Network News

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

Blatche adjusting to challenging role as go-to-guy

Bucks 102, Wizards 74

The few fans remaining for the closing seconds of the Wizards' horrific 102-74 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday appeared to be sticking around for the sole reason to boo the team. The Wizards gave a pathetic effort - making lazy passes, failing to box out and rotate on defense - and perhaps fans had become spoiled by this bunch of energetic overachievers.

Now, they might need to start expecting that nights like this could become the norm. The Wizards have lost four of their past five games, and it no coincidence that this funk arrived when the team lost Josh Howard to a torn ACL in his left knee. The Wizards won three of their first four games after the break - and were in position to win all four - but when they lost Howard against Chicago, a team short on offensive options was stripped down to scraps.

And, on a night when Andray Blatche was unable to keep his incredible scoring binge going, the Wizards' shortcomings became even more glaring. Blatche said he struggled with the Bucks swarming defense, with featured aggressive play from Luc Mbah a Moute and considerable help from Andrew Bogut and others.

"It seems like every time I turned around, it was two guys coming," Blatche said. "I have to know that double team is coming, I have to make adjustments."

Problem was, he had few places to go with the ball. Al Thornton appears to be wearing down already, having been thrust into a starting role and playing heavy minutes since Howard went down. He admitted that adrenaline carried him through the first six games, when he averaged 15.8 points. In the past two games against Milwaukee, he's had just eight points.

"He's been very sore," Coach Flip Saunders said. "He is just hurt and he's not used to playing the minutes that he's playing right now. When Josh went down, all of a sudden he had to step up and work a little bit more. I think that has taken a toll on him."

Nick Young continues to struggle, as he scored just two points on 1-of-5 shooting, off the bench. But aside from Earl Boykins, the Wizards didn't get much production from its back court or the perimeter in general. Boykins had 12 points off the bench, and was thrust into the lineup early in the first quarter after Randy Foye made some bad mistakes trying to run the team.

After Bogut's impressive alley-oop dunk, Foye was dribbling near the three-point line when he inexplicably passed the ball to the 7-foot McGee, who missed badly on a 14-foot jumper. Foye then threw the ball away to Carlos Delfino, setting up a fast-break layup for John Salmons. Foye was quickly yanked.

Foye was able to get his own on Wednesday against Brandon Jennings, as he scored 18 points, using his strength to go at him and his height to shoot over him. on Friday, Foye seemed like he was trying too hard to run the show, especially when his shot wasn't falling. Foye missed seven of his first eight shots and finished with just eight points.

Foye is trying his best to please Saunders by sticking to his offense. But there are too many times when Saunders gets frustrated with Foye, who sometimes seems like he's trying to run a paint-by-the-numbers system. While trying to compliment Shaun Livingston before the game, Saunders actually slighted Foye by claiming that Foye gets his assists within the offense while Livingston can get things done through instinct. I know Foye wants to be viewed as a point guard but his instinct really is to score.

"Foye, he is not a real pure point guard," Brandon Jennings said. "He's more of a scorer."

Foye has the ability to score and distribute, but do you remember how well he played the first 10 games after Gilbert Arenas was suspended? He averaged 18.8 points and 5.5 assists, and he appeared unburdened about trying to be a prototypical point guard. He was just trying to play ball. Since then, he has been up and down.

The Wizards need to see more of that other Foye over these final 23 games. He certainly is capable of exploding offensively, as he proved last season in Minnesota, where Kevin McHale gave him the ball and just let him go. In this offense, he seems to be thinking too hard and too much.

Saunders may have to consider something radical, such as inserting Livingston into the starting lineup and letting him share ball-handling duties with Foye. He could move Mike Miller back to small forward and have Thornton come off the bench, where he appears to be more comfortable, at least in the early going.

The Wizards need to get some offense going from somewhere, because - and I never thought I'd say this - Blatche can't do it by himself. After the game, Blatche said that the team is still playing the same way as it did before, but they are all going through growing pains.

"We're coming along. We're young. We only been together a couple of games. We all want to play the game. We all love the game. We're giving it our all, but we're fighting every night, we're just making mistakes," he said.

By Michael Lee  |  March 5, 2010; 11:32 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Saunders hoping Blatche cuts down on turnovers
Next: Wizards sign Alonzo Gee

Comments

Ernie isn't done yet because he needs to make sure the Wizards are under the cap next year.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 23, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse


June 23 2009 I was the only person who knew the Wizards were going to find a way to get under the cap!

The organization cares more about making mony then it ever did about winning a championship!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 5, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

While other who proclaim they know BB said...

"I know this is all about salary dump but for the #5 pick couldn't we at least get ONE bona-fide star? "

No, because there aren't any bona fide stars to be had in the draft at #5. Why would someone give up a star for a chance to draft someone who they think won't be one?

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 23, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Jennings will be a star in the NBA while Foye and MM will be sitting on the bench for another club?

Good call kal, as usual

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 5, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards didn't believe that any of the players available at the fifth spot would start for them next season.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 23, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Gee they sure were wrong?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

"The Wizards didn't believe that any of the players available at the fifth spot would start for them next season. "

Nobody with any sense believed that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 23, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I may not have any sense but I bet Jennings would be starting for them instead of Foye?

Kal...wrong again

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Miller and Foye improves the team right away and gives the Wiz players who fill needed roles. Rubio is a development project who plays the same position as the team''s best player. Easy call.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 25, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

they improved by 2 games so far?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

hurry up and buy your seaons tickets before they are all gone you don't want to miss this season it's going to be a great one.........25 wins!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 25, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Can they win 25 this year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78... you are a psycho.

Really? You're posting responses to postings made from last year? Really? Try and get out of the house a little bit more. Your negativity is tiresome and boring. The Wiz are going through another ill-fated season. So what else is new? With Mr. Pollin's passing and the team changing ownership, there will undoubtedly be a change of attitude towards winning. They will try and rebuild and hopefully no one will bring anymore guns into the locker room.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop | March 6, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Dude, what kind of nut job goes back a year to copy/paste stuff, then answer it?

You gotta get out of your mother's basement more, walk about and breathe the fresh air, get some hobbies or - gasp - maybe a girl. And chill from this board a little while. You coming across as just *this* side of a stalker.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | March 6, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

"Jennings will be a star in the NBA while Foye and MM will be sitting on the bench for another club?"

I didn't see a cut and paste of the above poster exhorting the club to draft Jennings before last year's draft...

All blogs have that guy who's mainly interested in boasting and gloating (usually without merit) but it seems like WI has a classic of the breed...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 6, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

About Jennings: he's definitely the surprise of the last draft, more so than Evans. As to being a perennial All-Star, it's way too early to tell. I didn't expect Brandon to be able to shoot from outside as well as he can -- not many signs of that in high school, which leads me to think that year in Europe was a watershed for him. He didn't play much in games but got a lot of work in practice, where he often dominated with a combination of raw speed and ball-handling. Not a great passer yet, but when you're that fast, maybe you don't need to be.

His scoring, so impressive in the first few weeks of the season, has dropped quite a bit, and he looked like a different player last night.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 6, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78, you're a nut job!

Posted by: JPRS | June 23, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

///////////////////////////

Holy sh-t! I'm a genius!

Posted by: JPRS | March 6, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...a depleted rebuilding team loses it's last all star caliber player and we are now struggling to score...shocker...have to admit it was fun to watch for a few games, but this team is now just completely undermanned.....turn out the lights....the only possible reason to watch the rest of the season is to see if Blatche has another career night and I think I would rather watch reruns of Jersey Shore....lol. Til the draft and next season...g'night!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 6, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

What I'm wondering is whether they should give Mike Harris another 10 day contract and actually play him for a couple quarters to see what he can do. Or, if it is obvious that Flip can't/won't use him, then send him down and bring up Morris Almond.

As for Livingston, I think the Wizards need another big man more than him; so bring in Dwayne Jones as a F/C.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 6, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

PostSubscriber,

The Wizards have an opportunity to upgrade PG too (both as a starter and as a back-up going into next season). They have other needs, but I'd say this is arguably the #1 priority.

In that sense it makes sense to give Livingston an extended look. A couple weeks in he's probably still learning the offense, but at some-point I'd imagine that the team will give him a look in the starting rotation.

Posted by: JPRS | March 6, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Start AB, JM, Singleton, NY, RF. Play this lineup seriously throughout the game. Do not substitute for mistakes. Do not play Blatche at center.

Fastbreak the ball. Fastbreak the ball. Boykins should be 2nd guard off the bench and even get some DNP's.

Flip needs to stop coaching and subbing the same way. If he dosen't start adapting to what talents he has and yes he has too, then we will not see any real improvement or development for the rest of the season.

You can't just give up and run the same tired strategy every night.

The philosophy is critical now, it has got to be fun, it has got to be simply about balling. Pick up style to the hoop.

Flow to the Hoop. Daammnn! Daammnn! THATS WHAT MILWAUKEE WAS DOING.

Just playin' ball baby. Ballin' Baby.

THATS WHAT WE WERE DOING RIGHT AFTER THE TRADES. NO PRACTICE, JUST WENT OUT AND PLAYED.

Howard gets hurt and practice kicks in and now we got some structured gameplan to kinda follow.

Throw the structure out and let the players go. Lets have some pushing the ball to the hoop.

For, if you run to the hoop you have to pass the ball and your assist totals goes up.

Structured play with inferior talent breeds turnovers.

My daddy told me one time, "We wus' better than dem' boys, had better playas', but they beat our arses caused they could run the ball like hell. Runnin' the ball to the hoop was what saved dem' boys from uh' arse whuppin'.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Mistakes are inherent in basketball each time you go out and play. No player is immune to mistakes, a boneheaded play, a turnover, or something.

This Team cannot afford to bench Randy Foye for making mistakes. Unless one of the other guards steps up or Flip gives them a chance to step up, Randy must run the Team for major, major minutes.

LarryInClintonMD

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone noticed how well the team played when the new guys got here and they played off of instinct. They played well and hard. As soon as Flip started having his practices, the team went back to the same way they played before all the trades. Flip can't coach and he always has issue with the young guys. Heck, we almost traded Blatche before he blossomed simply becuase he would not give significant playing time to se what he had; wouldn't let Mcgee play to build off last year; won't use a talented player like Nick, but will play guys on 10 day contracts and guys off the streets first. Please deep six this jerk of a coach.

Posted by: garrybrown | March 6, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Something telling and funny about last nights game.

Can anybody tell how is it a 5'5" guard gets the ball stolen from him?

That is hilarius and sorry to boot. Boykins needs to just go away. Boykins should be quick as light out on the floor and he should be stealing the ball.

Boykins dosen't steal the ball and for his size, this should be a strong point for him.

His speed to the basket should also be an asset, but he is slow to the basket for his size and thus has to keep on dribbling through the lane cause he cannot get a shot off.

Why are the Wizards still playing a slow 5'5" point guard is worse than D'League. Those that got upset about Charles Barkeley calling the Wizards D' League need to keep it real.

And speaking of keeping it real, does anyone think that the past accomplishments of Flip Saunders would make a winner out of the Mystics if he were coaching them?????

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Watch it GarryBrown!

There is some pretty prominent folks on here that don't like for somes' ofs' us'ses' to indicate that coaching might in any way be one of the problems with this Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"About Jennings: he's definitely the surprise of the last draft, more so than Evans. As to being a perennial All-Star, it's way too early to tell. I didn't expect Brandon to be able to shoot from outside as well as he can -- not many signs of that in high school, which leads me to think that year in Europe was a watershed for him. He didn't play much in games but got a lot of work in practice, where he often dominated with a combination of raw speed and ball-handling. Not a great passer yet, but when you're that fast, maybe you don't need to be."

Early in the season, Jennings (much like the Wizards the first few games after the trade) benefited from the element of surprise. Because he played last season in Europe (and didn't play very much there) opponents really didn't know what kind of player he was and, as a result, didn't have a concrete plan for defending him. They were playing him like the guy in the H.S. scouting reports because they didn't know how his game had changed overseas. He got lots of open jumpers because teams were playing him for the drive. Once opposing coaches got some film and figured him out, it didn't take long fo him to come back to earth.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting to see that Haywood, Butler and Jamison have gone on to play very well as starters for top teams in the league. To me that confirms what many on these boards were saying all along -- the problem was at point guard. And that problem hasn't been solved yet. If Livingston can be the solution, that would be great. I just can't believe that the Wizards would make a long term investment in that knee of his.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 6, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Amusing bit of info.

Flip Saunders, Randy Wittman, Don Zierden, Sam Cassell, Wes Unseld Jr., Ryan Saunders, Mikes Wells, and Gene Banks.

Eight coaches, eight of them. LMAO.

Does Flip take input from anyone of the seven on how to run a game?

Does he take input on the same ole' tired substitution pattern?

Does he take input from anyone of them on adapting and improving his strategies?

Does Ryan Saunders have any real say so?

Does Sam Cassell run anything out on the floor?

You would think think that if you got seven coaches on the bench, the HC would spend more time on he bench getting input from his other seven coaches about what is goins' ons' on the floor.

Where do they all sit? LMAF.

Does this look like a Team with the philosophies of eight coaches now or even in the past?

Hell no. Not to me.

Uhhh! Uhhh! Uhhh!

Maybe the Pollins realized, Flip done went out and hired seven more coaches. We got eight of dem' fellas down there counting Flip.

OhmeGosh!!! We got to get rid of some players and bring back cheaper ones, dump some salary, so we can pay all of them.

LMAO!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@kalo: Jennings may have come to earth but he'e proving to be an excellent floor leader and terrific defender. He's also starting ahead of Ridnour, had 9 assist &1TO. He's better than any pg we have.

Posted by: zxhoya | March 6, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@zxhoya,

I second that, the scoring of the Bucks is greatly facilitated by ball movement and the speed of their attack and he plays a major role in that.

In fact, what Jennings is doing for the Team now is more valuable than him being a prominent scorer.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My daddy usta' always say. "When all else fails run the durn ball, run the durn ball."

I don't think it is any coincidence that up and coming Teams have UpTemPo fastbreaking as a valuable weapon in their arsenal. Memphis, Milwaulkee, Atlanta.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Oklahoma, KD and the boys, did not mean to forget them.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Larry -

Young teams run because they can...and often that is mostly what they can do. Older teams slow it down, play D, wear the young guys down...because that is what they can do.

The young teams are fun to watch. The older teams win Championships because they have had time to get a solid 8-10 players that know their strengths and play to them.

Anyway...after last night, we can expect to get a top 5 pick this spring.

oy vey.

Posted by: Blurred | March 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

But hey...was that our man McGee posting Haywood like numbers? What I mean is numb ers like haywood is posting in this, his 9th and "career" year? Yet it is only McGee's 2nd?

Posted by: Blurred | March 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone noticed how well the team played when the new guys got here and they played off of instinct. They played well and hard. As soon as Flip started having his practices, the team went back to the same way they played before all the trades. Flip can't coach and he always has issue with the young guys. Heck, we almost traded Blatche before he blossomed simply becuase he would not give significant playing time to se what he had; wouldn't let Mcgee play to build off last year; won't use a talented player like Nick, but will play guys on 10 day contracts and guys off the streets first. Please deep six this jerk of a coach.

Posted by: garrybrown | March 6, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

While what you say may be true...don't forget to think about the fact that we lost what was probably our top 2 or 3 player to injury since then also on a team that was thin, thin, thin to start with.

Posted by: Blurred | March 6, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still doubting we need Gil??? At least Arenas would have made Jennings pay dearly for all that ball hawking...Jennings is thin as a rail and with an endless motor on D. Great quality and he bothered Foye all night despite Randy's scoring.

Gil has the handle and the size to muscle Jennings easily therefore disrupting their whole defense, and creating our offense.

Right now Javale and AB look the only 2 players on the whole roster who need to be here next season, everybody else looks like an nba backup that can stay or go with little no no effect on the club.

Many wont want to accept it, but this team/organization needs Arenas at least for next season.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

and Javale is an hilarity to watch on offense, he has no idea what he's doing yet scores 13pts and pulls down 5 offensive boards! He actually played Bogut pretty well, much of Bogut's production was with Mcgee on the bench and Thornton defending.

Sky's the limit for Mcgee, gotta love that, even if he clearly needs tons of developing

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I find myself only looking at Javale during the game, there is so much promise in him, it's exciting.

You're right divi3, he pretty much has no clue but is still a factor for this team and these minutes are so valuable, "Sky's the limit"

Posted by: zxhoya | March 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Despite the outcome, for me, that was JaVale's best game (at least that I've seen) as a pro. Not because of the numbers, which were could, but because while the game was remotely competitve, he was hustling. Going hard for rebounds, working for better defensive position, truly trying to defend the rim. He has a lot of things to learn, no question. But if he approaches the season with that sort of attitude and hustle, he will deliver on the promise we see in him.

He is so interesting to watch, because he seems a lot like a gawky teenager who isn't quite used to a new size after a growth spurt. But if he spends time in gym working on his strength, balance, and basketball moves, he has the raw athleticism to be something special.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Saunders may have to consider something radical, such as inserting Livingston into the starting lineup and letting him share ball-handling duties with Foye."

---

Ha! Mike Lee and I are on the same page....oh wait, is that a good thing?

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Foye and Boykins were definitely not good enough to get it done against a very tough defensive team like the Bucks. But some of the blame also has to go to the rest of the players on the court. I saw a lot of guys off the ball standing still. Thornton spent most of the game on offense standing with his hand up with his defender sitting on his hip. You could have put a life-sized poster of Thornton out there on O and you wouldn't have seen the difference.

But he is not alone. Most of the Wizards swingmen only cut to or float out around the 3 pt line. Blatche is some times guilty of that too. There's no question that the Wiz are undermanned offensively, but there are basic things you should always do. The Bucks aggressive D definitely got in their heads.

The didn't help themselves by not hitting the open looks they did get, but that's going to happen some nights and they need to learn how to compensate.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Early in the season, Jennings (much like the Wizards the first few games after the trade) benefited from the element of surprise. Because he played last season in Europe (and didn't play very much there) opponents really didn't know what kind of player he was and, as a result, didn't have a concrete plan for defending him. They were playing him like the guy in the H.S. scouting reports because they didn't know how his game had changed overseas. He got lots of open jumpers because teams were playing him for the drive. Once opposing coaches got some film and figured him out, it didn't take long fo him to come back to earth."

Posted by: kalo_rama

All true, but I don't think there's any question he has the natural ability to play the point. He desperately needs to get more consistent with his J, but even without that, he has the quicks and passing ability to do good things. He's also playing for a great team for him. He doesn't have to carry the offensive or distributing load, he has a team full of good shooters, a legit low post option, guys who like to run, and they have guys like Salmons and Ridnour to give him breaks when he needs them.

If you're a fan of Jennings, probably the best sign I saw is that Skiles clearly has him working on defense.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

If Jennings were playing for this Wizards team, he would probably regress a bit, because he would have to do so much more than the Bucks ask of him.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

If Jennings were playing for this Wizards team, he would probably regress a bit, because he would have to do so much more than the Bucks ask of him.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

ts35

If Jennings were playing for this Wizards he would have been on the bench till Gil got suspended since the Wizards don't know how to develop players.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

No matter what the PGs on the team looked like last night, Arenas is not the answer. I swear some of you act like he's the only guy who knows how to dribble a ball. For the last time, ARENAS IS NOT A POINT GUARD. If he must remain on this team, it should be as guy coming off the bench as a two-guard. Enough already!

Posted by: harrybalz | March 6, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still doubting we need Gil???

Many wont want to accept it, but this team/organization needs Arenas at least for next season.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I still doubt Gil has it in him to be a point guard he wants to score way too much.

The last thing the Wizards need is for Gil to come back next year. They need a point guard and since Ernie thinks Gil is a point guard he traded away last years 5th pick instead of drafting one?

Hopefully Ernie won't be here next year and the new owner will hire a competent GM how understands you use a high first round draft pick to get a good player and it's not a pawn like George Allen use to think they were.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

If Jennings were playing for this Wizards team, he would probably regress a bit, because he would have to do so much more than the Bucks ask of him.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

ts35

If Jennings were playing for this Wizards he would have been on the bench till Gil got suspended since the Wizards don't know how to develop players.

Posted by: bulletsfan78

Sadly true, but he would be playing now (assuming all other things stayed the same) and would be expected to carry more of the load.

Of course, EG might have drafted Rubio, Hill or Curry instead....ah well. As the OBC used to say..."Hindsight is 50 / 50."

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"All true, but I don't think there's any question he has the natural ability to play the point. "

I didn't say there was, did I?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

BTW,two years ago, Brandon Jennings was just finishing up his senior year of HIGH SCHOOL. There's no way he doesn't get appreciably better than he is now in all aspects of the game.

Posted by: harrybalz | March 6, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I disagree. All this "true pg" stuff is way overrated in today's nba where many more players have excellent handles than the old days. Teams have great success with pg's who use their own scoring ability to create for everyone.

Gil's issues are on defense, not offense. What we needed last night (on offense) was a ballhandler who was a legit threat to penetrate- something Boyk cant do and Foye is marginal with. Arenas has the handle and size to dribble right through Jennings, that alone changes the entire complexion of a game like last nights.

Is he the only guy in the league who can do that? Of course not. Is he the only guy who will be on the roster next season who can? Yup.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"He is so interesting to watch, because he seems a lot like a gawky teenager who isn't quite used to a new size after a growth spurt. But if he spends time in gym working on his strength, balance, and basketball moves, he has the raw athleticism to be something special.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 3:04 PM"

No doubt, was real happy to see the effort and improved defensive positioning last night. That's just over a few games as the starter too, if he keeps positioning himself well a lot of the blatant defensive mistakes will be gone.

This kid doesnt know what he's doing but is so long he is producing by just playing above everyone else. Reminds of younger AB a little right now because he thinks he can do anything but needs to calm down and eliminate the silly shot attempts. I liked when he put the ball on the floor and drove past Bogut picking up the foul. Little more mass on him that play ends in a tomahawk dunk, he's that much quicker than 90% of guys his height.

Could be a looong development with him, but he's 22 and under contract- not like there will be any better options appearing from thin air.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

divi3

The problem with Gil is he doesn't have a point guards instinct he has a shooting guards mind which means he doesn't ever see a shot he doesn't like.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Arenas has the handle and size to dribble right through Jennings, that alone changes the entire complexion of a game like last nights.

Is he the only guy in the league who can do that? Of course not. Is he the only guy who will be on the roster next season who can? Yup.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 5:00 PM

How do you know that he'll be the only one on the roster who can do that next year? There's a whole offseason of acquisitions yet to be made.
Further, this year Arenas showed us that he can pentrate into the paint but, more often than not, when he gets there he either won't have the ball in his possession anymore or he'll get his shot blocked into the nose-bleed sections. Pray that New York strikes out in free agency, gets desperate and takes this headcase off our hands.

Posted by: harrybalz | March 6, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Has anyone noticed how well the team played when the new guys got here and they played off of instinct. They played well and hard. As soon as Flip started having his practices, the team went back to the same way they played before all the trades. Flip can't coach and he always has issue with the young guys. Heck, we almost traded Blatche before he blossomed simply becuase he would not give significant playing time to se what he had; wouldn't let Mcgee play to build off last year; won't use a talented player like Nick, but will play guys on 10 day contracts and guys off the streets first. Please deep six this jerk of a coach."

Posted by: garrybrown

Has someone noticed we lost the best player we had remaining for the season. So, your top scorers are Blatche, Thornton, and Foye. Sorry, but you are clueless if you think anybody is going to win in the NBA with the level of talent we have now. Hustle and surprise with a viable offensive option in Howard was fun to watch for a few games, but it's over now. You can't make an intelligent analysis.

@Larry,

You just love to spew nonsense. This team can't perform bc it is devoid of talent. Structure, no structure, fast break or no fast break. Blah blah blah.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 6, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Early in the season, Jennings (much like the Wizards the first few games after the trade) benefited from the element of surprise. Because he played last season in Europe (and didn't play very much there) opponents really didn't know what kind of player he was and, as a result, didn't have a concrete plan for defending him. They were playing him like the guy in the H.S. scouting reports because they didn't know how his game had changed overseas. He got lots of open jumpers because teams were playing him for the drive. Once opposing coaches got some film and figured him out, it didn't take long fo him to come back to earth.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Sure, but all of that doesn't preclude him from being an excellent pick and probably a future all star. And it sure doesnt change the fact that we end up with Miller who won't be here next year and Foye who is a 6 ft average at best shooting guard.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 6, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

You just love to spew nonsense. This team can't perform bc it is devoid of talent. Structure, no structure, fast break or no fast break. Blah blah blah.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 6, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

And who built this team that's so devoid of talent and structure? Your boy Grunfailed of course.
Oh wait, 99 years old Abe Pollin forced his hand from his wheelchair!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 6, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still doubting we need Gil??? At least Arenas would have made Jennings pay dearly for all that ball hawking...Jennings is thin as a rail and with an endless motor on D. Great quality and he bothered Foye all night despite Randy's scoring.

Gil has the handle and the size to muscle Jennings easily therefore disrupting their whole defense, and creating our offense.

Right now Javale and AB look the only 2 players on the whole roster who need to be here next season, everybody else looks like an nba backup that can stay or go with little no no effect on the club.

Many wont want to accept it, but this team/organization needs Arenas at least for next season.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Tis team is full of D-League players. It seems it can use any player from a random pick up game. And wait till next year when noone is resigned, don't be surprised if half the team is from the D-League because Irene won't be spending a penny. And the blind followers will still be here talking about strategies and hope for the future while the Pollins fatten up their pockets.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 6, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I find myself only looking at Javale during the game, there is so much promise in him, it's exciting.

You're right divi3, he pretty much has no clue but is still a factor for this team and these minutes are so valuable, "Sky's the limit"

Posted by: zxhoya | March 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your assessments of Javale and yes, the upside is huge but by the time it is realized 2 years from now, he will be a free agent and if this organization is still in this state of misery, HE WILL NOT sign here and all that development time will benefit a more deserving organization. Of course, this would all change when Irene stops trying to syphon every pocket out of Ted's pockets and sell the team already!
After all, he was very generous with his initial offer.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"It's interesting to see that Haywood, Butler and Jamison have gone on to play very well as starters for top teams in the league. To me that confirms what many on these boards were saying all along -- the problem was at point guard."

The first part's certainly true, but I'm not at all sure about your conclusion. Almost any team is improved by great PG play, but really, how often do you see it?

I'd conclude that Haywood, Butler, and Jamison are all complementary players with pronounced flaws in addition to their respective strengths, and need to play alongside superior players in order to blossom. Whether that's James or Nowitzki or whomever. Maybe at one time Gilbert Arenas was in that exalted group, but this season, apparently not. So the team as configured had to be broken up.

Problem is, Washington didn't get much in return. That's a reflection of the current marketplace, but it's reality nonetheless.

Looking at Milwaukee, since they just manhandled the Wiz, you could argue that the key player on that club is Bogut, not Jennings.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 6, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I disagree. All this "true pg" stuff is way overrated in today's nba where many more players have excellent handles than the old days. Teams have great success with pg's who use their own scoring ability to create for everyone.

Gil's issues are on defense, not offense. What we needed last night (on offense) was a ballhandler who was a legit threat to penetrate- something Boyk cant do and Foye is marginal with. Arenas has the handle and size to dribble right through Jennings, that alone changes the entire complexion of a game like last nights.

Is he the only guy in the league who can do that? Of course not. Is he the only guy who will be on the roster next season who can? Yup.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

And because of the aforementioned defensive problems you cited, it will be another 20-win season with him at the helm. But you are right, he is the best we have considering he will be competing with Foye (a poor SG in a PG body) and Boykins.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 6, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I disagree. All this "true pg" stuff is way overrated in today's nba where many more players have excellent handles than the old days. Teams have great success with pg's who use their own scoring ability to create for everyone.

Posted by: divi3

Such as? A quick look at teams making the playoffs, I can see maybe 3 or 4 who don't use a true point. Teams without one that succeed usually do so because they have a supremely talented player who essentially functions as one, a la Cleveland with LeBron...who has natural PG skills, he just happens to be 6'8" and have every other skill as well.

Aside from Cleveland, I'll spot you the Lakers, who are a different case because of Kobe and the triangle offense. I'll give you Miami, because I wouldn't say Wade is a natural point, but again a supremely talented player. And I'll give you OKC, because I'm not sure Westbrook is a natural point....but I'm not sure he's not either. Again, it helps to have someone like Durant.

Posted by: ts35 | March 6, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"Again, it helps to have someone like Durant."

Or Nowitzki, or James, or Wade, or DHoward, Joe Johnson, or Carmelo, or Duncan, and so on . . . In other words, the presence of a high-level star has more to do with the equation than whether the lead guard is a "true PG." in the last few years the Magic, Lakers, Cavs, Mavericks, and Heat all got to the Finals without a true PG.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 6, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, to the above about the changing nature of "true PGs," but 1) Flip is obsessed with having a traditional PG and if he's going to be the coach next year we need to settle that question and 2) lacking a true PG we don't have any other player/position stepping up to bring the ball up and initiate the offense, per a Kode or Scottie Pippin. I agree with Mike Lee: let's give Livingston a look as someone who helps with ball handling and generating some ball movement. If Flip is the coach next year getting a PG in the off-season is the top priority, unless of course Gil comes back.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 6, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

In other words, the presence of a high-level star has more to do with the equation than whether the lead guard is a "true PG." in the last few years the Magic, Lakers, Cavs, Mavericks, and Heat all got to the Finals without a true PG.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 6, 2010 7:00 PM

And none of those teams have a PG that dominates the ball and shoots as much as Gilbert Arenas. The Wizards will never win anything of note with him running the offense regardless of how much talent they add to the team.

Posted by: harrybalz | March 6, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse


Sure, but all of that doesn't preclude him from being an excellent pick and probably a future all star. And it sure doesnt change the fact that we end up with Miller who won't be here next year and Foye who is a 6 ft average at best shooting guard.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 6, 2010 6:05 PM


Grunfeld rolled snake eyes for sure when he gambled on Foye and Miller. Foye is absolutely awful as a point guard and is even shorter than Gil as a tweener shooting guard. Miller is breaking down by the minute and is, at best, a bit player who thrives when he's not even remotely the center of attention. He cannot justify giving up such a high lottery pick for those type players. Now watch him compound the problem by overpaying to keep Miller here.

Posted by: gimmedat | March 6, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Now watch him compound the problem by overpaying to keep Miller here.

Posted by: gimmedat | March 6, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

No,no, say it ain't so. If youse guys need me next week - don't. I'm headed to ATLANTIC CITY with my cousin VINNIE.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 6, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Larry -

Young teams run because they can...and often that is mostly what they can do. Older teams slow it down, play D, wear the young guys down...because that is what they can do.

The young teams are fun to watch. The older teams win Championships because they have had time to get a solid 8-10 players that know their strengths and play to them.

Anyway...after last night, we can expect to get a top 5 pick this spring.

oy vey.

Posted by: Blurred | March 6, 2010 12:25 PM

That is some analogy.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 6, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"And who built this team that's so devoid of talent and structure? Your boy Grunfailed of course.
Oh wait, 99 years old Abe Pollin forced his hand from his wheelchair!"

@Utilityman1,

You going to start with your circular arguments again? And still using immature name changes bc you somehow think that proves your point? The team is devoid of talent right now bc it's stage one of the reconstruction and you know all the particulars of the season. It didn't work. Yes, Abe Pollin's core players for his last championship run failed. Time for EG to build a playoff team for the 3rd/4th time in his career.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 6, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Time for EG to build a playoff team for the 3rd/4th time in his career.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 6, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

But never a championship team?

Why would anyone other than Ernie want to go through the last 6 years again?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 6, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"A quick look at teams making the playoffs, I can see maybe 3 or 4 who don't use a true point."

Turn that argument around for a second, and ask how many rings the league's acknowledged 'true' point guards -- Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams -- have between them. Chauncey Billups might get a nod, and Rajon Rondo, although in Boston's title year he was a complementary player. Tony Parker has always been more of a scorer. Jason Williams has a ring, believe it or not, largely complements of Wade and O'Neal.

Much as it disappoints me to admit it, a really good big man is a better path to a title than a classic PG.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 6, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

And none of those teams have a PG that dominates the ball and shoots as much as Gilbert Arenas. The Wizards will never win anything of note with him running the offense regardless of how much talent they add to the team.

Posted by: harrybalz | March 6, 2010 8:31 PM

maybe not a PG in all cases..but Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Dirk, Durant, are all taking 20 shots a night. Derrick Rose shoots 18x a night....Gil was at 19 this season and obviously that's what he does.

As much as everybody loves to talk defense, there's a premium on guys who can put it in the bucket. Is Gil still that guy? Maybe not after another frickin year on ice.

but if he's active on the roster next season, it's really hard to see where his skillset wouldnt make this team much better. Unless of course steve "true pg" blake is the type of player we need to run the offense

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

it's really hard to see where his skillset wouldnt make this team much better.

Posted by: divi3 | March 6, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

How much better did he make the team this year before he was suspended?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 7, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"Again, it helps to have someone like Durant."

"Or Nowitzki, or James, or Wade, or DHoward, Joe Johnson, or Carmelo, or Duncan, and so on . . . In other words, the presence of a high-level star has more to do with the equation than whether the lead guard is a "true PG." in the last few years the Magic, Lakers, Cavs, Mavericks, and Heat all got to the Finals without a true PG."

Posted by: kalo_rama
-----

Ok first, um Joe Johnson? Not sure he belongs in that sentence.

I only mentioned Durant in the context of Westbrook, who has a true PG-like 8 asts and 2.5ish a/to ratio. But when you have a high-volume, efficient scorer like Durant, it could skew assist numbers. So you could call Westbrook either way. I haven't watched him play enough to know what type of PG he is.

The Magic used Alston and Nelson (when healthy that year). If Nelson had been healthy the series might have been different. The Mavs had Devin Harris. Speaking of Carmelo...which version of his Nuggets did better? The one with scoring PG Iverson, or more true point Billups? How did the Pistons do without him? In the abstract, most people would say Iverson is the better player (and very Gil-like). Boston beat LA in part because the Lakers could not contain Rondo. The Nets made it to back-to-back finals with Jason Kidd.

So yes, if you have one of the two players who are currently mentioned in the discussion of possibly the greatest of all time, in Kobe or LeBron, it changes the equation. Even with Kobe, it's not crystal clear because the Lakers use a unique offensive system.

But if you don't happen to have either of those players, I still maintain that teams fare better with more of a true point than a scoring point. So fatuous Steve Blake vs Gilbert comparisons aside, pick a true PG at the same level of talent as Gil and ask who you would rather have running the team?

Back to divi's original question of whether Gil helps or hurts this team next season. I think we all in some way clamored for a change of basketball culture with the Wiz. I think all of us lamented the play of the early season Wiz. Lack of hustle, no defense, no passing, jacking up jump shots. AJ and CB came to personify that at the end of their time with the Wiz...as does Gilbert. As great as he was (is) when he's on, when he's not, the team suffers because he still dominates the ball.

So if you want a change in basketball culture, do you sacrifice short-term wins to establish a true change in the style of play, or do you try to win a few more games in the short-term and play a player who is the opposite of the style of play you are seeking?

Posted by: ts35 | March 7, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

"Boston beat LA in part because the Lakers could not contain Rondo. The Nets made it to back-to-back finals with Jason Kidd."

This is a good discussion, guys, but I'm coming down on the side of greatness vs. classic PG play. Every coach will agree that it's an advantage to have a great classic PG on your club. Who wouldn't want one? It's also great to have a PG who's perfect for your scheme, a la Rondo in Boston's DDM offense. But at some point you have to acknowledge that strange as it may seem, the clubs with the great PGs haven't won much in the way of titles. Not that it's the PGs fault, just that for most championship clubs, it's no longer the most important position on the court.

Why not? Because teams have figured out a way to win with others filling those functions.

Whether that's because of a shortage of great PGs, or because smart coaches figured there was an advantage to having those duties dispersed rather than concentrated in one player, or some other reason entirely -- that's a subject for debate.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 7, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

"The Magic used Alston and Nelson (when healthy that year). If Nelson had been healthy the series might have been different. The Mavs had Devin Harris. Speaking of Carmelo...which version of his Nuggets did better? The one with scoring PG Iverson, or more true point Billups? How did the Pistons do without him? In the abstract, most people would say Iverson is the better player (and very Gil-like). Boston beat LA in part because the Lakers could not contain Rondo. The Nets made it to back-to-back finals with Jason Kidd."

Just a brief comment about this sort of argument: it's not very strong. You could argue with equal justification that the Orlando Magic actually played better without Nelson than with him (although he's a better PG than Alston.) Why? because Turkoglu handled the ball more.

The one example that has some merit is Billups. He really did make a difference in Denver, and right off the bat. Conversely, Iverson actually detracted from the Piston's effectiveness. But nobody pretends Allen was ever really a PG at all -- at his peak, he was a consummate scorer who had to have the ball in his hands a lot. As long as he was young enough and fit enough to carry the lion's share of the scoring burden, you could build a team around him. He isn't that player any more.

Boy, that sounds familiar.


Chauncey Billups has made a huge difference in Denver.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 7, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

You going to start with your circular arguments again? And still using immature name changes bc you somehow think that proves your point? The team is devoid of talent right now bc it's stage one of the reconstruction and you know all the particulars of the season. It didn't work. Yes, Abe Pollin's core players for his last championship run failed. Time for EG to build a playoff team for the 3rd/4th time in his career.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 6, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

This team is in rebuild mode because EG failed, that's what you fail to indicate! And if just making the playoffs in a historically weak eastern conference is your treshold of success then I can see why you are so giddy about the current team state.
And also, the way this rebuilding is shaping up (no high draft pick picks beside our own and no solid building block) will take 4-5 years to bear any fruit.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | March 7, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The point of the whole matter of point guard verses pure, or young team versus an older experienced team, or having a superstar/star player is that it boils down to the play on the court.

Any one of those ingredients above might be the single piece for a particular team to be competitive enough to compete with the best teams to win it all.

So when we say that we need a pure point guard it is hopefully because that is what is missing in order to make the Wiz a good Team with or without Gilbert.

If you look at the Miami Heat, they need another dominant player to step up prominently and as it stands right now Beasley has to be that guy.

Teams that play like Oklahoma and Memphis need time and experience and Atlanta is close. Dallas and Denver and Orlando and Cleveland already have a style of play to win it all.

You see as a lot have pointed out the Wizards at their best were flawed. The most glaring piece reasonably attainable was a good buffer for Gilbert, a guard that provided a much more rounded guard play in the mode of Hughes and Gilbert than Gilbert alone.

What piece makes the Team competitive enough so that the Team's play is good enoungh to compete and win with the best.

Right now, the Wizards need a lot of pieces. They have had Center and Power Forward play for years but never used it properly. That is all they have to build on now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Intelligent well-reasoned thoughts, ts35.

My thoughts are more practical. If this season has shown anything, its that Flip seems incapable of producing a coherent basketball product unless he gets very specific types of role players tuned to his very specific system, and one of those is a classic PG marshalling the offense. Its clear the big-three and the slowly emerging support cast were sufficient to get to the playoffs, but Flip's inability to be flexible and work with what he had and modify (even for just a transition year) turned this team into a train wreck - poor given that Flip was originally hired on a "win now" mandate. The big positive impact butler and jamison have had on mavs and cavs since traded speaks to that too.

So, since Flip doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and seems to require very specific tools, the I feel like we'd better give him what he needs. A bit annoying since I'd prefer on balance to recruit the best talent rather than less talented role players, but hey....

Posted by: ArchieTambo | March 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

20yrs ago, how many 6'9" players could lead a fastbreak in a pinch AND shoot a 3? How about now? That's why the classic pg is no longer so vital, there are enough ballhandlers on the floor to offset the need for one guy to always bring the ball up and set the offense.

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"So fatuous Steve Blake vs Gilbert comparisons aside, pick a true PG at the same level of talent as Gil and ask who you would rather have running the team?"

Speaking of fatuous, unfortunately the team's options arent 1)Gil or 2)a classic PG with Gil's talent.

Assuming Gil is on the roster next season, it's hard to envision acquiring another pg who is going to make leaving Arenas on the bench a realistic option. Especially given to trade Arenas other teams are going to have to see him perform well first.

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"its that Flip seems incapable of producing a coherent basketball product unless he gets very specific types of role players tuned to his very specific system, and one of those is a classic PG marshalling the offense."

Or did Chauncey just make Flip look good? Saunders' reliance on Boykins makes one wonder about Flip's supposed system. He hasnt run the Rip curls we heard so much about, and he seems to favor a 5'5" shooting guard to run the offense.

Chalk much/most of it up to the disaster that's hung over the entire season, but he's going to have to flat out coach better next year

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This is about Gil. I don't know if he'll still be with the team next year, but it seems much more possible now than it did a couple weeks ago. If so, I'd rather not see him trying to be a traditional pg, yet I wouldn't want him to be a ballhog either.

But more than that, I'd like to address Gil's psyche. Assuming Gil could get past any feelings of resentment toward the team, he is chastened right now and would behave well -- for awhile. But without some alteration or intervention I fear he would get comfortable and return to his old ways. So here's a wild thought: the team has enough invested in him and the stakes are high enough, how about hiring a "counselor" to work with Gil now and stay close to him in the coming season to second guess his judgement when Gil gets the urge to pinch a loaf into a teammate's shoe or have the tires removed from someone's auto or post something inflammatory. More broadly, this "counselor" would be dedicated to helping Gil be the best player he could for the team. Help the guy become the man he can be. It would take the right counselor and absolute buy-in on Gil's and management's part. Wouldn't be easy, but I think Gil is worth it. Compensation for the counselor, even at $100K or $200K, would be bus fare for the team. I'm sure this sort of thing has been done before, but I don't know by whom.

Even if Gil's athletic ability were less than it was before the injuries and the layoffs, if Gil got his head straight (which, granted, a small percentage of people have), I think Gil would be a powerful asset.

Big ifs, but doable. Even so, I'd like to see his salary renegotiated. Given the trouble Gil has caused, he should be willing to do that for the franchise and the fans to better reflect his adjusted value and to help the team rebuild.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"how about hiring a "counselor" to work with Gil now and stay close to him in the coming season to second guess his judgement when Gil gets the urge to pinch a loaf into a teammate's shoe or have the tires removed from someone's auto or post something inflammatory."

LOL. A lot of celeb drug addicts (Belushi, etc) try that method. Mostly it's a glorified babysitter. You're probably thinking of something more along the lines of Tony Dungy with Michael Vick. That works, by the way, because the NFL commish throws his leverage behind Dungy.

I think Gil Arenas showed us a couple things in his aborted NBA return. First, he's still a very credible NBA basketball player. Second, he's no more interested in playing defense than before. Third, it looks like he knows he's not the same force on the court.

When Gil comes back -- maybe not to Washington, but he'll come back somewhere -- it will be as a very different player than the one that took us to the playoffs.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 7, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Gil's would-be "counselor" would not be mostly "a glorified babysitter" as I conceive it. It would be someone who cares about Gil as a person and would want to see him succeed. Also, this counselor would seek to serve the best interests of the team. (Ideally, maybe the person would be a fan of the team.) Just as all teams have therapists for muscles, ligaments and bones, this would be someone who would attend to the psyche. I know it would be easy to fail. But the right person, and I'm sure such a person could be found, could succeed -- again, with Gil's buy-in.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Just as all teams have therapists for muscles, ligaments and bones, this would be someone who would attend to the psyche.'

I imagine Gil will be required to attend some sort of counseling as a condition of any return to the NBA. Most teams have one or more they work with. Generally psychologists, although I know one doc who wants to establish a practice in 'sports psychiatry', whatever that may be.

Don't know what you say to somebody about taking a dump in someone's sneaker, however, other than 'don't do it.'

Posted by: Samson151 | March 7, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't know what you say to somebody about taking a dump in someone's sneaker, however, other than 'don't do it.'

Posted by: Samson151 | March 7, 2010 1:34 PM

There are much more insightful things to be said than that, trust me.

The emphasis would be on Gil's becoming the best man he can be. Improvement to his game would follow. (I say this because I think Gil continues to love the game and to want to win.) Locker room gags can be a good thing, but discerning between those that harm, or those that create an undesirable impression, well, a mature man can make the right call.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"The Magic used Alston and Nelson (when healthy that year).

Neither of whom is a true PG. Both of those guys look for their own offense first and play off of that.

"If Nelson had been healthy the series might have been different. "

Maybe, but not because of his PG skills. And, as Samson implied, that's really speculative, anyway. All we know for sure is that they made it to the FInals with Alston running the show, and that the decision to cut his time in the Finals in favor of Nelson failed to prevent them from getting drubbed. That's not really an argument for the primacy of his playmaking presence.

"The Mavs had Devin Harris.".

Devin Harris is not a pure PG. He started 15 games in the playoffs for Dallas the year they went to the Finals, but essentially split time right down the middle with Terry (who is a SG in a PGs body). He averaged about 2 apg in 24 mpg, with just under 2 TOs; those aren't exactly Steve Nash numbers. Meanwhile, Nowitzki averaged 27 points and 12 rebs.


"Chauncey Billups has made a huge difference in Denver. "

No question. But could he have made that same difference without the presence of and maturing near MVP-quality play of Carmelo Anthony? Not a chance.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"But if you don't happen to have either of those players, I still maintain that teams fare better with more of a true point than a scoring point. So fatuous Steve Blake vs Gilbert comparisons aside, pick a true PG at the same level of talent as Gil and ask who you would rather have running the team?"

Jesus, talk about fatuous.

A true PG with the same level of talent as Arenas would be a perennial All-Star and possible HOFer, which would put him in the same category as the other dominant or near-dominant game changes I listed, which only cements my argument: For a team to succeed at the highest level, they need that singular player of top-level talent that other teams have trouble matching up with or containing. It doesn't much matter what position he plays. Teams with such a player have a much, much better chance of success, regardless of whether they have a "true" PG or not. Conversely, a team with a "true" PG that lacks such a player has long odds of winning anything, as history as borne out.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"This team is in rebuild mode because EG failed, that's what you fail to indicate! And if just making the playoffs in a historically weak eastern conference is your treshold of success then I can see why you are so giddy about the current team state.
And also, the way this rebuilding is shaping up (no high draft pick picks beside our own and no solid building block) will take 4-5 years to bear any fruit."

First, the team failed. A team as talented as this one was simply should have been better no matter what minor obstacles they faced before the Arenas implosion this season. Hence, many experts had them as the 4th seed in the East and one of the biggest disappointments now. Second, for the umpteenth time, it was well documented that the signings of AJ and GA were extremely important to AP bc he was dying and he wanted one last shot at a championship. So, don't be an ignorant fool spouting nonsense. As far as where we are now in rebuilding, we have 3 picks now possibly 4 with plenty of cap space. We have a blossoming player in Blatche, a second round gem pick by EG, and a possible potential starting center at least by the time this team is good again. Add in a couple of nice rotation/hustle players in Singleton and Thornton and we we'll see where we are by the beginning of next season. My guess is much more competitive than your pessimism will allow. A little luck in the lottery will help immensely.

As far as threshold for success, what do you want? A historically terrible franchise to win the NBA championship in a couple of years without the benefit of a franchise type lottery player?? Are you that ignorant?? For this team/this franchise, it's about changing a culture and building a consistent winning team so that they are in position to catch some good fortune. This past attempt likely never reached it's true potential largely due to the misfortune of GA's knee injury.

Finally, there are usually about 4 teams with legit aspirations of winning a championship and 20+ teams have not been in that formula in a long time including the Wiz. So, yeah, making the playoffs for 4 straight seasons was nice and it was good to be in the conversation again. A little luck and we could have popped into the CF's. You have to start somewhere. And, EG built a winner from scratch before and he'll do it again. Mark my words!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

EG is not the first GM in sports to have to disassemble and reassemble a team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company