Ah yes, our seven-man smorgasbord of veterans with faults and unproven youngsters. Depending on who you ask, this unit may or may not need to be consolidated or upgraded, but for the time being, it's what we've got.
And what, exactly, do we have? We have two solid starters, one that's an absolute ace offensively and normally a sieve defensively and one that's awkward offensively and an underrated presence defensively. We have two veterans who are limited, but are trusted by the coach even when they are blocking players who deserve some of their minutes. Then, we have three young guys, all with the potential of being a difference maker, but all projects that need playing time despite being in different stages of their development.
You don't have to be Eddie Jordan to have trouble allocating 96 minutes a game to this group. (Though he's particularly "good" at it).
There are so many trade-offs to consider. Play Etan Thomas for his rebounding...but do so at the expense of Brendan Haywood's defense and (maybe) attitude. Play Darius Songaila for his offensive smarts...but do so at the expense of Andray Blatche's much-needed development. Play Antawn Jamison 40 minutes a night for his essential all-around contributions...but do so at the expense of providing developmental minutes to Blatche, JaVale McGee and Oleksiy Pecherov, projects drafted to eventually replace him.
96 minutes, seven guys, all power forwards or centers. How would you specifically allocate the minutes?
- Last year, only Jamison played more than 20 percent of the team's minutes at a position other than power forward or center. Otherwise, these guys were exclusively playing the 4 or the 5.
- In 2006/07, when Haywood played more than 25 minutes in a game, the Wizards were 18-8.
- According to Basketballvalue.com, Darius Songaila had the second-highest adjusted plus/minus on the team last year, behind only Jamison.
- The highest PER of any reserve on the team last year belonged to Andray Blatche at 15.5. In 2006/07, that honor belonged to Etan Thomas.
- To review: Though Haywood has never posted a higher defensive rebound percentage than Thomas in a year both played, the team's defensive efficiency has always been better with Haywood on the floor instead of Thomas.