103.4
In 41 losses, the Wizards averaged 96.0 points. The opponents averaged 106.3.
So the difference in points allowed between wins and losses was only 2.9 points per game.
The difference in points scored between wins and losses was a whopping 16.7 points per game.
The defense, such as it was, was consistent. It was the offense that proved to be the determining factor.
Our most successful month was December. Our record was 12-4. Did we play better defense? I'm not sure. I do know that in those 16 games, we gave up 1772 points for an average of 110.75 per game.
Contrast that with April in which we went 3-8. In that month our opponents averaged only 101.2 points per game.
In December, I stayed up until 2 AM on work nights to watch the west coast swing. In April I had no interest in watching the team and couldn't give my tickets away.
We lost the games in which we couldn't score points. If defense truly was the problem, would we have floundered when Jamison went down? Truth is, the drop off in offense was far greater than the improvement on defense . We need more guys who can shoot and more guys who can score. We should not attempt to become the Pistons. Our guys can't play that way and its awful to watch. I'd love to have Lee Humphrey come in and take Roger Mason's spot. His defense probably will be awful. But for 12 minutes a game, he can stand out at the 3 point line and catch passes from Gilbert after a drive or on a break and draiin the 3. I love the idea of Nick Young starting alongside of the big 3, hitting mid range jumpers and finishing on the break. I hope O Pec's jumper is as sweet as they say and that Blatche can clean up all of the garbage underneath while converting a bunch of highlight reel dunks trailing on the fast break. I'd love to have JCN coming off of the bench providing some scoring punch. This is how we'll win games. Not by becoming the Pistons Lite. And it will be a lot more fun.