Sam Cassell vs. Nick Young: The Practice 1-on-1 Battle
On Thursday, the members of the media were treated to a spirited match of one-on-one between Sam Cassell and Nick Young … well, “spirited” only really reflects one side of the battle, obviously coming from the entertaining Sam I Am.
I didn’t see every possession, but as it’s been reported before, the old man still has it.
The game of one-on-one was of the casual variety that you usually see pro or college basketball players play … mostly jump shots induced by a variety of moves that serve no real purpose of ‘getting to the basket’ productivity.
Young did get his shot to fall a couple times. But for the most part, Cassell was getting the best of the kid with some veteran trickery, craftily adjusting his shot near the basket and using some below the waist leverage to gain an advantage on defense, especially when Young was trying to go up for a shot.
Not only was Cassell talking smack to Young, but he managed to get Brendan Haywood involved as well. At point point after a Young miss, Cassell said something in Haywood’s direction to the effect of “Can’t finish … This is the Wizards … Good first half team, but can’t finish.”
The whole scene left the entire media contingent in stitches and the newly acquired Earl Boykins smiling and shaking his head at the antics of Cassell as he and Gilbert Arenas left the practice court.
The brief video I took really doesn’t give the game justice. Part of it was just deciding to watch and not shoot with my Flip camera (bad move on my part). And part of the missed footage was due to me waiting in the hallway outside of the practice court for Flip Saunders to speak.
So, unfortunately most of what you see are missed shots. When I wasn’t filming, each player was getting some sweet buckets, son.
And I didn’t see the very end of the contest, but I know Young went running off the court as Cassell yelled after him … so I can imagine that Nick hit some lucky shot and decided to end on a high note when, for the most part, the soon-to-be 40-year old (November 18th) was getting the better of him.
Reports From Friday’s Practice
Antawn Jamison did not practice today. He was out sick again with what Flip Saunders described as some type of virus, but not the flu.
The coach said that Jamison had a fever and headache, but the fever had broken last night and that he was going to get checked out by his doctor. Flip said he won’t know if Jamison is playing tomorrow until after tomorrow’sshootaround, and the same goes for Miller.
“Our biggest thing we want to make sure we put in him a situation and he’s not going to hurt htat thing any more,” Saunders said. “There’s a difference between being hurt and injured. So now that he did that and got hit a few times, we’ll see how he reacts tomorrow and what kind of soreness he has. We have to make sure from a soreness standpoint that he can do it, and have the doctor evaluation basically saying no matter what happens he’s not going to hurt it anymore.”
Miller admitted that his shoulder is still in pain but said he wants to play and had grown bored sitting at home while his teammates struggled. He said he doesn’t have the patience to rest any longer because of the team’s five-game losing streak. “We need a win,” he said. “I’ll be all right. I’m not going to put myself in any jeopardy. I’ll be fine.”
“I told Flip that I’ll be ready to play,” Miller said. “If he feels I’m hurting the team, take me out. If not, I’ll be ready to play. My job is to play basketball. If they pay me to play basketball, that’s what they should expect. They should expect me to go out there and play. Until they tell me not to play, I’m going to do it.”
The more pressing concern for Saunders, however, is snapping Washington’s five-game skid, and all the better if he can do it versus the Pistons.
“Our main thing is we need to make some shots to get our confidence going offensively so hopefully we’ll be able to do that,” he said. “… Right now I’m more concerned about what we’re going to do than what they’re going to do. I worried about them two years ago. I don’t have to worry about them anymore.”
Saunders said his former point guard, Chauncey Billups, called him last night: “We were talking, and he said that sometimes it takes some time to understand everything because it’s acounterpunching type of offense. You have to kind of take what they give you, and if you force things, you put yourselves in bad spots. You just have to let it kind of come. Right now we want to do the right thing, we’re trying to force things a little we’re just not letting things flow so it takes some time.”
If you haven’t had a chance to see Dwyane Wade’s dunk on Anderson Varejao, then you missed out on probably the most emasculating dunk in recent memory, even more than Baron Davis’s elbow-to-the-face andka-boom over Andrei Kirilenko in the 2007 playoffs.
Caron Butler said he was getting a massage while watching the Heat-Cavaliers game last night. When he saw Wade send Varejao sprawling to the ground, he shot up and nearly knocked over his masseuse. Then, he decided to relax. “I got to keep myself calm. I got to play him next week,” he said.
After practice, I overheard someone else put it best: “If they can retire Jordan’s jersey in Miami, they should also put a chalk outline on the floor ofVarejao.”