Wizards Training Camp: Wizards Name Final 15-Man Roster

Lester Hudson, Cartier Martin and Hamady N'Diaye, the three men thought to be battling for the last available roster spots, have all been named to the Wizards final roster.

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Cartier Martin, Lester Hudson and Hamady N'Diaye Make Wizards Final 15-Man Roster

There was quite a battle going on to make the Wizards' final 15-man roster, and according to Michael Lee via our Wizards blog Bullets Forever, it was won by everyone.

Cartier Martin, Lester Hudson and Hamady N'Diaye were battling each other for the last few available roster sports. But the Wizards decided to carry the maximum number of players they are allowed so all three will be on the roster this fall. Here is what the full roster looks like.

PG: John Wall/Kirk Hinrich/Lester Hudson

SG: Gilbert Arenas/Nick Young/Cartier Martin

SF: Josh Howard/Al Thornton/Trevor Booker

PF: Andray Blatche/Yi Jianlian/Kevin Seraphin

C: JaVale McGee/Hilton Armstrong/Hamady N'Diaye

Bullets Forever is quick to point out that the final three guys to make the roster all have non-guaranteed contracts that can be terminated for minimal cost until January. So if the Wizards need to make a trade that requires them to take back an additional man, they are all in danger of being let go. But as it stands right now these are YOUR Washington Wizards.

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Report: Gilbert Arenas Was Fined Fifty Thousand Dollars For Faking Injury

Chris Miller of CSN Washington is reporting that the fine the Wizards assessed Gilbert Arenas for fakin an injury on Tuesday was worth $50,000.

A source tells me that Gilbert Arenas was fined 50 thousand dollars for faking a knee injury Tuesday night. I'm ... http://tmi.me/2gySvless than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

 

He continues to say that the groin injury Gilbert suffered in the game last night was real, but not very serious. We're not in a good place when we're awaiting actual confirmation that he is in fact injured.

The fine itself seems pretty steep. But again, this has not been confirmed by the organization.

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Flip Saunders 'Disappointed' In Gilbert Arenas' Comments

Following Wizards practice today, Gilbert Arenas and Flip Saunders both addressed Arenas' comments last night about faking an injury to give up his starting spot to Nick Young. Saunders said he was "disappointed" in Arenas' actions because he trusts players to be truthful about injuries.

Via Sean Fagan, who writes for both SB Nation's Wizards blog Bullets Forever and SB Nation D.C. and was at practice today.

I told him I'm more disappointed personally because I believed in you. And there's a trust factor. I told him that you have to be honest with me about all things. It's just like dealing with your kids. Your kids make mistakes, and you deal with but it doesn't mean you love them any less. You deal with the mistake and you move on.    

As mentioned before, Arenas was fined for his actions. Today, he apologized in front of the rest of the media.

I was trying to be a good teammate. Y'know Nick wanted to play. Since we are guard loaded I thought I would take the day off and I lied to coach and told him my knee was sore so that Nick can play.     

[...]

Obviously, no one has taken it well...I was just trying to help out Nick. Get some playing time under his belt. I screwed up again, I just want to say sorry.    

Arenas did have some parting shots for the media, though, saying everything he says is "nitpicked." 

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Gilbert Arenas Fined For Faking A Knee Injury

Gilbert Arenas' intentions were probably good when he said he "faked" an injury to get Nick Young a chance for more playing time in last night's Wizards preseason win over the Hawks. However, his coach wasn't amused that he lied to him to make it all happen. In a radio appearance on ESPN 980, Flip Saunders said that Arenas has been fined for his comments. He didn't disclose the amount of the fine, saying it was a personnel matter.

Arenas reportedly apologized for his actions, according to SB Nation D.C.'s Sean Fagan, who is at practice. He admitted that he lied to Saunders about the extent of his injury.

Saunders is currently addressing the media out at the Verizon Center. 

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Gilbert Arenas Clarifies His Post-Game Remarks

Gilbert Arenas made it sound like he was planning his exit from the Washington Wizards after last night's preseason game. However, when asked about his comments today, Arenas clarified to say he only meant after his contract was up.

Via Michael Lee of the Washington Post.

To some, Arenas's comments appeared to be a message that he was looking to be moved before his contract expires after the 2013-14 season. Arenas said he isn't looking to go anywhere, or seeking a trade; he is content serving as a mentor to Wall and the other young Wizards as one of the few veterans on the roster. He said he simply meant that he would move on when his deal ends, not before it.

"I've got four years left," Arenas said, "and that's it. That's all I was saying."

Arenas added that he felt he was simply stating the obvious: that this is John Wall's team. He added that he enjoys being around the young guys, and blamed the outrage in part on the 24-hour news cycle. 

He added that he wishes that more people focused more on how he and Wall will work, rather than the other way around. He blamed the overall negative tone of the new, 24-hour "social media" for contributing to people expecting situations to fail. He used the overwhelmingly negative perceptions surrounding the newly-formed all-star trio in Miami with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Arenas said he hopes that kind of talk will stop in Washington.

"We need people to root for us," Arenas said. "Don't go against us. Root for us!"

For more, visit Bullets Forever, which has been all over this story.

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Gilbert Arenas To Play Robin To John Wall's Batman

Gilbert Arenas spoke at length for the first time to the media last night following the Wizards'  97-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Arenas was his usual forthright self, acknowledging that the Wizards were now John Wall's team and that his job was to act as a mentor and facilitator as Wall's star gains ascendance. Michael Lee of WaPo has the story:

"This is the NBA. There's few players that stay in the same city, so right now the city is John's. I'm not here to fight anybody. I'm here to play alongside of him. He's Batman, I'm Robin. When I came in, Larry [Hughes] moved aside for me to become a star and I'm moving aside for him to become a star."

While it is nice to see that Arenas understands the new reality of the Washington Wizards and his role as a second banana, it is still a bit sad to hear a player discuss how his time with a team might be growing short. While Arenas does not openly address the rumors that the Wizards will try to shop him before his contract expires, he sounds much like a contract employee winding up his time on assignment:

"Right now I'm out there to hit open shots, teach John the ins and the outs of the game, and then eventually go on and move on. I'm on my way."

The spirit of Arenas' comments is commendable, but one wonders if his taking a purely deferential role to Wall is what the Wizards need to remain competitive this year. Wall will spend most of his first year learning to run the point guard position in the NBA and will need Arenas to harness his scorer's mentality. Becoming deferential to Wall, and to a lesser extent Andray Blatche will only limit Arenas' effectiveness and decrease the likelihood that he will be traded down the road.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the interview is that the Agent Zero persona may be dead and buried forever. Arenas' quotes make him sound much less like a man excited to get back on the basketball court, and much more like a man who has been ground down by the game and the media attention from last year's suspension.

"I lost all feeling a long time ago. Basketball is basketball now, no matter what floor I'm on," Arenas said with a shrug. "It's just basketball. It's not rocket scientist. You go out there and you just play."

The new Debbie Downer Gilbert Arenas will take a bit for Washington Wizards fans to get used to this season. No more hibachi. No more long looks after long threes. No more phenomenal swag. It's all Agent Bummer all the time.

At least for this week.

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Wizards Defeat Mavericks 97-94 In John Wall's Debut

John Wall didn’t take long to show us why so many are hyping him to be the next great superstar in this league. The No. 1 overall pick tallied 21 points and nine assists, as the Wizards beat the Mavericks 97-94 in their preseason opener.

The Wizards held a comfortable lead for most of the game, but a late Mavericks comeback tied the game. Undeterred, the Wizards won when Lester Hudson hit a game-winning three-pointer.

For more on the game, visit Bullets Forever.

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Wizards Preseason: Gilbert Arenas Starts In Preseason Opener

After all the mystery, Gilbert Arenas will play in tonight's season opener against the Dallas Mavericks. Michael Lee is reporting that Arenas will start alongside John Wall and Kirk Hinrich in a three-guard alignment tonight.

Arenas hurt his ankle in a preseason scrimmage, but did practice yesterday with it taped. 

For more, visit Bullets Forever's game thread.

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Gilbert Arenas Returns To Practice With Taped Right Ankle

The sprained ankle that limited Gilbert Arenas in practice last week seems to be feeling a little bit better, although maybe not all the way back. According to Michael Lee, Gil was back in practice Monday, but with a new addition to his ensemble.

Gilbert Arenas practiced on Mon., with heavily taped right ankle. Flip wouldn't commit to starting him vs. DAL on Tues.

Hopefully the tape is just precautionary at this point, and the ankle is feeling just about all better. I can't imagine the Wizards would seriously consider sending Gil out there on an ankle that isn't completely healed for the first preseason game of the season. There's plenty of time to let the injury pass before the games start to become meaningful.

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Hilton Armstrong Has Outplayed JaVale McGee In Training Camp

The most enduring image from Summer League are the alley-oop passes that John Wall threw up to JaVale McGee. Not only did the duo make the play look natural, but it demonstrated the a rapport between two young players that the Wizards are going to need to improve greatly if the team is to improve this year and and into the future. The play of McGee was especially heartening, as the fourth year center has endured sustained criticism for his mental lapses and defensive ability throughout his short career. With Brendan Haywood having been traded away to the Dallas Mavericks, the starting center role was presumed to be McGee's spot.

Not so fast, says Flip Saunders:

"Hilton Armstrong's had a really solid camp. He's actually played better than JaVale has through camp right now. We've got to get JaVale defensive rebounding right now. With him, we need more substance than style. He's always been a style guy, and we got to get some substance out of that position."

Now perhaps this is a method of lighting a fire under McGee to make him practice a little harder or show more during the upcoming preseason games. It should be noted that McGee was under the weather for most of training camp suffering from a cold, and this may have effected his performance in the early part of camp. However, it bodes ill for the Wizards' chances this season if Armstrong is outperforming McGee to at a level in which Saunders is forced to consider changing their roles on the team.

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Gilbert Arenas Limited In Practice Since Friday

In news that Washington Wizards' fans do not want to here, Gilbert Arenas has been unable to finish a full practice sessions since Thursday, in what was originally being as soreness in his leg. Since that time, the injury has been diagnosed as a sprained ankle, and Arenas' status for Tuesday's preseason opener against the Dallas Mavericks is unknown.

Arenas has been dinged up throughout camp, leaving Wednesday's practice after taking an elbow from JaVale McGee. The ankle injury occurred during a session closed to the media, so it is unknown as to how Arenas suffered the injury. What is known is that with Arenas currently inactive, and Kirk Hinrich also limited due to a bruised shoulder, the Wizards are now extremely thin at what was supposed to be their strongest position. The injuries will allow players like Nick Young and Lester Hudson to either cement of claim roles on the team, but will make it difficult for Coach Flip Saunders to begin finalizing his rotations for the start of the season.

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Wizards Training Camp: Flip Saunders Discusses Employing A Zone Defense

The Washington Wizards have gotten their training camp into full swing following Monday's Midnight Madnessexperience. The team had a full practice Tuesday afternoon and another one today, during which they employed the theme "Back to Basics." The phrase, which adorns the coaches' shirts, refers to their philosophy that basic fundamentals need to be preached over and over with such a young team.

In addition, coach Flip Saunders had the club practicing a zone defense for much of the day today. Saunders, who has always been willing to use zone defenses in the past, said he wished he used more zone defense last season. Via Bullets Forever.

After practice, Saunders said the Wizards didn't play the kind of zone defense he would have liked.  

"Last year, we played a little bit, but not as much as I would have liked and not the zone that I would have liked. We want to play, as I call it, our hyperbolic paraboloid transitional floating zone," Saunders said.

That's essentially a really fancy way of referring to a "matchup" zone defense. Saunders said today he wants to employ zone around 20-25 percent of the time, believing that a good zone actually enhances a team's man-to-man defense. 

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