Jamison Returns, Dixon Debuts in Wizards Loss
The Wizards capped their two-game Euro tour with a 102-80 loss to the New Orleans Hornets tonight in Barcelona. They lost 96-80 to the Hornets on Tuesday night.
A few notables from tonight's game:
-The defense, especially with the first unit, needs serious work. The Hornets are very good with Chris Paul but all-star David West did not play in either game and Tyson Chandler did not play tonight and things came way to easily for the Byron Scott's team. Washington's rotations and communication were particularly off.
I sat right next to the Wiz bench and saw a lot of chatting among players about who was supposed to do what on a given play. Also, Coach Eddie Jordan and Randy Ayers were consistently prodding their players about defense during timeouts. At one point, after a blown assignment, Ayers put his head in his hand as if he'd just been hit with a migraine.
-The good news is that Antawn Jamison returned from that right knee injury and showed no signs of favoring. He said that he needs a few days to get his legs back but otherwise felt fine.
-As I predicted earlier, Caron Butler came out very aggressive tonight and was sharp. He put up 15 points, seven boards, three steals, two assists (with four turnovers) in 29 solid minutes. He's ready.
-Juan Dixon made his debut after missing four games with a right calf problem. He missed all four of his shot attempts but racked up five assists against one turnover and generally looked solid. Jordan said he liked what he saw out of DIxon following the game (that will be in tommorow's story.)
-Rookie JaVale McGee made a surprise start and played well. The kid once again mixed spectacular plays with basic mistakes en route to finishing with a solid line of 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting with two rebounds, two blocks and three turnovers in 21 minutes. He also picked up a major fan in Paul, who was shocked when the rookie rose up and swatted away one of his shots in the second half.
"He can fly," Paul said. "I mean, that's plain and simple. He can fly. I think it was early in the third quarter, I came and did an in and out move and he blocked it. He's easily one of the most athletic big guys in the NBA. You can put him in that Dwight Howard category."
Wow. If you remember, Brendan Haywood said a very similar thing about McGee during training camp.
Still, McGee also blew a few defensive assignments and remains a work in progress as one would expect. The thing I like is that he plays hard, plays with confidence and seems to truly care about getting better.
An example: Paul had the ball at the top of the key working against Dixon in the third quarter when the Wizards bench yelled "red" meaning that McGee was supposed to roll up from the post and shade Paul on Paul's left-hand side.
McGee did not get there and that was a big mistake because Paul turned the corner and rolled to the hoop for an easy layup. Jordan quickly called a timeout and corrected the rookie.
The thing I liked was that McGee walked back to the bench, tapped himself on the chest and said: "My bad."
I'm writing this from the lobby bar in the same hotel where everyone NBA-related is staying and just ran into former NBA forward Detlef Schrempf, who is working for the league as part of the European tour.
I asked Schrempf, who clocked 17 NBA seasons and played in three all star games, about the rookie and he was impressed.
"He's very raw but you can see the talent," Schrempt said. "He's a legit 7-footer and he's very long. You can't teach that. He also has good instincts. You can see that. He's still learning. The tools are certainly there though. It's going to be interesting to watch him come along."
A couple of the refs who worked tonight's game (the crew included Joe Crawford, Derrick Stafford and Bennie Adams) were also impressed with McGee. "They've got something there," one ref told me during a casual conversation a short while ago. "That's for sure."
-After the game I asked Jordan for an update on Nick Young, who did not make trip so he could stay back and rehab that right knee. Jordan said that Young will be re-evaluated Sunday when the team meets for practice but he was not sure whether Young would be ready. As soon as I know something more concrete, I'll let ya'll know.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Izman | October 17, 2008 9:06 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 9:34 PM
Posted by: el freako | October 17, 2008 9:36 PM
Posted by: Sam | October 17, 2008 9:36 PM
Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | October 17, 2008 10:44 PM
Posted by: khrabb | October 17, 2008 11:58 PM
Posted by: kalorama | October 18, 2008 12:47 AM
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 18, 2008 1:17 AM
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 18, 2008 1:25 AM
Posted by: yankeevicar | October 18, 2008 9:54 AM
Posted by: jasonma1 | October 18, 2008 10:19 AM
Posted by: jasonma1 | October 18, 2008 10:24 AM
Posted by: Rook | October 18, 2008 10:33 AM
Posted by: joe c | October 18, 2008 10:36 AM
Posted by: el freako | October 18, 2008 11:21 AM
Posted by: mark | October 18, 2008 12:00 PM
Posted by: zxhoya | October 18, 2008 12:52 PM
Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | October 18, 2008 1:19 PM
Posted by: Krem | October 18, 2008 2:51 PM
Posted by: VB Fan | October 18, 2008 3:04 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2008 4:15 PM
Posted by: VB Fan | October 18, 2008 4:20 PM
Posted by: NC | October 18, 2008 4:44 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2008 4:54 PM
Posted by: Anonymous, but realistic | October 18, 2008 5:19 PM
Posted by: kalorama | October 18, 2008 6:06 PM
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 18, 2008 10:58 PM
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 18, 2008 11:01 PM
Posted by: Izman | October 19, 2008 7:39 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | October 19, 2008 9:17 AM
Posted by: myshkin | October 19, 2008 11:29 AM
Posted by: help | October 19, 2008 11:41 AM
Posted by: help | October 19, 2008 11:43 AM
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 19, 2008 12:14 PM
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 19, 2008 12:16 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | October 19, 2008 1:17 PM
Posted by: Anonymouse | October 19, 2008 1:58 PM
Posted by: Darnell | October 19, 2008 2:03 PM
Posted by: kalorama | October 19, 2008 2:20 PM
Posted by: kalorama | October 19, 2008 3:01 PM
Posted by: lrmc623 | October 19, 2008 9:52 PM
Posted by: Izman | October 20, 2008 12:15 AM
Posted by: kalorama | October 20, 2008 1:16 AM
Posted by: Dave | October 20, 2008 9:51 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.