Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Blatche quietly contributes to last two wins

He looked helpless, frustrated and confused late in the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Andray Blatche stepped in front of Hedo Turkoglu, was called for his fifth foul and he froze in his tracks. He took several deep breaths, lowered his head, then feebly asked the referee, "What'd I do?"


I'm a role player playing my role. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Blatche sulked to the bench and it seemed that his night was over. But with Brendan Haywood more inaccurate than usual at the foul line, the Raptors started to implement a Hack-a-Haywood strategy and Coach Flip Saunders asked Blatche to enter the game with 62 seconds remaining. A few seconds later, Blatche was fouled with the Wizards leading by two and hit both free throws to give his team a 101-97 lead.

It was a small contribution that went a long way in helping the Wizards eke out a much-needed win. And on Wednesday, Blatche had a largely ignored influence on the Wizards' 104-102 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. The win snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bucks.

Earl Boykins got the spotlight after scoring 11 points in the final 10 minutes, including the game-winning free throws, but Blatche helped set the stage for Boykins's heroics when he scored on three consecutive possessions in the fourth period. With Saunders riding his starters for the first three quarters, the Wizards looked gassed, were struggling to get much going offensively and trailed 86-82 when Charlie Bell hit a jumper with 8:41 left in the game.

Blatche took a pass inside from DeShawn Stevenson and made a reverse layup, then tied the game with a short jumper. He then added another layup to bring the Wizards within 89-88. He finished with 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting with four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot in 20 minutes.

Blatche is averaging 10.9 points and 5.1 rebounds this season, but his minutes and production have understandably gone down since Antawn Jamison returned. He didn't talk after the Milwaukee game, but Saunders said he has been pleased with how Blatche has handled the situation the past two games.

"Andray's in a tough situation. I had a talk with him. He's in a tough situation because right now our two most consistent people have really been Antawn and Brendan," Saunders said. "So at times, it's tough to take those guys out, especially when Antawn gets on a roll. When he gets on a roll you want to let him play, because he doesn't seem to get tired, he gets better."

"To [Blatche's] credit, he's had a positive attitude these last few games," he said. "Even though he played [20] minutes, he had a solid [20] minutes and he made plays defensively. He had a huge block and did positive things and that's what you have to have from your people."

By Michael Lee  |  December 3, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning brew
Next: Morning brew

Comments

Blatche for MIP.

Posted by: closg | December 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

MIP for sure..good job Blatche! It's long season and who knows when you'll be needed and called upon to do what? Keep your head in the game.

Posted by: leopsan | December 3, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not a chance. The award pretty much always goes to somebody who makes a big jump in numbers/production. As long as Blatche is backing up Jamison (which is where he belongs) he doesn't have a shot, because he won't the the minutes/shots to pad the stat sheet. All of which is fine, as long as he maintains the improved quality of play he displayed early on.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 3, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Wizard - he does so much that is team oriented that is not going to show in a stat line - he and Brendan are the hardest workers on defense. If Dray played on a team where he could start on a full time basis I believe he would average a double/double for the season.

Posted by: h20law2000 | December 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@kalo_rama

I think they were referring to the Wizards' MIP.

Posted by: OffseasonChamps | December 3, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget, Blatche had that huge block on Bogut at the end of the fourth quater.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 3, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I guess AB wasn't messing around with the "y day Dray" thing. Good for you.

Posted by: tundey | December 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Wizard - he does so much that is team oriented that is not going to show in a stat line - he and Brendan are the hardest workers on defense. If Dray played on a team where he could start on a full time basis I believe he would average a double/double for the season.

Posted by: h20law2000 | December 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse


I like him too, though jamison and Miller are my favorites right now. The truth is, if he were starting for a team, he would probably be close to a double double, but it would be more along the lines of 12 and 8 rather than Jamison's 23 & 9. Avging over 10 boards a game is pretty rare.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Last night was the type of matchup where AB should get increased mins by being on the floor with AJ and BH.

Warrick isnt an outside shooting threat and Ilycabbagavich isnt a threat to drive from outside, so AJ and AB can man the 3/4 defense effectively on those two while going to effing town on them on the offensive end.

AB has played well enough to force himself onto the floor for more than 20min a night imo

Posted by: divi3 | December 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Also, he isn't top tier PF yet (if he ever will be) He is one of the best backups in the league though, so I am happy to have him. Would love for him to pick up a few of Jamisons minutes...get Jamison down to 32-35 a night.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Also, he isn't top tier PF yet (if he ever will be) He is one of the best backups in the league though, so I am happy to have him. Would love for him to pick up a few of Jamisons minutes...get Jamison down to 32-35 a night.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I think he has a decent basketball IQ, and like that about his game. He doesn't just put his head down and focus on one thing. He will notice a teamate with a better shot and make the pass. I see some big guys (some small too) that if they decide to make a move to the basket, they get tunnel vision and will not pass out no matter what.

Would be great if he could continue to get in better shape and get a little quicker. He would really turn heads but I will take the gradual improvement.

Posted by: millineumman | December 3, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Flip has done exactly what I've been begging for....the duo of a solid passing, yet skilled scoring PG, boykins, and arenas. BUT with boykins at the one and gil at the two. Javaris may have been the 1 when combined with arenas but he is injured (bummer because he will have a great future as a 1 somewhere, hopefully here). This duo, in those positions, is what is needed to help arenas. He' a SG...it's so obvious. Good PGs don't turn the ball over...gil's struggling with that right now. If he plays off the ball, it limits TOs and gets him in attack mode. Let Boykins make that calls bc hes a great distributor.

Eddie Jordan...man what a waste. Good teams need structure to become powerhouses, and with the Princeton offense, there are no defined roles...there's alot of freelancing. Flip is making the right matchups (subbing Bwood for Blatche was an obvious and necessary move, but who knows if eddie would've made that call). Its these little things (subbing patterns, correct position designation etc.) that make me so happy to have flip as our coach.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | December 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I think AB is being under utilized in this ball game.They need to put him in the game all the time when EB is on the floor, he is so movile with out the ball and can go to the rim and has a better out side shoots than butler this days,plus his defense is more solid than AJ and Cb. I think flip need to be smart to give him more minutes before he get frustrated.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 3, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Blatche reminds me a lot of Connie Hawkins, except that he's bigger and can dribble left handed, and is a better defender. He's not scary-intense like Kevin Garnett but he can be a real difference maker with his skills.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | December 3, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

If he just keeps making plays he'll be hard to ignore he needs to play hard and smart rebound,defend the rim, do the little things and oh yeah that call in the Toronto game was complete bull s#it Blatche had position.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 3, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Blatche happy?
It seems to me that he always has a frown on his face coming off the floor --- even just for TO's.
Sure he wants more time but looking pizzed won't get it for him.
If he keeps playing like the last couple of games he'll get his minutes.
He should be showing off his new grill anyway.

Posted by: VBFan | December 3, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

VBFan,

I think you're misreading Blatche's game face. It's a lot different from previous years when he was less focused, more like Nick Young before Flip challenged him to wipe the silly grin off his face.

From the beginning of the season, I've thought Dray's progress would be key to the Wiz going deep into the playoffs. He hasn't let us down and I hope Flip continues to keep him in the game.

Now that the Big 3 are in tune, and Dray and NY are focused on their roles, I'm feeling better about our chances. We just need to get Miller back into the flow. I hope Foye gets his mojo back, too, but Boykins is making it hard for him to get the minutes he needs to do it.

The Wiz are deep and talented. They're getting a feel for what Flip wants them to do on the floor. It's time to start blowing some people out, and maybe they can start with a struggling Toronto team on Friday.

Posted by: zinger1 | December 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Not a chance."

You also said Boykins wasn't a good PG and it turns out he is. :P

Why not? Blatche is finally the player we all thought he could be, he just needs more minutes. I agree with the poster above, he's deinately under utilized.

It would be a shame after all of this time to lose that guy to another team when his contract is up.

"Its these little things (subbing patterns, correct position designation etc.) that make me so happy to have flip as our coach."

I agree, I have had hardly any issues with Flip as coach whereas EJ had me screaming nightly at the TV,"STOP ALL OF THE SMALLBALL!"

He's also taking another poster on here(can't remember, sorry) idea and FINALLY runing Arenas with EB in the second half of games. The thing is Foye is getting less minutes now.

There's enough players for EG to make a trade on this roster, especially when Crits comes back. I could definately see them making a move this year DURING the season.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

we have 13 more games this month and I can see us winning 9 of them, if we keep the intensity up and avoid another Charlotte.
We could possibly win 10 or 11 of them, but then again this is the Bullets franchise, sooo... Not so hopeful about that.

Who thinks we will take Boston?

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"It's time to start blowing some people out...."

I'm telling you guys that month is January.

Mark it down.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree Ray. We win a bunch of close ones this month and lose a couple we shoulda won and come january, we are posting 112 - 94's

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

You know if Jamie Skeen will be eligible by the Richmond game? If so, we may finish 27-1, having beat all the tough teams on our schedule already, except UR.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry my man. Don't follow VCU basketball at all anymore. Used to be a big fan starting in the sixties with WINSTON and DARK and CHUCK NOE's "mongoose" offense. In fact we (FREDERICK COLLEGE) used to play VCU in the early sixties when they were RPI. They were a tough out then too.

Began buying season tickets in the seventies to see GERALD HENDERSON, then ED SHEROD, REN WATSON, et. al., but all the while I had season tix to the SPIDERS also.

RICHMOND pretty much sucked through the seventies, but then U of R gave DICK TARRENT a one-year make good contract after they fired his boss, and the rest is history. After JOHNNY NEWMAN started playing, I really enjoyed SPIDER ball as much as the RAMS. Then VCU parted ways with J.D. BARNETT, and hired MIKE POLLIO from Eastern Kentucky. The play really degraded, and after the mid-ninties I gave up my four season tickets. By then my wife was teaching at RICHMOND, and BEILEIN's teams were so much better. I kept the RICHMOND season-tickets all the while, and ultimately got a graduate degree from U of R in 2008.

Even though I know very little about the VCU program now, it doesn't hurt my feelings any if VCU excells. So whether JAMIE SKEEN is on the squad when they play next week, I don't know, but it will be a blast for me personally no matter who wins.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

loved watching the Sherron Mills, Kendrick Warren slamfests in the early 90's. hitting the century almost every game and playing Conference USA foes was good basketball. See you in 9 days at the Stu.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

plaus, you could get $3 beers in the basement of the coliseum!

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

AB played very well last night and I actually fault Flip for playing Jamision and Butler so many minutes after they both played close to 40 or more in against Toronto. Blatche didn't play a lot in the first half, which made little sense considering that Milwaukee was essentially playing small ball with Warrick at PF. Warrick was killing Jamision on the offensive end with his quickness and leaping ability.

Missed free throws, giving up offensive rebounds, and turnovers are often the signs of a tired legs which was what happened when the Wiz starters hit the wall late in the 3rd. Flip knew it was the second night of a back to back, but never used McGee for some energy. Blatche also saw few minutes until the 4th quarter when the Wiz were running on fumes. This was a game the Wiz could have easily lost and a lot of it was due to the coaching.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 3, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Dray, don't know if you read these things but keep up the good work. There's a lot of us Wiz fans out here who have noticed you're really starting to blossom this year. You're extremely valuable to this team, even coming off the bench. If you keep working hard and keep your head on straight, you can be a damn good player in this league for a long time.

Posted by: clfrdj | December 3, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes I was also initially surprised that McGee did not get a few minutes in... but then I figured that (a) Bogut was being held in check after having a very big game his previous outing and Flip probably did not want to give him a chance to find his Mojo by moving JaVale off the blocks for an easy score or two and (b) Kurt Thomas is Bogut's back up and still capable of schooling a young center like JaVale. It was different against Toronto because they have Bargnani nominally as their Center and a mobile player like McGee can do ok in that matchup. I was actually surprised the Raptors did not give Rasho a few minutes to bulk up on Haywood when BTH kept getting those open lanes to the basket. Triano has no concept of defense so far as I can see.

I feel badly for Foye in all this. He was pressing so hard and making so many mistakes in his brief second quarter appearances against the Raps and Bucks that he has probably pushed himself to the tag end of the Wizards bench. Still, NickY has played himself out of the doghouse, so anything is possible on this team.

Posted by: khrabb | December 3, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Blatche needs to play more before he gets down on himself again. The Wiz have 3 to 4 young guys that need more playing time. I hope Flip dosen't shorten his bench now that tehy have won a couple games. McGee didn't see any action last night.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 3, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

i doubt Ab will get down on himself. he's playing some of his best bball since being drafted and he knows it. he should be pleased with his progress to this point and he should continue to work hard in practice and in the weight room. He had to know that barring injury his best shot was the backup pf or c position. there was no way he'd take BTH or AJ's job nor does he deserve them. he's doing a great job and i'd luv to see him get more minutes, but thinking he deserves or is owed something for doing his job is the attitude that turned off most posters on here with regards to AB.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse


McGee won't see much PT when he has to defend much stronger fives since just not physically ready. There are plenty of centers that he matches up well against and he might be the deciding factor in a couple games for us this year.

Posted by: and_1 | December 3, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

i can appreciate flip putting the young guys through the ringer to get the best out of them. there are too many talented players on the team to acted entitled. i was wrong for riding flip for not playing NY early, and am super glad NY answered his wake up call. Javale wake up!!!!!!!!!!!like NY said "DNP-CDs kinda hurt". javale if u outplay the veteran depth consistently in practice you'll force flip's hand. i know OLDberto prolly gives JMc the work in practice, he,BTH, and AB prolly give my boy tha blues below tha rim.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

blurred:

Sorry dog, my beer days have pretty much run their course. Don't need a buzz to enjoy great b-ball anymore. Besides, I'll be driving. Got enough hits on my DMV record already.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Connie Hawkins?? That dude was one of the monsterest dunkers of all times, i wish AB would take a page from his book and throw it down

Posted by: divi3 | December 3, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

AB is down about his PT, his "dont ask me, I'm just a role player" comments after the bobcats loss were a clear indication

Posted by: divi3 | December 3, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if oldberto takes a single shot in practice? you know mcgee swats into the bleachers if he does

Posted by: divi3 | December 3, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Can someone pay Earl max money now since he's the MVP of the team?

You got 3 all star players, and a journey PG who could pass as a little boy makes all the crucial shots?

What has this team come to?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 3, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"You also said Boykins wasn't a good PG and it turns out he is."

No, I said he wasn't a "pure" PG. Turns out he's not.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 3, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"Why not?"

I already explained why not. If you really want an answer, go back and read it again (or, more likely, for the first time). Or don't. All the same to me, really.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 3, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

What has this team come to?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 3, 2009 7:16 PM |

U-u-h-h-h, 7 and 10?

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I liked that Grunfeld signed Boykins in large part because of a performance he saw, Boykins against Jennings, in Europe last season, and then when a game against the Bucks is on the line, who do we see in the 4th quarter? Boykins against Jennings.

I guess that's what they mean by a game of matchups.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 4, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

first let me state that i am and will always be a washington wizards supporter...i am old enough to remember the championship team! back then it was a team of men who were focused, professional and did battle...today's wizards strike me more as a bunch of teens who have no appreciation for the situation they are in...they play basketball for millions of dollars!! all they have to do is focus for several months out of the the year to "night in-night out" put their best effort on the court to try and win a ball game!! there are thousands of ball players all over this world with talent and huge hearts who would love an opportunity to be pro players. this team is relatively young (immature) but they do have talent...i think the reason why they are below .500 and trying to dig themselves out is that they do not mentally understand the simplicity of what they are being asked to do...play smart, physical basketball consistently for 48 minutes per game for 82 games...that's it!! the fact that you are being paid millions of dollars to play a game you would be playing on your neighborhood court for free on a nice day should be motivating enough wizards!! stop trying to "mentalize" this...you guys are not saving the world (if you were you would be getting paid a lot less-ask the military)...just go out on the nights you are schedule to compete and physically, mentally and consistently drop the orange ball in the hoop attached to the the backboard...then stop the other guys from doing it more than you do!! then pass "go" and collect your million dollars...kapeesh?

Posted by: ronniecope106 | December 4, 2009 3:00 AM | Report abuse

@ronniecope106,

The very simple game that you allude too is as you say it is. However, the simplicity is an illusion because there will always be a winner and a looser, which makes it a game.

So the million dollar babies could all be trying very hard but there is always going to be loosers and that compliments matters.

You see this game you describe as being very simple and seem to be laying blame on million dollar players for not being winners and being immature is not very simple at all.

What about the owners(O), the organization(O), and the most important piece, the Coach(C). You see these young immature million dollar players are really no different than past champions.

The years you speak of was easier for a talented group players to win it all in spite of the OOC. Not so today, and is why the OOC is very important, extremely important, and is why a young immature Team as you describe will never win anything without a successful OOC.

So you and others that keep finding all these smart ways to only lay blame on one part of the equation, the players, ask yourself this question.

What role does the OOC play in the maturity of these million dollar players and how much impact does the OOC have on winning a champioship?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 4, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Trade talks are started , EG what are you doing? please donot tell us you have the best roster.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 4, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Would love to see: 1-GA; 2-CB; 3-AB; 4-AJ;5-BH, @ some point on the floor. AB will get into foul trouble early guarding other 3's, but that is a big line-up and gives us both offense and (some)defense.

Posted by: DelMar2 | December 4, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Trade talks are started , EG what are you doing? please donot tell us you have the best roster.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 4, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

________________________________

I wouldn't expect EG to make any moves. He doesn't want to break up the team's chemistry;)

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 4, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Connie Hawkins?? That dude was one of the monsterest dunkers of all times, i wish AB would take a page from his book and throw it down

Posted by: divi3 |

Thanks divi3 - I was about to say the same. AB has improved a lot, but I don't think we are anywhere near ready to compare him with the Hawk who was an ABA MVP and all-NBA for several years!!

Posted by: pk24 | December 4, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

What has this team come to?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 3, 2009 7:16 PM |

U-u-h-h-h, 7 and 10?

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

And 4 of the last 5

The best part about the Wizards winning a few? DCmann's comments are fewer and far between and have less merit than ever.

Posted by: Blurred | December 4, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse


So you and others that keep finding all these smart ways to only lay blame on one part of the equation, the players, ask yourself this question. What role does the OOC play in the maturity of these million dollar players and how much impact does the OOC have on winning a champioship?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

How many rebounds can the OOC pull down at the starting poward forward position in a home game against Charlotte?

Repeat after me...
Effort. Effort. Effort.

Posted by: and_1 | December 4, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Connie Hawkins was a beast. He probably had a wing span greater than McGee and his hands were huge. He could probably palm two bballs with one hand :)

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 4, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

How many rebounds can the OOC pull down at the starting poward forward position in a home game against Charlotte?

I love how people love to single out one game to pick on. Let's ignore that he's averaging 10...or the 10,12,13, and 14 rebound games.

Let's ignore the fact that they've won 4 out of 5 and still aren't playing their best basketball. Let's all whine and complain about winning!

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 4, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

About Boykins: I don't think we should treat the guy as a sideshow attraction. He's got real skills. One of those skills seems to be getting the team to play together when they seem to have become scattered. Sure, he's a defensive liability against a lot of the League, but I certainly wouldn't feel you had to make excuses for having him on the court during crunch time.

The guy's a player.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 4, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

lets get postive about this. Will the wiz win this one, giving them a 3 game winning streak and getting them 5 of the past 6?

Who will be the game mvp?

Starting lineup?

and the biggest question of all: What will the wizards FT % be for the game. I am putting the over under at 62%

Posted by: Blurred | December 4, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Free throw percentage is down big time. Dave Hoopla mad that much difference?

I'm hoping its an anomoly and a better rhythem will pick up later.

Posted by: millineumman | December 4, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company