If you look past the ultimate competitive results of the most recent Wizards games, you'll see an improvement in what most consider the Wiz's most glaring weakness. When people begin their harping on the Wizards team construction, they immediately point out what they think is a lack of a big man of adequecy. Just about every pundit would opine, if the Wiz had someone like Tim Duncan or Shaq, they just might be competitive enough to be worth our preseason prediction love. While they may be slightly correct in that assessment, what they don't see is that the Wizards actually have a big man of note on their roster. His name (which aparently, still remains on his locker in the Verizon Center), is Brendan Haywood.
In the first three regular season games, Haywood has been most impressive, snagging 11 offensive boards in Indiana on the first game helping the Wizards to not lose the game in regulation time. On Friday, Haywood continued to shine, earning a double-double and a posterization of referee sweetheart Kevin Garnett (blocks look really cool when you actually foul the guy and the ref ignores it). On Saturday, Brendan continued his most rare display of competitive play, garnering a career-high 16 rebounds on his way to playing competitively against also-balyhooed Dwight Howard. 'wood continues to utilize whatever is motivating him, whether it be a guaranteed starting lineup spot, Eddie Jordan possibly being on the coaching hot seat, or being given props on various internet outlets by guys like Roger Mason Jr., Dan Steinberg, etc.
A happy Haywood was hard to come by last year, but at his most-motivated, 'wood was the Wizards' best five-spot option. However, possessing the inate knowledge of this fact made Haywood a bit lackadaisical, earning scorn from experimental Eddie Jordan, who would insert a dreadlocked, poetic motivator in the form of Etan Thomas in lieu of the woodman playing adequetly. Haywood curiously responded by loafing, knowing deep in his heart that his last name was meant to be uttered in the same hallowed breath as Unseld, Muresan, Booth and Bol.
Even if the Wizards have had a tough time with the whole winning thing, one has to think that since this big man situation has ultimately been solved, the Wizards are bound to reach the Eastern Conference Finals at the very least. With this big man thing out of the way, the Wiz can concentrate on the important things, like maybe hitting a three-pointer or two or five or something that would make them slightly more competitive.