I'm late to this, but I'm curious about what everyone here thinks about Eddie Jordan issuing challenges like this to our prodigial son.
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said earlier this week he wants to challenge Blatche to become a defensive stopper. Jordan envisions Blatche defending bigger small forwards like Houston's Tracy McGrady and Cleveland's LeBron James.
I guess I'm just not so sure about this. It seems every time Blatche has defended an elite wing like Paul Pierce or Carmelo Anthony, he's looked awful. Nobody really stops those guys, but Blatche has looked particularly bad doing so. Those have practically been the only times that Blatche has played small forward -- 82games has him logging just 1% of the teams' minutes there in each of the last two seasons.
Now, it's true that this team needs a long, athletic defensive stopper to at least slow down the LeBron James' of the league, but that should be the goal for Dominic McGuire, not Blatche. McGuire's apparently playing incredibly well so far and is starting to earn Eddie Jordan's trust. He's already shown signs of being a solid wing defender, and he has a more prototypical body for the job. Develop Blatche as an inside guy instead.
The other possibility is that, with all the bodies he has up front and the lack of depth at the 3, Eddie is trying to push Blatche to the perimeter to account for Etan Thomas' return. If that's the case, I'm really mad. Sure, the frontcourt is crowded, but Blatche needs a spot in it. For two-thirds of the season last year, he was the teams' best frontcourt reserve, and he's only 22 years old. In the summer league, he was playing the four spot in the offense. He's bulked up over the summer too, and now you're going to tell him to play on the wing? That would really stunt his development, and giving Etan Thomas more playing time is not an acceptable excuse.
I usually don't care so much about position specialization on this team, but the difference between a 3 and a 4 in this system (both offensively and defensively is profound. I want to see Blatche challenged to guard someone like Elton Brand, not someone like Tracy McGrady.