Washington Wizards: Five Things They Should Do in Order to Compete Again
It's safe to say that the Washington Wizards are pretty much going to end the 2011-12 season the way they started—horribly.
In what can be compared to a sports version of a Comedy of Errors, the Wizards fired head coach Flip Saunders after a horrific start, then brought in Randy Wittman, who's pretty much emulated his former superior.
The Wizards struck luck at the trading deadline when they added some veteran help in exchange for underachieving youth, but even this small amount of experience won't save them now.
Basically, the Wizards need to start thinking ahead, and this is how they should do it.
Don't Retain Randy Wittman
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While I have tremendous respect for Randy Wittman, due to the fact that I seen his son play, I can honestly say that he is not the guy who should be leading the Wizards come next season.
Wittman is strictly an assistant coach who will only serve as a replacement for as long as he's in the NBA.
As far as replacements go, the Wizards should consider looking for somebody who has had experience with leading troubled teams, but who has also had success.
The first guy that pops into my head is PJ Carlesimo, but considering the fact that he's a dictator who emphasizes his point by screaming, I have to say that he would be a mistake.
The next person who could lead the team is Sam Cassell. He is outgoing and feisty, and his attitude would be the shot in the arm this team needs.
Get More Veteran Help
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The Wizards are a team that seems to think that just youth will win games for them. I say that that philosophy is wrong.
Considering the team's three most experienced players right now are Rashard Lewis, Nene and Roger Mason Jr., it's safe to say that this team—while its attempt to gain some leadership is appreciated—has done it the wrong way.
What the Wizards should have done was trade for a natural leader. Had Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen been available, they might have sufficed.
The Clippers are an example of a team that has learned this before it was too late.
Instead of centering the team around Blake Griffin, they went out and traded for a star player with experience (Chris Paul); got a veteran with championship experience (Chauncey Billups); and a veteran who has played on a team with good chemistry (Kenyon Martin).
In short, they are the anti-Wizards.
Get Rid of the Problem Children
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The Wizards actually began this process during the trade deadline when they got rid of class clown JaVale McGee and fame whore Nick Young.
However, they missed a couple of key players: Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis.
Lewis has always had a bit of a problem. He's been suspended for drug use and gotten into confrontations with assistant coaches.
Basically, this guy is a cancer to the team.
The same has to be said for Blatche.
At one time he was a decent lunch-pail player, doing his job and not causing any commotion.
However, since Gilbert Arenas left town and he and John Wall were appointed the leaders, it hasn't been smooth sailing.
any case, the Wizards should get rid of both players and get people who actually care about playing the game.
Realize That John Wall Isn't a Leader...Yet
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It's safe to say that John Wall is a star player, but not a leader.
Since being drafted first overall, Wall has been given the limelight that had once been shined on Gilbert Arenas.
It's safe to say that while Wall is the best player on the team, the fact that he's been thrust into the leader role has not been beneficial to him.
Wall has made several mistakes that people commonly attribute to rookie adjustment problems. Considering his rookie season was last year, Wall does have some excuse, but he shouldn't use that as a crutch.
With Nene now in the picture, it's likely he'll ease some of the pressure off of Wall in the hopes that Wall will be allowed to mature properly.
Learn That the Draft Isn't the Answer to All Problems
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The years of Wizards ineptitude has had many fans hopeful that they will get their next big star immediately in the draft.
Here's a bomb for them: Not all first rounders are stars.
While John Wall has either willingly or unwillingly developed into the star attraction in DC, the Wizards have to stop grooming their rookies as if they're stars.
Jan Vesely is no star, nor is Chris Singleton or Shelvin Mack. The fact that people are treating them as if they are going to singlehandedly bring the team back to its Arenas glory days is sickening.
After the season ends, depending on what pick the team gets in the lottery, the Wizards should consider getting a good player in the draft, but they should also consider developing him slowly.
Kyrie Irving has been developing this way and he's become a star. The same went for Ricky Rubio until he got hurt.
Needless to say, the Wizards do need help but if they do all of these things right, they could find themselves back in the hunt soon.