[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 64, Washington Wizards vs New Orleans Hornets; contributors: Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center and Sean Fagan and John Converse Townsend via eyes on a television screen.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 63rd game of the season against the New Orleans Hornets in D.C. are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and guest Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg), who contributes to the ESPN True Hoop Blog Hornets 24/7.
Wizards Starters (21-42):
John Wall, Garrett Temple, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 18, Washington Wizards at New Orleans Hornets; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 18th game of the season against the Hornets in New Orleans are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and guest James Grayson (@jsgrayson), who writes about the Hornets for the ESPN TrueHoop blog Hornets 24/7.
Wizards Starters (2-15):
Jordan Crawford?/Shaun Livingston?, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, Emeka Okafor
On an off day between NBA Finals Games 4 and 5, involving the team formerly owned by the NBA, the New Orleans Hornets, and the model of NBA asphyxiation in the nation’s capital, the Washington Wizards, we had a trade.
Between the two cities in the U.S. I love most, we had a trade.
With Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor coming to D.C. in exchange for Rashard Lewis and the 46th overall pick in 2012, we had a trade.
Basketball, basketball, basketball, trades, basketball… Guess what? The Wizards actually have a game tonight, the third of their road trip against the Hornets in the Big Easy. Nick Young, JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf? Gone. Nene and Brian Cook? Evidently on the way. You can find your TAI Nene-McGee trade analysis here, and some more numbers behind Nene and new teammate Kevin Seraphin here. For tonight’s 3-on-3 we have Mason Ginsberg (@WhoDatHornet88) of the ESPN TrueHoop Hornets blog Hornets 247.com, along with TAI’s Sam Permutt (@sammyvert) and Kyle Weidie (@truth_about_it). NOTE: These questions, along with the answers of Mason and Sam, were composed pre-today’s trade. Our bad… meant to get this 3-on-3 up sooner. Things got crazy. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) With the trade deadline rapidly approaching (or past), which Wizard would you have most liked to see not with the team for tonight’s game against the Hornets? JaVale Mcgee, Nick Young, and Andray Blatche, the three longest-tenured WizKids, were the names that most commonly were thrown into the rumor mill. Keeping in mind likely trade values and contract situations, which player’s departure would ultimately benefit Washington the most?
GINSBERG: It depends on your definition of “help.” For the long-term, help is whatever hurts the team’s performance over the next month or two but helps it next season and beyond. Admittedly, I don’t know much about who has been discussed in trade rumors for the Wizards, but I think if the team can unload Blatche for a half-decent draft pick, they should do it. Until then, the Wizards should be playing him 40 minutes a game to have him fulfill the role us Hornets fans rely on Beasley to fill in Minnesota. That role, of course, is an inefficient chucker who stops all ball movement on offense.
PERMUTT: The easy answer would be ‘Dray. Wizards fans have completely cast him out, booing him even when he’s not particularly terrible. The smart answer, sadly, is JaVale. He has taken huge steps backward this season, pouting and making silly plays instead of playing hard and making silly plays. The league-wide interest for Blatche is almost non-existent, and the Wizards can amnesty him at year’s end. JaVale, on the other hand, is still likely coveted by several teams across the league, and Washington could get a decent haul for him.
I spent some time last night charting the Wizards responsible for each point scored by the New Orleans Hornets as Washington fell 97-89, putting their road record on the season at 0-25. Some of the blame assignment certainly comes via judgment calls, but from watching some plays countless times, I think the chart below gives an accurate survey of the landscape.
As you can see, exactly which Wizard was responsible for how many points a specific Hornet scored is listed. The PA column indicates how many total points were allowed by each Wizard on the night; PPM indicates the points allowed per minute of court action — sure, points per possession might paint a more accurate picture, but all Wizards fans have is time … so seeing what a player does with his time on the court defensively still tells a story.
One of the difficulties of working at a relatively new TrueHoop Network blog, as opposed to a major newspaper or a well-known website, is the ability to nail down good relationships with actual NBA players. Veterans like Michael Lee,David Aldridge and Marc Stein, have been around long enough to cultivate solid, trustworthy relationships with certain players, and they are granted more access because of their well-known employers (The Washington Post, NBA.com/TNT, ESPN.com). When you’ve only been around for only three years like I have it is more difficult–but not impossible.
My quest to get to know some of the NBA players a bit better has been even more difficult this year, because I mainly cover the opposing locker rooms (thus the title of this particular post). I see the Wizards players in passing, and if I’m lucky I’ll get a head nod or a “What’s up man?”, but nothing close to a substantive conversation that produces some juicy bloggable information. When I’m in the opposing locker room, the beat writers for whatever team is in town that particular night usually have a monopoly on those close relationships–as they should. Players are friendly to me, and they are willing to answer questions, but I can never really get over that hump where they are comfortable enough to truly talk to me–with one exception.
I first caught up with New Orleans Hornets forward, David West in March of 2009, when they took on the Wizards. I had seen him talking to Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson (Dr. Dyson is a minister, a professor, a radio talk show host, and he has written numerous books on race and cultural matters in this country. He’s also a frequent guest on the HBO Show, “Real Time With Bill Maher), and I wanted to ask him what they talked about. Before disappearing in the training room for treatment, West explained that he admired Professor Dyson, and he just wanted to finally meet the man. He thanked me for noticing, and we parted ways.