Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Wizards "play selfishly" and lose to Knicks

Knicks 107, Wizards 85

After the game, Brendan Haywood asked me to hand him the box score. It didn't take Haywood long to spot the problem. Haywood immediately pointed at the assist column. The Wizards had just 13 assists.

"See, whenever that number is not around that 20 mark, you have a problem," Haywood said.

I then told him that the Wizards had 14 turnovers, too, which didn't help. Haywood glanced some more and said, "Look at that."

The Knicks, who entered the game 21st in the NBA in rebounding, had grabbed 16 more boards than the Wizards. It was just the 18th time this season that the Knicks had grabbed more rebounds than their opponents. "They aren't even a good rebounding team," Haywood said, shaking his head.

I thanked Haywood for his assistance. "I do part-time media, so I figured I'd help you out," he said.

The box score certainly revealed some troubling numbers, many which served as a startling contrast to the game they just played against the Knicks on Saturday. In their 106-96 win, the Wizards had 23 assists and outrebounded the Knicks 59-40. The Wizards also shot 11 of 21 from beyond the three-point line.

On Wednesday, the Wizards weren't shy about launching three-pointers, but they weren't hitting. Mike Miller, who shot 7 of 10 on Saturday, was 2 for 3, while the rest of the team went 3 for 17. In their past two games, the Wizards are an abominable 6 for 30 (20 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Knicks, on the other hand, were pretty hot from behind the three-point line, going 9 for 18. Danillo Gallinari was 4 for 5. On Saturday, the Knicks missed 13 of their 21 three-point attempts.

It was a rough night, and for the first time that I can remember, Coach Flip Saunders used the word "selfish" to describe the way his team played offensively. He said his team took too many "one pass or no pass" shots, which repeatedly but the team in a hole. He said the problem was that the Wizards were hitting those shots early on. When they stopped falling, the Wizards never tried to move the ball.

"To be honest, we have guys, Nick [Young] made some shots, but those guys were shooting every time they touched it and then what happened was our whole team became like that," Saunders said. "When guys are taking quick shots, it fuels other guys to take quick shots because they don't think they're going to get it back. I thought tonight, more than anything else, we played very selfishly."

Antawn Jamison agreed with Saunders's assessment of selfish play, but Andray Blatche said that looks were deceiving. "We have a lot of great players on this team. We all try to be that person to take us over the hump," Blatche said after scoring 14 points off the bench. "It wasn't that we tried to be selfish, we was trying to help the team. Everybody is trying hard to help the team. Guys are trying hard to do everything they can. That's how it looks, but that's not the case."

What cannot be disputed is that this team is not the strongest mentally. A game after they got outscored 25-10 in the fourth quarter against the Celtics, the Wizards got outscored 66-40 in the second half against the Knicks. In the final seven minutes, they were outscored 23-6. Saunders explained that when teams go on runs, "We melt."

By Michael Lee  |  February 3, 2010; 11:55 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Saunders to Foye: 'I haven't lost confidence in you'
Next: Knicks overwhelm Wizards

Comments

look at the record and to me that means somethings not right.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 3, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

LARRY:

I enjoy your posts but I'm with bulletsfan78 here. To me, nothing's right within the entire organization. I've been saying all along, I detest what ARENAS did, but there's enough accountability to go around.

What the WIZARDS ownership did in turning their back on their own hand-picked face-of-the-franchise, was shallow. I don't blame ARENAS for what happened so much as I blame the cavalier attitude fostered by owners and management toward the players and their actions both on and off the court. This franchise is rotten to the core.

FIRST?

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 4, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

sick and tired of flip not backing up his words. sit em down if they're playing selfishly, already. what's worse is that i'm starting to not care.

Posted by: thickman22 | February 4, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Wizards "play selfishly"

Whats new?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 4, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

"To be honest, we have guys, Nick [Young] made some shots, but those guys were shooting every time they touched it and then what happened was our whole team became like that," Saunders said. "When guys are taking quick shots, it fuels other guys to take quick shots because they don't think they're going to get it back. I thought tonight, more than anything else, we played very selfishly."

Antawn Jamison agreed with Saunders's assessment of selfish play,

Are you kidding me?

AJ is the king of taking shots early in the 24 second clock.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 4, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Mike do some real reporting and talk about how bad of a job Flip is doing putting together a game plan. Talk about how bad his substitution pattern his. Ask the coach how do you continue to start a shooting gaurd that avg. 2.7 points a game. How do you play Oberto who shouldn't be in the league 12 min. and play McGee who needs development 1 min over 7 games. A good reporter would ask the coach those questions or go find out the real answers. Go find out how come you don't see any player improvement when you have 7 coaches sitting on the bench. That's what we fans want to know.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | February 4, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Right on rnbrown4. I can net figure out why Flop is still giving DS and FO playing time. The team does not get anything from either player. JM is raw but he usually brings a ton of energy to the game and will get better with increased playing time. The Wizards are getting harder and harder to watch. I am finding other things to do with my evenings. Please blow this team up and start from scratch (this includes the coach and GM). Maybe in a couple of years the team will be worth watching.

Posted by: jahjank | February 4, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Right on rnbrown4. I can not figure out why Flop is still giving DS and FO playing time. The team does not get anything from either player. JM is raw but he usually brings a ton of energy to the game and will get better with increased playing time. The Wizards are getting harder and harder to watch. I am finding other things to do with my evenings. Please blow this team up and start from scratch (this includes the coach and GM). Maybe in a couple of years the team will be worth watching.

Posted by: jahjank | February 4, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

This is the problem with this team: "We have a lot of great players on this team". With one of the worst record in the worst conference in the NBA, how can you think you have a lot of great players? Where are these great players when the game is on the line? Any fool can shoot and miss. This team sucks.

Posted by: tundey | February 4, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards should be ashamed. Foye, 30 minutes at pg, with what, two assists? Young, at sg, 2-8 on thee pointers? Miller, the guy who torched the Knicks in DC, going 2-3 on three pointers -- why isn't he getting more shots?

Only Boykins looks unselfish here, getting 6 assists.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 4, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

I didn't mean anything bad about the comparison all I was trying to say is it's hard to look at the facts when a person is emotionally involved.

If I offended you I apologize.

There are some fans (fanatics) who believe everything an organization tells them and the team can do nothing wrong.

I look at the record and to me that means somethings not right.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 3, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I look at the record and to me that means somethings not right.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 3, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

LARRY:

I enjoy your posts but I'm with bulletsfan78 here. To me, nothing's right within the entire organization. I've been saying all along, I detest what ARENAS did, but there's enough accountability to go around.

What the WIZARDS ownership did in turning their back on their own hand-picked face-of-the-franchise, was shallow. I don't blame ARENAS for what happened so much as I blame the cavalier attitude fostered by owners and management toward the players and their actions both on and off the court. This franchise is rotten to the core.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 3, 2010 11:53 PM |

No BulletsFan78, you did not offend me. I knew exactly what you were saying. I with you 100%. I just have this thing about the Simpson case.

Glawrence007, I have never had a problem with BF78's post. I have always understood where he is coming from.

I guess when I said 'a guilty man' it wasn't enough to indicate that I thought the comparison wasn't the best one and not that I disagreed with it.

No need for an apology BulletsFan78, no offense was taken. If anything, my apologies for not making my actual position clearer.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Why should the young guys know how to play team ball when all they have been doing for the last couple of years (including this one under Flip) is sit on the bench and watch to learn this style of play.

This coach sucks! But hey this was Ernie’s guy, or did Abe tell him who to sign?

Last year was a joke playing AJ and CB 40 mins and letting them do whatever they wanted without even thinking of trying to develop the young guys. Wait wasn’t ETaps Ernie’s guy too?

Critt got hurt during the summer and Ernie goes out and gets another 2 guard to backup Gil?

Sure glad we went all in to win this year, it's paying dividends like GM stock?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 4, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

We're cool,

peace

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 4, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

The Charlotte Bobcats....Johnson....Jordan....Brown.... .....winning.

You think as we look back on things that MJ had the resources and the connections to have turned this thing around here.

It is happening in Charlotte. If the reports are true the Cats have $350 mil plus offer that MJ has to match in 30-days.

If he dosen't match the new owner will not retain MJ and LB says he will not stay.

However though, the Cats are winning finally and MJ's fingerprints is all over it.

The argument that it is all LB and not MJ just to deflect credit from MJ isn't a good one.

Dem' Tarheels' mostly like to stick together.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Remember, it was Ted Leonsis that sold the deal to bring arguably the best player ever in the NBA here.

Then Mr. Polin kicked him out of here because he thought MJ could not do the job.

Time might be tellin' us that jus' mike' have been a wrong decision.

Seems that Ted Leonsis might have had both franchises winning by now.

You know it was reported that he was blindsided by the decision just like Mike was.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

As I have said once before on this post, The problem with the Wizards is they play no team ball! If they have any I.Q. for the game, they do not show it!

If they would review game tapes they would clearly see and correct thier approach to the game. But they feel since the ship is sinking, then: "every man for himself!" It is a sad, sick, and pathetic sight to see and Ernie Grundfield should be ashamed of himself!

Posted by: bazteal | February 4, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Gil's final prank was slipping Novocaine in the handsoap, buncha stonehands

Posted by: divi3 | February 4, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think these players' dont' want to win? So when Andre says they are going for it why scoff? Andre had a very good game but sat on the bench in the 4th quarter, why? Game lost, rest him? Actually the better answer is that Flip does not have a grasp on how to field this team. He has to decide that the future of this team is playing the future or decide that it is going to win if he keeps the present sytems going. Enough evidence is in, he needs to play for the future and McGhee needs to play now.

Posted by: h20law2000 | February 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Two weeks to go...

Wonder what Ernie will do next

Posted by: blackman1 | February 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Two words for the Wizards. START OVER

Posted by: mjterry99 | February 4, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think these players' dont' want to win? So when Andre says they are going for it why scoff? Andre had a very good game but sat on the bench in the 4th quarter, why? Game lost, rest him? Actually the better answer is that Flip does not have a grasp on how to field this team. He has to decide that the future of this team is playing the future or decide that it is going to win if he keeps the present sytems going. Enough evidence is in, he needs to play for the future and McGhee needs to play now.

Posted by: h20law2000 | February 4, 2010 9:21 AM |

Except that, the evidence also indicates that Flip does not have a clue how to play for now or the future.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

How many times can we hear it from the mouths of the players themselves that they're ignoring the game plan, pressing and freelancing, and trying to win games on their own, single-handedly without involving their teammates, before some people get it through their thick heads what the problem is?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 4, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"He has to decide that the future of this team is playing the future or decide that it is going to win if he keeps the present sytems going."

That's not a decision that's up to the coach. A coach's job is to win games. Period. Is developing talent part of the overall agenda? Sure, but only to the extent that it works in service to the goal of winning games. No coach is, of his own accord, going to put building for the future ahead of trying to win now, because every coach (with the possible exceptions of Jackson, Popovich, and Sloan) knows full well that if they don't win now they probably won't be around in the future.

Taking the long-term view of rebuilding is the GM's job, not the coach's. Unless and until the GM says to him, explicitly, "Coach, I don't care how many games you lose this season as long as you give the young guys plenty of PT so they can get some experience for next year and beyond" (and I guarantee you, such conversations rarely if ever take place) the coach will continue playing the players who he thinks give him the best chance to win the game they're playing right now, not the ones who may (or may not) give him a chance to win a game they'll be playing a year from now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 4, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

There has been evidence or lets just say that the performances of Blatche and Haywood have been mostly bright spots on this Team.

For a Team that needs good play badly, why is it that Flip is hell bent on pulling Haywood for large parts of the game and not playing Blatch at the four.

Move Jamison to the three, already.

Sit Butler and tell MIKE MILLER that he is a SHOOTING GUARD and not the set up man.

Run the daggum ball and enough of this Flip system crapola that isn't working.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

If Javale McGee's body language and pre-game preps are any indication about his mental capacity to play at this level, then I completely understand why he doesn't get minutes. I am SICK and TIRED of the argument that, because we're losing, we should put in the youngest, rawest players. All that does is reinforce to these guys that there is value in being on a bad team if you're a marginal player.

Posted by: jthicks | February 4, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I say the least of our problems is an inept head coach. If he had a situation that was stable and improving, he might be able to generate some wins.

But with the heir-apparant owner LEONSIS playing cat-and-mouse with the POLLIN family, and a lame-duck GM who's house of cards has collapsed, there's no real way to see if he's a good coach or not.

I don't blame FLIP. He just got here. I blame the organization for its mismanagement of this franchise. The fans deserve better.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 4, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards players are not as good as almost all of the other NBA teams now. How many NBA teams don't have one starter that they drafted? This is as hopeless as it gets. Management, not coaching, is the problem. Our only hope is new management that knows how to draft and acquire players that can play, want to play, and want to win. Players that can play defense, rebound the basketball, be physical, and pass the ball are needed. Ernie was good at trades. It is very evident that Ernie was not and is not good in the draft.

Posted by: JoeC2 | February 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

why is coach hating on nick young? foye was WAY worse last night. heisting every time he touched the ball. and cuoldn't hit the broad side of a barn. awful.

Posted by: Matte | February 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

why is coach hating on nick young? foye was WAY worse last night. heisting every time he touched the ball. and cuoldn't hit the broad side of a barn. awful.

Posted by: Matte | February 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Because YOUNG took the WIZARDS out of the offense FLIP set up pre-game. This caused a lot of standing around because the ball wasn't being distributed. But I agree with Matte in one respect. Young wasn't the only one doing the individual thing. Others took his lead.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Taking the long-term view of rebuilding is the GM's job, not the coach's. Unless and until the GM says to him, explicitly, "Coach, I don't care how many games you lose this season as long as you give the young guys plenty of PT so they can get some experience for next year and beyond" (and I guarantee you, such conversations rarely if ever take place) the coach will continue playing the players who he thinks give him the best chance to win the game they're playing right now, not the ones who may (or may not) give him a chance to win a game they'll be playing a year from now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 4, 2010 9:58 AM

That makes very good sense but it would be hard to make the case which scenario Tappscott was using. To develop or to win. His intentions were complicit.

In Saunder's case it was clear that to win was the intention and if it is still the case then his competency is questionable.

Not having good enough players is one thing, but when the players you have say they ignore the gameplan and still don't play well together says something more about the coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I think it’s really unclear why Flip plays certain players a certain amount of time. It could be posturing for later trades, so therefore he must play this person or that person to help Ernie make some deals (god I hope so), but we will know that in about 3 weeks. On the “quick shot subject" were did it come from my guess Gil and Antawn. Who plays the least amount of defense on this team? my guess Gil and Antawn. So why keep them just because AJ is a professional. Are we at a point in society that just because a player don’t get in trouble he is a professional, I disagree.
Whenever I talk to kids about basketball I always use Allen Iverson as an example. AI is a great player, but out of 15 years in the league, I guess, he made the finals once. As being the focal point player, with amount of talent he has he should have won a lot more in this league. Having the understanding that you can dominate the ball, shoot every time, don’t play defense (jumping passing lanes don’t count) and expect professional players to give the ball back to you when you miss. On top of that expect them to play defense, get rebounds and all the other dirty work. It takes a he lava ego and someone not in touch with reality, to do so, as Gil and Antawn are. Blatche said they are great players on this team I beg to differ. You are a great player compared to me but not compared to other NBA players. So there seems to be a strong mindset problem also people must learn there roles. If Flip want to stick around after this year he is going to have take extremely hard stance with all his players, after this year is over.

Posted by: dsquare | February 4, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

And by the way, players ignoring the coach, I probably would ascertain one player that is continually criticized by some on here, isn't one of the players that is ignoring the coach.

That would be Brendan Haywood. Brendan always has been and always will be a Team player.

A 7-foot NBA player that buys into team play and coaching/the coach. But some bloggers love to villify his shortcomings and the Team apparently isn't willing to match or offer his market worth.

It would appear to me that Brendan is a piece that a successful minded team can work with.

But no, this Team has pissed him off and even if they decide to offer him market value, he may decide to walk for less.

Ted can't buy this Team fast enough. I am sure bad coaching would immediately be a thing of the past.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Grunfeld is well aware of the deficiencies on the team, particularly on the defensive end and in the low post. He assembled a jump shooting team that was built around 3 players (AJ, Butler, and Arenas) who are all poor defenders. His philosophy was to field a team that could outscore teams like the Suns have for years. Unfortunately, we don't have Steve Nash or Amare Stoudemire to make that approach successful.

The reality is that the core of this team has been together for 5-6 years and should have been broken up after the 2007-2008 season when it was clear that this was a one and done team in the playoffs with or without Arenas. Now with all of the damage done by the Arenas situation, the trade value of the team's core players is minimal. I expect Jamision, Butler, Haywood, and possibly Miller all to be traded in the next couple of weeks.

We'll be looking at essentially an expansion team for the next 2-3 years and hope we get lucky in the lottery or with the young players & picks we acquire in the trades. It will be 4-5 years at best before this team can get back to any level of respectability.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 4, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Losing to the Knicks wasn't so much about playing selfishly, as it was about playing lazily. Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson repeatedly outhustled the Wizards. Even our old friend Larry Hughes turned it up a notch.

If Flip Saunders can't inspire our starters to play with energy for the entire game, he needs to find another line of work.

I knew it would be hard to go into Madison Square Garden and get a second win over the Knicks. But, I didn't anticipate our guys getting blown out by 22 points. When the Wizards give up 35 4th quarter points, it tells me that the team basically quit playing. Contrary to what some posters are saying, I say "bring in JaVale McGee and Dominic McGuire to stop, or at least slow down, the opposing teams 4th quarter run". Jamison was able to cover Jared Jeffries but had no effect whatsoever defending Gallinari, Harrington, or Wilson Chandler. Nate Robinson had his way with Earl Boykins. This is when Wizards coaches Saunders, Cassell, Unseld, etc need to put their heads together and bring in their most effective defensive players.

In conclusion, play JaVale now. If he can't play [as some of you think] we will soon find out. If he CAN play [as I think], now is the time to find out.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 4, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If Javale McGee's body language and pre-game preps are any indication about his mental capacity to play at this level, then I completely understand why he doesn't get minutes. I am SICK and TIRED of the argument that, because we're losing, we should put in the youngest, rawest players. All that does is reinforce to these guys that there is value in being on a bad team if you're a marginal player.

Posted by: jthicks | February 4, 2010 10:09 AM

I too have seen JM's body language. It is not good. But that body language isn't new for the Wizards.

Look at the players on the bench who don't play and even the ones that play and then come to the bench. Check the look on their faces. They are not faking it.

They have the look of players that know that good play and competition is not rewarded fairly. Doesn't matter whether it is done in practice or the game. It is the same ole story everytime out.

As much as we talk about how green McGee is, he has the look that says nothing that he does does will get him playing time.

It is a shame and I don't fault him for that. One can fault him for how he carries himself and his attitude, but in this organization, I will not.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

why is coach hating on nick young? foye was WAY worse last night. heisting every time he touched the ball. and cuoldn't hit the broad side of a barn. awful.

Posted by: Matte | February 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Because YOUNG took the WIZARDS out of the offense FLIP set up pre-game. This caused a lot of standing around because the ball wasn't being distributed. But I agree with Matte in one respect. Young wasn't the only one doing the individual thing. Others took his lead.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

NY took too many 3s. he was open for them but they weren't falling. he needs to get coach out of his head and use a pump fake and his dribble a lil more just to keep the d off balance when he catches the ball off that curl for 3. he's a good shooter, but a better natural scorer. the 3 ball can fall for him but he's better with the fallaway from 17.
like i said though i think he's thinking bout flip too much and the rip hamilton, catch and shoot game that flip said he wanted from him earlier. either way i find it tough to blame NY for taking the team out of their offense. How bout starting DS to begin the 3rd Q just to make sure the knicks got back in it? How bout the breather he gave Haywood. i give Brenda the blues like none other, but when he's got it rolling you don't cool him off; he may not heat up again for 3 games.
i appreciate Flip for not making a mistake this season. By his account Andray Blatche and NY have torn this team apart.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

At the start of season Flip said that old players vs. young players stuff was going to end. It's about team. So why does he only call out younger players on the team. First, he calls out Blatche and now he calls out Young. 4 young players get fined when everyone in the picture is seen laughing it up. AJ can shoot 20 times a game and the team is sharing the ball, but if he only get 10 shots the team isn't sharing. This is no different than last year. Why trade for draft picks and young players when the team is doing an awful job with the young talent they have.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 4, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Why trade for draft picks and young players when the team is doing an awful job with the young talent they have.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 4, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse
because we are awful now and staying the course with aging vets and overvalued FAs (trades whatever) won't get us any better, unless those FAs are Wade,Bosh and Tha Kang.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 4, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't know who is worse Mike Lee or Flip Saunders. Both are becoming jokes. saunders calling out Nick Young? Yea that's the problem coach. What a freakin joke. And Lee not reporting anything worthwhile or writing anything beyond the generic the entire season is absurd. These 2 guys deserve each other.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company