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Why Howard Eisley is a good fit for Wizards coaching staff

David Aldridge reported earlier today that the Washington Wizards have hired, or agreed to hire former NBA combo guard Howard Eisley to take over Sam Cassell’s spot on the coaching staff. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember Eisley as part of the late 90s Utah Jazz teams where he was the consummate backup point guard for John Stockton during their years as Western Conference champs. Being a strong MJ fan, I can’t forget how big of thorns Eisley and Shandon Anderson were on the Jazz bench during those years.

In terms of development of the Wizards backcourt, it’s wise to consider that in his prime, Eisley — coached by Jerry Sloan — handled the ball very well, made smart decisions with it, and also had a pretty good shot selection. He shot moderately well from the field and averaged just around four assists per game off the bench during those seasons in Utah. Eisley spent a good portion of his NBA career as a backup but started 76 games for the Knicks in 2002, which statistically was his best season. Eisley averaged 9.1 points a game that season along with 5.4 assists in 27 minutes per game. He also shot 39% from 3.

Here’s Howard Eisley shooting a 3 in the 1997 NBA Finals against the Bulls if you’re still not convinced he’s the best assistant coach hire ever:

Eisley spent the last four years as a player development assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers working with several guards including Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe, and Chris Paul. Point being, this by no means is a bad move for the Wizards even considering the large foam posits Sam Cassell — who ironically bolted for the Clippers a few weeks ago — left to fill. Eisley has more than a considerable measure of player experience spelling John Stockton during his prime and playing on two NBA Finals teams against Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

With a promising backcourt already labeled all as one of the league’s best, these young Wizards direly require the experience and success that Eisley brings. While John Wall and Bradley Beal will certainly gather a lot from what Eisley has to offer, the key for Eisley is also the development of Glen Rice, Jr. who rounds out a very slim depth chart at the 1 and 2 positions. You should also be informed that one perk in hiring Howard Eisley is the propensity for being feisty on the bench. Eisley was docked $15,000 in 2012 for ‘verbal abuse’ of an official. Combine that with a good dose of #WittmanFace and these Wizards may be looking at one hell of an animated coaching staff.

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