[Boris Diaw... HUNGRY? - photo: A. McGinnis]
Tonight the Washington Wizards officially dive into the Randy Wittman era, aiming to get him a win off the bat against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats. Well, lowly is relative. The Bobcats are 3-14, the Wizards are 3-15. For this 3-on-3 drill, we have John Pettice of BobcatsPlanet.com along with TAI’s Rashad Mobley and John Converse Townsend. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) You have to start a new team in India and you get to take four players from the rosters Washington and Charlotte with you. The caveat is that you must choose three players from one team, and only one player from the other team. Who you got and why?
MOBLEY: I’m taking John Wall, because he’s the best point from the two rosters by far. I’m taking Nick Young and JaVale McGee, because I need a scorer and shot blocker respectively, and finally I’m taking Boris Diaw (and a weight specialist) from the Bobcats, because he’s adept at scoring, rebounding and passing.
PETTICE: Give me John Wall, Nick Young, JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo. I like Kemba Walker quite a bit and I feel that he has tons of potential, but John Wall’s ceiling is clearly higher than his. Nick Young and Gerald Henderson is a toss-up at this point. The surprise of my four is likely Bismack Biyombo. He looks lost out on the court 75-percent of the time, but the other 25-percent shows that down the road he is going to be an elite shot blocker in this league for many years.
TOWNSEND: After much deliberation, I decided to hypothetically steal three players from the Washington Wizards. Out of D.C.’s cookie jar, I selected John Wall for his give-a-damn and incomparable speed with which Wall will one day (I hope) use to reach his boundless basketball potential; Jan Vesely for his size — you can’t teach height, amirite? – and basketball know-how, particularly on the defensive end; and Trevor Booker for his versatility, hustle and muscle. From Carolina, I (regrettably) pulled the former Dookie with a mean streak, Gerald Henderson. Despite his limited offensive toolbox, the unselfish Henderson has always been an impressive athlete, and reminds me of a Third World Kobe Bryant. While this young blue-collar bunch wouldn’t win many games stateside, they would surely welcome a superstar add-on. Plus, I’m confident they would play well enough to make a name for themselves in the South Asian Subcontinent.
#2) You’re in a ’73 Ford Pinto, the breaks are sketchy, but it’s always gotten you from point A to point B. Problem is, you’re about to be part of an unavoidable car chase on the streets of San Francisco, and you’re the one who’s being chased. You don’t have any arms (but for some reason you own a car). Oh, you also happen to be with Michael Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld. They are also being chased, neither has a car, but both have all of their arms. Who are you going to pick to drive your car?
MOBLEY: Michael F. Jordan is driving my car. He can buy me new and improved arms, he has access to women who may love guys with prosthetic arms, and he may even be open to starting a line of prosthetics with the Jordan logo on them. Is it possible that he’ll push me out of the car at some point like he pushed Byron Russell? Absolutely. Would the moments before I was pushed out be better than an eternal ride with the mundane Ernie Grunfeld? You bet your life (or arms) it would.
PETTICE: Can I pull Rich Cho out of the trunk and have him drive? If not, then let’s have Rich Cho sitting in a kiddie seat in the back acting as a back seat driver with MJ listening and following all of Cho’s instructions to the letter. I’m comfortable with that. Otherwise I try to drive with my feet and pray that the car doesn’t have a manual transmission.
TOWNSEND: Both Ernie Grunfeld and Michael Jordan have storied pasts, but neither have made great personnel decisions in recent years. That said, I would pick Michael Jordan to drive my hooptie. Jordan is one of the world’s greatest competitors, and I feel that he would get the absolute most out of my ride. And, if we were ever to get cornered, Jordan wouldn’t hesitate to make a life-saving gamble. I fear that Grunfeld would crash my car, overpay for repairs and leave me right where I started — armless, helpless and on the road to nowhere.
#3) Good news Bobcats fans, the team held Carmelo Anthony to a single point on 0-7 shooting in 30 minutes. Bad news, Charlotte lost to the Knicks by 33 on Tuesday night. (Melo scored a season-high 37 against Washington, Knicks won by three.) If the Wizards win, they won’t be sole owners of the NBA’s worst record, they’ll climb out the lowest point of your uneven-floored basement in a tie with Charlotte at 3-15. So, the Wizards win IF…
MOBLEY: The Wizards will if Nick Young or JaVale McGee take Flip Saunders’ firing personally, and have career scoring nights. Young was benched at the start of the 3rd quarter of the Sixers game, because of poor play, and he was reportedly not happy about that. McGee deservedly drew the ire of Flip two weeks ago after his dunk-off-the-backboard move while the Wizards were trailing. It would be fitting if one of them had a big game, denied to the media they did it to get back at Flip, and then sent passive-aggressive tweets that suggested otherwise.
PETTICE: A) They bring doughnuts for Boris Diaw, and B) Gana Diop gets more than 30 seconds of playing time. All jokes aside, The Wizards will win if they pound the ball inside. Other than Biyombo, who is getting limited minutes, he Bobcats don’t have anyone who is remotely interested in protecting the rim. If Washington takes it inside, then you will be co-tenants in your cellar by the end of the evening. I’m predicting 35 for JaVale McGee tonight.
TOWNSEND: …If they finally understood the message that Flip Saunders had preached as the Wizards head coach: that winning is the only stat that matters. But thus far, the Wizards are a collection of selfish individuals who think they’re All-Star talents. Does anyone have Bill Belichick’s number? The Wizards need a few year’s worth of humble pie.