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Young Struggling

Nick Young's second season has been filled with exhilarating highs and frustrating lows, and he currently finds himself in the latter. Over his last five games, Young is averaging just 5.4 points and shooting just 29.4 percent (10 for 34) from the floor. He has also missed 11 of his 13 attempts from beyond the three-point line over that stretch.

The odd part about Young's slump is that it came immediately after a three-game stretch from Feb. 4 to Feb. 8, when he scored 21 points against New Jersey, 20 against Denver and another 20 against Indiana. He also shot an impressive 23 of 45 (51 percent).

And therein lies the problem. Young has only been effective this season when his shot his falling -- and that often is an all-or-nothing proposition. Young is averaging 10.4 points but he has scored in double figures in 26 of his 56 games this season, topping 20 points in nine of those games.

Interim Coach Ed Tapscott said it is difficult to give Young minutes when he's in a shooting slump. In the three games since the all-star break, Young has scored a total of nine points, missed 12 of 15 shots, and played just 12.3 minutes a game. "You can't afford to have a guy struggling with his shot shoot you out of a game," Tapscott said. "It's not like we're really adept [at] making up 10-point leads. We need to play close or be ahead to work through our own inconsistencies."

Tapscott has noticed how Young's spirits can drop if his first few jumpers don't go down, but would like to see Young take the next step in his development -- and take it to the hole if he can't score from the outside. "Nick Young is only a second year player [with] terrific offensive skills and talent and he tends to go as his offensive game goes," Tapscott said. "So, he will, as he matures, be able to handle the ups and downs missing and making shots better. He works hard. He's a great kid. He's always going to get a chance.

"I'm not worried about Nick," Tapscott said. "We were worried about Mike James going through a shooting slump and he shot us into a win [against Minnesota]. You've got to ride with it. If you get in and you're playing well, we're going to ride with you."

By Michael Lee  |  February 24, 2009; 9:47 AM ET
 | Tags: Nick Young  
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Comments

Cause and effect. If a young player feels that the coach has no confidence in him, more likely than not he will not play with confidence.

Young should be traded to a second-rate team where he could start, relax, enjoy himself, average 20 a game, add some excitement and bring some additional fans to that team's arena.

He's going nowhere fast here and it won't be getting any better for him anytime soon.

Posted by: Izman | February 24, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

He's a young guy but seems to lack emotional maturity. When he turns the ball over or messes up, you don't see him hustle twice as hard to make up for it. He's comfortable joking with McGuire or McGee, but doesn't put on his game face and ratchet up his effort. He plays a pick-up game style in which it's all about looking slick. This is a tough league and you have to bring it every night. He can't do that now.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 24, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

NY is a volume streak shooter. Without volume, it's hard to get streaky. I'll attribute his offensive issues to Tap. When he was on a roll with the 30 point games, he was still not getting consistent run. Why? Who knows? Tap may have been pointing to his lack of defense. I'm not even gonna try to defend that.

It's funny how this team is below average in scoring and defense yet a guy who plays defense (McGuire) can be almost totally inept on offense and get major minutes. Yet a guy who can score in bunches (Young) gets excoriated for not playing defense.

Perhaps it's because Nick is a one trick pony and doesn't pass or rebound well while McGuire at least tries to contribute in multiple areas.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

He could try finding some other area of the game to make an impact in, and hopefully get his confidence up that way. Nah, too easy.

Posted by: tha_prophet | February 24, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with jweber1.

Nick always has a look on his face like he's either clowning around out there or pouting and ALWAYS worried about how he looks doing it.. He needs to mature, get some focus, and start acting like a man on the court.

That's what I love about McGee. Even though he may commit a dumb turnover every now and then, he hustles to get back on D. Plus, he always has the same unfazed expression on his face. He plays with maturity and doesn't get caught up in highs or lows. Young could be great if he could just get that level of balance and perhaps a little bit of the Jordan/Kobe "assassin mentality."

Posted by: VeCente115 | February 24, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

You guys clowning on Nick Young are crazy. So what, if he has fun out there...it's a job but it's also a GAME. No one can say anything negative about his work ethic, everything I've heard is that he's a hard worker. Just because he smiles and is easy going isn't reason to question his abilities.

I blame his troubles solely on Tapscott, who is one of the worst excuses for a coach I've seen. If you read his quotes one would think the Wizards are in the middle of a playoff race or Conference title. Give Nick a chance to play so he can learn to do more than score, give him confidence by having confidence in him.

He is athletically and offensively gifted...under the right tutelage he can blossom into a star. Tapscott is ruining him and his progression and ability to contribute by not letting him play. A guy like Nick needs a solid 30 minutes every night for a while to get him feeling good. With time he will show consistency, he's just too gifted not to.

Posted by: insanity999 | February 24, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The really frustrating thing about Young is that every so often he'll play like the light has finally come on, using his obvious talent to its full effect. He'll use his off the dribble ability to create space, get by his man, and aggressively attack the basket with force, either finishing or getting fouled/to the line or both, which opens up the rest of his game. But those games are like little isolated islands surrounded by the sea of games where he settles for fadeaway jumpers and doesn't put in the work to exploit his advantages over the guys defending him, which not only helps him but also opens up the floor for his teammates.

He would actually be less of a disappointment if it were clear he just didn't get it at all. As it is, he seems to be one of those guys who tantalizes with potential, showing just enough to keep people hoping for more but then failing to deliver once he's got you on the edge of your seat.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Interim Coach Ed Tapscott said it is difficult to give Young minutes when he's in a shooting slump. In the three games since the all-star break, Young has scored a total of nine points, missed 12 of 15 shots, and played just 12.3 minutes a game. "You can't afford to have a guy struggling with his shot, shoot you out of a game," Tapscott said.

By Michael Lee | February 24, 2009; 9:47 AM ET

But when it was Stevenson struggling at the beginning of the season we had to watch him start every night and wave his hand in front of his face 1 out of every 10 shots. Come on.

I also am not sure about Young's attitude like other people have said.

What to do...

Posted by: sexypills03 | February 24, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"Interim Coach Ed Tapscott said it is difficult to give Young minutes when he's in a shooting slump."

LOL!!!!
DeSuck was stinking so-bad, that he took himself out of the starting lineup (supposedly. What about Mike James? On-balance, he is indeed a horrible PG yet he gets the majority of minutes.

Man! I want this team sold so-that Tapscott, Unseld Jr, and the rest of these clowns are swept out.

Posted by: closg | February 24, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

insanity999, there's no inherent relationship between talent and consistency. NBA history is filled with talented, gifted players who never fulfilled their potential or achieved consistency, no matter how much time they played or how many years they were in the league. Consistency doesn't just happen with time, guys have to be willing work to achieve it. That's the issue hanging over Young right now..

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"You can't afford to have a guy struggling with his shot, shoot you out of a game," Tapscott said.

Yet he let D-steve shoot us out of the first 30 games. Tapscott is horrible, I mean just horrible, and is in way over his head. I wonder if he cries himself to sleep at night asking why Ernie G. did this to him.

Posted by: MBUSA | February 24, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The problem is...Nick's mentor on this team, someone else who never plays defense and wants to shot first and pass second.

How is a young guy on this team ever going to learn how to play the game the right way by sitting on the bench watching AJ, CB, and Gil (if he ever comes back).

Maybe a good head coach would help but why spend the money on one of those when you have ETaps in the organization? Tony Massenburg is the big man coach? Come on what is he 6'8" give me a proven big man that can teach by experience. Wait I forgot Tony is volunteering.

Doesn’t Cheap Abe understand by spending money on good coaching and good scouting helps build a winning organization?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 24, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse


I don't understand why Ed gives Young the quick hook when his shooting is poor. Last time I checked, Stevenson's shooting is perhaps as worst of shooting guards. There isn't much there to go to when Nick isn't playing well.

Right now the team is weak at their guard spot, and Nick Young is going through the same kind of slump that Jarvis Hayes went through when he was here. Only thing I can say is give Young more consistent minutes, if it's 20 to 25 minutes a game let him have that and allow him to work his way out of the slump. Benching players after missing one or two shots don't help the player or the teams confidence in him.

Posted by: rcnasa | February 24, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Wait I forgot Tony is volunteering.

ROFLOL. Hilarious. Made even funnier by the fact that it's true.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

NBA history is filled with talented, gifted players who never fulfilled their potential or achieved consistency, no matter how much time they played or how many years they were in the league.

Seems like we have a talent for drafting guys like this, Kal. Courtney Alexander was a REALLY talented player who never really got it.

On the flip side, there are a lot of guys who, given the right situation, develop and become stars. Imagine Magic on a slow half court team or a Shaq on a running team. I think they'd have still been very good but not the icons that they became.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"The really frustrating thing about Young is that every so often he'll play like the light has finally come on, using his obvious talent to its full effect. He'll use his off the dribble ability to create space, get by his man, and aggressively attack the basket with force, either finishing or getting fouled/to the line or both, which opens up the rest of his game. But those games are like little isolated islands surrounded by the sea of games where he settles for fadeaway jumpers and doesn't put in the work to exploit his advantages over the guys defending him, which not only helps him but also opens up the floor for his teammates.

He would actually be less of a disappointment if it were clear he just didn't get it at all. As it is, he seems to be one of those guys who tantalizes with potential, showing just enough to keep people hoping for more but then failing to deliver once he's got you on the edge of your seat."

How much time and effort do you put into your responses? Seriously. It’s as if your writing a book. Your analogies and choice of words are quite amusing.

But you fgail to speak any volume. Have you actually watched the games in which Nick has had success. Did you watch the Lakers game last year? ALL jump shots. Ivan said it best above, read the article. When his shot is on, he puts up numbers. In his career games, he got hot from the outside, and utilized his “fade away” jumper to a T. He did not “drive” to the basket and get “And-ones” all day, as you and your “Caldecott Medal winning” writing would have everyone believe. Get with the program.


Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The problem is that if Nick ain't scoring, he is not a factor in the game. DeShawn is a factor on the defensive end, so when his shot is off, he still has some impact.

Posted by: G-Man11 | February 24, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Courtney Alexander is a great example of what Young may be. Alexander could jump out of the gym, run, throw it down, and shoot but never put it all together. We had him and Rip on the same team and you can see how their careers diverged.

Young clearly needs some maturation and work on his game. In my mind, the long-term solution at SG is still unsolved.

Posted by: uptownjive | February 24, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

For those who are getting a kick out of “clowning” Massenburg, I have an assignment for you:

Compare Massenburg’s career numbers to Brendan Haywood’s career numbers. Tell me what conclusion you draw. Shouldn’t take too long.

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Seems like we have a talent for drafting guys like this, Kal. Courtney Alexander was a REALLY talented player who never really got it.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 11:40 AM

except we didnt draft courtney alexander.

Posted by: heath717 | February 24, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I disagree pretty strongly with that Mark. Magic or Shaq would have been great wherever they landed. The difference between them and a guy like Nick Young is the magnitude of talent. Magic and Shaq (and all of the others we could name) were so clearly better than everyone else around them that they forced the agenda. Teams were built around their talent, so adapting to a style or system wasn't really an issue. Teams (and the entire league, in those two cases) were forced to adapt to them.

Young is nowhere near that class. He has the talent to be a very good player, but he's not a guy who can just show up and expect to succeed. He has to put a lot of work in to get there. He hasn't shown the signs of doing that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

yeah I know he came during his rookie year. He's still an example of a guy that had serious physical skills, tho.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I always beleived that Nick is too damn good to settle for his jumper anyway. He needs to attackt the rim (like a young Kobe)! A real coach would make him attack the rim instead of benching him everytime he misses a jumper. A Real Coach would tell him that if he doesn't attack the rim at least 5 times a game, he's not playing the next night. That's what a real coach would do.

Posted by: CBell29 | February 24, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh I didn't mean to imply that Magic and Shaq wouldn't have been great, Kal.

They just happened to be in systems that optimized their talent...kinda like the run and shoot EJ ran optimized Gil's talent here.
Like you said, though, it's probably because the team was built around those talents.

I think we need to give Nick time. I hate to see games where he plays 30 minutes and has 20 points but only 1 assist. I've seen him look guys off a lot or deliver passes wayyyy too late. I can't count the number of time teammates have been under the hoop open and waving and Nick sees them yet doesn't deliver. I guess that's what happens when you take a young player in hs and make him the focal point. They never learn to involve their teammates.

Again, this comes down down to coaching to change those bad habits. We can criticize these players all day along but good coaching can overcome a lot.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for this little gem, Izman:

"Young should be traded to a second-rate team where he could start, relax, enjoy himself, average 20 a game, add some excitement and bring some additional fans to that team's arena."

A second-rate team like....who, exactly?

Posted by: Good2bOK | February 24, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I once heard Jerry West of the old Lakers say that he knew he could score. So when he was in a slump he shot his way out it knowing he would recover. The difference was that West was a starter and played a lot of minutes. When Young misses a few, he doesn't get a chance to shoot out of it; he sits. The Wizards aren't going any where so why not give Young a chance to shoot out of it?

Posted by: browneri | February 24, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

For those who are getting a kick out of “clowning” Massenburg, I have an assignment for you:

Compare Massenburg’s career numbers to Brendan Haywood’s career numbers. Tell me what conclusion you draw. Shouldn’t take too long.

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 11:55 AM


Career PER rating for Massenberg : 11.9
Career PER rating for BTH : 15.4

It didn't take long although I'm not quite sure what point you were trying to make.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Hollinger's PER sets the bar at 15. The comparison means that BTH is an above average player while Massenberg was considerably below.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

But cj658, I wasn't really trying to clown Massenberg as much as an organization who employs a 6'8" journeyman as their VOLUNTEER big man coach.

I'm a Terp fan and liked TM.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

To those defending NY, have you seen him play? He does nothing except jack up jump shots all day long. While that might work if you are Ray Allen, NY misses more than he makes. And if he's not contributing anything else, why give him time? At least DeShawn (tries to) play defense. I remember when Jarvis Hayes was still here, almost every game Phil Chenier repeats the matra: if your shots aren't falling, drive to the basket. But no, all he did was jack up beautiful looking bad shots.

Posted by: tundey | February 24, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Given the caliber of big men the Wiz have, I don't think Massenburg is a bad guy to have as a mentor. He wasn't an A-list guy or a big time low post scorer. But he was a relentless, physical dirty work guy who made up for what he lacked in high level skill with toughness and a determination to outwork the bigger, more talented guys he went up against. Given the general lack of grit along the Wiz's frontline, if Massenburg can impart some of that attitude to his charges, it would be a job well done.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Young's definitely one of those highlight-film types -- if this were figure skating, he be out there doing quadruple Salchows or whatever during the compulsories...

Style points he gets.

That's why I suspect his ultimate role will be off the bench. He'll still need a lot of shots, but he's the sort who could shoot his team back into a game.

Then once you were even, you take him out for somebody who can play a little defense.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

OrigMark: I know, I was just kidding. It just provided me with another opportunity to bash Haywood lol. But I’ve never been a believer in Hollinger’s PER, personally, I think the guy is a joke, but I won’t get into that. As far as points and rebs, their #’s are actually eerily similar.

On another note, I’m a Terps fan too. Big time. I agree it is a joke to have the guy volunteering. My whole thing is, I just think fans will be saying the same thing about BTH when he retires, no team would pay him to coach their big men, I know I wouldn’t.

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I had the impression that Massenburg was generally well-respected around the League. One of those players who found a role on contending squads. PJ Brown, James Posey -- that sort.

Those guys play a long, long time.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

“Given the caliber of big men the Wiz have, I don't think Massenburg is a bad guy to have as a mentor. He wasn't an A-list guy or a big time low post scorer. But he was a relentless, physical dirty work guy who made up for what he lacked in high level skill with toughness and a determination to outwork the bigger, more talented guys he went up against. Given the general lack of grit along the Wiz's frontline, if Massenburg can impart some of that attitude to his charges, it would be a job well done.”


I guess we should hire Michael Ruffin as soon as he is available. Well said.

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

“Given the caliber of big men the Wiz have, I don't think Massenburg is a bad guy to have as a mentor. He wasn't an A-list guy or a big time low post scorer. But he was a relentless, physical dirty work guy who made up for what he lacked in high level skill with toughness and a determination to outwork the bigger, more talented guys he went up against. Given the general lack of grit along the Wiz's frontline, if Massenburg can impart some of that attitude to his charges, it would be a job well done.”


You probably are Tony Massenburg, based on that comment.

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Quick question: am I wrong, or is the discussion about the NBA a lot more intelligent than those about the various college teams?

What's up wit dat?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

“I had the impression that Massenburg was generally well-respected around the League. One of those players who found a role on contending squads. PJ Brown, James Posey -- that sort.
Those guys play a long, long time.”

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 12:25 PM

Out of his 13 years in the league, he played on a playoff team 3 years. 3 out of 13. He averaged 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in the playoffs, those 3 years.


“One of those players who found a role on contending squads”

You’re joking right??

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

That's why I suspect his ultimate role will be off the bench. He'll still need a lot of shots, but he's the sort who could shoot his team back into a game.

Then once you were even, you take him out for somebody who can play a little defense.

I agree with that, to the extent that he's playing on a good team. On a bad one, he could be Corey Maggette or Ricky Davis, a gunner with a green light to jack it up all night, putting up numbers while his team is sinking. Which, i suspect, is part of the reason he's not getting full run now, because they don't want him to fall into that habit.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Time to go. This has now turned into a forum of people singing the praises of one Tony Massenburg. Why am not surprised, the same group of people who have convinced themselves that losing Brendan Haywood is critical to the team’s success. My, how a pathetic record has humbled this fan base (to new low).

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

cj658 Thabeet, this team blows. What else do we talk about, bro?

I gotta stick it to you about your brother Hasheem. You are absolutely convinced that your younger brother Hasheem is the answer for us. Hypothetically plug him into this starting Wiz lineup and even if he duplicated his college numbers (which he wouldn't) we'd still be a pretty bad team.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Young will be traded and become just another player to come back and kill the Wizards.

Posted by: browneri | February 24, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It is not a question if Tony Massenburg was a relentless, physical dirty work guy who made up for what he lacked in high level skill with toughness and a determination to outwork the bigger, more talented guys he went up against.

Yes he had heart, unfortunately that is not something you can teach. A player would either have to go visit OZ or they have to have it within them self. I want a big man who’s had the type of fundamentals our guys have. How about a guy like David Robinson he was more of a finesse player. McGee, Blatche, and BTH are never going to become Howard or Shaq, so get them someone who can help them fundamentally.

Since this team has committed its payroll to building a certain type of team (run and gun) bring in coaches who have that philosophy. The Wizards need to learn from the Suns you can’t put a round peg into a square hole.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 24, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Come on we can't blame Nick Young for msot of this. The guy has scored in double figures 26/56 while being jerked around be Tapscott who has no clue what he is doing. It's impossible to be consistent when you get yanked repeatedly after 2-3 minutes of play and missing your first 2 shots.

He needs to give Nick consistent minutes (about 30 or so) over an extended period of time. Rather, Tapscott keeps changing it every few games. We're so weak at 2 guard right now and Nick still doesnt get a chance to show what he can do. I am sick of Tapscott and have boycotted the Wizards since EJ was fired. I'm not going to another game till Tapscott is gone.

We're almost done the season been out of the playoff hunt for months and still McGee, Young, Pesh and others get limited minutes over mediocre veterans....disgusting.

Posted by: insanity999 | February 24, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

La Smooth aka Herky Jerk yeah he's a playa not a player i said weeks ago on this blog that Nick Young game is one dimensional if his shot's not falling then he's in trouble and he seems to be caught up in clowning around too much although he has more talent than his roomie McGuire,you see who's getting the minutes and when a team makes a coaching change it tends to affect rookies and second year players development, unless they posses superstar talent i.e.(Kobe,Labron).

Posted by: dargregmag | February 24, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

cjs658:"You’re joking right??"

Guess so. I thought he was better than that. Probably based on that one ring, with the Spurs in 2004-05. Thing I'd forgotten was how often the guy was hurt. Amazing he lasted 15 seasons. He seldom finished one.

Still, 15 seasons counts, too.

As far as Brendan, I'm not a huge fan. I thought he started strong in the NBA, plateaued for a long time, then came alive for some reason at the beginning of the 08 season. I thought that was reason for optimism this year, til he got hurt, that is.


Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Now Thabeet, he's one of those players people divide over. You've got coaches singing his praises and NBA scouts describing his weaknesses. And sometimes he looks All World, while other times... he looks lost.

Your guess is as good as mine, probably better. I would have a hard time taking him with a number one choice. But once again, I'd be happy to be wrong.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

OK, OK, about the intelligent discussion: I take it all back.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL...what is this it's everybody else's fault but his mentality in here?

Nick Young is talented and immature and not close to "professional" yet. He is not unlike a myriad of other talented enough to not make it in the league, but may not for whatever reason players - a Courtney Alexander comes to mind for some reason. We'll see, but if he keeps the teasing up another season he is going to be playing for cheap or not at all before he knows it.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 24, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Quote: Thanks for this little gem, Izman:

A second-rate team like....who, exactly?

The Clippers. NY is from LA. The Clips don't care about defense, and Young would bring more fans to the arena than Eric Gordon. NY and Baron Davis would be fun to watch in the backcourt.

Posted by: Izman | February 24, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

“cj658 Thabeet, this team blows. What else do we talk about, bro?
I gotta stick it to you about your brother Hasheem. You are absolutely convinced that your younger brother Hasheem is the answer for us. Hypothetically plug him into this starting Wiz lineup and even if he duplicated his college numbers (which he wouldn't) we'd still be a pretty bad team”

Mark, I agree. But, I think the same can be said for Blake Griffin. No matter what college player we hypothetically “throw in the mix”, this team is bad. My whole thing is, I feel that Thabeet will blend in much better once this team is healthy (more so than griffin). It’s not exactly a secret that this team lacks defense, I just don’t see how we could pass up the one guy who could possibly change the attitude and culture around here. Griffin would just be more of the same. Sometimes, you have to go against the grain, and not always go with the “sexy” pick. I have just never heard so many coaches praise one player on his ability to dominate a game. These are guys who have been coaching for a long time in the Big East.


“Still, 15 seasons counts, too."

As far as Brendan, I'm not a huge fan. I thought he started strong in the NBA, plateaued for a long time, then came alive for some reason at the beginning of the 08 season. I thought that was reason for optimism this year, til he got hurt, that is.”

Good point about Massenburg, he did have a long career, and there is no denying that. As far as Brendan, I think his future with this team will depend A LOT on who Ernie brings in as head coach.

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

cj658, Hasheem Thabeet playing for EJ and Tap is Pech... a guy who only comes in games when we're behind by 30 because he has a specialized skill. Never mind that that skill is useful. I'd bet that Thabeet would probably have gotten about 12 mpg this year if we had him.

Until we get a competent coach who preaches and teaches defense, the mentality will never change here. Here's hoping Abe ponies up to get one. That's probably the most important check Abe signs this offseason, not the rookie salary.

Posted by: original_mark | February 24, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse


I don't disagree that Stevenson game is focused more on defense and thats an area where Young struggles. I'm pointing out Ed's statement on his patience in Youngs shooting. I just think at this point in the season Ed needs to give him a steady 20 to 25 minute average, if the team is trying to compete for the 8th spot, okay, but there heading for the lottery and they need to understand the direction of the team and who will be playing for the team next season.

It really doesn't change the outcome of the season if Young is benched or plays so i say it the guy have some minutes and if he improves in March/April perhaps he'll have a shot at competing for the starting role. But overall, the team's young players have underachieved this year. Anytime the 3 highest scorer on your team is avg is 10ppg your seriously lacking offensive support

Posted by: rcnasa | February 24, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say anytime your team's 3rd highest scorer is coming off the bench and is averaging 10ppg the team really needs offensive support.

Posted by: rcnasa | February 24, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Massenburg played most of his career as a backup PF, and switched to backup C near the end of his career due to the fact he gained some weight and lost some mobility.

Anyway, if Wiz is really serious about developing their big men, they'd better bring in a true bug men coach.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 24, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Put Nick Young on a good team (with a good coach) and he'll be a high impact player whether as a starter or a player coming off the bench.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 24, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

On the resurgent D-Stevenson criticism: he had a horrible season, shot-wise. And didn't help himself with the grandstanding. But he didn't shoot us out of games. And when it came to defense, he was respectable.

No, I would argue that what this season has suggested to us, is that coaching wasn't the problem. Or is only part of the problem.

Odd thing is, the Wiz aren't bereft of talent, either. Both vet and rookie. Yet it's also fair to say the team lacks talent in some places where it's badly needed.

They just don't play together very well.

Like they say: it's a mystery.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

sagaliba: "Anyway, if Wiz is really serious about developing their big men, they'd better bring in a true bug men coach."

And there are some very fine bug men coaches in the NBA.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Thabeet or any other rookie for that matter will only work if there is a coaching change.

My most horrible Wizards nightmare revolves around Arenas and Haywood coming back and the team going something like 15 and 10. Grunfeld decides Tapscott is worthy of taking the interim off of his label and rolling the first round pick and some bad contracts into Kaman or Camby.

The young guys as a group are in over there heads this year, but they should be more experienced and ready to contribute next year. NBA players are like NFL rookie quarter backs, guys that haven't been out on that court before are blown away by the speed of the game.

No rookie out there, including Griffin, will come in and make a major contribution to a playoff caliber roster next year. Take that to the bank. That's where Ernie needs to take a hard look at where he wants this roster to go and grow.

Sampson151, from the last blog, when I talk about trading down in the first round if we got the number 1 pick. I'm not talking about trading out of the top 5. My thought is to get a pick high enough to get Thabeet or Hill + another first rounder.

There's some guys that I really like later in the first that could come in and be strong defenders and good rebounders. Most playoff teams have waves of bigs to throw at you.

Right now the Wiz are starting Songaila at the 5, that should tell anyone where help is needed most.

Posted by: flohrtv | February 24, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Samson, you still didn’t tell me when Al Saunders started playing for the Clippers. I’m sure he’s a big upgrade over Eric Gordon.


http://sports.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0306/nfl_a_saunders2_200.jpg

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

“Occurs to me the Clips are actually having a worse season than the Wiz. They've won 13 games and have a healthier roster --- one that includes 'All Star types' like Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Al Saunders, and Marcus Camby, as well as a legit RoY candidate in Gordon.” - Samson151

Not once, but twice, LOL! Let alone, an All-Star! I need to sign up for your insider info, heck of a source.

“Still, with Eric Gordon and Al Saunders, LA is in a fairly strong position to surrender Davis in return for another young star. Sacramento isn't -- it would be foolish of them to trade either of their two young lions, and they really don't have any other names to put in play.” - Samson151


Hope the Clips fare better than the Rams: http://images.stltoday.com/stltoday/resources/saundersbulger625aug3.jpg

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sure let me clear that up. After Saunders was let go by the Redskins, he became very, very depressed, right? Nobdoy would give him a chance. So he underwent some additional melanin implantation and a full neocortical transplant and started playing under the name Thornton.

You're going to see a lot of that sort of thing in this economy, I'll wager.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

After Saunders/Thornton retires, he plans on resuming his career as a bug men coach.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

As I've said before, Jordan Hill could end up being as good as Griffin.

The worst record doesn't assure the #1 pick. There's still a lottery to go through, so the Wiz need to be looking long and hard at more then two guys.

I also like Hardin as a two. But I'm not super enthrawed with Monroe. He's more of a finese big to me.

Young appears to me to be similar to Blatche was last year, a little boggled at times. Plain and simple he's thinking way too much and not just playing. He's far less consistant then Rip Hamilton was at this point in his career, but has many of the same weaknesses.

On the last blog somebody mentioned Young to Detroit for a number 1. I could see Detroit looking to dump Hamilton's deal if they could get Young and a future #1 along with James expiring deal, that would allow Dumars to begin to retool.

Young would probably bloom there like Rip did. But Rip would bring some veteran savvy and toughness to this roster.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 24, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

“You're going to see a lot of that sort of thing in this economy, I'll wager.”

Clever, very clever lol, I love it. Ha!

Posted by: cj658 | February 24, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Samson151,

You are kulling me, ut's a typo. :)

Posted by: sagaliba | February 24, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"After Saunders/Thornton retires, he plans on resuming his career as a bug men coach."

I hear the Hornets are hiring.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Tapscott is a complete moron but we already knew that didn't we?. Stevenson can miss all his shots--doesn't bother Tap. He's a warrior. Jamison can shoot 40 times to make his 15 points--doesn't bother Tap. Left, right center Jamison. He's a warrior. But god forbid Nick miss a shot, he pulls him right out. Nick should be playing 40 minutes every night. He's gonna be our best player. Period.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 24, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I think that Nick Young need to play more minutes to be more effective. I know that he's young and makes mistakes, but what young players don't? I think that Tapscott is not the right coach for the Washington Wizards. The older guys on the team make mistakes and they're not pulled from the game. The team isn't winning so that's why I think the younger players should get more play time. We don't what will happen.

Posted by: girland | February 24, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"You can't afford to have a guy struggling with his shot shoot you out of a game," Tapscott said.

What are you risking??? The game??? You can already count it as a loss...at least you're giving a young player opportunity to learn how to deal w/ a shooting slump...

Posted by: merajc86 | February 24, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

And Tapscott is an NBA coach because?

Posted by: Fontana1 | February 25, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"We were worried about Mike James..."

Huh?

Dude shouldn't even be on the floor, he's not in the Wiz's plans at all. He's a total ball hog.

And EG traded AD forthis guy because???

I forget.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 25, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

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