Through three games, we have seen a little bit of everything from the Wizards. We have seen them look dominant against a good team (Dallas) and a bad team (New Jersey), and lay an egg against a decent team (Atlanta). Overall though, I am very impressed.
The first thing that I want to focus on is the depth that everyone is talking about. I was a fan of all the depth we have, but very curious about how Flip Saunders would work his rotation to give everyone playing time. After three games, the rotation is starting to reveal itself and I really like how it looks, especially the part where DeShawn Stevenson is only playing 19 minutes a game.
Most of you know that I don't like Stevenson at all, and if you don't, you do now. I think that he is a backup shooting guard-who has a mediocre shot-that creates massive distractions in the locker room. Not only is Flip giving him less time, he is replacing him with Randy Foye, who can flat out shoot.
The one guy that gets totally screwed in the rotation is Nick Young who is only getting 12 minutes a game. A lot of people will say that this kid is a great scorer an should be in more, but I disagree. Yea, he occasionally has a big game, but he is wildly inconsistent, and with the exception of his scoring potential, he really doesn't contribute anything else because he's not a good defender or passes. Foye, Mike Miller, and even Stevenson should continue to get minutes over Young at the two-guard spot, and three deep at one position is probably enough.
I'm not quite ready to say "I told you so" about my boy Andray Blatche, but I'm pretty damn close. In the three games so far, he is averaging 21 points and six rebounds, and doing all of the things that make him a unique player. He is shooting great from midrange, running the fast break, and actually playing decent defense. I'm not implying that these numbers will continue in a few weeks when Antawn Jamison comes back, but there is no reason that he won't play like this until then. I'd like to see him get to the foul line a little more, but he is giving huge points where we all thought Wizards would struggle while Jamison is hurt.
While it's true that every team evaluation occurring at this point means nothing, the Wizards' means even less because everyone knows that the success of this team rides on Gilbert Arenas' health. People thought that the Wiz could be as high as competing for the elite, or struggling to make the playoffs; there wasn't any consensus on which. Now that we have seen a little bit of what this team could do, I'd say that this team could finish as high as the two or three seed if Gil is healthy, and as low as sixth is Gil misses a lot of the season. Either way, things look much better than any other team from D.C.