Editor's Note: From the FanPosts. Interesting thoughts from a newcomer. Welcome to the community, Dr. Spgs! -Mike
I've been a big reader and fan of this website for a while. Props to Jake and Prada (and everyone else associated with this site) for your hard work. I vastly prefer the comments posted here to WaPo Wiz Insider b/c people understand how to respectfully argue points without posts becoming personalized and inappropriate. Allow me to join the fray now with a suggestion about who should be on the floor in the 4th quarter for the Wizards.
C - Haywood
PF - Blatche
SF - Jamison
SG - Butler *
PG - Arenas
I discuss this lineup after the jump below...
After watching last night's game against the Celtics, I believe that this team needs Blatche on the floor at the end of games... but at the 4, not the 5. With his long arms and ability to stretch the floor, Blatche improves our rebounding and offensive capabilities at the end of the game. But it is essential to have Haywood on the floor manning the paint because of the defensive presence he brings. Furthermore, Blatche seems more comfortable at the 4 instead of the 5. And I've always liked having Haywood and Blatche on the floor together at the same time. They play well together.
As for the rest of the lineup, Jamison is much more valuable at the 3, rather than the 4. Yes, he is a good rebounder, but he plays "soft", e.g. using finesse to get his boards and points. Putting him at the 3 allows him to utilize his size advantage in matchups. More importantly, with that size advantage, it encourages him to exploit it in the paint, rather than on the baseline. I don't know about anyone else, but I cringe everytime he jacks a 3 pointer up. It is such a low percentage shot (especially for him), takes the team out of its offensive flow, and puts them at a disadvantage for defending fastbreaks on the other end. I cannot understand how a smart player such as Jamison can be so dumb in this one component of the game.
I asterisked Butler's name at SG, because I think this is the most flexible part of the lineup. I would suggest continuing to play him in the clutch, but keeping someone else as an option should he continue to struggle. Miller might be an option here when he returns (he really needs to be on the floor when he's healthy). While Butler is slower than many 2's, like Jamison he might be able to utilize his size advantage in matchups. It also might help him - finally - be encouraged to catch and shoot when he gets the ball on the perimeter.
Last, but not least, Arenas. There have been a lot of doubts and questions about him. I'm actually optimistic. I don't know if he can ever become the player he once was, but I think he is really getting his game back. He's a little slower than before, and doesn't have the same hops... but, he's still got a wicked crossover, drives to the hole with the best of them and is getting back his 3-point shot (now maybe he can work on the free throws). I don't know about you, but that's a guy I want on the floor at the end of the game. Yes, he is a shoot-first PG, but he's shown me enough in the assist dept. to make me believe that he will be able to find his teammates when he needs to.
People may wonder about where Boykins fits in. I'm glad we signed him, and he has definitely helped us eke out a couple of wins thus far. In my mind, he definitely has a place on this team. But should he be on the floor in the pivotal moments? I don't think so. On the defensive end, his size makes him a liability. The longer he has played for us, the more other teams have remembered how to play against him. Rondo just killed him when they were matched up. I agree with others that his speed and smarts for the game are major assets that we need. But it feels like the rest of the team just stands around watching him dribble at times. It seems like the team is often out of flow when he is in there. So for that reason, I would suggest playing him for stretches in the 2nd quarter and end of 3rd/beg. of 4th quarters, but keep him out for the stretch runs.
Well, those are my thoughts about a consistent 4th quarter lineup for the Wizards. Looking forward to a great discussion.