NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 11:
Utah Jazz (4-6) @ Washington Wizards (0-7)
Yes, we still do Jazz Jam sessions around here!
Today we start jamming with Thomas Pruitt (@TheRealTPruitt) who writes for the SB Nation NBA Blog Bullets Forever. He asked me a couple of questions (about our free throw shooting, and also about favorite dude evar Alec Burks, and why he isn't playing anymore!), and for my answers you need to check out their site. But it's simple, all you hafta do is click on this here link, see!
I asked him a few questions too:
1. The Washington Wizards are better than they're playing right now. With both Nene and John Wall out it's hard not to dwell on the worst. For me this is really more of a schedule thing than a talent thing though. Looking at the first 10 games of the season, your guys are playing 6 of 4 on the road, and 7 of 10 were playoff team last year. What do you think the record is more indicative of: a wounder roster, a lack of talent, or a horrible schedule?
Tom -- It's a combination of a lack of talent and the injuries to Wall and Nene. Wall and Nene are are the two most talented scorers on the roster, with Nene in particular being crucial to the team's half court attack (or at least what passes for it). Without those two to draw defensive attention, creating plays for the team's spot up shooters and dunkers, the Wizards have been a putrid offensive team. The team's also just not talented enough to win games without those two. Wall, Beal, and Kevin Seraphin should be good, but the rest of the team's youngsters are at-best questionable prospects, with none other than Jordan Crawford being able capable of anything on offense other than spot up jumpers or dunks. Even with Wall and Nene, though, this team is going to struggle to score.
2. Bradley Beal is playing like 30 minutes a game right now. That's like 3rd year values for a young Jazz player, so I'm really interested in what you see. There are ideas out there that if a young player gets burn early he may gain the necessary confidence to succeed. What have you seen from Beal so far this season . . . and I know it is early, but what do you think? He is gaining the confidence to succeed by playing a lot, or is something else happening?
Tom -- It's funny, we used to talk about that theory about young players and playing time a lot, especially during Javale McGee's rookie season when he was losing minutes to Darius Songaila. With Beal, he still hasn't done anything to truly earn his minutes, especially with how well Crawford has played this year, but he's doing the right things and seems to be getting the hang of it. His shots aren't falling (33%), but for the most part, fans and the coaching staff seem to think that they will. He's really been thrown to the wolves, too, as he's just not ready to be the focal point of an offense right now. I think he's gaining confidence and should eventually figure it out. I wouldn't go so far as to say that he's gained confidence simply from playing, but it definitely hasn't hurt, especially considering his current shooting slump.
Thanks a lot Thomas, and once again check out Bullets Forever for their take on this game!