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Wizards Fan

The 1 Thing Keeping Washington Wizards from True Title Contention posted by Wizards Fan

Efficient offensive practices in today's NBA largely revolve around the three-point shot. Attempt more—in lieu of mid-range jump shots—and results will generally skew in your favor. 

Why, then, have the Wizards revolted against conventional analytical wisdom when they are a few tactical adjustments away from becoming a near-elite offense: 

They have fired up nearly twice as many midrange jumpers as 3-pointers, despite converting identical percentages on 3s and long 2s. If one apple is healthier and more delicious than another at the same price, why the heck are you going for the rotten one?

The Wiz wield plenty of capable 3-point shooters in Bradley Beal, Rasual Butler and Paul Pierce, but they seem happy to bail out the defense and pull up in the midrange. If the Wiz shifted just 150 of their 822 midrange attempts into 3-pointers at their current conversion rates, they'd mathematically jump from being tied at 13th in offensive efficiency all the way up to seventh. Just by tweaking their shot allocation.

the Wizards are attempting 415 shots between eight to 16 feet and another 560 in that mid-range sweet spot that resides between 16 to 24 feet and with the season already a third complete, the Wizards need to alter their offensive strategy if they have a chance to make a significant playoff run. 

The good news is the Washington Wizards are protected by the cocoon that is the Eastern Conference's ineptitude. 

Safely nestled into a top-five seed at the very worst, the Washington Wizards still have plenty of time to correct their early-season inefficiencies and emerge as a potent shooting machine capable of capturing a conference title. It'll just take a little discipline along the way to make the dream a reality.

Continue reading "The 1 Thing Keeping Washington Wizards ..."


Wizards Fan

2014 Washington Wizards Preseason Report posted by Wizards Fan

2013-14 was a good season for the Washington Wizards, even though they were defeated by Indiana pacers in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference. Up to now, the Wizards were considered a mediocre team, as they have never made it to the playoffs since 2008. However, last February, the team had risen above .500 in standings, and managed to defeat the Bulls in the first playoff round. They ended the season with an impressive 44-38 record.

In season 2014-15, Washington Wizards could come in the top three spots in Eastern Conference, provided the team remains healthy. The Wizards are primarily focusing on John Wall and Bradley Beal, who are the young duo in the backcourt. Wall, who was first overall pick in the draft has performed excellently in breakout season, and could be the best point guard of the league. Beal on the other hand is SG and he has averaged over 17 points per game. If the duo is rested adequately and they stay focused, the team could perform much better.

Marcin Gortat has been re-signed for anchoring in C, and Nene in F/C could have a productive year. This duo with their size and toughness can provide excellent inside presence to the team. Last season, Otto Porter displayed mediocre performance at small forward, but he could improve under the mentorship of Paul Pierce, who has been brought in through free agency.

Randy Wittman, the head coach, was able to generate good performance from the team last season, and his contract has been extended. This means the team could improve under his guidance and make more progress in the playoffs. The 2014 draft was loaded, but Washington Wizards did not have a pick in the first round. Hence, whatever improvement is expected has to come from the available talent. Winning the championship might be a stretch, but they can manage second seed position in the East.

Continue reading "2014 Washington Wizards Preseason Report"


Charles Bisbee

Celtics Thoughts posted by Charles Bisbee

Here are some thoughts on the Celtics as training camps open:

·      It’ll be interesting to see how much KG has left in the tank. His numbers have regressed across the board from just a couple seasons ago. Nonetheless, the intangibles and the desire remain intact and it’s impossible to discount the role they’ll play on a young Celtics squad. Rondo may be the C’s best player, but KG remains the team's heart and soul.

·      Here’s hoping Garnett can effectively light a fire under rookie Jared Sullinger, the talented but scatter-brained big man from Ohio State. Sullinger impressed during Orlando Summer League action, scoring 20 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action during his first game. Talent, however, has never been the issue. If KG can continually keep Sullinger focused and dedicated, the Celts may have the answer at power forward over the next 10-15 years.

·      I’m interested to see how Avery Bradley handles an increased workload when he returns in January. With Keyon Dooling retired and Ray Allen in Miami, Bradley will get the bulk of the load backing up Rondo and aging (but still effective) combo-guard Jason Terry. Bradley is a shut-down defender, but I'm not sure he can produce enough offensively to warrant the minutes. Relatedly, the Celtics lack of depth at guard scares me. Outside Rondo, Terry, and (possibly?) Courtney Lee, there are a lot of unproven youngsters.

·      Paul Pierce refuses to show his age. As the years go by, he only gets craftier. His array of start-and-stops, head fakes, and up-and-unders would make Kevin McHale proud. I think Pierce should play until he’s 50.

Continue reading "Celtics Thoughts"


Larry Hinders

Formula for Road Success Eludes the Wiz posted by Larry Hinders

When you are in the midst of a franchise-worst road losing streak, there are a few things a team must do to break out of its funk. The Wizards have one half of the game going in the right direction. Over the past few weeks, they have been holding their opponents under 100 points. It is at the offensive end that they have failed to heed the tried and true rules of NBA road success. Flip, guys, pay attention please. We’ll use today’s loss to the Pacers as a teachable moment.

Rule #1: Take quality shots

                                                  

On the road you can’t rely on jump shots.  To compete at unfriendly arenas, you must get quality shots, preferably in the paint, and get to the foul line with some frequency. Against the Pacers today, the Wiz shot 39% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc. There were too many possessions during which the ball stopped in a Wizard player’s hands early in the shot clock and a long, often contested, jump shot was taken. The Pacers outscored the Wiz in the paint by 30 points.

The two players who were most at fault for the launching of ill-advised shots were the Wizards’ two most undisciplined players, Nick Young and Andray Blatche.  Young has been making an effort of late to play a complete game and expend energy at both ends. Blatche is playing the worst basketball of his career of late. He refuses to finish tough at the basket and seems to prefer off-balanced shots. These two starters must be brought in line for the road losing streak to come to an end.

Continue reading "Formula for Road Success Eludes the Wiz"

Larry Hinders

Five Reasons We Should Be Glad Gilbert Arenas Played for the Wiz posted by Larry Hinders

I side with those who believe that Gilbert’s move to sunny Orlando was in the best interest of the Wizards. His departure provides fans the opportunity to look back on the full impact of his time spent in the Nation’s Capital. Despite his hand in bringing our franchise to some of its lowest points ever, Gilbert’s overall impact on this team has been positive. Here’s why:

1.      A Lesson Learned

The Wizards invested a tremendous amount of money in Gilbert Arenas, a player they knew to be eccentric at best. When things went sour, the franchise was handcuffed because his contract was next to impossible to unload. Both Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld are bright guys. I have to believe that the Wizards will be reluctant to mortgage the team’s future to sign a player who is anything but a solid and dependable person.

2.      A Clean Slate

When Ted Leonsis took over control of this team last June, some of the house cleaning was already under way. The Wizards needed for Gilbert to move on so that the last chapter of an era that carried so much promise could finally closed. With Gilbert gone, Leonsis and the rest of the ownership team can build around John Wall, provided he can remain healthy, and shape the team that will hopefully return the Wizards to playoff contenders.Gil defined Wizards basketball, good and bad, for an era. His ability to do so made the transition to a new era easier.

3.      Washington as Superstar Pedestal

Continue reading "Five Reasons We Should Be Glad Gilbert ..."


Larry Hinders

Results are in from Wizards' Blatche Experiment posted by Larry Hinders

     The findings from the Washington Institute for Advance Roundball Research’s half-decade long Andray Blatche experiment are in; conclusive evidence indicates he is not worth the continued investment of time or money by the Wizards franchise. Blatche is nearly impossible for an NBA GM to resist. He puts up pretty solid numbers, has length and decent agility, and he is young despite having spent five years as a professional basketball player. Only close observation over a long period of time can reveal that his minuses outweigh his pluses.

     Blatche’s biggest problem is that he seems incapable of growing up. Each of the last two seasons the Wizards have sold Blatche as a young man who is ready to step up and assume a leadership role on the team. Instead the team has been fed a steady diet of immature behavior and selfish antics. Consider his history:

·         Charged with sexual solicitation in August of 2007

·         Arrested and charged with reckless driving and driving on a suspended license for the third time in June of 2008

·         Fined by the Wizards for involvement in the infamous “gun dance” incident in January of 2010

·         Later that same season Blatche refused to reenter a game when asked to do so by Flip Saunders

·         Enters the current season overweight and out of shape (Blatche was apparently unaware that some exercises do not require the use of injured feet)

Continue reading "Results are in from Wizards' Blatche Experiment"


john howard

New faces, early dividends posted by john howard

Dallas Mavericks' new players played well last night, beating the top team in the east in Orlando Magic.

Caron Butler and Brenden Haywood combined for 73 minutes 16 rebounds and 31 points.  A really good bigman and another scorer.  Good Job Dallas.

Another top team fell to newcomers.  Denver fell to Washington and their new lineup.  No Arenas, no Jamison, no Butler, no problem.  Josh Howard had 20 points in 23 minutes. More stunning was the 25 points the Wizards outscored the Nuggets in that 23 minutes.  Also, Al Thornton (just acquired from the Clippers) had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 block shots in 31 minutes. Oh I can't wait until Ilgauskas joins the group. 

Expect Thornton and Howard to play with a chip on their shoulders, showing the teams that didn't want them that they were wrong. The Wizards have players that are auditioning for the big free agent bucks.  They are going to be competitive for the rest of the season.

Continue reading "New faces, early dividends"


john howard

Cleveland set for title run posted by john howard

Cleveland just got a lot better.   They traded Zydranus Ilgauskas and his 11million dollar expiring contract to Washington for Antwain Jamison who has the same salary.      This adds a power scorer to the lineup while giving up nothing.  Anderson Varejo has been the backup at both power forward and center. This will continue.  Hickson's minutes may decrease, but he is still developing so that is ok.  The first pick won't matter if they win the title.       Also acquired is Sebastian Telfair an up and down career since joining the NBA.  They have point guard injuries so that is an added bonus.

Washington continues to dump salary by trading for Ilgauskas. His 11 mil is the same as Jamison's but expires this year.  They also unloaded Drew Gooden whom they acquired from Dallas last week.  Washington gets Al Thornton who is young and improving. 

The Clippers continue to confuse.  They gave up Telfair for Drew Gooden?  Whatever.

Continue reading "Cleveland set for title run"


john howard

Mavs A Wizards--gambling posted by john howard

Dallas and Washington traded talent this week. 

First Dallas---they get Caron Butler an all star that is almost averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds.  He will replace Josh Powell which is a huge up grade.  Brendon Haywood also joins the Mavs.  This was a good move because Eric Dampier hasn't been effective since hurting his knee.  Haywood is averaging 10 rebounds a game.  The Mavs also get Deshaun Stevenson.  A decent backup.

Washington is clearing house by unloading contracts and gaining potential.  What kind of potential is the question.  Josh Howard averaged 19 points last year.  Injuries and attitudes have landed him on the bench with decreasing minutes.  He has potential to be the team's leading scorer.  Sorry to say that his behavior could land him sitting next to Gilbert Arenas.  I'm not sure this was  a good move.

Continue reading "Mavs A Wizards--gambling"


john howard

McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks? posted by john howard

Houston has been shopping Tracy McGrady all year and something is a about to happen.  The leading candidate is the New York Knicks.  McGrady could be a 20pt scorer again with the up tempo style of play New York has. I think he would be a perfect fit for them. 

A third team may have to be involved and latest rumor has the Wizards.  Houston might get Caron Butler from Washington and the Knicks would send much traveled Al Harrington to DC.  Sounds like a swapping of big salaries and not much improvement.  There will be other players involved and draft picks for sure.  But, the main thing is McGrady in the biggest market.  If he could stay healthy for any length of time, he could really profit well.  He might be enough of a surge to get them into the playoffs this year. 

Continue reading "McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks?"

Washington Wizards News

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Wizards'Beal is latest to decline Rio Olympics invite

WASHINGTON (AP) Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has declined an invitation to play for the United States in the Rio Olympics. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


Wizards' Beal is latest to decline Rio Olympics invite (Yahoo Sports)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has declined an invitation to play for the United States in the Rio Olympics. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Tyronn Lue: 'The thing with Allen Iverson is, he made me' (Ball Don't Lie)

In 1998 the Los Angeles Lakers had just been swept out of the postseason for the second straight season, even with Shaquille O’Neal on the floor for both embarrassments, and the team was desperate for a change. Nick Van Exel was ending huddles with chants about vacation spots and the franchise badly needed a power forward with face-up shooting range to pair alongside O’Neal, who struggled defensively next to former starting center Elden Campbell. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] With the draft approaching and the transaction-killing lockout just days away, Laker prez Jerry West signed off on a deal sending NVE to Denver for just-drafted rookie Tyronn Lue, and 1997 lottery pick Tony Battie. The Nuggets had recently hired Dan Issel, who spent the majority of Battie’s disappointing rookie season referring to him on his radio show as “El Busto”(seemingly killing whatever trade leverage he had, yet somehow coming out of it with Van Exel), and the move seemed like a fresh start for all sides. With Derek Fisher ascending, however, Lue barely played in his first season, and saw even less action in his second with Phil Jackson now running the team. At the end of Lue’s third regular season he’d played in a total of just 61 regular season games, even with Fisher missing most of 2000-01 and with starting guard Ron Harper slowing down. Somehow, though, Lue made the team’s playoff roster in 2001 and …well, this happened: Lue, now coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers in his own NBA Finals turn, talked to Howard Beck about his infamous back and forth with Allen Iverson : "Iverson making it to the Finals really saved my career," Lue said. "Without Iverson, there probably wouldn't be me." […] When the 76ers knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, Lue's role in the Finals was assured. "If Milwaukee would have beat Philly, I wouldn't have played," Lue said. "So that could have possibly been my last year in the NBA. People don't understand that." […] "The Stepover definitely made me famous," Lue said. "The thing with Allen Iverson is, he made me." Well, that’s nice of Tyronn Lue to say about Allen Iverson, but …did he? The Philadelphia 76ers had acted as championship contenders for most of 2000-01, even overcoming a season-ending injury to stalwart center Theo Ratliff prior to dealing for All-Star big man Dikembe Mutombo in a clear nod to a Laker team featuring O’Neal in the pivot. As the deadline to submit playoff rosters approached, some two months before the actual NBA Finals would hit, the Lakers responded with their own “we see you”-gambit. Lue would make the roster even after playing in fewer than half the team’s regular season games, ahead of veteran off guard Isaiah Rider. Lue only cracked double-digit minutes twice in the playoffs prior to the Finals, both of those instances came in blowout wins, prior to playing 22 minutes in the infamous overtime win in Game 1 against AI. He would play 14 and a half minutes a game against Philly in the series win, nailing 4-6 three-pointers and 58 percent of his shots overall alongside that defense. His work wasn’t a surprise –it was just a function of a guy that did not fit into the team’s offensive schemes finally getting a chance. Not really the fault of the coach or player, as sometimes certain players aren’t met for certain teams. Tyronn Lue was never going to be a favorite of Phil Jackson’s. Not only was he was a Jerry West draftee (West, who retired in 2000, had a fractured relationship with Jackson), but as an undersized guard that dominated the ball his game flew in the face of Jackson’s preferred triangle type –as typified by Harper, Fisher, and shooter Mike Penberthy. Three guards that defended, brought the ball up offensively and then proceeded to get the hell out of the way. Kobe Bryant and Brian Shaw’s placement as off guards that could handle only made things tougher for Lue to see productive minutes Even with Harper’s eventual retirement, Fisher had played so brilliantly down the stretch of 2000-01 that the Lakers could decide to pass on competing for Lue’s services during the 2001 offseason –especially with Shaquille O’Neal already carping for a contract extension. Lue, genuinely, was a hot commodity given his post-Stepover play against Iverson, who as Beck notes shot just 40 percent over the next four games while being hounded by Fisher, Harper and Tyronn. A month later a returning-from-retirement Michael Jordan fancied his Washington Wizards as possible Philadelphia 76ers dethroners, and prior to renouncing (kind of …not really) his gig as team personnel chief upon his return as a player he signed Lue to a two-year deal to act as Chris Whitney’s reserve, and potential Iverson disruptor. So, if we’re honest, Tyronn Lue’s NBA Finals notoriety (and, let’s remind you, actual stellar defensive play) didn’t really keep him inthe league. He was always going to be in the league, the Finals exposure just meant he wasn’t going to be offered a minimum deal after three years spent navigating the crowded backcourt in Los Angeles. Lue would go on to play for five more teams, including Orlando twice, prior to hanging it up in 2009. By then, Allen Iverson (who would play just one star-crossed season longer than Lue) had nothing to do with Tyronn’s longevity, but even with the ubiquity of Iverson and Lue’s interaction in Game 1 Iverson didn’t really have a ton to do with Tyronn Lue keeping an NBA job in 2001, either. Tyronn Lue was always going to carve out a career as a respected journeyman reserve point guard. The 2001 NBA Finals probably made a difference between, say, a minimum-sized contract with the middling Boston Celtics or Michael Jordan asking you to put pen to paper, but this is probably just another example of Tyronn Lue downplaying his gig, and acting as a swell guy . A swell guy with a rather fearsome task ahead of him . - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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