Beninati: Successful Return For Ovie

Beninati: Successful Return For Ovie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You have to admit the old Patrick Division rivalry games, the ones with Philly and the New YorkNew Jersey teams, are played at an exciting pace.The Caps displayed a pretty complete game this evening. They received goals from their big stars and their grinders. They were good on special teams and they didn't flinch when the Rangers big gun fired away at them.The return of Alex Ovechkin was a successful one. He looked especially fresh in the third period. There was no rust on his skating legs. His power play bomb was vintage Ovie. The coaches adjusted Alex back to a point position on that second man advantage of the game and he rewarded them quickly.Marian Gaborik has always been a game breaker and he's acclimated himself nicely to Ranger red, white, and blue. His speed can be frightening and his shot explodes the way it does for the game's top scoring threats.The Caps penalty killers did an excellent job protecting Semyon Varlamov tonight. We always say special teams play can be very instrumental in winning the close games and it was the difference tonight. Aside from Varlamov losing his angle a couple times, he was nice and steady. Goalie fans have to love when you get a matchup that includes the Caps youngster and Rangers standout Henrik Lundqvist.Great job by Matt Bradley on the winning goal and all night long working with David Steckel and Jay Beagle. Those three guys busted their butts and won the little battles all over the ice. Bradley was bloodied in a first-period fight with Aaron Voros, a fight he had the upper hand in at the start. His finishing touch on the breakaway against Lundqvist was very well done.There were a lot of heroes for the Caps in this one. John Erskine deserves praise for the way he made it a tough night for Sean Avery. Every time the Rangers' pest would try to stir it up, Erskine put him back in his place. That's the kind of hard work that should not go unnoticed. Lastly, the news on Quintin Laing wasn't very promising. He's staying overnight in New York after suffering a significant injury to his jaw. Laing is a fearless shot blocker, but his timing was off and he was struck by a slap shot at close range. He's one tough athlete. The fact that he walked off after that exchange is all the proof you need.

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State of the Wizards: Brooks on how Beal can be like Klay Thompson

State of the Wizards: Brooks on how Beal can be like Klay Thompson

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Brooks reacts to Klay Thompson's 60-point night - Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was asked before Tuesday's game against the Orlando Magic what he thought about Klay Thompson going off for an insane 60 points in just 29 minutes the night before. Once he realized where the question was going, Brooks grinned and leaned back in his chair. He then quipped: "It took me about 20 games to 60."

After the room laughed at his joke, and after the reporter point out a SportVU stat that said Thompson only touched the basketball for a total of 90 seconds during the game, Brooks told a story that Thompson's performance reminded him of. It reminded him of a film session he had with Bradley Beal on the road just a week before Thompson's big night:

"It doesn't get any better than that. It's funny, Bradley and I were watching film together just him and I last week and I told him that, I said 'you're one of the few guys in this league that can score 30 and have the ball in your hands less than a minute.' He didn't believe me. So, we looked at a couple of his clips and I [using] slow-motion and slow frames, I said 'look, there's 19 seconds on the shot clock and you've got the ball in your hands.' So, I did the clip. 'You shot the ball, it's out of your hands. Now look at the shot clock.' There was still 19 seconds. So, you shot the ball in what, .5 seconds? He's one of the few guys that can do that. Klay is obviously the same type of player. These guys that come off pindowns, they don't need the ball in their hands. They don't need to dribble the ball around the court five or six times to get a look. They've got the speed, they've got great footwork to come off [screens] and they've got the stroke. When you have bigs that set great screens like they do and we do, guys like Beal get a lot of opportunities to get points without touching the ball a whole lot in his hands."

Thompson looks like a future Hall of Famer at this point, one of the best shooters of all time who is a complete player with above-average skills on the defensive end. Putting Beal in the same category is a lofty comparison at this point.

But Beal is one of the best young guards in the NBA and there's no reason to put a ceiling on him at this stage of his career. Beal, a five-year NBA veteran, is in the middle of his Age 23 season. He's averaging 21.4 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting. Thompson was a three-year pro at Age 23 and scoring 18.4 points on 44.4 percent shooting. Beal is shooting 41.5 percent from three on 6.9 attempts per game. Thompson at the same age was hitting 41.7 percent of his threes on 6.6 shots per game.

Thompson is on a different level than Beal at this point, but he's also three years older. Beal may never get to where Klay is now, but Brooks does make an interesting point in terms of their similarities.

Satoransky's getting less minutes - Brooks' bench continues to evolve and lately that has meant less run for rookie Tomas Satoransky. The 6-foot-7 guard has not played at all in two of the Wizards' last three games, and the outlier was a 3:33 stint against the Nets on Monday.

Trey Burke has been the beneficiary of Satoransky's diminished role, logging 10 minutes against the Spurs and 12 vs. the Nets. Brooks was asked about Satoransky getting less minutes and he had this to say:

"He's putting so much pressure on himself and that's kind of norma. We've all been there as players in this league. There are a lot of things that you have to internalize and execute and the coach wants something, the four guys want something on the court. It's tough. I'm going to be very patient with him. I really believe that he's still a big part of what we do right now. He's just going to have to fit in where he fits in with the minutes. They're not going to be real consistent right now, but you never know. He just has to be ready. I thought Trey the last couple of games gave us a good lift. He has experience and he can manage... at this point he's a better scorer in the pick-and-roll setting. But Tomas is going to continue to work hard, he's a great kid that works hard.

Eastern Conference standings

Game of the week: John Wall 12/7 vs. Magic - 52 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 18-for-31 FG, 5-for-8 3PT, 11-for-14 FT

Quote of the Week

"Our job is to wake up and just play hard. Before you made it to the NBA or got a college scholarship, you played hard every day to get to where you wanted to. To still be talking about playing hard, that's something that you should be able to do after just waking up. Everybody has a job and they have to go work hard. Our job is to come here and play hard and compete. That's the easiest thing that you should do without any contracts or any money, just come in and play basketball … if I had the answer we wouldn't be in this situation."

- John Wall on the Wizards' defensive effort against Orlando on Tuesday night

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Road ahead

Mon. - 118-113 win at Brooklyn Nets
Tue. - 124-116 loss vs. Orlando Magic
Wed. - OFF
Thu. - 7 p.m. vs. Denver Nuggets (CSN)
Fri. - OFF
Sat. - 7 p.m. vs. Milwaukee Bucks (CSN)
Sun. - OFF

[RELATED: Wall faces music alone, questions Wizards' effort]

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Nationals deal top prospects Giolito, Lopez and Dunning to White Sox for Adam Eaton

Nationals deal top prospects Giolito, Lopez and Dunning to White Sox for Adam Eaton

The Washington Nationals were unable to trade the farm to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for former Cy Young winner Chris Sale. But still looking to make a splash, the Nationals went back to the White Sox, and have made a deal.

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Nationals will trade Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton, pending physicals.

Eaton, 28 years old, will be entering his sixth season, having played two seasons with the Diamondbacks and two season with the White Sox.

Eaton has never made an All-Star team, but has a solid OBP of .357 and has back-to-back seasons of 14 home runs and at least 50 RBIs. He also has a very friendly contract, having recently signed a five-year, $23.5 million contract.

In return, the White Sox get a treasure trove of prospects.

Giolito is the top prospect in the Nationals' organization and one of the top prospects in all of MLB. He appeared in six games for the nationals in 2016, finishing with a 6.75 ERA and 11 strikeouts. Lopez, the No. 4 prospect in the organization, appeared in 11 games in 2016, finishing with a 4.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts.

Dunning, one of the ace of the Florida Gators' staff, was selected by the Nationals with the 29th pick of the 2016 MLB Draft.

But considering the Nationals were willing to give up numerous top prospects for Chris Sale or Andrew McCutchen, it's puzzling that the Nationals would receive just Eaton in return.

Heading into the 2016 winter meetings, it was well known that the Nationals were interested in making a big splash and shaking things up.

It looks like they're doing just that.