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Agent Zero retires, Josh Howard speaks and Wizards lose

Gilbert Arenas might, but it appears that Agent Zero will never again play for the Washington Wizards. The NBA has approved Arenas's request to have his infamous jersey No. 0 changed to No. 6 next season. Arenas asked pending free agent Mike Miller if he could have the number, and Miller obliged. Perhaps no player was more synonymous with a number than Arenas, and the news was a shock to the Bog's Dan Steinberg, who went in depth on the jersey number swap.

On any other day, Josh Howard's desire to return to Washington would take precedent. But after being silent for the past two weeks, Howard finally spoke about his season-ending ACL injury, which will require him to have surgery soon.

The Wizards also played a game on Thursday, losing the first stage of the hoopocalypse to the Atlanta Hawks. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee had some great performances http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/11/AR2010031104960.html , combining for 50 points and 19 rebounds, but the Wizards still lost their fifth game in a row.

Kyle Weidie at Truth About It takes a deeper look into McGee's dunktastic outing (he had eight dunks) - and also shows the ease with which he bites on pump fakes.

But in his Pick & Roll, Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner wonders if Blatche and McGee are actually getting any better despite the numbers.

And oh yeah, the Wizards play the Detroit Pistons tonight.

By Michael Lee  |  March 12, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
 
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Comments

falling for pumpfakes don't show up on the stats but blocks do hehe. When McGee puts his long arms up its like hes practically jumping anyways.

Posted by: jefferu | March 12, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

interesting to note both AB and JM semi-rebuffed Flip's comments. Not saying they should have or that Flip was wrong, just observing the dynamic there

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

the thing about ABs 7 TOs last night....4 were in the 1st Q and 1-2 of them were on travels/fouls rather than bad passes or fumbling the rock. He also had 3 steals in the same stretch as the 4 TOs

doesnt excuse the bad play, but clearly Flip/Eg have determined Ab needs to be ridden hard or risk lapsing back into his previously unmotivated ways. Not by any means an odd strategy for a young player.

hopefully behind closed doors they're also telling him "you can better than KG ever was if you work at it every day" etc etc

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"But in his Pick & Roll, Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner wonders if Blatche and McGee are actually getting any better despite the numbers. "

Fair question that's still waiting to be answered.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

After reading the Howard outtake it struck me when I read that Howard injured his knee going after a Mike Miller pass.

Well shatzes, I did not take note of it when it actually happened, or maybe that was one of the games that I missed, but Mike Miller does throw some wild donkey passes when he drives with no intention of shooting, then throws the ball indiscrimatedly into nowheres land.

A Mike Miller pass that Howard went after.

Unbelievable. Can we get video on that?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"But in his Pick & Roll, Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner wonders if Blatche and McGee are actually getting any better despite the numbers. "

Fair question that's still waiting to be answered.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 11:37 AM


funny you rip on Mcgee at the drop of a hat and have yet to acknowledge ABs stellar play...but let's not bash Mike Miller?

AB/JM are the foundation of the franchise going forward, and it shows since the trades. Blacthe must be avreaging close to 24/10 on 53%FG....that's as good as any player in the nba over the same stretch.

Last night our frontcourt went toe-to-toe with the most athletic team in the league and more then held their own. Dray is able to school the likes of Josh Howard with relative ease, while Mcgee though still lost simply plays above the opposition.

AB is 23 and Mcgee just turned 22.

Promising developments indeed!

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"But in his Pick & Roll, Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner wonders if Blatche and McGee are actually getting any better despite the numbers. "

Fair question that's still waiting to be answered.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 11:37 AM

I guess that is why they say no question is a stupid question.

He's wondering if Blatche and McGee is getting any better. Oh really.

Kal, you can't be serious and it isn't an open question.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

A Mike Miller pass that Howard went after.

Unbelievable. Can we get video on that?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse
i think MM threw a baseball stlye pass the length of the court to JH on a runout, there was a defender back with Howard and i think that made catching the pass a lot more difficult. It was a risky pass in terms of turning the ball over, the season ending injury that came with it is just one of those flukey things that happens to tha wiz. It wasn't a terrible pass as much as it was a bad idea, but no one could have forseen it ending JH's year.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nWJY2QS5po

not a pretty sight but livingston's injury looked worse.

This was on a fast break and howard was ahead of all bulls players and he caught the rainbow pass over the shoulder like a wide reciever. However it looked like #2 jannero Pargo bumped him a little before the catch. It wasn't a perfect pass but half the nba players could finish.

Posted by: jefferu | March 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"funny you rip on Mcgee at the drop of a hat and have yet to acknowledge ABs stellar play...but let's not bash Mike Miller?"

Wrong on all counts. Hey that's new. Oh, wait . . it's not.

I criticize McGee when he makes bonehead plays (which is often) and don't operate under the fanblind illusion that nice stats inherently equal quality. He dunked the ball 8 times. Nice. He also clanged the ball of the rim and/or backboard on multiple, ill-fated awkward post up attempts, got his weak off-the-dribble running hook blocked into the 3rd row by Horford, and got walked under the basket by Horford for easy scores like he was an old lady being helped across the street by a Boy Scout. Hot so nice. He's a work in progress and there's a helluva a lot of progress left to be made. As for Blatche . . . Stellar? Please. He's been playing well, which I have noted multiple times (but hey, don't let facts get in the way or anything). But asking whether a guy who, for going on 5 years, has failed to show up when it counted but suddenly pops big when it doesn't is the real deal or not is a very valid question. In fact, it's one of the most often asked questions in sports. And it takes more than 10 games at the ass end of a long-lost season to answer it.

I criticize McGee and Blatche for not doing things that they need to do and are capable of doing but have frequently failed to do over the course of their (admittedly brief, in McGee's case). You jump all over Miller for not doing something that anyone whose followed his 10-year career knows he's never been capable of doing.

To equate the two is just foolish.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Make that "anyone who's followed his 10-year career."

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"He also clanged the ball of the rim and/or backboard on multiple, ill-fated awkward post up attempts, got his weak off-the-dribble running hook blocked into the 3rd row by Horford"
There were three total shots that missed including the block and 10 that went in, easy points very few players in the league would be able to get, so yea it's clearly intelligent to disparage him for those three just awful misses, he shoulda told flip he didn't belong on the floor? and blatche has been killing it, does anyone out there believe jamison is a better player?

Posted by: bford1kb | March 12, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"He also clanged the ball of the rim and/or backboard on multiple, ill-fated awkward post up attempts"

mcgee went 10-13 (sorry for mentioning a stat), but hey let's focus on the 3 misses. He DID get used by Horford, but you know what? He dunked on that fool's head as well, and grabbed more boards while scoring the same amount of points.

AB has played well as a starter his whole career, and since the trades has been stellar. He's has held his own or straight schooled the likes of KG, ZRandolph, Josh Smith, KMart, etc etc. How someone would draw negatives from that I am not sure, but it's certainly not "fanblind illusion" to recognize how well he is playing.

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

So Flip and every columnist and blogger between here and Cleveland is on Andray's and Javale's case. In the meantime, where the heck is the rest of the missing-in-action team?

Where is their defense, where are their jumpshots? Where are the lane penetrations?
Where is the coach? Where are the SEVEN assistant coaches? Where is the GM? Are they all AWOL?

Why is everyone dumping on these two guys who are at least making an effort, and not shooing everyone else on to the last train to Clarksville (Tennesee) where they belong?

Posted by: rickgonz | March 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"But in his Pick & Roll, Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner wonders if Blatche and McGee are actually getting any better despite the numbers. "

Fair question that's still waiting to be answered.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The people on here have to understand kal was with Flip on the not playing AB and JM because they weren't ready?

If Ernie wasn't told to dump salaries we would still be waiting to see AB and JM?

What did kal try to tell us? Oh yea...playing AJ and BTH was the best way to win games?

kal how did that work out for you, Flip and Ernie?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"mcgee went 10-13 (sorry for mentioning a stat), but hey let's focus on the 3 misses."

As always, it's about the how, not the how many.

"How someone would draw negatives from that I am not sure, but it's certainly not "fanblind illusion" to recognize how well he is playing."

Where did I "draw negatives" about Blatche? I said, quite clearly and for the umpteenth time, that he's playing well. (Apparently your man crush on Blatche has so much blood pumping to your nether regions that it is interfering with the signals from your optic nerves reaching your brain. Either that or you crossed over to the bullethead78 zone where you "respond" to posts without bothering to read them.) I said nothing "negative" about Blatche. What I did say was that it's too early and too small a sample size to anoint him the second coming and that he needs to prove it (A) over the long haul and (B) when it really matters. Nothing "negative" about that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 12, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

1)i'll ignore you're childish insults

2)would you trade AB straight up for Pau right now?

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

does anyone out there believe jamison is a better player?

Posted by: bford1kb | March 12, 2010 12:29 PM

This speaks directly as to why there is some room for enthusiasm amongst Wiz fans. AB is better than AJ, and that's not something I thought I'd type for 2 more seasons.

And JM is assbackward better than BTH on the offensive end. Took Haywood 3 season to score 20pts in game, JM did it in 10 starts.

The frontcourt we have under contract should/could be easily superior to the one we jettisoned...and the guys we traded are starting for the best teams in the league. If that's not a foundation what is?

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

2)would you trade AB straight up for Pau right now?
Posted by: divi3

If the only consideration is who's a better player right now, then yes I would trade AB for Pau. Pau is a better player and also has crunch time experience. Offensively they are close, but Gasol is a better, more physical defender at this point.

But since the Wiz aren't going anywhere in the short-term, I probably wouldn't. AB has the potential to be just as good and is currently $15mil cheaper.

Posted by: ts35 | March 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"Offensively [Blatche and Pau] are close, but Gasol is a better, more physical defender at this point."

Hmmm... I'm fine with praising Andray for his recent play, but I'd put the emphasis on 'recent'.

See, here's my reasoning. The trade was Feb. 17. There have been what, 11 games since then? The Wiz have won 4 of them.

So as great as Blatche and McGee may look in a particular game, it's still quite early to compare them favorably with players like Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett. In other games they haven't looked that good at all.

I'm really not going out on a limb here -- this should fall into the category of stating the obvious.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

i'm not suggesting AB is better than Pau, was asking if that's a trade that should be made. To me the answer is, no way. AB is 6yrs younger and has all the skills to be just as good or better than Pau....if he fully pans out.

Was just trying to get a gauge of what kal thinks we have in Dr.Dray

Posted by: divi3 | March 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Was just trying to get a gauge of what kal thinks we have in Dr.DrayPosted by: divi3"

Fair enough. Here's my evaluation: it's the best 11 game stretch by a Wizard big man that we've seen all season.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It was recently said in referencing the trade to Dallas that the 3 Wizard players made Dallas a complete team.

Haywood brought all that Dampier gave, plus PLUS he finished in the paint better and he is better in transition. Butler's versatility bought a perimeter game that helped at both ends of the court that Howard did not provide.

Now, how can those three whom got dogged by many here be such clear cut assets elsewhere?

I submit, it wasn't because of their ineptitude, but because the Wizards for some reason don't like coaching to the players but insist upon the players fitting into the coaches scheme or lack thereof.

A coaching scheme that saw no real value in integrating Blatche and McGee. Now, that Blatche and McGee has to play, we still have people that are quick to point out their weaknesses.

I would like pointing out their positives. For I said that McGee should have been subbing for Haywood and Blatche should have been starting at PF and AJ should have been moved to the three.

Just think how much better McGee would be now if he had been given the backup minutes for Haywood.

And we could have found out before now that Blatche is the real deal.

But then again, according to some, coaching dosen't mean all that much, it is the players that determine everything.

However, my bet is that good coaching would have found long ago the value in Blatche and McGee and had them playing major minutes long before Haywood and AJ got traded.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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