Should I Worry About DeMarcus Cousins and Be Annoyed that George Karl is in Sacramento? | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Should I Worry About DeMarcus Cousins and Be Annoyed that George Karl is in Sacramento?

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Updated: March 14, 2015

[Captain 'Dray & Sergeant Cousins]

[Captain ‘Dray & Sergeant Cousins]

Mark Twain once stated in regard to New England weather patterns: “If you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes.” Twain could have just as easily have been referencing the Washington Wizards, who after self-immolating during the month of February, have risen from their own self created ashes to win two straight games and four out of the last six contests. Thus, just like the freak weather patterns that have occurred across the East Coast this past winter, the narrative has shifted from “the Wizards are last year’s Pacers” to “what seeding can the WIzards clinch with a strong finish?” Suddenly it’s spring, people are peering out their doors looking for crocuses (croci?) and Easter Nene is around the corner. What appeared to be a Lenten promise to forgo defensive intensity and adhere to a broken offensive philosophy has been eschewed in favor of of the team re-dedicating itself to grinding out opponents in the post with a healthy dose of Nene and Marcin Gortat.

But (and there always seems to a “but” with the Wizards), wins over a functionally broken Charlotte Hornets team and a Grizzlies team without four of its five starters makes it difficult for the jaded Wizards enthusiasts to find it in their hearts to welcome spring and purge the dark shadows of February from their hearts. A win against a Western Conference minnow like the Sacramento Kings will not “prove” anything for the Wizards, either, aside from the fact that old bones are warmed by the promise of playoff payouts. A loss will flip the narrative back towards panic, and keen observers will note that Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow this year and we are due six more weeks of winter.
Three questions to ask yourself before settling in:

#1) Should I be worried about DeMarcus Cousins?

Certainly. Despite coaching changes, contracting meningitis, and being a bit of a cranky bear toward officials, Cousins is by any measure having a remarkable season, routinely putting up double-doubles and destroying opponents in the low post. If new father Nene is unable to make it to tonight’s game, the onus will be on Marcin Gortat and Kevin Seraphin to find some way of slowing Cousins down. With Wittman recently leaning away from Seraphin, a Cousins onslaught could see Gortat in early foul trouble and ineffective for most of the game. The good news is Cousins (and the Kings as a whole) still avoid playing defense as if it were leprosy. Most likely the Wizards will let Cousins “get his” and focus on shutting down other aspects of the Kings volatile offense. The best possible outcome is that Gortat will agitate Cousins by saying something existential about life in Sacramento, driving Cousins to an ill-advised technical and some time spent staring at the white walls of the visiting locker room.

#2) Should I be annoyed that the Kings hired George Karl and the Wizards still employ Randy Wittman?

Nah. As much as Wittman is responsible for the Wizards recent woes, he is also responsible for establishing the Wizards shaky identity as a chippy, defense first team. It isn’t the most fashionable hat to wear, but the Wizards are too far along in the season to change outfits and run the turbo charged offensive system that Karl normally requires. For better or for worse, the Wizards have to allow the season to run its natural course with Wittman. While Karl was a nice fever dream for Wizards fans to have, it is unlikely that Ted Leonsis would meet his asking price or Ernie Grunfeld would be willing to cede over as much personnel control as Karl requires.

#3) OK, but the Wizards are going to win this going away, right?

Possibly. The 22-42 Kings have no sure method of countering John Wall, have little to play for besides stats, and are busy still trying to learn a completely new scheme. All signs point to the Wizards building upon their recent success and tying their longest win streak since January. Then again, the East Coast is forecasted to be coated in sleet on Sunday.

[Boogie & John]

[screen shot via @adammcginnis]

[screen shot via @adammcginnis]

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Sean Fagan
Reporter / Writer/Gadfly at TAI
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Sean has contributed to TAI since the the dawn of Jan Vesely and has been on the Wizards beat since 2008. His work has been featured on ESPN, Yahoo and SI.com. He still believes that Mike Miller never got a fair shot.