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Pistons 106, Wizards 103


When is this slide going to end? That's the first question I have to ask after this loss to the Detroit Pistons. It was a game that the Wizards had no business losing at home. It was a game they were supposed to win, coming off three days of rest, and with a horrendous stretch of games to follow.

The Wizards are 0-for-November right now and after this one, they have Cleveland on Wednesday, then they travel to Oklahoma City (where they've never won, even when the Hornets played there), and then San Antonio (where I can't recall their last win). After that, Eddie Jordan comes to town on the anniversary of the day he got fired, then the Wizards travel to Miami to face a team that has won six in a row against them, including twice this season. The only game that looks like a gimme this month, is at home against Charlotte on Nov. 28. Then again, how many givens can you expect with a 2-7 team.

Two and seven? Who woulda thunk that?

"It's tough to look at the record and see that we're 2-7 because I think we should be better," center Brendan Haywood said. "But us not being better is very hard, because late in the season, games like this, you're going to look back and say, 'Man, we really had that game. We should've won.' "

You can talk all you want about missing Antawn Jamison again, or the absence of Randy Foye, but the Pistons were shorthanded as well. They didn't have Richard Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince, two of the cogs from their championship teams.

The Wizards, on the other hand, had Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Mike Miller and newcomer Earl Boykins, yet they were only able to get one field goal in the final 5 minutes, 4 seconds of the game -- a meaningless Arenas three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining -- and watched Ben Gordon completely take over the game down the stretch. Gordon scored eight of his game-high 29 points after the game was tied at 96.

Where was Arenas down the stretch? Before the game, he claimed that he was back to being Agent Zero and he goes and takes just three shots in the fourth quarter, which drew the ire of teammate DeShawn Stevenson.

"He said, 'Before, this wouldn't have happened. You would have taken over the fourth quarter, even if you had to take every shot,' " Arenas said after the game. "I feel I don't have to do that this early because of what we have here."

Arenas appears to be in the midst of an identity crisis. He doesn't know who he is or what he wants to be right now. He had 19 points and 10 assists but never really seemed to be in control of the game; his or the team. Arenas mentioned all of the weapons that the Wizards have on offense making it difficult for him to take over games, but Arenas had just one assist in the fourth quarter, hitting Boykins for a layup.

And, if you ask Butler, he's still getting phased out of this new system, specifically by Arenas, who has the ball in his hands most of the time he's on the floor.

Butler made back-to-back jumpers to give the Wizards a 93-89 lead, but only got one more shot the rest of the game. I can't recall him even touching the ball after taking his final shot with about four minutes left. Asked why he didn't shoot in the closing minutes, Butler said, "We don't know. Got into a flow for a little bit, and that's basically what you want to do; distribute the ball early and then late third quarter, fourth quarter assert yourself a little bit more and make plays. But unfortunately, just fell a little short."

Even more troubling, Butler seemed to have better on-court chemistry with Boykins -- a guy who was plucked off the street on Wednesday -- than Arenas, someone who has been his teammate the past four seasons. That might seem baffling, but it's true.

"He was great," Butler said. "He was a guy that distributed the ball and made plays, got into the paint, made plays and a lot of times I was playing a two-man game with him. He was finding me, throwing the ball back, which was something I wasn't accustomed to. He was throwing the ball back and getting me nice little shots, getting other guys into the offense, so he's a pleasure to have out there, definitely."

Butler didn't necessarily call out Arenas, but you can definitely read between the lines. These guys have been making comments, veiled or otherwise, about each other since this losing streak began. Arenas said Butler needed to be more of a catch-and-shoot player, then he made a comment about certain players needing to move the ball more on offense (at the time, Butler had just four assists on the season), then Butler said the team doesn't need anybody to be a hero and make spectacular plays (I don't think he was talking about Haywood there).

These guys really need Antawn Jamison. He provides that bridge for these two, serving as the glue guy who can spread the floor, open up driving lanes and score without holding the ball for long stretches. Jamison is expected back -- and it won't be soon enough. It's not looking good right now (and how about the Wizards' luck? The minute that Jamison's shoulder is healthy enough to get tested in practice and in games, he comes down with a virus that wipes him out for a few days).

If you recall, when the Wizards got off to the best record in the Eastern Conference back in 2006-07, the season began to crumble the moment Jamison went down. Although Butler and Arenas made the all-star team in Las Vegas that year, they could never get the team going while Jamison was out. Arenas plays great with Jamison, since the two have played together all but one of Arenas's years in the NBA; and Butler has played great with Jamison, since the duo was able to guide the Wizards to the playoffs the first year Arenas was out with a knee injury; and Arenas, Jamison and Butler have played great together. Butler and Arenas as a duo? Not so much.

But Boykins really played well in his debut, scoring 20 points off the bench, and Miller gave a truly valiant effort, also scoring 20 points, playing the entire game with a padded sleeve over his left shoulder.

"I don't know where we would've been without those guys tonight," Coach Flip Saunders said.

Two guys that the Wizards didn't even expect to play this time last week nearly bailed out the team. "We've got to get off the schneid," Miller said. "We're concerned right now. But at the same time, we've got a lot of talent in this locker room, and we're trying to figure it out. Tonight we played a lot better, we just didn't win, and when you don't win it's disappointing. We've just got to go back to the drawing board and come out with better effort Wednesday."

By Michael Lee  |  November 15, 2009; 12:03 AM ET
 
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Comments

Given his generally difficulties with defensive positioning, McGee would have made minimal difference. It's pretty clear the big guys around the basket don't bother Bynum in the least. They're just targets to him. McGee likely would have just picked up a couple of more fouls and sent Bynum to the line for more easy points. When it comes to help defense on a quick guard, anticipation, court awareness, and being in the right place at the right time are all more important elements for a big man than pure speed. McGee still struggles in all areas.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2009 11:38 PM

And the above would be a whole lot cows with horns with uncontrolled bowel movements.

Javale McGee hasen't played nearly enough this season to receive an evaluation such as that. But...Oberto has. I think you got your players mixed up KALO_RAMO.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

@Larry,

Yeah, I hear ya. Only, I am not soured on Oberto. He is a nice role player in certain situations like harassing a less athletic Dirk or when he is surrounded by a full compliment of offensive players. When he is put in the game with say Blatche, Stevenson etc...against a more athletic opponent he tends to not be such a positive factor bc A) he is not extremely athletic and B)he has no offensive game. Playing him in a game against Atlants is probably not a good idea. Playing him some minutes against say the Celtics would probably work.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 12:15 AM

RP, can't say I have really soured on Oberto either and I agree he may have value in certain situations. Just like McGee should have value in certain situations.

The big man rotation should not end with Oberto as you and I agree and I get a little perturbed when others want to justify why McGee should not be thrown in the mix.

For me, it is amazing to let veterans play badly for extended time but promising young players cannot break a sweat. And low and behold they better not make a mistake.

I would rather see a talented young player like McGee making a mistake than a veteran player stinking up the joint like Oberto.

And for Kalo_ramo to infer that had McGee been put in the game instead of Oberto would not have made any difference is disengenuous.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards guards must be slow as molasses in practice to make DStevenson look like a viable defensive player to the coaching staff. He cannot stay in front of anybody. He can't post up smaller guards. He cannot pass, penetrate or rebound.
Who did DMac piss off that he can't get any run as the first perimeter defender off the bench?
I'm not going to kid myself. Detroit is in the same boat as the Zards. About 7 new players, new coach, blah, blah, blah. They still manage to make it work. They beat Orlando without, Prince and Rip. Have an under sized back court, and have found a way to get to 5-4.
Flip, back to the drawing board, Dude.
Whatever you're trying to get the Zards to do offensively ain't workin. At this point, I'd be willing to watch Foye start in the back court with Miller and bring Gil off the bench. Just try something else. These lackadaisical starts are painful to watch.

Posted by: bozomoeman | November 15, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Well, we don't know what would have happened. But, we do know that the results could not have been any worse at the time. Why not try something else? They were scoring at will.

I am not one to say play McGee regardless of situation or output just bc he is some supposed messiah full of potential (and mistakes). Like you said, there is a time and place for both Oberto and McGee. I think tonight was a better match up for McGee.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

Come on now...Ernie had his eye on Oberto once he got cut from Detroit and everyone knows Ernie is a basketball genius...remember he drafted Michael Redd about 20 years ago?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 14, 2009 11:47 PM

BulletsFan78, You are a smart man. Butcha know' why do some folks want to expouse the positives of Oberto as a reason to hold McGee back?

I could see if they were playing Oberto in front of Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila, but not McGee or for that matter even McGuire.

Is there any value in Oberto's role thus far BulletsFan78, given all our options?

Help me out a bit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

I told you the Wizards would have a slow start once AJ went down in the preseason.

It could take another 10-15 games before we really see what kind of ball the Wizards can play? It better be run and gun on nights they give up 106 points!

The final piece of the puzzle is when AJ comes back at PF. Then AB will come off the bench and Oberto will play 10 minutes a game.

What will the backcourt look like to 15 games? Boykins S-PG?

2/7/10 your tar heels better bring their "A" game when they come to College Park

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 15, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

"BulletsFan78, You are a smart man. Butcha know' why do some folks want to expouse the positives of Oberto as a reason to hold McGee back?

Help me out a bit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

JaTravel is holding himself back.

Don't think anybody can help you.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 15, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Bozomoeman, I am with you on DSteve. I think his day came and went two years ago. He is useless and is wasting our time.

I keep hoping he gonna break through and hit some threes, some free throws, just do something to be worthy of the time he gets on the floor but he hasn't come through yet.

The dog in DSteve dosen't hunt anymore.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Well, this schedule is brutal. I can't imagine a team having a worse schedule for the first month. That being said, you have to take care of the "must" or "should win" games. Detroit, at home, definitely qualifies as such. We are staring 2-10 in the face with Philadelphia coming to town. How ironic!

The bickering back and forth between Caron and Gilbert is disconcerting. The funny thing is they both have good points about the other. Obviously, this team needs Jamison for many many reasons. Seems all leadership and continuity leaves when he is not playing. He is the proverbial glue guy even if he is not the most talented player on the team although that may be debatable now.

Question: Is the identity crisis mentioned above bc GA is trying to fit into a new system or is it bc he is no longer the same player he was pre-injury physically and is trying to morph into what he can do now???? This may be the penultimate question for our season. I don't know yet, but it's not looking good.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Bulletsfan78, you know I have beem sayin that Gilbert isn't a point guard. I think we all saw tonight even though Gilbert started slow he is much better off on the floor when he has help running the offense.

Is why I keep harping on Crit. Crit will not be a liability on defense as Earl is even though Earl brings the attacking ball control style we need to get Gilbert and this offense in gear.

I did not want to go here this early, but I'll just say I see a little stubborness in Flip.

I remember when I bought my first car the summer after my freshman year in college and my mom didn't want me to get a car.

I kinda' think Flip has that same feeling about Javale and Dom and when Crit comes back he might feel the same way about him also.

Maybe I am just a dimwit but somehow I feel that good coaches must find a way to use players that are as good as JM, DM, and JC.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

The season is over. I'll go back to watching the Skins :)

Posted by: freeflyr61 | November 15, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

RPhilli721,

Gilbert has never been an assist guy. Even Brendan has had a few words about not getting the ball in the paint from Gilbert in the past.

All this info from folks about how Gilbert needed to become an assist guy and not be the attacking shoot first scoring guy IMO opinion is somewhat misguided.

No one tried to turn Kobe and Michael into a point assist guy. What they did was taught them the need to pass the ball to the open guy when needed to make the team better.

But every wants to change Gilberts style when he is actually a shoot first attacking guard. List him a point, fine, but the sooner we get away from him trying to run the Team like Chauncey Billips, the better off we will be.

I remember when Michael would not pass the ball at the end of games and Phil told him in order for the team to get better he had to trust his players. It was not until Michael started to kick the ball at the end of games was when Chicago started to win titles.

That is what we need to emphasis with Gilbert and not this point guard crap.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

"Gilbert has never been an assist guy. Even Brendan has had a few words about not getting the ball in the paint from Gilbert in the past.

All this info from folks about how Gilbert needed to become an assist guy and not be the attacking shoot first scoring guy IMO opinion is somewhat misguided.

No one tried to turn Kobe and Michael into a point assist guy. What they did was taught them the need to pass the ball to the open guy when needed to make the team better.

But every wants to change Gilberts style when he is actually a shoot first attacking guard. List him a point, fine, but the sooner we get away from him trying to run the Team like Chauncey Billips, the better off we will be.

I remember when Michael would not pass the ball at the end of games and Phil told him in order for the team to get better he had to trust his players. It was not until Michael started to kick the ball at the end of games was when Chicago started to win titles.

That is what we need to emphasis with Gilbert and not this point guard crap.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse "

Why don't you convince Gilby to not try to be a PG?

Since when did Gilby become 6-6/7? His game is vastly different from Kobe and MJ's games. Therefore, your attempt to make a comparison is silly at best...ridiculous at worst.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 15, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

"Bulletsfan78, you know I have beem sayin that Gilbert isn't a point guard. I think we all saw tonight even though Gilbert started slow he is much better off on the floor when he has help running the offense.

Is why I keep harping on Crit. Crit will not be a liability on defense as Earl is even though Earl brings the attacking ball control style we need to get Gilbert and this offense in gear.

I did not want to go here this early, but I'll just say I see a little stubborness in Flip.

I remember when I bought my first car the summer after my freshman year in college and my mom didn't want me to get a car.

I kinda' think Flip has that same feeling about Javale and Dom and when Crit comes back he might feel the same way about him also.

Maybe I am just a dimwit but somehow I feel that good coaches must find a way to use players that are as good as JM, DM, and JC.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse "

With Earl the Pearl and Foye and Gilby on the team, don't plan on seeing Critter get any PT.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 15, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Man, I am searching for answers with this team as they probably are too. Things just don't make sense (Blatche and Haywood playing great and still can't win?). If this season goes down in flames, I think this core's "psyche" has just taken too much of a hit and certainly the big three won't be back. Of course, GA and his contract will be untradeable. Stated in here that I thought that contract was a big mistake especially for the total dollar amount, but I've tried to be positive with what is ever since, which is I thought this team was as talented as any team I've seen in Washington in 30 years. Just not clicking yet and they are not going to start the season 5-15 and make the playoffs. Don't see it happening and I see 5-15 as a definite possibility.

Then again, December is about as easy as a schedule can be. They have 21 games between now and Jan 1. So, we have to go 13-8, which does not seem so bad after all to be at 15-15 and heading toward a second half surge. Again, this team's psyche scares me more than anything.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 2:13 AM | Report abuse

At the game tonight. Actually saw Grover at the game and got to talk to him afterwards. I thanked him for helping to get Gil back on the court. Gil is really indecisive out there. We need to give him time. His confindence is down. I think the off the court mess is not helping. When Antwan is back I am really not sure where Caron is going to find his shots. Antawn is a high volume shooter.Caron and Gil need to do the mature thing and sit down and talk. Actually Flip might want to get them both together. Miller plays hard. I thought that Boykins really pushed the ball so the Wiz did not have to constantly run half court offense. Gil is not pushing on the rebound like he use to and the Wiz are being forced to play half court constantly. Defense wasnt great tonight. I would like to see Flip do a couple of things. Give McGuire a shot on a player when he is hot and also, start feeding Blatche on the post more. He's really turned into our best post player and he usually has a height mismatch.

Posted by: ptp23 | November 15, 2009 2:13 AM | Report abuse

My prediction for the starting lineup on Thursday night’s game against Boston will be…
Gil PG, Roye SG, Butler SF, Jamison PF, Haywood C

Blatche PF 25 mins, Miller SG 22 mins, Oberto PF 10 mins, Boykins PG 10 mins

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 15, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

DEC 10th game against Boston

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 15, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Even in recent debates, I've never said GA is a conventional PG. I said he has/team has succeeded before with him being the primary ball handler/"ball hog" and that he has always been a guy to control the ball - FACT.

Now, FS has succeeded with the likes of Marbury in this offense so I don't see why GA can't be successful in this offense. Yeah, GA has had tunnel vision at times when driving to the basket, but CB has also taken passes and turned into his own black hole. I saw 2/3 occasions tonight where CB passed up the first good look in the flow only to attempt a more difficult shot a few seconds later. Makes no sense! GA is simply not yet the player he was and I think he is trying to figure out what player he is now or can be. When he goes to take over, he can't!

Like I said, they both have made veiled valid points about each other. But, praising Boykins like Butler did after one game was a pretty low blow if you ask me. Time for the glue!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

@ptp,

You should have asked Grover how close he thinks GA is physically to before.

Yeah, the best thing Boykins did was push tempo at times. I've questioned why Arenas/team has not done more of that as we have struggled offensively. Arenas used to get down the court after a miss faster than anybody else. He's just stopped doing that altogether.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

This ship is dangerously close to the rocks. Even with the injury issues the team is certainly underperforming. It says a lot to have a player spend less than a week with the team and end up being the most impactful player for us in his first game out.

I am however really enjoying Michael Lee's post game videos and summaries. If Ivan Carter was able to land a television job I can't imagine Michael not getting such an opportunity in the near future...though selfishly I hope not.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 15, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

This ship is dangerously close to the rocks. Even with the injury issues the team is certainly underperforming. It says a lot to have a player spend less than a week with the team and end up being the most impactful player for us in his first game out.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | November 15, 2009 2:43 AM

The reason why Earl was the most impactful player goes to what I have been preaching all along.

This Team is made for Runnin' and Gunnin'. All this cerebral stuff of playing the vets because they are experienced should take a back seat to UpTemPo offense.

Earl the Pearl Boykin pushes the Team up and down the floor and it brings out he best in them.

Javale McGee should flourish in this offense.

Can you imagine what McGee would be doing for Atlanta?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 15, 2009 3:36 AM | Report abuse

McGee is not ready to flourish anywhere consistently. You are terribly overestimating his ability at this point in his career. Thankfully, the coaching staff has not although I wish he would have played about 5/6 more mins tonight instead of Oberto.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Hmm .. well, what to say..

Interesting Will Bynam who killed us tonight was on our Dleage team Dakota Wizards, but never earned a look from the Wizards, even during that stretch we were desperate for a backup PG with Gil down only having AD as true PG on roster...

If memory serves we lost on Stucky drafted one spot ahead of NY.

Gil just doesn't know how to play basketball. For a guy who is such a supposed gym rat, a max player and PG.. when you watch Mike Miller, his passing, court vision, hitting the boards/boxing out, closing on shooters, spotting up, moving the ball, helping teamates up/acknowleging players.. he is an example of someone who knows how to play the game. Watching Boykins tonight.. again another example of someone who knows how to play basketball (see Caron's comments). Gil just does not seem to have that knowlege.


I am so tired the end of EVERY quarter watching Gil run down the clock and chuck up a shot at the end., Yeah he makes it now and then.

Why not move the ball around the final 20 sec and end up with an open shot instead of standing at the top of the key and chucking a contested shot everytime?? Make the defense work for crying out loud!!

We will never succeed as long as the star and leader of our team is a player who doesn't comprehend the basic fundamentals and concepts of the game.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 15, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

mcgee and mcd and young are going to help some other teams, this is the same situation that happen with Hamilton, both wallaces. This team needs to play its younger guns. Flip is not the answer for this team unless the name has been change to Minn. Tims.

Posted by: getagripped | November 15, 2009 4:45 AM | Report abuse

@Darnell,

Sadly, I have to agree with most of what you say about GA. His calling card has always been that at least he can score with the best of 'em and constantly put pressure on the defense with his burst. Alas, I have only seen that game 1 this year. MIA!

With Blatche and Haywood playing great, this bad start I put on GA and somewhat on Butler. But, you know what, you make $111 million bucks the buck stops at you IMHO.

@get

Ummm...who says McGee is going anywhere and, for that matter, NY. I believe we just picked up his option although that might have been a mistake. The players you mentioned were high draft picks and already blossoming players. Really no correlation to be made.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 15, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Larry

I like what you have said about Arenas and flip.
Flip's system have atleast 3 prisners of offense.
1/ Arenas is told to hold the majority of the ball, so far arenas is not making the right decision on the ball for 48 minutes.On can argue he has 10 assist last night, i would say he already decide not to give the ball ,not even try to look to butler.Why? Arenas told us every thing on his head except the problem he has with his family and butler.
2/ foye is not a PG, he can handle the ball but he is much better to himself than to his teamates. Let him start with Arenas.Late the ball handled 60% by Ga and 40% by him. No matter DS is doing on defense he should not see the court as long as he is not scoring open threes, he is hurting the team.MM, EB, AB and occatinaly oberto should continue to come from the bench.
3/ free CB , late him play his game , he need the ball then he might give the ball, i like his assist last night to GA(open 3 pointer)
Flip you are not in washington to make changes like Obama.You can not get much changes from players like Ga,AJ and CB, late them florish on what they can do teach the young players to give them an identity. You need to balance your system so that every body learn to balance expectation.
where is the land mark for flip to be fired? 1 in 10 was for EJ is it going to be 2in 20?I think this time EG need to start to pack.
flip please learn from suns attempt to be a defenssive team in 2008-9, see where they are now after they reverse the attempt.

Posted by: gtefferra | November 15, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

@ rphilli721: remember that you heard it here first McGee has not p/u the option, besides Momma McGee rules and the Wizards are definitely out ot the picture once he can get away (not a bad idea) The team that we see playing is just a carbon copy of Flips Minn. team w/o Garnett. Everybody keep on talking about when Twain gets back, heck when the dickens did he ever play defense? Talk about not having enough ball to shoot with, with the Twain it's just that a blackhole once the ball gets in his hands. DS is not a stopper or a good player, Oberta gotta sit and just be a foul giver, Arena can't go lateral, if you ever notice has he attemted a shot on the move left or right (I don't mean going to the hole) if you know of any holla.

Posted by: getagripped | November 15, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I saw a great defensive effort from DeSHAWN in the last MIAMI game, great defensive effort. This one not so much. GILBERT doesn't even pretend to play defense. The guy has got to go for this team to function. EARL BOYKINS on defense - plueeze.

This club must have five guys on the floor at the same time who understand the importance of defense. HAYWOOD gets it. BLATCHE is seeing the light. Everybody else is just kidding themselves. Whew. They suck.

Offense wins games when the defense allows it to. Without it, you're just padding individual stats. Offense is for show. Defense is for dough. That era is over in D.C. It died with EDDIE JORDAN. Time to focus on defensive players and reconstitute the team. Get rid of the guards and small forwards who don't play defense first.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 15, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Was at the disappointing lost agains Detroit last night. Here is how I saw it. Offensively Boykins was the only one shooting with accuracy at one point. Got manhandled defensively because of his size.

Butler was chucking them up as he has been lately. What I see is Butler not wanting to relinquish the ball back to Gilbert since he was one of the offenisive scorers in Arenas's absence. Gilbert is/was? the face of the Wizards before his injury. Caron tries to do too much which results in poor shots on his part and many misses. Chucking.

Gilbert needs to just be himself quirky or not. He is getting superstar dollars like Wade,Lebron,Kobe etc. Not performing up to par. Lack of agressions and plenty of turnovers. Just be himself and let it rip is what I say. At one point in the first quater, zero points.

I could go on but I won't. The Wizards have the talent but are not showing any drive and there appears to be some sort of friction beneath the surface. If this is not straightened out soon, I see a dismal season ahead.

With all of that being said,I am still a diehard fan. GO WIZ!

Posted by: ivyleague | November 15, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Arenas is coming off knee surgery, seems to be playing with pain, and in my opinion he is showing a lot of courage. I respect him more this season than ever before. When you see him getting his knees iced up like Michael Jordan in his last couple seasons, that says it all.

That said, I think the Gilbert Arenas experiment is about over -- in the sense that it is clear now that it is too hard to build a championship team around an undersized shooting guard/converted to pg. Time for the Wizards to rebuild in a more conventional way.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

This team does not know how to win close games. Arenas often thinks he needs to take the game over in the 4th Q, and did just the opposite, by ignoring his teammates, and turning the ball over.

Last night, when they were down 3, I wish Miller would have just shot the 3 instead of passing the ball to Haywood. Haywood did his job, by sinking 2 FTs, but then DS committed the unforgiven sin – dead ball foul that resulted in Wizards being 4 pts down. Although from replay I have to say, it was not much a foul, DS seemed to get hit in the mouth first when Gordon made the move, and then tried to grab him to slow him down.

Regardless, the whole team seem lost when the game is no the line.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 15, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins and Wizzies will have the same record after today. Awesome

Posted by: dfresh58 | November 15, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to play devil's advocate on this one. Despite the fact that we lost this game, there was actually quite a lot to like about it. Remember, we all knew this was going to be a work in progress.

The Good:

First of all, MM is a "playa." With him in the game, the ball moves. I loved his aggressiveness last night, and I love his heart. I just hope he can stay on the floor all season. Looks to me like they need to shut him down for a minute before his shoulder injury becomes a season-ending one. His basketball IQ is off the charts.

The Caron Butler I saw last night is the Caron I've been waiting for all season. He was aggressive, but he was also passing the ball much more. He also is a playmaker, and he had a couple of really nice assists (remember, he AVERAGED over four assists for the past two seasons). We are a much better team when he moves the ball than when he bogs down the offense with his one-on-one play.

Dray can play (on offense anyway). His basketball IQ seems to be on the rise as well. He seems to know when to make plays, is shooting the ball much better than he has his whole career to-date, and seems to always be in the right place at the right time.

Gil was much more in control of himself, taking what the defense was giving him, rather than try to play one-on-five and "get to the hole whenever he wants to." His play off the ball last night was very encouraging, and an example of what many on this board have been saying -- mainly that he is more of a two-guard than a point guard. He and Boykins on the court at the same time was poetry-in-motion for good stretches of the game.

And then there was Earl.

If this team can score 103 points per game, they are going to win a lot of games. For the most part (save for the end of the game) the offense was jelling last night. There were no problems with the offense in the first quarter, except they could not throw the ball in the ocean, which is going to happen to every team from time to time. They got plenty of good open looks, they just couldn't knock them down (Gil was 0-5 in the first, most of them wide open).

The problems they had were, for the most part, on the defensive side of the ball, which I will address in my next post (the bad).

Posted by: bpybay | November 15, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The Bad:

Dray was abused by Detroit in the first quarter. He needs to have much better recognition on the defensive end. The weak-side guard continually sealed him off his man (Villanueva) and Detroit worked the ball around to him for wide open looks, which he was knocking down consistently. Dray seemed to always be late in recovery. After the first pick, he should have been aware that it was coming and adjusted accordingly. He never did.

We went to a zone when the score got to 17-9, and our rotations were just plain bad. The weak-side help (especially after Haywood left the game) seemed to have disappeared. DSteve, on a couple of occasions, played his man to the middle, where he got burned because there was no help back there. Detroits guards were turning the corner seemingly at will and we had no answers for them.

As was mentioned by Mike Lee, it seems that Gil and Caron are beginning to have some chemistry problems. That could become a poison that could infect this team. I am in complete agreement that they need their spiritual leader (AJ) on the court. He obviously is MUCH more valuable than just for his scoring/rebounding prowess.

All these problems are correctable, and I, for one, believe they will be corrected. ALL of them. In short, there is a lot of reason for hope with this team, despite the fact that we can't seem to put it all together right now.

I am encouraged.

Posted by: bpybay | November 15, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I am so tired the end of EVERY quarter watching Gil run down the clock and chuck up a shot at the end., Yeah he makes it now and then.

Why not move the ball around the final 20 sec and end up with an open shot instead of standing at the top of the key and chucking a contested shot everytime??

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 15, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Amen. A thousand times.

Posted by: bpybay | November 15, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If they're both serious about their desire to win, Gilbert and Caron have GOT to sit down and hash out their problems with each other, if in fact those problems exist. They have to know that they've got to be on the same page if they're going to go anywhere. Without both of them playing to maximum efficiency, this team is dead.

Posted by: bpybay | November 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Ernie the idiot for brining Oberto to DC and Flips an idiot for playing him. If this team don't get some athletic talent on the floor they will continue to loose. No team quickness or speed. Did I forget to say Flip's an idiot and is killing Wiz young talent. This is typical Flip.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | November 15, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

fellas...the wiz are just not that good right now...it's not rocket science...it's plain and simple...ga is dealing with adjustment problems after not really playing nba level ball for almost 2 years (not to mention his "at home" situation-whats up with that? true or false mike lee? get the real on that...enquiring minds want to know :-)...caron needs to go back on the dew! (jus kidding)...i just don't think it's wise for him and ga to start animosity in the paper (just will boil up into one more thing the team will have to deal with/overcome)...antwans' leadership qualities will help but he will not raise them to a 3-4 spot in this conference (see heat/hawks)...new coach, new system, new key players...all of this is asking a whole lot from a team that is at best a 6-8 team in the east...they will get wins/should make the playoffs...the wiz have the talent for a 6-8 spot (first round exit though :-(...gil is the most talented player on the team but he truly is not ready to "rise" up (no fault of his own-just physically and mentally gil is not ready to lead- ask flip)...i still think that once they get aj back they will struggle but wins/losses should start to even out...the wiz biggest issue is mental focus...they lose games in the fourth quarter...thats coaching and conditioning but stay tuned...it can't get any worse...can it?

Posted by: ronniecope106 | November 16, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

I like Boykins as much as the next man. He brings instant offense for sure and was always underrated in Denver. That being said he is a liability on defense not to mention he is always looking to gamble on the steal. Lets sign Sun Ming Ming and get an updated big and small photo.

But seriously...what is Brevin Knight doing these days? Is he still on the Jazz? Retired? Lets had a go with him. He passes, other people shoot. Sounds good to me.

Posted by: jaguar2490 | November 16, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

At least they were in the game. Not that moral victories matter anymore, but it was nice to see them be competitive. This is only the second loss of the season that was by a margin of single digits.

That said, at home, given the effort it should have been a win. Especially since it was a dumb foul that iced the game.

Posted by: mabkhar | November 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line: Boykins demonstrated what it will take for the WIZ to win. He forced the team to wake up and move or get left behind. Areanus seemed relieved and played better and FREED himself from having to think. I hope Foye can do this. I concluded last year that we love the overrated BUTLER too much. I am not sure N. Young or Deshawn can survive in the NBA of today. Everybody gets better every year. I still have hope.

Posted by: kcandlc | November 16, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

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