Schedule doesn't get any easier
The Wizards' new arrivals haven't exactly had a chance to ease their way into the fold. After being dealt from Atlanta on Wednesday, Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford and Maurice Evans have had to face two of the league's best teams in Miami and Dallas. The Mavericks and Heat rank third and fourth, respectively, in the league standings.
"These are obviously not the two teams you want to break yourself into," Evans said. "They are playing for something. They are playing for a championship. They all come in here with that killer mentality."
It doesn't get any easier for the trio, or the Wizards, as they host on Monday the Chicago Bulls, who have the fifth-best record in the NBA. The Bulls have won the first two meetings against the Wizards, but John Wall will face MVP candidate Derrick Rose for the first time since he sprained his foot in Chicago on Nov. 13. Wall has dealt with injuries since then, but he appears to have regained his legs in recent weeks.
Wall is averaging 22.2 points and eight assists in his past five games. Coach Flip Saunders said the difference for Wall is that he has lost 11 pounds in the past month. Wall said he feels more confidence since returning after winning MVP of the Rookie Challenge in Los Angeles.
"I'm just taking the confidence that I had coming from the All Star break," Wall said. "Chris Webber made a comment saying most of the time when people have a good All Star break they come back aggressive and with confidence, and I think that's what I'm doing."
The Wizards (15-43) have also noticed a change in play with the new guys. "Adding a couple more veterans to the team, we're playing a little better and we're playing together. We're moving the ball," Rashard Lewis. We have more veteran leadership. Mike Bibby is a point guard that pushes the pace. He's a great passer, he can also knock down the long ball. John Wall can get to the basket, but Mike Bibby can shoot the three-pointer."
Bibby has yet to hit a three-pointer for the Wizards, but if he is unable to reach a buyout agreement, that should come soon. Evans said the former Hawks are still trying to figure out what's going on. They will have their first shootaround with the team on Monday and the Wizards won't be able to practice with all of the new pieces until Tuesday.
"We don't know no plays, we don't know nothing," Evans said. "We're out there, just trying to play hard and just playing basketball. When more structure comes in and we get more comfortable, you'll really see what all three of us can do. You've only seen a small portion of what Bibby can do, and myself and Jordan."
Nick Young said the trio has brought enough already. "They all have been on good teams, especially Mike because he's been around the league for awhile so he's seen everything. They did a good job, sometimes they didn't know the plays but for the most part they brought a lot of energy."
FROM THE POST
This season, progress can be measured in assets acquired, developing young talent and hard play, but not in wins.
A buyout remains possible for Bibby.
Newcomer Crawford got the call and hit a game-tying jumper Saturday against Dallas.
Injured ex-Wizard Caron Butler couldn't play but was excited about returning to Washington last weekend.
Columnist Norman Chad says "The Decision" is still wreaking havoc on the NBA.
AROUND THE WEB
Christopher Stock says that after last night's loss to the Knicks, Dwyane Wade should be taking the clutch shots for the Heat (CBSSports.com).
Ken Berger reports that Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox have been fined for missing shootaround without an excuse, but the Pistons are not planning a coaching change in the wake of the perceived mutiny against John Kuester (CBSSports.com).
Adrian Wojnarowski sheds some light on what led to Friday's meltdown in Detroit (Yahoo!Sports).
| February 28, 2011; 8:05 AM ET
Categories: Morning brew
Save & Share: Previous: Buyout remains a possibility for Mike Bibby
Next: Jump ball: Should the Wizards buy out Bibby's contract?
Posted by: glawrence007 | February 28, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DKSW | February 28, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: demonj21 | February 28, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: gmac78 | February 28, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 28, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: divi3 | February 28, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ts35 | February 28, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: divi3 | February 28, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ts35 | February 28, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Samson151 | February 28, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dargregmag | February 28, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Dave381 | February 28, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dlts2041 | February 28, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ts35 | February 28, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tundey | February 28, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: glawrence007 | February 28, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 28, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse