WASHINGTON — From out of the playoffs to battling Cleveland for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in under a year — Wizards coach Scott Brooks deserves to be in the Coach of the Year conversation.
That’s how highly Brian Geltzeiler, founder of HoopsCritic.com, views the job Brooks has done in his first year coaching the Wizards.
“John Wall’s having an All-NBA type of season,” Geltzeiler told Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. “[Bradley] Beal has been terrific. [Otto] Porter has made a huge jump this year, should be a candidate for Most Improved Player with the way he’s done. Markieff Morris had a great year. I mean these guys have done a terrific job.”
“Scott Brooks has done one of the best coaching jobs in the NBA,” he said. “No one’s talking about him, by the way. Everybody’s got [Mike] D’Antoni locked up for Coach of the Year, and rightfully so by the way. Scott Brooks deserves to be right there nipping at his heals with the job he’s done.”
The Wizards — currently the three-seed — have already secured a playoff berth, and at 45-28 with nine regular season games to play, they have enough leverage in their schedule to catch the Cavs, who hold a two-game lead over the Wiz.
“If I’m the Wizards, and I’m playing as well as I am right now, and I’ve built myself a little bit of a bench to go with an extremely solid starting lineup, I’m going after the two [seed],” Geltzeiler said. “I’m pinning my ears back and I’m running to see if I can have home-court until the conference finals.”
“And you’re only two back in the loss [column] from the two-seed, you never know what that can be,” he said. “The Wizards are capable of stringing a whole bunch of wins together, they’re that kind of team. That’s where I’m looking at seeding.
“When it comes to slipping to a certain spot and a certain seeding, I’m always in the camp of, unless it’s a real drastic difference, be careful what you wish for, because it might come true. Like, you never know who you’re gonna draw there, and to me, if I’m the Wizards, my sole focus right now is how many of these games can I get in my own building?”
“That is my sole focus at this point,” he continued. “I want games in my own building. So if I can get myself to the two, that’s what I’m worried about. I’m not worried about who I’m gonna play, because, quite frankly, if I’m the Washington Wizards, especially with what they did to the Cavs on Saturday, I’m confident I can go in anywhere and beat anybody. I really feel that way about the Wizards.
“I don’t know that you can beat Golden State 4-out-of-7 in a playoff series, but you worry about that when you get there, you know what I mean? Right now for the Wizards, I don’t think there’s anybody in the east they’re not capable of beating. So you just keep playing, keep doing what you’re doing. You don’t overthink it. You don’t get cute.”