Friday, March 13, 2009

Wizards Insider: a little late, aren't we?

I'm a big fan of Wizards Insider, which is written by Ivan Carter and Michael Lee on Carter does a great job covering the Wizards from most, if not all, angles, and Lee does a solid job of writing about the rest of the NBA to keep fans informed.

But yesterday, Lee, who occasionally covers the Wizards, decided that now is the time to jump on the bandwagon of giving the younger players like Javaris Crittenton, Nick Young, and JaVale McGee more playing time. Dominic McGuire and Andray Blatche have both been playing more, so he was mainly focused on the other three (but primarly Young) in his post:

But perhaps it is time to start focusing on the future and giving JaVale McGee and Nick Young more consistent minutes. Yes, giving, even if they haven't earned them. Their sometimes poor and sporadic play might well be the result of insecurity and fear. If they make mistakes, they will not always get much of an opportunity to correct them.

I was talking to an NBA veteran recently about Young and he said he believed Young should get more minutes. This veteran was a fan of Young and his potential. He mentioned that when he watches Young play, he notices that if Young makes his first few shots, he's fine, but if he misses his first few, he immediately starts looking at the bench, expecting to get yanked. While waiting for the inevitable hook, Young gets distracted and unfocused on defense, then an avalanche of mistakes follow -- more bad shots, defensive lapses, etc.

The veteran said the only way to resolve that is to guarantee Young at least 20 minutes a night, so that he can shoot his way out of slumps and figure out how to mature on the floor. If Young knows that he has 20 minutes to work his way through his problems, he might actually do it. He might even earn a few more minutes.

Who was the NBA veteran? Captain Obvious?

I'm glad that someone close to the team is finally on board with this idea, but why didn't he write this a few months ago? It's March already! There's only 17 games left in the season! They're 15-50! Sorry for all the exclamation points, but it's not like the Wizards just suddenly turned into a bad team.

I don't really want the Wizards to tank, but what's wrong with playing the young guys to see what the team has? When a team is 15-50, the goal is to improve the team for next season. The Wizards already know what they have in Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler; they don't need to be playing 40 minutes in any game, such as the other day when Jamison played 38 minutes against the Minnesota T'Wolves.

And Crittenton and/or Young not getting at least 20 to 25 minutes a night is just disappointing. Who would rather watch Mike James for 30 minutes than one of those two?

I'm not saying that any of these guys will be superstars, but if the Wizards are going to compete next year, which hopefully means Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood are healthy, then they'll need a solid bench. They already have McGuire and Blatche; what's wrong with seeing if Young, Crittenton, or McGee can make a similar jump?

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