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A memorable home opener for Wall, Wizards

Morning brew

The Wizards finally put a notch in the win column, claiming their home opener at Verizon Center with a 116-115 overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The win featured a whole lot of John Wall, a healthy portion of Andray Blatche, a nice helping of Nick Young, a dash of Cartier Martin and enough sporadic play to remind people that that Wizards are still a developing -- though entertaining -- team.

It was a 53-minute game, but it felt much longer, with both teams taking turns making shots and making blunders; building big leads and blowing them. But with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis introducing his team in elaborate fashion with a 3-D production and former owner Irene Pollin sitting in the front row, the team gave the 17,803 fans who came a memorable contest. "One thing I've learned in the time I've been here is that you come in and you play hard, the fans of D.C. will respect you for competing and playing hard," Coach Flip Saunders said. "That's what our guys did."

Wall stole the show with his rendition of the popular dance, "The Dougie" and later with his history-making performance. He showed resilience in overcoming a night with a career-high eight turnovers by recording nine steals and 13 assists to go along with a new career high in 29 points. But Wall was not alone in overcoming some personal obstacles.

Blatche had a difficult night early on, as he appeared to be taking a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to offense, subjecting his teammates to the status of spectators as he launched shots -- and missed -- almost every time he touched the ball. He had been so ineffective with his shot selection and later his turnovers that fans began to wince whenever he got the ball. But that didn't deter Blatche from being aggressive and attacking the basket. He attempted 14 free throws -- or 12 more than he had in the previous two games combined -- and made 13, including the final two with 7.1 seconds left to give the Wizards the win.

"I told people before the game, my main focus is to get to the hole and get fouled," said Blatche who scored 23 points. "As far as outside jumpers, that's going to come, but I'm going to continue to be aggressive and get to the hole."

Young had been an almost forgotten man through the first two games, as he scored just five points, but he matched that total after the first period against Philadelphia. He had a driving layup, then buried a three-pointer to spark an impressive 19-6 run to end the first period. He then scored 10 points in the second period, giving the Wizards a 40-33 lead when hit a long jumper while getting fouled by Turner.

Young finished 20 points, but Saunders praised Young for his defensive effort against Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday, who scored just four points after schooling Wall during a 10-point first quarter. When asked about defending Holiday, Young gave the predictable response of a USC alum. "I don't get along with UCLA boys," You said with a laugh. "Nah, Jrue's a good friend of mine from L.A., and he's a great talent."

Martin had been sitting on the bench for more than seven minutes when Saunders put him on the floor for the most critical stretch of the game, with the Wizards trailing by three with 3.1 seconds left. He probably was the player least expected to take a shot that could force overtime, but Martin leaned in and drilled it.

"I just have to stay ready for whenever I'm called on," Martin said. "I think they were trying to foul before the shot was taken, but that was one of the biggest shots I've ever hit in my life. This is the big leagues, and there were a lot of fans out here supporting us tonight. I felt like it was a good shot when I let it off."

FROM THE POST
Here are the game story and wrap-up.

Columnist Michael Wilbon says Wall's Verizon Center debut was impressive.

Gene Wang points out the bench's contribution.

Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog highlights Wall's pre-game dance.

AROUND THE WEB
ESPN.com's Mike Lynch lists the many fascinating statistical notes from Wall's performance.

At Truth About It, Kyle Weidie points out that Cartier Martin's buzzer beater was great, but the team's free-throw shooting was really clutch.

Here's a game recap by Bullets Forever's Sean Fagan.

Kurt Helin at Pro Basketball Talk said he tuned in to see John Wall vs. Evan Turner, but it turned out to be about Andray Blatche.

By Michael Lee  | November 3, 2010; 8:01 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: John Wall joins elite company with stellar performance in home debut
Next: Gilbert Arenas returns to practice; Wizards uncertain about location of Knicks game

Comments

From Kurt Helin's article:

"The one other interesting thing was something Sebastian Pruiti wrote about at NBA Playbook — the Sixers fouling at the end of regulation up three. Pruiti and I disagree about whether or not to foul in that situation. I think you do it at the six second mark or less. But I agree with Pruiti on this — the first last foul, on Wall was too early and in a bad spot. They fouled Wall while he was dribbling early and not in a dangerous spot on the floor. The second time — Cartier Martin’s tying shot, they did not foul when a quick foul was what they needed."

The Sixers did not execute the late fouling strategy well, extended the game and gave the opposing team a chance. And lost.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 3, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young seems to play better defense when he's also putting the ball in the basket -- or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, they're tied together. Could be about focus. Nick has the physical talents to be a shutdown defender with a number of opponents, but you just never know when he'll show up. There are plenty of NBA regulars who ramp up their contribution on defense when the shot isn't falling, but Nick doesn't appear to be one of them.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 3, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young deserves a lot of praise this morning. When the offense was bogged down in the first quarter, NY delivered big time. Good for him. The only criticism that I have is that he often appears to have his man beaten with a good fist step, but instead of taking it all the way to the hoop for a layup or to draw a foul, he immediately pulls up for a lower % shot.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | November 3, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

It's a good thing the "Serial Skirt Chaser" made those free throws last night after turning into a turnover machine in the OT and we all wondered why Eddie Jordan stayed in his sh#t 24/7 when he the head coach.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 3, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Interesting News! I just now printed Coupons of my Favorite Brands at http://bit.ly/cRwn9f

Posted by: mooreking | November 3, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hope that game is a lesson for AB. In many ways, it was a terrible outing...yet at the end it's a 23 point night and W. Because he went to the FT line 14x by being aggressive. If he keeps that style of play up, the bad nights will be acceptable and the good ones stellar.

I get Flip sitting Javale for various reasons, unfortunately I dont see Yi doing anything better. He's allergic to the paint, basically shoots 18-22ft'ers all night. Not sure what to make of it.

Wall, KH, AT, AB...all logged over 40mins. Wall on a sore ankle, AB on a recently healed foot, Thornton having missed games last year due to fatigue, and KH being asked to check 3 positions. Watch them minutes Flip! Especially on a night Nick Young is locked in like that, coulda left him in more.

Wall is the real deal! Gotta love it

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Kirk Hinrich isn't the perimeter defender i thought he was. NY has Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson written all over him. Javale and Yi gave us some good stuff. AB kept forcing the issue. Eventhough he didn't bang in the post every possesion (or many possesions at all); Philly's defense knew he had to be stopped and paid a lot of attention to him. What'd he get 8ft attempts?Wall of course was spectacular. I liked the mins we got from Al Thornton at the three. I see no reason he doesn't start with Gil and Wall if Gil is healthy and with the team.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 3, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Nick has the physical talents to be a shutdown defender with a number of opponents, but you just never know when he'll show up.

In the minority here...but I think he's played fairly good D through 3 games. Obviously the Magic game was a debacle for everyone, but he was solid in Atlanta and definitely our best defensive player last night.

Should earn him some legit PT on Friday

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Nice effort by two guys who have been maligned around these parts (NY & AB).

Flip's rotation was numerically sound (10 players played I believe) but I think he has been selling Trevor Booker short. This guy should be getting 1st half minutes every night. I'd let him play next to Yi for the first 4 or 5 minutes of the 2nd quarter. Book might help cover up some of Yi's defensive liabilites.

Posted by: elfreako | November 3, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Is Blatche really overweight this year or is it just me? Maybe I'm late to the discussion on this because this was the second time I've seen him this year, but he looked out of shape for a good stretch of the 4th, granted it's early, then caught a glimpse of him in the huddle and he looked pretty thick around the waist.

Posted by: saltine182 | November 3, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@ Larry, Re: Arenas and Wall
Let me see if I can break this down for you. What if Larry Bird had to play 5 or 6 years with the Clippers, or had Majic had not come into the League with the Lakers, or had Timme', Mr. Duncan had not have had David Robinson?

They all still might have become a star, but nothing like what they did become, because they had quality stars to play with.

Yeah, and MJ came in with Orlando Woolridge, Dave Corzine, and Sam Vincent. It's a shame he wasn't able to reach his full potential because he didn't have a quality star there when he got there.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Is Blatche really overweight this year or is it just me? Maybe I'm late to the discussion on this because this was the second time I've seen him this year, but he looked out of shape for a good stretch of the 4th, granted it's early, then caught a glimpse of him in the huddle and he looked pretty thick around the waist.

Did you know he broke his foot? He's in terrible shape, definitely overweight and he should probably grow a beard to hide the double-chin. It's kind of funny he can even play sporting a soft, middle-aged looking body....but the laughs on us against athletic bigs. Amare will have a field day Friday.

Hopefully AB can drop about some poundage over the next month

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Hhhaaaters, where aaarrreee yyyooouuu?

Our young Wiz Kidz are getting better and more confident every game and Ernest Grunfeld's keen eye for young, up-and-coming talent saved the day once again.

To wit: Down by three with a few seconds remaining in the fourth, Flip Saunders surveyed his bench and calmly selected Cartier Martin as the regulation savior. Of course, we all know that he could have tapped Lester Hudson to hit the tying shot and the result would have been the same!

Wizards Faithful, don't be fooled by the Wizards' lack of big names or guys with big reputations on their roster. Consistent with the mandate from Ted Leonsis, Ernest has stocked the roster with young guys (read cheap) who are ready to dazzle given just a little more seasoning. The Wizards are going to be a problem in the NBA this year and the NBA knows it.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | November 3, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Give Wall A Break


I cant beleive all these people are ripping him so much. Its bad enogh hearing it from the other fans around the league but for our own fans to be doing it is crazy. The other fans dont know about his injury & dont care but our fans do know about it and should care. I get on Dray alot during the games also but I also temper it by knowing that he missed nearly 3 months. Its like throwing a Toyota out there with a race car. Think about yourself. Think about you being able to basically do nothing for 3 months vs yourself who was working out every day for 3 months and then you have to go against eachother. Its a big deal.

If you remember, I made a couple of threads on here before the season talking about it because I knew this would happened. I talked about how hard everyone said Dray was working and how I thought that he could be as good as any 4 in the league without the injury. I talked about how Amare got the Max deal but if we played them 4 times this year that Dray would easily outplay him in 3 of the 4 but now he will outplay Dray in 3 of the 4 because of this setback. I said that Dray couldve had 3 months of running, lifting weights, and working on his game. Now he's had the exact opposite. He couldnt do anything and couldnt expand his game at all. I said that he would probably actually be worst than he was last year at the end of the year instead of better.

Everyone said not to worry and that its in the Offseason so its not a big deal. I said that he's skilled so he still will put up solid numbers but he wont be the real Dray until probably the new year in Janurary and that no matter how well he ends up playing, he wouldve been alot better if he didnt get that injury. Now its coming to fruition and everyone is killing him. Ive seen Superstar players come back from injuries and look like crap when they are just starting off. The problem is that if youre on the court then people judge you like youre 100% but thats just not the case. Shoot, Gil has only missed a little bit of time and he may start off a little shaky, let alone Dray who missed nearly 3 months.

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 3, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Baron Davis is being ripped by his coach right now for coming into camp out of shape. Baron said its true and everyone said he worked mad hard since August to get back into shape but you can tell he's stinking the joint up right now and he's been going full speed since August without an injury. Dray just started going full speed less than a month ago and people act like he's suppose to be the same guy. Ive been there myself just playing regular ball. Looking like the slowest crappiest player on the floor when I was out of shape and a couple of months later looking like the best guy on the floor when I was in shape & had the rust knocked off. Your timing and everything is off. Everyone is faster because theyve been doing it full go all Summer. He has to catchup and we have to cut him some slack.

Add to that he doesnt have the benefit of easing into things because Gil got hurt & Howard isnt back so we need him to be a go to guy. He'll get better every game. Calm down. He's not a bum. We saw that late last year and he will be even better with Wall. He just needs to get in shape & knock off the rust. He's not going to jump higher or move faster than his opponent who has done nothing but ran, worked out, and worked in his game for the last 6 months. Its not realistic. It takes time. Remember, that he is one of the most skilled bigs in the league if not the most skilled. Right now he looks like a junky street ball player. Thats the difference between being in shape & non rusty. It will come back. Thats really the great thing about us because Dray, Gil, and Howard will all be peaking late in the season

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 3, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

My bad, I meant to title it Give Dray A Break

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 3, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My bad, I meant to title it Give Dray A Break

Posted by: dlts2041

Lol, I was wondering....

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Right now he looks like a junky street ball player. Thats the difference between being in shape & non rusty. It will come back.

It's actually encouraging he can still score and be effective despite being in terrible shape. He'll be fine and throwing up big stat lines by January.

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ahwyatt | November 3, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Funny how haters like bulletsfan78 go silent when the Wiz have a great home opening win. Are you rewinding the DVR this morning, looking for something to complain about in AB's game? How can you even call yourself "bulletsFAN" when all seek is the endorphin rush of finding fault with the organization? There's a place for nihilistic, no-hope, sad sacks like you. It's called Cleveland.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | November 3, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse


Flip Saunders surveyed his bench and calmly selected Cartier Martin as the regulation savior.

Purely in the interests of rational discourse and maintaining the loosest of grips on reality, Flip's final reg play called for Wall to go to Young with Hinrich providing cover distraction. Martin's fling was a Wall improv.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse


Purely in the interests of rational discourse and maintaining the loosest of grips on reality, Flip's final reg play called for Wall to go to Young with Hinrich providing cover distraction. Martin's fling was a Wall improv.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 3, 2010 11:03 AM

LOL In the interest of fairness, Flip put Martin in the game as a 3-pt option, no? Surely, Martin wasn't out there for the beautiful screens he sets or his ability to rebound.

Posted by: 2020doc | November 3, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It's a good thing the "Serial Skirt Chaser" made those free throws last night after turning into a turnover machine in the OT and we all wondered why Eddie Jordan stayed in his sh#t 24/7 when he the head coach.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 3, 2010 9:22 AM

Get a life old man!

Posted by: gmac78 | November 3, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Kenbeatrizz

First of all I now live in San Diego so I don't get to see too many games.

Are you really going to call a one point win in overtime against the sixers "a great home opening win"?

I think Wall is great, I just talked to someone who compared him to Isiah Thomas.

Okay, the Wizards got lucky with the 1st pick in the draft last year, now all they have to do is go out get 10 more players either through the draft, trade and/or sign free agents.

The last time I checked they don't give out rings for winning your opening game in the NBA...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 3, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Flip put Martin in the game as a 3-pt option, no?
Probably, Flip had Martin on the floor as the seconds ticked down but according to the WAPO account of the game his play called for Young to get the ball.
Melodious' ecstatic revelatory proselytizing regarding the Wizards, E Grunfeld, the divine-font of basketball wisdom and Flip the infallible, are entertaining but rarely stray into factually verifiable territory; in this case they did.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 3, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

45 minutes on a sprained ankle?!! Come on peeps. Someone is missing the Big Picture here. Ole FLipper is trying to save his job at the expense of John Wall. And he's gonna end up killing him.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | November 3, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Note to gmac78: I've got a great life, you're probably the serial skirt chaser's wing man and just as delusional as he is,if you knew anything about the nuances of the game then you'd know the ref's bailed Blatche's sorry azz out last night with that foul call at the end, otherwise you and everybody else would have been talking about his inability to come huge in crunch time.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

...shucks, guess I a) shouldnt have given up my tix for the game, and b) shouldnt have turned the TV off with 3 seconds to play...thought it was over.

Looks like Martin hit both 3's he shot during the game. Maybe Flop should draw up a few more plays for him...

Posted by: oddjob1 | November 3, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

if you knew anything about the nuances of the game then you'd know the ref's bailed Blatche's sorry azz out last night with that foul call at the end

Posted by: dargregmag | November 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I dunno if a bailout call is a "nuance of the game" or not, but What I saw was Brand come across Dray's body and right forearm as he attempted reverse layup. Since we know it wasn't a battle of highflyers; what with AB and his sparetire and Brand never having been a leaper, it's tough to give Brand credit for a clean block coming from the other side of the rim (kinda like Wall's rundown of Iggy. Isn't the hand part of the ball?) on that play. But even if it was a bailout, we had one coming our way since the refs swallowed their collective whistles as Cartier sent it into OT with Iggy fouling him throughout his shooting motion. Then again i guess iggy was just using one of those nuances of the game .

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 3, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I see no reason he doesn't start with Gil and Wall if Gil is healthy and with the team.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 3, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Whether he does or not will give you an indication of whether this team is serious about winning. Put last nights game in perspective, a fortutious home win against one of the worse teams in the league. Frankly, poor coaching/execution by the Sixers in the last 17 seconds and a heave by Martin was the only difference beteen a win and a loss.

The NBA model dictates that you have 2-3 stars in order to be a playoff competitive team. The Lakers, Bulls, Celtics and Spurs have proven that you need a minimum of 2-3 All Star caliber players to win championships. The Cleveland Lebron James model also proves that even the best playeer on the planet can not win by himself.

You don't win many games with Kirk Hinrich as your starting 2 guard. With an Arenas you have a chance to be competitive and win. Without him you will have sporadic victories over mediocre and poor teams like last night.

As spectacular as Wall was last night, once he makes it around the league and the wear and tear of how he plays kicks in, his effectiveness will be lessened (see Brandon Jebnnings of early 55 point fame last year).

Posted by: NewManagement | November 3, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hhhaaaters, where aaarrreee yyyooouuu?

NEXT game. They won this one in a track meet. Where's the defense that's gonna' carry this club to an NBA championship? I sure didn't see it last night. More perimeter offense? Outscore the competition night in and night out? PLUEEZE. WALL's got game on both sides of the ball, and THORNTON's hungry. Let's go from there.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 3, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Now if JIM SINGLETON were busting chops at PF we might be doing something........or not. But I say .....FREE SINGLETON from CHINESE torture.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 3, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

BTW I already got my tix for the Bobcats and Blazers. Just hope he's still in the lineup by then.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | November 3, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@midlevex_,

Like it or not, Grunfeld traded for, drafted or signed EVERY player on this roster. Therefore, his judgement as a personnel evaluator is what landed each and every player on this team at this time. It's HIS baby and I believe that baby will crawl, walk and then run into the playoffs THIS SEASON!

Flip is not infallible. Far from it. In fact, it is my opinion that he is not the best choice as a coach for a young, rebuilding team. However, he is capable of leading the Wizards to the playoffs this year if he is willing to change and grow with the young players Ernest Grunfeld has assembled. The inescapable fact is that Martin was put in the game after the timeout with 3 seconds left in the fourth and was clearly one of the threats to take and hit a three-pointer since he hit them at a good clip in the preseason and is currently a 50% shooter on his threes. Of the players on the court at that time, only Wall is currently hitting three-pointers as well as Martin.

The pieces are there. Ernest collected them.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | November 3, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

melodius_thunk: Hey Bro, gimmie some of what u been smokin(LOL)!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 3, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

loved the show, even 'DREY's love-hate relationship with winning, but WALL's limping pretty badly on that ankle as he left the post-game floor interview. I'd rest it if I were the WIZZIES, and let ARENAS onto the floor for awhile.

Steals are nice, but the only team that's played team defense against the WIZZIES so far is the MAGIC, and they totally dominated the game.

WALL's gonna' excel in open-court, transition offense, and those teams who don't play good team defense are going to lose to the WIZARDS night in and night out due to WALL. Since most of the league falls into that catagory, I'm guardedly optimistic about this season.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 3, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

...note to Ted: exciting opening home win. Clearly you need to start thinking ahead about how you are going to make sure you lock John Wall up for a long time...So, while your GM may have found two new semi-solid role players in Martin and Armstrong for this year's squad, where are the contributions from your this year's draft 1st or 2nd round picks? Or last year's or the year before, or before that? I know its very early in the season, but sorry, beyond Wall (which was pretty darn easy) this draft with 3 1st round picks is looking like a bust. Look, I loved what Ernie did back in the day in putting together the big three...it was a fun, good idea that just didnt pan out. I guess, that type of team building is Ernie's strength, clearly. Just as building through the draft and with young players is clearly NOT Ernie's strength. Ted, you should keep Ernie employed through the trading deadline...never know what he may pull off (players for draft picks). And then quickly please let him go and find the best collection of evaluators of college and young talent for this team. Next two year's drafts are crucial, if you want to keep John Wall a Wizard/Bullet for a long time...

Posted by: oddjob1 | November 3, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ernest has stocked the roster with young guys (read cheap) who are ready to dazzle given just a little more seasoning. The Wizards are going to be a problem in the NBA this year and the NBA knows it.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

***********************************************************************************************
It's been a rough morning at work. Thanks for the humor. I only wish it were true. Sadly, the Wizards have little talent, and in their home opener, had to go to overtime to beat one of the worst teams in the league. They're now 1-2, on the road to 9-25. Hoepfully, both Grunfeld and Saunders will be shown the door after what will likely be one of the worst seasons in Wizards history. [Or at least, since Grunfeld's Wizards won 19 games year before last.] Dumbfeld made a few nice moves five or six years ago. Since then he's been crap. Fire him.

Posted by: sonny2 | November 3, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

if you knew anything about the nuances of the game then you'd know the ref's bailed Blatche's sorry azz out last night with that foul call at the end
Posted by: dargregmag

Brand got him on the wrist, arm and body.

it's tough to give Brand credit for a clean block coming from the other side of the rim (kinda like Wall's rundown of Iggy. Isn't the hand part of the ball?) on that play
Posted by: lilhollywood10

Wall also was climbing up his back and got him across the top of the head. It was a sick play, no doubt, but it was also a foul, no doubt.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@dargregmag,

What you are talking about is neither here nor there but it would be nice if you could get rid of your disdain for certain players that have done nothing to you. It's annoying listening to all the jealous rants and attacks. They won the game and you're thinking about what bothers yuo about AB.

Posted by: gmac78 | November 3, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I have the game on DVR and what the announcers and fans didnt see was that Brand grabbed Dray's jersey & pulled down on it. Why do you think Brand didnt argue the call? It was like a corner getting beat in football and grabs the jersey to stop the big play. If he didnt grab the jersey then Dray probably finishes at the rim

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 3, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard Gil's name in days....its been great! Now if only J-Ho bag would fall off the face of the earth, I'd be thrilled.

Posted by: Max_in_Missouri | November 3, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not, Grunfeld traded for, drafted or signed EVERY player on this roster.

Wouldn't touch that with an interplanetary probe but I'm with you on over-the-top expectations. Nothing to lose but NBA games and with that may arrive another lottery pick. I am however worried that Wall may run out of gas or ankles before Arenas and Howard get back.

In the meantime enjoy the chaos of high energy interaction with the unknown. Beyond that, the Wiz are composed of question marks and beyond that are more question marks.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 3, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard Gil's name in days....its been great! Now if only J-Ho bag would fall off the face of the earth, I'd be thrilled.

Posted by: Max_in_Missouri

Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert. There, that should hold you through the weekend.

It's a small thing, but it was good to see Gil on the bench, and not just leading the cheers, but encouraging (basically forcing) his teammates to get up for a little standing-O to start the OT.

Having seen the Wall show without Gil, which has been plenty good, I am now curious to see more of them playing together.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

And yes, I think that does make Gil the world's most expensive cheerleader. Well, at least now that "W" is out of office.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse


I know its very early in the season, but sorry, beyond Wall (which was pretty darn easy) this draft with 3 1st round picks is looking like a bust.

Posted by: oddjob1 | November 3, 2010 12:34 PM

Seraphin, Booker and Ndiaye haven't been in the NBA long enough to have a cup of coffee and already someone's using the dreaded "b" word to describe them? And I thought I was impatient....

Posted by: tgif11 | November 3, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Having seen the Wall show without Gil, which has been plenty good, I am now curious to see more of them playing together.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to seeing them on the road and against competitive basketball teams.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 3, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not, Grunfeld traded for, drafted or signed EVERY player on this roster.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | November 3, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

That's why he should be fired...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 3, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

It may be too early to call any of the picks a bust but that pick they asquired from Chicago for Seraphin is too high for him to not compete for playing time. I mean he doesn't even look like he going to take his warm ups off.

I know a lot of folks are very gracious and defending of management, but this team always has an excuse why their draft picks can't contribute.

Posted by: gmac78 | November 3, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Seraphin gets off the schneid sometime soon, I think the only other healthy 1st rounder not play yet is Pat Patterson. Could be wrong tho

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a healthy Arenas, Wall, Josh Howard/Al Thorton vs the Heat. On paper, Wade, Bron, & Bosh (Bosh is NOT a max contact player) (WBsquared) look good but I think the wiz can hold their own.

Miami has 3 all stars, Wiz have one Gil, presuming two in wall. Thorton, Howard, or Blatche can contain Bosh...will be a good game!

NY had a gr8 performance last night; I hope he can be consistent. If he is, the offense will Gil & Howard return will be much improved.

Posted by: Gooddad | November 3, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Calling Booker, Seraphin, Ndiaye a bust is waaaaaaaaay too early. If you break down the draft positions 1-5 are suppose to be your star players and lottery picks are most of the time quality starters. picks 17 and latter tend to blossom around 3 years later and are usually rotation/role players. Since neither of our draft picks are lottery picks except wall a realistic expectation is booker, seraphin, Ndiaye playing a specific role off the bench ex. defense, rebounding, blocks. There are exceptions like the Gilbert Arenas in the 2nd round, Rashard Lewis, Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, Carlos Boozer, Michael Redd, but those only happen once in a draft and the knicks look like they found one in Larry Sanders 29.7 mins, 11 pts 7 rebounds and they got him in the second round. Watch him this friday.

Posted by: jefferu | November 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"It may be too early to call any of the picks a bust but that pick they asquired from Chicago for Seraphin is too high for him to not compete for playing time."

Posted by: gmac78 | November 3, 2010 2:48 PM

Not really. It's hardly uncommon for guys taken in the 2nd half of the first round to do some heel-cooling as rookies. It's only been 3 games.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Did you know he broke his foot? He's in terrible shape, definitely overweight and he should probably grow a beard to hide the double-chin. Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 10:29 AM

And what was his excuse last season? And the one before that?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

the knicks look like they found one in Larry Sanders 29.7 mins, 11 pts 7 rebounds and they got him in the second round. Watch him this friday.

Posted by: jefferu | November 3, 2010 3:12 PM

Sanders plays for the Bucks. I think you might be talking about Landry Fields.

http://www.nba.com/rookieladder/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

Posted by: and_1 | November 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Not really. It's hardly uncommon for guys taken in the 2nd half of the first round to do some heel-cooling as rookies. It's only been 3 games.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Except the fact that most of those teams that draft that high made the playoffs last year and have players who are better then the draft picks...

The Wizards on the other hand didn't and don't, so that means Srraphon must be as clueless as your posts are.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 3, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

And what was his excuse last season? And the one before that?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

lack of professionalism
poor work ethic
no strength and conditioning coach
There were no excuses for him to hide behind his first few seasons in the L. No one claims that AB was the consumate pro his first coupla years, but folks saw the talent. Last season he looked ready to play and came on when he got his shot. The worst thing about this year is that he ended last season on such a high note, and seemed to be coming along. This season the broken foot is his excuse and it's justified. It sucks because now clowns who wanna just look down their nose at his production last year have something else to harp on even as he busts his @$$ playing himself into shape. Oh well

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with 78. Unless Chicago wanted Seraphin if things didn't work out, Ernie staked his shaky "rep" on Seraphin because Hinrich was not the key to the trade from a Wiz perspective.

Also, trading up for Booker was a stretch. He could have got him later or drafted somebody else.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 3, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Surprisingly, the Spurs have three rookies seeing minutes, but it's Anderson who gets the early bump, thanks to a 10-point debut and by going 5-for-10 on 3-pointers through three games. Even better, Anderson helped lock down Pacers All-Star Danny Granger. "It did a lot for my confidence," Anderson said, "not only being in double figures, but just to get my feet wet and defending a guy like Granger and being able to defend him."

It's funny how GM's who know how to draft get playing time for their players even if they are picked in the 2nd half of the first round?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 3, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse


Also, trading up for Booker was a stretch. He could have got him later or drafted somebody else.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 3, 2010 3:31 PM

And you know that he could've drafted him later based on what? As for drafting someone else, you draft the guys that you have the strongest feelings about. I'd rather Grunfeld do that than draft some chump just because he was all that was left.

Posted by: and_1 | November 3, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78--

suddenly your comments make sense to me now that I know you live in San Diego and never get to actually watch the team you talk about here.

Wall is way faster and quicker with his hands than Thomas. No way Thomas could have had nine steals in his third game as a rookie. Also Thomas had Dantley and some other guys to go to; Wall has almost nobody. A better comparison would definitely be Oscar Robertson, with Alan Iverson's acceleration. And Lebron's attitude.

Posted by: KTV1 | November 3, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

And what was his excuse last season? And the one before that?

Who cares? He's played better each game. Said he needed to be more aggressive then goes out and hits 13-14FTs including 2 clutch ones to take the lead in OT. Follows it up with an excellent defensive play to seal win (nbaplaybook's words, not mine).

But let's talk about his fatness circa 2008?

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Except the fact that most of those teams that draft that high made the playoffs last year and have players who are better then the draft picks...

The Wizards on the other hand didn't and don't, so that means Srraphon must be as clueless as your posts are."

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 3, 2010 3:25 PM |

Speaking of clueless . . . how many games have you seen Seraphin play? Rhetorical question, of course, because we all know you've never seen him play. That being the case, how do you know he's better than the Wizards' incumbent big men, all of whom have 2 to 5 years of NBA experience? Another rhetorical question, of course, because you don't know that.

And I'll save you the trouble of making yourself look like an even bigger ass by asking the dumb question we all know is on your lips: No the fact that he may not be better right now than McGee, Blatche, Yi, or Armstrong does not in any way, shape, or form mean he's a bust. It simply means that Seraphin's an international rookie taken in the mid/late first round wtih a steep adjustment curve, not just to the NBA but to the US and English. Add to that the fact that he was idle most of the summer with an injury and his lack of playing time through 3 games is less than insignificant.

Much like you.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Correction: I was answering "the dumb question we all know is on your lips." I'll leave the asking of dumb questions to the experts.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Seraphin gets off the schneid sometime soon, I think the only other healthy 1st rounder not play yet is Pat Patterson. Could be wrong tho

Posted by: divi3

As far as I know, Brackins, Elliot Williams and Pondexter are all healthy scratches as well.

Have to think that Seraphin sees some time (if he's active) in their next blowout loss or win. But it's tough to get him court time now. This is definitely a season to make sure the young guys play. But they're all young guys, especially on the front line. As one of the, if not the youngest team in the NBA, they don't have the luxury of letting a rookie blend in and learn playing with veteran players.

I'd be happy to give him Armstrong's minutes, since as a draft pick he seems more relevant to their future than Armstrong, but if he's not ready to be out there, there's no point. All he ends up doing then is making it harder for the others to learn to play together.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of draft picks on playoff teams . . . Those still banging the Grunfeld should have been fired for not drafting DeJuan Blair drum should note that as the Spurs starting "center" (Popovich should be ashamed of himself), the Wizards would-have-been-savior is averaging 4 pts, 6 rebs and shooting 20% from the field (that is not a typo).

It's a lot harder to take people by surprise when they know you;re coming, I guess.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I just want to see Seraphin knock someone on their ass...team is lacking that, though so is the whole league these days really.

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of draft picks on playoff teams . . . Those still banging the Grunfeld should have been fired for not drafting DeJuan Blair drum should note that as the Spurs starting "center" (Popovich should be ashamed of himself), the Wizards would-have-been-savior is averaging 4 pts, 6 rebs and shooting 20% from the field (that is not a typo).

It's a lot harder to take people by surprise when they know you;re coming, I guess.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Oy, don't remind me. I took him one pick ahead of JJ Hickson in my Fantasy Draft. That being said, 3 or 4 games doesn't a season make, and he has put up big numbers in the past for them.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Kalo and ts35,

you both make valid points in reference to it only being 3 games, the whole roster being young , and not all late 1st rnd picks getting PT right away.

I guess what really concerns me is the speculation if Seraphin is as raw and project as some suspect. (Emphasis on suspect ) If that's the case I would dissapointed in that selection.

And I know, all picks are gambles so to speak but given the underdevelopment of the roster, you would think they reach for someone more seasoned at #17

Posted by: gmac78 | November 3, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at this play, it was a fantastic call by coach Collins to get Lou Williams the basketball in the lane with his defender on his back. However, it was a better play by Blatche."

http://nbaplaybook.com/2010/11/03/doug-collins-calls-a-great-play-but-the-d-is-just-a-little-better/

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Nice link divi3 but I guess the AB haters will concentrate more on his TO rather than his good defense, 14 FT and 20+ pts.

Posted by: Dave381 | November 3, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"Notice how Blatche just totally ignores Tony Battie. One interesting thing to think about though is what would have happened if Elton Brand didn’t foul out and they ran this same play."

Posted by: djnnnou | November 3, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

One interesting thing to think about though is what would have happened if Elton Brand didn’t foul out and they ran this same play

Lou Williams would have scored, and Flip would have blamed AB for not rotating to Hinrich's man ;)

Posted by: divi3 | November 3, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

He wouldn't of been able to camp out in the lane for 7 seconds. That's for sure.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 3, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Have to say I'm loving the no whining rule, but no hand checking is robbing Jrue Holiday for the likes of Lou Williams and Aaron Brooks. Just a travesty really. Malcolm Lee should be the next UCLA guard in the league. Hope he finds his way to DC.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 3, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I guess what really concerns me is the speculation if Seraphin is as raw and project as some suspect. (Emphasis on suspect ) If that's the case I would dissapointed in that selection.

And I know, all picks are gambles so to speak but given the underdevelopment of the roster, you would think they reach for someone more seasoned at #17

Posted by: gmac78

Let me spoil the surprise for you, he's that raw and that much of a project. Looking at the limited sampling of video of him that I've seen, it looks like he has some basic moves and qualities that lead me to believe he will be a solid contributor down the road. He also played in Euroleague and fared pretty well. But much like McGee was when we drafted him, Seraphin is young, and looks like he'll need some time to get up to speed.

In terms of picking someone more seasoned, I think that was part of the rationale behind drafting Booker. Aside from his speed and that he was mentioned by other draftees as the toughest post defender, he's a 4 year college player from a major conference.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at this play, it was a fantastic call by coach Collins to get Lou Williams the basketball in the lane with his defender on his back. However, it was a better play by Blatche."

http://nbaplaybook.com/2010/11/03/doug-collins-calls-a-great-play-but-the-d-is-just-a-little-better/

Posted by: divi3

It was definitely a solid play by Blatche, but it may have also been partly a good call by Flip (or whoever calls their defense). The Sixers had been killing the Wizards off of the pick-and-roll. Williams in particular. Through most of the 4th quarter and over time, the Wizards' big men would show and recover, or try to. More often than not, Williams was beating his defender and the showing big into the lane. It was a double-screen, so I don't know if AB has the same responsibility, but it was interesting that he'd didn't try to show or trap off of the end of that screen, which probably also threw Williams off.

So if it was called by Flip not to show or trap on that play, great call, but either way, good D on AB's part. He made himself big, didn't reach and didn't foul.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at this play, it was a fantastic call by coach Collins to get Lou Williams the basketball in the lane with his defender on his back. However, it was a better play by Blatche."

http://nbaplaybook.com/2010/11/03/doug-collins-calls-a-great-play-but-the-d-is-just-a-little-better/

Posted by: divi3

It was definitely a solid play by Blatche, but it may have also been partly a good call by Flip (or whoever calls their defense). The Sixers had been killing the Wizards off of the pick-and-roll. Williams in particular. Through most of the 4th quarter and over time, the Wizards' big men would show and recover, or try to. More often than not, Williams was beating his defender and the showing big into the lane. It was a double-screen, so I don't know if AB has the same responsibility, but it was interesting that he'd didn't try to show or trap off of the end of that screen, which probably also threw Williams off.

So if it was called by Flip not to show or trap on that play, great call, but either way, good D on AB's part. He made himself big, didn't reach and didn't foul.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Oy, sorry for the triple post. I must be having a Tex Winter moment.

Posted by: ts35 | November 3, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"I just want to see Seraphin knock someone on their ass...Posted by: divi3"

Wait outside the locker room and when he comes out, start cursing him in French.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 3, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

"As far as I know, Brackins, Elliot Williams and Pondexter are all healthy scratches as well. posted by ts35"

I think it was Seraphin's mentor who was saying Kevin would benefit from a year in Europe with a pro club there. Probably true. And don't forget he missed a lot of the offseason with his injury.

Best to be patient with a kid like that. I realize on this blog that's like asking ducks to fly backwards, but it's still true.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 3, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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