Andray Blatche's Internet Explosion | Wizards Blog Truth About

Andray Blatche’s Internet Explosion

Updated: March 2, 2010

Andray Blatche. Andray Blatche. Andray ‘Freaking’ Blatche. The guy is doing the damn thing. By now you’ve heard all about his performance and astounding numbers since the All-Star break. And after Sunday’s game against the Nets, there was a full-on Blatche explosion around the ‘net. But I’ll get to all that was said in a second. First, an interesting quote from one specific link, a report about ‘Dray by Michael Lee on Wizards Insider:

Saunders said that he has been impressed with Blatche’s demeanor and approach since the Wizards traded away Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler.

“I tried to harp on him from day one, about professionalism and preparing yourself to be successful, and that starts, not when you step in the gym, but prior to that. And that’s lifting weights, taking care of your body, preparing your body, understanding scouting reports and knowing what they are going to do to you,” Saunders said. “I think prior, when we had Caron and Antawn, he never really took that to heart. ‘It really doesn’t matter what I do.’ When those guys left, I think he understood. All of a sudden he’s lifting more. He’s quiet in the locker room. And all of a sudden his game has coincided with improving with that. He’s understanding that as you prepare, you prepare to win and you prepare to lose and he’s preparing himself to be successful.”

One thing I was remiss in not mentioning in Sunday’s post about Blatche was observations of his recent locker room behavior. He hasn’t flipped a complete 180, because it’s not like he was a bad character or anything like that before.

When Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were around, Blatche often ducked out early, even avoiding reporters when he had a good game. Now, not so much. He has been present as the main spokesman for the team. Just like on the court, Andray has stepped up his game in front of the media to a noticeable degree.

It’s probably not completely on his own cognizance. I’d bet someone with the organization probably told him, ‘If you’re going to play like the man on the court, you better start acting like the man off the court, and that includes representing your team in front of the press.’

Even so, now his words are more chosen, more composed. I won’t proclaim that Andray’s suddenly become an eloquent speaker, but he at least sounds more comfortable in what he’s talking about. There’s more thought behind his words and less goofy kid. More than just a player, we are seeing a 23-year old’s maturity blossom before our eyes.

{Links of Blatche’s Internet Explosion}

[Mike Prada: Cliche alert: Andray Blatche is succeeding because he’s making shots – Bullets Forever]

Blatche has turned a massive weakness into a relative strength. That has an effect on the rest of his game too, one that we’ve started to see in the last few games. Before, NBA teams were thrilled when Blatche launched away from the perimeter. Now, they’re a bit scared. You could see it in tonight’s game against the Nets. Whoever was guarding Blatche — whether it was Yi Jianlian, Kris Humphries or Brook Lopez – had to play Blatche closer than they would have in the past because Blatche was a legitimate threat to just rise up and shoot the jumper over them. They bit on pump-fakes, allowing Blatche to drive around them. They had less space to slide their feet when Blatche decided to face them up. No matter what, Blatche was beating them with a steady diet of jumpers and drives to the hoop.

[Rob Mahoney: No slowing down Andray Blatche – Pro Basketball Talk]

He’s not a player to build a team around and his defense is still questionable, but Blatche’s level of production over the last two weeks has given Wizards fans some legitimate hope in a season that has carried little. Blatche dropped a 36-point, 15-rebound game on the Nets yesterday, which should already have plenty of basketball fans shifting their mindset on Blatche from “what could have been” to “what could be.”

[Mike Jones: The 7-Day-Dray Show rolls on – Mike Jones Sports]

You keep wondering how long this will last, or when that off-day will hit, but for now, he continues to bring it. Up next are a home-and-home date with the Milwaukee Bucks, and you have to think Blatche is due for two more strong performances, and that the Wizards have a chance to at least split. The game that will be interesting to see is next Monday when 7-Day-Dray & Co. take on KG and the Celtics in Boston. How will Blatche do against his idol? Garnett isn’t what he once was, but he’s as tough a defender as Blatche will face until the Wizards head West later this month.

[Colin Powers: The Enigmatic Andray Blatche – SLAM Online]

Maybe all he needed was the trust of his coach and team and the confidence that comes with knowing he’ll be one of the focal points night in and night out. If so, the new Andray Blatche may prove to be one of the biggest acquisitions of the 2010 trade deadline. Armed with a number of young assets, a potentially dominant interior presence, and enviable financial flexibility, the Wiz could be on the rebound a lot sooner than expected.

[Rook6980: Will The Real Andray Blatche Please Stand Up? – Bullets Forever]

The doubter in me keeps saying “it’s only been 3 games”… it’s only been 5 games….. it’s only been 7 games”… just wait, he’ll revert to the “old” Andray Blatche with more pedestrian shooting percentages any day now – – – – But the fan in me says, that he’s been showing us these flashes of incredible potential for three years. What if this “new” Andray Blatche is the “real”Andray Blatche?

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.