Trying to go back-to-back in Washington


  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (8-21) at Washington Wizards (3-21)
  • Date: December 22, 2012
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

Jamal Crawford is one of my favorite current basketball players in the NBA. His crossovers and behind the back moves are wildly entertaining, especially when he follows one of them with a sweet hop step and underhanded layup. The crossover prince — Iverson will probably always be the king — has a bag of goodies he brings to the court, which help mask one of his biggest deficiencies: he takes some horrible shots at times.

The Michigan product has been known to take a few low percentage shots per game, but all is forgiven when they go in.

What does this have to do with the Wizards?

Imagine having two players with the same mentality, but without the same skill earning big minutes on the same team; in a nutshell those are the Washington Wizards.

Jordan Crawford and Martell Webster have the uncanny ability to take some of incredibly difficult shots regardless of the amount of defenders around them. In this case, one has to call it an ability, because consistently taking low percentage shots while consistently misfiring on them can’t be characterized in any other way, unless you would prefer the term “playground basketball”.

Jordan Crawford is converting 39.9 percent of his shots this season while Martell Webster is looking down on him by virtue of his 41.6 percent conversion rate from the field.

Oh but things get worse.

In addition to having two players that are more than unhappy to put the ball up at any chance they get, the Wizards have a roster full of players that find ways to regularly attempt to do things they cannot on offense. Whether it’s the big man firing a bullet pass to a cutting player that was open for a split second, or a perimeter player taking a jump shot after getting trapped hard in the pick-and-roll, Washington has built so many poor habits that it’s tough to consistently expect some solid offensive possessions.

The irony of it all of course is that they look much better on offense this season when compared to the days they had JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Nick Young on the team. That’s actually a compliment.

The Washington Wizards own the worst offensive efficiency in the NBA at 92.4 and there’s really no secret why.

The players have developed some awful tendencies in recent seasons and despite the changes made on the roster, the habits have remained.

Obviously, the absence of John Wall — sidelined with injury — doesn’t help, but he was also part of the team last season when this passed for typical Wizards execution.

As the contest unfolds tonight, pay attention to the Pistons’ offense in contrast to the their opponents and draw your own conclusions. Washington will probably be better at home and thus last night’s blowout may very well be a thing of the past, but the Wizards playground offense has no business being part of the NBA.

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