You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Brown reaching comfort zone

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2008

— After each practice session during the first three days of camp, Wizardscoach Eddie Jordan praises some aspect of the point guard Dee Brown's game.

Whether its Brown's "lightning bolt" speed, the way he pushes the ball up the court or his vocal presence, it's clear Jordan and the Wizards are rather pleased team president Ernie Grunfeld acquired Brown from the Utah Jazz in July.

"He is a tough Chicago kid that is relatively young," Jordan said of the 6-foot, 185-pound Brown. "He does a good job of talking on the court. He also gets into you defensively. His shot is a whole lot better than we saw two years ago. A whole lot better."

Although he's only been a part of the team for roughly three months and camp started only three days ago, Brown - who spent last season playing professionally in Turkey - is quickly adapting to his new surroundings.

"A guy like Dee is great on a team because he motivates guys to play," veteran point guard Antonio Daniels said. "He picks you up full court every time and for me, I love that - a guy that's going to come in every day and push you like that.

"The thing about him is he really wants to learn," Daniels added. "He asks a lot of questions. Having a young guy that comes in - you know, he was out of the NBA last year - but the guy that comes in and wants to learn, you can't teach that."

The Princeton-style offense that the Wizards run is often described as a complex system, but Brown doesn't believe so.

"Complex if you don't pay attention and listen and if you don't know the game," Brown said. "I'm [grasping the system] just by paying attention. It's just like I'm glad I went to college and I graduated, so I paid attention, and you've gotta apply it to the court. I'm having fun and learning a lot thanks to [Gilbert Arenas] and [Daniels]."

Jordan says that although Brown played shooting guard at Illinois, he has "all of the point guard instincts." And according to Brown, those instincts and being able to "think the game" have helped make for a smooth transition. He has studied each position to know each teammate's role in the offense, and having grasped that, he can easily make the reads needed to set up his teammates.

Being vocal comes naturally for Brown, who admits he likes to talk - no matter what the situation - and that he believes if he is vocal on the court, the team will be the better for it.

"There's no need to be intimidated, it's just natural," Brown said. "I say something to whoever because it's positive, and I'm not going to say something that's going to be negative, because I have to look at myself in the mirror every day."

Brown has run primarily with the second unit in practice this week. That's because, although Juan Dixon and Nick Young are capable of handling the ball, neither has those point guard instincts, Jordan said. But the coach said he's already comfortable playing Brown with the starters, and that at times, Brown and Daniels probably will take the floor together.

Regardless of which unit he plays with, Brown said the approach is the same.

"I just go hard, no matter what," he said. "It doesn't matter what position you're in, whether I have to make the team or not make the team. I just go hard, and that's contagious if you go all out."

Notes-Jordan began his post-practice analysis saying: "First of all, we want to congratulate the Washington Redskins on that terrific, terrific win. Everyone's very excited, and we're all happy for them." ...

Daniels banged knees with a teammate in the morning practice and had to be helped off the court. He left for the afternoon with a bag of ice strapped to his knee, but didn't sit out the evening practice. ...

Antawn Jamison returned for Monday's evening practice after missing the morning session while healing from the hip strain suffered Saturday. ...

Rookie JaVale McGee doesn't figure to get much playing time this season as he adjusts to the NBA, learns the Wizards' system and adds more bulk to his 7-foot, 241-pound frame, but he earned praise from Jordan for his competitiveness and his drive to learn. Jordan singled out a play when McGee went up in a crowd and blocked a shot by Etan Thomas.

"I like the way he's competing and not backing down," Jordan said. "He's definitely sticking his nose in there and being competitive to say the least." ...

The Wizards announced that tickets for home games go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m.