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Posted at 7:54 PM ET, 12/ 5/2010

Open thread Wizards (6-12) at Suns (10-9)

By Michael Lee

Coach Flip Saunders will continue to bring Gilbert Arenas off the bench, while starting Kirk Hinrich in the backcourt with John Wall and using Alonzo Gee at small forward. Saunders said he wasn't sure when, or if, he would make Arenas a starter again. "We'll have to wait and see," Saunders said. "He came to me and he's been talking that maybe he should come off the bench and we decided to go with it. We'll start kind of a different kind of a lineup with Alonzo and Kirk, maybe a defensive-oriented to start with, then we'll bring him off. We'll wait and see how it progresses. How we are, as it is with a lot of teams, right now, our starting lineup is not set in stone." Nick Young also returns from a bruised right thigh, giving the Wizards more offensive punch in the second unit. Saunders said that whether or not Arenas starts, "doesn't matter. We're doing that with Gilbert, because I don't look at guys who start games. I look at guys who finish games. Who starts really doesn't matter." Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter with Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee). See your tweets here by using #wizards.

Tipoff: 8 p.m.; TV: CSN+; Radio: 106.7 FM.

By Michael Lee  | December 5, 2010; 7:54 PM ET
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Next: Steve Nash carves up Wizards as they struggle to find some continuity


Another thing about motivation and leaders. There have been many comments here that since these Bballers make millions and it isn't college, that they must be self motivated and coaches can't really motivate them. Rah Rah speeches and all that stuff don't mean crap, yada yada yada.

Apparently those of you that haven't met true and great leaders are of that opinion.

For, I can unequivocably tell you that no team or anyone can acheive the ultimate without true superior leadership. Those of you that think a bunch of self motivated players will achieve anything without great leadership are clueless.

Flip Saunders took over a championship Team but he could not lead them to a championship again because he lacks great leadership.

If all it took was self motivation, then what about Gilbert? Can you find anybody that has more self motivation than him? Probably not. But what Gilbert has lacked is great leadership. He hasn't had it yet with the Wizards. I pray that Ted Leonsis finds it soon.

Enough Said.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 5, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Flip is trying to lose games. This is just a stupid starting five.

Posted by: lemekdivine | December 5, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow...Put in a good line up and the Wizards go on a run.

Posted by: lemekdivine | December 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse


All anyone who knows anything about sports needs to do is look at the difference in the way the Dallas Cowboys have been playing since they got rid of Wade.

Same players different results.

By the way will one of the people on here who believe the coach has nothing to do with winning or losing tell me why teams spend so much money on a coach if it doesn't matter?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 5, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

NBA games are fixed. Phoenix has 20 FTs in one freakin' half and the refs made sure they silenced the Wizards most potent scorer (Nick Young) by saddling him with 3 fouls.

John Wall 10 has assists and ZERO turnovers. If Flip had a clue the Wizards wouldn't be down right now (even with the awful officiating). Wall needs scorers in the game and Flip is starting Hinrich and Gee. Whatever.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 5, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

And can Buckhantz stop slurping Nash? It's getting embarrassing. Sheesh.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

What's with Flip and this "starting" lineup? He is absolutely trying to lose.

Posted by: gimmedat | December 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

At least 6'6 PF Booker can dunk.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Alvin Gentry said what? blowin smoke up somebody's azz and look what happens McGee looks like the biggest stiff since "Dinner Bell Mel Turpin."

Posted by: dargregmag | December 5, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the starting lineup. We should be doing something like Mcgee, Blatche, Booker, Arenas, Wall. Armstrong, Yi, Thornton, Young, Hinrich should be 2nd unit top reserves.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 5, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Wall's got some game film to watch, to study how Nash does it.

Good to see Earl Barron get another opportunity in the NBA. He's really paid his dues.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 5, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

McGee had a bad night. His energy was frenetic, like he couldn't get into a rhythm, but the effort was there. Wall's defense was pure garbage, vintage Gil. Somebody needs to get into his face about it.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 5, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Look, if you guys are going to argue against Gil starting all the time then fine but this isnt just about Gil anymore. It also hurts our new Franchise player in Wall. He's a pure PG who can score but he needs scorers around him. He looks lost starting out there with no big time scorer to pass it to. Its the dumbest lineup ever. Again, if not Gil then you start NY. That gives us the size at the 2 and a scorer for Wall. Defense isnt the whole story. You cant start 5 great defenders who only average 2ppg. You still need to score the ball. If you dont want Gil then start NY and bring Kirk off the bench with Gil. I think it makes way more sense to start Gil but if not then you atleast have to start NY. The Wall-Kirk backcourt with guys on the floor like McGee & Gee is the dumbest lineup ever.

The other 1 good thing about Gil is that he's the only guy on our team who feeds the post. Dray never gets it in the post unless Gil is in. The same for everyone else. Flip is dumb about that also. Give Dray some post touches, espically now when he's getting healthier. Not only that but give him post touches on his strong side where he can turn over his left shoulder. We always give him post touches on his weak side where he basically can only shoot a fadeaway over his right shoulder. It takes away alot of his options. Flip is just dumb and outhinking himself

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 5, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The problem with getting Blache the ball in the post is that he first has to go in the post, which seems to be something he only occasionally has any interest in.

Contrary to popular myth, there really hasn't been a rash of possessions when Blatche is posted up inside and open and the guards just ignore him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 6, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow, JaTravel really proved to Alvin tonight that he deserved all that praise.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 6, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

"McGee had a bad night. His energy was frenetic, like he couldn't get into a rhythm, but the effort was there. Wall's defense was pure garbage, vintage Gil. Somebody needs to get into his face about it.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 5, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse "

Who didn't have a bad night, like every game night? Twenty more FT attempts by the suns means Les BouleS were probably settling for too many J's. Gilby with 13 shots, but only 1 FT attempt. WTF?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 6, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

"Flip Saunders took over a championship Team [in Detroit] but he could not lead them to a championship again because he lacks great leadership." posted by LarryinClintonMD"

I don't follow the Pistons closely, but here's the Wikipedia entry on the second of Larry Brown's two seasons in Detroit:

"Despite losing key members of their bench during the offseason (including Okur, Mike James and Corliss Williamson), the Pistons were considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. They won 54 games during the regular season, the8r 4th consecutive with more than 50 wins... During the 2005 playoffs, they easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4–1 and then rallied from a 2–1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers, 4–2. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons faced the Miami Heat. Once again Detroit fell behind, but won Eastern Conference Championship in seven games. In the NBA Finals the Pistons faced the San Antonio Spurs. In the first NBA Finals Game 7 since 1994, the Pistons lost a hard-fought game with the Spurs, who won their third NBA championship since 1999."

"The Pistons' 2004–05 season was marked by a major controversy, as well as distracting issues involving Larry Brown. In the first month of the season, a Pacers–Pistons brawl erupted, one of the largest fan-player incidents in the history of American sports. It resulted in heavy fines and suspensions for several players, and a great deal of NBA and media scrutiny. Meanwhile, Brown was forced to leave the team on two occasions due to health concerns, and also became involved in a series of rumors linking him to other job openings. Concerned about Brown's health, and angered over his alleged pursuit of other jobs [particularly president of the Cavs] during the season, the Pistons bought out his contract soon after the 2005 NBA Finals. Brown was promptly named head coach of the New York Knicks, and the Pistons hired Flip Saunders, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves."

Larry Brown is a great coach, but his tenure often leaves a team in something of an uproar.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 6, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"By the way will one of the people on here who believe the coach has nothing to do with winning or losing tell me why teams spend so much money on a coach if it doesn't matter? Posted by: bulletsfan78"

Since to the best of my knowledge, nobody here argued that a 'coach has nothing to do with winning or losing', I wonder if this isn't a hallucination. What people have been saying is that the coach's role is different in the NBA than in college.

Less time to teach, of course, with an 82 game regular seasons schedule. NBA coaches don't recruit their own players. More is expected from the players, who are older, stronger, and presumably more mature. Less responsive to rah-rah stuff.

As fans we have a distinct advantage over a coach. We don't go to practice, we're not in the meetings, we don't have access to sophisticated game tape, we don't chat with the trainers or the MDs or the other assistants or the players themselves. The players don't approach us twenty minutes before the game to inform us they ate some bad clams and can't go tonight. We fans know what we know from the media and the barber shop and mostly from our own eyes, trained for the most part on the 52" Panasonic in front of us.

All this gives our perspective a purity uncluttered by too much information. That's why everything is so clear to us.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 6, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Flip if you want to win this should be your line up:


Also Cartier Martin should be player more minutes especially more then Gee. I think he has real NBA talent the just needs to see more floor.

Posted by: lemekdivine | December 6, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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