Thursday , Apr , 10 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Washington Wizards Will Flourish With Gilbert Arenas As Sixth Man

Few coaches have the pulse of their team like Washington’s Eddie Jordan. The latest example is his plan to use The Hibachi as sixth man for the upcoming postseason. This decision works for many reasons. First, the team has played most of the year without Arenas, so his return isn’t disrupting established chemistry, particularly with a starting five that now features Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison …

Washington Wizards Will Flourish With Gilbert Arenas As Sixth ManWashington Post Insiders Michael Lee and Ivan Carter report on Gilbert Arenas’ new role as sixth man for the playoffs:

Gilbert Arenas played his third game as the sixth man last night, entering with 3 minutes 43 seconds left in the first quarter, and Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan said his plan is to keep Arenas in a reserve role when the playoffs begin next weekend. 

The Very Quick AM Take: Few coaches have the pulse of their team like Washington’s Eddie Jordan. The latest example is his plan to use The Hibachi as sixth man for the upcoming postseason.

This decision works for many reasons. First, the team has played most of the year without Arenas, so his return isn’t disrupting established chemistry, particularly with a starting five that now features Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.

Second, with Arenas as sixth man, the Wizards hold an edge over most NBA teams.  Like San Antonio with Manu Ginobili or last year’s Phoenix squad with Leandro Barbosa, Washington has an All-Star playing against reserves.        

Third, Arenas is a scorer. In the past, as a starting point guard, he has struggled facilitating for others. Now he can come off-the-bench and focus on getting points.

Finally, Jordan knows Arenas is obsessive. The veteran sideline boss is protecting his All-Star from himself by using him in a reserve role. Other coaches would listen to Arenas and play him forty minutes without regard for his long-term health.

Jordan seems like a decent man. He never complained about getting fired in Sacramento and punches the clock for a Washington squad full of odd characters.  His time in D.C. is deserving of more recognition.  

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