Yeap, the man's return presents big problems for team and player. Why? I think that they are better without him, even when he returns to former form, and that is trouble.
The guy is a star; one of the few players who can put on a show by himself that is worth paying big money for (for some people, I wouldn't pay big money to see nobody play ball, much less pro ball, but I digress). So, where's the problem? Take it easy, I'm getting there.
The problem is that Gilbert cannot penetrate the defense with the pass. Just plain does not "see" the game in those terms. Whenever Eddy has asked him to in the past, not only does Gil's offensive game shut down completely, but also his entry passes always come a moment too late, after the inside defender has closed, leaving the big with nothing to do but to work against advantage instead of with it, or to return it from whence it came.
That's how come the Princeton, which everyone said that Eddy was bringing to DC, became The Big Three. gil can share the ball on the perimeter just fine; just don't ask him to involve the bigs.
So, the vastly improved play, especially in consistency, that we have seen this year from Heywood, you wait and see what happens to the man's play with Gilbert in the game. And not just on offense. My theory, you are not involved meaningfully on offense, you don't get to assert your will against your opponent with the ball in your hand, good luck in expecting stops at the other end, especially at important times.
But, it's not just Heywood and the other bigs who are all making meaningful contributions that will be hurt, what about Stevenson, Monroe, and what's his name, not to mention Young. As a group, they are getting it done big time, and are creating the kind of synergy that leads to effective play by the entire team. As a group, with much less flare and perhaps less frequently, they are breaking down defenses, getting to the rim, and, and this is important, giving it up, effectively.
We haven't begun to discuss defense yet, which is hardly Gil's strong suit.
So, my prediction, the Wizards suffer upon Gil's return and there is a discernible difference when he is off the court. At first, the talking heads speak about the players' needing to get to know one another again, Gil needing to get his legs back, etc. But then even those guys will have to acknowledge that there was something about the old Wizards that is missing that people liked, and they might get around to understanding what that was--five-man basketball, it is a very engaging sport to watch.
But, there are two possibilities. One, the specter of such a failure has not escaped our boy Gil and he is now willing to suddenly start to "see" what hereto he just couldn't. Yeap, this specter will not be explainable even to Gil himself in the way that his experience with the Olympic squad was, and it just might open the guy's eyes. If it happened with Kobe--come on, it took LA's showing Kobe that they could get along just fine without him for him to set his narcissism aside far enough so he actually started playing the Triangle again--it could happen with Gil. If that happens, everything I've said here is mooted. I could live with that.
The second is more interesting and will never happen: Kidd to Dallas, Arenas to the Nets, and some bigs and maybe a one to the Wiz. Then folks, we might not have a problem, but instead a team that could scare some people right here in the Nation's Capital, that is, a team other than one named Georgetown which has already begun.