December 7, 2012
July 24, 2012
Via Michael Lee, the Wizards agreed to a one year deal with A.J. Price, the former third year Pacer.
John Wall’s clamoring for a Veteran mentor and Shelvin Mack’s anemic Summer League play made signing a Veteran backup Point Guard the top priority for the Wizards this offseason.
Personally, I disagree with the decision to sign A.J. Price. It is one thing to sign a veteran that will take away minutes from younger, less experienced players. It is entirely another to sign a veteran that will take away minutes from younger, less experienced players while being only marginally better then the players they are taking time away from. The numbers make a strong argument that A.J. Price is not much better then Mack. In fact, Mack had a higher TS%, AST%, and PER then Price did. An while Price is technically a Veteran, he is in only the strictest sense of the term, having played one additional season over Wall. In fact, John Wall has over twice the minutes played that Price does. And while this is a low impact move that MAYBE has an effect on our backup Point Guard situation, and will most likely not have any deep effect the long term development of the team. But it might effect our whether we make the playoffs in the next two years. And I am left scratching my head about why the Wizards felt they needed to make a move like this instead of just stand pat.
April 24, 2012
I haven’t commented about the resigning of Ernie Grunfeld as General Manager, mostly because I haven’t followed the team long enough to have a concrete opinion of him. I know the facts, both the good and the bad. I know he traded a 5th round pick in 09 for two one year loaners. I know he gave Blatche that ridiculous extension. Both of those were bad decisions that are on him.
But since Ted has been the owner, Grunfeld has also made a variety of good moves. He got rid of Arenas’s max contract for Raschard Lewis. He got the draft pick that became Kevin Seraphin. He traded Veteran point guard Hinrich for a first round pick that became Chris Singleton, Jordan Crawford, and Mo Evans. And even more recently since I started following the Wizards, the Ernie got rid of Javale McGee and Nick Young for the calming veteran presence of Nene.
I have serious apprehension about resigning Grunfeld. Ted Leonidas should have at least interviewed other candidates for the position. And if Grunfeld doesn’t get rid of Blatche over the summer, rest assured I will be leading the mob to Grunfeld’s house, torch and pitchfork in hand. But until Grunfeld makes an obvious, boneheaded mistake, he’ll get the benefit of the doubt from me. I’ll have to believe that this is a Grunfeld who has turned a new leaf under Tim Leonidas.
April 21, 2012
The Wizards are on a 2 game winning streak, beating both the top seeded (shorthanded) Bulls and playoff hopeful Bucks. Tonight, the Wizards try to go for their third straight win over the illustrious Miami Heat, the most hyped team in the NBA. I doubt the Wizards pull off a 3rd straight win, but I love it when my teams play spoiler. The Heat are trying to take the top seed from the Bulls, but the Wizards can make that path immeasurably harder if they pull off the upset here tonight. So… LETS GO WIZ!!!
How the Wizards can win:
Some the big three sits: The Heat have been sitting some of their star players against teams with losing records in the past, so hopefully the Wizards will be able to surprise the Heat and keep it close through most of the game and win enough 50 50 plays to pull off the upset.
Go in the paint: Probably the Heat’s biggest weakness is their lack of size in the inside. What do you know, that’s been one of the wizard’s strengths down the stretch. Nene (if he plays), Seraphin, and Vesely need to have a big game on the inside. This also means Crawford can’t play his usual game of just throwing up every opportunity and see what sticks. The Wizards need to make every play count for them to pull off an upset.
Old(er) people do work: The Heat’s supporting cast leaves much to be desired. That means the Wizards will need to score when the big three are taking a rest. That means Mo Evans, James Singleton, and Brian Cook are going to need to play a very tight game and provide the scoring options from the outside that aren’t as available to the Wizards usually.
The Morning After-Wizards vs. Bucks-The one where the Wizards crush a team’s playoff hopes beneath their boot
April 19, 2012
As a fan of losing teams (the Wizards and the Orioles in my case), you learn to relish playing the role of spoiler. At this point in the year, your season is done. This is especially true at this point in the Wizards season, when mobility from the second worst record in Basketball is all but gone. When playing a team on the cusp of the playoffs, however, things change. Being able effect what teams can and can’t reach the playoffs is a kind of existential wakeup call to terrible teams that the games they play still have meaning. It’s the David vs. Goliath matchups, the idea that the dregs of the league can come up and strike a blow to the accepted higher order of NBA teams and cause a deviation, however slim, of the conversional wisdom around both teams.
That’s what made tonight so much fun. The Wizards pretty much dealt a death blow to the Bucks playoff hopes and played some pretty fun basketball while they were at it. Let’s get to the summary.
- I have my doubts about Jordan Crawford as a consistent starter this year, but give credit where credit is due. Crawford rebounded from an anemic performance against the Bulls by shooting the lights out of the phone booth, going 65% from the floor and providing a three from what seemed like half court to put the game away. My favorite part of the performance was Crawford played efficiently and didn’t take bad shots.
- Nene is back! The big man made a huge impact, scoring 14 in only 18 minutes of play off the bench. I don’t think that Nene should start for the rest of the season, but I do think that he should come off the bench so that Kevin Seraphin doesn’t need to be relieved by Brian Cook. Ugh.
- I’m becoming more and more of a fan of Jan Vesely as the season is coming to a close. Obviously his shooting isn’t ideal, and he does make stupid fouls sometimes, but that doesn’t take away from all of the great things he does for the team. Vesely not only had twice as many rebounds (10) as his closest Wizard teammate, his contributions reached beyond the stat sheet. From breaking up an alley oop pass from early in the second to hustle on fast break defense, Vesely’s constant motor bodes well for the future.
- At this point I feel Chris Singleton is a starter in name only, getting less minutes (17) then both Mo Evans (24) and James Singleton (21). Both Mo Evans and James Singleton have been playing really well, and Chris Singleton is a rookie, so it isn’t a huge knock on him but more a message that he needs to get better. As it was, Chris Singleton filled his role perfectly tonight, knocking down two 3s and scoring 10 points.
March 28, 2012
The Wizards have had a tough time recently, blowing a double digit lead in the final minute of three of their past four games. Tonight, they try and get back on track by defeating one of the teams they originally blew a large lead against, the Indiana Pacers. The Wizards started out that game on fire, scoring 33 in the first quarter and hitting their first 8 shots. However, the Pacers defense clamped down for the rest of the game and took their first lead in the final minute to win the game. Hopefully, the Wizards can come out strong and bury the Pacers once and for all this time.
How the Wizards can win:
Shut down Roy Hibbert: Hibbert destroyed the Wizards last time the two teams played, dominating Nene in the paint, scoring a team high 19 points, and nabbing a game high 5 offensive rebounds. If the Wizards want to avenge their loss last week, Nene needs to tighten up his defense in the paint and figure out how to counter Hibbert’s hook shot.
External offense from Crawford: The last time we played the Pacers the Wizards really weren’t able to find a real scoring option outside Jordan Crawford, and even then he was such a crapshoot it let the Pacers crawl back into and eventually win the game. If the Wizards want to beat the Pacers, their secondary scoring options are going to have to start converting. Mason is going to have to shake his cold streak and start hitting three’s again, Singleton is going to need to convert a midrange to parameter jumper, and Nene and Seraphin are going to need to start converting in the paint. If the Wizards do this, they should be able to bury the Pacers, this time for good.
John Wall: Wall needs to play better. He has been in a mini-slump of late. A lot of this is that the Wizards have slowed down the pace of their offense a lot since Nene has got here. This has resulted in much better Wizards defense, and I think that it is overall a good choice, but it means Wall can’t utilize his speed like he used too. This means if Wall wants to create his own offense, he is going need to get his jumper to start falling. If he does this, it means that defenders will start giving him less space and he can use his speed to get to the basket. But until his jumper starts falling, defenders are going to give him plenty of space. If Wall starts converting his jumper early, look for that as a sign that he will have a productive offensive game.