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Magic fight back

Morning brew

Last night the Dwight Howard and the Magic refused to die and got nasty. As Michael Lee wrote from Boston:

[Howard] slapped Kevin Garnett in the face while fighting for a rebound, tossed Kendrick Perkins to the ground like a raggedy satchel and greeted Rajon Rondo's drives to the basket with vicious swats. ...

The series, which the Celtics lead 3-1,resumes on Wednesday in Orlando.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski sees the Magic's Game 4 victory as more of an indictment of the team's character than validation of it.

On his D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg recounts the reaction of the Wizards' Andray Blatche to the news that the Wizards won the draft lottery.

Truth About it offers a wall-to-wall collection of John Wall links.

Mike Jones says Gilbert Arenas is looking forward to a fresh start with the Wizards and potential backcourt-mate Wall.

The Western Conference finals, which the Lakers lead 2-1, continue tonight in Phoenix.

Look below for highlights of last night's Magic-Celtics game, courtesy of NBA.com.

By Alexa Steele  |  May 25, 2010; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Celtics are breezing, Suns avoid sweep
Next: Obama on Wizards winning the lottery

Comments

Rumor has it that the Wizards are receiving inquiries about Arenas and might actually be able to trade him without receiving a "poison pill" in return. The offseason could not have gone any better than has up to this point and our good fortunes will certainly continue as Ernest Grunfeld & Co. assemble a roster full of young, hungry players with an abundance of hustle and talent.

If everything breaks just right, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, the Wizards will surprise a lot of folks this year. Even the haters.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 25, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert status anyone???

What is Arenas doing now anyways? Is he allowed to go to Chicago where his trainer is? Is he unlocking the VC in the morning ours to practice? Is he in the weight room with Blatche?

Is he even allowed back in the VC?

He was suspended for the rest of the season we know, but does he has to be formally reinstated back to the NBA and is he still suspended by the Wizards?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 25, 2010 12:14 PM

I guess from the excert by Mike Jones, my questions have mostly been answered.

Thanks Mike.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 25, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Unless the Wiz trade with one of the teams that cleared space for a max contract and got left at the alter, there's going to have to be a contract coming back in return in any Gil trade.

For Gil to get dumped with no contract coming back would be a real long shot and it wouldn't be able to happen until after FA period starts, which would be well after the draft. So picks in this year's draft wouldn't be involved.

People seem to forget that Gil was playing very well prior to the gun incident. Unlike the year before, he hadn't really been showing any lingering effects from the knees problems. Following the timetable of other guys that have gone through Microfracture, Gil's knee should be pretty much fully healed by now.

If Gil is traded the Wiz better get somebody in return that can really contribute, or they've hamstrung their rebuilding. I just don't buy the talk on this site that Gil is a cancer on a team.

The guy is still young enough to return and have a very productive run, I just hope it's not somewhere else and the Wiz got left empty handed...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 25, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Big Ted and Ern are saying the right things. There are 4 or 5 teams with at least $18 million of cap space this offseason so moving Gil isn't impossible.

Hopefully some team is so starved for a "star" that they get desparate.

And if Mr. '6-shooter' (no more agent zilch) does come back next Fall then hopefully he's healthy and hungry.

The task now becomes targeting some 4s and 5s to sign as FAs.

Also what's up with Veremeenko and the other Euro that was a throw in with the Jamison trade? If there was ever a time for them to make the squad 2010-11 would be it.

Posted by: elfreako | May 25, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Melodious, there you are, I didn't see any of your worshipful post fawning over Ernie Grunfeld yesterday, perhaps I missed it :)

Keep dreaming if you think Ernie can unload HIS disaster of a contract onto to another team w/o taking-on a horrendous contract in-kind. For right now I'd settle for Ernie not screwing-up drafts & FA signings.

Posted by: closg | May 25, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Arenas may not be a "cancer" but that doesn't mean moving him isn't in the team's best interests. It's not hard to see how Leonsis might not want to start his tenure off with fresh start/clean slate, by removing the last vestiges of the disappointing Big 3 era. And given that they're embarking on a several year process of rebuilding, how it makes the team look this or even next season might not be a big concern.

If they can trade Arenas for a couple of starter/rotation quality players (with maybe a cap leveling throw in player) without having to take on extra salary in the form of more years of contract (beyond the duration of Arenas's deal), that's not a bad move. It gives them usable assets, but also increases flexibility by breaking Arenas big salary into smaller chunks that can maybe be used in separate deals.

They shouldn't just bum rush him out the door for nothing, but clearing the decks for a fresh start is not the worst idea.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the most likely trade partner for Arenas will be the Orlando Magic. They have a need in the backcourt, a terrible contract in Rashard Lewis, and a ton of guys that make too much money that are riding the bench. Plus, Arenas and the GM have a good relationship, from what I understand.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 25, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

For Gil to get dumped with no contract coming back would be a real long shot and it wouldn't be able to happen until after FA period starts, which would be well after the draft. So picks in this year's draft wouldn't be involved.
Posted by: flohrtv

Not sure that's true. The real long shot part is, but is there some specific reason they couldn't do a trade now? Gil is under contract so it's not a sign-and-trade issue.

Whether Gil is a cancer or not, he seems to be firmly in the category of great player who doesn't help you get any closer to a championship.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@ZardsFan1,

The Magic actually don't have a bunch of guys with bad contracts. In fact, the only huge contracts they have are Howard (the franchise), Carter (who only has 1 guaranteed year left), and Lewis (whose contract was ridiculous when he signed it and even more so now). Everyone else is signed to fairly reasonable (or outright cheap) deals.

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/orlando.htm

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Arenas can help a team get closer to a championship (if he's healthy and playing up to full potential). But the team has to already have some major pieces pointing them in that direction. He's certainly not a guy who's going to take a team that's nowhere near a title and be the major piece that puts them on that path.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If they can trade Arenas for a couple of starter/rotation quality players (with maybe a cap leveling throw in player) without having to take on extra salary in the form of more years of contract (beyond the duration of Arenas's deal), that's not a bad move. It gives them usable assets, but also increases flexibility by breaking Arenas big salary into smaller chunks that can maybe be used in separate deals.

They shouldn't just bum rush him out the door for nothing, but clearing the decks for a fresh start is not the worst idea.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Clearing the deck would include Blatche and Nick because they have been around long enough and were closer to Gilbert than Jamison and Caron, it appears.

If you want to blow it up, blow it up. Don't isolate Gilbert at this point.

Don't tear him down, build Gilbert up.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 25, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Whether Gil....seems to be firmly in the category of great player who doesn't help you get any closer to a championship.

Posted by: ts35

Does LeBron need help to win a ring? Does Kobe? Did MJ? What has Wade done without Shaq(younger than he is now)?

The thing about it is you build around LeBron, Wade, Kobe, MJ, up until a certain point in their careers. Now you don't have to build around Arenas. We will learn if you can build around Wall.

You can build around Wall with Arenas.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 25, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Clearing the deck would include Blatche and Nick because they have been around long enough and were closer to Gilbert than Jamison and Caron, it appears."

I got no problem with that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Then say it. Don't just isolate Gil.

And next year you have a better chance of being competitive with Gil than completely tearing it down. If you want to be attractive during next summer(not this summer) free agency, you'd better have more to offer somebody than just Wall, and don't say Blatche because Blatche has proven less than Gil and barely more than Wall at this point.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 25, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Arenas can help a team get closer to a championship (if he's healthy and playing up to full potential). But the team has to already have some major pieces pointing them in that direction. He's certainly not a guy who's going to take a team that's nowhere near a title and be the major piece that puts them on that path.
Posted by: kalo_rama

My problem with that is the same problem that Cleveland found themselves faced with after they traded for AJ. Gil doesn't play defense well. So ultimately a coach may find himself in the situation of having to sacrifice defense to get Gil's offense out there, or sacrifice Gil's offense because he's being abused on D.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


There's no reason for a complete rebuild to include getting rid of Blatche at this point. He appears to be primed for a breakout season (as opposed to his breakout half-season) and his contract is rebuilding-friendly. I can't think of a better situation for him or the Wiz.

We'll find out over the next two years if he's worth keeping around beyond the length of his current contract.

Posted by: artiesliver | May 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Gil is a valuable pc, but not the center pc. of a rebuilding effort.

The number one pick which we presume to be Wall is the center pc. now.

From this morning, Gil's met with Ted, he's back working out at VC, and he's talked to Wall.

My point is that you never sell an asset at it's lowest value unless you're forced to pull the trigger(little gun pun).

The 5 to 6 teams that have all cleared cap space for this summers FA derby, aren't going to fill it until they're out of contention for those FA's. That's why nothing will happen until after the FA period opens in July.

Unless somebody blows the Wiz away with an offer, I don't see Gil moving. Leonsis doesn't seem to feeel any public pressure to come in and clean house for the sake of just doing something.

Young's just never been able to play with any consistancy here. Somebody might think a change of scenary could do the trick.

Blatche isn't going anywhere, his low cap number makes it hard to get a starter in return...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 25, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche isn't going anywhere, his low cap number makes it hard to get a starter in return..."

It's the offseason and we have cap space. Teams will be looking to clear space anyway, so if Blatche isn't going to be traded, the inability to match up salaries won't be the deciding factor.

Posted by: psps23 | May 25, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"My problem with that is the same problem that Cleveland found themselves faced with after they traded for AJ. Gil doesn't play defense well. So ultimately a coach may find himself in the situation of having to sacrifice defense to get Gil's offense out there, or sacrifice Gil's offense because he's being abused on D."

It's called an adjustment. Coaches have to make them all of the time. It's part of their job.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: suliman215 | May 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Does LeBron need help to win a ring? Does Kobe? Did MJ? What has Wade done without Shaq(younger than he is now)?

The thing about it is you build around LeBron, Wade, Kobe, MJ, up until a certain point in their careers. Now you don't have to build around Arenas. We will learn if you can build around Wall.

You can build around Wall with Arenas.

Posted by: G-Man11

Not even factoring in Gil's immature behavior, I don't view Gil as any part of a championship puzzle, and certainly not as his current salary level. If I am acquiring pieces to become a contender, I want guys who play offense and defense and who have shown a willingness to sublimate their game for the benefit of the team. Gil, when healthy, is a supremely talented basketball player. But he is one who has not shown that he is willing to make the sorts of sacrifices and changes to his game that are required to get to the next level as a team.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Only a damn fool would trade AB at this point, come on, let's be serious.

Moving Arenas doesnt have to do with his current ability, it has to do with starting the John Wall era now rather than 1-2yrs from now. Arenas and Wall play the same position no matter how you slice it, and Gil dominates the ball as much as any player in the league no matter how much we'd all like to envision him changing.

The only way Gil stays is if no other team will take him without unloading a similar deal onto us. Just because management isnt shunning him doesnt mean they arent doing everything in their power to move him. Bringing him back into the fold is the smart way to play it, given chances are he'll be here at least 1 more season.

Posted by: divi3 | May 25, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's called an adjustment. Coaches have to make them all of the time. It's part of their job.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Worked out really well for Cleveland and Mike Brown didn't it.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"But he is one who has not shown that he is willing to make the sorts of sacrifices and changes to his game that are required to get to the next level as a team."

All of which could be said about Vince Carter or Jamal Crawford, but that didn't stop teams that were expecting to be in contention from trading for them. And, regardless of whether or not it resulted in winning a title, it stands as evidence that teams are willing to take risks on talented but issue-laden players if they think the payoff is winning.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Delonte West is sleeping with LeBron’s Mother Gloria James..
http://www.terezowens.com/exclusive-lebrons-teammate-sleeping-with-his-mom/

Posted by: suliman215 | May 25, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Weak defense at the 2 is easier to cover up then having a 4 get schooled at the rim.

When Gil Arrived here he had a very good rep as a defender, and was still a good defender in his first year here.

Gil choose to concentrate on offense because he had a coach that encouraged it, and he saw that max deals seldom went to good defenders that were only average offensively.

Gil's got his contract now, no reason to beleive that he can't play within a team defensive system.

The ability is there, it's not a case such as Jamison where he just doesn't have the height, strength, and lateral quickness to defend against a healthy Garnett, no matter how much effort he gives...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Moving Arenas doesnt have to do with his current ability, it has to do with starting the John Wall era now rather than 1-2yrs from now."

More than anything, it has to do with changing the attitude and culture of the franchise. Leonsis will be attempting to pull a franchise makeover, and inherent in that is moving the players that have built the franchise into its current state.

Included in that are Arenas, Blatche, and Young (this process started by moving Caron, AJ, Stevenson, and Haywood).

The Wizards don't want Arenas around not because he's unproductive or because he'll dominate the ball with Wall on the court, but because they're afraid his baggage, foolery, and (previously) care-free attitude will permeate the locker room and create an unprofessional atmosphere for the 'rebuilding core.'

Posted by: psps23 | May 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Not even factoring in Gil's immature behavior, I don't view Gil as any part of a championship puzzle, and certainly not as his current salary level. If I am acquiring pieces to become a contender, I want guys who play offense and defense and who have shown a willingness to sublimate their game for the benefit of the team. Gil, when healthy, is a supremely talented basketball player. But he is one who has not shown that he is willing to make the sorts of sacrifices and changes to his game that are required to get to the next level as a team.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: ts35

If you mean turning Gil into a true point, you are right because you can't because he ain't a true point guard. Now that that is out of the way, how would you have wanted Gil to change his game, did you want him to sacrifice his game to Haywood, Etan, Jeffries, Jarvis, Ruffin, and who ever else he played with that were not characterized as the Big 3? If he did that, would there have been any playoffs? NO! On a squad like that, what role did you want Gil to play? Think about it, when Gil scored 60 on the Lakers, would they have won that game with Gil sacrificing his game for those players? I don't think so.

Now, I cannot say whether Gil would sacrifice or not if he had more talent or a bonafide big man playing on his team. That has yet to happen.

As good as Tony Parker is, he never won anything without Tim Duncan. As good as Wade is, he has done nothing without Shaq. Kobe too. Kobe sacrifices now, but he got one of the best post players in the league in Gasol. Chauncey had Rasheed(who was better than Jamison). And those squads had more depth than the Big 3 wiz teams. All the Wizards had was the Big 3. That's it.

I think Gil is a wonderful role player. His role is scoring. The switch to shooting guard is right for him and the team and would take nothing from Wall.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 25, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

That said, Arenas strikes me as the type of person who truly views basketball as his #1 vice and would give anything to keep that from being taken away from him. I can see him turning the corner maturity-wise given the past 6 months, and settling into a purely professional state of mind about the game. However, he's going to need a true on-the-court leader to be able to fully embrace that lifestyle (a KG type leader).

Of course, I also thought Arenas would never be the type of person to pull a gun on a teammate in the locker room, so...

Posted by: psps23 | May 25, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@closg,

The same thing was said about Jamison and his contract. Yet, Ernest adroitly excised both from the organization AND ultimately acquired Thornton and a first rounder to boot, all while cutting the payroll. How quickly you forget!

Ernest Grunfeld will continue to remake the Wizards in a way that folks like yourself still apparently can't envision or comprehend in order to position the Wizards for a bright future. Just as he did a mere three months ago.

Since you apparently are able to recognize the result of heating cake batter only after it has been baked and frosted, you should consider simply eating the cake instead of focusing on the discrete steps required to make it.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Eventually, Gil will be gone. The right deal might not come along before the next season begins, and the onus will be on Gil to demonstrate his value -- to the Wiz or some other team.

I don't buy the speculation that the Wiz brain trust "doesn't want Gilbert anywhere near Wall." They're more likely to put the rock in Wall's hands and let Gil find his spots for shots or drives. He'll score a lot of points because that's what he does.

The pressure will be on our rotations, though, because Gil doesn't play defense. Never has, never will. Yeah, he can get steals gambling in the passing lanes, just like Caron does, but most 2 guards are going to find Gil an easy matchup.

Eventually, the right deal will come along and Gil wlll take his game to another city. I'm trusting Ernie to find that right deal. I don't think he's looking to keep Gil for the term of his contract.

Posted by: zinger1 | May 25, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm in harmony with Melodious_Thunk on the EG question.

Posted by: zinger1 | May 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Blatche, Mcgee, and Young will all be on the roster to start next season, as well they should be. They're all under contract cheap, and Nick is the oldest at a mere 24yrs. Excuses have been passed all around for last year's dismal season in part being due to the impossibility of playing/coaching well given the Arenas circumstance and the surrounding circus. Those excuses extend to these players as much as they do to Flip or AJ or whomever.

Starting with a clean slate doesnt mean literally waiving every single player on the team just because.

Posted by: divi3 | May 25, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk,

I have faith that Ted will protect Ernie from himself, there won't be an Orberto or Boykins type signing this summer. And yes, I understand that Ernie has re-built teams at every place that he has been fired. With a little micro-mananging, Ernie will be fine.

Posted by: closg | May 25, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche, Mcgee, and Young will all be on the roster to start next season, as well they should be. They're all under contract cheap, and Nick is the oldest at a mere 24yrs."

None of which in any way guarantees their spots on the roster. There's not a single player currently under contract to the Wiz who can't be had for the right price. There are no untouchables on a 23 win team. None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Starting with a clean slate doesnt mean literally waiving every single player on the team just because."

And I'm 100% certain no one said, indicated, or implied it was. But he, nice straw man there.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I repeat, only a damn fool would trade AB right now. He's not going anywhere, despite some fans Wilbon-esque disdain for him. Talent and play are way too high, contract way too low for dealing him to make any sense.

As to the other two, there's no chance whatsoever they trade Mcgee after him starting all of 1/2 season. Not when he was drafted as a project and has shown promise.

Young is a possibility to move, but he'll play in the summer league and chances are he'll be on the opening day roster as well.

Posted by: divi3 | May 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@closg,

Faith in Ted?? A "worshipful" post if ever there was one. ;-)

Maybe Ted will be the one owner wise and patient enough to let Ernest finish what he starts. Do recall that after Ernest was fired in the past, the teams firing him have gone through some very dark periods. The GMs who were hailed as saviors and were supposed to take those teams to the next level stunk and are no longer in that capacity. Contrast that with Ernest still being large and in charge.

WRT Ted saving Ernest from himself, a "little micro-managing" would be an upgrade over the meddling Ernest previously endured and would be welcomed.

Nice to see that you're on board as believing Ernest will do just fine!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Do you remember the statment of david stern when he decide to punish arenas? He said Mr. Arenas is not capable of playing at this point.Is Arenas ready to play?He can decide not to play,knowing him it is hard to see it this way.I expect a value on his sell which could be between now and the end of 2010-11.There is no need to be concerned about GA.He will make up his image and play good baske tball as long as his knee allow him.Wiz will not be able to sell him, he will sell himself soon.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Wall
Young
Thornton
Blatche
Mcgee

That would be a starting 5 with an average age of 23. Add to that mix 2 more rookie draft picks. Play these guys and see what's what, very likely be in the lotto again next year but with a dynamic team that hopefully has shown improvement under a proven coach.

THAT'S how you build through the draft and on the cheap as Ted has been saying, and it's the course the Wizards should chart imho.

Posted by: divi3 | May 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse


'"Blatche, Mcgee, and Young will all be on the roster to start next season, as well they should be. They're all under contract cheap, and Nick is the oldest at a mere 24yrs."

None of which in any way guarantees their spots on the roster. There's not a single player currently under contract to the Wiz who can't be had for the right price. There are no untouchables on a 23 win team. None.'

Right. Cheap is fine, but can they produce anything?

Posted by: nmik | May 25, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Nick Young moved. My perception of him is that on a team with knuckleheads he's going to be an enabler, but he could be an asset on a more mature team. Does anyone have any sense of his trade value?

Posted by: djnnnou | May 25, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Right. Cheap is fine, but can they produce anything?

Posted by: nmik | May 25, 2010 4:40 PM

We'll see, that's the point. No rebuilding effort is guaranteed to work, but all are guaranteed to fail if you dont give the players and coach a legitimate timeframe to see what they can do.

Posted by: divi3 | May 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Who said to trade McGee? I don't recall anybody posting that.

Young is 24. For a SG, that's far from a hopeful project. He's has 3 seasons to show what he likely will be, and from what we've seen it will likely be nothing more than a streaky shooter with minimal impact in any other facet of the game.

Blatche is a case of value. Yes, he's cheap. Yes, he's shown he can be very productive. Yes, he's young. That means he could be a nice piece to a rebuilding team or a team scratching the surface of contending. It also means his trade value is at the highest it's ever been.

Arenas has been discussed ad nauseum.

I don't think Blatche can't be successful in this league (I think he will be). I just think it will be much more difficult here, given the state of the team, what he's been through, and how I expect (hope) management to overhaul every facet of the organization.

Don't get me wrong, I won't curse at Grunfeld for keeping Blatche on the roster next season. Everyone knows he's talented to a level beyond a lot of other players in the league. But I also wouldn't mourn it if the team decided to start fresh with a new piece in his place (say a mid-first rounder).

Posted by: psps23 | May 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

All of which could be said about Vince Carter or Jamal Crawford, but that didn't stop teams that were expecting to be in contention from trading for them. And, regardless of whether or not it resulted in winning a title, it stands as evidence that teams are willing to take risks on talented but issue-laden players if they think the payoff is winning.
Posted by: kalo_rama

If your argument has shifted to 'some team might be foolish enough to think that Gil can help them get to a championship', then we're done. No doubt there are plenty of teams out there who make bad moves for inexplicable reasons.

If you're sticking to your original thesis

I think Arenas can help a team get closer to a championship (if he's healthy and playing up to full potential).

Then you have yet to offer a compelling argument for that. And if the closest analogies are Vince Carter and Jamal Crawford, quite the opposite.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

are the wiz gonna try and get a bid bodied center in free agency or will they be content to use their late draft picks to try and find someone who can be a stout presence? I'm as big a mcgee supporter as there can be, but the man needs a guy like haywood minus the overpriviledged haywood attitude to split time with, thoughts? also blatche is in no way the man to split the five with mcgee, I'd actually like to see the wiz throw out a monster lineup with blatche at the three again with mcgee either at four or five depending on matchups but playing alongside a center, ab should not play one minute at center

Posted by: bford1kb | May 25, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

That Mike Jones article about Gil was really good. an F John Mitchell. I trust Mike Jones sources way more. The thing that stuck out the most to me in that article was the last sentence because thats what Ive been telling everyone. People keep saying that Gil is this or that & has a big ego but that man just wants to play. He's missed basically the last 3 seasons, the stretch run of the 4th season, and hasnt really been in the playoffs in 4 years. The few games he has played in that time, he's either been injuried or rusty in every single game. Yet, the funniest thing of all is that pretty much every media person & alot of fans have ripped him by saying that he's not a winner & doesnt make his teammates better. I bet Gil is like "how can everyone keep saying things like that when I haevnt even played"?

You got Doc Walker & Stephen A. Smith on Ivan Carter ripping dude mostly because of wins & making guys better but he's played like 40 games in 3 years, half of those really really injuried, and the other half slightly injuried & mad rusty. He was in one playoff series in that time, which he got ripped for again as a scrub despite him only playing in like 3 games of the series with 2 of them being off the bench & playing only like 20min. He didnt get a chance and he missed the whole next season again. Thats why I always tell people that you can get mad about us giving the money because of his health or you can get mad about the immaturity & guns but dont sit here & tell me that he's proven that he's not on an elite level, cant win games, cant make guys better, and so on. He hasnt even had a real chance and last year it was clear to see that AJ had turned into a old, undersized, black hole, Wood was average, and Caron had regressed alot. Even if it wasnt clear to you at 1st, all you had to do was watch there stint with there new teams because it looked bad.

All Im saying is that Gil went from the Wiz being in 1st place 50 games in (despite everyone trying to play like it was so early) & being one of the most hyped players in the league at the time to hitting rock bottom & I think he even went past that. He's been hurt every since & is now the face of cancer, negativity, and a menace in the NBA. He just wants to play now. He dont care who its with. I think its like he's gone back to being a kid. Like he would even play for free because he just loves the game so much & misses it

Posted by: dlts2041 | May 25, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

If you mean turning Gil into a true point, you are right because you can't because he ain't a true point guard. Now that that is out of the way, how would you have wanted Gil to change his game,
Posted by: G-Man11

I actually meant how about just making an actual, demonstrable commitment to defense instead of just paying lip-service to it. Michael, Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, Billups, pick a great player with a championship. All of the at some point made a commitment to defense. MJ and Kobe committed to playing D, and then called out other players on their team for not playing it. Remember after the Lakers got bounced by the Celts in the Finals, Kobe called out Gasol for playing 'soft'?

But since you brought up playing point. The idea the Gil can't play point is ridiculous, it's just that he won't. So when I say change his game, and sacrifice, how about just making trying to set up your teammates as much of a priority as 'hibachi!'. He averaged 7 dimes last year, so he obviously has some ability in that regard. And it is true that he hasn't always had the most talented teammates, but it's just as true that he hasn't always tried to 'make his teammates better' as the saying goes.


Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Gil's got his contract now, no reason to beleive that he can't play within a team defensive system.

Posted by: flohrtv

No reason, except the part where he has yet to do it.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

All Im saying is that Gil went from the Wiz being in 1st place 50 games in (despite everyone trying to play like it was so early) & being one of the most hyped players in the league at the time to hitting rock bottom & I think he even went past that. He's been hurt every since & is now the face of cancer, negativity, and a menace in the NBA. He just wants to play now. He dont care who its with. I think its like he's gone back to being a kid. Like he would even play for free because he just loves the game so much & misses it

Posted by: dlts2041

As long as you acknowledge that part of the reason Gil missed some of that time is his own fault. Obviously with the gun situation, but also because he admitted that after his first knee injury, he didn't follow the proscribed physical therapy regimen, which might have led to his reinjury and all that followed. And also had the temerity to blame the Wizards for not making sure he followed the original therapy.

There's no question Gil loves basketball and works on his game, he's a gym rat. And if all of the stuff that has happened to him over the past three years has changed his attitude, he still has a chance to be that great player. My opinion though, based on his track record, is just that you can't assume that he has changed.

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"So when I say change his game, and sacrifice, how about just making trying to set up your teammates as much of a priority as 'hibachi!'."

It seems to me that Gil's problem has always been having to be "the best" whatever--scorer (usually), assist leader (according to what Mike Jones wrote some time ago). Unfortunately that "whatever" has yet to include defensive player or player who truly wants to play a team game.

Posted by: nmik | May 25, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"Then you have yet to offer a compelling argument for that. And if the closest analogies are Vince Carter and Jamal Crawford, quite the opposite.Posted by: ts35"

Apologies for arriving late to this discussion, but the numbers do support the idea that Gilbert could make a real positive impact on the right club. For all his flaws, he's a very effective and efficient guard.

Sorry if you've heard this before, but his 32 game stint demonstrated that he's still one of the better guards in the league. Just looking at Hollinger's PER stat, he ranked 6th among PGs and 6th if you consider him in relation to SGs. Sure, he's a lousy defender. But in an off-the-bench role, he could do what Crawford did for their respective teams -- which is help them win more games.

With Crawford as the only substantial addition (acquired in the offseason for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton), the Hawks went from 47 wins to 53. Jamal didn't start a single game during the regular season, but still managed to average 31 minutes.

Some team is going to think that's worth it -- provided the contract isn't too much of an obstacle.

IMO the question with Gil isn't COULD he help a team, but WOULD he?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 25, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"Then you have yet to offer a compelling argument for that. "

Then we're even, because you haven't come close to presenting a compelling argument to the contrary beyond, "well, he hasn't done it so far" which is about as compelling an argument as saying that giraffes don't exist because you've never seen one with your own eyes.

The argument for him helping a team is simple and starts with the question: How does a player get a team closer to winning a title? By helping them win games. Can Arenas help a team that already has most of the pieces in place win more games? Yes. Really, there's no good argument to the contrary. When he's playing up to his ability he's a very good/near great player, the kind of player that can certainly have an impact on a good team. Now, does that necessarily mean he will help a team win a title? Of course not, but then I never said it would. What I said (and what you quoted me on) was:

"I think Arenas can help a team get closer to a championship (if he's healthy and playing up to full potential)."

And he can. Whether he can help them make it all the way is another issue, but then it always is when a team trades for a high profile player. It's a risk, but it's the kind of risk many teams will take on players if the stakes are high enough.

My position on this hasn't changed and you haven't said a single thing to move the needle.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 25, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The simple fact about Gil is we have yet to see him be a positive contributor in a secondary or even tertiary role. So while we can all agree about his talent and how well he actually played at times this past season, all of it was with a carte blanche on the floor.

No one is arguing for him as the centerpiece next season, so to see him helping the team assumes he'll play in a way none of us has seen before.

Posted by: divi3 | May 25, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"No one is arguing for him as the centerpiece next season, so to see him helping the team assumes he'll play in a way none of us has seen before.Posted by: divi3"

I'm not sure I get this. I don't think he'd help the Wizards -- meaning I don't think he's a good fit at SG next to somebody like Wall who needs to have the ball in his hands -- but clearly he could help some other club.

Minnesota, for instance, or the Knicks, or Philadelphia, or even the Cavs.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

the numbers do support the idea that Gilbert could make a real positive impact on the right club. For all his flaws, he's a very effective and efficient guard.

his 32 game stint demonstrated that he's still one of the better guards in the league. Just looking at Hollinger's PER stat, he ranked 6th among PGs and 6th if you consider him in relation to SGs. Sure, he's a lousy defender. But in an off-the-bench role, he could do what Crawford did for their respective teams -- which is help them win more games.
Posted by: Samson151

Putting aside that PER is predominantly an offensive stat....

Since we were talking about helping a team win a championship, I'm assuming they would want those acquisitions to contribute in the playoffs. Crawford's PER dropped 5 points in the playoffs. Crawford did average 16pts per game in the playoffs....on 36% shooting. And the Hawks were swept in the 2nd round by the Magic. Last year? Swept in the 2nd round by the Cavs. That's quite an improvement.

Gilbert did have a good regular season PER. Notable among the players he finished behind....Greg Oden and Nazr Mohammed. It's definitely an apples to oranges comparison, different positions and whatnot, but it goes to the flaws inherent in the stat. Or if you want a convoluted stat comparison, Gil was 6th among PGs in PER, but 26th among PGs in EWA (Estimated Wins Added). What does it all mean? Who the heck knows?

For a final layer, please consider this...

Dave Berri, the author of The Wages of Wins:

"Hollinger argues that each two point field goal made is worth about 1.65 points. A three point field goal made is worth 2.65 points. A missed field goal, though, costs a team 0.72 points. Given these values, with a bit of math we can show that a player will break even on his two point field goal attempts if he hits on 30.4% of these shots. On three pointers the break-even point is 21.4%. If a player exceeds these thresholds, and virtually every NBA played does so with respect to two-point shots, the more he shoots the higher his value in PERs. So a player can be an inefficient scorer and simply inflate his value by taking a large number of shots."

Coincidentally.....guess who was #1 among PGs in FGs attempted per game?

Posted by: ts35 | May 25, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"So a player can be an inefficient scorer and simply inflate his value by taking a large number of shots." posted by ts35

LOL I don't know if you're aware of it, but I'm among the regular critics of the PER -- usually by comparing it to another flawed stat, the NFL's QB rating. That's how I earned the eternal ire of one Izman. But like the QB rating, the PER does have some validity, especially if you don't rely on it exclusively (which I haven't).

In 32 games, coming off a two year layoff, gimpy knees, rust and all -- Gilbert Arenas averaged 36.5 minutes, 22.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists, for an EFF of +18.78.

You'd have to be blind -- or engaged in an argument with somebody that is clouding your judgment -- to ignore numbers like that.

Jamal Crawford contributes to six more wins in the regular season, and all you can say is he didn't help much in the playoffs? Well, I guess LeBron isn't all that either, is he? Or Dwight Howard. It's a specious argument.

The obvious truth is that Gilbert Arenas could certainly help somebody else's team, in a way he (unfortunately) probably can't help the Wizards. Assuming he's interested, of course. That's not a certainty in Gilbert's case.

He's a fruitcake, after all. But a talented one.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 26, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Then we're even,
Posted by: kalo_rama

Ok, good, so you're starting by admitting your argument isn't compelling =)

because you haven't come close to presenting a compelling argument to the contrary beyond, "well, he hasn't done it so far"

I guess that's true. Under that same logic, I guess we could also argue that Blatche will be the MVP next year. I guess in a philosophical sense, there really is no connection between how things have worked in the past and how they will work in the future.

My other non-compelling factors:
- Defensive liability
- Known to dribble the air out of the basketball
- professional compatibility issues with coaches and teammates
- comparison to former teammate and fellow defensive liability Jamison, whose lack of defense was exploited by the Celtics and was a notable factor in Cleveland losing the series.

How does a player get a team closer to winning a title? By helping them win games. Can Arenas help a team that already has most of the pieces in place win more games? Yes.

So if you have conditionalized your argument down to "it could happen" as opposed to "it's likely to happen" or "it would be a good move for a team" Then, I guess you've got me. It could happen. In the same way that adding AJ could have helped the Cavs (but didn't), adding Crawford could have helped the Hawks (but didn't) and adding Carter could help the Magic (but hasn't to date -- ironically his worst game against the Celts was the only one the Magic won). Bravo for taking a stand.

Given his historical play, is it at least as likely that Gil could 'help' teams lose games and lose a series? Especially since in playoff series, opposing teams have more opportunity to take advantage of players' weaknesses? Yes. Hence I expressed my opinion that he's much more likely to prevent success in the playoffs than be a reason for it.

which is about as compelling an argument as saying that giraffes don't exist because you've never seen one with your own eyes.

AhhhhhhhhHA!! Now I know I have you, because I have seen giraffes with my own eyes!

My position on this hasn't changed and you haven't said a single thing to move the needle.

I don't expect to 'move the needle' because your argument as constituted was DOA and I don't own a defibrillator. And honestly, I never expect you to change your position.

Posted by: ts35 | May 26, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

LOL I don't know if you're aware of it, but I'm among the regular critics of the PER --

Then I'm not sure why you chose to use it. But you did cite efficiency as one of Gil's attributes, and my counter-point was that some of that efficiency may be illusory and based in part on volume, which he is less likely to get with a contender.

In 32 games, coming off a two year layoff, gimpy knees, rust and all -- Gilbert Arenas averaged 36.5 minutes, 22.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists, for an EFF of +18.78.

You'd have to be blind -- or engaged in an argument with somebody that is clouding your judgment -- to ignore numbers like that.

Jamal Crawford contributes to six more wins in the regular season, and all you can say is he didn't help much in the playoffs? Well, I guess LeBron isn't all that either, is he? Or Dwight Howard. It's a specious argument.

The obvious truth is that Gilbert Arenas could certainly help somebody else's team, in a way he (unfortunately) probably can't help the Wizards. Assuming he's interested, of course. That's not a certainty in Gilbert's case.

Posted by: Samson151

First, on Crawford. The original discussion on Arenas was on whether he could help a team get closer to a championship. Even if we can credit Crawford with all 6 more regular season wins, does that really help them get closer to a championship? I guess it helps make sure they make the playoffs -- even though they also made it last year -- and affects their positioning in the playoffs. But if his contributions don't lead to any more success in the playoffs, they didn't get closer to a championship did they? Not really so much specious as it was the original discussion point. Crediting solely Crawford's acquisition with six more reg season wins, as opposed to accounting for other factors -- player improvement, team improvement from playing together longer, etc. -- that to me smacks of speciousness.

Considering LeBron and Howard have actually led their teams in the playoffs and lead their teams to the Championship series, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they're not exactly comparable.

Now to Arenas:

20.5 pts 8.8 rebs are pretty impressive numbers too. Those would be AJ's reg season numbers with the Wiz, which dropped to 15 and 7 with a contending team and didn't help the Cavs get closer to a championship.

21pts 5rbs 4.7asts, also impressive. Carter's numbers with the Nets. They dropped to 16, 4 and 3 with the Magic and to date he hasn't helped the Magic get closer either.

And to be accurate I have never said that Gil couldn't help a team win games, just that I believe that it's much more likely that in the playoffs, in a series, in pursuit of a championship, his liabilities would outweigh any benefits he might offer. In much the same way that we saw Jamison be exploited by the Celts.

Posted by: ts35 | May 26, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

And to be accurate I have never said that Gil couldn't help a team win games, just that I believe that it's much more likely that in the playoffs, in a series, in pursuit of a championship, his liabilities would outweigh any benefits he might offer. In much the same way that we saw Jamison be exploited by the Celts.

Posted by: ts35

I think there is a difference there. If you have a dynamic offensive player at a guard position and he is a bad defender, as long as he is the only bad defender in that rotation you could bandade that weakness. Teams like the Reggie Miller lead Pacers being a good example. Now when you have forwards and centers that are horrible defenders thats a problem. There is no recovery or help when penetration happens, the pick and roll switching will hurt you. Or just being dominated by a good PF like KG.

Thats one of the things I thought we never got here.

Posted by: millineumman | May 26, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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