The Washington Wizards need to win. Has anyone told Scott Brooks?
Wins has been few and far between for the Washington Wizards over the past couple of seasons.
A big reason for the lack of success has to do with injuries. Whether it was John Wall missing the last two years, or Dwight Howard missing all but nine games during his one season in Washington, injuries have defined the Wizards in recent years.
This is why a comment Wizards’ coach Scott Brooks made irked me. The comment, tweeted out by Washington Post reporter Ava Wallace, was that there is a high possibility newly acquired point guard Russell Westbrook will not play back-to-backs.
A decision to have Westbrook not play in any back-to-back games would be an insane one. I assumed Wall was traded to Houston for Westbrook because Westbrook provides stability at the point guard position that Wall, coming off a two-year injury hiatus, did not.
Westbrook has only had one real injury-plagued season (46 games played in 2013-14) in his 12 years in the NBA. Yes, he is 32-years-old but in this day and age, 32 is not old at all. A few days off here and there is important for a veteran in his 13th season, but every back-to-back? Do the Wizards really want to make the playoffs and contend in the east? Was this move meant for winning? Because sitting your newly acquired superstar during crucial games doesn’t seem like a winning formula.
Back-to-backs on the Wizards’ schedule where Westbrook is needed are January 8 and 9 against Eastern Conference runner-up Boston and NBA Finals runner-up Miami; Jan. 26 and 27 against Houston and New Orleans; and Feb. 22 and 23 against the Los Angeles teams. Those will be tough tests, regardless, but even tougher if the Wizards are shorthanded.
It would be a horrendous move by Brooks and Wizards’ management to sit Westbrook in games potentially affecting seeding. Again, he does not have the injury history or age to warrant this decision. Plus, it’s a huge loss for the Wizards. In total, the Wizards have seven back-to-backs during the first half of their schedule. If Westbrook missed one game from each of those sets and nothing more, he’s already on the bench for at least 10 percent of the season.
I thought bringing in Westbrook would help Brooks harken back to his days having success in Oklahoma City but apparently, it has not. I hope he comes to his senses and plays Westbrook in all games that matter this season.