[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
In a league where teams run similar offensive and defensive sets and teams play each other two to six times during a season, it is a daily struggle to find a definitive advantage over another team (superior talent notwithstanding, of course). But Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, seems to have found the secret. Befriend the opposite head coach, and use your son to watch other young, upcoming NBA prospects.
Rivers and Wizards head coach, Randy Wittman, are former Atlanta Hawks teammates and have maintained a healthy friendship since that time.
“Yeah we talk, he’s one of my best friends, and we’ll probably talk after the game, but we just don’t talk about our jobs, we talk about everything. We talk about how poor Indiana’s (Wittman’s alma mater) football team is, and then he reminds me that Marquette (Rivers’ alma mater) doesn’t have a football team.”
But on a more serious note, Rivers has noticed that the current incarnation of the Wizards’ team seems to taking on the personality of his good friend: Read more »
[Austin Rivers "7" Drill" video via Adam McGinnis]
“I think I’m the best player in the draft, as far as being prepared for the league. That’s just me being a competitor,” uttered Kansas forward Thomas Robinson to the media after his workout for the Wizards last Wednesday. He later said his statements were not a personal affront to Anthony Davis or any other player, but that he felt like his experience and numbers at Kansas were worthy of that number one spot.
Duke guard Austin Rivers did not make such a grandiose statement after his workout for the Wizards on Friday, because his charisma said enough. He asked the media how they were doing before his interview, he looked every question asker in the eye, he cracked jokes about his younger brother (Spencer) and older brother (Jeremiah, former Georgetown Hoya), he smiled every now and then, and he spoke about the importance of thinking — even if it’s not true — that he’s the best, too.
Rivers, Terence Ross (University of Washington) and Tomas Satoransky (Czech Republic) worked out together for about an hour in front of Wizards coaches and personnel. Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was scheduled to be included in this same workout, but the Wizards announced at the last minute he would workout alone at an earlier time. The media was allowed to see two drills with the three players: A full court running drill, which required them to hit a shot from the elbow, before running back down court, and the “7 Drill,” which former Wizards coach Flip Saunders once eloquently described as a mental test of heart.
Rivers was less than impressive in his shooting drills. During the full court drill, his shot looked similarly tough to watch as John Wall’s, at times. Instead of stopping, jumping, and then shooting in one fluid motion, Rivers had a bit of a hitch in his release. And when his shot did not go in on one side of the floor, he attempted to jump a little and change the release point on the next, but it ended up looking mechanical and uncomfortable — just like a Ledell Eackles jump shot. Rivers appeared to be trying to guide the ball in the basket, and on a couple of occasions, he took four and five steps before releasing the ball–much more than the three steps the NBA allows a select few to take.
I came across this big banner hanging on a building at the northeast corner of 13th and L Streets NW, about nine blocks or so from the Verizon Center. It features “Monumental Action” and the Verizon Center website URL followed by Alex Ovechkin, Andray Blatche, Crystal Langhorne, Beyoncé Knowles (I believe), and who appears to be Chris Wright of the Georgetown Hoyas. The logo of the Ted Leonsis-led group, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, is featured in the lower right-hand corner. I’m not sure what other monumental banners are around the city (or DMV area), or how long this has been up (the Monumental logo was released on July 16), but I am curious to see if Blatche will allow himself to be the Wizards representative of Monumental Sports in the future.
Michael Lee reports that it’s unlikely the Wizards will sign 2010 second round draft pick (56th overall) Hamady N’diaye, rather likely opting to let him develop in Europe.
I had a feeling something like this was coming, as N’diaye remained unsigned, and it was previously reported that an Italian team had interest in him. The Wizards will still hold N’diaye’s rights for the future, but now, since it looks like Kevin Seraphin will need a fair bit of time to develop (and he isn’t going to the D-League — link below), it makes sense for Hamady to get more experience overseas.
[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.