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Saunders back in Boston with a slightly different team

Wizards (21-38) at Celtics (39-21)

Wizards starters: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee

Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Line: Celtics by 12

Flip Saunders returned to Boston for the first time since his Detroit Pistons lost to the Celtics Game 5 of the 2008 Eastern Conference finals. Saunders said he didn't think much about it as he arrived at TD Garden, but added, "First time back. It's a little weird. What I remember is we came back, played our [butts] off and Ray Allen hit a [long] shot from here in the last minute that really put them up. Otherwise, we had beat them once to win the first game and I thought we had a chance to do it again."

Allen's jumper secured the victory and gave the Celtics a 3-2 series lead before they eventually closed out the Pistons in six games.

When the season began, Saunders - and perhaps, ESPN - probably thought he would make his first trip to Boston with a playoff contending team featuring trio of former all-stars in Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Instead, none of those players are around and he arrives with an foundering and experienced team led by forward Andray Blatche.

The Wizards have been slumping offensively the past three games, failing to reach 90 points in either game. They are coming off a 102-74 loss to Milwaukee in which they set a new season low in points and assists (10).

"Now we're going into games, you say, 'Where are we going to get our points?' We were getting our points before by moving the ball, generating points through our defense and going through Andray," Saunders said. "Tonight will be the biggest challenge for Andray, he's going against not only probably the predominately best power forward defender in Kevin Garnett but also Rasheed Wallace and if you beat them, you've got Kendrick Perkins at the rim. Early we ran a lot of offense thorugh him, now we're going to have to go through him a little more."

Newcomer Alonzo Gee was at home in Austin when he got the call on Saturday afternoon, informing him that the Wizards were going to sign him to a 10-day contract. Gee caught a late flight and arrived in Boston about 1 a.m.

"I'm used to it, because I've been traveling a lot. I'm just excited and ready to play," Gee said. "I think it's a great opportunity for me."

Gee, an undrafted free agent from Alabama, averaged 21 points and 6.6 rebounds for the NBA Developmental League's Austin Toros. He participated in training camp with the Minnesota Timberwolves but was released. He was hoping for another chance, when he cellphone rang.

"It was the call I was waiting on," Gee said. "My family was happy for me. It feels great, but I want to stick. I want to stay. I got to keep working hard and getting better."

Gee will wear No. 24 and be in uniform tonight. Saunders said he expects that to be rotating spot for the remainder of the season. "We're going to look at him and see what he's got," Saunders said. "Right now, we're going to ... take a look at guys and see what we have. See if we can find anybody, a Bruce Bowen, diamond in the rough, maybe has a chance to have an impact in this league."

By Michael Lee  |  March 7, 2010; 7:58 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards front line outplays Celtics but loses mental game

Comments

Where the heck is Rick Bucher getting his info from regarding Javale in the summer league?

Posted by: zxhoya | March 7, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Anybody loving the positive slant being put on the Wizards.

Like it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

So the Wiz have 7 turnovers and are leading the Bawston Celts by 7.

Posted by: Vicc | March 7, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

So the Wiz have 7 turnovers and are leading the Bawston Celts by 7.

Posted by: Vicc | March 7, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, go WIZ, kick their azzez. Oh wait, is it the money quarter yet?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 7, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, go WIZ, kick their azzez. Oh wait, is it the money quarter yet?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 7, 2010 8:53 PM

LOL

My girlfriend says she can only watch the final quarter of basketball games.

Posted by: Vicc | March 7, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Young athletic Washington Wizards. Never thought I'd hear a commentator say that.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

When is FLIP gonna recognize that MIKE MILLER is hurting this team! Take him out

Posted by: rf2litenva | March 7, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice start. Pleased the refs are giving Javale those blocks--which he deserves. Love the hustle, especially by Thorton. One complaint: what's the point of MM being on the floor if he's not going to shoot? He passed up one wide open 8-footer. The guy has a serious psychological problem about shooting. He needs a shrink.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 7, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

In one of life's great ironies, the "Big 3" always embarrassed themselves on national TV. No hustle, bad shot selection, no defense.

Fast forward to a team of young prospects and also rans, and they play hard and energetic knowing tthis is a chance for family and friends to see them play.

I don't care if they win or lose. It makes me proud to see them work so hard.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 7, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I am loving their effort as well. Even Flip seems to putting his foot forward in this one.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

It is very difficult to watch Foye play most nights...Six assists are nice, but he just misses too many opportunities to get to the rim..

Miller, Miller, Miller...he's playing himself right into a $2 Mil a year or less contract offer.

I also think I've reached the end of my patience with Nick Young. He is athletic enough to impact a game on the defensive end, but doesn't.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 7, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The guy has a serious psychological problem about shooting. He needs a shrink.

Posted by: jweber1 | March 7, 2010 9:05 PM


`

white man in a black mans world

Posted by: Vicc | March 7, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClinton,

Put the Henney bottle down and step away from the table. Did you just say something nice about Flip Saunders?
LOL!

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 7, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit I don't watch every game, but when i do watch, McGee seems to hit all of his free throws.

Posted by: Vicc | March 7, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

MIKE MILLER cant stay with his man to save his Fu****% life! But Flip wont take him out!

Posted by: rf2litenva | March 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Just play. Just play. The secret to the game. Just play. You got to play first then other things will fall into place. Even coaching. Just play.

Shake and Bake Baby.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Al Thornton is BALLIN

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | March 7, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

These commentators are horrible. The lady sounds like a short hair PE teacher.

Posted by: AnthonyMix | March 7, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

That's more than once Earl has done that at the end of a quarter.

Posted by: AnthonyMix | March 7, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

What was Boykins doing at the end of the 3rd Q. Dribble dribble dribble tick tick tick, oh shatzes I'm so short I can't even shoot the ball.

Just what is that? Is it dumb donkey play by Boykins or what? I rather see NY shoot fall aways with nobody on him.

Geez.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

It does seem that refs favor the favorite. Witness that out of bounds call with about a minute to go in the 3rd. Clearly Wiz ball.

Still, the Wiz are missing a lot of shots even as they have been playing solid defense and moving the ball, though less lately. Now it's the money quarter. I give the veteran team an 80% chance of winning. But that's better than I projected at tip off. We've got some good people on board.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Earl's plus/minus is horrendous..again. I cannot stand when he is on the court

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 7, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I lovin' the commentators. Haven't heard such a good spin on the Wizard players from the home crew.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Ya' think KG might not be thinkin about JM's D'?

For those that did not think trial by fire, playing in gametime is a huge learning/developing tool, I guess we can put that argument to bed now, can't we Kalo_rama.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Thirteen points up with 6:10 in the game. I didn't expect this, especially w/o Howard. But it ain't over. I give the Wiz a 65% of pulling off this upset.

I know what some of you are thinking. Lessening lottery odds. But I say, win first.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I miss buchantz and Phil. I never get them on league pass. I always have to hear how we are bottom feeders. I can't wait to get back to nova.

Posted by: AnthonyMix | March 7, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Slip slidin' away.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

That call sucked. No way that was a block. If anything a no call.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Im convinced..FOYE SUCKS!

Posted by: rf2litenva | March 7, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

MIKE MILLER MAN AGAIN!

Posted by: rf2litenva | March 7, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The bottom of the net. Ray Allen. Damn that was good. Why didn't they trade him.

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

Randy Foye is not your PG of the future. Every time, when the shot clock was down, he was still; holding the ball and waited till last second to lunch a shot that had no chance at all.

We need a better pg that can break the press.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 7, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I know MM seems wary of taking the shot, but my thinking was put him in the game for a 3 w/6.5" left.

Oh well, improves the Wiz's chances in the lottery, eh?

Given the upcoming schedule, I'm kinda glad they didn't have to take it to overtime.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 7, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Great execution for a final shot, just did not fall.

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

raise your hand if you thought the Celtics would win down by 13 with 6 minutes left.

**raises hand**

Posted by: kman2 | March 7, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

You can put this loss squarely on Foye's shoulders. Anybody out there still saying he's our point guard next year??

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

I don't even know why they even screen Foye's man. He goes two steps by the screen and pulls up.

If your man is screened, you should attack the paint. Foye never attacks the paint off a screen. He is a good fellow, but I agree he and Miller are not a number Five pick.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Loved the effort.
How did Miller land his last contract?
Foye doesn't seem to do any one thing particularly well. He's not worth a $4.7 Mil qualifying offer.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 7, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse


Foye pulls up on the screen because he doesn't trust his handle, can't finish at the rim and he can't find the open man to kick out to. That simple. He shot the Wizards right out of the game tonight.

Posted by: gimmedat | March 7, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, squarely on Foye as he has a lot of weapons on the court with him to draw the defense away from him. Please. It's an undermanned team that lost a game it was supposed to lose. Unfortunately, we played well enough to barely lose. Try throwing blame at MM who is playing worse and worse as the season progresses. He turned down at least 5 open shots by my count. And, as anybody can see we need people who can shoot to shoot when they get the opportunity. He refuses. With McGee on the court, it's 4 on 5 on offense and I'm not sure he even knows where he is supposed to be just to get out of the way or perhaps ever get an offensive rebound.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

"For those that did not think trial by fire, playing in gametime is a huge learning/developing tool, I guess we can put that argument to bed now, can't we Kalo_rama."

And your streak of getting it wrong continues without any signs of abating.

I never said playing in games didn't help a player's development. That's utter nonsense. What I've said, repeatedly, is that PT alone won't develop a player if he doesn't have the will and understanding to learn from his mistakes and put in the work away from the glare of the lights to get better.

In the future, do yourself a favor and stop trying to call me out. Every time you do you just make yourself look bad.

Missed all but the last 3 minutes of the game, but I can't say I'm surprised by the outcome. This team lacks leadership, experience, and familiarity, so it's hardly a shock that they'd crumble under late pressure in a nationally televised road game. Valiant effort but wholly predictable outcome.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Rphilli721,

Everybody knows that the Wizs are undermanned and this was not a game they were supposed to lose, but clearly a game that they could have won.

About Miller, yes, okay, but McGee, wrong, and don't understand your point about Foye, has nothing to do with weapons and everything to do with taking the advantage on the court.

Why would you make the statement that they should have lost the game after you just saw that they clearly had a chance to win it.

The ultimate in negativity. Go away for awhile.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

"With McGee on the court, it's 4 on 5 on offense"

Mcgee scored 13pts in 31mins, Miller had 8pts in 41mins, and Foye 9pts in 35mins.

Was frustrating to watch the game slip away as Foye decided to try and take over on our last 10 or so possessions. But hey, not exactly surprising that we lost and once again we get promising play from AB/JM while the rest of the team is forgettable.

It's nice that Thornton can score when he gets on a roll, and love the energy he shows.....but come on, pass the ball occasionally


Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me how JM who is 7 ft with a 8 ft wingspan and can jump out of the gym grabs ONE rebound in 30 mins??? That is absolutely pathetic. I don't care if he was playing against Shaq in his prime that is pathetic. Wow, and BH used to take a beating in here. Please. This guy is about as clueless as you can possibly be in the basketball IQ department. His brain works in such a way as to avoid rebounds bc just being on the court he should get 5/6.

Boykins leads the team with the worst +/- for the umpteenth time this season. Can't wait to never watch him play again.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse


Foye is definitely not the answer to ANY point guard question, but it seems everybody shared in the fourth quarter meltdown, IMO. Four or five straight turnovers, quick or contested shots when we were still up by a good margin and defensive breakdowns sealed our fate. Hopefully, the basketball gods take note that the Wiz are not tanking games and bestow some good luck on us in the lottery.
Looks like the Big Three meant more to Mike Miller than anyone else on the team as he flat out stinks right now.

Posted by: and_1 | March 7, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"Mcgee scored 13pts in 31mins, Miller had 8pts in 41mins, and Foye 9pts in 35mins."

Can't speak specifically to this game, but generally speaking one of the reasons he gets any looks at the basket is specifically because the defense ignores him. They want him to shoot, because every wild fling at the basket he takes is a shot not being taken by someone who can actually shoot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

yeah, that was weird about the rebounds- but overall the teams were even in that category and rebounding was not a factor in the game.

mcgee hit 9-10 FTs and played well with some outstanding blocks at the rim against KG, Pierce, etc....nobody is missing BTH

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I never said playing in games didn't help a player's development. That's utter nonsense. What I've said, repeatedly, is that PT alone won't develop a player if he doesn't have the will and understanding to learn from his mistakes and put in the work away from the glare of the lights to get better.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:10 PM

Sure you have. In fact you have indicated more than once, several times, in fact, many times, that a player got to put in the work off the court first before he gets to put work in on the court.

Yes you've said it a thousand different ways so don't be tryin to back off it now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 7, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

divi3,

Yeah, McGee had Garnett hearing footsteps in the paint tonight. No doubt about it.

Posted by: and_1 | March 7, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@Larry,

What? What is your point exactly?

You don't deny they were supposed to lose. Check. You don't deny MM continues to refuse to shoot. Check. You somehow disagree that McGee is clueless on offense? Hmmmm....ok. Check my last post for how many rebounds he got period in 30 mins. That would be one way for him to contribute, but he somehow avoids rebounds.

Why don't you just go away with your good ol' boy gibberish!?!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

You're an idiot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me how JM who is 7 ft with a 8 ft wingspan and can jump out of the gym grabs ONE rebound in 30 mins??? That is absolutely pathetic. I don't care if he was playing against Shaq in his prime that is pathetic.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Part of it is that when you go for the blocked shot on defense, as JM usually does, you're usually out of position for the rebound. But you're right, he should get more rebounds than he does. Hopefully, that will improve with time and experience.

Posted by: rbpalmer | March 7, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

as to mcgee being clueless on offense, neither Foye nor Boykins look for him when he cuts to the rim which would be the easiest way to get him some high% buckets. There are certainly no plays run for him (not that there should be), so he does wander around a little and look lost.

Yet is averaging 11pts/night on 55%fg since being made the starter so what's to complain about.

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

we need a PG, think we could convince nash to come here and stop gap until some younger pg becomes available? a man can dream can't he, cause otherwise its wall or bust, no other real PG talent in the draft, especially as early as we pick, and i don't know of any other decent FA pgs

also, kinda wishing we could actually see these 10 day contract players play instead of them being practice dummies, if quinton ross and boykins can get minutes, why can't these 10 day players, would love to see what livingston's got

Posted by: hb_321 | March 7, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, McGee had Garnett hearing footsteps in the paint tonight. No doubt about it.

Posted by: and_1 | March 7, 2010 11:23 PM

KG was 0-7! Was great to see AB up in his face too, jawing with him and not taking anything from his boyhood idol. Like that fire.

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"Yet is averaging 11pts/night on 55%fg since being made the starter so what's to complain about."

Haywood averaged 10 ppg on 56% shooting, and you complained about him plenty. After arguing that the stats didn't tell the whole story on Haywood's offense (and they didn't), you can't turn around and cite the stats as proof of McGee's offensive prowess when there's clearly much more (or less) to the story.

Can't have it both ways, man.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Perfect game tonight. Played well enough to see our young guys show promise against the wiley vets but still come away with the L for the draft pick. (BTW, I think we need Turner way more than Wall but we'll save that for then).

Blatche looked good against his idol tonight. He still did some dumb stuff like settle for a bunch of jumpers when it was clear that KG couldnt stay with him off the dribble but Gil does dumb stuff like that all the time too. I wish our coaches would tell them to stop doing that when they clearly have mismatches. Howerver, he's basically forced out of the post now due to double teams. Wait until next year when he's older, in better shape, more ready for the role, and we have Gil & maybe some other talent around him to where he cant be doubled and he can get some easier looks. He will be a monster

Posted by: dlts20 | March 7, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

that is if gilbert doesn't come back

Posted by: hb_321 | March 7, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

A couple of dunks and a few foul shots does not not make JM a liability on the offensive side of the ball. If you are claiming otherwise, you are being intellectually dishonest and arguing for arguments sake. So, just stop.

Obviously, defensively he is much farther ahead in his development, but aside from circus blocks is still not the overall player BH was on that side of the ball either. So, don't get your obsession with ragin on BH.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Can't have it both ways, man.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:32 PM

Uh, mcgee is 22yrs old. And he's been a starter for 3 weeks. Do you not think he needs some time to develop, man?

I'm not sure how anyone who watched BTH develop over 9 seasons can watch Mcgee so far and not be extremely encouraged.

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

rphilli,

i'd be perfectly happy if no one ever mentioned BTH, Caron, or AJ on this blog again. But you brought up BTH in relation to mcgee's liability on offense....on a night where Mcgee scored 13pts on 3 shot attempts.

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

"Uh, mcgee is 22yrs old. And he's been a starter for 3 weeks. Do you not think he needs some time to develop, man? "

It's not a development issue. We're talking about what he contributes to offense right now. You quoted his stats as evidence to refute the suggestion that teams played 5 on 4 when the Wiz are on offense, and it's a weak, transparent, and hypocritical argument. His numbers are pretty much the same as Haywood's were with the Wiz and you (rightly) lambasted him as a lousy offensive player. The same hold's true of McGee, right now. Whether he grows out of it is a separate issue. As of this writing, his stats do not, in any way, alter the fact that he has zero instincts or skills on offense other than dunks.

uh . . .

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 7, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is surprising me more and more. Garnett was trying to get inside his head tonight and Blatche seemed completely unaffected. Since the only two players that are willing to shoot on offense are Blatche and Thornton, I think they should have gotten the ball in their hands much sooner on most possessions down the stretch. Of course, Boston had some say in keeping that from happening.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 7, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

yup, Blatche continues to solidify himself as the real deal. He's yet to have a bad game since the trade, aside from some TO issues, he's really coming along well. He still gets no call either, once he does it will be all the better

Posted by: divi3 | March 7, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

@divi3,

I'm encouraged. He's got raw skills that nobody in the league possesses. He could possibly end up a top tier defensive center in a few seasons. What I was pointing out and Kal aptly did as well is your hypocrisy. He will need time to develop just as BH did. That's not at all unusual for bigs in the NBA particularly late first rounders which both players are.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 8, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Final thought:

Stick a fork in Boston. They don't have a chance this year. That 2/3 yr window that was discussed when the team was assembled has now closed. Father time always wins.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 8, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

But still with the bad play, overall this was a very good efffort. Win or lose, I like seeing the team as a whole compete.

About Miller though, I think he dosen't handle pressure very well. I don't think he realized that he had the ball all by himself at the end there.

He went to the floor with the ball and lost it all on his own. It seems he needs to play with a bit more self control. I don't think he is a starter anymore, even with this group. IMO, his play is worse than or certainly not any better than Nick Young.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 8, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I would not stick a fork in Boston so quickly.

They exasperated me to no end when they had Machale, Parrish, and Bird, and they were old and ailing but still eked out 2 or 3 championships.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 8, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Mchale,Parrish,Bird > Pierce,Allen,KG

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | March 8, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

They're Done!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | March 8, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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