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Posted at 12:16 AM ET, 01/23/2011

Newest Wizard Mustafa Shakur has memorable debut

By Gene Wang

Mustafa Shakur had quite the introduction to the NBA. A D-League guard with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers one day earlier, Shakur got the call-up Saturday from the Washington Wizards, who were short-handed in the back court, and contributed significant minutes during an 85-83 victory over Boston, playing against the likes of Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.

"Oh, man, it's a great feeling and an unbelievable opportunity the organization has given me to come in here and just be a part of everything," said Shakur, who averaged 16.7 points, 5 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 23 games with the Vipers.

Shakur entered the game with 4 minutes 26 seconds left in the first quarter after rookie point guard John Wall picked up two quick fouls. Before Shakur signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards, Wall had been the only healthy point guard on the roster after Kirk Hinrich hyperextended his elbow in Friday night's 109-97 loss to Phoenix.

Shakur finished with a team-high five assists, one more than Wall, to go along with five points in 10 minutes. Shakur so impressed Coach Flip Saunders that he said the rookie could have been the player of the game for helping to keep the deficit somewhat in check when circumstances easily could have spiraled downward.

"John picks up his foul, and we're down [13], and here's a guy coming in who doesn't really know much of our offense and made a couple plays for himself, looked like he belonged out there," Saunders said. "He was comfortable, defended pretty well, and got it to a manageable situation where we got it to around 10."

Gaining valuable rest while in foul trouble thanks to Shakur's minutes, Wall was able to bank in a three-pointer in the closing seconds for the winning points.

"He did a great job playing backup minutes," Wall said. "I got two early fouls, and he helped us out. He gave us a spark of scoring and also finding people. It was a great addition to have, and hopefully he can keep helping us out."

Shakur, who played college basketball at Arizona, arrived in the District around 3 p.m. and was the first player on the court during pregame shootaround. Because Shakur had virtually no knowledge of the offense, Saunders had to implement some simple plays for when Shakur was in the game.

So hastily was he added to the roster that it appeared his jersey wasn't quite ready either. Shakur wore No. 22, but the lettering and his name plate were clearly out of position.

"I don't know. I think they tried to put my zip code on there," Shakur said, eliciting laughter throughout the locker room. "They, you know, messed it up a little bit."

By Gene Wang  | January 23, 2011; 12:16 AM ET
Categories:  Mustafa Shakur  
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Next: Rashard Lewis settling into leadership role

Comments

here's a guy coming in who doesn't really know much of our offense and made a couple plays for himself, looked like he belonged out there," Saunders said.

Is the reason he looked like he belonged out there was because nobody knows much of Flip's offense and everyone tries to make plays for themselves?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 1:20 AM | Report abuse

So now they go to Madison Square Garden, then back home to face Denver, followed by a road trip to end the month and begin February: OKC, Memphis, Dallas, and NO. I imagine they'll be underdogs in all those games, with the possible exception of the Nuggets. For some reason we've always struggled against Memphis.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Nice beginning for Tupac. These guys toil in obscurity in the D-league w/ the dream of sipping a cup of coffee in the big show. Game 1 against the most storied franchise in the sport and he holds his own. If he does nothing else, he has a story to tell his kids some day.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 23, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I liked Shakur when he was at AZ. When he came out I was hoping wizards would take him in the 2nd round. I'm not sure why he hasn't stuck anywhere yet, but the boy can play, & I think he's a nice backup pg for us. I was glad to hear we signed him.

That game was amazing. Team played D and showed some fight! They look like they are coming together. If anyone remembers I was sayin all preseason I wasnt gonna make judgement til Jan cause I figured it would take this long to get any cohesion.

Alright Wizards go get that road win in NY!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I liked Shakur when he was at AZ. When he came out I was hoping wizards would take him in the 2nd round. I'm not sure why he hasn't stuck anywhere yet, but the boy can play, & I think he's a nice backup pg for us. I was glad to hear we signed him.

That game was amazing. Team played D and showed some fight! They look like they are coming together. If anyone remembers I was sayin all preseason I wasnt gonna make judgement til Jan cause I figured it would take this long to get any cohesion.

Alright Wizards go get that road win in NY!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

He did a nice job - seems pretty quick.

I was focussing on JW's defense the last couple of games, and if he is not picking his man's pocket, he is terrible. I can't count how many times his man, rondo, Nash, whoever drove almost unmolested past him for an easy layup or dish. And the next time he doesn't get hung up on a high screen will be the first. It looks like he has never been taught anything on defense other than gamble and steal, and hpe your teammates cover up for you, which the Wiz can't. Guess that's what happens when you come out after your freshman year. We already had a turnover-prone point guard who couldn't play defense. Oh well. Nice win, and Tupac helped.

Posted by: bogyfre | January 23, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I liked Shakur when he was at AZ. When he came out I was hoping wizards would take him in the 2nd round. I'm not sure why he hasn't stuck anywhere yet, but the boy can play, & I think he's a nice backup pg for us. I was glad to hear we signed him.

That game was amazing. Team played D and showed some fight! They look like they are coming together. If anyone remembers I was sayin all preseason I wasnt gonna make judgement til Jan cause I figured it would take this long to get any cohesion.

Alright Wizards go get that road win in NY!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I liked Shakur when he was at AZ. When he came out I was hoping wizards would take him in the 2nd round. I'm not sure why he hasn't stuck anywhere yet, but the boy can play, & I think he's a nice backup pg for us. I was glad to hear we signed him.

That game was amazing. Team played D and showed some fight! They look like they are coming together. If anyone remembers I was sayin all preseason I wasnt gonna make judgement til Jan cause I figured it would take this long to get any cohesion.

Alright Wizards go get that road win in NY!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

He's already given the Wiz more good ball than Hudson did in 2 10-day stints (not counting a pre-season buzzer beater). Welcome!

Posted by: rbelleisle | January 23, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry bout the repeat posts. Wouldnt submit, then it went through 4 times all of a sudden.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Dray was ready to bust Ticket in the nose last night. Love to see that....except it really is a reminder of what he can play like vs what he does play like. If he gave that kind of effort 90% of the time, he would be a terrific player. But he doesnt....will he ever is the question.


Posted by: divi3 | January 23, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Shakur looked very comfortable at the point. With Heinrich out, we were extremely thin at point guard. Flip shoul let Shakur backup Wall until Kirk's elbow is healed. He needs to get significant minutes. That way the organization can determine whether Mustafa Shakur is really a fit for this squad.

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 23, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Nice surprising win. Turned the game off mid way through 4th qtr. I hate to admit it but I just knew they'd blow this one too. Shukurimpressed me somewhat but I still think players didn't know much about his game and how he played. Hope he'll stick then I wonder how they'll keep him around after the 10 day contract expires.

Posted by: zack5 | January 23, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say it was a nice feeling to see a guy/pg come in and run the offense the way it's supposed to be run. I watched Shakur dish the ball in stride to the right players without the constant tuenovers we have been seeing from JW and KH. If you remember the wi kids were up by 4 after JW hit the 3 pointer and then he JW had another turnover. IMO John Wall still appears to be hurting. He looks like he's skiping down the court. The offense is just not run smoothly with him yet.

I think we have to mant one on one players and it makes it hard for a offense to be run.

1. Nick Young is having a good year, but is it in the flw of the offense. He gets the bal dribbles and shoots. (scorer).

2. Andray Blatche is having a decent year, but like Nick Young is a role Player with a number 1 scorers mindset.

3.Rashad Lewis Is a shooter that misses wide open shoots in keep points of the game.


4. J Mac Is a true talent and could have been a bigger version of Blake Griffin if he ever gets his mind right. I worry when I see him on the court looking like he's out of breath. He may have issues that we don't know about. He should concentrate on rebounds and Block shoots ONLY.

5. J Wall. While John Wall is a great talent for the future. He is right now a rookie thats playing on desire. He is not dominating the games on the offensive or defensive ends like he was in the beginning , Which lead me to believe that the kid is still hurting.

6. Julian Yi is a talented kid, but would have been better servered going to a team like Dallas that would not have been so dependent on his scoring or rebounding. He is a guy that looks good on paper and preseason, but it never translate during the season.

7. Bench (Where is the Bench?)

1.Hilton A is MIA-He played well in the beginning, but has dissappeared.

2. Everyone else are a mystery as well.

Posted by: specialg7master | January 23, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Checked up on Shakur a little. This is actually his third 10 day contract -- two in 2010 with OKC. He was signed by NO last August but was cut before the season. Basically spent two seasons in Europe -- Poland and Spain.

He's actually a Philadelphia-bred player. In college he was mostly an assists/ rebounds/defense type. Really became a scoring threat after leaving school. We know less about him than some others because he was overseas. Consensus is he's always been NBA-caliber in physical terms, but needed a lot of work on his skills. He's 26 now.

I guess his fate depends a lot on Hinrich's return.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

This is the point in the season when rookies start hitting 'the wall' -- they've played more NBA games than they did the previous season in college. Applies only to rooks who got a lot of minutes in the first half; Booker and Seraphin shouldn't worry. There was a dip in performance for several rookie stars last season. Be interesting to see what happens with Wall and Blake Griffin. I don't know if age makes a difference (Blake's a year and a half older) but we'll see.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"6. Julian Yi is a talented kid..."

He's an interior decorator, right?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I really glad the wizards signed (insert name here) from the D-League this guy is a real find for Ernie....

(insert name here)

Mustafa Shakur
Alonzo Gee
Cartier Martin
Lester Hudson
Shaun Livingston
Mike Harris
Cedric Jackson

Fans of good teams don't get too carried away when they sign a D-League player mid season to fill a roster spot. But I guess that's how bad it's gotten around there that people have hope one of these guys will turn out to be a player.

Who knows maybe they'll keep him once Kirk is back...

I am glad Kirk isn't playing because now NY and Wall don't have to be worried about being replaced during the 4th quarter and that will help them in the long run...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Shakur plays well enough to allow for trading Hinrich to a playoff team thin at PG. KH's value is probably higher to team getting ready for their playoff run than it will be to team's in the offseason. Maybe a low 1st rounder?

Posted by: divi3 | January 23, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I think we still will have a spot open to sign Shakur even when Hinrich elbow is okay.

Don't think they will sign Shakur anyhows though.

Someone said earlier that Shakur keeps our guard play more traditional.

I agree. It probably is better for the flow and chemistry, than having Kirk playing both guard spots and using the 3-guard strat.

It should have been apparent to Flip by now that Kirk isn't good enough to carry the importance of three roles.

Shakur on the other hand is just expected to back up Wall, thereby keeping everyoneelse in their roles and giving Martin more burn behind Young.

Oddly, it probably helps the team chemistry moreso than what Flip was trying to do with Kirk.

But as soon has Kirk is back, the benifit of this is probably most definitely out the window.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 23, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

lol

Come On Posted by: Samson151. You have to copy the whole statement. I said on Paper.

6. Julian Yi is a talented kid, but would have been better servered going to a team like Dallas that would not have been so dependent on his scoring or rebounding. He is a guy that looks good on paper and preseason, but it never translate during the season.

Posted by: specialg7master | January 23, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Great game to watch. I liked the slightly extended taste of Seraphin we got tonight, and I think he has earned some of the backup minutes tonight behind McGee. I say again that he has the best defensive footwork among the bigs. I remember divi referencing that the team calls him Big Slow. But he doesn't look slow out there to me. He moves laterally very well, especially for a guy his size. He shows well on screens and then recovers to his man and boxes out. On the offensive end, he is still raw, but I like that he keeps it very simple.

Posted by: ts35

That's exactly what I like about him...and he sets some bone crushing screens. Someone Seraphin has shown that as he gets more comfortable he can be a real problem in the paint...his rebounding numbers in limited time are very encouraging and he stays in his box. Doesn't try to do too much, just keeps it to his little jump hook. Definitely want to see more of him.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 23, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"If anyone remembers I was sayin all preseason I wasnt gonna make judgement til Jan cause I figured it would take this long to get any cohesion.Posted by: Darnell1"

You had a point. The giveaway was the sheer amount of turnover the team would have to deal with. Going into the season here's what they had:

4 rookies (Wall, Seraphin, Booker, Ndiaye)
3 brand new vets from different systems (Hinrich, Yi, Hil Armstong)
2 recent D-leaguers (Martin, Hudson)
1 injured vet out til Dec (Josh Howard)
1 midseason addition from last year (Al Thornton)
3 young guys (Blatche, Young, McGee) lacking a lot of game experience

and Gilbert.

That's a heck of a challenge for any coaching staff. I think some folks were entranced by individual talents on the roster and forgot they hadn't actually played together (or in some cases, hadn't played that much anywhere). To me it suggested they were going to lose a lot, especially at the beginning. And from time to time during the season, they'd look like they would have trouble making it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Shakur might fit the bill for what I was hoping for, a third PG who can do a better job of sticking with quicker PGs. The fact that he seems (at least based only on last night) to be an adept distributor as well would be a nice bonus.

I tend to agree with Larry, though, that when Hinrich's healthy, Shakur doesn't see the floor much. But who knows. Big Serf is starting to see the floor more regularly now, so anything is possible.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Fans of good teams don't get too carried away when they sign a D-League player mid season to fill a roster spot. But I guess that's how bad it's gotten around there that people have hope one of these guys will turn out to be a player.

Who knows maybe they'll keep him once Kirk is back...

I am glad Kirk isn't playing because now NY and Wall don't have to be worried about being replaced during the 4th quarter and that will help them in the long run...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

But when the Spurs grabbed Alonzo Gee it was because they were a wonderful organization and this and that...make up your mind.

Wall and Young have been finishing games for some time now...perhaps you should watch the games.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 23, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"6. Julian Yi is a talented kid, but would have been better servered going to a team like Dallas that would not have been so dependent on his scoring or rebounding. He is a guy that looks good on paper and preseason, but it never translate during the season.Posted by: specialg7master"

LOL plus he could redecorate the locker room?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking of a motto for WI:

"We Talk and Talk But Nobody Ever Changes His Mind."

Then I discovered Congress had already trademarked it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty sad that with a team full of multimillionaire veterans, we're talking about a D-league recent sign on and his contributions to a win. What's the next one trick pony to get everyone excited (don't forget everyone hooping and hollering in the past about guys like Mike Miller, Boykins, Gee, etc....where are they now?)?

Let's put away the gimmicks and win with the players you're supposed to win with.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 23, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Mustaforgot Tupac Shakur looked damn good

Posted by: Barno1 | January 23, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

There was so much green in the VC, can we call this our first road win?

Posted by: cballer | January 23, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

They caught Boston looking ahead but that's what happens when an elite team plays the dregs of the NBA i'll be impressed if they beat NY monday night. Rondo stealing the ball from Wall in the final seconds would have made every highlight reel had the Celtics converted on their end of the court but Wall was spared the "goats horns".

Posted by: dargregmag | January 23, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

They caught Boston looking ahead but that's what happens when an elite team plays the dregs of the NBA i'll be impressed if they beat NY monday night.

dargregmag

Well, that's where we are right now. It is what it is.

About like it was with our big three the last couple of seasons, or I should say our big two and a quarter as ARENAS was a ghost on the court most of the time, and dragging around his leg mostly when he was.

He seems healed up, but is nowhere near the player he was before the injuries. JOSH HOWARD seems to be following a frightenly similar trajectory. We'd be a much better team with HOWARD on the court.

I think maybe we've got the back-up pg we needed. We'll see. One game and 10 minutes isn't much to go on, but it was a hellova good start.

Now let's go get a serious running mate for McGEE. He needs help in the post, and HILTON ARMSTRONG ain't the answer.

If our two exceptions are still good [all-star break I believe] use 'um, JIANLIAN and a second draft pick if necessary to get a young five with a couple year's experience who's effective at least in a role situation, and keep ARMSTRONG on the bench for emergencies.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What's the next one trick pony to get everyone excited (don't forget everyone hooping and hollering in the past about guys like Mike Miller, Boykins, Gee, etc....where are they now?)?
Posted by: DC_MAN88

Well, Boykins just dropped 23 in a Bucks loss and Miller just dropped in 32 and 10 for the Heat....heckuva one trick.

Don't sense anyone hooping and hollering for Shakur except maybe as a nice addition to the end of the bench, or as a replacement for many posters least favorite player Kirk Hinrich. Even if he's not a long term answer, any upgrade in talent level is a good thing.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

With an equal partner for JAVALE, we can run McGEE, BLATCHE and LEWIS on the court at the same time. That improves our three slot immensely, and helps YOUNG whom the opposition is all over the past several games like a cheap suit. I guess the prevailing thinking is stop YOUNG, defeat the WIZARDS.

T and KEEVEN continue to improve IMHO of course. It's a several year's process. I think TRAVIS will be a solid player and maybe a starter in this league. SEPAPHIN will at least become a good role player at the four.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry bout the repeat posts. Wouldnt submit, then it went through 4 times all of a sudden.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 9:06 AM

Don't know if your issue is the same as mine, but when I was having problems with double posts and slow submits, I thought I had computer issues.

Went through a whole slew of computer issues, even had the same problem on a new laptop.

Come to find out Verizon DSL was robbing me blind. They were supposed to be providing up to 1 mbps download speed and about 400 kbps upload speed. My speed from them was about 500 kbps download and 100 kbps upload.

At one time my speed test did not even measure on the chart where it was comparable to speed rates in this area.

I have since switched to Clear and have no internet issues with my computers at all.

I think for my area in general Verizon is not supporting their DSL as promised to push people into FIOS. I had Verizon DSL for years and this problem came out the blue.

I am a happy camper with Clear and my speeds are much closer to cable speeds than DSL and cheaper to boot.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 23, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

trouble making it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

No way they wouldn't get out of the first round...remember they would be playing the first game on the road.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

It was great to see the win but it was horrible to see Wall repeatedly trying to drive against 3 Celtics only to turn the ball over.

Posted by: charley42 | January 23, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

With an equal partner for JAVALE, we can run McGEE, BLATCHE and LEWIS on the court at the same time.
Posted by: glawrence007

You do realize, right, that they do run McGee, AB, and Lewis at the same time already? In fact they all start.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

But when the Spurs grabbed Alonzo Gee it was because they were a wonderful organization and this and that...make up your mind.

Wall and Young have been finishing games for some time now...perhaps you should watch the games.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 23, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Post the quote where I said anything about San Antonio and Gee...I'm sure the San Antonio fans didn't care at all about the signing of Gee...they have other things on thier minds...like making the playoffs

http://www.nba.com/games/20110119/WASMIL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

http://www.nba.com/games/20110113/WASMIN/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

I guess the play by play stat guy is wrong since here are a couple of games Mil and Min where Kirk was in the game at the end of both games...why is here in there at all...it should be Wall NY at the guard spots...maybe Flip was going with his 3 guard offense again since it's worked so well

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

That's a heck of a challenge for any coaching staff. I think some folks were entranced by individual talents on the roster and forgot they hadn't actually played together (or in some cases, hadn't played that much anywhere). To me it suggested they were going to lose a lot, especially at the beginning.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

and why did the Wizards have to rebuild?

1 because the team Ernie put together Gil, DS, CB, AJ and BTH wasn't any good but we should believe that this team he put together will be better?

2 Ernie's hand picked coach (Flip "Nope on the road" Saunders) couldn't get the same production out of Ernie's team as Eddie Jordan did.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

With an equal partner for JAVALE, we can run McGEE, BLATCHE and LEWIS on the court at the same time.
Posted by: glawrence007

You do realize, right, that they do run McGee, AB, and Lewis at the same time already? In fact they all start.

Yes, I know, but if there was another viable alternative {ARMSTRONG...no] at the five, then LEWIS could stay in at the three for more minutes rather than shift to the four when McGEE has to come out putting MARTIN and THORNTON on the floor for substantial minutes. I really would like to see BOOKER getting more burn at the three even if we lose games because of it.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking of a motto for WI:

"We Talk and Talk But Nobody Ever Changes His Mind."

Then I discovered Congress had already trademarked it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

and why should someone change his/her mind about what they believe is true about the Wizards?

Just because you say something is true but have no facts to back it up with?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Miller just dropped in 32 and 10 for the Heat....heckuva one trick." Posted by: ts35

Now that you mention it, I haven't checked in on Mike for a while. Turns out he's been active for 11 games and started the one, for an average of 14 minutes. Really only played much in 2 of the last 3 games. Is at 38% FGs, 35% threes, 60% from the line (I'm sure that's temporary). Noteworthy that despite the limited minutes, he's averaging 1.2 assists and 3.5 boards. Could actually be a factor for a team like Miami going into the playoffs.

There's another guy who got scapegoated in Washington...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if Marc Gasolis a FA this offseason? We should go for him big time! He'd be perfect to rotate w/ Mcgee. We lose salaries of Yi, Armstrong, Howard, Thornton.

Add a top draft pick at SF to Mcgee, Gasol, Ndiaye, Blatche, Seraphin, Lewis, Booker, Martin, Young, Hinrich, Shakur, Wall. That would be a strong offseason if we could do that!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Earl Boykins, now with Milwaukee: he's come off the bench in 30 games, averaging a little under 18 minutes and 8.6 points. 43% FG percentage, 37% from the arc, his usual 80%-plus from the line. 2,7 assists, 1.3 boards, 0.8 steals, 1.2 TOs. Another solid veteran role player who doesn't seem to be slowing down with age.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Randy Foye: he's had a slow start with the Clippers, averaging 13 minutes, but the last 3 games he's been on the court more than 20 minutes in all 3. The culprit is his shooting, which had been way off his career figures. He's only averaging 4.3 points this season over 24 games off the bench.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There are four ways for the Wizards to acquire talent: the draft, free agent signings, trades, and the D-League.

There are five ways for the Wizards to develop talent: off-season skill camps (e.g. Big Man's Camp), summer league, training camp, regular season, and the D-League.

It would be foolish for the Wizards to not pay attention to the D-League.

With Shakur, the Wizards have picked up a pg who is in mid-season form, who has about four years of pro experience below the NBA level. It's not a brilliant move, but on the other hand, it's not nothing.

Let's just wait and see how he plays.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 23, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Let's just wait and see how he plays.Posted by: PostSubscriber"

Well, we do have one prediction in hand -- DCMAN says he'll be with us a few days (presumably 10, since that's the contract). So if he gets reupped once, I guess that's success.

You have to root a little for these guys who work so hard and pay so many dues.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Now that you mention it, I haven't checked in on Mike for a while. Turns out he's been active for 11 games and started the one, for an average of 14 minutes. Really only played much in 2 of the last 3 games. Is at 38% FGs, 35% threes, 60% from the line (I'm sure that's temporary). Noteworthy that despite the limited minutes, he's averaging 1.2 assists and 3.5 boards. Could actually be a factor for a team like Miami going into the playoffs.

There's another guy who got scapegoated in Washington...

Posted by: Samson151

Pretty much been injured (thumb injury) the whole season.

I doubt he'll be a big numbers guys for them, but with the injuries they've been having he is a guy who can fill in and provide some production when needed.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

At which point, of course, EG will be castigated for not re-signing him.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Garnett's take on what happened at the end of the game:

“We got really good shots but we just didn’t make them. We got the shots when we wanted to, but John Wall hit a hell of a shot — the bank three — and then we had to get a bucket when we needed it and we couldn’t. It’s like that sometimes. When you’re playing on the road, you can’t give up big leads like that. They play really well at home and we knew that. I thought Blatche played really good defense at the end, and Rashard Lewis has been huge for them.”
(quote from TruthAboutIt.net)

I loved the Blatche praise.

Posted by: nmik | January 23, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Add a top draft pick at SF..."

That would probably be Harrison Barnes of UNC, Jan Vesely of Partizan Belgrade, or Terrence Jones of Kentucky...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Garnett giving Blatche some love. Yov've got to know that G understands the game within a game. Hope Blatche understands that G just gave him an endorsement.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 23, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I doubt he'll be a big numbers guys for them, but with the injuries they've been having he is a guy who can fill in and provide some production when needed.
Posted by: ts35

Well, the Heat signed him to what is a big contract for them (excluding the trio, that is), expecting him to stretch the floor.

Since he's been back on the court (although the finger will probably bother him all year), he's been getting a lot of criticism (from fans, coaches, teammates) for not taking shots when he has them--rather the same as in Washington.

I was glad to see him take the shots he had.

Posted by: nmik | January 23, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

and why did the Wizards have to rebuild?

1 because the team Ernie put together Gil, DS, CB, AJ and BTH wasn't any good but we should believe that this team he put together will be better?
Posted by: bulletsfan78

Not true. They were good, just not good enough. I personally didn't think they would be championship caliber with that core, but they would have perennially been in the playoffs. Building that team, EG did what EG does. In acquiring Gil, AJ, CB and DS, the only valuable asset he gave up was the #5 pick. (BTH was an MJ acquisition). If Gil hadn't been injured, they might have been able to progress further. We'll never know. Certainly before his injury, he was on track to becoming one of the top players in the game.

Beyond that, you seem a little hazy on what 'rebuild' means. 'This team' doesn't exist yet, it's a work in progress.

My only concern with EG as the GM of this franchise is that he's not a 'draft' guy, imo. Since that is the direction the owner wants to go, he might not be the best guy for the job. But, he's an NBA caliber GM and he has built a contender in the past.

2 Ernie's hand picked coach (Flip "Nope on the road" Saunders) couldn't get the same production out of Ernie's team as Eddie Jordan did.

I don't know if Flip ever had the same chance with that team that EJ did. Factor in Gil coming back from injury, DS's back issues and some apparent chemistry issues between the 'Big 3'. And that it's always tough incorporating a new system.

I'm not saying that Flip is blameless for their horrible season last year, he certainly made his fair share of mistakes. But Flip is also a proven NBA caliber coach. I don't know if he's the 'right' fit for this team, but, imo, the players would be better served in the long run trying to implement the things he's asking them to do.

Much like with Doug Collins with the early MJ era Bulls teams, learn the basics of how to play and how to win, and then you can worry about finding the 'right' coach to take the team to the next level.

In the end, the first half of last season may have been a blessing. Had the team been able to finish with their normal 45-ish wins, EG may never have been moved to make the changes the team needed. Having watched Ted with the Caps, I don't get impression he'll be passive. He's already on his 4th coach there.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Last night on the radio the announcer said that Flip deserved credit for letting Wall run the floor more freely in the 4th. He said it looked like Flip was letting the players be a bit more in charge on the floor than normal. If that is some adjustment in Flip's style then the ole' fellow might not be entirely lost.

Go figure.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 23, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

yeah samson I like Jones, he looks NBA ready now too.

Terrance Jones & Marc Gasol would be a great offseason!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wiz need ohio state pf Sullinger. He is a beast!

Posted by: ptp09 | January 23, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

And really that's exactly the kind of offseason we need. A legit solid starting center in FA, and an athletic wing player in the draft.

Let go Armstrong, Thornton, Howard, Yi, keep everyone else.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 23, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I doubt he'll be a big numbers guys for them, but with the injuries they've been having he is a guy who can fill in and provide some production when needed.

At which point, of course, EG will be castigated for not re-signing him.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Not by me...I already castigated Ernie for trading last years 5th pick for MM and Foye.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 23, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

so what's all this stuff I'm reading about wall and gang signs? for real? anyone know?

Posted by: MinuMang | January 23, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Trading last year's 5th pick was more about getting rid of the cancerous Etan Thomas than anything else. Ernie had tried to move him for years without any takers, the only way anyone would take him off our hands was if we gave up a lottery pick.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 23, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"Well, Boykins just dropped 23 in a Bucks loss and Miller just dropped in 32 and 10 for the Heat....heckuva one trick.

Don't sense anyone hooping and hollering for Shakur except maybe as a nice addition to the end of the bench, or as a replacement for many posters least favorite player Kirk Hinrich. Even if he's not a long term answer, any upgrade in talent level is a good thing.

Posted by: ts35 | January 23, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse "

Again, after all the hype in DC, both Boinkins and Eminem aren't on the team anymore. I wouldn't be surprised though, if they did well on other teams after Les BouleS. That's a common occurrence.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 23, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

if the wiz can get sullinger in the draft they will be in good shape. then trade blatche for whatever you can get

Posted by: slick3 | January 24, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

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