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Andray Blatche, Nick Young are dialed in

Morning brew

Despite how trying the past few months have been, some Washington Wizards players are not ready for this season to end. In today's newspaper Michael Lee describes Andray Blatche and Nick Young's pregame "telephone" routine, which Blatche says shows that the two are "dialed in" with each other.

On the blog, Lee asks if Blatche is the NBA's most improved player. And he points out that Nick Young has provided a spark as a starter.

Bullets Forever's Mike Prada talked to Shaun Livingston about his future after Saturday's loss to the Hawks.

On his D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that the Wizards' online store appears to be Bullet-proof.

Meanwhile, Gilbert Arenas arrived at a Montgomery County halfway house at 8:58 a.m. Sunday, marking the next phase of his 30-day sentence for a gun-related conviction, corrections officials said.

Only two games remain in the regular season. The Wizards face the Knicks tonight in New York.

Around the League ...


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As the regular season draws to a close ... there were seven games yesterday. Highlights are below, courtesy of NBA.com.

By Alexa Steele  |  April 12, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Andray Blatche, Dan Steinberg, Gilbert Arenas, NBA, National Basketball Association, Nick Young, Shaun Livingston, Washington Wizard  
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Next: Randy Foye to have surgery on Thursday

Comments

I hope livingston doesn't leave. His efficiency is always positive. If Grunfeld lets him go then thats another player he let get away including Roger Mason, Darius Songaila, Alonzo Gee. In fact it would be scary if he replaced Darek Fisher of the lakers because they already have terrifying size as it is.

Posted by: jefferu | April 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

So Rod Stickland got a DUI and he on UK staff. Never knew these 2 things...

Posted by: ATLredskin | April 12, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Livingston coming back, and I really hope that he does, but does he start here? If he does start, Gil would need to play off the ball and I don't think Gil wants to do that.

Livingston could get opportunities elsewhere. The Lakers could use a starting point guard for example. Miami, next to Wade.

I don't think it is up to Ernie, GM named X, or anybody else on the Wizards. It is up to Livingston.

If I was a Wizard or fan, I would start kissing his ass now!

Posted by: G-Man11 | April 12, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

(B) the same people who regularly ride
Blatche's strap also routinely ripped Jamison for being a jumpshooting PF, indicating a high level of hypocrisy.

I couldn't agree more...
Blatche is balling right now though...for what it's worth.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | April 12, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Looks like another example of how San Antonio is managing to hoard project players in the D League:

http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2010/4/12/1416642/thinking-out-loud-why-would-a-d

I guess it should be no surprise that players in the Developmental League, who are actually developing, are inclined to stay with an organization that has shown a major commitment to helping them develop. Especially if San Antonio is willing to pay just a little bit more.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | April 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

(B) the same people who regularly ride
Blatche's strap also routinely ripped Jamison for being a jumpshooting PF, indicating a high level of hypocrisy.

I couldn't agree more...
Blatche is balling right now though...for what it's worth.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | April 12, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

haven't seen AB use a no-look shot yet. no flip shots from the defenders armpit. hubie brown was ripping AJ for not "going up strong" in sunday's game. Ab is shooting the outside J a lil more than i would like, but he'd hitting them, and he attacks tha basket just about as often as he pulls up.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It also looks like the Spurs are once again leading the league as an organization, being among the first, if not the first to really get some benefit out of the red-headed step child D-league.

Hopefully the Wizards find a way to follow suit. Teams that can actually offer playing time in addition to contracts should have the advantage over relatively settled teams like the Spurs. The fact that the Spurs are housing those teams is another sign of why they have won a bunch of championships recently and the Wiz are....well, the Wiz.

Posted by: ts35 | April 12, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Drafting David Robinson then Tim duncan doesnt hurt, but yeah, looks like they're schooling the league.

Makes sense too. The Dleague would seem a superior option than chasing rumors about a 7'3" Croat supposedly tearing it up for the Minske Maurauders of the Belarus League.

Of course, looks like the Spurs have their tentacles there as well

Posted by: divi3 | April 12, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Having a team in Bismark is pretty useless. The Wizards are going to have to wait for another expansion to take advantage of the D-League. There's nothing stopping them from catching up in international scouting though.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 12, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

New poll question...

Why are the Wizards so bad at developing players and when a player develops into a good player the organization seems surprised?

1) The old owner didn’t want to spend the money?

2) The GM doesn’t like young players and would prefer to trade and or sell the teams draft picks

3) ETaps

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

(B) the same people who regularly ride
Blatche's strap also routinely ripped Jamison for being a jumpshooting PF, indicating a high level of hypocrisy.

I couldn't agree more...
Blatche is balling right now though...for what it's worth.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | April 12, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

haven't seen AB use a no-look shot yet. no flip shots from the defenders armpit. hubie brown was ripping AJ for not "going up strong" in sunday's game. Ab is shooting the outside J a lil more than i would like, but he'd hitting them, and he attacks tha basket just about as often as he pulls up.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

OH Shhh, I thought I was the only one tripping off tha no look shots. I'm with you. Blatche also plays a little better D. even if its just being in the way at nearly 7" with a wing span. He also makes plays to his teamates, therefore making us able run a more conventional offense. Some people just have veteran bias. It makes you seem like you "know your stuff".

Posted by: millineumman | April 12, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Regarding comparisons between Jamison & Blatche, the two biggest differences are Blatche's assists numbers and Drays willingness to defend.

As for Livingston, it will hurt to lose a player like that. The question I ask myself is would the Wiz with Haywood, Butler and Jamison have been a playoff caliber team if Livington had been given a chance here prior to the trade? As opposed to trying to play Foye as a point?

As it stands, only Singleton has provided any consistent minutes from the trades, he could of been had for a ham sandwich.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 12, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

bozomoeman

Without making the trades the Wizards would have been over the Luxury Cap and would not be eligible to receive their annual check from the teams who want to win a championship.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Livingston wouldnt have made that much a difference because 1)AJ never passes the ball, 2)Caron was missing open shots anyway, and 3)BTH is unable to receive or make passes

the team was going to do NOTHING with AJ/CB/BTH as the main components, thank goodness EG made those trades.

Posted by: divi3 | April 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Why are the Wizards so bad at developing players and when a player develops into a good player the organization seems surprised?"

"1) The old owner didn’t want to spend the money?"
Don't think that was it. I think Abe's biggest fault was not being able to separate 'good people' from 'good basketball people'. The fact that EG is easily the best GM we've had in recent memory speaks volumes.

"2) The GM doesn’t like young players and would prefer to trade and or sell the teams draft picks"
Sacrificing picks for players is a long (and horrible) Wizards/Bullets tradition. The picks for C-Dub, the #1 for an injured Mark Price....the list goes on. The #5 for AJ actually holds up as a reasonable deal. The #5 for Miller and Foye won't, but it was made it part because the GM (rightly or wrongly) felt like we were already relying on too many young players (Blatche, McGee, Young and McGuire).

3) ETaps
Difficult to say. Is E-Taps bad at development, or is it the picks EG made? AB and Young are making strides, but even their biggest supporters have to acknowledge there have been some maturity issues. Some of that may be on the organization, but some has to be on the players as well.

The ultimate failing of the organization here may be in failing to retain a volume of picks and identify the right type of player to draft or sign, which makes it less of a development problem and more of a scouting / decision making problem.

Posted by: bulletsfan78

Posted by: ts35 | April 12, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

As for Livingston, it will hurt to lose a player like that. The question I ask myself is would the Wiz with Haywood, Butler and Jamison have been a playoff caliber team if Livington had been given a chance here prior to the trade? As opposed to trying to play Foye as a point?

As it stands, only Singleton has provided any consistent minutes from the trades, he could of been had for a ham sandwich.

Posted by: bozomoeman

All other things being equal, yes he would have helped. AJ, BTH, NY, and to a lesser extent CB do better when their shots are set up for them. So having a player like Livingston who can do that for them would make them better. Though I agree that Shaun would have grown weary of Haywood dropping his passes and missing point blank shots.

Playoff Caliber? Maybe. They still would be atrocious on defense. But in the East, Shaun may have been enough to make them competitive for the last slot.

Posted by: ts35 | April 12, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@bulletsfan78,

You're in rare form today, my man...I'm still chuckling over your poll question...
My question regarding Livingston is suggestive of a lack of due diligence done by a front office, after they lost two point guards, Arenas and Crittenton in Gun Gate. The first move that should have been made should have been to find a PG.
We got "Dribble and Shoot"?

In spite of the fact that Livingston had already played in OKC.
I accept that I'm using hindsight here, but Boykins is nothing close to a PG.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 12, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

New poll question...

Why are the Wizards so bad at developing players and when a player develops into a good player the organization seems surprised?
1) The old owner didn’t want to spend the money?
2) The GM doesn’t like young players and would prefer to trade and or sell the teams draft picks
3) ETaps
Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes just bring up the quote the owner was cheap to provide some substance to your arguement.

Man that is getting old.

Please name a NBA team that has draft a high schooler in the 2nd round and develop them into a regular starter. Besides the Wizards I can only think of one other team to do so.

I can not believe the amount of tears over middle second round draft picks and D-leaguers. If you guys where San Antonio fans you would be crying how they didn't hold to develop 1st round picks they had John Salmons, Leandrinho Barbosa and Beno Udrich.

IN all reality a lot of teams have a hard enough time developing top ten picks let alone 2nd rounder and D league players.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | April 12, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Livingston wouldnt have made that much a difference because 1)AJ never passes the ball, 2)Caron was missing open shots anyway, and 3)BTH is unable to receive or make passes

the team was going to do NOTHING with AJ/CB/BTH as the main components, thank goodness EG made those trades.

Posted by: divi3
___________________

Don't get me wrong, it was time to break up the old Wiz. But, if we are going to give accolades to Livingston, then it's not a stretch to ask the question how much better this team could have been.
I remind you, after Gun Gate, we had "Dribble & Shoot" and Foye as our primary ball handlers...I shudder now at the memory.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 12, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Why are the Wizards so bad at developing players and when a player develops into a good player the organization seems surprised?"

Two answers:
1) the NBA as a whole struggles to develop players, particularly with so many leaving college early. You'd think with AAU ball from a young age they'd be strong on fundamentals, but then look at Javale McGee.
2) if the young players on the Wiz are as good as folks here believe them to be, then they developed right here in Washington. Blatche is what, fifth year? Nick Young is third? McGee is second year.

Now we're getting to see their strengths, but also their weaknesses.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I remind you, after Gun Gate, we had "Dribble & Shoot" and Foye as our primary ball handlers...I shudder now at the memory.

Posted by: bozomoeman

Sorry, when you said "Dribble & Shoot", I thought you *were* talking about Foye....Haha. Haha. Oy.

The sad truth of it is that if SL had been allowed to play enough to get into shape as he has over the past few weeks, they might have held off on breaking the team up. EG definitely needed proof far beyond a reasonable doubt before he pulled the trigger on the blow up. Any sign of improvement might have been enough for him to hold off, and try to make lesser moves to get under the cap.

Posted by: ts35 | April 12, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"In spite of the fact that Livingston had already played in OKC."

And they released him. I suspect what we're seeing is a player who maybe wasn't that good when we got him, but is improving in front of our eyes.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And that they were only willing to take a chance on him once the season was officially down the tubes and the rebuilding project had begun in full-force.

Posted by: ts35 | April 12, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Slam Online has a great interview with Livingston. The more this guy speaks, the more I think the Wizards may need to pay what it takes to keep him...
http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/04/shaun-livingston-in-his-own-words/

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 12, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

With the Grunfizards it's always might have been, could have been, would have been.

Really sad.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | April 12, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

y'know, what we might be looking at with Livingston is a player that the Wizards are helping to develop...

No, that's not possible.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Best to think Livingston wont be here next season, that way no disappointment when he signs elsewhere.

Considering our CAP space and major questions about Gil...it's worth overpaying to keep him. Why on Earth not?

If the knee is hurt again, it's curtains on his career and the money is off the books. Consider we spent $15mill on Miller and Mike James just this season....who doesnt think Livingston is worth a $15mill chance?

Will be very interesting to see what kind of offers he gets

Posted by: divi3 | April 12, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

We're now tied with the KINGS for the fourth slot in the draft. With our luck we'll win these last two and be tied for seventh with DETROIT or the 76's.

In the lottery:

JOHN WALL, EVAN TURNER, DeMARCUS COUSINS, DERRICK FAVORS, WES JOHNSON, GREG MONROE, or COLE ALDRICH whichever.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I've read two articles about SHAUN LIVINGSTON now and his comments about being in D.C. Neither makes me think that he wants to be, or will be in a WIZARDS uni next season. Sounds to me like he can't wait to get off this team. Can't say I blame him.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I like Monroe, but to me he doesn't make sense for this team, because he's essentially the same player as Blatche (unless we're trading AB for the 12th pick and cap space!). Unless they view Monroe as clearly better than other talent available, I look elsewhere. I'd prefer to reach on a guy like Bledsoe. Aldrich is what he is, but I'd have a hard time spending the #6 or #7 on him. But he may be the kind if guy they need behind McGee.

Posted by: ts35 | April 12, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

LIVINGSTON seems to be saying that he doesn't owe the Wizzies anything. True words.
But the Wizzies need a PG just like him.
Where are they gonna get one & how much will it cost?
Why not come up with the $$$ now & pay SL.
Who is out there that we could sign & how much will he cost compared to what SL will sign for?
I don't see anyone.

Posted by: VBFan | April 12, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"Please name a NBA team that has draft a high schooler in the 2nd round and develop them into a regular starter. Besides the Wizards I can only think of one other team to do so."

What team is that?

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 12, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"Considering our CAP space and major questions about Gil...it's worth overpaying to keep him. Why on Earth not? "

Because he's coming off a devastating knee injury and while he's played well in a limited period in D.C. he hasn't shown nearly enough to demonstrate that he's worth a big money, long-term commitment.

It's mind-boggling that some of the same people who ripped Grunfeld and Pollin for doling out big money to Arenas are advocating throwing money at Livingston.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 12, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

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