Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bulls 112, Wizards 94: At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

Admittedly, I didn’t follow one second of this game in any way. I guess it’s a good thing that happened.

112 points to the Bulls? Are you serious? The same Bulls that scored 72 points against a mediocre Lakers defense earlier this year? Quite simply, that’s about as bad as it gets.

I actually felt there have been times this season where the Wizards were on the verge of turning a corner defensively. Even on their horrendous recent road trip, they had a couple games where they held teams to around 40 percent from the field. These games coincided with horrendous offensive performances, but you had to think the offense would come around.

Now, the Wizards come back and throw up two defensive performances like this? I really don’t get it. Chicago doesn’t have much offensive talent at all. They rely simply on looking for holes to drive and kick outside for open jumpers. They have nobody who can score consistently in the post, and they have nobody (save for Ben Gordon at times) that can consistently break down a defense off the dribble. As a defense, all you really need to do against the Bulls is adhere to the basic defensive fundamentals of contesting shots, moving your feet, and rotating quickly as a unit.

If the Bulls are shooting 60 percent for the first half and 50 percent for the game, then the Wizards screwed up the most basic defensive elements. It seems like any team can get an open shot on this defense if they just make 3 or 4 passes. This would make sense if the Wizards had a ton of slow plodders on their team, but the only person that really fits this description is Antawn Jamison.

The problem then has to be coaching. I’ve usually been an Eddie Jordan supporter because he’s been the guy to take the Wizards to the playoffs the past two years. But this whole situation feels like the Don Nelson situation in Dallas. Nelson was a fantastic coach and did great things to pull Dallas up from the bottom of the Western Conference, but his teams never played defense and only significantly improved once Avery Johnson took his place. Jordan is a great offensive mind, but I'm not sure he’s the type of guy that can get the Wizards better defensively. Just like Don Nelson ultimately wasn’t the guy to take Dallas to the next level, so to is Jordan not the guy for the Wizards.

What this team really needs is a fiery young hotshot who isn’t afraid to get up in the players’ grill. It’s no secret that the two offensive-minded teams that made great strides in the past two years—Seattle in 05 and Dallas last year—had young fiery coaches in Nate McMillan and Avery Johnson. The Wizards could really use a guy like that who can get in the players' faces and let them know that the team isn't playing to their full potential. Many have said the Wizards could use some toughness in their personnel, but it's much more important to get a tough coach than one tough player. This is what the Wizards really need.

Unfortunately, the coaching market isn’t exactly brimming with these types of guys, so we may just have to hope that the Wizards can get back to where they were at last season. Maybe, when this guy retires, he can then take Jordan’s place.

But coaching change or not, the Wizards clearly need a spark from somewhere. Last year, it was giving Caron Butler more playing time. This year, it might have to be firing Eddie Jordan.

By the way, big stuff is happening with the site soon, so I’m looking to incorporate some eyewitness accounts into the recaps. If you are attending any of the Wizards upcoming home or away games, I’d love it for you to send me an account of your experience at the game to put up on the blog. Even if you're writing in a million different places already, it would be really cool to get an actual eyewitness account on this blog somewhere. E-mail me at pradam@brandeis.edu if you’re planning on attending any future games so we can set this up.

(And yes, I realize this is the same thing the guys over at Blazers Edge do, but I think it's really cool thing.)

Do you think a coaching change is the right move here?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah, I second the motion to have Unsilent Majority do a write up as well!

1:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to Arenas, the Wizards are stuck with Eddie Jordan for a long time. In case you forgot, Arenas insisted that Jordan's contract be extended as one of the conditions for Arenas hanging around after his current contract expires. We all know Arenas will hit the road anyway. I never thought Eddie Jordan was a good coach and he leaves plenty to be desired when it comes to teaching defense.

9:54 AM

Blogger zombie squirrels said...

I'm right there with you about needing to change the coach, and the extension EJ was signed to is unfortunate. I thought the team had plateaued as far as what he'd be able to get out of them, but now it even looks like they've regressed. They definitely need someone with a little bit of fire to get them out of their comfort zone and shake things up.

11:39 AM


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