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Poll: What's the Wizards' problem?

After last night's loss to the Thunder, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders let his team have it for its lack of defense. What do you think?

By Alexa Steele  |  December 30, 2009; 9:33 AM ET
 
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Next: Wizards' morning brew: Saunders rips team

Comments

You can pretty much STFU now with your defense of Gilby, because he's is defenseless....both literally and figuratively.

88, read the stat line or watch the game. Here's what Gil did last night...

40% shooting from the field. (He took a bunch of 3's so it's gonna be low).

24 points
8 assists
7 rebounds
3 steals
2 blocks (remember, AJ has 5 for the year)
3 to

Westbrook was 5-14 from the field and only had 11 points (5 below his average)

And you're pointing the finger at Gil for this game as well as a lot of others? Look at the box score and the +/- numbers.

AJ was an amazing -25. The next worse was NY at -9. I know you're hating on AJ as well but even YOU have to know better than to blame this stinker on Gil...and we all know your Gil-hater history.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The problem is we don't have anyone like a Popeye Jones on this team. FOOLS !

Posted by: OG_Barno | December 30, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I was there, and Gil worked hard and effectively. Not so Blache, Butler, or Jamison on defense. Young still has no clue, must be really dumb or stoned out. Shame Oberto is a statue.

Saunders may be right, but he is the man and it's been up to him all along to be the enforcer. How come 30 games into the sked, he's suddenly going public all over his guys?

And where is Ernie G? Too many guards, too thin up front and no D? Duh!

Posted by: joe2chase | December 30, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I see that "Pourous Defense" is winning this vote, but I voted "No Mental Toughness" because I think that is what causes the bad defense. These guys need to have the mental toughness to want to play defense.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 30, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It seemed to me that the one stretch we played like an actual professional basketball team was in the second quarter -- Arenas, Boykins, Haywood, Blatche and Butler were in. Lots of stops, lots of offensive rebounding, good ball movement. Then, right before the half AJ came back in and got schooled by Durant. Am I remembering this right?

Posted by: walterpearce | December 30, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

yep. Your memory is good, walterpearce. Especially about the schooling.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

where's the "All of the above" option?! (though I would put coaching below the others)

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 30, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, Durant lights everyone up. So to judge us based solely on last night isnt fair to AJ.

BUT...
His bad D is a trend, not anomaly.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Things are never as bad as they seem... Except here with the wuz.
It is not just Gil or AJ...itnis all of them. GA is the only legitimate star on this team. He is improving and getting his legs back. His attitude and intelligence, well forgetaboutit!
Neither Cb Aj Ds Fo Bh have a clue at being stars. They are all limited part time players and in this league and time loaded with young fast talented skilled players, they are inept and the benchmark of the past.

It is time to start over and go the way of Okc
Sac Memp Atla young and gifted

Also agree that Dm is just a dime a dozen journeyman player.

I would start with Jm Ga
Ny Ab Jc Rf and lots and lots of draft choices for every one else!!!

It's a fait de complit !!!!

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Is there an "All of the Above" option? I think all of them are THE BIGGEST reasons...

There was an interesting trade proposed by Bill Simmons in his latest entry:

We trade Jamison, Haywood, and Butler as part of a 3 team deal between Cleveland (Yes cavs) and jazz.

We send Jamison to the cavs, butler and haywood to the Jazz.

And in return, we receive O'Neal (exp contract) and Carlos boozer (exp contract).

Don't care what cleveland gets.

But this is actually a good trade. It still gives us a very competitive team this year with boozer and oneal as the 4 and 5, so we'd have a banger frontline and starting lineup of:

Arenas
Foye
Miller
Boozer
O'Neal

And also, next year, we'd pretty much only have Arenas' contract on our books...and we can go after a chris bosh or dwayne wade.

Pretty good in my opinion.

Posted by: Havemercyplz | December 30, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Also hard to change an old dog's spots...
Flip will have the ear of the youngins, but he needs to commit to the youth movement.
Bh Aj Cb Ds are not changing and they are all problematic situations as long as they remain.

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

$79 million payroll and these players are worthless. Do they really care about winning in DC, give me a break.

Posted by: mofares | December 30, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Where is the "all of the above" option?

Posted by: hessone | December 30, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

From a post earlier.

Why is everyone calling us to pick up another lame-duck guard from Houston, with an enormous contract and bum knee--we don't have enough of those already?

You trade for McGrady because you get a Agent zero type contrat with 1 big differance Mcgrady has an expiring contract where as Agent Zero has a contract that will keep giving for years to come. Think of the possable players in 2010 if you dont have Agent Zero contract hanging over us. Just a Thought

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 30, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Time to blow this up.

Posted by: Fontana1 | December 30, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

(A) Forget about McGrady. The Rockets would never, ever make that deal. They'd be utter fools to. (B) Forget about being a "player" in the big 2010 FA class. First of all, most of those big names aren't going to change teams, leaving a lot of would be suitors standing at the alter holding the moneybag. Second, most of them will end up not being worth the money they get paid (does anyone really thing Bosh or Boozer can be the best player on a title team?) Third, the Wizards have never been a very attractive destination for established, big name FAs, and the current sad state of the team won't help matters.

They need to forget about any kind of big hit FA strategy and get started on a measured, methodical rebuilding project--draft picks; young FAs with high potential; productive, low drama vets on short-term deals. Field a decent, competitive team in the short-term while maintaining financial flexibility to swap pieces as more attractive ones become available. (Think the Atlanta Hawks 4 or 5 years ago.) And, most of all, patience.

They need to look past the next game or the end of this season and see the big picture. Trying to hit a home run every time at bat is what got them into this mess in the first place.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Kalo I never said go after a big name free agent I just said it would give the wizards allot of flexability in 2010 without the 111 million contract on the books

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 30, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Kalo I never said go after a big name free agent I just said it would give the wizards allot of flexability in 2010 without the 111 million contract on the books

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 30, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double post dont know why it does that sometimes

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 30, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

flip is an awesome coach and is a known winner in the league....wizards, though, just need to blow this entire thing up.....i wonder if ernie would have made the amare for caron deal right now?!

Posted by: askhosh10 | December 30, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Kalo, I can't hear you this AM. The pole seems to agree with what I told your dumba** yesterday does it not??

And for the record Haywood was the ONLY player on the entire roster to have a + in the +/- last night. Do you know what that means???

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

arenas is playing well now, and playing defense. he's not the main problem now (still needs to drive more/shoot less).

the bench has been terrible expect for blatche.

i think the biggest problem (of many) is that they refuse to play as a team - picks, ball movement, etc - for the entire game. they do for a bit each game, enough to keep it close, but then they go back to heaving up jumpers and standing around on defense.

i think i'll change my vote to "no mental toughness".

Posted by: stevie2 | December 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Hey, whatever "agreements" you have with your "pole" have nothing to do with me.

As for whatever sh*t you spewed yesterday . . . sorry, it was crap then and it's crap now.

Again, I never disputed that the team was awful defensively. Any idiot can see that. Hell, you can see it, so it must be f*&king obvious. My point--then and now--is that short of a wholesale roster turnover, this team is never going to be a lockdown, defense first squad. Given the personnel they have, the best way for them to show defensive improvement is to play a more controlled, deliberate offense that limits the number of mistakes (bad shots, turnovers, wasted possessions) that opponents can use as a catalyst for easy points.

I haven't seen or heard anything (least of all from your dumb ass) that disputes that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"And for the record Haywood was the ONLY player on the entire roster to have a + in the +/- last night. Do you know what that means???"

Yeah. Nothing at all.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Read the stat line or watch the game. Here's what Gil did last night...

40% shooting from the field. (He took a bunch of 3's so it's gonna be low).

24 points
8 assists
7 rebounds
3 steals
2 blocks (remember, AJ has 5 for the year)
3 to

Westbrook was 5-14 from the field and only had 11 points (5 below his average)

And you're pointing the finger at Gil for this game as well as a lot of others? Look at the box score and the +/- numbers.

AJ was an amazing -25. The next worse was NY at -9. I know you're hating on AJ as well but even YOU have to know better than to blame this stinker on Gil...and we all know your Gil-hater history.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"

I'm a realist, not like you.

Gilby can be credited with losing at least 2 games this season just b/c of free throws.

Gilby can be credited with helping to lose other games due to his poor leadership and lack of defense.

I saw the replay of Gilby towards the end of the game where he drove down the lane, had no options, and then turned it over.

So funny.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 30, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@kalo_rama,

I figured you were a fruitcake...But I'm not homophobic so don't worry...

But you are full of it. Yesterday you insisted that the Wizards problems were offensive, which lead to the poor defense.

Either way again you are clueless. And once again I'll tell your dumb ass.

They are losing because they don't play defense. And they would be an even worse team defensively without Brendan Haywood.

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@kalo_homo

Most of the bad shots, turnovers, wasted possessions mostly come from GA111, no?

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@Kalo_homo,

So are you honestly saying you are not apart of the 5% above??

Come on tell us how you voted?

you politician you lol

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

one of the most misleading stats is bench points.
How about how many minutes it took to get the bench points?
With the twiddle dee dee 3 getting all the minutes there is no time for bench points. Add in the shooter for stats mentality as well, that leaves....uhm nothing for the bench.
Also the plus/minus stat is so convoluted...who was on the court with them, who played for the other team???
We can all see for the most part the glaring flaws without the stats. They lie and mislead.
BH is a joke. He can't catch, move, shoot, jump or run. He is great at standing stationary and hoping to swat. Oh and dunking rebounds that fall in his lap, certainly not his hands.
There is no way they can compete with the young gifted and athletic teams they are facing with the lumox in the middle.
And please do a mercy killing and stop BH from the jump outs, it patheticall does nothing but get him completely out of position and screw up any defensive scheme in place, in addition to creating terrible match ups.

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Also Flipper's belly aching about non contested shots, do you think that would change with JM in the pivot.
He brings energy and defensive presence, which is what he says we are missing.
So Flipper your facial ticks would dimininish with a few long looks in the mirror.

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@original_mark

But Westbrook had 10 assists and 1 steal and was +4 in the +/- . To me he outplayed Gil. Not outscored but outplayed.

He is another young PG I would LOVE to have over Arenas

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Gil was 12-28 shooting....But Gil did have 6 rebounds.

BTW Gil is 2nd in TO's for PG's in the league.

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Why we are not trying trade with 76ers?Let us get Brand for AJ, we will late BH go and stay way down below the salary limit.EB will up grade the inside defense and maintain a balance in and out offense.If he stay healthy he can even take us to the next level.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 30, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree BH is part of the problem. he just can't catch the ball, so he's usually an offensive liability. and he doesn't clog up the middle on defense. on the plus side he doesn't get rebounds and the effort is always there.

they don't have a good next option though. they can throw JM in there - i'm not optimistic - i think he's been drinking from NY's koolaid.

Posted by: stevie2 | December 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Gilby can be credited with losing at least 2 games this season just b/c of free throws.

How many points did Gil have in those games? Would we have even been in the game without his contributions?

Gilby can be credited with helping to lose other games due to his poor leadership and lack of defense.

Name them. And then name the ones that Cb and AJ (captain, right) lost for the same reasons.

I saw the replay of Gilby towards the end of the game where he drove down the lane, had no options, and then turned it over.
I saw that too. I was there. He is assuming that he'll get the calls that he used to get a couple of years ao and the refs are not giving him the 'superstar' calls anymore. It'll come as he gains more respect around the league again.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

And also, next year, we'd pretty much only have Arenas' contract on our books...and we can go after a chris bosh or dwayne wade.

Pretty good in my opinion.

Posted by: Havemercyplz

Why would any superstar, or even allstar, go the Wizards when they're a free agent?

They'll have plenty of options to get paid next year. The WIZ are not on anyone's list of possible destinations.

Posted by: saltine182 | December 30, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards haven't played Defense since Larry Hughes was here. He's just one player, but he and Arenas with Butler were the best tandem at stealing the ball I've ever seen. They got stops (steals), which is what we need right now. Ernie let Larry get away and we haven't been the same since.

Posted by: mwgaithersburg | December 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@mwgaithersburg,

Larry had to go. He wasn't and isn't worth the contract he was demanding. Only mistake we make was we should've let Arenas go as well and drafted one of the 10 PGs we could've had we not signed GA to 111 and started over at that point.

Now, look at the record. I don't give a damn how many points Gil scores..the record don't lie..

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure why the double Agent would think he would get superstar calls, being that he is not a superstar...WTF

It's not on Caron or Jamison to lead this team. This is SUPPOSED to be Arenas' team. He is the franchise. That's why he will get the credit when(yea right) they start winning and he get's the bulk of the criticism for the team not wininng. That comes with the territory.

At Mr. Pollin's funeral did anyone notice Mr. Pollin's son referring to the wizards as Antawn and company. Notice he didn't even mention Gilbert.

Gilbert is a fine basketball player. But he ain't a franchise player and he damn sure ain't a superstar.

USA Basketball sent him home didn't they??

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I heard somewhere this team had the opportunity to get Amare for Butler and the 5th pick. If that is correct, what the heck were they thinking about? You won't get any off nites with Amare, thats for sure!!!

Posted by: la_terp | December 30, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you whats wrong with this team!! This team is full of too many of the same player!! Too many jump shooting no defense players!!

Arenas used to attack, he is now a jump shooter or his big offensive move now the 3pt long distance chucker.

Butler used to be a force. He is now a jump shooter.

Jamison is a jump shooter.

Blatche is a jump shooter.

Nick Young is a jump shooter.

DeShawn Stevenson is a jump misser.

Then Grunfeld is all his wisdom goes and trades for TWO MORE JUMP SHOOTERS!!! Mike Miller and Randy Foye ane JUMP SHOOTERS!!!!!

Think about it. Ok we have Arenas. An elite scorer. That is what is his strength and asset. He is one of the very top scorers IN THE LEAGUE. He is not a top PG, he is a top scorer! Ok what you do is you say Arenas is our offense, he is a put the team on his back player OFFENSIVELY.

You surround him with complementary players. What is that!?? Defensive players!!! You surround him with defense. You have a guy who is automatic when left wide open and at least 3 strong defenders. You have one guy, like Miller for example, for Gil to kick it too when the D loads up on him. 3 guys go to Gil he kicks to Miller who makes them pay. Otherwise Gil is the offense. You have him surrounded by guys who play defense and rebound. You have guys who set picks for Gil to get open shots. You pick and roll with Gil. When Gil misses we have rebounders to get the ball back to give Gil another shot. When Gil misses we have guys who are back to defend to keep the other team from scoring and get the ball back for Gil. One end of the court is Gil's the other end is for the rest of the team to shine.

MJ had Rodman, Grant, Pippen, Cartwright... defenders. He had the Kerr or Paxton to kick to when the defense collapsed on him. A good complimentary all around player in Pippen.

When Philly was good with AI he was the offense, and he was surrounded be defenders like Ratliff, and a complimentary all around player like Snow, also a good defender.

You put Gil with a good all around player in Miller (rebounds, passes, hits the 3), and 3 defenders. On this team it would have to be Haywood, McGuire, and Stevenson I guess... maybe Oberto... Haywood, Oberto, McGuire, Miller, Arenas? Hmm.. that's probably what I'd do.

That's what you gotta do with a player like Gil. If he's our franchise player, that's what we gotta do. That's the way to utilize him to be successful.. Surrounding him with similar players is not the way. This isn't rocket science folks!! All jump shooting no defense players will not win.

Haywood, Oberto, McGuire, Miller, Arenas.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 30, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Trade Jamison and Butler. You either gotta trade Arenas and bring in a true passing PG to compliment Jamison/Butler or you gotta go with Gil and trade Jamison and Butler and surround Gil with defensive players.

You move Jamison and Butler... get some guys, I don't know who, guys like Udonnis Haslem and Shane Battier for example.

You got guys like Blatche, Foye, Miller, Boykins, Young, who can give you enough scoring when Gil is out of the game.

You put Gil with guys like Haslem and Battier or whoever you get for Jamison and Butler, you have guys like Haywood, Oberto, McGuire, Stevenson.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 30, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

What's the Wizards' problem?

they can't handle "GREAT EXPECTATIONS," this team is way over-hyped. Arenas cannot handle the pressure. A winning team is a defensive team.

It's time to blow it up. Bad play is contagious... All these players are a lot better than they really are. No Chemistry, WHY? Gilbert is re-calibrating his game at the expense of everyone else. It all starts with the guy who handles the ball most...

We are fundamentally flawed.. it's that simple.

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The point is we dont need SO MANY scorers! You have an elite scorer in Gil. You need A COUPLE other complimentary scorers, like a Miller and Foye. Otherwise you need defenders and rebounders. You need balance. Not offensive balance but TEAM balance. We have no rebounders. We don't need another scorer at PF we need a rebounder!! We dont need another scorer at SF we need a defender. Ernie Grunfeld will you please WAKE UP!!!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 30, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

mwgaithersburg needs to check his info before posting. the only time Hughes Arenas and Butler may have played together could be in a pickup game. Hughes was gone before Butler came here, not sure what you were watching.

Posted by: bk_bullets4ever | December 31, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

How is poor coaching not up there more than 3%. Watching Flip Saunders try to control this team is painful day in and day out. I still don't understand why we fired Eddie - who perenially got us to the playoffs (albeit Game 7s of Round 1) but was able to handle and create a great offensive team. Nevermind about our defense but two three years ago, we were one of the best offensive teams. We fire Jordan, bring in Flip Saunders which is basically almost equivalent. Flip is known for his offense not his defense (what we really need). Has a reputation for first round and done with the playoffs. And to watch him take what kind of offense we used to have and mangle it into an awful showing is pitiful. He had the summer, preseason, and 30 games to figure out the right fit of his offense to the team and its not working. Biggest mistake was hiring Flip.

His coaching decisions are suspect. Watching the game a few games back where Boykins should've missed the second of two free throws on purpose. The team looked to Flip for his decision, he was clueless and had no idea what was going on. The other night he left Foye in as point gaurd and had him do everything possible to create enough turn overs or missed shots. Its terrible. He's terrible. And the Wizards won't get better under Flip Saunders.

Posted by: MattyIce | December 31, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I diasgree with blowing this team up. We have some really solid performers. Jamison has stepped it up real nicely and Mike Miller adds consistent hustle and that "blue collar" work that really is an intangible on the team. Butler has been off lately. But Haywood is having a great season - trimmed down, no Etan, and putting up double doubles. So why blow that up? Your point gaurds are what? Young, Foye, Boykins - that kills us. Foye is showing promise but he's still Randy Foye and shouldn't be controlling the game! "Smartly" we locked ourselves into Gilbert which is haunting us. I would hate to see Butler or jamison leave but no one is going to trade for 20 cents on the dollar for Gilbert. Its a shame DeShaun is in the dog house/can't shoot because he could actually defend. We're going to have trouble with the 1/2's of the other teams as Boykins/Gil can't guard them. I know I'm all over the place here, but its a rant, and watching the Wizards as a season ticket holder is so incredibly painful.

Posted by: MattyIce | December 31, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

sigh...

Rubio, Gilbert, Butler, Jamison, Haywood.

...what could've been.....

Posted by: MattyIce | December 31, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I believe it was the first game of the season vs Dallas when I was so excited to see the new Wizards. Totally different than last year both the offense and defense flowed easily. Then after about a week it was back to "same ole, same ole" again. What the heck happened between the efficiency in game one to now. Think Flip should pull out the game tapes that demonstrated that they ARE capable (maybe there is only one or two) and make them watch it 100 times and write 1000 times WE CAN PLAY LIKE THIS; WE DID IT BEFORE SO WE CAN DO IT AGAIN! I wrote this before reading other posts. I hope that someone has the answer!

Posted by: deesy | December 31, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Now that I have read all of the posts I have a better grasp. Flip did ONE good thing when he replaced all five of those on the court. Maybe he should consider what some have suggested and put all of the youngin's in the game and put our current starters on the bench. Start JM at Center, Blatch at PF, MM at SF, RF at point guard and DM at shooting guard. Ok, I know this won't make much sense to some,but DM at shooting guard, but he's a better defender than DS and has a better shooting percentage (DS 16 mpg/.250% vs DM 6.6 mpg/.440%).

Substituting the five worked and seemed to shake things up. I don't think my idea is that far out in left field. We have the individual pieces, but we don't have a team. To me that falls on the coach. Throw out the old and "think out of the box".

Posted by: deesy | December 31, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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