Shaq And Penny: Reunited And It Feels So Weird

Shaq and Penny, reunited? Believe it.

But I'm still a bit shocked by what happened today in Miami. The Miami Heat signed 36-year-old Anfernee Hardaway, bringing him back together with his former co-star/teammate/frenemy/nemesis Shaquille O'Neal. Unbelievable.

On the list of reunions you thought you'd never see - i.e. The Fat Boys, Milli Vanilli, Color Me Badd - this has to rank at the top. No way did I ever see expect to see Shaq and Penny Hardaway together again. But it's true.

What's next? The reunion of Shaq and Kobe?

I certainly didn't see this coming - especially since I thought Penny Hardaway had been tossed aside like the tape deck. His knees and feet were supposed to be in terrible shape. Hardaway hasn't played in the NBA since the 2005-06 season, when he gave the New York Knicks a total of 10 points and 10 rebounds in four games. If he ever came back, rejoining forces with O'Neal would seem to be last on his list. Beggers can't be choosers, I guess.

O'Neal and Hardaway haven't been in the same uniform since the 1996 Olympic team won gold in Atlanta. And before that, O'Neal had already bolted the Orlando Magic for the Los Angeles Lakers, where he went on to win three championships with Kobe Bryant. In the years after their split, the two took every opportunity possible to throw jabs at each other.

It seemed like Shaq had crushed Penny for good two seasons ago, when he spoke about his relationship with Dwyane Wade to those with Kobe Bryant and Penny, and made one of greatest, Shaqtastic analogies ever" "The difference between those three is in "The Godfather" trilogy. One is Fredo, who was never ready for me to hand it over to him. One is Sonny, who will do whatever it takes to be the man. And one is Michael, who if you watch the trilogy, the Godfather hands it over to Michael. So I have no problem handing it over to Dwyane."

Now, Shaq and Penny are reuinted and it feels so. . .weird. Shaq apparently supports the decision to sign Penny.

Shaq and Penny once starred in that classic film, Blue Chips, then O'Neal urged the Magic to trade Chris Webber to get him. They went on to tease us more than a decade ago with the promise of becoming the next Kareem Abdul-Jabber and Magic Johnson. They were Showtime/Central Florida edition, and led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995. But they proved to be too immature to play with one another and win anything other than endorsements. They succumbed to petty jealousies over whose team it was and whether Lil' Penny (a puppet voiced by the hilarious Chris Rock) was a bigger star than Shaq Fu (a rapper voiced by the hilarious Shaquille O'Neal).

Penny was awesome back in the day. A four time all-star, a three-time All-NBA performer, including first team honors twice, and a bonafide celebrity, with signature shoes and commercials. He never the same after Shaq left Orlando. He had a devastating knee injury in 1997, and despite some decent years with the Phoenix Suns, he had some serious foot troubles that made him a distant memory. He's since been dealt to the New York Knicks and back the Orlando Magic in February 2006. At the time, I thought he was moments from being sent out to pasture and turned to glue. His career was basically over.

I know that I strongly urged Reggie Miller to stay retired, but this comeback thing appears to be an epidemic, with Allan Houston and even Charles Oakley joining the list of players hinting that their playing days might not be over. Now Penny's back in the NBA. (Side note: what is Pat Riley doing down there. First Smush Parker, now this?)

Maybe Shaq and Penny have fully grown up and gotten over their past. At least they don't have to argue over control of the team. There is no doubt that the Miami Heat belongs to . . . Dwyane Wade.


By Michael Lee |  August 9, 2007; 7:19 PM ET
Previous: Just Say No, Reggie | Next: McGuire signing official

Comments

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1th!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 7:58 PM

I think it's interesting that both Gilbert and the new kid, Nick Young, both identify Penny Hardaway as someone they've patterned their games after. I remember a time (a long time ago) when Penny was truly a star in the NBA. Now, I guess he's the "experienced veteran".

As for Alan Houston, I was always impressed that, whenever NBA guards were asked who was the hardest player to cover, they'd say his name. He might be old and hobbled, but I bet he could still give something out there.

Posted by: Chris in Santa Fe | August 9, 2007 8:01 PM

If Oak wants to come back, we should at least listen. The Oak of 10 years ago is exactly what we need. Granted, I'm sure he's nothing like he was then, but he might be better than what we've got.

Posted by: Bill Baxter | August 9, 2007 8:03 PM

What next? Jamel Mashburn coming back to play with his old buddy Jason Kidd?
I always thought it would have been hilarious to have Shaq do a commercial with Little Penny.

Posted by: GM | August 9, 2007 8:36 PM

Forget Hardaway and his diminished talents.

It is amazing that a trade for JCN is still not completed yet. Not that the return is so great, if the rumors are accurate, but the ability to "move on", maybe moving that pick with a bad contract for something, can't be implemented. I sure hope EG has some master plan that is alluding me and many other Wiz fans.

Posted by: Daydreamer | August 9, 2007 8:55 PM

"What's next? The reunion of Shaq and Kobe?"

Ahh see! Mike loves Kobe, he can't go one blog without talking about him. ;)

Penny was GREAT until he blew out his knee. The league is so darn young now, I think some of these older players can come in and contribute a bunch.

Oakley is next.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 9, 2007 10:32 PM

The Heat had their chance and they won the title. Theres no dynasty to be had...JCN will probably go back to Europe where he'll get more money and hotter chicks with exotic accents. Leaving the Wiz to stock the bench with primo grade A talent! I've got some advice for EG: sign Pacman Jones and Michael Vick and lets make things more interesting around here. Pacman could "make it rain" tickets from the Washington Monument and Vick's dead dogs could provide meat for the Chinese restaurants near the Phone Booth. Its win-win.

Posted by: iwillpayluxurytaxes | August 9, 2007 10:39 PM

The Heat are getting desperate LOL. But Penny and Shaq reuniting should be interesting.

Posted by: ArenasMVP08 | August 9, 2007 10:58 PM

The Heat are getting desperate LOL. But Penny and Shaq reuniting should be interesting.

Posted by: ArenasMVP08 | August 9, 2007 10:58 PM

The Heat are getting desperate LOL. But Penny and Shaq reuniting should be interesting.

Posted by: ArenasMVP08 | August 9, 2007 10:58 PM

It speaks volumes about Jarvis Hayes that a team would sooner sign a washed-up Penny or Reggie instead of him. Sad.

Posted by: akmed0 | August 9, 2007 11:28 PM

Yeah I do not know why that post showed up like 3 times, sorry for that.

Posted by: ArenasMVP08 | August 9, 2007 11:42 PM

I also feel that a lot of these retired stars returning to L feels funny. Are they even fit to continue playing? ie: Is Reggie still fit enough to run up and down the court for 15 mins?

But of all the comebacks mentioned/rumored, I would love to see Kemp come back.

PS. I am sorry but I hope I dun get hated. I just so happen to stumble upon here tho I am a Mavs fan.

Posted by: MavsKaiser | August 10, 2007 12:05 AM

Even better, bring back Nick Andersen with Shaq.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 12:14 AM

If Nick Anderson came back then the Wizards would know who to foul at the end of the game against the Heat.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 10, 2007 12:26 AM

Desperate teams always sign the over-the-hill stars. Remember when we had Moses Malone? Dan Roundfield? I tell ya, this only makes us look better in the long run. We have young talent; all we lack is a devoted center. This means we're going to be in the finals, maybe not 2007-08, but real soon. I trust this means EG won't trade Gil, Caron, or Nick Young. That's all we need, with these aging teams around us.

Posted by: DC | August 10, 2007 12:26 AM

Heat should bring back Seikaly and Sherman Douglas, and Glen Rice too!

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 12:45 AM

Don't forget Rory Sparrow.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 10, 2007 12:56 AM

The best would be to bring back Big Georghe Meuhressan!

And how come Jahidi White hasn't made any headlines? I heard we was trying to comeback from the buffet. (or was that duckworth? Ike Austin?)

Posted by: greg | August 10, 2007 1:00 AM

Some cruel folks out there today!

If the Wiz want to keep pace with the veteran frenzy, they should make a couple of international phone calls, one to Vlade Divac and one to Arvydis Sabonis, just to see if they are tanned, rested and ready...

Posted by: khrabb | August 10, 2007 2:46 AM

Perhaps Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland make comeback bids. The Beef Brothers Part Deux: The Sequel. Roy Tarpley may already be fully exonerated so even he might give it a go. And let's not forget Dennis Rodman is rumbling about a comeback as well. Bill Laimbeer may also try to get in on the fun along with Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson, Kenny Smith, Vernon Maxwell, Stacey King, Ledell Eckles, Jeff Malone, B.J. Armstrong, Tom Chambers, Rolondo Blackman, and John Salley. Hmmmm....a full return of the Bad Boys and other relics. Is old school trying to overtake the NBA?
Can you say, "Mid-Life Crisis?" We'll see if Reggie "Miller Time" and any of the other ancient men I failed to mention here will come to their senses and realize that Father Time is very unforgiving.

Posted by: low | August 10, 2007 2:57 AM

I for one cant wait to see if this works out..Penny and Shaq are the reason I started watching basketball back in the day..I think it is pretty inspiring for a guy like Penny who by far doesen't need the money, work so hard to make a comeback..For him its all about respect and a Ring.Most others would have just hung it up..Here's to hopeing their is some Magic left in those legs.

Posted by: Fitz | August 10, 2007 5:21 AM

I think the Heat signed Penny because they had to replace the corpse of Gary Payton somehow.
Good point above by AK above that it's surprising Jarvis hasn't been signed by anyone yet. I know a lot of people think he stinks, but he is easily good enough to be the 9th or 10th best player on any team, he has upside, and he doesn't complain a peep when his coach plays him at power forward. Perhaps he and his agent are just asking for too much money.

Posted by: Sean | August 10, 2007 7:11 AM

Hey,
I know this wall has nothing to do with Wizards trades, but I am really concerned. Eevery single analyst so far (other than my fellow fans on this site) don't even have the wizards ranked in the top 8 in the east. This really bothers me because at the all star break last season, we didn't have the upgraded bench that we now have, and we were freaking numero uno in the East. Basically, as a reminder, Eddie Jordan was the coach of the Eastern All Stars!!

In terms of the other teams in the East, honestly, I don't think the Celtics will be as good as everyone is making them out to be. I agree their team will do better, but their bench is empty and both pierce and allen are prone to injuries. If both of them go down, who's gonna be the dominating guard, Rondo?

The Knicks made a smart offensive acquisition with Zach Randolph and definitely are trying to keep Lee with that move. The issue is their guards are still arrogant shooters that never pass. One of their biggest mistake was trading Trevor Ariza. I just dont see a productive defensive team emerging.

Toronto will be problematic because they have made very strong acquisitions. (btw the only thought in my mind now is Michael Ruffins idiotic toss-up.) They also have good 3 point shooting so defending them will be tough. Ford was killing Gil last season on his 16 footers... I think if anything, Gil needs to pick up his D to ensure success.

Orlando. I agree with one guys comment that Lewis was a downgrade from hill, but Lewis is the classic underrated/underpaid to overrated overpaid player. He always had solid numbers and is a decent player; however this contract will begin a trend of Richard Jeffersons and Lamar Odoms charging 100m for their work...Howard is a very dominant center in the NBA though, this is why everyone was expecting Ernie to make some Center acquisition.

Detroit... has not gotten better since Ben Wallace has left. Resigning Chauncey... this team's 'ships are over. Ernie has said many times that part of the Wizards success rate is developed from wins against Detroit... we need to refocus our success rate against teams like Cleveland, Miami, NJ, and Toronto.


NJ also has not gotten any better, and if anything is getting weaker due to resigning Carter. Carter is a strong player, but also is past his prime.

Cleveland is a squad of young players right now, so they may have a chance of developing into a championship team. I don't see it thoguh because Lebron can be man-handeled, and unless one person on the team stands strong... Cleveland will not be good... (still mad about this years playoffs)

Posted by: David | August 10, 2007 8:56 AM

I hear Denver is trying to sign Rex Chapman...you heard it here first

Posted by: MDBaller1 | August 10, 2007 9:05 AM

David, until the games are played, the analysts just speculate...the same as you and I. What do they really know until the games are played?

I've learned not to pay them much attention - especially the NFL analysts who are usually way off base.

Posted by: Lisa | August 10, 2007 9:06 AM

Shaq and Penny back together: the circle of life goes round.

Jarvis will wind up in miami too. They are neck and neck with the Celts for the thinnest bench.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2007 9:10 AM

Why does everyone keep saying the Wizards are not going to make the playoffs?

Every single ESPN analyst is obsessed with Boston (the empty bench team), Orlando (the team that gave a 100 mil contract to an underachiever), Detroit (hasn't gotten better since 05), Miami (hasn't gotten better since 06), NJ (hasn't gotten better since drafting Marcus Williams), Cleveland (after their lackluster championship game... honestly the Wiz would've smashed them 4-2 if Arenas and Caron didn't go down on us), Toronto (has gotten significantly better and now has a very good offensive team; michael ruffin's toss-up still give me nightmares), and Knicks (decent off-season acquisition... still using Starrbury to kick off their offense....)

Overall, the east is still unimpressive and the Wizards will still dominate... we have an impressive bench... my only wish was for a center, but who knows maybe O-pec and Songaila will surprise us.

Posted by: David | August 10, 2007 9:19 AM

None of you are funny. Who cares about Penny Hardaway. When are we going to get the details of the Navarro trade? Its been a week now

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2007 9:31 AM

Les BouleS, at full strength, should be considered the top or 2nd team in the East. Expectations are that high for a team with everyone coming back healthy, youth, with more depth, and more seasoning with the "princeton offense." Anybody trying to say Les BouleS are the sleeper or underdog are just lowering expectations so that they won't be disappointed if they are one and done again in the playoffs.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 9:57 AM

Fredo is back, you suckas!

Posted by: ScottVanPeltStyle.com | August 10, 2007 10:02 AM

Sadly enough it doesn't matter if Miami signs and aged and crippled Penny Hardaway because offensively they have the Diesel and DWade to carry them so all Penny has to do is hang outside spot up and shoot. As for defensively as long as Shaq is in the middle causing guys to think twice before driving then again all Penny has to do is hang outside and put his hands up.

Miami is not as desolate as many make them out to be nor is Washington as overlooked as many proclaim. The Wizards have serious defensive deficiences that need to be addressed asap if they are going to make any sort of serious playoff push because merely attempting to outscore the opposition i.e. "Phoenix Suns of the East Coast" is not going to be as easy as in years prior because of the Celtics and Knicks and Magic and Bobcats all improving their rosters offensively. Those that didn't make great strides to add more offensive firepower are teams that have traditionally given the Wizards fits on the defensive end anyway like Cleveland and Miami and Detroit and Indiana.

This season is not going to be a cakewalk by any means.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2007 10:18 AM

Penny and Shaq - about as likely as the Special Edidtion DVD of the movie "Disorderlies"....... Seriously, what can Penny bring after all the miles - and is little penny coming back too?

Posted by: JPW | August 10, 2007 10:27 AM

love the comedy guys :)
gave me some laughs and brought back some wonderful names. Makes me want to have a mad max or mario elie red throwback right now. Or think of an unintentional comedy you'd provide those in the know with a GSW Spree jersey? I just forgot to bid on one on ebay :(

In all reallness, this dumb move with penny makes us look better for Hayes, and maybe he'd sign a long deal like Blatche was offered? Anyone know what kind of terms he's seeking?

Posted by: steve t | August 10, 2007 11:01 AM

The good news DCMan is that it is the ESPN analysts who are lowering the expectations and not Wizards fans.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 10, 2007 11:09 AM

Sorry to be a naysayer, but in the short run, I don't see the Wizards bench being better this year than last. Long term, yes, but not short term.

Jarvis Hayes is better than Nick Young will be this year. Calvin Booth is better than Pecherov will be this year. I hold out hope that McGuire will surprise -- he looked like a 10 year vet in summer league. If the Wizards dump Donell Taylor and replace him with someone who wasn't even in the league last year, that's not an improvement either.

If Songalia is healthy, that will be an improvement. If Blatche is resigned, he should be better this year than last. Etan will be the same Etan.

So, in sum, the bench will be better this year if (1) Blatche makes MAJOR strides; and (2) McGuire is a stud from the start.

Posted by: Sean | August 10, 2007 11:14 AM

DCMANN88, Why don't you come up with something original to call the wiz instead of LES Boules. Thats Tony Kornheisers name for the team. Anyways the days of the Les Boules are over and its not funny when you call them that.

Also everyone stop with the jokes!!!!! None of you are funny!!!!! If you are going to post say something meaningful not a wothless joke that makes only you laugh.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2007 11:16 AM

Sean I agree with you about the bench. You just don't know how these guys are gonna play in the NBA until they've been there a year or two.

Look at Kwame Brown, Jarvis Hayes, Jared Jeffries, etc.. Each were promising 1st round drafts and the anticipation was that we would have greater depth (be stronger off the bench) during their first year in the league.

None of them even to this day have evolved into what we had anticipated .. You just can't count on rookies as reliable or even promising depth.

Posted by: DCW | August 10, 2007 11:40 AM

These old farts are just gonna stink up the floor and embarras themselves. I guess all it shows is that GMs out there see little talent amongst the free agents left on the table. And I suppose the owners are guessing that an old name may pick up attendance to some degree.

Posted by: DCW | August 10, 2007 11:43 AM

Everyone on this site is a blind homer. Everyone needs to be realistic

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2007 11:48 AM

Don't you just love when anonymous posters start riffing?

Posted by: ScottVanPeltStyle.com | August 10, 2007 12:23 PM

Speaking of being realistic, how about acknowledging that the Wiz's best chance to be better is to play better defense. Can Randy Ayers really make a difference there? Will Gilbert step it up on D? Can Blatche, McGuire and Pech play some D? We all know Antawn tries hard, but just cannot do it. I think thee key to the season for us will be staying away from bad injuries.

Posted by: Rockville | August 10, 2007 12:31 PM

"It speaks volumes about Jarvis Hayes that a team would sooner sign a washed-up Penny or Reggie instead of him. Sad."

It really does. And this is the guy Jordan continuously put on the court time and time again at the end of every game.

That should also say something about Jordan.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 10, 2007 1:10 PM

"Sorry to be a naysayer, but in the short run, I don't see the Wizards bench being better this year than last. Long term, yes, but not short term."

I'm holding on to my theory that it will be the season after this upcoming season that the Wiz will put it all together.

We'll see.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 10, 2007 1:12 PM

It says nothing about Jarvis Hayes that the Heat would rather sign Hardaway. It does say something about the Heat (and NBA/sports culture in general), however.

Posted by: kalorama | August 10, 2007 1:15 PM

reason eddie Jordan was coach of Eastern All Stars game? Simple: Wizards was sitting on top of east at that time.

Trust me..nobody voted him in with his $2,000 suits and drunkards raggedy mouth.

As a professional businessman, I could never imagine grinning into cameras with blacken teeth & gaping holes.

With all his cash - brother needs to get his teeth checked. His son and family could use a mirror or two as well. Not very fastidious.

No wonder his coaching skills are lacking.

With this coach at helm - maybe first round playoffs again. Sadly.

Posted by: Wizardy | August 10, 2007 1:24 PM

What's with the personal attacks on Eddie Jordan. Criticize him for his coaching moves, but don't go after him for how he looks or his family. Good God!

Posted by: George Templeton | August 10, 2007 1:53 PM

All right!! EJ's teeth critic is back! Elevating the discourse on this blog like none other.

I assume by "professional businessman" you mean small appliance repossessor.

Posted by: Sean | August 10, 2007 1:53 PM

Damned that's pretty rude attacking EJ's family. Sounds like you've got a personal prob with EJ.

Posted by: DCW | August 10, 2007 1:53 PM

Thibodeau joined the Celtics as an assistant coach for a one-year contract, which was an important part of the agreement for him. NBA Rumors section of ESPN

Posted by: Emmet | August 10, 2007 2:05 PM

I know a good dentist for eddie jordan. I also know a good proctoligist for all the "really nice people" who are up his butt, defending eddie jordan against some loser's personal attacks on him. lord 'av mercy

Posted by: harry | August 10, 2007 2:58 PM

I gather those with the "silly comments"
are the adult males walking around in
"team jerseys, the latest athletic shoes, jeans(hangin off the drawers of course)
or under shirts - still lookin like they're 9.

How you take maintain of your person speaks volumes about you as an individual and your work habits.

You make 2 mil a yr..you represent this team...see a darn dentist.

And hey, if all I am is a small appliance respossesor...brother better believe - I'll be the best at what I'm doing.

Its about integrity & character as a man.

Posted by: wizardry | August 10, 2007 4:08 PM

Didn't we give Oak his last shot, when Jordan was bringing in all the fools he used to school and torture?

(i.e. Collins, Oakley, Byron Russel)

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | August 10, 2007 4:34 PM

Back in the 70's George Gervin was one of the homelist brothers a man could imagine. But, boy could the man play ball! Fortunitely for George he's one of those guys whom aging actually improved his looks over the years.
Norm Sloan, Lefty Drisell and even Dean Smith for many years were terrible dressers. But more than just a little on court success over the years amoung the three of them.
In the pro ranks, did Red ever give a damn what he looked like while leading the Celtics to a dynasty?
I think the heat must really be getting to some people if the subject of this blog has degressed to the looks of the coach's kids.
I Hope the forcast of cooler weather improves the outlook of some that log on here.

Posted by: GM | August 10, 2007 4:35 PM

That's right old OakTree was supposed to show Kwame the ropes. The glares, and general body langauge on the bench made it clear he hated the kid!
Onetime I saw Oak get taken out of the game and he was really P.O'ed with Collins. He picked up a towel wiped his face, neck, and armpits then threw it in Kwame's face as he walked by while Kwame was sitting on the bench.
I'm sure he's just the guy we would want to help bring along guys that are well under half of his age. Unless age has mellowed him, because boy was he surly when he was here before. And he really couldn't play much by that point of his career either.
He should be thinking about coaching if anything. His mobility was gone four years ago.

Posted by: GM | August 10, 2007 4:49 PM

I agree partially with both ray and sean.

1st, Ray's point about the wiz being better year after this. I think that probably makes sense. This team is still building, adding pieces. We will know more about our young guys in 2 year. And next seasons free agent signings are crucial. This off season was about getting the young guys in place. Can we be good this year? I absolutely think so. We have quality starters who have been in place for a couple years, and we have a talented if unproven bench.

2nd, Sean's point about our bench not being better. I think we have a lot of unproven guys so our bench may not be better. Especially early in the season. But the possibility remains that we might have a superb bench. It's hard to conclude that young needs to be better than jarvis for the bench to be good. We don't need all of the young guys to turn in to super stars, if we get solid contributions from a few of them that should be enough. Last years bench was missing for long stretches. We still have AD (savvy vet). We have a question mark in the rotation of BTH and Etan, however signing Boothe appears to still be a possibility. Blatche needs to prove himself this year, and I think we all agree he has great potential. Sprinkle in MacGuire and Pesh... I think there is reason to be optimistic. In the end, however, I think the bigger reason to be happy with the bench right now is that we need to see if these guys can get it done... and we have youth to build a strong team for years down the line. This bench definitely has more potential than last years. Boothe is a great locker room presence and I like him too, but he isn't the future of the franchise. I would say the exact same thing about Hayes and Ruffin.

For better or worse I think the decisions have been good for the team.

Posted by: greg | August 10, 2007 5:14 PM

Oak has some kind of head problem. He said he won't be cheap.... uh ok, then you won't play. Also, he was never on board to help young players develop. That is what teams wanted from him, but he hates young players. He hate everything.

Posted by: greg | August 10, 2007 5:18 PM

What a jerk! Eddie's son happens to be downright adorable and his wife is attractive as well.

Guess you are an ADONIS?

Posted by: Lisa | August 10, 2007 8:24 PM

"

DCMANN88, Why don't you come up with something original to call the wiz instead of LES Boules. Thats Tony Kornheisers name for the team. Anyways the days of the Les Boules are over and its not funny when you call them that.

Also everyone stop with the jokes!!!!! None of you are funny!!!!! If you are going to post say something meaningful not a wothless joke that makes only you laugh.

Posted by: | August 10, 2007 11:16 AM "


I could, but it wouldn't irk the star struck fans on this blog like the infamous term "Les Boulez" does.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 9:23 PM

So lets be realistic

1. With health should expect offense production to average 100-103 pts.
2. Defense improvements include Songalis & Pech. But expect teams to score 98-101 pts on Wizards.
3. Bench - improvements include underated 2nd round pick, Andre, Songalis, & AD. Expect avg offence production of 25-35 pts a game.

4. Competition - packed in the middle with Wizards, Boston, Orlando, NJ, etc.

5. Wizards make playoffs & with no serious injuries, I give them 55% chance of moving to 2nd round.

Posted by: Gareth | August 10, 2007 9:48 PM

I am with all those not impressed by anything that has happened in the East with regards to other teams "improving". The Wizards will be just as good or bad at times as they were last year. To me that is the biggest problem with this team and I believe the fault lies with EJ. I don't care about the man's teeth. I just think his coaching is average at best and the only reason he is the coach of this team right now is bc he allows Arenas to do whatever the hell he wants (including playing zero defense) so Arenas has his back. Talent wise we are as good or better than anyone in the East. Sadly, I don't see EJ elevating this team beyond a first or second round playoff loss.

PS PLEASE no more whining about the Wiz lacking a dominate center like EG should have fixed this by now. There are only about 3/4 teams not looking to improve at that position. Hope that is clear enough! There aren't that many around. You got Shaq, Duncan, Oden (most likely), Howard and that's about it. Get over it! Do you consider Zeke dominate or much better than average???? NO.

Posted by: Rob P | August 10, 2007 9:48 PM

Gareth,

I mostly agree with you except that you list Songalia and Pech as the defensive improvements??? Songalia is ok and fundamentally sound, but nothing special on D. Pech, I've heard should be a very decent player. Perhaps in the mold of Songalia, but D is never mentioned as one of his strengths.

Any improvement will start with Arenas bc he can and has been a good defender. Then you have to look at McGuire who seems to be an all around sleeper in the second round. Otherwise, the team D concept has to improve. Who is a truly dominate defensive player on the Spurs??? I can name Duncan, but the rest of their defensive success is team oriented.

Posted by: Rob P | August 10, 2007 9:54 PM

How far has Hayes fallen? Teams are signing/considering Hardaway, Miller etc over him. He must be asking for too much cash. He should sign with the Wiz for the minimum bc we overpaid him the last couple of years and perhaps he can prove that he is a decent player again as our 9th or 10th man off the bench.

Posted by: Rob P | August 10, 2007 10:02 PM

Rob P. LOL, LOL How funny. I'm with you on most of that. Until we see any of these teams actually play - we have no clue.

I agree w/you :Ej lets Ga do whatever he wants..but primarily because according to EJ.."Managment communicates w/Gil. Not EJ."
So keep that in mind.

Who knows..maybe Gil picked up some D moves over at Barry Farms..

simply from reading and observations..when the bench gets pissed w/ EJ...they go to EG. That says a lot.

I also don't nec think the other eastern teams have done that much change.

We have to hold our breath on Boston.
Thats a "Frankenstein" experiment right now. Only God knows how well they'll play.

Lets just recommend a dentist to EJ. Put Wizardy at ease.

I love this blog

Posted by: Robin | August 11, 2007 12:51 AM

LOL, LOL, I just read these earlier posts!! How absolutely funny!!

One thng for sure - someone mentioning something "out of the norm" will get us to draw on further interestng topics.

That was great info on Red.

I just got in from work..long day..this was funny. Lisa, you may have to tell him who Adonis was..LOL, LOL

Posted by: Robin | August 11, 2007 1:03 AM

I admire Penny's dedication and hardwork to comeback. And he deserves this break. I hope we can see Penny doing well.

Posted by: Vegetto | August 11, 2007 1:33 AM

i think they should make a team and call it the oldies and put Scottie Pippen, MJ, glen rice, shawn kemp, steve smith, penny hardaway, patrick ewing, reggie miller, karl malone, allan houston, and i bet they wouldnt be the worst team in the NBA

Posted by: Nate | August 11, 2007 3:54 AM

i think they should make a team and call it the oldies and put Scottie Pippen, MJ, glen rice, shawn kemp, steve smith, penny hardaway, patrick ewing, reggie miller, karl malone, allan houston, and i bet they wouldnt be the worst team in the NBA.

Posted by: Nate | August 11, 2007 3:54 AM

I hope wizardry, DCMann88, and greg all get into a terrrible fatal accident

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2007 8:23 AM

It is amazing that the JCN trade is still in limbo 8 days after the "agreement in principle" was announced. That pick, regardless of how bad the "protected status" might be, is still somewhat marketable. Once gotten, maybe EG can package it with BH or ET for something to get salary relief since that seems to be such a big deal with Abe and use our "improved" bench (TBD) to fill the void.

Or get an upgrade at center in a more creative package. It won't be a top tier center but we do not need one of them given our roster make-up. There are some out there that are upgrades to what we know have. Camby, O'Neal, Brad Miller, Chandler, even Pryzbilla would clog the middle better than our present tandem.

But Ivan has already said that this roster is all but set. Unless EG is playing it very "close to the vest", we're stuck with the dynamic duo and their faults, and fights, for another year.

Posted by: daydreamer | August 11, 2007 9:20 AM

Rob P,

I agree. I guess I look at our defense being so low, that having two newer faces who really want to improve their game and gain minutes would focus on defense. They already have the 12-15 footer down. Could you imagine our chances if we could have two guys avg 10 rebounds a game.

Posted by: Gareth | August 11, 2007 10:31 AM

ET or BH & JCN pick for Anderson Varejao! Improving youngster, energetic D with very high steal rate for a big, won't take too many shots away from big 3 (but will be around for there misses). Personally, i wouldn't care then if AB signed then. (I don't know about the status of his teeth, this seems to be an issue for some of you "sports" fans)

Posted by: pabarry | August 11, 2007 10:52 AM

Wow, not sure what I did to deserve that...
I hope you never have to read the same about yourself.

Ivan, any chance we can implement some accountability here? I think that was pretty extreme.

I was going to mention that if by any chance Young manages to spell Arenas with some quality minutes it might be easier to get him to play D. I think when he has to go all out on offense the entire game he feels like he can't afford to over extend himself on defense.

Posted by: greg | August 11, 2007 12:50 PM

The heat have 18 guys set for camp. They guaranteed Devin Green $687k.

Penny has no guarantee.

It remains to be seen if Penny will make the team.

Would Riley really cut a guaranteed contract player when they are in danger of going over the limit ?

Posted by: whocares | August 11, 2007 12:54 PM

There aren't that many around. You got Shaq, Duncan, Oden (most likely), Howard and that's about it. Get over it! Do you consider Zeke dominate or much better than average???? NO.

Posted by: Rob P | August 10, 2007 09:48 PM

Rob P,

I think that your list of centers is flawed due to it's glaring omissions.
There's a little 7'6" center by the name of Yao Ming and a four-time Defensive Player of the Year in Ben Wallace. You also failed to mention the freakishly atheletic and dominate Amare Stoudemire.

Posted by: Sixx | August 11, 2007 2:21 PM

why do so many people want us to get varejo.He's ok but we need a true center,Varejo dosen't make people worry when they drive to the hole.We need someone who changes peoples mind about
driving on us.A true shot blocker/rebounder,someone as I posted before like Sam Dalembert of philly,whether or not we could work out a deal is another thing I don't see philly giving him up.

Posted by: jcrock | August 11, 2007 2:28 PM

Greg - I wholeheartedly agree that we need some accountability on this blog. I said it in an earlier post about anon posters.

Some here think that most of the personal attacks and inappropriate language will cease once school starts up again. I don't agree and think we need the Washington Post to monitor this blog and kick offenders.

Something I just noticed is that you can email to report offensive comments.

Posted by: Rook | August 11, 2007 2:37 PM

Why are we trying to package bodies and draft picks to improve this team. Based on wizardry's logic, all we need is a dentist. I can't imagine the dentist would push the wiz into luxury tax land. As a matter of fact ... the wiz don't even need a GM. Way to go wizardry. Nothing like personal attacks to show muturity levels.

Posted by: Pat | August 11, 2007 3:51 PM

Thanks for the heads up on that Rook.

I guess I feel bad complaining, if this becomes too much of a problem they might take it down...

People need to realize that this could very easily go away if it becomes a headache for them.

Posted by: greg | August 11, 2007 5:15 PM

Sixx,

Your correct. I did not go through the entire league roster, but you get my point. People complain about obtaining an inside presence like the league is littered with them. It's just not the case, and none of the players we mentioned are available. By the way, Ben Wallace is done as a dominate player and Yao Ming has been good, but has not proven anything yet when it counts and he is hauling in major dough.

Robin,

We've talked about it before in this blog that GA when he was seeing more bench than floor in Golden State actually had a defensive reputation. Think about it. He's tall for his position, strong, and one of the quickest guys in the league. Absolutely no reason for him to play matador defense. It is possible to be a very good offensive player and play some defense as well. I hate that excuse!!!

Posted by: Rob P | August 11, 2007 9:09 PM

Sixx,

Your correct. I did not go through the entire league roster, but you get my point. People complain about obtaining an inside presence like the league is littered with them. It's just not the case, and none of the players we mentioned are available. By the way, Ben Wallace is done as a dominate player and Yao Ming has been good, but has not proven anything yet when it counts and he is hauling in major dough.

Robin,

We've talked about it before in this blog that GA when he was seeing more bench than floor in Golden State actually had a defensive reputation. Think about it. He's tall for his position, strong, and one of the quickest guys in the league. Absolutely no reason for him to play matador defense. It is possible to be a very good offensive player and play some defense as well. I hate that excuse!!!

Posted by: Rob P | August 11, 2007 9:11 PM

Sorry for the double post!

Posted by: Rob P | August 11, 2007 9:12 PM

Rob P, I think in Arenas's case there is every reason to beleive and expect that he can play better defense.
Unlike Jamison, who doesn't possess the strength to defend top power forwards or centers in the post, but doesn't have enough lateral quickness to match up with many small forwards, it's not a question of physical ability.
The only points that give Arenas problems physically are the small ultra quick guys. That's why I thought Miles would have been a good addition because Daniels and Taylor struggled with those same players. Chase or another small quick point might be able to fill a role here because the Boykins and Robinson's of the league are tough on Daniels and Arenas.
But your point about Arenas's rep and his strengths as a player when he came into the league are correct. Many felt that Arenas was a questionable offensive player when he came out of Arizona. His first year here he struggled mightly in the Princeton but was actually a decent defensive player.
I'm not making an excuse for Arenas, just observing what many have commented on, Jordan is an offensive coach and he's spent alot of time and effort installing the Princeton here. It isn't an easy offense as a point gaurd to master, it seems like Daniels has spent 1/2 a season each year here trying to figure out his role in it. It apparently doesn't come as second nature to him since he's spent so much in more conventional NBA offenses.
To his credit offensively Jordan has altered the Princeton as he's gone along to match the strengths of his players, and compensate for obvious weaknesses like having two centers that have hands of stone.
But as a team the Wizards have seemed to concentrate their efforts toward offensive improvement. Arenas has led that charge by improving offensively every year. But what is clear to many fans and writers around the league is for this team to be more than a first or second round playoff team they have to step it up defensively.
If we could just find a stud at the five, you know the next Bill Russell, we'd solve all of our defensive problems in one move. As you pointed out, there aren't many of those guys out there, and if teams have one they're not going to give them up cheap.
The other problem is since Jordan has spent so much time establishing this offense and Grunfeld seems to want to keep some continuity on the court to build on what we have. A blockbuster trade to improve the defense and rebounding could in the end set us back if too many of the core peices have to be given up to pull it off.
The solution it seems is improvement within, and the only way to do that is with coaching and players dedicating themselves to that improvement. Grunfeld made the first move by signaling an importance of defense by choosing to retain Stevenson as a starting two instead of making the flashier move and bring in Navarro as another scorer. McGuire and Pecherov seem to be solid defensively and on the boards, but Young will require alot of coaching to play D.
But the change I'm most intersted in is the hiring of Ayers. Are we going to have a defensive coach that is more than a back row guy? When Jordan huddles with his lead assistants, is his defensive coach going to be there?
Last year I can't ever remember Harter looking like he was involved in coaching during games. Seldom did it look like to me that we made defensive adjustments during a game. One of the reasons that "nobodys" have big games against the Wizards, we never adjust our defensive assignments our stratagy during a game. Eddie is so slow to adjust to a mismatch when it's hurting us defensively.
But he can reconize and take advantage of a mismatch offensively. Strange...
I'm very interested to know what Ayers role is going to be and how the players are responding to him being brought in. We need a dedication to improving defensively that starts with players summer preperations and from the first day of the camp. If Eddie and the team are ready to make that move from day one it will show. How important of role Ayers plays in Camp and the preseason will signal alot about those intentions from the start.

Posted by: GM | August 12, 2007 11:56 AM

I agree with you GM the Wizards need to play better defense, and if they did, they would have a much better chance of going deep in the playoffs.

Each of the last two pre-seasons I have heard the Wiz were going to focus on defense more, but then when the season started it was the same old defenseless Wizards.

Hopefully the new coach, Ayers, will make a difference. We'll see.

Posted by: Tim | August 12, 2007 3:46 PM

coaches don't make D, Players with the heart to play D make a good D team.A coach can point u in the right direction but in the end we have to stop being lazy on that end of the floor.Hopefully Ayers will help us there but it's the same as last year.Till our big guys start cutting off baselines and making players more worried to come inside on us.Nobody worries when they drive the lane on us.Were gonna make the playoffs(baring injury)but this team will only go as far as our D will take us

Posted by: jcrock | August 12, 2007 9:04 PM

I agree with GM for the most part.
But I would add, that Arenas is of the opinion that the more D he plays, the less energy he has to bail us out Offensively.

I think that problem can be broken down in two parts.

1. He feels that even with his best D, a player can make an easy post move and break down our D there. So why bother.

2. If our bench can't muster any offense he needs to save his legs to be able to stay in the game and keep pressure on the other team.

If I don't love the result, I can at least understand his point. In this regard I think having Young come in (or anybody really) and score some clutch points off the bench will let Gil feel like he can sit an extra minute then play a tighter defense on his man. GA is really quick and really strong, I think at his position he could be a lock down defender. But he needs to feel like doing that isn't going to cost them a chance to win... late in the game.

As a side note it seems to me that a lot of gil's rebounds come from him crashing in to the lane late. Maybe if we had a more active rebounder our guards could risk less injury and play further out to set up fast breaks and cut them off too. I don't know about this though, just a thought.

Posted by: greg | August 12, 2007 10:03 PM

"But I would add, that Arenas is of the opinion that the more D he plays, the less energy he has to bail us out Offensively."

If this is the case then I think Gilby needs to study some more game film of his hero, Kobe Bryant, who manages both to be a 2 time scoring champ and also a 7 time all defensive NBA team player. Now that's a guy who deserves max money, never mind the fact that he didn't sniff any basketball knowledge from a college....not even one year in Arizona.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 12, 2007 10:53 PM

jcrock,Coaches do influence defense to the point that some develop reps as defensive coaches like Larry Brown. I think the thing that is often ignored about Larry is that a big part of his "defense" is slowing offensive pace and limiting turnovers. "They can't score if the don't have the ball, the best way to keep them from scoring is to limit their touches."
But you are right a defensive coach can't play D for a player that doesn't give a damned about playing defense. The GM can influence that by picking the players that he adds to a team. McGuire and Pecherov are positive steps in that direction, but Young was terrible defensively in summer league. So I guess two out of three of our additions aren't bad.
But it does have to come from the core of players that we have and they're being open to working at D. The help schemes that the Wiz attempted to install last season improved the uncontested layups, but it seemed they were a step slow in covering up the spotup threes most of the time.
Not so much the wrong scheme by the coach as players need to anticipate when the guy in leaving to help and rotate a step quicker. So in that you're right players need to trust that the rotation help will come and go a tad earlier. Playing together will also help that so it could be a good sign for the defense that Grunfeld is trying to add to his core instead of searching for the blockbuster deal some would like to see.
But defense can't be taught in camp and then treated like a backburner issue the rest of the year. As a head coach you can't pick a home Sunday afternoon game against Portland that's not on TV to go off about defense. I was at that game the team was sleep walking and not just on D.
My gripe with Jordan is that he can't harp about defense while his "defensive" Coach is sitting on the back row or many times isn't in the huddle. That sends a message that I can read even from the upper deck, I'm sure it's clear to the players on the team that defense isn't a priority here. To go deeper into the playoffs that mindset has to change.
I agree with Greg's observations about Arenas and defense. As the team leader he needs to assert himself more on D. But Jordan needs to have a better bench to give the guy a better rest during games. It's hard to play D on tired legs, and with the offensive load that he carries he can't help but wear down with the minutes he logged last year.
Just a few more minutes a game of not being the primary offensive option would allow him to be a little fresher on defense and on offense. I thought there were too many games that he looked gassed in the 4th last year.

Posted by: GM | August 13, 2007 7:51 AM

"the offensive load the Gilby carries..." is a bad excuse.

Gilby is not the only one on the team who can score. Gilby shoots a lot because he wants to shoot a lot, and has the ball in his hands most of the time dictating the offense.

Recall that AJ is a great scorer, Caron gets his points, and then there's also DS. This season, they've added Nick Young and Opech, who both look for their shots, nevermind DMac and DSong who are going to get a lot of hustle garbage points, especially if DMac gets any PT.

As I said earlier, be prepared to see Gilby shoot just as much or more because this is a max contract season. Playing D isn't going to convince people to give him max dollars like someone who's dropping 30 pts/game. Very few PG's out there get max money, while most max money guys are SG's and PF's/C's. It behooves Gilby, not the team as much, to act like a SG as much as possible.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 8:04 AM

so has juan carlos navarro been kidnapped or soemthing? did andray blatche retire to go back to college and pursue a degree in women's studies?

what the fux going on? i know if something was happening ivan would report it, i'm not questioning that, i'm questioning the team. get your act together, kids.

Posted by: confused | August 13, 2007 10:55 AM

Greg,

Defense isn't just your Bigs clogging the lane. You also need your Smalls playing D. on the perimeter and Gilbert doesn't even try. It is definitely possible as DCMan88 stated to play both offense and defense if a player has the desire to do so. I believe Gil has the attributes to do so but not the motivation. Now, maybe as he matures in to a more complete player his mindset will change but only time will tell.

Posted by: Jeff | August 13, 2007 11:10 AM

There seems to be at least two stories that I would like to see some reporting on:

1. What is going on with the Navarro situation? I can't imagine that everyone just went on vacation or that there are so many details to workout that nothing has happened after Ivan announced the deal 10 days ago. So you've got to assume there are either some problems with the deal or something.

2. Are we ever going to learn why Tom Thibodeau left the Wizards after two days? What happened while he was here that caused him to run? EJ said that he had "come to some agreements" with Thibodeau the day before he left. What did that mean? Why is this story just hanging out there with all these unanswered questions?

Posted by: Henry | August 13, 2007 11:15 AM

henry - right on.

i would guess (based on absolutely nothing) that tom t. left because he didn't anticipate jordan and his other coaches deviating from their patented play-no-defense-and-shoot-as-quickly-and-as-frequently-as-possible-with-no-regard-for-finding-open-shots
system.

and as for your first point, i agree that something has to be holding up the JCN deal other than haggling over whether it's top-19 protected or top-15 protected or whatever. if the rest of this summer is any indication, memphis is probably demanding that we throw in gilbert and caron for a 2nd round pick and ernie is probably considering it.

Posted by: confused | August 13, 2007 11:30 AM

My guess is that EG is trying to somehow work Etan or BTH into the trade too, thus sweetening the lottery protected pick in return.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 12:07 PM

My guess is that EG is trying to somehow work Etan or BTH into the trade too, thus sweetening the lottery protected pick in return.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 12:08 PM

Some good posts this morning.
Ivan is scheduled to be on "Washington Post Live: this evening at 5:00, so maybe he will have an update on the JCN trade and on the AB negotiations. My guess is that EG is trying to get as much as he possibly can from the Grizzlies or, if the deal is done, that the Grizz want to negotiate a contract with JCN before the deal is officially announced. We know that whatever ahppens, we will end up with some kind of first-round pick for JCN. Re. AB, I am assuming that his arrest has scared off all other teams from offering him a contract. This kills his and Fleischer's leverage; they have none! So EG is allowing AB to hang out there in the wind while he decides what revised offer to make, now that he has pulled his 5 yr., $12 Moffer off the table. Too bad for AB; he may have cost himself millions. But he will be back with the Wiz; it is only a question of time.

Re. the whole defense conversation, I think that is the main source of tension between EG and EJ. Ernie has been around for a long time, as a player, coach, broadcaster and GM. He knows what it takes to win. And he is frustrated that the team does not play better D. I think this could be the ultimate reason for a split between EG and EJ, with Ernie staying and Eddie leaving.

Posted by: Rockville | August 13, 2007 12:29 PM

What's obvious is that EG loves BTH, and EJ does not. BTH is their only "reliable" big man inside, defensively speaking. If EG trades Etan, but not BTH, that would signal to EJ that EG does not care to get into the little spat that BTH has with EJ. I predict EJ will be given the boot if Les BouleS don't hit the ground running on day 1.

As Ivan said last season, EJ got a reprieve from being fired when the big 3 hit the injury bug at the end of the season, b/c even when they were healthy during the 2nd half, they played really bad after the all star break.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 12:35 PM

Jeff: I'm pretty sure I didn't say that defense was just played by bigs clogging the lane :(

Hope that wasn't what people thought my point was. I was trying to say it would be great to see gil play better D, and maybe with some improved bench play that would happen. Also, Was thinking that if we had some better 345 rebounding our fast breaks could be faster.

88: I was just referring to a small incident from last year where gilbert kinda came out and said he didn't feel like he would have enough energy to keep the offense on while playing defense too.

Look, I don't think anybody here thinks GA is Koby or MJ. But I don't think there is any reason to believe that GA can't play good defense, especially if he isn't worn out. I love that AJ can score, and Caron seems to get his points with hustle outside of the offense a lot of times. But what I meant was our bench last year really didn't have any consistent offense... Unless I am mistaken? So maybe if GA feels like he can come off the floor for 5 more minutes a night then maybe he will be able to add some more D at points in the game. I mean it probably wouldn't take a whole nights worth of lock down D. You know, the way these guys score if they played better D on 20% more of the other teams possessions they would likely have a much better record.

Going back to the max money thing. I don't know, I mean I guess you can say he will get his shots. But I think that has always been gilby. Is that him putting himself above the team? Well, I guess you can think that, but if you want to compare him to Kobe I would say GA seems a lot better in this regard. I think GA wants to win, and a couple years ago they told him to take his shots where he wanted. It seems to have made the team better. Will we continue to improve if that doesn't change? Hard to see that, but I think GA knows this. And he doesn't have a horrible assist tally. He is what he is, and personally despite Kobe's phenomenal skills and resumé I prefer Gil.

He and AJ made it fun to watch the wizards, made them competitive. Caron added some grit. I like the general identity of this team... is it perfect? no. but neither is Kobe or any other NBA teams.

Quick poll: If GA passed the ball in to BTH or Etan 10 more times a game, how many points or assists do you think that would add up to?

Posted by: greg | August 13, 2007 12:37 PM

His defense could definitely be better, but I don't think you all appreciate how much of a grind it is for Gil.

Night in and night out, he has to defend the opponent's PG. He just doesn't have the size to defend any other position. On the ball defense is tiring, and Gil has to do it every single night. In contrast, Caron, for example, gets to rest up on the defensive end on those nights when he is matched up with a spot-up shooter like Kapono or a defensive specialist like Bowen. There's no such thing as a point guard who is not active at the offensive end, so there are no nice, relaxing nights for Gil on D.

That said, maybe it would be more efficient to give Gil fewer minutes per game, but have him exert himself at both ends of the floor. Would need to see the numbers crunched. And could AD handle the extra minutes?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2007 12:53 PM

Greg:
It depends. If Gil just lobbed the ball into Haywood or Etan after they posted up, it probably wouldn't amount to many assists, because both would dribble and take enough time that if they scored, Gil wouldn't get an assist.

Where Arenas needs to improve is his assists when he drives to the basket. Gil can get by anybody and he can usually get to the basket. If sometimes he dishes to the big guys when he drives for easy baskets or fouls, then the other team's centers can't leave their man as quickly. Arenas will score more easily on drives as a result, and Washington's big men will get some easy points as well.

Posted by: Sean | August 13, 2007 12:54 PM

How nany times per game did Gilbert, Daniels or others dump a quick pass into Haywood or Etan only to have the ball hit them in the hands and bounce out of bounds or get slapped away for a turn over?
My seats are near the baseline, it happened alot. right in front of us.

Posted by: GM | August 13, 2007 1:32 PM

Due to bad passes? Because they were so surprised to get a pass?

Posted by: Sean | August 13, 2007 1:50 PM

Rockville, you hit the nail on the head.
EG and EJ agree on little. A very obvious observation and point made clear when Eddie Jordan stated clearly to the press:

"Gilbert is Gilbert. Managment communicates with Gilbert. I don't know what his status is."


A very telling statement. It was same also regarding Haywood who ALSO communicates with managment.

Abe made the EJ election before EG got here. They are simply giving him "one more opportunity. Even GA, although not a fan of EJ, stepped to his defense but if they lose again due to EJ's ridiculous rotations and "snatching players off court instantly, etc. - Gil will be gone or so will EJ. But I don't think EG will let GA get further flustered.

It appears to be a good team..they just got to hit the court.

Posted by: Georgetown | August 13, 2007 3:57 PM

"Where Arenas needs to improve is his assists when he drives to the basket. Gil can get by anybody and he can usually get to the basket. If sometimes he dishes to the big guys when he drives for easy baskets or fouls, then the other team's centers can't leave their man as quickly. Arenas will score more easily on drives as a result, and Washington's big men will get some easy points as well."

Sean, you made a good point that most here didn't notice. Any point guard in the NBA, from a max contract guy to a low level rookie, can just dump the ball in and pray for the best. Anyone deserving of a max contract should instead be using his quickness and ability to drive and dish, especially since Gilby routinely draws double teams when driving.

How often do we see Nash and/or Kidd just stand outside the 3 point line and dump a ball into the big man so that the big man can make an individual one on one move? Hardly.

These guys are always on the move, in and out, and getting their defensive guy out of position so they can make the good pass. I hope people aren't on this blog trying to give an excuse for Gilby for his tendency to just jack a ball up right after crossing the midcourt line because his big men aren't going to score anyway. These people need to be reminded that AJ plays the 4 as as starter, so Etan and BTH aren't the only big guys on the court.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 4:15 PM

heh, just so long as you aren't trying to make excuses for BTH tendency to put the ball on the floor or get stripped while making a weak move. I can agree that BTH actually showed some improvement last year, but I don't think you can claim that gilby doesn't slash and pass. Thing is, sometimes you do need to lob a ball in to the post and let those players either make something happen right away or kick it back out. I think when you watch the team too many times the offense kind of dries up if the ball goes in to the center. That said I thought that both Etan and BTH did do a better job of going to the hoop without too many fakes or time wasting dribbles. Which was an improvement.

Posted by: greg | August 13, 2007 4:37 PM

Etan surprisingly showed some good offensive moves towards the end of the season, and of course, did good things to garner that contract that everyone regrets now. Also, BTH did some good things when Larry got him the ball. What's the big difference now?

The big difference is that touches are far and few in between for these big guys. If you only get a few touches a game before you either get yanked or you have to run back on defense b/c your PG just jacked up a contested 3 pointer, then chances are, you're not too happy and not too productive. Also, you have to reward your big man for bailing you out on defense. There's no rewarding with Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 7:41 PM

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