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Wizards have fourth-quarter breakdown, but Blatche coming around

Raptors 109, Wizards 104

The new-look Wizards weren't going to win them all. But it seemed like they were at least going to win three in a row on Saturday night - until they let hometown kid Jarrett Jack get loose, Andrea Bargnani morph into Dikembe Mutombo circa 2001 and a vacuum seal was placed on the rim.

It was a terrible four minutes of basketball, when little went right for the Wizards and everything went in favor of the Raptors, who staged a 14-0 run that turned around the game. After Andray Blatche gave the Wizards a 100-91 lead, the problems started when Mike Miller was called for a three second violation, which was followed by a Jack three-pointer. Miller later lost the ball out of bounds - his eighth turnover during a forgettable night - and Jack charged right into Quinton Ross, drew a foul and made two free throws.

After Earl Boykins missed a 19-foot jumper, Jack went back to the same play, going right back a Ross for another foul and two free throws. Then, after Bargnani slapped back Blatche's driving layup, Hedo Turkoglu turned a broken play into a three-point play and the Raptors never trailed again. The avalanche of momentum was on their side and the Wizards got smothered under it.

"We got little improvements to do," Blatche said after scoring 24 points. "He got to finish quarters better. That's our problem. We're young. We're going to make mistakes, but we're getting better."

The Wizards are playing better team basketball since the roster makeover. For the third game in a row, they had at least 20 assists and scored more than 100 points. Although these guys have been around each other for a few days, you can feel that they already enjoy playing with each other. The bench is as lively as ever, with guys jumping out of their seats to root on each other. And there are genuine moments of support, such as the time when James Singleton ran to hug Earl Boykins after he made a layup in the fourth quarter.

"Our chemistry is great. Everybody is for each other," Blatche said. "It seems like we've been together all year."

Eventually the newness, excitement and adrenaline rush will subside and the difficulty of their current circumstances will sink in. But until then, these guys have been fun to watch. And, Blatche has really embraced his opportunity since Antawn Jamison was traded to Cleveland. In the three games since the trade, Blatche has averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds.

"I think it's that and I think he knows that there are expectations of him and expectations of consistency," Coach Flip Saunders said. "At this point, what he's doing, he's living up to that. He's got to continue to do it on the nightly basis."

Blatche was truly spectacular in the third quarter, when he brought the team back from a 10-point deficit. He scored 12 points during a 22-6 run. Blatche stole the ball from Jarrett Jack, sprinted up the court and dunked to bring the Wizards within one point, then gave his team the lead with a 15-foot jumper. The Wizards led 81-75 when Blatche rebounded a JaVale McGee miss and made a putback layup.

"I'm just approaching like I was taught by the veteran that left, play the game like it's your job instead of a hobby and take full advantage of opportunities," Blatche said. "It's more than just about me right now. I'm trying to help this organization get some wins and make my team better."

By Michael Lee  |  February 21, 2010; 12:26 AM ET
 
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Comments

In the 3rd quarter you could really see the flip switching on with Blatche. His intensity level of focus went up a notch. There was a play on the defensive board where Blatche got hammered over the back. He looked pretty pissed at that point, and from then on he just turned it up a notch.

The one thing that seemed like a killer though was the Wizards lack of an interior presence on the defensive end. McGee shows some flashes, but his learning curve is clearly going to be a really steep one. There are things that he can do that no one on the court can do, but you still see a saavy vet like Nesterovic taking him to the cleaners on a number of plays too. Hopefully his game continues to come along.

Big props for hustle: Wizards managed a 20+ point advantage in second-chance points on offense. On the other hand, Toronto went to the line 32 times and converted over 80 percent of their free throws.

That was an absolute killer.

Posted by: JPRS | February 21, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

You gotta like the way these new Wizards are playing. The hustle and ball movement are things we just haven't seen this year, except for Mike Miller who ironically had a bad game tonight.

I especially like what I am seeing from Blatche. Thornton and Howard have been very good, Singleton looks like a keeper as well.

You know... I am liking this group, and looking at the big free agents there really isnt anyone that I'm like infatuated with. I hope we learned from the Gil deal, and just save the cap space to keep our flexibility. I definately don't want Bosh. Breaking the bank to sign a Bosh , Joe Johnson, or Boozer would put us right back to where we were. IMO I'd rather keep our cap space and go for Durant NEXT offseason.

It's only been 3 games, but based on what I've seen so far, this is my thinking...

Keep Josh Howard. Re-sign Mike Miller and Randy Foye, and Singleton.

Do whatever it takes to unload Gil... contract void, buyout, trade... I don't care. We gotta get out of this contact (to open the space to go for Durant!)

The one FA I really am interested in is Houston PG Kyle Lowry. He was teammates with Foye at Villanova, is in his 4th year, and I think he is one of the better young PGs in the league and is ready to be a legit starter.
If we can't get Lowry, I'd next take a look at Duhon to solidify the PG spot (assuming the departure of Gil). But Lowry is my top choice, and we have the cap space to get it done, and can offer him a shot at the starting job. It's a major city, we have his former college backcourt mate, a head coach who is offensive and PG oriented, and an excellent mentor and coach in Sam Cassell on our bench as well.


Draft a big man with our top pick. We need a center... Cousins looks like we could be a good fit for us, as well as Aldrich. Possibly Favors or Monroe also.

I really like the frontcourt of Blatche, Thornton and Miller. I think a backcourt of Lowry, Foye and Howard would be solid as well. Draft a Cousins or Aldrich to go along with McGee.

I just like what I see as far as effort and team play. I dont want to see a Bosh or Boozer come in, or Arenas come back, and take from that. I think a true PG like Lowry is exactly what we need to add to this mix.

C - McGee
C - Cousins/Aldrich/Monroe
PF/C- Blatche
PF - Singleton
PF/SF- Thornton
SF/SG- Miller
SF/SG Howard
SG - Ross
SG - Young
SG/PG- Foye
PG - Lowry

That's 11... we also have Cleveland's 1st rounder and our 2nd rounder to round out the roster and get up to 13.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 21, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

I really like this new look Wizards. I think the ball moves so much better is because Jamison and Butler are not taking 50 shots a night. One point about Gil. I keep reading and hearing how buying Gil out is option the Wizards have. That's not an option because Gil cap number would still remain. I hope Mike points that out to people. So the only options are really to keep him, trade him or void his contract.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 21, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Convincing Durant to come home will be the biggest task Ernie or whoever is will have. This has to be priority #1 in the master plan.

That and shipping Boykins back to Europe ASAP

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 21, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Some random thoughts: Dray needs to put two halves together - Evans is a thug - he was sent in to beat on Andre - not good for much more - Boykins dribbles too damm much - Dray's shot at the end that rolled off, no offensive rebound attempt from any Wizard - much different than the prior game.

Posted by: h20law2000 | February 21, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Dead even game except in two respects: the Wiz had a nine point advantage in scoring off FGs, and the Raps gained fourteen at the FT line. Looked like a bunch of Washington's earlier losses, where they outscored the opponent from the field and lost anyway.

Still, entertaining basketball. This is not a particularly talented club yet they play pretty well together. Lee pointed out Miller's turnovers but the club still operated pretty well when he was on the court.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the concerns of bringing Gilbert back and introducing him into what appears to be great team chemistry (for only three games). But that's what Grunfeld is hinting at. Gilbert is not a natural point guard, he occupies the ball, everyone ends up standing around and waiting for their turn to shoot. The reason his numbers were so good before he got suspended was because of all of the shots he took--and he was not closing out or winning games fur us. And, now, he'd be coming back after essentially missing another year. Hopefully, this is just posturing and he'll be gone one way or another, probaby via a buy out.

I like what I'm seeing so far. Breath of fresh air.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 21, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Good hustle but Boykins should have been taken out when Jacks went off. He's way too small to stay with a power guard like Jacks. I don't get how Flip didn't see that. As for Gil, there is NO way in hell he should come back. He has been nothing but a distraction and a me first player since arriving in town. The last thing this team needs is a head case in the locker room. He's just not worth the hastle. We need leadership and maturity.

Posted by: lk11 | February 21, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Darnell1 is right, the Wizards will have to draft a big man in this years draft. Its probably the best year to do so. There are a few guys that I just couldn't pass up on like John Wall or Wesley Johnson but mainly looking for C. I don't know if there are any decent options available but they are also going to have sign a C with some experience. Somebody better than Oberto, sometimes he's just as bad as Mcgee with the dum plays on defense. He can,t even stay on the floor that long.

Invest in coaching Mcgee up. Even if he does not start for the team, I believe he is under contract and we have to start finding use for guys like that not get snobbish if there not ready made all- stars.

And last, it's funny how even the reporters are eluding to things like better chemistry and better team basketball.

Posted by: gmac78 | February 21, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"In the 3rd quarter you could really see the flip switching on with Blatche."

Right until he got busted in the nose. ;)

Jack played well for Toronto, but I thought Caderon's 10 points were more damaging. Bargnani had a big stop at the end for them.

Toronto definately won the game.

Hey, Toronto is one of the best defensive teams in the league and they put the clamps down at the end. The Wiz were right in there.

In my mind, they played well up until the end and yet they still played hard.

I mean what? They have been together in less then a week here?

Just keep playing hard guys.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 21, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

...so EG blew up the big 3. And is now rebuilding with young players. May take a few years to be truly competitive but sounds fine. What about the coach EG brought in specifically to work and win with the big 3? Flip was brought in because of his "expertise" with verteran players, like they had in Detroit. The Wiz no longer fit this mold...so neither does the coach. As hard as it will be to swallow, EG needs to replace Flip after this year and bring in a coach who knows how to be a mentor and teacher, in addition to a good strategist and leader. Nothing against Flip, but he no longer fits the Wiz strategy for success and will only be a detriment to their growth.

Posted by: oddjob1 | February 21, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

What I think is odd is that MM is the best 3 point shooter in the league, yet when he's got a look he often passes, and when he's wide open outside the line, his teammates rarely pass him the ball. The latter is a symptom of the former. He's got to take more shots for a couple of reasons. First, he can score, and second, if he is more of a threat to shoot, then he can better use his playmaking abilities.

The chemistry narrative at the beginning of the year was horse poop. Having chemistry is great, but in the NBA it's a luxury and not a necessity. If you you've got good players, and effort, you can win. It's clear after watching 3 games with this new cast that the last group of guys just didn't play hard for each other.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 21, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"Eventually the newness, excitement and adrenaline rush will subside and the difficulty of their current circumstances will sink in."

Mike, stop being so negative or we're going to trade you to Memphis box of Twinkies and a tire iron. :PPP

"As hard as it will be to swallow, EG needs to replace Flip after this year..."

No he doesn't, not at all. Kinda hard to coach when the guys you have won't listen to anyone. That's what happend in Detriot and they blew up the roster.

With the guys they have now, as the poster above states, people want to clearly play.

My question is this: why didn't those guys play as hard as the guys that are here now?

The only thing that has changed are the players. Same coach.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 21, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Wizards next 6 games:

Feb. 22 vs. Chicago Bulls
Feb. 24 vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Feb. 26 vs. New York Knicks
Feb. 28 at New Jersey Nets
Mar. 3 at Milwaukee Bucks
Mar. 5 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

All very winable.

The next 6 after that...well, you don't want to see it. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 21, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Hope GIl comes back...he's that "it" factor. Still one of the best in the league, but we'll see. 4 draft picks and the wiz have low cap numbers, should be fun to watch.

Posted by: Gooddad | February 21, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand, Toronto went to the line 32 times and converted over 80 percent of their free throws.

That was an absolute killer.

Posted by: JPRS | February 21, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Maybe that extra cash in IRENE's purse somehow found it's way into the ref's hands to see thast the WIZ don't fall entirely out of the lottery.

But AB, man. 'DRAY has seized his day and has come to play. The dude is saying all the right things both on and off the court.

Makes me wonder what will happen when the cancer returns next season. Is GIL gonna' continue traveling the road he's built for himself, and take half the club with him?

Or climb the high one with BLATCHE and become a better person. Here's hoping for the latter.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

My question is this: why didn't those guys play as hard as the guys that are here now?

The only thing that has changed are the players. Same coach.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 21, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Because they're not guaranteed anything, and they're not nearly as well paid.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but I was a strong supporter of bringing back Randy Foye, but after the last couple of weeks, I'm starting to change my mind. I watched Jarred Jack drive past both of the wizards point guards during the late 3rd and 4th quarters. I was ashamed and then to see this lost look that Foye face on the bench watching a real point guard take over a game. I think the Wizards should take a look at the point guard (Fisher) from Villanova in the second round. I also like the concept of bring back Steve Blake, a pass first, shoot second guard.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the Wizards should take a look at the point guard (Fisher) from Villanova in the second round. I also like the concept of bring back Steve Blake, a pass first, shoot second guard.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

WIZARDS already have a much better RANDY FOYE in GILBERT ARENAS. What they need is a better EARL BOYKINS. They thought JAVARIS CRITTENTON would be the answer. GIL saw the competition and put a stop to that. So the question in you mind and in mine is, do we need FOYE. Depends on what pops up in the draft or aroung the trade talks. If we get a superior #1 we really don't need FOYE. If not we need the experienced hand until we do.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

It was so refreshing to AJ , CB and D-Brick thowing up those bricks for someone elses team and missing. I love the refreshing feeling of watching the kids play and I can live thru the mistakes for now on 1st and second year players, but once you get to the 3rd year its time to grow up and produce or sent packing ie.. Nick Young. I wish we could have shipped Nick out and keep Dom Mcguire. HE could play the point foward in a pinch as well as the 2,3 and 4. I think Nick is to loyal to gilbert and should be sent packing in the summer. I saw when Gilbert was first suspended (Nick) cut gil's number in his hair. I just think he needs to play else where.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 21, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

i dont know about Foye, sometimes it looks like he and boykins will lose more than they win for us.

Gotta love AB comin on!

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a big stretch to suggest that what happened with Gil was about him being worried Javaris was too much competition. It was many boneheaded things, but not likely that.

The funny thing to me about this season was that despite theGil spotlight and off court stuff, I think Gil was playing well within the system and working off the rust. The chemistry of the team just wasn't there. The energy level and urgency was lacking.

I still think it's not super likely he plays here again.

Posted by: gconrads | February 21, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

also, howard is WAY better than caron...but is owed $11mill next year unless he renegotiates at which point any team can sign him.

Miller's limitations are starting to show a little, EG needs to think hard on exactly what to offer him.

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, and it's not worth spit, I can see this team finishing 15-14 with a 34-48 record. But if they want to prove me wrong by closing 22-7 with a 42-42 record and a probable playoff spot, I'm all for it.

Missed watching the game last night, but it sounds like the outcome would have been different if Flip had injected himself as a coach by making some moves in the closing minutes. Dang! that would have been the first three-in-a-row in two years, and a really noteworthy start for this new team in its first three games. Oh well, resume winning ways Monday.

Posted by: 7snider7 | February 21, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Gilbrt Arenas is not worth 80 million dollars. I want everyone to watch the tapes of the 2010 Allstar game and see how Dwayne Wade performs on the court. He knows when to score and when to get other teamates involved. I don't see gilbert ever being the type of guy that makes others better. The wizards under gilbert ran a playground type of offense, with gilbert throwing up 3 points from all over the court. I keep hearing how well he played when he came back. I don't know what game these people were watching. The Gilbert Arenas I saw this year was slow (maybe from the injury). He never drove to the basket and was constantly turning the ball over. He has never been anything more than a scorer and they come a dime a dozen. ie.. Caron Butler and Atwan Jamison. I also think for a 110 mil you should also have a guy thats going to be a (LEADER)of men. Not a guy that's going to be the LEAD knucklehead. I would hate to bring him back, because how do you bring in another max contract and say its your's and gilberts team.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 21, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

McGee is one hell of an athlete but he has zero basketball smarts.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | February 20, 2010 10:49 PM

Ahh, uhh, that joke would be so flat. For if you are serious, you might have zero smarts.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"I keep hearing how well he played when he came back. I don't know what game these people were watching."

For December, Gil was averaging 25pts/7.6assists/5rebs on 43%FG

You know which other guards run those kind of numbers? Kobe, Lebron, DWade, CP3, Deron Williams

Not saying he is them, but you can see why EG may be serious about keeping him being the best option

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

If you give Mcgee a true point guard he might average a double-double every night. I love when Flip took him out of the game and told him he better not take another 15 foot shot the rest of the game. I believe he has the ability to shot the jumper, but he has to pay his dues in the paint first. We want him to mirror Amare Stoudimire, not Kwayne Brown. If the work eithic is not there for Mcgee, then he needs to be on the BENCH!!

Posted by: specialg7master | February 21, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Gil could average a triple double but he's useless. He either wants to score or wants to pass, he's can't do both in a fluid fashion like the other great point guards.

He's the most useless loser on defense too. He's a gimpy no D head case team cancer.

why do you think nobody wanted him in college, the pros, now, etc?

he's a combo guard that beats to his own drum.

I personally would like to trade his butt and a first rounder for Darren Collison. That guy is man child. Talk about a playmaker. Then sign David Lee as our power forward/c beast in the blocks. That dude knows how to clear space and score to his back to the basket. old school player.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | February 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Gil is completely useless, so we should be able to trade him for a 1st rounder and Darren Collison. Does that make sense?

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

AB has been consistent for a while now. It's his minutes that have been inconsistent. As I said LAST YEAR, he's our best player in terms of overall skills. I've wanted to jettison AJ and Cb for a while so that minutes could be had. There has been no epiphany this year or newly discovered sense of purpose. The reason AB is playing well is because he's getting the minutes and the shots. And just think... we tried to trade him before the dealine and no one bit. It would have been Webber/Wallace all over again.

Posted by: original_mark | February 21, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else noticing a trend? Opposing pg's are killing us. It's like the pre-Gil days when the other pg would alwys bee the one exceeding his average against us. Foye is belwo average on defense. The best thing about him lately is that he's not forcing shots and is playing team ball.

Posted by: original_mark | February 21, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

FYI to all your morons. EG is not keeping gilbert. He has to say that to sound diplomatic. It's called politics. He can't just say "gilby is a gimpy felon and we want to dump him" Players union and everyone else would be on his back. He's saying all this good stuff to enhance his trade value too. It's called bargaining power. Hi prospective team, "I have a useless no d gimp I want to trade, u down?" doesn't sound very inviting. But if he says "gilbert average 20 and 7, he's just not a good fit anymore though, we want to go younger, want to trade for him"

Doesn't that sound better? The day we ripped down everything gilbert from verizon and the web sites was the writing on the wall.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | February 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The hustle from this team is great,a lot of games are going to be won on hustle alone.If they are looking for a nice point guard what about Jared Jack?,local kid,tough as nails,you could see when he had that turnover near the end of the game he was going to make up for it,and he did.I like Boykins,but I am split on his effectiveness,anyone else feeling that? Miller should look for his shot more,all in all i'm satisfied with his play.Singleton might be the type of leader they need,I like his attitude and athleticism,this team doesn't have a leader and they need one desperately.I so like this team's chemistry now I am going to do something I haven't done this year,support my team at the verizon center!!!! GO WHIZ!

Posted by: BRUBOI | February 21, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

earlier this season AB dropped 30 against NJ and followed it up with 7pts the next game against Cleveland. It's not that he missed a bunch of shots, it's that he didnt take enough (this is while AJ was out).

I think he still gets frozen out of games a little, but yeah he has been great and should only get better. Love his recent comments too, sounds like he wants to take AJs place in the franchise which is the perfect attitude to have.

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

we need a tall point guard. The target was boykins during the 4th quarter.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | February 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I would love to have David Lee here and if not him then Scoula from Houston, (Old School) thow back type of power fowards.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I hope Gilbert does return. Another summer to work hard and continue to rehab the knee can only make him a stronger player in 2010-11. Speaking of chemistry, when the dust settles some of these guys will not be here next season anyways. With the upcoming draft and free agency, I can see Gil fitting in with a new cast.

Posted by: dcwizard | February 21, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"I think it's a big stretch to suggest that what happened with Gil was about him being worried Javaris was too much competition. It was many boneheaded things, but not likely that."

Totally disagree, but I'm no shrink, so I have no idea how ARENAS' insecurities might play out.

I just hope he's back with a totally different set of stripes from the ones he displayed here so far.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yeah that's what I'm sayin... we need a pass first pg, Kyle Lowry is a perfect fit for us. A up and coming true point, good defensively, has experience next year will be his 5th season in league, he's ready to be a legit starting pg. He is a FA this summer, we have his former college backcourt tandem in Randy Foye. Foye is the perfect tweener G off the bench, he can backup Lowry at point or play with him at the 2.

Foye is a restricted FA so I think we should keep him for that role. We really also have a good situation with Josh Howard IMO. We have team option for next year. So I think we should keep him. His scoring, D and quickness on the perimeter is just what we need. So far he looks like a great fit for us. We keep him, he is then in contract year next season which should keep in line to step up and lead and play hard next season. Next season we can decide if we want to keep him long term, or if not we have his salary spot open up to pursue Durant.

The only other FAs we have to consider are Miller and Singleton. Singleton looks like a keeper, and shouldn't cost too much. Miller I'd like to keep as well.. we gotta have a vet or 2 for these young guys, and he is such a team player, plays hard, moves the ball and rebounds, gives us the 3ball, and is versatile.

Next season I'm liking a team with Lowry/Howard in the backcourt and Blatche/Thornton up front, with Foye/Miller off the bench. Foye can come in at the 1 or 2. Miller can come in at the 2 or 3. Howard can also slide between the 2 and 3, Thornton from 3 to 4, Blatche from PF to C.

Durant IMO should be our long term plan and goal. We add a high draft pick this year (plus the Cavs pick) and a draft pick next year, add Durant.. pick and choose the young talent we already have to keep long term, add a young FA this summer in Lowry... that is rebuilding with loads of young talent, and looking very good come the 11/12 season.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

we need a tall point guard. The target was boykins during the 4th quarter.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | February 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

See my 10:05 this a.m. I agree.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

As far as right now... I'd like to see us roll out a starting 5 of Foye, Howard, Miller, Thornton, Blatche.

That is a team that is versatile, can pass and defend and score. A bit undersized but should actually be pretty good on the boards overall. I think that unit would be fun to watch and not easy to matchup with.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"......that is rebuilding with loads of young talent, and looking very good come the 11/12 season."

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, what you said. O.K. IRENE make it happen.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

>>Wizards have fourth-quarter breakdown

Yea so where was there coach during this period. Saunders did absolutely nothing to help his team. This team is on its own. Saunders is the worst.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

BTW if I'm worng, would somebody please enlighten me. Please name me one adjustment Saunders made or one substitution the coach made besides bringing in Mike Miller. Just one. The dude did nothing.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 21, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What about Crit coming back. If he truly has learned from the bad road he was on, as they have said he once was a good kid, he probably could be signed on the cheap.

His talents probably are a fit for this type of team.

So if Gilbert does not come back, why not Crit?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Larry:

The CRITTER-man wore out his welcome by coming to camp injured. I think he disobeyed orders by playing in the HOTLANTA summer league.

The injury had already put him on the outs with GRUNFELD even before the Christmas season shenanigans. That's why he wasn't offered on his expiring.

Can't see it, but if ARENAS isn't here next year, I'd love JC's return. He made 1,477,920 this season, minus the fines.

Away from here, some other GM is going to take a chance on damaged goods, and be pleasantly surprised. I've been pimping for J-CRIT all along. I really think he's got game.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 21, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Missed watching the game last night, but it sounds like the outcome would have been different if Flip had injected himself as a coach by making some moves in the closing minutes."

Can't blame Flip at all, Toronto played soem really good defense down the stretch and the young Wizards had no answer for that.

Again, Toronto is one of the best defensive teams in the league.

There was nothing that Flip could have done to win that game, the Wiz just needed to play better. Toronto had a 14-0 run at one point and Bargnani stopped everything inside.

I thought it could have been better if Blatche hadn't had busted his nose. He got cold right after that, lol!

"So if Gilbert does not come back, why not Crit?"

That's because neither are coming back.

"Foye is below average on defense. The best thing about him lately is that he's not forcing shots and is playing team ball."

Foye is too streaky. They'll have someone else next year.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

funny how NY is always considered inconsistent as a scoring guard, but Foye is "Streaky" as a PG. He rarely plays the 2 his job at the point is to run the offense. If he's streaky at theat i can see why flip feels like he has to lean on Boykins. Foye has been borderline terrible at the point for us. The only thing he does well is get rid of the rock, while lil earl will dribble it flat.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders has been exposed all season as a pedestrian coach. Foye was absolutely balling last night and Flip still went with his tired strategy of Boykins in the fourth quarter. After momentum had completely swung to the Raptors, he then compounded his lack of feel by playing Foye and Boykins at the same time, giving us the all-time smallest backcourt in the history of the NBA.

He's a CBA coach who was lucky enough to have a sure-fire, first-ballot HOFer in Keven Garnett on his team and he inherited a Pistons squad coming off a championship.

Flip couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag but he sure can coach his way into one. Does it all the time.

Posted by: gimmedat | February 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"There was nothing that Flip could have done to win that game, the Wiz just needed to play better. Toronto had a 14-0 run at one point and Bargnani stopped everything inside."

Gotta disagree there, Bargnani is not a great defender by any stretch so there's no excuse for us not being able to score. Couple of layins rolled off the rim etc, a few plays here or there as is the case in many/most games.

Another thing there is no one on the team right now who gets calls. I swear Singleton gets some bs called on great defensive plays, meanwhile AB can get mugged with nary a whistle etc etc

But that's just how it's going to be with this cast, so gotta deal with it

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

He's a CBA coach who was lucky enough to have a sure-fire, first-ballot HOFer in Keven Garnett on his team and he inherited a Pistons squad coming off a championship.

Flip couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag but he sure can coach his way into one. Does it all the time.

Posted by: gimmedat

Wish I could disagree but I cant. How many times did Minny lose in the 1st round? 7? Sheesh

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If Crit is given another chance here or elsewhere and he turns out to be better than his projections, he would be hard to sign and highly sought after.

Lets look it realistically, given what he might bring to the table, should we really just let him walk when we know we need a real point guard.

Now, surely there are better guards out there now that it might make sense to go after rather than 'Pistol Pete Crittendon', but if we don't land one early in the game, I would not throw Pistol Pete completely away just yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Miller had a terrible night last night with 8 turnovers, some of them on questionable calls. Plus, I was watching his body language a couple of times when he was wide open at the 3pt line but didn't get the ball -- I think our bigs need to do a better job of looking for him. The turning point of the game seemed to be in the 4th quarter when we were already up by 9 going for more. Miller had a smaller man posted up all alone but Singleton never threw the ball resulting in a 3 second call. The rest is history.

Hope Miller cheers up. We need him, not just this year, but hopefully for years to come. We really need his skills beyond the arc.

Posted by: edP2 | February 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

boykins killed us in the fourth, he made jarret jack look like mj and I in no way support flip's keeping mcgee off the floor for the entire quarter, getting rebounds and protecting the rim in crunch time is important and blatche's effectiveness is slashed drastically by playing the five as opposed to the four, c'mon flip you've got eyes right, we should have had this one but you went on vacation in the 4th

Posted by: bford1kb | February 21, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I have been holding myself back from going after Flip the way I went after Eddie.

I am glad to see others are telling it like it is though.

McGee for one should have been brought back in the 4th last night, and I guess Hell will freeze over before he decides to tell MM to look to spot for the three.

He is the best 3-pointer in the league and he still has him trying to play make. That's why he making those stupid turnovers.

Sure Miller is a good passer and has a good all around game but he isn't the point guard, though we need one, and Flip needs to inform Miller we need his three point shooting more than his ball handling play.

Toronto played Boykins like a drum last night in the money quarter and Flip stood on the sideline and watched and did nothing.

As coach, he should see things on the floor before fans see it. When Toronto came back last night, there guard play and paint play killed us and those were two areas that we had the personnel to address those areas but Flip did not.

We can say, yeah a young group of players thrown together, bound to lose after winning two in a row, but that game last night was well within our grasp to win with a little coaching help from Flip Saunders.

Flip Saunders, a proven NBA coach with a proven system, might be the biggest mystery yet for the Washington Wizards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

i can see why he sat Mcgee in the 4th, but i would like to see him give the kid some crunchtime opportunity in these games that ostensibly dont matter. Tell him "dont take any bad shots fool", put him in, and see if he follows instructions. You'd think if you decide to roll with Earl you need to have shotblockers on the frontline

agree that we are a little thin inside, but having mcgee and AB on the floor has resulted in an overall defensive improvement even if they (especially JM) get pushed around at times. Both are very active defenders, whereas AJ was nada and BTH was very solid but less mobile

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Miller had a terrible night last night with 8 turnovers, some of them on questionable calls. Plus, I was watching his body language a couple of times when he was wide open at the 3pt line but didn't get the ball -- I think our bigs need to do a better job of looking for him. The turning point of the game seemed to be in the 4th quarter when we were already up by 9 going for more. Miller had a smaller man posted up all alone but Singleton never threw the ball resulting in a 3 second call. The rest is history.

Hope Miller cheers up. We need him, not just this year, but hopefully for years to come. We really need his skills beyond the arc.

Posted by: edP2 | February 21, 2010 1:02 PM

EDP2,

Apt comments and it points to players knowing each other and a philosophy of Team play that can and should be directed by good coaching.

Any player not passing the ball to Miller once he has set for the three should be fraggled.

An advantage in the post that is being ignored deserves fraggling also.

Now comraderie amongst the players will and can solve those issues as well as a good coaching philosophy.

Good observations.

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Missed watching the game last night, but it sounds like the outcome would have been different if Flip had injected himself as a coach by making some moves in the closing minutes. Dang! that would have been the first three-in-a-row in two years, and a really noteworthy start for this new team in its first three games. Oh well, resume winning ways Monday.

Posted by: 7snider7 | February 21, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Exactly my thoughts. When your opponents go on a 14-0 run, sometime around 6-0 or 8-0, you've got to figure that they have your matchups beat.

Jack is a solid baller and took advantage of he was given. Toronto crowded the lane so no one could drive, so put in someone who can drain. Why was young on the bench so long. I know he went like 1-6 while he did play, but we went 0-12 during that stretch.

Posted by: Blurred | February 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

and btw, mcgee is already at the point where if he played 30mins a night he'd be 12/8 nightly which was what we were supposed to consider a career year from our previous center.

Not trying to say he is better, but he is a different player to BTH and flip needs to coach him that way. Encourage him to look for his own shot, just make it the correct shot.

gotta coach'em up!

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I still think playing Nick in the 4th after Jack had his way with Earl & Foye wudda been a good idea. After all Nick clamped down on Chauncy the other night maybe he cudda slowed Jack down enuff to hold that 10 point lead. He wudda also streched them out on the O end.
Monday Q-backing is easy.

Posted by: VBFan | February 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse


Flip Saunders has been exposed all season as a pedestrian coach. Foye was absolutely balling last night and Flip still went with his tired strategy of Boykins in the fourth quarter. After momentum had completely swung to the Raptors, he then compounded his lack of feel by playing Foye and Boykins at the same time, giving us the all-time smallest backcourt in the history of the NBA.

He's a CBA coach who was lucky enough to have a sure-fire, first-ballot HOFer in Keven Garnett on his team and he inherited a Pistons squad coming off a championship.

Flip couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag but he sure can coach his way into one. Does it all the time.

Posted by: gimmedat | February 21, 2010 12:53 PM


Welcome to the club, dude. Flips's a deer in headlights in close games. With Jack taking Boykins off the dribble you'd think he'd either take Boykins out or put McGee in to at least make Jack think about it.

Flip is nothing special but with him being owed about $14 million over the next three years, he's not going anywhere. HE'S OURS!!

Posted by: artiesliver | February 21, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The new Wizards team is exposing how little effort the old Wizards gave on a nightly basis.

Posted by: bukaki23 | February 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

FYI to all your morons. EG is not keeping gilbert. He has to say that to sound diplomatic. It's called politics. He can't just say "gilby is a gimpy felon and we want to dump him" Players union and everyone else would be on his back. He's saying all this good stuff to enhance his trade value too. It's called bargaining power. Hi prospective team, "I have a useless no d gimp I want to trade, u down?" doesn't sound very inviting. But if he says "gilbert average 20 and 7, he's just not a good fit anymore though, we want to go younger, want to trade for him"

Doesn't that sound better? The day we ripped down everything gilbert from verizon and the web sites was the writing on the wall.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com

I absolutely disagree with you. EG knows that Gil is a talented player and that we will not be able to sign one of the 4 STARS who will be on the market. Not to mention we owe Gil a lot of $$$$.

Understand there are still photos of him inside the VC.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

IMO and I know mine doesn't count, but I would glady fire Flip Saunders and eat the 14 million.

From what I see from this group of players and what we could add, respectability and competitiveness can be had right away.

To hold on to Flip for three more years just because we owe him 14 million would seem to be a terrible decision.

Remember, this is big business and it might be worth it to pay Flip 14 million to go away and get a real coach whom knows what he is doing.

If this is what Flip really knows then to keep him for the next three years will not improve our Team and certainly not these players.

It has been half a season and for all his NBA proven credentials, he hasn't shown yet that he is any better with the players and knowing how to win than Tappscott was.

If Flip isn't any better that what he is shown so far, do we really have to keep him because we owe him 14 million?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Flip cost us another game. Miller was having a horrible turnover game and should not have been in the last 4 minutes. Flip has to be a better job now that the team has improved.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | February 21, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

the more you see of NY playing defense the more apparent it is he can be a lockdown defender.

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@Larry in C-Town,

Ernie gave Eddie Jordan an extra year on his contract only to turn around and fire him a month later.

He's not going to then fire Flip after one year when he signed him to such an enormous contract as that would suggest Grunfeld's clueless. Flip is here to stay.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 21, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Opposing Pg's are killing us.Yes they have been killing us since larry huges left.GA never stop his man, AD was good but he was not that good in shooting.Foye is not consistant in scoring, he is bad in defense, GA was compensating his bad defense by rebounding and steal, we dont see on AF.Last night the team lost a 9 point lead due to the gards ,they well unable to find AB or howard or could not even attempt a decent shoot.I will not even tink to sign foye leave alone to consider him as a PG.EG you made a mistake when you pass on your 5th pick, it is ok do not try to resist,just admit and make the right change this roster with a defenssive minded and pass 1st PG and a lottery pick will play playoff games next season.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 21, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

He's not going to then fire Flip after one year when he signed him to such an enormous contract as that would suggest Grunfeld's clueless. Flip is here to stay.


Posted by: artiesliver | February 21, 2010 2:23 PM |

Well I guess Artiesliver, Ted Leonsis is gonna' hafta' doit'.

'Cause if we go the rest of the season and it is apparent that Flippo' still hasn't a clue, I don't think Ted Leonsis will be wanting to go forward with him.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

From what I see from this group of players and what we could add, respectability and competitiveness can be had right away.

To hold on to Flip for three more years just because we owe him 14 million would seem to be a terrible decision.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

I see you don't read kal's posts?

Real players don't need a coach they should do it all by themselves.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 21, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Totally disagree, but I'm no shrink, so I have no idea how ARENAS' insecurities might play out. "

Don't need to be a shrink to see the questionable logic in thinking that a multiple All-Star with a $100+ mill guaranteed contract would be worried about competition from a career backup who didn't merit a contract extension and hadn't played a game all season.

"Wish I could disagree but I cant. How many times did Minny lose in the 1st round? 7?"

How many of those times did they go into the playoffs as the 6, 7, or 8 seed? All but one? Minnesota was one of the most poorly managed teams in the NBA under McHale. Some may think Grunfeld is bad GM, but he's Jerry West compared to McHale. The one season he did managed to fully stock the Wolves' cupboard, Saunders got them to the conference Finals. Beyond that, there was no way he was going to pull an upset against the West powers with the rotating door of scrubs Garnett was surrounded with for most of those years.

This Wizards team is fun to watch but, as has been said, at some point the "new team smell" will wear off and the stink of being in the sewer of the conference will waft back in. Half the players on this team will probably be gone next season, and most of them will be gone in a few years when the team is in position to be legitimately good. And really, that's how it should go. This team is rebuilding, and there are few, if any, real building blocks on this roster.

"I see you don't read kal's posts?"

And, given your utter inability to properly reflect anything I've said, apparently neither do you. My bad. I'll have to start using smaller words. Is there anything smaller than one-syllable?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Flip cost us another game. Miller was having a horrible turnover game and should not have been in the last 4 minutes. Flip has to be a better job now that the team has improved."

Flip did, in fact, take Miller out of the game after he committed a few of those turnovers. He only put him back in late, after the Raptors started making a run and the Wiz were having trouble scoring and they needed someone who could (at least in theory) make a basket.

And I'm thinking the idea that some people were floating around a week or so ago that it might be worth the Wizards while to overpay to keep Miller around, or that he might want to stay (rather than join a playoff team) because he could be "the man" here, has gone away?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"The new Wizards team is exposing how little effort the old Wizards gave on a nightly basis.Posted by: bukaki23"

these guys play hard, but then, think back to the games right after Gilbert was first suspended, and the effort the Wiz got from Jamison and Butler. They played hard then, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Understand there are still photos of [Arenas] inside the VC.Posted by: Lisa_R"

You're thinking of the Post Office.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

To all you who insist the Wiz need to 'coach up' this player or that... could you please find someone to coach you up?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I see you don't read kal's posts?

Real players don't need a coach they should do it all by themselves.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 21, 2010 2:43 PM

Yeah, I better watch it here, lest I get fraggled for indicating that coaching really does count for something.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

i think there are some potential building blocks on the team and under contract.

AB- early returns are great, and next year he will be a seasoned vet at age 24. That's a fantastic situation for us.

Thornton- high draft pick who has played well in his career though clearly has exhibited shortcomings. But under contract for 2 more years and has certainly showed the ability already in his career to be a solid contributor.

JHoward- he's the real deal, whether we can keep him or not is the obvious issue

Mcgee- so young, so raw, but clearly a player to keep and try to develop. How would he and AB look together in 3yrs? I think that tandem could be the key to Wizards future, build from inside out rather than the outside in approach of the Big3

Point being, some very important pieces to a rebuild could already on the roster

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Understand there are still photos of [Arenas] inside the VC.Posted by: Lisa_R"

You're thinking of the Post Office.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:10 PM

Or maybe the police station.

http://www.tmz.com/2010/01/27/gilbert-arenas-mug-shot-felony-photo-gun-possession/

Posted by: artiesliver | February 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Jamison's line today in the road victory over Orlando: 17 points on 8 for 12 shooting, one three-pointer, 8 boards, a steal, a block, and two turnovers. Picked up five fouls, which is hard to do unless you play some defense.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, I better watch it here, lest I get fraggled for indicating that coaching really does count for something."

Oh, it counts for something. But, since this isn't college, it doesn't count for everything, to the exclusion of players own motivations and attitudes.

Of course, making fine (if blindingly obvious) logical distinctions has been long established as outside your skill set, hasn't it?

Hey, do you know if Haywood has found Brad Daugherty's phone number yet? I'm sure he's got some free time to kill.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Oops, game's not over yet. Guess Antawn could still lose it for them.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Jamison's line today in the road victory over Orlando: 17 points on 8 for 12 shooting, one three-pointer, 8 boards, a steal, a block, and two turnovers. Picked up five fouls, which is hard to do unless you play some defense.

Posted by: Samson151

Sweet. CB/BTH also played well in a win last night. Would like to see all 3 do well, while at the same time trading'em clearly works out the best for us. win-win

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Point being, some very important pieces to a rebuild could already on the roster"

There's a difference between important pieces and building blocks. Mike James and Lindsey Hunter were important pieces to the Pistons' title in '04 but they weren't building blocks. Point being, other than Howard (who's a short-timer) there isn't a single player on this team who's proven to be anything other than a role player, and many of them haven't been esp.consistent or impressive as such over their careers. Of course every team needs role players, but in order to flourish, role players need to have roles, and that's hard to do on a team that lacks a real identity, as the Wizards currently do. They need to est. a foundation for what this team is going forward before they can build anything on top of it. That takes time and careful consideration.

Hopefully Grunfeld won't be inclined to be overcome by the giddy euphoria of a few exciting games as the fans have been.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

As for Howard, he has a team option for next season, so they can keep him for that long. After that (at which point he'll be 30), who knows? But then, I doubt there will be much inclination to keep him after that. If he plays well over the course of the rest of this season, I would think he gets traded for rebuilding assets, either in the offseason or at the deadline next season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Oops, game's not over yet. Guess Antawn could still lose it for them."

Jinx.

I think the NBA should fine Mike Breen every time he yells "BANG" when someone hits a 3-pointer.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

They need to est. a foundation for what this team is going forward before they can build anything on top of it. That takes time and careful consideration.

Hopefully Grunfeld won't be inclined to be overcome by the giddy euphoria of a few exciting games as the fans have been.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 3:27 PM

They'd be fools to have already made decisions on players like AB and JM who've never averaged 20mins a night. EG drafted these guys for a reason, and you know he is giddy with what AB is showing so far. These last 25games are going to determine where our top5 pick is used, so there's only so much careful consideration that can be done before you have to start making decisions.

If, big if, AB plays like this for the rest of the season there is no way we're taking a PF with our first pick

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there are some important pieces already on this roster to build around.

Absolutely there are is.

However, left to ineffective coaching and the belief that 3-5 years after we rebuild and the belief that these players are role players and won't be here is a loosing proposition from the word go.

Contraire to what one might have you believe, you just don't become a winning organization 3-yrs from now after you rebuild and get rid of all these role players, YOU HAVE TO BECOME A WINNING ORGANIZATION NOW, AS IN RIGHT NOW.

Being a winner is doing those things now that makes you a champion. You have to play the right way, coach the right, with what you have now. Build that winning philosophy, attitude, and structure now with the players you have.

To say that I have a bunch of role players and they won't be around 3-5 yrs from once I rebuild means you are putting winning off 3-5 years from now.

That is a losers mentality.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

why is everybody mad a arenas when we made it to the playoffs he was our best player stop being jealous because you cant make 80 million thats my man stop riding band wagons when were in the playoffs and doing good then switching talking all that talk when every thing is bad because when it is good again and arenas is back with the wiz I will be happy show real support not many guards can do what he does

Posted by: monsince1977 | February 21, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Jamison's line today in the road victory over Orlando: 17 points on 8 for 12 shooting, one three-pointer, 8 boards, a steal, a block, and two turnovers. Picked up five fouls, which is hard to do unless you play some defense.


Better wait till you post on here Cleveland did not win they lost their third straight game since AJ joined the team LOL

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

with our current hustle, heart and improved defense, i think arenas could fit in just fine next yr...I've said it before and I'll say it again, no matter what our future plans are for this team, we're not going to get complete value for HIM! Keep howard through next season, as a temp for the slot that durant will hopefully fill. try and resign miller. Draft a c/pf like cousins, aldrich or monroe. We would be pretty damn good in the time being (before signing durant in 2011) with a starting lineup of
ARENAS HOWARD MILLER THORNTON BLATCHE

Posted by: bbachrac | February 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Flip cost us another game."

The Wiz lost because the Raptors are one of the top defensive units in the entire NBA. They put the clamps down in the last couple of minutes and the Wiz missed several shots, not just by any one person.

This is where you can say "they lost as a team" and that was very evident.

If anything, the Wiz did not play defense like they had the previous nights and gave up too many layups themselves.

They all played bad down the stretch, but I think people are expecting too much out of what they have right now. A lot of people are acting like the Wiz are going to win a championship this year...I got news for you, they aren't.

The Raptors are going to the playoffs, the Wizards most likely are not.

As long as they keep playing hard, good things will come. And that doesn't always mean a "w".

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"I see you don't read kal's posts?"

And, given your utter inability to properly reflect anything I've said, apparently neither do you. My bad. I'll have to start using smaller words. Is there anything smaller than one-syllable?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Kal,

Most of us on here were out playing basketball while you were sitting in English class.

So even though I understand "YOUR" big words you still don't understand the game of basketball.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 21, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The excitement for something new is great, and if it finally convinces the young players to focus and bring it every day, even better. That'll show them what focus can bring, and it'll show the organization what they've got.

If Blatche averages 18/8 and plays solid defense the rest of the season, you know you have a legitimate starter at the PF spot. If he becomes sporadic, you now that's an area of need. If McGee continues to play like he has the last few games, then you know you have someone who can be a solid center once he learns how to play position defense better. And both those guys are affordable.

I think a decision about Arenas won't happen until after the draft. Trading him will be extremely difficult. I think trying to kill his contract will have an adverse effect on this organization's future of signing free agents.

The best thing the team can do is repair the relationship. Convince Arenas that he needs to come back next season and play well, and within the team concept. Doing that will get him what he wants, whether that's a winning Wizards team for him to play on, or other teams willing to trade for him.

So the question is do we try for free agents to play alongside Arenas, or do we ignore him, hoping to be done with him by next season's trade deadline? If we land Wall in the draft, I think we have an easy answer.

Posted by: segastyle | February 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

You see the main reason why I was so pissed last year with Ed Tappscott as the coach is because we pissed away a whole season.

That last year was not about establishing and doing the things that make you winners.

You can't just say, rebuild, hire a real coach a year from now, keep Flip cause we owe him 14 million, 3 years from now I will have the players I am looking for, yada yada yada.

In order to win, you must always do what winners do. You must develop and play the players you have.

A whole season was waisted last year by not establishing a winning gameplan to use and develop the whole team.

You can't play for the lottery. To play for the lottery means you play to lose. Now all of a sudden you make a lottery deal and hire a coach and get a few players back and now you think you are winners after you have went a whole season playing as losers.

It dosen't work like that. Now if the Flip we see now is the real Flip, we are about to repeat the same mistake over again.

What I see from Flip is not about winning now.

Coaching is not as important in the Pro's as it is in College.

Most players leave college after 1 or 2 years of college coaching, not 4 anymore. It is good when you can get a good collegiate players with 4-yrs of experience.

But let me ask you a question. If most players come out after 1 year or 2, where is the coaching coming from?

Yeah, the answer, the Pros.

Anyone that believes that NBA professional coaching is not just as important to winning if not moreso than college coaching is delusional.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Jamison's line today in the road victory over Orlando: 17 points on 8 for 12 shooting, one three-pointer, 8 boards, a steal, a block, and two turnovers. Picked up five fouls, which is hard to do unless you play some defense.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse "


LMAO!!!

Check your facts.

MeTawn got a nice stat line today, but Les Cavs lost...not won...against the Magic.

Not surprising though....MeTawn took 14 shots, and had one attempt at the FT line.

Whatdddadwhat? Huh? Duh?!?!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 21, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Keep dreaming, Larry.

The only way Flip won't be here next season is if he wants out. Otherwise, he's the coach of your Washington Wizards for at least one more season, if not two more. The best you can possibly hope for is one or two of his assistants getting axed but don't hold your breath.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 21, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Jamison went 9-14, you have issues DC_Man

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"

Jamison went 9-14, you have issues DC_Man

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse "

MeTawn did the same here, and now he's gone.

The issue is not that MeTawn can't score.

The issue is that MeTawn takes too many J's and doesn't go to the FT line.

A power forward taking 14 shots but only taking one attempt at the FT line? That means the PF is just jacking up J's and not making the defense work and pay on the FT line.

Also, the issue is that despite MeTawn being able to score, it doesn't directly translate into the team winning.

Those are the facts (you call them issues). Deal with it.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD Man give this a break you are sounding like a broken record in the begining this fire the coach thing was amusing but it really is starting to get old so how about giving it a break because I am sure there is allot of other things to discuss about the Wizards Cheers

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Why we are thinking MM is expenssive.
No one will offer him more than 5 million, washington can sign him for 4 years 21 milion.If he ask more than this he can go, SFs and SGs are avaliable but i like his ball sharing.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 21, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD Man give this a break you are sounding like a broken record in the begining this fire the coach thing was amusing but it really is starting to get old so how about giving it a break because I am sure there is allot of other things to discuss about the Wizards Cheers

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 21, 2010 5:58 PM

There are other things to discuss and I do. But as long as player ineptitude can be attributed to a lack in coaching intelligence quotient, then I am one not to give coaching a pass, unlike those that would rather blame it all on the players.

And pray tell, if we are to start seeing the same results play out for the rest of the season, then I am probably sure you will be one of those calling for these players to be gone too and not the coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"LMAO!!!Check your facts.MeTawn got a nice stat line today, but Les Cavs lost...not won...against the Magic.Not surprising though....MeTawn took 14 shots, and had one attempt at the FT line.Whatdddadwhat? Huh? Duh?!?!Posted by: DC_MAN8"

Um, I did. And corrected it. Guess you missed that. Not the first time. Least you had company -- other folks made the same error.

An interesting game. Cleveland went cold at the arc, which is pretty much what happened to them last season in the playoff series. The Cavs shot a wretched 3 for 16, while Orlando finished 8 for 20. Jamison played well (by the way, FTs don't count any more than FGs) but fouled out playing the defense that people here have insisted he doesn't play.

Anybody notice that rebound margin? Cleveland finished with 13 more than the Magic. That seems like Orlando's spacing -- they still leave the middle to Howard and station everyone else along the perimeter.

Spacing is supposedly the reason Jamison is a better fit for Cleveland than Stoudemire would have been.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I have a sort of dumb question.

Although it's propably very unlikely (especially with Arenas' contract and his desire to play in the Chi), but what is the probablity of a Dwayne Wade signing?

I think even if Arenas isn't here next year, he'd be in a way better situation than in Miami if he came here, maybe Chicago too.

I maybe in some sort of NBA 2K10 mode, but I'd really like to see Wade in a #3 jersey in D.C.

Posted by: RedDMV | February 21, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Jamison played well (by the way, FTs don't count any more than FGs) but fouled out playing the defense that people here have insisted he doesn't play.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 6:45 PM

You mean he fouled out TRYING to play the defense we insisted he doesn't play. ;)

Posted by: artiesliver | February 21, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

A power forward taking 14 shots but only taking one attempt at the FT line? That means the PF is just jacking up J's and not making the defense work and pay on the FT line.

Also, the issue is that despite MeTawn being able to score, it doesn't directly translate into the team winning.

Those are the facts (you call them issues). Deal with it.

Posted by: DC_MAN8

the fact is the Cavs signed him to play exactly like he did here, and specifically to NOT clog up the lanes like a traditional PF.

but dont let your obsession with Jamison get in the way of facts

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Um, I did. And corrected it. Guess you missed that. Not the first time. Least you had company -- other folks made the same error.

An interesting game. Cleveland went cold at the arc, which is pretty much what happened to them last season in the playoff series. The Cavs shot a wretched 3 for 16, while Orlando finished 8 for 20. Jamison played well (by the way, FTs don't count any more than FGs) but fouled out playing the defense that people here have insisted he doesn't play.

Anybody notice that rebound margin? Cleveland finished with 13 more than the Magic. That seems like Orlando's spacing -- they still leave the middle to Howard and station everyone else along the perimeter.

Spacing is supposedly the reason Jamison is a better fit for Cleveland than Stoudemire would have been.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse "

Please pay attention...not only to which team wins the games, but also when comparing FG's to FT's.

When a PF takes 14 shots, but only takes one FT, that means he's taking a heckuva lot of J's instead of banging inside, drawing fouls, and trying to get his defender to foul out.

Anybody note why CB, Karl Malone, and Moses Malone are some of the top PF's of all time?

That's b/c they earn their money by getting to the FT line....not jacking up J's and getting stats while your team loses.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 21, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if the Wizards made the playoffs. However if they don't, the higher draft pick is a decent alternative. Arenas made a silly comment about the commissioner being mean; and you see what happened. Don't be suprised if Grunfield doesn't get rid of Arenas. Grunfield can be pretty stern himself and Arenas made that silly comment about not wanting to play for Grunfield, so it is likely that he may grant Arenas his wish.
All Grunfield has to do is package and promote Arenas in the right way and there will be some takers out there like the Clippers(maybe they could get suckered twice).

Posted by: Theone9 | February 21, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

"Most of us on here were out playing basketball while you were sitting in English class."

HA! Putting aside the utter irrelevancy and lack of factual basis for making such an idiotic presumption . . .

The fact that you're so boldly proud of that speaks volumes about you and goes a long way to explain the idiotic crap you post on a daily basis.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"They'd be fools to have already made decisions on players like AB and JM who've never averaged 20mins a night. EG drafted these guys for a reason, and you know he is giddy with what AB is showing so far. These last 25games are going to determine where our top5 pick is used, so there's only so much careful consideration that can be done before you have to start making decisions."

Who said anything about making a decision right now/before the end of the season? I certainly didn't. And since your little screed is clearly predicated on that incorrect assumption, then it really has no validity as a response to my original point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"Why we are thinking MM is expenssive.
No one will offer him more than 5 million, washington can sign him for 4 years 21 milion.If he ask more than this he can go, SFs and SGs are avaliable but i like his ball sharing."

If he's signed for market price, he wouldn't be particularly expensive (by NBA standards, although I'm pretty sure it would take more than $21 mil/4 yrs). The issue is that, realistically, the only shot the Wizards would have at getting him to re-sign would be to overpay him on a scale where he couldn't pass up the money. Because assuming the Wizards offer him roughly the same money as a legit playoff team, there's no reason in the world he would choose to stay here rather than go to a better team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"Anybody notice that rebound margin? Cleveland finished with 13 more than the Magic. That seems like Orlando's spacing -- they still leave the middle to Howard and station everyone else along the perimeter."

True, an issue that I thought the signing of Brandon Bass would help address. Of course, there's not a lot of rebounding to be done when you're spending the majority of almost every game sitting on the bench.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"The Wiz lost because the Raptors are one of the top defensive units in the entire NBA."

No they're not. They're near the bottom 3rd of the NBA in opponents' FG% and in the bottom five in opponents' PPG.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Because assuming the Wizards offer him roughly the same money as a legit playoff team, there's no reason in the world he would choose to stay here rather than go to a better team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2010 9:38 PM

Maybe not, Ted Leonsis might give him a reason to stay besides the money.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"When a PF takes 14 shots, but only takes one FT, that means he's taking a heckuva lot of J's instead of banging inside, drawing fouls, and trying to get his defender to foul out. Anybody note why CB, Karl Malone, and Moses Malone are some of the top PF's of all time? That's b/c they earn their money by getting to the FT line....not jacking up J's and getting stats while your team loses.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

Your assumption is that Jamison is a 'bad' power forward because he shoots an unusual number of outside jumpers. But he's done that for several years, including when the team was far more successful. Last season, when the team struggled, he took fewer 3 point shots than in the preceding three years. Compare him to say Rashard Lewis of Orlando, and he looks like a fountain of free throw attempts. Last year he shot about 1 fewer attempt per game than Dirk Nowitzki. It's only when you compare him to cherry-picked inside players like you did that he seems like he never gets to the line.

My point was (and it's not original with me) that Cleveland wasn't looking for somebody to take up space inside. Shaq does that. And LeBron James wants those lanes open, too. So in that sense, Jamison was what they were looking for. You notice they weren't pursuing Carlos Boozer, who once played there.

It's understood that one way to play PF very effectively is to set up down low and take the ball to the basket in an attempt to foul your opponent out. But it's not the only way to play the game effectively.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

There's a report that the Wizards and Z are close to a buy-out agreement.

Is there any word from the Wizards front office as to what they plan to do next after that?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 21, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Cut Boykins

That's all

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 21, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

We have witnessed some of the worst coaching in the NBA for many years. Flip Saunders is inept. His decision to play Boykins when he is being chewed up and spit out by physical guards like Jack is infuriating! Not to mention Earl's complete inability to stop dribbling the damn ball and move it around before the shot clock forces bad shots. I do not like Foye one bit but despite that he is the only choice at point in crunch time that makes sense.

As for Mike Miller and Flip's complete and utter failure to design and implement plays to get Miller open simply amazes me! In addition, Flip must demand that Miller STOP this nonsense in Mike's self appointed role as a "Point Forward" and facilitator. Mike Miller is a great, not just good shooter who must be forced to do what he does best and that is get open and shoot the damn ball, not recieve the pass, dribble to a spot on the floor and kick it back, often to team mates who are not in good position to shoot themselves! We all see that Miller is a teriffic team mate and very unselfish but he is hurting this team by not taking the shot! Mike can also rebound very well and makes the effort defensively.
Flip, tell Mike Miller that his role on your team is to score and rebound and to make the good pass when it is their for him to make, not to force, however well intentioned and selfless.

Flip, leave Javale in the game and let him make mistakes and grow and improve before it is too late! Javale is young and raw but brings abilities to this team that they have not had since I started following the Bullets in 1967! Javale is hoing to be great in spite of you.......somewhere else!

Take the reigns off of Nick Young and let Nick make or brake his time with this team by giving him the go ahead to just play basketball without the constant mental games you force on him. Flip, Nick is not cerebral like Chauncy Billips for crying out loud. Nick is a scorer! Let him be one by using him properly like teams have done with guys like him dozens of times over the years. Stop killing the guy's spirit!

I want to see Howard, Singleton, Thornton and possibly Ross stay along with Miller. Foye, Boykins and Oberto must go the way of Mike James, right out of town.

To the new GM next year, make it happen

Posted by: jshavatt | February 21, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

HALLELUYAH!

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 21, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I love what I am seeing from the wiz the past 3 games yet can only imagine what Steve Blake would have done for the team. In 2 games for the clips he has 9 and 12 assists.

I wonder if EG even made an attempt to bring Blake back to the wiz.

Posted by: spoooooooon | February 22, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"Jamison's line today ...Picked up five fouls, which is hard to do unless you play some defense."

Posted by: Samson151

Or, it's easy to do if you don't play defense properly. In his time here, AJ often played defense just with his hands, when you're supposed to play it mainly with your feet, as in getting in proper position.

That being said, I'm sure AJ is a little more motivated to play D no. And I'm sure that on a defensive-minded playoff team he'll get more crap from his teammates if he doesn't play D.

Have to say it though (and I'm sure it won't last), the Wiz 2-1 and the Cavs 0-3 since the deal.....to paraphrase Mr Tony....curse of Le 'Tawn?

Posted by: ts35 | February 22, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz lost because the Raptors are one of the top defensive units in the entire NBA.

Posted by: rmcazz

Really?? Based on what? And even if they were, they were without Bosh, who anchors their defense.

The Wiz lost because they couldn't execute on offense or defense down the stretch. Some of that is on the players, some is on Flip. I don't think Flip had the right guys in the game, but it doesn't completely matter, at some point, the players on the court just have to make plays.

But that's just nitpicking at this point. This team plays hard, but as a team they don't have a high skill level offensively and they are not used to playing with each other. Those things eventually show up. If they keep playing with the same degree of effort and unselfishness, the team will be fun to watch for the rest of the season regardless.

I only hope that the FAs to be, or potentially to be, like Howard, Foye etc, don't start getting wrapped up in making their stat lines look better and lose the team concept.

I'd like to see Miller stay, but only at a reasonable price. He's the kind of guy Wiz fans fall in love with on bad teams. He's a fundamentally sound player, he has talent, and seems like a solid guy overall, but he's not worth breaking the bank over.

Posted by: ts35 | February 22, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Your assumption is that Jamison is a 'bad' power forward because he shoots an unusual number of outside jumpers. But he's done that for several years, including when the team was far more successful. Last season, when the team struggled, he took fewer 3 point shots than in the preceding three years. Compare him to say Rashard Lewis of Orlando, and he looks like a fountain of free throw attempts. Last year he shot about 1 fewer attempt per game than Dirk Nowitzki. It's only when you compare him to cherry-picked inside players like you did that he seems like he never gets to the line.

My point was (and it's not original with me) that Cleveland wasn't looking for somebody to take up space inside. Shaq does that. And LeBron James wants those lanes open, too. So in that sense, Jamison was what they were looking for. You notice they weren't pursuing Carlos Boozer, who once played there.

It's understood that one way to play PF very effectively is to set up down low and take the ball to the basket in an attempt to foul your opponent out. But it's not the only way to play the game effectively.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse "

There is absolutely no reason for PF to hit the line so few times for the number of shots he takes.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Pau Gasol averages 5.1 FTA/game
Tim Duncan averages 5.3....

Jamison averages 5.1 as well...

So I guess they don't bang either.

Who knew?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 22, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

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