I won’t be down in Richmond to cover training camp until this weekend, but there’s plenty of output from those in the mix on the campus of VCU. Here’s the run-down …
(and yes, still jealous that I’m not down there … still making “livin’ money” during the day instead)
Flip Saunders, master teacher [via WashingtonWizards.com]
Gilbert Arenas hasn’t spoken yet this week, but according to Saunders and some of his teammates, he is rolling right along.
“I thought he looked good. If you look at how his team does [in scrimmages], I think that’s the most important thing,” Saunders said. “One of the main comments that came out from our meeting afterwards with the coaches was they didn’t realize how well he can really see the floor, push the ball and create. He’s gone three practices in 24 hours and Idon’t see any ill effects. He exploded when he needed to explode and got where he wanted to go. He’s trying to understand his role and what we want him to do, and trying to be that leader.”
Flip On The 2 Spot
“I’m not going to say that guy has to be a defensive guy, that guy has to be an offensive guy, a tall guy, a short guy. It’s who’s going to play the best with that group,” Saunders said. “It’s also, who does the best for us when we go to our bench, too. What I’ve always tried to do was that you’re stronger when you go to the bench than you are when you go the other way. You want to put your team in a situation where they will be consistent, no matter who is on the floor.”
Comcast’s Chris Miller Breaks It Down
Young says he wasn’t negatively affected by the draft-day trade for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, two guys who play his position (at least it didn’t seem like it, his first two words were “no, definitely.”). He says he’s happy to play with talented players, but confident he will still fill a niche on this team.
“I know I got confidence in myself, playing with great players like that,” Young says. “I watched Mike [Miller] with T-Mac in Orlando, that was my favorite team, so I was happy about playing with him.Foye is a great young player; [he can play] the 1 or the 2. But my minutes will still be there.”
Growing Pains McGee
Flip’s motto has been positivity, so I found it particularly striking that he had something slightly negative to say about JaVale McGee. “His biggest thing is, when he gets a little tired like anyone does, you mentally become a little shut down and don’t react quite as well. Your mentalalertness goes down a little bit,” Saunders said. “I think [JaVale] played extremely well early last night and got tired and lost a little bit down the stretch.” However, Saunders did say McGee “played well” and has “done everything we’ve asked.”
Speaking of McGee, Haywood continues to give him tough love. “I’m not really worried about showing him anything,” Haywood said, in response to a question about what he’s been doing to help McGee. “He’s a professional. Once you get to this level, you go to worry about himself. I think he’s making strides, [but] like I said, he just has to do what he has to do. It’s more on him than anybody else.” I hope Haywood realizes that type of treatment is pretty similar to how Eddie Jordan treated him.
- These are just two bullet points from Prada’s day two notes, the whole post is a must-read.
Just Call The Wizards … “Goonies”
Last night, my friend Lang Whitaker from Slam Magazine sent me a text message after seeing that the Wizards are wearing hats and T-shirts that read, “Our Time.” Lang wrote, “You know “Our Time” was what the kids kept saying in TheGoonies. I’m just saying … ”
I haven’t seen “The Goonies” since I was 8. If you don’t recall or are too young to remember, the movie was about a group of kids who find a pirate treasure map and set out on an adventure to recover the bounty. It was a great movie, and I remember loving it at the time, but I didn’t remember any of the lines from it. So I went to YouTube, and you guessed it, I found the pivotal scene.
Any chance this makes it to the Jumbotron at Verizon Center?
- @MrMichaelLee: Arenas sat out the evening scrimmages to rest his knee
- @sptswrtrjones: Good evening practice for Wizards. 7-day-Dray (Blatche) stood out during two scrimmages I was able to see.
- @MrMichaelLee: Wiz might have gem in Randy Foye. Looked smooth on 2nd night. Hit floaters and 3s with ease.
- @sptswrtrjones: Brendan Haywood on Gil Arenas: He’s being a leader on and off the court and that’s something we need more than his 30 points a night.
- @BulletsForever: Dray on offense: “I’m going to be in one of two positions: on the block or on the top of the key. If I’m at the top, I’m setting screens.”
- Day 2, Evening Wrapup – Michael Lee | Wizards Insider, Washington Post
- More on DeShawn’s ink – Mike Jones | Wizards Outlet, Washington Times
- Advanced Stats?: A Breakdown – bwoodsxyz | Bullets Forever
- Antawn Jamison #6 on ‘Top 10 power forwards of the last decade’ list- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don’t Lie
- Flip Saunders Seems Like A Pretty Chill Bro – Eamonn Brennan | Mouthpiece Sports
Michael Lee Chats
(the whole chat session is a must-read … and no, I didn’t ask the following question)
Washington, D.C.: On the subject of defense, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Gilbert Arenas had pretty strong words during media day about Eddie Jordan’s lack of focus on defense (spending so much time on offense during practice, not really having a defensive system, playing offensive players, etc.). Revisionist history, or accurate?
Michael Lee: It’s probably a little of both. I found it amusing that Arenas said Jordan never focused on defense. I happen to recall back in 2006-07 — when the Wizards started out with the best record in the East — Jordan tried to get the team to get better defensively and the team quickly hit the skids. After an embarrassing home loss to Portland, Arenas blasted Jordan because he said Jordan kept talking about defense when the Wizards were an offensive team.
A Blogger Emails JaVale McGee
(let’s just say we won’t be calling him ‘Epic Response’ any time soon)
Question: What is your favorite part of playing in D.C.?
McGee: My own house, I’m not really the sight seeing type.