Considering all the incredible Wizards resources out there, it's a shame that I haven't been doing this every day. Starting tonight, however, I'll try my best to do a daily roundup of key links from all over the internet.
January is probably too early to throw around the dreaded three-word phrase, but nevertheless, Ivan Carter discussed Gilbert Arenas' MVP candidacy Friday. I especially liked these two graphs.
He has backed up such bravado this season by outdueling James in a win over the Cavaliers at Verizon Center, scoring 60 points on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a rare win in Los Angeles, dropping 54 in a win over Nash and the Suns in Phoenix and scoring 38 in a win over annual MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks in a win at Verizon Center.
Only in an article on Gilbert Arenas would an editor not change the phrase "baddest." It's the only thing that can come close to describing Arenas' walk after that shot.
Over at the Times, John Mitchell has a nice article on Antawn Jamison, the third member of the Big 3.
In a league filled with enormous egos, that's not the easiest thing to do. Remember, Jamison, 30, has been his team's go-to guy before. In the 2000-01 season, when Jamison started all 82 games in Golden State, he scored 51 points in consecutive games in December, becoming the first player to score at least 50 points in consecutive games since Michael Jordan in the 1986-87 season.
Instead, Jamison is enjoying the evolution of the Wizards. While he was the man when they traded for him three seasons ago, he's now content watching as Arenas morphs into a superstar. More importantly, Jamison is relishing in his role as the Wizards' captain and unquestioned stabilizing entity on a team that is aspiring to reach the finals and bring an NBA championship to Washington.
Back at the Post, Carter talks about Caron Butler in Sunday's edition. I loved this soft lede Carter utalized.
And then there are those possessions when Butler scores because he wants it more than anyone else. That was the case in the third quarter of Friday night's 116-105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. After Butler drove toward the hoop, Cuttino Mobley blocked his shot, but Butler didn't give up on the play.
He beat 7-footer Chris Kaman to the rebound, landed and released a short jump hook that just made it over Kaman's arm before falling into the basket.
Later in the article, it was revealed that Butler is not even in the top 10 in all-star voting for forwards. Some of the players ahead of him include Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Andre Iguodala, and the artists formerly known as Grant Hill and Chris Webber. Assuming LeBron and Chris Bosh remain the starters, Butler really only has to worry about fending off Paul Pierce, Jermaine O'Neal, and Emeka Okafor for the backup spots, and the first two have only had so-so seasons.
Finally, Carter has a short article on Jarvis Hayes, who scored 12 first-half points yesterday on 5 of 7 shooting. Carter mentioned how Hayes' production is crucial for the Wizards bench, and the 12 point game may be a sign of a turnaround after slumping recently. Truthfully, I think Hayes puts too much pressure on himself every time he enters a game, and he shoots too quickly in an attempt to regain his shooting rhythm. The Wizards don't really need Hayes to only score -- they have plenty of scorers and a nice scoring leader off the bench in Antonio Daniels -- but they could really use Hayes as a solid and versatile defender. When Hayes launches more shots, the rest of his game suffers, and he'd be much more effective if he didn't put so much pressure on himself to be an instant-offense scorer.
BONUS LINK: Hear me talk/ramble/stutter incoherently about Wizards-Raptors and other stuff with Ryan on the Hoops Addict podcast here.