Holy %$@& that was a pathetic effort by the team on Friday!
I can't believe that after a 130 day lock out, an off season condensed into a week, and two-a-day practices, the team got beaten so badly on the night they unveiled their snazzy new uniforms. The uniforms looked great...the players wearing them did not!
As a whole, the starters looked flat and disinterested, making anybody on "Team Nick" looking a lot better than those on "Team Jordan". Overall the offense lacked ball movement, quality shooting, and anything that resembled an offensive philosophy. While defensively the "bigs" failed to rotate, sending the wings flying around the perimeter chasing the open shooter, and leaving far to many "easy" or open shots for the Sixers.
For me it began and ended with John Wall as it should and will, his lack of energy was visible from the moon. I was more then a little disappointed with his effort and somewhat dumbfounded that it took him until the 4th quarter to show some real emotion (although that crossover move on Turner and dunk was nasty!).
Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee looked no different than they've looked in the past. Their rotation on defense was awful and their offense was status quo. Blacthe continues to be extremely frustrating because we see a guy that can do so many good things, but at the same time a guy that just can't get the poop out of his shoes.
There were some positives though....some.
I was very impressed with the rookies and Kevin Seraphin. First, Seraphin looks great! He's lost a lot of weight, but still plays with the same physical tenacity that made him attractive 15-20 lbs heavier. As for the rookies, I think much of the Vesely "panic" was premature and we saw what we thought we'd see when the team drafted him. He's got skills, very smooth, and a lot of bball smarts, but he's got plenty to work on, but it's there...you can see that. Chris Singleton showed his game a little, very quick, very long, and can really get after it on defense. His shooting was off, but often he was forced to take a shot as the clock was winding down. Finally, Shelvin Mack was solid. He got off to a wacky start with a carrying violation, a 3 point play, and a back court violation, but he really led the second unit in the 4th quarter and was at the point when the team was playing their best.
My initial reaction is that it's going to be a LONG season and I'm left wondering where is the offense going to come from? I'm not expecting this team to be very good this year, nor am I expecting much more then around 20 wins this season. The team has a multitude of inefficiencies, but we can all quit worrying if the team gives an effort like that again on Tuesday.
While unique, this off season gives the Wizards exactly what they need next...a rematch with the Sixers and a chance to avenge their embarrassment from Friday. It's the same team, now on their turf, in good ol' Philly. If the same things occur that did Friday, Flip might be the first coach to be fired before the season even begins!
My "5 Things I Need to See on Tuesday":
1. John Wall needs to be "attack/beast mode" from the tip.
2. Andray Blatche needs to take the ball to the rim on offense and MOVE his feet on defense.
3. I'm still looking for JaVale McGee, I'm sick of Pierre!
4. Flip's quick hook. If the "starters" are playing bad, get them off the court...immediately!
5. Pass the ball. It's much harder to make shots if you've got a defender in your grill. Ball movement will create open shots.