Washington Wizards Stock Report
Blue Chip of the Week: Antawn Jamison
What can you say about the return of Antawn Jamison apart from, “Thank God!” and “About time!” Jamison missed the first 9 games of the season with a shoulder subluxation, but came back in time to lead the Wizards to a rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jamison scored 31 points, shot 55% from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds [6 from the offensive glass] in his season debut. Jamison has been vocal about his unhappiness with the way the team played without him so it was vital he back up his talk with his play. He did. And then some.
Mike Miller: He’s back from injury and shooting 60% from the field, including 57% on 3-pointers. In addition, he’s pulling down 7.4 rebounds per game and averaging about 2.5 assists for every turnover. He can run the offense as a distributor or lurk outside and drop bombs from long range. Miller has taken to Flip Saunders’ offense with ease and is clearly the most efficient player on the team at this point.
Brendan Haywood: He needs to boost his 46% shooting percentage, but otherwise he’s doing exactly what he should be doing with the extra playing time he never got from Eddie Jordan. Averaging 10.8 rebounds, 10.9 points and 2.5 blocks per game in 33 minutes, Haywood is the best center no one is talking about. And that doesn’t even take into account his stout defense. If the Wizards can get on a roll and win some games, Haywood may finally receive the attention he deserves.
Earl Boykins: He’s averaging 14.5 points on 53% shooting in the two games he’s played since the Wizards signed him from Italy. Boykins is already being trusted to run the team in crunch time and his teammates seem comfortable with him on the floor. He’s not who you want starting, but Boykins provides real energy and offensive pop off the bench. Let’s hope the impending healthy return of Mike James will not send Boykins packing. That would be a mistake.
Gilbert Arenas: Agent Zero is back, but he’s not playing like we remember Agent Zero. Shooting less than 40% from the field and less than 75% from the line, Arenas is also committing too many turnovers 4.2 per game. Gil was lifted from the win over Cleveland for Earl Boykins and sat the entire 4th quarter — even when the Cavs made a run — because the offense was running fine without him. We still believe in Gil and think he’ll make a comeback, but it might take weeks or months before we see everything he’s got. Clearly, the new offense is a challenge and he’s not 100% mentally.
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