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Wizards get banged up, but Gilbert Arenas, bench steps up in loss to Chicago

By Michael Lee

Please don't let this be as bad as it looks. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)


After his first game against Derrick Rose, John Wall left the United Center wearing a protective walking boot on his left foot. He strained the arch on his foot during an awkward landing after defending Rose on a jumper in the third period.

While Rose and his former Chicago Bulls teammate Kirk Hinrich joked with each other in front of the Wizards' locker room after the game, Wall was in the back getting treatment and having his foot taped up. Rose eventually got tired of waiting and left the arena around the time Wall slipped his left shoe into his backpack.

Wall hopes that his foot will feel better once he gets some rest, but he didn't want to leave the game on Saturday. "As much as I put pressure on it, it just got worse and worse," Wall said after scoring 16 points with six assists. "I just took myself out. It's swollen a little bit."

It was a difficult night for the Wizards, who lost to the Chicago Bulls 103-96, after an ill-fated rally inspired by the suddenly accurate Gilbert Arenas. In addition to Wall getting hurt, the Wizards also lost Yi Jianlian and Andray Blatche to knee injuries. Yi was taken out in the third period, when Wall took a charge on Luol Deng and fell directly on Yi's right knee.

Yi didn't move for several minutes, laying on the ground and simply holding his knee until he was assisted off the court by Kevin Seraphin and Hamady Ndiaye. After the game, Yi was able to smile with relief after the injury proved to be less serious than it initially felt. "It hurt right away, took a few minutes, cool down a little bit, felt a little bit better," said Yi, who had a bone bruise and a hyperextended right knee. "Ligament, MCL is fine."

As Yi spoke with Chinese reporters, Blatche pulled a protective sleeve over his left knee, which he said has been causing him discomfort all week. Blatche had his worst game of the season, missing eight of 10 shots, and scoring just four points with seven rebounds in little over 27 minutes. His knee started to swell up and he was unable to do much in a 4½-minute stint in the fourth quarter, when he didn't score or grab a rebound.

"I just tried to be a warrior. I tried to fight through it," Blatche said. "Tonight was the last night, it just gave out on me. All the pain came, in every different way. Soon as I got here, I knew it was going to be a problem."

The only reason the Wizards were able to stay in the game was primarily because of Arenas, who played with a carefree spirit and joy that had seemed absent through his first four games. Wall left with the Wizards trailing 67-50 in the third period and Arenas started to heat up.

"He was shooting shots when we were in his face … falling down, shooting from half court … he was just hitting everything," Rose said about Arenas.

Arenas scored a season-high 30 points, but he had 21 points and connected on 7 for 10 field goals -- including 6 of 7 three-pointers -- the final 17 minutes. It was a throwback performance, in which he brought the ball up, initiated the offense fired away. Arenas said that his confidence had been building each game since he came back from a right ankle injury -- even as he missed 12 of his 14 shots the night before. "Every game counts, every shot counts," Arenas said.

"He's kind of going through training camp right now. He shot the ball the well, did some positive things," Coach Flip Saunders said.

Arenas was feeling so good, that after a three-pointer in the fourth quarter, he waved his hand across his face, bringing back the infamous "I-Can't-Feel-My-Face" gesture that his former backcourt mate DeShawn Stevenson used as punctuation for his big shots. "I had to bring back the DeShawn," Arenas said with a smile.

He credited his breakout partly to a Chicago crowd which heckled him much harder than he was in New York. Arenas said it was probably because of his history in this town, where he trains in the offseason with Tim Grover and will always be remembered for his jumper in Game 5 of the Wizards' first-round series against the Bulls in 2005.

"This is one of them cities that does boo," Arenas said with a smile. "Coming out and giving me the boo, kind of got me going."

The other two standouts on Saturday were Hilton Armstrong and Trevor Booker, who led the spirited effort on defense that allowed the Wizards to trim an 18-point deficit down to five. Armstrong had season highs with eight points and 10 rebounds, while Booker played solid defense on Deng. "He gave us energy, defense," Saunders said of Booker.

"Yi went down, so you got to be ready at all times," said Booker, who hadn't played since a two-minute stint in New York. "A lot of players, that's how they get noticed. A player goes down, you've got to be ready to play. I knew my time would come sooner or later. I just tried to stay focused, stay positive."

Armstrong said his performance was sparked by a conversation that he had with his fiancée, who reminded him that he used to play with more emotion when he was in college at Connecticut. Armstrong showed some that fire in the second quarter, when he got fouled and howled after converting a rebound putback of a Wall miss.

"I need to start play with more of my feelings. I'm trying to get back to that," Armstrong said. "When guys fall, everybody is always ready to play. The guys that's on the bench, we don't get to play too much, but in practice, everybody plays hard, plays with a lot of energy. Book came off the bench to day. That's what he does. In practice, he's just a workhorse. He plays at hard as he can. That's what we need. Everybody to play like that. Including myself."

The Wizards' bench outscored the starters 56-40 on Saturday and Saunders said he was pleased with how the team was able to respond to a difficult situation, playing on back-to-back nights. And, in the process of sitting JaVale McGee during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter for the second game in a row. "Our guys off the bench played off the stretch and you need those guys to help you. They deserved to play, the way they played," he said. "There's going to be competition for playing time. Our guys have to understand that there is not entitlement. You have to produce. That's what some of those guys did tonight. They put themselves in position to earn more playing time."

By Michael Lee  | November 14, 2010; 2:27 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, Hilton Armstrong, John Wall, Trevor Booker  
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Next: Gilbert Arenas: "I was on fire a little bit"

Comments

Agent Zero-9 rounding into (tradable) form, Booker and Armstrong making significant contributions. The team is starting to grow and realize it's potential. Let's trade JaVale and Gilbert for Carmelo and get our transformation underway! Thunder and Lightning... The New Bullets in 2011!

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshot | November 14, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

we suck and only border on being fun to watch

Posted by: bford1kb | November 14, 2010 5:21 AM | Report abuse

I need songaila back so I can compare his rebounding stats to a blind man with no legs' numbers on the boards... I wish i were 6'8

Posted by: bford1kb | November 14, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

Was this Armstrong's best game yet as a Wizard? 10 rebounds in 18 minutes.

It's time for Seraphin to get some minutes, assuming Blatche is going to sit out a game to heal up.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 14, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders talked about there will be competition for playing time but yet Hinrich is playing a bunch of minutes and is not being effective on either end of the floor. We hear about how these guys play hard in practice but never get to go in the game. I read a few days ago how Seraphin was scoring at will on McGee in a 1 and 1 pick up game but has yet to be in any game.

Posted by: spades72 | November 14, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Interesting perspective on the game last night. Watched the second half thought the non-sycophantic eyes and mouths of the CHICAGO announcers.

Missed the first half. Heard a lot of redundant statements about letting the BULLS off the hook in the first half by jacking up quick shots.

i watched in the third period as McGEE, YI, and BLATCHE let DERRICK ROSE drive the lane time and again. To the point where with YI out, first ARMSTONG, then BOOKER were inserted into the line-up. When McGEE and BLATCHE were gone, defense improved and YOUNG, ARENAS, and HINRICH were let loose to try and bring the WIZ back into the game. They did. With the CHICAGO-five not scoring at will on the defensive end, AND the WIZARDS lighting it up on offense from long distance, the visitors slowly krept back into the game. Of course, D.C. turnovers abounded which ultimately won the game for the BULLS, but it was interesting to see and hear.....from another perspective.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 14, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse


As much I love Gil, if Ernie could pull that trade off (Melo for Gil) it would be a great look BUT I don't think it's even possible the Wiz in the running for Melo who wants to be in NY. Plus as much as they want this to be J Wall's team, it would 100% Melo's team. I'm happy with Gil here for now as nobody's gonna touch that contract!

Posted by: zack5 | November 14, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Even with the rotation of players that Flip is using, it seems to me that he can't find the right line up. It's just bad substitution pattern time and time agian. It makes me wonder if Flip actually knows how to use his players. Cartier Martin and Booker are guys who gives great effort, find a way to get them into the game. Give some of Hinrich minutes to somebody else.

Posted by: spades72 | November 14, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders talked about there will be competition for playing time but yet Hinrich is playing a bunch of minutes and is not being effective on either end of the floor.

Last night, the guy was absolutely transformed. He played like he used to in CHICAGO. Obviously didn't want to embarress himself in front of the home-folks. He should back up to the pay window with the way he's been playing....at least he's good for two games a year.

WALL was outplayed and whipped by DERRICK ROSE, but he'll learn.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 14, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Not going to win many NBA games shooting only 8 free throws...

With Wall AND Arenas on the same team they should EACH get more FT attempts then that. I see two things going on, the rookie led Wizards are getting the typical NBA welcome from the league officals. From friday night the no call on Wall's drive to the hoop on Gerald Wallace was inexcusable.

But this team is settling for way too many jumpers, got to get to the rack more and force the officals to blow the whistle when they're on offense. Wall's going to have to accept that he's going to get some charges going in there , it's just part of the being accepted in this league. A foul should be a foul, but not when you're in the first half of your rookie year.

Gil's still in the process of getting his legs back, on his penetrations he's dishing most of the time. He's still got to get some bounce back before he starts taking it to the rack like before the injuries, but he needs to do it. Gil's the Wizard that can get the whistles blowing.

Booker did a nice job in his first extended burn of the season. He's got the potential to play small forward with a loose cannon style that resembles Wallace from Charlotte. Thorton has played very well at SF so far, so it's been hard for Booker to get time there, but I believe that's where he eventually gets the bulk of his minutes.

With Blatche and Yi hobbled and McGee's rebounding effort fluctating game to game, we might soon actually see Seraphin in a game. Doubt he'll be a savior, but hope he'll give the lunch bucket kind of rebounding effort this team needs up front.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 14, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Not going to win many NBA games shooting only 8 free throws...

With Wall AND Arenas on the same team they should EACH get more FT attempts then that. I see two things going on, the rookie led Wizards are getting the typical NBA welcome from the league officals. From friday night the no call on Wall's drive to the hoop on Gerald Wallace was inexcusable.

But this team is settling for way too many jumpers, got to get to the rack more and force the officals to blow the whistle when they're on offense. Wall's going to have to accept that he's going to get some charges going in there , it's just part of the being accepted in this league. A foul should be a foul, but not when you're in the first half of your rookie year.

Gil's still in the process of getting his legs back, on his penetrations he's dishing most of the time. He's still got to get some bounce back before he starts taking it to the rack like before the injuries, but he needs to do it. Gil's the Wizard that can get the whistles blowing.

Booker did a nice job in his first extended burn of the season. He's got the potential to play small forward with a loose cannon style that resembles Wallace from Charlotte. Thorton has played very well at SF so far, so it's been hard for Booker to get time there, but I believe that's where he eventually gets the bulk of his minutes.

With Blatche and Yi hobbled and McGee's rebounding effort fluctating game to game, we might soon actually see Seraphin in a game. Doubt he'll be a savior, but hope he'll give the lunch bucket kind of rebounding effort this team needs up front.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 14, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Not going to win many NBA games shooting only 8 free throws...

With Wall AND Arenas on the same team they should EACH get more FT attempts then that. I see two things going on, the rookie led Wizards are getting the typical NBA welcome from the league officals. From friday night the no call on Wall's drive to the hoop on Gerald Wallace was inexcusable.

But this team is settling for way too many jumpers, got to get to the rack more and force the officals to blow the whistle when they're on offense. Wall's going to have to accept that he's going to get some charges going in there , it's just part of the being accepted in this league. A foul should be a foul, but not when you're in the first half of your rookie year.

Gil's still in the process of getting his legs back, on his penetrations he's dishing most of the time. He's still got to get some bounce back before he starts taking it to the rack like before the injuries, but he needs to do it. Gil's the Wizard that can get the whistles blowing.

Booker did a nice job in his first extended burn of the season. He's got the potential to play small forward with a loose cannon style that resembles Wallace from Charlotte. Thorton has played very well at SF so far, so it's been hard for Booker to get time there, but I believe that's where he eventually gets the bulk of his minutes.

With Blatche and Yi hobbled and McGee's rebounding effort fluctating game to game, we might soon actually see Seraphin in a game. Doubt he'll be a savior, but hope he'll give the lunch bucket kind of rebounding effort this team needs up front.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 14, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Too many jump shots, no post game, not from bigs, nor from guards' penetration. There is not enough movement as well, every one sort of stand around, looks like they do not run plays.

On defense, their zone allow opponent to shoot open 3's. When the 3s started falling, then the zone become porous, as players started to scramble, and left open path to the basket. They don't have bigs to hold down the prime real estate in the paint either. They have shot blockers, but all would willingly give up real estate just trying to get a block.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Let's trade JaVale and Gilbert for Carmelo and get our transformation underway!"posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshot

LOL Ernie would do that one in half a heartbeat... imagine getting Anthony and rid of Gil's contract at the same time.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Is Seraphin that bad in practice that cannot earn a single minute in games? People compares him to Nene, Nene was averaging 28 minutes a game in his rookie season!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 14, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

To all the idiots here calling for a Gun Boy for Carmelo deal. Do you think these other organizations are as stupid as your Bullets? Seriously? You think they got good by making these kind of deals? Let's look at it. Carmelo is in the final year of his deal and you think the Nugget would take back a loser like 0 with a love of guns and a knee that will never be 100% again and owed $80 Million over the next 4 years? Are you serious or just stupid? Nugget would rather Carmelo walk than do that fools. You should have to take a test to post on here instead of posting nonsense just because you are a fan of the most insignificant NBA franchise over the last 30 years. Yeah, and that's not nonsense, that's true Bullet/Wizard/Mystic Fan or whatever the he!! the nickname is today.

Posted by: jwing14 | November 14, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

It's just an opinion, but I suspect Gil will be with the Wiz for a good long time yet. Hope at some point he learns to play alongside Wall.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

To all the idiots here calling for a Gun Boy for Carmelo deal. Do you think these other organizations are as stupid as your Bullets? Seriously? You think they got good by making these kind of deals? Let's look at it. Carmelo is in the final year of his deal and you think the Nugget would take back a loser like 0 with a love of guns and a knee that will never be 100% again and owed $80 Million over the next 4 years? Are you serious or just stupid? Nugget would rather Carmelo walk than do that fools. You should have to take a test to post on here instead of posting nonsense just because you are a fan of the most insignificant NBA franchise over the last 30 years. Yeah, and that's not nonsense, that's true Bullet/Wizard/Mystic Fan or whatever the he!! the nickname is today.

Posted by: jwing14 | November 14, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about a test to post here but clearly you need a psychiatric exam. This is by far the most deranged post I have read on this blog.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about a test to post here but clearly you need a psychiatric exam. This is by far the most deranged post I have read on this blog.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 14, 2010 10:42 AM

Well, thank you very little.

Posted by: jwing14 | November 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Too many jump shots, no post game, not from bigs, nor from guards' penetration. There is not enough movement as well, every one sort of stand around, looks like they do not run plays.

On defense, their zone allow opponent to shoot open 3's. When the 3s started falling, then the zone become porous, as players started to scramble, and left open path to the basket. They don't have bigs to hold down the prime real estate in the paint either. They have shot blockers, but all would willingly give up real estate just trying to get a block.


Posted by: sagaliba | November 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Excelent analysis of what I saw as well. And FYI sagaliba, the CHICAGO announcers agree as well.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

There was a post on the last thread about how Flip Saunders coaching style is built on offense and jumshots and not so much on defense. This, based on sources in Detroit that essentially, claimed that under Flip the Pistons became a less effective defensive Team than they were before his arrival and thats why they could not win the championship under him.

If that is really true, coming from insider Detroit sources, then is it any wonder that the character on the Team here is a jump shooting soft Team that can't rebound.

If you remember, Ben Wallace was a beast before Flip arrived, because the fast paced Defensive style that they had suited his game best. When Flip arrived, though they still wanted to run, the half-court offense became more prevalent, and this did not suit Wallace that well and REMEMBER, he was the first casualty on Flip's team.

Wallace fell out of sorts under Flip Saunders and he was probably the Defensive face of the Detroit Pistons before Flip arrived.

So what about Ben Wallace's defense caused him to get less playing time and eventually leave the Team under Flip?

Seems that the Defensive play of a guy like Wallace is what we are crying for around here, but when Flip had this guy his play went down and did not flourish as it had before Flip arrived.

Might it be that this Team is a reflection of exactly what Flip Saunders is coaching it to be?

I know this will probably be shot down by Kal and Samson and they will come up with the Destroit players not really buying into Flips system and they were at fault, epecially Ben Wallace.

But, maybe when success has won you a championship already you might be resistent to the new Flip Saunders changing up something that you new worked.


Ben Wallace averaged 10.8 and 13.6 in the championship series. Under Flip, Ben Wallace's play took a nose dive.

Methinks Flip Saunders does not know defense from a whole in the ground and he ain't no offensive guru either.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Let's see your guards can't defend the 3 and they allow opposing guards to go the the hoop at will and you constantly blame the bigs. Our bigs are not the most polished group mainly do to lack of a coach they are not that bad. It's the scheme. It's the rotation and look at the team setup. Basically if we had a real coach that new how to eval talent and which players to play this team would be better. If only the post would write about what really happens in the Wiz games. Maybe they don't watch games either.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | November 14, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"I know this will probably be shot down by Kal and Samson and they will come up with the Destroit players not really buying into Flips system and they were at fault, epecially Ben Wallace. posted by larryinclintonmd"

I don't know much about what happened in Detroit -- no more than Larry, would be my guess. Unlike Larry, I won't comment.

Didn't Flip write a book on playing defense?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Another observation about this Team.

McGee is constantly villified for not rebounding and not knowing how to play the center position.

But lets look at the facts as they are. You have to look at the effectiveness of the Team as it compares as a whole to the criticism's of McGee.

The last time I checked, McGee isn't getting the most mpg at the Center position and when he isn't in the game those things that he is criticized for aren't measureably any better.

So why does Flip bench McGee for those things when other players are given pt, but they are really not fairing any better than McGee.

The entire Team fairs badly in rebounding and overall good tough defensive play. Is Flip not playing the right players, or using the right mesh of players, or does he have a Team of players that can't do these things?

How much is coaching responsible for these overall sorry defensive results?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"On defense, their zone allow opponent to shoot open 3's."

Possibly that was the idea, as Chicago isn't a real good 3 point shooting team, outside of Korver. They hit 9 of 23 last night, or 39%, which is good. Deng was 3 for 6, Bogans 3 for 7, Rose hit his usual 25%. Deng has been shooting very well lately, and seems to be a difference-maker for them.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know much about what happened in Detroit -- no more than Larry, would be my guess. Unlike Larry, I won't comment.

Didn't Flip write a book on playing defense?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 12:16 PM

I think I gave fair credit for that information and clearly everyone knows that Ben Wallace's effectiveness went in the toilet under Flip.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

McGee is pretty much a coach's nightmare, because he's usually out of position. Lot of that is related to his shot-blocking, as many have pointed out. He's so focused on that he forgets the rest of a center's defensive duties. He also seems to get winded if he's on the court too long.

Certainly everybody here wants McGee to blossom into an All-Star type player, but you have to be realistic. His role might well be first big man off the bench on a stronger club. Then he'd be expected to provide energy and big plays, and not have to worry so much about positioning and big minutes.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"...clearly everyone knows that Ben Wallace's effectiveness went in the toilet under Flip.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Clearly then I'm not part of 'everyone', because I haven't yet seen much evidence to support that. If you have it, please share.

Except for rumors and gossip, of course.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

If Flip's plan was to play AB into shape it hasn't worked. I'd like his minutes cut significantly until he loses the weight. Otherwise, he's going to have more knee problems. Booker didn't look bad at all last night, or at least no worse than the other bigs. Let's see what he can do with a few games under his belt.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 14, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Mike Lee, the title of your article in today's paper is a joke. Given that Yi is not the #1 lottery pick, at least give him some recognition by saying "Wall and Yi are injured in the game," instead, it's just "Wall is Injured in Wizards' Defeat."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 14, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Larry, Larry, Larry. You never learn, do you?

You know, this isn't the first time you've posted this. And it's just as much a pile of dung now as it was the last 5 times.

"I know this will probably be shot down by Kal and Samson and they will come up with the Destroit players not really buying into Flips system and they were at fault, epecially Ben Wallace."

I could do that. but why prove you wrong with anecdotal evidence when I can prove you wrong with cold, hard facts?

First of all, Ben Wallace played less than one fewer mpg under Saunders than he had under Brown the season before, so the whole he "get less playing time" thing is utter crap. Secondly, the suggestion that "Under Flip, Ben Wallace's play took a nose dive" is, likewise, crap. His rebounds, blocks, steals, and assists under Saunders were basically the same as the previous year under Brown. The only thing that noticeably declined was his scoring, which dropped by 2.5 points. But unless you want to argue that Ben Wallace's scoring was a vital part of the Piston's success, then you've got nothing here. (Oh, and BTW, under Sanders his FG% actually improved, so even though he scored fewer points, Flip's system put him in position to take better quality shots.) Also, comparing his stats under Saunders to his stats the year they won the title is a big flaming straw man, because they won the title 2 years before Flip took over. His numbers in the season after they won the title were almost identical to his one season under Saunders. So if there was a big decline (and there really wasn't) then blame Larry Brown, because it started on his watch.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

As for the Pistons defense taking a nosedive . . . you got it. Crap. It is true that their raw defensive numbers did decline some under Saunders. But it's also true that defensive numbers across the league took a hit, a result of new rules (i.e., hand-checking and defensive 3 seconds) meant to boost offensive production across the league and make games more exciting to watch. Rules implemented, in part, as a direct result of, you got it, the Detroit Pistons winning a title. Every team in the league was giving up more points and higher FG%, because that's what the rules were designed to promote. The Piston took a drop their first year under Saunders, but that's not a surprise, given that they had a new coach and were operating under new rules. But under Saunders, the Pistons' defensive rankings relative to the rest of the League remained strong. In fact, their defensive rankings actually improved after Wallace left, ending up in the top 5 the next two years. Meanwhile Wallace proved not only ineffectual, but a disruptive locker room presence in failed stops in Chicago and Cleveland, his skills and his attitude clearly in decline. He basically got a swelled he'd head over the Pistons' success and thought he was more important individually than he really was. He didn't realize how good he had it in Detroit.

Look, we get it. You hate Saunders and want him gone. That's your right. But if you're gonna try and argue why he should be fired, it might help if you used something at least resembling actual facts to form a case. Otherwise you might as well post that he should be fired because he doesn't like leprechauns and is mean to unicorns. Because this nonsense you keep posting about how he "ruined" the Pistons is functionally equivalent to that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"If Flip's plan was to play AB into shape it hasn't worked. I'd like his minutes cut significantly until he loses the weight. Otherwise, he's going to have more knee problems. Booker didn't look bad at all last night, or at least no worse than the other bigs. Let's see what he can do with a few games under his belt."

Posted by: djnnnou | November 14, 2010 12:38 PM

I agree that Booker should get some PT, if only to see what he's got. But I disagree on Blatche. If a guy's not in shape once the season starts, then playing is really the only way for him to get into shape (that is, basketball shape). The limited amount of down time during the season makes it tough for a player to engage in the kind of intense, consistent workouts needed to shed weight and develop basketball quality conditioning off the floor.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I guess I stepped on a live grenade on that one. The facts dosen't appear to back me up do they?

I'll take the all sound and no fury on the facts but not on the premise.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Possibly that was the idea, as Chicago isn't a real good 3 point shooting team, outside of Korver."

But Wizards played the same zone defense against New York and Cleveland as well. They allowed them to shoot over 41% and 44% 3P respectively.

"Didn't Flip write a book on playing defense?"

I think so, but how that converts to reality, no one knows. (How many NBA coaches bought his book?)

Posted by: sagaliba | November 14, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"I'll take the all sound and no fury on the facts but not on the premise."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 1:33 PM

As usual, that makes not a single iota of sense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

McGee is pretty much a coach's nightmare, because he's usually out of position. Lot of that is related to his shot-blocking, as many have pointed out. He's so focused on that he forgets the rest of a center's defensive duties. He also seems to get winded if he's on the court too long.

Certainly everybody here wants McGee to blossom into an All-Star type player, but you have to be realistic. His role might well be first big man off the bench on a stronger club. Then he'd be expected to provide energy and big plays, and not have to worry so much about positioning and big minutes.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

This whole consistently out of position mantra is not as big a problem as the dumb zone defense that leads to poor defensive rotations and and boxout positioning (which is why few teams in the league play in for long stretches) and poor on ball defense. You can't have it both ways either you want your center to defend the rim i.e. block, aletr shots and sirupt or you don't. That's why traditionally Power Forwards are rebound leaders because your center is the help defender. I believe he had 4 blocks and numerous alterations in the last 2 games during the minimal time he is out there

If we are going to analyze Javale then at least do it fairly. We are no better with Armstong or Yi at defending the rim. With the exception of last night, Armstrong has been impotent at finishing pays at the rim. Havin=g said that last night, he missed two critical attempts around the baskets off of perfect setups from Arenas.

The real problem with this team is that the coach will not call out everyone and has different standards for Wall and Hinrich who have been less than stellar defensively. You are in trouble when Gil is your best perimeter defender as he was last night.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 14, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"I'll take the all sound and no fury on the facts but not on the premise."
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 1:33 PM

As usual, that makes not a single iota of sense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 2:02 PM

It's from Shakespeare. And a welcome reminder that there's more to life than just B-ball.

Posted by: KTV1 | November 14, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"It's from Shakespeare. And a welcome reminder that there's more to life than just B-ball."

Posted by: KTV1 | November 14, 2010 2:10 PM

Gee, thanks Prof. Of course, I knew it was a Shakespeare reference. What made no sense was the context in which he used the reference and the point he was trying to make by doing so.

But hey, come back any time you want to try to prove how smart you are and fall flat on your face doing it. That's always entertaining for everyone else.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I probably have more forgiving standards. But I liked what I saw. The team player harder and with more energy. Gilbert was effective, and seemed like he still would have made good contributions even if his shots weren't falling.

And hinrich was effective too. I don't understand the anti hinrich crowd.

And of course wall was brilliant.

It was a loss I could stomach because the team was fighting and playing fairly smart.

Except for blatche. But I'm glad he hit the boards a little.

Posted by: crs-one | November 14, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"If we are going to analyze Javale then at least do it fairly. We are no better with Armstong or Yi at defending the rim."

This is an iffy argument we hear a lot. There's no good replacement on the Wiz roster for McGee at center, therefore he should play more. Actually, that's a better argument for going out and signing somebody else to play the position.

Not that we could at this point. May be that we just have to put up with it.

I'd like to see McGee spend a few games camped out inside, letting the play come to him. Just just focus on staying in position and extending fully when somebody drives, seeing if he can alter the shot without blocking it. Given his length, he might just be able to do that. And probably foul less, too.

Who knows? Might just work.


Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

KTV1, as usual for Kalo_rama. He want even take a simple acquiscence without finding some fault.

It is truly perplexing when you accept this guys argument and he still wants to find error in your approval.

But, I am big guy. He plays favorites, like a current coach we know so well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"But Wizards played the same zone defense against New York and Cleveland as well. They allowed them to shoot over 41% and 44% 3P respectively."

Looks like through games of 11/13, the Wiz are giving up 38.3 FGs per, which ties them with the Clips and Toronto. Of those, 7.5 are three pointers. My guess would be the coaches are trying to force teams into shooting from the outside simply because (as Larry Brown allegedly shouted from the bench a couple nights ago) the Wiz can't stop anybody inside anyway.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 14, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If a guy's not in shape once the season starts, then playing is really the only way for him to get into shape (that is, basketball shape).

For most guys that works because it's a carrot approach. Did you see how fat Boris Diaw got last summer? Borderline obese. Playing works for him, but Andray doesn't look like he's losing any weight. Did you see that clip of he and Yi at Tony Cheng's? Guess who ordered the ribs? I say it's high time for the stick! Maybe not going all Pat Riley on his behind, but PT with conditions. A nutritionist/personal chef wouldn't hurt, either.

Posted by: djnnnou | November 14, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

While i'd like to jump all over McGee the fact is he's had three different coach's since he's been in the league (EJ,ET,&FS) i'm sure that's contributed to his regression in term 's of his maturation process at the center position, on another note, as far as the physical shape of the Serial Skirt Chaser(AB) is concerned like every NBA team the Wizards have a conditioning coach it is up to that coach to get Andray in shape and if 'Dray is dogging it" then Flip should take proper action but this has been Blatche's m.o. since he arrived out of high school flash's of an upside and then.......................... start's a game like a house on fire and end's it like a cheap box of 4th of July sparkler's and the crazy thing? if he really dedicated himself he could be very good i'd bench him until he got into BB shape but can the team afford to bench him? i say yes send him a message and if he sulk's, tough it's time for him start acting like a professional.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Gee, thanks Prof. Of course, I knew it was a Shakespeare reference. What made no sense was the context in which he used the reference and the point he was trying to make by doing so.

But hey, come back any time you want to try to prove how smart you are and fall flat on your face doing it. That's always entertaining for everyone else.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 2:17 PM

Kalo, do not feel threatened by KTV1 being the smartest dude on the board that title will always belong to you. You will always have my vote.

Posted by: spades72 | November 14, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

For the past couple of days I have been saying that a trade of Seraphin along with a #1 pick and a player to be thrown in, for DeMarcus Cousins is what this team needs to satisfy the weakness in the low post. Cousins can make all of our bigs better. They do not have to go against the Blakes,Howards Shaqs and other brutes in the league. They can do their own thing. The Kings get rid of a headache and we get a guy who is familiar with playing with Wall. Two #1 entities and a player for a guy who is having issues. Its a win-win situation.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 14, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Kalo, do not feel threatened by KTV1 being the smartest dude on the board that title will always belong to you. You will always have my vote.

Posted by: spades72 | November 14, 2010 4:09 PM

Whoopdido!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 14, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD writes: "Ben Wallace averaged 10.8 and 13.6 in the championship series. Under Flip, Ben Wallace's play took a nose dive."

Wow, Flip must've really affected Ben, because he's been continuing to nose dive ever since. I'm sure this has nothing to do with Ben's slow decline of skills, but is probably due to the stain that was Flip's coaching...

Posted by: ndickover | November 14, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"For the past couple of days I have been saying that a trade of Seraphin along with a #1 pick and a player to be thrown in, for DeMarcus Cousins is what this team needs to satisfy the weakness in the low post. Cousins can make all of our bigs better. They do not have to go against the Blakes,Howards Shaqs and other brutes in the league. They can do their own thing. The Kings get rid of a headache and we get a guy who is familiar with playing with Wall. Two #1 entities and a player for a guy who is having issues. Its a win-win situation."

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 14, 2010 4:26 PM

And during those past couple of days have you come up with anything remotely resembling a good reason why the Kings would even consider making that deal? Because from their perspective, that whole "win-win" thing . . . not so much.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Larry, Larry, Larry.

"Acquiscence"? (Seriously, learn how to use spell check.)

You ceded that my facts destroyed your argument but then (and I'm half guessing here because your actual post, as always, defies linguistic analysis) claimed that the premise of your argument was still valid, despite the fact that the argument had been proven completely wrong. But given that the premise of your argument was "Flip Saunders is a terrible coach and the way he ruined Ben Wallace proves it" my factual deconstruction of your argument torpedoes your "premise" dead center.


In the future, if you really want to "acquisce" when someone crushes your argument, there' a simple way to do it. Here, I'll make it easy for you. All you have to do is copy and paste the following:

"I was wrong."

It's that simple. No poetry required.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 14, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama- Thanks for the question. They have fined him $5000 for arguing with the strength coach. And he and Leonard "Truck" Robinson (the big man coach) have not been getting along and insulting one another. He has criticized the head coach on his role in the offense. It is 8 games into the season and they are complaining about his attitude problem. I think 2 #1's and a player should be plenty for him. They get back a development big, just like they are giving up. Plus they get another #1 and a player, if they want one who might help them. Wall and Cousins know each other well, if Wall sees this as a good move for the team based on him knowing Cousins character, we should listen. There is reportedly 3 playoff caliber teams looking to get him. They will not deplete their roster and I don't think they will give 2 #1s and a player. If he works out he will solve our issues for the long term, again if his character is OK. Next years draft is weak, and we have been looking for a dominating big man forever. Cousins can clog the middle and is very good offensively.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 14, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Larry in Clt.Md./Kalo; Flip hardly ruined Ben,none of the Piston's liked Flip's coaching style this was one of Dumar's few misteps as GM and Larry; i don't see the King's making your suggested trade unless we could convince them that Blatche and our #1 would be a steal for them ( only if they don't look at film on Blatche!!) .

Posted by: dargregmag | November 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

spades 72, you're right about kalo_rama, for he surely is the smartest person in this room, directing the conversation in a gratingly arrogant sort of way -- maybe there's research that shows that works, I don't know.

But you're totally wrong about Hinrich. Are you even paying attention to what he's doing on the floor? He's averaging 11 points, 4.6 assists and almost 3 rebounds, nearly as much as Yi Jianlian, one of our seven-footers. He's a steadying influence on the entire team, not just Wall. He's the guy I'd want to run the offense if you've got a play to run, unless it's "clear out here comes Gilbert," which doesn't work anymore because he's lost that explosion to the basket.

The team is on a good course, and all you guys had better be ready to take some losses, because we will. But we're going to get better, and other teams are going to hate to play us next year.


Posted by: zinger1 | November 14, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

For the player I was thinking Young, Thornton, or Booker. Our team could continue in the same manner without any of the three.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 14, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Flip is having troubles with his rotation. The bigs are not sure of their assignment. Other teams light us up from the outside. They are driving right past our backcourt as well. We are shooting with too much time on the shot clock. The rebounds are coming too far out for our men under the basket to rebound effectively. Some of the problems are contradictory, there must be something wrong with positioning. Maybe there are some players who are nicked up. If Seraphin and Booker are studs for the future, why are they not getting much experience? Hinrich is solid, but I would rather have a SF on the floor for defense and penetration. We have pieces, we just need to solve the puzzle!

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 14, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Larry in Clinton Md.; The other night we talked about Rebounding and has anyone seen what K/Love is doing in Minnesota 30/31 the other night and here in the A-T-L today against the Hawks the kid get's 22/17 that is what we were talking about concerning dedication and desire, Kevin Love has dedication and desire he has worked at his craft you know his dad (Stan Love) played with Wes Unseld back in the day, you rarely see that type of effort anymore especially out of our young players you listening Andray Blatche?.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 14, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

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