Happy Groundhog Dray | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Happy Groundhog Dray

Updated: February 2, 2011

I’m teetering on becoming a “one-trick pony” when it comes to Andray Blatche. Or perhaps I’m like a ground hog that just sits fat and only looks for its shadow once a year. All I know is that the boiling point with Andray’s on-court problem pertaining to the Wizards’ overall ineptitude is not just about him, and it goes far beyond my critique on this little chunk of the world wide web.

So please, allow me to apologize for whatever it is that I am apologizing for. It won’t last forever, I promise. Now, I’d like to wish you a Happy Groundhog Dray. Yes, Groundhog Dray … which I’ve found to be an appropriate nickname for Blatche on multiple levels. Harrison Goodman (@GoodmanHarrison) adds via Twitter: “Plus he usually comes out in the spring when the season is over with anyway.”

You see, today is actually Groundhog Day … and evidently Punxsutawney Phil has indicated that we will get an early spring. Would this mean that a Blatche trade is in the works before this month’s trade deadline? Well, if you gauge your weather plans by a groundhog, perhaps so.  But also know that there are a ton of groundhogs out there, such as Mountain Maryland Murray (who indicates there will be more winter, BTW),  running around doling out haphazard predictions.

Fact is, you’ll be hard-pressed to scare up a championship caliber player, coach or GM who would welcome Blatche as part of their NBA title efforts. Some sleep at night knowing that other GMs like David Kahn are still out there, but even he has his doubts.

So prepare yourselves, Wizards fans, to assume the role of Bill Murray … in that you will see Blatche (or Ned Ryerson, whomever first comes to mind), committing the same defensive mistakes over and over and over again. And the team will continue to provide their beleaguered player with ample amounts of support along with heavy doses of tender, loving care. Not necessarily the wrong move, but an unfortunate move … because they know that they are likely “stuck” with Blatche after signing him to an affordable extension this past summer in hopes that it’d be a confidence boost to him. It hasn’t exactly worked out that way.

A connected league source once told me that Blatche has to be over-coached at the risk of losing him, right before relaying the sentiment from another GM that Blatche simply was not a winner. Who knows if the Wizards are over- or under-coaching him now, but the results are certainly mixed like what they find in the bar rag at the Shadow Room club every night.

Remembering Groundhog Days of the Past…

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
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.

  • poppalaw

    You are indeed becoming a one-trick pony but let me suggest that the trick is sometime called “the magic wand” syndrome. You and others want to make everything better with a wish or a magic wand; if that darn Blatche would just play defense, or if we could just trade him for some draft picks, then all would be well in the world. How refreshingly naive (to be kind) as such is the way of all sports fans (myself included). But the realties are their are no magic wands and improvement is indeed a process. Ted Leonis gets it and so does Ernie. Fact, if Blatche were coming out of college right now he would a ton 10 draft pick with everyone saying he has a great upside, which he does. He is a much better player and team mate than he was three years ago., Think globally in assessing the team unless your sole purpose is to be “right” and wave that magic wand. If so, have fun/.

  • Yea, you are partially right …

    I mean, I don’t have expectations of the magic wand being waived …

    And I really should focus on the guys developing, but it’s so hard to when Blatche is getting so many minutes.

    So, do you think Blatche should be playing so much? Especially as he’s dealing with a bum shoulder and perhaps knee?

    Do you think Grunfeld is a worthy GM to proceed with (in terms of his creativity, adoption of advanced analytics, or lack thereof)?

    I’d be curious to know.

    I think what it comes down to is that I know what is an acceptable mistake and what is not (or at least what shouldn’t be accepted). Sure, part of all “this” is the result of mounting frustration of having to watch the same brand of struggling basketball over the past three years … and like I said, I do realize that I need to change the narrative … but still, I find a lot of what I see as unacceptable, even in rebuilding.

    In any case, thanks for commenting … thanks for reading … I’ll try to do better.

  • jarem

    A lot of people get injuries mixed up with not trying hard. I don’t think he should be getting that much burn with injuries. He dealt with the broken foot and now knee and shoulder issues. He is getting too much crap imho

  • I actually think it’s both jarem …

    It’s just that now, Blatche’s injuries are magnifying his waning effort …

    So why is that being allowed to happen?

    You got me.

  • I have been following NBA basketball since the days when the Oscar Robertson-led Cincinnati Royals were the only challenge to the Russell-led Celtics. Ouch! I was searching for a blog for which to vent my frustration. Found you. So here I am.

    re Blatche: Age is no excuse for the fact that he doesn’t box out on defense, is beaten badly by every big time player at the power forward position, he can’t post up less than 15 feet from the basket, and is a black hole when he gets the ball. It goes in but never comes out. The fact that a no-name second year man had an all-star game against him last night in New Orleans speaks volumes.

    But it also says something about Coach Saunders. He should have been benched in favor of Booker weeks ago. The only explanation is that he’s being kept in the lineup like a fish in a display case. The sad reality for Leonsis is that it only led to a sharp reduction in his value. With the trade deadline looming, the Wizards will have to keep him because nobody will have him.

    Here’s a few other questions to contemplate:

    Why can’t Wall finish at the basket? Why does his feet never leave the floor when he shoots? Unless he develops better scoring skills, he will not be the marquis player everyone expected.

    What type of offense does Saunders run?

    Who is the big man coach to teach McGee basic skills (Why does he still grab rebounds with one hand? Why can’t he hold his ground? Why can’t he establish low post position?)

    Biggest surprise of the season: Nick Young may yet be an NBA player. Until he shows that he is willing to play defense night after night, though, the jury is still out.

  • Jas

    @ Merrill have you been to bulletsforever.com Its a good cite where fans can post their own blogs… Check out mine CharGrayJ – “Wiz Kids lack basic fundamental”.

    @Kyle, Do what you do man. its sooo frustrating watching the Wiz and especially Blatche not play fundamental basketball which would in turn help them be competitive and possibly win basketball games. And why does Flip let him do all the wrong things? They don’t box out, they don’t see ball se man, they don’t run offense all the way threw, john Wall doesn’t play good defense. Flip never calls a time out at the right time. I mean I could go on and on and onnnnnnnnnnnn. The whole organization seems incompetent and its upsetting because its not that they lose, its HOW they lose. Flip S is a complete do- do head.

  • szr

    It probably comes as zero surprise to my fellow regular posting denizens but I completely agree with the Blatche hate. Let me explain why I’m down on the guy:

    Blatche is a very good basketball player in the same way that everyone in the NBA would absolutely destroy me on the court. But I’m not Blatche’s peer group; his peer group are every other starting power forward in the league.

    The PFs in the league that regularly start and/or get lots of minutes are: Al Harrington, Amare Stoudemire, Amir Johnson, Anderson Varejao, Antawn Jamison, Blake Griffin, Boris Diaw, Carl Landry, Carlos Boozer, Charlie Villanueva, Chris Bosh, David West, DeMarcus Cousins, Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand, Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Kris Humphries, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, Luis Scola, Marcus Camby, Michael Beasley, Pau Gasol, Paul Millsap, Serge Ibaka, Zach Randolph.

    From the above list, is there any one of them that you wouldn’t trade for Blatche?

  • I’d trade Blatche for Elton Brand and his contract right now (with other balancing considerations, of course). But that’s probably why I’m not a GM.

  • MDfan90

    hey kyle,
    your probably the only writer that i see that talks the truth about andray blatche. theres always going to be argument about blatche and unfortunately im on the “trade” side. who cares if blatche has tremendous upside. BUT before i get to that point, blatche fans, PLEASE educate me on this.

    What makes you believe that blatche has tremendous upside? im serious. Just cause he has a mid range game? cause he could do a “behind the back” dribble? What makes you guys believe that hes amazing? cause he scored alot in a season where all our players were traded away? Nick young does jordan-esque plays during games (reverse lay up in traffic) but we all know that doesn’t mean hes going to be like jordan nor does it mean he has amazing potential. what does blatche show that nick young doesn’t show that tells you guys that blatche will be an amazing or top 10 player?

    but anyways back on topic. The main reason why i dislike blatche is because of his decision making. This is what IRKS me the most. He preaches about how we’re a team that needs ball movement. that we don’t have a lebron or kobe and that to win, we need to distrubute and not heist BUT than blatche goes out and takes 14+ shots? Whats worst is when he continually takes the shot when he knows hes in a funk. When you miss 90% of the shots you took, players would try to distribute but no, blatche doesn’t seem to get that. he constantly wants to try to shoot his way out of a funk WHICH is ironic because he talks about passing and how people need to get involved. WHACK.

    another issue i have is what Kyle touches on on most of his article. His nonchalance on defense. Hes getting paid millions yet he can’t study film or practice rotating or giving help defense? Like come on. I feel as if everything blatche says, he doesn’t actually enforce it himself.

    One of you posters are right, we as fans at times have that “magic wand” syndrome but the thing is, the MAJORITY of us has seen blatche as a cancer. We know trading him won’t make us a contender but its the process of purging. its obvious that blatche doesnt take these games seriously, could it be the coach? yeah it could but either way, blatche being here isn’t working out.

    i for one am happy that kyle calls out blatche on his gaffes. i respect blatche for putting up numbers and i respect that he has a mid range game for a big man but i don’t respect any other parts of his game. Maybe im still bitter from him getting disrespectful at the coach last season, i duno. Im just through pulling for blatche.

  • The main problem with Andray Blatche is it seems like he’s only motivated for short spurts at a time.

    When he cares he can dominante. It just seems like he doesn’t want to on a nightly basis.

  • Jay

    Ernie G. needs to eliminate Blatche from this team asap. This guy will never be a star in this league, not now, not in the future. First of all, he is to skinny and weak. If you don’t have the muscle to play PF, you better have the speed and a lights-out jumper. Right now the only thing he have is a 10 foot jump shot and a behind the back dribble move. Defensively, he just look to foul the guy he’s defending because he doesn’t have the strength or stamina to play at a high level. I have witnessed this guy partying like a fool the night before when the wizards had a noon game the following day.

    Flip is also the blame as well. He continue to preach defense and ball rotation but continue to play this dude at a large volume of minutes.

    One last note. They should have found a way to hold on to the Mustafa Shakur kid. The offense looks as if they are actually running plays when he’s in the game. The kid can play Ernie!

  • Incandescent Rex

    I’m no expert, but the reason I think we need to hold out hope for Blatche for at least another season is because it is so rare to find a big man who can score like Blatche and chip in 8 rebounds. We’re focusing too much on his weaknesses because he’s the first or second option on offense out of necessaity, because he’s on a terrible team. Coincidentally, that’s why his shooting percentage sucks. There’s no one else aside from NY who can generate buckets regularly. He has improved dramatically from two years ago and he’s still youngish, so there’s no reason to believe that he wouldn’t improve if we got a true second option on offense.

  • Sharon

    This town ALWAYS need an athlete to rag on. Gil is gone, AJ is gone, Brendan/Brenda(as he was called) is gone, so Blatche is the new whipping post. Next, it will be wall. This town ain’t never satisfied.