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Wizards Wrap: Falling for Marcin Gortat, Washington's basketball Drago

None of us were too sure about the trade that sent Emeka Okafor and a first-round pick to Phoenix in exchange for Marcin Gortat. Whether you still question the trade's wisdom or not, you can't deny that The Polish Machine has been fun.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Marcin Gortat was traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Emeka Okafor and a first-round pick a few days before the regular season kicked off, and the team's frantic early-season schedule and struggles didn't give fans a chance to really get to know Gortat via light-hearted media reports between games.

Well, the current lull in the Wizards' schedule combined with their recent success has made up for that, as a loose locker room combined with a press corps anxious for off-day stories has begun to fill in the public on just what a fun guy Gortat is. It's with a few of those that we'll begin this week's Wrap:

  • Cool column from Mike Wise that for the casual fan can sort of serve as a general introduction toMarcin Gortat, who jokingly compares his on-court self to the villain from Rocky IV. What is not to love about this guy? [Washington Post]
  • Couple of awesome Gortat interviews. [Wizards MagazineESPN Radio]
  • This week Umair broke down how Gortat's proficiency in the pick-and-roll has helped transform Washington's offense from one of the NBA's worst into a league-average unit.
  • How great is Gortat? He honestly believes the Wizards can win 50 games. *swoon* [Wizards Insider |CSN WashingtonTruth About It]
  • We've taken to referring to Gortat by his maintstream nickname, The Polish Hammer. But he actually prefers The Polish Machine. Whichever you prefer, Marcin. [DC Sports Bog]
  • Martell Webster loves to try and embarrass his teammates by interrupting their interviews with reporters, so bravo to Gortat for gloriously flipping the script on Webster this week, and breaking into 'Happy Birthday' when Webster crashed his media scrum. God this team is so likable. [BFDC Sports BogHoop DistrictTed's Take]
  • While on the subject of Webster crashing teammates' interviews, here he is photobombing (videobombing?) behind Wall. [DC Sports Bog]
  • CSN Washington has started a recurring segment called "Martell It Like It Is," where Chris Miller provides a topic, and lets Webster rip. For the debut, Miller chose male pattern baldness as his topic. This is the greatest idea in the history of ideas.
  • GUYS COULD WE FINALLY SEE OTTO PORTER TONIGHT?!?!?! [BFWashington PostCSN WashingtonTruth About ItWiz of AwesMonumental Network]
  • Gortat is only half-jokingly worried for the skinny rookie's health. #Pray4Otto [CSN Washington |ProBasketballTalk]
  • Three weeks ago the Wizards were the worst team in the Eastern Conference. Now they're in third place. They deserve to feel pretty good right now. [Washington PostCSN Washington]
  • The Wizards have gotten back to .500, but they aren't finished yet. [BFWashington PostDistrict Sports PageWiz of AwesHoop DistrictAll Over The Hill]
  • What five things are the Wizards best at? [Truth About It]
  • Washington will try to keep their hot streak going tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks at home. [CSN WashingtonAPTed's TakeWizards.comDaily Wizdom]
  • Check out the team's practice reports from Wednesday and Thursday.
  • More and more people are getting excited about John Wall. [NBA.comHardwood Paroxysm]
  • Wall had a good interview with the Sports Junkies this week. [CBS DC]
  • Thus far in his career, Wall's stats put him in some pretty good company. [Ted's TakeCSN Washington]
  • Trevor Ariza is currently enjoying one of the best stretches of his NBA career... [Wizards InsiderCSN Washington]
  • So the natural question for Mike to ask is, should the Wizards trade him?? [BF]
  • Assuming the Wiz don't trade Ariza anytime soon, what happens when Bradley Beal comes back? [CSN Washington]
  • Apparently Ariza doesn't like to play nice with opponents. [CSN Washington]
  • Every fanbase of a rebuilding NBA franchise wants their team to follow the Oklahoma City model. But that's pretty tough to do, considering all the luck that went into building the Thunder in the juggernaut they now are. Mike sees the Wizards following a simpler model, one from two decades ago.
  • Mike also has some suggestions for resting Washington's starters during the current lull in it's schedule.
  • About the Wizards' overtaxed starters. [Wizards InsiderCSN WashingtonTruth About It]
  • They may be getting some much-needed rest, but the Wiz are exactly taking any days off. [CSN WashingtonWiz of Awes]
  • The Wizards are pretty good at finishing near the hoop, but their midrange game has been lacking thus far. [CSN Washington]
  • Randy Wittman is hoping to have Bradley Beal back soon. [CBS DC]
  • But have the Wizards been better without Beal? [E$PN Insider]
  • Holy crap, a Hollinger stat has the Wizards (the Wizards!!) with the fourth-best odds to make the Eastern Conference playoffs. [ESPN]
  • Wittman doesn't have time for you kids and your new-fangled stats. Now get off his lawn! [Truth About It]
  • Greg Anthony says Wall is currently the best point guard in the East, and that he would be "shocked" if Washington doesn't make the postseason. [DC Sports BogCSN Washington]
  • The Wizards finished November pretty strong. [Wizards Insider]
  • Their one hiccup recently came in a game against the NBA's best team that Nene sat out with a lingering injury. Not a recipe for success. [Wizards Insider]
  • Early in the season, everyone had Wittman atop their "NBA Coach Most Likely to Get Fired" list. Now, he's sitting pretty. [Truth About It]
  • Zach Lowe has long been a professed fan of Nene's game. This week he made clear that he's particularly fond of the Big Brazilian's "mean dunks." [Grantland]
  • We haven't seen Al Harrington on the floor in awhile, but he's keeping busy acting as a player-coach from the bench. [Wizards InsiderCSN WashingtonHoop District]
  • It didn't take Chris Singleton long to get back on the floor after returning from offseason foot surgery. [Wizards Insider]
  • This season hasn't gone as Trevor Booker planned. [Wizards Insider]
  • There isn't much scoring coming off the Wizards' bench these days. [CSN WashingtonWiz of Awes]
  • On this list of amazing gift idea for D.C. sports fans is a Wizards yarmulke, a poster of Andray Blatchegetting dunked on, and a fabulous Wizards sparkly shirt. Where's my credit card... [DC Sports Bog]
  • Looks like Gilbert Arenas still harbors warm feelings for his old team. [BF]
  • Ted likes that his team was able to essentially turn Arenas and JaVale McGee into Ariza, Gortat and Nene. Actually, when you put it like that... [Ted's Take]
  • Could Nick Young actually win Sixth Man of the Year? Not if there is a just Basketball God... [CSN Washington]
  • Kendall Marshall made his season debut with the Philadelphia 76ers' D-League affiliate Thursday, and finished a rebound away from a triple-double with 31 points, 10 assists and nine boards, on 5-of-9 shooting from three. Can't imagine this will matter at all to any Wizards fans. [Ridiculous Upside |Delaware Online]
  • Oh, and Shelvin Mack is doing pretty good in Atlanta, too. [HawksBasketBlog]
  • Meanwhile, Eric Maynor has looked, well, umm... [CSN WashingtonTruth About It]
  • The Wizards recently donated an outdoor basketball court in D.C.'s Ward 8. [CSN Washington]
  • For a quick and amazing recap of the Wizards' week, here ya go. [Truth About It]