Tuesday , Dec , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche to Wizard teammates: ‘I need the ball in the paint’

“He probably was talking about me for the simple fact that I said I need the ball in the paint to be effective,” Blatche said. “You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jumpshots. Gimme the ball in the paint. That’s where I’m most effiective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp. I need the ball in the paint. I don’t wand to be the pick-and-pop guy I used to be because it’s not working for me.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be oh-so easy to criticize Andray Blatche’s comments, especially when considering his track record.

After all, Blatche, a talented post with the Washington Wizards, has a track record. Consider the following:

1) When he first entered the league, veterans mocked his poor professionalism. 2) He openly feuded with coach Flip Saunders over playing time. 3) He got angry at a teammate for grabbing a rebound that fell in his hands and prevented him from registering a triple-double. 4) And he fought teammate JaValee McGee outside the club.
   
This time it‘s different, though. Blatche is making sense.

When asked about Coach Flip Saunders’ comments following the Washington Wizards’ season opener, the young forward explained he wanted the ball in the post to balance the offense.

And he’s right. Blatche’s ability to attract double-teams in the paint would provide open looks for young point guard John Wall and shooting guards Jordan Crawford and Nick Young.

The Wizards’ perimeter players – like Wall, a former first overall pick trying to make his mark in the NBA – wouldn’t have to force shots down the stretch.

Credit Blatche for taking a measured tone. Perhaps after years of struggles, he’s learning.

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