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Livingston sparks late-game run

With the offense sputtering - and getting just one field goal in the first four minutes of the third period on Tuesday - Coach Flip Saunders benched the slumping Randy Foye in favor of Shaun Livingtson. In the 20 minutes that Livingston was on the floor, the Wizards outscored the Houston Rockets, 46-40. They also handed out 11 assists, matching the total from the previous 26 minutes.

In his longest run since joining the Wizards, Livingston had four points, five assists and a blocked shot, showing flashes of his talent. He zipped a sweat no-look pass to James Singleton for an uncontested layup, and later flipped a behind-the-back pass around two Rockets defenders to Al Thornton for a dunk.

"He shocked me on that one," Thornton said. "When I dunked the ball, I ran back down the court and said, 'Man, how did you see that? I didn't see it.' That shows you the skills that he has. He's a pure point guard, he knows and understands where the players are."

Livingston signed his second 10-day contract earlier on Tuesday, and Saunders wouldn't commit to keeping him for the remainder of the season, saying that the next stretch of games, which includes five games in six nights should serve as a test of his abilities. Livingston played the entire fourth quarter, handing out three assists and hitting a 16-foot jumper during a 14-4 run that helped the Wizards cut a 16-point deficit down to six points with less than a minute remaining.

"I thought he did some good things. He got us into an offense. It was the best flow we had in the game during the end of the fourth quarter. It's the first time he's played extended minutes. We will see how he reacts ... with his leg, and we will see what we do as far as Thursday."

When I spoke with Livingston last Friday, he said that he has lost some of the athleticism after his knee injury, but he still has his intelligence. "That's saving my career. I'm able to still play the game just because I know the game, that's always been a strength of mine," Livingston said.



By Michael Lee  |  March 10, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
 
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Comments

McGee's problem is not his body, it's his head and the fact that there's precious little basic bball knowledge up there.


Posted by: kalo_rama | March 10, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It would help if the Wizards hired a good big man coach!

But Flip brought in Sam Cassell and anyone with an ounce of BB knowledge can see he hasn't help any of the gurads on the Wizards roster?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Stat time!

in games where JM has logged 25mins or more:

13.4pts/7.5rebs/3blks on 59%FG shooting

Birdman my arse, the Wiz should be looking to develop him into the 18/9 starting C for the next decade.

Posted by: divi3 | March 10, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Michael Lee's poll (and the best answer is all of the above), I hate to be academic about it but with this the old cliche is true: defensive intensity will help their offense. This team player best when they were highly energized and playing a harassing style of D. It speed up the game and created opportunities.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 10, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

You never learn, do you?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 10, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

SF Al Thornton
PF Blatche
C McGee
SG Free Agent
PG Best PG at with thier Draft Pick[WIZARDS #1 pick?]"

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 10, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

That's nice for the starting five, but aren't there 15 on the roster normally even if FS let's at least four of them collect splinters? How about a second five?

Let OLDBERTO's contract expire. Xerox for CRITTENTON who hasn't been offered an extension anyway. And I'd be surprised if the team offered on HOWARD. He had a history of injury before the blow-out. I can't see us making any kind of move ala GILBERT on that torn-up knee. Let MIKE MILLER go as well.

So to start off a second rotation how about a new #5 center by sending YOUNG, ROSS if he exercises his player option, and the CAVS #1 to a club for a project pick around #'s 14-18. Next re-up SINGLETON's contract at #4 and use our second for a new #3 if ROSS is gone. Then FOYE and GILBERT at #1/2 combo.

Sign a FA forward like a JOE SMITH to a one year deal for front-line back-up, but someone with a bit more in the tank. Use BOYKINS for back-court depth at #12, and the KINGS second if it comes through for another #3 ala DOM McGUIRE. Otherwise, low-budget FA in that position.

If LIVINGSTON continues to show out, use him for player #14 and you have the league required minimum number of players. For number 15 pick a big-body long-term project from Europe.

That club is weak on paper, but should be relatively young and hungry with the exception of GILBERT and a FA forward JOE SMITH-type.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Livingston,Thorton, McGee, Young and Blatche playing together. SL is a true point guard.
NY needs to play and also pass more. JM needs to develop a 10-12 foot shot, put on some muscle, and gain experience. I still enjoy watching these guys play. They show better defense than the previous group. If Howard was able to play, they could have been more competitive.

Posted by: Bailey51 | March 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Kalo-- This is a friendly warning. You are quickly sinking to DCMAN levels of ridiculousness and it will soon be really hard to take you remotely seriously, even though you do occassionally have reasonable insights about basketball. You are the most absurd pot-calling-the-kettle-black person I've ever seen. Please get over yourself. You managed today to call out other people for (a) being concerned with past comments, (b) not reading the entirety of your comments and (c) piecemealing and selecting only certain portions of the argument to target. Then, you proceeded to: (a) bring up past comments, (b) not read the entirety of others' comments and (c) piecemeal and select only certain portions of the argument to target. Next you're going to probably say we are too pretentious, dismissive, hypocritical, and use italics too much. I mean, seriously, man, look in the mirror. The enemy is you, dude. Because we get it --- you're willing to make up stuff in order to be insulting to others apparently in an effort to be "King of Wizards Insider." Ok, you win; you're King of this blog. Now, stop with the total hypocrisy and insecure acting out. It's tired.

Posted by: Urnesto | March 10, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Shaun Livingston needs to start right away, he is clearly the best "point guard" on the team.

The team really flowed and we need to take a good long look at him. RF is struggling to find his niche.

Posted by: zxhoya | March 10, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Why won't Mike Miller shoot the damn ball?

Posted by: tundey | March 10, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Why won't Mike Miller shoot the damn ball?

Posted by: tundey | March 10, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

He can not.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 10, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

MM use his eye glass after the game.
Does he have a contact lense to use it during the game.a good vision is mandatery to find the rim.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 10, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results according to Einstein. Well, you're well on your way. You continually point to production of players (McGee and NY mostly) when they play x amount of minutes while completely dismissing the obvious fact that they got those mins exactly bc they were playing fairly well on those occasions compared to their overall body of work. Don't go insane!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, because a coach getting fired is prima facie evidence that he sucks. Of course almost every coach gets fired eventually, so in the end, they all must suck, right?

Jordan did a lousy job in Philly. What does that say about the job he did in D.C.? Nothing. Just like the job Saunders is doing now says nothing about the job he did in Detroit or Minnesota, or the job Nellie is doing in G.S. says nothing about the job he did in Dallas, or the job Larry Brown did in NY said nothing about the jobs he did in (insert name of pretty much any other team in NBA history here). Different page, different story.

And the suggestion that Jordan was actually somehow holding this team back is gut-bustingly, abdominal wall tearingly hilarious.

Dude's gone, the team's been blasted apart. Let it go already."

While virtually all coaches eventually get fired, the difference with EJ is that he has a career losing percentage and has never had any great success anywhere. Hence, I attribute the success of the "Big 3" prior to GA's knee injury to the fact that he had three all-star caliber players on the team who were in the prime of their respective careers. Most coaches couldn't screw that up and he didn't, but he also didn't get further than the second round with that group and it was possible. Which begs the question, how many times has he done more with less or exceeded expectations? Maybe once. The year GA was out and he still made the first round with BH, AJ, and CB. But, again, he stilled had two players in all-star caliber form in what was an extremely weak conference that season. I believe that was the year LeBron made the Finals as a one man team. Finally, his players seem to develop extremely bad habits both defensively and with assists on offense. One thing is certain, the Sixers were a very decent defensive team prior to his arrival. They are no longer with the same roster and that is why he is going to be fired.

Contrast that to say Larry Brown, who has a very solid track record with his myriad of teams being known for solid defense, teamwork on offense, and often overachieving. It's not nearly the same as EJ whose teams are known for gunning on offense with no defense whatsoever. I doubt EJ ever gets another head coaching gig bc he doesn't deserve one. His only chance is if a Memphis is looking to fill a vacancy on the cheap.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"Shaun Livingston needs to start right away, he is clearly the best "point guard" on the team.

The team really flowed and we need to take a good long look at him. RF is struggling to find his niche."

I like what I see but let's not jump the shark here. I doubt he is anywhere near being in starting shape and after playing just 20 mins last night FS is talking about seeing how his knee responds today. Talk about a red flag. Seems to me that is no player you want to rely on for much of anything consistently. Man, I know that his knee injury was gruesome, but it was 3 years ago. I would think he would at least be able to play some games by now without repercussions ala GA. Losing some athleticism aside.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

It's SAD that we are depending on castaways like Earl "the squirrel" Boykins and Shaun "the one-legged wonder" Livingston to run the team. Why did EG make decisions to bring in knuckle-headed point guards like Crittendon and Mike James? He should have known what kind of personalities he was bringing to the team. Crittendon who was dumb enough to be involved in a stunt with Arenas and James who clashed enough with the coach that he never saw any playing time. Why did he deal away the 5th pick in a POINT GUARD RICH DRAFT so we could get Randy Foye and Mike Miller? Mike Miller who will probably be gone next season becasue he refuses to shoot the ball. So that leaves us with Foye, who is not a true point guard, and a couple of guys with marginal NBA talent in place of the 5th pick. Can't we at least go and sign Antonio Daniels to a 10 day? At least HE is a proven point guard in the NBA, which is more than I can say for Livingston, Boykins, Foye, or anyone else they might want to dig up from the NBDL.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop | March 10, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Young had a nice game. Love seeing Livingstone get some run.

Next, let's sign Antoine Walker. He'd be a great guy to teach these guys hoe to play like a team and hustle.

Posted by: Blurred | March 10, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop

Because Ernie doesn't have a clue!

Urnesto

Good luck with your post?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 10, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

@Janitor,

Ummm...revisionism is nice. With the veteran supposed semi-contender we had to start the season, the trade for the 5th pick in a universally declared WEAK draft was the right move. But, as we know now, the season imploded and we are rebuilding. I'm sure if EG was clairvoyant he would have picked someone even in a draft devoid of anything close to a franchise player. Tyreke Evans looks like the best player of his draft and he was long gone by the 5th pick. Even a Brandon Jennings who was an early season surprise has come back to earth in a big way. As for relying on all these castaways, that is what happens in a season like this. It just is. I don't like it either.

EG had made mistakes like all GM's, but at least with him I can see the logic in virtually every move he makes and he comes up with a lot of gems. Unlike a Vinny Cerrato who drafts 3 receivers in row when the team clearly has many more pressing needs to fill etc etc etc with no history of success I may add.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results according to Einstein. Well, you're well on your way. You continually point to production of players (McGee and NY mostly) when they play x amount of minutes while completely dismissing the obvious fact that they got those mins exactly bc they were playing fairly well on those occasions compared to their overall body of work. Don't go insane!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 6:59 PM


You should probably look at some of the numbers instead of tossing around insults based upon the faulty assumptions that you make. For instance during one stretch this season for NY:

12pts/50%FG/23mins in a Win followed up with 3 total minutes PT over the next 2 games. Then 13pts/50%FG/17mins...followed by 5 total minutes over the next 2 games. Rinse, repeat.

Mcgee's PT showed the same yo-yo pattern before the trade perhaps even moreso. 14blks in the last week of November, 10 DNPs in December. Oberto must have been ballin then huh?

That doesnt mean they dont play their way off the court at times, of course they do. And surely stuff that happens in practices OR CARD GAMES may effect their PT.

But your assertion it's all based on how each guy plays on a particular night is indicative of someone who isnt paying attention to how Flip coaches vets vs kids.

Posted by: divi3 | March 10, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@Bulletsfan78,

Why do you continue to post when you offer no new insights or opinions? You are tired. It's always just EG sucks, the team sucks, yada yada yada. Go away you miserable scrooge!!!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

the 5th pick. Can't we at least go and sign Antonio Daniels to a 10 day? At least HE is a proven point guard in the NBA, which is more than I can say for Livingston, Boykins, Foye, or anyone else they might want to dig up from the NBDL.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop | March 10, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Dude....first off: It is CrittenTon with a "T."

Secondly, what would signing Daniels do for us? He has no future here, so we may as well audition some long shots like Livingston. I wouldn'y care if we cut Boykins, but he is on a guaranteed contract, so I guess he is on.

We don't need to sign a proven guard as you say. The season is lost. Lets just work to improve our core players and audition some others.

Posted by: Blurred | March 10, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

We don't need to sign a proven guard as you say. The season is lost. Lets just work to improve our core players and audition some others.

Posted by: Blurred | March 10, 2010 7:35 PM

yup, though i agree with rphilli that it's far fetched to think livingston will pan out. The one usefulness of AD is perhaps he could help AT/AB/JM get into a groove of playing together with an efficient floor general

Posted by: divi3 | March 10, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

You throw up diversions that have nothing to do with reality. Nice try! You refuted nothing. When they play and produce they get mins, period. And, young players not being relied upon consistently, particularly with the veteran squad we had to start the season, is nothing new in the history of sports. Sorry, but I trust a guy near the top of his profession being paid millions to do a job over a arm chair scrub spouting bs. You think if NY continues to shoot like he did last night he won't get playing time the rest of the season even though he did precious little else on the court? Please. The problem is NY not FS.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

divi...thought about that about 3 secs after i hit "submit"

Posted by: Blurred | March 10, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Had you ever been on a team with so much drama?

MJ: Never. Never in my career.

What was the atmosphere like on the team after the Arenas incident?

MJ: After that, the atmosphere on the team was good because nobody wanted to have more problems. There was no more drama after that. The atmosphere was much more relaxed.

Do you think all the criticism Gilber Arenas has taken is justified?
MJ: It’s unfortunate the situation that happened, but it had to happen. You know, people do crazy things every day. And it just so happened that he did something crazy and he had to pay the repercussions of it. He’s still a great basketball player and will still have the opportunity to make a lot of money in the NBA.


http://blogs.hoopshype.com/blogs/sierra/2010/03/04/mike-james-flip-didnt-get-along-with-me/

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 10, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

LMAO, yeah, just what we need. Another non-PG PG in AD. We are going to finish the season with Foye, Boykins, and Livingston and let's just hope next season we have more potential and hope on the team. I think we will particularly if we do well in the lottery. If anything, we need to audition some front court help with the schedule we have coming up. So far, I guess the auditions have not gone particularly well. Not surprised considering whomever would be on an NBA roster if they were any good. It would be nice to find a guy like NJ did a few years back from the development league. His name escapes me.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

But certainly the GMs who chose them for the jobs could and should have identified the potential for disaster and made other selections. And that's where I think the buck needs to stop for both teams: with the GM.


Posted by: fansincebullets | March 10, 2010 6:19 PM

Yeah, I am with you on that. It is the very reason why I thought Mark Jackson would be the best selection for the Wizards.

You see with the experience of the big three, this Team sorely needed the integration of Blatche, McGee, JC and others to make the Team really viable beyond the Big Three.

Flip, I accepted as a good hire because of his resume, a safe bet, but his traditional NBA coaching repertoire turns out so far to have been a huge mistake.

Mark Jackson, even though with no coaching experience continues to expouse the type understanding of the game that would have or could have made this a complete team.

This would have been a huge gamble by EG, but as they say in Vegas, sometimes you have to let it ride. It could not have been any worse than we areis' now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 10, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli you keep saying he was in the game because he was playing well whereas some of us are saying you were able to see him play well because he actually was in the game (for more than 6 min). i really think that Flip felt like he had to try to do something to get a spark as the offense had bogged down, houston was on the verge of blowing us out, and we were getting nothing,once again, from our starting backcourt.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 10, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Other struggling teams, e.g. Golden State, bring in guys like Alonzo Gee or Mike Harris, and give them significant minutes, sometimes even a start. Why not try it? The Wizards are losing games anyway.

Flip and staff should get good looks at these guys under real game conditions.

That applies even more to Livingston, whom the coaches obviously like.

If the Wizards can take the present core guys, add two decent role players over the rest of this season, draft well, and sign a good free agent or two, they will be back in the mix next year.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 10, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"@rphilli you keep saying he was in the game because he was playing well whereas some of us are saying you were able to see him play well because he actually was in the game (for more than 6 min). i really think that Flip felt like he had to try to do something to get a spark as the offense had bogged down, houston was on the verge of blowing us out, and we were getting nothing,once again, from our starting backcourt."

No, that is not what I am saying actually. Divi3 continually points out that players like JM or NY have x for stats when they play x amount of mins. Implying that if they were just given 25 mins of playing time every game their stats would always be as good as the games where they actually get those kinds of mins. I am saying that they got mins those particular games bc they actually showed something on those occasions whereas they don't consistently and that is why they often sit on the bench. In addition, considering this was a deep veteran team to start the season, it's no surprise they get or got little playing time.

JM is playing ok now and we have no other option at center. Great. He plays and should play to try and get better for the future. NY, on the other hand, even now seems to be useless on most nights and probably deserves little playing time although he did show signs of life vs Houston and will probably get more chances in the upcoming games. Let's hope he does something positive again and doesn't disappear as per usual.

Actually, maybe you are saying exactly what divi3 was saying in which case you would be as wrong as him.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 11, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I've seen NY get plenty of playing time before and miss shots, sulk, play terrible defense, never get a rebound, forget plays, and never ever pass the ball. A coach likes to play players that they can trust. You can't ever trust NY and that is on him. He might try to improve his all-around game so that he has something to offer on those occasions where he is not making his shots. That would go a long way in salvaging his ever fading career.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 11, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

there are two words that will make the wizards a respectable team:

TED LEONSIS!!

it's a no brainer...

Posted by: ronniecope106 | March 11, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Antonio Danials won a championship with the Spurs. He led the league in assist to turnover ratio not too long ago. He would provide stability to a young club that gets flustered with 6 minutes to go and loses a 13 point lead. He needs to audition for a new team. He is a proven NBA player. He has played with some of these players before. These are the reasons I mentioned him as an example of a better pick-up than the guys they have brought in. Go get someone who will provide a veteran presence in late-game situations, to give the young guys a chance to learn.

Also, I'll learn how to spell Crittenton's name correctly when he's worth a damn.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop | March 11, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

the wizards have a bunch of second and third string talent on this team...josh howard was the only player who could compete...this team is sad and the most exciting aspect of the current roster is the OFF SEASON!! we are dealing with another meaningless pro basketball season in a city that would love to get behind this team! but the organization seems to implode every year. don't throw in the playoff years because if you have three so called "all-stars" on your roster and the highest seeding you can get IN THE WEAK EAST" is the fourth spot and lose in the first/second round you haven't done nuthin'

Posted by: ronniecope106 | March 11, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

A list of other D Leaguers who are worth try-outs:

http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2010/3/9/1363957/d-league-call-up-rankings-randy

Interestingly, Mike Harris has had a couple of very good games since he returned from the Wizards. It would be interesting to learn what the Wizards' coaching staff thought of Harris.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 11, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

"The season is lost."

Nah. We could still go on a twelve game losing streak and substantially improve our allotment of ping-pong balls.

You have to be impressed with how hard the Wiz have played since Gilbert went to the sidelines. First the vets, then the rookies put forth the effort. I don't know who gets credit for that, but how many teams respond to crises by playing harder?
With a few notable exceptions (games in which nobody could do anything right), the Wiz have done something close to their best.

IMO, they're missing a couple players of a higher caliber. The answer's not in the D-league or among the free agents. Failing a big trade (and who would fall for that?), it's in the draft, or nowhere.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Also, I'll learn how to spell Crittenton's name correctly when he's worth a damn. Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop"

What's a jumpshop? I'm almost afraid to ask.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Watching McGee not box out EVER is just pathetic. Do the coaches not teach basic fundamentals? Box out you fool! But I still like his upside. GO WIZ!

Posted by: go_wiz1 | March 11, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Antonio Danials won a championship with the Spurs. He led the league in assist to turnover ratio not too long ago. He would provide stability to a young club that gets flustered with 6 minutes to go and loses a 13 point lead. He needs to audition for a new team. He is a proven NBA player. He has played with some of these players before. These are the reasons I mentioned him as an example of a better pick-up than the guys they have brought in. Go get someone who will provide a veteran presence in late-game situations, to give the young guys a chance to learn.

Also, I'll learn how to spell Crittenton's name correctly when he's worth a damn.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshop | March 11, 2010 1:40 AM | Report
it is a good observation. I do not know why they are trying SL, we will see if they could be right for future consideration.
The main goals of the club at this point should be
1/ Do not waste time by putting AF at a point, if we need to have a futurity with him we need to see how he is going to contribute as a SG.He is too slow, poor in penetration.I expect him to be useful as a back up SG with a reasonable ball handling skill. He still need to work on his defense, with his speed he can not gard 50% of starting SG in NBA.
2/ give more PT for NY, i think he need close follow up, his poor consistancy is in his head, the more Pt he gets ,the better he will be.I will have a hard time to visualize him as a future starting SG, he is in contract, he could be a dependable replacement for both SF and SG position with a potential of high volume scoring.Having both AF and NY in the bench will increase our depth.
3/ sign JS, he is a real energy man
4/More PT, summer addition of 20lb muscle mass, few fundamental education will make JM a dependable center with a 50% chance of starting position unless we are going to sign a proven center which is hard to find.
5/ stop playing game in the head of AB, he is already focused. those type of players need positive reinforcement.he will be a starting PF for us for the next 6years.He need to work on his rebounding and minimize his turn overs.He is a good passer coaches need to teach him what to do when he is doubled, dribbling is going to be his enemy,he need to get rid of it.
6/No room for MM in washington, negotiation with JH and GA is also part of the summer main work.
7, draft the best player. If we are not able to get the top two PGs, we need to go for big men and work hard to fill the SG and PG position by free agency or trade.the top two picks are john wall and the PG of ohio state , if are #1 or 2, we just need an experianced big man and have a starting SG.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 11, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"If we are not able to get the top two PGs, we need to go for big men and work hard to fill the SG and PG position by free agency or trade.the top two picks are john wall and the PG of ohio state , if are #1 or 2, we just need an experianced big man and have a starting SG."

Here's the problem: I don't yet see a PG in the first round. No Chris Paul or Deron Williams; not even a Rubio, Jonny Flynn, or Brandon Jennings. John Wall is a combo guard like Derrick Rose, and Rose is at shooting guard much of the time. There's Willie Warren, but he's a scorer.

Couple PGs who might sneak into the late first, depending on the tournament performances: Kalin Lucas of Mich State and Sherron Collins of Kansas.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

My vote?

All of the above:
A) Flip needs to loosen the reins on his offense

B) Randy Foye needs to play better at PG

C) Shaun Livingston needs to get more time

D) Mike Miller needs to shoot the ball

E) Nick Young needs to provide more scoring off the bench

And if they still loose after all these, then the roster is the problem!

Posted by: sagaliba | March 11, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I see what both you are divi3 are saying, rphilli721.
I'm on the NY side of the fence only because he cannot possibly be worse than MM or Foye. We need to fish or cut bait with him. In ANOTHER wasted season like this one, why not establish a role for him and give him a set # of minutes over an extended period so that we can evaluate him?

Guarantee that if AB wasnt forced to start, ppl would be saying the same things about him. Matter of fact, THEY WERE.
NY may not be a star but I believe that a lot of his issues are directly related to his inconsistent minutes and undefined role. Make him the 6th man and give him his 12 shots per game. If he's hot, ride him. If not, can he do any less than Miller in 6th-man-minutes?

Posted by: original_mark | March 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Where would this team be with Avery Johnson instead of Flip? It took Flip 30 games to fully realize that shot selection was a persistent issue.

Posted by: audacitea | March 11, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Hate to keep invoking "The Microwave" Vinnie Johnson but for a span of 6 or 7 years, he averaged between 20 and 25 mpg and averaged 12 to 15 ppg off the bench in about 12 shots per game.
Certainly NY can do THAT. He just needs to be asked to do it. On a team lacking scorers, why hasn't Flip figured this out?

Posted by: original_mark | March 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

imagine if a reporter mentioned to NY that the team needs more scoring and he responded

"I'm going to pick my spots, just like I said I would before the season."

Get this lazy bum out of here, would have been the general response.

I mean that statement almost sounds like Miller is protecting his FG% for his next contract. Surely there are minutes to spare to see once and for all what the deal with NY is going to be. Maybe next year he comes off the bench and scores 12pts a night but does little else, fine with me, that's a useful role as long as the defensive effort is there.

Posted by: divi3 | March 11, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Eric Bledsoe of Kentucky will come out and where he would be projected to go? If he were someone that could be drafted with that late first rounder I would look into. I know pure pass first pg's are what you want but they aren't many great ones. In the event you can't get one I at least want a ball handler with GAME. A guy who can pressure the defense but has the vision and instinct to hit the right guy when doubled.

Posted by: millineumman | March 11, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

imagine if a reporter mentioned to NY that the team needs more scoring and he responded

"I'm going to pick my spots, just like I said I would before the season."

Get this lazy bum out of here, would have been the general response.

Posted by: divi3

Yes, if NY said that he was going to pick his spots to score, I would call him a lazy bum, because he doesn't do anything else. If he was also pulling down 6 rbs and dishing 3.5 asts per game like Miller, I might give him more latitude with a comment like that.

If Miller is going to be out there, he does need to shoot more with this group of guys, no question. And at least last game, he did. He took 9 shots. Nine to twelve shots is the right range for MM depending on how hot or cold he is. We all probably remember the night he hit 7 3-pointers in a row (Jan 30 vs the Knicks). Especially, if he's dialed in like that, he should shoot more.

I tend to agree with the comments that Nick's primary role coming in right now should be as an instant offense kind of guy, but I would hope he would work on developing a more well-rounded game like we are asking of AB and JM. I think NY should see more consistent minutes, but it's not like he's out-right earned them by straight-up ballin. He's played ok when given minutes. He scored well the last game, but the team didn't close on the Rockets.

This isn't a case of MM vs NY, there are plenty of minutes for both of them to play and they both should. Since you're fond of stats, here's a good comparison...

STAT LINES from HOUSTON

Nick Young 18pts. 2 3s, 4-4FT, 1 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, in 23 mins
Mike Miller 7pts, 1 3ptr, 0 FT, 8 rb, 5 ast, 0 stl 2 blks in 33 mins

Does that say that one is better than the other, or does it say that they should probably play both because they are bringing different things to the table? If you really want NY to have MM's minutes, you should really encourage him to try to pick up some of the rest of Miller's stats as well.

At least on the offensive end, I liked what I saw of the Livingston, Young, Miller backcourt. One playmaker, one shooter and one guy who does a bit of both. Hopefully we'll see more of that over this upcoming stretch. Defensively, they are probably going to struggle, though I think Flip made a good call in having them play some zone. Livingston probably can't stay with most PGs laterally right now, but his wingspan helps him at the top of the zone.

Foye and Livingston in the backcourt together should be interesting too, since it takes the burden of running the offense off of Foye. I can't imagine Livingston is up to playing 30+ minutes a night on that knee, but they should give him 20-25mins if he can take it. Mix it up between Livingston, Foye, Young and Miller, giving the edge to whoever's playing better that night. Boykins, Ross and Gee can fill in whatever's left over. I like Earl, but I don't think he's a critical element of the future.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse


With the draft, this team really should go BPA, especially at the top of the draft. We're not so set at any position (including PF) that they should exclude anyone from consideration. My one possible exception to that is that I don't think they need any of the lighter PFs who are going to be available, but aside from that, everything should be on the table. The pick at the end of the round they should use to look at whoever drops in the first. Usually there is a player or position that drops. Smaller PGs like Collison and Lawson seem to be dropping lately and that's not a bad way to go. But they could also go for an undersized big or athletic wing with upside.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

721 .I see you know very little about b. ball. nOT EVEN KOBE OR LB could play consistence, getting 2 minutes here or there. MY bag you expect so much from NICK.

Posted by: maejude | March 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

the broader point to me is the team should be coached with an eye towards improving for NEXT season.

highly doubtful Miller, Boykins, or Ross will be here and i'm starting to think Foye may be on thin ice. Although to release Foye would be conceding the trade for him was a bust and doubtful EG wants to do that.

i'm not saying the aforementioned players shouldnt play, not by any means, just suggesting the bulk of Flip's rotations go toward players we expect on the team next season

Posted by: divi3 | March 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll be surprised if both Miller and Foye are gone next year. I'd be willing to bet both will be back, unless EG is gone, which makes the situation less clear.

I think the minutes distribution for everyone but McGee was about right against Houston. Get Livingston around 20mins until he demonstrates he can handle more, make Young's and McGee's minutes contingent on their effort.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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