One of the many ways that teams improve their play and record is based on continuity and stability.
Having a system that becomes second nature to a full roster of players - having an innate comfort level with plays that will be run, rotations, teammates, and coaches is quite important. Entering a training camp knowing what role a player will have, who the team will put on the floor in which situations and what is expected of a player adds to the level of familiarity - and also then places emphasis on perfecting plays and systems instead of introducing concepts to players. Playing the game becomes instinctual and second nature, and chemistry on the floor becomes self evident.
When you add in health and the ability for a squad to practice together during camp and bond on the floor - an expectation of a better record can be anticipated and expected.
The Washington Wizards have implemented enormous change in our roster over the last three years; in fact, we have had 100% turnover of players on our team. We added many young players and new veteran players. We were hit with numerous injuries and were forced to play multiple lineups with new players not familiar with one another. We made several trades and we signed many new players. It was a very stressful situation with so many new faces in so many new places; we also changed out coaches half way through our rebuild and implemented a new system based on high energy defense and an up tempo game.
We enter the draft tonight with higher expectations than the last two off seasons. Some of our younger players are now entering their fourth season in the league. There is no labor action to cut off development time, we are expecting much better health, and have many returning players who have embraced our system, including Trevor Ariza, see article here. Our players now know their respective roles and have embraced them.
We will add a very good prospect to our lineup via our good fortune in garnering the No.3 pick in the draft tonight. We have some room to add a couple of additional vets to the lineup within the new CBA and salary cap.
We will do our best to continue to bring back our key players in the rotation and keep our systems in place to perfect them. We are working hard this off season on fitness and on recovery and health; we want to add to the team to offer incremental improvement while keeping stability and continuity in place for the season. Our hope is that our young players improve and we add to a strong returning core a good mix of additional vets and young players and that we stay relatively healthy.
I am focused on a non dramatic off season. An off season where we are focused on improvement and on the draft where we can add to our young core - a free agent period where we can bring back key players. We can add to the core with additional vet players. During the off season we can focus on health and fitness and then to a strong camp where we have a full roster of players all focused on their roles within a system that is known. Our collective focus isn't on role development of an individual but on winning as a team and as an organization.
Wish us well tonight; welcome back Trevor Ariza.