Why Wes Unseld Jr is the worst head coach in the NBA right now

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr of the Washington Wizards reacts during game against the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Head coach Wes Unseld Jr of the Washington Wizards reacts during game against the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Wes Unseld Jr, Washington Wizards
Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images) /

Speaking of defensive potential, that is another are Wes Unseld Jr has wasted.

This year’s edition of the Washington Wizards features two of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. Deni Avdija and Delon Wright have been nothing short of elite on that end of the floor this season. They also have Daniel Gafford, Kyle Kuzma, and Jordan Goodwin, all of whom are high-quality defensive players. Even Monte Morris is good defensively.

Instead, the Wizards are, again, average at best on defense. They rank 20th in the league in defensive rating, despite the defensive prowess of some of their players. A horrible statistic for a team with so much potential.

A large part of the issue has been the defensive gameplan put forth by Unseld Jr. He has failed to find a way to cover up Porzingis and his inability to keep up with guards. He has even made it worse by seemingly not addressing it at all.

He has also allowed Bradley Beal to not buy in on the defensive end. He instead watches the star guard let opposing players blow right by him and allow Gafford and Porzingis to rack up fouls. This hurts to watch as Beal is a capable defender. Just a few games ago, he locked down Trae Young on back-to-back possessions leading to a Wizards win.

We have seen players grow from poor defenders to competent and even good ones with the right coaching staff, gameplan, and effort. Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic, two players that Unseld Jr used to coach, are perfect examples of this. While they used to be horrible defenders, they have evolved to be serviceable and even good on some nights. Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis should be no different.

A large part of their evolution as players was related to motivation and effort combined with the will to win. These are aspects that a good coach can nurture. The bare minimum could be awarding good defense following every game. Something that great defensive coaches such as Michael Malone, JB Bickerstaff, and Mike Brown do.

Each of the previously listed coaches make a big deal of awarding outstanding defense and their teams make a big deal out of it on social media as well. This idea could help the Washington Wizards improve defensively as well as help create a legitimate culture for the team.