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The 'Overlooked' Jamison & Flip's Rotation

RICHMOND -- In my story today, I wrote about how Antawn Jamison could be invaluable to the Wizards since the team lacks a proven and reliable backup at power forward. Ernie Grunfeld brought in veterans to support Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas when he added Mike Miller and Randy Foye. But the Wizards are hopeful that Andray Blatche can finally turn the corner and be more consistent.

Jamison is eager to have some success and contribute to a team that does more than win 40 games and reach the playoffs. He has only been on one team that advanced beyond the first round in any of his 11 seasons. And, when the Wizards played Miami in the second round in 2005, Jamison was hampered by a sore right knee.

Jamison has reached two all-star appearances in Washington, but once some fans stopped pushing for him to get traded, a few more thought he should come off the bench. Much of the talk this offseason has been centered around the new coach, the new players, the return of Gilbert Arenas and the development of the young guys. The presence of former all-stars Jamison and Butler was often taken for granted. I asked Butler if he understood why Jamison is sometimes overlooked or unappreciated.

"That's just what happens some times," Butler said. "I think because you have a flashy [player], I mean Gilbert has scored 60. I mean that just takes it to a whole 'nother level. You score 60, he's controversial at times, really flashy, does things outside the norm, so he gets a lot of the attention. But some of the guys that go under the radar, just get it done night in and night out, not always in the limelight, but just get it done and are true professionals on and off the court, sometimes those guys go overlooked. Antawn and myself, being those type of guys, sometimes what we do gets overlooked. People don't miss guys like us until we're gone."

He continued: "You know what Antawn is going to bring night in and night out. He's just a great person. I've been on a couple of teams in this league and I know he'll be a friend after basketball, that says a lot. Somebody like Antawn, I can call him through anything."

Coach Flip Saunders said he would try to reduce the minutes for Jamison and Butler, who averaged 38.2 and 38.6 minutes per game respectively, last season. Saunders said that is possible with a deep team, with players who can swing between multiple positions. He has tinkered with several different lineups this week in Richmond, using a big lineup that featured Jamison, Blatche, Haywood, Miller and Arenas; playing Arenas off the ball; Butler at shooting guard and even Nick Young at small forward.

Saunders offered a glimpse into his rotation during the Sunday scrimmage as 11 players --- Jamison, Butler, Arenas, Brendan Haywood, Mike Miller, Randy Foye, Andray Blatche, Young, Dominic McGuire, Mike James and DeShawn Stevenson --- saw the bulk of the minutes. Javaris Crittenton and Fabricio Oberto were out with injuries, but JaVale McGee spent a good portion seated on the scorer's table. I spoke with one observer who noted that McGee looked lost.

Saunders reiterated that eight players will get the bulk of the minutes, but he will use at least 10 players regularly. "You have a core of eight or nine guys, but over a game, nine and 10 are going to play," Saunders said. "They're just going to be more spot-type of guys that play 10 minuets. Not playing major, major minutes. So I told our guys I don't want our guys to think only eight guys are playing. The more guys that are capable of playing, when they go on the floor, if they play well, then they'll stay on the floor. So, we're pretty open along those lines."

You can check out Wizards' practice live on NBA.com at 10:30 a.m.

By Michael Lee  |  October 5, 2009; 9:45 AM ET
 
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Next: Day 7, Final Rundown & Miller's Shoes

Comments

The big guys take a couple of years to figure it all out.

Blatche is ready to show some improvement.

McGee needs some time on and off the court to improve. Maybe he should do a stint in the D league.

The Wiz are in good shape with McGee and Blatche taking over for Haywood and Jamison in a few years.

This year, the team has no real weakness. Let's see what rotations play best together.

Posted by: Izman | October 5, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Good players like Jamison go under the radar, or are underappreciated by Fans/Pundits who do not really understand what good basketball is.

Godd players like Jamison never go under the radar of Fans/Pundits who know what good basketball is.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 5, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Jamison is a solid guy but his defense is not good. He really needs to focus on playing positional defense and sliding his feet versus swiping at the ball. This is how he always picks up those petty fouls that he whines about when he gets tooted by the refs.

Posted by: KingAsphodel | October 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Good not Godd. Gosh Gee.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 5, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Please ban DC_MAN88 from this site permanently for the following post (among others) . . . . .

Maybe it's the cum in your stomach that's giving you a belly ache.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 10:02 PM

Posted by: ljack666 | October 5, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

JAMISON wore down quite a bit offensively late last season. He's wasn't as effective as seasons past when teams couldn't concentrate on taking away his game. Last year they could and did. He's a finess player with little to bring to the defensive end. That said, if the rest of the team's players were excellent defensively, ANTAWN would grade out a "C+" instead of a "D-" when he and SONGAILA were the only two trying to do something on the "D" end of the court.

BUTLER disappointed me last season. He just appeared to go through the motions at times. He was his old self at other times of course. Overall, I suppose he had a good season, but not one of his best IMO.

I would put splinters in MIKE JAMES' azz. Too much, me,me,me. I suppose FOYE and MILLER were brought in to light a fire under YOUNG and see that JAMES sits. That means CRITTENTON and DIXON look to be the odd-men out. O.K. by me as far as DIXON goes, but I hate seeing CRITTENTON injured, and obviously being shoved out the door. I think if he stuck with a team for some time he could develop into a fine NBA PG.

I know last year was tough on all of them, but you've got to suck it up, and take what you're given when you're on the court. God knows, you're well paid to perform as a professional. From this fan's perspective, human's got nothing to do with it. You have to learn to leave personal on the side-line when you're on the court.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 5, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Just checked out the poll results. HAYWOOD in a landslide to this point. At least the WIZ fans know what's up. Let's go WIZARDS....

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 5, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Mike talks about Jamison. I get tired of people talking about the same thing defense. Defense is a team effort one man doesn't give up 100pts a game, the team does. Jamison lacks in certain areas but his hard work on the boards and scoring makes up for it well enough.

There are top quality players who do not play well enough defense but given a pass, like LeBron. He struggled against Paul Pierce in the playoffs but is given a pass for his great performance in other areas. Carmelo doesn't play defense at all but is looked upon as a great player. Not saying Jamison is better than LeBron but people need to understand how important and valuable Jamison is on the team AS A STARTING FORWARD!!

Posted by: rcnasa | October 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

All the apologist for Antawan Jamison,
I think people hype him up because he doesn't represent everything people hate abou the young culture.
He is a decent player! He was pretty much the "Star Player" last year and you see what that produced. Its not just the problems on defense. He jacks, shots (sometime as soon as he touches the ball) and gets a pass for that. Sometimes the stats can be misleading. It's not how much you get but when you get it.(rebounds, and points)
Look, I root for the Wiz just as much as anyone and I like Jamison, but I know some become defensive of him because he is nice, but keep it real. In the past the Wizards get dominated by teams with players that are aggressive and athletically superior.

Posted by: millineumman | October 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse


McGee will have a role on this team. He's very popular with his dunks but he needs to improve more in boxing out, footwork and other areas. I'm sure if he is determined to improve his game we'll see a lot of McGee in regular season....otherwise say hello to Oberto..lol.

On a side note, I want to see Mike Miller come off the bench. The Wiz always lacked an explosive scorer off the bench maybe Mike can fill that void. Let Stevenson and Young battle for the starting 2 spot.

Posted by: rcnasa | October 5, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Jeeze guys, come off the no defense crap regarding Jamison. NONE of them, I repeat, basically, NONE of them played defense. Wait until the season is underway, before you start yapping about he doesn't play defense. This man (Jamison) has brought it! Every game! All of the rest of the NBA world sees his value but not the posters here. I don't post here or read the posts much anymore because it is ALWAYS so negative. The Wizards sight is much better fan friendly blog. Go Jamison, I know your value and I can't wait to see you shut these yappers up!

Posted by: ivyleague | October 5, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't care what the Jamison haters think but I do agree that he can't defend, but he is good for 20 and 10, or more consistently so those big, tall, strong, DEFENSIVE power forwards are having problems stopping him too. He would start for everybody in the east except Boston and Toronto. The thing about it is, if washington had those teams power forwards starting, these same people would be complaining. Cleveland has a flopper starting at power forward. I guess people would rather have him then Jamison. Rasheed too. A big ass headache and total opposite of Jamison. But you know, as big as Rasheed is, I don't call him physical. KG either. Are they better defenders? They are better shotblockers. Rasheed is not the rebounder though. KG is.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 5, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse


millineumman,

I'm not sure what your point is. Caron, and Gil takes bad shot also. Yes Jamison is a nice guy and so are some of the other players on the team. Sure numbers are deceptive but how in the league puts up incredible numbers like Jamison and is not considered a good player or all-star? I think your the one many anti-Jamison supporters Mike talks about; overly critical. You cannot name a Wizards Power Forward in the last 20yrs who has been to 2 all-stars games. Since Jamison's arrival Haywood game has improved (okay maybe that's not saying a lot but it has)

No offense, but people like you will not appreciate Jamison's effect on the team until he retries or his traded which is the sad part.

Posted by: rcnasa | October 5, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Jamison is certainly consistent with his stats and a good locker room guy and IMO a great defensive rebounder. Outside of his sometimes ill advised 3 pointers, his unorthodox way of scoring within the flow of the came is really rare. He just floats it in from all angles without needing to dribble. Very unique.

But.... his lack of lateral quickness is such a killer on a team that has had defensive problems for as long as I can remember.

There are a lot of top scorers in the league who can't play D but I think Jamison's weakness on D stands out and has more impact on the game because of the lack of help defense around him. If the other 4 guys on the court could compensate it wouldn't be as much of an issue. But that's asking a lot.

Posted by: rock77music | October 5, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Mcgee looking lost is not a good thing. But Mike, you gotta give us a level of lost. Is he lost but close to getting it? Or is he just Jim Zorn lost (lol. cheap shot at the skins!).

Posted by: CBell29 | October 5, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Jamison is certainly consistent with his stats and a good locker room guy and IMO a great defensive rebounder.
Posted by: rock77music | October 5, 2009 11:12 AM

I think Jamison is a better offensive rebounder than a defensive one. Keep in mind you are supposed to get the defensive ones.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If Haywood plays tough enough to deserve to have the "n" at the end of his first name, the Zards can do well this year. A few years ago, he did not; more recently, when healthy, he did. I'm optimistic. What we saw last year was just how much Haywood means to this teams "defense." I think it will help his attitude to be the only power center on the team and not having to keep wondering if he would be the starter, or if he'd ever get back in the game once he took a rest, as was the case before. With him back and Saunders giving them some defensive structure and emphasis, who knows.

I'm always far too optimistic and tend to have my hopes dashed by the Zards as often as Charlie Brown hoping Lucy won't snatch the football away again, so I'm trying not to get carried away. But, that said, they are going to start the season with 4 of their top 6 players (in minutes) ones who weren't here last year. If their stars stay healthy (a big if), they could make some noise in the NBA this year. I think a top-4 seed in the East isn't out of the question at all. If Saunders and Haywood can get them playing average defense (hey a guy can dream), they could do better than that, as few teams in the NBA will have more ability to score than they.

Posted by: dolph924 | October 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Watching some of the practice.
Good look on the NBA.com tip.

Posted by: millineumman | October 5, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

nick young is droppin buckets in practice

Posted by: jasonma1 | October 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I wish people would stop thinking that "athletically superior" automatically wins a championship.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 5, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

rcnasa"
you really think I was "OVERLY CRITICAL"?
I'm sorry but I think that's the truth. Besides, your point about Gil and Caron, I see a lot of Gil bashing everywhere, includeing this blog. Not Caron as much.
So I will try to repeat my point for you,
Antawan Jamison is decent player,but i would not oppose trying to upgrade the position.

Posted by: millineumman | October 5, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise me that McGee is lost. People are infatuated with his leaping ability, but it was abundantly clear last year that he had no clue how to play basketball. He's more suited for And1 tourneys than playing in the NBA. As Mike Lee wrote, Oberto will be Haywood's primary backup if the opposing center poses a bad match-up for Blatche.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Millineumman,

How would you propose upgrading the power forward position? Jamison was recently listed as the 6th best PF of the decade. I believe that the 5 individuals ahead of him are unavailable.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/The-top-10-power-forwards-of-the-last-decade;_ylt=AjKRMyGNZ8cpqzSyVrMl5iQ4PKB4?urn=nba,193073

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise me that McGee is lost. People are infatuated with his leaping ability, but it was abundantly clear last year that he had no clue how to play basketball. He's more suited for And1 tourneys than playing in the NBA.
Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 5, 2009 12:12 PM


So Zardsfan1, do you think we should release McGee and let him persue a career as an And1 player or do you think he has a future in this league?

Posted by: zxhoya | October 5, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunbders is wining the votes at NBA.com as the new head coach who "will have the biggest impact on his team this season."

Posted by: sagaliba | October 5, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Please ban DC_MAN88 from this site permanently for the following post (among others) . . . . .


Maybe it's the cum in your stomach that's giving you a belly ache.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 10:02 PM

Posted by: ljack666 | October 5, 2009 10:17 AM


I AGREE WITH LJACK666.. My kids sometimes read this blog...they don't need to see this type of stuff.

Posted by: car_path_ian | October 5, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

That statement by DC_MAN is classless even for him! Maybe he'll apalogize for that one?

Posted by: zxhoya | October 5, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Jamison is a weakness on defense but he's not a soft player and he does crash the boards hard night in and night out. He's also one of the few vocal team leaders the team has. Watch the bench during time-outs; Jamison is one of the few veterans who will hold teamates accountable. We're essentially a run-and-gun team so a PF that steps out and hits the three on occasion works. I agree that Caron's defense last year was weak, he didn't give it 100% every night, and he tried to make up for with steals. Glad everyone seems to be getting it this year.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 5, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

...glad to hear scar-face has got the fire back in his belly. This was noticably absent from his game the past 2 years.

...also with glut of front court players, maybe Miller may even slide over to back up AJ at the 2 on occasion.


,,as for McGee, sounds like his momma needs to take him to the rack. EG maybe looking for another big man sooner rather than later.

Posted by: oddjob1 | October 5, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ban, please.
It's unacceptable and long overdue. This blog should be viewed as an extension of the paper and standard rules of newspaper protocol should apply as they do to Post writers.

There's no point in having us register and log in if we can put anything out there. We may as well be anonymous.

Posted by: original_mark | October 5, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I originally had McGee in my 8-9 man rotation but it sounds like he's just not ready for primetime. I dont know if he can even have a 5 minute spurt impact. Birdman, he's not.
This is what happens when you draft young. We may have to just wait and give him time to mature...physically and emotionally. Just make sure you dont give up on him. I can see him really being a force whenever he finally 'gets it'.

Posted by: original_mark | October 5, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

In a non-obvious way McGee reminds me of Chris Webber when he was very young. He was so athletic he hadn't bothered to learn how to play under control. He actually got better as he aged, his body started to go on him (I don't mean the last few years when he could barely run down the court) and calmed down a little bit.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice post dolph924. My thoughts line up fairly well with yours on the subject of Brendan, Saunders and Charlie Brown.

I think Saunders pegged it in asking McGee to mirror the Birdman. If he can give the Wiz 5-7 minutes and have an impact on the game at the defensive end -- that would be huge. McGee's upside is years away, but Saunders has asked him for something he can accomplish in months. I'm impressed with Saunders thus far.

It was also good to see AJ in Vegas pushing number 7 to improve. When AB compared his stat line to AJ's 20-10, and AJ pointed out the 5 fouls, it was a golden moment. With BH back on the floor I think AJ's defense will return to average at best, but average can be good enough to win.

One thing this group should be able to do that we have not seen here in awhile on the offense end is having the bigs attacking the rim. Webber and Howard would man the same side high and low post and get a lay-up or dunk out of a quick entry pass. With the shooters and wing players we have, our bigs are athletic enough to execute this play. It makes for a good highlight reel and really taxes a defense with the high percentage opportunity. BH may not have the quickness, but the others could excel at it. I think it's a good play to take advantage of the Cavs who have size but less quickness than BH.

Posted by: EWE1 | October 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Sexual taunts, threats and insults have no place here. I don't want anybody's kid reading this garbage.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | October 5, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Jamison is a better offensive rebounder than a defensive one. Keep in mind you are supposed to get the defensive ones.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 5, 2009 11:41 AM


Jamison does get nifty fast put-backs on the offensive glass, he's got the super quick release. But....... I stand by what I wrote, I think he's a great defensive rebounder (not offensive), he gets a lot of the rebounds that the wizards 'should get' on the defensive end, but often when we really need them too!

I don't think of him as the down and dirty great positioning, sky over everyone, hard-nosed guy on the offensive glass, he's more of finesse dude. But he is the guy who at the end of the game when the opposing team misses a shot, Jamison often jumps up and secures the key rebound.

In looking at his stats, he was 10th in the league last year in defensive rebounding and 23rd in offensive rebounding. 23rd is pretty darn good, but comparatively, he is a better defensive rebounder.

Posted by: rock77music | October 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

jweber, I don't remember Webber when he was a rook, but I do remember Kwame, and McGee reminds me a little bit of him in the sense that he has deer in the headlights look.

Zxhoya, certainly athleticism is an indispensible trait in just about every great NBA player. For this reason, we can all hope that McGee develops some rudimentary offensive moves and a feel for defensive positioning. However, to expect McGee to have a meaningful impact on this season would be a mistake, in my opinion. Of course, I would love to be proven wrong.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

just because people on here very accurately describe jamison's defense as awful doesn't mean we're all hating, the man is a flat out awful defender, he does plenty of things well but is always out of position because he's a gunning tweener that has to play the bigger, stronger fours because a small forward could crawl around him to the basket, jamison is not a good candidate to battle someone for a rebound but is an intelligent player and gets where he needs to be to box out and for some reason maybe because he doesn't jump very high he can get off his feet very quickly, pogo stick style. As a power forward it's disheartening to never see a blocked shot and very few challenges near the rim, taking 18 shots means you will score points and playing 40 mins as a pf means you will garner some rebounds, either way jamison will get help this season, haywood, oberto and maybe even blatche if he plays some 4 will be able to mitigate some of the layups jamison surrendered last year with song and blatche both playing out of position to try and protect the middle. Jamison also never passes, black hole for possessions if you give it to him he'll shoot it no matter how many guys are hovering around him forcing off-balance, one-handed, contested runners(which for whatever reason he's pretty good at but it still enormously frustrating to see over and over).

Posted by: bford1kb | October 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"he'll shoot it no matter how many guys are hovering around him forcing off-balance, one-handed, contested runners(which for whatever reason he's pretty good at but it still enormously frustrating to see over and over)."

funny, i actually really enjoy watching all the whirling dervish, from the hip, junk stuff he throws up with great result. There's not another player in the NBA who can make those shots consistently and it's definitely legit

Posted by: divi3 | October 5, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

this might seem petty but these phonetic quotes that the news media tries to print/reproduce are simply ignorant. Caron is not an ignorant guy so don't print the slang version of his words. if he meant to said notha' print another. That was mighty white of you Mike.

Posted by: oknow1 | October 5, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Lauding Jamison for his strengths and telling the truth that he is not a good defender is not hating on Jamison. It just is.

Someone stated that LeBron and Carmelo were not good defenders either, yet consider great players. Ummm...did you watch any games last year? Especially the playoffs. Carmelo played out of his mind defensively in the playoffs especially against Kobe and LeBron is definitely above average these days. They are not all-nba defenders yet although they may be one day, but they are light years better than Jamison.

Finally, I don't get what you expect out of McGee. Some people have him as a major contributor this year and it's simply not going to happen. He would have barely seen playing time last year if not for injuries etc.... The dude is raw and years away from helping this team. I just hope his basketball IQ is good enough that he can eventually get there. Being a freak athlete does not make you an automatic NBA star, starter, or otherwise.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 6, 2009 5:02 AM | Report abuse

this might seem petty but these phonetic quotes that the news media tries to print/reproduce are simply ignorant. Caron is not an ignorant guy so don't print the slang version of his words. if he meant to said notha' print another. That was mighty white of you Mike.

Posted by: oknow1 | October 5, 2009 6:18 PM
____

What? A reporter is supposed to fix an athletes poor use of English? Give me a break. A quote is a quote not a spell check or grammar correction.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 6, 2009 5:05 AM | Report abuse

"he'll shoot it no matter how many guys are hovering around him forcing off-balance, one-handed, contested runners(which for whatever reason he's pretty good at but it still enormously frustrating to see over and over)."

As long as he makes the shot, who gives a rat's ass what it looks like?

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 6, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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