ESPN’s David Thorpe was a guest on Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post Podcast and discussed, among other things, the Wizards’ current state of affairs.
On Player Personnel
Despite their disappointing 2-7 record, David Thorpe shed optimism on the Wizards stating that he believes the starting five is good. Thorpe couched his opinion, however, by saying that John Wall and Brad Beal simply need to play better. Interestingly, he said that Wall – based on physical attributes and athleticism – should be the best defensive point guard in the NBA. Wall, however, according to Thorpe needs to complain less and should focus more on his consistency with his backcourt mate.
It’s no secret that Washington’s bench (outside of Tomas Satoransky) has plagued the team so far this season, but what about the starters? Zach Lowe reinforced this notation by calling out how disappointing players such as Marcus Thornton, Kelly Oubre, and Andrew Nicholson (who recently got a DNP – CD) have been. He also highlighted how Ian Mahinmi won’t solve the bench woes, and how Mahinmi is actually duplicative with Gortat starting ahead of him.
In a higher level, Lowe suggested that the sentiment with the Wizards organization is that something just isn’t right. The news coming out of Washington always reeks of poor decisions and ever poorer team chemistry. As everyone knows, bad news leaks from losing teams, but you have to wonder if something bigger is looming.
David Thorpe was pretty candid on his views on Ernie Grunfeld, saying that he’s almost certain that Grunfeld doesn’t keep his job after this season. As the orchestrator of a letdown of a free agency period, and an ever-rising payroll, it’s hard to reconcile that with the product on the court. Thorpe also made a good point in that Scott Brooks’ reputation speaks for itself and that he’d reasonably be retained over Grunfeld.
What was interesting is Thorpe’s praise of Wizards Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, Tommy Sheppard. Thorpe believes that Sheppard would be better utilized as the team’s General Manager than Grunfeld, based on the his work ascending the NBA ranks, and the good energy he can bring to a franchise that’s trending downward. The problem? He’s stuck behind Ernie. And Thorpe believes Washington would let Sheppard walk, which would turn out to be a huge mistake.
I hope ownership is listening.
Full podcast: The Lowe Post: David Thorpe, ESPN