Assessing the Wiz at the end of preseason:
A. What they said before and during camp
1 - Flip said Gilbert is our best player and therefore must be our leader
2 - All the players came to camp in great shape
3 - Butler and others put an emphasis staying healthy to contend for a title
4- Flip said we have lots of weapons and therefore he was going to test various combinations
1 – Gilbert hasn’t been a good leader. Rather, he’s acting like a spoiled 16 year old.
2 – The players are in great shape, but they are rusty (not NBA ready) both individually (with a few notable exceptions) and chemistry-wise as a team.
3 – The team hasn’t been healthy with Crit, Haywood and Jamison experiencing down time.
4 – No rotation has worked particularly well. Not many got a lot of time together to gel.
The Wiz exit pre-season with no momentum, no identity and playing like a .500 team at best.
D. Next steps
1 - be patient. A slow start should be expected. (The previous expectations of a fast-start were probably not justified in hindsight). Do not panic (a la EJ) and overplay Arenas and Butler, etc.
2 - pick the starters and sub rotations and stick with them until AJ returns.
3 - get into Arenas’ head and decide whether he is capable of being a leader.
4 – continue to try to get improvements and consistency from McGee, Blatche and Young, and cut them various levels of slack (McGee the most, Blatche the least).
5 – assess the team’s strengths and weaknesses after 30 games to determine whether a trade is needed