Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wizards/Pacers: Pregame Points

The Wizards play the Pacers tomorrow night, and I think we owe them a little somethin, somethin. You know, like a whoopin. A spanking. A, "We are WAYYYYY better than you" type of beat down. Kinda like what the Celt's did to us. I digress. I was really happy to see us get a win on the road against a streaky Atlanta team. I had to miss the 3rd quarter of play due to travel between locations (you know, Metro on the weekends is slow as balls), but from what I saw in the first half and the last quarter of play was promising. I guess that players meeting after the loss to the Nuggs really helped. We could easily go 3-0 this week with games against the Pacers, Minny, and the Blaze. If we can do that, we are ok. If we end up with anything less than 2-1, the Wizards are gonna be in trouble. Although there are those that believe Indy is a fluke, it's not like they don't get their shots. We have to stay focused on how we win games, and with that, here is what I think they need to do in order to win.
  • Haywood must be the Beast he was in the first 3 games. His double-doubles are a huge piece of the Wiz winning games. His competition is pretty weak this week as he goes up against T. Murphy, Jefferson, and Frye. He should be able to take them no problem. In fact, I think Haywood could even post a 20 rebound game against the Pacers or the Blaze. Anyway, if Haywood comes to play, it drastically improves our chances to win
  • Gil has got to get to the line. In the past 6 games, he has gone to the line 10 times. That's it. 10. Anyone who has watched them over the last 2 years knows that in order for Gil to get his points, he has to get to the line. I know he isn't at 100%, and he has been OK at distributing the ball to the other players on the floor for open shots, but unless he gets to the line and hits some free throws, the defense will not respect him at all.
  • Stevenson must stay out of his slump. He has to play stiff D. He has to shoot better. Basically, he has to be a good complimentary player, which he hasn't been.
  • Eddie Jordan has got to put Blatche and Haywood in at the same time again. We simply dominate the frontcourt with those two in. No idea why it doesn't happen more often.
  • Pass, pass, pass the ball. They had a season high 26 assists in their win in the ATL, surprised? When teams pass, it creates more open shots, which will inevitably lead to more points.
One other thing I'd like to address is their overall shooting and shot selection. I can quantify the shooting in numbers. As a team, they have a TS% of 41.3%. The best shooters on the team are Haywood, Songaila (expected, as they usually get lots of high percentage shots) and Butler, which is AWESOME! Caron's TS% is 53.9 (all stats from Knickerblogger). However, from my observations, their shot selection could use some improvement. I didn't make it a point, since I don't think it's going to be a big problem if they can keep their D up. But I'd like to see some better shots taken.

All in all, I think the Wiz are gonna be ok, and I'm looking forward to watching them beat the crap out of Indy.

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