Thursday, March 19, 2009

And The Lame Excuses Begin...

And here we go...

"We played a hard game [Tuesday] night in [a loss to] Utah, we traveled the day before, and we're in game [69]," Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott said. "You don't like to use that as an excuse, but it's a reality. We just ran out of gas."

"We just ran out of gas?" Seriously? That makes about as much sense as G-Wiz. Your top players (both veterans) are both averaging 38.6 minutes per game. The next guy (another vet) is a player averaging 29.4 with a .385 FG%.

There's a very simple reason the team "ran out of gas:" Tapscott has been riding the veterans since he's taken over as coach, and the wheels are finally coming off. Check Butler's stats before he came to Washington: do they look like the numbers of an "injury prone" player?

The playoffs became a wish when Arenas and Haywood went down. Losing players like Thomas and Stevenson meant that the season was effectively over. By loss #41, Tapscott should have grab the mic in the post-game press conference and said, "Screw it. The kids are playing from this point on. Jamison and Butler will get minutes, but I'm not going to put any undue mileage on them or risk losing them to injury just to show a few people that we're 'fighters.' That's just dumb."

But instead of doing this, he pushed Jamison and Butler to their limits, hoping that their 41 combined points-per-game would be enough to dig the team out of the hole. He played the younger guys (notable exception being McGuire) sporadically, when the thing a young player needs most is structure and consistency. Pecherov still doesn't have one single damn assist; think maybe the fact that he's barely cracking seven mpg has anything to do with it?

Giving the kids say, seven or eight minutes from Jamison and Butler could have gone a long way toward keeping the tank full.

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