The weather may be colder, but at least one team in DC is hot right now – and there appears to be plenty of room on the bandwagon. Meanwhile, it’s status quo on the “drama front” at Redskins Park. We deal with all of it in this week’s 3 Points Blog.
Skins Off-Season likely to be more interesting than Regular Season
There are only four games left for the 3-9 Redskins. It would be nice to see them play out the string with some dignity over the next four weeks. However, that’s never possible with the NFL’s top-selling drama squad.
According to The Washington Post, Jay Gruden has seen enough of Robert Griffin III and is ready to move on after the season. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted out that ‘there’s a real chance’ Robert Griffin III could start again this season. Hmm…business as usual at Redskins Park.
The reality of this situation will show itself once the regular season ends. If Gruden is truly done with RGIII, why have him as the #2 quarterback each week? Is that some type of concession to the powers that be? Do they feel that keeps up his value somehow? The problem with the value argument is the other 31 teams have access to the ‘All 22’ and can see how poorly he’s played.
So maybe ( and I know this seems like a long shot with all the signs pointing the other direction) Gruden hasn’t given up on Griffin just yet. Maybe they will hit the reset button again and give it another shot next season with the former Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Then there’s still the question of Kirk Cousins. Is he “done” in the coaches’ eyes? He’s buried as the #3 backup, and there seems to be no push to get him back on the field. Why not play all 3 in the final 4 weeks to get a “live game evaluation” of their particular skill sets?
The “unthinkable” to most observers seems to be that perhaps Colt McCoy could be more than just a “short-term band aid” on the position. None of the questions will be answered on-the-record until the season ends. Until then, look for a lot of ‘sources’ getting out their feelings on the situation.
Wizards Winning Games not Fans
The Wizards are a much better home team this season. They’re off to an 8-2 start at Verizon Center, and last Wednesday night they protected the home floor in a win over the Lakers. In reality, the Wizards overcame a road-like atmosphere to get that win. There are plenty of Kobe Bryant and Lakers fans around the country. I get that. But the Wizards should no longer be the “undercard” at home.
Through the first 10 home games, the Wizards rank just 18th in the league in attendance at 17,046 a game. It would be great if that was the actual number of fans that were attending each night. The Wizards/Bullets history has been filled with more failures than successes. However, times do change and so do franchises. This current Wizards group should not be paying the price for the past failures.
John Wall was the #1 overall pick in 2010 and has developed not only into an all-star, but one of the NBA’s best point guards. He and Bradley Beal are perhaps the best young backcourt in the NBA. Future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce was added into the mix this season. The team locked up Marcin Gortat for the next five years. ‘The Polish Machine’ is a big-time player and personality. The roster is filled with pros like Nene, Drew Gooden, Andre Miller, Rasual Butler, and Georgetown product Otto Porter.
I could go on and on about the goodness of the Wizards roster right now from a performance and character standpoint. But the bottom line should be their performance. They’re winning games. I know the NBA season is 82 games, and championships are not won in December. But the Wizards are backing up a playoff season with one of their best starts in over 4 decades.
In a city where winning at a high level is rare these days, you would think more fans would be on board with this Wizards team. Maybe they need more proof? Maybe harsh feelings over the Arenas era still exist and they don’t want to be burned?
Whatever is keeping the hoops fans away can’t be a concern of the players. They just need to keep winning and hope the bandwagon fills up when games start to get bigger.
This off-season, the Wizards went big with their roster. They re-signed Marcin Gortat and Drew Gooden, and already had Nene under contract for two more years. Yet they went out and acquired both Kris Humphries and DaJuan Blair and then kept Kevin Seraphin around. On the surface it seems like a lot of players at the same positions. It was the ultimate admission that they needed to “Nene-proof” the roster.
Nene has a high basketball IQ and incredible skill set, but he’s constantly injured and sidelined. The Wizards have suffered in years past when he went down. This year with Kris Humphries starting on the front line with Gortat, the Wizards have won 3-straight and are 3-2 in the last 5 games since Nene went out with plantar fasciitis.
Humphries is a monster on the boards. Gooden is strong on the glass too, and adds the element of stretch 4 when he’s knocking down shots from the outside. Seraphin can score in the post. Blair has been on the outside looking in at the minutes for now, but this is the NBA and that could change quickly.
There’s a good chance Nene could return tonight against his old franchise, the Denver Nuggets. That would be great news for the Wizards. They are better with him than without. It is likely Nene will be on a minutes limit for the remainder of the regular season. I think that could benefit both parties. It will allow Nene to build strength and stamina in his foot as the year goes on, and it will allow the Wizards’ other “big men” valuable minutes.
The bottom line is this: The Wizards will need Nene to be healthy in April, May and perhaps June if they are still playing. Now with the front court depth, they are afforded the luxury and taking a safe approach.