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Timberwolves 101, Wizards 89


It's easy to jump all over the Wizards and get upset that they lost to the team with the worst record in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves, but I'll let Gilbert Arenas make my point for me.

"We can call them the worst team in the West, but it's not like we've got that many wins over them," Arenas said after the Wizards lost 101-89 on Saturday night. "Right now, we are one of the worst teams in the East until we can prove ourselves. Right now, we win two, we lose four. So, until we turn it around and go out there and play like we're hungry and stop playing like we're looking for something."

That's right. Despite having one of the more talented rosters, the Wizards are one of the worst teams in the league. The results have been baffling, but not as much as these efforts against teams that are either at, or below, the Wizards' level.

Saturday night was a prime opportunity for the Wizards to really start gaining some confidence and momentum, with them digging themselves into an early hole. But their inability to handle prosperity again caught up with them. Good teams have a knack for taking control of ideal situations. This was the third time this season that the Wizards have won consecutive games, only to lose the next game.

When the Wizards beat Philadelphia and Miami in late November, they lost the next game at home against Charlotte. When they bounced back and won the next two games against Toronto and Milwaukee, they lost the next six games and set an NBA record for the smallest combined deficit (14). After defeating Philadelphia and Milwaukee, Coach Flip Saunders said that he thought the team had started turning the corner and was playing better basketball.

Whatever they had been doing correctly, the Wizards must've lost it under the piles of snow in Minnesota. "It's getting frustrating," Antawn Jamison said after scoring 20 points. "We go through the motions. Act like we 25-5. we got to realize, this is an uphill battle. The opportunity is still there. That's the frustrating about it. until we get our [stuff] together and realize how important it is to win these games, especially tonight, on the road. We got to make up some games somehow and right now, we're not playing smart enough to put ourselves in position to win these games."

They had Saunders looking ill most of the night, as he angrily paced up and down the court. He slouched his shoulders after each bad jumper early in the shot clock. He turned and rolled his eyes as the Timberwolves consistently beat them to offensive rebounds. And he repeatedly shouted at players whenever they missed a defensive assignment.

He didn't have a hard time explaining how the Wizards shot just 39.5 percent: "Guys have to be disciplined. They have to be willing to turn down a shot at time. Tonight, we had no shot discipline. Tonight, it was, 'I haven't taken a shot, so I'm going to shoot it.' when you do that, you shoot 38 percent from the field."

The Wizards held the Timberwolves to just 37.4 percent shooting, but they also let Minnesota grab 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 22 second-chance points. The Timberwolves attempted 10 more field goals and 15 more free throws. And a lot of that was because of poor positioning on defense, Saunders said.

"Until we decide that we get upset when we miss defensive assignments, as much as we get upset when we don't get the ball on offense, we're not going to take that next step," Saunders said.

They certainly won't take the next step if they don't play team basketball. As Jamison walked out of the locker room, fuming, he said, "Aint nothing you can talk about. We played selfish basketball at times. On the road, you can't do that. I don't care who you're playing against."

Arenas said the Wizards have the kind of team in which individuals believe that they rescue everyone else. He added that he "was the main culprit." No one would argue with him on Saturday. He scored a team-high 26 points but attempted 28 shots -- twice as many as the next Wizard -- and missed 18. On the other side, Timberwolves guard Corey Brewer scored a career-high 27 points with just 16 shots.

Now, I'm not one who thinks Arenas needs to be a prototypical, pass-first point guard. I think he is at his best when he's aggressively attacking the basket and scoring at will. He got to three all-star teams lighting up the scoreboard with points, not assists, so he should play to his strengths.

But he turned his teammates into spectators against Minnesota, which is cool when the shots are falling. When he's missing, however, it makes matters worse because he is the primary ball handler on offense. "I'm sure other players got frustrated because he took a lot of shots," Saunders said.

I asked Arenas if he felt that his shot selection hurt his team on Saturday. "Yeah, when you don't score, when you don't make shots, you always hurt the team. I hurt the team more turning the ball over then the shots I take," said Arenas, who had a game-high seven turnovers to go with nine assists.

It probably was a little of both. I asked if he was distracted by the NBA's investigation into him bring guns to the locker room at Verizon Center and Arenas shook his head. "If you want it to be, there is," Arenas said. "Not with me."

By Michael Lee  |  December 27, 2009; 12:44 AM ET
 
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Next: Should McGee get a shot?

Comments

I am also frustrated with the Wizards' shot selection. I don't have a tape of the game handy, but we can estimate how much time was left in the shot clock when each shot was taken using the play by play transcript, given the time of the shot and the time the Wizards took possession of the ball. Here are all the Wizards's misses from the start of the fourth quarter (when they were down 1) to the 3 minute mark (when they were down 10).

Every time someone takes a shot with more than a few seconds left in the clock, the option to continue to move the ball, hopefully for a higher quality shot, is being passed up.

Among all the Wizards' misses during this stretch, I only see one (Arenas at 8:21) where there wasn't much time left to work for a better shot.


11:45 Antawn Jamison misses 9-foot jumper
9 seconds left in the shot clock

11:17 Antawn Jamison misses 25-foot three point jumper
16 seconds left in the shot clock

10:47 Andray Blatche misses 20-foot jumper
16 seconds left in the shot clock

9:37 Earl Boykins misses 15-foot jumper
9 seconds left in the shot clock

8:21 Gilbert Arenas misses 18-foot two point shot
4 seconds left in the shot clock

7:24 Gilbert Arenas misses 21-foot jumper
11 seconds left in the shot clock

6:50 Caron Butler misses 21-foot jumper
9 seconds left in the shot clock

5:41 Gilbert Arenas misses 26-foot three point jumper
13 seconds left in the shot clock

4:03 Gilbert Arenas misses driving layup
20 seconds left in the shot clock

3:38 Kevin Love blocks Caron Butler's layup
17 seconds left in the shot clock

3:01 Kevin Love blocks Gilbert Arenas's layup
16 seconds left in the shot clock

Maybe the last few early-clock misses (or shots being blocked) are more understandable given that there were only a few minutes left and Minnesota's lead was up to 10 points. In general, though, it certainly looks like the Wizards missed a lot of shots where the option to show patience and work for an easier shot was available.

Posted by: joe_sill | December 27, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Im just DEPRESSED, especially at Gil cuz he's the franchise of this team. I know we've been to harsh on him at times but it's been a long long road and he still looks lost,hesitant and unwilling sometimes. There are nights where he doesn't seem to have that fire and competitiveness like wade, Kobe and Lebron does. Even if u look at the way he scores, he shoots tons of J's and floaters now.... I know his hop isn't there yet (probly never will) but he doesn't attack the hoop as much anymore and he's 3 pt shooting got worse :|. He should stay aggressive for 48 mins!!! Attack, draw the foul or dish out some assists. BTW, i never though gil would have a hard time against a corey brewer when he dropped 60 on KOBE :|

Posted by: alexander_supertramp142 | December 27, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Painful to watch. Total me-first basketball. Losing has become engrained in this team's culture. I see, now, one reason Antawn takes so many threes. Since there's no passing to the big-men (and no one posts up their man underneath anyway), he drifts outside so he can get a few touches, and then lets 'er fly because he knows he's never going to see the ball, again. This team is all about chucking up jump shots--and they're not that great of shooters. It's hard to see how Gilbert is going to work out as the point in this offense. After watching a game like that, it's pretty clear this team just doesn't care that much about winning. Plain and simple.

Posted by: jweber1 | December 27, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

What good is talent, when the big 3 are low IQ players. They dont know what a good shot and bad shot is.

Low IQ + selfishness = disaster

Posted by: lanka124 | December 27, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

@joe_sill,

The shot selection triology is important and becomes fatal when they miss. If they were hitting those shots then the results might be different.

But your point is well taken because it points out why the Wiz's must play a faster tempo game.

When you play a slower deliberate game like they are mostly doing then everything they do must work to a high degree.

I have given up hope until JC gets back of any hope of the Wizards playing an UpTemPo game. And then it still may not happen, for Flip may not even play him.

Also, this is why I am continually saying that the Wiz's need to start two of our Big's together.

The slower the Tempo, the stronger and tougher defensively you have to be and it starts in the paint.

It appalls me why Flip dosen't see this. Making the paint play better and easier by playing Brendan, Andre, and JaVale in tandems will make the Wizards a much more consistent team.

What Flip is doing now with our big's isn't working.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

If anyone had told me that Flip Saunders would not be much better than Tapscott I would have thought no way.

However, with what Flip is working with compared to what Tapps had he isn't doing any better in my book.

Coaching, for all of you are that are highly critical of the players, is in my world of BB foremost and extremely important.

For this Team of players to be as inconsistent and bad as they are says more for the lack of effectiveness of the coach moreso than any lack of same by the players.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

More complaints.
This team is quickly turning disappointment into disgust with many long-time fans. Their under-acheiving ways are going to grate on us more and more, especially with the money they are being paid.
Anyone with a lick of sports sense realized last night was a huge potential turning point. Just one game out of the 8th playoff seed, a struggling opponent to play, an adequately healthy team, a little mini-run starting, a few more games on a soft schedule before playing powerhouse teams at the first of the year. If they didn't win, they should have at least come out to play. What did we get? Embarrassment! This reminds me of the accusations a few years ago that they went out and partied too much. What do these prima donnas need to come out a play a decent game?
I feel worst for Grunfeld right now. Despite the chronic complainers on this site and the fantasy league GMs, we all realize Ernie has assembled the best Bullets/Wizards roster, not in years, but in decades. It is not a perfect roster by any means, but it was a 50 win roster, and the best we have had since the late 1970s if everyone came to play. What we got instead is head games, bickering, mystery teamwork hurdles, etc.
January is traditionally a good month for us so I haven't lost all hope, but this team unfortunately has very little chance left of living up to potential this season. Grunfeld gave us the talent, and I would have argued through September that he gave us a good balance of attitude and experience. Now I have become demoralized, and on a team full of players I admire, respect, and cheer for, I am now puzzling, which one(s) of them need to get the hell out of town to help heal and improve this team?

Posted by: ragtop4spd | December 27, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Help me understand what talent is Lee talking about. Every team has talent in this league. Some have bad talent and some have good talent. The Wiz have a combination of both but a coach that is unwilling to play the right combinations. He keep leaning on the fake 3. The fake 3 barely made the playoffs when the east was down.

Flip looks so confused on he sideline. He has no clue but to keep doing the same thing expecting different results. Jamison, Gil and Butler never played good D. They never cared what shot they took. All 3 play out of position.

It's the coaches job to put people in the right position. If you look at the fake 3 none of them have ever been on/part of a winning team going deep in the playoffs. Jamison was close on Dallas but they got rid of him realizing he was not what they needed.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 27, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

and as Larry says, so far I am baffled by the coaching. I think Flip is a great thing for the Wizards in the long run, and I'm still betting he has a run of good years here, but I'm confused that he hasn't been able to either convince or discipline this team into better shape yet. It is almost as if he doesn't recognize the problems yet. He'll get it right, but I would like to see more signs of coach - player advancement.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | December 27, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The players on this Team cannot continue to be allowed to play at unacceptable levels.

It is Flip Saunders job as a coach to ensure, with the talent that he has, that unacceptable play is a non issue.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Well looks like we will get to look at someone else while agent 0 sits. Gilbert Arenas is back in the news and likely bound for a suspension from the NBA after the Wizards confirmed on Christmas Eve that their star guard is being investigated for storing multiple guns in his locker in violation of league rules pertaining to gun possession

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I got that from ESPN

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

This team, as presently constructed, will never amount to much. That much is clear after watching the first 28 games. To some people on this board, this point has been crystal clear from jump street, and I give you your props. For others, like me, the blinders glued my eyes shut for quite some time. However, all the signs are there that we are a lottery team, and if we aren't, we can thank the mild, mild, east for that.

Every team has talent. There are 75,000 Division I schools in the country. With an average of 12 players per team, that is 900,000 players, in Division 1 alone. Out of those players, ONLY 60 PLAYERS are drafted each year. OUT OF 900,000!!! That doesn't even count the international leagues, where we derive a pretty significant percentage of our players. The NBA is absolutely comprised of the "best of the best" players in the world. Yes, every team has talent.

No, it is not about talent. Success at any level, in any genre, be it sports or otherwise, is about wanting it. It's about doing what it takes. It's about effort. It's about will. It's about working with a group of colleagues in a collective effort, for a collective purpose, with a collective mindset. It is about the mental strength and vitality to compete, which either you have, or you have to develop, but which you must have if you want success.

This team does/has none of these things. There ARE things Flip can do to right the ship, but it doesn't involve Xs and Os, since those are not the problem. He needs to become a brain surgeon, a la Phil Jackson. He needs to get inside their heads and infuse them with a sense of urgency and purpose. They all need to read "The Little Engine That Could," a child's story with a herculean theme.

Bottom line: yes, they are talented, but so is every other NBA team. They have yet to lear how to play smart. Up till now, they have not manifested the intelligence necessary for them to be a winner. It's not that they don't have it, but if you don't use what you have, it's all the same as if you dont' have it. They simply do not know how to win. It seems to be all about "swag." Swag means absolutely NOTHING. Their mindset HAS to change.

Why do you think they ALWAYS play well against Cleveland. They ALWAYS WANT it! When they WANT to play, the clearly know how. Again, it's all about effort and desire. They need to play every game as if they're playing the Cavs.

Unfortunately, most often they play as though they're in quicksand.

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

If Flip Saunders is telling the players to do "A" and they do "B" and the players themselves admit to doing "B" and not "A", who the heck is the problem here?

It won't do any good to change coaches if the players aren't listening to them.

Yeah, I know: you don't fire the players you fire the coach. But this is coach #3 in less than two years.

It should be starting to be obvious that going to #4 won't be any different.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 27, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"For this Team of players to be as inconsistent and bad as they are says more for the lack of effectiveness of the coach moreso than any lack of same by the players."

I'm going to go the opposite way with this Larry.

Flip has made some mistakes, but the problem here is that there is no clear motivation on this team for them to win.

Bottom line is the players aren't trying. They say they are, but they really aren't.

They show up, they practice, they take the floor but the reality is they are happy just the way things are and they aren't trying.

It doesn't matter what coach coaches them at this point. The Wiz have the same problem the Redskins have...overpaid vets who have made thier money and no leadership.

The very best thing Flip did this year was sit all of the starters down and I think he should do it again and make them earn thier way back into the lineup.

In the meantime they are going to lose the McGee's, Blatche's, Miller's, and the people who play hard on this club because they aren't going to want to be here.

Maybe it's really time to break the club up. Leonsis did it with the Caps, I am sure he will have no issues doing it again with the Wiz.

Maybe The Wiz will get the next "Ovie" and they can rebuild around him.

I knew giving Arenas all of the money was a big mistake and now they are paying the price. It doesn't matter who the coach is, you're going to get the same results. It's depressing because I expected so much more.

The players should be ashamed of themselves.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 27, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@bpybay,

That is it! It cannot be said any better. What you have said is why I always come back to the coach.

The coach has to be the one to instill that winning ingredient. Sometimes a super talented player can bring that focus to a Team.

But in the absence of organizational influence it all falls to the coach in my book. When you have a super focused player the right coaching will find him.

In the absence of an super talented player, the winning philosophy and putting it into play must come from coaching.

Gilbert Arenas once stood on the doorstep of super stardom. Until he gets there again the Coaching of Flip Saunders must carry this Team.

Flip has not shown he knows how yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

If the Wizards make the playoffs it would be nice. However, if they do, it will be an early exit in addition to causing the front office to have to draft further down; unfortunately two undesirable outcomes. Just to expound upon LarryInClinton's point, Tapscott was a great coach with not much to work with. Tapscott's approach was intelligent and motivational and he surely understood the psychosociologic component of the players. It's just that, If these loses keep piling up, I am afraid the players are going to start publicly chastising, as well as ignoring Saunders.

Posted by: Theone9 | December 27, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

So, the Wizards bring in coach #4 and he tells the players to work the ball and not take quick shots. Then they go out and not work the ball and take quick shots (again) - and they even acknowledge that's what is wrong.

Solution, they go to coach #5?

At what point does it become obvious?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 27, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I felt like fourth-quarter Foye here," Foye said, "but this loss is unacceptable from us as players. This is terrible. We feel as though we're much better than this. We've got so much talent and that's what's upsetting. We've got so much talent. Some nights we bring it and then some nights we don't."

"Habit is more reliable than talent".
Octavia Butler

Posted by: streetguru | December 27, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I have always been of the opinion that in professional sports, coaching is AT LEAST 75% of success, and for the reasons I stated in my earlier post. With the greatest talent in the world in the NBA, it takes a master orchestrator to put it all together and make it work.

BUT, I do NOT think Flip is a bad coach. He has won everywhere he has gone. He just has to figure out what he needs to do with THIS team. Unfortunately, their problems are NOT basketball-related, and so coaching "basketball" is not going to solve the problem. This team needs a "shrink" and I hope Flip can be what they need.

Remember, the great coaches win everywhere they go. Why? For the aforementioned reasons. It's the "psyche" that is the most important ingredient in professional sports success. A great coach knows how to bring the best out of you. With the conglomerate of talent we have, Flip's challenge is to get the best out of what is currently a group of misfits.

Can he do it? Only time will tell.

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Habit is more reliable than talent".
Octavia Butler

Posted by: streetguru | December 27, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely LOVE that quote.

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@SteveMG,

The obvious is never obvious to somne people.

"They show up, they practice, they take the floor but the reality is they are happy just the way things are and they aren't trying."

I don't think that's the case, rmcazz. Unless they're all extreme masochists, they can't possibly be happy with what's going on. Of course they want to win and are trying everything they know to do so. The problem is that everything they know isn't good enough and they either can't accept or don't understand that.

They've gotten used to playing a certain way the past 5 years and, early on in the Grunfeld/Jordan era, that way was good enough to get them into the playoffs, and into the second round. Then all the injuries hit and the excuse making began. They got so used to repeating the "wait until we're healthy" line that they basically brainwashed themselves into believing it. They truly, deeply believed that once all of the starters were healthy and on the floor together that they would just show up and steamroll through the Eastern conference. When that turned out not to be true, they were at a complete mental and emotional loss. The only thing they knew how to do wasn't working, but the only thing they could think to do in response is to do the same thing, just more and harder: more quick shots, more one-on-one, more Arenas, Jamison, and Butler trying to win the game individually. It's like someone who tries to talk to a person who doesn't speak English and thinks that by talking more loudly and slowly that they'll be understood. It's ridiculous and it won't work, but it's all they can think to do, because they don't know any other way to communicate.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The players should be ashamed of themselves.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 27, 2009 10:16 AM | Report

Ray,

What you say about the players, I agree. However, I believe the right coaching would make a difference.

The fact that Flip has had success and is proven in this League does not mean that his philosophy is a winning formula for this group of players.

I would also submit that Flip's success is attributable moreso to a super talented player than his coaching.

If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota.

This group of players is being given too much credit to think that they do what they want to do in spite of the coach.

No Sir!!! This group of players has not seen the right coach yet. Flip has to go further than just pulling the starting five.

He has to demand a style of play that fits his Team now and use all his players better.

You cannot as a coach reward bad play for veterans and sit young players for mistakes. It is a loosing philosophy.

A coach has to demand the play on the court that he expects to see and he must sit players whom do not give the effort that he expects.

To make a mistake and be benched for it when you know you are giving effort sends the wrong signal.

To continually to play badly, but you always play also sends the wrong signal.

If you are winning, thats different, but if you are loosing and continue along the same course with no change, that is coaching.

REPEAT!!! THAT IS COACHING.

And we can change the players and I think all of our big's will walk if the coaching dosen't change. We can bring in new players all we want, but if they are not superstar players that can make a difference, then Flip's coaching to this point will not either.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Remember, the great coaches win everywhere they go."

Larry Brown didn't win in NY. His first two years back in L.A. after sitting out a season, Phil Jackson barely ended up over .500 in the regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. It wasn't until he got Gasol (and some production from Bynum) that the Lakers looked like world beaters. Great coaches win with great talent. Flip doesn't have great talent. And the talent he does have is flawed in any number of limiting ways.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The coach has to be the one to instill that winning ingredient. Sometimes a super talented player can bring that focus to a Team.

But in the absence of organizational influence it all falls to the coach in my book. When you have a super focused player the right coaching will find him.

In the absence of an super talented player, the winning philosophy and putting it into play must come from coaching.

Gilbert Arenas once stood on the doorstep of super stardom. Until he gets there again the Coaching of Flip Saunders must carry this Team.

Flip has not shown he knows how yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Larry, I do agree with your assessment of coaching. However, just as players sometimes need time to figure it all out, coaching sometimes falls into the same category. I like Flip's track record and believe that with time, he will get this thing figured out. This year? Maybe. Maybe not.

In the meantime, everyone involved is looking for answers. Like silver linings in dark clouds, the answers are always there. They just have to find them.

I guess by now everyone on this board knows I am a huge fan of Phil Jackson. Many people think he got "lucky" to be able to coach MJ and Kobe.

Any possibility he helped make them the players they ultimately became?

Coaching.

Coaching!

Coaching!!!

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota."

So not winning a title means that a coach is a failure and lousy at his job? Because by that measure, the vast majority of coaches in any sport are complete busts. Moreover, if that's the only measure of success, the Wizards are screwed, because there are only a handful of active coaches with titles, and they've all got jobs.

Seriously, to suggest that he was a failure for not winning a title in Minnesota, one of the most ineptly run NBA organizations of the past two decades, is ridiculous. And I won't bother going over all of the issues in Detroit, as I already know that actual facts will have no impact on you.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@Kalo_rama,

I agree with what you have just posted. It is a very accurate assessment.

However, whom is most responsible for getting this team out of this sinkhole IYO.

The players, the coach, or the GM/Org?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Any possibility he helped make them the players they ultimately became?"

No doubt. But it's a two way street. He was only able to get what he got out of them, because they had it in them to give, and were willing to accept his direction.

It's become increasingly obvious that (A) the players in this team may not have "it" to give and (B) that they aren't all that open to taking direction. As long as that's the case, it won't matter who the coach is.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

One word: Ugly!

The game took a downward spiral when Oberto checked into the game. He played less than 2.5 minutes, and Wizards gave up 7 offensive rebounds in that span while Wolfs made the 10-2 run.

They bragged about the depth of this team and yet the bench produced only 12 points.

They are beaten or just barely beating the bad teams (more often former than latter), and absolutely cannot compete with good teams (how many blowouts in this young season?).

In short: this is probably the most under-achieving Wizards team!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 27, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Kalo_rama,

I never said that Flip was a failure, only that he hasn't gotten it done here yet.

But please respond to my other post about the post of yours that I totally agree with.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: djnnnou | December 27, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I honestly feel what the Wiz are lacking now is that big 2 guard that could bring the ball up and alleviate Gil of his ball handling duties (Larry). When the Wiz were on their games (way back when), it was due to the fact that Eddie's system didn't call for a traditional point which allowed Gil to be in full on attack mode without sacrificing shots for the team. You could even go back to when MeShawn was healthy and he initiated the offense to a certain extent. But now, there's no one on this team that can handle those duties (Earl Boykins takes bad shots too people). Randy is another Gil. Gil is Gil. MeShawn is on his way out (and MIke James too). Earl has heart but not the height. Nick is called for carrying every other possession. And from what i've seen from Mike Miller, i don't think he wants to bring it up. Therefore, I think the Wiz should either scrap this pick and roll crap and just go straight phoenix on the East with the 7 seconds or less, or make a move for Larry and call it a day.

Posted by: CBell29 | December 27, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"I never said that Flip was a failure, only that he hasn't gotten it done here yet."

Really? You're actually going to try and deny saying it? You do realize that everything you post is still visible to everyone else, right?

"If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Please.

As for the other thing . . . I've made my response to that issue quite clear, I believe, not just in this thread but in others. If you're really at a loss, just scroll up the page here and read what I'd already written, before you asked the question.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClinton the reply to your question is the GM he is responsible for getting talent that fits his coach not getting a coach to try and coach up a bunch of missfits that could care less about doing the things that Flip asks of them !! And if I was a betting man I would say that the reason the starters are not being benched is they are auditioning for a trade Just my opinion no facts to back it up

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

One word: Ugly!

The game took a downward spiral when Oberto checked into the game. He played less than 2.5 minutes, and Wizards gave up 7 offensive rebounds in that span while Wolfs made the 10-2 run.

They bragged about the depth of this team and yet the bench produced only 12 points.

They are beaten or just barely beating the bad teams (more often former than latter), and absolutely cannot compete with good teams (how many blowouts in this young season?).

In short: this is probably the most under-achieving Wizards team!


Posted by: sagaliba | December 27, 2009 11:07 AM

Sagaliba,

Oberto, I think is not a fit for this Team. I think he was ok in SA because SA was much better defensively overall than the Wizards ever come close too.

It will become evident that he was a mistake to be signed by this Team. I would much rather have a mistake prone McGee playing with his surefire talent than a no-talent Oberto that Teams take advantage of easily and he gives us no production.

At least McGee, even though folks like to point out his greenhorn mistakes, does give us some production when he does get some playing time.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

And Mike Lee, please...I'm begging you, can you tell us what's happened to Javale's minutes? The only time he gets on the court is during timeout breaks to slap hands with the team as they come off the court!!! This is a guy who had a very impressive summer league and was even invited to the olympic team camp. Has he really regressed to the point where Flip would rather sit there and watch Fab get outrebounded by shooting guards all day instead of letting him get a chance? This is turning into Eddie all over again when he would put Michael Ruffin in at center when he had 3 7 footers on the bench! We need an explanation.

Posted by: CBell29 | December 27, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Larry Brown didn't win in NY. His first two years back in L.A. after sitting out a season, Phil Jackson barely ended up over .500 in the regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. It wasn't until he got Gasol (and some production from Bynum) that the Lakers looked like world beaters. Great coaches win with great talent. Flip doesn't have great talent. And the talent he does have is flawed in any number of limiting ways.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Kalo, you make my point for me with the two references you give.

Larry Brown, in 37 years of coaching has had only five losing seasons, while Phil, in twenty years, has NEVER had a losing season.

Larry was only in NY for one season and was not given sufficient time to turn around that moribund franchise, which Isiah left in a certified mess. Are there any doubts, given his track record to that point, that he would have done so had he had ample time?

In Phil's case, the two post-Shaq teams you reference were both projected 20-win teams, and both of which Phil took to .500+ records. If you will remember, there was much discussed about his coaching acumen after the first of those seasons.

I reiterate. Great coaches win everywhere they go. A collective 57 years of coaching, with a combined 52 winning seasons certainly makes the point that they have won everywhere they have gone. I believe Flip will win here as well, although he may not do so this year.

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClinton the reply to your question is the GM he is responsible for getting talent that fits his coach not getting a coach to try and coach up a bunch of missfits that could care less about doing the things that Flip asks of them !! And if I was a betting man I would say that the reason the starters are not being benched is they are auditioning for a trade Just my opinion no facts to back it up

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 11:20 AM

Rnorris6,

Well I guess that is one way of going at it. But I think it would have been quicker and easier to have went out and gotten a coach to coach up this bunch of misfits as you call them.

For, I think that is what precisely EG thought he was doing. Lets hope he is right, for if he was doing it the other way you suggested, then EG and Saunders and everybody is gonna soon be gone if Flip doesn't figure this out.

And if they are auditioning the starters for a trade and the players have some idea of this as you also think might be happening, then is it any wonder that the players are not performing worth a crap.

These players already know as well as the other Teams also know what their worth is. If they have some inkling that this organization is just ponying them out for a trade, then that is a huge problem for this Team.

Most of these players want to win here and if it is true that they feel that the organization is not 100% behind that sentiment, then is it any wonder that they play like they don't care?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

A "great" coach would make a difference - they do, over time, everywhere they go in every sport - but this organization simply isn't getting a great coach.

Michael Lee has the quotes from the players themselves admitting that they're not doing what Saunders is telling them to do.

If that's not a clue as to the problem then I don't know what one needs.

Again, a "great" coach has the credibility among players to make them listen. Or demand the listen. Or cajole. Or threaten. Whichever method they've come up with.

You can only fire so many coaches before reality hits you.


Posted by: SteveMG | December 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Every time someone takes a shot with more than a few seconds left in the clock, the option to continue to move the ball, hopefully for a higher quality shot, is being passed up." posted by joe_sill

Much as I'm impressed by attention to detail, I'm wondering: is there any correlation between how fast (or slowly) an NBA team plays and its winning percentage?

Second observation: what's the basis for assuming that waiting until the shot clock is down to, say, five or six seconds in a given possession, means you will get a better shot? Because it looks to me like the opposite is often true. Particularly for a team that plays uptempo.

Third: what's wrong with Jamison taking a 9 foot jumper with 9 seconds left on the shot clock? Only problem I see is that he missed it.

My observation: by and large this season, the Wiz win when their shots are dropping, and lose when they aren't. The Wiz still aren't good enough defensively to beat a team on an off-night.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I checked out Jonny Flynn just because Washington could have picked him, and was moderately impressed by his performance last night. Not that he can shoot -- he was 2 of 12 -- but he did seem to run the team fairly well and is OK on defense despite his height challenges.

Anybody notice how many assists the Wolves' big men, Love and Jefferson, picked up?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Kal is very close to the mark when he states that the whole organization believed it was much closer to being a serious contender than than it had a right to and essentially stood pat waiting for injuries to heal. (Foye and Miller will turn out to be nothing but glorified role players brought in for the Return of the Big Three.)

Interestingly, Larry's contention that this team would do better running and gunning is right on; it's the team they've always fancied themselves to be and I feel that they would respond well to not having to think much about running plays or playing D. In short, a style the best suits a team low on basketball IQ.

Leaving aside cases like teams coached by Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan, teams most often reflect the personality of their star players. In that sense, the Wizards are most like Gilbert Arenas, and that's the problem.

Posted by: mugsybol | December 27, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What a frustrating game! You could tell that it wasn't going to work out when you have the team with all of the young guys patiently running their offense in the 4th quarter while our guys jack up shot after shot in the 4th. WIZ need a big point who can lead, distribute and defend SGs plain and simple along with a physical athletic 4, this would allow GIL to be GIL and not a player that he has not been over the course of his career and would give the WIZ the athleticism they sorely lack in the front court. Of course in order for that to happen either CB or AJ would have to go. But I think that everyone can agree that the Big 3 experiment has run its course. Time for changes in DC.

Posted by: dabwilldo40 | December 27, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes but you dont win consistantly when you are always taking contested jump shots with 1 and sometimes 2 defenders in your face??? So what would it hurt passing the ball around with allot of time remaining on the shot clock Who knows that 1 or 2 extra passes might make the differance between a contested shot and a open shot like the wizards give the other teams all game long.

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"A collective 57 years of coaching, with a combined 52 winning seasons certainly makes the point that they have won everywhere they have gone."

Which does nothing to alter, refute, or even address my underlying point: In those 52 seasons they won, they had the talent they needed to win. In the seasons they didn't have that talent, they didn't. Flip will win here (or anywhere else) when he has the right talent to do so. He does not appear to have that right now. Changing the coach and handing him this same mess of a team will not produce demonstrably different results.

It doesn't matter how "great" a coach is if he doesn't have the right talent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Larry was only in NY for one season and was not given sufficient time to turn around that moribund franchise, which Isiah left in a certified mess. Are there any doubts, given his track record to that point, that he would have done so had he had ample time?"

Yes, I think he would have failed miserably. In fact, I imagine that's why the got the heck out of NY. Mrs. Brown's boy being no fool.

"In Phil's case, the two post-Shaq teams you reference were both projected 20-win teams, and both of which Phil took to .500+ records. If you will remember, there was much discussed about his coaching acumen after the first of those seasons."

I sure don't recall either Laker team being projected to win 20 games. Rest assured that if they were, Phil Jackson wouldn't have gone their to coach -- he being even less a fool than Larry. And far from drawing praise for .500 seasons, the LA media was openly questioning whether Phil could win without Michael and Scottie -- in fact, Kobe was hinting that the club might benefit from a coach who wasn't wedded to the Triangle.

Besides, the two are very different. Jackson is a coach who needs a strong club to build on. Larry Brown is a classic turnaround guy -- he seems to have more fun with a weaker team to play with.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Interestingly, Larry's contention that this team would do better running and gunning is right on; it's the team they've always fancied themselves to be and I feel that they would respond well to not having to think much about running plays or playing D. In short, a style the best suits a team low on basketball IQ."

That's a common (and potentially fatal) misperception. The Suns (the team that everyone deludedly thinks the Wizards should pattern themselves after) are, in fact, a very smart bball team. They have a heads-up playmaker at the helm and guys who understand and buy into their roles around him. They have a well-defined system that suits the skills and the organization (aside from the Shaq debacle) has maximized their chances of success by acquiring players whose skills and personalities are suited to the system. They are organized and focused and operated as a well-coordinated unit. The Wizards do few, if any, of those things. If the Wizards were to go to a run-n-gun attack with this roster, they wouldn't look anything like the Suns. They might, however, bear an uncanny resemblance to the woeful Golden State Warriors.

And nobody wants that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

How did Larry do last year or 1 better how is he doing this year in Charlotte

Southeast Division
W L Pct Home Road Div Conf Last 10 Streak
Orlando Magic 22 8 .733 -- 12-3 10-5 3-2 15-5 6-4 1 L
Atlanta Hawks 21 8 .724 0.5 12-2 9-6 2-2 11-5 8-2 1 W
Miami Heat 15 12 .556 5.5 9-8 6-4 4-2 10-5 5-5 2 W
Charlotte Bobcats 11 17 .393 10.0 10-4 1-13 2-2 10-12 4-6 1 L
Washington Wizards 10 18 .357 11.0 5-7 5-11 1-4 8-11 3-7 1 L

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

getagripped wrote:
When is mcgee contract up and is there's an option hopefully not he needs to get away from this organization. Who's the teams big man trainer obviously they aren't learning anything. This team will continually sink lower and lower no smart lack of heart just freaking selfish.

Posted by: getagripped | December 27, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: getagripped | December 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"I never said that Flip was a failure, only that he hasn't gotten it done here yet."

Really? You're actually going to try and deny saying it? You do realize that everything you post is still visible to everyone else, right?

"If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Please.

As for the other thing . . . I've made my response to that issue quite clear, I believe, not just in this thread but in others. If you're really at a loss, just scroll up the page here and read what I'd already written, before you asked the question.


Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 11:19 AM

For you to indicate that because I pointed out that Flip did not win a Championship that he was a failure is a huge stretch.

It is making a flawed analogy to twist my words. In fact as I stated above, I said that Flip has had success in this League and is a proven coach. He hasn't had success here yet.

Kalo_rama, stop grasping so much to twist other peoples words.

As to your other answer, our posts was hitting the netwaves almost simultaneously.

However, your assessment that these players may not have it and may not show a propensity to be open to coaching is surprising at best.

If it is truly to the ineptitude of the players then Ernie Grunfield has to be about the dumbest GM ever. I don't think so.

Try again Kalo_rama.

LarryInClintonMD.

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

"In fact as I stated above, I said that Flip has had success in this League and is a proven coach. He hasn't had success here yet."

Seriously, you need to stop. With blatantly false every word you lose what tiny bit of credibility you may have had. Again, the posts don't disappear after you hit "Submit." You said:

"If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

(And that's not even touching on the line in the same post where you said his previous success had more to do with the players he had than his own coaching ability.)

How does calling him out for not winning a title in Minnesota or Detroit have anything to do with him not winning here? Of course, it doesn't. There's not way in the world you can paint it other than what it is. Which is, of course, nonsense.

Really, are you such a coward that you don't have the stones to stand behind your own words less than two hours after uttering them? And are you so addled that you think you can actually get away with denying them when they're right there in B&W for all to see?

You wrote a lengthy post devoted entirely to the topic of your disdain for Flip's coaching, and at the first sing of criticism or dissent, you back away from your own, clearly heartfelt, argument with your palms up going "Who? Me?"

Pathetic.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

How many more games of Arenas driving to the basket one on five and simply throwing his hands in the air hoping for a foul call as the ball flies out of bounds and we lose another possession are we going to have to endure.

This is on Flip Saunders for enabling this ridiculous play. The only reason we won the other night is because Arenas left the game. Arenas is helpless but Saunders is at fault. What a horrible job of coaching he has done.

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

BTW where the freak is McGee? Brenda Haywood has brick hands and couldn't catch a pass if you handed it to her wrapped in a blanket. Why can't McGee get into the game. Did he kick Saunders dog or something?!!

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

How many more games of Arenas driving to the basket one on five and simply throwing his hands in the air hoping for a foul call as the ball flies out of bounds and we lose another possession are we going to have to endure.

This is on Flip Saunders for enabling this ridiculous play. The only reason we won the other night is because Arenas left the game. Arenas is helpless but Saunders is at fault. What a horrible job of coaching he has done.

Posted by: dovelevine

As long as Arenas is in Washington You have a very short memory Gilbert Arenas did not listen to Eddie Jordan and he does not listen to Flip Saunders and he will not listen to who ever else is trying to coach him either!!!

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If we keep losing with the same four main guys on the court in the crucial final minutes--Arenas, Butler, Jamison and Brenda, Maybe it's time to put some other guys in there? Ya think? Aint rocket science. Is Flip Saunders even awake over there on the bench?
Hey Ernie, Glad you kept this group together all these years till they were healthy. Great Job!

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@Kalo_rama,

Thats all rather nice but also lacking in cognitive aptitude. First of all you mixed two posts together in your argument. The simultaneous post had nothing to do with Flip.

The simultaneous post I am referring to had to do with your good assessment of the Team way back up the thread.

And I stand behind my posts and you drawing an incorrect analysis and justifying your incorrect conclusion is like a tainted chain of evidence. Garbage in garbage out, just like the lawyers for the prosecution in the OJ Simpson case.

You are so far down the road on an assumption that you made up it is really, quite bordering on patheticism.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Michael Lee has the quotes from the players themselves admitting that they're not doing what Saunders is telling them to do."

Exactly, Steve. The players admit, repeatedly, to ignoring the game plan and freelancing, but somehow it's ALL the coach's fault? As for benching the starters . . . other than trying to prove a point, what purpose will that serve? Does anyone really think that playing McGee, Blatche, Young, McGuire, and Boykins 35 mpg actually increases the chances of winning?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

>>Does anyone really think that playing McGee, Blatche, Young, McGuire, and Boykins 35 mpg actually increases the chances of winning?

Uh Yes--Exactly. How many games have we won playing the starting dudes?

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

More crap, lies, half-truths from the master.

"First of all you mixed two posts together in your argument."

Wrong. I directly and indirectly quoted the same post. to wit:

Ray,

What you say about the players, I agree. However, I believe the right coaching would make a difference.

The fact that Flip has had success and is proven in this League does not mean that his philosophy is a winning formula for this group of players.

I would also submit that Flip's success is attributable moreso to a super talented player than his coaching.

If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota.

. . .

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse


The first bolded line is the indirect reference I mentioned, the second is the direct quote. Both from the same post. I made no reference to this so-called "simultaneous post" you seem so oddly fixated on.

Seriously, if you can't even remember what you wrote less than a couple of hours ago, maybe you should try to avoid the lenghty diatribes. Fewer words might be less taxing for your brain to store, because you're clearly having problems in that area.

And, again:

"If Flip really had it, then he really should have gotten a championship in Detroit, or even in Minnesota."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Is a clear and direct implication that Flip lacks what it takes to win a title. Because if he "really had it" he'd have won one in Detroit or Minnesota, right? Which is, again, nonsense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Kal: Yeah, having Steve Nash running the show helps a lot, especially when a team needs some smart play on important posessions.

Since no one wants to be the GS Wariors of the East and these players will/can not buy into any system that makes them think twice before jacking up atrocious shots, February should be an interesting month. Maybe EG can redeem himself.

Posted by: mugsybol | December 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Uh Yes--Exactly. How many games have we won playing the starting dudes?"

The failure to win with one does not inherently mean a better chance of success with the other.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Uh Yes--Exactly. How many games have we won playing the starting dudes?Posted by: dovelevine"

So if the Nets bench Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and the rest of the starters, they'll win more games?

Somehow I doubt it...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@Kalo,

Go back to your post at 1046AM.

That is the post that I agreed you about, and is the post I asked you about to give your opinion in my 1103AM post.

Your 1106AM post in response to bpypay hit my system when I submitted my 1103 post.

In that post you gave answer that that you alluded to that answered my questioned, but in reality you made it appear that in your 1119 post that it was already posted but it wasn't.

The 1103 and 1106 postings hit simultaneously. These are the postings I am referring to and not to any of the Flip postings in which you claim I said he was a failure. You mixed them up.

Go check Mr. Perfect.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

>>Uh Yes--Exactly. How many games have we won playing the starting dudes?"

>>>The failure to win with one does not inherently mean a better chance of success with the other. Posted by: kalo


Hello!!?? We've won exactly 10 out of 28 games thus far. We are the 6th, that's SIXTH worst team in ALL of basketball. How much worse could it really be trying something new?

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Coaching, Loaching..whatever

Gilbert Arenas is 70% of what is wrong with this team.

I won't give you the laundry list, but as long as this team revolves around this immature kid, we are doomed. It's that simple.

It's hard for most to see cause he can score 60 points on any given day.

But I could easily name 10 point guards I would replace him with in a heartbeat.

If anything the Coach is guilty of trying to accommodate Arenas.

Posted by: kevenjones | December 27, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Kevenjones,

Gilbert is 70% of what is wrong with this Team.

I wonder, if he does eventually get back all the way from his surgery which normally is the second year after surgery would this Team be playing any better.

If your statement is correct, then what you just unwittingly verified is that this Team is playing bad because their star, Gilbert Arenas is not all the way back yet.

There are only two point guards in this League that I would rather have than a top flight Gilbert Arenas. That would be Nash and Kidd.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@LarryInClintonMD,

This team is playing badly because their star is a BAD point guard, lacks leadership, doesn't make the other players on the roster better, chokes on the free throw line (EVEN WHEN HE WAS 100%), shots the ball too much, turns the ball over far too often,etc,etc,etc

Rondo
Kidd
Nash
Paul
Williams
Billups
Parker
Calederon
Rose
Nelson
etc...

Are all superior PG to Arenas. Please believe me. And I could keep going.

Gil can outscore all of them but that's the ONLY skill he has.

Posted by: kevenjones | December 27, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Larry I would also like Nash and Kidd at least they listen to their coaches unlike gilbert areanas through his career i even dug up som old articals from when gilbert was with golden state and he did not listen even back then LOL Go Figure

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

We all know the Wiz's problems. Sad thing is that they know it too. And do nothing about it. They tell Mike Lee the same thing after each loss, but continue to make the same mistakes time after time again.

Problem #1 - Very low team basketball IQ

Problem #2 - No DEFENSE!! None!! No rotation, no NOTHING!!

Problem #3 - No ball movement - which leads to no scoring in the paint, with plenty of ridiculous jump shots. Very low team assists.

Problem #4 - No development of the younger players.

Problem #5 - A coach who constantly makes demands, the players refuse to listen, the players admit they don't listen, and there are no ramifications.

Flip needs to make his demands known. If the "Big" 3 do not adhere, bench them like you would for Young or Blatche or McGee. Flip, you are their coach, not their friend.

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | December 27, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

>>"Big 3"

Seriously isn't it time to bury this moniker. More like Average 3, Lousy 3, Underperforming 3.....And maybe lets also just drop the #3. They don't play together as a group or trio. Let's drop this whole name charade.

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Cant help but point out the Warriors beat the Suns last night!

Posted by: divi3 | December 27, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

>>Cant help but point out the Warriors beat the Suns last night!Posted by: divi3

And this is interesting or relevant because.......?

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

and yes, by all means bench the starters when they're chucking up bad shots for long stretches. Flip is way too soft, players admitting they dont listen to him yet he leaves the Lame3 in for 40+ minutes?

Betcha every young guy in the dog house will do what he's told, so play them when the starters are miserbale.

Beyond infuriating Mcgee is rotting on the bench gaining ZERO experience while the season goes down the crapper. Oberto? Are you fricking kidding me? At this rate we'll win 25 games, haywood will leave via FA (good riddance) and Mcgee will still be a rookie for all intents and purposes.

LAME

Posted by: divi3 | December 27, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

What's that old TV commerical....Nobody beats The Wiz??
Guess we can update it to Everybody beats The Wiz!

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

For those watching the game yesterday, there was one Wolves possession where they got 3 straight offensive rebounds on the same possession. Jamison and Haywood were under the basket but they never even left the floor once to try for a rebound. They were just glued to the floor. These guys can't jump at all. It was absolutely sick. McGee and McGuire at least try. Really Really Sad.

Posted by: dovelevine | December 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Samson151:

There's nothing inherently wrong with playing uptempo or taking shots early in the clock, as long as those shots are fairly high percentage shots. The issue is whether the players are doing a good job of recognizing which early shots are high percentage shots.

82games.com has some stats which break down effective field goal percentage (a version of FG% which accounts for 3 pointers) depending on when the shot was taken during the shot clock. I think these are somewhat useful indicators of shot selection quality. Typically, good players and good teams have a nice high eff FG% for shots taken with 0-10 seconds elapsed (or more than 14 seconds remaining), which makes sense since you should only take the shot if its likely to be better than what you can get later in the clock.

Arenas only has an effective FG% of 44.9% with 0-10 seconds elapsed:

http://www.82games.com/0910/09WAS2.HTM

Foye's is even worse (34.4% with 0-10 seconds elapsed).

Both their percentages are worse than the percentage the team shoots with more than 10 seconds elapsed (you can combine the percentages for 11-15,16-20, and 21-24):

http://www.82games.com/0910/0910WAS3.HTM

Those numbers certainly suggest, to me, that they are not doing a good job of recognizing what is and is not a high percentage shot early in the clock.

By the way, check out Mike Miller's breakdown to see an example of a guy exercising very good shot selection (it's admittedly a small sample of data in his case, but it's pretty impressive).

Now, I know some skeptical people may look at the team breakdown for eff FG% by shot clock time and say that it justifies shooting early, since their percentage with 0-10 seconds elapsed, 0.507, is higher than the percentages later in the clock, but that's not the right way to look at it. Every team is going to have a decent number of shot opportunities early in the clock where it's obviously the right decision to shoot (i.e. easy putbacks or fast break layups or completely wide open jumpers). Those shot attempts are (I'm guessing) probably something like 65% eff FG% shots. So the percentage early in the clock is going to get boosted by those shots. For that reason, your percentage early in the clock really ought to be pretty high, and indeed if you look at most good teams and good offensive players, their percentage early in the clock is fairly high (mid 50s or even higher). The Wizards are barely any better with 0-10 seconds elapsed than they are with 11-15 seconds elapsed.

I don't mean to suggest that these numbers are definitive proof of anything, but I think they are worth looking at.

Posted by: joe_sill | December 27, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

AB getting posterized was espn's #1 play last night, good thing mcgee was on the bench collecting dust at the time

Posted by: divi3 | December 27, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"I don't mean to suggest that these numbers are definitive proof of anything, but I think they are worth looking at.Posted by: joe_sill"

Sure, they're worth looking at. But it doesn't answer the questions:

1)I don't see in your explanation any reference to whether there's a correlation between winning and when a team (or a player) launches shots. Is there such a correlation, or is this merely an assumption?

2) if a team prefers to play an uptempo game, aren't they more likely to take shots early in the 24 seconds than a team that prefers a slower tempo?

3) Is Mike Miller a good shooter because of when he takes the shot, or simply because he takes shots that he's likely to hit? Those shots, by the way, may not be the same shots that Arenas or Foye excel at.

4) what's wrong with Jamison taking a 9 foot jumper with 9 seconds remaining on the shot clock, other than he missed it? What's the basis for assuming a better shot awaited him at 3 seconds?

When you watch a lot of games, it seems clear that one mistake teams make is to hold the ball too long before taking a shot. When you get down to four or five seconds, the shot clock can start to work against the offense like the sideline works against a WR in football... as a second defender.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"and yes, by all means bench the starters when they're chucking up bad shots for long stretches."

Agreed. I've got no problem with the bench getting extended run, now that the season appears to be circling the drain. I just don't see any credible reason to think they'll produce any more positive results in the win/loss column than the starters.But once the switch is officially thrown on the transition from "win now" to build for the future," sure.

That said, it's unlikely they'll do that at this relatively early point, because it'll be viewed as a white flag of surrender on the rest of the season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"A coach has to demand the play on the court that he expects to see and he must sit players whom do not give the effort that he expects."

Well that's why I would like to see Flip bench the starters and make them earn thier keep. :)

I agree with everyone except Kalo on here. ;);)

Flip made one good point: Until we decide that we get upset when we miss defensive assignments, as much as we get upset when we don't get the ball on offense, we're not going to take that next step.

The amount of layups the Wiz are giving up is just insane. But how long have the Wiz been that way? EJ got fired because of these guys, and it's not like they ever played defense for him.

Name one player the Wiz have that plays defense regularly?

McGee? Is he the best they have?

McGuire?

How many other Mac's do the Wiz have?? ;)

Anyway, it's probably time to say goodbye to this team and start over but they can't because of Gil's "discounted" contract.

They can take the money but they can't listen to any coach.

And yes I do think Flip is soft, but saying that the only time the starters responded is by benching them. Do it again Flip, but permanently.

Don't be scared because you're going to get fired because of these clowns if you keep going like you are.

"Is Mike Miller a good shooter because of when he takes the shot..."

Yes, he's a very smart shooter. Mike Miller is a beast and the Wiz are going to lose him after this year if they keep it up.

The person you have to be impressed with is Boykins. Dude is 5'5" and he's effective because of his shot selection. What does he do? He constantly moves to the open spot on the floor when he does not have the ball. Next time the Wiz play watch Boykins play, and when Miller comes back watch him play. Watch what they do....then watch Arenas, Butler, and sometimes Jamison.

Basketball is NOT rocket science. These guys can't be that dumb. What the hell are they thinking about so much?

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 27, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"A bunch of garbled nonsense"
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, what the f*@k are you blathering about? You've now stopped pretending to even have a point, haven't you?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked to be saying it but Eddie Tap must not have been as bad as I thought. Wonder what he'd a done with this team?
New coach same results.
You can change the coach, the owner & the GM but the attitude of the Wizzies has to change.

Something is wrong. What it is could be a number of things.
New Coach.
Almost a new team.( GA,BH,RF,EB&MM)
Dead owner.
No identity.
Big expectations.
No Cohesiveness.

It is not talent.

It doesn't matter when in the clock they take the shot it's if they make it or not.

I would like them to push the ball up on offence before the D gets set. The few times that they have done this seems to work well. Walking up against the set D takes too much time and many times forces a bad shot with the clock winding down.
I'm still optimistic that they will get it soon and turn this thing around.


Posted by: VBFan | December 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

On the whole "early vs. late" shot issue: Like most things, the real truth is in the middle between the two extremes. There's no inherent advantage to taking a shot early in the clock versus late, or vice versa. It's all about context and circumstance.

The Suns take a lot of shots early in the clock because their offense is designed to create those shots and take advantage of them. They get a lot of their shots by pushing the ball hard in transition, on makes and misses, in order to beat the defense down court. The result is often a shot early in the clock, with the intended purpose of scoring before the defense can get set. Conversely, half court teams like the Spurs, Cleveland, Boston, or (to a lesser degree) the Lakers tend to to take a lot of shots later in the clock because their offense is predicated on moving the ball inside to out and side-to-side in order to get the defense shuffling, scrambling, and out of position. Moving the defense around like that can result in driving lanes and open jump shots, but it also eats time off the clock. Neither one is inherently better or worse than the other.

In the case of the Wizards, the problem with early shots is that Flip's offense isn't really predicated on creating those shots, so often when they're taken the player taking then is in poor scoring position or too well covered by the defense. Basically they're taking shots without going through any of the steps built into the offense to create a chance at a good shot.

Conversely, even when they do eat up time on the clock they often still end up with bad shots because the steps they go through aren't the right ones or they aren't executed properly, so instead of using the clock to create good shots, they essentially eat up the clock running around like blind chickens until they're forced to chuck up a bad shot with the clock running down.

Basically, we have a team full of chuckers who are equally prone to take bad shots no matter how much time is on the clock.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"Cant help but point out the Warriors beat the Suns last night!"

What's the old saying: "Teams that run don't like to be run on"? I can't remember if that originated as a football or bball truism, but it applies either way.

As much fun as they are to watch, the book on the Sun is the same as it always was: they're built for the regular season and will end up checking out of the playoffs early because they play no defense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

1)I don't see in your explanation any reference to whether there's a correlation between winning and when a team (or a player) launches shots

I don't have an answer for you here, but it's not really directly relevant to what I'm saying, since my message is not as as simple as "take fewer shots early in the clock". My message is "do a better job of recognizing what is and is not a high percentage shot early in the clock". I would be happy to see the Wizards increase the number of shots they take early in the clock if they turn out to be high percentage shots, like layups resulting from running the floor on the fast break better or putbacks (or even very wide open jumpers taken by good shooters, for that matter).

2) if a team prefers to play an uptempo game, aren't they more likely to take shots early in the 24 seconds than a team that prefers a slower tempo?

Yes, of course. The question is whether they should continue to prefer to play that tempo if the shots they are getting early in the clock are not very high percentage. Or, if they're sure that high-tempo is right for them, whether they can find a way to get higher percentage quick shots (e.g. by running the floor harder and getting layups rather than long jumpers).

Posted by: joe_sill | December 27, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"A collective 57 years of coaching, with a combined 52 winning seasons certainly makes the point that they have won everywhere they have gone."

Which does nothing to alter, refute, or even address my underlying point: In those 52 seasons they won, they had the talent they needed to win. In the seasons they didn't have that talent, they didn't. Flip will win here (or anywhere else) when he has the right talent to do so. He does not appear to have that right now. Changing the coach and handing him this same mess of a team will not produce demonstrably different results.

It doesn't matter how "great" a coach is if he doesn't have the right talent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I "addressed" your point in my initial post on this board. To restate, it is my opinion that every team has the talent necessary to contend. At the NBA level, I am not of the opinion that talent is the difference, as it might be at the collegiate level. Otherwise, just throw coaching out the window and let the players coach themselves and the team with the most talent wins. Fortunately, it doesn't work that way.

I guess Phil/Larry were "lucky" enough in 52 years (well, not quite 52 years) of winning to have the right combination of players for each of those years. Kalo, I have a lot of respect for your knowledge in general, and because of that I'm virtually certain you don't subscribe to that theory!

As I already mentioned, great coaches have the knack for drawing the best out of their players. To say this team doesn't have the talent to contend is a little off base. I think it's accurate to say they don't have the heart or the desire necessary to contend. Even the experts are in agreement that this team has plenty of talent.

It's all about their collective psyche.I will say this until I drop dead: success and failure on ANY level, sports or otherwise, has very little to do with talent, and EVERYTHING to do with heart and desire, neither of which the Wizards have shown any inclination to display on a consistent basis. It's in there. How do you get it pumping? You "inspire" it.

How many heart-rending stories have you heard in your lifetime about people who have seemingly bucked all odds to achieve what no one else thought they could?

It's NOT all about TALENT. It's all about heart. Talent gives you a foundation. Talent is potential. You still have to maximize it.

You can become great without talent, and many have. You can NEVER become great without heart! Heart is not EVERYTHING. It's the ONLY thing.

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

3) Is Mike Miller a good shooter because of when he takes the shot, or simply because he takes shots that he's likely to hit? Those shots, by the way, may not be the same shots that Arenas or Foye excel at.

I would say that Mike Miller is doing a particularly good job of helping his team win if he recognizes which shots early in the clock are high percentage and takes only those. Of course, you only want to take shots you're likely to hit, but your standard for "likely to hit" should be higher earlier in the clock, because the alternative (e.g. working for a better shot with e.g. 15 seconds left in the clock) is more promising than it is otherwise (e.g., racing to find a better shot with e.g. 4 seconds left in the clock).

I realize that Miller doesn't take the same kinds of shots as Foye or Arenas. Regardless, the shots Foye and Arenas took with 0-10 seconds left in the clock are not shots they had to take, given that there was so much time left in the clock. They had the option not to take them.

I realize there's a lot of variation in these stats with only about a third of a season played. Hypothetically, though, if you could be guaranteed that Foye (exercising the same shot selection judgment he has been exercising so far) would continue to shoot 34.4% on shots with 0-10 seconds left on the clock for the remainder of the season, would you tell him to keep it up? Or would you ask him to be a little less aggressive early in the clock?


What's the basis for assuming a better shot awaited him at 3 seconds?

I'm sorry if you took me to be suggesting that it was guaranteed that the team could have gotten a better shot later in the clock than the one Jamison took with 9 seconds left. That particular shot selection decision may well have been a good one on the part of Jamison. Maybe he was wide open. For that matter, without looking at the tape, I suppose it's possible that every single shot the Wizards missed in the fourth quarter was super-wide open and the correct decision on the part of the shooter. The list I posted earlier doesn't prove anything, but it's circumstantial evidence that's relevant, particularly in combination with Flip's complaints recently.

Obviously, there is a tradeoff when it comes to shot selection and it's possible to have the opposite problem if you're not aggressive enough and you end up being forced to heave one up with the shot clock running down over and over again. Nonetheless, I think it's safe to say that the Wizards could turn the knob at least a little bit in the direction of more judicious selection early in the clock without running into the opposite problem much.

Posted by: joe_sill | December 27, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Well it is amazing detroit won 60 games with flip as the coach minisota had lots of winning seasons with flips system so why can these low basketball IQ wizards resemble a compitent team LOL

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"To restate, it is my opinion that every team has the talent necessary to contend. "

No, they really don't. Now, an argument could be made that every team has the talent to compete on a nightly basis, but there's a huge difference between competing to win a regular season game on a given night and being in legitimate contention for a title.

The Nets, Knicks, and Warriors certainly have the talent to be competitive in a given game, even against some of the top teams. But the absolutely do not have the talent to contend. That's not even an opinion. That's fact.

"I will say this until I drop dead: success and failure on ANY level, sports or otherwise, has very little to do with talent, and EVERYTHING to do with heart and desire"

Then you'll go to your grave being wrong. Certainly heart and desire come into play, and no team wins a title without it, but all the heart and desire in the world won't turn a guy who can't play into an MVP or a champion. Talent plays a HUGE part, and while every player in the NBA is talented, not all talent is created equal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"It's NOT all about TALENT. It's all about heart. Talent gives you a foundation. Talent is potential. You still have to maximize it."

It's not all about either one. Both are absolutely required. But, as you yourself note in the quote above, the talent has to be there first.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Samson_151:

For the sake of looking at things from a different angle, let me play devil's advocate with myself and argue from your side. The Wizards have never been a high FG%, judicious shot selection team during the Gilbert era. Nonetheless, they've been quite good offensively at times. The last time Gilbert was healthy, '06-'07, the Wizards were 4th in the league in offensive efficiency (points per possession):

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/WAS/2007.html

They were also 6th in the league in offensive efficiency in '05-'06.

There were a couple of reasons they were so good on offense despite shooting a mediocre percentage. They were a very low turnover team (far fewer turnovers than their opponents) and they got to the line and shot far more free throws than their opponents. I will grant you that one potential advantage of shooting early in the clock is the avoidance of turnovers. It's not happening this year, though. Both of those advantages have now vanished. Whether that's mostly because Gil is not the Gil of old or for some other reasons, I'm not sure yet. If they could get back their old formula (quick shots but low turnovers and lots of free throws) and get back in the top 10 in offensive efficiency, I'd be a happy man. Given the somewhat respectable defense they're playing this year, they'd probably be several games over .500 if they were playing offensively like they did before Gil got hurt. I'm not really sure how to get that old formula back, though. For that reason, I'd really like to see them give more offensive patience a try.

The irony is that one-on-one skills can be quite useful in an offense which moves the ball around and exercises careful shot selection. If you run your offense for 18 seconds or so and nothing develops, you have a good backup option if you can get it to a guy who can create his own shot with the shot clock running down. That's one of the reasons why I think it might work well if they were more careful with their shot selection.


Posted by: joe_sill | December 27, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"I guess Phil/Larry were "lucky" enough in 52 years (well, not quite 52 years) of winning to have the right combination of players for each of those years."

Luck had little to do with it. Larry Brown spent years breaking down and rebuilding the Sixers' roster, getting a little better each year, in order to find the right combo to complement Iverson and get them to the Finals. Phil Jackson was hired by the Lakers after the acquisition of Shaq and Kobe for the specific purpose of managing a team with two huge star egos. He was handed a ready made contender. Now, as I've said before, there was definitely some luck involved in the Pistons winning a title, but even then, the foundation of a talent playoff team was already in place thanks to Joe Dumars, having gotten to the conference finals two years in a row before Brown showed up.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

... all the heart and desire in the world won't turn a guy who can't play into an MVP or a champion. Talent plays a HUGE part, and while every player in the NBA is talented, not all talent is created equal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to agree to disagree. The seven year-old who first picks up a basketball has no appreciable talent. He starts with a desire to learn the game. Then he starts working on it. EVERYTHING begins with a desire. Try to turn on a light switch without first having the desire to turn it on. You can't! It first has to enter your mind, and everything flows from there.

ANYONE with a strong enough desire (will) can learn to do ANYTHING, whether that is playing basketball, or becoming a computer programmer. To say that "all the heart and desire in the world won't turn a guy who can't play into an MVP or a champion" is just absurd. Through heart and desire you LEARN how to play, and through that same heart and desire, you become a champion, or an MVP.

It all starts with heart and desire, which can overcome ANY obstacle, no matter how huge. There is absolutely NOTHING the human being cannot accomplish if one has a strong enough will and a strong enough faith in oneself. We are limitless beings.

Remember David and Goliath!

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"What's the old saying: "Teams that run don't like to be run on"? I can't remember if that originated as a football or bball truism, but it applies either way."

It's football, and the beknighted NY Giants just demonstrated it in a loss to Carolina.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"It all starts with heart and desire, which can overcome ANY obstacle, no matter how huge. There is absolutely NOTHING the human being cannot accomplish if one has a strong enough will and a strong enough faith in oneself. We are limitless beings.Remember David and Goliath!Posted by: bpybay"

LOL I'm flapping my arms, knowing sooner or later, I'll have to fly...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"LOL I'm flapping my arms, knowing sooner or later, I'll have to fly..."

Puts me in mind of a Tom Petty song.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"There were a couple of reasons they were so good on offense despite shooting a mediocre percentage. They were a very low turnover team (far fewer turnovers than their opponents) and they got to the line and shot far more free throws than their opponents." posted by joe_sill

Makes sense, doesn't it? Doesn't make much difference how many shots you jack up during a game -- it comes down to hitting more than your opponent. 35 FGs out of 90 shots beats 32 of 78, unless the margin disappears at the arc or the FT line.

I have noticed that many of the Wiz' losses this year are keyed to free throws. Either not hitting them, or being at a distinct disadvantage in attempts.

A TO is just a wasted possession. More TOs means more wasted opportunities. IMO the problematic aspect of Washington's performance is how many long-distance shots they chuck with plenty of time left on the clock. That does suggest poor rotation, or shot selection.


Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL I'm flapping my arms, knowing sooner or later, I'll have to fly...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"LOL I'm flapping my arms, knowing sooner or later, I'll have to fly..."

Puts me in mind of a Tom Petty song.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

And what is your purpose for wanting to fly? Maybe you can't flap your arms to do it, but if the objective is flying ...

I'm sure you get my point fellas. (Or maybe you don't.)

Posted by: bpybay | December 27, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

at the beginning of the season i thought blatche was key - if he developed i thought they would wins some games. he has, but they have won because each of the big three have regressed. why is jamison out but they three point line all the time? he should be shooting those goofy but effective inside shots. butler seems to think he's a real all-star who can drive thru an entire defense to score, of throw up off-balance jumpers that go in. he can't. arenas, until last night, has been looking pretty good, but he definitely isn't moving quite right yet. getting closer thou.

as for the rest. young just isn't developing. mcgee seems completely clueless and way out of shape - if i were the coach he wouln't play at all. nobody else off the bench is nba-caliber.

Posted by: stevie2 | December 27, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"ANYONE with a strong enough desire (will) can learn to do ANYTHING, whether that is playing basketball, or becoming a computer programmer. To say that "all the heart and desire in the world won't turn a guy who can't play into an MVP or a champion" is just absurd. Through heart and desire you LEARN how to play, and through that same heart and desire, you become a champion, or an MVP."

It goes without saying that it's not nearly that simple. Of course anyone can learn the fundamental skills needed to play bball. But there's a huge difference between knowing how to play and being able to play at even the bare minimum level required to be an NBA benchwarmer. The history of bball is filled with successful, highly decorated college players who washed out of the NBA or never even made it in. Do you really thing guys like (off the top of my head) Gerry McNamara, Nate James, Keith Booth, et al lacked the heart, will, or desire to succeed in the NBA? Of course not, because if they were so deficient in those areas they never would have succeeded at the college level. They quite simply lacked the talent to be regular NBA players. Didn't matter how bad they wanted it, if they weren't fast enough to guard NBA players, big enough to get their shots off over them, or athletic or strong enough to bang bodies with them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 27, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

This team won in the past because they were used to EJ's system and it became instinctive.The players are having a hard time with Flip because Flip has not found a way that works for the big three and he has more talent and depth than EJ had,it almost like the kid with too many toys. Flip has some tough decisions to make going forward,Arenas for all his talent has been found out by opposing coach's he not getting the foul calls when he drives to the hoop(unless it's an obvious hard foul) Flip needs to design plays that take advantage of Gil's ability to pass, so down the stretch this team isn't depending on one person to win the game,it also gives opposing coach's something else to think about.I've said in the past that Flip had KG in Minn. so that made him look maybe smarter than he was, and in Det. he had a playoff tested and talented roster so that was a no brainer, now here in DC Flip is forced to coach, the question; is he up to it?

Posted by: dargregmag | December 27, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the roster will look like after the trade deadline passes I have found many rumors this is just 1 It's a misnomer, according to one source close to the situation, to say that Washington has been shopping Arenas beyond some exploratory talks with Houston about an Arenas-for-Tracy McGrady swap that would naturally appeal to the Wiz because of McGrady's huge expiring contract but was never going to tempt the Rockets.

The two Wizards who continue to draw the most interest from rival teams are forwards Caron Butler who will have an array of Western Conference suitors when Washington decides that it's finally ready to break up its core and Antawn Jamison who is fiercely loyal but quite frustrated, as I hear it, by the ongoing disarray with the Wiz.

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 27, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

What is the current hierarchy of the Wizzies?
Who would make a decision about a trade?
Ernie & Irene?

Posted by: VBFan | December 27, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

What is the current hierarchy of the Wizzies?
Who would make a decision about a trade?
Ernie & Irene?


Posted by: VBFan | December 27, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping it's Irene.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 27, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

She hasn't posted here for a while, maybe she is scouting? :)

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 27, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry if you took me to be suggesting that it was guaranteed that the team could have gotten a better shot later in the clock than the one Jamison took with 9 seconds left."

Nah, I was just questioning whether you had any evidentiary basis for your argument or it was mainly based on an assumption.

Like I said, it's an interesting question for the geeks: is there a correlation between when a team launches its shots and its winning percentage? If there was, it would suggest a practical advantage for an uptempo, running offense, or a slower, more deliberate style.

But then I'm guessing there's no correlation anyway.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 27, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Geez I get back and now we're into full essay format on the board guys? I don't even know where to jump in.

Larry playing Haywood with Blatche isn't the answer. First it was Critt being out, then Flip, now two big guys is the issue? That's
not going to solve the problem at all.

dargregmag...I'm convinced you ARE Eddie Jordan. That's the only answer for your bro-mance with EJ.

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and all that. Especially 88...the only "fan" that wants someone to get called for something that NOBODY ever gets called for.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 27, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This is why Flip is a bum coach. He's been in the Wiz camp for 2yrs. He has no clue who should be on the floor. He keep playing Oberto and Stevenson. They couldn't play on a D league team. He also keep playing the fake 3. How many more loses is it going to take for him to realize that McGee, Blatche and Young need to play. It's take too long for him to figure this out. He's a bum. A retread coaching for his buddies. Ernie and Flipper need to go and go NOW.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 27, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

What is the current hierarchy of the Wizzies?
Who would make a decision about a trade?
Ernie & Irene?

It doesn't really matter. The impetus of any trade will be to cut payroll before the team is sold.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 27, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

t doesn't really matter. The impetus of any trade will be to cut payroll before the team is sold.

Posted by: djnnnou

And who would make a decision about that trade?
Ernie & Irene?

Posted by: VBFan | December 27, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Larry playing Haywood with Blatche isn't the answer. First it was Critt being out, then Flip, now two big guys is the issue? That's not going to solve the problem all...

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 27, 2009 8:05 PM

Maybe not, but it is an ever evolving process and it doesn't appear that Flip is doing all that can be done with this Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The wizdogs sucks! Gilbert sucks! His knees are bad and he has no lift. He is a shoot first point guard. and sooting all those shoots against the wolves was just bad basketball. How do you explain that type of basketball. Caron did right bye not passing him the ball in the 4th quarter after getting a rebound late in the game. Gil sucks! Gil sucks! Gil sucks! Who wants to play with a player who doesnt pass the dam ball after they realize they couldn't hit the side of a barn and continue to jack up shoot after shoot after shoot. Gil Sucks Gil sucks! Gil stop robing the team and retire know so we can recupe som of the money if at all possible. Stop it Gilbert please. Stop it now you are killing this team.

Posted by: TheGodFather | December 27, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The wizdogs sucks! Gilbert sucks! His knees are bad and he has no lift. He is a shoot first point guard. and sooting all those shoots against the wolves was just bad basketball. How do you explain that type of basketball. Caron did right bye not passing him the ball in the 4th quarter after getting a rebound late in the game. Gil sucks! Gil sucks! Gil sucks! Who wants to play with a player who doesnt pass the dam ball after they realize they couldn't hit the side of a barn and continue to jack up shoot after shoot after shoot. Gil Sucks Gil sucks! Gil stop robing the team and retire know so we can recupe som of the money if at all possible. Stop it Gilbert please. Stop it now you are killing this team.

Posted by: TheGodFather | December 27, 2009 9:08 PM

TheGodFather,

If this is true, why does Flip allow this to continually happen? He should have the guts to sit Gilbert for the benefit of the team.

For the life of me, I do not understand why so many of you believe that the players on this Team has the Team hostage and the Coach is clueless to do or will not, or cannot do anything about it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

As a fan, there aren't many things you can do to actually make a team play better. I doubt Mr. Saunders or the players read comments here and adjust their behaviors. But you can do one thing... don't go to games. Empty arenas tend to catch the attention of team owners (if not the players). That's really the only way you can influence anything. Players don't feel like showing up? Neither do we. See how that feels.

Posted by: clocker58 | December 27, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Man this has been discouraging to say the least!!

I don't know what is going on with this team!!!

We really miss Miller. Also I don't know what took Flip so long to get Foye in the starting lineup as his replacement! That was a no brainer as far as I'm concerned!! Nick Young?! Stevenson??!!!? Give me a break!! Foye was acquired because he was seen as a G who could play with Gil similar to Hughes. Unbelievable!!!

Caron and Gil seem to be finally starting to come around. Once healthy and in a flow with our core rotation of Haywood, Jamison, Butler, Miller and Arenas starting with Blatche and Foye as top reserves we will start coming together.

That's our rotation as far as I'm concerned. Everyone else should be getting spot time including Boykins. McGee, Oberto, McGuire, Young, Stevenson, Boykins should all be situational players. If any of those guys are getting heavy minutes it is a bad sign (see current results). Once we get to a position where we got that top 7 going and not seeing the others on the court we will see our true and best team. Until then we will continue on our current situation.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 27, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't really matter. The impetus of any trade will be to cut payroll before the team is sold.

Posted by: djnnnou

And who would make a decision about that trade?
Ernie & Irene?

Maybe this guy?
Peter Biche

Posted by: djnnnou | December 27, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so Gilby has reverted back to Agent Zero, Gilbertology, etc...and all that BS..

He took 28 shots, missed 18 (1-7 from 3) of them to go with 7 TO's, and Les BouleS still get squashed by 12 points to a team "worse" then they are with a 7-24 team.

Can any of the homers out there provide a logical explanation?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 27, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The team usually reflects the playing style of its star. Look at the top teams such as LA, Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando. All have one or more stars who are ultra-competitive and refuse to let their teams lose to lesser opponents. Arenas lacks that type of mentality and has always been more about creating an image, rather than being a clutch player. There's a reason that Arenas-led Wizards teams had lost 15 straight the DWade-led Miami teams...it's that Arenas is not a clutch player. Last night he literally helped play the Wizards out of the game.

Bottom line is that the Wizards simply aren't a very good team and even a new coach hasn't been able to get through to them. Since Arenas is untradable due to his contract/injuries, the Wiz need to make the painful decision about when to trade Jamison and Butler, or both to get some young talent and free up cap space for after this season.

I'd be very surprised if Leonsis kept this team together after he purchases control of the team. Like the old Capitals teams, this Wizards edition has gone as far as it can go and needs to be blown up.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 27, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Here is something about Mcgee. Coach Flip Saunders said McGee's limited playing time hasn't been the result of anything he has or hasn't done in games or practice. Saunders said he has simply had to rely more on veterans Andray Blatche and Fabricio Oberto to spell center Brendan Haywood.

"We talked, [Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld] and I, about trying to get into a flow with the team, how we need to shorten our rotation and not play as many guys," Saunders said, adding that Oberto's ability as the Wizards' best post defender has swallowed the minutes that would've gone to McGee. "We'll play another five games and reevaluate that. It's not really him. We just wanted to have more consistency with what we're trying to do on the floor. He's practicing well, but we haven't had a lot of practice time lately

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 28, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"[Arenas] took 28 shots, missed 18 (1-7 from 3) of them to go with 7 TO's, and Les BouleS still get squashed by 12 points to a team "worse" then they are with a 7-24 team. Can any of the homers out there provide a logical explanation?Posted by: DC_MAN88"

Hate to repeat myself, but a big part of Minnesota's win was their 39 free throw attempts. Washington shot a much better percentage at the line, but had only 24 tries. The Wolves had an eight point margin right there, despite hitting only 72% of their free throws.

Not to say that Washington would have won if they'd gotten to the line more often, or the Wolves less -- but it sure looks like a possibility.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 28, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Flip is full of crap. It's not like Oldberto has been getting many mins, so his excuse about Mcgee not getting PT due to leaning on vets is total BS.

"We'll play another 5 games and revaluate that."

translation

Javale farted while I was talking so I sat him 10 games.

Posted by: divi3 | December 28, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

If you want McGee to get minutes then sit Andray Blatche and let McGee play his minutes LOL

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 28, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Because as long as the Big 3 are still on this team no one is getting playing time cause the big 3 are all averaging 30 minutes a game or more

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 28, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Grumfield gave away the fifth pick for a non-contributor and a guy who's always injured. Good job, dude!

Grumfield reminds me of the old song lyric, "Nothing I do don't seem to work, it only seems to make matters worse,..."

As for Arena$, he passes the ball early in games, but if guys don't hit their shots and thereby hurt his assist totals, he starts hogging the ball. The antidote to this would be for FS to pull him from the game when Arena$ starts hogging the ball, but that rarely if ever happens.

We have a true mess on our hands, boys and girls.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 28, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

This is why Flip is a bum coach. He's been in the Wiz camp for 2yrs.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 27, 2009 8:08 PM

Lost you right there. There are several commenters who bring a wide variety of opinions, many of which take a lot of effort to digest. (I wholeheartedly concede that some of my opinions may be difficult for some people to hear)

The point is that diverging opinions are difficult enough to take in, but you can't play fast and loose with the facts.

Flip has been here a grand total of six months, if even. Thanks for playing.

Posted by: mabkhar | December 28, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The Too Big to Fail 3 is failing a little too often.

It wasn't too long ago that Washington had a prior edition of the Big 3. That lot was traded away over a 5 year period for the grand total of Rod Strickland, Harvey Grant, Mitch Richmond, Otis Thorpe, Christian Laettner, Courtney Alexander, Loy Vaught, Hubert Davis and the ever-popular Etan Thomas. Two and a half Hall of Famers for Two and a half starters.

The last of that Big Three to leave? The one with the biggest contract. Folks, the one we brought, is the one we're dancing with.

All I am saying is that I've heard this tune before, and the band will just keep playing on!

Posted by: mabkhar | December 28, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't too long ago that Washington had a prior edition of the Big 3. That lot was traded away over a 5 year period for the grand total of Rod Strickland, Harvey Grant, Mitch Richmond, Otis Thorpe, Christian Laettner, Courtney Alexander, Loy Vaught, Hubert Davis and the ever-popular Etan Thomas. Two and a half Hall of Famers for Two and a half starters.

Wait...what two and a half hall of famers are we talking about? I'm so confused right now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 28, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Hate to repeat myself, but a big part of Minnesota's win was their 39 free throw attempts. Washington shot a much better percentage at the line, but had only 24 tries. The Wolves had an eight point margin right there, despite hitting only 72% of their free throws.

Not to say that Washington would have won if they'd gotten to the line more often, or the Wolves less -- but it sure looks like a possibility.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 28, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

"

Well, when Les BouleS shoot a lot of J's and don't attack the basket, then you don't go to the FT line as much. It's as basic as that.

Gilby going 1-7 from the 3pt line is ridiculous. If you don't feel it, then don't shoot it.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 28, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"I find it very odd that a responsible gun owner like Gilbert Arenas who has his firearms without ammo in a locked box is criticized and derided by supposed Wizards fans, while there is not even a peep of an issue about Delonte West carrying two loaded handguns and a shotgun in a guitar case while riding his Can-Am Spyder around the beltway.
There are some people who shiver in anticipatory delight wanting something, anything to go wrong with the Wizards. Are you fans or trolls?

Posted by: rickgonz | December 26, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"

Whose crack did you just crawl out of?

How old is the Delonte West news? Does he play for Les BouleS?

I posted the news of Delote West when that moron had his gun issue way back when it happened. The news of the day is about Gilby and his guns.

Everybody knows that Gilby is not playing with a full deck of cards, and should not have guns to begin with.

Again, he's giving up guns for throwing dirty diapers at potential burglars. He'll probably miss though.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 28, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It's 94-91 THUNDER with approximately 4:00 to go in the game. BUTLER in the right corner tries to take his defender one on one. The rest of the team stands there, watching. CB clangs a heavily contested shot. OKLAHOMA rebounds, passes quickly upcourt. DURANT fakes BUTLER out of his sneakers, drives the baseline and two-hand dunks the ball. 96-91. Game over.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 29, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Told anyone who would listen in 2008 when ARENAS and JAMISON got "THE" contracts that it ruined the franchise for the next five years. Should have let ARENAS walk, then signed JAMISON.

EG better re-up MILLER and HAYWOOD this year. May as well sign McGUIRE too. He's got the least money contract on the team. And BOYKINS, he's added some depth, lacking because of CRITTENTON's injury.

I think CRITTER and his 1.5 are toast with the WIZ. Real shame too. The kids got game. Maybe ERNIE won't give up on him, but I still think GRUNFELD's pissed about the injury and the way it happened. He better find a way out of DeSHAWN's contract for next year. Fork-man is done.
JAMES gone will give the team some leeway. OBERTO also. That's 8.5 million off the books and probably enough to sign HAYWOOD.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 29, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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