Tag:John Wall
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: 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.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:24 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm
 

Report: Wizards' Blatche, McGee exchange punches

Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards reportedly exchanged punches at a Washington, D.C. nightclub on Christmas Eve. Posted by Ben Golliverandray-blatche-javale-mcgee Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee took a short break from underperforming on the court to engage in fisticuffs at a nightclub on Christmas Eve, reports the Washington Post
Multiple league sources have confirmed that teammates Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee were involved in an altercation outside an area club early Friday morning.
Witnesses have said that the players were screaming expletives at each other, but two league sources added that Blatche and McGee also exchanged several punches at the Shadow Room in Northwest Washington. A Wizards spokesman released a statement late Friday that read, "The team looked into the matter earlier today and determined it was simply a disagreement between teammates."
Well, on the bright side, it was fists and not firearms.  Friday morning's incident comes roughly one year after former Wizards guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton got into a disagreement that saw Arenas bring multiple guns into the team's locker room, and ended with Arenas suspended for the remainder of the season. Both players are young. Blatche is 24 years old and McGee is just 22, and  no one would confuse either player with a mature adult. But their altercation, with some details still remaining unclear, is another sign that there is still work to be done in changing the Wizards' culture.  Washington's new owner, Ted Leonsis, has said in recent interviews that a full rebuilding effort will take multiple years. Both Blatche, who is averaging 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds, and McGee, who is averaging 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, are generally assumed to be in the team's longterm plans, which focus on building around franchise point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft.  But with any headline-drawing incident like this, it's good to step back and ask a simple but tough question: Will these players help Wall achieve greatness, will they stand in the way, or will they be a distraction? Bottom line: if they're not helping, they're hurting.  The Wizards are currently 7-20 and in last place in the NBA's Southeast Division. With no meaningful games remaining in their 2010-2011 season, this is an excellent time for the Wizards to take a hard-line stance on player transgressions. Get through to them, or get them out of there. Wall's future is too bright to waste.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 6:45 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Wizards guard John Wall has knee bone bruise

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is battling knee pain caused by a bone bruise. Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall-knees

Last week, we took note of comments made by Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who expressed some concern over the state of Wizards point guard John Wall's knees. Saunders said that he didn't believe Wall would ever be "pain free" and that it was leading the Wizards to take a careful approach in managing his return to the court. On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that Wall's knees may be worse than originally thought. Previously, everyone was under the assumption that Wall was dealing with tendinitis, but Wall told the paper he received a more serious diagnosis. 
"I had a feeling it wasn't just tendinitis," said Wall, who was distraught when he heard the diagnosis and believes the injury is the result of compensating on earlier foot and knee injuries on the left side of his body. "I was like, 'If it's tendinitis, I would've played through it.' Tendinitis is very painful, but I played through it summer league, I play through it now. I couldn't do no squats or I couldn't really run or I couldn't cut, so I knew it had to be something more than that."
Wall said he failed in his attempts to run on Saturday. He added that he is looking into soon working with a personal trainer to help him overcome his ailments. The pain in his knee might not allow him to play this week. "Not right now. Not the way it's feeling," Wall said. "It's not really a timetable. "It might be day by day and it might end up being a week or two. I really don't know right now.
"It's pretty tough," Wall said. "I've probably missed five, six games out of my whole life playing basketball. This is the most I've missed. So it's frustrating, trying to rehab, and seeing my team out there and can't be out there and can't make plays. I think my team is doing a great job of fighting and doing as much as they can. I just can't wait to get back out there with them."
Wall, the 2010 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, has missed 10 of his team's 25 games so far this season and has had his Rookie of the Year campaign derailed, thanks to Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin's sensational, all star caliber start. Wall has also shown spectacular flashes, but the time away from the court has turned him, temporarily, into an afterthought rather than a main attraction. Young guys will always want to play through this type of pain, especially competitors looking to make a name for themselves like Wall.  On paper, the Wizards look like a worst-case scenario for a player in this position. They have an owner who has made it clear he wants to greatly increase ticket sales, they have an embattled GM who has placed Wall as the franchise centerpiece from day one after spinning in circles for years, they have a desperate coach who knows he should probably be fired, and they have a roster without enough depth to reasonably compensate for Wall's absence. If ever there was a situation in which a player would be rushed back too quickly, this would seem to be it. Yet, it hasn't happened. The Wizards have done the right thing: take their lumps, exercise maximum caution, and let Wall's health, and not any outside factors or motivations, dictate his recovery timeline. The list of cautionary tales in the NBA is a mile long; a player who relies as heavily as Wall does on his athleticism won't be nearly as effective in years to come if he doesn't take care of his body, and especially his knees, at a young age. The highlights will have to wait in Washington, but for now that's a good thing.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 8:40 am
 

Shootaround 12.20.10: Trades, injuries and LeBron

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum says he's still feeling pain in his knee: "It's not going to change. It's nothing to be nervous about. I have to expect that that's going to happen. I can't wait to start working with my trainer (Sean Zarzana) again, so I can get some explosion back. I feel like I can't really jump right now."
  • Rashard Lewis doesn't seem like enough back for Gilbert Arenas. But Michael Lee of the Washington Post says that should've been expected: “The Wizards weren’t going to get “equal value” — or whatever that may be — at this time. And, unless they were willing to take back Baron Davis — which they weren’t — the Wizards couldn’t find another comparable point guard in the deal. So they had to settle on adding another forward to a team that is now overwhelmed at the position, with the return of Josh Howard."
  • Jermaine O'Neal wants to retire a Pacer: "Just because I'm not there anymore doesn't mean all the memories are forgotten ... If it wasn't for the Pacers, the organization and the community nobody would have probably known who I was. Anywhere in the world I go, they know me because of my Pacers days."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel : “Blame LeBron, Magic fans, if it helps. He’s been catching Heat (and that wasn’t even a forced pun) since he left the Cavs. Folks everywhere said he was at fault for everything from the Obama tax cuts to Sal Alosi to Miley Cyrus. Those are just coincidences. Not this. Sign up for our new Varsity Sports newsletter and get high school sports updates delivered right to your inbox. He’s a serial home-wrecker, fracturing franchises like Godzilla in an old sci-fi movie. He not only laid waste to the city of Cleveland, but he’s the supernatural force that eventually doomed Orlando, leading to the Magic’s break-up. Blame LeBron. If he stays in Cleveland or goes anywhere else but Miami, F-L-A, the Magic’s pre-trade woes aren’t quite as magnified or exposed. They wouldn’t look as if they were going backward so fast."
  • LeBron gets why Orlando brought back Hedo: “I’ve thought that it was surprising when Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) wasn’t brought back  the year after they beat us [Cleveland Cavaliers]. I just thought what Turk created for their team, that point-four created everything. He always created a mismatch and that was part of the reason why they beat us. There were times I would switch off onto Turk and they would go to Rashard (Lewis). Sometimes I would go on Rashard and they would go to Turk.  We were too small on the perimeter during those years … I know they’re happy to have him back. It’s gonna be different, it’s going to be a different transition because I know when you break up a team and bring guys in it takes a while. We’ll see what happens.”
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:02 pm
 

Flip Saunders has chilling words about John Wall

No.1 overall pick suffering from tendinitis which his coach thinks may effect him indefinitely. Posted by Matt Moore

To file under "things that are utterly terrifying to a fanbase:"

“I don’t think, with his situation, having tendinitis, that he’s ever going to be pain free from that,” said Saunders. “So I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to monitor it. That’s the approach we’re taking, but the reason we say day-to-day is because these things, when you go through them, all of a sudden you might wake up the next day and they might be good to go. That’s why we’re handling it that way.”
via Wall out, Blatche unlikely vs. Lakers | Washington Examiner.

That's Flip Saunders talking about John Wall, and his bout of tendinitis he's struggling with. And that's not awesome. At all. Wizards fans are advocating shutting Wall down for as long as it takes to get him healthy. It's of considerable concern that the No.1 overall pick has a coach who thinks he won't ever be healthy, because of tendinitis. That's not a doctor's opinion, but Flip's been around the block once or twice. 

It's odd because Wall didn't show an injury history in college, these ailments have been relatively new, and are either a product of the increased physical nature of the NBA, or the extra burden placed on Wall due to the Wizards needing him to be brilliant immediately. Then again, it might just be a bad run of luck. 

Either way, let's hope Saunders is wrong on this one. 
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:10 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 10:43 pm
 

Wizards' Big 3 may miss Lakers game

Wizards' three best players likely out versus defending champion Lakers Posted by Matt Moore

You know what the Wizards can't afford to have happen? John Wall to miss games. The number one overall pick leads the Wizards in assists and steals, is third in scoring, and fifth in rebounds. But if Wall is missing, what the Wizards really can't afford to have happen is for Gilbert Arenas to miss time. He's their leading scorer and second best overall player. But if those two are missing, they certainly can't afford to have Andray Blatche gone.

You know where this is going. From the Washington Post
Blatche's appears to be the most severe, with Coach Flip Saunders saying that the 6-11 forward is "probably out" against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers with a swollen left knee. Wall has developed some soreness in his right knee, which Saunders said is probably the result of overcompensation from his left foot injury, and is "very questionable." Arenas is probable, with what the team is calling "general soreness."
via Wizards Insider - The latest NBA news from Michael Lee.

Which means the Wizards, who face the Lakers Tuesday, will be without their three best players, against the most talented team in the league (apologies to the Miami Triad). Even with the Lakers struggling, they're still a dominant team, and the Wizards were a heavy underdog to begin with. Without any of the Wizards' Moderate-Sized-Three, they may as well forfeit. This could get ugly.

Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom are probably thankful, though.

Anyone else wonder if Flip Saunders is going to have to turn to some sort of medicinal alternative to get through this stint with the Wizards?
Posted on: December 10, 2010 2:47 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 2:49 pm
 

F&R Quarterly Report: 1st Quarter Good and Bad

Here's a look at the 1st quarter and what we've taken away from it.
Posted by Matt Moore




We're a quarter in to the season, and it hasn't gone exactly according to plan. Some things we thought would happen, some things we didn't. As we head towards the season being halfway through, here's a look back at the first quarter of the season and what we thought about it.

MVP: As Ben Golliver will be telling you later, Dwight Howard makes a pretty strong case for first quarter MVP. Royce and I wound up on the Big German's side of the aisle, though. With the Mavericks on a ridiculous winning streak (make it 11 after blasting the Comrade's Nyetzkies on Thursday night), Nowitzki has been off the charts so far this year. The Mavericks look better this year because of their depth and their defense, but without Nowitzki, they'd still be nowhere.

As Nowitzki's career begins to wind down (we think?), it's important to let go of the past where people questioned Dirk's intensity, toughness, and clutchness. He's been one of the best players in the world for the past ten years, and the fact that he's still putting together stretches of games like this only confirms that. Don't believe me? Check the elbow.

ROY: Boy, was I wrong . Again. John Wall hasn't been a slouch by any means, but to compare the impact the two has on the court is to examine the ballistic missile barrage that is Blake Griffin on a nightly basis. It's not just the dunks (but trust us, we'll get there). It's things like the way he absolutely blew Lamar Odom off the block, and his intensity and athleticism while rebounding. It's the way that even though this Clippers team has no hope of winning on any given night, Griffin looks like he's dying for a win, to try, to compete. He's the only unanimous pick for a reason.

Biggest Surprise: We're split between the Knicks, who were supposed to be better but not this better, and the Pacers, who were supposed to be bad and are really pretty good. Amar'e Stoudemire has the Knicks rolling, and Danny Granger alongside Roy Hibbert is making up one of the best frontcourts in the NBA this year. Great to see teams surprise us in a good way.

Best Overall Performance: We're all very impressed with the Celtics, basically. Except Ken. But we think that's because he had a bad cab ride. Maybe it was bad chowder. No, couldn't be that, there's no such thing as bad chowder in Boston. Probably the cab ride. Anyway, the rest of us are completely horrified of Boston coming into our homes at night and subjugate us under their imperial rule.

Biggest Letdown: Ken and Ben (hey, that rhymes!) have a soft spot in their hearts for the sad plight of the Blazers' health. I'm more concerned about Houston and why they're not competing among the West's elite (but they're getting there), and Royce has the same question about the Bucks in the East. If you couldn't see this coming in Portland... you probably haven't been paying attention for the past, oh, forty years.

Ticking Time-Bomb: While Ben Golliver frets over Chris Paul continuing to keep his cards close to his vest, the rest of us are alarmed at how DeMarcus Cousins seems hell-bent on alienating his teammates and coaches. Tick, tick, tick.

Best dunk: Yeah, sorry, not going to be able to get over this, regardless of whether he traveled or not :





Here's a look at our votes for the first quarter of the 2010-2011 season.




 
 
 
 
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