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Training camp concerns Part III: Do the Wizards have enough size?


It's my turn now. (AP Photo)


JaVale McGee believes that he is finally coming into his own. His body is filling out, as he's added about eight pounds of muscle since last season. His recent diagnosis with asthma and subsequent treatment has given him more endurance. And his confidence is growing nearly every time he steps on the floor.

McGee's growth was evident last July, as the Wizards chose to showcase their 7-foot-1 jumping jack third-year center in summer league and he formed a wicked, alley-ooping tandem with No. 1 overall pick John Wall. He then earned an invitation to try out for Team USA, got cut, returned, got cut again, but left an impression on USA Basketball officials and players with his tremendous athleticism.

The 22-year-old McGee is far from a finished product, his time with the U.S. national team serving as evidence of the areas where he needs to improve -- defensive awareness and patience on offense. But the Wizards are hoping that it all starts to come together for McGee, as he opens the season as the favorite to start at center and doesn't have a superior veteran behind him forcing him to look over his shoulder. In order for McGee to stay on the floor, he will have to stay out of foul trouble, while protecting the rim and rebounding.

McGee and the 6-11 Andray Blatche give the Wizards a unique starting combo of agile, quick and athletic big men who can create matchup problems for opposing teams. But they are also finesse big men, which led the Wizards to look for some physical competitors in the draft. They found them in Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker.


Does this look intimidate you? (Getty Images)

Seraphin, a 6-foot-9 bruiser who has been compared to Denver's rugged center Nene, is a bit of a project but he has good instincts and has been turning heads in scrimmages at Verizon Center the past few weeks. He has fully recovered from his minor knee injury suffered last May, but still wears a protective brace. One observer said that if he could, all-star point guard Chris Paul would gladly take Seraphin back with him to New Orleans, given his physical style of play and court awareness. There is a chance that the 20-year-old Seraphin could see some quality minutes since he is not afraid to mix it up down low and throw his body around.

Booker plays bigger than his size, but his speed and desire to compete on the defensive end also gives the Wizards another dimension that they've lacked in the past.

Yi Jianlian is the only other 7-footer on the roster, and he thrived in the low post while playing for China during the world championships. But in the NBA, he is better suited for a role similar to Orlando's Rashard Lewis, another supersized shooting guard.

Hilton Armstrong hasn't done much to support his lottery selection four years ago, but he's worth giving an opportunity since he came so cheap (the league minimum) and has a reputation for being a hard worker.

Rebounding will be an area of concern for the Wizards, especially since they don't have any players with strong reputations for doing work on backboards. Teams routinely attacked the Wizards inside, realizing that they had little bulk to offer much resistance. The midseason trades opened up opportunities for McGee and Blatche to play significant minutes, but the Wizards will still have one of the more inexperienced front lines in the NBA.

Between McGee, Blatche, Armstrong, Yi, Seraphin and Booker, the Wizards have a combined 14 years of NBA experience on the frontcourt. Training camp invitee Sean Marks is a 10-year veteran with an outside shot of making the roster and would provide a much-needed tutor in the interior. But the young guys will have to grow up quickly this season.


By Michael Lee  | September 16, 2010; 10:26 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Hilton Armstrong, JaVale McGee, Kevin Seraphin, Training camp concerns 2010-11, Trevor Booker, Yi Jianlian  
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Comments

Excited about watching McGee & Seraphin this-year, however we still lack depth in the Front court.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/433307-power-ranking-all-30-nba-frontcourts-are-the-champion-lakers-on-top#page/2

Posted by: closg | September 16, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Size doesn't matter.

IGWT!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | September 16, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually less concerned about the depth and quality of our big men than I am about the patience of EG and Flip to let them develop. They've been talking about "rebuilding" but will they let our young bigs play through mistakes, etc.? Past experience with this franchise--and this GM and coach--would suggest not. These are "win now" guys. Perhaps they've truly changed. We'll see.

Posted by: jweber1 | September 16, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

They have enough size for a rebuilding team. Of course, McGee needs to stay healthy for this to work unless Seraphin and/or Yi can handle significant minutes at C. The focus should be on development, so I'd rather they go with what they have now, and pick up someone from the D-League or by trade if the need arises. It's just too tempting to play vets over youth to do otherwise.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 16, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'd be surprised if they don't add a veteran center at some point. Backup type. Despite his physique, Armstrong isn't really a physical inside player, and Seraphin is presumably still learning.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I hear Erick Dampier is available.

"Despite his physique, Armstrong isn't really a physical inside player . . . "

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 11:24 AM

True, but neither are any of the other big men they'd likely be able to pick up off the scrap heap. The main reason to go out and spend money on some aging scrub is to have someone to fill the nonplaying "mentor" role. But not all veterans can or will do that. (Around this time last year, I seem to recall a lot of lip service being given to what a great "mentor" Oberto would be, despite the fact that he wasn't really a veteran and had never actually mentored anyone in the NBA. How'd that work out?)

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Divi3, very interesting post on last article about the possible type of injury Blatche has... Just out of curiosity, have you read somewhere that he has that specific type of fracture, or are you speculating (along with the rest of us)?

In either case, this is precisely my point about Mike's article on Dray: Despite rphili's thoughtful note about his ability to "come up with the conclusion0---based on his wonderful reading comprehension skills---that Mike DID cover this, I'd continue to suggest that this is the most significant story line about Blatche, by far, as we head into the year. But I'd actually go even further. I think we are SO thin (literally and figuratively) up front, that Blatche's foot health might be one of the top two or three story lines facing the team this coming season. (Wall/Arenas is another, and how will all the young unproven bangers do when Javale or Andreay sit being the third.)

Finally, on a totally different subject, ryjufox wrote: "the wiz's leaders are wall, arenas, blatche, josh howard, nick young." This is hilarious/true/sad/terrifying: I think Wall may have shown the most maturity of the group so far, and he hasn't played a second in the NBA yet. I love that Wall completed his SPRING semester with a 3.5 GPA, even after he knew he was going to be in the draft... I doubt that has happened often among those declaring early. But I suspect we'll be thankful for Hinrich's influence on the team from a leadership standpoint.

Posted by: psdfx | September 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

djnnnou,

Well, Yi cannot handle significant minutes at C, that's a given. Blatche at least proven that he can play some C at the NBA level, Yi hasn't done so in his NBA career.

As for Armstrong, he averaged 2.6 rebounds in 12.5 minutes, which means he cannot get double digit rebounds even if he plays the entire 48 minutes! That's not a good stat for a big man.

The main improvement can come from McGee learning not to be faked out so often and stays out of foul trouble, so he can stay on the floor longer.

Other than the big men depth, I think Wiz need some 3-pts shooters, so when Wall penetrates and dishes out, they can take advantage of it.

Posted by: sagaliba | September 16, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Nene is 6'11" and came into the league with a consistent 15ft J and go-to post moves. Do the Nene-Seraphin comparisons mean we should expect that same from KS? He'll be an absolute steal if he's got Nene's game.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Divi3, very interesting post on last article about the possible type of injury Blatche has... Just out of curiosity, have you read somewhere that he has that specific type of fracture, or are you speculating (along with the rest of us)?"

No inside knowledge, just googling stress fractures and 5th metatarsals. However AB did have surgery which is why I posted that section as it would seem to be relevant.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

also it's absurd to say that Yi is better suited to the role of Rashard Lewis.

Lewis has been taking seven 3s a night and hitting them at close to a 40% clip while he's been in orlando. Yi averages 1.1 3pt attempt for his career and a 34% avg. There's really no evidence that we want Yi bombing 3s the way Lewis does. Hopefully Flip encourages Yi to play more inside as he did at FIBA games

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Wiz has enough big men in body count, but they are all inexperienced. That is why I am surprised that they signed Armstrong instead of a more experienced backup C. But I have to admit, Armstrong comes cheap.

As for kalo's mentioning of Dampier, don’t quite understand his point. Dampier has just refused Bobcats' offer (half of mid-level), he is not going to accept vet's minimum unless on a championship contender.

Posted by: sagaliba | September 16, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"As for kalo's mentioning of Dampier, don’t quite understand his point. "

That's because some people lack the delicate mechanism required to detect even the most obvious sarcasm. You'll notice I didn't actually suggest the Wiz go after him (in fact, everything I said after his name could/should be clearly taken as reasons not to go after him).

Sometimes it's best to just relax and not over complicate things.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

If Blatche is starting, then Houston we have a problem. He is very soft. He does have a hell of an offensive game but he want's very badly to be a shooting guard and just has not done what it would've taken to transform his body and his game to the 4 position. And he is a bit of a headcase on top of that.

So this is one of my main concerns for this team. I do like McGee. He is so fun to watch because he can jump out the gym. But super low basketball IQ. Maybe that will change for this sesaon but from what I have seen just a super athelete. He is clueless on defense and will try to go coast to coast on offense. But again, hopefully with more PT he can be a decent center.

I do like the newer editions to this team but I'm interested in what McGee and Blatche does..

Which brings me to Nick Young. Will he finally committ on defense and get serious and try to fulfill his potential. I always thought Nick had and has allstar talent. But he has to stop being so damn silly and get serious.

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"That's because some people lack the delicate mechanism required to detect even the most obvious sarcasm."

And some people just cannot bypass a oppertunity for personal attack?

Posted by: sagaliba | September 16, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I personally can't wait for the season to begin. I have no clue whether this season will result in a high lottery pick or a low playoff seed in the East. I could envision scenarios that could lead to either. But it is fun to be in a re-building mode, and to have a lot of young guys that will either step up and prove themselves worthy of PT and a future roster spot, or not.

Big picture, has any NBA team ever gone into a season with this little proven front court talent/experience? If either Javale or Dray get hurt and miss much time, it really won't matter how good Wall/Arenas et al are---we will be lottery bound for sure.

Posted by: psdfx | September 16, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I personally can't wait for the season to begin. I have no clue whether this season will result in a high lottery pick or a low playoff seed in the East. I could envision scenarios that could lead to either. But it is fun to be in a re-building mode, and to have a lot of young guys that will either step up and prove themselves worthy of PT and a future roster spot, or not.

Big picture, has any NBA team ever gone into a season with this little proven front court talent/experience? If either Javale or Dray get hurt and miss much time, it really won't matter how good Wall/Arenas et al are---we will be lottery bound for sure.

Posted by: psdfx | September 16, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Neither personal nor an attack. Trust me, if I decide to engage in either, you'll easily be able to tell the difference.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

kevenjones,

Don't quite agree with you on your assessment of Blatche. While he is not a bruising PF, he did demonstrate he can score inside; especially in the later part of last season, majority of his scores came from inside.

Posted by: sagaliba | September 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Weird, sorry for the double post.

One more thought I'm sure someone has posted on but I have missed it. If (enormously unlikely if) Carmelo Anthony got to free agency and decided that his Baltimore roots and the collection of talent in DC were appealing, would we have the cap room to sign a max player next year? (That assumes the Wall/Gil experiment works, and that Dray of last season was not a mirage, and about 10 other things, I realize).

But let's say all does break right with this team, it would be an appealing place for an all-star 3 who is looking for a good surrounding cast, right? And close to home...

Posted by: psdfx | September 16, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Neither personal nor an attack. Trust me, if I decide to engage in either, you'll easily be able to tell the difference."

Good, couldn't wait, let's see what you got!

Posted by: sagaliba | September 16, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If Anthony had any interest in playing for the Wizards, they'd at least have been mentioned among the teams he's supposedly cited as a desired landing spot. The fact that they haven't been speaks volumes.

And that whole "close to home" thing is a fan's dream that rarely has any real impact on players' decisions.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

sagaliba and kalo-rama could you please report to the principals office.

Posted by: firemetalrat | September 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, Yi cannot handle significant minutes at C, that's a given. Blatche at least proven that he can play some C at the NBA level, Yi hasn't done so in his NBA career.

Posted by: sagaliba

Channing Frye played 27 mpg on a playoff team last year, so there's really no reason to assume that Yi can't do 15-20 for the Wizards. And I think Blatche expressed his feelings about playing Center last year. It wasn't positive. Rebuilding teams always have thin spots on their rosters. That's part of the process.

Posted by: djnnnou | September 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

It seems like many people tuned out after the trades last season, because in the games that followed AB held his own or bested pretty much every frontcourt we faced. Obviously that didn't amount to wins, and clearly the question is can he continue that level of play.

But "Can he continue to do it?" is a much preferable situation to "Can he do it at all?" which is the question being asked of Mcgee, Seraphin, Booker, Young, Yi, Wall, and Gil.

Assuming he's healthy, AB is probably the least of our worries.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Before I begin reading I want to say; the US team brought home the Gold with a relatively small team.

Johnny

Posted by: upscalechef | September 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Channing Frye played 27 mpg on a playoff team last year, so there's really no reason to assume that Yi can't do 15-20 for the Wizards."

What does Channing Frye have to do with Yi? They're different types of players who play in different systems on different types of teams. There's no 1-to-1 correlation between the two.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Before I begin reading I want to say; the US team brought home the Gold with a relatively small team."

The U.S. team wasn't competing against teams filled with NBA caliber talent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to debate whether the Wizards "have enough size" then the followup question has to be: "Enough size to do what, exactly?"

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@sagaliba,

He just has not demonstrated that he can be a consistent PF. Those numbers at the after the trade are fools gold. You think he could average anything close to that on an even average team? Somebody had to score. I'm not sold that if he is not the featured player, which he clearly will not be, that he can maintain the focus and do the other things it takes to be successful at his position. He still has the tendency to float too far out. Even during warm ups he is practicing the 3(wtf). And he does have a nice jump shot but that's not what this team needs. He needs to focus on rebounding the ball and playing defense, and give 10-15 a game and he will be fine. But again he is yet to demonstrate that he can commit to doing this.

I would trade him along with Gil if possible. But that's just me...

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Lewis has been taking seven 3s a night and hitting them at close to a 40% clip while he's been in orlando. Yi averages 1.1 3pt attempt for his career and a 34% avg. There's really no evidence that we want Yi bombing 3s the way Lewis does."Posted by: divi3

I thought this was a bit deceptive. Yi's role has been very different over his three seasons in the league. His first year (Milwaukee) and his third year (second in NJ), he was primarily an inside player, with only 4% and 7% of his shots coming from the arc. His first year in NJ he was asked to range farther out on the wing and the percentage of 3 point shots rose to 28%. That makes it very difficult to compare his progress to a 12 year veteran like Rashard Lewis, whose role in Orlando has been pretty well defined.

The thing that gets my notice about Yi's outside shooting percentage is that it's going up -- from 28.6% his rookie season to 36.6% last year. That suggests that he was used to be an inside player in international competition and has been expanding his game since.

Other thing that I notice is that he's only suited up for 66, 61, and 52 games in his three seasons.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Something I thought was ironic: it was Lamar Odom who got big minutes at center over the last few games at FIBA.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sold that if he is not the featured player, which he clearly will not be, that he can maintain the focus and do the other things it takes to be successful at his position."

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 2:23 PM

Exactly. To me, that's far and away the biggest question mark hanging over Blatche's head, and taking his entire history into account, I don't see that he gets the benefit of the doubt. His talent isn't, and never really has been, an issue. We've known for a while the guy could play. It was his willingness to do so, at a time and in a way that most benefits the team, that was and remains the issue.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Since no true good big man is out there that would truly benefit the Wizards, I say keep the current folks and hopefully sub in/out during the game to find the best combination to play against that team's player.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | September 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

speaking of deceptive, stating Yi's 3pt% has gone up every year when he only took 41 last season (after 140 the year before) is a reach imo.

He's never come close to shooting 3s at the rate nor the FG% that Rashard has in Orlando, which is why I'm saying it's not an apt comparison.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldnt we want our 6'11" PF to be the featured scoring option? Gil's back (again), so we have to bomb perimeter Js as the basis for our offense? No point in continuing that failed strategy, we've seen enough of the results.

Wall is a true PG and will be looking to get other players off, especially bigs who can finish. I would not be surprised to see AB the leading scorer on the team or at least close to it.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldnt we want our 6'11" PF to be the featured scoring option? Gil's back (again), so we have to bomb perimeter Js as the basis for our offense? No point in continuing that failed strategy, we've seen enough of the results.

Wall is a true PG and will be looking to get other players off, especially bigs who can finish. I would not be surprised to see AB the leading scorer on the team or at least close to it.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That's cool....but you act like Dray isn't mainly a jump shooting PF. No reason he shouldn't be a top scorer. At least 2nd leading. Very similar to our last starting PF.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think last year's Blatche is fools gold. I think he finally got the opportunity to start. The were never going to bench Antawn. Blatche earned this year as the #1 starter at the PF. Nick had the same opportunity last year and did not distinquish himself.

I think Arenas and Blatche will average similar amounts scoring, around 20 per game.

Posted by: G-Man11 | September 16, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@divi3 & G-Man11,

So your telling me Blache, who averages 8ppg will be one of the top two scores on this team? GTF

Be serious and think about that. So he is going to go from carrer avg of 8ppg and jump to be one of the top 15 scorers in the league. WOW.

If he does that he will make the All-Star team. I will give you that. lol

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

So I'm saying he will probably average 12-14ppts per game. He will not even get enough shots to average anywhere near 20ppg in the first place.

Like I said on that sorry shell of a team that was left after Josh Howard got hurt, he had the green light. Will never happen for him again in his entire career.

He wouldn't even start on but maybe 2 other teams in the league!

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Jamison took 247 3s last year , Blatche launched 44. Pretty big difference imho

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Nene is 6'11" and came into the league with a consistent 15ft J and go-to post moves. Do the Nene-Seraphin comparisons mean we should expect that same from KS? He'll be an absolute steal if he's got Nene's game."

There was nothing consistent about Nene's game when he first entered the league. That's a laughable comment. I forget when Nene was drafted, but Seraphin is a similar type project. Perhaps slightly more so.

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

yeah, Nene was so inconsistent he averaged 10pts/6reb on 52% shooting in 28mins his rookie year. You'll be erecting a bronze EG statue in front of VC if seraphin does that.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Jamison took 247 3s last year , Blatche launched 44. Pretty big difference imho

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

64% of Dray's shots are jumpers. 70% for Jamison. All jumpers are NOT 3s you know? Dray spends as much time on the perimiter shooting jumpers as AJ. That's just a reality. It's not like the offense is going to change from perimiter jumpers all of a sudden.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

Damn that is alot of 3's by Jamison, but I'm saying Blatche shoots too any jumper's period, not 3 pointers just long jump shots. He needs to learn to play with his back to the basket and develop some post moves to incorporate with his perimeter game..

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

Damn that is alot of 3's by Jamison, but I'm saying Blatche shoots too any jumper's period, not 3 pointers just long jump shots. He needs to learn to play with his back to the basket and develop some post moves to incorporate with his perimeter game..

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. But you're delusional to think Blatche would only start for 2 other teams...or that he won't be a top 3 scorer for us. Gil, Wall and Blatche are going to be carrying the scoring load. More than likely.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"The injury was a setback for Blatche, who made improving his physique his primary focus and still was able to maintain his weight despite limited mobility. He just wasn't able to work on improving and expanding his game.

After having his protective boot removed nearly three weeks ago, Blatche started running last week and hopes to be ready in time for training camp -- although the Wizards don't want to rush him. Saunders will likely encourage Blatche to take his time, so that Blatche can be healthy when it really counts."

@ psdfx,

Here are the specific paragraphs where indeed his foot injury was discussed. It's pretty cut and dried I would say. And, just remember, there is such a thing as medical privacy. So your yearning for every possible detail is probably not going to happen unless Blatche releases his x-rays and diagnosis. The speculation on the specific type of fracture or whether his career is somehow in trouble is pointless and will only get your panties in a bunch. Seems to me thus far it's a simple fracture that has healed on schedule.

Z, Shaq, Walton etc... are all extremely large men both in height and weight, which common sense would indicate puts more stress on their feet than most people. Blatche is about the skinniest PF in the league.

The real point is that you chided the writer of the blog bc he did not mention Blatche's injury when he clearly did. Thus, you are the one that deserves chiding.

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Blatche will definitely be sharing the scoring load. But the question is: Does he know how to share?

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"speaking of deceptive, stating Yi's 3pt% has gone up every year when he only took 41 last season (after 140 the year before) is a reach imo." posted by divi3

It's true, though? I went to some trouble to explain that in two years he took very few 3 pointers, and in the middle year he took a fair number from the arc, and that his percentage went up all three years. That's not a reach at all. Your statement, IMO, was actually deceptive in that it gave the impression that Yi wasn't a decent 3 point shooter, when in fact, he is -- and apparently getting better.

"He's never come close to shooting 3s at the rate nor the FG% that Rashard has in Orlando, which is why I'm saying it's not an apt comparison."Posted by: divi3

And that's what is deceptive in your comparison of the two players, because you leave out the reality that during two seasons Yi played primarily inside, and the third year he played a very different role.

He doesn't have to be as good an outside shooter as Rashard Lewis to be an effective player for the Wiz. The one thing we've established is that his 3 point percentage is in fact improving over the years. Will it continue to improve? We can't say, because we're not sure how Saunders will use him.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

About Blatche: I don't see any other inside scoring option for the Wiz. Maybe McGee or Yi will surprise, or Yi or Booker will come on strong, but at the moment, it's Blatche. If he's not healthy, we have a problem.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@SDMDTSU

Your right, he wouldn't start for any other team. I don't even know why I said 2 other teams.

Hell he wasn't starting for this team until the trade right?

He is not a starter. On this team now he is but herein lies the problem...

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"yeah, Nene was so inconsistent he averaged 10pts/6reb on 52% shooting in 28mins his rookie year. You'll be erecting a bronze EG statue in front of VC if seraphin does that."

You are so easily fooled. First, I never said that Seraphin was as good as Nene initially although he may be. We don't know. Second, I watched Nene when he entered the league and Denver was a run a gun team. He got a large majority of those points on put backs and slam dunks. Much like McGee could easily match those numbers this year and nobody here would be claiming he has a consistent 15ft jumper or post moves. Nene developed his game as almost all big men do over time. Those stats backing up your argument are pure smoke and mirrors!

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

And, by the way, 10pts/6rbs although decent for a rookie are not eye popping stats.

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 16, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse


I don't quite understand people trying to minimize what Blatche accomplished the last 32 games of the season. He scored those points against teams that were making a playoff push and wanted to win the game. They even through funky defenses at him to stop once they saw that he could hurt them. He'll be a better and more confident player this year because of it.

As for his role this season, yes, his scoring average will likely be less than 20 ppg due to having better scoring options to pass to than what he had last year, but, to me, that's a plus for the Wizards as it should make him a more efficient player. I wouldn't be surprised to see his FG percentage increase appreciably.

The Wizards have areas of concern for sure. A healthy Blatche isn't one of them.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Correction:
They even threw funky defenses at him.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@and_1,

And I would say to you that a healthy Blatche has never done anything near what he is capable of.

He has been inconsistent at best and unfocused most of the time. No reason on earth he should not have been an all-star by now other than he is just not interested in doing what it takes to maximize his talents.

Proof is in the pudding with this dude. And don't get it f'ed up. I like Blatche as I do Arenas but I'm tired of waiting on what either will do. Juice aint worth the squeezing. To say the least I'm disappointed in both of these guys. So that's what your hearing from me.

Blatche has been labled a loser by many nba observers, so until he proves otherwise, Im in agreement.

Posted by: kevenjones | September 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"He scored those points against teams that were making a playoff push and wanted to win the game. "

And looking at the Wizards' record, the fact is that those teams did win most of those games, which was exactly their goal. I doubt they cared what kind of numbers Blatche put up.

There are two basic strategies used against bad teams with no depth and only one legit scorer: (A) shut down "the Man" and hope the other guys can't beat you or (B) shut down everybody else and hope that "The man" can't win the game by himself, even if he puts up monster numbers. "A" is used against teams where "The Man" is/may be good enough on some nights to win a game single-handedly. "B" is used against teams where "The Man" puts up numbers whose impact on the floor is often significantly less than their impact on his season averages.

The fact that Blatche put up big numbers on a bad team in mostly losing efforts proves nothing except that he can do just that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised no mention of Josh Howard. Okay, he's not a bruiser but he gets rebounds.

Posted by: boblas | September 16, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Blatche put up big numbers on a bad team in mostly losing efforts proves nothing except that he can do just that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 4:42 P

I agree that the Hall of Fame isn't scurrying around readying a bust for his imminent induction, but he showed he can be a dangerous player during that 32-game stretch. The fact is that teams started paying attention to Blatche and doubling him when they saw that it wasn't a good idea to let him go one-on-one against their bigs. If they didn't care how many he scored, they wouldn't have done that. Blatche proved that he is a legitimate starting power forward in the NBA, imo.

The next step for him is to show he can be a solid player on a solid team.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Blatche will definitely be sharing the scoring load. But the question is: Does he know how to share?
Exactly and the same question, as it always has, applies to Arenas.

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Leadership and Teamwork dont start on the Court, they start "Upstairs". Is that what we have? If so, then we are OK. If not ... then we're not.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | September 16, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Leadership and Teamwork dont start on the Court, they start "Upstairs". Is that what we have? If so, then we are OK. If not ... then we're not.
Upstairs as in cerebral or as in front office? I'm more concerned about the upstairs qualities of individual players on the Wizards.

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"I agree that the Hall of Fame isn't scurrying around readying a bust for his imminent induction, but he showed he can be a dangerous player during that 32-game stretch."

No, he really didn't. He showed he can put up numbers if given enough shots and minutes. That's not automatically the same thing as being "a dangerous player" from a competitive standpoint. Not even close.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"(B) shut down everybody else and hope that "The man" can't win the game by himself, even if he puts up monster numbers."

I'm sure these past 4-5 games where AB has been schooling KG it's because that was Doc's strategy for beating the Wizards.

"Hey Kevin, let Blatche make you look old and ineffective, that's how we can beat them!"

right.

give the man his due, he can and does produce against every opposing PF in the league. He's a legit starting PF in the nba, and will probably be the best player on the team for awhile as Gil shakes the rust off yet another ridiculous layoff and Wall acclimates.

Exactly how good he'll be and what his attitude will be like are different questions.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Exactly and the same question, as it always has, applies to Arenas."

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 5:07 PM

Not really. At least not in the same way or to the same degree. Arenas (unlike Blatche) has already proven he can coexist on a playoff-caliber team with multiple other all-star caliber players who need their shots and minutes. He's done it with three other guys during his time with the Wizards. Obviously the circumstances now are different than they were then, and Arenas has to show he can still be effective when he's not the center of (on-court) attention. But he already has a track record of sharing at least some of the stage with other big scorers/big egos. Blatche doesn't even have that much on his resume.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Exactly how good he'll be and what his attitude will be like are different questions.
Attitude and savvy have pretty much always set the ceiling on Blatche's success.

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

No, he really didn't. He showed he can put up numbers if given enough shots and minutes. That's not automatically the same thing as being "a dangerous player" from a competitive standpoint. Not even close.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 16, 2010 5:23 PM

Reasonable minds disagree.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas (unlike Blatche) has already proven he can coexist on a playoff-caliber team with multiple other all-star caliber players who need their shots and minutes."

Gil was averaging 19-21 attempts per night and 40+mins over those seasons, if anything the other players proved they could co-exist with him.

Unless you're suggesting that we cant be sure AB will be satisfied with leading the team in FGAs and minutes next season.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Arenas shared the same court with Hughes (most effectively I think) and then later with Jamison and Butler but never found a way to optimize the talents of the players around him. Too many instances of one on five, pounding the ball and launching a three pointer as the clock wound down. Last year he showed instances of his ability to accumulate assists but a complete, mature game never emerged.
Part of the problem seemed to be mental, as it always has been with Arenas; no question of his talent just of his ability to take it to the next level. The next level for Arenas is obviously one or two above Blatche's accomplishments to date but they share the qualities of abundant talent, unfulfilled potential and questionable judgment.

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

kevenjones,

I didn't mention anything about Blatche's point production; I understand his points will drop now with other scoring options. But what I am saying is that I found him to be capable scoring inside, and that he is the team's best inside option. So I don't have problem with him manning the 4 position (as long as he can maintain the same level of effort as later part of last season).

Posted by: sagaliba | September 16, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Arenas was on teams with 3 people averaging about 20 ppg....even different players...like what 3 years in a row? But he can't get credit for being able to share a scoring load? It was them adjusting to him?

But Blatche has half a great season on a terrible team and he's a guaranteed solid PF? That 19-21 shots/game and all the minutes about Gil sounds like AB last season. Why didn't he play well before? Because he didn't start? That's weak. Play well when you're in and you don't get taken out. So great to dominate KG...but he couldn't do that to backups? Come on.

Blatche showed promise but nothing is guaranteed EVEN if he's healthy.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Blatche showed promise but nothing is guaranteed EVEN if he's healthy.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 6:49 PM

I guarantee you if he's leading the team in FGAs and minutes he wont be complaining about his role. All the rest of what you said isnt what was being discussed.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Arenas shared the same court with Hughes (most effectively I think) and then later with Jamison and Butler but never found a way to optimize the talents of the players around him.

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 5:54 PM


So how do you explain Jamison and Butler becoming allstars and Larry Hughes ended up signing a $65 million contract with the Cavs. A matter of fact, Hughes' game was more effective playing with Arenas than he did with Lebron.

The problem with the Wizards over the years and still is, is at the power forward and center positions. No points in the paint, weak rebounding and almost no defense have been their failure. They are basically a jump shooting team that can't stop anybody when it counts.

Posted by: spades72 | September 16, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I guarantee you if he's leading the team in FGAs and minutes he wont be complaining about his role. All the rest of what you said isnt what was being discussed.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah either way that sounds like a problem. He's not happy if he's not the main attraction.

That's exactly what we need right now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

[Blatche's] not happy if he's not the main attraction.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 7:31 PM

Then why did he express his excitement over the Wiz getting Wall and Arenas' return? Blatche hasn't been the main attraction for some time now.

Go ahead and hate, if you must. You're the same guy who slurped that 'black hole' Jamison, yet you pile on the guy who is a willing and capable passer. Funny.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Then why did he express his excitement over the Wiz getting Wall and Arenas' return? Blatche hasn't been the main attraction for some time now.

Go ahead and hate, if you must. You're the same guy who slurped that 'black hole' Jamison, yet you pile on the guy who is a willing and capable passer. Funny.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Read.

I guarantee you if he's leading the team in FGAs and minutes he wont be complaining about his role. All the rest of what you said isnt what was being discussed.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I said that's not an attitude we need. Jackass. Who the hell cares about Jamison?
He had half a season. I'm not ready to count on the same results when he isn't the main option. Let me see him blend in.

What's funny is people calling McGee and Blatche our "Olajuwon and Sampson"

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"I'm surprised no mention of Josh Howard. Okay, he's not a bruiser but he gets rebounds.Posted by: boblas"

Issue with Howard is exactly how much he'll be on the court. Active for only 35 games last season and 52 the year before (43% & 63%, respectively.) That's why the Wiz were able to sign him.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah either way that sounds like a problem. He's not happy if he's not the main attraction.

That's exactly what we need right now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 16, 2010 7:31 PM

dude i dont think you're following the thread in this case. Kal said Arenas proved he could share shots and mins whereas AB has not. I pointed out that Gil's "sharing" entailed him leading the team in FGAs and mins...and that obviously AB (or anyone else) isnt going to complain in that situation.

I was not saying Blatche needs all the shots and mins to be satisifed

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Training camp concerns Part III: Do the Wizards have enough size?

We got plenty Run and Jump. I wonder why the Brinks truck rolled up to Brendan Haywood.

Was it because Brendan was short on Run and Jump and smart on the experience???

Is it any wonder? When Brendan was here we complained about his Run and Jump but a few of us really gave him credit for his experience, know how, and chemistry on the floor.

Now we have a young stud and the question is do we have enough size. Somebody smack me. What in the Hay do we want?

Tell you what, we should have both Haywood and McGee here, but the prevailing opinion is that we would have to pay Haywood to much to keep him.

It is little decisions like that, that will keep you in the Lottery.

As Red Auerbach would say, Are There Any Real Architects Here???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Size inside?

That's what the draft lottery is for in 2011 for the Wizards.

The team is going to finish last in the Southeast again in 2010-2011 and that should land them a mid-lottery pick and a chance to grab a rebounder in the front court to pair with Wall at PG for the future.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | September 16, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Tell you what, we should have both Haywood and McGee here, but the prevailing opinion is that we would have to pay Haywood to much to keep him.

It is little decisions like that, that will keep you in the Lottery.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 8:39 PM

I disagree with you here, Larry. It's not a little decision to overpay Haywood the way Cuban ultimately did. It would be nice to have Haywood and McGee in the paint, playing to their individual strengths, but not at that price. Think about this also: Do you really think Leonsis, given his stated 'rebuild with youth' approach, would have authorized Grunfeld to spend $60+ million for Haywood?

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

So how do you explain Jamison and Butler becoming allstars and Larry Hughes ended up signing a $65 million contract with the Cavs. A matter of fact, Hughes' game was more effective playing with Arenas than he did with Lebron.
Nobody can rationally explain Hughes' contract. As for Jamison and Butler, as you said, ... basically a jump shooting team that can't stop anybody when it counts. Jamison, Butler and Arenas took it that far and no further. Entertaining but injuries and the vagaries of fate obscured their ultimate achievement level though most seem to think the Wizards as constructed plateaued, Arenas never found a way around the limitations of a team that as you note lacked a low post presence.

Posted by: midlevex_ | September 16, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@whoever said "Blatche is soft..."

That's why he gave Kevin Garnett fits last year, right? Blatche doesn't throw people around like Shaq, but he's strong enough to match up with just about any PF in the league, except maybe Tim Duncan and Pao Gasol, who really are centers.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | September 16, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine this Team with Haywood still here?

Remember, he never was apart of the Big Three.

We just thought he wasn't worth the Money to resign him. But, in the final analysis, to put a Champion together you have to understand the parts.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Think about this also: Do you really think Leonsis, given his stated 'rebuild with youth' approach, would have authorized Grunfeld to spend $60+ million for Haywood?

Posted by: and_1

I doubt Leonsis would have authorized (or will authorize) the spending of 60 mil for anyone unless the championship were within reach.

Posted by: nmik | September 16, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Think about this also: Do you really think Leonsis, given his stated 'rebuild with youth' approach, would have authorized Grunfeld to spend $60+ million for Haywood?

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 9:03 PM

Think about this. We never offered Haywood anything. We just thought that his market value was more than he was worth. We thought 20, 30 and certainly 40 million was too much for Haywood.

How much did Haywood think he was worth? Did we ever propose to his agent how much Haywood would resign here for? Never did it seriously, I am sure.

We mainly just assumed that his market value would be too much and he wouldn't resign with us.

It has always been about the way we have done our business. Hell, 30 or 40 million offered to Haywood might have caused him to consider staying and having him now at that price with JWall and McGee would add tremendously to our rebuild.

Again, as Red Auerbach would say, Are There Any Real Architects In The House?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, a lot of you have steadfastedly stood behind Odom in his comments about McGee being all Run and Jump, but we weren't willing to place a value on the know how of Brendan Haywood.

You halfwitted architects cannot have it both ways. What do you want?

You see, it shant be about what players are worth on the market and all that, it should be about what players are worth to your own team.

We cannot just dash a player like Haywood just cause we think he is to expensive to resign and then villify McGee because he doesn't have the basketball moxy that Haywood had.

Do you grand architects know anything about building a team?

Red Auerbach did.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Think about this. We never offered Haywood anything. We just thought that his market value was more than he was worth. We thought 20, 30 and certainly 40 million was too much for Haywood.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 9:33 PM

Larry, I'm starting to think you just like raising a little hell every now and again. Lol. Check your facts, dude!

Haywood himself said the Wizards DID offer him a contract extension prior to the start of last season. He declined it. He thought he could make more on the open market and, based on the cash Cuban threw at him, he was right.

Red sure could build a team. I guarantee you he would not have given Haywood over $60 million either.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Another intelligent basketball mind is that of one John Thompson. I remember, reflecting on that big seven foot guy playing for the Boston Celtics named John Thompson.

He wasn't a star on the team, nor was he one of their most important players. But, I always marveled at he fact of how he added to the depth to the team even though he wasn't a primary piece.

Red Auerbach understood the dynamics of building a winning team from top to bottom and John Thompson clearly understood it as well.

In fact John Thompson understood it so well, that when faced with playing elsewhere, he chose to retire instead.

He wasn't about to waist his time playing for an organization devoid of the wisdom and know how of Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics.

Yawl think that the Brinks truck rolled up to the driveway of Brendan Haywood just because Mark Cuban likes to spend money and doesn't have a clue?

You better think again. Mark Cuban spent the money because he wants badly to win a Championship and he understands that you have to put pieces together and you just might have to spend some money in the process.

The days of winning a NBA championship on the Cheap are long gone. Championships are won with the best players and the right pieces along with them.

And another thing, defense is fancy, but nothing will replace putting that ball through the hoop.

There is a reason why the League legislates against defense when defense gets to tough. This is the No Defense League.

You defense Gurus, the Memo was sent out years ago.


LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Haywood himself said the Wizards DID offer him a contract extension prior to the start of last season. He declined it. He thought he could make more on the open market and, based on the cash Cuban threw at him, he was right.

Red sure could build a team. I guarantee you he would not have given Haywood over $60 million either.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 9:56 PM

My point is, what did they offer him and as I said, were they serious about signing him for what he thought he was worth?

Don't think the negotiations ever got that far.

Did they believe he was worth resigning?

Sure, he expressed wanting to see what the market would bear, but what was his opinion about what the market would bear and if you offered him the money, would he still have decided to wait?

You know as well as I do that the Wizards did not want to pay him market value and did not offer him what the projected prevailing market value was at that time.

They chose to deal him instead. That changed everything and if Haywood was the dud that Kalo_ramo claims he was, why would Dallas offer him the Brinks truck?

I am not saying that Kalo's comments were incorrect, but he was a staunch critic and also concluded that Haywood wasn't worth market value.

I can safely say that Haywood had no idea that he would ever sign for 50 million, so if the Wizards had offered him 30 million, would he have considered signing?

We will never know... certainly not the Wizards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

We may win a few more games ths year than I was expecting at the end of last year, based almost purely on Wall's presence.

We may win a lot more games, if Arenas finds his space as the number two guy.

No matter how many games we win, this season's biggest goal is to get Mcgee the time to learn the game. You can coach all you want in practice, but some guys, and it looks like mcgee is one of them, need to be knocked on their ass a few times before they get mad enough to not let it happen again.

I am hoping he and Seraphin can enjoy sharing the center position, unlike Brenda and Etan. Hopefully they push each other and get better together. Mcgee knowing his place is to overwhelm the competition with size, quickness and hops and Seraphin knowing his job is to stake out the hard earned ground underneath and wear out the competition.

Let them play...expect 30 wins and hope for 40...but not at the expense of letting the young guys get better.

It's not this year...It's the next 10 that matter.

Posted by: Blurred | September 16, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

In baseball, teams that never win always give up their stars for young prospects in order to rebuild.

They play with the prospects a year or two then do the same thing over again. They stay in constant rebuild mode and never win jack.

The Wizards remind me of this failed philosophy. Who from this current group is the next to go. Arenas. The last of the big three. Then in another year or two, who will be next? Blatche? McGee?

If you look around the League. Haywood was a keeper. And if we were serious about it and were proactive from the get go and showed our appreciation, he could have been had for a lot less than 50 million.

But, oh I wish it were so, for these are the moves and character of a winning organization.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"And if we were serious about it and were proactive from the get go and showed our appreciation, he could have been had for a lot less than 50 million."

You're so full it, Larry. You don't know what they offered and what Haywood countered with. You weren't inside the room.

Your 'point' seems to change with each post. First you say the Wizards made no offer. Now you're pretty sure they lowballed him. Whatever.

Consider this: The guy who you're pining for lost his starting job to a guy who's currently out of the league (Dampier). Now that is a fact. And I'll go on record as saying that Chandler will likely log more minutes this season than Brendan and that Cuban spent his money foolishly.

Put the bottle down and sleep it off.

Cheers.

Posted by: and_1 | September 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Boy, that is some evaluation of Mark Cuban. You mean, he should have backed the Brinks truck into Dampiers driveway.

All I know is this. With Dampier logging the minutes, the Mav's went down the same way they always did.

When Dampier was out and Haywood logged all the minutes, the Mav's had one of the best winning percentages in the league.

It is a matter of opinion whether Haywood lost his job because Dampier was better. Was Dampier better than Haywood or was Haywood better for the Team?

We thought Etan was better and tougher than Haywood, but Haywood was always better for the Team.

Keep looking and concentrating on individual play rather than Team play and the Red Auerbach's of the world will beat you every time.

Dallas thought it was better to have Dampier play against Duncan, but they failed to realize that it was better to have their whole team play against Dallas.

I cannot impart the wisdom of that statement on those that fail to understand it, but if Dampier really is a better player than Haywood and outplayed him on the court, why didn't Damps' get the 50 million?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

play against San Antonio....

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 16, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Brenda had his problems here and was felt unappreciated many times. Early in his career he could not keep from fumbling a pass. Then there was the decision to bench him for the Poet. He had animosity toward the team and wanted them to overpay him to stay. Many times he was considered a spoiled and babyish knucklehead one year earlier. We have a good young nucleus. With a good point guard we have many people who can finish. Andray, Booker, Howard, McGee, and Ji underneath or Gilbert, Hienrich, and Young to kick back to. Gilbert can hit any shot out to half court. Hienrich can hit the routine middle jumper. A rebounder is all we really need. A Rodman type that we hope Seraphin can develop into. A rebounder who can play defense and score on occasion when Wall gets it inside to him. He does not have to develop a shot to play on this team. A stuff, lob, putback or layup will suffice.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | September 17, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Let them play...expect 30 wins and hope for 40...but not at the expense of letting the young guys get better.
It's not this year...It's the next 10 that matter.
Posted by: Blurred

Exactly. (although I think you meant to say "not at the expense of not letting the young guys get better.")

If Flip can brand this team with intensity despite the losses and let the youngsters play through their mistakes, we could be looking at a decent lottery pick and then becoming a place where a worthwhile veteran might want to sign to become the "missing piece".

Posted by: mugsybol | September 17, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

It'll be a slow process. McGEE hardly knows the dimensions of a b-ball court let alone defense, but he'll learn them this season. It's time to grow up, and become an NBA player.

I don't see much difference in the win total's this year over last, but another lottery pick next June and a year's chemistry should put the WIZARDS on the path toward the upper echelons of the NBA. Now if I can just live that long.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 17, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

a large part of Mcgee's problems last year occurred when he appeared exhausted on court. The dumb fouls, bad decisions, etc etc were glaringly obvious at those times. Once Flip put him back in a reserve role he played much better on fresh legs- Flip said so himself.

Now we know all that was asthma and is being treated. That single factor alone would have improved his game noticeably this year, add to that more strength/mass and hopefully some better decision making....and he should be poised to establish himself as our C moving forward.

Posted by: divi3 | September 17, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@1bmffwb and and_1,

All those things described about Brendan and even his game now makes it easy for him to be benched. He has an unspectacular game and dosen't really seem to excell at any particular area.

However, when Damp's was hurt and Brendan had the center role basically to himself, he played well and the Team also played at a high level.

The same thing happened here when Etan was hurt, the big three wasn't intact and team play was more important. He played well and the Team, THE TEAM played well.

At the beginning of the season last year epecially with AJ hurt, I would blog time and time again that the Team, THE TEAM, would be better off if they played Haywood and Blatche together.

Flip gave that lineup only cursory starts, but mostly benched Haywood in crunchtime and played Blatche at center. When AJ came back he should have been moved to the three, but Flip did not have the wherewithall to do that.

If wise old Odom would evaluate Haywood's game he would probably say that knowhow and experience will only get you so far. A bit more Run and Jump from Haywood would probably make him an AllStar center.

Thats the dilemma for Haywood. He was criticized roundly here for lack of Run and Jump. He got benched in Dallas, for it was perceived that Dampier was stronger and tougher and would be better in the playoffs.

Dallas was wrong about that and that is why probably Damp's is gone and Haywood got to see the inside of a Brinks trunk.

You see if you really evaluate Haywood's time at Dallas you can conclude that the team played better with him mostly starting and being responsible for the majority of the center role.

When they benched him for Dampier, the Dallas team did not perform as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 17, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Let them play...but not at the expense of letting the young guys get better."Posted by: Blurred
"Exactly. (although I think you meant to say "not at the expense of not letting the young guys get better.")" posted by mugsybol

Blurred has the correct version. Stay away from those double negatives, mugsy.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 17, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced McGee is a center. He can play the position, obviously, but struggles against too many opponents who have the edge in strength. Be better if he moved to the 4 spot in such situations, or came off the bench. Sure would help if he was a more reliable offensive player.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

Don't make it seem like Dallas never peeled off a string of wins before until Haywood got there. What's new? Dallas lost in the playoffs for the same reasons they always do--their best player shrinks in big games and their role players aren't good enough to overcome that. Haywood was a panic signing to show Dirk that Cuban was willing to do whatever it took to try to win a championship, imho.

Dampier was traded because of his fat non-guaranteed contract. He was a 'dead man walking' as soon as the season ended.

At any rate, can you say with a straight face that Haywood is worth $55 million?

Posted by: and_1 | September 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"I agree that the Hall of Fame isn't scurrying around readying a bust for his imminent induction, but he showed he can be a dangerous player during that 32-game stretch."

No, he really didn't. He showed he can put up numbers if given enough shots and minutes. That's not automatically the same thing as being "a dangerous player" from a competitive standpoint. Not even close.

Posted by: kalo_rama

There are two dynamics (or more) at work from AB's production in the second half of last year. The first is the classic "big numbers for a crappy team". No question there's a part of that that is true. Flip had 60% of the offense running through him for a good portion of that. So he got his choice of shots and a lot of them. They'd give him the ball and give him time to do something with it.

The other dynamic is that he was at points the only 'offensive threat' the other team had to worry about, so he did at times receive a lot of defensive attention, but was still able to produce. Teams were definitely not selling out to make sure to get the ball out of his hands, but they definitely did pay more attention to him.

From that I take the following questions (putting aside for the moment the health of his foot):

Is he going to be as productive without having the offense run through him 60% of the time?

Is he going to rush the possessions he does get, the way he used to, to make sure that he gets his shots up?

Will Flip, Wall, Arenas, etc. have the patience to give him opportunities in the post?

If his production slips, will his attitude slip back as well?

Take what you like from the second half of last year, but AB did prove he can be an effective and reasonably efficient PF on the offensive end. But this year is definitely going to be different for him. The Wiz are going to want to show off their new toy in Wall. Given Gil's basketball history, I feel safe in saying that the will come into this year feeling like he has a lot to prove. How all of that will translate onto the court will be interesting to watch, and it remains to be seen what impact those differences will have on AB's production.

No question the tools are there. He likes his jumper, but has also shown moves around the basket. He'll have fewer opportunities, but also less focused attention and better playmakers getting him the ball. He'll get the minutes, and he'll have talent around him. But he also won't be the big dog getting the first bite. He's shown that he's a willing passer, but will he be as willing if he knows he may not get it back as often?

I fully expect AB to have a solid offensive season, with a dip in points, but hopefully gaining in other areas.

Like with every other Wizard, what I will be watching for is consistent, concerted effort on both ends of the floor.

Should be fun to watch.

Posted by: ts35 | September 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Mcgee is 22 and looks like he gained strength and mass over the summer. If he's another 10 pounds bigger/stronger by his 24th bday....does that make him a Center?

Posted by: divi3 | September 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

big part of the AB dynamic this season depends on Flip. What's the offense supposed to look like? Give the ball to Wall and Gil, hope it ends up in the hoop? Or will there be a concerted effort to get AB involved for higher% shots closer to the bucket?

Can Flip tell Gil "I'm going to sit you if I see anymore 1-on-5 as the clock melts away"?

Or is that type of face-to-face with a highly paid vet just not in Saunders' makeup?

Lots of questions on all fronts!

Posted by: divi3 | September 17, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

With respect Larry,

You need to let go of the notion that if the Wizards sweet talk players and tell them what swell guys they are and how much the team would like to have them back, that they will choose to sign here instead of taking more money to play for a team closer to being a contender.

The Wizards should make every effort to make sure that players know they are wanted here, but they have a plan in place, and signing 31 year old centers to 6yr / $50mil deals is not a part of that plan. No reason to expect Haywood would have signed for less to play here.

Posted by: ts35 | September 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

With respect Larry,

You need to let go of the notion that if the Wizards sweet talk players and tell them what swell guys they are and how much the team would like to have them back, that they will choose to sign here instead of taking more money to play for a team closer to being a contender.

The Wizards should make every effort to make sure that players know they are wanted here, but they have a plan in place, and signing 31 year old centers to 6yr / $50mil deals is not a part of that plan. No reason to expect Haywood would have signed for less to play here.

Posted by: ts35 | September 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Haywood and Caron didnt play that well for the Mavs in the postseason aside from CB having one big game. Before the ink was dry on BTHs deal, cuban picked up Chander for $12mill- almost twice BTHs salary. This right after assuring Haywood he'd be the unquestioned #1 if he re-signed.

It's like cuban is trying to recreate the issues we had when Etan signed the extension

Posted by: divi3 | September 17, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Let them play...but not at the expense of letting the young guys get better."Posted by: Blurred
"Exactly. (although I think you meant to say "not at the expense of not letting the young guys get better.")" posted by mugsybol

Blurred has the correct version. Stay away from those double negatives, mugsy.

Of course, Samson. You're right too, lay off the double negatives and stick to bourbon.

Posted by: mugsybol | September 17, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Gil was averaging 19-21 attempts per night and 40+mins over those seasons, if anything the other players proved they could co-exist with him.

Unless you're suggesting that we cant be sure AB will be satisfied with leading the team in FGAs and minutes next season.

Posted by: divi3 | September 16, 2010 5:50 PM

Of course, I'm suggesting no such thing. But quite clearly you're attempting to give the impression it is what I'm suggesting in a ham-fisted attempt to prop up a straw man you can knock over.

Nice try.

If you'd read to the end of my original post (new, scary territory for you, I know) you'd have seen this:

Obviously the circumstances now are different than they were then, and Arenas has to show he can still be effective when he's not the center of (on-court) attention.

Which, of course, makes your opening line superfluous, as I had already acknowledged Arenas' place in the top of the previous pecking order. However, the fact that he played the most minutes and got the most shots doesn't alter the fact that, when the team was successful he had to, at times, cede the stage to Hughes, Butler, or Jamison. He's shown he can do that on a playoff-caliber team. Blatche has not. When the team was actually good, Blatche was basically a nonfactor. When Blatche finally "blossomed," it was in a circumstance where it was all Blatche, all the time. He has yet to demonstrate the ability to produce at a high level while surrounded by other talent who also need a big piece of the pie.

As I said (again, quite clearly to anyone who read the whole thing) Arenas and Blatche both have something to prove, but they aren't quite the same something.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 17, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

At any rate, can you say with a straight face that Haywood is worth $55 million?

Posted by: and_1 | September 17, 2010 11:09 AM

Never said that, nor am I saying it now. The fact that he got $55 million isn't a validation that he deserved it and I am not making that assertion.

What I am asserting is that Haywood's value has been largely underestimated, underappreciated, and has been easy to overlook.

Could be partly his fault, but also coaching and team direction also play apart in this.

It is like a worker that has an opinion of himself that he is getting the job done, but the supervisor thinks he isn't. The worker and the supervisor never came to a meeting of the minds. So at first chance the worker says, I think I will consider another job and the supervisor then says, well go ahead.

In reality they never sat down and figured out what the worker really thought he was worth. Haywood had an idea and so did the Wizards.

The Wizards believed and it cannot be refuted that there was no way they would pay Brendan Haywood market value(MV). Brendan believed he could get MV for the simple fact because he knew he was doing his job.

It is a guarantee that Brendan had no idea that it would turn out to be $55M.

I also guarantee you that after Brendan turned the initial offer down that the Wizards never went back to Brendan's agent to find out what Brendan thought he was worth (as in what BH thought his MV was).

You see, what Brendan thought he was worth could have meant everthing in coming to an agreement of his MV.

The Wizards, bad negotiaters, never even attempted to see if Brendan could be had for a price they could live with.

Why??? Simply this. They already decided they would not pay him MV because they placed a low estimation on his value to the TEAM.

This same low balling, bad negotiating strategy stills plays out with this Team, Sean Livingston being another example.

Like I said last night, as Red would say, Are There Really Any Real Architects Here?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | September 17, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The biggest question for the Zards this year is whether they wasted two first round picks on Seraphin and Booker. If EITHER of them turns into a good player, then they did well in the draft. If both are failures, then they REALLY blew it, as there were a lot of good players available late in the first and early in second rounds due to all the guys who came out early due to CBA concerns for next year.

Posted by: dolph924 | September 21, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

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