Jeff Van Gundy once called the 2010 Washington Wizards frontcourt the worst in the NBA, which is a little odd considering all the hype surrounding JaVale McGee over the summer and the giant leaps Andray Blatche has made statistically the last couple of seasons.
But listening to Wizards head coach Flip Saunders talk about his starting power forward and center, you start to wonder whether or not he's losing faith in his bigs, as well.
"There's going to be some competition for playing time," Saunders said after Saturday's loss in Chicago. "I think all of our guys have to understand that just because you may be playing or starting, there's not entitlement. You've got to out there and produce to earn what you do."
In that loss to Chicago, Saunders experimented with a new frontcourt in the fourth quarter, giving almost all the crunch-time minutes to Hilton Armstrong and rookie Trevor Booker. Blatche was sort of forced to sit with knee issues, but Saunders gave no real explanation for McGee's replacement other than he simply hasn't played consistently enough.
"He's got a ways to go," Saunders said, pointing out his stellar play in the Vegas Summer League wasn't as great as it might have seemed. "You've got to realize that in summer league you're playing against guys that are in the NBDL or in Europe, so it's a little bit different than playing against (Joakim) Noah and guys like that. It's a challenge, and he's got to learn, as I say, substance over style. In a game, there's 200 plays, and he has five spectacular plays in a game. He just has to get more consistent with the other 195."
The part that sticks out the most is when the coach says this isn't summer leauge which is filled with euro and nbdl bigs. I'm hoping this finally gets through to some fans on here who hype a guy because of what they do in the summer leauge (Anthony Randolph) when they have already played in the NBA and didn't do much. I'm sure some of the fans will say " it's still to early" apparently the wizards don't think it's to early to call Mcgee and blachte out.
Let John Wall do everything and hope we make the playoffs.
The problem is that Blatche and Mcgee are so damn lazy. Blatche only cares about his, only cares about jacking up shots and getting 20 points, yet won't hustle for rebounds and won't defend. Javale only cares about getting blocks and will jump at everything and pick up quick fouls. His post defense this year has been horrible with guys backing him down all the time. I honestly think it's time for them to lose minutes if they haven't already. While not as skilled as them at least Hilton Armstrong and Yi give 100% effort when they are out there. It's truly sad when Yi gives you more on the boards and on defense than Blatche does. Wouldnt' mind seeing Booker or Seraphin out there either because they will work on the glass and play within the system. When you have Gil jacking up shots you need guys on the offensive glass and Armstrong and Yi are the only guys giving effort.
Both of those guys are young and still learning how to play the game ..McGee can make a coach want to pull his hair out..He's still tossing up those ballerina type shots instead of taking the ball toward the basket aggressively..Those fancy Alley Oops can be exciting ,but he needs to do more..McGee has some decent post moves and a nice jump hook which he shows at times,but not that often...I'm beginning to think players like McGee,Yi ,DeAndre Jordan,JJ Hickson and Anthony Randolph will always be just Teasers..Players that will never provide solid contibutions...Only Tease us playing only good in a few games...
I heard Brent Barry say that Blatche reminds him of a young Garnett...At times you can see that in Blatche's game..
Jeff Van Gundy can also be wrong..I remember him saying ''Rondo will never be more than a backup point guard in the NBA..Becuz he has so many limitations in his game''..He said ''Boston should find another point guard if they want to be a championship caliber team...
Maybe in wrong but hasn't jj hickson done more then just tease? 16&6 makes him consistant unlike overrated Randolph and Jordan
Also yi is more skilled then mcgee. Mcgee isn't that skilled just athletic
What i mean by Hickson is he'll have 25 & 12 one night..Then 8 points and 6 rebounds the next night....He's inconsistent..
" In a game, there's 200 plays, and he has five spectacular plays in a game. He just has to get more consistent with the other 195."
Hahah Saunders kills me. He just said that McGee is only effective for 2.5% percent of the time he is in the game. Thats about 24 out of 48 mintes, so according to his own Coach McGee is only effective for slightly over 1% of the game. Harsh, but thats what you need from your coach. Gotta have balls.
Blatche is below average on defence and is about average at rebounding. McGee can't do anything on offence and unless he is coming for a weak side block he does about as much on defence.
Blatche does have the skill set of a young Garnett, however he lacks the drive, intensity and commitment that Garnett has always had. For someone who watches Blatche play every day, I may be a little biased, but I think he is one of the most talented bigs in the NBA and has some of the best offensive moves in the post out of anyone in the NBA and a solid jumpshot, too. The intangibles are what hurt him the most out of everything. He is selfish on both ends, has a bad attitude and loses confidence easily if he is not scoring on the offensive end. If you aren't scoring and your shot isn't falling make up for it by playing solid defense and using your ability to collect rebounds and blocked shots instead. The Wizards have more than enough scorers to make up for a poor shooting night from Blatche, but they do not have the frontcourt to make up for a poor rebounding and defensive effort from him. His shot slection is horrible right now,too. About half of his shots this year have been ill-advised and he needs to take what Wall, Arenas and Hinrich give him, because they are all solid passers and feed him the ball effectively.
BTW I do like Yi but is very sad he has been playing the best defense out of regularly playing big men.....
The Wizards frontcourt needs to step up, and this is coming from a Wizards fan. They've been playing TERRIBLE defense and have been TERRIBLE on the boards. Dray and McGee have not been playing good defense are are not getting it done on the boards. Let me get to McGee. Other than being a BEAST at shot-blocking, he's a mediocre defender. He makes poor rotations, jumps for EVERY opprotunity he has at a shot block, and constantly gets outmuscled by stronger big men. In a Cleveland game earlier in the season, late in the 4th quarter, it was a very close game, and somebody on Cleveland had gotten fouled and e shot two free throws, and he missed the second one, but McGee failed to box out and Verajao had gotten the offensive rebound and kicked it out to a wide-open Gibson for 3. That play probably cost the Wizards the game. Now I know why JaVale sees limited minutes, because he makes BONEHEADED plays. He is more talented than Armstrong, but at least Armstrong makes smarter plays on defense and gives an effort on the boards. He also needs to get stronger, but he is still very young, so strenght will come in time. Hopefully he puts in the work to become stronger the offseason. He is also VERY limited in te post. He isn't very skilled. When he gets the ball in the post, he prays that it goes in when he shoots it and he turns the ball over a lot. I think the Wizards seriously need to look in to hiring a big man coach. That would help JaVale A LOT.
Now let me get to Dray. I can see the young Garnett comparison, but like Da1pot said, he doesn't have the drive and intensity that a young Garnett had. Blatche is very skilled. He has a big arsenal of post moves, can shoot, can handcle the rock well for his size, and can pass. But it's the things that he can't do that really limit him. He takes bad shots, plays questinable defense, and is immature, picking up some ill-advised technicals and ahowing poor body language. He's had some good games on the boards, but is inconsitent. He's a good shooter, but when his shot isn't falling, he's get really frustrated and starts pouting. He needs to start attacking the basket more. He's stays too far from the basket, and I don't know why, because he's a very good post player. He needs to stay aggresive and attack the basket for lay-ups and fouls instead of taking contested jumpers. The Wizards are one of the worst teams at getting to the free-throw line and it would really help if he would take it to the hole and draw some fouls. The broken foot from the offseason is affecting him. He was working his butt off this offseason until he sustained the broken foot, which prevented him from getting sronger and working on his game, and is caused him to come to training camp out of shape. He still isnt in playing shape yet, and you can tell because he looks slower than usual. As he gets into better shape as the season goes along , I also expect his play to pick up.
That being said, the Wizards frontcourt needs to STEP UP!