nate33 wrote:It's still extremely disappointing that the defense is so terrible. While it's true that we don't have a lot of great defenders on the team, it doesn't mean our defense should be this bad... The answer is coaching.
Absolutely agree, but I'd go one step further and say it starts in the front office.
San Antonio and Miami have clearly puts emphasis on defense for decades now; they have their modus operandi in place and no one questions it because they go get guys who are willing to buy into their systems. I mean, Miami has paid Udonis Haslem to be a practice player for years just because of everything he brings to the organization off the court and Miami didn't hesitate to give Iguodala -- a player on his last legs -- a 2-year, $30M extension when they acquired him. What Miami and San Antonio have built has been so successful that they have exported a lot of guys as head coaches or lead assistants around the league, at colleges, and for team USA (Brett Brown, Mike Budenholzer, David Fizdale, Stan Van Gundy, Alvin Gentry, James Borrego, Juwan Howard, Ime Udoka, Mike Brown, Jacques Vaughn) . San Antonio even exported Sam Presti, who is easily one of the top-5 GMs in the league, and Sean Marks (Brooklyn).
Two teams that I think are good examples for Washington to try emulate would be OKC and New Orleans. OKC hit the jackpot with Westbrook, Durant, Ibaka, and Harden in 3 years, but it all eventually broke down for OKC. Still, they have traded for an insane number of picks and have acquired solid veterans, like Chris Paul (last year), Al Horford, and George Hill to play alongside their young guys. New Orleans acquired a former OKC player in Steven Adams, along with Eric Bledsoe, and JJ Redick to help develop their young guys. They even hired Stan Van Gundy -- a high-discipline, defense-oriented coach exported from Miami -- to run the show and instill that defensive mindset into offensive-minded players, like Ingram and Ball.
If I were running Washington, I would have all of the above in mind when searching for a coach and when deciding what to do with the roster. The changes won't happen overnight, but I think Washington really needs to concentrate on establishing a strong player development program, creating a culture, and acquiring veterans who can help them remain reasonably competitive and, at the same time, set an example for their young guys.