Wednesday , Nov , 21 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Wasington Wizards Can Survive Gilbert Arenas’ Knee Surgery With Defense & Balanced Scoring

For the second time in seven months, The Hibachi won’t be flame-roasting opposing defenses because of a serious knee injury. Arenas’ surgery hurts the Wizards, but don’t expect an all-out collapse like last year.

Last season, the Wizards stumbled because Arenas and Butler were both injured at the same time. Most teams go into the tank when two All-Stars are missing from the line-up …

The Washington Wizards discuss Gilbert Arenas’ latest knee troubles::

"I repaired a partial tear of Gilbert’s left medial meniscus," said Dr. Connell, the team’s physician. "In addition, he had a nonweight-bearing articular surface defect in the trochlea treated by microfracture. We are optimistic that he will be able to return to action in three months."

"Gilbert worked extremely hard this summer to be ready for the beginning of the season," Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld said. "This is very unfortunate because he was starting to play at high level prior to the injury. We expect Gilbert to make a full recovery, and are confident that our other players will step up and help our team win."

My Very Quick Take: The Hibachi won’t be flame-roasting defenses because of another serious knee injury. Arenas’ latest surgery hurts the Wizards, but don’t expect an all-out collapse like last year.

Last season, the Wizards stumbled because Arenas and Butler were both injured at the same time. Most teams go into the tank when two All-Stars are missing from the line-up. This year, Butler is healthy, so they’ll compete.

Antonio Daniels is now the first string point guard. With Daniels starting, the Wizards become a scrappier team. After all, four starters-Daniels, Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson-are above-average defenders. And undermanned teams stay competitive through their defense.

Daniels is also a natural table setter. His passing will create a more balanced Washington attack, which will compensate for Arenas’ offense being out the lineup.

Third-year pro Andray Blatche will get more minutes. Blatche amazed fans late last year and has averaged 15 points and six rebounds in his past three games. He must continue to perform.

                                                            (Just don’t rap Andray, please)                                

The Opt Out …

Arenas has always maintained he’ll opt-out of his contract in July, 2008. This announcement caused pandemonium and fueled speculation of a Gil for Kobe trade.

Even with Arenas’ idiosyncrasies, I don’t see him opting-out this coming summer. The injury will prevent him from showcasing his game. Teams don’t give ‘max’ contracts to players coming off multiple surgeries.

A Change in Philosophy …

Some feel the Wizards can’t contend with Arenas. This line of thinking isn’t a knock on the guard, but a reflection on the offensive style Washington plays to accommodate his skill-set. With Arenas out, critics can evaluate if Coach Jordan’s squad is better off becoming a defensive team.

How will Washington do without Arenas? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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