Blah Blah Blog

2.14.2006

The NOK on Jamison


The 75 or so fans who attended Hornets games in New Orleans better get used to the team playing in Oklahoma City. I watched for the first time a Hornets home game played in Oklahoma City and was very impressed with the crowd's enthusiasm during their tilt with the Wizards last night. The building was alive with fan noise throughout the game, including both when the Chris Paul-less Hornets were losing by 20+ and when the David West-led Hornets sank a buzzer-beater with no time left on the clock to pull out a one-point victory. OK City is an NBA hoops-haven, who knew?

As a Wizards fan, the greater issue is my mounting, albeit uncomfortable, distaste for PF Antawn Jamison. Uncomfortable because by all accounts Jamison is an outstanding NBA player: a team player; highly skilled offensively; young and energetic. When he's on, his offensive game is a treat to watch. Jamison can hit the three, can score in close from the post or off the offensive glass, and will release shots from unorthodox angles that make his defenders look foolish.

Unfortunately, Antawn Jamison's defense is terrible. I don't think its because he is lazy or apathetic towards putting in the effort on the defensive end. I just think he's bad at it. He doesn't have a feel for it. And I think this glitch is the main reason the Wizards are destined to be a 5th to 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, without much hope for improvement in the foreseeable future.

Do they trade Jamison straight up for a more defensively capable power forward? Do they try playing Jamison at the small forward position and bring in a legit power forward via free agency or the draft? Or do they remain satisfied, so enamored with his offensive repertoire that they continue spinning their wheels as a good but not great team?

Last night's game epitomized what Jamison brings to this Wizards team. With Washington down by one point and less than 4 seconds remaining on the game-clock, Jamison picked up a loose ball in the corner, calmly raised and sank a jumper to give his team the lead with 0.5 seconds left. As the Hornets lined up for the ensuing inbounds play, the defensive liability Jamison watched from the sidelines. The Hornets starting power forward, David West, came open at the top of the key thanks to a P.J. Brown screen, and became the unlikely hero by sinking a 20 footer at the buzzer.

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I think the Wiz trade Jamison for a more defensive-minded forward.


...That way Gilbert can get more shots.
 

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