Wizards

Quick Links

Did Brandon Jennings take a shot at the Knicks after first game with the Wizards?

Did Brandon Jennings take a shot at the Knicks after first game with the Wizards?

Brandon Jennings had a rough debut for the Wizards, scoring zero points and committing a memorable turnover. But he still sounded very happy with his new situation after being waived by the New York Knicks. 

"I'm in the same position I was in New York, but just in a better system for me personally and with a team that actually plays together," he said.

I'm no Miss Cleo, but it's not too hard to read Jennings' mind here. He seems to be saying that the Knicks' system did not fit him and the team did not play together. 

For some context, Jenning asked to be waived by the Knicks so he'd get an opportunity to join a playoff team, according to Marc J. Spears of EPSN. He also hadn't been shy about criticizing the team earlier in the season.

When the Knicks lost to the 2-8 Wizards in mid-November, Jennings was vocally unhappy. 

“This is a team desperate for a win and they got one,’’ Jennings said, via The New York Post. “They just lost to Philly [Wednesday] night. They come in and beat us. We need to be more desperate.”

He also knocked his teammates for not listening intently to coaches. “When coaches are doing the game plan, we got to listen. When the coach is writing the play, everybody’s got to pay attention. There’s a lot at stake for us," he said. 

Two months later after a loss to the Hawks, Jennings vented his frustrations about unsettled lineups and lack of direction. 

“Every day is something new,’’ Jennings said, also via The New York Post. “You got to be ready [because] you never know when you’re going to play. When you come in, you really don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s kind of no consistency. It’s tough."

The elephant in the room here is the push and pull over the triange offense, which Knicks team president Phil Jackson favored throughout his coaching career. The team strayed from running the triangle much this season, but have turned back to it this week with practices specific to the triangle. 

The triangle offense is controversial in and of itself. But regardless of whether you think it's outdated or can work with the right players, the Knicks aren't doing their guys any favors by not having a consistent system. 

Or with any of their other drama this season, for that matter.

Infighting between Jackson and star forward Carmelo Anthony, plus owner James Dolan having former Knick Charles Oakley forcibly removed from Madison Square Garden, has to make establishing a team-first, cooperative atmosphere difficult. 

Jennings is clear of all that now. 

MORE WIZARDS: Deja vu for Wizards in loss to Raptors

Quick Links

Kelly Oubre, Jr. may take on larger role due to injuries, and rebounding could be key

oubrejrstart.png
USA Today Sports Images

Kelly Oubre, Jr. may take on larger role due to injuries, and rebounding could be key

The Wizards have two players sidelined at the moment and both happen to play the same position. Markieff Morris was already out following the sports hernia surgery he had in September, then Jason Smith sprained his right shoulder defending a dunk attempt by Joel Embiid in the regular season opener on Wednesday night.

This has put head coach Scott Brooks in a tough predicament. He's trying to acclimate new players into his rotation, but now has no choice but to get creative. Smith is considered questionable for Friday night and is likely going to be limited, regardless when he returns.

If Smith misses time or is not 100 percent, the onus will fall mostly on third-year forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. with Mike Scott behind him. Oubre is not a power forward, but is versatile enough to co-exist with Otto Porter alongside John Wall, Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat. The Wizards utilized that lineup last season at times and relied on it heavily once Smith departed Wednesday night's game. Porter could be looked as the four in that group, but he and Oubre are essentially interchangable on defense.

Oubre, 21, came through with 14 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals against the Sixers. He knocked down three three-pointers and shot 5-of-10 from the field overall.

"I'm ready. I've worked for this moment. The season is here, so it's time to put the work to the test," Oubre said. "I feel very confident. I feel very relaxed. This is Year 3, so I'm excited for all the opportunities that may come."

[RELATED: OUBRE THREW DOWN A CRAZY DUNK VS. SIXERS]

Those eight rebounds stand out, in particular. Oubre averaged 3.3 rebounds last season, his second year in the NBA, in 20.3 minutes. Oubre had 14 in one of their preseason games and has clearly put extra focus on that part of his game.

One reporter (me) asked Oubre about his 'seven' rebounds in the opener and Oubre issued a quick correction, showing exactly how much attention he's paying to the stat.

"I had eight in the opener, but yeah," he said. "It's a big emphasis because that's what we need. We need guys to go in there and rebound, push the break and keep up the pace. That's the style of play that we're looking for, to play fast and play tough. Crashing the boards is something that I need to do to help the team."

Brooks sees a lot of potential in Oubre's ability on the glass. 

"I look at rebounding as a stat that Kelly can really be consistent with. He has the size, the strength, the length and the athleticism and the toughness to get in there and get some rebounds. I think you should be able to see [eight] every night. It's one of the things we talked about to improve defensively. We have to be a better defensive team," Brooks said.

The Wizards miss a lot more than rebounding if Morris and Smith aren't in the picture, of course. But Oubre's development in that area could be important in the Wizards' effort to compensate for two key injuries at the same position.

[RELATED: GORTAT PLAYED WITH A HEAVY HEART VS. SIXERS]

Quick Links

John Wall's new motto Wolf Season has reached a new level

wallsmiling.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

John Wall's new motto Wolf Season has reached a new level

It started as an offseason hashtag. After Wednesday night's win over the Sixers, it was legitimized with a postgame quote.

John Wall wants everyone to know that it's Wolf Season and, according to another favorite hashtag of his, nobody is safe.

Wall brought it up himself on Wednesday when asked about dunking all over the Sixers. When asked what Wolf Season means, he replied: "Just keep watching."

Wall used the hashtag #wolfseason all summer long in photos on Instagram. He also used the phrase #wolfwall:

It's reminiscent of the Wolf of Wall St. He also referenced "Michael Jackson Thrilla Mode" on Instragram and the music video for 'Thriller' very famously had Jackson turn into a wolf:

Michael Jackson Thrilla Mode spilling sauce everywhere I go !! #WallWay #5Deep #BYB #WolfWall

A post shared by johnwall (@johnwall) on

Whatever Wall means by it, the rest of the NBA might want to take notice.

[RELATED: PODCAST - MCCULLOUGH EXPLAINS HIS NICKNAME]