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Morning brew

Getting closer to actually playing a basketball game this week, not to mention getting closer to seeing Antawn Jamison in uniform again. Michael Lee writes that Antawn Jamison practiced with the Wizards Monday, though he didn't speak with reporters. Here's how Mike Jones of The Washington Times saw it, again without comment from Jamison.

Mike Prada of Bullets Forever delves a little deeper into Gilbert Arenas's identity crisis. Also via Bullets Forever, Hoops Addict did a Q&A with Grant Hill, which included his thoughts on Arenas's comeback from injury.

The Cavaliers will come to Verizon Center having played Tuesday night at home against the Warriors, and Shaquille O'Neal is expected to be out for that one.

Around the League...

Only three games on the schedule, but plenty of action off the court. Allen Iverson and the Memphis Grizzlies parted ways. God chose Memphis for Iverson. The Grizzlies chose to dump him after just three games . Iverson is done on Beale Street, but Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports wonders if is his career is over as well. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News writes that the Knicks might be willing to give him a shot.

Stephen Jackson got traded (which we covered in a post yesterday). The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell talked to Jackson about his escape from Golden State.

That's all the Nets can stand and they can't stands no more. The worst team in the NBA is using being terrible as a marketing scheme. With a 0-10 start, they've started a "10 is Enough!" promotion in hopes that the streak can end by filling the arena for the Nets' game against Indiana on Tuesday. Since the Wizards are facing the rival Cavs on Wednesday, they likely won't need a "7 Is Enough" promotion.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers is blaming himself for Boston's recent slide -- they've lost three of their past five games -- and says that Paul Pierce should not have played with a sprained left knee against Indiana last Saturday.

CSI:Miami star Pau Gasol -- yes, the big man was acting badly last night -- practiced for the first time on Monday and might make his season debut against the Bulls on Thursday.

Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Dennis Rodman was temporarily detained in Germany. The lesson: don't try to skip out on a $5,100 hotel bill.

If you insist on some game action from Monday night, here's NBA.com's Daily Zap:

By Ed Guzman  |  November 17, 2009; 9:19 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Adjusting to offense will take time, but how much?
Next: Can the Wizards be the new Mavericks?

Comments

A.I. to the WIZ
T.O. to the SKINS

Posted by: iward8 | November 17, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

All these people who want AI need to realize that he is old and washed up. He signed with Grizzlies for like $3 million cuz no one wanted to pay him to sit on the bench. He sits on the Grizz bench 3 games and whines.

He don't do practice, so how is he gonna learn to fit in? He can't even break the starting lineup on the Grizz and he's gonna help the Wiz???

Seriously, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, he was the man. Now...not so much.

Posted by: Blurred | November 17, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

great stat for the anti-Jamison crowd:

"[Jamison]is one of just two players in the NBA to average at least 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in each of the past five seasons (former league most valuable player Dirk Nowitzki is the other)."

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Three of those games, we just basically [struggled] the last four minutes of those games and didn't win those games. And those are games that I'm hoping we'll now have the ability to [win]," the coach said. "What happens when you lose players is you lose your confidence in your ability to run or execute a set down the stretch and you become too much of a one-on-one or two-on-two thing, which sometimes is not as easy to play. Now I think we'll be able to have execution down the stretch instead of individual play."

from Mike Jones in the Times article.

So let's say we won those games, cuz AJ was in and Miller moved to the Sg and Deshawn was sitting. We are then 5-4 instead of 2-7 and on track to win 46 games. Except we played the ahrdest schedule in the league so far, so maybe that gets us to 49 wins or 51.

Anyway, I think we win 60 pct of the games hereout. Playoffs are in our future, if the team tightens up as they should, we can make second round competitive. this bad start really only hurts us as far as probably drops us to 6th or 7th place from 4th or 5th.

Posted by: Blurred | November 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Funny thing is...as much as people complain about losing Webber...Jamison puts up very similar numbers but they can't wait to get rid of him. It's kinda funny.

And being an All-Star doesn't really mean very much.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse
it would be funny if they put up the same #s as Webb but he doesn't so that point is moot. also people who liked webb as a bullet remember the low posting CB dunking on beast 2 years removed from the University of Michigan the AJ that people want to get rid of is the 30+ yr old jumpshooting pf that refuses to bang in the post. I don't think it's fair to even compare Cwebb from his Wiz days to AJ today, it's not even close. BTW AJ has 2 all star nods; which really doesn't mean much 5 all star nods as a big man in the west though is a bit more respectable.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 17, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jamison's return to the lineup should take a lot of the pressure off both Arena and Butler to carry the load. Too much one one & not enough passing with Miller out. Also, the Wiz need another 3-point threat to spread the court. Also, Jamison more than any other Wizards has a knack of scoring off put backs and follow ups. He's a smart player and provides the leadership the team needs in close games.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 17, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

great stat for the anti-Jamison crowd:

"[Jamison]is one of just two players in the NBA to average at least 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in each of the past five seasons (former league most valuable player Dirk Nowitzki is the other)."

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse
I don't know if the Anti-Jamison crowd is out yet. I mean i defintely think he's better than OLDberto out there. But those are great numbers, very respectable too bad the team can't build on HIS success.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 17, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

To quote Maxwell Smart..."Ahh...the old shoulder injury routine, huh?"
Shaq's PR team is very wise. I didn't think he'd show up to play in DC.

I expect Gil to drop about 50 on the Cavs tomorrow. Yes I'm insane. Can't help it.

If the Skins can actually look like a professional football team, then anything's possible.

This is rivalry week! Cavs v Wiz. Skins v Cowboys. That's got to get the blood up!

Prada's article on Gil got me hyped. What can I say, I'm in the tank for Gil.

Now if only Flip will take a page from Shaq and come up with a "shoulder injury for DeShawn tomorrow...

Posted by: bozomoeman | November 17, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

shaq dodges tha Bullet by claiming shoulder injury.LMAO he might not look Gil in the face all season. He really went against tha grain with his antics, and to think everybody thought Kobe was tha bad guy.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 17, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

it would be funny if they put up the same #s as Webb but he doesn't so that point is moot. also people who liked webb as a bullet remember the low posting CB dunking on beast 2 years removed from the University of Michigan the AJ that people want to get rid of is the 30+ yr old jumpshooting pf that refuses to bang in the post. I don't think it's fair to even compare Cwebb from his Wiz days to AJ today, it's not even close. BTW AJ has 2 all star nods; which really doesn't mean much 5 all star nods as a big man in the west though is a bit more respectable.

Maybe you should do some research. "dunking on people" doesn't mean anything. Check the numbers. Webber wasn't much different than Jamison. He was more explosive...he was still a jump shooting PF. Maybe you don't remember people being upset that he "refused to bang"

Jamison gets points in the post ugly or not. It works for him. The career numbers aren't much different and he spends a lot less time in street clothes anyway.

All-Star game so what...it's a popularity contest...why do you think A.I. started when he clearly shouldn't have been anymore? He definitely didn't play in 5 All-Star games for the West anyway...LOL

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

On Webber vs Jamison: I guess I'm not following the comparison. Webber was a superb passer and ball-handler -- not Jamison's forte. Webber's teams won in Sacramento partly because he was so successful at a sort of hybrid point-forward role.

I guess I don't understand the relentless dissatisfaction from some quarters, with Antawn's contribution. He's remarkably consistent with points and rebounds. He's not going to grow any more, which means he can't do much on defense against Nowitzki and the other tall guys who play his position. He helps keep the team's effort level up when things aren't going their way.

Like the business types like to say: he is what he is. Not as good as some, a heck of a lot better than most.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 17, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mike, Ed, Alexa....Please stop giving Mike Prada any publicity because he deserves none.

The guy is a jerk and always will be. He thinks that if he writes a whole bunch of BS about a player/organization it will get him somewhere in life. He reminds me of that a-hole from the 80's Morton Downey Jr. His tabloid journalism sucks, and all he wants to do is cause problems.

Please stop mentioning his lame website...seriously.

Thanks.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 17, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that AJ can help this group of Wizzies start to gel into the team that we all thought they would become. Hard to believe that we won only 2 games so far. We need to go on a mini roll and get to 500 quickly.
I think that getting all bodies back at full strength and them catching on to Flips system will get us there. Disappointed in Nick so far but think Javale & Dom should be getting more PT.

Posted by: VBFan | November 17, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Webber/Jamison comparison is unfair . . . to Webber. Webber had the size and strength to be a devastating post player, but he lacked the heart/toughness/moves. Jamison has all of those, but sadly lacks the size and strength. If Jamison had his motor and focus in Webber's body, he'd be a first ballot HoFer.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Ray,

What did I ever do to you?

Posted by: Pradamaster | November 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Webber/Jamison comparison is unfair . . . to Webber. Webber had the size and strength to be a devastating post player, but he lacked the heart/toughness/moves. Jamison has all of those, but sadly lacks the size and strength. If Jamison had his motor and focus in Webber's body, he'd be a first ballot HoFer.

Exactly.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the chemistry that Jamison has with Arenas, Butler, and Haywood from having played with them for so long. He compliments all of them in different ways and gets his points without hogging the ball. The combo of Jamison & Miller in starting lineup should take a lot of pressure off Arenas and Butler which should translate into a more free flowing offense and better shots.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 17, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Having some difficulty understanding why supposed knowledgeable basketball fans don't see the intangible skills Oberto brings to the table. Basketball is NOT all about shooting and rebounding. He does so many of the intangible things well -- things that don't show up in the boxscore. He has been a great acquisition for this team.

Posted by: bpybay | November 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

People don't take into account that offensive liability of Oberto. Nobody follows him away from the basket. On Gil's drives at the basket there's an extra big man waiting there for him. They have to respect AJ out there and if they don't it's open shots for someone who can make them.

If they play AJ...Gil and Caron should have more success slashing. Gil, Miller, AJ and Caron with Blatche and Foye mixed in is something I'm excited about offensively...the defense has already shown improvement.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

'He does so many of the intangible things well -- things that don't show up in the boxscore. He has been a great acquisition for this team.

Posted by: bpybay'

good one! i needed a laugh

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"People don't take into account that offensive liability of Oberto. "

Not every player is going to be equally adept at ever facet of the game. Oberto is hardly the first or only role-playing big man who was offensively challenged. The question is does he compensate by doing other things? The answer is "yes."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

On a different note:

If Iverson is seriously considering going to the Knicks, it just further proves that the only reason he's still playing is to feed his own ego.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Not every player is going to be equally adept at ever facet of the game. Oberto is hardly the first or only role-playing big man who was offensively challenged. The question is does he compensate by doing other things? The answer is "yes."

I agree. I love what Oberto brings...but right now the team is struggling offensively without Jamison and Oberto can't be the one to replace it. Jamison should be able to help some with the scoring droughts they've been going through.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"People don't take into account that offensive liability of Oberto"

and people tend to overvalue his defense. He's a floor bound big who is in the right place all the time and draws a few charges. That's nice and all, but all this business about his magical intangibles is borderline laughable.

Oberto is EXACTLY what we knew he'd be when we signed him, and that's not a guy we want playing 20mins a night.

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

and people tend to overvalue his defense. He's a floor bound big who is in the right place all the time and draws a few charges. That's nice and all, but all this business about his magical intangibles is borderline laughable.

Being in the right place all the time is overvalued? I swear if JaVale could learn to do that with his athleticism.....we don't want him playing 20 minutes a game...that's why when AJ comes back...he can return to his role.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"I love what Oberto brings...but right now the team is struggling offensively without Jamison and Oberto can't be the one to replace it."

Well (A) Jamison is coming back, so it's a moot point and (B) unless there's a mystery player I'm not aware of, there aren't any other big men, currently not in the rotation, who are any more offensively capable than Oberto.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Oberto is a luxury in terms of his intangibles but when a team like the Wiz are struggling Oberto's a luxury the team can't afford; when all cylinders are clicking(when everyone's healthy) offensively speaking you can have him out there for extended minutes but with the Wiz not playing well he's an easy scapegoat not that he deserves it but..................... hopefully with Jamison back the offense will flow smoothly.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 17, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I was hardly a fan of Oberto's coming in, but he definitely brings things to the floor that the team could use. Scoring just isn't one of them. I agree he's not a guy who should, ideally, be starting or playing big minutes. I said before the season started that if he did either, it would mean that someone was hurt or not getting the job done? Well, guess what?

Now that Jamison is back, we'll see how things shake out.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Defense, ball movement, and court awareness are not "luxuries." In most NBA circles they're called "fundamentals."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"(B) unless there's a mystery player I'm not aware of, there aren't any other big men, currently not in the rotation, who are any more offensively capable than Oberto."

AB should have been (armchair qb alert) playing 38mins a night while AJ out, just like Gil and Caron have. Another 8-10mins with an offensively capable PF on the floor may have been the difference for a team that cant score.

but whatever, water under the bridge now that 'tawn is back

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Oberto wasn't brought on board to be the starter. His role is to come in and spell BH & AJ and play hard D. If he scores great. He isn't as offensively challenged as Rodman or Wallace but plays a smarter game. I think when he settles into his role off the bench for 12-16 minutes/game he's gonna be much more effective.

Posted by: VBFan | November 17, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Blatche is a 38 mpg player. He's proving to be a solid backup/role player, but not all backups or role players are suited to be starters or play starter's minutes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"He isn't as offensively challenged as Rodman or Wallace but plays a smarter game. "

Actually, he's probably even more offensively challenged than Wallace or Rodman (both of whom were at least capable of laying up or dunking a ball when they caught it under the hoop). And to imply that Rodman and Wallace weren't/aren't smart players is wildly off base. Both guys dad/have extremely high bball IQs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Make that:

Both guys had/have extremely high bball IQs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"He isn't as offensively challenged as Rodman or Wallace but plays a smarter game."

not to pick on the guy, but....in terms of bball players, oberto shouldnt be spoken in the same breath as rodman or wallace

worm averaged 10pts/18boards one season! not sure where you get "not as offensively challenged"

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The Webber/Jamison comparison is unfair . . . to Webber. Webber had the size and strength to be a devastating post player, but he lacked the heart/toughness/moves. Jamison has all of those, but sadly lacks the size and strength. If Jamison had his motor and focus in Webber's body, he'd be a first ballot HoFer.

Exactly.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I liked Webber, but LOVE Jamison. Thanks for the rightsizing, Kalo.

Posted by: Blurred | November 17, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

give me a young Webber

Posted by: millineumman | November 17, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Young Webber" and "Old Webber" weren't very different. I don't understand the differntiation of the two.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 17, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Oberto is definitely a high IQ player when it comes to defensive positioning, spacing, and post passing. He's a perfect fit as a 15 minute a game big who can help us defend power forwards. I'd like it if he could keep opponents a little more honest with a short jumper but that's not why we got him.

My main criticism is his rebounding rate. If he's mastered all these things, why do I rarely see him coming up with rebounds which are also about bball IQ/positioning? Offensive rebounds and putbacks would be a welcome contribution on offense with our team struggling to find its way. Eespecially when he's in there with Blatche who tends to drift farther away from the basket.

Posted by: manifested | November 17, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"If he's mastered all these things, why do I rarely see him coming up with rebounds which are also about bball IQ/positioning?"

because he hasn't actually mastered those things perhaps?

Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

""Young Webber" and "Old Webber" weren't very different. I don't understand the differntiation of the two."

Depends on what you consider "old Webber."

To me, old Webber was the floor bound, near-immobile statue who wound out the clock on his career with the Sixers and Pistons. There was a huge difference between him and "Young Webber," the guy who played for the Bullets. That guy was mostly athleticism and not a lot of real developed game.

The guy in Sacramento was "Webber-Prime."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

""If he's mastered all these things, why do I rarely see him coming up with rebounds which are also about bball IQ/positioning?"

Know what else is about bball IQ/positioning? Boxing your (big) man out so that someone else can get to the boards, which Oberto does quite well.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Stats can be misleading.
Oberto was not signed to fill up the box score. 12 - 16 minutes/game that's when he's most effective. Javale needs to step up and grab some of the other time that BH is on the bench.
Maybe with AJ back things will get to be how we envisioned them in preseason.

Posted by: VBFan | November 17, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Know what else is about bball IQ/positioning? Boxing your (big) man out so that someone else can get to the boards, which Oberto does quite well.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

This makes sense in theory, but it doesn't actually happen much. The Wizards are grabbing a much higher percentage of available rebounds, both offensive and defense, with Oberto OUT of the game.

http://www.82games.com/0910/09WAS12.HTM#onoff

Posted by: Pradamaster | November 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

those stats indicate the opposing PF is outscoring and outrebounding Fab to the tune of 21-8 and 15-5 respectively per48.

but hey, at least we've got the intangibles going for us


Posted by: divi3 | November 17, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

""If he's mastered all these things, why do I rarely see him coming up with rebounds which are also about bball IQ/positioning?"

Know what else is about bball IQ/positioning? Boxing your (big) man out so that someone else can get to the boards, which Oberto does quite well.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Careful, Kalo. You're going waaay over folks head right about now.

Posted by: bpybay | November 17, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizards are grabbing a much higher percentage of available rebounds, both offensive and defense, with Oberto OUT of the game."

A meaningless stat without detailing the arrangement of the other personnel on the floor. To wit: When he's out of the game, that usually means that both Haywood and Blatche are both in the game. Of course they're going to grab more rebounds with 2 7 footers on the floor. But that, in and of itself, puts not the tiniest dent in the argument that Oberto's presence creates rebounding opportunities for his teammates when he's on the floor.

"those stats indicate the opposing PF is outscoring and outrebounding Fab to the tune of 21-8 and 15-5 respectively per48."

First of all, per 48 stats are inherently meaningless, because they extrapolate imaginary results without regard for real world circumstances.

Second, we already know Oberto doesn't score, so pointing out that he's being outscored by opposing PFs is spit shining the obvious

Third, pointing out that the opposing PF grabs more rebounds than Oberto does nothing to refute the observation that his ability to box his man out helps his teammates rebound.

Miller is a good rebounder, but he wasn't grabbing 8-10 a game at the SG spot without help.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

This makes sense in theory, but it doesn't actually happen much. The Wizards are grabbing a much higher percentage of available rebounds, both offensive and defense, with Oberto OUT of the game.

http://www.82games.com/0910/09WAS12.HTM#onoff

Posted by: Pradamaster | November 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say 2.5% (offensively AND defensively) is a "much higher percentage," and as he is a second string player not averaging a whole lot of minutes (nor should he), you expect some dropoff. 2.5% is hardly significant. In addition, our starting center is in the league's top 10 in rebounding, and is also adept at sealing off his man so others can get rebounds, further overestimating the significance of 2.5%.

The numbers, AND his teammates support his value to the team. We're only fans who are looking to see the team win, and many (most?) of us are looking only at the bottom-line numbers (the "tangibles"), which don't tell half the story. The players know what their teammates have to DO to make that happen. And they all, to a man, LOVE Oberto. Nuff said.

Posted by: bpybay | November 17, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that we're on this discussion (Oberto). Check out the following link, which is on the Wizards home page:

http://www.nba.com/wizards/news/oberto_091111.html

Posted by: bpybay | November 17, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It's way too early to think that the season is over. I'm not saying the Wiz are going to get on a roll, but let's let the season play out and take it from there.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | November 18, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

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