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Morning brew, weekend edition

There was plenty of offense Friday night on both sides (69 combined points for the Wizards' big three; 35 points by District native Kevin Durant). But that doesn't make up for how poor the Wizards looked on defense.

Just when it seems like the offense is showing signs of life and Gilbert Arenas is taking better care of the ball (only 5 turnovers total the last two games), the defense allows a season high for points while the Thunder shoots 52.4 percent from three and 53 percent overall.

Michael Lee delves into all this in his late-night postgame thoughts. The Wizards have to shake it off quickly because they have to play at San Antonio on Saturday.

Mike Jones of The Washington Times was also on hand. We wonder if the headline writer had this little Garth Brooks ditty on the brain when piecing that together.

Here's the recap from the other side. The excitement for the Thunder is palpable.

And as usual, highlights courtesy of NBA.com:

Around the league...

Pretty eventful 10-game slate on Friday. Orlando picked up a big road win in Boston, a game in which Rajon Rondo played a grand total of 43 seconds in the fourth quarter. LeBron dropped 40 on the Pacers. Atlanta (yes, the Hawks) maintained its "best record in the NBA" status with a last-second win. Out West, the Clippers outlasted the Nuggets in a game that was not broadcast by the Clippers' regular announcers. The lesson: don't make jokes about Hamed Haddadi.

Bringing you up to speed on this and everything else from Friday night via NBA.com's Daily Zap:

By Ed Guzman  |  November 21, 2009; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Durant, NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Thunder 127, Wizards 108
Next: The Other Side: San Antonio Spurs

Comments

First again?

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

One thing I have noticed about FS offense and this may be due to lack of execution, but the plays seem incredibly telegraphed. Where is the back door pass when the passing lanes are overplayed or players are fronted? Just no cutting whatsoever. A lot of standing around watching one person dribble dribble dribble and it's not just Arenas. Plus, we got to be the worst pick and roll team in the NBA and that is basketball 101. Can someone please set a decent pick??? The only players that can are the ones who have no offensive skills that far away from the basket.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 21, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Now hold on a minute rphilli721! Now you're talking about the dreaded intangibles. We will have no such talk on this board!!! Don't you know it's all about numbers. Our big three scored 69 points, we had two men in double figures in rebounds, two of our guys had double-doubles (and another one came close), we had 21 assists as a team and we scored 108 points. Why the hell do we need the intangibles???

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I posted yesterday and stated that Durant would pose a huge matchup problem,well.............. they got close a few times but when they did OKC just turned it up a notch and BOOM! went the dynamite. LMAO!

Posted by: dargregmag | November 21, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

When is everybody going to understand this organization does not care about winning a championship.

Abe and Ernie's only goal is to make the playoffs so the team will make a profit.

None of the players the team has either drafted, signed and/or traded for (other than Stevenson)are known for playing defense and that is what win championships.

It looks like MM is the only player on the roster who knows how to play "TEAM" basketball, since he is willing to give the ball up instead of making sure he gets his stats.

Where are all of you that gave me grief about what a great job Ernie has done drafting players?

Considering how long Ernie has been the GM and there is only one draft pick on the roster that plays....that is sad.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 21, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I guess the lesson we learned in OKC is that if you don't play defense on the road, even the Thunder can beat you.

Not that they're a bad team, but c'mon, 127 points?

Kevin Durant seems to be undergoing the media myth-enlargement process. He was 6'10" in shoes when he was drafted, and I notice he's now described as 'nearly six-eleven". Another couple of All-Star appearances and he'll be seven feet, no doubt.

The other thing about Durant is that he isn't particularly fast and he can't jump very well. Same could have been said about Magic and Bird, of course, or Nowitzki today, and it didn't hurt any of them. Durant is a fabulous shooter, but IMO you defend him in much the same way as the other three: by staying between him and the basket and making him shoot 3 pointers or turnaround jump shots from unfavorable locations. He'll hit a fair percentage of them, but nothing like he'll do if you let him get in his preferred spots. That's when he puts on a clinic.

The Thunder as a team shot 53%, and 85% from the FT line. Not much else needed to explain the loss.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 21, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to play devil's advocate for a second here. This OKC team is the same team that beat Orlando by 28 points a couple of weeks ago, so they're not chopped liver.

That being said, once again, we had NO EXCUSE for playing the way we did last night!

None!!!

Period!!!

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Where are all the biotches now who were bragging about depth and making excuses about Gilby this and that or MeTawn this or that....saying I didn't know what I was talking about?

As Mike said, the dream starting lineup was together and they got squashed.

Clearly, everyone in the starting lineup except for BTH could not defend.

NEVERMIND THE FACT THAT THEY COULD NOT DEFEND, THIS TEAM ALSO COULD NOT KEEP UP WITH OK'S OFFENSIVE BARRAGE/FIREPOWER!!!

Note that OK was the 4th worst team in the league last season, and Les BouleS excuse for being the 2nd worst was the lack of Gilby and BTH in the lineup.

What's up now biotches?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"The other thing about Durant is that he isn't particularly fast and he can't jump very well. Same could have been said about Magic and Bird, of course, or Nowitzki today, and it didn't hurt any of them. Durant is a fabulous shooter, but IMO you defend him in much the same way as the other three: by staying between him and the basket and making him shoot 3 pointers or turnaround jump shots from unfavorable locations. He'll hit a fair percentage of them, but nothing like he'll do if you let him get in his preferred spots. That's when he puts on a clinic.

The Thunder as a team shot 53%, and 85% from the FT line. Not much else needed to explain the loss.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 21, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse "

Gosh...if KD is not fast and can't jump very well, then how the heck was he able to blow by MeTawn on that coast to coast run and then hook dunk over him?

Oh, I guess that be a rhetorical question.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"I'm going to play devil's advocate for a second here. This OKC team is the same team that beat Orlando by 28 points a couple of weeks ago, so they're not chopped liver.

That being said, once again, we had NO EXCUSE for playing the way we did last night!

None!!!

Period!!!

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse "

And Les BouleS also notched two of their three wins this season against the much ballyhooed Dallas Mavericks and the undermanned Cavs, both teams with a combined 19-7 record.

What what?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I would not be surprised if Les BouleS defeat the old Spurs tonight b/c Les BouleS are more athletic and Ginobli is out, but it would be comical if DeJuan Blair comes out and stomps all over Les BouleS...

Where is the DeJuan Blair lover on this blog? Surprised this hasn't been hyped up by him yet.

Maybe Roger Mason will remind Les BouleS fans/EG again why it was a big mistake to let him leave and pay Dee Brown instead to come here and then be released for Mike James who's cashing in on 6.5 mil and injured and wouldn't play anyway even if he were healthy.

Groundhog day.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Blatche still going behind his back in a crowd(usually when there's two or more defenders)just plain stupid he's suppose to be smarter than that.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The 1978-79 Knicks fielded a starting lineup of Bob McAdoo, Spencer Haywood, Marvin Webster, Ray Williams and Pearl Monroe. On the bench were Toby Knight, Butch Beard, Mike Glenn and Dean Meminger. They had arguably the most talent of any team in the league.

That team finished 31-51! It's NOT all about talent.

To DCMAN: It's easy to see why everyone got so excited about this team. We have lots of talent on this team. Most PROFESSIONAL preseason prognosticators had this team as potentially the most dangerous team outside the Big 3 in the east. You still have to do it on the floor. So far we haven't. It is NOT because we don't have the talent. Championships are won upstairs (and I'm NOT talking about management). It's becoming clearer and clearer that the top floors may be vacant.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Blatche still going behind his back in a crowd(usually when there's two or more defenders)just plain stupid he's suppose to be smarter than that.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse "

This is like complaining the Hoover Dam is losing one ounce of water/day.

AB is not the reason why they got stomped last night.

In fact, AB might have done a better job on KD or Jeff Greene last night on D.

AB getting fewer minutes with everyone back healthy means they might as well trade him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Meminger was not on that squad.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"To DCMAN: It's easy to see why everyone got so excited about this team. We have lots of talent on this team. Most PROFESSIONAL preseason prognosticators had this team as potentially the most dangerous team outside the Big 3 in the east. You still have to do it on the floor. So far we haven't. It is NOT because we don't have the talent. Championships are won upstairs (and I'm NOT talking about management). It's becoming clearer and clearer that the top floors may be vacant.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse "

Everyone but me and a few sane people on this blog.

I said it was a mistake to dole out $175mil for Gilby and MeTawn and I've yet to be proven wrong.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to remember this team hasn't played together in awhile and they're in a new system. This team has way too much talent not to be successful down the road. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 21, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Gosh...if KD is not fast and can't jump very well, then how the heck was he able to blow by MeTawn on that coast to coast run and then hook dunk over him?"

Um... because the defender didn't stay between Durant and the basket and force him to shoot a 3 pointer?

I suppose that would qualify as a rhetorical reply.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 21, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"To DCMAN: It's easy to see why everyone got so excited about this team. We have lots of talent on this team. Most PROFESSIONAL preseason prognosticators had this team as potentially the most dangerous team outside the Big 3 in the east. You still have to do it on the floor. So far we haven't. It is NOT because we don't have the talent. Championships are won upstairs (and I'm NOT talking about management). It's becoming clearer and clearer that the top floors may be vacant.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse "

Everyone but me and a few sane people on this blog.

I said it was a mistake to dole out $175mil for Gilby and MeTawn and I've yet to be proven wrong.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

You need to read my post again. I capitalized the word "PROFESSIONAL" and you STILL missed it. None of us are pros. We're fans. If you happened to be right, good for you. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The majority of the people who get paid for this stuff had them as high as most of the us did. All of us, no matter how we think, are fans. Some of us make sense, some don't. You've been right about some things; you've been wrong about some things, no different than any of the rest of us.

I don't think Abe gave Gil and AJ the big bucks because he felt all warm and fuzzy. He happened to believe that they were good pieces to build a championship team around. If he was wrong about that (and I agree the early returns are not good), he is also human, and not the first to err on the side of judgment. He is not the first to give athletes big bucks, only to find that they were not what he thought they were. To say he doesn't care about winning a championship, or that he is cheap, is just plain asinine.

The talent is there, and about that there is no doubt. What's lacking are the (uh oh, here comes that dreaded word . . .) INTANGIBLES.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Seriously Am I the only one here with 2 good eyes??!! I can see from my couch at home that Mike Miller is seriously injured. Let me repeat that:

MIKE MILLER IS SERIOUSLY INJURED!!!!

W T F is wrong with the Wizards that they keep putting him out there. They may win a couple battles but they are going to lose the war when he goes down for good.

MIKE MILLeR IS INJURED> Wizards are you freakin blind.

Let the guy get healthy before he does some serious damage to his shoulder.
Man Oh Man.

Posted by: dovelevine | November 21, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Turnovers resulted in fast break and easy dunks for the other team. One thing about EJ's Princeton offense, it does seem to have less TOs, this may be because the team is still unfamiliar with the new offense. Regardless, if this team does not know how to cut down turnovers quick, the future is bleak.

Miller passed up some open shots, while when ball goes to Butler's hand, the offense just grind to a halt, even though Butler did make some tough shots.

What I was afraid about Miller may be true, he might have come back too soon. I wish he had come back on Cleveland game, which would give him 14 days instead of just 10 days of recovering time. You see him wincing every time left shoulder is bumped.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 21, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to remember this team hasn't played together in awhile and they're in a new system. This team has way too much talent not to be successful down the road. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: Wizbulle

you're in denial.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

When is everybody going to understand this organization does not care about winning a championship.

Abe and Ernie's only goal is to make the playoffs so the team will make a profit.

None of the players the team has either drafted, signed and/or traded for (other than Stevenson)are known for playing defense and that is what win championships.

It looks like MM is the only player on the roster who knows how to play "TEAM" basketball, since he is willing to give the ball up instead of making sure he gets his stats.

Where are all of you that gave me grief about what a great job Ernie has done drafting players?

Considering how long Ernie has been the GM and there is only one draft pick on the roster that plays....that is sad.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 21, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
98% of people on this blog are blind followers so it's kind of hard for them to understand that.
I have said it all along. When you pay someone to be a superstar (more money than Lebron, Wade, Howard, Paul...) while he is a mediocre player, you can't get anywhere because it clogs up the cap for years (remember Juwan Howard???).
But people on here would rather talk about strategies and tactics thinking they know better than the coach.
Some people on here have even said that Ernie had no choice but to commit $19/year for 6 years to a very average player that plays 0 defense.
No choice, really???

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 21, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Slow starts equal starting slow as in not pushing the ball for easy shots as in fast breaking.

We think we are too good. We have the big head. We think it is OK to attack the other team with our superior offensive system. Wrong.

We must fast break the ball to look for scoring advantages and stop relying on cerebral offensive play.

Why do you think that it is that young athletic players like to play fast?

Because they are young and athletic is not the obvious answer. The answer is because it is easier to score.

Why do you think Boykins has success on the floor?

Because he is so good for small guy is not the obvious answer. The fact that he plays fast is the obvious answer.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, it can't be that simple, you're oversimplyfying the situation, yada' yada' yada'.

Yada Yada, basketball is a simple game and if you ain't outscoring you opponent anything else is immaterial.

Well, you say play defense, stop the other team. We did make stops and we did play defense, but we couldn't score the ball.

Any good defense will always be overshadowed if your offense sucks.

Our defense is much improved but our offense sucks.

Push the Ball, Fastbreak the Ball, Put it in your head you are going to beat you man down the floor for an easy shot, to score first and not this cerebral point guard crap that Gilbert Arenas is trying to run.

Changing a guy that can score 30 points a game so he can supposedly get his other players involved, score 20 ppg and add a few more assists ain't working out to well for me.

Fastbreak the Ball already Flip, and you might find it's easier to play Blatche and McGee more because your Team play flows better and it makes it easier to use your players rather than sitting them on the bench because you are playing cerebral basketball.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"You score [108] points, you should win," Saunders said. "We didn't defend."

That is bullcrap. I am tired of this excuse. Flip defending is not your problem. Playing the wrong offense is and not using your players is.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, (what a great name) came out scoring the ball, fastbreaking, shooting threes, balling.

The Thunders primary objective was to score.

The Wizards primary objectve is too run the system.

Thats not say the Thunder don't have a system, they do, it is to push the ball down your throat, here we come baby, I'm coming fast and direct to dunk, layup, jumpshot, or a three.

We do not have an offensive attitude to score easily because fastbreaking is not a priority.

If we are constantly running our offense 5 on 5, then we are going to get outscored by opponents who look to score by pushing the ball for free fastbreaking opportunities.

Offensively, we did not play with The Thunder and that was our problem and not the defense.

It is like the game of horse. Why do you think that it became a universal game? If you had poor offensive skills you would never beat anyone. It developed your skills.

The Thunder Horsed us out the Gym because we did not match there offensive output and it was not because we did not play defense.

I Beg To Differ to keep blaming it on the Defense.

What was so great about the Thunder's Defense? Yeah, nothing, they just scored the ball and we did not.

If you are busy putting the ball in the basket, the other team might not get as many chances to score as you.

Flip and all of you that keep using defense as an excuse need to think about that.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Those of you that are supposedly basketball knowledgeable need to tell the truth about Defense.

At the end of day Good Offense beats Good Defense everytime.

When you go to play prolific scoring Teams, you better bring your Offensive suitcase, or else you gonna get embarassed like the Wizards were last night.

Teams that preach defense as a primary key to winning games are much easier to play against. Why, because scoring is oft times determined by how well they play defense.

However, this sounds good for you defensive pundits but it is flawed. You always want to play good defense, but you do not want your scoring to be dependent upon it.

You want your offense to be as proficient in and of itself for this will give you a much greater chance of winning games and championships.

The biggest flaw besides injury that I see with this Wizard Team is there ineptitude on Offense and the inability to use there players. Defense is being used as an excuse.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Turnovers are not going to go away until we start to playing a more UpTemPo natural game and stop relying on a slower cerebral attack.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

a team full of veterans that can't take one concept from one game to the next and build on what has been previously presented to them? the fact that they are playing miller so much despite his shoulder being compromised only underlines how desperate they are to bring the team's collective iq up several points and raise their grit level. the *big 3* is composed of tin men and scarecrows from the wizard of oz. no heart and no brains.
interesting that caron didn't pick up his first foul until the second half despite the fact that durant had been very active the whole game. you'd think that he would've wanted to intimidate the youngster and put him on his arse a couple times prior to that or at least play him tight enough to pick up a couple fouls (no heart). even more interesting that butler picked up the foul pulling durant's jersey (are you kidding me?) at a critical juncture of the game right in front of the ref (no brain).
this team is built to disappoint.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

We don't have the players and we cannot defend are only excuses.

From where I sit this is a solid Team that is not getting it done.

I see a style of play that isn't working and I am holding my tongue on who's fault that is.

I don't want to go there yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld most notable moves:
-Drafted Jarvis Hayes with the 10th pick (laughable pick).
-Traded 5th pick, Devin Harris who is turning out to be a fine all star PG (whom we desperately need in lieu of $111/million man) for Antawn Jamison (although I like 0 defense Antawn, this is a questionable move).
-Drafted Oleksy Pecherov with the 18th pick (laughable pick).
-Drafted Nick Young with the 16th pick (extremely laughable pick).
-Signed Ethan Thomas to a 6-year, $43 million contract (extemely lauguable).
-Let one of the Wizards most productive players walk for little money to sign Juan Dixon and Dee Brown.
-Signed a mediocre player while rehabbing from 2 serious knee operations to a 6-year/$111 million deal.
-Signed AJ to a 4-year/$60 million deal.
-Signed Deshawn Stevenson to a 4-year contract.
-Recently extended Nick Young's contract, a player that looks like he totally doesn't care and that would have trouble finding a spot on a D-League team while turning down Crittendon extension, a promising player.
-traded the 5th pick (who could have been used on Rubio, Curry or Jennings, once again, a PG we desperately need) for Foye and MM (whom I really like and could have probably been obtained from Minnesota on another trade anyways).
-Allegedly turned down a trade for Stoudemire that would have sent Butler packing (extremly laughable).
-Signed Oberto, a player that just got paid to not show up on a team with one of the poorest frontcourts in the NBA (Detroit) while selling the 2nd round pick.

And as a result, your 2009/10 Washington Wizards, a team of overpaid aging veterans that can't spell defense!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 21, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld most notable moves:
-Drafted Jarvis Hayes with the 10th pick (laughable pick).
-Traded 5th pick, Devin Harris who is turning out to be a fine all star PG (whom we desperately need in lieu of $111/million man) for Antawn Jamison (although I like 0 defense Antawn, this is a questionable move).
-Drafted Oleksy Pecherov with the 18th pick (laughable pick).
-Drafted Nick Young with the 16th pick (extremely laughable pick).
-Signed Ethan Thomas to a 6-year, $43 million contract (extemely lauguable).
-Let one of the Wizards most productive players walk for little money to sign Juan Dixon and Dee Brown.
-Signed a mediocre player while rehabbing from 2 serious knee operations to a 6-year/$111 million deal.
-Signed AJ to a 4-year/$60 million deal.
-Signed Deshawn Stevenson to a 4-year contract.
-Recently extended Nick Young's contract, a player that looks like he totally doesn't care and that would have trouble finding a spot on a D-League team while turning down Crittendon extension, a promising player.
-traded the 5th pick (who could have been used on Rubio, Curry or Jennings, once again, a PG we desperately need) for Foye and MM (whom I really like and could have probably been obtained from Minnesota on another trade anyways).
-Allegedly turned down a trade for Stoudemire that would have sent Butler packing (extremly laughable).
-Signed Oberto, a player that just got paid to not show up on a team with one of the poorest frontcourts in the NBA (Detroit) while selling the 2nd round pick.

And as a result, your 2009/10 Washington Wizards, a team of overpaid aging veterans that can't spell defense!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 21, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

__________________________________________
The player he let walk to sign Dixon and Dee Brown was Roger Mason.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | November 21, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The problem is not defense per se. The problem is they are not in position to play defnese. Turnovers resulted in fat breaks going the other way. No team can play defense when they are trying to catch from behind

Posted by: sagaliba | November 21, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"No team can play defense when they are [i]trying to catch from behind[/i]."

I mean, chasing the ball from behind.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 21, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Poor effort last night. Caron's minutes need to come down until he learns it not all about him. Foye and Blatche need more time in the rotation too. The Wizard also have to stop walking the ball up the court and run. I thought this team liked to run? What happen? The starting 5 played too many minutes last night in a bad game. I hope they have the energy tonight. Also Flip has to respect match ups. DM could have played D on Kevin D. last night.

Posted by: lemekdivine | November 21, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, you say play defense, stop the other team. We did make stops and we did play defense, but we couldn't score the ball.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight. We score 108 points "but we couldn't score the ball." We give up 127 points but "we did make stops." And as you've said on prior posts, intangibles are not as important as getting numbers.

You are indeed a BBall genius. We can all learn from you. Thanks for sharing your in-depth knowledge of the game with us all.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

We don't have the players and we cannot defend are only excuses.

From where I sit this is a solid Team that is not getting it done.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

None of the players the team has either drafted, signed and/or traded for (other than Stevenson)are known for playing defense. So, it's not an excuse it's a fact that this team can and/or won't play "D".

From where I sit this team has some solid players, but the Wizards are far from being a "TEAM" since everyone (other than MM and BTH) play just for stats and not wins.

Like I said before Gil is not a pg, MM is not a sg, CB is not a sf, and AJ is not a pf. Which makes it hard to play the game of basketball the right way.

So blame Ernie since he was the one who put together this team.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 21, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

So, it's not an excuse it's a fact that this team can't and/or won't play "D".

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 21, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"The other thing about Durant is that he isn't particularly fast and he can't jump very well. "

Couldn't disagree more on both counts. He's not Allen Iverson in his prime fast, but for a guy his size he's plenty speedy. And he's got very good hops (as evidenced by some of the dunks he threw down last night). Great hops? Maybe not, but he certainly jumps more at least "very well," in contrast to Dirk ( one of my favorite players), Bird, or Magic whose verticals can be measured in single digits. Hell, compared to those guys Durant's a skywalker.

And given that he was 19 when he was drafted, it's not inconceivable that he's grown a couple of inches since then.

The problem with Durant (for opponents) is that he's a matchup nightmare. Put a smaller quicker guy on him, and he can shoot over the top. Put a big guy on him and try to muscle him, he can just go around. Keeping him from where he wants to go is easier said tgan done.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Turnovers are not going to go away until we start to playing a more UpTemPo natural game and stop relying on a slower cerebral attack."

Actually, teams that play a fast, uptempo style tend to turn the ball over more, not less.

The Wizards turnover problems have nothing to do with the pace of the game and everything to do with the still developing familiarity with the new system and the new players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"It looks like MM is the only player on the roster who knows how to play "TEAM" basketball, since he is willing to give the ball up instead of making sure he gets his stats."

Playing "TEAM" basketball means doing whatever the team needs you to do to win, and if you're a career 40% 3 pt shooter, sometimes that means letting it fly when you've got a clean look. Miller isn't doing than nearly enough. I love his unselfishness, but sometimes there's such a thing as being too unselfish.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So, it's not an excuse it's a fact that this team can't and/or won't play "D".

But the defense is ranked in the upper percentage of the league? I think it was top 10 this week. So last night they got ran...it's going to happen to all teams. The Lakers have been ran outta the gym, Orlando too. I've seen some encouraging signs and some things they need to work on but like I said...they don't need to be playing their best basketball now. They need to round into shape by midseason and top form going to the playoffs. It's a long season.

Do you think Milwaukee is going to keep winning at a 70% rate? Is San Antonio headed for last place? They need to improve but like I said. It's a long season.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Playing "TEAM" basketball means doing whatever the team needs you to do to win, and if you're a career 40% 3 pt shooter, sometimes that means letting it fly when you've got a clean look. Miller isn't doing than nearly enough. I love his unselfishness, but sometimes there's such a thing as being too unselfish.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! I thought he played great and was very aggressive against Detroit and Cleveland. I wonder whether his 2-4 last night was simply because it was too painful for him to lift his arm. I'll say it again (and many here have echoed this sentiment): They need to shut him down for a minute voluntarily, before they have no choice.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards turnover problems have nothing to do with the pace of the game and everything to do with the still developing familiarity with the new system and the new players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, yes and no. I agree that the pace of the game is not the issue with the turnovers. But neither will I completely blame them on unfamiliarity with a new system, etc. (although I was on that page at one point).

Many, if not most, of their turnovers are coming by trying to force the issue -- trying to dribble through the defense instead of passing the ball, making the quick spin move to put up a shot on the inside.

Gil's mantra seems to be "I can get to the hole whenever I want to," which is simply not true. Professional defenses can and will adjust to you if you consistently try to dribble your way through them to the basket. The turnovers are coming because of too much one-on-one play, and unfortunately, at present Gil and Caron are the major culprits.

Once again, Gil simply is not a point guard, and Caron and Gil presently are not playing well in tandem. I blame it on the fact that Gil simply doesn't know how to get the ball to Caron in his sweet spots. It's not that he doesn't want to. He simply doesn't have the mentality. He's too busy looking for the pass that will lead directly to the assist, and Caron is dribble-happy before he puts up a shot, which doesn't lead directly to the assist. Got to get away from the numbers mentality.

Posted by: bpybay | November 21, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Is there a reason comments aren't being posted?

Posted by: Urnesto | November 21, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll try it in 2 parts:

This is the craziest, most hate-filled comments I've seen in a long time. Stop with all the negativity. It's early and they're still getting it together. Also, to UtilityLiar1, stop MAKING THINGS UP. It's difficult to argue against made up stuff. First, Wes Unseld drafted Jarvis Hayes. It's a super-typical Wes pick. Grunsfeld was hired later that summer and immediately stole Gil from GS. Don't blame Jarvis on him - he got rid of him immediately. You are alone in your Jamison-Harris comparison (4 playoffs as a top 3 player vs. 0; 81 games/year vs. 45; and Harris is not an established "All-Star PG"; he's probably the 16th best in the NBA). Pecherov didn't pan out but you take fliers on 7-foot tall foreign players with the 19th pick in a weak draft. Nick Young was the best pick at 16 that year and is still getting it together. Players have said that he can do things that only Wade can do. Yes, he seems spacey, etc, but sometimes this all takes awhile. Research what people were saying about other SG's at this point in their career. McGrady's coach publicly called him an idiot during his third year. It takes time. But Young is highly skilled. Thomas was signed to a tender for that amount by Milwaukee. He had yet to be injury prone at that point and we needed big men. In fact, this was when he was starting before Haywood. It was too much money but the only other choice was to let me walk for nothing which would have severely hurt us that year, and which almost never, never happens to restricted FA's. .... to be continued

Posted by: Urnesto | November 21, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Gil's mantra seems to be "I can get to the hole whenever I want to," which is simply not true."

actually he can. he just can't get there without either losing the ball or routinely getting his shot swatted since he has no lift/explosion and can't finish.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Now part 2:

.....Roger Mason, Jr. is treated like Jesus Christ II on these pages. He was alright for us. He's still "alright." Hit a few 3-pointers, acts professional, and that's it. Had a few game winners early last year - but none since - and then everyone goes all DeJuan Blair about it. Mason is getting paid much, much more than Dixon and Dee Brown. If we had Mason this year --- while we're paying zero to Dixon/Brown -- then we couldn't have done the Foye/Miller trade or signed Oberto. It was a smart move. Come back to me when the Spurs have to let Ginobli walk cause they're paying Mason. Next: you know that I know that you know that Gil is not a "mediocre player." Yes, there is uncertainty now in his return, but it was the only move at the time. He was the third highest scorer in the league and a third team All-Pro. He was a top 10-15 player. Maybe not deserving of the max - but he didn't get the max and who knows what they really offered him. (Gil's "sacrifice" to take less smacks of typical Gil PR). The injuries made that tough, but it was the clear move at the time. Remember, he played the first games that year and was expected to play the whole season. The Stevenson contract is WIDELY acknowledged as a steal - very cheap. I could go on and on, but I'm only half-way down the list. The point is: Stop the hating, stop the irrationality, start understanding that reality plays a role in these decisions (ie, Ernie is such a fool for not knowing that Jennings would score 55 points in his 8th game is an example of non-reality). And just knock it off. Also, it is noted that you completely ignore Blatche and McGee and McGuire. And you act as if Crittenton over Young is a fact while it's far from it. The widely accepted perception is that Young has more potential at this point. Either way, just knock it off.

Posted by: Urnesto | November 21, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Urnesto...you must be new...

Get used to it.

Wait until you see how the comments swing when they win.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Urnesto,

Agreed with what you said except about Etan.

1. Etan missed his entire rookie season due to injury. Of course nobody can predict the future, but his inury histroy wasn't that good.

2. He was not "staring before Haywood." This is Etan's player info: http://www.nba.com/playerfile/etan_thomas/career_stats.html
Other than 06-07, when EJ picked him over Haywood to start the season, he was mostly a backup to Haywood for his entire career.

I do agree that Milwaukee had offered ET an over-priced deal before Ernie came on board. So Ernie had to decide on whether or not to match the contract as his first decision as Wizards GM; not much time for him to draft a plan on finding a replacement for Etan.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 21, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

grunfeld did not immediately get rid of jarvis hayes. jarvis played here four years on grunfeld's watch.

mcgrady's coach was obviously the idiot, considering mcgrady came straight out of high school.

i don't know what "widely accepted perception" you're talking about with nick young. more than a few think he's a one-dimensional role player teetering on being a bust.

mason being here would not have prevented grunfeld from making a foye/miller trade since the wizards did not have to be under the cap to do it.

resigning gil at $111 million was not the only move at the time. nobody forced grunfeld to sign him to that kind of money when gil was still injured and had already had two surgeries. yes, golden state reportedly offered gil $100 million but was it to drive his price up for the team that "stole" him (revenge is a dish best served cold) or did they really want him? the wiz knew his injury situation better than anybody and still overpaid. he should be in a warrior uniform right now. foolish move.

stevenson's contract was very cheap relative to that of other shooting guards and stevenson was considered the worst starting shooting guard in the league. you get what you pay for.

grunfeld has done some good things and some bad. that's the reality.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

grunfeld has done some good things and some bad. that's the reality.

All GM's have. That's the reality. Some a lot worse than Ernie. How quickly we forget Wes Unseld. The talent base of this team has grown exponentially since he took over.

Show me a GM that hasn't made mistakes and I'll shut up. The key is how you rebound from them.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

nothing new there, sdmdtsu.
i'm no wes unseld as gm fan.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Keep the faith, Larry in Clinton... If the Wizards offense is as potent as last night they should run San Antonio into the ground.

OKC has the best young guns in the league, people, and they came out shooting for sure last night. In addtion to their big three (KD, Green and the draft steal from UCLA), Harden's numbers off the bench were ridiculous and Thabo was murder on defense and offense.

No one is going to beat OKC when they are coming at you with that many cyliders firing, especially when a key player for the Wiz like Miller is playing with one arm.

Get a win tonight, men, and load up for OKC when they visit DC, which should be quite a game.

Posted by: khrabb | November 21, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Sacramento was reportedly offering Gil as much as GSW.

I've never heard what the naysayers think Ernie should have done instead of signing Gil.

Posted by: divi3 | November 21, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

1. work out a sign and trade for players on sac or gs if it benefits the wiz.
2. wish him success in his future endeavors.

grunfeld had the ultimate "out". gil was coming off his second knee surgery and was still injured. i seem to remember most posters were shocked that gil even opted out of his contract while injured.
not one person predicted that gil would get a contract from the wiz of that size. nobody.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

can you name some players we should have now instead of Gil? Any options that EG decided against?

dont you think EG believes (or believed) that Arenas would heal, recovery, and return to the same level of play (or near it) that earned him superstar status?

Posted by: divi3 | November 21, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"grunfeld did not immediately get rid of jarvis hayes. jarvis played here four years on grunfeld's watch."

And how you have proposed he "immediately get rid of" a 2nd year player coming of a so-so rookie year and surgery for a serious knee injury? Cut him and just eat his salary? Because there was no way Grunfeld could have traded him (esp. after he hurt his knee again the following season).

"mason being here would not have prevented grunfeld from making a foye/miller trade since the wizards did not have to be under the cap to do it."

But they still would have had to pay for it.

"resigning gil at $111 million was not the only move at the time. nobody forced grunfeld to sign him to that kind of money when gil was still injured and had already had two surgeries. yes, golden state reportedly offered gil $100 million but was it to drive his price up for the team that "stole" him (revenge is a dish best served cold) or did they really want him?"

The Warriors let Baron Davis, their best player at the time, walk to create cap space to sign Arenas. So the answer to that question is a pretty obvious "yes." Sure the Wiz could have let Arenas walk. But what good would that have done? They still wouldn't have had any real cap space to pursue meaningful FAs. They only way they could have gotten that would have been to let Arenas AND Jamison walk. At which point you're talking about rebuilding the team from scratch.

"stevenson's contract was very cheap relative to that of other shooting guards and stevenson was considered the worst starting shooting guard in the league."

By whom? Please provide some links/references from NBA GMs and scouts declaring him the "worst shooting guard in the league." Otherwise we will simply conclude that this is your opinion with no substance to back it up. Y'know what? Let's just go ahead and do that anyway. Y'know, just to save everyone some time.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"1. work out a sign and trade for players on sac or gs if it benefits the wiz."

Funny thing about trades: they generally only get made if both sides think they benefit from them. And there was no benefit to G.S. or Sacramento to agree to a S&T with the Wizards when they already had the cap space to sign Arenas to a deal outright.

"not one person predicted that gil would get a contract from the wiz of that size. nobody.

"i seem to remember most posters were shocked that gil even opted out of his contract while injured."

Which proves what? Other than that most fans don't really know anything. But that's hardly news, is it?

"not one person predicted that gil would get a contract from the wiz of that size. nobody."

You know that's a load of crap, right? It was pretty much expected (by actual sports commentators who get paid to know things) that Arenas would get a max offer from the Wiz, because their only other option was to ditch him and Jamison and start over. In fact, he ended up getting less than the max.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 21, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"Show me a GM that hasn't made mistakes and I'll shut up. The key is how you rebound from them.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse "

It's not how the GM rebounds. It's how the franchise rebounds.

Let's see...35 years later.....still trying to rebound..

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

grunfeld has done some good things and some bad. that's the reality.

All GM's have. That's the reality. Some a lot worse than Ernie. How quickly we forget Wes Unseld. The talent base of this team has grown exponentially since he took over.

Show me a GM that hasn't made mistakes and I'll shut up. The key is how you rebound from them.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse
_____

I love all the hate EG gets bc it just shows the utter ignorance of some fans. This franchise was a proverbial joke for decades largely due to mismanagement and at times frugality on the part of the owner. Now we got a front office that has a clue and an owner that is spending. 4 straight playoff appearances, great trades, some nice FA pickups, a few nice non-lottery draft picks (McGee, Blatche, McGuire) etc...
As pointed out above, no GM's record is spotless. That list is like me pointing our all your personal flaws without listing a single attribute. Pretty unfair don't you think???

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 21, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

And how you have proposed he "immediately get rid of" a 2nd year player coming of a so-so rookie year and surgery for a serious knee injury? Cut him and just eat his salary? Because there was no way Grunfeld could have traded him (esp. after he hurt his knee again the following season).

i don't propose anything. urnesto said grunfeld immediately let him go. he did not.

But they still would have had to pay for it.

and?

The Warriors let Baron Davis, their best player at the time, walk to create cap space to sign Arenas. So the answer to that question is a pretty obvious "yes." Sure the Wiz could have let Arenas walk. But what good would that have done? They still wouldn't have had any real cap space to pursue meaningful FAs. They only way they could have gotten that would have been to let Arenas AND Jamison walk. At which point you're talking about rebuilding the team from scratch.

the warriors did not let davis walk. he opted out of his contract at the eleventh hour and went straight for the clips. the warriors had no say in it. as for starting from scratch, teams do rebuild, you know. it's not a novel concept.

By whom? Please provide some links/references from NBA GMs and scouts declaring him the "worst shooting guard in the league." Otherwise we will simply conclude that this is your opinion with no substance to back it up. Y'know what? Let's just go ahead and do that anyway. Y'know, just to save everyone some time.

since you asked...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113368/2/index.htm

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

You know that's a load of crap, right? It was pretty much expected (by actual sports commentators who get paid to know things) that Arenas would get a max offer from the Wiz, because their only other option was to ditch him and Jamison and start over. In fact, he ended up getting less than the max.

obviously, i was referring to fellow posters, but since you recall that max money was being predicted far and wide prior to his opting out, please provide a link to an article written at the time he opted out in june 2008 suggesting arenas would likely get a max deal.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 21, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

since you asked...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113368/2/index.htm

I'm so tired of people twisting things into what they WANT them to be.

That article is from 2006 before Stevenson played a single game in a Wizards uniform. That season DS scored 11 ppg shot 40$ from the field and 13% from 3. Ernie signed him to a cheap one year deal for less than a million to basically be a defender. (After Orlando offered him a deal at over 3 million per year)

He averaged 11 again, played all 82 games for the second year straight, shot 46% and 40% from 3. And he still got a modest contract. So if you're going to quote that he was the worst SG in the league, (which it doesnt say) quote an article from the season after DS got a multi-year deal, 2007.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

It's not how the GM rebounds. It's how the franchise rebounds.

Let's see...35 years later.....still trying to rebound..

Since the GM shapes the franchises roster it's his responsibility. EG wasn't GM and half the players weren't even born 35 years ago. So I don't understand your point.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 21, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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