Why Caron and Antawn can't get it going at the same time

Wizs2_627_medium

(Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

One of the common criticisms that I've heard about the Wizards this year (other than the complaints about their defense, off-season moves, and lack of rebounding) is that last year's two All-Star representatives, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, can't seem to get going on the same night this season. 

Of course, last year their consistency was a big part of why the Wizards were able to survive the absence of Gilbert Arenas and make the trip to New Orleans for the All-Star game.  This year, their numbers are similar to what we saw last year, but it seems like they're taking turns delivering the big numbers on a game to game basis.

So what's been the difference this year?  Look no further than the starting lineup.  Last year, the Wizards trotted out this starting 5 for the majority of their games:

PG: Antonio Daniels
SG:
DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood

There's four legit starters in that lineup and one of the better bench players in the league.  You know where most of the offense is coming from, but there's enough talent there to keep opposing defenses from keying in on them all the time.  Now compare that to this year's starting 5:

PG: Mike James
SG:
Caron Butler
SF: Dominic McGuire
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Andray Blatche

There's only two players in that grouping that should be starting for an NBA team.  No disrespect to James, McGuire, and Blatche but the reality is that at this point in their careers, they should all be bench players.  The only way the Wizards have a chance of winning this season is when the two starting-calibur players have stellar games.  I know that, you know that, the Wizards know that, and most importantly, the teams facing the Wizards know that.

NBA teams aren't stupid.  They know if they're going up against a two-headed monster with little or no support, a good way to stop it is to focus all of your attention on turning it into a one-headed monster.  Average defenses are good enough to take one players out of their game, elite defenses (like Boston who's taken the Wizards behind the woodshed twice this season) can take both guys out of their game, and poor defenses (like Sacramento, Golden State, New York, and New Jersey; teams that the Wizards have beaten this season) typically can't do a good job of stopping either and that's when the Wizards have a chance at winning.

If you're looking for a reason why Caron and Antawn can't get it going consistently, look no further than their supporting cast.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bullets Forever

You must be a member of Bullets Forever to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bullets Forever. You should read them.

Join Bullets Forever

You must be a member of Bullets Forever to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bullets Forever. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker