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Crittenton, James Could Be in Uniform Tonight

Javaris Crittenton and Mike James attended shootaround today but could not participate because the Wizards are waiting for the results of Antonio Daniels's physical in New Orleans. The Hornets do not play tonight but leave for Boston later today for a game against the Celtics tomorrow night.

Word is that Daniels is in New Orleans and was scheduled to take the physical today. If all goes well, Crittenton and James should be in uniform tonight against the C's.

-If Crittenton and James are cleared to play, Ed Tapscott said James would likely be the most ready to see game action because he's a veteran and because he has some familiarity with the offense. Byron Scott's system in New Orleans has a lot of the same elements.

"I think Mike James would have a chance to be able to get in and run some of our stuff. We and New Orleans share a lot of the same offense. With Javaris, he'd be at a little bit of a loss, so you would probably say the veteran player would have a chance to get in while the younger player, you would probably wait until you have a practice session to at least get him started on the offensive and defensive concepts."

-Either way, Juan Dixon starts tonight.

-James on his readiness to play tonight: "You pick up a few plays and remember: Feed your all-stars. But, for the most part, as a point guard, thank God for pick-and-roll. You can always go to that."

-On his offensive skills: "I still understand the diameter of the rim and I still know how to put that round basketball through the diameter of that rim. So, that's one thing I've always been able to do, but also, how to be a leader. How to help them defensively and just go out there and play ball."

-On what went wrong in New Orleans, where he'd won the backup PG job in camp but quickly fell out of Scott's rotation: "Man, I couldn't tell you at all. But, I appreciate them letting me go. I don't understand why they brought me there. It's hard when you don't ever get a chance to get into a rhythm, but it's all good. You take things for what it's worth. The one thing I've learned in this game is that one man's trash is another man's treasure."

-Crittenton had a big smile on his face as he walked out to speak with us after shootaround and it's hard to blame the kid: He's been waiting two years for a chance to play and that chance is going to come here.

"I'm happy to be a part of this organization," Crittenton said. "They were in need of a guard and I think I can contribute and help this team right away. I'm going to get into the playbooks, get into the film room and try to come out and contribute."

On being here two years after the Wizards seriously considered drafting him: "To be honest, I thought I was going to come here in the draft. Me and Ernie (Grunfeld) talked about that a little bit but, right now, that doesn't matter. I went to LA and now I'm here....I'm very happy to be here. I'm very excited. I can't express that enough."

(Seriously, the guy's body language was that or someone who had just busted out of jail. He's VERY happy.)

-Tapscott said he plans on starting Crittenton out as a point guard. "We obviously like versatility but somebody who can create a play for us, that would be terrific. Someone who can create offense and make some possessions easy rather than hard, that would be a welcome, welcome addition."

Is that an understatement when it comes to this team or what?

-Tapscott on what he knows about Crittenton: "I had a chance to see him in college and he's a talented player. That is what practice is for. You go to practice, put him out there, let him dry run through some of the sets and then we have scrimmage segments in every practice. We do a scrimmage segment and a situational segment with the clocks so we can work on clock management. That is where you get your read because guys really go at it during our scrimmage segments with pretty much game intensity. Becuase guys don't like to lose and I generally put a little running on the end of them. ...That's where we will see some of his strengths."

On what he is, a point guard, a 2-guard or a combo guy: "I'm a point guard but at the same time, I'm a playmaker and I can score. I can play on the ball and off the ball. I play the one or the two."

By Ivan Carter  |  December 11, 2008; 12:52 PM ET
 
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Comments

Thanks Ivan. They posted a couple of those interivew on the wizards blog

http://www.washingtonwizardsblog.com/2008/12/11/game-day-celtics-2/#comment-58207

Posted by: Igetbuckets | December 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I don't get:

Mike James is more ready to play tonigth because our "sets" are similar to those in New Orleans, right? BUT, AD is more suited to the "pick and roll" offense that NO runs. That seems contradictory.

Also, if NO runs the same offense we do and scores plenty, why are people always complaining about our Princeton offense and how it doesn't work?

I don't hear NO connected with the "Princton offense." What am I missing?

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 11, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good so far. Let's see how JC does in a less than ideal organization for young players. (Most recently, we seemed to have mismanaged JM to point of negatively affecting his confidence).

The biggest issue for the team performance right now is continually giving too many minutes to DeS. The guy is not producing and hurting the team very badly. (At least Taps figured that out about Etan).

Posted by: Izman | December 11, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think JCritt talent will relieve Deshawn of some of those minutes, but his ability to penetrate will also help Deshawn.

Posted by: zxhoya | December 11, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I don't get:

Mike James is more ready to play tonigth because our "sets" are similar to those in New Orleans, right? BUT, AD is more suited to the "pick and roll" offense that NO runs. That seems contradictory.

Also, if NO runs the same offense we do and scores plenty, why are people always complaining about our Princeton offense and how it doesn't work?

I don't hear NO connected with the "Princton offense." What am I missing?

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 11, 2008 1:41 PM

New Orleans runs a few Princeton sets when their bench guys are on the court, mostly because they've never had the type of point guard that can create for others behind Chris Paul. Byron Scott has a bit of a Princeton background, having coached the Nets when Eddie Jordan was an assistant coach.

New Orleans' bread and butter is the pick and roll game with Chris Paul, but that doesn't mean they don't also switch to a Princeton offense at times.

Posted by: Pradamaster | December 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Both of these guys will have more impact to the game than AD and Dee. I liked AD a lot especially last year but honestly his game has deteriorated by a mile since then. Very curious on what Jaravis will bring to the team.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I love how everybody is quick to bash Daniels' "deteriorating" game while blindly holding onto the hope that James, whose production and PT have cratered over the past few years, is somehow the answer to the Wizards' problems.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If you want to talk about impact to Les BouleS near term, you'd only be saying that if we got Raja Bell and Boris Diaw, not Jarvis Critter and James Somebody. Of course, they cost more tho.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 11, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"while blindly holding onto the hope that James, whose production and PT have cratered over the past few years, is somehow the answer to the Wizards' problems."

Hmmmm did I say that....wrong again.

"I love how everybody is quick to bash Daniels' "deteriorating" game "

So you're saying he's better than last season. Pls answer...this should be interesting.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Who would the Suns have wanted for Bell & Diaw? Thomas & Stevenson, nope... Butler would appear to have to be involved in any deal with the Suns for Bell & Diaw, who are going for a run for the championship, not prepping for the free agent class of '10. Also, they aren't cutting salaries too, so there is little that the Suns want from the team, especially if they're giving up Bell & Diaw.

Undoubtedly, Bell & Diaw make the team more dynamic (defensively), but we just don't have the groceries to make that work...

Posted by: -CN- | December 11, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ivan.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 11, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

All I want to hear is when AD passes his exam.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 11, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Lack of playing time may or may not have a direct relationship with deterioration of play. McGee's playing time has diminished, but his play has not. Politics is a factor in garnering play time, as are other issues. I'm not the one (of one of them) that think James is the answer. I like the trade from the standpoint that we have a 20 y/o athletic guard that could run the point. Daniels was stuck in neutral here, but I think he would have been a good mentor for Crittenton, so it was probably best to get a change of scenery for he & James.

It did seem that Daniels has been a bit sluggish since last year. For good reason too, he played hard for 12 years, so he's taking a lot of bumps & bruises. James, on the other hand, played in lesser leagues until just a few years ago (though he & Daniels are the same age) and was always a role player, with the exception of Project Getta-Large-Contract, during his Raptors-stint...

Posted by: -CN- | December 11, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

AD's game didn't deteriorate, he's just been fighting off minor injuries that have slowed him down. Once he gets some rest he'll be good to go.

He was a class act and was a big part of the glue that helped keep this paper airplane aloft the past couple of post-seasons.

Mike James may or may not help. His chief virtue is probably his salary, which the Wiz can dump end of 2010, assuming he takes his player option (and he'd be a fool not to).

Posted by: Prazak | December 11, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I should have written "end of 2009-2010 season", not "end of 2010".

Posted by: Prazak | December 11, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

There's no question that Daniels play has trailed off. There' also no question that the same is true of James. And given that both are aging and both have had injury issues over the years, there's no logical reason to assume that Daniels decline is irreversible but that James will somehow bounce back.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Javaris Critter be real good talented star point guard future take time to develip tho him

larry i nclintin md

Posted by: prescrunk | December 11, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

James was a throwin to make the Salaries work. New Orleans wanted Daniels because he could be effective in that pick and roll game for the 10-15 minutes a game that he'd be needed. If Gil was healthy he could have continued to do that here.

James is a much better three baller then Daniels and the Wiz have been hurting from long range. I haven't seen him this year but he was always a good on the ball defender. Both areas are areas the Wiz need help in.

JC is the real reason for this trade, but it will take longer to get him up to speed. Tapp's job is to evaluate these players and see who can contribute, it will be up to the coaching staff to work with JC and get him into the rotation and see what they have.

The kid seems happy to be here, that's job number one. I'd agree with James trash & treasure comment. How many guys that are buried in one system or with one coach have excelled with a change of scenery, or coaching?

Another team to watch on the trade front would be Oklahoma City. That could be a destination for Etan Thomas.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 11, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Are you reading my post? Apparently not. When did I compare AD and James?

" There's no question that Daniels play has trailed off"

In other word....deteriorating, fading, weakening.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"James is a much better three baller then Daniels and the Wiz have been hurting from long range.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 11, 2008 2:39 PM "

Yea, Les BouleS have been hurting so bad in the back court for scoring and the "long range" ball that ETap sat Juan down as soon as he got the job.

FYI, Juan is the team's best 3 point threat so far this season shooting 39%, although AD was shooting .455 (only 11 attempts).

BTW, Meshawn is shooting .317 & .289 in FG and 3's, respectively, so far this season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 11, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

JC + MJ > AD + DB.

For me, it's that simple. 2 years from now the equation should still be the same because JC will be the only one still in the league.

I'm looking forward to tonight's game and not just because of the trade. I want t see if we are building off of the last game or it was an anomaly. Personally, I don't see Song or JD duplicating their performances. Maybe JD, never Song. Not two games in a row.

Posted by: original_mark | December 11, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I show Antwan shooting .487 FG and .319 3P. Where you getting your stats from DCMan?

Posted by: awb9h | December 11, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike James has an odd, Tim Hardaway-style release on his jumper, but he's a 38 percent career shooter from behind the arc. When he had that 20 ppg year in Toronto in 05-06, he also shot 47 percent from the field, so he isn't as much of a gunner as he's made out to be. He also averaged 5.6 dimes and just 2.6 turnovers in 37 mins a game that year. Seems like a smart move by EG, at least as a stopgap until Gil gets back.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | December 11, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"I show Antwan shooting .487 FG and .319 3P. Where you getting your stats from DCMan?

Posted by: awb9h | December 11, 2008 2:57 PM "

Does .319 > .395 in your world?

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=1707

I was addressing GM'er's assertion about the lack of long range (3pt) ball...what you be talking about and who you be?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 11, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

owned

Posted by: prescrunk | December 11, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

We DO have a lack of long range shooters. It's one of our offensive Achilles Heels. It makes us easily guardable cuz other teams just pack it in. Since teams are crowding in the paint, it forces us to forgo the drive (not as if we would try anyway) and shoot only midrange contested shots.
I hope JD can change that.

Posted by: original_mark | December 11, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Fack, confused your use of Metawn and Meshawn. Frankly, the Wizards got the wrong kind of infusion of White Boy on their team (slow and unable to jump) instead of the good kind (3 point specialist / distributor).

Posted by: awb9h | December 11, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"How many guys that are buried in one system or with one coach have excelled with a change of scenery, or coaching?"

It happens, but (A) not nearly as frequently as fans whose team has just traded for a guy with an unimpressive history would like to believe (B) rarely with a guy in his mid-30's with a history of declining production who's already disappointed and/or worn out his welcome on multiple teams.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Getting long range shooters will only make a difference if the team can run the kind of offense that creates open shots for them, and the Wizards don't really have that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Most people in here just blow me away. First, EG sucked and we had no pt guards and we were supposedly doing "nothing" to fix it and Abe was cheap. Now, we get a first round pg talent and have to deal AD in the process to make it work and there is no contentment still! Who cares about Mike James and AD? The point was the point anyway! EG strikes again! And, thus far, Tap is doing a fine job of coaching the team as currently constructed.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The trade will decrease Stevenson's playing time significantly, if he does not pick up his play. However, with Crittenton in the backcourt, the team can now play Dixon or James, instead of Stevenson.

Prior to the trade, only Young (and perhaps Butler) was the only other option at SG. Therefore, since Stevenson had a decent handle (he did have 7 games with 5+ assists this yr, all within the last 10 or so games), he was able to buy more playing time out of necessity of keeping a tallish back court by sliding to PG while Young checked in...

Posted by: -CN- | December 11, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Having a credible 3-point threat helps spread the defense, but if the Wizards continue to stand around on offense, watching the dribbler play one-on-one for a contested jumper, which has been happening too much lately, the 3-point shooters won't be open in the first place.

Posted by: Prazak | December 11, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good so far. Let's see how JC does in a less than ideal organization for young players. (Most recently, we seemed to have mismanaged JM to point of negatively affecting his confidence).

Posted by: Izman | December 11, 2008 1:43 PM

Izman - You are dead on with this. With this trade, the decreased minutes of McGee is flying under the radar. Let's hope Tabscott will give the young boy somemore playing time tonight.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

In order to get the most out of 3 pt gunners a team needs at least one of the following:

(1) A low post presence who commands double-teams and is a willing passer
(2) Someone who can penetrate off the dribble in a half-court set, draw the defense, and dish out
(3) A defense that creates lots of turnovers or missed shots and the ability to rebound on the defensive end and push it up the floor.

The Wiz are 0 for 3.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

one thing i did like about eddie jordan is that he played javele mcgee quite a bit...tapscott for whatever reason doesnt like to...mcgee does have one major weakness...and it pisses me off that no one helps him correct it...watch next time when the opposing team is shooting a freethrow...when the ball is released from the players hand...ur not supposed to move towards the basket, rather u should stay as far back, with ur body on a defender boxed out...mcgee will actually move towarsd the basket and jump to grab the board, relying more on timing..he does the same things for regular rebounds...he doesnt box out...he'll jump for the ball only...the great rebounders who have athleticism like him...understand that concept...if he understands how to properly box out and rebound, he would be a beast on the boards

Posted by: jasonma1 | December 11, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

There's no question that Daniels play has trailed off. There' also no question that the same is true of James. And given that both are aging and both have had injury issues over the years, there's no logical reason to assume that Daniels decline is irreversible but that James will somehow bounce back.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 2:36 PM

True, but we will get something that AD was not able to provide this year or the last three years he was here. That is "ON THE BALL" pressure defense from halfcourt on.

It is amazing to me how much people are talking about James as a scoring threat, or just not liking him at all and calling him a "throw in". James forte is pressure defense, and the scoring comes second. Just watch and see the difference on our rotations and primeter defense now.

As for all of his various stops on other teams, who cares? Sometimes it might take 9 stops in different places to find the right spot for you. He is an upgrade over AD without a doubt.

His jumper is way better, he is able to drive to the rim like AD without falling, and once again the dude plays crazy pressure defense. With that asset, he will be able to help also in practice setting gametime tones. The dude is real intense and now he has a chip on his shoulder to prove the Hornets wrong. I am loving this trade........

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 11, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Four years ago, when he was a limited minutes backup on a deep, veteran Pistons team that won the title, his forte was pressure defense. But ever since that performance won him a fat contract, he's been a different player, one who looked to score first, early, and often,(usually without much regard for the gameplan) which is a big part of the reason why he's fallen out of favor with every team he's played for since then.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 11, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the fact that crittenton seemed so ready to go, he's got to love the fact that he can get minutes here and hopefully some of that talent I saw crush the acc will come back to the forefront. I very much liked the way that you compared his skills to larry hughes, I believe the two to be strikingly similar, hopefully crittenton is the larry that's about to break out and average 20. If he can play he will get minutes, maybe not immediately but in a couple weeks the minutes should be totally up for grabs. James should be able to make an impact immediately.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Kal, you're right, but I would add one more:

(4) a motion offense with screens, cuts, and ball movement, especially from strong side to weak side.

That's what the Wizards do have, but they don't run those sets enough, or crisply enough, and when they do and find open 3-pointers they haven't done a good job of knocking them down.

Posted by: Prazak | December 11, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

DeShawn Stevenson + Oleksiy Pecherov mybe a futur 2nd rd pick


to memphis for


Brian Cardinal sf/pf (2010) expiring

Posted by: jahbless420 | December 11, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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