The Aftermath of Blatche | Wizards Blog 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.

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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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.