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76ers 106, Wizards 98

The key tonight was turnovers. The Wizards coughed it up 21 times and the 76ers took advantage by turning those mistakes into 30 points. Andre Iguodala, who closed the third by making a buzzer-beater from 31-feet out, nearly had a triple-double (22 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds) and the Sixers shot a healthy 50 percent.

The lone bright spot was Dom McGuire, who continues to show that of all of the team's youngsters, he is perhaps the most ready to play real minutes as a rotation player on a good team.

McGuire finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks while also taking turns defending a bunch of 76ers in 34 minutes.

JaVale McGee again saw very little playing time. Tonight, he got six minutes.

Interim coach Ed Tapscott on that subject: "Flow of the game. Just didn't think there was enough effectiveness there doing the things we need. A flashy dunk does is not neccessarily playing well. You have to look at what is being given up on the other end, what coverages aren't being made...I'm not singleing him out. He wasn't alone tonight. He had some struggles along with a bunch of other guys. We needed execution and I went with the guys I thought would be able to execute the best."

Javaris Crittenton, who played so well up in Philly in January, had same careless plays and finished with five turnovers. I've written here about how ernest the kid is and how bad he wants to be a good player and it showed in the locker room when he didn't duck the notepads and cameras.

"I made some dumb decisions with the basketball and had some costly turnovers that really hurt us," Crittenton said. "I really want to take the blame for this loss tonight."

That's obviously not true. Plenty of blame to go around tonight as has been the case all season.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 25, 2009; 10:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

yeah, crittenton is going to be a player with that attitude and he worked his way through it as well and was plying well down the stretch.

Kudos McGuire, but NY and McGee continue to underwhelm.

Blatche played great in the first half and lousy in the second.

Anyway, not a good game...where were our two all-stars? When is the last time they both had a lights out game together? I think therein lies the rub with them...they play so similar that its hard for them to have simultaneous great games.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 25, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Great to see that Andray is once again back to fighting for minutes along with Young and McGee. Does Tapscott not remember that he was starting before his injury?

Posted by: read2 | February 25, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

another stupid blanket statement by Tapscott. He can't possibly TRULY believe that McGee was outplayed and outmatched in those 6 minutes. I've run out of adjectives to describe Tap. I really think he's coached himself out of the NBA completely after this year. If another team hires him, i'd be shocked. His answers are always vague, ambiguous, idiotic and without real logic. Why not just say you hate McGee. He doesn't mean to single him out? Well, giving him 0-13 minutes/game is singling him out--unless of course you want to include NY. He's lousy on defense, we get it. But why are the fans the only people who understand he's a streak shooter? 5-10 minutes a game is not enough to get him going. Even if he has a stellar 5 minute stretch, you know he's coming out anyway. Those two guys cannot win.

Tap is a complete jack@ass. no one could argue that. By comparison, he makes Mike Brown look like the best coach in the league.

Is it a slap in the face after the fact to EJ that Tap basically steps in and the biggest decision he has made is not only to get McGee out of the starting lineup...but to basically put the guy at the end of the bench, Michael Ruffin style.

Posted by: superwilks | February 25, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

read2...


isn't it obvious that no other center in the league is capable of matching up with Songaila? come on now. he's the quiet superstar. forget AJ and CB, Songaila deserved some kind of award. Match-up disaster? All-star maker? who knows.

one day down the road, he'll join that long list of ex NBA players who somehow got minutes even though no one knew why.

I'm sure that list would be pretty funny to create.

Posted by: superwilks | February 26, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Tapscott cant be serious...flow of the game BS, come on.

When Dalembert continually just goes over the top for ally oops with no body able to get up and deny it, yeah its called put a bigger body in.

You had Blatche or McGee and he did not put him in at the right times.

Songaila is a PF and a backup at that, i mean Taps your not making the playoffs play the young guys.

Posted by: mikejc80 | February 26, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Tap. I really think he's coached himself out of the NBA completely after this year.

superwilks

That's the problem he wasn't a coach in the NBA. Why would EG put someone from the front office on the bench? This is the guy Abe has handed the future of the Wizards too?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 26, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Under EJ we always had the least amount of turnovers in the league. The offense was entertaning to watch as well.

At least the defense has improved under Tapscott- NOT!!!

Posted by: twigmuffin | February 26, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78, something has got to give. If Abe's desire to win another champioship is as strong as he portends, then something has got to give.

I crossing my fingers. Not for long though.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 26, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD.

The only way Abe will ever see the Wizards win a championship is to give another owner a shot at turning this club around.

My vote would be for Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti.

Since I mentioned voting I left you and DC_MAN88 a post on the last Wizards (13-43) vs. 76ers (27-28) story. I would be interested in reading your opinion since you say you are a Political Scientist.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 26, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

What a bush league comment by a head coach about his first round rookie draft pick.. McGee's deteriorating play lays right in the lap of this amateur coach and his staff. He has pledged the young boy from jump and to anyone whos watching the kid is nowhere near playing with the confidence and aggression that he was early in the year.

His comment re McGee was a cowardly backhanded comment that was unnecessary.

The defensive lapses is not all on McGee, the scheme is faulty and the rotations are poor irregardless of who plays. The rotaions are terrible because the on ball defense is terrible. Surely, he can't blame the second half on McGee, he did not play.

Posted by: NewManagement | February 26, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

i couldnt have said it better than superwilks myself...Tapscott is a clown. He's hurting (perhaps irreperably) McGee's development this year. We have 13 wins and he still doesnt get minutes???? wth??? i have no idea how EG does not force him to play minutes....how the heck is going to learn if he never plays!

Posted by: insanity999 | February 26, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

bullets...

i completely agree that Tap shouldn't have been put in this position in the first place. With that said, he had an opportunity--just like players--to work hard, improve, make better decisions, grow with the team, etc and he has regressed. His coaching "style" is odd at best and i wish broadcasters and reporters would just give an honest response to his counterproductive actions. Not like alienating a real interim coach for the final 25 or so games would be that bad.

Can you imagine him at AU? Lousy record year after year and probably ONLY played Juniors and Seniors while the underclassmen sat on the bench and politely clapped--knowing they would finally get to play when they were in their last season.

The way i see it, Tap had two choices when he was made interim coach. Act like a real coach (for a losing team) and help these guys develop while keeping the core as happy as they can be with all the losing...or do what he's doing.

While EG probably made an error in judgment bringing him in in the first place, i don't think EG would've anticipated Tap being this bad. I think he knew that with the way the East was stacked up, starting 1-10 with 40% of the starters out already spelled doom for the season. However, i think out of respect for Tap, he didn't relieve him of his coaching duties during the season. I can't imagine how embarrassing it would be for Tap to get canned as an interim in season. However, i do blame EG to some extent, for not forcing Tap to develop the kids. I assumed that Tap would be a puppet for EG but i simply cannot imagine EG would allow what's going on.

You can point to all the contradictions Tap has made via direct quotes and in game decisions (i.e. Stevenson playing with his problems vs. NY not playing when he has a bad game, Songaila starting at 5, when he should be getting 8-12 min/game as a 4, McGee getting NO time, leaving Butler in when it seems he hasn't shown up from the opening tip and commits 5-10 TOs, etc)...

Still, if the world was fair, Tap would get the same treatment as McGee. Bad coaching = no coaching. Each bad decision should warrant less time calling shots.

Posted by: superwilks | February 26, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Why would EG put someone from the front office on the bench? This is the guy Abe has handed the future of the Wizards too?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 26, 2009 12:09 AM

After watching tonight's game I was thinking the same thing. But then I saw Randy Ayers sitting silently on the bench...Maybe, just maybe, EG put Tapps in the Interim role to eat this lost season (he's never going to be an NBA HC anyway) so Ayers could have the job on a permanent basis for 09-10 without have the worst record in the NBA tied around his neck?

Posted by: richardharless | February 26, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

If Randy Ayers or some guy who hasnt had playoff level coaching experience becomes the Wizards coach next season I'm going to stop watching the team. Granted, I don't think ANYONE can do a worse job than the way Tapscott has managed this team this year, but it's just sickening to watch a horrible team not do the ONE thing it can do and that is to develop the younger players. No clue why the young guys are not getting real minutes and mediocre players like Mike James and Songaila (who is a great backup dont get me wrong) get major minutes.

Posted by: insanity999 | February 26, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

The Sixers are the worst 3 point shooting team in the league. If ever there was a game where the Wiz's inability to defend the line could work for them, this was it. Sag off the shooters, pack the lane, cut off driving angles to the rim and force the Sixers to take outside shots, most of which they usually miss.

Oh well.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 26, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

The other thing that pisses me off is that no one in the media asks the tough questions.

I understand Ivan has to maintain relationships with players and coaches to be effective at his job, but doesn't the Post have anyone who isn't a beat writer that can challenge Tapscott's stupidity and horrible coaching? It's mind-boggling that Tapscott continues to play veterans on a team going nowhere this year and is doing nothing to develop younger players, and absolutely nothing gets written about him in the media.

Posted by: insanity999 | February 26, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

I only a saw about a quarter's worth of the game, but it looked to me like the better running team one.

Neither played a lot of defense while I was watching. In a game like that one, a quick, active, opportunistic player like McGuire will pick up rebounds and blocks aplenty. Louis Williams looks to me like one of the five or six best young scorers in the East. The Sixers allow Dalembert to pitch a tent down low, and with nobody able to stay with him in the open floor, Iguodala looks All-World.

An illusion, folks. A team that packs in its defense and bumps the Philadelphia players out of their preferred spots will walk all over the Sixers in the playoffs.

It'll probably be unpopular here, given how many folks are still angry about the coaching, but McGee wouldn't have helped much if he'd played twenty or thirty minutes. He'd have picked up some showy blocks and enough rebounds, but Philly is the better running team, and Washington would have lost anyway.

The positives: Opportunistic rebounding. Very solid free throw shooting.

The negatives: Mediocre from the 3 point line. Too many fouls for a home game.

You notice the Wiz don't have anyone who scores in the low post? Particularly apparent tonight. A good PF could have had thirty against Philly.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Notice we don't have a low post scoring threat? I hope you were being sarcastic.

Yeah, same old whining about McGee. It's fun to read now bc it's so absurd at this point. I watched McGee the entire 6 mins he was on the court and in that time he was out of position about 5:30. Sorry, the dude is clueless on the court and unless a play develops that utilizes his athletic ability he is absolutely terrible. I believe Tap commented on McGee's focus and he is spot on. It's like he has adhd out there. Bottom line is he does not deserve 30 mins on the court or very rarely does.

Just wait...I'm sure he'll get those mins the final couple of weeks of the season so you guys don't have coronary's just yet.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 26, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Face the facts.

Player Efficiency Ratings:

McGee = 16.7
NBA Average 15.0
McGuire = 11

The good news is McGuire is improving. The bad news is that McGuire's starting point was the lowest PER in the league.

If you don't like PER, then think about the fact that McGee's points, rebounds and blocks per minute are better than any other Wiz center in recent history.

Yes, McGee is out of position about 30% of the time. That's fixable with the right coaching. In other words, McGee's lack of improvement in positioning is Taps' failing.

It's hard to watch such childish behavior by a grown man who feels compelled to lash out at the team's most promising player.

Posted by: Izman | February 26, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

insanity999 is absolutely right on the reporting. No knock on Micheal and Ivan, and Ivan has ramped up his criticism a little lately. But I find it stunning--especially when compared to the 'Skins--that the all-powerful W Post just allows EG and the front-office to spoonfeed the media. This ENTIRE franchise deserves some very tough scrutiny from top to bottom. I realize the 'Skins are a whole other deal in terms of local importance, etc. But, if there's one trip-up, the Post has one reporter and two columnists all over it--for days, until there's some kind of resolution or the team speaks out. Why hasn't there been an interview with Eddie Jordan? Why hasn't there been a roundup of what execs around the league think of the Wiz? Why no coverage of who the next coach might be? Again, I appreciate this blog and what Ivan and Michael do--they're hardworking beat reporters. But I'm surprised at how little push-back this clearly failing organization gets the press.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 26, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Interim coach Ed Tapscott on that subject: "Flow of the game. Just didn't think there was enough effectiveness there doing the things we need. A flashy dunk does is not neccessarily playing well. You have to look at what is being given up on the other end, what coverages aren't being made...I'm not singleing him out. He wasn't alone tonight. He had some struggles along with a bunch of other guys. We needed execution and I went with the guys I thought would be able to execute the best."

You have to be kidding me right? I see nothing has changed from a few weeks ago with this guy. This dude is single-handledly stopping me from watching my squad on a regular basis. That has never happened to me before, even in the worse of years for them.

To make that statement about McGee has to be on his top 5 of DUMB comments he has made yet. Can he name me one other person on his team that is playing defense the "correct way" other then McGuire????

So how come their shortcomings are not magnified in the media like he did McGee's? What does CB and AJ give you on the defensive end of the floor? Seems to me all they give you is offense, right? How come it is alright for them, but McGee gets called out? Tapscott is a JOKE...!!!

Lastly, I watched most of the game until Tapscott pissed me off so bad with his second half rotations I looked at the rest of American Idol. My question is what happened to AB? He was ripping it in the first half, and then I never saw him get any minutes in the 2nd half?

Let me guess, Tapscott stuck him in the doghouse with McGee right; because of that "behind the back" pass to McGee with which McGee finished with a highlight dunk? That's right, punish the two cats that bought the crowd to their feet.

However if that was AJ throwing the "behind the back" pass to CB and CB throwing it down Tapscott would have been singing their praises........... Dang this dude is one of the biggest HYPOCRITES I have ever seen in my life!!!

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 26, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Had a meeting last night so I missed the game, instead of DVRing and watching the highlights I did the U Conn game instead. Thabeet, 14 pts, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks. Another day at the office...

I did like Critt's attitude about his play, hey young guys are going to be up and down. But this guy is for real. He really is seeming to work at his game the way McGuire has. Tapps has made a whole series of boneheaded, in way to deep, decisions as head coach. Playing McGuire isn't one of them. The guy's another keeper.

But you know, the Wiz seriously need to find out between now and draft day what they have in Young. If Young's a bonafide rotation guy the Wiz would seem fairly set on the perimeter. With Critt and Arenas able to run together and Arenas able to swing over and play the point with either Young or Butler there would be four solid backcourt guys.

Butler could swing between the 3 & the backcourt with Mcguire getting plenty of minutes at the three. The big need would appear to be for a guy with three point range off the bench. James could fill that role if his contract isn't moved. Or possibly Stevenson could rebound and be that guy off the bench.

Not finding out now what impact McGee, Blatche and Young can have on next year's roster is the mentality of an old time college coach that had his players comminted to him for a 4 year scholarship.

"If I don't like a kid I'll bury him for a year. And he'll have a summer to think it over, he'll either transfer out and I can give his scholarship to another freshman. Or, he'll come back ready to run through walls for me."

That's the reason successful College guys like Bobby Knight,John Thompson, or Gary Williams wouldn't last as NBA coaches. There is a completely different mentality involved. Tapps thinks like a not too successful college coach.

Somebody needs to remind him that htis season is all about player development now. Quit riding Jamison, Butler, Songaila, and James like a bunch of "Rented Mules" and figure out how to improve the depth on this roster.

Keeping Young on the bench on a night when the box score says Butler or Jamison couldn't score with any consistancy seems plain crazy.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 26, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes, McGee is out of position about 30% of the time. That's fixable with the right coaching. In other words, McGee's lack of improvement in positioning is Taps' failing.

Sums up our season pretty succinctly. We are nothing because our coach is nothing.

Posted by: original_mark | February 26, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

GM

you make too many good points to liat them all. can you forward a copy to Etaps while you are at it?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 26, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

flohrtv: "I did the U Conn game instead. Thabeet, 14 pts, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks. Another day at the office..."

Saw some of this one too. Am I reading the box wrong or does Marquette only have one player over 6'6", and he's the 6'8" guy who got in foul trouble and only played 20 minutes?

Next to UConn they looked like one of those midget-league teams the Wiz had for their halftime entertainment...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

When a young player makes a mistake, I have no problem with the coach sits him down and explains it to him. But you need to play him again, and allow him the opportunity to correct his error, and not just let him sit on the bench!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 26, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Taps still, incredibly, idiotically, unfathomably, thinks it's about Ws and Ls. I simply do not understand how he can be taking this attitude. Why he thinks this season is salvageable is anyone's guess. Why are we not giving Young, Pech and McGee real minutes, to a) find out if they can play, and b) help them improve for next year?

If it's determined that they're limited role players, the next coach will be better able to know how to use them. If they show real promise with greater minutes, that can be built upon for next year.

It seems like there's no plan here at all, other than to try and get 20 wins at all costs -- by all costs, I mean overplaying Caron and Antawn, giving huge minutes to the hideous Mike James and out-of-position, significantly overmatched Songaila, and not finding out what many of your youngsters can do.

It seems like Grunfeld is happy to let Tapscott do whatever he wants, at the price of getting the only valuable thing out of this year, which is young player development (I do like the minutes Crit and McGuire are getting, however.)

Posted by: keithward64 | February 26, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

When Dalembert continually just goes over the top for ally oops with no body able to get up and deny it, yeah its called put a bigger body in.

Posted by: mikejc80
------------------------------------------

Yes, Tapscott seems to have a very short leash when young players make mistakes (and they do), but are quite oblivious to Songaila's physical shortcomings. When you give up two points, it is two points, whether or not it is due to mistakes, or due to lack of physical talent. Mistakes are correctable (and it is the coach's job to facilitate the process), while physical shortcomings aren't!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 26, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The idea that playing the youngsters more now will help determine how they'll be used next year is undone by the fact that there will be a new coach next season. The new coach will make his own determination of who does and doesn't deserve minutes based on his evaluation of how players perform and conduct themselves in the summer league, preseason, practice, and on the court under his supervision and in his system. Very little (if anything) that happens this season is going to have much carryover. I'm pretty sure that the prevailing mood at the Phone Booth is to wipe this one from the memory banks as soon as the final horn sounds on game # 82. Next season will be a blank slate from the top to the bottom.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 26, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/seth_davis/02/24/hoop.thoughts/index.html

A summary of NBA scouts' opinions of the current crop of potential draftees:

Blake Griffin, 6-10 sophomore forward, Oklahoma: "The only downside to him is he's not 6-10. He's probably 6-8. He's not going to be able to bully guys like he does in college, but he's a great athlete who can get out in transition and dunk. He's a more athletic version of Karl Malone."

Greg Monroe, 6-11 freshman center, Georgetown: "Oh, he's my favorite. For me, it's him or Griffin as the top picks from college. His upside is off the charts, and he's probably the most cerebral player in the draft."

Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3 junior center, UConn: "Of course I love his size, the way he runs, how hard he plays, the way he blocks shots, but I just can't get excited about a guy who's never going to be able to put the ball in the basket. In the NBA, they exploit your weaknesses. He won't be able to score against a 6-10, 6-11 NBA center. He can catch and score when he's open, but I don't really see much improvement in his post skills. He'll be a Mutombo type player who will probably be drafted in the top five, but he's not a star in our league."

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 26, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

sampson151,Marquette played a lineup about the size of what Tapps ran out there against the 76er's. If you beleive Songaila and Jamison are either much more then 6'7", I've got some mortgage based securities to sell you.

That's my point, the Wizards have a serious lack of real size up front that really needs addressing. Monroe is a nice player, if he comes out he'll be a top 5 pick. But he's gone through a Big East schedule and hasn't shown an ounce of toughness down low.

He's got alot of talent, but is very similar to Blatche, I'd say he'll be better then Blatche, but he has a very similar game. I just can't see that another finesse forward in the fold is the answer.

That's one reason I'd tend to lean toward Griffin more then Monroe because of his physical tools and his agression in the paint.

If Thabeet is another Motombo, he's axactly what this team needs in my book. Thnaks for reinforcing my point Kal.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 26, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The new coach will do his own evaluation, that's understandable. But that should not be the reason for not trying to develop young players this season!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 26, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It goes without saying that there's a huge difference between being "a Mutombo type player" (i.e., an offensively challenged shotblocker) and being "another Mutombo" (i.e., one of the greatest game-changing defensive big men to ever play the game).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 26, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

flohrtv: "If you beleive Songaila and Jamison are either much more then 6'7", I've got some mortgage based securities to sell you."

Sorry -- looks like you're stuck with those CMOs for another season at least.

As far as those draft ratings, it's pretty much a consensus by now. A great tournament might reorder things, but Monroe isn't ready (if I ever saw anybody need another year, it's him); Griffin has some of the same height challenges as Mike Beasley; and Thabeet -- well, he's one of those risky picks that GMs secretly dread.

And Ricky Ricardo -- sorry, I mean Rubio --is conga-ing in Spain.

In weak moments, you almost hope the Wiz get a lousy pick so they could go with somebody like James Harden.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I always thought Alonzo was better than Dikembe, at least until he started getting hurt. Mutombo has it all over Mourning endurance-wise. They're both terrific, and Alonzo is undersized for a center, but that heart of his was something to admire.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Also also, I don't know how we can judge Thabeet when he's facing an eenie lineup like Marquette.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Monroe has a ways to go to get to Blatche. Time will tell but AB is a good player. If he had any semblance of a coaching staff behind him, he'd probably be on the verge of stardom.
Put AB in the draft today and he'd be top 3...maybe top 2. I understand that some folks see him as a lazy player who doesn't care but if we look strictly at his production (and put him in his proper pf position), he's a very impressive 22 year old player.

Posted by: original_mark | February 26, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

You guys should just can the "we are nothing bc of our coaching" mantra or "play clueless McGee for the hell of it" even though he doesn't deserve to.

The reality is we are nothing bc we have our best players injured which makes some people in here slow learners at best. The reality is also that McGee is probably another 2/3 years away from being a really solid player and he is being used during games as much as he deserves.

Kudos to Songalia for sucking it up for the team and actually playing really well at center for the past 1/2 dozen games. He even outplayed Duncan the other night although the rest of the team forgot how to shoot the ball.

And, McGee is ALWAYS out of position on D and is not sure what to do offensively in half court sets half the time. The PER is a stat like all the rest, which means sometimes they are useful and sometimes they are not. McGuire is much further ahead of McGee in all areas of the game and, therefore, is a starter and is turning into a very solid role player. McGee is not close to him yet his "PER" is better. That tells you all you need to know about that stat!

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 26, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Looking strictly at a player's production doesn't come close to telling the whole story. If you look strictly at production, guys like Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Ricky Davis, Darius miles, et al., should have been perennial all-stars. But you can't realistically judge the value of their numbers without also considering the impact of their attitudes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 26, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Also also, I don't know how we can judge Thabeet when he's facing an eenie lineup like Marquette. "

Well we've already seen, on more than one occasion, that he struggles when matched up against big strong players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 26, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

rphilli: McGee is not close to him yet his "PER" is better. That tells you all you need to know about that stat!"

Mebbe not all we need to know about the stat, but something about it. I don't know what the flaw is, but the gaudy numbers a player like McGee generates are certainly suspicious, given how he actually looks on the court.

When you hear someone extolling a player because of his PER, and then see him making mistakes on the court, you do have to wonder.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

rphilli721,

I agree with you observations. However, I disagree with the conclusion you drew from the observations.

Is McGee "deserved" to be on court for more minutes than he has? I say not. But that is why this is an "opportunity" for him, something that he didn't "earn" based on merit. The question here is what is best for the team. What good does it do at this point of the season to play veterans heavy minutes? If giving McGee more PT than he deserves can accelerate his growth, why not? The concern here should not be whether or not McGee "deserves" those minutes, but whether or not more minutes will help McGee's growth (not just McGee, the same logic applies to other young players).

I am not saying to treat the remaining season as prolonged garbage time, and let young players do whatever they want. Play them and coach them, with veterans showing them how to play. NBA's schedule is hectic, there isn't much time for practicing; and coaches are often concentrated on winning games than developing young players. This is an "opportunity" to do more teaching than trying to win games.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 26, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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