Before the final game of the season, Flip Saunders was queried a fair bit about a player, who in just 26 games (18 starts) since signing with the team in late-February, is the free-agent Wizards fans, and likely the organization, would most like to bring back. If you think Shaun Livingston is anything less than a keeper then you haven’t been watching. And that’s okay. But we’ll get to Livingston’s situation soon down the road.
In talking about what factors might influence Livingston, or any other free-agent for that matter, Saunders said, “When players have decisions, it’s based on money … money and opportunity. That’s pretty much what it is.”
That brings us to Mike Miller. He’s amongst the handful of the Wizards’ own free-agents that the team has some level of interest in retaining. The chances of keeping Miller may not be as high as Livingston, or even Josh Howard, in my opinion, but they are certainly higher than the chance of seeing Randy Foye in a Wizards uniform again. Basketball management thinks highly of Miller’s ability and character, and sources have indicated that Ernie Grunfeld refused to include Miller in trade proposals leading up to February’s deadline, including spurning strong interest from the Miami Heat.
Free-agency obviously depends on a number of factors. One, as Flip mentioned, is money. Priorities two and three might be money as well. But not necessarily for Miller. Even before the frustrations of 2009-10 started to show in his on-court emotions as the season wore down, it was easy to sense that Miller desperately desires to play for a winner. In 20 total career playoff games over five seasons (two with Orlando and three with Memphis), Miller has only two post-season wins to show, obviously never making it past the first round.
However, couple of the newer Wizards, transplants from Dallas on what could be just a temporary stop in their careers, have no problem representing the local baseball team.
The Post’s Michael Lee reports that Josh Howard, who attended the Wizards-Knicks game Monday night in NYC, was sporting an over-sized all white Nationals cap afterward. And of course, there’s the picture of James Singleton above. He wore that red Nats cap after a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, the infamous Blatche benching game.
But enough about that. Here’s some more Wizards and their hats from throughout the season: Read more »
Ok, so the Wizards blew a game against the Knicks tonight. Maybe Earl Boykins and Fabricio Oberto have played their last road game in the NBA … come bid them farewell at home on Wednesday. But really, what’s fun about writing about a game in which I couldn’t quite force myself to root for the Knicks (or against the Wizards), but don’t mind that they won, keeping Washington’s futile draft lottery hopes drinking from a glass slightly more than half full?
So, in lieu of writing about Andray Blatche putting up good numbers while kinda, sorta trying, I present a photo-blog from last Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. For that game, I changed places with Adam Douglas, the TAI site photographer since the last time the Wizards faced the Hawks in D.C., and sat baseline to capture the game from up close. Here that goes…
[Editor's Note: For all of you sneaker heads out there, Adam Douglas, Truth About It.net photographer, got some shots of what the Wizards and Warriors were sporting last Tuesday night. Also check out Adam's previous edition of NBA Kicks, Wizards vs. Bulls.]
Quotes, notes, observations and pictures from the Wizards’ 121-94 loss to Orlando.
Seconds away from tip-off, there looked to be a surprisingly crappy crowd in Orlando … oh wait, they’re playing the Wizards on a Wednesday night. Also, Stan Van Gundy got a pre-game ‘t-shirt nap’ in front of reporters.
From the start, Andray Blatche looked lethargic, just jogged to spots on offense and defense. Oh, wait, maybe I should be more optimistic. Okay, we’ll say he was “pacing himself.”
After a recent Detroit Pistons practice, Ben Wallace said,“They say losing builds character, I say losing sucks. That’s what I think.”
The Wizards are just as bad as the Pistons … same 24-53 record that’s currently tied for fifth worst in the NBA. Actually, one could say the Wizards are worse because their expectations going into the season were much higher, according to most experts.
But regardless of Washington’s downtrodden ways, the question of losing, ‘Does it build character or does it suck?’, was worth posing to several Wizards before Tuesday’s game against the Golden State.
Al Thornton, Quinton Ross, Randy Foye, Cartier Martin, Mike Miller, Cedric Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Earl Boykins answered … well, not really Boykins. Video below the jump …
Eight seconds left in the game. Your team is up three points, having just hit two free-throws making the score 90-87. Your opponent must go the length of the court, i.e., no timeouts left in the NBA or a regular made basket scenario in college.
Do you foul and put your opponent on the line for two-free throws (no fouls to give/in double-bonus)?
Or do you play straight-up defense, allowing the other team a chance to tie the game with a three?
Opponent can be a factor, and that did come up when I posed this basketball strategy question to several Wizards before Sunday’s Nets game: Mike Miller, Quinton Ross, Cedric Jackson, James Singleton, Al Thornton, Randy Foye, Cartier Martin and JaVale McGee. Here’s what they had to say:
[Editor's Note: Truth About It.net photographer Adam Douglas brings another edition of "Under The Hoop" -- because Wizards games aren't just about basketball, they're about the whole fan experience, and Adam brings you that experience from up close with pictures and commentary. The below post is from last Friday's game against the Chicago Bulls.]
Sixteen losses in a row and counting. The Wizards showed some bright spots in Tuesday night’s loss to Houston, such as JaVale McGee. Actually, he was pretty much the only bright spot. Well, James Singleton played okay.
Andray Blatche’s 31 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, three assists and three blocks you say? Well, when you play 41 minutes and receive the ball ALL. THE. TIME. (he took 23 shots) you are supposed to put up those numbers. He still has too much Tin Man in him … no heart … especially when it comes to rebounding toughness.
The Wizards mostly showed that they did not deserve to win. I’m sure some are saying, ‘Hey, those guys competed without Foye, Thornton, Gee, etc.’ But the Rockets also competed without Kevin Martin, Shane Battier and Jared Jeffries. Plus, the Wizards were beaten by Chase Budinger. Enough said.
Nonetheless, below are the notes and observations I took/made as I watched the game on delay at my leisure.
[Editor's Note: Wizards games aren't just about basketball, they're about the whole fan experience. And Truth About It.nets bring you that experience from up close. Here's the debut edition of 'Under The Hoop' -- pictures and commentary by TAI photographer Adam Douglas from last Tuesday's match-up against the Charlotte Bobcats.]