The frustrations in Washington are beginning to set in. Despite having one of the most talented starting lineups in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards have completely stumbled out of the gates this season.
On Friday night against the Toronto Raptors, the Wizards battled back from a 16-point deficit behind John Wall, but faltered down the stretch to put their record at just 4-8 this season.
While surely it’s tough on everyone in the locker room, the poor start might be hitting Marcin Gortat the hardest. After dubbing the Phoenix Suns a “sinking ship” last season and generally looking miserable for most of last year, Gortat had to be looking forward to playing for a legitimate playoff contender once again.
That certainly isn’t out of the question, particularly with the shaky state of the Eastern Conference, but it must be frustrating to see Phoenix rattle off wins while his team struggles.
When an average-sized human loses his cool and needs to take his frustration out on an inanimate object, maybe they go punch a pillow a few times. But when Gortat gets angry, things like this happen:
It’s a little unnerving how easy that looked, right?
We’ll see if the Wizards can get things turned around, but if not, Gortat’s stoic Hulk Hogan impression should suffice from an entertainment standpoint, at least.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.