Welcome to my lounge! Let's chat ;-)
I was posed the question the other day on twitter if I liked the direction of the wizards. My knee jerk response was no; only because I have become so accustomed to the organization making asinine decisions in regards to the team. But before I answered, I actually thought about the trades, draft picks, waives, and the use of the amnesty and concluded that I am on board with the Wizards’ new movement. Not that my opinion matters to the organization one way or another, however; it was becoming very monotonous witnessing multiple 20-win seasons coupled with questionable trades and acquisitions and the chants of “wait until next year” to beguile fans into purchasing tickets for the upcoming season. Despite the previous years of trickery, I believe the Wizards organization is actually committed to forming a winning team. Now, please make sure you are reading very carefully. Did I say championship team? No. Did I say eastern conference champions? No, at least not in the next couple of years. I did say that they are moving in a direction that points to 20-win seasons being a trend of the past. How so, you ask? There are 3 major adjustments that caught my attention. The first one being the ability to drop the dead weight. For whatever reason, the Wizards had the worst habit of acquiring players after their shelf lives had expired, resigning players to maximum contracts when it was evident that they could no longer give a maximum performance, and keeping players that possessed so much “potential”, yet had great difficulty meeting regular expectations. Whoever the henchman was that orchestrated the deals, kudos to him. The second modification came in the coaching realm. Let me preface this by saying I have no idea what it takes to coach a bunch megalomaniacs. I have a great amount of respect for them given what they have to endure. Nevertheless, there always seemed to be a disconnect between the players and coach Saunders. I am confident that the players respected his basketball IQ and résumé, but his ability to communicate with them in a manner that could prompt them to execute game plans or hold themselves accountable was sorely lacking. The brash, no non sense personality of Randy Whitman was a breath of fresh air during the truncated season. It’ll be interesting to see if the same holds true for the entire of 2012-2013. The third and final improvement I noticed was in the draft process. Although the Jan Vesely pick initially raised an eyebrow, the overall decision to use their high draft pics instead of trading them away (i.e. 2009 draft) always seems like the better choice to me. Obviously, it is quite easy for me to sit back and critique the moves and motives of an organization because inevitably what I say really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless, being a native Washingtonian, there is a hometown pride that exists. It’s nice to see the commitment to improve. I won’t get too overzealous and start discussing championships, but a playoff berth may not be far-fetched. Your thoughts?