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His name is Earl

When training camp began, the concern was what the Wizards were going to do with so many guards. They had a logjam and the battle for minutes was going to be so intense, blah blah blah. I guess we should've known that those problems would be handled the Wizards Way -- through some unfortunate injuries.

First, Javaris Crittenton went down, then Mike Miller, then Mike James, then Randy Foye, leaving the Wizards with just Gilbert Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson and Nick Young to play in the backcourt. And with the way Young has been playing lately, that really left them with just Arenas and Stevenson. With Crittenton, James and Foye sidelined, the Wizards really had to look for some options at point guard --- especially since there is absolutely no need to wear down Arenas this early in the season.

Arenas has played more minutes than anyone else on the Wizards this season (295), which is crazy when you consider that he has hardly played the past two seasons. He's averaging 36.9 minutes per game, which doesn't sound like much, but his second half finishes against Phoenix and Miami -- in which he shot a combined 4 of 20 with 12 turnovers -- was evidence that a move had to be made. Paul Davis was the one who got cut --- and no, it had nothing to do with him losing one-on-one games against assistant Sam Cassell.

So, say hello to little Earl Boykins, who has career averages of 9.4 points and 3.4 assists. He is no stranger to backing up Arenas, having played with him and Antawn Jamison at Golden State in 2002-03 (when Arenas won the most improved award). He's also played with New Jersey, his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Milwaukee and Charlotte.

For a franchise that already had Muggsy Bogues, the 5-foot-5 Boykins should become an immediate hit if he can be that explosive, offensive jitterbug that he's been for most of his career. Boykins is back in the NBA after spending last season playing for Virtus Bologna of the Italian A League, which possibly worked out in his favor. Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld was actually in Italy last summer scouting Brandon Jennings when Jennings' team was facing Virtus Bologna. Apparently, he still has something left.

"Earl is a proven veteran point guard who will provide us with leadership and stability off of the bench," said Grunfeld in a statement.

Today was a pretty rough day for me with travel problems and even more traumatic computer problems. I wish I could've gotten you guys the news about Boykins as soon as I found out, but sometimes things are out of our control in this business. I'll get my computer fixed on Thursday, as if any of you guys care.

By Michael Lee  |  November 11, 2009; 10:15 PM ET
 
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Comments

I care Mike! Good luck on the computer!

Posted by: ptp23 | November 11, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

If he can still push the ball, I hope he gets to serious play to up the Tempo for the Team, and not just spot backup duty.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 11, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

NBA.COM news does indeed report that sources say that Jamison and Miller expect to play this Saturday and that Earl has been signed.

If Jamison and Miller are indeed ready to return, then this early season speedbump is a thing of the past.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 11, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"NBA.COM news does indeed report that sources say that Jamison and Miller expect to play this Saturday and that Earl has been signed.

If Jamison and Miller are indeed ready to return, then this early season speedbump is a thing of the past.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 11, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse "

Whatever.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 11, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Why BOYKINS? Low budget, low profile, high expertise. BOYKINS is a veteran. FLIP likes veterans.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 11, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Phoenix has 75 points in the 1st half against New Orleans. There is something to be said for Run and Gun.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 11, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

And this relates to EARL "Run and Gun" BOYKINS how? Has FLIP already lost control of the players in his offense?

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 11, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I think you're right Michael. We don't care. All is lost in DC.

The only way we can salvage this season is by changing the name back to the Bullets.

Done.

Posted by: iamse7en | November 12, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I care too, Michael.

Also, shut up, DC_MAN.

Posted by: IrenePollin | November 12, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't relating Run and Gun to Earl Boykins. But those that know me, know I like Run and Gun Offense.

However, I was just reflecting on the Phoenix Suns style of play only and not Earl Boykins.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 12, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

If we are looking for who cursed the Wizards, look no further than DC_man88. What was that story from the bible- Jonas? they had to throw Jonas off the boat so that the wind would move them along again? DC_Man88 is our Jonas.

Posted by: jistutz | November 12, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm concerned about MM and AJ coming back so soon- both injuries appeared significant- MM was in terrible pain. AJ's arm went totally limp... scary. I wish our training staff was better. Maybe they are the Jonas' as well?

Posted by: jistutz | November 12, 2009 4:38 AM | Report abuse

I smell 19-63 all over again. Wizards suck. The team is too small. Bet.

Posted by: FedorEm | November 12, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I do like that Boykins has experience with both Arenas and Jamison. That should provide at least a small instant "click" that can be helpful.

I'd love to see the Wiz negotiate a trade for Eric Maynor from Utah. he isn't seeing much time at backup there and they may actually be interested in someone like NY.

I watched Maynor for 4 years at VCU and he can run a floor, get everyone involved and make mad shots. The competition is 20 times tougher now, but he was always compared Cassell and can play D.

Posted by: Blurred | November 12, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Ya, i like maynor.
It is not a bad move to have some body who can push the ball, arenas is not any more a material to play more than 35 minutes.

Posted by: gtefferra | November 12, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

My ROY pick had 32 and 9 assists last night. Jennings is the real deal.

OTOH, Pech lost his starting job and DBlair isnt getting many minutes or touches.

Oh yeah...Go Wizards !

Posted by: original_mark | November 12, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

If you had a Mac.

Posted by: tudhuynh | November 12, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I know this is a dumb question but how/why did we pass on Brandon Jennings?

According to Michael's post Ernie went to scout him in Europe.

Jennings is lighting it up!

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 12, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Well, with Arenas coming back and Foye under contract, I guess they figured they didnt need Jennings. After one summer league game, I could tell he was gonna be a very good player. You can't always tell about a guy in summer league but sometimes you can just see it. I'm surprised at his scoring ability but as far as seeing the floor and delivering the ball goes, he's way above average.

Posted by: original_mark | November 12, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"EB has non-g deal"

I didn't know you can have non-guaranteed contract in NBA. I know you can have "partially guaranteed contract," and I thought at least the minimum salary portion has to be guaranteed. Otherwise, the minimum becomes meaningless because a team can just waive you and not pay.

For that matter, the 10-day contract becomes meaningless too, if a team can just sign a non-guaranteed contract, and waive the player anytime they want, i.e., after 5 days, or 50 days; what's the point of 10-day then?

Unless, of course, the contract may not be guaranteed until certain day in January, that's when the 10-day contract rule kicks in. Can't verify this, but this seems to be the only logical answer.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 12, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think with Jennings, it had less to do with his physical ability...it was the off-court stuff and his attitude.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

i know this is a short term move, but i rather like EB for this moment. He knows the players, and he has veteran savvy.

I do wonder about the D-League... a couple years ago the NBA was trying to push this as a more relevant Minor league option. I'm thinking it's kind of a joke. Most players go overseas, or come in from over seas. I wonder if the NBA is only half serious about supporting the D-league cause they fear if it gets too popular it could compete with the NBA in some markets?

If they were serious about it, they would let teams stock 4-5 minor league players and equire that call ups come from that batch of players or else the mid-season signings would require guaranteed money to the D-league affiliates. The affiliates could get first crack at signing a 10 day player with that money.

If the NBA was serious about creating a viable minor league they would use some more aggressive tactics to support it.

Personally, I think it's a great idea to have a viable minor league.

Posted by: gconrads | November 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Having Miller and Jamison back in the linup will open up things for both Arenas and Butler. Teams have been bunching the middle and cutting off drives. With Jamision and Miller, we have two excellent spot up shooters who get their point without having a little of touches. Miller is also the best passer on the team (don't care how many assists that Arenas averages).

Flip is going to have to modify the point guard role so that Gilbert isn't making all of the ballhandling decisions. They have Miller who can act as a point forward as well as Foye who can play the point. Boykins also can play the point and let Arenas move to shooting guard. It's just a matter of time in meshing the players together so they play like they did against Dallas and New Jersey.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Get a Mac Mike, you'll never turn back. WinDoz is the-suck.

Posted by: closg | November 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad Paul Davis had to be waived to clear a roster spot. On the other hand I don't see Boykins staying on the team once Crittenton or Foye get healthy unless one or two other guards can be traded.

Posted by: rickgonz | November 12, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

What off the court stuff with Jennings and what attitude? maybe i'm missing something but anyone who says they knew he would be this good is flat out lying the kid can play(ya think) well at least so far and the Bucks look more than competitive. I watched the last fifteen minutes of the Bucks-Nuggets contest and Jennings was lights out down the stretch,now eight games does not a season make but so far so good for the kid.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 12, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"FLIP likes veterans.Posted by: glawrence007"

Most coaches do. There's a saying: "Rookies will break your heart."

Posted by: Samson151 | November 12, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Did someone just say "Wizards NBA Championship 2010"?

Posted by: JPRS | November 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

. . . ..

just kidding.

Posted by: JPRS | November 12, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Earl is gonna look like a speeding bullet among these Wizzies. Maybe it'll be contagious. Sure could use some quickness.
I too am concerned about MM & AJ coming back too soon. But I'd rather see them get some short PT against Detroit & be ready for the Cavs.

Posted by: VBFan | November 12, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"With Jamision and Miller, we have two excellent spot up shooters"

With Jamison and Miller we have one erratic shooter from both short and long range, and one excellent spot up shooter. All Jamison has is his circus shots in/around the lane.

Posted by: ericw1 | November 12, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

All Jamison has is his circus shots in/around the lane.

Good for 20/game.

Posted by: VBFan | November 12, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

VBFan,

To get practice time before the game I think Nov. 18 is probably better. But now the team is short-handed, this may mean they get pressed into game without much practice, or starting practice earlier than prescribed schedule.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 12, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Who says they're coming back too soon? When Jamison first went out, the Detroit game was mentioned as a possible target date for his return. Miller went down on the 4th and was said to be out 7-10 days. The Detroit game is on the 14th. That's 10 days.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey DC MAN to follow up our conversation on the last post...when you said.

"Yeah, and injuries caused Les BouleS to take a big lead against the Heat early on and then caused the debacle in the second half as the evil MeTawn/Eminem/Critter/MikeJames poltergeist forced Gilby to take 25+ ft. bombs, throw passes to Heat players, throw passes out of bounds, and force one on one plays.

Sure."

I'm not saying Gilbert wouldn't have thrown up a bunch stupid shots and made a bunch of turnovers even with those guys healthy... but he wouldn't have had to play so many minutes and would not have been so tired.

Clearly these last few games they get big leads or play well early on and then completely loose their legs and start sucking in the second half. I think THAT is where you can blame injuries. And not just this seasons injuries, Arenas is playing the most basketball he has in 3 years.

Sure they still have a lot of talent out there and guys capable of winning these games with players hurt so I get your point you can't just blame everything on injuries... but you can't also completely discount the impact of those injuries.

Posted by: mjshabba | November 12, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not saying Gilbert wouldn't have thrown up a bunch stupid shots and made a bunch of turnovers even with those guys healthy... but he wouldn't have had to play so many minutes and would not have been so tired.

Clearly these last few games they get big leads or play well early on and then completely loose their legs and start sucking in the second half. I think THAT is where you can blame injuries. And not just this seasons injuries, Arenas is playing the most basketball he has in 3 years.

Sure they still have a lot of talent out there and guys capable of winning these games with players hurt so I get your point you can't just blame everything on injuries... but you can't also completely discount the impact of those injuries.

Posted by: mjshabba | November 12, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse "

These guys are professional athletes.

These guys are not rent a cops with beer bellies smoking two packs a day of Marlboro Reds.

They get tens and hundred million dollars to play a sport.

Don't make excuses for them.

Nothing that I saw from a "tired" Gilby was any different than from a "rested" Gilby.

This was the 7th game of the season. Guess what? There are 75 games left!

If Flip Flop wants to do the players a favor, then slow the tempo of the game down.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 12, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The Apple Macintosh computer is a reliable and fulfilling machine.

Posted by: dokbionic | November 12, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I really like EB. He is the kinda of guard that has always done in the Wiz. I vaguely remember in the game against Denver three years ago(sandwiched between Arena's two monster winning OT games against the Lakers and the Suns), EB ran the Wiz ragged.

After Nick Young's solid shooting in the summer league and pre-season, I'm kinda of surprized that he is getting so little PT. He started against the Pacers, but played very few minutes. I know that Flip likes veterans, but like AB, it looked like he turned the corner as a serious pro this summer. What happened?

Posted by: rld222 | November 13, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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