One of the major things that I've noticed watching and reading everything I can about the Wizards training camp is that the level of competitiveness and intensity has definitely been raised to a higher level this season. This of course is due to the development and maturation of John Wall.
This week we saw the video of Wall yelling at JaVale McGee to run during a scrimmage. "Run 'vale, run!" was what Wall said as McGee loafed it up the court.
This is what you get when your captain is a 21 year old franchise PG, who doesn't waste a second of his life thinking about the struggles this franchise has had in the decades before he got here. No sir!.
A new era began for the franchise the day the team won the lottery in 2010.
We know Wall has the intensity, Jordan Crawford has it, Turiaf has it, so does Booker. Kevin Seraphin pounds his fist when he talks about his style of basketball. Chris Singleton has a big chip on his shoulder and was never questioned about his hustle. And despite his current inefficiencies, Jan Vesely was known around the Euro League as a "high motor player". Heck, even Hamady N'diaye could never be questioned about his intensity when he was on the court.
On the other hand they've got two guys that "talk the talk", but don't really back it up when the lights are on.
We all know that saying "fool me once...." Well until I see it on the court, I'm not fooled by the "talk" that Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee have been giving lately.
Blatche to me looks heavy and reports had him finishing last and then quitting during the team's sprints. Also apparently he shunned Gene Banks, when Banks asked Blatche to go best of 3 versus Seraphin one on one. This is the old and same Blatche that we've seen already, is it not?
Clearly Blatche can use the extra conditioning and Seraphin could use the extra practice going up against a versatile PF like Dray. Putting in that extra work is what makes the TEAM better, but Andray doesn't seem to care.
This will be Blatche's 6th season and McGee's 4th, both player's are from the pre-Wall era and neither is guaranteed to be on the roster next season. If they can't "step up" their intensity this season, they will very easily be surpassed by the other players on the roster that will give it their all to be on the court wearing a Wizards jersey.
The Wizards bench is going to be like a pack of hungry dogs! No longer will the bench be the "hang out zone" it was in the past with NY, Gil, McGee, Dray, etc... I see the bench resembling a college team in the NCAA Tournament, with the players cheering and the coaches teaching.
It's a new era in DC basketball, the bar has been raised, and Darwinism will occur. It's sink or swim time!