The 2010-11 Washington Wizards season, which ended Wednesday night with a 100-93 loss at Cleveland, will largely be remembered for the sparkling play of rookie point guard John Wall, who averaged 16.4 points and and 8.3 assists per game and would be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year if it weren’t for the stunning emergence of Blake Griffin. Apart from that, however, most of the positives of this past season could only be seen on paper, rather than on the court.
To wit, in December, General Manager Ernie Grunfeld traded Gilbert Arenas and his horrendous contract to the Orlando Magic for the slightly less odious commitment made to Rashard Lewis. Two months later, with the NBA’s trade deadline approaching, Grunfeld swung a deal with the Atlanta Hawks that brought Mike Bibby and two promising young players to D.C. in the persons of Jordan Crawford and Mo Evans. Grunfeld then became even more fortunate when Bibby became so desperate to play for a contending team (eventually settling in Miami with the Heat) that he passed on all of the $6.2 million the Wizards would have owed him in 2011-12. Continue reading →
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 15 rebounds, Jameer Nelson had 11 assists against one turnover and weary Magic blew away the Wizards at Verizon Center 110-92.
It was the first game that Gilbert Arenas, traded for Rashard Lewis in December, played the team he had been with for seven years. He got a mixed ovation when he first entered the game late in the first quarter and, ironically, was the epitome of the grind that the Magic used to carry the win. Arenas played 24:38 and had 10 points, six assists and six rebounds and when it was time to play defense handled himself beyond his coach’s expectations.
The Wizards have made a trade with the Magic that will send Gilbert Arenas to Orlando in exchange for small forward Rashard Lewis.
“We traded Gilbert Arenas to Orlando for Rashard Lewis,” general manager Ernie Grunfeld said. “We think that Rashard will help our front court with his experience, his versatility, his ability to stretch the defense. He is a 39 percent career three-point shooter and when you have a point guard like John (Wall) who likes to penetrate and distribute, you need people who are going to stretch the defense and be on the outside.”
It is reportedly a straight-up swap with Arenas and Lewis both having hefty contracts that their franchises would like to be done with. Arenas is owed $60 million in the end of his deal while Lewis has a few years remaining on the gargantuan $118 million deal he signed with the magic heading into the 2007-08 season.
It’s been a busy and eventful last two weeks in the Washington DC sports world. The Caps are ON FIRE!!! The Wizards might be getting there. And we’ve had some solid developments for those out-of-season teams, some expected, some not so much.
Last Two Weeks: 7-0
Place:1st in the Eastern Conference
With yesterday’s win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals are on a 10 game wining streak tying their 1984 franchise record.
Defender Mike Green will be out for the next two games for an elbow to the head of Michael Frolik during Friday night’s game. Green’s absence yesterday was a huge disadvantage for Washington, as Green is the league’s leading defensive scorer. However, with Ovechkin’s third period goal, they managed to pull out the victory.
Over the next two weeks, the Caps are out of town quite a bit, traveling to Boston, Ottawa and Atlanta. Look for a solid match against the Penguins at the Verizon Center on February 7th.
NBC Washington has the video of Verizon Center personnel removing Arenas banner from the side of the building this afternoon. It’s not clear if this is a deliberate move by the Wizards, or by the Verizon Center management, but either way, Agent Zero’s profile is a bit smaller right now.
Last Two Weeks: 0-3
Place: Last in the NFC East
Well, this is one season no one will want to revisit anytime soon. This morning, Jim Zorn was fired (my only surprise was that he rode their plane home), after the Skins put up their worst record since they went 3-13 in the 1994 season. Zorn finishes his tenure with the Redskins at a tremendous 12 and 20 (.375), or, just where Steve Spurrier finished in 2003. He is the sixth coach of the Skins to be fired since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999, none of whom have an over-.500 record.
There’s little to celebrate at the end of the season. Jason Campbell still isn’t the Quarterback-leader the Skins are hoping for. Chris Cooley is on the mend, this is true, and he’ll be a bright light for 2010/2011, but there’s a lot of rebuilding left t go.
But if the Skins were to do one thing this off-season to engender trust from their fans? Take Dan Snyder away from the reigns of the team. Entirely. Hire Shanahan and then take two years away from the team, Danny boy, and maybe then you’ll be alright. Continue reading →
Fellas, be glad that Abe Pollin didn’t live to see this. Because this would’ve killed him from sheer embarrassment.
In addition, federal authorities and MPD are investigating the incident. I’m not sure why the feds are involved, as this would likely be an MPD investigation, but if the reports are corroborated, Arenas and Crittenton could face felony firearms charges.
The best comment so far is from abias, a commenter at DC Sports Bog: “Judging by the way they’ve been shooting on the court, was anybody really in danger?”
Don’t look now, but the Wizards won their season opener against the Dallas Mavericks last night. For a team that won fewer than 20 games last season, it’s an impressive feat. Gilbert Arenas announced that he was healthy by putting back 29 points with six assists. The Wizards moved like a well oiled, respectable team and led the Mavs for almost the entire night, winning the game 102-91. Is this a prelude of things to come? Will the DC field a decent basketball team this year? It looks hopeful, right now. What are your thoughts from last night?