Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: January 26, 2011 7:24 pm
 

Report: Crittenton to sign with Dakota Wizards

Posted by Royce Young

You've probably forgotten about Javaris Crittenton, but he hasn't stopped trying to come back. After a failed stint with the Bobcats during training camp before this season, he played a short time in China. That didn't go all that well, despite the fact he averaged 25.8 points per game.

So Crittenton is trying another route. The D-League.

Via a report from Fanhouse, Crittenton will sign with the Dakota Wizards. Of course the Wizards are the D-League affiliate of the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies, the last two NBA franchises Crittenton was a part of with Washington being where he had his incident with Gilbert Arenas.

Crittenton has skill and at 6-5, should be able to make an impact on someone's roster. It's just never come together for him. He was drafted in the first round by the Lakers in 2007 and was traded to Memphis in the deal that brought Los Angeles Pau Gasol. From there Crittenton was sent to Washington where the rest became embarrassing history for him.

Crittenton was said to be the nation's best point guard of his high school class and took those talents to Georgia Tech for just one year. In 113 career games Crittenton has averaged 5.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 16.4 minutes per game.

This might be one of the last shots Crittenton really has to make it though. He used up a number of chances and has failed to make the most of them. Again, he has talent. He has ability. He has size, speed and athleticism. But he's been branded with the dreaed "character issue" tag and has never lived up anywhere near his potential.

But he's still plugging away and in a league where second, third and fourth chances are handed out regularly, it's not that hard to see a call up in Crittenton's future.
Posted on: January 12, 2011 2:11 pm
 

Arenas did Nick Young another favor - got traded

Posted by Royce Young

During the preseason, a bearded Gilbert Arenas famously faked an injury so then teammate Nick Young could get a start for the Wizards and show off some of his talent.

And Young did. He dropped 24 and hit seven shots from 3. It was a chivalrous move by Arenas and something he took a lot of Heat for, but something I'm sure Young greatly appreciated.

But Arenas did Young an even bigger favor. He got traded to Orlando.

Young is now firmly in Washington's starting five and he's making the most of it. Tuesday against the Kings, Young scored a career-high 43, including 18 in the third quarter. After his explosion against Sacramento last night in which took a bow at the buzzer, Arenas sent his buddy a text. It said, "You learned from the master."

Young said the Arenas trade hit him pretty hard because over the past few years, the two had formed a pretty solid bond. They had become friends and Young looked up to Arenas in more ways than one. Not only was Arenas faking injuries for Young, but when they were in the game at the same time, Arenas would call plays for Young.

"He kind of took me in," Young said after Arenas was traded. "He's like a brother to me." 

The first game after Arenas was traded, Young and the Wizards hosted the Heat. Young dropped a then career-high 30 points and held Dwyane Wade to just 7-19 shooting. While Young was upset because his best friend on the team was gone, he was finally getting a real chance to show what he could do. And this time, not in a preseason game that nobody was watching.

On the season, Young's averaging 15.9 points per game and is hitting 41 percent from 3.

But since he's been starting, he averaged 18.3 ppg in December and so far in five games for January, he's putting up 22.2 points a night. He's gone from decent bench player to potential a building block for the Wizards.

Young fits in really well with John Wall in the backcourt as a good spot-up shooter and someone athletic enough to attack the rim off the dribble. Young has good size (6-7) and can really play three positions. If these past few weeks aren't just a hot streak or a fluke, Washington could be looking at a pretty good future backcourt between Wall and Young.

Thing is though, we've seen this type of thing happen in Washington before. After Antwan Jamison was traded last season to Cleveland, Andray Blatche finally got a chance to start full-time. He made the most of the opportunity, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds over the last three months of the season. But because of a foot injury and potentially a sub-par work ethic, Blatche has been disappointing this season.

Will that same fate hit Young? Hopefully not. Like I said, he's got the tools to be a legit starting 2-guard in this league. And right now, he's got the confidence. Two very important things for a young player trying to find his way.

The Wizards need a scorer badly to supplement Wall. Just like Derrick Rose in Chicago, while Wall is a nice scoring point guard, he's there to create and distribute for teammates. He can't do it all alone. So with Young, plus Blatche (when he's actually in shape and focused) and JaVale McGee who's an athletic freak, the Wizards have a nice little core to build around. Most didn't see Young as part of that but because of Arenas' departure, the door has been opened. And just like the preseason game, all Arenas had to do was give Young a chance.
Posted on: January 12, 2011 10:16 am
 

The Game Changer: Big margins of all around

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: NEW YORK FIGURING OUT THE ROAD

They might not have beat someone by 55, but the Knicks got themselves a darn good road win in Portland Tuesday night, taking down the wounded Blazers 100-86.

Amar'e Stoudemire got the best of LaMarcus Aldridge, outscoring his counterpart 23-18. Ronny Turiaf added a season-high 19, Wilson Chandler 17 and Raymond Felton 17.

But the story was really just how rough it is for the Blazers right now without Brandon Roy. Wesley Matthews is having a nice season and Nicolas Batum is good some nights, but just 86 points against the Knicks? It was obvious that Portland was missing someone that could pile up points in the second half. The Blazers tried to go to Aldridge, but the Knicks zeroed in there. Rudy Fernandez was there for some kick-outs, scoring 18, but it was all long jumpers for Portland. There was no isolation option. No players that could take over. It was kind of painful to watch such a promising team lose with so much talent in suits.

However, the Knicks picked up another nice road win. New York is now 12-8 on the road this season, which surpasses their road win total from all of last year. The Knicks are roped into the Carmelo Anthony stuff, but what's lost is how well their current small forward is playing. Chandler had 17 big points and came up large for the Knicks late in the game as well.

The Knicks have one of the best home court advantages in the league, but now they're figuring out the road. One of the many differences in this New York team from year's past.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Kevin Love dropped his sixth 20-20 game of the season with 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Aaron Afflalo had a career-high 31 on 11-14 shooting.

Nick Young scored a career-high 43 and went 4-4 from 3 in the third quarter.

Alonzo Gee had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Cavs. Doesn't sound impressive? Well his 12 points were 21 percent of his team's total output.

DENVER ERUPTS ON PHOENIX

Maybe the distractions were getting to them recently, but Tuesday the Nuggets put it all behind them as they beat up on the Suns 132-98.

Denver scored a combined 82 points in the second and third quarters as the Suns defense basically was them letting the Nuggets shoot wide open shots as they crossed their fingers hoping the shots didn't drop. Problem was, they did.

The Nuggets shot 56 percent from the field and made 37 free throws. Carmelo had 28 points, Aaron Afflalo a career-high 31 on 11-14 shooting and Ty Lawson and J.R. Smith combined for 31 on a combined 9-11 from the field.

Carmelo hasn't left Denver yet. And while he's there, we're still seeing glimpses of just how good of an offensive force the Nuggets can be. Of course it helps to be playing the Suns, but still, 82 points in two quarters is pretty impressive against anyone.

WASHINGTON TRIES TO LET SACTO WIN

It was like a lesson on how to blow a game. The Wizards led by eight with under a minute left. Led by six with 20 seconds left. Led by four with 10 seconds left. But not only did they turn the ball over, the Wizards took bad shots, missed free throws and basically, played all-around stupid basketball. It was kind of impressive, in a disaster film kind of way.

But in the end, Washington got it done behind Nick Young's 43 points. The Kings, being absolutely horrible, couldn't take advantage of about 25 opportunities to seize the victory and the Wizards took home a 136-133 overtime win. The was between two teams a combined 18-53 and it certainly showed.

L.A. BEATS CLEVELAND BY LIKE A MILLION

What's the box score look like for the loser after a 112-57 game?

The leading scorer for the Cavs was Alonzo Gee with 12. The starting five combined for 23 points, led by Manny Harris's eight. Mo Williams went 1-9, J.J. Hickson 1-8, Antwan Jamison 3-10 and Harris 2-8. The team shot 29.9 percent from the field. They turned it over 19 times.

Basically, everyone sucked.

And then LeBron tweeted something. Pretty rough night for the Cavs.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Kenyon Martin and Goran Dragic got into a weird little scuffle during the third quarter of Denver's win over Phoenix. For some reason, Martin grabbed Dragic, hugged him and wouldn't let him go. Dragic fought back like a little child trying to escape the grasp of his mother.


PARTING THOUGHT

During the Timberwolves-Spurs game, things got a little technical late in the game. With the Spurs up double-digits, the Wolves felt like they were getting the short end of the whistle. So they complained.

First, Corey Brewer got T'd. Then Darko Milicic got a tech from the same call. Then Kurt Rambis picked up two because of the same call. There's four T's. Just 10 seconds later, Kevin Love made a pretty demonstrative gesture toward the official and picked up a technical. Five T's in just 10 seconds, all handed out by Ken Mauer.

That's got to be some kind of record. Manu Ginobili on all the technical fouls: "It was awkward."
Posted on: January 5, 2011 12:56 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 1:50 am
 

Grizzlies' Mayo, Allen fight on team plane

CBSSports.com is reporting that a fight between Memphis Grizzlies teammates O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen on the team's plane left Mayo with a "swollen" face. Posted by Ben Golliver.oj-mayo

CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish and Ken Berger are reporting that Memphis Grizzlies teammates O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen got into a "fight" on the team's plane after the Grizzlies defeated the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday night, and that the altercation left Mayo with a "swollen" face. 
Grizzlies teammates O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen were involved in a fight with each other that stemmed from a gambling dispute during a card game on the flight home from Los Angeles after Sunday night's win over the Lakers, three different sources have told CBSSports.com.
Two of those sources said the altercation left Mayo with a noticeably "swollen" face.
Mayo did not play in Memphis' Tuesday night game game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which the Grizzlies won 110-105. The team reported that Mayo had "bronchitis."

CBSSports.com obtained the following statement from the Grizzlies, confirming that a "brief altercation" took place.
"On the team's charter flight home to Memphis on Monday, Jan. 3 -- one day after the Grizzlies'' 104-85 victory at the Los Angeles Lakers -- there was a brief altercation between Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo. The club considers the matter closed and will not comment further."
Team planes are starting to become a dangerous place, as a disagreement over an airborne card game triggered a series of arguments and pranks between Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton that ended with Arenas bringing guns to the team's locker room at the Verizon Center in December 2009.

Also on Tuesday night, Yahoo! Sports reported that the Mayo/Allen disagreement stemmed from the very same card game as the Wizards, in a replay of last season's disaster.
Mayo owed Allen money from a card game, “Boo-Ray,” and sources said Mayo became increasingly belligerent and antagonistic toward Allen when asked to settle the debt. Sources said Allen walked away from Mayo to go the restroom and returned to find Mayo continuing to berate him. Eventually, Mayo inched close to Allen, and sources said Allen hit Mayo.
Mayo was the subject of trade rumors in late December. That chatter is sure to pick up.
Posted on: January 3, 2011 9:29 am
 

Shootaround: 1.3.11: A cake for a king

Posted by Royce Young
  • Can the Spurs win 70? Don't ask Gregg Popovich: “No,” Popovich told a member of the visiting media when asked if the milestone has crossed his mind. “Are you still drunk from (New Year's Eve)? Now if we lose three in a row you're going to say, ‘Is it time to panic, do you think?' ... Come on.”
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: "Fate can have a crazy, cruel side. When in a nasty mood, it sends wicked twists. Caron Butler won't let karma break him, even though his knee buckled in front of his family, friends and a couple of hundred kids he bought tickets for at the Bradley Center on Saturday night. Don't weep for Butler. He wouldn't want it that way. Yes, he's gone, probably for a significant portion of the season, maybe all of it. And he becomes a free agent on July 1. The timing of this injury was horrible for the Mavericks and disastrous for Butler and his family. He was on his way to a nice season and would have been an in-demand free agent. Now? Who knows?"
  • However, the Wizards are defending better. Michael Lee of The Washington Post: "The Wizards weren't necessarily looking to turn around the season when they dealt away the former face of the franchise, Gilbert Arenas, to Orlando for Rashard Lewis on Dec. 18; the primary goal was to better clear the slate in order to rebuild around John Wall. So while the team's 2-6 record since making the trade is still unsettling, the dramatic changes on the defensive end have been startling. In the past eight games, the Wizards (8-24) have allowed just one opponent to reach triple digits after their foes scored at least 100 points in 16 of the first 24 games. The Wizards are surrendering just 91 points per game since the trade, compared with giving up 105.8 before."
Posted on: January 2, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Report: The Cavs have asked about Andray Blatche

Posted by Royce Young

After reportedly becoming available recently, one team already inquiring about Andray Blatche is the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to the News Herald.

No telling what Cleveland could be offering back, but I'd assume it would be expiring contracts (Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker?) and some picks. Nothing of major value I'd guess.

But why go after Blatche if you're Cleveland? What exactly does he give your franchise in the process of recovering from post-LeBron syndrome? Blatche is a potentially talented power forward with an inside-outside game, but he's also a character issue and someone I'm not sure the Cavs want to try and build around long term. Cleveland is looking to start over with its roster and to make that first building block Andray Blatche isn't the wisest move.

Then again, the Cavs are desperate for talent. They've lost 16 of 17 and have slipped into the "worst team in the league" discussion. There's just not much on the roster to be remotely excited about. Mo Williams, Anderson Varejao and Antwan Jamison are quality players, but they aren't good enough to make up for a seriously awful bench.

If Cleveland did acquire Blatche it would probably suggest that Varejao would be moved in the future for a high pick and or young asset. Varejao has been rumored to be on the block for a while and having a guy like Blatche would make Varejao available to be moved. Especially with J.J. Hickson on the roster. No way Cleveland could keep all three.

But this is just an inquiry. GM Chris Grant probably just picked up the phone, called Ernie Grunfeld and said, "So Blatche is available huh? You take Anthony Parker and a second rounder for him?"

It's hard to blame the Cavs who are desperate for answers right now to at least ask about a basketball player with talent. Honestly, it might just be a little PR ploy to show fans that they're still trying. Who knows. But Blatche wouldn't fix anything in Cleveland, unless he straightened up. It'd likely just make things worse.
Posted on: December 29, 2010 5:24 pm
 

Maybe only Blatche is available, not McGee

Posted by Royce Young

Following Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee's altercation last week, reports started bubbling up that the Wizards were shopping both big men to test the market for them.

Turns out it might just be Blatche that's having his name passed around. Via the Washington Post:
According to two Western Conference executives, the Wizards are gauging interest in Andray Blatche to determine if trading the skilled 6-foot-11 forward is best for the organization moving forward.

The executives said McGee is "not yet" on the market, despite reports to the contrary . McGee, a third-year center who participated in Team USA tryouts last summer, is averaging career highs of 9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. But he is still playing on his rookie contract, which pays him $1.6 million this season and would limit what he could bring back in return.

"JaVale seems very not available," one of the executives said.

If the Wizards are simply looking to separate the two because of the altercation, it makes sense to keep one. McGee is probably the player with more upside, though both have underachieved thus far in their young careers.

But much like the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittendon gun incident from a year ago, Washington didn't move both out of town, instead just dropping Crittendon.

The Wizards haven't been happy with the way Blatche approached this season after breaking his foot over the summer. As a result he came into the season a little fatter than expected and has been working to get in shape since opening night. This coming after he signed a three-year extension that will pay him $28 million between now and the 2014-15 season. 

More than McGee, Blatche has been a problem child. After his one-game suspension because of the fight with McGree, Blatche has now been suspended twice this calendar year. He was sat down for a game last season after getting wildly upset with coaches and trainers during and after a game. On top of that, he got into an argument with Flip Saunders last spring after he didn't check back into a game.

Add in that Washington just acquired a new 6-10 power forward in Rashard Lewis and it's clear that Blatche is the more expendable of the two. (Though Lewis probably isn't really part of the long-term plan.) Blatche carries a lot of baggage with him though, and I don't just mean the excess weight. McGee probably would've solicited a few more call-backs.

Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:09 pm
 

Are the Wizards shopping McGee and Blatche?

Posted by Royce Young

Over the past two seasons, the Washington D.C. has been ground zero for weird NBA stories. That whole Gilbert Arenas thing happened -- something the Wizards are still recovering from -- but most recently JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche tried to punch each other's faces out in front of a night club.

The Wizards moved on from the Arenas incident recently by trading him. And the same fate may face either Blatche or McGee. Or maybe both.

According to HoopsWorld,
the Wizards are shopping McGee and Blatche to gauge how much interest there might be. This of course could be a result of the fight or it could just be something Ernie Grunfeld had planned on doing.

My guess is that it's all related. Under new owner Ted Leonsis, the Wizards have been completely committed to becoming more family-friendly and having a product on the court that the city can be proud of. I would assume that having two players that tried to rearrange each other's noses doesn't qualify there.

What's interesting is that the Wizards signed Blatche to a contract extension over the summer that runs through 2015. Obviously at the time, it seemed like the Wizards were entirely committed to Blatche as part of the future. But maybe not.

Then again, this might be a tactic by Leonsis and Grunfeld to try and get the attention of two of the entire league's biggest underachievers. Both Blatche and McGee have incredible talent. But neither have really been consistent. Blatche came into the season, well, fat and McGee just hasn't really developed his game outside of alley-oops, putbacks and trying to block every shot attempted ever.

I would assume that Grunfeld is going to find that not many folks are all that interested in trading much for either. Because of Blatche's extension, I doubt he'll garner much interest, but some enterprising general manager might be willing to take on McGee as a project. I remember before the 2009 draft there were a couple murmurs going around that Sam Presti was interested in McGee. A good system and a new culture could do wonders for a prospect like McGee.

More than likely, nothing comes of this rumor. By the deadline, I'd expect both McGee and Blatche to be in a Wizard uniform. But Grunfeld and Leonsis are focused on changing the Wizards' culture so any bad apples might be shown the door. Washington is in the middle of a complete flip and anyone not named John Wall is likely a candidate to be shipped off. Probably starting with the guys that try and beat up teammates.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com