The Washington Wizards just made franchise history. Not the good type of history. They're off to their worst start in franchise history.
Ownership canned coach Eddie Jordan, in an attempt to jumpstart the plodding team.
The team has three wins since.
Javaris Crittenton has yet to see much playing time on the court and Mike James has topped five assists just twice since joining the true-point-guardless Wizards.
Interim coach Ed Tapscott has tried too. He's gone with four different starting lineups in the past two weeks, highlighted by last night's subbing of DeShawn Stevenson (275 straight starts, second longest in league) for second-year forward Dominic McGuire.
It didn't work. The Wizards were 12-4 vs. the Bobcats coming into the game. Make that 12-5. They fell thanks to a lackluster effort and minimal inside presence, 80-72.
There are plenty of reasons why. Injuries to Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood are two big ones. A desire not to play defense could be another. Lack of a true point guard can always be added to the reasons-we-stink list.
But here's another -- Andray Blatche.
Blatche is a tricky subject. He's just 22 years old, despite being a pro since 2005. He's improved slightly every year in the league, and now he's up to 9 ppg and a few other notable stats each night. But I just can't help but think of another local-area product when I watch Blatche play.
Like Blatche this athlete oozed talent and size, but lacked maturity and the know-how to put it all together. For years he'd often flash enough of the former to overcome complaints about the latter.
Now he's closer to Blatche than ever. Daniel Cabrera, inked by the Nationals earlier this week, was the Blatche of Baseball. And now Blatche is the Cabrera of the Court.
He's good enough to give minutes too, but bad enough to regularly hurt your team on the court. Watching him last night vs. the Bobcats (a fate I wouldn't wish on anybody) I noticed a player that drives me nuts. One with great size, but small instincts. He's 6-11, but plays like he's 6-5. He settles for jumpers. He doesn't have a post-up game. He doesn't rebound particularly well on either side of the court. He's a guard. A real big guard. Just like waste-of-alliteration Jarred Jeffries was.
Again, I know it's hard to reign down fury on a 22-year-old big guy. He has lots to learn. But he's done plenty to make people not want to teach him. He's been arrested twice, he fell in and out of favor with Jordan because of a lack hustle and on-court acumen and hasn't been a consistent threat in any noticeable capacity on this bad Wizards team.
Again, he's 22 years old. He's a big guy. They take time to develop. But on this team, with so few people available to make a difference, Blatche could be making his mark. Instead, like in last night's game, he gets in foul trouble vs. better big men (Emeka Okafor and Gerald Wallace), inhibiting from playing with any aggressiveness. It's indicative of a bigger problem -- he's just sloppy on the court. He'll follow up a pretty jumper with a frustration foul. In 23 minutes he was 2-of-10 from the field.
Maybe he really is just a coach away from turning on the light switch. Or maybe he's the next of Daniel Cabrera, somebody we're going talk about in terms of "ifs" and "buts."
Inside the Beltway is a place chock full of unmet expectations, let's hope the sports world doesn't add two more with Blatche and the latest Nationals' retread pitcher.
On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around
Boozer's Beat Life in the AFC asks a question I've been pondering the past week or so: how did your Fantasy football draft strategy work? The blogger examines three strategies, but the fun will come from commenting on this one.
10 things I learned this week. looks at Ten things learned this week, including Tuesday night's bowl game, the Sunday night football classic and the Atlanta Falcons.
No longe rthe JailBlazers, Portland is making noise in the Pacific Northwest. Hangin With Mr Koopa examines how the Blazers went from the disaster the followed the 2002 team to this.
A nice voice of reason comes from Sports Over-reactions. The blog says the knee-jerk postseason predictions for the Yankees are a bit, well, on the overreaction side. I agree wholeheartedly and will happily take the field vs. the Yanks.
Klick of the Day