Best Wizards Links – Blatche on Turnovers: "It's not like I'm just giving the ball away." | Wizards Blog Truth About

Best Wizards Links – Blatche on Turnovers: “It’s not like I’m just giving the ball away.”

Updated: March 12, 2010

Turnovers have been an issue for Andray Blatche lately, and you can sense it’s starting to frustrate him.

In the 12 games Blatche has started since Antawn Jamison was traded, he’s averaged 24 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.8 turnovers per game, but has also had two games with five turnovers, one game with eight, and on Thursday night against the Hawks he had seven.

Dray’s Usage-percentage during this time has been 29.7%. USG% is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he is on the floor.

As you heard in the video above, Blatche keeps telling himself that his current role of increased playing time and being the focus of the opponent’s defense is new to him. He says turnovers will be an issue until he learns, whenever that may be.

And Dray will learn, the line of questioning wasn’t necessarily to pick on him, but rather an attempt to gather what his mental process is when trying to correct. Less light was shed than frustrations were expressed.

Nonetheless, his recent numbers are pretty astounding. So for the heck of it, I plugged some of them into the season finder tool on — searching for players who have averaged equal to or over 38 minutes, 24 points, 10 rebounds and 3.8 turnovers over a season.

If you eliminate those who assist better than Blatche, who is averaging 2.8 assists during the 12 game stretch — so, say those averaging more than 3.3 assists — you’re left with George McGinnis at ages 22 and 23, Charles Barkley at age 24, Marvin Barnes at age 22, Hakeem Olajuwon at age 27, Karl Malone at age 24, and Moses Malone at ages 23 and 25.

Andray is 23 … those comparisons are pretty encouraging. So with Blatche patience should be practiced. But just know that the bar is being set pretty high.

Gilbert’s Number Change.

Gilbert Arenas is a polarizing character and I would expect nothing less than diverse reactions from his decision to change his jersey number from zero to six. SB Nation’s Mike Prada is sad. The DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg is more jarred at it than seeing Arenas in court pleading guilty to a felony charge.

Me? I just kind of shrug my shoulders. I mean, it’s typical erratic Gil, right? Changing his mind is just as much a part of his quirky character as his brief flirtation with being the Mr. Surly.

Sure, Arenas built some sort of persona of slight and motivation with the reminder of zero, but it’s also no surprise to see him have less of an emotional connection to the gimmick than fans and followers. Gil changes his mind with the breeze. And if number six doesn’t work out, understand that next March, he could easily be filing paperwork to go back to number zero or even double-zero.

James Singleton Goes Hard.

Both of these plays unfolded in less than ten seconds, and no one patted Singelton on the butt, high fived him, or showed his highlights on Sportscenter later that evening.  But on every team there is dirty work to be done on both ends of the floor, and on the Washington Wizards squad, that is what James Singleton has to do on a nightly basis.

“This team is lacking a certain physical-ness, ” Singleton told me after the Houston Rockets game on Tuesday.  “That’s not a slight to [Andray]Blatche or JaVale[McGee], but I have a little more bulk than they do.  And I’m not getting plays  run for me, so I have to make my mark being physical, and I actually like that.”

[Rashad Mobley – HoopsAddict]

Caron Butler has a new blog post on HoopsHype.

I know I’ve been kind of hard on Caron, but I, and the city of Washington, do miss his presence on the court (the good basketball memories that is), and in the community. In his post he continues to keep it classy by thanking D.C. , but it also contains a pretty interesting quote:

They often ask me to compare how’s playing with Jason Kidd now as opposed to doing it with Gilbert. Well, they are both great players. Gilbert has always been a scoring guard and can do so many things with the ball in his hands. His thing is scoring. Meanwhile, Jason has a special gift… And that is making people better.

{Quick Wiz Hits}

{Wizards-Hawks Game Quotes}

:Home Team

[Michael Lee – Wizards Insider]

As for the game, the Wizards were finally get some offensive generated, scoring 99 points despite committing 21 turnovers, which led to 32 points for the Hawks. That truly was the difference in the game, with the Wizards beating the Hawks in rebounds 42-29 and with points in the paint (48-36).

“When the other team scores 32 points off turnovers, you don’t really give yourself much of a chance to come back,” Coach Flip Saunders said. “Basically, turnovers are what killed us.”

[Craig Stouffer – Washington Examiner]

But after a contest in which Andray Blatche hit the 30-point mark for the third time since the All-Star break (the fourth this season) and got his ninth double-double, and in which JaVale McGee had a career-high 20 points, had 9 rebounds, and matched Dwight Howard with 8 dunks, a one-game season-high in the NBA this year, it’s time to talk about more than simply their increased production.

Are Blatche and McGee actually getting better?

[Mike Prada – Bullets Forever]

Blatche was in a fairly defensive mood.  He had a good game, but when asked about it, it said it didn’t matter because the team lost.  Blatche also had seven turnovers, which was a sign of a team-wide problem tonight that was big enough for Flip Saunders to zip into the press room quickly and give mostly curt answers about how his team was sloppy with the ball.  One reporter in particular tried to prod some answers out of Blatche for his turnover problem, asking if there’s anything he’s doing in particular to try to work on it.  Blatche kept repeating that he just needed more court time and experience dealing with being a featured guy, his voice sounding more annoyed than usual.

[Joe Glorioso – Wizards Extreme]

I hate to sound like a broken record but for the second straight game Mike Miller decided to start the game with a shooters mentality. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before, 1st quarter Miller is 3 for 4, the following 2 quarters 0 shots. Then the 4th quarter comes along and he tries to get it going again but shots 1 for 4 and finishes the game 4 for 8 with 11 points.

Look, I’m not trying to start a bash-fest on Miller but you don’t have to be a basketball aficionado to understand that if you don’t shoot the ball for 2 quarters your chances of being pin point accurate in the 4th are not going to be to high.

:The Other Side

[The Human Highlight Blog – Peachtree Hoops]

There is a growing concern among some Bird Watchers that the Hawks may not have the mental focus and drive to be anything more than part-time participants in the NBA Playoffs. Recent games have been consistently marked by uneven play offensively and minimal defensively.

For those who count those traits as a serious issues, then the Hawks 105-99 win at Washington did nothing to assuage their concerns.

[Bret LaGree – Hoopinion]

The Hawks can’t get away with Josh Smith wasting four of his ten field goal attempts on jump shots or Al Horford grabbing just a single defensive rebound or allowing an opponent to grab half of their own missed shots or making just 60% of the free throw attempts very often. That they got away with all of those tonight is a testament to Jamal Crawford’s ability to create his own shot and the current state of the Washington Wizards.

[Michael Cunningham – Hawks Blog, AJC]

It’s getting a little late for that “all teams are tough, sometimes you have nights like this” stuff. The Hawks got outworked for most of the game by a team headed for the lottery. They let a bad offensive team have an easy time scoring for long stretches and let a so-so rebounding team dominate them on the boards.

[KWillis – Soaring Down South]

It is no secret that the Hawks aren’t playing their best basketball at this point in the season. Last night’s win over the Wizards is big in the fact that it stopped a losing streak before it could build anymore momentum. The Hawks are now 64 games into the season and it is hard to keep that focus and energy throughout. However, they have to begin to build some momentum for the playoffs. There is no way that the Hawks can expect to reach the Eastern Conference Finals the way they are playing right now. At the moment a victory in a first round series couldn’t be guaranteed.

{Other Links}

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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.