Washington Wizards' Coach Scott Brooks May be Part of the Probem
Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was supposed to change the team’s culture, but he’s yet to leave an imprint in D.C.
It has been left unsaid all season, so now is the time to say it.
Last season, it was off with his head when the Wizards’ fanbase wanted Randy Wittman fired.
Witt, like every coach, was flawed. He didn’t know when to call timeouts, and according to John Wall, the coach undercut his leadership in the locker room.
Wall cited Witt playing favorites as one of the reasons he was unable to lead the Wizards last season.
“I did a great job leading as much as I could. A lot of guys that’s on a one-year deal, you put your foot down, you say what you need to say as a leader, but at the end of the day if everybody is not held accontuable from the starting position down – from me to the last person on the bench – if we’re not held accountable if one person wants to do something more no matter what I say as a leader if he’s not backing me up it’s not going to work…. This is the probably the most flare ups or whatever throughout games.”
It was also reported that “tensions were raised when the team would study game film and Wittman was always quick to call out the likes of Beal and Wall while Nene routinely received a free pass.”
So out with the old and in with the new, so to speak.
During Brooks’ tenure with the Thunder, he was named Coach of the Year, led the team to three Western Conference finals, the 2012 NBA Finals and five playoff appearances. Thus, it made practical sense that the Wizards wanted to bring Brooks’ winning formula to D.C.
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In addition, Brooks was signed on to coach the Wizards as part of the organization’s failed attempt to lure free agent Kevin Durant, who he coached in Oklahoma for 7 seasons.
Either way, the Wizards needed new blood and in came Brooks.
Coach Brooks, for some inexplicable reason, always starts the second quarter with his second unit, or with Markieff Morris leading the bench.
The Washington Wizards have not been in a position this season to allow the bench to get such valuable playing time, when they’re barely clinging on to a lead or during tight games.
In fact, the Wizards haven’t seen garbage time all season.
I understand that during Brooks’ playing days in the NBA, he was also on the bench. He admonished Marcin Gortat earlier in the season after the big man labeled the Wizards’ bench as one of the worst in the league.
Brooks’ willingness to give the second unit a chance is admirable, but now is not the time. Swapping out the entire starting five for the bench hasn’t worked well, yet he continues to do so.
Nonetheless, it all comes back down to leadership, which starts at the top. Of course, Wall is the floor general on the court, but it’s Brooks who’s drawing up the plays and coaching the team during practice.
The team’s lack of attention to detail, especially defensively, falls on Brooks. As a defensive-minded coach, the Washington Wizards shouldn’t be struggling to defend elementary pick-and-rolls.
If Scott Brooks is not the problem, he certainly hasn’t been the solution.