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Posted at 2:31 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Wizards dealing with injuries, Josh Howard closer to return

By Michael Lee

Al Thornton sat out the end of practice after dislocating his right middle finger while trying to go for a steal. Thornton popped his finger back into place and returned to the court shortly after practice with his finger encased in black tape. "It should be fine," Thornton said.

Nick Young, with his Afro now in twists, limped off the court, aided by head athletic trainer Eric Waters, after injuring his left knee at the conclusion of practice. And Yi Jianlian didn't participate in practice and said he was day-to-day after spraining his left ankle in the fourth quarter of the Wizards' 99-92 loss on Saturday to the Atlanta Hawks. "It's sore, swollen, real sore," Yi said, before walking out of the locker room with a noticeable limp.


I'll be back soon. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

"Got to have something going," Coach Flip Saunders said, adding that he wasn't sure how soon the players would recover from their respective injuries. "We'll have to wait and see."

But while the Wizards appear to be losing players right along with losing games, Josh Howard is hoping to come back by this weekend. Howard hasn't played since developing discomfort in his surgically-repaired left knee on Jan. 5 in Philadelphia, but he practiced in full for the first time in several weeks.

He ruled himself out of Wednesday's game against Milwaukee, but said, "I'm getting close. I'm feeling good. A whole lot better than the first time I came back. I just got to continue with the rehabbing and court work."

Howard has started to feel some improvement in his left since having a platelet rich plasma injection in his left knee nearly two weeks ago. "I had it in my ankle before and it helped out tremendously and right now, I'm seeing the results. So it's something I wanted to do and I'm glad I got it done."

Howard said he would return when he has regained his stamina and wouldn't come back before he's ready. "Very important, like it was the first time I came back. it was more so because of the tendinitis that's something you can't beat coming off this injury, but I seem to have gotten over that hump so far. The things I'm doing in the weight room and on the court, just continue to be good, get out there soon. Overall, [the workouts are] very very intensive now. It's fun because I enjoy the workout. I love being in shape and I'm seeing the results, even more now, so that's a good thing."

Saunders said the team will monitor how Howard's body reacts to the increased workload and added that "we'd like to" have him return to assist the team in getting out of its current eight-game slide. "That'll help mentally and psychologically, as far as the other two vets that are playing, but as for the young players, having another guy that's been through it that's not going to be rattled by situations."

Howard has only been able to play about four games with fellow veterans Rashard Lewis and Kirk Hinrich, leaving the Wizards with one fewer important voice in tight games. "As far as my leadership, just leading by example," he said. "Just giving them the confidence to go out and compete, night in and night out. That's what I've been seeing the last eight games. Even though we've lost, we've always lost toward the end of the game, so hopefully, me, Rashard and Kirk can continue with our veteran leadership at that critical moment of the game, to help guys get over the hump."

The Wizards are headed toward their third consecutive lottery season -- they are nine games out the eighth spot with 32 remaining -- but Howard has not given up hope for the team until it is mathematically eliminated.

"It's tough, but like I said last year when I got here, it's a goal of mine to make it to the playoffs, no matter what the number is," Howard said. "If we can still sneak into that eighth spot and make a run these next two months, that would be great. But you know, big picture, hopefully, I'll be able to come back and play a full season. That's my ultimate goal. I love the DC area and I want to come back."

By Michael Lee  | February 7, 2011; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton, Josh Howard, Nick Young, Yi Jianlian  
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Next: Hinrich regaining his touch, not dwelling on trade rumors

Comments

Gotta love Al's low maintenance profile. He doesn't whine to the media or cry to referees. He plays hard in practice and even harder in the games.

This may be a good opportunity for Flip to establish a "culture" when Josh comes back. I wouldn't be surprised if those two compliment each other on the court too. Here's my starting 5 on Saturday vs Spurs:

JWow
NY
Al Thornton
Rashard Lewis
JMAC

Let half-steppin Dray come in after McGee gets his 2nd foul.

Lewis & NY can stretch the floor while Al and JaVale work the best for Wall as athletic bigs in transition. It doesn't hurt that both guys give MAX energy and hustle as well.

Posted by: elfreako | February 7, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone's still following the 'Melo trade: ESPN --
"The Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks are discussing a three-team trade that would make forward Carmelo Anthony a Knick before the Feb. 24 trade deadline... New York would send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota and the Timberwolves would send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver. Denver would also receive Wilson Chandler from New York."

"A Timberwolves source told ESPN...the team would not approve of a deal where the team received just New York's Randolph and Curry with Brewer and a first-rounder heading to Denver."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that starting Nick and Javale hasn't had any benefits -- we have a lot more evidence about their relative strengths and weaknesses than we did when they were on the bench.

I'm just saying we haven't seen much positive effect on the won-loss record.

Andray taking a big step backwards obviously hasn't helped. And the Wiz still have a rookie PG.

Things could change. But so far it does appear as if Washington is going to need another draft or so to assemble a viable core for the future.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Which suggests that all that blathering about how we had future NBA greats already in the fold was, well, blathering.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Javale was already starting.

Nick's move to starter was just Flip coming to realize what many fans already knew- that Young is better suited to play SG than Hinrich.

Posted by: divi3 | February 7, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh okay...how was that talk since you were there for it? All I'm saying is he's 50 games into coaching a team full of young players.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 7, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It seemed like a great talk, until EG closed the door and then all I could do was try to lip read because the door had a glass window. Nick, Javelle, and AB all came out of EG's office holding a bar of soap.

It looked like when I was lip reading what EG was saying to them was "I better not catch any of you talking bad about my boy's coaching skill's to the media anymore, or I'm going to have to wash your mouths out with this bar of soap I am giving you".......

Duhhh..? It does not take a rocket science to see EG had a "little talk" with Nick and some of the fellas after Nick's post game comments about Flip's coaching skills. I did not have to be there to figure that out.....

Remember, there is "book smarts" and "common sense smarts" and I didn't have to study any books to figure that out....

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 7, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh okay...how was that talk since you were there for it? All I'm saying is he's 50 games into coaching a team full of young players.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 7, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It seemed like a great talk, until EG closed the door and then all I could do was try to lip read because the door had a glass window. Nick, Javelle, and AB all came out of EG's office holding a bar of soap.

It looked like when I was lip reading what EG was saying to them was "I better not catch any of you talking bad about my boy's coaching skill's to the media anymore, or I'm going to have to wash your mouths out with this bar of soap I am giving you".......

Duhhh..? It does not take a rocket science to see EG had a "little talk" with Nick and some of the fellas after Nick's post game comments about Flip's coaching skills. I did not have to be there to figure that out.....

Remember, there is "book smarts" and "common sense smarts" and I didn't have to study any books to figure that out....

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 7, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Complaining about results now is pretty damn dumb to me. Like I've said people watch and look for different things than I do.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 7, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How is asking for a new coach "complaining", when the coach here in question is about to break the all time road losing streak and is now on another long losing streak for games played?

How is it dumb to "complain" about results? This is a "results" business. They are not playing for the fun of it. We as fans are not forking over millions of dollars a year to watch an inferior product year in and year out. Did you really mean why are we worried about results???

For the record, if you have not read past posts of mine. I was 100% all aboard with Flip being hired last year, when alot of my folks; including a lot of my AAU coaches and pickup game running mates were not. I thought Flip was perfect for the big three. I thought Flip got a bum rap in Detroit and I was glad he was given another chance to redeem himself with the Wiz.

Now fast forward to today. Flip is not the right coach now for the team we now have. Nothing against Flip, but he can not be taken seriously when he gets angry. Just look at his deameanor on the sidelines. It does not exhibit confidence and somebody who is "running the show".

Playing football I picked up off how my coach carried himself. And I do not see anything confident in Flip I can pick up off of. Again, nothing against the guy personally. I also do not see that with Wes Unseld Jr. or Randy Wittman. I might see it a little from Gene Banks. But the guy I would see it from the most would be Sam Cassell.

Lastly, could you please explain to me "what it is you are looking for that makes it so much different then what the rest of us folks are looking for..???

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 7, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

So we're coming up on the two-thirds mark -- which I think is five more games -- and the question arises as to how the team ought to spend the last third of the season.

I mean, thinking longer-term, what questions might be answered? I can think of three:

1. What about Andray at the 4 spot? This is 6th season in Washington. Does the team gamble on him as a starter, think about making him a part-timer, or possibly replace him?

2. Same with Javale at center. He's only in his 3rd season. We've seen great and not-so-great things from him. Plenty of both.

3. And Nick at the 2 spot -- now in season 4 in Washington. Keeper? Part-timer? Replace?

I deliberately excluded the rookies, because it's too soon to tell. Also assumed that vets like Kirk, Josh, Rashard aren't in anybody's long-term plans.

Third or fourth year with the same club, that's decision time.
2. Nick Young has improvedAre Nick, Andray and Javale the solution at the 2,4 and 5 positions? Or should the team look at them as part-timers, or maybe to be replaced?

2.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

So we're coming up on the two-thirds mark -- which I think is five more games -- and the question arises as to how the team ought to spend the last third of the season.

I mean, thinking longer-term, what questions might be answered? I can think of three:

1. What about Andray at the 4 spot? This is 6th season in Washington. Does the team gamble on him as a starter, think about making him a part-timer, or possibly replace him?

2. Same with Javale at center. He's only in his 3rd season. We've seen great and not-so-great things from him. Plenty of both.

3. And Nick at the 2 spot -- now in season 4 in Washington. Keeper? Part-timer? Replace?

I deliberately excluded the rookies, because it's too soon to tell. Also assumed that vets like Kirk, Josh, Rashard aren't in anybody's long-term plans.

Third or fourth year with the same club, that's decision time.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"For the record, if you have not read past posts of mine. I was 100% all aboard with Flip being hired last year, when alot of my folks; including a lot of my AAU coaches and pickup game running mates were not."

Let's see if I've got this: either you were right last year and you're wrong now, or you were wrong last year and now you're right.

You think it's the latter, I suspect it's the former.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing against Flip..."

I got LOTS against Flip and I don't mind complaining about it.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 7, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Flip has a steady rotation of players bu now.

Posted by: zack5 | February 7, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Flip has a steady rotation of players bu now.

Posted by: zack5 | February 7, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

A steady rotation comes from consistent, steady play from your players.

I don't think anyone has been consistent this season.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 7, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

LOL big night for ex-Wiz in Charlotte -- the Cats beat Boston with Kwame Brown pulling down 12 boards and Shaun Livingston going 7 for 10 from the floor.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"For the record, if you have not read past posts of mine. I was 100% all aboard with Flip being hired last year, when alot of my folks; including a lot of my AAU coaches and pickup game running mates were not."

Let's see if I've got this: either you were right last year and you're wrong now, or you were wrong last year and now you're right.

You think it's the latter, I suspect it's the former.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Samson151. What's up with this crew that is on this blog this year....? Where are my folks from the last two years? Where is Mark and the GM? I see Kalo, Ray and Darrelmag are still on.

This mindset that is here now I am not feeling the vibe. I can't catch some of you folks flow. Enlighten me, so I can catch up....

Samson151 if you read down further in my post I said I liked the hire of Flip FOR THE BIG THREE only...!!! Then I said for the present team that we now have MINUS THE BIG THREE, I do not think Flip is now the right fit for THIS NEW TEAM...!!!

Never once did I say anything about being right or wrong. I was simply making a point about how I liked Flip coaching certain constructed type teams (i.e. veteran laden that can run on auto-pilot).

I have been coming on the blog calling for Flip's head every now then and I was trying to give SDMDTSU a background on why I was doing it. I did not want to come off like I hated Flip from day 1 because that was not the case.

Again, not trying to be right or wrong. I just want what is best for the team, both short term and long term. And no matter how you slice it, Flip is not the answer for "this particular team in it's present day state" to help either short term nor long...

Then I said

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 7, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

A group of candidates with the potential to be top-four picks in the draft include (in no particular order) Irving, Jonas Valanciunas, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones.

One executive believes the 18-year-old Valanciunas, a 6-11, 240-pound center with the Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas, will emerge as the top pick.

"He's the best thing I've seen out of that country since [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas," the executive said. "He has a very good basketball IQ, he's tough, he can score, and over the last two years he has made the kind of jump you're looking for. He can shoot, but he can also be a traditional back-to-the-basket center, the way you like centers to be. He's different from [the Raptors' Andrea] Bargnani in that he's a legitimate post player.''

Star quality lacking in June draft

Posted by: djnnnou | February 7, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Duhhh..? It does not take a rocket science to see EG had a "little talk" with Nick and some of the fellas after Nick's post game comments about Flip's coaching skills. I did not have to be there to figure that out.....

Actually...you DID need to be there...or someone who was should have said something about it. Anything else is just a fairy tale from your imagination.

How is asking for a new coach "complaining", when the coach here in question is about to break the all time road losing streak and is now on another long losing streak for games played?

Because you're talking about wins and loses during year 1 of a re-build. If this was a season in which I expected them to be competitive...then yeah I would be more concerned. I'd like them to get the monkey of their back...but it hasn't happened yet.

I see individual improvement and that's what I'm looking for. I guess Cleveland needs to be looking for a new coach ASAP as well right?

How is it dumb to "complain" about results? This is a "results" business. They are not playing for the fun of it. We as fans are not forking over millions of dollars a year to watch an inferior product year in and year out. Did you really mean why are we worried about results??

If you're looking for results...then cool. Continue on with your fire Flip campaign. Then this time next year be prepared to fire Sam Cassell. They're re-building. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO WIN. They have to learn and mature. Every team that became a winning team has done it...don't know why you think it's going to be any different here.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 7, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

If you're looking for results...then cool. Continue on with your fire Flip campaign. Then this time next year be prepared to fire Sam Cassell. They're re-building. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO WIN. They have to learn and mature. Every team that became a winning team has done it...don't know why you think it's going to be any different here.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 7, 2011 11:00 PM

When is the last time you've seen Boston go through a rebuild? When is the last time you've seen the Lakers go through a rebuild? When is the last time you've seen San Antonio go through a rebuild? Did Detroit go through a rebuild when they won their last Ring or even the ones with Isaiah? Did Chicago rebuild when Michael showed up? Did Miami go through a rebuild and are they going through one now?

You see that is why blow it up and rebuild stinks to high heaven and is for losers. Winners don't rebuild, they retool, and add pieces, they don't rebuild. The minute that the owner of Chicago said that Michael and Phil were done and he was going to rebuild they haven't won sheisse since.

Winners don't rebuild SDMDTSU, they find ways to win. They don't blow Teams up, they make them better.

Evaluate very closely what I am saying, Winners don't rebuild, they are too busy winning.

Name one Team SDMDTSU that has went to this 3-5 year rebuild plan that has won an NBA championship. Name just one. It doesn't happen that way.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I mean, thinking longer-term, what questions might be answered? I can think of three:

1. What about Andray at the 4 spot? This is 6th season in Washington. Does the team gamble on him as a starter, think about making him a part-timer, or possibly replace him?

2. Same with Javale at center. He's only in his 3rd season. We've seen great and not-so-great things from him. Plenty of both.

3. And Nick at the 2 spot -- now in season 4 in Washington. Keeper? Part-timer? Replace?

Posted by: Samson151

In answering 1) and 2) at the same time, imo the Wiz need a stabilizer at the 4 or 5. Someone who gives effort every night and can more or less be counted on to produce around the basket. I don't think AB is that guy. I had faint hopes coming off of last season, but I'm not seeing it.

Both Valanciunas and Sullinger are generically the kind of players I would be looking for (based only on the little bit I've read) based on their skill and work ethic. But both have warning flags for the NBA. With Sullinger, it's size and lack of explosiveness and with JV it's the Euro factor.

But suffice to say, I don't see a cornerstone player in either McGee or AB right now. McGee may someday be one, but he needs to shed a lot of junk from his game.

3) for me is really dependent on the first answer. It's tough to completely judge because this is a contract year for NY, but I think he has shown that he can be an average or maybe better than average SG in the league. But clearly he can't carry the offense. Which is no slight, few players can. Having more offensive help, especially inside offensive help, would make NY's life much easier.

At this point, finding help or replacements for AB and maybe McGee is more essential than replacing NY. That being said, I don't deem NY to be irreplaceable.

Posted by: ts35 | February 8, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards biggest need now is the same as their biggest need for the past few years: A starting caliber big man, either 4 or 5, who provides a legit physical presence at both ends. Doesn't have to be a back to the basket, post scorer (though that would be nice) but it needs to be someone who not only doesn't shy away from but initiates contact in defending the post, pursuing the ball, and finishing around the rim.

McGee is a provisional keeper. Even if he never blossoms into much more than he is, he's still a useful 20 mpg role player off the bench. I still doubt he'll ever be a full-time starter on a good team, but in a reduced role with fewer responsibilities/expectations, he could be one of the better backup Cs in the NBA. That presumes (A) that they can re-sign him w/o overpaying and (B) he doesn't pull a Blatche and go into the tank once he realizes he isn't destined to be "The Man" (a very real concern, I think).

Nick is eminently replaceable, as far as I'm concerned, a 1-dimensional scorer who puts up nice numbers on a bad team. I don't think he's starter material on a good team (or even a decent one). He doesn't really create offense (in fact, much of his recent success has been predicated on breaking him of the habit of trying). Ultimately the Wizards need a wing player (either SG or SF) next to Wall who can shoot from the outside but who's also proficient enough at attacking the basket that the defense has to play him honestly on that score, a guy who has at least a usable facility for creating his own shot and isn't primarily dependent on Wall to set him up. That said, if Young can be re-signed for cheap, he could still be useful in a limited bench role, but I wouldn't spend too much money (or time) trying to keep him. Make him a fair offer. If he doesn't like it, shake his hand and wish him luck.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2011 12:40 AM | Report abuse

When is the last time you've seen Boston go through a rebuild? When is the last time you've seen the Lakers go through a rebuild? When is the last time you've seen San Antonio go through a rebuild? Did Detroit go through a rebuild when they won their last Ring or even the ones with Isaiah? Did Chicago rebuild when Michael showed up? Did Miami go through a rebuild and are they going through one now?

Boston '05-'07 ditching vets, acquiring picks which they used to draft players (AL Jefferson) which they used to trade for Garnett and Allen. 05/06 they won 33 games, 06/07 24 games.

Miami '07-'10. Two years after winning the title, they were 15-67 (in part due to D Wade injuries). Over the next few years, they ditched vets (O'Neal, Mourning, Marion), mainly clearing cap space in preparation for this past offseason, when I think something significant happened.

Detroit....um, now. Over the past few years, they've ditched Billups, Sheed, Ben (who came back) and now they're trying to get rid of Rip and Tayshaun. After Isaiah? 93/94 and 94/95 they won 20 and 28 games, until Grant Hill dropped into their laps.

Chicago...yes, the Bulls absolutely were rebuilding after Michael showed up. A process that didn't really come together until the '87 draft haul of Grant and Pippen. The Bulls win totals in Michael's 4 seasons in league before that (one lost mostly to injury)? 27, 38, 30, 40.

The Lakers? Pretty clear they were rebuilding after trading Shaq in 04, and also ending the Karl Malone / Gary Payton experiment. They remained around .500, but you have to attribute most of that to the greatness of Kobe in his prime. But make no mistake, they were rebuilding until Gasol was gifted to them in 07. Unless you count Caron for Kwame as 'retooling'.

San Antonio definitely has had the most consistent production and drafting over the past decade and a half. Certainly having Tim Duncan drop into their laps helped, but they have done a good job of maintaining the talent level around him. It will be curious to see if their genius holds after Tim retires.

Posted by: ts35 | February 8, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Larry you might want to check your history. If you really want to stand on that nonsense I'll shoot holes in it when I get to work tomorrow.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 12:57 AM | Report abuse

"When is the last time you've seen Boston go through a rebuild? LarryInClintonMDPosted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Well, the latest was '05-06 and 06-07, when they won 33 and 24 games respectively (11th & 15th in the East). Ainge had accumulated a bunch of young talent and draft picks and that's what he used for the trades that produced their title. He took a big risk but figured he was going to get fired anyway.

Then there was that long fallow streak that lasted from '93-94 through 2000-01. During that period they averaged 30 wins with lows of 15 and 19. One Celts journalist described as 'mired in mediocrity interspersed with moments of misery."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Or ts35 beat me to it.

And San Antonio was "blessed" with David Robinson's injury. A good team became great when they added possibly the best PF of all time.

And Boston? That is the definition of a rebuild. Chicago as well.

What do just about all those teams have in common? A high draft pick or draft picks...and how do you get those Larry? FROM BEING TERRIBLE. So they did whY? BUILT THE TEAM. Usually around the player they drafted and that player is just about always one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

Teams that had that magic recipe? That GP/Malone Lakers squad, Barkley in Houston, T-Mac and Grant Hill in Orlando, Knicks sign and trade for every damn body...how does that usually work out?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 1:15 AM | Report abuse

And go ahead and schedule Boston for another rebuild in a year or two. They have almost no young talent and the new big three is going to be Rondo, Perkins and Big Baby.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

"And go ahead and schedule Boston for another rebuild in a year or two. They have almost no young talent and the new big three is going to be Rondo, Perkins and Big Baby."

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 1:18 AM

That's not a bad core to start building around. A young, all-star caliber PG who's a proven leader on the floor, a legit starting caliber defensive/rebounding C, a solid role playing PF who can score and defend, all of them with playoff/pressure game experience. And Pierce is under contract for 3 more years and should probably still be able to produce at a decent level for a couple of them.And Semih Erden looks like he may end up being a decent player as well.

Depending on what happens with the CBA, they could have a ton of cap space after next season by letting Garnett, Allen, Shaq, and J. O'Neal walk. I don't imagine they'll have that hard a time finding quality players who want to play with Rondo.

I think this rebuild will go a lot quicker than the decade plus it took them after Bird retired.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2011 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wonder if I were GM, what would I do with this team? A 5 year plan, you might call it.

Probably I'd already be looking to unload a couple veterans to playoff teams with injury problems. Hopefully accumulate some choices that could be packaged in deals. No idea how they'd eventually be used, but with all the uncertainty surrounding next season, one thing I imagine will always have value is a package of draft picks. A high pick is always a potential core player, and that's the source of its worth. You don't get that additional trade value from a solid mid-range veteran.

The problem with drafting a big man like Seraphin is you know you're going to have to wait a season or two for him. It's a classic upside pick. The opposite of a DeJuan Blair, who you know will contribute from the start, but with no guarantees for the future.

One thing I'd do is write off the remainder of this season, even if I didn't admit it to the public. Use it to try different combinations. Be alert to opportunity.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

mean, thinking longer-term, what questions might be answered? I can think of three:

1. What about Andray at the 4 spot? This is 6th season in Washington. Does the team gamble on him as a starter, think about making him a part-timer, or possibly replace him?

2. Same with Javale at center. He's only in his 3rd season. We've seen great and not-so-great things from him. Plenty of both.

3. And Nick at the 2 spot -- now in season 4 in Washington. Keeper? Part-timer? Replace?

Posted by: Samson151

I have said this once i say it again if we truely want to rebuild this team we have to replace our front line 3,4,5. AB and JM are not the front line that going carrier us to winning sad but true.

As for Nick Young Kalo points out that he just a shooter and is putting good numbers on a bad team but i have to disagree on this. 1 Nick yea take a lot of shoot here and it makes him look like a ball hogger and not a play maker but what most people have to understand is WHEN YOU ARE THE BEST SCORER ON THE TEAM YOU TAKE A LOT OF SHOOTS. I don't see or even believe there is a problem with him take 20 shoots a game, If he your best scorer do that(Lebron James do it,Wade do it, Derek Rose do it, etc). Also Nick cant make play not because he can't (because he can) but because the OFFENSE we run don't call for him to do so. If you look at numbers and don't look at what going on on the floor you wont agree what i'm talking about but from what I see our point is most the play maker on this team(which is not bad but show Flip offense is not really that good). Reason 2 WHO DO WE HAVE ON THIS TEAM THAT NICK(or even John WAll) CAN GO TOO? This goes back to my point in we need to rebuild our front line because we have no one in the front line that can help our back court life easier atm SAD BUT TRUE. SO to answer the 3 statement i say keep Nick see how he and John work while getting or front line in order and if it don't work out then we will be moving on then.

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 8, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Jones is a 6-10, 220-pound freshman at Baylor. One executive criticized his energy level, but another raved about his talent.

"He's a Kevin Garnett type with a body that's really long and athletic," he said. "He doesn't have the spirit that Garnett had -- he's not going to kick your butt every possession and get every rebound. This guy is more finesse-oriented, and he has a long way to go to learn the game. But in terms of sheer talent, he's breathtaking. Maybe he does become Garnett or [Tracy] McGrady, because he's that gifted, and you know how we draft for potential."

Sounds like a guy right in Ernie's wheelhouse.

Posted by: divi3 | February 8, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The problem with drafting a big man like Seraphin is you know you're going to have to wait a season or two for him. It's a classic upside pick. The opposite of a DeJuan Blair, who you know will contribute from the start, but with no guarantees for the future.

I would say it's the classic case of getting all hyped up over a guy no one had seen play, as opposed to an ncaa player who gets his every move picked apart. Ernie promised Keveen no time in the D-League...there's no doubt in my mind he expected more from Keveen than what we have seen. Dejuan Blair starts for the Spurs! Ahead of Tiago Splitter btw. Seraphin's upside hasnt yet appeared so high as to tantalize.

Doesnt mean he wont turn out to be a productive player, but I dont buy the notion that what we're seeing is what Ernie expected from him when we made the move to get him.

Posted by: divi3 | February 8, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Also Nick cant make play not because he can't (because he can) but because the OFFENSE we run don't call for him to do so.

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 8, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

That doesn't make any sense. If a player is so damn one-dimensional and dense that he can't make a play because the offense doesn't say so. He has no reason to be playing basketball. You run a play and adjust to what the defense runs. If you run a play and get doubled...does that mean you still shoot? No...you ADJUST. That's one of the things Nick has struggled to do and is going to have to learn now that he's going to get more defensive attention.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I think this rebuild will go a lot quicker than the decade plus it took them after Bird retired.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2011 2:01 AM | Report abuse

--------------

And imagine if there would've even been a rebuild had Leonard Bias been there!! :(

Posted by: kevenjones | February 8, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@SDMDTSU - I'm not sure if you're watching the games or just looking at stats, but Nick has been "adjusting" to game by game situations. He has been driving to the lane for short jumpers or going all the way to the rim for layups and as a consequence, has been getting to the FT line a lot more. He is also one of the top 3/4 SG in the Eastern Conference in scoring and that's with not being in the starting lineup for the entire year. Name another SG in the east you would rahter have outside Wade or Rayy Allen. Don't always look at the cup as half empty, but rather as half full. Outside of Nick and Lewis, who else is going to shoot/score more consistently on this team?

Posted by: garrybrown | February 8, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

This is the situation right now for all you to understand. We have the worst big men in the league excluding Javale McGee. are guards aren't bad but could be better. we have veterans that are either washed up or injured on a constant basis. For the Wiz to succedd we will have to get a legit big man who can bang in the post. I just dont understand why we cant make a deal that would actually help us out, such as trading Rashard lewis and blatche/yi/armstrong to the lakers for an andrew bynum type of player. To me thats all we really need. A Real threat under the rim.

Posted by: yousefdc12 | February 9, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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