Keys to the Palace: Where the Nets always make things better

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 31: Mike Miller #6, head coach Flip Saunders and James Singleton #22 of the Washington Wizards talk during a timeout against the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena on March 31, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Wizards defeated the Hornets 96-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Back to .500 here we come!  A 2-2 week has the Wizards out of the deep pit of shame, a back into the shallow hole of respectable mediocrity.  That's good enough to get people back in the Palace after a nearly month-long hiatus.  Summer renovations are coming in less than two weeks, so those who have keys now won't have much time to get too comfy, but hey, anything is better than sleeping out in the cold, right?

After the jump, you can see how the roster fared in this week's slate of games.

Andray Blatche

I don't think he would mind seeing the Nets 5 or 6 more times before the end of the season.  In his four games against New Jersey this season, Blatche averaged 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.

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Earl Boykins

After a solid 12 points in 21 minutes against Houston, Earl went silent the rest of the week, only playing 22 minutes over the last three games and only taking two shot attempts.  At least you can't accuse him of trying to pad his numbers late in the season.

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Cedric Jackson

In his six minutes as a Wizard, Jackson has 1 assist, 1 rebound and 2 turnovers, good for a PER of -13.  In his last stint in the pros, he posted a PER of 19.3 with the Spurs.  Before that, he had a PER of -6.6 with Cleveland.  I defy you to find a career arc with a more defined peak and valleys.

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Shaun Livingston

With Foye out for the season, Livingston's minutes have gone up dramatically.  Last week, he played over 35 minutes on three separate occasions.  The last time he played over 35 minutes before last week was three years and one knee ago in February 2007.  This time, he made the most of his extended playing time, scoring in double digits in all three of his plus-35 minute games, and averaging over six assists per game.

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Cartier Martin

Between Jackson and Martin, it's truly a tale of two different small sample sizes leading to vastly different results.  In Martin's 42 minutes of playing time, he's got a PER of 22.1, which gives him the second highest PER of any player to don a Wizards jersey this season, only behind the mighty Paul Davis.

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JaVale McGee

JaVale put together perhaps his most solid week as a professional, scoring at least 11 points in all four outings this week, and snagging at least 6 rebounds in every game this week.  And of course, he had some YouTube worty play as always.

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Mike Miller

The most impressive part about Mike Miller's 27 point outburst is not that he hit such a high mark - he's scored at least 27 points 41 times in his career - but how he piled up his points.  He only connected on 2 three-pointers while putting up his season-high in scoring.  That marks only the second time in Miller's career where he's scored at least 27 points without making at least 3 three-pointers.  Other than a dismal shooting performance against the Rockets, the rest of his week was quite solid.

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Fabricio Oberto

Like Andray, I don't think Fabricio would mind playing the Nets more often either.  Oberto had a season-high 8 points against the Nets on Sunday and tied his season-high in rebounds with 5.  But in fairness to Oberto, he played well all week, missing only one of his 9 field goal attempts this week and averaging 4 rebounds per game this week.

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Quinton Ross

Ross has now gone an entire month without scoring more than two points in a game.  His last multiple-field goal performance, 4 point outing against the Bucks, was on March 3rd.  Hopefully his back injury heals up in time for him to get a chance to make more than one shot in a game at some point before the season ends.

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James Singleton

The only low post player who struggled against the woeful Nets is Singleton, who only made 1 of his 6 field goal attempts.  After a banner performance last week, he fell back to Earth over the last seven days.  He only pulled in 14 rebounds in 88 minutes this week.  

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Nick Young

Nick always seems good for one solid performance per week, muddied by dismal outings for the rest of the week.  Such was the case this week.  He had an efficient 16 point performance against the Nets, but it took him 30 shots to score 23 points in the other three games this week.  You can't stay young and inconsistent forever, Nick.

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Flip Saunders

Flip delivers with the quote of the week:

When you lose, no matter how much toothpaste you use, you still have that bad taste in your mouth.

Are you sure it's not the toothpaste leaving a bad taste in your mouth, Flip?  Try using mouthwash.  It's more refreshing, and it doesn't leave you with that pasty feeling when you're done.

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