What's up with the Wizards?
I spoke to Thomas Pruitt of Bullets Forever and here's what he had to say:
The 1 - 12 Wizards have been bad this year. Really bad, in fact. However, they're not as awful as you might think. What was already a weak offense under the best of circumstances became almost historically bad when the only two guys who could consistently make plays with the ball (Nene and John Wall) came down with injuries. The team's supporting cast is actually solid when all they're expected to do is hit open shots, but without a strong playmaker to set them up, no one can play to their strengths as spot up shooters or finishers around the basket. It's not a perfect 1 : 1 comparison, but the Wizards' offense is bad in the way that the pre-Linsanity Knicks were when Shumpert was trying to play point guard, only without Amare, Melo, or Chandler.
Defensively, though, Washington's been a lot better than advertised. The team is 14th in the league in defensive rating and was in the top ten before San Antonio humiliated them earlier this week. Largely, this has been a result of the team's length and quickness. Players like Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton (who you'll probably see on Carmelo tonight), and even Shaun Livingston are really good at using their Inspector Gadget-like arms to deflect passes and shots. Meanwhile, all of the big men are fairly quick laterally, especially Nene and Kevin Seraphin. The team's main weakness at this point is the lack of a true rim protector - while the team blocks a lot of shots, the undersized bigs need to jump to do it, leaving them out of position around the basket and allowing way too many offensive rebounds. Chandler and Melo should have a field day on the boards as a result.
Bradley Beal and Singleton are two players who should be worth watching. Singleton was drafted to be a defensive stopper, sort of similar to James Posey, and has played really well this year. In a story that might sound familiar to Knicks fans, Singleton was considered a small forward coming out of college but, due to his poor ball skills and the league's lack of traditional post up power forwards, is a much better player at power forward. He's also shown a much-improved perimeter stroke this year, both inside and outside of the three point line.
As far as Beal, he's been bad as a rookie, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. Basically, he's been about as expected when it comes to every part of basketball other than making long twos and threes. More likely than not, his problem is a lack of confidence which has caused him to go cold from the outside and not assert himself as much as he should. He's due to start making shots at some point in the near future, and tonight could be the night he starts to turn things around if J.R. Smith doesn't do a good job of sticking with him when he runs around screens.
Meet the new Wizards!
Trevor Ariza- Trevor just hired an "arm caddy" to accelerate the process of detaching and reattaching different arm extensions for different scenarios. He's only shooting poorly this season because the NBA shot clock doesn't permit Errol enough time to remove Trevor's dribbling arms and attach his shooting arms (any of six pairs, depending on the distance of the shot).
Earl Barron- Since he doesn't get much playing time, Earl busies himself with scouting opposing players through a telescope, then relaying bits of information like "number 10 has beard dandruff" and "if you look really closely through the holes in the jersey you can see number 25's nipples" to the coaching staff.
Bradley Beal- "Brad" is not an acceptable abbreviation of Bradley's first name. In fact, "Bradley" is short for "Bradleyland".
Shaun Livingston- Shaun returned to Washington just to pick up a sweatshirt he'd been meaning to retrieve, but then the Wizards mentioned that they were short in the backcourt, so he stuck around.
Emeka Okafor- Emeka's "pasta salad"-- uncooked penne tossed in a big bowl with some lettuce and French dressing-- was, oddly enough, a hit at the Wizards' potluck dinner.
Martell Webster- Martell agreed to sign with the Wizards because he thought living in Washington D.C. would automatically afford him diplomat status and he could just park his Geo wherever he pleased.
Adventures in Impersonating John Wall on Omegle!
You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: not much, just moping
You: feeling kinda sad
You: well my leg is hurt
You: and my team sucks without me
Stranger: oh dang
Stranger: I remember a long time ago, i was pretty good at football
Stranger: but things got bad
Stranger: i started doing drugs and stuff :/
Stranger: I had so much potential :/
You: sorry to hear it
Stranger: they called me Robo QB
You: well no drugs for me
Stranger: that's good!
You: just a chronic knee ailment
Stranger: I have some pain medication
Stranger: although the last one my doctor prescribed didn't seem to work so well
Stranger: it just make it hard for me to sit and stuff
You: yeah the doctors already got me on some pain meds
Stranger: it's blue and it's really weird
You: i feel like i could play
Stranger: is it like a pro team or something?
You: no more like the generals right now
Stranger: that's cool
Stranger: I wish I could play basket ball:/ too bad I lost my legs
You: wow you lost your legs
You: that really puts my injury in perspective
You: i just have a stress reaction
Stranger: well I hope that heals up real soon so you can help your team!
You: i don't even know how much i can help at this point
You: we're 1-12. probably gonna lose again tonight in ny
Stranger: what league do you play in? if that isn't too personal
Stranger: National Basketball Association?!
You: yeah that one
Stranger: cool! what team do you play for
Stranger: did you play for a university?
You: yeah kentucky
Stranger: TO THE WINDOWWWWWW
You: haha yup
You: thats me
You: unless you were actually suggesting that im lil jon instead of just alluding to my name
Stranger: That's awesome, so how many ppg u got?
You: like i said
You: i'm hurt
Stranger: aw that's too bad, :/ i got my legs blown off so I dont know if I'll ever play again.......
You: yeah that's really rough
You: i feel sorry for you
Stranger: how many games u played in ur career?
You: shit i dunno
You: a lot
Stranger: a full nba season?
You: over 100 definitely
You: yeah i played the whole year last year
Stranger: yea u play in all 82 last season without injury?
You: well 66 because of the lockout
You: but yeah
You: i mean i was hurt sometimes but i played anyway
Your conversational partner has disconnected.
Jim Todd Pep Talk!
hi mr. woodman. coach. yeah coach woodmen. hi. i think we're gonna win tonight. no i didn't talk to any of the players today just like you said. no i didn't put any weird animals like snakes on the court. why would i even do that snakes are my foes. yeah i just left everyone alone like you said. just let the players do what they want and hypnotized the refs. what. yeah hypnotized the refs. what's the problem now. nothing i just hit them on their heads with a log so they fell asleep and then i showed them some red things. well like red socks and a stop sign and i yelled at them while i was doing that. what. i was real mean. well yeah when they wake up they won't remember what happened and then when they start refereeing they'll see these washington rats wearing their stupid red shirts and they'll want to call more fouls on them. i'm just trying to help mr. woods.
I did this thing for the Wizards website (it's going to be a regular feature for them) to preview their match-up with the Knicks. Domingo did not make an appearance.
And now you're ready for Knicks-Wizards!