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Links: Wizards Try The Players-Only Meeting Thing

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Today's links:

  • Ah yes, the old "players-only meeting" fix. [AP | Washington Times | CSN Washington (Hanrahan, Johnson) | Washington Post | Washington Examiner]
  • So, we need to talk about this for a second. [Thomas Boswell on John Wall]
  • Boswell is right in this respect: Wall has to play better, and the Wizards need to hold him accountable for poor play. But there are several problems with this argument.
  • For one, it assumes Wall isn't working a lot with the coaches to get better. I challenge Boswell to come to a game and watch the way Sam Cassell works with Wall on his jump shot ... and that's just before games.
  • For another, Boswell's stripping all context from the supposed advanced stats he's citing. Very baseball-ian.
  • Sure, Wall turned it over a lot last year, but young point guards commit a lot of turnovers in this league. Compare Wall to those players specifically for a real apples-to-apples comparison.
  • And the effective field goal percentage thing: again, why compare Wall to guys like John Stockton and Steve Nash? If Boswell understood the stat better, he'd understand it penalizes penetrating guards who aren't three-point shooters. Look at where Wall's rookie-year eFG% stands compared to five other recent rookie point guards. All five players are now effective players, and their games are more similar to Wall's. (And then there's comparing Wall and DeMarcus Cousins to make a point about John Calipari, which is especially hilarious).
  • Finally, Boswell notes that only four No. 1 picks have gone from having a PER in the teens to a career PER in the 20s, then leaves off Derrick Rose -- last year's MVP, mind you -- because he's at 19.5 at age 23. A little intellectually dishonest, I'd say.
  • Point being: nobody should absolve Wall of criticism, but point guards often take time, and Boswell citing the rookie stats he did was an awfully weird way of making his point.
  • And as a follow-up on that point, here's my piece on Houston's Kyle Lowry and point guards developing slowly nowadays. [SB Nation]
  • Not looking like there will be a lineup change tonight. [Washington Examiner]
  • The definitive read on Andray Blatche [Truth About It]
  • Practice is not making perfect [Washington Times]
  • Nick Young may be forcing the issue. He's also calling out the game plan. [HoopsWorld]
  • But how many steps back did the Wizards really take? [DC Sports Bog]
  • Jan Vesely is getting closer to returning. [Wizards Insider]
  • And he's not a miracle-worker [@craigstouffer]
  • Nice essay on Gilbert Arenas, who turned 30 years old yesterday. [Truth About It]
  • The Wizards get mentioned as a possible DeMarcus Cousins destination, and some notes on tonight's reeling opponent. [Ken Berger]
  • A sampling of the last Knicks game recap, to paint an even better picture of their disarray. [Posting and Toasting]
  • Roger Mason plays his former team, who he doesn't like very much. [Wizards Insider]
  • If the Wizards win, Spike Lee will do something crazy. [SB Nation D.C.]
  • So this complaint seems pretty silly. [Box Seats]
  • A Bullets hockey team. Pretty cool. [DC Sports Bog]