Tonight's blowout loss to Chicago certainly provided plenty of highlight moments. All those blocks by Dominic McGuire, the solid play (again) of Andray Blatche, the double-team splitting of Nick Young, and the 12 points and two blocks from Big Oily all contributed to that. Hey, I got excited too, especially when Taser stuffed Kirk Hinrich. I admit to being impressed by cheap pleasures sometimes.
What probably was missed, however, by the casual fan was all the open shots Chicago had, or all the turnovers, or all the times when people were in the wrong places offensively. The young guys provided tons of highlights, but they provided twice as many mental breakdowns, and a good, disciplined, deep team like Chicago takes advantage of those.
You can justify tonight by saying that Chicago played all their starters, and we didn't, which is a fine way to look at it. There's no doubt that it was true, and there's no doubt that Chicago has perhaps the deepest team in the league (there's almost too much talent there). Still, it's important to note that the problems the rookies had tonight were emblematic of the team as a whole last year. There was too much of an emphasis on making the highlight play defensively (the great block, steal, or whatnot) instead of playing solid on both ends. I'm not suggesting that the Wizards shouldn't totally scrap their streaky nature, but having more stability would definitely be nice.
That's why I love how Eddie let the rookies play through everything. I'm sure he won't do that in the regular season, but it was important for tonight. The old saying of "learning through failure" applies here. Laser, Taser, Blatche, and O-Pec have the talent, they just need the discipline. Even after seeing tonight, I'm optimistic they'll realize it.