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Poll: What should the Wizards do?

The Wizards didn't practice yesterday and won't practice until later this afternoon. It's obvious after the past two losses to Toronto and Detroit that the Wizards (7-12) have a number of problems that need to be addressed (the shortcomings of the big three, injuries to starters, poor offensive execution, and sluggish starts, etc.).

Many of them were discussed in my chat this afternoon. But I wanted to open up the discussion to you guys to see what you believe to be greatest concerns for the Wizards and what needs to be done to address them.



By Michael Lee  |  December 8, 2009; 2:28 PM ET
 
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Comments

Saunders is the coach. It's up to him to lead or create a leader. Enuf of the namby-pamby crap from all concerned.

Posted by: joe2chase | December 8, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Ernie is going to wait to see if this team he built can play basketball once they are healthy (who knows when that is?).

With the bad start the Wizards will be lucky to get a 6,7,8 playoff spot.

From that point anything can happen, but they have to play better basketball then they are now, for that to happen!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 8, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Caron needs to stop thinking he is the face of the squad and Gilbert needs to act like the franchise player he is. Quit worrying about the others getting offensive shots off and just do the damn thing. For crying out loud! I love my man Gilbert but he sure is a headcase. What is up with him? All he has to do is just play his game like Antawn told him to.

Posted by: ivyleague | December 8, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

nice post!!!!

Moves wont be made til all star break, but there WILL be a move of some kind.

If we are out of the playoff hunt at that point, expect to see Jamison or Butler getting moved along with one or two others.

If we are b/t 6-8 seed at the break, we will probably make a move to give us some pop off the bench.

If hell freezes over and we're better than 6 at the all star break, this poll didnt even matter.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | December 8, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

OK.... I will be the one to say it... GILBERT ARENAS NEED TO BE TRADED!
...it was a good try, but it did not work. He is not the point guard this team needs (made clear by the success of the team with Boykins running the offense).

Now it will not be easy to get a taker for a $100mil.(plus), but that is the reality.

We need a point guard. We have about every other weapon, but not floor general!

TRADE GILBERT!!!!!

Posted by: fishin41 | December 8, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the players should commit themselves to learning how to play together effectively in the new system.

They'll either succeed or fail.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 8, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

'tis all about Gil. If he had stayed at the level we saw in Game1, the team would be closer to 12-7 or whatever.

Arenas' shot needs to start falling and his handle has to improve, both still look rusty. Shaking off that rust is the best and most realistic chance for the team.

Posted by: divi3 | December 8, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

and i'm fine with Gil taking 28 shots a night for 2 weeks if that would speed up the process.

Posted by: divi3 | December 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

TRADE GILBERT!!!!! now

Posted by: usa11291 | December 8, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Of all the options listed in the poll, this is the one that stands out to me most: "Caron Butler and Arenas need to stop thinking and play ball." I really think guys are pressing and trying to force things to happen instead of just letting the game come to them.

As for the rest, there's one significant factor to consider: There likely won't be any significant deals made until the ownership situation is sorted out, which might not be until the offseason. Odds are what you see is what you get for the rest of this season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 8, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It isn't enough to just say trade this player or that. If you have a proposed trade speak up but be realistic. My own POV is we will stay pat because there is no trade we can make in mid season that will change the outcome of this team this season. If you can dump a Mike James and get a late round number one (not likely) you would do it, but once again it is not changing the outcome of this years team. I still think we will be the 5-6 seed at the end of the day.

Posted by: izaballa | December 8, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are a jump shooting team who's jump shots are not falling. When are shots aren't falling we lose. I was a supporter of the Big 3, but now it's clear we need a back to the basket player to take the pressure off of having to hit every jump shot.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | December 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It's none of the above.
It's not Caron, Antwan or Gil's fault. It's the TEAM. They haven't bought into the TEAM concept. They have shown flashes but that quickly dims and they revert to one on one.
I think there is much more talent here than on most teams in the NBA. Once (IF) we start playing as a TEAM - sky's the limit.
A lot of making this happen falls on Flip and the Captains.

Posted by: VBFan | December 8, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What should the Wizards do? The GM should bring in a motivational speaker, a winner, someone who matters, someone like Magic Johnson to get into the head of Gilbert Arenas. Magic thought highly of Abe and I am sure if Abe was alive today and asked Magic to come in and speak with Gil that he would.
Magic during his time in the league, WILLED his team to victory. It was not about "who's team is it?". Pat Riley put the ball in Magic's hand and the point guard did what he had to do.
I am not comparing the Lakers of the 80's to this Wizards team but there is talent on this team and they can be much better than their record or 7-12. The Laker's did not have a "Big 3" even though there was Magic, Kareem, Worthy and role players like Cooper, Rambis, and Scott. They just played ball!
Now, the so called "Big 3" here have to realize that they have not played together in more than 2 years and know that Gil is at his best when he in attack mode (something that Eddie Jordan allowed Gil to do ATTACK!). Jamison and Butler must realize that and not trip on Gil getting his in the fourth quarter. The ball should not be in Boykins hands at the close of the game. Butler must not worry about shoot or drive. Play ball. This same team plus or minus a few players was one of only a few teams to beat Boston when they won the the Championship. The same for when they beat Phoenix and L.A. They need to have that killer instinct.
Coach needs to reduce the minutes of Jamison to get Blatche more time. AB is not Garnett but he can be a match-up problem for some teams.

What should the Wizards do? Stop thinking and play ball!

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | December 8, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a little of everything on that poll, and it's too early to "blow it up."

I still think if this is what you have in January, then you have to think about retooling for next year. It's still WAY early for anyone to be panicing. They have clearly improved and Flip has a nice rotation right now, but they have too many bodies and it's going to get worse when people come back healthy.

They are still giving up too many layups and they have too many tall people for that now. That's the problem I have more then thier shooting. Haywood has regressed the last few games.

I think right now everyone needs to relax and "just play" for the time being. It's not even near the All Star break yet.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 8, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I chose "Something Else" as my answer.
The Something Else is using a different starting five.

Since it's the starting five that's getting this team off to poor starts, why not change the starting line up?
Why not sit the under performing players and promote those who are bringing energy?

Brendan and Blatche belong in the starting five. Jamison wants to bomb from outside, fine. He's shooting better than Butler right now so move Jamison to SF.

I would not start Boykins, too much of a defensive liability, but I certainly would try Foye and Gil or Foye and Nick Young.

I can say this for Pat Riley and Larry Brown, those are two coaches that will not tolerate lackadaisical play on the defensive end. Blow a rotation or fail to box out will get you a quick trip to the bench. To hell with your offense.

If a team plays with intensity on the defensive end, you'll get fast break opportunities and easy baskets which allows players to find offensive rhythm.

Posted by: bozomoeman | December 8, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It is hard to see a major deal with the ownership in transition, therefore blowing it up is not an option.
Miller coming back should help.
I'm not convinced that Arenas', Butler's and Jamison's skills have diminished to the sorry point that some believe.
The recent losses have been close games and if Arenas didn't look so lost at times they might be W's.
The Wizards and particularly Arenas, Butler and Jamison need to:
A.Commit to Flip's play book.
B.Figure out how to play together.
C.Need to stop thinking of themselves as the big three and more as cogs in a team effort.
D. Here's hoping for a 6'10" 260 lb. low post, stocking stuffer.

Posted by: midlevex | December 8, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

trade butler for a point guard. move arenas to 2g. move jamison to 3. start blatche at 4

Posted by: jnicol2 | December 8, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards need to learn from what the Washington Redskins have done over the past month or so.

Even though the 'Skins have not won many games this year, they have (mostly) erased the image of a franchise that was in free fall a bit over a month ago. Jim Zorn repeatedly said that players take a while to operate well under his West Coast Offense. To some degree, perhaps the same is true of Flip Saunders' new scheme.

Let all the injuries heal over the next couple of weeks and see how the team does in January and beyond. Remember, this team needs to be playing at a high level in March and April. If they are and also make the playoffs, then the new owners and Ernie Grunfeld can evaluate the team after the season.

No need to panic now.

Posted by: JekyllnHyde | December 8, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind seeing a lineup of Arenas, Young, Miller, Jamison, and Haywood with Boykins, Foye, Butler, and Blatche coming off the bench.

I think that all of the 'team' skills Butler has, Miller has more of, and he's a much better shooter. Butler is better at making plays for himself and controlling the ball, but with Arenas on the court, that's not as needed.

Young clearly plays better when he starts. Boykins has had good chemistry with Butler.

Posted by: segastyle | December 8, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

No need to panic now.

Posted by: JekyllnHyde

Right on!
Way too early to panic.
This team can get on a little roll in the next month and build momentum into the playoffs and make some real noise there.
It just has to get started and the players have to believe in Flip's system. Play team ball.
A mediocre team playing good team ball will almost always beat this team when they are playing one on one.
It ain't gonna happen overnight.

Posted by: VBFan | December 8, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the "don't panic" corner, but I do expect a minor trade sometime before the trade deadline. New coach, new system, several key new players, injuries to key players, tough early schedule all contribute to the slow start, but it's time to buckle down and play better together.

Miller coming back will help with the team play, but Flip also needs to find more time for Foye and Blatche. Tighten up the rotation and emphasize team defense, including some of that patented Saunders zone. We REALLY need to get some more easy baskets in transition.

We can do a lot better, and we will.

Posted by: zinger1 | December 8, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

SEGA!

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 8, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I think Arenas need to play off the ball.
EG need a starting point gard who can play good defense and strong enough to drive hard to the rim.I personaly do not mind if AF and/ or NY with MJ.I do not think GC will handle that since he is not experianced, I need a Pg like AD. This move will allow GA to play SG with 40-60% of ball handling.I understand Arenas is to small to defend big SG like kobe but the new PG should have the size to swich to such gards on defense.MM as a 6 man for SG and SF and EB to spark sometimes when defense is not a big concern.
AJ's minutes has to be less than 30 , ABs should be given the chance to play more minutes as a PF,I do not like replacing BH by AB, Blache has a tendency to be confused to play in two positions.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 8, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

What do the Wizards and Tiger Woods have in common?

Posted by: Theone9 | December 8, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Keep playing and let things work themselves out. The team really doesn't have much choice at this point.

After the All-Star break you re-evaluate and make deals if you need too.

One thing that I wonder about though is the use of Boykins. He posted some great numbers in his first few games, but I would probably use him more sparingly as more of a change of pace option. When teams have a chance to adjust to him, he seems to be a less effective 4th quarter option. I'd try to get more mileage out of Foye and Young.

Posted by: JPRS | December 8, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty much night and day what Boykins brings to the floor. It's a totally different, and more effective, squad with him out there - esp. for Caron and Gil. The thing is that Boykins is always 100% looking for others to pass to - and still manages to score a decent amount. Gil can't seem to do that ever in his career - he's either the non-shooting passer or the non-passing scorer. Also, I think carrying the ball up wears Gil down these days as he's still finding his rhythm. I would have thought that starting Gil with Foye would be the perfect solution but it didn't seem to work. Also, this used to be Team Fun Chemistry, but that seems to have changed. Maybe they should just re-sign Rex Chapman and Kenny Walker to bring the love back...

Posted by: Urnesto | December 8, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I think that one thing Earl brings in speed. He plays faster, and the rest of the team doesn't have time to think and they play faster and better too.
What seems to bog down the Wizzies is when they start thinking too much and stand around waiting for someone to make a play.

Posted by: VBFan | December 8, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

This team is done! Ernie needs to make some moves in the next few weeks or else the season will be lost. I expect CB to get traded by the allstar break and possible moving AB for Tyrus Thomas of the bulls their salaries are about the same.

Im sure flip and ernie are exploring all options at the moment. If you watched the pistons sunday did anyone noticed all the knee braces that the players were wearing? Gil, Aj, AB,DS and Brendan it look like Mash squad. They should fire the trainer as well since these players seem to stay injured all the time.

Posted by: TheGodFather | December 8, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

correction on the knee braces! Not AB I meant Caron Butler!

Posted by: TheGodFather | December 8, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Well Miller getting back will help.

I don't know, if we can make some kind of deal we should think hard about it. Something like a Caron and Foye with Mike James for Amare for example is the kind of deal that could give us a boost.

Caron doesn't seem to really gel with Arenas, or with Flip's style. Foye is kinda outta it since we got Boykins. I think Foye and Butler got alot of trade value. Also we can fill their void... The arrival of Boykins basically makes Foye expendable. Also Crittenton should be back soon and he is a solid #3 pg and a young guy that can be developed. Nick Young has stepped up as of late, so we have him for offense off the bench in place of Foye as well.

We can move Jamison to SF in place of Butler. Jamison has played some SF this year, and truthfully our team has looked good with him there. We can also use Miller there. And McGuire is solid as a 3rd option.

A starting 5 of Haywood, Amare, Jamison, Miller and Gil would be real tough, high scoring and dominate the boards. Blatche and Boykins off the bench. Solid role guys fill things out with McGee, Oberto, McGuire, Young, Stevenson, Crittenton.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Who signed Gilbert Arenas and all these knuckleheads? Who is not doing the homework on players and their (poor) characters? Who fired the Coach (Eddie) (that at least had an idea) but took the easy way out and kept these losers? There is a word that defines the state of the union in Washington now and that word is cowardice. Erine Grunfeld has done what MJ started... made our team into a leaderless group of egoists and politically correct speakers... and if the new owners (Abe RIP) don't make some "serious" changes UPSTAIRS! then this will continue no matter who is traded or brought in. That's the Bottom line because EVERYTHING happening here starts at the TOP!

Posted by: horace1 | December 9, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Well Miller getting back will help.

I don't know, if we can make some kind of deal we should think hard about it. Something like a Caron and Foye with Mike James for Amare for example is the kind of deal that could give us a boost.

Caron doesn't seem to really gel with Arenas, or with Flip's style. Foye is kinda outta it since we got Boykins. I think Foye and Butler got alot of trade value. Also we can fill their void... The arrival of Boykins basically makes Foye expendable. Also Crittenton should be back soon and he is a solid #3 pg and a young guy that can be developed. Nick Young has stepped up as of late, so we have him for offense off the bench in place of Foye as well.

We can move Jamison to SF in place of Butler. Jamison has played some SF this year, and truthfully our team has looked good with him there. We can also use Miller there. And McGuire is solid as a 3rd option.

A starting 5 of Haywood, Amare, Jamison, Miller and Gil would be real tough, high scoring and dominate the boards. Blatche and Boykins off the bench. Solid role guys fill things out with McGee, Oberto, McGuire, Young, Stevenson, Crittenton.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Why would the Suns give up Amare especially considering the way he is playing? Please, anyone that favors a trade should come up with something objective (think about why the other team would be willing to pull the trigger). We allegedly missed out on Amare over the summer, now he is going nowhere!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 9, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"Why would the Suns give up Amare especially considering the way he is playing? "

Good question. I imagine they'll lose Stoudemire at some point, but like the Wiz, the Suns seem to see themselves as a team making a closing run with a core group of veterans. Amara being one.

Plus I don't see anybody on the Suns' roster who can replace him. Certainly Butler and Foye couldn't.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The other thing I notice is how well Brook Lopez is playing for the Nets. Reminds me a little of the young Pau Gasol.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The other thing I notice is how well Brook Lopez is playing for the Nets. Reminds me a little of the young Pau Gasol.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

Yes, the Nets, as horrific as they have been are rebuilding nicely with a very strong inside/outside presence of Lopez and Harris. Once they mature further and if they are able to attract a couple of good free agents, in addition to their probable top 3 pick (and a billionnaire owner), will be more than relevant again.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 9, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Why would the Suns give up Amare especially considering the way he is playing? Please, anyone that favors a trade should come up with something objective (think about why the other team would be willing to pull the trigger). We allegedly missed out on Amare over the summer, now he is going nowhere!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 9, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Good point... Amare came to mind because of his impending free agency. Getting away from anything specific, I guess my point is that we have a couple pieces that may not be ideal fits here but are players that have trade value. Specifically Butler who's skills seemed more a fit for Eddie's system with the cuts and backdoors. Also he and Gil just seem to not really fit and it's obvious their trying to force it is throwing both off. Butler has been at a high level the past 2 seasons really, when Gil has been out. If it's one or the other, it's pretty obvious Caron is the one to go, plus his contract makes him much easier to move. And again having Jamison and Miller on the roster make Caron expendible IMO.

Plus we should shed a guard or 2 to acquire another big man that can rebound. We have too many guards and not enough playing time to go around. As the season lingers this will begin to cause problems. We already had too many before the arrival of Boykins, who is gobbling up practically all the reserve minutes. We can't give pt to Boykins, and Foye, and Young, and Stevenson, and Crittenton, and Mike James. If we can move one or 2 of these guys (James and Foye?) and pick up a solid forward I think we should.

I just would ideally like to get a PF that would allow us to move Jamison to SF, making our lineup bigger all around.

The alternative option would be simply to move Blatche to the starting lineup and move Butler off the bench. This may be the more realistic approach.

Maybe move James in a minor deal to further boost the bench.

Start Haywood, Blatche, Jamison, Miller, Arenas. Butler and Boykins as top guys off the bench.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Come on guys,stop hating on Gil because of $$$$. Where do get a consistent 30pt plus player in exchange for him. You need to look at other parts of the so called big 3.Gil constantly drives to basket (no calls what so ever) to draw contact. Antwan cannot dribble a lick, caron runs over people every time he tries,and that jab step is lame now. Also Antwan flipping up all them crazy playground shots everytime,not on occasion to throw the defense off. Yes he is a character guy, says all the right things as far as leadership is concerned, but on the floor he makes all kinds of dumb plays. Caron & Antwan always gets a pass because they say the right thing,and Gil is a head case as most of you say. You dont see teams altering there game plans to stop no one on the team except Gil(yes I'm in the tank for Gil), as a season ticket holder the last two years have been brutal without him.

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | December 9, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Maybe something like a Caron + Crittenton for Troy Murphy?

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see them start Blatche. I'd like to see him be rewarded for his hard play and new attitude. I'd hate to see him regress due to not feeling his hard work is paying off. I think a move to the starting lineup (not due to injury as usual) would be a big boost to his confidence.

Butler would be excellent as a 6th man. He can bring his determined style of play and all-around game off the bench. With the 2nd unit Caron can be "the man" and go to player. Caron has always thrived when in a situation to put the team on his back, and he'd be able to do that on the regular with the 2nd unit.

A starting unit of Haywood, Blatche, Jamison, Miller, Arenas has size, scoring, and passing. A bench featuring the shot blocking of McGee, the vet savy and toughness of Oberto, the all around play of Caron, the defense of McGuire and Stevenson, the scoring of Nick Young, the combo guard Foye, and the heady play of Boykins is versatile and solid.

I'd like to see us move Mike James for another piece. Maybe someone like Shane Battier, a defensive and team oriented player. I think the salaries match, maybe include Crittenton or a draft pick.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The more I think of it the more it makes sense. Bring Butler off the bench. Return of the Bench Mob. This way we always have 1 of the "Big 3" on the floor. Someone who can take over when needed. Start a front 5 of Haywood, Blatche, Jamison, Miller, Arenas. Butler as the 6th man, bringing his energy and toughness off the bench, like the cavelry. It totally fits Butler's personality. When the team is struggling bring him in, put the team on his back, and save the day. Like a closer in baseball, coming in to get out of a bases loaded jam.

Butler would be the ace in the hole, when we get off to a struggling start. Able to come in for Jamison at SF, or Blatch (sliding Antawn up to the 4), or Haywood (Blatche to C, Antawn to PF). Moving Blatche to the starting unit with Antawn at SF improves our size, our passing and inside scoring, rebounding and defense. Caron off the bench with Boykins would be a weapon difficult for opposing 2nd units to contend with.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Boykins comes in for Arenas, or for Miller (moving Gil to SG). That front 7 used in that way would be as good as anybody. And the rest of the bench when needed is strong with McGee, Oberto, McGuire, Young, Stevenson, Foye, James, Crittenton, all solid role guys really that fit nicely for a variety of matchups... McGee for athleticism inside, Oberto for vet savy and tough play inside, McGuire and Stevenson for defense, Young and Foye for offense, James for a vet do-all guard, Crittenton for a young traditional PG, and Boykins for vet leadership.

Really, I think we have what it takes to contend with anyone as is. But I strongly feel we need a reshuffling. This is the best setup for this roster.

Haywood, Blatche, Jamison, Miller, Arenas, with Butler and Boykins off the bench.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

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