Brief Thoughts on Wizards vs. Raptors
Caught the second half of the Wizards game via the Internet after shrugging my shoulders at yet another Redskins loss. Looking for Jim Zorn’s missing timeouts? The DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg has some theories.
But what did I learn about the Wizards? Well, I can’t wait until Gilbert Arenas gets 100% comfortable with his offensive balance and ability to distribute … and is able to display it for a full game. He looked great in the third quarter. Made my day.
The turnovers, however, are a slight concern. So far this preseason, Arenas is averaging 6.3 turnovers per 36 minutes, which shatters his 3.2 TO/36 in 05-06 when he led the NBA in total turnovers with 297.
Yes, yes … again, “it’s the preseason” … and with increased passing (Arenas is averaging 13.6 assists per 36 this preseason BTW), and trying to gain familiarity with a new offense, an increased amount of turnovers is to be expected. But one thing I did notice against Memphis and Dallas was the nature of Gil’s turnovers … some seemed to be a bit careless/unintelligent (wasn’t able to gather much from Arenas’ four turnovers against Toronto).
All I’m saying is it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Easy, But Hard
Well, Mike James is making Flip Saunders’ rotation decision pretty easy.
With the ball and down two with about three minutes left in the game, James got his pocket picked by Jarrett Jack, his fourth turnover of the game. James proceeded to commit a ‘clear path to the basket’ foul on Jack, giving him two free-throws and the Raptors the ball back … where they scored again. And just like that, the Wizards found themselves down 94-88.
The self destruction followed with a Mike Miller offensive foul turnover and an Andray Blatche bad pass turnover on the next two possessions.
So yea, James will assumingly take the first spot next to Javaris Crittenton at the end of the bench. And despite what Flip Saunders has said otherwise, James not getting off the bench for the first preseason game against Memphis meant something (even if it’s just a little of ‘something’).
I’m not counting James out by any means (I thought he looked ‘okay’ Friday against Dallas), but it’s not looking good for the NBA journeyman. You gotta wonder how much is any of this affecting his trade value. With his expiring contract, does it matter as much? Who knows …
Oh yea, Wizards lost 100-93.
- @BulletsForever McGee is such a highlight film on offense. Too bad he might be the most clueless defensive player in the last 10 years of the NBA
- @MrMichaelLee Flip is more animated than usual this afternoon. He hardly sat the 1st half, argued with a ref. Wiz trail 45-41.
- @stackmack Gilbert and Sam Cassell giving words of instruction to Blatche during the timeout.
Going Through The Motions
“You can tell, the first quarter, he was going through the motions, but in the third quarter, he made the game easier,” Antawn Jamison said after scoring a game-high 21 points with 10 rebounds. “It’s amazing, when he puts his mind to it, it’s difficult for the opponents. It’s an added bonus for us to see that he’s healthy and able to play the way that he’s capable of playing.”
In general, the defense looked very good for a lot of stretches. In that third quarter, people were rotating extremely well and cutting off the lane very nicely. That includes Arenas and Antawn Jamison.
I was impressed when I arrived at the arena nearly three hours before the opening tip and saw Gilbert Arenas and Mike Miller working with the Wizards assistant coaches. It’s rare to see vets putting in that kind of work but it’s the kind of example the Wizards younger players need to see.
His white ear buds in place, Gilbert Arenas was trying to find some quiet time in the visitors dressing room at the Air Canada Centre here yesterday.
Actually, he was insisting on it.
“I’m not talking any more,” he answered when asked about doing an interview.
“Ever,” he said, albeit politely.
Abe Pollin For Team Unity
Butler was co-chair, along with Mayor Adrian Fenty, for the “Sister to Sister’s Bike For The Heart” event at Verizon Center on Sunday. The fundraiser, which raised awareness to heart disease, was hosted by Wizards co-owner Irene Pollin. Saunders told Butler that he could stay in Washington and join the team in Grand Rapids, Mich., but Abe Pollin wanted Butler in Toronto in support of his teammates. So, he allowed Butler to fly to Toronto on his private plane. Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld joined Butler on the flight.
The Other Side
Bosh was badly shown up by Jamison who had his way from the tip. We can excuse him seeing as he has been injured the and missed training camp, but we would have liked to see him get a bit better from the last outing, which was a pretty good 1st showing. Fortunately, this wont continue, and Bosh will get bounce back…hopefully.
DeMar Derozan Meets the Washington Wizards
[via Stet Sports]