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Posted at 8:04 AM ET, 01/11/2011

Wizards looking for some payback against Sacramento

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

Playing without John Wall and Andray Blatche, the Wizards got demolished, 116-91, by the Sacramento Kings when the teams met at Arco Arena last month. The victory still stands as Sacramento's most lopsided of the season, but Kings Coach Paul Westphal discounted the performance, coming short of placing an asterisk on the win.

"First of all, Blatche didn't play, John Wall didn't play. It was a real good time to catch them at the end of a road trip, with two of their players out," Westphal said on Monday. "So, you can't tell anything from that game at all."

Shorthanded or not, the Wizards still felt that they could've won that game on Dec. 8. They spent most of the fourth quarter watching Kings players laughing and chest-bumping after they alley-ooped and dunked to the finish. The Wizards didn't exactly help the situation, as JaVale McGee added to the humiliation when he attempted to dunk from the foul line and lost the ball in the closing seconds.

They will get an opportunity to make up for arguably the most despicable performance of the season, as they host the Kings at Verizon Center on Tuesday. "We didn't forget. It was very embarrassing," Al Thornton said of the loss. "We're going to try to come out and put our best foot forward. If we play with the same intensity [as Friday's win against New Jersey], we'd be okay, especially on the defensive end."

Coach Flip Saunders said it won't be difficult to use that loss as motivation. "We'll remind them of how we played there, similar to the first time we played New Jersey. We just got to come out with a lot of energy. I hope with the energy we had [at Monday's practice], we can carry that through and we didn't use it all. We'll have to play with that type of energy and just be aggressive and defend."

Westphal said that the Wizards aren't the same team they faced last month, especially after the Gilbert Arenas trade. "Right now, certainly, it seemed apparent that the Wizards needed to be make a move with the Arenas situation, and they added a great player in Rashard Lewis. I just think, they've got, on paper, a very talented team and they're much, much better, different team than when we faced them."

FROM THE POST
John Wall will get to face his college roommate DeMarcus Cousins for the first time, after missing the first meeting against Sacramento with a sprained left foot.

Josh Howard has experienced another setback with his left knee and will miss at least another week.

AROUND THE WEB
Uh, yeah. About that Carmelo Anthony trade to New Jersey? It hasn't happened yet. Anthony tells Chris Tomasson of NBA Fanhouse, that he would first like to meet with Nuggets brass.

Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com are both reporting that Denver has applied the breaks on the deal as it tries to include Al Harrington.

Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Nuggets have become infuriated with the public discussions about the proposed deal and have threatened to deal Anthony to the New York Knicks.

At Bullets Forever, Jake Whitacre hands out his Keys to the Palace, while Sean Fagan examines the viability of the Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee frontcourt combination.

By Michael Lee  | January 11, 2011; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Josh Howard to miss one to two weeks with sore left knee
Next: John Wall faces possible matchup with Kings' Tyreke Evans, adjusting to challenges of NBA

Comments

We get on Flip and he has been crappy but the fact is that he also hasnt had much of a real chance. Gil was a shell of his former self last year, AJ was the horrible no defense black hole, & Caron had regressed tremendously while we see Wood being benched in Dallas. Then this year again Gil doesnt play hard and is struggling mentally with his lack of explosin while a big part of our team was going to be Dray and he looks like crap after the injury.

Dray’s game & mentality is being more mobile then other bigs & beating them off the dribble but because of the injury, he is much slower & less explosive then last year so he cant go by anyone and is too dumb to back guys down & play in the post until he gets some extra quickness back. Meanwhile another big piece we counted on was Howard and we all know about that situation. We just arent going to win alot without Howard and with both Gil & Dray playing like they are or were. Fast forward to now and Dray pretty much still holds the key.

Weve been losing but we are in these games and thats with Dray looking like the worst player in the league. If he can get 75% back to what he was late last year then we look like a different team but thats a big if. Again, I have alot of those games on tape from last year and Im telling you that our Wiz fans forget how good & efficent he was when healthy down the stretch. He looked trimmer, quicker, more sure of himself, and could do a little of everything.

Now he’s heavy looking, much slower, and hesitates every time he gets the ball. Its a different guy but you would be foolish to trade him because chances are with a full offseason he looks good again and probably even better because he’s been humbled and will have somethign to prove. Then like typical Wiz fashion, we see him blowup somewhere else and will then act like he couldve never done that here because of this or that

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 11, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"Im telling you that our Wiz fans forget how good & efficent he was when healthy down the stretch. He looked trimmer, quicker, more sure of himself, and could do a little of everything."

He did look much better, didn't he? I didn't realize at the time how much of the offense they were running through him, taking advantage of his passing. He still had a tendency towards the unforced error, but that didn't seem so important then.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I recall that Blatche was trying to gain weight this summer. Said Flip wanted him to get stronger and he was in the weight room frequently. So some portion of the extra weight may not be fat, and he could just be heavier now. Which looks like a miscalculation as he certainly isnt using it to bang down low, and would have optimized his game by getting leaner and stronger.

Posted by: divi3 | January 11, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Now apparently Denver has slowed down the trade discussions, supposedly ticked that NJ has been so public about it. They've threatened to trade 'Melo to the Knicks for less...

These folks all deserve each other.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Denver is now demanding that one of their trade partners take Al Harrington off their hands in the Carmelo deal. That's 4 years and $28 million after this season.

The way I see this thing playing out is that Carmelo will refuse to sign an extension and no team will give up assets knowing he will become a free agent at the end of the season. If I am Denver, take the best offer the Knicks presents because they might end up losing Anthony without getting anything.

This dude have 6 months left to become a free agent and sign with any team of his choice and I just don't see him having any pressure to do anything else. Even if there is a lockout and a new CBA agreement Carmelo is going get paid. Endorsements will sure make up for any reduction in NBA contracts.

Posted by: spades72 | January 11, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

recall that Blatche was trying to gain weight this summer. Said Flip wanted him to get stronger and he was in the weight room frequently. So some portion of the extra weight may not be fat, and he could just be heavier now. Which looks like a miscalculation as he certainly isnt using it to bang down low, and would have optimized his game by getting leaner and stronger.

Posted by: divi3 | January 11, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse
you are right.
AB has gained wt with an attempt to put muscle.unfortunately the injury complicate it and the attepted to gain muscle was replaced by fat.His game and body wt will remain about the same this season.He might get rid off it and come in a diffrent form by next season.There is no need to send him for noting unless we are using him to get free from RL big money.The intent to trade AB will be ovious in 2012.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 11, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I was reading that the primary TV audience for the All-Star dunk contest is 12 to 21 years old. That makes sense.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I can see the future: headlines like "Clippers insist Houston take entire roster in Blake Griffin swap..."

"We don't want any of those bums," claims owner Don Sterling.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I was reading that the primary TV audience for the All-Star dunk contest is 12 to 21 years old. That makes sense.

Where did you read that? I think last year's contest had one of it's best ratings ever.

Posted by: divi3 | January 11, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I meant that's the target market for the dunk contest -- not that people weren't watching it. It's a ratings success, which is why it endures. The 2009 Saturday Night events were among the most successful ever. Those included the 3 point contest, the Playstation Skills Contest, and something called the Haier Shooting Stars, won by Team Detroit.

The game itself is less successful. On the 2010 version:

"11:11 AM CST on Tuesday, February 16, 2010

By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News
bhorn@dallasnews.com

"Cowboys Stadium's NBA All-Star Game may have attracted a record-setting crowd, but as a television event it wasn't exactly a hit."

"The East-West scoring exhibition before 108,713 fans Sunday earned an overnight major-market rating of 4.6 for TNT , the second-lowest rating ever for an NBA All-Star Game. Only the 2008 game in New Orleans posted a lower overnight at 4.3. Last year's game in Phoenix earned a 5.2."

Supposedly the Vancouver games sapped the viewership.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I meant that's the target market for the dunk contest -- not that people weren't watching it.

Where did you read that? I've never heard of a 12-21 yr old demographic. It's usually 18-34 etc etc

Posted by: divi3 | January 11, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Abstract

A dataset including all players from five consecutive National Basketball Association (NBA) seasons was analyzed to determine the relationship between displays of hostile aggression—as measured by the number of technical fouls a player received—and markers of successful performance. Analyses revealed that a greater number of technical fouls predicted success in aspects of the game that require power and energy, such as making field goals, grabbing rebounds, and blocking shots. However, a greater number of technical fouls was also associated with performance decrements in aspects of the game that require precision and carefulness, such as making three-pointers.

Technical Fouls Predict Performance Outcomes in the NBA via FreeDarko

Posted by: djnnnou | January 11, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Coach Flip Saunders said...I hope with the energy we had [at Monday's practice], we can carry that through and we didn't use it all.

They are young guys and it's not like this is a back to back game...so it's not they run out of energy it's more about how much these guys are motivated to play.

My philosophy is that you don't motivate players with speeches, you have motivated players that you draft. That's where they come in and those are the guys that are competitive. You can not teach competitiveness.

PHIL JACKSON, interview, Apr. 9, 1996

and who drafted NY, JM and AB?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 11, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Technical Fouls Predict Performance Outcomes in the NBA via FreeDarko
Posted by: djnnnou"

This was pretty interesting, although I'm not sure what to make of it. The relationship between anger and aggression wasn't too clear to me -- somebody who loses his temper (the younger Rasheed Wallace) vs somebody who plays very aggressively (the younger Kevin Garnett) without showing a lot of anger.

But thanks for the link.. be interested to know what you think the implications are, if any.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Where did you read that? I've never heard of a 12-21 yr old demographic. It's usually 18-34 etc etcPosted by: divi3"

I'll see if I can locate it. Demographic groups are often split for research -- for instance, the 18-34 group you cite is often split to the college market (18-24 - at one time was 18-21). If I remember correctly, 12-25 year olds provide the bulk of American Idol voters.. yet they're part of two separate demographics.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"You can not teach competitiveness.
PHIL JACKSON, interview, Apr. 9, 1996
"and who drafted NY, JM and AB?
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

So you think Nick and Javale lack competitiveness? Maybe that's why Andray went 49th...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 11, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

recall that Blatche was trying to gain weight this summer. Said Flip wanted him to get stronger and he was in the weight room frequently. So some portion of the extra weight may not be fat, and he could just be heavier now. Which looks like a miscalculation as he certainly isnt using it to bang down low, and would have optimized his game by getting leaner and stronger.

Posted by: divi3 | January 11, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse
you are right.
AB has gained wt with an attempt to put muscle.unfortunately the injury complicate it and the attepted to gain muscle was replaced by fat.His game and body wt will remain about the same this season.He might get rid off it and come in a diffrent form by next season.There is no need to send him for noting unless we are using him to get free from RL big money.The intent to trade AB will be ovious in 2012.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 11, 2011 10:39 AM

Very good takes on Andre. This explains a lot. But, I guess this will not stop some from thinking he is just a lazy bum and just doesn't get it.

This could also explain why Flip sticks with him in games when he seems to be performing badly. If so, props for Flip in this case.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 11, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

But, at the same time, it wouldn't make sense for the Wizards to want to trade Blatch just because of the fight. Maybe the trade stuff was just a ruse.

LarryInClintonMD.

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

Or maybe the fight was just the last straw.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 11, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

re: Blatche's attempt to gain weight over the summer....it was also reported on a French website that the organization instructed Seraphin to add 15pounds to his euro playing weight so that he could handle banging with NBA centers. Probably why he looks much slower than he did in his pre-draft clips. On the one hand, it's very noticeable that he can stand his ground without giving an inch to guys like Pau and Lopez, but on the other, his defensive movement is too slow and contributes to all the fouls. Hopefully they find a good medium for him and he sheds a few pounds.

Would like to see him bang on Cousins tonight

Posted by: divi3 | January 11, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I see in today's Post Section C2 a pic of Blatche and his statement, "My life is a rollercoaster...When everything goes back to normal, I'll have a straight haircut."

What in the hell is he talking about??? Here is a guy, 24-25 making millions, not married saying his life is a "rollercoaster"...Is he on crack?????

Why can't he just play ball and try to improve his game and keep his mouth shut?? I know why and so do other people...He is continuing to show his immaturity is still a huge part of him...

He says he will get a straight haircut when everything goes back to normal, well too bad he won't be a Wizard when that happens...Time to say good bye to Andre and his drama...

Posted by: pentagon40 | January 11, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Check out this bum Dray that everyone is talkin about and what he did in Game 1 last year after the trade.

Wolves and matched up against big Al & Love- Dray had 33 & 13 on 14-22 in 36min shooting and used both of those guys.

Next game against Denver & NeNe he had 18, 11, & 3ast on 8-13 shooting in just 28min.

Next game against Bargs in Toronto he had 24, 6, & 3ast on 11-21 shooting in 33min.

Next game against the Bulls & Noash he had 25 & 11 on 8-13 shooting.

Next game against Memphis & both Z-bo & Gasol he had 24, 8, & 5 on 10-19 shooting.

Next game against NY he had 26, 18, & 6 on 11-21 shooting.

Next game at NJ matched against Lopez alot he had 36, 15, & 4 on 17-31 shooting.

Next game against the Bucks and there beast defense he had 18, 9, & 3 on 8-14 shooting.

Against KG & Sheed he had 23 & 9 on 10-20 shooting.

Against Josh Smith & Horfford he had 30 & 10 on 12-19 shooting.

At Detroit he had 23 & 10 on 11-22 shooting.


Then he clearly started to wear down with the new load & not being in top shape but he still got

Against Orlando he had 32, 4, & 4 on 14-23.

At Utah & Boozer & Milsap he had 24, 6, & 4 on 9-19 shooting.

At Denver he had 23 & 9 on 10-19 shooting. Another game I had on tape where Denver fans after the game said they never seen a PF crossover like that. He was killing Nene so much that dude was yelling at his teammates for help. Even had a sequence where he got the ball at the top of the key, hit an AI type crossover and pulled up for the J in Nene's mouth, on D blocked a dunk from Melo, and then back on O, spun baseline on Nene in the post and dunked on him. Unfortantutely that was the game he sprained his ankle badly and went into a bit of a shooting slump after that just like I knew he would but then still rebounded with games of:

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 11, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

PART 2


Against Houston & Scola he had 31, 10, & 3 on 13-23 shooting.

At NO he had 23 & 4ast on 10-17 shooting.

Against GS had 21 & 6 on 8-16 shooting.

Then ended the season with these 4 games


At Boston & KG again he had 31 & 11 on 12-23 shooting.

Against Atlanta, Smith, & Horrfod he had 24, 9, & 7 on 11-24 shooting in 36min

At NY had 24, 7, & 6 on 8-16 shooting in 36min

and finally against Indy had 26, 7, & 3 on 11-19 shooting in just 29min and sat out the whole 4th.

I even totally forgot about the infamous missed triple double game where he got 20pts, 13ast, and 9 boards. 13 ast from a PF.

Im not even going to post some youtube vids of how much better he looked. People just forget the kind of things he was doing and that was a guy who was just getting his 1st shot, wasnt in great shape, wasnt prepared to carry the load, and just learning what it was to be the man. He was going to beast this year until the injury. Give up on him if you want but you will be wrong because this guy that everyone thinks sucks isnt him. He did this against great comp and matched up against the best bigs in the league. Every teams fans at the end of the game talked about how much of a beast he is.

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 11, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

He was going to beast this year until the injury.
Posted by: dlts2041

As you point out, Blatche certainly looked better after the "cleanup" trade last year.

Whether or not he was going to be a "beast" this year before the injury we'll never know.

All we do (probably) know is that John Wall is the only untouchable/untradable asset on the team. Anyone else is/should be expendable.

Whether Blatche actually gets traded will most likely depend on what the Wizards can get for him, as well as on a host of "behind the scenes" factors of which we as fans know nothing.

Posted by: nmik | January 11, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who ever even had a dream that Blatche would be a beast shows how naive some can be...In order to be that you have to have a DESIRE to want to mix it up in the middle both offensively and defensively....Charles Barkley, if you ever saw him play was a beast inside when it was called for...great hands and a toughness Blatche will never approach...

Sure he had a great stretch of games last year but that was because he was the only go to guy the team had...Until Blatche shows some heart on a consistent basis he will just be another forward in the middle of the pack like so many others....no more...no less...it's up to him to separate from the pack...
'

Posted by: pentagon40 | January 11, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

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