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Wizards get outworked in loss to Chicago

After three exhibition games, Coach Flip Saunders already knows what to make of his team.


Somebody, please, get a rebound. (AP Photo)

"When we play hard and compete, we're okay," he said. "When we don't, we're below average."

On Friday night, the Wizards were below average as they lost, 107-96, to the Chicago Bulls at United Center. The energy and effort that they displayed in wins over Dallas and Cleveland was replaced by fatigue and malaise. It was the first set of back-to-back games for rookies John Wall, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, but their inexperience was hardly the only problem for the Wizards. And while they understandably tired playing their third game in four nights, the Bulls were doing the same -- and flew up from Dallas in the middle of the night.

The Bulls were definitely sloppy, as they committed 24 turnovers, compared to 17 for the Wizards, but they compensated for the errors with aggressive play and still managed to take a 20-point lead at the end of the third period. Chicago was perhaps more determined to get going since it had lost its first two preseason games. The Wizards were consistently outhustled and they always seemed to get beat on loose balls -- and especially rebounds.

Rebounding is expected to be a concern for the Wizards in the regular season, with their relatively inexperienced frontcourt of Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Yi Jianlian, Hilton Armstrong, Booker and Seraphin, who have a combined 322 starts between them. Armstrong sat for the second consecutive game with a sore right shoulder. He explained before the game that he didn't get injured during a game or practice, but developed some discomfort after sleeping awkwardly on his right arm this week.

Armstrong may have made much of a difference on Friday, as the Wizards' front line was overmatched against Chicago. The Bulls were missing their $80-million man, Carlos Boozer, who is out with broken hand. But they still have Joakim Noah, a center with an endless motor, and Taj Gibson, another high-energy player. The Bulls also trotted out Omer Asik, a rookie who has some pro experience in Turkey and was relentless on both ends of the floor.

Chicago outrebounded the Wizards 48-32, with Noah and Asik combining to grab 21 rebounds. McGee led the Wizards with five rebounds.

Saunders said the disparity had nothing to do with size or inexperience. "Our bigs played really lethargic, very tired tonight. Very much with a lack of commitment. We have to play harder than the team we're playing against. We can't afford to let teams play harder than us, because we're young and we're going to make mistakes. And you have to make up for those mistakes with effort plays."

The Wizards again showed that they can entertain, as John Wall found McGee for a ridiculous alley-oop. McGee jumped too early and caught the ball on the way down, but still managed to have a windmill dunk before hitting the ground.


You got to come stronger than this. (AP Photo)

Saunders was pleased with the efforts from Booker (three points, four rebounds) and Hamady Ndiaye, who had three rebounds and a blocked shot his preseason debut. Ndiaye played about 11 minutes and said he couldn't hold back his excitement when Saunders first called on "H."

"A whole lot of energy ran right down my head like 'Oh, snap. It's my time.' It was a lot of fun," Ndiaye said.

Ndiaye had a hard foul on Noah, giving him a little nudge as Noah attempted a dunk. Near the end of the game, the 6-foot-11 rookie slapped Asik's shot so hard that his headband popped off his head. "I did what was asked of me, to give some energy, no matter what's going on," he said. "That's my nature anyways, so I just got out there and gave it all I have."

But when asked what happened to the team's energy from the previous games, McGee said, "It was there in the beginning, but we all was making simple mistakes. We just got to become more of a unit and not single players. We got to help each other out on defense and things like that. [The Bulls] were very aggressive and that's how we need to play, very aggressive on the glass. I thought their frontcourt was more in tune with each other than we were out there."

Gilbert Arenas played yet another efficient game offensively, as he scored 16 points, going 6 for 12 from the field and making four three-pointers. Nick Young came off the bench to score 18 points in just over 17 minutes. Young also took a charge in the second half, saying that he is making an effort to be a better defensive player. "I'm trying to get it back," Young said. "Preseason, trying to find my place with the team and get my game back really. I'm trying to get used to taking charges and defending, chasing people off screens. Game by game, getting better, finding my role more and more."

In his first matchup against Bulls all-star point guard Derrick Rose, Wall had 11 points and six assists in 29 minutes and looked gassed before Saunders pulled him. At one point, Wall leaned over and placed his hands on the bottom on his shorts. "It was tough, first time back to back," Wall said. "You could tell as a team, you could see we was tired. We not using that as an excuse, they played harder than us. [The Bulls] got to a lot of loose balls and we didn't come up with them and they was making shots off of them. It was tough, but we'll learn from this."

By Michael Lee  | October 9, 2010; 1:17 AM ET
 
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Comments

I agree with Flip...

Coach Flip Saunders said. "We're below average."

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 9, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Wizards Faithful,

You experienced with your own eyes (and ears) what I've been telling you for months--the Wizards are stocked with young talent that will be heard and felt by the NBA sooner rather than later. The Wizards are simply too talented and too hungry to be treated like the redheaded stepchildren of the Southeast division. They will apply their strengths (quickness, length, athleticism, uber talent) against the weaknesses (a cap-busting contract, alpha male uncertainty, lack of depth, Kwame Brown) of their division foes and let the chips fall where they may. I say the chips will fall squarely on the part of the NBA board marked "playoff berth"!

Even the chronically tone-deaf among us had to like the first few bars of the masterpiece written and composed by Ernest Grunfeld and provided for your listening pleasure last night. To the haters: Learn how to make the music come to life in your head based on the notes you see on the music sheet. What a shame it is to recognize brilliance only after the music is played!

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | October 6, 2010 1:37 PM
.............................................

Help Wanted
1 Legit Center/Rebounder
1 Average to good Small Forward

Posted by: closg | October 9, 2010 3:09 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Nick hit his stride. Sorry to see most of the rest of the team can't handle a back-to-back.

It's early in the preseason of a year in which most reasonable folks expect to see a team of youngsters trying to build a winner.

This is pretty much what I expect from a very young team...a rollercoaster season.

One game we get teased by the frustration of unbridled talent without xperience. The next they run over a team aand win by 20. The next they just disappoint.

30 wins my friends.

Posted by: Blurred | October 9, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

What struck me about Rose and Wall was how little difference there was between them. Rose put up more points but that was mostly due to hitting 6 of 7 at the line, vs Wall's 1 of 4. Derrick had a 5 to 2 edge on the boards and one less TO but for a rookie taking on the starting PG of the US International Team fresh off a championship -- Wall has nothing at all to be ashamed of. He may have the bigger upside.

I guess the real question this season will be how all these young guys react to the losing. Be helpful if Josh Howard was back; I understand he's the leader type.

Blake Griffin is starting to pile up numbers, points and rebounds, based on his phenomenal energy. With solid starters at the 1, 2, 4, and 5, they could cause trouble in the West. They could use a scoring SF because Aminu doesn't seem ready.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Please!
They played 3 games in 4 days on the road against 3 playoff teams from last year.
The Lakers would be showing poorly with that scenario.
Also I have been concerned with the minutes Wall has been playing already. Work him in slowly, do not exhaust him. That is when many injuries occurred.
I am a nick fan, and am encouraged now by his play.
It is time to bag the KH small forward starting lineup as well.
Ultimately JH will be the small forward with Yi and Gilbert will either be
Gone or more accepting of his role.
gone. Then we can talk competitive.

Posted by: mricklen | October 9, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Even though the inexperience and youth of this team will be it's Achilles heal, the true test of their value will be as individual substitutions as opposed to playing together with the other subs, as happens during preseason games.
There are no game changers currently on the bench with the possible exception of Nick.
When Jh returns I think Yi could be added to the list of changers.

Posted by: mricklen | October 9, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

In Grunfeld We Trust!!
NOT!!

Posted by: jiji1 | October 9, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"It is time to bag the KH small forward starting lineup as well.Posted by: mricklen"

Way too early to 'bag' anything.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

It's efforts like this by very young players that really shows (again) how great Jordan and Magic and Bird (et al. - fill in your own names) were.

Those guys showed up every night, performed at a very high level every night, from the first day they stepped on the floor to the last.

Twenty-year olds struggle showing up at a high level. They did it in their mid-to-late 30s.

Amazing.

Posted by: SteveMG | October 9, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young haters fall back. 18 points in 17 minutes qualifies as a strong performance.

He's more than capable of filling the primary scoring role off the pine so get off his case and let him grow into it.

This time last year Flip had a man crush on DeBrick. How'd that work out for everybody?

Posted by: elfreako | October 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Chicago is a good guage for the Wizards, Noah and Rose are more experienced versions of Wall and McGee. They're almost mirror images of each other on the floor, with more in game experience I really like Wall and McGee's upside.

Blatche isn't in good enough shape yet to play 3 games in 4 days, shame the foot rerailed his summer, not sure that he's ever going to be quite in the shape he needs to be this year. Getting in shape to play at a high level every night is the difference between a lot of guys and those Allstar level players.

H didn't look half bad in his stint last night. Down the road this club is going to need to find one more guy to work the boards. Seraphin and H may need most of the year to get up to speed.

Gil takes 12 shots, shoots 50%, and we're talking about him being MORE excepting of his role. I'm thinking he's laid back a little too much letting Wall take the lead.

I'd agree Josh Howard's health is a big key, with a healthy Howard I believe this Wiz team could hang with the Bulls, and they're a legit playoff contender.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 9, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

What a masterpiece (deliberately using Melodious' favorite word) EG has built! Beside drafting Wall (which my 3-year old niece could have done), could someone name one other great thing he did in this crucial rebuilding offseason? Drafting a 6'9 Center? How about a 6'7 Power Forward?
In essence, beside Wall, we have Gil who couldn't guard the worst of point guards (it will be comical to see him attempt to guard 2-guards), we have no solution at the 3 (and please, don't mention Thornton or NY, they are both terrible), a power forward that, in his 4 years in the league has yet to prove he can solidly contribute in meaningful games and a center that not only has no clue how to play basketball but has severe respiratory issues.
Thanks EG, you are doing a fine job. You have also masterfully conned the organization and 95% of the fans (if this blog is any indication of the general Wiz followers) by buying time and lowering expectations stressing that it is a long rebuilding process all the while you are still gainfully employed.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | October 9, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking he's laid back a little too much letting Wall take the lead.

One place Arenas has shown commendable maturity is on the floor, there's time for him to step it up in the regular season. Right now there's nothing wrong with laying back and letting Wall push his limits.

Posted by: midlevex_ | October 9, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

SteveMG,
You're exactly right. The level of fitness and intensity that Jordan brought to the floor year after year is still something to marvel at.

I think there was a whole generation of guys that surround that original Dream team era that just raised each other's games with their desire to make it to the finals. There's a lot of GREAT players in that era that never got a ring.

I do think Wall might have that extra little edge and the desire to be the best that could make him really elite.

Gil's done some goof ball, self destructive things that derailed an Allstar level career, but I still think he's got those juices flowing. One thing about Gil, nobody will out work him. I still think we could see exciting things out of the Wall/Gil combo.

Gil seems to be honing in that 3 point range and concentrating on raising his efficeny at this point. When Gil starts to drive off of some of those catches, things could get exciting...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I am encouraged by the comments of the players, but disappointed in Flip's. In three games you should not say that your team did not play hard and compete.

Maybe it looked that way because Chicago outplayed them.

Also, the score at the end of first quarter by two struggling teams was tied.

Maybe Flip should have made some adjustments this game like starting Young or Thornton at the three.

Or using Yi at PF and moving Blatche to the three.

You think something like that might energize a team playing 3 games in 4 nights?

The comments that Flip makes I hope he is applying to himself as well. Look at him in that picture on the Bench.

He looks like he slept on the pull out sofa at the Holiday Inn last night and is all beat up and tired.

LOL.

Does this guy have a motor. Maybe the players take their cue's from him ya' think.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

GM,

Don't forget Bulls are missing Bozer, a player I rated higher than JH when both are healthy.

Don't know why would Booker and Seraphin "tired," how many total minutes did they play in 3 games?

When our highest rebounder gathered only 5, and the team was outrebounded 48-32, we are bound to loose.

BTW, I read somewhere McGee was unhappy with his low layup rating in 2K Sports' NBA 2K11 video game: he got 95 on dunks and only 25 on layups. Quite frankly, I think 25 rating on McGee's layup is high. McGee shot 2 for 6 last night, takes away the 2 dunks on the highlight reel, it was 0 for 4 (includes the one that was blocked by Noah). If you take away all McGee's dunks, and do a statistics on McGee's other shots, I am sure 25 is quite generous.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 9, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The folks that have a low expectation of wins this season may be right.

The fellow that keeps harping in ernie we trust.

Fellow, Flip is going to destroy all your trust.

The three guard lineup, I think Flip is stuck on it.

Flip's lack of innovation, imagination, and his inflexibility, and dogmatism will lose us 15 games by himself.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

3 games of 3-guards lineup is enough. Let's see others play SF!

See if Thornton can start at SF, and see if Yi can log some minutes at SF too, don't wait till regular season to find out!

Posted by: sagaliba | October 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Flip is starting to annoy me already.

He still trots out and sticks with that 3-guard lineup despite cold shooting and the fact that the Bulls have some serious length and were getting every rebound and loose ball. Hinrich guarding Luol Deng was a joke. The Wizards needed some length on the court last night and Flip just didn't put the right guys on the floor. I'm not saying the Wizards would have won the game had he done so but that's not entirely the point in preseason anyway. It's his job to figure out matchups and to maximize the talent he has at hand.

Flip's in-game strategy needs tweaking. Just like last year.

Posted by: bobabuie | October 9, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

And Melodious, your undying faith for Ernie is unmatched.

However, as they say on NCIS, go with your gut, my gut tells me that Flip does not have a clue.

I am calling him out now to really be very bad this year and I am going to leave the subject alone for a bit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Flip starts 3 guards and blames McGee & Blatche for lack of rebounding.

Brillant Flip, just plain brillant.

Posted by: elfreako | October 9, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

GM,

I am sorry, but I just cannot buy in with Flip's comment. His team did not play hard and did not compete he says.

GM, this is the third game in preseason. Do you believe the team just took a lunch break.

I don't think so.

If I was Flip, I would be careful in saying after three games that my team did not play hard and did not compete.

And because of that they are a below average team when they play like this.

So, GM, what is Flip really saying and does his players really understand his message???

Does he have a good team or not, or does he have a below average team. Or does he have a jerkl and hyde team.

To me, Flip ought to be building the confidence at every turn that they are a good team. He should not be giving any indications to his players that they are below average.

Maybe I put too much stock in Flip's comments and I evaluate too hard, but I am getting red flags with this Guy.

Can you help me out GM?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Damn... all the long faces... This was our first back to back of the year. Players are gonna be tired, hell they played 3 games in 4 days. They're not gonna stick with the 3 guard lineup. Josh Howard is almost ready to go & he may be ready come first game. He will be our starting SF I would bet. So everyone just chill.

Posted by: tony325 | October 9, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what he's really trying to say either. Maybe a little kick in the pants as far as effort goes. We've seen years of teams with talent going through the paces and getting out hustled on the boards.

I'd say this team has to out hustle teams nightly to win. That's not always an easy trick. If they were worked hard in camp they're going to have dead legs to work through sooner or later. Hope that was part of the problem last night.

I'm not 100% sold on Flip either, it will be interesting to see how flexible he is with this bunch. There are a lot of guys on this team trying to get on the job training at the same time.

I think the 3 guard thing is Flip's way of getting another veteran on the floor with Wall. I think this becomes a far better team when Howard returns Hinrich can come off the bench.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@Utilityman, closg

Nothing is more reliable than the haters bellowing their croaky voices as loud as they can after a loss! You offkey crooners were notably silent (or maybe you were just quietly humming to yourself) after the first two games which, coincidentally, were victories. The Wizards have won 67% of their road games, a stellar achievement by any measure!

To Utilityman, in particular, on the one hand you cite numerous ingredients missing from the Wizards' roster that would make them a good team yet you say it's a con to say that the Wizards are rebuilding and it will take time. Which is it? Are they supposed to be good enough to win now or are they in the first year of an entire rebuild? Is it really realistic to expect that EVERY hole would be plugged in one offseason, you impatient critic?

About the draft, executed perfectly by one Ernest Grunfeld, consider that centers Nene and Kendrick Perkins are both 6'-9" and power forward Carlos Boozer is 6'-7". Those players have been successful in their careers despite not having so-called ideal height. Why? Because they have skill and heart! So if your biggest complaint about Seraphin and Booker is their height, then you really don't know much about basketball and that's that.

One more thing, Utilityman, even GMs in the midst of a rebuilding effort get paid. Isn't America great?

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | October 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not saying the Wizards would have won the game had he done so but that's not entirely the point in preseason anyway. It's his job to figure out matchups and to maximize the talent he has at hand.Posted by: bobabuie"

What? The point of preseason is to try things out and see how they look in action. Then in the last couple games you can put something more permanent out there on the court, in preparation for the first game.

Lot of new faces on this club, which means a lot to look at.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Flip's lack of innovation, imagination, and his inflexibility, and dogmatism will lose us 15 games by himself.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

I can't believe you're accusing someone else of being inflexible and dogmatic.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Did you just restate what bobbuie said in a different way Samson???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Flip's lack of innovation, imagination, and his inflexibility, and dogmatism will lose us 15 games by himself.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

I can't believe you're accusing someone else of being inflexible and dogmatic.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 9, 2010 1:02 PM

LMAO.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

How innovative can you be with players who don't even know the fundamentals of basketball?

Posted by: firemetalrat | October 9, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Dame; what you say utilityman, I say Nick Young is a great player, and coach need to start nick. And let him get on with his career, because; hear me and hear me good, the kid is an ALL STAR

Posted by: maejude | October 9, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

About the draft, executed perfectly by one Ernest Grunfeld, consider that centers Nene and Kendrick Perkins are both 6'-9" and power forward Carlos Boozer is 6'-7". Those players have been successful in their careers despite not having so-called ideal height. Why? Because they have skill and heart! So if your biggest complaint about Seraphin and Booker is their height, then you really don't know much about basketball and that's that.
Posted by: melodious_thunk | October 9, 2010 12:53 PM

Extrapolate-much melodious? Seraphin and Booker = to Boozer and Perkins because they are under-sized? I didn't know that Carlos Boozer lost 2 inches and is now 6"7 :-)

We both must concede that it is too-early to say much about Seraphin and Booker. I certainly don't believe that the draft was "executed perfectly". I don't believe that top-tiered GMs would have used two picks on Booker or picked Hamady. I would love to be surprised by Booker. Seraphin could turn into something if he plays a full-season or two in the NBDL and gets some coaching.

Posted by: closg | October 9, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

....and I agree with Larry from Clinton. Flip tends to get fixated on a certain short rotation that he has in his head and it doesn't allow for much flexibility or counter strategies.

Posted by: closg | October 9, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Is this truly the company line Mr.LEE or is something else poisoning the effort well? Something dark and more sinister at work? Are the WIZARDS beginning to fall under the lackadasical attitude of GILBERT ARENAS. Has he begun to negatively influence NICK YOUNG and others on this newely constituted team?

I'm hoping this is exactly as cited by our blog-meister........youth and inexperience at work.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 9, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse


I didn't know that Carlos Boozer lost 2 inches and is now 6"7 :-)

Posted by: closg | October 9, 2010 4:39 PM

According to draftexpress:

Boozer measured in at 6'-7.75" w/o shoes with a standing reach of 9'-0.5" and max vertical of 28.5".
Booker measured 6'-6.25" w/o shoes with a reach of 8'-10" and 36" max vertical.

Booker is definitely more under-sized than Boozer but should be able to get up higher for rebounds and blocks, for what it's worth.

Posted by: artiesliver | October 9, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse


Dame; what you say utilityman, I say Nick Young is a great player, and coach need to start nick. And let him get on with his career, because; hear me and hear me good, the kid is an ALL STAR

Posted by: maejude | October 9, 2010 3:36 PM

I'm still not convinced about Nick. He got all his points in garbage time last night and he hasn't looked so great when the outcome of the game was still in doubt. If the Wizards can trade him for a decent small forward, I wouldn't be upset.

Posted by: artiesliver | October 9, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

NY=Loser

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 9, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who here actually watched that game, but I did--it was on WGN as a webcast. In spite of all the excuses given above, the game was pretty much even when Wall came out late in the third quarter. The Bulls then went on a long run behind Weaver (not Rose) and some Turkish center who outmuscled everyone who went against him. Young was awful, and only got hot in the 4th quarter when it was too late, to close the gap from 19 to around 10.

The Wizards definitely looked bad--sluggish, tired, and sloppy, but so did Chicago, pretty much. The big disappointments to me were that A. Hinrich is a terrible point guard and B. McGee continues to go backwards after a great start in Dallas. He was constantly out of position, couldn't box out, and nobody on that team knows how to set a pick. They're really missing Singleton--and Booker ain't him.

Posted by: KTV1 | October 9, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Some of these posts are hilarious. What serious basketball fan could NOT have seen, ON SUNDAY, that the Wiz would lose this game -- IN Chicago -- in their third game in four nights, ALL ON THE ROAD? Chicago is a contender this year, and was especially motivated being in front of its home fans after losing the first two of its preseason. Your sense of urgency is greater after losing two in a row -- not as great after winning two in a row. That's just a fact of human nature.

Maybe they win 30 or less this year, maybe more, but this game should NOT be the barometer by which we measure that. They actually played better than I expected (I thought we would lose by 25). They simply had nothing left in the tank, and that's ok. No team is going to go 82-0; not even Miami ;-) (although from some of these posts, I suspect some of us did expect to go undefeated this preseason).

When two teams are playing 3-in-4, the home team generally has the advantage, usually drawing extra energy from its proverbial sixth man (the fans -- which is why almost all teams have better home than road records), and last night the fans were exceptionally loud for a preseason game.

They are going to be fine. This team is going to surprise a lot of people.

I'm especially addressing those who have already pressed the panic button.

Posted by: bpybay | October 9, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"The truth was that only Arenas could've done something like this -- placed three firearms on a chair with a note for Crittenton that said, "Pick one." Only the Arenas that his greatest admirers helped create. "That was the Gilbert who was promoted by the enablers in his own organization," said a person close to Arenas, who didn't want to be named because of the subject matter. CBSSports.com"
The enablers?
In Grunfeld We Trust .......... NOT.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 9, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is Mike Miller in Jarvis Hayes' body. Never will trust hin to hit a big shot in clutch time. Also, all not encouraged by the 3 Guard line up needs to get used to it, Flip says it is a viable option when they plan to go small and run, it creates miss-matches. . . IN FLIP WE TRUST?

Posted by: zack5 | October 9, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

NY is not bad in offense, he has to get a minimum of 5rebounds and 3 asisits a game as 6.6 gard.He should definately feel bad about himself for his failure to convince the coaches that he is a starting 3 until JH is avaliable.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 9, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

You know there is a saying that if you love someone, let them go free, for if it is truly meant for you to be together, then they will return.

If Nick Young really can't play the three, but he thinks he can, then let him play the three and prove that he can do it.

Flip should give Nick the chance to prove what he can do as consistently that he is giving it to Hinrich.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 9, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Someone posted that they do not have any game changers on the bench and I have to disagree with that statement. I like this bench as much as any bench they have had in years. When Howard comes back their bench will include Hinrich, Young, Thorton, Yi, Booker, and Armstrong. I think this is a pretty good group. Combine any of these two with three of the starters and you have a solid 5 on the court without any little to no drop off.

Posted by: keeferdog72 | October 9, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

If Nick Young really can't play the three, but he thinks he can, then let him play the three and prove that he can do it. Flip should give Nick the chance to prove what he can do as consistently that he is giving it to Hinrich.

LarryInClintonMD.

WHAT!! That doesn't make any sense. If Nick really can't play the three, sit him for long spells, until Gil or Heinrich are tired, every other game. And maybe he can't.

Posted by: zinger1 | October 9, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Trade NY and ARENAS as soon as possible for one decent player. Hopefully a top three lottery pick will replace the other for next season.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 10, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

That statement is half ironic. Ironic in the sense that it appears that Nick Young and also Thornton cannot play the three in Flip's opinion.

For, if he believed that they could, then why is Hinrich starting and getting all the minutes at the three?

Flip will not test Young under fire for any consistent time. He gives Hinrich consistent time at the three, but not Nick.

Why??? All this stuff about Hinrich earned it and Nick doesn't get it and yadayadayada don't fly with me.

I want to see a consistent gametime evaluation, just like we are getting from Hinrich.

If Nick fails or doesn't measure up, then we can questioning whether he can do it.

All I see in Nick's case is a half arse committment on Flip's part. Let the boy a full stretch of games already.

I think Hinrich is averaging the most minutes of any player on the Team.

Why?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 10, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Dudes...its 3 games into the preseason for a team that is likely not to win more than 30 games and with one of the team's (hopefuly) better players unavailable due to injury.

Take it easy and enjoy watching Wall and Mcgee become great players over the course of this season and, along with Blatche, the core of a championship contender in a couple of years.

Yi, Seraphin, Booker, etc will all just be bonus.

Posted by: Blurred | October 10, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Last night the Heat & Spurs sat their starters for 3 quarters so-that the coaches could evaluate and experiment....waiting for Flip to do the same for more than scrub minutes.

Posted by: closg | October 10, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Last night the Heat & Spurs sat their starters for 3 quarters so-that the coaches could evaluate and experiment

I wouldn't mind seeing some more of Booker, Seraphin and Ndiaye but the Heat and Spurs pretty much know who their starters are, the Wiz not so much.

Posted by: midlevex_ | October 10, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

right. It's like NFL preseason.

The teams that win in preseason are tryig to figure out who their starters are and the teams that lose are trying to figure out who to cut.

Let em play an dlearn. we should treat this whole season like preseason and develop our players.

Posted by: Blurred | October 10, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young is Mike Miller in Jarvis Hayes' body. posted by zack5"

LOL no he isn't.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Let em play and learn. we should treat this whole season like preseason and develop our players.Posted by: Blurred"

I'm afraid that might happen anyway, whether the fans want it to or not.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Let em play and learn. we should treat this whole season like preseason and develop our players.Posted by: Blurred"

Flip has no history of doing this^, Flip will settle on a 8-9 man rotation and leave the Booker and Seraphin on the bench mostly.

Posted by: closg | October 10, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind seeing some more of Booker, Seraphin and Ndiaye but the Heat and Spurs pretty much know who their starters are, the Wiz not so much.

Posted by: midlevex_ | October 10, 2010 9:55 AM |

Well duh!!! That is what we are saying midlevex. How is Flip gonna know who can start if nobody but the same few fellas are getting a chance to show whether they can or not, or even show if they can do anything or not.

Hinrich is not only logging the most minutes at the three, but I believe he is logging the most minutes on the team.

Why?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 10, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

And one huge thing about Flip Saunders. His blueprint for coaching is a huge blueprint that everybody knows.

His coaching style can stand some new wrinkles.

Smart NBA teams will always figure out a way to beat you if you run the same mediocre non-performing blue-print out on the floor every night and mainly cite the players for not stepping up and performing it.

LarryInClintonMD.

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

When Hinrich was bought here I had some idea that he would become our next Mike Miller. A golden-boy getting huge playing time and minutes irregardless of how it affects the team and the playing time of others.

Looks like Hinrich has the lock on two positions, guard and small forward. Isn't he the SuperStar.

I thought Wall was the new SuperStar.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 10, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Well duh!!! That is what we are saying midlevex.

Actually Larry I'm never quite sure what you're saying.

You realize we're three games into the preseason. Flip is trying to get his starting five some court time together, never mind his deep rotation. He doesn't have Howard back yet so Wall is getting the most run, with Arenas and Hinrich, three players that have never played with each other.

Yi is showing a physicality that wasn't supposed to be there. McGee still needs seasoning, Blatche is recovering from injury, Armstrong is currently injured and Seraphin was questionable early on because of an off season knee injury.

The Spurs and Heat probably have a pretty good idea about their rotations, (you know guys like Parker, Jefferson, Duncan, Ginobli, James, Wade, Bosh, Haslem etc.) and are trying to avoid injuries. They have the luxury of taking a good look at the far end of the bench. Also the Heat were playing their bench on the back end of a back to back.

Posted by: midlevex_ | October 10, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Kirk At The 3?

What are you guys thoughts on this? I like Kirk and I think it could work but I also think it could be the dumbest move in the history of coaching. 1st off, many people wondered could Wall & Gil work together for a number of reasons. You are taking the ball out of Gil's hands and its a small backcourt defensively. It would probably also hurt our rebounding. Now not only do we have that but Flip is starting another 6'4 guard at the 3. Kirk has always been one of the best perimiter defenders in the league but that was at the 1. He's been good enough to defend the 2 but at the 3? He'll have to guard Lebron, Pierce, and all these guys. I saw Pierce kill him last year.

On top of that, 1st Gil had to worry about Wall but now you are putting 2 guys on the floor to take the ball out of Gil's hands. That makes no sense. The Gil-Wall backcourt can be dynamic so why screw with that by putting a 3rd ball handling PG in the lineup? Gil looks better every game and should have the ball when Wall doesnt have it. The other side is Offense. What did we say about Gil at the 2? We said that he could have a hard time guarding cats but no 2 can guard him. You cant say that about Kirk. NY starts a 7ft Gallo at the 3. Kirk has to guard him but on the flip side he has to guard Kirk, except Kirk cant take advantage of that matchup like an Arenas could. Its like no upside. Kirk isnt going to drop 30.

When it comes to rebounding, Dray & McGee are already suspect and now you are going to surrond them by 3 PG sized guards? Then what about scoring? We all know that you cant count on McGee and right now you pretty much just want him to be a finisher. That means we are counting on a rookie, a guy who hasnt really played in 3 years who you dont know what to expect from, and a big who is rusty from a foot injury, out of shape, and isnt fully finished yet anyways. I still think Flip's system makes it hard for guys like Wall & Gil to finish at the rim off the pick & roll. To me it just makes more sense to have a bigger guy who is also a scoring threat.

I dont like Yi to be at the 3 because I want both him & Dray to stay being used to playing inside. You also want that guy off the bench that you know you can count on. I think you have to start a Howard or Thorton. Maybe even an NY over Kirk. Shoot, I may even say that if you want to start another little guy then maybe it should be Hudson. One thing you might could do is start Dray at the 5 & Yi at the 4 but again with Kirk at the 3 so you have enough O but again, I like to have that scoring on the bench that you can count on. However, I wouldnt be totally against that one. Just let Kirk get used to being the 3rd guard and stop making it more harder for Gil to have the ball in his hands. Despite everything I just said, Im not 100% against it yet. I think weve seen evidence that it can work.

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The main thing to me is Gil. I think so far he's still our #1 guy to count on and I think you have to do whatever it is to put him in the most comfortable position. I think maybe removing Kirk and letting Gil handle the ball more would be better. No doubt Wall will still be the primary ball handler but when its not him then it should always be Gil. I think that will keep him more aggressive also. The one problem on the flip side is that having Kirk maybe makes Gil more of a scorer. Adding another scorer in the lineup may take shots away from Gil. It's just all so tricky because every guy I talked about can be great for us but youre still not 100% sure that you can count on them alone right now to dominate by themselves at what they do. Thats not even including the problems with size, rebounding, and defense

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Hinrich is not only logging the most minutes at the three, but I believe he is logging the most minutes on the team.

Why?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 10, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Because Flip is Ernie's YES man.

He is grateful since Ernie was the only GM that offered him a job.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This team will have to win inspite of Flip. The guy is a bad coach and he doesn't inspire anyone to play hard. Kurt is not a 3 and booker is not a 4.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 10, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

This team will have to win inspite of Flip. The guy is a bad coach and he doesn't inspire anyone to play hard. Kurt is not a 3 and booker is not a 4.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 10, 2010 1:02 PM

The only way this Team will win in spite of Flip is if John Wall and Gilbert Arenas call the shots on the court and have a sayso on who starts and plays.

It isn't uncommon for the stars/leaders of the team to have this type of influence.

With Flip. Good Luck. We are destined to suck beyond belief if Flip does not get his head on straight.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 10, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

This team will have to win inspite of Flip. The guy is a bad coach and he doesn't inspire anyone to play hard. Kurt is not a 3 and booker is not a 4.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 10, 2010 1:02 PM

The only way this Team will win in spite of Flip is if John Wall and Gilbert Arenas call the shots on the court and have a sayso on who starts and plays.

It isn't uncommon for the stars/leaders of the team to have this type of influence.

With Flip. Good Luck. We are destined to suck beyond belief if Flip does not get his head on straight.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 10, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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