Scott Brooks out as Wizards head coach after five seasons.
After five seasons, the Washington Wizards are parting ways with head coach Scott Brooks. After a very mixed 2021 season, the Washington front office announced they were going to have a full evaluation to decide Brooks’s future with the team after his contract expired. Wizards GM Tommy Shepherd and the rest of the front office were unable to work out a deal with Brooks. This now leaves the Wizards on the market for a new head coach.
In his five seasons with the team, the only great season the team really had with Brooks as coach was in his first season when they won 49 games and lost in the conference semifinals’ in a game seven against Boston. Since then, no Wizard team has been able to even sniff that kind of success.
The following year, the Wizards narrowly missed the postseason earning the 8th seed in the conference. Washington was beat by Toronto in six games that series. The 2018 season was also pretty much the last season of the “John Wall era” here in the Nation’s capital.
The following season, John Wall already was out with a healed injury but things came to a crashing end when Wall slipped in his home and tore his Achilles leaving him out for over a year and a half. The Wizards finished with 32-50 that season and missed the playoffs by miles.
In 2020, before the shutdown, Washington was single handedly carried to the bubble by Bradley Beal who was averaging almost 30 points per game that season. Washington was the last team in the east to make the bubble despite having a record well below 500. Washington proceeded to lose every game but one in the bubble and miss the playoffs. Keep in mind however, Beal did not play in the bubble.
Major changes came for Brooks and his lineup for the 2021 season when the Wizards traded away their former franchise player John Wall to Houston in exchange for Russell Westbrook. Washington also sent a first-round pick. Many people were somewhat shocked by this trade and not in favor at first. To make things look worse, Washington got off to an extremely slow start to the season. Many questioned if the trade made sense and questioned the move. Fans also showed frustration with coach Brooks and called for his firing in the first few weeks of the season. The common calling out for Brooks was an inability to rotate players properly and have successful lineups on the floor. Also, many were frustrated with newly drafted player Deni Avdija’s lack of playing time.
Beal and Westbrook however picked it up late in the second half and had one of the fastest turnarounds we’ve seen in recent years. When many fans called to start the tank, the Wizards started winning and they didn’t stop. Washington won 18 of their last 24 games helping them reach a berth into the play-in tournament. After losing the first game to Boston, the Wizards demolished Indiana and clinched the 8th seed and gave coach Brooks his third postseason appearance with the team.
In the first round, Washington Proved they just weren’t good enough to keep with the Sixers as they were handled easily in five games. Was making the play-in really worth it? Just to get trounced by a much better team? Whatever, the offseason is here and the Wizards need to seriously look ahead at the future. How will this team build around Beal? How will they continue to develop Hachimura and Deni? With Brooks’s contract expiring, a major decision had to be made. Now, just weeks later, the Wizards chose to look into something new.
Brooks held a record of 183-207 in his five seasons with the team. Although he was able to lead them to the playoffs three times, they never had much to show for it besides his first season as the coach. This past season is definitely a major factor into his firing. How can a team with a former MVP and now triple double champion, and All NBA player Bradley Beal underperform this much? Something doesn’t add up.
Watching Brooks coach over the years, it was obvious to see the players took no interest into his game plans or schemes. During timeouts, players often just stared into space and looked as if they didn’t care one bit about what he had to say. That’s a clear sign that a coach has lost his lockeroom. If it weren’t for a weak Eastern Conference and Westbrook’s stellar run, the Wizards wouldn’t have even sniffed the playoffs.
Also, whenever the Wizards had the last shot with a chance to win the game, they would shoot a contested three every single time. It’s almost as if they never drew up a single play. It was clear a time for change had come to Washington and something new was much needed.
With the young talent and veterans stars the Wizards have now, it’s time to look ahead on how they are going to build a team that can actually compete in this league. No, being the 8th seed and getting swept in not competing… A move that many believed was the first step into recruiting Kevin Durant years ago ended in complete disaster in Washington. The future of Washington Basketball is coming, and so is a new coach to lead the way.