Scrimmage ends camp

The Wizards put an end to a week of training camp with a scrimmage at VCU this evening. Coach Eddie Jordan missed the scrimmage to attend the funeral of a family member while Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison were held out so this one felt like Wizards light. A few notes/observations:

-I touched on this the other day and it looks like it will continue to be something to follow as the preseason goes along. Andray Blatche and Oleksiy Pecherov started together on the "white" team with Blatche at center against Brendan Haywood and Pesh matched up against Darius Songaila at power forward. Blatche held his own physically and wound up leading his team with 10 points thus capping a real strong week. There were a couple of occassions when Haywood was able to pin Blatche behind him or shield him off and receive a lob pass but for the most part, that was evened out by Blatche's ability to draw Haywood away from the basket where he squared the taller man up and knocked down jumpers. Haywood capped a good week with 14 points for the black team.

-Dominic McGuire looked good in his first real taste of live action. He had at least six offensive rebound including one that turned into a dunk. I'll say it right now: if teams don't box this kid out, he'll be a beast on the boards. He plays bigger than his list height of 6-9. Word is that the coaching staff is digging the kid. If he keeps it up once the preseason starts, don't be surprised if Eddie finds some kind of roll for him. Maybe as that change-the-pace, energy guy who comes in handy on the back end of a back-to-back or near the end of a long road trip.

-Roger Mason had a rough shooting night after making shots all week. So did Pesh, who swung wide open on several pick and pops. Nick Young nailed his first two shots - both jumpers - and flashed nice moves off the dribble but also dribbled himself into trouble a couple of times. Still haven't had a chance to see him where I think he'd really be effective: in the open court.

-Antonio Daniels and Songaila have picked up right where they left off after the playoffs in terms of their chemistry in the pick and roll and pick and pop game. Sometimes it looks as though they've played together for years. Those two plus Blatche give this team a potentiallly strong bench. As for Daniels, he's in great shape and it's showing. He had a play on the fastbreak where he swooped in and threw down a dunk with authority, something he did a lot as a younger player but not so much in recent seasons. And yes, he did hit the deck extremely hard on a drive tonight. Pesh laid the wood er, sent A.D. to the wood.

Practice tomorrow at 11 at Verizon Center so I'll check back with any news/notes etc. Word is that the team could have an announcement regarding the status of Etan Thomas soon. It doesn't sound good in terms of playing anytime soon.

By Ivan Carter |  October 6, 2007; 8:17 PM ET
Previous: Friday update | Next: Heading to Cleveland

Comments

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It sounds like AB may have a solid year if ET can't play this year. Only time will tell if this team got what it takes to make it to the next level. Trust me if EJ don't make a deep run in the playoffs he'll be gone. There's a reason why his asst coaches only signed 1 year deals

Posted by: Rock Star | October 6, 2007 8:44 PM

What is concerning so far is that we haven't heard about any consistent shooters coming off the bench. Jarvis was very streaky, but we don't seem to have anyone who is an upgrade.

Posted by: oddjob | October 6, 2007 8:51 PM

The Wizard have a few guys who could probably fill JH role from last year. Its still early to determine who's gong to be instance offense off the bench, the presason games will give us an idea who the sixth man. I think DS will fill that role

Posted by: Rock Star | October 6, 2007 9:12 PM

I'm lovin what I'm hearin about Blatch! I really like him at center. With Ruffin, and possibly Etan removed from the rotation, it gives Blatche a great opportunity. I really like what I've been hearing about his defense, his energy and effort, and conditioning. He really bring a dynamic to this team that we didn't have with Etan or Ruffin, a potentially explosive player offensively in the post. He can take the opposing center outside, he can shoot and pass, handle the ball, and run the floor. He has plenty of size and is long, can block shots, and he will get boards with his length, quickness, and effort. And he can start the break!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2007 9:34 PM

That last post was Darnell. I forgot to put my name.

Posted by: Darnell | October 6, 2007 9:36 PM

Darnell. It is sounding more and more like your enthusiasm for D-Mac (it was you right?) on draft night was spot on. Sounds like the kid is going to be a beast. It will be great to have a back-up for Caron at the 3 who brings the same toughness and intensity to the floor. The Wiz really haven't had any great offensive rebounders the past couple of years. Sounds like both D-Mac and Pesh bring this added dimension...

Posted by: PK1 | October 6, 2007 9:44 PM

I must say the developments with Blatche are a bit surprising...I thought for sure he was heading to Headcaseville. EJ will have to have to find PT for McGuire. You could see it in the summer league he becomes a necessary ingredient on the floor--the glue. That PT may come at the expence of the shooting guard, but the Wiz have got to put the best players on the floor.

Posted by: Skeef | October 6, 2007 9:45 PM

I'm excited about our frontcout off the bench having Blatche with either Songaila or Pesh and DMac. A solid Antonio Daniels running that show. Those games when the starters come out hittin and put up a big lead quick, this 2nd unit could come in and really put teams away. Blatche, DSong, OPec, and DMac can all pass, and with AD I can see this group playing real well, and developing strong chemistry. And Nick Young can only add to that. Plus you know Arenas gets some burn there too with AD at point. This bench can continue to run and score, could be really good defensively, and come in with some athleticsm and energy.

Posted by: Darnell | October 6, 2007 9:53 PM

Small things make the difference

* BH improving foul shot % to high 70's

* Offensive rebounds by 2nd team

* Give & go by 2nd team

Posted by: Gareth | October 6, 2007 10:17 PM

While I am genuinelly sad Etan is having serious health issues(no one should have to go though anything scary like that, especially with your heart) I am going to admit here that as a player I am not a fan of Etan's.

Saying that I am excited about what Ivan has been posting about the Wiz's big men! I am hoping the Wiz are this year what they could have been last year. It seems like they have 3-4 big bodies who can actually play.

"The Wizard have a few guys who could probably fill JH role from last year."

Couldn't be any worse. ;) I think they are hoping both rookies can fill that role, someone is going to have to step up and be that guy.

"As for Daniels, he's in great shape and it's showing."

I sure hope so, I've always liked AD and I kept wondering why Jordan made him sit behind Hayes last year.

All this Kool-aid Ivan is giving us is great, and I'm buying it all. I just hope Jordan changed some things from last year as well or it's not going to matter. Jordan's rotations were absolutely horrid last year...down right abysmal. He got out-coached so many times. :(

I think there's a ton of talent on this team, I'm so much more excited about the Wiz's chances this year as opposed to last year.

I'm still saying 45-47 wins though until I see them play some defense. :P

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 6, 2007 10:18 PM

Ray, you're still all wet, even if you're right on McGuire, and not all wrong about Eddie's rotations.

He has more players this year. Who knows why Eddie kept riding the Jarvis bandwagon, or why he kept Ruffin in the rotation. But now he's got continuity in the starting lineup and a HUGE lift off the bench, compared with last year.

How can you not like a second team of Antonio Daniels, Roger Mason Jr., Andray Blatch, Darius Songaila and Dominic McGuire, with Nick Young and Alexiy Pecherov supporting them. We're solid with 12 players, and what's not to like about Mike Hall, Darnell Taylor and Tony Massengale.

And if Etan is back, better. It's pretty crazy what Ray said about him:

"While I am genuinelly sad Etan is having serious health issues(no one should have to go though anything scary like that, especially with your heart) I am going to admit here that as a player I am not a fan of Etan's."

Ray, who says you're a player?

I think the Wizards are loaded, and they'll win the East. They'll win more than 50 games.

Posted by: zinger1 | October 6, 2007 10:39 PM

Ray, you have been on this EJ thing for a while. After watching my share of nba gaves, I have concluded that the smartest coaches actually have good players who they fit into defined and appropriate roles. Let's not forget that AD was good in the end, but has had shooting problems to years running (cound not hit the Pacific while standing on the Santa Monica pier.), Brendan was not rebounding; Jarvis, while effectively rebounding, was not hitting his shots; etc. Songaila got significant playing time because he was HE WAS RELIABLE. Just saying that EJ may not be be Wooden, but I am not sure he deserved the harsh analysis with generally poor center play and no bench..

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2007 10:41 PM

For the season

Small things make the difference

* BH improving foul shot % to high 70's

* Offensive rebounds by 2nd team

* Give & go by 2nd team

Posted by: Gareth | October 6, 2007 10:17 PM

Posted by: Gareth | October 6, 2007 11:02 PM

Boy do I like what I am reading about the team this week! I like what I read about Blatche but I'll say it again...DMac will be the big difference in this team. He has energy, is athletic and will be a much needed defensive stopper. He doesn't seem to need the ball in his hands to help the team. That is important. I envision him holding his own against Garnett or Pierce of the Celtics, James of the Cavs, Wallace or Prince of the Pistons, Lewis of Orlando or any of the eastern conference forwards who might get on fire against us in a late April series. He looks to be in great shape but I wonder if he will hit the rookie wall in mid-season? I hope EJ paces him.

Posted by: BmoreRev | October 6, 2007 11:13 PM

Just a grammer correction :"don't be surprised if Eddie finds some kind of roll for him" should be spelled "role"

thx

Posted by: DMac | October 7, 2007 12:28 AM

BmoreRev

You are so right about DMac's potential value to the team because of his ability to make an impact without needing the ball in his hands. In addition to his D, it sounds like he is an excellent offensive rebounder - something the Wiz have been lacking. I doubt whether we will need to worry about EJ pacing DMac. My real concern is whether he will give the kid any PT at all...

Posted by: PK1 | October 7, 2007 12:39 AM

"Ray, who says you're a player?"

Lol, Etan is the player in reference. Never said I was. :) I guess I could have worded that differently.

I'm not a big fan of Etan Thomas the basketball player, sorry. I'm also sorry he's ailing and no one deserves to be sick with a bad heart and I wish no ills on anyone. Please don't confuse what I'm saying.

If people are going to get mad at me for saying that, then so be it.

"Just saying that EJ may not be be Wooden, but I am not sure he deserved the harsh analysis with generally poor center play and no bench.."

Jordan is a very average coach and as many of us stated on here last year while watching the games Jordan's coaching lost more games then it won. He got lured into "smallball" so many times last year at the end of games and they lost a lot of games they should have won because of that. Some of his lineups were mind-boggling at best.

He also could have instilled a defensive philosophy on the team when he was hired as coach but didn't do that either.

As stated in press reports Tom Thibodeau didn't take the job in Washington because he felt that people would be thinking he would be Jordan's replacement if Jordan fails this year, hense undermining. That should tell you something right there, and the fact his assistants only got one year extensions.

Arenas bailed him out SOOO many times last year it's not even funny.

Last year a lot of people on here were saying the Wiz would win 50+ games, first place in the East, and they had one of the deepest benches ever.

How did that turn out?

So who is better in the East then the Wiz right now?

Miami
Toronto
Orlando
Cleveland
*Maybe* Boston

I hope the Wiz win many games, there's too much talent on this team for them not to. But until they beat Miami a FEW times and show they can play defense they are a 45-47 win/4th-5th place in the East team.

I am also not a fan of the "player" Etan Thomas or of the "coach" Eddie Jordan. I am sure they are both very likable outside of basketball however.

"We're solid with 12 players, and what's not to like about....Tony Massengale."

Wow, I remember watching him when he used to be called Tony MASSENBURG. That was back in the good old days of at UMD right? ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 7, 2007 12:58 AM

BmoreRev,

I realize that Dominic has the potential to be pretty good this year but "holding his own" against GARNETT?!

That has to be a pipe dream

Posted by: David | October 7, 2007 1:20 AM

If DMac forces his way into increased playing time look for Butler to get some time at the two agianst certain matchups.

I'd agree with Ray, Arenas, and to a lessor extent, Butler and Jamison really pulled his rear out of the fire with some games that he got outcoached in.

That said, I'd disagree about the depth of last year's team. Grunfeld was limited last year with the money he had to spend in order to get under the luxury tax threshold. Everybody was struggling to get under that thing and we were no different.

The Wizards thought we had Songalia coming in to be a backup to play major minutes. His back issue didn't pop up until camp and Grunfeld had already decided go ahead and stash Pecherov overseas for the year.

Blatche had some real maturity issues last year and didn't step up in year two. Eddie decided not to reward him with playing time until he acted like a pro, but none of the fans knew what was going on in the lockerroom.

Many here were calling Jordan's head for
playing Ruffin and Booth ahead of Blatche. Those two guys were limited in their games but they were solid pros with the proper work ethic and attitudes. And they apparently served their purpose here, Blatche learned that he'd ride pine behind that kind of guy until he learned to train like a pro.

I'm not ready to start calling for Blatche to get an Allstar nod or go crazy saying the kid's ready to move ahead of Jamison right now. But it sure sounds like he's ready to start to put some of that talent to use this year.

The bench has talent for a change, but we'll surely see these rookies have their struggles as well. That's why I'm not going crazy about this team yet. But I'm intrigued by it's potential.

I like Etan, but he's never moved past bring a 10-20 minute a game guy. Eddie has used Etan with Haywood like he used Ruffin with Blatche. He's been prodding for maximum effort by playing the other guy when it appears he's practicing harder.

Haywood tends to sulk when he knows he's being played, but he does work harder at game prep.

Driving as far as I do for games I'm often their early if I hit traffic right. One thing that never changed last year was the amount of times Haywood was on the court working with coaches an hour before the game.

I'd say that's the reason that Ernie didn't want to send him out for pennies on the dollar this summer. The 5 is still the position with the most questions on the team, but there are really some interesting possibilties there too.

I'm still saying we're a year or two away from the top of the east, but I do like this group's chances of getting there.

Posted by: GM | October 7, 2007 7:29 AM

"I'm still saying we're a year or two away from the top of the east, but I do like this group's chances of getting there."

GM is right on the money. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 7, 2007 8:39 AM

While now is the time of year to be optimistic, there seems to be a bit of irrational exuberance here, to quote Alan Greenspan:

1. Almost no one posting on this blog has seen the Wizards play yet. We are relying solely on press reports and reports from Wizards.com, not exactly a neutral observer.

2. A couple months ago, after watching a couple of summer league games, some of the people posting here were pronouncing Pech a bust.

3. The Wizards are playing each other, and as one of the league's worst defensive teams last season, why wouldn't they be lighting each other up?

We will begin to see what's really there this week when the preseason games start. And count me among those who think it's silly to think this team will be better without Etan. No team gets better by losing a center who can play. If Haywood gets injured, do you really like the remaining alternatives to guard the starting centers in the league?

Posted by: Henry | October 7, 2007 8:40 AM

>Pesh laid the wood er, sent A.D. to the wood.

Who let the Wzntz into your keyboard, Ivan Tha Cartter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xoxo,
Ken BEatrice
sent from wireless Blackberry inside Mothering Hut

Posted by: www.wizznutzz.com | October 7, 2007 10:36 AM

Good point about losing Etan, Henry; but you gotta admit that this year's bench, at least based on the admittedly biased reports we're receiving so far, looks to be better than last year's bench.

Injured D-Song replaced by Healthy D-Song
Unmotivated Blatch replaced by motivated Blatch
Jarvis Hayes replaced by... who cares, he's gone!

Last year's bench was supposed to be strong because of Etan Thomas, Jarvis Hayes, and Antonio Daniels. Etan did not improve, Arvis lost his J, and AD didn't find his shot until late in the year.

Losing Thomas may actually be a blessing in disguise. It means more playing time for Blatche and Pecherov; and probably more importantly, more time for Brendan Haywood. The Wiz are just a better team when Haywood is on the floor. Statistically 10% better, according to 82games.com

Daniels has apparently worked on his shot all off-season. Songaila looked great in the European championships this summer. Blatche apparently got a brain transplant, and is now working on his game like a professional should. Pecherov has a post game (who knew?), and MacGuire is the steal of the draft. Not to mention that apparently the whole team came to camp in great shape, and with a chip on their shoulders.

Notice I didn't even talk about the starting 5. By the way, I consider the Wizards to be AMONG the best starting 5 in the league.

If we can't be irrationally exhuberant exuberant in October, they why be a fan at all!! Can we at least wait until the first pre-season game to lose our enthusiasm?

Posted by: Rook | October 7, 2007 10:38 AM

We have seen the Wizards play - last year. The entire front line is back and probably improved, along with an improved Blatche and a healthy Songaila. That is, the team that made us the top team in the East until injuries hit are here again.

And in addition you have essentially replaced Booth, Ruffin and Hayes with the three rookies. I have said this before, it would be hard to believe that the rookies will be make any less of a contribution than the people they are replacing, and by the second half of the season, potentially may contribute a lot more.

That is what has some of us walking around with restrained excitement for the coming season.

Posted by: Tim | October 7, 2007 10:49 AM

I wanted to get down to Richmond to watch the scrimmage, but family commitments got in the way.

Did anyone get to the scrimmage?

Posted by: Rook | October 7, 2007 11:00 AM

"So who is better in the East then the Wiz right now?

Miami
Toronto
Orlando
Cleveland
*Maybe* Boston"

Uh, what?

Boston and Detroit are probably better than us on paper, but nobody else in the east is better. Miami and Cleveland are at our level, and we're definitely better than Orlando and Toronto.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 11:39 AM

Speaking of Jarvis Hayes....

Word on the street is that he is doing pretty well in Detroit! Although he didnt have an impact in DC I wish him well in Detroit. JH was one of the kids I followed in college. He has the potential to be a threat; if used correctly. I think JH's biggest downfall last season was his mental demons associated with his injury. Hopefully he is mentally healthy this year. No I am a HUGE WIZ fan, but I like the kid... I wish him well and want to see him do well. Check out some of the feedback I got while trying to dig up dirt!

But he won his league in the first year OU competed for the title and got the Grizzlies into the NCAA tournament two years ago. I've long respected his ability to quickly assess and analyze players and teams, so when the Pistons decided to hold this year's training camp open practice on OU's campus, I asked Greg to give me his insights on the Pistons.
Here they are:

On what jumped out at him:
"The guy I really think is going to help them is Jarvis Hayes. His shot looks pure and he looks like he can really score the ball. And I think they've really missed that for the last couple of years - a guy who can come off their bench and just score.

"They haven't had that since ... who? Jon Barry, maybe. A Vinnie Johnson type of guy with no conscience. He's going to fire it up and if his shot's going in that night he's going to do some damage; if it's not he's going to sit and watch. But that guy looks to me like he has that kind of potential. He's strong, his shot is good, he's got size and width. I think he's got a chance, for what the Pistons need, to really help. He's very different than Prince and sometimes the opposite is good."

"Jarvis Hayes, as billed, displayed a nice outside shooting touch and also made a nice penetration move and feed for a layup. Arron Afflalo, who did not shoot well in the Summer League, made his first two perimeter jumpers. Cheikh Samb had two clean blocks and a third that was ruled a goaltend. He also displayed his deft shooting touch by hitting both of his foul shots." pistons.com

"The key is for those guys who are behind me to get consistent minutes to be able to perform up to their capabilities," Prince said. "Jarvis is a very capable guy of getting in there and contributing under any circumstances as long as he has a comfortable amount of minutes in his role. The same with Ronald Dupree."

Help wanted: A sub for Tayshaun
The Pistons are once again talking about cutting Tayshaun Prince's minutes down. In the past, Detroit couldn't because Prince's backups (Carlos Delfino, Maurice Evans) didn't make enough of an impact in their limited minutes. That shouldn't be as big an issue this season with Jarvis Hayes playing behind Prince. Hayes has had a surprisingly seamless transition coming to Detroit after playing his first four seasons for the Washington Wizards.

"This is a perfect offense," Hayes said. "I'm getting shots and I'm knocking down my fair share."


Camp competition:" The battle to see who will play behind Tayshaun Prince at the small forward position appears to have been won by Jarvis Hayes. The 6-foot-8 Hayes was impressive in Detroit's White-Blue scrimmage Thursday night with his ability to make shots while coming off screens." mlive.com/pistons

The last guy I'll talk about from tonight's scrimmage is Jarvis Hayes. I remember him in Georgia, and wondered if he had the quickness to defend at this level. He'll never be mistaken for a track star, but his foot speed doesn't seem to be as big a liability as I thought.

Jarvis is going to cause a lot of problems for teams because of his ability to spot-up and shoot the ball. People forget that in Washington, Jarvis never played with a legitimate inside scoring threat that teams had to seriously game-plan for. When Rasheed and/or McDyess are on the floor with him, and those two are going down on the block, this is going to leave Jarvis open a lot. And this kid, as he showed the folks at OU tonight, he can knock down open shots if you give them to him.

Posted by: wizfan4lifffffff | October 7, 2007 11:46 AM

Thanks, Wizfan. It's hard to root against Jarvis.

Posted by: Sean | October 7, 2007 11:53 AM

Glad to hear that Jarvis has regained his J in Detroit. If he can hit a wide open jumper (which he could not do here in Washington), he will help Detroit.

Posted by: Rook | October 7, 2007 12:05 PM

I think Blatche could make a big difference at the 5 this year, because he's got a lot more offensive skills than either Etan or BTH. I'm concerned about his ability to defend the low post (not a good sign that BTH had 15 against him in the scrimmage). Hopefully, he'll get more solid at that as he gets more playing time. But he's got the length, quickness and ups to be a pretty good shot blocker.

Posted by: John Brisker | October 7, 2007 3:16 PM

I wish Jarvis well (as long as he doesn't play good against the Wizards).

Posted by: George Templeton | October 7, 2007 3:20 PM

Just wanted to say...

some one here was saying there is some irrational exuberance on the board, but I just got back from Richmond went down to see the scrimmage. If you haven't done this, you should. The games are competitive, you get a really close look at the players, and the young guys get a lot of burn.

Here are my impressions from watching the scrimmage:

1. Pech is not small or scrawny. He has some of the biggest legs on the team. He is still young, and needs to get into true NBA form yet. But he has the body type that can put some mass on. He likes to hang out on the wing but he is smooth and has real potential. Not a perpetual project, but not ready yet either.

2. Nick young: Looks like he is forcing things, had a few sweet jumpers. Especially nice off of screens. Seemed frustrated by the speed of the opposing guard (Willie Dean = fast). I could be wrong, but I don't see him making an immediate impact. I think he may take a season to adjust to NBA game and his role.

3. Dom MacGuire: (as Antonio called him) Looks ready to play off the bench. This guy smells the play out and finds the ball a lot. Great athleticism. Great Hustle. Very excited to see him in game.

4. Blatche: Looks like an actual NBA player. This is a big compliment from me, cause I think people have been drinking the coolaid on him (Ray speak) last season. Giving him too much playing time would mean we were rebuilding last year... this year different story.

5. Donell Taylor: I was really impressed with his play. Like D-Mac Donell just seems to get into a lot of plays I would have a tough time cutting him. His elevation on a couple of defensive plays was unreal. If he leaves I think he plays somewhere else.

6. Roger Mason: didn't see a ton from him, but he plays smart and doesn't force the ball or try to create too much like some of the other young guys.

7. Songaila: Get Ready! HE looks good, I mean healthy, healthier than he did all season last year, even looks like he got some sun. He and Daniels were clicking, having him from the start of the season makes us instantly better than last year.

8. Tony Massengurg: I was a bit surprised by this signing, but I have to say he plays like a man. I think he will be good as a sparring partner for BTH, but I don't see how he makes the team. Not because he didn't play well (he did) but I just don't see enough space on this team.

9. Wille dean: has speed, plays smart, held his own with Young for the most part.

10. Stevenson: looked really good.

11. Daniels: Is daniels, always games.

12. Caron: All star campaign 2.

Now that said, there was some sloppy play (to be expected), but A LOT of defense. Players were missing shots, and it had a lot to do with a fairly physical defensive scrimmage. We are a long way from the season, but I think after seeing this team we have a lot of reason to be optimistic, and it isn't all irrational.

Here is the thing: Last season at this time we were thinking "who are we going to fill the bench out with" This season the situation is reversed we have some young guys who we might want to keep but we have to cut. I think that bodes well for this team, and is reason enough to be optimistic. Let all the media people fawn over Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, Chicago and Detroit... Gilbert loves to play the underdog.

Posted by: greg | October 7, 2007 4:24 PM

Greg -thanks for the update on the scrimmage. Good to get some info from someone other than the standard sources (Ivan, Wiz site, etc...)

My originial thoughts were that Pech would be the first of the rookies to make Eddie Jordan's regular rotation, mainly because he's 7-ft, played against good competition in Europe, and has a sweet shot. BUT from your post, I take it you think Maguire will be the one that commands minutes early in the year.


As for Young, I'm definately not one of those calling him a bust already...but I think he will be more typical of what you expect of rookies. Inconsistent. Mistake prone. Showing flashes of promise. And, just like most rookies, it will take time before he adjusts to the NBA game. I think it will be two more years before we will be able to label him a star, or a bust.

Posted by: Rook | October 7, 2007 4:55 PM

David,

Maybe it is a pipe dream about DMac against Garnett and others. But I think if he is as good as he looks and they tell him to concentrate on D and running the floor he can be the key defensive stopper that we so desperately lack. James driving the lane for layups in the last minute of playoff games still haunts this team. They need someone to make sure he can't do that. I think that is the vision they have for DMac and so far it looks like he is ready to fill the role. It'll be fun seeing how he develops for sure. That role is there to be had and I think Ernie expects coach to give him every opportunity to fill it. We'll know more in a few months but I hope I am right. It is time I guess to speculate and dream.

Posted by: BmoreRev | October 7, 2007 8:29 PM

Rook, I was hoping Young would not take quite so long to develop, but you may be right in that it may be two years before he really comes into his own in the NBA.

Posted by: Tim | October 7, 2007 9:08 PM

"If DMac forces his way into increased playing time look for Butler to get some time at the two agianst certain matchups."

This will be one of the keys this year. If Butler can have success at the 2, backing up DS, GA can get the per game rest he needs to stay strong all season. If not, weak backcourt firepower off the bench will be a major problem this year.


Posted by: oddjob | October 7, 2007 10:43 PM

A few experts here were predicting that AJ would accept a mid level exception contraction from Les BouleS after the season is over. I guess these people disagree with George Solomon:

"Pollin's payroll today is at the league ceiling -- about $67.86 million -- with all-stars Gilbert Arenas (nearly $12 million a year) and Antawn Jamison ($16.36 million) counting on raises when their current deals expire at the end of the season."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/06/AR2007100601044.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 7, 2007 11:14 PM

Solomon is a cheerleader these days.
He's no Ivan.

Posted by: Victor | October 7, 2007 11:18 PM

"Solomon is a cheerleader these days.
He's no Ivan.

Posted by: Victor | October 7, 2007 11:18 PM "

Here's something to chuckle about. I'd like to hear Ivan echo your statements. :D

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 7, 2007 11:26 PM

Glad to report rook, :)

I'd like to add that Abe Pollin was at the scrimmage, (as was the VA Governor) Wizards Fans should be thinking about what happens after Pollin. I sat about 6 rows directly behind him, and his age is really showing. They drove him down to his seat in a golf cart, and I was taken a bit back by his appearance. So, don't be surprised if in the next couple years this becomes Leonsis' team... Kind of curious what people think about that.

Also, I would be careful to say that as good as Dom looked, I'm not sure how much play he gets this season, but he does look more game ready than Young at this point. YOung looked a bit frustrated, trying to find refs... and I will say, no one else on the court was doing that. I think maybe Young really wants to prove his doubters wrong, but he needs to channel that intensity. Sometimes the small guys develop faster, so who knows where he is by mid season?

Also, I thought it was interesting that D-Mac made the announcement before the scrimmage thanking fans for coming.

Another note, I really think Caron and DS were getting into the young guys and making them play hard... I liked.

Did I mention how high, Donell was jumping, chasing down fast breaks from behind to make blocks? HIGH!

Posted by: greg | October 8, 2007 12:24 AM

"So, don't be surprised if in the next couple years this becomes Leonsis' team... Kind of curious what people think about that."

Abe is a private man, so no one at the Post is willing to talk about his illness. But, given that, do you think it's still going take the "next couple of years" for this franchise to turn over?

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 8, 2007 12:41 AM

I've been trying to determine the salary cap implications if Etan retires for health reasons. As far as I can tell, there appear to be fourt basic principles under league: (1) the general rule is that salary paid to a retired player counts against the team's cap numbers; (2) there is an exception when the league determines that the retirement is driven by legitimate health reasons; (3) this salary cap exception takes effect one year after the league makes its determination; and (4) compliance with the salaray cap is determined at the end of the season.

If I understand these rules correctly, it means that the only way the Wiz can get any salary cap relief this year is if Etan retires this year and his contract doesn't require the team to continue paying salary in the event of his retirement based on an off-court health issue (i.e., his heart condition). Even if his contract doesn't require continued payment under these circumstances (which would be surprising since it seems to have every term imaginable favorable to the player because it was written by the Bucks to discourage resigning by the Wiz), I can't imagine that Etan would retire voluntarily if it means that he forfeits his salary and I also doubt that the team could force him to retire this season (or possibly for the duration of his contract).

If Etan's contract does require that his salary be paid despite his retirement (or it the team agrees to continue payment in order to induce him to retire), then the Wiz should get salary cap relief for next season if the league makes the necessary determination this season that his retirement was driven by legitimate health issues. It doesn't appear to matter when that determination is made so long as it's some time this season since it won't take effect until the same time next season and salary cap compliance is determined at the end of the season. This situation may help explain why EG seems to be letting this matter play out for now. There appears to be no rush so long as the determination is made some time this season.

More importantly, my prayers are for Etan's health. While BB is a business, it involves the lives of real people.


Posted by: DanPeter | October 8, 2007 8:31 AM

DC Man88, as far as Soloman reporting that AJ will expect a raise at the end of this season, don't believe everything you read.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2007 8:33 AM

Solomon can say Jamison's hoping for a raise, Jamison's agent can say he's hoping for a raise, and Jamison, his wife, and her sister(Who'll try and take Vince to the cleaners) can all hope for him to get a raise too.

But, the market indicates what Jamison will get, yes, somebody could always go out and do something stupid like Orlando did this year. But look around the league, unless somebody wants to do a sign and trade nobody's got 16m plus laying around to throw at Jamison.

He'll most likely be back here because the Wiz can afford to give him some where in the range of 8 to 10m per year and that's more than any team with the MLE can afford. On the open market even if a team is willing to exceed the Luxury Tax Cap most only have a MLE available to use.

For another team to sign Jamison and exceed the MLE they'd have to do a sign and trade with the Wiz. Ernie would have to see a deal that he thinks would improve his team to do that, and since he has more money than just the MLE to offer Jamison he can just sit back and dictate what happens.

So the Wiz are in a win/win situation as far as Jamison's expiring deal is concerned. But I'm sure his wife will want him to take less money than the Wizards have to offer so Jamison can go play with Vince. The same Vince that her sister is divorcing, sure she'd love to have her hubby hanging out with the guy that cheats on her sister.

The Wiz could sit back and offer him $1.00 more than another team could offer under the MLE. But they won't because Abe and Ernie are smart and savvy, they want their team leader happy. And Mr. Pollin doesn't have forever, so they'll keep this core together for a run.

This team's not ready to compete at the very top of the east this year. But Jamison and Arenas will be smart enough to see how close the Wiz are and will both be back.

Posted by: GM | October 8, 2007 8:53 AM

Nice analysis, GM, although I am thinking the Wiz might be more competitive in the East this year than you are.

Posted by: Tim | October 8, 2007 9:32 AM

Tim, I feel they'll do very well this year, how well could depend on good luck and how quickly this group of kids grow up together.

After last year's luck with injuries you'd think the Wiz are in line to catch a break. None of the guys appear to be suffering from a chronic problem at this point. Jamison's problem last year appeared to stem from wear and tear and playing all summer with team USA.

The summer off to rest and working on strength and stretching could really help. I think Jordan should have learned from last year and with a more talented bench should be monitoring the big three's minutes more this year.

The other thing about the East, King James has now played two straight summers and went to the finals last spring. Cleveland's got two key members of their team that aren't happy with their contract situation and couldn't pull a deal to get any help for LaBron. He could suffer from overwork this season.

Det-Riot is aging, Miami is aging and their Young star is hurt, Chicago is tough as always, but I'm not convinced that Boston can stay healthy, and I'm not as sold on Toronto's supporting cast as some. NY is NY, and the Nets are similar to us but don't have the young talent we do.

So there's still no one in the East that's really someone to be frightened off. Everybody's hoping for some luck and a diamond in the rough to bloom. A guy like Blatche blowing up and having a great year could be the difference between a team battling for home court and number one in the East.

But number one in the East would take some real luck, I'm old enough to never plan on or expect good luck. But, I don't sit and try to predict disasters either.

Posted by: GM | October 8, 2007 11:14 AM

"DC Man88, as far as Soloman reporting that AJ will expect a raise at the end of this season, don't believe everything you read.

Posted by: | October 8, 2007 08:33 AM "

I don't, especially not on this blog. I only posted it b/c it provides a counterpoint to what many are saying on this blog. Also, the source, George Solomon, is more reliable than anyone here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 8, 2007 1:20 PM

Yeah, I said next couple years to be nice... and I mean, you can't really tell. But Pollin didn't look himself. I really like him, I know maybe some of his loyalties have hampered the team, but I can't fault a guy for having principles, and as far as this city is concerned Abe has been great for DC.

Posted by: greg | October 8, 2007 1:31 PM

Greg, Interesting to hear from someone that's actually seen the Wizards live this year.

Real interesting to hear that Taylor is doing well, that's why they have camp and play games. I was about ready to write him off so it would be a pleasant surprise if he battles his way into consistant playing time.

Both Taylor and Mason have to overcome the problem that Jarvis had last year, when they're in the game with the big three they have to can an open jumper. Because they're going to get them, and you can't go shooting 32% from long range and expect playing time.

Taylor always appeared to be playing right at the edge of being out of control last year. He seems to have alot of physical talent, so if he can put it together he could turn out to be another find.

It's interesting that some pine for the day that Leonis owns the team. Isn't he the same guy that ran a salary purge at the Capitals a couple of years back? I'm not a hockey fan, so I'm really not prepared to debate if the purge helped or hurt the Caps.

But this guy's big Basketball move that he took credit for was putting MJ and Pollin together. That sold alot of tickets, didn't get us any better or help us to the playoffs.

Before the purge Leonis's big hockey move was bringing Jagr here, I do know enough about hockey to realize that really didn't work out too well.

Leonis's record as an owner has really ended up being fairly spotty, but I've read he does answer fan's E-Mail on a regular basis. Guess some hear hope to be able to E-Mail the Wizards'owner so they have a reliable source of inside info.

Posted by: GM | October 8, 2007 2:56 PM

"It's interesting that some pine for the day that Leonis owns the team. Isn't he the same guy that ran a salary purge at the Capitals a couple of years back? I'm not a hockey fan, so I'm really not prepared to debate if the purge helped or hurt the Caps."

Can't really compare hockey with the NBA. NBA is rich, hockey is poor and dying. There are more hockey fans in Canada compared to the US. How many kids in the US know Lebron/Kobe vs. Ovenchkin/Semin?

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 8, 2007 3:17 PM

Not to mention hockey is a white game and b-ball is a black game

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 8, 2007 5:55 PM

"Not to mention hockey is a white game and b-ball is a black game

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 8, 2007 05:55 PM "

Even though I didn't write this, it is true.

NBA is considered a black league while it doesn't take anyone with more than one brain cell, even the loser who wrote the comments using my name, to figure out that hockey is a white game.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 8, 2007 10:22 PM

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