What The Wizards Are Getting: Profiles of Howard, Singleton and Thornton in Multimedia Form | Truth About It.net

What The Wizards Are Getting: Profiles of Howard, Singleton and Thornton in Multimedia Form

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Updated: February 18, 2010

Things in Wizards Nation aren’t that bad. At least in a “can’t get any worse” type of way as releasing Antawn Jamison to go win a championship with LeBron was probably the worst rock-bottom imaginable back in September. It can only go up from here, no guarantees though.

Time for fans to move forward the best they can. One way to do that would be to find positives among the new pieces, even if they are just temporary. The events which unfolded during and after Washington’s 108-99 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night (but not before, I’ll cover the Jamison trade to Cleveland later), showed that Josh Howard and James Singleton could be spots of light cutting through dark skies. Latest acquisition Al Thornton, however, does not come with a ringing endorsement from the LA Clipper fan base. One can only hope he gets off on the right foot like Singleton and Howard have. Here are each of their stories …

{Starting Fresh Like The Farmer’s Market}

Josh Howard seems like a humbled man ready to do his best. If he somehow gets a bad mark on his record over the remainder of the schedule, we’ll know an even darker cloud than originally thought hangs over the franchise. In other words, expect him to be on his very best behavior.

Howard is frank and matter of fact, but with a twist of character. When asked about the win, a big smile crept across his face as he said, “Oh it meant a lot. C’mon now, it meant a whole lot. Just to come into a new organization and show them I want to be here, plus … uhh, stick it back to the Mavs.”

You may hear this and say, “Why, that Josh Howard is not humble at all.” Chill out. If he can prove himself to be a hard worker, then he’s allowed a little flair. Fresh starts mean cleansing the mind and allowing for a judgment period.

{Replacing The Irreplaceable}

“So now what has to happen is all the other players have to mature. Not one guy can replace ‘Twan from the standpoint on the court or from the standpoint of his leadership in the locker room. It has to be from a number of guys.”

-Flip Saunders

By all indications, James Singleton is one of the potential number of guys who help can form a leadership core for the rest of this season, or at least serve as an example of how the game is played with energy. I could wax poetic about how I came away impressed by Singleton, but you should just see for yourself, video below …

Singleton will turn 29 later this year. James, your audition for the perfect NBA role player starts in … 3 … 2 … 1 …

{Will Travel To The District For Hope}

For the dirt on Al Thornton, it’s best to turn to one of the definitive technical sources on all things LA Clippers, Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog and the ESPN TrueHoop Network. Kevin has a longer profile of Thornton from January 2009 that’s a must-read, but here are the most telling, or perhaps damning, quotes:

Initially, I wasn’t one who believed that Thornton’s advanced age as a rookie meant that he’d be less likely to grow as an NBA player.  But as we look at the first 113 games of Al’s career, I’m afraid that’s exactly where we are.

[...]

It seems to me that if a starting wing player is not one of the two most efficient scorers on the floor, then you need him to create opportunities for others, or deny the opponent’s most potent perimeter threat similar opportunities.  Al Thornton has little capacity or inclination to do either of these things.

[...]

In short, Al Thornton is Corey Maggette without the efficiency, and there’s nothing in his body of work on a nightly basis that offers much hope that he’ll cultivate the skills or instincts to become much more than that.



  • Jen

    Since the Josh Howard trade, too many writers have dished out unfounded negativity toward him, and it’s refreshing, Kyle, to see your analysis over the past couple of days. The Wizards are fortunate to have Howard, he is a talented player and a spark-inducing catalyst. D.C. is lucky to have him as well; his level of community involvement and the refreshing sincerity he brings should not be overlooked. But if Washington takes him for granted, I hope he joins the Magic next season.

  • Mavs Fan & JHo Fan

    From Josh’s comments since joining the Wizards, it sounds as if Josh has a chip on his shoulders and is back in his ‘vengence mode’, which is a good thing for Wiz fans. Being 29th pick in the draft, Josh came to the Mavs like that – with an edge. He was willing to play D, get his baskets near the hoops with his length, and dive for the loose balls. As he got more comfortable with the Mavs and became cemented as the #2 option behind Dirk, he seemed to become too content as strictly a jumpshooter (and really not much else). I think “mad Josh” will be an asset to the Wiz. If you remember, this guy was invited to be a part of Team USA in 2006 in preparation for Beijing 2008. But ultimately, I think Josh opted out of participation because of his commitment to his summer youth basketball camp in his hometown in North Carolina.

  • wizardsfan23

    Josh Howard is very talented and versatile. For me, he is better than Caron. He should stick here because he is a well-of-a-player. With Flip Saunder’s system, he will shine back to All-Star status.

  • http://NBASCOUT Keith

    James Singleton is very underated, just wait and see!!!