Eddie Jordan, It's Not Your Fault
Eddie Jordan led the Wizards to the playoffs each of the past four seasons—the longest postseason streak for a Washington coach since the 1970's. He won more than forty games in four straight years. He was the longest tenured coach in the East. Does this sound like a stat line of a fired coach? I don't think so.
Last year, the Wizards won 43 games without a player scoring over 21.4 points per game, and the leading assist man gained a mere 4.9 per game. More importantly, the Wizards' "Big Three" was actually the big 1.5- All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler missed important games last season.
First, Gilbert Arenas missed 69 games, and benched himself during the playoffs. Second, Caron Butler missed 24 games, which may not seem like much, but he missed these games during the last month of the season.
If Caron had been able to play those last 24 games, maybe the Wizards would have gotten a higher seed, and would not have had to play the dreaded LeBron Cavaliers.
Last, Antwan Jamison was the ironman of the three, and missed only 3 games.
Despite the injuries of 07-08, Eddie Jordan was able to lead the Wizards to a fifth seed in the playoffs. Even more impressive, he did it with Antonio Daniels (?) and Deshawn Stevenson (?) as his backcourt.
Jordan had Brendan Haywood as his center, who averaged a mediocre 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. But, the forward spots were the only strong points for the Wizards, with All-Stars Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison.
This year started out a good one for Eddie Jordan. In September, the Wizards picked up a one-year option to keep Jordan under contract through the 2009-10 season. That, along with the key injuries to Gilbert Arenas and to center Brendan Haywood were reasons Jordan's job was thought to be safe.
Losing Gilbert Arenas especially hurt the Wizards this year because of Arenas's clutch factor. Known for his infamous walk-away game winning three pointers as the buzzer sounds, he would have really helped the Wizards in their first 11 games (1-10).
Six of those losses were separated by fewer than 10 points. If Arenas was available to hit some clutch shots, who knows how the Wizard's season could have started.
I write this article as a frustrated Wizards fan, desperate for answers. Although the 1-10 record is tied for the worst start in franchise history, I just do not see many good reasons to fire Eddie Jordan.
All the reasons I have mentioned in this article to keep Jordan show why he is a good coach. He led an NBA team to a fifth seed in the playoffs without their All-Star floor leader and best player; that was an amazing feat.
Not to mention, Ed Tapscott (taking over as head coach) has little experience. He has never been an NBA Head Coach, and the only coaching job he has ever had was at American University 20 years ago. He was a front office exec. for the Bobcats
Taking a 1-10 injury depleted team away from an experienced, proven NBA coach and handing it to a rookie? Good luck, Wizards.
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