The national media is starting, more and more, to recognize the Washington Wizards. In his latest NBA Power Rankings, CBS Sportsline’s Tony Meija has DC’s team all the way up to #8 — the highest I’ve seen among the many “power” rankings out there. Tony touches on the big question that’s been on my mind:
“Washington has a new identity. Arenas will have to buy in when he returns and he’s smart and hungry enough to know that.”
Gilbert has made me a believer in him so far…but my inner skeptic can’t help but wonder, can he play defense himself? That’s always been the knock on Gil and we’ve yet to see any type of commitment from him on the defensive end. Can’t see why it shouldn’t happen, especially considering how this team should not have to lean on Arenas as much for scoring when he returns to action.
Yesterday, Slam Magazine came out with the B-List NBA All-Stars. Funny, how this list can be just as controversial as the real NBA All-Star team. Good to see our boy DeShawn Stevenson AKA The Lock Smith made the team. In the comments section, I made an argument for the selection of Brendan Haywood over David Lee. I think I’ve got an air-tight case:
I’d like to give a shot-out to my mans ‘n’ them, Brendan Todd Haywood. David Lee? PU-lease. Let’s compare some per game numbers:
Save for blocks….very comparable numbers. So, you’re going to choose the guy who plays for the crappy New York Knicks over the big man ballin’ and patrolling the paint with tight D on a good Wizards team?
In his live NBA blog from Monday, Kelly Dwyer calls out Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier for toting Caron Butler for MVP.
1:29: Wizards broadcasters Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz are trumpeting Caron Butler for the MVP award, and they should really just stop.
As a crutch, the duo is comparing Caron’s 2007-08 numbers with 2007 MVP Dirk Nowitzki’s numbers from last season, forgetting of course that the Mavs essentially rested Dirk for the last month of the season, and that at his prime he was averaging about five points more per game, three rebounds more per game, as many as assists per game as Butler is right now, while playing fewer minutes.
I hate denigrating Butler like this, Tough Juice has been awesome all season, but he’s not an MVP. He’s not the best player in the league. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Why we have to make this sort of jump from good to great to MVP is beyond me … can’t a player just be great?
Look, I’ve gotten on Steve and Phil before for their consistent peddling of Gilbert Arena as an all-star starter when he’s injured and undeserving. But now, it’s time to come to their defense. Obviously, I was watching the game and I didn’t come under the impression that they were seriously lobbying for Caron to be MVP at all. Simply put, the graphic showed a side-by-side comparison of Caron’s numbers this year versus Dirk’s numbers from last year. This, in my opinion, was intended to show how great Caron’s numbers have been this year and to further establish the fact that he has “arrived.” Yes, perhaps they used this comparison as further evidence towards a “Caron 4 All-Star” campaign…and by now, that should be a give-in. But I think that Steve and Phil are too smart to be seriously serious about this one.
Oleksiy Pecherov‘s new nickname, The White Hole. Not only has he surprised Nick Young, but I think that he’s surprised all of us. The basic scouting report said that OP had the ability to shoot the rock from greater distances, but no one knew he could be almost deadly. Makes me wonder why we didn’t hear more about Pech knocking down shots in practice.
Some people are outraged that Nick Young was not invited to participate in the dunk contest at the NBA All-Star game in New Orleans. I am neither surprised, nor outraged. First of all, Nick can sky and I’m more than confident that he could hold his own with these other cats. However, his body of work is minuscule. Yea, he’s had a couple of game dunks, but the others have more on their resume. Keep working City, maybe next year. My question would be, why only 4 invitees?
What a surprise….someone else does not like the Wizards alternate gold uniforms. Guess I’m the only one who has no problem with them. My actual issue stems from changing the team name from the Bullets to the Wizards in the first place. Still, Wizards is better than the Dragons, Express, Stallions or Sea Dogs….or is it?
Michael Lee of the Washington Post has weighed in on who he thinks should be the NBA All-Star starters for the Western Conference. He makes some good arguments….but big props go to Mike for giving Chris Paul some recognition.
Up next….Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers game blog.