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Gambling on DC

If you’ve been reading the countless features on Gilbert Arenas this preseason, you might have heard that the Wizards new marketing pitch is “Go All In.” I propose to you, Wash Wiz brass, that you “Go All Out” for a change.

Another offseason has passed without the Wizards making any fan-base energizing roster adjustments. I was critical of last season’s offseason, claiming the Kwame Brown/Caron Butler trade dealt away the Wizards only promise of establishing an inside presence and wouldn’t make them a better team. Maybe Butler was slightly better than a dime-a-dozen 15-5-3 guy, but the Wiz dropped from 45 wins to 42 wins, from a 5 seed to a 6 seed, and a 1st round playoff exit. Granted, the Larry Hughes departure had more to do with that than the loss of Brown, but the team’s makeup sorely lacked the tough defensive rebounder and back-to-the-basket scorer that Kwame could very well have become.

Prior to this preseason, Washington’s free agent additions have been: DeShawn Stevenson, a starting guard; Darius Songaila, a key reserve forward; and Calvin Booth, a 3rd-string center. Without any rookie additions competing to crack the top 10, the Wizards are counting on these players to help them remain a +.500 team. That’s difficult to get excited about.

But I’ll try…

Shooting guard Stevenson is a 6-year NBA vet at age 25. In his 2 seasons as a starter, he averaged about 11 ppg, similar to the numbers reserve SG Antonio Daniels gave the Wizards last season. DeShawn Stevenson gives you more rebounds but fewer assists than Daniels. There are 2 key differences between them that may indicate an upgrade to the Wizards lineup: 1) Stevenson shot 46% from the floor last season (not bad these days) and took only 15 3-point shots, which tells me he can effectively drive the lane and get to the rim despite his 6-5 frame; 2) Stevenson is a physical defender rather that can make up for the loss of the only thing current Knick Jared Jeffries brought to the team last season.

4th year pro Darius Songaila is a 6-8 power forward and may challenge for that starting position in Washington despite only having started 7 games in his career. A career 50% shooter, he had a deadly spot-up shot that can pull his defender away from the basket. There are mixed reviews on his defensive and rebounding prowess, which may explain why teams haven’t been willing to allow him to crack their starting 5.

These acquisitions, combined with the return from injury of Jarvis Hayes and the possible insertion of Etan Thomas into the starting center slot, have convinced Gilbert Arenas that the Wiz will be better. Are you willing to “Go All In”?


Southeast Division Forecast (or Recast in this case)

  1. Miami Heat
  2. Washington Wizards
  3. Orlando Magic
  4. Charlotte Bobcats
  5. Atlanta Hawks

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How can you not "go all in" with Agent O on the scene?

Same goes for the Papertown Shakes.

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