Pictures of flying NBA players and a couple stories about them…
Posts tagged ‘cartier martin’
…he was alone in an abandoned locker room, folded in an office chair with enough lumbar support to carry the weight of his woes.
John Wall has been chosen to be D.C.’s defender — a challenge made that much more difficult since it too often appears that he’s been fated to do so alone. Wall’s teammates have been blessed with the power of flight, but also cursed with invisibility. After being defeated by Warriors from the Golden State this past Wednesday, John Wall put out a quiet plea for help.
On Saturday night, the Wizards were down 68-72 after three tightly contested quarters; Minnesota and Washington were never separated by more than eight points. The coaching staff once again signaled for a gritty, high-energy combination to save the day … while tightening the reins on liabilities. A league of unsung heroes again rose to the occasion to establish order in the most powerful city in the world. Joining John Wall were Cartier Martin, The Enlightened One; Mo Evans, The Old Hand; Trevor Booker, The Beast; and Andray Blatche, The Scapegoat.
“I was extremely happy with the energy our guys played with overall,” said head coach Flip Saunders in his postgame press conference. Saunders also went on to praise the much-maligned Blatche for his sustained effort and fighting spirit and rightfully so. Blatche, of course, has been routinely criticized by fans, the conglomerated media, and even opposing players for ho-hum performances. But last night, he earned his keep and deserved the credit. Blatche and the Wizards scored 35 points to close the game, after scoring just 68 points through the first three quarters. The focus and determination over the last 12 minutes lifted the team to victory, en route to breaking a miserable 7-game losing streak.
By the time the referee threw the ball up to signify the start of the game against the Orlando Magic, the Washington Wizards knew they would be without Rashard Lewis and Nick Young. Lewis continues to battle knee tendinitis and Young was a late scratch with swelling his knee. Their absences meant the Wizards had to somehow account for the 30 points they usually bring to the starting lineup.
From scoring the first points of the game on a layup 42 seconds in, John Wall demonstrated that he was in an offensive state of mind and capable of picking up the slack by scoring 13 points in the opening period. Seemingly all of his baskets on the evening would follow this sequence: Wall would take the outlet or inbound pass, he would run by the Orlando big men, and then he would outmaneuver the Orlando guards en route to a layup. He peppered in a couple short jumpers, some free throws, and one three-pointer later in the game, but the majority of his damage was done in the paint. He finished with 27 points, five rebounds, two steals and just one assist.
It can be argued that Wall, who averages nearly 10 assists a game, wasn’t doing his job as a point guard if he only dished out one dime. False. Dwight Howard kept pressure on Washington’s big men by often catching the ball deep in the paint (thanks to repeated poor post position from JaVale McGee, lack of strength from Hilton Armstrong or lack of experience from Kevin Seraphin), and forcing them to foul. Howard went 8-11 from the free-throw line and 12-15 from the field to tally 32 points.
Wall kept pressure on the Orlando defense by repeatedly getting into the lane and ending up with a layup or a trip to the foul line. So what happened when the Magic actually stopped him and other teammates were forced to step up?
The lead from a New York Times article published on April 15, 2005:
Five years ago, Andray Blatche was a laughingstock as a basketball player. Today he is considered a probable first-round draft choice in the National Basketball Association.
‘Late Bloomer Is Ready to Join N.B.A. Early’ by Mitch Abramson continues:
Blatche did not play organized basketball until he was in high school, and he was on the junior varsity until midway through his sophomore year at Henninger High in Syracuse.
Unlike wunderkinds like LeBron James and Sebastian Telfair, who were labeled prodigies almost from the moment they picked up a ball, Blatche failed miserably at first.
Not all is well in Wizards land these days with the team’s 0-21 road losing streak approaching a record level for futility and receiving unwanted national attention, a key player publicly feuding with the fanbase on local sports radio, endless injuries, more gossip surrounding their jettisoned ex-superstar and now D.C. is digging out from a heavy thundersnow storm. Now, there’s no better time for a positive distraction.
Awhile back, I spoke with several Wizards about technology. My questions included asking them about Internet usage, favorite web sites, if they’re a PC or Mac guy, where they go online for news and whether they Google themselves. Find out which player loves the website Media Takeout, which one admits to Google-searching his name, who only gets the news from his wife and who searches his name on YouTube.
Part two of the technology interviews will be forthcoming and will cover the players’ thoughts on social media, what type of cell phone they roll with, and how many read sports blogs (hint…not many).
Maybe it’s a good omen that the Wizards won their last home game in 2010 as we go from the year of the tiger to the year of the rabbit in 2011. Great, more missed bunnies at the rim … kidding.
So let’s begin to kick-off the new year on a more positive note by looking back at some of the pictures from Wednesday night’s 104-90 win versus the Indiana Pacers that I took from the baseline. But first…
Congrats to Jennifer Lin, who was the first to correctly answer the Twitter Trivia for free tickets to the game (courtesy of StubHub), which was:
In Wizards-Bullets franchise history, 6 players from U. of Maryland have been drafted by the team. Name 3 of them.
Jennifer’s answers were Steve Blake (’03), Juan Dixon (’02) and Lawrence Boston (’78). Len Elmore (’74), Howard White (’73) and Will Hetzel (’70) were also franchise draftees from UMD-College Park. Read more »
Before Tuesday night’s thrilling OT victory over the 76ers, I gathered up comments from JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Hilton Armstrong, Cartier Martin, Trevor Booker and Al Thornton about the Thanksgiving Holiday. I asked the players what they were thankful for, what food they would serve at dinner, about their fondest memories of the holiday growing up and got them to provide a short greeting to the fans.
Since the team is in Atlanta for a game against the Hawks tonight, they will eat a meal together Thursday afternoon. Thornton, who hails from Georgia, will be able to spend some time with his family and friends.
Enjoy the video and everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Before Wizards-Rockets match-up last Wednesday, I informally polled a couple of the more veteran Wizards on A) who has been the toughest guy for them to defend during their time in the league, and B) who in the league sets some of the hardest, toughest screens. Here are their answers:
“Definitely Kobe, Tracy [McGrady] … a couple years ago, Vince [Carter], there are a lot of guys. Rip [Hamilton], Tayshaun [Prince] …”
NBA players like their fashion. With so much disposable income, it’s only natural. So why not ask some of them about their favorite fashion items … and shoes, because it’s gotta be the shoes, especially what shoes they were into growing up.So, watch the video below if you want to find out …
- Which Wizard has a brand new pair of basketball shoes with his mom’s name on them. (He wore them for the first half on Tuesday, but then changed into his old shoes at halftime because he’s still breaking the mom pair in.)
- Whose mom bought him a pair of leopard skin Gucci shoes … that he hasn’t worn just quite yet.
- Which Wizard has a hat collection that’s 300 and counting.
- Who wore some skinny, tight Wrangler jeans back in the day when he was 13-years old … back in the day being 1996/97.
- Which Wizard calls his ‘Fruit of the Loom’ underwear his favorite clothing.
A run-down of Tuesday’s home opening win with pictures, links and video …
NOTE: Rashad Mobley and I will be taking turns writing a weekly column on the Wizards for the DCist. Check out the first one by me here.
Cartier Martin celebrates the win after the final buzzer in OT.