The Wizards are intending to utilize smaller, faster lineups this season, something they would have done a season ago if they had the proper personnel, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic.com writes. According to point guard John Wall, the presence of Paul Pierce, who is now a member of the Clippers, was a big reason why Washington needed to play at a slower pace during 2014/15, Michael notes. “No disrespect to Paul but we wanted to kind of be a half-court team. He couldn’t get up and down the floor,” Wall said. “He’s not the young Paul anymore. He helped us out a lot in so many other ways in making big shots and being a leader. Now this is an opportunity to let Otto Porter excel, running the floor, being able to create off the dribble, slashing to the basket.” This desire to play at a quicker pace also led to the team swapping Andre Miller for Ramon Sessions at last season’s trade deadline, the CSN scribe adds.
Here’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- Hornets owner Michael Jordan, in an interview with Hou Qiang of Xinhuanet.com, was cautiously optimistic about Charlotte’s chances this season, saying, “They [the team] should be OK. We changed a lot of personnel. Everybody is excited I’m very excited but I don’t want to get overexcited.” Jordan specifically mentioned the team’s signing of point guard Jeremy Lin as a boon to the franchise, adding, “We just got Jeremy Lin, who I think is going to be our biggest acquisition. His penetration, his shooting capability, his point guard savvy, he can really pass the basketball, and [we like] his energy about the game of basketball.“
- With the Heat‘s excellent depth heading into the 2015/16 campaign, Gerald Green will need to be more of a two-way player if he wants to log significant minutes for Miami, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. “Offense comes easy for me,” Green said. “I know if I go down and lock my defense down, nine times out of 10 we’re going to win. I know my role is to have energy on both ends of the floor. I’m really focusing on defense, that’s what I’m really trying to focus on. Scoring is easy for me. I’m not really worried about scoring. It’s the defense that I’m trying to work my best at. I know that’s the only way we can become a better team, if I’m a better defender.” The addition of the 29-year-old via a one-year, minimum salary deal is easily one of the best bargains of the offseason, regardless of how much playing time he receives.