More Van Gundy on Vesely, Wittman, Wizards' direction

More Van Gundy on Vesely, Wittman, Wizards' direction
February 7, 2013, 3:45 am
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Yesterday we posted the John Wall portion of CSNwashington's exclusive interview with former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. Today more from the current NBC Sports basketball analyst on the Wizards, including his take on the overall roster, Jan Vesely and Randy Wittman...

CSN: Without any significant changes or additions, next season's core likely remains John Wall, Nene, Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor. Beyond that, we'll see, but your thoughts on that group?

Stan Van Gundy: "They would need to get better. Somewhere along the line, they would need to get more talent than that on the offensive end of the floor. I think Nene and Okafor have been a good center combination; Nene can score, Okafor solid defensively. Those two guys being physical is one of the reasons they've been good defensively. I think [Kevin] Seraphin can score so they've got some bigs that are pretty good.

"I like Beal, he can shoot the ball. Another good player who I don't think is a franchise guy. You can have those guys on your team, but somewhere their going to have to come up with a great offensive player. I don't think it's on that roster. It's hard to judge that with any finality because they're young, but I don't see it."

CSN: You coached against Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely last season when both played significantly larger roles for the Wizards. What were your thoughts on the two forwards then and coming into the 2011 draft?

SVG: "I liked Singleton coming out of Florida State, I saw him a few times. I think he's capable of really guarding, but another guy who is rather limited offensively.

"Vesely, I'm not really sure, even last year. I would see flashes of him in every game, but what I didn't see was many good games. You'd see one or two plays within a game. I think what you're really looking for young players - you expect that they're not going to be consistent necessarily from night to night offensively, but what you'd like to see is good games, not just a moment within a game and I didn't see much of that out of Vesely."

CSN: Your take on the overall roster and direction.

"They're going to have to get a veteran - could be a young veteran - a proven guy who is a solid player, play 35, 36 minutes a game and score the ball. Defensively - and I gave credit to Randy. I think he's done a terrific job taking a young team and making them a good defensive team. That's not easy to do. Offensively, you can't do it with just coaching. You're going to need more talent than what they have on the roster. They're going to get another pick this year, so you'll just have to see. You're going to wait a long time if you're just going to wait through the draft. Maybe they can make a deal for a more proven guy somewhere along the line.

CSN: We're you surprised the franchise did not make any changes in leadership after last season.

SVG: "I think Randy has done a terrific job. I think that would have been mistake. It's a remarkable accomplishment...it's one thing to come out of training camp without John Wall and convince guys to work at the defensive end. But then, when you're 5-28, to keep those guys defending when it's not producing results for them is a very difficult thing to do and Randy's done that for them. They're in the Top 10 in the league and have been all year in terms of defensive efficiency. I give their players a lot of credit. I give Randy a good portion of the credit for that. No, I think making a change with coaches would be a major mistake for them.

"As far as general manager, for me that's hard to judge because I don't know what their long-term plan is and where they are in that plan. Without knowing that I'd have a hard time commenting. I just now that right now - and I'm sure that [President Ernie Grunfeld] would agree - they don't have enough."

As for expectations over the remainder of this season, Van Gundy said, “I agree with their owner. He talked about wanting to see this team play .500 ball for the rest of the season. If they could do that that would be a major accomplishment and a major step forward."