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Posted at 8:03 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Doc Rivers offers some advice to John Wall

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

John Wall was leaving the visitor's locker room at TD Garden on Wednesday when he turned and spotted Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers talking with his former teammate, Wizards assistant Randy Wittman. Wall turned and walked over in his protective boot to Rivers, who happily gave Wall a handshake, a hug and some advice.

"Don't let anything negative in," Rivers told Wall. "Only positive. Only positive."

"Yes, sir," Wall said, as he shook Rivers's hand again and strolled toward the team bus to catch a flight out of Boston.

With Wall possibly making his return against Memphis on Friday after missing the past two games with a sprained left foot, the Wizards will try to focus on the positives and put behind them a second historic defeat this season. Wall already suffered the most. In their season-opening, 112-83 loss against Orlando, Wall suffered the most lopsided defeat for a No. 1 overall pick in his debut in the modern draft era. And, during their 114-83 loss to Boston at TD Garden, the Wizards allowed an opponent to shoot at least 65 percent for the first time in at least 24 seasons.

The stat that continues to boggle my mind from the Wizards' 114-83 loss in Boston is that the Celtics starting five of Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo shot 71.4 percent from the floor. Five guys combined to make 35 shots and missed just 14. O'Neal shot 6 of 7 (85.7 percent) from the field, Garnett shot 9 of 11 (81.8 percent), Rondo shot 5 of 7 (71.4 percent), Allen shot 5 of 8 (62.5 percent) and Pierce went 10 for 16 (62.5 percent).

When your worst starters shoot 62.5 percent from the floor, that's a pretty good night. Can you say light scrimmage? "The assignments that Coach gave us, we just screwed them up," Gilbert Arenas said. "Not fouling Shaq, when he was down there. There was a play where we were supposed to switch, we didn't switch on it. Just lackadaisical out there."

It was a startling performance that could be attributed to crisp ball movement and solid floor leadership from Rondo, who had 13 assists. "As a point guard, uh, former point guard watching what he's done with his talent, it's amazing," Arenas said of Rondo. "With players like Rondo, Steve Nash, point guards that have the ball so much, you have the ball so much that you're going to have assists. Just run around finding players. He's great at it. It's amazing what people were saying when the Big Three first got here and now, he's just come into his own."

And since Rondo has certainly learned under the guidance of Rivers the past four seasons, Wall should take his advice to heart.

Nick Young has received heavy minutes with Wall out with injury, but he has earned his time with some improved play...on defense.

Wall, Arenas and JaVale McGee made the all-star ballot, but Andray Blatche, the Wizards' second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, was omitted.

In the Box Seats fan blog, Kevin Broom examines the Wizards "epic defensive fail" against the Boston Celtics.

Mike Prada of Bullets Forever writes that Coach Flip Saunders needs to start holding Andray Blatche more accountable for his bad defense.

Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated's Point Forward examines the Wizards' "embarrassing D" and shows a horrific video of Andray Blatche defending, or rather not defending, the pick-and-roll.

Kyle Weidie at takes a rare look into a play by an opponent that gave the Wizards trouble.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski looks into Greg Oden's latest season-ending injury but expresses the greater concerns over the true franchise player, Brandon Roy. The article also explains how Roy's knee troubles may have lead to former general manager Kevin Pritchard's ouster. columnist J.A. Adande compares Oden to former Wizard Shaun Livingston, another high draft pick cursed by injuries.'s Shaun Powell writes about the career resurrection of D.C. native Michael Beasley, who is starting to show the promise of his No. 2 overall selection after leaving Miami for Minnesota. Jeff Zgoda writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Beasley's turnaround started with a conversation with teammate Jonny Flynn.

By Michael Lee  | November 19, 2010; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: John Wall to be a game-time decision


. The Wizards are 2-1 this season when Young plays at least 23 minutes.

Looks like everyone's favorite stat is back in business

Posted by: divi3 | November 19, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I guess we can't just blame the fans anymore for picking all-stars on popularity, huh!

Seems like the committee kind of one-upped the Fans with some of their selections.

Adding Haywood over Chandler is a head scratcher, isn't it Kalo_rama.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 19, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"Don't let anything negative in," Rivers told Wall. "Only positive. Only positive."

Rivers was bringing it up because of the way Flip treated AB after last years game when Flip defended KG instead of his own player...

Yeah, that was great coaching by Doc. "OK guys, just go out and play. By the way, starters, make sure you hit 7 in 10 shots."

Jeez louise.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 18, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who blames this loss on coaching is an A-grade idiot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 18, 2010 12:12 PM

But you two must be right since Flip won a championship with the Pistons...ohh wait I forgot he couldn't so they ran him out of town?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 19, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Tonight is a game the wizards stand a legit chance of winning. However the front court is still terrifying with Gasol, Randolf, and Gay.

I'm a Maryland Alumni and wanna see Grevis Vasquez come of the Grizzly bench. Arenas and Wall can still torch him speedwise but still wanna see him succeed.

Posted by: jefferu | November 19, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, two time eastern conf champs beat the a rebuilding team without #1 pick because of coaching. Lakers beat Detroit Wednesday because detroit is coached poorly. Does anyone think Boston beat the Wizards because of a talent gap not because of coaching. Flip beat rivers before with his 08 pistons but lost Chauncey billups when the series was tied.

Posted by: jefferu | November 19, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"But you two must be right since Flip won a championship with the Pistons...ohh wait I forgot he couldn't so they ran him out of town? Posted by: bulletsfan78"

That's a non sequitur, by the way. You're using it to deflect attention from your bogus argument that Boston beat the Wiz because of coaching.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 19, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

to say that coaching didn't factor into the outcome of the game would be silly, just as silly as it would be to blame coaching alone for the loss.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 19, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The statement that Boston beat the Wizards because of coaching isn't an untrue statement is it?

If the statement had went something like, "The coaching of Boston pulled them through on this one, or, Had it not been for the superior coaching of one Doc Rivers compared to Flip Saunders, there is no way that Boston could have won that game" then yeah, one could conclude that the statement may not be a valid one.

Coaching has huge direct implications for the current state and proficiency of the Boston Celtics. Doc Rivers has that team clicking, just like other very good coaches around the League.

Doc Rivers could have been on vacation when his team played the other night and his influence would still have been a great part of the teams play.

Sometimes Samson151 and Kalo_rama, you guys think and write like you are so smarter that everybodyelse, but to infer that Doc Rivers as coach of the Celtics had no influence on the game the other night is just, moronic and idiotic to boot.

Certainly, River's coaching of the Celtics is not the only reason they whipped our butts, for there are many other reasons as well, so why infer coaching could not have been one of them.

Oh, I get it, you two blame the players for everything, so when a team plays very well, it then should follow that the coach shall not receive any credit. That is it in Kal's and Samson's world.

It's all on the players. Geez.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 19, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Boston is in the position to win us but that was not the way a young team approach when they play against a shampionship team.The team display lack of interrest in defending the pick and roll,trying to move the ball and attempting to penetrate to get some calls.coaching has also something to do.Player rotation,play calls, defensive assignment and motivating to move the ball.At one time boston score 10 times with no single basket frm wiz,two time outs where called but 7 other points where scored by boston while the wiz had one basket from JM.If two timeouts are not making a change there seems to be a problem of coaching.I am worried about our 1st round pick, either he is going to be injured by playing 40 minutes a game or he is not going to sign any contract extension with this club.Who is the promising young prospect to be along john wall for the next 4 years.Is it NY?,hard to expect him to make the team next season.AB refuse to play defense at the age of 24,he hardly rebound the ball,he want shoot 3 just like it JM? I know we all get exited with his dunks but there is no substance in his game,he is not that man to stop gards who try to score at will.Booker is an undersized forward but could be a decent role player. KS need 3 years before he even gets some trial in NBA.
Only wall, bad move wiz.

Posted by: gtefferra | November 19, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

az alwheys, werds of wizdom fram gteffera!

Flip's coaching could not have won the game, but it looked like he couldnt even impact it- that's not good and he'd be the first to agree. Seraphin looks like an utter shot in the dark. "Hey, that guy is huge and foreign. Draft him!" Of course it's too early to be definitive about him, but I have to agree with gtefferra that he looks and runs like NFL TE moreso than an NBA PF...and that isnt a compliment.

Next time AB utterly dogs it on defense, give him the Javale/Nick treatment as in bench him immediately in favor of Booker. Blatche is playing hurt, lazy, or both- either way he can use a spot on the pine at times

Posted by: divi3 | November 19, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the diffrences was west. the celts get leads and fade down the strech. delonte started asserting himself in the second half they had no answer. He could have easly jacked up 15 20 points. with the subs but doc wont turn him loose. washington knew this so they gave up.

Posted by: busterr | November 19, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Talk about exagerated opinions. There is a huge difference between Le Wiz beating the Celtics and losing by 31. I would say coaching had something to do with the lopsided outcome.

Posted by: bobilly1 | November 19, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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