Wizards Make (Some) Practice Highlights with Cook Book Strength
[Video scenes from Wizards practice on Monday, October 22. Randy Wittman, before training camp, said that his team needed to make some highlights... Well, here some are, kinda.]
Cook Book Strong.
Most Wizards fans have yet to be visually treated to Trevor Booker’s two stellar preseason performances because the powers-that-be felt showing Wizards preseason contests in Toronto and Milwaukee weren’t worth the money. It’s kind of a shame in a ‘games don’t count’ sense.
Averaging 19 minutes over two contests, Booker is putting up 17 points (.640 FG%), 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals a night. On Monday after practice, he credited pick-and-roll action for his 22-point performance against the Bucks on Saturday. Just imagine if “Cook Book” had John Wall to trade recipes with. In the video below, Booker powers down Martell Webster with a strong paint move and a lefty baby hook before getting crunk over himself. Enjoy.
Will Brian Cook make the team? Will he get cut?
“Getting a lot more time than I thought I was, which is always good,” said Cook on Monday afternoon in regard to how injuries have affected his preseason playing time.
Merely mentioning the name “Brian Cook” has a stigma, fair or not, in NBA circles. But what if the guy keeps making shots? He’s 5-for-9 from deep in the preseason and 8-for-14 overall. (And Cook is 6-foot-9, which is taller than your average spot-up shooter.) If the Wizards have concerns about the uncertain status of Nene and Kevin Seraphin — and if the other other “bigs” on the roster are Booker, Emeka Okafor, Jan Vesely, and Chris Singleton (each experiencing medium to minor injury issues this preseason) — wouldn’t Ernie Grunfeld want to keep another big on the roster? There will be some tough decisions to make, that’s for sure. In the meantime, as un-thrilling as it may be, let’s take a look at a pick-and-pop shot executed by A.J. Price and Cook.
What about Jannero Pargo, turnover king?
In four preseason games Pargo has 15 giveaways. Not good, Mr. Last-Minute Veteran Point Guard. So let’s watch a highlight of Pargo either while we can or until there are more.
In this video, Pargo fires a quick-trigger runner on the break, makes it, and then, with the help of Chris Singleton, pressures A.J. Price into a turnover. Singleton, however, seems unwilling to emphatically finish what he started, as a lob attempt pass from Martell Webster goes relatively unattended to. Me thinks these two need to build more rapport.
For what it’s worth, the video below shows some up-and-down practice 5-on-5 play, some missed jumpers (by Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford), and finally a make by Martell Webster. After Brian Cook (5-for-9) and A.J. Price (8-for-16), Webster (6-for-18) has been the third best Wizards 3-point shooter in the preseason.
Barron & Beal.
The seven-foot Earl Barron has certainly had his chances — he’s eighth on the Wizards in preseason minutes with 82, mostly out of necessity due to injury or foul trouble. And team brass likely admires Barron’s veteran defense and rebounding — in 13.7 minutes per game over six contests, Barron is averaging the same amount of rebounds (3.3) as Kevin Seraphin in 19.7 minutes over three contests. But, much of what I’ve seen from Barron amounts to him attempting to make the team by trying to do too much.
With all that said, Steven Gray certainly doesn’t exactly alert Barron to his openness in the clip below, but I’m not sure what Earl is trying to do anyway as he dribbles into a turnover. But hey, Bradley Beal is involved in the defense, runs the court well, and finishes a nice drop-off pass from A.J. Price in transition (note: this was before Beal “tweaked” his ankle… so there’s that).