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Morning brew: Wizards lose, Arenas aiming for plea deal

While the Wizards were losing to the Atlanta Hawks last night, Gilbert Arenas's lawyers were negotiating a plea deal. Sources say Arenas could be in court as soon as today on gun charges.

Michael Wilbon admits Arenas made a lot of mistakes, but asks: Is he so evil that all the merchandise bearing his name and number has to be pulled from Verizon Center?

Michael Lee has additional thoughts on the Wizards' loss to the Hawks on Wizards Insider.

Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog includes a nice round-up of all things Gilbert, including a clip of Stephen Colbert defending the right the bear finger.

Yesterday, Mike Jones offered his take on the Wizards and other topics in his weekly "Now-What Wednesday" feature. Today he says it's time to give a few other Wizards some playing time.

Truth About It offers a video of Antawn Jamison supporting Andray Blatche.

In City Paper, Gilbert's nicknamer (a Wizznutzz creator) laments the superhero's fall.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that the Los Angeles Clippers "have resisted all trade interest in Marcus Camby to date -- most recently from Washington and a potential Caron Butler-for-Camby swap -- in part because they wanted to get a firm read on the timetable for [Blake] Griffin's comeback."

Around the League ...

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski posted a timely column about the Sixers' Samuel Dalembert, who grew up in Haiti. (Click here for a list of organizations offering aid to Haiti earthquake victims.)

There were 11 games on the schedule last night. Here are highlights from NBA.com's Daily Zap:


By Alexa Steele  |  January 14, 2010; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hawks 94, Wizards 82
Next: Crittenton's house searched

Comments

There are hidding Mcgee because his play depends so much of a point guard getting him the ball in the right situations.ALA Chris Paul to Tyson Chanler. Therefor we must get a true point guard then he can flourish, we currently dont have that on this team. Maybe loose alot of games for a shoot at John Wall or sign Duhon from the knicks while they are spending soo much time up Lebron A**. Lee could help too.

Posted by: dsquare | January 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse


Or they are hiding McGee b/c he's the only guy on the roster that they don't want to trade and maybe if he's out of sight, then he's out of mind. And they want to "showcase" their trade bait.

But I agree we need a PG who can distribute. In a previous post, I mentioned making a trade for (or run at) Raymond Felton who shunned a lng-term contract from Charlotte and is now playing on a 1-year qualifying offer.

Posted by: p1funk | January 14, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think McGee doesn't get in because he STILL hasn't grasped the basics. If he could just learn those and add his athleticism on top of that...he would be great.

However that applies to a lot of players who never "get it"

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld is the architect of this team. His philosophy: guards can't be small like Paul of NO except for Earl. He was forced to get Earl. Big people have to be tall and skinny. Pass up good draft choices for tall and skinny or mental. Can't have rebounders or bigs that rebound and score on the low post. Many of the players chosen have mental, emotional, or maturity problems. Most of all can't have players that can play or want to play defense.

Three coaches have tried to coach and manage this group and have failed. Coaches are as good as the players they coach.

Finally, there must be special rules for the special players, ie Arenas.


You mix it all together and you have this mess. Ted L will clean house, except for Jamison, with Grunfeld going first.

Posted by: JoeC2 | January 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

So if LAC had agreed, CB would be gone and Camby would be here already. CB feels he's on borrowed time, maybe that's why he looks so....lost. Not really an excuse though.

The way AJ is playing, we better get serious return if he's traded. Cavs have got be salivating thinking what AJ would do off the bench or starting.

Maybe AJ stays, because teams think we're desperate and wont offer enough

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"I think McGee doesn't get in because he STILL hasn't grasped the basics. If he could just learn those and add his athleticism on top of that...he would be great."

Mcgee is the vegas card shark who precipitated this mess, that has to hurt his PT.

It's one thing to not play much, but to get DNPd over and over on such a crap team while AB eatz ballsack at C has got to be a little more than just what he does in practice.

at any rate, the way this season is going you'd think mcgee will eventually get his share of minutes.

If we end this year with BTH a FA and mcgee having played almost not at all....the organization should be placed in the D league

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

McGee is in hiding because he's turrrable. Maybe he's got great trade value in the And1 league.

Saunder's has got to live with NY's inconsistency. Face it, this team is lousy on most nights, it's not like starting stevenson is going to make them any less lousy. However, if NY is having one of his good games, then the Wiz have chance to get a win. A good game for stevenson is 6 points. In other words, stevenson isn't going to help you get a win.

Is Caron any more productive with Arenas out. NO. He's like a black hole. The ball goes to him, disappears, and then reappears on the other end for an easy layup. If it weren't so pathetic, it would be comical.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | January 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I dont think there's a circumstance where we were going to win last night, but it has to fall on Flip that with the game tight and the Hawks playing like crap- he YET AGAIN goes to Earl and instantaneously it's a blowout.

Gone past bad coaching to downright bizarre

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The early reports about the TMac for Arenas trade that the Wiz apparently sought mentioned that JaVale McGee was basically the only guy that the Wiz were not willing to package in a deal.

Everyone looks terrible on this team right now except for AJ, who basically has a blank check to freestyle and get his shots.

Posted by: p1funk | January 14, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

P1FUNK: They look terrible because Flip's system(if he's got one) doesn't work for this team or it's current roster now i'm not saying that a bunch of new players are gonna make it better but when EJ had this bunch at least they could score.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 14, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

This team has had too many players that "don't get it yet" One or two maybe over a few years, it happens. IMO, the team has lost ALL credibility on that topic and I no longer just believe every time the player is a bad apple and wont learn. I think the player DOES have something to do with it. Would be nice to get some guys with the ethic of say Brandon Roy or Durant, etc... But like I said it happens too often here.

Secondly, they have made their bed with the roster and don't have the luxury of NOT COACHING.

Some of the players they hate seem to do what they do with ease (NY-scoring , Javale- defense and shot altering) and they don't play for these oblivious reasons, while their favorites make repetitive mistakes that I can see with my own eye.

Every one that says these guys suck must have access to practice film.

Posted by: millineumman | January 14, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Darg,
How's this same team looked under other head coaches?

Flip is not the problem. Stop shifting the blame away from the 8 or 9 guys who get minutes on this team. Basketball is hardly a complex game, yet these same cast of characters has convinced a lot of people out there that the only thing missing is a great coach. Well, there is no coach on the planet that could turn this chicken S*** into chicken salad.

You think Mike Brown is a good coach or Mike Woodson is a good coach? How's Mike D'antoni doing in NY? How'd doc rivers do down in Orlando? Please, this argument is beyond absurd. A good coach can make a difference on a good team - maybe get them over the hump or get them through a rough spell, but in the NBA coaches don't transform a group of average players into an elite team.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | January 14, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If McGee "isn't ready for prime time", why not send him to the D-league?
Isn't Camby a little old to be an equal value for Butler?
Many of us would like to void Gil's contract, but the plea bargain may have him active before Valentines Day. He doesn't fit into the system, but soeone would take him for $2 to 3M per.

Posted by: lrmc623 | January 14, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"but in the NBA coaches don't transform a group of average players into an elite team."

a good coach can polish a turd though, this team could be 5 wins better or so (whoopee) which speaks to Flip failing as well imo

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Okay how is Houston 22-17 with Chuck Hayes at center,Hayes is 6-6, Flip is the wrong coach for this bunch the only mature players on this squad are Caron and AJ like i said Gil is a goofball and very immature but i lay this at the feet of EG for firing EJ and hiring Flip EJ won without Gil and a virtually no depth. The Pollins need to fire EG and Flip and get the Lil Gen(Avery Johnson).

Posted by: dargregmag | January 14, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay how is Houston 22-17 with Chuck Hayes at center,Hayes is 6-6, Flip is the wrong coach for this bunch the only mature players on this squad are Caron and AJ like i said Gil is a goofball and very immature but i lay this at the feet of EG for firing EJ and hiring Flip EJ won without Gil and a virtually no depth. The Pollins need to fire EG and Flip and get the Lil Gen(Avery Johnson).

Houston has had the same system for years and they play DEFENSE. The Wizards have been in this one for months. You wouldn't know what that was since you never thought playing it mattered Coach Jordan.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 14, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Okay how is Houston 22-17 with Chuck Hayes at center,Hayes is 6-6,"

Because they have a team full of guys who are unselfish, play for the team not themselves, and bring it hard every night. The Wizards don't. A coach can get the most out of a player, but he can't get more than what the player is willing to give.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"a good coach can polish a turd though, this team could be 5 wins better or so (whoopee) which speaks to Flip failing as well imo"

An arbitrary and speculative number. Teams are rarely better than their record (if anything, they're more likely to be worse than their record, if you take the softness of the schedule into account).

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Okay how is Houston 22-17 with Chuck Hayes at center,Hayes is 6-6, Flip is the wrong coach for this bunch the only mature players on this squad are Caron and AJ like i said Gil is a goofball and very immature but i lay this at the feet of EG for firing EJ and hiring Flip EJ won without Gil and a virtually no depth. Posted by: dargregmag

How'd you do that with only two commas?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 14, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"An arbitrary and speculative number. Teams are rarely better than their record (if anything, they're more likely to be worse than their record, if you take the softness of the schedule into account)."

You cant watch these games and not call into question Flip's coaching acumen. The guy has been preaching defense since Day1 yet still has yet to really take the team or players to task on it. Unless a coach puts his money where his mouth is, he;s just flapping his jaws.

There have been innumerable instances this year where he could have benched guys (even for just a few minutes) when they didnt get back on D, or in general just looked lazy.

But he didnt, so the same group of players do what they always do and we see the results.

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

""a good coach can polish a turd though, this team could be 5 wins better or so (whoopee) which speaks to Flip failing as well imo"

I don't think you'll get much disagreement around here to the idea that the Wiz are underachieving. Or even much argument about why. The only important question is: how do they fix it?

And please don't mention turds -- that's a sensitive subject at the moment.

Shoes either.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 14, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

""Okay how is Houston 22-17 with Chuck Hayes at center.."

Good question. I checked out the sports blog in Houston and found out their secret: they've got a loudmouth guy posting there. If we could only get a guy like that around here, the Wiz would get a lot better.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 14, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The fix is 7-8 new players on the roster next season.

Arenas, Foye, Young, Mcgee, maybe AJ, + new blood

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree the comment on EG.I do not know how he is deciding on his picks.This past summer he trade the 5th pick which might be good but he was supposed to use his second round spot for big man who can come from the bench and provide some inside presence.
The previous year he picked Jm over an excellent player picked by ohio and a good jump shooting big man who was one of the reasons for miami's 2 years shampionship, he gave it to 76ers.NY was the other picked, we all where exited but he does noting except scoring every other week.His previous pick was the Rusian big man who knows to stand at the corner for 18% shooting from behind the arc.He signed Ds instade of keeping the spanish natinal team PG who could probably help to move GA to SG position, he trade it away and with in a year he gave up his 1st round right to change AD for MJ, i did not see any thing on JC.Big mistake. Now he is going to move CB and AJ to cut money.If i were the new owner the 1st man to go away is EG followed by AB,NY,CB,MM,EB and use JM to get a trained rebounder.He will take years to use his length to grab a rebound,all he does is shoot blooking.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 14, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"His previous pick was the Rusian big man who knows to stand at the corner for 18% shooting from behind the arc."

gotta love this blog, funny stuff

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

So many rich young men taking silly stupid risks & chances. Do you know how good you have it or have you been living in a fantasy land since the first time you picked up a basketball. Stay away from guns, drugs, golddigging floozies & your pals from the "old neighborhood." Which part of that don't you understand.

Posted by: uncivil | January 14, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"You cant watch these games and not call into question Flip's coaching acumen."

Sure I can. I've been doing it all season. He's a very good (not great) coach, stuck with an underperforming team that's quite simply not as good as they (and everyone else) thought they were.

"The guy has been preaching defense since Day1 yet still has yet to really take the team or players to task on it. Unless a coach puts his money where his mouth is, he;s just flapping his jaws."

He's learned the same lesson Jordan and Tapscott did: This team cannot and will not play the kind of defense he needs. Sitting guys down for not doing something, so you can play a bunch of other guys who not only don't do that one thing, but also don't do most of the things the other guys can do, isn't likely to help the win total. His choice is: play guys who can score but don't play defense, or play guys who don't do much of either. A real prisoner's dilemma.


As for his failure to bench guys for blah, blah, blah . . . so what? Benching a player in order to replace him with a guy who's not as good does what, exactly? Send a message? Big whoop. He's not running a courier service, he's coaching a basketball team. His job is to try and win games. That's generally done by playing the best players.

"There have been innumerable instances this year where he could have benched guys (even for just a few minutes) when they didnt get back on D, or in general just looked lazy.

But he didnt, so the same group of players do what they always do and we see the results."

And what evidence is there that playing different players would yield better (not different, better) results? None that I can see. Contrary to what the fans like to think, teams rarely keep secret weapons buried on their benches.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You cant watch these games and not call into question Flip's coaching acumen. The guy has been preaching defense since Day1 yet still has yet to really take the team or players to task on it. Unless a coach puts his money where his mouth is, he;s just flapping his jaws.

You say that about defense...but people get mad when DeShawn gets off the bench.......

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"he's coaching a basketball team. His job is to try and win games. That's generally done by playing the best players."

and you do that by leaning on Earl Boykins right? Great coaching right there, no really. It's fricking PATHETIC.

"And what evidence is there that playing different players would yield better (not different, better) results? None that I can see."

well, he'd have to try it to see the result wouldnt he? When AB plays lazy C, why not sit him down for a few minutes in favor of Mcguire or JM? When NY is showing defensive effort, why not leave him in the game?

that's not about winning said game per se, it's about COACHING the players and making them better.

Nobody thinks Dom is a secret weapon, but nobody disagrees that at least he gives 100% effort on D constantly. If you walk the talk, a guy like that gets plenty of spot minutes when players at 2-5 decide to not play D.

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"the fix is 7-8 new players on the roster..."

But if they're underachieving at present, isn't there something they could do to improve right now?

No fair saying, 'play better'.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"that's not about winning said game per se, it's about COACHING the players and making them better."

Now you're changing the argument. You said:

"a good coach can polish a turd though, this team could be 5 wins better or so (whoopee) which speaks to Flip failing as well imo"

That's pretty clear indictment of him as a coach for not winning enough games. Unless you think that playing McGuire or McGee will win more games (and there's no credible reason to think that), then your reasons for him doing so do not actually sync up with him improving in the area you directly criticized him for failing at: winning games.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Stay away from guns, drugs, golddigging floozies & your pals from the "old neighborhood."

You forgot booze, $100K golf side bets, and the back of any pickup truck driven by your ex.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse


It's sheer hypocrisy to talk about the players' deficiencies (defense, leadership, immaturity, etc.) and then defend the person who put this roster together. Grunfeld's job is to take everything about a player into consideration before making that player a part of this organization. As such, this team has Grunfeld's fingerprints all over it and he should not be given a pass due to any imagined interference from the late owner.
To wit:
Gil came to this organization in 2003 with a gun charge hanging over his head and Ernie threw ALL of their cap space at him, coddled him, shielded him from a potential paternity suit and now he tries to distance himself from Arenas?
He's not fit to run this franchise.

Posted by: 2020doc | January 14, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Unless you think that playing McGuire or McGee will win more games (and there's no credible reason to think that)"

Put Mcgee on the inbounds and Haywood on Dungleavy and there's 1 more win right there. That's basic stuff Flip has blown several times this season imo

anyways, i'm saying i feel like i'm watching bad players and a bad coach. worst of both worlds

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

in flip's defense, who knows what kind of orders are coming from above. EGs fat is in the fire on this too, surely his influence is being seen on the court as well while he tries to engineer trades

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Mike Miller's MRI?

Posted by: JPRS | January 14, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Im a huge boxing fan and have alot of fights on video. I was looking through some tapes yesterday and came across a Wiz game from DS 1st year. Gil's speed & burst stuck out to me as did how explosive we were in that Offense but the #1 thing that stood out was Deshawn. He seemed so night & day from the guy that has played since Gil originally went down. On that tape he seemed alot faster & more athletic. His D was just as I remembered. Dude looked literally like the best perimiter defender in the league. You shouldve saw the way he was harrasing Jason Richardson. They couldnt do anyting on him. He was quick with good leverage & toughness. He was a very good passer who I thought was the best one on our team at the time and then Caron & Gil started to pass better. His shot was also much smoother & confident. Back then he was like Mike Miller with the J except he didnt hesitate. If he was open then he was letting it go smoothly with mad confidence. Now he wont ever shoot unless he has to and thats the way we all want it because he's going to miss 90% of the time.

His D recently has picked up again as I thought he had been passed by NY and was only average if that. Lately he's been better but still nothing like the guy I saw on that old vid. Do we not give him the same sympathy for injuries that we give others around the league? He's had alot of injuries and maybe he just broke down. He played a long time with them which probably made it worst. Seriously though, I think people forget how good he was. I talk about it sometimes but even I didnt remember until I saw that tape. He was shooting over 50% from the field, 40% from 3, was one of the best defenders in the league, and maybe the best passer on our team and overnight it was gone. Sure Gil got hurt but it never came back. Now that I think about it, Gil was hurt for a very long time so maybe that was the primary reason. Flip said he will probably start the next game so maybe he can get back right but the last time he started was awful. He literally looked like the worst starter in the leauge.

Could that one season have been a fluke? He had horrible shooting percentages before then and since but its hard for me to believe it was a fluke because he was good for so long. It wasnt like a 2 week stretch or 20 games. He was damn near a perfect role player for about 60 games. I remember he started very slow in like the first 10 and still put up those beast numbers until Gil went down. He probably shot like 55% in those 60 games and 45% from the 3 when you consider how bad he was in that first 10 or so. Its just weird that he just seems like a total shell of that guy now

Posted by: dlts20 | January 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

dlts20,

DS2 had one season where he shot 40+ percent from 3-point range, in an offense where he was the 4th option. Miller has a career 40+ percentage from 3-point range in offenses where he was often the primary perimeter scorer.

The numbers bear out the fact that Stevenson hasn't recovered his stroke. But even if he returned to form, it's hard to see the 2006-07 season as the rule -- it's the exception.

Still, as long as Miller is out, Stevenson should probably start getting some looks with the starting 5. The Wizards have to try something to get things back on track. Nick Young has had some looks, but for now he should probably be the first or second guy off the bench.

Posted by: JPRS | January 14, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: prescrunk | January 14, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

How'd you do that with only two commas?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 14, 2010 12:29 PM


ROFLOL
This blog definitely brightens up a tough day.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

DS is DONE. Blame his back or whatever but he clearly hurts us when he's on the floor for more than 10 mpg. NY is the answer but unless he's shooting, he's a liability.

The answer: Let him shoot. And not just as an afterthought. He should be our 2nd offensive option right now behind AJ and plays should be run for him.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

As practically all of us said at this point last year...

"Play the young guys. At this point, we're a lottery team. Start and play guys who might have a future with this team who have above average NBA skill. Unfortunately this does not include Mike James, D McGuire, DS, Boykins or Oberto.

Is there any compelling reason to NOT start BTH, AB and AJ as our front line together with JM coming in and playing 20mpg at PF and C? Especially now with MM hurt, its a good time to see what we have.

I don't see any.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"no gun

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/arlington/police-search-home-of-wizard-c.html?wprss=crime-scene"

it's hilarious how long it takes to get guys in for interviews, search their homes, and whatever

by this point everybody has been able to synch up their stories (if they wanted to) and Critt's gun is in the belly of a catfish under Chain Bridge

Posted by: divi3 | January 14, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

original_mark,

Yesterday Stevenson didn't hurt the Wizards. He was the only player with + stat in his 19 or so minutes on the court (+8). At a minimum that's a justification for him to get a look in the starting line-up.

Posted by: JPRS | January 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: prescrunk | January 14, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe I'm saying this but they need to start Stevenson @ the 2, and bring NY off the bench.

The lost last night because they got nothing, zero, zelch from the bench. Same thing against Detroit. Bench, which includes Mr. Blatche and did and ain't doing sh**.

Man we need Mike Miller REALLY BAD.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

So if 3 coaches can't get the same group of players to play any defense, then a defenciency in coaching must be the problem. I get it now.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | January 14, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The answer: Let him shoot. And not just as an afterthought. He should be our 2nd offensive option right now behind AJ and plays should be run for him.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse
never gonna happen as long as CB is on the floor with him. CB assisted on the games first basket, a really nice sequence when all 5 guys touched the ball and CB dumped it off to BTH for a dunk or layup.From that point on CB got 2 more assists, 3 turnovers (such a terrible ballhandler) and hit 33% of his 18 shots. Why don't people ever talk about this jokermoeass clown getting his job taken. at least NY knew he was cold and only took 6 shots. AJ,CB,RF combined for 58 pts on 55 shots with CB being the weak link (6-18). It was a bad shooting night for most of the guys, but maybe that's when a coach should draw up a play to get a guy an easy shot.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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