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#SoWizards podcast: Are the Wizards blowing it with Coulibaly?

Also: what’s up with the coaching and Corey Kispert’s drive game

Brooklyn Nets v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards rookie Bilal Coulibaly
Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

In this episode, I’m joined by ⁠Bullets Forever’s⁠ ⁠Osman Baig⁠ to discuss the state of the Wizards. As I wrote in my ⁠big picture check-up⁠ on January 3, they’re still bad.

Oz and I drilled into concerns about how the Wizards are managing the development of French rookie Bilal Coulibaly. Suffice to say, we have concerns, specifically about his lack of involvement in the team’s offense.

As we discussed during the podcast, of the team’s 11 rotation players, Coulibaly is 11th in per minute touches. In other words, he gets the ball less frequently than any other player in the rotation.

We also delved into the team’s odd focus on forcing turnovers defensively. Reportedly, this is because the front office, coaches, and analytics staff believe this is because it emphasizes being in the right place defensively. I tried — and failed — to recreate their work on this.

Emphasizing turnovers seems to be off the mark. If you want to defend well in the NBA, make the other team miss, and then get the defensive rebound. Turnovers are good, of course, but a) there isn’t much differentiation between teams in the ability to force turnovers, and b) they’re relatively rare.

So far this season, the league’s turnover rate is 12.2%. That means, offenses get a shot or free throws on 87.8% of possessions. It’s improbable that a team can be good on defense by focusing on turnovers.

Last, we talked about Corey Kispert and driving to the basket — and I pull a 180 on Oz. Earlier in the season, I’d griped about Kispert turning down threes in favor of driving. In our conversation, I go through the numbers that changed my mind.

Listen by clicking here or using the embed below.