McGuire is Making a Move

I wrote about second-year forward Dominic McGuire for Monday's newspaper. Here's the link.

The word so far is that McGuire is having one heck of a camp. Following Sunday's lone practice, Coach Eddie Jordan named Dominic, Andray Blatche and Dee Brown as guys who are standing out so far in training camp.

The thing I like about McGuire and always have - dating back to last season when he was a second round pick out of Fresno State - is that he's all business all of the time. He has a big body but can jump and play defense and is a very good passer. In the Las Vegas Summer League, he showed a much improved mid-range jumper and we've already seen that he's a natural rebounder (In LA against the Clippers last season he was a beast).

Dominic showed up in great shape and after having a great summer league in Las Vegas, his confidence is at a high level. It's going to be interesting watching McGuire during the preseason. The Wizards didn't (or couldn't financially) make a play for James Posey or Matt Barnes this summer and that opened the door for McGuire to be the main backup to Caron Butler.

-It's amazing to see how Blatche has physically matured over the last three years. He's only 21 years old so that shouldn't be a surprise but still, he's really filling out and the word is that he's bringing it so far. That's a good sign for Wizards fans.

-Antawn Jamison was held out of practice again Sunday with that strained right hip flexor. As I wrote last night, the main concern is that it doesn't become a major issue. I'll keep you posted.

-Eddie Jordan is a becoming a big Dee Brown fan. Loves Brown's quickness, energy, "Chicago toughness" and defensive pressure. This could be Brown's real opportunity. When Eddie trusts a player, that player plays.

By Ivan Carter |  September 28, 2008; 10:12 PM ET
Previous: Jamison Taking The Cautious Approach | Next: Wizards Training Camp Day 3

Comments

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no mention of NY. why am i not surprised?

Posted by: stevie | September 28, 2008 10:33 PM

Does Pecherov get in a game this year? It seems he is the odd man out cause Blatche, Etan, McGuire, and Songaila all need minutes and none of them are starters.

Posted by: juandixonformvp | September 28, 2008 11:03 PM

Agreed, mention of Young is notably absent. I wonder what kind of communication there is between NY and Eddie. We all know that Young is a bit of a jester but I was hoping that was mostly for the cameras. Arenas is obviously playful as well but nobody questions his work ethic, Young may not have that drive.

I can't imagine him not recognizing the opportunity with Gil out for another extended period. The kid seems to be blowing it, killing me because I love his offensive game.

Keyed up about the positive words on DMAC and Blatche. Would be really nice if we could actually go 10 deep this year and give Caron and AJ some short nights.

Still hopes NY wakes up. Hate to see him end up on the long list of players who could have been All Stars had they realized the game is also their job.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | September 28, 2008 11:15 PM

"still hope..." sorry for typo, not reaching for street cred.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | September 28, 2008 11:17 PM

Pech will see the floor before McGee will. But perhaps both would benefit from some time in the D-League.

I look for Pecherov to see the same type minutes that McGuire saw last year... (sporadic 7-9 mpg) - considering that this will be, in reality, his rookie year.

I still think there's some talent there. I wish we could have seen some of it in Summer League. Reminds me of a taller Songaila, and if he can somehow obtain some of the savvy that DSong has, he could have a nice career.

Posted by: Rook | September 28, 2008 11:19 PM

Count me in on Nick Young's absence so far. I know training camp just started, but nothing?

Posted by: C.Bell | September 28, 2008 11:59 PM

You know Jamison and Caron have gone up to Nick Young and been like, "Man we really like how Dominic McGuire plays DEFENSE."

(WINK WINK)

Posted by: Crabhands | September 29, 2008 8:23 AM

Jordan was impressed with what he saw from Thomas on Saturday morning.

"Very physical," Jordan said. "Very athletic. Very intense and very competitive. He looked good."

Ok I get most of this statement from EJ, but the "athletic" description is throwing me for a loop? Etan is a banger, however I never seem to remember him being athletic? The only athletic "5" they have there is McGee?

Oh well, I guess I will wait for the first televised preseason game to see what EJ is talking about?

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 29, 2008 9:39 AM

Since Eddie said this camp would be like last year, defense,defense,defense... Why is it a surprise to anyone that he's not calling out Nick Young for his excellent play? The goal with Nick is to get him up to the level of being at least passable as a defender. I'm really not expecting to hear him getting shout outs from the coaches real soon.

Not unless Nick got abducted by aliens or something over the summer. He's got the ability to defend, he just hasn't wrapped his mind around the concept yet.

Maybe Dee Brown was still feeling his way around in the new system at Summer League, sure sounds like he's catching Eddie's eye in camp, so he must be doing more to impress. Again it's probably on the defensive end applying pressure from the sounds of things.

I've been saying for months the step up in this year's team will revolve around, Blatche, Young, and McGuire. Well so far two out of three have impressed.

I'd agree with Rook, this is really in many ways Pecherov's rookie year after losing the first half last year to a bad wheel. He say's he's found some Russian women to cook for him so he doesn't feel so homesick. We'll have to wait and see if that helps the young fella out some.

Posted by: GM | September 29, 2008 9:44 AM

Wow, I'm shocked that Mr. Small Ball really loves Dee Brown. Perhaps Dee will emerge as Caron's backup.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 9:46 AM

Some nice videos on the Wizards site.

Taser talking about what he did during the Summer to improve his game. He worked out twice a day. Worked on his mid-range jumper. He talked a lot about being more "professional" in his approach. He looks lighter than last year, but more defined. Overall an impressive interview.

McGee has a short vlog - where he talks about what he's doing with his free time.

There's a video about Arenas and his rehab... also talking about trying to help the young kids - getting them out for extra shooting, etc...

Posted by: Rook | September 29, 2008 10:49 AM

I always liked the Miggity Mac man last season. I could see he was a diamond in the rough and he always seemed to be a little more committed and serious then Nick. Hopefully, his work ethic will rub off on Young Gun and we will see him rise up as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 11:16 AM

Dee Brown is really taking care of his business...i think he might be the back up point guard for gilbert..... what do you guys think?????

Posted by: Ghost | September 29, 2008 11:29 AM

"Since Eddie said this camp would be like last year, defense,defense,defense...

I'd agree with Rook, this is really in many ways Pecherov's rookie year after losing the first half last year to a bad wheel. He say's he's found some Russian women to cook for him so he doesn't feel so homesick. We'll have to wait and see if that helps the young fella out some.

Posted by: GM | September 29, 2008 9:44 AM "

Hold on.

Last training camp, they said the focus was on defense.

What happened when the season started?

Five straight losses happened because the offense was not in sync.

BTW, OPech is not a rookie. He's a dude with international experience. He's not some guy wet behind the ears.

BTW, what is the situation with Vermenko? I thought he was supposed to be at training camp, and now, nobody's talking about him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 29, 2008 11:54 AM

Good to hear that we're finally using the the one thing that may differentiate us from the rest of the pack in our division....depth. Lots of folks here have been calling for more McGuire and more AB and more NY. Glad to see McGuire's work paying off.

Posted by: mark | September 29, 2008 12:02 PM

..now if we can just get EJ to put a hard cap on some of the starters minutes we'd be in good shape. I like 35 mpg for CB and AJ and GA (32 for AD while he starts). It's all about fresh legs at the end of the season. Defense is more demanding physically and we need fresh legs.

Posted by: mark | September 29, 2008 12:06 PM

from what i understand Vermenko is not in camp...but don't quote me on that. i believe he's back in europe.

Posted by: | September 29, 2008 12:12 PM

"Good to hear that we're finally using the the one thing that may differentiate us from the rest of the pack in our division....depth. Lots of folks here have been calling for more McGuire and more AB and more NY. Glad to see McGuire's work paying off.

Posted by: mark | September 29, 2008 12:02 PM "

Umm, the season hasn't started yet.

DMac had a great preseason/summerleague/training camp last season and averaged 10 minutes with little impact.

EJ knows that his best way of getting wins is to stick to his vets, and I'm betting he'll do the same this season.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 29, 2008 12:13 PM

"from what i understand Vermenko is not in camp...but don't quote me on that. i believe he's back in europe.

Posted by: | September 29, 2008 12:12 PM "

I know he's not in camp.

The issue is that end of last season, there was talk that he was going to join the team for summer league and fight for a spot on the team.

I think EG even traveled to Europe to watch him play.

Now, he's harder to find than Waldo.

Another great big man draft pick by EG.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM

Veermenko, was never supposed to be in camp this year. His team granted him permission to attend rookie league this summer, but he's still under contract. I don't think it was ever in the cards for him to be here this season.

He's a guy that the Wiz sure aren't going to do a buyout to get here. Right now there's not a spot for him on the roster, and in summer league he didn't appear good enough to knock someone off it.

Maybe he'll get better playing overseas, he didn't appear like a rotation level NBA player to me. More of a 11-15 guy at best.

Pecherov was drafted as a 19 yr old, I'm not sure if he's 21 or 22 now. Not exactly a wiley old Vet. He first caught NBA scouts' eye when he was a jr. league player. He has some experience in Europe, but not a lot.

Regardless of his overseas experience,he missed 45 games in his NBA rookie year and played on a bad foot.

Be nice to the guy, he could hook you up with some Russian women who could cook for you too. It didn't work out for you to be in Areana's posse, maybe you could "run with the Russians" and you'd end up being a happier fella.

Posted by: GM | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM

Veeremenko can't get out of his contract. After watching him in the Summer Leagues, not sure he's ready of even going to contribute in the NBA. Seems like a tweener (listed 6-10, seems 6-9 or 6-8). A 3/4. If he had Pech's height, he'd be more effective.

He was a second rounder as everybody knows, so not a big deal. But the development of Pech and McGee are crucial. Tough to find a big man where we are drafting as it is.

Posted by: Dave Daily | September 29, 2008 12:21 PM

No coach is going to put a "hard cap" on the amount of minutes his best players play. Every coach wants to get his big guns as much rest as possible and keep them fresh for the long haul, but they also want to win games. It's up to the players off the bench to prove up to the task of carrying the team 9or at least not burying it) while the starters rest. if they can't/don't do that, then the starters will play more. That's true for every team and every coach.

Posted by: kalorama | September 29, 2008 1:48 PM

If McGuire can become a reasonably consistent offensive threat (in the sense of making teams pay when they leave him open to double Butler, Jamison, or Arenas, not in the sense of trying to take guys off the dribble and driving the lane into traffic) then his value and effectiveness will be significantly increased.

Posted by: kalorama | September 29, 2008 1:54 PM

As for Young, Jordan already delivered a shot across his bow at media day when he said he was a "talented scorer but we need him to be a better player." The challenge has been delivered. It's up to Young to rise to it.

I have my doubts, quite frankly.

Posted by: kalorama | September 29, 2008 1:56 PM

"Veermenko, was never supposed to be in camp this year. His team granted him permission to attend rookie league this summer, but he's still under contract. I don't think it was ever in the cards for him to be here this season.

He's a guy that the Wiz sure aren't going to do a buyout to get here. Right now there's not a spot for him on the roster, and in summer league he didn't appear good enough to knock someone off it.

Maybe he'll get better playing overseas, he didn't appear like a rotation level NBA player to me. More of a 11-15 guy at best.

Pecherov was drafted as a 19 yr old, I'm not sure if he's 21 or 22 now. Not exactly a wiley old Vet. He first caught NBA scouts' eye when he was a jr. league player. He has some experience in Europe, but not a lot.

Regardless of his overseas experience,he missed 45 games in his NBA rookie year and played on a bad foot.

Be nice to the guy, he could hook you up with some Russian women who could cook for you too. It didn't work out for you to be in Areana's posse, maybe you could "run with the Russians" and you'd end up being a happier fella.

Posted by: GM | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM "

Wow.

You came up with some very good reasons why EG made poor decisions in wasting draft picks on these two fellas.

Why bother drafting them if you're never going to buy them out of their contract, and they'll never get a chance to run with the team, and nobody would ever want to trade for their rights?

OPech has really shown us nothing to indicate that not only was he not worth drafting, but he's got no inside skills for a big gym rat. Of course, it's easy for a 7 footer to shoot a long J. when you got 6-5 guards on you from the wing.

And, I didn't even mention EG's drafting of Peter John Ramos.

BTW, I don't care for Russian food. You of course, do care with your homer simpson seefood diet. See food and eat it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 29, 2008 2:04 PM

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