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More from Ted Leonsis

Yesterday staff writers Tarik El-Bashir and Thomas Heath reported on Ted Leonsis's introduction as the Wizards' majority owner, taking full control of a sports empire that also includes the Capitals, the Mystics and Verizon Center.

Here are some leftovers from the article that appeared in today's newspaper:

Ted Leonsis's first reference to GM Ernie Grunfeld came when answering a question about the first overall pick in this month's draft.

"I am not allowed to," Leonsis said when asked if the team planned to take Kentucky guard John Wall. "It's good theater for the NBA to have people wondering what we're going to do. I won't make the pick; our general manager, Ernie Grunfeld, will make the pick."

Leonsis also declined to discuss pending free agent LeBron James.
"In terms of LeBron, I can't talk at all because that would be tampering," he said. "It would also be offensive for the owner ... it's his player. So I'm not going to talk at all about free agents.

"But he did put a nice blurb in my book," he added, referencing James's testimonial on the back of "The Business of Happiness."

Change is coming to Washington's professional sports landscape and Leonsis's personal life. But some things will always stay the same, such as Leonsis answering emails from fans. Leonsis said he will continue to make time for answering emails from fans. On Wednesday, he created a new account, thewashwiz@aol.com, and within hours had received more than 100 messages.

"One guy sent me three different emails about the quality of the ketchup [at Verizon Center] and how it bothers him how the ketchup dispenser isn't filled all the time," Leonsis said. "I promise, whoever runs the ketchup, that I will be looking to make sure it's filled.

"We will listen as much as we can," he added, "and do our best."

By Alexa Steele  |  June 11, 2010; 9:06 AM ET
 
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Next: Luke Harangody, Trevor Booker among 6 at predraft workout

Comments

can we get this guy to buy the skins from snyder?

Posted by: follybeach | June 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Ted,

You're allowed to. You're just too classy and respectful of boundaries to do it.

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Wall running the show most of the time with Gil playing 2-guard, but in crunch time, Gil will be Gil until Wall proves he can carry the team."

How does Wall prove himself if Gil is the guy in crunch-time? Is it better for Wall to get those opportunities right out of the gate, or wait another season until they've traded Gil?

If we're down by 1pt and there 16secs left in the game, do we really want to see Gil dribbling at the top of the key for 12secs?

Posted by: divi3 | June 11, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"One guy sent me three different emails about the quality of the ketchup [at Verizon Center] and how it bothers him how the ketchup dispenser isn't filled all the time," Leonsis said. "I promise, whoever runs the ketchup, that I will be looking to make sure it's filled."

Reminds me of Homer Simpson asking Mr. Burns (who obviously has a striking resemblence to Abe Pollin) for more tarter sauce for the fish sticks in the plant cafe...

Posted by: -CN- | June 11, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes!!

Posted by: Breal83 | June 11, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Ted,

You're allowed to. You're just too classy and respectful of boundaries to do it.

Well, maybe he's not "allowed to." (I assume you're talking about whether Ted can announce the identity of the team's first pick) If King Stern The First has decreed that teams can't announce whom they will pick in order to protect the ratings for the league's draft show, I wouldn't put it past him to heavily fine anyone who makes such an announcement.

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

About McGee: his strengths are apparent, but so are his weaknesses:
1) difficulty establishing position on the blocks
2) still relies too much on the dunk
3) leaves himself out of position after shotblock attempts
4) not consistent with the turnaround jumper
5) turnover risk (in '09, TOs .08 per game vs. .02 assists).

None uncorrectable, but it does take me back to something said about him when he was drafted: "GMs love this sort of player, coaches don't. By the time they finally 'get it', the coach has already been fired."

When you look at the flaws, you have to think 'rotation player'. Doesn't matter if he starts or not, McGee will have matchup problems against some of the League's big men. Some nights he'll look All-World, and others like he doesn't belong on the court. The coach has to have an option at center for the latter sort.

Blatche might do it some of the time, but Blatche's size advantage at PF evaporates quickly at center. How does he muscle with Kendrick Perkins or Andrew Bynum, let alone Yao? It just doesn't compute. Oberto, who looked appropriate in relief of Brendan Haywood, is clearly not the answer to this problem.

I'd be looking for another center.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 11, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

If we're down by 1pt and there 16secs left in the game, do we really want to see Gil dribbling at the top of the key for 12secs?

Posted by: divi3

We will see that on the court. In the past, I would rather see Gil at the top of the key. If your 2-guard has the skill to do it hell yeah. Would you want to see Miami's point with the ball or Wade with the game on the line? Kobe or Fisher?

In the past with Larry and Gil, it would be Gil sometimes and Larry others with 12 seconds left because both could do it.

At this point, Gil and Wall need to prove they can finish/close out a game. It is proven on the court. I have seen Gil do it on the NBA level. Right now, I still lean towards Gil until Wall is proven.

Two is better than one.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Blatche might do it some of the time, but Blatche's size advantage at PF evaporates quickly at center. How does he muscle with Kendrick Perkins or Andrew Bynum, let alone Yao? It just doesn't compute. Oberto, who looked appropriate in relief of Brendan Haywood, is clearly not the answer to this problem."

Brad miller may be a temporary answer even though his best days are behind him. He brings toughness but no Oooos and Ahhhs from offense. Hes a stable choice while Mcgee muscles up or we draft a big man.

Posted by: jefferu | June 11, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Well, maybe he's not "allowed to." (I assume you're talking about whether Ted can announce the identity of the team's first pick) If King Stern The First has decreed that teams can't announce whom they will pick in order to protect the ratings for the league's draft show, I wouldn't put it past him to heavily fine anyone who makes such an announcement.

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 11, 2010 10:05 AM

The Clippers announced last year right after winning the lottery that Blake Griffin was their guy. I never heard about any fine.

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Re: can we get this guy to buy the skins from snyder?

Posted by: follybeach | June 11, 2010 9:23 AM

Sadly I think there is some rule for NFL owners preventing multiple ownership across different sporting leagues. Not sure about the exact details, but I think the guy that owns some other St. Louis teams was out of the running for the Rams because of it. Not that Danny would ever sell his precious.

Posted by: rockthatred | June 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I think McGee has a ways to go on his overall game, especially with defensive positioning and patience on offense, but considering last year was just his second year, he produced some when given the chance.

I'm not one for pushing numbers up to get a players 40min or 48min stats, but I took a look at his numbers in games where he played 25 or more minutes. Unfortunately last season there were only 9 because he didn't see the floor much until after the trade.

Those 9 were pretty consistent however in output. Here is what he averaged:

31.8 minutes
15.4 points
57% from the floor
9 boards
3.4 blocks
4.2 ft
66% from the line
2.1 turnovers

And at the end of the season, when he started to play consistent minutes for the last 32 games:

23.2 minutes
10.1 points
6.5 boards
2.2 blocks
2.9 fouls

For a guy who's still clearly learning to play, this is good output. He's already top 10 in the league in blocks. And when he plays for more than 25 minutes, he's top 10 in all other statistical categories.

Of course, stats don't tell the whole story, but I wouldn't set his fate in stone yet. He's already a better scorer than Haywood. If he could learn to play defense at Haywood's level, we have a good man down low.

Posted by: segastyle | June 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"The Clippers announced last year right after winning the lottery that Blake Griffin was their guy. I never heard about any fine."

Yes, and they got in trouble (maybe not a fine, but a Stern talking to) which is why the rule is in place now. Stern made it clear he was unhappy with Dunleavy for announcing the pick, and thus told everyone this year not to do so. The Bullets are making it clear that they are simply following the rule.

Posted by: Urnesto | June 11, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

DJ Mbenga for a song. He plays against Pau and Bynum everyday, and is a legit 7footer who is thick. He can fill the Oberto role.

Whoever they get, Mcgee's backup cant be a 6'9" player

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

Yes, and they got in trouble (maybe not a fine, but a Stern talking to) which is why the rule is in place now.

Posted by: Urnesto | June 11, 2010 11:36 AM

Link, please.
What "trouble" did they get into? Where is this "rule" outlined?

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

DJ Mbenga for a song. He plays against Pau and Bynum everyday, and is a legit 7footer who is thick. He can fill the Oberto role.

Was Oberto's role to be the stiff that can't get off the bench during the Finals? Neither player is useful for a lottery team.

Posted by: djnnnou | June 11, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Just sayin, we need a stiff to plug into C at times, might as well be a legit sized guy who isnt 40yrs old

Posted by: divi3 | June 11, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Was Oberto's role to be the stiff that can't get off the bench during the Finals? Neither player is useful for a lottery team.

Posted by: djnnnou

They may have to consider getting Mbenga off the bench after last night's game. I'd just advise him to wear a bib.

Posted by: ts35 | June 11, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Brad miller may be a temporary answer even though his best days are behind him. He brings toughness but no Oooos and Ahhhs from offense. Hes a stable choice while Mcgee muscles up or we draft a big man."

I like Miller, but signing him makes little sense for him or the Wiz. At his age and his career stage, with what he still brings to the table, he's best suited for a playoff caliber team, which Washington likely won't be. And since he may be signing his last NBA deal, he'll likely be looking to milk as much $$ as he can. If he were willing to sign a 1-year deal for the vet minimum, maybe; but I can't see him agreeing to that. He'll either want more money, more security, or a better shot at winning.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mbenga is a career practice dummy. He has no value in actual games.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"They may have to consider getting Mbenga off the bench after last night's game. I'd just advise him to wear a bib."

If Bynum can't play, that means more minutes for Odom. Also, Josh Powell will see more minutes at C in the Finals than Mbenga does.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Quick, check this out before JaVale takes it down, he obviously hasn't lifting and drinking protein shakes during the off-season
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG4u9avWL_I

Posted by: closg | June 11, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The scary thing is, he actually does look more buff in that video than he did during the season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I listened in to Ted's teleconference this morning. I was asked if I had a question, which I did... but I wasn't picked. I think that's because I wanted to say that I hoped the atmosphere at Wiz games wouldn't become too much like Caps games,i.e more Volume and less "class", if you will. Caps games are much like Monster Truck rallies, with a much louder PA ("unleash the FURY!!!!"). I'm worried that we'll get like Miami where the announcer screams "THREE" at 110 decibels.

A couple specific things he said that have me concerned:

1. He'd like to introduce Country Music at Wiz games. More importantly...
2. He hopes that we get a high draft pick next year, too. (So, are we gonna tank next year on purpose??) His point being that most championship teams in NBA and NHL (exceptions being Celtics and Shaq's Lakers) rarely get there via free agency or trades.

Posted by: rbelleisle | June 11, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"They may have to consider getting Mbenga off the bench after last night's game. I'd just advise him to wear a bib."

If Bynum can't play, that means more minutes for Odom. Also, Josh Powell will see more minutes at C in the Finals than Mbenga does.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Phil throws Mbenga out there for a short stretch to see what he can do. Size / length was the thing that was giving the Celtics trouble and if he thinks he can get productive minutes out of Mbenga, he'll try it. Yes, he is a big stiff, but no one else on their bench has that kind of size.

Posted by: ts35 | June 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The Clippers announced last year right after winning the lottery that Blake Griffin was their guy. I never heard about any fine.

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps there was no fine. But most commissioners have broad authority to act "in the best interests of the league," and it would be logical to assume that there might be some adverse consequence if a team acted in contravention of such an action by the commish. It sounds as if Stern has instructed the Wizards to dummy up about the identity of their first pick, and I'm simply saying that it wouldn't surprise me if that edict was supported by a possible fine.

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 11, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Quick, check this out before JaVale takes it down, he obviously hasn't lifting and drinking protein shakes during the off-season

Posted by: closg

Javale "Star Wars Kid" McGee.

Posted by: djnnnou | June 11, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Phil throws Mbenga out there for a short stretch to see what he can do. "

He's had Mbenga for 3 years. He already knows what he can do. . . not much. In the last couple of years, when the Lakers have had injury/foul trouble on the front line (usually because of Bynum) Jackson has show much more willingness to go to Powell than Mbenga.

Big does not equal effective. or even useful.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Phil throws Mbenga out there for a short stretch to see what he can do. Size / length was the thing that was giving the Celtics trouble and if he thinks he can get productive minutes out of Mbenga, he'll try it. Yes, he is a big stiff, but no one else on their bench has that kind of size.

Posted by: ts35

Playing Mbenga over Powell makes sense to me, but I think the result will be the same. The only hope the Lakers have without Bynum is Perkins getting another tech.

Posted by: djnnnou | June 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

And yet I've seen Phil get useful production over the years from the likes of Cliff Livingston, Bill Wennington, Scott Williams, Stacey King, and yes even Kwame Brown. The Celtics have had significant difficulties dealing with the Lakers length. When Bynum is in there, especially with Gasol, the Celts have trouble getting shots in the paint, blow easy layups because they're waiting for the block, and have trouble getting rebounds.

With Bynum injured and when he's out, the Celts are a much more confident and aggressive offensive team.

Mbenga is not at all close to the player that Bynum is, but he is big, and in this series might be useful on the defensive end.

Suffice to say, over the many years I have watched him, I have seen Phil try stranger things in similar situations.

Posted by: ts35 | June 11, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"And yet I've seen Phil get useful production over the years from the likes of Cliff Livingston, Bill Wennington, Scott Williams, Stacey King, and yes even Kwame Brown."

So? What does that have to do with Mbenga? Nothing.

You're talking hypotheticals. I'm talking established precedent.

Over the last two regular seasons (when Bynum has missed about 50 games):

Mbenga has played a total of 72 games, averaging about 7 1/2 mpg. Powell has played in 123 games, averaging about 10 1/2 mpg.

Over the last two postseasons:

Mbenga has played in a total of 9 games averaging about 3 1/2 mpg. Powell has played in 25 games, averaging a little over 4 mpg.

I'm not saying that Mbenga won't get off the bench if Bynum is out. I'm simply pointing out that (A) when he does get into the game, he's not going to do much and (B) Jackson has already established that when he has to dig deep into his bench for frontline help, he's more likely to/comfortable with Powell over Mbenga. This is based on established history.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

From the truthaboutit site, a month back, on Javale's defense:

"Let’s turn to Synergy Sports Technology to highlight some of his defensive statistics."

"According to Synergy, McGee had 289 defensive plays that ended in a FG attempt, TO, or FT attempt for the man he guarded...109 (37.7%) were post-up chances. Being a big man, McGee is obviously going to find himself defending post-ups a lot. But teams also went at him, hard … especially at the beginning of games, which is part of the reason why he was taken out of the starting lineup after March 24th (after starting 19 of the previous 20 games) and sent to the bench for the last 12 games of the year."

"On those 109 post-ups, he allowed his man to score 54.1% of the time at a clip of 1.09 points-per-possession (PPP). His man got to the free-throw line 18.3% of the time.Those numbers aren’t glowing at all."

"In all 289 defensive plays, McGee allowed his man to score 42.2% of the time at a clip of 0.85 PPP, and committed a shooting foul 10.4% of the time. Those numbers are much better."

"Clearly, McGee is very bad at defending the post. But again, he’s only 22 and stands to gain a lot of weight. He’s will also get better when he learns the art of post defense leverage."

"let’s break down exactly who was abusing Mr. McGee on these post-ups."
1. Roy Hibbert – 14 plays
2. Al Horford - 7
3. Al Jefferson – 7
4. Andrew Bogut – 6
5. Brook Lopez – 6
6. Dwight Howard – 5
7. Luis Scola – 5
8. Tyrus Thomas – 4

"...Roy Hibbert really had [his] number...
In total, Roy went 7-11 on FGs, earned two trips to the line and turned the ball over just once."

Posted by: Samson151 | June 11, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

But most commissioners have broad authority to act "in the best interests of the league," and it would be logical to assume that there might be some adverse consequence if a team acted in contravention of such an action by the commish. It sounds as if Stern has instructed the Wizards to dummy up about the identity of their first pick, and I'm simply saying that it wouldn't surprise me if that edict was supported by a possible fine.

Posted by: rbpalmer

You're doing a lot of editorializing and assuming.

Where is it written that the team with the first pick in the NBA cannot say, "We intend to draft player X."? Does any such edict exist?? If so, where is it?

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Do you really think he will put up 25 a night sharing the backcourt with Wall, but playing off the ball? Blatche needs to be involved too."

I never said that he would be.

But I have said on here ANYBODY can be traded in the NBA. If Shaq could be traded a few years back making 30mil a year, ANYBODY can be.

He's here one more year for sure, but after that all bets are off.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 11, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

So? What does that have to do with Mbenga? Nothing.

You're talking hypotheticals. I'm talking established precedent.
Posted by: kalo_rama

No, I'm talking specifically about two 'precedents' Phil has established in his career as a coach. One is that everything's on the table with him. He won't dismiss any option if he feels he can gain an advantage. The second is his career-long ability to create circumstances to make use of marginal players in very specific roles.

I'm not saying that Mbenga won't get off the bench if Bynum is out I'm simply pointing out that (A) when he does get into the game, he's not going to do much and (B) Jackson has already established that when he has to dig deep into his bench for frontline help, he's more likely to/comfortable with Powell over Mbenga. This is based on established history.

And I'm simply pointing out that as opposed to stats compiled against 29 other teams, Mbenga offers a specific advantage over Powell that could prove useful in this series. Powell provides different advantages that Phil may use as well.

You're saying there's no chance Mbenga could be useful, while I said that Phil might give him a look to see if he can be effective. Because Phil has a history of being willing to try the unconventional.

What exactly are we arguing about? We're both just stating opinions, you just too hung up on trying to establish yours as a fact, when you have no more clue than I do about what Phil will or won't do.

Posted by: ts35 | June 11, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Where is it written that the team with the first pick in the NBA cannot say, "We intend to draft player X."? Does any such edict exist?? If so, where is it?

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

it's in the NBA Players manual right next to The Jordan Rules, The Crab Dribble and Tim Donaghey's picture. To think that something has to be written in stone, or available to the public, for it to be true is silly bobabuie. Redskins fans are all in a fuss b/c Haynesworth didn't show up to voluntary workouts, why? Maybe because it's an UNWRITTEN rule that you have to show up. I think Stern may have an unwritten rule in place since the Griffin declaration last year, but since Stern doesn't talk to us so we wouldn't know. But it's rather obtuse to think that the NBA commisioner would come out and tell the public " I don't want any teams disclosing their prospective draft selections before the draft because I'm trying to drive up viewership" rather than just ask owners to keep it tight this time around. i know it's still a hypotheical, but it would explain Ted and Flip's weird behavior considering Wall has been the consensus No.1 pick since he put on a UK jersey.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"About McGee: his strengths are apparent, but so are his weaknesses:"

Add this one to the list:

6) Can't set picks.

Your center MUST be able to set picks for other players, and he was HORRID this past year in doing that.

He really needs to work on his fundamentals, otherwise I agree I would be looking for an other center also.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"And I'm simply pointing out that as opposed to stats compiled against 29 other teams, Mbenga offers a specific advantage over Powell that could prove useful in this series."

Really? So he wasn't 7 feet tall against those 29 other teams? It's only against the Celtics that he's "specifically" tall? How does that work, exactly? (To say nothing of the eye-rollingly obvious fact that this isn't the first time in the last two years the Lakers have played the Celtics.)

"You're saying there's no chance Mbenga could be useful, while I said that Phil might give him a look to see if he can be effective. Because Phil has a history of being willing to try the unconventional."

(A) I'm saying he's already given Mbenga looks over the past two years and, when push has come to shove, he's decided he likes the look of Powell better. There's little to no reason to think that's going to change now. If he didn't trust Mbenga before, why would he all of a sudden trust him now with a title on the line? (B) There's nothing "unconventional" about trying to use size to overwhelm an opponent. Unless by "unconventional" you mean giving important minutes in a key situation to a player he's already demonstrated a lack of trust/faith in in similar moments. In which case the word you want is "foolish" or "stupid" not "unconventional."

"We're both just stating opinions, you just too hung up on trying to establish yours as a fact, when you have no more clue than I do about what Phil will or won't do."

I'm not trying to establish anything as fact. I'm stating fact. The fact is, Jackson has proven, over time in situations parallel to this one, that he's more likely to go to Powell than Mbenga. Period. That's not an opinion. It happened. Multiple times. And the past being the best predictor of the future, that makes it more likely than not that he'll continue with that pattern if the situation calls for it. Simple as that.


"What exactly are we arguing about? "

I haven't a clue what you're arguing about, but then I don't really care all that much, so it works out well for me.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 11, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

it's in the NBA Players manual right next to The Jordan Rules, The Crab Dribble and Tim Donaghey's picture. To think that something has to be written in stone, or available to the public, for it to be true is silly bobabuie. Redskins fans are all in a fuss b/c Haynesworth didn't show up to voluntary workouts, why? Maybe because it's an UNWRITTEN rule that you have to show up. I think Stern may have an unwritten rule in place since the Griffin declaration last year, but since Stern doesn't talk to us so we wouldn't know. But it's rather obtuse to think that the NBA commisioner would come out and tell the public " I don't want any teams disclosing their prospective draft selections before the draft because I'm trying to drive up viewership" rather than just ask owners to keep it tight this time around. i know it's still a hypotheical, but it would explain Ted and Flip's weird behavior considering Wall has been the consensus No.1 pick since he put on a UK jersey.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

Nice editorial piece.
It also a little obtuse to say that Stern has told the Wizards not to announce their pick when you have no proof. Or that the Clippers got in "trouble" last year and received a talking to. Again, with no proof. But that's cool with me.

Posted by: bobabuie | June 11, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

So which part of all of those 'facts' you just put out there proves that Phil won't give Mbenga a look?

Which one disproves Phil's history, even in the playoffs, of doing things outside of even his own established patterns, often to great effect? Of doing exactly what you're calling him 'stupid' for, and occasionally throwing little-used subs into even big games because he sees something that others don't? Of creating specific circumstances to make use of marginal players?

Which fact disproves the part where the Celtics have had trouble against the Lakers size? So that when Phil's looking down the bench and sees Powell, who he might trust more, and Mbenga who's significantly bigger, he might be willing to give Mbenga a shot to see if his size can have a similarly disruptive effect?

Which one? None.

He's done things like it his entire career as a coach, Kal.

Posted by: ts35 | June 11, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"But ole' chap, I don't think Mr. Leonsis is going to have a problem with any of that nonsense. Those days are over.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 10, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse "

I guess you forgot about guaranteed contracts....they are guaranteed.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 11, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"Where is it written that the team with the first pick in the NBA cannot say, "We intend to draft player X."? Does any such edict exist?? If so, where is it?"

Dude, you are fighting this hard. It was published on this website like 2 weeks ago. That's where I saw it. Michael Lee reported that the Wizards had been instructed by the commissioner's office not to say who they're picking and that the instruction was a direct response to what the Clips did with Griffith. Archive Wizards Insider if you still don't believe it.

Posted by: Urnesto | June 11, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

It was published on this website like 2 weeks ago. That's where I saw it. Michael Lee reported that the Wizards had been instructed by the commissioner's office not to say who they're picking and that the instruction was a direct response to what the Clips did with Griffith. Archive Wizards Insider if you still don't believe it.

Posted by: Urnesto | June 11, 2010 9:45 PM

I also heard the same thing on ESPN's NBA Fastbreak a few weeks ago and from Comcast Sportsnet. Stern was upset about how it went last year, but I don't get it. Sure the media was no longer arguing over who should/would go #1 (like they did w/Oden and Durant).

But seriously, last year was a weak draft and there was a gap between 1 and 2 that no level of secrecy could have hidden. Guess Stern figures that there could have at least been media speculation about whether or not the Clippers wanted to trade the pick, but that doesn't work cuz he doesn't seem to have a problem w/statements about keeping the pick.

Whatever....We all know that when Lord Stern speaks the whole NBA has to bow down. As a new owner, Ted is trying not to rock the boat. Especially since many fans believe that the NBA rigged the lottery (again).

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 11, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Just throwing something out there about a statement from Ted.

On the John Thompson Show yesterday, Ted said that the team would be interested in using their Cap space to take on another team's bad salary if the other team threw in a 1st rounder this year.

I'm not thrilled about this strategy, but maybe they try to get Miami's #18 in return for taking James Jones off their hands. There should be some nice players available that high.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 11, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I like Gortat from orlando. their maxed out and over the cad maybe they would trade him to us for the cleveland pick.

Posted by: dakel76 | June 12, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

"Do you really think he will put up 25 a night sharing the backcourt with Wall, but playing off the ball? Blatche needs to be involved too."

I never said that he would be.

But I have said on here ANYBODY can be traded in the NBA. If Shaq could be traded a few years back making 30mil a year, ANYBODY can be.

He's here one more year for sure, but after that all bets are off.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 11, 2010 4:48 PM

Come on Ray, reality. Leonsis is speaking the reality of the situation, why can't you? Leonsis may indeed want to trade Arenas, but like he said "If you were another team's general manager, would you be trading for Gilbert Arenas right now?"

Will another GM trade for Arenas with 3 years $60M left? 2 years $40M?

It is different if he regains Agent 0 form, but if he does that, and doesn't cross the line, why trade him? If there is a point in which he regains Agent 0 level, and he is trade-able, don't give him away for cap space.

Another reality is that he will be giving up the point position to Wall and won't be running the team. With that, he will not be required to have 60 or 50 point outbursts where he gets to that unconcious level of play like he did against the Lakers that year.

He ain't going anywhere anytime short of him having 1 year remaining on his contract.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 12, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I like that Ted openly talks about Gil being oft injured, suspended, and owed $80mill as reasons no other GM would consider taking him. Very upfront with no bs, but also legitimately welcoming Arenas back as a contributing member to the franchise if he performs. He's putting Gil in his new place, but also giving him another chance. Good stuff.

Disappointing to see Javale looking so skinny, fool should have put on 20pounds by now.

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Mbenga could be useful for the Wizards, we need to get a legit 7footer on the squad and the guy will cost peanuts. This is just filling out the roster, not expecting him to morph into a force at Center.

Brad Miller is old, no good anymore, and plays away from the basket. Gortat is under contract with Orlando, and getting paid like $6mill/yr.

I dont think anybody wants to see Singleton trying to check 7footers again next year, so SOMEBODY will be signed. Doesnt need to be Mbenga, but it will be someone like him.

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Disappointing to see Javale looking so skinny, fool should have put on 20pounds by now.

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 9:03 AM |

Maybe so, maybe not, just remember, he is his still extremely young, only 22, and only football players really bulk at such a young age.

Basketball players, at his age unless they are already thick/fat stay mostly lean.

What you want is muscle strength always and the pounds will come naturally afterwards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

like that Ted openly talks about Gil being oft injured, suspended, and owed $80mill as reasons no other GM would consider taking him. Very upfront with no bs, but also legitimately welcoming Arenas back as a contributing member to the franchise if he performs. He's putting Gil in his new place, but also giving him another chance. Good stuff.

Disappointing to see Javale looking so skinny, fool should have put on 20pounds by now.

Posted by: divi3

I like that Ted mentioned that Gil has a line he should not cross. "Boundaries" are good to be established UP FRONT!

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 12, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"I like that Ted mentioned that Gil has a line he should not cross. "Boundaries" are good to be established UP FRONT!"

Yes! (Anyone who's ever had children or employees or students will probably attest to the importance of this.)

Posted by: fansincebullets | June 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

A player like Roy Hibbert, who dominated McGee in their matchups last season, is still a rotation player. Dwight Howard is going to eat him alive. Mehmet Okur is simply going to move out to the FT line and shoot jumpers. Indiana needs somebody else to match up with those guys.

So that's what I think the Wiz need to find: a big man who can establish position inside and hold it. For all his offensive flaws, Cole Aldrich probably fits the bill. I suppose you could draft a Derrick Caracter or a Dexter Pittman. Since the Wiz aren't on course to win now, why not look for a younger player who'll come cheap? You might make use of somebody like Mbenga, but why? He'll be 30 in December.

I'm not recommending a fat stiff -- just somebody who can rotate in against certain opponents and interfere with their game plan. McGee can have all the fancy minutes.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 12, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Listened to most of the LEONSIS talk. Trying to get a handle on the man, seems down to earth, all business, low-key. His work with the CAPS has been that way. No reason to think either GRUNFELD or SAUNDERS are going anywhere - just yet, as I have said here repeatedly. As TL said to the press, "I trust, embrace, evaluate, then adjust" not in those exact words, but ones to instill purpose in the front-office, and send a chill down the backbones of slackers, or inept management personnel.

Posted by: glawrence007 | June 12, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

would you happen to have any idea how difficult it would be for you to notice a 20 pound weight gain on a 7 foot tall human, in a sketchy youtube video? I doubt he's put on very much weight this summer but the offseason is what, 6 weeks old? How much weight did you expect him to put on this summer? I mean, you wanted 20 pounds by now, how much bigger was he gonna be by opening night? 50, 60 lbs.
I'm not raggin on you, b/c homie looks slim, but would you honestly think that Kang James is only 30lbs short of 300 looking at BIg Baby who weighs in a 289? I'll reserve my judgement of Javale until summer league, by then i think he'll be in shape. Judging him now seems almost unfair.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Mbenga could be useful for the Wizards, we need to get a legit 7footer on the squad and the guy will cost peanuts. This is just filling out the roster, not expecting him to morph into a force at Center.

Brad Miller is old, no good anymore, and plays away from the basket. Gortat is under contract with Orlando, and getting paid like $6mill/yr.

I dont think anybody wants to see Singleton trying to check 7footers again next year, so SOMEBODY will be signed. Doesnt need to be Mbenga, but it will be someone like him.


Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse
the thing i don't like about MBenga is that he just seems like a less athletic McGee. he may be a lil stronger, but he's not skilled. He wouldn't come here to be a starter, and we've already labeled Javale as a sparkplug player, a la The Birdman, at this point ion his career. We need to get a 5 man that can start and give us solid mins defensively and on the boards. Something tells me that the addition of a really good 3 man (Rudy Gay fits) there won't be a shortage of scoring so our 5 man doesn't have to be a force on O, just adequate. i dunno maybe we go after Aldrich maybe we throw some bread at Brad miller so he can teach Javale about postioning and footwork (Brad's made a lot of money for a while in the league with his below the rim big man game). but we need to find a center who can come in and start.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 12, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It kind of mystifies me time and time again when we compare what our Wizards players don't do well, to the strengths of others around the League.

You folks that wash yourselves in these questinable comparisons, are you aware that John Wooden never scouted teams.

John Wooden was all about building a system that honed the skills of the players he had, whatever those skills were.

Sure, Wooden had great players and it is a big reason why he got those players. Wooden, like Auerbach as well, were masters at developing and mastering the skills of their own players and did not worry much about other teams players.

It amazes me how so many comments are focused upon the things that McGee dosen't do well rather than the things that he does do well.

To many coaches as well, focus on making their team better they think by putting too much emphasis and time and concentration on the things that the team dosen't and may never do very well.

If I was coaching and training McGee, I would concentrate on all the things that he does well and make him better at those things. McGee is keen on blocking shots, so I would concentrate on making him better at that, along with other things he does well.

McGee right now isn't going to be those 30-40 pds heavier ideally that you want so you don't waist focus on that and putting him in the doghouse because of it and benching him because he is getting muscled in the paint.

That is concentrating on the negative.

Concentrate on what McGee does well now and if he does not do the things well that he is capable of then you respond to that.

I think that is the approach that Jackson, Auerbach, and Wooden take and took on the game.

I don't think they worried so much about what there players could not do, but what they could do.

Trust me, there is a huge difference in what you want your players to do and what your players can do.

Coaches who don't understand the wisdom in that will not ever be very successful. But, I guess thats why most of us are just average bloggers as well, for too many of you are obsessed with criticizing players for their shortcomings instead of seeing why they are NBA players and what they are good at doing.

A coaches responsibility is to bring out the best in his players: some try to do it by emphasizing making the weaknesses better, sounds good, but I'd rather go with the coaches that emphasizes making the strong points in their players even better.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I see Aldrich as a 2nd rounder and not a guy who can check players like Hibbert, Okur, Lopez, MGasul....they're all too big/long for him. Will be very interested to see where he goes.

Dexter Pittman is interesting, but with him slotted at the bottom of the 2nd....not sure how the Wiz can acquire him without elevating him to the 35th pick

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm not thrilled about this strategy, but maybe they try to get Miami's #18 in return for taking James Jones off their hands. There should be some nice players available that high.

The Wizards won't be able to take advantage of his buyout. I think that's too much money for a mid-round pick.

Posted by: mccaininthemembrane | June 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

#5:

JAVAL McGEE under contract
JEROME JORDAN in the second round
DAVID LEE FA

#4

ANDRAY BLATCHE under contract
JAMES SINGLETON FA
UDONIS HASLEM FA

#3

AL THORNTON under contract
JOSH CHILDRESS for JOSH HOWARD and 2011 #2.
DEVIN EBANKS last pick first round


#2

GILBERT ARENAS under contract
NICK YOUNG under contract
QUINTON ROSS player option
MIKE MILLER FA

#1

JOHN WALL first pick
SHAUN LIVINGSTON FA
MANNY HARRIS undafted FA

Posted by: glawrence007 | June 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"would you happen to have any idea how difficult it would be for you to notice a 20 pound weight gain on a 7 foot tall human, in a sketchy youtube video? I doubt he's put on very much weight this summer but the offseason is what, 6 weeks old? How much weight did you expect him to put on this summer?"

He did a full on flex in that silly vid, would have liked to have seen at least the inklings of bigger guns. In the same amount of time, AB has clearly bulked up a bit judging from that recent interview. You can see it in his shoulders and the puffiness to his face. That's what you look like when you're lifting, eating, and creatine supplementing.

but agree, should reserve judgment til he's in camp

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking CHILDRESS off LEONSIS' comment about GREEK League BB. HARRIS is one too many players, scratch him off the list. Have no idea how salaries and personalities would fit, ther as just so many holes. Can't see them all being plugged by JOHN WALL.

Posted by: glawrence007 | June 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind drafting a BIG guy who tries to play BIG.

In my mind that rules out Dexter Pittman. Dude averaged only 5.9 rebounds per game. As a senior! In contrast, Tiny Gallon averaged 7.9 rpg as a freshman. If you held a gun to my head, I'm picking Gallon over Pittman.

When all is said and done, I think they're both Hot Plate candidates, although Big Baby's recent play may cause teams to re-think their position on these type players.

Posted by: artiesliver | June 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Josh Childress is a guy I'd be interested in adding. I think he'd be a good fit for this team.

Posted by: Darnell1 | June 12, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"In my mind that rules out Dexter Pittman. Dude averaged only 5.9 rebounds per game. As a senior! In contrast, Tiny Gallon averaged 7.9 rpg as a freshman. If you held a gun to my head, I'm picking Gallon over Pittman."

That's too bad, because Gallon and Pittman are very different players. Two things they have in common: 1) they're fat, and 2) they're flawed. Gallon's the superior rebounder, but doesn't yet have a back-to-the-basket offensive game. He's also pretty easy to move off the blocks. And he's an inch and a half shorter on his standing reach.

Oh heck, they're both flawed. Draft somebody else.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 12, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The big men should slide up the scale in the second round, particularly if the big Lithuanian kid and Kevin Seraphin aren't available.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Josh Childress is a guy I'd be interested in adding. I think he'd be a good fit for this team.

Posted by: Darnell1 | June 12, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

josh childress is terrible. he was underwhelming in ATL, which is why he chased the money overseas. But his euroleague team is also unhappy with what they got for their 30million euros. he's been a disappointment everywhere he's been, but maybe he's due for a comeback year, like the one Mike Miller had.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh heck, they're both flawed. Draft somebody else.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 12, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse
what position does booker from clemson play? he killed UMD ery time i saw them play. He might be the high energy bruising frontcourt player that we need. not at the 5 but maybe the 4 off the bench (people keep touting james singleton as some type of PF/C whe he's really a SF with no offensive game).whadayathink

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 12, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

What do you guys think of Kevin Seraphin?? I think he would be a nice pick at 30.

Posted by: 11Wall | June 12, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Who should Teddy draft if given the choice between a healthy Blake Griffin or John Wall?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 12, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"what position does booker from clemson play? he killed UMD ery time i saw them play. He might be the high energy bruising frontcourt player that we need. not at the 5 but maybe the 4 off the bench (people keep touting james singleton as some type of PF/C whe he's really a SF with no offensive game).whadayathink"

I've been born and raised a Clemson fan and I've watched nearly every Clemson game during Booker's career, so I could probably give a good run down of him. I'm not exactly sure how Booker will pan out at the next level.. he's certainly a high energy, highly passionate player when he's on the court, not to mention a top tier athlete despite being slightly on the short side for his position. Booker is also one of the most tenacious defenders and effective rebounders I've seen in college in a while, and he'd definitely help the Wizards there; he was also a big time hustler player and a proven winner - winningest career by any clemson player, even if the program isn't notorious for winning. However, his height would make him play exclusively at the forward positions (his skills would translate to the NBA for either position), and, like you said, not as a 5. I would LOVE to see him suit up for the Wiz next year, and it would definitely help, but it would do little in terms of giving us more depth at center ahead of or behind McGee, which may be our most pressing need at the moment. That need is likely to be adressed before a need for another backup PF. I hate to say it, but I think he would produce similarly to how Singleton did for us last year, too similar to really warrant us using a pick on a player just like one we've already got. Unless we opt to not re-sign him.

Posted by: TDAV | June 12, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Here we are puzzling over almost an embarrassment of riches in terms of role players in the second round, when last year the only story was Blair falling through the roof for medical reasons. Outside of DeJuan the 35th pick would have come from guys like DaJuan Summers, Sam Young, Jon Brockman, Jonas Jerebko..

Posted by: Samson151 | June 12, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Who should Teddy draft if given the choice between a healthy Blake Griffin or John Wall?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 12, 2010 6:23 PM

Wall and it's not even close.

Posted by: divi3 | June 12, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Here we are puzzling over almost an embarrassment of riches in terms of role players in the second round, when last year the only story was Blair falling through the roof for medical reasons. Outside of DeJuan the 35th pick would have come from guys like DaJuan Summers, Sam Young, Jon Brockman, Jonas Jerebko.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 12, 2010 6:51 PM

I would have been okay with Jerebko in a Wizards' uniform. I actually think Summers could be a solid role player in the NBA, but given the Pistons' logjam at the SF spot, he didn't get much run in Detroit.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"Concentrate on what McGee does well now and if he does not do the things well that he is capable of then you respond to that."

Anyone (well, almost anyone, judging by some of the guff being posted here) who's watched him play the past couple of years already knows what he does and doesn't do well. It's abundantly clear. The problem, apparently, is getting him to recognize it and respond accordingly.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The thing I don't like about his is that he's a big useless stiff. The guy's 30 years old (at least he's listed as 30 years old; given the sometimes lax hospital record keeping in some small African nations, it's anybody's guess how old he really is), has been in the NBA 6 or 7 years and he's never even managed to work his way into a team's regular rotation, even as the last man off the bench. He seems like a classic example of a guy who really has no particular affinity for or interest in the game but got pulled into playing ball because some scout saw how big he was and got dollar signs in his eyes, and he went along because he figured it was an easy living.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

That last one should have been preceded by:

"the thing i don't like about MBenga is that he just seems like a less athletic McGee. "

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 12, 2010 12:17 PM

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"I like Gortat from orlando. their maxed out and over the cad maybe they would trade him to us for the cleveland pick."

Posted by: dakel76 | June 12, 2010 12:26 AM

Not likely. Any moves they make this summer will be aimed towards advancing their title chances. Even if they swapped Gortat's salary for a 1st round pick's, they'd still be way over the cap with no real FA money, and the odds of them finding a player at #30 who will help them as much as Gortat are pretty minimal, so the net result of that deal would be to decrease the talent on their team while doing nothing to improve their flexibility to make other moves. I could see them considering trading Gortat, but they'd want some immediate help back in return. They aren't likely to get it with the Cleveland pick.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"In the same amount of time, AB has clearly bulked up a bit judging from that recent interview. You can see it in his shoulders and the puffiness to his face."

Bigger shoulders and a puffy face may be a sign of getting bigger, but it's not necessarily a sign of bulking up. Given Blatche's conditioning history, I'd hold off on the platitudes.

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Posted by: linda38 | June 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bigger shoulders and a puffy face may be a sign of getting bigger, but it's not necessarily a sign of bulking up. Given Blatche's conditioning history, I'd hold off on the platitudes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:33 PM

eh, he looks bigger and specifically said he's been in the weightroom all offseason because Flip told him he needs to be stronger. Said he wouldnt pick up a basketball til late June while meanwhile focusing on strength. I'll look at that glass as half full.

Posted by: divi3 | June 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Bigger shoulders and a puffy face may be a sign of getting bigger, but it's not necessarily a sign of bulking up. Given Blatche's conditioning history, I'd hold off on the platitudes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 12, 2010 9:33 PM

eh, he looks bigger and specifically said he's been in the weightroom all offseason because Flip told him he needs to be stronger. Said he wouldnt pick up a basketball til late June while meanwhile focusing on strength. I'll look at that glass as half full.

Posted by: divi3

A puffy face could also just be from a few too many big macs (not that I speak from personal experience or anything), but I agree, might as well hold off and see how he does this offseason. This is his first offseason where he can realistically expect big minutes going into next year, and he also has had a taste of the toll those minutes can take.

Posted by: ts35 | June 13, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

I get the idea about focusing on consolidating a player's strengths, but don't we also want them to work on their weaknesses? Many times they play off of each other. For example, McGee is a fantastic shot blocker, but some times he's so eager to get the block that he goes for pump fakes too easily, gets out of position, etc. Hopefully players are working on both their strengths and their weaknesses.

Posted by: ts35 | June 13, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Quick, check this out before JaVale takes it down, he obviously hasn't lifting and drinking protein shakes during the off-season
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG4u9avWL_I

Posted by: closg

I guess we should just make sure he has the arc reactor turned 'on' this year?

Posted by: ts35 | June 13, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

AB is going to have a superb year based on the motivation to garner a big contract. He's a 5yr vet earning "only" like $2mill, which is peanuts based on the stats he put up as a starter. IMO, we can expect very good things as he strives for the CASH.

That particular lightbulb (or arc reactor??) probably hasnt gone off in Javale yet.

Posted by: divi3 | June 13, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"eh, he looks bigger and specifically said he's been in the weightroom all offseason because Flip told him he needs to be stronger. Said he wouldnt pick up a basketball til late June while meanwhile focusing on strength. I'll look at that glass as half full."

Blatche has a history of saying stuff that turns out not to be true. He said that he was going to turn over a new leaf and be more dedicated and serious at the beginning of the last 3 or 4 seasons. And every time it turned out not to be true. He doesn't have any more benefit of the doubt left as far as I'm concerned. Based on his record I'll assume he's blowing more smoke until he proves otherwise.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Not that it means anything -- who knows who'll be there on draft day? -- but the big draft sites have the Wiz getting:

#30: Gani Lawal, Devin Ebanks, or Solomon Alabi
#35: Stanley Robinson, Armon Johnson (G, Nevada), or Dominique Jones.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 13, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. I guess party Blatche kept on making false promises and showed not effort to get better last year. Maybe he'll blow some smoke this year as well... as in smokin some players with his smooth Bob McAdoo like moves.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 13, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

So Kal you're saying a lazy, unmotivated, out-of-shape Blatche averaged 22/8/4 on 50%FG as the starter last season?

If that doesnt bode well for the future what does!

Posted by: divi3 | June 13, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame that Leonsis is sticking with the current coach and Gm,i thought Avery Johnson would have been just what this team needed, Johnson would have been the perfect coach for this bunch and could have taught Gil a thing or two about playing guard and John Wall about the point but we're stuck with dumb and dumber and to think i thought Leonsis was a smart guy.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 13, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Dargregmag,

I can feel what you are sayin' but maybe Ted has to err on the side of patience with those two.

I have a bit more confidence that Ernie can prove himself than I do about Flip.

But I definitely cannot see anything wrong with Ted giving the both of them a little rope, sotospeak'.

My biggest fear for next year is whether Flip Saunders can really coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 13, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"He ain't going anywhere anytime short of him having 1 year remaining on his contract."

If Gil has a solid year, I can definately see trading for him. Someone will think,"If we have him on our team, he will do better." It's always like that in every sport.

It all depends on Gil and how motivated he will be for this upcoming year. It really is in his best interest to be be the best team-mate as well as hte best player he can be. Even he has got to understand that he has dug this hole forhimself.

And that means letting Wall control the ship. He does everything right, I can definately see someone trading for him.

"It's a shame that Leonsis is sticking with the current coach and Gm..."

In the letter I sent to Ted, I mentioned that I thought Flip was probably not the coach he wants here. While he kept the GM from the past admin, he did change coaches. I'm an Avery Johnson fan as well.

And here's the kicker: Lebron would actually listen to Avery Johnson. I don't think he would listen to Flip.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 13, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I mean the Caps past admin, sorry. - Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 13, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there's any question that Flip can coach. He has an established record of solid success. Same with Ernie. The question with both is are they the right person for where the Wiz are now and where Ted wants to take them. Time will tell. I think Ted has made it pretty clear that he thinks the GM's job is to execute the vision of the owner. And Ted has laid out an overall strategy. I think EG is capable of executing someone else's strategy.

I don't think Flip did a great job last year. The team was obviously less than the sum of its parts. Some of that is on him. And I think he took too long to adjust to the new circumstances after the fire sale. But I'm hopeful that since he'll be coming in with a pretty clear understanding of where the team is at now, they'll have better success. It has been a while, but he has coached young teams before.

AB has shown that he has All-Star caliber talent. The question for him now is will he be content to be a guy who gets numbers or does he want to become an actual All-Star caliber player? I think he is on the cusp of becoming serious about being an NBA player, and could go either way.

I don't know if NY or JM have reached that cusp yet. I think this season was a bit of a wake-up call for NY that he isn't guaranteed anything going forward, the question remains as to how he'll respond. I think Flip made it fairly clear to Nick that his playing time is directly related to how he plays on both ends of the floor. Having Gil potentially sliding over and taking minutes away won't help him either.

Whatever players they get with the 30, 35 and whatever other players they might pick up, my hope is that they get guys who immediately come in and challenge Nick and JM for playing time. How they would choose to respond to that challenge would tell the Wizards all they need to know about those two going forward.

Posted by: ts35 | June 13, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"And here's the kicker: Lebron would actually listen to Avery Johnson. I don't think he would listen to Flip."

About Avery Johnson: at the moment, he is getting benefit from short memories. His Mavs club won a lot in the regular season but started to struggle in the playoffs.

In the 2006–07 season, Johnson's Mavericks had the best record in the NBA with 67 wins and entered the playoffs as first seed. However, his Mavericks eventually lost to the 8th seed Golden State Warriors, led by former Mavericks head coach Don Nelson, in one of the biggest upsets in recent NBA history.

With his win on November 18, 2007 against the Grizzlies, Johnson became the fastest coach to reach 150 wins.

They made it to the '06 Finals and started with two victories before the Heat swept four straight games. As if that wasn't embarrassing enough for Mark Cuban, the following year they went into the playoffs as the top seed only to be eliminated in the first round by 8th seeded Golden State, coached by former Mavs' coach Don Nelson. The next year, they went out in the first round once again.

A day later, Cuban fired him.

Johnson is smart and a disciplinarian, but he 'lost' the attention of the Mavs in much the way Flip Saunders allegedly 'lost' the veterans in Detroit. In Johnson's case, it supposedly had to do with being a bit of a martinet. Who knows? I wasn't there.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 13, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"So Kal you're saying a lazy, unmotivated, out-of-shape Blatche averaged 22/8/4 on 50%FG as the starter last season?

If that doesnt bode well for the future what does!"

As is always the case when you start a post with the words "You're saying" . . . what I actually said has nothing to do with what you're claiming I said.

I'm saying the same thing I've said before about Blatche: He was lazy and unmotivated when it would have most benefited the team for him to be otherwise, namely when he was a key player off the bench whose contribution to a fully staffed team might have helped them win games. He only decided to play like he gave a rat's ass when it was in his best individual interest to do so, namely when the season was functionally over and he was free to "get his numbers" as Jeff Van Gundy likes to say. That, in my humble opinion, hardly bodes well for the future.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

No question Johnson was a hard ass taskmaster as a coach, but that's also what the Mavs needed, whether the players liked it or not. They were a soft team, soft mentally and physically and they lacked strong leadership on the court. They needed someone to take full hold of the reins and Johnson was the only guy who could do it. Yeah, they choked in the Finals, but the fact remains he got them farther than any coach the Mavs had before or since him, so I think it's fair to say the players were a bigger problem than the coach.

The situation in Detroit was different. Detroit had already tuned out two very good coaches (Carlisle and Brown) in short order (2 years each) in short order, despite the fact that both guys took them to levels of success the franchise hadn't had in more than a decade. The players on that team were arrogant and borderline uncoachable by the time Flip took over. He may have made his fair share of mistakes with them, but their history suggests that almost no coach could have herded them in because they seemed to have an inherent lack of respect for the very idea of being coached.

With regards to Saunders vs. Johnson . . . I think both are very good but not great coaches, but at the end of the day it's easier for a hard-ass coach to lighten up than it is for a soft-touch coach to become a hard-ass.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever players they get with the 30, 35 and whatever other players they might pick up, my hope is that they get guys who immediately come in and challenge Nick and JM for playing time. How they would choose to respond to that challenge would tell the Wizards all they need to know about those two going forward."

I absolutely agree. I've always thought that one of the reasons it was so easy for Blatche to settle into coast-mode was because he was never challenged in practice to have to fight for a spot or P.T> There was never another young, potential-laden player at his position pushing him for a spot. He was the best option they had and he knew it, so he never felt like he had to prove anything.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

,i>"I'm not raggin on you, b/c homie looks slim, but would you honestly think that Kang James is only 30lbs short of 300 looking at BIg Baby who weighs in a 289? I'll reserve my judgement of Javale until summer league, by then i think he'll be in shape. Judging him now seems almost unfair."

Please. If Davis only weights 289 then I'm 6' 11" with a 39-inch vertical.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Also, different guys carry weight different, esp. if one is carrying it as muscle and the other is carrying it as fat.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I SAY WE TRADE OUR LAST PICK IN THE FIRST ROUND AND JAVALE MCGEE FOR ROY HIBBERT AND MATCH HIM UP WITH BLATCHE DOWN LOW.....THEN DRAFT LANCE STEPHENSON WITH OUR 2ND ROUND PICK OR THE BEST SG AVAILABLE....AND SIGN MY BOY DA'SEAN BUTLER FROM WVU HES GONNA BE A STEAL IF HE DOESN'T GET DRAFTED

Posted by: wizkid703 | June 14, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Mr. Wall has been watching Rondo play and Ted keeps Gil away from him till training camp so Wall can learn how a real point guard is supposed to play in the NBA.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 14, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

FS coached paper kittens to start the year last year and ended with a NBDL quality team. To make any long term judgements on his coaching ability after that circus season is ludicrous. Same goes for AJ, who a few in here long over on a monthly basis. The dude took over an already "on the cusp" team that was coached and molded by Don Nelson and failed to achieve it's goals under AJ just as they had done for DN. Regardless, they are both B level coaches with FS being a better personality match for the team that started last season. Going forward, he may or may not be, but now you got that contract. And, I may add that FS has a track record of starting from scratch whereas AJ has always been a front runner in his 3 coaching seasons. 50 wins were guaranteed as long as he was not horrible. Alas, he wasn't horrible.

Posted by: rphilli721 | June 14, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

By the way, one of AJ's main boosters in here also thought EJ was a great coach and should have never been fired. That theory has been tested and it's a big fat WRONG!

Posted by: rphilli721 | June 14, 2010 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Avery would have done a better job than Flip with the post-trade group imo, but really it doesnt matter that much. Right now the team needs player development more than anything else, and Flip seems to be very good at that. He seems like a teacher moreso than a tactician.

As long as the players are getting better under his tutelage for the next 1-2 season, it's all good.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I am not a Flip fan but I don't think Avery Johnson coaching the post-trade squad would have resulted in many more victories. For the most part, they competed. They just didn't have much.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 14, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"Johnson is smart and a disciplinarian, but he 'lost' the attention of the Mavs in much the way Flip Saunders allegedly 'lost' the veterans in Detroit."

It seems to me that Avery Johnson and Doc Rivers are very much cut from the same cloth. Doc was fired also and he's on the verge of coaching for his second trophy. Not eveyone can coach those guys in Boston either, they DO have huge egos regardless of what they say on TV.

I was hoping the Wiz would hire him back after Dallas let him go, but it was clearly just wishing. :)

"The dude took over an already "on the cusp" team that was coached and molded by Don Nelson and failed to achieve it's goals under AJ just as they had done for DN."

Sports are all about "match-ups." Don Nelson knew his old team and he game planned for that. It was a bad match-up for Dallas, and it's not like a lot of people didn't see that coming either. Happens in sports all of the time.

"Hopefully Mr. Wall has been watching Rondo play and Ted keeps Gil away from him till training camp so Wall can learn how a real point guard is supposed to play in the NBA."

Another reason I think Gil will be gone after this year. What Flips is going to teach him and what Gil is going to advise him are going to be contradictory. All you have to do is remember how Gil would nod his head after coming to the bench last year, then go out and do what he wanted.

Ted is going to learn very quickly about Gil. He was so wrapped up with the Caps last year, I'm sure he never got to see that. But he will this year.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 14, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Also, different guys carry weight different, esp. if one is carrying it as muscle and the other is carrying it as fat.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

i think that was the point of the comment, but thanks for clarifying it.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 14, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Avery's weakness in that series, imo, was him allowing it to get so uptempo which played right into GSWs strength.

But the bigger factor was Nelson capitalizing on Matt Barnes and CaptJack being tailor made to rattle soft players.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"Sports are all about "match-ups." Don Nelson knew his old team and he game planned for that. It was a bad match-up for Dallas, and it's not like a lot of people didn't see that coming either. Happens in sports all of the time.posted by rmcazz"

I think the point is that it DOESN'T happen all the time. In fact, wasn't that the first time in ages? That a #8 beat the top seed.

I doubt a lot of people saw that coming.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Here's from the Wiki entry:

"On March 19, 2005, Nelson stepped down as Dallas' Head Coach, naming Avery Johnson as his successor. Nelson retained his job as Dallas' GM until after the season, when he named his son, Assistant GM Donnie Nelson, as his replacement. The Mavericks reached the NBA Finals in 2006."

"On August 29, 2006, the Golden State Warriors bought out Mike Montgomery's contract and hired Don Nelson to take over the team again. Nelson's Warriors won their final five regular season games and qualified for the 2006-07 playoffs."

"Nelson faced his old team, the Mavericks, in the first round of the playoffs. The Mavs were managed by his son, Donnie, and coached by his protege, Avery Johnson. In one of the biggest upsets in NBA playoff history, Nelson coached the 8th-seeded Golden State Warriors to victory over the top-seeded Mavericks in six games. The Warriors went on to lose to the Utah Jazz."

Also a reminder that Nelson wasn't fired by the Mavs.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"Also a reminder that Nelson wasn't fired by the Mavs."

Posted by: Samson151


Also a reminder that Nelson is a very clever guy, though not generally regarded as a traditionally "great" coach.

Also a reminder that the Mavs had fatal match-up problems in their ill-fated playoff run this year too. Instead of firing coaches, Cuban needs to rebuild that team, not continue to try to patch it up.

Posted by: nmik | June 14, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how Avery does in New Jersey. He won't have the benefit of one of the best rosters in the league, but he will be more able to stock with his kind of players.

The NBA is generally more about players than coaches, but it's also true that coaches can get better just like players. Avery is not going to be the same coach he was for Dallas. He might be better, he might be worse, but he has more experience under his belt and plenty of time spent reflecting on the job he did in Dallas.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

From last night's game:

- Even more evidence of just how ridiculously good Black Mamba is. And I don't like the guy.

- Maybe it will be different at home, but the Lakers really need Artest or Odom or someone to step up and give Gasol and Kobe some help. If Artest is not going to contain Pierce, wondering if they would be better off going with someone else who at least can bring something on O? Not sure who that would be from that roster. But Artest looks completely out of it on offense. He's playing scared.

- Kids today. I'm sure it's old hat for him, but did anyone else check out D-Wade's kid sitting three rows back from an intense NBA Finals game....and playing his PSP? (I think it was a PSP). Son, put the video game down. The funny part is would be if he was playing NBA Live.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Also a reminder that Nelson is a very clever guy, though not generally regarded as a traditionally "great" coach."

He's seen as an innovator, a guy who has had reasonable success in a variety of situations. The 'point forward', for instance, was largely his innovation.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"If Artest is not going to contain Pierce, wondering if they would be better off going with someone else who at least can bring something on O? Not sure who that would be from that roster."

I think Artest has contained Pierce in this this series. Last night was his first real breakthrough. The Lakers' problems have more to do with Bynum and Odom than Artest's defense.

Now back to LA and the decision.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I notice the various mocks have Greivis going between 40 and 55, despite the Wizards' apparent interest.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Also a reminder that Nelson is a very clever guy, though not generally regarded as a traditionally "great" coach."

He's seen as an innovator, a guy who has had reasonable success in a variety of situations. The 'point forward', for instance, was largely his innovation.

Posted by: Samson151

To me, Nelson is the best coach in the NBA at doing more with less, about getting the most out of a not-great roster (or maybe a close second to his friend Larry Brown). For some reason, he doesn't do nearly as well when he has the horses. He'll do well, but doesn't seem to get them over the hump.

The only problem with having Nelson coach your team is that when he leaves, you usually end up with a strange collection of pieces that don't work as well for anyone else.

If you had to win one game, and they gave you a Dream Team and a week to prepare, I'd want Phil Jackson to coach. If they plucked 10 guys at random from NBA rosters to play that Dream Team, I'd want Nelson.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I think Artest has contained Pierce in this this series. Last night was his first real breakthrough. The Lakers' problems have more to do with Bynum and Odom than Artest's defense.

Now back to LA and the decision.

Posted by: Samson151

Actually the breakthrough was in Game 4, when they started putting Pierce in iso's and pick-and-rolls and Artest has not been able to stay with him. And that Pierce started knocking down some of the open looks he was missing in Games 3 and 4.

Bynum's knee is definitely their biggest problem, but they can't really do anything about it. But I don't know if they can have Artest out there if he's not going to be aggressive on offense. However hard Artest is making Pierce work on the offensive end, Pierce is getting break on D end, and being able to help out and cheat to the middle.

I'm wondering who will break through in the next two games, Odom, Artest, Ray Allen? Allen's 0-16 from 3 since his 8 three pointer game? Or maybe someone we're not even thinking of a la Big Baby and Nate from Game 4.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

These next two games will be a faceoff between momentum and odds. The Celtics have the former, the Lakers the latter.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

It looks like the Lakers are tapping out like Orlando did, and Cleveland before them.

Posted by: G-Man11 | June 14, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Doc is clearly outcoaching Phil to mine eyes. Mainly because the open secret is that Phil doesnt coach Kobe, just like he didnt coach Shaq, nor MJ. As great as Kobe played in that 3rd quarter, he also completely phased his teamates out of the game and the Lakers didnt make up any ground until Kobe sat. And look how disorganized ans trash the Lakers 2nd units tend to be....isnt that coaching?

Meanwhile Doc is fully integrated into the game from the Opening tip. And he's getting the most out of as big a group of egos and potential malcontents as you'll find. Doc has his trigger finger on the timeout the entire length of the game, while Phil zens the Lakers into double-digit deficits.

No, I am not saying Phil isnt a great coach....but he's second in command to his best player in a way that Doc is not.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It looks like the Lakers are tapping out like Orlando did, and Cleveland before them.

Posted by: G-Man11

The Celts definitely have the guillotine choke in place, be interesting to see if they have the energy to finish it off, especially if they lose game 6.

As good as Boston looked, they still only won by 6. If that wild Pierce catch-and-crosscourt-pass-while-falling-out-of-bounds-to-Rondo-at-full-speed-for-the-layup play had been a turnover instead, might have been a different outcome. You could say that about any number of plays. So as well as they played the margin is still wafer thin.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Last night it seemed like Pau was posting up at the scorer's table, Phil has to do something to get Pau deeper in Game 6. Whether it's just tell Gasul to fight into position, or change the way the halfcourt sets up. I think relying on Odom or Artest or Fish sets the Lakers up to lose Game6. The safer bet, imo, is to focus on Kobe and Pau doing the majority of the heavy lifting. And then perhaps Odom will perform in his favorite role, namely, ubertalent that only performs as the 3rd or 4th option

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Doc is clearly outcoaching Phil to mine eyes. Mainly because the open secret is that Phil doesnt coach Kobe, just like he didnt coach Shaq, nor MJ. As great as Kobe played in that 3rd quarter, he also completely phased his teamates out of the game and the Lakers didnt make up any ground until Kobe sat. And look how disorganized ans trash the Lakers 2nd units tend to be....isnt that coaching?

Meanwhile Doc is fully integrated into the game from the Opening tip. And he's getting the most out of as big a group of egos and potential malcontents as you'll find. Doc has his trigger finger on the timeout the entire length of the game, while Phil zens the Lakers into double-digit deficits.

No, I am not saying Phil isnt a great coach....but he's second in command to his best player in a way that Doc is not.

Posted by: divi3

I think the Lakers phased themselves out, and I think the Celtics defense helped them greatly to do it. If Kobe doesn't go off in the 3rd, they're done. No one else from the Lakers showed any signs of stepping up to the plate. I think Kobe has been pretty restrained in going solo through most of the series, and that's the part I attribute more to Phil. But I think Kobe is seeing the way the script is starting to unfold. Odom shrinking from the spotlight, Artest unable to unwilling to contribute, Gasol getting pinched in the middle because of the lack of Bynum and no perimeter game aside from Kobe.

I do think Doc has the edge right now in the coaching department because he has found some things that are working for his team. But I don't think Phil is playing second fiddle to Kobe. And I don't think he has the championships he has because he has 'not coached' his stars. If Bynum was healthy, the series could just as easily be 3-2 the other way and then Phil would look like the better coach. As for not coaching MJ, or Shaq or Kobe, that's just poppycock.

And he's getting the most out of as big a group of egos and potential malcontents as you'll find.

His three most accomplished players, Garnett, Allen and Pierce bought in from day one. All three have established careers of unselfish play. They have egos, but not to the detriment of their teammates. It wasn't Doc getting into Nate's face after the tech in Game 4, he didn't have to, his leaders had it handled. Doc is definitely part of creating that environment, but I don't know where you get that they're the biggest group of potential malcontents.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Actually the breakthrough was in Game 4, when they started putting Pierce in iso's and pick-and-rolls and Artest has not been able to stay with him. And that Pierce started knocking down some of the open looks he was missing in Games 3 and 4.posted by ts35"

Nah, he can stay with Pierce. As well as anybody can with a top scorer in the NBA (which is not all that well, given the rules). Artest clearly bothers Pierce. It was Glen Davis and Nate Robinson making the difference at crunch time in Game 4.

Game 5 came down to Kobe vs the Celtics, and the Lakers usually lose when that happens.

Given that crazy 2-3-2 format, a team that takes one of the first two games on the road should win the series. Boston didn't hold serve, so to speak, so LA gets another chance at home. We'll see.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Last night it seemed like Pau was posting up at the scorer's table, Phil has to do something to get Pau deeper in Game 6. Whether it's just tell Gasul to fight into position, or change the way the halfcourt sets up. I think relying on Odom or Artest or Fish sets the Lakers up to lose Game6. The safer bet, imo, is to focus on Kobe and Pau doing the majority of the heavy lifting. And then perhaps Odom will perform in his favorite role, namely, ubertalent that only performs as the 3rd or 4th option

Posted by: divi3

You've got the script flipped. Phil has got to find a way to get more production from Odom, Artest and Fisher so that Gasol and Kobe can do the heavy lifting. Right now, Pierce cheats off of Artest with impunity. The whole team can focus on locking out Gasol and Kobe because no one else is doing much to scare them. Their third best scoring option right now after Kobe and Pau is Fisher flopping his way to the free throw line.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I notice that the media changes its opinion of the teams from game to game. The Celts win, it's because they're clearly the better team, and if the Lakers win, it's because they're clearly the team for the ages. It's like media types have memory banks that can hold only 24 hours worth of information. The rest of it is blather.

I mean, the fans are crazy, but it looks like now the media is, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Artest clearly bothers Pierce. It was Glen Davis and Nate Robinson making the difference at crunch time in Game 4.

Yeah he sure bothered the heck out of him last night.

Go back and watch game 4. SVG even referenced it during the game. They started putting the ball in Pierce's hands in iso's and p&r's. In fact a couple of the buckets that got Big Baby rolling were off of p&r's with Pierce.

No question Shrek and Donkey were difference makers in the 4th, but the breakthrough on how to get Pierce going also happened in that game. Which is why, when Doc finally put the starters back in, he went to Pierce to close it out.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Artest has contained Pierce in this this series. Last night was his first real breakthrough. The Lakers' problems have more to do with Bynum and Odom than Artest's defense.

Now back to LA and the decision.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

pierce, has had good looks this series and has been able to get good shot off every game this series just about. the difference in the past coupla games is just that the shots are falling. I could see if Ron Ron was running pierce off the 3pt line or not allowing him to catch those curls that set up the step back; be PP has had every shot he wanted, it's just falling now. Kinda like Kobe going for like 20 in the 3rd and only like 8 in the 4th. I don't know if Doc drew up the Top Secret Mamba Stopper Defense, but it looked like he was just missing shots unitl he started trying to find guys and kept turning it over in crunch time.
Funny how the game's best closer, takes a page out of Lebron's book and tries to facilitate the offense for his teammates rather than go into Black Mamba mode and take over.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 14, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I notice that the media changes its opinion of the teams from game to game

Posted by: Samson151

Win or lose, the one part of it that has to be satisfying to Kobe is that when he goes off like he did last night, they've stopped calling it "Jordanesque". Now it's just Kobe being Kobe.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The Celtics appear to have all the momentum, but here's where the benefit of the 2-3-2 Finals format can kick in for the team with homecourt advantage. In order to take the series the Celtics have to either (A) beat one of the best teams in the NBA 3 times in a row or (B) win a game 7 on the road. Is it possible? Sure. But history doesn't put the odds in Boston's favor.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Agree on Doc out-coaching Phil, and Odom has been exposed as being not worth the $$$ that he got, no-wonder LA didn't want to pay him.

Posted by: closg | June 14, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"His three most accomplished players, Garnett, Allen and Pierce bought in from day one. All three have established careers of unselfish play. They have egos, but not to the detriment of their teammates. It wasn't Doc getting into Nate's face after the tech in Game 4, he didn't have to, his leaders had it handled. Doc is definitely part of creating that environment, but I don't know where you get that they're the biggest group of potential malcontents."

I don't think that, pre-Big Three, Pierce was really known for his unselfishness. He and Antoine Walker formed sort of a twin towers of chuckers back in the day, and he and Rivers clashed frequently when they first got together. Rivers headbutting with Rondo the first couple season have been well-chronicled. Perkins was known as having questionable attitude and work ethic early on, Nate Robinson had a well-deserved rep as a head case before now. And then there's Rasheed . . .

A lot of the guys on this roster had, individually, reps as coach's headaches. The fact that they're all falling in line now is in large part due to Rivers selling the right message, getting the keys to buy in, and then letting the players at the top of the food chain disperse the message to the ones below. But it all starts with Rivers winning over the big 3.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The Celtics appear to have all the momentum, but here's where the benefit of the 2-3-2 Finals format can kick in for the team with homecourt advantage. In order to take the series the Celtics have to either (A) beat one of the best teams in the NBA 3 times in a row or (B) win a game 7 on the road. Is it possible? Sure. But history doesn't put the odds in Boston's favor.

Posted by: kalo_rama

All very true. The Celts can gain some confidence though because they have been a great road team all year. They were able to put together 3 game winning streaks against two of the other best teams in the NBA, they were able to beat LA in LA earlier in the series, and they've been able to beat them in the Finals in recent memory.

Except for game 1, the games in the series have been dog fights. I think both teams will pick out the things they want to to try to give themselves the mental edge, but I don't think any of it is going to make a difference. The Celts aren't going to be daunted by history or being on the road, the Lakers aren't going to be daunted by the pressure of having to win two-in-a-row.

I don't think there's any way he can, but I wonder if Phil is even considering sitting Bynum for Game 6 with hopes that he would be ready to be more of a contributor for Game 7 (assuming they get there). It would take brass ones to make that call for sure. If he was going to do it, it would have made more sense to do for games 4 or 5.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I notice that the media changes its opinion of the teams from game to game

Posted by: Samson151

Win or lose, the one part of it that has to be satisfying to Kobe is that when he goes off like he did last night, they've stopped calling it "Jordanesque". Now it's just Kobe being Kobe.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect?
the current people on both ESPN and ABC are just following the direction of the wind.They do not have a stand based on firm evaluation.Boston has multiple plans to win this game.I do not see any adjuestment from LA except a high volume scoring from Kobe,he might wean a quarter or at most a game but not shampionship.He put his team out of rhythm,just 3 minutes before the game boston start to double him.I realy do not understand why jacson is not coaching kobe to make him play with his team.Odom is playing just on his talent level but he does not look like interested to win.Artest is just following paul, i would say he did well so far but he did not play team defense, he was supposed to faul Randall at two occations in the last 2 minutes of the game instead of allowing him to score back to back.

Posted by: gtefferra | June 14, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Whatever players they get with the 30, 35 and whatever other players they might pick up, my hope is that they get guys who immediately come in and challenge Nick and JM for playing time. How they would choose to respond to that challenge would tell the Wizards all they need to know about those two going forward."

I absolutely agree. I've always thought that one of the reasons it was so easy for Blatche to settle into coast-mode was because he was never challenged in practice to have to fight for a spot or P.T> There was never another young, potential-laden player at his position pushing him for a spot. He was the best option they had and he knew it, so he never felt like he had to prove anything.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 13, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Thats ridiculous. The reason none of the Wizards young players developed is because they never got playing time even when the team was going nowhere. Two years ago in a 19-63 season, tpscscott played Jamison and Butler 40 minutes a game up through the end of the season. The only reason Blatche got a shot was because of the Jamison trade. Without question, he played the last 25-30 games as well as any PF in the league, outplaying Garnett on the two meetings in the last half of the season.

THE WIZARDS HAVE BEEN THEIR OWN WORSE ENEMY IN PLAYER DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT HAD A PHILOSOPHY OR A COMMITTMENT.
To simply label kids thugs or knuckleheads because they don't act a certain way is even more ridiculous.

For as much as John Wall has been annointed the saviour, anyone with a clue about basketball has to realize that a big part of the Wizards renaissance will be with Blatche as a major piece of the puzzle.

Posted by: NewManagement | June 14, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Thats ridiculous. The reason none of the Wizards young players developed is because they never got playing time even when the team was going nowhere."

That's ridiculous. (A) They did get playing time. At various points McGee, and Young were in the rotation and both managed to play their way out of it. (B) Simply giving a guy more PT doesn't automatically count as development. Players have to put the time and effort in away from the glare of the lights, and there's been every indication that the Wiz kids weren't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Kobe still has another gear. I'm guessing his "Kobe-esque-ness" will be out in full force for games 6 & 7. It just feels to me like he's ready to bust out with a performance for the ages.

Posted by: Bellman | June 14, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"As for not coaching MJ, or Shaq or Kobe, that's just poppycock."

Agree to disagree on that, imo, Phil has never been the coach that Pops or Larry Brown have been (for instance) and is now being outdone by Doc. Do the Lakers make adjustments at all? I mean, so what if Bynum is gimpy? After game1 there was talk of Pau as the best big man in the league and you have Kobe. What more do you need? Yet if anything, it's the series format that will win this for the Lakers.

I dont know, for years we were supposed to be impressed with Phil letting his team "play through" bad stretches. But now it looks to me more like watching leads evaporate or holes get deeper. Meanwhile Artest's dazed and confused show stifles their offense (and has all year) but he seems to still have a green light on everything. Personally, I'm just not seeing any coaching out of Phil relative to what we see nightly from Rivers.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"That's ridiculous. (A) They did get playing time. At various points McGee, and Young were in the rotation and both managed to play their way out of it."

You mean while AJ and CB were leading us to 19 wins? Jamison's PT was always sacrosanct, really made no difference what AB did or didnt do- he was NEVER going to see significant minutes with AJ healthy.

That doesnt excuse AB for his subpar behaviors, but let's not pretend he would have seen the floor much more had he been lights out.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah he sure bothered the heck out of him last night.Go back and watch game 4. SVG even referenced it during the game. They started putting the ball in Pierce's hands in iso's and p&r's. In fact a couple of the buckets that got Big Baby rolling were off of p&r's with Pierce.No question Shrek and Donkey were difference makers in the 4th, but the breakthrough on how to get Pierce going also happened in that game. Which is why, when Doc finally put the starters back in, he went to Pierce to close it out.Posted by: ts3"

Wait a minute -- didn't I say Artest bothered Pierce in Game 4? Not 5.

He bothered him in Games 1-3, too.

I don't know how long you can hold down a top scorer in the modern NBA. They're eventually going to break through on you. Whether it's Kobe, LeBron, Pierce... it's the way the game is set up, and the way it's played. I remember Bruce Bowen commenting on that a few years back. No matter how good you are as a one-on-one defender, eventually your guy will get hot, and you'll look helpless out there.

These next two games will tell the story.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Agree to disagree on that, imo, Phil has never been the coach that Pops or Larry Brown have been (for instance) and is now being outdone by Doc. Do the Lakers make adjustments at all? I mean, so what if Bynum is gimpy? After game1 there was talk of Pau as the best big man in the league and you have Kobe. What more do you need? Yet if anything, it's the series format that will win this for the Lakers.

I dont know, for years we were supposed to be impressed with Phil letting his team "play through" bad stretches. But now it looks to me more like watching leads evaporate or holes get deeper. Meanwhile Artest's dazed and confused show stifles their offense (and has all year) but he seems to still have a green light on everything. Personally, I'm just not seeing any coaching out of Phil relative to what we see nightly from Rivers.

Posted by: divi3

I do think Doc is currently outcoaching Phil a bit. You may like Pops or Larry B or Doc better and that's fine, that's all opinion. But to say that Phil didn't coach MJ, Shaq or Kobe is ridiculous.

So what if Bynum is hurt? What if any of the main contributors for Boston were hurt? Oh, right, that was last year and they got bounced. Did Doc take a year off from being a coaching genius?

"Meanwhile Artest's dazed and confused show stifles their offense (and has all year) but he seems to still have a green light on everything"

Are you listening to yourself? Dude, they're in the NBA FINALS. They're down, but they're down 3-2, not 3-0. Geez, to read you, you'd think they were the Wizards.

As for the whole letting them play through time-outs thing, what about the times when it has worked? Or are you just cherry-picking the past two games? I don't know if calling a timeout or not calling a timeout has a lot to do with winning this series, it's just his style. His style happens to have a pretty good success rate behind it, btw. There are things you can fault him for in the series, that one for me would be way down the totem pole.

It's two proven NBA champions going head-to-head, one at full strength, one at slightly less than full strength. Does it excuse Phil? No, there are still other things he could be doing, but it's a little disingenuous imo to put it all on Phil, especially when they still are in the series and even without Bynum at full-strength, and Odom not being a factor and Artest 'stifling' the offense, the games have been close, and they're down 1 game in the series with 2 games at home to go.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"You mean while AJ and CB were leading us to 19 wins? Jamison's PT was always sacrosanct, really made no difference what AB did or didnt do- he was NEVER going to see significant minutes with AJ healthy."

I guess I don't follow this argument. I understand a coach's loyalty to his veterans. I understand the importance of playing 'stars' in today's NBA. But we're talking about a team that's rapidly disappearing in the standings. Once the losses start piling up, no coach is going to resist change that stubbornly. No GM is going to want him to. If Blatche and Young had played that well in their 20 minute stints, they'd have been starting sooner rather than later.

Because the one thing we know about pro sports is that it's about winning. You win, you keep your job, no matter how undeserved it may be. You lose, you're toast.

You may get reprieves (such as new ownership), but the rule stands. Keep losing, it's over.

I think we as fans sometimes have trouble seeing things from a coach's perspective. Take McGee -- the sort of player who captures everyone's imagination, and we keep seeing stats like the PER that suggest we've got this potential All-World player languishing on the bench. We know there are flaws in his game, but it takes a while for us to appreciate how damaging they can be. It's just not human nature to be objective and a fan at the same time. Passion we have. Knowledge, maybe not so much.

But of course, we don't have to be experts. Flip and Ernie do.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"I think the point is that it DOESN'T happen all the time. In fact, wasn't that the first time in ages? That a #8 beat the top seed.

I doubt a lot of people saw that coming."

If I rememer correctly, Denver over Seattle in '93-94 was the last time.

I remember people like Barkley and all of those other fools calling it though, but yeah the Mavs were supposed to "win it all" that year. Many people also said that AJ just didn't want to beat his mentor Nelly, but I don't believe that either.

With the way sports are now, with no totally dominating team, you are going to see it more and more.

Look at the Caps in Hockey, they were supposed to "win it all" this year and look what happend. It's all about Match-ups and nobody was picking the C's to be where they are right now either.

"Doc is clearly outcoaching Phil to mine eyes."

He is, and the C's do really play great defense. The Lakers have issues, beyond Kobe they don't have anyone that's a better Match-up with the Celtics. Odum is unreliable, they need to dump that guy as well as Artest. I don't blame Phil for wanting to leave. :P

I picked the C's in 6, it might actually happen. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 14, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I think you need a new thread Mike. :P

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 14, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"You mean while AJ and CB were leading us to 19 wins? Jamison's PT was always sacrosanct, really made no difference what AB did or didnt do- he was NEVER going to see significant minutes with AJ healthy."

Again, ridiculous. Blatche was Jamison's primary backup at PF Jamison was healthy and also saw minutes at C. He averaged 20 mpg or more each of the last 3 seasons and played in all but one game in 2 of those seasons. Those are significant minutes. Now, if your definition of "significant" is 40 mpg then no, he was never going to see those minutes with Jamison on the squad, nor should he have. But that didn't mean he didn't get a fair shot. He was a regular fixture in the rotation, one of the first players off the bench, and the guy most frequently called up to start in case of injury to one of the regulars. The whole "Jamison was holding Blatche back" argument is utter nonsense.

Oh, and how many wins did Blatche "lead" the Wizards to when he became "the man"?

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

How about just pointing out a Phil adjustment this postseason? Being the bigger, longer team allowed for a straightforward path to the Finals. But now they are facing a team with some length and bulk in the paint and they cant simply steamroll through it. I say who cares if Bynum is injured because he played 32mins last night. Whatever kind of injury that is, it's no excuse (for all we know KG is on one leg). And if he really is that bad off, then you dont lean on him for 32mins.

It looks to me that the series is indeed coming down to coaching because both teams are hyper-talented and savvy. To beat the Lakers in a 2-3-2 would be a tremendous accomplishment, all I'm saying is that Doc looks likes the team's MVP right now given the up and down individual play of everyone on the Cs roster.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

But we're talking about a team that's rapidly disappearing in the standings. Once the losses start piling up, no coach is going to resist change that stubbornly. No GM is going to want him to. If Blatche and Young had played that well in their 20 minute stints, they'd have been starting sooner rather than later.


so the coach stayed the course, even as the losses piled up? how bout some reality bout AB last season. In the first 9 gms of the year while AJ was hurt AB scored 20,13,30,7,10,1,20,13 and 13 while avg'ing just under 7 rebs per game over that span. After AJ came back into the startin role AB only scored in double digits in 4 of the next 21 games. Now it's been proven that AJ can play very well off the bench (6th man of the year) but it seems like AB was comin on while AJ was hurt and then really took a hit once AJ came back.
All of this is to say that Flip wasn't trippin of of Ws and Ls when he was trottin out Caron "The Human Turnover" Butler and Metawn "The Black Hole" Jamison to the tune of like 25+ losses in the first half of the season.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 14, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute -- didn't I say Artest bothered Pierce in Game 4? Not 5.
Posted by: Samson151

I believe you said "Artest clearly bothers Pierce." Present tense. And I'm saying he didn't 'bother' him in game 4 or game 5.

In game 4, the Celts starting changing where and how they got Pierce the ball and Artest has not had an answer for it.

Not that it's 100% on Artest, the team D for the Lakers has been shaky the past two games. And defensively Artest is better on Pierce than anyone else aside from Kobe they could put on him. But if Artest is not going to give you anything on offense, how do you balance it?

I don't know how long you can hold down a top scorer in the modern NBA. They're eventually going to break through on you.

I generally agree, but it's not like Pierce has been hitting the kinds of ridiculous, contested shots that Kobe hit in the third last night. He's been getting open looks.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

so the coach stayed the course, even as the losses piled up? how bout some reality bout AB last season. In the first 9 gms of the year while AJ was hurt AB scored 20,13,30,7,10,1,20,13 and 13 while avg'ing just under 7 rebs per game over that span. After AJ came back into the startin role AB only scored in double digits in 4 of the next 21 games. "

Exactly. Once he went back to his regular bench roll, he crawled back in his hole and failed to play with the same focus and interest he had as a starter. That's not Jamison's fault or the coach's. The blame for that lands squarely on Blatche. Jamison was the starter, Blatche was the backup. It was incumbent on him to bring everything he had off the bench. he was either unable or unwilling to do so. And posting Blatche's numbers in his starts only helps your case if those numbers were better than what Jamison put up as a starter. They weren't. So your suggestion would be what? To give Blatche a promotion for doing a half-assed job in his assigned role and displace the guy who's proven to be better at the job you're taking away from him than Blatche? Yeah, that makes sense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Pierce is fun to watch, as much as he annoys me. All those shoulders and step backs, nobody is better at creating separation

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"And posting Blatche's numbers in his starts only helps your case if those numbers were better than what Jamison put up as a starter. They weren't."

Even you Kal would have to admit it was obvious how much better AB played than AJ after the trades. Blatche is a superior player to Jamison, there's no two ways about it and really it's to be expected given AJs age and mileage.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that, pre-Big Three, Pierce was really known for his unselfishness. He and Antoine Walker formed sort of a twin towers of chuckers back in the day,
Posted by: kalo_rama

As long as you realize that the last year of 'back in the day' was
'02. And he averaged around 5 asts for the years between 'back in the day' and when the other two arrived in '07. And suffered through some crappy team seasons until they arrived. By the time Allen and Garnett showed up, I believe Pierce was happy for the help and happy to have a shot in the playoffs. Has Pierce squawked a lot (at all?) about giving up shots or headlines to Allen and Garnett since they arrived?

So, while I do give Rivers credit for earning their respect and holding their attention, I think they also had a coming-together of 3 stars already willing to put their personal stuff aside in order to pursue a title.

Wallace, I put in a different category, because he is a headcase, but also had already been a part of championship/contending teams.

But for the rest of it, I agree that there have been issues with Rondo and Perkins and Nate's a character, but when your top 3 players buy in off the top, one a for-sure HoFer, two others as possible HoFers, and they have the force of personality that they do, especially with Garnett, and stars willing to sacrifice parts of their game and play defense, I think it makes it far, far easier for the coach to get the other guys' attention.

So while I give Doc some credit for it, I don't think it's the same as having a Rodman being a critical component of your success. I think Larry Brown had to work far harder coaching AI to a Finals than Doc has had to with this bunch. Just my opinion.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"As long as you realize that the last year of 'back in the day' was
'02. And he averaged around 5 asts for the years between 'back in the day' and when the other two arrived in '07. "

So? You can't necessarily measure a guy's attitude by looking at his statline. And Pierce and Rivers were having run-ins as recently as the year before Garnett and Allen showed up.

"By the time Allen and Garnett showed up, I believe Pierce was happy for the help and happy to have a shot in the playoffs. Has Pierce squawked a lot (at all?) about giving up shots or headlines to Allen and Garnett since they arrived? "

Which was my (glaringly obvious, I would think) point when I said that it all started with Rivers getting the Big 3 to buy into what he was selling. Which speaks to the original point of the quality of the coaching job Rivers is doing. He has a bunch of guys who had prior reps as being problem children (regardless of how far back those reps go) and gotten them to buy into his plan. That's good coaching and it's often a lot harder to pull off than the Xs and Os stuff.

"But for the rest of it, I agree that there have been issues with Rondo and Perkins and Nate's a character, but when your top 3 players buy in off the top, one a for-sure HoFer, two others as possible HoFers, and they have the force of personality that they do, especially with Garnett, and stars willing to sacrifice parts of their game and play defense, I think it makes it far, far easier for the coach to get the other guys' attention."

Which (conveniently for you) assumes that their buy-in came independently of Rivers' sell job, which is highly unlikely. They bought into what Rivers was selling so your implication that it all started with the Big 3 and that Rivers just rode their coattails would seem presumptuous at best. So, again, it all starts with the coach being able to get the big dogs into the same kennel without tearing each others' throats out.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

you can get what AJ gives you if he starts or comes off the bench. That's why he's MeTawn. He'll always get HIS numbers.IMHO AB gave you enough production as a starter last year that bringing AJ off the bench wouldn't have been that much of a drop off. AJ was a 14 pt scorer off the bench with DAL, coincidentally ha avg'd about 15 pts per in his role in CLE. AJ is a 6th man of 3rd option on good teams, he's only been a 20 pt scorer here and in GS; two franchises all about winning.
If you could get 22 per from AB starting and 14 from AJ coming off the bench wouldn't you take that over AJ's 20 per starting and AB's 6-10 off the bench.
I understand you ain't feelin AB and don't think he needed to be rewarded for his lack of work ethic and discipline, and there's something there. But AB came to play at the beginning of this year and deserved at least a bump up in mins at the PF spot. Giving him more mins at the 5;which he doesn't play as well, only gives him more opportunities to set screens and rebound AJ,Gil and CB's misses.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 14, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Even you Kal would have to admit it was obvious how much better AB played than AJ after the trades."

Apples and oranges.

He put up bigger numbers when given more opportunities and less competition for shots, but that's not, by any reasonable definition, inherently the same thing as playing better. In the 07 playoffs, without Arenas, Jamison averaged 32 and 10, shot 48% and 35% from 3pt range. They still got swpet though. So much for the supremacy of numbers.

My position is the same as it always has been: If Blatche can play with the same energy and aggressiveness when surrounded by talent and without having his number called every time down court (which he won't with Wall and Arenas on board) then he'll have proven something. Until then all he's proven is that he can throw up stats on a bad team with the best of them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"But AB came to play at the beginning of this year and deserved at least a bump up in mins at the PF spot. "

He came to play when he was in the spotlight, but as soon as he was in a position where team goals superseded his individual ones, he crawled back in his hole and pulled the dirt in behind him. If he'd continued the same quality of play after he went back to the bench (regardless of stats) then he likely would have been rewarded. But he didn't. He pulled a Caspar and disappeared as soon as he wasn't being stroked by the sound of the announcer's voice calling his name in the starting lineup. There's no reward for that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Until then all he's proven is that he can throw up stats on a bad team with the best of them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 14, 2010 2:47 PM

Agreed, he's just another Brooke Lopez or David Lee for now.

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Which (conveniently for you) assumes that their buy-in came independently of Rivers' sell job, which is highly unlikely. They bought into what Rivers was selling so your implication that it all started with the Big 3 and that Rivers just rode their coattails would seem presumptuous at best. So, again, it all starts with the coach being able to get the big dogs into the same kennel without tearing each others' throats out.
Posted by: kalo_rama

Which (conveniently for you) assumes that Doc's sell job was the compelling factor as opposed to their own desire to win a title. It's not like the Celts brought together three of the most relentless gunners in history. Did they bring in Zack Robinson and Steph Marbury? Garnett was often lauded and frequently faulted for being too unselfish.

The idea that somehow Doc has this silver-tongued ability to sell those guys on anything is equally presumptuous. The idea that those particular three players would tear each other's throats out without his coaching abilities is flat-out preposterous.

Look. Doc is a great coach, no question. I'm not saying that he had nothing to do with that team coming together and certainly he has a lot to do with winning their title and maybe a second. But let's not pretend like he's Lee Marvin coaching the Dirty Dozen.

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

You think the danny would care about the quality of ketchup?

He'd only care that it cost LESS to buy so he could sell it for MORE...

It's like night and day when talking Steady Teddy and the midget dictator...Teddy finds ways to make the fan experience BETTER while the danny finds ways to CHARGE the fans more for the 'privilege' of attending a game.

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 14, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Put it another way Kal, should LeBron decide to sign in Miami, do we think it will be off of the sell job of Eric Spoelstra?

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"I believe you said "Artest clearly bothers Pierce." Present tense. And I'm saying he didn't 'bother' him in game 4 or game 5."

Looked to me like he did bother Pierce in Game 4. Like when somebody says, 'watch the game', I always want to say, 'lend me your eyes', because 9 times out of 10 I find myself disagreeing with the other guy's glib assessment.

Same when somebody says "it's a no-brainer" -- it turns out to be a brainer. Or 'book it' -- that's a euphemism for 'forget what I'm saying, I know I will.'

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Happened to tune in to a Charlie Rose rerun with John Wooden, Bill Russell, and Bill Walton. Wooden and Walton went back to their shared worst experience, that OT loss in Greensboro to David Thompson and NC State. Both took the blame for it, Walton saying he should have played better, and Wooden saying he should have called some time outs -- something he was loathe to do because it was an admission his team was tired. Of course, they WERE tired, but he hated to admit it.

Funny story was that when he realized how good his bunch of sophomores could be, he called them together and told them they'd be great in Year 1, even better in Year 2, and by year 3, they'd be intolerable. And apparently they were.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 14, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Will probably be the sell job of Florida's 0% income tax and the azz on SoBe!

Posted by: divi3 | June 14, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

the only game when PP shot poorly or seemed to be stymied was game 2 : 2-11 0-0 from 3. Other than that he's been able to get shots in the flow of the offense. I know yall hate stats, but PP has gone for 24,10,15,19 and 27 in 5 gms so if you really think Ron's been bothering Paul, I'm sure Doc would ask you to get Ron to "bother" Ray Allen and Perkins cuz Ray could use a game 6 outburst like Paul's in game 5 , and Perkins well he's starting to not look like a ballplayer anymore.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 14, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"I believe you said "Artest clearly bothers Pierce." Present tense. And I'm saying he didn't 'bother' him in game 4 or game 5."

Looked to me like he did bother Pierce in Game 4. Like when somebody says, 'watch the game', I always want to say, 'lend me your eyes', because 9 times out of 10 I find myself disagreeing with the other guy's glib assessment.

Posted by: Samson151

Pierce was 7 for 12 and had 5 dimes in Game 4. Not sure how Artest bothered him, unless he hurt his feelings or asked for a loan.

As for the 'glib assessment' part, well now you're just picking on Jeff Van Gundy. Because he was talking all game 4 and a lot of game 5 about it. And they diagrammed it. And replayed it in super slo-mo. I can't really lend you my eyes, but maybe get some glasses? Or a better TV? An assist-dog with a good basketball IQ?

Posted by: ts35 | June 14, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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