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Minicamp First Day Wrapup

Nick Young was sick and unable to participate in either practice session of the Wizards summer league minicamp on Saturday. He's expected to be back on Sunday for the second-round of two-a-days, which will be closed to the media.

The two Javs (JaVale McGee and Javaris Crittenton) and Dominic McGuire, however, did take part. We didn't get to see too much action -- just players shooting jumpers -- so I can't tell you who looked good or not. I can tell you that James Lang, who had a cup of coffee with the WIzards in 2006-07, really has slimmed down from his last stint with the team. Lang said he's down to 280 pounds, after tipping the scales at 325 the last time he was in a Wizards uniform. He almost looked like a different person.

McGee and Crittenton both spoke after the first practice, with McGee addressing the concerns over the unproven frontcourt and Crittenton talking about the clogged backcourt.

McGee was asked if he took it personally when he hears criticism that the Wizards' front line isn't physical enough. "I take it personally, but I just keep working hard and doing what I do," McGee said, adding that he doesn't plan on changing his style of play. McGee said he is pushing 250, but would focus on his strengths, not weaknesses. "I feel like I'm more of a running big. So, it's not all about physicality to me. It's about speed and playing good defense."

McGee said Wizards Coach Flip Saunders told him that there is a possibility that he will share the floor with Haywood at times next season. "He said the bigs are interchangeable, so it's not like really a set four or five," McGee said.

Saunders said he wouldn't ask McGee to be more physical. "Maybe just more consistent energy-wise. You don't have to be more physical to have an impact on the floor," Saunders said. "You look at a guy like Chris Andersen from Denver. He might not be the most physical guy, but he plays at a high energy level and so it looks like he's almost more physical. He has to play at that high energy level consistently. That's the biggest adjustment that all young players have to make. It's more of a mental thing than anything else."

I'll have more on Crittenton in Sunday's paper, but he said the new additions of Randy Foye and Mike Miller won't change how he approaches his game. I asked Crittenton if he felt uncomfortable in the time leading up to the draft, when the Wizards were considering a number of point guards, including Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry. "If they had drafted a point guard, I was coming in here to training camp, working hard," Crittenton said. "They made the trade, I had the same mentality."

I then asked Saunders how he plans on managing minutes with seven guards on the roster. "I don't manage minutes -- they do," Saunders said. "Whoever can play, plays. If you can't play, you don't play.

"Bottom line is, the players have to understand that the idea of the team is understanding that," Saunders said. "One thing, is we don't have a lot of the same type of player. We don't have duplicate players, they each have their own niche. So, at some point, who knows when, but at some point, everybody is going to have the opportunity to contribute to the team. Now, if we had a lot of players that duplicate themselves, then you would have a concern."

By Michael Lee  |  July 11, 2009; 6:14 PM ET
 
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Comments

I like this group a lot, and I'd like for Heytvelt to stick. That actually could be a hell of a second team -- McGuire and Heytvelt at forwards, McGee at center, and JC and Young at guards. Throw in Mike Miller at the head of that pack, and DeShawn also in the mix, and we've got great depth. If Gil and Haywood are healthy, and Caron and Antawn are their usual selves, and Foye is ready to take the next step, and I think he is, the Wiz will be contenders.

Posted by: zinger1 | July 11, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. Blatche is on that second team, and Heytvelt is hanging around for his opportunity, if he sticks. There's a lot of talent there, and I think Flip will get them all on the same page.

Posted by: zinger1 | July 11, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Mike James and Andray Blatche to New York for David Lee.

The Knicks get an expiring contract and some versatile size with Blatche.
Lee gets his 8 or 9 million and a long term deal with the Wiz.

Posted by: elfreako | July 11, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comments from Saunders. I've been saying for a while now that McGee should be trying to pattern his game on Andersen's, in order to take full advantage of the benefits of his length and quickness. Good to see the coach agrees.

I also like Crittenton's attitude. Even going back to last season, he really seemed like one of the young guys with a solid work ethic. And Saunders is right about there not being a lot of duplication. There are a lot of guards, but they don't all do the same things (or do the same things equally well). I could easily see Foye and Crittenton as the main second unit guards, with Stevenson and Young on the outside looking in.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 11, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

It's the Wizards...What could go wrong???

Posted by: jimschaecher | July 11, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree McGuire and Crittenton seem like they have that work ethic and WANT to get better. I thin Nick Young is going to take a big step forward. This is the year it has to click for him.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 11, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see JaVale.

Posted by: WizForLifePilipinas | July 11, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

ditto, ditto, ditto.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 11, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I like what have as well... and if adding a summer league PF/C or a Maglore, Fransico, or Colins is all we can do to fill the one or two of the last roster spots... then fine... I think we have a solid competitive team that will contend... as long as we still healthy... but it would be nice to see us pull off a trade for Marcus Camby... Everyday that thought keeps running through my head and the more I think about it the more I think how good of a fit it is for us Personell wise and finicially... and I think the Clippers would sell for the right price in which I dont think would be to high... why not get something for Camby versus nothing, he is in the last year of his contract in which he will jetson to another team after this year plus the clippers are rebuilding.... We have an expering contract in Mike James slightly less than Camby's and we can add a young talent i.e JC, NY, or Blatche or a draft pick to make it worth while for the Clippers... yeah I hate to lose JC, NY, or Blatche but we are a Marcus Camby away from making this team complete, that final piece to the puzzle... and with the addition of Randy Foye, the growth of McGuire and the high ceiling and potential in Mcgee... JC, NY, and Blatche are expendable... Michael Lee please pass the word on to Grunfield for me... Its a great move in all aspects that can be done...

Posted by: DaGuru | July 11, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Kalo, I agree that an energy player like Andersen is a good place for McGee to start, but I think he can be a more complete player ultimately. He's not consistent with his J yet, but he already has better touch, and he's a better ball-handler too.

I also like Critt's work-ethic and attitude and I see seeds of a good player there. Unfortunately he keeps getting buried in the rotation. He reminds me a bit of Chauncey Billups. Not saying he will ever be that good, but it just seems like it will take some time for him to grow into his game, much as it did for Chauncey.

And I have hopes for McGuire to continue to develop his utility skills. This team definitely could use a few players who do all the little things and don't require the ball a lot.

I'm sort of done with Blatche. He has a lot of skills and athleticism but really seems to lack the seriousness to develop them.

Posted by: ts35 | July 11, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"McGee was asked if he took it personally when he hears criticism that the Wizards' front line isn't physical enough. "I take it personally, but I just keep working hard and doing what I do," "

It's great that JaTravel takes it personally and tells people he does, but in reality, it's all talk.

JaTravel isn't and won't be the second coming of Alonzo Mourning no matter how hard he says he will work.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 11, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"JaTravel isn't and won't be the second coming of Alonzo Mourning no matter how hard he says he will work.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

No, he won't. But we shouldn't expect that, should we? Zo was a celebrated 4 year college star who got drafted 2nd behind Shaq. He averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks as a rookie. McGee was drafted after his soph year, at number 18, and the only edge he has on Zo is he's two or three inches taller.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone expects McGee to become the second coming of Alonzo M. As stated by McGee, "I feel like I'm more of a running big. So, it's not all about physicality to me. It's about speed and playing good defense."
His coach said, "..he wouldn't ask McGee to be more physical. "Maybe just more consistent energy-wise. You don't have to be more physical to have an impact on the floor".
McGee will be an impact player next season. He has a coach who knows how to teach and coach and he has natural talent. Pau Gasol is an effective big, without being a bruiser in the paint. JaVale can have the same type of impact.

Posted by: garrybrown | July 11, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Why is McGee even a Topic of discussion... It's pretty obvious the potential he has to one day become a good (possibly great player) in a couple of years from now but regardless of mentality, attitude or type... he still has a couple of years to go... I think he can provide us with some entertainment this year showing off his potential giving us something to look forward to... but right now we just need him to provide us with a few (5 - 10) solid quality minutes of energy and defense... lets hope we dont have to depend on him for more than that... or we are in trouble down low...

Posted by: DaGuru | July 12, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the mini-cap report, well done.

It's good to hear Crit's comments too. He's got the right attitude, it'll pay off for him eventually.

Posted by: JPRS | July 12, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Do you think JaVale regrets entering the draft last year? With the weakness of this year's draft class, especially at center, he could have been a high lottery pick, if he had stayed in school for an extra year. Where do you think he would have been taken if he had waited until this year? I bet he could have been drafted high enough to get more than double his salary. Based on what we know right now, would you guys rather have JaVale or Thabeet?

Posted by: yop32 | July 12, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

everyone loves McGee, jeeze. The only thing he can do is run like a gazelle and jump like a kangaroo. But for a guy with that combo of size and athleticism, he was always getting his jumper blocked and having to double-clutch to get his shot off. That, my friends, indicates to me that he doesn't have a good feel for the game, and in other aspects he never demonstrated he had a clue how to play basketball. It's hard to hang your hopes on a guy like that. But maybe, just maybe, we've finally got a coach and staff that can teach these young guys how to play.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | July 12, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

JM Getting his shot blocked is more an adjustment to NBA competition. He will be fine. He is also an intelligent guy.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 12, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

That's the funny part about all the negative comments about McGee. I agree if he had come out this year he would have been a lottery pick with all the hoopla that goes along with it. Everyone view lottery picks as if they are the savior of a team. There are not many drafted in the top 20 this year that will be a major impact but yet we have an extremely talented guy that played for a bum of a coach last year and people constently diss him.

I see a lot of talk about trading Blatche. Blatche will be a player now that we have a coach with a real offensive and defensive scheme. The Wiz have 2 very talented 6'11" and 7'0" players. They both can dribble, shoot and jump out the gym. They need to play and get good coaching. Unfortuately last year under Tapp was a waste. Who else in the league has to young 4 and 5 position players like the Wiz.

I'm tired of seeing our good young players(Sheed, Wallace, Rip, Dev Harris, Gugs etc,) moving on to other teams and becoming stars. Nick Y. will also be a player in this league. How many games do you watch and say he used to be a Bullet/Wiz. We might have gotten lucky with Foye. This guy is a good player. Please don't look to bring Camby here. No value add. Flip develop your youngsters and let them play. We need some excitement in the phone booth.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 12, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

NY is sick? Its the middle of the summer, he is, what, 22 years old. Come on, unless has type 2 influenza why isnt he out there? I have a feeling NY may have a case of Randy Foye-itis and be pouting over the aquisition of his new competition in the backcourt. Wouldnt it be nice to move his apparently childish and lazy attitude, along with MJames' contract and next year's first round pick to the Clips for one of their bigs...

Posted by: oddjob2 | July 12, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I read Carlos Boozer is on the move.

Another talented veteran big man that we are going to miss out on -same story for years - but not to worry!

We picked up Foye and Miller!!! And James Lang and Heytvelt are working out for the team!!! NBA Championship here we come!!!

All is well in Ernieland!!!

Posted by: p1funk | July 12, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Sam-I-Am is going to be very good for the Critter's head...this from the WTimes:
Crittenton next season will be battling for minutes in a backcourt that includes three other point guards, but said the work he's put in with Sam Cassell this summer already is beginning to pay off. Of aspects Cassell is helping him with, Crittenton said: "Shooting the ball consistently, being in topnotch shape, I've been hitting the weights, working with Sam every day. He's been teaching me his old moves. He's been teaching me the midrange and the mental aspects of being a point guard. Not just speed and handling the ball, but how to set players up and understanding who's hot."

Posted by: oddjob2 | July 12, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I believe Blatche, young, and McGhee might surprise some people this year.

I believe Sanders and Sam I am will be able to motivate these players

Posted by: grayterrence | July 12, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I see a lot of talk about trading Blatche. Blatche will be a player now that we have a coach with a real offensive and defensive scheme. The Wiz have 2 very talented 6'11" and 7'0" players. They both can dribble, shoot and jump out the gym.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 12, 2009 8:03 AM

At this point in his career, shooting and dribbling are the two things I don't want McGee to do. He's a freakish 7' athlete, but he may never be a back to the basket post player. I think his comments admit as much. Blatche is a talented 6'11" big, but he can't jump over the Sunday newspaper.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | July 12, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Mike - Please try to talk to D-Mac tommorrow. We have heard from you as to what Nick Young, Javaris and Javale have been working on this summer, but not a peep about McGuire. Nor do I recall any quotes about him from Flip. Ernie continues to speak positively about him, but what does the coach think? Is it possible that Flip sees him as Tapscott's guy?

Posted by: pk24 | July 12, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Where do you think he would have been taken if he had waited until this year?"

Definitely higher. There were a lot of proficient big men in that class. Kevin Love, the Lopez twins, Roy Hibbert,Jason Thompson, Anthony Randolph, Mareese Speigths, Kosta Koufos, a couple tall foreign prospects -- nobody dominant, but much deeper than '09. McGee would still have suffered some from Nevada's lack of national exposure, but he would surely have gone in the top ten.

Ahead of Thabeet? It's possible. Hasheem's draft stock yoyo'ed near season's end, and if there'd been a viable alternative, teams might have taken it.

IMO McGee will never be a classic low-post player, nor should we expect him to try. If you look at his body, his power is all in his legs. He can bulk up ten or twenty pounds, but you really want him out in the open, running the court.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Regarding McGee pattern after Anderson, it's all good, for now that is. But please remember there is a reason why Nene is the starter and Anderson is the backup; why Anderson's new contact averages 5M/yr while Nene's is more than twice that!

Posted by: sagaliba | July 12, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Camby: 6'11 235 lbs. Career 10 pts, 10 reb, 3 blks. Mcgee: 7'0 240 lbs. 1st yr 15mpg 7 pts, 4 reb, 1 blk.
McGee can have a significant impact given proper coaching and playing time equivalent or better than Camby's career avgs. Everyone in the leauge always seem to want Camby, despite not being a physical presence. Be patient Wizard so-called "fans", JaVale will be fine.

Posted by: garrybrown | July 12, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

All of this about guys who couldn't find playing time on a team that won 19 games?

Does anyone really think any of these guys will see any real playing time with Gil, AJ, CB, BTH, MM. logging 36 mins or more a game?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 12, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Blatche has continued a slow ascent each year since entering the league. Not dramatic, but he's put up fairly solid numbers playing out of position the past two years.

Guys keep really ragging on him because he's not Garnett, did anyone expect Ernie was going to find a Garnett in the second round? He'll enter this year as the number one option off the bench at his natural position. I wouldn't be so quick to write him off, it sure doesn't seem like Ernie or Flip have.

Roster's biggest need is for a veteran banger backup center, Suanders' comments indicate right now he's looking at McGee as a high energy guy off the bench. He'll be ok as a center in a high energy, pressing, running, second unit. But, that game won't always work, sometimes you need a guy that can bang a little.

I like the fact that Suanders is telling McGee he may play alongside of Haywood a little. Suanders has a history of going big at times, he used to play Garnett some at small forward in Minny.

He's a more traditional NBA coach then Jordan, Jordan was a "system" guy, Suanders is a more of a "matchups" guy.
He'll set his rotations up looking for a mismatch, when he finds it he'll ride it. Look for the Wiz to use all sorts of different combos this year as Flip searches for a mismatch to exploit.

Chicago continues to wheel and deal, and the Gordon signing seems to create a need at shooting guard. When the dust settles after the proposed Boozer deal, they maybe back in the market again looking for a guard if they manage to ship out Hinrich and his big contract.

The Wiz are sitting here with an accumulation of guards, could the Bulls be a possible trade partner? Lee's also going to land some where, NY's still shopping and James's name keeps coming up in the NY papers.I'm not convinced we've seen the final version of this year's Wiz roster yet.

As much as I like the Camby idea, I just can't see the Clippers shipping out a veteran big who really knows how to play when they've got a valuable young guy like Griffin to break in. I just don't see Camby moving before the trade deadline next season. His value will be at it's max then.

Look for SA to pull one of their classic deals to rent Camby down the stretch
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 12, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Finally.... Rumors are circling around Marcus Camby, appartently he is getting alot calls about his services from contending teams and has recently spoke with Clippers GM about his situation... Yes Yes Yes Yes.... I hope were one of those teams... Again these are rumors... but thats a start... its about time... I just could not imagine going through the summer without his name mention in some type of trade talk...

Ernie make that call if ya haven't already...

Posted by: DaGuru | July 12, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"No, he won't. But we shouldn't expect that, should we? Zo was a celebrated 4 year college star who got drafted 2nd behind Shaq. He averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks as a rookie. McGee was drafted after his soph year, at number 18, and the only edge he has on Zo is he's two or three inches taller.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 11, 2009 11:39 PM "

Ummm, that's what I'm saying, that people here are getting hyped about how JaTravel is working on his physicality, etc....

JaTravel will never be the physical force inside because of his game and build. He's just not that type of player. He's better off on a west coast team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

pt1funk: "I read Carlos Boozer is on the move.Another talented veteran big man that we are going to miss out on -same story for years - but not to worry!"

I'm not worrying, actually. Partly because I don't think he'd be a really good fit for the Wiz.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Just as a point of comparison: Alonzo Mourning came to a Charlotte team that already had Larry Johnson (ROY) and Kendall Gill, with Muggsy Bogues at the point. The year before his arrival, the team posted a 31-51 record and lucked into the second lottery pick over five other clubs with worse records. Mourning averaged 20, 10 and 3.5 blocks as a rook, and Gill and Johnson both had all-star caliber seasons.

The result: 13 more wins.

It's hard to make a big single-season leap in the NBA.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

dcman: "JaTravel will never be the physical force inside because of his game and build. He's just not that type of player. He's better off on a west coast team.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

Saunders seems to understand what his potential is.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

flohr: "The Wiz are sitting here with an accumulation of guards, could the Bulls be a possible trade partner? Lee's also going to land some where, NY's still shopping and James's name keeps coming up in the NY papers.I'm not convinced we've seen the final version of this year's Wiz roster yet."

You could very well be right about that. The problem is finding a good partner. Nick Young's still undeveloped, DeShawn's a big question mark, Mike James is essentially a contract without a home. You could argue that the first two have more value to the Wiz (potentially, at least) than any other club. And with Young, there's always the embarrassment factor: what GM wants to trade away somebody who could blossom, and what GM wants to take on a player who might never amount to much?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Regarding McGee pattern after Anderson, it's all good, for now that is. But please remember there is a reason why Nene is the starter and Anderson is the backup; why Anderson's new contact averages 5M/yr while Nene's is more than twice that!Posted by: sagaliba"

Drugs, mostly. Plus being something of a head case. Think the poor man's Dennis Rodman.

Andersen's got an interesting history. He played at Blinn College (?) and began his pro career in China. Nobody even thought about drafting him. But he may have outplayed Nene in that LA series.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Is DeShawn back to "basketball-related activities" yet? His surgery was in March, and his rehab was supposed to take 3-4 months.

Posted by: yop32 | July 12, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Regarding McGee patterning his game after Anderson.
He needs to listen to what Flip just said and do what the man says. Everyone who has a boss knows to get ahead you do what the he asks.
If Javale can come in for 3-5 high energy min/quarter. He's gonna be a popular & valuable part of this team. If he's effective his PT will increase. If he expects that he's gonna play for long stretches and dominate he's gonna become another sulker on the bench. He needs to take a hard look at Anderson's game and also look at how Rodman played his role. The other youngens need to learn this as well.

Posted by: VBFan | July 12, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

McGee maybe physically comparable to Birdman, but I've seen nothing to indicate that he's got a checkered off the court past like Anderson.

Anderson is one of those guys that make you wonder what they could have been if the head would have ever been screwed on quite right.

McGee is showing a willingness to work at his craft to improve his game. As I understand it, he's one of these guys that really shot up in height. He's still adapting to being a big man.

I remember seeing one of his college games and the announcer was saying the kid is just starting to realize he's 7' tall. When he finally figures it out he could be a defensive force.

Flip's got some really good assistants at working with the guards. It's great to hear Cassell is working one on one with Critt. I'd really love to know who's working with McGee and Blatche individually.

This is the kind of work that makes a team take a leap forward. I'm going to be real interested to see this year's team in Vegas. I bet Wittman will have those guys organized.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 12, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

In case any boxing fans are here, I felt I had to reprint the following on the death of Arturo Gotti:

From SI.com:
"The former junior welterweight champion was apparently strangled with the strap of a purse, which was found at the scene with blood stains.."

"...authorities were preparing to present a formal accusation against Rodrigues, who denied being involved in her husband's death."

"Police said Rodrigues, a Brazilian, could not explain how she spent nearly 10 hours in the room without noticing that Gatti was already dead."

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I understood that Stepenson couldn't be included in the pre-draft trade because he couldn't pass a physical at that point. That's why Songaila went instead.

So I doubt he's practicing yet. His name sure isn't getting mentioned much.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 12, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Comparing J McGee to Alonzo Mourning is silly. First, if you compared the rest of the NBA's bigs to Mourning in his prime--even Dwight Howard--just about all of them would come up short. Two, they're totally different types of players. McGee isn't a muscle player or an intimidator and shouldn't aim for that. He's a long, athletic explosive leaper with good open court speed, exceptional agility and body control, good hands and a nice shooting touch. He just needs to work hard and learn how to use those gifts to beat bulkier bigs.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | July 12, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

McGee just needs to be McGee right now... Provide Energy off the bench, work on his Defense... Gain some muscle weight as well as learn to carry it... I think if he can get to 255 - 260lbs (Muscle Weight Increase) and carry it in the same fashion he is carry his 245lbs now, improve his defense (other than shot blocking) within the next year... then he can work on his low post game were his perimeter game now is an asset versus his speciality... and then and only then can we talk about who he compares to... and quite honestly by that time we will realize he is his own entity and not a comparison to anyone while having the finer qualities of those forementon names aong with other past prominent centers... lets not rush the kid, and lets not draw comparisons, and let him come into his own... he has the frame, potential, and athletic ability to be something special... but he is young, a late bloomer, and raw... not heavily recruite out high school, obtain half scholar ship from Nevada and didnt really flash his potentially unitl his sophmore year the same year he enter the draft... lets not get over zelous on this kid and ask to much of him... technical he should be entering his senior season at a mid major school... a lottery pick next year with a year or two to still develop... so lets dial down just tad...

Posted by: DaGuru | July 12, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Regarding McGee pattern after Anderson, it's all good, for now that is. But please remember there is a reason why Nene is the starter and Anderson is the backup; why Anderson's new contact averages 5M/yr while Nene's is more than twice that!"

Which might mean something to the Wizards if they had a young low post player comparable to Nene on their roster. But since they don't, that comparison is irrelevant to the Wiz's situation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"NY is sick? Its the middle of the summer, he is, what, 22 years old. Come on, unless has type 2 influenza why isnt he out there?"

That was my reaction as well. This is a make or break time for him. He's got guys lining up to take his job and a boss that he doesn't have any good will built up with. He can't afford to be taking sick days.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not worrying, actually. Partly because I don't think he'd be a really good fit for the Wiz. "

Agreed. Contrary to what people seem to think, he's really not a beast of a low post player. He's got solid skills but, like Jamison, he's undersized. He gets more operating space in the post in Utah because he plays with a 7 footer who shoots a high percentage from 3 pt range. Put him on the floor with Haywood, however, and teams will be more than willing to concede Brendan the jumpshot while putting their bigger body on Boozer to keep him away from the basket.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"I understood that Stepenson couldn't be included in the pre-draft trade because he couldn't pass a physical at that point. That's why Songaila went instead. So I doubt he's practicing yet. His name sure isn't getting mentioned much.GM"

Hard to believe the guy only appeared in 32 games last season, after all those years as an iron-man type. He might be done. Back injuries are nothing to underestimate.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Hard to believe the guy only appeared in 32 games last season, after all those years as an iron-man type."

Stevenson's rep as an iron man was really overrated. He recently had 3 straight seasons where he played all 82, but in the 5 seasons before that, he only had 1 season where he topped 68. He's always had a proclivity towards injury. He just had a lucky stretch for a few seasons.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"JaTravel will never be the physical force inside because of his game and build."

And, as both McGee and Saunders quite clearly pointed out, he doesn't have to be in order to be an effective contributor to the team.

"McGee said, adding that he doesn't plan on changing his style of play. McGee said he is pushing 250, but would focus on his strengths, not weaknesses. "I feel like I'm more of a running big. So, it's not all about physicality to me. It's about speed and playing good defense."

Saunders said he wouldn't ask McGee to be more physical. "Maybe just more consistent energy-wise. You don't have to be more physical to have an impact on the floor," Saunders said.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson's rep as an iron man was really overrated. He recently had 3 straight seasons where he played all 82, but in the 5 seasons before that, he only had 1 season where he topped 68. He's always had a proclivity towards injury. He just had a lucky stretch for a few seasons.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:47 PM

I've always had difficulty digesting how a player has a proclivity for injuries. It always seemed like luck to me.

But I see how Gerald Wallace can be injury prone because he plays breakneck all the time. And how Jamison is less so because he plays his game with finesse.

I can't tell where Stevenson falls, whether it's luck or proclivity. But he's changed his game a bit since he came on board here, if I'm not mistaken. I'd say it's possible that his last streak was a combination of factors, including luck, but not the least of which include determination and work.

Either way, 3 straight seasons, along with his starting streak (which was inflated by coaches keeping him in this year, but still noteworthy) is nothing to sneeze at.

Posted by: crs-one | July 12, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I saw Steinberg's piece on Pecherov.. see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070803810.html

Obviously he didn't have much luck in D.C., but you can't fault his dedication. Pecherov was among the biggest gym rats on the team, and if he ever becomes a success, that will be his legacy. Удачі Oleksiy.

Posted by: satchmore | July 12, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

If fans on this board give Nick Young flak for not taking bigger steps forward last season then at least dole some out for Stevenson.

His game totally fell apart last season. His 'can't feel my face' gimmick backfired and pumped up opposing teams on night's when they had no extra motivation. Career lows in FG Pct (31%) and FT Pct (53%) have to indicate that his head wasn't right either.

WNBA centers with busted ACLs can shoot better than 53% from the stripe!

Conclusion: MeShawn only bites when the big dogs are hunting with him. Trade him to Denver for Steve Hunter as quickly as possible.

Posted by: elfreako | July 12, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Samson151,

By all accounts, Birdman was drug free and played very well last season. So his drug history cannot be used to explain why he is a backup last season. I think the fact that Nene is bigger and stronger is the reason.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 12, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys - I doled out for the Vegas games streaming online, and am sitting here at halftime of SA vs NO. Getting really grouchy. I thought 2.5 mil was a lot to get for a second round pick, and giving the money we were spending this year, a good move. I figured a second trade for another big man was coming though, and now that I'm reading about spending the bi-annual on someone like Magloire or some scrub... I mean that's 2 mil, plus 2 mil in tax, so 4 mil for a scrub. Blair, on the other hand, I don't think is gonna be a star like some do, but as a fifth big man? That's a ton of rebounds for only like 750,000, or 1.5 mil with tax. In other words, if we use the full bi-annual, we use up the entire 2.5 mil we made on the trade. For a worse player. Frustrating.

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | July 12, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

At halftime, DeJuan Blair has 7 points and 8 rebounds in less than 11 minutes.

Yes, he's leading both teams in that rebounding.

Posted by: original_mark | July 12, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

..but who needs rebounds? They're overrated.

Posted by: original_mark | July 12, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

DeJaun Blair's first NBA action:
13 points and 10 boards in 22 minutes. Only 2 fouls by the way.

Posted by: elfreako | July 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

There is not going to be any playing time for Stevenson on this year's team and I hope not because if there is then the rest of the backcourt is a bust and the season goes down the tubes again. DeShawn Stevenson is nothing but a role player a bit one at that.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | July 12, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"At halftime, DeJuan Blair has 7 points and 8 rebounds in less than 11 minutes."

Two words: Summer. League.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"There is not going to be any playing time for Stevenson on this year's team and I hope not because if there is then the rest of the backcourt is a bust and the season goes down the tubes again. DeShawn Stevenson is nothing but a role player a bit one at that.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | July 12, 2009 6:04 PM "

Here's the likely starting lineup:

PG: Gilby
SG: Foye

Bench: Mike James, NY, MeShawn, & JCritt with both Caron and Eminem likely seeing time at the 2.

So, if a healthy Gilby gets about 35-40 min/game, looks to me like there's less time for the young guys to develop their games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously he didn't have much luck in D.C., but you can't fault his dedication. Pecherov was among the biggest gym rats on the team, and if he ever becomes a success, that will be his legacy. Удачі Oleksiy.

Posted by: satchmore | July 12, 2009 3:46 PM "

Too bad this gymrat never worked on his inside game, otherwise, he'd still be here.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Please don't put too much emphasis on these summer league games.

I've mentioned it twice before so maybe third time is a charm:

DeJuan Blair is a poor man's version of Sean May outta North Carolina...How is his rebounding stats from college translating to the NBA???

Posted by: Vicc | July 12, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Looking around I see Amare Stoudemire had another eye surgery...a "routine procedure"
that sure sounds familliar........

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 12, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"And, as both McGee and Saunders quite clearly pointed out, he doesn't have to be in order to be an effective contributor to the team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 2:55 PM

And that's a presumption that both the 1st year guy, and new coach, will probably prove to be wrong, especially if he wants to be a consistent starter long term.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

DeJuan Blair is garbage! If you can't figure that out then I got nothing for ya!

DeJuan Blair lovers, please stop erecting the cynical side of me..

Posted by: Vicc | July 12, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"Comparing J McGee to Alonzo Mourning is silly. First, if you compared the rest of the NBA's bigs to Mourning in his prime--even Dwight Howard--just about all of them would come up short. Two, they're totally different types of players. McGee isn't a muscle player or an intimidator and shouldn't aim for that. He's a long, athletic explosive leaper with good open court speed, exceptional agility and body control, good hands and a nice shooting touch. He just needs to work hard and learn how to use those gifts to beat bulkier bigs.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | July 12, 2009 2:01 PM "

I think you totally misinterpreted the comment and then ran off on your own.

Mike Lee wrote that JaTravel was upset that people questioned the team's physicality. JaTravel said he was working that, and then someone said he would be alright.

To that is where I said that JaTravel ain't going to be the second coming of Alonzo Mourning nomatter how he tries.

What's funny/irritating is when all these players SAY that they are upset, they're coming in with a chip on their shoulder, they're going to bring it, they're tearing up the summer league, etc, etc, etc.

What we've found with Les BouleS is that it's all smack talk. Lets wait until these guys start proving it on the court and then you should get the warm and fuzzy and onto their bandwagon. Only when they prove it on the court is when you know that are making great strides.

Until then, it's just all BS.

JaTravel had probably a decent first 1/4 of last season, but then disappeared, whether it was his doing or the coach.

Scenario: "I'M BACK!!!" - Gilby says as his dislocated clavicle is supposedly successfully treated by a doctor in 2007.

Reality: Whatever. The season of leading the East at the All Star break takes a turn for the worse as the downward spiral causes the team to lose 2/3 of their remaining games, Gilby can't hit the side of a barn, and Les BouleS squeak in at 7th place (2-8 last 10 games) that would have been 8th place if there were more games remaining in the season.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/standings?season=2007

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Looking around I see Amare Stoudemire had another eye surgery...a "routine procedure"
that sure sounds familliar........

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 12, 2009 6:27 PM "

What will also be familiar is when Les BouleS hold Gilby back and limit his minutes and don't allow him to play back to back games early this season. This of course, after taking the entire last season taking it easy.

We'd better not hear any of that BS this coming season.

An NBA baller can play with eye protection. There' nothing that's going to help him if he loses his wheels, especially when he relies on his quickness so much in his game.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"By all accounts, Birdman was drug free and played very well last season. So his drug history cannot be used to explain why he is a backup last season. I think the fact that Nene is bigger and stronger is the reason."

Which, again, is irrelevant with regard to whether it would be beneficial (both to him and the Wiz) for McGee to pattern himself after Andersen. The fact is that Andersen was a crucial part of the Nuggets' success despite the fact that he wasn't a big, banging bruiser. The fact that Nene was better does not, in any way, undercut the importance of the things Andersen did, nor does it stand as an argument against the things that, potentially, McGee could do if he played successfully in the same mode.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"And that's a presumption that both the 1st year guy, and new coach, will probably prove to be wrong, especially if he wants to be a consistent starter long term."

And that's a presumption on your part based on nothing at all. There's nothing to suggest that anything will be "probably prove to be wrong" because, as near as I can tell, there were no predictions or promises of results being made. All that was said was that, basically, a big man can be successful in the NBA without being a brutish banger. And that's an irrefutable fact because many have done so. Will McGee be successful at it? Who knows? But neither he nor Saunders were guaranteeing results, simply pointing out the best path to follow if results are to be produced.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"At halftime, DeJuan Blair has 7 points and 8 rebounds in less than 11 minutes."

Two words: Summer. League.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 6:17 PM

Kal,

You finally got something right for once.

Based on what JM and AB did last year, the Wizards should have gone out and signed someone who could rebound, block shots and play some inside "D" in the NBA.

No they went out and got MIKE MILLER?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 12, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Two words: Summer. League.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 6:17 PM


Why are we posting about guys who couldn't find playing time on a team that won 19 games?

Does anyone really think any of these guys will see any real playing time with Gil, AJ, CB, BTH, MM. logging 36 mins or more a game?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 12, 2009 10:31 AM

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 12, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"Samson151,By all accounts, Birdman was drug free and played very well last season. So his drug history cannot be used to explain why he is a backup last season. I think the fact that Nene is bigger and stronger is the reason.Posted by: sagaliba"

Not what I meant. I meant, if you were a GM, would you risk your team's future and a big contract on a guy with that sort of history? You'd hedge your bets. If he proves himself over time, then maybe you rethink it.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"And that's a presumption on your part based on nothing at all. There's nothing to suggest that anything will be "probably prove to be wrong" because, as near as I can tell, there were no predictions or promises of results being made. All that was said was that, basically, a big man can be successful in the NBA without being a brutish banger. And that's an irrefutable fact because many have done so. Will McGee be successful at it? Who knows? But neither he nor Saunders were guaranteeing results, simply pointing out the best path to follow if results are to be produced.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 12, 2009 7:15 PM "

Which goes back to my original argument to the poster that it's great if JaTravel is working hard and takes offense to the accusation that the team lacks physicality, but until we see something on the court the proves otherwise, it's all summer camp overhype...from both the player and the new coach.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 12, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan: "Based on what JM and AB did last year, the Wizards should have gone out and signed someone who could rebound, block shots and play some inside "D" in the NBA.
No they went out and got MIKE MILLER?"

I don't see the logic there. McGee can block shots and Blatche is a reasonably good rebounder. Haywood's a good defender. Songaila played good defense last season, and all folks did around here was complain about him.

What they need is somebody who can give them an inside scoring option, wouldn't you agree? To offset all those outside shooters and keep opponents off the perimeter. Be fine if that turns out to be Blatche. Or McGee, who is potentially a good shooter. Like somebody said, Pau Gasol will never be Ruland or Mahorn, but he's very effective inside. And look how it helps the whole offense.

By the way, Mike Miller's a good player.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 12, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of summer league, I just want to say that I am glad of what I'm hearing involving player development on this team. Snippets of remarks Saunder's has made to players like McGee, Sam I am working with Critt, etc....I think it just might be a really nice season!

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 13, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Two words for McGee:

Weight Room!

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Two words for McGee:

Weight Room!

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 13, 2009 12:47 PM "

Some dudes just can't build mass no matter how hard they try.

Case in point Camby.

Plus, whatever weight the guys come in at, they'll lose about 10-15 lbs of it easily by the end of the season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 14, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

that would have been 8th place if there were more games remaining in the season

http://www.nowgoal.com/30.shtml

Posted by: fetrew | July 14, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

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