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Tag Archives: Charlotte Bobcats

The Teams: Charlotte Bobcats (6-5) @ Washington Wizards (0-10)

The Time: 7 PM

The Location: Verizon Center. Washington, D.C.

TV, Radio: CSNW, 106.7 FM

The History: The Wizards had previously won their last five contests against the Bobcats, until November 13th of this year when they dropped a game 92-76.

The Washington Wizards are hurting this year, having started the season with ten straight losses and no victories. For the past few seasons, a game against the Charlotte Bobcats would have been a remedy for a losing streak of epic proportions. Unfortunately this year, that simply isn’t the case. The Bobcats come into the District having won five of their last seven games of basketball. The only thing these two teams have in common is that they both dropped their last game to the Atlanta Hawks, with the Bobcats falling 101-91 at home yesterday.

Aside from that loss, the Bobcats have been nothing but trouble for teams, with an impressive victory against the Memphis Grizzlies last week establishing them as a much improved team. Head coach Mike Dunlap has them playing very good basketball on the defensive end, and passable offensive play as well. Rookie small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is as advertised, averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds on the year. Thing is, MKG isn’t their only weapon, as the Bobcats have six players scoring in double figures this year. Ramon Sessions, the traveling suitcase of a player, has finally made a home for himself in Charlotte, where he is an early candidate for Sixth Man of the Year with his play off the bench.

Needless to say, this game won’t be easy for the Wizards.

Keys to the Game/Storylines

1.) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs Bradley Beal

No, these two players do not play the same position, but they were the second and third pick in the previous NBA draft and as such their histories will be closely linked. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has, as I previously stated, been a stud this year for the Bobcats. He is one of their best players, and has scored in double figures in 8 of their 11 games this season. Against the Hawks last night, MKG scored only 11 point, but he also impacted the game in ways that many players can’t. He also grabbed seven rebounds, but he blocked four shots as well, giving him 18 on the season. For a small forward, that number is absurd.

Meanwhile, Beal has been good but not really great. His 33% shooting from the field ranks him as the second worst rookie who is playing 15 minutes or more this year. His poor play recently relegated him to the bench, but only for one game. He started against the Hawks, but shot poorly and finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He marred that performance with five turnovers, however, and he really hurt the team with those.

Both players are young, but so far it is glaringly apparent that one has been far more impressive than the other.

2.) Nene-Nene, Nene-Nene, Hey-hey hey, good try!

Nene debuted for the Wizards in the same fashion that he did after last year’s midseason trade: impressively. In 20 minutes of play against the Hawks, Nene scored 12 points off the bench by getting to the line numerous times. His presence and talent level was something the Wizards sorely missed, and it is clear that even in diminished health Mr. Hilario will be a boon for the Wizards front court.

With the poor performance of Emeka Okafor, Nene is a major upgrade who can sop up Okafor’s minutes that he doesn’t try. Given how much better of a scorer Nene is, the Wizards should see a major advantage in that department down low, which is something that they haven’t done well this season.
Take note, however. Nene only had one rebound last game, which is a very unusual number for a big man. His rebounding issues have been documented, so hopefully that is an aberration.

Prediction: The Wizards finally get a win with a rested, relatively healthy team who came off a tough loss where they played well. Bradley Beal rises to the occasion and outshines the person taken ahead of him in the draft.

90-88 Washington

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Perhaps it was the 31 attempted three pointers against the Charlotte Bobcats that doomed the Wizards during last night’s 92-76 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Correction: it was the 31 attempted three pointers that doomed the Wizards during last night’s 92-76 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Wizards have now lost their first six games of the season for the second straight year, and things simply do not appear to be going their way. The starters could do no right tonight and were completely out played by the Bobcats, shooting 15-of-43 from the field. For those doing math at home, that comes out to 35%, a number which was only slightly higher than the team’s 30% shooting from the field.

It’s not hard to figure out why the Wizards lost this game when you look at how badly they were dominated in almost every way. Starting with the turnovers, of which the Wizards had 17. The Bobcats played fantastic defense all night, which may or may not have something to do with the added intensity that #2 overall draft pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist brings to the table. Jordan Crawford led the charge on the turnover front, committing five of those deadly basketball sins in his 21 minutes of play off the bench. Careless ball handling and errant passes were abound in this game, but those would be excusable if the Wizards were shooting well. Unfortunately, they weren’t.

Which would lead us to yet another problem (and largely the main one) the Wizards had last night: their shot selection was absolutely atrocious. Since when did the Wizards become the Orlando Magic when they had Dwight Howard? The only person they added in the offseason who can supposedly shoot from long range is Bradley Beal, the rookie. And yet, he and newcomer A.J. Price managed to go 2-13 from long range, and in the process took a sledge hammer to numerous Wizards possessions that could have lasted longer had they not thrown up errant three pointers. The looks weren’t even good at times; these were contested shots that should have never been taken. The Wizards have a serious personnel crisis going on when Kevin Seraphin is the best shooter on the team. The return of Nene and Wall (whenever that is) is hardly going to be a massive difference if the current players can’t hit shots.

That being said, those two weren’t the only ones to blame for this disastrous effort, because the main culprit for taking very conspicuous shots was Trevor Ariza. Ariza decided yesterday was the day he was going to be aggressive and channel his Houston Rockets shot-jacking days, and threw up 18 unquestionably questionable shots, which equaled his shot total from the first three games he played as a Wizard combined. Maybe I am being hard on Ariza; after all, he was the only Wizards scorer in double-digits with 19 points. Then again, maybe I am not being hard enough on the Wizards coaching staff for allowing Ariza to even attempt that number of shots in the first place. A guy that hasn’t shot over 42% over the past three seasons is, simply put, not the guy you want taking the most shots of anyone in the game.

At the very least, that responsibility should have fallen to Bradley Beal, who cooled off considerably from his previous three days of scoring in the double digits. Beal finished the night on 1-of-11 shooting, and just looked to be forcing things out there far too often. I am not going to harp on Beal too much because he’s an incredibly young rookie who is improving game by game, but I will say that he didn’t help at all tonight. That being said, Beal has only missed one free throw on 22 attempts this year!

….so there’s that.

Back to Trevor Ariza. At this point in his career, Ariza is what he is: a so-so defender who is a role player at best. Sometimes role players carry you to victory, sure; I am not sure Ariza will ever carry this team to anything other than 0-7, 0-8, and 0-9. Or if he does continue to be more “dominant” during games, fans should expect the losses to keep piling up. He simply is not a player who the Wizards should rely on at any point in time for offensive output. But then again, they couldn’t rely on anyone tonight for offensive output.

About the only thing the Wizards got right this game? Rebounding. They equaled the rebounding efforts of Charlotte with 50 apiece, eighteen of which were offensive rebounds. I am pleased with that, but that is more a result of poor shooting from both teams, as 50 rebounds is a whole lot to have during a game. That’s what happens when neither team can break 40% shooting from the field. The Bobcats weren’t good today; the Wizards were just worse.

Either way, this team needs to tinker with some things, because the starting lineup is terrible. They get beaten by reserves consistently, which makes sense because Price, Beal, Booker, Ariza and Okafor (aka the entire starting lineup) would probably be bench players on most other teams. Maybe injecting Seraphin in over Booker would help. We started Singleton last year and appear to be on pace for zero wins, so why not add him in and resume playing like the team that won 20 games last year.

I am honestly speechless at the Washington Wizards for this stinker. They should have played better, and they didn’t. Time to move on.

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Washington Wizards (0-5) vs Charlotte Bobcats (2-3)

Time: 7:00

Place: Time Warner Cable Arena -  Charlotte, NC

Why you should watch: Its a division game!

The Wizards divisional schedule opens tonight as Washington travels to the Queen City to take on the Bobcats. Even though we didn’t do well against many teams last season the Wiz Kids essentially owned Charlotte. The Wizards need to keep this trend alive and well even though many of the parts have changed for both sides.

Ben Gordon has brought a new dynamic to the Bobcats offense that they severely lacked last season. He has filled it up for Charlotte in multiple games this season helping them to an early pair of wins. When he is in the game tonight the Wizards will have to, for lack of a better term, be all over him like a cheap suit.

Offensively I expect the Wizards to have a much needed breakout game. Charlotte is giving up 104 ppg on the season so far so that should give Washington a nice boost. I’m looking for Bradley Beal to continue his more inspired play this evening.

Key Storyline:

1) Which backcourt prevails?

The Bobcats get the bulk of their offense from the backcourt. If the Wizards can contain both Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon on the offensive end then they stand a good chance at notching their first victory of the season. Plain and simple, AJ Price and Bradley Beal need to out produce that pair to be successful tonight.

2) Which Trevor Ariza shows up tonight?

Ariza has been an enigma to me to say the least. I know he is a very competent and capable player in the NBA but for some reason he hasn’t put it all together in D.C. as of yet. After being a virtual no show the first few games it appears as if he’s beginning to see the light. I understand that learning a new system can be difficult but this team needs Ariza to a difference maker know order to win games.

Prediction:

Washington: 97

Charlotte: 92

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By: Bohlin

When you set the mark for worst record in the history of the league and your offseason additions to the backcourt are Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon, you aren’t in good shape. Not surprisingly the Charlotte Bobcats come in at #15 in our look at the Eastern Conference’s backcourt’s.

The biggest problem I have with the Bobcats backcourt is that their top three options, Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon, are all 6’3 or smaller and need the ball in their hands to be effective. None are known as great distributors and I doubt any will have a transformation into a play maker for their teammates between now and the opening tip of the 2012-2013 season.

The Bobcats will rely heavily on this trio of scoring point guards in order to remain competitive this season, a difficult task for most young teams. Which could make for a tough first season for new coach Mike Dunlap.

Gerald Henderson is a decent option at SG but when your projected starting two guard only shoots 23% from three point range you have a problem. Reggie Williams comes in with a slightly better percentage of 31% but in all honesty that’s not a number worthy of beating your chest over.

Ben Gordon should help out in this area but if we’re being honest with ourselves here Gordon has shown he is more dependable as a spark plug off the bench than as a starter. Gordon is one of those players who make me scratch my head every time I see him play. He has all the ability to be a dominating guard but since his Chicago days he has been anything but this. Couple the drop in production with the fact that I see him and Kemba Walker as essentially the same player and you can tell why I am not overly high about this addition.

Bradley Beal, on the other hand, would’ve been a nice addition to this backcourt and as a Wizards fan I am very thankful that Michael Jordan chose to pass on the former Gator sharpshooter. Just thinking back to the time the Bobcats were on the clock at the end of June brings back haunting memories or “Is MJ going to screw us again here?”. MKG was a nice pick for them but not one that will pay immediate dividends on the offensive side of things.

When you look at their backcourt ranking with where their frontcourt was ranked, one would expect another tough love season for the Charlotte Bobcats.

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By: Willis

Ahhhhh.

The news that Dwight Howard is out of the Eastern Conference, even better, the Southeast Division,  just doesn’t seem to get old now, does it? I hated the trade because it created yet another megaladon-sized powerhouse for the Washington Wizards to have to fend off en route to a championship; on the other hand, Dwight Howard can’t abuse the Wizards anymore! Over 31 games against the Wizards during his eight year career, Howard has averaged 18.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He has crushed Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas, and JaVale McGee in every way possible since entering the league, but all that ends in 2012.

The Wizards now boast one of the best front courts in the NBA, and within the East it is as formidable as any that they will face throughout the season. But where does it rank? Well, let’s just break down all of them and try to peg where they stand….starting with the worst in the Eastern Conference.

#15. Charlotte Bobcats

Centers: Bismack Biyombo, Brendan Haywood

Power Forwards: Byron Mullins, Tyrus Thomas

Small Forwards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Reggie Williams

If you want to start any NBA list about the “Worst-anything,” all roads lead to Charlotte. Their front court situation does not veer far from that trend, as they are without a doubt the pits of the Eastern Conference. Part of that stems from how young their roster is, with only 154 games played in total between Bismack Biyombo, Byron Mullens, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Obviously, with that type of youth up front, there are going to be some serious rough spots. The Bobcats are headed in the right direction with the drafting of MKG, but they have a lot of ground to make up in order to overcome that fateful 2011 season.

Best Case Scenario:

The best case scenario for the Bobcats is that MKG shows signs of becoming the next Scottie Pippen, Bismack Biyombo turns into Dikembe/Serge Ibaka, and Byron Mullens manages simply to be better than Tyrus Thomas at his worst (which, mind you, is all the time). Really, though, the best case scenario only requires one thing: noticeable progress. If they can do that, they may end up coming out of the gutter of the Eastern Conference front courts.

Starting with the most important piece, the franchise player and youngest member on the team, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The strategy of hinging your future on an 18 year old kid is a dubious one at best, but those are the demands which the Bobcats have placed upon MKG’s shoulders. I actually believe that, if anyone can impress so much in their rookie season, it will be him. Watching MKG in his one summer league game was all I needed to see to decide he would be incredibly effective at the professional level. It was against the Sacramento Kings, but I was awe struck at his versatility. In that game, he scored 18 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, dished out 5 assists, and nabbed 4 steals en route to a 121-87 victory. That’s right, the Bobcats won, and it was on the back of a young kid.

As was his modus operandi in college, MKG was all over the court hounding defenders and making plays. He made the entire roster look better simply by his disruption of plays. Whenever he scores, it’s never a drawn up play, but rather an exploitation of a defensive scheme. His talent is that there is really no definitive defensive strategy to guard him; if you force him to shoot, he’ll just pass to an open man. If you’re not on him immediately, then he’ll shoot the ball; if you’re late on a rotation then he’ll be there to score. He has an incredibly good knowledge of how an offense functions, and where points are to be had on put backs opportunities, cuts, and steals. That’s where he’ll make you pay on the offensive end.

Furthermore, if you make a sloppy pass, MKG will be there to take it away, because he seriously doesn’t take plays off. It’s natural for any player to do it, but I’ve never seen a guy work as hard as him. He has the quickest feet on a 6’7ish player I have (yep, I’ll say it) ever seen. MKG runs the court like a guard, and doesn’t often lose his defensive assignment. I think he’ll get schooled by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, but when I look at the Eastern Conference list of small forwards, I see him being a defensive stopper on all but those two. That’s how much praise I’m heaping on this kid, and a reason why he might just be able to turn Charlotte into a defensively stout front court for any team.

Enough about MKG, what about the rest? In Bismack Biyombo, they have an incredibly athletic and long defender who can do only that–defend. Statistically, Biyombo averaged a paltry 5.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. On paper he isn’t going to look good, but watching him play is a different story. He appears to have solid defensive instinct, loves to block shots, and actually fights for rebounds. Biyombo is very physical down low, and if he can learn to combine that physicality and length with actual box out skills, he should be grabbing 10 rebounds a game. Of course, part of that is on his teammates, but I do see lots of potential.  He is young, and his progression will be key.

Biyombo will more likely be offensive on offense before he becomes an offensive threat (read it, it makes sense). He has no post moves at the moment, has no jump shot, and does not resemble Serge Ibaka in any way, shape, or form on offense. But the potential is there for him to have the same effect; fantastic defense coupled with a single post move or patented way to score enough to justify staying on the court. Also, his Per 36 minute stats suggest he could become a double-double guy in the future, believe it or not. When you take that into account, it’s easy to see why Bobcats fans have slightly high hopes for him to become a 12-10-2 (block) guy in the very near future.

(Last thought: I think former Wizard Brendan Haywood was a great offseason addition to help Biyombo’s development. Haywood is far from an offensive threat, but he is passable on that end. It took him a long time to establish himself as a solid option, so perhaps he can quicken that learning curve for the Bobcats. Haywood is getting older and requires less minutes, but when he is on the court his defense is decent enough where he can spell Biyombo perfectly without sacrificing too much.)

As for Byron Mullins, he finally escaped from the Oklahoma City Thunder and their far too talented roster, in hopes of carving a name for himself in Charlotte. Last season, all that was really asked of him was to become a better player than Tyrus Thomas, the incumbent unhappy power forward who just collects paychecks at this point. Did he succeed? Yes, because he actually played, where as Tyrus just mailed the season in.

Byron played well enough last year to give Bobcats fans hope that he might become a scorer for them. His midrange ability showed itself last season, albeit a bit inconsistently. He will never be Dirk Nowitzki, but he can hit enough to keep defenses in check and counteract Bismack. Charlotte really liked making him the focal point of their offense last year (his usage rate was a crazy 22.5), but unfortunately he couldn’t hit shots consistently. Then again, no one on the Bobcats could do that, either.

Mullens issue was at the defensive end, where he couldn’t stop a beach ball. He really hadn’t played NBA basketball consistently until last season, and it showed. If Mullins can adjust to the speed of the game accordingly, his hard work and good size could make him passable on the defensive end. He needs to help Biyombo out more, because he is a sloth on defense. I think, in time, he could become  better with help defense and fulfill the potential that Thunder GM Sam Presti once saw in him.

Worst Case Scenario

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’ knee ends up being far more of a problem that originally presumed. The same one that made him sit all but one summer league game just isn’t right, and he is forced to miss the majority of the season. That would leave their small forward position in the hands of Reggie Williams, the soon-to-be 26 year old Virginia native who failed to make an impact in Golden State prior to last season. MKG, when healthy, proves that his shooting ability leaves more than a bit to be desired, and his offensive production is disastrous. Add in his lingering knee issue, and his lateral movement and ability to stay in front of the man he is guarding is robbed. After realizing that MKG is obviously hurt, Charlotte sits him for the remainder of the season, and his effect is marginalized.

Bismack Biyombo, on the other hand, makes little progress in terms of anything outside of blocking ability. Offensively, he is a disaster and, while he tries to shoot more jumpers, fails to make any of them. His progress resembles more Olowokandi than that of Serge Ibaka, and justifying him being on the court becomes a harder and harder task. Instead, they opt for Brendan Haywood, in hopes of some marginally better production. The result is that Haywood, having complained the entire season of coming off the bench (as he did earlier in his career with the Wizards), becomes a malcontent. He failed to put in the effort earlier in the season, and his conditioning is poor. He proves to be a worse option than Biyombo, and thus the Bobcats are stuck with two poor performers occupying the same position.

Byron Mullens, on the other hand, shoots about as poorly as Adam Morrisson, and stagnates the offense with his ball stopping, ill-advised jumper hoisting ways. He doesn’t provide anything on the defensive end, and what was once predicted to be a stingy defense is now a sieve. With Mullens playing terribly, the Bobcats have to rely on, quite possibly, a worse option in Tyrus Thomas, who is already fed up with the Bobcats. His sour mood infects the front court, and the rest of the team feeds off his dismal morale, leading the entire team into mutiny. In a worst case scenario, the Bobcats have an offensively brutal, malcontent, and slightly injured front court that lacks the wherewithal to do any better than last season. They don’t stop anyone, and continue having the worst record in the league.

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By: Bohlin

The ongoing saga surrounding Dwight Howard has come to a close. Last night the all-star and former defensive player of the year was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four team deal.

With all the rumored offers on the table from teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets, the Magic decided to send Howard to Hollywood in return for Aaron Afflalo and a bevy of protected first round picks from teams that will almost assuredly be outside of the lottery. While the reasoning behind Orlando pulling the trigger on this deal at this time is perplexing to me, as I believe Brooklyn and Houston’s offers were better, it signifies that the Magic are entering “rebuilding mode”– which is great for the Wizards.

This marks the second time this offseason where a playoff team from the Southeast division has shipped their best player out of town (Joe Johnson to Brooklyn being the other instance). In each case the argument can be made that the Hawks and Magic took a step back (in Orlando’s case a few hops, skips and jumps back) in order to rid themselves of massive headaches inside their organizations.

How does all of this movement effect our Washington Wizards? In short, it brings them closer to the top of the division. While the Miami Heat are still the cream of the crop in the division, that race for number two in the Southeast is up for grabs.

Atlanta should still be competitive with Josh Smith and Al Horford in their lineup but the loss of arguably their best perimeter scoring threat in Joe Johnson will hurt. The thing about the Hawks is they are a much better team when Josh Smith isn’t continuously falling back in love with his jump shot. With Joe Johnson now gone, all I can see is J-Smoove thinking it’s his time to become “The Guy” on the perimeter for Atlanta. Keep pulling up from 18 feet and beyond and you’ll make a lot of Wizards fans happy, Josh.

Orlando has taken a massive step back and will more than likely be challenging the Bobcats for the Cellar Dweller award in the division. Without Dwight Howard in the fold first year head coach Jacque Vaughn has his hands full figuring out how to make this team competitive. They did pick up some nice young pieces in this deal in Afflalo and Mo Harkless, but to think that those two, in addition to Jameer Nelson and Hedo, will be enough to vault Orlando to the playoffs again is a bit extreme.

Charlotte, fresh off becoming statistically the worst team in NBA history, hasn’t done much to shake up their roster this offseason. In are Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions and out is D.J. Augustin. I think in time MKG will be an impact player for Charlotte but to think he’ll be able to really help carry the load on offense as a rookie is extreme. The fact of the matter is the Bobcats still aren’t much of a threat to do anything in the division with the roster they have assembled. Quite frankly I’m not sure why I dedicated this much space to a team that is coming off a 7 win season.

The Wizards are set up nicely to make a move towards the top of the division. With perennial playoff teams Orlando and Atlanta taking steps back it is possible to think that a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the division isn’t out of the question. The Southeast has been at least a three playoff team division for the past five seasons. There is little doubt in my mind that this trend will continue going forward.

Should the Wizards make the type of jump that we believe they are capable of making this season with the additions of Nene, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal they should absolutely contend for one of the eight playoff spots in the East. John Wall said he wanted to be the “savior” of the Washington Wizards…here is your chance John, lead us back to the playoffs where the Wizards belong.

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By: Bohlin

Every basketball fan in the metropolitan area that follows the Washington Wizards is waiting for Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld to make a judgment on what to do with Andray Blatche. The amnesty dominos have begun to fall around the league with Elton Brand and Darko Milicic being told “Thanks, but no thanks” by their former teams before being shown the door with large checks ensuring they wont come back.

The 23 million dollar question that has been the topic of many a conversation on sports radio, newspapers, blogs and around the water cooler, is whether Ted Leonsis is going to write a fat check to rid Blatche from our minds going forward. Washington has until July 17th to make a decision on Blatche’s future with this franchise. Will he be a part of this team next season? Can we convince anyone to trade for him? Would he consider a buy out of his current contract so that we the amnesty clause does not have to be used? Over the course of the next four and a half days we’ll have our answers.

Lets break these questions down one by one and, like the title of this post, assess Andray Blatche’s future with this franchise.

Will Blatche be a part of the Wizards next season?

Is it possible? In short, absolutely. I can’t imagine Leonsis is going to have any desire to cut a check for 23 million dollars to a player who had the dubious distinction of showing up in box scores with a “DNP-Conditioning” next to his name. Blatche’s career in DC has been accompanied by many ups and downs along the way. From his early escapades with Party John Ramos, to the car jacking and subsequent shooting in Alexandria, VA, to the arrest for soliciting an undercover police officer there have been many moments where Andray has made us scratch our heads and ask “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”.

There also have been some flashes of the talented player Grunfeld thought he was resigning to a 35 million dollar extension in 2010. We all know that Blatche has the physical gifts necessary for a big man to be effective in the NBA. It is the mental side of the game where he has proven that he is severely lacking. Unfortunately, there has been little shown on his behalf to make anyone think that will change anytime soon.

If Leonsis and Grunfeld brought Andray Blatche back next season there would be an uproar of disapproval from the fan base. As a whole, Wizards fans have grown tired of his antics and are ready to cut ties completely and move forward with the new, young core group of players from which we hope to build a contender. I think Blatche’s days in DC are numbered, it is just a matter of which route he takes out the door.

Bringing us to our next question; Can we convince anyone to trade for Blatche?

According to David Aldridge, the Wizards do have some options were they to move Blatche via trade. However, when you are placing a player who has all but tarnished his reputation league-wide on the trading block you aren’t going to receive much more than other teams scraps in return.

The teams and players mentioned as possibilities by Aldridge are less than mind-blowing. The Bobcats and Pistons are the teams that have allegedly shown some interest in acquiring Blatche, but they would be offering up Tyrus Thomas and Charlie Villanueava respectively. Like I said, nothing to stand up and beat your chest about if you are a Wizards fan. Neither player would provide a boost on the court or in the locker room for the Wizards while both are strapped with equally terrible contracts.

I want the franchise to get rid of Blatche as much as anyone, but were it to be at the expense of adding either of these two players I would pass 10 times out of 10. We just rid ourselves of 2/3 of the three stooges at the trade deadline last season, exchanging the one left over for an equally boneheaded, hasn’t lived up to the hype, player with the same type of bloated salary would be a disservice to John Wall, Bradley Beal and the rest of the youth movement in our Nation’s Capital.

Moving on; Would Andray Blatche consider accepting a buy-out of his current contract so that the amnesty clause would not need to be utilized?

I highly doubt it. Andray Blatche is a lot of things, but one thing I have noticed is that while he may seem inept and aloof on the basketball court, when it comes to money he wants as much as he can get his hands on. The man has shown that he enjoys living the lavish lifestyle of a well paid NBA player time and time again. Thinking that he would agree to take anything less than the 23 million dollars and change that he is owed by the Wizards is a pipe dream for the front office.

Blatche has to know that the last big payday he will receive from playing the game of basketball came in 2010 when the Wizards threw 35 million dollars at him for proving that he could put up good numbers on an abysmal team. To get rid of Blatche, which I would argue is completely and totally necessary for this team to take the next step from laughingstock of the NBA to playoff contender, it will take Leonsis swallowing his pride and pulling out his check book.

The media has spoken, NBA pundits have spoken and, most importantly, the fans have spoken (Ok, more like vociferously booed) and the general consensus is it is time for Blatche to take the All-Day Dray show to another city as soon as possible. Anything less and we will continue to spin our tires as a franchise without making any progress forward.

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By: Bohlin

It has certainly been a long, passport stamped trip for James Singleton the last couple of years. Let’s start this story on September 6, 2010. On that day it was reported by the Washington Post that Singleton, who had been acquired by the Washington Wizards in the trade that sent Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to Dallas, spurned a contract offer from the Washington Wizards in favor of a deal with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Singleton had similar offers from other NBA teams as well, even though he never released what the offers were it is widely assumed they were for the league minimum. It is believed that Singleton received a more lucrative offer from the Flying Tigers and that was enough for Singleton to jettison the NBA and head to the other CBA. His reasoning, taken from a Washington Post article from September of 2010, is more so related to his love for the game. “I’m going back overseas to play basketball because of my passion, not the pay or the fame. Overseas, they allow players to play, grow and mature.”

Fast forward two years and Singleton found himself fresh off of a CBA title run with the Guangdong Southern Tigers needing to find a place to play. The Washington Wizards found themselves with a depleted roster from injuries in need of fresh bodies to make the stretch run. It was a match made in Heaven. Singleton signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards and made his return to the NBA on April 5th against the Detroit Pistons with a 0 point 2 rebound performance in 14 minutes of game action.

This was the last time Singleton was held scoreless for the remainder of the Wizards season. Singleton scored in double digits in more than half of the remaining games he played, including a season high 18 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on April 9th. In fact, in the 12 games he played with the Wizards Singleton averages 8.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG in just over 21 minutes of action a night. His performance even merited praise from The Captain. “He went all the way to China and came back with a jumper.”

It’s true; Singleton did vastly improve his jump shot while playing in the CBA. Coming into this abbreviated stint with the Wizards Singleton was a career 42% shooter. In the 12 games he played for the Wiz Kids this spring he shot a blistering 55% from the field and an equally impressive 93% from the foul line; both career highs. His play prompted head coach Randy Wittman to suggest that the entire team should be signed to 10-day contracts so they would play the same way Singleton was (Randy’s got jokes!).

Singleton established himself as a fan favorite even in a small sample size of appearances. His effort level, tenacious rebounding and new found shooting touch served as an immense spark for the Wizards second unit as they closed their season on a six game winning streak. Singleton’s performance has surely opened up plenty of eyes around the league as I would expect him to garner much more attention, as well as lucrative offers, from teams in free agency.

Singleton appears to have found a spot in the district that he is quite comfortable in however. “I would love to stay in D.C. I love the guys. I gelled with them as soon as I got here. They welcomed me in. I feel comfortable. I feel like at home.” Here’s to hoping that the front office welcomes you back in the same way this summer James. You have certainly earned it.

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