I have to admit, I like to read Charley Rosen's work as he occasionally has some good insights. But his latest assessment of the Wizards has me scratching my head:
Strengths: Gilbert Arenas' genius for scoring.
Mike Miller is a spot shooter deluxe.
Randy Foye is a solid all-around performer on offense.
In Nick Young, a blossoming star.
The continued potential of Andray Blatche.
Flip Saunder's zone defenses that look like man-to-man alignments, as well as his multiple offenses.
Weaknesses: Arenas, Butler, Miller, Foye, Young and Blatche all need lots of ball time to be effective.
Not enough defense.
Not enough willing role players.
Brendan Haywood and Blatche are career underachievers.
I'm pretty much on board with his take on the team's strengths, even though I'm surprised that Haywood isn't mentioned at all (it's universally known that his absence last season contributed to the 19-win season).
As for the weaknesses, his analysis just comes off as, well, lazy. "Scorers need the ball?" Really? How unique an issue for a basketball team! Then there's the "defense" comment, as if the franchise hasn't heard this the 90's. Calling Blatche and underachiever is arguable, but Haywood? How so?
But the thing that gets me is Rosen's comment of the team "not [having] enough willing role players." So does this mean the team has role players who don't want to be role players? How does this explain Oberto, or McGuire or Stevenson? Team-decimating injuries aside, those guys have done nothing but "play roles." Oberto is set to be the front-court muscle. McGuire is the defensive stopper. Stevenson is also a defensive player who can hit an open-shot.
Perhaps I've missed something, but I haven't read anything hinting that these guys (or any guys on the roster, for that matter) has any objection to playing a role (we've all seen how Arenas has adapted to being more of a PG).
But this type of "analysis" tells another story: that the Wizards are not just fighting against 29 other teams, but against the public perception that a few new players, a new coach and a return of their star player does not equate to post-season success. While I don't see them as world-beaters yet, I know this squad is bringing more to the table than, "We'll just outscore them, then we'll win!"