Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.20.10: Knocked and slapped

Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.

Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.

A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.

Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .

Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.

Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.

Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.

Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.

Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.

And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.


Posted on: October 18, 2010 7:35 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:54 pm
 

NBA Southeast Division preview

The CBSSports.com NBA Facts and Rumors team previews each of the NBA's six divisions. First up: the Southeast. Posted by Ben Golliver The Burning Question: What would 72 wins mean for Miami? While the Southeast Division is stacked from top to bottom, both in terms of talent and storylines, the Miami Heat are the division's clear favorite. Anything less than a runaway Southeast crown would be a disappointment for the meticulously-constructed Heat, who should welcome the absurdly high expectations with open arms and shoot for history from opening night.  LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company are presented with a unique, and clean, opportunity to answer their many critics: if they commit to the ultimate team success, tying or surpassing an NBA-record 72 regular season wins followed by a title, they absolve themselves of any questions about their motives, egos and self-involvement. America respects winning, especially dominant winning, and winning in historic fashion would have the power to reshape the entire conversation, re-write the "Decision" debacle. If they kill themselves night in and night out for eight months and then bring home the rings, suddenly Wade becomes mini-Jordan, James becomes mega-Pippen, and Bosh becomes prude Rodman, with sacrifice replacing soullessness on the first line of their obituaries. Winning is that powerful. 72 wins seems impossible, especially in a division that could produce four playoff teams (Miami, Orlando and Atlanta seem like locks; Charlotte should sneak in) and the Rookie of the Year in Washington's John Wall, but no team has had a better shot at it than these Heat in the post-Jordan era. Here's hoping Miami seizes the opportunity and goes all-in, all-out because everyone, even their biggest detractors, wants to watch greatness. What Berger Says: CBS Sports Senior Writer Ken Berger previews the Southeast Division.
The Heat can win 65, 70, or 73 regular-season games if they want; they have so much talent that anything's possible. But their biggest test will be defending the 3-point shot and stopping a highly motivated Dwight Howard in a best-of-7 playoff series against Orlando. And no matter how good the combination of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James is -- no matter how much single-coverage Chris Bosh faces as a result of their greatness -- and regardless of how close they are defensively to the Bulls team that went 72-10 in 1995-96, Howard ultimately is going to present the biggest challenge they face.

Does Orlando have enough to win more regular-season games than Miami and win its fourth consecutive Southeast Division title? Probably not, but it doesn't matter, anyway. Every time these two teams tangle in the regular season, the focus will be on how it will apply to the postseason.
What Others Are Saying: Here are a few choice cuts from NBA Southeast Division previews found around the internet. Chris Mannix of CNNSI.com asks...
Can Pat Riley stay upstairs all season? Speculation has run rampant that Riley is itching for the opportunity to coach another potential dynasty. But it's unlikely he would submarine protégé Spoelstra without good reason. Expectations for the Heat are predictably absurd -- anything less than the all-time wins record en route to a title would be, in the minds of some, a disappointing season -- but what if the team gets off to a sluggish start? Will Riley give Spoelstra room to mold this new roster? Or will the Armani'd one take over at the first (or second, or third) sign of trouble?
David Thorpe of ESPN.com thinks Orlando's Ryan Anderson could break out...
Now that J.J. Redick has his first real contract, one that he earned with pure hard work, he will relax and play even better than he has in the past. But Anderson has game, too, and considering how much Lewis struggled last season, it's fair to expect Van Gundy to get Anderson a lot more touches. He's a much better rebounder than the Lewis we saw last season, and perhaps his inspired play will light a fire under Lewis. Either way, the Magic have to get more from the power forward spot, and Anderson will have many chances to provide top-level shooting, hustle and board work.
Charley Rosen of FoxSports.com says...
Gilbert Arenas is the key player for the Wizards. Too bad he’s plagued by injuries and incredibly poor decisions. No matter how much he parrots the company line, he’ll have difficulty playing second fiddle to John Wall. 
In truth, the only way that Wall can develop into the leader that the team so desperately needs would be to trade Arenas. Even so, Wall is very good and will have every opportunity to be great.
CBSSports.com Video Preview: CBS Sports's Jason Horowitz, Ian Eagle and Ken Berger break down the Southeast division on video.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 3:39 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 3:42 pm
 

John Wall's new signature shoe is... interesting

Posted by Royce Young

Reebok released pictures of John Wall's new signature shoe the ZigTech Slash Limited Edition Gold Colorway and well, let's just say the reaction has been mixed. Mixed as in most people think they are hideous.

Have a look:



Wall signed a reported $25 million deal with Reebok this summer to be one of their top endorsers. So his signature shoe is definitely one of the prized releases by the company. But as savvy NBA business-head Nate Jones said, the key to a signature shoe is both style and substance. It's got to be a shoe somebody doesn't just want to run a couple of pick-up games on, but also a pair of kicks that you can wear with some jeans and a t-shirt. I don't know if Wall's ZigTech Slashes are something you want to be seen in off the blacktop.

Reebok has a pretty good history with good shoes too. For instance, Allen Iverson's "The Question" model is one of the most famous pair of sneakers ever. They were simple and cool. And now, we have this. Quite a difference.

Now obviously this isn't the only shoe Wall has. It's just the gold colorway. But still, the whole design isn't wonderful. I'm no Russ Bengtson or Lang Whitaker, but still, I can tell a shoe that isn't something the masses will love. Paired with the Wizards blue and gold uniforms? Yeah, they'll look good. On you going to a movie with friends? Not so much.

But at the same time, if you want to pay me $25 million to wear these shoes, I'll totally do it Reebok. Just letting you know.

Via Dime
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:53 am
Edited on: October 17, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Gilbert Arenas's fine is a drop in the bucket

Arenas fined $50,000 by league for faking injury
Posted by Matt Moore


Gilbert Arenas has paid his debt to society after spending a month in a detention center earlier this year following his sentencing for felony gun possession. Now apparently he's decided to start working on paying his debt to the league, since he keeps finding inventive ways to send them dough.

The Wizards fined Arenas $50,000 for lying to Flip Saunders about an injury in order to get more time for Nick Young on the floor. It's a pretty healthy chunk of change. And it's not the first or last time Arenas has shelled out some dough to the league.

In 2009, Arenas was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media during the preseason. Prior to that he was fined $7,500 for criticizing offiicials. And, you know, all the court fees, lawyer fees, and dough lost during his suspension last season. Add all that up and it's enough to take a huge.... nothing out of his income. Arenas makes $216,227 per game this season. Subtract all the mone he's paid in fines over the past three years from his first paycheck this year and he'd still have over $133,000 to buy all the gold-plated guns he wants.

And that's got to partially be why Arenas fails to change his behavior. Sure, you'd expect maturity, or maybe even simple deductive logic to take some sort of effect, but I think we can agree that ship has sailed. In the meantime, only punitive efforts can hope to alter his behavior, and, well, they're not getting the job done. This isn't to say that Arenas needs to be fined more, or have any harsher punishments handed down. What he did simply wasn't a big deal. But if we wonder why Arenas fails to take anything seriously, why he acts petulant and immature regarding all of these public relations disaster and his lone criminal act which was very much dangerous to himself and others, perhaps it's that vantage point of perspective that he's incapable of reaching. No matter what's happened to him, his life isn't very much different. He gets paid, still, and while losing last year's salary was surely a blow, he is making $17 million this season, which probably makes the recovery path a bit easier.

$50,000 is a stiff slap on the wrist from the Wizards, and yet it's a drop in the bucket, just as this latest silly act was a drop in the bucket of his facepalm-worthy moments.

This is Arenas. And he isn't changing. And all the fines won't even make him blink. Unless, you know, the owners manage to make contracts non-guaranteed. But then we'll have bigger issues because hell will have frozen over.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 5:55 pm
 

Friday 5 With KB: Techs, STAT, and MeloDrama



CBSSports.com's Ken Berger discusses the tech debate, Amar'e Stoudemire's MSG debut, the Celtics' depth, and the continuing MeloDrama about Carmelo Anthony.

Posted by Matt Moore

Each week we'll be bringing you five questions for our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about the inside happenings of the league. This week, Ken talks about the Celtics' depth, this ridiculous tech debate, and drops some knowledge on the latest happenings in the Carmelo Anthony trade discussions. You can email your questions to the Friday 5 With KB at cbssportsnba@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba.

1. Obviously the big story this week is about the technical fouls and Kevin Garnett's ejection which you wrote about. Do you see the league trying to take this hard of a line when the season starts or will they back off to make sure we don't have Garnett tossed on opening night against Miami?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Both sides are going to have to adjust and find some sort of middle ground. The NBPA put its cards on the table Thursday by threatening legal action over the league's clampdown on complaining. On one hand, this is a way for the union to force the league to make the next move and soften its stance. With the CBA showdown looming, I don't see that happening. In fact, by doing exactly what the league is trying to eliminate -- complaining -- the players may have actually caused the league office to dig in even harder on its desire to enforce the new rules. There's no comment or response from league executives yet regarding the players' lawsuit threat. I suspect the NBA will publicly ignore the players' complaint, but privately urge the officials to lighten up a bit. I think players, officials and fans will agree that blatant bullying and demonstrative complaining should result in a tech. It's unrealistic to think that spontaneous outbursts -- a fist pump, a clap, a shrug, and "and-one" gesture -- can be legislated out of the game. Another undesirable result of teeing up every player who disagrees with a call will be the shutting down of communication between players and refs. A little give-and-take is vital to keeping the game moving and letting the players feel as though they have a voice. Trying to force the players to clam up and become robots will only heighten their frustration, lead to more techs and ejections, and make for a bad, bad scene.

2. The other story this week is the continuing saga of the idiocy that is Gilbert Arenas. Flip Saunders talked about how disappointed he was in Arenas, and that seems like such a shame because Saunders has gone out of his way to try and embrace Arenas back into the fold. Is this going to to renew the Wizards' efforts to move him, no matter how difficult that may be?

KB: The problem is this: Washington's best chance to trade Arenas would be if he proved right away that he's OK mentally and physically. He's 0-for-2 so far -- faking an injury and getting fined, and then actually getting hurt in the very next game. So until Arenas can stay on the court, tone down the distractions and prove that he's still capable of playing at an All-Star level, the Wizards are stuck with him and the $80 million he's owed. He has to do that consistently; I'm told that any teams that may be interested in taking a chance need to see a body of work consisting of at least a month or two with effective play and no shenanigans before they'll be willing to consider it.

3. Amar'e certainly looked good against the Celtics, even during the brief period Garnett was on the floor. Raymond Felton seems to be struggling with him in the pick and roll, but is it possible that Stoudemire (gasp) actually doesn't need Steve Nash in order to be a top flight power forward in this league?


KB: You're right. If he stays healthy, Stoudemire will put up immense numbers in New York. Mike D'Antoni's offense has been like a giant fan with nowhere to blow the air. Stoudemire is the outlet the system has been craving. It will take time for Felton and Stoudemire to achieve anything that resembles chemistry; and it hasn't helped that Felton embraced his new team, new power forward and new system by showing up barely a week before camp, and overweight, at that.

4. Boston's depth seems like it's going to be better than it has been in years. If that's the case, they're going to rest starters even more than last year, right?


KB: That's the plan, but Doc Rivers is ready for the plan to change. The players he's most concerned with health-wise aren't Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They're the role players, such as the role players named O'Neal. Rivers already has admitted publicly that it's unrealistic to think the Celtics can make it through the regular season without injuries. Once Kendrick Perkins comes back, Jermaine O'Neal will go to the bench, but he won't be any less susceptible to aches and pains. I think if Doc could shave a minute or three off Pierce's and Allen's averages from last season -- 34 and 35, respectively -- he'd feel good about it going into the postseason. Keeping Garnett around 29 minutes -- his average last season -- is probably about right, given that he's healthier than he was at any point in 2009-10. The big concern is with the aging bigs. Doc is going to have to be careful with anyone named O'Neal.

5. The Blazers got outed this week as one of the failed participants in the last gasps of the Carmelo four-way. Miller's got to be getting tired of being on the block, especially after only a little more than a year with Portland. Is that situation going to go anywhere any time soon?

KB: The Melo talks never stopped; they've just quieted down. New Jersey has continued to engage in discussions with Denver, though there's been little progress over the past week or so. Rarely does a low-profile front-office hire have a major impact on a franchise-shaping decision, but the Nuggets' hiring of cap whiz Pete D'Alessandro will greatly streamline the Melo negotiations once they Heat up again. One of the biggest problems for teams dealing with Denver was that new GM Masai Ujiri had never put together a trade of such magnitude. His strength is personnel; with Mark Warkentien out of the picture, the Nuggets had nobody well-versed in the complexities of structuring complicated trades. D'Alessandro's knowledge of the CBA and his relationships with other deal-makers around the league will breathe new life into the Melo talks. There may still be philosophical hangups among Denver's convoluted power structure, but at least there will be someone involved who has experience navigating the minefield of NBA trade rules. The Nuggets, Nets, Jazz and Bobcats were close enough to agreeing on a deal that a little tweaking here or there by someone with a strong background in such things would've pushed it to the finish line. It's only a matter of time before it gets to that point again. And once it does, a significant obstacle to completing the original deal won't be a factor anymore.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 2:29 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 2:33 pm
 

Crittenton waived: A tale of two would-be gunmen

Posted by Royce Young

It was almost inevitable. With the Charlotte Bobcats already carrying three point guards on the roster, Javaris Crittenton didn't really have much of a chance. And today, Charlotte cut him, sending him off to who knows where.

As the oft-forgotten secondary piece in the Gilbert Arenas crazy gun puzzle from last season, Crittenton's NBA future has been in limbo since the incident. The Wizards cut ties with him shortly after, leaving him to look for someone to offer a make-good type of deal. The Bobcats came calling, but really, it was destined for failure from the start.

Crittenton isn't like his former Bobcats counterpart Shaun Livingston. Crittendon never was the kind of NBA prospect where you just knew he'd eventually make it. He was a McDonald's All-American before going to Georgia Tech where he was decent. But riding the coattails of his AAU success and McDonald's All-American hype, he went pro early and was drafted 19th in 2007 by the Lakers. He qas quickly moved to the Grizzlies in the Pau Gasol deal before then being shipped to Washington in 2008.

(A fun Did You Know: Crittenton was high school teammates with Dwight Howard in Atlanta. That was a good team, I bet.)

Again unlike Livingston, Crittenton never had the "can't-miss talent" type of tag. He's not the kind of once-in-a-long-while gifted point guard where you keep taking a chance on. He's a good player, one that certainly can show flashes of brilliance, but he never has been the kind of player a franchise is willing to risk anything substantial for. Which is what makes his situation so unfortunate.

Gilbert Arenas is still with the Wizards and set to start for two reasons: 1) He's owed a crap-ton of money and 2) He's a really good player. Both of those things worked against Crittenton. Of course the Wizards couldn't keep both of the guys that drew guns on each other in the locker room, but it's undeniable that Crittenton got the short end of this situation.

Crittenton certainly has NBA talent, but it's a measure of how badly does he want to get back. He's going to have to rehabilitate everything, starting with his perception. He's nothing more than a minimum salary player at this point but his a minimum salary player with substantial baggage. And when you're choosing your third point guard and you can have him or Sherron Collins who Charlotte currently has slated there, you go with the cheap rookie that doesn't have a blemish on his record.

It's unfortunate, but it's life in the league.  And it's unfortunate too because the Bobcats are a team in desperate need of point guard help. Right now they have D.J. Augustin who's unproven, Livingston who's still nearly crippled after a horrific injury and Collins, a mediocre rookie. If he couldn't make it there, it's either the baggage, the talent or a combination of the two.

It's not overy yet for him though. Did you know Crittenton is just 22 years old? It feels like he's been in the league for 10 years now. And I bet he feels the same way. This is a pretty major setback for the forgotten second gunman in the Wizards locker room. Arenas is getting his chance for redemption and it's off to a rocky start as seen with the new dark persona and lying to coaches. Crittenton's just going to have to wait for another shot.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:55 am
 

Shootaround 10.15.10: Good and bad places

Dwight Howard thinks the new rule has its place, Monta Ellis' wife is keeping him in the right place, Andre Blatche needs a new place, and Al Jefferson is getting into a good place, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

So while the Union's suing and the Celtics are freaking out, Dwight Howard has come out and said that in regards to the new tech rules, "They want us to cut down on talking to the refs, as hard as that may be. We've adjusted to everything else that's put out there. So we'll adjust." That's right. The guy that watches cartoons, does funny voices, and is pretty much known as a big kid, he's the one who's being grown up about this. The world's gone mad. Dwight Howard is in a place where he can have perspective and Kevin Garnett is not. What is happening?

Marvel Comics is teaming up with ESPN and the NBA for a series of promotional spots . Does it bother anyone else how much the league is marketing towards the storyline of LeBron leaving Cleveland? Don't get me wrong, I've been softer on James than others because if you asked me if I wanted to go work somewhere nicer with two of my friends with a greater chance of success, I'd probably do it too. But rubbing Cleveland's nose in it constantly for marketing purposes and playing into their spurned response seems exploitive.

Monta Ellis is in a much better place emotionally and mentally. Why? Dude got married and his wife, a lady cop, has him in line. I can understand where Ellis is coming from, as I'm sure a lot of men can. You have your wilder 20's, jacking up shots and riding mopeds, and then you get married and that stuff gets thrown out. This would be better if she were a segway cop or something. Still, it's good to see Ellis in a better place.

Mike Wells of the Indy Star reports that both Dahntay Jones and Solomon Jones are on the block as the Pacers try and move for a big man.

TruthAboutIt.Net's Kyle Weidie is more concerned with Andre Blatche at the moment than Gilbert Arenas. Blatche boosted his stock immensely last year with some solid play on the blown-up Wizards. But he thinks of himself as a primary scoring threat, not as a complimentary piece, and has big chemistry issues. If they can get him on the market and get a good player to put next to Wall for him, they should move, and quickly.

Alvin Gentry is telling his team that if they want to be succesful this year, they're going to have to be a "GREAT" defensive team . This for a team that had a worse defensive rating than any of Mike D'Antoni's years. Even if you think Amar'e was the problem (and he wasn't), good luck with that, coach.

Sasha Vujacic suffered a concussion in practice and is out indefinitely. Perhaps he was confused on what being "unconscious" from the arc meant.

In case you missed it last night , you need to see John Wall destroying the Bucks in 40 secons. For real.

Mike D'Antoni called Anthony Randolph a "stat magnet. " If only that magnet wasn't similarly charged to that of a "high basketball IQ magnet" because Randolph seems to repel that idea. Many, Knicks fans especailly, hope this is the season that changes. He can be an absolute game-changer when his head's in the right place.

And finally, just a small basketball note. If you caught last night's Jazz game you saw this, but if you didn't, Al Jefferson looked really good. Even with an out-of-shape Deron Williams working with him, Jefferson was hitting from all over the floor and attacking the glass on both sides of the ball. Defensively he's still figuring the system out, but things are looking tremendously good for Utah's new acquisition.


Posted on: October 14, 2010 8:53 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:50 pm
 

John Wall: highlight factory and purist's dream

Washington Wizards rookie point guard John Wall is a highlight factory and a basketball purist's dream.

Posted by Ben Golliver Yes, it's only the preseason so all the standard preseason disclaimers apply. But this John Wall kid is something else. Wall has impressed NBA scouts since he was a high schooler because he is both freakishly athletic and fundamentally sound, a rare combination for a point guard his age. So what, exactly, does that combination look like? Look no further than this 40-second clip from the first quarter of Monday night's preseason game between Wall's Washington Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks. It's a basketball purist's dream, and it's enough to get you up off the sofa, too. The clip starts with Wall running a high screen-and-roll, collapsing Milwaukee's defense into the paint before he effortlessly finds Kirk Hinrich spotting up in the corner, who buries the wide open three-pointer.  On defense, Wall fights gamely through a high screen himself, chasing Bucks point guard to the basket, where Jennings misses. Wall recovers the loose ball and instinctively hits teammate Cartier Martin on a runout for an easy reverse layup. Then, with barely enough time to catch his breath, Wall intercepts a Keyon Dooling pass and takes it to the house, flushing with two hands and doing a chin up on the rim for good measure.
Add it all up and it's two points, two assists and a steal for Wall in 40 seconds of play. This sequence stands as one more reason to believe the hype, as if you needed another.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com