Keys to the Palace: It's not easy beating green

Some of this week's games were prettier than others, but they all ended with the same result, a loss.  Playing two of the top three defensive squads this week doesn't make things easier on a team that simply hasn't had the time to develop true offensive cohesion.  Thankfully, the Wizards only face one team with a defense ranked in the top 10 this week, so things might turn back around sooner rather than later.

Andray Blatche

Like an overnight YouTube sensation, Andray is learning it gets harder to stay relevant as more people take notice.  Milwaukee and Boston both threw some defensive looks at Blatche that he had his difficulties adjusting to, but he also showed flashes of brilliance in spite of the added defensive pressure.

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Earl Boykins

Earl only tallied two assists on the weekend, which isn't great, but at least he managed to shoot at an efficient rate during the week, connecting on 10 of his 14 field goal attempts.

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Randy Foye

Somehow, I get the feeling Foye won't list Flip Saunders as a reference if he goes looking to be a point guard somewhere else this off-season, based on this quote:

"A lot of times, when Randy [Foye] plays, Randy gets what I call system assists. We bring a shooter off a double and that's the one we're looking for, where Shaun gets assists when he kind of makes something out of nothing, and he's the one guy on our team that can do that a little bit."

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Shaun Livingston

Despite praise from Flip Saunders about his playmaking ability and averaging 6 points and 3 assists in the two games against Milwaukee this week, Livingston received no playing time against Boston.  Perhaps Flip took a look at Shaun's on/off numbers before Sunday's game.  Sure, those numbers are compiled in extremely limited minutes, but it's hard to imagine the gap between the Wizards' performance when he is on the court as opposed to when he is not shrinking enough to make him a reliable guard in the rotation.

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JaVale McGee

JaVale rejects the idea of being rejected from the palace emphatically.

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Mike Miller

Making only 1 of 5 from beyond the arc wouldn't register as a blip on most people's radar, but for Mike Miller, who is still shooting 52.8% from deep, it's a bona fide cold streak.

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Fabricio Oberto

For a guy who looks like he would fit right inside a Harry Potter film, Fabricio Oberto sure has been an anonymous Wizard lately.  He hasn't collected 5 rebounds in a game since January 5th.

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Quinton Ross

Quinton took 13 shots this week, he made two of them.  In Dallas, Ross shot 41% from the field, since arriving in Washington, he's shooting a mere 34.3%.  Meanwhile, DeShawn Stevenson hit 4 of his 10 shots this week and is shooting percentage has gone up from 28.2% to a robust 31% since being traded to Dallas.

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James Singleton

The latest reason to love Big Game James comes from Michael Lee, who tweeted:

James Singleton is a strong dude. He gives up 50 pounds to Kendrick 'Kuntry Strong' Perkins & actually pushed him out of the low block.

If it weren't for his 2-11 performance against Milwaukee on Friday, I'd gladly give him a key to the Palace.  Alas, he'll have to settle for the guest pass.

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Al Thornton

At this time last week, Al Thornton's PER in Washington was 18.6, this week it dropped 16.3.  Even though Thornton hasn't played many games with Washington, watching a player's PER drop that severely over seven days is reason for concern.

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Nick Young

Remember how Quinton Ross was 2-13 from the field this week?  Nick was 2-14.

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Flip Saunders

"Well, we choked," is the kind of quote you only hear at the end of a long, frustrating season.  Here's to hoping things turn around for Flip soon.  His coaching record doesn't deserve the kind of hits it has been taking this season.

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