The Important Game I Forgot to Highlight


Kaboom! Guess who stepped in the room?!! (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

In my list of Washington Wizards games to watch for the 2009-10 season, I left off one game that probably stands out more than them all -- the season opener against Dallas. The Wizards are one of eight teams to open the NBA season on Oct. 27, and the American Airlines Center is where the Wizards hope that their odyssey from lousy lottery loser to playoff contender begins.

When the Wizards were last coming off of a lottery season, they opened the season, on the road, against Memphis (a 50-win team from the Southwest Division), then traveled to Charlotte (a Southeast Division rival) for their second game before having their home opener in the third game. The Wizards finished with 45 wins and beat Chicago in the first round that season. They are following a similar path in the upcoming season, starting against Dallas (a 50-win team from the Southwest Division) and Atlanta (a Southeast Division rival). It will be interesting to see how things turn out this time around.

First off, the season opener will be the Wizards debuts for Coach Flip Saunders, Randy Foye, Mike Miller and Fabricio Oberto. Saunders has usually done well in season openers. Over his career, Saunders is 10-2 on opening night, losing to Sacramento in 1999 and Milwaukee in 2006. A season-opening loss isn't all that bad, though, because both of those teams went on to win at least 50 games after starting the season with a loss.

The other story lines will involve Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson, who will be returning from surgeries -- Jamison on his ankle and Stevenson on his back. (I wasn't in Las Vegas, but I heard that Jamison looked pretty good in his workouts and scrimmages with the summer league squad last month.)


Don't call it a comeback. I've been here for ... okay, you can call it a comeback. (AP Photo)

More importantly, the game in Dallas will also be the first time in two years that Gilbert Arenas will be available for a season opener. Arenas had surgery on his left knee last September and played just two games.

He probably shouldn't have come back to start the 2007-08 season, when he was determined to make a heroic return after Gerald Wallace collided into his knee in April of that year (Arenas will play against Wallace for the first time on Nov. 28; Wallace, if you recall, had no clue that his collision with Arenas sparked the past two years of drama for Arenas). Arenas, though, only played eight games before he was forced to shut it down for several months, then return for an ill-fated playoff run.

But Arenas has been in Chicago, where several stars with left knee troubles -- Jermaine O'Neal and Tracy McGrady -- have been training with Tim Grover. Eric Waters, the Wizards' head athletic trainer, has visited Arenas in Chicago and I've heard from several people that he looks good. Arenas will never be able to make up for the two years of his prime that he lost, but he plans to make the best of what he has left. The Wizards' new beginning is very much about Arenas's new beginning.

By Michael Lee |  August 5, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
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Comments

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Uno?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 11:49 AM

Gil has the talent to easily be Steve Nash, he's just that gifted. If the 'new' Gil averages 22/10...no one will be talking about his lost prime.

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 11:50 AM

Great post Mike.

Posted by: noucinfk91 | August 5, 2009 11:51 AM

The named coaches so far are Saunders, Cassell and Whitman. I presume Jr. and Taps are still on the payroll. Anyone else?

Mike, can you squeeze EG or Flip for a response on getting a big man coach? It seems to obvious to ignore.

Posted by: Izman | August 5, 2009 11:58 AM

I just want to see gil drive the lane and then kick to Javale for the slam...seeing that 100 times this season would be nice.

LETS GO WIZARDS!!!!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | August 5, 2009 12:35 PM

I don't care about any other storylines - this season's success is predicated on one simple question..."is Gilbert okay?"

Posted by: blackman1 | August 5, 2009 1:04 PM

we need Agent Zero to become Agent Hero!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | August 5, 2009 1:12 PM

That game is the one that we are all waiting for.
Most important??
Maybe not but definitely the one everyone wants to see.

Posted by: VBFan | August 5, 2009 1:22 PM

Gil has the talent to easily be Steve Nash, he's just that gifted. If the 'new' Gil averages 22/10...no one will be talking about his lost prime.

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 11:50 AM

divi3,

Gil had knee surgery not a brain transplant!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 5, 2009 1:23 PM

'divi3,

Gil had knee surgery not a brain transplant!'

Arenas specifically mentioned Steve Nash's game during talk last year about how he'd come back, whether he'd be as explosive etc etc. Gil said he would never be 100% where he was (in terms of hops), but that he was never a dunker anyway. Talked about facilitating rather than scoring.

Then comes back for 2 games and has 20 assists to go with 1 turnover. After missing 70 games.

No doubt (to me anyway), Arenas can be every bit as good as Nash was in his MVP seasons. Probably better

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 1:53 PM

nash's teams were based on his facillitating the offense. there weren't a lot of players on phx going one on one. it'll be interesting to see how Gil's nash works with a team built of mostly one on one players.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 1:56 PM

52 wins - eastern finals

Posted by: Blurred | August 5, 2009 2:00 PM

Gil will be comeback player of the year - MM 6th man

Posted by: Blurred | August 5, 2009 2:00 PM

Arenas is never going to be a pass first guy who forgoes looking for his shot to get others involved. Nor should he be. The threat oif his scoring is what opens up the floor for the guys around him. If he stops being aggressive offensively, it actually reduces the effectiveness of his passing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 2:06 PM

'nash's teams were based on his facillitating the offense. there weren't a lot of players on phx going one on one.'

great point. The one thing I noticed watching Gil in shootarounds last season was that he still has that stroke. At one point before the C's game he must have hit 18 of 20 35ft Js, was just amazing.

his deadly jumper combined with his ability to get to the line will create many open looks for our 1-on-1 guys, just like it did before. The difference now being he'll be looking to dish more.

Should/could make him a better player and us a better team

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 2:13 PM

ok, i guess chris paul is a better comparison than nash

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 2:17 PM

Arenas is never going to be a pass first guy who forgoes looking for his shot to get others involved. Nor should he be. The threat oif his scoring is what opens up the floor for the guys around him. If he stops being aggressive offensively, it actually reduces the effectiveness of his passing.

Agreed.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 2:17 PM

Kinda of crazy to put all your hopes into one player...Who really has never proven himself as a top 5 player in the league.. What we are guilty of is buying into the Wizards propagenda......

Posted by: xrendellx | August 5, 2009 2:34 PM

I like the Chris Paul comparison. Gil is A LOT bigger though. Paul is what 6'0'' 170?
Gil is like 6'4'' 215. Maybe more of a Deron Williams. with a better jumper.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 2:42 PM

If Gil comes back as exactly the same player as before....I'm not sure where the team will be that much better than the 40ish win teams we've seen.

Although with Flip coaching perhaps no player will have that kind of free reign

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 2:44 PM

Kinda of crazy to put all your hopes into one player...Who really has never proven himself as a top 5 player in the league.. What we are guilty of is buying into the Wizards propagenda......

That would mean only 5 teams would have a reason to think they're team could win?

I personally think Gil played his ass off that one year he was healthy for the playoffs...I went back and watched some of the games. I almost forgot how good he was. It was pretty much a 1 on 1 with LeBron.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 2:56 PM

"Maybe more of a Deron Williams. with a better jumper."

Actually, their career 3 pt shooting percentage is the same and Williams has a better overall FG%.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 2:56 PM

Actually, their career 3 pt shooting percentage is the same and Williams has a better overall FG%.

Hmmm...the overall FG% I'm sure has some to do with shot selection. I didn't know Williams shot 36% from 3. I still see Gil as more of an explosive scorer. Williams is more steady which is would I wouldn't mind Gilbert re-modeling his game after...not Nash.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:00 PM

'Hmmm...the overall FG% I'm sure has some to do with shot selection.'

This is why I say if he's the same player we'll be the same team. Gil was taking 550 3s in his heyday (if you will). so many ill-advised shots with plenty of time on the clock. He was only hitting 45% of his 2pt shots while hoisting 20 attempts a game.

A return to that spells 45 win team to me.

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 3:08 PM

"The other story lines will involve Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson, who will be returning from surgeries -- Jamison on his ankle and Stevenson on his ankle."

I'm glad that was clarified. I was thinking that Antawn's surgery might have been performed on DeShawn's ankle.

Next time you can just say that both players will be "returning from ankle surgeries."

I'm just playing... thanks for the post!

Posted by: hour36 | August 5, 2009 3:08 PM

steve nash got the most out of his guys in phx, williams is a great guard, but i don't know if he maximizes his teamates talents like nash did. i'll take patterning yourself after a 2 time MVP, no knock on williams though. nash has been a great guard on a couple different teams williams has been great but you wonder how much of his effeciency comes from sloan and the "how to play PG in the NBA" offense he runs.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:10 PM

steve nash got the most out of his guys in phx, williams is a great guard, but i don't know if he maximizes his teamates talents like nash did. i'll take patterning yourself after a 2 time MVP, no knock on williams though. nash has been a great guard on a couple different teams williams has been great but you wonder how much of his effeciency comes from sloan and the "how to play PG in the NBA" offense he runs.

Really? They sure didn't look maximized in the playoffs. Nash and Gilbert are two different players. Nash couldn't be Gil if he wanted and Gil could probably be a facilitator, but that's not what he is. He's a scorer. Maybe later in his career, or this year if he's lost the athleticism. He'll pretty much be a shooter and have to play PG.

I think Nash was boosted as much by D'Antoni's offense than anything. I wish I could've had a coach that let me run up and down the damn court and have a 7 second shot clock.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:15 PM

ok, i guess chris paul is a better comparison than nash

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 2:17 PM

Try comparing Gil to AI....Shot first, play no "D" and the game is all about ME

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 5, 2009 3:19 PM

Steve Nash has a career average of 8.0 assists per game. With the firepower that will be surrounding Gil now, I'd be very surprised if he doesn't meet or surpass that level this year.

The dirty little secret about the Wizards before Gil's injury, was that there were seldom more then two other offensive weapons on the floor with him at a time.

Just who was he supposed to rack up all of those assists to? Micheal Ruffin? Etan(Hands of Stone)Thomas? Jarvis Hayes (useally good to rim out a good 3 assits a game)? The list of offensively challenged ex-Wizards is staggering.

Even a guy like Daniels, or Butler, were not guys that were going to complete assists, because more often then not, they put the ball on the floor and drove before shooting.

When your power forward is probably your best 3 point threat, you have an offensively challenged roster in today's NBA. Who besides Jamison and Stevenson, who was Gil going to dump the ball to for the easy assist on the perimeter?

Since there was a complete lack of perimeter shooters much of the time, when Gil drove teams collapsed around the lane to prevent the dump off in close.

This roster is built completely different. Miller and Foye are new deadeye shooters from long range. Butler has expanded his range and his ability to catch and shot. Young was just a rookie when we last saw Gil healthy and is working hard on a catch and shoot game. And Blatche and McGee are two bigs that can run the floor and fill lanes on the break. Even Haywood is an improved finisher from two years ago.

And Jamison maybe older, but he's going to find his nearly 20/10 numbers easier to get as Gil opens up the floor and they are both surrounded by shooters.

Gil is going to be the difference between a marginal playoff team, and one that's dangerous every time they hit the floor, no matter who lines up opposite them.

But the two trades that Ernie pulled have brought very good insurance if Gil's less then 100%. Both Foye and Critt are very good point guards, if Gil's not on the floor Foye will be playing point most of the time.

But I'll agree with Larry, don't sleep on Critt, he could be a real surprise. The guy is a hard worker, is smart,quick, and gifted. He develops a shot and he could be special.

Sam Cassell has taken him under his wing, he's Coach Sam's project, watch for him by the second half the season. Coach Suanders wouldn't be taking time to get to know a third string point guard who may never play. Mike James wasn't mentioned on the visitation list.

These guys have a hidden gem on their hands and they know it, they just have to take they time to help the kid polish his game.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 5, 2009 3:21 PM

what about nash in dallas, or maybe nash 1.0 in phx. but you're right nash didn't maximize anybody talent in the playoffs, steve nash isn't a better pg than deron williams and thus a better player to remodel your game after.

and of course they're diff players, that's why we would be talking about Gil patterning his game after another player. Let williams get a first team all nba nod before you start talkin sports out yer arse. Nash has back to back MVP trophies playing the pg position, why shouldn't gil try to do that?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:23 PM

Miller and Foye are new deadeye shooters from long range. Butler has expanded his range and his ability to catch and shot.

Miller may be the only shooter out the bunch. Foye with 40%fg shooting and 36% 3 isn't a "dead-eye" marksman by any stretch of the immagination. and butler settles for jumpers now more than he drives to the basket, which is why it seems like he has more range.i do think we've got much more offensive potential that in years past, i just have trouble with these labels "deadeye shooter" (Foye), "Lockdown defender" (DS), Power Forward (Metawn)

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:31 PM

I don't give a damn about a first team all-nba. I'm talking about style of play. Gilbert wouldn't be as effective playing like Steve Nash. I was also talking about size, he's bigger than Nash..more comprable to Williams.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:35 PM

Steve Nash is one of the best pure playmakers to come along in the NBA in a long while. As usual, number's don't tell the whole story.

While he's always been good, Nash was something of a late bloomer in reaching his current status. And while there's no doubt he benefited from D'Antoni's system, the fact remains he took best advantage of the opportunity given to him, something a lot of players fail to do.

Unlike a lot of PGs, Nash didn't just wit for somebody to get open to pass them the ball. He actually orchestrated the offense to create openings.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 3:42 PM

gil wouldn't be effective running up and down the court at a breakneck paceand having a 7 sec shot clock? how much of the wiz did you watch when LH was in town. They were run and gun the suns of the east.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:43 PM

You're not getting it at all. I'm not talking about playing in that offense. I'm saying Gilbert would not be as effective as a pure PG. He is an elite scorer and while we would like a better balance...shifting all the way to playing like Steve Nash would be more of a disadvantage.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:49 PM

And while there's no doubt he benefited from D'Antoni's system, the fact remains he took best advantage of the opportunity given to him, something a lot of players fail to do.


no indictment against the above comment, but folks keep forgetting how great nash was with dallas, maybe the 1st phoenix stay was a reach but he was an allstar in dallas before d'antoni was even in phx. Nash definitely took advantage of his opportunities, but he's been a stud in the nba for a while now.

oh yeah and nash is 1 inch shorter than gil and even with the weight diff (about 30lbs) nash still gets to the basket as well as gil or williams

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:49 PM

"no indictment against the above comment, but folks keep forgetting how great nash was with dallas . . ."

I forgot no such thing, which is why I prefaced my comments with "While he's always been good . . ." But the fact remains that, as good as he was in Dallas (where he was an All-Star), no one would have thought of mentioning him in the same sentence as the letters "MVP" until he hooked up with D'Antoni.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 3:55 PM

Yeah 30 pounds means nothing when you wanna post another PG.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:56 PM

You're not getting it at all. I'm not talking about playing in that offense. I'm saying Gilbert would not be as effective as a pure PG. He is an elite scorer and while we would like a better balance...shifting all the way to playing like Steve Nash would be more of a disadvantage.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:49 PM

ok i do get it. we brought in all this offensive talent and an offensive coach, just so we can watch the same ol gil play ...............offense. if that's the case then throw out the 20asst/1 to stat. don't worry bout foye miller or young cuz gil's the offense. I think the whole point you are missing is that folks would like to see Gil play like a certain (2 time MVP pg) and become a distributor, run the offense and use the offenseively talented "draft picks" foye and miller as well as NY,AJ and whoever else you wanna count on this year. you sound bout as dumb as stevenson. i'm not counting on Gil to be an elite scorer again til i see several games of consistent OL'Gil ball. until then i think it would be crazy to expect or require Gil to come back as THE OFFENSE.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:59 PM

nash still gets to the basket as well as gil or williams

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 3:49 PM

Beg to differ, Arenas was getting to the FT line 700+ times a season when healthy, Nash has never approached those numbers

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 4:00 PM

I forgot no such thing, which is why I prefaced my comments with "While he's always been good . . ." But the fact remains that, as good as he was in Dallas (where he was an All-Star), no one would have thought of mentioning him in the same sentence as the letters "MVP" until he hooked up with D'Antoni.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 3:55 PM

true that. i just used yer comment, but mine wasn't really for u.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:00 PM

Beg to differ, Arenas was getting to the FT line 700+ times a season when healthy, Nash has never approached those numbers

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 4:00 PM

maybe he wasn't fouled as much, IDK i know when gil was healthy he used to go to the rack with ease and usually get a foul called. i just reflect back to those nash mvp years where it looked like people were standing still watching him as he drove the lane at will , either to shoot or pass.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:03 PM

Yeah 30 pounds means nothing when you wanna post another PG.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 3:56 PM

cuz that's what we want, gil with his back to the basket and no view of half of the court. which PG is that williams,or chris paul?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:04 PM

I think with tweaking his game Gil could average 24pts/11asissts a night. And up his 2pt shooting % more towards the DWade area rather than AI zone.

Very tall order indeed, BUT, would make him one of the top players in the league and worth every penny of his contract.

Whether he can or can't, I do not want to see the old Gil. Great fun at the time, but to get to the next level more is needed. It seems to me from his comments he knows that. We shall see

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 4:07 PM

Beg to differ, Arenas was getting to the FT line 700+ times a season when healthy, Nash has never approached those numbers


gil has never approached those #s only 3 times in his career over 500 fts, but i get your point. did past year (9.7) while over the period gil has never approached more than 7 assts per game. I can't be sure about all the foul calls but i do think Nash was more penetrate and kick/lob while gil was penetrate and score or get fouled.

i think that's where the 30lbs might count, those situations where you need to get a bucket put yer head down and go to the rim. definitely easier when you got a lil armor.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:12 PM

why would we want the old gil back with all this offense on the team. almost a gluttony of offensive players. if he is capable of playing like Ol'Gil that's great, we'll need the game winners and overall swag (hate the word) but we'll need new gil 20assts/1TO to keep the team happy and build a rhythm

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:18 PM

"Beg to differ, Arenas was getting to the FT line 700+ times a season when healthy, Nash has never approached those numbers"

Nash is great at getting to the basket. He's esp. good at finsihing around the rim over bigger defenders, despite the fact that he has no real verical explosing and plays well below the rim.

He doesn't get fouled as much as Arenas because he doesn't drive the same way Arenas does. Arenas is big and physical and gets to the line by using his quick first step to beat the initial defender and using his body to draw contact once he gets inside. Nash is all about exploiting existing angles and openings. Nash doesn't have the size and strength to take it into bigger guys and still finish, but he's very adept at weaving his way through traffic to find the tiny spaces inside where he can get a shot off over defenders.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 4:20 PM

Make that:

"He's esp. good at finishing around the rim over bigger defenders, despite the fact that he has no real vertical explosion . .

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 4:26 PM

'Nash is great at getting to the basket.'

I didnt say he wasnt, but he's not as good as Gil was. Nash often ends up dribbling underneath the basket and kicking back out. Unable to finish around defenders at the rim. Whereas Gil is taking it to the rack and getting fouled.

"he's very adept at weaving his way through traffic to find the tiny spaces inside where he can get a shot off over defenders."

agree 100%, however we're talking 'getting to the basket'

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 4:26 PM

'gil has never approached those #s only 3 times in his career over 500 fts'

i'm talking ft attempted, Gil was averaging over 700 attempts from '04-'07

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 4:28 PM

once again only 5 times career over 500 attempts and only from 05-06, 06-07 over 700. but i get what you're saying

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:33 PM

my bad only 3 times over 500 fts, 04-07
only over 700 attempts from 05-06,06-07

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 4:35 PM

"I like the Chris Paul comparison. Gil is A LOT bigger though. Paul is what 6'0'' 170? Gil is like 6'4'' 215. Maybe more of a Deron Williams. with a better jumper.
Posted by: SDMDTSU"

Paul's a lot quicker, right? And Williams is more of an assist guy than Gil will ever be. I don't know if there's a really good comparison to Arenas in the NBA today. If he scores less and passes more, then Williams.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 5, 2009 4:39 PM

"Unable to finish around defenders at the rim."

Wrong. He's quite good at finishing around defenders in the paint. He just does it a different way than Arenas. Last I checked, they don't award points for style, and when they tally up points in the paint, a scoop shot under the outstretched arm of a defender right under the basket (one of Nash's signature moves) counts the same as a dunk or a layup.

"agree 100%, however we're talking 'getting to the basket'"

Yep. That's exactly what I was talking about.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 4:44 PM

"Unable to finish around defenders at the rim."

Wrong. He's quite good at finishing around defenders in the paint. He just does it a different way than Arenas. Last I checked, they don't award points for style, and when they tally up points in the paint, a scoop shot under the outstretched arm of a defender right under the basket (one of Nash's signature moves) counts the same as a dunk or a layup.

"agree 100%, however we're talking 'getting to the basket'"

Yep. That's exactly what I was talking about.
"Unable to finish around defenders at the rim."

Wrong. He's quite good at finishing around defenders in the paint. He just does it a different way than Arenas. Last I checked, they don't award points for style, and when they tally up points in the paint, a scoop shot under the outstretched arm of a defender right under the basket (one of Nash's signature moves) counts the same as a dunk or a layup.

"agree 100%, however we're talking 'getting to the basket'"

Yep. That's exactly what I was talking about.

"Unable to finish around defenders at the rim."

Wrong. He's quite good at finishing around defenders in the paint. He just does it a different way than Arenas. Last I checked, they don't award points for style, and when they tally up points in the paint, a scoop shot under the outstretched arm of a defender right under the basket (one of Nash's signature moves) counts the same as a dunk or a layup.

"agree 100%, however we're talking 'getting to the basket'"


Yep. That's exactly what I was talking about.
Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 4:44 PM


It used to be frustrating trying to figure out how defenders weren't getting to his shot. He was great at finishing over taller,bigger more atheletic players.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 5:06 PM

that was weird, my bad

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 5:07 PM

Clearly you can never be wrong kalo_rama, but newsflash, sometimes you are.

Spin it anyway you like, Arenas was getting to the free throw line 649, 799, and 719 times between '04-'07

In comparison Nash has gotten to the charity stripe 300x only ONCE in his lengthy career. That kind of disparity cant be accounted for because Nash likes scoopshots. It's because Gil is better at getting to the rim than Nash. He's got a comparable handle and is bigger, stronger, quicker, more explosive by wide margins. It's far more difficult for defenders to stay in front of Arenas and the results are evident in his scoring and FT numbers.

That stats dont always lie.

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 5:09 PM

It's far more difficult for defenders to stay in front of Arenas and the results are evident in his scoring and FT numbers.

That stats dont always lie.

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 5:09 PM

Do back to in the direction of the basket to score or get fouled while attempting to score or both. nash drives to the basket and defenders aren't even in position to challenge his shots sometimes because they'll stay home in case he dishes to amare or one of the other finishers that phx had . also during the seasons you mentioned all of gils shooting %s went down except for free throws. so i guess he had to find a way to make up for his shooting accuracy slipping.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 5:21 PM

my bad, hit the insert button. that's supposed to be:
"Gil drives in the direction of the basket to score etc."

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 5:23 PM

It's far more difficult for defenders to stay in front of Arenas and the results are evident in his scoring and FT numbers.

That stats dont always lie.

Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 5:09 PM

do mvp awards count as stats?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 5:23 PM

do mvp awards count as stats?

Yep. And so do championships and neither has any.

If you think we need Gilbert to become Steve Nash then we'll just have to disagree. The shot selection needs to be better. He can be more efficient. The fact is that he's a scorer. Foye, Miller, Butler, Jamison, Young (maybe one day) don't have the ability to do what Gil does. He makes it easy for them. The pressure he puts on defenses gets other people easier looks and he pushes the ball.

Nash is like the Jamison of PG's. Not overly athletic, more crafty and gets by on craftiness. A lot of those "how the hell did that go in" shots.

Actually Gilbert in the post IS an advantage. He has good court vision and if he's backing down these smaller PG's someone is going to help. If they don't it's another way to put points on the board. I never said Gil was going to be THE offense, but he should be the focal point of it.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 5, 2009 5:56 PM

u got it cuz. gil is better than steve nash, always has been always will be. everyone shoulda known it. let's all wake up people, AJ's better than lebron, CB is better than Kobe and stevenson is better than dwade. who needs knee ligaments?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 7:53 PM

Gilbert is a gimpy shoot first no defense loser. My handicap grandpa rotates better on defense than Agent Gimp.

His number one attribute was his first step which would enabled him to penetrate the paint or keep defenders honest so he could drain the 3 pointer.

Sorry...that is lost. Defenders know he's a gimpy fool so they can creep up on him on defense.

We're capped jacked for the next 6 years. Go Abe Pollin

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | August 5, 2009 8:02 PM

Clearly you can never be wrong kalo_rama, but newsflash, sometimes you are."

Sometimes I am, but--NEWSFLASH-- this is not one of those times.

As I quite clearly said in using standard English: Arenas gets to the line more because he seeks contact when he drives. Nash's moves are designed to get him to the basket while avoiding contact, because unlike Arenas, he's not built to tkae that kind of physical punishment. In even plainer English (not that I think you'll have any better odds of understanding that than the Standard stuff. Sorry, but I don't know semaphore) . . . Arenas gets to the line because he drives through people on the way to the basket. Nash doesn't because he drives around people on the way to the basket.

The idea that you can judge a player's ability to get into the paint by counting how many FTs he shoots is, frankly, idiotic. Last I checked, not all fouls happen around the basket. On fact, Arenas frequently gets fouled when he starts his drives, out on the perimeter, well outside of the paint.

Stats rarely tell the whole truth. This season why don't tou try something a little different and actually watch the games in order to form an opinion about how guys play. I know change can be scary, but it's woth the effort.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 5, 2009 8:29 PM

arenas can be a PG. did you watch the 2 games he played? he was a pass first guy, and did it well. even after not playing the whole season, and with a bad knee. He will be one of the best if he decides that's how he has to play.

Posted by: stevie2 | August 5, 2009 8:40 PM

The key to the offense is Arenas making this adjustment.

Gil is like the QB who has had great stats throwing bombs but now needs to learn to trust his running game and his short passing game while taking an occasional toss downfield just to keep the defense honest.

I hope has has made the mental shift. He will find that it is more successful that way.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | August 5, 2009 8:54 PM

i luv all the analysis on Gil even though none of us have seen him at "100%". I'm right there with yall counting on him to have lost a step. hopefully that's not the case. it'd be great if he came back and had the full complement of his abilities, but it seem like the reporting wants us to really focus more on the guys around Gil this year. It's almost like they don't want us to factor Gil in this season. It's all "what ifs" . Gimme news on Gil.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 5, 2009 9:12 PM

'The idea that you can judge a player's ability to get into the paint by counting how many FTs he shoots is, frankly, idiotic.'

Who said anything about getting into the paint? We are talking about getting to the basket. Not popping an 8ft jumper.

Is that what you do when you're wrong, subtly change the topic while posting weak insults?

'This season why don't tou try something a little different and actually watch the games in order to form an opinion about how guys play.'

I watch a ton of bball and in doing so have formed the opinion Gilbert Arenas is superior to Steve Nash at getting to the basket. The available stats support what I see on the floor. Must be a coincidence I guess.


Posted by: divi3 | August 5, 2009 9:53 PM

You guyz are making me dizzy comparing Arenas to other players. I just want him to be the best player he can be again. And, I doubt he has lost a step. I think he may have lost some hops when he needs to explode of that leg (right or left? can't remember), but as far as the first step is concerned I expect no difference.

I think what is going to be great to watch with this team is the difference in coaching. EJ supposedly ran a pass oriented ball movement back door cutting offense. In reality it was pretty much do as you wish with a lot of one on one with GA as the main culprit. I used to laugh when they would complete their one or two back door cut plays a game and the announcer would go - "that's the Princeton offense." Oh, really. The only team I can recall off the top of my head that ran that offense and ran it well was Sacramento. Oh, Jason Kidd's Nets too I suppose.

Anyway, I think Flips offense is a little more diverse and intricate with set plays that involve cutting to spots with a lot of screening and going straight up with shots etc...and a lot of mismatch exploiting, which will be a nice change of pace. I think this could be very good for Arenas as he will be more under control. I think he will score less and assist more. Just a hunch I have that makes a lot of sense.

Thank God that stupid pass off weave at the top of the key is no longer! That was one of the dumbest things I've seen in a long time.

This is the year that EJ is exposed as a fraud.


Posted by: rphilli721 | August 5, 2009 10:27 PM

u got it cuz. gil is better than steve nash, always has been always will be. everyone shoulda known it. let's all wake up people, AJ's better than lebron, CB is better than Kobe and stevenson is better than dwade. who needs knee ligaments?

Whatever you say homie. I just said they play two different styles and Nash can't be Gil and Gil isn't suited playing like Nash. They would BOTH be less effective. Gil needs to find a balance and become more like Deron Williams how is similar in size and still manages to be a nice playmaker and scorer just in a different fashion than Nash. Gil shouldn't be pure PG or pure scorer like he has been...it needs to be more of a balance of the two than it has been. Just be more efficient.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 1:50 AM

Gil will have more assist simply by having McGee on the court. Now he has someone he can toss the ball into the air and have them go get it. Blatche did that his first yr. but then he decided to become a Jamison clone. Blatche go back to your dunking ways so us fans don't have to watch other teams receive alley hoop dunks. This is going to be fun to watch. Gil penetrate, defense pull over flip pass dunk. Mc Gee beating the other big down the floor, Arenas see him streaking and from 1/2 court flip pass dunk. We have not had that in I can't tell you how many yrs and I've been a wiz fan since Bmore days. We now have some guys that can fly. Go Wiz.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | August 6, 2009 10:16 AM

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