Antawn Jamison's injury is Andray Blatche's opportunity

First of all, maybe it's just wishful thinking because of thie Wizards' history, but I'd speculate that Antawn Jamison's injury isn't too serious.  Basically, a subluxation means that the shoulder temporarily popped out of his socket, which explains the whole "I didn't have any feeling" thing.  Lots of players have had their shoulders pop out, and the seriousness ranges from someone like Dwayne Wade/Jameer Nelson to a guy like Dale Davis who had it happen all the time without any problems.  So we just don't know.  However, it didn't take long for Jamison's shoulder to pop back in.  I figure that if Jamison's injury was really serious, a la Wade or Nelson, we'd know for sure that he needed surgery or something of the sort right now instead of learning it when he gets reevaluated. 

(I say that firmly as a Wizards fan hoping for the best).

But lest I bury the lede of this story any more, let's be clear: while this sucks in the however-long-Jamison-is-out-for term, the reality is that this gives Andray Blatche a hell of an opportunity to step in and become a consistent performer.  The excuses for Blatche ended the minute he began playing for Flip Saunders, but now they're about 500 miles in the rearview mirror.  He's finally going to get consistent minutes by default, so it's time to see what he can do with them.

Now, you're probably thinking, But Mike, what about last year?  Blatche got the opportunity and didn't take a major step forward.  Why should this year be any different?  The answer is, well, it might not be.  But the circumstantial difference this time is that Blatche is firmly a power forward again.  Last year, and in prior years, the Wizards used him as a center.  They haven't really used him exclusively as a power forward because Jamison's been so durable. 

But now, with Jamison injured, Blatche is going to have an opportunity to play his more natural position for a longer stretch than he ever has in his career.  Those fouls you keep committing at the center spot, Andray?  Now's your chance to cut that stuff out.  That lack of rebounding from having to deal with bigger guys?  Not an excuse anymore.  That itchy trigger finger on those jumpers?  No need for that, now that you'll be trusted with being the primary ball-rotater and screener in the Hawk offense. 

The way I see it, we really needed Blatche to become better in those areas even if Jamison is healthy.  Now that Jamison may miss some time, there will be more urgency in the short term for Blatche to make the necessary improvements.  That may pay off down the road when Jamison is healthy again, whether it's four days, four weeks or four months from now.

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