It’s been a rough two-and-a-half weeks for the Wizards. They’re the only winless team in the league. Their highest-paid player refused to play because he got in a fight with lovable alien Sam Cassell. But then maybe he didn’t and someone just leaked that info because that’s what happens with the Wizards. They somehow figured out a way to goaltend free throws. Their lottery choice, No. 6 overall, airballed the first free throw he ever took in the NBA. They were even this season’s first Wanker of the Week, according to Tas Melas. This paragraph is getting super long, so I’ll just leave you with John Wall’s assessment of the Wizards: “It could get ugly this whole season.”
Of course, that’s by design. The Wizards are quite obviously rebuilding. They’ve got lottery picks throughout their roster, they’re one of the youngest teams in the league and they’re in position for another high pick this coming offseason because they’re on pace to go 0-66. That’s cool for the future, but right now, it means they’re terrible.
Like, so terrible that other Eastern Conference teams can’t help buy pile on. From the Washington Post’s Michael Lee:
“I think most of the time, if you were to look at their matchups, as they go into a game, position by position, they are probably going to lose out almost every matchup,” said one Eastern Conference scout, who like other scouts and executives spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t at liberty to speak on behalf of his organization.
“If you were to go throughout the league and say Washington would win a position matchup, I don’t know what team that would be. I don’t know a team that would give up their starting five for Washington’s.”
Ouch. That’s a deep burn. Pretty fair though. Outside of maybe the Warriors — who’ve been starting “Wu-Tang Member or NBA Player” contestant Charles Jenkins the past two games, but still have three guys any NBA team would start — it’s hard to argue with this unknown scout. Would you want to cheer for the Wizards’ starting five? If you’re currently a Wizards fan, are you happy with your starting five? Doubtful.
And it gets worse. Here’s Henry Abbott of True Hoop on all the Wizards’ young guys.
[The] team has six players from recent first rounds: John Wall, Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Crawford. Use any objective measure you want and they have almost all been horrible in the team’s first eight games.
Booker has a respectable PER approaching 20. Wall, meanwhile, has the NBA’s 178th best PER (out of about 300 players who have seen meaningful action) which is no surprise as he’s suddenly driving into double-teams every chance he gets. Singleton and Crawford are well below average. Seraphin has one of the league’s lowest PERs at 3.9, and one expert tells me he looks like he should lose 40 pounds. No one knows what to make of Vesely, yet, but just for fun allow me to point out that after a mighty nine minutes of action — with a bucket, some missed free throws, two turnovers and two fouls — he effectively breaks PER, with the dour figure of negative 8.7. The league average is 15.
Well, when you put it that way, it’s pretty easy to see out why the Wizards are off to their worst start ever, which is pretty opposite-of-impressive when you consider the franchise has finished seven seasons with a winning percentage below .300 since moving to the east coast. And that’s without factoring in Andray Blatche, who is really Andray Blatche-ing things this year. Ugh.
On the plus side, no one’s brought a gun in to the locker room yet, they probably won’t be employing Mike Bibby at any point this season and the jerseys look great. It’s the little things.