First, thanks to all the Re-Tweeters who participated in TAI’s ticket giveaway for tonight’s Wizards-Raptors game. The lucky random winners were @tehbee (who will be attending her first Wizards game, second pro basketball game), and @TwiceDown, who has been a “Bullets” fan all of his life, but hasn’t been to a see a home game since Allen Iverson was with the 76ers (so about four years). TAI will have some more ticket giveaways (among other things) in the future, perhaps including some good seats for when the Miami Heat come to town on December 18th. So stay tuned …
Scenes like this will not be seen at the Verizon Center tonight:
Al Thornton, Nick Young and Yi Jianlian are likely to enter the Summer of ’11 with the Wizards holding the option on their qualifying offers, aka as restricted free-agents. No big deal here. Each is vastly unproven so it doesn’t make a ton of sense to lock into any of them for the unknown future.
Ted Leonsis has opening-night jitters. “Throw the kids into the deep end of the pool; let them swim!,” he says. Gosh, I hope there is a lifeguard around to combat what appears to be a poolside bully throwing all these damn kids in the pool. But really, I think the kids can swim, it’s just time to see how well. I’m looking forward to it.
Leonsis continues to stand by Arenas … probably until he doesn’t … whatever that means. Maybe a trade or something.
[DC Sports Bog]
Speaking of Arenas, David Aldridge on NBA.com has all sorts of opinions about him. First Aldridge says hope that Arenas has emerged a changed man via last season has “evaporated” via sore knee lies. Then D.A. says, “I hope I’m proven wrong,” but then says, “Not holding my breath.” Then Aldridge compares Arenas to a deadbeat dad four years behind on child-support who is also making moonshine in his basement. Finally, he says the Wizards should give Arenas the Jamaal Tinsley treatment and just tell him to stay at home. Seems like an odd amount of twists and turns from D.A., with an ultimate overboard reaction — that is, until Arenas does something else stupid, I guess.
ESPN Insider has a pretty cool feature … Marvel comic book covers for each NBA team. John Wall is naturally featured for the Wizards. It kinda looks like him, but mostly doesn’t. What I’m most curious about is what that shadowy figure in the background is supposed to represent. Gilbert Arenas? Other point guard opponents? I like to think it’s John Calipari. Click here to check out the comic book covers for other teams (again, you must have an ESPN Insider account … sorry) — the cover for the Cavaliers has to be especially annoying to Cleveland fans … and no, it’s not a rendering of Antawn Jamison playing Mr. Glass.
A panel of six NBA scouts are cumulatively picking the Wizards to finish tied with the 76ers for 8th in the East. Evidently one scout believes the Wizards will be 6th in the East, two others think the Wiz will finish 12th.
[Shaw Library: 7th St. & Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
So the Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, putting their preseason record at 2-1. They got out-rebounded 48-32 and after the game, Wizards coach Flip Saunders said it wasn’t so much a result of the three-guard lineup. Via Wizards Insider:
Saunders said the disparity had nothing to do with size or inexperience. “Our bigs played really lethargic, very tired tonight. Very much with a lack of commitment. We have to play harder than the team we’re playing against. We can’t afford to let teams play harder than us, because we’re young and we’re going to make mistakes. And you have to make up for those mistakes with effort plays.”
“MESSAGE!” — And Flip was calculated with his message or call-out to Andray Blatche (three rebounds in 25 minutes), JaVale McGee (five rebounds in 18 minutes), and Yi Jianlian (three rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench). Of course, these numbers don’t tell the full story, exactly how many rebounds the Wizards allowed their assigned opposition to get.
[A lil' Subway, 6th St. & Morse St. NE - Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
From Small To Big
Sean Fegan at Bullets Forever has a run down on what is likely the biggest question facing the Wizards — well, at least in terms of the starting lineup — who is going to start at the three spot?
Fegan states the feeling we all get: Starting a three-guard lineup of John Wall, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich with the spotty defensive (team concept speaking) and rebounding ability of JaVale McGee behind them ain’t going to cut it on most nights.
Last Thursday, it seems that Josh Howard was on hand for the Wake Forest football opener against Presbyterian. While there, Howard donated $100,000 from his foundation to endow the “Josh Howard Scholarship” at Wake. Good stuff to hear. However …
Via pictures graciously provided by Flickr user SneakinDeacon, we must wonder what the 30-year old Howard was wearing. Looks to be comfortable gear for a football game … or questionable gear for handing over big novelty checks. But I’m not one to judge.
This is Yi Jianlian’s buddy, his teammate, to the left and Yi is naturally to the right. The buddy’s name is Zhaoxu Zhang, but you can call him Max.
Max is 7’3″ and will be a junior for the Cal Golden Bears this season (tallest guy in school history). And while Max hasn’t seen a minute of court action in China’s four games at the FIBA Worlds in Turkey so far, that hasn’t precluded him from being team hype man. Let’s check Max in action … Super-Manning that ‘H’
[Behind the Back - Columbia Heights Youth Center - 1400 block of Girard Street NW - K. Weidie]
Want more John Wall? Of course you do. In the second video TAI posted yesterday, Wall could be seen getting crossed up, and it would later surface that the ball-handler was Austin Rivers, son of Doc Rivers who is also ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPNU class of 2011 rankings.
One definite area of needed improvement that sticks out about Rivers is that not only does he love going to his right the majority of times he has the ball, but if forced to his left he does not attack with the same aggressiveness. When played to his left he is reduced to relying on a one-or-two dribble step-back jumper for the majority of his offense.