So just recently, our budding star Bradley (F#@*ing) Beal has complained about soreness and MRI results will be given tomorrow (pray to your lucky stars that the results are negative), but this looks like the start of a dangerous trend. Now reports are that Beal complained about soreness, so it doesn't sound like a full blown re-injury. At best, he needs some R&R and will be out for at least three weeks. At worse, well......(see: Derrick Rose). Despite the Wizards proactive response in getting Beal checked immediately, he isn't and shouldn't be the only Wizard that is feeling fatigued.
According to ESPN.com here are the average minutes played by our starters(Webster/Ariza included):
-Wall: 37.8 MPG
-Beal: 40.2 MPG
-Ariza: 35.1 MPG
-Webster: 31.4 MPG
-Nene: 32.5 MPG
-Gortat: 33.5 MPG
This is disturbing considering that all of these startersexcept Ariza & Gortat has suffered an injury. As fans we know what this team is without Wall. With Nene being made of glass, I'm surprised he playing 35+ minutes. So what gives? For those who made the snap judgement and pointed the finger at Wittman consider three things:
1) Turn it toward's Grunfeld's direction as I feel some fans are happy and willing to do at this point.
2) bad luck
3) scoring (or lack there of).
Wittman is playing with what he has been given. As of the last game played against the Knicks: Of the 15 players on the roster, 2 that were inactive were injured (Porter & Singleton, -2 SF). Of the 13 that were active, 2 players were also out for injury (Ariza(SF), Harrington(PF)). Now down to the 11 players that were healthy and active, only EIGHT played(Seraphin, Booker(PF) and Rice(SG)).
So in total we lost 3 SF to injury and three PF to either injury or incompetence( When Jan is playing more minutes with the raw playing skills he has, criticism is warranted). I would like for Rice to see more minutes but the game was competitive and it probably wouldn't be the best scenario for your 2nd rd rookie to get his feet wet.
Grunfeld gets the blame for the lack of frontcourt depth we have (I'm considering frontcourt as PF and C as SF is seen more as wing players and associated more with the guards. When Gordon Hayward and Paul George are considered SG, you know times have changed, but I digress). Seraphin, Booker and Vesely has proven to be a motley crew of wasted picks and talent. While we are trying to reconstruct Jan to play more of a PF/C than SF(better fit IMO), its hard to see how we can get 20 pts from these three. We knew Harrington's knee issue would be a problem(staph is a real motherf@%#er) but it's also age(just for kicks, I want to see an ESPN listing of Harrington saying: DNP-Too old)
As for backcourt depth, it's mainly bad luck. Although, you blame Grunfield for the long line of failures at backup PG. Losing 3 SF to injury is really bad luck (I'm mad at Ariza for taking his sweet time to get back into the lineup). If we even had 1 SF back, then we could at least had a 4 man SG/SF rotation (Ariza, Beal, Temple, Webster) which would help with the minute payload.
But the other issue when the bench players reutrn from injury is scoring. A bench should at least score around 20-25 pts per game but with backups like Maynor, Temple and Vesely, it's hard to get 10 points from them. Even if Seraphin, Booker and Singleton comes back, that still doesn't guarantee 20 pts a game from this crew. This is why the injury to Ariza and Harrington hurts badly (still weird associating Ariza with offense). Ariza has discovered the 3 pointer(Shane Battier-style) and Harrington is known to be an effective scorer when healthy, but where is the consistent interior scoring?
This is a team built to win now with short and long term pieces. Dependability at this point is a virtue(which could be the reason why Ariza won't be traded). Wittman, for the sake of his coaching tenure, wants to win and keep the team healthy. It's hard to keep a healthy and relaxed lineup when 4 players are injured and 2 players are not reliable enough to see the court (I'm giving Rice some slack as a rookie in his first month, still raw but he can be effective).
As Wizards fans we know winning doesn't come easy and these last couple of wins have been a battle. So let's hope for a full and (hopefully) quick recovery from Beal as reinforcements will be coming. The East is as wide open as the Grand Caynyon. Toronto is a 4th seed and Charlotte is the 5th seed with 7-7 record(as of today before the games were played).
So in spite of the bad news, let's keep our heads up and keep fighting. Nothing good and worthwhile comes easy.
P.S: First Fanpost here, how did I do and just to lighten the mood, here's a song: http://youtu.be/D98W8zzCVYM(for the record, I knew about Saadiq before the LeBron commercial).