ShareBullets: Nene and Seraphin End Olympics Run, Wall and Arenas Primed for Summer Circuit Run | Wizards Blog Truth About

ShareBullets: Nene and Seraphin End Olympics Run, Wall and Arenas Primed for Summer Circuit Run

Updated: August 9, 2012

ShareBullets: links, commentary, etc.

[Kevin Seraphin battles with Marc Gasol.]

>> So Nene and Kevin Seraphin are done in the Olympics and are going home without hardware, as Brazil and France got taken down by Argentina and Spain respectively in their opening medal round games on Wednesday. From the Wizards perspective, both players had positive Olympic experiences, plus the team doesn’t have to worry about either getting injured now. Seraphin’s minutes were limited against Spain (6:31), perhaps to France’s detriment, but some in the Wizards organization were overall impressed with his back-to-the-basket scoring throughout the tournament. Nene didn’t play heavy minutes over the course of the Olympics (27 against Argentina after not suiting up in the previous game) and was sometimes bothered by soreness in his left foot. Were the Wizards worried? Not according to a report fromt the Washington Post’s Michael Lee:

“…the Wizards have been monitoring the injury and remain optimistic that it will not be a problem when training camp begins on Oct. 2.”

If you were running a professional basketball team and you were asked about the status of an Olympic participant’s injury (one of your players), you could respond one of three ways: optimistic, concerned, no comment. What would you say?

Concerned calls unnecessary attention to the matter and could raise the ire of the player. No comment would be negatively ominous. The Wizards’ only choice is to remain optimistic. Optimistic about what? They don’t even know, as plantar fasciitis is one of those weird conditions where the best treatment is often rest. Optimism at this point is a dessert topping, and making it healthy to the meet-and-greet on Day 1 of training camp is only waking up to get out of bed. The Wizards, and Nene, will have the rest of their day ahead of them.

In the loss to Argentina, Nene continued to show how refreshingly instinctual he is with his floor positioning and motion. Sure, he can find himself precariously off-balance sometimes, especially when trying to make a play on offense. But he’s got strength. Nene will also provide vast improvements to Washington’s pick-and-roll defense, over those of the past, and his ability to guard down in switches plays a huge role. Nene played some nice straight-up defense against Luis Scola in the post and on the ball, but a late switch and smother of Argentine swingman Carlos Delfino was even more impressive. The biggest concerns the Wizards have over Nene is his health, and maybe his free throw shooting (he’s a career 67.8-percent from the stripe). The least of their concerns is his presence on the roster, instead of a guy who shall remain nameless with a new $44 million dollar contract who’s been working out with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, but is probably more tickled with the fact that he’s been re-tweeting his own tweets lately.

>> Not even a 2012 Olympic medal for a former Wizard Darius Songaila, as Lithuania was also taken down by Russia on Wednesday, 83-74. Songaila gutted out 20 minutes, 15 points, five rebounds, three steals, three turnovers, six fouls drawn, and three fouls given in his last Olympic appearance.

>>’s John Hollinger has long seemed to have distain for the Washington Wizards. Whatever the reason, the team track record has made it hard to argue against him, however misplaced his commentary may be. In any case, I don’t have too many qualms with his snapshot of the Wizards below in an ESPN (Insider) piece, “Good, bad, and ugly of NBA offseason.

Yes, I’m back for another round. (See Round 1 here.) I’ll make it brief: Now that we know the end-game for the other free agents, the pre-draft trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza looks even worse. Given that the Wizards waived Andray Blatche with their amnesty, they would have had enough cap room to sign a wing stopper/shooter such as Brandon Rush or Courtney Lee, bid on a real power forward such as Elton Brand or Luis Scola in their amnesty auctions, and have somewhere close to max cap space next summer. Instead, they’ll win a similar number of games with a much more limited future, thanks to the two cap-clogging deals they acquired in June.

However, in full disclosure, the question should be asked: Does Emeka Okafor, even with his imperfections, fit better with Washington’s plan? Okafor will turn 30 soon, Brand and Scola will be 34 and 33 respectively next spring. I also imagine Okafor’s defensive-minded game would fit better with Nene than the other two. If Trevor Ariza had to be part of getting rid of Rashard Lewis, then so be it; Rush and Lee are nice players, but not ones to get overly enthused about. To note: John Hollinger has not yet been able to parlay his analysis into a million dollar GM gig. Me neither. Hollinger places the Wizards’ offseason the in the ‘bad’ category, but all things considered past statistics, we’ll wait and see.

>> Why are the Wizards where they are with a roster of 13 and viewing summer 2012 free agency from afar? Michael Lee gives a good run-down.
[Wizards Insider]

>> David Aldridge on the offseason for the Wizards:

The fumigation of the Wizards’ locker room is finally complete, with owner Ted Leonsis writing a $23 million check to send Blatche on his way. Now Washington can get back to the business of building a team. The Wizards will give Wittman a full season’s chance to show the team’s season-ending surge wasn’t a typical Fools’ Gold Bad Team April. With Beal joining Wall in the backcourt, the makings of a dynamic twosome are possible. Ariza has stalled since his days with the Lakers, but he can still attack the rim effectively. But the Wizards will go as far as their big man quintet Okafor, Nene, third-year bangers Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker, and second-year forward Jan Vesely will carry them.

Fumigation would be an appropriate word for a locker room that used to contain excrement in shoes.

>> Gilbert Arenas and John Wall on the court together again representing the Goodman League in Upper Marlboro, MD? Could be interesting, but not as interesting as where Arenas will be next season. HoopsWorld is reporting that “sources” close to Arenas are indicating that he’s healthy and slimmed down. Cool, but what about mental health?
[DC Sports Bog]

>> ESPN TrueHoop Sixers blog Philadunkia recently had an interview with Nick Young. Read it all, but here are some choice cuts:

Philadunkia:  You have a reputation for being a gunner.  Are you working to tweak your shot selection?

Young: I’m not a gunner.  It’s more of a confidence. I believe I can make those shots. When it’s in my hands, I believe nobody can stop me. I’m not going to lose that no matter where I go. I just go out there and play the game.

Philadunkia: At this stage of your career, at 27, can you change your game? Are you, effectively, “what you are?”

Young: You learn more every year. I’m just trying to go out there and play my game. I get buckets.

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.

  • Ice Cube

    “’s John Hollinger has long seemed to have distain for the Washington Wizards. Whatever the reason, … however misplaced his commentary may be. ”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m so glad people are finally mentioning this. Sorry you agree with his comments, because they seem mind-bogglingly over the top on the negative side, but thanks for pointing out that there seems to be something beyond objective analysis at work. I respect his non-Wiz analysis and so I get excited to read his takes on the Wizards, but every time it’s so negative. He cuts on us for years re: McGee, then says we lost the trade when we flipped McGee for Nene. As you note, Brand or Scola do not fit — Okafor is younger, faster, more of a runner, and excels at D and DR. Makes so much sense. Plus, Lee in ’12 = Ariza in ’09. Theoretically useful as an atheletic 3-D guy but unproven. Now, Ariza is “overpaid.” Could be the same for Lee in a few years.

  • Hollinger does not know what he’s talking about. What the Wizards pulled was a stroke of genius getting three solid veterans to go alongside John Wall. They went from bottom feeder to potential playoff contender in a matter of a day.

  • Mike

    Umm the reason that hollinger killed the trade because it was very bad. The wizards need offense and defense. Okafor is paid a ridiculous amount to offer slightly above average defense and subpar offense. A player worth 5 million per year, MAYBE, is getting close to 30 million over the next two seasons. Ariza is about the same but at a position that it is EASY to get players who provide more than he does at a lower cost. Rush would have been a near perfect selection at 4-5 million a year. And more importantly by the time they will have cap space Wall’s max contract will have kicked in limiting their space by another 6 million or so. It means they likely will only have space for One max guy as opposed to a max guy and an extra 7-10 million or if they decided to trade Nene 2 max guys.

    The truth is Grunfeld made a trade that he hoped would help his team immediately to keep his job and mortgaged another year in the future. He could have made deals that would have helped him keep his job just as much without ruining 2013 cap space. And neither guy he got in return has any offensive value which is a major issue given Wall and Nene look good offensively, but neither is great and Beal is a shooter who couldn’t hit threes very well in college. otherwise the team is devoid of anyone who seems to even have potential for above average offensive talent.

    The point Hollinger and anyone who cares about the Wizards becoming a top 5 team in the league is making is that these trades diminished their ability to develop that team. Wall has a lot of potential. He could become some combination of Westbrook and Gary Payton if developed correctly. At the very least he should be a slightly better version of Mike Conley. Beal is harder to tell as it is virtually impossible to find true NBA sharpshooters who shot poorly in college (even in year 1) I think a slightly taller version of Chauncey Billups is his upside, with Eric Gordon/Jrue Holiday as a reasonable guess and a saner/more unselfish version of Jamal crawford as his reasonable floor.

    If those two guys don’t hit their ceilings they have virtually no shot at putting a championship callibre team together. Best bet is ATL of the past 5 years. AKA good enough to get demolished by a real team in round 2. That is not a good organizational standard. The owner better get his SHHH together and blow up that front office after the season.