NBA Roundtable

Blatche’s Temper Tantrum

In General NBA on March 24, 2010 at 7:36 am

ESPN reports

It’s the last thing a bad team on a long losing streak needs — a tantrum and a boycott from a young player who was just starting to put up some good numbers.Andray Blatche was benched after the first 7½ minutes of the Washington Wizards’ 95-86 overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

Coach Flip Saunders said Blatche didn’t want to listen when the coach tried to talk to him about playing better defense.

“He didn’t want to hear it,” Saunders said. “I told him, ‘If you don’t come and talk, if you don’t want to be coached, you’re not going to play.’ We had coaches go up to him three different times, they said he didn’t want to play. Fifteen years, never seen anything like it”.

Update: Andray Blatche’s response — link

Update: Reports of Blatche, Filp Saunders and Ernie Grunfeld getting into a heated discussion after the game last night. Also, the three coaches who talked to Blatche were Cassell, Wittman and Saunders himself. On each occasion Blatche turned away from them.

Post Trade Deadline Form

Blatche’s play since the trade has been surprisingly excellent.Although, his numbers have been dropping. Specifically, his scoring efficiency and rebounding.

In his 19 games as a starter since the trade, Blatche has been averaging 22.2ppg and 8.9rpg in a little over 36 minutes a night. He has done so with a true shooting percentage of 53.8%.

Andray Blatche has shown some excellent ability in the pick and roll/pop and has been a dangerous player in isolations/post ups against both power forwards and centers. Effectively using his size + length or his speed to create high quality shot attempts. He has also shown good footwork around the paint and an excellent touch inside of 16 feet.

I have been a big doubter of Blatche’s ability + potential because of his mental characteristics. I’ve always disliked his immaturity on the court, his horrific decision making and inability to use his talents effectively … but he has shown a great deal over the past 6 weeks. His play has turned me around, won me over.

I do still worry about (1) his mentality, and, (2) I worry greatly about his play being effected once surrounded with more talented teammates effectively reducing his role and forcing him to play a specific role within a team concept. The Wizards current lack of talent has allowed Blatche to do whatever he wants and I have some doubts of how well he’ll handle a more confined role.

Still, the ability he has shown over the past six weeks has firmly put me back on board with all those who still dream about him fulfilling that immense potential of his. I also think Blatche will benefit greatly from continuing to play a major role for a poor team for at least another season. I think that experience this season has helped teach how to use his talents more effectively and I reckon he’ll continue to improve in this regard for quite some time.

So, Washington should continue putting him in a mainframe position, continue giving him greater responsibility. … and in doing so, they’re going to have to live with the occasional idiotic outbursts and numerous on the job lessons that Blatche still has to learn.

Final Note: It would be great for Blatche if Washington found a strong interior defensive presence to put alongside him in the offseason. Give the team more of a defensive mentality and give him more help defensively in the paint. I think he’d be more likely to increase his defensive efforts in that environment than this current one.

  1. Ernie Grunfeld (found off realgm):

    “We’re not going to void his contract. As I’ve said all along, he’s going to be with us,” Grunfeld said. “Gilbert is a part of this organization, he’s part of our team, and he will be back with us next year. I think people forget that he’s still one of the best players in this league.”

    What a silly man! He is saying that given a chance to get under Arenas’ contract, he wouldn’t do it? He could have space for 2 max FAs and a mle level role player!

  2. Hey Dino Gunners,

    Grunfeld knew that he couldn’t void Gilbert’s contract. No point fighting an ugly legal battle in the middle of the media all while ostracizing your best player when you have little-to-no chance of winning.

    Best thing to do is to put on a happy face and say that it was your choice in the first place … and that is exactly what Grunfeld is doing.

    Note: The offense wasn’t great enough to void the contract. Heck, Latrell Sprewell choking his head coach (PJ Carlesimo) wasn’t serious enough to warrant voiding his contract. Arenas’ mistake simply wasn’t severe enough. That is why it was overwhelmingly likely that Washington would lose a court case if they tried to cancel his contract.

  3. Oh, didnt consider the political angle of it. Thanks for pointing that out.

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