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When Are the Playoffs No Longer Reasonable?

Don Nelson's team is off to a 5-13 start, and the longtime coach has never been one to mince words.

Lately, he's been sharing his feeling that he's not coaching a team destined for the playoffs.

"I kind of have to say it the way it is," Nelson said in an Associated Press story. "That's the way I see it. We're going to get better but I think there are too many obstacles really to have that as a goal this year."

Last year, the Warriors won 48 games but finished ninth in the stacked Western Conference. However, Baron Davis is now with the Clippers and Monta Ellis is sidelined after an offseason Moped accident.

Apparently last Saturday, when the Warriors lost 138-125 to the Knicks in New York, was when Nelson first said he didn't have a playoff team. He said it again on Monday.

"If you look at our team last year, we were really good," Nelson said. "We didn't make the playoffs last year and we won 48 games. This team isn't nearly as good as that one. How would we expect to make the playoffs with this team when we didn't do it last year? And we had a lot of veteran players on the team. To me it's just common sense. That's why I said it."

The Wizards, who improved to 3-12 with last night's win in New Jersey, were asked similar questions by Ivan Carter on Monday. They didn't think the postseason was an impossible goal.

Said Antawn Jamison: "We're in a hole. It's not too big yet but it's getting there."

You tell us:

By Keith McMillan  |  December 3, 2008; 8:42 AM ET
 
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Comments

The difference is GS plays in the tough tough West while the Wizards are in the somewhat easier East.

Posted by: tundey | December 3, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

tundey,
I think you might want wake up and realize that the East is BETTER then the West this year.
There are 6 West teams with winning percentages under .300. There is only 1 team in the East that bad. (Wizards)
Plus, in head to head match ups this year the East has dominated the West.
Last night even the lowly Pacers beat the Lakers.
The Wizards have two chances of making the playoffs this year, slim and none.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | December 3, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

You play hard each and every night and let the chips fall.....have fun and try to make progress,and this just in; Andray if i see you come down the court and barrel into a stationary defensive player one more time,i mean how stupid are you? thats a charge!!!!!! just pull up and start the offense, how hard is that?

Posted by: dargregmag | December 3, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: prescrunk | December 3, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

On a sidebar, Gary Payton was chatting before the Laker game and said his coach would focus on the team getting 19-20 assists in the game - and if they did, the team got a practice off.

The biggest issue for the Wiz seems to be D, including rebounding and defending the 3. Hopefully, Taps puts some incentives into place to address these fundamentals.

The situation between the Warriors and Wiz is not comparable. We have a huge unknown in Arenas - when is he coming back and will he able to play effectively.

If Taps can get off to a 6-5 start and Arenas rejoins the team and plays well, the situation would look very different than today.

Posted by: Izman | December 3, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The coach sets the tone. If he says at the beginning of the season that this year's team is worse than last year's, it's going to affect the team's play. Nelson's statement should be given to his management, not the press and not the players.

The coach's approach to the players should always be that the team improves every single day.

Posted by: rickgonz | December 3, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Don Nelson better be careful. When Eddie Jordan started answering questions with our team is not very good answers, he got peaced out.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | December 3, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Prescrunk........your ban will be removed in a couple days and you can come back to wizardsextreme.com and talk all you want about how good of a game Deshawn had last night.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | December 3, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

For real. Scrunk just won't let go of DS's ....

Posted by: original_mark | December 3, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Nellie is pretty clearly trying to light a fire under his team with his comments. No one's been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race just yet.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 3, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Why would any Wizard fan want this team to make the playoffs this season? So they can get knocked out in the first round. It is a shame they signed Jamison to his long term contract because no other team will be willing to take him in a trade. At least next year the team has a couple of players who will be in the last years of their contacts and maybe some of them can be moved. I hate to be the one who has to break the bad news to everyone but this team needs to be retooled in order to give them a chance to win a championship and that will have to be through high draft picks. This organization has a terrible history when making picks in the middle or late firts round.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

.500 ball makes the playoffs in the East.

The Wiz still have like 90% of thier games left this year. It's rediculous to even mention the playoffs right now.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The difference is GS plays in the tough tough West while the Wizards are in the somewhat easier East.

Posted by: tundey | December 3, 2008 9:15 AM

tundey,
I think you might want wake up and realize that the East is BETTER then the West this year.
There are 6 West teams with winning percentages under .300. There is only 1 team in the East that bad. (Wizards)
Plus, in head to head match ups this year the East has dominated the West.
Last night even the lowly Pacers beat the Lakers.
The Wizards have two chances of making the playoffs this year, slim and none.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | December 3, 2008 9:29 AM

Actually, Iowahoosier you're the one that needs to wake up. The West has 9 teams over .500 including 6 that are over .600 right now. 6 TEAMS THAT ARE OVER .600, while the East has just 6 that are over .500.

Tundey was absolutely correct in saying that the East is somewhat easier, there is no debating it.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 3, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

A lot of this is not Jordan but rather Ernie's problems. Ernie is the one who signed Thomas after the Bucks gave him an offer sheet. So Thomas should be gone.

Ernie drafted Pech who is currently riding the pine and contributing nothing.

Ernie is the guy who gave Gilbert max money. Yet to see if this was a good deal. But three surgeries on the same knee is not good for anybody but less a guard.

Songalia??? Don't think this guy is playing the way Ernie thought he would. He is good for 8-10 minutes per game and will get you several rebounds and 2 of 6 shooting.

Andray just didn't get it and probably will never get it. He makes great money and just doesn't want to put the effort in.

Jamison and Butler-always very good

Javelle-better than I thought but will take a few years to get to the 10 points/8 rebounds per game (every game).

Nick-jury is still out. Young with a lot of promise but still makes too many mistakes.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 3, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Why would any Wizard fan want this team to make the playoffs this season? So they can get knocked out in the first round. It is a shame they signed Jamison to his long term contract because no other team will be willing to take him in a trade. At least next year the team has a couple of players who will be in the last years of their contacts and maybe some of them can be moved. I hate to be the one who has to break the bad news to everyone but this team needs to be retooled in order to give them a chance to win a championship and that will have to be through high draft picks. This organization has a terrible history when making picks in the middle or late firts round.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2008 11:31 AM

Good God that may have been the most idiotic post in WizardsInsider history.

"Why would any Wizard fan want this team to make the playoffs this season?"

Because real fans root for their teams to win all the time, only phony d-bag fairweather fans come up with reasons not to root for their own teams.

"This organization has a terrible history when making picks in the middle or late firts round."

Um, where have you been the last 5 years? This team has a terrific history with their draft picks ever since Ernie Grunfeld came along. Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Javale McGee, Andray Blatche...the only one that hasn't emerged into a consistent contributor has been Pecherov and he's only in his 2nd year (and his first year was almost totally a wash because of injury).

Get a clue Bulletsfan28

Posted by: Barno1 | December 3, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think that bulletsfan78 and DCMAN are the same person. You guys must an absolute joy to be around.

"This organization has a terrible history when making picks in the middle or late firts round."

As opposed to our history of making great picks early in the 'firts' round:

1. Kwame Brown
5. Juwan Howard
6. Calbert Cheaney
6. Tom Gugliotta
9. Tom Hammonds

Posted by: bryc3 | December 3, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Barno1

I have been a fan of this team since the 1970’s. If you know anything about the NBA, after the window of opportunity to win a championship has closed on a team and/or the players on that team, the team needs to move in another direction. Look at what Boston did last year they gutted that team and now look at them. The same thing happened in LA after trading Shaq; they had to take a step back in order to get better. Would you rather see this team make the playoffs and get knocked out in the first round the next 4 years and then start the rebuilding process, or not make the playoffs the next four years and then win an NBA championship the 5th? Personally I live my life by the motto that a life without risks has no rewards. I would prefer to see this team take a step back now, take a few risks, hope they pay off, and win a championship.

Nick Young, can not play defense and guards like Kobe, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton will light this kid up so even if he scores 16 points the player he is guarding (I should say trying to guard) will score more.

Dominic McGuire, this guy can’t even beat DS off the bench on a team that needs rebounding

Javale McGee, I give you this one since it is too early to decide

Andray Blatche, are you kidding me?

Oleksiy Pecherov, if this guy deserves to be playing in the NBA then I give up on the NBA all together

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Barno1
Your right, there is no debating it. In head to head match ups this year the East has won far more then the West.
It is the first time in years that the East is clearly better then the West.

And let us do some simple common sense thinking. There are six very bad teams in the West. The west will play a lot more games against those teams then the east will. Therefore, the decent west teams will win the vast majority of those games against those terrible six. Thus, their winning percentages will improve.
The East however, has only 1 patsy so far. Therefore, there are a bunch of teams beating up on each other and keeping their records closer to .500.

The only proof we have is head to head East VS West and the East has a decided advantage there. Ergo, the east is better.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | December 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

When do the Wizards break out those Duracell uniforms? The goldies rock!

Posted by: jeremydvid | December 3, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"I'm starting to think that bulletsfan78 and DCMAN are the same person. You guys must an absolute joy to be around.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 3, 2008 12:17 PM "

Sure Abe.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 3, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Actually, bryc3, Juwan Howard wasn't a bad draft pick at all. Looking at the draft board from that year, the only guy taken after him who arguably had a better career was Eddie Jones. The rest is pretty unimpressive.

The Bullets mistake with Howard wasn't drafting him. Their mistake was trying to low ball him on his rookie deal, which lead to a stalemate, which led to bad feelings, which led to an early opt out clause, which led to the Miami debacle, which led to the Wiz idiotically giving him a ridiculous contract to save face.

Googs was also a good player for the team in his short stint. About 15 and 9 in his three years in DC. As with Howard, the mistake wasn't drafting him, it was what they did with him once they had him. he played well, but the team and organization around him was a complete mess.

"Your right, there is no debating it. In head to head match ups this year the East has won far more then the West. "

That may be true, but it has no significant bearing on the difficulty in making the playoffs in one conference versus the other, as playoff positioning has much more to do with the competition within a team's respective conference.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 3, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Nellie pulled this same routine 2 seasons ago after the Warriors lost big in Milwaukee in February...called them a team that was done and he came out and said it wasn't a playoff team. That seemed to kick them in gear and we know the rest. Maybe he's doing the same thing this year, or trying to.

Posted by: kebzach | December 3, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Don Nelson better be careful. When Eddie
Prescrunk........your ban will be removed in a couple days and you can come back to wizardsextreme.com and talk all you want about how good of a game Deshawn had last night.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | December 3, 2008 10:34 AM


Deshawn ran the show last nite 4 real.

Thank you, I can't wait to get back to my homepage away from homepage:
http://www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: prescrunk | December 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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