Dave Johnson: Blatche Plays But Wizards Lose


Dave Johnson: Blatche Plays But Wizards Lose

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:43pm

Wizards vs. Pacers Game Highlights & Postgame

By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.com Indianapolis---It was all quiet on the Washington Wizards front. Too quiet. There was no controversy, but not much basketball, either, as the Wizards stumbled to their franchise record-tying 13th consecutive defeat in a 99-82 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Andray Blatche was still in the Wizards starting lineup and led the team with 21 points. In Tuesdays loss to the Bobcats, Blatche was benched in the first quarter by Wizards head coach Flip Saunders because of a disagreement. Saunders had hinted Blatche might not play because of the dispute.

While Blatche had his usual post All-Star break points, the Wizards offense struggled to get anything going. The Wizards shot only 36 percent from the field, including several missed layups, and as a team only had 11 assists. Blatche may be a future All-Star but the Pacers have a current All-Star in Danny Granger and he made the difference. Granger had a game-high 31 points including 11 points in the fourth quarter when the Wizards were desperately trying to make a run. Down by 16 points at 74-58 to startthe fourth quarter, the Wizards came to life and used their defense to try and jump-start their lifeless offense. The Wizards sudden aggressiveness allowed them to pull within 10 points at 81-71 on a Blatche three-pointer with 6:11 to go. Granger then wasted no time in putting the Pacers back in control with a slam dunk and a three-pointer, sandwiched around a Wizards miss, to extend their lead back to 15 points at 86-71. It was Granger who also gave the Pacers their biggest lead of the night. In the third quarter Granger blocked an Earl Boykins drive to the basket and then hit a shot beyond the arc at the other end of the court to put the Pacers up 70-50 Offensively we are struggling to get into sets, Saunders said. The only bright spot we had tonight was James (Singleton). He was unbelievable. We played him a lot of minutes and he had good game last night and played well so we will have to look to make some lineup changes in our next game. It is possible Singleton could start in place of JaVale McGee on Friday in Charlotte. Singletons approach has been direct and consistent. Against the Pacers, in a game in need of a spark, Singleton stormed off the bench and scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds. We have been in a situation where we are trying to evaluate players, Saunders noted. At some point you have to still evaluate but you also have to reward the guys that are producing in a limited time and give them extended minutes. In short if Singleton cracks the starting five, it will be a credit to him and not a knock on JaVale McGee. Since the All-Star break McGee has played his best basketball, and played well Tuesday against the Bobcats, but with more minutes than he has ever played in his career he has been inconsistent.. The Pacers have now won five of six games and are more than just Granger. Six players scored in double figures against the Wizards including Josh McRoberts who had 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. McRoberts started in place of Roy Hibbert who suffered a jaw injury against the Pistons. The Wizards at 21-49 have a similar record to the Pacers 26-46 mark, but are at the other end of the spectrum right now. The Wizards 13 game losing streak equals the franchise record set back in 1995. We have been competitive in some games, Saunders said. We were not as competitive tonight. We have not had overall consistent play. We are trying to rely on just a few guys to carry us. We are young and not as talented as the teams we are playing against. Blatche has been one of the guys carrying the Wizards that Saunders referred to. Before the Pacers game Saunders seemed ready to move forward after benching Blatche for most of the overtime loss to the Bobcats. Still Saunders does not regret his decision not to play Blatche after the two had an argument on the bench. Saunders was angered when Blatche did not accept coaching during a timeout.When you decide to blow up a team, it is about setting groundwork for where you want to be, Saunders explained. Everyone has to know there are certain things you can do and certain things you cant do. As coaches and everyone you have core values of what you believe in and you have to stick to them.

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Blazers' C.J. McCollum has a theory on DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Wizards to reunite with John Wall

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Blazers' C.J. McCollum has a theory on DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Wizards to reunite with John Wall

Blazers guard C.J. McCollum has a theory that may sound familiar to Wizards fans. The star shooting guard now hosts a podcast and said on his most recent episode that he could see DeMarcus Cousins teaming up with John Wall in Washington.

McCollum's Blazers happened to lose in the first round to Cousins' Pelicans, though Cousins did not play in the series due to injury. Now, McCollum has offered thoughts on his future.

Here is what McCollum said about Cousins potentially going to Washington on his Pull Up podcast, as transcribed by SLAM Magazine:

"No slight against the homie. I think he’s a very, very good player. But you just have to look at the team roster and try to figure out what’s best for that roster moving forward...

“I think team success, playoff success, factors in to decision-making with personnel moving forward. Obviously, Jrue Holiday, Rondo, AD will have input on what they decide to do going forward. So that’s something to keep an eye out on in the free agency.

“And if that is the case, Boogie would jump out in to the market as a free agent and be a very hot commodity, and could potentially team up with the Washington Wizards.

“You heard it here first. You heard that here first. You know that Kentucky connection, man. I could see that happening. That’s just something to think about going forward.”

The funny part of those quotes is that McCollum said "you heard it here first." Wizards fans, of course, have been banging that drum since, oh, 2010 when the two were drafted.

As it has often been throughout the last eight years, a reunion of Wall and Cousins is unlikely. Yes, Cousins is expected to hit free agency, but the Wizards currently do not have the money to sign him. They are in the luxury tax and would have to move some big contracts to make room.

Cousins is also coming off a torn Achilles injury. That creates major questions about his future and how much money teams will offer him. 

If healthy, Cousins would fit nicely with the Wizards who will need to get younger at the center position at some point. It just doesn't seem like a good bet given all the factors in play. 

You can listen to McCollum's full podcast here.


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NFL Draft 2018 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2018 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The 2018 NFL Draft is finally here. It's time to file away the mock drafts and frame your big boards for memory.

Tonight, Thursday April 26, the best college football players in the country will learn which franchise they will begin their professional football careers with.

The NFL Draft is the biggest non-sporting event on the sporting calendar, and the 2018 edition is no different. Taking place at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, the 2018 NFL Draft is sure to be bigger than ever, with four quarterbacks and a freakish running back all vying for the top pick.

The Cleveland Browns are on the clock, and will make the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft around 8:30 p.m. tonight.

The Washington Redskins have the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and won't make their draft pick until around 9:45 p.m. ET.

But we are keeping you up to date on all things NFL Draft with our life blog and draft tracker.

NFL Draft 2018 Redskins First-Round Tracker and Live Updates:

PreDraft Coverage:

5:05 PM - We did a  bracket challenge for Redskins fans, giving you the chance to vote on who the Redskins should take at No. 13. If it were up to Redskins fans, Georgia LB Roquan Smith would be the choice.

4:45 PM - Since we are on the subject of the Edmunds brothers, let's ask and answer this question: When and where will both Tremaine and Terrell go?

4:30 PM - One option for the Redskins at No. 13 is Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds. He just so happens to be the focus of an exclusive NBC Sports Washington webseries. "E-Boyz" takes a look at draft prospects Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds, as well as their brother Trey, a running back for the Saints and their father, Ferrell, and former two-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Dolphins.

E-Boyz — Ep. 1: The Players
E-Boyz — Ep. 2: Ferrell
E-Boyz — Ep. 3: Danville
E-Boyz — Ep. 4: Celebration

4:10 PM - The first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft won't be announced for another four hours. But we have a lot to prep. Let's get started with draft music. Players in the green room get to select their walkup music. Josh Jackson deserves to be the No. 1 overall pick. 

4:00 PM - Welcome to our live update tracker of the 2018 NFL Draft. The draft doesn't get started until 8:00 p.m. But there is a lot to go over until then.

Here is a good place to start. 

- Draft Day Primer: JP Finlay goes over all the Redskins' options
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick