Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All you need to know about Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche is a puzzling individual. He's talented and will have flashes of inspired play on the court, but then he'll say something outlandish off of it or spar with his coaches during a practice or a game. His most recent embarrassing moment came after the Wizards' season-opening loss to the Nets. Blatche wasn't happy with his role in the Wizards' offense, saying:
“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.”
Blatche refused to back down from critics, writing on Twitter yesterday afternoon: "Every body need to shut up I didn't call out my coach or team mates I said I had a bad game need it n the post instead of jump shots."

If Blatche had talked privately with Flip Saunders instead of going public with his complaints after the first game of the season, that would have been one thing. But he didn't, and here we are yet again discussing another controversial incident involving Blatche.

So Blatche wants to be a back-to-the-basket player now. That's interesting, because about a year ago, he called into Mike Wise's radio show and said the following:
"If anybody watched me grow into this team and into this league, they'd know that I've never been a back-to-the-basket, bang-bang down player. I'm more of a face-up and a finesse player. That's who I am. I can't force myself to be a different player that I'm not."
It sure sounds like Blatche is forcing himself to be a different player now. So Blatche may be a hypocrite. Or  maybe he was just frustrated after a not-so-good performance against the Nets. Either way, publicly complaining about his role and creating off-the-court drama are not things that a player entering his seventh season in the league should be doing.

Why does Blatche have to be either a pick-and-pop player or a back-to-the-basket scorer? Can't he be both? Does he realize that's a possibility? It sounds like his main beef is with the plays the Wizards ran in the first game, but those are also concerns that will work themselves out if Blatche plays effectively on the court. John Wall can create enough offensively to get Blatche open shots. It's his job to knock them down. If he's not good enough to make those open shots, or efficient enough with his back to the basket to get buckets consistently, then he probably shouldn't be on the court anyway. And if the Wizards and Saunders do oblige and get Blatche more opportunities in the paint, how long will it take before he wishes to be back outside the paint shooting jumpers instead?