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Morning Buzz

For this morning's newspaper, Michael Lee writes about the progress Nick Young has made.

*The Washington Times' Mike Jones says Gilbert Arenas' return opens up the floor for his teammates.

*Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski offers his take on Arenas's new serious demeanor.

*At Fanhouse, David Steele does a Q& A with Caron Butler.

*All is not solemn for the Wizards, however. In Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog, the evolution of DeShawn Stevenson's ducktail is chronicled.

*And here's some background on why Mike Miller wears LeBron's shoes. (Scroll way down.) LeBron James said Mike named his son after James's friend, Maverick. "For an unathletic white guy, these are the best shoes to wear," James said.

For your viewing pleasure -- or more likely displeasure -- here's video from Cavs' media day. Shaq and LeBron are "adorable."

By Alexa Steele  |  October 8, 2009; 9:49 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Buzz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Five Things We Learned in Richmond
Next: Flip: Arenas Needs to Be Aggressive; Stevenson to Start

Comments

Last!

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It's all fun and games for Shaq and LeBron now, but if Shaq starts getting selfish and jealous of his team's true leader, as he did in his last two stops, we can all breathe a sigh of relief because the Cavs will crumble.
Here's hoping Nick takes the next step toward being at least a reliable contributor on offense and a credible defender and JaVale learns the playbook well enough to be trusted for consistent minutes. If they, along with Blatche, become more professional, we've got our future "Big Three".

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 8, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

fcuk jebron

Posted by: prescrunk | October 8, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

miller is unathletic? nice friends, mike...

Posted by: crs-one | October 8, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Shaq is 1,000 years old. It's about time Brendan can handle him to a much larger extent than in the past.

I cannot remember us beating a Shaq team since Big Gheorghe took him down a notch way back in the Cap Center.

Enough of that behemoth.

Posted by: divi3 | October 8, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

happy birthday mike lee

Posted by: prescrunk | October 8, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

larry - to your post on the last page:

First off, I was just reflecting that I hope Haywood is going to be better than he was Tues night, but have little reason to believe he will be, based on his 8 years here.

I meant the center position is the weakest part of the team, though and have made your exact point before, that there are only a couple of really great centers at any time and BTH isn't one of them.

However, he is still in top 20, which means we aren't going to be replacing him anytime this season. that is why Centers get huge contracts, even when they aren't that outsstanding.

Collison and Foster aren't any better than Haywood (dare I say worse??).

Our hope should be that BTH will get a roll going and play like his contract depends on it and that McGee really gets it together this year and starts picking up some of Haywood's minutes. Of course that may make him whine and sulk.

If we don't resign him and have James money available next year, too, that should give us about $10 - $12 mil to put towards a real top level Center.

the question is, who would that be?

Posted by: Blurred | October 8, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

If NY can play defense, this can be the tightest (8-men) rotation for the Wiz:

Starters: C: Haywood (C), Jamison (PF), Butler (SF), Young (SG), Arenas (PG).

Backups: Blatch (C and PF), Miller (SF and SG) , Foy (PG and SG).

Situational substitutes (as Saunders said, he will play a regular 8-men rotation, and 2 additional players depends on the need of the game):

1. When you need a man defense to shut down a hot player: either McGuire or Stevenson depends on the matchup (i.e., Forward or guard).

2. If Bigs are in foul trouble, send in Oberto, he can backup both C and PF.

McGee will use this season to learn and better himself.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 8, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

It is hilarious how quickly people turn on you. It seems like 5 minutes ago that Brendan was touted in these boards as the second most valuable wizard and the key to the team. What happened to his being injured being the main factor resulting in 19 wins last year? I didn't believe he was the main factor, but it was popular around here that he was. Now, after 1 pre-season game, they back to calling him Brenda and undervalueing him.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 8, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Just reading nba notebook,AI(Grizzlies) out with partially torn hamstring to quote AI "i haven't worked out in five months" What?He said he was waiting to see where he landed, yeah right!

Posted by: dargregmag | October 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Now, after 1 pre-season game, they back to calling him Brenda and undervalueing him."

i just want Haywood to understand his value is in how he played 2 seasons ago, not the previous play that rubbed the "n" off his name

Posted by: divi3 | October 8, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Now, after 1 pre-season game, they back to calling him Brenda and undervalueing him."

i just want Haywood to understand his value is in how he played 2 seasons ago, not the previous play that rubbed the "n" off his name

Posted by: divi3 | October 8, 2009 11:32 AM

This being his contract year, I suspect that, once the real games start, you'll see the Haywood of 2 yrs. ago.

Posted by: rbpalmer | October 8, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

rbpalmer - I hope so.

Posted by: Blurred | October 8, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

G-Man11,

Sorry, I didn't watch the game cause it wasn't televised; what exactly did Haywood do or didn't do to warrant the criticism?

From the stats, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks. Not great, but ain't too bad either (especially the 3 blocks). He didn't shoot particularly well (2 for 5); but heck, Miller shot 1 for 7, and he is supposed to be the best shooter the team has for a long time!

I think we all need to ease up.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 8, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I think BTH will have a solid year. Its reasonable and understandable to see a dropoff from his career highs from 2 years ago, though I do not expect it to be a vast drop-off (especially in his walk year).

The best ways he can help the team are to stay out of foul trouble, stay healthy and make his free throws.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | October 8, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Making his FTs had a huge impact 2yrs ago, not because of the few pts a game it added, but because he was hitting them down the stretch in tight games when teams were fouling him. Having a big man who hits his FTs is a HUGE component to winning close contests.

Posted by: divi3 | October 8, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Blurred,

Appreciate the qualification and see where you are coming from.

However, in Brendan's case too many think the grass is greener on the other side.

Too replace him, as you indicate, who would that be, might also indicate that the grass is not greener at all.

Though, if the upside for McGee turns out to be every bit as good as some indicate, then keeping all three, BTH, JM, and FO, would make the center position one of the strongest links on the Team.

You see I am one to believe that BTH would be able to play with JM, if JM demands more minutes based on his growth and development.

Brendan would accept a true center that deserves playing time along with himself.

The true Brendan I believe is about winning and he knew that losing minutes to Etan Thomas was not about winning. Thus, his attitude.

A lot of you do not know that Brendan was not the primary starter at Carolina all 4-yrs. However, he accepted his role because he knew that the guy ahead of him deserved the time.

I cannot think of any Team in the League that in a year of two that would be more formidiable at the Center postion than us, if JM & FO prove out and Brendan is also better.

LarryInClintonMD.

By the way, GMan11 I Hear Ya' Loud and Clear.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 8, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I like this Morning Buzz feature. Seems like smart newspapering to me.

Posted by: WilliamCarr | October 8, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Is the BTH doubting based on one game? I guess so. I, for one, still think he's top 5 in the East at his position based on his overall ability and effect on the game. That doesnt say much for East centers perhaps but hey...


Just for kicks, here's the Eastern conference all star voting results from last year for the C position. If you exclude guys who are really PF's (Sheed, Horford), there are only a few guys I'd rather have on this Wiz team. Bear in mind that we only need defense, rebounding and the occasional dunk whenever they're close to the rim from our C.

Player Votes
Dwight Howard (Orl) 3,150,181
Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 621,709
Rasheed Wallace (Det) 402,991
Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 396,119
Andrew Bogut (Mil) 357,997
Jermaine ONeal (Tor) 342,723
Al Horford (Atl) 323,302
Brendan Haywood (Wash) 291,490
Ben Wallace (Clev) 263,862
Z.Ilgauskas (Cle) 219,697
Emeka Okafor (Char) 212,539


Actually, Howard and Oneal are the only slam dunks for me. Okafor is similar but not that much better statistically. Per 36 minutes, they are a lot closer than you'd think. Bogut plays no D. Kendrick Perkins is similar per 36 minutes, too.

For all that BTH isnt, there's a lot more that he is. We see what happens when he's the only one playing defense (DS, too). I expect him to be even more effective when he has help.

Posted by: original_mark | October 8, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

anyone have espn insider scouting report on arenas they could post on here

Posted by: jasonma1 | October 8, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

larry - you are a lot more optimistic about Haywood than I am. I can respect that, but disagree.

Where you see Haywood as being generous with the C minutes if it leads to a win, I see him as being a center who has never before been quite good enough for a coach to trust him with true starter minutes.

Also, it may be a piddling point, but Oberto is 36 right? So I doubt he will be around much after this year. Of course he will play as long as someone will pay him, so maybe he will be here, just not as a real contributor.

As to Mark's rankings, I would probably not take jermaine Oneal over Haywood right now. J Oneal was the foundation of many successful fantsy team for me over the past decade, but he's now had too many seasons with too many injuries.

None of these guys, past Howard are worth making the moves you'd have to do get them, but personally, I like Okafor.

I would say that comparing them by 36 min doesn't mean anything to me, because there is a reason that Haywood isn't playing 36 minutes. It is either that he is not good enough to do it or not physically able to do it.

I am sure Flip will give him a achance to show it...so maybe a new coach, new year, etc etc will be the touch he needed. I hope so. Just realistically doubtful.

Posted by: Blurred | October 8, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

sagaliba...the point was that I had earlier said that Haywood was pushed around by Marc Gasol and seemed out of position and made several really bonehead plays (taking jumpers, trying to lay it in instead of dunking, bad pass). He didn't drive and he didn't play with any force.

I am just saying that for often being the biggest guy on the court, you'd think he'd play a bit stronger. Instead he played like he is 6'8" and underweight. Which is how he played 85% of his career.

An 8 year vet of his size should be dominating the inside. he get's pushed around and is out of position,

Still, his size gets him a few put backs and some easy boards.

Maybe that's all we can expect and maybe thats good enough.

Doesn't seem to be much else out there better.

Posted by: Blurred | October 8, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Still, his size gets him a few put backs and some easy boards.

Maybe that's all we can expect and maybe thats good enough.

Doesn't seem to be much else out there better.

Posted by: Blurred | October 8, 2009 1:05 PM

That's all he needs to do.
There are enuff scorers. He needs to step it up on the D end.

He has shown some game in the past maybe a new coach & approach will bring some consistency. If he can dominate in the paint the sky's the limit for this team.
Remember it's 1 preseason game down & a whole bunch to go.

Posted by: VBFan | October 8, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Blurred,

I clearly follow how you are drawing your conclusions on Haywood. And, logically you are not incorrect at all.

But, reference whether he can log the minutes, I clearly see a player that could have certainly logged more mpg than EJ ever game him, even two years ago.

I question whether Haywoods lack of mpg was because he did not deserve them. If you look at all the options on this Team during Haywoods tenure, I would have put a lot more mpg in Haywood than EJ did.

I hope Flip is able to bump him up to the neighborhood of 30-35 mpg, but only if he earns and deserves them.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I didnt see the game either but the box reads that he more than held his own against Gasul...for whatever that's worth in the 1st preseason game

Posted by: divi3 | October 8, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@ blurred

u have been sayin the same shyt on here for 3 days now about Haywood. get a life

Posted by: prescrunk | October 8, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

its been 1 lmao preseason game

Posted by: prescrunk | October 8, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Blurred,

Since I didn't watch the game, I do not know the specific you mentioned.

Regarding Haywood's history, sure he is not very physical. But how many physical centers are there anyway? Do you rather have Eddie Curry or Dampier? Big Z is often being criticized as soft too, and he is even bigger than Haywood! I am also aware Haywood's other short comings, he is not athletic, does not have outside shots, and don't really has a post move. However, he generally plays pretty good smart, positional defense, and is a good shot blocker. That is why he is important for the success of this team.

In addition, I don't think it is fair to compare the stats of a player playing 20 minutes with someone who plays over 30 minutes. You cannot pin all the reasons that Haywood not playing enough minutes on him, it has to do with a coach's style and philosophy as well. Why don't we just wait to see if Dalembert's minutes will decrease under EG? The history has shown that when Haywood averaged more than 27 minutes, he did play better. So it is not groundless to argue that Haywood can play better if given more PT. Again, why don't we wait and see how Haywood performs under the new coach. And this time, if he doesn't play well, we can then conclude that it ain't because of the coach.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 8, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Haywood put up better numbers when he played more minutes, but so do most players. (And the numbers he put up in more minutes weren't all that special, really.) That doesn't automatically equate to playing better. Furthermore, more PT equating to improved quality of play is generally something associated with shooters/scorers, who often need to get a certain amount of time/number of shots to get into a rhythm and get a feel for the pace of the game. It shouldn't really be a factor for a big man whose primary job is defense and rebounding. You don't need to get into rhythm to box out under the boards or out-muscle someone for a rebound.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 8, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Haywood put up better numbers when he played more minutes, but so do most players. (And the numbers he put up in more minutes weren't all that special, really.) That doesn't automatically equate to playing better.
------------------------------------------

Isn't that the precise argument that you cannot directly compare the stats of a player playing 20 minutes with a player playing 30 minutes or more?

Most people here think Haywood played better in 07-08; the question is, did he play better because of more PT, or did he get more PT as the result of better ply.

You OTOH, seem to indicate that he didn't play "better," which not only throws out the first argument but also throws out the second argument.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 8, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders plans on starting DeShawn Stevenson at shooting guard tomorrow against the visiting Mavericks

http://twitter.com/sptswrtrjones

Posted by: prescrunk | October 8, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't that the precise argument that you cannot directly compare the stats of a player playing 20 minutes with a player playing 30 minutes or more?"

An argument that I've endorsed many, many times.

"Most people here think Haywood played better in 07-08; the question is, did he play better because of more PT, or did he get more PT as the result of better ply.

You OTOH, seem to indicate that he didn't play "better," which not only throws out the first argument but also throws out the second argument."

Nothing new there. I've been quite consistent in my points on the topic, which is that neither one of those "arguments" holds much water. Haywood's play wasn't really that much better in 07-08 than it had been before. It just looked better because he was putting up more (but still underwhelming) numbers than the previous couple of seasons. (By way of example: In 07-08 he averaged just under 28 mpg and put up 10 pts/7 reb. In 04-05 he averaged just over 27 mpg and put up 9 pts/7 reb.) And his getting more minutes had nothing to do with being rewarded for better play, and everything to do with the fact that, with Thomas hurt, there weren't any other options.


None of this is new stuff. Not so sure why you seem so confused by it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 8, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If Nick Young steps forward and becomes a member of the rotation this Wizard's team becomes terribly heavy at the 1, 2, and 3, positions.

Point: Arenas, Foye, Crittenton, and Stevenson can all play here before James sniffs the court.

Shooting Guard: Young, Stevenson, Foye, possibly Butler and Miller, will be looking for minutes, and Gil can take a turn here again before James gets a chance to dress.

Small forward: Butler, and Miller will eat the lion's share of the minutes. McGuire has proven he belongs in the NBA, and Blatche or possibly Jamison could get some minutes here.

Power Forward: Jamison is Mr. Reliable w/ Blatche the first man off the bench for the first time. Both have talent, neither is a big physical banger. Jamison is a tough mismatch for other teams to handle. As much as people here point out what he doesn't do, he outplays his man night after night.

Oberto and McGee could both see minutes here, but they're the backup tandom at center. McGuire could wind up playing a few odd minutes because the postion is thin and small forward is overloaded.

Center: Haywood(off a year's injury), Oberto(off heart surgery), McGee(loads of talent, but still a project). Blatche can swing over, but if he does that takes away the #1 backup at the 4, and without Songaila there's no one else behind Jamison unless Flip uses McGuire at the 4.

I in no way was comparing either Foster or Collison to Haywood, but in relative usefulness to the team either would be a huge step up from James, who will spend his time modeling suits.

If the goal is the Conference Finals, 34 years of watching this team and the NBA tells me this team is thin up front. I've got to think Grunfeld sees it too.

Question is, does he have the money available next summer to resign his other pcs. if he brings in a guy with a two year deal for James?
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 8, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Do you think LJ will have a chance to win shampionship?
he might but he need to defend the best player of the opponent team, not Alston!

Posted by: gtefferra | October 8, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

None of this is new stuff. Not so sure why you seem so confused by it.

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

I think you are confusing yourself (nothing new here).

Just a few posts back, you said Haywood in his "best season(s)" is about average, and is below average overall. And now you said Haywood in 04-05 and 07-08 are no better than other seasons; so how come you gave him a different rating in his "best season" than "overall?"

Posted by: sagaliba | October 8, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Of course by "a few posts back" you mean several days (possibly weeks) ago. Because I see nothing like that here (which means that you either committed something I said days ago to memory or went searching through the back threads looking for a gotcha. Either way . . . get a freakin' hobby.)

I'm sure you'll understand if I don't take your word for something I supposedly said several days and threads ago. Normally I'd tell you to post complete quotes of what I said (with date and time) along with links to the actual threads, before even considering responding to this nonsense. But this one is so easy, I'll give you a pass, because the answer to this BS is right here above us.

What I actually said (in this thread, today, easily accessible for reference) was:

"Haywood's play wasn't really that much better in 07-08 than it had been before."
Posted by: kalo_rama | October 8, 2009 2:43 PM

Read the whole thing, slowly. "Not that much better" implies that it was better, just not by a whole lot (certainly not as much as the BTH sack hangers society would have us believe). Thus, if he's below average overall, and his best year is a little better than that, then his best year is either (A) still below average just not as far below, (B) about average, (C) possibly a little above average, but not by much. It all depends on how far below average he was to begin with and how much better his best year is. Quite honestly, I haven't given it enough thought to make such fine distinctions because I really don't give a crap. But the point is, your rather silly attempt to pull a "gotcha" failed, because nothing I said in this thread is the least bit inconsistent with whatever the hell it is you claim I said in the other one.

He's generally below average and when he's at his best he just enough better to skirt the edges of average.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 8, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

sagaliba...the point was that I had earlier said that Haywood was pushed around by Marc Gasol and seemed out of position and made several really bonehead plays (taking jumpers, trying to lay it in instead of dunking, bad pass). He didn't drive and he didn't play with any force.

I am just saying that for often being the biggest guy on the court, you'd think he'd play a bit stronger. Instead he played like he is 6'8" and underweight. Which is how he played 85% of his career.

An 8 year vet of his size should be dominating the inside. he get's pushed around and is out of position,

Still, his size gets him a few put backs and some easy boards.

Maybe that's all we can expect and maybe thats good enough.

Doesn't seem to be much else out there better.

Posted by: Blurred | October 8, 2009 1:05 PM
_____

What? One preseason game dude. They are all getting their feet wet with the new rotations/assignments etc.... Hence, I'm sure a lot of them were out of position at times. Relax chicken little.

Haywood statistically may be average, slightly below average, or slightly above average blah blah blah. Those that actually watch the game know that his value to this team is fairly high however you want to quantify it.

Similar to last thread were someone was implying that McGee's rookie numbers were better than Oberto's atats and, therefore, should get his mins. There are a lot of qualities that stats alone don't quantify.

Experience
Leadership
Positioning
Basketball IQ
Knowing the sets
Help defense
Tricks of the trade
Physical presence

etc etc etc

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 8, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,

I am surprised that cannot remember your own writings beyond several days. No I didn't "search through" the tread, but I do have a better memory than you do. (I also don't have as much time as you to spend on this blog, so many times, I just read without responding.)

Regardless, since "not much better" can still be "better," then I really don't understand what was your point. I didn't say he was "much better" in those seasons, did I? Have too much time on your hand? Take your own advice, "get a freakin' hobby!"

Posted by: sagaliba | October 9, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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