It was bound to happen. The former “team captain” for the Wizards, who mentioned before the game that he didn’t receive “loyalty” from the Wizards regarding his “DNP- Conditioning” status, managed to kind of ball out last night for the Brooklyn Nets in their first game at the Barclays Center.
Andray Blatche managed to pull out 16 points and eight rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. He debuted a much slimmer look and showed improvement in his end-to-end speed.
It happens again, a former Wizard performs much better on a different team. However, with this being preseason and the Wizards still battling the injury bug, don’t expect these types of numbers from the new “Agent Zero” all season.
Here’s what you can expect from the good guys, however:
Janerro Pargo: While not showing a cataclysmic performance on the stat sheet (5 pts, 3 ast, 3 reb), his play against one of the best point guards in the league in Deron Williams was impressive to me. He was able to help contain Williams to only 11 points and at the same time showed that his veteran presence is going to be an asset to this team.
Shelvin Mack: I still don’t understand the hate that Mack receives. His hustle on the court is more than impressive, especially on the defensive end. He may be undersized but he showed he’s capable of leading an offense, although probably best suited when coming off the bench.
Martell Webster: It’s evident the guy can shoot the three-ball, but most impressive was his free-throw shooting last night (10-10) and the ability to draw the foul on a hard drive to the hoop. The free throws killed the Wizards last season and at times were the reason for losing a game. Webster has solidified a starting spot, in my opinion, even though Ariza will probably lock it up over him.
Jan Vesely: He showed promise at the end of last season, but he looked absolutely deplorable last night versus the Nets. He picked up five fouls (an area that he’s got to improve on if he wants to be taken seriously in this league) and more than once nearly airballed his shots. From what I’ve seen so far, he did not improve his game whatsoever, and in fact it may have digressed.
All in all, the Wizards had a decent outing versus the Nets even with losing by ten. Just as it is in football, there is no need for concern for a poor outing in the preseason. This is the time for Wittman and crew to see who is going to be stepping up for the numerous injured players on this squad.
A few weeks ago, I projected the starting lineup as being: Wall, Crawford, Ariza, Nene, Okafor.
Now, with the injuries and after seeing who’s stepped up, I’m really hoping it will be the following:
Pargo, Beal, Webster, Seraphin, Okafor.
Will it happen?
Nope. But that’s why I’m not paid the big bucks…