Remember in the last post where I said the Wiz kids were essentially done...well now they are officially done. Word came out today that Gilbert tore his meniscus in last night's loss to the Bobcats. He's out 2-3 months and would only return if the Wizards made the NBA Finals (not gonna happen anymore). This means the Wizards are left with a starting lineup that looks a little something like this: Antonio Daniels at point, DeShawn Stevenson at two guard, Jarvis Hayes at small forward, Antawn Jamison at power forward and Etan Thomas at center. Not exactly an all star team. Not to mention, we are losing quite possibly the most hilarious quote in the NBA today. Gil and Gilbertology will be sorely missed as he rehabs.
I'm sure Gil spend time in his oxygen-thinned air bubble at
home and get better real quick.
But all isn't lost. This Wizards team has a chance at greatness next season, especially if some of these foreigners we've been drafting actually come and play for us. The injuries are just part of the game and you really can't blame anyone for them. You know Gilbert is going to come back with a vengeance wanting to prove himself after this knee injury. I just see this team being extremely hungry heading into next season given the way this season is coming to a close. I think people are forgetting that for a good month and a half before Antawn Jamison went down for three weeks, this team was the best in the East. They beat the best of the best including the Suns, Pistons and Jazz. I really can't wait for next season when I live in 814 and have NBA League Pass so I can watch all the games.
And I don't think people realize the potential of these past draft picks. Juan Carlos Navarro is one of the top 5 players in Europe and has expressed interest in trying out the NBA. Most scouts see him as a solid bench player in the NBA, but still it can't hurt to have more depth on the bench. The two big men we've gotten in the draft, Pecherov and Pietrus, both could potentially develop into legitimate big men if they cross the border. Pecherov in particular is very intriguing because many thought he would make an impact if he played in the NBA this season. He indicated last year that he wanted another year of seasoning in Europe before come to America. And let's not forget about a guy who is already getting some serious minutes for the Wiz now, but hasn't yet reached his potential. Andray Blatche has showed nice touch, some good rebounding skills, and just general hustle in the minutes he's gotten due to some injuries. Some forget that the kid is only 19 years old and came straight from high school. Another offseason to work on his game will be HUGE. I can definitely see him turning the corner next season and showing that he can eventually take over for Antawn at the power forward position.
All in all, Ernie Grunfeld and Eddie Jordan definitely have this team headed in the right direction. If things fall into place next year, I think the Wiz can come out of the East, barring another team making a huge splash in free agency.
The future: Andray Blatche