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Wizards 106, Clippers 94

And the winner of tonight's lottery bowl is......the Wizards? Or, is a win over the Clippers actually a bad thing becuase it means fewer ping pong balls? I'm not sure. In fact, it's still too early to talk that way so, let's just say that tonight's win was needed for the Wiz.

It snapped five-game losing streak and at least let the team open the season's longest homestand with some good vibes. The key, other than 25 Clipper turnovers, was the play off the bench of JaVale McGee (18 points, nine rebounds) and Nick Young (22 points on eight-of-11 shooting).

If you have any idea what to expect out of Young on a given night, you're very, very wise because I have no clue. The kid still plays like he has blinders on and he's purely one-dimensional but he can fill it up on certain nights and this was one of those.

When Caron Butler, who had a bizzarre night with 16 points on six-of-22 shooting with 13 rebounds and seven assists but also seven turnovers, made a steal and dunked over Brian Skinner with just over nine minutes to go, the game was pretty much over.

The Wiz won despite shooting only 42.2 percent and giving up 11 three-balls.

The Clippers are terrible. What you expect from a team that starts Fred Jones and brings Ricky "lottery team" Davis off the bench?


By Ivan Carter  |  January 31, 2009; 11:21 PM ET
 
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Next: Monday Morning Point Guard

Comments

Whoa NICK. Nice message if anyone who counts is listening. Hello-o-o, TAP and NBA selections committee.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 31, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Tap has to go. I know it's the Clips but JM and NY should be starting.

Posted by: original_mark | January 31, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Says who, Mark? Really, they play well every 5th game and you want to start them huh.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 1, 2009 3:30 AM | Report abuse

@rphilli we are already losing 4 out of 5 games so we might as well be developing youngsters.

@Ivan you think this season isnt an embarassment already? Two multiple time all-stars and they have trouble staying competitive thats embarassing.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 1, 2009 4:19 AM | Report abuse

rphilli721, they play well every fifth game because they only play decent minutes every fifth game. The answer is a resounding YEEESSSSSSS.

Or would you rather watch the unfolding of the burgeoning career of one Darius Songaila?

When exactly is the last time that Darius Songaila got 9 rebounds in a game? Truthfully, I have no idea but I do know that his season high is 7. As many minutes as he's played and 7 rebounds is his season high. I'd guess that you probably have to go wayyy back to find a game in which the guy got double digits on rebounds.

Crittendon has shown an ability to penetrate, break down a defense and make a decent pass. He has the potential to be better than AD and soon. All he's missing is a consistent jumper and that can be learned with the help of Popla. He's pesky on defense and needs time to build his confidence.

NY should be starting at SG because then it allows CB to go back to his best position (sf). We'd be undersized but scoring would be a lot easier with NY CB and Aj in there together. This isn't a long term solution but for now it would be putting our best foot forward instead of tanking.

Posted by: original_mark | February 1, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

last thing....
anyone who's watched the last couple games when McGee is in there can see that he deters many more shots than he actually blocks. I see guys starting to drive and the pull it out when they see him coming.

His alterations and deterring presence don't show up in the stats but account for at least a few buckets difference per night.

Posted by: original_mark | February 1, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

(Reposted from prior entry)
As someone who grew up surrounded by b-ball coaches, including my father, I can tell you that Tapscott is by no means alone in his desire to have predictable players on the court. The issue is control -- most coaches feel a need to manage what is happening on the court, and when a player does something great one minute and something stupid the next, it makes coaches VERY nervous. Most coaches view a missed defensive assignment that leads to a dunk as five times more important than a brilliant offensive play that leads to a dunk. Why? Because of control -- if a player doesn't execute the way the coach instructed, the coach is just a bystander. So, players that execute the coach's plan are favored -- hence Michael Ruffin, Darius Songalia, etc.

Good coaches control their need to control. Phil Jackson, for example, is well-known for not jumping up to call timeouts when the other team makes a run (especially during the regular season) so that his five on the floor can work it out for themselves. John Thompson, recognizing Iverson's great talent, adjusted his regular offense to give Iverson a lot of room for creativity.

That's not to say that having players who execute the game plan on the floor while more talented players are on the bench is necessarily a bad idea. If one player is consistently missing offensive and defensive assignments, that affects the success of the four other players (kind of like if one part of a five part machine is broken). Putting a substandard but functioning part or player in instead allows the other four to do their work.

In this lost season, though, putting the inexperienced player in learn how to execute makes all the sense in the world. That is, if you can control your need to control.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 1, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Any team that trades for Ricky Davis probably should get ping pong balls in the deal. I wonder who holds the career record for being on the most teams that got a top 5 lottery pick in their career?

Tapps is one of the more highly educated guys on an NBA bench. I know a higher education doesn't assure that the guy's going to be a Dr. Jack Ramsey and qualify as one of the "thinkers of the game". But you know before he got the head coaching job he wasn't an assistant coach, his title was Director of Player Development.

In that role, because he wasn't weighed down, you know, coaching...You'd have thought Tapps would have been developing theories and programs designed to actually develop players.

In his new role as head coach(now I know the pros are all about as Al "I'm just a phone call away" Davis used to say,"just win baby")You'd have thought Tapps would wanted to try some of his stuff out. Since Tapps hasn't really been real consistant at this winning thing, You'd think he might want to start to dazzle us with the player development thing he developed while getting paid to travel with the team.

But for us more simple minded fans this whole player development thing pretty much boils down to consistant minutes= consistant play. Give a veteran or a rookie fairly consistant run over a 5 to 10 game period, if it doesn't begin to yield consistant play that time needs to go to someone else.

Stevenson went down, James slumped. Tapps started to give Critts some consistant minutes and now we're starting to see what the kid has. Thomas, then Blatche went down, McGee's gotten some games with more consistant minutes and he's looking a lot more comfortable on the court. McGuire's been logging consistant minutes and improving his game for sometime.

Meanwhile James, Stevenson, Thomas, and Songaila have gotten stretches of steady minutes and have proven to be who we thought they were. Butler and Jamison should be bright enough as team leaders to see where the talent and ability is on this team.

Tapps needs to give the youngsters consistant run without the quick hook, that doesn't mean burying the vets or tanking games. Just come up with a rotation to give out consistant minutes. The young guys will struggle some nights, they just need to know one bad outing won't bury them.

Posted by: flohrtv | February 1, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

originalmark: "All [Crittenton]'s missing is a consistent jumper and that can be learned with the help of Popla."

Gosh, I hope so. Things usually don't work out that way in the NBA. Players learn to play the NBA matchup game, you against your man, but fundamentals like a basic eighteen-foot square-up jumper or a reliable three-point shot are hard to develop once you're in the League. Of course, kids come in so young, maybe that no longer applies.

Arenas and Deron Williams, for instance, were already good shooters, while Chris Paul seemed to improve once he got here. Jason Kidd -- well, he never did get that consistent outside shot. Let's hope Crittenton can. Probably helps that he's a little taller than most.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the Wiz should use the rest of this season to develop young talent. If they don't, it will be a huge missed opportunity. It would be sorta like reaching the end of life and saying, "Man, I could have done this and that to have had a much better life." (Too late!) Develop your future team now that you have this golden opportunity!

I recognize the desire to get more wins. Hey, 10 wins, baby! I like them, too, and here's hoping that its "Wiz beat Grizz for 11th." But not at the expense of developing this team for the future.

Some smart marketing could even sell the fans, and much of the team, on this future orientation. The Wiz are a much more interesting team than their record shows. Good marketing should help convey this (better play and coaching would be a big help, too!). Maybe the idea would be: "Look, this .200 winning percentage is nonsense and completely unacceptable. We know we're a playoff team experiencing some unusual difficulties. We'll be back next year stronger than ever, and we're doing what we need to do this year to see that that happens."

I know this is basic, but sometimes the basic things get overlooked. (Also, understand that I've had two cups of java this morning.)

Posted by: 7snider7 | February 1, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Brook Lopez has averaged 30 minutes a game this year in his rookie season. Surprise, surprise - he's getting better. Last night 24/17. His PER is up to 16.1.

In comparison, McGee's only getting 14 minutes a game, yet his PER is 16.6.

Those hobgoblin's in Taps mind is retarding the Wizard's player development.

Does he ever look at the stats? His favorite 5-man units have the worst performance.

Posted by: Izman | February 1, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Ivan or Mike,

It would be helpful to get an explanation of how the NBA salary rules will impact the Wiz next year.

1) the Wiz don't seem to have any expiring contracts;

2) if they get the top lottery pick, that would cost them $4m - putting them over the luxury tax threshold;

3) if they trade the pick after they know what it is but before selecting a player or signing a contract, is the trade value considering $0?

4) If the above assumptions are correct, it would seem that the Wiz would bundle the lottery pick and a vet salary in a trade to get a better player than the traded vet (and who probably is underpaid relative to his value).

Does this scenario make sense? What are the other viable scenarios?

Posted by: Izman | February 1, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

izman: "Brook Lopez has averaged 30 minutes a game this year in his rookie season...His PER is up to 16.1. In comparison, McGee's only getting 14 minutes a game, yet his PER is 16.6."

Just wondering -- is there a correlation between PER and more (or less) playing time? For instance, does a player's PER typically go up or down as his minutes increase? Speaking not just about stars, of course, but NBA players in general.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

In answer to an earlier post, Darius Songaila's last double digit rebound game was 10 rebounds on December 27, 2007 at Indiana starting in place of Caron Butler, who missed a single game with what was listed in the box score as a sprained ankle. To put this in perspective, even Oleksiy Pecherov has had a double digit rebounding game since Songaila had his, a 10 rebound effort finishing off last season in a loss at Orlando.

Posted by: SRW10308 | February 1, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"For instance, does a player's PER typically go up or down as his minutes increase?"

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"For instance, does a player's PER typically go up or down as his minutes increase?"

It's a basic truth of statistical analysis that the smaller the sample size the larger the margin of error and the less accurate the conclusions drawn from it are likely to be.

There's also the fact that you can't accurately compare the rating of a starter who plays 30 mpg and a backup who plays fewer than 15 mpg without taking into account the differing context and circumstances in which they play. A starter most often finds himself playing with and against the best players on both teams in crucial game situations. Conversely, a backup gets most of his minutes playing with and against lesser players on both teams in situations where the game's outcome isn't as much at stake. Thus a direct comparison between the efficiency/effectiveness of the two has little real world validity.

"To put this in perspective, even Oleksiy Pecherov has had a double digit rebounding game since Songaila had his, a 10 rebound effort finishing off last season in a loss at Orlando."

To put that in perspective, Pecherov gets most (if not all) of his minutes playing against the other team's end-of-bench scrubs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Things usually don't work out that way in the NBA. Players learn to play the NBA matchup game, you against your man, but fundamentals like a basic eighteen-foot square-up jumper or a reliable three-point shot are hard to develop once you're in the League."

Any skill that's not strictly prohibited by some kind of physical limitation can be learned if someone is willing to put in the time and work. Many players improve their jumpshots after they get to the NBA.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse


Question: "is there a correlation between PER and more (or less) playing time?"

There are different opinions (which is true whenever Kallie is around), but the factual answer is yes - more minutes, higher PER.

See:

http://ballhype.com/story/love_and_mathematics_pt_2_the_paul_millsap_quandary/

Posted by: Izman | February 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Factual?

Yeah, right. I find it always helps when you read all the way to the end:

"So how do we settle The Quandary? By admitting it is highly contextual and case-based at this level. The data does not say whether Millsap's per-minute production would suffer, improve or be maintained given more playing time. The data is inconclusive -- even if it were more conclusive, such as the previously highlighted notes -- we cannot ascertain motive from these relationships. As the adage goes, correlation does not mean causation. Or in terms I prefer: We don't know."

The only fact is that PER fails to conclusively prove anything, thus making it highly suspect (if not outright useless) as a player evaluation/comparison tool.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I presume that Samson can read and understand the basic proposition of the analysis.

Leave it to Kallie to focus on something not germane to Samson's question or the analysis responsive to his question.

Kallie, go back to tilting at windmills.

Posted by: Izman | February 1, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It was great to see caron posterize skinner, in this season he needs a small victory like that to keep his sanity. Mcgee and young should be given 20+ every night.

Posted by: bford1kb | February 1, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Samson...

as much as i hate Lebron, he came into the league as a really talented player who didn't have much of a mid-long range jumper. He's worked hard to improve his shooting...which he has and it's made his game much more well rounded.

Players often improve on their shooting. It's not just an issue with form, but intangibles also factor in. Critt needs some confidence in his shot. He has no problems driving to the basket because that's clearly his comfort zone. If he continues to work on hitting the mid range jumper with a defender on him, his shot will improve. If he can become a guy who handles the ball really well, distributes it to the primary scoring options and hits the occasional shot, i'd be more than happy with that. This team hasn't had a true point guard in a long, long time.

Posted by: superwilks | February 1, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Reading Kalorama is almost as fun as watching Sheldon on "The Big Bang" on monday nights.

I'm not a huge "stats guy" like some on this site. But in McGee's case his "per" indicates he's been more effective and consistant in his production then the minutes he's gotten.

The kid's positioning and anticipation are improving all the time, I would say he's earning more consistant rotation minutes as the season has gone on. Young is still up and down and hot and cold even in the course of a game. But I've seen guy's that are more one dimensional then Young develop into well rounded NBA players over time.

Point is giving these guys consistant minutes isn't going to decrease this team's chances of winning. As the year went on it will increase the chances at the rate these kids are learning.

Posted by: flohrtv | February 1, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Point is giving these guys consistant minutes isn't going to decrease this team's chances of winning. As the year went on it will increase the chances at the rate these kids are learning.

If we could tatoo that to Tapscott's forehead we'd all be happy.

Sticking with the veterans may win this team another 3-5 games. Big deal.

Wisely using the younger guys - don't just throw them out there - is more important than a handful of wins.

Even if they get the first overall pick, the player they get - let's say Griffin - won't help much (12-15 minutes?) his first year anyway.

The core of next year's team is here now (adding GA/BH).

Scary thought.....

Posted by: SteveMG | February 1, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Very enlightening discussion, guys. On the issue of whether players improve their skills once they enter the League, seems to me that they're hampered by lack of practice time. It's one argument for staying in college. For instance, I'm wondering if Brandon Jennings, the high school phenom who chose to go to Europe rather than make grades at Arizona, will actually improve more than if he'd been in the NBA or a US basketball college.

LeBron definitely was one who improved his jumper. So of course were Jordan and Pippen. But there are lots who didn't.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

uh.. if Nick is one dimesional then what exactly does that make DeShawn Stevenson? Ovechkin scored more this weekend than DeBrick did. 3 points scored in 2 games back - boy Tap i see why you have such a man crush on this guy.

Please spare me the best defender on the team bull. Kobe, BRoy and DWade would have taken his lunch so don't even go there...

Posted by: elfreako | February 1, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I see where certain people on this blog are lobbying for NY to start WHAT? LA SMOOTH/HERKY JERK AKA Nick Young best performances have come against the also rans of this league i.e.Clip-Joints,Knicks,Etc. Whenever he faces teams that lock down defensively he disappears,in addition he has a poor handle and is a horrible defensive player i personally like Nick but the kid needs to get an Arenas work ethic for as much as Gilbert is an enigma no one can question his work ethic and that is what Nick Young needs before he is rewarded with a starting spot.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 1, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

the kid needs to get an Arenas work ethic for as much as Gilbert is an enigma no one can question his work ethic

Posted by: dargregmag | February 1, 2009 6:09 PM

Is that so? Is this the same Gilbert who when asked last week if he was returning this season brought up the team's record and rhetorically answered, "Would you?".

Some work ethic. Oh yeah, he's a great model for the kids. Nice call.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 1, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

SHADOW:

We have a motion on the floor. I second. All in favor say "AYE." Motion carries.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 2, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Two consistant opinions run through the majority of the posts about the Wizards.
1. Tapscott is in over his head.
2. The young players should be developed this year since the team has no shot to reach the playoffs.
Since I don't believe that Taps stupid, nor the Ernie Grunfeld has lost the ability to build a winning franchise (he's done it in NY and Milwaukee), I started to analyse what was so obvious to most fans of this team.
Here's my theory.
Abe Pollin looks down from his skybox and doesn't see players, he sees contracts.
His penny pinching nature, I think, has given way to an edict for this Head Coach.
"Play the players I spent the most money on. Win or lose. I've already spent the money"
A quick look at the Zards salaries show that the top 5 salaries that have been healthy enough to play have played the most minutes regardless of how well the performed.
Jamison $9.9Mil 38 min per game.
Butler $( Mil 38 min per game.
James $6 Mil 30 min per game.
Songaila $4 Mil 18 min per game.
Stevenson 3.6 Mil 28 min per game.
Compared with the three lowest salaries:
McGee $1.4Mil 14 min per game.
Crittenton 1.3Mil 13 min per game.
Young $1.6Mil 21 min per game.
Note: Young's minutes have been curtailed or sporatic since the firing of Eddie Jordan. Was EJ fired because he gave minutes to McGee instead of the more expensive and then healthy Etan Thomas? Are McGuire's minutes, the lowest paid player on the roster at $711,000, okay because he and Butler are only SF on the roster and Butler getting minutes at the two?
This thing stinks to me of meddling from an owner that managing this team by his wallet, not by what's best for the future.
Better to have three player that combine to make less than $4million sit on a bench an a two or three that could combine for $10 to $18 million.
EG is a good GM and Tap may not be a NBA caliber Head Coach, but he's smart enough to know that he's making contradictory quotes in his pressers as it relates to McGee, Crittenton and Young. While overlooking piss poor play from Stevenson, James and an out of position Songaila.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 2, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Ultimate and Mark,

First, we ARE developing the youngsters. Blatche and McGuire are STARTING! And, when McGee, NY, JC play well they get added minutes, which is how it should be. You want JC, NY, CB, AJ, and McGee as your starting 5 just bc? That is laughable!

"anyone who's watched the last couple games when McGee is in there can see that he deters many more shots than he actually blocks" - Mark

And, if you watch the games, Songalia boxes his man out as good as anyone on the team allowing others to get the rebound. He knows his limitations, but he plays the game the right way on a consistent basis! He passes, runs the offense, sets picks, etc....

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 2, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

@@###!!# THE WIZARDS!!!

Posted by: joe12341 | February 2, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

##@@@@@## THE BUZZARDS, ERRRRRRRHH WIZARDS!

Posted by: joe12341 | February 2, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

You're kidding, right rphilli721?

"Songaila boxes out his man allowing others to get the rebound?"

No sir. He stands there flatfooted and allows the other team to get offensive rebounds? He also stands by idly as guards, forwards and even his own man drive to the hoop for easy layups. McGee does it too sometimes but he challenges enough to make people think twice if he's nearby.

You're right about him passing, setting picks and running the offense properly. Michael Ruffin did the same things and played defense for us. Granted, Ruffin couldn't shoot anything but dunks but DSong misses at least 1 or 2 layups per game.

rphilli721, I'm not blaming him for us being as bad as we are because DSong is way down the list in average mpg. He's just symptomatic of the illogical substitution patterns that Tapscott employs. It probably seems like I pick on him a lot but it's only because when he gets minutes, he gets them at the wrong position and he doesn't produce. On a team that is 26th in offense and 25th in defense, a guy like Songaila that is below average in both shouldn't be getting any time.
Every player on this team is good at something (Tap even praised Pech for being a good rebounder and Ivan says he's a great shooter) but DSong is below average at everything but spot up shooting and he doesn't do that enough to benefit us. If his role was to stand around and take jumpers 10 times a game, great.

As far as developing rookies, Blatche would have been starting last year on most teams because of the promise he's shown. McGuire is starting only because DS was so bad he had to take himself out. We have no one else to start at sf but Caron. Starting Caron at sf would have meant that NY would be starting at sg. Tap had no choice but to play a young player. Believe me, if we had an old creaky veteran on the team that could man the sf spot, he'd have it.

Posted by: original_mark | February 2, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

As far as PER goes, how can one sincerely argue with a stat that was invented by the one and only John Hollinger. Hollinger is one of the most respected writers in the business and is considered a genius among all the great basketball minds.

John Hollinger was born on May 17, 1971. He is an influential figure in the field of APBRmetrics, the quantitative analysis of basketball. Hollinger grew up in Mahwah, New Jersey and is a graduate the University of Virginia.

John is one of the smartest human beings alive, and he is never wrong. Not only is he my favorite sports writer, but he is one of my favorite all around people.

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

In the 6 game series against the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, Brendan Tom Haywood was the starting center. The Washington Wizards were out rebounded by nearly 50 rebounds in that series.

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young's season high last year was against no other than Kobe's Lakers. He also had 20 pts or better in games with Pistons, Magic and Bulls while averaging just under 29 per min. These teams I don't consider soft on defense. Plus, a guy who can duel with Michael Redd point for point in the 4th quarter is a player to me.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 2, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

CJ - In case you don't know Rebounding / boxing out is a team effort and not a sole obligation of the center. BTH will never be consider as a rebounding monster but so as a lot of starting centers. Plus, Cleveland is one of the top rebounding teams in the league.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I believe it's B. TODD H.
Rebounding has never been his strength. Clogging up the middle is, however. He's also be given the green light to try to score a little bit and has responded. He'll never be Dikembe and get 12 or 13 per game and 3 blocks.

But, he's presently better than anyone else we have at C. JM will catch and pass him as soon as he gains strength but for now, BTH is good enough to be the starting for almost every team in this league. Put a good rebounder/scorer next to him at PF and it's a solid frontcourt tandem. That's why he and AJ were effective together.
Aj gets help from BTH with defense and BTH can rely on Aj to get 10 rebounds.

Posted by: original_mark | February 2, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

NOTE TO THE SHADOW: I made reference to Gil's work ethic not whether he is comming back this season from his injury,now tell me what does that have to do with work ehtic? if you recall last year Gilbert worked very hard to come back; to the point that team doctors felt he over did it thus reinjuring that same knee if you considered the context of my post i referenced Nick Young's ability and future improvement to Arenas work ethic and how NY might improve his status and prospects for starting on this team, and just remember Arenas put this franchise on the map, when is the last time the Wizards had a player of Gilbert's caliber? Arenas has always been known for his good practice habit's while some might question his motives as far as this season is concerned his work ethic has always been top notch.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 2, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

cj658: "As far as PER goes, how can one sincerely argue with a stat that was invented by the one and only John Hollinger. Hollinger is one of the most respected writers in the business and is considered a genius among all the great basketball minds."

I guess you get a gold star for loyalty. However, you're employing the 'argument from authority', one of the common errors taught in those logic classes at Hollinger's beloved University of Virginia.

Even Hollinger is required to prove his theses.


Posted by: Samson151 | February 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I suspect you already know that, of course. Wouldn't happen to be related by marriage, or current enrolled in a statistics course taught by aforementioned expert? LOL

Posted by: Samson151 | February 2, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

originalmark: "As far as developing rookies, Blatche would have been starting last year on most teams because of the promise he's shown."

No offense, but I can't see this one. Blatche to me is a work in progress, and one that hasn't progressed far enough to start for a good team. He might have some trade value, which is different, but it's the second-tier clubs where he has the best opportunity to play right away.

Any playoff teams where you would argue he'd currently be starting? Maybe I'm missing one.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 2, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag,
I do agree that he has worked hard in the past, no doubt about it. In truth, the present situation is more about lack of leadership and loyalty than it is about work ethic. I see his fellow soldiers getting ground up like hamburger and he is basically saying it looks pretty bad out there, maybe I will sit this one out. This is distinct from your point that players should be putting in the hours to improve their game which Gil is renowned for. I do agree with that. Gil just spins me up right now.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 2, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Me and my boy call him Ricky "the bubonic plague" Davis

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | February 2, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

John is one of the smartest human beings alive, and he is never wrong. Not only is he my favorite sports writer, but he is one of my favorite all around people.


Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 9:49 AM

Can I offer you a bag for the nuts you're holding?

Posted by: jones-y | February 2, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Ok. That was DEFINITELY the funniest post ever. Rude as heck but funny.

Posted by: original_mark | February 2, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Can I offer you a bag for the nuts you're holding?

Posted by: jones-y | February 2, 2009 1:53 PM


John Hollinger is one of the smartest men alive. He’s just an all around good guy, who continues to be the best writer on ESPN’s roster, despite criticism from pundits and non-believers such as Jones-y. Hollinger currently lives in Atlanta with his wife Judy, where he once wrote that he hoped "to witness a playoff game sometime before the end of the century." In 2008, the Atlanta Hawks did in fact make the playoffs, pushing the eventual NBA Champion Boston Celtics to 7 games, in case you didn’t know. I was so happy for John, to finally get to witness one of his life long dreams.

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey I don't know whether the man is smart or not, and couldn't care less. Just offering some help with what must undeniably must be a heavy load... Take it or leave it, stat man!

Posted by: jones-y | February 2, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

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