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Wizards big men meet, discuss need to improve

By Michael Lee


JaVale McGee ranks fifth in the league with 2.6 blocked shots per game. Andray Blatche is one of just 13 players in the league averaging at least 17 points and 7.5 rebounds. But McGee and Blatche know that those individual statistics aren't enough for them to declare the Wizards as a stout front line.

McGee and Blatche both had their first double-doubles of the season on Saturday against Cleveland, as they combined to grab 25 rebounds -- matching the Wizards' total in their season opening loss in Orlando. Blatche revealed afterward that they were goaded by comments from a Wizards assistant coach who told them that a coach on the New York Knicks staff said the Wizards have the "worst frontcourt."

Before facing the Cavaliers, Blatche brought together all of the bigs for a meeting. "We told ourselves, we had to work harder, which we had to," Blatche said after scoring 16 points and grabbing a season-high 15 rebounds in the Wizards' 107-102 loss to Cleveland. "I just put more effort on rebounding. JaVale put more emphasis on protecting the rim. We still have some more work to go with it and we'll continue to get better at it and push each other in practice and continue to try to get better."

Whether or not those words were really said by a Knicks coach, or were merely a motivational tactic from the Wizards coaching staff, it didn't matter to Blatche. "They're actually right," Blatche said. "We getting outrebounded by every team so far."

Not quite. The Wizards rank last in the league in rebounds per game (35.2) but they have actually won the rebounding battle in their past three games against Philadelphia (36-35), New York (41-37) and Cleveland (44-37). McGee had a season-high 10 rebounds and added three blocked shots against Cleveland, but he missed the most critical rebound of the game, when he failed to box out Anderson Varejao on a missed free throw attempt, which led to an Anthony Parker three-pointer, turning what should've been a one-point possession into a four-point possession for the Cavaliers.


We've got to get better. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Despite McGee's desire to block most shots in his general vicinity, the Wizards are allowing teams to shoot 50.1 percent, worst in the league. And, unfortunately, McGee's aggression has led to him ending up on the wrong end of some vicious dunks, such as Wilson Chandler's slam on Friday. Cleveland's J.J. Hickson dunked on McGee and Blatche on successive plays on Saturday.

The Wizards are surrendering 46.4 points in the paint each game, with opponents converting an incredible 73.3 percent of their shots at the rim (teams are attempting 24 shots per game inside of five feet). "Other teams getting points in the paint too easy," Hilton Armstrong said. "We have to be more physical. We have to play harder, play smart. Just put our nose in there and take care of home. I think collectively we haven't been doing as much as what we're capable of in the paint. So we definitely have to step that up."

When told that his big men had met recently, Coach Flip Saunders said he hopes that it will help but expects more from his front line than just rebounding and defending. "I mean [the need for a meeting] would be pretty obvious when you're in a situation and you're getting your butt kicked on the glass," he said. "Combined all your big people have five assists, y'know as far as team play those aren't very positive team stats. I know Dave Cowens, who I consider one of the best centers, the first thing he always looked at was assists from other team's big men. If other big men don't have assists then they shouldn't play. They don't make people better. That's what you do. There's some opportunity out there. There's some guys who haven't played that are going to have an opportunity to bust in and get more playing time."

Blatche said the Wizards are slowly making progress as a team. "We came from us not working hard, to us working hard. It came from us not rebounding, to us rebounding. Now it's for us to close games. That's what we have to do."

By Michael Lee  | November 9, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Hilton Armstrong, JaVale McGee  
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Next: Day after he stormed out of practice, Flip Saunders says, 'message delivered, message received'

Comments

The knicks said that??? A team that plays small ball + Amare calling us the worst frontcourt of the NBA is sad. I hope this motivates blatche and McGee who have 14 ft between them.

Posted by: jefferu | November 9, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Should have kept Singleton and McGuire. They could rebound and defend better than any of the current froncourt players

Posted by: bonggong | November 9, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

HA is averaging 3rebs in 15mins/night.
Yi is averaging 2rebs in 20mins/night.
JM is averaging 7rebs in 25mins/night.

Maybe it's time for Booker and Seraphin to get a crack at the backup roles? Couldnt be worse.

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The bigs need to work to sure things up in the middle... but lets not forget that Boobie Gibson and Mo Williams combined for 47 points against our guards.

Posted by: gwshark | November 9, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time for Booker and Seraphin to get a crack at the backup roles? Couldnt be worse.

Posted by: divi3

I don't know where either are in their understanding of the offense and defense, but I'm fine with either Armstrong or Yi giving up some of their minutes to Booker right now. I doubt Seraphin is ready to be out there for anything but garbage time. If our problems right now in the front court are in part rebounding and defending the P&R, give Booker a shot. He's not likely going to give us much on the offensive end, but we're not getting a lot anyway. At least we know he'll be physical, and at least has a shot at trying to keep up with Wall on the break. I'm also assuming / hoping he'll have less trouble finishing at the rim than Yi, Armstrong, and to a lesser extent AB have demonstrated.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

so, since Mike Lee includes the stat that the wiz have out rebounded their opponents in the past 3 games, Ole Flipper rags on the bigs about their assists. My god you'd think AB and McGee have the ball in their hands 80% of the time.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 9, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time for Booker and Seraphin to get a crack at the backup roles? Couldnt be worse.
Posted by: divi3

I don't know where either are in their understanding of the offense and defense, but I'm fine with either Armstrong or Yi giving up some of their minutes to Booker right now. I doubt Seraphin is ready to be out there for anything but garbage time. If our problems right now in the front court are in part rebounding and defending the P&R, give Booker a shot. He's not likely going to give us much on the offensive end, but we're not getting a lot anyway. At least we know he'll be physical, and at least has a shot at trying to keep up with Wall on the break. I'm also assuming / hoping he'll have less trouble finishing at the rim than Yi, Armstrong, and to a lesser extent AB have demonstrated.
Posted by: ts35

Although it's always hard for me to decipher exactly what Saunders means, Lee does quote him as saying "There's some opportunity out there. There's some guys who haven't played that are going to have an opportunity to bust in and get more playing time," so maybe he too is thinking that it really is time to see what some others can do.

Posted by: nmik | November 9, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I hope this means Thornton stays in at SF more and we stop trying that three-guard lineup. When Gil's in shape, Hinrich needs to come off the bench. And it's going to take a long time before Howard is ready for serious PT. Al's the only dude on the front line with cajones right now.

Posted by: RIP-21 | November 9, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If, as Blatche said, McGee stepped up his defense of the rim for the Cavs game, then there is no hope. It was like a layup drill, again.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | November 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Wizards big men comparison in the first 5 games:
Names followed by rebounds (per minutes/ per 48 minutes), and FG%
Blatche: 0.22/10.6, 40.8%
McGee: 0.27/13, 61.5%
Thornton: 0.19/9.25, 54.1%
Armstrong: 0.22/10.5, 44.4%
Yi: 0.12/5.8, 37.5%

Posted by: sagaliba | November 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

so, since Mike Lee includes the stat that the wiz have out rebounded their opponents in the past 3 games, Ole Flipper rags on the bigs about their assists. My god you'd think AB and McGee have the ball in their hands 80% of the time.

His ballbusting has gotta about Yi/Armstrong mainly right? The same hoopsdata stats that show atrocious Wiz frontline also indicate Mcgee is above the league average in every positive defensive category, while Yi/Armstrong are well below.

for what they count as defensive plays made, our youngbuck JM is 2nd in the league (amongst Cs) to...Dwight Howard

of course stats are an incomplete picture, but if they're used to illustrate negatives might as well look for positives too

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"If, as Blatche said, McGee stepped up his defense of the rim for the Cavs game, then there is no hope. It was like a layup drill, again.
Posted by: ZardsFan1 "

As is the history of this team, opposing guards have a free run at the rim and Javale generally jumps out at the them and the guards pass off to Javale's man for layups. So Javale is reluctant to completely leave his man because of this, caught between a rock and a hard place.

Flip needs to be tougher on his guards although that's where the majority of his talent lies.

Posted by: zxhoya | November 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

If, as Blatche said, McGee stepped up his defense of the rim for the Cavs game, then there is no hope. It was like a layup drill, again.

JM was +12 in that game.

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards have big men? That is breaking news.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | November 9, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious our young Bigs don't understand how important it is that they fulfill their rolls. JM is still trying to be a highlight reel, thinking the nation must see his 'freakish' move instead of learning how to use his height to dominate other bigs! If he doesn’t get it soon, he will be out of here and on his way out the league. Does any one remember the 7ft dude for the bulls? Was his name: Brad Seller? How long did his 'freakish' style of play keep him in the league? JM, it's time to wake up!!!

Posted by: bazteal | November 9, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Maybe it's time for Booker and Seraphin to get a crack at the backup roles? Couldnt be worse.

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 11:32 AM

Booker and Seraphin won't put butts in the seats on Asian Heritage Night.

Posted by: artiesliver | November 9, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Reportedly Detroit has stepped up its efforts to trade Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Seems like we've been hearing that forever, and nobody ever gets moved...

Posted by: Samson151 | November 9, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

If, as Blatche said, McGee stepped up his defense of the rim for the Cavs game, then there is no hope. It was like a layup drill, again.

JM was +12 in that game.

Posted by: divi3

You know, at first, I kind of liked that they added +/- to the stat line, but imo, it is an almost meaningless stat for hoops. For example, in the Sixers game, McGee was -7, Yi was +10. Are we supposed to draw from that that Yi played much better interior D that night than McGee? It doesn't really tell us much about how an individual player is playing.

McGee is definitely the best interior defender of our big men, but given the interior numbers being posted against the Wiz, it's a dubious accomplishment. They all need to improve, a lot. All of the players do, bigs and perimeter players alike.

There aren't a lot of great individual defenders on the roster. Those are nice to have, but a team can still play good D without them. There are things they can be doing to mitigate or make up for individual defensive issues, but it requires a lot of work, active talk on the court, knowing and executing what your assignments are, and trusting that your teammates will execute theirs. The Wiz have a long, long way to go in most of those categories. I watch how they defend P&Rs and I frequently have no idea what they are trying to accomplish. I harp on these because a) they are such a staple of most offenses, and b) it's easier to dissect what's going on.

The coaches really have to work on coaching 'em up, and the players need to bust their butts on the D end to try to get it done.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I guess I don't take the team's current struggles all that seriously. What'd we expect, a winning streak? That's why I think Flip's little tantrum was the equivalent of the throwing the bats scene in Bull Durham. They weren't working hard in practice, they sure weren't racking up victories -- might as well throw something up against the wall and see if it sticks.

We've played, let's see, 6.1% of the regular season. What could possibly change in the remaining 93.9%?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 9, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

However I do think if we'd changed coaches and added, say, a Jeff Van Gundy or an Avery Johnson, we might be 2-3. Or still looking for our first victory.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Was his name: Brad Seller? How long did his 'freakish' style of play keep him in the league? JM, it's time to wake up!!!

Posted by: bazteal

Poor comparison. Sellers was a perimeter oriented 7 fter, who didn't like to play in the paint (He played at @ 210-220lbs). He was much more Yi than JM. And even Yi is better.

But thanks for stopping by.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse


We've played, let's see, 6.1% of the regular season. What could possibly change in the remaining 93.9%?


Posted by: Samson151 | November 9, 2010 1:12 PM

Actually a lot.

Arenas could get in shape and form a nice backcourt with Wall.

Howard could get healthy and give the Wiz a nice 1-2 punch at small forward with Thornton.

Blatche could get into shape and look closer to being the player we saw at the end of last season.

McGee could get smarter.

Posted by: artiesliver | November 9, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone on here get infuriated reading a blatche quote that we went from not working hard to working hard???

NOT WORKING HARD?? i play pickup twice a week and bust my ass...they get paid millions and admit to not working hard...it's such a depressing, deflating comment for a fan to read...Flip isn't blameless on this point at all!!!!

Posted by: IZZY3 | November 9, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone on here get infuriated reading a blatche quote that we went from not working hard to working hard???

NOT WORKING HARD?? i play pickup twice a week and bust my ass...they get paid millions and admit to not working hard...it's such a depressing, deflating comment for a fan to read...Flip isn't blameless on this point at all!!!!

Posted by: IZZY3 | November 9, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizards rank last in the league in rebounds per game..."

The Wizards have the worst/SOFTEST front court in basketball.

There I said it also and I am a Wiz fan going to the game tomorrow night to cheer my boys on.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"McGee could get smarter."

I agree with everything you said and will add that they need to "learn" to box out, set picks, ect, which I have not see any of them do like ever.

It's not all about blocking shots and the Wiz's big men just don't know how to do any of this.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 9, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Flip isn't blameless on this point at all!!!!

Flip didn't sign him to a new deal.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

But thanks for stopping by.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

ROFL!!!!

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Gonna' be a lot of bumps in the road like yesterday's regular practice session before this team gets good.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 9, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It's not rocket science that we're last in rebounding when you consider we are playing three point guards in the starting lineup. Can't lay all that on the bigs (although they DO need to step up their games dramatically!). Although I consider Kurt a huge asset, it gives us three great guards, NOT two great guards and a small forward. We have got to get him out of the starting line-up. Splitting the 96 minutes in the backcourt among Gil, John and Kurt shouldn't be that difficult. If that means Nick doesn't get as much burn, so be it, but at this point YOU CANNOT SIT AL THORNTON. He has been arguably our second best player so far in the early season. At this point, in fact, I'm wondering if you sit him even after JH comes back.

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I also happened to read Aldridge's piece suggesting an Igoudala for Arenas trade (he is not at all suggesting however that any discussions are taking place). It's interesting, but I can't see a reason for Philly to do it. It makes some basketball sense, but while Iggy's contract may be a bit unwieldy, Gil's larger contract comes with more risk and baggage, even if you argue that Gil's upside is higher.

Aldridge's argument is that Philly needs a better 2 and the Wiz need a better 3. My first point would be that if the Wiz trade Gil, they're sort of back in the business of looking for a starting 2. Maybe Iggy's passing would allow Nick to take over the 2 full time. He would almost have to, because Iggy's not a great perimeter threat. Aldridge also said that because of the salary differential, the Sixers would probably have to throw in someone like Maresse Speights for Seraphin, Booker or NDiaye. I'm not sure which of those 3 they would prefer, but I might be ok with it. Speights on some level represents the same kind of player we're wanting Seraphin to be....a bigger body in the middle to defend. Speights hasn't blown anyone way, but given time he has produced, and the Wiz wouldn't be waiting on Seraphin's learning curve.

I do agree with Aldridge's ultimate assessment though, that for both teams it would amount to more shuffling of the deck chairs than anything else, but it's fun to wonder.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

At some point you have to question heart and IQ. the Wiz players are too often out of position. Javale still has no clue how to play a pick and roll. All he want sto do is jump and block shots. he still does not realize he's not the best athlete on the court now and needs to learn positioning. Blatche is just plucking lazy. he's out of position and puts forth little to no effort too often.

Yi is Blatche times 2. All about being a 7-foot 3 man. no post game, no defense, but loves to shoot a jumper.

Posted by: oknow1 | November 9, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Speights on some level represents the same kind of player we're wanting Seraphin to be....a bigger body in the middle to defend. Speights hasn't blown anyone way, but given time he has produced, and the Wiz wouldn't be waiting on Seraphin's learning curve.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Would rather wait on Seraphin's learning curve. What's the rush? We shouldn't be focused on winning right now anyway, as much as we should be developing our young players. Seraphin's younger and, IMO, has more upside. Neither am I interested in giving up Booker, who also should be playing. All this playing KH in the frontcourt is stunting the growth of our true frontcourt players who need to be developing.

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Mcghee had a double/double and Wizards up by one with about 4 minutes left in NY game and
Saunders takes him out and puts in Armstrong, who did nothing. Wizards lose by 5.

Posted by: bobilly2 | November 9, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

It's not rocket science that we're last in rebounding when you consider we are playing three point guards in the starting lineup.
Posted by: bpybay

It's a small point, but we have yet to have a starting lineup of Gil, Wall and KH. As far as I can tell, over the course of 240 minutes of game time (5 x 48), the '3-guard lineup' of Gil, Wall and KH has played together for 9 minutes. Unfortunately all at the end of the Cavs game. But hard to blame that lineup for our rebounding woes. It has even been pretty rare for NY, KH and Wall to play together.

AT has started every game and rebounded his position fairly well. The bigs have not fared as well. AB and McGee have started to pick it up a bit, but Armstrong and Yi have not.

Being 'last' in rebounds per game isn't great, but if you're out-rebounding your opponents it doesn't really matter what the totals are. Most of their negative rebounding differential comes from the Orlando game when the Magic doubled their rebounds. Being DFL in opponent's shooting percentage however is a big deal. They're currently allowing teams to shoot over .500. That's a far worse number.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Last in rebound...that's not a surprise. They might not be the weakest frontcourt but I can see only the Pacers, T-wolves and Raptors as possibly worst than them. It doesn't take a genius to see what's the team's weak point is. I was surprise they did not re-sign Singleton as he may help the team in terms of rebounding and hustle plays which they lack.

Posted by: Dave381 | November 9, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Blatche and McGee could go down tomorrow or not. Its all about team management not putting together a full NBA team together. First time ever since they moved to our city.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | November 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Mcghee had a double/double and Wizards up by one with about 4 minutes left in NY game and Saunders takes him out and puts in Armstrong, who did nothing. Wizards lose by 5.
Posted by: bobilly2 | November 9, 2010 2:31 PM

^ what double-double?? goaltends and travels? LMAO get a grip. dude didn't get to the line ONCE (not ONCE!) in 25 mins yet he quickly huffed and puffed his way up to 5 fouls, which is why Marriott had to go in. Probably not a bad call anyway, not that either of them have much bearing on Ws and Ls. Well maybe Ls...

in fact, JaTravel has gotten to the line just 10 times after 5 games. Thats worse than Twan! LarryinShaunLivingstonsbasement could get to the line at least once...

The "big men" had to have a "meeting" to determine improvement was needed?? LMAO

86EG !!!!

Posted by: prescrunk | November 9, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Would rather wait on Seraphin's learning curve. What's the rush? We shouldn't be focused on winning right now anyway, as much as we should be developing our young players. Seraphin's younger and, IMO, has more upside.
Posted by: bpybay

No rush at all, I'm fine with waiting on Keveeen. Just sayin that if a) we thought an Iggy for Arenas deal was a good thing and b) swapping Seraphin for Speights was a required part of the deal, it wouldn't hold up the deal for me. Speights is also 23, so it's not like we're trading for Otis Thorpe.

I *think* Seraphin will end up being a more physical player, but on Speights' side of the equation, he's at least shown he can play in the league, if only for a bad team so far. He's also shown the ability to score, which our front line also needs. There are reasons Seraphin for Speights (as part of a larger Iggy for Gil swap) wouldn't be a bad thing.

I like Booker, I think he should be playing too, but I don't really feel like finding guys like him is that hard. Undersized, 'try-harder' PFs are kind of abundant right now, imo. So again, if it's a deal the Wiz liked, I don't think letting Booker be traded would hold it up for me.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: prescrunk | November 9, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The truth hurts!

Posted by: bris2 | November 9, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why people insist on saying Mcgee is dumb. What's happening constantly is he's hesitant to leave his man when opposing guards penetrate, it's not like he's unaware of what's happening.

The other night Carlos Delfino scored a layup in front of the rim to send game against Cs into OT. Ball was inbounded, he beat ray allen off a screen, KG and Big Baby watched as he scored. Neither left their man. Doc didnt scream at them, and Hubie Brown called it just a great play from Delfino.

From what I've seen so far, Mcgee is going to be fine. It's a matter of everyone playing together and communicating better moreso than JM's alleged "low bball iq"

Flip of course likes to coddle his guards and call out his Bigs publicly, but behind closed doors he knows Wall and KH also have to do a better job slowing penetration for defense to improve. And that the front and backcourts are brand new to each other...has to be growing pains while they learn to trust and communicate with each other.

He probably also knows Yi and Armstrong are hopeless

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"If Blatche could get into shape" as posted by a fan on this blog, What? that has been the "Serial Skirt Chaser's" m.o. since the day he was drafted, former coach Eddie Jordan took Blatche to task about his conditioning and was ripped by some of you on this blog and three years later what are we talking about? Andray has talent but Dray is the perverbial walking excuse and then he had the nerve to speak up at yesterday's meltdown at practice by "coach" Flip Saunders, he of all people this kid could be an all star yes an all star be he will never tap into that wealth of talent because he refuses to put in the effort but the real fault is the fact that this team's coaching staff doesn't posses the ability to teach Dray,McGee, or any of the front court players the nuances of playing the post in this league and that goes right back to the GM one Ernie Grunfeld who should have been fired at the end of last season, Ted Leonsis made a huge error in judgement by retaining the coach and GM of this team and now we the fans will suffer through another fifty plus loss season.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 9, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Whether or not those words were really said by a Knicks coach, or were merely a motivational tactic from the Wizards coaching staff, it didn't matter to Blatche. "They're actually right," Blatche said. "We getting outrebounded by every team so far."
Not quite." -Michael Lee
--------------------------

Actually, what Blatche said was a perfectly factual comment. The Wizards ARE getting outrebounded (sic) by every team in the league so far. Not sure why Michael Lee can't seem to grasp this very simple fact, but he always seems to have issues grasping the simplest of things.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 9, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Rebounding is especially important to this Wizards team, which supposedly is a running team, lead by the speedy John Wall. Remember that piece about Yi "racing the court"? The fast break starts with the rebounds.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 9, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The same sentiment of the Wizards' frontcourt being awful was mentioned on National TV during the Celtics game Friday night. Jeff Van Gundy was pretty adamant that the inability of Blatche and McGee to defend the interior will plague this season. Not to mention our overall lack of depth at the position. Defense is what wins championships and while we won't be winning one any time soon, the building blocks (team play, emphasis on defense) have to be in place before any of this can progress to where we all want it to be.

Posted by: covertops26 | November 9, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Divi,

Um, sorry, but letting a guy drive for a layup because you are 'reluctant to leave your man' is dumb. Don't care whether we're talking JM, KG or Bill Russell. Prevent the layup, make the guy give up the ball. Hopefully your teammates are there to back you up.

The way you describe it, it's almost like McGee a) doesn't trust his teammates on D, and b) it's more important that his guy doesn't score than it is that the other team doesn't score, i.e. he just doesn't want to be the one looking bad. I wouldn't blame him for "a)", none of the rest have shown themselves to be particularly trustworthy on D. But if "b)" is true, they've got no chance. I don't believe that's true for McGee, btw, just saying I don't think your rationale holds up.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This is comical.... The Wizards don't have Big Men! They have lanky 7 foot wannabe's!!!

Posted by: MeviousMan | November 9, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Last season in the identical scenario he goes for the block, the guard passes the ball, ez dunk ensues. And then everyone goes on about "low bball iq" and just wanting to make "highlight plays"

Right now he (and others) dont know what their teammates are going to do (or where they will be) and it shows. That's a far cry from being unable to comprehend what's happening, which is what all that low bball iq crap implies.

Mcgee has blocked a ton of layups this season too, 4 in the Atlanta game alone. He needs to improve like everyone else, but I dont think he is looking like a weak link the team needs to be worried about. Brand new team (kind of) that needs PT together to develop teamwork

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The way you describe it, it's almost like McGee a) doesn't trust his teammates on D, and b) it's more important that his guy doesn't score than it is that the other team doesn't score, i.e. he just doesn't want to be the one looking bad. I wouldn't blame him for "a)", none of the rest have shown themselves to be particularly trustworthy on D. But if "b)" is true, they've got no chance. I don't believe that's true for McGee, btw, just saying I don't think your rationale holds up.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Why can't it be both A and B.Did you see the fourth q of the Cle game? I'm almost certain Javale is worried that if he leaves his man to swat at a penetrating guard's layup attempt, only to have said guard, drop off a pass to his man for a thunderous dunk in the paint; Flip will nail him to the bench. Don't act like you haven't seen it before.

As far as him trusting his teamates to help, they're the ones getting beat on the play side, what should he expect from the weak side?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

what i meant by "did you see the 4th q of the cle game?" was that Javale knows his mistakes will result in benchings .

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Last season in the identical scenario he goes for the block, the guard passes the ball, ez dunk ensues. And then everyone goes on about "low bball iq" and just wanting to make "highlight plays"

First off, at 7ft+ with go-go gadget arms, if a guard is driving the lane, he has other options other than just stay with him man or go for the block. The great play on D everyone praised Dray for at the end of the Sixers game, he didn't go for the block or stay strictly with his man, he just made himself big in the lane. He still forced the guard to give up the ball, but didn't create an opening for someone else to score.

Right now he (and others) dont know what their teammates are going to do (or where they will be) and it shows. That's a far cry from being unable to comprehend what's happening, which is what all that low bball iq crap implies.

Not making the correct play, regardless of reason, is not showing good bball iq (we really need a different term). All it does is reinforce the idea that no one can trust anyone else to be where they are supposed to be. If I know what the right play is, and I decide not to do it, is that somehow smarter than not knowing at all? I guess it's more easily correctable, but it's still not smart. Even if he makes the right play, the ball gets passed to someone else for a dunk, Flip yells at him and benches him...it still shows up on film. So they get a chance to look at the film, realize McGee did his job, and then they get to yell at someone else and try to correct other people not doing theirs.

Mcgee has blocked a ton of layups this season too, 4 in the Atlanta game alone. He needs to improve like everyone else, but I dont think he is looking like a weak link the team needs to be worried about. Brand new team (kind of) that needs PT together to develop teamwork
Posted by: divi3

As I said earlier today, he's their best interior defender. But when opposing teams are shooting over .500 and whatever that ridiculous conversion rate is in the paint, it's not a question of being the 'best', he's just the least terrible. There is no "weakest" link because right now there aren't really any strong links. I'm just trying to disabuse the notion that somehow everyone else not doing their job excuses him from not doing his, or that knowing what the right thing is, but not doing it somehow equates to good basketball or 'bbiq'

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@Lil, I hear ya, and it's possible it may be the case, especially for a young player. But imo, I think he's very used to playing one way, and trying to learn to play another, and often just gets caught in the middle of not quite knowing which path to choose. I don't think he's actively saying "Screw that, I'm not going to be the one who looks bad."

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As I said earlier today, he's their best interior defender. But when opposing teams are shooting over .500 and whatever that ridiculous conversion rate is in the paint, it's not a question of being the 'best', he's just the least terrible. There is no "weakest" link because right now there aren't really any strong links.

Yi and HA are playing 35mins/night, imho, that has much more to do with the conversion rate than Mcgee.

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm just trying to disabuse the notion that somehow everyone else not doing their job excuses him from not doing his

I'm pretty sure Flip does that for you everyday, minus the part about other people not doing their jobs either...

Posted by: divi3 | November 9, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yi and HA are playing 35mins/night, imho, that has much more to do with the conversion rate than Mcgee.

Posted by: divi3

Believe what you like, they're all getting abused inside. It's certainly not all on McGee, but he deserves an equal share, along with everyone else who plays, inside and out. As well as Flip and the rest of the coaches.

McGee's play right now, imo, reminds me of the scene about Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) early on in Bull Durham, with the two coaches talking to each other:

Joe Reardon: He walked 18.
Larry: New league record!
Joe Reardon: Struck out 18.
Larry: Another new league record! In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announcer, the bull mascot twice...
[Joe laughs]
Larry: Also new league records! But, Joe, this guy's got some serious sh*t.

As in, every game you see glimpses of the awesome and the not-so-awesome mistakes. But there's no question the potential for awesome is there.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Where is the direction? The bigs concentrate on rebounding and fault is then found in assist ratio. Do the bigs know their role? Does the team understand the playbook? Does Saunders have a system that the team recognizes? Are they all just doing their thing and hoping it is enough to win games? There does not seem to be much of a game plan in which the players know where they are supposed to be on defense. Plays are made by individuals using their talents, but not according to a game plan. Everytime a player does something they are criticized for not doing something else. It is the job of the coach to teach the team how he wants them to play and hold them accountable for playing that way. Would Morgan Wooten or John Wooden allow their teams to be undisciplined? It is not the players fault if they do not understand the playbook, if the coach does not give them proper instruction. If the coach does go over the same things over and over, then the player should be benched. The coach should be insulted if a coach on another team says your players are not up to par. Yes the player should be challenged to do better, but the coach should know this and correct the situation on his own.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line: From top to bottom, the Wizards are just not that talented. Grunfeld seems to specialize in drafting guys who are going to be good one day, except, with the possible exception of Blatche, that day never seems to come. Nick Young, for example, our 6'7" shooting guard/small forward, and a former first round pick, averages 1 rebound per game, and .2 assists per game. That's a terrible line for a guy who was your first round pick four years ago. Young gets an assist every fifth game. Not exactly a torrid pace.

Posted by: sonny2 | November 9, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Da Knicks have a lot of nerve saying that. Their front court of Amare Stoudemire, James Dolan and Isiah Thomas is nothing to brag about.

Posted by: Candressuhmoose | November 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The wiz don't have the worst front court, they have the worst team.

Posted by: DaveLopan | November 9, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

As in, every game you see glimpses of the awesome and the not-so-awesome mistakes. But there's no question the potential for awesome is there.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I was close-in at the Cleveland game and had a chance to really obe=serve the inside play. The missed blockout and the 2 missed free throws were critical plays on McGee but he played strong, boarded well and defended the rim. Punishing him for those mistakes by p[laying Armstrong clearly hurt the team. The guy had sveral unimpeded lanes to th basket and could not finish. Yi was absolutely terrible and blew one critical layup/dunk opportunity with minimal prssure from Cleveland's bigs. I do notice improvement in McGee snd clearly he is better than either Yi or Armstrong. At some point Flip is accountable for his knee jerk reactions just like the players are.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 9, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

...so do you miss Brendon Haywood yet????

Posted by: oddjob1 | November 9, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

...The "big men" had to have a "meeting" to determine improvement was needed?? LMAO

86EG !!!!

Posted by: prescrunk

NO SIR! They had a meeting BECAUSE improvement was needed.

Posted by: GoEagles | November 9, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

It's a small point, but we have yet to have a starting lineup of Gil, Wall and KH. As far as I can tell, over the course of 240 minutes of game time (5 x 48), the '3-guard lineup' of Gil, Wall and KH has played together for 9 minutes. Unfortunately all at the end of the Cavs game. But hard to blame that lineup for our rebounding woes. It has even been pretty rare for NY, KH and Wall to play together.

AT has started every game and rebounded his position fairly well. The bigs have not fared as well. AB and McGee have started to pick it up a bit, but Armstrong and Yi have not.

Being 'last' in rebounds per game isn't great, but if you're out-rebounding your opponents it doesn't really matter what the totals are. Most of their negative rebounding differential comes from the Orlando game when the Magic doubled their rebounds. Being DFL in opponent's shooting percentage however is a big deal. They're currently allowing teams to shoot over .500. That's a far worse number.

Posted by: ts35 | November 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

You are absolutely right! I stand corrected.

The .500 OSP is clearly the result of lack of interior defense.

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about any "Knicks assistant" but during a broadcast of another game last week, Jeff Van Gundy said the Wizards' front line was "terrible" and "awful."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 9, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

...so do you miss Brendon Haywood yet????

Posted by: oddjob1 | November 9, 2010 6:11 PM

Nope.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 9, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I want you guys to project to the 2013-2014 season, and remember I said the following on 11/09/2010 at about 7:25PM:

Trading McGee will turn out to be one of the greatest blunders in the history of this franchise!!!

It's easy to look at his shortcomings now and project that he won't amount to anything. I beg to differ. Yes, he is raw, NOW, but he is coming along quickly. I like the projects for his future as the center for this franchise.

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the projects for his future as the center for this franchise.

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the prospects for his future as the center for this franchise.

My bad.

Posted by: bpybay | November 9, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I think it might help if we stopped looking at individuals and started looking at the Wiz as a team. Who knows? Maybe they'd start playing like one.

Otherwise I expect this season will quickly degenerate into calls for this or that player to be benched or traded, along with the usual calls for a new coach, GM, towel boy, mascot, hot dog vendors, etc.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 9, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Blatche calling a meeting means nothing...how many meetings were called before they traded Haywood, Jamison and Butler????

You can call one meeting a week but it will not make you a tougher player...playing tough takes heart which the Wiz do not have..thus that 73% against them at the rim...

Posted by: pentagon40 | November 9, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

TLG--- TED LOSE GRUNFELD!!!

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 9, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche said the Wizards are slowly making progress as a team." That is the last sentence in the article above...Is he on drugs??????????

I see the fans have finally seen thru this bad team...no sellout on the home opener...and there will be very few sellouts this season...La Lakers and Miami.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | November 9, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

TLG--- TED LOSE GRUNFELD!!!
TLG--- TED LOSE GRUNFELD!!!
TLG--- TED LOSE GRUNFELD!!!
TLG--- TED LOSE GRUNFELD!!!

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Posted by: goodlucky88 | November 9, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

It's actually kind of sad that the big men have to take matters into their own hands to develop their games. Where are the coaches?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 9, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading a lot of comments about the players and their efforts. Well, Flip says that you can't coach effort; however, a team does take on the character of the coach. Furthermore, in the NY game, the inside game wasn't a problem, it was perimeter defense. But it seems that regardless of how many 3s New York put on us, Flip continued to play the zone defense. What is that.
We all know the players are good. Just because the Wiz is dead last in rebounding doesn't mean that they are as bad as that stat says. 1) They outrebounded their last 3 opponents and 2) if your opponent's field goal pecentage is great, you're probably not gonna get a lot of rebounds. Rebounds only come on missed shots. And missed shots only come with better defense. Better defense comes with better defensive effort and SCHEMES. Wake up folks. Under Eddie Jordan, the Wiz did make the playoffs for 3 years straight, even with an injured Gil. Under Flip, they fell apart. When Flip coached detroit, the same championship caliber team that went to the champoinship and won, then lost the next year, once Flip got there, he inherited a championship Larry Brown team and couldn't get them there anymore.
I liked Flip as much as anyone when we first got him; however, I gotta admit, he aint NBA equipped anymore. It aint hard to coach KG. And even with him, for years he couldn't get past the first round. Flip gets accolades for coaching Chauncy. Chauncy didn't flourish until after he left Minnesota.

It's Flip yall. He's gotta go. He stormed out of practice cause he saw his career going down the tubes.
Wake up folks, there's a reason why

Posted by: justman1 | November 10, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

the mind-set has got to be 'nobody comes in the paint' otherwise a player is too eager to play around in the yard because they're afraid somebody may knock on the door. they know they've left the door wide open for a slam dunk or lab! they know it in their hearts, but they won't even turn around to see the thief until he's leaving with a smile. man up

Posted by: aypub | November 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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