Key Legislature: Wizards 76 at Warriors 107 — All These Metrics Point to Dysfunction | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Key Legislature: Wizards 76 at Warriors 107 — All These Metrics Point to Dysfunction

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Updated: March 25, 2015

Truth About It.net’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment(s)
for Washington Wizards contest No. 71 versus the Warriors in Golden State.
via Sean Fagan (@McCarrick) from Brooklyn.

DC Council Key Legislature

by Sean Fagan.

All the metrics pointed to a Monday night loss to Golden State, Washington’s last test in a four-game West Coast swing. The Warriors own the best overall record in the Association, they’re the best defensive team (as determined by metrics), and own the current glittering jewel of an offensive system which is rhapsodized about throughout the league. Set against that was a Wizards team stumbling after two straight losses, one to a Clippers team peaking under the domineering gaze of Chris Paul and another that consisted of a pratfall to a Sacramento team which has yet to learn that it’s totally fine to defend offensive possessions. All told, things appeared bleak for the team from Washington and, at best, many were hoping for a psychological victory, one in which the Wizards lost, but demonstrated a return to “who they are,” as Randy Wittman or Bradley Beal might suggest, even if ‘who the Wizards are’ is a team that’s now just 18-22 since Jan. 1, 2015, the ninth-worst record in the NBA over that stretch.

However, those are just numbers.

It is at this point that one can take comfort from the the famous utterance of famed Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (made famous by Mark Twain) that there are three types of lies: “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” This proclamation has grown more comforting over the years for those who hope for the improbable. Perhaps the Wizards would buck the evil trend of statistics and overcome a Warriors team which has recently laid waste to all those who oppose it.

Wizards 3rd Quarter Shot Chart

[Wizards 1-18 3rd quarter shot clock versus Warriors on Mar. 23, 2015.]

[Wizards 1-18 3rd quarter shot clock versus Warriors on Mar. 23, 2015.]

Oh. Well then.

We can now turn  to another famous philosopher, Golden State Center Marreese Speights, who issued his own summation of the game: “We knew if we hit them, if we got a couple stops they would start arguing with each other and quit. We went out there with a good mindset in the second half and we did it.”

Not quite Disraeli, but damning in its own right.

We should in no way consider Speights a philosopher king, but to have shade thrown upon you by an opponent’s reserve stretch big man is demonstrative of how far the Wizards have fallen in terms of respect around the league. For Speights to offhandedly mention how the Wizards could so easily be shut down (and circuitously pointing towards how broken the Wizards offensive system is), is akin to being called out by a slightly more self-aware and talented JaVale McGee. More worrying still is that Wizards own dysfunction (“they would start arguing with each other and quit”) is a known fact throughout the league. While other, more important members of the Warriors were quick to brush off Speights comments, one cannot easily dismiss them. After all, in most parables it is the fool or a small child who points out the failings that others refuse to admit, despite all contrary evidence.

Which brings us to our second damning quote which came from the Wizards’ own Nostradamus, Randy Wittman:  “It’s a troubling trend that we’ve had for the last 20, 25 games. We play one good half and just the exact opposite, awful, one half to the other. ”

Twenty or twenty-five games. A quarter of a season. A “trend” could be seen in as few as four-to-five  games. Twenty to Twenty-five games is institutional rot. Yet, nothing has been done. The Wizards continue to roll out the same offense that is sure to see them quickly ushered out of the playoffs. Wizards players appear to be so bored with executing the same ineffective sets that result in failure, that opponents now know they can be brazen enough to call them quitters and point to the dysfunction that lies just beneath the surface. At some point, Wittman lost the captaincy of this ship and now it drifts listless in an ocean of its own ineffective long-range 2-pointers, mired in ineptitude and complacency.

The time is long past for drastic changes. For better or for worse the Wizards are married to the sea and the course they have charted. Wittman appears to be committed to his Ahab-like obsession in hunting for the perfect 17-footer, and placing the Wizards failings on “defensive lapses” rather than the fact that the Wizards have not run a cohesive offensive set since the calendar turned.

It’s deep water and the Wizards are days from sighting land or returning order to what appears to be a growingly mutinous crew. Even if the Wizards make it to shore, no one should be surprised when that ship runs aground on the shoals of the first  round of the playoffs. Statistics and the idiot savant of the Golden State Warriors point toward a disastrous end.

Or perhaps Randy Wittman can take wisdom from the words of Edward Teach (Blackbeard):

“Such a day; rum all out. Our company somewhat sober; a damned confusion amongst us! Rogues a plotting. Talk of separation. So I looked sharp for a prize [and] took one with a great deal of liquor aboard. So kept the company hot, damned hot, then all things went well again.”

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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.