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Wizards' morning brew: another loss at 'home'

The Wizards fell to the Lakers Tuesday night, 115-103, at Staples Center. Wait, what? That game was at Verizon Center? Really? Anyway, Michael Lee was on hand to provide the details of the game, which was played in front of a pro-Laker crowd. Michael Wilbon was also there, writing about how we've gotten to the point where the only reason to go to Wizards home games is to watch the opposition. Gene Wang provided the game's live chat, as well as some postgame thoughts that also reflected on what ended up being a 2-4 homestand for the Wizards.

Off the court, Javaris Crittenton met with NBA officials in its offices in New York, and players union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said the union will take a wait-and-see approach to the incident.

And in case you missed it, Dan Steinberg in the Bog writes about Peter Vecsey unloading on Post columnist Mike Wise in the New York Post, along with Wise's response.

Elsewhere, the L.A. Times writes in its game story that Kobe Bryant and his family had an audience with President Obama on Tuesday, in which they discussed the possibility of playing some pickup hoops in the offseason.

Truth About It wrote some more about Mike James, who was actually the Raptors' leading scorer in the game in which Kobe Bryant dropped 81 four years ago this month. In case you're wondering, he had 55 less points than Bryant that night.

Mike Jones (late of the Washington Times) writes on his personal blog about the lessons we can learn in how and how not to handle oneself while under gun investigation in D.C. And finally, a leftover from last week: on Friday's show, David Letterman once again made a joke at the expense of the Wizards without naming them. At about the 17:10 mark, during his "Fun Facts" segment, Letterman said "the NBA is considering a rule change that would allow players to carry guns during games."

As usual, game highlights courtesy of NBA.com below:

Around the League...

Greg Oden has apologized for the nude photos he took of himself that have circulated on the Internet.

There were five games on the schedule Tuesday, and NBA.com's Daily Zap gets you caught up:

By Ed Guzman  |  January 27, 2010; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Washington Wizards; NBA; Gilbert Arenas; Javaris Crittenton; Antawn Jamison; Flip Saunders; Kobe Bryant; Los Angeles Lakers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Home stand ends with a thud
Next: Arenas meets with Stern in New York (Updated)

Comments

First!!!

Posted by: original2cents | January 27, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE SELL THE TEAM ALREADY!!!

Posted by: millineumman | January 27, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"McGee has had zero luck defending big strong post men like Bynum, and his propensity for biting on fakes and not moving his feet on defense would have been a standing invitation to the FT line for Gasol, which would have been okay to live with if he offered a modicum of something at the other end to compensate, but he doesn't."

That theory is all well and good (though I disagree), but with the game totally out of hand and over- Mcgee still doesnt come in at all. Until the last 25secs, almost a slap in the face.

That has zilch to do with Xs and Os

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Flip stinks.

He'll play AJ 40mins every single night, but pulls Miller or Foye towards the end of the 1st quarter no matter how well they are playing, just to get Debrick and the Midget in the game. Why???

of course, the Lakers are a vastly superior team so it's not like much of anything may have made the difference....but when the unit on the floor is playing well and going blow for blow with the reigning champs- leave'em out there

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"There are reasons Blatche and McGee and Young were not top draft picks and have no particular trade value."

Mcgee is a 22yr old 7foot shot blocking machine with great athleticism and possibly huge upside. This might be the only team in the league where he gets completely shut out of the lineup.

Is it because of the card game?

Or because the franchise sees him as a keeper during the firesale?

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

That theory is all well and good (though I disagree), but with the game totally out of hand and over- Mcgee still doesnt come in at all. Until the last 25secs, almost a slap in the face.

That has zilch to do with Xs and Os

No, it has to do with the coach's pretty obvious feeling that McGee hasn't earned playing time. A feeling based, one would assume, on his failure to perform to standards when given the chance to play in previous instances when the game wasn't out of hand.

Basically you've got your panties in a bunch over who gets the honor of playing in garbage time of a lopsided blowup. Really, what possible diff could it make?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

That theory is all well and good (though I disagree), but with the game totally out of hand and over- Mcgee still doesnt come in at all. Until the last 25secs, almost a slap in the face.

That has zilch to do with Xs and Os

No, it has to do with the coach's pretty obvious feeling that McGee hasn't earned playing time. A feeling based, one would assume, on his failure to perform to standards when given the chance to play in previous instances when the game wasn't out of hand.

Basically you've got your panties in a bunch over who gets the honor of playing in garbage time of a lopsided blowup. Really, what possible diff could it make?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Basically you've got your panties in a bunch over who gets the honor of playing in garbage time of a lopsided blowup. Really, what possible diff could it make?"

Gee, I dont know....it's not like our starting C is a FA or anything is it? Surely we have no need to develop Mcgee or see if he can play right?

You constantly make excuses for terrible coaching for whatever reason, when in fact the players and coach are performing at subpar levels

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"his failure to perform to standards when given the chance to play in previous instances when the game wasn't out of hand."

oh you're right, i forgot how Flip called out JM for constantly dribbling behind his back into a turnover. That type of thing must be why he cant get any minutes at C, as AB is performing so well there.

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"You constantly make excuses for terrible coaching for whatever reason, when in fact the players and coach are performing at subpar levels"

I've never made excuses for terrible coaching, because I don't think Saunders is a terrible coach. I think he's a very good coach put in charge of a train wreck of a team/franchise under nightmare circumstances. Has he made some bad coaching decisions? Sure, every coach does. I simply happen to think that not playing McGee big minutes against the Lakers isn't one of them. Deal with it. Or not. All the same to me, really.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"oh you're right, i forgot how Flip called out JM for constantly dribbling behind his back into a turnover. That type of thing must be why he cant get any minutes at C, as AB is performing so well there."

And the dance of the straw men continues.

To the extent that that means anything (and really, it means nothing of significance) it only indicates that however flawed Saunders thinks Blatche is, he thinks McGee is more flawed. And he is.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"I simply happen to think that not playing McGee big minutes against the Lakers isn't one of them. Deal with it. Or not. All the same to me, really."

It's a common theme, not only 1 game, and I'm just pointing out that your analysis holds no water whatsoever. No harm no foul.

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

A feeling based, one would assume, on his failure to perform to standards when given the chance to play in previous instances when the game wasn't out of hand.

See, that's the problem. I can not assume that any longer. I have lost all faith in this organizations ability to identify and/or develop talent. They even appear to have an agenda about who they lay and have little ground to stand on in regards to whatever philosophy they attempt to apply. The players who's mistakes get swept under the rug.

Posted by: millineumman | January 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It's naive to think ABs superior performance at center is the reason for Mcgee's lack of PT. AB is randle-el returning punts at center, meaning clearly he doesnt want to be there and he performs like it. Blatche is terrible at 5, almost refuses to play the position and sticks with his outside shots and softness around the rim.

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are physical Power Forwards. Ron Artest is listed as a Small Forward. But, at 260 pounds he plays a very physical game. The Wiz desperately needed physical "bigs" to counter the Lakers front line. Jamison is NOT a physical force in the paint. Neither is Brendan Haywood (although he has been more of a 'back-to-the-basket' player this year). That leaves Blatche and JaVale McGee to do the dirty work in the low post. How can it be so obvious to me that we need our athletic big men on the floor, and so mysterious to Flip Saunders?

We are headed towards a lottery pick. What is the risk in playing JaVale. I could say the same thing about Nick Young [the other resident in Flip's doghouse].

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 27, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

McGee obviously has some maturity issues. I can't think of another kid of a professional athlete that was so completely raw. Can he even be coached? Maybe he will develop as Tyrus Thomas has, and the Wizards will be deciding in two years if they want to keep him. I think he should of spent most of the last two years in the D-League, but the current GM doesn't seem to really value the D-League, or international scouting, or making trades to improve team chemistry or doing many of the things that good franchises do to improve their teams.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 27, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Flip is super and so's Ernie.
Only the players are at fault for this miserable season and if McGee doesn't play there's absolutely no reason to question the Flip or Ernie's decision-making. Right???

Posted by: artiesliver | January 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"What is the risk in playing JaVale. I could say the same thing about Nick Young [the other resident in Flip's doghouse]."

The risk in playing Nick Young: A significant contribution from the backup SG position and missing out on Stevenson's -13 in the box score.

Posted by: ericw1 | January 27, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

for the record, i dont even think JM is that good. But the potential is obviously there, he is more effective than AB at times, and HAYWOOD IS A FREE AGENT

good lord, DEVELOP some of these players, this season is in the can anyway

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

There is no reason why Steveson or Oberto should be playing over Young and Mcgee. And Blatche should not be playing center. Fans on this blog were screaming for them to get more playing time last year. It's not like we were winning last year and are winning this year with Caron and Jamison playing 40 plus minutes a game. This just blows my mind that there playing so many minutes. If they can't play extended minutes let the fans see so we can stop asking for it. This makes no sense. The white guy who host the NBA Network show Gametime said two weeks ago that there is no way Earl B should be taking away minutes from Foye and Young. I said to myself finally somebody on TV said what we've been saying for three weeks.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | January 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Flip is an average coach at best, the team won 19 games with ETaps as the head coach and that was without Arenas, Foye, Haywood, Miller and Oberto?

Name one player this organization has developed under the Ernie regime?

My sources have told me Irene is thinking about not selling the team to see what they can do next season?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

TMZ has Arenas' mug shot taken yesterday.

http://www.tmz.com/

Arenas is a knucklehead, but I still feel bad for him.

Posted by: artiesliver | January 27, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"I said to myself finally somebody on TV said what we've been saying for three weeks"

I have no idea who feeds these guys on CSN the bs they spew. I am so sick of hearing how terribly inconsistent our young players are (while they get wildly meaningless and inconsistent minutes), how Jamison is the next messiah, and how amazing everyone managing the team at any level is.

Posted by: ericw1 | January 27, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

the best is when Earl doesnt have the ball and ends up being a 5'5" 2guard

Posted by: divi3 | January 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The risk in playing Nick Young: A significant contribution from the backup SG position and missing out on Stevenson's -13 in the box score

It's really sad, isn't it. DeShawn Stevenson hasn't scored in double figures this season. Maybe Flip Saunders is using Coach Tapscott's old playbook.

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"I said to myself finally somebody on TV said what we've been saying for three weeks"

I have no idea who feeds these guys on CSN the bs they spew. I am so sick of hearing how terribly inconsistent our young players are (while they get wildly meaningless and inconsistent minutes), how Jamison is the next messiah, and how amazing everyone managing the team at any level is.

Posted by: ericw1

I like Jamison's game but isn't he the captain? I understand he can't play dee, but he needs to pick up his intensity on dee. Does he only call out the pups only? Then when they say we settle for too many jumpers, who are they talking about? The veteran leaders, Caron and Antawn. But everybody(not the wizards themselves) blame EVERYTHING on Gil. Hate all you want, but with Gil, I don't remember the Wizards getting blown out this often.

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 27, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea who feeds these guys on CSN the bs they spew. I am so sick of hearing how terribly inconsistent our young players are (while they get wildly meaningless and inconsistent minutes), how Jamison is the next messiah, and how amazing everyone managing the team at any level is.

Posted by: ericw1 | January 27, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with you. Even if Nick starts he is not guaranteed to play a lot of minutes. I think Flip has started him twice and then benched him to start the third quarter. While Caron can get three charging calls on him in one game and never be pulled. Then you hear, Steve, Phil or Ron T say the young guys really need to step up and when they get in the game we're usually down by 10 points.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | January 27, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I became convinced yesterday that Flip is not a very good coach.

Nick Young is from the Los Angeles area, and had a huge game last year against year. Apparently, Flip seemed more interested in getting a message across to Nick by making him inactive, than allowing him to utilize the natural motivation of playing in front of his hometown fans. That move was simply childlike-silly (unless there are mitigating circumstances of which we are unaware). Not only should Nick have been activated, but he should have played significant minutes last night. I have no doubt he would have produced. What kind of message did Flip think he was sending to him by not playing him? Undoubtedly not the kind he wanted to send. I guess we'll see about that in short order.

I am beginning to see why his former team eventually rebelled against him. Now I'm not one to take a person's word for anything, as I like to come to my own determinations, but after seeing Flip firsthand for 44 games, it is clear to me that his coaching leaves MUCH to be desired. He seems to have no clue as to how to appropriately motivate and inspire his team, which DOES have enough talent to at least be average. Bashing his players in the media is certainly not the answer.

Don't misunderstand. I agree with just about every assessment Flip has made about his team. The problem is that it is HIS JOB to fix it. Obviously, he doesn't know how to do that. No matter what his track record is, his decisions NOW are simply horrible, and often too painful to watch, and that combination, along with the team's dreadful showing, is why you haven't seen much of me on this board these days. I have been watching less and less of the games.

Posted by: bpybay | January 27, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is from the Los Angeles area, and had a huge game last year against year.

Should properly read, "Nick Young is from the Los Angeles area, and had a huge game last year against "the Lakers."

Posted by: bpybay | January 27, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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