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Dave Johnson: Blatche Nets Career High In Win

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Dave Johnson: Blatche Nets Career High In Win

Sunday, February 28, 2010, 8:50PM

By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comEast Rutherford, NJ----Post All-Star break the Washington Wizards Andray Blatche is playing like an All-Star. Blatche scored a career high 36-points and added 15-rebounds to help lift the Wizards from a sluggish first half to an 89-85 win over the New Jersey Nets.I got hot early and my teammates kept looking for me, said Blatche who played through early foul trouble and only had three turnovers despite being double-teamed at times late in the game.Quiet most of the night, Randy Foye made noise when it counted the most by hitting two shots in the final minute to help the Wizards pull away. Foye, who was 2 of 11 from the field before his final shots, effectively sealed the game with a 14-foot fade-away jumper with 13.5 seconds left to give the Wizards an 87-83 edge.That was the two biggest plays of the game, Blatche said of Foyes final four points. Great players always step up in the end even if they are having a bad game and he is a great player.The emphatic finish by the Wizards was in stark contrast to the first-half when the Wizards were out-hustled by the Nets and were slow to get back on defense. In that opening half, the Nets enjoyed a 16-9 advantage on fast-break points and outrebounded the Wizards 27-19Coach (Flip Saunders) got on us real bad about rebounding in the first half, Blatche pointed out. All the guys just started crashing the boards and I think that turned it around for us. The Wizards commitment on the boards really came through in the closing minute of the game. Mike Millers ability to secure a rebound in traffic after a Devin Harris miss from seven-feet preserved the Wizards 85-83 lead with 32.9 seconds remaining.To get that rebound Miller, who had 8-rebounds for the game, had to fight off the Nets Yi Jianlian who had been a force all the night on the offensive boards. Yi led the Nets with 20-points but had 19 rebounds including 12 offensive boards to help compensate for the Nets shooting 35 percent from the field as a team.With 5.8 seconds on the clock Al Thronton also snared a critical rebound for the Wizards. Thornton was able to secure the ball after a Blatche block of a layup attempt by Yi as the Nets were desperately trying to stay alive. Thornton finished with 20-points and eight rebounds.Down twice by as many as 14-points in the first-half, the Wizards were able to seize the game in the third quarter when they had a 14-10 edge on the boards. Blatche had six of those rebounds and scored 14 of his points in the third.We realized we came out slow and soft, Blatche noted. Second half we wanted to pick it up and be more aggressive and get to the rim.The Wizards were also effective in using a 2-3 zone defense on the Nets in the second half. The Nets Brook Lopez and Devin Harris were dominant in the first two quarters, but combined were 4 of 22 from the field shooting over the final two quarters.Harris scored 18 points and had 14-assists for the game but eleven of those assists were in the first-half. Lopez added 16-points, but only had two points in the second half.The Wizards won despite only four points from their benchall from Earl Boykins. James Singleton, who suffered a sprained left ankle Friday against the Knicks, only played a little over two minutes in the first-half.The victory stopped the Wizards two-game losing streak and prevented the Nets from building on their win against the Celtics on Saturday.

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry - what does it mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry - what does it mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the Top  5 paid receivers in the NFL. They can also trade Landry, and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical, few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins, but certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. $$$$Wide Receivers$$$$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

RELATED: BRADEN HOLTBY BLAMES HIMSELF FOR TAMPA LOSS

The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.