Close game, different locker rooms, opposite outcomes… but they are all professional basketball players. The Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics said WHAT?
Jordan Crawford‘s thoughts on the double-technical foul called on him and Paul Pierce midway through the third period… Pierces “thoughts” as well… Rajon Rondo‘s intricate and insightful opinion on the differences in John Wall’s game from Sunday’s contest and when these two teams met earlier this year on January 1 and 2… And other general game thoughts, i.e., Paul Pierce sentiment, from Nick Young, John Wall, Doc Rivers, Flip Saunders, and Ray Allen, with a camero appearance from Kevin Garnett.
[footage shot by TAI's Kyle Weidie and John Converse Townsend]
At every buzzer, there are key points you can look back on when considering the outcome — a game-changing instance, a slept-on moment, an initial reaction to the final score. Sure, in a contest of ebbs and flows, moments can be subjective, but it doesn’t make it any one less important than others. In a Wizards 94-100 loss against the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon, these were some of those moments…
On the surface, there is plenty to be encouraged about if you’re affiliated with the Washington Wizards. For the fifth consecutive game, they gave a strong team effort. John Wall continues to play aggressive but smart, JaVale McGee shows flashes of being a dominant post player, Nick Young continues a trend of giving a half of dazzling basketball, and Jordan Crawford is taking fewer bad shots. All these factors are keeping the Wizards close enough to win, until they inevitably fall short.
[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 4 contributors: Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend who covered the game at the Verizon Center, and Sam Permutt, who watched the game all the way from Israel.]
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.
Fix This Mess. [Southeast-Southwest Freeway - 12th & K St. SE - Washington, D.C. - photo: K. Weidie]
Whomever put the debate over Basketball Related Income (“BRI”) at the forefront of the NBA Lockout argument between players and owners knew what they were doing, assuming they were working in favor of the owners. At least this is in terms of public perception, but does either side care about the public anyway? No, not really, it seems.
Fifty-fifty is what we’ve been taught is fair; “even-steven” is intrinsically connected to our humanity. Disregard concerns otherwise when it comes to the lockout, the focus has been how to split the BRI between owners and players. Under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”), the players received 57-percent of all NBA BRI, and for the purposes of new CBA negotiations, players have indicated that they are willing to reduce their BRI to 53-percent and have stuck staunchly to that (although recent reports indicate the players might lower their demands to 52-percent).
The Sacramento Kings closed out their season with a very emotional home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. At the time, there was a strong possibility that it was last game in Sacramento after 23 years as the team‘s owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, looked to move the franchise to Anaheim, California. The Kings broadcasters broke down on air, and fans organized a protest by refusing to leave the arena after the contest’s conclusion. Kings players returned to the court to address their adoring fans. There was great sense of empathy amongst sports fans online in seeing a team ripped away from a fan base.
When the move appeared imminent, I caught up with Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders and swingman Maurice Evans to ask about their personal experiences playing in Sacramento. In the video below, Saunders talks about the Sacramento Cow Bells, and Evans provides a funny antidote about a passionate Kings fan that still supports him every time he returns.
The basketball world knew who the Washington Wizards were going to select with the sixth pick in the NBA Draft well before David Stern took the podium.
The Wizards, longtime fans of Jan Vesely since his emergence on the international scene in 2009, had considered selecting him in last year’s draft, before he decided to return to his Belgrade-based club Partizan for another year. And on draft afternoon, the paper trail spoke louder than ever. The Wizards’ sales department had invited staff members from the Czech Republic embassy to the team draft party in downtown Washington.
Now, while the selection might not have mystery, the player certainly was. To some extent, Vesely was misrepresented—even undervalued—having been surrounded by the popular, though incomplete, rhetoric from just a handful of available scouting reports and YouTube highlights. But the wing from Ostrava, Czech Republic, who has played basketball professionally since he was 16 years old, was the perfect pick for the Wizards. But you don’t have to take my word for it, consider head coach Flip Saunders’ review: Read more »
[UPDATE: So yea, Garnett is not playing tonight, so there's that with publishing a pre-prepared post without checking.]
A match-up between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics always brings a bit of intrigue, regardless of win-loss records. This can usually be attributed to the presence of two players: Andray Blatche and Kevin Garnett.
The spat is like big brother, little brother, with Blatche once looking up to Garnett as an upcoming player. Many experts also long ago aptly compared the style of both. Well, a comparison in terms of their ability as lengthy big men who can stretch the floor. But that’s pretty much where it ends. Blatche has always lacked something intangibly significant that Garnett has. If you know anything about the game of basketball, you know what I’m talking about. And that’s seemingly what angers the old Celtic most in his face-offs against Blatche, that Andray is not what he should be. The treatment of little brother never ends in a friendly manner.
Watch during the game. Garnett will attempt to instigate Blatche out of his mental comfort zone with poking, prodding, talking, and everything in between. Last season, Blatche responded to Garnett’s “wolfing” (or woffing) to the point where it caused some strife between Blatche and his own coach, Flip Saunders.