Coach Wes Unseld Jr's bizarre rotation decisions cost Washington Wizards games

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The Washington Wizards can't win any close games. If the game is down to the wire, rest assured, the Wizards will find a way to lose the game. For a team that already suffers more blowouts than any other team in the league, being awful in the clutch hurts even more. According to data, the Wizards have lost all six of their clutch games and have the worst point differential in the league in those situations. One of the primary culprits for this failure is head coach Wes Unseld Jr.

In the Wizards' 130-125 loss to the Orlando Magic last night, Unseld Jr continued to make head-scratching rotational decisions. Despite being lit up by the Orlando Magic offense, he elected to close the game with the tiny Tyus Jones-Jordan Poole backcourt and not play Deni Avdija in the final seven minutes of the game. In the five minutes after taking Avdija off the floor, the Magic went on a 14-5 run, took the lead and never relinquished it.

Wizards still can't guard anybody

In those closing minutes, the Orlando Magic went to the rim at will. They got whatever they wanted in the pick-and-roll, off-ball-cuts, and attacks to the rim. That shouldn't have come as a surprise since the same team scored 139 points on the Wizards just two days prior. Orlando had physically overwhelmed the Wizards for seven quarters of basketball. Wes Unseld Jr's response to this was to take out Avdija; one of his best defenders and one of the only Wizards who could physically match up with Orlando's size. Instead, Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole provided plenty of defensive weaknesses for Orlando to take advantage of.

The Orlando Magic finished the game with an offensive rating of 122.9, a significantly higher number than their season average of 115.3. You are not going to beat one of the best defensive teams in the league if you also allow them to score at will. The Wizards had to get more stops throughout the game, but instead, Unseld Jr. only gave Avdija 20 minutes of action.

Avdija earned the right to close games with his performance

Sitting Avdija at the end of a close game doesn't make sense in a player development sense, either. Avdija has been the second-best player on the Wizards all season. He has finally started showing two-way ability and he is one of the only promising, young players on the roster. The 22-year-old Avdija getting more reps in a close game is perhaps more important than winning or losing this game. The decision to not reward your young player who has shown encouraging improvement this season and choosing to give his minutes to Jones and Poole is baffling.

The Washington Wizards have plenty of problems. The roster is too young and too inexperienced to be a good team. No one is expecting them to be competitive. Yet, it is still safe to say that coach Unseld Jr isn't helping on that front. Things need to change, soon.

4 head coaches. 4 head coaches who can replace Wes Unseld Jr. . dark. Next