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On offense, Wizards have a 'sticking' situation

Washington Wizards Coach Flip Saunders has used the word "sticking" to describe the team's ball movement at points this preseason. It's a description he has repeated often when his players abandon team basketball for long stretches, trying instead to play one-on-one rather than getting others involved.

Following tonight's 96-88 loss to Milwaukee in the Wizards' second and final home preseason game, even the players were saying it, knowing full well they were engaging in too much individual freelancing, especially in the second half.

"Execution was great in the first half," said Wall, who finished with 15 points and 11 assists for his first double-double as a professional. "We were moving the ball like we were supposed to. In the second half we just got a little bit too selfish, not moving the ball. I'm not trying to say it was one specific person. We didn't move the ball as a team."

Some of the best ball movement came during Gilbert Arenas's short stint in the first quarter. He played three minutes and had three steals and an assist before leaving with a mild right groin strain. His assist went to Wall on a fast break, when Arenas made an over-the-shoulder pass Wall converted for a three-point play.

But those sequences were in short supply tonight as compared to Tuesday's 107-92 victory over Atlanta, when the Wizards had 27 assists that led to some easy field goals. Thus, Washington shot 53 percent for the game.

Against Milwaukee, the Wizards had 19 assists and shot 43 percent in large part because ball movement was sorely lacking. Forward Andray Blatche, for instance, shot three three-pointers and missed all of them. Forward Yi Jianlian also played away from the basket too often.

"Our bigs are basically trying to play too much perimeter," Saunders said. "That's something we've got to clean up. We've got to have a thrust inside. They keep on popping out and popping out, and that just isn't going to [work]. We've got to have a presence in the paint."

The Wizards also had issues running the offense away from their bench, where Saunders was able to provide guidance within earshot. That became more apparent in the second half, when the Wizards were outscored 45-31.

"You can tell," Wall said. "Whenever we're going the way our coaches are at, we're doing a great job of executing, of getting everybody in the right position, moving the ball more. First half we had a lot of assists. Second half we went more one-on-one, not moving the ball, and it's a part of me being a leader. I put a lot of pressure on me."

By Gene Wang  | October 14, 2010; 10:45 PM ET
Categories:  John Wall  
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Comments

That was like a game from last season, with the opponent doubling up the Wiz on free throws and making up for the rest of the offense. You can see the issue this year is going to be interior defense -- if anybody plays it, I mean.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 14, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Samson151

Who on this roster can play interior defense?

AB-an AJ clone
Yi-I'll huff and puff and blow him over
JM-point guard in a 7'0" frame who's mother taught him to be a point guard and dribble instead of playing the C position
Booker-6'7"?
Seraphin-I can't even get off the bench for a preseason game

Maybe Flip will start Kirk there the next game?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 15, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Shut up, PLEASE! You are so miserable and insufferable.
Stop pretending with your username that you are in anyway a Wizards fan.

No one is good enough for you even in a time of high hopes for our young team. If a 25 year old Michael Jordan was on our team you would find a way to complain.

Why don't you go find Abe P. and harass him again for all eternity.

Posted by: zxhoya | October 15, 2010 4:05 AM | Report abuse

zxhoya

I'm sorry...I forgot thinking for myself and not listening to the Wizard PR makes me not worthy to be a fan.

Who on the team do you believe is going to step up and play interior defense this year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 15, 2010 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Kirk?!

Posted by: gconrads | October 15, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse


Who on the team do you believe is going to step up and play interior defense this year?


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 15, 2010 4:34 AM

Armstrong, Yi, Blatche and McGee.

I didn't hear anyone complaining about interior defense after the Atlanta game.

Milwaukee won this game at the free throw line (and that wasn't due to the Bucks pounding it inside). Lot of ticky-tack fouls were called last night, as if the refs were deliberately trying to keep them in the game. We all know the NBA has a little WWE or WWF in it.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Important to note how well Gil played in his 3 minutes. 3 steals, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 rebound, and 2 free throws (unfortunately missed). I think this bodes well for the full, healthy, regular season team.

Posted by: k_boogie | October 15, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Andre Blatche dribblesto much and shoots to many dumb shots.he attempted 3 3 point shots last night

Posted by: dredre1 | October 15, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I didnt hear all of Flip's comments, but the ball wasnt sticking because of the bigs- it was sticking because Wall overdribbles looking for his own shot. I know Flip can't let a game go by without throwing criticism towards AB/JM, but I hope he doesnt mind mentioning Wall's miscues either.

Mcgee took all 8 of his FGAs in the paint last night, AB was 5-7 in the paint. Don't like all the perimeter shots Blatche has been attempting, but suspect it's more knocking the rust off his shot than anything else. He has a long way to go conditioning-wise, so there will be issues with that. Most disconcerting to me was that Yi looked a little passive....gotta keep the "new Yi" alive!

Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Blatche was operating too much outside last night, but the 3s he took were completely wide open looks. He can hit those. The problem wasn't him taking the shots, it was the amount of time he spent out on the perimeter.

Yi had a lousy night. He looked intimidated at times and lost others.

Nick just took too many shots. Many of his shots were contested. He made a good percentage of his open looks. He still has that problem of not knowing how to pass the ball. He got a few rebounds that he fought for at least.

It was really an ugly game to watch. Tons of ticky-tack fouls, several quick technicals, etc. The game was mostly decided at the free throw line and in Drew Gooden's hands. He was just knocking down everything. He took several shots from just inside the 3 point line and made most of those. Blatche/Yi/Booker were getting the same open looks at that range and just didn't knock them down.

Armstrong played a much stronger game than the stat line indicates. He got called for 3 or his 6 fouls in extremely questionable fashion. 2 were clearly not fouls and the other 1 was really borderline. The refs were very quick to whistle. Armstrong was playing good solid basketball though and competing hard on both ends of the floor.

I heard the post-game interview and it seems like Morrison is a likable guy and a good teammate, but I don't think he's going to make the team. Other than spotting him up in the corner, I don't know how you can use him.

Posted by: jon_quest | October 15, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually really excited to see what Javale is going to do this year. He looks bigger and stronger. But the same thing hinders him so far this year.... Consistency! I see him at times look like a one of a kind player and other times he looks like Steven Hunter. But you can't deny he has talent but I need to see some consistency game after game before I take my pants off for JM "No homo".

Posted by: rcarter51 | October 15, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Important to note how well Gil played in his 3 minutes...I think this bodes well for the full, healthy, regular season team."
Posted by: k_boogie

Your sample's way too small.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Samson151 Who on this roster can play interior defense? posted by bulletsfan78"

LOL that was my question. I think I can guess why they wanted Sean Marks. Not that he's a guarantee to make the club.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"We all know the NBA has a little WWE or WWF in it.Posted by: ahwyatt"

Usually doesn't favor the road team. I thought Gooden really took advantage of some flaws last night. I doubt Bogut could have done better. When Gooden's shot is falling, he's pretty tough offensively.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Your sample's way too small.
Posted by: Samson151

Not making any statistical analysis here. Just pointing out that he is moving well and engaged.

Posted by: k_boogie | October 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"I didn't hear anyone complaining about interior defense after the Atlanta game."

Well, looks to me like the Hawks shot 51.6% from 2 point range. So that should tell you the defense wasn't that great the, either.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Armstrong played a much stronger game than the stat line indicates. He got called for 3 or his 6 fouls in extremely questionable fashion. 2 were clearly not fouls and the other 1 was really borderline. The refs were very quick to whistle. Armstrong was playing good solid basketball though and competing hard on both ends of the floor."
Posted by: jon_quest | October 15, 2010 9:30 AM

I like what I've seen from Armstrong so far. Plays hard, with energy, isn't afraid to put a body on someone or put his in harm's way. Looks to be a solid rotation player at C. He looks to be a guy with something to prove.

Adam Morrison may well be the worst defensive player I've ever seen.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Important to note how well Gil played in his 3 minutes."
Posted by: k_boogie | October 15, 2010 8:12 AM

No, actually, it's really not that important. It's almost completely irrelevant, in fact.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I notice Hilton fouled out in 12 minutes, which puts him up with my other current favorite hacker, Timofey Mozgov of the Knicks, who is discovering those US players really are as fast as they look on TV.

I also came away with the impression that Nick Young reverted to form when his shot didn't fall, playing lax defense and not moving as much without the ball. That IMO was a lot of the 'sticking' problem. He finished 4 of 16 and 0 of 5 in threes, which isn't good when you're the team's primary outside threat for 33 minutes, as he was last night when Arenas left the game.

You know who looked pretty good in brief stints? Cartier Martin and Lester Hudson. Of course they're not playing against the first string, but I hope one of those guys makes the club.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Things will improve once Wall, Gilbert and Dray get into an offensive flow.

My concern is the interior defense. Yi contested Milwaukee's drives in the paint, but JaVale and Blatche seemed to be focused on getting blocks instead of getting good defensive position. Drew Gooden looked like Dwight Howard last night!

On a positive note, Nick Young played good defense and prevented several baseline drives.

Posted by: musicmanjr | October 15, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

That is a great opinion of the game by Flip the bigs play too far outside. I thought a second half adjustment by the bucks clogged the middle so that anyone who came slashing in picked up the offensive foul. It got blatche twice so he stuck to the outside for the rest of the game. Blatche is most effective in the paint, is good with his jumper but has questionable 3's. Yi is good around the field but never likes banging in the post. I wonder what happened to that monster in the Chinese National team that averaged 20 and 10. Isn't FIBA supposedly more physical?

Posted by: jefferu | October 15, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"I didn't hear anyone complaining about interior defense after the Atlanta game."

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 7:58 AM

That's because the Wizards won. Looking at the shot chart, Atlanta seems to have made a fair number of shots from 5 feet and in.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, looks to me like the Hawks shot 51.6% from 2 point range. So that should tell you the defense wasn't that great the, either.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 10:14 AM

But who was complaining about it? Certainly not Bf78, who likes to pile on after a loss. Even if the Wiz win half their games this season (which would surprise everyone except melodious thunk), they're going to lose 41 games and have nights like last night.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

That's because the Wizards won. Looking at the shot chart, Atlanta seems to have made a fair number of shots from 5 feet and in.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 10:33 AM

As did the Wizards. Are the Hawks a bad defensive team now too?

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Blatche was operating too much outside last night, but the 3s he took were completely wide open looks. He can hit those."

He was wide open and he still missed all 3 of them, what makes you think he can hit those? His career 3P shooting % is 23.7%, it is a bad strategy to park him outside shooting open 3's.

Moreover, he is the best inside offensive player on the team, if you park him outside, who is your inside threat? Coach is right, let someone else shooting open 3's, Blatche needs to forget about "open 3's" and move inside. Last night, if you take away his 3 pointers, he shot 8 for 14 (57%), that's what we need him for.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 15, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"As did the Wizards. Are the Hawks a bad defensive team now too?"

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 10:39 AM

They were in that game.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

i think flip can curb the Bigs propensity to drift outside if he calls plays to set them up on the block. i saw too many occasions where Bigs (any of them really) were just pieces for the guards to run around looking for perimeter shots. I know our Bigs are limited with their back to the basket games (I personally think Blatche operates well in the post) but guys like Ab and Yi are floating to the perimeter partly because that's the only place the ball is getting passed around. i saw very few posts and reposts for the Bigs. If you want those guys on the block, run a play post'em on the block and give them the ball in the position to do what you like. If they in turn dribble out of the post to shoot a fallaway jumper then that needs to be a point of emphasis in the next huddle. The offense is going to be guard heavy or guard oriented, that's a given. But I think they still can run a little bit of the offense with AB setting up with his back to the basket.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Even most of Blatche's inside moves are finished with jumpshots, often fadeaways. The simple fact is that this team doesn't have anyone on the front line who can consistently catch the ball on the low block and create a shot by backing his man down and finishing with a strong move towards the rim. Their big guys don't take contact well and after a few hits seem content to settle.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

As did the Wizards. Are the Hawks a bad defensive team now too?"

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 10:39 AM

They were in that game.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Because I'm a life-long BRAVES fan, I blog a lot with the HAWKS group. They were most vociferous in their rantings about the lack of "D." Their blog-meister MIKE CUNNINGHAM even had an entire blog article on the subject.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 15, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"this team doesn't have anyone on the front line who can consistently catch the ball on the low block and create a shot by backing his man down and finishing with a strong move towards the rim."

While this is true, Blatche can score inside with his quickness and agility against those slower, back-you-down type big men who are forced to guard him. Beside, I see nothing wrong with fadeaway jumpshots if you can hit them consistently. Mixed together with his spin moves, and go hard one way and come back the other can be quite effective and keep defenders guessing.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 15, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"The simple fact is that this team doesn't have anyone on the front line who can consistently catch the ball on the low block and create a shot by backing his man down and finishing with a strong move towards the rim."

Does that even matter in 2010? I dont think it does. AB has scored pretty easily in the post/paint each preseason game, personally I dont care if it's a layup or 2ft J rather than backing a guy down.

I thought NY hustled on defense all night, also grabbed 7 boards and generally had his head in the game on a night his shot was off. Just what everyone has been asking him to do

Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And what's up with neither H nor Seraphin getting even a minute of PT?

Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"While this is true, Blatche can score inside with his quickness and agility against those slower, back-you-down type big men who are forced to guard him."

That might be true if he's being guarded by centers, which rarely happens. But he really doesn't have a huge quickness or agility advantage against most starting quality NBA PFs.

"Beside, I see nothing wrong with fadeaway jumpshots if you can hit them consistently."

Neither do I (although the jury is still out on whether he can do that). I'm simply pointing out that all of the talk about Blatche as a post player is a bit misleading.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Moreover, [Blatche] is the best inside offensive player on the team, if you park him outside, who is your inside threat? posted by sagaliba"

I think you put your finger on a real problem: we don't have another inside scorer. I think that's why everybody pays such attention to McGee's baby hook and Seraphin's wide body. Josh Howard used to be pretty effective near the basket and Trevor Booker was in college, but one's hurt and the other's a rookie.

Seriously, I don't imagine we'll see Blatche launching many 3 pointers in the regular season. They were still experimenting last night. Four more games, including another against Atlanta, before the season starts.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Because I'm a life-long BRAVES fan, I blog a lot with the HAWKS group. They were most vociferous in their rantings about the lack of "D." Their blog-meister MIKE CUNNINGHAM even had an entire blog article on the subject.Posted by: glawrence007"

I think they're right to worry. Defense was a Woodson strength and Larry Drew has focused mostly on the offense. That helped lure Joe Johnson back but there might also be some unintended consequences.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Adam Morrison received the loudest cheers in the building last night, unfortunately I don't think fan enthusiasm is going to keep him in the league. We're probably watching his last nba minutes.

Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"I think they're right to worry. Defense was a Woodson strength and Larry Drew has focused mostly on the offense. That helped lure Joe Johnson back but there might also be some unintended consequences."

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 11:39 AM

The money didn't hurt, either. I said a while ago that I wouldn't be surprised to see the Hawks take a big step back this season. They way they looked in the playoffs was an ominous portent, and the fact that they haven't worked out an extension for Horford is troubling (to say nothing of Crawford reverting to locker room form). Even when they were rolling they always seemed to be a team that was always on the verge of turmoil. With a rookie head coach and a couple of key players with contract issues, all it may take is one extended losing streak for the cracks to explode.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't that impressed with Nick's defense. Same old same old: make a play and then take one off. Don't forget he had 36 minutes on the floor; 7 boards is probably a reasonable total.

The Bucks had virtually no 3 point game last night (1 for 8). They didn't need it, since going inside meant a trip to the foul line, where they converted 86%. The Wiz were a miserable 11 for 22, by comparison. That needs to be fixed.

But around the league, all anybody is talking about after they play the Wizards is John Wall. We're getting used to seeing him, and maybe forget exactly how amazing he is. You got the feeling he could take Brandon Jennings whenever he wanted. Here's from a CBS blog:

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/25236253

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@divi3: I didnt hear all of Flip's comments, but the ball wasnt sticking because of the bigs- it was sticking because Wall overdribbles looking for his own shot. I know Flip can't let a game go by without throwing criticism towards AB/JM, but I hope he doesnt mind mentioning Wall's miscues either.

PERFECT!

Wall's out-of-control, but we'll never hear it from Flop. Some things never change. The losses will be the "bigs'" fault and the victories will be solely because of wall's wizardry.

Feed the guys in the post, Flop. That'll solve the perimeter problem. How can Saunders be such a moron?


Posted by: Fief1 | October 15, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Feed the guys in the post, Flop. That'll solve the perimeter problem. How can Saunders be such a moron?"


Posted by: Fief1 | October 15, 2010 12:03 PM

Well, in order to "feed the guys in the post" don't you first actually have to have some guys in the post? Like I said, the Wiz don't exactly have an abundant supply of those.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Our bigs are basically trying to play too much perimeter," Saunders said. "That's something we've got to clean up. We've got to have a thrust inside. They keep on popping out and popping out, and that just isn't going to [work]. We've got to have a presence in the paint."

Oh Flip my good man. You've got to have a presence in the paint. No Kimchee!

Try this, play Yi, Blatche and McGee together for a bit.

The last time I checked the small forward does have input on frontcourt play.

Do you think Hinrich is helping your paint play??? Hinrich helps you perimeter play. Three guard offense, isn't that what you wanted???

Two bigs mostly are going to come up short and try to switch their inside play because they are shorthanded. If you have three bigs on the floor as a regular part of your strategy, they are going to play inside mostly because they have a even chance against the other team.

Flip you are real bright.

Answer this Flip. If Wall and Arenas can be helped with Hinrich on the floor, why wouldn't McGee and Blatche be helped with Yi on the floor?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 15, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Does that even matter in 2010?" Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 11:28 AM

It does in the context of a discussion about the ball sticking in the hands of the bigs. A true low post big is more likely to draw a double-team when the ball comes into him down low, which opens up a teammate on the perimeter, which facilitates the kickout pass. Thus, more ball movement (at least potentially; there's always going to be the Al Jeffersons of the world). When your bigs face up/off the dribble/iso players then the ball is going to stick in their hands more because they need to do more work after the catch to create a shot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards out rebounded the Bucks and shot a better shooting percentage inside and outside the arch. Even though we lost the turnover battle it was the difference in free throws that killed us. The bucks was 37 of 43, while the was 11 of 22.

Posted by: spades72 | October 15, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Even most of Blatche's inside moves are finished with jumpshots, often fadeaways. The simple fact is that this team doesn't have anyone on the front line who can consistently catch the ball on the low block and create a shot by backing his man down and finishing with a strong move towards the rim. Their big guys don't take contact well and after a few hits seem content to settle.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

when was the last time washington has such a player?
how many teams in NBA have that effective offenssive player deep in the post?
Who is the best shooter from PF?to me he is DN who is taking jump shoots and fadaways.It is good to have that man in the post but basketball is becoming a non contact sport.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 15, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Meh. Both teams were really flat. The Wizards took bad shots from all over the floor. Even with their new players, the Bucks are very good defensively. It's going to take some time for Wall to figure out how to play those teams. And bigs tend to come out to the perimeter when they don't get the ball in the post. Blatche, McGee and Yi, need to be a little more disciplined, but the PGs need to do a better job too. With two PGs playing at once this shouldn't be an issue.

Posted by: djnnnou | October 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"when was the last time washington has such a player?"

A long time. At least as long as they last time they made a deep playoff run. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I also came away with the impression that Nick Young reverted to form when his shot didn't fall, playing lax defense and not moving as much without the ball. That IMO was a lot of the 'sticking' problem.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 10:27 AM

Nick Young had 7 rebounds, 5 of which was defensive. 1 steal and a blocked shot. He had good open looks at the basket but the shots were not falling. Bad shooting night but played much better on the defensive end.

Posted by: spades72 | October 15, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Blatche was gassed most of the game. Needs to get into basketball shape. And John Wall is playing too much minutes. He looked fatigue in the second half. Have to develop a reliable outside shot because teams are going pack in the middle and stop his penetration.

Posted by: spades72 | October 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"It does in the context of a discussion about the ball sticking in the hands of the bigs."

Not necessarily. As long as you have viable inside threat, it does not need to be a "bak-you-down" type.

"A true low post big is more likely to draw a double-team when the ball comes into him down low, which opens up a teammate on the perimeter, which facilitates the kickout pass."

Now you are talking about a big man who can kick out of double team. Among "back-you-down" type bigs, not many are also good passers. In fact, they are many "black holes" in this league. I will take a finesse big like Blatche over those black holes.

BTW, regarding your earlier comment, I think Blatche has enough quickness against those bruising type PFs, not just against centers. Difference of opinions, we can agree to disagree.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 15, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Below is what I wrote after the Hawks game. Yes, there was complaining about interior defense. I will say it again--AB looks out of shape! However, Nick Young, last night, seemed more engaged in all facets of the game despite the poor shooting.

audacitea wrote:
Nick Young had zero rebounds, zero assists and zero blocks. That is not a 3! I really like Young's scoring ability and having Wall complements his game well (particularly when his shot is falling). However, he was actually shying away from loose balls last night. Other sobering facts--Zaza was taking it to Mcgee and Yi and AB looked out of shape/sluggish. This team needs its bigs to show more toughness. Nonetheless, there was a lot to be happy about!
10/13/2010 10:34:45 AM

Posted by: audacitea | October 15, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Interior D wasn't great last night, but it wasn't the downfall. Scott Skiles teams always play that ugly brand of basketball that is going to bother a lot of teams.

Dwight Gooden is an ideal Skiles kind of player, I bet you that given the chance Skiles would love to get Hinrch too.

Blatche seems to be struggling some with dead legs right now. Not that uncommon in this point of the preseason, when you factor in that he did so much pool work to stay in shape, his legs got to be hurting about now.

Two good things I saw last night, a couple of time when guys started down the lane McGee spread his feet, set his position, and got his arms up instead of jumping at the first move. It resulted in missed shots or dump offs, not a foul or a block which was the normal result for McGee.

Nick Young was cold as ice when he started, but came in later and played well. Both are signs of maturity and growth in two players that have shown a terrible need for it in past seasons.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 15, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Feed the guys in the post, Flop. That'll solve the perimeter problem. How can Saunders be such a moron?Posted by: Fief1"

I dunno, reading the article it sounds like the team plays better when they can hear Flip from the sidelines.

I know some of the folks here have convinced themselves that the Wiz coach must be a moron -- all the Wiz coaches for the past decade -- but hey, maybe it's the fanz who don't know what they're talking about.

No, no, it can't be...

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, in order to "feed the guys in the post" don't you first actually have to have some guys in the post? Like I said, the Wiz don't exactly have an abundant supply of those.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

How bout we just tell the players occupying the positions of PF and Center to stand on the block and catch the ball when it's thrown to them. Flip is doing what he does, he's running the ball through the guys he likes Wall,Kirk, and Gil to a certain extent. He should try to run some sets to get the bigs involved. The ball gets whipped around the perimeter, sometimes without even a thought of dumping it down low. One of the worst things Flip could do is let his distrust for players like AB and JM filter down to Wall, to a point where he's not trusting his teammates. Wall needs to know that he should pass the ball into the post sometimes not just to Kirk Or Gil or Nick.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"Even though we lost the turnover battle it was the difference in free throws that killed us."Posted by: spades72

Yeah, but you have to ask yourself, why was their such a disparity at the line? Can't attribute it to home court advantage. So what happened?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"Answer this Flip. If Wall and Arenas can be helped with Hinrich on the floor, why wouldn't McGee and Blatche be helped with Yi on the floor?LarryInClintonMD."

Well, if you have to play 3 seven-footers at the same time to get the production you need from two, then you have a problem. Your opponent's scoring small forward is going to just kill you. And if Yi's shot isn't dropping -- the way it wasn't last night -- you're going to have to pull him anyway.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Our bigs are basically trying to play too much perimeter," Saunders said. "That's something we've got to clean up. We've got to have a thrust inside. They keep on popping out and popping out, and that just isn't going to [work]. We've got to have a presence in the paint."
By Gene Wang | October 14, 2010; 10:45 PM ET

ROFLMAO.

"This team needs a mindset change," Saunders said. "This team for the last five years has been known as one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Until our guys decide that it hurts when teams score on you, we've got no chance. We're kidding ourselves."
By Michael Lee | December 30, 2009; 12:16 AM ET

Groundhog Day. Still no big man, still no presence in the paint, offensive or defensive, still no clue.

EG has got to go.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"How bout we just tell the players occupying the positions of PF and Center to stand on the block and catch the ball when it's thrown to them. "

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 2:12 PM

A strategy undone by the fact that none of the Wizards players occupying the positions of PF and C are actually low-block offensive players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

""Answer this Flip. If Wall and Arenas can be helped with Hinrich on the floor, why wouldn't McGee and Blatche be helped with Yi on the floor?"

That question doesn't even make sense. It's trying to draw parallels between two sets of things that are completely different.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse


Groundhog Day. Still no big man, still no presence in the paint, offensive or defensive, still no clue.

EG has got to go.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 15, 2010 2:17 PM

Because there were tons of guys outstanding big men on the market begging to play for the Wizards and Ernie just looked the other way. Yeah, fire that guy.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

A strategy undone by the fact that none of the Wizards players occupying the positions of PF and C are actually low-block offensive players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

So there will be no offensive participation on the block, just because guys aren't percieved as low block players. isn't that the coaches job? to put guys is the position to be successfull within his system? I dunno if there are very many "Low-Block" players left in the L, but i do think Flip can tell guys where to stand to initiate a play. I didn't say there would be guaranteed success putting AB or JM on the block just something to try. You don't want them on the perimeter, tell'em to hit the block and tell J-Wiz or Kirk to dump it down a coupla times. Last year the offense would start with a pass to jamison a noted "Low-Block" player i guess.
I can see you're an opponent of learning on the job, but if they've got Sam Cassell teaching them post moves and post defense it might be nice to get used to working that stuff against guys their own size.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"So there will be no offensive participation on the block, just because guys aren't percieved as low block players."

It has nothing to do with perception and everything to do with reality.

"isn't that the coaches job? to put guys is the position to be successfull within his system?"

Exactly the point. Given the skill set of his big men, running lots of post isolation plays for them is not a recipe for success because they lack the kind of skill that would allow them to be consistently effective in that position.

"I dunno if there are very many "Low-Block" players left in the L, but i do think Flip can tell guys where to stand to initiate a play."

He can tell 'em to stand in the parking lot if he wants. But it's not gonna produce much in the way of useful results if their skill set isn't conducive to them playing from the parking lot.

"I didn't say there would be guaranteed success putting AB or JM on the block just something to try. You don't want them on the perimeter, tell'em to hit the block and tell J-Wiz or Kirk to dump it down a coupla times."

You do realize there's 20+ feet of floor space between the perimeter and the low block right? It's not an either or equation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but you have to ask yourself, why was their such a disparity at the line? Can't attribute it to home court advantage. So what happened?

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 2:12 PM

Brandon Jennings was 9 of 10 from the line and that was John Wall's man. Wall had 5 fouls, Young had 4 and the only big who had more than each of them was Armstrong with 6. The interior defense was OK the Wizards had 10 blocks shots and 31 defensive rebounds I just think that the Bucks was a step quicker and had more energy.

Posted by: spades72 | October 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Flip isnt saying 1 word about posting them up on the blocks. He's talking about presence in the paint. JM took all 8 of his shots in the paint last night, AB took 5 shots within 2ft, Zards outrebounded the Bucks, and had 10 blocks (Bucks had 4). Was the problem REALLY the bigs? Yeah, there were too many outside shots, but that wasnt the difference in the game.

The team looked run down and wasn't sharp, everybody made mistakes with no glaring failures from anyone. It's just Flip's MO to criticize the frontcourt whenever there's a mic around.

Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't that impressed with Nick's defense. Same old same old: make a play and then take one off. Don't forget he had 36 minutes on the floor; 7 boards is probably a reasonable total.

7 boards/night from a SG would be the league leader at that position. For a SF, it would rank 5th.

Posted by: divi3 | October 15, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Exactly the point. Given the skill set of his big men, running lots of post isolation plays for them is not a recipe for success because they lack the kind of skill that would allow them to be consistently effective in that position.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I dunno that i said run lots of post isolotion plays. I think i was saying that IF Flip had so much of an issue with bigs drifting to the perimeter, then he should run plays that have them on the block;this as opposed to using them as "practice cones" for the guards to run around.
Furthermore, you rebut my suggestion as though you know the solution. I implore you to share this wisdom with the rest of us. How can Flip curb our Bigs propensity to drift to the ball? They are driftiong out because the ball isn't coming down low. If the offense is set up for the ball not to be dumped on the block, or if John Wall is the only player we're gonna post up, i suggest he let the Bigs know that they are gonna be designated rebounders on offense.
We've already heard AB talk about trying to find his role in the offense. I think the Bigs are getting a lil bit of the freeze from Flip; and while i agree that they (Ab and JM) still have a ways to go in terms of becoming consistent low post threats, i think that trying to post them up or even giving them the illusion that they will get the ball on the block will keep the guys a shade closer to the paint than they have been.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Flip has already lost the team. He just doesn't know it yet.
In Grunfeld We Trust. Not.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 15, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"7 boards/night from a SG would be the league leader at that position. For a SF, it would rank 5th.Posted by: divi3"

You mean, if he averaged 7 boards a night for the season. But that's not what we're talking about. For a SF to get 7 rebounds in 36 minutes in a single game is not unreasonable. Just as it wasn't all that unlikely for him to go a game without a board (against Atlanta).

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Groundhog Day. Still no big man, still no presence in the paint, offensive or defensive, still no clue.

EG has got to go.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 15, 2010 2:17 PM

Because there were tons of guys outstanding big men on the market begging to play for the Wizards and Ernie just looked the other way. Yeah, fire that guy.
Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 2:44 PM
^^^^
prescrunk... (is that like preshrunk?)
we have BIGMEN!!!-EG got them!!!... we have the BIGMAN Blatche, we have Yi (ya), we have uh! ur right ...nobody... you're right.
ahwyatt - ahshutup

Posted by: jiji1 | October 15, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

so even when he takes you guys constructive criticism, about letting his shooting affect his overall game, and plays tough d,boards and passes, you rag on him b/c it's on a single night. Give the guy a chance to build on two good performances. When's the last time NY got 2 starts in a row before a season was lost?I know some of yall want certain players on the team to do bad, but if guys like NY and JM can take the next step this year we could be in decent shape going forward. Besides once Al Thornton and Gil get healthy you won't have to worry about NY in the reg season. Kirk Hinrich earned his spot LOL.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Serraphin- is he starting to get fat yet? and ahwyatt- dont say JM.. its already been proven that he is really a PG/SG.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Brandon Jennings was 9 of 10 from the line and that was John Wall's man. Wall had 5 fouls, Young had 4 and the only big who had more than each of them was Armstrong with 6. The interior defense was OK the Wizards had 10 blocks shots and 31 defensive rebounds I just think that the Bucks was a step quicker and had more energy.Posted by: spades72"

The question was, why did the Bucks have so many more FT attempts than Washington? Not why they shot a better FT percentage.

About the rebounds: looks to me as if the Wiz' rebounding edge was on the offensive boards, not defense. Both clubs had 31 defensive boards. Wall did have 5 fouls, but in 36.5 minutes. Yi had 3 in twenty, and Hilton fouled out in just 12. Jennings may have been 9 of 10 from the line, but he was 2 of 10 FGs for the game, and no 3 pointers. Chris Douglas-Roberts was 3 of 10 in 35 minutes. Carlos Delfino helped some from the SF spot.

Don't know how you can say the interior defense was up to par.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wall's 5 fouls were in 38.5 minutes, not 36.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I know some of the folks here have convinced themselves that the Wiz coach must be a moron -- all the Wiz coaches for the past decade -- but hey, maybe it's the fanz who don't know what they're talking about.

No, no, it can't be...

Posted by: Samson151

no no it cant be - his record in Washington speaks for itself dude. In Grunfeld We Trust. Not.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 15, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

There were many times last night when Blatche was posted up working hard and got position and hinrich didn't even look to him. Atleast 4 times. Now, I understand the play dictates a reverse there, but you have to atleast make the look to the post.

Posted by: wizravterp | October 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Because there were tons of guys outstanding big men on the market begging to play for the Wizards and Ernie just looked the other way. Yeah, fire that guy.

Posted by: ahwyatt | October 15, 2010 2:44 PM

Les BouleS under EG: 241-313.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 15, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wizravterp | October 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank You

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Re: Nick Young. Didn't see past the first quarter so I can't speak to Nick's focus for the game. Divi earlier asked if people were happy with Nick's performance, because though he shot poorly, he snagged 7 boards. My answer is happy? Not exactly. I think there were things to criticize, but happier than if he had gone 4-16 with 0 rebounds? Most definitely. Meanwhile Hinrich passed less and shot more, does that make the Hinrich detractors happy? 5-10 FG. 2-4 from 3.

Re: Post game. AB is actually a good inside option, when he remembers to be. He's not a back-you-down power player, but he doesn't have to be. He could definitely though be more of a skilled big man a la Tim Duncan or Pau Gasol, who aren't strong, but they are strong enough. AB has traditionally had two problems offensively. One, he wasn't a complete post player. He had moves, but no counter-moves. He started to address that last year with the addition of the up-and-under. I think he also added a spin / fake-spin combo (if he hasn't, he should). His second problem, which was on display last night, is that he has Chris Webber disease.

Chris Webber disease afflicts a lot of modern big men, esp PFs, and it consists mainly of the desire to "be able to do everything" which includes handling in the open floor, dishing no-look passes, and shooting threes. Usually to the detriment of their inside play.

Rather than tryng to show off his 3 point range, he can garner just as many props, if not more, from becoming a very skilled and effective low-post scorer.

On nights where the perimeter shooters aren't hitting and Wall is getting carried away, Flip should definitely try to calm the offense down and run it through AB for a bit. He's capable of scoring and generating shots for others...when he remembers that's where his bread will be buttered.

Posted by: ts35 | October 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Re: Nick Young. Didn't see past the first quarter so I can't speak to Nick's focus for the game. Divi earlier asked if people were happy with Nick's performance, because though he shot poorly, he snagged 7 boards. My answer is happy? Not exactly. I think there were things to criticize, but happier than if he had gone 4-16 with 0 rebounds? Most definitely. Meanwhile Hinrich passed less and shot more, does that make the Hinrich detractors happy? 5-10 FG. 2-4 from 3.

Re: Post game. AB is actually a good inside option, when he remembers to be. He's not a back-you-down power player, but he doesn't have to be. He could definitely though be more of a skilled big man a la Tim Duncan or Pau Gasol, who aren't strong, but they are strong enough. AB has traditionally had two problems offensively. One, he wasn't a complete post player. He had moves, but no counter-moves. He started to address that last year with the addition of the up-and-under. I think he also added a spin / fake-spin combo (if he hasn't, he should). His second problem, which was on display last night, is that he has Chris Webber disease.

Chris Webber disease afflicts a lot of modern big men, esp PFs, and it consists mainly of the desire to "be able to do everything" which includes handling in the open floor, dishing no-look passes, and shooting threes. Usually to the detriment of their inside play.

Rather than tryng to show off his 3 point range, he can garner just as many props, if not more, from becoming a very skilled and effective low-post scorer.

On nights where the perimeter shooters aren't hitting and Wall is getting carried away, Flip should definitely try to calm the offense down and run it through AB for a bit. He's capable of scoring and generating shots for others...when he remembers that's where his bread will be buttered.

Posted by: ts35 | October 15, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if Flip ran an offese that pass the ball to the post they wouldn't drift out. You can count on 1 hand how often that happens. Haywood complained about the samething last year. What other coach would run a 3 gaurd offense if he had intensions of passing the ball inside. The bigs under Flip feel their only job is to rebound for the guards to jack up 3s. Bigs want to touch the ball too. Under Flip you'd have 3 gaurds under 6'4" and a 6'6" pf booker. He already started blaming everyone else for his lack of ability. why can't we get a real coach. Oh who on this staff is going to teach a big how to play big. Flip should call his friend Mchale. Oh that's right Mchale fired him.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 15, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The question was, why did the Bucks have so many more FT attempts than Washington? Not why they shot a better FT percentage.


Posted by: Samson151 | October 15, 2010 3:54 PM

I mentioned nothing about FT percentage in the post you responded to. It's funny how you want to give credit to John Wall for holding Jennings to 2 of 10 shooting but ignored the fact that Brandon went to the free throw line 10 times. You also forget to mention that the defense had 10 block shots most of which were on the interior. The defensive rebounding was 75% and the guards and small forwards had more fouls committed than the bigs. But yet you blame the interior defense as the problem. Like I said the Wizards were a step slower than the Bucks and hand checking insde of moving their feet.

Posted by: spades72 | October 15, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Haywood complained about the samething last year.
Posted by: rnbrown4

Watching Haywood try to do something in the low post may have been the reason Flip stopped trying to pass the ball there. Until, of course, the second half of the year, when a good portion of the offense was run through AB in the post.

Posted by: ts35 | October 15, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

May not have to worry about the sample size of Gilberts performance. The Wash. Post is probably gonna succeed in getting him run out of town. Then he can come back and burn us for 50-60 points every time we see him. Washington fans, like Wash. politicians are idiots. On a team short on proven talent, we have one player, lets show him the door. The money from his contract will not get us one player of quality. NY, NJ, Chicago had plenty of money and did not get the players they most desired. Saunders is showing his Napoleon complex, who will want to come here and play in Washington?
Better start appreciating what we have or we will end up with nothing. This is a good young team, let them develop. Lets enjoy the ride. Hail Gil. By the way last year I blistered Gil and said he should be dropped from the team. Fortunately better basketball minds prevailed. Now he is the most important piece to compliment Wall.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | October 15, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Finally sat down and watched the Bucks game.

My thoughts:

1) The refs sucked. Lots of touch fouls on the Wiz without the same being called at the other end. Yi and Armstrong in particular seemed to get picked on. Some of that has to do with Gooden being a cagey (lying, flopping) vet. And Hilton must have slept with Ronnie Garretson's wife or something.

2) Shame. As in shame on the bigs, the guards and Flip for not pounding the ball down low in the second when the PF/C combo for the Bucks was Skinner / Ilyasova. I like Ilyasova, but there's no way that any combo of AB, Yi or McGee shouldn't have been able to get good looks against those two.

3) J Wall is trying to do too much. He's also playing too much. It's preseason, Flip. 30 mins is enough. Let Lester get more burn.

4) Nick Young. First off, in my book, Nick was 4-15 and 0-4 from three. He took a last second shot from beyond half court as a lark to end the game, but it counted in the box score. Not a big difference, I'm just sayin'. I didn't like all of Nick's shots -- I believe Nick has defined 'being open' as the same as 'on the court' -- but I thought he played pretty hard and reasonably focused on both ends.. There was a play late in the third (I think) or early in the fourth that drove me nuts, though, as it is classic Nick:

Wall drives, ball gets rotated to Nick along the sideline for a wide open three (so far so good). Nick takes the shot (as he should), then stands there with his hand his raised in his shooting motion watching his beautiful stroke (as he should not). It rims out, scramble for the ball, Bucks get it, and pass it forward to the guy guarding Nick (CDR I think), who's already past half court with Nick trailing a good 15-20 ft behind. CDR goes in for an uncontested layup. It wasn't a great play on Nick's part in an otherwise solid game. But it did bring to light an even worse play...

...As I'm reviewing the play, prepping to grill Nick, I realize, wait, if Nick is on the sideline, who's rotated up top? Because it's that person's job to get back on D in the event of a fast break. So I roll back, and lo and behold who's at the top? Adam Morrison. When Nick's shot goes up, Adam goes racing to the backboard, not getting anywhere near the ball, and leaving the backcourt wiiiiiiide open for the fast break. Which brings me to my last observation....

Posted by: ts35 | October 15, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

....5) or rather 4. As in 4 on 5. As in, the Wiz were playing 4 on 5 from the moment Morrison checked in. The kid can shoot, but he has no business playing right now.

The Wiz were winning the game, and more or less playing better than the Bucks imo, despite the foul disparity until Morrison checked in. It certainly wasn't totally his fault, McGee seemed to get tired and check out for a stretch, and their offense got a little raggedy, but there wasn't much that I saw Morrison contribute on either end, and he definitely left them hanging on D. Delfino went off mainly when Morrison was covering him. I think he had 10 points in the quarter. The entirety of Morrison's offense right now seems to be parking behind the three point line. But he's not even active enough to get to open spots.

Pretty much as soon as Morrison came in the game, the play titled in the Bucks favor.

At one point he tried to ball fake and drive on Delfino who went for the fake, but still had no problems staying in front of Morrison. At this point, he's bringing nothing to the table, and just taking up playing time that others could use. For me, the experiment is over. Cut the kid and his David Cassidy haircut and let's move on.

Posted by: ts35 | October 15, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Great analysis ts35. I'm with you completely. That's why pre-season records mean nothing.

Posted by: rhamberger | October 16, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

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