The Aftermath of Blatche | Truth About It.net

The Aftermath of Blatche

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Updated: March 25, 2010

The below piece originally appeared in ESPN’s NBA Daily Dime on March 25, 2010. Click the link for the full version available on ESPN.com.


{Flip Saunders and Andray Blatche exchange a fist-bump prior to Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.}


Andray Blatche has had quite a past 36 hours. He went from NBA Most Improved Player candidate, well, at least according to Tuesday’s pre-game fliers handed out by the Wizards’ marketing team, to only playing seven minutes that night against Charlotte and sulking on the bench, to being accused by Flip Saunders of not wanting to play nor be coached, to hitting the D.C. sports media circuit on Wednesday, defending himself and calling his coach’s charges a bold-faced lie, to starting last night in Indiana, leading his team in scoring with 21 points in a 99-82 loss to the Pacers.

Yep, quite an eventful 36.

More curious to most is not how Blatche responded on the court after such a tumultuous run, but how he was not suspended for the game against Indiana after his prior actions. Whether Blatche really refused to go back into Tuesday’s game against the Bobcats as his coach originally indicated remains a “he said, he said” situation. But the fact which Blatche cannot contest is that when his coaches tried to talk to him, he refused and planted himself at the end of the bench.

So why no suspension? Maybe Saunders wanted to see how the 23-year old would react as a player. Maybe Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld stepped in with an executive decision. Just like what really happened between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, we may never know. Right now the player seems content with calling the ordeal a misunderstanding, while still curiously maintaining that he did nothing wrong, and the coach seems content with moving on.

And how did Blatche fare on the hardwood? Well, he came out with 12 first quarter points, taking the ball to the hoop like his coach wishes he did more often, and earning four free-throws in the process. Unfortunately for Blatche, he finished the game displaying the flaws that have become expected of him. In a team-high 39 minutes, he managed just six rebounds, carelessly turned the ball over five times and didn’t attempt another foul shot after the first quarter.

The Wizards also performed as expected. Trailing by only seven to the Pacers at intermission, they emerged from the locker room for the second half unfocused and uncoordinated. For the sixteenth time this season, Washington had more turnovers (12) than assists (11) en route to losing their thirteenth game in a row, tying the franchise’s worst streak of futility. But with the ’09-10 Wizards, what else would you expect?


Click here for the March 25, 2010 edition of ESPN’s NBA Daily Dime.


3 Comments

  1. Amin

    March 25, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I think one of the craziest things about this year is that no one could have thought that anything could be worse than last year. But here we are.

  2. Sharon

    March 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Yea, unfortunately, here we are. And I have a feeling it is going to get worse before it gets better.

  3. Keir

    March 26, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I mean what is this team doing. My respect for Flip is gone. He has alot to do with the underachieving wizards. And then management gives everyone away. I can see the trades for butler but including one of the games better and younger centers for nothing is a joke. Why give Haywood away playing the type of defense and rebounding he was. Anyone see his D and play against Superman? So we cleared cap space and received expiring contracts great. But who the hecht is going to want to come hear. Think Wade or Lebron will come hear, yeah right. So who do we build around if they have a problem with Dray? Sure he takes the most shots, no one else can create for themselves the way he can. Imagine Dray and Haywood down low, that could be special. And then they could have Arenas back and go after a top notch 2 and 3. But now who nows, where do we go from here? Instead of sticking with some of the big three and maybe trading 1 or 2 of them they blew up the roster. Flip needs to take responsibility, he is not a players coach anymore and now Wizards fans can see why he has moved on from playoff teams. Maybe some good things that have come out of this is we were able to pick up a solid backup PG in Livingston and a good bench player in Gee and Singleton. But thats all they are bench players. We need a top center AGAIN, players that can develop their own shots, defensive players, rebounders besides Singleton, who I give much credit for his play. Amazing what going to the rim every play can do for your stats instead of watching a shot and expecting it to go in. We have no capable shooting guard, a problemed all star pg, many hurt swing players and no real depth f height and defense. Without big, fat contracts to pull in some big guys and a better draft than we have seen in 20 years we are doomed. Better hope we get at least the 2nd pick in the draft and land a guy like Turner who in my opinion is the best player available that would fit well for us. Maybe Teddy will bring that winning attitude once he takes over the full reigns and gets rid of Flip so we can once again have a competitive team, but I’m just a pittiful Wizards fan.

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