You don’t want to infer too much from a single preseason game that you’re not able to watch live and can only follow via box score and play-by-play action. Training camp just started less than a week ago (even if a bunch of guys were training in D.C. up to a week before then). Still, the Wizards faced the Bobcats in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon without John Wall (knee), Nene (feet), Emeka Okafor (rest), Trevor Booker (hamstring), and Jannero Pargo (ribs). Okafor’s last game action was in February with New Orleans, and aside from a dislocated finger about 10 days ago, was presumed to be fully ready. Instead, the Wizards started A.J. Price, Jordan Crawford, Trevor Ariza, Jan Vesely, and Kevin Seraphin, and although I’ll once again give anotherreminder that it was just one preseason game, some of the numbers in a 100-86 loss to the Bobcats reflect some of the exact preexisting concerns going into this season.
Positives and Negatives.
Kevin Seraphin’s scoring touch continues. He was 5-for-11 with 11 points at halftime, but didn’t score again after that, missing three shots in the second half (from 10 and 11 feet and one attempt at the rim). He’ll also need more than four rebounds in 28 minutes.
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
You may have heard of ESPN’s #NBArank project, now in year two. Now hear of #WizardsRank, where we rank each of those 56 players during Truth About It.net’s five-year run.
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
People like to rank things and then argue about them.
In a world defined by — and dependent on — math and structure, maybe debating numerical assignments given to people, things, movies, etc. in nonsensical manners makes us feel human.
It’s a tame way of bucking the system (except when said debates lead to fights). Rankings and such especially hold immeasurable value in the sports and entertainment world, as they’re often cycled and recycled in a regurgitation of pixels. But also, comparisons are, well, sort of fun.
“He don’t have no pressure, he’s not the savior. He’s a beast under pressure. But he don’t have no pressure. We want Bradley Beal to come in and be Bradley Beal. We’re not telling him to come on and lead us into the playoffs. We want him to come in and make some jump shots, play some solid defense… go from there.”
—Sam Cassell, July 2012 Summer League
Cassell’s statement diffuses expectations, but it’s true. Bradley Beal is just a piece. The Washington Wizards now have several nice pieces, but none of them are saviors. Not even John Wall.
Wall is the face of the franchise — every team needs a face — and maybe Beal’s face will shine next to Wall’s on the top billing one day. But the Wizards don’t have a star. Not a single All-Star on the roster. Not yet.
Things I learned/witnessed at summer league in Las Vegas, in bullets:
On Day 1, Chris Webber, an analyst for the games on NBA TV, broke out his pleated cargo shorts. It was a tough day for all of us.
Bradley Beal can block shots… he averaged one per game over five contests in Las Vegas. Chris Singleton also threw his body around a bunch (“I feel like it’s going to help Chris Singleton out a lot,” said Shelvin Mack about the summer league 10-foul limit during Wizards mini-camp prior. “You know, he likes to foul, so he’s going to play a lot longer, so it’s good for us.”). This clip shows Beal blocking, or rather, thwarting a lob attempt off the backboard, and then Singleton diving over the first row of chairs for the loose ball:
“I think I’ll fit in. Looking at the roster, I can see the backup point guard position was a need,” said Price in a conference call with D.C. media on Tuesday afternoon. “I think I got the opportunity to come in and play, contribute right away. I know my role as a player in this league. I know my job. I’m more than willing to come in and do the best of my ability.”
Again, the decision to sign Price — set to turn 26-years-old in October with only three NBA seasons and 150 regular season games under his belt — is not so much an indictment of 2010 second-round pick Shelvin Mack. Although Mack didn’t impress team officials with his ability to run a team during the summer league, his experience and cool demeanor means the franchise will still invest in his development.
The signing of Price is more of an indication of reality; a reality in which the Wizards, if they want to be in playoff contention, needed one more guard with a little bit more experience to complement John Wall, Mack, Jordan Crawford, and Bradley Beal.
LAS VEGAS — Not a secret: The Wizards are content to wait out the free agency process before they make final roster determinations. With the amnestying of Andray Blatche, the Wizards now have 12 contracted players on the roster.
The Wizards could use another another big man for depth. Nene, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, and Jan Vesely form a solid core, but…. For instance, I’m hearing that the Wizards would love to bring back James Singleton, but the courting process might take some time to develop, if it does at all. With the roster changes thus far, the minutes that Singleton could get have dried up a bit. Just like the Wizards, he has to let some free agency dominoes fall before being able to decide on the best option for him.
The more glaring need, however, is finding a backup point guard.
“We’re looking for somebody who can run a ball-club,” said Sam Cassell on Sunday. “We’ve got John Wall, but after John Wall, we need to figure it out. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
In their fifth and last summer league game, the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 78-75, to leave Las Vegas with a 3-2 record. TAI’s Adam McGinnis from behind the television and Kyle Weidie, courtside in Sin City, take you through The Reaction. But first: a smooth Bradley Beal drive near the end of the third quarter…
Bradley Beal might not have wowed in Vegas with high scoring outputs or super flashy highlight packages (he didn’t drop 35 like Josh Selby, but averaging 17.6 points over five games isn’t bad), but the Washington faithful can rest assured that he did not disappoint. Beal displayed the consistency on both ends that the Washington franchise has sorely lacked at the shooting guard position for years, and Beal is only a teenager. His effective style was showcased against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Wizards’ summer league finale. Beal finished with a team-high 18 points (7-for-13 field goals), six rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal.
The Wizards handled, but escaped the Memphis Grizzlies in their fourth summer league game, an 83-77 win. TAI’s Adam McGinnis, Markus Allen, Arish Narayen, and Kyle Weidie take you through The Reaction, but first…
The play of the game: Jeremy Pargo smoothness to Mitchell Watt for the dunk, and-1.
The Wizards got handled by the D-League Select team on Sunday night, losing 85-78 and falling to 1-2 in summer-league play. TAI’s Markus Allen (over broadband from afar) and Kyle Weidie (on location in Las Vegas) take you through The Reaction.
… But first, Chris Singleton climbs into a new galaxy. It must be the shoes.