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Oberto uncertain about future after "hard" year

Wizards (24-54) at Celtics (49-29)

Wizards starters: Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Fabricio Oberto

Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Line: Celtics by 11.5

When the Wizards signed Fabricio Oberto last summer, Coach Flip Saunders said he wanted to save him for most of the regular season so that the veteran big man would have something left for the playoffs. The Wizards were out of contention well before the all-star break, but Oberto has seen increased action with Saunders switching to a new offense in recent weeks.

"This is our playoffs," Saunders said. "That's why we're using him. Fab's been great for us."

After spending the past four seasons in San Antonio, where he won a championship in 2007, Oberto was the only player on the opening day roster to participate in the 2009 postseason. But for the first time in his NBA career, Oberto will be preparing to go home to Argentina when the playoffs begin.

"It's hard when you don't have a chance for a playoff run. That's the fun part of the season. That's the main thing," Oberto said. "I've been on another team in Spain [that missed the playoffs]. It's not an experience you want to live, but sometimes, that's the way it is."

Oberto turned 35 three weeks ago, but he said that he isn't sure what he will do beyond this season. "I have no idea," he said. "When I finish, I take like three or four weeks and I see how I feel. I talk to my family. I don't know yet. I take a couple weeks, a month. I still have time."

He also never tried to do more than he was asked, which included setting screens and committing hard fouls. Oberto is averaging 1.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.1 fouls in 53 games this season. He ranks first among players with at least 50 games in fouls per 48 minutes (8.9).

"I think he's given us a physical presence to start the game," Saunders said. "Teams haven't been able to just walk in the post."

Since Saunders inserted him into the starting lineup in Houston, the Wizards have gone 3-3. Saunders also credits Oberto for the improved play of JaVale McGee. "It's helped JaVale a little bit, to bring him in against the second-tier guys. He's given JaVale the freedom to do what he can do."

This season hasn't gone the way anyone associated with the organization expected, but Oberto kept the same attitude, whether he was playing or not, whether the team was winning or losing.

"For me, I feel the same part of the team, whether I start or not. I know my role. If I get to play, I play and I'm the same guy," Oberto said. "It's been a hard year, because we've had so many things to deal [with], sometimes, little trades, different things away from basketball. The thing I try to do is take it as an experience, even though it was a bad experience. I always try to take it as a learning year."

Al Thornton said he is feeling fine after returning from a seven-game absence on Wednesday in Orlando. Thornton went scoreless in 13 minutes, but he received some treatment on Friday and Saunders said he expects him provide "some quality time."

Thornton had arguably his best game as a Wizard the last time the team was in Boston, as he scored 24 points with 11 rebounds. "It felt good," Thornton said. "When you go against Paul Pierce, you got to be ready to play here. He's still one of the best players in the game. You're going to be embarrassed if you don't bring your 'A' game. Pretty much that whole starting five, to the five that comes off the bench can embarrass you."

Saunders was asked how he was going to keep Andray Blatche from engaging in another war of words with Kevin Garnett. "If he's going to talk to Garnett, me and Sam [Cassell] are going to talk right before the game and we'll get [Garnett] really juiced up, so [Blatche] will really have a challenge," Saunders said with a laugh. "Having coached Garnett, the guy that bothers him most in Tim Duncan because he doesn't talk back.
I think he'll be able to give us some quality time tonight."

Quinton Ross will likely get some action after missing the past three games with a back injury. Saunders said he plans on using him to chase down Ray Allen, who scored 25 points and hit a pair of three-pointers late to lead the Celtics to a comeback victory on March 7.

By Michael Lee  |  April 9, 2010; 6:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Andray Blatche on getting payback vs. Kevin Garnett, Celtics

Comments

Michael Lee,

Please proofread your posts (or have someone else do so). By now the errors are more than annoying.

Posted by: fansincebullets | April 9, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I also want to see how KG goes at Dray from a mental/trash talk POV. Im sure KG heard what the idiot Mike Lee wrote after the game about Dray nearly crying even though it wasnt true and Im sure that KG has also heard all the stuff that Flip said after the game about Dray talking back to KG. I know that is only going to fuel him to talk even more trash, try to get under Dray's skin, and get in his head from the jump. Should be interesting. I hope what Flip said doesnt backfire and makes Dray play scared and or uninspired

Posted by: dlts2041 | April 9, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I like how Oberto plays but teams dont even guard him. Dray makes good passes to him but he wont even look at the rim

Posted by: dlts2041 | April 9, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Great game so far from the Wiz. I hope Flip doesn't make them so tight with his halftime adjustments that they pee down their legs in the second half.

Posted by: harrybalz | April 9, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What the h ells going on in that game???
Is that score right?
I can't get here.
Should be a fun 2nd half.

Posted by: VBFan | April 9, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Blatche made that great move on KG but then missed the bunny. That kinda changed the momentum (and it was also a stat killer) but we kinda held them off late. Still, you could see KG starting to talk more so it will be a very interesting 3rd because I think he's going to go hard on Dray, atleast on Defense. Lets see if Dray can man up and be aggressive.

Either way, I love watching our young guys way more than AJ, Caron, Wood, and DS. We played great right after the trades, then we had a long stretch where not only were we losing but we were boring and couldnt score but since Flip changed the Offense, weve been looking pretty good & exciting again, win or lose. Im still not sold if Gil can be a dynamic scorer in the system but atleast we see Flip is willing to change and the new Offense gives Gil much more of a chance to put up points with good percentages than that 1st system

Posted by: dlts2041 | April 9, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I love Livingston. We have to keep him but I doubt he will want to stay with Gil on there when he might can go to somewhere like NY and start if they get a good player or 2. I also wanna see Dray finish strong in the 4th because when we got up big it looked like all his energy went away again and he was in lax motion for like the last 5min. I hate it when he does that. Meanwhile McGee has been bringing so much energy since he's been off the bench

Posted by: dlts2041 | April 9, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Dray still gets treated like a backup by the refs. That crap better change next year. He never gets any calls

Posted by: dlts2041 | April 9, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Coach Flip Saunders said he wanted to save him for most of the regular season so that the veteran big man would have something left for the playoffs?

"This is our playoffs," Saunders said. "That's why we're using him. Fab's been great for us."

What is this guy talking about...and there are still people on here that think this guy has a clue?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 9, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Dray dogging KG out yet again, LOVE IT.

Livingston every bit as good as Rondo tonight, almost no chance we keep this guy I'm afraid- he'll have options.

How about Javale???

Posted by: divi3 | April 9, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Who won the game...?? I have Verizon Fios and they had the Caps game on CSN and then the Nationals game on CSN2. Anybody know what channel I was suppose to use....??

Posted by: BulletsFever | April 9, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game but I can't wait to read Flip's comments on how great KG is?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 9, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game but I can't wait to read Flip's comments on how great KG is?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 9, 2010 10:12 PM

Flip will just talk about how Blatche wet his pants down the stretch with a couple costly turnovers. Nothing new.

Posted by: artiesliver | April 9, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the score. I put in my time watching "every" game (hardcore fan) and I miss out on a chance to see the Wiz "handle" the Celts. So unfair, never found out what channel it came on and Comcast is not showing it again as they usually do.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | April 9, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

if it makes you feel any better, that was probably the worst feed i've ever seen from comcast. Blurry and lagging the whole night

sweet win tho!

Posted by: divi3 | April 9, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever,
The game was televised on NewsChannel8, if you had Fios.

Shaun Livingston is going to attract a lot of teams next season. Someone earlier mentioned The Lakers.

Wouldn't it be just our luck to have Cleveland make a run at him? Shaq's $20 Million will go to LeBron.

Livingston will also attract attention from Miami, Dallas and Portland

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 9, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

livingston, dray, and mcgee look like the kind of young core you're supposed to build around

Posted by: divi3 | April 9, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

but hopefully we can trade dray for the 12th pick instead?

Posted by: divi3 | April 9, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

They tried to lose this game but the Celtics would have none of it i got the Celtics out after the first round, seriously! Shaun Livingston with Arenas would be lethal next season yes i think they can play together and be very effective McGee with the right coach would be a terror now if we can get a pwr.forward with skills................ imagine the possibilities.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 9, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Watching Livingston play off the ball with Miller, I can imagine he and Arenas playing off one another.

I said it before, defensively, it could be ugly, but on the offensive end...Wow!

He's really going to have some top tier team vying for his services next season. This is similar to the reason this franchise lost Gee. No one knows what direction this franchise will be going in this summer.

Ahh...the curse of Les Boulez strikes again.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 9, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

"f it makes you feel any better, that was probably the worst feed i've ever seen from comcast. Blurry and lagging the whole night"

Mine was just fine for the whole game.

Posted by: fansincebullets | April 9, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

now if we can get a pwr.forward with skills................ imagine the possibilities.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 9, 2010 10:37 PM

We have a power forward with skills.
Go coach up YOUR power forward, Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: artiesliver | April 9, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

McGee's Numbers


McGee has put up crazy numbers since going to the bench. Man his upside is crazy. Against the Magic was the only kinda iffy game because we sucked, got blown out, and he was in foul trouble the whole way but even in that he went 4-5 from the field, 2-2 from the FT line, and scored 10pts with 1 board, and one block in 18min which still isnt that bad. If you want to count that game then in the 7 games since going to the bench he has averaged 14.3pts, 7.7reb, and 1.9bl while shooting 55% from the field, and 70% from the FT line in just "19.1mpg". Those are excellent numbers. If you take away the Magic game then in the other 6 he is averging 15ppg, 8.8rbs, and 2blks in just "19.3mpg". How insane is that? He's not even playing 20 min and is getting basically 15 & 9 with 2 blocks and shooting better from the field & line than normal. Some is due to playing against backups but he still plays alot against starters.

Some is due to the new system which is helping everyone and I also think some is due to Flip finally giving McGee the green light. He still makes a few bone head plays but Flip usually leaves him in there and no matter what, he's not putting the handcuffs on McGee anymore. The kid wont play well like that. You just have to turn him loose, let him learn from his mistakes, and let him learn on the job. Its working, he's producing, and so is Dray, Livingston, and NY. Thats nice to see but McGee is still the key. I think Blatche is proven that he's atleast going to be solid but if both him & Dray grow together into a good young exciting frontcourt then it can almost instantly change the future of our orginization. Either way I love watching them play way more than AJ & Wood together

Posted by: dlts2041 | April 9, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards now have the 5th pick I think trading it to the Cav's for AJ would be a great move,,,I love his 20 and 10 a game

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 9, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"livingston, dray, and mcgee look like the kind of young core you're supposed to build around"

lol...yeah...I'm sure the rest of the league is trembling at that thought. A PG with one of the most horrific knee injuries ever, a talented PF with a 2 cent brain, and a extremely raw center who more often than not looks clueless on the court who is about to enter his 3rd season. If they are your "core" players, this team will never make the playoffs. Not to say they aren't decent players to have on the team, but stop the hyperbole.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 9, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Rphilli721, you have a flare for the dramatic. To indicate that McGee, Blatche and Livingston are being pumped up, over valued, overestimated, given more than they are due is just silly.

Get real RP, these three are the real deal, it ain't gonna get no better. Who would or could you replace them with on this team that is going to be any better.

Name three players in the NBA that you could get any team to swap equal or better value for.

What are you trying to say RPHILLI721 that any of us should not be excited about in those three fellas.

RPHILLI721, what gives son?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 9, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD

McGee, Blatche and Livingston are being pumped up, over valued, overestimated, given more than they are due is just silly.

Name three players in the NBA that you could get any team to swap equal or better value for.

Blatche and the 30th pick for AJ
McGee, Livingston and the 5th pick to Dallas for BTH and Dshawn?

I miss the old days already?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 9, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

RPHILLI721, what gives son?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 9, 2010 11:39 PM

anybody suggesting we should trade Dray for the 12th pick in the draft obviously hasnt been watching the games.

Posted by: divi3 | April 10, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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