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DaveO

The Washington Wizards (1997-), Formerly The Washington Bullets (1974-1997) and The Capital Bullets (1973-1974)

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On November 20, 2016 at 9:06 AM, farmer john said:

Fire Ernie now.

I think the team, coaches, and everyone associated with them heard you then.  They are a completely surprising 10-6 since that point. 

I'm stunned at the turnaround.

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On 11/20/2016 at 9:06 AM, farmer john said:

Fire Ernie now.

Man:  They are tuned into your comments.  Following that November game the coach changed their style, and the team went on a run 10-6 immediately afterwards.  Then they played a home and home against Milwaukee.  I watched parts of that series.  In game 1 the Bucks simply slaughtered the Wiz in Milwaukee.  The Wiz came back to win a tough game at home, in which the 5 starters averaged 40 minutes/game.  And the Wiz won a close one.   As of the last couple of games one upside on the Wiz attack is they are using and finding Porter more from the 3 pt line and he is connecting.  That adds diversity to the shot attempts from the 3 beyond Beal.

But the amazing thing to see happened in that first Milwaukee game.  The Bucks have an emerging star; an athletic freak...with a very long name but an easier Nickname:  The Greek Freak -- Giannis Antetokounmpo   In the first game he crushed the Wiz, hitting his career high of 39 points, getting rebounds assists and blocking shots.   He is 6 11"/ taller than the Bucks starting center and mobile.  He just crushed the Wiz.   His highlights:  He is tall, mobile and if he isn't a great jumper he is a quick jumper...and then he handles the ball like a guard, and passes.  Watch out for this guy:

 

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On 11/20/2016 at 9:06 AM, farmer john said:

Fire Ernie now.

Shhhh!  Don't let the cat out of the bag.  Don't speak too loudly for fear of a jinx.  This team must consider Ernie as the most endearing lovable essential family member ....... or they fear your wrath.  Since this cry of desperation the Wiz are 24-11 and playing comparable to the better teams in the league.  Holy cr@p.  Who could have seen it?  I didn't.

What a turnaround.  The reserves are still weak and hardly play--in fact the starters are playing more than that of any team but one.  Wall is better as is Beal who (shhhh- not too loud) hasn't taken a signicant injury.  Morris is significantly better and Porter has become a KEY deadeye shooter racking them from the 3 and he's been The Man on several wins in the streak.  Gortat is playing strong and taking amazingly few shots and seems to be okay with that.        And they are winning big time.  

I watched virtually the entire home and home series against the Bucks and boy did the Wiz scrap and play tough to control The Greek Freak and eke out a victory after getting humiliated in the first game.  They played with heart.

They must absolutely adore Ernie and be scared shitless of you, farmer John.  Can't explain it otherwise.        Shhhhhh.....

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It really has been amazing. I have watched a lot of games and the effort is pretty much there every night. The minutes will add up on them eventually but right now every single starter (and Oubre) have elevated their games considerably. Scott Brooks is doing something right. They really need an Andre Miller to drop in their lap again though.

 

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On 1/30/2017 at 6:47 PM, farmer john said:

It really has been amazing. I have watched a lot of games and the effort is pretty much there every night. The minutes will add up on them eventually but right now every single starter (and Oubre) have elevated their games considerably. Scott Brooks is doing something right. They really need an Andre Miller to drop in their lap again though.

I've been stunned by the turnaround.  When they got Morris last year I was very optimistic, but he did nothing outstanding last year and early this year.  I see him as more limited than I thought....but he has been playing very tough and positive.  Porter picked up his game last year but nothing outstanding.  Now he is drifting into 3 pt range and connecting...and bingo he is a big positive.  Wall and Beal have picked up their games as the season progressed and Wall is completely Mr Wiz. 

Its such an amazing and significant uptick across the board.  I'm fascinated at Gortat's evolution this year as he simply accepts the fact that he is getting very few shots and plays tough in every other way.  Meanwhile Oubre a raw talent IS playing well now.   Holy Crap.  An amazing evolution all across the board.  Gotta give credit to the coach and the players. 

I was as down as you when they hit rock bottom.  It was driving me back to Bullet/Wizard despondency.  Decades of mediocre to lousy basketball.  Decades.  And I saw them in person enough during the 70's their single prominent decade.   Parenthetically do you realize there was one year when they had Howard, Chris Weber and Rasheed Wallace (as a rookie).   That was a lot of talent with Weber being a very creative passer on top of other attributes and Wallace turning into one of the better team players in the game ...and the both of them being absolutely premier power forwards during the hey day of power forwards.    And they traded them all away.  Despair, despair, despair. 

So I hope this group continues to play well.  I too am nervous about the enormous minutes the starters are accumulating.  They are playing very well and they are very very thin.  Keep your fingers crossed!!!!

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Slipping to the 4 seed may actually help now that it looks like Boston may be the 1. I think the Wiz match up better with the Celtics than they do with either the Cavs or the Raptors. (I am still of the opinion that the East goes through Cleveland and also of the opinion that with their full compliment of players on the court the Raptors are the second best team in the East.) Plus the Wiz and the Celtics genuinely cannot stand one another which will make for good viewing. (Of course I am assuming the Wiz can take care of business against either the Hawks or the Bucks.)

The Cavs have managed to play down for so long at this point that they have done something i thought impossible at the start of the year- generate legit interest in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Can they flip a switch and compete with the Warriors? I don't think so. Can Lebron beat the rest of the East by himself yet again? Probably.

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On 4/11/2017 at 8:14 AM, farmer john said:

(Of course I am assuming the Wiz can take care of business against either the Hawks or the Bucks.)

"Wizards To Face Hawks in First Round of 2017 NBA Playoffs" by Jake Whitacre on bulletsforever.com

---

NOTE: If any of our members have blogs about certain subjects (as just one example, "The Wizards,") let me know, and I'll be glad to reference your blogs whenever I can.

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In their last 10 games the Wizards have gone 8-2.  That is without John Wall in the lineup, who was injured, went for surgery, and is projected to be out till the end of the regular season give or take some days either way.  Wall has been their singular star, (supported in the "star world" by Bradley Beale in the last two seasons).  Wall probably played his best basketball ever during the mid season run last year starting in Dec and running to almost the end of the season.  It was their best stretch in years.   (I'm adding that because since Wall has been injured there are rumblings and comments that the team is playing better team ball without him.).  Can't argue with this short term record--and in my eyes they are playing a different level of team ball-they are playing differently.  It is "better" in my eyes and one can't dismiss the record.  It is different.

To get a feel for the differences one can parse through the detailed advanced stats provided by nba.com on the team.   Where things stick out --is that the teams assists went from about 23/game to 30/game since Wall has been sidelined.  With that they are assisting on baskets at a league leading rate and their "hockey assists" or pass that leads to an assist has soared.  Its visible in the games and the advanced stats describe the differences.  The Wiz are hitting a few more baskets/game, driving less, and getting fewer foul shots.  The ball is being distributed.  It is a more team oriented sharing level of basketball.  According to the advanced stats (geek source of data).  They pass more per game and run more.  (there are a TON of little itty bitty and aggregated advanced stats, such as how many miles does the team in aggregate cover in a game---whew!!!)

Replacing Wall in the starting lineup has been Tomas Satoransky, a second year player who now holds the all time all NBA record for most points in a game by a player from the Czech Republic.  ;)  Satoransky is a completely different stylistic player than Wall with different physical dimensions and different strengths and weaknesses.    What he is doing is distributing the ball quickly.  In the first few games that he started he seemed reluctant to shoot, but he has picked up that pace and when open is letting it fly--and hiitting!!!!

To get a perspective of his game and share in the excitement of seeing someone break the all time NBA single game scoring record for a player from the Czech Republic here is Satoransky at a his shooting best....

 

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Sato is a beast. I've liked him since watching his Euroleague highlights. Took him a year to get his shooting up to snuff but he's really making an impact. Reminds me of a less creative version of Ginobili (both scoring and passing wise). The upside is he rarely makes mistakes and plays much better defense than I expected.

The Wizards are looking good for 80% of recent games. The hardest part to watch is the Beal at PG lineup. It made no sense keeping Sato on the bench until 3 minutes left in the game last night. The ball movement that's giving them success completely bogs down with Beal running point, and Meeks is a negative NBA player so I don't understand the fascination with playing him. I have a bad feeling the infamous Scott Brooks 4th quarter iso offense is going to be our undoing in the playoffs (though credit him for the significant development of Wall, Beal, Sato, Otto, Oubre). 

When Wall gets back, I'd like to see him play reduced minutes and try to apply more energy on the defensive end and trust his teammates to continue the excellent ball movement without dribbling out the entire possession. The Wizards would be really dangerous with John wall playing 30 minutes a game at max speed.

Long term the Wiz have a collection of strong young guards and wings, but declining and limited big men. We really need to hit on an athletic Capela-type in this years draft to continue our success. The Mahinmi contract is killer but at least he's been playing somewhat serviceably recently.

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22 hours ago, Shaho said:

Sato is a beast. I've liked him since watching his Euroleague highlights. Took him a year to get his shooting up to snuff but he's really making an impact. Reminds me of a less creative version of Ginobili (both scoring and passing wise). The upside is he rarely makes mistakes 

Comparing him to Ginobili is a great compliment.  I don’t see it but he is playing well the team has been winning and he makes it work.  I didn’t see this in him at all.  

Actually I’d grown into a Wall fan over the years so I’m both pleased and perplexed.

Well despite last night’s game I hope they keep winning and I look forward to watching Sato’s game

The reason I don’t see the comparison is...

 

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2 hours ago, DaveO said:

Comparing him to Ginobili is a great compliment.  I don’t see it but he is playing well the team has been winning and he makes it work.  I didn’t see this in him at all.  

Actually I’d grown into a Wall fan over the years so I’m both pleased and perplexed.

Well despite last night’s game I hope they keep winning and I look forward to watching Sato’s game

You got me, somewhat of a lazy comparison based on size and skin color ;) I see a little bit of Ginobili in Sato's smarts, athleticism, ability to run an offense and defend, though he obviously lacks the creative flair and knack for doing the seemingly impossible that have defined Manu's storied career.

And sadly, I and probably a lot of Wizards fans fully expected them to beat the Cavs and lay an egg against the Hornets. Seen this story enough times this year...

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3 hours ago, Shaho said:

You got me, somewhat of a lazy comparison based on size and skin color ;) 

Been there: Done that ;)

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On 2/23/2018 at 1:09 PM, Shaho said:

Sato is a beast. I've liked him since watching his Euroleague highlights. Took him a year to get his shooting up to snuff but he's really making an impact.

You and the coaching staff have been following Sato.  I missed it and him.  Prior to becoming a starter he was getting more minutes than most of the reserves.  I missed all that and have been surprised by his play as a starter.

He is playing a great quality of Euro Ball.  His shot is good and hot.  He passes well, smart and quickly.  He is doing a lot of great things. He works hard on both sides of the ball.

I hope he becomes a stud!!!!!!

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I thought this an excellent review on the Wizards current play, their recent positive record since Wall has been injured, how Beale has stepped up, how Satoransky has been a positive influence, how the advanced stats tie in to what is visually in front of us, specifically referencing volume of passes per game plus the big increase in assists per game along with the concomitant drop in drives, fouls and foul shots.  

Okay I liked it because it "confirms" things I've seen/said in most of the past 13 games.  Way beyond that though it additionally focused on Porter picking up his game to fill the void that losing Wall has meant.  That has been a big part of the positiveness in this streak.  Also I like its concluding part which is that when Wall comes back the Wiz will need him and his unique talents.

In the meantime though I, for one, have enjoyed watching this version of Wiz teamwork.  Its a refreshing style of play.

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In the second game of the playoffs, after losing the first, the Wizards were humiliated in the first half.

It’s the playoffs.  They did the opposite of this.   Throw the damn “punch”.  Play to win

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Being down 0-2, having been humiliated, the Wiz played in a “chippy” game  and won at home.   They must play far more physically to have a chance.  It is the nature of the playoffs.

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On 2/23/2018 at 12:09 PM, DaveO said:

In their last 10 games the Wizards have gone 8-2.  That is without John Wall in the lineup, who was injured, went for surgery, and is projected to be out till the end of the regular season give or take some days either way.  Wall has been their singular star, (supported in the "star world" by Bradley Beale in the last two seasons).  Wall probably played his best basketball ever during the mid season run last year starting in Dec and running to almost the end of the season.  It was their best stretch in years.   (I'm adding that because since Wall has been injured there are rumblings and comments that the team is playing better team ball without him.).  Can't argue with this short term record--and in my eyes they are playing a different level of team ball-they are playing differently.  It is "better" in my eyes and one can't dismiss the record.  It is different.

To get a feel for the differences one can parse through the detailed advanced stats provided by nba.com on the team.   Where things stick out --is that the teams assists went from about 23/game to 30/game since Wall has been sidelined.  With that they are assisting on baskets at a league leading rate and their "hockey assists" or pass that leads to an assist has soared.  Its visible in the games and the advanced stats describe the differences.  The Wiz are hitting a few more baskets/game, driving less, and getting fewer foul shots.  The ball is being distributed.  It is a more team oriented sharing level of basketball.  According to the advanced stats (geek source of data).  They pass more per game and run more.  (there are a TON of little itty bitty and aggregated advanced stats, such as how many miles does the team in aggregate cover in a game---whew!!!)

Replacing Wall in the starting lineup has been Tomas Satoransky, a second year player who now holds the all time all NBA record for most points in a game by a player from the Czech Republic.  ;)  Satoransky is a completely different stylistic player than Wall with different physical dimensions and different strengths and weaknesses.    What he is doing is distributing the ball quickly.  In the first few games that he started he seemed reluctant to shoot, but he has picked up that pace and when open is letting it fly--and hiitting!!!!

To get a perspective of his game and share in the excitement of seeing someone break the all time NBA single game scoring record for a player from the Czech Republic here is Satoransky at a his shooting best....

On 2/23/2018 at 1:09 PM, Shaho said:

Sato is a beast. I've liked him since watching his Euroleague highlights. Took him a year to get his shooting up to snuff but he's really making an impact. Reminds me of a less creative version of Ginobili (both scoring and passing wise). The upside is he rarely makes mistakes and plays much better defense than I expected.

The Wizards are looking good for 80% of recent games. The hardest part to watch is the Beal at PG lineup. It made no sense keeping Sato on the bench until 3 minutes left in the game last night. The ball movement that's giving them success completely bogs down with Beal running point, and Meeks is a negative NBA player so I don't understand the fascination with playing him. I have a bad feeling the infamous Scott Brooks 4th quarter iso offense is going to be our undoing in the playoffs (though credit him for the significant development of Wall, Beal, Sato, Otto, Oubre). 

When Wall gets back, I'd like to see him play reduced minutes and try to apply more energy on the defensive end and trust his teammates to continue the excellent ball movement without dribbling out the entire possession. The Wizards would be really dangerous with John wall playing 30 minutes a game at max speed.

Long term the Wiz have a collection of strong young guards and wings, but declining and limited big men. We really need to hit on an athletic Capela-type in this years draft to continue our success. The Mahinmi contract is killer but at least he's been playing somewhat serviceably recently.

To date in the playoffs the Wiz just tied it up with the Raptors:  2-2, both teams winning at home.  The Wiz have to pick up the intensity to keep pace and possibly win.

Interesting about Satoransky, following his terrific start he leveled off till the end of the season and when Wall rejoined the team at the end of the season, with Wall picking up starter minutes in the games he played.

What happened with Satoransky?  Did teams pick up on his tendencies and somewhat "shut him down".  Following the initial great stretch were the Wiz playing better teams and the team accumulated losses while Sato's stats and play took a dive????

I'm not sure. 

With the playoffs coming up the Wiz picked up long time pro Ty Lawson.  Lawson is now the second point guard behind Wall, replacing Sato and picking up more playing time.  Sato is shifting positions at both guard spots and guard/small forward. 

Well I would like to see the Wiz pull off this upset of Toronto.  Best 2 out of 3.  Meanwhile I hope the best for Sato.  Not sure how he will progress, but he had a positive run and has upped his opportunities going forward.

 

 

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12 hours ago, DaveO said:

Interesting about Satoransky, following his terrific start he leveled off till the end of the season and when Wall rejoined the team at the end of the season, with Wall picking up starter minutes in the games he played.

What happened with Satoransky?  Did teams pick up on his tendencies and somewhat "shut him down".  Following the initial great stretch were the Wiz playing better teams and the team accumulated losses while Sato's stats and play took a dive????

I'm not sure. 

With the playoffs coming up the Wiz picked up long time pro Ty Lawson.  Lawson is now the second point guard behind Wall, replacing Sato and picking up more playing time.  Sato is shifting positions at both guard spots and guard/small forward. 

Well I would like to see the Wiz pull off this upset of Toronto.  Best 2 out of 3.  Meanwhile I hope the best for Sato.  Not sure how he will progress, but he had a positive run and has upped his opportunities going forward.

I think Sato would benefit from a more defined role and playing time, I feel like he should have earned it with his play this season. At the same time, he's been too passive and unconfident in the playoffs, and Lawson has been solid (at least we're not benching him for Tim Frazier). Still, like Otto, I feel like Sato can contribute in a variety of ways and should be utilized more than he has been; by advanced metrics, he was one of the Wizard's 5 best players this season. Playing Wall entire halves at a time isn't going to work in the long run, as Game 7 in Boston showed last year. But maybe it will be what we need to get past Toronto. Excited for Game 5, this one is pivotal!

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Wizards lose in playoffs: Wall points to front office

Disappointing season.  I generally try and stay away from judging the front office but have to acknowledge it has not been among the sharper front offices for decades—that is long enough.

Injuries and overworked starters had to contribute to a backwards slide in the regular season and a first round playoff loss.  

Wait till next year.   

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By December last year I was finding the Wizards depressing.  Then Wall got injured, Satoransky became a starter and the nature of the overall team changed.  They were interesting, played differently and had a hot winning streak.

This year they have been outright miserable.  I believe Porter must be injured.  He has been a no show.  But the real problem is Wall.  I think he has plateaued and too often he doesn’t try hard.

A far better description comes from premier basketball analyst Zach Lowe at ESPN.

I think he is being generous at the end.  Break them up.  Start over again.

Meanwhile the calm serene Stephen A had this to say about John Wall and the Wizards:

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=25205865

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And Jerry Brewer of the Washington Post identified the biggest problem....as least as I see it.  Its John Wall.  He came into the league as a talent, kept improving, became a star....and he has plateaued.   His game no longer enhances and improves the team.

Lah di dah.   Since 1979.  More of the same wherein mediocrity is as good as it gets here in Wizard land

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