DCZards wrote:I’m with prime1time and pif. Give our guys props for competing and getting in the playoffs—and not adopting the loser mentality that some here seem to have. Let’s also value the experience and growing pains that youngins’ like Rui and Gafford went through by playing in the playoffs.
There’s no reason that this season can’t be a stepping stone to an even better team next season.
Instead of bitchin’ and moanin’ about what Beal is or is not, and complaining about not being in the lottery, let’s look forward to the return and development of Bryant and Deni, a first rd pick and, hopefully, the addition of a quality free agent or two.
Let’s also hope/pray that there’s a new coach.
You don't fault the players for trying to win, you fault the organization for squandering a chance to win a top pick in a loaded year, then come back stronger. Players are going to compete and it matters little to them to try to earn a chance at a guy who may take their minutes if not their job. An organization however has to take the long view, and use every resource they can to outperform their competition over the long haul. The only thing affected by the long haul in this late season run was whether or not Beal will re-sign with us. If he feels like this run was representative of the team's ability to compete, then hey maybe he chooses to re-new. If he sees the team got smoked in the post season and notices how significantly Philly re-tooled in one offseason under Morey, maybe he thinks the mom and pop method of Leonsis is not the way to go. So. Is this late season run symptomatic of a team likely to compete year after year?
Much of the rotation is coming up on free agency. Lopez, Ish Smith, Neto, Len all played significant roles, and are not signed after this year. They likely earned interest from other playoff contenders. It would likely be tough to re-ink all of them reasonably, and add more talent on top. It is hard to build on a model of success based on one year plug-ins. If you lock in a top 5 pick (as we were slated to do) then you can make the job of getting back to the playoffs easier year after year. However Ted's stated philosophy that "we will never ever tank" removes one of the weapons from the arsenal. Philly landed Embiid by a firm few years commitment to the suck. Drafting well at the top is one of the fastest ways to improve a team. If not always the most reliable. This team lost a chance to do that. No doubt there will be a good player available at 15, and perhaps better ones drafted even after 15. However, picking at the top gives you a larger pool of both good players and trade opportunities, either for more picks now and the future, or for a key player.
The Wizards as an organization chose to ride the improbable late season run, where teams like Toronto artfully massaged a tank despite good players. Teams like OKC and Cleveland are building a solid base of young talent, by committing fully to a tear-down and rebuild model. We are trying to have it all, and end up getting stuck year after year battling for the 9th seed. The fact that doing so is not punished as severely still does not make it sting less when we run smack into an actual contender and realize no matter how hard and and well this team fought, no matter how scrappy and valiant, they simply lack the depth, the talent, and the organizational foresight, to actually be a better team. Philly is a better team. Up and down the roster.
This late season run was fun to watch. The fans can celebrate that and the valiant efforts of an underdog team that fought tool and nail to dig out from the bottom. And they can still also see missed opportunities to get year after year. And take winning for granted instead of having to celebrate a late season surprise. I like these guys. It would be nice to build on this. Lets do this every year, yeah? Only for longer every year. And maybe actually not only make the playoffs but actually then win the last game we play, one of these years.