Taking A Short Break

I'm going to take some time off starting on Wednesday, but Dan Steinberg will be covering the team in Las Vegas starting today. Steinberg really wanted to go to Vegas and I didn't want to stand in his way. You can follow summer league action on the D.C. Sports Bog and in the newspaper over the next few days.

If you wish to watch summer league action, you can subscribe for the package to gain access to the games on your computer on NBA.com for $14.99. Yes, they are charging people to watch summer league action. The Wizards tip off tonight at 6:30 p.m. against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They play the Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday; take a day off on Thursday; then face the Timberwolves at 8 p.m. on Friday; the Clippers at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday; and conclude with the Knicks at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

I happened to check out some highlights of the Timberwolves on NBATV to see what former Wizards Oleksiy Pecherov has been up to. I noticed that Pecherov is starting at center for the Timberwolves. Last night during a 96-91 loss to that powerhouse known as the D-League Select team, Pecherov had 15 points (on 5 of 11 shooting, 3 of 4 from three-point range) with 10 rebounds, one blocked shot and ... you guess it, zero assists. He gets buckets, son. Through the first two games, Pesh is averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Pecherov is also wearing No. 4 for the Timberwolves. Pesh wore No. 14 with the Wizards because the number he really wanted (41, in honor of his favorite player, Dirk Nowitzki) is retired for some guy named Wes Unseld. I wondered why he didn't get 41 in Minnesota, then I saw that the last player to wear that number for the Timberwolves was Eddie Griffin, who died in a tragic automobile accident two years ago.

The Wizards announced today that the new Sportsradio 106.7 The Fan will serve as the team's flagship radio station. It will broadcast regular season, preseason and postseason games, with pre-game and post-game shows. Dave Johnson will continue to serve as play-by-play announcer, with Glenn Consor providing color.

By Michael Lee |  July 14, 2009; 5:47 PM ET
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Correction: Michael Lee really wanted to go on a tropical vacation, and I didn't want to stand in his way.

Blatche in McGuire out today! Come on!

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | July 14, 2009 6:21 PM

Be Careful if you subscribe!!! It uses Flash Player only. For any multi-monitors guys, Flash movies will not stay Full Screen if you click anywhere.
So if you wanna Full Screen you won't be able to touch your keyboard the whole game.
They suck for doing this as any other player would not have this issue

Posted by: djnumb | July 14, 2009 6:25 PM

You can watch the game live here for free.


Find the link to the Wiz game.

Posted by: dominic10464 | July 14, 2009 7:43 PM

3rd quarter and the Wiz are rolling. NY looks like he has added some muscle and his shot looks good. 31 points already. Crit looks ok, but still a little hesistant. AB looks strong too. Got to go Flip is about to comment...DMac is out today.

Posted by: oddjob2 | July 14, 2009 7:54 PM

Thanks Dominic. I really wanted to watch the game from the summer league website but definitely didn't want to pay for it.

-When Nick Young is focused during the game, he is crazy good. He needs to be more mature this year. No doubt he is a great scorer. He can be a big player for us coming off the bench.

Andray is looking great as well.

Posted by: rachel216 | July 14, 2009 8:02 PM

Well, here's another case of a player getting paid to go away.

I'm sure Les BouleS could use him on the cheap if he accepted, but then again, it'd be a bad reminder of a player Les BouleS shipped out who good elsewhere.


Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 14, 2009 8:25 PM

Wiz beat Cleveland tonight, 96 - 93.
Nick Young goes off for 36 points.
Andray "Baby" Blatche scored 21.
Crittenton with 8 assists.


Posted by: isnadd | July 14, 2009 10:05 PM

Great for Wallace. In his shoes I'd take the 10 million dollar check too. He was owed 14 million, but what's 4 mill when they give you 10 not to play for them and you can take it and go play for someone else.

That's a damn good deal.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 14, 2009 10:10 PM

Way to go NY and Dray!

Posted by: pjkiger1 | July 14, 2009 10:18 PM

Yeah, Glen and i bumped heads on the post game call in show because he thought i was dissing his boy Grunfeld and he was absolutely,positively correct!

Posted by: dargregmag | July 14, 2009 10:20 PM

More important to me is not how many points Nick Young scored tonight, but the manner in which he did it.

Was he creating his own shot, or was he getting his shots from off-the-ball movement?

Was he attacking the rim, or pulling up for his trademark fadeaway (I noticed he got to the line 6 times)?

5 of 8 from downtown is great to see.

I know it seems like I'm being a stickler on what seems to be a great night from NY, but we already knew he had the talent for nights like this. I'm hoping for big things from him this season on a consistent basis.

Posted by: psps23 | July 14, 2009 10:44 PM

Nick Young. Blatche - 10 rebounds. JaVale - 5.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 14, 2009 11:20 PM

Well, I just got to say that I'm thrilled with the snippets of coaching jewels we are getting from this staff. Funny, stuff like this never came up much with the previous regime and I always wondered how much "coaching" EJ actually did vs. "installing" a system for the players to follow. Yeah, the vaunted Princeton offense.

The gems:

-Saunders telling McGee he does not need more power, but play with more consistent energy and to be aware that he may be playing with BH at times during the season.

-Cassell working with the guards this summer. Chiding Young on whether he is going to "slack" or not on the court.

-Saunders telling Young that he wants him to knock down jumpers off of screens more often. In other words, challenging him to improve his game.

-Saunders installing a "mini-playbook" during summer league mini-camp.

-Several references to the coaches getting on certain players regarding fitness level.

Some of it is not earth shattering and I've probably left some good ones out, but I just get the feeling that we got ourselves a real coaching staff that will maximize the potential of this team. How far that can go will be fun to watch at the very least and I am very excited for the upcoming season!

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 14, 2009 11:25 PM

Oh yeah, another one I liked was Saunder's correcting a player's positioning on defense during a scrimmage. Can't remember the player. Anyway, I think this team is getting real coaching!

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 14, 2009 11:28 PM

Blatche 7 TOs in summer league? Not so impressive.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 15, 2009 2:17 AM

7 TO's means he was probably trying to handle it too much. If he's a C, they need to not give him the ball unless he's in the post ready to make a move. Freeze him out til he gets in position.

Posted by: original_mark | July 15, 2009 7:22 AM

I saw a bunch of fadeways shots from NY early. ..didnt watch the whole game.

Posted by: original_mark | July 15, 2009 7:24 AM

We've got a lot of guys that were on a roster last year at the core of this summer league team. But it was sure nice for the Wiz to show up looking like a basketball team in their first game.

The Wiz always show up late for summer league, by the time they play their first game most teams are playing their second. Every year they start out looking like 12 guys that just met in the Gym 5 minutes before the game.

It's always been one time that I think the "Cheap Abe" comments really ring true.
If you're going to take the time to put a summer league team together, do it right, and don't ask to have the summer league games arranged to save one or two nights in Vegas.

I'm not worked up about a win in Summer League, but it was nice to see our team looking like a basketball team for a change. Cassell is going to be great for Critt and Young. They could be a nice combo off the bench together. we could call them Young/Critter.

Young's midrange game looked very effective last night. And Critt did a nice job running the team. In general the team looked "coached". That is a huge first step, that shows summer workouts have been having purpose and structure.

Flip and his staff seem to be well along in installing their system and bringing a culture of expecting to win to the phone booth.

Now the guys probably stayed up all night hitting the tables and running the clubs in Vegas, and they'll come out, stink the joint up, and make me look bad today...

The real Blatche/Flip Summer League Debate.

Flip,"You goona play in summer league?"

Blatche,"Nah...I'm a Vet"

Flip, "It's Vegas Baby! And we got Abe footin the bill!"

Blatche, "There's Gamblin, Booze, and lots of sweet Babes in Vegas. I could get in trouble."

Flip, "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!"

Blatche, "I'm on the Plane!"

Posted by: flohrtv | July 15, 2009 8:17 AM

Let's hope Nick keeps the game face and intensity up. If he doesn't start in the season(probable), he will be the main gun off the bench. He can be the second unit's assassin. The hired gun. If he uses his athleticism to improve his defense and develop his shot off the pass, I would start him.

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 15, 2009 8:55 AM

So Cheap Abe does the Summer League schedule too? Wow.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 15, 2009 8:57 AM

I wouldn't start Nick Young. No matter what. His skill set would be much suited coming off the bench. Coming off the bench and SCORE.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 15, 2009 9:04 AM

Blatche put up great numbers last summer also in the Vegas summer league, but look at the level of players he's playing against. His TO's were very high and he still doesn't play with any court sense. If the Wiz are seriously expecting him to make a leap forward and be a key member of their rotation, they are deluding themselves. I'm hoping that they are trying to showcase Blatche as potential trade bait to go along with Mike James to get a veteran bigman.

Interesting article yesterday on ESPN regarding potential in-season trades indicates that the luxury tax only applies based on total salaries paid during season. I'm not sure if that is correct, but would be interested if anyone knows the answers. If that is the case, I could see the Wiz dumping James along with one of our underperforming young players by the trade deadline.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 15, 2009 9:32 AM

young will stink it up next game. he played well once, time to relax for a week or two.

Posted by: stevie2 | July 15, 2009 9:40 AM

Blatche is 22. He was a 2nd round pick out of high school. I think the same reason people love him is the same reason people hate him.

It's been said nobody expects anything out of 2nd round picks. He has shown some ability and now they want him to produce like a 1st round pick. He's gotten better statistically every year. Patience. Or you'll be whining in 3 years about how everybody gets good once we trade them again.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 15, 2009 9:52 AM

The Wiz seem to be the last team to play their first game almost every year. They often fly out the day of the first game.

A couple of years ago they played their final game and came back on the Red Eye the same night.

It was nice to see the Wiz show up looking ready to play their first game. They've put up some stinkers on their first game out more then once in Vegas.

Like I said, I'm not one of the "Cheap Abe" crowd. There's enough guys inside of that head already. But, there are times like summer league that the "thrift" in this organization shines through.

Posted by: flohrtv | July 15, 2009 10:00 AM

A couple of years ago they played their final game and came back on the Red Eye the same night.

There's nothing wrong with that. That's how teams travel during the regular season.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 15, 2009 10:13 AM

So they play late because of thrift? And it's cheap to come home the day of your last game? I don't see the congruence of your statement. Whatever works for you though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 15, 2009 10:13 AM

I don't think I'd want my players just hanging around in Vegas after they finished playing anyway.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 15, 2009 10:13 AM

1) why is conditioning still an issue for Blatche?
2) i am more than happy to see the coaching staff helping out the role and bench players way more than i ever heard any coaching regime for wahsington
3)Kid from Gonzaga we definetley dont need. Theres no time to groom a 7 ft younger player, so he can take his services elsewhere
4) we also dont need oberto especially with a heart condition
5)I keep trying to tell you doubters..the wizards are good enough to make a conference finals appearance. we should be no lower than a 4 seed which we will have to probably sqaure off against. toronto, miami or atl which i think we can beat. and if my predicitions are accurate we would be playing Boston, which will be a battle to the end. it would be better if it was Cleveland but we will wait and see how the season goes!

and mike enjoy your vacation..you have worked hard enough.

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | July 15, 2009 10:23 AM

Haytvelt may be skilled, but I'd be very wary of a big man who's only 23 and has already had two serious foot/ankle injuries.

"I wouldn't start Nick Young. No matter what. His skill set would be much suited coming off the bench. Coming off the bench and SCORE."


Posted by: kalo_rama | July 15, 2009 10:43 AM

I think Oberto would be a good addition for what the Wiz need, a 10-15 mpg (if that) backup, if he would choose to come here. He has experience and a winning pedigree.

I think it shows the Wiz are targeting the right kind of player for the money they want to spend.

Posted by: cannontl | July 15, 2009 10:47 AM

"I keep trying to tell you doubters..the wizards are good enough to make a conference finals appearance. "

They could be. But they could also be just good enough to barely make the playoffs and get ousted in the first round. It has less to do with them and how good they are than the fact fact that after Boston (if they're healthy), Cleveland, and (maybe) Orlando, there doesn't appear to be a lot of separation between the East playoff hopefuls (at least as things look now, on paper).

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 15, 2009 10:54 AM

The thing with Nick is that yes he can be potentially an excellent 6-man, but he also potentially can be a excellent starter if he played consistently on defense and learned to shoot off of the pass - running off screen, which is exactly what Flip has him working on. The 2guard position has been a loose link and he has the potential to be better than what we had the last couple years and better then any other 2guard on the roster as well. He can be a better, more athletic Rip Hamilton. Make no mistake about it, as the squad is currently made up, he is the 2-guard of the future, not Mike Miller. Foye is Gil's backup for now and the near future as well.

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 15, 2009 11:20 AM

Careful Mike! Don't let anyone steal your job, man, we like you, here!

Posted by: jistutz | July 15, 2009 8:14 PM

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