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Miller To Start At SG, Arenas Might Sit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Wizards didn't practice on Monday, with Flip Saunders leaving his players with the option to do some individual work at Van Andel Arena. The voluntary work was enough for Saunders to expressed some concern over the court. He complained that it was too slick and hinted that he might have to rest Gilbert Arenas tonight against Detroit to avoid taking any risks.

"If they don't clean it up a little bit, we might not play Gil. It was really slippery," Saunders said as he tapped the court with his shoe this morning.

Brendan Haywood (sprained right ankle) did some shooting but Saunders said he would sit Haywood against Detroit and tomorrow in Cleveland. "We can give him four more days and rest him, get ready fro Atlanta. The floor is slippery and I don't want to do anything to tweak it," Saunders said. "He's still a bit sore."

Fabricio Oberto will again start at center, but Saunders will give Mike Miller his first shot at shooting guard. Miller started small forward in place of Caron Butler against Toronto on Sunday and will get his first chance to start with Butler, Antawn Jamison and possibly Arenas at the same time. Miller scored four points on Sunday.

"I'm good. I'm getting better, I'm still trying to find out where my shots are going to be and where they are not going to be," Miller said.

Jamison has usually been one to take it easy during the preseason, but he appears to be in regular season form already, averaging 20 points, on 50 percent shooting (23-for-46), and 7.7 rebounds in 27 minutes through the first three games. He also has two blocked shots.

"Normally, I'll wait to get in that mode, but when the season gets started, I want to be going downhill," Jamison said, using some football terminology. "I don't want to have the mentality that it's preseason. I'm just being aggressive and playing ball."

Saunders said he has been pleased with his team's defensive performance thus far, especially the play of his first unit. The Wizards have focused on field goal percentage defense and three-point percentage defense, and through the first three games, opponents have shot just 42.2 percent from the floor and 22.4 percent from beyond the three-point line. The Wizards have allowed teams to average 105 points, which Saunders blamed on his players putting opponents on the foul line with regularity. Opponents are making 78.5 percent of their free thows.

"We've fouled a lot and we're getting killed at the free throw line," Saunders said. "That's because we're trying to be aggressive. That's something I don't want to change now. We have to continue that aggressiveness, because that will pay off in the long run."

By Michael Lee  |  October 13, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards (1-2) at Pistons (3-0); Arenas, Team Fined $25,000 Each

Comments

first

Posted by: prescrunk | October 13, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Back when the trade was made, I thought Saunders would probably start Foye at the shooting guard slot so when Arenas went out he could move Randy to PG rather than having to bring somebody off the bench cold. I figured Miller would begin the game on the bench so he could back up both the 2 and 3 positions. But Stevenson seems to have fooled me by playing so well.

Be interesting to see what Saunders finally decides.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 13, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I hope AJ's body hold up for 82 games. It's about time we had a run of *good* health.

Posted by: tundey | October 13, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I had the same thought about the SG position at first, Samson, based largely on skepticism concerning Stevenson's physical health. But he appears to be okay. If his back holds up to repeated games in the preseason, I think Flip would be hard pressed not to start him, given the level of familiarity and comfort he has with the other starters.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Be interesting to see what Saunders finally decides.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 13, 2009 1:26 PM

the teams only win of the preseason was with Nick Young in the starting line up...

Posted by: mrhney03 | October 13, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Flip should rest AJ more in preseason and limit him thru the first half of the reg season.
I like him giving opportunities to various players to start. Remember this is only dress rehersal and I think the last couple of preseason games you'll see how he plans to manage playing time and it will probbly get tweaked thru out the first 10-15 games------depending on who's healthy.
Will this be the season of no serious injuries???? We're due.

Posted by: VBFan | October 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Was Oberto as terrible in the 3rd preseason game as he was in the 2nd? As in, completely useless?

If so, does this mean Javale is going to see big minutes...and eventually get into a fight with Brendon if he plays to well for Haywoods liking?

Posted by: divi3 | October 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I think Javale will start playing significant minutes and the more he plays, the more he will play and eat into Haywood's minutes.

We all know that haywood likes to share.

Perhaps this is the real reason that Haywood doesn't want to help him out.

OK, I've trashed Haywood enough...I'll find a new topic.

Posted by: Blurred | October 13, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

EDIT:

Meant to say "the more he plays, the better he will get and earn even more of "Haywood's minutes."

Posted by: Blurred | October 13, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Just read Haywood's comments on not helping Mcgee out....real team attitude there, Brendon

Whatever, it's a good sign he feels so obviously threatened. Means Javale is showing something

Posted by: divi3 | October 13, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The fact that so many players keep saying they are still figuring out the offense (not to mention the defensive schemes) tells me we'll have to wait 10 games into the season before they are truly in a groove. While this is a team with a lot of continuity, it is also still very much a work in progress. It will take a while.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"While this is a team with a lot of continuity, it is also still very much a work in progress. It will take a while."

Yup, meanwhile Cavs and Cs will be gangbusters right out of the gate. However hopefully we'll be playing our best ball in the latter 1/3rd of the season...just as old man Shaq, KG, Wallace, and Ray Allen are breaking down

Posted by: divi3 | October 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I hope Nick Young is the starter at SG, but only if he earns it. That would mean he has vastly improved -- enough to get the nod.

Miller gives energy off the bench and can back up either the 2 or 3.

Foye should play a lot at the 1 so Arenas does not reinjure himself.

I don't have a lot of confidence in Stevenson on offense. He is a good role player when a defensive guard is needed.

Posted by: joyster8 | October 13, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Just read Haywood's comments on not helping Mcgee out....real team attitude there, Brendon

Whatever, it's a good sign he feels so obviously threatened. Means Javale is showing something

Posted by: divi3 | October 13, 2009 3:06 PM

I'm not so sure I agree with your conclusion from the Haywood story. Brendan never said he wouldn't help McGee. My take on it was that Brendan feels that it's up to McGee to ask him for assistance. That said, it sure looked like Brendan was providing unsolicited help to JaVale when they showed footage of them working on positioning and post moves on NBA Real Training Camp. I've not seen or heard anything from anyone to support the notion that Brendan is icing JaVale or in any way being a jerk toward him.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 13, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Yup, meanwhile Cavs and Cs will be gangbusters right out of the gate. However hopefully we'll be playing our best ball in the latter 1/3rd of the season...just as old man Shaq, KG, Wallace, and Ray Allen are breaking down

I don't know about that either...Shaq is a big adjustment and getting Sheed adjusted matters too...everybody has some new pieces to adjust to.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 13, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Yup, meanwhile Cavs and Cs will be gangbusters right out of the gate. However hopefully we'll be playing our best ball in the latter 1/3rd of the season...just as old man Shaq, KG, Wallace, and Ray Allen are breaking down

I don't know about that either...Shaq is a big adjustment and getting Sheed adjusted matters too...everybody has some new pieces to adjust to.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 13, 2009 3:50 PM

yeah but those two teams don't have OLDberto as the primary backup at C or no post players on the 2nd line. what adjustment would the most versatile player in the game (LBJ23 could play 1-4, KB24 1-3)have to make with shaq? how could shaq negatively effect the cavs coming off a conf finals berth, more than oberto ca negatively effect our team coming off 19wins. Sure sheed and shaq won't make seamless transitions to their team, but i'd think they'd be closer to coming out like gangbusters than going through the motions. who knows i was wrong about Blair.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 13, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

yeah but those two teams don't have OLDberto as the primary backup at C or no post players on the 2nd line. what adjustment would the most versatile player in the game (LBJ23 could play 1-4, KB24 1-3)have to make with shaq? how could shaq negatively effect the cavs coming off a conf finals berth, more than oberto ca negatively effect our team coming off 19wins. Sure sheed and shaq won't make seamless transitions to their team, but i'd think they'd be closer to coming out like gangbusters than going through the motions. who knows i was wrong about Blair.

You sure? I hope you don't consider Ilgauskas a post player on the 2nd line. I'll tell you how Shaq can negatively impact a team. He can come in out of shape, he can complain about his touches (AGAIN), he can scream for the spotlight (AGAIN), or just in basketball sense, a 350 pound man that likes to plop down in the post can negatively affect an offense where LBJ is basically given the ball and told to drive and kick out or create something. Let alone he can't shoot a free throw so he's almost pointless at the end of the game and a pick and roll liability.

What backups do the Celtics have BESIDES Wallace anyway? Be serious. If one of Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG (who re-habbed the whole summer for a 1 week injury from last season) or Sheed goes down. Who is supposed to step up? Big Baby? LMAO....come on son.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 13, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, Shaq likes to be prima donna. Sure, he had a somewhat peaceful co-existence with D. Wade. But that started in Wade's 2nd season, it wasn't "Wade's team" then. Now Cleveland is clearly LeBrone's team. So we'll see.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 13, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

LMAO....come on son.
Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 13, 2009 4:17 PM

^ owned. lmao, LeTravel isn't exactly clutch either, so between having a choke liablity, a 350 pound freethrow liability, and an incarcerated SG, Cleveland may lay 45-50 eggs this year.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 13, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Big Baby stepped up for the Celtics pretty well when Garnett went out last year. Obviously he can't do all the things Garnett can, but he filled his role well in Garnett's absence in the playoffs. The fact is that very few teams have guys on their bench who can carry the full load if one of the top 3 all-stars is out for an extended time.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 13, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

just thought I chime in on the starting line up delima... me personally do not think it matters who starts outside of the Big 3 and Brendan... its about minutes and who finishes... but the logical move would to (if healthy) let Stevenson reclaim his spot back... remember when we were at out healthiest and at the top of our division it was the Big 3, Stevenson, and Haywood... so chemistry and cohesion is there... plus you got enough offensive power fire that a defensive minded player fits in nicely wit that starting unit... Foye and Miller off the bench is a no brainier... when your deep like we are and you can have quality players that can play multiple positions and can be equally as productive starting or coming off the bench then its probably more beneficial to the team for them to come off the bench... As for Young, well enough said he is still young... though he is coming into his own with more maturity, still needs a half a season of consistency to earn his way into a starting role... now all this is mute if Stevenson is not back to his old healthy self... as for McGuire who will get lost in this shuffle... I hope Flip can find a way to get him some good minutes... with the fire power we have to surround him, his energy, rebounding, def. abilities, and usage at multiple positions.. makes him a very viable asset even more than in the past when his offensive liability would negate the usage of his other great qualities per not enough fire power to surround...

Posted by: DaGuru | October 13, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Big Baby stepped up for the Celtics pretty well when Garnett went out last year. Obviously he can't do all the things Garnett can, but he filled his role well in Garnett's absence in the playoffs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 13, 2009 4:34 PM

Yeah, Big Baby was so money against Tyrus Thomas. Too bad he got owned when he faced a real challenge (Rashard Lewis). You're a clown for defending that wuss...Big Baby is a big softy.

Posted by: ParkerLewis | October 13, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

A few thoughts:

1) Is Deshawn Stevenson as good of a defender as he get's credit for? I'm leaning towards no, and not basing that at all off of his injury riddled last year.

2) As a rhythm/confidence player, doesn't it help Nick Young (more than any other Wizard) to be the starter. All he'll have to do with that unit is knock down the open shot and ride the coattails of the Big 3. Interestingly, also, he is the only one of the guards in the competition to public state his desire to claim the starting role.

3) Do we even know how to spell box out? Every single one of Derozan's put backs the other night were the result of neglecting this basic fundamental.

4) Who's the craziest (as in most insane) member of our squad? I'm leaning Deshawn. Supposedly his backwards Pirates tattoo is actually a gang sign.

Posted by: dfresh58 | October 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

You're an idiot for spouting off without knowing what you're talking about. I wasn't "defending" anyone. I was simply pointing out that he stepped up when Garnett went down (which he did) but that ultimately, like most bench players, he wasn't good enough to fill the shoes of a star (that was covered in the part of the post you conveniently "forgot" to quote). Basically the same thing you said. I just managed to say it without being a dick.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 13, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Kal, keep crying like Big Baby. Someday you might become a man.

Posted by: ParkerLewis | October 13, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

...or another big baby

Posted by: ParkerLewis | October 13, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

... does this mean Javale is going to see big minutes...and eventually get into a fight with Brendon if he plays to well for Haywoods liking?

Posted by: divi3 | October 13, 2009 2:37 PM
_____________________________________
Funny line, but Etan actually sucked. I might have taken a swat out of frustration too. Eddie Jordan caused that mess and i am glad the both of them are gone. Can't wait to see Philly "play defense".

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | October 13, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

If I may take some liberties with SDMDSTU's post:

I'll tell you how (Haywood) can negatively impact a team. He can (Injure himself in preseason 2 years in a row) , he can complain about his touches (AGAIN), he can scream for the (minutes) (AGAIN), or just in basketball sense, a (270) pound man that likes to (f)lop down (just outside) the post can negatively affect an offense (especially when he takes ill advised 12 foot jumpers) (and a pathetic defense that needs help). Let alone he can't shoot a free throw so he's (completely) pointless at the end of the game (as well as most of the rest of the game)and a pick and roll liability.

Thank you,. Good night.

Posted by: Blurred | October 13, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh God!!! I just can't stop myself:

Funny line, but Etan actually sucked. I might have taken a swat out of frustration too. Eddie Jordan caused that mess and i am glad the both of them are gone. Can't wait to see Philly "play defense".

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | October 13, 2009 5:15 PM

So, if Etan sucked so badly, how is it that Brendan couldn't get more than 20 - 25 minutes a game? If he was truly significantly better, he would have had those minutes, no matter how poor the coaching.

Haywood was only better than Thomas as a function of size. Thomas played tougher, even though he was completely undersized and had very limited skills.

But if the opposing C or driving players needed to feel some pain, you couldn't expect Haywood to lay it.

Not that Thomas was doing much better, but regardless of how much Haywood wants you to think he was mistreated, he could have stepped up and taken those minutes by being significantly better than Thomas.

If thomas sucked, what does that say about the guy who couldn't completely beat him out?

Posted by: Blurred | October 13, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Blurred,

You know you're tilting at windmills, right?

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 13, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

A name calling fest, did I log onto the Redskins site by mistake???

I've thought from the time of the trade that Foye was the kind of combo guard that will really be able to put up some numbers beside Arenas.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"So 88'er is back to "reporting the news". This site is always good for a group laugh over morning coffee...

8'er since you're a "newsman" you really ought to apply over there at Fox. They could make good use of a single minded person that just paints an ole' bullseye on one of Washington's biggest stars and goes right at it.

You could just make it your life's mission to come up with a new negative spin on that person every single day. Pretty much what you do now, except I don't think Fox has a beef with Arenas. Except he did come out and say he was voting for that other guy...
GM

P.S. Even I find reading all of my posts twice tiresome. I know you read every single one, but you really don't need to repost them with your comment. It really clutters the site up, and gives people the impression I'm on here 24/7.

Posted by: flohrtv | October 13, 2009 8:02 AM "

Awww, GM'er decided to write to me after I pointed out how people like to post good things in the preseason that don't mean anything. Awww..

The good laugh is really on you.

I don't need to paint no stinkin' bullseye. They paint it on themselves.

It's not negative spin when it's real...and real, meaning lottery, which did happen, in case you forget....which apparently happens quite often.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 13, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"GM, I'm always amazed that people don't simply skip over any entry that has DCMan's signature at the end. The guy loves nothing more than attention, like a two-year-old rolling around on the ground in a crowded shop.

And now you're asking him straight up not to paste in your postings? Ignore, ignore, ignore.

Posted by: Prazak | October 13, 2009 9:24 AM "

And you're like a infant with colic whining about my postings.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 13, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you how (Haywood) can negatively impact a team. He can (Injure himself in preseason 2 years in a row) , he can complain about his touches (AGAIN), he can scream for the (minutes) (AGAIN), or just in basketball sense, a (270) pound man that likes to (f)lop down (just outside) the post can negatively affect an offense (especially when he takes ill advised 12 foot jumpers) (and a pathetic defense that needs help). Let alone he can't shoot a free throw so he's (completely) pointless at the end of the game (as well as most of the rest of the game)and a pick and roll liability.

Thank you. Good night.

First off...I completely agree with Kal...Big Baby stepped up when his number was called. But he can't carry them through with KG like any other team.

What did anything I say have to do with Haywood or the Wizards? I mean we can play that game all over the league if you want. I'm not even gonna waste my energy being clever to say something back. I had a rough day....maybe later. Who else is on the bench? Daniels? House? Really? The Celtics are a injury or two away from the lottery. Sound familliar?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 13, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

DC_Man88 = real talk

Posted by: prescrunk | October 13, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, I read on the wizards web site that he has been fined $25,000 for not talking to the media (and the organization fined also). Gil cant win!

Posted by: washwiz | October 13, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

He, meaning, Gilbert Arenas.

Posted by: washwiz | October 13, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

If I may take some liberties with SDMDSTU's post:

I'll tell you how (Haywood) can negatively impact a team...

Posted by: Blurred | October 13, 2009 5:19 PM

you may, if only because nobody can stop you, but a good question is why.

the discussion had nothing to do with haywood. again, you're just searching for an excuse to trash him.

Posted by: crs-one | October 13, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Is the game being televised???

Posted by: VBFan | October 13, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Love Mike Miller at the 2, Love Javale McGee's energy. Keep the turnovers down guys....Dom keep working hard. Love the roster versatility... from game to game we can have any combination be sucessful. Big Three are looking good!

Posted by: jdubose1 | October 13, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

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