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Wizards 108, 76ers 107

On a night like tonight, basketball games, locker room feuds and the return of a former coach all seemed quite trivial. Abe Pollin, the patriarch of the Washington Wizards died on Tuesday afternoon, creating an emotional and somber tone as the players were informed only a few minutes before they arrived at Verizon Center.

Pollin had close relationships with several of players, viewing many of them as his sons. Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas both spoke of the special relationships they had with Pollin. Jamison had formed a close bond with Pollin, similar, though not nearly as deep as, to the one Pollin had established with the legendary Wes Unseld. Arenas said Pollin "was like a father away from home."

Brendan Haywood, the longest tenured Wizard with nine years in the organization, recalled how when he arrived, Pollin used to run around the arena for exercise and how difficult it was to see him deteriorate the past few years.

"No question, there was a lot of emotion," Coach Flip Saunders said. "A lot of these players were really close and they know Mr. Pollin's love for the team, for the NBA and the city of D.C. it was an emotional game."

The Wizards were saddened and carried heavy hearts onto the court as they faced Eddie Jordan on the anniversary of his firing. They also were shorthanded with both Mike Miller (strained right calf) and Caron Butler (sore right ankle) sidelined because of injuries. That forced Flip Saunders to get a bit creative with his roster, as he started Nick Young at shooting guard and Jamison at small forward, with Fabricio Oberto starting at power forward.

The moves worked out well. After having participating one practice at small forward, Jamison scored a season-high 32 points with 14 rebounds and three assists, while Young scored 20 points with four rebounds. Young's performance was especially surprising since he was placed on the inactive list in San Antonio last Friday, but also because Saunders had to have him on the floor.

"It wasn't his offense, it was his defense," Saunders said. "Probably not many times that we couldn't take out Nick because he did a good job defensively. He did a very, very good job."

Young helped hold Andre Iguodala to just 12 points on 2 of 10 shooting. He also made some smart basketball plays, like when he recovered a loose ball in the third quarter and alertly called timeout before falling out of bounds.

Saunders said that going on the inactive list probably forced Young to say, " 'I got a choice. I can change myself or go along with the motions.' To his credit, our last few practices, he's probably been our best player."

But Saunders did have a problem with one aspect of Young's game -- his annoying habit of brushing his shoulders after every made basket. "He has to get rid of that flick of the shirt when he makes shots," Saunders said. "That's not why you make shots."

The Wizards led 96-82 when Brendan Haywood tip in a shot, but the Wizards could ease into the night. The 76ers made a relentless charge in the fourth quarter behind rookie Jrue Holiday and Louis Williams, who combined to make five three-pointers and score 21 points in the period. "Philadelphia is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league," Saunders said. "You wouldn't know it from the fourth quarter."

The run was aided by three Arenas turnovers in the final 5:30. After Arenas made a difficult running layup to give the Wizards a 108-105 lead, he surrendered an underhanded scoop shot to Williams, then lost the ball with 27.8 seconds left. But when Williams fired his final three-pointer, the ball rimmed out.

"Maybe Abe's spirit knocked that out," Jordan said.

Haywood wasn't buying it. "I love Mr. Pollin, but I think good defense stopped the Williams shot, so give us our credit right there."

Jamison is hopeful that the Wizards can build on this win. "It was tough for us but we knew Mr. Pollin would want us to come out here and play hard and find a way to get it done. We were fortunate to do that tonight," he said. "We didn't play smart down the stretch, with costly turnovers. Right now, we don't care if they are pretty."

But Jamison said that it would be difficult to finish a game and not hear a congratulatory call from Pollin. Arenas said his favorite memory of Pollin was how he celebrated victories. "You know, after every win he would slap the [stuffing] out of you in the face. He'd be walking around slapping everybody. I just remember the players used to come in and when he was getting ready to slap you they'd just give him the duck in."

Arenas was joking, but those days will be missed.

By Michael Lee  |  November 25, 2009; 12:08 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reactions to Pollin's death [Updated]
Next: Morning brew


Arenas needs to sit for a while and then compete for whatever job he hopes to hold.

Posted by: WilliamCarr | November 25, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

may God bless Abe Pollin and his family...i'm glad the wizards won tonight...especially a little about the game, i think we should move AJ to small forward and CB to sixth for a power forward who can defend, rebound and intimidate in the post (any suggestions bloggers)? small forward is AJ natural position i believe...i would be willing to trade 1st round pick for one of the top 7 young power forwards...lets do it...R.I.P Abe Pollin...thanks for the world championship!!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | November 25, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

A win. The final 5 minutes was kind of hard to watch, but there was some good stuff to build on. Young stepped up and Jamison's 8 offensive rebounds were huge. Blatche also played solid. Arenas did OK, although, at times he seems a little bit like a rookie QB -- his reads aren't great and his passes often seem tentative and off target. I've gotta figure that some of this stuff is just growing pains -- once Arenas finds his comfort zone, this team should be able to close out more strongly.

Posted by: JPRS | November 25, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse


Jamison has been solid at PF. He's never going to be a shut-down defender, but the rebounds and scoring tonight are a big part of the reason that this team won. He helped to cover some mistakes and provided the team with some margin of error -- especially on the offensive end.

The quickest fix in terms of personnel would be having someone like Chauncey Billups running PG. If Gil grows into the position within Flip's offense, everything should be OK.

Defensively the Wizards are giving up points, but they're better this year in terms of shooting percentage -- especially considering who they played through the first few games. The main challenge right is getting the offense in sync (moving the ball, developing flow, and converting a higher percentage of FGs). They did that for stretches tonight.

Posted by: JPRS | November 25, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

captain of the ship? what ship?!?!?!?! maybe u.s.s. turnover.

Posted by: thickman22 | November 25, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that was a ridiculously close win. As pathetic as a win can be. The 4th quarter coaching was the primary reason. Hey, Flip, I can a great idea for you. Why don't you ice the the two hottest shooters on the team NY and AJ until about 6 mins remain in the 4th quarter? How about you play some truly awful lineups (Boykins, Foye, Arenas, Jamison, Haywood)? Did you expect to keep the lead with that on the floor at the same time? Why did you yank McGee when he outplayed Haywood this game and owned the paint? Huh? Haywood came in and immediately gave up a layup and shortly thereafter an offensive rebound and three point play to Dalembert. Did you not see Flip that Dalembert owned Haywood this game????

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 25, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

"small forward is AJ natural position i believe..."

Jamison doesn't really have a natural position. He's a classic tweener. But in today's NBA, he's more effective and productive at PF because it gets him playing closer to the basket where he can rebound, esp. on the offensive boards where his quick release and array of flip shots gives him plenty of opportunities for quick points. They got away with playing him at SF against Philly because he was matched up against a guy--Thaddeus Young--who's also a tweener and not a true, ballhandling, off the dribble SF, so Jamison's weakness at defending off the dribble didn't really come into play. Nice coaching change up by Flip to take advantage of a match up in his favor.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 25, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

jamison is a defensive liability no matter where he plays...but he would also put most SF's at a disadvantage on defense when they guard him...he grabbed 14 boards tonight and he rebounds no matter where he is on the court...i just think that he tires quicker playing true PF's and he wears down at the end of games...if we could get a young natural PF (6'9-6'10 250-260lbs and physical) then AJ could move to the 3 spot and caron could play some 2 and 3 off the bench (package the 1st round pick with a deshawn or nick to see who we could get in return)...the wiz would be more opponents a different look on a nightly basis. (I think AB might be ready to start at PF real soon)...

Posted by: ronniecope106 | November 25, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

It only took three years of us asking but we finally see what happens when AJ plays small forward. And let's stop playing with the Oberto thing. AB needs to start at PF and JM need to be the full time backup C.

Caron makes excellent trade bait. Of course, he'll have to start when he gets back as long as he's a member of the team but of all the guys we have, he would bring the most in a trade and is the most expendable.

Posted by: original_mark | November 25, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

For small periods of time this team plays better defense. Then for example the last five minutes of last nights game, they can't close out on three point shooters.

Of course at the point the opponent could close their eyes and fling the ball over their shoulder and make shots!

They can't grab boards. They can't put together the three or four consecutive series that might close out the game.

Posted by: millineumman | November 25, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Good to see everyone's favorite player NY get some good burn last night. And FS apparently can't take him out because of his defense. What a turnaround.

Of course Nick needs to build on this and continue to play well for this to really mean anything.

Posted by: cannontl | November 25, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I would not give up on CB either. I expect him to improve his play as time goes forward.

Posted by: cannontl | November 25, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Arenas is the 4th best PG on this team right now. Nice investment he is not.
The only reason the defensive numbers seem adequate is because of the methodical offense. There is no pushing of the ball and zero fast breaks. This creates an illusion of improved defense...illusion only.
Once again I feel that until BH, GA and CB are gone we will flounder.
It is time now to make big decisions for this franchise to flourish.
Hopefully the new regime will make decisions with their head and nor their hearts.
A franchise player has to start with attitude and commitment, ala Kobey, Garnet, Pierce,Lebron. Ga is not close to filling this role no matter what his contract numbers indicate

Posted by: mricklen | November 25, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

My starting lineup...
Off the bench MM, BH,DC and whomever we can get for GA and CB.
Goodbye also Oberto, DS, MJ.
A very good start for the future and the new ownership

Posted by: mricklen | November 25, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to see ABE POLLIN's passing. He was a genuinely good guy. Rest in peace. That said, here's hoping we get new ownership closer to TED LEONSIS than DAN SNYDER. I hope IRENE doesn't decide to pick up ABE's crusade with the WIZARDS and carry on.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 25, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Haywood wasn't buying it. "I love Mr. Pollin, but I think good defense stopped the Williams shot, so give us our credit right there.""

I don't know what Haywood is smoking, but Lou Williams got a ridiculously good look at the basket on that last missed 3-pt attempt. Was a defender within four feet of him? The last few games our perimeter defense is looking more and more like it did under Jordan. 108 points scored on offense and the wiz still almost lost the game.

Posted by: and_1 | November 25, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Happy Ny had a good game. Maybe his confidence will be up and he will start playing like a pro.

Also loved seeing Javale really get into it. He is on his way to making sure that we don't have to overpay Haywood this summer. If he can take advantage of the "shake-ups" that Flip has promised, he will be getting 20-25mpg by the end of the season.

All this talk about Caron forcing it is interesting in light of NY's performance. We get down on Nick for losing confidence when he is in a funk and not continuing to try and to play hard. Caron has not played wel,, obviously, but the question is: is he in a serious decline, or is he just in a slump caused by naggin injuries or whatever?

If he is just in a slump, he needs to get healthy and keep plugging at it. That's what a pro does and what seperates a pro (and an past and maybe once again all-star) from a 3-4 year benchwarmer (NY). If he is truly "done," then his play will never return and he will get relegated to the bench.

Posted by: Blurred | November 25, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness DC had Abe Pollin for as long as we did. The Wiz and Caps and the city would not be what it is today. As horrible as achievements are to name, but his achievements are what he'll be remembered for by the general public. I like his old school approach and general love for the people of DC. Rest in peace Mr. Pollin. Glad to see the Wiz got a win..heart breaker that Philly came back to almost get it.

Posted by: leopsan | November 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Dalembert gave Hyawood the business last night, resulting in probably Haywood's worst game of the season defensively. He just seemed a step slow all night.
McGee showed the good and the bad of where he is right now as he got some crazy blocks but gave up a couple baskets because he was out of position (but who doesn't on this team for that matter).
And Nick Young playing defense? Who woulda thunk it?!

Posted by: tgif11 | November 25, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game and I wanted to say that today. Nick played well, his on ball defense can get better but the effort was there. He played with focus and energy.

I just hope if he doesn't start well in the next game he doesn't lose confidence. Sometimes it seems like he has to get off to a good start to keep that energy level up.

It was good to see, he's got the ABILITY to be good.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 25, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

great game from AJ. I liked him at the 3 and i even saw a lot of Gil at the 2 at times. i think flip had to shake thing up b/c of injury and got a lil insight into some other combos if he opens his rotation a bit. McGee's 5 blocks were huge, say what u want about positioning (he did look lost a coupla times) he took 10 pts off tha board. i liked foye's hustle and movement off the ball, he kinda played like eminem last night minus that absurd dunk attempt (he thought he was john starks, lebron, dwade,mixed with MJ).He hit some really clutch 3s. Lil earl got it in, had some really good moments.

NY played great defense last night. He shot well and made decent decisions. I'd prefer that he not even have the ball in his hands when the play breaks down, but he showed slight improvement in that area, at least trying to find an open teamate (come get the ball and reset PG!!!!!!!!).the real test is gonna be whether he can build on this performance, which means a real focus on D. He has the size and quicks to be a decent defender if he applies himself. A coupla good quotes in the article from flip regarding NY's progression lately. another part of NY building on the performance is the coaching staff allowing him to play through some mistakes, every game ain't gonna go like last night. he'll need to gain flip's trust that he's able to handle the storm of a coupla missed shots,fouls and bad possesions.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Hey, Flip, I can a great idea for you. Why don't you ice the the two hottest shooters on the team NY and AJ until about 6 mins remain in the 4th quarter? How about you play some truly awful lineups (Boykins, Foye, Arenas, Jamison, Haywood)? Did you expect to keep the lead with that on the floor at the same time? Why did you yank McGee when he outplayed Haywood this game and owned the paint?"

my thoughts exactly, it was like Flip was willing to experiment with a lineup rather than ICE the game.

Javale is a frickin eraser! Enough of this "he only plays well in spurts", the kid should get more PT until he loses it.

Posted by: divi3 | November 25, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

AJ at small-forward?

AJ is a tweener.

And with all tweeners there are advantages and liabilities wherever you put them.

The question is: Do you have bodies at the other positions, and so where can your 'tweener best fit to help the team?

We are weak and thin at PF, and we've already got 2 pretty good players in Miller and Butler who can play SF.

If it were possible to trade Butler and get a more traditional PF in return, then I think moving AJ to SF for more minutes would work very well for this team.

Posted by: p1funk | November 25, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna lay off Tuff Juice until he comes back from injury. I feel like he's been hurt this whole year, since this phantom injury just popped out of nowhere. That may explain the lack of explosiveness and overall badness that was CB's game this season. If that's the case then he gets a pass. Just like CP for tha skins, a guy playing hurt can hinder his team more than help them. Get well soon Tuff Juice, hopefully you return as the all star caliber player we all knew and loved.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Abe Pollin epitomized the person we all want to be - giving, caring and loyal to his family. On a more mundane point, though not trival, Javale McGee had his best game of the season. He was truly a difference make while he was in the game; Blatche did what I think we all want from him, played steady and produced. If Gilbert finds his shot we will be alright.

Posted by: h20law2000 | November 25, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Yeah it's kinda funny watching McGee. Sometimes he just looks like a lost puppy with energy and he doesn't know where to apply it. He played well too.

As for the comeback, the game seemed in hand honestly. I though Boykins was out there too long. That 4th quarter 3pt barrage they went on...all I could say was here we go....

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 25, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

we're miles away from being a good team and it was evident last night while flip was trying different lineups- these guys have not played together and it clearly shows.

the key will be to scratch back up to around .500 and then play much better ball after players find a rhythm with each other

Posted by: divi3 | November 25, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Dalembert is just too quick for Haywood. It's a matchup problem, he is the type of center McGee can handle well. The bulkier centers would just push McGee away.

I am happy that the Wizards won a close game (even though it should not have been close). Arenas this season has a tendency to turn the ball over when the game is on the line. He did it again last night, fortunately Sixers missed the shot. Well, the luck got to turn sometimes.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 25, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Much better ball movement and activity last night. But The Zards have done that sporadically all season. They just cannot maintain the discipline.

I thought Gil played well last night with the exception of the bad turnovers late. Loss of concentration.I can live with the missed shots. He's got to get his legs back.

Nick, Nick, Nick...was last night the latest in a long line of teases? Or has the light bulb come on? The best thing about Nick playing well is it keeps DS to minimal minutes.

Blatche back in the roll of PF! Instantly his play improves. Flip take a note. McGee, excellent as an energizer off the bench.

Is it better to have Jamison play as an undersized, defensively challenged PF, or an oversized, defensively challenged SF?

I thought the big line up of Haywood, Blatche and Jamison looked good. Haywood gotten much better finishing at the basket,
Blatche is most comfortable shooting the short to mid range jumper. Jamison wants to bomb treys and shoot those funky runners anyway.

Posted by: bozomoeman | November 25, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

maybe a little too much is made of jamison's supposed liabilities on a team that right now has exactly NO ONE ELSE who can consistently score and rebound?

more AB, less Oberto imho

Posted by: divi3 | November 25, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Saunders is full of sh*t! He makes a point that Young got time because of his improved defense. Well what about Arenas? The guy plays no defense at all except for gambling in the passing lanes for the occasional, if not rare, breakaway steal. In a word, Arena' defensive effort is consistently PATHETIC.

Saunders and the rest of the Wizards brain trust need to face reality--Arenas has a lot, I repeat, a lot of rust to scrape off. He is shooting under 40 percent, has probably the worst assist-turnover ration of any point guard in the NBA, and his free-throw shooting is substandard for a starting backcourt player, especially a point guard.

Saunders needs to display some guts and brains. First, he needs tohave a coming to Jesus meeting w/Arenas, with the gist being--play acceptable defense or ride the pine. This would set an example for the rest of the team (see Butler). Second, he needs to put the most talented team on the floor. This means sitting Stevenson on the bench permanently and starting Nick Young for a sustained period of time. In addition, Blantche should start whenever Jamison or Butler don't, and he should have all the power forward minutes Jamison doesn't log--banish the Argentinian guy to the bench where his unproductive a## needs to be. Also, McGee needs to log all the center minutes that Haywood doesn't.

If Saunders can't figure out that starting and playing your most talented players provides the best chance for winning then ownership needs to dictate the lineup and rotation.

So far it seems that Saunders suffers from the same disease as Eddie Jordan--can't muster the courage to apply tough love to Arenas, won't put the best players on the floor, and can't formulate an effective 7/8 player rotation.

At this juncture, he will experience the same fate--kick out on his rear end.

Posted by: 4GUDGOV | November 25, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

SD i agreee with u wholeheartedly. The game seemed in hand til eddie showed his dedication to the princeton offenst by letting any player with a pulse shoot at will. Jason smith even had like 3 3pt attempts. the final score didn't tell the story of the game, after halftime the wiz took control and kinda dominated up til bout 4 5 mins in the 4th.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I saw that too.
I think Arenas had a good defenssive night,He moved the ball and still has 8 assists.The 3 turnovers in the 4th quarter should have been avoided.He need to be better on that, no need to try to creat miracle in the last minute when you are leading just by one, no need for a long pass when 2 minutes left in the game and you are up by 5.Hold the ball ,find an open man or take an open shoot at the 23rd second.NY play well, we will see if he could do it again.foye need to play with out the ball, he is too slow on the ball.
BH was dominated, this can happen sometimes, good to see JM when BH is not good on defense.

Posted by: gtefferra | November 25, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Well even a blind................can find an acorn, Lou Williams was too open on that final shot and the Zards tried to give it away but the Sixers couldn't close the deal,I am not impressed with Flip end game strategy and Gilbert's continues turn it over at an alarming rate Abe was with them last night, in spirit thank God!

Posted by: dargregmag | November 25, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I think they were up 12 or 14? With not much time left. He took Jamison and Young out and even the backups were doing well. Then the game just took a 180 Jrue Holliday became Craig Hodges and everything was just going in.

Jamison logged almost 41 minutes even with that small break. Arenas defense is actually not that bad from actually watching it.

In other news...I'm in love with a cheerleader.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 25, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Here's the deal about last night...EJ knows our weak spots, bc he coached those weak spots for 5 years.

sixers were getting shut down inside or atleast only hitting about 35% of the shots inside, so he told his shooters to let em fly.

they were on a hot streak, helped by our lame defense.

Everything they tossed up was nailing it.

Until the last shot when the "regression to the mean" started to kick it and the missed it.

The didn't have time to turn it over because they were letting em fly.
long shots often equal long rebounds and they were getting more than their share.

We didn't play well, but if they had been shooting career avgs for 3s those last fe w minutes, we'd have won handily.

Posted by: Blurred | November 25, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Caron has not played wel,, obviously, but the question is: is he in a serious decline, or is he just in a slump caused by naggin injuries or whatever?
I think with CB he has gotten buy with that ISO game for a while and he has been a real good player with it, but it always had flaws. When we where a playoff team, CB, AJ, and Gil would jack countless quick long bad shots and opponents would regularly come back from large deficits on us.

If he is in decline he has to have other facets to his game.

I like CB and have always thought of him as a hard nosed competitor but how long can you depend on players who are always hurt?

Posted by: millineumman | November 25, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"In other news...I'm in love with a cheerleader"

some real nice additions this season, gotta love it

Posted by: divi3 | November 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

^^ Oh yeah!

Posted by: tgif11 | November 25, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

i think Gil is going to be fine. Problem now is he's thinking too much which is totally understandable. Results in seeing lanes etc just a moment too late and ending with the TOs or bad plays.

But that's rust and will come off, just as his shot will start to fall.

but right now the team is downright dependent on Jamison logging way more mins every night than he should. Flip's got to feed AB some of those minutes and let Javale handle the 5. Oberto brings a few things to the table, but ABs ability to score trumps

Posted by: divi3 | November 25, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

havin AJ and NY on the bench to star the 4th was a real knucklehead move IMHO

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

start the 4th

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Gil's ballhandling in the 4th quarter last night was scary. The Wiz actually played much better on offense with Boykins running the point. Gil also is a total liability on defense as evidenced by all of the open shots he gave up to Lou Williams. Saunders needs to have a serious talk with Arenas about playing both ends of the court.

Many of the open 3's were because the Wizards were forced to scramble after Arenas broke down on defense and Philly was able to move the ball around the perimeter to get open shots...count me as one person who thought the Wiz were lucky to win last night. No way the Wiz should have even allowed Philly to get back in the game if they ran their offense, didn't commit turnovers, and played tough man to man defense. I was hoping the Wiz would bring in DSS to get in Williams' face so he wouldn't have open shots.

Blatche plays much better as a starter and AJ wasn't a liability on defense. He got a lot of nice post ups and follow ups when he was covered by Young or Carney. I didn't even notice Butler wasn't playing as the ball movement was better.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 25, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

i liked that Gil kinda took control in the last few mins and started driving the ball to the basket down the stretch. i don't think they shot too many jumpshots in the last 4-5 mins or so, instead they drove to the basket and got layups or fouls called. even in the event of a jump shot being taken it was either because of a penetrate and kick or AJ throwin it up (i personally don't like his game , but he is no doubt great at what he does for us so it's ok).

as the season goes on i think some of gil's TOs will become freethrows. Some of his TOs come from "mishandled"layup attempts, rarely does Gil make an error with the bounce. There are a lot of times when he drives the lane and gets contact and loses the ball, but no call. Once he shows officials that Agent Zero is back and drivin to the rack, i think a coupla those calls will go our way.right now they're making Gil earn those calls, once he gets back to that superstar level he'll get the same calls he used to get and less TOs going to the basket.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Several of you noted that taking Nick Young and Antawn Jamison out of the game during a long stretch of the 4th quarter was a horrible coaching move. I agree.

In my opinion, you don't give your opponent a break when he's down, you FINISH that opponent. Flip Saunders has to develop a killer instict.

Also, in the post game interview Saunders indicated that Nick Young had been in a slump. Nick hasn't been in a slump, he's been in the coaches doghouse. How can you be in a slump when you haven't been playing? Who gives a damn whether the man 'flicks his shirt' after putting up 20 points? DeShawn Stevenson has been 'feeling his face' for several years now, and neither Eddie Jordan, Ed Tapscott nor Flip Saunders said a damn thing about it.

Finally, one poster stated that Saunders needed to apply tough love to Gilbert.
Be careful going down that slippery slope. Arenas, at the top of his game, is an all-star baller, but he's incredibly sensitive and must be carefully coached. Plus, Gil hasn't completely recovered from his knee surgeries.

Maybe Flip can take a lesson from the Larry Brown - Allen Iverson relationship. Larry got the most production out of the tempermental AI without giving up his leadership role as a coach.

Posted by: musicmanjr | November 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Lou Williams picked Gil's pocket in the open court one time last night, something that has occurred all too frequently this year. I attibute that to rust as I don't remember that happening too much with the Gil of two years ago.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | November 25, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I attribute that...

Posted by: ArmChairQB | November 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

good stuff musicmanjr. it's funny how flip picks on NY's jersey pop, but had nothing to say when the hibachi came back out a coupla weeks ago, or the "JaVHail To Tha Chief" salute after a dunk. no prob with haywood raising his hand so the guy doing the scorebook knows that HE made the tip in, or the can't feel my face.
the only thing i can think is that Flip sees something in NY and wants him to take his game to that next level and be a Killer like Kobe or Lebron,Melo, Wade.those guys only smile after they've embarassed you.flip the switch Nick we need that killa.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Dalembert gave Haywood the business last night, resulting in probably Haywood's worst game of the season defensively. He just seemed a step slow all night.
McGee showed the good and the bad of where he is right now as he got some crazy blocks but gave up a couple baskets because he was out of position (but who doesn't on this team for that matter).
And Nick Young playing defense? Who woulda thunk it?!"

Exactly. McGee was yanked for no reason. He outplayed Haywood last night IMO and was actually in the heads of several Sixers including Dalembert. Flip lost that lead last night with subpar coaching. Icing NY and Jamison was stupid coaching 101! I'm all for tight rotations as long as that rotation includes those that are performing well on a given night. Perhaps, FS should open it up more in the first half and then go with the hot hands the rest of the game. GA's turnovers late in the game were amateurish at best. What the hell is wrong with him? He along with FS almost gifted that game to Philly. By the way, Philly is awful!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

For all of you in love with Boykins, don't be. He is no more a PG than GA is. He is actually just an undersized version of GA and Foye. The only credit I give him is he is less prone to turnovers, but then I see him as I say that getting shots blocked like crazy and needlessly turning the ball over at times as well.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Lou Williams picked Gil's pocket in the open court one time last night, something that has occurred all too frequently this year. I attibute that to rust as I don't remember that happening too much with the Gil of two years ago.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | November 25, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse
that's one of those plays i was talkin bout, except the error was on the bounce and not goin to the basket, however i think the situation is similar. Gil thinking he's a superstar, tries to split the double team looking for a foul on the reach. unfortunately there was no call
(maybe no reaching foul to call) and it goes down as a TO for Gil. if Gil gets back to superstar status in the league those types of plays will start going our way (fouls being called rather than Gil getting turnovers in certain instances)

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

People should realize that the team wins when Jamison is carrying the offensive load. He rarely forces shots, gets a lot of putbacks, and low post flips. I was surprised that Flip took NY out of the game when he was a zone in the 3rd quarter. You ride the hot hand until it cools off. It felt like he was experimenting with a new lineup with Boykins, Foye, and Arenas, all of whom are PG's. That trio was on the court when the momentum turned and the lead was lost.

Arenas has to start being more careful with the basketball. His 3 TO's in the 4th quarter all led to open 3's for Philly (and the last one almost cost us the game). I still can't understand why he would be trying to split a double team with 30 seconds left and a ton of time on the shot clock. Run the offense and go to either Jamision or NY who were our best options last night.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 25, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 25, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

it's difficult to see if AJ is forcing shots or not. most attempts in the lane are off-balance, before even "gathering"the ball. and most of his jumpers are off of the first pass in the offense. all of these are shots he can and does make with a certain level of proficiency. but just because you know you can make a shot doesn't mean it's not forced. Kobe forces shots,lebron forces shots, all superstars force a shot or twoespecially when angling for foul calls like Tawn does.

BTW 19 wins with AJ carrying the offensive load last year.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Gil is not playing that well right now but, he WILL come around. Please stop with the stupidity though. I know opinions are just like #$$holes-everybody has one, whether right wrong or indifferent. But you mean to tell me you sat down and thought about your post and then posted it? Gil is not Kobe, Lebron or Dwade for that matter. But neither is ANYBODY ELSE in the league. Why dont we just trade Oberto for Dwight Howard then too. GEEEZ.

Posted by: Mikereese23 | November 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me after watching Gilbert get absolutely schooled last night by Lou Williams that he could have thrown his all-star teammate Caron Butler under the bus.

Hey Gil, as a season ticket holder, I have no desire to hear about how others aren't holding up their end from you. You have sat on that bench for 2 entire years soaking up $20 million per year, and have stunted the potential of this franchise.

I would pack your suitcase for you if you were tradable, but you have perhaps the worst contract in basketball and certainly might be the least tradable player in the NBA. Grow up, shut up, and start playing like the franchise player you aren't but are paid like.

Posted by: S2DU | November 25, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

mikereese23 copy and paste the previous post to the beginning of ur post that way whoever it was that made the post you dislike can respond or clarify something you may have misunderstood.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 25, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Young gets a stay of execution; he played well for a change.

Once the dust settles and (hopefully) Steady Teddy takes over, first order of business is to move Zero and that ridiculous contract outta here; Hopefully Dumb Donald Sterling will take Zero for Camby/Eric Gordon...throw in DS just to get him outta heah. Then you can let real team leaders lead.

That's a start...

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 26, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

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