The Wizards have lost 75 percent of their games this season, have the league’s third-worst record and are dealing with injuries to three starters in Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis and Nick Young, who has played but been ineffective with a sore left knee. The team is foundering, having lost 10 of 11 games as it prepares to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday at Verizon Center.
The current situation is bleak, but Coach Flip Saunders said recently that he hopes that No. 1 overall pick John Wall and other members of the team have a long memory and will use this experience to motivate him in future seasons.
“Sometimes, you have to go through the growing process. The main thing is that our young players learn and they remember,” Saunders said. “When I had [Kevin] Garnett the first year, he went through a rough year and we went to San Antonio, seven years later, he remembered getting drubbed by 45 as a rookie. It does build character — at least you hope we’re building a lot of character right now.”
Wall is confident that the Wizards will build a team as well. The team has made a number of moves to accumulate more prospects and draft picks for an eventual turnaround. And while Wall is disappointed by the challenges of this seasons, he appreciates the steps that are being taken to get better.
“I think they are doing a great job of collecting talent. They’re trying to get the right people around us and getting the team back. We know it’s a rebuilding process and it’s going to be ups and downs. I hoped this year would be better, but it’s tough right now. All we can do is try to finish strong,” Wall said. “I looked at how a lot of people did their first year. Kevin Durant and them got better and now they are a playoff team. I hope we can come out and be the same way or better.”
FROM THE POST
The Wizards hope to follow the “Oklahoma City model” for rebuilding.
Kevin Love’s double-double streak comes to an end.
The Bucks scored 56 points in a loss to the Celtics.
AROUND THE WEB
Jon Kelman offers a few keys to the palace (Bullets Forever).
A fan asks: Is a season ticket for the 2011-12 Washington professional basketball Wizards worth it? (Truth About It)
The NBA Players Association has sent out an instructional handbook to each of its players, warning of the days ahead if there is a lockout (Yahoo! Sports).