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The Wizards' costly errors

The Wizards have lost five games in a row, with four of them coming down to the final possession. The combined point total in the past five losses is just 11 points, which means that the Wizards aren't getting anything to go their way in the closing seconds. The Wizards have had several gaffes that contributed to these losses, with the team staring at an incredibly disappointing 7-15 record. For those keeping score at home, the Wizards were 4-18 at this point last season, when they finished with just 19 wins.


By Michael Lee  |  December 15, 2009; 1:42 PM ET
 
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Comments

It's time to identify the Wizards' best player, and it is not Gilbert Arenas. Antawn is that person, and he is a captain. He should be seeing the ball in the final seconds.

Posted by: joe2chase | December 15, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse


Michael Lee will be on WTEM 980 (this hour I believe) discussing our beloved Wizards.

http://www.radiotime.com/station/s_23102/ESPN_980.aspx

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee, just curious, when does the new owners take over the Wizards. Will that happen this season or is that something that won't happen in the near future. What exactly is up with this team??? I am baffled by the way they are playing. Is there some sort of disharmony among the troops or something. A lot of the times they play like a disjointed college team.

Posted by: ivyleague | December 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

He's on now.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I want to address a couple of issues here:

The Wizards stink (Barkley).

They lost five games by a combined 11 points, and were in each of those games until the final possession. I'm not of the opinion that they stink. They just need to find a way to get over the hump. It's all mental.

The second quarter of the Celts game.

The Wiz are fifth in the league in rebounding. Yes, they had a horrible quarter, as they did not get a rebound the entire quarter, but that quarter doesn't wipe out a season. The effort was lacking, but obviously they have been rebounding well all season. Lack of effort is mental.

The major problem with this team is mental, mental, mental!!! They just don't come to work every night. They HAVE the talent. They HAVE the ability. What they DON'T HAVE is the mentality. I would take a page out of the Phil Jackson school of NBA coaching and have these guys read some motivational books to get their MINDS on the right page -- get them believing in themselves again.

They DON'T STINK! They DO need to believe in themselves. The combination of the Cav playoff losses, the injuries the past couple of years, and the 19-win season last year has them "inventing ways to lose." They've been "culturized" to the losing mindset. They just need to have faith in themselves again.

Gil missing free throws in the final seconds? Now you KNOW that is all mental. Especially when he promptly goes to the practice court and makes 48 out of 50 (96%).

I said this much earlier in the season. Their problems are ALL MENTAL.

Posted by: bpybay | December 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

If Jamison is their best player (I'm not denying that he is), then this is a terrible team. The reason why I say that is because Jamison has to score at least 20 points to make up for his putrid defense. I swear he's a matador waiving a big red blanket out there, and the other 4 guys out there have to cover his butt.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 15, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

bpyday -

i agree. i see so much promise with this crew and think the Gil, Tawn, Butler haters don't see that these are 3 of the most versatile players in the league.

I keep thinking, this is it...they are about go on a 5 game winning streak...but then they don't

I am sure some of the coaching has been mistaken. I am sure that our guys have choked when we needed them to come through. I am sure that bad mistakes have been made.

I feel like we are 90% of the way to being a .600 club. if we win the next game by 12 pts, we will be +1 for the past 6 games, but still be 1-5.

Lots of shoring up to do and I think the addition of MM and Crit will help us get over that hump, but I don't think wholesale changes are the answer.

Unless they have to do with trading Haywood.

Then again, I am constantly frustrated by these guys failing to MAKE it happen.

Plus, anyone who would take AJ or CB is going to be giving us what they see as their weak link, so why bother making the swap?

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

u liked how him and tuff juice escorted baron to the basket on a fast break. i swear, if it smells like toughness AJ goes the other way. i'd luv to see our PF knock someone on their a$$ the way other teams do us. u wanna know why guys are always getting hurt? they're not used to physical play. and if AJ is their leader i can understand why they don't wanna be physical, that guy has his GPS set for the path of least resistence.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 15, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If Jamison is their best player (I'm not denying that he is), then this is a terrible team. The reason why I say that is because Jamison has to score at least 20 points to make up for his putrid defense. I swear he's a matador waiving a big red blanket out there, and the other 4 guys out there have to cover his butt.


Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 15, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

ZardsFan1

That would work but the 4 other guys don't want to play "D" either.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

bpybay, a couple of things. The real problem with the second quarter of the Celtics game was the Wizards inablility to get any stops. I believe that the Celtics scored on nearly every possession in that quarter, so there were very few opportunities for defensive rebounding.

You can make an argument that their problem is mental, but I think it is a weak one. The reason being that teams that have talent win games because they build insurmountable leads against inferior talent. Elite teams win close games because they are both talented and mentally strong. The Wizards, I would argue are neither. The Indiana game is a prime example. The Wiz gave up 66 points in the first half to a team devoid of any quality players. Furthermore, there isn't a single player on the Wizards that demands a double team. I'm afraid that the absence of superior athletic talent is percisely this team's weakness.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 15, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

funny, i think AJ battles harder than haywood in the paint. And while he doesnt deal out hard fouls, he is absolutely in there mixing it up. He also seems to get knocked in the grill and eye quite a bit, but stay in there.

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78, you're right. Really the team must compensate for two incompetent defensive players: AJ and GA. It is impossible to succeed with such a handicap.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

they're just a chitty team right now. It does appear the starting 5 can get'er done, but it's an embarrassment after that.

Flip should wear a bag over his head for relying on our 5'8" shooting guard so much.

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards stink.

This team is not really a team but a collection of basketball players. They don't mesh together and players are trying to perform out of their comfort zone.

The result is losses.

This team is just good enough to lose close.

And that is always the most vexing.

If the Wizards were 2-19 like the Nets, the need for a tear down would be obvious.

But since the team is competitive in these games there is the fool's gold hope that redemption is just around the corner.

It isn't.

The truth is that Gilbert Arenas is not a natural NBA point guard. Any offense that tries to execute through him will fail.

Antawn Jamison is 33 years old and the team has wasted his best years waiting for Arenas to come back from injury.

Butler has all the body language of a guy that knows he is probably the odd man out if a trade or rebuild comes.

He looks so out of place with Arenas back in the lineup.

Ernie Grunfeld resigned Arenas and Jamison not because that was the smartest basketball decision long-term but rather to placate Abe Pollin.

Pollin believed in these players and refused to allow for failure.

So, he insisted the team resign and keep the core intact and now the Wizards are in deep trouble for the next 4-5 years as these contracts become more and more burdensome on the new owners.

If Leonsis purchases the team he will spend the immediate period looking for ways to unload Jamison and Butler.

There is nothing you can do with Arenas.

He is going to be on the roster for the forseeable future.

It's amazing to me that ANY organization would give a goof-ball player like Agent Zero a $111M contract thereby signing away its immediate future.

The Caps gave Ovechkin a $134M contract but he is one of the, if not the, best player in the world at his position.

Can you say the same about Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: leopard09 | December 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope the wizards make the playoffs. I think people should stop referring to the wizards as the Clippers of the east, at this point in the season that is just raising the bar too high and it places too much pressure on the team, especially Arenas.

Posted by: Theone9 | December 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Plus, anyone who would take AJ or CB is going to be giving us what they see as their weak link, so why bother making the swap?

Not necessarily. The Wiz could trade for somebody who's on the cusp of free agency and the other team doesn't want to pay him or feel they can't afford to pay him. This is why the Suns were rumored to be shopping Amare Stoudemire this past summer. If the Lakers can steal Gasol from the Grizzlies (for different reasons), maybe the Wiz can pull it off too.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"It's amazing to me that ANY organization would give a goof-ball player like Agent Zero a $111M contract"

Gil would have gotten that from many teams had he not been injured, that made it questionable. But healthy he was lighting up the nba, only 25, and with a reknown work ethic

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I think the Wiz were the only team that could sign Gil to a six year deal if I'm not mistaken. So the best anybody else would have been able to do is about 5 years, $100 mil. If I'm wrong, I'm sure the capologists out there will speak up.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Another bummer of a game.
No hustle on this team.
Remember what Rondo said at Celts halftime interview?
"We are just pushing the ball up before they get back and set up."

Wizzies don't get back on "D" & they walk the ball up on "O".
When they do (rarely) push the ball up on "O" they do much better. And when they beat the other team back on "D" they play decent "D".
I think they think other teams see 3 former ALL STARS and will just surrender. They better get their stuff together real soon or it's gonna be a long season.

Even rats in a maze learn from their mistakes.

Posted by: VBFan | December 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

They aren't who we thought the were. It's that simple. Gilbert is the key to everything but he isn't playing worth a d@#n! He has lost his swag and it's hard to tell if it will return. Butler and Jamison are support players but a healthy Gilbert both mentally and physically is the key to their success. It the past he would never ever gag at the free throw line at crunch time. He always made the key three pointer or basket and always got the calls when he went inside. Even when he gets the calls he's not delivering. Maybe the talent just doesn't mesh. Very disappointing at this point. I hope it's not to late to turn things around. I've seen teams do it in the past and I hope the Wiz can do it.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | December 15, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

and Gil was a pre-injury fan favorite. and in the poll just put out in this forum, ranked second to Ovechkin as most valuable DC area player of the last decade.

But once Gil got hurt, the fans turned on him. Talk about kicking a person when he is down. With friends like that, who needs enemies.

Posted by: G-Man11 | December 15, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

tgif - who do you suggest fits your criteria?

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

i'm in the tank for Gil, as the saying goes.

heat won 15 games in wade's first season back...

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

If you think about it, the Wizards resemble a window fan: they suck and blow at the same time.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are fifth in the league in rebounding

The Wizards are actually only average or barely above average, if you measure rebounding the right way. Average number of rebounds can be influenced by pace of play and many other factors. Although this is not an ideal measure either, they are 14th in rebound differential (average number of rebounds - opponents' average number of rebounds) :

http://www.nba.com/statistics/sortable_team_statistics/sortable2.html?cnf=1&prd=1#top

Even rebound differential can be somewhat deceiving, though. If a team holds its opponents to a low FG%, then those extra missed shots are extra opportunities for defensive rebounds, which are much easier to get than offensive rebounds. This will result in teams with good FG% defense having a higher rebound total. However, if a team is good at forcing turnovers, then this is going to tend to decrease their rebound totals, since every time they force a turnover they lose an opportunity to get a defensive rebound. The same effects exist in the other direction (i.e., a team's own FG% and tendency to commit turnovers is going to influence the opponents' rebounding totals).

A good way to measure rebounding is to look at the team's offensive rebounding percentage and their defensive rebounding percentage. The offensive rebounding percentage is the percentage of the team's own missed shots which they turned into offensive rebounds, and defensive rebounding percentage is defined analogously:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=tmcompare&sort=fg%&league=nba&season=2010&seasontype=2&avg=pg&order=false&split=999

The Wizards' offensive rebounding percentage is 28.3%, which is above average, but their defensive rebounding percentage is 72.1%, which is below average. All in all, they are about average in rebounding.

Posted by: joe_sill | December 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Blurred,

I've already stated I was in favor of the rumored Butler/Jamison trade and #5 pick for Stoudemire several months ago. That's water under the bridge now, since we don't have the pick anymore and the Suns are doing well.
Honestly, I haven't thought too much about who they could/should trade for since you literally never know (as a regular guy) who's on the trading block.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Joe - that adds up to 100.4%, or 50.2% of the total available rebounds.

That has to be at least slightly above average.

How do other teams compare in total percentage of available rebounds?

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

From Chris Ford's chat:

"I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. I think Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him."

Posted by: t-train | December 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

but who meets your criteria of being in the last year of a contract and I guess, on a team that either doesn't feel they can win anything this year or that believes that CB or AJ will be an improvement or that they have no chance at a re-sign.

but I have to ask...you are not serious about BOTH of them + a pick for Amare are you? that would mean having Darius, Etan, haywood, Blatche, McGee and Amare and not having Jamison, Miller, CB and Foye. That is just crazy.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

As the wise Casey Stengel once said "Can anyone here play this game?" I think the players are using their IPODs to listen to music versus the plays that Saunders put on them.

When I watch other teams, they all push the ball with a reason. With the Wizards, either they are walking the ball up and rushing the ball up with no idea what to do next.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 15, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him."

just where does he gather that? Ernie whispering in his ear? That would indicate EG has made it clear to someone he is interested in moving Gil. If that's the case, kind of big news rather than what he 'gathered' right?

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Joe - that adds up to 100.4%, or 50.2% of the total available rebounds

Yes, as I said, they are average or barely above average. I guess we may as well be positive and say definitively that they are barely above average. They're nowhere near 5th in the league, though.

How do other teams compare in total percentage of available rebounds?

You can follow the second (ESPN) link and have a look if you want. For some annoying reason, they don't let you sort on the rebounding percentages column, but if you scan the numbers you can see how they compare.

It's slightly better to look at the offensive and defensive rebounding percentages individually than it is to look at total rebounding percentage. Total rebounding percentage is not a simple average of offensive and defensive rebounding percentage because the number of shots a team misses is not the same as the number of shots their opponents' miss. Total rebounding percentage is not ideal but it's decent as an overall measure, and you can see that they are at 0.502. I count 13 teams ahead of them, with them tied with Houston.

Posted by: joe_sill | December 15, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. too lazy to check it out myself

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

but who meets your criteria of being in the last year of a contract and I guess, on a team that either doesn't feel they can win anything this year or that believes that CB or AJ will be an improvement or that they have no chance at a re-sign.

Again, I haven't studied it at all. My point is the players you receive in a trade aren't necessarily another's teams weakest link. The person may not be in their current team's plans for a number reasons.

but I have to ask...you are not serious about BOTH of them + a pick for Amare are you? that would mean having Darius, Etan, haywood, Blatche, McGee and Amare and not having Jamison, Miller, CB and Foye. That is just crazy.

Jamison or Butler, Mike James and the #5 was the rumored trade scenario if memory serves me correctly.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

OK...thought the way you wrote it made it seem you wanted to trade both. My bad. still seems like a lot for a guy coming off his injuries...yet that didn't stop Eg from paying Gil!

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Jamison or Butler, Mike James and the #5 was the rumored trade scenario if memory serves me correctly.

I also remeber them saying that when Phoenix asked for Butler in addition to Jamison...Ernie declined.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 15, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Flip Saunders made the biggest mistake last night when the Wizards had a lead and he had one of the worst possible combination of five players on the Wizards roster out on the floor. And a 17 point lead evaporated. Stephenson, Boykins, Oberto, Dominic McQuire and maybe it was Jamison. But I know for sure the other four were out there. How are you going to score points?? Thus a 20-2 run.

Now I'm not a Flip hater I think he's mostly done a good job and hope he can eventually get this team going, but WTF was that. It doesn't matter how many times Boykins dribbles off his leg or Arenas fouls out or other Wizards make bad defensive plays at the end of the game if you hold on to a 17 point lead. I think when the veterans stop being reliable you should just play the young guys and by that I mean Foye, Young, and McGee. I like Boykins but the magic is starting to wear off and Stephenson should be waving his hand in front of his face at the end of the bench.

This has been one frustrating season.

Posted by: mjshabba | December 15, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I also remeber them saying that when Phoenix asked for Butler in addition to Jamison...Ernie declined.

I think you nailed it. It's all alleged, so you know how that goes.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 15, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I think Gil is dealing with personal issues yeah i know he makes 111 mil but he's human, it's all over the net about Shaq and Gil's fiance(true or not that's a little more than distracting) in addition he's choked away three games in the final seconds by not making his free throws,Ernie allowed the shooting coach(Dave Hoopla)to get away(smart Ernie real smart)so now the whole team's comfort zone is gone,i know they're pro's and they should be able to figure it out but something's not right and Flip appears to be clueless in terms of his coaching acumen.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 15, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah i don't just want to dump on Gil because AJ is just as guilty when it comes to missed free throws.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 15, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I do not blame the players, just look what BH and AJ are doing.coaching staff need to think on their moves.
AJ had 27 points 6 minutes before the end of the 3rd quarter, only 5 after that, he shoot the ball 7 out of 8 in the 1st and second quarter, then he slowly went down to less than 50 % at the end of 3rd quarter.
BH had 11 rebounds in the 1st half and just 1 in the second half.
These is a regular season game, all the players have to play and share the burden.
If they get enough rebreather, they can do better in the last quarter.JM need to get minutes.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 15, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

kamison shot almost 55% for the game. He is shooting over 49% for the season. That's nice.

Unfortunately he is also shooting around 55% from the line. Not so nice, although he did better yesterday.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

And I cant type...so forgive me.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

div3 good stuff on tha heat, 15 wins wade's first year back. that means AJ and CB gotta carry that weight while gil's getting back on track. that's the rub here. Our well comprensated veteran leadership isn't carrying the team like they did last year (19 whole wins). That's why i go on AJ and CB so much. for them to be so great, when they're full strength and they gotta carry it, we don't necessarily win a lot.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 15, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

divi3 wrote:

"It's amazing to me that ANY organization would give a goof-ball player like Agent Zero a $111M contract"

Gil would have gotten that from many teams had he not been injured, that made it questionable. But healthy he was lighting up the nba, only 25, and with a reknown work ethic.
---------

WRONG. He would've never gotten anything close to the deal he got here. He always has been a goof ball/head case and you can now add choke artist to the mix.

I for one see Gilbert for what he is. I think he is a nice person, but when you sign that level a contract, expectations dramatically increase, on and off the court.

He is quickly turning into Clinton Portis and had no clue what NOT to say out of his mouth. Combine that with missed free throws, no defense, no leadership, and silly I'll show everybody I wont take a shot till the 2nd half, and you have a REALLY BAD BASKETBALL TEAM, anchored by a very SILLY MAN.

Antwan Jamision is the exact oposite and unfortunately he will have to step up even more. Hopefully the organziation will back Antwan and help Flip help Gil by benching him until he can get his head together.

Anybody note who spoke at Mr. Pollin's memorial on behalf of the team..Antwan not Gil.

Anybody note Mr. Pollin's son refereed to the Bullets as Antwan and Co....

Your franchise player has to be your best player/leader. Not the case here. That means we have a cracked foundation!!

Posted by: kevenjones | December 15, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Gil was offered more per year by GSW and Sac, and that was of course while he was injured. Were he healthy the whole way, he'd have had his choice from numerous teams offering him the cash cow.

He was a hyper-popular, 3time all-star, scoring machine known for being a gym rat...the knee is what did him in.

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

it is disheartening when AJ hits four 3s in the 1st half because YOU JUST KNOW 3 misses are coming in the 4thQ

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse


kamison shot almost 55% for the game. He is shooting over 49% for the season. That's nice.

Unfortunately he is also shooting around 55% from the line. Not so nice, although he did better yesterday.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 4:31 PM

Decent FG% from Jamison.
However, the stats don't take into account the godawful shots he took after they went up by 17. Jamison can't just hope he stays hot and launch 25 footers all night. He's a power forward for crying out loud and he became a big part of their second half meltdown by taking BAD shots.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 15, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Free throw. Free. As in "you can have this one, no charge."

FREE

F - R - E - E

They shouldn't be missed. The best players make them. The Wiz have always struggled with them.

No excuse.

Posted by: jwm1974 | December 15, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"that means AJ and CB gotta carry that weight while gil's getting back on track. that's the rub here."

probable best case scenario (unfortunately), the next 20 games continue to spiral down the crapper in ridiculous fashion (8-12), but by the last 3rd of the (lost) season team starts rolling a little.

and we get another go round next year?

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"JM need to get minutes."

too thin, only plays well in spurts, smiles

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards have no game situational awareness whatsoever. They don't exploit weaknesses or even try to control the game in the rare instances they are actually ahead. The best teams just know how to find the hot hand and figure out what's working and what isn't. The Wizards look unpredictable and unorganized no matter the game situation. No two players on that team are on the same page. It is total chaos. And forget the total lack of energy on defense. Geez !

Posted by: jthicks | December 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Tell it, jthicks!

Posted by: artiesliver | December 15, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I beginning to think that maybe it's time to stop worrying about playing defense. We clearly can't play defense. Never have been able to and that is not going to change. So leave our defensive specialists (if you can call them that - Stephenson and McGuire) on the bench and just go out gunning. We probably won't win a championship like that but maybe just maybe we can win a few of these games. Pick up the tempo start shooting early in the shot clock play NY and RF and just start throwing up shots. It's the NBA that's what most teams do anyway. It will be ugly at times.. but hell it's ugly now.

Posted by: mjshabba | December 15, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

What what?

What what?

Does anyone need me to say anything more?

What what?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Who is the architect of this miserable team?

Grunfeld is no Unseld but he's certainly doing a poor job.

Posted by: nativedc | December 15, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"That's just ridiculous. Kamen is a very skilled offensive player who can score in a variety of ways with either hand. Haywood is a bricklaying disaster on offense. Any resemblance between them is purely coincidental. Also, as he showed in this game, Kamen can put the ball on the floor and pass on the move (4 assists). I'm sure Coach Dunleavy would have loved seeing him guarded by a guy he knows will a launch himself into the air every time Kamen arches an eyebrow 12 feet from the basket.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse "

I agree that Kaman is clearly a better offensive player than BTH. You can clearly see it in his footwork. He's also a better passer.

BTH is a bit more physical, longer, and a bigger threat on the defensive end, but Kaman is no slouch either.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

What what?

What is my infamous quote again?

"You have to laugh, b/c otherwise you'd cry."

Here's a shoot from the hip idea!

Fire Flip and hire Sam Cassell as coach!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Will someone please explain why they think Ernie is a good GM.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse "

Those people need some sense slapped into them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"The sad part is when Foye leaves next year as a free agent and goes somewhere like Miami and becames an All-Star.

Posted by: lemekdivine | December 15, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse "

Why would anyone be sad?

What has Foye done?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Butler wanted to be the hero, thats why

Posted by: jimmydeanroundsausages | December 15, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse "

That's b/c the main wannabe hero fouled out.

Gilby shot 28.5% and went 14% from the 3pt line. Add 6 TO's to that tally.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does anyone else believe Flip is the type of coach who knows his system, but doesn't know how to adjust it to the type of players he has?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"I think Gil is dealing with personal issues yeah i know he makes 111 mil but he's human, it's all over the net about Shaq and Gil's fiance(true or not that's a little more than distracting) in addition he's choked away three games in the final seconds by not making his free throws....

Posted by: dargregmag | December 15, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse "

sniff, sniff....

I'm getting verklempt..

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

From Chris Ford's chat:

"I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. I think Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him."

Posted by: t-train | December 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

t-train,

I can see Ernie now telling Leonsis, Abe told him to do it?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

WIZARDS ARE #1 (at losing by 2 points)

Posted by: DaveLopan | December 15, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

From Chris Ford's chat:

"I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. I think Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him."

Posted by: t-train | December 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Great post. Something I've always suspected, but not being an "insider" you don't know for sure. Abe was known for being loyal and wanting one more before he passed. Blowing the current core up meant that was not going to happen in his lifetime not that it was going to happen anyway. Ford obviously has insider information and once again EG is about the least worrisome problem for this franchise. And, as I've been saying, the retooling begins this year when Butler is traded at or before the trade deadline. I guarantee it unless we somehow go on an absurd winning streak which isn't going to happen! Bye Caron!

EG is going to be his McPhee of the basketball team. McPhee was well regarded but built the whole Jagr team that underperformed and was on the cusp of being fired, but wasn't. So, Leonsis is a patient owner that has shown he knows how to rebuild and relies on the proper experts to run his teams. This organization will flourish under him and EG.

I think Arenas is nearly immovable, but would say the Heat take on his contract to placate Wade???? Would Cleveland still take AJ??? I don't think the rebuild is going to be that drastic, but one of them at least (Caron) is gone this year.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

rphilli721

It's easy for Ernie because there is no proof that Abe is the one who told him to keep this core together.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@Bulletsfan,

Ummmm...Chad Ford doesn't count? He is only one of ESPN's basketball insiders. You think he is just pulling this out of thin air? Or, much more likely, has he heard things and/or know things from behind the scenes that support his comments. C'mon...be real.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 15, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

That means look at Ernie...

Yes, last year he fired EJ to prove the coach was the problem. Before that it was always injuries?

The years the Wizards made the playoffs the eastern conference was just average and now teams like Bos, Orl, Clev and Atl are better.

This is the team Ernie has put together and they suck as a team.

I hope the new ownership has a say in the direction the team goes this year and doesn't let Ernie make the trades needed to correct the Wizards problems, he has already proven he can't do the job.

People are going to hate me for saying this, but I think this year pretty much sums up the kind of organization Abe has built over the years.

Like I said it starts at the top...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78 - I will have to disagree with you on that. You ask and hear any well known NBA analyst (hubie brown, john thomson, kenny smith etc.) they all comment on how much talent this team has 10 deep. The problem is not Ernie. He did his job. He brought "plenty" of good food for the Chef (Flip) to produce a great gourmet meal.

As for the Eddie J firing, Eddie's time was just up. Eddie had very questionable rotations and played to many mind games with the players. You better believe the players were letting Ernie know it.

Now to Eddie's credit, he knew he had a hybrid point guard (Gilbert) so he knew he could not trust him with the ball the majority of the 24 seconds (like Flip is trying to do), so he had him run the Princeton offense. This offense keep the ball out of Gilbert's hands for extended seconds and got cats like CB touches. This is why he looks like he is in a funk right now.

Now you have Flip Saunders running a point guard driven offense. The point has to "lead" in the offense and Gil at this stage in his recovery is not ready yet. That in turn causes a ripple affect on CB.

That is why you see Flip favoring Bokins because the offense is made to setup the other players by ball penatration, pick and rolls and kickouts. Something Gilbert is unable to do at this stage.

So if any blame is to go around it should go to Gilbert (not his fault though because he has missed two years of pro ball). Flip's offense works when he has the "right point guard" running it (i.e. Terrell Brandon, Stephon Mulbury, and Chaucey Billips). The Wiz do not have that yet........

***I liken this situation to the Skin's. This system (i.e. West Coast Offense) needs time to be absorbed by the players first, then tested in real games where they will lose most of them, and then the "light bulb" comes on and the wins follow.

Watch out for Feburary after they have about 44 games under their belts and Gilbert is geting his game legs back. Also, Mike Miller will be back and he is no joke. Love that dude's game.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 15, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

From Chris Ford's chat:

"I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. . ."

Surely there's enough blame to go around, but one thing I have never really understood: why did Ernie sign Flip, who has a history of coaching point-guard-centric teams, to work with a team that has no strong point guard?

Did he think Ernie would change his style? Did he think Gil and company would change their ways? Neither option seems very tenable.

Posted by: nmik | December 15, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

rphilli721

Maybe Chad Ford got his info from Ernie?

BulletsFever

It's not only about getting good players it's about get the right players who play great as a team.

It's not the all star game

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

EG is a bright NBA executive that has put together championship caliber teams in the past and made perennial bottom feeders the Bucks and Wiz both relevant again. You think he sees the ingredients he put together working? No. Can he say as much publicly? No. He thought he had a nice recipe but it just hasn't come out of the oven right.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 15, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"That is why you see Flip favoring Bokins because the offense is made to setup the other players by ball penatration, pick and rolls and kickouts."

except that boykins doesnt do any of that.

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

You are what your record SAYS you are.

Gilbert Arenas is a shell of his old self from those devastating injuries and he has clearly lost his confidence. We will not know if he is able to regain his old form until the latter part of the season, if at all.

Their is no Leader on this team, just tough talk with no action to back it up.

The Wizards continue to among the "softest" teams in the NBA.

The DNA makeup of this roster includes some of the lowest basketball IQ players I have seen in many years.

Flip has not adjusted well to the type of Players and team he inherited. His offense is not suited for these Players no matter how much they practice. 21 games into the season and they have not improved.

Their will be no playoff games this year for this team. 25 to 30 wins is most probable.


Posted by: jshavatt | December 15, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"That is why you see Flip favoring Bokins because the offense is made to setup the other players by ball penatration, pick and rolls and kickouts."

except that boykins doesnt do any of that.

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

You're kidding me right???

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 15, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

New over/under is 35 wins. I like the under.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 15, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

"I said this much earlier in the season. Their problems are ALL MENTAL.Posted by: bpybay

Given the talent level of players in the NBA, that's probably true for every team. Aside from injuries, when a player struggles, it's often because he's become distracted and lost focus. When a team struggles, it's often because they aren't playing well together, as opposed to individually.

I guess you could describe both as 'mental' problems.

That doesn't mean you can think your way through them, however. I've heard coaches say of a slumping player: "he's overthinking". Meaning that he's gone back to considering what he's going to do rather than just doing it. When you're talking about actions like shooting, which every NBA guard has practiced half a billion times, there's some real merit to the criticism.

At the free throw line, Gilbert's had a mild case of the yips. The sort that golfers get when they start missing four foot dribblers. Listening to him talk -- and even when he's not talking, you can virtually read his thoughts -- he's developed doubts about his own ability. Those aren't fatal (the cure is a string of good performances) but once you lose focus, it takes a while to get it back.

About LA, I'm always surprised that the Clips don't win a lot more games than they do. They're bigger underachievers than the Wiz. They're strong at center, they've got scorers, they've got decent play at the point. When Griffin plays, they'll be strong there, too. The Wiz should have beat them last night, but we shouldn't be surprised they didn't -- the Clips have enough talent to beat most teams on their home court.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 15, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

"you are what your record says you are."

In the final analysis, sure. But we're a long way from season's end. We're just finding out what we are, and so far, we don't much like it.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 15, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

boykins doesnt set anyone up. he dribbles around for 15secs looking for his shot. hilarious that people here have called him the "pure pg" the team needed doing the stuff Gil couldnt. He's been a score first guy his entire career, no different here

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Character - From The Color of Money...

Paul Newman told Tom Cruise…you are a character

Tom Cruise tells his girlfriend…see I have character

Paul Newman corrected him by saying…No you are a character an incredible flake

The Wizards have a team full of flakes

Commitment - for the fans who believe this team can actually win with Ernie as the GM “YOU” should be committed.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

it is disheartening when AJ hits four 3s in the 1st half because YOU JUST KNOW 3 misses are coming in the 4thQ

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

******
except the box score has him going 3-3 from 3pt land last night.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I suspect I may be delusional but I still think the Wizards are going to string together 5 - 6 wins and get their respectability back. They can't be this bad. It's maddening but don't totally dismiss the eleven point spread between winning and losing over the last five games, it's kind of stunning.

Posted by: midlevex | December 15, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

midlevex - I completely agree. But each loss leaves me more baffled than before.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"except the box score has him going 3-3 from 3pt land last night.

Posted by: Blurred | December 15, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse "

Again, MeTawn will get his stats....whether the team wins or not is a different story.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"it is disheartening when AJ hits four 3s in the 1st half because YOU JUST KNOW 3 misses are coming in the 4thQ

Posted by: divi3 | December 15, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse "

You only get disheartened if you set your expectations unrealistically high.

Les BouleS are 7-15 right now and only blew like maybe 5 games that they could have won.

I'm actually pleasantly surprised. ;-)

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"New over/under is 35 wins. I like the under.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 15, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse "

35 wins might be just enough to make the playoffs in the sorry East.

Right now, the #8 slot is taken by Toronto at .423.

35/82 games = .427

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88

If this team can get into the playoffs, by then they should be use to Flip's system and then anything can happen...NOT!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"DC_MAN88

If this team can get into the playoffs, by then they should be use to Flip's system and then anything can happen...NOT!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse "

I would suggest Les BouleS tank the rest of the season, but then again, they're doing a good enough job without my help.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

How about Rip for Caron or Antawn and move Mike miller to the 3 spot or Blatch to the 4 spot of its Antawn. we need a catch and shoot and a non rhythm player.

Posted by: lanka124 | December 15, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

A previous poster says the Wiz not winning is mostly mental...Mental has nothing to do with playing better defense...

Playing better defense comes from practicing and wanting to be a better defender...the Wiz mentality is all offense....the big three....the big three....that's all we keep hearing and most experts know Jamison plays no defense...and Gilbert is not far behind him....

With Butler, Jamison and Arenas scoring 20 pts means nothing if you don't play defense in the 4th period...alowing Rondo to go baseline and dunk on you is a perfect example of that...good teams play defense...I repeat...good teams play defense....

Posted by: pentagon40 | December 15, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

good teams play defense....

pentagon40

That's why the Wizards are not now and have never been (with the big 3) a good team.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"How about Rip for Caron or Antawn and move Mike miller to the 3 spot or Blatch to the 4 spot of its Antawn. we need a catch and shoot and a non rhythm player."

All shooters are rhythm players. And on a team without a heads-up playmaker, Hamilton would be a bad fit.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

"I suspect I may be delusional but I still think the Wizards are going to string together 5 - 6 wins and get their respectability back."

It's going to take more than that for them to get respectability (And seriously, what do you mean "back"?) They're possibly the most disappointing teams in the NBA right now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

From Chris Ford's chat:

"I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. I think Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him."

I said the same thing more than a week ago. Pollin made no bones about his goal to get another ring before the end, and that was pretty clearly the impetus behind the win-now push. And, having had a business relationship with Pollin, Leonsis knows better than most how he operated. If he does end up with the team, his experience with Pollin may give Grunfeld a reprieve.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

"BTH is a bit more physical, longer, and a bigger threat on the defensive end . . .

Kamen didn't appear all that threatened by him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

And, having had a business relationship with Pollin, Leonsis knows better than most how he operated. If he does end up with the team, his experience with Pollin may give Grunfeld a reprieve.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Then Leonsis is a fool!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 16, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

for some reason the wiz are not getting the job done...whether it's players, coaching, trainers, organization, equip managers!! this team goes out on the court to engage in a professional basketball game and they find some way to lose. if you are what you are(not very good) and it is what it is (another season out of the playoffs-or first round exit) then i guess you have to begin to work towards next seasons' strategy. if EG is smart maybe he's already formulating a plan (dependent on the next ownership). i think that is the MAJOR factor in the wiz future- the new ownership.

Posted by: ronniecope106 | December 16, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

@Bulletsfan,

If you think Boykins does anything besides dribble 15 secs of the shot clock and make hail mary shots on occasion, you are clueless when it comes to basketball. He stinks, period!

You must be like Kal who portends to know it all and nitpick people's statements when you haven't played 2 secs of basketball in your life.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

It has been widely reported that AJ was one of Pollins "boys" perhaps second only to Unseld. If you think he would have signed off on trading him for virtually anybody, then you are sadly mistaken. Now that the handcuffs have been taken off EG, don't be surprised to see some wheelin' and dealin'. First to go, Butler!

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

i guess if you look at the contracts and overall trade value on the wiz it makes sense to move butler...but i don't think butler is the problem to the solution...i look at GA...i know that a lot of people on here will disagree...but i think GA (if he is not going to produce the way he is being paid) should be shipped. this season he has been inconsistent (and i know we need to show patience since he has been out almost 2 years) but he did proclaim himself 100% and ready to let his play do the talking for him THIS season...GA also seems more mentally immature than butler/jamison...if we could trade GA for a "terror squad" rebounder like D. Howard (i'm dreaming on that one) or even a Al Horford/Atlanta and a #1 or maybe P. Gasol/L.A.L and a #1 or K. Love and a #1(there are probably contract stipulations)...at this point in the season i would lean more towards moving GA if I could get some value in return.

Posted by: ronniecope106 | December 16, 2009 4:15 AM | Report abuse

@ronnie,

Are you on drugs? Nobody is going to make the deals you suggest. Absurd. And, while it may be nice to relieve ourselves of a contract that will never return value, it is going to be impossible to trade him. It might be possible to trade AJ, but the player that might actually get us a nice return is Butler. He might not be THE problem, but, then again, he is not the solution either. I think we are all getting to the point where we feel this experiment is not going to work. Too many injuries, fragile psyches, etc... With a little retooling and an improved/healthier GA next season perhaps we can rebuild on the fly.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 5:51 AM | Report abuse

I will stay positive on this team, They are fightling well in the last 3 games but did not win due to some errors on details.They are going to win to night and on friday, probably the momentum might help them to surpise the sun in their last game.If they come back 2in 2 or 3 in 1, that means they are going to turn the season,any thing less is an indication to trade every possible player and rebuid with a brand new attitude.Arenas is going to remain as a pain for this team, no one will take him.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 16, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Accountability is coming with LEONSIS in charge. BTW, when will he officially take the wheel of this rudderless ship?

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 16, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

"It's going to take more than that for them to get respectability (And seriously, what do you mean "back"?) They're possibly the most disappointing teams in the NBA right now."

Back, as in my delusion they were once respectable, that would have been in 06-07 for 20 games or so. By the way to be disappointed you have to have some expectations, to be, "Possibly the most disappointing team," the expectations must have been rather high.

Posted by: midlevex | December 16, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

rphilli721

I think Boykins is a joke!

I wanted the Wizards to draft a point guard (ty Lawson) with the pick instead of trading it for Foye (who never gets off the bench) and MM who didn't do anything with Minn last year.

How many games did Minn win last year with those two?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 16, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Why is everybody so upset? Didn;t you forget that we are just 2 players away from a championship?

DeJuan Blair and Roger Mason!

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

@SDMD,

No. Apparently it is now Ty Lawson from the Caronlina guy. lol

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@gtefferra

Wizards blew it when they lost to the Clips. Why? The Kings are 9-3 at home this year. 9-3!!
Go ahead and pencil tonight's game in the "L" column.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 16, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

And the Kings are doing it without Kevin Martin. The Wizards are the ones with all the excuses.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 16, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@SDMD,

No. Apparently it is now Ty Lawson from the Caronlina guy. lol

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse


LOL I swear I was just about to add him when I saw 78's post. If we would've drafted Lawson it would've been the same problem. Two small guards in the backcourt.

I don't even know if Lawson would be a better fit than Crittenton right now anyway.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@Bulletsfan,

By your logic, Wade and the Heat won 19
games last year too. Do you not want Wade on the team either?

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I did like the way Caron played at the end of the game against the Clips. Maybe Flip needs to do some clearout iso's for him and just tell him to drive it to the hole at the end of games. I would like to see more of this lineup:

Gilbert
Young
Caron
Jamison
Blatche

Posted by: t-train | December 16, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"You must be like Kal who portends to know it all and nitpick people's statements when you haven't played 2 secs of basketball in your life."

I've played enough basketball to know that playing pickup games doesn't give slow, short guys who can't jump special insight into being an NBA player. I've also spoken enough English in my life to know the difference between "portend" and "pretend."


"By the way to be disappointed you have to have some expectations, to be, "Possibly the most disappointing team," the expectations must have been rather high."

They were high. Unrealistically so. But those expectations (as they generally are)were largely speculative. And that speculation proved unfounded.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse


Flip is as guilty of raising expectations as anyone else with all the "it's our time" rhetoric. He probably honestly thought they would come together and do something special.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 16, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Spencer Hawes is 7'1 245....will javale be allowed to play tonight or is that deemed too big for him?

Posted by: divi3 | December 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

lol...so you are a slow short guy who can't jump?

I've played in more than just pickup games although I've played in my share of those.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. I think Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him."

Grunfeld is the GM/architect of the team and bears full responsibility for its success or failure. If he disagreed with Abe's preferences, then he should have resigned. That's what professionals with integrity do. If he followed the wishes of a man with a 30-year record of fielding awful teams against his better judgment, then he should now bear the consequences and be fired/resign.

For me, he has spent so much time, effort and money trying to keep the team of three ago together that he lost sight of its future. Our team is now built around three aging perimeter players, with a huge portion of our salary cap for the foreseeable future to be spent on a self-obsessed, team-second scorer who it appears has lost his one true talent - athleticism - because he was arrogant enough to supervise his own rehab. Resigning Gil, who had already rehabbed himself back into surgery BEFORE we resigned him, was a gamble Grunfeld lost, and he must now pay the house. As for getting something 'really good' for Arenas, forget it. With his current contract, we couldn't give him away. No team wants to lock up so much money in a 'tweener who has lost the explosiveness that allowed you to overlook his positional deficiencies. If Arenas were not playing for the Wiz, he wouldn't be playing anywhere right now. I hope he comes back, or at least learns to adjust his game, as Jordan and Bernard King did.

Even if this team begins to click, it is evident by now that it isn't even close to contending. It will take years for current contracts to expire, and 2012-2013 at the earliest, but Leonsis will take the right approach and right this ship eventually.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 16, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Why is everybody so upset? Didn;t you forget that we are just 2 players away from a championship?

DeJuan Blair and Roger Mason!

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Blair and Mason for a total of $4 mill/year would have been alot more productive than Gil and Arenas that are syphoning more than $28 mill/year.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 16, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Why is everybody so upset? Didn;t you forget that we are just 2 players away from a championship?

DeJuan Blair and Roger Mason!

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Blair and Mason for a total of $4 mill/year would have been alot more productive than Gil and Arenas that are syphoning more than $28 mill/year.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Flip is as guilty of raising expectations as anyone else with all the "it's our time" rhetoric. He probably honestly thought they would come together and do something special.

What is he supposed to say? Ummm...Let's just go out there and do our best?!?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Why is everybody so upset? Didn;t you forget that we are just 2 players away from a championship?

DeJuan Blair and Roger Mason!

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Blair and Mason for a total of $4 mill/year would have been alot more productive than Gil and Arenas that are syphoning more than $28 mill/year.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 16, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Gil and AJ, sorry.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Blair and Mason for a total of $4 mill/year would have been alot more productive than Gil and Arenas that are syphoning more than $28 mill/year.

You're stupid.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Gil and AJ, sorry.

That makes your statement even more stupid.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What is he supposed to say? Ummm...Let's just go out there and do our best?!?

That's largely what he's been reduced to saying lately, isn't it?

I haven't any more championship drivel out of him. Have you?

Posted by: tgif11 | December 16, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

haven't heard

Posted by: tgif11 | December 16, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

That's largely what he's been reduced to saying lately, isn't it?

I haven't any more championship drivel out of him. Have you?

Why would he be talking about a championship in December? A championship was the goal. Who else is talking championship now? He pretty much says they are inventing ways to lose. They're a stupid mistake from being 11-11 or 9-13. It's not like they've been getting smashed.

I stated my prediction and nothing with it has changed.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"lol...so you are a slow short guy who can't jump? "

Yep. And proud of it.

"I've played in more than just pickup games although I've played in my share of those."

How many top 10 Division 1 teams have you started for? How many top pro leagues? If the answer is none (and we know that it is) then you don't have any better insight into what it takes to be an NBA player than us recreational weekenders. You know the NBA the same way everybody who doesn't play in the NBA knows it: By watching games (and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here, because based on may of your comments, it's an open question whether you actually watch the games.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

the problem is the record is indicative of stupid mistakes being the nature of the team. It's one thing to have a brain freeze game, but this latest slide is mistakes from all angles at the worst of times and inclusive of bad coaching.

Flip needs to shoulder some blame here rather than just benching young guys (equivalent of Norv cutting kickers)

Posted by: divi3 | December 16, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Why would he be talking about a championship in December? A championship was the goal. Who else is talking championship now?

Actually, why would he be talking about it at all. This is no championship-contending team. Maybe the focus should have been on not being last in the SE Division. Again.

He pretty much says they are inventing ways to lose. They're a stupid mistake from being 11-11 or 9-13. It's not like they've been getting smashed.

Actually, they're several mistakes from being 11-11 or 9-13. They are what they are. Agreed?

I stated my prediction and nothing with it has changed.

That's beautiful, SDMDTSU.
Maybe you should have consulted with Flip in October about realistic expectations since his most certainly were not.

Flip raised expectations as much as anybody else. FACT.


Posted by: tgif11 | December 16, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

But those expectations (as they generally are)were largely speculative. And that speculation proved unfounded.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

i thought the speculation was based on flip's resume,and coaching ability in addition to the draft day trade.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 16, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

'i thought the speculation was based on flip's resume,and coaching ability in addition to the draft day trade.'

i for one have been disappointed in flip's coaching so far...but kee-rist, the guy has won so many games. Must be doing something right, I just cant figure how he allots PT

Posted by: divi3 | December 16, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"They were high. Unrealistically so. But those expectations (as they generally are)were largely speculative. And that speculation proved unfounded."

Yes but we'll always have Paris.

Posted by: midlevex | December 16, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Actually, why would he be talking about it at all. This is no championship-contending team. Maybe the focus should have been on not being last in the SE Division. Again.

So he should state that as a goal? To not finish last? That sounds like loser talk. The goal is to contend for this team. At the end of the season. Not in December.

Actually, they're several mistakes from being 11-11 or 9-13. They are what they are. Agreed?

I meant to put mistakes. Yes they are what they are NOW. They have 60 games left. He said he believes they can contend for the Eastern Conference championship.

Where should he set the bar? Let's not finish last?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

So he should state that as a goal? To not finish last? That sounds like loser talk. The goal is to contend for this team. At the end of the season. Not in December.

Talking about "finding ways to lose" is loser talk too, no? Baby steps, SDMDTSU, baby steps. "Crawl before you walk" kind of rhetoric might have been more appropriate for this bunch.

I meant to put mistakes. Yes they are what they are NOW. They have 60 games left.

Okay. You were referring to their record NOW, no?

He said he believes they can contend for the Eastern Conference championship.

That's nice.

Where should he set the bar? Let's not finish last?

Sadly, that bar is higher than where they are now.
It's totally on him as to where he sets the bar. Just don't try to shrink away from where the bar was set. Again, Flip raised expectations as much as anybody else. He has the best resume of any coach we've had in decades and his opinion certainly carried more weight than than, for example, that of the "Nutty Optimist" (RIP).

Posted by: tgif11 | December 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Talking about "finding ways to lose" is loser talk too, no? Baby steps, SDMDTSU, baby steps. "Crawl before you walk" kind of rhetoric might have been more appropriate for this bunch.

No it's not loser talk. They've lost 4 games in different ways that they should/could have won. I'll find the quotes after lunch. He DEFINITELY said that on more than one occasion during training camp. He didn't say we're going to come out and dominate and win a championship.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 16, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

No it's not loser talk. They've lost 4 games in different ways that they should/could have won.

Talking about "finding ways to lose" several games IS what losers talk about after they've lost several games, correct?
Especially when some of HIS decisions may have been directly responsible for one or more of them.

I'll find the quotes after lunch. He DEFINITELY said that on more than one occasion during training camp. He didn't say we're going to come out and dominate and win a championship.

That's a different argument, by the way, and one which I did not put forth. I never said he promised they'd be kicking @ss and taking names.

Just to refocus for a bit, the statement you apparently took umbrage to was my saying that Flip is as guilty as anyone of raising expectations. He is.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 16, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

This team used to be mediocre and would finish close to 4th - 7th in the East.

They finally have a roster of their "stars" (sarcasm huge here) back, but the problem is the rest of the east, and the league for that matter, is younger and better.

This team desparately needs to get rid of the finesse players they have (Jamison, Caron, Gilbert, Blatche, Boykins).

Problem is we have no ATHLETES on this team that present match up problems.

We used to have Arenas filling this void, but I think we can all now realize that he is not what he was, and probably never will be.

Going to be a tough 5 years until that contract is up and we can finally have a chance to be good again.

That contact signing was worse than the Juwan Howard deal, which I never thought we could do worse than.

Sadly, I think its time to do what we can, cut payroll, make some trades, get some draft picks, play 20-62 ball for a few years til Arenas' burden is gone, and build up through the draft like the Hawks did, and sign a "few" veterans that will be the glue.

I dont think I have ever been more depressed about the chances of the wiz of doing ANYTHING than I am now.

Talk about a tease from that first game in Dallas. WHERE IS THAT TEAM NOW?!?!?!?

Trade them all.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | December 16, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I know Kal nobody knows more than you the great oz. Humbleness is not a trait you have.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it. This is an awful team

Posted by: nadeemsx | December 16, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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