Friday, October 12, 2007

Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards season preview

Projected Starting line-up

G Gilbert Arenas
G DeShawn Stevenson
F Caron Butler
F Antawn Jamison
C Etan Thomas

Brandon Haywood
Antonio Daniels
Darius Songaila

Last year
What have you done for me lately? That saying is what might lead you to only remember the Wizards downfall last season as injuries turned the team into the prize match up for who ever the first round opponent would be (in this case it was the Cavs). Both Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas went down with season ending injuries leaving Jamison and remaining crew to try to at least appear like a playoff team instead of a lottery team still playing after the season. Problem is that the Wizards have always been a team with a lack of depth, so the lose of the two main players left no chance for the Wizards to do anything worth while in the first round. What have you done for me lately? Because before the injuries, Washington actually was considered a top team in the east. Who was the coach of the eastern conference all-star team? Remember that the way it works for all-star games is that the top teams in each conference sends their head coach to lead the conference team. Eddie Jordan was the coach of the eastern conference all-stars last season because Washington at one point was the best team in the East. Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler were both on the all-star team as well. And Arenas overall was having a great season, not just stat wise but with his entertaining the crowd antics as well. Sometimes he went overboard (the jersey in Seattle thing) but I could watch his top 10 plays of the year over and over again. Very few people in the history of the game are as deadly with the ball and a few seconds remaining on the clock as he is. Regardless of his play though, and regardless of how well Washington played in the first 2 months, they had major holes that was very easy to see. The depth as I mentioned was extremely thin. Etan Thomas is alright, but Haywood who got just as much time at center was a joke. And the main 3 players from Washington needed each other to play to be successful. When Jamison went down in the middle of the season, the Wizards went 4-8 with Butler and Arenas. With out Butler, Jamison and Arenas went 2 -8. So no matter how well this team had played for stretch's last year, they still were a work in progress.

Lost Jarvis Hayes to free agency
Lost Michael Ruffin to free agency
Lost Calvin Booth to free agency
Re-signed DeShawn Stevenson
Drafted Oleksiy Pecherov
Drafted Nick Young
Resigned Andray Blatche
Resigned Roger Mason

Hmmm, the team has a lack of depth and what do they do for an off-season? Make it even worse. They added nothing this season to help them out, and lost Jarvis Hayes. Michael Ruffin and Calvin Booth. Not that those three were turning any heads, but they could give a few minutes here and there. Now with them gone, what does the Wizards have left to give those 10-15 minutes a game?

What I expect from this team this season is pretty much the same thing we got last year before Arenas and Butler went out. High Power offense with zero defense. A team that can beat anyone and one night and the very next lose to a lottery team. When the Washington offense is on a roll, they are one of the best teams in the league. But no team has a 82 game roll, there are peaks and valleys during the NBA season and what carries the strong teams threw those valleys is depth and defense, the two things Washington does not have. Even in the playoffs where a team has to win 16 times and can play up to 28 games, the Wizards can stay on a roll the whole way? And on top of that, they are similar to the Celtics in which they need there top 3 players to stay healthy. One injury to ether Arenas, Butler or Jamison and Washington suffers in a big way. I just didn't see the necessary improvements in the off-season to expect big things from Washington this upcoming year, and with other teams around the Wizards getting stronger, staying status quo might not even be good enough to get into the playoffs next year. One thing they do have going from them is that Arenas will be playing for money next season, as he is opting out of his contract at the end of the year. Contract seasons generally do lead to higher production.

What to watch for
1) Arenas contract year - We saw how well Arenas played last year, let's see how well he plays when it's for money
2) Defense - Does Washington actually believe that they can win it with such emphasise on offense and a the lack of defense that they showed last year? Contrary to popular opinion, the Suns do play defense.
3) Step up - The East has gotten better. Is Washington going to join the elite of the East, or fall back into the middle tier.

They started great last year when fully healthy, and if they stay healthy this season I do believe they will be a handful for any team. But that lack of defense will get them in the end.

Between 45 and 49 wins this season with a 6th place finish in the East

1 comment:

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Washington Wizards drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Washington good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Wizards team down.

I which I could see some Wizards games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Washington Wizards. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Wizards Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Wizards Go!!!