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Morning brew, daylight savings time edition

Did Gilbert Arenas have a turn-back-the-clock moment on Saturday in the Wizards' home opener? Or were we the only ones turning back the clock as daylight savings time came to an end? In any event, Michael Lee was on hand to watch Arenas score 32 points, his first 30-point game since Nov. 14, 2007, in a 123-104 win over the Nets.

Arenas put on a good show which Gene Wang writes about in his sidebar, and of greater encouragement to Wizards fans, his knee seemed to hold up just fine in the second game of a back-to-back situation.

Andray Blatche was the other big star, adding 30 points on 15-of-18 shooting. Read (and watch) all about it in Michael Lee's postgame blog entry.

As usual, highlights courtesy of NBA.com:

In The Washington Times, the theme was balance and, of course, the hot shooting of Arenas and Blatche. Truth About It went with the live Twitter blog approach, which included this observation: "Paul Davis sighting ... looks like he's the Wizards' version of a human victory cigar."

On the other side, The Newark Star-Ledger wrote about how this blowout, which dropped New Jersey to 0-3, left the Nets seething. Plenty of frustration to be had, especially with guard Devin Harris still bothered by a groin strain.

Around the league, there were six other games on Halloween night. Among the highlights:

*Cleveland activated Delonte West, and he played a role in getting the Cavaliers back to .500, a 90-79 win over the Bobcats.

*Another team, this time the Sixers, blew a significant lead against the Knicks, only to prevail in overtime, 141-127.

*Trevor Ariza scored a career-high 33 points to help the Rockets win, 111-107, and overcome 42 points by the Blazers' Brandon Roy.

And finally...

This posted on Thursday, but the Adam Carolla Podcast interviewed Kris Belman, the man who made "More Than a Game," the LeBron James documentary that is now out in selected cities (like Baltimore, Norfolk and Richmond, though not the District). Just as a warning: there is some language, but the stories Belman tells about interacting with a younger James and the lengths he had to go to to finally complete the film (including a late-night meeting with LeBron at his house) should be of interest to basketball fans.

By Ed Guzman  |  November 1, 2009; 7:47 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards 123, Nets 104 [UPDATED]
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Comments

Don't look now, but maybe Stephenson showed last night what a good role for him might look like... 4-6 shooting, 2-4 from deep, 6 boards, a steal, only one turnover. 10 points. If DS doesn't try to be a star, and accepts his role on this team as a role player, he is suddenly a good fit.

Posted by: psdfx | November 1, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

This has always been Stephenson's strength. Hustle, play hard and take advantage of opportunities. he never should have been counted on to be a primary playmaker, but last season's injuries left him in that position. That he was injured too, made things worse.

Stephenson is good for this team and those who keep calling for him to get cut don't understand:

a) what agreat role player he is.
b) how well he helps the other players be more productive.
c) it is virtually impossible to "cut" players in the NBA, unless they want to be cut.

Stephenson will be the winning difference in at least 2 close games this season and be a real help come playoffs. Miller is a better player than Stephenson, but we see how easily Miller can rack up fouls, so it is important to have some help for him.

NY still doesn't seem to get it. Jackin up shots is a pretty one dimesional game.

Posted by: Blurred | November 1, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

re-watching the game . . . Oberto actually had 2 between the legs assists for threes - Miller in the 1st and Gil in the 3rd . . .

Posted by: ljack666 | November 1, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Saunders said. "Probably the biggest crowd applause tonight was the play where all five guys touched the ball and we swung it to the side and got Andray a wide open dunk. There's no question people here appreciate hard work and appreciate you playing the game the right way."


Thank you Flip...It's strange when I wrote Gil (selfish) and others didn't play team ball, some of you got on my case and called me a lakers fan, a gil hater and didn't think I knew what I am talking about?

I want to see the same people get on Flip for saying it this time.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

3 good games for Blatche (last night was a great one). This does look like his breakout season; he is now averging 21 points per hame, like Jamison's number. He doesn't have as many rebounds as Jamison, but got more blocks, and most importanly, he is shooting 71.8%!!!

Watching him completely outplayed Yi Jianlian, both skiny tall and about the same age, and considering that Ji was selected as the 6th pick, this has to be one of the greatest steals by EG!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 1, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Yes; They played a well balanced game last night Blatche especially, the serial skirt chaser has done it three games in a row and it seems he is serious about his game and career. The Nets are not the Hawks or the Mavs so against playoff teams they are 1-1 they have a bench finally and Blatche is a big part of that i for one am very happy for him lord knows i bashed him long enough time for me to drop labeling him the serial kirt chaser, way to go Dre!

Posted by: dargregmag | November 1, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Stevenson had already proven his value when it came to playing off the defensive attention paid to the presence of more prolific offensive players around him. Now that he has more talent out on the floor with him, things could come more easily.

I thought he'd be out of the plans this season, not because he lacked ability but because I figured the aftereffects of the back surgery would limit him. Glad to be pleasantly surprised.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

It's strange when I wrote Gil (selfish) and others didn't play team ball, some of you got on my case and called me a lakers fan, a gil hater and didn't think I knew what I am talking about?

bulletsfan78:

Your reprieve is here. You are free to go.

Signed,

The Warden

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"I thought he'd be out of the plans this season, not because he lacked ability but because I figured the aftereffects of the back surgery would limit him. Glad to be pleasantly surprised.Posted by: kalo_rama"

Me too. Watching how bad it got last year, I just figured, three-point shooter plus bad back = finished. And it was painful watching him get down in his defensive crouch. I've had my share of back problems, and he just looked done.

Happy once again to have been wrong. I'm hoping he doesn't have more spasms as the games progress. I'd guess having Foye available to take over some of the defensive burden can only help.

Even at the worst times, coaches and other players would describe Stevenson as a 'warrior'. That's quite a compliment.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

If Blatche can develop a post up game and uses his body more under the basket, he will be the next KG or Malone. That would allow him to draw more fouls and get freebie points in addition to his excellent shooting and nifty moves. Right now, he is in the class of a Lamarcus Aldridge (which is pretty good actually).

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 1, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The odds of Blatche ever becoming a physical interior player are exceedingly slim. He is what he is: a jumpshooting, finesse 4. As long as he's a consistent one, that's fine.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I see the beginnings of the transition from the big three to a new team with "DRAY" and "JaVA-y" leading the way.

Check the ages:

#5 position:

A- BRENDAN HAYWOOD -- 29 in November 2008.
B- JaVALE McGEE------ 21 in January 2009.
C- PAUL DAVIS-------- 25 in July 2009.

C*-I would like GARRETT SILER in this spot.

#4:

A- ANTAWN JAMISON---- 33 in June 2009.
B- FABRICIO OBERTO--- 34 in March 2009.
C- ANDRAY BLATCHE---- 23 in August 2009.

#3:

A- CARON BUTLER------ 29 in March 2009.
B- MIKE MILLER------- 29 in February 2009.
C- DOMINIC McGUIRE--- 24 in October 2009.

#2:

A- RANDY FOYE-------- 26 in September 2009.
B- DeSHAWN STEVENSON- 28 in April 2009.
C- NICK YOUNG-------- 24 in June 2009.

#1:

A- GILBERT ARENAS---- 27 in January 2009.
B- MIKE JAMES-------- 34 in June 2009.
C- JAVARIS CRITTENTON 21 in December 2008.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

does blatche have the physical skills to play small forward?

Posted by: crs-one | November 1, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

AB:

Strengths:
B-ball instincts
Passing
Shooting
Shot defense

Weaknesses:
Cannot hold position
Foul prone

For this season so far, I've seen an improvement in his strength, scoring ability, awareness, involvement, and attitude. If he maintains this, he can only get better.

He may not be Tim Duncan, but he's a better interior defender and passer than MeTawn.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 1, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

A- ANTAWN JAMISON-33. Signed through 20011-12. C- ANDRAY BLATCHE-23. Signed through 2011-12. $3.5(a steal) in '11-'12.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Sticking AB at the 3 would be a mistake, nevermind Caron and Eminem and possibily NY being better at those positions.

AB does not have the lateral footspeed or quickness or 3 point range to keep up with the top 3's in that position. I think AB has small hands too, just like BTH, as they both dunk with two hands.

AB took 18 shots against the Nets. Most of them J's or uncontested dunks since he went to the FT line zero times.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 1, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"A- ANTAWN JAMISON-33. Signed through 20011-12. C- ANDRAY BLATCHE-23. Signed through 2011-12. $3.5(a steal) in '11-'12.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse "

It's only 3 games.

When AB hit the market, no other teams were interested because he had shown nothing consistent yet, coupled with being arrested for solicitation.

EG needs to focus on resigning BTH before he hits the market, if he can, because BTH will probably command big money if he stays healthy.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 1, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The odds of Blatche ever becoming a physical interior player are exceedingly slim. He is what he is: a jumpshooting, finesse 4. As long as he's a consistent one, that's fine.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Blatche is only 23 years old, and is only now becoming serious about the game. Having survived until now solely on physical ability (potential), I believe he is now FINALLY beginning to understand the mental element. As he now seems really motivated to be the best he can be, I think the sky's the limit. Now that he FINALLY seems to be "getting it," I believe his progression will be swift and rapid, and he will FINALLY become the player we all thought he could be.

FINALLY!!!

Posted by: bpybay | November 1, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The odds of Blatche ever becoming a physical interior player are exceedingly slim. He is what he is: a jumpshooting, finesse 4. As long as he's a consistent one, that's fine.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Agreed. At present, his footwork seems to be good enough to provide him with some inside scoring, a la Garnett, but Malone may be a stretch. To Blatche's credit, he seems to be trying to develop and incorporate interior scoring to his game. He has a nice little up and under move and last year, at least, he was able to score a few baskets using Olajuwon's "Dream Shake".

The sky's the limit for him, but I don't think he'll ever be confused with a rugged PF. Hell, if he becomes a jumpshooting PF with a little Kevin McHale (not a bruiser, but a technician, IMO) in his game, most of us (some are insatiable) would be more than delighted.

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

If Blatche can develop a post up game and uses his body more under the basket, he will be the next KG or Malone. That would allow him to draw more fouls and get freebie points in addition to his excellent shooting and nifty moves. Right now, he is in the class of a Lamarcus Aldridge (which is pretty good actually).


Wow. It went from people saying that Blatche was a waste to comparing him to 2 of the best to ever play the game at the position and a guy that's not a star yet but definitely one of the best at the position right now. AFTER 3 GAMES. Let's just enjoy the way he's playing now and hope that he keeps it up.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Saunders said. "Probably the biggest crowd applause tonight was the play where all five guys touched the ball and we swung it to the side and got Andray a wide open dunk. There's no question people here appreciate hard work and appreciate you playing the game the right way."

Thank you Flip...It's strange when I wrote Gil (selfish) and others didn't play team ball, some of you got on my case and called me a lakers fan, a gil hater and didn't think I knew what I am talking about?

I want to see the same people get on Flip for saying it this time.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The difference is that you often don't talk about playing the right way. You're always complaining about Abe's money. Usually making no sense, and avoiding questions that are directed at you. Your examples of playing the "right way" often don't apply to anything realistic for this team, such as Rondo going 1-2 with 16 assists earlier this week. Your opinions are usually supported by nothing and you probably ARE a Laker fan that loves to see the Wizards fail.

I was joking on the last sentence but yeah.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Re Blatche, post-ups, etc., not that I'm predicting similar outcomes, but I remember another big, skinny high-school kid who came into the ABA/NBA and disappointed a lot of people for a long time, but went on to be named one of the 50 Greatest. As I recall, he had a really big 5th season.

Posted by: WilliamCarr | November 1, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

WilliamCarr,

Would you be referring to Moses Malone?

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow. It went from people saying that Blatche was a waste to comparing him to 2 of the best to ever play the game at the position and a guy that's not a star yet but definitely one of the best at the position right now. AFTER 3 GAMES. Let's just enjoy the way he's playing now and hope that he keeps it up.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

No, thanks. Nothing wrong with speculating on Blatche's potential with the full realization that there are no guarantees.
I think most of us are fully capable of enjoying the "now" and wondering (dreaming, if you will) about the future without getting the two confused.

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

A leopard never changes his spots so Blatche is what he is a 6-11 scorer who can rebound and block shots don't try to make him what he's not leave him alone.Do the Wiz need a real power forward? it depends on how Flip see's his squad for sure they have plenty of offensive weapons(Gil,Caron,Tawn,Foye,and now Blatche)so how would a pwr.forward change the dynamics of this team? for one they would rebound better, one only has to look at the Hawk's game and how Josh Smith dominated the game down the stretch,a "real" power forward would have kept Josh Smith occupied when the wiz had the ball so Smith would not have felt he could do what he wanted in the paint. The Magic are the team to beat in the East so if the Wiz have title aspirations the road to the conference finals go through Orlando by way of Atlanta and Cleveland.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 1, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Come on, offense. Ditch the 'cat and do some play-action passing!!

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see what happens to AB's psyche when AJ returns?

AJ will want to play 32 mins a game, AJ could play the 3 at times with AB playing 4 but then what happens to FO's mins?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 1, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Everyone loves to play the "what if" game, but people should at least try to ground it in some kind of reality.

If there's any big time player that Blatche resembles it's (wait for it) . . .

Chris Webber

Big, athletic, skilled, likes outside shots and fancy passes. A wanna be guard in a PF's body who likes putting on a show for the crowd but absolutely abhors hard, physical contact. And, much like Webber, Blatche for all his skill and potential lacks the crucial element that made guys like Malone and Garnett first ballot HoFers: toughness.

Now, before the Blatche Brigand readies to storm the gates, none of this is a knock on AB. For a guy taken in the tail end of the second round, a poor man's Webber is a pretty damn good outcome (assuming he maxes out, which is still a long way from being a given). But the likelihood of Blatche developing a KG/Mailman mean streak at this stage is pretty much nil. That's the kind of thing that, by the time they get to the NBA, guys either have or they don't. Blatche doesn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

If Blatche can develop a post up game and uses his body more under the basket, he will be the next KG or Malone. That would allow him to draw more fouls and get freebie points in addition to his excellent shooting and nifty moves. Right now, he is in the class of a Lamarcus Aldridge (which is pretty good actually).


Wow. It went from people saying that Blatche was a waste to comparing him to 2 of the best to ever play the game at the position and a guy that's not a star yet but definitely one of the best at the position right now. AFTER 3 GAMES. Let's just enjoy the way he's playing now and hope that he keeps it up.
_________________________________________
SDMSTU,

Can you comprehend english? I never compared him or said he is at the level of KG and Malone. I said, down the line, if he can develop that type of game, he could reach that level. I don't see why not, the kid is only 23. It's a big IF though.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Firuz1,

The same. Sorry, I hadn't seen that the point had already been introduced. I was a BIG Malone-hater in the early 70s and was overwhelmed by his play here in the late 80s. I think Kalo_rama's comparison with Webber is also well taken. Point is, Grunfeld's handling of Blatche is looking pretty decent this November.

Posted by: WilliamCarr | November 1, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

... I never compared him or said he is at the level of KG and Malone. I said, down the line, if he can develop that type of game, he could reach that level. I don't see why not, the kid is only 23. It's a big IF though.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY thing separating Blatche from greatness is his work ethic. He is already one of the most skilled big men in the league. Up till now, he didn't have a clue as to what to do with it. Now he is starting to get it.

In training camp, he openly stated that he was making more of a commitment to being physical, having put Jamison on his duff on more than one occasion, with the proclamation that "nothing's going to be easy coming in here (the paint)."

If he does get the mental toughness to play in accordance with his physical gifts, he certainly does have the potential to be one of the great ones. It's all on him.

Remember, if he played four years of college, this would be his rookie season. Lots of ball ahead for him in his career. If the signs truly are portentous (I am a believer), we are in for a treat.

Posted by: bpybay | November 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Dray doesn't have to have a "nasty" streak (although it helps) in order to be great. If he develops into a Kevin McHale type (my all-time favorite PF, even ahead of Mailman), he can make his mark in this league.

Posted by: bpybay | November 1, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I hadn't seen that the point had already been introduced. I was a BIG Malone-hater in the early 70s and was overwhelmed by his play here in the late 80s. I think Kalo_rama's comparison with Webber is also well taken. Point is, Grunfeld's handling of Blatche is looking pretty decent this November.

Posted by: WilliamCarr

---------------------------------

Actually, I think the Malone referred to in earlier posts was Karl Malone. I'm sure I'll be corrected if mistaken.

Sometimes you have to have a little luck with second-rounders and IF, as proposed by Kalo, Blatche turns out be a poor man's Webber, Grunfeld will have acquitted himself quite well. Now Peter Ramos, that's another story....

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

SDMSTU,

Can you comprehend english? I never compared him or said he is at the level of KG and Malone. I said, down the line, if he can develop that type of game, he could reach that level. I don't see why not, the kid is only 23. It's a big IF though.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I certainly can comprehend English. Can you? You said you didn't compare them, but then said he could reach that level. That's a comparison.

If you need some help...here's the definition.

1 : the act or process of comparing: as a : the representing of one thing or person as similar to or like another b : an examination of two or more items to establish similarities and dissimilarities
2 : identity of features : similarity
3 : the modification of an adjective or adverb to denote different levels of quality, quantity, or relation.

Unless you're saying that if he can completely develop something that he pretty much doesn't have to a level of 2 all-time greats...he can be on that level? Let's go all the way and say that if Nick Young can develop Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton's IQ and mid range game...he could be great.

I guess people are still waiting on that too.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

SDMSTU,

Great job looking up the definition of "compare" but go 1 more step and look up the definition of "if" which is what my argument was based on.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 1, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If ifs and ands were pots and pans the world would be a kitchen.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"P.S. Dray doesn't have to have a "nasty" streak (although it helps) in order to be great. If he develops into a Kevin McHale type (my all-time favorite PF, even ahead of Mailman), he can make his mark in this league."

McHale had a pretty big nasty streak on court. Most great PFs do. McHale was also a tough, physical low post player. Blatche is none of those things.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I think one interesting question about AB, besides his HOF potential (just kidding), is what kind of minutes AB will likely get when AJ gets back?

Saunders has shown so far that he will play his main starters generally about 38 minutes. If so that would leave about 10 minutes for AB at PF. So far he hasn't used AB too much at Center that I have noticed.

If AB continues to play well, will Flip cut back AJ's minutes to 28-30 minutes to give AB 18-20 minutes off the bench? It will be interesting to see how the Coach handles this.

Posted by: cannontl | November 1, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think one interesting question about AB, besides his HOF potential (just kidding), is what kind of minutes AB will likely get when AJ gets back?

Saunders has shown so far that he will play his main starters generally about 38 minutes. If so that would leave about 10 minutes for AB at PF. So far he hasn't used AB too much at Center that I have noticed.

If AB continues to play well, will Flip cut back AJ's minutes to 28-30 minutes to give AB 18-20 minutes off the bench? It will be interesting to see how the Coach handles this.

Posted by: cannontl | November 1, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree...but I think most coaches would like to have a problem like that. Instead of being forced to play a stiff.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The odds of Blatche ever becoming a physical interior player are exceedingly slim. He is what he is: a jumpshooting, finesse 4. As long as he's a consistent one, that's fine.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Agreed.

And for the record (for those people here who are fantasizing about Bosh) this is EXACTLY what Bosh is, as well---and Bosh makes like 417 times more money (for those of you who like to attack hyperbole as if I'm stating fact, that was an exaggeration).

I think having a PF trio of Jamison, Blatche and Oberto gives us incredible flexibility at the position, pretty much a little of everything.

Posted by: psdfx | November 1, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Remember, if he played four years of college, this would be his rookie season. "

But he didn't and it's not.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Anyone observe Oberto's zone techniques last night?

Posted by: WilliamCarr | November 1, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The most important aspect of Blatche's career--in my humble opinion--is that he has improved every year.

That is all you can ask of young players.

Posted by: Vicc | November 1, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I see Oberto getting more of his minutes backing up at Center when AJ gets back.

It is a nice problem to have, though, to have so much flexibility to draw on for any given situation.

Posted by: cannontl | November 1, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The most important aspect of Blatche's career--in my humble opinion--is that he has improved every year.

That is all you can ask of young players.

Posted by: Vicc | November 1, 2009 3:45 PM

His stats have improved every year, but in the past he could not hold a spot in regular rotation for very long because of inconsistent play.

This year he may have turned a corner.

Posted by: cannontl | November 1, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It will be nice to see AJ playing closer to 30 mpg and staying healthy. This is a great 1-2 tandem, whomever starts. I think AJ needs to go back as the starter when he is ready, though.

Posted by: Blurred | November 1, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I see AJ as the starter also. Maybe Saunders will let the player that is playing better that game have the most minutes, which may depend on the matchups that night also.

I believe we have seen Gil actually play some defense this year, unlike in the past. We all know how defensively challenged AJ has been. It will be interesting to see AJ's play on defense this year and whether it will affect his PT.

Posted by: cannontl | November 1, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else noticed the complete of lack of mike james playing so far?
I mean PAUL DAVIS plays before him?????
Did I miss something???

Posted by: VBFan | November 1, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Was it the left hand free throw in preseason???

Posted by: VBFan | November 1, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"Remember, if he played four years of college, this would be his rookie season. "

But he didn't and it's not.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

My point is that he is still very young, and all things being equal, he has much more basketball in front of him than behind him. There is still time for him to develop into what the observations to this point conclude that he is lacking -- toughness.

As his own mother pointed out, he was not ready for a man's league at the time he was drafted. I'm sure he was quite intimidated at all the size, strength and "attitude" he was introduced to at this level. It bears repeating that he was drafted right out of high school.

One might respond that LeBron, Kobe, T-Mac, KG, Moses, etc., were also drafted without having attended college. I would counter with some are ready, some aren't. Dray wasn't. With the exception of Moses and KG, it took the others at least three complete seasons before they began blossoming. Portland gave up on O'Neal just in time to see him begin to put it all together in Indiana. Apparently, it has taken four years for Dray to realize exactly what he got himself into. With four years experience now behind him, the lights are finally starting to come on. In the meantime, potential alone got him a $12 million deal in the interim.

I can tell you I was not the same person at 23 and I was at 19, and I didn't have the kind of exposure to life in those four years that AB had. That exposure will make you grow up. Add to that all the veterans on this team in his ear over the years telling him how great he could be, IF .... If enough people are telling you the same thing consistently, good or bad, eventually you start believing it.

I think Saunders helped Flip the switch with Dray. However, this debate will not be answered today or tomorrow, or next month. I would love to revisit this issue at the end of the season.

AB will be great. Remember, you heard it here first. Even if he never develops the toughness some of us are seeking, I will compare him to Nowitzki in terms of what he can become (although I love your comparison to CWebb, as well). He will develop to his full potential under Flip.

Posted by: bpybay | November 1, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Flip gave Mike James a good look in the pre-season, but he was never going to crack this lineup -- unless a couple of people go down. So far it's just the front court that has taken injuries.

Tremendous upside to this group, once we get Jamison and Butler back in the lineup with Gil, Miller and Haywood. Strong bench with Foye, Blatche, Oberto, Stevenson and McGee -- and we're not even counting McGuire and Young, who have great potential.

More potential with Crittenden, less with James.

Very exciting to see how Flip whips it all up. He's got all the ingredients he needs.

Posted by: zinger1 | November 1, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

At the game last night. Incredible game! Caron an Antawn were up cheering Dre the entire fourth quarter. Kevin Johnson (KJ) formerly of the Phoenix Suns and now mayor of Sacramento, was sitting across from me. He stated that Wiz are going to go farther than people think. He loves Foye and Arenas in the backcourt. Gil -MVP Baby!

Posted by: ptp23 | November 1, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I liked the minute distribution.

Miller & Foye played the most at around 35 and GA, AB, DS & BH all played about 28 and FabO 24.

When AJ & CB come back we should have plenty of fresh capable bodies in the 4th Q.

Posted by: VBFan | November 1, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

He loves Foye and Arenas in the backcourt.

Posted by: ptp23 | November 1, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

So do I.

Posted by: bpybay | November 1, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The Nets of course, were without Devin Harris and with VC traded, the starting lineup looks like dudes who probably wouldn't make it off the bench of a playoff team except for Skip to My Lou from And 1, whom Les BouleS could not stop.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 31, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's see Skip to My Lou had 20 and Gil had 32 in 3 quarters. Who couldn't stop who? Hilarious! Keep up the hate! Love it! You're not a Wizards fan.

Posted by: ptp23 | November 1, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Missed the last two games. Still not back on the home prowl yet. However, liking what I am reading from afar.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

The last game is being replayed right now on Comcast for anyone who missed it.

Posted by: cannontl | November 1, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I disagree totally that Blatche is in the vein of a Chris Webber.

I can see why the similarities are made, but what makes Blatche unlike Chris to me is that I think that Blatche is a shooter.

Webber was a scorer. I see Blatche more in the vein of a Bob MacAdoo. Bob MacAdoo had a sweet shot and he was def' at shooting the ball.

Blatche takes unusual shots for a big man and hits them which can only come from natural ability.

I think he has always known this, but was never allowed to pursue his natural tendencies under the previous coaches.

Flip Saunders I believe has a understanding or shall I say an appreciation for what individual players do best.

Flip knows that the individual talents is why the players are where they are and he knows that to get those talents to mesh as a Team is the right path to something bigger than the individual.

Too many coaches snuff out individual development for what they think is a group goal not realizing that the greatness of the individual makes the whole better.

I think and most of you that know what little blogging history that I have, know that I feel that coaching is extremely important. And though players have to prepare themselves for sure, the proper coaching will allow them to flourish.

Giving Flip Saunders A++ so far.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the Bob McAdoo comparison for Blatche. I was thinking the same thing watching him knock down those sweet shots. But McAdoo was almost automatic when he was open. Dre has a ways to go.

I think the problem with the CWebb comparison is that CWebb was always the main attraction on his teams, even here. And he could be dominant inside, with his rebounding prowess, something AB doesn't have at this point. Webber was bigger and stronger, even if he tended to finesse his shots.

Andre Blatche has a chance to be his own man here. He is a self-professed fan of Kevin Garnett, but his game is styled differently. If he keeps his head up (confidence AND concentration), Blatche could be a key contributor to Wizards' success this year.

And we might be making comparisons of people who play like Blatche.

Posted by: zinger1 | November 1, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

It's only 3 games.

When AB hit the market, no other teams were interested because he had shown nothing consistent yet, coupled with being arrested for solicitation.

EG needs to focus on resigning BTH before he hits the market, if he can, because BTH will probably command big money if he stays healthy.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 1, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

WTF are you driving at. I know its ONLY 3 games. SO?????

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I like the Bob McAdoo comparison for Blatche. I was thinking the same thing watching him knock down those sweet shots. But McAdoo was almost automatic when he was open. Dre has a ways to go.

15 out of 18 sounds like he's arrived to me.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Larry in Clinton MD:

Blatche takes unusual shots for a big man and hits them which can only come from natural ability.

I think he has always known this, but was never allowed to pursue his natural tendencies under the previous coaches.

Flip Saunders I believe has a understanding or shall I say an appreciation for what individual players do best.

Flip knows that the individual talents is why the players are where they are and he knows that to get those talents to mesh as a Team is the right path to something bigger than the individual.

NOW we're talking!!!!

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I have to say one thing. Blatche has made me more aware that Jamison is somewhat of a black hole on offense. I always thought that point was overstated, but now I'm not so sure. Blatche has thus far been the perfect balance between getting his shot when he needs to and keeping the offense flowing. Jamison is always looking to score and for the most part he should, but he could stand to keep the flow going a little more as well.

As far as Blatche comparisons, I believe the best comparison is still a Kevin Garnett lite. Their physiques are absolutely the same. Maybe a Kevin Garnett with a Chris Webber attitude is the appropriate hybrid comparison. He certainly lacks the intensity/mean streak that KG plays with, but their skill sets are similar. In the end, I'll be happy if Blatche becomes the best player than he can be. Finally, I think he is heading in the right direction. It's usually a great sign when a young player says "the game has started to slow down for me now."

@Dargreg,

I think 90% of the league is pining for the proverbial "Power" F to go along with a top notch center. Problem is they are few and far between and almost always go in the top 2/3 picks in the draft a la Griffin this year. I am just happy we are very competent at those positions and very deep at other positions.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 2, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

The solicitation charge looks like it was a stroke of luck for us as we were able to resign Blatche for a very reasonable price. Fortunately, EG was able to look past the moment and still saw the potential in the player he drafted down the road once he matured.

I believe EG is shooting about 80% from 2 pt range and about 90% from 3 pt range (Blatche, McGee) as GM of this team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 2, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Hell if he can maintain this level of productivity, 7dray should be considered for the starting spot imo. His defensive presence is the edge over Jamison.

Big if though..

Posted by: leaf7 | November 2, 2009 3:24 AM | Report abuse

15 out of 18 sounds like he's arrived to me.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if I'd go that far for that reason. Shooting percentage comes and goes, as was quite clearly exhibited in the Atlanta game, where we couldn't put the ball in the ocean from the perimeter. He could put up a 4-20 stinker in his next game. I wouldn't say he's "arrived" because of his shooting percentage.

What's most impressive to me is his overall play. He's hustling, making the extra pass, and has been good for three or four more rebounds than he has actually been given credit for with tapouts and blocking his man out so a teammate can go get it. He appears to be playing "easy," and is not forcing anything. I'm actually waiting for a bad game from him to see how he responds. A bad game will be a great test for him. I'll say this, though. Through three games, he certainly looks like the real deal now.

Posted by: bpybay | November 2, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

I TOLD YOU SO.

AB is a better starter for this team than AJ. He'll prove it over the long haul.

Any AB haters left out here?

It's a rhetorical question. I'm sure there are.

Posted by: original_mark | November 2, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I TOLD YOU SO part deux...

Gil is as good as ever and we do not need or want him scoring just 20 points per game and passing up shots he can make. Superstars (and he is ours like it or not) take and make shots when needed.
2nd bananas defer.

Posted by: original_mark | November 2, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I TOLD YOU SO part 3...maybe

Pech had 8 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes yesterday. He's still foul prone but if he gets an opportunity, he'll produce.

Posted by: original_mark | November 2, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

"I TOLD YOU SO.
AB is a better starter for this team than AJ. He'll prove it over the long haul. Any AB haters left out here?It's a rhetorical question. I'm sure there are.Posted by: original_mark"

Excuse me if I'm interrupting a gloatfest, but isn't it a little early? Has AB started some games I don't know about?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 2, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Still, it will be hard to move Jamison to 6th man.

And we really would not to, assuming that Blatche stays consistent.

What I believe will happen is that we are going to start seeing AJ some at the 3 with Blatche at the 4.

Butler or Miller at the 2 with GA and BH would be the type of linup to beat Teams like Orlando and Atlanta.

Versatility is a good thing to have. Whom would have thought that versatility would be 'one of our best suits.'

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 2, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me if I'm interrupting a gloatfest, but isn't it a little early? Has AB started some games I don't know about?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 2, 2009 8:39 AM |

Yes, it is a little early, and you have seen the same games, but extrapolating forward, predicting ahead, foretelling, is so good for the soul, especially if, we get it right.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 2, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

After three games, Wiz defense allowing 42.3% on shooting and 29.8% on threes.

It's a beautiful thing!

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 2, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"I TOLD YOU SO part 3...maybe
Pech had 8 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes yesterday. He's still foul prone but if he gets an opportunity, he'll produce."

I'm glad Pech is getting some burn, I hope he does well, the line looks nice but did you see the game? I didn't but I notice Minnesota lost.
Here's a line or two from the AP, "Minnesota’s first-year coach Kurt Ramblis said the lack of experience hurt his team against a veteran group like the Suns. 'These guys are young,' he said. 'Without experience or knowledge, they don’t know how to play against them (the Suns).'"

Nice to see the Wizards 2 and 1. Last year it took 12 or 13 games to get the second win. They did look good against the Nets but it was the Nets, and the Nets without Devin Harris. Talk of relegating Jamison to coming off the bench or of Blatche having absolutely turned a corner are premature but I suppose it's nice to dream.
We may be seeing a lot more of Blatche one way or the other considering the nature of the shoulder injury Jamison sustained. We'll be lucky if it doesn't pop out again sometime during the season.

Posted by: midlevex | November 2, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"extrapolating forward, predicting ahead, foretelling, is so good for the soul, especially if, we get it right.posted bylarryinclinton"

And if you don't mind frequently looking like an idiot.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 2, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

AB's game actually reminds a little bit of Jeremaine O'Neal early in his career. O'Neal was stuck on the bench in Portland on a veteran team and was finally traded to Indy after his 4th season. He too was drafted out of high school and was considered a talented player, but lacked fundamentals and focus.

After he was traded to Indiana and started playing for a coach who actually developed young players, he blossomed and became an All-Star. Knee injuries have robbed him of some of his quickness and lateral movement, but he still has the nice 15-18 foot jumper and some moves inside.

I'd be thrilled if AB developed into the 2nd coming of Jermaine O'Neal.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"Pech had 8 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes yesterday. He's still foul prone but if he gets an opportunity, he'll produce."

"I'm glad Pech is getting some burn, I hope he does well, the line looks nice but did you see the game? I didn't but I notice Minnesota lost."


Exactly. And it's not like and and 7 are eyepopping numbers. And it doesn't appear that Minnesota has picked up his option.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 2, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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