Mavericks 123, Wizards 115

Two observations from the Wizards' loss: One, Gilbert Arenas can score when he wants to. And two, the Wizards are rudderless on defense without Brendan Haywood.

Arenas is undoubtedly the franchise player in Washington, the one who sells tickets, generates excitement and provides entertainment (intentionally or otherwise). But there was a noticeable dropoff defensively the moment that Haywood left the court with a sprained ankle with 4 minutes, 4 seconds left in the first quarter.

At the time Haywood left, the Wizards led 20-19. So that means the Mavericks scored 104 points in just under 44 minutes the rest of the game. "He protects the basket. No question that's going to have an affect on you defensively," Saunders said of Haywood. "We were playing pretty well when he was in there."

The Mavericks have retooled to add more offensive weapons, and Shawn Marion (26 points) certainly adds another dimension of athleticism and quickness for them, but Saunders blamed the Wizards' defensive breakdowns on helping each other too much. "It's a process. We are still learning. We are still understanding defensively, when we can help, when we can't help. We had guys that were almost over-helping, leaving the basket uncovered."

He later made a comment that sounded like many an Eddie Jordan post-game presser. "We shot well. We scored a lot of points. I don't think this team is going to have a problem with those guys that score. It's just that they're going to have to keep on building as far as our defense. That's going to be our area. At times we were undisciplined more defensively than we were offensively. It wasn't because of lack of effort. "

Haywood is unlikey to play on Sunday in Toronto and declined interview requests after the game. In my story on Friday, Haywood, who missed 76 games with a wrist injury last season, said that his impact defensively was "overblown" because Wizards won just 19 games. But it cannot be overlooked that the Wizards have not made the playoffs without Haywood this decade. They got there two years ago without Arenas.

The Wizards need both to really do damage in the postseason.

Arenas divided the game up into two halves. Passive and passing Gil in the first half. Aggressive but still sharing Gil in the second half. It was almost comical how committed Arenas was to not shooting the ball in his first 9:12 stint in the first quarter. He just stood at the top of the key and whipped passes around to Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. He had four assists and zero shot attempts as Jason Kidd applied pressure. I found it interesting that when Haywood got trapped in the post, he looked out and saw both Butler and Arenas wide open at the three-point line. He passed the ball to Butler (A little back story: In the Memphis game, Haywood kicked the ball out to Arenas for an open three-pointer. Arenas didn't shoot it and later told Haywood that he doesn't shoot threes anymore).

Arenas passed up a few open looks in the first half against Dallas and Saunders said he spoke with him about it at halftime. "I told him if he is open and he doesn't shoot, the next guy he passes it to is probably going to be covered. Very rarely are two guys open on the same play."

In the second half, Arenas was still looking to share the ball, as he handed out five assists, but Kidd wasn't playing nearly as aggressively. Kidd backed off Arenas and left him open for his first jump shot with 10:12 left in the third. Arenas went on to make his next five shots, proving to everyone in the building that he can score and get to the basket and finish whenever he chooses.

"The bright spot there, he looks pretty healthy," said Mike Miller, adding that nobody had to tell Arenas to get more aggressive in the first half. "Gil knows what he's doing. It's not his first rodeo."

DeShawn Stevenson said it best. "You know Gil like to play mind games. When he's attacking, it's hard to guard him. You have to read off him. He's the franchise [player] of this team. We know he can go. I just think he's trying to feed and get everybody's confidence up. Usually, he does it by himself, but he's trying to be a team player right now."

By Michael Lee |  October 9, 2009; 11:25 PM ET
Previous: Mavericks (0-1) at Wizards (1-0) | Next: Oberto To Start for Haywood On Sunday; Butler Will Rest

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1st

Posted by: ptp23 | October 9, 2009 11:53 PM

Gil's learning what all the top superstars know. Get your teammates going first. The problem is, he needs to be shooting when he comes in after his first quarter break. McGuire really adds hustle to this team and Flip is going have to find time for him. I think McGee is so far outplaying Oberto but he seems out of shape. He does not run back on defense often enough.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 9, 2009 11:56 PM

Everything I saw tonight was what I expected.

Les BouleS still rely a lot of jacking up long J's and making one on one drives from the 3 pt line.

Gilby scored 9 assists, but after watching him play, don't mistake him for a set up/dribble drive guy like CP, Nash, or JKidd.

Gilby racked up most of his assists by waiting at the 3 pt line and watching guys run through screens for a J. There were some assists that came from his drive and kick out to an open man out by the line.

Gilby seemed to me as at least a step slow and he had 5 turnovers. Also, he didn't play too much D.

I think Gilby can do more than he did tonight, but it all depends.

The lost tonight was pretty much a blowout despite the close score which resulted from garbage buckets at the end.

MeTawn again got his stats with the loss.

Umberto showed me nothing.

Eminem with his bull in china shop defense/rebounding.

Blah...

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 12:09 AM

"Two observations from the Wizards' loss: One, Gilbert Arenas can score when he wants to. And two, the Wizards are rudderless on defense without Brendan Haywood."

Mike, this game was between two teams that have no inside presence on offense or defense. Gilby can score when the opponent has no interior defense.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 12:14 AM

It's sad how all the players talk about offense while the coach is talking about defense, or lack there of.

Again, another situation where players and coach are on a different pages.

Where's Randy "Mr. Defense" Ayers that EG brought in a few seasons ago to help coach up defense?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 12:18 AM

Nice. 2 preseason games in and DC_MAN's already talking to himself.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 10, 2009 1:04 AM

"Nice. 2 preseason games in and DC_MAN's already talking to himself.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 10, 2009 1:04 AM "

Not as bad as the senseless overhype already on this blog.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 1:21 AM

No offence Mike Lee but its kind of dumb to say that the Wiz didnt make the playoffs without Wood but they made it without Arenas. Its dumb because last year there was no Wood and No Areans together. We also had injuries to alot of other guys. If we had a healthy Gil last year with a healthy Deshawn then there is no doubt we wouldve made the playoffs

Posted by: dlts20 | October 10, 2009 2:54 AM

and I meant that we wouldve made it even without Wood. Wood is super valuable though, no doubt. We have a ton of offensive weapons but hardly any defensive studs. ON the other hand, we only have 1 guy who can take over a game and consistently get his own shot and make plays for others. Thats Gil

Posted by: dlts20 | October 10, 2009 2:55 AM

But there was a noticeable dropoff defensively the moment that Haywood left the court with a sprained ankle with 4 minutes, 4 seconds left in the first quarter.

At the time Haywood left, the Wizards led 20-19. So that means the Mavericks scored 104 points in just under 44 minutes the rest of the game


so actually they gave up 104 points in 40 minutes.....

Posted by: Goelez | October 10, 2009 3:01 AM

Gil's learning what all the top superstars know. Get your teammates going first
Posted by: ptp23 | October 9, 2009 11:56 PM


Really? Name the top superstars who worry about getting there teammates involved 1st other than Chris Paul?

Every game is different and you play based on the flow of it. Gil is our best player, scorer, superstar.....he needs to be that for this team to be successful.

Every team needs a player that the other team fears, a player that the opponent game plans for, a player that will draw double teams and that player is Arenas.

We don't need another Antonio Daniels as our starting point guard when he's (Gil) capable of dominating a game offensively. (used to)

When Gil gets teams to rotate their D towards him, it opens up the floor for the rest of his teammates.

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 6:46 AM

It's still very early. But, seems there are some things that aren't quite right. Something seems to be amiss about GA, and the transition with Saunders seems to be more of a process than I anticipated. Again, it's early. Not much to like though thus far.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 10, 2009 7:23 AM

I dont know what game some folks were watching but here are my observations and I was at the game:

Gil can score at will. When he's not shooting, though, he's Mike James. We already have one and dont need two. He needs to stop passing up shots and play like the franchise player that he is. He's as quick, as strong as before and hasn't lost jack. He gets to the rim whenevr he wants to.

Oberto is useless. He shoots flatfooted. If we have to rely on him for anything but blowout minutes, we're done. He's a taller Songaila minus the skill or Songaila's athleticism. (and that's saying something)

Caron shot whenever he touched it. After Gil was out last year, it appears to me that he thinks that he and AJ should be the primary scorers while Gil should just pass. If we play that way this year, we'll lose. We went through years with a pg that couldnt score. I dont want to see that again.

McGee HAS improved offensively. He spent his summer shooting jumpers and has a nice shot. He's not any bigger.

AJ is the same on defense. Granted, Marion is really quick but Marion got inside for rebounds whenever he wanted to. We had no answer for him...CB was not the answer either.

Miller hasnt shown me anything yet. He needs to play with other offensive threats so that he can be open, When he's not wide open, he doesnt shoot. It reminds me of Tim Legler. It used to frustrate the heck out of me when Legler would not shoot unless he was WIDE open. Miller apperas to need to e WIDE open to have the confidence to pull the trigger.

Nick Young could be a star on another team. He can flat out shoot and was trying to chase Terry around screens. He's trying to play D at least.

Foye was pressing and needs to look to pass first, shoot second. Also, he's 5'11" or 6'0" at best.


Blatche as the beneficiary of about 3 bad foul calls. If this is how the refs are gonna be all year, the NBA is in trouble. AB would also be a star in the making on another team. He may not be allowed to blossom here because of the other offensive players on the team but he has a very high skill level. He needs to stop dribbling and has cut down on that some. He is going for shotblocks and trying to rebound but gets lost on D occasionally....gave up some easy rebounds at times, too.

We're a work in progress defensively. We cant be stopped on offense if Gil is shooting but the D is still suspect. I predict a lot of 105-100 games.

Posted by: original_mark | October 10, 2009 8:04 AM

Was great to see the team finally. I agree that the game did change when Wood left. We have no one else that can protect the rim like him. Blatche? only sometimes.

Gil is pacing himself and that is aabsolutely wonderful. I would have been concerned if he had come out in the first quarter as he came out in the 3rd. However he does need to shoot some to keep the opposition honest. But he can still get the shot that he wants. He does seem a little slower but that may just be caution. He doesn't use his top gear as much as he used to.

It was clear that this is a group that is talented but not cohesive yet, especially on defense. Looks like all the young puppies have improved- Young, Dom, Blatche, McGee.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | October 10, 2009 8:23 AM

"

No offence Mike Lee but its kind of dumb to say that the Wiz didnt make the playoffs without Wood but they made it without Arenas. Its dumb because last year there was no Wood and No Areans together. We also had injuries to alot of other guys. If we had a healthy Gil last year with a healthy Deshawn then there is no doubt we wouldve made the playoffs

Posted by: dlts20 | October 10, 2009 2:54 AM "

It's actually very appropriate because that's what happened.

The team with BTH and with Gilby made the playoffs.

The team with BTH and without Gilby made the playoffs.

The team without BTH and without Gilby went to the lottery.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 8:34 AM

@ Mark: If Randy Foye is 5'11 Gil is 5'9. He's definitely a tweener.

I agree about Miller not shooting unless he's wide open but I thought he did a good job driving and passing.

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 8:41 AM

"Gil can score at will.

Posted by: original_mark | October 10, 2009 8:04 AM "

Gilby appeared to score at will because the Mavs have absolutely no interior defense.

The only interior defense I saw was when Gilby drove and Shawn Marion sent his shot back in his face.

And, this much is true also. Opposing guards can score at will on Gilby too.

JKIdd: 15 pts, 7 assists, 5 rebs in 26 min

Rodrique Beaubois: 14 pts, 3 assists in 21 min, and had several steals on Gilby....one and embarrassing strip isolated in midcourt.

Who the heck is Rodrique Beaubois?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 8:41 AM

If sounders is concerned about the defense
he need to start with DM at 2.
I was trying to be positive about DS but i just learned that his movment is gone, he is not capable of stoping fast 2 gards.The only positive thing is he knows how to play with the starters.If it is not for trade purpose i realy do not see his value in the team.
I like the attitude of Arenas , he is trying his best to be a real leader, the turnovers can be avoided , he does not turn the ball on dribbling he turned it on pass which is going to be avoided when the chemistory is solid.six baskets and 5 assist in 12 minutes, this shows how arenas could have been a real super star if he could have focused 3-4 years ago, hopefully he will achieve it now.
The team need another defenssive minded big man to help BH ASAP.
JM is just a potential, he could be an energy to the team but i do not expect much from him.He need to concentrate on production such as rebound, defensive position and block.I like his improvment on his shoot but he seems lost all the time.
AF is not a point gard. He is not going to take us any where, he need to get his share from SG position, if he is free of ball handling he will be another defenssive force.
MM is not yet in the flow.when he learn everything he is going to be an x factor for this team.
We need another point gard a veteran like AD who can follow the steps of arenas with a better defense.I am not sure if JC is going to pick this role.
I have to agree with most of you that DS should not get regular minutes, MJ need not to play at all.
NY need to continue to work on his defense and using screen for his shooting.I like his size but he is not using it.
I am happy with AB atleast he is commited to do every thing right.his shoots should not be blocked, he need to dunk it if he is close to the rim.
Washington as a team need to do a 75% improvment in their all over game to win 50 games.If they continue to play like the two preseason games i am not expecting them in play off.AJ and CB are fine, CB should have been alittle agressive on Marion,he was the x factor in last night game.I already know that AJ can not defend the german big man very few players defend him well.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 10, 2009 8:42 AM

agree 100% with original_mark.

was nice they closed the 400s and put us all down in 113, sweet seats.

Gil is being weird. After not shooting at all many fans were encouraging him, "come zero shoot" etc etc. He finally hits his first jumper to applause and he looks at the wiz fan who'd been encouraging him and waives him off with a "whatever" look. Pretty lame, Zero.

Mcgee is so much better than Oberto it's not even a contest. Whomever was thinking Oberto was going to be a meaningful contributor will be sorely disappointed when they see him play. He sucks.

Javale has developed a turnaround J that he hit several times last night. Nice looking shot, this kid could really be summin for us. But long way to go this year.

I liked Foye's aggressive play, he's a stout dude and uses his body well.

All in all, Mike Lee hits the nail on head- right now, this is the exact same Wiz team we've seen in the past

Posted by: divi3 | October 10, 2009 8:50 AM

Gil has averaged 28pts in this league, and looks like all his quicks are still in place. Suggesting he only scores because the other team is bad defensively is just silly.

Try looking at Gil objectively dc_mann, he can score in bunches (obvious last night) no matter how much you hate him.

Posted by: divi3 | October 10, 2009 9:07 AM


Really? Name the top superstars who worry about getting there teammates involved 1st other than Chris Paul?

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 6:46 AM

Lebron, MJ, Isaiah, DWade,DRose
Two articles below to illustrate my point.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/print/?id=251378

One of the most important qualifications to be a star in the NBA is to make an impact every night.

A rough quarter or quiet half will happen to anyone. But the best players don't let 48 minutes expire without making some sort of statement.

Through his first 10 games in the league, Derrick Rose has passed this test with flying colors. He's also showing an advanced ability to choose the right times to assert himself.

The worst thing Rose could do right now is go crazy at the start of games, even if he has a clear advantage over his opponent. It's vital to get everyone on the floor involved in the first quarter, because defenses will inevitably collapse on one dominant player and his teammates must be ready to contribute when that occurs.

It took players like Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas years to realize this, but it seems to come naturally to Rose

http://www.timesreporter.com/sports/x1465809761/LeBron-gets-everyone-involved

“LeBron has a phase to his game where he gets everyone involved early, and then right around the seven-minute mark it’s going to be his time to take over,” Nets’ coach Lawrence Frank said.

Eight points by Varejao, including two layups off James assists, helped the Cavs take the 13-point lead. Zydrunas Ilgauskas also inflicted early damage, starting with two jumpers to open the game. James was the assist man on those scores, too.

“He’s a great passer, and he gets players involved early, and then asserts himself later in the game,” Nets’ guard Vince Carter said. “His game is as a facilitator, and it gives his team confidence. And when he gets double-teamed and gives the ball up to a teammate, he has confidence in them and with opportunities they gain confidence as well.”


Next.........

Posted by: ptp23 | October 10, 2009 9:20 AM

Looked to me like the same problem as last year will haunt this team--can't guard the three. I know its early so maybe they will improve. But its all about quickness as much as about size in the NBA. Dallas had smaller but quicker players and they scored at will and yet they were missing one of their key players Josh Howard.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | October 10, 2009 9:34 AM

"Really? Name the top superstars who worry about getting there teammates involved 1st other than Chris Paul?Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 6:46 AM"
"Lebron, MJ, Isaiah, DWade,DRose" posted by ptp23"

Well, sort of. They all started as scorers who realized the value of getting their teammates involved, and the downside of the alternative. Kobe went through it, and LeBron is in the middle of the process now.

But they're all still scorers. Certainly Wade, like Isaiah, carries a disproportionate share of the scoring load for his club. Rose is a hybrid PG/SG in much the way Kobe could be called a hybrid SG/PG. d either score or dish the ball to a trailing shooter.
I guess my point is that all the names on your list are required to be selfish scorers for their teams to succeed.

It's the way the game is played today.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2009 9:50 AM

I thought Arenas looked like a really skilled guy who hadn't played in two years. Still mostly interested in finding out what his body would allow him to do. Capable of great things, sure, but rust patches showing through the paint.

Guess that's not a big surprise, huh?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2009 9:58 AM

Next.........

Posted by: ptp23 | October 10, 2009 9:20 AM

Bull Dookie!

You can't compare Lebron to Gil or any other player in the league. Lebron is a great passer and scorer, he's unique.
The BEST player in the NBA.


It's not about getting your teammates involved 1st then try to score late, it's about doing what he does best in the offense that the coaching staff has implemented.

To just be predictable and not look for his shot early just to make sure his teammates get their shots early is counter-productive. You have to play the game that presents itself.

What if his teammates are being defended well in the 1st quarter, should he continue to "not" try to score because that's the way you and others say it's how a good superster plays?

The great ones score in all 4 quarters without hogging the ball and then they finish off the game at the end.

The problem with this team hasn't been scoring, it's their ability to stop others from scoring.

Next..........

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 10:26 AM

Smart move to sit Brendan down and get some ice on that sprain, he looked really good early on both ends of the floor, no use to keep running him on that ankle.
Is Hopla employed any where yet? Brendan could use his help on the free throws, he's a little out of sync.

Gil seems to be concentrating on knowing the offense early, knowing where, and how, the cutters are coming off the screens. and where to find his guy on the pick and roll game.

The guy hasn't played in an offense much in two seasons. Now he's learning a new one, I can see why he's not shooting in his first run with the first team.

McGee, the kid's footwork has really improved in one offseason. He was not doing a bad job on D, and he's not jumping through the roof at every head fake.

He's got some serious talent, I'm still not sure he's really a center. His jumper's coming along nicely and he's smooth in the open floor, I'd love to see him and Haywood out there together some.

As much as some love to bust on Blatche, the guy looked decent last night. A couple of those calls against him looked pretty ticky tack. Just wish he'd go up with more authority at the rim, he seems to try and sneak in a finesse dunk instead of ramming it home.

Oberto looked like he's coming off surgery, out of shape, out of sync, and almost ready to be out of the league. That was a sad performance, I hope he's capable of getting in game shape and can contribute. If he can't this team is razor thin at the 4 & 5.

I hope it was just still confusion, and not having Haywood behind them, once Brendan went down Jamison and Butler's defense was really sad. Marion tore them both up.

McGuire just continues to impress me, he does all the little things you need to win. Foye and Miller are still works in progress figuring their roles out.

Nick Young looked really good, I can see why he got the first start at the 2. He showed good effort on D, even if he wasn't always making the right decision. I think every shot he took was in the flow of the offense.

Stevenson knows how to play with the big three, but against Dallas's quick backcourt combo's he looked slow, and in effective on D. He might have a role playing big 2's, but he wasn't really adding anything last night.

I didn't expect to see a team in midseason form last night, but I did. It was Dallas, Marion and Gooden were good pickups for them. They could be a force again.

The Wiz are still a work in progress, too many 2's, and razor thin up front, I still think another move is coming...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 10, 2009 10:36 AM

A few observations from the game:

Stevenson, to my surprise, seemed to show no ill-effects from the back surgery. He moved well on the court, had no trouble getting into his defensive crouch and showed good lateral movement. Obviously the real test will be how it responds to repeated action over several games. But if his back holds up, I expect he'll be the starter come opening day. The ball movement and offensive flow when he was out there with the Big 3 and Haywood was very crisp, largely a result of their familiarity with one another. Flip is too smart a coach not to notice and take advantage of that.

Randy Foye does not look like a PG to me. That's not to say he's not a good or productive player, but he looked really uncomfortable as the primary ballhandler.

Mike Miller, on the other hand, looked very comfortable with the ball in his hands. Anyone who says he wasn't doing anything because his shot wasn't falling wasn't paying attention, not to the game or what he's been saying since he got here. He's said all along that his primary role wouldn't be to just jack up shots but to contribute in other phases that help his teammates. He did plenty of that yesterday. The shots will fall as he gets more settled. And given Foye's struggles running the offense and Crittenton's injury, I expect Miller will be coming of the bench to anchor the second unit.

I don't care what Flip said about Oberto being the primary backup at C, McGee will get PT. He was far from perfect and made his fair share of mistakes, but the obvious improvement in his grasp of the game was hard to miss. He'll be a contributor.

Blatche was same-old-same-old. A few good plays to sucker you into thinking he's turned the corner, then he starts flinging the ball over his head out of bounds.

The new look Nick Young didn't look that much different from old look Nick. He wasn't really displaying much of the results of his tutelage in catch-and-shoot, but that may have been because he was on the floor a lot with Foye. He needs to be on the floor with someone who'll look to get him the ball in the right spots, otherwise he'll lapse back into his bad habits of pounding the ball to death.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 10, 2009 10:38 AM

Well, we now now that Gil can pass and he can score. But to be a great player that this team is counting on, he has to MIX IT UP. Not this crap of one quarter passer and one quarter scorer! And WTF with this no 3 pointers! If you are open, shoot it! However, I can understand if it is because after long lay off, he need to gradully work his way back and is till not certain about his 3 pointer yet.

Defensively, Wizards look lost without Haywood. Oberto is slow, can't get into posititon, also not big or atheltic enough to be an intimidater, while McGee doesn't know where the position is.

McGee did show off his talent last night, Blatche seems to have improved, but still needs to refrain his wild passes.

Haven't seen Miller displayed his shooting touch, but this is still preseason, just hope he hasn't lost it! Foye wasn't impressive either. But man, who is this Beaubois guy? He is quick and he can shoot. Will see if this is just one freak game for him.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 10, 2009 10:53 AM

Good PREseason game.
I think Nick, Andre, Javale & Dom all improved.
I was surprised by Foye---he didn't impress like I thought he would.
Miller hustled but he was hurrying his shot.
Oberto took up space.
Gil got his pocket picked by Beaubois and couldn't keep up with his speed.
Second unit played good.
Wizzies gave up too many open 3's.
All in all kind of a rusty team effort BUT it's game 2 of preseason. It's a time to learn.
Hopefully things will come together quickly.

Posted by: VBFan | October 10, 2009 11:06 AM

"Gil is being weird. After not shooting at all many fans were encouraging him, "come zero shoot" etc etc. He finally hits his first jumper to applause and he looks at the wiz fan who'd been encouraging him and waives him off with a "whatever" look. Pretty lame, Zero.

Posted by: divi3 | October 10, 2009 8:50 AM "

LMFAO!

All you Gilby lovers are nothing but grotto pool scum to him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 11:31 AM

"Really? Name the top superstars who worry about getting there teammates involved 1st other than Chris Paul?

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 6:46 AM "

Let's not forget Nash.

If Gilby considers himself a superstar, then comparing him to others such as Lebron is fair, even if there is no comparison.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 11:50 AM

Stevenson, to my surprise, seemed to show no ill-effects from the back surgery. He moved well on the court, had no trouble getting into his defensive crouch and showed good lateral movement. Obviously the real test will be how it responds to repeated action over several games. But if his back holds up, I expect he'll be the starter come opening day. The ball movement and offensive flow when he was out there with the Big 3 and Haywood was very crisp, largely a result of their familiarity with one another. Flip is too smart a coach not to notice and take advantage of that.

agreed. the 07-08 starting 5 looked super comfortable out there. deshawn is win and so is the ducktail.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 10, 2009 11:58 AM

"I don't shoot 3's any more." Nice.

Posted by: joe2chase | October 10, 2009 11:59 AM

For all of our professional critics out there, a few things to remember:

1. This team (as have all teams) had an 8-day training camp.

2. This team (unlike any other NBA team this preseason) is starting anew with a combination of (i) a brand new coach, (ii) learning brand new schemes, and (iii) the incorporation of brand new players into the aforementioned schemes.

Does anyone think that after 8 days of training camp and 2 pre-season games (less than two weeks total) that we are seeing the team that will be on display for the first game of the regular season (and thereafter)?

There were enough positives coming out of last night's game to give me a lot of reason for hope. For one thing, as vaunted as our backcourt has been projected, most of our scoring came out of our frontcourt, with Blatche and McGee combining for 31 points, most of them coming in the fourth quarter, and 38 points coming from Tuff Juice and AJ. Once our backcourt gets into the flow, watch out!!!

Secondly, I think our second unit is going to be a beast once they get the grasp of everything Flip is trying to get across to them. The defensive intensity of the second unit in the fourth quarter I thought was pretty incredible, especially given that they are our second unit. Dallas scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, and that on the heels of the Memphis game, where the second unit outscored the Grizz by 9 and held them to under 20 in the fourth, and although both teams were playing their second stringers in the fourth, it was clear to me that our second stringers outplayed theirs (we scored 29 points in the fourth last night).

Now none of this is anything to write home about, but again this is ONLY THE PRESEASON. I am only looking for signs of things to come. I believe the defense will come around. Defense is not as much fun as offense, and so a natural resistance to it is inevitable, especially with a team that is not used to playing it. However, Flip is a defensive guru whose teams are always near the top of the league. I don't expect anything different with these guys. It will just take some time. If we are still giving up 100+ points a game come mid-December, then I will be worried.

Finally, Dallas will be a championship contender this season and they have a LOT of weapons, just as we have. Can't wait for the first regular season game (we play them first). Will be interesting to see how we will have improved by then.

Posted by: bpybay | October 10, 2009 12:24 PM

But man, who is this Beaubois guy?

I saw him in summer league and he was outstanding. Displayed the same kind quickness, speed and skill as he did last night, I think he's the future PG in Dallas.

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 12:27 PM

LMFAO!

All you Gilby lovers are nothing but grotto pool scum to him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 11:31 AM

------------------

rightfully so since nothing he can do can ever make them happy. when he shoots, people complain that he doesn't pass. and now we know that when he passes, people complain that he doesn't shoot. it's not like he can get an assist and 2pts every possession.

Posted by: crs-one | October 10, 2009 12:37 PM

Some observations:

Gil still hasn't grown up. As he has done in the past when told to involve his teammates, Gil repeatedly passed up ridiculously wide open jumpers and consequently hurt the the team on offense. What's with this guy? Does he have to constantly rub his teammates' noses in it, so they'll know they can't do it without him? That said, if anybody can get him to grow up, it'll be Flip. I like how he's using logic to get him to do the right thing. I don't think Gil wants the coach to see him as a dumb guy.
Foye is a sawed-off shooting guard. He's best coming off the bench paired with someone who can do a passable job as a PG (Miller or Stephenson, perhaps).
The Wiz's interior defense is porous to say the least and is (hopefully) in the process of getting better. We still give up more layups/dunks than we get.
Brendan will have a huge impact on this whether this season is a success or failure.
Caron and Antawn still don't seeam to be all that interested in defense. Again, maybe it's just too early to tell, but last night was not encouraging.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 10, 2009 12:46 PM

"But man, who is this Beaubois guy?

I saw him in summer league and he was outstanding. Displayed the same kind quickness, speed and skill as he did last night, I think he's the future PG in Dallas.

Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 12:27 PM "

LOL!

I figure it's a 60% chance that every time Les BouleS play, a nobody on the opposing team will be made to look like an upcoming star.

On a side note, as I haven't mentioned it yet, but the sorry team of Bucky and Phil spent the entire 1st quarter on a slobberfest praising Gilby over his two games last season and everything else Gilby.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 1:10 PM

"I don't care what Flip said about Oberto being the primary backup at C, McGee will get PT. He was far from perfect and made his fair share of mistakes, but the obvious improvement in his grasp of the game was hard to miss. He'll be a contributor."

I sure hope so. If Brendan gets hurt again -- maybe I should say when -- then we're back to a rotation of Blatche, McGee, and Oberto. None of those guys looks ready to start on a regular basis.

The big flaw in this team, IMO.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2009 1:12 PM

gilby is worthless.

the gimpy jacker now refuses to take open shots.

This guy used to take shots 40 feet from the basket with 3 guys on him now he does the complete opposite.

Does he know how to manage the game? Is he not smart or is it a ego thing to prove that he can pass?

111 million for a triple gimp...But they pass on drafting Blair cause he had knee surgery in high school.

I refuse to pay tickets to see this team play unless gimpy gets traded or dies.

FYI..He's def much slower...Foye is faster off the dribble than Gimpy.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | October 10, 2009 1:15 PM

Soooo... I see some folks mention it but haven't paniked yet..., but am i the only one concerned just a bit that we went out and traded for a 3 point shooter who hasn't made a 3 pointer in 2 games? Don't care what excuse you make (new team, new system, yada yada yada) shooters do 1 thing, and he's not doing it. He needs to make a couple, or for that matter, shoot a couple before a "We want Pesh" chant breaks out.

Posted by: CBell29 | October 10, 2009 1:17 PM

Soooo... I see some folks mention it but haven't paniked yet..., but am i the only one concerned just a bit that we went out and traded for a 3 point shooter who hasn't made a 3 pointer in 2 games? Don't care what excuse you make (new team, new system, yada yada yada) shooters do 1 thing, and he's not doing it. He needs to make a couple, or for that matter, shoot a couple before a "We want Pesh" chant breaks out.

Posted by: CBell29 | October 10, 2009 1:17 PM

We want Pesh!!

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 10, 2009 1:21 PM

"Blatche was same-old-same-old."

Not quite. He averaged .7 points a minutes and .3 rebounds a minute.

That translates into 28 points and 16 boards over a 40 minute span.

So far, he's the most improved player on the team (of those who played last year).

Posted by: Izman | October 10, 2009 1:22 PM

Agree with most posters, McGee looked better than Oberto. He seems to have improved. McGuire looked good for the short time he was in also. And it was great just to see Gilbert back. It has been 2 years and I believe he's just being cautious during preseason. Lastly, they need to rehire Hoopla, especially for Haywood.

Posted by: washwiz | October 10, 2009 1:43 PM

So far Blatch looks like he has his head in the game as opposed to a lower body orifice---lets hope this doesn't change.
Nick looked good off the ball. When he's hot he's hot.
Dom will force Flip to play him.
The times that I watched Antawn I thought he played decent defence. He got beat but so did others.
Once we get thru a few preseason games the starting 5 should be able to compete with anyone. The bench will have a big impact on how far we go.
Looked like Flip had their attention during TO's.

Posted by: VBFan | October 10, 2009 2:16 PM

"Not quite. He averaged .7 points a minutes and .3 rebounds a minute. That translates into 28 points and 16 boards over a 40 minute span."Posted by: Izman"

Hmmm... isn't that like saying my 5 minute mile translates to a 2 hour and 10 minute marathon?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2009 2:57 PM

Soooo... I see some folks mention it but haven't paniked yet..., but am i the only one concerned just a bit that we went out and traded for a 3 point shooter who hasn't made a 3 pointer in 2 games?

Posted by: CBell29 | October 10, 2009 1:17 PM

We want Pesh!!

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 10, 2009 1:21 PM

Yes.

Posted by: bpybay | October 10, 2009 4:04 PM

"Agree with most posters, McGee looked better than Oberto. He seems to have improved. McGuire looked good for the short time he was in also. And it was great just to see Gilbert back. It has been 2 years and I believe he's just being cautious during preseason. Lastly, they need to rehire Hoopla, especially for Haywood.

Posted by: washwiz | October 10, 2009 1:43 PM "

DMac always looks good during the preseason. Then for whatever reason, he doesn't play up to the level he did during the offseason.

There's absolutely no reason to be cautious with Gilby. His knee is fine. Work him like a mule.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 10, 2009 4:07 PM

5 minute mile
Impressive!

Posted by: VBFan | October 10, 2009 4:09 PM

Not quite. He averaged .7 points a minutes and .3 rebounds a minute.

That translates into 28 points and 16 boards over a 40 minute span.

So far, he's the most improved player on the team (of those who played last year).

Posted by: Izman | October 10, 2009 1:22 PM

I agree 100% that he (along with Nick) is the most improved player on this team. I predict he wins Most Improved Player this year, IF he can stay healthy (always the caveat with this team).

Posted by: bpybay | October 10, 2009 4:10 PM

Ok, let's try this again.

* * * * *

Soooo... I see some folks mention it but haven't paniked yet..., but am i the only one concerned just a bit that we went out and traded for a 3 point shooter who hasn't made a 3 pointer in 2 games?

Posted by: CBell29 | October 10, 2009 1:17 PM

Yes! Two games doesn't nullify 9 seasons.

Posted by: bpybay | October 10, 2009 4:17 PM

Offensively, I think we saw a lot of talent on the floor.

Mcgee looked better than last year, still has some conditioning issues, but I was impressed so far.

Hopefully Haywoods injury isnt bad and lets get a shooting coach back in here for BTH

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | October 10, 2009 4:39 PM

randy foye is a younger mike james. he disappointed me last night

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 10, 2009 5:06 PM

Concerns:
Foul shooting
Javale falling in love with that turnaround 15 foot J.
Miller, Foye & Fab O not fitting in.
3 pt. shooting & defending.
Foul shooting
Gilbert's TO's.
Replacement refs
Haywood's ankle
Is this the real Blatch?
Foul shooting
Phil & Buck not in the game.

BUT remember it's only preseason.
This is where you fix things & find out who wants to play as a team.


Posted by: VBFan | October 10, 2009 5:43 PM

"5 minute mile
Impressive!Posted by: VBFan"

LOL and not in the past ten years, either...

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2009 6:55 PM

"Don't care what excuse you make (new team, new system, yada yada yada) shooters do 1 thing, and he's not doing it. "

Which only proves that you don't actually know anything about Miller's game. He's not just a shooter and is capable of doing a lot more than one thing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 10, 2009 6:56 PM

Oberto is terrible the Wizards seriously need to make a minor trade and get them a legit back up center or they will have to hold their breath and pray Haywood stays healthy.

I love Mcgee's game he's athletic has touch and is very skilled with hops he's just not big enough nor has made the transition yet to fully understanding the NBA game he plays more like a pf he and Blache both do.

if the Wizards are left with the light rebounding and non defending Oberto they'll be a 44 win team once again.

they need a big body who'll foul take charges and rotate over on switches.

on another note Gilbert Arenas really needs to be checked by management and the coaching staff before this gets outta hand. he's pulling a power play on Flip, he's obviously overpassing he's not trying to be unselfish he's heard some critique of his former style of play and now wants the team to see the contrast in his game. If he mixes in the scoring and passing he'll be a superstar once again. he has to realize that its all about the game not the ploys and manipulations of the coaches and teammates.

He needs to be stopped right now. Told to cut the crap and play. you dont invest that sorta money and have a guy do what he wants on the court.

He's so like Portis of the Skins its sickening.

On a good front he appears to be back physically he has the quickness and 1st step back.

Posted by: jrwalkerivory | October 10, 2009 7:09 PM


It's the way the game is played today.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2009 9:50 AM

Agree with most of that except it's the way the game is played today. Excerpt from Peter Vescey article describing Oscar Robertson who played in the 60's and 70's. This is nothing new.

"But I never rattled Oscar. He never blinked at full-court, hands-on pressure," Attles says
in awe. "And I never blocked his shot. He was never concerned about his defender. He
always looked straight ahead at his teammates."
Robertson's aplomb for getting teammates involved in the first three quarters played into
Oscar would look to score only four to six points in
the first quarter, the same in the second and maybe eight to 10 in the third. If the verdict
was in doubt in the fourth quarter, he'd go off for 12 to 18.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 10, 2009 7:44 PM

You can't compare Lebron to Gil or any other player in the league. Lebron is a great passer and scorer, he's unique.
The BEST player in the NBA.
Posted by: zxhoya | October 10, 2009 10:26 AM
You asked for other superstars and I gave you 4 nd another poster added Kobe.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 10, 2009 7:52 PM

He needs to be stopped right now. Told to cut the crap and play. you dont invest that sorta money and have a guy do what he wants on the court.

He's so like Portis of the Skins its sickening.

On a good front he appears to be back physically he has the quickness and 1st step back.

Posted by: jrwalkerivory | October 10, 2009 7:09 PM
Good point on Gilbert.
He needs to buy into the program and quickly.

Getting a backup center is easier said than done.
Who's available? And at what price?
Not much out there.
You only get what you pay for and we ain't got much $$$.

Posted by: VBFan | October 10, 2009 7:57 PM

Gil still hasn't grown up. As he has done in the past when told to involve his teammates, Gil repeatedly passed up ridiculously wide open jumpers and consequently hurt the the team on offense. What's with this guy? Does he have to constantly rub his teammates' noses in it, so they'll know they can't do it without him?
-------------------------

have we seen any evidence that he's doing this to be petulant? or is everyone just assigning that quality to him?

he hasn't exactly been playing many nba games these past two seasons. i would think it's more likely that he's passing on open shots more so because he's a reformed gunner and not quite comfortable balancing not being a ball hog with finding the right times to shoot.

or you can go ahead and assume that he's being childish. whatever makes you happy (or miserable, whichever you prefer)

Posted by: crs-one | October 10, 2009 10:31 PM

reflections:

Gilbert was being a little spoiled - not shooting on purpose. He'll work that out by late Oct. When he took over for several minutes in the 3rd, I turned to my friend and said - so much for the point guard stuff - he's baaaack. He'll figure out the right balance. Slow??? No way, he showed he could attack. That must be when you were on the concourse getting beer.

Anyone at the game watching knows Mike Miller was hustling as much or more than any Wizard. He is without a doubt a keeper. He's smart and knows what he is doing. And he's being modest; he can get up there. I hope his shot starts falling though. He is also a crowd favorite already, if you attended Wednesday or Friday.

On Oberto; I notice Ruffin is still in the league. You don't need to be a scorer to be valuable, if your salary is affordable.

On getting teammates involved; oh come on, anyone heard of a guy named Lebron??? He starts slow most games, passing when he could drive or shoot. He turns it on after getting others involved.

Foye; looked lethargic. I'm waiting to see his real game.

The crowd groaned a few times when McGee shot some crazy jumpers...until they watched them fall all net!

Blatche built very good quiet numbers. He's definitely better.

Jamison and Butler about on par with last season as some people mentioned. However, that was last year, and this year they need to get in tune with the rest of the team.

a smart coach will get this all worked out in October, so we can start winning in November. However, my advice to the previous losers...go for blood all October. Get the killer instinct NOW.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | October 10, 2009 10:48 PM

have we seen any evidence that he's doing this to be petulant? or is everyone just assigning that quality to him?

he hasn't exactly been playing many nba games these past two seasons. i would think it's more likely that he's passing on open shots more so because he's a reformed gunner and not quite comfortable balancing not being a ball hog with finding the right times to shoot.

or you can go ahead and assume that he's being childish. whatever makes you happy (or miserable, whichever you prefer)

Posted by: crs-one | October 10, 2009 10:31 PM

Even Stephenson hinted that Gil was up to his old tricks last night. That sort of behavior was part of what Eddie Jordan called "Gilbertology" and Gil himself has explicitly admitted to playing these sort of games in the past. So in this case either Gil is playing mind games (my view and others) or after 8-9 years in the league he still doesn't know a good shot when he sees one (your view, as best understood). Be happy or miserable with your conclusion, whichever you prefer.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 10, 2009 11:57 PM

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