Okafor, vets checking out Wizards' Vegas scene

Okafor, vets checking out Wizards' Vegas scene
July 15, 2012, 9:33 pm
Share This Post

Seemingly, every NBA franchise with a summer league entry has at least oneif not multiple veterans on hand watching their team, including the likes ofGolden States David Lee and New Yorks Baron Davis. For Saturdays gameagainst the Rockets, the Wizards had one of the stronger contingents Ivenoticed with Jordan Crawford, Cartier Martin, Trevor Booker and Emeka Okafor(Didnt see Trevor Ariza, though he was around the Fridays opener) watchingfrom the stands or inside the Cox Pavilion.At the time some of the Wizards media congregated near the team bench beforethe opening tip, Okafor was the one available for a brief chat. Largely werevisited some of the topics asked of him following his trade to Washingtonfrom New Orleans - newer questions such as 'Have you seen Bradley Beal playyet' or 'Has the team explained its offensive plans for next season' ended withsome sincere version of not yet.The good news, the upbeat big man is still smiling about landed with theWizards.Initial thoughts on the trade: Outside of the originalsurprise of being traded, it was pretty much nothing but positive. Im a fan ofD.C. the city.Getting to play with a certain Brazilian big man: Nene wasa person that I didnt look forward to guarding. He has an arsenal of moves,lots of energy. I think well definitely find a rhythm on the court. Well beable to practice against each other, make each other better.Who plays center, who plays power forward: A 5 and 4 ispretty much interchangeable in the NBA. A post player is a post player. To methe difference between the 4 and the 5 is who youre going to guard, who isgoing to guard the taller guard that game.Playoff chances: I believe any team in the NBA has achance to compete. Its about chemistry, coming together at the right time. Itsabout execution. Any group of 15 guys can do that.Certainly, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who recently said another trip to theNBA Draft lottery would be 'unacceptable", hopes the big man is right. Okafor's presence on the roster is due in part to Washington doubling downon its "add veterans" strategy after having success with Nene duringthe second half of last season. There are fewer questions about the soon-to-be30-year old in that capacity compared to how the two experienced bigs willmesh. It will certainly be a hot topic heading into training camp. By then I'm guessing the coaches will have discussed his on-court role. Atthis point, I know he's seen Beal do his thing.