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Posted at 2:59 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Nick Young will be game-time decision vs. Orlando, won't help JaVale McGee in Slam Dunk contest

By Michael Lee

At the end of Wednesday's shoot-around at Amway Center, JaVale McGee was entertaining his teammates as he practiced dunks for the Slam Dunk contest on Saturday. McGee completed one dunk that made a few of his teammates shoot out of their seats, but as he attempted to try some more, Coach Flip Saunders put a halt to the show.


You ready to do this in L.A., John? (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

"Okay, save something for Dwight Howard, now," Saunders shouted.

The Wizards will not have Rashard Lewis as he makes his return to Orlando for the first time since he was traded in exchange for Gilbert Arenas on Dec. 18. But there remains some doubt about Nick Young's availability. Young participated in the morning practice, but he said he would be a game-time decision with discomfort in his left knee.

As McGee practiced his dunks, Young expressed some disappointment that he wasn't selected as the player who can assist McGee in the Slam Dunk contest. Young will be in his hometown of Los Angeles, but he has accepted that he won't get much face time during all-star weekend. He told TruthAboutIt that McGee kicked him "out of the group" and joked that he was going to root for DeMar DeRozan, Blake Griffin and Serge Ibaka, although he struggled with Ibaka's name.

"I'm going to just watch. I'm going to be there to watch," Young said, shaking his head. "I don't know what JaVale is going to do. I don't plan on being the dude no more."

McGee is supposed to get assistance from TNT and NBATV analyst Chris Webber for the contest, but they have yet to connect. McGee said Webber called this week, but he expects to get some tips in Los Angeles. As for the teammate who will help him on Saturday, McGee said, "If anybody, probably John [Wall], since he'll already be out there."

McGee said he considered having his mother, Pam, a former Olympic and WNBA star, participate in the contest with him but decided against it. "I'm going to figure something out though. I already know some of the stuff I'm going to do. After practice. I try a little something, something. I got all my dunks down."

Saunders said he is still focused on making sure the Wizards finish the first half of the season on a high note. "We've made progress. We took a step back [against] San Antonio. If we played like we did in Cleveland, right now, if we've done that on the road all year, we'd have a lot more than one win. We'd have a lot of wins and we'd be fighting it. We have to play with that kind of sense of urgency. Sometimes, you need to go through some bad times to understand how you have to play and not feel, 'Woe is me,' and pull yourself out of it. This is how we have to play."

"The formula is known," he said. "It's now we've got to keep on making sure we use the same recipe."

By Michael Lee  | February 16, 2011; 2:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

Passing on having his mother help him in the dunk contest may be the best example of a sound on-court decision making we've seen from McGee all season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Woe is me. Not "whoa is me."

Posted by: gadlut | February 16, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Although I wasn't there, I think maybe Saunders said 'Woe is me...'

Posted by: SM33 | February 16, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Although I wasn't there, I think maybe Saunders said 'Woe is me...'"

You don't have to be there to know that he probably says that a lot these days.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"The formula is known," he said. "It's now we've got to keep on making sure we use the same recipe."

That Flip is for damn sure. You know it, the team knows it and for sure the rest of the league knows your formula and the recipe.

But, the question is. Is it the right one? Is it the right recipe?

Are you using the right concoctions for your group of players?

Have you ever thought that this young group of players might struggle so badly and often is that maybe the system just doesn't fit.

Whoa, it is me' is what your mind said Flip. Woe is me is certainly not what your players are thinking. Whoa, it is me, is what you're thinking Flip. Your subconscious mind is trying to tell you something Flip.

Repeat that real fast, real fast Flip. Woe is me. Woe is me. Woe is me. Do it fast, real fast Flip, at least five times in a row, and I guaranteeu' as an old Louisiana chef usta' say, it will come out 'Whoa, it is me!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, can we get a 5 minute break from this crap?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Looks like McGee is going to be on his own in the slam dunk contest. Personally, with the right angle, I think it would be great publicity to bring his mother in.

WNBA angle, even with a sponsor. Play up the mother/mom angle. Could be a great publicity stunt. The moms would love it.

McGee might be missing a great opportunity here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Kalo_rama,

I guess we are not all blessed with a sense of humor.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Look we just gotta trade Andray Blatche and we'll be fine. That dude just goes to the clubs everynight and he just doesn't care about basketball seriously. He is dragging this whole team down!

There are alot of teams like the Hornets and Rockets who are looking for frontcourt help and have expiring contracts to offer. I would deal Dray for an expiring contract and if you can get any kind of a draft pick thrown in great!

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 16, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he was thinking about jumping over his mom to dunk. That'd be pretty impressive; she is like 6'5" after all. Then again, if he failed, it'd live on in internet infamy forever.

Posted by: cbm92 | February 16, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

JaVale McGee = Terrence Stansbury

Great athlete. Awful student(of the game).

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

No, I wouldn't jump over my mom. The angle has to be something other than her being in the actual dunk.

Maybe he fakes at a dunk and doesn't quite do it and then she steps from the shadows with fanfare shrouded in sponsorship and she scolds him like only a mother could and then she steps back of to the side and he commences to bring the house to their feet in an astounding dunk.

Now that I would pay money to see.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@Darnell1,

You seem to want a team made up players who all would get an A in conduct. In case you haven't checked lately, the choir boys are not the stars, even in the Christian Schools.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

This team is in such a bad state.

We gotta get rid of Grunfeld. We gotta get rid of Blatche. Houston could be a good match, perhaps Blatche for Jeffries' expiring plus a 2nd rounder?

We gotta get a starting caliber CENTER. I am convinced McGee is best suited to play PF. If we can dump Blatche, and after clearing all that room dealing away Haywood, Stevenson, Jamison, Butler, etc we should make a major move for FA center Marc Gasol.

Draft another player with star potential, such as SF Terrance Jones, who is 4th in the SEC in scoring and 1st in rebounding, as a freshman!

Gasol, McGee, Jones, Young, Wall is an exciting 5 to build on. Hustle and vets off the bench with Seraphin, Booker, Lewis, Howard, Hinrich. I'd probably let go of Yi, Thornton and Armstrong, and consider keeping N'Diaye, Martin, Shakur, and whoever we get in the 2nd round. I'd keep Howard at low cost for the vet factor along with Lewis & Hinrich. Camby is a guy I'd love to pick up as a vet big man to the bench.

But those are the types of moves I'd be trying to do.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 16, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD that's funny considering I keep calling for Cousins trade! I get what your saying, but you got me wrong bro, I am talking about Blatche's play ON THE COURT. He just doesn't care. He is the most lackadaisical player and just doesn't have the drive. And he is dragging the whole team down with his just-get-by apathetic attitude.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 16, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

After making those moves, I'd consider going back to The Bullets. Or at least a make-over of the uniforms with "WASHINGTON" replacing "WIZARDS" on the front, and if not back to the Red White & Blue, maybe something like the DC flag, Red & white with the stripe & stars.

And look for a new coach. Maybe bring in Larry Brown as new GM and Mark Jackson as coach? We need to do something GM & coach wise that will add leadership, direction and respect to this team.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 16, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

That Flip is for damn sure. You know it, the team knows it and for sure the rest of the league knows your formula and the recipe.

But, the question is. Is it the right one? Is it the right recipe?

Are you using the right concoctions for your group of players?
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Well, considering the formula Flip is talking about is playing hard, smart and focused for 48 minutes, it is definitely not well-suited for the current group of players. I'm not even sure they meet the Zach Randolph 42 minutes standard.

Posted by: ts35 | February 16, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, considering the formula Flip is talking about is playing hard, smart and focused for 48 minutes, it is definitely not well-suited for the current group of players. I'm not even sure they meet the Zach Randolph 42 minutes standard.

Posted by: ts35 | February 16, 2011 7:00 PM

Yeah, that and the system he is talking about as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry Kalo_rama,

I guess we are not all blessed with a sense of humor."

.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 4:47 PM

Your act (and I really hope for your sake that it is an act) stopped being funny years ago.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2011 2:23 AM | Report abuse

It's always the players' faults? It was the players' faults when they got rid of Eddie after 10 games and we sat through a whole season of Tapscott? It was the players' faults last year when we had Jamison, haywood, Arenas, Miller and "Tough Juice" and couldn't win and so we got rid of them. Now we still can't win because the players don't bring the right recipe to the game. I don't know what Saunders is cooking, but it isn't a winning NBA team. I think he's been given enough time to try to get the most out of his recipe. I'm tired of listening to all his scape goating. And I finally have to start blaming Grunfeld. They had cap space to bring in someone and failed to do it. He replaced Jordan with Tappscott and he is responsible for this mess. It's obvious that the Wiz can not only rely on the draft. Tad to be honest the Caps did not only rely on the draft. They have had some major trades to solidify the team and they have an excellent farm team system. Ted it is time to do something.

Posted by: bobilly1 | February 17, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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