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Nick Young struggling as Wizards try to regroup against Houston

Morning brew

The Wizards hope to regroup from their disappointing loss in Boston and snap their three-game losing streak as they host the Houston Rockets at Verizon Center on Tuesday.

The loss to Boston was an encouraging outing for JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Al Thornton, but it also showed how the Wizards lack a calming influence in the clutch. And, while some have begun to flourish and show promise with increased opportunity, Nick Young has fallen into a serious funk since the all-star break. On a team with limited offensive options, Young is having difficulty getting on the court.

Over at Truth About It, Kyle Weidie examines how the Celtics' experience trumped the Wizards' youth in pictures and words. Mike Prada of Bullets Forever wonders if Flip Saunders was out of line for criticizing Blatche for engaging in trash talk with Kevin Garnett.

NBA.com's David Aldridge talks to Shaun Livingston about his latest NBA comeback.

In former Wizards news, Mike James is lobbying for another shot with the Miami Heat in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and DeShawn Stevenson has quickly become a huge Jason Terry supporter in Dallas.

There were five NBA games last night, with the New York Knicks upsetting the Atlanta Hawks and the Cavaliers defeating San Antonio without LeBron James and Antawn Jamison, who sat out the second half with knee stiffness. Jamison will have an MRI on Tuesday.

By Michael Lee  |  March 9, 2010; 8:22 AM ET
 
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Next: Antawn Jamison discusses new life in Cleveland

Comments

Watching Flip's comments on Comcast last night...he should apologize to Dray privately. To say "You've got no chance [against KG]" to his own player who had been whupping Garnett all night....pretty lame.

ABs comments were spot-on and somewhat humorous to see: HIS LIPS WAS TOUCHING MY FACE

anyways, maybe Flip can piss out a few drops of good coaching tonight

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I will be glad when this saga is over. If Grunfeld stays he had better not draft any more "duds". I say that cautiously because with a team with a poor history of player development and getting the most out of their resources, I do not immediatly defer to their judgement.

NOT GIVING NICK A PASS

Just saying I don't know what the deal is. I do know the kid can score and shoots amongst the best on the team. It's a shame they can't use him for whatever he can offer.

Maybe they ought to scout better.

Posted by: millineumman | March 9, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Nick's in Flip's doghouse for whatever reason, probably because he smiles too much and doesnt seem as serious as coach wants. Even when NY plays really well, Flip doesnt play him the next night. From the outside it looks like Saunders is just riding him, but who knows what happens internally.

What we do know is that Mike Miller isnt worth a hill of beans and Quentin Ross even less, so it seems a bit over-the-type Young cant get on the floor at all

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I read Flip's comments and they were very very bad. Maybe he signed on to coach a veteran team but the team he's got now is a young one. When AB is the OG, you know you have to handle your players differently than you would when AJ was the OG. In fact, I don't that publicly berating and belittling your own player has ever worked as a motivating factor.

Remember Flip, it's far far easier to fire a coach than to turn over an NBA roster.

Posted by: tundey | March 9, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Flip dogs any player making less money than him, with the exception of Earl, who gets a pass for being short.

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Young doesn't see the court because he's not doing the things Flip wants to see out there. But at some point, I think you just have to leave him out there for more minutes to see if he can figure it out, like they ended up doing with McGee. I don't know if it will work, and it likely won't help them win games in the short-term. But I think they need to give him the shot. If nothing else, it helps them clarify needs for next season, which are already many, granted.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Young doesn't see the court because he's not doing the things Flip wants to see out there. But at some point, I think you just have to leave him out there for more minutes to see if he can figure it out, like they ended up doing with McGee. I don't know if it will work, and it likely won't help them win games in the short-term. But I think they need to give him the shot. If nothing else, it helps them clarify needs for next season, which are already many, granted.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

If they don't play NY, the WIZ have no chance of making the lottery because they'll win too many games. But if the kid makes good, you don't need the lottery because you've got a developing #2. It's a win-win. Let's go FLIP. Put him in.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"If Grunfeld stays he had better not draft any more "duds". I say that cautiously because with a team with a poor history of player development and getting the most out of their resources, I do not immediatly defer to their judgement."

I think I agree with you there. Looking back at the past drafts there were a couple of of players that were better that Grunfeld could have picked (given his spot). 2006 he chose pecherov over Rondo and paul milsap. 2007 he chose nick young over rudy fernandez in the first round and McGuire over Marc Gasol in the second round. However if these players were in washington they would not have gotten the playing time and development to make them the established players they are today. Even in a vet heavy team you can still develop players ex. SA-dejuan blair & George Hill, Utah-paul milsap, Dallas - Beubois.

I like what flip is doing now giving younger guys playing time and teaching. I believe young will develop better in another team.

Posted by: jefferu | March 9, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see Livingston get some run tonight. I'm not looking for great, just something other than that insufferable pounding of the basketball by Foye and Boykins while going no where.

To quote Dickie V "Its the three D's for a PG, Drive hard to the basket, Draw the defense, Dish to the open team mate."

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 9, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

NY had a very strong game against Denver (specifically defensively) and then got 4mins next game against Toronto. That is Flip playing mind games (coaching?) a young player. He has the kid like a yo-yo on a string- 3mins against Boston, takes 1 shot and is pulled for rest of the game.

Meanwhile Ross/Miller are producing jack-doo-doo.

It is what it is, Saunders seems to have made up his mind about NY and he's the coach.

But it's hard not to remember that just a few weeks ago Javale was getting DNP-CDd constantly, even after playing really well for a few games. I guess Flip would tell you all those DNPs created the promising player we see today....not sure if I buy it tho

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

FREE NY. Let's start a protest.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Even in a vet heavy team you can still develop players ex. SA-dejuan blair & George Hill, Utah-paul milsap, Dallas - Beubois."

Difference between those guys and Young is that they initially broke into their teams' rotations due primarily to effort/hustle/defense/smart decision-making not skill/scoring. It wasn't until after they started getting regular floor time that they started showing the expanded facets of their games. Young's problem is that he relies entirely on his scoring and doesn't consistently apply himself to the other areas. When he's not hitting shots at a high clip (which is often) he's a massive liability on the floor.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I just don't understand this kid he is too STREAKY....sure his he didn't miss out on one of those young guards in the draft last year....SMH

Posted by: ccrum87 | March 9, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

If they don't play NY, the WIZ have no chance of making the lottery because they'll win too many games. But if the kid makes good, you don't need the lottery because you've got a developing #2. It's a win-win. Let's go FLIP. Put him in.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"If they don't play NY, the WIZ have no chance of making the lottery because they'll win too many games."

"Win too many games?"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

There's nothing that Mike Miller or Quentin Ross are doing with minutes that should preclude NY from getting some time. Miller doesnt score or defend that well and many of his passes arent really needed. I don't think I've seen Ross hit a shot in 2 weeks.

I just cant see how a player is universally lauded for checking Billups in crunchtime, and then gets almost no PT afterwards.

Maybe Billups is on flip's "special" list like KG and he didnt like seeing NY shut him down

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I just remember a lot of noise from Vegas and the preseason about Nick learning to catch and shoot off of screens, with Flip wanting him to learn some aspects of Rip Hamilton's game. I seem to recall watching him actually do that in the Summer league. But I don't think I've seen him do that when he's in the game.

Which says to me, either he's not doing it, Flip's not calling it, or the rest of the team isn't running it.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Maybe that's part of what Flip means when he says Foye is only reading option one and not seeing reads #2 or #3.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Based on the preseason talk, I was thinking the vaunted Rip Curls would be option1 now and again. Havent seen those run at all

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Of course, that presumes that Young getting minutes should be predicated on what other guys are doing with their minutes. Clearly that's not the case. Whether or not Young gets minutes seems to be (and, really, should be) based on what Nick Young does with the minutes he gets. And in the eyes of the coach (the only eyes that matter) he's not doing enough.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"I just remember a lot of noise from Vegas and the preseason about Nick learning to catch and shoot off of screens, with Flip wanting him to learn some aspects of Rip Hamilton's game. I seem to recall watching him actually do that in the Summer league. But I don't think I've seen him do that when he's in the game."

You should also recall that in a preseason interview (preseason, mind you) Young was quoted as saying that he was "cool" with learning the whole shooting off screens thing but that he was going to get back to playing "his way." I don't imagine that did much to endear him to the coach.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

except of course for the fact that when he has performed well with his given minutes, it never resulted in consistent minutes or a longer leash.

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

There's nothing that Mike Miller or Quentin Ross are doing with minutes that should preclude NY from getting some time. Miller doesnt score or defend that well and many of his passes arent really needed. I don't think I've seen Ross hit a shot in 2 weeks.

Posted by: divi3

I think MM brings a little more to the table than you do, but he definitely has not been playing so great lately that he can't afford to give up some PT. Same with Ross. I know Ross is a better defender, but he has not been shooting well. Even if it's just time in a blow out game, NY should get more time.

The only caveat I will put on that is that if Nick isn't working hard or is sulking in practice, he doesn't deserve to see the court. But given Flip's penchant for calling out his players a bit, rightly or wrongly, I would think we would have heard about that.

The one thing I will say (in total old fogey mode) is maybe Nick should worry a little less about changing his shoes or his hairstyle as a means to improve his game.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

here's a nice stat:

over the course of 4 games and 135 minutes of PT, Mike Miller went to the FT line....ZERO times.

In his last 268 minutes of PT, taken 8 free throws.

really hard to envision that NY is doing THAT much less as to get nada PT, he's just in Flip's doghouse.

and Flip is the coach, so it is what is.

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"Let me turn it around. If you were EG, would you trade AB for the #3 pick in this year's draft? #1 pick? Straight up for John Wall with whomever gets him?I would say "hell no" to any of those trade offers, which was really my point about AB. Posted by: divi3"

This is confusing. Do you mean "would EG trade Blatche for John Wall?" or "would EG trade Blatche for the third pick in this draft class?" (not knowing who that will be, of course).

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@samson,

really either one as i'm saying I wouldnt trade AB for anyone coming out in this year's draft.

I think I've only seen Wall play on his so-so days though, because everything I hear is stupendous but I've only seen him play a handful of times

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Looking back at the past drafts there were a couple of of players that were better that Grunfeld could have picked (given his spot). 2006 he chose pecherov over Rondo and paul milsap. 2007 he chose nick young over rudy fernandez in the first round and McGuire over Marc Gasol in the second round" posted by jefferu

You see the flaw in the reasoning here, don't you?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

'You should also recall that in a preseason interview (preseason, mind you) Young was quoted as saying that he was "cool" with learning the whole shooting off screens thing but that he was going to get back to playing "his way." I don't imagine that did much to endear him to the coach.'

Posted by: kalo_rama

Yeah lol, I do remember that. In fact, I thought of it this week because he kind of echoed it in the piece they did this week when he said something to the effect of getting back to "playing like Nick Young."

But since it was a point of emphasis for Flip this offseason, you would think he would still roll it out. So maybe they're calling it and he's not doing it. Or maybe he dropped a deuce in Flip's shoe. He's clearly done something (or not done something) to get in the doghouse. It could easily just be his effort on the court or in practice. Or maybe it's a personality clash, a la Brendan and Eddie. If it is, Nick should take a page from that and realize that he's not gonna win.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"here's a nice stat:"

A nice, isolated, out-of-context stat that, in and of itself, says nothing comprehensive or indicative of the reasons why Miller is playing or Young isn't.

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

"really either one as i'm saying I wouldnt trade AB for anyone coming out in this year's draft."

OK, that's fair enough. I would. I haven't seen them that much either, but I'm thinking it wouldn't take much sweetener to convince me to trade him for Wall, Cousins, or Evan Turner.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"The one thing I will say (in total old fogey mode) is maybe Nick should worry a little less about changing his shoes or his hairstyle as a means to improve his game."

No kidding. The fact that he seems to be focusing on that as a means to change his fortunes says a lot about the problem.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

A nice, isolated, out-of-context stat that, in and of itself, says nothing comprehensive or indicative of the reasons why Miller is playing or Young isn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:11 AM

you never like stats that dont agree with what you're trying to say, but there's no denying that 8 free throw attempts in 268 minutes of PT shows an absurdly passive level of play. It speaks directly to Miller's regression since the trades.

Couple that to team desperate for scoring at the guard positions and you have a coach cutting his bulbous nose off to spite his face imo

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

here's a nice stat:

over the course of 4 games and 135 minutes of PT, Mike Miller went to the FT line....ZERO times.

In his last 268 minutes of PT, taken 8 free throws.

really hard to envision that NY is doing THAT much less as to get nada PT, he's just in Flip's doghouse.

and Flip is the coach, so it is what is.

Posted by: divi3

In the words of Scooby Doo....Runh?

I have him 2-2 at NJ and 2-3 at Boston. Over his last five, he's averaging 6 rbs and 3.5 assts. So it's not like he's doing nothing. He's just not doing the one thing we really need him to do, somehting he's supposed to be good at, which is hit outside shots.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe it's a personality clash, a la Brendan and Eddie. If it is, Nick should take a page from that and realize that he's not gonna win.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:11 AM

that's what i'm saying, it's not purely basketball related which is fine since Flip is the coach. But as a fan, I sure would like to see everybody get plenty of minutes in this lost season so that fully informed decisions can be made on them.

And I cant forget Flip had JM/AB in the doghouse as well, until he was forced to play them

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I have him 2-2 at NJ and 2-3 at Boston. Over his last five, he's averaging 6 rbs and 3.5 assts. So it's not like he's doing nothing. He's just not doing the one thing we really need him to do, somehting he's supposed to be good at, which is hit outside shots.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:18 AM

you're right, i looked at the "numbers for march" and double counted. It's actually only 5FT attempts in 268 minutes. WTF

agree 100% about Miller, he produces in other ways and i dont mean to dog him that hard, just think NY needs more burn before we cut him loose

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

that's what i'm saying, it's not purely basketball related which is fine since Flip is the coach.
Posted by: divi3

I'm not saying it's not purely basketball related, I'm just saying it's possible. Brendan also brought a lot of it on himself by being sullen and often expressing that he felt like he 'deserved' to be the starter. We have no way of knowing how Nick is in practice or workouts or whatever.

Whatever the case may be, he should just take a page from Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham, and whatever Flip asks him to do, just nod and go with it.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"you never like stats that dont agree with what you're trying to say, but there's no denying that 8 free throw attempts in 268 minutes of PT shows an absurdly passive level of play. It speaks directly to Miller's regression since the trades."

No, I don't like when people presume that stats in and of themselves present an entire argument when, almost invariably, they fail to do so.

Case in point:

Nick Young averages fewer than 2 FT attempts per game, so pointing out Miller's failure to get to the line does jack-all to make a case for Young to play, because he doesn't get to the line either.

You accuse Miller of being "passive." Well, that may be true in terms of shooting the ball, but he's been very active in trying to move the ball around, a major need on a team lacking a true PG.

In fact, if you'll scroll back through the last few threads you'll find several borderline angry rants above you own name berating Foye for his inability to move the ball and over-reliance on shooting. And now, here you are, arguing vociferously for the benching of the one guy on the team who makes a conscious effort to keep the ball moving, in favor of giving more PT to yet another player who has no concept of passing and seeks to solve every problem on court by jacking up more shots.

Make up your mind, already.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I just remember a lot of noise from Vegas and the preseason about Nick learning to catch and shoot off of screens, with Flip wanting him to learn some aspects of Rip Hamilton's game. I seem to recall watching him actually do that in the Summer league. But I don't think I've seen him do that when he's in the game.

Which says to me, either he's not doing it, Flip's not calling it, or the rest of the team isn't running it.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Ican't beleive yall don't remember the Flip article when he was absolutely clear about not calling offfensive plays for particular players. he said he's never had to call a play for a player . I think it was is reference to AB asking for some plays run his way while he was in the game. I realize now, that the Rip thing was more about changing the type of player NY is and not about integrating him into the offense. When we see NY now there's no more crossover, between the legs step back jumper. He's all jumpshot, catch and shoot that's it. It's funny that he seemed to bristle at the coaching over the summer, but until yesterday's comments, he's seemed ultra-receptive to sacrificing his game to fit into the team concept better.

But nah holmes Flip definitely ain't running offensive sets for NY.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Kal NY avgs 2FTs per gm in 1/3 of the mins of the guy he's being compared to. And don't even act like NY is allowed the same freedom with his game. NY isn't allowed to dribble anymore. While MM dribbles into the lane en route to a bad passes and turnovers, NY is yanked for taking a bad shot after foye or lil earl dribbled 20 secs out of the shot clock and passed him the ball near the scorer's table.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Nick Young averages fewer than 2 FT attempts per game, so pointing out Miller's failure to get to the line does jack-all to make a case for Young to play, because he doesn't get to the line either."

That's exactly the point, NY is going to the FT line more than Miller yet in half the PT (16mins vs 32min). So in fact, it does "jack-all" make the case that he's at least a more aggressive scorer.

My opinion is I cannot see why NY doesnt get more PT given the play of Miller/Ross, that's it.

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Should billing be modified by some adjective"

Yeah, that's pretty much nonsense.

"NY is yanked for taking a bad shot after foye or lil earl dribbled 20 secs out of the shot clock and passed him the ball near the scorer's table."

And, again, pointing out that other players have similar weaknesses in their players' games as Young does not, in any way, shape or form, actually present an argument for Young to play. Sorry, but it simply doesn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

It's not about running plays for NY, it's just about running those sets where NY should be coming open off of screens. Granted we haven't seen a lot of Nick period, but I don't remember seeing him get a pass coming off a screen and ready to shoot.

Not sure if Flip isn't calling those sets, or if those sets have other options that they're going with instead.

The times I've seen Nick with the ball, he's looked very much the same to me....dribble until he runs out of space, then shoot his fading back jumper. Plus the occasional spot-up jumper.

There's no question he has a smooth stroke, and the team could use it. He just needs to make up his mind to do whatever Flip says (whether he thinks it's right or wrong) if he wants to find his way back to the court. Singleton, Ross and Oberto are weak on the offensive end, and I've always thought that if Nick could keep himself from being a liability on the D end, he has the potential to be an 'instant offense' kind of sub on the offense end. But he has to learn to play with a little more discipline before he could fill that role.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"That's exactly the point, NY is going to the FT line more than Miller yet in half the PT (16mins vs 32min). So in fact, it does "jack-all" make the case that he's at least a more aggressive scorer."

Again, using stats to make an argument and failing.

For a guy who does nothing but shoot, getting to the line less than twice a game in 16 mpg is hardly "aggressive." Young rarely gets to the line because he rarely attacks the rim. Most of his shots are low-percentage fadeaway jumpers specifically designed to avoid contact. Is Miller an aggressive scorer? No. But he does other things to compensate. Young doesn't. Clearly Saunders values those other things more than Young's chucking. And, hypocritically enough, so do you when the subject is Randy Foye instead of your boy NY.

Funny that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

funny how no one is bringing up the merits of Miller or Ross and all of the good they bring to the game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

it's hard to believe (but possible i suppose), that if Flip said to NY "get in there and check Ray Allen like your life depends on it" that he wouldnt attempt to do just that....and with more success than Miller/Ross were having.

if he does go in and completely ignore what Flipper told him, well, that would explain everything.

but it does appear he's now the one guy on the team who isnt allowed any mistakes whatsoever before he sees the bench for good

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

And, hypocritically enough, so do you when the subject is Randy Foye instead of your boy NY.

Funny that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:58 AM

i dont care if NY is traded in the offseason, I just want to see what everyone can do in this lost season. And your boy Mike Miller basically jogs around the floor making unnecessary passes while ignoring wide open Js. Ok we get it, that's what he does. Let's see what others can do.

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm not sure which way folks want Mike Miller to play. Do you want him to stay on the wing and launch 3 pointers (probably the better strategy), in which case he's seldom going to go to the FT line, and will probably have more assists but fewer rebounds? Or do you want him to attack the basket with aggressive drives, which means he'll no doubt have more free throws but also turnovers?

I don't think he's a particularly good dribble penetrator (how many really tall guys are?) so logic would suggest he not try to emulate Derrick Rose.

Thing is, role players like Miller come with defined limitations. Shooting more 3 pointers fits with the guys limitations; charging through the crowd to the rim doesn't. But one thing we can agree on, and that is, he probably won't be able to do both.

You know who shoots a lot of free throws? Players who take a lot of shots, particularly drives to the basket.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

And, again, pointing out that other players have similar weaknesses in their players' games as Young does not, in any way, shape or form, actually present an argument for Young to play. Sorry, but it simply doesn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

That comment wan't meant to present any argument for NY's increased pt, as much as it was to illustrate that NY doesn't get much freedom on the court. But i guess you forgot to cut and paste that part.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm not sure which way folks want Mike Miller to play.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think most of us would just like to see him play WELL.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

FREE NY, FREE divi3.

How are we going to know whether we do or don't want NY's contract in 2011 if he never gets any burn? He's inked to a contract. Is he a keeper just because he's contracted? I don't think that's a positive way build a new team. But maybe the old regime is leaving that decision to the new owners and management. They can always look at the film on NY..........wait, there isn't any? Oh well..........

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 12:03 PM

To me it's more about Flip than MM/NY. In a season this terrible everybody including the coach gets scrutinized, and so far imho Saunders gets the benefit of the doubt due solely to his resume rather than anything he's done while with us.

Granted, horrid circumstances, so we'll see next season.

And for all we know the decision has already been made to keep NY since MM will be gone, and that NY will get ample opportunities in the upcoming campaign

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"i dont care if NY is traded in the offseason, I just want to see what everyone can do in this lost season."

If you don't care is he's traded, why do you care what he can do?

"Let's see what others can do."

Nick Young has been here for 3 years and in that time has played in more games than any Wizard other than the big 3 and Haywood. The only people who don't know already what he can do are the ones who haven't been paying attention. Young is far, far from some unknown quantity.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee, you are usually my boy but you were an idiot for your last article about Dray being near tears. I saw the vid and he didnt look anywhere near tears to me. That crap is all over the net and you made him look like a punk. There were a thousand articles quoting you saying this and alot of people laughing at him. You should be ashamed of yourself. Again, I saw the vid and he wasnt anywhere near tears. You are a funny guy sometimes and like to make things into jokes but he wasnt about to cry.

Ive seen him stand up to some of the toughest guys this year like K-Mart & Nene, he got shot because he wouldnt give up his jewels, he was giving it right back to KG all night and you try to play him like he's a cry baby or something. Come on now. You cant put no crap like that out and not think that its going to blow up. Now I just posted the vid on a few sites and no one thinks he was near tears but the damage was already done in alot of instantces

Posted by: dlts20 | March 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"That comment wan't meant to present any argument for NY's increased pt, as much as it was to illustrate that NY doesn't get much freedom on the court."

Well, it failed on that score, too.

"But i guess you forgot to cut and paste that part."

That's probably because you forgot to write anything that came close to actually making that point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"You know who shoots a lot of free throws? Players who take a lot of shots, particularly drives to the basket. "

See how easy that is? I hope somebody is taking notes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Nick Young has been here for 3 years and in that time has played in more games than any Wizard other than the big 3 and Haywood."

Make that the Big 3, Haywood, and Blatche.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

funny how no one is bringing up the merits of Miller or Ross and all of the good they bring to the game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

Then you're not reading closely enough. I think Kal and I have both mentioned that Miller brings other things to the table. I (and I think Kal and most others) would just wish he would shoot a little more when he has an open look. I think I also posted that over his last 5 games he's averaging 6 rbs and 3.4 asts. So I think he's in there because Flip trusts him more to play a complete game.

I can't defend Ross. He's supposed to be a great defensive player, but I haven't seen it. He hustles, but he's not exactly Bruce Bowen. And he has not been shooting the ball well at all. 5-20 FGs over his last 5 games.

I

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

When they traded Caron and Antawn, the season was scrapped. PERIOD. You know it. I know it. Abe's people know it. Ernie knows it. Flip knows it. The players know it. The fans know it. PERIOD.

In that group, Mike Miller knows it too. That is why he plays like he doesn't care.

Here is my point. Give Nick minutes to develop confidence and consistency, similar to the way they are developing Blatche. Just because Blatche doesn't have a "VET" in front of him and Miller is in front of Nick, doesn't reduce Nick to 3rd string mop-up duty boy. Ross has no true future on this team other than what he is doing now.

Last I checked, Foye, Boykins, Miller, Oberto, or Ross HAVEN'T been the trump card in any victories since the trade deadline. The main factors have been Blatche, Josh Howard, Thornton, and Singleton.

Blatche has shown great improvement and confidence. Let's pray for consistency.

McGee is getting minutes and growing some.

Then we got Nick who is getting screwed without Vaseline. Mike Miller is in the first category of non-difference maker.

Give Nick some minutes. What the f--k do you have to lose in a lost season?

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

You accuse Miller of being "passive." Well, that may be true in terms of shooting the ball, but he's been very active in trying to move the ball around, a major need on a team lacking a true PG.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yo Kal. Was I one of the fans calling M&M "passive" when CB, AJ, Gil and Haywood were here, probably not. Because that part of his game (passing almost every possession) was fine when he was playing with 3 out of 4 known scorers (i.e. "gunners").

However, they are all gone now. So M&M has to change that mindset of passing almost every possession and start shooting the ball himself now. Just that threat of him doing so would do wonders for AB's game in the 4th quarter when teams are doubling him making him give up the ball.

Regardless if this is what M&M "signed up for" it is still up to him to be professional and help the team where they need help. Everytime he drives to the basket (which he does very well) he gets himself up in the air and looks to pass.

Every team we play knows it and they all jump the passing lanes the minute he drives. Just look at the increase in turnovers for him. All he has to do is starting shooting more when he drives and that will change the whole offensive flow in the 4th quarter when everything turns into half court sets.

As for NY, I think he needs to come in and play "chest to chest" defense and play hussle ball. He needs to take the "happy go lucky" look off of his face because most people take that like he is not serious.

To close, if M&M is going to keep only taking 7 shots in 41 minutes, then yes NY should get half or more of the minutes then. Quinton Ross should not see any minutes before NY. Still a business and the Wiz need to know if NY has it or not. They already know Ross is not going to be here next year......

Posted by: BulletsFever | March 9, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

it's hard to believe (but possible i suppose), that if Flip said to NY "get in there and check Ray Allen like your life depends on it" that he wouldnt attempt to do just that....and with more success than Miller/Ross were having.
Posted by: divi3

I sort of believe the first part....the second part not so much.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

You know dits20, I agree 100% with your posts. I sometimes wonder about the sports columnist in the DC area, they seem to get their fill of writing a lot of negatives about the home teams in this area. It look to me like Andre was just pissed at the way KG behaved and what Flip had said. I sure wish Flip would replay his presser after the game and apologize. Those statements were not necessary and as Andre said he just wanted to let KG know that he was a man too and if you want respect then you have to give it. You can't fault a brother for taking up for himself. Shame on you Michael Lee. I

FREE NICK YOUNG!!! If Flip can play the Dribbler and No Shot Taking Miller, then I don't see why he won't just let Nick play. All Nick is lacking is confidence in himself right now. But how can you be free to play when you are yanked out of the games at the smallest infractions.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 9, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

See how easy that is? I hope somebody is taking notes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:24 PM

In games when he plays legit mins, NY's FT attempts are comparable to ray allen, joe johnson, jason terry, and ben gordon to name a few.

but dont let facts ruin an opportunity for smugness!

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young has been here for 3 years and in that time has played in more games than any Wizard other than the big 3 and Haywood. The only people who don't know already what he can do are the ones who haven't been paying attention. Young is far, far from some unknown quantity.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Not gonna' disagree with that take. To me NY has played himself right off the floor and into FS's doghouse. But he IS under contract next year. Should we wait until 2011's season to see if there's been any improvement? To me he and GIL are the last vestiges of a good team gone to seed. Boot his azz, if he isn't going to play, not leave him to fester on the bench in 2010.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

it's hard to believe (but possible i suppose), that if Flip said to NY "get in there and check Ray Allen like your life depends on it" that he wouldnt attempt to do just that....and with more success than Miller/Ross were having.
Posted by: divi3

I sort of believe the first part....the second part not so much.

Posted by: ts35

Nick absolutely couldn't have done worse than Miller/Ross guarding Ray Allen down the stretch.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

i would expect a guy who's collected 22 turnovers over his last 10 games (7 over the last 5 to be fair) to share it with the guys on his team a lil bit too.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious that NY hasn't developed the work ethic or displayed the desire & hustle that Flip expects to see from a young player to earn PT. Flip has given him multiple shots at being part of the rotation and NY hasn't taken advantage of them. It also may be that NY's unhappy playing for a team minus his mentor (Arenas) and best buddy (McGuire). His body language gives every indication that he isn't happy playing in D.C. or under Flip.

No point in beating a dead horse on this blog. NY isn't going to part of the future but he's already been tendered for next year. Most likely scenario is that he's part of a draft day trade to a team that would give him a fresh start. I don't see that happening here as long as Flip is the coach.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

To me he and GIL are the last vestiges of a good team gone to seed. Boot his azz, if he isn't going to play, not leave him to fester on the bench in 2010.

Posted by: glawrence007

A lot of people had Blatche in that group too. You don't know about Nick unless you play him.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And in the eyes of the coach (the only eyes that matter)

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

..and that's why Flip has shown by his record this year he sucks as a teacher and a coach and considering he is Ernie's guy hopefully the new owner will fire both of them.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

NY isn't going to part of the future but he's already been tendered for next year. Most likely scenario is that he's part of a draft day trade to a team that would give him a fresh start. I don't see that happening here as long as Flip is the coach.

Posted by: wizfan89

Miller isn't coming back either. Give Nick some time.

Also, just because I advocate Giving Nick time, doesn't mean that I think he is the future 2-guard. Who knows.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"However, they are all gone now. So M&M has to change that mindset of passing almost every possession and start shooting the ball himself now."

You can't reasonably expect someone to just change who they are at a moment's notice to fit the circumstance. People act like Miller is refusing too pass the ball out of spite. He's playing the way he is because that's the way he plays. Just like Nick Young is playing the way he is because that's the way he plays.

"As for NY, I think he needs to come in and play "chest to chest" defense and play hussle ball. He needs to take the "happy go lucky" look off of his face because most people take that like he is not serious."

Same thing. That's not who Young is and almost certainly never will be. Would it be nice if he could be that guy? Sure, we'd all like that. But it's pretty clear by now that it's not going to happen. Saunders isn't an idiot. He knows what he's going to get from both guys and has clearly made the decision that he wants what Miller offers more.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Also, just because I advocate Giving Nick time, doesn't mean that I think he is the future 2-guard. Who knows.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm down with that.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

What has Mike Miller done over his whole career, besides being 6th man of the year, that makes him untouchable in regards to playing time? (I don't want to bring up the race thing) How many playoff victories has he been apart of? Does anyone remember him in the playoffs? Yes he can shoot, pass, and rebound. But something is missing in him too. Maybe it is testicles being that he is reluctant to help carry a team that got rid of all the "vets" in front of him. Give Nick some time. One thing we know, Nick isn't afraid to shoot.

Answer this: What position does Nick and Miller player? Hint: They call it 2-guard. It is a position that requires a special skill set.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"People act like Miller is refusing too pass the ball out of spite."

Make that shoot the ball . . .

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"(I don't want to bring up the race thing)"

Oohh, that was real clever and subtle what you did there. Damn, you're slick.

Jesus.

"Answer this: What position does Nick and Miller player? Hint: They call it 2-guard. It is a position that requires a special skill set."

Weak.

There are any number of skills to be found at any position. Some SGs are slashers, some are 3 pt shooters, some are defenders, some are playmakers. Some are all of the above. It depends on the player, the team, the coach, and the system.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, Miller didnt "sign up" for anything. He was traded. Didnt choose us over other teams because he thought we could win, he was SENT here.

So I dont know where the whole "poor guy, this isnt what he wanted" sentiment arose from.

at any rate, here's to hoping JHoward's knee heals up nicely

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

In the Bible, there is a parable about talents. The Lord gave someone 5 talents, another 3, and another 1 talent. The one who got 5, used his talent, there was an increase and the Lord rewarded him. The same for the one who received 3 talents. The one who received 1 talent, buried it and got no increase and was not rewarded.

Miller is burying his talent. What good is it to have the ability to shoot if you don't? Miller can shoot, rebound and pass. It is easy to defend someone who just rebounds and passes. It is easy to find someone who just rebounds and passes. That makes Miller replaceable if he doesn't use his other talent, his #1 talent.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

There are any number of skills to be found at any position. Some SGs are slashers, some are 3 pt shooters, some are defenders, some are playmakers. Some are all of the above. It depends on the player, the team, the coach, and the system.


Posted by: kalo_rama

What do you think is Miller's #1 talent: defending, playmaking, slashing, or shooting(3pt or otherwise)? Pick your coach or team in that scenario.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, in what scenario would you want Miller not to shoot when reasonably open?(other than being ahead with the clock running down)

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Whether Mike Miller wanted to come here or not, the bottom line is this, he is collecting a hefty paycheck with the Wizards logo on it so he should give the same amount of effort that he would give to team in which he wanted to play. That not giving it your all because you don't want to be here is crap.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 9, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly the point, isn't it? He's, by far, the best shooter on the team and every opposing coach and player knows it. As a result, they're making a point of not letting him get lots of open looks. The shots that he has taken have been open looks that he's put down at a good clip. But those are few and far between.

The better question is, what would you rather do when he doesn't have an open shot? Force one up even though he's covered, or move the ball to an open teammate? He's chosen the latter, and his coach clearly endorses that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Miller can shoot, rebound and pass.
Posted by: G-Man11

Wait, doesn't that make him the guy with 3 talents? I'm lost. I KNEW I shoulda gone to Sunday School! If only to improve my sports metaphors and parables.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

no matter how many talents Miller has, he is burying his best talent and his career is a waste.

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Wait, doesn't that make him the guy with 3 talents? I'm lost. I KNEW I shoulda gone to Sunday School! If only to improve my sports metaphors and parables.

Posted by: ts35

That is sad!

Posted by: G-Man11 | March 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly the point, isn't it? He's, by far, the best shooter on the team and every opposing coach and player knows it. As a result, they're making a point of not letting him get lots of open looks. The shots that he has taken have been open looks that he's put down at a good clip. But those are few and far between.

The better question is, what would you rather do when he doesn't have an open shot? Force one up even though he's covered, or move the ball to an open teammate? He's chosen the latter, and his coach clearly endorses that.

Posted by: kalo_rama

C'mon Kal, I'm generally on your side iwith MM, but we've all seen him pass on relatively open jumpers he could take. Plus, I think almost all of us would prefer that he take a somewhat contested 3-pointer over Singleton or Ross with a wide-open one.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Singleton is shooting more than Miller since the trades, that is patently absurd and if it's what Flip wants then his coaching acumen has to be called into question.

Posted by: divi3 | March 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"C'mon Kal, I'm generally on your side iwith MM, but we've all seen him pass on relatively open jumpers he could take."

I love arguments with qualifiers. "Relative" to what? Either a guy is open or he's covered. There's not a whole lot of middle ground. Now he could be covered by one guy or more than one guy, but if he's covered by one guy, he's still covered. And Miller is not Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. He's not a guy who can get his shot off over tight defense. People laud his shooting percentage, but the reason he shoots such a high percentage is exactly because he doesn't force contested shots and shoots when he has a good look. Can't have it both ways.

Moreover, most of the shots he's passing on haven't been jumpers, open or not. His more frequent habit is the dribble inside when the defense chases him off the line, get into the lane and pass up a short jumper (or even a layup) in favor of passing the ball out to a teammate. now, could/should he take more of those shots? Sure. I've been saying that as far back as the beginning of the season. At the same time, there's a reason they call that the triple-thereat position.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

SINGLETON is a great but misunderstood player. His feelings would be hurt if he knew bloggers here were abusing his psyche. Kinda' like NY. He should be on a "must have" short list for next season.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I love arguments with qualifiers. "Relative" to what? Either a guy is open or he's covered. There's not a whole lot of middle ground.
Posted by: kalo_rama

Actually there is. He's what, 6'7", 6'8"? If the ball comes to him and say Brandon Jennings is rotating to him, he's open, even if Jennings gets there, because Jennings won't able to affect his shot. A player with his offensive skills is capable of getting his shot off if someone is running at him in rotation. He's just choosing not to in some cases, in favor or making the 'smart' pass and being a facilitator. But if that next guy can't shoot, is it really the smart play? Plus you make it sound like he's some gimp who couldn't possibly hit a shot if there were anyone in his vicinity.

And I'm sorry, I have seen him pass on open jumpers, relatively open and wide open. And in some cases, he has been forcing the pass, to the point where I was starting to wonder if he had re-injured his shoulder or something and it was affecting his shot. But I haven't heard any talk about it, nor seen any specific evidence of it.

The point being, that this team does need his passing ability, but they need his scoring ability as well.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Two years ago, Miller managed to shoot .500 from the field, .432 from the arc, more than good enough percentages for a 2 or 3, average 16 a game, and still get 6.6 boards and 3.5 asts. So he is capable of scoring more without sacrificng efficiency.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

everyone can see that MM isn't playing well for us right now. some people just come on here to get their debate merit badge. I respect a lot of you guys opinions, there are some real master debaters in here. But with regards to Mike Miller, you're not hust gonna piss on my leg and tell me it's rainin.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse


That's exactly the point, isn't it? He's, by far, the best shooter on the team and every opposing coach and player knows it. As a result, they're making a point of not letting him get lots of open looks. The shots that he has taken have been open looks that he's put down at a good clip. But those are few and far between.

The better question is, what would you rather do when he doesn't have an open shot? Force one up even though he's covered, or move the ball to an open teammate? He's chosen the latter, and his coach clearly endorses that.


Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

That's just it, Kal. The teammate is not "open" anymore. Teams know M&M is NEVER looking to shoot and he is looking to pass... Again, that is why all of them are jumping the passing lanes. Look at his amount of turnovers the past 5 games.

And please do not forget this is a "very skilled" ball player who is very capable of driving to the rim when he wants to also. He is not just a "jump shooter". If he was I would not be on his case as much.

However when he drives to the paint on one of his many dribble penatrations, he needs to not leave his feet everytime and then pass off to the wings or corner. Every team knows he is going to do that.

He is going to have to start doing a couple of short jump and pops near the foul line. Once he does that more often it will open up the floor more for open shots in the 4th quarter. It won't matter if he hits or not, because just the threat of him shooting now will make opposing defenses play him more honestly.

Posted by: BulletsFever | March 9, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

hate to say it, but Miller is a disappointment. His contribution is not enough to justify what we gave up for him.

He seems very relucant to shoot the ball. unless he's wide open, he passes. That might have been ok playing with the big three, but not now with the big zero. Except for Blatche, he should be the big gun. it's not happening.

Speaking of that trade. Foye has proven that he's not a point guard. Saunders nailed it when he said that he either pass or shoots, but not both. he needs to do both. doesn't seem he can.

Posted by: stevie2 | March 9, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind Wiz fans that M&M is also supposed to guard somebody as well. In his last 3 games he's been abused by Salmons twice and Jesus Shuttlesworth exploded in the 2nd half for a barrage of 3's.

I think NY could have defended Salmons better WHILE making JS work harder guarding him on D.

Isn't it funny the only time M&M looks like he is running is when he gets subbed out?

Posted by: elfreako | March 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"In games when he plays legit mins, NY's FT attempts are comparable to ray allen, joe johnson, jason terry, and ben gordon to name a few.Posted by: divi3"

You mean because he takes a lot of shots, right?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The Blatche awakening muddies the NY waters in my mind. I felt fairly confident Blatche would never display a consistent work ethic, no matter what the situation. I previously believed if he would not invest in his role coming off the bench, then no more could be expected as a starter. Clearly I do not understand the modern athlete. Since becoming a starter he is now consistently dialed in and even talking some smack...what the?!!

- On Sauders post game comments about Blatche -
Flip must be quite old now, older than he suspects at least to even take that approach, particularly for where this team is today. Can you imagine where AB's head would be now if Flip instead had said, "Well Andre got baited a little there at the end of the game. Old KG got a little flustered after having Andre piss down his leg all day and decided to try the mental game, like the old cagey heavyweight. Worked out ok for KG this time but clearly Andre has his number and I doubt the schoolyard stuff will protect them in the future. A new day is dawning" Yes, completely displaced from reality I agree. That said, Andre's confidence and affinity for Flip both go off the charts. Maybe this just seems easy to me because I have small children?

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 9, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

OK, so Livingston got another 10-day contract from the Wizards. I'm not thrilled by Livingston, but since he is on the team for another 10 days, play the guy substantial minutes - maybe give him a start. See what he's got.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 9, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

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