A D.C. pic, links, commentary, and whatever you want to call the other stuff…
TAI Recap: John Townsend implores Wizards fans to be more patient because a drastic turnaround next season is not out of the question; if Gilbert Arenas were rebuilding a team, he wouldn’t do it though the draft; Adam McGinnis has one of the rare photos captured from the baseline of Al Thornton’s massive dunk; pictures of Gilbert Arenas and Nick Young in a reunion among friends; Rashad Mobley relays that some young Wizards still don’t understand their role (after several seasons); and when it’s okay for JaVale McGee to dribble full court.
Here’s to NBA draft lottery luck in May for what’s been an excruciating winter for pro basketball fans in Washington. Below the jump, more must-read links…
[Hardy Playground, Washington, D.C. - Yearning For A Sunny Day]
David Aldridge has a good column about Gilbert Arenas, but he also has a message to Flip Saunders about one of his rookies:
“Flip: play Trevor Booker until he drops, give him a cup of water, and then put him back out there until he fouls out. Every night.”
The Wizards’ defense is like pudding.
JaVale McGee Tweets that he is addicted to the video game ‘Call of Duty’, he writes:
“I’m addicted to call of duty… I have dreams about it… I need an intervention”
I bet Wizards coaches wish he was addicted to the iPad with Flip Saunders’ playbook on it … and this, of course, comes on the heels of Saunders calling out his players, such as Nick Young, for being too individualistic and executing offense like they were playing Playstation.
A column by Brian Schmitz discusses the Gilbert Arenas “baggage” that the Magic took on (baggage that the Wizards are glad they no longer have to deal with — Shall we just go ahead and give Ernie Grunfeld a gold star for the Arenas-Lewis trade alone? I say yes.). Schmitz also relays a rumor that a process server for the attorney of the mother of Arenas’ children was going to try to serve Arenas with child support papers while he was at the free-throw line. Nuts.
Is the Josh Howard situation not a little bit odd? Hear me out … the Wizards signed him to an incentive-filled, 1-year deal in August after he had surgery in March for a torn ACL. The contract incentives were said to make the deal potentially worth $4 million this season, Sham Sports lists Howard’s base salary at $3 million. We’re now at the point where Howard has appeared in just eight of 50 games on the season (spanning from Dec. 8, 2010 to Jan. 5, 2011), and he has missed the last 17 games because of issues surrounding his knee. Over his eight games, Howard averaged around 20 minutes per with a .333 field-goal percentage and a 10.3 PER … pretty poor numbers. On Wizards Insider, Michael Lee reports how Howard is able to practice fully now and hopes to return by this weekend. And the sentiment that Howard has been a good, vocal leader off the court persists. Of course, this is being said about the guy the Mavericks were anxious to ship out of town — via off court problems and the fact that Howard and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle are said to be not too fond of each other. Nonetheless, Mark Cuban was recently “dying to say” why Howard and the Mavs parted ways, but wouldn’t, deferring to Howard himself to answer that question.
It seems catty, not below Cuban … it seems odd, but not too much of a surprise … it makes you wonder, what was the point? Obviously the Wizards didn’t anticipate Howard having this much trouble with his surgically repaired knee, but at this juncture, especially if the trade deadline passes and Howard has not had a chance to prove his worth on the court, the signing seems like an expensive rental of a vocal character with a less than stellar track record who plays a crowded position. Shoulder shrugger.
Blatche Improvement? Craig Stouffer writes:
“Believe it or not, however, there are areas where the Wizards are showing small hints of improvement. Take Blatche, for example, who has 11 assists and just two turnovers in the last two games, in part because he’s been aggressively double-teamed. But whether he is totally conscious of it or not, he’s sharing the ball instead of putting it behind his back and giving it away to the other team.”
Thornton had a nice dunk on Saturday night, but when asked about his troubles overall, he said:
“I think I don’t have nobody to blame but myself. It’s the inconsistency. That’s what it boils down to. I don’t point the finger at no one. I blame myself.”
Thornton, however, couldn’t exactly pin-point a reason for the issues. In his fifth season in the NBA, Thornton’s PER of 12.0 is right at his consistent career average of 12.3. At this point, as a player, Thornton might be an “it is what it is” situation.
Reading about the “Social Media Night” recently held by the Detroit Pistons makes one appreciate the forward-thinking media & PR team of the Washington Wizards even more.
Kirk Hinrich was convinced to wear a lab coat with his glasses.
Now that football is over, it’s the NBA’s time to dominate sports.
[Ball Don't Lie]
The NBA often turns a blind eye to the jerk moves of Kevin Garnett … which further cements ideas that certain league superstars get preferential treatment, particularly from the referees … I’d say.
[NBA Facts & Rumors]
If you’ve been keeping up with the whole Dan Snyder vs. The Washington City Paper ordeal, and you’re a person who has a soul, then you might want to consider donating to the Washington City Paper Legal Defense Fund.
I don’t always agree with John Feinstein, but he’s a damn good writer and has some good thoughts on Snyder vs. The City Paper.
[Feinstein On The Brink]