Kyle Weidie, from ESPN TrueHoop Network’s ‘Truth About It’ blog stops by and we discuss some of the debate surroundings these two teams and also try to nail down how the final game of this season series will play out tonight in Washington.
Not that I had any hope for Charlotte tonight, but when I started crunching some Wizards numbers I was surprised to run across these front line statistics for Washington. The Wizards now have Nene healthy and will likely have him in the lineup for the rest of the season. In the 8 games that Nene has played since coming over from Denver in the JaVale McGee, Nick Young 3-team trade, he’s averaged 14.3 PPG and 7.9 RPG. On the other side of Washington’s front line, Kevin Seraphin is putting up the best numbers of his career is his past 10 games- 16.2 PPG and 7.8 RPG. Yep, you’re probably thinking what I am. A whole bunch of points in the paint for the Wizards and another long night for Biyombo and Mullens on the defensive end.
Kyle and I waited around in the gym for enough bodies for 3-on-3, but then just settled for a friendly one-on-one matchup to try and figure out Bobcats-Wizards.
Kyle Weidie (Truth About It)- If we’re strictly throwing our hat in the ring for non-Duke basketball players who dunked on LeBron James in a ‘confiscate that tape’ kind of way before entering the NBA, Jordan Crawford it is. Basketball-speaking, I still take Crawford. While Henderson has the edge on eFG% in this his third season over Crawford in his second (46.5% to 44.9%), I opt for Crawford’s ability to pass — his Assist Percentage is 19.1 compared to Henderson’s 12.9. Plus, I think Crawford is the better driver and 3-point shooter (29.5% for Crawford from deep, 23.9% for Henderson). Henderson might have the longer NBA career, but J-Craw, partially due to his swagger, has a higher ceiling.
Spencer Percy: I’m taking Henderson. I like the way that Crawford can score, but let’s be serious, a guy that is as self-consumed as Crawford and literally only worries about ‘getting his’ doesn’t have an extremely high ceiling. At least that’s the way I view it. I like Henderson a lot as a long-term, on the ball defender in this league and Hendo has just begun to scratch the surface of what he’s capable of on the offensive end with his slight emergence this season. Jordan Crawford’s ceiling is Jamal Crawford, to me, while I see Hendo’s potential compared to a Grant Hill type of game.
2- Javale McGee, Nick Young and Andray Blatche are no more in Washington and the Wizards have looked like a new an improved team as the season winds down. Does the departure of these players have the major hand in Washington’s improvement, or is their something larger at work in their transformation?
Kyle: Nope, it’s pretty much completely the departure of those players. Well, a big hand was replacing them with an unselfish center like Nene, along with guys like Cartier Martin, Roger Mason and Mo Evans — smart, unselfish players filing in for Nick Young’s lost time. The fact that Andray Blatche missed the entire month of February with a sudden calf injury only to come back for nine piss-pore games before being pronounced out for the rest of the season due to “conditioning” (essentially… a time period was never given, but he will end up missing the final 22 games), says all you need to know about how much team management wanted Blatche away from the other players. Now, without those three knuckleheads, the franchise can finally move on to this rebuilding project they keep mentioning.
Spencer: I agree with Kyle here, somewhat. The Wizards had been built with numerous self-consuming personalities in the past few years and this season management finally sought their opportunity to undo some of that. The success they’re seeing on the court now seems like a move in the right direction, but I’m still a little bit skeptical about getting rid of a young player such as McGee. His selfishness could’ve been as much a product of the coaching environment in Washington as it was him and I say this because he’ll likely flourish under George Karl in Denver now. In exchange for him the Wizards got a great player in Nene, but also own him $63 million over the 5-years and his value decreases every year.
3- Washington, like Sacramento ranks in the top third of the league in the PACE category. The Kings had their way with easy, transition baskets last night. Wizards on the verge of expericing the same success tonight and getting an easy victory?
Kyle: The Wizards have won three in a row for the first time all season, beating Chicago on the road, Milwaukee at home, and the Heat in Miami last Saturday. Sure, those games were without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, but still… Pace or not, the Wizards have been playing more together lately, and with Nene back over the last two games after missing 10 in a row, Washington has two very solid post scoring threats in the Brazilian and Kevin Seraphin. There’s no way Charlotte can compete tonight with BJ Mullens and Bismack Biyombo going against what the Wizards have to offer.
Spencer: If nothing else, I would just like to see the Bobcats play some spirited defense and take some pride at not getting beat back down the floor consistently. Trust me, I have no hope Charlotte can win this game tonight, just want to see a good effort.