Its two hours before tipoff between the Wizards and Sacramento Kings and President Ernie Grunfeld is meeting with season ticket holders. Team owner Ted Leonsis is also part of the meet and greet along with former Bullets Kevin Grevey and Bobby Dandridge.
The first half of the season was a fuzzy blur including the firing of head coach Flip Saunders, but for Leonsis the plan remains clear. Grevey and Dandrige support the plan to draft and develop talent. The ultimate goal is to build a team that wins a title like Grevey and Dandridge did in 1978.
I think we are trying to find an identity and who we are and what kind of team we are, said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. I think we are playing much harder and are taking advantage of the resources we have including speed, length, and athleticism. We have a point-guard that likes to get up and down the floor and we need players that can play with John.
Wall is the centerpiece of the Wizards developing an identity. The Wizards are at their best when they play in transition and Wall leads the charge. After a slow start to the 20112012 season, Wall settled into more comfortably running the break. Wall has also showed a greater ability to play at different speeds and has improved his mid-range jumper.
Identity is something that comes with repetition through games and practice time, Grevey noted. Right now the Wizards are a group of free flowing colts out there. They need to stay with their strengths. Summer is important. Players need to play together in summer league. They need to talk about it, breathe it, play it, and believe in one another.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, the lockout wiped out the summer league and the typical month long pre-season. Still the rookie class of Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack has jumped right into the rotation. Singleton is in the starting lineup, Mack has been a solid back up to Wall, and Vesely has demonstrated potential and the ability to run with Wall.
There are 33 games left in this season for the Wizards to work on crafting their identity. Decisions have to be made about not only who the Wizards are on the floor, but who will be a part of the team going forward. With a 7-26 record, the Wizards are set for another high draft pick and a veteran who can play consistent minutes with consistent production is also needed.
We want to play the game the right way, Grunfeld added. Thats making the extra pass, helping out on the defensive end, rebounding the basketball, and playing with high energy and high intensity at all times. We have seen a lot of that, but when you have young players you are going to be inconsistent. Still those young payers are getting valuable minutes at an NBA level and that will be helpful over time.