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Posted at 8:07 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Big comebacks have become a disturbing trend

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

They came back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Philadelphia and from 12 down at halftime to defeat Portland, but the Wizards' last two victories this season may have given this team a false sense of comfort. For some reason, the Wizards have decided to spot their opponents huge leads before deciding to compete, a disturbing trend that came back to hurt them on Thursday in Newark, where they came back from a 23-point first-half deficit to tie the game, and lose.

They could no longer talk about the fight they displayed in overcoming a large deficit to make it a game, as they did in Los Angeles, Orlando or Chicago. Coming back from behind to fail is starting to get old. "It's hard to always try to fight back," Nick Young said. "Instead of fighting back, we got to come out and hit them."

The Wizards were already without John Wall and Andray Blatche, so there was no reason for them not to come out ready to compete against the lowly New Jersey Nets. But they came out and repeatedly tapped the snooze button until Kirk Hinrich and Gilbert Arenas decided to get the team back on track. "They all played with a little more reckless abandon," Coach Flip Saunders said. "We're not talented enough not to. You can't afford to play like the other team. And you can't afford not to play to the point of exhaustion. And that's how we got in the game."

Young said the reason for the dramatic shift in the second half, when they outscored the Nets 51-42, was because "we can't come out and keep getting embarrassed by teams we're supposed to really beat. Teams like Sacramento beating us 25? We didn't want the same game and we finally digged down. Hopefully we can carry this over to the next game."

They had better come with a better effort from the start against Miami, because barring some boredom, there is a chance the Heat won't let the Wizards creep back into the game.

FROM THE POST
The game story from this morning's newspaper and the postgame wrap-up.

The Wizards have contributed to some "fun numbers" for area sports teams (DC Sports Bog).

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would like to buy America a college football playoff system (The Early Lead).

AROUND THE WEB
At Bullets Forever, Mike Prada says last night's close loss was not a moral victory.

Truth About It's Kyle Weidie says it's time for JaVale McGee to grow up.

In non-Wizards news, Kobe Bryant returned to Lower Merion High School in suburban Philadelphia for a ceremony on Thursday night where they named his alma mater's gym after him (Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo!Sports.com).

By Michael Lee  | December 17, 2010; 8:07 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards' latest loss could result in a lineup change
Next: Wizards hope to have Josh Howard and Andray Blatche against Miami

Comments

22-6 by the time Nick gets his 1st look at the hoop, great lineup Flip

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"we can't come out and keep getting embarrassed by teams we're supposed to really beat. Teams like Sacramento beating us 25?

Yes you can and you will until Ernie and Flip are fired.

It starts at the top and this is what Ernie has come up with after 7 years on the job?

Can't wait to read the post from the people who will say it's the players fault and not Ernie who picked the players or the coach who coaches the players?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

McGee said, "I'm not worried about my job as a starter. I'm still coming out here, leading the team in rebounding, and that's what he wants me to do is rebound. If that doesn't please him or whatever, I don't know."


SMH...I guess Flip n Mcgee are the new Eddie n BTH.

Posted by: CBell29 | December 17, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Can we start a Bake sale to raise money to send Our big men to Hakeem's summer camp in the offseason? lol!

Posted by: CBell29 | December 17, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

....."Yes you can and you will until Ernie and Flip are fired.
It starts at the top and this is what Ernie has come up with after 7 years on the job?
Can't wait to read the post from the people who will say it's the players fault and not Ernie who picked the players or the coach who coaches the players?

Posted by: bulletsfan78
My dear friend bulletsfan, You are so right and what is it with this new owner?... I think he just likes to be seen (courtside) and not heard.. like one of the three monkeys. The other two being Grunfeld and Saunders. What a crew! Change has to start at the top asap. Grunfeld OUT already!!!!

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 17, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to read the post from the people who will say it's the players fault and not Ernie who picked the players or the coach who coaches the players?

----

more than enough blame to go around.

but until ernie and flip suit up, you gotta say sleepwalking through a whole half game's more on the players.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

but until ernie and flip suit up, you gotta say sleepwalking through a whole half game's more on the players.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Who was the guy who hand picked those players?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

you gotta say sleepwalking through a whole half game's more on the players.

Getting blown out by the Kings and down 20+ to the Nets falls on coaching as much as it does players. Having your team prepared to play is probably the single most important job of any coach.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

more than enough blame to go around.

but until ernie and flip suit up, you gotta say sleepwalking through a whole half game's more on the players.

Posted by: MinuMang | December

More than understandable, but what do you say to the notion that this scenario plays out every season? How do we keep these kinds of players all of the time. Might as well have Eddie Musch as our GM!

Posted by: gmac78 | December 17, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree its time for Ernie to step aside. But for who? Honestly, i'm terrified if Ernie get canned because I have sneaky feeling Lil Wes is gonna get the job. He's been lurking around forever! I thought he's lasted through damn near every coaching change we've had! I still don't know what his title is. But every game, he's right there behind the bench. I've heard speculation that he was Abe's "inside man", but Abe, and for that matter, the entire Pollin family are done.

Posted by: CBell29 | December 17, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

has it not yet become apparent to Flip that it actually DOES matter who starts games? We try to finish good but some of these first quarter holes we dig ourselves are unbelievable. How do we "hang"with the Lakers twice, and play orlando tough, but get run out the gym by teams like SAC and NJ.
I thought we were kinda bad, but these guys don't look like they know how to play sometimes. We're either the most poorly coached team in the league or the dumbest. I guess the reality is, it's a combo of both. But we are the foulingest team I've ever seen. Poor defensive positioning,poor rotations. The thing is these guys are NBA players. They've gotten through all of the "basketball filters" from elem. school to middle school to boys club and AAU to HS into colege and finally the pros. Every stop along the way they were viewed as worthy of moving on to the next level of basketball. I don't think they can't play.

As Flip said, no such thing as bad players, just bad teams. Yall Know i rarely rock with Flip, but i agree with him here. Each player individually was looked at as good enough to be in the NBA.Once these players become part of a team it's the responsibility of the organization to mold and put these players together in a way that produces winning basketball. This team/organization is failing in that respect.

Some players may not be holdin up their end of the deal either, but it's hard to believe a competitor going out everyday and enjoying what the wiz are going through right now. I can see effort from all the players,I don't see much of a gameplan. Gil takes a T in the 4th b/c Flip hasn't challenged the horrible officiating this season. I saw Avery Johnson jump down Devin Harris' back b/c he contested but didn't alter a made 3 Gil took when the Nets were up 13. It was unreal how he was giving it to him. Devin got back to contest the shot, he was just a step late. But, up 13 pts at home, Avery ripped into Dev because he wasn't paying attention to detail on defense. Flip just doesn't seem passionate about coaching. As most have said, i guess "he didn't sign up for this." He expected to be handed a playoff team that he could watch go deep into the playoffs and hopefully contend for a title. He had no idea he was actually gonna have to COACH BASKETBALL. NEWSFLASH- The Wiz weren't the best defensive team before Flip got here. He at least knew that the defense needed major work. Did he sign up to improve our already porous defense? Did he sign up to take a team to the next level?What did Flip Saunders sign up for.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Wall and Seraphin are 20, Javale is 22, Booker is 23, Dray is 24, Nick is 25....imho, that's enough talent that I'd rather not see them blown up for another group of young guys who may or may not pan out. So EG stays?

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

sorry for the rambles. I'm super salty after last nights loss. I dunno how people can justify not starting NY. We start games terribly. It's been that way since JW started missing games. we need more offensive punch to begin the game. I dunno if that means Flip needs to take a more hands on approach at making sure his system is actually being run (ie standing up and calling out plays on each offensive set) or what, but these first quarters are gonna drive CSN's ratings way down, what with people tuning out after halftime. What's Ted's Take on this one?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

time to stop watching wizards until Wall, howard, and blatche are back

Posted by: jefferu | December 17, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

some folks have been mentioning Flip ruining Javale which I thought was just hatin on Flip....but I have to admit it is odd that JM started the season all gangbusters after being with Team USA but has steadily regressed over the past few weeks, like the Team USA stint has worn off or something...

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

It's time to dump all the available resources and time into the devlopment of the on court performance. Extra practice sessions. Hiring whomever needs to be hired to coach big men drills, etc...

It sucks that the players don't know how to carry out the simple fundamental aspects of the game but what are we going to do just pray that a light comes on?

They don't have the luxery of assuming players are supposed to know this or supposed to know that! It's apparent that they don't know or can't seem to carry it out. Like it or not you are responsible for that pathetic product displayed on the court every game.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 17, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

To be competitive and especially right from the start, you need to have guys like Booker who aren't just skillful, but also agressive and love mixing it up in a war. Guys like McGee are powder puffs who will get pushed around all night when they encounter guys with aggression as well as skill. In fact, that's exactly what has happened to both McGee and the Wizards and this lesson was, again, crystalized with a beating by the Nets of all teams.

You can't blame McGee since Saunders keeps playing him, yet somehow expects the guy to develop a personality change. Won't happen. I hope the Wizards never draft another guy with skill who lacks aggression. Won't cut it in the NBA.

Quamy Brown is another example. What a disaster that was...

Posted by: driverdesign | December 17, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm hearing folks calling for nick to start. Count me out. I think Nick has found his comfort zone. I agree that a lineup change must happen, I'd like to see Cartier Martin start instead of Kirk until John is healthy. I think he's a avg to above avg on the ball defender and has a decent enough jump shot to keep teams honest. He can be what Deshawn once was. Someone who can gaurd the big 2's that Gil can't and knock down that corner 3. But Nick starting is not the answer.

Posted by: CBell29 | December 17, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

McGee is what he is...a back up center in the NBA. He is tall, long and athletic but will never be able to handle the bodies and strength of true NBA centers. I like McGee and I think he will be a fine player coming off of th ebench. Unfortunately the Wiz do not have better options right now so we have no choice but ot see him get dominated night in and night out.
I really like Trevor Booker's game. He may not be the most talented guy on the floor but he has tremendous heart and he plays hard. I say Flip would be wise to keep this guy in so that he can get the minutes and mature as a player. I believe that if Trevor worked on a low post game and back-to-the-basket moves, he will become a very solid player in the NBA (think Milsap).

Posted by: coach55 | December 17, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

McGee is in the wrong position. He's not a center. That's Flips fault for sticking him at the 5. It's also Flips fault for not starting Nick Young. I was no NY fan before the season, but I see now he's the best shot we've got to score. Get him on the floor early. Ideal starting 5: NY, JW, JH, JM, KS. Then have GA, KH, YL, AB, and TB come off the bench.

As far as Ernie, he just blew up the team. He should have done it two years ago, but everyone was hanging on waiting for GA. Now that that ship has sailed, they are one of the youngest, most inexperienced teams around. But Ernie, when he had to, got the talent. Whether or not he's around to see that talent blossom is the question. I doubt it.

But Flip is the wrong coach for a young team. He doesn't have it in him to coach young guys. I'll tell you who would have a field day with this lineup---Larry Brown. He knows get guys to play together. Too bad he's locked up in Charlotte.

Posted by: PizzaMike | December 17, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The Wizzies were without Blatche, Wall, Yi & Howard and still managed to make it interesting. If all 4 are available no way these Nets stay with them.
The 1st Q was ridiculous.
I think Nick & Kirk brought some intensity in the 2nd half and woke up the rest of the team.
Gil didn't take a FT???? Nick made 10 FT's.
I think Artest might be right about Javale.
All in all a game that they shudda won if they played with some balls in the 1st Q.

Posted by: VBFan | December 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Our front court shot a worse % than our backcourt. Last night the starting front court shot 33%, while the starting backcourt shot 45%.

McGee's positioning is terrible. On one play, instead of moving up to impede opponent, he waited right under the basket and tried to block shot from that position. Of course, he failed, the other guy scored. On the other end, Nets had kept him out of his range, and forced him to shoot the ball farther than he is capable. He shot 1 for 5.

Thorton cannot shoot the ball when he was open, he prefers to shoot much tough shots, just like Butler. But unlike Butler, he does not make as many of those. Playing 40 minutes, and only grabbed 4 rebounds as a SF! What's the matter? He has the length and athleticism to be a much better rebounder!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 17, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, NJ's strategy from the outset was to send Lopez right at McGee and reduce him to a non-factor. That's Playbook 101 against shotblocking centers, and you'd have to say it worked. The FT differential was largely courtesy of Devin Harris, who finished 14 of 17 from the line, making up for his lousy 7 of 25 from the field.

That's a better NJ club than last year, IMO. Outlaw helps some. So does Kris Humphries. Nonetheless the Nets should probably have lost that game, based on letting Washington back into it after intermission.

You can see Favors' limitations -- he's basically an offensive rebounder/ shotblocker at this point -- and I imagine the Nets will have to throw in two of those first round choices along with Derrick in order to pry Carmelo Anthony out of Denver.

I don't know why fans would want to give up on this club at this point. They're just learning to play together. We all knew going into the season the Wiz had pronounced weaknesses, not so different from last season's Nets or Sacramento. We all had to know a bottom three finish was a distinct possibility. Now with injuries hitting in exactly the wrong places -- Washington's only inside scoring threat and also their only threat to penetrate -- the Wiz are a little like the Nets without Lopez and Devin Harris.

We're actually seeing some good things from the pups, Booker and Seraphin. Maybe they're not as far off as we thought.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Big comebacks have become a disturbing trend".. as a title and subject?... your coverage and "slant" on this "team" is becoming a disturbing trend into mediocrity.
BTW by definition a comeback is not what you are trying to sell......Losers don't comeback.. they are LOSERS.. like the GM who put them together.

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 17, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

But Flip is the wrong coach for a young team. He doesn't have it in him to coach young guys. I'll tell you who would have a field day with this lineup---Larry Brown. He knows get guys to play together. Too bad he's locked up in Charlotte.

Posted by: PizzaMike | December 17, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse


Please tell me you're joking. Flip isn't the right coach but Larry would be worse! He hates rookies. And he doesn't hide it either. Now...Hubie Brown would be excellent for this team. Or Mike Fratello. Both of those coaches have proven track records for not only coaching but TEACHING the game of basketball. Something obviously missing from at least 10 of the current Wizards

Posted by: CBell29 | December 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"Then have GA, KH, YL, AB, and TB come off the bench."

YL?

Yves (St.) Laurent?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"I really like Trevor Booker's game. He may not be the most talented guy on the floor but he has tremendous heart and he plays hard."

He's also 24 years old and played 4 seasons in the ACC. Out of position at center much of the time, but the experience doesn't hurt. He could help in the second half of the season. Depending on the matchup. You can't expect him to defend Gasol or Kevin Garnett, but we don't see those guys often.

Overall I think Booker was a good risk, particularly in combination with Wall and Seraphin. All athletic, versatile open-court players with upside. Will all three work out in the NBA? We'll see.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

'Scuse me, Booker's 23, not 24.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Why did they have Blatche taking train all the way to Newark, and then sending him right back on train?

Is taking train back and forth from Newark-Washington part of his rehab? This must be the strangest thing I've ever heard. Is this franchise insane?

Posted by: sagaliba | December 17, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Flip's gotta get after the refs on saturday. i can already see the Miami heat FT parade getting started. gil can't buy a call, but the refs bail out harris every time he drives. Lopez hooking Mcgee right in front of the baseline official. The officiating last night was a joke.

To the earlier poster joking that the alley oop may be the only play they can call for Javale,I'd like to say that you're devaluing the oop. Of course it's two points, but it's also a way to get huys involved in the game. All of a sudden Mcgee wants to set a proper pick, because if he doesn't, HIS play is thrown off. It sucks that individual accolades are all that motivate him right now, but unless you plan to ignore him and let him rot, you gotta do something. When Javale's head is in the game, and he's out there doing what he does best, he's a problem for opposing teams. Right now he doesn't look very enthusiastic or pumped up. Maybe he's thinking too much. I dunno, but this recent regression is really hurting the team, given our lack of quality front court depth. BTW all this booker over dray talk needs to go out the window. Dray's putting up 16-8 coming off a broken foot, and playing on a bad wheel. Trevor's best nights are in that range, but a healthy Andray Blatche bodies Booker in a one on one matchup, no question. I know Dray doesn't play the game the way you want a PF to (non issue for Charmin Soft Jamison)but he is highly productive. Possibly more productive than booker ever could be.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Well, NJ's strategy from the outset was to send Lopez right at McGee and reduce him to a non-factor.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

While the Wizards have no strategy?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"To the earlier poster joking that the alley oop may be the only play they can call for Javale..."

Was that a joke? What other play would you call for Javale? or Kevin, for that matter.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

McGee's positioning is terrible. Posted by: sagaliba

----
yeah, his positioning is pretty much nonexistent. maybe, now that he's rebounding some, he really can't do anything else, can't focus on more than one thing at a time.

what really drives me crazy with him out there is his downbeat body language, head down, shoulders hunched, barely straggling back down the court any time somebody gets by him or he blows a play.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like teams have adjusted to Javale. If they've got a scoring big man, they may go right at him, and if they don't, they focus on pushing him out from the basket. Seems to be working at least some of the time.

Might not be a bad idea to bring him off the bench for a while. Let him have a chance to watch how the other team is attacking the basket and figure out the best way to interfere with it.

Of course, I'm not one of those fans who regards the bench as an insult. If you're still getting 30 minutes, to me you're a regular.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

That's right. Y'ves St. Laurent can ball! Yi on the other hand, the jury is still out.

Posted by: PizzaMike | December 17, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I think McGee hustles, gets those tip ins, blocks shots, changes shots, and gets the occasional short shot. Is this where the laziness is? really? Blatche wont raise one inch off his feet and opens the flood gates to the basket when he goes outside. Our guards can not contest a shot if their life depended on it. They are good off the dribble, or jumping the passing lanes. Every night is seems like the opposing team is shooting 50-55%. Three non defensive guards, a weak/soft/lazy skilled PF, and a center who can not do it all by himself. I guess it is easier for the coach to blame the lone defender than to learn to coach defense.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 17, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

what really drives me crazy with him out there is his downbeat body language, head down, shoulders hunched, barely straggling back down the court any time somebody gets by him or he blows a play.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

but don't you hear all of the words of encouragement Flip is giving him? Maybe you should take look at Flip's most recent comments. You would think that McGee put HIS 11th different lineup devoid of scorers on the floor. And surprise we jump out to a 20 pt deficit. It's all about McGee and his body lingo, sure. I remember another local team that scapegoated their larger than life (also highly paid) player until they sat him out. The results and activity of that team has been the same if not worse than before the aformentioned player was benched. Who do you blame then? Similar to the argument for keeping NY chained to the bench at the start of games. If you sit him and they are no better or even markedly worse, then whose fault is it? You're gonna run out of players to blame Phillipe!

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess it is easier for the coach to blame the lone defender than to learn to coach defense.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 17, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

this is something that really goes overlooked. Flip knew that this organization has not played good defense since he was plotting to steal eddie jordan's job the summer before eddie was fired (i kid i kid). When he signed on to coach this team he knew that he had a club that he'd have to teach to play defense, that is if he wants them to play defense. Instead the problems of old are the problems now. We're bout a game or two away from Flip telling us how KG, and Spree and Sam came to work ( all the while discounting KG's once in a lifetime talent, Spree and Sam's experience and travels) everyday and were dedicated to getting better. We are sooooo poorly coached. Flip it's your job to come up with a defensive scheme/system that works. Then you've got to find a way to implement it. Every player in the NBA can play the game of basketball. It's their coaches that put them in positions to succeed or fail. It's the schemes, systems, and mental aspects that the coach controls. if a team isn't there mentally ie basketball IQ i'm putting it on the coach. Players can learn and get smarter if taught.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"McGee is what he is...a back up center in the NBA. He is tall, long and athletic but will never be able to handle the bodies and strength of true NBA centers."

Sure, he's more of a forward type. But how many 'true' centers are there in today's NBA? Not so many.

I think he's slumping. Word got around that he was embarrassing people on the offensive boards and teams made changes to offset it. Now he has to respond.

You can't pay attention to the hype when he's playing well or the despair when he's struggling. He's improved over last season. That's what counts. What sort of player will he be eventually? We don't know.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Every player in the NBA can play the game of basketball. It's their coaches that put them in positions to succeed or fail. It's the schemes, systems, and mental aspects that the coach controls. if a team isn't there mentally ie basketball IQ i'm putting it on the coach. Players can learn and get smarter if taught. Posted by: lilhollywood10

Such naivete. You must be a very young soul. Coaches aren't miracle workers.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

but don't you hear all of the words of encouragement Flip is giving him?
Posted by lilhollywood10
----
personally I'm not a fan of the public rebuke (most coaches use it as a motivational tool, must figure it works) but I wouldn't suggest encouraging mcgee's one-dimensional play either.
----
----
I guess it is easier for the coach to blame the lone defender than to learn to coach defense.
Posted by: 1bmffwb
----
probably is but we don't really know how much or little flip's been coaching defense. and talking about "lone defender" here is definitely more than a bit of exaggeration.
----
----
You can't pay attention to the hype when he's playing well or the despair when he's struggling. He's improved over last season. That's what counts. What sort of player will he be eventually? We don't know.
Posted by: Samson151
----
spot on

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Every player in the NBA can play the game of basketball. It's their coaches that put them in positions to succeed or fail. It's the schemes, systems, and mental aspects that the coach controls. if a team isn't there mentally ie basketball IQ i'm putting it on the coach. Players can learn and get smarter if taught. Posted by: lilhollywood10

Such naivete. You must be a very young soul. Coaches aren't miracle workers.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

A young 30, but my coaches never claimed to work miracles. They did however show us what was needed to do what they asked us to do. Furthermore while players bball IQ increasing is debatable, a coach's ability to play the best players or prepare his team to play a game isn't. The wiz often look under prepared, and hoping NY can bring you back after starting every game in the hole isn't a sound strategy either. They need to practice more and pay more attention to detail. i dunno how we get 20+ games into the season with bigs unable to set screens and guards who'd rather dribble back and forth along the baseline under the rim, than pull it out and call a play. For all of Flip's offensive genius, our halfcourt game is abysmal.

BTW is it naive to think that the coach; who allegedly was going to take a first round playoff team to the title, do a little teaching with this squad?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

We're actually seeing some good things from the pups, Booker and Seraphin. Maybe they're not as far off as we thought.

Posted by: Samson151 |

better stop smoking that stuff, ... you know.

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We're actually seeing some good things from the pups, Booker and Seraphin. Maybe they're not as far off as we thought.
Posted by: Samson151

How "far off" they actually are remains to be seen, but for the moment they're at least trying, playing hard, doing some good things that some of our older players aren't.

I enjoy watching them, and that's a plus.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The FT differential was largely courtesy of Devin Harris, who finished 14 of 17 from the line

Just as much courtesy of Gil and Kirk, who finished a combined 0-0 from the line. Two guys with the ball in their hands the majority of the game, both playing about 40mins....and ZERO FTs

That is so piss-poor you almost have to look in the refs direction, not that Flip dares to

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Flip can scapegoat Javale all he wants, but the fact remains the team is not getting better at ANY aspect of the game. That's 110% on the coach. The zone defense they run is pathetic and the offense is just as bad. Ted is looking at you, Flip.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

BTW is it naive to think that the coach; who allegedly was going to take a first round playoff team to the title, do a little teaching with this squad?
Posted by: lilhollywood10

Who thought we "allegedly" were going to the title last year? (I'm sure the owner hoped but . . .)

I'm far from a Saunders fan but . . . How do you know what he is teaching or not teaching?

Making claims without any basis in fact, as opposed to opinion, strikes me as naive.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Ted is looking at you, Flip.
Posted by: divi3

And here is his look (from Ted's Take):

It wasn’t pretty.

It was in fact ugly in the first half.

We are short-handed. It is tough to rebuild when the players you are rebuilding around aren’t playing.

But we competed. We dug ourselves out of a big hole.

We tied the game. We were right there with momentum.

We then made turnover after turnover - young players and vets alike. At crunch time.

We don’t have a closer mentality. Yet.

We don’t have that one play that everyone knows is coming but you can’t stop it.

Our players want to improve.

We won’t let frustration get in the way of learning and getting young players their minutes.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

We won’t let frustration get in the way of learning and getting young players their minutes.

Seraphin logged 4mins last night.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

As far as the free throw differential, it was definitely atypical for these two clubs. NJ has been averaging 25.5 FT attempts and connecting on 19.8. Last night they hit 35 of 47 -- not quite double their typical outing, but close. The Wiz meanwhile have been averaging 24.4 attempts and 18.5 FTs -- close to where they were last evening (22 of 28).

NJ was the anomaly, not the Wizards. But that was apparently their strategy from the outset -- attack the rim and get to the line. Gil and Hinrich didn't go to the line, but they don't much as a rule -- Gil's shooting FTs a little over 3 times a game, Kirk a bit more than 2. Wall and Blatche go to the line more than other Wiz starters, but they weren't playing.

Devin Harris goes to the line an average of 6.7 times a game, and last night he had 17 FT attempts. So that should tell us something.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Just as much courtesy of Gil and Kirk, who finished a combined 0-0 from the line. Two guys with the ball in their hands the majority of the game, both playing about 40mins....and ZERO FTs

That is so piss-poor you almost have to look in the refs direction, not that Flip dares to

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Flip shoulda got the T Gil picked up and he prolly shoulda got it about 2 quarters earlier.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Devin Harris goes to the line an average of 6.7 times a game, and last night he had 17 FT attempts. So that should tell us something.

That Gil and Kirk cant guard anyone, nor get to the line themselves, or the refs suck. Take your pick.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Avery Johnson and his staff had viewed some film and decided the best way to attack the Washington interior defense was to go right at McGee. Lopez has an advantage there, and they simply exploited it. The advantage seemed to disappear in the second half, and Avery has to be concerned about the way Washington fought its way back. I imagine the attacking approach wouldn't work as well for NJ on the road. It usually doesn't.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Other thing I noticed was the Nets only connected on 2 from outside the arc. Their average is 6. They took half as many 3 point shots as usual. Probably because they were having such success inside.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

BTW is it naive to think that the coach; who allegedly was going to take a first round playoff team to the title, do a little teaching with this squad?
Posted by: lilhollywood10

Who thought we "allegedly" were going to the title last year? (I'm sure the owner hoped but . . .)

I'm far from a Saunders fan but . . . How do you know what he is teaching or not teaching?

Making claims without any basis in fact, as opposed to opinion, strikes me as naive.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I never said they said they'd win it last year. read the quote you copy/pasted one more time. Secondly The entire organization and of course several posters on here were "all in" with Flip and last yrs Wiz winning 50+ games.Folks were on board with trading the #5 pick 2 days before the draft, because Foye and Miller would give us a better chance to "Win Now". That was the rallying cry. The same folks who think NY should stay on the bench (as we spot cellar dwellars double digit leads) were cool with OLDBerto taking precious minutes of from McGee.

I dunno if i ever said what Flip is or isn't teaching our young and inexperienced team. I know i said he hasn't improved our defense (has he?).But if Flip is this great winner ( insert x amt of 50 win seasons gained somewhere else), then at the least, he can impart some of his wisdom in the area of winning basketball. All i hear is that Flip's a winner and he knows how to win. Well share that info with these jokers for chrissake. Teach this team to play winning basketball. Could we become a better defensive team? i think we could. Could we be a better offensive team?Of course. But like i said in the main part of my post, this team needs to practice more.They look woefully unprepared in games. They need to pay attention to detail more. If Flip is doing all he can to coach this team up, then they need to keep longer practice hours and get rid of some of these guys that are incapable of learning.

But Fareal, i see players making individual strides and improvements, but as a team we may have regressed. Hopefully the chemistry and continuity will come when/if we get healthy.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

BTW is it naive to think that the coach; who allegedly was going to take a first round playoff team to the title, do a little teaching with this squad? Posted by: lilhollywood10

Is it really possible that McGee doesn't know what is expected out of him? Seems like Flip is asking him to execute pretty basic stuff. He was walking around with untreated asthma for years, so I guess he could have some undiagnosed learning disability.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 17, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Devin Harris scores 29 points and draws something like 7 fouls on Gil and Kirk....but it's Mcgee who was exploited? If only the defensive problems were just related to Mcgee. The unfortunate truth is the defense is terrible inside and out.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Devin Harris scored 29 points by taking 25 shots. He took a third of the Nets FGAs.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 17, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Lopez definitely has an advantage against McGee -- basically the same advantage we've seen exploited by big centers like Roy Hibbert and Marc Gasol. It's not uncorrectable. But it might be counter-intuitive for a player who is fond of the blocked shot. You have to anchor low and somehow manage to hold your position and interfere with the shot without waving your arms. The calls might go against you for a while, but eventually even out. Takes discipline, and usually experience.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Devin Harris scored 29 points by taking 25 shots. He took a third of the Nets FGAs.

Avery must have seen a weakness and decided to exploit it.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Devin Harris scored 29 points by taking 25 shots. He took a third of the Nets FGAs. Posted by: djnnnou"

Yes, his shooting was really off, but it didn't matter since he was going to the line. He's not the same player he was in his first year in NJ. Still has that great first step, but he struggles more to finish. As long as we keep fouling him, he gets by.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Is it really possible that McGee doesn't know what is expected out of him? Seems like Flip is asking him to execute pretty basic stuff. He was walking around with untreated asthma for years, so I guess he could have some undiagnosed learning disability.
Posted by: djnnnou
----
seems possible to me. it's pretty basic stuff but look at his history.

first he just blocks shots. then, tired of "being yelled at," he views film of love as an inspiration and starts to block some shots. now, he's basically saying "what ELSE do they want me to do?"

kinda sad, but yeah, possible.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

first he just blocks shots. then, tired of "being yelled at," he views film of love as an inspiration and starts to block some shots

Did you mean to use block shots twice there, or is it possible you may have an undiagnosed learning disability?

Just kidding of course....but saying the guy's poor play is due to a learning disability is just hatin.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

first he just blocks shots. then, tired of "being yelled at," he views film of love as an inspiration and starts to block some shots

Did you mean to use block shots twice there, or is it possible you may have an undiagnosed learning disability?

Just kidding of course....but saying the guy's poor play is due to a learning disability is just hatin.

Posted by: divi3
----

LOL. thanks.

nah, I didn't say it originally and I don't see it as hating. It might really be a problem for him. imho, saying he's just lazy is a lot worse.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

huh?

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

huh?

sorry, picked up the wife's computer.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Just kidding of course....but saying the guy's poor play is due to a learning disability is just hatin. Posted by: divi

No, saying McGee doesn't know what to do because Flip hasn't taught him what to do is hating.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"McGee is in the wrong position. He's not a center. That's Flips fault for sticking him at the 5. It's also Flips fault for not starting Nick Young. I was no NY fan before the season, but I see now he's the best shot we've got to score. Get him on the floor early. Ideal starting 5: NY, JW, JH, JM, KS. Then have GA, KH, YL, AB, and TB come off the bench.

As far as Ernie, he just blew up the team. He should have done it two years ago, but everyone was hanging on waiting for GA. Now that that ship has sailed, they are one of the youngest, most inexperienced teams around. But Ernie, when he had to, got the talent. Whether or not he's around to see that talent blossom is the question. I doubt it.

But Flip is the wrong coach for a young team. He doesn't have it in him to coach young guys. I'll tell you who would have a field day with this lineup---Larry Brown. He knows get guys to play together. Too bad he's locked up in Charlotte.

Posted by: PizzaMike"


I definitely get entertainment value in here these days. First, JM is a C. Maybe not a very good C, but a C. When you can only score on dunks or wild scoop shots right around the rim and are 7'2", you are a center.

And, where has this narrative come from that FS can't coach young players??? Where??? He started in the CBA of all places. Did so well there that he got the gig with Minnesota. Does this sound like the resume of a guy who doesn't know how to teach basketball? - "Saunders' impressive CBA tenure included seven consecutive seasons of 30 or more victories, two CBA championships (1990, 1992), two CBA Coach of the Year honors (1989, 1992) and 23 CBA-to-NBA player promotions."


And, Larry Brown HATES playing rookies. He might be a great coach who can mold virtually any combination of veteran committed players into a very competent team, but he has repeatedly shown his disinterest in playing young players in the NBA.

Posted by: robert_phillips | December 17, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"JM is a C. Maybe not a very good C, but a C. When you can only score on dunks or wild scoop shots right around the rim and are 7'2", you are a center."

A good point. At the moment, you can't put Javale anywhere else. Doesn't mean he's a real good fit at center, either. It's a default position.

Let's hope that changes.

Although this from Wikipedia: "According to Hales Franciscan coach Gary London, McGee's natural position in college was ideally small forward, and that he could play both forward spots."

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"I think McGee hustles, gets those tip ins, blocks shots, changes shots, and gets the occasional short shot. Is this where the laziness is? really? Blatche wont raise one inch off his feet and opens the flood gates to the basket when he goes outside. Our guards can not contest a shot if their life depended on it. They are good off the dribble, or jumping the passing lanes. Every night is seems like the opposing team is shooting 50-55%. Three non defensive guards, a weak/soft/lazy skilled PF, and a center who can not do it all by himself. I guess it is easier for the coach to blame the lone defender than to learn to coach defense."

Could you possibly be more bone-headed and wrong? Are you JM's cousin or something?

The perimeter defense on this team is better than it has been in years. I can't remember the last time it was this competent (not great - competent). What is extremely porous is the positioning of the front court players, which includes Andray Blatche and certainly Javale McGee. There is no second line of defense after our guards NY, KH, and GA (yes, he has improved somewhat) dog the perimeter offensive players into doing something other than what they want to do on many more occasions than in the past. However, JM in particular is a PATHETIC help defender. He doesn't know when to help, how to help, and where to be if he is not helping. He might as well stare at the basket with his back to the play waiting to a rebound come his way (I think he has done that before). Oh, yeah, don't point out the 2 blocks he averages a game or the occasional 7 block outing bc he gives up a layup line to the basket and defensive rebounds galore. Watch Seraphin when he plays. The layup line will virtually disappear or significantly decrease. The time and space is not as abundant. The same guards are playing. And, having played basketball for all of 5 years, he sets better screens and boxes out better than your boy.

Another way to look at it is this, if JM was such a great defender, why wouldn't we just press the hell out of the perimeter guys and force everyone to JM intentionally to be blocked? Ala Patrick Ewing, Dwight Howard, Olujawon, etc., now they were real C's who could play defense and who relished having the action come to them. JM's head spins and he ends up with 4 fouls in a quarter.

Posted by: robert_phillips | December 17, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Although this from Wikipedia: "According to Hales Franciscan coach Gary London, McGee's natural position in college was ideally small forward, and that he could play both forward spots.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 4:20 PM

Whatever his H.S. coach thinks his "ideal" position in college was isn't nearly as relevant as what position he actually played in college. And I believe that position was C. And really, none of what he did in H.S. or college matters much, because he's in the NBA now. And in the NBA, his particular combination of physical attributes and *ahem* "skills" makes him a C, like it or not. (As I recall, Jerry Stackhouse played a good bit of PF in college. Things are often different when players move to a different level.))

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Josh Howard To Play Against The Heat, Pending Physical. Dray will also most likely play but Wall is most likely out.

I always thought it was very convenient of Josh to return right after we play the Lakers & the Heat so he can go against the Bobcats but I also thought that Josh could be the difference in our season and Im actually talking about moreso off the court then on. I think that other then Wall, he would be the only guy to get pumped up on the court and tell the guys to get up. I also think he will be the only guy to speak up and call guys out or challange them & the whole team to play better, harder, and go all out on defense. Thats what we need. Sadly Gil has never done it and still seems like he doesnt want to

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Watch Seraphin when he plays. The layup line will virtually disappear or significantly decrease.

He basically shoves players who start to get by him. 28pts and 27 fouls in his nba career. Currently has an 8.6PF per36. Not saying that wont improve or that he wont be a good defender one day, but the way he is playing right now equates to fouling out by halftime.

And he's 6'8". I seriously doubt Lopez would have had much more trouble shooting over him than he did going around Mcgee

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Josh Howard To Play Against The Heat, Pending Physical. Dray will also most likely play but Wall is most likely out.

How many days out is this for Wall under the heading of "sore foot"? This is not good.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

How many days out is this for Wall under the heading of "sore foot"? This is not good.
Posted by: divi3

----
let's hope for a complete heal.

if it's more serious than a sore foot, let's hope for a complete heal of whatever that is.

in any case, there's no point in trotting him out there to hobble around the court.

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"And he's 6'8". I seriously doubt Lopez would have had much more trouble shooting over him than he did going around Mcgee"

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 4:39 PM

Of course the (obvious) difference is that if Seraphin can use his bulk and strength to keep Lopez from backing him down right under the basket, then he's shooting over him from several feet outside of where he wants to take the shot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The perimeter defense on this team is better than it has been in years. I can't remember the last time it was this competent (not great - competent).

Posted by: robert_phillips | December 17, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

did u see the part about Devin Harris takin 17 fts (i don't remember seeing any of them called on Javale). That's great perimeter defense right there.

Ultimately the head coach is gonna have to be responsible for the record of the team he's coaching. I dunno why so many folks think flip is doing a good job coaching this team, or why yall want him around. But Honestly I'd be willing to look at all qualified available applicants for a NBA HC position. Monty Williams seems to be doing OK in NO. Maybe we take a chance. It can't be worse than what we've been getting used to.

Or even better, tell Ted to back a Brinks truck up to door of the ESPN winnebago and let JVG and Mark Jackson get into the back of the truck. Last man standing gets the HC job and the money in the back of the truck.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"I dunno why so many folks think flip is doing a good job coaching this team, or why yall want him around."

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 5:10 PM


STRAW MAN ALERT!!!!! STRAW MAN ALERT!!!!! Universal precautions in effect. Watch out for splinters!

Of course, there aren't "so many folks" who have said anything about Saunders doing a great job or expressed any explicit desire to have him around. There are, however, many who have said (without any viable argument to the contrary, so far) that canning Saunders and bringing in another coach will have little to no effect on the team's fortunes as long as the players remain the same.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

JVG
I love Van Gundy, but didn't he fail to display any interest in coaching again last year? (I may be confusing ex-coaches of years.)

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Of course the (obvious) difference is that if Seraphin can use his bulk and strength to keep Lopez from backing him down right under the basket, then he's shooting over him from several feet outside of where he wants to take the shot.

Lopez' game is a helluva lot more than backing guys down with his bulk. He's just as likely to move across the lane as he is towards the basket, he is a super-tough cover anybody who is 6'8"

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Lopez' game is a helluva lot more than backing guys down with his bulk. He's just as likely to move across the lane as he is towards the basket, he is a super-tough cover anybody who is 6'8"
Posted by: divi3

He also seems to be a super-tough cover for anyone's who's 7'1.5".

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

He also seems to be a super-tough cover for anyone's who's 7'1.5".

Apparently 6'11" is the sweet spot, our man Dray has generally gotten the better of him.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

There are, however, many who have said (without any viable argument to the contrary, so far) that canning Saunders and bringing in another coach will have little to no effect on the team's fortunes as long as the players remain the same.

How is someone supposed to prove to you that a new coach would make the team better, without there actually being a new coach in place who in turn made the team better? Should he prove God doesnt exist while he's at it?

There are a million plausible arguments as to why a different coach would produce better results, but it's all just speculation- that's all it can be until it happens one way or the other.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Lopez' game is a helluva lot more than backing guys down with his bulk. He's just as likely to move across the lane as he is towards the basket, he is a super-tough cover anybody who is 6'8"

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 5:25 PM

And, as is your custom, your response fails to actually encompass anything you're supposedly responding to.

I never said Lopez's games was just "backing guys down with his bulk" or that he wouldn't be a tough cover for Seraphin did I? Of course I didn't.

As far as what I did say . . . the odds of any player hitting a shot from 12-15 feet or more are significantly lower than him hitting a layup dunk, or short jumper with right in front of the basket. McGee has proven incapable of offering any real physical resistance to a big, skill C who wants to bull rush him under the basket. Seraphin's physical makeup offers him a much better chance of impeding that. Are there other ways Lopez can score against Seraphin? Sure. But he can score against McGee in all of those other ways as well. Seraphin's physical strength gives him at least on way in which he could potentially be a deterrent and force Lopez (or any other big) to take tougher shots. That's one more way than McGee demonstrated.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

As far as replacement's for Saunders . . . why would any proven, qualified coach want to take over this team? If Saunders weren't already here and they offered him the job, he wouldn't take it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"There are a million plausible arguments as to why a different coach would produce better results . . ."

Okay. Let's hear some.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

There are a million plausible arguments as to why a different coach would produce better results, but it's all just speculation . . . Posted by: divi3

True. There are also a million plausible arguments as to why a different coach would produce worse results.

As you say, it's all speculation.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

A powerful guy like Kendrick Perkins or Andrew Bynum deals with a Brook Lopez by pushing him away from his comfort zone around the basket. Every time Lopez turns right or left, you shove him another yard towards midcourt. The art is to do it without getting called for a foul.

We're hoping Kevin Seraphin will turn out to be this sort of player. It's always an advantage in b-ball to be tall, but Ben Wallace has been doing it for years, and he's closer to 6'6".

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"There are a million plausible arguments as to why a different coach would produce better results . . ."

Okay. Let's hear some.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The Cowboys are playing better since they got rid of their incompetent coach (Wade Phillips).

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we could move Hinrich to center so folks here could criticize him for not blocking more shots.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

A powerful guy like Kendrick Perkins or Andrew Bynum deals with a Brook Lopez by pushing him away from his comfort zone around the basket.

We're hoping Kevin Seraphin will turn out to be this sort of player.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

What are you basing your hopes on...the fact that Ernie said it?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe we could move Hinrich to center so folks here could criticize him for not blocking more shots.Posted by: Samson151"

Plus they could also criticize Saunders for having moved him to center in the first place.

And also for not having hired a big man coach.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Plus they could also criticize Saunders for . . . not having hired a big man coach.
Posted by: Samson151

Yup, a serious failing.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Okay. Let's hear some.

The most obvious is a different coach would implement a different offense and defense. Perhaps play to the personnel's strengths rather than try and fit them into his system. Many folks think Flip's zone is overly complicated, maybe we need to be more reliant on man-to-man. You can blame the players for being "dumb" all you want, but a simpler system may work better for them.

Lots of length and athleticism on this team, maybe another coach wouldnt let the opposition set up their offense so easily on virtually every possession. Because that's what we do, allow opponents to run their sets and then count on everybody making the right decisions in unison to defend the play. Is that really the best defense for a team long on athleticism and short on experience?

Would that stuff work better? Who knows? But there are many ways to skin a cat and assuming that a wholly different approach is doomed to fail unless the players change completely ignores what a coach actually does.

Past the Xs and Os, every sport has instances of coaches "losing" the team. If that's happened here, that's another raft of legit arguments as to why a coaching change could be good.

Not saying flip needs to go or a new coach would succeed, I'm dismissing the argument a different coach can't possibly have a better result with the same players.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I can see the posts now: "if Flip insisted on moving KH to the 5 spot, he should at least have hired Ewing or Olajuwon to tutor the guy. Plus McGee is clearly better. I mean, Hinrich has only two blocked shots since 2007! And the guy can't dunk, even with a run-up!"

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Red Auerbach would take the job. No, he probably wouldn't start McGee.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe any new coach should be hired with a clause in his contract requiring him to start Javale and Nick no matter how they're playing. At least a few obsessed fans would be happy.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe any new coach should be hired with a clause in his contract requiring him to start Javale and Nick no matter how they're playing. At least a few obsessed fans would be happy.
Posted by: Samson151

Don't forget Arenas.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

A powerful guy like Kendrick Perkins or Andrew Bynum deals with a Brook Lopez by pushing him away from his comfort zone around the basket

Bynum is at least 7ft 280pounds, and Lopez is slightly above his career averages for pts and rebs when he's been matched against Perkins. Other than that, you make a great point.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The most obvious is a different coach would implement a different offense and defense. Perhaps play to the personnel's strengths rather than try and fit them into his system. Many folks think Flip's zone is overly complicated, maybe we need to be more reliant on man-to-man. You can blame the players for being "dumb" all you want, but a simpler system may work better for them.
----
@divi13

you may not like the idea but playing to the "personnel's strengths" is what flip's three-guard offense does. is it always successful? heck, no, but look at the roster.

you think they should try more man-to-man? and you think the zone is ugly? man-to-man would probably be enough to make us all cry (or maybe laugh, might be kinda entertaining).

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

KeVEEN's what, 275 lbs? And strong. That's the body type that should do well against Lopez. Once he learns how to play basketball, that is.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that the Wiz' problem is that players are 'dumb'. Certainly Arenas and Hinrich know what's supposed to happen on the court. Some of the others are just plain inexperienced. A few seem to lack fundamentals. Nick Young seems to be coming around a bit, maybe because the pressure's off. Nick's by nature something of a goofball, so if he can get it, perhaps the others can, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

One common misconception is that Flip runs this immensely complex scheme. He doesn't. He developed his offense and defense in the minors and at Minnesota, and it's relatively player-friendly.

Now if we can find some players... just kiddin'.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

you think they should try more man-to-man? and you think the zone is ugly? man-to-man would probably be enough to make us all cry (or maybe laugh, might be kinda entertaining).

I do think the guards need to pressure more, and that Nick and Cartier could make things much more difficult for opposition 2s....but the real point was that different strategies can produce different results with the same set of players.

Posted by: divi3 | December 17, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I think one reason Nick is playing better is his role in this scheme. He'll never be Richard Hamilton but he seems to have become a much more reliable jump shooter. I haven't seen as much juking and chittering before the shot. His defense is improved as well. Maybe if Nick were back in a scheme that allowed him to freelance, he'd regress. As it is, he's in line for a reward in his next contract. Perhaps in Southern California, where in case you missed his last several thousand references, he's from.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

but the real point was that different strategies can produce different results with the same set of players. Posted by: divi3

Is the plan to find a system for the players the Wizards have now, or is it to find players that fit a system?

Posted by: djnnnou | December 17, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

As far as replacement's for Saunders . . . why would any proven, qualified coach want to take over this team? If Saunders weren't already here and they offered him the job, he wouldn't take it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

And who would want him to take it. But the fairer question would be could you find a credible coach before the seasn begun before Saunders and his entourage screwed this whole situation up.

The biggest bungle started with the total dismissal of Arenas as part of the team even wneh a significant amount of the fan base clearly supports the guy. The tone was set from jump, we don't really want you but since we can's move you you can be on the team anyway.

The falling all over John Wall and playing him 45 minutes a game, making him captain and diminishing the rest of the squad was pure stupidity.

As an X'S AND O'S coach, I have failed to see any remnants of an offensive structure. The zone is even moe pathetic than are man to man defense yet this clown continues to play it as if the team will miraculously become effective at it. The stretch of man to man last night in the 3rd and 4th quarters was the best defense this team has played. With a team as impotent offensively as the Wizards are without Blatche and Wall, why would you have Nick Young come off the bench (stupid).


Take last night's game for instance, after one of the most horrific starts a pro organization can have, the team finally clawed its way back to to a tie. Then you have Hilton Armstrong and Thornton shooting the ball in the most crirtical possesions of the game.

He can blame Javale all he wants but at some point he and Grunfeld have got to be held accountable. There is no way either of theses two guys can remain throughout the season. I might just have to dump my season ticket plan if Ted does not make a move soon.

Posted by: NewManagement | December 17, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

@Divi,

Again, you are an expert at making poorly constructed arguments. Your whole coaching argument is based on the assumption that poor coaching is causing this team to lose or perform worse than expected. This assumption is absolutely categorically false. This team is rebuilding and is supposed to be bad. Is that so hard to understand? When you consider the play of GA, the amount of injuries in this young season, among other things, it gets progressively worse as it has.

Let me break it down for you. The only way this roster was going to be mediocre this season, and, by mediocre, I mean winning say 35-40 games is if the following things occurred:

1) GA's game/health progressed from last season and he was say 80% of the player he was pre-injury.

2) AB maintained his play from the final 35 games of last season.

3) JH returned sooner than expected and quickly returned to his pre-injury form.

4) John Wall played as he has shown in flashes on a fairly consistent basis.

5) JM was a passable NBA center.

If a few of these things came to fruition, we would be competitive. The fact that none of these things has happened = dismal season. Add in injuries to just about everyone, forcing role players and rookies into responsibilities for which they are not ready or ill-suited for = dismal season. And, let's not forget that this group of players is just starting to learn to play together.

A new coach would change none of this.

We should be happy a coach of his caliber is here already as Kal correctly pointed out. The smartest suggestion I've read in here on this point is that Hubie Brown would be a good fit for this club. Now that is an argument that makes sense. To bad he is too old to pull out of retirement bc he does have a way with younger players that most NBA coaches don't.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 17, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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