have decided to address their backcourt problems by signing a point guard who was cut last October for not being experienced enough to handle playmaking duties.
If that sounds confusing, imagine being
Mack had been tearing up the
"I was kind of surprised it was the Wizards," Mack said in a telephone interview on Sunday, "but I wasn't surprised that I'm out of here so soon. I kind of figured something was going to happen pretty soon, the way I've been playing."
And the Wizards had to do something, considering the way they've been playing. Off to the worst start in their history, the Wizards (3-22) created a roster spot for Mack — and possibly another guard — when they released power forward
Mack intends to sign a nonguaranteed contract today, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.
"I learned basketball is a business," Mack said of his release. "It was kind of weird, but I couldn't dwell on it. I felt another team would give me an opportunity. I felt I was always an NBA player. So I just moved on, stayed positive and never stopped working."
In 10 games with Maine, Mack averaged 20.2points, 7.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds. He claimed
Going down to a lower level helped Mack's confidence rise up.
"Big time," Mack said when asked whether the experience has helped him. "I've been playing 40-plus minutes, figuring out how to get guys in the right situations, when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive. I think it was good for me. I made a lot of strides and I think each month, I've been getting better and better."
Mack won't have too much trouble adjusting, as he is already familiar with coach
While Mack has improved, the point guard position has been a glaring problem for a Wizards team that has lost seven in a row and has the league's most anemic offense. Wall remains out indefinitely as he recovers from a stress injury in his left knee and Price, the opening-night starter at point guard, has been out since Dec. 8, when he broke his right hand while battling for a rebound with
Jordan Crawford, a converted shooting guard, has filled in but his performances have been a mixed bag of extremes and the Wizards have failed to score at least 80 points in three of their past eight games — including a season-low 68 in a 32-point blowout loss Friday to the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
On pace to set a franchise mark for offensive futility at 88.8 points — the record is 91.2, set during the
"I think a lot of guys understand it's not an easy position," Wittman said recently. "That's why that's such a crucial position on a basketball team. I don't care if you're talking about junior high, high school, college or NBA. If you get good guard play you can compete. Doesn't matter at what level. If you don't, you can have the best big man in the world and if you don't have good guard play you're going to struggle."
Livingston replaced Pargo on Nov. 15 and now Mack will replace the point guard who replaced the point guard who took his roster spot. That Barron and Livingston both started last Wednesday in Orlando and are already former Wizards speaks to the level of desperation for the team. But the return of Mack possibly says a little more.