Training camp opens tomorrow at Verizon Center. Here is the second of three keys to this year’s camp:
Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee are incredibly talented but immensely frustrating, because their flashes of excellent play are often followed by questionable decision-making from game-to-game and, at times, play-to-play. Blatche missed the start of training camp last season while recovering from a broken right foot and never found his rhythm during a productive but overall disappointing season. He is still dealing with some soreness in his right shoulder, stemming from an injury late last season, but looking to bounce back in the second year of a five-year, $35 million deal he signed last year.
McGee will be a restricted free agent next summer and is looking to build on a season in which he averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and finished second in the league in blocked shots. But he will also have to be more consistent and avoid the temptation to playing outside of what’s asked of him (i.e. grabbing a rebound and dribbling the length of the court, which incensed the coaching staff last season).
The Wizards will need quality performances from Blatche and McGee, since their backups will either be inexperienced (Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin) or have no experience (rookies Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton). Booker, Seraphin, Vesely and Singleton will have their opportunities to contribute and are expected to provide jolts of energy and intensity. But with all four younger than 24, they still have a lot to learn.