Back in July, 80% of you voted that Flip Saunders would be an upgrade over the departed Eddie Jordan. While there are several areas that most of you feel that Flip will improve upon, I think most of us would agree that Eddie Jordan has the upper hand when it comes to offensive scheming, thanks to his knowledge of the Princeton offense. While it's a tough offense to master, it's even harder for defenses to stop.
We've seen in the past how Eddie's offense has helped Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries increase their value on the open market and how they were unable to replicate their production outside of the Princeton. Thankfully, the Wizards avoided getting sucked into long term deals with those two, but they're certainly not the only players who have benefited from Jordan's tutelage.
This week, you must decide which player on the roster is going to be hurt the most by moving away from the Princeton offense. Obviously players who were acquired after Eddie was fired (James, Crittenton, Miller, Foye, Oberto) are omitted from the poll, as well as JaVale McGee, since he only played 11 games with Jordan before he was let go. Your choices are below and after the jump you can check out some reasoning behind why each player's statistics could dip without the Jordan coaching the offense.
Gilbert Arenas: Arenas was a star in the making when he signed in Washington back in 2003, but Eddie Jordan is a big part of why Gilbert is the star player he is today. Since the Princeton isn't as reliant on a traditional guard designations, Arenas was free to go back and forth between being a distributor and attacking the basket as a scorer. Only time will tell if shoehorning Arenas into a more traditional point guard will help or hurt his game.
Caron Butler: Tough Juice has gone on record saying that he's a proponent of the Princeton offense. Back in March of 2006, he told Mike Wise:
"A lot of people say, 'Young black kids don't like that offense.' I don't buy that. I think it's all young kids on the playground, period. They want to run and dunk and have that freedom to score. What they don't realize is, once you learn this offense, that freedom goes to another level."
His production since joining Jordan and the Wizards certainly bears that out. Both of his All-Star appearances have come under Jordan and he saw his game steadily improve up until everything went haywire last season. If Flip takes away some of the freedoms that allowed Caron to improve his game, will his play suffer?
Andray Blatche: I'm simply putting him on here because he was here under Jordan regime and he's still a part of the squad. Either he'll improve under Saunders or he'll stay the same. It would be hard for him to play much worse than he did at the start of the season.
Brendan Haywood: They won't be going to a see a movie together anytime soon, but Haywood had arguably his best season in 2007-08 at the same time that many felt Eddie Jordan was doing his best coaching job. You could argue that Haywood's performance was helping Eddie's performance more than the other way around, but you could argue that all of the benchings in previous years were what Haywood needed to finally break out.
Antawn Jamison: One of the keys to a successful Princeton offense is having a low post player that can stretch the defense with an outside shot that opens up passing lanes for back door cuts. Certainly with Jamison, Eddie Jordan found a player that could make his offense effective and make Jamison effective in return. Like Arenas and Butler, Jamison's only All-Star appearances came under Jordan.
Dominic McGuire: McGuire didn't really see his playing time increase until after Jordan left, but perhaps another year in the system would've been what the doctor ordered to get his offense to a level that would make him more than just a defensive spark off the bench.
DeShawn Stevenson: It would be easy to argue that without Jordan, DeShawn Stevenson might not be in the league right now. After struggling to find his place in Utah and Orlando, Stevenson became a starter (albeit at a position where the team lacked depth) and parlayed a successful 2006-07 season into a 4 year, $15 million contract. This will be the year to see if Stevenson was someone who benefited from the Princeton system or was merely a product of it.
Nick Young: Shortly before he was fired, Eddie called Nick "one of our smartest players" and Nick's play during the opening month of the season seem to bear that out. The new coaching staff has helped Nick work on coming off of screens which helped him immensely in summer league action. Still, Nick had an impressive November while Jordan was still at the helm and it makes you wonder what some more time in the Princeton could've done to his game.