The Good, The Bad, The Ugly for Coach WUJ

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly for coach WUJ

The Good

Kristaps Porzingis: Kendrick Perkins thought that KP could be out of the league after his last season with Dallas and his first season with Washington. KP was the first European player who was given the reigns of a marque franchise out of the gate. He met the pressure in New York. Injuries and a trade demand side lined him to Dallas, where he struggled. He came to Washington, and we didn’t know what we were going to get. Coaching staff believed in him, and he has had the best season of his career under WUJ. WUJ and his staff unlocked KP. Gave him freedom to launch from 3-point range, he has produced down on the post, he blocks, he rebounds (defensively) and defends. KP is a tier 2 center. Tier 1 is Giannis, Embiid, Davis, and Jokic. Tier 2: KP and KAT. Depending on how you rank KAT, KP is either a top 5 or top 6 big in the NBA. And WUJ is responsible for finding what it took to unlock that talent that had always been there.

Kuzma: Another potential throw away. Kuzma never had a chance to flourish and blossom like his other draftee teammates in Ball and Ingram. But he has under WUJ. Having the best basketball of his career, winning over new fans all around the league, and coming up in clutch moments. WUJ and staff let the fire of his confidence continue to burn and it has flourished into an awesome sight. I credit WUJ and staff for giving him the room to discover his game and impact winning. I also credit Beal, because more than anything, Beal had to cosign that. KP was expected, I don’t think anyone expected this from Kuz except Kuz. He made a lot of us believers now (with still plenty of detractors).

Kispert: If I were coaching or if I were the GM, I would have traded Kispert for a defensive 3&D wing. Would have had to be a package of players to get what I wanted, like a Josh Richardson or someone like that. I knew Kispert would have blossomed into something incredible, all the signs were there. And I thought year 3 would be the critical turning point for him. But this man has arrived early. The one we were told we were going to have on draft night, the cutting wing who is a sharpshooter. That man has arrived after the ASG. His defense isn’t great. He needs a lot of work there, but he has value, and lots of it, and he will continue to improve. I hope that his defensive game comes into form with his offense. We could be looking at a Klay Thompson like player, as opposed to just a bigger JJ Reddick. The difference between a star starter and a quality role player. Not sure how it will go for him, but he’s already proven that the minutes he’s been given has paid developmental dividends and has been well worth it. I wouldn’t have had the patience, that’s why fans don’t coach.

The Bad

Bradley Beal: I don’t know if it’s Brad trying to adjust to his new teammates or if the system isn’t the best fit. It’s probably both. And that means the system is also to blame, and that’s not good. Beal’s best seasons came under coach Brooks. Bradley Beal is a career PER of 18.4, but under Brooks his two best seasons were 2019-20 with a 23.2 PER and 2020-21 with a 22.7 PER. Since WUJ took over, his first year fell below his career average, at a 17.5 PER and he is now averaging a 20.0 PER to date (3/12/2023). His last two years under Brooks he had a usage rate of 34.4% and 34.1%. Under WUJ it’s been 30.8% and 29.3%. That comes with having better teammates, but a drop off in usage should spell better efficiency, and that hasn’t been the case. On a per 36-minute basis he Is scoring 7 points less per 36 minutes, but his assist and turnovers are about the same under WUJ as they were his last 2 years with Brooks.

Player utilization: I’m glad WUJ moved KP to the starting PF and Gaff to the starting C, but it took too long. I’m sure politics and player buyin played a role, but it took too long to get there, and it cost games. Goodwin is the first- or second-best perimeter defensive player on the team. He needs more minutes, period. I argued his minutes should have been swapped for Kispert. I would have been wrong; Kispert’s development has been phenomenal. But you got to find a way to get that man more minutes.

The Ugly

Last year we finished 12th in the league, 35-47. This year if we are out of the playoffs, with this roster and this money committed, I don’t see how you can continue with WUJ and staff. We are the 10th most expensive team in the league this year. Too much money is on the line for this type of performance and to not make the playoffs. After the ASG I felt like this team could legitimately make the playoffs as a 6-8 seed and win a potential playin game. 6 was the ceiling if NYK lost some games and we won some tough ones. Of course, NYK won games they should have lost, we lost games we should have won. The Wizards feel like a playin team at this point, and that’s if we’re lucky. I think if we’re a playin team, ranked 9-10, WUJ’s seat gets warm next season. If we’re not even in the playin, I don’t see how you keep him. And I don’t see how you don’t consider options for Beal, with a potential trigger pull before the trade deadline next season.

From this fan’s perspective, I think with all the good WUJ has brought to this team, I hope he can find a way to stay. The best way to do that are the games right in front of this team and coaching staff. This is a win centric league, and with the Ugly of record and the bad of a drop off in Brad’s production, I think the coaching staff gets cut before they part ways with Brad. The good news is that there doesn’t seem to be any serious friction between staff and players. And if there is, great job on their collective parts for keeping it in house.

This is my two cents for what’s turning into a disappointing season. A winning product in this city produces topflight revenue. But the Wiz don’t have a winning product right now and that’s not great to see. There’s still hope, there are games left to be played, but it’s getting rough out there.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.