Gilbert's Arena

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What to expect from Gilbert's Arena this off-season

As you’ve probably figured out by now, my posting in the summer months is going to be a lot less frequent. Between my trip to Germany for the World Cup, moving across the country (Boston to San Fran), and the fact that the Wizards aren’t actually playing any games, it’s going to be tough to maintain my in-season posting regimen. That said, I will try to react to any Wizards news that does pop-up, and of course I will try to post about the draft and free agency.

Going into the off-season, here are some dates to keep in mind:

> NBA Draft: June 28

> NBA Free Agent Signing Period: starts July 12 (negotiations can start July 1)

> Training Camps Open: October 1

And some key issues to keep in mind:

> Eddie Jordan’s contract is up

> Jared Jeffries is a RFA

> Our big men suck

> We don’t play any defense

> The Free Agent pool is terrible

> We have the 18th pick in both the 1st and 2nd round

And don’t worry, even if I disappear for long stretches of time, I’ll be back in full force next season.

Around the Web:

> Gilbert made 3rd team All-NBA. There is no doubt in my mind that he will use the fact that he was the lowest vote-getter on the All-NBA teams to motivate him for next season. On a side note, the NBA should really get rid of the silly rule that you have to vote for a true Center on each of the three All-NBA teams. The position’s practically dead, and pretty much will be (except for Yao) once Shaq’s gone. At least let guys like Dirk and Gasol, who often play as the only big man on the floor for their team, qualify at Center. Or else, let voters decide who they think qualifies at each position, like the NBA coaches can when selecting All-Star reserves.

> The NBA rumor mill is already sending Eddie Jordan to the Kings, because he runs the Princeton O and used to coach in Sacramento. I hate how the media just runs with BS stories like this.

> Tom Knott addresses the Ernie to Sacto rumor HERE.

> Grunfeld expects few roster changes:

"We had a lot of new pieces this year and I believe in continuity," he said. "I believe in consistency and that you can't make wholesale changes every year and expect to have that good chemistry.”

As I stated in my Epic Off-season Analysis, this is exactly the strategy we should be taking this off-season. We just need to have patience. If a good deal for us pops up, we’ll take it. But otherwise, we need to think long-term. It’s great to have a GM that we can really trust with the future of the team.

> After watching the Pistons-Cavs series, Joe Gross makes a plea for the Wizards to focus on defense this off-season. I certainly agree with him to a certain extent, but I really hope we keep our up-tempo style in the process. I’m a big proponent of basketball as a “beautiful game” (Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy deserve lifetime bans for their mid-90’s thuggery, in my book), and watching the “small ball” in Round 2 of the Western Conference playoffs has been a thing of beauty. Mike D’Antoni and Avery Johnson are proving themselves as phenomenal coaches. D’Antoni has shown an uncanny ability to get the best out of each one of his players by focusing on what they CAN do, rather than on their shortcomings (Raja, Diaw, House, Tim Thomas). Avery Johnson has devised a plan to attack the Spurs with quickness and full-court speed that has the Spurs reeling. By contrast, the Eastern Conference playoffs (especially some of these Pistons-Cavs slug-fests) have been relatively tough to watch.

> Gilbert’s dunk on LeBron from Game 2:


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