Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
You may have heard of ESPN’s #NBArank project, now in year two. Now hear of #WizardsRank, where we rank each of those 56 players during Truth About It.net’s five-year run.
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
Digest it, behold it, listen to it whisper to you.
In terms of D-Song, well, he’s doing D-Song things: He’s ranked second at EuroBasket in fouls with 4.2 per game. Otherwise, he’s shooting 48.7-percent from the field, surely on long pick-and-pop jumpers just inside the three point line. His 3.3 rebound average per 15.2 minutes a game would be 9.9 rebounds per 45.6 minutes. So typical of Darius.
Darius is an under-appreciated basketball player, and unfortunately, was under-appreciated by many Wizards fans. Not sure how people could not like a big man who set hard screens, displayed fundamentals that should make JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche jealous, hit outside jumpers, and who did pretty much anything asked without question.
Thank god Songaila didn’t get stuck in Minnesota. A couple of months after acquiring him, the Timberwolves sent Songaila and Bobby Brown to New Orleans for Darius’ former teammate, Antonio Daniels, and a 2014 second round pick. New Orleans, an already financially strapped team, obviously thought highly enough of Songaila to acquire his extra year of contract ($4.8 million in 2010-11) for the expiring contract of Daniels. New Orleans also had a need for front-court depth.
Darius Songaila, the coaches dream and a consummate teammate. I’ve made no secret that he’s been one of my favorite Wizards (if not ‘#1′) over the past couple of seasons … perhaps to the point where I’ll one day purchase a D-Song customized Wiz jersey and appear on Straight Cash Homey.net (although I’m not exactly the jersey wearing type). Songaila will undoubtedly be missed after being traded to Minnesota just prior June’s draft. But at least I can rest a little more comfortably now that he’s been moved to a good team in the New Orleans Hornets, where his contributions will be appreciated.
Songaila was unjustly criticized more than any other Wizard. Sure he was slow, white, and non-athletic … you know, the traits people only judge with a glance without digging below the surface. However, most who closely follow the Wizards realized the level of Songaila’s professionalism, leaving his detractors looking like an uneducated bunch.
Statistical critics will point to Songaila’s porous rebound numbers. And yes, for a 6’9″ bruiser, a dirty-working tough guy, they were far below where we would have liked them to be. His 5.4 rebounds/36 minutes last year was a career low, finishing below every Wizards big man, and a mere 0.3 points above Javaris Crittenton.
If I know Ernie Grunfeld, he’s not done. Hell, he better not be done.
The drama is kind of exciting, knowing the President of Basketball Ops I’ve come to trust probably has more tricks up his sleeve. Judging by the roster after the trade, we might be calling Gruns “Mr. Wizard” if he pulls off something else nice to make the team complete (more on ‘complete’ in a second).
Be sure and check out the Wiz-Cavs Screen Shot Memories on Bullets Forever. Things You Like To Hear From Gil Arenas
“I just want to flow through Antawn and Caron. They’ve been holding the ship down, so I’m not gonna come in here and step on their toes. I’m just come in here, get them the ball, get some of the young guys the ball, show them the right way to play basketball . . . I don’t need to go out here and score 30 because everybody knows I can do that. Like I’ve said before, my worst day, I can probably average 10 and 10.”
[Wizards Outlet] Songaila The Hero
Then [Brendan Haywood] paused, started grinning and yelled out “THEN IT WAS THE WHITE KNIGHT! DARIUS SONGAILA, THE WHITE KNIGHT! BACK IN THE GAME! WHITE KNIGHT!!” Songaila sitting next to Haywood getting his shoes on and gave a fist pump and grinned.
In a season that has shocked and awed….but in a bad way, as if Wizards fans were just your regular, innocent Iraqi civilian……there couldn’t be a better present heading into the off-season than Thursday’s win against the hated Cleveland Cavaliers.
(Well, a little lottery luck, or perhaps a win next Wednesday in Cleveland would be pretty effing gravy too.)
And while the dub can be attributed to an overall great team effort (Jamison being a warrior, Butler spilling Tuff Juice, Arenas creating with his presence, Haywood’s defensive communication, Young’s gutsy late layup, McGuire’s stat stuffing, McGee’s dunks, and Blatche being around and stuff), the consensus on the Bullets Forever game thread was that the game ball would go to my hero, Darius Songaila.
Songaila came up pretty big in the game’s early going, scoring eight points during his first 7:47 in the game (checked in for Haywood at the 2:12 mark of the first quarter).
You may or may not know that I have an infatuation with Darius Songaila (chill out….it’s healthy and non-sexual).
D-Song is a baller-brawler, a hustler, and he doesn’t care what you think. Play him a lot, play him a little, he’s still going to give you the same effort night in and night out.
Unfortunately, Songaila doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves. He’s slow, too undersized to play center, and doesn’t rebound well — he’s averaging a career low 5.0 per 36 minutes this year (but if there was a hockey assist equivalent for rebounding, Songaila would kill).
But finally, someone with much more credibility than me is giving the Lithuanian his props.
Just look at those hot spots son! Bask in their warmth…but not too long, you might get a tan.
Not only did D-Song go off with an 8-9 FG, 19 point performance against the T-Wolves, but those stats are from his last TEN games.
Before the All-Star break, Darius “Dirty” Songaila played in 52 games, starting 10, and dropped 6.1 ppg on 50% shooting. In the 11 games since the break, all starts, he is draining 65.9% of his shots and scoring 11.5 points per.
DeShawn Stevenson is laughing. Andray Blatche is probably thinking about laughing. Brendan Haywood has a smirk on his face. Even that random guy you don’t know, but always see on TV, is chuckling to the far right.
But if you’re actually playing for the Washington Wizards, things aren’t so fun.
Not to say that the suits would rather be injured instead of playing, but they sure don’t seem to be having a bad time like their comrades.