Rasual Butler

Miami’s James Ennis with huge slam in transition (VIDEO)


As a Long Beach State guy, I can’t get James Ennis enough love on this blog. The rookie has had a solid season for Miami and looks like he can develop into a rotation player for their future.

Also, he can dunk. He’s had one of the top dunks of the season early on, but been a little more quiet lately.

At least until this quality dunk in transition on Chicago Thursday night. Also, that’s a great assist from Mario Chalmers.

Miami had a strong first half, but Chicago owned the third quarter — 33-8 in that frame — and the Bulls picked up a needed win. The loss hurts Miami’s chance of grabbing the seventh or eighth seed; they are now 1.5 games out of the playoffs with three to go.


Randy Wittman begins to leave court during Wizards’ final possession in two-point game (video)



After George Hill hit the game-winning layup for the Pacers, the Wizards had 2.7 seconds and a prayer. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

As Rasual Butler heaved from halfcourt, Wizards coach Randy Wittman was already walking toward the locker room, looking up briefly as the ball hit the backboard. You can see it more closely here (hat tip: Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog)

Coaches and players frequently leave the court before the buzzer sounds, but I don’t recall seeing it during a one-possession game when the trailing team has the ball.

I wouldn’t jump to throw Wittman under the bus, though. It could have been just a superstitious move. Whether he stands still and intently watches the shot or walks off and stares away, it has the same chance of falling. There’s no more coaching to do at that point.

But it certainly looks like a coach who gave up on his team. Wittman should answer for that.

The more important question: Why did he bring in Otto Porter cold for defense in the final seconds rather than use Marcin Gortat to protect the rim?

Wizards’ Rasual Butler dunks all over Blazers’ Dorell Wright (VIDEO)


Rasual Butler is 35 years old and has been in the NBA for 11 years. The Blazers could be forgiven for not thinking he could still do this:

The reaction from the Wizards’ bench indicates they were a little surprised, too.

Wizards’ Bradley Beal has stress reaction in leg, out Wednesday night, maybe more


What’s should be most worrying about this if you’re a Wizards fan: This is the third year in a row he has had an issue with this same area in the same leg.

Bradley Beal had an MRI for what had been described as a sore toe but it found something more serious: “a mild stress reaction” in his lower right leg. With that he is out for a big showdown with Toronto Wednesday night. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com has the details.

Beal, who will miss his 12th game of the season, averaged 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 43.6% from three-point range in 42 games.

If it’s a “reaction” and not a fracture he may not need surgery. In the past, Beal has healed with rest and abstaining from all basketball-related activity.

Officially Beal will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break, more realistically he will miss more time after that. Last season he only missed a couple weeks with this, two years ago it was much more time.

With him out the Wizards will lean more on Rasual Butler and Otto Porter.

Report: With no trade found, Wizards likely to cut Glen Rice Jr.


We told you yesterday the Wizards were shopping Glen Rice Jr. around, hoping to get anything back for a guy who may have been the Summer League plans but was not part of Washington’s long-term plans.

Instead, they will just cut him loose, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

The Wizards have been trying to move second-year guard Glen Rice Jr. in a trade before contracts become fully guaranteed Jan. 10, CSNwashington.com has confirmed with persons with knowledge of the situation. A 48-hour window in which a deal might have been struck has passed Sunday, however, making a trade unlikely. Rice is expected to be released by Wednesday.

There are a few reasons Rice will be gone despite being the MVP of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and putting up good numbers in the D-League. Of course there are on the court reasons — was able to blow by lesser defenders but the athletes at the NBA level slowed him down (yet Rice didn’t adjust his game and was a ball stopper).

Another is just business — Rice has a non-guaranteed contract, so when he gets cut they don’t have to pay him and they save money. Yet another, bigger reason is any minutes he might have been in play for have gone to veteran Rasual Butler, who played his way onto the roster and into the rotation with the Wizards with his steady performances this season.

But there is one final key reason, J. Michael reports.

The final nail in Rice’s stay here, however, was determined to be attitude, people with knowledge of the situation said. Coming into the league, the Wizards knew that was a red flag but thought he could work through it. He turned off several teams during the pre-draft process and that manifested itself in a blowup with coach Randy Wittman in a 19-point loss to the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 7. Rice was pulled from the game and went at Wittman in front of the bench. Rice never played again and was gone two weeks later.

Just a lesson for all you kids out there: don’t argue with the guy who controls your minutes.

It will be interesting to see if another NBA team takes a run at Rice, if he has to prove himself in the D-League and/or overseas.