Posted on: November 11, 2010 4:10 pm
Posted by Royce Young
In that new Sports Illustrated article where Gilbert Arenas talks about faking an injury because of potential boos and talks about moving over for John Wall, he mentions something else of note.
He said: “I understand what people think because of the perception of me. They read the funny stuff, like me taking a crap in [teammate] Andray Blatche’s shoes. But nobody is going to ask what Andray did to deserve it."
Is that a dare? Was Arenas daring some reporter to walk into the locker room, look Arenas in the eye and ask, "So what's up with you crapping in Andray Blatche's shoes?" And did he really not think someone would. Because they did. And Truth About It has Arenas' answer.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 4:16 pm
Posted by Royce Young
When he's not Dougie-ing, Washington Wizards owner can often be found blogging, among other things. He's a refreshing owner that tries his best to communicate and interact with his fanbases (he owns the Washington Capitals too) while also being extremely likable and positive.
And on his blog Ted's Take where he tends to say outlandish things (like when he said he'd Dougie if the Wiz sell out a game this season), he made quite the glass half full statement.
Also had we won a close game at home on Saturday, we would be playing on Wednesday for a .500 record. If you look at the standings, a 2-3 record would qualify for the playoffs if the playoffs started today. No joke.
You hear that? No joking here people.
I'll give Leonsis the first statement. That's true. The Wizards lost 107-102 to the Cavs at home, basically by choking away a lead in the fourth quarter. So yeah, if the Wizards had won that game that would present them the opportunity to get to .500 against a struggling Houston squad. But at the same time Ted, had the Wizards won a close game against the Hawks, and then played better against the Knicks, and also come out of the gate with a better opener against the Magic, you could be going for 6-0 record against the Rockets!
But I really like the second statement. Mainly because I love "If the playoffs started today" statements. Those are fun. Especially when you aren't actually in the playoffs if they started today. Because the Wizards aren't 2-3. They're 1-4. So if the playoffs started today, they'd be in the lottery. But if they had won their five previous games, they'd be the No. 1 seed!
Leonsis does make a quality point in closing: "The difference between success and failure in professional sports is quite small. Hard work is the foundation to all success - in business, in sports and in life." Absolutely true. I remember in 2008 the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 20-something games by six or fewer points. Had they won all those, they would've been in the playoffs. And that's the thing, a year of growth and a year of evolution and the Thunder learned how to win, taking the total from 23 to 50.
I definitely appreciate Leonsis' upbeat, positive attitude. It's a lot more fun to look at thing that way rather than, "We're 1-4, Andray Blatche is fat, we have to practice two times a day now and Gilbert Arenas is still on our team." I mean, they are almost 2-3, you know.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 3:46 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:44 pm
Posted by Royce Young
If you've watch the Washington Wizards play so far this year, you've probably noticed a couple of things. John Wall is fast. John Wall is good. John Wall can dance.
And maybe one other thing - Andray Blatche is looking kind of, well, fat.
Blatche is working himself back into shape after breaking his foot last June and therefore missing some of training camp. People expected big things out of Blatche who was nothing short of brilliant for the Wizards the last few months after Antwan Jamison was traded last season. But so far this year, he's been sort of average - 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a game on 35.6 percent shooting.
The issue is, he's out of shape. He knows it and his coach knows it.
"He does not have the same explosiveness that he had last year," Coach Flip Saunders told The Washington Post. "As he continues to get in shape that explosiveness will come."
The battle Blatche is losing is coming against greasy fast food he says. He told The Post that he sometimes has a hard time sleeping at night and rarely gets to sleep before 1:30 a.m. So naturally, he gets the cracving for some snackums. "I eat late, that's how I gain weight," Blatche said.
Because of his exceptional play down the stretch last season, Blatche earned a three-year extension worth $28 million. He knows he has to get it going and knows that a lot of that starts with him getting into better game shape. And it can be tough when your point guard is John Wall and he flies up the court 200 miles per hour.
The Wizards are in rebuilding mode and they placed a lot of trust in the continuing development of Blatche. By all accounts he's a hard worker and a guy that can be counted on. He's incredibly talented and with him, Wall and some of the other young guys on the roster, the Wizards definitely have a future. They've just got to get him out of the pantry after bedtime.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 5:49 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 5:50 pm
Posted by Royce Young
It's kind of easy to be overlooked in Washington right now if your name's not John or Gilbert. Those two are the ones making all the headlines and news right now, both for different reasons.
But quietly, Yi Jianlian, who was nothing short of fantastic in Turkey during the World Championships, is off to a quality start in preseason. So much so that the Wizards getting to work on an extension for the fourth year big man. ESPN.com's Marc Stein tweeted late Friday, "Amid John Wall/ Gilbert Arenas focus, Yi's solid start ignored. Heard this week extension for Yi by Nov. 1 deadline 'under consideration' by Wiz."
In Turkey, Yi averaged 20.2 points and 10.6 rebounds and in Washington's first preseason game Tuesday, the Chinese big man put up 11 and 10. Then next game which was last night, he went for 16 points and seven rebounds.
Does "under construction" actually mean Yi will have an extension to sign before Nov. 1? By no means. But for a guy that looked like a bust in Milwaukee, to a guy that showed promise in New Jersey, to a guy that's looking at getting an extension and legit playing time in Washington, Yi has already walked a few miles in his short NBA career.
The Wizards gave Andray Blatche a nice big contract extension a few weeks ago and picked up the option on JaVale McGee, so there could be some question as to where Yi fits. He was acquired for Quentin Ross and cash, but if the extension talk gets serious, Yi might be a high value guy that can settle in and play three positions in Washington.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 3:11 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 3:33 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Wizards forward Andray Blatche has agreed to a three-year contract extension, Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports.
The extension runs through the 2014-15 season. Blatche had two seasons left on his current deal and could've become an unrestricted free agent in 2012, but the Wizards locked him up for the following three years. Over five season, Blatche will earn about $30 million with this new deal. He's set to earn about $6.7 over the next two, so essentially, he signed a three-year deal for $23.3 million.
It all makes a decent amount of sense for Washington. He had a semi-breakout year last season after the Wizards traded Antwan Jamison to the Cavs. Blatche finished the season averaging 14.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game, but put up 21.0 ppg and 7.9 rpg the last three months of the season. He's only 24 years old and entering his sixth season, Blatche may be turning into the kind of power forward to build around.
He has had some off-court issues in the past, but his talent is hard to deny. An athletic 6'11 power forward with a quality jumper, good hands and excellent touch around the rim, Blatche may not have even hit his ceiling. It was pretty smart for the Wiz to lock down Blatche now before he has the chance to improve his stock even more with a full season next and eventually deciding to test free agent waters. And at that price, it works out pretty well for both sides.
Blatche gets extended and doesn't have to worry about the new CBA and Washington gets a quality power forward at a discounted rate.
Posted on: September 21, 2010 3:43 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 3:43 pm
Posted by Royce Young
There will be an eye on Washington this season for one main reason: John Wall. The athletic, gifted point guard will be running the show for a rebuilding Wizards squad and the NBA world will be watching his development. But how does he fit in with Gilbert Arenas? The Wizards' camp will be more interesting than most in terms of sorting out issues. Going in, nothing is really set in stone, other than Wall will definitely get his minutes.
Training camp site: Fairfax, VA
Training camp starts: Begins with "Midnight Madness" Sept. 28
Key additions: John Wall (draft), Kirk Hinrich (trade), Trevor Booker (draft), Yi Jianlian (trade), Hamady N'Diaye (draft), Hilton Armstrong (free agent), Kevin Seraphin (draft)
Key subtractions: Randy Foye (free agent), Mike Miller (free agent), Shaun Livingston (free agent)
Likely starting lineup: John Wall, PG; Gilbert Arenas, SG; Josh Howard, SF; Andray Blatche, PF; JaVale McGee, C
Player to watch: Gilbert Arenas. I'm going against the grain on this and saying Arenas, but his situation is far more interesting than top pick John Wall's. Arenas has played point guard his entire career and as of right now, the Wizards intend to move him to shooting guard. Gilbert Arenas, shooting guard. Write your own jokes here, people.
Chemistry quiz: By drafting Wall, the Wizards basically told former franchise players Arenas that he's both expendable and no longer the face of the team. How does Arenas, a player looks for his own no matter what position he's playing, handle this? This Wizards definitely have some personality with Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Arenas and Josh Howard. How they get along is probably the biggest question of the season for Washington.
Injury watch: Howard is coming off a major injury that ended his season early last year. He's not part of Washington's long-term plans, but if he's not healthy, this team is thin on both scoring ability and defensive-minded players.
Camp battles: The starting point guard position is Wall's, no doubt. But steady guard Kirk Hinrich will definitely make a push for legit minutes. Add in Nick Young trying to beat out Arenas for the starting 2, Al Thornton trying to win the small forward spot over Josh Howard and Yi Jianlian trying to move ahead of Blatche on the depth chart and you should see a competitive camp for the Wiz.
Biggest strength: Raw talent. The Wizards have some talented youth. Wall, Jianlian, Blatche, McGee and Thornton and Trevor Booker is a group of young guys that can potentially be serious impact players. But they're raw. They're inexperienced. They haven't tasted winning. And they may not know how to play together. But in terms of basketball ability, Washington certainly has a good amount.
Glaring weakness: Experience, chemistry and depth. So there was that gun thing last year. Then of course Andray Blatche might say who knows what. And JaVale McGee might do who knows what. To guess that the Wizards might be dysfunctional this season wouldn't be a long shot.
Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:56 am
Posted by Matt Moore
When Kirk Hinrich was traded to Washington, there was this loud noise across the country. It was NBA fans and personnel across the land scratching their heads, trying to figure out how in the world Kirk Hinrich fits in with the Washington Wizards. The questions were about everything from chemistry to overall scheme to coaching approach. But the biggest questions were about what position he would play.
Hinrich will come off the bench, since John Wall was starter-ready yesterday, and he's the future of the franchise. Gilbert Arenas will start, because, well, he scores a lot of points and Wizards fans still have a soft spot in their heart for him, despite his injuries, inefficiency, and something-something-guns. So Hinrich is coming off the bench. But at what position?
Wizards blog Truth About It dove into the issue and came up with some interesting conclusions:
Remember, Hinrich said that he feels more comfortable playing PG, but feels “very capable” playing SG. The numbers support his opinion. Hinrich is a slightly better PG than shooting guard, but the difference in productivity between the two positions is negligible. Hinrich’s (ordinary) statistics are encouraging. Yep. At this point in time, Hinrich’s role on the team is unknown, but he gives the Wizards plenty of flexibility in their offensive sets and in creating lineups, for example: Wall-Hinrich, Hinrich-Wall, Arenas-Hinrich, Hinrich-Arenas.
Hinrich's game makes him capable of playing shooting guard, but his mindset, his natural abilities, are much bettter suited for the point guard position. He's not a pure point, more accurately described as by Tom Ziller as a pass-first combo guard. In Washington, it's possible those pass-first tendencies might present themselves more forcefully, with mid-range scoring option Andray Blatche and Gilbert Arenas never one to turn down a field goal attempt. A Wall-Hinrich back court puts the onus of perimeter scoring on Hinrich, a weight that, for whatever reason, has become too burdensome for Hinrich in recent years.
Paired with Arenas, Hinrich could actually play the shooting guard to a certain degree better most-likely, acting as the facillitating swing on the perimeter to Arenas' ball-handling scorer role.
It's not a perfect fit, but from the research TAI did, we see that there is potential for Hinrich to fit in with the Wizards. Just don't offer up any card games on flights, Kirk.