From Comcast SportsNetDwyane Wade's offseason is now pretty much over.The Miami Heat still have more than three weeks before assembling for training camp and starting the defense of their NBA title, but for Wade, summer vacation is essentially complete. He's been cleared to return to the court and rehab from offseason knee surgery, a process he's already started. And he'll spend the next couple weeks bouncing from coast to coast on a tour for his book on fatherhood that was released Tuesday.It means long, not-exactly-relaxing days will be the norm for Wade until training camp. Case in point: He was out of his hotel room in New York before 8 a.m. Tuesday, and didn't return until after midnight, at least a half-dozen events jamming his calendar.He calls the people around him Team No Sleep, and for the next couple weeks, that'll be accurate."I think when it's hard to find the energy, I think about all the things I want to do," Wade said. "Whenever I feel like I don't have the energy, I have to go back and think about where I've come. This is what I wanted so let's keep going, let's keep pushing, let's keep doing."That's his business mantra. It also applies to basketball.Miami's first game against the Boston Celtics isn't until Oct. 30, so there's plenty of time to get sharp. But Wade's process of getting ready for his 10th NBA season, physically and mentally, is under way. He had a couple slices of pizza for lunch Tuesday, meaning that when he got to the taping of CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," Wade had to pass on cookies left in his dressing room.Such is life for those who want more NBA titles."It's about now I start thinking about certain things," Wade said. "The season, it's still back here, in the back of my mind. It's not right here yet, not all the way in the front of my mind yet. But we're getting closer."Wade said his rehab is ahead of schedule. He was on the court for workouts last week.Clearly, though, he's not going to maniacally test his knee for a while. With his itinerary of promoting "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball" in New York jampacked through the rest of this week, before the tour moves on to other cities, Wade is taking a few days off from court work.And when eyebrows rise when he says that, Wade quickly points out that going a bit easy at first not only was the plan, but is the smart plan as well."Coming off knee surgery, I couldn't possibly work out every day anyway," Wade said. "I have to work my way into things. I just left Los Angeles. I worked out for the whole week I was there. And now I needed a few days off. So when I leave here, I go to Miami and I'll work out again there. It's the way we mapped it out. It's no good for my knee right now to put that much pressure on it."His shoulder, that's getting a workout now.Wade signed 575 copies of his book at two events on Tuesday, both of which had people lining up hours before the doors opened. One man told him he flew in from China just to get an autograph. A woman told him she missed her first day of classes at Penn State to make the trip to New York and stand in line to spend a few seconds with him instead.When the Heat visit the Knicks this winter, Wade will be booed. Apparently, New York loves him the rest of the time, as evidenced by people standing outside his hotel for 12 hours to catch a glimpse, or others somehow who figured out his traffic pattern and ran up to his vehicle at red lights, unsuccessfully begging for autographs."Everybody wants to be associated with winners," Wade said. "Phones get picked up a lot easier when you're a champion. I understand some people might want to see my book, some people might want to see me, some people might want to be there because you're a champion. I see all sides of it. I appreciate it. When someone says Hey, Champ,' it never gets old."
After a 34-21 start, it's hardly tiime to pull any fire alarms when it comes to the Wizards. But concern? That's legitimate after their second uneven, lackluster performance since the All-Star break.
Like the Philadelphia 76ers, the Utah Jazz ran circles around this defense. The Wizards were confused, not protecting the rim, allowing open three-point shots, etc.
Basically, they were playing 180 degrees opposite of the Jazz who held them below 100 points for the first time in 24 games.
So what has gone wrong all of a sudden? Is one of the NBA's hottest teams no more?
-- The assertive, aggressive defense that was there during an 18-3 stretch has dissipated. They're botching coverages and rotations similar to what took place during a 2-8 start. They've lost that edge. John Wall, their best player, was absent on defense vs. the Sixers and it usually gets contagious.
--Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris aren't pulling their weight. Porter is 6 of 18 shooting, including 1-for-7 from three; Gortat is 6-for-19; and Morris is 9-for-21, 11 fouls, a disqualification and ejection. But defensively they've all been worse. The best starting five in the East is no more.
--Jason Smith has played a total of four minutes in two games. Coach Scott Brooks has to find his most effective bench player for most of the season some minutes. The energy level that has been lacking tends to pick up by his mere presence on the floor.
--Kelly Oubre's calling card has been defense, and he has been absent on both ends. His eight minutes were his fewest since Nov. 26 (also the last time he didn't crack double-digit minutes played), when he was yanked from a game vs. the San Antonio Spurs because of his lack of focus.
--Trey Burke is back to the player he was when the season began; unable to run the offense, not confident in his play and now behind Tomas Satoransky in the pecking order. Burke only played five minutes, half of what he played vs. Philadelphia.
--Wall has 15 turnovers in the last two games.
--Brooks has to make some tough decisions with his rotations and if it requires benching key players or drastically cutting their minutes this might be the time to do it. In the past, it's in moments like these when the train begins to go off the tracks. He has to be ahead of the curve.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 27, 2 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.
—NFL Combine (3/2) 3
—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 10
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 49
—NFL Draft (4/27) 59
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 195
Monday morning Redskins musings as free agency approaches
1. It appears that the Raiders are going to let Latavius Murray, who rushed for over 1,800 yards combined in the last two seasons, test free agency.
I'm told #OAK expects to let RB Latavius Murray go into FA. Source: "The door will remain open for a posb return after he tests his market."— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 26, 2017
I’d be surprised if the Redskins showed any interest. I’m not sure that they will be jumping into the RB free agent pool, at least not into the deep (expensive) end of it. They might draft a back to compete with Rob Kelley, Matt Jones, and Mack Brown. Chris Thompson will remain the third-down back.
2. Do you wonder why the Redskins have been reluctant to draft a safety?
It's a tough eval because it's such a scheme-specific position now in the NFL. Moneybacker, center fielder, big nickel box guy. https://t.co/TUxVO8GD4r— Doug Farrar (@BR_DougFarrar) February 26, 2017
Eventually, someone will need to figure out the safety position in the NFL. With all the spread offenses that safeties face in college the safeties have become more like additional corner. Also, the better defensive backs in college want to be cornerbacks because it pays better in the pros. The pool coming out is generally small to begin with and then it shrinks even further for each team due to the scheme factors that Farrar discusses. Su'a Cravens could be the solution to one safety spot for the Redskins but they continue to be in search of someone to pair with him.
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3. The Jets allowed C Nick Mangold to announce his own release. He was one of the best centers of the past decade; Mangold went to seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. But I don’t see him being of interest to the Redskins. They are happy with Spencer Long and even if they weren’t, Mangold is 33 and he missed half of last season with an ankle injury. Those factors likely will make the Redskins steer clear.
4. Maybe some fans don’t care if they are getting information from the team through the media at the combine. Or at the Senior Bowl. Or anywhere. And it is the team’s option to have someone available or not during most of the offseason (a press conference prior to the draft is mandatory). But they are missing out on a chance to give their side of the story.
One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.
More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?
5. We have another D-lineman signed as the Panthers retained DE Mario Addison.
The #Panthers signed DE Mario Addison to a 3-year deal worth $22.5M, source said. At 29 years old, he had 9.5 sacks in 2016.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2017
Addison, who was with the Redskins for five games in 2012, also had six and 6.5 sacks the previous two year, not bad for a guy who has started just one game in the last three seasons. That average of just over $7 million per year sets another data point for the Redskins to use to try to retain Chris Baker. Addison is a 4-3 end while Baker is a 3-4 end so it’s not an apples to apples comparison but it will help figuring out what a reasonable contract is. Without seeing the details, it looks like Addison gave the Panthers something of a hometown discount as that’s a good price for a guy who was half a sack away from double digits.
In case you missed it
- A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Combine
- Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?
- Sunday six pack—Cousins' next step and a positive step for Doctson