What is going on BF community? It has been a long time since I have posted on here. The past 10 months have been absolutely crazy for me (welcome to the real world I guess). In sum, given the shortened season, the lockout, and personal/professional issues going on with me, I have pretty much taken this season off. I try to keep up with Prada's twitter, and keep an eye on the standings, but I simply have not been able to follow the WIZ as much as I should. I have only watched 5 games (or so) this season. But the Wiz are still my true love, and cannot wait to hear Phil & Buck for 82 games next season.
Coming into this season, my goal for the Wiz was simple: 1) get significant improvement in the games of JWall, JCrawf, and Javale, 2) significant minutes for Vesely to see what he has to offer, AND 3) lose as many games as possible.
[I know this sounds like revisionist history, but I never cared for AB & NY, and never considered them building blocks. They had been a lost cause for years, and I wasn't expecting anything out of them. Ever.]
Well, Javale is gone, Flip is gone, NY is gone, we got Nene, everyone and their mother loves Trevor Booker, Cartier Martin is back, and Brian Cook once trended on twitter. SO, here are some thoughts regarding the Wiz that I am going to throw out there, and I'd like some feedback from people who have been much more in touch with the team this year.
1) The excessive losing is great. I don't want to start a huge debate on the subject (go to truehoop for that), but the Wiz were going no where this year, so the worst thing possible would be to just-barely miss (or, heaven forbid) actually make the playoffs. As I have been saying for years, if you look at the irrelevance of the Bobcats and Warriors over the past 8 years (save for 2007 Warriors, obviously), it can be directly linked to picking not-quite-high-enough in the lottery (and picking bad players). We currently have the 2nd-best odds at winning the lottery, and can pick no lower than 5th, in a stocked draft. Truehoop can endlessly debate the lottery system, the existence of a "losing culture," the "OKC strategy," and whether tanking actually works, but at the end of the day, I'd rather pick 5th than 12th. Math is math.
2) We can be an elite team with a JWall and JCrawf backcourt. I will need help from those of you more intertwined with the game-to-game development of these two, but I love what we have. Two intense players who care, get along, and want to win. There is no reason for them to not grow to be better than Billups/RipHamilton backcourt. They both still have major flaws, but the intangibles are what I like the most. My question to the community is, has JWall improved his ball-handling? My biggest complaint about him last season was that he dribbled too high and too far away from his body, which led to careless turnovers and really hurt his drives to the basket. Basically, his body moves faster than the ball, and it hurts his ability to finish.
3) The Vesely pick was a mistake. Disclosure, I have barely watched him. But, Prada's tweets the numbers give me an idea. First off, its never a good sign when a rookie begins the season on the DL. Blake Griffen aside, rookies who's bodies breakdown before their first NBA game is a sign of things to come. I get that he is young, unpolished, was never projected as Dirk Nowitzki, and was always viewed as a glue-guy, but we could have gotten better value with that pick. Biyombo, Brandon Knight and Klay Thompson would all have been much better picks (Brandon Knight especially; that locks us up at the guard position for the next 4 seasons).
4) The Nene acquisition was tremendous. Great passer, consistent, solid-D. I know the numbers, but the Wiz cannot be thinking of getting max free-agents at this point. Far too many holes to fill to be thinking of saving cap space at this point.
5) Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin are keepers.
(and I am tired, and wrote much more than I anticipated.) GReat to be back on this site.