Wiz Early Season Report
Three games have come and gone and the Washington Wizards have yet to claim victory. So far this season it has been the same misery that happens to us Wizards fans year in and year out. But this misery actually has some promise and has us doing some wishful thinking to what we can accomplish when we can get our two best players in John Wall and Nene back on the court and have our roster at full strength.
Just imagine games when our fearless point guard at the moment AJ Price ISN’T dribbling around and jacking Gilbert-esque shots all over the place and turning the ball over at the blink on an eye for 30 minutes a game.
Imagine having an actual point guard running our team and another post presence that can make ten foot jump shots and open us some wide open shots for our shooters.
Let’s take a look at 3 things to be excited about for us Wizards fans and 3 things that have us pulling our hair out already one week into the season.
What To Be Excited About
1) This team is fighting until the final buzzer
In previous seasons, the opposing team would go on a run in the second half and would turn a 10 point lead into a 25 point blowout. The three games this years have come down the final minutes and the Wiz have been fighting until the last second is drained off the clock. In all three games this year the Wiz have faced double digit deficits in the second half but have scratched and clawed their way back into games and gave themselves a chance to win each game.
2) Kevin Seraphin
Kevin Seraphin is off to a great start this season. He missed the opener against the Cavs but his two contests against the Celtics have proven that he has really worked on his game in the off-season and looks like a player to be excited about it in DC. Seraphin put up 19 points and 7 rebounds in his debut and followed it up with 16 points and 9 rebounds in the encore contest against the Celtics. When Seraphin is on the court, our shooters get more wide open looks as we can play a more inside-out brand of basketball. With Okafor and Booker, we have no one that can create their own shot on a consistent basis in the low post. With defenses being able to single cover Okafor and Booker, our shooters are constantly covered. With Seraphin, and hopefully Nene as well very soon, we have a consistent post presence that is tough to single cover and open up our perimeter game.
3) Bradley Beal
I know most of you are rolling your eyes as we speak after Beal’s sluggish start, but last night was a little bit of a coming out party. He finally played over 30 minutes and the results of that were much improved over his first two outings. He was able to get in more of a rhythm and started making some shots, playing with confidence, and attacking the rim. Last night also showed that he plays much better with Seraphin on the court to open things up for him. It’s quite ground breaking isn’t it that the team plays its best basketball when its best players are on the court together? Who would have thought? Give Beal a month of two to get his comfort level up and you’ll be pleased with how he is playing. Remember he is a 19 year old rookie starting for a team who doesn’t have their starting point guard. Cut him a little slack. Last night showed signs of his ability in route to his 16 points 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Get excited Wiz fans. He very well could be the Beal Deal.
Why We Are Still Pulling Our Hair Out
1) Getting killed in the 12 most important minutes
I have always had the motto that the 12 most important minutes in an NBA game aren’t just one specific quarter throughout the course of a game. I feel the 12 most important minutes are the opening 4 minutes, the opening 4 minutes of the 2nd half, and the last 4 minutes of the game. If you have been watching the games you know we having betting killed in those 12 minutes of the game. All three contests have been that way and last night was the most evident of all. 4 minutes into the game the score was 11-2 in the Celtics favor. We got outscored 7-4 in the first 4 minutes to start the second half which was just the start of the horrid 3rd quarter in which the Celtics crushed us 29-16. And for this example since we are using last night’s game, the Celtics outscored the Wiz 12-6 in overtime. It’s funny how when we are getting crushed throughout the game we have our “starters” in. I’m lobbying to get Wittman on Monday Night TV.
2) Wittman’s Rotations
I don’t understand why Wittman doesn’t play our best players together a majority of the game. It’s mind boggling to me. I guess that’s one reason why he has a career .329 winning percentage. But why not start Pargo, Beal, Webster, Seraphin, and Okafor? I guess it’s because that would make too much sense. The opening night Cavs game was what really puzzled me. Anderson Varejao had 23 rebounds against us, 12 of which were offensive. For large chunks for the game, we had Jan Vesely matched on that curly haired monster and playing the center position. Yea…. that’s a great idea Wittman. Let’s play a skinny white European player and match him up against one of the toughest rebounders in the game. Genius. If only our boy Herm Edwards could have a talk with Wittman.
3) We haven’t picked up another PG
Ernie Grunfeld needs to pick up the phone and give a call to Shaun Livingston’s agent. He’s on the market and would be an upgrade over Price AND Pargo, and would be a nice back-up once Wall gets back. I can’t understand why there haven’t even been rumblings about us picking someone else up. After the first three games, it’s obvious out biggest weakness right now is the point guard position. Or give Johnny Flynn’s agent a call. He just signed to play overseas but has an out clause if he gets picked up by an NBA team. I’m 150% sure both Flynn and Livingston would be a huge upgrade over our current point guards. Come on Grunfeld, do us one favor!
With all that being said I think we have a good chance to come out of the weekend with a 2-3 record. Friday night the Bucks make a trip to the Phone Booth and Saturday the Wiz travel to Indy to take on the Pacers. Both of these games are winnable conference games that if we play our best players a majority of the game, I feel we have a good chance to win both. Keep the hope up Wizards fans, its only three games into an 82 game season. And let’s just hope we can get a Dagger from our old Buddy Steve this weekend.