Choose your favorite from the Steve Buckhantz lexicon: Backbreaker! Dagger! How do you like that?!? They all applied unfavorably to the Washington Wizards this weekend after consecutive buzzer-beating losses. Here are a few observations after a weekend with the Wiz:
- Add Steve Francis (remember him?) and Udonis Haslem to the long list of players to unexpectedly torch the Wizards. It's been happening all year from the likes of Ryan Gomes, Zaza Pachulia, Devin Brown, so on and so on.
- Not to beat up Fast Eddie Jordan, but two coaching decisions played a big role in last night's loss. First, Jordan decided not to foul Shaq within the final 3 minutes of a close game, rather opted to double-team him and allow Shaq to use his passing skills, finding teammates for easy buckets. Pat Riley's play-call with 3 seconds to go was great. He drafted a play for the player facing Washington's worst defender rather than automatically going with one of Miami's top offensive players.
- The Wizards are great entertainment. Everytime I think I've got a clear thought about them, the opposite happens. Plus, darned near all of their games go down to the wire.
- Gilbert Arenas has to be the most clutch offensive player in the game today. Prior to Haslem's heroics last night, "Keep Shootin'" canned all 3 of his free throws with 3 seconds left to tie up the game. He also hit a running 3 at the halftime buzzer. Agent Icewater!
- The Wizards still aren't a complete enough team to be taken too seriously, and a lot of that goes back to the drafting board. Watching Jared Jeffries suddenly become an aggressive force against the Wiz on Saturday got me to thinking of how the Wizards haven't drafted a player to have a significant impact on the team since Juwan Howard was drafted in '94. The few "names" they've drafted in the last 15 years such as Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace were traded away for veterans before an impact was made. Others that could fill roles such as Devin Harris, Jared Jeffries and Kwame Brown weren't kept around long enough to develop. The point is this - elite teams build through the draft (save for the '04 Pistons).
- Looking at that draft list, Washington does clean up on drafting future NBA coaching legends. Doug Moe, Don Nelson and Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan were all selected in their first 4 drafts.
- Quite frankly, we've got the worst logo in all of sport.
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