Looking ahead at the first of two epic match-ups between the Bobcats and the Wizards, I took the opportunity to interview Kyle Weidie of the fantastic TruthAboutIt.net a phenomenally entertaining Washington Wizards blog.
Below are his thoughts on the Wizards.
Ziggy: What was the main reason Flip Saunders was fired?
Kyle: When major change must happen else the franchise finds itself going in reverse (a case could be made that Washington’s already in that state), the coach is the first who’s gotta go. Why? Because he’s the easiest to get rid of (GMs come with more tentacles and players, not a chance). The Wizards curiously did retain the rest of Flip’s staff, promoting top assistant Randy Wittman, perhaps to save money. One thing that’s widely believed is that this is not a solution to the problem, far from it. Washington needs more change, you just gotta wonder who’s next.
Ziggy: How many seasons away is John Wall from performing at an All-Star level? What does he need to improve on in order to take that next step?
Kyle: It will be predicated on the Wizards’ ability to win. Seeing as they are likely a 2013 lottery team as well, I’m going to call 2014 for Wall’s first All-Star season… so his fourth year in the league.
Ziggy: 6’11″ Andray Blatche is shooting a horrid 38% from the field. What are the reasons behind Blatche’s poor shooting percentage this season
Kyle: He’s losing confidence by the day. A lot of the shots he’s taking aren’t that bad… I mean, they are open and from a distance where he’s shown the ability to make them. Problem is, he relies on his jump shot too much, and seems almost ashamed to go in the post. Blatche can hit the J, but he really should be a catch-and-shoot player, not the dribble around stuff he pulls. So yea, confidence, and choices. Both are to the point of unrecoverable.
Ziggy: What is your take on Javale McGee? Is he a knucklehead, or is he just misunderstood by the media?
Kyle: McGee is a knuckhead, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good kid. He just has a lot of growing up to do. It seems evident his mom was grooming him for basketball from day one, a “Little League parent,” the Washington Post’s Mike Wise called Pamela McGee, and entering the NBA after just two seasons at Nevada, JaVale has major issues with maturity. He’s an incomparable athlete, and maybe that causes him to be too into himself, but you hope that he eventually grows as a basketball player. He’s not untouchable, but I do say the Wizards should keep him and put the right players around him.
Ziggy: What were your expectations for the Wizards entering this season? Did your foresee this type of start?
Kyle: I’m pretty embarrassed to say. At one point I thought they might creep near the 30 win mark if lucky, then after the preseason I bumped myself down to about 21-23 wins, but now? They’ll be lucky to get nine. I just hope all of this leads to a more significant assessment of the changes owner Ted Leonsis needs to make.