John Wall and the Washington Wizards won’t blow up until they blow themselves up.
Now, the phrase blow up has two meanings…obviously. Washington is so young, talented and athletic that many predicted that they’d break out this season. The Wizards won’t be able to break out, though, until they light the TNT exploding their roster to rebuild around Wall.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post reported that Wall isn’t a happy camper out in the nation’s capital. After starting the season on a six-game losing streak and being closer to contending for the No. 1 pick than a playoff spot, such frustration is understandable. Wall, though, isn’t pointing his fingers at the sky saying that things will improve with time, but at his teammates…
“It’s like everybody blanks out. Everybody going for their own. And we don’t have anybody on our team that can just go get his own bucket whenever. You see everybody being selfish on the offensive end and on the defensive end, we’re not trusting each other. If we don’t find a way to play together and win games, it could get ugly this whole season.”
Wall is 100 percent correct. Scan up and down the Wizards roster and you’ll see a multitude of offensive-minded players. Now, the former Kentucky Wildcat didn’t name names, but one could take an educated guess that Nick Young and Andray Blatche were the two bouncing around inside his skull when he complained to the media.
Young is shooting an abysmal 37.3 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from downtown. Blatche is averaging a field-goal percentage of 37.5, an efficiency that’s a complete joke for a power forward.
Of course, Rashard Lewis and Jordan Crawford deserve no praise either. Lewis is shooting 37.3 percent from the field and 25.0 from beyond the arc, while Crawford is averaging a field-goal percentage of 34.4 and 19.0 from three-point land.
All four of those players possess talent, but those numbers back up the shoot-first, think-later mentality Wall talked about. Washington must rebuild their roster around their young core in Wall, Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton. Keeping one quick-trigger in Crawford won’t hurt, but who knows what to do with JaVale McGee?
The decision to keep or trade away McGee may be dependent on whether the Wizards will be in position to snag center Andre Drummond out of UConn in next year’s draft.
Washington is a mess. No quick fix exists for this team, but with so much raw talent sitting around, there is hope for a strong turnaround within the next couple of years.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.