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Blatche carries Wizards until Foye finishes


When comedian Chris Rock arrived at Izod Center on Sunday night for the Nets-Wizards game, I couldn't understand why he would spend his evening watching a game between two of the worst teams in the NBA. Then it hit me: maybe he was looking for some new material.

But the joke was clearly on me, because Wizards and Nets proved once again that two bad teams can produce an exciting basketball game - in the closing minutes at least.

New Jersey native Randy Foye made the two biggest shots of the game, nailing back-to-back 15-foot jumpers in the final minute, but the Wizards would not have been in that position if not for another incredible performance by Andray Blatche, who had a career-high 36 points with 15 rebounds.

In his past seven games, Blatche is averaging 26.6 points and 11.7 rebounds and has recorded five double-doubles. Did anybody see this coming? Now, Blatche has always had talent and an impressive skill set, but if anyone says that they saw this, they wouldn't be telling the truth.

"He's playing all-star type basketball," Al Thornton said about Blatche. "He's been awesome."

On Sunday, Blatche abused Yi Jianlian, then he worked around Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and anyone else the Nets threw at him. He made 17 of 31 shots, hitting an array of layups and jumpers. He also had an impressive, highlight-worthy dunk over Yi.

After the game, Coach Saunders was asked if Blatche was beginning to remind of him a future Hall of Fame forward that he one had in Minnesota. Saunders has been asked to compare Blatche to Kevin Garnett before, and he usually talked around it, without really acknowledging it directly. But this time...

"The thing he doesn't have that KG had was the defense, that's what he's got to keep working at," Saunders said, "but what happens, as he keeps playing major minutes the first time, he's probably getting in the best shape he's ever been in."

Blatche said that his confidence is growing with each game, and each win. You can't really discount Blatche's production when you consider that the Wizards have won four of those games, and were in position to win at least two of the other ones (Toronto and New York). The competition has been a factor (the Wizards have played some mediocre teams during this stretch), but he did get 18 points in one half against Denver.

"As long as I stay aggressive things will continue to work out for me," said Blatche, who had just three double-doubles in the first 56 games. "I just want to continue to work hard and make this organization proud."

Saunders said Blatche is starting to meet the expectations placed before him, but that won't keep from staying on Blatche to keep getting better. He was especially hard on Blatche when he started to slow down late in their loss to the New York Knicks on Friday. "I thought he was pretty slack, so I got on him pretty good," Saunders said. "I think if he had more juice left, he might have been able to take us home in that overtime."

The only gripe I had with Blatche's line, was that he scored so many points, but attempted just three free throws. A lot of that had to do with his jump shot falling early and the Nets letting him get past them for easy baskets and failing to foul him on drives. But Blatche also settled at times for some jumpers, especially when he started to get gassed in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards were able to close out the game behind Foye, who had developed the name "Fourth Quarter" Foye for making big shots in the closing minutes with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He certainly didn't have much to show for in the first 3 ½ quarters, as his shot was a tad off. "I shot two airballs," Foye said, frankly, about starting the game 2 of 11.

His last two shots over Devin Harris and Yi proved that he wasn't afraid to take shots when they matter. "He just showed confidence in himself, being able to get in a situation to take that. [The Nets] were in a zone. He made good decisions, made big shots."

Foye said the shots were special since he was able to do it in his home state, a few miles from his native Newark. "You have ups and downs; you just have to be aggressive," Foye said after scoring 16 points. "I just said to myself to take what the defense gives would give me."

Foye added that despite all the turmoil of this season, he still finding times, like Sunday night, when he has fun. "This is my job. This is what I dreamed of my entire life. It doesn't matter what our record is or if I'm having a poor shooting night, I'm just going to give it my all."

By Michael Lee  |  February 28, 2010; 10:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Andray Blatche's confidence grows

Comments

It'll be interesting to see how this team competes against better teams.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I was calling for an Al Thornton (with Kamen) trade last season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 28, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

milwaukee weds. will be a test for them for sure. then again the next game also. interesting to watch blatch grow into a bonafide...

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 28, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

"The only gripe I had with Blatche's line, was that he scored so many points, but attempted just three free throws. A lot of that had to do with his jump shot falling early and the Nets letting him get past them for easy baskets and failing to foul him on drives. But Blatche also settled at times for some jumpers, especially when he started to get gassed in the fourth quarter."

Clearly Mike Lee hasn't watched too many of MeTawn's games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 1, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I *think* we have one more slot free to sign a player to a 10-day. Wondering if it might be time to take a look at someone over 6'7"? I have no problem with them taking a look at guys like Livingston or Harris, but the frontline could use another guy. Even if it's only for another 6 fouls and a breather for Blatche. Hopefully someone with enough size and bulk to help out against the guys who have been killing us lately. FYI for Wed....Bogut has been playing his tail off lately.

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2010 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I saw it coming. Only the blind could miss the value of an athletic big man.

And McGee has more potential than Blatche.

The problem was the attitude of the vets, fueled by coaches.

The new owner needs to let EG go and get rid of Arenas to complete the transition.

Posted by: Izman | March 1, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I not only saw it coming but said so MANY times even last year. Whole lotta folks called me stupid for saying AB was our most talented ball player. Same folks that told me BTH was overrated and just serviceable while I thought he was invaluable.

I havent been right about everything but I was money on those two.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"....Andre Blatche put the team on his back. More and more he reminds me of Bob McAdoo, who could go inside or outside like Blatche is doing. Blatche, McGee and Thornton clearly form the nucleus of the franchise going forward.

This nucleus plus a wing player through FA (Miller is a solid role player)and bringing back a focused GA (sans extended incarceration)makes this team a playoff contender next year.

Posted by: NewManagement | February 28, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I can't see MM back. Is a role player, and glue worth 9.75 mill plus?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

"I havent been right about everything but I was money on those two."

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

I sure wasn't with you on BLATCHE, only luke-warm, but if you remember, you and I were berating others here over the inestimable value of BTH. The "BRENDA" brothers should seriously question their BB I.Q.'s.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think so, glawrence007. I like MM but not at that price. It's hard to find low turnover, good rebounding, 3 point shooting 2 guards, though. We might have to take a look at it.
We'll have enough $$ to go after a high profile FA but I dont see any out there worth max money or anything close to it that would come here. Joe Johnson is the only guy that I would consider this year. Get rid of MM, get Joe, find a C who can share minutes with JM and we're good to go.
Gotta keep Singleton and Thornton, of course. We are not that far away from having a good team. Foye can probably be had on the cheap, too.
I'm not even counting Gil. He's icing on this cake.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

With Blatche, his versatility is really working for him. He's able to mix it up so the D can't key on one part of his game. Now the hard part: he's going to be doubled the rest of the season.

With Miller he takes so long to get his three-point shot off--and his stroke begins with the ball so low--that unless he has a wide open look, he's not really much of a scoring threat.

While McGee is getting schooled by the other team's starting center, he's also enough of a shot-blocking threat that the other team has to adjust to his presence. I'm seeing progress. Unlike with Nick; he's lost.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 1, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

playyyyyyyy offfffs you gotta believe

Posted by: lazy1520 | March 1, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I hope you guys are wrong about MM and somehow the Team is able to figure out to make him more of the scoring threat that he clearly can be.

The guy from Orlando starts the ball at his waist, but he doesn't have a problem getting his three's off.

If MM is really a bit short of what we thought he was or could be, then our 5th pick isn't panning out to well, is it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 1, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

original_mark:

I follow JJ on the HAWKS blogs and t.v. when I see him. I honestly believe his skills are slipping and he's ready for that retirement contract. He's a lot of ISO, just the opposite of MILLER. Not what this club needs IMHO.

I would absolutely want MIKE over JOE JOHNSON at this point in their respective careers. Its the money that says to me MILLER ain't coming back.

THORNTON's in the house. Under contract for next year plus a team option in 2011-12.

If they don't offer SINGLETON, I stop being a WIZARDS fan.

Another center, absolutely. ILGAUSKIS didn't fit this team, but could have been the guy for the rest of this season. GOODEN too.

Oh well, another center-somebody will want a millionaire's payday, and doesn't care about glitz and glitter.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

If MM is really a bit short of what we thought he was or could be, then our 5th pick isn't panning out to well, is it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 1, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on MIKE, LARRY. I'm wondering if the WIZ are going to tie up a major amount of cash on his style of play.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Clearly Mike Lee hasn't watched too many of MeTawn's games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 1, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse


No kidding.

We've been watching "jump-shot" basketball for years b/c that was the Big-3 bread and butter.

Now all of a sudden, Lee has issues with guys "settling for jumpers".

Posted by: p1funk | March 1, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is Andray has been asked to step up and he has responded thus far, night in and night out. This team is being beat up on, talked about, maligned and everything else by “basketball analysts” all over the country and then on the blogs by their “supposed fans”

But, you know what, even though they did not ask for the situation they currently find themselves in, they are leaving it all on the floor. So instead of critiquing these guys to death, lets support them. I love the tenacity in which they play and I also think that they are doing very well considering that they still have not had a chance to really practice together as a team. This team was pretty much decimated and then patched back together but yet they are playing with an emotion that was missing the first half of the season. So, for that I say, GO WIZARDS!!!!! We will just have to take it, one game at a time. I am greatly suprised that they are not only winning but are still in the game and are losing by only a point here or there. I thought for sure we wouldn't see another win all season after the team blow up but we are still in games and we are still fighting to the death, every game.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 1, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Unlike with Nick; he's lost.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 1, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse


Go figure. A high first-round draft pick failing to pan out in DC?

Unheard of.

Posted by: p1funk | March 1, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Killjoy reporting for duty.

Yeah, we could bask in this win and AB's great numbers.

But I'm thinking about next year, if and when Gilbert rejoins the active roster.

Does anyone who posts here have any doubt what will happen?

Whatever spark, whatever rhythm, whatever good vibes the Wiz end this season with, will be gone.

Gilbert's a team killer.

There's one more shoe waiting to drop this season, and that's the buyout with Gilbert so he can go work his poison somewhere else.

Posted by: farstriker | March 1, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mike, as you can see there's a lot of us who saw what AB could do someday, and aren't real suprised that it's starting to happen. As pointed out by others today, there's a nice, young nucleus on this current roster:

AB (capable of being an all star)
McGee (he'll keep getting better w/regular pt)
Thornton (fine player, excellent pick up)
Foye (will coninue to get better)
Singleton (I love what this guy brings to the table)

With a productive summer, next year could be a lot of fun. Don't bring back GA, though, he'd be like poison to this group. MM, cost too high for what you get. I like Josh Howard, but for less money w/an injury clause of some kind.

Posted by: clfrdj | March 1, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

glawrence007, I might be biased about Joe Johnson cuz he seems to light us up with regularity. Then again, most 2 guards have killed us. I'll take MM back at a reasonable price. It never hurts to have a bigt 2 guard who teams can't dbl off of. Plus, he's probably our most willing passer...maybe TOO willing.

If he accepted maybe 7 mill per, it would be a decent deal. I really like the looks of this team going forward. If we get lucky in the lottery and get a top 5, we're in decent shape because our main guys are still young.

And I wouldnt give up on Nick Young yet. He's struggling a bit at times but a lot of it is because he hasnt had time to play his way through mistakes.

Just think...if AJ hadnt been traded, ppl here would still be calling AB overrated and inconsistent. We almost traded AB based on some reports. We offered him up and had no takers. I think the story was that we offered him to Atlanta, actually. Whoever it was has to kicking themselves in the azz right now.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

"Saunders said Blatche is starting to meet the expectations placed before him"


Now that's just funny.

What exactly were the "expectations placed before him" while the Big 3 was in town?

Was he supposed to put up 26 and 11 playing 10-15 minutes a game as a center while the Big 3 chuck up jumpers all night?

As if it was Blatche's fault that he had to ride the pine while the Big 3 Failure kept playing out on the floor night after night after night after night after night.

Disaster had to strike the team and detonate the roster before forcing Blatche into the starting lineup to get big minutes.

Posted by: p1funk | March 1, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

p1funk, I think a similar disaster is gonna need to happen before NY gets to start. Although I dont see him blossoming quite like AB, he has undeniable shooting skills. After giving away Rip, Ben, CWebb, Sheed, BTH and others and watching them blossom elsewhere, you'd think this team would pause before giving away assets...especially big men.


Of course,we also let Jim McIlvaine go and that worked out pretty well for us. ;)

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious to anybody that Flip is bending over backwards to find minutes for Nick Young. Nick's as dumb as a box of rocks and is going to be out of the league in two years. Don't waste your time trying figure out why he's not getting playing time.

Posted by: harrybalz | February 28, 2010 9:59 PM |

IMO I see the same thing. NY has the worst shot selection for the talent he possesses. Just terrible bball IQ. He just doesn't play organzized, disciplined ball that demanding coaches want. Guarantee that Pop or Larry Brown or even Phil would get sick of all the boneheaded plays NY goes through.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | March 1, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

So, like a lot of you I have been enjoying the play of these unsung young wizards and pleasantly surprised during this recent stretch. While some of you may claim you saw it coming... I am a bit skeptical. That all said, I would like to point out:

Blatche's improved play needs to be sustained to be truly meaningful, the recent games have been against largely mediocre opponents. His eye-popping stats are impressive, and clearly he is capable of playing at a high level. I just hope he is developing the ability to sustain this intensity.

The wizards only got 4 points off the bench last night. That may get you past the Nets... enough said. We really lack bench depth right now due to injuries etc. This will show up more against the better teams.

Posted by: gconrads | March 1, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

If I am not mistaken, I believe I read somewhere that Nick had a learning disablility in school so maybe that is why he is having a problem learning the plays. He tries hard but at times he looks so lost. He also gets dejected when his shots don't fall and looses confidence. He needs to do like AB told him and just keep playing and stop trying so hard. If Nick will let the game come to him, I think he will be fine.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 1, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"The only gripe I had with Blatche's line, was that he scored so many points, but attempted just three free throws...Blatche also settled at times for some jumpers, especially when he started to get gassed in the fourth quarter."

the irony meter is jumping -- exactly the same criticism leveled against Jamison.

Thing is, despite his size, Blatche isn't your classic inside player. He has some nice moves to the basket, but physicality is not his strong suit. He's reasonably athletic but relies mostly on skill, and you can't argue with the recent results.

So stop trying to change the guy. Except for defense, that is.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"Guarantee that Pop or Larry Brown or even Phil would get sick of all the boneheaded plays NY goes through.Posted by: TakinAWiz"

None of those guys is renowned for patience. Still, when you're coaching a lottery team manned mostly with youngsters and second and third tier players, patience is probably a major virtue.

I liked what Flip did in the preseason, running simple plays for Nick that involved going up and launching a jumper without a lot of fuss. Maybe just practicing that in game situations would help to refocus him.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I think the story was that we offered him to Atlanta, actually. Whoever it was has to kicking themselves in the azz right now.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 8:20 AM

oh it's better than that. EG offered AB up to charlotte for DJ Ausutine and Jordan refused. Thank goodness MJ stinks as a GM, cause that would have been our worst move in forever

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The lack of physical inside play is what had some folks looking at Brandon Bass during the off-season. The two guys who came over from the Mavs help a little, but neither is big enough to have that much of an impact. Certainly McGee struggles against sturdier players like Hibbert, Brook Lopez, and Marc Gasol.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

ivyleague:

I could see that.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness MJ stinks as a GM, cause that would have been our worst move in forever

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a movie, "Dumb and dumber."

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

All BTHs presence would do now is retard Mcgee's development, so I'm glad he's gone (and to better pastures for his sake).

Afterall, we barely beat NJ previously (81-79) even with BTH's monstrous 8pt/6reb performance.

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

DJ Augustine ?!!!! ROFLOL

'Err' Jordan strikes again.

RIP, Abe. And thank you AGAIN for firing Jordan.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

While AB may not be KG defensively, he's actually done a solid job as Mcgee has been getting schooled beside him. Ate David Lee's lunch with ease a few times against NYK, put the brakes on Harrington as well though obviously both had big nights overall but that looked in large part due to Mcgee's inadequacy.

Played fairly solid D on Lopez and Yi as well.

And I tells you what, Yi isnt pulling down 20boards with Singleton on the floor

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

And I tells you what, Yi isnt pulling down 20boards with Singleton on the floor

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, another JAMES SINGLETON lover. I'm not a lone voice calling in the wilderness. Give him three, double his salary, and aim him right at "OLD"BERTO.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If you look at NJ, they actually have more building blocks than Wiz have. They have two players who were starters on playoff team (Harris and Lee), and Lopes who can start on most teams. What does Wiz have in that caliber? I say only Blatche, and he only achieves that status recently.

Talking about Blacthe, he is impressive. Anyone says he is not legit must be looking through some thick glasses. Now the challenge for him is that other teams will start to key on him and double teaming him, and he needs to respond to that (with the helps of teammates of course).

Posted by: sagaliba | March 1, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I think McGee's defensive problem is more on the mindset (or habit). In addition to not staying low enough as I mentioned before, many times, once he went up for a block, regardless if he didn’t get the block, or if he made the block but the ball was still in play, he was completely out of the picture, not even anywhere near the basket. Some times, he would just stay out of bound, and didn’t make any attempt to come back. Only near the end of last night's game I saw him stay around for the 2nd chance rebound.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 1, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: sagaliba | March 1, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

If you look at NJ, they actually have more building blocks than Wiz have. They have two players who were starters on playoff team (Harris and Lee), and Lopes who can start on most teams. What does Wiz have in that caliber? I say only Blatche, and he only achieves that status recently.

Talking about Blacthe, he is impressive. Anyone says he is not legit must be looking through some thick glasses. Now the challenge for him is that other teams will start to key on him and double teaming him, and he needs to respond to that (with the helps of teammates of course).

You're right that NJ has some nice pieces but they also have some pieces that don't fit or play smart either. I do think if Harris gets his level of playing back to his Mavs and 1st year Nets along with Lopez, then they have the two hardest pieces to fill out of the starting five.

Good PGs and Cs are the hardest to find in respect to skill and size. In Harris and Lopez, these guys may not be in the top 5 yet or may never be but they are very solid.

In Lee, they may have a good 2 guard to mold but we haven't seen enough of him to say if he'll grow to be a good starting caliber 2. Good 2s or 3s though are much easier to find than any other position. Great ones like Durant, Kobe, LeBron, et al are of course much harder to find.

Good 4s are the third hardest to find in that they are like 5s with less size but possess better skill sets. Blatche can definitely be a good 4 if he keeps up with what he's been doing.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | March 1, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

mcgee plays D looking for the block, he moves with guys and allows them their look which he oft times erases. Hopefully what he's learning now is that fellow 7fters can get those shots off over him, so defense has to be keyed on positioning and not just letting opponents get to their sweet spots and trying to get the block.

Great to see how many shots he's altering just being on the floor though, he's causing plenty of misses that dont show up on the sheet

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting to see how this team competes against better teams.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I was calling for an Al Thornton (with Kamen) trade last season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 28, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

i told people months ago we should trade my man NY back out west with a 2nd rounder to try to get thornton or Gorodon. I was rebuffed because there was supposedly no way the clips would part with Al for NY. Turns out i was wrong, all it took was Drew Gooden,lls.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 1, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

mcgee plays D looking for the block, he moves with guys and allows them their look which he oft times erases. Hopefully what he's learning now is that fellow 7fters can get those shots off over him, so defense has to be keyed on positioning and not just letting opponents get to their sweet spots and trying to get the block.

Great to see how many shots he's altering just being on the floor though, he's causing plenty of misses that dont show up on the sheet

divi3--This is exactly right. I think he's been a litte surprised that Jefferson, Gasol and Lopes all got shots off against him. But with the increased minutes, I think he'll start to understand that. On the offensive end, now that Blatche is going to get quickly doubled, McGee needs to get to make himself available around the rim for Andray to throw up some lobs for him.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 1, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

We should look at bringing in Rudy Gay next season. He has played well this season and is still relatively young. Memphis is still committed to paying Zach Randolph 18 million next season. I doubt they will pony up the cash to sign Gay long term. A contract similar to Turkoglu might be enough to bring Gay here. 5 years 50 million type contract.

Resign Mike Miller at a reasonable 2 year contract if possible.

I would not pursue Josh Howard at this point. He probably won't be back from the knee injury till sometime after xmas. He is only going to be looking for a 1 year deal next season in the hopes of showcasing himself for a bigger contract the year after that.

If you sign Gay and Miller, your starters next year would be..

PG: Arenas
SG: Miller
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Blatche
C: McGee or FA?

Depending on how McGee develops, we could see a real nice young squad mixed in with a few vets of Miller and Arenas. Bench would consist of Foye, Thornton, Young, and 2 first round draft picks.

Posted by: dominic10464 | March 1, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@glawrence007

I also have to confess a man crush on Singleton. He reminds me of former Hoya, Jerome Williams. Only bigger and with an outside shot!

Regarding Blatche,
No one was comparing Jamison to KG, so I'd take Flip's comments as a compliment! Dray doesn't have to be KG.
He's replaced the numbers Jamison put up and has be much better defensive than Jamison. And costs about $9 Mill less!

Mike Miller,
Got paid on his last contract, but I don't think anyone is going to offer him more that $5 or $6 Million per after this season.

JMcGee,
Had he gotten minutes last season, he'd have either been a more productive player this year, or the Wizards would know that he's not going to be more than a back up center. The Zards wasted last season keeping Jamison and Butler's happy.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 1, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

sagaliba, I see teams doubling on AB already. Thing is, he's a very good passer for a big man. Sometimes he tries to do too much with the ball (witness the 8 TO's the other day) but he also makes ppl pay when they come over.
Unlike CB, he usually gets the ball and makes a decisive move and most times it's towards the basket. Fortunately he stopped using the behind the back move he used to always make.
OK Here's a quiz. I have two players. Here are their stats over the last 5 games...

29ppg, 11.4rpg, 4apg, 1.4bpg, 56%fg, 81%ft

27ppg, 11.6rpg, 4apg, 1.8bpg, 54%fg, 80%ft


OK. The first guy is Chris Bosh and the second is our very own AB.

Our guy is 3 years younger. Granted, it's only over the last 5 games but I think that's because AB has only been starting and getting the ball a lot recently.

Bosh is considered to be a max money player. Can we renegotiate with AB and sign him to a long term deal now? We have him on the cheap but might be able to get a long deal for much less money than what we'd have to pay ..say 3 years from now.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Despite the comparisons to KG, I think he has more Bosh in him because he's not the big defender that KG is.

One more thing I noticed...

AB still gets winded during games. I see him struggling at times. I can't really blame him too much because he was used to getting 15 minutes per game and now he's at 35. Imagine next year after a summer of dedicating himself to weightlifting and conditioning. I look forward to seeing this guy develop even more.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Despite the comparisons to KG, I think he has more Bosh in him because he's not the big defender that KG is.

One more thing I noticed...

AB still gets winded during games. I see him struggling at times. I can't really blame him too much because he was used to getting 15 minutes per game and now he's at 35. Imagine next year after a summer of dedicating himself to weightlifting and conditioning. I look forward to seeing this guy develop even more.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse


Sadly, AB is not really known for his work ethic, but maybe the fact that he's getting big minutes and blowing it up will really help him see how great he could be IF he devotes himself to things like conditioning/defense, etc.

The encouraging thing about the play of AB is that I think it could really help lure a top-notch FA to the team this summer.

Frankly, we don't need to go after Chris Bosh, but maybe D-Wade looks at AB and says - "I'd like to play next to him rather than Michael Beasley or Luol Deng"?

Posted by: p1funk | March 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It looks like we're in decent shape for the near future.

As bad as Gil's contact is, Blatche's is phenomenal. Thank goodness he was such a knucklehead before is 2nd contract was signed.

Combined, the Gil/Blatche salary is probably a reasonable amount for 2 high-level players. Would each be worth at least $11 Mil this summer? I think so.


Posted by: cballer | March 1, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness MJ stinks as a GM, cause that would have been our worst move in forever

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a movie, "Dumb and dumber."

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse


And further reason to fire Ernie Grunfeld ASAP.

Think about it - If he had his way Blatche would be in Charlotte or Atlanta right now.

Posted by: p1funk | March 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"If I am not mistaken, I believe I read somewhere that Nick had a learning disablility in school so maybe that is why he is having a problem learning the plays."

I believe he actually has a passing and defense disability. But before the trade, I was also ready to believe the Blatche was a lost cause, so who knows? Blatche still frustrates me with his defense a bit, but considering he is carrying the offensive load most nights, it's hard to fault him. They haven't been playing the best teams, so I am very curious to see how he does against better competition. But the more relevant question seems to be if his teammates can raise their level of play.

McGee also still frustrates me a lot, but that's just going to happen for a while. He does make a ridiculous amount of boneheaded plays, but we knew he was a raw player when EG drafted him, so patience is required.

What I've also noticed is that since Howard went out, they have lost a bit of that hard scrambling defense and ball movement we all got so excited about.

Going forward this offseason, they obviously need one more decent big man who can defend the bigger post players. They should definitely try to keep Singleton and Miller for the right price. And if they're not going to try to resign Howard (because they should not keep him at 11 mil) they need at least one athletic slashing 2 or 3 who will attack the rim.

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse


oh it's better than that. EG offered AB up to charlotte for DJ Ausutine and Jordan refused. Thank goodness MJ stinks as a GM, cause that would have been our worst move in forever

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM

Do we need any more justification for asking that Grunfeld be summarily fired when new ownership takes over?

Posted by: harrybalz | March 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the general consensus is the regular season is over and just develop players. I'd rather not go for the last playoff spot to get outlebroned again.

Posted by: jefferu | March 1, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

If they could make the playoffs, it would be a great feel-good story going forward, but would ultimately not do much to help the team going forward. Drafting where they will likely draft i.e. 8-10 right now, is not that much different than the first spot out of the lottery, but it's probably better for them to have a shot in the lottery, however slim, versus and good feeling for making the playoffs.

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Same folks that told me BTH was overrated and just serviceable while I thought he was invaluable.

I havent been right about everything but I was money on those two.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse


if BTH was "invaluable," then why is our record significantly better without him?

Posted by: Blurred | March 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The game last night was rescued by Javale McGee. The Wizards squandered a 7 point lead with McGee off the court. Why he was off the court escapes me; instead, he was replaced by someone who averages more fouls per game than points (2.3 fouls vs. 1.3 points)! After finally being reinserted with two minutes left, McGee hit the game tying shot, got a couple big boards and then refused to bite on a Devin Harris fake (this would not have happened a month ago). This forced Harris to alter the shot and the Wizards corraled the rebound. Another salute to the strides that Javale is making!

Posted by: audacitea | March 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse


Thank goodness MJ stinks as a GM, cause that would have been our worst move in forever

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a movie, "Dumb and dumber."

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse


And further reason to fire Ernie Grunfeld ASAP.

Think about it - If he had his way Blatche would be in Charlotte or Atlanta right now.

Posted by: p1funk | March 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

say what you want about MJ's history as a GM, but he still got Tyrus Thomas, a high energy defensive big who doesn't require the ball to make an offensive impact. He also got to keep a young promising guard. i don't see this as MJ being a terrible gm at all. I don't know how far they are out of the 8th spot but they gotta be closer than us. Besides Larry Brown prolly put the axe to that trade. I dunno who they go with after Felton, but without Augustin i think they'd be in the market for Lil Earl. Good pgs don't grow on trees; as we've seen, and you know how much Larry relies on his floor generals (Jackson,AI,Chauncey, now Felton).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 1, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

And I tells you what, Yi isnt pulling down 20boards with Singleton on the floor

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, another JAMES SINGLETON lover. I'm not a lone voice calling in the wilderness. Give him three, double his salary, and aim him right at "OLD"BERTO.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse


Agreed...As I said last week, 6'7" Singleton's per 36 numbers as a Wizard are better than 7' Haywood's for even this, Haywoods career year.

Now I doubt Singleton could keep that up for the long haul, but it is nice to see what real hustle and a brain for the game can get you. He is a good influence on this team, playing the whole floor.

He and MM may not ever get any better (and in MM's case, he may decline quickly), but their attitudes are refreshing, given what we've seen over the past two or three years.

Posted by: Blurred | March 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Same folks that told me BTH was overrated and just serviceable while I thought he was invaluable.

I havent been right about everything but I was money on those two.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

if BTH was "invaluable," then why is our record significantly better without him?

Posted by: Blurred

//////////////////////////////////

Maybe because the Wiz hit a stretch that included games 3 games against sub .500 teams; two against borderline .500 teams; and caught two near-elite teams on bad nights (although they only split 1-1 even under those circumstances).

A person could also say that Blatche stepped up to replace Jamison; and Howard-Thorton improved on Butler's production.

All those things are arguably true.

I wouldn't say that Haywood is "invaluable".

I would say that he's an above average NBA center.

He's not elite, and he's not near-elite.

But he can hold his own against the elite centers on D, and he can contribute a little on the offensive end -- he's not a liability at either end of the court. He's clearly been a great fit for a really talented veteran Dallas team.

Posted by: JPRS | March 1, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Singleton gets rebounds that should go to opponents, something BTH never did and AJ only did when it was off his own shot.

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

if BTH was "invaluable," then why is our record significantly better without him?

Posted by: Blurred | March 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I would say because STEVENSON, BUTLER, and JAMISON aren't.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 1, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

he's not a liability at either end of the court. He's clearly been a great fit for a really talented veteran Dallas team.

Posted by: JPRS | March 1, 2010 11:24 AM

imho, BTH is a huge liability on the offensive end and a significant part of the reason we were a jumpshooting team. He has stone hands and therefore cant receive entry passes so the ball only moves around the perimeter. He also camps out in spots and effectively blocks out teammates from the rim. Notice AB hits shots from all angles, part of that is Javale getting out of his way which BTH would never do.

That said, he is a great fit for Dallas and Dirk's raining J attack

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

DJ Augustine ?!!!! ROFLOL

'Err' Jordan strikes again.

RIP, Abe. And thank you AGAIN for firing Jordan.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 9:10 AM

Of course, "Err" Grunfeld tried to trade away a stud PF that he should have known was ready to blossom. There's no getting around that colossal "error" in "Err" Gunfeld's judgement. So while you're bustin a gut, maybe you should save a few chuckles for Pollin (RIP) for not firing Grunfeld before he passed away.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 1, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

BTH certainly wasn't invaluable, but he was valuable. He's not nearly as physically gifted as McGee, but he was stronger on the block on D and understands defenses better. McGee will get there someday if he decides to take it seriously. It took Haywood 6 or 7 years to become a reliable 30+ min a night center. If McGee has what it takes, it shouldn't take him that long.

But they still need to bring in a little more beef to ease some of the load.

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

BTH is going to be the hardest player to replace....it didn't matter whether he scored much on the offensive end as he was our best defender and O-rebounder. Playing with Dallas is a great fit since he has a power forward in Nowitzki who he doesn't have to cover up for on defense and can score on post ups. Also, it doesn't hurt that he's playing with a future HOF PG in Kidds. Not that he would have wanted to be part of a rebuilding effort here, but the Wiz clearly miss him when they play any team with a good center.

As for Blatche, he wasn't going to be successful until he came out from under Jamison's shadown and could play his natural position of PF. As much as I loved AJ, Blatche definitely is more versatile on the offensive end, including passing, and has the potential to be a better defender. It appears that only his lack of conditioning and lazy fouls are holding him back.

If Howard hadn't gotten hurt, the Wiz probably would have made a run at the playoffs and we would be demanding that management exercise his option in the offseason. I like the energy and toughnss that Thornton and Singleton have brought to the team. We were very soft with the vets on the team.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 1, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

On offense, the problem was that the team needed a more dominant inside presence on offense to compensate for the adjustment to a new offensive scheme. Haywood wasn't exactly what I'd call a "liability" on offense. His play was just something a little above adequate. On paper, the arrangement should have worked OK, because the Wizards in theory had enough fire-power in the perimeter to make his 10 pts. a game sufficient.

It's worth noting on the season he's scoring in the average range for centers. He's converting a high percentage (he's actually top 5 right now in FG percentage). He was setting picks in the high post, helping players get clean looks.

The reason for AB's production may be due to McGee helping him get clean looks; compared to Jamison part of this is probably due to the fact that he's just starting to see double-teams.

Long-term though the team made the move it needed to make. Odds are Haywood was going to walk in free agency, so they needed to get some value for him. Also his departure leaves some room for McGee to develop.

On offense you could make a case that McGee is a slight improvement over Haywood -- even at this point in his career. But defensively there's a real drop-off with Haywood's departure. McGee's defensive play needs to continue to improve.

Posted by: JPRS | March 1, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

What I love about Thornton is he seems to prefer going to the rack rather than taking the J...breath of fresh air in these parts.

Posted by: divi3 | March 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I not only saw it coming but said so MANY times even last year. Whole lotta folks called me stupid for saying AB was our most talented ball player. Same folks that told me BTH was overrated and just serviceable while I thought he was invaluable.

I havent been right about everything but I was money on those two.

Posted by: original_mark | March 1, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Mark - I totally agree with you regarding AB. Many time I scream to give AB some consistent PT but of course some genuises her readily shoot down the notion and tells everybody that AB hasn't EARNED the right to have additional PT....wherein AJ still logs in 40+ mins and 25+ shots per game. I guess AB didn't earned his improved play but he got it by default since there is no PF available.

Posted by: Dave381 | March 1, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

AB's talent I don't think was ever in question, it was his work ethic and decision-making. I didn't really see anything in him previously that would have led me to believe that his game would mature if you gave him more playing time, but that certainly seems to be what has happened. He still has a ways to go, but being the focal point of the offense has made him less prone to the annoying things he used to do, like over-dribble or try to do too much.

Hopefully it marks a complete and permanent change for him.

Since personally I don't think it's worth chasing the playoffs this year, I agree with most posters that it's time to just throw Nick Young out there and see if he can make a similar leap. Clearly he has talent, but it remains to be seen if the light bulb will go on.

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping we'd see the light last year and start bringing aj off the pine because blatche's overall game was better and after having seen him play aj minutes his offensive firepower might even be better, his passing has led a bunch of wide open looks and better ball movement as a whole, it's refreshing to see a squad that doesn't just get the ball and decide it's time to jack it up off balance and challenged from outside

Posted by: bford1kb | March 1, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Frankly, we don't need to go after Chris Bosh, but maybe D-Wade looks at AB and says - "I'd like to play next to him rather than Michael Beasley or Luol Deng"?
Posted by: p1funk"

But why here rather than, say, Chicago?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"If they could make the playoffs, it would be a great feel-good story going forward, but would ultimately not do much to help the team going forward. Drafting where they will likely draft i.e. 8-10 right now, is not that much different than the first spot out of the lottery, but it's probably better for them to have a shot in the lottery, however slim, versus and good feeling for making the playoffs.Posted by: ts35"

Tell me about it. This could mess up our chances for a high lottery pick. Although with the Wiz' luck, it might be a woofer anyway.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

If the Wiz were truly fortunate, they'd get a shot at a lottery selection of that big Kentucky center or one of the two upperclass wing players, Turner or Wes Johnson.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

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