Keys to the Palace: In search of balance

Last week's Keys to the Palace discussion led me to the conclusion that only having a key and lock isn't fair to everyone on the team.  There are so many shades of gray in player evaluation to deem a player's week a complete failure or complete success.  So as we head into this week's evaluations, consider some ideas for a medium grade for each week's evaluations.  Share your best ideas in the comments.

Andray Blatche

Andray brought a little bit of everything to the table this week.  He had a decent showing against the Mavericks, chipping in eight points and 4 rebounds as he began to break out of his funk.  He showed flashed of the skill he brought earlier in the season against the Heat where he had 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists, albeit in a blowout loss.  To close out the week Andray reminded us how often he struggles to stay consistent, scoring no points in 11 minutes against the Clippers.

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Earl Boykins

Guards always seem to start off hot in Washington before regressing to the mean, and Earl Boykins is no exception.  After carrying the team early in the season, Earl has begun to return to earth, putting up modest numbers in modest minutes, with the exception of Sunday against the Clippers, where he played less than four minutes, his shortest playing time of the season.

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Caron Butler

On one hand, you have to respect that Tough Juice was willing to step and take responsibility for whether the team won or lost against the Mavericks, by breaking the play and trying to win the game.  But he has to remember that even though he is the only one who can be held responsible for not scoring on that final possession, he's not the only one who has to deal with the consequences of his actions.  Just because he pulled it off one time doesn't mean he will be able to pull it off every time, nor should he.

There's nothing wrong with carrying a team on your back from time to time, but there's nothing wrong with letting your teammates help you carry the load.  That's what they are there to do.

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Randy Foye

Foye continued to deliver points in his new role, averaging over 15 points per game in the last three outings, but his assists have fallen off sharply.  As a starter, he has only had four games where he has put up less than 4 assists and three of those games came this week.  Certainly, he isn't the only culprit for the team's issues with ball movement, but he has done little to combat the issue after doing a fine job last week.

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Brendan Haywood

Like just about everyone else on the team, Haywood didn't bring his A-game against Miami, putting up 2 points and 2 rebounds against the Heat.  There was nothing to complain about against Dallas and Los Angeles.  In those two games, Haywood had a combined 31 points and 30 rebounds.

He continues to play well, but I'm perplexed about this quote from last night:

"This team right here has made one of the biggest improvements ... We're embarrassed because we shot jumpers instead of driving the ball to the basket. We're not embarrassed by losing to the Clippers."

Was there any doubt that you shouldn't be embarrassed to lose to the Clippers in the first place?  They've won five more games this season while playing in a tougher conference.  Other than the Nets, there isn't a team in the NBA that the Wizards should be embarrassed to lose to right now.

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Mike James

Not a bad week for Mr. James.  He was finally given a chance to prove himself on the court and he responded with 11 points.  Granted, it took him 11 shots to get there, but you would probably be rusty too if you hadn't played a meaningful game since November 6th.  He also came out with a book this week.

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Antawn Jamison

Statistically, Jamison still has a strong case for an All-Star bid, despite an off-week.  15 points and 8 rebounds are an off-night for Jamison, but those are the combined numbers Jamison put up against Dallas and Miami.  His performance against Los Angeles was back to normal, but it was not the best way for Jamison to make his push to be an All-Star reserve.

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JaVale McGee

As hard as it is for JaVale McGee to get minutes, it is even harder for him to get assists.  McGee hasn't tallied a helper since November 6th and he has only two on the season.  On the bright side, he only has 8 turnover this year.

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Dominic McGuire

It's not a good sign when you're placed on the inactive list so Mike James can get some playing time.

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Mike Miller

The good news? Mike Miller has gotten more aggressive shooting the three-ball recently, with 11 attempts this week.  The bad news? Miller only hit three of those long balls.

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Fabricio Oberto

Oberto's plays has in a way mirrored the play of the Wizards as a whole.  He had his season high for points in his first game of the season and he hasn't done much since.

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DeShawn Stevenson

Remember when DeShawn used be called the Lock Smith?  Oh, the irony.

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Nick Young

Taking a look at the list of guards in their 3rd NBA season who average less than 8 points per game, less than 2 rebounds per game, and less than one assist does not bode well for a long future in the NBA for Nick Young.  Unless you're a big Laron Profit fan, of course.

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Flip Saunders

Flip should be commended for the job he's doing in the face of adversity.  He hasn't let the drama sap him of his passion for coaching, which is a good sign that things will get better with time and some roster remodeling.  Still, he can't be given a free pass for this season's debacle.

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