So I'm officially in Vegas, but with the Wizards not playing until tomorrow, I'm taking today off and hanging out with an out-of-town friend, since it's my first time here after turning 21. All the updates will begin tomorrow and last the full week.
But even though I haven't seen anything yet, I'm really impressed to read about how seriously Flip Saunders and company seem to be taking Summer League. That's not to say the Eddie Jordan regime didn't take it seriously, but the Eddie Jordan regime never had a weekend minicamp, featuring player cuts. This is all coming in a year when the Wizards made no new draft picks, which makes the dedication all the more impressive.
This isn't how things used to work in the past. One of the major complaints from my end about our previous development of young players was that it was too much about sending messages instead of clinical development. Lessons were served through benchings and passive-aggressive quotes in the press more than they were served through individual work. It seemed that the coaching staff too often diagnosed the young players as lacking proper motivation, not proper skills or a combination of skills and motivation. Already, we've seen how much Flip Saunders and his staff are working with the young players on improving key skills, and this weekend's minicamp session is just another example of that. It's a way of coaches to show the players that they are dedicated to improving them rather than just using words or messages to make those points.
We'll see how much this sort of clinical work will pay off in the long run, but it's safe to say that my initial concerns about Flip Saunders' ability to develop young players has been averted.
Some links from the minicamp:
- Wizards' Crittenton Aims to Find a Niche: Washington Post
- McGee Attempts to Transform His Game: Washington Post
- McGuire Aims to Be Flexible: Washington Post
- Tom Knott: Wizards Size Problem is Shrinking Rapidly (I'm not with him here, for the record)
- School's In for Wizards' Crittenton: Washington Times
- Saunders Feels the Rush: Washington Times
- Saunders' Goals for Summer League: Hoops Addict
Back for more tomorrow.