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Bulls 93, Wizards 70

The only positives that can be taken from this game? Nobody else got hurt and the preseason is finally, mercifully, over.

If you thought the Wizards couldn't look worse than they did against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, then you missed the entire second half against the Bulls. That's when the Wizards decided that they were ready for the regular season. They were outscored 52-31, missed 25 of 34 field goal attempts, and got outrebounded 29-11. They seriously packed it in.

"It was a bad game," DeShawn Stevenson said. "The second half was terrible."

When asked if he could take anything from this game to carry over to the regular season, Coach Flip Saunders said, "Nothing. It was like, let's get preseason over and let's not get hurt."

How bad was it for Washington? Jumping JaVale McGee got hung on a dunk. Bulls reserve center Brad Miller had more assists (seven) as the Wizards "swine-flu" starting backcourt of Gilbert Arenas (four) and Mike Miller (two). Mike Miller had as many fouls as he had points and assists combined (four). The Wizards' starting five of Arenas, Miller, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Fabricio Oberto shot a combined 7-for-28 and scored just 28 points. Oberto didn't attempt a single field goal in almost 15 minutes and had no rebounds and four fouls. The Wizards also had more turnovers (18) than assists (14). Those 18 turnovers led to 28 points.

It wasn't like the Wizards got dominated by some powerhouse, either. The Bulls were far from at full strength, with guards Derrick Rose (right ankle), Kirk Hinrich (left elbow) and Jannero Pargo (lower back), leaving soon-to-be 39-year-old Lindsey Hunter as the only point guard available on the roster. You'd figure that it would be open season for Arenas to go off, but both he and Miller looked pretty sluggish out there after missing the past two games. "You can tell Mike and Gil haven't been with us for a week, because we were definitely out of rhythm," Saunders said.

The game started out good enough for Washington, with them holding the Bulls to just 20 percent shooting, including Brad Miller's buzzer-beating three-pointer. But things went downhill from there and got worse in the third period, when the Wizards could not hit a shot. They shot 2-for-15 and scored just 12 points. Arenas was responsible for nine of those points, with seven coming from the foul line. Arenas finished with 15 points, but he shot 3 of 12, once again showing an ability to get to the hole, but not finish. He also missed two three-pointers. He actually shot an efficient 3 of 8 from beyond the arc this preseason.

Asked how he felt after missing the past two games with the flu, Arenas responded, "Sick."

Yes, Arenas talked again last night and his routine with the media is at least getting more entertaining. As he spoke with reporters, Arenas again refused to make eye contact and held his oversize Dr. Dre headphones, which were blaring Notorious B.I.G. All the while, Arenas held back a smile as he gave curt answers. Someone on Twitter recently dubbed him, "Agent Zero Words." I kind of like that one.

As bad as the team looked, the Wizards would've been in much worse shape if not for Andray Blatche and Randy Foye. They combined to score 25 points. Blatche had eight rebounds and Foye had a team-high five assists.

Blatche was awesome at the start, as he made his first six shots -- a few baseline jumpers, a putback dunk -- and finished with 14 points. The Wizards will be depending on Blatche much more with Antawn Jamsion out the first three to five weeks with a right shoulder injury. Blatche has justifiably taken a lot of heat through his first four seasons, but he really played well in the preseason, as he averaged 11.3 points and seven rebounds. If he can provide that sort of production in the regular season, the Wizards can't ask for much more.

"I'm just going to go out there and do whatever is asked of me," Blatche said. "I'm not going to go out there and try to average 50, 60 or 30 or whatever. I'm going to go out there, play my role. If I have an open shot take it and focus on defense and rebounding."

Foye had 11 points and provided the Wizards' lone highlight he climbed Bulls forward Taj Gibson for a vicious one-handed jam ... that brought his team within 25 points (that tells you all you need to know about the game). Afterward, I told Foye that I didn't know he had that in him. "You didn't know?" he said with a smile. "I just haven't been out on any fast breaks. I guess I'm going to surprise a lot of people. People didn't know I could jump? You'll see."

Foye then summed up the team's overall performance in the preseason finale by saying, 'There's a lot of things we need to work on but the biggest thing is, no one got hurt. We're going into the season healthy."

With, um, one notable exception.

By Michael Lee  |  October 24, 2009; 12:27 AM ET
 
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Next: Wizards start season with tough 15 games

Comments

Ty Lawson is better than Randy Foye right now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 24, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

First.

Posted by: funkydancinmonk | October 24, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I told you it was going to take the Wizards a while before there is any team chemistry.

People, I know the truth hurts, but by now you should have figured it out I know what I am talking about.

Larry, it doesn’t look like a 50 win season this year.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

I wrote you a couple of posts back that I would have loved to see Ty in a Wizards uniform.

Maybe he could have taken Gil under his wing and taught him how to be a real point guard?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

going into the season healthy? twan out for 5 weeks? is this man moronical?

Posted by: thickman22 | October 24, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Ty Lawson will be playing in Europe in ... two seasons. He would be there sooner except for his rookie contract. He is taller than Mugsy Bogues, though.

Posted by: chinatown | October 24, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Lawson's game translates better to the NBA than college ball. A lot more one on one pick and roll situations. He might crack the rotation this year.

Posted by: AWizinLA | October 24, 2009 4:54 AM | Report abuse

This was written by Michael Lee? It's not up to the usual ML standards. Sounds like somebody filling in for him.

Posted by: bj2000 | October 24, 2009 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Arenas held back a smile as he gave curt answers.

Quit with all of the games and MAN UP!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

The_Shadow_Knows

I agree with your comments from the previous thread.

On the issue of Caron Butler --- I think it can reasonably be said that he mailed in his performance last year after it became clear how dismal the year would be for the team. His averages were still good, but he didn't give us any spectacular performances like he did in the previous season.

I have wondered if his hip is still nagging him even though it is never mentioned in the press.

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 24, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The Bulls play as a team. The sum is greater than the parts. The new Wizards, or is it just the 2009 version of the old Wizards, have yet to show this quality. There is no way at the END OF PRESEASON FOR GOD'S SAKE, that this team should be having a game like this. The Redskins fooled us all with the preseason hype so next up is it going to be the Wizards? I will with hold my purchase of season tickets until I see a vast improvement with this franchise.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | October 24, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

washwiz

Your memory is correct. When Jamison was out a few seasons ago this team could not win.

Two seasons ago with Gil out this team won 50% of their games.

Whenever Caron is out they tend not to fair well, but the biggest impact is when Jamison is out.

Keep in mind that this board has some vocal critics of Jamison so that distorts things. But there are many on here that recognize his significance to the team.

Two seasons ago I felt that Jamison edged Butler out for the best player on the team. Last season there is no doubt Jamison was the best player.

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 24, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

from what i saw last night...
someone in management needs to think about bringing back Dave Hopla.

Posted by: Marine4Life51 | October 24, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

This team is no better than the skins. You keep playing the same players and expect different results. It's not like Haywood, Jamison, Butler, Oberto, James are young or rookies. These guys best years are behind them. Gil is still young enough and has skills to change his game to a more traditional point.

I'll go to games because I'm a fan and has been for a long time but they are testing my patience. It started with the Unseld regime and Jr is still sitting on the bench. Then the Jordan joke. Atleast Eddie tried but Ernie already had another plan. He was just waiting for the chance to let Eddie court. Why else do you bring Flip was brought into camp last year to get to know the players. Does this sound familiar.

This team playing the same old guys will be at the bottom in assist again just like years before. Jamison and Butler are not team players. They are guns that should come off the bench. That's not to say they should not get good minutes (20-25). Haywood would be a backup on most teams.

The Wiz need to go and recruit The Dream (Hakeem) to teach their young bigs and they should have drafted another big. Not have Tony Massenburg coach the bigs. What did he do. You'd be better off having Cassell do. He actually had a post game.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 24, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"washwiz

Your memory is correct. When Jamison was out a few seasons ago this team could not win.

Two seasons ago with Gil out this team won 50% of their games.

Whenever Caron is out they tend not to fair well, but the biggest impact is when Jamison is out.

Keep in mind that this board has some vocal critics of Jamison so that distorts things. But there are many on here that recognize his significance to the team.

Two seasons ago I felt that Jamison edged Butler out for the best player on the team. Last season there is no doubt Jamison was the best player.

Posted by: MeviousMan | October 24, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse "

And often times when MeTawn gets his 20-10, the team loses anyway. Case in point last season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 24, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

You want to talk about breaking ankles from jumping off the band wagon...where are the guys that rip some of us for being honest and calling it like it is?

Come out come out where ever you are...try to spin this mess and convince us that the Wizards have any shot at winning a championship this year. Good Luck.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch Orlando-Atlanta last night? The Magic totally dominated. (Or is Atlanta just that bad?) We're light years behind where Orlando is now. Real fast, Gilbert is going to feel the pressure to score 30 a night for this team to win.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 24, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem with the team is 3-fold:

1. Anytime Stephenson is in the game instead of Miller, Young or Foye

2. Brendon shooting anything other than a dunk

3. Blatche settling for fad away J's with no one under the bucket

Stop those 3 things from happening and the Wiz will win 44-50 games.

Posted by: JerryCurl1 | October 24, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

The Wizards wouldn't want Ty Lawson he actually plays a position.

Ernie picks players who are interchangeable…Gil not a point guard and too small to be a shooting guard so Ernie goes out and trades for another player just like him in Foye?

AJ is not physical enough to be a power forward and too slow to be a small forward?

Caron body would be perfect to play the shooting guard position like Kobe, Paul, and MJ but doesn’t have a reliable jump shot and can’t handle the rock so he plays small forward.

MM do I even have to comment on his game and where the Wizards are going to play him.

AB too soft to play the C and/or PF positions and if you ask him he has the Ralph Sampson disease he wants to be a point guard.

McGee who knows what he is yet?

Deshawn can’t score but they say he’s a shooting guard?

Oberto was signed as a backup big man who will get torched when playing real power forwards like Dirk and can’t man the Center position without a guy like Duncan by his side.

McGuire is a defensive guy who they will play where ever since he has no offensive game and Nick Young is just whacked but they are trying to teach him how to be a shooting guard.

Critt and BH are the only two who this team that play their position the right way.

Great team you put together Ernie.

It reminds me of some of the international teams that got beat by second rate countries because the coaches put together teams of athletic players instead of putting together a team of players who knew how to play their positions (like the last one that won the Olympics)!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow, bulletsfan78, you sure get loquacious when the Zards look bad!

Let's not put too much into the 2nd half of last night's game. Obviously we looked awful, but Gil and MM were coming off the flu. Gil seems to have all the quicks and explosion he used to, and this a GREAT sign for the team. How many games has he played in the past 2 years? Of course it will take him awhile to all the rust off and find his game.

You keep going on about him not playing the position. Did you watch last night? If Caron could hit a shot, Arenas would have had 10asissts for sure. He took 13 shots, not 30.

And newsflash- Jamsion being out is a huge liability for the team, no matter how much you downplay his game and talent, the truth remains- Jamison is a straight baller who is much more than Blatche+Oberto.

You post like the team is 3-19!

Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

divi3

I know they are better than last year, but I think they are light years behind Clev, Bos and Orl and "THE MOVE" (trade for Foye and MM) is a joke compared to the moves teams who really want to win a championship made!

The Wizards are a playoff team and if they get real lucky (the teams I mentioned have players go down) they might get out of the first round.

If they make the playoffs Abe is happy since he will make his money.

Tell me what you expect from this team?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I expect the team to struggle early on for sure, definitely a work in progress. However I do think that unlike Cle, Bos, or Orl, we can be significantly better in the latter half of the season than the first.

Flip is a great coach, and I expect by the end of the season we will be playing in good enough fashion to give Boston and Orlando everything they can handle...and then some. At least the potential is there for it is what I mean.

Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who feels vindicated for "calling it like it is" after poor play in the PRE SEASON is a complete fool. The fact that they think they now have some empirical proof that their theories were correct only furthers to disqualify them as any type of reasonable analyst. Can we at least wait until the team has played a game before we start making judgments? Gosh.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | October 24, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Jamison to miss next three to five weeks"

Of course he will. And now when they fail again, Grunfeld wont have to change anything cause he'll have his 3-year goin on 4 year excuse ready to roll.
"When this group is healthy, they can win, so we're gonna stand pat."

Right. Except this group is never healthy is it??!!
When is Grunfeld gonna wake up.
Here we freakin go again.

Posted by: dovelevine | October 24, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld, unbelievabely had teams who were actually willing to take Jamison off our hands. But no, he'll keep sticking with this core until they are freakin 90.
Oh well maybe Rizzo will turn into a good GM> We deserve one dontcha think??!!

Posted by: dovelevine | October 24, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Imjustlikemusiq

That's why they call them predictions!

Anyone can wait till 20 games into the season and tell you how the team is performing?

It's just my opinion (which happens to be right) and everyone on here is intitled to their own.

You should have a problem with the people who say they are going to win 50 games and go to the Eastern conference championship but then jump off the bandwagon once they realize they were wrong.

If they get past the 1st round I will be the first person on here admitting I was wrong.

If they don't do you think I will hear from anyone saying I was right?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ty Lawson's a wonderful player. Basically the same size as Jonny Flynn and Paddy Mills, but nowhere near as athletic as Flynn or as controlled in the half-court as Mills. His big advantage is strength; for a six footer, he can really handle himself inside.

In the right offense, one where he gets to go to the basket and isn't forced into taking 3 pointers, he could really shine.

For upside, however, I like Flynn and this Rodrigue Beaubois, who reminds me a little of Barbosa at Phoenix.

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

Personally, I think anybody who predicts team season records at this point is certifiably nutz. Even if you turn out to have been approximately right, it will be on the stopped-clock principle. Let's face it, none of us knows what will happen, much as we like to pretend otherwise.

But if it amuses you, go right ahead

Posted by: Samson151 | October 24, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Jordan is happy to be in Philly away from the "CURSE" and Gilbert's lyin azz this team will struggle without AJ in the lineup and who really thinks Oberto will contribute? not me, and the serial skirt chaser will be better but not enough to make this team a playoff contender.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 24, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Whether you consider it good or bad, I think bulletsfan78 makes a great point about all of our hybrid players. EG and the coaching staff always say it's great because we've got all of these players who can play multiple positions, etc. I think it confuses people on what their roles are--and often we find ourselves matched up against teams where we are smaller across the board at ever position. Remember all of Eddie Jordan's and Tapscott's small-ball strategy? How about a point guard who can distribute first and also attack? (Theoretically, Gilbert can do that.) And big #2 guard who is a constant offensive threat and can match up against other #2 guards? (Maybe Miller, probably not Foye, not DeShawn). A skilled, tall small- forward. (Caron is small for that position. Blatche should be able to do that, but can't.) Big, bruising PF who can score and help underneath against big centers. (No one.) Big, conventional center. (Yes, BH can do that.) Anyway, we have a lot of moving parts and this team needs consistency. Yes, it's early, but I think it will be tough to be above .500 ball after the first 20 games.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 24, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Does preseason performance help in predicting who will be in the playoffs?
John Schumann writing for NBA.com has a few words about it, summing up his words: YES preseason performance helps you see that the better they do, the more likely a team will be in the playoffs.
http://www.finals.com/2009/news/features/john_schuhmann/10/15/ng.preseason/index.html

The Wizards were 4-4 in preseason. So could be in the playoffs, but I think doubtful to even be in the semis.

Posted by: rickgonz | October 24, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Follow up to my previous post, a previous article on the topic (on the Jazz):
http://www.jazzbots.com/web/2009/10/10/does-preseason-success-matter/
"While a team’s preseason record can’t predict their regular season mark, it can foreshadow playoff probability."

Top preseason performers:
East
Orlando 8-0
Boston 6-2
Chicago 6-2
Atlanta 5-2
New York 5-2

West
Clippers 6-2
Lakers 6-2
Utah 6-2
Dallas 5-2

Posted by: rickgonz | October 24, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

oops I forgot Philadelphia 5-3

Posted by: rickgonz | October 24, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

It was not necessarily a bad idea for EG to give the big three one more chance to play together and see how far they can go, while they are all still relatively young and playing well (at least I am presuming that Gil will be close to what he was before).

However, as I have posted before and others have mentioned, this is an important year for the Wiz. I don't think health can be used as an excuse anymore. If they can't find a way (healthy or not) to at least get to the second round of the playoffs and play well there, I think there will be a lot more pressure on EG to break up the big three and go in another direction.

Posted by: cannontl | October 24, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Who Saunders taps to start at SG will largely determine who starts at PF. You can't have 3 nonscorers (Haywood, Oberto, and Stevenson) on the floor with Arenas and Butler, so If Oberto starts at PF, that means Miller or Foye will have to start at SG. If Blatche starts, Stevenson could get the nod at SG. The other possibility is to go relatively small and start Miller at PF with Stevenson at SG.

I still think bringing Miller off the bench is the best course of action, however.

"It was not necessarily a bad idea for EG to give the big three one more chance to play together and see how far they can go, while they are all still relatively young and playing well (at least I am presuming that Gil will be close to what he was before)."

It wasn't necessarily a good idea, either.

Like I said at the time Arenas and Jamison were up for new deals, Grunfeld had a window of opportunity to to start from scratch and plenty of reasons to do so. When healthy, this team has not proven to be more than a mid-level playoff team. And their inability to stay healthy was a very legit reason to consider moving on. I understand the reasons why he didn't do it, but I think the decision was motivated, in part, by his own best interests rather than the team's.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 24, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wiz got to go at least 500 until Jamison is back> I'm not jumping off because of Jamison's injury. He'll be back in 3 weeks and we'll get it rolling. Gil's on a mission. Fifty games still in reach. All the teams ahead of the Wiz except for Atlanta and Orlando are relying on old guys to stay heatlhy the entire season and they haven't actually done to good at that either over the past couple of years (Garnett, Shaq, etc.)

Posted by: ptp23 | October 24, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

>>However, as I have posted before and others have mentioned, this is an important year for the Wiz

What season exactly has begun as an unimportant year??
just wondering. (although most local seasons turn unimportant and irrelevant before even the all star break unfortunately.

Posted by: dovelevine | October 24, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Flip has already indicated he will likely start Oberto and bring Blatche off the bench, so that Blatche will be used to the same scenario when Jamison gets back.

I generally like Miller coming off the bench, but I think with Oberto likely starting at the beginning of the year, Miller will start at SG.

Posted by: cannontl | October 24, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You have not understood the gist of my post, doveline.

I am saying it is particularly important because EG may have to make major changes if the Wiz are not considered successful.

Posted by: cannontl | October 24, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, it is dovelevine.

Posted by: cannontl | October 24, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The key with this team is that they should get better and better as the season progresses. o an extent that none of the contenders in the East will (imho).

Even with so many of the same faces, the team is brand new right now as Gil hasnt really played for 2 seasons, Brendon missed last season, and Miller/Foyer are going to play huge minutes all year.

Cant judge this team from the preseason.

Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"The key with this team is that they should get better and better as the season progresses. o an extent that none of the contenders in the East will (imho)."

And what objective basis is there for assuming that the contending teams that added new pieces in the offseason won't also improve as the season rolls on and they become more familiar with each other and build chemistry?

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 24, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Everybody just take a moment and breathe... last year with gilbert and brandon out we complained about depth. So we went out and got a point/shooting guard, a shooting/small forward who can rebound and if the other team goes small can play small spurts at the 4 and spread the floor becasue he is a high percentage 3 pt. shooter, and an international veteran who doesnt require a shot to be effective on the floor with his toughness an passing ability. And to whoever that said Gil and Foye are two small to play the two they weigh in at 200 pounds plus and are both 6-3 to 6'4''. I do not think thats to small of a guard then u got miller at 6'8''.

Give the team some time to gel. I think unlike my beloved redskins GM Ernie G. actually knows what he is doing. He knows with a new coach and new peices that it will take time but in the play offs they can be a dangerous team. Cleveland and Bos. are not as deep as we are on the perimeter. Yes Lebron, West, Gibson, and the point guard are good but Gilbert, Caron, Foye, Miller, and yes Young can offensively make them work on the defensive end! Oh and if we need a defender to rough one of them up Stevenson can put a body on someone at 6'5''. As long as Jamison, Blatche, Haywood, and Orberto rebound and play D we can wear Shaq and Big Z(for Zero) down. Unlike their posts ours can actually get out and run in the transition game! We match up pretty well with outside shooting with them now ! They have Mo. Williams, Lebron (when he is on), Gibson, and West (when he is in the game). We have Gil, Miller, Foye, Young, Jamison, and even Caron who I believe will hit more because the floor will be spread !

Posted by: SkinzFan4lyfe | October 24, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Gil
Foye
Miller
Butler
Jamison
Blatche
Haywood

Assuming those are the guys who get the lions share of minutes, compare how much floor time they've had togther over the past 2 seasons to that of the top 7 guys on Boston and Orlando. Seems to me the bigger change is here, and therefore although the other teams will gel and get better, we've got more room for improvement.

which we'll need, given those teams are already superior to us


Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Orlando does seem to be head of us but arent as deep on the perimeter again but might kill us down low if AB does not step up like he has in the preseason.

Boston uhh they added an againg Sheed (although I still like his intensity, Ray Allen is getting older with K.G. (Who is still a bad mofo, and Pierce who is the glue player.Yet I think we can run on these guys as long as the rebounding is there. The match up with driving to the hoop with Gil and Rondo is going to be ridiculous. Last time they got a chance to play Ronjo was an inexperienced player now he is a real play maker and he and gil are going to make each other work on the D end. I believe that might be the key to the series if they play because Caron and Pierce cancel each other out. K.G. is K.G. but Twan can take him away from the basket by playing on the perimeter from time to time which would open up driving lanes!

Posted by: SkinzFan4lyfe | October 24, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I concur with SkinzFan4lyfe and others who don't over-react to a preseason game. Also, think: when was the last time you had to exert yourself physically after something flu-like? Did you put forth your best effort when it didn't count?

The team will miss Antawn, but it will be proceeding satisfactorily 20 games into the season. The Wiz will be in the playoffs. (Beyond that, crystal ball does not say.)

Posted by: 7snider7 | October 24, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"I concur with SkinzFan4lyfe and others who don't over-react to a preseason game. Also, think: when was the last time you had to exert yourself physically after something flu-like? Did you put forth your best effort when it didn't count?

The team will miss Antawn, but it will be proceeding satisfactorily 20 games into the season. The Wiz will be in the playoffs. (Beyond that, crystal ball does not say.)

Posted by: 7snider7 | October 24, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse "

It's funny how when there's a Les BouleS blowout during preseason/regular season, people are quick to say not to overreact, but when there's the slightest thing that can be deemed "positive," people overhype it (eg. GM'er).

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 24, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

OLDberto: no shots,no rebs 4 fouls?????????what is that. this stiff is gonna start while AJ's gone?????i don't like it

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 24, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

ok, I just rewatched the game and 2 things really stood out if you dissected it. 1 is that Blatche has to start. Flip said yesterday before the game that they wanted Blatche to come off the bench against the Bulls so he can get use to that again since AJ will be back soon. He also said he wanted to see how Oberto does against a fast athletic 4 like Thomas. Overall Oberto played good D on Thomas just like he has all Preseason but he did nothing else. I think Flip's comments about Blatche came before he knew AJ was going to miss that much time. Now it definatly makes sense to start Blatche. I say this because when a guy has an injury, you want his replacment to be as much like that guy as possible so it doesnt completely change everything. Blatche is similar to AJ in that he can score and he can hit the J. Oberto is nothing like AJ so it completely changes the way we play. Blatche can still space the floor and he can run the pick & pop with Gil while yesterday I saw Gil make a great pass to Oberto that AJ & Blatche wouldve shot but Oberto passed it back out. It throws everything off. Then if we did play that way for a long time, when AJ came back we would have to adjust again.

I think it makes way more sense to just start Blatche. You saw that we couldnt score nothing with Oberto but when Blatche came in, Gil started penetrating and kicking to him for the J that Oberto doesnt shoot. Blatche scored 8 quick points and it totally changed our O. It also clears more space out the paint for Wood and it gives Gil more space to penetrate. Add to that the thing I keep saying. All our young guys including Blatche will look 10x better with Gil on the floor. When Gil was out there and Blatche came in, Blatche dominated. When Gil left then Blatche struggled. To maximize everything in AJ's absence, you might as well just start Blatche.

The other thing that stood out that I hope was just a Preseason thing was that DS was the 1st guy off the bench. No way should he be ahead of Foye. Just because Foye is Gil's backup doesnt mean that he has to wait for Gil to sit to come in. He should always come in before DS, espicaly if youre going to start Oberto. Everytime DS came in it hurt our O. When we're struggling to score then you need to give Gil some help and thats Foye. Its totally ok for DS to be in the rotation but he has to come in behind Gil. If MM sits then you bring in Foye. When the quater ends and Gil sits, thats when you bring in DS. Give Foye the most minutest out of the 2. Again, I hope that was just a Preseason thing because the Gil-Foye backcourt has been great so why would you break that up for DS and limit Foye's minutes?

Posted by: dlts20 | October 24, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I will hold out my final judgment on this squad until we are 10 games in.

Though judging from the injury to ATJ and the lack of cohesiveness that we have seen already in the preseason, I think we could be looking at a 3-7 or 4-6 start, which does not bode well for this team.

Last year, they started 1-10 and essentially mailed the season in after Eddie Jordan was fired.

Saunders will get more out of this team, but I have a hard time seeing this squad winning more than 41 or 42 games (and thats with ATJ coming back healthy).

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | October 24, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"ok, I just rewatched the game and 2 things really stood out if you dissected it..

Posted by: dlts20 | October 24, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse "

You are clearly a diehard for rewatching a PRESEASON GAME!!!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 24, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"Assuming those are the guys who get the lions share of minutes, compare how much floor time they've had togther over the past 2 seasons to that of the top 7 guys on Boston and Orlando. Seems to me the bigger change is here, and therefore although the other teams will gel and get better, we've got more room for improvement."

Oh please.

Sure the Wizards have "more room for improvement," strictly speaking, but that's only because they won 19 games last season. No place to go but up from that starting point. On the flip side, there's not much room for improvement when you made it to the Finals or won a title in the last go round.

The only two players on that list who have any significant capacity to bring change are Miller and Foye. The other names on the list have been playing together (in some configuration or another) for years. There are no surprises to be had by what happens when Jamison, Butler, Arenas, and Haywood are on the same page. We've seen what happens. First round exit or second round playoff sweep. Unless you think that the addition of Miller and Foye is the difference between the second round and the title (and can't imagine any sane person would believe that) then the idea that they have a higher ceiling than three teams that, when last healthy, all made it at least as far as the conference Finals and who all made significant upgrades in the offseason is extreme homerism.

The upshot is that even if the Wizards are three times as good as they were last season, they still wouldn't be as good as the Cave, Celts, and Magic were last season. So if those three teams improve at all, even if only a little, they'll still be better than the Wizards.

The real issue, the only one that matters, is can the Wizards improve enough to exceed the level of play achieved by the Magic, Celtics, and Cavs when their respective additions kick in/max out. The realistic answer to that question is "no."

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 24, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Especially if Jamison is out for an extended period.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 24, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I expect the team to struggle early on for sure, definitely a work in progress. However I do think that unlike Cle, Bos, or Orl, we can be significantly better in the latter half of the season than the first.

Flip is a great coach, and I expect by the end of the season we will be playing in good enough fashion to give Boston and Orlando everything they can handle...and then some. At least the potential is there for it is what I mean.

Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

As much as I love my Wizards, I repeatedly hear posters claiming that the Wiz can give the Orlando Magic some run. This will NEVER happen with the current rosters each team now has. If you saw the Magic/Hawks game, you would know the Magic are a tough cover 1-15! No soft spots anywhere on that team. Peoples, I implore all to recocnize there is a major diffrence between the Wizards and the Orlando Magic. Still rootin' for the 'Wiz' though! Go Wizards!!!

Posted by: bazteal | October 24, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know...Orlando looked great in their preseason game. I think we should just skip the season and award them the championship. Slurp slurp.

Let's play some games before getting too carried away about much of anything. Like at least 20 games.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 24, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dwight Howard is 6'9" if that. Haywood has given him fits, and so will Oberto and Mcgee.

Blatche and Haywood have done a superb job on KG several times, adding Oberto and Mcgee wont hurt that.

Miller is what, a 38% career 3pt shooter or something? 6th man of the year? He and Foye absolutely are a potentially huge difference to the team.

And Gil. When he was initially injured he had just broken through into elite, superstar status. It looks like physically he is 100% back, that is HUGE.

This is pro sports, the difference between winning and losing is never that huge. So yes, I do think that if Gil is his old self but wiser, even having 1 guy who can actually nail open shots (miller) and another who can defend and score rather than just chuck (foye rather than stevenson) can get us into the mix.

Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

The magic are possibly the only team in nba history to make the Finals off the 3ball. Yes Howard had huge games at times, but they were a perimeter team at the end of the day.

Perimeter is where our strength is too.

We'll see what happens.

Posted by: divi3 | October 24, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the 'IZARDS sent a clear message to the new ring-master as to who is in charge of CIRQUE LES BOULES. Excuse us, or less politely, get the hell out of our way as we head for the paymaster's window. Oh, and FLIP, have a nice day.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 24, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

My prediction, eighth place, however many wins is necessary to accomplish that goal.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 24, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Prediction=Gil starts with Wade in the back court at the All star game. Take it to the bank.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 24, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The WIZ can mail it in knowing their paternalistic daddy will never demand accountability. The old saw, "A fool and his money are soon parted" was never truer than in this case.

NOTE TO THE OWNER:

Mr. POLLIN, you're a nice guy, but please get out of the way and let a younger set of hands hold the reins, PLEASE.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 25, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Prediction=Gil starts with Wade in the back court at the All star game. Take it to the bank.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 24, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse "

And.....how does that help the organization get deeper into the playoffs?

Recall about 3 seasons ago, Les BouleS had success early in the season and Gilby had his coming out....that was preceeded by a series of ill fated events including a dislocated clavicle.

After that all star game, Les BouleS proceeded to lose the final 66% of their games and barely got into the playoffs to which they were eliminated in the first round.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

DHoward is good, but not as good with a 7ft big man leaning on him. About two seasons ago, BTH was healthy and during matchups with us, he didn't have 4 blowout games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

So this team should change this season its name to the "Izars"??? No Wins and no D?

ok, lame joke but seriously, it's too early to make assumptions that they are not going to make the playoffs. New coach, new players, injured players coming back, new system.... Rome wasn't built in couple of weeks either....

Posted by: Goelez | October 25, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

DHoward is good, but not as good with a 7ft big man leaning on him. About two seasons ago, BTH was healthy and during matchups with us, he didn't have 4 blowout games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

True, but DH two seasons ago is completely different than DH today. He's much better now and I don't think that Wood is much better (if better at all) than two seasons ago...

Posted by: Goelez | October 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"

So this team should change this season its name to the "Izars"??? No Wins and no D?

ok, lame joke but seriously, it's too early to make assumptions that they are not going to make the playoffs. New coach, new players, injured players coming back, new system.... Rome wasn't built in couple of weeks either....

Posted by: Goelez | October 25, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse "

Well, EG said that the team's success is hedged on being healthy, and the season is being kicked off with MeTawn out the first month. I don't see how an injury like that gets better during the season. It could easily pop out again.

I see MeTawn being more contact/defense hesitant than before.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

DC_Man88

One of the rare times I see eye2eye with you. I am concerned that Jamison is tentative too. With his physique, he uses his arms a lot defensively and rebounding against stronger/heavier players. Hopefully he will gain confidence in the shoulder sooner rather than later.

Secondly, I too think Brendan played DHoward well enough, and that was before Brendan improved and got stronger. Howard was better, but Brendan played him well. So did Etan for that matter. The key to playing Howard is to keep a strong body between him and the rim. He will win some, but he is not totally dominant like Shaq was, never will be like Olajuwon or Patrick, even if he dunks more than them.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 25, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

As much as I love my Wizards, I repeatedly hear posters claiming that the Wiz can give the Orlando Magic some run. This will NEVER happen with the current rosters each team now has. If you saw the Magic/Hawks game, you would know the Magic are a tough cover 1-15! No soft spots anywhere on that team. Peoples, I implore all to recocnize there is a major diffrence between the Wizards and the Orlando Magic. Still rootin' for the 'Wiz' though! Go Wizards!!!

Posted by: bazteal | October 24, 2009 7:49 PM

but if Gilbert can achieve Agent0 level, while the Big 3 is surrounded by a better supporting cast, than they can because the only team in the east with a scorer/closer better than Agent0 is Cleveland, but the roster around Agent0 is better than the roster around LeBron, in my opinion.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 25, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I know they are better than last year, but I think they are light years behind Clev, Bos and Orl and "THE MOVE" (trade for Foye and MM) is a joke compared to the moves teams who really want to win a championship made!

The Wizards are a playoff team and if they get real lucky (the teams I mentioned have players go down) they might get out of the first round.

If they make the playoffs Abe is happy since he will make his money.

Tell me what you expect from this team?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

Washington, at this point, don't get gift deals from older, top-level free agents. Shaq is riding LeBron's ahem, coattails. Shaq is riding so much you can charge him with tampering. Washington could have given Phoenix garbage too but Shaq was only going to play in Cleveland. Rasheed went to Boston. He wasn't coming to Washington on the cheap. Both are old and are part-time players now. Orlando made a good deal and got players like Bass whom I would not mind because he aint old, but he went to the runner-up team from last year, he wasn't gonna sign with a 19-win team. At least Ernie got an established vet, still in his prime, Miller, and a young-talented VET, not in his prime yet in Foye. That was the best he could do becuase the wizards can't give the mid-level away to declining superstars.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 25, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

g-man:

Shaq is making $20 mil this year in cleveland..

Posted by: Blurred | October 25, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I know what Shaq is making but he begged to get traded to Cleveland and got what he wanted. He wants to "get one for the King". All he wants to do is play with the best player in the league this side of Kobe.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 25, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

And.....how does that help the organization get deeper into the playoffs?

Recall about 3 seasons ago, Les BouleS had success early in the season and Gilby had his coming out....that was preceeded by a series of ill fated events including a dislocated clavicle.

After that all star game, Les BouleS proceeded to lose the final 66% of their games and barely got into the playoffs to which they were eliminated in the first round.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 8:51 AM |
Talking 2009-10-let the season play out and if you're a true fan, hope the Wizards don't have those ill fated events after the all star break. Maybe this year, it's Lebron or D Howard's turn to go down for the season.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 25, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

And.....how does that help the organization get deeper into the playoffs?

Recall about 3 seasons ago, Les BouleS had success early in the season and Gilby had his coming out....that was preceeded by a series of ill fated events including a dislocated clavicle.

After that all star game, Les BouleS proceeded to lose the final 66% of their games and barely got into the playoffs to which they were eliminated in the first round.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 8:51 AM |
Talking 2009-10-let the season play out and if you're a true fan, hope the Wizards don't have those ill fated events after the all star break. Maybe this year, it's Lebron or D Howard's turn to go down for the season.

Sorry, I forgot, you're not a Wizards fan. Please ignore my post.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 25, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Talking 2009-10-let the season play out and if you're a true fan, hope the Wizards don't have those ill fated events after the all star break. Maybe this year, it's Lebron or D Howard's turn to go down for the season.

Sorry, I forgot, you're not a Wizards fan. Please ignore my post.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 25, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse "

A true fan is one who seems commitment from the franchise...not a franchise who's modus operandi is to dupe fans into thinking that winning is the most important thing.

You have to think that each time EG or Abe gets on the Pollin to say how much they care, they're secretly crossing their fingers behind their backs.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 25, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

The Wizards wouldn't want Ty Lawson he actually plays a position.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 24, 2009 10:33 AM

BF78

The Wizs could not make Ty a viable option from where we stood at draft time. Though Ernie did a little dealing, he would have to have been a lot more creative.

Your evaluation of the Wizards not being a "Position Team" unwittingly points out why I feel that Crit could be an invaluable piece to the success of the Team.

Crit is a true point and a tall one. I think he is good enough to get time with Gil, which would give the Wizs a more formidiable attack.

I have also posted that AJ should be pushed to the three by improved deserved play of Blatche at the Four.

Your breakdown shows clearly why this Team still has some heavy lifting to accomplish.

However, Mike Miller, I think is going to be the surprise story of this Team this year. Mike Miller is so much more than a shooter. He has an all around game that will elevate him to the fraternity of one of the top players in the NBA.

He is probably, the guy that will fill the void of AJ being out at the start of the seaon.

So, your assessment that this will not be a 50-win Team has real merit.

But, if I read correctly that flexibility and adaptivity are strong points for Flip Saunders, unlike our previous two coaches, I still say it is very possible for a 50-win season.

You and I have see the value in a player like Ty Lawson. Ty Lawson is what you call a money player. His value will be evident this year.

This position flaw of the Wizards will not keep them, however, from becoming a top force in the East, this year.

Can they compete for the Eastern Crown?

The answer is still, YES!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 25, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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