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Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread.

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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#21 » by montestewart » Fri Dec 4, 2020 1:38 am

trast66 wrote:I think he’s only the 3rd player who was an MVP at some point to be a player for franchise. Wes and Moses as well.

MJ says hi
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#22 » by trast66 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 1:42 am

montestewart wrote:
trast66 wrote:I think he’s only the 3rd player who was an MVP at some point to be a player for franchise. Wes and Moses as well.

MJ says hi



Yes! The trauma made me forget.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#23 » by doclinkin » Fri Dec 4, 2020 3:23 am

OK OK OK.

Westbrook is wearing the Chris Webber/Jamison number #4 not Agent Zero #0.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#24 » by NatP4 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 4:23 am

I’ll throw out a bold prediction. I think the wizards are going to the conference finals or NBA finals.

Hachimura is much improved, an efficient scorer and 3pt shooter. Brown turns into a highly effective combo guard 6th man. Avdija also surprises a lot of people and proves to be an impact player from day 1. Mathews turns into a key rotational piece. Bonga continues to develop into a quality 3&D wing.

It’s going to be a good season. they will play hard every night
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#25 » by ClutchDJ » Fri Dec 4, 2020 4:52 am

NatP4 wrote:I’ll throw out a bold prediction. I think the wizards are going to the conference finals or NBA finals.

Hachimura is much improved, an efficient scorer and 3pt shooter. Brown turns into a highly effective combo guard 6th man. Avdija also surprises a lot of people and proves to be an impact player from day 1. Mathews turns into a key rotational piece. Bonga continues to develop into a quality 3&D wing.

It’s going to be a good season. they will play hard every night

Gonna be hilarious when that 1st round exit smacks you back into reality.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#26 » by NatP4 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 6:02 am

ClutchDJ wrote:
NatP4 wrote:I’ll throw out a bold prediction. I think the wizards are going to the conference finals or NBA finals.

Hachimura is much improved, an efficient scorer and 3pt shooter. Brown turns into a highly effective combo guard 6th man. Avdija also surprises a lot of people and proves to be an impact player from day 1. Mathews turns into a key rotational piece. Bonga continues to develop into a quality 3&D wing.

It’s going to be a good season. they will play hard every night

Gonna be hilarious when that 1st round exit smacks you back into reality.



Oh how I’ve missed you ClutchDJ. I figured you would be gone from this board after the Wall trade!!
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#27 » by WallToWall » Fri Dec 4, 2020 6:10 am

With Westbrook, we are a playoff team. Once in the playoffs, playoff Westbrook is not going to get us far. We need to reinvent the way we play for the playoffs. Don't know what that would be, but I do hope that Brooks and Westbrook realize it.

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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#28 » by doclinkin » Fri Dec 4, 2020 1:22 pm

WallToWall wrote:With Westbrook, we are a playoff team. Once in the playoffs, playoff Westbrook is not going to get us far. We need to reinvent the way we play for the playoffs. Don't know what that would be, but I do hope that Brooks and Westbrook realize it.

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It's an interesting problem. Any high usage single player is likely to be game-planned out of effectiveness when they hit the playoffs. The solution would be to surround them with ball-handlers and passers at all other positions and keep the floor spread with quick-hit catch and shoot players. Then put that killer player in motion, either to free them or as a decoy to free up the shooters at other places on the floor while the defense marks and chases them around. Actually that is the Steph model, which worked particularly well in the GSW era since he has such a deadly catch and shoot game. And, what is underrated, he thinks like a point guard even off the ball, setting up others with screens and using his gravity to draw the defenses away from where the high percentage play really is.

We do have Beal and Bertans spreading the floor. Davis in particular has a deadly catch and shoot release the is unlikely to drop off much in the playoffs due to his height and quick trigger. Bryant has a developing 3 pt shot. Even players like Brook and Deni have a shot chart that shows proficiency from the Left and Right corner respectively. So the real question would be the smarts and skill set of the players off the ball, can they set picks and screens and move the ball or hit open shots while Beal and Russ are in motion.

Again to me it would be super useful to find a coach with experience in overseas ball. With the exception of Russ we don't have an athletic mismatch in our favor at any position on the ball. Leastways not every night and at the playoff level. So the way this team wins is not with the 'raise your game' mantra, but with smarts and synergy. This team is kinda built like the Spain teams that played well with Rudy Fernandez (Westbrook) and Juan Carlos Navarro (Beal) -- and Jose Calderon if you count Ish Smith in the mix. The difference is we don't have the savvy bigs like the Gasol brothers to set screens, pass, hit jumpers and spring loose the mobile guards. But still, many Euro squads play well with multiple attacking guards who can play both on the ball and off, surrounded by screeners passers and long range bigs.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#29 » by nate33 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 2:13 pm

NatP4 wrote:I’ll throw out a bold prediction. I think the wizards are going to the conference finals or NBA finals.

Hachimura is much improved, an efficient scorer and 3pt shooter. Brown turns into a highly effective combo guard 6th man. Avdija also surprises a lot of people and proves to be an impact player from day 1. Mathews turns into a key rotational piece. Bonga continues to develop into a quality 3&D wing.

It’s going to be a good season. they will play hard every night

There's not enough defense on the roster to get out of Round 1 if we make the playoffs at all. Hachimura would have to make a MAJOR leap defensively (unlikely), and Beal would have to take advantage of his reduced offensive role to rededicate some more effort into defense (possible, but not all that likely). Typically, once a player gets used to being a "star" on offense who gets away with slacking on D, they never get back to playing tough D again.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#30 » by prime1time » Fri Dec 4, 2020 2:32 pm

I've said it previously but you can't really evaluate a team's defense until they are actually locked in and playing hard. I look forward to Westbrook's toughness and tenacity rubbing off on his teammates. Defense isn't that hard to do when everyone's really playing hard, and genuinely believes they are on a contending team. The Miami Heat have been playing good defense for years. Way before they got Bam. Regardless of who's on the court. Hopefully, Westbrook will instill his competitive mindset here on our young players. Beal seems to have the same mindset, but one voice is better than two. A fast start for us will be key. Regardless Westbrook is going to go down firing which you have to respect.

Also, players aren't stupid. Westbrook wanted to come to DC. To be clear he pushed his way to DC. This is it. This is his last real chance. When we drafted Advija, I talked about character and culture and mindset. Westbrook has all of that spades. His competitiveness night in and night out is Kobe/MJ esque. Even if we don't win much with him here if all he does is instill that mindset on our young players, the trade will be worth it IMO. For the vast majority of my adult life, the Wizards have been perennial underperformers. Creating a culture where that is no longer the case is paramount to becoming a contender.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#31 » by prime1time » Fri Dec 4, 2020 2:36 pm

WallToWall wrote:With Westbrook, we are a playoff team. Once in the playoffs, playoff Westbrook is not going to get us far. We need to reinvent the way we play for the playoffs. Don't know what that would be, but I do hope that Brooks and Westbrook realize it.

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Idk, Rockets make the finals if they are in the East last year. How good are the Heat? I think the East is their for the taking if Westbrook's fit works. And I don't get the hate for Westbrook. We can put together lineups that have legit shooting around him. And he's still a very effective driver. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#32 » by NatP4 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 2:51 pm

I don’t expect them to be a good defensive team, but they will be much improved. Just simply going into the season with a healthy star point guard will raise everyone’s effort level, and Neto and Lopez are upgrades from Wagner and IT defensively. Brown and Hachimura will make a jump, Avdija will surprise.

The difference of a backcourt of Isaiah Thomas and high usage Beal to Westbrook and lower usage Beal, will be much better defensively. If Mathews gets playing time, he will be another atleast average defender.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#33 » by Frichuela » Fri Dec 4, 2020 3:14 pm

doclinkin wrote:
WallToWall wrote:With Westbrook, we are a playoff team. Once in the playoffs, playoff Westbrook is not going to get us far. We need to reinvent the way we play for the playoffs. Don't know what that would be, but I do hope that Brooks and Westbrook realize it.

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It's an interesting problem. Any high usage single player is likely to be game-planned out of effectiveness when they hit the playoffs. The solution would be to surround them with ball-handlers and passers at all other positions and keep the floor spread with quick-hit catch and shoot players. Then put that killer player in motion, either to free them or as a decoy to free up the shooters at other places on the floor while the defense marks and chases them around. Actually that is the Steph model, which worked particularly well in the GSW era since he has such a deadly catch and shoot game. And, what is underrated, he thinks like a point guard even off the ball, setting up others with screens and using his gravity to draw the defenses away from where the high percentage play really is.

We do have Beal and Bertans spreading the floor. Davis in particular has a deadly catch and shoot release the is unlikely to drop off much in the playoffs due to his height and quick trigger. Bryant has a developing 3 pt shot. Even players like Brook and Deni have a shot chart that shows proficiency from the Left and Right corner respectively. So the real question would be the smarts and skill set of the players off the ball, can they set picks and screens and move the ball or hit open shots while Beal and Russ are in motion.

Again to me it would be super useful to find a coach with experience in overseas ball. With the exception of Russ we don't have an athletic mismatch in our favor at any position on the ball. Leastways not every night and at the playoff level. So the way this team wins is not with the 'raise your game' mantra, but with smarts and synergy. This team is kinda built like the Spain teams that played well with Rudy Fernandez (Westbrook) and Juan Carlos Navarro (Beal) -- and Jose Calderon if you count Ish Smith in the mix. The difference is we don't have the savvy bigs like the Gasol brothers to set screens, pass, hit jumpers and spring loose the mobile guards. But still, many Euro squads play well with multiple attacking guards who can play both on the ball and off, surrounded by screeners passers and long range bigs.


Great points Doclinkin. Very much in agreement.

I have serious concerns about Brook's ability to adapt once in the playoffs...His old OKC modus operandi of two stars (Westbrook/Durant) taking turns at playing hero ball will not work.

Thinking glass half full, last season's offense with increasing ball sharing was an improvement, and this should be the way going forward...
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#34 » by nate33 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 3:29 pm

prime1time wrote:Defense isn't that hard to do when everyone's really playing hard, and genuinely believes they are on a contending team. The Miami Heat have been playing good defense for years. Way before they got Bam. Regardless of who's on the court.

I agree with this in theory. It's just been so long since we've seen a Washington Wizards team actually pull this off.

The only time in the last 30 years that the team played good defense was a brief stint under Randy Whitman when Nene was reasonably healthy and playing 1500+ minutes a season. They ranked 5th, 8th and 5th in DRtg in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. (They were horrible on offense at the time, ranking 30th, 17th and 22nd respectively.) Other than those 3 years, the Wizards haven't been a top 10 ranked defense since the Manute Bol era.

Under Brooks, they've ranked 20th, 15th, 28th and 30th defensively. Not a good trend.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#35 » by NatP4 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 3:52 pm

nate33 wrote:
prime1time wrote:Defense isn't that hard to do when everyone's really playing hard, and genuinely believes they are on a contending team. The Miami Heat have been playing good defense for years. Way before they got Bam. Regardless of who's on the court.

I agree with this in theory. It's just been so long since we've seen a Washington Wizards team actually pull this off.

The only time in the last 30 years that the team played good defense was a brief stint under Randy Whitman when Nene was reasonably healthy and playing 1500+ minutes a season. They ranked 5th, 8th and 5th in DRtg in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. (They were horrible on offense at the time, ranking 30th, 17th and 22nd respectively.) Other than those 3 years, the Wizards haven't been a top 10 ranked defense since the Manute Bol era.

Under Brooks, they've ranked 20th, 15th, 28th and 30th defensively. Not a good trend.



20th and 15th aren’t that bad. When you lock up guys like Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant, and Davis Bertans, the strength of your team is not going to be defense. Those last two seasons are a result of having fill in journeymen PGs with Wall out, so we can assume that Westbrook atleast gets you back into the respectable range 15-20(I know Westbrook is not a good defender)

They have rotated in so many end of the bench guys over the last two seasons, I don’t put much weight into any of the numbers.

Bryant, Bonga, Brown, Hachimura will all be better defenders this year, just from gaining experience
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#36 » by nate33 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 3:56 pm

NatP4 wrote:
nate33 wrote:
prime1time wrote:Defense isn't that hard to do when everyone's really playing hard, and genuinely believes they are on a contending team. The Miami Heat have been playing good defense for years. Way before they got Bam. Regardless of who's on the court.

I agree with this in theory. It's just been so long since we've seen a Washington Wizards team actually pull this off.

The only time in the last 30 years that the team played good defense was a brief stint under Randy Whitman when Nene was reasonably healthy and playing 1500+ minutes a season. They ranked 5th, 8th and 5th in DRtg in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. (They were horrible on offense at the time, ranking 30th, 17th and 22nd respectively.) Other than those 3 years, the Wizards haven't been a top 10 ranked defense since the Manute Bol era.

Under Brooks, they've ranked 20th, 15th, 28th and 30th defensively. Not a good trend.



20th and 15th aren’t that bad. When you lock up guys like Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant, and Davis Bertans, the strength of your team is not going to be defense. Those last two seasons are a result of having fill in journeymen PGs with Wall out, so we can assume that Westbrook atleast gets you back into the respectable range 15-20(I know Westbrook is not a good defender)

They have rotated in so many end of the bench guys over the last two seasons, I don’t put much weight into any of the numbers.

Bryant, Bonga, Brown, Hachimura will all be better defenders this year, just from gaining experience

Ranking 20th in defense isn't going to put this team in the Conference Finals.

I'd be happy with a 20th ranked defense if we maintained our offensive production and finished 6th or so on offense. That would be a 46-ish win team. But I have doubts whether this team can even play 20th caliber defense.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#37 » by NatP4 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 4:06 pm

nate33 wrote:
NatP4 wrote:
nate33 wrote:I agree with this in theory. It's just been so long since we've seen a Washington Wizards team actually pull this off.

The only time in the last 30 years that the team played good defense was a brief stint under Randy Whitman when Nene was reasonably healthy and playing 1500+ minutes a season. They ranked 5th, 8th and 5th in DRtg in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. (They were horrible on offense at the time, ranking 30th, 17th and 22nd respectively.) Other than those 3 years, the Wizards haven't been a top 10 ranked defense since the Manute Bol era.

Under Brooks, they've ranked 20th, 15th, 28th and 30th defensively. Not a good trend.



20th and 15th aren’t that bad. When you lock up guys like Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant, and Davis Bertans, the strength of your team is not going to be defense. Those last two seasons are a result of having fill in journeymen PGs with Wall out, so we can assume that Westbrook atleast gets you back into the respectable range 15-20(I know Westbrook is not a good defender)

They have rotated in so many end of the bench guys over the last two seasons, I don’t put much weight into any of the numbers.

Bryant, Bonga, Brown, Hachimura will all be better defenders this year, just from gaining experience

Ranking 20th in defense isn't going to put this team in the Conference Finals.

I'd be happy with a 20th ranked defense if we maintained our offensive production and finished 6th or so on offense. That would be a 46-ish win team. But I have doubts whether this team can even play 20th caliber defense.


I never said 20th would get them to the conference finals, I said it wasn’t that bad. Denver ranked 16th in defensive rating and went to the conference finals. Miami was outside the top 10. Dallas, Houston, Miami, Utah, Denver all won 43+ games without a top 10 defense.

The year before, the warriors, clippers, Spurs, 76ers, blazers, and rockets all won around 50 games with bottom half ranked defenses. Blazers took the 16th ranked defense to the conference finals.

They aren’t winning a championship, but if you look at the roster from last season to now, they can easily get in the 13-20 range.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#38 » by NatP4 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 4:14 pm

When it comes down to it, it’s Brooks’ personnel decisions that make this team bad defensively. In 2017-2018, he overused Meeks, Frazier, Mike Scott, Ty Lawson, and of course, Jason Smith, all awful defenders. Markief Morris was also terrible.

In 2016-2017 he had a love affair with Marcus Thornton and Brandon Jennings. That was after he finally got over his Trey burke obsession. Also decided to play Bogdonavic over Otto and Oubre.

Brooks messes up simple personnel decisions that could make you a 10-15 ranked defense, instead of a 15-20. He will do the same this year but there is less garbage on the roster
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#39 » by DCZards » Fri Dec 4, 2020 4:16 pm

NatP4 wrote:I’ll throw out a bold prediction. I think the wizards are going to the conference finals or NBA finals.

Hachimura is much improved, an efficient scorer and 3pt shooter. Brown turns into a highly effective combo guard 6th man. Avdija also surprises a lot of people and proves to be an impact player from day 1. Mathews turns into a key rotational piece. Bonga continues to develop into a quality 3&D wing.

It’s going to be a good season. they will play hard every night

The Zards will be improved and I expect them to make the playoffs. But I don’t think there's any way that we make it to the ECF. There are too many better teams ahead of us, including Milwaukee (which will be improved with the addition of Holiday); Boston; Brooklyn (with the addition of Kyrie & Durant); Philadelphia; and the Raptors.

Although they made the NBA finals this year, I’m not sold on Miami being a whole lot better than the Zards.

I hope (and expect) that we do see improvement from Rui, Brown, Deni and the other youngsters--and that these players will have a positive impact on the Zards' ability to win games. But I believe it will take at least another year or two before they reach the kind of performance levels you describe.
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Re: Russell Westbrook in DC Appreciation Thread. 

Post#40 » by penbeast0 » Fri Dec 4, 2020 5:13 pm

nate33 wrote:I agree with this in theory. It's just been so long since we've seen a Washington Wizards team actually pull this off.

The only time in the last 30 years that the team played good defense was a brief stint under Randy Whitman when Nene was reasonably healthy and playing 1500+ minutes a season. They ranked 5th, 8th and 5th in DRtg in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. (They were horrible on offense at the time, ranking 30th, 17th and 22nd respectively.) Other than those 3 years, the Wizards haven't been a top 10 ranked defense since the Manute Bol era.

Under Brooks, they've ranked 20th, 15th, 28th and 30th defensively. Not a good trend.


Manute had his own era? Cool.
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