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Posted at 8:03 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Many contributed to improbable Wizards win

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

Nick Young got fouled while making a fall-away jumper in the lane in the third quarter of the Wizards' 116-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, and before he attempted the free throw, John Wall pushed him. Then, JaVale McGee shoved. Then, Andray Blatche pushed him again, forcing Young to stumble backward and give Blatche a quizzical look, like, "Okay, that's enough."

But after Young nailed the game-winning three-pointer from the right corner with 7.6 seconds remaining, the fourth-year shooting guard was eager to celebrate with anyone -- teammates, fans, anyone in front of him. He then defended Andre Iguodala into a missed jumper as time expired on the other end.

While Wall inspired the Wizards' improbable comeback against the 76ers, scoring 25 points after having an "energy drink" at halftime, the contributions of Young, JaVale McGee and even Trevor Booker could not be overlooked on Tuesday at Verizon Center.

Young came off the bench and scored 19 points, the fourth time in the past five games that he has scored at least 18 points. "I don't want to jinx myself," he said, "but I knew we needed a little spark because we didn't have that much energy."

McGee certainly did his part to energize his team. McGee had another superb outing on the glass, as he set a new career high in rebounds for the second game in a row, snaring 18 rebounds to go with a season-high 24 points and four blocked shots.

McGee had a double-double in the first 17 minutes, as he fought and scrapped for nearly every carom in his vicinity. He knocked over 76ers forward Andres Nocioni to get a rebound over two other players in the first half, then made a jump hook in the lane. He has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in four consecutive games.

"I just don't want to get yelled at anymore," McGee said. "I'm not really worried about getting points, I'm just trying to get rebounds."

Booker only had one rebound and one steal, but he arguably made the most critical play of the game, when he tied up Nocioni with 20 seconds remaining and the Wizards trailing 104-101. He forced a jump ball, which led to an unexpected possession, and set up Gilbert Arenas for a pair of free throws that made it a one-point game. Booker said he noticed that Nocioni wasn't protecting the ball well since he was anticipating a foul. "I knew I could get to the ball."

And, after Wall forced overtime with three free throws and Young hit that corner three, the Wizards could celebrate a win that gave them their best home record (5-2) to start the season since 2006-07.

FROM THE POST
Here's the game story from last night's contest, and a post-game wrap up that points out why Wall was the right choice as the No. 1 pick.

Today is the one-year anniversary of Abe Pollin. His oldest son, Robert, looks back.

AROUND THE WEB
The Heat is foundering and the rest of the league is taking notice. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson told a Chicago radio station that Erik Spoelstra is in danger of losing his job if the team continues to struggle. He compared to the situation in 2005-06, when Pat Riley replaced Stan Van Gundy. "It could the Van Gundy thing all over again."

CBSSports' Ken Berger writes that LeBron James should've taken his talents to New York.

At Yahoo!Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski offers a revealing interview with Kobe Bryant.

By Michael Lee  | November 24, 2010; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: Elton Brand suspended one game for foul on JaVale McGee

Comments

DANGER:

The WIZARDS are running the real chance of climbing out of the lottery round by winning. Do we want that?

I mean BOOKER knowing when to take advantage of an opponant, and he a rookie?

McGEE grabbing rebounds like a man 'possessing' because he doesn't want to be yelled at anymore?

NICK YOUNG catching fire in the scoring column and DEFENDING the last shot of the game successfully? To be sure, NY was the go-to-guy on defense in the minds of the 76'ers.

This sounds like progress. That's not possible. We all know the coaches are brain-dead, that they know nothing about BB.

It must be all on the players right? Tell these guys to stop, otherwise we'll be on the outside of the lottery looking in come June 2011.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 24, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

If you can't fathom my sarcastical post check this.............YEAH, GO WIZARDS. Keep growing.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 24, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

McGee played what was probably the best game of his career last night. That Kevin Love school of rebounding thing is really working out...

J Wall is just one of those guys that can will a team to win. I don't have a way to discribe what the "IT" is that made Jordan, Magic, and Larry the winners they were. They were all very different players that shared that little extra something that made them and their teams Champions.

It's way early, but J Wall does have "IT"...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

J Wall is just one of those guys that can will a team to win. I don't have a way to discribe what the "IT" is that made Jordan, Magic, and Larry the winners they were. They were all very different players that shared that little extra something that made them and their teams Champions.

It's way early, but J Wall does have "IT"...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

GM,

With all due respect J Wall hasn't won anything yet and when he had his chance last year in the NCAA tourny he didn't will that team to a championship.

It was a 2 point overtime win against the 76'ers people?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 24, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

One pivotal part of the final play that led to Nick Young's game winning basket that is getting overlooked is Gil's pass to him. In the past, I could easily see Gil forcing a shot in that situation thinking that he should be the one to take the shot witht he game on the line. But he saw an open Nick Young and fed him a nice crisp pass that left NY enough time to drill it. Well done, Gil!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | November 24, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect BF78 - John Wall is like 19 or 20 and already shows more maturity than most NBA players.

He has "the heart of a champion."

Say what you want about him not winning anything yet, but this team is different from past teams.

Guys are fighting for loose balls, contesting every shot, playing hard, getting in opponents faces. Same coach, Same C, same Gil, Same PF, Same arena. Everyone playing smarter and better.

Different owner and different PG. i am willing to say it is at least partially thanks to Wall that this team is playing so much better. He EXPECTS to win. that is the difference.

it is only an OT win over Philly (but ewren't a lot of you claiming Philly was a lock for the playoffs?)

And again, in case you all missed it last night. Good game nick. Keep it up and I will fully retract everything I said yesterday.

Posted by: Blurred | November 24, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Uhhh. Things are looking up.

Next step is for a coach or AB to figure out what to do when JM leaves rebounding position to contest a shot. JM caused several misses that resulted in several easy putbacks. There's gotta be a way for AB or the 3 to rotate and put a butt on the opposing big. Perhaps that's a call for more Booker.

Posted by: cballer | November 24, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Weren't you just busting KH's chops for the same thing?

the difference is KH plays 35+ no matter how poorly he's playing on any given night. 1 FGA and 0 points in the 2nd half and OT? Makes you wonder what Flip is thinking
Posted by: divi3

He's thinking what every coach is thinking....trying to balance who's hot versus the players he trusts most down the stretch or in the clutch. Especially with veteran players, coaches trust that even if they've had a tough game, they'll find make plays down the stretch. Someone who's just having a good game may fold in the stretch. A playoff experienced veteran is less likely to fold.

But it's a guessing game. You can argue both ways and not be wrong. Now that Nick has hit a big time clutch basket (and played pretty good D on Iggy to close it out), maybe that changes the equation for Flip next time he has to make the call.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Good point cballer. There were more than a few times that JM contested a shot and other Wiz players did not rotate to the weak side. I have to admit that JW is definitely a #1 pick. No question about that. His understanding of the game is that of someone who played 4 years in college. Once JH gets back and in shape I can see us in the playoffs. Getting the playoff experience will be more valuable to the young players then getting a lottery pick with no guarantees. I also like what I am seeing from GA. It would be nice if they could keep the core guys together for a couple of years to see how they progress together similar to what they have done in OKC with Durant and the crew. Thanks Wiz. A win is win anyway you can get it. Looking forward to the next game. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Posted by: TEliasB | November 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

In his 4th yr, Young finally made a shot when game is on the line. He had many chances before (including a potential game-tying 3 pointer in regular time last night). This certainly is a milestone!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I like what KH brings to the table, just think Flip rides him a little too long and ends up wearing him down later in games. Seems like Kirk has had good success getting his shot off earlier in games but possibly fatigues a bit down the stretch. IMHO, Hinrich has been and is very effective for 25-30mins but is logging 36mins.

But that's not such a big deal, and Flip will be fine tuning the rotations all season as he learns more about his players

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Redemption!!!! for NY that is,anyway he played well at both ends of the court now to be sure this team could have lost this game and the naysayers like me would have been wearing them out on this blog for losing to the Sixers but they hung in there and put a W in the column, and good point cballer, because that's exactly what the "serial skirt chaser"(AB) needs to do when McGee contest a shot, and Javale needs to recognize that he can't get every shot but he needs to become "block selective" in other words don't wear yourself out trying to get every shot but as your "rep" grows around the league teams will fear your ability to alter their shot's and just your presence will make their shooters think twice.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I loved Nick's final shot -- glad to see he didn't go in the tank after air balling that previous attempt in regulation. Defensively though, he did fall asleep badly on Iguodola's drive late in the game. McGee challenged the shot and Nick just watched the play, didn't even try blocking out his man (Thaddeus Young?), leading to an ez tip in. Almost cost us the game. I love his confidence on O, just think he is big enuff and quick enuff to be more of a factor defensively.

Posted by: edP2 | November 24, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Just so you know the Hawks are putting thursday's game in the W column already, judging by their post game comments and the fan's on their post game call in show.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

what's up with Kirk's handle? He's getting ripped like nobody's bidness. And speaking of getting ripped, i coulda swore that slapping in a downward motion at a player going to the basket would at least appear to be a foul 7 times out of ten. But for some reason every time Gil drove to the basket he was "Stripped Clean" by a philly defender. I mean seriously, Gil shoulda had at least 8 more FT attempts if he gets the game called for him like it's called against us. I there a Stern conspiracy in play? Did ol David The Omnipotent tell the refs that Gil gets nothing because of the embarrassment he caused the league last year? I know that's far fetched and rooted in more humor than fact, but seriously, it's getting to conspiracy theory territory as far as these no-calls go.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I really like the scrappiness this team is showing.

I love how it seems that McGee has listened to the coaches. He's now rebounding the way a guy with his size and athleticism should be. And he's making better shot blocking decisions. Less highlights, more dirty work.

As for Kirk, I love having him on the floor. Gil can have nights when he's hot and cold, John wall is a rookie and has the same. Kirk. Is always there to relieve the pressure so that neither have to keep pushing through a slump. They can let Kirk take things for a little bit to clear their heads and get back on it. And Kirk isn't outstanding, but he's level headed and consistent

Posted by: crs-one | November 24, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10,

The fact is, Wall is the new "star" of this team, so he gets the "star" treatment from the refs (i.e., the 3 point fouls at the end of regulation), while Gil can no longer get it.

Talking about "star" treatment, I was watching Orlando game the other day, and I am sure several of Howard's blocks would have been called as goaltend had it been McGee's.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse


The Wizards haven't won two in a row all season so the Atlanta Hawks can't be blamed for counting their chickens before they hatch. That said, tomorrow's game will come down to the wire like most Wiz games do. Blatche has to play better interior defense and the Wizards, in general, have to learn how to get defensive stops late in the game, an area they struggled with yesterday. The way Wall was limping last night, I wouldn't be surprised if he's a "no go" tomorrow.

Posted by: and_1 | November 24, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Aside from his game winning 3, NY played very nice D the whole game. He made AI took a difficult shot. Kudos to NY and McGhee. Hmmm, low BB IQ???

Posted by: Dave381 | November 24, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Seeing some real signs of maturity from McGee, things that can't be quantified by the box score or the highlight reel (which is, of course, what all that fanboys will crow about).

By fanboys, you must mean all the folks who have been saying since Summer League that Javale looked much improved. The people who were saying he looked improved even against the Magic, while others said he was a "low bball iq" player who would probably never get it.

Glad you're finally coming around to what's been apparent all season!

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Flip's gotta bail on the 3 guard unless one of them is NY. It really apins me to watch combo 2/3s just J kirk hinrich up. If Flip's subbing kirk in the game and he's assigned to a 6'7" cat then flip might as well put in Cartier or Gee or NY, because opposing 2s and 3s have been shooting over the top of Kirk with great success. Rip went off in the second 4th Q and OT against Det, and Iggy ( a known Marksman) had his way shooting over Kirk. Ny had a hand in the face of every player he guarded. AT has the size and physical tools to defend, but really struggles to stay healthy. I think now is as good a time as ever to move kirk back to the number 2 pg, start Gil and Wall and let Kirk be the 6.That way he can come in the game and play that crafty defense on a smaller guard.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I see the same signs from McGee. I can't pinpoint what it is exactly. Perhaps his focus - he just looks less lost than he used to on the court. He plays most of the game with purpose now. He is still not refined, but now I see signs that it could be possible in the not too distant future for him to be an elite player rather than never or in 3/4 seasons as I thought before say the last 3 weeks.

You realize last week you went on and on about how dumb he is? And how Yi is so clearly superior and will always be better (or something to that effect)? I seem to recall you also had seats that proved Javale was terrible and didnt alter opposing shots?

Now days later he could be "elite in the not too distant future"?

It's not him rphilli- it's you!

At any rate, we can all agree that if Javale continues progressing we are suddenly looking at having an elite PG and a (possibly) elite C- both under 23yrs old. That's a franchise foundation right there

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Glad you're finally coming around to what's been apparent all season!

Posted by: divi3

But even McGee fans have to admit that his play took a definite spike after the team-getting-outboarded-by-KLove incident. His effort level went through the roof. There is no question though that he is also generally playing smarter.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I there a Stern conspiracy in play? Did ol David The Omnipotent tell the refs that Gil gets nothing because of the embarrassment he caused the league last year? I know that's far fetched and rooted in more humor than fact, but seriously, it's getting to conspiracy theory territory as far as these no-calls go.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.

Definitely the refs are punishing Gilbert Arenas, notorious gunslinger. Last year, it was made clear and put in the open what we all have seen with our eyes for years. The refs pick and choose their favorites. AI had games where the refs point blank told him he wasn't going to get any calls.

I thought the refs this season were doing a much better job so far of not giving as many "air" calls in favor of the stars, but it is plain as day that Gil is getting punished. he seems to understand it and is letting it flow.

but just remember this the next time you want to complain about his 8 TOs or whatever. Those aren't on errant passes. Most of them are the result of someone hacking him in the lane and he loses the ball and there is a no call. that then shows up as a TO.

He'll take his lumps and play through it and by the end of the season he will at least get treated like a normal player and be out of time-out.

Overall, though, I see a vast improvement by the NBA refs this season over last. I turned several games off last year because the officiating was so skewed in favor of Lebron, especially but stars in general.

Posted by: Blurred | November 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what y'all are talking about. Even when healthy and playing at a high level, Gil has never gotten the kind of calls other 'stars' get.

I was a bit surprised though they didn't call a foul on Iggy when he swiped at the ball when Wall took it to the hole late. There was the swipe (though I think he missed) and plenty of body contact. Wall's been getting those calls usualy.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

And it is kind of funny that there were a few or more on here that said that McGee wasn't a center, would be better at PF. I sure some will remember that.

McGee, given the playing time is easily the player at Center that others are beginning to take note of in the League.

Of course, his detractors will now claim that he gets playing time because he is doing what the coach wants now whereas before he didn't.

It really can't be that simple.

The same goes for NY.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

As for Kirk, I love having him on the floor. Gil can have nights when he's hot and cold, John wall is a rookie and has the same. Kirk. Is always there to relieve the pressure so that neither have to keep pushing through a slump. They can let Kirk take things for a little bit to clear their heads and get back on it. And Kirk isn't outstanding, but he's level headed and consistent

Posted by: crs-one | November 24, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Get real, as much as you may like Kirk as a ball player he is a 25-30 minute reserve on any team. Take the politics out and Wall, Arenas and Young clearly give you the best chance to win if you go 3 guard. I like Hinrich but Flip needs to put the politics aside and play his best ball players.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 24, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me how a player that supposedly was all just Run and Jump could be having such impactful play even though the season is still young.

I guess Run and Jump is a fast learner, or did he know it all along. Wonder what one Mr. Lamar Odom would have to say now.

What would Lamar say now, Kalo_rama?

Can't wait till McGee posterizes/Run and Jumps Lamar's butt.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Of course, his detractors will now claim that he gets playing time because he is doing what the coach wants now whereas before he didn't.

It really can't be that simple.

The same goes for NY.

LarryInClintonMD.

Why not?

The coach wanted McGee to focus on rebounding. He's focusing on rebounding. It's paying dividends. I'm not crediting the coach with his ability to *get* rebounds, but he's doing what the coach indicated he should focus on doing, and it's working for McGee and the team.

Same with Nick. Flip wanted him to play hard and focused on both ends, and take his shots out of the context of the offense, including incorporating coming off of screens. That's what he's doing and it's paying dividends. Nick put in the work on learning to do it better, but he is doing what the coach asked him to do.

Isn't that part of good coaching? Putting players in positions and roles to be successful for themselves and the team?

Here's what Odom actually said about McGee
“He’s not here by accident or mistake. He’s one of the most athletic players I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Odom, an 11-year NBA veteran who went over some individual low post drills with McGee during practice on Friday. “He’s 7-1, got like a David Robinson build, springs off the floor real quick, goes over the rim. If he can just get his feel for the game together, he can have an impact on a team. Because the game is called basketball, not run and jump.”

What about that isn't true? Because it seems to me like right now, McGee is not only playing harder, he's playing more controlled and focused (with the occasional, acceptable, ill-advised foray on offense). Unless you're saying all McGee is doing right now is running and jumping.

He wasn't playing this way, last year or this summer. If had been playing this way in the trials, there's no question (in my mind) he would have made the US team.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What would Lamar say now, Kalo_rama?

He'd prolly say we're 13 games into the season and I'm a back to back defending NBa champ. Get your weight up youngster.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards are sitting pretty right now, all things considered.

They sport a record of 5-8, while being surrounded by the type of turmoil/upheaval that retards development of chemistry:
-Players in and out of the lineup due to injury (Thornton);
-Key players relatively healthy but not yet back to their pre-injury form (Arenas, Blatche, Wall);
-Solid contributors out injured (Howard, Yi);
-Young players trying to figure out their roles, seize a spot in Flip's rotation and blend in seamlessly (Young, Booker, Martin).

Don't get too excited, Wizards Faithful, but the team that some predicted would be potentially one of the worst ever, is winning while feeling its way around a darkened room! That being the case, I think it's fair to say that the Wizards are probably about half as good now as they are going to be in February. The Wizards are going to a problem THIS SEASON. Sound familiar?

I hope everybody has a safe and happy Thanksgiving (haters too)!! :-D

Posted by: melodious_thunk | November 24, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

It's funny...5 years ago Lamar Odom was an underachieving hoodlum from Queens who was the poster boy for what's wrong with the Association.

Now he's the MVP of Team USA, a 2-time NBA champ and the authority on McGee's development.

Only in America.

Posted by: elfreako | November 24, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards are going to [be] a problem THIS SEASON.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | November 24, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Not sure what y'all are talking about. Even when healthy and playing at a high level, Gil has never gotten the kind of calls other 'stars' get." Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 10:28 AM

He got his fair share of calls. In the couple of years before the injury he was among the tops in the league at FTA per game.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Gil & Dray

Dray has to start playing with more intensity & hustling more. I still cut him a break due to the injury because everyone is just going to be faster than you at the start but he can still hustle alot more then he does. I think he would really benefit from a Wall-Gil backcourt and us running more.

Gil has to do something about those layups. Again, for him to jump so high on defensive rebounds but be so timid at finishing has to be somewhat mental. Also, sometimes he's nearly wide open. You can be a 14yo who cant jump at all and make a wide open layup. He still is doing that stuff that he did last year in that he's trying to draw the foul 1st & make the layup 2nd. That worked in his prime but he's not athletic enough for that now. Just try to make the layup. I think he probably doesnt even practice it. Most pros dont practice that kinda stuff but he should start just running full speed from the FT line & raising up high for layups. Then get someone to slightly defend the rim while he does it. Thats the only way to simulate it. Regular layup drills or shooting jumpers isnt going to do it. He has to get that confidence back because its so deflating when he does that

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"What would Lamar say now, Kalo_rama?"

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 10:37 AM

He'd probably congratulate McGee for being able to tell the difference between constructive criticism and an insult, and bemoan the inability of dopes like you to do the same.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Dont look now, but the Wizards are currently tied for the eighth playoff spot!!!!

Posted by: bbachrac | November 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Just prepping you......... Kal is gonna come on here and ream you out and say that he never said JM didn't have room for improvement. This in fact is true. Kal has beat the drum for some time now that there is a lot of room for improvement in JM's game and that his babysteps don't mitigate his sophmoric antics. I know what you're trying to say, but Kal is gonna rip you for misusing the term "room for improvement". Get yer guns up.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 9:27 AM

You might be intimidated by Kalo_rama. I am certainly not. My post is there for him to see.

Posted by: spades72 | November 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

All this being said, however, the reality still remains that most of the teams McGee has been had big games against lately (Sixers, Pistons, Grizzlies, Raptors) stink. Not that that should count against him, because doing well when you're expected to do well is a pretty important developmental step. But, as always, a little perspective doesn't hurt.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Get real, as much as you may like Kirk as a ball player he is a 25-30 minute reserve on any team. Take the politics out and Wall, Arenas and Young clearly give you the best chance to win if you go 3 guard. I like Hinrich but Flip needs to put the politics aside and play his best ball players.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 24, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Realistically? He would be a 25-30 min reserve on most teams. But on--what is it, the second youngest team in the nba?--with the other veteran working to regain his confidence after numerous surgeries and a suspension...his veteran presence is pretty helpful.

Posted by: crs-1 | November 24, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: spades72 | November 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

easy Cochise

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

He got his fair share of calls. In the couple of years before the injury he was among the tops in the league at FTA per game.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Corey Maggette gets to the line a lot. Doesn't mean he gets the 'star' calls.

Imo, when I used to watch the pre-injury Gil, he wouldn't get the same level of calls as others might who take it to the hoops like he did. Certainly not the same level as guys like LeBron, Kobe, Wade, etc. So to me, not getting those calls now, looks pretty much the same as it did back then. I don't think it's a league or ref conspiracy, I think it's just Gil not getting the calls he hasn't traditionally gotten anyway. Perhaps he needs to throw his hands up in the air more or flop more the way other 'stars' do.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@cballer and dargregmag,

I agree with you guys about cleaning the boards up. If Javale is blocking,altering shots and pulling down 17 boards, someone else has got to attack also when he is out of position. Andray hit some important shots late that helped but much of the game not only was he off, but I felt he played very lazy. The small line up we use a lot I also don't find favorable. It's one thing to ask someone to rebound, but for it to be consistant one would have to have a rebounders mentality. When three pg's are out there you have to look in the mirror about that. Couple that in with an undersized Trevor Booker, whom I like but we can't go ultra small.

Anyway, I had that one gripe about AB was very proud of the team for staying in that game and ultimately winning it.

Posted by: gmac78 | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@ts35,

Might it be considered that the possibility of a player performing what he needs to do to please the coach might just come from expanded playing playing time and a more consistent role, or not?

This is really like a chicken and egg thing, you might think.

On the one hand a player shows promise and inconsistency in herky jerky inconsistent playing time and on the hand he still shows promise with expanded playing and a more consistent role.

So what came first, or did the player have it, or was he capable all along?

To me, expanded playing time and a more consistent role means everything.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Gil needs his swager back to finish at the rim. Maybe instead of just being Robin, he should be Kato (as in Green Hornet), the one who can really fight! :)

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I think Gill doesn't get the benefit of the doubt on his drives is really because he is always trying to draw a foul rather than score the ball.

Referees see that and they aren't going to constantly call fouls if he isn't trying to score the ball. The key is to score the ball and Flip or someone should tell him that.

If he is really trying to score the ball the fouls will come. He has to do that first and then the refs will join his bandwagon.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"What about that isn't true? Because it seems to me like right now, McGee is not only playing harder, he's playing more controlled and focused (with the occasional, acceptable, ill-advised foray on offense)."

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 10:55 AM

This is exactly the kind of sign I was talking about.

There was a play late in the Detroit game (overtime, I believe) where McGee gets the ball on the high-post, right side with a defender on his back. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, his near immediate response would have been to try and post up or spin to the basket for a dribble drive, neither of which he has any business doing. This time, he just stood there with the ball, waiting for a guard to come get it. Oddly, none did (at least not hard enough to shake their defenders and get open to receive it). With the clock running down and no help forthcoming, McGee eventually decided he had to do something. He put the ball on the floor, spun towards the basket . . . and immediately bounced the ball off his foot and turned it over. Something we've seen a hundred times before, but this one was different. There was something in the way he hesitated, and his demeanor when he finally did make a move, that said he knew it was a bad idea and didn't want to do it. But because his teammates hung him out to dry, he had no choice.

Then, in the Philly game, he caught the ball in almost the exact same spot on the floor, same situation. Based on past results, it wouldn't have surprised me if he made a move immediately, figuring that since last time his teammates didn't come he shouldn't wait for them this time. But he didn't. He stood there, patiently waiting for one of the guards to do their jobs. Which they did.

Those two plays, taken together, were infinitely more impressive and telling to me than any of the blocked shots or dunks. And anyone who claims that he was showing that kind of improved judgment all season (let alone in the summer) is fooling themselves.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Corey Maggette gets to the line a lot. Doesn't mean he gets the 'star' calls.

Imo, when I used to watch the pre-injury Gil, he wouldn't get the same level of calls as others might who take it to the hoops like he did. Certainly not the same level as guys like LeBron, Kobe, Wade, etc. So to me, not getting those calls now, looks pretty much the same as it did back then. I don't think it's a league or ref conspiracy, I think it's just Gil not getting the calls he hasn't traditionally gotten anyway. Perhaps he needs to throw his hands up in the air more or flop more the way other 'stars' do."

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM

Stars tend to get more calls than non-stars, largely because they tend to get benefit of the doubt on plays where the amount contact could be deemed negligible. And pre-injury, Arenas did get calls like that. Did he get as many as Lebron or Kobe? Probably not. But he certain was more likely to get them than Corey Maggette.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I see a very noticeable difference in the way the game's being called with gil and while a conspiracy theory may be far fetched,you have to take notice of the way it's trending.In 04,05,and 06 (Gil's last 3 yrs of playing 74+ basketball games in a season) he avg'd 719 FT attempts over thos 3 seasons. After 10 games this season Gil is on a pace for 216 FT attempts. He's only shot 27 after 10 games. In 04 he avg'd 8 FT att per game, in 05 it went up to almost 10 att per game ( superstar treatment?) and remained around 10 attempts in 06. This year he's averaging 2.7 att per game. If all things remain equal, how else do you explain the disparity. All of a sudden we have a league full of Lockdown Defenders?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@Kalo, re: McGee

Yeah I noted that play too. He not only tried to give the ball up, but was ticked off that none of the guards were able to come get it from him, forcing him to do something he clearly did not want to do. It's also interesting because it was just a few games after he had been in the exact same spot, tried to make the move, had it taken from him by Conley and then chased down Conley for that incredible block.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The Arenas FT drop is pretty easy to explain really. Arenas isn't the same player now he was 4 years ago.He's not as quick or explosive off the dribble, which makes it hard for him to get into the seams and force contact the way he used to. He's also no longer a star, so he's less likely to have benefit of the doubt break his way on 50/50 calls.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I disagree Larry. It looks like me that Gil is trying to avoid body contact in the lane compared to how he would jump towards the body contact in his layup attempts. The fouls that are not being called are not body fouls, but rather reaching/stripping/hacking with the hands fouls.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@lil

1) He shoots more jumpers now.

2) He's playing fewer minutes

3) He shoots more jumpers now.

4) He's not as explosive going to the rim (his words, not mine)

5) He shoots more jumpers now.

Oh, and he shoots more jumpers now.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I should say, he has been shooting more jumpers so far this season. The past couple of games, he has shown more confidence in taking the ball to the rack.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

gil just needs his swagger back. even tho this is walls team, gil is our star. he needs to stop trying to be robin when we need him to step up. hel come back eventually, hes thinking to much. and is not confident driving. give it time

Posted by: skinsfan09 | November 24, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: melodious_thunk | November 24, 2010 11:15 AM

'Wizards' and 'injuries' go hand in hand, thunk. Just a fact of life. This is pretty much the team we'll see all season and I'm still sticking with my prediction of 30-35 wins and no playoffs.

Posted by: artiesliver | November 24, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

He'd probably congratulate McGee for being able to tell the difference between constructive criticism and an insult, and bemoan the inability of dopes like you to do the same.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 11:39 AM

I'm glad that Lamar's comments were posted above. It does appear that on the one hand he is giving McGee good praise as a young player, but that last statement throws water on everything he said beforehand.

Too me it is a bit more than constructive criticism, it is a total slap in the face and disrepect to the basketball talents that he was supposedly giving McGee praise for in the first.

He flat out says that the game is called basketball and not Run and Jump. So what about those things wasn't basketball that he was praising McGee for in the first place.

I cannot see anything construtive about that last statement and I hope McGee dosen't as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

constructive...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

ts35

Gil does not shoot more jumpers now. What are you watching. What you need to realize is Gil is not taking as many shots now. He is passing more. In fact, Gil appears slightly invisible out there sometimes.

Now, what probably is happening is he is driving to the basket less. His volume of jumpers seem comparable to years past.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 24, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse


I've watched just about every game this year and have come to the conclusion that this team is going nowhere with Blatche at power forward.

He is lazy and puts forth no effort on defense, especially when his shot isn't falling. Time after time, he just watches McGee go for blocks and stands there like a statue without attempting to rotate to McGee's man rolling toward the front of the rim. He rarely goes on the floor for loose balls and does little that falls under the category of "hustle plays".

Before the Blatche apologists blow a gasket, let me say that I understand that Blatche broke his foot last June and was mentored by one of the worst "power" forwards in the game, Antawn Jamison. Jamison played no defense, took horrible shots from deep range and preferred to stay out of the paint on offense even though he had a nice array of post moves. It is clear that he taught Blatche well.

Grunfeld has done some good with the young guys he brought in but signing Blatche to a long-term deal might be the one thing that ultimately gets him fired.

Posted by: gtown85 | November 24, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I think it's just Gil not getting the calls he hasn't traditionally gotten anyway. Perhaps he needs to throw his hands up in the air more or flop more the way other 'stars' do.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

maybe he needs to act it up more and I think he would if he had not been clearly told "act up and we'll T you up"

Watch his drives. Is he as good as he was 3/4 yars ago? No

Is he getting the calls he used to? No.

Then look at his face as he goes back to play D after getting and elbow in the neck on the drive. He looks chastised. he clearly is not getting the calls he used to and he knows why, so he says nothing.

It will pass and he knows it.

Posted by: Blurred | November 24, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@ts35,

Might it be considered that the possibility of a player performing what he needs to do to please the coach might just come from expanded playing playing time and a more consistent role, or not?

There is probably a bit of a chicken or egg thing in here, but since McGee and Young both tended to get the quick hook if they weren't playing the way the coach liked, I'm going to say it's a bit more chicken than egg.

I think it's more true with Nick certainly. With McGee, I think the not wanting to get yelled at about rebounding was partly a factor. Imo, he decided to just go after every rebound, in much the same way that Gil decided not to shoot one game because EJ said he wasn't passing enough. Then I think that attitude was bolstered by the success and immediate positive feedback that he started receiving. This is just my take on it, but to me it looks like he sort of suddenly realized that he could potentially go after every rebound and have a shot at it.

Last year and even this summer, he would rebound well, but I don't remember any stretch where he would so aggressively seek rebounds. There's a rebounding principle called "rebounding your area". I think it has clicked for JaVale that given his beight, agility, leaping ability and wingspan, pretty much everywhere near the hoop is within his 'area'.

Posted by: ts35 | November 24, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

But even McGee fans have to admit that his play took a definite spike after the team-getting-outboarded-by-KLove incident. His effort level went through the roof. There is no question though that he is also generally playing smarter.

His play mysteriously went through the roof when Flip no longer had the option of subbing him for Yi.

For sure he has been getting better and better as the season has gone on, I was just ribbing the naysayers because some people have seen the improvements for some time now. Even in the Orlando game people were ripping him for not covering KH when Nelson blew by him, but Javale was focused on keeping his body on DHoward. That alone was a clear difference from last season and an obvious sign he was focused on boxing out and looking for boards. His Reb rate (especially offensive) has been pretty good all season- he just wasnt playing much.

Not saying flip shouldnt have sat him for miscues, but when he didnt have the option, suddenly Mcgee's rebounding number skyrocket. He just needed to be on the floor.

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

re: Nick

His recent play isnt a revelation to folks who have said all he needed now was minutes because he'd been putting in the defensive effort since the latter part of last season. By March, he was playing just like he is now...lo and behold, the team went 5-4 with him playing 30mins or more.

IMO, many people didnt realize how well he's been playing defense for some time now. Folks thought the idea he was as good a defender as KH was absurd, how ya like him now? ;-)

What Flip is staring in the face right now is the fact the 3guard lineup does work- but only with Nick as the 3rd guard. I'm betting pretty soon Nick is going to be allotted a few of KHs mins and a chunk of ATs

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm betting pretty soon Nick is going to be allotted a few of KHs mins and a chunk of ATs

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Kirk should be worried about a few mins. Al on the other hand might wanna call his agent.
Cowboy Al's inability to stay healthy has the potential to move NY ahead of him, and force him to share mins with Gee. I think Al is a much streakier of a player than the current incarnation of NY. He's only show that he can consistently miss games with ticky tack injuries. NY has played in 244 of a possible 259 games (knock on wood).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And anyone who claims that he was showing that kind of improved judgment all season (let alone in the summer) is fooling themselves.

Up until the Detroit game, he was averaging less than 7FGA per game and shooting 60%FG. In April alone last season he was taking 10FGAs/night and shooting close to 50%

So in fact, the improved judgment and increased calmness (if you will) has been evident all year- you just hadn't noticed.

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

my God, i just did a H-2-H with Al and NY on NBa.com. Al is nice but NY is your bargain buy. He gives you the same pts as Al, 4 less boards, but everything else is about equal minus the shooting percentages(a given).Oh, did i mention he does it in 10 lees mins per game.I think that's the best thing about it. He's being very efficient offensively. Not a lot of shots, not a lot of mins just some good hoopin. Given NY's focus and hot hand of late I'd definitely scale back Al's mins for NY

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

It really apins me to watch combo 2/3s just J kirk hinrich up. If Flip's subbing kirk in the game and he's assigned to a 6'7" cat then flip might as well put in Cartier or Gee or NY, because opposing 2s and 3s have been shooting over the top of Kirk with great success. Rip went off in the second 4th Q and OT against Det, and Iggy ( a known Marksman) had his way shooting over Kirk. Ny had a hand in the face of every player he guarded.

Either Kirk or Gil has to go to the bench. Flip managed to start them both last night with Wall coming off injury, but now he's going to have to decide on a realistic rotation.

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

One of the thing's that i thought made a big difference in the outcome of last night's game was the lack of playing time for Lou William's(thank goodness!!)he usually kill's us they started Jrue Holliday(UCLA)in his spot don't know if he's in Collin's doghouse or what but i ain't mad that he had limited minutes.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Man what would this team be like with a real coach not trying to lose games. Just think where McGee and Young would be in their growth cycle. The confidence they would have instead of fear everytime they make a mistake of being pulled. Luckily Flip decided to put McGee backin the game in the 4th when they went down. I would keep Wall coming off the bench with Young at the 3. The court is more open and when Wall come in he can hit the opposing team with his speed.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | November 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"Up until the Detroit game, he was averaging less than 7FGA per game and shooting 60%FG. In April alone last season he was taking 10FGAs/night and shooting close to 50%

So in fact, the improved judgment and increased calmness (if you will) has been evident all year- you just hadn't noticed."

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 2:32 PM

The only thing that's evident is your ignorance in believing that quoting stats somehow counts as an empirical quantification of improved judgment and decision making. Which is, of course, ridiculous.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that's evident is your ignorance in believing that quoting stats somehow counts as an empirical quantification of improved judgment and decision making. Which is, of course, ridiculous.

The stats just happen to back up exactly what I have been saying all along. Imagine that, what a coincidence.

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@Larry

What would Lamar say now, Kalo_rama?"
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2010 10:37 AM

He'd probably congratulate McGee for being able to tell the difference between constructive criticism and an insult, and bemoan the inability of dopes like you to do the same.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2010 11:39 AM |

Why do you continue to allow this dude to constantly belittle you with comments like these? These are not even basketball disagreements but rather personal slights.

Posted by: spades72 | November 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Well I've got to say that was a great game!

I am pleasantly surprised by the way McGee has been playing, and Nick Young also! McGee is playing determined to get rebounds and I hope he sees how much it is improving his productivity and his impact on the game. I hope he sees it is leading to more scoring opps for him and more time on the court. He is developing into a defensive and rebounding force! He has the ability to dominate games the way he is playing, and hopefully he's just scratching the surface. If his athleticism and energy and effort can keep him on the floor his skill and game will have a chance to improve. It's funny how he keeps chalking up his improved play to just not wanting to get "yelled at" anymore.

The same with Nick Young. He is shooting very well, but also playing with energy and playing good D! Again hopefully he is seeing it's improving his overall productivity and effect on the game, and keeping him on the floor.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 24, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW McGee you should be playing this way because you can, and because "YOU WANT TO" not because you dont want to get yelled at. Take pride in yourself and your game and your team son. That's what it's about!

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Also I love the pickup of Alonzo Gee! And I'm glad Hudson was the one to go instead of Martin or N'Diaye.

Suddenly SF is looking like a strength instead of a weakness. With Howard's return getting closer, the good play of Thornton and Booker, the emergence of Nick Young, and the depth of Gee and Martin. Alot of people voiced concern of Gee's pt opps, but with injuries I'm sure he'll get a shot, possibly sooner than later with Howard still out especially. Plus with Flip calling the shots would anyone really be surprised to see Gee in the starting lineup??

But I like what he brought to the table last season, and I was glad to see us pick him up.

Overall I like what I'm seeing... this team is starting to come together, the young guys are showing the signs of improving. Nick Young, McGee, Armstrong, Yi, Booker, Martin, and of course Wall, have all shown improving games. I like what Booker and Armstrong bring to the table and they are finding their roles and proving to be solid additions. Arenas has been coming along and is gradually stepping up his game and rounding into form. Both he and Hinrich have shown the ability to adapt and "fit in", which shouldn't be under appreciated. Blatche is also still rounding into form, but has really played consistantly through the season which has always been his biggest knock.

The next step is to start working Seraphin into the mix when possible, and N'diaye. And the hopefully adding Howard to the mix!

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Why can't we have friendly discourse without insulting one another? i mean really all we're doing is talking NBA, the pro's and con's of each player and the coaching staff's strategy or lack thereof no need to get personal and belittle each other life is tough enough these day's without attacking someone because of their opinion on a player,team or anything else concerning the game of basketball.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I liked the way the team looked when we had Wall, Arenas, Young, Blatche and McGee. That unit is very good offensively and can get up and down the court. Looked like the old Eddie Jordan Wizards. I think I'm liking that group to start at this point, get the offense clicking, move the ball, and work in guys like Hinrich, Booker and Armstrong off the bench to stabilize the D throughout the game.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 24, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't want to get yelled at anymore," McGee said. "I'm not really worried about getting points, I'm just trying to get rebounds."

Yeah, baby, just rebound! The points will be there if you rebound.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 24, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, baby, just rebound! The points will be there if you rebound.Posted by: PostSubscriber"

Particularly if your boarding is on the offensive end. For the season, 47% of McGee's boards come on the offensive end, but in the last 3 games, he's actually getting more offensive than defensive rebounds, which is pretty unusual for a big man. Kevin Love, for instance, averages 2 defensive boards for every one on the offensive end. Kevin Garnett is averaging 9.4 boards this season, of which 8.4 are on defense. Tim Duncan is favoring the defensive side, 7 to 2. Blatche gets 65% of his boards on defense.

I think that's a big part of Javale's recent scoring, and probably why the normally placid Elton Brand felt compelled to shove him. McGee is really effective on the offensive boards. On defense, I think he still gets shoved around a bit. Wonder if teams will adjust their positioning to block Javale off the offensive boards. Of course that would open things up for others.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 24, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"There's a rebounding principle called "rebounding your area". I think it has clicked for JaVale that given his beight, agility, leaping ability and wingspan, pretty much everywhere near the hoop is within his 'area'.Posted by: ts35"

Why do you think he's so much better at offensive than defensive rebounding?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 24, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Looking forward to a great game tonight. We have been either straight garbage or terribly boring seemingly in every single National TV game weve gotten the last few years. Its time for a change. Hopefully Wall's leg is ok and we can finally see the Wall-Gil backcourt make a start together. Maybe even Yi can make a return off the bench. Im torn on the NY thing. I think Id still rather have Al start this game if he can go because I think we will have enough scoring in the starting group without NY and then we can come off the bench with him, Kirk, and maybe Yi. That would be great.

Atlanta is a tricky team. Weve always matched up pretty well with them but this game will be different. They have a big SG in JJ and a big SF in Williams. Gil will be matched up against JJ and if we go small then Kirk will matchup against Williams. Williams has sucked this year but it would be dumb to start Kirk. It has to be either Al, NY, Gee, or Booker. Either way I expect to see alot of Zone this game. The Gil-JJ matchup will be special. Both have there advantages. I wouldve taken Gil in his prime easily because he would blow past a 6'8 guy like it was nothing & finish at the rim. He still can dribble past you when he wants even though he lost a step but the problem is he cant finish. Maybe he can do some drive & dish or kicks.

This is our chance to make a statement. We have a National TV game, our 1st game with the Gil-Wall backcourt, we have 3 games around with the top 3 in our division and 3 of the top teams in the East, and we can shut Barkley up for clowning us. I think we will show up. I think we will run, look very exciting, and come away with the victory

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 25, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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