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Celtics 104, Wizards 102


After 20 games, it's fair to make an assessment of the Washington Wizards. They are a team that doesn't know how to play for 48 minutes, that goes through some terrible lapses -- especially on defense -- and hasn't figured out yet how to finish games. They are 7-13. They aren't a good team.

"We're a bottom feeder team until we start proving it," Gilbert Arenas said afterward.

Before the Wizards lost to the Boston Celtics last night, somebody asked me a very interesting question: Where would the Wizards be without Earl Boykins? I really didn't know how to answer the question, because the Wizards can credit Boykins for helping them win four of their seven games with his clutch fourth-quarter performances.

On Thursday, Boykins didn't seem to have it, but Flip Saunders seemed determined to make his three former all-stars Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler carry the team to victory. Boykins sat the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter, when Jamison and Arenas combined to score 10 of the Wizards' final 16 points. Butler was on the floor, but he seemed like he was somewhere else.

Arenas used to have a reputation as a reliable closer, but for the second time in as many home games, he came up short when his team needed him most. He missed two free throws that could've tied the game with 26.7 seconds remaining against the Celtics, after missing a point-blank layup that could've tied the game late against Toronto.

The Wizards love to talk about how they can compete against any team in the league when healthy, and right now they are proving that to be true. Competing isn't enough. The goal should be to win. Granted, they lost to the Celtics, a possible championship contender, but this team isn't winning games against anyone right now. That loss to Detroit on Sunday remains one of the most perplexing of the season.

"You lose these tough games; the morale is going to be low," Brendan Haywood said. "Of course we're down right now but we're not defeated. Things can turn around in a hurry and that has to start on Saturday with the Pacers."

They have games ahead against Indiana, the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State and Sacramento. Those teams are having trouble, but you cannot expect the Wizards to steamroll through those teams because they are having problems of their own.

How can they go an entire quarter without grabbing one rebound? The Wizards should burn all footage of that second quarter, when they allowed the Celtics to shoot 75 percent and score 37 points -- and didn't get a rebound. That's pretty hard to do in 12 minutes.

The Wizards overcame that only to make another one of their exciting, yet futile runs.

When I spoke with Ernie Grunfeld on Wednesday, he mentioned that the Wizards haven't had "a full deck" this season, but they have enough. They also have several players who aren't performing up to their capabilities right now.

Butler does not look like himself out there. He scored just 10 points and missed 7 of 10 from the floor, continuing what has been a season-long slump. I asked Saunders after the game how they can get him going.

"That's what we keep on [saying]. We have our meetings, and we keep on talking about that," Saunders said. "To his credit, he's good defensively and he rebounded well. But we're not doing a good job setting screens and getting him open, and when he gets it, some of these teams are loading up on him. We're hoping that by pushing the ball up the floor more, we can get him some more open-floor opportunities, but we do have to get him free on more situations."

Jamison has gone four consecutive games without scoring at least 20 points. He had 16 against the Celtics, which is best outing during that stretch. He also took another five three pointers, missing three. He's 4 of 17 from beyond the three-point line his past three games.

Haywood has been the one constant this season. He had 17 points and eight rebounds, helping spark a huge third quarter rally. And Andray Blatche had a solid game, scoring 17 points, with nine coming in the fourth quarter. But Saunders is constantly searching for something to work, some lineup to click, and he keeps coming up empty.

The Wizards certainly have the talent, on paper, to get better, but it's getting harder to tell how that's going to happen.

Yes, they are missing Mike Miller right now, but most teams in the NBA are dealing with injuries (look at what the Houston Rockets are doing right now without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady). Yes, they are learning a new offensive system, but after a one-week training camp, seven preseason games, and almost seven weeks of the regular season, the Wizards should've grasp most of it by now. And, yes, Arenas missed the past two seasons because of a knee injury, but he has played all 20 games this season and has yet to spotted hobbling on the court.

So, what gives? After 20 games, it's starting to get a little clearer. They aren't a good team.

By Michael Lee  |  December 11, 2009; 1:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

actually, I disagree with Mike Lee. I think everything you said is the case as of 20 games but to me, you can really start to tell from this point on. Tonight was the 1st game or atleast the first game since the 3rd game of the season that Gil pushed the tempo and we played with a bounce. If we had played the way weve been playing then the C's wouldve blown us out. Even in our wins we have looked bad. I thought we looked pretty good tonight but still need a little fine tuning.

If the guys can keep there head up then I think we can blow out the Pacers and then start looking good. I dont think its fair to judge them after 20 games. I have always thought the opposite. I have always felt that after 20 games is when we should "start" to judge them. We should judge them starting now on and I think they are starting to get over the hump.

I think Gil is starting to turn it up, they are starting to finally get use to Flip's system, and I think the rest will come. It sucks that weve dug ourselves a whole but I wouldnt be shocked at all if he went 15-5 or better over the next 20. I guarantee that if we dont get down and Gil comes out aggressive against Indy that the least we will have done is flipped our record in the next 20. We will atleast go 13-7 in that stretch but I think we will do better if Gil plays like he did tonight because he will only get better and more confident

Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I also loved the fact that this was the 1st game all year that we brought back our old pick & roll plays with Gil & Wood. Ive been upset all year how we never run the high screen where Gil comes around Wood real tight and is one on one with the big. We run alot of pick & rolls but most of them are loose and non aggressive. We ran a ton of the tight aggressive kind tonight and I thought Gil looked very good. Not old Gil yet but way better than he's been looking and if he doesnt get down about losing it late with the FT's then I think he will go off against Indy and we will start to play well because our team stil goes alot by how well he plays

Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

gil, caron and antwan have the potential and the nba experience to be a very potent trio...with good coaching they could be the best trio in the league! think about what phil jackson or pat riley could do with our very talented roster! i'm not saying that flip is inadequate...but he his not phil or pat. AB should start because caron could give us a lift off the bench...he would be the best sixth man in the nba! mike miller will be back in 2-3 weeks (please let him heal properly training staff-don't rush him back)! i still believe this squad can get the 4th-5th spot in the east...we will get on a roll and make this very interesting! stay tuned wiz fans...it's going to get a whole lot better! WW4LIFE!!!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | December 11, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

So it would be fair to judge them after these next 4 games against struggling teams?

Posted by: twigmuffin | December 11, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

you guys who give gil a hard time (so have i)but I challenge all the "haters" to name 7 guards (1's and/or 2's) in the nba who have a better skill set then gil when he's healthy...be honest.

Posted by: ronniecope106 | December 11, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

I still find the Wizards agonizingly slow with Gil as the PG. What Boykins adds when he comes in, is bring the ball up the court real fast.
I'm not sure what it is, perhaps not enough defensive rebounds but there are few fastbreaks.
I don't know but comparing the Wizards to for example Denver or Utah, our players look so slow. Which is proven when playing against Indiana or Atlanta whose players run quick and jump high.
And please sit Stevenson, he doesn't do anything for offense, can't penetrate, can't shoot anymore.

Posted by: rickgonz | December 11, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting that the big surge came when Stevenson was on the floor, thus completing the starting 5 of a few years ago.

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 11, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

with the score tied 98-98. Gilbert letting Rondo drive baseline for a dunk is UNEXCUSEABLE!!!!! (can't remember if you drop the e or not on this word)

That play was on Blatche. He was late rotating to the baseline and didn't even contest a PG. I saw Caron contesting dunks, but Blatche is afraid to go up on Rondo?!!? That was bad.

DeShawn played great. I loved the pressure he put on Allen. I like Nick's scoring...but I wouldn't mind seeing DS get some more minutes.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

i saw only the second half of the game, It is a good come back but They get short.
It was AB's night but they did not use him maximaly, If this is what we get from AJ i think AB should start, the pick and roll game can work for him too.
I am expecting 4-5 wins the coming week. I think it is time to focus.
Some body need to tell AJ not to take three point in the last minute when the game is on, that last 3 pointer attempt followed by a miss from charity decide the fate of last night game, he did the same thing in prevuious games but did not hit one.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 11, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

you guys who give gil a hard time (so have i)but I challenge all the "haters" to name 7 guards (1's and/or 2's) in the nba who have a better skill set then gil when he's healthy...be honest.

Posted by: ronniecope106

Kobe Bryant
Dwayne Wade
Brandon Roy
Joe Johnson
Chris Paul
Allen Iverson
Baron Davis
Chauncey Billups
Deron Williams
Steve Nash
Jason Kidd
Derrick Rose
Devon Harris
Mo Williams
Rajon Rondo
Ray Allen

I gave you 15.

Posted by: paulelucas2 | December 11, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The real BIG 3 is Gil, AJ and BTH. Stop trying to make CB out to be more than he is. Start AB at the 3 if you need to and give JM and Oberto all of the backup C minutes.

OR...

Dont try to showcase CB and just let him get his in the flow. Showcase NY instead. It seems like we're trying to force production out of a guy and it's interrupting what we do.

Posted by: original_mark | December 11, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Trade CB.look for a 3 way trade to get haslem and a starting SG or a productive PF whose contract will expire this season.I do not see the long term value of AF in the team,EG need to start working to sign MM and BH.If you keep Cb with this production you are not going to sign BH and MM, the team will win 19 games in 2010-11 season and probably 28 games this season.Hasleam and AB can cover PF with an excellent production,AJ can come from the bench and probably take the majority of minutes when he is hot on scoring.Or he can start at 3in some games.I like the last night 4th quarter line up,GA,CB,AJ,AB and BH, when CB leave,MM will take his spot.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 11, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

So far, at least, Gilbert cannot run this team. They appear to have a huge problem in that their "best player," their money-guy seems totally unfit to lead this offense--installed by their big-name new coach. They breakdown or stall so quickly, and then it digresses to people just chucking up shots. Gilbert and Flip are stuck with each other, due to contract considerations, but not a good match so far. I think it's fair to start asking: When/how does Leonsis take control of the team? And what is Grunfeld's future? Ernie is too smart to go down without a fight. He's stuck with Flip, so I'll bet he starts dealing to get the players who fit into what Flip wants to do.

Haywood is playing tough. Sorry to see Foye has lost his mojo, given I thought he was playing so well pre-injury.

Posted by: jweber1 | December 11, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Our starting power forward is a creampuff!!!!
Flip has lost this team already based on last night's performance. There's no way in the world Flip called a timeout and drew up that garbage that Gil executed in the closing seconds of the game. And Jamison shooting threes from the opening tip after all that talk about not doing so. This is a dumb, dumb basketball team.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 11, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

you guys who give gil a hard time (so have i)but I challenge all the "haters" to name 7 guards (1's and/or 2's) in the nba who have a better skill set then gil when he's healthy...be honest.

Posted by: ronniecope106

Kobe Bryant
Dwayne Wade
Brandon Roy
Joe Johnson
Chris Paul
Allen Iverson
Baron Davis
Chauncey Billups
Deron Williams
Steve Nash
Jason Kidd
Derrick Rose
Devon Harris
Mo Williams
Rajon Rondo
Ray Allen

I gave you 15.

Posted by: paulelucas2 | December 11, 2009 7:41 AM

Yeah you gave him 15 but Gilbert ranks number 4 as the top ten point guards of last decade. He even ranks in some shooting guard polls as high as number six.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 11, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I liked dlts20's post above. The Wiz need to keep hanging in there. They can turn this around. If they had played a little bit lesser quality opponent last night, they likely win.

Posted by: cannontl | December 11, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

What the Wizards need to do is pick up some tape from the 2004-2005 season and do EXACTLY what they did during that season. They looked great that year and for all intensive purposes they ARE the same team. I hate to see losses like this and to see the team with zero offensive flow as what occured in the first half. WATCH OLD TAPE

Posted by: RomulusBeatRemus | December 11, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Yeah you gave him 15 but Gilbert ranks number 4 as the top ten point guards of last decade. He even ranks in some shooting guard polls as high as number six.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

You're joking right?

Allen Iverson
Steve Nash
Jason Kidd
Chris Paul
Deron Williams

Which two PGs has Gilbert played better than over the decade to get the fourth spot?

Posted by: 2020doc | December 11, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Yep...I was encouraged by what I saw...besides the 2nd quarter they went toe to toe with Boston. Did some nice things on offense against the best defense in the league. And played very good defense in the 2nd half.

Gil looked much better. Looked very quick, now if we can keep Boykins on the bench...we'll be fine. Indiana and some weak teams out west coming up.

We're 7-13. Cleveland is 15-7. 6 games in the loss column is not much with 62 left. Geez, we're 4 games behind Miami for 5th.

We lost some close games. The could easily be 9-11 or even better. They played well last night. I'm feeling better about them. Can't wait to get Miller back. I'd like to see some Gil, Foye and Miller out there together.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Close, but no cigar. This team is just like the Redskins, they are finding ways to loose. Miss both free throws that can tie the game? Look at Ray Allen, he does not have problem making money FTs at the end! Gil talked about taking over the game, how about starting from making FTs at crucial monent?

Butler asked people to judge the team after 20 games. Now it is 20 games, loosing twice as many games as wins, this is not a good team.

Posted by: sagaliba | December 11, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

TRADE CB!!! Yeah go right ahead i would love to see him go to Miami or even Philly he misses EJ,oh and by the way don't even try to compare Flip vs.EJ Flip had KG and EJ had what? i've said time and again EJ took a team that most NBA people in the know said was not a playoff roster and took them to the playoffs let's see Flip duplicate that feat and Flip has a better roster with more talent.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 11, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

^^ I still don't understand why you're so ghei for Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Is there any reason why Randy Foye isn't starting?? I haven't been following them game by game and it seems that they have been a disapointment so far. Randy should be starting instead of Nick Young. At least you can get another scorer on the floor and a better defender.

Posted by: htnba2003 | December 11, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I gave you 15.

Posted by: paulelucas2 | December 11, 2009 7:41 AM

Yeah you gave him 15 but Gilbert ranks number 4 as the top ten point guards of last decade. He even ranks in some shooting guard polls as high as number six.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 11, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse


Gil ranks #4???

Did his mom make the chart?

Posted by: p1funk | December 11, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Is there any reason why Randy Foye isn't starting?? I haven't been following them game by game and it seems that they have been a disapointment so far. Randy should be starting instead of Nick Young. At least you can get another scorer on the floor and a better defender.

Posted by: htnba2003 | December 11, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse


B/c when Randy was starting, the Wiz were still losing.

Flip is trying desperately to find some kind of chemistry in his lineups.

Posted by: p1funk | December 11, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

A few thoughts on CB: Not sure if this has been brought up on these boards previously but I think I have a hypothesis as to why CB is so out of whack on offense. When CB first came to the Wiz, Gil was the established lead scorer on the Wiz with Jamison picking up the scoring slack. Butler was primarily a "get in where you fit in" type player who scored in the flow of the offense.

After Gil went down, specifically last season, Caron's game expanded (out of necessity) front a traditional "3" to more of a point-forward role and he became the focal point of the offense along with Jamison. I remember Butler ran a lot of isos and he initiated the offense and jacked up a bunch of shots last season.

Fast forward to 2009-10. Gil is back (and trying desperately to regain his alpha-dog status), Jamison (for better or for worse) is gonna put up his twenty shots a game, Blatche has become a legitimate offensive threat (finally!!!), Haywood is much more assertive offensively, and we now have Mike Miller competing for playing at the "3." Simply put, Caron is being asked to scale his game back and I think he is struggling mightily to do so.

My $0.02: I don't think CB will fit in here in Washington. He had a taste of what it was like to be the alpha dog last season and he doesn't want to give it up (even though he can help the team if he played a more complementary role). He is just thinking way too much out there instead of ballin...

Posted by: MEssex | December 11, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"Gil shows no more lift at all. He now drives seeking to pass because he is afraid of his shot being blocked. Each game he exhibits less and less explosiveness. He needs to turn himself into a midrange shooter and forget trying to drive and forget the volume of 3s. His handle is also not back. He never made the kind of turnovers that we now see."
What? GA actually looked fresher, faster, quicker tonight than he has in a couple of weeks. He also absolutely needs to continue to drive to the basket and put pressure on the defense. That is what he does best and we saw that tonight. Does he elevate quite as well as he used to yet? Perhaps not, but then that would be a good reason for him to know where his teammates are for the open shot his drives create. What PG is not worried about getting his shot blocked when in the land of the giants?
Posted by: rphilli721 | December 11, 2009 12:52 AM

I agree that Gil was fresher and quicker but he still is not handling the ball well at all, and still has less lift. When was last time he came close to dunking the ball? Several times yesterday he drove to the rim and looked to pass and I have been one of those saying he needs to pass more. But the old Gil would have in those situations exploded to the hoop. I just get the sense that he is not doing it because he no longer can. And believe me I hope I am wrong.

My point is that until, if ever, he gets that ability to finish back, he needs to concentrate on his mid range game. He can still beat his man 1 on 1 or in the pick and roll. We are seeing him do that more and more. He can get us 20 a night by just doing that. But bad things are happening when he goes all the way to the hole. The old Gil would get an “and 1” or get 2 shots at the line or would simply finish. Now we are seeing sloppy turnovers and missed layups and crying for phantom foul calls. I ain’t haten’. But that is what I see. Hopefully as his leg gets stronger this will change; and hopefully it won’t be too late.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 11, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

At the game last night. I am across court from the Wiz bench so can see everyhing. Problem I am having with Flip is he's is doing the Eddie Jordan thing now of pulling a young player for a lapse. Did it last night to both Young and McGee yet he substituted McGee for picking up an offensive foul on a pick and Jamison comes in and is promptly backdoored for an alley oop dunk by Garnett. You think he pulled Jamison? No. He pulled Young when Allen drive the length of court for a dunk, yet Gil was getting abused by Rondo.
Blatche played well offensively but defense was lacking. The coaches were really upset with Blatche on his slow rotations. Even on the Rondo dunk near the end of the game, if you;re watching the ball, you know he is possibly coming free on the baseline but it appers Blatch gets scared he's going to be in a poster and does not even jump to defend the rim. He did that at least twice last night. Jamison as well. Oh well, the margin of error for victory is very small. If Gil can't hit free throws than they may not want to have him witht he ball at the end of games at this time.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 11, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Several times yesterday he drove to the rim and looked to pass and I have been one of those saying he needs to pass more. But the old Gil would have in those situations exploded to the hoop. I just get the sense that he is not doing it because he no longer can. And believe me I hope I am wrong.

I disagree. I think he can finish and he did it a few times last night, even though he hadn't been doing it earlier in the season. Gil is looking much quicker the last few games.

I think those times when he dishes when he gets to the lane, is that thought process of being a PG and sharing the ball. Sometimes he tries to be TOO unselfish.

One time he had a open look but tried to drop it off to Brendan...and it was just one pass too many.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Even on the Rondo dunk near the end of the game, if you;re watching the ball, you know he is possibly coming free on the baseline but it appers Blatch gets scared he's going to be in a poster and does not even jump to defend the rim. He did that at least twice last night.

Exactly. I was like come on man...you're 7 feet. Contest Rondo...if you get dunked on so be it. He looked terrified.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Rondo was roasting Early Boykins at the end of the 2nd quarter. He (Earl) was a complete liability defensively.

For some reason, when Nick Young makes a mistake or goes through a tough stretch he gets banished to the bench.

Flip has to stop playing mind games with just NY and make ALL player's mistakes punishable with pine time. Why can Caron or AJ work through their poor play and Nick can't?

I bet Dom taking Butler's minutes for a night could snap him out of it...

Posted by: elfreako | December 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

caron looks like he's stuck with the tapscott mentality that had him receive the pass and go one on five, he seems to have absorbed these bad habits he developed last year, I'll never understand his weird pump fake and then shoot once the man tightens his defense. the squad, not surprisingly shows a lack of heart for some stretch in every game

Posted by: bford1kb | December 11, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

How about the one fast break where Butler didn't cut off the ball and allowed Ray Allen to go the distance for a dunk?? Pathetic. I am so sick of CB at this point. I will say this about Charles statement. He is right when he says there is no leadership on this team or certainly not enough of it.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 10, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

That play was infuriating. Ab clearly put a body on perkins b/c he thought CB was gonna try to make a play VS. giving ray and escort to the basket. by the time he realized CB was just gonna watch the play it was too late,now AB's on a poster.

I kinda felt like AJ left Gil hangin on the Rondo drive too. Gil was definitely beat, but AJ seemed like he was in no hurry to get around perk to seal off the baseline.


I'm starting the trade CB bandwagon. He is by far my least favorite player at the moment (talk about loser mentality) and is our most tradeable player. Since about mid-season last year it seems to me he has quit on this team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 10, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so now YOU'RE starting the trade CB bandwagon. You can park yours next to the one we've had running for the past 2 weeks LMAO


Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse


I think it's safe to say the Wizards just aren't a good team. The only question is will they become one. The jury is out on that, but they certainly will not be an elite team as they just don't have a cornerstone player that other teams have to fear nor do they have the collective will of the Pistons team that won a championship of a few years ago.
As for those griping about Jamison, you need to face some facts. He is a 'tweener who plays offense more like a shooting guard than a power forward. That's who he is and who he's always been. He might want to change for the greater good of the team, but, IMHO, it would be easier for a leopard to change its spots.
That said, I'd like to see Andray start at power forward because at least he give us more size on the defensive end and seems more inclined to block a few shots here and there. Jamison can come off the bench and when he has it going offensively, Flip can ride him.

Posted by: and_1 | December 11, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

For some reason, when Nick Young makes a mistake or goes through a tough stretch he gets banished to the bench.

Flip has to stop playing mind games with just NY and make ALL player's mistakes punishable with pine time. Why can Caron or AJ work through their poor play and Nick can't?

I bet Dom taking Butler's minutes for a night could snap him out of it...

Posted by: elfreako | December 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

i was such an a-hole for saying this weeks ago.

Rev Wright says "America's chickens............. are coming home............to roost

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 11, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

This is what I know about basketball. You are what you are. Sometimes players do a little better or a little worse...but they usually fall around they're averages.

Caron is pretty much putting up the same numbers he always does. Check his career. His FG% is lower, but averages are pretty stable, it'll come back up.

Recently his TO's are down and assists are up...it's just his shooting man...

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Michael Lee,

When you're a 7-12 team playing against the Celtics, who just happened to be on a eight-game winning streak, Competing IS enough! Paul Pierce, KG, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen only beat the Wiz by two points on a night when both Antawn and Caron had off nights. Exluding the second quarter, the game was very entertaining.

You wrote that Gilbert Arenas "came up short." Gilbert Arenas came up short because Flip Saunders kept him on the court for 42 minutes. Gil had nothing left in the closing minutes. That should have been the time to bring in Boykins - or Nick Young.

Same thing goes for Jamison. He was exhausted. Saunders needs to learn how to utilize his 'energy guys' [Blatche, Boykins, and McGee] at the end of close games.

Posted by: musicmanjr | December 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The team played "good" for 3 quarters unfortunately you have to play the whole 48 mins to beat a team like the Celtics. Gil choke in his FT. He seems vey uncomfortable shooting FT when the game is on the line. CB must get his game back.

Oh by the way I have to agree with Nostradamus that Brendan needs to pack his bags as he will surely play for the European league next year. No team will want to sign a center who has no offense and NO rebounding and defensive skills....lol.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Yeah you gave him 15 but Gilbert ranks number 4 as the top ten point guards of last decade. He even ranks in some shooting guard polls as high as number six.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 11, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Whomever ranked him 4th best point guard is on dope.
1) Billups
2) Nash
3) Williams
4) Paul
5) Parker
6) Stuckey
7) Kidd
8) Jennings
9) Evans
10) Rose
12) Iverson
13) Nelson
14) Brooks
15) Ellis
16) Baron
17) Mo
18) Arenas

Lying to yourselves isn't all of a sudden going to make this team a winner.


10)

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I liked dlts20's post above. The Wiz need to keep hanging in there. They can turn this around. If they had played a little bit lesser quality opponent last night, they likely win.


Posted by: cannontl | December 11, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Have you been watching any of the games????
They have been playing little quality opponents (Detroit, Indiana, Charlotte.....) and they lost!!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Rondo was roasting Early Boykins at the end of the 2nd quarter. He (Earl) was a complete liability defensively.

For some reason, when Nick Young makes a mistake or goes through a tough stretch he gets banished to the bench.

Flip has to stop playing mind games with just NY and make ALL player's mistakes punishable with pine time. Why can Caron or AJ work through their poor play and Nick can't?

I bet Dom taking Butler's minutes for a night could snap him out of it...

Posted by: elfreako | December 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Because you don't wanna sit players that are on the trading block. Flip is desperately trying to upgrade their trade value and sitting them on the bench will not help.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blow it up.

Posted by: thinker11 | December 11, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I think Utilityman is 88's alter ego.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I bet Dom taking Butler's minutes for a night could snap him out of it...

Posted by: elfreako | December 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse


I agree. Look what it did for Nick when he got that DNP. He's been a totally changed man.

Posted by: CBell29 | December 11, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The Celtics' bench went a combined +27, while the Wiz bench had a combined -14. Further proof that the Wiz are hardly the "deep," "talented" team they're supposed to be.

And I'm getting sick of EG's using injuries as an excuse for this team's ineptitude. Heck, they couldn't beat Detroit without Hamilton and Prince and with Gordon playing on one leg. When you have all but one of your regulars playing and you lose to another team's second string, you are simply not a good team and injuries have nothing to do with it.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 11, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

They look more like the redskins. A bunch of overpaid superstars that can't win games.

Gil's defense is just terrible. They can all keep scoring, but if there is no physical D off the ball, then it offsets what you contribute in offense.

Caron Butler took too many jump shots that didn't go in. He needs to just take it inside either to feed, get fouls, or score.

Jamison, is all talk. I'm tired of seeing his weird quick shots and poor outside shooting.

Andray Blatche if he gets more playing time can contribute the most in this group and same as Nick Young. Javale McGhee just needs to control his energy a little bit and just time his shot blocking ability.

Scrap this Big Three arrangement and just put players that can contribute the most.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | December 11, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I think it's safe to say the Wizards just aren't a good team. The only question is will they become one. The jury is out on that, but they certainly will not be an elite team as they just don't have a cornerstone player that other teams have to fear nor do they have the collective will of the Pistons team that won a championship of a few years ago.
As for those griping about Jamison, you need to face some facts. He is a 'tweener who plays offense more like a shooting guard than a power forward. That's who he is and who he's always been. He might want to change for the greater good of the team, but, IMHO, it would be easier for a leopard to change its spots.
That said, I'd like to see Andray start at power forward because at least he give us more size on the defensive end and seems more inclined to block a few shots here and there. Jamison can come off the bench and when he has it going offensively, Flip can ride him.


Posted by: and_1 | December 11, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, they will become a good team about 60 games into the season when it's all lost anyways. Just to give you hope for next year and make sure you buy some tickets. Then, next year, the cycle starts again with hope, expectations....
This team will not be good until Gil's contract expires in 5 years and you can thank Mr EG for that.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Michael Lee,

When you're a 7-12 team playing against the Celtics, who just happened to be on a eight-game winning streak, Competing IS enough! Paul Pierce, KG, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen only beat the Wiz by two points on a night when both Antawn and Caron had off nights. Exluding the second quarter, the game was very entertaining.

You wrote that Gilbert Arenas "came up short." Gilbert Arenas came up short because Flip Saunders kept him on the court for 42 minutes. Gil had nothing left in the closing minutes. That should have been the time to bring in Boykins - or Nick Young.

Same thing goes for Jamison. He was exhausted. Saunders needs to learn how to utilize his 'energy guys' [Blatche, Boykins, and McGee] at the end of close games.

Posted by: musicmanjr | December 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Don't mean to insult you but ONLY losers make statements like this.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Indiana was low quality when THEY beat Boston, Detorit was low quality with wins over Denver and Orlando...just like Charlotte was low quality when they beat Atlanta, Cleveland and Denver.

Anybody can beat anybody in the NBA. It doesn't matter who. They need to play like they did last night EVERY night.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

How can it be that Jamison continues to chuck it up from 3. The only thing that suprised me was that I didn't read a quote this morning from him excoriating the team's reliance on the deep ball. That'll come tomorrow and then he'll go 1-7 from 3 against the pacers. Not only is he killing the team on offense wiht horrendous shot selection, his closeouts and rotations are so pathetic on defense. It's like he doesn't even try. The same goes for Gil's defense. It's disgusting. There is no way to compensate for two guys who make no effort on the defensive side of the ball.

I think one of the Little 3 has got to be moved to the bench. Right now AB is outplaying Jamison in all facets, and he's showing more discipline. So, I'd move Jamison to the bench where he belongs. As bad as Caron is playing, there is no one worthy of starting in his place until MM gets back. When MM returns my lineup would be Gil, NY, MM, AB, Haywood.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 11, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Utilityman is 88's alter ego.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse
And I think that your goal is to watch games holding a beer and don't care about the outcome. I also beleive that you say "great game" at the end regardless whether they will or lose. I also beleive that you thought the team would compete with the small 3 and now you won't admit to it.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Time to play for the 1st pick in next summer draft. Skins and Wiz will finish in the bottom of their leagues this year

Posted by: freeflyr61 | December 11, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld mentioned that the Wizards haven't had "a full deck" this season...

Come on Ernie face the facts, the team that "YOU" built isn't very good, but you can hide behind injuries all you want.

Hopefully the new owner won't be so loyal that he is willing to ignore incompetence.

The players who are too lazy to play “D” just care about getting their 14 and 7 and the players who play “D” can’t score if they had too?

Name one draft pick Ernie has made that is a real starter in this league?

People it starts at the top and the players who play for this organization understand there is not accountability for your actions all you have to do is show up and collect a paycheck.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Indiana was low quality when THEY beat Boston, Detorit was low quality with wins over Denver and Orlando...just like Charlotte was low quality when they beat Atlanta, Cleveland and Denver.

Anybody can beat anybody in the NBA. It doesn't matter who. They need to play like they did last night EVERY night.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree that they need to but they won't. The sooner you learn to live with it, the sooner you'll start making sense and accept the fact that our top player (the $111 man) is average at best!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

And I think that your goal is to watch games holding a beer and don't care about the outcome. I also beleive that you say "great game" at the end regardless whether they will or lose. I also beleive that you thought the team would compete with the small 3 and now you won't admit to it.

Clearly you've never read any of my post but whatever makes you feel better about yourself.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I think MEssex makes seem excellent points about CB3. He became the teams' top player over the last two season and it's go to guy in clutch situations with Arenas out. Without a true PG on the roster who could create, Butler expanded his game and became more of a point foward. That's why his assists and TO's went up last year. He's a great 2nd or 3rd option, but is having trouble adjusting with Arenas back on the floor to find his role.

Long-term, I think Butler is not a good fit for Flip's style of play which predicates on a lot of catch and shoot. Butler always has needed to use pump fakes and dribbles to free himself. Mike Miller is actually a better fit at the 3 than Butler in Flip's offense.

If EG has been watching things closely, he'll see that Butler is thinking too much on the court and it has affected his defense as well. Butler needs his touches and shots on offense to feel motivated on the defensive end. It would be a good time to trade him for rugged PF like Haslem who could immediately come in and help the team. He'd be a nice compliment to Jamision at the 4 and this would free up minutes for Miller at the 3.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

We lost some close games. The could easily be 9-11 or even better.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

SDMDTSU,

They won some close games too and they could easily be 4-16 or worse.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Clearly you've never read any of my post but whatever makes you feel better about yourself.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh, no, I have read your posts and most of them revolve around blindly defending this team. Most of us are fans and want nothing beside the team winning but I won't defend them on blogs when they give absolutely no effort. I won't lie to myself claiming that Arenas is a top PG when he plays no defense, I won't claim that Butler is playing with passion. I won't assert that EG did a great job especially considering he was given carte blanche and millions to build a contender and he has failed considerably..... And I can go on and on and on...

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

They won some close games too and they could easily be 4-16 or worse.

And they're not. They're 7-13. They're not 2-18 or something that it's impossible for them to get where I think they'll be.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If EG has been watching things closely, he'll see that Butler is thinking too much on the court and it has affected his defense as well. Butler needs his touches and shots on offense to feel motivated on the defensive end. It would be a good time to trade him for rugged PF like Haslem who could immediately come in and help the team. He'd be a nice compliment to Jamision at the 4 and this would free up minutes for Miller at the 3.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

That would be a great trade for us but Miami doesn't want to take back any contact extending beyond this year as they have very good cap flexibility to sign top free agents.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I have watched the games, Utilityman. They also won against Dallas, Cleveland and Miami, and showed some improvemnet against Boston last night (despite a horrid 2nd quarter).

I still see the Wiz as having an extended adjustment period to FS's offense and Gil returning to form. The big three have played well together in the past. The only reason I can see that they are not playing as well together now is what I just said above.

Eventually, though, if they keep struggling, I may have to change my opinion as to the cause of this. But right now that's the way I see it.

Posted by: cannontl | December 11, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, no, I have read your posts and most of them revolve around blindly defending this team. Most of us are fans and want nothing beside the team winning but I won't defend them on blogs when they give absolutely no effort. I won't lie to myself claiming that Arenas is a top PG when he plays no defense, I won't claim that Butler is playing with passion. I won't assert that EG did a great job especially considering he was given carte blanche and millions to build a contender and he has failed considerably..... And I can go on and on and on...

Yeah I blindly defend the team, I said Gil is a top PG and I said CB plays with passion. Maybe you should read again.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I have watched the games, Utilityman. They also won against Dallas, Cleveland and Miami, and showed some improvemnet against Boston last night (despite a horrid 2nd quarter).

I still see the Wiz as having an extended adjustment period to FS's offense and Gil returning to form. The big three have played well together in the past. The only reason I can see that they are not playing as well together now is what I just said above.

Eventually, though, if they keep struggling, I may have to change my opinion as to the cause of this. But right now that's the way I see it.

Posted by: cannontl | December 11, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so what's the treshold that's going to make you change your opinion?
My opinion has been the same since we gave Gil that contract.
You claim that they need to learn a new system but the Pistons have a new coach, new players and they are in sync and have an identity, the Kings have a new coach and are playing well, the Suns have a new coach and are playing great....

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

No Big 3 here in DC! They reside in Beantown.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Anybody can beat anybody in the NBA. It doesn't matter who. They need to play like they did last night EVERY night.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

The fact that they don't play that hard every night is BY FAR my biggest frustration with this team!!

Posted by: and_1 | December 11, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Flip's position is really delicate. I am sure he wants to sit underperformers like Butler and even Jamison but if he does, their already weak trade value will plummet further.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I do agree that Gil is losing his handles alot but I think that is just a combo of rust, timing, and his finger. I think that will come back to him espically as he gains more confidence. Even alot of his misses are due to him losing the handle right before he goes up.

Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

utility man, you talk about the bad teams that weve played but I think my point and the other person's point was that we looked better last night and probably wouldve beaten those bad teams now and in the future as we get better. The Wiz team that lost to those bad teams wouldve been blown out last night.

Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Im also starting to notice something about AJ's missing 3's and jumpers. Its obvious but I dont think people pay much attention to him. When someone passes him the rock when he's set or going forward then he's money for that J. However, all his misses come from the plays where we are running like the pick & pop with Gil and AJ gets it back but the way he's catching it makes him shoot off the back foot. Its like its a stand still fade away and it always comes up short just like a QB trying to throw off the backfoot. Its like he's catching and shooting it at the same exact time his whole body is taking a big step back. I even see alot of his FT misses are because he's fading back right before he releases, like he's taking off too fast

Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@utilityman1
both won't be traded, it's likely that neither will be traded. i doubt we get an offer better than amare stoudamire for CB now. why reward a guy like CB who obviously isn't focused on this team (someone mentioned him petitioning for a long term deal on tha radio last night, AJ mentioned contracts and shots in his tnt interview) by giving him 35+ mins a game and the green light if it doesn't help your team win. letting a guy play 30 something mins while shooting 30% with the tam losing n ight in and night out, just to boost trade value? how bout coaching your team to go out and win a game vs jerkin guys around with crazy rotations ie the resurrection of OLDberto.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Anybody can beat anybody in the NBA. It doesn't matter who. They need to play like they did last night EVERY night."

Oh yeah, they played a great 2nd quarter.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

utility man, you talk about the bad teams that weve played but I think my point and the other person's point was that we looked better last night and probably wouldve beaten those bad teams now and in the future as we get better. The Wiz team that lost to those bad teams wouldve been blown out last night.

You're wasting your time. His opinion is his opinion. Let him have it. Based on the basketball I see...they're playing better. And I expect them to keep improving. I made my prediction at the beginning of the season and I'm still standing by it.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"with the score tied 98-98. Gilbert letting Rondo drive baseline for a dunk is UNEXCUSEABLE!!!!! (can't remember if you drop the e or not on this word)"

Trade you an 'I' for that 'U'...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 11, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, they played a great 2nd quarter.

They didn't. They completely outplayed Boston in the 2nd half. It's so easy to single that out. Whatever makes you happy though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Someone spoke about us making a run when Stevenson came in and we had that same lineup from 2 years ago. I like it because they are familiar with eachother, have good balance, it forces Gil to be more aggressive with that 1 less scorer, and we can finally get enough shots to go around for the big 3.

However, we eventually lost the lead because we started running Flip's curl plays with Deshawn and he sucked. You cant really run his offense with Deshawn because he just doesnt have the skill to make those plays that much like NY, MM, Foye, and Gil do

Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

utility man, you talk about the bad teams that weve played but I think my point and the other person's point was that we looked better last night and probably wouldve beaten those bad teams now and in the future as we get better. The Wiz team that lost to those bad teams wouldve been blown out last night.


Posted by: dlts20 | December 11, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

We looked better in spurts, I don't believe we looked better in the first half at all. And yesterday wasn't the first time we looked good in spurts this season.
I am not surprised that we can, at times, play at an elite level thanks to the talent we have. But passion isn't there and as I have been saying all along, this team isn't constructed to contend. On any given team, if one of your top player doesn't play defense, it can be hidden, but when 3 (maybe 4) of your starters are weak individual defenders, there is no way you can regularly win in this league.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@SDMDTSU - They won't win too many games (especially with good teams) if they play 3 good quarter and one horrible.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

both won't be traded, it's likely that neither will be traded. i doubt we get an offer better than amare stoudamire for CB now. why reward a guy like CB who obviously isn't focused on this team (someone mentioned him petitioning for a long term deal on tha radio last night, AJ mentioned contracts and shots in his tnt interview) by giving him 35+ mins a game and the green light if it doesn't help your team win. letting a guy play 30 something mins while shooting 30% with the tam losing n ight in and night out, just to boost trade value? how bout coaching your team to go out and win a game vs jerkin guys around with crazy rotations ie the resurrection of OLDberto.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

There is still a tiny hope that they may get traded, not sure about the quality of the return though. There are some teams that are struggling as much as we are and are as tired of their poor performers as we are (Toronto, Chicago, Philly, Clippers, GS.....).
This is why I said it's a difficult situation, if you sit CB, his trade value will be nil, same with AJ, whom you have committed a long contract to.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

You're wasting your time. His opinion is his opinion. Let him have it. Based on the basketball I see...they're playing better. And I expect them to keep improving. I made my prediction at the beginning of the season and I'm still standing by it.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

So what's your treshold for finally admitting that this team isn't constructed to contend?
I have made wrong predictions before (heck, if all my predictions were right, I'd be a rich man) and at some point, you will have to admit that predicting that this team (as presently constructed) will contend is wrong.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@SDMDTSU - They won't win too many games (especially with good teams) if they play 3 good quarter and one horrible.

Which is why I said they need to be more consistent. Boston played 3 terrible quarters and 1 good one. The Wizards lost that game on free throws and stupid mistakes. They stayed with them on the boards, had more assists and less turnovers.

This free throw nonsense drives me NUTS.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, free throws definitely lost this game, but not only Gilbert's. Washington hit 4 more FGs and 2 more 3 pointers than Boston, but shot 15 fewer FTs, hitting hitting 12 fewer. Other than that abysmal second quarter, this was an eminently winnable game.

It's a discouraging mark of unsuccessful teams that they keep digging themselves into a hole and then have to drag their butts out of it. Discouraging but not uncorrectable.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 11, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Which is why I said they need to be more consistent. Boston played 3 terrible quarters and 1 good one. The Wizards lost that game on free throws and stupid mistakes. They stayed with them on the boards, had more assists and less turnovers.

This free throw nonsense drives me NUTS.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Good teams find a way to win and bad teams find a way to lose.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards can play with anybody. I just need them to reach a comfort level and play consistently.

I said they should be going into the New Year rolling and getting ready for the stretch run come midseason. They've shown things in different games. I'm just waiting for it to all come together. They locked down Boston and scored consistently. Hell they shot like 49% on the best defense in the league. They've got other ways they can beat teams now besides outscoring them. No matter how you looked at it, a top 3 team in the league...they went toe to toe with even AFTER a horrible 2nd quarter.

The biggest flaw is the lack of a low post scorer. What's your threshold of admitting you're wrong? A championship?

It's easy to be a cynic. My threshold of thinking they can be successful is much lower than yours of saying they fail if they don't win it all.

So if they get a 4,5 or 6 seed and make the 2nd round and are competitive. Do you admit you're wrong? Or is it they didn't win a championship?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, free throws definitely lost this game, but not only Gilbert's. Washington hit 4 more FGs and 2 more 3 pointers than Boston, but shot 15 fewer FTs, hitting hitting 12 fewer. Other than that abysmal second quarter, this was an eminently winnable game.

It's a discouraging mark of unsuccessful teams that they keep digging themselves into a hole and then have to drag their butts out of it. Discouraging but not uncorrectable.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 11, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Kobe Bryant
Dwayne Wade
Brandon Roy
Joe Johnson
Chris Paul
Allen Iverson
Baron Davis
Chauncey Billups
Deron Williams
Steve Nash
Jason Kidd
Derrick Rose
Devon Harris
Mo Williams
Rajon Rondo
Ray Allen

I gave you 15.

Posted by: paulelucas2 | December 11, 2009 7:41 AM

Yeah you gave him 15 but Gilbert ranks number 4 as the top ten point guards of last decade. He even ranks in some shooting guard polls as high as number six.

LarryInClintonMD.

Larry,
What dope are you smoking? As of TODAY Gilbert is not a top 10 guard and u know it and I didn't list the players buy order.

Why do the fans always give excuses when it comes to the Wizards under achieving. This team is pathetic. No one on the team is accountable. Truth be told they need to get rid of the SO called Big 3. Trade all 3 of them.

Truth be told and I hate to say it but Butter Cups (Brendan Haywood) is playing like he is the best player on the team and that is scary.

Someone on the post stated that Nick Young needs to be in the game. First NY doesn't play DEFENSE! Second he takes dumb shots and if his shot is not falling he is a liability.

Think about it this team could not get 1 rebound in the 2nd quarter. I know college teams that can do that. Heck Howard University can do that!

Jamison plays no defense! His legs look like they are broken.

Gilbert looks like he is clueless and doesn't want to be there.

Caron takes to many jump shots and turns the ball over.

If you look at Boston they demanded respect. They played with confidence. The Big 3 for Boston didn't lead the team in scoring. It was Rondo with 21 pts. Rondo looked like an all star out there against Gilbert. Gilbert couldn't make free throws (1-6).

By the way AD needs to be starting over Jamison.

Posted by: paulelucas2 | December 11, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if they had a low-post scorer, they'd go to the line more.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 11, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

So if they get a 4,5 or 6 seed and make the 2nd round and are competitive. Do you admit you're wrong? Or is it they didn't win a championship?


Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If they reach the 2nd round, I would gladly and HAPPILY admit that I am wrong although many predictors had them contending.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Let WizardsExtreme run practice. WE would get the job done....

http://www.wizardsextreme.com/forums/showthread.php?p=73596#post73596

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | December 11, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

some body make mistake on the stat. of bench scoring.boston bench score 27 points.
wiz bench AB,17 ,stevenson 5 ,Foye 6 ,total 28

Posted by: gtefferra | December 11, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"Which is why I said they need to be more consistent. Boston played 3 terrible quarters and 1 good one. The Wizards lost that game on free throws and stupid mistakes. They stayed with them on the boards, had more assists and less turnovers."

Which is why I said that they need to play the whole 48 mins. They are not a good enough team to fall asleep in one quarter and just catch up and expect to win everytime. It was the horrible 2nd quarter moreso than the free throws that cause them the game.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 11, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

If they reach the 2nd round, I would gladly and HAPPILY admit that I am wrong although many predictors had them contending.

Cool. I can't be mad at that. Some people on this blog if the Wizards play well. They'll find excuses in spite of that.

For the record...I predicted they would struggle in the beginning and end up with 42-45 wins. I'm not sure what seed that would pull in...but I think a 5-6 is realistic. I won't change my prediction because of the slow start.

If they are clicking on all cylinders at the end of the season I'm confident with whatever seed they end up with.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,

Please start listening to what I have been telling you about Gilbert Arenas for some time now. Stop drinking the Gilbert Kool Aid man. You make SOME good points but when you try to defend Gil you sound foolish.

Rondo busted his a** last night.

Forget top anything for any decade. We are concerned with the 09-10 season and Gil is not in even the top 15 guards as of right now.

On top of that he is a CHOKE ARTIST.

I would rather have Gil shoot from half-court with the game on the line then to have to make 3 free throws. You are fooled by Gils 25 pts,etc.. but never look at how many shots it takes him to put 25 on the board, when he scores his points, OR WHAT THE OTHER POINT GUARD DID.

Gil is MAJOR part of what is wrong with this team. Very AT TIMES exciting but plays ZERO defense, has ZERO leadership, and will NEVER lead a team to a championship. NEVER...

Posted by: kevenjones | December 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Cool. I can't be mad at that. Some people on this blog if the Wizards play well. They'll find excuses in spite of that.

For the record...I predicted they would struggle in the beginning and end up with 42-45 wins. I'm not sure what seed that would pull in...but I think a 5-6 is realistic. I won't change my prediction because of the slow start.

If they are clicking on all cylinders at the end of the season I'm confident with whatever seed they end up with.


Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I am predicting no playoffs at all, maybe an 8th seed and a quick 1st round exit at best, which would be a shame considering the team huge payroll, the "talks" of contendding, the minuscule future cap flexibility.....
So we'll see...

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 11, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Which is why I said that they need to play the whole 48 mins. They are not a good enough team to fall asleep in one quarter and just catch up and expect to win everytime. It was the horrible 2nd quarter moreso than the free throws that cause them the game.

I agree they need to play 48 minutes but we gotta agree to disagree on the deciding factor of the game. The 2nd quarter was horrible but even still, they fought back and were in position to win the game if they made free throws. (Gil's 2 hurt)

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 11, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@gtefferra, I was talking about the combined +/- of the respective benches and not points scored.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Other issues aside, I simply do not understand why FT% of the Big3 drop at the same time this season.
Jamison: career 73.2%, this season 58.6%
Arenas: career 80.5%, this season 71.3%
Butler: career 85.2%, this season 83.5%
(And I won't even bother mention Stevenson.)

Come on, this is free throws, it should have nothing to do with new coaches, or learning a new system!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I see Tracy McGrady is in line to make the All-Star game without having played a minute.

Somebody make sure Gilbert doesn't see that article.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Other issues aside, I simply do not understand why FT% of the Big3 drop at the same time this season.
Jamison: career 73.2%, this season 58.6%
Arenas: career 80.5%, this season 71.3%
Butler: career 85.2%, this season 83.5%
(And I won't even bother mention Stevenson.)Posted by: sagaliba"

Washington ain't the worst in the league, but they're getting outshot at the line 74% to their opponents' 77%.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 11, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards are very fragile both mentally and physically. Mentally, they reflect Gilbert: erratic in his play, brilliant to idiotic in a flash. For a "franchise player" to miss those foul shots has no excuse.

Physically, Blatche needs to be on the floor with Haywood more time, even if it means bringing Jamison off the bench (although Jamison at 3 can work in some select situations). Jamison got abused down low too often last night and although Blatche is no banger and hardly intimidates, he has the best combination of size and talent at that position. With only Haywood a presence down low, it's too easy to get to our basket.

The guard rotation should be GA, RF and NY. Foye should start with Gilbert and move to point when Nick enters the game. Boykins is a gimmick and I don't see what DS brings to this team. At least NY might develop. In the same vein, any available minutes should go to McGee and not Oberto. Anything that improves the general athletecism of the team needs to be exploited and McGee needs PT to improve

Caron Butler should be shopped. He has value and Miller can cover his loss.

None of these ideas will make the Wizards a particularly good team, but you got to play the cards you have the best you can and that way maybe we can sneak into the playoffs at 7 or 8.

Posted by: mugsybol | December 11, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Please start listening to what I have been telling you about Gilbert Arenas for some time now. Stop drinking the Gilbert Kool Aid man. You make SOME good points but when you try to defend Gil you sound foolish.

Rondo busted his a** last night.

Forget top anything for any decade. We are concerned with the 09-10 season and Gil is not in even the top 15 guards as of right now.

On top of that he is a CHOKE ARTIST.

I would rather have Gil shoot from half-court with the game on the line then to have to make 3 free throws. You are fooled by Gils 25 pts,etc.. but never look at how many shots it takes him to put 25 on the board, when he scores his points, OR WHAT THE OTHER POINT GUARD DID.

Gil is MAJOR part of what is wrong with this team. Very AT TIMES exciting but plays ZERO defense, has ZERO leadership, and will NEVER lead a team to a championship. NEVER...


paulelucas2


What are you smoking?
Antwan/KG..Caron/Paul Pierce...Nick,DS,RF,MM(my man by the way)/Ray Allen

Trade the two Gil/Rondo and see who get their ......handed to them on a nightly basis. You really are not being realistic when you star compaing positions without the whole picture. If you was starting a team (sounds like you may know a little about the game) you telling me you would take Rondo over Gil.....PLEEEEESE !

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | December 11, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

It's difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel. They aren't who we thought they were.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | December 11, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

If the Wizzies can get up for the Cavs, Mavs & Celts will they get up for the Pacers?
Given their history it doesn't look promising.

Bad night.
Wizzies & Stillers lose.

Posted by: VBFan | December 11, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

From http://www.wizardsextreme.com/forums/showthread.php?p=73596#post73596

"Antawn Jamison will also practice how to foul someone where they are not able to get off a shot. If you are going to foul someone, don't just touch there body and let em get a free shot off)"

He might dislocate his shoulder again if you ask him to do that. :(

Posted by: sagaliba | December 11, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a fractured team. A few weeks ago Gil talked about guys trying to get numbers to improve their future contracts and everybody was shocked. Antawn talked about it again last night in his TNT interview. The two highest-paid players are talking about others guys wanting to get paid. It's a very interesting dynamic and one not easily reconciled, IMO.

Posted by: and_1 | December 11, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

So, what gives? After 20 games, it's starting to get a little clearer. They aren't a good team.

By Michael Lee
Exactly-----They aren't a good team.
They have a lot of talent but they are lacking "Leadership".
Someone or a couple of someones has to step up and take over the responsibility to keep this group focused for 48 minutes. I thought this coaching staff wudda been able to pull this off but now I think it needs to come from within. Gil was really getting into the game during their comeback but couldn't keep it up when the Celts answered. That's where someone needs to step up and make this group take it up a notch.
Things need to get on the right track soon or season will be over.

Posted by: VBFan | December 11, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

They will lose to the Pacers tomorrow night.

Posted by: freeflyr61 | December 11, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

An average team is .500 the Wizards are a below average team.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 11, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

From Mike Jones, Wahsington Times

Butler, meanwhile, continues to struggle in Saunders' offense. Tonight he was 3-for-10 from the field with 10 points. Flip was asked what they have to do to get Butler going, and he seems as puzzled as anyone. He said that a big part of his reason for playing DeShawn Stevenson in the second half instead of Nick Young was to put more pressure on Arenas, Jamison and Butler to score and perform like the All-Star status they have earned in the past.

Hmmmm....

Posted by: tgif11 | December 11, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

mugsybol, i think you're right on. Blachte and haywood need to start. Jamison's effort on Defense is appalling and his shot selection alone warrants benching. Foye needs major minutes and NY should get consistent minutes. And Caron is expendable with MM on the roster.

Can anyone explain to me why NY was benched last night?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 11, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain to me why NY was benched last night?

In part, to motivate the Big 3.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 11, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

One element that seems to be lacking in Flip's coaching style is how to keep him players fresh, something that was very apparent down the stretch last night. Rivers played his Big 3 far less minutes than Jamision, Arenas, and Butler. I have no clue as to how Flip plans to use Foye on a night to night basis. Boykins bailed out the Wizards in 4 or 5 games, but he is not the long-term answer is our backup PG or even as a combo guard next to Arenas.
Foye seems to play better with extended minutes and could reduce Arenas' minutes if he was the starter and NY came off the bench. Jamison struggles in the second half of a lot of games because he simply plays too many minutes against bigger players and is worn down. His play the last 4 games reflect a tired player who is in too many minutes.

NY as a starter is a bad mix with 3 other scorers in the starting lineup. He also is such a poor ballhandler that the Wiz have no one to push the ball except Arenas. With Foye starting at least the Wiz could have Arenas play off the ball some of the time to focus on scoring. Playing DSS at all is a desperate move.

Someone posted how much of a lift he gave the team in the 3rd quarter....his biggest impact was a flagrant foul on Perkins that could have been a 6-point play. That play was not only stupid because he had no chance of stopping the layup, but continued the momentum swing back to Boston. DSS should only play limited minutes to cool off a hot scorer on the other team....not the case with such a balanced scoring team as Boston.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain to me why NY was benched last night?

Because RA wet coast to coast and dunked !
The whole team should have been benched , because all the Celtics was going straight to the rack with little resistance (save for Butler)sic.

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | December 11, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Like what Jim Zorn says, it takes at least 2 years before the players can feel comfortable with the West Coast offense...uh,what? This is not the Redskin blog?!?! The results sure look the same. My bad!

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 11, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Boston game = the contrast between a really great team and one struggling for an identity.

Telegraphed passes or a pass to a player not expecting a pass. Unforced errors say they still aren't together on offense. Seems to me they're thinking too much, it doesn't look natural out there. Some individual talents are keeping them in games but that is not enough to be a consistent winner.

That second quarter was UGLY. Zero rebounds? Man.

Still, they look better then last year. I'm still interested in watching, I'm always wondering what team's going to show up tonight.

Posted by: boblas | December 11, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz always play the Celtics tough but this time they were not able to pull it out at the end.
It is no longer about being healthy now. It's all mental and physical! Free throws, rebounding and defend the baseline! Make most of your free throws and the Wiz win. Rebound in the 2nd quarter, the Wiz more likely win the game. Defend the baseline and Rondo does not get that pathway to the rim for a dunk. Those little things seem to be a thorn in the Wizards side.
Watching Gil not make his free throws is very painful. He does that "alot on my mind" look. I really hope he gets it together real quick because we are going to need him at the end of games to be our closer. It looks like him and Caron need to work on the mental aspect of free throw shooting.
Brendan played an outstanding game. Jamison was nice. Bringing in Stevenson for defense was ok but I would have brought Nick Young back in for more offense when Foye and DS were not knocking down shots. Young would have driven to the basket and coverted his free throws. He was only 1-5 from the floor and did not enter the game again after halftime!
The Wizards can get back on track if only they do the little things.

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | December 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

can we stop using the term big three? if that is a big three then just about every team in the league has a big three. what do the celts have a big 5?..

Posted by: jnicol2 | December 11, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I know Flip is trying to find guys to play well on any given night, but it's clear to this laymen that AB deserves many more mins and most of those should be CB's. Why he sticks with this guy producing nothing is beyond me. He doesn't stick with NY or McGee or others when they are not producing. CB has had 20 games to get out of his "funk" and he has not. Time to trade him and give him less minutes. Trust me as currently constructed he will not be missed. AB is playing better than him anyway and MM will be back soon. His attitude just sucks and has since mid-season last year. I honestly believe he has simply quit on this team on some level for whatever reason.

Yeah, we are a less than average team at the moment. The thing is if we played every game like last night this entire season we would have a winning record. Arenas pushing tempo and pressuring the defense has been sorely missing most of the season and it returned last night. That has to continue. I also liked the pick and rolls with BH although I still say as a team we set the worst picks across the board I've ever seen. It's like whomever sets a pick wants to get out of the way....lol. Again, get back to me after this month. If we are .500 or better, we will be fine. I was never deluded into thinking we would be "contenders" this year, but a competitive second round is still not out of the question. We'll see. Contending is a process and getting back to where we were before the injuries is step one.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 11, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hmm maybe Eddie Jordan was a better coach than we realized. In hindsight he seemed to be able to do alot without much to work with.

I think Caron needs to go. I say that and Caron has been my favorite Wizard since he got here. This situation has just become like trying to fit a square in a round hole for him. Basically Caron took over the team when Gil was out, and with him back neither really seems to be able to adapt. Perhaps it gets worked out with time, but I doubt it.

I would be starting Haywood, Blatche, Jamison, Stevenson, Arenas right now, with Miller taking the sg in place of Stevenson once he's healthy. Caron would be 6th man, unless a good trade for him comes about. Caron can go back to his dominant style with the 2nd unit, playing with Boykins.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 11, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Is Javaris Crittenton available yet?
http://www.bulletsforever.com/2009/12/4/1186184/javaris-crittenton-participated-in

Can't have Arenas playing 42 minutes.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 12, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Can't have Arenas playing 42 minutes.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 12, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse "

Why not? Is he not paid enough?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Why not? Is he not paid enough?"

I actually agree with DC on this one.

It's like Haynesworth for the Redskins. You wanna be paid the highest but you can't play the most minutes??

Sorry, that doesn't work. People want to be "The Man" but don't want the responsibilty of it. That's pretty lame.

Barkley and Webber don't have rings so it's hard for me to take seriously anything they have to say. Both players never lived up to potential or could lead thier own teams to championships in both college and the pros so it's funny to me that they made the comments that they did above.

Charles is always drunk and Webber is obviously still smoking that pot that got him traded from Washington. What losers.

The Wiz aren't very far away, and EJ wasn't as good a coach as Barkley thinks he was. They watch one game and think they know the Wizards. Give me a break.

The Wiz took a team that everyone has in the Finals to the last second and they aren't all there yet. They played well the other night, and if Arenas drops that last shot(or makes his FTs) then the result might be different.

Dear Barkley and Webber...what did you ever do in the NBA that makes you experts? You were underachievers on the court and now you are on TV as well. Welcome to mediocrity.

January....it will be January. Been saying it all season. Watch and see.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 12, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Arenas will play a lot fewer minutes over the next four games, wait and see.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Please start listening to what I have been telling you about Gilbert Arenas for some time now. Stop drinking the Gilbert Kool Aid man. You make SOME good points but when you try to defend Gil you sound foolish.

Rondo busted his a** last night.

Forget top anything for any decade. We are concerned with the 09-10 season and Gil is not in even the top 15 guards as of right now.

On top of that he is a CHOKE ARTIST.

I would rather have Gil shoot from half-court with the game on the line then to have to make 3 free throws. You are fooled by Gils 25 pts,etc.. but never look at how many shots it takes him to put 25 on the board, when he scores his points, OR WHAT THE OTHER POINT GUARD DID.

Gil is MAJOR part of what is wrong with this team. Very AT TIMES exciting but plays ZERO defense, has ZERO leadership, and will NEVER lead a team to a championship. NEVER...


paulelucas2


What are you smoking?
Antwan/KG..Caron/Paul Pierce...Nick,DS,RF,MM(my man by the way)/Ray Allen

Trade the two Gil/Rondo and see who get their ......handed to them on a nightly basis. You really are not being realistic when you star compaing positions without the whole picture. If you was starting a team (sounds like you may know a little about the game) you telling me you would take Rondo over Gil.....PLEEEEESE !

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2

Pooh I didn't post that statement it was from someone else please read the post below thank you. If your name is Pooh you shouldn't be posting!

LarryInClintonMD,

Please start listening to what I have been telling you about Gilbert Arenas for some time now. Stop drinking the Gilbert Kool Aid man. You make SOME good points but when you try to defend Gil you sound foolish.

Rondo busted his a** last night.

Forget top anything for any decade. We are concerned with the 09-10 season and Gil is not in even the top 15 guards as of right now.

On top of that he is a CHOKE ARTIST.

I would rather have Gil shoot from half-court with the game on the line then to have to make 3 free throws. You are fooled by Gils 25 pts,etc.. but never look at how many shots it takes him to put 25 on the board, when he scores his points, OR WHAT THE OTHER POINT GUARD DID.

Gil is MAJOR part of what is wrong with this team. Very AT TIMES exciting but plays ZERO defense, has ZERO leadership, and will NEVER lead a team to a championship. NEVER...

Posted by: kevenjones

Posted by: paulelucas2 | December 12, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas will play a lot fewer minutes over the next four games, wait and see.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse "

If Gilby playing less means the team has a better chance of winning, I'm all for it...it would go against paying him max money though.

LOL!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 12, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert ruined a triple double by missing two free throws at the end of the game.

Crazy.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 12, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow... Most devastating loss of the season easily. I missed most of game. But saw stretch. Haywood pushed Dunleavy with left hand. The refs call was not bad in my opinion. We lost the game- missed free throws and Flip had poor match-ups on the last play. McGeee should have been in but Flip waved him off apparently. So DS is on Dunleavy. There's your game!

But we have been saying all season that free throws are big problem. we have lost 3-4 games because of poor shooting from the line.

Defense and free throws are mental
toughness thing. That is where we fall short. We have the talent but it is not good enough.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 12, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards put all their money on Gilbert Arenas. Does Gilbert look like a guy who is doing everything he can to deliver the wins? It isn't enough to say he is playing well. He needs to give it all he's got, or, well, let's see how the Caps are doing...

Posted by: clocker58 | December 12, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 13, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Arenas only played about 35 minutes against the Pacers. Maybe it should have been 34 minutes.

I don't dispute that he is overpaid. It is what it is. My only point is that it will not do the team any good for him to be injured again, and that's the reason to limit his minutes.

Not making free throws in the last minutes of a game would be another reason.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 13, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I do not blame arenas, i blame the person who was rushing to cross the mid court when there is 13 seconds left in the game. indiana was so late in fouling, probably they were waiting until the ball is on arenas hand, why the coache did not call time out before the ballreach to Arenas hand and insert best shooter from the charity, it was clear that Arenas has missed several in the game.
This game is just a free gift to indiana by the coaching staff.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 13, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

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