Archive for June, 2010

29
Jun
10

Wiz Trade For Yi

jianlian

By Jesse Jones

Once again, the Washington Wizards are involved in a trade.  This time, the team has brought in another young forward, Yi Jianlian from the New Jersey Nets.  In exchange, the team will send shooting guard Quinton Ross to the Nets.

The move clears up about $3 million in cap space for the Nets, who are trying to bring in LeBron James.  It appears that Washington is not trying to bring in any big names during free agency, and are trying to acquire young talent and build for the future, like the Oklahoma City Thunder have done.  Yi had career highs in points and rebounds last year, 12 and 7, but has not lived up to the hype of being the sixth pick.

The Wizards now have six young big men on the roster for the 2010-2011 season; JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Trevor Booker, Yi Jianlian, Kevin Seraphin, and Hamady N’diaye.  The team also has Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, Nick Young and Al Thornton on the roster.  It is believed that they will not use the team option on Josh Howard, and the future for Randy Foye is unclear in Washington.

The offseason has just started, and I’m pretty sure the Wizards are not done making moves.  According to Ernie Grunfeld, the team is just trying to get a young nucleus that the team can build around.  “We made a decision that we’re going to save some of our powder for the future and try to right now put a core of young players together that can grow and we can build with, and that is the reason that we do have those opportunities right now,” Grunfeld said. “Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be there for us.”

28
Jun
10

Concern In Baltimore?

ed reed hurt

By Jesse Jones

Ed Reed is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. When healthy, Reed competes for the Defensive Player of the Year, and is arguably the best ball-hawk in the league, intercepting a total of 46 passes in his career.

However, Reed played the 2009 season with an injured hip, and it showed. He played in only 12 games, and only recorded 3 interceptions.

Reed recently had reconstructive hip surgery, and is rehabilitating. The catch? On Sirius XM Mad Dog radio, Reed said that his hip is “about 35%”, and rehab from this type of surgery takes about 4-6 months.

Let’s say that Reed is ready to play after four months of rehab. If that is the case, Reed should be ready early in the season, as the season (for the Ravens) starts September 13. However, after about one month of rehab, and with Reed being only 35%, Reed might miss the beginning of the season, and possibly more.

Few defensive players, such as Reed and Troy Polamalu, scare coaches to the point where they create in-depth game plans. If Baltimore loses their ball-hawk, how worried should the city and team be?

Ken Hamlin was brought in to backup Reed. If Reed cannot play though, Hamlin has proven that he can be a starter in the league. His impact, without a doubt, will not be nearly as great as Reed’s, but Hamlin is a veteran and has been to a Pro Bowl. Behind Hamlin is Tom Zbikowski, who played solid in-place of Reed, recording two interceptions.

From the fact that Ed Reed had surgery, and saying he wants to be back for the beginning of the season, there are no more questions in Baltimore as to whether or not Reed will be retiring. Reed is not retiring. The only questions left concerning Reed are, when will he return to the field, when will he be ready to start, how big of an impact will he have, and when Reed does not play, will Hamlin and Zbikowski do enough to make sure the new and improved secondary does not see the same setbacks that it had last year?

28
Jun
10

John Wall ‘Welcome To DC’ Video

By Jesse Jones

Enjoy!

25
Jun
10

Warriors of Wimbeldon

By Ben Linton

Two men, one stage. Three occasions, a total of 11 hours and five minutes. History at Wimbledon. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut both gave the world something to cheer for and keep their eyes glued to the TV when they competed in this Wimbledon marathon. The match went to a fifth set, which was finally decided at 70-68. It took a total of 8 hours and 11 minutes to complete the final set, in which Isner finally prevailed in the longest match in Tennis history.

The match shattered almost every tennis record and will probably be marks that will never be reached again. The final set alone lasted longer that the previous longest match that was 6 hours 33 minutes. Isner served 112 aces, while Mahut dished out 103.

I hope some of you watched this event occur, because you will never see anything like this again. Both of these gentleman showed great poise, persistence, and determination in this match that had never been seen before. The two could very well have called it quits after being too tired, too sore, or if it were too dark; even if they had to use the bathroom (which they did stop play to do at one point.) But instead these warriors decided to play it out until the end, and for this they are both champions. Isner will get all the credit for prevailing at the end, but Mahut showed a lot of courage and was very clutch, remember that every time he served, he was down one game. He also stopped many match points and held serve numerous times.

This performance should not go ignored. When your body breaks down and you have nothing left in the tank, the only thing left is your technique and fundamentals. This is when you have to forget about playing and just go through your routine and try not to do anything out of your comfort zone. Make the plays you know you are capable of making. Although at times it seemed Isner was giving up on some of Mahut’s serves, it was simply because he knew he could not make the play so he was saving his energy for a more important moment. While I marvel at Mahut’s lunges and leaps across court to make plays, it may have been his demise in the end. From watching this match it was just like these guys were energizer bunnies, they kept on going and going. Whenever a new game started, I would think to myself “Okay, this is the one where one of them emerges and pulls through.” And finally at 69-68, someone did.

Although I have only been a sports fan for 18 years, this may have been the most remarkable event I have ever seen. And i don’t know if that will change. I wasn’t really the biggest tennis fan, but i have a new found respect and admiration for the game and its players after watching this great spectacle. Congradulations to Isner, Mahut, and Wimbledon, this is your shining moment.

25
Jun
10

Recapping The Wizards’ Draft Moves

trevor bookerhamady n'diayekirk hinrich

By Jesse Jones

The John Wall pick is clear.  But the rest of the moves that the Washington Wizards made need explanation.

Before the draft started last night, the Wizards agreed to send a future second-round pick to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Kirk Hinrich and the 17th overall pick from last night, 6-foot-9 forward Kevin Seraphin from France.  It’s believed that Hinrich is being brought to the Wizards to mentor John Wall, and to clear cap space for the Bulls, as he is owed $9 million.  However, the trade cannot be consummated until July 8, as that is when the salary cap begins.  Because of this, the trade could fall apart, and Sacramento is believed to have a similar offer ready with Chicago in case it does.

The Wizards also made a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.  The trade gives Washington the rights to forward Trevor Booker from Clemson, and center Hamady N’diaye from Rutgers, who were the 23rd and 56th picks.  The Timberwolves get the rights to Lazar Hayward and Nemanja Bjelica, who were the Wizards’ 30th and 35th picks.  Booker, 6-foot-7 240 pounds, is the only player in ACC history with 1,500 career points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 blocks, 200 assists and 100 steals.  He also led Clemson to three straight NCAA Tournaments.  N’Diaye, 7-foot 235 pounds, is the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year.  He averaged 4.5 blocks per game, which led the Big East and was third in the nation.

Washington got their point guard last night, and they also added talented size, which is what they were missing.  The Hinrich move might cause some tension with Wall, Gilbert Arenas, and Randy Foye still under contract for next season, but he brings a solid veteran presence to the team, even if it is for only one year.  Next year might not be the year the team makes it back to the playoffs, but with tonight’s picks, the team has a good foundation for the future.

25
Jun
10

The Great Wall Of DC

By Jesse Jones

“With the first pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select John Wall from the University of Kentucky.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your prayers have been answered. Washington took John Wall tonight, and by doing so, gave the Wizards a new face, new image, and hope.

At just 19 years old, Wall took the college game by storm, and will soon do the same with the NBA.  The draft was all about him, and from the moment the Wizards got the first pick of the draft, it was a done deal.

I could talk about the stats that Wall put up in Kentucky last year, but everybody knows that. The pick is more than just a new point guard who was extremely good in college.   After two miserable years filled with misfortune, bad decisions, and huge disappointment, Wizards fans have something to smile about.  A city that has just been enlightened by the talent of Stephen Strausburg, a city that has the fortune of having the NHL’s best player, now has another reason to think positively about the future of Washington professional sports.  The city has seen the worst when it comes to professional sports, but as of late, is seeing the brighter side of sports.

The future is here, and the good spirits of DC basketball have been raised again.

24
Jun
10

Ravens Address Secondary, Add CB Harris

By Jesse Jones

A week after signing safety Ken Hamlin, the Baltimore Ravens added more depth to their injured secondary by signing cornerback Walt Harris to a one-year deal.

Harris is entering his 15th year in the NFL, and has played for the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis, the Washington Redskins, and San Fransisco 49ers.  He has 35 career interceptions, and is a former Pro Bowler.

However, Harris is coming off a knee injury that side-lined him for all of the 2009 season.  In his workouts in Baltimore, Harris was able to keep up with all of the receivers and felt no knee problems after the tryouts.

This move, clearly, brings more depth to the secondary, but Harris also brings leadership and experience to a rather young group.

23
Jun
10

Haynesworth will be at training camp

After months of grumbling and mumbling, Albert Haynesworth announced that he will attend Redskins Training Camp in July

By Ben Linton

In the struggle between Albert Haynesworth and the Washington Redskins organization, coaches, and players, it seems as if Haynesworth has conceded when he announced that he will attend training camp next month. Haynesworth was upset with the idea that he’d be playing in the middle of the Redskins’ 3-4 defensive scheme, making him do all the dirty work. It is a position that is however not very glamorous, but very important. Haynesworth’s absence at mini camp and requests for a trade have not been taken well by his teammates, as they have grown tired and frustrated with his no-show.

Its about time that Haynesworth grew up and decided to show up for camp. Regardless of what the team tells you to do, whether it be take on two blocks each game or come off the end and rush the quarterback, you’re supposed to honor your contract and do whatever the team or coach asks you to. I think the Redskins showed great patience and courage by not trading Haynesworth at his request. This should send a message to him that he is here to stay, and should start focusing  on the upcoming season and how he can make an impact.

I personally think that at the end of the day Haynesworth is a gamer, and all he really wants to do is go out there and play football. Hopefully this can be pushed aside and the Skins and Albert can work together on having a successful season in D.C.

20
Jun
10

Redskins trade for Jamaal Brown

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins made news yesterday when they acquired Saints Tackle Jammal Brown for a third and fourth round pick in 2011. Brown missed the entire 2009 season due to injuries, then signed a tender offer shortly before the trade. Brown was disgruntled due to the tender and the fact that he would have to compete with Jermon Bushrod for a starting spot.

Brown was the No. 13 pick from Oklahoma in the 2005 draft. At age 29, standing 6’6″ 313 lbs., he has tremendous upside and has reached the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2008. This is a great transaction for the Redskins, expect Brown to make an immediate impact at a position where the Skins are lacking.

Expect another post soon, because another disgruntled player will likely be traded soon, this time away from the Redskins.

17
Jun
10

Ravens Sign Safety Hamlin

ken hamlin

By Jesse Jones

Just a week after working out multiple defensive backs to add to the roster, including Ken Lucas and Walt Harris, the Baltimore Ravens have reached a one-year deal with safety Ken Hamlin.

Hamlin, who stands at 6-2 209 pounds, was a starter for Dallas the past three years, and played in Seattle from 2003-2006.  Over his career, Hamlin has made 14 interceptions, forced 5 fumbles, and has made one Pro Bowl.

This signing gives the Ravens more depth at a very depleted secondary.  Ed Reed is rehabbing his hip which just underwent surgery. Reed’s backup, Haruki Nakamura broke his ankle last season against the Browns. The team also has two corners who are coming back from knee injuries, Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb, who both started games last year. Although all signs point to Ed Reed returning to the team this year, he still has not made an announcement as to whether or not he will retire. If he does retire, Hamlin will most likely step in and become the starter. If Reed does return and somehow gets injured, he has a solid veteran backup.

There is still a possibility that the Ravens bring in one more veteran defensive back, most likely a corner, but nothing has been said yet.




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