By Abdullah Sharif
As we finally approach the start of the upcoming NBA season, the Wizards find themselves with plenty of unanswered questions: how did the lockout and shortened offseason affect the progression of players? Will Andray Blatche be able to turn the corner in his career and finally give us what Wizards fans have been yearning for: consistency?
One of the key factors that will play a part in the Wizards success or failure this year is the issue of immaturity. The Wizards have only one player over the age of 25 (Rashard Lewis), making them one of the youngest teams in the NBA. Lack of veteran leadership will impact the growth of the young players and the Wizards seem to be in position to address that issue when free agency begins later this week.
As fans, when your team is the winners of only 23 games and you have an issue with your high-potential players performing well on a consistent basis, the fact of whether or not they can stomach a spoonful of cinnamon becomes very irrelevant and unimportant. Clearly Im talking about Nick Young and JaVale McGee.
As fans, when your starting power forward fails to play at the level we know he has the potential to, Lapdance Tuesdays dont sound very intriguing, unless you have a failing sex life. Ill cut the man some slack though. Weve all noticed Drays maturity recently improve, especially during the lockout this past summer. However, bringing up his antics from the past is merely implying that we shouldnt disregard the issues weve had with him over the course of his career. Dray has made relentless efforts to stay in basketball shape, holding private workouts with teammates even with no end to the lockout in sight and thats a very promising sign.
Having to deal with maturity issues amongst young players heavily falls on the coaching staff. Flip Saunders plays a vital role in the development of these players and whether or not he can keep this bunch focused and out of trouble will be a major factor in which direction the Wizards go this year.