Category Archives: Wizards

The Wizards Are Really Good At Shooting Threes And Should Probably Shoot More Of Them

Here with your weekly look at the Wiz is Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

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Trevor Ariza led the Wizards in three-point attempts and makes last season by knocking down 180 of 442. Second in both categories was Martell Webster (146 of 372), followed by Bradley Beal (138 of 343) and John Wall (108 of 308).

Wall’s jumper improved dramatically last year, so Wizards fans were hopeful about his shooting heading into this season. But Ariza went to the Rockets, Beal broke his wrist in early October and Webster had his third back surgery in late June.
No other player got close to making 100 threes in a Wizards uniform last year. Al Harrington was the closest with just 34, and he most recently played in China.

For these reasons, Washington wasn’t expected to be a real threat from downtown this year, especially early on with all the injuries. Yet more than a quarter of the way through the season, the Wizards lead the entire NBA in three-point percentage with a blistering 39.7 percent. The entire NBA.

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John Wall vs. Rajon Rondo: Who Ya Got?

Here with your weekly look at the Wiz is Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

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There aren’t many doubleheaders in the NBA regular season, so basketball fans are in for a treat when the Wizards and Celtics face off on consecutive nights this Sunday and Monday. Washington is riding a four-game win streak and, at 13-5, will be a heavy favorite over the 6-11 Celtics, though Boston is on a two-game win streak of its own.

Regardless, this doubleheader is worthy of its own post simply because of the showdown between former Kentucky stars John Wall and Rajon Rondo.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2010 has been putting on a show all season in D.C., and Bradley Beal’s return has made his life that much easier. Wall, third in the league in assists, has at least 12 in each of the last three games and is averaging a career-high 9.8 dimes per game.

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4 Wizards Things to Watch This Week

Welcome back to a new weekly series by Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

The Wizards have lost two of three games for the first time this season, and, though they still have the second-best record in the East at 10-5, they’re now 2.5 games behind Toronto for the top spot, and only a half-game above Chicago.

Luckily, the next two weeks or so should be one of the easier stretches of their schedule. The Wiz started a four-game homestand on Saturday with a win over half-man, half-machine, half-unibrow Anthony Davis (if you’ve seen him play, you understand why he’s at 150 percent). Now the Heat bring their talent to the District.

But after Miami, Washington starts a stretch where it plays the Lakers, Nuggets, Celtics (twice) and Magic, who have a combined record of 20-39 heading into this weekend. This is the Wizards’ chance to make a run and open a nice lead on the rest of the division.

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5 Wizards Things To Watch This Week

Welcome to the first in a weekly series of looks at the Wizards by Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

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The NBA season is long and, if you aren’t hardcore, excessive. The average fan probably watches less than 20 full regular season games, so don’t feel bad; we’re here for you. Here are five Wizards things to watch this week.

1. Bradley Beal Is Back!

This is great news for all basketball fans, Wizards fans and Washingtonians. Beal is John Wall’s right-hand man, and now that he’s fully healed from a broken wrist, House of Guards is in business.

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10 Reasons To Celebrate This Year’s Wizards

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1. They’re kinda good!

The Wiz won 44 games and made it to the second round of the playoffs last season, making them only the second Washington team do so since 1979. That is so sad, but still: Rejoice!

2. They’re off to a hot start!

It’s kind of hard to believe the Wizards are 6-2. They just don’t do that. Last year they started 2-6. The year before that 0-8. Same with the year before that. You have to go back to 2006 for a season in which they got off to a winning start. And they’re doing this without budding star Bradley Beal.

3. Budding star Bradley Beal!

Remember him? The kid who went for 19.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.5 APG and .415 3P% in the playoffs? At age 20? Yeah, he should be back within a month. (And they’re not trading him for Kobe.) Continue reading

How Realistic Is KD-to-D.C.?

Here with a look at one of our favorite fantasies is Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

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Those of you watching the Redskins’ glorious 41-10 beatdown of the Jacksonville Jaguars last week may have seen Wizards point guard John Wall taking in the game at the same time as a very special guest.

Naturally, seeing reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant at a Redskins game with the face of D.C. basketball, both decked out in Redskins gear, had some fans rather giddy. Perhaps excited enough to forget about the face of D.C. football getting hurt again? Continue reading

The Summer of Grunfeld

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After a surprising Elite Eight appearance last season, the Wiz are on a bit of a roll. First they re-signed Marcin Gortat, then they landed Paul Pierce, and now they’ve made a series of sensible moves:

*Kris Humphries, PF — 3 years, $13 million (third-year team option)
*DeJuan Blair, PF — 3 years, $6 million (third-year team option)
*Drew Gooden, C — 1 year, $1.5 million (veteran minimum)
*Garrett Temple, G — 2 years, $2 million
*Kevin Seraphin, C — 1 year, $3.8 million

Well, maybe the Seraphin move wasn’t sensible, but the other four shore up the bench nicely, especially in the frontcourt behind Nene and Gortat. Trevor Booker left for $10 million over two years with Utah, but that’s all right. The Wizards got better this week, and they figure to be better next season.

In concert with adding/re-signing the aforementioned and along with expected improvement from Wall and Beal, Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. are looking good in Vegas. It’s just Summer League, but they’re averaging 40 per, and Porter’s development is sorely needed.

The East is also more wide open now. Miami lost LeBron and Indy lost Lance Stephenson, so the top two teams come back to the pack.

Cleveland will emerge with LeBron, and Chicago could be very good with a healthy Derrick Rose. Toronto, Brooklyn, Charlotte and Atlanta figure to return to the playoff mix, but the Wiz have better NBA championship odds than all of them.

So 2014-15 is looking good, and it’s not at the expense of pursuing Kevin Durant in 2016 either. But that’s a long way off. For now, let’s celebrate this summer, and a job well done by Ernie Grunfeld.

Durant-to-D.C. Is Not Completely Irrational

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There are probably better texts regarding Kevin Durant’s free agency in the summer of 2016 and the possibility of him signing with the Wiz, but this is one I happened to read. From a Sports On Earth exchange between Michael Pina and Patrick Hruby, here’s Pina:

Washington has flexibility, especially when you consider the projected salary cap bump to $80 million in 2016. Nene’s contract expires then, and it’s tradable if they need to move it. This team is on a path to incrementally improve from within, while building around the margins. The foundation is set. And from a team-building perspective things aren’t too different from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Washington isn’t as talented, but they successfully used the draft to find their core. I’m not a Grunfeld fan by any means, but the Pierce signing is significant. This team will be attractive in two years, with Beal and Wall hopefully All-Star Weekend regulars by then. If they keep the cap sheet clean enough to offer Durant a max contract, there’s honestly no reason to assume his interest heading East won’t be piqued.

There’s also this, from CSN Washington:

The hiring of David Adkins, who coached Durant in high school, from the University of Maryland’s women’s team as assistant coach to player development for the Wizards this past week isn’t a coincidence.

See? The Wizards will have a decent team, cap space, his old coach … WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT, DURANT? COME HOME!

I’m sure he won’t tire of hearing that for the next two years.

Signing Paul Pierce Is Big, If True

The Wizards surprised everyone late Saturday night by signing future HOFer Paul Pierce for two years and $10.2 million. The move is a good one in all sorts of ways, as outlined over at Bullets Forever.

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I’m thrilled about it myself, and much prefer The Truth at two and 10 to Trevor Ariza at eight and 32. Not that Pierce is a better player at this point in his career, but look at what this does for the Wiz:

*Gives them both short-term value and long-term flexibility.
*Helps them to keep spreading the floor. (Pierce is 37% from 3.)
*Gives them a crunch-time option and savvy postseason operator.
*Enables them to develop Otto Porter without really relying on him.

The only downside, aside from Pierce being almost exactly my age, is he can’t defend the perimeter like Ariza. But whatever, it’s not like defense wins championships or anything.

Plus, I think he kinda hates LeBron. Okay by me!

(Image taken with love from The Score, which is very good on Instagram.)