Hop on the Wizards Bandwagon

Could this be the 4th best team in the East?

It's not too late to hop on the Wizards bandwagon.  True, last season, it lost a wheel and careened into a ditch, but this year, it's all fixed up.  Ernie put a new paint job on it.  Gilbert fixed the axle.  Caron threw on some rockin' racing stripes.  And Flip vacuumed the interiors.  It's as good as new, and just waiting for you to take it for a spin.

So why should you jump on the bandwagon of a 19-63 craptacular b-ball team?  Because they just might be the eighth best team in the league next year, according to CNNSI.

Chris Mannix's (he looks like he's too young to have received much abuse for that name as a child) pre-season power rankings believe in the power of Flip.  He has the 'Zards as the fourth best team in the East behind Cleveland (boo!), Boston and Orlando.

Mannix likes Flip's philosophy, saying that he'll be able to maximize the team's offensive ability.  If they're not any good at defense, why bother?

As crazy as his prediction sounds on the face of it, there just might be some actual truth to it.  If you crunch the stats, as the Wages of Wins blog did, the Wizards really can improve that much -- by 30 wins or so -- just by dumping all the no-talent stiffs at the back of the roster.

They've come up with a stat called "Wins Produced" which attempts to round all the things a player does (shoots well, rebounds, turnovers, etc) into a nifty little package.

Give an average player an average number of minutes, and he'll put up one win over a season.

How many above-average players did the Wizards have?  Three: Jamison, Butler, McGuire.  Andray Blatche was fifth on the team in minutes despite having the second worst stat combo.

Give some of those minutes to other players, and the team will be better.  With Mike Miller on board, and if Haywood can maintain his performance, it could happen.  As WOW concludes:

"That being said, it does look like what Mannix argued – as unbelievable as it appeared at first glance – is at least possible.   Without adding a future Hall-of-Fame player, the Wizards might improve by 30 games in the standings.  And Washington fans might see a team that is better than any edition of this franchise since Jimmy Carter was president. "

So hop on that bandwagon before it's too late!

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