What Happened to the Wizards?

NBA: Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns

1 for 18 from the field, 8 total points, and disastrous defense. This was the Washington Wizards’ third quarter Sunday night against the league-leading Golden State Warriors. Coming in as their third straight loss, the Wizards’ woes show no sign of stopping. Since late January, the Wizards once promising season has taken the darkest of turns. A team that was once 17 games above .500 now finds itself at 40-31 and desperately searching for their identity. In a weak Eastern Conference, this is still good enough for 5th place. However if you’ve watched the Wizards as of late, they’re playing like anything but an above .500 team.

It’s like everything up until the month of February was a complete tease. The perfect nightmare. Seeing everything your team can be and then boom; everything come crashing down. Watching Steph Curry toy with their team twice over the last month, Wizards fans are reminded that their team could have drafted that very player. But no, the team decided to trade that fifth overall pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye who would both be gone within the next year and a half. The ultimate tease for any sports fan. What could have been. The all too repetitive story of the Washington Wizards organization.

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The issues start at the top. Head coach Randy Wittman and GM Ernie Grunfeld should have been gone before this season. It’s for this reason that I had hoped the Wizards would be swept in the first round by the Chicago Bulls last season. But no. A first round win, and a strong showing against the Indiana Pacers allowed for both Wittman and Grunfeld to stay. Because why? They’re doing their job. You saw the Wiz, they looked great in the playoffs! If the Wizards were swept first round, the necessary changes are made and the Washington hierarchy gets its much-needed makeover. Instead, Wittman and his lack of adjusting, and Grunfeld’s questionable acquisitions, along with his disgusting mustache, get to hang around a little longer.

Wittman refuses to change his style. He’s like the youth league coach who only had one play on his clipboard so he wouldn’t run anything else. As much as Wittman loves the post game, that can’t work with guys like Marcin Gortat and Nene. Posting up is not their game. But hell, you know what Randy, let’s beat that gameplan until its dead. How about excessive dribble handoffs to set up 17ft jumpers? Yeah, he’s got plenty of those too. When your team has potentially one of the best backcourts in the game with John Wall and Bradley Beal, there’s no reason for your offense to look this bad. At some point, good ole Randy’s going to have to change.

Grunfeld’s past moves are now showing their real impact. Short term thoughts become poor long-term realities. These unfortunate realities are now hitting this team all at once. It’s really too bad. This is a team with some great players and a promising lineup that is being brought down by a large combination of the Washington Wizards past errors that have turned to present problems. Who knows what the remainder of the season holds for this puzzling team. Maybe a late push, or maybe they fold. Whatever it may be, the change needs to happen at some point soon. If the Wiz find themselves in a great first round matchup and manage to get by, these changes will remain a far thing of the future and that’s something no Wizards fan wants. When the changes are made, the future becomes bright. But for now, the frustration continues.

If only Gilbert was still around. Agent Zero forever.

gil

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