Let’s do this again, shall we? The Wizards take on the Celtics tonight in the second game of their, home-and-home set, this one in Boston at 7:30 PM ET. And while Washington finally showed some effort in their fourth game of the season, some wonder if it was enough, or if they will simply improve upon it. If anything, it’s a chance for the Wiz Kids with their young legs to show they are capable of taking advantage of a veteran team. Three questions, three answers with TAI’s Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and John Converse Townsend… 3-on-3 starts now…
Posts tagged ‘Flip Saunders’
Probably not a better time for the Wizards to show they care about playing basketball as a team than the first game in the New Year, one against familiar foes the Boston Celtics no less. For tonight’s 3-on-3 we Ryan DeGama from CelticsHub.com, Boston’s ESPN TrueHoop Network blog, along with Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie of TruthAboutIt.net. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1 Ryan DeGama, CelticsHub.com: Rajon Rondo fancies himself the best (and fastest) point guard in the NBA. John Wall’s pedigree and potential mark him as a serious challenger to the top-PG throne. Project forward two years – would you rather have Rondo or Wall? Why?
DeGAMA: I love Rondo’s defense, even though he dogs it some nights, but I’m pretty critical of his offensive efforts, particularly his consistency from game-to-game, which remains a problem five seasons into his career. But I’m also leery of Wall’s shooting numbers, which suggest an uphill climb to competence. Ultimately, I tend towards Rondo in two years and Wall after that, because at 21 years old and four years younger than Rondo, Wall’s ceiling looks like it will ultimately be higher and more attainable.
McGINNIS: Although John Wall is currently mirrored in biggest slump of his professional career, I would still take him over Rajon Rondo in two years. I love Rondo’s overall game but Wall has greater speed and explosive athletic ability. Rondo’s ceiling is pretty much already reached while Wall still has potential to grow into more of an explosive scorer than Rondo once he acquires further NBA experience.
[The DC Council -- After each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. Game 3 contributors: Rashad Mobley, Arish Narayen and John Converse Townsend.]
The Wizards started their first two games of this season with less effort, more selfishness and more frustration expressed from the players than should be accepted. No matter how much the team owner wants to use age as an excuse, these are not good signs that the franchise is successfully establishing “new traditions,” the message printed on t-shirts given to fans on opening night. Some mistakes are okay, but the aspects shown thus far by the team are not what you want infiltrating a young, impressionable team. But, alas, each next game is a chance for the Wizards to turn it around, we think. Tonight they take on the Bucks in Milwaukee at 8:30 PM ET. For 3-on-3 today, we have Jeremy Schmidt from the ESPN TrueHoop Network Bucks blog Bucksketball, TAI’s Rashad Mobley, and myself, Kyle Weidie. Here we go…
Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball: Is Andray Blatche going to crush Milwaukee’s power forwards on the block in an effort to show how mature he is?
MOBLEY: Let’s see, after the first game, Blatche calls out everyone who passes him the ball for not getting him the ball in the post — a place he has routinely eschewed during his career. He repeats this anger via Twitter later that night, backtracks via Twitter the next day, and this amidst Flip Saunders having a pre-practice meeting with him to sort things out. The next game, he started off shooting 0-for-7 en route to a 2-for-13, seven point performance. He may crush Milwaukee’s forwards, and he may think he’s showing maturity, but given his track record, it’ll all come undone soon enough.
SCHMIDT: He certainly has the talent. He’s a bad matchup for the Bucks: Too quick for Andrew Bogut, too strong for most of their power forwards. But he’s as much of a threat to remove himself from the game mentally as anyone it would seem. I know there was some noise about him being grouchy already, but I think if he’s demanding more post touches, ultimately, that’s a wonderful thing for Washington.
[The DC Council -- After each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. Game 2 contributors: Gregg Cobert, Sam Permutt and Kyle Weidie.]
The Night After The Wizards 2011-12 Season Opener:
The Day After The Night:
Andray Blatche just can’t help himself, literally, figuratively, and ways in between.
After the Wizards grabbing the mic to announce to a much-less-than-capacity Verizon Center crowd over the P.A. system:
“How y’all doing? This is your captain, Andray Blatche. On behalf of myself, my teammates, the whole Washington Wizards organization, we want to say we strongly appreciate y’all sticking around all summer. It’s been a long summer, and it’s a shortened season, but it’s going to be tough. And we’re going to need you guys, the best fans in the NBA, to be our sixth man. So in other words, let’s get this season started.”
Fairly good intentions (“best fans in the NBA” jokes aside; Blatche gets booed a lot by the paltry home crowds). Look, no one can question that Blatche is trying. He just doesn’t know how to try. So he continues to fall on his face while the franchise constantly running to defend him keeps looking silly in the process. After all, Ted Leonsis has only doled out one multi-year free agent contract in his brief tenure as team owner, to Blatche. This, of course, amongst other positive pixel puffery.
[Versus the Wizards, Deron Williams takes the double screen and dribbles in an 'S'
around the hedging defense as the four rolls and options open at the hoop.]
The ball screen defense of the Wizards against the New Jersey Nets was sub par, to say the least. Also, Deron Williams is good. Nothing new.
“He just comes off pick and rolls good, and if the big is not there to show or help, he can pick you apart any type of way,” said John Wall when asked what made Williams so hard to defend. “He started making tough, contested shots, and when an All-Star player like that starts making tough, contested shots, there’s nothing you can do.”
[Editor's Note: What was formerly the "Rundown" in the preseason is now the DC Council -- after each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. For the season opener, in addition to my first-hand game coverage, we have two guest contributors, Gregg Cobert and Sam Permutt. More on both of them at the bottom of this post. -Kyle W.]
Tags: Andray Blatche, chris singleton, deron williams, Flip Saunders, JaVale McGee, John Wall, jordan crawford, kardashian, kris humphries, marshon brooks, N.J. / Brooklyn Nets, Nick Young, rashard lewis, ronny turiaf, sundiata gaines
Merry/happy time of the year for whatever it is that you and friends/family enjoy celebrating/taking part in. Hope all of that is going well. What you will see in this Christmas Day post is scenes from scrimmaging at Wizards practice on Thursday, December 22. Prepare yourself, fans of the team, for an ugly start to the season as a young team looks to progress toward improvement in uncertain times, i.e., enjoy!
What You Will See:
The Wizards making extra passes in the early offense — even JaVale McGee passing out of the post, go figure (I imagine this happens because McGee knows a double team is coming) — and Jordan Crawford ultimately finding Mo Evans in the corner for a jumper.
Now that NBA the season is upon us, the most oft-considered repercussion of the compacted schedule has been for whom is it an advantage. Fresh legs? Sharp minds? Old teams?
On media day Flip Saunders was asked if a youthful team brings any benefits to a scrambled environment in the aftermath of the 2011 lockout. ”I think if you have youth, you’re going to say yes, and if you have veterans, you’re going to say yes,” he said, implying that you can cook the perspective to whatever degree you like.
As with any NBA season, normal length or not, if a team is hit with the injury bug too harshly or with bad timing, it can significantly affect results. With a slate of 66 games in just 122 days, injuries are now more likely. Neither young nor old are immune. Sure, less aged muscles can recuperate faster, but those benefits are not as effective without proper time to recover.
“We just have to make sure that they can get the proper rest when they’re not playing,” said Saunders, “and so that’s going to be a main focus of what we’ll try to do too.”
“We got to really listen in and focus in on film session and listen to what the coaches are saying because there’s not going to be a lot of time to practice on the floor,” said Rashard Lewis, a veteran of the last NBA lockout, the shortened season afterward being his 1998-99 rookie campaign with the Seattle Supersonics.