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Morning brew

Michael Lee wrote about Gilbert Arenas's reemergence for this morning's newspaper. And he blogged about why Nick Young didn't play in the season opeaner.

* In the Washington Times, Mike Jones says Randy Foye and Fabricio Oberto add balance to the Wizards, and columnist Tom Knott called the season opener a powerful opening statement.

* Here is a final wrap of Tuesday's game by Bullets Forever's Mike Prada.

* Truth About It offers edutaining screen shots from the game.

*Meanwhile, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis ran into Gilbert the other day.

Elsewhere in the league:

* Atlanta beat Indiana last night, 120-109 , and Journal-Constitution columnst Mark Bradley says the team "dropped powerful hints that this might well be the best Hawks team in ... oh, two decades." The Wizards play the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday.

* The Cavaliers lost again, this time to the Toronto Raptors, and the Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst says Cleveland's highly paid big men were the problem.

By Alexa Steele  |  October 29, 2009; 9:38 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: Crittenton undergoes exploratory surgery

Comments

First?

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 29, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

FIRST!!

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 29, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Who here among the mighty blogging domain thinks that Atlanta is a stronger foe than Dallas for the Zards?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 29, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Who here among the mighty blogging domain thinks that Atlanta is a stronger foe than Dallas for the Zards?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 29, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse


Not me! I'm kinda mad that today is only Thursday and not Friday!

Friday night watching the Wizards BBQ up some Atlanta Hawk! (mmmmmm, taste like chicken!)

Go Wiz!!!!!

Posted by: musicman65000 | October 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Anyone have a big laugh last night seeing the non-existent defense played by EJ's 76ers in the loss to Orlando? Granted, Orlando's a very good team that will give many teams fits, but 100 points by the end of the 3rd quarter? 55% FG and 3 pt shooting for Orlando? Dang, brings back memories...lol Glad they're just that now.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

That for sure was all ole' Eddie Jordan on the Sixer's sideline last night.

And it wasn't the good Eddie, it was the bad Eddie. For Philadelphia's sake, I hope they get the good Eddie, but it's doubtful.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Who here among the mighty blogging domain thinks that Atlanta is a stronger foe than Dallas for the Zards?

LarryInClintonMD.

___________________________________________

Larry, having this NBA League Pass has given me the chance to look at all 32 teams and from what I saw from Atl the other night, they could possibly get that #4 spot. If Cleveland or Orlando slip up, they could grab that #3.
Yes, I think they are a stronger foe than the Mavs. We have beaten the Mavs quite a few times but Atlanta just seems to get better and better. I was hoping that we would have picked up Joe Smith via Fab O but I am okay with Fab O. We are going to need Young to bring his game every night when he gets the opportunity to come in. Gil told him that he can easily play himself to the bench and look where he is.

Doobie_Sparks

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | October 29, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Atlanta has quickness and athleticism at multiple positions that could give the Wiz problems. It's way too early to start discounting any good team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Aside from Atlanta, the Raptors started really well and seems to be a much better team than last year.

Posted by: Dave381 | October 29, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Aside from Atlanta, the Raptors started really well and seems to be a much better team than last year.

Posted by: Dave381 | October 29, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Al Horford is a tough, physical PF who might pose some problems and, no matter how much he might be struggling before playing the Wiz, Zaza Pachulia always seems to hurt them. I certainly wouldn't pencil this one in the W column just yet.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 29, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm waiting on Original_Mark to give us the DaJuan Blair update/analysis.

Everyone new that Atl was going to be tough, the question has always been whether they were going to mature as a team. What I saw in the playoffs last year was a selfish, undisciplined team with a lot of wasted talent.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Pachulia has looked like a near All-Star in some of the games he's had against the Wiz (I seem to esp. recall him working us over on the offensive boards).

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

We have problems with athletic teams like Atlanta and Philly, but I am looking forward to the game.

I can't get enough of the wiz at this point. That Dallas game is the first time I have enjoyed a game since we beat Clevland in the playoffs a year and half ago! Last year was a total waste...

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Agreeing with Kalo that Atlanta gives teams fits with their quickness and athleticism. I will add that their team is built on mismatches with size/speed/athleticism, capitalizing on teams that play undisciplined ball.

Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are the biggest mismatches for any team. JJ is a pretty complete player on both ends, when properly motivated. He has great size at almost 6'8" for a two. Can get his shot off almost any time he wants to due to his size and savvy. JS is an athletic freak and can really play good defense and rebound well. Though offensively raw, his athleticism on defense and fast breaks will cause havoc.

If you turn it over, they can run on you - sorta like Philly last couple of years but with better talent and skill level. If the Wiz execute and play smart ball, minimalizing mental errors and bad shots, they will have a good chance to win.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

dejuan blair had 14 points (7-10fg), 11 boards and 3 assists in 22:33, but I guess he turned it over two times more than the cash, I don't get how a team in need of interior grit and physicality passes on a high ceiling second rounder like blair, bilas had him ranked as like the 16th best draft prospect

Posted by: bford1kb | October 29, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

somebody should forward this blog to blair, he will feel great about himself.

i havent seen him play, but it looks like his numbers are excellent.

but 6'6"? was that really going to help our interior?

Posted by: divi3 | October 29, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I saw Blair lastnight and he looked GREAT. Duncan will help him so much. EG missed a diamond right there. He's the guy who can bang Zaza Pachulia to death for boards. Compared to Blatche he looks like Shaq. Blatche is savvy but Blair is just TUFF. Hes a good facilitator as well.

Nuckin Futs

go wiz!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | October 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

and my other dejuan question....whose minutes would he be getting if he was here?

Would he be ahead of AB?

Arent we in for a penny, in for a pound with Blatche? This season will answer the question on him, and it wouldnt have served to put another guy on the roster to take his minutes?

Posted by: divi3 | October 29, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"but 6'6"? was that really going to help our interior?"

Exactly. Okafor and West were taking him down low and scoring over him like they didn't know he was there. Plus, he got most of his PT in the second half when the game was already a blowout (the Spurs were up 20 at halftime). A guy like Blair is a nice luxury on a contending-caliber team as loaded as the Spurs. On a team like the Wizards, the situation would be totally different.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Watched ESPN's NBA Shoot Around last night. They had every game, except the Wiz-Mav's game (they did talk about it during game, but not in pre-game, nor in halftime, and no footage at all).

Now about the game, I think the impressive part about AB is that he shows no hesitation. He obviously got the green light from the coach to shoot when he is open. (In fact, that's what Saunder's offense emphasizes.) No wild passes and no indecisiveness, which often led to turnovers. Obviously, he shot well in the game, but there will be timed when he will miss some shots, just hoe he can maintain his composure then. Confidence is important in consistency, not in EJ's doghouse should help that.

One more note, if Wiz does not want to hire Hopla, maybe Haywood and DS should spend their own money to hire him? Especially Haywood, he is in a contract year, this can be a worthy investment?

Posted by: sagaliba | October 29, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

divi3, you're right that he's 6'6.5" with shoes but his wingspan is 7'2"! His standing reach is actually better than that of either the 6'9"-6'10" Tyler Hansborough and Blake Griffin. You can't teach height but you sure can't teach heart either.

If you've ever watched Blair, he has that in spades bringing the physicality and rebounding to the edge. Just ask the 7'3" Thabeet and UConn how tough it was in the interior vs Blair. He's a strong widebody who knows how to play and has some limitations but can play a big role.

Too many here are bemoaning the what ifs. Scouting and drafting will never be perfect and more than 20 teams made the same mistake EG did. Let it go people, he's on the Spurs now.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 29, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

How would the situation be so different KRam?

Almost every game someone in the Wiz frontcourt will pick up 2 quick fouls in the 1st quarter. On Tuesday it was Oberto. Tomorrow it might be Haywood.

DeJuan Blair is exactly the type of wrecking ball who can throw his weight around and make competent basketball plays. He led the Big East in rebounds per game last season. Did you notice he blocked 3 shots last night vs NO?

Having him McGee, Blatche and McGuire off the bench might be enough to outmuscle Boston in a 7-game series.

I can't wait to see Blair push Artest around when the Flake Show sees San Antonio.

Posted by: elfreako | October 29, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Exactly. Okafor and West were taking him down low and scoring over him like they didn't know he was there. Plus, he got most of his PT in the second half when the game was already a blowout (the Spurs were up 20 at halftime). "

And it goes both ways. Blair got 14 points, 11 rebounds. It doesn't matter that Blair got most PT in the second half, NO was still playing their starters (e.g., West played 38 minutes).

Mark this down, Blair is the 4th bigman option on San Anton, and will be in the regular rotation.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 29, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Blair is on again tonight for all you maniacs!

First half: 6 points, 6 rebounds, 6 minutes

The defense is a problem though as some have pointed out.

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"divi3, you're right that he's 6'6.5" with shoes but his wingspan is 7'2"! His standing reach is actually better than that of either the 6'9"-6'10" Tyler Hansborough and Blake Griffin."

Except both Griffin and Hansbrough have exceptionally short arms -- among the shortest of any big men in last year's class. They compensate with aggressiveness and quick jumping. Blair has the opposite challenge: long arms, heavy body, not overwhelmingly quick. He can't jump over anyone, so he has to establish position in the low post and muscle everyone else out.

But don't forget the real problem with Blair: those tendons. That's what scared teams off. That 16th best rating from Bilas is legit, except for those tendons.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 29, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"I can't wait to see Blair push Artest around when the Flake Show sees San Antonio.Posted by: elfreako"

I'm trying to imagine a situation in which Artest would muscle against Blair in the low post.

I mean, DeJuan can't come out on the perimeter and guard Ron, and the Lakers won't have Artest playing deep inside when Gasol, Odom, or Bynum are in there -- so where's the matchup?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 29, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

One more short note about Blair vs Griffin or Hansbrough: the standing reach is important for a rebounder, of course, mostly for those rebounds that are taken below the rim, but the so-called 'no step reach' is generally considered the best measure of rebounding potential, particularly for a big man. That's the ability to elevate without a run-up, say when you're in a crowd under the basket and the ball comes off the backboard.

Blair's no-step vertical reach at the pre-draft measurements was 11.0.5". Hansbrough came in at an inch above that, and Griffin was nearly five inches higher than Blair.

That implies that Blair would have to body Griffin quite a ways from the basket to grab a rebound away from him.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 29, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"And it goes both ways. "

And that's exactly the problem. He gives up as much (or more) than he gets. And because of his size and lack of quickness/explosion (vertical or horizontal) the other team's guys don't have to work as hard to get theirs. Again, he got his points and rebounds by battling and banging every minute he was on the floor. Okafor basically just turned and shot over him with a minimum amount of effort.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

One more short note about Blair vs Griffin or Hansbrough: the standing reach is important for a rebounder, of course, mostly for those rebounds that are taken below the rim, but the so-called 'no step reach' is generally considered the best measure of rebounding potential, particularly for a big man. That's the ability to elevate without a run-up, say when you're in a crowd under the basket and the ball comes off the backboard.

Blair's no-step vertical reach at the pre-draft measurements was 11.0.5". Hansbrough came in at an inch above that, and Griffin was nearly five inches higher than Blair.

That implies that Blair would have to body Griffin quite a ways from the basket to grab a rebound away from him.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 29, 2009 12:33 PM

All I'm saying is, regardless of their height/length, all of these guys were in their own way very successful in the paint on the most talented college teams. Also, isn't this the reason Griffin became the runaway #1 pick? And that Blair was still available in the 2nd round?

Career-wise, Blair may not have a super long one like Griffin due to his tendons, weight, and physicality. But if you say 7-8 years of solid paint work and rebounding on a deep team playing his role well, that's great ROI for any 2nd rounder.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 29, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"How would the situation be so different KRam?"

Because the demands on him in San Antonio are a lot different/less than they would be here. He's their 4th string big man, playing behind two established vets (on a former all-star, the other a first ballot HoFer) and a specialist with skills he can't duplicate.

If you're talking about having Blair instead of Oberto in D.C., then you're now talking about him being a starter for the Wiz. That's a very different role than in S.A., and I don't think Blair is esp. well-suited for that role on a playoff team.

Now, if you're talking about having him in place of Paul Davis, then the obvious response to that is . . . what difference does it make? Because Davis likely won't play much (if at all) and neither would Blair in the same spot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"All I'm saying is, regardless of their height/length, all of these guys were in their own way very successful in the paint on the most talented college teams. Also, isn't this the reason Griffin became the runaway #1 pick? "

Lots of guys are successful in college and not in the pros. Just because a guy does A does not automatically mean he can do B.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"All I'm saying is, regardless of their height/length, all of these guys were in their own way very successful in the paint on the most talented college teams. Also, isn't this the reason Griffin became the runaway #1 pick? And that Blair was still available in the 2nd round?"

Griffin had a number of advantages over everybody else in the draft -- not least of which was his ability to excel in the open floor. But the big reason Blair fell had nothing to do with Griffin or Hansbrough (who probably went five or six places too high). It was his medical report.

"Career-wise, Blair may not have a super long one like Griffin due to his tendons, weight, and physicality. But if you say 7-8 years of solid paint work and rebounding on a deep team playing his role well, that's great ROI for any 2nd rounder."

That's not the way to look at it. A player with serious tendon problems is not likely to get 7-8 years in the NBA. He's more likely to break down early, and have recurrent injuries, possibly career-ending.

Not to say that will happen to Blair -- just that this is what scared teams off.

Posted by: TakinAWiz

Posted by: Samson151 | October 29, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I posted this on the link Mr. Lee provided to the Cleveland fans:

Wizards will crush the Cavs at your home on Tuesday night --- Book it!

Then, on Nov. 18th ‘Letraveler and the Scrubs’ will come to D.C only to be embarrassed on national TV.

Such a sad season awaits the dreary town of Cleveland. All of Ohio will mourn for many months knowing that such futility will necessitate the departure of Letravel and his crab dribbling expertise!

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 29, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

And that's exactly the problem. He gives up as much (or more) than he gets. And because of his size and lack of quickness/explosion (vertical or horizontal) the other team's guys don't have to work as hard to get theirs. Again, he got his points and rebounds by battling and banging every minute he was on the floor. Okafor basically just turned and shot over him with a minimum amount of effort.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 12:49 PM

He will have his issues like you have said, but remember he is a rookie, learning how to play in the league vs wily vets. He'll get better playing defense vs more talented bigs.

Nobody comes into the league without having their lunch taken away some way or another. The question will be if how advantageous will his pluses be compared to his minuses. I think sooner rather than later, he'll be an asset overall. Time will tell...

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"He will have his issues like you have said, but remember he is a rookie, learning how to play in the league vs wily vets."

Yet another reason why the Wiz don't need him. They've already got enough young guys who are still learning to play in the league; they don't need another. And another reason why San Antonio is a better spot for him, because they can afford to ride out his growing pains, given that they aren't really depending on him.

"He'll get better playing defense vs more talented bigs. "

That is far from a given, esp. when you consider that the primary factors contributing to his defensive deficiencies are physical issue that he can't do much to change.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If you're talking about having Blair instead of Oberto in D.C., then you're now talking about him being a starter for the Wiz

???

Maybe for the next month or so, but Oberto is almost certainly not going to start once Jamison returns. I suppose there's some small chance Saunders will keep starting Oberto and turn Jamison into a 6th man once he returns, but Oberto is certainly not going to be playing typical starter minutes. In fact, it doesn't even look like he'll be playing typical starter minutes right now (17 minutes vs. Dallas).

Posted by: joe_sill | October 29, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"All I'm saying is, regardless of their height/length, all of these guys were in their own way very successful in the paint on the most talented college teams. Also, isn't this the reason Griffin became the runaway #1 pick? "

Lots of guys are successful in college and not in the pros. Just because a guy does A does not automatically mean he can do B.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 1:00 PM

Wow, really Kalo?! All these things you, I, and others point to are parts of the equation any scouting team will go by to make a decision on each prospect. Some weigh college production more whereas others weigh physical measurements more. Then there's skills, basketball IQ, experience, team fit, and many other factors.

Not saying Blair will be as successful and I really doubt he will be, but successful guys with similar builds and height like Wes Unseld, Charles Barkley, and a young Larry Johnson rebounded well, albeit without the tendons issue. The flipside, of course there were plenty who failed too. Again, time will tell.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

A guy like Blair is a nice luxury on a contending-caliber team as loaded as the Spurs. On a team like the Wizards, the situation would be totally different.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Kal,

You finally got something right...the Wizards aren't a contending-caliber team and never will be since they value money more than championships.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 29, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

How much does anyone want to bet that Cleveland gets Stephen Jackson. All of a sudden LeBron needs help? I thought all those experts were saying that Cleveland was great. Y'all keep on believing those so-called experts who underrated the wizards while overrating Cleveland. I don't want to hear nuffin about it is only 2 games. Yeah, in 2 games they have already been exposed.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 29, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

And that's exactly the problem. He gives up as much (or more) than he gets. And because of his size and lack of quickness/explosion (vertical or horizontal) the other team's guys don't have to work as hard to get theirs. Again, he got his points and rebounds by battling and banging every minute he was on the floor. Okafor basically just turned and shot over him with a minimum amount of effort.

Posted by: kalo_rama
-----------------------------------------

If Blair can take as much as he gives against Okafor, I will take that any day. I have never argued that Blair is as good as Okafor, but if he is anywhere close that will be a very good use of a 2nd rookie salary (as oppose to Okafor's huge contract).

As to who used less "effort," it really doesn't matter. Blair is not a starter, no need to pace him. Besides, it is all subjective anyway. Looks to me, Blair got the ball out of his hand pretty quick, that's way he is able to score down low despite his lack of length.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 29, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I know it’s hard for the blind Cheap Abe loyalist people on here to understand anything different than what the organization tells you, but considering the Minnesota Timberwolves traded the draft rights to G Ty Lawson (the 18th pick in the 2009 NBA draft) to the Denver Nuggets for a future protected first round draft pick…

If Ernie was the genius people claim he is why didn’t he trade OP, DS, ET and a future protected first round draft pick to the deal for MM and Foye and the 18th pick? Then if “Ernie the Great” would have drafted Blair with the 2nd round pick this team would be the same 1 -13 and Lawson and Blair would have filled out the 14 and 15 spots!

Now they have Oberto and Davis plus 2.5 million and the money Cheap Abe saved but not having to sign a first round pick. That’s what I meant by Abe not doing everything he could have (money wise) to bring this city a championship.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 29, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

They play a very good Hawks team friday night a team that has everything shooters,shot blockers, rebounders,and playmakers, i'm going to the "highlight factory"(Philips Arena) friday night with my Wizards garb from head to toe(hope i make it out alive) but this will be a real early season test for the team(wish Antawn was available)should be a good one.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

And that's exactly the problem. He gives up as much (or more) than he gets.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Who are you talking about AJ?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 29, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"You finally got something right...the Wizards aren't a contending-caliber team and never will be since they value money more than championships."

You're gonna est those words this year.

I believe again.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 29, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Not that its good that AJ is hurt, but he always had tough matchup issues against Atlanta whether he was guarding Josh Smith or Marvin Williams....too quick and athletic for him. This game will be a big indicator of whether AB can CONSISTENTLY play at a high level. He'll often be matched against Smith who has killed us on the boards and with blocked shots for the last 3 years. Oberto and Haywood simply can't match up with Smith who is a uniquely athletic PF.

As for Pachula, he had big games last year against us but he was matched against Etan or McGee. Haywood has the size and length to keep him from getting too many easy rebounds and putbacks. It will be interesting to see how McGee fares in this game since he may get some playing time with the second unit.

Atlanta is probably a tougher matchup for the Wiz than Orlando due to their size and athleticism. Caron gives up about 3 inches to Marvin Williams which causes him problems at both ends. Mike Miller might need to play some 3 tomorrow night due to the matchups.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 29, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

err eat. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 29, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Not saying Blair will be as successful and I really doubt he will be, but successful guys with similar builds and height like Wes Unseld, Charles Barkley, and a young Larry Johnson rebounded well, albeit without the tendons issue."Posted by: TakinAWiz

Except Johnson and Barkley were versatile, athletic players who excelled on the break and developed very effective outside shots. Unseld is a better comparison and he's about the same size as Blair. But could Unseld play at that high level today? Centers were a lot shorter back then.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 29, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

How sweet this weekend would've been if the Skins played Sunday in Atlanta.

The Caps play the Thrashers tonight, then the Wizards play the Hawks tomorrow night.

The Skins play the Falcons on the 11/08, figures the Skins would mess something up.

Posted by: ENJOYA | October 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe for the next month or so, but Oberto is almost certainly not going to start once Jamison returns."

Doesn't matter. He's starting now. And part of the reason why Grunfeld got a guy like Oberto was to have a veteran in reserve who can come in and help right away in case of injury, to avoid repeating the mistake of having to relay on unproven youngsters again in case one of the starters got hurt. Blair is an unproven youngster. The Wiz are already full up on those.

"As to who used less "effort," it really doesn't matter. "

Every coach in the NBA (and college, for that matter) will tell you otherwise. The primary goal on defense is to make your opponent work harder than he wants to for everything he gets. Against a big, strong, athletic post player (and Okafor really ain't that big, that athletic or, really, that great a post player) Blair's size, quickness, and athletic limitations make that a real problem for him. If he's expending more energy than the guy he's guarding, that means the other guy is fresher down the stretch if the game is close.

"If Ernie was the genius people claim he is why didn’t he trade OP, DS, ET and a future protected first round draft pick to the deal for MM and Foye and the 18th pick?"

Because they weren't interested in a protected future first from the Wizards. Their primary goal in trading with Washington was to get the number 5 pick to draft Rubio. If they hadn't gotten that, they likely would have moved on. Moreover, the main reason they were willing to trade the 18 pick in the first place was because they'd already gotten the #5 (to go along with the #6 they already had) and weren't interested in adding another rookie. If they hadn't gotten the Wiz's #5, they most likely would have kept the #18.

Trades aren't menu selections at a greasy spoon. You can't just substitute hash browns for french fries.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

re:DeJuan Blair
Too many here are bemoaning the what ifs. Scouting and drafting will never be perfect and more than 20 teams made the same mistake EG did. Let it go people, he's on the Spurs now.

Posted by: TakinAWiz

Hallelujah!
Let's quit playing what if.
Let's move on.


Posted by: VBFan | October 29, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"As to who used less "effort," it really doesn't matter. "

Every coach in the NBA (and college, for that matter) will tell you otherwise. The primary goal on defense is to make your opponent work harder than he wants to for everything he gets. Against a big, strong, athletic post player (and Okafor really ain't that big, that athletic or, really, that great a post player) Blair's size, quickness, and athletic limitations make that a real problem for him. If he's expending more energy than the guy he's guarding, that means the other guy is fresher down the stretch if the game is close.

Posted by: kalo_rama
------------------------------------------

But you missed the point (which you conveniently cut away): Blair is not a starter, and therefore, he does not play as many minutes.

If you play more minutes than I do, even if you use less energy per minute, you are not "fresher" than I am.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 29, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter. He's starting now

How can it not matter? You said you didn't think "Blair is esp. well-suited for that role". Are you saying it's irrelevant that "that role" (starter) would likely only last a month or so rather than the whole season?

Obviously, Oberto's downside risk was not quite as bad as Blair's, but it seems to me (and many others) that this was easily outweighed by Blair's upside.

I wonder if you would grant that your position on Blair is even theoretically falsifiable by any hard evidence that might be collected in this upcoming season. Do there exist numbers measuring his performance and the Spurs' team performance such that you would admit you were wrong about Blair if he and his team were to achieve those numbers? Or will your position be that he wouldn't have worked out well in Washington, regardless of what happens this year? Remember that you can look at plus/minus numbers and "defensive efficiency while on the floor" numbers to get a sense for whether your concerns about his defense are valid or are outweighed by his strengths.

Posted by: joe_sill | October 29, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Anybody talking about AB shooting percentage?
Young and Mcgee will have to grow up real, realreal fast.
Are there any moves during the year EG has brewing?
We could be third with any slippage of the top three from last year.
Cleveland could be a disaster, wait and see mode

Posted by: zariah | October 29, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Besides the fact that the Blair argument is a moot point, Kal has argued the point perfectly. Blair is a much better fit for the team he is on than he would be for us. It's very simple. You think Blair would have harassed Dirk into misses the way Oberto did or even make him break a sweat while he goes off. Hell no. Dirk would have abused Blair. Assuming Blair instead of Oberto again, Blatche is now your starting PF for sure with Blair/maybe McGee backing him up at PF. If you like that scenario, then there is no help for you. For this team this season and perhaps next season, I'll take Oberto over Blair in a heartbeat. No pun intended. lol

Too much emphasis on stats and no credit for experience, savvy, veteran toughness, defense and limited to no boneheaded plays. Same applies to the NY vs DS debate.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 29, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we just call this the DeJuan Blair Blog? Pretty ridiculous that we're still talking about what could have been with him. Sure, he is playing well "right now," but as many others have already pointed out, the reason there were 36 players taken before him was his knees. Even one complete season will not be enough time to effectively gauge how his career is going to turn out over the long haul. If you're going to blast EG for taking a pass on him, you really have to do the same with about 20 other GMs, since his production has been better, "so far," than most of his fellow rookies.

I doubt very seriously that San Antonio would have taken him in the first round, had they had a first round pick. At pick #37 there was nothing to lose, and thus you can't even call it a gamble.

I'd prefer to look at what we have, rather than what we do not. Obviously, it's early, but the early returns are in, and I like what I'm seeing so far. The potential of this team is off the charts. "Health" and "consistency" are the key words for us. If we can get both, we have enough talent to contend with the big boys. Flip thinks this team can be a "good" defensive team. I agree with him. We just have to commit to it. I think we will.

Posted by: bpybay | October 30, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

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