Just about everything except the uniforms have changed since the last edition of Keys to the Palace. Almost everyone on the team is new or adjusting to new roles, which makes it harder to evaluate players until they adjust. That's why Keys to the Palace was waived last week, since there just wasn't enough time to make fair judgments. Now that the new crew has more time under their belts, we can return to doling out keys, guest passes, and locks based on each player's performance.
If you haven't realized Andray Blatche is the top option for the Wizards, odds are you stopped paying attention right after you heard Antawn Jamison was headed to Cleveland, or more likely, right after you heard Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton had a little disagreement. If you haven't been paying attention, you should really consider tuning back in and watch 7 Day Dray at work. Sure, he still has his moments of goofiness, but Andray has been producing at astronomical levels since the roster shake up two weeks ago.
You don't normally see an early season free agent signing become a team captain, but you don't normally see a lot of things that have happened this year happen. Earning the title of captain hasn't done much to change Boykins' role with the team. His playing time fluctuated between 10-20 minutes all week and his numbers have stayed consistent with his season averages. I guess part of leadership is staying consistent even as your job title changes, right?
Unlike most of the team, Foye did not see an immediate up-tick in his production after the roster revamp, but he came back to form this week. 16.5 points and 7 assists per game during the week sounds about right for Foye. The Newark native also buried two baseline jumpers in the final minute to beat New Jersey which gives him just enough to earn his way back into the palace.
If you go to Mike's page on SB Nation, it lists his career potential as "Energy Forward". Isn't that what people said about Michael Ruffin?
I'm giving Livingston an incomplete grade since he's only played seven minutes with Washington. But if we're being honest with ourselves, couldn't we give Livingston an incomplete grade for his entire career? The guy just can't catch a break.
According to HoopData, only three players have a higher block percentage than JaVale McGee. Considering all three of those players (including the legendary Paul Davis) racked those percentages up in extremely limited minutes, you can make a pretty compelling argument that McGee is the best shot blocker in the NBA this season. Once he learns how to defend in other ways than flat-out rejection, we could have a stud on our hands.
If Mike Miller can keep his averages the same for the rest of the season, he would become only the 3rd player in NBA history average 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 three-point attempt per game while shooting over 50% from beyond the arc. The other two players? Detlef Schrempf and Michael Jordan.
Oberto wasn't someone I thought would see his production go up after the All-Star break, but he has come through with better play. He didn't turn into Darius Songaila overnight or anything, but he's gotten back to providing that steady veteran presence off the bench.
When people talk about Qunton's struggles on offense, normally they're talking about his scoring woes (career average of 4.4 points per game, but he's not helping his cause by not getting assists either. He has one assist in his 95 minutes of playing time as a Wizard.
(Yes, this was probably harsh, but I had to give a lock to someone, right?)
James isn't the first Wizard to play college ball at Murray State. Popeye Jones also played for the Racers in his college days. Popeye Jones may have better career numbers, but he never got a cool nickname like Big Game James. Advantage: Singleton.
Thornton has a PER of 18.6 since arriving in Washington. The only Wizards who have posted higher PERs this season in Washington are: Paul Davis, Mike Harris, Josh Howard, and Gilbert Arenas. Hooray for small sample sizes!
While Andray Blatche has made the most of his opportunity to shine, the same can't be said for Nick Young. His effort against Memphis went largely unnoticed by the coaching staff, but he struggled in the other three games this week. He needed 11 shots to score 9 points in those games and only added 2 assists and 1 rebound.
It would easy to understand if Flip just let the team go after stats, since most of the players are facing contract years and he's in no danger of being fired, but he is maximizing the effort out of a team that's lacking the talent and chemistry of most of their opponents.