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Wizards still see room for improvement

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

The Wizards were never really discouraged after losing their first two games of the season, although that season-opening, 29-point drubbing in Orlando was rather deflating. But after recording their first victory of the season with a dramatic overtime victory over Philadelphia in their home debut the Wizards were feeling pretty loose on Wednesday.

"I think the mood is good. But you're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad," Coach Flip Saunders said. "I think we were somewhere in between."

They understand that there is still plenty of room for improvement, since the win masked how they squandered an 11-point second-half lead and had several defensive lapses in the fourth quarter, when 76ers guard Louis Williams torched them for 20 of his 30 points.

Cartier Martin's leaning three-pointer worked out in the Wizards' favor, but Saunders mentioned how fortunate the Wizards were that Andray Blatche was able to get Elton Brand to foul out before his decisive free throws with 7.1 seconds in overtime. Brand scored four of his 21 points in the extra frame. "The guy who was hurting us was Elton Brand, he couldn't be on the floor to get the last shot," Saunders said.

The Wizards will have one more practice at Verizon Center this morning before heading to New York in search of their first road win of the season against the well-rested Knicks, whose game on Tuesday against Orlando was canceled because of debris falling on the court at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks (1-2) have yet to win a game at home, having lost their home opener against Portland last Saturday.

Saunders realizes that the Wizards have plenty of room for improvement after defeating the 76ers. "We did some very positive things. We did some things we've got to work on, but as a young team, you know you're going to have that. You clean up and learn from your mistakes," he said. "We should feel good about the fact that we didn't quit. We should feel good that we made free throws down the stretch. We should feel good about the fact that we were able to get the win. We should feel bad that we weren't able to take control of the game when we were up 10 in the fourth quarter. Those are things we are going to have to keep working on."

FROM THE POST
John Wall explains how he keeps his breakneck speed under control. And Gilbert Arenas returns to practice.

Fan blogger Kevin Broom examined the Wizards' defense for Box Seats and discovered that the glaring weakness is in the front court.

Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog breaks down ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd's inane rant on John Wall's dance during pre-game introductions.

In The Early Lead, Cindy Boren highlights an amusing byproduct of the dispute between Kevin Garnett and Charlie Villanueva. Yesterday afternoon, Garnett denied that he said Villanueva looked like a "cancer patient," saying: "My comment to [Villanueva] was in fact 'You are cancerous to your team and our league.' " Boren explains:

Gadzooks and great Odin's raven, my good people, there was just something about the way the apology was worded that was destined for Twitter memeyness.

AROUND THE WEB
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix takes a look at John Wall's greatness after the rookie's breakout performance on Tuesday .

Also at Sports Illustrated, Lee Jenkins has a great profile on the maligned $45-million man, Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies, and discovers that the difference in his improved play this season has been the help of a psychologist.

Josh Howard wrote another lengthy blog entry on his personal website. He discusses his recovery, the team, how he assumed a leadership role at Wake Forest, what he likes about living in the District and his foundation. He concludes, "All I've been doing is going hard and getting results back, which is a good thing. In the meantime, watch out for John Wall, Dray Blatche and the whole team. Big things are coming in Washington."

ESPN's J.A. Adande writes about John Wall's former Kentucky teammate, Eric Bledsoe, who had 17 points and eight assists in the Los Angeles Clippers victory over Oklahoma City. Adande asks if it's too early for a point guard controversy, with Baron Davis still out of shape.

South Park spoofs LeBron James, while poking fun at BP.

By Michael Lee  | November 4, 2010; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: Gilbert Arenas inching closer back, Flip Saunders defends John Wall and Kevin Garnett

Comments


Maybe if Flip wouldn't force-feed Yi into the lineup there wouldn't be a need for late-game heroics. He brings nothing to the table except softness and a penchant for six-inches-inside-the-three-point-line jumpers (which, btw, he misses more often than not). Is it too early to call Yi a bust?

Posted by: bobabuie | November 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Wizards still see room for improvement."

Gosh, I sure hope so.

"Fan blogger Kevin Broom examined the Wizards' defense for Box Seats and discovered that the glaring weakness is in the front court."

Which he then qualifies by noting that the front court, as the back line, is the key to defense anyway.

I think Kevin Broom convincingly demonstrates why it's so difficult to analyze basketball defense using numbers. That's probably why the NBA spends little time on the matter. It's not football or baseball, where you can measure yards per play or hits per at bat. Probably a little easier than analyzing soccer, however.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

pretty good video on truthaboutit.net of the wiz working out. This time the bigs are working against each other, but they don't look too serious or intense, as most of their moves were 1 on 1 face-up moves vs. post moves. Gil doesn't do much in the vid but talk to wall, but he's out ther practicing.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The statistical analysis after three games is pretty worthless.

Wizards Practice Notes - Big Man Rumble Edition

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The statistical analysis after three games is pretty worthless.
Posted by: djnnnou

Sure. Actually any "analysis" after three games is pretty worthless, but that doesn't stop any of us from taking a shot at it, does it?

Posted by: nmik | November 4, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Sure. Actually any "analysis" after three games is pretty worthless, but that doesn't stop any of us from taking a shot at it, does it?Posted by: nmik

In the comments section? It's mostly observations and invective.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

But you're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad," Coach Flip Saunders said. "I think we were somewhere in between."

I wonder how good or bad Flip thinks the team is...I would guess from the post on here (take away the loyalist kal and m-thunk and the negative posters) most believe the Wizards are about the 9-10th best team in the east.

So, I think they are as bad as I think they are...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I think Kevin Broom convincingly demonstrates why it's so difficult to analyze basketball defense using numbers. That's probably why the NBA spends little time on the matter. It's not football or baseball, where you can measure yards per play or hits per at bat. Probably a little easier than analyzing soccer, however.

Posted by: Samson151

Analyzing basketball defense is actually pretty close to analyzing football defense if you're trying to use numbers. The best metrics are usually team metrics. But it's hard to break down the effectiveness of individuals because defensive players in those sports are more dependent on each other than in baseball, where it's easier to quantify things like fielding percentage, chances, etc. If a corner gets burned on a play, was it his fault, or was he supposed to have safety help? If a PG gets beat, was it all his fault or was he funneling the player to a spot where he was supposed to have help defense, but it never came?

Probably a little easier than analyzing soccer, however.

In order to analyze soccer defense, there would probably have to be some offense first :)

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"I think Kevin Broom convincingly demonstrates why it's so difficult to analyze basketball defense using numbers."

But I think it is fair when he is comparing bigs against bigs, and guards against guards.

I hope he can continue update the stats as sample size increases.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 4, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how good or bad Flip thinks the team is...I would guess from the post on here (take away the loyalist kal and m-thunk and the negative posters)..."Posted by: bulletsfan78"

I hope you excluded yourself with the other 'negative' posters.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"In order to analyze soccer defense, there would probably have to be some offense first :)"

Well, I think you still have steals, TOs, FG%, assists, shots deflected, how many times you touch the ball, time of possessions, and yellow/red card infractions. :)

Posted by: sagaliba | November 4, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"Analyzing basketball defense is actually pretty close to analyzing football defense if you're trying to use numbers. posted by ts35"

Nah. In football you have a very clearly defined unit to begin measurement: the play. In basketball, you've got something more amorphous, 'the possession'. Because possessions don't always begin with the clock stopped (in fact, they seldom do), and because they don't fall into discrete sub-units such as run or pass attempts that end when the clock stops, you're confined to grosser measurements. In other words, you can measure it, but you can't measure it very accurately. Too many extraneous variables.

Because football so closely measures yards rather than points, you can get a closer idea of the effectiveness of a particular play, whether or not it culminated in a score. You're right about measuring individual defenders, though -- that's really almost as bad as trying to measure offensive linemen's performance. Sooner or later you have to to the videotape.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Sure. Actually any "analysis" after three games is pretty worthless, but that doesn't stop any of us from taking a shot at it, does it?

Posted by: nmik
------------------------------------------

Exactly, stats are simply quantification of observations.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 4, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Sooner or later you have to to the videotape."

And what do you see on the videotape? Can you describe it? If you can describe it, you can make a stat, e.g., a lineman missed an assignment, didn’t have his feet set correctly, come off the line too late, etc. The question really is how many "observations" you can collect, and how do you assign importance to them. "Analysis" based on observations has the same problem.

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

@Samson,

I think football may lend itself to stats a little bit more than basketball because there are many more situational stats you can use to gauge a defense's effectiveness (like 3rd Down %, Red Zone %, etc) but in both sports there are a few team stats that usually are indicative of a good or bad defense.

Football: PPG, YPG, YPA, 3rd Down %, Red Zone %, stuff like that.
Basketball: PPG, Point Differential, PPP (points per possession), FG%, D-Rebounding.

For both, turnovers aren't always indicative of a good defensive team.

None of them are perfect, but they are solid generic indicators.

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I hope you excluded yourself with the other 'negative' posters.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I think I am a realist. I understand diehard fans think I am negative because my views are different then theirs but what have I been wrong about?

Last season I wrote that they wouldn't make the playoffs and you would see a fire sale so the Wizards wouldn't have to pay any luxury tax money and everyone got on me for being negative...There are only a few who will admit I was right.

I just said I think they are the 9-10th best team in the east...is that being negative or realistic?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 4, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope you excluded yourself with the other 'negative' posters.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I think I am a realist. I understand diehard fans think I am negative because my views are different then theirs but what have I been wrong about?

Last season I wrote that they wouldn't make the playoffs and you would see a fire sale so the Wizards wouldn't have to pay any luxury tax money and everyone got on me for being negative...There are only a few who will admit I was right.

I just said I think they are the 9-10th best team in the east...is that being negative or realistic?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

Is it possible (or wrong of me) to agree with you both. Call it the once-a-month-ish BF78 post I agree with, but I think you're right. They're not as bad as the people with the lowest opinion here think, nor as good as the pe....well as Mel-thunk thinks ;-)

I think most would agree that they will end up in the neighborhood of 9th or 10th in the conference. With a little good luck maybe make a run at #8, with some bad luck (aka, normal Wizards luck) maybe drop a bit.

At the same time, I think your particular brand of 'realism' is best summed up by the quote "Always expect the worst, and you will seldom be disappointed."

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Apologies, the exact quote is....

"Always expect the worst, and you will never be disappointed."

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"I just said I think they are the 9-10th best team in the east...is that being negative or realistic?Posted by: bulletsfan78"

It's neither. It's just an opinion, no better or worse than some others.

We don't really know how good the Wiz will be. Neither, I would guess, do Flip Saunders or Ernie Grunfeld. The team's young. They've added four rooks, only one of whom has played to any extent. We have yet to see Gilbert Arenas put on a uniform in anger. Same for Josh Howard, expected to be a key to the defense. So far we've seen the Wiz in one blowout loss, one closer loss, and one miracle win. We don't know how much better they'll be at home than on the road (a key stat in the NBA) and we hope there are no big-time injuries.

So when somebody says the Wiz are the 9th or 10 best team, that doesn't really mean much, except to the vocalizer himself.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"And what do you see on the videotape? Can you describe it? If you can describe it, you can make a stat, e.g., a lineman missed an assignment, didn’t have his feet set correctly, come off the line too late, etc. The question really is how many "observations" you can collect, and how do you assign importance to them. "Analysis" based on observations has the same problem.Posted by: sagaliba"

Stats are aggregations of observations, not the observations themselves. To grade individual players in basketball, you look at tape. And that's inherently subjective, as anybody reading this blog can tell you.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"I think I am a realist." posted by bulletsfan78

Oh, heck no. A realist is a person who sees things as they are. IMO in the preponderance of your posts, you start with a preconception and proceed to insist it's true, selectively including facts that support it and minimizing those that contradict. Rather than convincing folks that you're right, you insist that they convince you that you're wrong. Which strangely enough, they can't do. Because, well, you won't let them.

I think you could be a huge success in politics LOL.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

People aren't giving KH enough credit for his 9 assists (some of which set up NY nicely en route to his 20 pts). Also interesting that NY gets the credit for Lou's first half o-fer, but KH, who was also guarding him in the first gets none.

Probably because most of that was Nick being Nick. Happen to be the good Nick that night, his shot was falling and he was dialed in defensively. On a night like that, he's a very good player and stands out when you watch. As we all know, those nights arent common.

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Gadzooks and great Odin's raven, my good people, there was just something about the way the apology was worded that was destined for Twitter memeyness."

Some funny stuff in there.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 4, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"I just said I think they are the 9-10th best team in the east...is that being negative or realistic?"

Posted by: bulletsfan78

I'm pretty sure the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 4, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Per the Wizards just now:

Practice has come to a close. Gilbert Arenas did practice today (Thursday) and Flip Saunders said "he looked good."

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 4, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Arenas working w/ 2nd unit at end of #wizards practice. Flip: "Right now, we’re probably going to go with the starting lineup that we have."

craigstouffer via Bullets Forever

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Probably because most of that was Nick being Nick
Posted by: divi3

(Even without Nick, KH still had 5 dimes).

Ever notice that it's much easier for 'Nick to be Nick' when he's getting the ball in the right spots and on time from a quality passer? 'Nick being Nick' happened a lot less often when it was Boykins or Foye running the show as opposed to Gil, Livingston, Wall or KH feeding him passes.

Seems like the last 'Nick being Nick' game (Atlanta in the preseason) also featured a healthy bit of KH finding him in the right spots (and also included KH telling him that he would find him if he was in the right spots). 4 of his 10 FGs came on KH assists.

Again, maybe it's just that KH and NY need to play together more. If Gil's healthy, let them be the "B" team behind Wall and Arenas and maybe build some chemistry. KH seems to prefer to pass, Nick clearly prefers to shoot, works for me.

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse


It's only a matter of time before Hinrich comes off the bench to back up Arenas and Wall. Then maybe Flip can get Wall's minutes down to a more reasonable (for a rook) 35 minutes per game.

Posted by: gimmedat | November 4, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Flip is dumb. Its not like Gil has been out for 10 years. You start him so everyone can get use to there roles again. You also want some scoring help for Wall instead of putting alot of pressure on him & a rusty Dray

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 4, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

wizards still see room for improvement.....
they somehow thought there was no need for improvement...where did that come from....all of a sudden they have reached the pinacle and can grow no more..hahahaha....good one. i like them, they are funny and now somewhat entertaining to watch....things are looking up.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | November 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Everytime Gil comes off the Bench... Injury

Posted by: jefferu | November 4, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Did you guys hear D.Bag Colin Cowherd rants on John Wall

Posted by: suliman215 | November 4, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Did you guys hear D.Bag Colin Cowherd rants on John Wall
Posted by: suliman215

I saw Steinberg's post on it. Cowherd is a serious tool. Every once in a blue moon I'll start to listen to his show, and some of it is funny, and then after about 10 minutes he'll say something completely idiotic or useless and I'll turn him off.

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

check ted's blog he will do the dougie at the first paid home sellout game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 4, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Cowherd's lame rant comes off as an old man yelling "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!"

Which is exactly what he is in relation to teenagers like Wall, and there's surely a significant segment of his audience that feels the same way. Meanwhile the rest think he's a moron and tells him so. Makes for good ratings.

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Kevin Broom convincingly demonstrates why it's so difficult to analyze basketball defense using numbers.

What part of his analysis did you not agree with?

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

If people expected a lot of W's this year, they either didn't understand how BAD the Wizards were going to be or just live in fantasy land

There is not much around John Wall

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

Damn, it sure feels good to know that many others see Cowherd for the totally worthless talking head he is.

I love listening to talk radio, but I would rather jam sharpened pencils into my ears than listen to Cowherd.

Posted by: suliman215 | November 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Arenas working w/ 2nd unit at end of #wizards practice. Flip: "Right now, we’re probably going to go with the starting lineup that we have."

craigstouffer via Bullets Forever

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I knew that Flip would start Hinrich. What this move tells you is that this franchise is not serious about winning. Hinrich is a solid role player but nothing about his play in the first 3 games have warranted him getting the start. His offense has been non-existent and his defense (which is supposed to be his calling card) has been meoiocre with Jammeer Nelson, Joe Johnson and Lou Williams having a field day on him. His assists, which are inflated mowadays due to the latitude given the passer, are not indicative of his ability to run a ballclub. He simply does not have the tools.

The mythical rebuilding scenarios proffered on this site fly against the clear trend for contending teams in this league. You don't get better by getting rid of stars. The winning franchises i.e. Lakers, Celtics, Spurs have a comglomeration of 2-3 All Stars. There ain't one star that would be willong to come here under this current regime.

Lastly, the organizations handling of John Wall is counterproductive where they have placed a value and standard to him above the rest of th team (has'nt anyone learned from the Lebron/Clevelane experience). What is the point of the organization annointing the team his. Miami proven and legitimat stars consider themselves part of the team. The Lakers and Celtics are referred to by their team names and not as Kobe's Pau's, Rajon's Paul Kevin's or any other players team. This is the tendencies of losing teams and franchises.

Lastly, lets not get caught up in the hype of a 1 point overtine (lucky) home win over a winless team. Hell we beat this same Philly team last January by 14 in their building.

This is a team which with good coaching and player development could easily make the playoffs. With Wall, a healthy Arenas and Blache getting in shape and the other pieces we have, we are easily as good as Charlotte, Toronto, Philly, New Jersey (who has the coach we should have signed, Milwaukee and C;eveland.

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

How bout a little update. Wiz are playing tomorrow. Is Arenas?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | November 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I knew that Flip would start Hinrich. What this move tells you is that this franchise is not serious about winning.

i also think Flip will set his hair on fire before limiting KHs minutes....but as of this Friday, isnt the prudent move to see how Gil's ankle responds (if he even plays)? I dont see any problem with KH starting given we dont even know how many minutes (if any) Arenas can handle yet

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Wizards still see room for improvement."

Yeah, that's good news..........jeezus!!!! What was that movie with JEFF and funny man, oh yeah, 'DUMB and DUMBER'? Which are we for bothering to read this article?

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 4, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"What part of his analysis did you not agree with?"Posted by: divi3

I think I already answered that, above.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I think so-called 'glue guys' make a contribution to team success that doesn't readily show in the game or season stats. That's what that NYT article on Shane Battier maintained. They're often mediocre athletes by NBA standards who contribute mostly by virtue of intelligent, consistent play. Hard for we fanz to appreciate -- we mostly watch games on TV, often while consuming mass quantities, and are reacting emotionally to what we see on the screen.

That's not to say coaches don't have 'favorite' players that get preferential treatment, but there's frequently a reason the coach likes the player that isn't readily apparent to us in the audience.

And of course, being fanz, we're all a whole lot smarter and more objective about our beloved team than any coach could be.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Defensive analysis in basketball starts with opposition field goal percentage, for most coaches the goal is under 40%. Offensively you shoot for 50% or above, vast number of games it's in the mid 40's area. So it's always a question below average offense, or good defense.

Next most coaches like to chart points in the paint or points in a red zone which is a radius about 10-15' from the hoop. HS coaches mostly use 10', most college and pro coaches lean toward looking at 12-15' as a high percentage shot. To break it down another step on film,coaches want to know percetage of contested and uncontested shots.

Like football, many basketball coaches believe that turnovers are a key stat, so they look hard at steals, and forced turnovers vs. uncontested turnovers.

Rebounds is the final big area. Defense doesn't stop until the ball is secured. Most coaches go ape over offensive rebounds, they want their own team to get 10 per game, but lose it over the other team getting one. It's the first half time stat most want before they talk to their team. Most refer to it as a key hustle stat.

Most refer to 2nd and 3rd shots off of offensive rebounds as hidden possessions, if a team has a high disparity of shots taken over another team, you have to start digging into turnovers, offensive rebounds as the first two big culprits.

Second favorite half time stat are those extra shots allowed off of the offensive rebounds. Those third and fourth shots send most head guys through the roof and they will have that count in their head coming off the floor, and often be right on.

You can mine a lot from a std box score, but it doesn't tell you much of what coaches actually look at. A lot of that is charted by assistants during the game and then backed up by grading film.

Basketball teams do watch film just like football teams do to instruct on defensive postioning. The amount of film analysis done in the pros today is staggering, even most HS teams grade basketball film.

So after 3 games they have a pretty good idea of where they're at...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 4, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I actually read your posts before his article, thought his blog would be chock-full of various stats etc etc trying to make a case...but it was pretty straightforward. Defensively, JM/AB/Yi/KH have all been bad while Thornton has been a pleasant surprise. That analysis certainly passes the eyeball test at this early stage, the mistake would be to extrapolate it forward since it's only based on 3 games....maybe even 2 if the Opener was an anomaly (probably wasnt tho)

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@New Management

How did the Spurs and, in a secondary manner, the Celtics acquire their All-Stars?

Duncan / Manu / Parker - All drafted.
Celtics - Pierce and Rondo drafted. Garnett acquired using pieces they drafted (in particular Al Jefferson). Ray Allen, acquired primarily using a drafted player (or pick) which was Jeff Green.

Meanwhile, look at the 'acquiring' stars model. Look how many teams shuffled their entire rosters this summer trying to acquire stars, and look how few actually did. The Lakers were able to trade for Pau, but you have to have tradable pieces to do that. That's where the Wiz are right now, doing their best to draft and acquire either players for themselves or tradable pieces. OKC traded a 'star' in Ray Allen because he was older and didn't fit into their rebuilding model. They turned that pick into Jeff Green. Who is fitting in pretty well for them with Durantula (drafted) and Westbrook (drafted).

If you want to argue that EG isn't ideally suited for this kind of rebuild model, I won't disagree. I don't think the has the kind of eye for drafting talent you need to go this way. But that's different than saying it's a faulty model.

Plus, with a possible paradigm shift looming in the form of a new CBA, acquiring stars may soon become a lot more difficult.

His assists, which are inflated nowadays due to the latitude given the passer, are not indicative of his ability to run a ballclub. He simply does not have the tools.

I love this part. It's called let's throw out some random phantom theory to write off whatever thing the player we don't like does well.

As for the rest of it, about the mishandling of Wall, I don't know that there's much that they could do about that to begin with, but in terms of looking at other teams' players....I guess you didn't watch LeBron's "The Decision" this summer, or the subsequent ad trying to rehabilitate his image hit from "The Decision". I guess you don't remember Kobe spending all of the summer before (and part of the prior season) flirting over and over with free agency (including that fantastic video someone caught on their phone).

And by the way, I don't think anyone is getting caught up in the 'hype' of Tuesday's win. But I do think a few of you are getting caught in the 'anti-hype'. We're three games in. Let 'em play a bit.

Posted by: ts35 | November 4, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

The good thig that the Wizards' bigs exhibited in the Philly game was the willingness to mix it up a bit with the 76er's bigs. in the end Brand fouling out in over time was key to the win.

First two games they were getting out muscled by playoff caliber teams. I think there will be teams that the Wiz struggle against and then some that the frontline does ok against.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 4, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Jackson to the Wizards? Rudy Gay to the Cavs? What in the ...?

http://hoopstopia.com/?p=98

Posted by: janglesjr | November 4, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Kirk is also only getting 2rpg in 39min on a team in desperate need of help on the boards. Gil could get 4 from the PG spot and maybe more from the 2. He should start now

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 4, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I think so-called 'glue guys' make a contribution to team success that doesn't readily show in the game or season stats. That's what that NYT article on Shane Battier maintained.

When his team wins, credit Battier for hidden functions that can't be quantified. When his team is losing (like right now at 0-4 with him scoring 3pts/night), don't look at him- quantifiable production is "not his role."

Where's the line between adding "intangibles" to your team and simply not getting the job done?

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike, the answer to the title of this thread:

DUH!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 4, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Where's the line between adding "intangibles" to your team and simply not getting the job done? Posted by: divi3

I tend to look at 5-man units.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 4, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"So after 3 games they have a pretty good idea of where they're at...GM Posted by: flohrtv"

I don't think so. It isn't that teams don't collect stats on all sorts of things, it's that by comparison to other sports, IMO the stats aren't that accurate. The central issue being the flow of the game. It's difficult to quantify 'possessions' the way you quantify plays or at-bats. The 24 second clock helps a bit, but how many possessions actually end in 24 seconds?

As far as how much we can know about the team's defense over 3 games, there are two unanswered questions. First, how Gilbert's presence will affect the defensive play (since he hasn't, in the past, played much). And same for the presence of Josh Howard, who has been recognized as a special defender.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

As far as those aforementioned 'glue guys', the problem is that they're players whose contribution generally goes unrecognized by fans, at least until the team starts winning. That's when guys like Battier and Bruce Bowen show up in articles. Coaches generally recognize their contribution a lot earlier. We'd have to ask the coaches why they value so-and-so's play enough to make sure he gets minutes on the court. And then of course we'd have to believe the answer when we got one.

BTW, we have something of a tradition around here of grousing about a player getting minutes that some of us are convinced they don't deserve. Stevenson, Songaila, Oberto, come to mind. Randy Foye and Mike Miller to some extent. Who's it going to be this season?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Hinrich. Hands down.

Posted by: ahwyatt | November 4, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

As far as those aforementioned 'glue guys', the problem is that they're players whose contribution generally goes unrecognized by fans, at least until the team starts winning. That's when guys like Battier and Bruce Bowen show up in articles.

Great defenders are noticed whether the team is winning or losing. Bowen in particular was not exactly a "glue" guy. All-nba defensive team 8yrs in a row, that's a very tangible. contribution that fans and coaches alike appreciate.

Posted by: divi3 | November 4, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

little improvement until a coach change. they will improve because the talent is better but that's it.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | November 5, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

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