Mike Miller just wants to be apart of a winning team. This is clear from the selfless attitude he has taken. When asked about his role on Thursday, he said he knows he’s not going to get 15-16 looks on offense anymore … and he’s fine with that. Of course, some might contend that he didn’t shoot enough with the Timberwolves last year and that he needs to be more aggressive on offense this season. But increased offensive assertiveness doesn’t necessarily mean shooting the ball.
In comparing his two potential roles for this team, starting versus coming off the bench (which is looking more and more like what he’s going to do as Flip Saunders today said that DeShawn Stevenson will probably start at shooting guard tomorrow), Miller said, “The second unit has me more of playmaker … making other guys around me better. We have enough playmakers in that first unit, so I’m playing there, it’s going to be more of a shot maker and a guy who rebounds … still making plays for people, but not nearly as much as on the second unit.”
He went on to reiterate that he just wants to make his second unit teammates better, saying they will be playing a completely different style than the first unit. Dare I dub Miller as a ’6th Man of The Year’ candidate (which would be his second time receiving the award)?
We will see. But bringing a veteran playmaker with diverse skills off the bench, someone who Saunders can trust, might be the way to go. Read more »
I’m not sure how well my Twitter to blog post updates worked out … random tweets were posting double, triple, and quadruple times (I’ve since cleaned up on the post). So, we’ll see what happens in the future. In any case, below are some leftovers from Tuesday’s preseason game against Memphis that didn’t make my recap.
Time and patience are the lessons to take from the first Wizards preseason game. They didn’t look bad on their way to a 101-92 win over Memphis, but they didn’t look particularly good either. But did anyone expect this team with so many newcomers, including a coach, to gel right away? Nope.
On the offensive end, where the Wizards are assumed to be amongst the NBA’s upper echelon, they appeared out of sync at times. Bad spacing and jumping to pass sloppiness reared their heads in spurts, but nothing disconcerting, and mostly occurring when the second unit guys were on the court.
After the game, Brendan Haywood gave the offense a C+, in terms of translating the instruction of training camp to a real game. Haywood said they weren’t smooth and were in the wrong place a lot of times, but that’s understandable because many guys on the team were in the Princeton for five years and they have a long way to go before mastering Flip’s offense.
Back from the whirlwind of Washington Wizards media day ’09 and ready to blog it out. With much to transcribe, I’ll have a lot more in the future, but I wanted to get to something of utmost importance first, DeShawn Stevenson’s new tattoos.
(No, I don’t think this is really of the ‘utmost’ importance, but definitely the quickest/easiest/most fun to blog about.)
What does Abe Lincoln have to do with all this? Well, his face is one of Stevenson’s new tats … and it’s right on the front of his neck (jeez that seems painful), always looking right back at you.
Stevenson also has a backwards Pittsburgh Pirates logo on his right cheek and a Frankenstein-esque crack starting at his hairline and working its way down his forehead (not sure what happens if his hairline starts receding). Read more »
Nick Young has a fighting chance to earn minutes in ’09-10, but an unforgiving window of opportunity. Flip Saunders loves his veterans, but I’m confident he’ll play the better man. Might the coach be able to look past Young’s defensive inefficiencies if he becomes more consistent on offense? Only if Young learns to create for others, doesn’t slow down ball movement, and is able to heat up quickly in limited minutes.
DeShawn Stevenson was a nice role player. Played defense, played hurt, nailed the open three. Through the ’07-08 season, Ernie Grunfeld had himself a steal to the tune of a reasonable 4-year, $15 million contract he signed Stevenson to in July of 2007 (after swiping the free agent from Orlando the previous season for a cool million, Stevenson having rejected a 3-year $10.5 million offer from the Magic in the summer of ’06).
Ernie Grunfeld held a 2 pm presser this afternoon …. nothing ground-breaking. It can basically be summed up by:
“Hello press, we will be potentially drafting a player on Thursday and I’m not tipping my hat, but we’re going to do what’s best for the team.”
However, in the spirit of providing those who could not afford to listen to the WashingtonWizards.com streaming video-cast of the presser, I’m providing a bulleted account (before the video and sound cut off for me with about two minutes left).
Oh, and the ‘reporters’ asking questions didn’t have mics …. so that was kind of annoying. If only Dave Johnson were around to eloquently work the room like he did for Flip Saunders’ meet-n-greet night.
Some of these are quotes, and some are paraphrased thoughts/ideas/statements of Grunfeld. Evidently the Wizards website will have a complete video posted later today. Until then ….
On preparing for the draft: “You always have to assume you’re going to [keep the pick].”
The Wizards are still having conversations on what the pick can bring them in a trade.
5 or 6 players will be available the draft … they really like 3 or 4.
Grunfeld seen Rubio twice in person and has a “real good handle” on his ability, but doesn’t want to get into any specifics about him (or any other particular player in the draft).
On workouts: “Bringing players into your own building is just a process … if one doesn’t come in, it doesn’t meant you’re not going to take him, or you’re not familiar with him.” (Grunfeld cited that JaVale McGee did not work out last year.)
Grunfeld doesn’t put much stock in workouts (especially in terms of if a player works out against others or not). He sees them as an extra opportunity to see the players’ skills and meet them.
On the quality of the draft: “[This is] one of the strongest PG drafts in a long time … [they] could makeup half the lottery.”
Teams that are ready to complete now are in a different mode (as far as cutting salary via trades around draft time) … the Wizards are obviously in a ‘compete now’ mode.
Grunfeld likes his core, he’s trying to put a solid team around Gilbert, Caron, Antawn, and Brendan.
On the team he has: “We’re a pretty deep team and we feel like at the 5 spot, we can get a pretty solid player.”
On the salary cap: “We’ve been over the cap … the pick is slotted in, we’ve had it in our budget for years already.” (thought this was a curious statement – he could have misspoke, I could have misheard)
On if he and Flip are on the same page in terms of what they want to do: “Exactly on page 1.”
Antawn Jamison is out of his cast from ankle surgery and will begin running next week.
DeShawn Stevenson is still not full speed from back surgery but he’s been working with trainers on a daily basis.
On ‘The Plan’: “I’m going to do what’s best for this team short term and long term.”
Grunfeld doesn’t know why rumors that the Wizards looking to cut salary are out there, and says “that’s not the case.” He then referred to the opportunity the Wiz had to shed salary at the trade deadline.
On roster size: “When I played we had 11 players on the roster and we did okay.” Grunfeld doesn’t know how many players the Wizard will have on the roster.
On moving up in the draft: “We’ve had some conversations about the possibility of moving up in the draft.” (among every other scenario, of course).
On his mood this week: “Usually I’m in a pretty good mood [around draft time] because this is all about preparation.” Grunfeld went on to say that there won’t be any arguments on who to take in the waning minutes. They have their order pretty much figured out and will go with the best available.