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Thunder 110, Wizards 98


Flip Saunders sounded the alarm on Tuesday. He didn't demand that Ernie Grunfeld make some trades, but he implied that something needed to be done -- changing the starting lineup, changing the rotation, something -- and quickly. Saunders joined the Wizards in April, with the optimism that he could teach a 19-win team to play defense and win again. So much for that.

After 30 games, Saunders unloaded on his team like never before, with the most scathing criticism of his players all season. It was arguably the most scathing criticism I've ever heard a coach give his team -- in person. Saunders kept his cool and never raised his voice, so it does not rank up there with some infamous meltdowns by NFL coaches Jim Mora (Playoffs?! & Couldn't do diddly-poo), Mike Ditka (Next!) or Dennis Green (They are who we thought they were!). But this was the first time I ever heard a coach tell a room full of reporters that he could put five of them on the floor against his team and have success. It was the first time I heard coach say that, at age 54, he could take any player on his team one-on-one.

But Saunders has been fed up with this team for some time. He's taken little shots here or there, questioning their shot selection and things like that. But Saunders never has questioned the entire mental makeup of his players to this extreme.

"This team needs a mindset change," Saunders said. "This team for the last five years has been known as one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Until our guys decide that it hurts when teams score on you, we've got no chance. We're kidding ourselves."

Saunders was talking about the Wizards aspirations to be a playoff team despite this miserable 10-20 start. Yeah, the Wizards are just 2 ½ games from the eight spot, but if you think about it, the Wizards would have to go 32-20 to finish this season with a winning record. And when you consider that they've lost to Minnesota, the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento, Memphis, Toronto, Indiana (twice), Detroit (twice), Miami (twice) and Oklahoma City (twice), against which teams are they going to gain ground with wins? Will it start on Saturday -- against San Antonio?

The Wizards have yet to play Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver, Portland, Houston and Utah. And, they still have three games apiece left against Atlanta and Boston. Again, where are these wins going to come from?

"Don't ever think it can't get any worse, because it can," Saunders said. "It can."

The Wizards had a bunch of lightweights in December and came away with just five wins. It was a despicable performance that has Saunders still in search of career win No. 600. The guy arrived in Washington with 587 wins. I'm pretty sure he expected to be cutting some celebratory cake before 2010. At this rate, Saunders won't reach that milestone until the MLK holiday. If he's lucky.

"I'm frustrated, but I'm as frustrated as anybody," Saunders said. "I feel bad for the people that came to the game and had to watch us play like this. We got a responsibility as professional athletes, as entertainers, to go out on the floor and perform at a high level -- especially at home, in front of your home fans."

The Wizards were especially horrendous in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma City, when they let the Thunder shot 72 percent and outscore them 34-22. It was the second time in three games that the Wizards allowed an opponent score at least 30 points in the final period. Against Minnesota, the Wizards let the Timberwolves get 33 points while shooting 35 percent.

"Right now our biggest problem has been the fourth quarter," Antawn Jamison said after scoring a game-high 28 points. "We haven't been executing offensively or defensively, so I think I think our offense is kind of leading to us playing bad defense, as far as turning the vball over and taking bad shots. Guys are open, getting what they want to get, kicking it out and we always rotating and off balance and have to do better job of containing."

It's funny how just three months ago in training camp, the Wizards were talking about how they would make a commitment to playing better defense; how Saunders would bring a philosophy that would make players more accountable than they were under former Coach Eddie Jordan. Saunders basically said on Tuesday, that it's players, not the coach, that's the problem.

The Wizards were able to slow down the Thunder by going to the 2-3 zone. But it only worked for a short while before the Thunder adjusted and got a few shots to drop. "The zone got us back in the game and they scored a couple of times in the zone. Guys want to come out of the zone and play man to man -- they can't guard anybody," he said. "I think I can go out there on the floor and take anybody on the team, one-on-one at 52 years old, and drive right around them."

Saunders is 54. See, this season is already taking years off his life.

With all of the lofty expectations that came with adding Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood to this team, those returns have improved the Wizards by just four games from last season, when they were 6-24 after 30 games. "The last two years we've got a loser mentality," Arenas said. "We're finding ways to lose basketball games. From forcing shots to turnovers, if you can think of it, we're doing it."

This calendar year will be marked by loss upon loss, with the Wizards going 23-79 over the past 12 months. Can a new year bring about the necessary change?

"If miracles happen in three days, then yeah, I hope so," he said. "But now, three days, one day, 10 days, if we don't want to win, then it's not gonna go. Last time I checked, between 2009 and 2010 is a second. It's not like we're going to turn all of a sudden into a good ball club. Progress needs to build from within. Coach can draw up all the plays, and defensive schemes he wants, but if we're not executing, we're going to be 10-20."

But the Wizards have yet to find the right attitude about defense. They have made some slight statistical improvements in field goal percentage defense, but they still cannot stop someone when it counts. "Defense. It's an attitude. It's taking pride," Brendan Haywood said. "I think sometimes we get mad about the wrong things. We get mad that the guy didn't see you on offense or you didn't get your shot. Well, get mad when your guy goes by you. Get mad when we're not playing defense. That's when we'll grow as a team, when we, as a team, take pride in our defense."

By Michael Lee  |  December 30, 2009; 12:16 AM ET
 
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Comments

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm just may be with have ourselves a head coach?
Did not see the press conference as I jumped to the Kennedy Center honors, for Dave Brubeck, Deniro, Mel Brooks and Bruce...certainly a better defensive team than the Wiz.
If what I hear is correct, the proof will be in the putting.
Please Flip have the batzum to back up your words. This team is in dire need of leadership!!!!

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Changes have to be made. As Saunders said, this team has been one of the worst defensive teams for years. Old habits are hard to break and this team is in need of a shakeup. Maybe Blatche and Nick Young should start and let them play. Just let them play. Jamison should come off the bench and I wouldn't give a rats a## if he gets mad or not. When Miller comes back I would start him over Butler. Guys have become confortable and they are not bringing it. Like the Redskins, guys are relying on past reputation and they are simply not as good as they think.

Posted by: irw20 | December 30, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Also, Flip's gotta be horrified by this teams lack of hunger. That's why some changes have to be made. Blatche is hungry and ready for more minutes.

Posted by: irw20 | December 30, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

WHO SHOULD WE DRAFT NEXT YEAR??? GANI LAWAL? TREVOR BROOKER? AL-FAROQ AMINU? ANYONE OTHER SUGGESTIONS?

Posted by: ATLredskin | December 30, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Who on this team WANTS to play defense??? NOBODY. Maybe McGuire. Stock a team up with jump shooters and this is what happens. Arenas at his best covered up some of these pitfalls, but he cannot take over a game right now. Do something Ernie quickly. Heck, call Bruce Bowen and get him to be a defensive consultant...do SOMETHING.

Posted by: t-train | December 30, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

PG-Foye
SG - Arenas
SF - Butler
PF - Blatche
C - Haywood

Bench
6th-Jamison
7th-Miller
8th-McGuire
Others-Young, McGee, Oberto, Boykins, Stephensen

Play an 8 man rotation, with the others filling in the gaps...
1-5 should be playing min., 28 min and max at 36min.
6-8 should be playing at least 20min-30max..
Others should collect a total of 5min -12 max additional...

We should minimize Arenas and Jamison on the court as much as possible to limit defensive weakness and exploit primary scoring capabilities.

ITS ALL ABOUT THE ROTATION !!

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Blow it up. This isn't working at all.

Gilbert's lack of commitment to defense is problem #1. The other player would feed off of him.

Posted by: Levelheadedskinsfan19 | December 30, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

6TH MAN - JAMISON

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I applaud Saunders for his remarks. This team's effort is horrible. It has been a mentally weak team for years.

I am so disgusted that I am having a really hard time watching their games. I would quit, but I keep thinking they will gel and start winning these close games.

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 30, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

#1 Trade: Butler, Stevenson and Mike James expiring contract for McGrady.

#2 Trade: Jamison, Stevenson and Mike James expiring contract for McGrady.

#3 Trade: Arenas, Stevenson and Mike James expiring contract for McGrady and Brooks.

(not sure if contract values work, but should be within range) Anyone ???

We get fading star - with something to prove and a 23 million dollar expiring contract. (Do we need to throw NYoung in there?), or are we getting enough???? with trades #1, #2 or #3

Butler could easily become their top two Scorers for Houston.

Jamison would be easily their #1 scorer, and defensive weakness could be masked by overall team defense for HOU...

Arenas, and a defensive minded team? Houston could be awesome...? (Honestly don't think Houston would take him).. (probably the best trade for wiz??)

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

i def., see a trade happening btw HOU and WAS...

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe nobody heard anything about the possible trade between Arenas and McGrady. This is evidence that we are ripping everything down and now that Polin is gone (RIP) we can stop trying to build a team for now and build towards the future. Anyway here is the little passage from ESPN.com

ESPN.com reported Saturday that the Washington Wizards had reached out to the Rockets in an exploratory manner about a possible Gilbert Arenas-for-McGrady swap, but Houston has no interest in such a deal. Arenas ranks as one of the league's most difficult players to move with four seasons left after this one on a mammoth $111 million contract and a history of knee problems to rival McGrady's.

Posted by: ATLredskin | December 30, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

ESPN.com reported Saturday that the Washington Wizards had reached out to the Rockets in an exploratory manner about a possible Gilbert Arenas-for-McGrady swap, but Houston has no interest in such a deal. Arenas ranks as one of the league's most difficult players to move with four seasons left after this one on a mammoth $111 million contract and a history of knee problems to rival McGrady's.

Posted by: ATLredskin | December 30, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse


WAS
Trades:
Jamison
Haywood
MJames
Stevenson
NYoung

*WAS get's a PF Banger, and a wild-card in McGrady and his expiring contract.

HOU
Trades:
McGrady
Landry

*HOU get's Jamison, the perfect scoring machine and a team that is able to absorb a lame defensive player. Probably would be a great 6th man for them. It would be a great fit. Mike James can also provide scoring..

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

with this trade, HOU get's a dynamic group of scorers, and we get DEFENSE (got respect a guy who loses his teeth with a smile) and a tandem of ARENAS and MCGRADY !! It would fill the seats.... $$$

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 2:26 AM | Report abuse

New Line Up with Trade #1 (Landry is gotta be in the deal) -
-probably the best trade for both teams

WAS
Trades:
Jamison PF/SF
Haywood C
MJames G
Stevenson G
NYoung G

HOU
Trades:
McGrady SF
Landry PF
Hayes C

WAS - *Can Arenas and McGrady co-exist? We get a banger in Landry and have very young and strong front court.

PG - ARENAS (Star #2)
SG - MCGRADY (Star #1)
SF - BLATCHE (Perfect complimentary all-around player)
PF - LANDRY (Toughness, Defense)
C - MCGEE (Shot Blocker)

Bench
BUTLER - Would be a great 6th man
FOYE
MILLER
HAYES

HOU - *Get's legit center, and a 6th man scoring machine...

PG - BROOKS
SG - BATTIER
SF - ARIZA
PF - SCOLA
C- HAYWOOD

Bench
JAMISON
LOWRY
JAMES

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

The Thunder shot 55%, meanwhile Haywood, Blatche, and Jamison, the Wizards' "bigs," combined to commit 4 fouls. When OKC blew the game open in the 4th quarter they never even made it into the penalty, as the Wizards made just 4 fouls in the entire period.

That bears repeating. As they were getting blown out at home, on their way to a 10-20 record and a lost season, they couldn't even be bothered to commit a frustration foul. You could find players with more heart at any gym in DC, and that's the sad, simple truth.

I realize I'm old school, and my outlook has no place in the modern era where all the players hug and kiss each other before every game. But it would be nice if, just for once, the players on the Wizards would demonstrate even a fraction of the anger the team's fans feel.

For the love of the game, will someone just lay someone out already?

Posted by: bryc3 | December 30, 2009 4:37 AM | Report abuse

A jump shooting team that palys absolutely no defense, a terrible combination. I've never seen a team with a starting five that none of them played defense.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | December 30, 2009 5:11 AM | Report abuse

I watched the post-game and I LOVED IT! Finally, somebody with balls enough to tell it like it is. The problem is, I don't think anybody on the bench can play any better defense, and that includes Stevenson and Mcguire. Might be time to blow up the whole thing.

Posted by: garg8050 | December 30, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Trade is the only chance to get rid of our bad habit in defense.I am 100% sure the same players will win the heart od flip by the effort they are going to show in this 3 days traning.They will come out for 2 wins and 6 losses.AJ and GA are the main weakness on defense,CB has been burned last night by durant.If the point of flip is picked by the players only CB,AB,DM,DS,BH and Foye might get the favour.That means both GA and AJ are going to benched.I am not sure if the above rotation will get 60 points pergame, they might limit the other team to 85 but what is the point?We need 4 solid years to get rid of this bad habit.MJ might get a chance to take over GA.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 30, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

The team was ill-conceived from the getgo. A team built around an aging Jamison, a damaged Arenas, and an undersized CB was never going to be a major winner. The EG apologists may be placing the blame on Abe for prompting EG to re-sign GA and AJ to exorbitant contracts, but EG himself has repeatedly expressed confidence that this group of guys can get the job done.

A totally misguided vision which is playing itself out nightly on the court. Flip is a sideshow in all this; his major mistake was taking the job in the first place.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 30, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Trading Gilbert would be a dumb move. PG isnt our problem position defensively.
Shooting guards and Power forwards are scoring 24 and 23 ppg per 48 respectively against us.
Again, all it takes is a quick glance at some +/- figures if you cant figure it out from watching the games.

Saunders said last night what a lot of us have been saying for years. Note that he didnt say we DON'T guard anybody. He said that we CAN'T guard anybody. Big difference...and he's absolutely correct. Two of our biggest profile guys are tweeners. CB and AJ are battlers but too small for one position and too slow for another. We WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PLAY GREAT D WITH THEM STARTING. I'm glad he sees what we see.

Though NY had foul trouble last night, he should be starting if CB can't play SG (and I dont think CB is quick enough to play SG on defense effectively personally).

Also, AB should be starting at power forward with AJ playing 25 minutes against 2nd teamers and putting up 15 shots per game.

If we're talking about a trade to shake things up, it should be AJ or CB, not Gil.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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? If the team wanted defense, it could start playing oberto, who despite an inability to create offense consistently shows positive +/- statistics when he does play. McGuire plays hard, even McGee has shot-blocking ability and showed incredible development last season for his age.

Also, we shouldn't forget that this team hasn't a single leader that can pick a team up on either end. That doesn't mean scoring points...it means hustling to make plays for other guys, creating passing lanes to post-up big men rather than worrying about your own shot. The Wiz seem content on wing-isolation, and one of the most unproductive pick-and-roll offenses I've ever seen (now I just shield my eyes).

Forget a trade...these guys need some heart.

Posted by: eckzomarckz | December 30, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

This notion that playing defense is entirely about "pride," as Haywood says above, or some other mental thing like "commitment" or "determination" is misplaced and indicative of the problem. Playing good defense is a skill, it's a habit, it requires athleticism and practice. It's not just something you decide you're going to do and then you try hard at it for 15 minutes a game. This team mistakenly thinks playing defense is easy and something they can turn on whenever they want. It starts with acquiring players who are good, proven defensive players. As someone just noted, EG has built this team around a core of "stars" who are 100% offensive focused jump shooters. If you want good defense, get rid of the "half players" like AJ, Caron and GA who never play good defense, CAN'T PLAY GOOD DEFENSE, and probably never will.

By the way, Flip's rant is the first bit of honesty to come out of this organization in years.

Posted by: jweber1 | December 30, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"This team needs a mindset change," Saunders said. "This team for the last five years has been known as one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Until our guys decide that it hurts when teams score on you, we've got no chance. We're kidding ourselves."

No, uh, sugar, Sherlock. I think that's why you were hired as a new coach, and you're just now figuring this out? Flip is a joke, his previous success (limited) is due to the relatively strong teams he mostly had. The emperor, he has no clothes. And never trust a guy named Flip. (Or Trip, just so you know.)

I don't really think him calling his team out in such an obvious attempt to get his funny looking mug on ESPN by saying that a bunch of 50-somes could beat his team is a real effective way to lead your team. It IS an effective way to get your pock-marked face on TV, though, and to disassociate yourself from the problem that you were hired to fix. Cagey. Nobody else gets this? We haven't seen such lame substitution patterns since the days of Wes "I'll put some names in a hat" Unseld.

Grunfeld's no better. You watch these younger teams and they have young players who can actually play. Ours cannot. Nick Young is a joke. McGuire? A good GM should be able to find guys like him on the waiver wire. Other teams have effective international players. We go years without getting any international players, then screw up and let a good one get away, then start acquiring ones that are no good. Come on.

Posted by: mike8 | December 30, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

i like what i'm hearing from flip...to often the washington professional football and basketball players are coddle by the coaches and then the coaches go down in flames...the washington pro athletes (redskins, wizards) play soft and most pro teams that play them know that if you hang in there until "crunch" time you got them!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | December 30, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Flip for calling this horrible team out. Prior coaches never did this so they wouldn't rock the boat on this millionaires.

Time to sit Butler and Jamison (never thought I would be saying it). Bring them off the bench and start Miller and Blatche. Also McGee needs to be getting some minutes.

Prior to the season, I was envious of those folks with season tickets. Now, I am glad I can turn off the TV (kind of like the Redskins).

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 30, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The responsibility for this mess should fall directly in the lap of Ernie Grunfeld. It is not as if all of a sudden this team is unable to stop an opponent. This is the team that EG so desperately wanted to see on the floor. Now he can see it in all its glory. It is a team that has no on-court discipline, no inside presence or toughness, and no heart. He is the one who was obsessed with skinny kids from the Ukraine, upstate New York, and Nevada (JJ Hickson is starting in Cleveland isn't he?). He is the guy who paid big bucks for an aging power forward who plays without power or desire to put a body on his opponent. He is the GM who paid superstar money for a combo guard that only cares about playing on the offensive end. And he is the GM who thought this was year that he was going to acquire vets in order make a run instead of building this team for the future.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 30, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I recall Sam Young, a second round draft pick who the Wizards could have taken in last year's second round, going around Dom McGuire with ease on Monday night. He'd be a nice back up to Caron, wouldn't he?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 30, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

In defense of Saunders now stating the obvious, he had to give these players an opportunity to show to him what they could and couldn't do.

New coach, return of the star player, two new players in a big trade - all of that meant that some sort of "fresh" start needed to be given.

Now that the players have shown to be unwilling or incapable of changing, heads have to roll.

Of course, revolutions have a way of turning on the revolutionaries, doesn't it?

I don't think anyone - players, coaches or management - is getting out of this one alive (if you know what I mean).

Posted by: SteveMG | December 30, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Arenas is washed up and refuses to play defense. He needs to go, and the sooner the better.

Posted by: awb9h | December 30, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

""Guys want to come out of the zone and play man-to-man, but they can't guard anybody. I can go out there on that floor and take anybody on our team on one-on-one at 52 years old and drive right around them," Saunders said. "We've got to wake up. As I told them: Don't think it can't get any worse, because it can. There's no question it can. We've got to have a sense of urgency.""

-----------------------------------------

Hey Flipper....it's wonderful that you're promising changes, but you've already changed the starting lineup about 20 times already this season.

Also, if EG decides to blow up the team or even make a trade after only 30 games, then that would totally go against his monk-patience approach of waiting for Gilby for 2.5 years to get healthy while giving him max money and wanting to see the little 3 play together.

Both Gilby and MeTawn are clearly the problems on defense as I've stated for the past 4 seasons, to everyone's blind eyes, deaf ears, and dense brain.

Now, people are forced to swallow what I've been saying since then.

How does it taste, biotches?

I know....ya'll can't talk yet b/c you're still trying to swallow with a bad gag reflex.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 30, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

If Flip Flop sits Gilby or MeTawn, that would be a huge embarrassment for EG who brought in both his coach in Flip Flop, and re-signed those two stats obsessed shoot first players.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

It's not like the Wizards players can't physically play defense. Doesn't seem to matter who is out there .... so trades aren't going to bring a new commitment ...sorry ! Occasionally, I have seen the team play stretches of excellent defense (rare, I know). It's an attitude and Flip needs to look at his star players in the eye and ask "What's it going to be, wins or stats ?"

It was funny .. I was at last nite's game and the guy sitting next to me is yelling what any 8 year old is taught the first time they're in a zone defense ..."Hands up". Gilbert will literally put his hands down next to his knees. And do the Wizards actually know that charging is a call that doesn't only have to happen against Butler and Arenas ? They are weak and pathetic.

Posted by: jthicks | December 30, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Mike8 I totally agree with your post. While others are praising Flip for going off. That was about as fake as the fake big 3. I'll keep repeating Flip was brought in last yr training camp to teach defense. It's taking him another training camp and 30 gms to realize Gil, Jamison Butler play no D. He's just realizing Haywood is to slow to rotate over so the other team gets a dunk or he has to foul.

THE MAN'S A FRAUD. He had the best defensive player in the league and didn't win a trophy. He had 1 of the premier defensive teams in the history of the NBA in Detroit and didn't win a trophy. What makes anyone think he can teach defense. His rotations are whack. Ernie and Flip need to go. Next to the Unseld regime this is the worst. Bring on the new owner.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 30, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

""Right now our biggest problem has been the fourth quarter," Antawn Jamison said after scoring a game-high 28 points. "We haven't been executing offensively or defensively, so I think I think our offense is kind of leading to us playing bad defense, as far as turning the vball over and taking bad shots. Guys are open, getting what they want to get, kicking it out and we always rotating and off balance and have to do better job of containing.""

------------------------------------------

No MeTawn, one of the biggest problems right now is you.

This numbnut always goes back to talking about offense when he should be thinking and doing defense.

As I've said before, MeTawn, since he's on the team, should be a guy coming off the bench to be a spark. He can't be in the starting lineup b/c he doesn't play defense, has no inside game, and is a poor passer.

Money well spent....yeah.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 30, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"Trading Gilbert would be a dumb move. PG isnt our problem position defensively.
Shooting guards and Power forwards are scoring 24 and 23 ppg per 48 respectively against us.
Again, all it takes is a quick glance at some +/- figures if you cant figure it out from watching the games.

Saunders said last night what a lot of us have been saying for years. Note that he didnt say we DON'T guard anybody. He said that we CAN'T guard anybody. Big difference...and he's absolutely correct. Two of our biggest profile guys are tweeners. CB and AJ are battlers but too small for one position and too slow for another. We WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PLAY GREAT D WITH THEM STARTING. I'm glad he sees what we see.

Though NY had foul trouble last night, he should be starting if CB can't play SG (and I dont think CB is quick enough to play SG on defense effectively personally).

Also, AB should be starting at power forward with AJ playing 25 minutes against 2nd teamers and putting up 15 shots per game.

If we're talking about a trade to shake things up, it should be AJ or CB, not Gil.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

"

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

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 30, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Arenas is washed up? I love these guys who come on here and trash Gil. Is he playing great? No. Is he what he was before his knee injury and subsequent 3 surgeries? No. Is his shot selection perfect? No. He's 30 days into this season after barely playing for more than 2 full years. Remember, it was his knee that he injured, meaning he was prevented from keeping his lower body strong. Moreover, the types of surgery he had also have neurological implications that take time to overcome. It is ignorant, therefore, to think that Gilbert would possess the same physical ability now as he did two years ago. Despite all this, he is starting to play pretty well. He is finding his range on his jumper, his turnovers are decreasing, and he's got decent assist numbers. He is not without worts, as his defense is terrible and his shot selection leaves much to be desired.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes, why can't Saunders get these guys to play defense like Jordan and Tapscott did?

Man....

I guess this team has to go through 87 coaches before the light goes off.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 30, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Arenas is washed up? I love these guys who come on here and trash Gil. Is he playing great? No. Is he what he was before his knee injury and subsequent 3 surgeries? No. Is his shot selection perfect? No. He's 30 days into this season after barely playing for more than 2 full years. Remember, it was his knee that he injured, meaning he was prevented from keeping his lower body strong. Moreover, the types of surgery he had also have neurological implications that take time to overcome. It is ignorant, therefore, to think that Gilbert would possess the same physical ability now as he did two years ago. Despite all this, he is starting to play pretty well. He is finding his range on his jumper, his turnovers are decreasing, and he's got decent assist numbers. He is not without worts, as his defense is terrible and his shot selection leaves much to be desired.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"

Again, Les BouleS haven't won anything with Gilby and anything that he hasn't done shouldn't be any surprise to anyone.

Bringing back "Agent Zero" hasn't resulted in anything beneficially different.

It's all BS, just like Gilby.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 30, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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

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

...and yes I was at the game. I watch the actual games and I'm not just spouting stats. Like someone else said..Gil aint perfect but he's FAR from the biggest problem on this team as far as defense is concerned.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, BTH was the ONLY Wiz player with a positive +/- rating last night with a +5.

....preemptive before mud starts getting slung his way, too.....

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Five games ago the author conducted a poll asking if we the fans thought the Wizards were done for the year. At the time I pointed out they were about to play five sub-500 teams, and if they could win three of five, I would give the Wizards a chance. Oh well, I'm ready to vote now. They are done.

Posted by: clocker58 | December 30, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game. The only bench players to get in were Blatche, Boykins, and Young (barely). If he is so fed up with the starters, why would he not expand the rotation. This was the second of a back-to-back and the guys looked very tired in the fourth Q when they lost it. Bad coaching. For what it is worth, I thought Andre, Jamison, and Haywood were the only players who were hustling last night. Caron is done here from the looks of it.

Posted by: jhg_hoops | December 30, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

When will the Coaches realize that they are one of the most unathletic teams in the NBA (starting five). It's not just their desire to play defense, they simply are not athletic enough to stay in front of anyone or contest their shot. Jamison is what he is .. ...an outside streaky shooter with slow foot speed. He's playing hard but he'll never be able to cover anyone with his slow foot speed.
Gil is what he is. Those guys are most effective when there are athletic guys behind them that can cover up their inability to stay in front of their man. I was looking at Gil's career stats versus his season so far and he actually is just about dead on for every stat except for FT shooting and steals.

Even when the Wiz main guys have had big games they are getting absolutely nothing from the bench and be honest, who on the bench can you actually count on to give you 25-30 points combined every night and not be a defensive liability? Young? Blatche? Stevenson? McGuire? McGee? Boykins? This is the problem with the Wizards. There are no veterans coming off the bench that can put the ball in the basket so all the pressure is on 3 guys to score the ball and defend the otehr team's best players. You can't win in this league like that.

I did feel like Flip yanked Young from the starting line-up too soon. He has not allowed the young players to play through their mistakes but has allowed the veterans players to continue to play through their mistakes. You cannot develop when you are playing scared.

I would like to see Flip go to a more defensive team in the 4th. McGuire needs to play more. Every good team has a player that just concentrates on defense and rebounding.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 30, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"The last two years we've got a loser mentality," Arenas said. "We're finding ways to lose basketball games. From forcing shots to turnovers, if you can think of it, we're doing it."

Until Gilbert looses this 'selfish diplomacy', (mentioned above) this team will continue to loose games. It's not a "we" thing. He needs to fess-up and realize that he lacks the good b-ball judgement the Saunders is talking about!

Posted by: bazteal | December 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

What else was he gonna do? Flip is grandstanding; EJ had a worse lineup and he won, now why was that? BECAUSE EJ couldn't get them to play any D whatsoever so he focused on them outscoring their opponent however the Eastern conference is better so are teams like OKC so now that strategy ain't gonna work, now didn't Flip have CB guarding Durant? that was a horrible matchup and as we all know basketball is a game of matchups.I think their are some serious personality conflicts in this locker room, listen they have talent i don't care what DCMAN 88 says(LOL!) however something is missing and i think Flip is in over his head(Thanks EG).

Posted by: dargregmag | December 30, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"The team was ill-conceived from the getgo...Flip is a sideshow in all this; his major mistake was taking the job in the first place."
===
I agree with all this from shovetheplanet. Though while it's fun to see Flip flip out, he is the coach, you know? It's kind of his job to make the changes he says he wants to see. I think Flip senses that he could be one-and-done. IMO he's just making some noise to avoid blame.

I was at the game last night and IMO there were two Wizards who seemed to have a plan: Jamison and (to my surprise) Haywood. Everyone else looked lost. If they were coached I couldn't tell.

To the people saying they should start Nick Young - please. Check his line: 5:43, 0-1, 0 rebounds, 0 assists. And four of those fouls were terrible "oh crap I blew my assignment better slap his arm" fouls. Young doesn't have a clue and has learned nothing. He's lucky to have a seat on an NBA bench.

And to the people saying trade Gilbert - please. He is untradeable. NOBODY is going to take on that contract.

I don't think Gil will ever be the old Agent Zero, but I do think he'll get better. It seems like it takes two years to fully recover from major knee surgery, and this is just year one. But even if Gil improves, the Wiz are paying franchise money for a #2 guy.

So they are stuck with Arenas, but they need to blow up everything else. Trade anyone you can get anything for. That means Jamison (expensive but still good) and Butler (great contract). Maybe Haywood, if anyone wants him. Keep McGee. Everyone else...whatever. They are all interchangeable and all expendable - when 70% of your salary is in the backcourt but your best point is a street free agent, nobody is worth hanging on to. Then be patient and build through the draft.

It was frustrating watching OKC last night. That's how you build a team. They are stacked with promising young guys - Durant, Westbrook, Green, Harden, even li'l Eric Maynor. That team is 1) decent and 2) can hope to get better. The Wiz are 1) bad and 2) as good as they are ever going to be.

Thank heavens Ernie traded away the #5 pick last year. If we had Rubio we might have fun and hope.

Posted by: hubcap | December 30, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

THIS TEAM NEEDS AN ENEMA!!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 30, 2009 10:19 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 compli!

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Where are the holy trinity of idiots this morning Lilhollywood, Kalo, Blurred???

I argued with these 3 clueless idiots all day yesterday and all 3 agreed that:

The Wizards offense is the problem (LMAO) & specifically Brendan Haywood causes the bad perimeter defense and this team would win more games w/o Haywood.

I'm telling you 3 dummys again.

THIS TEAM IS LOSING BECAUSE THEY DON'T AND WON'T PLAY DEFENSE. AND IT STARTS WITH GILBERT ARENAS. I'M NOT SAYING IT ENDS WITH GIL BUT IT HAS TO START WITH YOUR FRANCHISE PLAYER SETTING THE TONE.

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

Tracey McGrady? Are you kidding? Get rid of Arenas. Get rid of Arenas. Get rid of Arenas. "Gil being Gil" is very old, especially at $110 million. Wait, wait, wait, ahhh, there it is, a column from Wilbon on behalf of Arenas. Where is Tony when you need him?

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

Arenas is not the problem, defense is the problem, steveson is our best perimeter defender but he never plays. we need him on the court to stop some one. Put stevenson in the line up.

Posted by: urbantao | December 30, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Trade him or Cut Gil he is a cancer to the team.

Posted by: sonofliberty09 | December 30, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Look on the bright side, maybe DeShawn can have another beard growing contest to liven things up!

Posted by: gradya3 | December 30, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I am with those who say get rid of Arenas first move. It has nothing to do with his injury - which has slowed him. The fact is, he's a step slower version of the player who he always has been -- a me-first point guard who plays no defense and has few leadership skills. Yes, he is a skilled scorer, but yes he has bad shot selection and shoots a poor %. Worse, I have never seen him fight thru or above a screen on defense.

Posted by: megatron57 | December 30, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

kevenjones,I agree with you on some points. I just disagree that it starts with Gilbert. I actually think it starts with the team captain.
AJ talks a good game and produces points and rebounds. On a team that runs and guns, he's perfect. But if we're talking defense, he doesn't cut it. He was trying last night. I watched him specifically and he was bodying up and really giving effort at times. But there were lots of lapses and guys running right by him.

Posted by: original_mark | December 30, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Panic mode has hit. You guys are flipping out. I still don't think our season is over. We'll make it into the playoffs. And I still think we're gonna make some noise when we get there. It's taking longer than I thought to get it all together, but it'll come.

Any word on when Miller returns?

Posted by: Matte | December 30, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@original_mark,

I agree but that's part of the problem.

But let me correct you. Flip named Gil the Captain for this year...(Joke right?)But he actually did..

My issue is your Franchise Player should also be your Captain leader and even though Gil was "named" the captain, we all know AJ is the captain and glue of this team.

I gurantee you Caron, Kobe, Carmello, Dwade are all the Captains of their teams. Am i wrong here?

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@Matte,

IF they make the playoffs they won't win a single game unless they somehow manage to finish 4-5. But they MIGHT be a 7-8 seed and in that case PLEASE. We would be matched up with Cleveland, Boston, Orlando and if you think this team can make some noise against theses teams in the playoffs..

But I do think Mike Miller will help us tremendously. We just got to many players who don't play D.

Blatche, NY, GA111, Antawn, Boykins(5'5 who's he gonna defend), etc..

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think Saunders was the right coach for this team before the season started and I haven't seen anything to change my mind. He seems clueless when it comes to his rotation. Even though Foye started out the season well, he could barely work his way back into the rotation after what was a not too serious injury. Then all of the sudden Flip remembered that he had a talented guard sitting there on the pine watching them lose. Now Foye starts, which is fine, but there's no ryhme or reason to it.

His little rant after last night's game won't accomplish anything, because I have no doubt that Flip's a soft practice coach. He came in here blowing smoke up everyone's butt and trying to be their buddy. That doesn't work in the NBA, especially with a team like this with all the bad habits they have.

With as many turnovers and defensive lapses as this team has, practices should be hellish; long and demanding. I guarantee you they're not. The players don't like to lose, but it's not really a major deal when you go to practice the next day and you have some guy begging you to play hard rather than screaming in your face and demanding it.

Posted by: sonny2 | December 30, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

no one on the team gives full defensive effort and last night was a clear example. By the 4th quarter, they were all utterly pathetic on D.

You can point the finger at everyone, and I'm glad Flip did. Great to see him go off on them, now let's see him do something about it.

that said, cant play boykins 21mins and be surprised we cant get stops

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

haywood and AB were absolutely PATHETIC in the paint, if Flip has to wait 3 more game before considering whether to give JM a little burn then that's on Flip.

When you see guys lack effort and give up ez layups, sit their azzes down for a few mins. How else does he expect the starters to do what he says?

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

i can appreciate that flip puts it on defense or lack there of, in this case. i've been saying it for weeks. the problem with the coach is that he knows this better than all of us but he's looking to someone else to make changes. maybe the bench players aren't as experienced as the big 3, but you can't tell me they' aren't more hungry.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 30, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

>>I can go out there on the floor and take anybody on the team, one-on-one at 52 years old, and drive right around them."

>>Saunders is 54. See, this season is already taking years off his life.

Actually that would be adding years to his life.

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

i really think you'd have to be crazy to trade tmac for Gil right now. tmac has knee, back, and most of all heart problems(not like OLDberto, just lacks mental toughness). He can be just as much of a head case at times, and he hasn't won anything. not to mention if he does well here are we gonna let him walk? or are we gonna find a way to re-sign TMac, Foye, Haywood, and add draft picks and a possible FA? This trade reeks of desperation, that's how we got hosed on draft day.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 30, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

So where the F.U.C.K is Javelle McGee, the shot-blocking machine?

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

Gilbert is the bust just like Al Haynesworth. He can't make a freaking free throw. Defense is not in their game plan. Also, they should have kept their pick and select Tyrek Evans or Stephen Curry.

Posted by: ntrana | December 30, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10

Of course you make the McGrady/Gil trade if you are Washington.

PLEASE get a clue. McGrady is in the final year of his contract. Come'on Man....

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The idea is to just get out of the Gilbert Arenas business. It's too costly and doesn't produce returns.. Get it..

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

tyreke evans went 4th and curry aint crap

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Come on... it's David Sterns fault... the games are fixed! The teams the NBA wants to win... WIN!

Posted by: tony325 | December 30, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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? If the team wanted defense, it could start playing oberto, who despite an inability to create offense consistently shows positive +/- statistics when he does play. McGuire plays hard, even McGee has shot-blocking ability and showed incredible development last season for his age.

_________________________________

McGrady has an expiring contract which would free up lots of $$ & we could be players in the Lebron, Bosh, Wade sweepstakes... but we would have to move Gilbert.

Posted by: tony325 | December 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Trade him or Cut Gil he is a cancer to the team.

Posted by: sonofliberty09 | December 30, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

___________________________________

This isn't the NFL... the contract is guaranteed... can't cut Gil.

Posted by: tony325 | December 30, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bringing McGrady here, contract aside, won't be a winfall because NO ONE WANTS HIM.

Make a trade with that idiot Donald Sterling and see if he'll bite on Zero/DS for Eric Gordon/Camby. Give him some cash if necessary.

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If the 4th quarter is the problem. ANd the 4th quarter has been the same problem the entire season. And the 4th quarter has had the same main 4 guys in there for the entire season, is that the players fault or the coaches fault? The players are what they are. They aint changing. I'll say it again, the only game we won recently was the game where Arenas wasn't in the game at the end. This is on Flip Saunders. McGee, Young, Boykins, Foye, Oberto, Blatche and even McGuire should be playing in the 4th. Couldn't do any worse. Enough of Jamison, Arenas, Butler and Haywood giving away games. Enough of everyone standing around watching Arenas. Enough of Arenas driving to the basket and losing the ball out of bounds, simply looking for a foul and not getting it. An enough of these guys not playing D.

Posted by: dovelevine | December 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Also enlightening when Flip said he came here to win a championship, not just get to the playoffs. We all know that's typically just a line--but let's take it at face value. Flip didn't need this job. EG must have totally convinced him that, yes, with this core this team can win a championship. We all know that is crazy talk. What's scary is that apparently EG actually believes it. And he sold Flip on it. I think Flip is genuinely surprised at what he's inherited.

Posted by: jweber1 | December 30, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

For those talking about Gilbert, blah, blah, blah...rememberrrrrrrrrrrrr...Antione Jamison is the team captain. As HE goes? So goes the team.

So he's really to blame for not playing defense?

Please! Get off of Gilbert. His shooting touch is actually coming back. He was NEVER a defensive guy! Blame those who CLAIM they have the complete package...and A.J. is that guy!

I'd trade him first.

Posted by: cbmuzik | December 30, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What did the Wizards management expect?

The same team that hadn't played defense in the past 3-4 years is now together again and they are not playing defense.

Surprise!

The winning teams like LA and Orlando properly critique themselves after the season and decide where they need to improve and then make moves to do so.

LA needed to resign Odom for rebounding and interior defense off the bench and they got it done.

They needed a perimeter defender and a guy that could score as a complement to Kobe and they signed Ron Artest.

The Wizards have finished far behind the pack in defense, rebounding for years and yet what moves have they made?

They resign Arenas and Jamison, two players that are compromised by injury and/or age.

LA would not have resigned these players.

They would have let Arenas walk and would have dealt Jamison in a sign and trade to get expiring contracts to be a player in free agency in 2010.

Instead the Wizards are now stuck having overpaid for declining talent for the next 3-4 years with little hope of improvements.

Any sane team would have started to re-make this roster by acquiring players who could defend the perimeter and rebound the basketball and be a presence in the paint.

But sanity and the Wizards are concepts which have not gone together in some time.

Somewhere in the early 1980's, the Bullets started a decline as did the Orioles and all that proud history of being a contender and being consistently excellent went out the window.

And from this vantage point, it will be a long time until the new owner, Ted Leonsis, even with sound changes in the front office will be able to impact this team with the burdensome contracts Abe and Ernie negotiated last year.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 30, 2009 11:59 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 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@DC_MAN88...

Gilbert, once again to those who forget, is NOT the team captain! That's Antoine's job!

He's to blame when the team doesn't play defense...not Gilbert...he never played defense to start with.

Gil can make better decisions with the ball...but what people fail to realize this has nothing to do with his skill level...it's his drive.

NO ONE on the TEAM has drive! And that's what Flip is addressing and it's high time he has!

Posted by: cbmuzik | December 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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

Go beyond the stats. Everyone stops playing in the final minutes with Arenas on the floor. They just stand around and wait for him to shoot. It's the same thing every night. And almost every night they are losing.

Posted by: dovelevine | December 30, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

How is anyone suprised at this? The Wizards are a lazy, egotsitcal bunch of punks and they've been that way for years. They're going to be awful for a very long time.

Posted by: southside721 | December 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Its been the same thing for years and I am sick of it...The answer to all of the Wizards problems for the past few years is there lack of defense and rebounding. EG has always put together solid rosters. For some reason none of the coaches actually put players on the court together that give the team the best chance to succeed on defense...when you continue to play small lineups and can not outscore people you are going to have serious issues...

All the Wizards have to do is play two of their big men together on the court throughout the game and move AJ to the 3 and Caron to the 2. All the best teams in the league typically play 2 big men in the game at the same time...The Wizards could easily have Haywood and Oberto in together and then Blatche and McGee in together rotating the 4 big men. Their defense and rebounding would greatly improve...

In addition, now on offense they will have mismatches with AJ and Caron being able to have huge size advantages on other teams 2 and 3 men...also they will have additional fast break opportunities as they will get more defensive stops and rebounds allowing them to get out and run. With AJ at the small forward, Caron at shooting guard, and 2 of the big men in the game, the Wizards go from being one of the smallest and worst defensive teams in the league to one of the biggest and best defensive teams in the league!

Personally, I can not believe with the experience that EG and Flip have in upper management and Coaching and with all of the assistant coaches on the bench they do not go to this BIG lineup. Each day they keep banging their heads like it groundhog day and for years say the same thing that we stink at defense but then continue to play small line-ups.

Posted by: bsrosner | December 30, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Instead of thinking about big name players in trades from other teams, I think we could be a lot better with a different approach. I think making a move for Camby and or Odom would help a lot.

Camby is still a great defender and managing 32 or so minutes a game. And he could easily be paired up alongside Haywood in the front court, creating a very formidable defensive duo. We could trade Butler straight up for Camby. It's a bit of a win for the Clippers, but it also means another contract off the books this summer for us. We'd have:

Arenas
Miller
Jamison
Camby
Haywood

and off the bench:

Blatche
Foye
Young
McGee

Posted by: segastyle | December 30, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sega, the Clips have productive players at the 2 and 3, why exactly would they trade Camby, who is still productive and has an expiring contract for Caron? Especially with the way Caron has been playing lately?

I'd like to see one of our big contracts moved to Houston for McGrady's expiring contract, but again, having trouble seeing what Houston would get out of it. Haywood would probably be an upgrade for them behind Scola, but unless they really feel like AJ would give them bench scoring or another perimeter scorer for the playoffs, I'm not sure why they would jump on that at his age. They are clearly looking at acquiring players who are a little younger.

Caron is the easiest of the big 3 to move, but I don't think change will come until Gil and / or AJ are gone. I like Gil, but despite what cbmuzik is saying, Gil is the team's 'best' and most highly paid player. His attitude greatly affects the team. And AJ because, well, AJ is the wrong PF for this team. He is a great, somewhat unorthodox player. But he cannot play D, and never has really for the Wiz. Even looking back at some of those playoff years, you will see highlights of guys going right around AJ. He plays D too much with his hands and not enough with his feet.

Hopefully there are moves out there to be made and given the rumors that have floated recently, it seems like EG is finally ready to make some changes. Whether it is Abe's absence, Ted's involvement (maybe?) or just being fed up himself. I think it's more than clear that the 'big 3' have taken it as far as they can.

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately trading the turkeys the Wizards have will not work. No team will touch Arenas until his last year of his contract. The screw up last year was trading our draft pick away for overrated players. Should Leonois become the owner the cardinal rule should be. DO NOT TRADE DRAFT PICKS!!! If we can dump these turkeys take the picks and build for the future no more aged veterans.

Posted by: markhagner1 | December 30, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember the opening game against the Mavs--seems like ages ago. Anyway, Flip was making substitutions almost every couple minutes, shuffling players in and out and it seemed to work. Then within a couple of games he completely changed and it wasn't for the better. Maybe he should go back to mass subbing.

Posted by: dovelevine | December 30, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10

Of course you make the McGrady/Gil trade if you are Washington.

PLEASE get a clue. McGrady is in the final year of his contract. Come'on Man....

Posted by: kevenjones | December 30, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse


getting rid of gil solves a financial issue, but there's no way to say that the wiz will play better, or even acquire anyone of merit (remember the FA has to want to come here. Last big name FA OLDberto?)And even if you free up this space who are you gonna get, is there any guarantee the move will work out??????? Gil is the best player on the team you can trade him if yo want, but you're still left with AJ and CB the captains of a 19 win season. If Gil's so bad he's got to go consider this, we've seen a whole season like this from CB and AJ this could be seen as an anomally for Gil especially considering this is his first season back from 3 major knee surgeries.

The Wiz also seem to have a glut of players playing the positions that AJ and CB play, if you get rid of Gil how will Aaron Brooks, a volume shooter, work out with CB and AJ. Furthermore will Tmac work with CB and AJ. If missing haywood was the reason that we didn't win last year with AJ and CB, imagine us coming back with no gil, no tmac (since he's expiring) and if haywood walks.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 30, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

If they don't already do it, they need to keep a stat that charts how many points a player gives up, not just the ones he scores. If a player gives up a wide open shot or an easy layup, mark it down. Same for turnovers, bad shots that lead to fast break buckets, excessive number of missed shots,stupid, unnecessary fouls, and the like. Some of these guys on the Wizards still believe that they are not part of the problem, even with all the losing, because they fill up an offensive stat line. Well, let them see how many points they were responsbible for giving up, i.e. aiding and abetting the enemy. (Hypothetical example: Jamison scores 29 points, but gives up 36. So the point is, you'd be better off with a guy that scored 20, but only gave up, say, 16, right?) Then publish it in the paper for all to see. That'll put in black and white for everyone, including the players themselves, to see whole picture, and not just the glorified offensive stats.

Posted by: clfrdj | December 30, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

>>If they don't already do it, they need to keep a stat that charts how many points a player gives up, not just the ones he scores. That'll put in black and white for everyone, including the players themselves, to see whole picture, and not just the glorified offensive stats.Posted by: clfrdj

Nails!!

Posted by: dovelevine | December 30, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

This team is the most impotent NBA team around the way they played last night. The poor defense is not the only issue. Areans' shot selection was appaling. It is one thing to be a good shooter, it's another to have good judgement. Arena's doesn;t show it. The only member of the starting 5 I'll keep at moment is jamison.

Posted by: Eastend1 | December 30, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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