The Wizards take on the Raptors in Toronto tonight, still aiming to win their first road game of the year … and they’ll be doing it without Hilton Armstrong.
In a November 24 poll, when the Wizards were 0-6 on the road instead of the current 0-8, 33-percent of voters said the Wizards would notch their first road win tonight against the Raps. My dad recently told me that he thought the Wiz would get their first roadie in Sacramento — in that case, you’ll have to wait until December 8, when the Wizards would face the Kings with an 0-11 record on the road. The NBA: Where Amazing Happens.
Let’s look back and break down the play of the night from Monday’s game versus the Miami Heat. This one involves none other than Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche running a pick-and-roll, one where Blatche actually rolls to the basket. Imagine that.
Also imagine something else for a second … the Orlando Magic discussing a Vince Carter for Arenas swap with the Wizards, at least this is what’s being reported by the Orlando Pinstripped Post (h/t: Bullets Forever), also indicating that the trade could involve Blatche, Rashard Lewis and Daniel Orton as well.
- I’m not surprised this report surfaced — just a couple days ago the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic would be open to making a major trade with just about any team.
- The report seems to indicate that Orlando is reaching out to Ernie Grunfeld and the Wizards. I’d be curious to see just how stingy Grunfeld is; perhaps thinking that he might be holding the cards, I wouldn’t be surprised if he asks for/holds out for something most favorable to Washington financially. And I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing develops because of this. Orlando has no real reason to add payroll for Arenas, so Washington holds no cards, they’re just an available option. Then again, raise your hand if you think Orlando can really win a title with Carter on their roster. He’s not much more than expiring contract trade bait at this point.
- And I’d agree with Mr. Prada’s assessment at Bullets Forever: Rashard Lewis and his contract would not be an ideal acquisition to replace a departing Blatche, even if his three point shooting would spread the floor for Wall. Lewis would be a big step-down from Blatche’s meager low post presence … imagine that as well.
- Sending Arenas and perhaps Blatche within the division could blow up in Grunfeld’s face … but then again, “it’s a business”, so intra-divisional trades should not be the hold up for a rebuilding team like the Wizards.
- The report says that no one knows what could be holding up the trade, but I have an idea of something that could be a factor — how much would it take to buy-out Carter and never, ever see him in a Washington professional basketball uniform?
- If the trade were to go down … c’est la vie … But it would be funny (in a horrific way) if Arenas and Blatche went on to help Orlando win a title while all Wizards fans got was an injury-prone John Wall (okay, I shouldn’t even go there).
- If Arenas ends up departing, perhaps it was a sign that Ted Leonsis really chose his words carefully when asking Washington to re-embrace Arenas … because an “embrace” is also usually the last thing people exchange before they part ways for good.
- But via Michael Lee on Wizards Insider, Leonsis responded to the trade rumor in an email by saying, “It isn’t true. I wouldn’t tell you if it was true but I am telling you that it is not true.” — But that doesn’t exactly mean phone conversations weren’t had and that such an option is completely dead.
- In the end, nothing is nothing until it happens … and that’s about all one can say at this point.
On to the play:
The Setting: Arenas is at the one (1), Nick Young at the two (2), Alonzo Gee at the three (3), Andray Blatche at the four (4) and JaVale McGee at the five (5).
The action begins when Young cuts over a Blatche screen and curls to the hoop.
As Blatche rotates, he goes to set a ball screen for Arenas.
As Arenas comes off the ball screen, McGee sets a down screen off the ball for Gee on the wing, and Nick Young cuts through to the right corner to clear space for Blatche on the left.
Arenas rises to shoot, but also sees Blatche rolling/cutting down the wide open lane. Blatche is so free because LeBron probably thinks Arenas is going to fire the shot, so he’s just watching the ball and casually paying attention to his man, Nick Young. Juwan Howard, old as he is, already hedged out too far on the screen and somewhat ran into Dwyane Wade (who himself takes defensive possessions off and was probably trailing Arenas just a little too much). Howard finds himself way behind the cutting Blatche. A pass is made.
Are you going to jump LeBron? What should you do?
Nope. 7-Day Dray Dunk.