The Washington Wizards played on Christmas day, on prime time television. Not only did the Wizards win but they knocked off the first place team in the east, the Boston Celtics. It was an impressive win, but it’s still just a 1 game win, which puts the Wizards at 19-15 and only the 6th spot in the east. Here are 3 things we’ve learned about the Wizards thus far.
The Wizards NEED John Wall. To no surprise the Wizards win and lose by the play of John Wall. John was recently sidelined with a knee injury in which he received PRP injections. The Wizards went 4-5 without John in the lineup. While yes, Thomas Satoransky played really well during that span, the team just isn’t the same. If this team is going to make any kind of January, February or March run the game has to be put on John’s shoulders. During the span of John’s injury, individual players still played well but there was just a missing piece and that of course was John.
The Wizards STILL play up and down to their competition. I feel like this point is made over and over again, season after season. Until this gets fixed this is the single most concerning part of this team. The Wizards came out today and played like a top seed team. Just 3 days ago this team got crushed by the Nets. A Nets team without Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell and their newly acquired center Jahlil Okafor. The Nets are 12-20 and are not very good, yet their kicked Washington’s butt. I don’t know what it is with this team but they really play down to their competition. There is just no excuse for getting beat by many of these teams that are beating them. Defense is the first thing that comes to mind in these games, then it comes down to execution. The Wizards need to be laser focused now that January is right around the corner and they need to dominate the teams they should dominate or else it’s going to be a long end to the season.
The DC to DC crave should just stop. Demarcus Cousins is a talented player, he may be a top tier player. I don’t see how it would work with (this) Cousins in DC. Cousins is taking on average 19 shots per 36 minutes, where are these shots going to come from in DC? Are you going to ask John, Brad, or Otto to shoot less so Cousins can get his touches? What’s the price you would have to pay for Cousins? I don’t see a way the Wizards can make this trade happen without giving up a key piece such as Otto or Oubre, not to mention a Center, which likely won’t be Mahinmi. The price is too steep for a rest of the season guarantee for someone who consistently hasn’t been on a winning team and who would take shots away from our home grown stars. Not to mention March (Marcin Gortat) is quietly having a decent year. Yes, he gets slammed by fans on twitter but there is something to be said about his chemistry with John Wall in the pick-n-roll/pick-n-pop. It will be interesting to see if Ernie Grunfeld makes a move at the trade deadline but unless it’s going to put the Wizards at the top seed THIS year, then I am out on the move.
Yes, the Wizards are having a mediocre year thus far, but yes, they can still make a deep run. The starting 5 is playing good to great and the bench can finally score and hold their own. The defensive game needs to step up, and John Brad and Otto need to all play like all-stars night in and night out. Let’s go Wiz! #DCFamily