We are nine days away from the Washington Wizards’ season opener. In what projects to be an exciting rebuilding season for the Wizards, the depth chart and rotation roles are still uncertain. The team must still make some moves ahead of the season and finalize the starting five. The two preseason games provided some insights on what the Wizards’ rotation should look like. One is about the combination of Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole in the backcourt.
Jones and Poole are the two best guards on the Wizards roster, so it makes sense for them to be the starting backcourt. Jones as the steady, table-setting floor general, and Poole as the dynamic scorer is a good combination on the offensive end. However, defensive issues and a lack of playmaking on the bench make it a challenging fit.
Despite playing with effort and discipline, Jones struggles on the defensive end with his lack of size, strength, and athleticism. Not only is Jordan Poole similarly undersized, but he also struggles with his effort level. Two of them on the floor together is a defensive liability, as demonstrated in the first half of the preseason matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
The other issue is that the Wizards don’t have enough playmaking and shot creation off the bench. When Poole and Jones were both off the court, the bench units struggled to find good looks. This will likely continue as that is not the strong suit of the likes of Delon Wright and Johnny Davis.
Therefore, it behooves the Wizards to separate Jones and Poole as much as possible. They can start together, but one of them can come out early to go back in with the bench unit as their primary option. Poole and Jones both have plenty of experience running limited bench groups on their previous teams. They are well suited for the role.
This will not only solve the bench issue, but it will also strengthen team defense. If Coulibaly, Avdija (whoever isn’t starting), or Delon Wright comes in for either guard, that group could make for a solid defensive unit.
That is something coach Wes Unseld Jr. should consider. And since this is an experimental season, he most likely will. That way we can see if it’s as good of an idea on the floor as it sounds hypothetically.