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John Wall is day-to-day, Andray Blatche unsure about Toronto

By Michael Lee


The protective walking boot that John Wall wore as he left the United Center two days ago was upgraded to crutches on Monday, as the rookie was held out of practice while recovering from a sprained left foot. Wall visited with a doctor while Gilbert Arenas shared the backcourt with starter Kirk Hinrich in drills during practice.

Wall was injured in the third quarter of the Wizards' 103-96 loss to Chicago on Saturday but he returned to contribute to a rally in the fourth quarter. While Wall's availability for Tuesday's game against Toronto appears unlikely, Coach Flip Saunders didn't rule him out, listing him as a game-time decision.

Saunders said if Wall is able to play, he would start. If not, Arenas would make his first start of the season, after coming off the bench his first five games coming back from a strained tendon in his right ankle. Arenas scored a season-high 30 points off the bench. It was his first 30-point game since Dec. 28 at Memphis.

Saunders also said Andray Blatche would "definitely play" against the Raptors after testing his sore left knee through "70-75 percent" of practice. But Blatche didn't sound as optimistic when he spoke with reporters. Blatche said he started feeling discomfort in the back of his calf last week and the pain became more unbearable as the week wore on.

"I went and got an MRI, and it's a little scruff behind the bone, nothing too major. I guess it's going to have to be some extra work with the trainers and a lot more treatment on my body, get my lower body together," Blatche said. "I'm just going to take it a day at time and see how I feel tomorrow. If I feel better tomorrow and the swelling is down, I'm going to play. If not, it's going to be a chance for the rookies to step up."

Yi Jianlian was limited to riding a bike on Monday, but he said he feels more encouraged by how his knee is healing after a scary collision with Wall in the third quarter against Chicago. "It was pretty painful at the time, but a few minutes away, it felt better," said Yi, who had an MRI after the game that revealed no ligament damage. "But it was fine, it wont be long. I see how it feels. It's kind of day-by-day."

By Michael Lee  | November 15, 2010; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, Yi Jianlian  
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Next: Is it finally time for Gilbert Arenas?

Comments

Guess Flip is an idiot and still is not bent on starting Gil anytime soon. Letting Kirk be the starter over Gil at this point is dumb

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 15, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

again, it would be different if we were winning but we're not. start Gil now please. I almost want Wall to sit out this one because it seems like its the only way Gil will start. Then Wall comes back the next game and Im sure Flip wouldnt be dumb enough to sit Gil back down then

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Guess Flip is an idiot and still is not bent on starting Gil anytime soon. Letting Kirk be the starter over Gil at this point is dumb

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 15, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought you were gonna say starting an obviously hurt Wall over a healthier Arenas would be stupid. I'd like to see Flip monitor Wall's mins if he's gonna start him one day after walking with crutches. Same with Dray. Dray doesn't sound as confident as Flip does about his health. I'm sure he's a bit leery of this medical staff's ability to deal with knee injuries.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 15, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of people on this blog who seem to confuse blocked shots with good defense. It's true that McGee is tremendously athletic, and he blocks shots with ease regularly. That makes him a crowd favorite, and it certainly looks like hustle.

But if you pay attention, you'll notice a large number of his blocks come only after he is caught out of position, or is beaten to the rim. He recovers well, but if he were a truly great defender he wouldn't need to block those shots in the first place. And let's not forget that every time he jumps wildly attempting to block a shot (read: every play) he ends up out of position for rebounds.

Flip knows this. People who play basketball know this. The entire organization (not to mention USA Basketball) have made it perfectly clear what McGee needs to do: get better at positioning, don't leave your feet, box out, clog the middle.

He refuses to do it, so he sits on the bench in crunch time. It's true that if he were on the floor in the fourth quarter, he might make an amazing block. But he'll also give up easy rebounds and layups, take an ill=advised flying sky hook, and exhibit a horrifying basketball IQ. The kid is a great athlete, but he can't play basketball. See Young, Nick and Blatche, Andray.

Posted by: bryc3 | November 15, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

BRYC3 - And I'm not one of those people who confuse blocks with good defense. I will be one of the first to tell you JM still needs alot of work, but what I have a problem with is how in the dang world is having Yi or Armstrong out there in crunch time better then McGee?

Now if we had Tyson Chandler, Marcin Gortat or even Nazr Mohammed then I would not have any problems with Flip sitting JM, but seeing that we don't have one of these three and all we have is Armstrong and Yi; Please tell me how benching JM makes any kind of sense?

We are in a rebuilding year,let's face it Flip. That is why we do not need a veteran coach like him who was brought in to "touch-up" a veteran team. We need a young coach like Sam Cassell or if we are looking for a veteran coach who is still young I would suggest Mike Brown. This dude nows how to coach defense.

Lastly, I am so tired of the old school folks like Flip talking about having too much style without substance. Just to put you on notice Flip, STYLE is SUBSTANCE if used correctly with the right balnce.

*** Flip is trying to make Javele a dang robot. And why is it when Keven Garnett does all the things he does (style stuff) he is allowed a free pass with Flip? When Keven was young he was doing some of the same stuff Javele does, but Flip never called him out...???

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 15, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

When Garnett was Javale's age he was an all-star with a $100+ mil. deal. Stop making stuff up.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 15, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Coach Flip Saunders didn't rule John Wall out, listing him as a game-time decision.

Sounds like Wall is going to be playing 40 minutes against the Raptors?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The fact that it's the Raptors doesn't mean a damn thing. If we were the Celtics and Ray Allen was hurt then yeah i'd sit him against the Raptors. We're the same caliber team as the Raptors. We need as many wins as possible. But i agree, we don't need Wall getting burnt out. Whether its the Raptors, Lakers, Globetrotters. ..etc..

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 15, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Just in case no one noticed, Hinrich since becoming a Wizard is not allowed to play the hard-nosed defense he played at Chicago. My observation is that more calls are being made against him, whereas in Chicago he got away with a lot more hand-checking and hacking (watch for yourselves).

I know Flip was/is being critized for not starting Arenas at this stage of the season, but remember Gil is coming off a sprained ankle, and just in case you did not notice his minutes are up gradually, which means it's just a matter of time. I believe Flip know whats going on and will act accordingly. I have to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point of the season. Be patient... Get well Wizards.

Posted by: esmith4 | November 15, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

When Garnett was Javale's age he was an all-star with a $100+ mil. deal. Stop making stuff up.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 15, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

djnnou - Making what stuff up...?? You lost me on that... I don't make up stuff just to prove a point. I don't roll like that. If I have to make something up, then I just won't comment at all.

Now to reply to your comment, what Garnett was making at the time doesn't have anything to do with the point I was trying to make.

My point was Kevin Garnett was a "flashy" player also when he was JM's age ($100 mill and All Star, so what??), but that did not seem to bother Flip then?

Why, because Flip was still young then and he had patience to wait on KG and let him learn on the court. Something he is unwilling to do now with JM because he is not a young coach anymore.

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 15, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

That's the good thing about having 3 guys who can play PG -- you need them.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 15, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

its infectious. everyone is making a sacrifice for Gil so he can start. 3 people receive fines

Posted by: jefferu | November 15, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Just keep John Wall away from the Wizards medical staff. That is the only treatment any Wizard has ever needed when injured.

Posted by: NWDC3 | November 15, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

My point was Kevin Garnett was a "flashy" player also when he was JM's age ($100 mill and All Star, so what??), but that did not seem to bother Flip then?Posted by: BulletsFever

You don't have a point. By Javale's age Garnett was a solid pro, an acknowledged franchise player. He wasn't flashy. There wasn't a problem of style over substance with him at all. To state otherwise is pure fiction.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 15, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

"My point was Kevin Garnett was a "flashy" player also when he was JM's age ($100 mill and All Star, so what??), but that did not seem to bother Flip then?

Why, because Flip was still young then and he had patience to wait on KG and let him learn on the court. Something he is unwilling to do now with JM because he is not a young coach anymore."

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 15, 2010 8:20 PM

That's a nice little story.

McGee's problem is that he's all flash with little substance. He's so obsessed with making spectacular plays that he whiffs on the simple, fundamentally basic ones.

"Just to put you on notice Flip, STYLE is SUBSTANCE if used correctly with the right balnce."

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 15, 2010 5:24 PM

Even if that were true (and it's not) it would still be irrelevant because McGee doesn't use his style properly has no balance. (Oh, and I'm sure Saunders will tape your "notice" right up on his refrigerator.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 16, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how McGEE and ARMSTRONG play together, and how the duo does with BOOKER at the three. HINRICH, GIL, and YOUNG amn the backcourt I guess. MARTIN gets some PT for sure with THORNTON down.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 16, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Why, because Flip was still young then and he had patience to wait on KG and let him learn on the court. Something he is unwilling to do now with JM because he is not a young coach anymore.

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 15, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Get out. How the hell do you know that FLIP's "flipped' just because he gone old?

I think it's much more about McGEE's mindset and abilities than age on a coach.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 16, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

"Why, because Flip was still young then and he had patience to wait on KG and let him learn on the court. Something he is unwilling to do now with JM because he is not a young coach anymore.Posted by: BulletsFever"

I suspect that if Javale's play started to resemble Kevin's, Flip would be rejuvenated overnight.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 16, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Just in case no one noticed, Hinrich since becoming a Wizard is not allowed to play the hard-nosed defense he played at Chicago. My observation is that more calls are being made against him, whereas in Chicago he got away with a lot more hand-checking and hacking (watch for yourselves).

Posted by: esmith4

Did expect anything different?

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 16, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

This debate has turned into a classic case of comparing apples and oranges. I used to watch "the young Garnett" on the ticket all the time. I seem to clearly remember that Flip was quite often playing him at small forward when he was putting him out on the floor with Joe Smith and Nestorvic.
And playing him at power forward w/ Smith at center. Can't remember Garnett ever logging consistant minutes as a center.

We're comparing McGee to a guy that has evolved into a defensive force at power forward, but was at a similar age logging minutes at small forward. Comparing their games both then, and now, is a somewhat futile exercise, since Garnett's never been a center.

I think John Thompson put it best this summer, a point guard is expected to "Quarterback" the offense because he's the player that is in the best position to see the other 9 players on the floor and get his team in the best position to score against the opposing D.

And a center is the guy that is in the best position to "Quarterback" the D since he's on the back line and can see the offense unfolding in front of him. Individually, I see McGee make great plays and to have vast potential. Quarterbacking the D, he's still got a ways to go.

I remember when we used to have the Brendan vs. Etan debates. Individually people could rag on Haywood til the cows would come home, but the team played better team D when he was on the backline.

Basketball is a game of angles and matchups, a great point guard can see a guy gaining leverage and get the ball to him where he's in position to score. A great defensive center can see a guy setting his man up and can be there almost before the play happens.

McGee is improving, but he's still having major lapses where he reacts late or not at all. He still leaves his man for a futile block attempt instead of boxing out for the rebound. And seldom steps out on a man and simply fills the lane instead of leaving his feet for the block. Murasan couldn't jump a lick, but when he stepped up to fill the lane he was an effective defender.

That's the kind of substance play McGee is still missing on a consistant basis, instead of slide stepping a 1/2 step off his man to put him self in position to defend the driver and still get back to his man. He steps into postion to go up for the block, if he's late, he can't defend either guy.
That's where he's still got a ways to go.

Rebounding is all about positioning an effort, it's the most glaring stat that shows how up and down McGee still is. He had a couple of real nice effort games in NY and against Clev, but then he can't disappear and have a 2 rebound effort.

He is improving, I tend to see a glass 1/2 empty instead of 1/2 full, but he's got to keep working. Pulling him out of the game from time to time isn't impeding that development. When you compare his minutes and his play to last year at this time, he is progressing.

But he isn't "A Garnett" and we shouldn't expect him to be...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"But he isn't "A Garnett" and we shouldn't expect him to be..." GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 16, 2010 10:03 AM

And, just for the record, who, exactly, said that we should?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

First Question:
Is Flip Saunders the right coach for this young Wizards team?

Has he utilized the time wisely to develop ALL the players on this team?

Does he know the potential/weaknesses of the players he is coaching?

Is Flip Saunders executing the best rotation possible with the game situations that occur during crucial moments in the game?

How many losses will the Wizards have before Ted realizes that hmmm maybe it's not the players...?

Last Question:
How many losses/excuses (this year) are you as a fan of the Wizards willing to accept/support?

Posted by: ronniecope106 | November 17, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

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