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Thoughts from last Saturday's Heat/Wizards game

December 24, 2010

Some quick snippets from the Heat/Wizards game I attended last Saturday:

1)  If I had been in a coma for the first two months of the season and I awoke to this game as my first viewing of the Wizards, then my first question would be, "When did Nick Young become the Wizards best player?".  Obviously John Wall was not playing, but for who was on the floor, Nick Young was the most impressive and was carrying the Wizards offense through most of this game.  Young has mastered the art of the fadaway jumper, and when he can consistently hit that jumper like he was on Saturday, he becomes unguardable.  The Heat were crowding him, daring him to drive, but Young's quickness and height on the jumper made the defense obsolete.  Fun to watch.

2)  This leads to my second question after awaking from this coma, "Is Nick Young being the best player a good or bad thing for the Wizards?"  I texted some friends after the game (including Teach) and everybody's response went from "not sold" to "Who is Nick Young?".  Obviously Nick Young has improved significantly and can score in bunches, but after playing 46 minutes against the Heat, this was the rest of the stat line: 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, no blocks.  This is the question for Nick Young.  Can he be more than just the literal term of shooting guard?  Instead of being a great scorer, can he become a great player? Can he be a Rip Hamilton instead of a JR Smith? So to answer my second question, "it depends". These last 60 games will answer this question.  If the Wizards are smart, which I believe they are now with the track record Ted Leonsis has with the Capitals, they will give him the minutes with Gilbert Arenas now gone to see if he is in the future plans.  I believe in Nick Young, and I'm getting on the small bandwagon now before it gets too full.

3)  I think JaVale McGee is a lost cause until he learns how to play basketball.  But he gets paid to play in the best professional league in the world, that doesn't happen if you don't how to play.  It does if besides Blake Griffin you are the most athletic power forward in the league.  I saw two plays that just epitomize JaVale McGee in this game.


A 2-on-1 fastbreak, instead of making the simple pass to Nick Young for the easy two, he tries to pull this off.  People were talking about this five minutes after it happened. I never laughed so hard at a live sporting event.

Play two, with no YouTube unfortunately, was when he grabs a defensive rebound, panics while being pressured with the ball, and just throws the ball into the backcourt to no one particular.  Heat grab it and  make a quick three.

The guy has all the physical tools a person of his size can be given, but he will never be confused with the Big Fundamental. I just worry that its too late in his career to suddenly develop this talent, a talent that should be acquired in high school and college.  McGee can produce highlights on a nightly basis, but you can't win with him on a nightly basis as he is currently constituted. I am much more skeptical of McGee going forward than Nick Young.

4)  I am tired of Flip Saunders.  Having Kirk Hinrich create the offense down the stretch instead of running plays for Nick Young was abysmal.  He is the next on my list to go after Gilbert Arenas.

5)  As for the Heat, they were sluggish which was expected being the second game in a back to back. They didn't win this game as much the Wizards gave it away in the last 40 seconds. They have found their stride and will win 55 games, but I don't see a long playoff run with Bosh, Ilguaskas, and Dampier playing major minutes inside.

11 comments:

Teach said...

If that's what you think of McGee, I'd love to hear what you think of Blatche after that missed layup the other night

December 24, 2010 at 3:02 PM
Russ said...

Blatche is a knucklehead and after this altercation the other night with McGee, he needs to be traded for anything at this point. He has some skills offensively but he is soft inside, has no work ethic and no concept of teamwork. Add to that a history of questionable behavior and he's not a guy you can win with.

December 26, 2010 at 10:28 AM
Anonymous said...

Al Thornton is the Wizards best player, not Nick Young. I think you're confusing best player with best shooter.

December 31, 2010 at 3:39 PM
Anonymous said...

Nick Young is no better than JJ Redick. The only difference is that the Wizards are so bad that they rely on Young more to score. But Nick Young's skill set is nowhere near that of a John Wall or Al Thornton. Good shooter, decent all-around player.

December 31, 2010 at 3:44 PM
Teach said...

I didn't believe Russ much either until watching the Wizards in person this past week against the Pacers. They're at their best when Nick Young's rolling, and, yeah, John Wall clearly has the most potential on the team. . . but Young might be their best offensive player right now.

January 2, 2011 at 9:30 PM
Teach said...

And you have to be kidding about Thornton...he's a DNP on a regular basis, praying that Josh Howard or Rashard Lewis gets injured

January 2, 2011 at 9:31 PM
Russ said...

Al Thornton seriously? Come on now. And I would have no problem with Nick Young being a JJ Redick for the Wizards down the road. Redick will be a good NBA player for a long time.

January 3, 2011 at 5:41 PM
Anonymous said...

Al Thornton (27) is younger than both Josh Howard (30) and Rashard Lewis (31). In my opinion, Mr. Thornton has more potential than anybody on the team. Russ, how can you say that Nick Young is the Wizards best player and then later say that there isn't a problem with him being a JJ Redick down the road? You just lost all credibility. There is a problem with anybody being compared to JJ Redick (or any Duke player) at any point in their career. "Best" and "Duke" (or anything related to Duke) should not be used together when describing anybody, ever.

January 4, 2011 at 1:17 AM
berndon4 said...

Noted philosopher Ron Artest called McGee out for being "the type of dude that probably plays a lot of video games." Meaning that he doesn't work on his game and plays off of his athleticism. Not exactly a good sign for the Wizards that a noted head case is basically saying that your Center is not the brightest bulb in the box.

January 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Anonymous said...

Al Thornton's upside >>>> John Wall's upside.

January 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Russ said...

Did you even read my post? Its about the one game I saw in person. Nick Young was the best player on floor that night for the Wizards, no question. That's all I was saying. Ultimately I'm not sure if Nick Young can ever be more than a 4th or 5th option, but its too early to tell at this point, he needs more time. I do like the way he has been playing though since Gilbert was traded. And since JJ Redick is the best player in the NBA since Trajan Langdon, I would love for Nick Young to be that productive. All the while Al Thorton will be bagging groceries at a local supermarkert next year while playing for the Wollongong Hawks in the NBL.

January 4, 2011 at 10:35 PM

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