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Thunder (16-14) at Wizards (10-19)

Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, Randy Foye, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic

Line: Thunder by 1

The Wizards utilized zone defense almost exclusively in the fourth quarter on Monday, which helped them rally back from a 10-point deficit and take a brief lead against the Memphis Grizzlies. But it wasn't a perfect exercise. At times, Coach Flip Saunders had to remind his players to raise their hands on defense.

"If you don't keep your hands up, your zone looks like swiss cheese - it has holes in it," Saunders said. "But when you're hands are up, you cut down a lot of passing lanes, and they just don't totally understand it some times and maybe they haven't played it enough and don't totally understand those things."

When asked if he was surprised that he had to remind veteran players to keep their hands up on defense, Saunders shook his head no. "I think when as a coach you assume your players know those things, that's when you're in trouble," he said. "All players have lapses over the course of the game. There's a lot of emotion in a game, a lot of things to distract them, and some times keeping your hands up is the least of their problems. They're trying to think what rotations they have to make, they're trying to think where they have to rotate to as far as moving let alone just keeping their hands up."

Former Wizard Etan Thomas will not make a return to the Verizon Center on Tuesday. He did not travel with the team for this two-game road trip and is home in Oklahoma with flu-like symptoms. Thomas is averaging 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17 games for the Thunder. Thomas played eight seasons with the Wizards before being traded to Minnesota as part of that six-player deal before the draft. He was later dealt to Oklahoma City, which is about an hour from his hometown of Tulsa. Thomas has two rebounds in 17 minutes during the Thunder's 127-108 win on Nov. 22, but he hasn't played since Dec. 4.

JaVale McGee was activated on Tuesday after missing the previous game with a sore right knee.

By Michael Lee  |  December 29, 2009; 6:52 PM ET
 
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Next: Thunder 110, Wizards 98

Comments

Anyways, the Thunder start a slow no Defense Center and Jeff Green at the 4. Drive to the basket. If we attack the rim and stay aggressive then we will live in the paint, get easy layups, and live at the FT line. The last game we played them was bad. It was a horrible matchup as we had no one to put up against Durant, which forced us to double & zone him up, which left all there other scorers open. Our record doesnt show it but we are a better team now than we were then and the Gil they saw that night was way worst than this Gil. He can match Durant if he's up for it

Posted by: dlts20 | December 29, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Hands up when playing zone D, something a lot of us learned in CYO ball. Pathetic. I don't know if Avery Johnson would have been a better coach but I would have enjoyed watching him call a few people out. How badly has Flip lost this team?

Posted by: mugsybol | December 29, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Blatch and Haywood together for an extended stretch. Two bigs together.

Hmmm.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

One thing really irks me about Gil. Like every 4th game out the blue you will see Gil go to the rack and lay it in with the left hand so effortlessly. However, he will have like 20 other drives in between then where he's on the left side of the hoop and he always shoots it with his right hand and misses it on most cases because the D is coming hard from his right side and he doesnt have the lift anymore. He would be a 10x better finisher right now if he use that left hand on the left side of the hoop more often. I dont get it. I often think that Gil doesnt have a left hand and then out the blue he uses it like its so easy and natural. Why cant he do that more often. Not only would he finish alot better but pretty much all those shots he will get foul calls on. Now he's just missing and not getting any calls

Posted by: dlts20 | December 29, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Dem boys is attacking the basket. I think they been reading this blog.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

what are some concrete moves EG should have made but didnt? If Gil wasnt resigned, who would we have instead?

Posted by: divi3 | December 29, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse


Some concrete moves EG should have made but didn't:
1) Let Gilbert Arenas walk
2) Let Antwan Jamison walk


If Gil wasn't re-signed who would we have instead?

No one. But we re-signed Gil and still had no one BECAUSE GILBERT ARENAS WAS FREAKING INJURED AND HAS BEEN WALKING AROUND ON CRUTCHES FOR A YEAR AND A HALF!!! Either way we'd have no one, but at least we wouldn't now be in contract-hell. It's mind-boggling that anyone would give $111 million to anyone coming off of some major knee surgery.


Look, if EG is as desperate to blow up this team as the reports indicate, why is anyone trying to defend his moves? It would clearly be an indication that he realizes this team with these players and these contracts are a big mistake.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

It was the Kings that wanted Gilby, but couldn't offer him max money.

Les BouleS should have done a sign and trade.

MeTawn was also desired by Charlotte. Should have also done a sign and trade there.

A few here, including myself, said that both bums should have been tossed....now the rest of you homers are stuck with seeing this sorry bunch of losers pretend to be a real NBA team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 29, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot....

EG MUST GO.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 29, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot....

EG MUST GO.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 29, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse


Oh, he's on his way out.

He was favored by Abe b/c Grunfeld brought the Wizards back from the Michael Jordan-fiasco and made them relevant.

Under Abe, EG could get away with burning money on the AJ/GA re-signings b/c Abe like both of those players personally.

Now with Abe out of the pciture, EG's moves have to stand up to common sense basketball scrutiny...and those moves FAIL miserably...and EG knows it...

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Haywood?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

There is no defense as far as EG is concerned,listen i am still a fan of Gil but after he was injured he was damaged goods and should have been treated as such 111 million? are you fu_ _ing kidding me?EG should have been fired on that move alone, he should have made him an offer that reflected Gil's past accomplishment's but also the fact that he's was injured and out for two years, Arenas should have been offered somewhere around 75-90 million that's it but it's too late for that now. Can you believe this kid Durant i mean he ain't nuthin but the truth and how did the Thunder get Eric Maynor from Utah for nothing basically while EG's asleep(as usual) at the wheel.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 29, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The defense is non-existent tonight. Sigh...

Posted by: and_1 | December 29, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders waisted the whole first half of the fouth quarter with that no defense line up. He should have come back with Haywood and Blatche together.

Haywood and Blatche makes the whole Team more solid defensively.

And when they are solid defensely they score.

Haywood comes back with six minutes in the game and Blatche sits. WTF. Its too late now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The defense is non-existent tonight. Sigh...

Posted by: and_1 | December 29, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse


How is that different from any other night?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Dumb, quick shots on O. Dumb, slow rotations on D.

Posted by: and_1 | December 29, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

BLOW IT UP!!!!!

GET RID OF AS MANY CONTRACTS AS POSSIBLE!

Posted by: saltine182 | December 29, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

We can talk about trades and defense and no IQ players, but I like dealing in the how.

Flip is not the coach for this Team. The Wizards will never win with him and these players or any others.

I am sorry. Just as sure as I was about Tapscott and that Eddie had to go, I am just as sure that Flip is not the one.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

This team has not developed anything in 5-6 years.

The weaknesses of this team 6 years ago are the weaknesses of this team today with same core players getting rolled out onto the court.

It's ludicrous that Ernie - or anyone for that matter - thought it would be any other way.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

this team has no heart, no desire, no "team concept", no leadership, and no direction.

it's time to BLOW IT UP and clean house. I don't care how they do it: take on short-term bad contracts, trade for cash considerations and D-League players, I don't care.

the only thing worse than being a bad team is being a bad team when you're supposed to have the talent to be good. and, in addition, paying top-dollar for that "talent".

kinda sounds like the Redskins.

BLOW IT UP!

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

The last two nights capture in a nutshell why the Wizards won't compete at all this year. They are overmatched in size, speed, and athleticism at every position. Their reliance on the Big 3 was very short sighted by EG as it was painfully obvious tonight that Durant, Green, and Westbrook are simply more talented. The Wiz rely on zones and junk defenses just like they did under Eddie to mask the deficiencies of Butler, Jamison, and Arenas.

Arenas was never quick on D and now is a ocmplete liability against any point guard. His out of control play and constant whining to the officials are tiring even to his fans. He's not a franchise player or even a strong No. 2 player on a good team. Very shortsighed moves based on loyalty two summers ago when he and Jamison should have been cut loose.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 29, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

If Ted Leonsis is as shrewd as we think he is Flip is outa here PDQ.

I don't know how many of you know how Michael Jordan ended up as a Wizard but let me let you in on something.

Ted Leonsis convinced Abe to get Michael Jordan here and when Abe kicked him out, Ted was as upset and surprised as Michael was.

If the Charlotte Bobcats and Johnson gives up ownership like it has been rumored, don't be surprised to see the new ownership group comprised of Leonsis, Johnson, and Jordan.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

there aren't enough forks in tractor traylor's kitchen to stick in this squad, enjoy the misery

Posted by: bford1kb | December 29, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Dear Antawn Jamison,

I'd like to know how it is even possible for you to post a -25 +/- rating in a game your team lost by 12 points. Do you think the fact that you managed to grab only 3 rebounds in 41 minutes might have contributed to that?

Dear Flip Saunders,

Did it occur to you to perhaps make a defensive substitution as you watched your starters allow the Thunder to score on 8 of their first 9 possessions in the 4th quarter, turning a close game into a rout?

Dear Wizards Ticket Sales Office,

Don't bother with the renewal notice this year. I've seen enough.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to know where all the Ernie apologists are these days.

I swear, when I was up here around draft time in the summer, I was getting yelled down b/c of my Ernie criticisms.

Folks were singing his praises for the Foye/Miller move and for bringing back the Big 3.

Folks were talking about 50 wins and talking about how the Wiz were now in the East discussion with the Celtics and Cavs and Magic.

Where you at people??? No comments??? No thoughts???

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz deserved to lose tonight because Oklahoma played better. However, this loss could be taken a lot better if they would have taken care of business in recent winnable games against Minnesota and Memphis.

Next month they play 11 of 16 games at home. However the first half of the month they play San Antonio, Cleveland, Orlando, New Orleans and Atlanta. If they don't find a way to turn this around soon, the season will start to get away from them if it is hasn't already.

Considering the records in the East right now, they may only have to get close to .500 to make the playoffs this year.

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Flip is calling his team out tonight, especially on defense.

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Flips press conference is fantastic. FINALLY
he is finally telling it like it is...publically!!! best thing I have heard in years from a Wiz coach. His focus was on defense weaknesses. PERIOD.

bmorerev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 29, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Flip is obliterating the team in his post-game.

He just said that his team is incapable of playing man defense; that he could go out on the court at 52 years old and drive to the hoop on anyone on the team.

If he has balls to back up his talk, then he should bench Gilbert Arenas to start the next game...

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

With Leonsis soon to take control of the team, EG is going to have to make a major move to shake up the team if he wants to keep his job...that's a big if after the bad signings of Arenas and Jamision. This team peaked 3+ years ago and nothing has been done to rebuild, just patches like the Foye/Miller trade. I'd have much preferred to see James Harden in a Wiz uniform to have a long-term solution at SG.

OKC has done it the right way with drafting Green, Durant, Westbrook, and Hard over the last 3 years. They'll be a playoff team this year and are a true center a way from being a legit 50+ win squad if they keep their core together.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 29, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I can see Durant/Green being the next Jordan/Pippen.

I know that is a big overstatement but they are mad talented and have great chemistry.

Durant can take over a game, and Green is that do-everything-and-anything complementary player.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

i bet the wiz would've preferred harden too, he wasn't around

Posted by: bford1kb | December 29, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

No fun to watch at all, and I can guess no fun to play for the Wizards. I think I can catch something of their psychological bent in the way they played, their demeanor even. They were scared to lose, specially Arenas with his oh so serious expression. It's a little bit like when I was watching the old Ali fights. Right at the intros, when they met face to face, I could tell Ali would win just because the other guy broke the stare first, cause he was afraid, cause he was intimidated. That's the way they are, scared to make mistakes, afraid to have fun. While the OKC guys were pumped, jumping up and down to get their circulation going at the start of the game, smiling at each other, knowing they were going to enjoy this game no matter what the outcome.
Or maybe I just imagine too much, watching the listless play.

Posted by: rickgonz | December 29, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders dosen't know what defense is for if he did he would not have the players on the floor playing together that he does.

You say he called out the Team. Did he call out himself, also.

A team that plays as badly as this team does would do just as well without a coach.

Oh, well darn, I don't see any coaching acumen that is worth commenting anyways.

Yeah, this team is as bad as the Redskins. At least there is one thing they both have in common. A coach that needs to be fired.

LarryInClintonMD.

Flip has had enough. Let him go home to Minnesota.

I think I might be just a bit pissed.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"it's time to BLOW IT UP and clean house. I don't care how they do it: take on short-term bad contracts, trade for cash considerations and D-League players, I don't care."

Things one should never do in anger: drink, drive, call your ex, make sports team trades.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually it might be interesting to see Fip's lineups and rotations in the next several games.

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who is critizing Gil's contract seems to forget that pro Bball in this town SUCKED until he got here, put some life back into it and made the phone booth a place to go and route for the Wiz,instead of some visiting team.

Posted by: Section102 | December 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Flip talked about the team needing a "mindset change" defensively. Then he noted that the Wiz have been one of the worst defensive teams over the last 5 years.

Ummmm...excuse me Flip, but maybe the team doesn't need a "mindset change" as much as it needs a "personnel change".

AFTER WATCHING THE SAME BUMS FOR 5 YEARS PLAY NO DEFENSE WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THEY WILL EVER CHANGE???

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Love the fire from flip! McGuire needs to start somewhere on this team to bring some defensive intensity and hustle.

Posted by: restonhoops | December 29, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who is critizing Gil's contract seems to forget that pro Bball in this town SUCKED until he got here, put some life back into it and made the phone booth a place to go and route for the Wiz,instead of some visiting team.

Posted by: Section102 | December 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse


Here we go. Sorry-arse excuse number 1 for the Gil contract.

Yeah this is a great team-building philosophy.

Even though a player is injured and has been exposed as a one-dimensional limited player, you pay him out the wahzoo because of something he did for you years ago.

News flash: Gilbert Arenas was getting a paycheck the whole team he was in D.C. It's not like he was playing for charity and now the team owes him something.

With thinking like that you deserve a 10-20 team that is over the salary cap.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

No defense, poor shot selection in the 4th.

Same result.

Blow it up, it's clear the players don't care.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 29, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

How about we start the following:

McGee
Blatche
Mcguire
Butler
Foye

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

How about we start the following:

McGee
Blatche
Mcguire
Butler
Foye

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse


Why not. They could probably go somewhere around 10-20 over the next 30 games.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Flip is obliterating the team in his post-game.

He just said that his team is incapable of playing man defense; that he could go out on the court at 52 years old and drive to the hoop on anyone on the team.

If he has balls to back up his talk, then he should bench Gilbert Arenas to start the next game...

**************************
I love Flip. I really do. That was refreshing.

I love Gil but he can't guard anybody. He used to be bad before the injury but now it's embarrassing. Jamison is horrendous too.

The prize tonight however goes to Blache who has the slowest feet that I've ever seen and totally wimped out on Durante's dunk in the second half. He jsut literally watched him slam it in his face. Wuss.

How do you play a zone defense without raising your arms or moving your feet quickly and then not switching. Or any defense?

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Yea, but they might play some defense.

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

WOW did you all see flips post game press conferance WOW things are about to change I saw the flip that untill now he kept hidden behind closed doors he basically said. I am tired of being politically correct I am tired of making excuses and covering for players I am going to talk to some people and when we resume practice things are going to change THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Defensive FG percentage has steadily gone up since Jamison came back, not to mention he's having more and more low, single-digit rebound games than double digit ones as the season progresses. Time to bench him and start Blatche or move Jamison to the three, Butler to the two and bench Foye. If we can't be faster on defense we can at least be BIGGER!

Posted by: and_1 | December 29, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Flip even said we are playing so bad that i could take anyone on the team out on the court and drive by them and i am 53 lol

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?"

Hey, it's not just Gil.

Durant went base-line right around Caron in the 4th and Caron just watched him.

OKC made the Wiz look "old" tonight and they really aren't. No hustle, no nothing. Selfish shot selection.

The Wiz were caught looking so many times it's not even funny. They just have no idea how to play defense...none!

I thought it was funny during a break they showed a "defense" commercial sponsored by the NBA. The Wiz just don't know how. They don't fundamentally know how to play defense.

They should be ashamed.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 29, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

"If we can't be faster on defense we can at least be BIGGER!"

Bigger also usually means slower. Playing Jamison at the 3 and Butler at the two is just handing out engraved invitations for quicker opposing players to take them off the dribble. More size only matters when it's the kind of size that acts as a defensive deterrent. The Wiz don't have that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?"

Hey, it's not just Gil.

Posted by: rmcazz | December 29, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse


Is Caron Butler making $111 million?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"OKC made the Wiz look "old" tonight and they really aren't."

Actually, compared to the Thunder, they're a bunch of old men.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"How about we start the following:

McGee
Blatche
Mcguire
Butler
Foye

That lineup would be lucky to score 20 points in a quarter. But why not. It's not like they've got anything to lose.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"Flip even said we are playing so bad that i could take anyone on the team out on the court and drive by them and i am 53 lol."

That's funny and I hope he's telling the truth.

It's atrocious. They can't stop anyone.

They just can't.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 29, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

They're being taken off the dribble now. We need some some interior size for rebounding and shot-blocking. This ain't cuttin' it on any level.

Posted by: and_1 | December 29, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I believe they had like 46 un contested shots and flip said that is un heard of from a proffessional basketball team

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"We need some some interior size for rebounding and shot-blocking. "

By playing them at SG and SF, they'd actually be playing further away from the basket, thus reducing their opportunities for rebounds. (I won't even dignify the suggestion that they could block shots with a response.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"Is Caron Butler making $111 million?"

I don't care, they are all making a lot of money.

They are just really bad and there are no more excuses.

None.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 29, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

In the offseason, while I was beating down all the Ernie Grunfled worshippers who were salivating over the Foye/Miller move and dreamin of the East Championshsip. my gripe was that the Wiz were fundamentally flawed in 2 ways:

1) Unable to play defense.

And by "unable", I don't just mean that they have defensive lapses. A "lapse" by definition is a momentary occurence where you fail to do something you are capable of doing. By "unable" I mean that the Wiz are entirely incapable of playing defense.

2) No go-to guy in the post to run the offense through. And way too reliant on jump-shooting to get points.

In the offseason I was shouted down by people telling me that Blatche and/or McGee were the second coming of Kevin Garnett. I also had people telling me that Antawn Jamison was a "post-player".


Now, 30 games into the season, I'm wondering what folks think of my assessment.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?

************************

World B. Free? Oh you mean starting now... um, there isn't one.

But I'll tell you what, Gil can still put the ball in the basket.

One of the problems is that Gil isn't really a combo-guard anymore. He's a smallish #2 guard who literally can't guard anybody and turns the ball over when the defense tightens up. When you put a true point guard in there, it's Boykins who's so small he's another defensive liability. Now you have two guards who can't guard anybody.


Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Flip said in his conferance that it was common knowledge around the nba that for the last 5 years the wizards did not know how to play defense

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

World B. Free? Oh you mean starting now... um, there isn't one.

But I'll tell you what, Gil can still put the ball in the basket.

One of the problems is that Gil isn't really a combo-guard anymore. He's a smallish #2 guard who literally can't guard anybody and turns the ball over when the defense tightens up. When you put a true point guard in there, it's Boykins who's so small he's another defensive liability. Now you have two guards who can't guard anybody.


Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for entertaining the question with a joke-response.

What you are basically saying is that we just gave $111 million to a smaller version of J.R. Smith.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

By playing them at SG and SF, they'd actually be playing further away from the basket, thus reducing their opportunities for rebounds. (I won't even dignify the suggestion that they could block shots with a response.)

Posted by: kalo_rama

I'm referring to Blatche being at PF and Jamison being at SF. Both moves create more size at the respective frontcourt positions. Jamison's fading as a rebounder but he's still better at it than most SFs.

Posted by: and_1 | December 29, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe we gave $111 million to Eddie House...

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

They have lost so many close games that this would suggest they just need an adjustment or two to start making a difference.

The adjustment could be actually playing some defense. The question is are they capable of this and will they if they are? They seemed to play some defense two years ago (at least better than they had played in previous years)?

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The last sentence shouldn't have had a "?".

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

they only lost those close games because they scored enough points to keep it close not because they actually played defense

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Both moves create more size at the respective frontcourt positions. "

SF is mostly a perimeter position, and moving Jamison to SF would only put more pressure on the interior defense, as he wouldn't be able to keep most SFs in front of him off the dribble. He's physically overmatched at PF, but because he's usu. guarding closer to the basket, he can compensate for it somewhat with rebounding. Playing him at SF would mean he'd be giving up just as much (or more points) and would lessen his ability to try and balance the scales by hitting the defensive boards.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for entertaining the question with a joke-response.

What you are basically saying is that we just gave $111 million to a smaller version of J.R. Smith.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:33 PM

****************

No disrespect, just trying to keep it light with the World B. Free comment.

To answer your question, I'm not sure about the Smith comparison exactly but it's the gamble they took and we're married to him for a while. Knees sometimes take 'til the second year and we're just going to have to see with Gil. And he's jsut going to have to suck it up and try harder on the defensive end.

But let's be honest, I've been a fan since the 70's and Gil, AJ and Caron at least make the franchise worth paying attention to. Somehow. I used to not even get mad with the Mitch Richmonds and the Rod Stricklands. I don't think we're there yet with Gil.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

If any of you recorded the game replay the end game press conferance flip did not hold anything back

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I understand that, morris6.

Posted by: cannontl | December 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Loved Flips post game conference.
Now let's see what he does.
He said he'd play the guys that hate to give up points and play with energy.
One biggie on his stat sheet.
46 uncontested shots by the Thunder.
WOW!

Posted by: VBFan | December 29, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"Both moves create more size at the respective frontcourt positions. "

SF is mostly a perimeter position, and moving Jamison to SF would only put more pressure on the interior defense, as he wouldn't be able to keep most SFs in front of him off the dribble. He's physically overmatched at PF, but because he's usu. guarding closer to the basket, he can compensate for it somewhat with rebounding. Playing him at SF would mean he'd be giving up just as much (or more points) and would lessen his ability to try and balance the scales by hitting the defensive boards.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 29, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse


This is the problem you create when your team is built around "tweeners".

AJ is a "tweener" at SF/PF.

Gil is a "tweener" at PG/SG.

"Tweeners" create nice mismatches when you have one who is surrounded by solid position players that can compensate for that tweeners weaknesses - in our case those guys are incapable of playing defense; Gil is not a true facilitator at PG; and AJ is not a true post-up guys at PF.

And yet those 2 guys are mkaing $160 mill between them and we "need" them on the court to play our game.

The Wiz have no "solid" position players except maybe Haywood at center.

Otherwise the bulk of our talent is a log-jam of guys who kind-of-sort-of play SG/SF.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

yea i wonder who flips going to be talking to he said he was tired of being politically correct tired of making excuses and covering for players

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

But let's be honest, I've been a fan since the 70's and Gil, AJ and Caron at least make the franchise worth paying attention to. Somehow. I used to not even get mad with the Mitch Richmonds and the Rod Stricklands. I don't think we're there yet with Gil.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse


I wasn't feeling disrespect.

This team was fun to watch and worth paying attention to about 4 years ago when they snuck up on the NBA and became relevant.

At the same time that they became relevant and came under more scrutiny and examination, though, some fundamental flaws were exposed - no defense, no post-up play.

Instead Ernie did this song and dance trying to convince us that the emperor had clothes. That if this team was healthy it could compete with anyone in the East. That's just bogus.

In 2 years if/when Gil's knee is healthy he will still be incapable of playing defense. He's never developed that part of his game and he has shown no interest to, especially now that he's got a max contract. He wants to hit half-court 3-pointers and score. That's how he got popular; that's his claim to fame. I don't think he's displayed any kind of maturity to suggest that he's really interested in developing his defense.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Flip just destroyed the wiz on the csn postgame. I'm paraphrasing but..."I'm 52 yrs old and can drive by any of em in one on one". "Until we decide it hurts to get scored on, we got no chance. We can talk about being 2 games out of the playoffs but until we make a committment on defense? please, we got no chance. I could pull 5 guys out of this room and we'd have a chance against them". Unreal. Curious to see how this plays out.

Posted by: storers11 | December 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Unreal. Curious to see how this plays out.

Posted by: storers11 | December 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse


If Gil doesn't start seeing the bench for defensive breakdowns, then you can chalk up Flip's talk to "meaningless"...

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Guess this news conference will be on SportsCenter tonight...

If this team can't play D -- and from the games I've seen this year, defense is just a concept with this crowd -- can they at least run? It wouldn't probably change the outcome for the season, but at least players could get some run while they were at it...

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | December 29, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Kal is right about the suggestions of moving Butler to SG and Jamison to SF where their lack of foot speed will be even more of an issue. Neither of them can play NBA-calibre defense at either position. As much as I like CB3, the Wiz would be better off with McGuire starting at small forward and having him come off the bench.

McGuire is our only true defense-minded defender and likely our best pure rebounder. He's also a great hustle, energy guy which is much needed with the slow vets in the starting lineup. I also can't understand how we can play 4 on 5 in the 4th quarter with Boykins and expect to win. I'm expecting to see some major changes between now and Saturday vs. San Antonio.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 29, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Kal is right about the suggestions of moving Butler to SG and Jamison to SF where their lack of foot speed will be even more of an issue. Neither of them can play NBA-calibre defense at either position. As much as I like CB3, the Wiz would be better off with McGuire starting at small forward and having him come off the bench. This would also help on the boards where the Wiz have gotten killed 2 of the last 3 games.

McGuire is our only true defense-minded player and likely our best pure rebounder. He's also a great hustle, energy guy which is much needed with the slow vets in the starting lineup. I also can't understand how we can play 4 on 5 in the 4th quarter with Boykins and expect to win. I'm expecting to see some major changes between now and Saturday vs. San Antonio.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 29, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Name a guard that starts on an NBA team that is lazier and more incompetent on defense than Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz have no "solid" position players except maybe Haywood at center.

Otherwise the bulk of our talent is a log-jam of guys who kind-of-sort-of play SG/SF.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:47 PM

************************

Agree. And even Haywood is shaky at times though he's in a contract year so he's playing better.

The only thing that I would add is that the problem you mentioned above is wildly exacerbated and magnified by a lack of effort on the defensive end. You can get away with some of this combo-guard/combo-forward with effort on defense. I see an indiffernce to defense out there.

Blache tonight watching Durante slam it in the 2nd half after Durante left Caron in the dust was the perfect example.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

AJ -IS AT HIS BEST AS A 6TH MAN. If AJ, could serve the wiz at that position, we could get the right chemistry going.

I think FLIP is gotta stick to a rotation plan with these guys. Blatche needs time on the court to be effective. He's a slow kid, and needs great support for his fragile confidence.

Ideally with this line-up and minutes played, this will allow the guys to stay fresh and focused. We have a deam time, and the advantage of that is fresh legs.
Starting Line-up

30 min - PG - Foye
32 min - SG - Arenas SG
32 min - SF - Butler
32 min - PF - Blatche
28 min - C - Haywood

28 min - 6th Man - Jamison
28 min - G/SF - Miller
10 min - PG - Boykins
20 min - Situation cond. - Mguire/NYoung/MGhee
(Flip needs to rotate these guys, by allowing each one of them to own the lion's share of the minutes for a week or so. I think these guys, need to know that it's their time and it's something they can expect.)


Im still hanging on to hope... 2010, it's a new year - 11 of 16 games at home. It's the new year, anything can happen maybe a winning streak of +5, it's possible.


Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 29, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

But let's be honest, I've been a fan since the 70's and Gil, AJ and Caron at least make the franchise worth paying attention to. Somehow. I used to not even get mad with the Mitch Richmonds and the Rod Stricklands. I don't think we're there yet with Gil.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe
I am the same I still have the playoff ticket stubs from the wizards only NBA title I was at every home game and half of the away games and to be honest I have always said Abe was too close to his players and in the NBA that is not a good thing

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't feeling disrespect.

This team was fun to watch and worth paying attention to about 4 years ago when they snuck up on the NBA and became relevant.

At the same time that they became relevant and came under more scrutiny and examination, though, some fundamental flaws were exposed - no defense, no post-up play.

Instead Ernie did this song and dance trying to convince us that the emperor had clothes. That if this team was healthy it could compete with anyone in the East. That's just bogus.

In 2 years if/when Gil's knee is healthy he will still be incapable of playing defense. He's never developed that part of his game and he has shown no interest to, especially now that he's got a max contract. He wants to hit half-court 3-pointers and score. That's how he got popular; that's his claim to fame. I don't think he's displayed any kind of maturity to suggest that he's really interested in developing his defense.

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 10:53 PM

******************************

I can totally see that POV but I have a little more faith in Gil. I think he's going to get better - get more a little more well rounded though he'll remain below average defensively, I should say. Right now he's a jole defensively. Just a feeling.

But I agree that what it all adds up to is a fraudulent product that's being put out there right now. And I feel jipped, frankly.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I am the same I still have the playoff ticket stubs from the wizards only NBA title I was at every home game and half of the away games and to be honest I have always said Abe was too close to his players and in the NBA that is not a good thing

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 11:07 PM

****************************

That's awesome. How 'bout those days, huh? I could really use a little Bobby Dandridge, or Elvin or Unseld right now. Seems like just yesterday and a million miles away - at the same time.

And I'll bet Phil Chenier could still light it up for us if we could pry him away from Steve B. at the announcer's table! Phil was sweet.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

WOW Sports Night is playing the heck out of flips Press Conferance Vent LOL

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

If he has balls to back up his talk, then he should bench Gilbert Arenas to start the next game...

Posted by: p1funk | December 29, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

What you're hearing p1funk is the sound of accountability. LEONSIS, GRUNFELD and SAUNDERS together spell trouble for this team as it is currently constituted. Do you honestly think GRUNFELD gave that ridiculous contract to ARENAS? I don't. It was POLLIN. Changes are coming although slowly due to the duration of the contracts for ARENAS and JAMISON. BUTLER's is up after next season along with DeSHAWN's. JaVALE McGEE has the longest contract under team control outside of ARENAS, and for peanuts.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 29, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The more I see Flip on Sports Night, the more that he's my new hero.

FLIP FOREVER!!!

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 29, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I was reading the write up on the game and wow the fans let the team know how they felt lol

Antawn Jamison led the Wizards (10-20) with 28 points, but he couldn't stop his team from losing its third in a row. As the Wizards walked off the court at Verizon Center, the rest of the 17,152 fans who stuck around for the finish booed them lustily.

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 29, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

The guy that has the defensive versatility to play with the young athletic teams like the Thunder dosen't get any playing time from Flip.

Javale McGee,

The point guard that is young, athletice and can guard someone is Javaris Crittendom.

When he returns Flip will not play him either.

Flip might be fooling some of you all the time, but he isn't fooling me any of the time.

Flip is a faker.

LarryInClintonMD.

Mark Jackson.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 29, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Rick Kamla on NBA TV got on Flip's rotation pretty good. He says Boykins shouldn't get much minutes. I agree. I would love to see this line up in 2010:

PG Arenas
SG Foye
SF Miller
PF Blatche
C Haywood

Bench:
Young
Jamison
Butler
McGee

Posted by: lemekdivine | December 30, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Flip might be fooling some of you all the time, but he isn't fooling me any of the time.

Flip is a faker.

LarryInClintonMD.

Sounds Like you have a personal agenda against Flip and that is sad!! Did you ever stop to think that his hands were tied because of player contracts to try and make it work with his so called big 3

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 30, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Well I thing the meltdown by Flip was predictable. Monday after the Grizzlies loss I wrote the following:

"We can't get over the hump. Biggest issue is the same it's been for years- they have a little more commitment to defense but still the bottom line is that they still can't get it done. They still can't figure out how to defend screen roll offense. Players on the opposition continue to have "best game of the season" against us. Jamison, Haywood, Blatche, Butler simply do not do it in terms of defense. McGee is not the answer yet but I do think he needs to play more to just get experience. His shot blocking at least makes the other teams think rather than simply beat their man, soar and dunk. The on ball defense is not much better. They don't hustle back to play D. How many times do they turn to the ref and whine?

Seems that Flip is what we heard he is: not able to get into their faces and demand they play D. His best move of the year was pulling the starting 5 a few games ago. Yet we still see them jacking up early 3's and playing poor defense. I want to see him do it again. In fact start the bench and embarrass all the starters! Now that would be coaching. I thought by January things would be turned around. Looks like it's just never going to happen.

Seems that EG's moves to keep the 3 together may have been more Abe's wishes. In light of that I can't really fault him for being too hopeful and unrealistic."

Well now I guess Flip decided it is time to let them have it so maybe he is not what we heard he is! I wonder if he has been doing this privately or if this is his way of talking to them? My sense listening to his rant was that he is tired of publically defending them. He gave the starters 30 games and now the probation period is over. What I loved was his comment that he didn’t come here to fight to get into the playoffs but to compete for a trophy. Love it!!! This also means that he must have felt that he could get these guys to play tough D. That is his frustration. They are ruining his rep. He now joins the line of EJ and Taps…the “big 3” are what they are…jump shooting tweeners who play matador defense.

Maybe now Flip will decide to use the bench a bit more and not rely on the "big 3" so much. Each of those bench players has some particular skill to bring. DMac has been my man sense they drafted him and I still say he brings some of what we need. The young bench guys have been stunted by low PT this year. I think their days of frustration are coming to an end. Time for Gil and AJ and Caron to sit a little more. Man I hope Flip does that. Several days off till playing the Spurs. Those should be some interesting practices. Miller comes back any day now also. That is great!

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 30, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Well now I guess Flip decided it is time to let them have it so maybe he is not what we heard he is! I wonder if he has been doing this privately or if this is his way of talking to them? My sense listening to his rant was that he is tired of publically defending them. He gave the starters 30 games and now the probation period is over. What I loved was his comment that he didn’t come here to fight to get into the playoffs but to compete for a trophy. Love it!!! This also means that he must have felt that he could get these guys to play tough D. That is his frustration. They are ruining his rep. He now joins the line of EJ and Taps…the “big 3” are what they are…jump shooting tweeners who play matador defense.

Maybe now Flip will decide to use the bench a bit more and not rely on the "big 3" so much. Each of those bench players has some particular skill to bring. DMac has been my man sense they drafted him and I still say he brings some of what we need. The young bench guys have been stunted by low PT this year. I think their days of frustration are coming to an end. Time for Gil and AJ and Caron to sit a little more. Man I hope Flip does that. Several days off till playing the Spurs. Those should be some interesting practices. Miller comes back any day now also. That is great!

BmoreRev

What you said makes more sense than you know if you listened to his post game press conferance where he said I am tired of being politically correct I am tired of making excuses and covering for the players

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 30, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

our bench is horrible right now... it's definetly responsible for at least half of the 5 of those close losses. I think we're not to far away from a .500 caliber team. that's the best we can hope for... to be .500 at the end of the year we need to be 32-21 for the rest of the year or a .600 and that is a really big stretch...

Posted by: BulletsForEva | December 30, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

With every loss the percantage of
remaining games the WIZ MUST win increases. If thes team does not start winning SOON they will be out of the Playoffs.
10 and 20 Not very good. Thats 33%
There are 52 games to go. To get to 500 Ball they must win 31 more games 31 out of 52 thats 59.6 %
The way this team is playing thesere is no way they can win 60% of the remaing games.
20 more wins will get them to 30 and 52 thats 36% Its not happening folks.
Time to blow it up and wait for the Draft.
Why did we pass on the Pittsburg Pair--Sam Young and DeJuan Blair?
Why are we still invested in DeSean Stevenson? and Nick Young and Dom McGuire?
Time to blow it up get what you can for the tradable parts like Antawan and Caron. Noone wants Agent Zero too much money they will have to eat this one . shades of J. Howard.

Posted by: Carprin | December 30, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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