Beninati: Caps Lose 3 Straight

Beninati: Caps Lose 3 Straight

Saturday, January 2, 2010

By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-By-Play

If you only watched the last two periods today you would have been the convinced were going to squeak out with a win from Los Angeles. I thought the first period was a lack luster performance, for that reason the team found itself in a 1-0 hole after 20 minutes.

The first period was especially physical and in particular it was for Mike Green. He delivered a few crunching hits in that open frame and was a target for some others.

The Kings power play goal was another in a long list of examples for why Ryan Smith is so good in front of the goal. He wades into those high traffic areas without any fear, he gets good body position then he is an expert at finishing rebounds or deflections.

After Mike Green blasted a power play goal past Jonathan Quick in the second I was ready for Washington to take over. The Kings barely breathed on Michael Neuvirth in the second period as the youngster was called on for just three saves.

The Caps played all but one minute of the second period and all of the third without Nick Backstrom. After the game we learned Nick was bothered by a migraine headache. He gets those from time to time and has told me in the past, when they come he can barely see. He has a particular medication which tends to alleviate the severity of the headache, so let's hope he's okay for Tuesday. When he's missing for any amount of time, you realize how valuable a play-maker he is and how important to the Caps power play.

Sadly, this game turned in favor of the Kings. As a result of a short-handed goal. From my perch, it looked like the guys got a little too causal clearing their defensive zones and after Alex Ovechkin threw a mild hit, the Kings kept playing while the Caps started watching. Seconds later, Michael Handzus showed nice patience deeking Neuvirth and roofing the game winner.

The Caps put on quiet a bit of pressure in the last five minutes only to be foiled by Quick. The Kings goalie made two exceptional stops against the Caps 5 on 3 power play and also lucked-out on a couple of, no pun intended, quick whistles.

Three straight losses will not sit well with this hockey team. They should be at their best when Montreal visits Tuesday. You can see it on CSN.

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors


Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.


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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

With a luxury tax bill of approximately $19 million on the way, the Washington Wizards gave themselves some salary relief on Monday by trading veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Wizards attached a future second round pick and cash to the deal and in exchange received a future second round pick of their own, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.

Though Meeks, 31, was due to make $3.45 million this season, his departure saves the Wizards about $7 million because of projected tax penalties. That's a lot of savings in a deal that got rid of a player who had become expendable.

Meeks had fallen out of favor with the Wizards for a variety of reasons. He was due to serve a 19-game suspension to begin the season due to performance-enhancing drugs. The ban was announced the day before their first round playoff series against the Raptors was set to begin in April.

Meeks also underperformed last season in the first year of his contract with the Wizards and requested a trade in February. This summer, Meeks exercised his player option to remain with the team.

The Wizards were not likely to count on Meeks much at all this season because they traded for Austin Rivers in June to add depth at the shooting guard position. Meeks' role was made clear by the fact he did not appear in any of the Wizards' four preseason games against NBA opponents.

Meeks' tenure in Washington was a significant disappointment. The Wizards signed him last summer in hopes he could shore up the shooting guard spot on their bench. 

Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he never earned the trust of his coaching staff. The Wizards opted to rely more heavily on starter Bradley Beal, who logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player last season.

Now, they are moving on.

Meeks leaving the organization should have little effect on the Wizards, though it does leave them with a hole on their roster that needs to be filled. They currently have 13 players, one below the league minimum. The Wizards now have 14 days to add a 14th player.

They could sign a free agent, convert one of their players on two-way contracts (Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae) or make a trade. The Meeks deal gives them a $3.45 million trade exception.