Jan Vesely, Schnitzel, Pea Soup, Potato Salad & The Awakening | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Jan Vesely, Schnitzel, Pea Soup, Potato Salad & The Awakening

Updated: January 4, 2013

[Jan Vesely is holding himself hostage; he needs an awakening. — via K. Weidie]

[Editor’s Note: The last time we took an in-depth look at Jan “Honza” Vesely, he was fighting that dragon. Today, he continues to fight. Did you know that he actually started four games earlier this year? He sure did. More recently, Vesely played for at least 20 minutes in three straight games from December 21 to 26 (totals: 14 points, 12 fouls, 11 rebounds); since, he’s seen 32 total minutes over the last four games (totals: 4 points, 5 fouls, 9 rebounds). After taking some lumps against Dirk Nowitzki in 16 minutes of action on New Year’s Day, Vesely only played four minutes (all in the first quarter) against the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday.

“He has to play better,” is all team president Ernie Grunfeld could muster about his 2011 sixth overall pick in a recent interview with NBA.com’s David Aldridge. Quite the understatement from the much-maligned leader of basketball operations. Jan Vesely needs to do more than “play better,” he needs an awakening. Maybe schnitzel, pea soup and potato salad from auntie will help.

Below, find a translation by TAI’s Lukas Kuba of a recent interview Vesely gave to a Czech outlet, as well as video of Randy Wittman discussing his young, fragile player. —Kyle Weidie]

I’m still getting used to the NBA, it’s not good, says a worried Jan Vesely

[via rozhlas.cz, translated by Lukas Kuba]

Vesely Quotes:

“The team’s performance was good [vs. the Bulls], just at the end of the game we had a problem concentrating on how to finish the shots right. There’s not much to criticize us on the defensive end, but our offense wasn’t good, the shooting efficiency was worse.

“The atmosphere here is definitely not ideal, but we always try to forget the previous loss and just move on. We are not very successful at that, but what can you do? We gotta move on to the next one and play another game.

“The pressure here is on everybody—on players, on the head coach, on the front office. I wouldn’t want to comment on this any more, but everyone on the team is a part of the team, and we don’t know what can happen. It’s tough, I’m still getting used to my role on the team and in the NBA, I’m fighting with that. I don’t know what my position is now, but when I get a chance to play, I try to leave it all on the court. But I still have to practice hard a lot in order to get into it.

“The team is still not complete, there’s always somebody who’s injured or is day-to-day with an injury, which holds us back. Thus we don’t have a set rotation, when someone has to alternate for a teammate, it’s more difficult.”

Czech Christmas in D.C.: “My aunt came to D.C. to visit me for Christmas, we cooked ourselves schnitzel with potato salad and pea soup, we had a Czech Christmas.”

Jan’s New Year’s wish: “To win more games in order to pick ourselves [the team] up.”

Witt on Jan (sorta):

Lukas Kuba

  • nich

    On one hand, it’s like yo Seraphin, Vesely: Adapt. Man Up. Do what you do well.

    On the other, i feel bad for them because both of them are at a point in their career where it takes somebody getting them a few easy buckets for them to calm down and let the game come to them.

    I remember in one of those Hawks games this year, Vesely went through a 2 minute stretch where he looked like the best player on the floor for either team. It was only 2 minutes, but it served as a timely reminder that Hey!: This guy actually looked like an intriguing and productive player by the end of last year. And when he was calmly stroking Js in summer league, it was easy (for me at least) to wave away concerns about how he was back to looking a step slow like he did at the start of last season.

    Here are some Jan lines from the last 5 weeks of last season.
    (Points, FG/FGA, RBD)
    11 on 5/6, 6 rbd, 24min
    6 on 3/6, 11 rbd, 29min
    10 on 5/8, 4rbd, 24min
    14 on 6/9, 7rbd, 38 min
    10 on 4/6, 5rbd, 30 min
    11 on 5/11, 11rbd, 25min
    11 on 5/10, 11rbd, 35min
    8 on 4/6, 10rbd, 26min
    16 on 8/8, 6rbd, 23min
    7 on 3/4, 12rbd, 24min
    11 on 5/7, 8rbd, 23min

    ^ This is a promising F’ing end to a rookie season, and contrary to popular belief, while he had his best game in that 6 game win streak vs teams resting guys, his minutes were actually down almost 10 per game from earlier in the month.

    In the last 29 games of last year, Vesely- a guy shooting about a third as often as Seraphin has in 29 games this year- had almost twice as many FT attempts. And he hit 65% of them! Ves also cut his rate of fouling other guys in half despite being on the floor more and having more responsibility.

    The kid’s confidence is shattered. It’s such a shame. Even more of a shame is how much revisionist “I’ve never once seen this kid prove he could play at an NBA level” history has been floating around.

    He can look this awful all year and I won’t consider getting rid of him unless he a necessary part of a package bringing a star back.

    Once Wall is back, we’ll see what happens.

    But until we abandon the coach with the worst winning percentage in NBA history (Granted, his rosters in other stops weren’t much better than ours, but the coaches before and after him in those stops did *significantly* better with those rosters.) it’s almost impossible to judge any player.

    I’m still all-in on Jan. If it behooves everyone else to ignore his stretch at the end of last year, it can behoove me to ignore the stretch at the beginning of this one.

  • rjg9n

    Jan should watch his own highlight film every day. I wonder if he’s forgotten what he was able to do in Europe?

  • AL15

    I am a firm believer that we got a talented baller in Vesely and that he is put in a position to fail. How many fresh grads entering the workforce can succeed if they are NOT:
    1. clearly informed of their roles/expectations from management;
    2. given a chance to learn on the job by doing actual work; and
    3. given a strong support environment.
    Yes, Vesely seems like someone who has lost confidence in himself but I think a large part of this should be blamed on the coaching staff and GM for not creating the right organization culture / having the right people to support and develop young talents.
    The GM got rid of Blatche, McGee and Young to turn the organization around but here we are on course to be historically bad. I firmly believe that the problem with the Wizards starts with the GM and coaching staff.