Wizards training camp wraps up at George Mason

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The George Mason University portion of Washington Wizards training camp is over. Some highlights from the last day of practice include Jannero Pargo en fuego, Jordan Crawford playing PG, and a free performance by Wale.

The WIzards finished up their first week of training camp tonight in front of a crowd of 2,100 at the Patriot Center on the George Mason University campus. I think training camp is fun to watch because it's basically a test laboratory. Coaches get to try different formulas and potions to see what works best in anticipation of the upcoming season. Some of the plays and rotations we'll see during the season. The rest will reside in the parts of our brains we never use. And also probably in the coaches' garbage cans.

Here are some highlights from this evening's Blue and White scrimmage:

  • Bradley Beal played a lot early and late. Early on, he was aggressive, making the first basket of the game and having a couple of good defensive plays (a strong defensive rebound and a quick-handed steal). Later on, he was being forced to cut to the basket, and he did a nice job of nailing his free throws.

  • Shelvin Mack moves up and down the court as if a tremendous weight has been lifted off his shoulders. His play today was leaps and bounds better than what it was in summer league. Glad to see he's improving and staying positive.

  • Jannero Pargo was lighting. it. up. tonight. He was hitting from the outside, making layups. A scoring machine. He even stole the ball from Jordan Crawford at the end of the first quarter and nailed a half-court heave (after the buzzer, though)!

  • Speaking of Crawford, he played a lot of point guard today. Here's the issue, though: Crawford doesn't like to pass much. I mean, he did wind up passing the ball, but he definitely appeared to be in midseason form the few times he took a bunch of contested isolation jumpers.

  • But remember when Crawford dunked on LeBron? FREE ISO PASS FOR LIFE.

  • Chris Singleton was active on defense for most of the scrimmage (a few of us observers actually enjoyed watching him play power forward in the post). However, after the Bobcats game it is clear that Coach Wittman has a zero-tolerance policy on "dumb fouls." Singleton committed one on the defensive end, Wittman yelled "that's a dumb foul!" and he was immediately taken out of the game.

  • Did I mention how on-fire Pargo was? Seriously. The dude was nailing threes non-stop. It's like he was trying to compete for the shooting guard position instead of point guard.

  • Hey Earl Barron, don't you know that Wizards' bigs aren't supposed to take 20-foot jumpers anymore? This rule clearly doesn't seem to apply to Brian Cook, who basically only takes 20-foot jumpers.

  • The coaches (the Blue and White coaches and Coach Wittman) called the players' out for not talking on the court. After that, though, both talking and ball/player movement immediately increased. Positive feedback loop alert!

  • Both guards and bigs alike were taking advantage of turnover-to-fast-break dunks. Very refreshing to see those, especially from the guards.

  • After the scrimmage ended, the fans were treated to player introductions, a few songs performed by Wale, and a contest where a Mason student would pick a Wizards player to make a half-court shot on his/her behalf. If the shot was made, the student would get free books. No shots were made.

  • One more anecdote from the man of the hour, Jannero Pargo: Pargo is notoriously a trick-shot aficionado. He once got into a HORSE match with Morris Peterson. Pargo sat in the bleachers behind a basket. Peterson taunted "I'll bet you a million dollars you can't make that shot." Pargo nailed it. Peterson has yet to pay. Perhaps the terms weren't completely agreed upon.

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