Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Wizard Fans Should Be Optimistic

Being a season ticket holder and huge fan of the Washington Wizards might mean that I am automatically optimistic for the team this year, but let me assure you, there are reasons behind the optimism. 

0. Agent Zero- HES BAAAAAACK, The East Coast Assassin is back and healthy for the first time in a long, long time. He has averaged around 25, 29, and 28 points in his last three fully healthy seasons. Although he may not be a great team leader he is a great competitor and wants to win every game, and the dude can shoot. Prepare for Gilby to take many quality shots because his swag is phenomenal. 

1. Flip Saunders- Flip Flip Flip Game Over, no more fun and games with this team. Flip has the seventh best winning percentage of all active coaches (.597), and he was great in Detroit posting the highest winning percentage by any coach in team history (.715). Saunders does not mess around with a constant rotation of players either, which was one of Eddie Jordan and the joke of a coach Ed Tapscott's biggest flaws. Saunders has said that he likes to use an eight to nine man rotation, and he has a great squad of guys to do just that. Flip is also known as an offensive minded coach yet with the Pistons he had two teams rank in the top three for defense. The Wizards need to learn how to play defense so Flip is just the guy we need to teach them.

2. New Personnel (No more Songaila)- Anyone who does not like the trade made by the Wizards this offseason is crazy. The number 5 pick could turn up to be a good player but who knows, and Ricky Rubio who was taken #5 wont be seeing the NBA any time soon. Mike Miller is a veteran sharp shooter that we were in desperate need for, Deshawn being our best "shooter" was just plain sad, luckily that is no more. Randy Foye though is a much more intriguing player down for now and down the road. Foye is coming in to his fourth NBA season and has averaged 10+ points in all three of his previous seasons, averaging 16.3 last year. He can play both guard spots and can score from the perimeter or in the lane. 
Fabricio Oberto is also a good addition to help on the defensive side of the ball, plus he is a winner and this team was in desperate need of some of those. Also along with Arenas, Brendan Haywood being back in the lineup will be a huge boost to this team, he had a career year two years ago but missed the majority of last year. With these new additions via trade, free agency, and health the Wizards have one of the deepest rosters they have ever had. 

3. Progress of the Young Guns- Nick Young, JaVale McGee, and Andray Blatche have all gotten another year of experience. These three guys all have tremendous upside and it is going to really show this year. Nick is entering his third year, the same year that RIP averaged 20 points for the Wizards (Unfortunately Michael Jordan had to kill our organization) but I see Nick following in these footsteps, he is a born scorer and that is what he will do for us. McGee has been very solid thus far in the preseason scoring more then 10 points in 3 of the 5 games. He is a physical freak who has amazing athletic ability even at 7 feet. Then there is Andray Blatche, the mystery man. He is going in to his 5th season but is still very young, coming from high school. Blatche has gone nuts some games dropping over 20 but then will follow it up with games under 5 points. He has said he is starting new this year and switched his number to 7, lets hope it brings a more consitent Dray. These three guys could make or break the Wiz Kids season this year, they may not start or get a huge amount of PT due to the depth of the team, but they will be called on in pressure situations, I think they trio is ready to take on the pressure.   

4. Depth, Depth and More Depth- This team has never seen so much talent, never. With the Big Three back and healthy this team has three stars. Caron and Twan are great leaders who did not deserve the year they had to endure last season, luckily for them they wont have to. The Big Three is great, but I'm even more impressed with the supporting squad. Mike Miller and Randy Foye are both capable of starting at a few positions and it is highly likely one of them will be coming of the bench. Haywood could be the weak link in the starting rotation but he is certainly the anchor of the defense which is something this team desperately needed last year. Then you have the young trio of Nick, JaVale and Andray, all three of these guys are highly capable of coming of the bench and posting big numbers. Then there are the three other spots on the roster, I assume they will be Deshawn, Fabricio and Dominic McGuire. Each of those three players have a specialty essential to every team. Deshawn can shoot...well sometimes, Oberto can help lock down the lane, and Nic provides the type of energy that can change a game, even if he is only in for a minute. Looking at the roster of this team it is hard not to get excited, this team has the talent to make a run in May and possibly June.  

Projected Rotation:

G-Gilbert Arenas
G-Randy Foye
C-Brendan Haywood
F-Antawn Jamison
F-Caron Butler
6th-Mike Miller
Sub-Andray Blatche
Sub-Nick Young
Sub-JaVale McGee
Sub-Deshawn Stevenson 
If this article does not get you excited for the upcoming Washington Wizards season then I don't know what will. The only bad thing is that I am going to have to wait till the third game of the season to see the Wizards at Verizon. 


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