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Wizards preparing for grueling month

Wizards (21-36) at Bucks (30-29)

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

Bucks: Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, Carlos Delfino, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Andrew Bogut

Line: Bucks by 10

When the Wizards got word, just before the all-star break, that the NBA was moving their postponed game against Atlanta to March 11 and force the team to play games on three consecutive nights this month, Earl Boykins shrugged. He laughed and told his teammates, "Hey, why don't we play 30 in a row? Right. Just play."

The Wizards won't have to play 30 in a row, but it might feel like it after this month, when the Wizards are forced to play 17 games in 29 days. Asked about the daunting March schedule, Flip Saunders said there is no need to dwell on anything beyond the present.

"I know we got Milwaukee, the next two times," Saunders said, with the Wizards completeing the home-and-home series with the Bucks on Friday at Verizon Center. "No matter how the schedule works, you just take it one day at a time and see what happens. Things can happen so much. At this time of the year, all kinds of guys get injured, hurt, nicked up, so whenever you go into a game, a lot of time, you not even sure who's playing, if they are going to be a full strength or if you're going to be full strength. So you can't worry."

But Saunders said the Wizards would have to make preparations now for the grueling stretch, with the team having fewer practices and shorter practices. "We have to try to ease up," he said. "We haven't given many guys days off."

Mike Miller said he understood that the league had little choice but to put in that rare back-to-back-to-back stretch from March 11-13 with the blizzard pushing back the Feb. 6 game. "We can't control weather, one of those things that happens," said Miller, adding that there isn't anything easy about the upcoming stretch. "It's obviously going to be tough. Everyone goes through it, but you take it game by game. We got the best jobs in the world, sometimes you got to go through a little more than you bargain for, but at the end of the day, it's still basketball and we're still playing."

After difficult games against Memphis' Marc Gasol (20 points, seven rebounds), New York's David Lee (25-16) and New Jersey's Brook Lopez (16-10, JaVale McGee gets another challenge at center against Andrew Bogut. Saunders called Bogut "the best overall center in the East right now, scoring, rebounding, defending."

Bogut has blocked a shot in 24 consecutive games. He's had 25 blocks in the past seven games, including four in a loss to Atlanta on Sunday, with the Bucks going 6-1 over that stretch. When asked about the challenge, McGee said, "Just work hard and be ready for him to come as he can and I'm going to come as hard as I can."

By Michael Lee  |  March 3, 2010; 7:55 PM ET
 
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Next: McGee keeps Bogut off the boards

Comments

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Posted by: Vicc | March 3, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It may sound odd but maybe the key for McGee when facing stronger players isn't to body up on the opponent as much as it is to keep off the opponent's hip and use footwork to stay in position to jump. I remember Dennis Rodman talking about how important it was. Once the offensive man can judge your position, he can make it more difficult for you to interfere with his shot.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 3, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Even though Flip starts the game with both Blatche and McGee on the floor, he does not appear to be committed to having them both playing together for major minutes.

He appears to think that as the game plays out it is okay to have one or the other playing center.

I would submit that is a flawed strategy.

It weakens the inside play of the Team and also makes Blatche less effective.

What is Flip's problem?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

What is Flip's problem?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

McGee's defense?

Posted by: crs-1 | March 3, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

It may sound odd but maybe the key for McGee when facing stronger players isn't to body up on the opponent as much as it is to keep off the opponent's hip and use footwork to stay in position to jump. I remember Dennis Rodman talking about how important it was. Once the offensive man can judge your position, he can make it more difficult for you to interfere with his shot.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 3, 2010 8:34 PM

No, this isn't odd at all. In fact, if the offensive guy knows the big man is free to gauge his shot and can jump like McGee, it changes everything.

Even Brendan whom isn't a huge jumper holds advantages at the rim with free unrestricted positioning.

LarryInClintonMD.

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

What is Flip's problem?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

McGee's defense?

Posted by: crs-1 | March 3, 2010 9:21 PM

No, I would say that it can't be his defense. For if it was, he would not replace him with Fabulous.

Incredulous.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Flip's coaching is starting to sink in. They don't seem to be just throwing the ball to Blatche on the fly anymore.

They are running a more controlled game.

No more spontaneity and going for broke up the floor with the ball.

Coaching can set you free to just play some ball or it can lock you up in stategy that hampers everything.

Hah Hah.

Way to go Flip.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the worst games I've ever watched.

Posted by: amorris525 | March 3, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Mid way through the 4th quarter: 20 TO's to 15 Assists.

Posted by: JPRS | March 3, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

High turnovers can come from teams that like uptempo fastbreaking ball. The good teams doing this usually compensated by scoring so that the turnovers did not matter so much.

Even John Wooden wasn't concerned as much with the turnovers as long as his offense was sound.

With this team though, the turnovers come from incompetence and not style of play.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, the lack of a pure point guard and someone that is designated to control the ball on the floor at all times, because you don't have a PPG also contributes to turnovers for this Team.

Actually, believe it or not Eddie Jordan understood point guard play better than Flip has shown so far.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Anybody still looking for a breakout game from Nick?

Posted by: and_1 | March 3, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

The game Friday, I feel will be much different than this one. In fact, I will say that the Wiz's will win easily.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,

I definitely agree that PG has been part of the issue with TOs. All of the new players and the new system contribute to TOs too.

It's good to see Livingston getting an extended look tonight too. He's looked terrible in his short time in other games, but tonight he ended with a pretty good stat line.

Posted by: JPRS | March 3, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to seeing more play from Livingston. He might be a good backup PG for next season.
Harris, on the other hand, looks a little short for a small forward and hasn't really shown much in the limited time he has gotten. Classic 'tweener??

Posted by: and_1 | March 3, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

the original argument was more so why would you trade 2 players that play for us for Eric Maynor. I think he'll be good, but thumping that 24 pt 3 asst game ( Gil would get killed for that) doesn't sway me very much. I admit i haven't seen much from maynor, but i don't know if he's worth two players especially if Gil comes back.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I said trade NY and Something...not necessarily a player. Anyway, it was 24 pts, 4 assts and 3 rebounds, so a pretty well rounded game for the first month of a rookies career (and against Cleveland, to boot).

If we can have Deron, I say go for it.

but OKC basically paid $11 million for Maynor, though (the price of harprings salary)...so at least they and Utah thought he was worth that.

I think he would surprise most folks here. he is quiet, but teh guy gets 2 starts, cold, as a rookie and averages 18 pts, 7.5 boards and 3.5 rebounds...then comes out the next night off the bench and gets 15 pts, 6 asst and 4 boards...got to give him some credit. He could do more than what we have here now.

Plus...only one assist in the second half? and it was McGee! Got to get someone with a handle in there. Nick gets 6pts and 2 boards and no assists...mainly cuz i don't think he passed the ball a single time. Then again, he didn't turn it over either...unless you count going 1-8 as 7 turnovers.

Gimme a break...this guy has had all the chances in the world to make good. This is the reason we had DSteve starting. Maybe he should go join Thabeet in DLeague

Posted by: Blurred | March 3, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Liked what i saw from Livingston tonight. Minus the 2 tos of course.

Posted by: Blurred | March 3, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Need to see JaTravel do more one on one drives to the basket.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 3, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

dcman...nevr thought I'd agree with you, but word.

Posted by: Blurred | March 3, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anybody played especially well against a scrappy scott skiles team. skiles is jnow for emphasis on d and historically his players have been known to put the pressure on the officials to call every little touch foul. I can remember wiz player griping about dirty play when we had skiles chicago team in the playoffs. It's funny how the first thing some of you guys want to rag on is NY's line, eventhough he only started getting mins in the second half and didn't really shoot it that much.
1-8 aint nuthin to smile about, but when you consider that neither point guard is dishin out more than 1 assist per quarter thus getting nobody into the offense; you may be able to comprehend why a rhythm shooter might not have had a good night. The only thing NY did poorly was shoot. He hustled he played d. Talk to me about Foye,Miller,Ross,Livingston and Boykins. Those guys really tore it up tonight. Livingston had four dimes in the fourth though, MM should be losing minutes and easing towards the bench. MM won't shoot and NY needs to take shots to be efective. 3pts and 3 TOS from your starting 2 is no good. MM literally passed up a wide open layup under the rim alone, to pass it out for a contested J.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young has no respect for the art of shooting the ball even though that is supposedly his strength.

He takes for granted that he can score whenever he wants and anyway he wants. He is like the the spoiled kid that thinks he is so good so he dogs everything and dosen't give his best effort.

It is probably why Flip isn't giving him the role NY thinks he has earned.

But, I fault both of them. That is so amateurish of Nick Young and it is an attitude that is easily correctable by coaching.

You cannot have a NBA player shooting fall away jumpshots with nobody checking him for as long as Nick has been playing.

I know some would say that the player should correct that, but on my Team he would get told not to play that way and if he continued it would not be on my Team.

A fall away jumpshot has it's place, but not when you are not being checked.

And trust me, we will see Nick Young do it again. Now, that being the case, an NBA player shooting fall aways without being checked, whose fault is that?

We can call Nick a stupid ball player all we want, but I saw some things from Nick's play tonight that should not have been tolerated in his first season of NBA ball.

Just because these players get paid good money to play as professionals dosen't mean that coaching isn't responsible for their amateurish play.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@hollywood...I agree about MM, but show me Nicks last good game. Better yet, 4 game stretch. I am over him. Thought he might be good, but are we gonna have to wait 3 more years for that to happen, like we did for Blatche?

@Larry...I am right with you. Coaching may be Nicks problem, but I don't want to keep that problem around 2 more years.

Posted by: Blurred | March 3, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Foye helped no one but himself tonight and Earl got terrorized by Jennings. MM doesn't understand the concept of the game of basketball, i don't think. someone should tell him the orange ball goes in the orange hole; they even color-coded it.You get what you paid for with McGee. All in all i though he held his own while he was in there. NY was off, but he's a streaky scorer who doesn't get to play( who knows he mighta been heating up the other night when he only got 6 mins).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"dcman...nevr thought I'd agree with you, but word.

Posted by: Blurred | March 3, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse "

I hope you know I was being facetious.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 3, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

The Wizars guards got beaten up tonight. No offensive flow at all, no passes to the interior or plays run at all in the 2s half. Boykins was totally exposed as someone who is good for only a blow while a starter rests. He cannot handle pressure, he dribbles too damm much and cannot get his shot off under pressure. The Wiz were hit in the mouth and backed down instead of hitting back.

Posted by: h20law2000 | March 3, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

and_1,

Agreed regarding Livingston. He could also create some match-up problems on both ends of the court (e.g. a 6'7" PG with a 6'11" wingspan). Wouldn't be too surprised if he gets an extended look.

If tonight is any indication, this is going to be a brutal month to watch -- tough schedule, no rest for the weary. First 10+ point loss tonight since the trade-deadline and the Wizards haven't even gotten into the thick of the March schedule.

The only real silver lining is that this will be good chance to develop some of the young talent and evaluate some players for next season.

Posted by: JPRS | March 3, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

If I were EG, I'd do whatever I could to trade for this PG.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3423

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 4, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

23 shots....2 FT attempts....hilarious!

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300303017

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 4, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

23 shots....2 FT attempts....hilarious!

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300303017

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 4, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

yeah, the refs missed a few calls on both ends. As i said earlier, skiles coaches his guys up to push the envelope;in terms of being physical, in order to make opposing players uncomfortable. They aren't worldbeaters and teams that have been together for say.......more than 6 games can handle their tactics with their own gameplan. But our boys just aren't a cohesive enough unit to play through a game where everything seems to turn for the worst. what happened to Al thornton?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 4, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"Flip" and "Zorn" are all "Four" letter words to me! Flip you! Zorn you! Have a "Nice" day!

Posted by: JohnWWW | March 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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