Washington Wizards’ New Offense Sparks Optimism In Fans


As fans of the Washington Wizards, we’ve been programmed to be optimistic.

That irrational optimism could be traced back to the post Gilbert Arenas era, when JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche were considered a part of the team’s core. This will be JaVale’s season, I swear. Unfortunately, his season never came.

Luckily for us, the team has gone through a terrible rebuilding process and we’re finally seeing some success.

John Wall and Bradley Beal fell into the team’s lap, but we have to give credit where it’s due.

Ernie Grunfeld has done a solid job of transforming the Washington Wizards’ culture by acquiring a number of solid veterans through trades. He’s also obtained key pieces in Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre — both of whom have the potential to become fantastic players at the next level.

Still, even though the Wizards’ recent success has produced some #positivepixels, there have always been complaints about the team. Washington has made it to the semi-finals for two consecutive seasons, but it still felt like something was missing. That something was a competent, modern offense.

I’ve spoken to a number of people within the organization and a change to the team’s offense had been discussed a few years ago, but nothing happened. When some suggested that the Washington Wizards play small against the slow, methodical Indiana Pacers in the semi-finals, Wittman opted to play big and the team was bounced out as a result.

A change was needed, but in all honesty, change didn’t seem possible with Wittman as the head coach.

As one of the most stubborn, old-school coaches in the NBA, it simply didn’t seem realistic that he would change his philosophy. Since it’s the Washington Wizards, of course he obviously changed his style, creating one of the weirdest shifts that I can remember.

Wittman played small-ball during the NBA Playoffs by slotting Paul Pierce at the four spot along side John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat.

Washington’s archaic offense was suddenly replaced by an up-tempo, perimeter-oriented offense that allowed the players to thrive on both ends of the floor.

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If the Wizards didn’t have an overwhelming amount of success with the style during the playoffs, I doubt Wittman would’ve carried it over to this year’s regular season, but regardless a change seems to have taken place.

Grunfeld went out and acquired numerous wing players this summer — Alan Anderson, Jared Dudley, Kelly Oubre and Jared Dudley — in order to help Wittman incorporate the more versatile offense.

Now, the Washington Wizards are beginning to play a style that they should’ve put in place years ago.

Writers, critics, bloggers and everyone with eyes knew that the Washington Wizards had to change their style to get the most out of their back court.

Wall, the quickest point guard in the league, needs players around him that could run and space the floor. Beal was told to take the best available shot, even if it was a long two, which ultimately limited his offensive production. This season, the Washington Wizards are consciously shooting more threes and they looked great in their first preseason game, albeit against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The new up-tempo offense has created a buzz in the Wizards’ locker room, but it’s also caused some excitement for the fans, who’ve been desperately waiting for a change.

Some fans are really excited about the change…

…and others aren’t sold on it, just yet

Until we see the team have success with the new style against legitimate contenders during the regular season, we should probably hold our optimism. But man, after seeing them dismantle the Sixers (I know, I know…) in the first preseason game, it’s incredibly difficult not to become irrationally confident in Mike D’Anto.., erm, Randy Wittman‘s club.

The Washington Wizards have built an incredible foundation with great young players and they’re finally being utilized correctly. For that reason, feel free to be irrationally positive about the upcoming season.

Next: Oubre Has Tools To Challenge Vets For Playing Time

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