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Jamison Making Progress

Antawn Jamison was talking to some of his teammates after practice on Sunday and did something that should serve as a positive sign: He lifted his right arm and starting pointing backward with his thumb. It was a pretty impressive sight for anyone who saw Jamison leaving the court with his right arm hanging only a few days before.

Jamison remains out for the rest of the preseason after suffering a shoulder subluxation last Wednesday but he will travel with the team to Atlanta and Philadelphia. He will be evaluated again later this week, but Coach Flip Saunders said Jamison has made a lot of progress.

"It's encouraging. He's able to lift it up and move it and not have a lot of pain," Saunders said. "We'll see when he gets it looked at again. We just want to make sure we get it right the first time. We don't want to take a chance on things."

The Wizards have already had a few players go down since training camp began, with Javaris Crittenton out with a left foot injury, Jamison out with his shoulder injury and Haywood missing two games with an ankle injury. Haywood is expected to be back against the Hawks on Monday, but Caron Butler said he doesn't feel as if the Wizards have been hit with the bad luck stick -- yet.

"Antawn should be back shortly. So it's not as bad as it could be," Butler said. "We're fortunate of that. Injuries happen. I'd rather have them happen now than at the end of the season like they normally do. I'm not nervous at all. I'm still excited, optimistic and looking forward to the season."

Saunders will start Andray Blatche in the absence of Jamison and said that Mike Miller will get the start at shooting guard in Atlanta on Monday after he scored 24 points and made 5 of 5 three-pointers against Cleveland.

"He does the little things and you always have to guard him, because he has the ability to shoot the ball. You can't leave him alone," Saunders said of Miller. "He plays well without the ball. He'll let the game come to him. He has a high basketball IQ. I like the idea now [of starting Miller]. DeShawn has played really well for us defensively, and given us some things off the bench."

I asked Saunders if he planned on starting Miller on opening night against Dallas and he said, "We'll see how it goes. I don't know. I don't know."

Nick Young started out pretty hot this preseason, scoring 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting (47 percent) the first two games. But in the past three preseason games, Young has missed 19 of his past 24 shots and scored just 15 points. Young hasn't started since the preseason opener against Memphis and said he has struggled to find his rhythm coming off the bench. "It's kind of hard," Young said. "I'm trying to get it going like Mike [Miller] did. Every player goes through that. [Miller] got it going. I hope it's my turn."

By Michael Lee  |  October 18, 2009; 3:11 PM ET
 
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Comments

To all the Nick and Andray fans...that's what it's all about. Being consistent. Remember that streak were Nick shot like 80% for a week...and followed it with a month long slump? You can't have them be 1st line players until the can provide SOMETHING consistently.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 18, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

you also can't jerk a guys minutes around and expect any level of consistency, how consistent can you be playing 25 one night and 10 the next, getting yanked after a couple of missed jumpers is not how you instill confidence in a young player and help them develop

Posted by: bford1kb | October 18, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Great to hear the news on AJ and hope he is back & healthy for the opener.

As for the rotation, it looks like MM will start with DS as the backup and NY is out of the rotation. I dont mind this at all as I think it is easier to win and you will have more consistency by playing basicaly all vets. I think MM is the perfect starter for that group and DS is also good off the bench because Foye is playing the point but is obviously not a true point so you need a guy like DS who can handle the rock & pass well to play beside Foye. NY cant do that.

As for NY & Blatche, Ive always said that all our young guys get way too much criticism on here. I think people just look at everything in black & white and you cant do that. There are reasons behind things. If a guy is coming off the bench, having his minutes jerked, and is not playing with the right guys around him then he wont have success. Ive always said that if you put Blatche, NY, & Dom on the floor with Gil then they will instantly look 10x better because Gil can push the rock and give them good looks.

Foye is not a real PG so if you ask NY to come off the bench and play spot minutes beside him then it wont look good. It just wont. Put him in Mayo's situation or Gordon's situation last year where they are young guys who all start and get over 30mpg then you are going to see a guy who puts up numbers. If you have him coming off the bench where he gets 20-25min every single night and he's playing with a real PG then he will play well. However, if he never starts, gets 20min one night, 5 the next, and is playing with guys like Foye, MJ, and these other guys running the point then its not going to look good because you end up doing all one on one stuff.

Last year all our young guys have to do everything one on one because they were forced to be a halfcourt team without Gil and they had no PG or playmaker. So basicaly you tell young guys to play one on one with varying minutes and you expect them to do great. Its not going to happened. I bet if you play them real minutes every game with a real PG in an uptempo scheme then they will play well. If there on the floor with Gil then they will play well.

Posted by: dlts20 | October 18, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I feel its got to be Miller or Young starting or backing each other up opposite of Arenas. I just don't see the minutes for Stevenson on this team. Maybe I am wrong. Check back after about 30 or 40 games.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | October 18, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope Antawn doesn't come back too soon. Losing him for a few games at the beginning of the season isn't a huge deal. Having in and out of lineup throughout the year would be very disruptive.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 18, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "To all the Nick and Andray fans"

You probably put me in there. But I'm really a fan of the team. I rag on players when I don't see a good fit.

And I peddle players that could be a good fit if given a fair chance.

Arenas, Miller, Butler, Blatche and Wood is a very complementary combo which should do well.

If Jamison were starting, Foye might be a better fit at the 2.

Young was given a fair shot this year and played himself out of the rotation.

Let's see what Blatche does, including being consistent in effort, concentration and performance.

Posted by: Izman | October 18, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Nick has to figger it out that he has to take advantage of his time on the court. If it's 20 min. or 5 min. what difference is it?
If you play well you will get more time. Everyone can't start and everyone can't play 35 min.
You get the time on the floor if you can contribute-----simple. Get yourself ready to play and then when you get in do something positive.

Posted by: VBFan | October 18, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Young's problem is he is just a one-dimensional player who hurts the team if he isn't scoring. He doesn't pass, rebound or play defense. I think that is the reason his minutes fluctuate so wildly. If he doesn't have it on a given night, he gets yanked and that won't change.
It remains to be seen but, I think Blatche turns the corner this year and becomes a contributor. My hope is that he plays so well that Jamison assumes the 6th man role that I think his game is best suited for.
Part of the reason we've lost against Cavs three straight appearances is Varejao (and Drew Gooden when they had him) has killed us on the boards. Jamison is too small to play defense against legit PFs and he doesn't handle the ball well enough to play SF.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 18, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

you also can't jerk a guys minutes around and expect any level of consistency, how consistent can you be playing 25 one night and 10 the next, getting yanked after a couple of missed jumpers is not how you instill confidence in a young player and help them develop.

A couple missed jumpers? Nick disappears if he misses a couple jumpers. He needs to earn the minutes and play more level when he does get them regardless of what they are. If he's playing well, no coach is going to sit him.

And Izman I wasnt speaking to anyone directly...it's just a lot of get rid of Jamison and play Blatche or that Nick Young is the next Kobe...but I don't think they're being realistic. I'm a fan too but if they couldn't play their way in last year...it should tell you something.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 18, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

if you didn't notice tapscott was in charge of the squad last year for 71 games, while eddie jordan, a coach I disliked strongly, was still around he fed nick consistent minutes and coincidentally he played more consistently, he is a one-dimensional rhythm scorer and this sort of player needs large doses of time to get to their upside, high volume scoring only comes with time spent on the floor, no one is good when they are forced to make 3 of their first four attempts or face the pine, this year I'm not too worried about nick getting time because mike miller and foye are both better players but to me there was no excuse letting dom play big minutes every night and asking nick to make an instant impact or go back to the bench, by the way I love dom but it seemed to me dom was better suited to come off the bench seeing as how he excels in hustle plays and nick is a scorer who needs his time and shots to be of value

Posted by: bford1kb | October 18, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

and blatche is a victim of people's outlandish expectations, he did admirably playing out of position all year last year, anyone who has eyes can tell the man is no center, he is of much more value at the position he should play, pf

Posted by: bford1kb | October 18, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

bford1kb
Dom got to start last year because he played better than anyone else at that position. He forced Ed T to play him by working hard & playing smart. That's what Nick has to do to help this team.

Posted by: VBFan | October 18, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

dom starting pushed caron to the two and caron clearly wasn't as effective floating around the perimeter, dom may have guarded the two because he's a very good defender and caron was way over-matched in a bunch of situations (i.e. lebron) but please do not mistake him with a shooting guard

Posted by: bford1kb | October 18, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

dom is a small forward that's a freak of an athlete which allows him to guard multiple positions but on offense the man is simply a small forward

Posted by: bford1kb | October 18, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

If the preseason means anything, Dom's a small forward who is now in possession of a mid-range jumper.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 18, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Good game coming up against Philly. Interesting to see how we match up defensively with this starting line-up.
With Miller starting, he's going to bring Foye and DeShawn it seems like off the bench. Dom for Caron. Young's put in the time on his game off the court. Let's not give up on him yet. Nick is definitely making a strong effort to play defense.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 18, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Dom started last year because there wasn't anyone else. AJ,CB,Song or Blatch,MJ or Critt and Who????

Posted by: VBFan | October 18, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I like starting 5 Haywood, Jamison, Butler, Miller, Arenas. I think it's a no brainer. Blatche and Foye off the bench 1st. Blatche comes in for Haywood, or Jamison. Also can come in with Blatche to rest Butler and move Jamison to SF. Foye basically replaced Antonio Daniels role as 1st G off the bench. Can come in for Gil or can come in at SG for Miller and change the pace. Miller can go to bench or can move up to SF and rest Butler. Once Blatche comes in Jamison essentially becomes like a 6th man the rest of game going either to SF for Butler or back to PF for Blatche. I see Blatche routinely rotating between C/PF, Jamison rotating between PF/SF, Miller between SG/SF, and Foye between PG/SG.

In this way we can mainly run a tight 7 man rotation. When needed the rest of the bench looks to be Oberto, Stevenson (9 man rotation) followed by McGee, Young, McGuire, Crittenton, James.

From my understanding of Saunders past he like a short rotation and favors playing the vets. Thats why I say a 7 man rotation is what we'll mainly see of Haywood, Jamison, Butler, Miller, Arenas, Blatche, Foye. When we gotta push it to a 9 man rotation I see Oberto and Stevenson as the next guys. McGee, Young, McGuire will get spot duty opportunities when matchups/rest/injury/fouls dictate. Crittenton and James look to be odd men out. James really should be moved for some added frontcourt help.

Young's problem at this point is he's too one dimensional, offense, which we have plenty of already. This team will score with or without Nick Young. Otherwise he's just too inconsistant, too unpredictable, doesn't defend, pass or rebound, turns it over too much and makes too many mistakes. Given we don't need scoring, and what we do need from the SG spot is someone who compliments the other starters, Miller backed by Stevenson at least at this point is the better choice.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 18, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The reason why NY isn't consistent is b/c his shooting mechanics are poor. Good shooters have great balance, and NY doesn't, in my opinion. He fades to varying degrees on just about every jumper, which means that he has to adjust his shot accordingly. This makes him a feel player, and that is why some days he's got it and others he doesn't.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 18, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the bench is Foye, Deshawn, Blatche, and Oberto. Im not sure Oberto plays every game though. He's that 9th guy in Flips "8 or 9" man rotation. I dont think Dom gets in at all. Someone said he's Caron's backup. I dont think so. I think Flip looks at it as the 4 & 5 together and then its the 1, 2, and 3 together.

By that I mean he'll have a rotation at the 4 & 5 with Wood, AJ, Blatche, and then Oberto but IDK how often he will be used. I think for the 1, 2, and 3 he will have a 5 man rotation of Gil, MM, Caron, Foye, and Deshawn. I dont think Dom is Caron's backup. I think on the 2nd unit it will be Foye, Deshawn, and Caron will still be in. Then Gil comes back in for Caron and Foye moves to the 2 with DS moving to the 3 for a little. Then MM comes back in for Deshawn at the 3 and then Caron comes back in for Foye. I just dont see Dom being in there and I dont see Flip using Blatche or AJ at the 3. Maybe sometimes against the huge frontlines but not often

Posted by: dlts20 | October 18, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Jamison is one of the fastest healers you will ever see, pretty impressive he is doing this well.

But Antawn- TAKE YOUR TIME. Come 100% not 95%

Plenty of "Go Wizards" chants at the funeral that was FedEx today

Posted by: divi3 | October 18, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

bford1kb:

That's life in the big boys club, produce consistantly or get the hell off the court. You earn your way into playing time. If you can't hold on to what you've got, you go to the back of the line and onto another club shortly, that's sooner rather than later. Thanks for the child-hood memories NICK. Time to grow up, or to cop a line from BLADERUNNER, "Time to die."

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

divi3:

Please don't bring up the train-wreck that is the REDSKINS. If DANO and his bag-man VINNIE aren't squirming in their seats, they are more stupid than I give them credit for. The NFL is not a fantasy football league. The REDSKINS long-term season-ticket holders should sue the NFL for allowing SNYDER to continue to own this franchise.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 18, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

This is good news about MeTawn if his job was to run a cash register at CVS, but it's not.

His job is to play ball and to battle in the paint. Having his shoulder swell up is definitely not a good thing, and it will be a nagging injury throughout season.

I expect his numbers to go down drastically, especially REBs, and don't count on him to even foul someone, nevermind play defense.

This could be the crack in the door for AB to become a permanent fixture at the 4 spot.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 18, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Darnell1:

That's a resounding "YES" in regard to MR. YOUNG. STEVENSON and YOUNG please take note. This season's motto is "WIN NOW."

BOTH MILLER and FOYE were brought in here for a purpose and their existance on this roster in no accident. They will play - mucho. You two, not so much.

I do think D-MAC plays spots when BUTLER is out. I hope JAMISON slides into the three on occasion as well.

JAMES' contract will probably net little or nothing of value in return - IF he can be moved. If his removal from this club is delayed for as long as I fear it will be, here's hoping he collects many splinters while awaiting a bus out of town.

I agree re: J-CRIT. I think he injured himself right off this club. Dang shame too. He's got game if it can just be developed. But in the win now fever at the house that ABE built, he a ghost. If his contract ids favorable, the club carries thirteen into the season, otherwise, ASAP.

OBERTO gets plenty of burn for HAYWOOD at the five. SAUNDERS likes vets.

BLATCHE regularly spells an aging JAMISON at the four with McGEE as insurance at four or five.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 18, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The last time I checked, JCrit is really the only bonified true PG on this Team that can Play.

Why would we let him walk?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 19, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I think Darnell has the rotation right. You have your 6 ballers plus AB, Oberto and Stevenson. The remaining guys are expendable. NY, Dom and Critt are borderline guys at best, and McGee may be a useful player in a year or two but not now.

If any of the ballers go down I'd expect FS to push EG to make a trade as opposed to relying on the young guys on the bench.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | October 19, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I forgot MJ. Can't see him getting much PT, the guy's just too inconsistent.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | October 19, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

...I think NY will be trade bait, along with MJames's contract a couple of months into the season. With AJ's situation the need for Ernie to make a move for another PF, just became much more definitive.

Posted by: oddjob1 | October 19, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The last time I checked, JCrit is really the only bonified true PG on this Team that can Play.

Why would we let him walk?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 19, 2009 12:40 AM

Crittenton is not a true pg either; he's a combo guard.

Posted by: A2daRon | October 19, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Crittenton is not a true pg either; he's a combo guard.

I have to disagree. Crittenton is a PG...just a big one.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 19, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

here's my prediction du jour:

Mike James has more ppg than dejuan blair this season.

Posted by: Blurred | October 19, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

but the cash wins "best 15th man" award

Posted by: Blurred | October 19, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping CRITTER stays. I don't think he will, but we need a third PG and JAMES is better qualified than JaVARIS at this point. MJ is the more experienced option between the two. FS likes vets, even selfish ones.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

No one is going anywhere any time soon. Grunfeld is going to give things time to play out before making any more moves. With some many overlapping players, there needs to be some sense of who the keepers are before he starts shedding redundancy, and it's way too early to know that just yet.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 19, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

kalo-rama:

CRITTENTON can't even play. Who here thinks the WIZ condoned his play in ATLANTA this summer? He's toast. If not right now - soon.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 19, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Crittenton is hurt and has been for a while, even when he was playing. In fact, trying to play through it made it worse. When healthy he's shown the ability to contribute, and none of the other options at backup PG are sure things.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

No one is going anywhere any time soon. Grunfeld is going to give things time to play out before making any more moves. With so many overlapping players, there needs to be some sense of who the keepers are before he starts shedding redundancy, and it's way too early to know that just yet.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 19, 2009 11:09 AM

Makes a whole lot of sense to me. I keep wondering why these posts keep popping up on who we are going to drop, when we have free slots.

Wisdom dictates that you will eventually need all the healthy bodies on your Team. It seems like some are looking at 10-11 players and we can let go everybody else go.

I don't get there logic.

It would be wise to stand fast right now just based on the numbers alone.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

kalo-rama:

CRITTENTON can't even play. Who here thinks the WIZ condoned his play in ATLANTA this summer? He's toast. If not right now - soon.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 19, 2009 11:44 AM

007,

Crittendon can't play? You would be basing that on the his ankle injury, I am sure.

You cannot believe that Crit can't play. You must have him confused with somebody else.

Summer League's and organized pick-ups across the country are common for NBA players to participate in.

It would be wrong for you to conclude otherwise.

And if there is a fire sale going on with the Wizards in which I know there isn't, there is not any toasting of Javaris Crittendon to be had.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 19, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why anybody thinks Crit is a baller or can contribute to this club. He is not a SuperScrub, but I saw ZERO evidence that he can do anything except turn the ball over on out of control dashes to the hoop and miss wide open Js. He's a good kid though, wish him the best - elsewhere.

Wish we could package him and MikeJames for a big, but it won't happen. Why? Because no team would really WANT him. Why again? Because he really isn't good.

Hope Jamison comes back 100%. Hope to see what this team can do healthy.

Posted by: truesense | October 19, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

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