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John Wall is welcomed to the NBA with a walloping


Please tell me it won't be like this all year. (AP Photo)


There is no need to overreact to one game, since it was this time last year that the Wizards won their season opener, dominating the Mavericks in Dallas, and appeared to be headed toward the playoffs. Until they played a few more games and ... uh, you know the rest (they really earned the No. 1 pick).

But there is a lot that was disconcerting about the Wizards' 112-83 loss in Orlando on Thursday night at Amway Center. And, nothing is perhaps more troubling than the fact that the Wizards had nine days to prepare for the Magic. Nine days of preparation to find themselves down 35 points after Dwight Howard squared up and hit a 17-foot bank shot with 80 seconds left in the third quarter. The 29-point loss was the worst ever by a No. 1 overall pick in his debut in the past 30 years.

Still, there is no way that anyone could predicted in training camp that the Wizards' leading scorer for the season opener would be Cartier Martin, one of the last players to make the roster. Martin finished with 17 points and was one of just three Wizards to finish in double-figures, along with John Wall and Kirk Hinrich.

Rebounding was expected to be a problem for the Wizards, but there is no way that anyone could've projected that they wouldn't be able to get half as many rebounds at the Magic. The Wizards were so awful getting rebounds that Magic reserve Ryan Anderson played just 16 minutes, all in the second half, and grabbed more rebounds (eight) than Thornton, who led the Wizards with seven.

"It's hustle. It's want. It's hunger," said Andray Blatche, who finished with just two rebounds. "It's something, we have to step it up. Not to use any excuses, they have one of the best rebounders in the league. We still have to work harder at that. I don't care if we get four [rebounds] a piece. We have to out-rebound teams."

That would require a level of activity and effort that was non-existent on Thursday, when the Wizards didn't come close to resembling the feisty, competitive team it appeared to be throughout the preseason. Coach Flip Saunders had a hopeless, flustered look on his face almost every time some Magic player was escorted to an uncontested layup or dunk. The Magic scored 56 points in the paint.

"As I told them, we've competed so hard in the preseason and against each other, you hoped that that would carry over," Saunders said. "All the things we talked about, we didn't have any carryover."


Is it going to be like this every night? (AP Photo)

Before the game, Saunders said he hoped that the Wizards wouldn't be the "homecoming team" for the Magic, which opened its new arena. But his young team was worse -- much worse, with a performance so bad that Howard spent the garbage time in the fourth quarter on sideline hamming it up with his teammates and doing push-ups as punishment for missing so many free throws. He was 9 for 19 from the line.

There had to be some flaw with Howard, who outscored JaVale McGee, Al Thornton and Blatche 23-22, matched the Wizards with three blocked shots and grabbed nearly matched the entire Wizards' starting five with 10 rebounds. McGee, Thorton, Blatche, Wall and Hinrich had 12.

And, though Howard was terrible from the foul line, his percentage from the stripe was actually better than Wall from the field. In his NBA debut, the No. 1 overall pick missed 13 of his 19 shots. He missed his first two jumpers, then had Howard assist him on his first field goal when he came trailing and was called for goaltending. All of Howard's blocks came while contesting Wall's drives to the basket.

"It's not the most ideal situation to match up for your first game, going against the Defensive player of the year, that does really patrol the paint so much," Saunders said. "But that's part of the learning process."

It was an unusual performance for Wall, who typically looks for his teammates first but fell into the Magic's trap. When speaking about Wall before the game, Stan Van Gundy said, "In terms of his speed on the floor, he's up there with anybody in the league."

Since the Magic knew that it couldn't keep up with the 20-year-old lightening bolt, Van Gundy decided to have point guard Jameer Nelson step back as far as he could, giving Wall as much room as he wanted for jumpers. Of Wall's 13 misses, eight came from 17 feet or beyond. "He was wide open. It's not like he took bad shots," Saunders said.

And, it's not like anyone else was looking to assert himself offensively. There never seemed to be a flow, and the Wizards just looked lost and confused on both ends of the floor. The defense was painful, with Orlando making 66 percent of its shots in the first three quarters.

"We played against a team that was in the Finals two years ago and has played in the Eastern Conference Finals the last couple of years," Wall said. "They are a talented team and they are on a mission."

And the Wizards got an important lesson in what their mission should be.

By Michael Lee  | October 29, 2010; 1:16 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, JaVale McGee, John Wall  
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Comments

Grasp reality people yes Ted bought the team but he left the same people in charge and what good does that do?

It's like buying a restaurant that has bad food and service and keeping the GM and Chef hoping they might change?

It's going to be another long season and the only thing I can hope for is Ted gets tired of losing a lot faster then Abe did and will make a change with Ernie and the New GM will bring in a real coach.

2014 will be about the time the Wizards will finally have a shot at making the playoffs.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 29, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Talk is cheap, Andray Blatche.

It may be too early for this question, but I'll ask anyway: how bad does it have to get before the plan changes and Booker, H, and Seraphin see serious minutes so as to speed up their development? In my view, McGee would be further along now if the team had recognized how bad it was and found him more minutes.

Posted by: mugsybol | October 29, 2010 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Obviously it's all Arenas' fault. His presence has destroyed the fragile balance of chemistry that we've so desperately tried to create during the off-season, training camp & pre-season with his continued shenanigans & foolishness. He's effectively poisoned the well. Now he skips games b/c of suspect injuries and was back in DC laughing at the abject disaster we saw in Orlando while likely dancing a jig on his "strained" ankle. Until he is permanently vanished from the organization his devilish torment on our moribund franchise will remain.

Posted by: Dat2U | October 29, 2010 4:43 AM | Report abuse

It is very early in the season. However, this is the worst whipping I have seen in a long time. It wasn't competitive at all. The Wizards should get twice the time outs because they need them.

I will be watching and hoping for something better all season. Player selection and development are problems. Teams loose with inexperienced players. Last year we lost with experienced players.

Except for Wall who will be great, we have lots of players with lots of missing skills. The best coach in history would be struggling with this bunch.

Time will tell but the people selecting the players on the roster were the problem in the past and appear to be the problem now.

Posted by: JoeC2 | October 29, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

There are 81 games left in the season for Javale McGee to learn how to play center in the NBA. All those guys he dominated in the Summer League are 12th men on other rosters or not even in the NBA. Maybe just make McGee a forward since he can't guard centers, and make Blatche the center so he won't drift out around the 3-point line and put up bad shots. And how about some decent playing time for Trevor Booker and Cartier Martin, please. At least they know how to play their positions. Never mind that they aren't very good, at least they won't be very bad.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshot | October 29, 2010 5:38 AM | Report abuse

It's a process, folks.

Yes, last night was bad. REALLY bad!! REALLY, REALLY bad!!!

So can we find ANY silver lining in this really, really dark cloud?

As Mike Lee mentioned, we were all feely-good last year at this time after we walloped a playoff-bound Dallas team with a healthy roster. Hopefully, this season works in reverse from last season. The good here is the fact that we got early season exposure to what a championship contender looks like, and how much work it will take for us to get to that level. I'm sure all the coaches will study lots of tape from this game.

I agree with Mike Wise that all talk of playoffs should be shunned right now and we should be developing this team.

P.S. Where is the hell was Seraphin??? This was the PERFECT game for him to get some exposure against a man he will have to emulate if he is to be one of the key pieces to this franchise going forward. He should have had 20 minutes of PT last night! Instead, he was inactive. That coaching decision was equally as bad as the decisions we made on the court.

If we are to grow, our mantra must be "development, development, development." Nothing else matters.

Posted by: bpybay | October 29, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

What, no worshipful post-game post from melodius_thunk on how great Grunfeld is?

Things will improve, but I have Zero faith in the coaching and management after this latest set of rental-players expire next year.

Posted by: closg | October 29, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

We needed haywood on howard for that one game.

Posted by: jefferu | October 29, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Grasp reality people yes Ted bought the team but he left the same people in charge and what good does that do?

Where have all the bloggers gone, long time passing.........

Two minutes and I left. Thank god, I didn't buy tix to this horror show.

LEONSIS will keep the good front office personnel, and let the bad ones go, over a period of years that is. He'll dismiss the floor management when the time is right. Meanwhile, he'll keep FLIP and company until the semblemnce of a true professional team is in place........and this ain't it.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 29, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

It's going to be another long season and the only thing I can hope for is Ted gets tired of losing a lot faster then Abe did and will make a change with Ernie and the New GM will bring in a real coach.

I'm convinced SAUNDERS is NOT the coach for this team. I don't know who the hell is, but you play the bench in a game like this one.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 29, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

8 things washington need to do in 2010-11
1/ Clean the front desk including the GM
2/ depart with that fool by any means.
3/ create identity, a defensive identitiy will be the best to win down in the road but hard and might take time.
4/Who has the best trade value in this club, use it right away to get a dominent center who can stay with his man,take space at the center and rebound or allow his teammate to rebound(i already missed BH)JM will be one of the best scoring big man but he will never get it defensively.
5/Minutes for the young players like KS and booker,they will do the same thing probably better than the starting forwards.
6. Draft scouting need to improve.You go down from 30 to 23 to get an undersized PF.
You go for JM while JJ hikson was avaliable,you go for the 17th pick while the 11th pick was widely avaliable in the market,shame EG.
7. Get rid of coaching staff and give the team to sam and to a well experianced defenssive coordinater, it will pay down in the road,Flip is not going to improve any body except the PG.He is just a PG coach.
8. Stick with JW,CM,AB,JH and evaluate the rtest, even AB is for future trade, he could be adominant PF if he play with a strong Center.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 29, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Time to light a fire under this team already! Can anyone say: SAM CASSELL?

Posted by: bazteal | October 29, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

This comment says it all "Wizards had nine days to prepare for the Magic. Nine days of preparation to find themselves down 35 points". Ernie and Flip show should have been over when Ted purchased the team. Now we have to suffer through this crap again. Here is a short list of problems with this team. It could easily get longer.
1. yr 2 and we start the season without knowing who the starters are.
2. Trying a 3 guard offense on a team that can't rebound.
3. Blowing the 5th pick in the draft 2yrs in a row.
4. Blowing the 2 early picks Wiz had this yr in the draft not including the 1st.
5. Not hiring a big man coach for McGee, Blatche, Yi
6. Not sending all the bigs to work with THe Dream, McHale or Carl Malone
7. Ted for leaving Ernie, Flip, his son and Unseld Jr in place.
8. Not hiring a shooting coach for Wall. Mark Price is helping everyone else.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 29, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

If we are to grow, our mantra must be "development, development, development." Nothing else matters.

Posted by: bpybay | October 29, 2010 5:51 AM

Could not be said any better!!! In addition, this team needs a coach that is a true motivator, not one that keeps saying: "I told our guys" this or that.

I think the guys on this team are already resolved to loosing. Tell me that there was anyone on this team (coaches included) who remotely knew what this team was doing last night?

Flips coaching style is clearly suited for a vetran team. We need a coach that can mottivate!

Posted by: bazteal | October 29, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps bigger than any issue with individual players was the fact the team didnt look like it was trying to run any offense. Did Flip call a single play all night? I mean, he must have, but it didnt look like there was much of a design to any of the halfcourt stuff.

People will love to blame that on AB and JM (and Ny even though he didnt play)....but when Hinrich looks completely irrelevant and is basically just standing around...what offense is being run?

Wasnt KH brought in for vet leadership? I dont recall a single set where he barked out a play and got the halfcourt offense in motion. And no, that's not a criticism of him....it's an observation that Flip's offense appeared to be "Ok John, do something."

Posted by: divi3 | October 29, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

That was a massacre. No other way to put it. Granted the Magic are an excellent team but it was painfully obvious that the Wizards don't have talent. Those who want Arenas traded better be ready to another #1 pick next year.

Posted by: tundey | October 29, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

If anyone thought that this team would be a playoff team needs to wake up. First of all, there are 4 rookies on the team with a PF and a Center who were back ups the last couple of years. With that said, the wizards looked imtimidated and tentative against the magics last night. Didn't put up any challenge, didn't compete whatsoever and didn't play with any heart. Even if you don't have the skills to compete giving a strong effort can build mental toughness.

Posted by: spades72 | October 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I was completely disappointed in ABs effort level. It was like he didn't even wanna be there. Stand there lob up a rainbow jumper jog back on defense. REPEAT.

I'd rather have some flicked looking flip shots than the way he played last night.

No rebounding effort or anything. Just terrible.

I know it was Orlando but Jesus.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 29, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Of course many of us saw this coming. Those who did not were so caught up in the Wall hype and how to get rid of Arenas that, they failed to see this is really not a good team without a veteran leader. If you trade Arenas, just make sure you get something big in return. The Lakers for example have some really great players sitting on the bench.

Posted by: RickJohnson621 | October 29, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

It was a blowout, forget about it. It's a long season. The only takeaway for me is that Cartier Martin played very well, and probably is much better than people think.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | October 29, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse


This is what happens when you rebuild and are forced to start players (due to bad drafting and bad trades) that would be 9th to 12th men on a solid team.

Hinrich is better coming off the bench. He can't stay in front of anybody and definitely can't defend quick point guards anymore. He provides nothing as a shooting guard. Nothing.

Thornton can't shoot and when he does shoot, it's usually a bad shot. He does hustle on defense but he is not a starter.

Blatche is a low-confidence, low-IQ player who is as soft as a pillow. He has no heart and clearly did not want to mix it up with Orlando's bigs.

McGee is a dumb basketball player. He recognizes little and apparently learns even less.

Ted Leonsis might have been willing to give Grunfeld the benefit of doubt before, but that time has certainly come and gone after what he witnessed last night. It's not that they lost, it's HOW the Wizards lost. Grunfeld is in love with "tweeners" and "projects" and has put this franchise in a serious hole that will take many years to climb out of.

The Wizards won't be relvant anytime soon.

Posted by: gtown85 | October 29, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Very,very,very dissapointing last night. The loss, don't have a problem with. The point margin, I can get over that. Now, the actual performance is sickening. These guys looked as if they were not coached at all. I am upset with players for looking scared and as though they had no idea of what to do on offense or defense. I am upset at the coaching staff for a being incapapble of having the players look as if they are AT LEAST TRYING to carry out what they worked on. A problem stretching back to last year. I am upset at EG because he can't seem to get agressive players with heart. This does not always require high priced FA's or darft picks. Cartier Martin was the only guy who came prepared to go hard at what he does.

Posted by: gmac78 | October 29, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

AB and NY are not system basketball players and don't have enough individual talent to thrive outside of a system. i hate to say it, but the lack of development in both of their games has to be attributed somewhat to ernie and flip. trade those turkeys while they still have value or demand more from them.

Posted by: thickman22 | October 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The Magic is something like 21-0 in their last 3 preseasons. They opened a new arena last night and they sat around for two days after everybody watched & talked about the Celtics and the Heat, and who was best in the east. They would have handed out a hinney whipping to who ever was in the building last night.

Last night was really ugly, loved the "it's Arena's fault comment" that's a classic. The guy's in DC getting an MRI and it's his fault that the team can't execute basic defensive rotations. He hasn't been on the court practicing so this "Gil's a cancer" stuff is way out of hand.

Without Gil and Howard in the lineup the basic defense on the Wiz is pretty simple. Double Blatche in the post even if you're guarding him with the best defensive center in basketball. Everybody else cheat a step toward the lane to help on Wall, and the guy on J Wall back off and challenge him to shoot.

Without Gil's scoring ability and Howard's all around game at small forward the Wiz are a teens to mid 20 win team. Those two guys can change the equation alot.

In the meantime Flip could do some things to counter some of the defense they saw last night. Orlando was leaving Hinrich wide open on the far side of the floor, but Blatche had to pass over Howard to find him. Gee Flip, rotate a shooter to the post side to give Blatche a little help.

Martin earned a longer look off of last night's play. Nick Young looked like a deer on a country road after dark, and Hinrich can't do anything closely guarded, but can spot up for a 3.

J Wall can't just take the open jumper, he needs to aggressively push the ball into the heart of the D. He's not going to get to the rim, but guys are going to help on hin and there will be open spot up shooters on the perimeter. Hopefully he can also dish to the bigs down low. Not every D he sees will be rotating as well as last night, so it will get easier.

Orlando made the Wizards frontline look skinny and weak last night. It's going to be frightening to see them against the Celtics. I'm still not convinced that McGee's a center, he still strikes me as a high energy, run the floor, power forward. But I don't see another real center on the roster either.

Flip's got to look at games and know when a beat down's coming, Seraphin could have used some court time when they were down by 20, this is a process and guys like Seraphin are going to require court time some where to develop...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 29, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis didn't have control of the team in time to let Grunfeld go. Blatche needs to be traded right away. If anybody wants NY, they can have him. Just shows you how much the college game has been impacted by early leavers. Wall dominated college but in the pros he looks like a high school player. I think anyone who goes the college route should have to stay at least three years. Otherwise, set up a farm league like baseball. College-athlete is a joke.

Posted by: lk11 | October 29, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Everyone just take a big deep breath. We all know this team is not going to the playoffs. The team is young and we were without our two "big" starts (GE and JH). It will take time for this team to gel.

The main thing for us to watch for is player development. If by end of year, certain folks aren't producing then do not resign.

Go Skins! and Wizards of course.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | October 29, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Context is important, as a number of posters have stated at nauseum on this blog.

- For the heretofore "GET RID OF ARENAS CROWD", SHUT UP. If Arenas does not play, you will have away games against good teams, where the games will be "unwatchable".

Arenas clearly would not have made a difference in the outcome but he surely would have provided offense. There are nights, away from home, where you need a scorer to step up and give you hope and confidence. For this season, Arenas is critical to this young team not losing its confidence and spirit.

- Wall needs Arenas more than Arenas needs him or Wall needs Hinrich. Arenas can take the prssure off Wall but more importantly, can allow him to play off the ball when his confidence is down and his shot is not falling.

Arenas can also play the point in certain half court sets to eliminate defenes sagging on Wall (allowing Wall to play off the ball in space). In the match ups last night that would have meant that either Carter or Richardson would have to guard Arenas at the top of the circle (I'd take my chances with Arenas all night long).

- This was a game against the Orlando Magic on national TV. The moment overwhelmed these guys and they were not prepared. Hopefully, this was a sufficent embarassment to the team that this type of effort is never repeated. Getting embarasses like this may be more valuable than a meiocre showing.

-Blatche clearly is not in basketball shape nor is he at 100%. After a 4 month hiatus, it may take till January for him to get back to where he was in the second half of last year.

Posted by: NewManagement | October 29, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm going with a patient trust in Ted Leonsis.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | October 29, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

It looks like everyone is in hit the panic button we lost one game from a finals team two years ago by 35 points. Wait for Gil to come back, Wait for Howard to come back. Did we expect a magic johnson to take an nba team to the finals his rookie year?

Posted by: jefferu | October 29, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

AB is so out of shape! He's a 24 year old in a very tall middle aged man's body. He currently lacks any quickness, and instead of fighting for position, camps out on the perimeter settling for off balance fadeaways.

Loved Cartier's play! Will he be starting Saturday?

John Wall was forced to become too much of a scorer given the play of the supporting cast. The ball needs to move so much more.

Posted by: audacitea | October 29, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

An excellent rational, non-emotional analysis of last night's "matchup" v. Magic by Flohrtv. I concur with your observations almost 100%. It also contrasts positively with so many posters whose solutions consist of firing the coach or the GM or jettisoning various combinations of players. I think the upside is there with Arenas and Josh Howard in the lineup as skilled offensive players who will spread the floor and challenge the other teams' defense. I do also think that the interim small starting lineup (3 guards) that will probably be utilized until the return of Howard is a loser in sacrificing too much off the boards. Wall/Arenas/McGee/Blatche/Howard will be a better than average NBA starting five. Let's have some patience.

Posted by: phil27 | October 29, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Folks, if any of you thought this was a playoff team, you have been smokin' crack. Until Arenas and Howard come back this is essentially a team full of soft, low-basketball-iq, bench warmers. (Btw, Arenas saw a foot specialist today, which means he is going to be out 1/2 the season, not just two games.)

Nick Young and Javale McGee will never be stars in the NBA. Giving Andray Blatche a 5yr 35mil extension based on his performance last year was a huge mistake. Of course he is going to have double doubles when there is no one left on the team to make any plays! Those three stooges barely have a brain between them.

Until Wall develops a consistent jump shot (which may never happen!) he is easily defended, and although Hinrich is a good defender, he is no Mike Miller in terms of an outside threat.

Get used to these blowouts, they will be commonplace. This WILL be a high draft lottery team again.

Posted by: pezzypezpez | October 29, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Wall/Arenas/McGee/Blatche/Howard will be a better than average NBA starting five. Let's have some patience.

I agree with phil27. Also, where are all the Gilbert Arenas haters? Anyone who sat through that beatdown should realize that Gilbert, warts and all, is the MVP of the Wizards. Gil draws double-teams, picks up the scoring slack and can flat out carry a team offensively.

Last comment: Is everyone still smarting from TNT's Kenny "the jet" Smith and Charles Barkley referring to the Wizards as the Washington Generals?

Posted by: musicmanjr | October 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Just a few thoughts for the new season about the team and some of the posts:

1.Dat's comment about Arenas was dumb. Not defending Gil but he didn't cause the loss last night...maybe dat was loopy posting at 4:45 in the morning.

2. without ga and jh this team doesn't stand a chance to win mid twenties in games...lucky for mid teens.

3. I think nick young was on the court before 4 seconds before he chucked his first shot falling away from 18 feet...as they say on espn C'MON MAN!

4. Someone above said it best...low iq players...young, blatche and mcgee. Its a shame b/c they young and blatche have a ton of natural ability and mcgee has no ability but has a freaky good combination of athleticism and long arms.

5. Did u see the shot selection from blatche, young and mcgee...C'MON MAN

6. Wall will be great but how in the world is his shot so bad. It looks good but its not. If he learns to shoot forget about it.

7. I can't stand anything about Flip's coaching ability...veterans or not. He's horrible and overrated from his past experience. C'MON MAN!

Not trying to be a hater...just realistic. I will still turn on the tv to watch wall/arenas.

Posted by: IZZY3 | October 29, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

You all are reading way too much into this. If you take any defensive-oriented, veteran playoff team that's had the same core players for years (except VC) and put them up against a bunch of young guys who haven't played much together in the season opener, and that's the perfect recipe for a blowout.

Beyond that, this game is pretty compelling evidence of why Gilbert Arenas is so important to this team. Until John Wall develops a jumper, they need to have GA out there spreading the defense. That also would keep teams from doubling Blatche and denying him the ball in the midblock, which is what the Magic also did so effectively last night. Howard could also accomplish this, to a lesser extent, but GA has got the deep range.


Posted by: pjkiger1 | October 29, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The only suprise to me about the Wizards is that Ernie Grunfeld still has a job. Any clown of a GM who manages, one year later, have zero to show for a draft in which he had the number five and number 32 picks overall ought to be run out of town on a rail. Good thing he got lucky this year and landed the top pick. Otherwise, he'd likely be gifting the team with another Oleksiy Pecherov, or Vladimir Veremeenko, or Peter John Ramos, or maybe, if we got lucky, another Nick Young. This team will be nothing until Leonsis wakes up and gets rid of Ernie Dumbfeld, and takes Flipper the Pretender with him.

Posted by: sonny2 | October 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

1.Dat's comment about Arenas was dumb. Not defending Gil but he didn't cause the loss last night...maybe dat was loopy posting at 4:45 in the morning.

Posted by: IZZY3 | October 29, 2010 10:11 AM

I see sarcasm never works well on a message board or blog.

Posted by: Dat2U | October 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I've wondered about Kevin Pritchard since his exit as GM in Portland. Did any team pick him up? First of all, why would a guy with his eye for talent still be out of work? And wouldn't that type of skill set be just what the Wizards franchise needs at this point?

Posted by: Bellman | October 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Dat,

you are awake...:) Impressive! I think the sarcasm was lost because there are actually a bunch of people who share that view. See Wilbon for example.

Posted by: IZZY3 | October 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Bellman

Eactly the same thought. Kevin Pritchard would be the perfect GM for the Wizards.

Posted by: spades72 | October 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Heinrich had no idea how much he got hosed by Chicago until this game. Maybe, now he does.
"Curse de' Les Bullouze's"

Posted by: KDSmallJr | October 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I watched the first half of the Miami opener, and they were terrible. I would have immediately fired their general manager.

These teams need to learn from the old Dan Snyder. One bad game and hire a new "ball coach." You may never have a good team, but you can always get a good crowd for the next lynching.

Posted by: joyster8 | October 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Well all I can say is this is what you get with a young team. What last night showed was the wizards are not ready to play with the big boys yet. The team that played last night is a team of players better coming off the bench, than starting. AB had a strong finish last year granted, that was because nobody knew him, this season they do and Orlando put together a game plan to stop him and they did, JW will be great someday, after he learns to hit a jumper, again Orlando showed the league how to play him and it worked, stop him from driving to the basket you take away his game. GA was probably at home laughing his head off, saying this team is for all the negative talk this team is nothing without me. Verteran teams win championships, and that should be the goal of every team every year, with all due respect to Ted and the Cap's. Put together a core of young players you want to develop along with a core of proven players and take a shot at winning rather than saying to your fan base, here's a team of young guys who at some point we hope turn into something special.

Posted by: aviator3 | October 29, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Last year they smoke Dallas on opening night. Maybe getting smoked this year will have the opposite effect. Kool-Aid anyone?

Posted by: richs91 | October 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to all the haters on the predicted loss. You all must be thrilled. Especially, BF78. It must be awesome for you that all your negativity came to fruition for one game.

However, the comments that this is NOT a playoff team are ABSURD. It was a horrible loss, but it was also the rookies' first game and also we were missing our two most accomplished players and we were playing a top 3 team in a new arena unveiling. This game was highlighted as blowout five months ago.

The reason the Wizards will obviously make the playoff's is.... because there is no one else. 8 teams have to make it. So you all can continue the Ernie/Flip suck chants, or the we're rebuilding chants, or (for BF78) the I-hate-everything chants, or you can face reality. We are clearly without doubt much better than Indiana, Detroit, Cleveland, NJ, Toronto, Phily. There's really no doubt - though I'm sure there are people here willing to play a Wilbon and without logic assume people you've heard of are better. If you stop the simple mind stuff, there's no question. Possibly NY and Charlotte are competition for 7 and 8. But look at those teams: not good.

The Wiz are not very good AND will certainly make the playoffs (assuming Gil plays 70%). I don't get how you all can't do the math.

Posted by: Urnesto | October 29, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping the Wiz just caught a low-grade bug. I've known a few people who have been feeling pretty low energy the last few days.

Posted by: richs91 | October 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

It's just one game; the first game. Right now, they need some Veteran leadership. Hopefully Gilbert will be able to provide a spark, once he gets back. Also, the Magic are really good and we are a lottery team. I think we will be a little better than last year, but we need to be patient.

Posted by: BT23 | October 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Urnesto,

nice to meet you but you are smoking crack. I want to preface this by telling you i have been a huge fan of this team since the mid seventies, was a ball boy in 85, played high school ball and still in my 40s play 2ce a week. I only mention this so you know i am not a hater and that i actually know something about basketball. All that said despite your mathematical argument we don't have a playoff shot. First of all, you threw in at the end "if ga plays 70% of the games"...that's a bad bet in of itself. But even if he does while wall will be great one day our front court is so poor as is our coaching (but it's more on the players) and our team is soooo young we are not going to be better than ALL of those teams fighting for the 8th spot. mcgee, blatche and young have such small basketball iq's and such horrible shot selection...our great backcourt won't be able to jump shoot our way into games and penetrating into zone defeneses...not going to work either...

At least be realistic before you make inane statements guaranteeing they will be in the playoffs...its just absurd...if betting against them weren't bad karma i would happily put a lot of money where my mouth is.

Posted by: IZZY3 | October 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to reality, Mr. Wall. You're not playing Louisville anymore.

Posted by: renostaging2005 | October 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm convinced SAUNDERS is NOT the coach for this team. I don't know who the hell is, but you play the bench in a game like this one.

Posted by: glawrence007

Whether or not Saunders is the right coach...the bench did play. Plus, almost all of the starters are still young players who also need minutes on the court.

Posted by: ts35 | October 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

No rebounder, no consistent three-point shooter, and a general inability to grasp defensive schemes...right now I don't think we could even beat Duke and probably it will be a task to surpass the Net's win total from last year...

Posted by: bromisky | October 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

No rebounder, no consistent three-point shooter, and a general inability to grasp defensive schemes...right now I don't think we could even beat Duke and probably it will be a task to surpass the Net's win total from last year...

Posted by: bromisky | October 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps bigger than any issue with individual players was the fact the team didnt look like it was trying to run any offense. Did Flip call a single play all night? I mean, he must have, but it didnt look like there was much of a design to any of the halfcourt stuff.

People will love to blame that on AB and JM (and Ny even though he didnt play)....but when Hinrich looks completely irrelevant and is basically just standing around...what offense is being run?

Wasnt KH brought in for vet leadership? I dont recall a single set where he barked out a play and got the halfcourt offense in motion. And no, that's not a criticism of him....it's an observation that Flip's offense appeared to be "Ok John, do something."

Posted by: divi3

Doesn't matter what Flip calls if the players don't run it. Classic example, during a TV timeout, they showed a clip of Flip telling the players to stop shooting so quick, take their time and work for a better shot. The very next play they showed, Wall dribbled up, passed it to Hilton Armstrong, who promptly took a 21 ft jumper....

I don't know what other things Flip said or didn't say. Certainly AB was unprepared for the double-team, and that's on AB and the coaching staff both. But beyond that, the team looked totally psyched out. You can't single out any one player or coach from the debacle. That was a total team failure, everyone takes a bite of that sandwich, Hinrich, Wall, Flip, AB, JM, and down the line.

Posted by: ts35 | October 29, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The only silver lining I found was that ESPN was caring the NC State vs FSU football game. Much more competitive and exciting.

Posted by: twpost1 | October 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW, anyone stay tuned to the second game? Utah got smoked too, and it's not like they're a young inexperienced team. Point being, it happens.

Posted by: ts35 | October 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

First Strasburg, now Wall. Why on earth is everyone, and the media especially putting so much pressure on the kid after ONE GAME? Did anyone think the Wiz were going to the playoffs or that things will get better until Arenas is gone and some more pieces are in place? Don't overdo the hype or you'll ruin the kid. The D.C. media have to back off, as if that's possible!

Posted by: preacherskid | October 29, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@JANITOR..WITH A JUMPSHOT...Said it correctly....Blatche doesn't want to do the dirtyi work of a center, just shoot and that is why he heads for the 3pt area...McGee is still RAW...and playing against weaker guys during summer does nothing for your game...

Blatche is set salary wise so his incentive to improve will slow down...hungry players are always better...and pride....33 wins will be a tough haul for the team...save your money and watch them on tv....

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 29, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

umpa lumpa doopity doo, I got another lesson for you !

Posted by: pejochum | October 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"It's hustle,want, hunger." Blatche said about rebounding....This coming from a guy who got 2 rebounds...

Where was his hustle, want, hunger.???????

A reserve for the Magic got more rebounds than anyone on the Wizards and he only played in the SECOND HALF....SAD.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 29, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Pretty simple, when a guy steps back and gives you room to shoot, you run a screen and get the ball into the hands of a real shooter, work some backdoors.

Don't blame this on Wall, he's not an outside shooter.

It's just funny how the coaching staff sat there and looked at the team while the real problem was clearly the coaching. You need a shooter, so put the ball in the hands of a penetrator and make him go to the hole against a 7-footer? Good plan.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 29, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Save your Wizards ticket money...go to Damon's or your local sports bar, use their HDtv and buy your beer and food there to watch the Wiz....You will have already saved $20 on parking alone....

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 29, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Since McGee, Jianlian and Blatche will not get "dirty" and get rebounds I say just put Booker and "N" in there in their place. I will bet Mr. Booker will get some attention and fill some spaces while N'diaye will get rebounds because he is just happy to be playing! What have this team got to lose...except losing ugly.

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 29, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are a badly coached team and have a horrible GM. It's amazing people keep calling for Booker. A 6'6" PF that can't shoot or dribble which means he caan't even play teh SF. The guy is not the 2nd coming of Barkley. He's just another waisted draft pick. Ted get rid of Flip and Ernie. Oh and fire all his family members on the team too.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 29, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

New season, new owner, #1 draft pick - same old Wizards - another season of a whole bunch of "So What".

Posted by: whelms1 | October 29, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

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