Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Da Wiz: A Sign of Things to Come

The Wizards lost to the Hawks Monday night, 103-99. But don’t worry. The Hawks are still the Hawks and the Wizards are still a playoff contender. What Wizards fans can take away from the contest was some reassurance that the Big Three are back in game shape and should be ready to reclaim their title as the league’s highest scoring trio when the season tips off next Wednesday.

Gilbert, Antawn and Caron all appear to be fully recovered from the various injuries that hindered them last spring and effectively ended the Wizards’ previously promising campaign. Agent Zero finally found his range, hitting 7-of-18 from the field for a team-high 19 points and Jamison – who was bothered by a sprained ankle much of the preseason - added 12 and nine rebounds. Butler was 0-for-4 from the field but still managed to crack double digits with an 11-for-11 display from the line. Most importantly, all three played for at least 26 minutes. With just two more tune-ups remaining before their Halloween date with the Pacers, it’s good to see the Wizards starters back on the floor and producing.

Notes:

  • Andray Blatche continued his streak of impressive showings this preseason. The third-year big man went for eight and nine in 28 minutes of action. In five games, Blatche is averaging 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. As long as he steers clear of the ladies of the night, look for the 2005 2nd round pick to step up big as a scorer and rebounder off the bench.
  • Respect your elders. It’s a universal rule. But apparently the old adage doesn’t apply when you’ve got 13-year vet Tony Massenburg, who’s played for 13 teams, and two guys who need to be cut to finalize your roster. Sunday the Wiz released former Spur/King/Jazz/(insert one of 11 other NBA teams here)/Maryland Terrapin in their last set of roster cuts. The 40-year-old center had fought hard to make a team desperate for depth at the post position but came up just short. The Wizards might regret not keeping him with Etan Thomas still recovering from heart surgery and no true centers on the roster to spell Brendan Haywood.
  • Guard Donnell Taylor was also cut as the Wiz trimmed their roster to 14. The undrafted free agent out of UAB played sparingly the last two seasons with Washington.
  • 2006 first rounder, Oleksiy Pecherov missed Wednesday’s game with a quad injury. The 2nd wonder of Ukraine is averaging 10 points and 5.8 rebounds in four games.
  • The Wizards (4-2) conclude the preseason trips to Detroit (Wednesday) and Toronto (Friday). Of their eight preseason match ups, seven have been/are on the road. They’re just saving the good stuff for when it counts.

- The Tar Heel

2 comments:

The Friendship said...

Do you think they'll be a stronger trio than the Celtics' Garnett, Pierce and Allen? That's a pretty studly lineup who have lookied equally comfortable with each other in the pre-season.

The Tar Heel said...

Here's what Gil has to say: "Our Big Three is just trying to get back in sync with each other because we haven't played together since April 2. We're just trying to get our mojo back and get our confidence back so when we start off this season we can compete with that other Big Three that's out there trying to take our crown away from us."

MOJO!