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Morning Buzz

In this morning's newspaper, Michael Lee looks at how long-time Wizard Brendan Haywood is eager to make up for lost time.

*The Washington Times' Mike Jones also focused on Haywood, specifically his value to the team's defense.

*Yesterday afternoon, Truth About It opined on Mike Miller's playmaker role and posted a video of Antawn Jamison practicing yoga.

*This morning, Bullets Forever's JakeTheSnake says it's too early for Flip to benching players. [Updated Oct. 10, 10:30 a.m.]

*And as you prepare for tonight's preseason game against the Mavs, check out Dirk Nowitzki's flowing locks.

Elsewhere in the league:

* USA Today notes that the replacement refs are whistle-happy, and Ball Don't Lie cites a glaring example.

* The Knicks' Al Harrington makes a bold prediction (via FanHouse).

By Alexa Steele  |  October 9, 2009; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Buzz  
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Next: Mavericks (0-1) at Wizards (1-0)

Comments

I'm excited about tonight's game to see if Flip utilizes Brendan differently than Eddie Jordan did during his tenure. Brendan is not a scorer but it sounds like he'll be getting a lot of dunks/layups in this offense. If Brendan gets his share of offensive rebounds and putbacks, I'll be happy. IMHO, it's undeniable that the Wiz's defense had more structure at the end of the season with Brendan in the lineup, especially against Cleveland. If he could just teach JaVale some of the tricks-o-the-trade I'd feel more comfortable about our frontcourt depth. Step up, Mr. McGee!

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I assume JaVale is getting some big man's coaching from somewhere, but it is not being reported or I have not seen it.

He should have been getting this since day one in my humble opinion either through his own initiative (by going to a big man's camp) and/or from the team.

Posted by: cannontl | October 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Haywood will have a career year.

Remember Cinderella Man when Russell Crowe who played James Braddock hurt his hand and was forced to use is other hand. As a result he came back a more balanced and better boxer.

Haywood has always had average to bad hands, but I feel that the injury forced him to use his other hand and as a result he'll come back a more balanced and better b-ball player. Not saying he'll become Wilt, but he'll be a better rebounder and score more pts. Last year, when he played a handful of games he definitely looked better.

Posted by: tedunni1 | October 9, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Haywood has always had average to bad hands, but I feel that the injury forced him to use his other hand and as a result he'll come back a more balanced and better b-ball player. Not saying he'll become Wilt, but he'll be a better rebounder and score more pts. Last year, when he played a handful of games he definitely looked better.Posted by: tedunni1"

Seems overly optimistic to me. Brendan's a known quantity -- I don't see how we can expect him to change much at this point in his career. He's still a really big guy who can match up with most NBA centers but is plagued by inconsistency. The brief appearance last year showed how much he means on defense to Jamison and some of the other Wiz, but not much else. I'm satisfied with that.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Rebounds, blocks and putbacks are what we need from BH. And better than 60% FT shooting.

If he can do that and avoid taking jumpers from 14 ft and avoid putting the ball on the floor, he will be fine for the role we need in a starting center, even if he plays smaller and weaker than he is.

Posted by: Blurred | October 9, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Samson, I am in agreement.

I would not be disappointed at all if Haywoods numbers were not career highs.

He makes more of an impact on defense in terms of altering shots, forcing kickouts and blocking shots.

Having BTH back in the middle will help out Jamison the most, who was consistently crushed last season on that end of the court due to the lack of a strong defender coming over from help side.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | October 9, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Brendan's a known quantity -- I don't see how we can expect him to change much at this point in his career. He's still a really big guy who can match up with most NBA centers but is plagued by inconsistency. The brief appearance last year showed how much he means on defense to Jamison and some of the other Wiz, but not much else. I'm satisfied with that.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2009 10:14 AM

True, he is a known quantity, but I think we are going to see a lot more of what Brendan can actually do.

Some time ago, I addressed the issue of an big man coach, but didn't get much response.

I said, in response to all the sabre rattling for a big man coach that we may already have our big man coach in Flip Saunders himself.

We know that Flip did a pretty good job with the big guy manning the center position in Boston now.

You know, it might not be necessary that the big man coach has to be an established big guy that played in the NBA.

That being said, McGee and Haywood, might be true surprises this year and, lest we forget, Mr. Blatch.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

You may be right, Larry, but I would still like to see a report on it. I think there is enough interest that Michael Lee could devote an article or part of an article to it (or a blog).

It is just that McGee seemed so lost last year and maybe that's par for the course for rookies. But the sooner he develops the better for the Wiz.

Posted by: cannontl | October 9, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

BH isn't gonna be a dominant go to center ever. But he will command a lot of attention from other teams next year if he just plays his normal game this year. If he breaks out and can average 30min/game and 12-15 pts the Wizzies won't be able to afford to sign him.

Posted by: VBFan | October 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The biggest mistake we made was getting rid of Etan Thomas, who always gave it his all off the bench and provided the spark for Haywood to get better.

Posted by: Matt3046 | October 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess I don't have a problem with Brendan taking the wide open 15-footer but I do have a problem with his pounding the ball and taking that contested, fade-away jumper. If the first one he shoots just happens to go in, rest assured that he'll take more. It appears to me that Brendan has to stop worrying about getting his shot blocked so much and start relying on his footwork to force his defender to foul him. Brendan has nice post moves but he lacked confidence in finishing the play at the basket in the past. I think we're all okay with a contested layup/dunk or jump hook.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 9, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

With DS in the starting line-up, their starters look stronger than ours.

And this team has jason terry, josh howard, and drew gooden on the bench.

But the real objectives for the game should be 1) testing rotations, 2) getting the cobwebs out and 3) no injuries.

Hopefully nobody kills themselves trying to win.

Posted by: Izman | October 9, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

what is everyone going to be looking for tonight? Here's what I'll be wathcing
1. Arenas: can he still get where he wants, and what is his focus for the night (scoring vs. distributing)
2. Nick Young: shot selection, and defense
3. Stevenson: quickness
4. Inside presence of BH, AB, AJ.
5. Mike Miller: how does he fit in
6. Foye: what is he going to bring

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 9, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I'll be looking at -
Arenas: movement on defense, unselfishness, feeding the guy who gets hot (assuming it's not himself), leadership
McGee: Defensive awareness/positioning, not giving up those maddening back-door cuts
Foye: comfortable at backup PG or is he really just a short 2-guard?
Jamison: Defense
Blatche: Intensity, playing under control
McGuire: Can he really hit the mid-range jumper?

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The biggest mistake we made was getting rid of Etan Thomas,...

Matt3046, Oh Really. Thats a joke right. Etan inspired Haywood. Hmmm. Etan inspired Haywood to fistacuffs.

How could it be a mistake to get rid of a guy that is really a weak power forward, that plays out of position at center, and he couldn't guard anybody, somebody, or nobody.

It was like grand central station when he came in the game.

And just because he hustled all over the floor, swinging elbows, and looked mean and tough, does not mean he was effective.

And in fact, he was not effective.

Trading Thomas, Songaila, Pech, and the 5th pick, for Miller and Foye, might be one of the best NBA moves period this offseason.

How could you turn that into being a big mistake for the Wizards.

Wow!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

You know, it might not be necessary that the big man coach has to be an established big guy that played in the NBA.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2009 10:54 AM

Case in point: Pete Newell, from what I can tell, an average-sized guy, who never played in the NBA, yet established a well-known camp for big men. Just because the Wizards don't have a former NBA center on their coaching staff doesn't mean that the team's big men aren't receiving specialized instruction.

Posted by: rbpalmer | October 9, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll be looking at -

McGee: Defensive awareness/positioning, not giving up those maddening back-door cuts

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 9, 2009 12:39 PM

What I'll be looking for from McGee will be consistancy of intensity and effort. There were long stretches during games last year when he just disappeared. Pretty hard to do for a player of his size and talent.

Posted by: rbpalmer | October 9, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'll be looking at -
Gilbert's game
Javale's position on O & D
Miller, Oberto & Foye how they fit in.
Blatche not forcing anything on O
Young's playing off the ball.
Brendan helping out on D
McGuire's jumper.
Flip in the huddle

Posted by: VBFan | October 9, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll be looking at ...

The Wizards Dancers.

Posted by: original_mark | October 9, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

i'll be looking at the Cash getting another DNP-CD while Heavy D stacks double dubs is SA

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 9, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I guess I don't have a problem with Brendan taking the wide open 15-footer but I do have a problem with his pounding the ball and taking that contested, fade-away jumper."
Posted by: Firuz1 | October 9, 2009 12:16 PM

Agreed. If he gets the ball in position where he can put it up without having to take a dribble, then at least he has a chance of scoring. But whenever he tries to create offensive opportunities, bad things tend to happen. He doesn't have the lateral movement/coordination or ball skills to manufacture shots out of nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 9, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: original_mark | October 9, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I think you all willbe surprised at how well Foye and Miller fit in...and also how well they really know the game of basketball. Miller has great court sense. Foye almost as good.

If Miller can get his shots dropping, he will be a tremendous immediate help. Foye already gives us twice the flexibility a healthy Critt did and with Crit hurt is even more important.

Have fun watching the game tonight. Hopefully they will be doing a 2 am rebroadcast so I can catch it.

Posted by: Blurred | October 9, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to watch is who gets a DNP-CD

Posted by: VBFan | October 9, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

lmao...sorry, but you guys sound like twits talking about what you'll be looking for in tonight's game. How about just watch and the comment after the game?

Go Wiz!

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 9, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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