Jump to content
DaveO

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

Recommended Posts

There must be something wrong with us  say the Wizards season ticket holders , especially those that keep buying year after year.  Ooh I can relate to that.  I held partial season ticket plans for years and years and years.....all while they stunk. (More in mediocrity at best)..

I feel their pain.....but I reformed.... now I buy discount seats on the secondary market.    Uggghhhh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Satoransky and Dekker play hard admitted their coach following an all too infrequent victory.  It’s been painfully obvious for about one full season (following Wall’s injury last season) that the team lacks this quality over far too many games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should the Wizards Tank This Season??

As a fan I never liked the idea for any team.  But I’m neither a general manager tasked with setting a direction and (ultimately) competing nor the owner.  It’s a strategy that can work wherein high draft choices might resuscitate a team in future years. 

This past December (and earlier) the idea gained popularity in press and social media.   The team record was dismal, the star, John Wall was out for the season, the effort was listless and the results in play and record were discouraging.  This piece in the Washington Post  was one of many opinions in favor of tanking.

This past Thursday the Wiz played overseas with owner Ted Lionsis at the game and interviewed on the subject:  The Wizards will never tank (not this season) was his reaction.

Hmmm......  Having been watching this team for too many decades, having attended countless games, having seen them flounder this season, having actually recognized and acknowledged they have been overall below average (i.e.  BAD) for now almost 4 straight decades this season, for the first time, I relished the idea of tanking.

It ain’t gonna happen- not this year.  And they have had a winning (playoff quality) record since Wall went out.

“Wait till next year”.  Hmmmm...... How about waiting for the next several decades.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Curse O' lez Boulez

Tony Kornheiser coined that apt phrase decades ago.  I'm not sure when.  Here is an article by Kornhieser from 2014 that summarizes decades of Bullets(Wizards) despair and ends with the "Curse o' lez boulez" description.

Fast forward 15 years.  Since then the Wizards have had two totally different versions of a "big three"  (that simply never were "big or good enough").  One ended with a bizarre gun fiasco and injuries (the Arenas era) and the other recently ended with 2 leg injuries to John Wall.  Once again the Bullets/Wizards will not win 50 games (that is 40 years in a row now)--they probably won't finish over .500.

Being a fan of this team is "TOUGH".  

Charles Barkley, an old teammate and friend of Wizards Coach Scott Brooks had this to recently say about the Wiz  Over the last 2 years I can see his point--Wall and Beal have not been a great match.  Some folks root for the New England Patriots or the NY Yankees or the San Antonio Spurs.   Bully for them.   I would suggest as an exercise in learning humility they start rooting for "lez boulez" for the next decade. 

On a side note since this is a food blog I learned the following the other day while leading a "placement session" for the bartending school.  One of the grads has been a long long term manager at concession stands at the Capital One Center.  She goes back decades.

  • Cap fans drink more
  • Wizards fans eat more
  • Concert fans both eat and drink more than fans of the teams.
  • The guests of the suites REALLY REALLY spend big on food and drink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the Impact of a Player

11 games ago the Wizards "blew up their roster".   John Wall was diagnosed with a second injury that will probably wipe him out of not only the remainder of this season but possibly all of next season.  Additionally the scope of the injury is such it puts his future "stardom" at question.   The Wiz were tied into enormous salaries for Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter going forward (3 former high draft choices).   The injury forced the Wiz to reverse course on a pledge to keep their 3 high priced "stars" going forward.

The Wiz traded Porter to the Chicago Bulls for two forwards.  Since then the Wiz are 4-7, and Chicago is 6-5.   The Wiz are losing ground on their effort to get to the playoffs, losing some winnable games.  Chicago's record has improved and Porter is playing better and more vitally on behalf of the Bulls than he showed for the Wiz this season.

All that being said I agree with the effort.  The most recent team had a "big 3" in Wall, Beal, and Porter that wasn't big or good enough.  At best they were a mid level candidate for the playoffs.  Not that different from the former "Big 3" of the earlier 2000's with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antwan Jamison--a trio that was good but not good enough.

Porter, at his best, was a complementary player;  he developed into a fine 3 point shooter, he filled many roles, but he never took over.  His role was limited. Interestingly though, since that trade, admittedly a move to "blow up" the roster and restart, they are simply not as good.   Porter, a middling player seemed to add wins. 

In any case as a long term fan of the Wiz/Bullets, I muddle along as with other long term Wiz fans.  They have never been as despicable as the SnyderSkins.  They just can't rise above mediocrity, and for most of the time since the end of the 70's they have been worse than mediocre.

Its more fun to eat well and drink.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

More people recognize that Sato is a quality player.  He is NOT an athletic star that jumps higher, moves more quickly, or is faster than everyone else.  He knows how to play:

Here is a recent piece on his overall game from Zach Lowe at ESPN.   When Sato is in the game the Wiz move the ball better.   Overall there are more shots of better quality:

Lowe on Satoransky's play this year:  (go to espn to see the video's.  They aren't remarkable plays featuring athleticism, they are smart plays that create good shots)

Tomas Satoransky just knows how to play

Every trade deadline leaves two or three makeshift teams in its wake: random collections of free-agents-to-be, guys acquired for reasons that are no longer relevant (Trevor Ariza), guys acquired later and for different reasons than the first guy (Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker), and maybe Dwight Howard holding a player option for reasons only Ernie Grunfeld understands. (The Grizzlies have the most fun Flotsam Team.) Everyone is marking time until the season ends.

But these Wiz are fighting, and Satoransky is a joy. Viewed with the wrong perspective, he might leave you wanting. He doesn't run the offense as much as a traditional lead guard. You might not trust his jump shot. Elite point guards and physical scorers give him trouble on the other end.

But Sato just knows how to play. It would be really fun to be on his team. He's unselfish, and a very smart passer. Few guards cut with his sense of timing, and such revved-up urgency.

Some ball handlers disengage when other guys run the show. Satoransky is always searching out little ways he can help, and he sees those opportunities earlier than most. Why stand still or beg for the ball when you can plow away the defense with an improvised screen?

The Wizards have posted a healthy scoring margin for two years running now when Satoransky and Bradley Beal share the floor. Satoransky is shooting 43.5 percent from deep combined over the last two seasons.

Satoransky will be a restricted free agent this summer, and he will have a market. He can play real minutes on a good team.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a dismal season comes to a close, rife with injuries, various conflicts, and a terrible record the Wiz fired long term GM/President Ernie Grunfeld. 

Probably should have changed GM's years ago.   Ernie had 16 years with the Wiz, which is far too long considering the record during that stretch.  In fact Grunfeld had a total of 28 years as a senior NBA basketball exec.  (good job if you can find it). 

Hard to explain or understand how one (me, myself, and I) can stay a fan of this team after so many lousy seasons, occasionally brightened by a ray of hope--only to be dashed in a few years.   The team really needs to start fresh.  They are burdened by Wall's long term, uber high salary.  On top of that the seriousness of his leg injuries suggest he will never again approach his peak skill level--though we probably won't know that for at least two seasons.

For next season they have Beal, who is good, they have Wall's contract and no player, they are stuck with a big waste in Mahinimi, and they pretty much have to figure out what to do with the rest of the roster.   Quite a few players are free agents.

Might be a good time to root for James Harden's team (God forbid)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Well, Bradley Beal is now the only person in franchise history (dating all the way back to the 1961-1962 Chicago Packers) to average 25/5/5 over the course of a full season.

As a long term fan of the Bullets/Wizards and one who roots for them to win (I know that is pretty pathetic) this statistical achievement does nothing for me.  This was the worst season in years.  Everything fell apart.  Injuries abounded.  By the end of the season only Beal of the expected starting team remained.  The starting forwards were traded.  The team is embarking on a new "program".  They will be encumbered by not having Wall next year, not knowing if he will ever regain his skill level, and paying him a salary that his skill level (at its best) doesn't merit or translate into enough wins. 

Beal is not as good or valuable as the other players in modern play who have achieved those totals.  He did it in a season where he took on more responsibilities because of the loss of other stars. Its a little like the unreal scoring totals Harden had earlier in the season while valuable teammates were hurt.   The difference there is that Harden's scoring turned into wins. 

Anyway.  Good for Beal.  Its an achievement.  If someone had done this on a team I don't follow it might mean more to me.  But that 25/5/5 on a team that went 32-50 and is going down hill doesn't do much for me as a fan who wants wins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even better/worse: Beal could be named to one of the All-NBA rosters this season, which would make him eligible for a supermax extension. (Wall's supermax takes effect next season)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, guanabana said:

Even better/worse: Beal could be named to one of the All-NBA rosters this season, which would make him eligible for a supermax extension. (Wall's supermax takes effect next season)

I agree.   Giving Beal a super max contract would completely strangle the Wiz payroll structure.  He spoke to the issue at the end of the season and acknowledged the situation also acknowledging he has plenty of money. But heck, if he merited the supermax and got it what a great coup for he and his family.  Oh my what a mess.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveO said:

I agree.   Giving Beal a super max contract would completely strangle the Wiz payroll structure.  He spoke to the issue at the end of the season and acknowledged the situation also acknowledging he has plenty of money. But heck, if he merited the supermax and got it what a great coup for he and his family.  Oh my what a mess.  

This is interesting - a relatively great player on an overall poor team still has the stats of a truly great player, so the overall poor team can become "locked into mediocrity" over the long-term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the lottery odds flattening out starting this year, rebuilding by trading away your best players and tanking for high draft picks is even more of a crapshoot than it has been in the past. The Wizards actually stand to benefit from this change, as even with a mediocre team and the 6th worst record overall, they have a 38% chance for a top 4 pick this year. Their best bet is to draft a good player this year, hold Wall out next year and remain mediocre enough to get another good pick, and build around the still young core of Beal, Troy Brown Jr, Thomas Bryant, and 2 high draft picks. If Wall can come back to at least 80% effectiveness, we still have a slim possibility of becoming a contender despite our salary cap limitations. The move to essentially give away Otto Porter hurts from a talent perspective, but frees up enough financial flexibility to work around even 2 supermax deals with draft picks and value free agency signings like Jeff Green.

This year's draft lottery will be critical, as obviously a game changing talent like Zion could change the trajectory of this franchise completely. Even if we don't land him, Ja Morant, Bol Bol, Darius Garland, and R.J. Barrett (my preferences in order) have All Star-level upside. I'll be watching the draft lottery, draft, and new GM selection with great interest. Replacing Ernie Grunfeld with a forward-thinking GM who understands scouting, team-building, and has a long term vision for real success could be the turning point the Wizards have long needed. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shaho said:

With the lottery odds flattening out starting this year, rebuilding by trading away your best players and tanking for high draft picks is even more of a crapshoot than it has been in the past. The Wizards actually stand to benefit from this change, as even with a mediocre team and the 6th worst record overall, they have a 38% chance for a top 4 pick this year. Their best bet is to draft a good player this year, hold Wall out next year and remain mediocre enough to get another good pick, and build around the still young core of Beal, Troy Brown Jr, Thomas Bryant, and 2 high draft picks. If Wall can come back to at least 80% effectiveness, we still have a slim possibility of becoming a contender despite our salary cap limitations. The move to essentially give away Otto Porter hurts from a talent perspective, but frees up enough financial flexibility to work around even 2 supermax deals with draft picks and value free agency signings like Jeff Green.

This year's draft lottery will be critical, as obviously a game changing talent like Zion could change the trajectory of this franchise completely. Even if we don't land him, Ja Morant, Bol Bol, Darius Garland, and R.J. Barrett (my preferences in order) have All Star-level upside. I'll be watching the draft lottery, draft, and new GM selection with great interest. Replacing Ernie Grunfeld with a forward-thinking GM who understands scouting, team-building, and has a long term vision for real success could be the turning point the Wizards have long needed. 

NBA compensation rules are complex with many features, exceptions, and require skill and luck in creating a strong team.  Its not enough to give me a headache but too complex for me to devote too much time to fully understand all the permutations.  On a simple basis though I strongly doubt the Wiz could develop a strong team with two contracts both North of $40 million/year devoted to Wall and Beal.  As a prime unit at best they helped the Wiz get to a mediocre level of competitiveness that gets them into the mid range of the playoffs.  I can only assume that Wall's skills will diminish as a result of the severity of his injuries.  For the sake of the Wiz I hope Beal doesn't make NBA all pro this year (its probably close). 

I think upper management needs to be good and lucky with future draft choices.  (Lucky as in choosing Giannis 15th as a "future" and seeing him develop into the best player in the world this year-6 years after being drafted). 

Theoretically who is really worth the "supermax"?   Here are a few players off the top of my head:

Lebron, Giannis, Curry, Harden, probably Anthony Davis, probably/maybe Durant, probably/maybe Embiid (dependent on health).  They seem to me to be players that can push a team toward the title.   

Who else?   Any of my choices that you would opt to remove?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...