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Morning Practice Underway

The Wizards are going through the lone practice of the day right now. I saw that Antawn Jamison is practicing so that means that his hip flexor is feeling much better after testing it last night.

- One of the interesting things to watch as the preseason unfolds will be how Coach Eddie Jordan uses his big men. The roster has plenty of size and length with Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila, Oleksiy Pecherov, Andray Blatche and the rookie, JaVale McGee and several of these guys can play multiple positions.

Eddie talked about it yesterday: "With Andray, JaVale and Pech, with Brendan and Etan, you have a lot of 7-footers across the board with different skills. Andray is multi-skilled. Pesh can step out to the three-point line and he's very physical inside. He likes to front the post. Obviously, Brendan and Etan are veterans in the post and they are fighting and clawing their way. JaVale is a long rookie who goes after every shot, so it's fun to watch them battle in the paint."

As we all understand by now, Blatche could be the wild card for this team. So far, so good. He's playing wth a high energy level out here in camp and he's saying all of the right things about stepping up this season. Jordan praised Andray's approach yesterday.

-Someone asked about owner Abe Pollin. He has not been down here yet but he usually comes down for the annual scrimmage. It is Friday. It may hinge on how he's feeling. He was wheelchair bound for Gilbert and Antawn's press conferences this summer.

-Brendan Haywood drastically improved his free throw shooting last season and believes he can improve even more this season. A career 62 percent shooter from the stripe, Haywood connected on a career-best 73.5 percent last season after working closely with shooting coach Dave Hopla who is back. Brendan continues to put work in at the line before and after each practice.

By Ivan Carter  |  September 30, 2008; 12:18 PM ET
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'Doctor Hoops' Dave Hopla also needs to work on Etan's shot at the line.

And for an outside shooting Big, seems like Pech might could use a session as well, his FG%'s were atrocious last year.

Posted by: doclinkin | September 30, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey IC, are any of the Wiz camp events open to the public? Wouldn't mind attending a scrimmage.

Posted by: Nick | September 30, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

All of those rotation possibilities scare the heck out of me with EJ as the coach.

Ivan, on a related point, your reporting makes it seem like EJ thinks Dee Brown is going to be the salvation of the team this season. If so, that's scary as well.

Any emphasis on team D in camp?

Posted by: Izman | September 30, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

'Doctor Hoops' Dave Hopla also needs to work on Etan's shot at the line.

Posted by: doclinkin

That's what I have been saying all along. In fact, Thomas should have used the time last season when he wasn't cleared for contact to work on his FT.

Posted by: Sagaliba | September 30, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks Pesh is a banger and decent rebounder. He seems to be ble to hold his own inside when he's able to stay on the floor. Hopefully we'll see.

Posted by: mark | September 30, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, with all the bigs on the roster (and with the backcourt being relatively thin), will Eddie go big this year instead of his usual propensity to go small? His comments about not using Caron at SG, and using Dixon and Dee Brown together is not very promising. Will all the size on the roster, wouldn't it make sense to have Blatche and Jamison play some minutes at SF, and Caron some at SG? Said another way, are Dixon, Young and Dee Brown going to get minutes while Etan and Songalia ride the pine? That doesn't make sense -- put your best players out there.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Agree. With months off to work on nothing but shooting and with Hopla on board, anything less than 70% is a real disappointment to me from Etan. I'd expect that he should have developed a short range face up jumper, too. At some point, the 'spin and bow the guy in the ribs' power move/jump hook needs to be augmented by another move.

Posted by: mark | September 30, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Anon, you had me til you mentioned Songaila and Etan as the best players. I agree with you that small ball sucks, though. I'd much rather see the bigs than the smalls. Nellie is about the only guy in the league that wins with small ball consistently to my knowledge.

Posted by: mark | September 30, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards are making a mistake holding the scrimmage at 5:00 pm on a Friday instead of early Saturday evening. Richmond is an absolute strong hold for the Redskins and could be for the Wizards if they had more outreach.

Posted by: JP | September 30, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah 5 does seem a tad early. I'm leaving work early to make sure I get there in time.

Posted by: Patrick | September 30, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I was referring to bench options -- if you could choose between Songalia, Etan, Young and Dixon to go out on the court, who would you choose? (I would go in that order, for the most part.)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mark, the Nellie comparison is an apt one. Nellie, like Jordan, often gets to the playoffs, but doesn't advance very far once there.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's really not an apt comparison. Nelson's been a head coach for 30 years, this is only Jordan's 7th full season as a head coach.

Posted by: kalorama | September 30, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

i was going to try to go to the scrimmage but there's no way i can be in richmond by 5 on friday... it would be great if they scheduled it later in future seasons

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the info. I love the level of detail.

Posted by: GlingGling | September 30, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Last year (and maybe the year before) I recall the open scrimmage being on a Saturday afternoon. 5pm on a Friday is not really a fan friendly time. Perhaps it is being driven by their desire to break camp on Friday?

Posted by: Ben | September 30, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Everybody can't be shining. Tell us who is stinking up the joint.

Posted by: VB Fan | September 30, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: el freako | September 30, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Just finished reading John Hollinger's outcome for us. Did Gilbert pee in his coffee or something? That man hates the Wizards. Him and Tim Legler. At least I understand why Legler hates us. But every year since Hollinger has been with espn, he always gives the Wiz a bad outcome. He picked us to finish 12th last year, and that was WITH Gilbert. He's strictly a stat geek and again, this is why I don't pay attention to stats!

Posted by: C.Bell | September 30, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

He picked the BOBCATS to finish ahead of us!!!! The FREEKIN BOBCATS!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

His prediction aside, I actually agree with many of his points:

For example: "If you're looking for reasons why the Wizards gave up so many threes, they're not hard to find. For starters, Eddie Jordan has always been fond of traps and zones, which tend to create openings for weakside shooters. Second, Washington often had no choice but to double-team post players given the mismatches that presented themselves when the likes of Blatche and Darius Songaila were guarding the post. Finally, dribble penetration on the perimeter was another problem, creating easy kick-outs for triples."

Exactly many posters on his board have pointed out many times before.

It is no secret that Wizards shot a worse percentage than its opponents (both FG% and 3P%), Wizards win by making steal and create turnovers (which is the positive side of gamble defense mentioned above).

Posted by: Sagaliba | October 1, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I clicked "submit" because I had to be away from my desk. Anyway, forgot to say:

"Pacers and Bobcats ahead of Wiz?" No way I can agree to this ranking!

Posted by: Sagaliba | October 1, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I should have said,

"Pacers and Bobcats are in the playoff and Wiz not?" No way I can agree to this ranking!

Posted by: Sagaliba | October 1, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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