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Wizards' morning brew: a blowout loss to the Clippers

Another home game, another loss. This one came at the hands of the L.A. Clippers, who beat the Wizards 92-78 on Sunday afternoon. Michael Lee was on hand and duly noted the atmosphere at Verizon Center and discussed the game in his postgame blog post. Here's the recap from the Los Angeles Times, which pointed out that the Clippers surpassed their victory from last year. The Wizards, who also won 19 games last year, aren't quite ready to celebrate.

Truth About It noted the surprise appearance by Mike James.

Next on the schedule? The defending champion Lakers, who suffered a last-second loss to Toronto Sunday and will be visiting the White House on Monday.

Elsewhere, columnist Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. Daily News, who covered Gilbert Arenas in high school, weighs in on the gun incident, with comments from Arenas's high school coach. Our own Norman Chad checks in with another NBA column pointing out what he likes about the season thus far.

Game highlights courtesy of NBA.com below:

Around the League ...

Just two other games on the schedule Sunday, including a 50-point (yes, 50-point) beating of the Knicks by the Mavericks. All the highlights courtesy of NBA.com's Daily Zap:

By Ed Guzman  |  January 25, 2010; 9:36 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Washington Wizards; NBA; Gilbert Arenas; Antawn Jamison; Flip Saunders; Caron Butler; Lakers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clippers 92, Wizards 78
Next: Crittenton charged with gun counts [Updated]

Comments

It was fun Ernie!! 4 playoff appearences in 5 years with the coach you fired when all the stars were injured...yeah that made sense. If the bigest free agent market ever I can't imagine giving you the freedom to cause further damage. Time for a change, BTW is the Jamison/Butler deal on the table still for Amare?

Posted by: Gooddad | January 25, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Over the last nearly 30 years, the Bullets/Wizards have changed:

Players
Coaches
Trainers
General Managers
and arenas. (No pun intended.)

The constant has been the Pollin family.
I will always be grateful to Abe Pollin for his philanthropic nature and the Championship in 78.

But....

This basketball franchise has been run like a cut rate operation for so long that the concept of how to build a winner, in what is now an international sport is incomprehensible.

As long as the franchise is turning a profit and the negative off court publicity is at a minimum, then "we'll get em, next season" has been the mantra.

I don't believe anyone's at fault, the NBA went corporate and world wide, while the Bullets/Wizards stayed a Mom and Pop shop.
The vast majority of franchises have changed hands over the last three decades, and new owners, partnerships and corporations are being run by more contemporary thinkers in this now global enterprise.

Will this change under new ownership?
Of course. I doubt there will be any 80+ year old billionaires in the market to run an NBA team. However, there is no guarantee it will be a change for the better...

Posted by: bozomoeman | January 25, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@bozomoeman,
pretty well put, I agree especially about gaining profit, negative pub and "the we'll get em next year" mantra.

Not to bash him because he seemed like a great guy, but the franchise has seemed behind the times and not willing to make the tough but neccesary decisions for a long time.

Posted by: millineumman | January 25, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

This basketball franchise has been run like a cut rate operation for so long that the concept of how to build a winner, in what is now an international sport is incomprehensible.

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

Will this change under new ownership?
Of course. I doubt there will be any 80+ year old billionaires in the market to run an NBA team. However, there is no guarantee it will be a change for the better...

Posted by: bozomoeman | January 25, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

(1) The franchise was definitely a cut-rate operation in the past, but not in recent years when the team was at or near the salary cap; (2) I'm not sure that Pollin was ever a billionaire, and (3) given the team's general futility during the last 31 years and total ineptitude during the last year and a half, I'm not sure that new ownership could do any worse.

Posted by: rbpalmer | January 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Pollin's ownership of the team was certainly an issue the last few years, but that issue had little to nothing to do with money.

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

"how bout mentioning BTH impersonating an NBA C for 3 quarters and then disappearing in the money quarter.

Posted by: lilhollywood10"

you know you're the dregs of the league when a guy who goes for 0pts/0rebs in the 4th quarter of a loss feels comfortable calling teammates out.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

the team as whole has pretty much given up, just waiting for the trade deadline to see what's what....and you can hardly blame them given the yo-yo lineup and constant bs surrounding the team.

so much for the "we need mike miller" and "we're better without Gil" fantasies huh?

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Yep, these guys have given up and are playing like they are waiting to be traded. I hope they are accomodated. This team with it's current core has been hard to watch for 2 seasons.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | January 25, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

If Abe wasn't a billionare then he should have been close to it not that it matters anymore like i said earlier Teddy Large buys the team and makes some changes and we hopefully get into the free agent market.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 25, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately if/when Leonsis buys the team and cleans house, the franchise will have the "rebuilding" excuse to throw out 30win seasons while the fans are supposed to have patience.

All the while hoping Leonsis isnt in reality more concerned with funneling VC resources into the skyrocketing Caps

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Menosota is interested in CB, they said no one in the team is immune from the trade.why the wiz are not trying to get the PG and kevin love?

Posted by: gtefferra | January 25, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

What possible case could anyone seriously make for keeping on Flip Saunders at this point? I mean seriously. Eddie T could do a better job. This team isn't that bad roster wise. They aint great but they aren't this bad. This is on the coach. Saunders has literally killed this team.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 25, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"All the while hoping Leonsis isnt in reality more concerned with funneling VC resources into the skyrocketing Caps"

Leonsis didn't want the Caps, at least not in the beginning. He signed on with Abe specifically because he wanted to own the Wizards. Taking over the Caps was just a means to an end.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"This team isn't that bad roster wise."

It's that kind of thinking that keeps the company that makes Kool-Aid in business.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Saunders has literally killed this team."

This team has been dying a slow death since Gerald Wallace rolled up Arenas' knee.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Neither Flip nor the players are quite as bad as they appear right now, but both stink.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

so much for the "we need mike miller" and "we're better without Gil" fantasies huh?

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if you were watching the first 30-35 games of the season when Gil was attempting to run the show but the team was as much as a joke then as it is now.
Did you watch the missed clutch free throws, the inexistent defense, the losses to powerhouses like Detroit, Minessota, GS....?

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Time For Flip to Go

Flip saunders is starting to morph into Jim Saunders after every lost. He doesn't have a clue on how to turn the team around, just like zorn. He seems to have lost the respect of the players who are playing without passion every game. He is not using the bench and is wearing out the players that he has on the roster. Why doesn't he utilize his roster more? Mcghee, Young, Foye,Jamison and Haywood would be a good starting five. And please stop using the randle el of the wizards(Steveson). All he does is take the ball out and run from sideline to sideline with no input to the offense. Its time to utilize the bench and let them play.

Posted by: taeyyenom | January 25, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Menosota is interested in CB, they said no one in the team is immune from the trade.why the wiz are not trying to get the PG and kevin love?

Posted by: gtefferra | January 25, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Minnesota isn't giving up Love (a highly touted young big man) and a PG for a washed up Butler who is still owed $18 millions!
What planet do you live on?
People, please, there is nothing wrong with fantasizing about trade scenarios, but think about the other team as well and why it would make sense for them to make the trade (as is, will the trade make them better?) otherwise posting nonsense make you lose all your credibility.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

It's that kind of thinking that keeps the company that makes Kool-Aid in business.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What he really meant was they aren't as bad as their record indicates and he is absolutely right. Flip has had no impact whatsoever on this team and has instituted no identity. The players aren't playing hard for him.
Is the roster flawed? Yes (great job EG)
Should they be much better than they are? Yes by a long shot.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure if you were watching the first 30-35 games of the season when Gil was attempting to run the show but the team was as much as a joke then as it is now"

the refrain then was "team is finding ways to lose"

now it's "blown out yet again"

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

i dont think Flip is in total control of the rotations or playing time. Wins and losses are an afterthought for management currently, and I'd bet EG has serious input on who plays etc

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure if you were watching the first 30-35 games of the season when Gil was attempting to run the show but the team was as much as a joke then as it is now"

the refrain then was "team is finding ways to lose"

now it's "blown out yet again"

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Finding ways to lose to Minessota and GS?? Seriously? Are your expectations that low?

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately if/when Leonsis buys the team and cleans house, the franchise will have the "rebuilding" excuse to throw out 30win seasons while the fans are supposed to have patience.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

30 win seasons?? You're an optimist. To "clean house" to the extent that I think is needed will probably mean winning fewer than that for two or three years. I only hope that (1) there's an Alex Ovechkin-type talent available for the Wizards to pick when they reach the depths they will need to reach to draft an elite player, and (2) EG or whomever the Wizards GM is is smart enough to collect draft choices and use them wisely, as the Capitals' GMGM did.

Posted by: rbpalmer | January 25, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Finding ways to lose to Minessota and GS?? Seriously? Are your expectations that low?"

i dont expect the team to win another game all season (but they will), how's that for low?

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

and my point is that it was utter fantasyland to think that Arenas' ballhogging was holding the team back, or that the return of Mike "the journeyman" Miller was the piece we needed to get the offense rolling.

Truth is, Arenas is head&shoulders better than anyone else on the team and he's gone due to his idiocy...so we're left with the dungpile we currently see before us.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

btw, we beat GS (not that it matters) and in the game Arenas had one of the top performances of the nba season

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Wins and losses are an afterthought for management currently, and I'd bet EG has serious input on who plays etc

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

After last season's record, this season's failures despite the offseason acquisitions, and a soon-to-be new majority owner, I'm betting that wins and losses are at the forefront of EG's thinking. If not, they should be.

Posted by: rbpalmer | January 25, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"What he really meant was they aren't as bad as their record indicates and he is absolutely right."

I know exactly what he meant, and he's absolutely wrong.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Ernie G was the reason the Wiz went from terrible to average. The problem was Ernie didn't build a team the right way.

As much as I dislike the Cleveland Cavs, they built their team the right way. Luck was a great factor, but they built a team that could play defense and rebound.

Ernie built a team that could score and no more. No defense, no rebounding, no toughness, no depth and no draft choices that could play.

Finally we see what he built. No more excuses of health.

It is real difficult to watch them today. I hope Ted has patience. Patience and new management is needed. Management that knows how to build a team.

Posted by: JoeC2 | January 25, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What he really meant was they aren't as bad as their record indicates and he is absolutely right. Flip has had no impact whatsoever on this team and has instituted no identity. The players aren't playing hard for him.

Why wouldn't they play hard for him? He went out of his way to bond with each and every member of the team. He has been a successful coach in this league. Why wouldn't they respond. It is the listless and lethargic play that baffles me. After a tough loss to a good Dallas team they basically rolled over against Miami and the Clips. Two teams they should be able to stay with.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | January 25, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

There is a reason why winners win and losers lose. What should seem obvious, is actually oblivious to most. Personally, if I am experiencing poor results from my efforts, I take stock and see what I am doing to contribute to those poor results and what I am not doing to contribute to what I really want.

The Wizards only need to look at franchises that do things a certain way and are consistent winners to understand that principle. Let's use the LA Lakers as an example:

- The LA Lakers have a coach that is not afraid to bench or publicly call out star players if they are not performing up to their capability. What do the Wizards do? They reward their under performing "stars" with minutes, and never a chastings word is uttered.

- The LA Lakers win a championship, then defy convention by trading away a key piece of that championship team in an effort to improve. In other words, they don't rest on their laurels. What do the Wizards do? They have not won a championship since 30 years ago -- so they keep their underachieving core that have never even won a 2nd round playoff series in order to "stay the course".

- The Lakers have a star player that relishes the challenge of defending his counterpart on the opposing team, thus setting a defensive tone and example for the rest of the team to follow. What do the Wizards do? They have a captain who plays no defense, does not pass, jacks shots and calls out younger players for their shortcomings.

Need I say more...

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | January 25, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Time For Flip to Go

Flip saunders is starting to morph into Jim Saunders after every lost. He doesn't have a clue on how to turn the team around, just like zorn. He seems to have lost the respect of the players who are playing without passion every game. He is not using the bench and is wearing out the players that he has on the roster. Why doesn't he utilize his roster more? Mcghee, Young, Foye,Jamison and Haywood would be a good starting five. And please stop using the randle el of the wizards(Steveson). All he does is take the ball out and run from sideline to sideline with no input to the offense. Its time to utilize the bench and let them play.

Wrong. Flip cannot make unprofessional people professional ballplayers. He inherited a young set of players (Young, Blatche, McGee) who think they are entitled minutes because they play for a lousy team. Young has actually regressed this year and Blatche's mental state is worsening by the day. Agree with you about Stevenson....have no idea what he contributes on offense. I don't know what you expect Flip to do when the team doesn't perform (even Caron Butler cannot grasp the offense) .... play the bench ? Well, that didn't work too well last year, did it ? Our young players read that as "wait long enough and they'll be forced to give us minutes." There is no fixable solution for Flip this season.

Posted by: jthicks | January 25, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

At least Jamison is having fun!
Why? Because he gets to jack up as many bad shots as he wants with no repercussions and has all star aspirations!
Ain't life grand?

Posted by: artiesliver | January 25, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Phil Jackson couldnt do squat with this team.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I know exactly what he meant, and he's absolutely wrong.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Great job giving us your unvaluable insight once again. Since you didn't care to elaborate, I'll do it for you: the team, as poorly constructed as it is (thanks EG) would have realized much better results with a coach like Larry Brown or Adelman.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Young has actually regressed this year"

I would lay that directly at Flip's feet, as well as any regression Mcgee/Mcguire exhibit.

Flip is the COACH, molding young players is the most basic aspect of the job.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Great job giving us your unvaluable insight once again. Since you didn't care to elaborate, I'll do it for you:the team, as poorly constructed as it is (thanks EG) would have realized much better results with a coach like Larry Brown or Adelman."

I didn't elaborate because for anyone who's not an idiot, no elaboration was necessary. The team is not better than it's record. Period. Teams almost never are. A team's record is the only meaningful objective measure of its quality. Anything else is pure speculation. You have no evidence to back up your claim that they'd be better under another coach. None. You're just pissing into the wind with your eyes closed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Flip is the COACH, molding young players is the most basic aspect of the job."

Can't teach someone who isn't willing to learn. All the coaching in the world won't help a player who lacks the talent or the will to improve.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

More good news :(

BREAKING NEWS
Crittenton faces gun charges
Wizards reserve Javaris Crittenton has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a felony, and attempt to carry a pistol without a licence, a misdemeanor.

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 25, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Can't teach someone who isn't willing to learn. All the coaching in the world won't help a player who lacks the talent or the will to improve."

and which players fall under that category? AB, ok.

Not Young and Mcgee

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

All the Flip/EG excuses are getting really old. Whoever is embodying this victim mentality reflects exactly what's wrong with this team: excuses and low expectations!
They were both expected to a minimum expectation and they haven't been able to come close. And let's not speak of the embarrasment that they are overseeing considering the team is the laughinstock of the league off the court as well.
If a McDonalds restaurant doesn't deliver sales and customer service standards, thus poor business results, I can assure you that the first person to go would be the Manager!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Not Young and Mcgee"

And you know this how?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

SO Critt got charged with a felony now too?

AS the world turns.....

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I didn't elaborate because for anyone who's not an idiot, no elaboration was necessary. The team is not better than it's record. Period. Teams almost never are. A team's record is the only meaningful objective measure of its quality. Anything else is pure speculation. You have no evidence to back up your claim that they'd be better under another coach. None. You're just pissing into the wind with your eyes closed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Teams are always as good as their records??? Seriously, so there are no overachievers or underachievers in any sports league? Why can't we just rid of coaching in this case?
Everything is speculation, you are absoutely correct and that includes all the misguided comments you spew on this board.
I am speculating that the Wiz, going into the season, had a much better roster than Charlotte and Houston but they are so much better, it would be comical to compare them. Who should be taking the fall for the Wiz's inabilities on and off the court genius? I bet if I were up to you, status quo would be the best option.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | January 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

'And you know this how?

Posted by: kalo_rama'

by watching the games.

Mcgee has been at least as effective if not moreso than AB at the C position, yet gets erratic minutes at best.

NY has been superior to Stevenson (defensively at times too) on countless occasions yet gets yo-yo minutes.

Regression on the part of such players falls on the coach.

Posted by: divi3 | January 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Regression on the part of such players falls on the coach." - divi3

While that can be true, these same players have now had EJ, Tap, and now Flip. Three different types of coaches. Say what you want about the first two, but Flip has had success most everywhere in the NBA he's gone. With both young and old players.

Posted by: segastyle | January 25, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

1/JM gifted to run but raw, definately need heavy minutes since the season is already over.
2/AB, talented lazzy seen for 4 years no progress,give him the responssiblity of a starter at 4 not at 5, if no change by next summer send him some where.
3/NY, wrong draft, just shooting, learning the game at this time ,much better than Ds,needs all left over minutes from MM at 2, he is not going to be a starting SG but ok to keep.
3/ sign BG
4/ send AJ,CB,DS, some where for 1st round pick and expiring contract
5/ RF and MM, not sure,RF can not start in any contending team, too small and slow as SG for defense, oviously not a PG.MM is not strong ,he just now how to play will be expensive a rebuilding.
6/EB and DM does not matter if they stay.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 25, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

gtefferra,

I agree that JM needs PT, but he needs to treat PT seriously otherwise; he won't be able to learn even if you give him PT. Last time he cam in during 1st quarter, he treated it like garbage time came early, and jacked up 3 bricks (two bricks and an air ball to be precise) in no time. Not the way to learn how to play IMHO.

Posted by: sagaliba | January 25, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

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