He still has two legs. Here, on Monday afternoon, he performs a dribbling drill with assistant coach Ryan Saunders. This is a John Wall update, in GIF form.
UPDATE on Kevin Seraphin…
He didn’t practice on Monday with that strained right calf muscle of his. A return is indeterminate according to head coach Randy Wittman.
“That’s one of those things that can continue to make great strides in a day or two, but then it could be a week, it could be two,” said the coach. “It’s one of those things — calf, hamstring, any kind of muscle injury — you just don’t know until it runs it course.”
The Wizards matched-up against each other for two segments of 5-on-5 action in front of season ticket holders and media on Thursday night. That it was just the third day of training camp was clear, as jumpers on offense tended to clang and more experienced defense usually won out. A white team featuring A.J. Price, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Emeka Okafor, Cartier Martin, Brian Cook, Earl Barron handled a blue team featuring Jordan Crawford, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Shelvin Mack, Shavlik Randolph, and Steve Gray 32-14 — the white team won each scrimmage segment 16-7. Below are the video pixels and scenes.
In this first clip, Okafor gets a relatively easy post catch against Seraphin, turns, and hits a soft-appearing but slightly flat jumper over Kevin. It’s a shot Okafor needs confidence to take. On the inbounds, Booker puts defensive pressure on Crawford and Vesely. Booker is a big guy, but Crawford barely makes an effort to create space, and then he gets on Vesely because he doesn’t initially execute the tough pass. Once on the other end, Booker steps up to help with Crawford’s dribble penetration — Booker and Ariza together make an intimidating defensive combination. The clip ends with what appears to be a very poor entry pass from Crawford into the post (the play is obscured by a coach on the sideline). The blue team turns it over, Beal picks up the leftovers, and he takes it the length of the floor to draw an And-1 against Crawford.
“I work most during the offseason on my outside shot. I spend a lot of time on this skill,” said Jan Vesely, with hope and wry smile that his jumper will put the league on notice next season.
He’s put in the time, that’s for sure. And on media day, Jan credited much of his preparation for the upcoming season to his participation in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, as well as the ability to stay in Washington and workout in team’s facilities. A Wizards coach, Joe Connelly, also travelled with Vesely on a visit back home to the Czech Republic this summer to work him out. Jan even moved his new fiancee, Eva, to the District in the offseason. That’s dedication. (Although Jan won’t reveal how he proposed her, which happened in D.C. shortly after last season, and he says they haven’t set a date.)
But is Vesely ready mentally? Practicing jump shots is one thing, having the confidence to knock them down when the NBA lights are on is what separates a select few from the masses. Jan need not be aware of the social media snickers when he airballed his first free throw as a rookie, or when he didn’t make a jumper until March. He knows that his ability to play in the Association relies on being able to make outside shots.
If everything works out, maybe Jan should credit dad, too.
Jordan Crawford and Cartier Martin work on their corner 3s during a post-practice shooting drill after the morning session of Washington Wizards training camp day one.
Last season the Washington Wizards attempted 329 corner 3-pointers, 16th most in the NBA. The Atlanta Hawks led the league with 464 3-point attempts from the corner and the Spurs were next with 453 attempts.
Washington made 132 of their corner 3-point attempts, good enough for 40.1 percent and seventh best in the NBA. Atlanta made 39.7 percent of their corner 3s and San Antonio made 41.9 percent; the Golden State Warriors led the league in shooting 45.6 percent on corner 3s.
One could easily deduce: Hey, the Wizards need to shoot more corner 3s. From a tweet of NBA.com’s John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) in September:
Here’s a fascinating one: The league leader in assists on corner 3s was, by far, John Wall (77). Rondo was next w/ 59.
[NOTE: This was written before today's Debbie-Downer news about John Wall's knee. But in any case... -Kyle W.]
“This is not the norm in the league,” said Randy Wittman in a pre-training camp press conference on Wednesday. He was talking about almost two-thirds of his young team arriving in Washington early over the last week-plus to get better acquainted with each other before the season.
“We do have a lot of new faces, and I thought it was important they get to try to know each other a little bit, not only as persons, but their games, what they like to do, where they like to catch the ball, those kind of things that you can learn, before we start on Tuesday,” said the coach, subtly anxious to run his first Wizards training camp from the head position.
“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.
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.
As summer-league play for the Wizards continues with game four against the Memphis Grizzlies today at 6 p.m. EDT, let’s take a glance at the video notebook.
Boarding Bradley Beal
“Some people just have a nose for the ball.” There’s that cliche, and it applies to Bradley Beal, but it’s not simply about what his schnoz is or is not attracted to… Beal possesses the intuition to put his body (and nose) in the most opportune place, which is right in front of the rim. Let’s go to the video of Brad Beal rebounding, specifically those of an offensive nature.
Here, Beal places himself at the rim and gets the offensive board and put-back… easy peasy.
I’m not quite sure why Tomas Satoransky doesn’t see Beal here, but, nonetheless, Bradley again puts himself in rebounding position and draws the foul.
At 4 p.m. EDT this afternoon, the latest version of the “Wiz Kids” will kick off the very first game of the 2012 Las Vegas NBA Summer League against the Atlanta Hawks. Fresh off a four-day mini-camp in Washington from Monday through Thursday, the Wizards carry a roster of 14 players to Vegas. At the beginning of camp, head coach Randy Wittman indicated that they would likely trim the roster down from that number before flying west. They didn’t; the competition between Wizards fighting for a spot in Vegas and prospects fighting for their professional lives must have been that tough.
Bradley Beal, Shelvin Mack, Tomas Satoransky, Chris Singleton, and Jan Vesely — all summer league first-timers — will be the Wizards to watch. With the signing of Cartier Martin, the yet-to-be determined Andray Blatche amnesty situation, and the likelihood that Satoransky will continue to hone his game in Spain for a season or two, the Wizards currently have 13 players under contract for next season. With the potential departure of Blatche and the potential signing of James Singleton, that 13 number can stay the same or go up; the signing of a backup point guard like John Lucas III could put the Wizards closer to roster capacity (and we’re not even thinking about Roger Mason Jr. or Mo Evans). Unfilled team spots may not even be available for the rest of the summer league hopefuls — team president Ernie Grunfeld has a history of keeping his roster flexible for trades, etc.; every time I’ve seen him this week he’s been tirelessly working the phone, and I think we know why.
Below you’ll find video of the main cast of Wizards characters talking during mini-camp about the five summer league games that could significantly impact basketball lives, following by the final roster and the full slate of games.