You Tell Us: When Should Arenas Return?

Good morning. I'm Keith McMillan; I work with Ivan, Michael and Alexa behind the scenes and I've been encouraged to chime in when the mood strikes or news warrants. I'm not interested in seeing my name in lights, but I would like to help drive the discussion. This is where you come in.

Gilbert Arenas made a few curious comments on Thursday. That alone isn't blog-worthy, especially since ol' Agent Zero was hanging out with a wax likeness of himself drumming up pub for Madame Tussauds.

Arenas told Ivan Carter that he's keeping a close eye on the standings as they relate to how soon he should return.

"If I come back in January -- that's about 20, 25 games we counted -- when do we say it's okay? If we're 15 games out, how hard is it to come back from that? It might depend on who is in the eighth spot at the time and what our record is."

He also said if it were the playoffs, he could play.

Sure it's early. The 76ers were 12 games under .500 last February and rallied to make the playoffs. And while the Wizards are youthful enough to expect some improvement as players (primarily Nick Young and JaVale McGee) get more court time, when is it time to call in the biggest weapon they have in reserve?

Arenas made another comment, to columnist Mike Wise, suggesting they might not want to bother.

"If this is one of those years we don't make the playoffs, we're one of those teams that's in last place the whole year -- you know that's what happened to San Antonio and that's how they got Tim Duncan. If that happens with us, it's for the better."

Nice theory. I haven't watched any college basketball yet, but I don't think there are any Duncans tearing it up out there. Is there even a Derrick Rose?

So what does Arenas do? As a competitor, he has to be burning up inside as his team struggles at 1-8 and clearly lacks a finisher in the closing minutes. At the same time, he's trying to take the long view, that he and the Wizards (and the $111 million changing hands between them) will be better served if he doesn't return too soon ... which I guess is how we got into this mess again to begin with.

You tell us. When is the situation dire enough for Arenas, who said himself he could play if he had to, to return?

By Keith McMillan |  November 21, 2008; 12:03 AM ET
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wait til after all star break. don't risk hurting this team in the long run for a year that is probably given to Boston or LA again. The NBA is too dominant right now.

Posted by: iward8 | November 21, 2008 2:30 AM

Agree with lward8. Gilbert pushed hard last year-lots of heart. He said he could play at the end of the season-but when he tried he wasn't effective.

Arenas is not really a weapon in reserve, Keith. He is damaged goods, with a ridiculously high contract. Make sure he's 100% ready to come back before playing him-his next injury to that knee will be his last.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | November 21, 2008 3:56 AM

Run and gun, LarryinClinton. Run and Gun. It's the only way to maximize the effectiveness of certain guys on this team who really can't play as effectively in the half court game. McGuire, NY, AB and JM are all better on the move when they don't have to think much but can just attack the basket. In fact, our 2 all stars are better when they're running, too. Much was made of the fact that we had assembled a 'west coast' style of team a few years ago. That hasn't changed except for the absence of Gil (big change, i know since he was our main engine). In fact, with JM in the lineup, we should be even faster in the frontcourt since BTH wasn't exactly a sprinter.

I think we might be the only two who see that. Of course, you have to rebound to run. There's no getting around the fact that JM needs to keep working on his rebounding.

Someone in a previous post (I think it was jfutbol) criticized JM for ONLY averaging 8 and 4 per 25 minutes over his last 3 games. Don't those numbers extrapolate out to 13 and 6 for 40 minutes? If those are his low end numbers, I'll take 'em. It's a month's worth of work for Songaila.

He's obviously a work in progress in terms of his rebounding and we knew he'd be based on his rebounding numbers at Nevada. I disagree that he's the best of a weak group like Kal suggests. I don't agree with the 'weak group' part but I think JM is head and shoulders (literally and figuratively) above both ET and Songaila and gives us a chance to win. I also think that he could play for 40 minutes without getting hurt. people talk about hitting the rookie wall but usually it results in performance drops because their bodies aren't used to playing so many games. I haven't seen many 20 year olds getting hurt because they played too many games.
Of course, most 20 years olds arent starting 70+ games in the low post, either.

Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 7:27 AM

Arenas should only come back when 100% healthy. If that's tomorrow, fine. If it's April, fine. This team isn't going anywhere this year, anyway...

Posted by: poiuytr1 | November 21, 2008 7:30 AM

The wizards season is shot. Gilbert should come back in January just so he can get some run in, get confidence in his knee, and rust out of his game, without the pressure to make the playoffs. Maybe come back sometime after the Wiz are mathematically eliminated.

As far as a potential lottery pick, there is not a Duncan, Shaq, or D-Rose out there. Can a Blake Griffin, if he came out, provide something this team does not have, some muscle at the 4 position? Other than that, no big deal.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 21, 2008 8:20 AM

First, I totally agree with orginal_mark about the Wiz being designed to be a running team, which requires rebounding and a high-caliber point guard. This team not only misses Gilberts 30 points a game, but the semii-reckless up-tempo he creates, even when they're in half-court sets.

When should he come back? At this point, it's more of a financial decision for management, which needs to sell tickets, and Gilbert will do that. In terms of standings and playoffs--even with a mostly healthy GA, this team still have major problems and, once again, would never make it out of the first run. Gilbert should ingore the standings and come back only when he is 100%-whenever.

Posted by: jweber1 | November 21, 2008 8:27 AM

So the team should run...only they can't rebound the ball to start a break and have nobody who can handle and distribute the ball on the break. Other than that it's hard to distinguish us from the Magic lead Laker teams.

On Gil's comments, it is another clear indication of Gil's immaturity when he says something rooted in truth that is so politically incorrect, impacting to morale and also to Abe's pocket. Yes, potentially it could work out for the Wiz, years from now, to get a high lottery pick this year but to express those thoughts publicly as the default leader of this club is pretty damaging. This statement, along with EJ's, "Everyone should be thankful we are not blown out every night" should do wonder for the Wiz ticket sales in the worst economy in recent memory. Some heady thinkers in this organization.

Bet Abe is looking up Susan O'Malley's number right now and pleading with her to come back with her legendary gimmick nights. Going to need some mad creativity to fill seats with these braniacs as the face of the organization.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 8:52 AM

Magic led Laker teams....sorry for typo

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 8:54 AM

Sorry brain not working at all...stupid aging process. let's go with the 1st take after all. Sheesh.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 8:55 AM

Shadow needs Gingko Biloba. ;)

This is my somewhat twisted logic. If we force an uptempo game, it generally tends to make other teams try to keep up with us. It should force quicker shots, longer shots perhaps. In theory, we shoud be seeing a more 3's which would lead to longer rebounds.

Stay with me here as I use my imagination to turn this team into a contender.

Although we don't have a pg who can get out on the break and score, at least we have a guy who can push it in D (5 from the bottom) Brown. Even some of our forwards are good enough ball handlers to get the ball upcourt. I trust CB with the ball bringing it up on the break.

I'm not saying it's the answer but this Princeton stuff we're doing isn't working. As a few have pointed out, the Princeton offense was designed for physically inferior teams to be able to compete with D1 teams by using basic basketball premises to get easy baskets. Quick backdoor cuts and precision passing even the playing field. Honestly, how many backdoor cuts do you see the Wizards getting per game? Probably 3 at the most. Usually Darius gets us one (his one good play per game).

It's the reason why we shoot so poorly. We stand around the top of the key weaving and doing handoffs and then find ourselves with 10 seconds left on the clock and no semblance of a NBA caliber play in progress. This leads to a iso for Cb or Aj an a stale offense.

One telling nugget from Gil yesterday was that he had to learn the new playbook. Is it possible that EJ made changes that just don't work and he needs to adapt or go back to what WAS working? Why do we have new plays? Was our offense that bad last year?


Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 9:20 AM

Doesn't really matter this team is going to suck with or without Gil. Gilbert Arenas is the most overrated player in the NBA hands down. Caron is the leader of this team shouldn't have even signed Gilbert. Franchise is ruined until they get that contract off the books.

Posted by: beas13 | November 21, 2008 9:26 AM

Spot on Original_Mark. Run and Gun. Even when BH and GA gets back, the Run and Gun tempo would still be the best way.

The_Shadow_Knows, check my last blog, rebounding will come by keeping them two no account EJ wannabe centers ET and DSon out of the center position. They are second rate 4's and should be the last off the bench along with AD. DB runs the point.

And check this, the reason why AJ's numbers are down rebounding is because he will do better with a real center on the floor i.e. JM. Check AJ's numbers from last year.

Gilbert should come back when he is 100%.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2008 9:26 AM

Someone in a previous post (I think it was jfutbol) criticized JM for ONLY averaging 8 and 4 per 25 minutes over his last 3 games. Don't those numbers extrapolate out to 13 and 6 for 40 minutes? If those are his low end numbers, I'll take 'em. It's a month's worth of work for Songaila.

Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 7:27 AM

Hey Mark, that was me. I didn't mean it so much as a criticism of McGee, because I think he's played wonderfully. The point was more to say we shouldn't expect him to perform above what he's capable so early in his career/life - even moreso, we shouldn't expect him to turn the team's sorry start around. I also hoped to suggest that other teams, now that they know McGee's getting significant minutes, may focus more on neutralizing him - for example, having the team's center constantly put his body on McGee and push him around. That's perhaps why McGee's numbers have dropped to much more modest levels (and as I said it was a small sample size).

But that aside, your point about "run & gun" is an interesting one. Maybe Dee Brown is the better PG to lead an offense like that. It certainly would be more suitable to the strengths of some Wizards players, McGee included.

As to the orginal question of the thread, the further the Wizards are from playoff contention, the more I'd like to see Arenas be patient in return. I think he needs to do that no matter, but the Wizards can have a bright future as long as Arenas gets himself healthy for the long haul. If he can do that, that's a victory in itself.

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 21, 2008 9:29 AM

Shadow, your comments about Gil and Ej mouthing off are absolutely on target.

I didn't see EJ's comment but if he really said that, it's a sign that he has no confidence in his team and someone should start looking for a new coach. He has 2 current all stars. Whether they really deserved the honor or not, he shouldn't be expecting to get blown out every night. The guy has done a good job with us but it's time. To be honest, most coaches could have won the games that he won given the talent that he had on the floor.

I'll give EJ credit for getting out of the way and letting Gil, CB, Larry Hughes and Aj do their thing over the past few years but he's no coach of the year candidate.

As far as Gil is concerned, I pay no attention to anything he says, really. More nonsense from him, sounds like. He can say whatever he wants as long as he's rehabbing properly. Call me an optimist but I see him coming back and being the old Gil. He'll be rusty and it might be too late to make a postseason push but hopefully we'll be ok again next year.

What we honestly need to do is probably try to start winning ugly by learning defense. face it. We're not winning anything this year. Let's take the time to figure out how to play NBA caliber D.

By next year, BTH and JM should be our starting forwards with AJ coming off the bench with AB. That's a long formidable C/PF combination that has the potential to be dfensively effective a la Sheed and Ben Wallace with the Pistons.

Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 9:38 AM

Gilbert should come back only when he's 100%, obviously. BUT, it should also be a controlled comeback. Start off with 10 minutes a game for 2-3 games, then 15 minutes a game for 2-3 games, then 20, 25, etc. It should most definitely NOT be nothing, nothing, nothing, then 40 minutes.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet. EJ needs to give the mentality that from this point on, it's actually a bunch of mini-seasons within a full season. Tell his team that all he cares about are the next 5 games. Go above .500 in those 5, then the season starts over again, and you begin the next 5-game season. Slowly, this team may be able to creep back into the picture. It's still VERY early on, and for a young team that's battling multiple injuries, this team does have upside.

Posted by: psps23 | November 21, 2008 9:44 AM

And yes I know I'm vacillating between concentrating on running and concentrating on playing great defense. I'm just trying to figure out how this iteration of the Wiz can win or help themselves in the long haul.

I just wish the coaches were racking their brains as much as we are. If they are, it's not showing.

Ivan, I would love to see you ask the coach why we are consistently leaving 3 point shooters open. Can Ayers or someone else explain that? There must be a valid reason besides the players screwing up or is it the defensive strategy to collapse and we're not reacting fast enough when we rotate and close out?

All I know is that when someone..anyone.. on other team drives, 3 ppl collapse on him and leave both wings wide open. Do we have no faith in our interior defenders? I'm not criticizing but really would like to know. Isn't there something else we can try?

Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 9:45 AM

I am pretty sure I was the 1st person on this board to call for McGee to start, said so before game 1, but that is simply because he is the only legit center on the team. He has crazy upside but is not going to be Wes Unseld this year.

Just because Dee Brown can run the 50 in under 5 seconds does not translate to a successful fast break point guard. In fact, virtually every great open court point guard is so because they themselves are a huge threat to score. No such concern with Brown, you know he is stopping when he sees paint...and not to drop a 15-footer in your eye.

This team has significant personnel issues and whether they jack 35 or 75 shots a game is going to make little difference in the win/loss column. In fact, an endless track meet would likely be detrimental to the development of our young player’s ability to understand and run an NBA offense. Our already feeble defensive skills would also diminish further.

I too have questioned the Princeton and would like to see EJ experiment with something else, but to think by telling the players to just run ala the 80's Nuggets we are going to suddenly become competitive seems somewhat delusional.

If you are just seeking entertainment value, well then fine.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 9:54 AM

shut it down all year. plan on Gil coming back 100% for training camp and the season next year. this year will not be worth it.

it's not about making the playoffs anymore, it's about winning a championship (or at least getting to the East Finals). if we thought we could get there if Arenas returned, then bring him back.

but at best we'd be a 1-and-done if we DID make the playoffs this year, which we won't. so let Arenas rest, get that knee 100% and get our old Gilby back. we've invested far too much money in him to have him hobbled the rest of his career.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | November 21, 2008 9:55 AM

"You tell us. When is the situation dire enough for Arenas, who said himself he could play if he had to, to return?"

When he get's healthy.

But unless Gil attitude changes it doesn't matter when he comes back. All dude wants to do is make jokes and doesn't understand why everyone is giving him a hard time.

As someone posted above, this team is going no where anyway. Tell Gil to give some of that "discounted" money back so the Wiz can get some people that can actually play like Roger Mason.

Oh that's right, they couldn't sign him because they gave Gil so much money. My bad.

He should thank his lucky stars because no one would have given him that anywhere else in the NBA.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 21, 2008 9:56 AM

it's about winning a championship (or at least getting to the East Finals). if we thought we could get there if Arenas returned, then bring him back.

By that token, wouldn't it help our future chances by getting our young guys postseason experience, if it were possible? Just saying...

Posted by: psps23 | November 21, 2008 10:02 AM

This team has a fortune invested in Arenas, and he shouldn't do anything that would risk any further long-term damage to his knee. As most have said, he should only come back at 100%. And depending on where they are at that point, I'd even say they should ease him back into the lineup rather than throwing him out there for 40 minutes a night right away.

Arenas, for better or worse, is the key to the franchise's success not just this year, but for the next six years also. There is no sense in risking him any more than is absolutely necessary.

And hey, if they can add a high first round pick to the nucleus for next season, it may be the extra oomph they need to get over the hump.

Posted by: pondaz | November 21, 2008 10:03 AM

Lets get real. He's out for the season.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 21, 2008 10:39 AM

Arenas should come back when 100%, and when he is so healthy that it would be ridiculous for him not to come back. Why rush back so the Wizards can get the money from 2 home playoff games?. If the only way the Wizards will make the playoffs is for Gilbert to come back too early, then this team isn't going anywhere anyway.

I thought the most interesting line in Wise's column was Arena's quote that, "This year, with me and Brendan out, some of the veterans are like, 'Man, I don't even know what to think of this year'." So, apparently the results so far this year are in great part due to the veterans not having their hearts in it. That certainly has been evident, especially on the defensive end, and especially with Caron.

Come draft time: Ricky Rubio, peoples.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 21, 2008 10:46 AM

Yes, potentially it could work out for the Wiz, years from now, to get a high lottery pick this year

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 8:52 AM

A high lottery pick usually means a starter. Look at the top picks for the last 2 years:

2008 Draft:
Rose - starting for Chicago
Beasley - starting for Miami
O.J. Mayo - starting for Memphis
Russell Westbrook - key reserve for OKC
Kevin Love - now starting for Minn

Greg Oden - starting for the Trailblazers
Kevin Durant - starting for OKC
Al Horford - starting for Atlanta
Mike Conley - starting for Memphis

The point is that ANY of those players would be at least a key reserve on the Wizards, and most would be starting.

A high Lottery pick is almost a guarantee for a starter or key reserve, and gives you a chance at a real super star. And not "years from now", but right away!

Posted by: Rook6980 | November 21, 2008 11:03 AM

If Gilbert Arenas can play right now then he should be playing right now. That is what he is paid to do. I know, everyone is gun shy since he pushed it too hard last year and got reinjured. I understand that concern but if he is healthy enough to play one on one vs. Nick Young then he is healthy enough to log some minutes for a 1-8 team. Look, I have gone through two knee surgeries, an ACL reconstruction and a minor scoping procedure for my meniscus. The scope procedure is almost identical to Gilbert's last surgery. It took me 2 weeks to be back on the football field and I have suffered no setbacks. I have no idea what is taking him 3 months to recover from. It's ridiculous! Could he get hurt again by coming back now? Yes. Could he get hurt walking down the steps in his house tomorrow morning? Yes. The bottom line is that he is a basketball player and if he is going to get hurt again, it should be out there trying to help his team win when they need him most. And that is right now.

Posted by: wizfan4 | November 21, 2008 11:13 AM

"I disagree that he's the best of a weak group like Kal suggests. I don't agree with the 'weak group' part but I think JM is head and shoulders (literally and figuratively) above both ET and Songaila and gives us a chance to win."

You don't agree with the "weak group" part? Are you kidding me? Talk about revisionist history.

The Wiz have 4 players capable of even pretending to be a C: McGee, Songaila, Thomas, and Haywood. You've repeatedly ripped Songaila and Thomas for their play and made the point (with which I agree) that Blatche is better suited as a forward. So, if you think (as you've repeatedly made it clear you do) that 2 of the 4 players in the group stink and that a third shouldn't even be in the group, how does that not make McGee the best of a weak group? Do the Wiz have some secret stash of top-10 Cs hidden somewhere that we don't know about? If not, they'd better break the "In Case of Emergency" glass and roll them out onto the court.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 11:14 AM

EDIT:

"If so, they'd better break the "In Case of Emergency" glass and roll them out onto the court."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 11:15 AM

"All I know is that when someone..anyone.. on other team drives, 3 ppl collapse on him and leave both wings wide open. Do we have no faith in our interior defenders? I'm not criticizing but really would like to know. Isn't there something else we can try?"

That's no different than last season, when the Wizards were also terrible at defending the 3. Contrary to the delusion that Haywood was a one man defensive wrecking crew down low, the reason why the Wiz "improved" their FG% defense last season (if you call going from awful to mediocre an improvement) is because of the much ballyhooed Ayers scheme which called for everyone to dig in and help out on penetration, which left the perimeter open. There was much pissing and moaning in here last season about how many wide open 3s the Wiz gave up (along with all of the whining about "small quick PG" penetrating the interior).

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 11:24 AM

Rook,
Absolutely agree, the point I was trying to make is when the "leader" of the team says it is a good thing for us to tank the season it is not likely to spike the ticket sales. By making this statement, he is in essence biting the hand that feeds him. Abe is the one who will lose money if the fan base decides to also throw in the towel and save precious dollars in a crushing economy.

I am a realist and have modest expectations for the year, I expect it will result in a lottery pick. I hope that player will have immediate impact and heal some of the Kwame scar tissue. That said, I am a fan and my opinion will likely have less impact than the face of the franchise saying the best answer is to angle for the lottery after 9 games of the season.

I am sure that statement is a real confidence builder for our young players as well.


Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 11:31 AM

Gilbert Arenas makes me sick, and you people who say he should "just sit out" if the Wiz aren't winning, make me sick too.

FYI Gilbert is PAYED to play ball. It is his job. It's just like a CEO of a fortune 500 company being out sick. When he starts to feel better, he sees his company is not doing well in the rough economy. Then he decides to just "wait at home" and return to work next year when the economy starts to get better. All the time he is still getting paid his 16 million dollar per year salary.

How is this any different. GILBERT IS BEING PAID TO DO A JOB. IF HE CAN PLAY, HE NEEDS TO PLAY, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

In reality, I predicted all along he would NOT return this season. So a 6 year 111 million dolar deal turns into a 5 year 111 million dollar deal. That's 22.2 million per year!

Wizard fans should be up in arms, that he still finds time to travel to Asia, write a book, go get a wax statue, all the while he's cashing honest Abe's checks. In his most recent blog his first 4 entries have nothing to do with the Wizards, he only mentions them towards the end. Don't you people see where his priorites are?

He does not care about winning, nor does abe or ernie. The signing was strictly a business move because he brings people to the arena, and he is media friendly and gives DC a stupid quirky athlete that everyone can "blog" about.

This will go down as the worst signing in DC sports history. Again, at least there is the Caps.

Posted by: cj658 | November 21, 2008 11:39 AM

There's something wrong with Arenas because he wanted to talk about the election of the first Black President?

Where are YOUR priorities?

Also, would you rather Gilbert rush back from injury? Should he be playing now, when the Wizards medical staff are telling him not to?

Do you think it's possible that perhaps even Jordan, Grunfeld and Pollin might want to play it conservatively with Arenas's return, so his $100+ million contract isn't a complete waste?

People here just want the old Arenas back, and rightly realize that might not come from him hurrying back before his knee is ready. He's already tried that - twice.

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 21, 2008 11:58 AM

Everything this franchise does should be based on being ready for October 2009. Gilbert, draft, trades, coaching/front office moves. Look at a number of successful teams in the league who's used a colossally bad single season as a tool for rebuilding. Celtics, Heat - even the Rockets and Magic come to mind. You have to use a bad season as an opportunity to rebuild.

Gil has to stay because of the contract - and he needs time to (hopefully) get back to his best. They can still make moves when it comes to the likes of EJ, Blatche, Etan and AD though - maybe.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 21, 2008 12:03 PM

I just want to be clear, Despite EJ's wanna be centers ET & DSon and AD who should not be running the point and all three should be last off the bench, This is a NBA team that can play. Their coach EJ has reached the Peter Principle because he doesn't get it and cannot understand how to make this group successful.

Even when they were at their best under EJ he has not improved his coaching phylosophy since the first playoff year.

Thats why so many are so stressed out about this team because you been watching the same movie for four years.

EJ can't get no better and his phylosophy makes GOOD PLAYERS look bad. Shucks man even Kwame Brown is an asset to his team now, because he has a coach who knows how to use him.

And EJ had the nerve to bench AB because Kwame scored on him when they played Detroit a few games back. Do you really think that sent the right message to AB? Certainly Not!!!

And three years when he did not start GA for being late and then he goes into the game cold and immediately gets his knee rolled up on, does he deserve any of the blame? Who knows, but I ask myself had GA started that game, would he be in the same position he is in today? Only God knows.

I see One and only One glaring problem with this team. Coaching, Coaching, and Coaching. Uuuhh, thats three things, I just like repeating myself.

And if Ernie does not remedy that probem quickly then he too shares the Blame.

How long do you think EJ would have lasted if our GM happened to be JOE DUMARS???

I've had enough of EJ's incompetence. Like I've said before, lets get the coach right first then we will see who can truly play or not.

LarryInClintonMD

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2008 12:27 PM

"And EJ had the nerve to bench AB because Kwame scored on him when they played Detroit a few games back. Do you really think that sent the right message to AB? Certainly Not!!!"

The message it sent to me was "Don't stand at the top of the key with your thumb up your butt while a castoff scrub destined to go down as the worst #1 pick in NBA history drives past you for uncontested dunks. Twice."

If Blatche got a different message, he needs to get his receiver repaired.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 12:38 PM

"And three years when he did not start GA for being late and then he goes into the game cold and immediately gets his knee rolled up on, does he deserve any of the blame?"

No. Because Arena's injury had nothing to do with the "temperature" of his knee. It had everything to do with the fact that a 200+ pound man came crashing into it at full speed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 12:40 PM

The message it sent to me was "Don't stand at the top of the key with your thumb up your butt while a castoff scrub destined to go down as the worst #1 pick in NBA history drives past you for uncontested dunks. Twice."

If Blatche got a different message, he needs to get his receiver repaired.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 12:38 PM

Brutal but absolutely correct.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 21, 2008 12:54 PM

"Coaching, Coaching, and Coaching. Uuuhh, thats three things, I just like repeating myself."

Yes, we've noticed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 1:01 PM

When should he return?

Sometime around the middle of the second Obama Administration.

Give or take 6 months.

More seriously (or perhaps not), sometime around the middle of the first Obama Administration.

Like next year. In other words, write this year off; perhaps play some games (15 or so) near the end of the season but essentially write this year off.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 21, 2008 1:01 PM

Gil should come back as soon as they clear him. Who cares about the standings? There is no way the standings will matter if he comes back in January. Lets say we go by what he said and he misses 25 more games. Lets just say that the whole league has played 35 games by time he comes back. If your an 8th seed then you will only be around a .500 team so most likely the 8th seed will have won around 17 games or so. For us to be 15 games back would mean that we would have to go 1-25 in our next 26 games. There is no way we will be even close to that bad. "At worst" we we will probably go 9-17 in that stretch which would put us at 10-25 and that means were only around 7 games back with 47 games to go and like I said, this is at worst

Posted by: dlts20 | November 21, 2008 1:10 PM

"At worst" we we will probably go 9-17 in that stretch which would put us at 10-25 and that means were only around 7 games back with 47 games to go and like I said, this is at worst

Posted by: dlts20 | November 21, 2008 1:10 PM


yeah and this is Kwame's year. lmfao. Les Boulez fans have to be the most delusional in the league. we're worse than the Miami Freeze last year.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 21, 2008 1:19 PM

He should thank his lucky stars because no one would have given him that anywhere else in the NBA.

- Ray

Except the Warriors - who actually DID make a max offer to arenas - MORE money per year than the contract that Arenas eventually signed with the Wizards, just one less year than the Wizards.

Gil took less to stay with the Wizards - he could have taken the Warriors money...

Posted by: Rook6980 | November 21, 2008 1:23 PM

never if the team is lucky maybe they will get a lottery pick and can draft a real point guard.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 21, 2008 1:28 PM

There's something wrong with Arenas because he wanted to talk about the election of the first Black President?

Where are YOUR priorities?

Also, would you rather Gilbert rush back from injury? Should he be playing now, when the Wizards medical staff are telling him not to?

Do you think it's possible that perhaps even Jordan, Grunfeld and Pollin might want to play it conservatively with Arenas's return, so his $100+ million contract isn't a complete waste?

"People here just want the old Arenas back, and rightly realize that might not come from him hurrying back before his knee is ready. He's already tried that - twice."

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 21, 2008 11:58 AM


Johnnie: My priorites are just fine. One of my priorites includes going to work and every day and actually earning my paycheck. Gilbert and Etan are the problem, more into politics than winning basketball games. Gilbert is an attention craved idiot. Just last month he said he wasn't voting and didn't care who won the election, now he is getting Obama slogans tatooed on his hand?? What a jack a$$. Who the hell cares what he thinks about Obama, his engagement, his book, etc. I personally care about winning games and seeing the guy earn his paycheck, that would be nice. Do you think Kobe, KG, DWade, etc are busy worrying about the election?? Gilbert gets a tatoo on his hand, and that is news worthy in the sports section in DC, just goes to show how pathetic basketball has gotten in this town. People like you actually defend him?? Wow!

Posted by: cj658 | November 21, 2008 1:31 PM

Sure when Gil comes back he will help the scoring, but it will be one and done once again. Like bulletsfan78 said, we NEED a real PG. Not a PG who goes 7-22 from the field, 25 pts, 5 assts, 5TO. But at least Gil plays Shut Down Defense LOL!!

Again, all you people just keep holding your breath thinking Gil will come back and save the franchise. I've had it with this guy. He is not the answer.

Posted by: cj658 | November 21, 2008 1:35 PM

"And EJ had the nerve to bench AB because Kwame scored on him when they played Detroit a few games back. Do you really think that sent the right message to AB? Certainly Not!!!"

The message it sent to me was "Don't stand at the top of the key with your thumb up your butt while a castoff scrub destined to go down as the worst #1 pick in NBA history drives past you for uncontested dunks. Twice."

If Blatche got a different message, he needs to get his receiver repaired.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 12:38 PM

The message it sent to me was "While other teammates keeps on missing their defensive assignments, I only have 2 lifelines and after that its doghouse for me the rest of the game and be blasted during the media conference. Now I know how Brendan feel 2 seasons ago."

I have not given up on Blatche. With a new coach I believe he'll blossom into a good player.

Posted by: Dave381 | November 21, 2008 1:40 PM

Sorry, Kal. I meant to say say I AGREE with the weak cast. I just don't think that JM is weak. I'd give Etan and Songaila failing marks as centers but JM gets a C for now. C is not bad for a rookie not expected to play at all.

Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 1:56 PM

I just can't understand how people see the problem with this team as primarily coaching. That another coach could squeeze much more out of this roster.

They just don't have the players. The younger players they have aren't ready to play fulltime and many of the older players (Daniels, Thomas, Stevenson, Songaila) simply can't play fulltime.

Right now, they have two fulltime players: Jamison and Butler. The rest are complementary players at best.

Until they come up with 5 solid starting fulltime (i.e., 38-40+ minutes) players, it doesn't matter who the coach is.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 21, 2008 1:59 PM

"Johnnie: My priorites are just fine. One of my priorites includes going to work and every day and actually earning my paycheck."

Posted by: cj658 | November 21, 2008 1:31 PM


I really enjoy it when posters criticize the work ethic of players, tell everyone how hard they work at their jobs, etc. while of course posting comments on a blog in the middle of a work day.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 21, 2008 2:03 PM

cj658,

If you left the player personal to a lot of the people who are posting on this web site, they would draft Greivis Vasquez of UM. Another player who does not understand how to play TEAM basketball, he never plays D, never passes the ball, worries about his own stats and does not care about winning. When was the last time MD made it into the tourney? For the people who do not understand the game of basketball watch Duke play the next time they are on TV. A point guard passes the ball that is why you have a shooting guard, a power forward plays defense and gets rebounds in the paint hence the word power, a center controls the boards and blocks shots and keeps players from driving the lane and a small forward is a player how can drive to the basket and can hit a jump shoot. This team has only one player who fits the winning formula of basketball and that is CB. I will give the rookies (JaVale McGee and Nick Young) a chance to prove they can play at this level but the other players on this team could not even make the Duke roster. Of course there always exceptions to the rule like Magic and MJ. Theses are players who have the skills to take over a game. I hate to break it to all of you Gil lovers but being 6’ 3” he does not have what it takes to be a dominant player. If he will never use his skills to become a true point guard this organization will never get out of the first round of the playoffs. There was a reason he did not make the Olympic team people. Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Deron Williams are true point guards. What did the USA win when they had AI playing point guard?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 21, 2008 2:31 PM

You can't be scared to comeback for forever, if he's healthy he should play regardless of the squad's record. there has been nothing resembling a good team before gil's arrival, or since his injury, in washington, since I've been alive. He alone gave this organization a chance at respectability.

Posted by: bford1kb | November 21, 2008 2:44 PM

The current team (i.e., without Arenas and Haywood) is a sub .500 team, but should be better than 1-8. So we need to wait and see. If by the time Arenas is ready, the team is close to 500, then yes, come back. If not, then may as well tank it!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 21, 2008 2:47 PM

"Sorry, Kal. I meant to say say I AGREE with the weak cast. I just don't think that JM is weak. I'd give Etan and Songaila failing marks as centers but JM gets a C for now. C is not bad for a rookie not expected to play at all.",/i>

I never said McGee was "weak." Again, taking something I didn't say and mounting an argument against it like I actually said it.

I said McGee was the best from among a limited number of options. And everything you've said indicates you feel the same way, even as you continue to deny agreeing with me.

McGee (according to you) grades out at a C (which is average) and (again, according to you) all of the guys behind him are Fs. So if McGee is the best option from among a bunch of failed choices, then by definition he's the best of a bad lot.

So tell me, what is it , exactly, that I actually said that you disagree with?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 2:47 PM

Kal, saying that JM is the best of a weak group implies that he is also weak but the best 'weakling'.

No getting around that. No one is attributing quotes to you that you didn't say. It'd be nice if you stood by your comment or admitted that you didn't mean what you said. Pick a stance, dude.

In fact, as I stated in my last post, I mistyped earlier and I totally agree with you that our present centers are weak. The only place we differed was on JM. I personally wouldn't put 'JM' and 'weak' in the same sentence. I believe that he's average at worst right now while Etan and Songaila are poor centers.

Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 3:06 PM

Mark - FYI, you will hurt somebody's feelings everytime you talk bad about Etan or EJ.

Posted by: Dave381 | November 21, 2008 3:17 PM

"Kal, saying that JM is the best of a weak group implies that he is also weak but the best 'weakling'.

(A) No, it implies that the group as a whole is weak and that he's the best option among that group. To spin it around ... the Miami Heat won something like 15 games last season. Is saying that DWade was the best player on a bad team saying that DWade was a bad player? Of course not.

(B) None of this is actually relevant, since it was YOU not me that said McGee was the best of a "weak group."

"No getting around that. "

Don't need to get around it because it's not there to get around.

"No one is attributing quotes to you that you didn't say."

And I believe that's what the kids these days call ... crap.

I wasn't the one who first said McGee was the best of a weak group. YOU WERE. In my original post I said:

While I have no problem with McGee starting or getting the bulk of the minutes at C (which isn't the same as saying I think it's the best idea, BTW), the only thing McGee is "THE ANSWER" to is the question "which of the Wizards underwhelming C options is the most viable right now?"

Hardly a ringing endorsement. The fact that McGee is the best option is simply a sign of how limited this team's options are.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 20, 2008 4:08 PM

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2008/11/lineup_could_remain_the_same.html

You later referenced my post (in this thread) using the phrase "best of a weak group" in quotes like I had actually said it, which I didn't (again, attempting to argue the words you tried to put in my mouth rather than the ones I actually used).

He's obviously a work in progress in terms of his rebounding and we knew he'd be based on his rebounding numbers at Nevada. I disagree that he's the best of a weak group like Kal suggests. I don't agree with the 'weak group' part...


Posted by: original_mark | November 21, 2008 7:27 AM

I picked up the usage of the phrase "weak group" from your post, not the other way around. It originated with YOU. Find a post from me (prior to yours in which you wrongly attributed it to me) in which I used the phrase "weak group" and we're done. But you won't because there are none.

(B) You said, straight out, that you agreed with the characterization that the Wiz's C core was a weak group (of course you did, it was your characterization). So if the group as a whole is weak and he's the best option, then he's the best of a weak group. By attempting to deny this, you're basically arguing with your own point.

"It'd be nice if you stood by your comment or admitted that you didn't mean what you said. Pick a stance, dude. "

It'd be nice if you took your own advice. You do more waffling than a breakfast cook at Denny's.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 3:29 PM

It'd be nice if you took your own advice. You do more waffling than a breakfast cook at Denny's.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 3:29 PM


owned

Posted by: prescrunk | November 21, 2008 3:32 PM

Owned?

Yeah, anywho, the Knicks are looking to pick up a slew of expiring '09-'10 contracts, as they just traded Z Randolph & Crawford. Great time to dangle E Thomas & A Daniels, as they fit what the Knicks are looking for. However, that would certainly mean the team would take on commitments going beyond said season. Will Grunfeld pull the trigger & trade Thomas & Daniels?? Funny if, even with their expiring '09-'10 contracts, the Knicks still didn't want them. They will have max value during the offseason though, so that would be a grand opportunity to overhaul the team...

Posted by: -CN- | November 21, 2008 5:00 PM

The bigger question is what do the Knicks have that the Wiz would actually want? Not much that I can see.

Besides, being impatient and trading potentially valuable future assets in a desperate attempt at a quick fix is what got the Knicks into the salry and contract mess they're in right now. Following them down that path would seem to be ill-advised.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 5:19 PM

Not sure if the Knicks are $27M under the cap, or if they freed up $27M worth of contracts after the '09-10 season. Huge difference between the two scenarios.

As I said, Thomas & Daniels will have ridiculously above-market value on July 1, 2009, given that the likes of Bosh, Wade, James, et al, will be available. Given our current situation, the team probably can't sign one of those marquee free agents-to-be, so the real value will really be the players & picks we'll be getting back...

Posted by: -CN- | November 21, 2008 5:30 PM

yeah and this is Kwame's year. lmfao. Les Boulez fans have to be the most delusional in the league. we're worse than the Miami Freeze last year.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 21, 2008 1:19 PM


Again, I said 9-17 in our next 26 games. Not we will be 9-17 after 26, even though I do think that possible also. My point was that there is no way we will be anywhere near 15 games back when Gil returns. At worst it will be like 7 or 8 with nearly 50 games left to play. We can overcome that easily and we still are very dangerous when healthy

Posted by: dlts20 | November 21, 2008 5:45 PM

And the closer it gets to the trade deadline during the final year of their deals, the more value they'll have and the better offers the Wizards are likely to see. Unless they're something on the table now that's so good they can;t afford to pass up (and nothing on the Knicks' roster qualifies) there's no real hurry to do a deal just to say one was done.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2008 5:46 PM

why bother, his surgeries are timed to impact the team's start every year. somehow, somebody thought he was worth a lot of money for partial service. get real and either trade him or bench him and play the new/young guys. he is just not worth the time or aggravation every year. why, why, why, what's his value?

Posted by: kidvid | November 21, 2008 5:55 PM

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