As the Wizards season once again approaches it's end before the month of May, fans have no other choice but to begin the recurring process of bracing for the future. Usually, this entails another summer of skepticsm and/or outrage over a consistently mislead franchise with no clear direction, however, that doesn't entirely seem to be the case this time around, thanks greatly to the presence and uprise of John Wall and Brad Beal. In this week's 3-on-3 segment, we round up Wall and Beal's conversations with Grantland's Zach Lowe and discuss how their ultimate success as a backcourt duo could shape the future of the franchise. We also touch up on Stan Van Gundy's recent comments regarding the coaching job Randy Wittman has done this season, and lastly...what the hell is up with Kevin Seraphin's Instagram uploads? Abdullah Sharif, Trevor Jackson, and Mike Andrews give us the scoop....
1. Zach Lowe of Grantland.com conducted some very intriguing interviews with the Wizards’ soon-to-be elite backcourt. When you combine the responses from both Wall and Beal, how tingly and excited does it make you feel about the future of this team and its potential for success?
Abdullah: First of all, Zach Lowe did a tremendous job conversing with the two individual players that basically have the keys to reshaping the sport of professional basketball in Washington, DC. Lowe drew some great responses and brought out the best in these guys, especially from a mental standpoint... and ESPECIALLY when pertaining to the chemistry between the two. That was what really stood out to me the most, like when Bradley Beal says:
"I know whenever he runs, he’s going to do a great job of finding me. We have good eye contact. He knows where I am, and I know where he’s going to be. That connection is always there."
And we all know John's prowess as a leader. The guy is a bona fide floor GENERAL. You see it night in and night out the way he fiercely, yet smartly manages each game. You see it in his post-game interviews the way he addresses questions about the game like a scout. Combine Wall's basketball intellect with Bradley Beal's incredible skill set, and consider the chemistry building between the two, and whoa nelly...you've got something really special brewing in DC, and I don't think half of these people know it.
Trevor: It gives me very happy pants to think about the John Wall/Bradley Beal backcourt for potentially the next 10 years. Zach Lowe's interviews were great to read. It is probably just coincidence, but Wall's interview with Grantland seemed to set him off on the recent tear he is on. I love the confidence out of each of them. They both have what it takes to be a leader on the court through their play, and through their mentality off the court as well. My favorite part of the interviews is when they both allude to working out together this summer and doing what they can to make each other better players. That is music to a Wizards fan's ears and makes me believe that the DC backcourt is in good hands for some time to come.
Mike: Beal and Wall as the backcourt gets me just as excited as the prospect of Nene and Martell being on the team. For once, I'm seeing players on this team who are legitimately going to be here longer than a year or two. No more Al Thorntons, Morris Almonds, Jannero Pargos or any other 10-day contract players. This is a team that has a solidified backcourt that can provide, at its best, an average of 40 or more points a game. Washington hasn't seen that in a very long time, and to have a full season of this next year gives me no doubt that they will be a playoff team if they can stay healthy for more than 3/4 of the season.
2. Stan Van Gundy recently retracted some of his comments about the legitimacy of John Wall as a leader, but also offered some praise for Randy Wittman, stating that Wittman has done “one of the most overlooked coaching jobs this year.” In your opinion, how well of a job has Wittman done with this team considering all its usual ups and downs, and how well would he fit as ‘el jefe’ of this team in the long run?
Abdullah: 'Overlooked' is one way to describe the job Randy Wittman has done coping with a team disoriented by injuries all season. Playing point guard roulette for the first 33 games of the season, managing the inconsistent health of his primary big man, and just having to coach with a boulder on his shoulder during a questionable rebuilding phase are all issues that would overwhelm even an established coach, let alone one that has essentially been a career assistant. But now Wittman's players stand out as non-quitters who never give up on the hustle and who never lack tenacity or drive. These are player intangibles that Wittman has exploited, and for me that is the key to successful coaching. I wouldn't mind having that sort of leadership moving forward with this core that the Wizards have built.
Trevor: This is a tough question. There is no denying the job Randy Wittman has done with his guys, particularly turning them into a very good defensive team. I have been critical all year of his in-game rotations, but a lot of that could be due to the constant injuries and constant game of "who is playing tonight." Continuity is important for sure, and I would like to believe Wittman can be the guy to lead the Wizards to the next step, but I am just not 100% sold he is that guy. I think bringing him back would be another signal that the Wizards as an organization are okay with mediocrity, being just good enough to compete, but not good enough to be great. And ultimately, I want the team to be great, and to go after pieces both with the roster and the coaches that can take this team to the next level.
Mike: I give Randy a lot of credit for what he's done for this team. He was a low-risk option to keep this season when many were calling for his firing. But he proved his statements to be right that a lot of issues would be solved once John came back. Wittman does have some issues to settle with his rotation and use of the players, though. For instance, the perpetual doghouse that Chris Singleton has been living in has been a baffling idea to grasp for me. But other than that, I really don't have too many issues with Wittman. He has a handle on this team and they all obviously respect him.
3. Be honest. How much do you really love #kevinseraphinlife on Instagram?
Abdullah: LOL. You know, I love that Kevin Seraphin has a sense of humor. And as much fun as he has on social media, particularly Instagram, his corniness can be exasperating at times. I mean, that meme that's displayed above is just a microcosm of what his entire feed is about: poorly constructed and often forced humor that leads to Scooby Doo reactions from those who observe him. Errrr!?
Trevor: I wish #kevinseraphinlife was as productive on the court as he is on Twitter and Instagram. I have seen some people on Twitter who have criticized his posts one way or the other, but I guess you just have to have a sense of humor if you are following him. They don't really bother me, but I pretty much skip over them now anyway and go to the next tweet. I am not actually on Instagram, but I see a bunch of his tweets and it seems like he is just being a 23 year old kid trying to have a good time.
Mike: His Instagram is something I will never understand. The French ladies must go crazy for it, though. I think if he didn't have an accent, it wouldn't be funny for some reason. Take that for what it's worth.