April 9, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Shelvin Mack (22) misses a dunk as he is defended by Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas (12) and guard Gerald Henderson (15) during the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
The Summer League isn't quite about throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks, but for the Wizards it's near thing this go-round. As Mike has said, what we've seen thus far on League Pass (and NBATV for the exceptionally tight-fisted of us) is reflective of how the Wiz plan to play this season. I know I can't wait to watch Trevor Ariza mentor Chris Singleton on the finer points of SF shot-jacking. But on a serious note, I'm anxious to see if Ariza's influence impacts Chris' work when he's heading up the transition game.
There are a few things I'm looking for over the next two games. Of Mike's 5 Wizards who matter, only Jan Vesely is averaging more assists than turnovers. Only Jan Vesely is shooting better than 50% from the field (!)...and that's with all those missed dunks. The class of 2011 is 19-35 from the charity stripe. On the bright side, Beal Parmesan is getting to the line like vintage Kevin Martin, so there's that.
As to the
poing point guard troubles...while Earl Calloway is 5-8 from downtown (Bradley Beal is 3-12), he has racked up zero assists in 33 minutes of play. Granted, that's limited burn, but if the Wizards are considering a training camp invite, he'll have to show more than a willingness to make the extra pass. Of course, that Calloway is in the mix is a mild indictment of backup PG Shelvin Mack. The slow developing PG paradigm is finding acceptance among NBA fans, but I don't think anyone would object to a veteran backup PG on a two year deal. #drayblatcheamnestywatch
No one's going to call Tomas Satoransky a revelation. I will happily settle for 'not a disaster'. Time will tell, his dunks notwithstanding.
On to the competition, courtesy of the Grizzlies! Tony Wroten is coming. If that prospect doesn't fill you with terror, then I'd say you don't have a tendency towards irrational panic. Between Shelvin Mack and Bradley Beal, I think Wroten has a tough time getting to the Wizards' suspect help defense. Josh Selby has had a rocky road to the NBA and we'll finally have the chance to see what a real offseason can do for the kid. If the defense gets caught flat-footed, he'll make them pay. But if he does and hasn't factored heavily into the game plan, can/will Sam make an adjustment on the floor? And speaking of perimeter threats, everyone should remember Jerome Randle. The sweet-shooting 2 signed in Turkey last season after failing to catch on with the Mavericks. Jeremy Pargo rounds out the vertically-challenged backcourt. Prevent penetration and playing discipined perimeter defense should keep this one very managemable. If Wroten, Selby and Pargo start splitting defenders with ease, the Wiz could be in for a long night.
Tomorrow night's tilt will be the final Summer League match up, and the Wiz will face significant talent when they take on the Bucks. As you know, Milwaukee was able to address both their center and power forward situation thanks to Daryl Morey's desperate bid to achieve leverage for a Dwight Howard deal. To the Wiz, that means shot-blocking PF John Henson will be prowling the paint. For a team shooting under 43% from the floor, under 30% from the arc and under 66% from the line, that's not wonderful news. 2011 draftee Tobias Harris is a versatile scorer...and the #43 2011 selection Doron Lamb just dropped 20 points on 12 shots against the Hornets Select squad in a 62 foul game. Also wik: Larry Sanders.
Personally, I'd like to see Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely manning the 4/5 in a small lineup or two, especially against the Grizzlies, where the Wizards can afford to cheat in the frontcourt against a significant talent discrepancy and clog the lane for Memphis' guard rotation. Against the Bucks, it should come down to Beal versus Lamb (Doron), but if Sato wants to have a statement game, there will be no argument from me.