Archive for the ‘ Washington Wizards Blog ’ Category

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard Glen Rice has been recalled from the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. Rice will be with the team for tonight’s game vs. Chicago.

In two separate assignments with the Energy, Rice has appeared in 19 games while averaging 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals in 28 minutes per game.

Rice has appeared in 11 games, including one start, for Washington this season while averaging 2.9 points in 10 minutes per game.

The 40-36 Wizards recently clinched a spot in the Eastern conference playoffs. They are currently the 6-seed, but could move up to five or drop to seven depending on how the rest of the season plays out.

Sure, it was easy for the Washington Wizards to say they were going to rebuild their team the “right way,” using the draft to restock the roster and doing a lot of losing before, hopefully, getting back to at least a little bit of winning.

Try living through it.

“Let me tell you, it feels like I’ve been here 20 years,” said coach Randy Wittman, who actually arrived as an assistant in 2009. “But it makes it worth the while, too. I wouldn’t wish some of the struggles that we went through on anybody, but it also makes it nicer then to see the other end of it.”

No one is proclaiming that the Wizards are the NBA dynasty, but the long-suffering franchise is back in the playoffs, having booked their spot Wednesday night with a 26-point thrashing of the Boston Celtics.

– Associated Press

Wizards sign Drew Gooden for rest of season

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed forward Drew Gooden for the remainder of the season.

Gooden, who signed consecutive 10-day contracts with the team on February 26 and March 8, has averaged 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game in eight games with the Wizards.

The Wizards have a 35-31 record, and are currently the 5th seed in the Eastern conference.

Here’s the Washington Post with a look into the future of the Washington Wizards and Trevor Ariza:

Ariza can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Although he has been a huge contributor to the franchise’s revival, the Wizards have a logjam at his position. Backup forward Martell Webster is in the first year of a long-term deal, and rookie Otto Porter , the third overall in last June’s draft, needs to play, which he can’t do that if he remains buried on the bench.

For now, though, Ariza is on the roster — and the Wizards have needed him.

The Wizards have maintained their solid footing in the Eastern Conference playoff race (they’re currently fifth) despite the loss of Nene, who could miss all but the last few games of the regular season because of a knee injury. The Wizards had been 8-34 without the talented-but-brittle Brazilian big man before this most recent ailment, but they’re 7-3 in this stint entering this week’s four-game Western swing, thanks in large part to Ariza.

Ariza, whose career scoring average is 9.6 points, is at a personal-best 15 points per game this season.With Nene out, Ariza is averaging 19 points.

John Wall

Washington Wizards guard John Wall has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate comments towards the officials, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred at the conclusion of the Wizards’ 98-85 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on March 12, at Verizon Center.

CSN Washington reported the following last night, “The frustration has been boiling with John Wall when it comes to the lack of foul calls he receives when he attacks the paint, and in his mind it never was more evident than in Wednesday night’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. On what turned out to be a game-changing play, Wall was whistled for fouling Kemba Walker on a three-point attempt with the shot clock about to expire. At best, based on replays, the contact was minimal. “I didn’t touch him. All he did was scream,” Wall said. “The ref gave him calls all night because he was screaming.”

Wizards sign Drew Gooden to second 10-day contract

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed forward Drew Gooden to a second 10-day contract.

Gooden, who was originally signed by the Wizards on February 26, has averaged 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.0 minutes over three games.

The veteran big-man provides frontcourt depth for the 32-29 Wizards.

Al Harrington

Harrington has appeared in seven games since returning from his right knee injury but he has had to adjust his game and find other ways to be effective while he continues to search for his rhythm.

That has meant more slashing and driving until his perimeter shot starts dropping. Harrington scored eight points in the Wizards’ 104-91 win over Utah but he failed to make a three-pointer for the fourth straight game. He has shot just 2 for 13 from long distance since returning.

“That’s how it is sometimes. I’m still thinking about my shot and that’s the worst thing I can do,” Harrington said.
As long as I keep doing that, I’m not going to be consistent. More opportunities I get to shoot, I’ve got to let it rip. Once I get one or two going, I’ll feel good about myself.”

– Washington Post blog

John Wall doing big things for Wizards

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Wizards guard John Wall, who is an NBA All-Star this season:

john wall

John Wall had never had a better month in his career before March 2013, when he had finally regained his conditioning and confidence after recovering from a stress injury in his left knee that cost him the first 33 games of the season.

After spending the first two months of his comeback easing his way into a rhythm, Wall caught fire and recorded some of his best performances, including a career-high 47 points in a win over Memphis last March 27. He finished the season on a tear and was eventually rewarded with a maximum-salaried extension.

A year later, Wall has reached all-star status for the first time in his career and has gotten off to another solid start this month, averaging 20 points and 12.5 assists in the first two games. On Monday, Wall became the first Wizards player since Gilbert Arenas in 2006-07 to be named Eastern Conference player of the week at least twice in the same season. He has won conference player of the week honors three times, with the first award coming last March.

Wizards survive 3OT thriller vs Raptors

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on the Wizards, who on Thursday won a hard-fought triple-overtime battle against the Toronto Raptors:

Trevor Ariza was plowing through a plate of chicken and vegetables in the locker room after the Wizards completed a 3-hour 32-minute marathon with the Toronto Raptors. Ariza usually takes his time to hit the postgame buffet table after road games, but he was in a hurry to grab some grub on Thursday night. Playing almost 50 minutes will do that.

“Pretty tired. Hungry and tired,” Ariza said, when asked about how he felt after the Wizards survived a highly competitive and physically taxing triple-overtime game and left Air Canada Centre with a 134-129 victory. “It was the longest game in the world. You give it all so at the end of the game you’re totally drained. I was drained.”

The Washington basketball franchise hadn’t played a game that needed three overtimes since the Bullets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, 110-109, on Nov. 15, 1975 – before all but three current NBA players were born (Steve Nash, Derek Fisher and Ray Allen). Wizards broadcaster Phil Chenier was a member of that Bullets team; he and Wes Unseld each scored 25 points that night. When asked his recollection of that contest in the locker room after Thursday’s game, Chenier said, “I don’t remember any of it.”

Chenier’s broadcast partner Steve Buckhantz let him know the Bullets lost that night, to which he said, “That’s probably why I don’t remember.”

Wizards sign Drew Gooden to 10-day contract

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed forward Drew Gooden to a 10-day contract.

“We will rely on all of our frontcourt players to step up and contribute as we go through this stretch without Nene,” said Grunfeld. “Signing Drew gives us size, shooting ability and experience to add to that mix.”

Gooden (6-10, 230) has played 11 seasons with Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento, San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee, appearing in 687 career regular season games (493 starts) while averaging 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 27.0 minutes per contest. He has shot .465 (3,213-6,913) from the field and .759 (1,634-2,154) from the free throw line. The former fourth overall pick (2002 by Memphis) last played during the 2012-13 campaign with Milwaukee, where he averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16 games. Gooden has averaged 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in 27.1 minutes over 44 career postseason games with Orlando, Cleveland and San Antonio, including a run to the 2007 NBA Finals with the Cavaliers.

Nene out six weeks with knee injury

Nene out six weeks with knee injury

Wizards forward/center Nene underwent an MRI exam today that revealed an MCL sprain in his left knee. The injury occurred in the third quarter of last night’s 96-83 win at Cleveland. He will miss approximately six weeks.

Nene has appeared in 49 games for Washington this season, averaging 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.24 steals in 30.1 minutes.

The Wizards this season are led in scoring by John Wall (19.7 ppg) and Bradley Beal (16.8 ppg), followed by Nene and Trevor Ariza, who both average 14.2 ppg. The team is 28-28 this season, and both 14-14 at home and 14-14 on the road.

nuggets trade andre miller

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired guard Andre Miller from Denver in exchange for forward Jan Vesely. As part of the three-team deal, the Wizards also sent guard Eric Maynor and a 2015 second round pick to Philadelphia and received a protected 2014 second round pick from the 76ers. The 76ers will also receive a future second round pick from Denver.

“Andre is a proven veteran who brings 14 years of experience as a point guard, leader and distributor to solidify our second unit,” said Grunfeld. “He will be a valuable addition as we make our push over these last 28 games of the season to put ourselves in the best possible position.”

Miller (6-2, 200) holds career averages of 13.6 points, 7.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 1,156 career games (935 starts) in 14-and-a-half NBA seasons with five teams. He has shot .459 from the field and .808 from the line. The eighth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft has averaged 5.9 points and 3.3 assists in 30 games with Denver this season. A product of the University of Utah, Miller enjoyed his best season during the 2001-02 campaign when he averaged 16.5 points and a career-best and NBA-leading 10.9 assists in 81 games. He ranks second among active players and ninth in NBA history in career assists with 8,056 and is one of only eight players in NBA history to record at least 15,000 points and 7,500 assists. In 52 playoff games with Denver, Philadelphia and Portland, he holds averages of 15.5 points, 5.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.05 steals.

Vesely was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by Washington. In 141 career games with the Wizards, he averaged 3.5 points and 3.4 rebounds. In 33 games this season, Vesely posted 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14 minutes.

Maynor signed with Washington as a free agent on July 10, 2013. In 23 games with the Wizards this season, he averaged 2.3 points and 1.7 assists in nine minutes.

“We appreciate the contributions and professionalism of both Jan and Eric during their time with the Wizards and we wish them both well,” said Grunfeld.

The 2015 second round pick that Washington sent to Philadelphia was acquired from the Clippers in 2012. In the three-team deal, the Wizards sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets and Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers. In return, the Wizards received Nene from Denver and Brian Cook and a second-round pick from the Clippers. The Clippers acquired the pick from New Orleans as part of their trade for Chris Paul trade the previous December.

Wizards may pass on trade deadline moves

Here’s the Washington Post blog with an update on the Wizards, who like all 30 NBA teams face a rapidly-approaching deadline to make trades:

The Washington Wizards have been mentioned in several trade rumors leading up to Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline for deals, but there have been few hints to suggest that any moves will actually get made.

“I think there’s a lot less chatter than ever before, so I’m not anticipating anything,” Coach Randy Wittman said after Monday’s late-night practice. “But obviously you gotta look, if there’s something there that makes you a better team down the stretch you got to look to do it.”

Wittman has stuck with an eight- or nine-man playing rotation for much of the season, and Al Harrington is expected to return in the next few weeks to possibly provide more front-court depth. The Wizards have an obvious need for help at backup point guard with Garrett Temple playing a larger-than-expected role because of the failings of last summer’s free agent pickup, Eric Maynor.

Here’s the Washington Post blog with a fun report on some serious betting action between a pair of Wizards players. Kids, don’t try pajama onesie-based bets at home:

john wall

A few hows before he hurdled G-Man for his unforgettable reverse dunk to claim the dunk contest, Wall made a peculiar bet with Bradley Beal about last Saturday’s college basketball game between his 18th-ranked Wildcats and Beal’s second-ranked Florida Gators. Wall declared that the loser would have to wear a footed pajama onesie of the opposing school to practice.

“He know what’s up with me. He might not want to want to see me,” Wall said on Saturday morning. “You know how that is, you’ve got a big rivalry going on. He got to wear that Kentucky onesie if we win. I have to wear that Florida onesie if they win. He don’t know that yet. That’s what I made. I’m the big brother so I make the rules.”

Wall never shared those stakes with Beal, whose Gators defeated the Wildcats, 69-59, around the time that Beal was finishing second in the three-point shootout and Wall was preparing to lead the Eastern Conference to a dunk contest win.

After scoring 12 points in his all-star debut for the victorious East, Wall said he still planned to make good on his essentially self-made bet.

Here’s the Washington Post blog with a status update on veteran forward Al Harrington:

Al Harrington

After the Wizards lost in double-overtime the San Antonio Spurs last week, Al Harrington was probably the only player in the locker room with a smile on his face. His teammates were dejected about losing a game that was in their grasp but Harrington — while sharing in the disappointment– was upbeat about moving a step closer to helping on the floor.

Harrington has recently been cleared to participate in some contract work and realized that he would be freed up to play in four-on-four scrimmage on Thursday with some of the Wizards’ backups. He wanted them to know that he was coming after spending the past two months recovering from surgery to remove loose particles in his right knee.

“Y’all gon’ get it,” Harrington warned as he walked out of the locker room, high-fiving his teammates.

Wizards bring Glen Rice Jr back from D-League

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard Glen Rice Jr has been recalled from the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. Rice will be with the team for tonight’s game in Golden State.

Rice appeared in three games with the Energy, averaging 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.7 blocks in 36 minutes per contest. Washington’s 2013 second round pick was assigned to Iowa on January 20.

Rice is averaging 2.9 points in 10 minutes per contest in 11 games (one start) with the Wizards this season.

Wizards assign Glen Rice to D-League

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard Glen Rice has been assigned to the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.

Rice has appeared in 11 games, including one start, this season for Washington while averaging 2.9 points in 10 minutes per game. He was recently cleared to resume all basketball activities following surgery to repair a fracture in his right wrist on December 17.

Friday night in Washington, the Wizards lost 101-88 to the Toronto Raptors. Washington is now 14-16 for the season. Here’s what various Wizards and Raptors said after the game:

WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN

On the team’s effort:

“[I was] shocked probably more than surprised. Being a game where they are a half-game ahead of you in the standings, being a home game, “shocked” would be a better word. [It was] very disappointing. And we can’t play that way. We’ve proven over the last couple of years you can’t play that way. And we’re getting concerned with, ‘Why am I coming out? How many minutes am I getting? How many shots am I getting?’ rather than, ‘What is the team doing?’ and we didn’t do that tonight and that is disappointing because we’re not good enough to do it that way. For us to come out and start the game, and start the fourth quarter like that is disappointing. I don’t know how else to put it. We have to come back together. It is not about ‘me’ it’s about ‘us’ and it has to be focused on us and it was focused on individuals rather than the team tonight.”

On Trevor Ariza being ejected:

“No, I never think the game is over, 13 points in this league is not over. I still felt it. It was a sequence there when the guys finished the game. If we could have made that open three to knock it to 13 when they were bringing [Kyle] Lowry and those guys back in, you never know in this league and there was plenty of time left at the time that [Trevor] Ariza was thrown out.”

On getting his message across to the players:

“I’ll figure something out. We’ll get it one way or the other. Listen, it’s like I’ve said the last year and a half to two years, it’s been proven that way. We don’t have one guy who can carry this team. We don’t have it. So we need the body of work each and every night. That body of work changes. Those numbers change who that guy is. We’ve seen that when we’ve been playing good. Bradley Beal can be it, Martell Webster can and Trevor Ariza can. You can’t dictate the game yourself and make it play out the way you are. You’ve got to let the game dictate that and then be willing to do that. They’re going to take me away tonight? You’re going to be the bonus baby tonight. We’re going to feed you tonight. We’ve got to do that and we didn’t have that tonight.”

WIZARDS GUARD BRADLEY BEAL

On the game:

“They were more aggressive than us. They got off to a great start, 19-8 to begin the quarter. That’s something we got stay away from. We can’t get down by such big leads because we waste all our energy trying to fight back and don’t have enough to be able to pull through. We got to stay out of those situations and be better mentally, focus, and be ready for the next game.”

On Coach Wittman’s comments about selfish basketball:

“I guess what he was talking about was body language and attitude, more so than guys not passing the ball, at least that’s what I interpreted they were saying. I mean you can sense it here and there, but I still think we had a chance to win the game regardless of what our attitude was. He’s right, that’s definitely something we have to stay away from and hopefully moving forward we can eliminate that. Like he said, we lost a couple of games that were winnable. We got to get back on the right track.”

On the effort during the game:

“I mean we are at home. You would think we would play a lot harder, especially having the home crowd behind you. As you start to have more and more fans come and support you, you would think you would come out harder. We were real sluggish tonight. We weren’t there mentally or physically. We weren’t paying attention to our concepts. We got to give credit to them, they made a lot of shots and a lot of good plays as well.”

WIZARDS FORWARD NENE

On the game:

“I don’t think there is much explanation. They kicked our butt. They play hard. They exploited our weakness and they’ve been playing really good on the road. Not much to say.”

On Toronto’s ball movement:

“Missing on defense. We didn’t play the right way. We’ve been playing like that the past couple games. We need to get back to the way we’ve been playing.”

On playing the right way:

“I think we need to watch more video, the good things, what are our openings (weaknesses). Find the things. Get back to the way we’ve been playing, with each other, communicate better, like you said, the defense starts on your person. We need to play harder. The last few games our openings (weaknesses) have been we didn’t play hard enough. This game is simple and it is very fair sometimes.”

On the third quarter:

“We need to start better on the third quarter. That’s the moment a lot of teams go really hard. They open a lot of points on the board right there. If you let the team get that kind of confidence you start to stop.”

WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL

On if there’s any selfish play:

“I don’t think so, I think we try and play the right way. I just give them a lot of credit, they took away things from us and then we didn’t make a lot of shots. They just outplayed us tonight. They played with more sense of urgency. They played with more aggressiveness, they were pounding us on the glass and making open shots and we didn’t stick to our defensive concepts and we just give them a lot of credit for what they did and the game plan they had against us.”

On the reason for the loss:

“Not having a sense of urgency from the start of the game. They got a big lead early, I think 18-9. And we fought our way back at halftime and got it down to three and then that third quarter, turnover after turnover and I give Brad [Beal] credit for hustling down and getting the block in and then they got another turnover, hit another three so they basically just had control of the game.”

On making improvements:

“Gotta keep working, gotta find a way to fix it and stop having those lapses of times when you’re not playing good for a quarter or a half and we’re not good enough to play that way and we’re not good enough to have one person try to do it by their self.”

On a team effort:

“Anybody can get hot and start scoring at any time on this team. We’re a team where we’re better when there’s five to six guys in double figures and you might have a different leading scorer every night and we know that’s the way we need to play and there’s nothing wrong with that. We know guys can make big shots and make big plays, but we don’t have one guy that we can put our back on and say, ‘Do that for a whole game.’”

On the Raptors:

“Tonight, you just give them a lot of credit for doing what they had to do and playing the right way and watching film on us and changing their game plan. And you give them a lot of credit for making shots. They made a lot of big shots and tough shots and when a team’s been on a hot streak like that, you’ve got to give them credit.”

RAPTORS HEAD COACH DWANE CASEY

On possibly looking past the Wizards to focus on Miami:

“We have no right. None whatsoever to look past anybody in this league. This team is just as talented as we are and we have no right to look forward to Miami, Indiana, whoever.”

On the Raptors’ second half performance:

“The thing I was upset about was our defense. We gave up points in transition, weren’t getting back, weren’t executing our plans we had for their fast break, and that was the whole thing. We started to do that in the third quarter. We did a good job. Again 29 assists, we got the ball moving, the ball was zinging around and we got it moving.”

On being a successful team with no prominent stars:

“They are playing the game the right way. They’re playing together. They’re trusting each other, nobody has an ego that thinks they have to have X number of shots. Come out of the game when your rotation ends. When one guy is down the next guy picks him up. Everybody is cheering for each other. I think the word ‘team’ is really important for us. If we don’t do what we have to do as a team, offensively and defensively, you see what happened there in the fourth quarter, you lose a big lead. We got to continue to play as a team. We got to play as a team cause like you said we are not going to ‘out-talent’ too many teams.”

RAPTORS GUARD DEMAR DEROZAN

On the Raptors performance:
“Besides the winning, it just feels good. We’re just all playing together. I think you can tell we just go out there and have fun, we’re playing with one another. You can tell, we don’t care who scores, we don’t care who scores the ball, we’re just giving everybody confidence every time on both ends. That’s the fun part about it.”

On team’s focusing on him:
“I definitely see it being in the middle of it, and I understand it. I go out there when my team needs me to score or do something offensively, I’m there, but other than that, I try to be a decoy as much as I can to get my team going. I understand teams are going to focus in on me, try to slow me down sometimes. Sometimes I do a lot moves and create shots for my other teammates it makes it fun that way. ”

On the Raptors recent wins:
“It’s definitely strong. We all understand we got a lot more basketball to play. This is nothing right now. We have to understand once adversity hits, things not going our way, shots not falling, we still got to stay together with the same mindset. I think we’re at a point where we really understand that and we got to do. If we continue to work hard on the court and outside the court, I think we’ll be fine.”

RAPTORS GUARD KYLE LOWRY

On having a winning record without big names:

“I think we have workers. We have guys who just go out and do what it takes to win, that want to win games, take advantage of every situation that they are in, and they work extremely hard. We have very unselfish guys, and we are just staying the course and just trying to play games.”

On guarding Bradley Beal and John Wall:

“We made Bradley Beal take tough shots, and we blitzed him all night, and made John take contested shots. That is all we can do with those guys, and I think everyone tonight just played a great team game.”

On making the extra pass:

“I think guys are just working to win. Winning is contagious, and we are making winning plays and that is what everyone is.”

Gilbert Arenas hopes for NBA comeback

Here’s TMZ reporting on a former beloved NBA player who really should keep the sneakers hung up in the closet at this point. It’s unlikely that any team would sign Gilbert Arenas at this point, but here’s the story:

Gilbert Arenas hopes for NBA comeback

Gilbert Arenas has had a change of heart … telling TMZ Sports he’s abandoned his plans to retire from pro basketball … and he’s currently training to RETURN TO THE NBA!!

It was just last month, Agent Zero told us he was walking away from the sport forever … happily … ’cause he’s still got another $38 million coming his way from the $111 million contract he signed with the Washington Wizards back in the day.

Here’s the Washington Post Blog on Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who hopes to play more to his offensive strengths, which reside close to the basket:

Marcin Gortat hoping for more inside looks

Marcin Gortat watched John Wall’s corner three-pointer bounce high off the rim, curled around Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and hammered home a furious one-handed jam. As his Wizards teammates hopped from their seats to applaud, Gortat angrily strutted back.

Gortat embraces being big, loves banging inside, and isn’t caught up in following other 6-foot-11 or taller players who would prefer to parade around the perimeter shooting jumpers rather than mixing it up and throwing people around. For that reason, Gortat has grown frustrated with a lack of touches near the basket and said he would speak to Coach Randy Wittman about his role in the offense after a lackluster outing against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I don’t like the position I play,” Gortat said after scoring just six points on 3-of-10 shooting in the Wizards’ 113-96 loss on Saturday at Verizon Center. “I’m constantly drifting more and more away from the basket. That’s not my game. I’m capable of making one or two plays like that away from the basket, but I feel more comfortable underneath the basket.”

Basketball blog