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Explosive performance in close loss

Morning brew

As it stands, the Wizards are the best of the NBA's winless teams -- but that's only because they have played the fewest games. The Wizards (0-2) are one of five teams that have played just two games this season and they will be among the last two after tonight.

The home opener against Philadelphia is a day away, with the Verizon Center still cleaning up from the Washington International Horse Show. And, after two games, the Wizards have a lot to clean up as well. They find themselves near the bottom in several statistical categories -- rebounds (29.5, 30th), points (89.0, 29th), assists (16.5, 28th) and points allowed (105.5, 25th).

John Wall said the Wizards were "exposed" in their season-opening, 29-point loss in Orlando -- the worst-ever for a No. 1 overall pick in his debut -- but the team responded with a much more spirited effort two nights later in Atlanta. Wall went from a player who couldn't shoot in Orlando to one that could hardly miss -- even from three-point range, where he made 2 of 3 attempts. Wall also already finds himself among select company with Oscar Robertson after his first two NBA games. With 18 assists, Wall is tied with Robertson for the sixth-highest total after two games in NBA history.

JaVale McGee went from looking lost against Dwight Howard to serving as an intimidating presence against the Hawks as he recorded a career-high seven blocked shots. And, with Cartier Martin scoring 17 points -- and getting a nice block on Howard -- in Orlando and Al Thornton going for 24 in Atlanta, the small forward position that appeared to be a weakness in training has actually been one of the team's strengths.

The Wizards are expected to discover this morning the condition of Gilbert Arenas, who missed the first two games of the season with a strained tendon in his right ankle. Arenas visited a foot-and-ankle specialist in Baltimore on Thursday and Coach Flip Saunders has expressed optimism that Arenas would be available against the 76ers.

FROM THE POST
Saturday night the Wizards lost to the Hawks in Atlanta, but it was a better effort than the blowout loss to Orlando in the season opener. After working on his jumper, John Wall dazzled with 28 points and 9 assists. He said the game was "a great effort."

Meanwhile, Al Thornton is determined to get his career back on track.

McGee showed with his awesome dunk over Josh Smith in Atlanta that the Wizards no longer look timid.

The Wizards' home opener is Tuesday vs. the 76ers.

AROUND THE WEB
ESPN.com's John Hollinger said, "Sure, Atlanta won the game, 99-95. But absolutely nobody left the gym tonight talking about the Hawks."

Sports Illustrated's Point Forward blog looks at the dilemma facing 2007 NBA draft picks with regards to extensions. It also breaks down the situation for the Wizards with Al Thornon, Yi Jianlian and Nick Young.

On Truth About It, Stephen D. Riley says the John Wall Week 1 Threat Level is yellow.

By Alexa Steele  | November 1, 2010; 9:19 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: John Wall: "It was a great effort. We fought hard"
Next: John Wall expected to play, Gilbert Arenas likely to sit against 76ers as both deal with ankle injuries

Comments

Had to post this, of only for the opening line:

http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2010/10/30/uncertain-future-for-most-of-07-draft-class/

Washington Wizards

Yi Jianlian: $5,403,366
Nick Young: $3,695,857
Al Thornton: $3,914,547

Welcome to crazy town. Despite everything (i.e. Gilbert Arenas’ hideous contract), the Wizards could have more than $12 million in cap room if they renounce everyone other than the seven players who have guaranteed money for 2011-12.

Yi and his 40 percent career shooting are not worth $5.4 million, and I’d expect the Wizards not to tender the qualifying offer unless he improves this season. Young and Thornton are chuckers who do little other than shoot (though Young can play tight defense when motivated), and neither shoots especially well. But both have “NBA bodies,” and that alone might get one, or both, a qualifying offer.

However, Young and Thornton aren’t babies anymore. Young will be 26 by the time the season is over; Thornton will be 27. I wouldn’t be shocked to see any of these three moved if the Wizards can get something — cash or a draft pick — in exchange.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"-- in Orlando and Al Thornton going for 24 in Atlanta, the small forward position that appeared to be a weakness in training has actually been one of the team's strengths."

Now, had Arenas had not come up lame, Al Thornton would have never gotten the minutes to show that he could hold down the position. Hinrich would have logged all the major minutes at the power forward and Thornton would have gotton cursory minutes only.

I don't doubt it for one minute.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Young - out.
Yi - out.
Thornton - in.

Posted by: Skinz4Lyfe | November 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

small forward... I clearly meant to say

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Let me ask you a question, Samson. When JaVale's contract is up in a couple of years, do you think he is going to want to re-sign with this team under Flip? I can just imagine his mother telling him, "just be patient son. Your contract will be up sooner than you think, and then you can write your own ticket."Posted by: bpybay"

So that's what you're afraid of: Javale will feel unappreciated and sign with another club.

You're not alone. Lot of fans around here worry about that. They claim a young player's ego will be irreparable damaged, but underneath it's just the fear the player will depart and be a star somewhere else.

Well, Cleveland really, really supported LeBron James. And unlike most superstars, he was actually worth the money. But hey, in the end...

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The odds of McGee being a star anywhere are slim at best. As a result, one can only hope that the fear of him leaving doesn't drive Leonsis and Grunfeld to make the same mistake with him so many other teams make by overpaying young bigs based on the ever ephemeral measure of "potential."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Javale should just call Flip a "bald-faced liar" directly to the media and then state he won't be reprimanded because it's true. That seemed to get Flip off ABs back.

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@ts35,

From the last thread, surely I am aware that Flip commented to McGee about the foul when it was committed and I also read where he made a statement to the refs.

But notice, I said Flip should have been livid on the sidelines. I didn't say he should be cursory to his players, or take an matter of fact approach to the refs.

I said livid, LIVID!!! His actions were not livid. His actions should have been emblematic of a bull in a china shop. His actions should have come close to getting him thrown out of the game, or at least one technical.

When he said to McGee, you can't do that, the question I have is what, for McGee went out and repeated it again. Maybe, he should have been a little bit more demonstrative to McGee for it is obvious that McGee didn't get it.

Show to your Team in front of the TV camera and the Fans, that you have a damn heartbeat and stop wimping around on the sidelines like a punk.

Flip doesn't exude confidence to his players during gametime, nor does he demand their best play, like many sideline shots we have seen from Rivers, Van Gundy, Jackson, etcetera.

Flip is a Wimp, he is anything.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Saunders should have recorded a rap called "No Dumb fouls, Yo" and put it on an iPod for McGee since, apparently, telling a guy something multiple times to his face isn't a strong enough message.

As for Saunders being "livid, LIVID" on the sidelines . . . yeah, getting himself tossed out of the game for berating the officials for making mostly legit calls certainly would have gotten the point across.

Oh, and have you actually seen Phil Jackson coach? Apparently not because if you did you'd know that he spends the vast majority of time sitting in a high chair, barely moving or registering an expression. Not exactly "livid,LIVID!!!!"

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Saunders should have recorded a rap called "No Dumb fouls, Yo" and put it on an iPod for McGee since, apparently, telling a guy something multiple times to his face isn't a strong enough message.

Then why was Flip complaining the refs were calling that infraction poorly?

It's been widely reported there's a new emphasis on moving screens, what was allowed last season is no longer ok. It's a non-issue that Javale (and others) picked up those fouls in game where a ref was making a point about it. Happens all the time when the league issues officiating directives. The issue will be if they continue to do so going forward.

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

It's hardly a nonissue when a guy picks up 4 or 5 fouls of the same type in a short span. It's yet another indication of questionable bball IQ. It's incumbent on players to understand how the game is being called and adjust accordingly. After the first couple were called, McGee should have gotten the message and cleaned it up (or at least done a better job of hiding it). Instead, he kept blundering ahead, making the same error over and over, as has become his pattern.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"Then why was Flip complaining the refs were calling that infraction poorly?"

Because that's what coaches do. It's how they try and protect/cover their players (and plant a seed in the refs heads for next time). Not exactly breaking news, really.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The odds of McGee being a star anywhere are slim at best. As a result, one can only hope that the fear of him leaving doesn't drive Leonsis and Grunfeld to make the same mistake with him so many other teams make by overpaying young bigs based on the ever ephemeral measure of "potential."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Paying McGee would pale in comparison to paying a role player like Hinrich $9,000,000.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 1, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The odds of McGee being a star anywhere are slim at best. As a result, one can only hope that the fear of him leaving doesn't drive Leonsis and Grunfeld to make the same mistake with him so many other teams make by overpaying young bigs based on the ever ephemeral measure of "potential."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 11:40 AM

Awe Kalo_rama, why do you insist on making a statement like that. McGee is already a star. He is one of the best young upcoming big men in the League. And surely, I don't think anyone would be placing bets in Vegas against McGee becoming a top NBA Big Man.

The probability of Javale McGee becoming a true NBA Big Man Star at this point is I daresay greater than the fella up in Portland who keeps getting injured. Injury might keep Greg Odom from ever being a true NBA star, but McGee doesn't have that problem. McGee has a coaching problem and it isn't all his fault.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

There are two possibilities for the illegal screen (pick):
1. Screen setter's fault, and
2. The guard moves to early and draws his defender into the man who is coming to set the screen.

I do not know precisely how many of the fouls Wiz drew belong to which category. But overall it is a discipline issue. Hope Flip address that in the practice. We will find out in the coming games.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 1, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Paying McGee would pale in comparison to paying a role player like Hinrich $9,000,000. "

Not really. The obvious difference is that Hinrich came to the Wizards with only 2 years remaining on his deal (offset by $3 mill in cash from the Bulls to sweeten the pot). By the end of this season (if not before) he'll be a valuable trade chip as an expiring contract. That's very different than overpaying McGee based on potential he doesn't fulfill and being stuck with an overpaid underachiever with a big cap number for the next 5 years.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

McGee is already a star."

Put down the crack pipe and slowly back away.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Also, based on what he's done thus far in his career, McGee is really nothing more than a role player himself.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It's hardly a nonissue when a guy picks up 4 or 5 fouls of the same type in a short span.

Did you even watch the game? Hollinger says he was called twice.

It's yet another indication of questionable bball IQ. It's incumbent on players to understand how the game is being called and adjust accordingly. Instead, he kept blundering ahead, making the same error over and over, as has become his pattern.

Is this yet another indication of questionable observations on your part? It's incumbent on bloggers to understand how players are performing and adjust their comments accordingly. Blundering ahead, repeating the same inaccurate criticisms of his play has become your pattern.

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@Larry

Ok, seriously, you're just making stuff up now, right? Flip should 'demand' their best play? He should have vociferously and demonstrably gotten in McGee's face about the screens, but when he picked up his fifth foul, instead of sitting him, he should leave him on the floor and 'let him learn' and praise him for his best efforts if he fouls out?

You've repeatedly made the case the JaVale's bbiq is fine. Yet you're putting this on the coach. At what point does "JaVale should know better" kick in?

Furthermore, and this is sort of to bypay as well, JaVale has been in foul trouble throughout both of the first two games, why do you think there is something magical learning experience about playing in foul trouble that will happen between fouls five and six?

Coaches pull players with five fouls to keep them viable for end of game situations. You can argue that Flip might have wanted to put him in in the the last minute or 1:30 to help with getting stops and I won't argue the point. It's a fair point with good reasons not to do it as well. Of course if Flip had put him back in and he fouled out before the end of the game, Flip wold be criticized for that too.

In terms of Flip's 'lividity', I don't suppose you've noticed the increased attention on histrionics from the league this season?

I don't want to get to deep into JaVale, because I think overall he played a solid game against Atlanta. The blocks were great, the bad fouls and turnovers weren't.

My overall point is that you can't blame Flip for everything. There are plenty of things that he does wrong on his own to criticize him for. At some point players are responsible for what they do on the court.

Posted by: ts35 | November 1, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Setting a moving screen and the way McGee got called is an open question. I wished Chenier and Buckhantz would have called for an iso or two on those calls from their video guy and explained them to the TV audience so we could see exactly what McGee was doing.

A moving screen is when a player never sets and constantly moves to impede the defensive man.

McGee on the other hand was famous around here and decried for not actually setting a screen. He supposedly would show screen and break to the basket.

Now I don't think that is what the League is trying to prevent. A player should be allowed to release a screen whenever he choses as long as he isn't moving to impede the defender. A moving screen is moving to impede the defender.

McGee, I understand from his detractors never actually set a screen properly for his man becuase he always released to quickly to the basket for a dunk/pass.

Now has McGee changed that to try and actually set a screen the right way from coaching and now he is becoming a moving setter in his attempt to set a proper screen.

If this is the case, then you might not want to have McGee setting screens or is it possible that the refs is actually calling movement which isn't illegal by itself IMO.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, based on what he's done thus far in his career, McGee is really nothing more than a role player himself.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

He's 22 not 29.

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

ts35,

I admit, it is damned if you do and a damned if don't situation. And I can see why it is valid to say that you can't blame everything on coaching.

It appears that I do have a heavy on coaching, however, for this type of Team, things going wrong are and should be par for the course.

This is a young team and you cannot use the veteran measureing stick constantly on young players as Flip is prone to do.

You can say by this time the Team or this player should be at this level, but you see they constantly are not.

When you see these patterns over and over again from the players and the coaches, then who needs to make the change. I'd like to see my coach leading the way. Players may change and grow, but a rudderless coach won't take them anywhere.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

McGee is a young up and coming big man star. Role player??? Only because Flip chooses to use him as one. Not McGee's fault.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

THORNTON wants in. I'd let him. YOUNG, YI.......LOL, fa'gid'da'boud'dit'!!!! Package 'um, and ship 'um, or don't, and just let 'um walk. Whatever.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll say it again. FLIP SAUNDERS is a good coach, but not for this particular squad.

McGEE should stay. I think he becomes a monster center after his body stops growing..........jeeze 7' 1+" and still going.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Against Dwight Howard, McGee is clearly overmatched -- he's not able to handle that combination of strength and quickness. He does much better against Atlanta, because Horford is not quite 6'10" and mostly a skill player. Al still outscores Javale 21 to 10 and has the edge on the boards, but he lets McGee roam free blocking shots and otherwise making a nuisance of himself. It's a much better matchup for the Wiz, but Atlanta still gets the best of it. But that night happens to be the John Wall show, and so the game is closer than expected on the Atlanta home court.

McGee's far from a finished product, and some nights he'll look All-World. But it's evident he's not going to be a dominant star at the 5 spot. That's no disgrace -- there are very few in the league. Maybe he could become Joakim Noah or Marcus Camby. But he's not going to be Dwight Howard.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I think some of you experts need to join forces and start your own team.

Posted by: IrenePollin | November 1, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

McGee is a role player, who for want of a true center, has been given the center job. He's high energy and athletic, otherwise there's not much bankable for extension inducement, oh well and he's seven foot with spring loaded, hair trigger reflexes but three seasons in and Javale is still pretty raw.

McGee on the other hand was famous around here and decried for not actually setting a screen. He supposedly would show screen and break to the basket.

Oddly, what you're describing is McGee's bad habit, devolving into a foul or infraction through poor study habits.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I think some of you experts need to join forces and start your own team.
Let's call them the Beltway Bandits, their colors will be fools gold and green for graft or envy maybe.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 1, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

We are two games into the season and already "some" folk are ready to throw out the baby with the bath water. Jeeze, give the young fellas some time. I thought they did rather well against Atlanta. Especially and most certainly Wall. We just needs some more veteran presence on the flooer. IE.. Areanas and Howard. I think had either one of them played the game may have been a win for the Wizards. Give this team a chance. There are 82 games and we have only played two. No need to panic yet. Go Wiz!!!

Posted by: ivyleague | November 1, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Oddly, what you're describing is McGee's bad habit, devolving into a foul or infraction through poor study habits.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 1, 2010 2:02 PM

Poor study habits, poor practice habits, poor coaching habits. It always amazes me how so many like to eliminate that 3rd one.

On this Wizard team that 3rd one should not get pass.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 1, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Poor study habits, poor practice habits, poor coaching habits. It always amazes me how so many like to eliminate that 3rd one.

A player with a high learning curve would have figured this one out, on his own, some time go.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Poor study habits, poor practice habits, poor coaching habits. It always amazes me how so many like to eliminate that 3rd one.

On this Wizard team that 3rd one should not get pass.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

It's just as amazing how many people like to eliminate the first two as well, Larry.

Posted by: ts35 | November 1, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"McGee's far from a finished product, and some nights he'll look All-World. But it's evident he's not going to be a dominant star at the 5 spot. That's no disgrace -- there are very few in the league. Maybe he could become Joakim Noah or Marcus Camby. But he's not going to be Dwight Howard."

I can't see him being Noah or Camby, either. He lacks the physicality of the first and the defensive instincts of the second. To me, he has the makings of a 20-25 mpg jolt of energy off the bench. Nothing wrong with that. Lots of teams wish they had a guy like that. But in the long run, I don't see McGee as being a 35+ minute starter on a good playoff team. He's too hit and miss/feat or famine.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

A player with a high learning curve would have figured this one out, on his own, some time go.

Figured what out? Not sure why 2 offensive fouls are being treated as final damnation on the kid. He was the 3rd best player for the Zards in Atlanta, behind Wall and Thornton...both of whom picked up the exact same foul on moving screens

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"He's 22 not 29."

Age has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"He's 22 not 29."

Age has nothing to do with it. Just because he's young, doesn't automatically mean he has star potential.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I can't see him being Noah or Camby, either. He lacks the physicality of the first and the defensive instincts of the second.

Last year at age 21, mcgee averaged 6pts/4rebs in 16mins of play.

His rookie year at age 22, Noah averaged 6pts/5rebs in 20mins of play.

How can you call Mcgee's ceiling at age 22, two games into his 3rd season?

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Figured what out?

McGee, the son of a pro basketball player, with a year in college and now a pro baller for three years, is struggling with screens, an important skill but a basic concept. Larry mentioned his notorious inability to hold a screen before the temptation to bound towards the basket, hand up, would overcome him; his screens lasted nano seconds. Now it seems his screens are significant enough to be cited for moving screens. Okay he's improving and he's young but so far the indications are that he doesn't position well, he goes for pump fakes and he can't set screens. The speed of the learning process is not breathtaking, the athletic potential is.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 1, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

STAR???If you are referring Javale to be a perennial all-star then definitely its a NO. But if what you meant was for him to be a solid contributor for a team for many years then I would say its a 100% YES. Brad Miller became an all-star once and I think he can surpass Brad if he continue to improve. Role player is the likes of Etan Thomas.

Posted by: Dave381 | November 1, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Blatche, Thornton, and Wall were all called for the exact same violation based upon the league changing how illegal screens are called. Given all 4 of them are apparently setting screens the same way (which was legal last season), perhaps Flip's offense calls for insta-release screens?

As for the other stuff...he had 7 blocks and 8 boards in 27mins against Atlanta. Must have shown some improvement in positioning and not falling for pump fakes, even if just in that game.

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Last year at age 21, mcgee averaged 6pts/4rebs in 16mins of play.

His rookie year at age 22, Noah averaged 6pts/5rebs in 20mins of play."

So? One has nothing to do with the other. McGee isn't Noah.

"How can you call Mcgee's ceiling at age 22, two games into his 3rd season?"

The same way you can call Seraphin's or Booker's or N'Daiye's . . . by watching him play and reaching a conclusion based on what I see. (Oh, but wait, you've never actually seen Seraphin play, have you? My bad.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Must have shown some improvement in positioning and not falling for pump fakes, even if just in that game.

Hey, that's great, I hope he keeps it up, though I suspect it's still true that McGee's identity is more accurately characterized as a high energy role player who's been given a chance to become a starter because the Wiz roster is devoid of proven, veteran centers.

Posted by: midlevex_ | November 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"The speed of the learning process is not breathtaking, the athletic potential is."

The shoulder of the NBA highway is littered with corpses of players with great "potential" who never amounted to anything because they never actually figured out how to play. At some point, just being able to jump real high ceases to be impressive, in and of itself.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse


If Flip had been emphasizing in practice the new rules on screens or the fact that the league would enforce the rules already on books, you just know he would have immediately blurted that out to the reporters. It would be nice for Flip, just once, to take some blame for what happens in a game. He damn sure took mentioned how he and his son spent extra time working with Wall on his shot before the Atlanta game.

Posted by: and_1 | November 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

McGee and Young are physically gifted but were given bricks for brains. I hope I never see NY again. This guy has no idea what he is doing out on the floor. He still looks like a rookie.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | November 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

how is it that folks round here can't bring themselves to find one thing (ShotBlocking or Finishing) impressive about JMc, but so many rally around Flip Saunders. As a coach what has he done that has been impressive (here or at past stops). No one had a problem sayinf the game of football "passed Joe Gibbs by". I dunno if the game has passed Flip by, but he doesn't inspire confidence and hasn't shown any ability to get through to his players. It would be interesting to see if Wall runs the team team the way Flip wants offensively. I saw a lot of freelancing in his game against ATL, and it was necessary, but i worry about whether Flip is actually teaching Wall something or just handing him the ball and letting him go.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 1, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"how is it that folks round here can't bring themselves to find one thing (ShotBlocking or Finishing) impressive about JMc, but so many rally around Flip Saunders."

Actually, folks 'round here' seem to be overly impressed with Javale and all too willing to criticize Flip. Guess it depends on where you're standing.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"I think some of you experts need to join forces and start your own team.Posted by: IrenePollin"

We could probably do about as well as the Pollin family did.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually, folks 'round here' seem to be overly impressed with Javale and all too willing to criticize Flip. Guess it depends on where you're standing.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"All too willing to criticize Flip.." oh that's right, because this isn't what he signed up for. He thought he was gonna be able to "head coach on autopilot" with the playoff roster Ernie handed him. With 27 wins last year, does Flip get to stay if the Wiz end up like some of us think they will and lose another 50+ games? I mean you can't completely turn over the roster year after year and allow the same guy to Pi$$ all over it can you?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 1, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually lil, my biggest problem at the moment is that people are too quick to jump to just one thing as the reason things are messed up. Is Flip the best coach for this team? Personally I don't think so. I can understand people questioning not having McGee in at the end of the game. At the same time, is it Flip's fault that McGee picked up 5 fouls? For some people, if anyone messes up, it all comes back to being Flip's fault. Which makes no sense.

Pick out anyone on the team (except maybe Wall and right now Thornton) and all of them, players and coaches have things they need to do better.

Posted by: ts35 | November 1, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Is Flip the best coach for this team? Personally I don't think so.Posted by: ts35

I like Flip as the coach of this year's team. Last year's not so much. If the Wizards can get rid of some of the remaining head cases/distractions, like Arenas and Young, he should have success here.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 1, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"All too willing to criticize Flip.." oh that's right, because this isn't what he signed up for. He thought he was gonna be able to "head coach on autopilot" with the playoff roster Ernie handed him. With 27 wins last year, does Flip get to stay if the Wiz end up like some of us think they will and lose another 50+ games? I mean you can't completely turn over the roster year after year and allow the same guy to Pi$$ all over it can you?Posted by: lilhollywood10"

Well, you're correct when you say that this team isn't what Flip, Grunfeld, the Pollins, the Big Three, the Wiz fans, or Leonsis thought Saunders would be coaching when the team signed him. But as far as coaching on 'autopilot', I don't recall anyone saying that, except you. More likely Saunders hoped to coach a contender. That didn't happen, and now it's a big-time rebuild. He's not complaining; you are.

As far as whether Flip 'gets to stay' if the team loses 50, that's up to Ernie and (assuredly) Ted. Why don't you bombard Leonsis with e-mails? He reads them all.

I'd say there's a pretty good chance this team loses 50 games. But I don't have a crystal ball.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Is Flip the best coach for this team? Personally I don't think so.Posted by: ts35 "

After Orlando, I'd have said the coach they deserve is Bobby Knight.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 1, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The odds of McGee being a star anywhere are slim at best. As a result, one can only hope that the fear of him leaving doesn't drive Leonsis and Grunfeld to make the same mistake with him so many other teams make by overpaying young bigs based on the ever ephemeral measure of "potential."

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So you're saying that what he is at 22 is what he'll be at 32, correct?

That is absolutely ludicrous! First of all, coming out of the draft McGee was projected to be a 3-4 project at best. He's ahead of schedule based on those projections. I will agree he is still a bit immature (especially with this whole "style" thing), and his mind is married to SportsCenter, but one day the light is going to be flipped on with this kid, and when that happens, I definitely want him on MY team. When his mind marries Larry O'Brien, it's gonna get scary!

He's 22 years old, for goodness sake! He's already shown flashes of brilliance. Obviously, Krzyzewski and Colangelo don't share your sentiments. He will eventually get it, primarily because he will keep on hearing it -- from players he respects.

You have a right to your opinion. I just don't share it. Only time will tell.

Posted by: bpybay | November 1, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

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