Nick Young and Andray Blatche Dial It Up, A Celebration Ritual | Truth About It.net

Nick Young and Andray Blatche Dial It Up, A Celebration Ritual

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Updated: April 8, 2010

What on earth are these two sons of man doing?

It was early in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls last Friday. Nick Young hit a three from the corner and his Washington Wizards, in a game mostly led by the Bulls to that point, extended their small lead to 61-57. The Bulls took a timeout.

Young and his best friend on the team, Andray Blatche, in lieu of just going straight to the bench to slap fives with teammates, broke out into their “Dial It Up” celebration, a routine which they’ve also displayed during pre-game introductions (more pictures forthcoming).

But good for Nick. Up to that point of the game, he’d been 1-8 from the field and that three-point field goal represented his first attempt, and make, of the second half. He finished the game 2-13 with 10 points. The Wizards lost 95-87.

Nick isn’t having that great of a season, so why all the celebration? Well, it’s basketball … gotta have some fun when losing is so prevalent and inevitable, right?

Departed Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn would probably advise Nick otherwise. He’d probably tell the kid to stay a bit more medium.

Okay, so Zorn’s ‘Stay Medium’ movement didn’t exactly have staying power in the Nation’s Capital. But the philosophy makes sense, and has been around much longer than the former Skins coach.

You can’t get too high, or too low, emotionally, unless you’ve actually accomplished something.

Wizards fans already know the downside of Young’s emotions. Usually, when he misses his first shot, his head hangs, he gets down on himself, and mentally checks out of the game. He’s gotten better at not performing the ritual this season, but the stigma that’s surrounded him since he joined the Wizards still presents itself every once in a while.

On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum is Nick Young’s smiling. When working with him last summer, Flip Saunders implored Young to smile less and to add more of a mean streak to his game.

In November, I followed up with Saunders on Nick’s smiling. He said:

“What I said about smiling, it wasn’t about (actually) smiling. More than anything, it was about making sure you take the game seriously. Sometimes when you’re smiling all the time, whether it’s body language or whatever, it gives the projection that everything’s going to be okay … and there’s not that sense of urgency. Great players all have that sense of urgency when they play, they have that killer instinct.  I want guys to go out and have fun … but you can’t smile when you get scored on, let’s put it that way.”

Of course, with all that’s happened, concerns about Nick and his smiling became lost on the season long ago … even though the search for a mean streak in his game is still in full Amber Alert mode. Now the concern, at least for Nick, is performing well in these last games as a starter in an attempt to turn around his disappointing season.

But as far as taking the game seriously? I think he does. I mean, if he’s not “serious” by now, he could be beyond help. But with Young, it’s not a seriousness issue. It’s a capacity issue. Does Nick’s game and basketball intelligence have the capacity to keep him on the court? Lately it has.

Saunders recently praised the third year guard for his on-ball defense, just one of the things aside from trying to score that can keep Young from riding the bench. But the scoring has recently come too. Following up a 29-point performance against Golden State, which in all honestly didn’t mean a ton because the Warriors defense is more porous than Swiss cheese, Young scored 21 points on Wednesday in Orlando, marking the second time he’s had back-to-back 20+ point games this season and just the second time in his career that he’s led his team in scoring in back-to-back games.

There are only four games left in this tragic Wizards 2009-10 season, not nearly enough time for Young to completely reverse the poor impression he’s made on the year. However, if he continues his strong play, such as taking smart shots and working harder to drive to the basket, especially in upcoming games against playoff teams (Boston and Atlanta), it will be just enough of a window for Nick to build momentum upon into this summer … at least that’s what Wizards fans hope for after the team extended his contract last summer.

As far as “Dialing It Up”? … No harm, no foul. Keep it coming boys. Staying medium is moot when you’re so bad and only kinda hoping to improve. Might as well enjoy basketball that means nothing while you can.

{Chronicles of a Phone Check between two homies}

{Pre-Game vs. Chicago}

{Pre-Game vs. Golden State}

{Post Game}

[Photo Credits: Adam Douglas]


5 Comments

  1. larry smith

    April 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    now thats; is what I like to see and read my 2 favorite player, young, and dre

  2. hibachi202

    April 9, 2010 at 1:48 am

    i hope young finishes off the season strong so he can be good trade bait packaged with a couple other players.

  3. Sharon

    April 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I hope Young stays. He is finally getting it and I would hate to see another player about to hit his stride traded to another team. We have traveled that road before.

  4. hulk rogain

    April 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Dray and Nick are free ads for Verizon.

  5. wizadry81

    April 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Has it gotten so bad for the Wizards to start becoming amused about some ridonculous “Dial-It-Up” celebration? What an oxymoron – Hey guys, let’s celebrate our pathetic season, wahoo! As for Weidies comment about enjoying basketball while you’re losing… yes, it should be fun, but I don’t think a player should be enjoying the game after a dismal season, especially at the ticket holder’s expense… let alone celebrate A LOSS with a ritual?? Like the ritual, keep the ritual, but save it for when you pummel a team and “Dial-It-Up” for them.

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