[Brendan Haywood has a lot of reasons to smile now, even if he is just getting 17 minutes off the bench, and sometimes struggling, for the Dallas Mavericks. Winning and a playoff future helps a lot.]
[Andray Blatche, on the other hand, is going through a lot of personal struggles, mostly on the court which has bleed into off-the-court moments, which are magnified by losing. Blatche has missed the last two games because of what's being noted as a hip injury and was unable to face Haywood on the court on Saturday night.]
Brendan Haywood walked into the Wizards locker room to see some familiar faces. Most of them weren’t Wizards players. He greeted a couple team personnel of various sorts and then looked across the room to where his locker used to be.
Or wait … I should actually say that we saw this coming.
Actually, let’s take a step back for a second. John Wall, in his individual effort, will not be affected by the players whom he is talking about in the quote you’re about to read, said to Comcast’s Chris Miller after a 117-94 loss to the 76ers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night. He’s too good for that, so don’t worry. But let’s read the quote anyway: Read more »
I’m teetering on becoming a “one-trick pony” when it comes to Andray Blatche. Or perhaps I’m like a ground hog that just sits fat and only looks for its shadow once a year. All I know is that the boiling point with Andray’s on-court problem pertaining to the Wizards’ overall ineptitude is not just about him, and it goes far beyond my critique on this little chunk of the world wide web.
So please, allow me to apologize for whatever it is that I am apologizing for. It won’t last forever, I promise. Now, I’d like to wish you a Happy Groundhog Dray. Yes, Groundhog Dray … which I’ve found to be an appropriate nickname for Blatche on multiple levels. Harrison Goodman (@GoodmanHarrison) adds via Twitter: “Plus he usually comes out in the spring when the season is over with anyway.”
You see, today is actually Groundhog Day … and evidently Punxsutawney Phil has indicated that we will get an early spring. Would this mean that a Blatche trade is in the works before this month’s trade deadline? Well, if you gauge your weather plans by a groundhog, perhaps so. But also know that there are a ton of groundhogs out there, such as Mountain Maryland Murray (who indicates there will be more winter, BTW), running around doling out haphazard predictions.
Andray Blatche does some good things, he does some terrible things … on the basketball court and off. He also has mounting armies of detractors and slightly less factions of defenders, who usually elect to stand on the tippy-toe of one leg in their staunch defense.
I suppose that as long as Andray Blatche is around doing Andray Blatche things, people will around to criticize and point those things out, myself included. Although, admittedly, I should be more fair in pointing out the positive things he does, i.e., I probably should not have taken a shot at him in a post about Darrell Walker’s rebounding ability. Oh well. We want Blatche to succeed, we really do, but he seems to try hard at not making that want possible through not always trying hard … you know what I mean?
His positives get over-shadowed by his negatives, by far. But that’s the bed he makes … he’s not the next Gilbert Arenas, but he is. Only Blatche can shut his critics up, not the critics themselves nor his defenders. These are the facts, just like it’s a fact that many other NBA players do not respect Blatche. Taken from something TAI’s Rashad Mobley wrote after the Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls in Washington on Dec. 22:
“But the strongest indictment of the Blatche’s play on this night did not come from any writer, blogger or coach, but from the other locker room. As Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau finished his postgame comments and the media filtered into the visiting quarters, there was a conversation between two Bulls players about the play of Blatche. One player observed that he played with “no feeling” during the game, and the other player said, matter-of-fact, that Blatche has always played that way throughout his career.
One player involved in that conversation left the locker room before I could follow up with him, the other declined to elaborate any further on the record. Still, their feelings about Blatche’s lack of effort in defeat were crystal clear.”
This Skybox basketball card commemorates Darrell Walker‘s rebounding prowess as a guard for the Washington Bullets in the early 1990s. In ’90-91, Walker led all guards with 7.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, amongst those who played at least 15 minutes per game and achieved at least 400 rebounds. When strictly looking at per game stats, according to the search results at Basketball-Reference.com, Tyrone Corbin of the Minnesota Timberwolves averaged more rebounds per game as a guard, but he was more a swing-forward to Walker’s true ability to play the point. [Note: Rounded, both Walker and Magic Johnson averaged 7.0 boards per game in '90-91, but Walker was a fraction above Magic.]
In Washington Bullets/Wizards franchise history, according to BBR, only four guards have played in more than 60 games in a season, averaged over 25 minutes per game and over five rebounds per 36 minutes. Those players were: Larry Hughes (’02-03 to ’04-05), Michael Jordan (’01-02 and ’02-03), Darrell Walker (’88-89 to ’90-91) and Earl Monroe (’67-’68).
From the BBR database spanning from 1946-47 to the present day, only two NBA guards have appeared in more than 70 games, had a Total Rebounding Percentage (TRB%: an estimate of the percentage of available rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor) above 13-percent and a Defensive Rebounding Percentage (DRB%) above 20-percent.
Those two guards are Jason Kidd (2006-07: 13.2 – TRB%; 20.8 – DRB%) and Darrell Walker (1989-90: 13.4 – TRB%; 20.4 – DRB%).
The Wizards had more than a couple fair chances to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night — and to win their first road game of the season — but they were out-dueled. Better shot selection, better play calling, and an unforgiving execution on mismatches gave the Thunder the edge.
With the score knotted at 110 with just over five seconds left in the first overtime, Nick Young had the ball with a chance to sink the go-ahead bucket. What did our most eligible scorer do? He took two dribbles to his left, gave a shoulder fake, and missed an 18-foot fadeaway jump shot over Russell Westbrook. Not surprising, but especially disappointing considering that the Thunder were in the penalty.
In the second overtime, the Wizards actually found themselves winning 115-112. A very questionable foul call on a Kevin Durant layup sent him to the line, where he tied the game. What hurt the Wizards most on that play was not that Durant made the and-1 play, but that Trevor Booker — who had an unbelievable game, all things considered — fouled out during that sequence.
But that wasn’t a what decided the game — still tied at 115 with just over three minutes left.
It’s hard to pin-point exactly where the Wizards lost road game number 20 to the Milwaukee Bucks. They came out with a very strong first quarter … that was the easy part. The Bucks hit a couple jumpers and the Wizards didn’t score until three minutes had gone by in the game, but once they got going, they really got going. When all was said and done, John Wall had seven assists to zero turnovers and the Wizards had a 27-19 lead.
The second quarter … not so good, but the Wizards held it down. They went into the half with a 49-47 lead, whittled into by the old bones of Earl Boykins and Corey Maggette — those two combined for 23 points in the first half. Add in what Keyon Dooling offered and you have 32 points from an unlikely Milwaukee trio.
Before the matinee against the Utah Jazz on Monday, several members of the media kinda/sorta gathered around Andray Blatche — who vies with Nick Young for biggest locker room personality now that Gilbert Arenas is gone. But it wasn’t really in a formal, recorded Q&A session sense … just a gathering to hear whatever was on Andray’s mind as he sat at his locker.
And since it was a day taken to reflect upon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blatche started talking about his own dreams — of a basketball nature — and it seemed like nonsense. Or at least the manner in which Dray’s dreams were conveyed seemed to be in an unintentional, thinking-out-loud regard … does anyone remember when Kelly Bundy used to do this on Married With Children?
Blatche first said he dreamt of a win against the Jazz, owners of one of the ten best records in the league heading into the game, which would also mean the Wizards’ first victory against a winning team on the season and their first two-game win streak. Second, Blatche said he dreamt of a road win. A media member quipped something about the auspiciousness of Blatche’s creative mind … chuckles and an air of ‘gotcha’ emerged from the gallery, along with Andray himself. Blatche then said that he woke up, went back to sleep, and later dreamt of the playoffs.
Clearly we’re just having fun here, right? … Just jokes amongst the people who have to put up with each other all year (I think). Blatche probably has dreams of various natures involving anything from the Shadow Room to the Chipotle Burrito Dash as well. What exactly are we seriously talking about here? Playoffs Jim Mora, the playoffs.
The below video is silly, inane, goofy … so why even post it? For those very reasons.
Andray Blatche’s recent hair stylings (and how they somehow reflect his ‘rollercoaster’ life) have been well-documented. Nick Young has also displayed a sweet hair-do game this season. What does it all mean? That maybe Nick & Dray should start a Hair Club For Wizards.