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Posted at 8:25 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Ernie Grunfeld on the season so far

By Washington Post editors
Morning brew

In this morning's newspaper, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld addresses his team's lack of consistency this season.

LaVar Arrington thinks it might be too much too soon for rookie John Wall.

Wall talks about his most recent injury.

AROUND THE WEB
As the anniversary of the Verizon Center gun incident nears, Gilbert Arenas opens up to Yahoo!Sports's Marc Spears.

At Bullets Forever Rook6980 asks: What did you expect from a young, rebuilding team?

At Truth About It, John Townsend is waiting for signs of life and Kyle Weidie expresses impatience with team leadership.

ESPN980.com's Jay Glassie makes a case for change at the top.

CSNWashington.com's Frank Hanrahan says Flip Saunders has lost the team.

By Washington Post editors  | December 10, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: John Wall talks about his injury
Next: John Wall, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee will start vs. Knicks

Comments

I'm glad EG has addreesed the media about the state of the team. I have felt that amid the termoil and overall regression of the team he seldom if at all offers some of his thoughts and or intentions to turn the team around.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 10, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with all of those negative articles at the end and I agree with EG.

if for once we can get the real starting lineup of Wall-Gil-Al-Dray-McGee then we will look like a totally different team. Look at our record and look at Knicks. However, look at our roster and look at theres. Id still take ours but theyve been completely healthy since day 1 of training camp.

If we have that group tonight then we win an look alot better

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 10, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"Look at our record and look at Knicks. However, look at our roster and look at theres. Id still take ours..."

I'm afraid I wouldn't. The Knicks roster is one of those I thought before the season might be playoff quality. A definite maybe, at least.

On a D'Antoni team, the two most important players are the PG and an inside scorer at the PF position. That's where the Knicks had been weak, and that's what they went to fix in the off-season. I'm sure they would have preferred LeBron, but Amare Stoudemire knew the scheme much better than James would have, and Ray Felton had come into his own at Charlotte the season before and was a very solid option except for his outside shot. D'Antoni had already called Gallinari the best 3 point threat he'd seen. They had a good open court wing in Wilson Chandler, and D'Antoni teams don't really require more than reasonably consistent play out of the center position.

To me this was a team that could improve rapidly. I still didn't see them going beyond the first round. If they could get in at all.

The Wiz, to my way of seeing things, had holes in the roster where they needed core veterans.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I know Amare has been playing center much of the time, but it's a Mike D'Antoni version of the position.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I only preffer the Wiz roster for the aspect that I believe there is more upside. Right now, as Samson mentioned people like Amare and Felton are good players whom are seasoned. IMO, I don't think they can make much noise other than getting into the playoffs and looking decent. I am not sure but it seems as though In missing out on Lebron they have ran the salary cap back up to show the fans they are putting a contending team on the floor.

The Wiz on the other hand have a roster that is salary flexible. 2-3 year contractss with moderate salaries. Al Thornton is expires this year. I'm not sure you commit long term to him. IMO Yi would have to drastically improve in order for the team to keep him long term. So I think the team will quite different in a few years and unfortunately we are headed for the lottery again this year. Maybe we luck up again and get a top 4 pick. ( By the way, TERRANCE JONES IS A MONSTER !!) With that salary flexibilty who knows what we could do!

Posted by: gmac78 | December 10, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse


"I wish we would've had all of our players from Day One," Grunfeld said. "We're always going to look for ways to improve this team, but first we also want to see how this group comes together when we have our pieces. It seems like one guy goes down, and when somebody comes back, somebody else comes down. So we didn't have the kind of consistency and continuity that we really wanted."

Alright, haters, you heard what the man said. It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to build on something when you don't have continuity. FACT!

With patience and better luck on the injury front, we should get to see how these guys can complement each other instead of merely judging them on how they replace one another when someone goes down. I, for one, was very pleased with much of what I saw in the second half of the Lakers game. Patience, Wiz Faithful.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 10, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Flip should start the 5 most effective players available. He should then have 2 criteria for playing time -- is the player going all out all the time while on the floor? (if not he must be tired, disinterested or hurt), and is he being noticeably outplayed even if he's trying?

Posted by: trnasell | December 10, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

from the yahoo article

“In this league there is no such thing as long-term anymore,” Arenas said. “Players are getting shipped out and shipped out. I’m looking at the Kings like, when I first came [into the league], none of those players were here. The Lakers team, the only person that was there was Kobe [Bryant], and Derek Fisher(notes) came back.

“There is a young team here [in Washington] and they’re trying to build some chemistry. I guess until they find the right deal that’s going to get me out of here, you know … I’m here.”

Posted by: iward8 | December 10, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Nice fluff piece on Grunfeld, Michael Lee.

How in the world do you interview Grunfeld and not pointedly ask him about Flip Suanders' bizarre lineup changes, his command of the team and Saunders' seemingly glaring inability to get these players to play with effort and purpose?

At least we know what Grunfeld's "wishes" are, I guess.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 10, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"What planet are you coming from? The teams that EJ coached and FS has coached thus far are COMPLETELY different. Not even in the same zip code. And, FS's career record is light years better than EJ's including the playoffs. It's not even close! I want what your taking."

@rphilli:

I'm from planet earth. Of course Flip's team is totally different than the ones EJ coached. No debating that point. And Flip probably has a better career winning % than EJ (I'll take your word for it, I don't feel like looking it up). But neither of those facts refute the fact that EJ was more successful IN WASHINGTON, than Flip. Flip definitely got some bad breaks in terms of personnel, as the Wizards have gone from a veteran team to a young team. That said, Flip just doesn't seem to be getting through to these guys.

When I watch basketball, I look for two things: Effort and Organization. Skill level and ability will vary from player to player and team to team, but effort level and organization can compensate for talent deficits. The Wizards play with inconsistent effort, and lack organization on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Players control effort; coaches control organization. Something's gotta give...

Oh, and I'm all for a lively sports debate, but please refrain from personal insults when addressing me. It isn't necessary for you to insult me just to get your point across. I'll treat you with respect, and I expect the same in return.

Posted by: MEssex | December 10, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

President Ernie Grunfeld didn't know what to expect record-wise of the team that he assembled over the summer, but he was hoping that the injection of youth and enthusiasm would yield a scrappy, hard-working unit that competes every night and makes opponents earn whatever victories they get.

Most of us (other then melodious_thunk) knew what to expect record wise.

I'm hoping Santa brings me everything on my list too...

"I wish we would've had all of our players from Day One," Grunfeld said

How was that going to be possible when they knew Howard wasn't going to be ready and coming off that kind of injury with this medical staff it might be 3 years like Gil?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The teams that EJ coached and FS has coached thus far are COMPLETELY different. Not even in the same zip code.

@rphilli:

Really...didn't Flip coach Gil, Stevenson, CB, AJ and BTH and the much improved AB, McGee and Young at the begining of last year?

Yea...he lost that team like he has this one.

I for one didn't like EJ coaching style any coach who thought the Princeton offense was going to work in the NBA is as crazy as trying a 3 guard offense and zone defense.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"How in the world do you interview Grunfeld and not pointedly ask him about Flip Suanders' bizarre lineup changes, his command of the team and Saunders' seemingly glaring inability to get these players to play with effort and purpose?Posted by: ahwyatt"

LOL because those questions would reflect somebody with an extreme axe to grind?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Samson151

Let me get this right...

If a good reporter asked Ernie about one of the biggest problems with this team he has an axe to grind considering Flip was his guy?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse


LOL because those questions would reflect somebody with an extreme axe to grind?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 10:21 AM

LOL How's this:

How in the world do you interview Grunfeld and not pointedly ask him about how he feels about Flip Saunders' lineup changes, Flip's command of the team and Flip's apparent inability to get these players to consistently play with effort and purpose, given the players' admission that they often come out flat and don't always give the required effort from one game to the next?

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I've seen comments demanding the Wizards fire the Coach; or fire the GM; or fire the scouting staff. I've seen comments demanding they trade this player, or that player.... and I mean, trade comments about EVERY player (except John Wall). I see comments about "poor effort". I see comments about "poor execution". I see comments about "poor coaching", "poor rotations", "poor player development". Comments that say "if only they would play XXX player more" - Or if only "they wouldn't play XXX player so much."

The comments listed above.... the interesting comments from a popular blog about a certain basketball team? Those comments were posted in 2007 on Blazersedge the popular SB Nation Trailblazers blog; AFTER the team had already been rebuilding for two years. Blazers fans were frustrated going through the ups and downs of their rebuilding team. Go back and re-read those quotes again.... They sound familiar, don't they ?

So take solace Wizards fans. You are not alone. Others have suffered through the same feelings.

It's a long road folks. There are no quick fixes. No magic beans

Posted by: jefferu | December 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

First off, it appears that Ernie is still making excuses. He laments injuries being the main culprit for the inability to get the right guys on the floor.

Injury has been part of the reason and Flip Saunders has been the other reason. Player punishment, not starting Gill, starting Hinrich, not starting Yi or Booker, or Martin, or even Young at the three are all coaching decisions.

We keep making excuses. At some point you have to stop making excuses and dance with one eyed susan that you came to the dance with.

This is a fastbreaking running team, but Flip doesn't coach that way. He is hell bent on his system and how a player should play.

He isn't taking advantage of Wall's speed. All Wall is doing is taking the ball straight to the basket mostly by himself.

Flip is doing an absolute terrible job of coaching this group of players and when Howard returns it will be more of the same.

But, I guess Ernie and Flip will be pointing to other excuses.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 10, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

How can you call the 0-12 road record as "inconsistent?" It looks very consistent to me: we lost every one of them!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 10, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Making Wall the new leader and face of the franchise was a bad decision as well as naming he and Hinrich captains.

Wall isn't ready yet and Hinrich, I don't know what he has ever done to be named the Captain.

You had to name Gilbert the leader and captain of this team and charge him to lead. Gilbert right now is just bidding his time and fitting in until he believes the franchise will trade him.

Hear me loud and clear. That is not frame of mind you want the best player on your team to be in.

The Wizards should be charging Gilbert to lead this team and show Wall how to become The Man.

Right now, no one is showing Wall how to grow up in this League to become the best damn leader he can be.

You must charge Gilbert to do that in order for this squad of players to mesh.

Ted needs to sit Gilbert down and tell him that he has got to lead those players on and off the court.

And if Flip does not understand that he needs to be let go. Flip's coaching alone is reason enough though.

Right now Kirk Hinrich is the on the floor leader of this Team. It isn't Wall because he doesn't know how yet and it isn't Arenas because he is deferring to Wall whom is the leader only in name only.

Hinrich is the on the floor defacto leader of this team and we are wondering why this team has no identity and can't perform.

If Flip was a real coach he would understand that. This team has no leader worth following, because the real leader isn't leading the team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 10, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@MEssex

You would be spot on, in your assertion about EJ and in your comment about the insults.

Don't understand why some always feel the need to do so.

Though I felt that it was time for Jordan to be axed, it is very true that we haven't had better coaching here to date since he's been gone.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 10, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The teams that EJ coached and FS has coached thus far are COMPLETELY different. Not even in the same zip code.

@rphilli:

Really...didn't Flip coach Gil, Stevenson, CB, AJ and BTH and the much improved AB, McGee and Young at the begining of last year?

Yea...he lost that team like he has this one.

I for one didn't like EJ coaching style any coach who thought the Princeton offense was going to work in the NBA is as crazy as trying a 3 guard offense and zone defense.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 10:20 AM

Yeah, that is so. Butchaknow, I seem to remember they blamed the fact that Flip was handcuffed as well last year because AJ was hurt at the beginning of the season.

I guess everything has to be just right in order for Flip to be successful. Unlike some other coaches around the league that have players hurt but are still able to coach well organized competitive play from their teams on a regular basis.

I want a coach that is innovative and doesn't use excuses for bad performance, but inspires his team to part the Red Sea.

I want a leader for a coach. In all of Flip Saunders coaching career, has he ever been accused of being a leader???

Don't think so.

Will the real leader in this organization please stand up. Uh, uh, uh, I don't see anyone standing.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 10, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse


"I seem to remember they blamed the fact that Flip was handcuffed as well last year because AJ was hurt at the beginning of the season. I guess everything has to be just right in order for Flip to be successful. Unlike some other coaches around the league that have players hurt but are still able to coach well organized competitive play from their teams on a regular basis."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

You nailed it, Larry. We're not necessarily talking about wins and losses, but about the team being competitive. Injuries and youth are only part of this team's problems - the 600 lb gorilla in the room that few are addressing is Flip's coaching.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 10, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yawl' remember that comment I made sometime ago about getting in foxholes with people.

About Flip Saunders, I said that I would be running my arse as fast as I could in the other direction if I was to get in the same foxhole with him.

Now, I would look for a faster mode of transportation away, a helicopter even.

Ahh, Ahh Sir, is there a helicopter rounds here? I need quick transport away from here. Quickly, Sir, Very Quickly Indeed!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 10, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I for one didn't like EJ coaching style any coach who thought the Princeton offense was going to work in the NBA is as crazy as trying a 3 guard offense and zone defense.

Management can talk injuries all they want, the fact is Saunders was touting that god awful 3 guard lineup from Day 1.

Fans arent upset by losses from this young, rebuilding team...they're upset by being blown out by bad teams and looking completely inept on both ends of the floor. Any time you watch other teams around the league, you're immediately struck by how rarely it appears we run any set plays. This is a young group that a coach should be able to mold how he wants...so far it looks completely haphazard.

Where would this offense be without Nick Young's uncanny ability to hit Js with defenders in his grill?

Hopefully Saunders can establish SOMETHING over the next 20 games, so the team can at least lose with a purpose

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"How in the world do you interview Grunfeld and not pointedly ask him about how he feels about Flip Saunders' lineup changes, Flip's command of the team and Flip's apparent inability to get these players to consistently play with effort and purpose, given the players' admission that they often come out flat and don't always give the required effort from one game to the next? Posted by: ahwyatt"

Well, you're getting closer to a vague semblance of professional objectivity, at least. I'm not sure it would fool anyone.

Look, it's not Mike Lee's job to express your anger and frustration to Ernie. You can e-mail him yourself at the club's website. Mike can legitimately refer to fan frustration, but for him to take sides the way you want is unprofessional. He's not there to carry our water.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

He's not there to carry our water.

Whose water should he carry? Flip's? EGs? Asking non-confrontational questions about the lineups or effort is not a case of taking sides, it's doing his job.

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


"Look, it's not Mike Lee's job to express your anger and frustration to Ernie."

Posted by: Samson151

Of course I never asked Mike Lee to express my anger. Questions about Flip's lineup decisions, whether he thinks Flip is still effectively leading the players and why Flip and the players are still, more often than not, talking about not bringing effort are fair questions I think.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 10, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Look, it's not Mike Lee's job to express your anger and frustration to Ernie.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

A good reporter's job is to ask the tough questions about why the organization is in such bad shape.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, Ahh Sir, is there a helicopter rounds here?
Larry, long past time for your meds.

the 600 lb gorilla in the room that few are addressing is Flip's coaching.
Yeah, if Flip had a clue, he'd see if the gorilla had some post moves.

Pass the bananas, they're coming in bunches.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 10, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards' year should be similar to Portland 2006-07. That was Roy's and Aldridge's rookie years and Nate's second year coaching the team. The season had lots of 3 and 4 game losing steaks and lots of blowouts, ending in a record of 32-50. Luckily for Portland, Zach Randolph put up big numbers, big enough to get traded to NY(Isiah) that summer while still owed $61 million over the next four years.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 10, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Simple Ratings System is a stat that factors in strength of schedule and point differential with a baseline of 0. That '06 Blazers teams was -3.75. The Wiz are currently at -8.25

We'd need to improve considerably to be as competitive as that Blazers squad, and it seems that level of improvement would be a reasonable expectation from this group and their coach.

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, if Flip had a clue, he'd see if the gorilla had some post moves.

Pass the bananas, they're coming in bunches.

Posted by: midlevex_

Don't quit your day job.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 10, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Fans feel Saunders is getting a free pass.If Leonsis is to be believed, our team play is not acceptable, then he must have some ideas on where things need changing. I dont feel injuries have held us back much. We had strong depth at guard, our SF position was not set, Al Thornton was barely making it into the lineup. Before his injury he was largely ineffective in the five games leading up to his injury. Defense, or lack of is the problem. The team knows it. Thats why you hear about us playing soft. Code word for no defense. Blatche is the main culprit. If he plays to his potential defensively and grabs rebounds under the basket, instead of long caroming rebounds that fall in his lap, we can win. He has to be tougher. He has the ability. He can do it very well. He does not do it. It makes ever other position vulnerable. McGee can not guard 1-5. Our guards can not stop penetration without help. Next we need longer SG and SF to take the pressure off our bigs. Gee and Martin with Wall can stop some to that perimeter jump shooting thats killing us, our guards cant stop anyone. Gee and Martin play good defense and provide enough offense. With Wall, Martin, Gee, Blatche, and McGee we can win. Strong bench-Arenas, Hinrich, Young, Booker, Yi, Armstrong, Seraphin. Combinations of offense and defense on floor at most times.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 10, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Ted's Take

Another Road Loss and Another Injury

That was a tough road trip - back to back games - with more injuries. No Andray Blatche and no John Wall last night.

Hmm, No mention of coaching. I guess we can parse this into meaning that Ted thinks Flip is doing a fine job.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 10, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

We'd need to improve considerably to be as competitive as that Blazers squad, and it seems that level of improvement would be a reasonable expectation from this group and their coach. Posted by: divi3

The Blazer ended 26th in SRS rating, the Wizards are now 29th. I think every reasonable person expects the Wizards to improve as the season progresses.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 10, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

What this team needs is a no nonsense coach like Scott Skiles. We need our guys to feel accountable for their play.

Flip needs to go, he's used to coaching teams with veteran talent, that's why he was hired. Now this team is clearly in rebuild and he doesn't know how to coach them.

I think Ernie needs to go as well. He's made good moves; including this years draft class, but he's made more bad decisions than good since he acquired Caron.

Time for new management Ted, this group has gotten stale

Posted by: DMoney28 | December 10, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

As iward8 posted, I can't believe people aren't making a bigger deal out of the last paragraph of that Yahoo! article:
"There is a young team here [in Washington] and they’re trying to build some chemistry. I guess until they find the right deal that’s going to get me out of here, you know … I’m here."

Wow! How can they expect this team to do anything with that attitude/expectation? Gil is basically admitting that he's in limbo waiting to be shipped out. One of our best players not being invested in the team... Wow.

Posted by: tigerquoll | December 10, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Simple Ratings System is a stat that factors in strength of schedule and point differential with a baseline of 0. That '06 Blazers teams was -3.75. The Wiz are currently at -8.25"

Hadn't heard of this stat so I looked it up -- it's from Justin Kubatko at Basketball-Reference.com. Basically it permits the ranking of teams by adjusted point differential versus average. A team that wins by an average of 8 points playing a schedule that's .10 worse than average would have an SRS of 7.90. Presumably the teams with the best scores on the Simple Rating System would be the best teams and would win the great majority of league titles.

That's where the system seems to struggle. Of the 61 NBA champs they examined, only 33 had the best SRS scores that season. A bit over half.

In the 1993 season, for instance, the Supersonics had the best SRS score at 8.68, but the Houston Rockets (4.19) won the ring. In 2000 the Spurs (7.92) lost to the Lakers (3.74). In '05 the Spurs (6.69) went down to the Heat (3.59). These examples and the others don't negate the value of the SRS stat, but they should certainly cast doubt on the wisdom of using it to judge the improvement of a particularly team.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I think every reasonable person expects the Wizards to improve as the season progresses.

When do reasonable people expect to start seeing signs of this improvement?

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Presumably the teams with the best scores on the Simple Rating System would be the best teams and would win the great majority of league titles.

That's your presumption alone. No stat claims to predict the "great majority of league titles."

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

As iward8 posted, I can't believe people aren't making a bigger deal out of the last paragraph of that Yahoo! article:
"There is a young team here [in Washington] and they’re trying to build some chemistry. I guess until they find the right deal that’s going to get me out of here, you know … I’m here."

Wow! How can they expect this team to do anything with that attitude/expectation? Gil is basically admitting that he's in limbo waiting to be shipped out. One of our best players not being invested in the team... Wow.

Posted by: tigerquoll

Not making a bigger deal out of it, because it's not really that big of a deal. All teams deal with this kind of thing. Circumstances change, players want to be somewhere else, the team would like the player to be somewhere else, but contracts and salaries preclude it.

But as far as I can tell, Gil hasn't been negative or detrimental with it. He's generally been playing hard. He hasn't been taking shots at the owner, GM, coach or other players in the media. So far, this season, Gil's been 'being Gil' in terms of being a bit quirky and trying to produce on the court, more so on O than D. Nothing new there.

If he starts being a diva about it, like Marbury did and T-Mac did etc etc, then maybe it will be a big deal, but for now, they definitely have much bigger problems.

Posted by: ts35 | December 10, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

As iward8 posted, I can't believe people aren't making a bigger deal out of the last paragraph of that Yahoo! article:
"There is a young team here [in Washington] and they’re trying to build some chemistry. I guess until they find the right deal that’s going to get me out of here, you know … I’m here."

Wow! How can they expect this team to do anything with that attitude/expectation? Gil is basically admitting that he's in limbo waiting to be shipped out. One of our best players not being invested in the team... Wow.

Posted by: tigerquoll
------------------------------------------

And Arenas also said he is going to play the game "the right way."

So, what's wrong with someone realizing that the team may trade him, but as long as he is here he is going to play the right way?

What "attitude" do you want? Beg the team "don't trade me?"

Posted by: sagaliba | December 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

You nailed it, Larry...the 600 lb gorilla in the room...Don't quit your day job.
Touche. Masterful implementation of the ever handy cliche.

Did you really mean to say that, the 600 lb gorilla in the room that few are addressing is Flip's coaching?
We've been gathered around poking him with a stick and calling him a big ape for a while now.

Looking at the record, the 2006-07 Blazer's over the first 20 were 7-13, the 2010-11 Wiz were 6-14. The Blazer's went on to play nearly .500 ball over the next 40. I hope (with experience, leaving behind the problems of injuries & youth) that the last third of the season firms up with for the Wiz. If they manage something like the 06 Blazer's did from here on out I'd call it improvement. Though the Blazer's seem to have crash landed over the final 22 as Roy missed chunks of the end of that season with an injury.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 10, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Presumably the teams with the best scores on the Simple Rating System would be the best teams and would win the great majority of league titles.

That's your presumption alone. No stat claims to predict the "great majority of league titles."


Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Pretty much what i was going to say. not saying the stat is infallable or even worthwhile, but don't think a Stat could purport to make such a prediction, considerring all the "intangibles" that go into winning a single 7 game series. namely, who wants it most, who gets lucky and who stays healthy.

However, can you name a nother single statistic that is better at predicting the Champion? i mean even your chosen stat was "made it to the NBA finals," you would only be right 50% of the time.

Posted by: Blurred | December 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"That's your presumption alone. No stat claims to predict the "great majority of league titles."Posted by: divi3"

Well, if there's a strong direct correlation between SRS and winning, then you should expect something predictive well beyond, say, a coin flip.

Besides, some of those league champs have some pretty low SRS.

More comment below...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"not saying the stat is infallable or even worthwhile, but don't think a Stat could purport to make such a prediction, considerring all the "intangibles" that go into winning a single 7 game series. namely, who wants it most, who gets lucky and who stays healthy." posted by Blurred

Except that's exactly what the author asked us to consider in his 2008 article:

"Comparing one team to another is very easy. The Spurs rating last season was 8.35. The Cleveland Cavaliers, the team they beat in the NBA Finals, had a rating of 3.33. So the SRS leads us to believe that the Spurs were 8.35 - 3.33 = 5.02 points better than the Cavs last season. If we assume a 3-point home-court advantage, then the system would have favored the Spurs by 2.02 points in Cleveland and by 8.02 points in San Antonio. (It's interesting to note that in their four-game sweep of the Cavs, the Spurs won by an average of 10 points in San Antonio and 2 points in Cleveland.)"

So I'm saying the stat has value, but I wouldn't want to use it as a measure of the Wiz' improvement over the course of a season. Let's say for entertainment purposes only.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think there are a couple good portrayals of opposing viewpoints in the article at the beginning of this blog. Kyle Weidie at truthaboutit takes one view of losing, while rook at bulletsforever argues 'what did you expect?'

Hopefully by season's end we'll have come up with something other than the usual partisan wrangling.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, if there's a strong direct correlation between SRS and winning, then you should expect something predictive well beyond, say, a coin flip.

Who said there is a strong correlation to SRS and winning? SRS is a nice stat in that it gives a general sense of how competitive a team's games were over the course of the season using differential, but also tries to adjust for strength of schedule.

Perhaps in your zeal to make sure there is no quantifiable way to judge this club, you are looking for implications that arent there in my mentioning it.

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Whose water should he carry? Flip's? EGs? Asking non-confrontational questions about the lineups or effort is not a case of taking sides, it's doing his job."

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2010 12:04 PM

His job is to report on what's going on with the team. That's what he did. The fact that he didn't ask the questions some fans wanted him to doesn't mean he isn't doing his job. It just means he's not doing it the way you want him to. And since you're not the one signing his paychecks, that's okay.

Moreover, Grunfeld pointedly addressed the lineup issue when he talked about injuries and not having all their guys there from day one. He also addressed the effort issue (somewhat indirectly) when he talked about the inconsistency of the team's play (which is largely a byproduct of inconsistent effort). So the notion that the topic wasn't covered is just wrong. It just so happens that Lee chose not to browbeat Grunfeld into giving the damning accusatory answers that some here wanted. And that's okay, too.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps in your zeal to make sure there is no quantifiable way to judge this club, you are looking for implications that arent there in my mentioning it.Posted by: divi3"

LOL here's what you said:

"Simple Ratings System is a stat that factors in strength of schedule and point differential with a baseline of 0. That '06 Blazers teams was -3.75. The Wiz are currently at -8.25. We'd need to improve considerably to be as competitive as that Blazers squad, and it seems that level of improvement would be a reasonable expectation from this group and their coach.Posted by: divi3"

Heck, you're even using the stat to compare teams across seasons. Then arguing that we should expect the stat to establish 'a reasonable expectation from this group and their coach.'

I'd say there's zeal involved, but it's on your side, and it's aimed at getting somebody fired.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

One other thing: Unless you were in the room when the interview took place, you don't actually know what questions Lee asked. All we know are the answers Grunfeld gave. And anyone who knows anything about interviewing knows that the latter doesn't always reflect the former.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Except that's exactly what the author asked us to consider in his 2008 article:

"Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess if your injuries and players were roughly equal to those you had over the course of the 82 game season, that could be true.

however:

Well, if there's a strong direct correlation between SRS and winning, then you should expect something predictive well beyond, say, a coin flip.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

It is actually far more predictive than a coin flip. A coin flip would mean that all 30 teams have an equal chance, or a 3.333% chance of winning the title. But in fact, the statistic predicts the champion at over 16 times the rate of a coin flip.

The problem with the whole predicting a champion by this statistic is that personel change over the course of a season and that once you get to the playoffs, there is really not much difference between this statistic and simply saying something like "teams that win more games end up winning more championships."

Duh...that is kind of the point: good teams win games = good teams win championships

I think that it may be a statistic that does a better job of comparing teams relative level of play across seasons (relative in terms of the other teams in the league.

Anyway...interesting, but not really useful except when comparing dominance or suckiness.

Posted by: Blurred | December 10, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Heck, you're even using the stat to compare teams across seasons.

Someone else mentioned the '06 Blazers as a good comparison to this year's Zards. SRS is pretty quick and easy way to compare the 2 teams, it indicated that team was more competitive overall than the Wiz currently are. Lo and behold, someone went back and checked...only to find that Blazers team played .500 ball after a crap start. So indeed, that 30 win Blazer team was more competitive than the Wiz have been so far.

Then arguing that we should expect the stat to establish 'a reasonable expectation from this group and their coach.'

You're putting words in my mouth in your obsession to establish no accountability for EG and Flip (and Kirk of course).

I was just agreeing with the poster who mentioned that Blazers team in relation to the Wizards (2nd year coach, new players, bad start, etc). Never said SRS should be monitored or even looked at again.

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

any of yall take the time to read the hanrehan piece? sheeeesh

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 10, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

any of yall take the time to read the hanrehan piece? sheeeesh

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 10, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse
Yes...

Saunders has constantly harped about not being able to "coach effort," which has been a constant issue from game to game for the Wizards. Saunders is almost admitting that the team is not responding to his leadership because even though I agree with Saunders that you can't coach effort, what you can do is coach a mentality so that your players are ready to give maximum effort. To me, it's easy for a coach to play the blame game and point to lack of effort by his players and not take the responsibility to have his team prepared. Last time I checked, though, that's part of the coach's job to have his team ready. Saunders has not done that up to this point of the season.

part of the coach's job to have his team ready...REALLY what a clever concept no wonder Flip or Ernie haven't thought of it!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

So indeed, that 30 win Blazer team was more competitive than the Wiz have been so far.

Au contraire mon frere. The Blazer's first 20 games were very close to as dismal as the Wizards first 20 this season. Through the magic of the internets, we do know that over the next 40 games the Blazer's were two games under .500.

What happens from here on out with the Wiz is anyone's guess. (I'm guessing Santa leaves them all a lump of coal for stocking stuffers).

Interesting that Roy was playing a lot of minutes in his rookie season and wound up with nagging injuries dogging him until he cashed out for 19 games starting at the end of December and was day to day at the end of the 06-07 season, missing the final 3 games. Sounds vaguely familiar.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 10, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"You're putting words in my mouth in your obsession to establish no accountability for EG and Flip (and Kirk of course)."

I don't think you're being very honest with yourself. Frankly, I don't think accountability is what you're after. Blame, is more like it.

But what's the point of continuing the discussion? I don't see any. Haven't for a while, really.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

His job is to report on what's going on ...The fact that he didn't ask the questions ...doesn't mean he isn't doing his job.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure glad you weren't the reporter duing the Watergate scandal...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Amazing that we're just 3 games away from the 8th spot. Who know what will happen when Josh Howard suit up. My take:

Gil: Is a turnover machine. This is unlike him. He would drive then throw a lazy pass. At this point, on any elite team, Gil would come off the bench.

Blatche: He is who his contract is. A Backup!

McGee: Due to his ashtma, he'll never weigh 30 pounds more than he does now. Facts, the more you weigh the harder it is to breathe with ashtma. Solid backup at best.

Nick Young: Most improved player or sixth man awards. Dude is balling.

John Wall: Scares me healthwise every time he drive to the hoop. Other than he looks good.

Question, do we always have to double team a player? Everytime we do this, someone is open at the three point line.

Posted by: demonj21 | December 10, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

the only two words i want to hear from Ernie "Max Contract Giver" Grunfeld is " I resign"

Posted by: squidward1 | December 10, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

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