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Magic (46-20) at Wizards (21-42)

Wizards starters: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee.
Inactive: Josh Howard.

Magic starters: Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard.
Inactive: Adonal Foyle.

Line: Magic by 11 1/2.

Washington is playing its third game in as many nights, and the biggest question will be how much energy the players will have left as they contend with last year's Eastern Conference champion.

"We have to understand as coaches we probably have to play more people tonight," Wizards Coach Flip Saunders said during his pregame media sesssion, "and the way we've turned the ball over, sometimes you say that's something you don't want to do. Maybe you want to shorten your rotation so you don't have as many guys on the floor who aren't as familiar with what you're doing, but we don't have that luxury."

The Magic has won seven in a row but is 0-2 against the Wizards this season. In the last game, the Wizards rallied from a 21-point deficit in the first half for a 92-91 victory in Orlando on Feb. 5 after Caron Butler, since departed for Dallas, made a baseline jumper with half a second to play.

Foye scored 19 points in the third quarter of that game, the most in any quarter this season by a Wizards player, and added seven rebounds and a team-high seven assists.

As usual, tonight's featured matchup will be Howard against whomever the Wizards send at the all-star center. In the last game, Howard had 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.

McGee figures to defend Howard to start the game, and expect frequent double-teams when he gets the ball inside.

"He better a lot better than he did last night," Saunders said of McGee, referring to the center's four points and four rebounds in a 101-87 loss at Detroit. "Come with a lot more energy and have a sense of urgency. You can't just go through the motions against [Howard] because he will embarrass you if you try to do that."

Check back after the game for video, quotes and the latest updates.

By Gene Wang  |  March 13, 2010; 6:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Flip Saunders on Shaun Livingston

Comments

"I think on a certain level MM has thrown in the towel bc this is not what he signed up for.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 5:32 PM"

At what point did he "sign up" for anything here? He was traded correct? As in, the team he was with didnt want him anymore. He gets paid $9mill, so let's stop making excuses like the guy did us a favor by signing here and now we've let him down by being lousy.

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Wizards had the opportunity to bring in another big man to help with the likes of Dwight Howard, and instead they brought in Mike Harris, Shaun Livingston, and Alonzo Gee. So no whining about what is about to happen.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 13, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"I hope you're right, but I'm not at all sure that's true. They're certainly the best young players that we have, with Blatche at least a season ahead of McGee in development.

See, we have a core group of fans here on WI that spent all last season and this one to date agitating for more playing time for these two guys and Nick Young. Even went so far as to disparage the abilities of the vets in front of them, often unfairly, because they were blocking the young guy's chance to develop. It's only natural that fervent supporters like this would feel vindicated by Blatche and McGee's performance over the past dozen games.

But really, how good are these two young big men? Nobody would argue that either is a finished product. But acknowledging that, is either showing signs of becoming good enough to anchor a perennial contender?

And of course, both were drafted by Ernie Grunfeld, using middle and lower round picks, so that has to count against them, right?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 13, 2010 2:38 PM"


I cant speak for anyone else, but I wasnt on this blog last season though I marveled at the non-development that occurred in a 19 win season. Personally I've seen enough of AB to believe the guy is the goods. The game is easy for him, it's obvious in the way he's producing now. IMHO

as for JM, he barely knows how to play bball and he's still very effective when he's not exhausted. 10 games into his time as a starter, he's shown all the signs you could want. Will it all come together? Dont know, but daaaaaaamn is the upside tantalizing.

Age 23 and 22 respectively. just gotta love that imho

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"At what point did he "sign up" for anything here? He was traded correct? As in, the team he was with didnt want him anymore. He gets paid $9mill, so let's stop making excuses like the guy did us a favor by signing here and now we've let him down by being lousy.
Posted by: divi3"

I think you've hit on something. I mean, the Wiz have let us all down by being a lousy team, right? So let's ask for our money back. Tell you what -- you write in to the Pollins and ask for a full refund of every dime you spent on the Wiz this year. We'll all support you.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 13, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

where would JM and AB have been drafted had they gone to Montross or Oak Hill, then done a 2yr stint in the ACC or Big East? Top5 picks right?

But they didnt, that's how we got them....and now it's time for patience and player development. Hopefully the org is up to the task of maximizing these youngsters!

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't think any DLeague signing they could have made would have made a difference against Howard aside from having more fouls to give. Seriously, they're not competing for anything this season other than a shot at John Wall and Evan Turner, so what difference does it make that they didn't add a big body to band with Superman?

They're bringing in guards because they only have Arenas and Foye on the roster headed into next season, and not a point guard between them, so they're trying to look at a few guys with upside who they could develop into role players. They're using those roster spots for evaluations, not to try to get wins - despite what they may say when a mic is in their faces.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

thought the game was at 8pm, dang! All Day Dray Rolllin!

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

babymomma's workin a double tonight, orderin tha Pac Man fight on tha 55 inch. anybody bringing brew is welcome.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

already ordered it! should be a great fight

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I keep looking at Livingstone like I'm expecting to see a guy with a prosthetic leg, but he looks nimble. He could be a fine acquisition. I hope it works out.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 13, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Livingston is outscoring Miller.
Hmmmmmm...

Posted by: elfreako | March 13, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

the facts elfreako the facts. we can't handle the facts.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

AB is workin Steriod Shard and "Dominant" Dwight. Although DH_ has dazzled me with his array of layups and dunks from within 8 ft.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Why does Thornton remind me of Ledell Eackles?

Posted by: elfreako | March 13, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

From where I sit I don't know where we will get a better point guard than Shaun Livingston.

There are better proven point guards for sure out there but Livingston appears to have the qualities you want in a point.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Greivis over Livingston everyday carolina cuz.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Just look at the confidence and the maturity that Livingston displays on the court.

There is no question in my mind that he is a first rate floor general.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Shaun Livingston is the perfect tandem for Gilbert Arenas. How is his defense at gurading 2s??

the question about SL, is his health... can he play 82 games, avg 30-35 minutes???

Posted by: BulletsForEva | March 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

30 millionth fan and his kid got courtside seats for tonight season tix for next year. kinda cool.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen Greivis, but from those stats on him it seems he is a score first point.

Correct?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Just look at the confidence and the maturity that Livingston displays on the court.

There is no question in my mind that he is a first rate floor general.

LarryInClintonMD.

Exactly. We're talking about a kid who is still just 24 years old and has all of the intangibles you want in an NBA PG. Excellent court awareness and passing skills, far above average ball handling skills and he knows how to control the flow of the game fairly well. He's clearly not an offensive powerhouse, but he's a capable scorer (as he's shown tonight). And his size is a HUGE benefit at the position because he still has the footspeed to keep with smaller guys.

With no real PG on the roster, Washington would be foolish not to bring this kid back for training camp next season and give him a shot at competing for a starting spot - even if they draft a PG.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

C'mon larry. you claim carolina, and haven't seen UMD's 4 yr starter pg play? He scores big and dominates the ball, because that's how Gary wants it. He was kevin durant's pg at montrose christian so he can be pass first and defer to a "star". just at UMD he's the star.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

it's good to see Q Ross locking JJ down and givin us the complete game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Larry, Vasquez is more like a pass first SG than a score first PG. He's truly more of a two than a point, but he has good court vision and passing skills so he's a capable point.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

With no real PG on the roster, Washington would be foolish not to bring this kid back for training camp next season and give him a shot at competing for a starting spot - even if they draft a PG.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

send him home to chicago for the summer to work with Grover and Gil.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Why is Ross in the game and not Young? The Wiz are down by 21 points.

Posted by: elfreako | March 13, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

We're getting Ross some work since he's coming back as our 6th man next year. Flip's gromming him to be MM's replacement.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

send him home to chicago for the summer to work with Grover and Gil.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I like your thinking hollywood. He seems to respect Sam.I.Am too, and the two are really familiar with one another having played together before. They should hogtie the two of them together and lock them in the practice gym whenever he's not with Grover.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

They should make the Wizards play in converse until they win a game.

Posted by: elfreako | March 13, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

i like yours bullets, by the way, were you the first ever Wizinsider poster? a handle like bullets shoulda went early.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

We're getting Ross some work since he's coming back as our 6th man next year. Flip's gromming him to be MM's replacement.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

Great. Miller won't shoot and Ross can't shoot.

Posted by: elfreako | March 13, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Aww shucks, my bag, I did not realize you was refering to Vasquez the Terp. I was thinking about the stats on the last blog and immediately assumed you were refering to that guy.

In any event, I am guilty for not associating the name Greivis to Vasquez of which I am more familiar with.

However, Vasquez is a money player and quite impressive, but Livingston is like right there.

It is going to be hard to keep Livingston out of the starting lineup and the Wizards might have to pay good money to keep him.

I think from what I see, he is that good.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

too much larry. we were prolly his last stop in the L before a serious overseas comeback tour. He was dumped by okc earlier in the year and on the street before and after that stituation, til the wiz came calling. i duuno if it'll be big miney, but he'll get a nice lil vet check. Less than the MLE.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey divi3, since I torched your pathetic logic previously, you don't have to stretch to find some retort. I could give two s's about MM, who is a rental player on what was supposed to be a very different team, but I think he was traded from MN bc he asked to be. Regardless, he was energized at the beginning of the season bc he thought he was on a definite playoff team for once. He is no longer and is playing like it. That and he is just being exposed as the role player he always has been when at times he looked like he could be more. Anyway, the team owes him nothing and I never said they did. Nice fishing! Keep trying to make up some random meaningless debate.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

kee-rist rphilli, try and relax.

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

foye and mcgee need to watch fil of Howard and Nelson all summer........if foye comes back.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Livingston is looking real good for sure, but, again, the dude shredded his knee. Much worse than what GA did to his. Therefore, planning on him to ever be your starter or anything more than a 20 min per night back up if that is probably asking too much. I guess time will tell. But, I am almost certain he can't sustain 30 mins per game.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

he's super salt. MM is playing like trash and there's nothing he can do but lower his appraisal of MM every time he talks about him. By the end of the season he'll be calling MM a "journeyman role player who was lucky to be included in the foye deal".

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

They should probably look at acquiring Will Bynum this offseason as he will be relatively an inexpensive free agent acquisition.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 13, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

But, I am almost certain he can't sustain 30 mins per game.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

could anything be funnier than you writing that right after the game where he played 30 mins.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, 2007 was when he had the injury. It's 2010 now. He appears to be quite able out there to me and I thought he could have played more.

Are there any rehabilitive nightmares concerning his recovery akin to Gilbert?

If there isn't, then signing Shaun might turn out to be blue chip for Ernie.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

MM's protecting that FG% for the next deal, hit 2 early and shut'er down. 66fg% on the night!

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

if you saw Livingston's injury you'll get nervous watching him run around, it was THAT bad

Posted by: divi3 | March 13, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

i like yours bullets, by the way, were you the first ever Wizinsider poster? a handle like bullets shoulda went early.Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 13, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. Nah, actually I've only posted here maybe once or twice before, years ago. Normally I just like to kick back and watch the show. I signed up with this name YEARS ago though as my wapo ID.

I'm not sure Livingston can sustain 30 per night either, not right now anyway because he's not used to that kind of burn. I don't think the injury would keep him from it as much as his conditioning though. The knee is what it is. It's completely repaired and the concern with it would be stability more so than stamina I would imagine.

I don't know Larry - I don't think Livingston is going to be wowed by offers, and you'd have to think a kid that was two steps away from playing for a team in China somewhere would be a little loyal to the organization that pulled him from the gutter and gave him a shot at reestablishing his career - especially after no one else seemed to want him.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't think MM is protecting his FG percentage so much as he's trying to avoid injury. Can't say that I blame him.

Livingston once again looked solid. The Wiz should try to get him under a two-year deal close to the veteran min (2010-2012). The health issues are an open question, but I figure at a min. he's demonstrated the ability to be a viable back-up -- especially for a team that's in rebuilding mode.

Posted by: JPRS | March 13, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Why does Thornton remind me of Ledell Eackles?

Posted by: elfreako | March 13, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Because you are old...like me!

Difference is...Eakles was the best player on the team. Thornton is only 3rd now and will be 5th or 6th by next season.

Posted by: Blurred | March 13, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Difference is...Eakles was the best player on the team. Thornton is only 3rd now and will be 5th or 6th by next season.

Posted by: Blurred | March 13, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I pray this is true. If Thornton is our 5th or 6th best headed into next season, then I'm happy with the summer we've had.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Bullets,

When I saw your blog name I wondered did BulletFan78 or Bullets4ever get cut off or something, but anyway...

Lets hope that Livingston is the real deal and that he gets the right kind of PT from Flip the rest of the season.

If he shows consistently what I saw tonight, it will require a bit more than loyalty on his part.

For lack of a better analogy, Livingston is the girl who wore oversized clothes and no make-up with huh' hair always tied in knot.

Then her cousin came over and made her up, put heels on her, clothes that fit, make-up and did her hair.

Then all of a sudden folks realized that the girl was and iz dropdeadgorgeous.

Hate to make that kind of analogy, but if I am right about what I see in Livingston, then other Teams might rethink there opinion/evaluation of him.

A real 6'7" point guard with no fluff that can run the team with apparent minimal flaws to his game is somethingelse.

LarryInclintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"could anything be funnier than you writing that right after the game where he played 30 mins."

Yeah, your ability to read perhaps. I said sustain 30 mins a night which means on multiple occasions or, perhaps, over the course of an entire season. He did it once. Who knows how his knee feels after this game and/or how tired he is bc as stated many times he is not used to these mins either. Injury aside. After the game he played 20 mins the other night and played fairly well FS said "guess we'll have to see how his knee feels tomorrow", which implies it is bothering him on some level or could very easily. Not a good sign as I stated. His play on the court has been encouraging and we are obviously in position to give him a shot.

LMAO, I thought the same thing about Thornton. A bigger version of Ledell Eackles. I think it has to do with his athletic, inconsistent, helter skelter style of play.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Livingston looked very good --- but --- Javale looked good a couple games ago and so did Nick. SL gotta do it with consistency. If he can bring that every night yeah we gotta find a way to keep him. I liked what Flip said in post game interview that you can't make someone a point guard they either are or they aren't. I hope SL is.
Be nice to find a positive in this season.

Posted by: VBFan | March 13, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Ummm...let's not go overboard Larry in your analogies. He is looking good on a team with Foye and Boykins as the other options at PG. His handle has been iffy at times and he obviously has little explosion or athleticism left, but he is doing fairly well by using his intelligence and just being a 6'7 PG. So, he could compensate for what he lost. Time will tell. Just don't imply he is working on some multi-year multi-million dollar deal bc of a few pretty good outings on a bad team. A nice backup PG who actually plays decent mins is probably his ceiling right now and that could very easily be with us.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Strangely enough your analogy really did make me see another side of the argument.

I can see suitors coming out of the woodwork for Livingston, but I can't imagine that with all things being equal (money and playing time) he'd leave Washington. And I do think the money will be equal.

They'll have a bunch of cap space, and I'm sure after having to suffer with no true PG on the floor to run his offense for most of the season, Flip will throw a tantrum if he has to in order to get EG to make a good offer to Livingston. Plus, Livingston is quickly replacing Miller as the new mancrush of choice for the fans. A rebuilding team needs every bit of help they can get to put butts in the seats so EG likely won't need much convincing.

Besides, I'm certain they can get him for what they'll be paying Foye next year, and with him on board can' they afford to explore other options for Foye on draft night (say, adding him in a deal to move up with that second first if they see someone there worth moving for?).

I'd be shocked (and quite frankly a little disappointed) to see Livingston anywhere but the District next season.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

SL is definitely a PG as far as passing and initiating offense is concerned. His outside shot needs some work. I don't ever think that has been a strength of his. He needs some arc on his shot from what I've seen. Line drives are never a sign of a good shooter.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Foye is not under contract for next season. I believe he is a restricted FA and he has not shown he fits particularly well in FS system, at least not a PG. Shame, bc he was really a young developing player in MN albeit by playing a completely different style.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

He needs some arc on his shot from what I've seen. Line drives are never a sign of a good shooter.

Posted by: rphilli721

Don't matter what they look like as long as they go in.

Posted by: VBFan | March 13, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Foye is not under contract for next season. I believe he is a restricted FA and he has not shown he fits particularly well in FS system, at least not a PG. Shame, bc he was really a young developing player in MN albeit by playing a completely different style.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I was operating under the assumption that no one will make an offer that would deter the Wiz from matching, but then they wouldn't be able to trade him anyway because he would have just signed with the team - so it makes my point moot anyway.

They could, however measure interest and try to work out a sign and trade before the draft I suppose.

You're right though, I don't think he has a place in Flip's system - especially not as a PG. You'd have to think they're going to address SG in the summer though and I can't imagine Foye will be a consideration there given his size and what they'd have to pay him to come off the bench. Dunno though, he could make a decent 6th man. Darn sure better than Q.Ross I'm imagining.

Posted by: bullets | March 13, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

miller is shooting close to 50% from the 3 point line. how the heck can he play 30 minutes and not take one 3 pointer? and only 3 shots total. he did get 5 assists, but somebody should tell him he's not the point guard. guy was the number 5 choice in the draft.

Posted by: stevie2 | March 13, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

how did mcgee look? he's numbers suck.

Posted by: stevie2 | March 13, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

For sure, agreed, with the Wizards next year should be a definite.

And the part about taking away Miller's man crush. Now, I had not noticed that.

That says the boy might have some star power.

Wow!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Just looked at SL's career stats. He has never played in more than 61 games and has NEVER averaged 30 mins a game even before his injury. His shooting percentage is a respectable 44%, but I have a feeling that is from fast breaks and closer to the basket shots he gets bc of his size. His three point shooting is putrid, which would seem to support that theory although I can't say for sure bc I have not seen enough of him. His outside shot looks suspect to me thus far whether they are going in or not. Kind of like Crittenton's shooting percentage being better than GA's bc JC only shoots layups on penetration plays. Nobody would call JC a great shooter however.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 13, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

bullets,

I'd be surprised if Livingston commanded the same money as Foye. Foye may not be a pure PG, but he's a quality shooter. For a few teams he could be a quality 6th man. Figure he's probably due $4 to $6 mill. next year. Plus no health concerns, so he probably gets a multi-year deal. Livingston's best case is an incentive laden contract with only minimally guaranteed money. Considering that OKC was burned with a multi-year deal, I figure a lot of other teams will be reluctant.

Still, I hope the Wiz find a way to get a deal done before the end of the season. A two-year deal close to the veteran min. presents almost no risk. Any consistent minutes would be a net plus in terms of value.

I think it would be unrealistic to expect Livingston to go 30 mins. most nights. Think something closer to 18-25 mins is what the target would be. It would be risky to rely on him in a starter's role, but as a back-up, he could be productive.

As far as the perimeter shooting goes, it helps if a PG has 3-point range, but the most important function of the PG is to get open looks to teammates and facilitate scoring. You'd need to pair him with a SG or SF with three point range, but it's not a huge liability in and of itself if the PG is limited to shots inside the arc.

As a side note, because of Livingston's size he's able to penetrate near the foul line and still have a clear view of the court. He'll penetrate about 16 to 17 feet before looking to pass. This puts pressure on the interior D and can open looks up underneath the basket -- it also opens the option of a high percentage FG if defenses try to close off interior looks -- it can also free up perimeter looks behind the arc. With Foye, most of the time he's starting the half-court sets outside the arc about 24 feet away from the basket. Absent dribble penetration, this relieves pressure on opponent's D and limits the number of scoring options.

Posted by: JPRS | March 13, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

But, Rphilli721, you do know that there are shooters and there are scorers. You know that Michael Jordan had a flat but shot as well, so having a flat shot only means something if you are a shooter.

I don't think SL is a shooter, he just knows how to score the ball when needed.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

rphilli721,

The injury history is one reason a team would be foolish to rely on him as a starter.

As far as fast-breaks go, in the 112 minutes that he's played as a Wizard, I can't recall a single fast-break opportunity where he's pushed the ball quickly down the court. It seems like he's always coming down court under control, he's not running. He had one shot tonight where he attacked the basket when Bass locked in on his man in the low post and left the basket wide open. A number of times he was getting his shot off just inside the foul line when defenders were doubling-Blatche in the low post.

I agree that he doesn't look like a great shooter. Still, for a PG, this is something that you can live with if he's surrounded by shooters. I'd rather have a PG with limited range who has great court vision and who can get open looks to teammates than a PG with great shooting range, but limited court vision (Derrick Rose is an extreme version of the kind of PG with the ability to penetrate and get inside looks, who can distribute, but who doesn't have great range on his shot. I'd also include Rondo, Andre Miller in that category).

Ideally you'd want someone with great court vision AND great range, but there are only a few guys who fit that category (e.g. Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, etc).

You can still win a lot of games with a player whose main virtue is his ability to distribute. That's something that the Wizards haven't really had this season.

Posted by: JPRS | March 13, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree that he doesn't look like a great shooter. Still, for a PG, this is something that you can live with if he's surrounded by shooters. I'd rather have a PG with limited range who has great court vision and who can get open looks to teammates than a PG with great shooting range, but limited court vision
Posted by: JPRS | March 13, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree. I don't much care that Livingston can't shoot because he gets easy shots for everyone around him to make up for that shortcoming.

JPRS, excellent analysis on the difference between Foye and SL. It points out exactly why Foye will never really be an effective PG, Flip said as much tonight. It makes a world of difference (especially on a team like this) to have a PG that makes other guys better and Randy just isn't built like that. I kind of feel bad for the kid knowing that this season in Washington has made him look so bad because he's been solid in the past when he wasn't asked to control the game.

Posted by: bullets | March 14, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

bullets,

Agreed. Foye has been put in a position where he isn't going to have a ton of success (e.g. he can play PG in a spot duty, but his natural position is clearly SG). Depending on the price, I still hope the Wizards make a move to re-sign him. The signals that the team has given though, suggest that this probably isn't the case. Once Miller walks though, which seems inevitable, perhaps they'll make a more serious play for him.

Posted by: JPRS | March 14, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

@JPRS,

I was saying I think his *career* shooting % is based on fast break baskets and close in shots from penetration bc his 15 footer doesn't look too reliable to me. When he was with the Clippers they were a running team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 14, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

It's clear that McGee isn't ready to be a starting NBA center. (Flip had more scathing comment about him last night, but come one Flip, what did you expect against Dwight Howard?) I don't think McGee will be ready to be a starting NBA center next year either -- but what do I know? He needs to spend the entire offseason lifting weights and learning footwork -- maybe he can live in Tim Grover's gym with Arenas and Livingston. I'd be interested in hearing what NBA scouts and coaches have to say about how far McGee is away, time-wise.

Bottom line, I think, is that the Wizards will certainly add a center to the roster next year. After that, McGee is going to have to earn his minutes, and if he doesn't progress, he will be gone.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 14, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"Bottom line, I think, is that the Wizards will certainly add a center to the roster next year. After that, McGee is going to have to earn his minutes, and if he doesn't progress, he will be gone.Posted by: PostSubscriber"

I don't think they'd trade him, just bring in somebody stronger. Oberto was never intended to be a primary alternative to a center like McGee. You need somebody big and strong with hopefully, a low post game (which Haywood didn't have.)

As to how far away he is from becoming the player he can be, I'd say two seasons. I don't think he'll ever be a true low post player, but he doesn't need to be. He could be extremely effective if he simply learned to position himself correctly on defense and also developed something like a reliable short jumpshot. That's sort of what happened with Marcus Camby, who was much farther along when he came into the league and became a very effective player if not a superstar.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"I'd rather have a PG with limited range who has great court vision and who can get open looks to teammates than a PG with great shooting range, but limited court vision"

I think there's room for both. Once a defense realizes that your PG can't hit an outside shot, they sag to make it that much more difficult for anyone else to get open. Teams did this to Jason Kidd for years.

A player like Foye has two advantages at the point that help offset his obvious flaws. First, he's a good jump shooter. Second, he doesn't turn the ball over a lot, like some combo guards. He's not a great penetrator, so he needs to alternate with another guard who has complementary skills, such as taking the ball inside and playing defense against quicker opponents. Right now the Wiz don't have that guy, so they sign Boykins and Livingston and hope for the best.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Shall we keep SL next year? To summarize from various posters above:

SL looks like a keeper, but b/c of his horrendous 2007 knee injury he shouldn't play big minutes but should be the #2 or #3 pg next year. He's a natural-born pg with a high bb IQ and good court vision, and b/c he can penetrate, he creates pressure on opponent's D and open looks for teammates (something Foye doesn't do from beyond the arc). He's 6'7. He can score; however, he's a weak outside shooter. B/c of lack of conditioning or that knee, we haven't seen a fast break out of him. He's been bringing the ball up slowly and measuredly.

Other teams have not adjusted to him yet. It will be very interesting to see how he's doing in 10-15 games.

He'll get some other offers but he'll be affordable next year, especially for a team that hasn't had a true pg since Antonio Daniels.

All right, let's see it. Who wants him next year -- hands? That settles it. He's on the 2010-2011 roster, BARRING THE UNFORESEEN. Ted, prepare to pay the man.

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