Thomas Goes Under
Wizards center Etan Thomas is undergoing heart surgery today and will miss the season. One's heart goes out to one of the NBA's real good guys, but as a Wizards fan I also hope this will help Eddie Jordan get over his irrational dislike of Brendan Haywood.
As everyone knows, the Wizards are very good offensively on very bad on defense. To improve as a team, the best thing to do is to pick the low-hanging fruit and try to get the defense up to "below average" rather than "incredibly awful." And the easiest way to do that is to give Haywood more minutes. As you can see from the on court / off court numbers, the team is very slightly better on offense with Haywood in but substantially better on defense. Big Brendan's no great defender, but that's precisely the point -- the team's in a position where merely having an average interior defensive presence on the floor makes a big difference.