Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 8:05 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Wall returns, fails to win conference rookie of the month

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

John Wall was unable to help the Wizards much in an embarrassing loss -- which established a franchise record to start the season with nine road defeats -- in Toronto on Wednesday, but he was relieved to get 19 points and eight assists in his first game back after missing the previous two with a bruised left knee. And yes, it's the left knee, Wall said, always has been, even as the Wizards kept listing it as his right knee.

"My right knee's fine," Wall said.

Wall felt it was time to come back, since his left knee was feeling better and he had taken enough precautions with his health. He had a hard time watching his team lose the previous two games, believing he could've helped. "It's tough," Wall said. "I really didn't miss too many games in my professional career, guys are bigger stronger, and that's not an excuse, but it's just something that happens, you have an injury you can't control, the best thing is to take your time off and prepare yourself for long career and not try to push through an ailment and have your career pretty short."

Wall has missed six of the Wizards' 11 games and it cost him a shot at winning the Eastern Conference rookie of the month award, which went to Knicks shooting guard Landry Fields, a surprising second-round pick who has started all 19 games and ranks fourth among rookies in scoring (10.8 ppg), second in rebounding (7.1), eighth in assists (1.6) and second in field goal percentage (54.4).

Wall is averaging 18 points and 9.1 assists and ranks second in the league in steals (2.8), but he said he understands how he didn't win the award. "I think he deserves it," Wall said of Fields. "You know, me missing a couple of games, and he's still out there performing. I wish I would've got it, but that's not my goal, getting those little awards. It's a great accomplishment to have it. He deserves it. He's been playing good and the Knicks are on a winning streak right now. Whatever he's doing, he's helping his team out as much as he can and they winning games. That's the thing we got to get to. We haven't had the time where we've had a winning streak going."

The Wizards have yet to win back-to-back games this season, but now they are in the midst of the longest losing streak of the season at four games. "Our coaches are doing a great job, our team just has to step it up more," Wall said. "And we've got a tough west coast trip coming up."

But first, they have a struggling Portland team at home, where the Wizards are 5-3.

FROM THE POST
The game story from today's newspaper and the postgame wrap-up, in which Andray Blatche admits that the team was lackadaisical during the morning shoot-around.

On the Box Seats blog, Lee Friedman looks at the Wizards' chances of winning individual awards this season.

AROUND THE WEB
LeBron James's return to Cleveland has finally almost arrived. Here is an amusing video from Hardwood Paroxysm.

Meanwhile, Yahoo!Sports's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cavaliers hired a high-powered Midwestern law firm to investigate their suspicions that the Miami Heat broke NBA tampering rules while pursuing James.

In non-Lebron news, former Georgetown star Jeff Green scored a career-high 37 points as Oklahoma City beat the Nets in triple-overtime. (Russell Westbrook was pretty good, too: 38 points, 15 rebounds). And another ex-Hoya, Indiana's Roy Hibbert, has shown great improvement (Fanhouse).

By Michael Lee  | December 2, 2010; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards problems in Toronto started hours before the game
Next: Cleveland's insults hark back to a more competitive time for the Wizards

Comments

And yes, it's the left knee, Wall said, always has been, even as the Wizards kept listing it as his right knee.

Maybe that's whats wrong with the medical staff they look at the wrong body part while they do their examinations?

Ted,

We had to deal with this kind of incompetence during the Abe era.

Are you going to do anything to show us fans you are a better owner then he was or are you reading Abe's guide to how to run a basketball organization he left behind?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 2, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse


The team's "true leader", Gil Arenas, had arguably the worst night of anyone on the team: Dude, who only give a crap about offense, went 1-10 from the field! No energy, no fight, no nothing.

Gil apologists: Is it true that Gilbert Arenas is shooting 38% from the field? FOR THE SEASON?

Blatche and Gil. Gil and Blatche. They are holdovers from the previous regime and have to go. Ditto for Grunfeld and Saunders. Ted's a pretty smart guy. No doubt he's watching this closely and will act accordingly.

Posted by: bobabuie | December 2, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Can Flip Please Just For 1 Game, Start.....

the Wall-Gil backcourt with Kirk on the bench. We're 17 games in with Gil playing in 14 of them, Wall in 11, and they have only started 1 game together, and that was with Kirk. Stop acting like Gil missed a hundred games to the point where he has to be on the bench when he comes back. Stop acting like Wall missed a hundred games to the point where he's got to come off the bench when he gets back. We are the only team in the league who has there 2 best players on the bench all year long. Get them both in the starting lineup & put Kirk on the bench.

We're 17 games in and we still havent one time ran the lineup that everyone thought we would use, but yet we wonder why we lose every game. His rotations suck. He's all crossed up now. Stop crabbing around and just put the real lineup in and see what happens. Then you can say that we suck, or that Gil & Wall cant play together, or whatever but dont keep trying your hardest every game to do something other then that. Now again Gil played so bad & Kirk played so solid that it will be another excuse for Flip to again not start that lineup. Either Wall or Gil will again come off the bench or he will start 3 small guys. I could see if we were winning but we never win. Just start the real lineup and see how it goes, you idiot.....lol

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 2, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Was this writer watching the same game I was watching on CSN last night? John Wall absolutely stunk up the place, understandable after his layoff but nevertheless. We'd have had a better chance to win that game if we'd given him another night off.

And I think Hinrich may be over the hill now. He might be the most appropriate guy to use to open a roster spot for Howard when he returns.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 2, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

let's see ... what part of this really stinks? How about the entire franchise. Starting with the front office and moving on down to the coaches and players on the floor. Fire them ALL! And start over with new management, coaching, and players. The players on this team are absolutely WORTHLESS. This franchise needs a royal cleansing.

Posted by: bestmick1 | December 2, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

let's see ... what part of this story really stinks? How about the entire franchise. Starting with the front office and moving on down to the coaches and players on the floor. Fire them ALL! And start over with new management, coaching, and players. The players on this team are absolutely WORTHLESS. This franchise needs a royal cleansing.

Posted by: bestmick1 | December 2, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

As I said before season starts, this team has enough big men in body count, but does not have enough useable big men. When McGee was out, Toronto just got in and scored every basket inside.

Seraphin and Ndiaye need D-league time, not NBA prime time. And I am not sure Booker can man interior on defense.

We were outrebounded 52 to 30! Worse margin than the score, talking about a blowout, this is a beat-down and buried!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 2, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse


"John Wall absolutely stunk up the place, understandable after his layoff but nevertheless."

Wall looked good, took care of the ball and fought all night. He was still going for blocks and scrapping while others just watched. He was the only bright spot on the team last night.

Posted by: bobabuie | December 2, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I think what the reporter meant was the fact that Wall has returned from the injury (i.e., healthy) was the bright spot, not necessarily his play last night. I don't think Wall played well, but the whole team sucked last night

BTW, reporter didn’t mention that the lay up Barbosa made at the end of first half was mainly Wall's fault. Wall was on top (i.e., last guy on defense) when Hinrich shot that air-ball, but for whatever reason, Wall moved up as Dorsey caught the ball, and just watched Barbosa ran pass him. By the time Barbosa got the ball there was no Wizards in front of him.

Posted by: sagaliba | December 2, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, let me see if I understand what the player and coach are saying, that there wasn't any focus at the morning practice and that its been going on for a while. This shows what I've alway suspected that Saunders doesn't know how to coach or handle a young team, his theory is just put the ball in Walls hands and let him run with it just like in the playgrounds.. The team is lacking direction with no leader, like a ship without a rudder just going in circles. I haven't seen this team run a setup play as yet, why aren't they going inside out, first to McGee (lord not Blance the clone to Mr. Softee, even Mr. Softee Ice Cream is harder than Blandce)and then run some plays with cutting and spot up shooters, that way McGee is never beyond the foul line thus move coverage in the lane. Please get rid of that for GD sake three guard BS, Hinrich is not a starter, better coming off the Bench, never should have been make Captain or annointed a leader, and the Kid Wall Please stop trying to force him to lead, have Arena handle the heavy duties. Most of all GET A REAL COACH, PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Posted by: getagripped | December 2, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Flip's an idiot; worst coach in the NBA; it's his job to get the team ready to play. His rotations are terrible; and he doesn't seem to have a grasp on how to use his players to the best of their abilities. TED, PLEASE, PLEASE FIRE FLIP. He destroyed the Pistons; don't keep him here long enough to destroy the Wizards.

John Wall is not "all that and a bag of chips," contrary to the nauseating Wizards and WaPO PR blitz. He didn't play well last night and put up meaningless numbers in a game that was lost in the second quarter.

On another note, someone took exception to players' grammar during interviews. A) Since none of us bloggers are capable of playing professional basketball, let's conced the grammatical lapses of the plaeyrs, shall we? B) If Michael Lee wasn't such a jerk, he'd paraphrase the direct quotes.

Posted by: MaxMcGee | December 2, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Flip's an idiot; worst coach in the NBA; it's his job to get the team ready to play. His rotations are terrible; and he doesn't seem to have a grasp on how to use his players to the best of their abilities. TED, PLEASE, PLEASE FIRE FLIP. He destroyed the Pistons; don't keep him here long enough to destroy the Wizards.

John Wall is not "all that and a bag of chips," contrary to the nauseating Wizards and WaPO PR blitz. He didn't play well last night and put up meaningless numbers in a game that was lost in the second quarter.

On another note, someone took exception to players' grammar during interviews. A) Since none of us bloggers are capable of playing professional basketball, let's conced the grammatical lapses of the plaeyrs, shall we? B) If Michael Lee weren't such a jerk, he'd paraphrase the direct quotes.

Posted by: MaxMcGee | December 2, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I tell you, the place is absolutely swarming with hhhaaattteeerrrsss!

Don't you dolts realize that the Wizards are furtunate to have won as many games as they have with all the injuries and inconsistent lineups (more on that later) they've been dealing with all season? Why, as soon as one guy gets over his injury and is inserted back into the lineup, another player gets injured. It truly is like "Groundhog Day".

It is extremely difficult to win in the NBA when your main players are constantly battling injuries and nobody can settle into their roles and gain chemistry with each other. This is essentally a new team, people! I'm starting to think that some of you don't even watch the games.

Ernest Grunfeld has stocked this team with countless exotic gems. It's up to Saunders to polish them and place them where they will shine the brightest. Sadly, to date, he has failed in that respect, injuries notwithstanding. His lineups and substitutions are, at best, baffling. He was hired to coach a veteran team and simply is not the man for the task at hand. In my opinion, the players don't believe in him, his system, his lineups or his in-game adjustments. That said, let the record show that I don't for one minute believe the vicious, unfounded rumors that Kirk Hinrich is his love child, but one does wonder....

Difficult decisions lie ahead for the master of his craft, Ernest Grunfeld. He will not disappoint.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 2, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Mcgee and Wall have been the team's best players with an honorable mention to Nick. NY is the oldest of them at 25. Flip should start all 3 of them Friday and maybe Booker too (send a message to AB).

Or he could bemoan laziness in warmups again then trot out the same starting lineup that was immediately thrashed by the Raptors.

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

At times, AB is one of the least inspiring athletes I have ever seen. His lazy defensive rotations, unwillingness to attack the rim, and poor conditioning are beyond concerning. On the flip side, the strides that Mcgee and Young continue to make are really exciting.

Posted by: audacitea | December 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Problem last night was defense, guys. The Wiz didn't play much. They were behind by 9 at the end of the quarter, 20 at intermission. Made up exactly one point of that deficit in the second half.

The Raps shot 58%, had 13 more field goals. 54% from the arc, not that they needed to shoot from outside. Everybody's mentioned that 22 rebound advantage. When you can do that, you don't need to do much else.

Gil could have 8 instead of 1 for 10 and Washington would still have lost handily.

Defense -- that thing where you have to play together, with consistent effort and great communication?

When the Wiz fall, that's usually what they trip over.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 2, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that the Wiz seem to play better without JW...Why is this???

Does he dribble too much? Is he pushing the ball too much instead of waiting for his teammates? Or, is it the fact that GA feels more comfortable with the ball in his hands most of the time?

I agree that making JW a captain was a mistake. However, I am starting to come to the conclusion that JW and GA may not be able to play together

Do you think Gil and KH played well together last night? IMHO, it's becoming apparent that neither GA or KH plays well without the ball. Maybe Wall doesn't either, but he's your prized possession so he's supposed to have the ball.

The other disturbing realization is that Gil and KH are terrible perimeter defenders that flip has to protect with various (largely ineffective) zones. Jose Calderon broke our guards down last night. JOSE CALDERON.

Hinrich's not the defender that EG believed he was, and Gil is still Gil despite more effort. If the team is serious about all the defense they talked up during the offseason, shouldnt put GA/KH on the floor together and expect the bigs to bail them out all night (most especially with AB as one of those bigs)

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Do we think a more man-to-man defensive focus would create greater accountability for guys like AB?

Posted by: audacitea | December 2, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"Do we think a more man-to-man defensive focus would create greater accountability for guys like AB?"

I think it will create better accountability for EVERYBODY!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 2, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse


It's up to Saunders to polish them and place them where they will shine the brightest. Sadly, to date, he has failed in that respect, injuries notwithstanding. His lineups and substitutions are, at best, baffling. He was hired to coach a veteran team and simply is not the man for the task at hand. In my opinion, the players don't believe in him, his system, his lineups or his in-game adjustments.

Posted by: melodious_thunk

I rarely agree with you, Melodious, but I do believe Flip is killing this team's spirit. BUT Ernie doesn't get a pass just because the roster has changed. Flip is just a bad coach and Ernie hired him. No way around that. Now he'll have to convince Ted to let him fire him to save his job. As my grandmother would say, Grunfeld is "between and betwixt". I think your boy Ernest is done as a Wizards exec.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | December 2, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

This, of course, is the NBA - professional basketball - and these are men, not children.

Coaches can't make them run extra laps or make them stay after practice or give Knute Rockne "Win one for the Gipper!" speeches. They have to motivate themselves.

The players themselves admit they're not serious. That's quite an admission.

It's 2010 and these are adults.

How is changing the coach going to make them change their attitude? What is a new coach going to do?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 2, 2010 10:11 AM

SteveMG,

Yes, this is the pros, the NBA and for others as well that don't believe that coaching can't make a huge difference, even at this level...that is baffling, astounding, can't see how you or anyone do not realize that coaching can make and does make a huge difference.

The speed of the team is the speed of the leader.

Remember or let me remind you. Saunders did not toil in the NBA for years before he became a head coach. Saunders never played in the NBA and he got the job as head coach on who he knew and not what he knew and he only had minimal NBA experience.

The stars lined up and he lucked into Kevin Garnett whom he never won a championship with.

Out of 8 season's to the playoffs Flip and his Team lost in the 1st round of seven of them and only once did they make it to the West Coast Championship.

Coaching can and does make a huge difference.

"How is changing the coach going to make them change their attitude? What is a new coach going to do?"

SteveMG, you know this, don't outwit yourself for Flip Saunders. LEADERS motivate MEN. LEADERS motivate MEN. Just maybe Flip Saunders isn't one. One thing for sure, no one can say that Gilbert Arenas hasn't been a leader. Now isn't that funny. Maybe not the kind that most like, but he has led and can lead this team if given the reigns.

Gilbert is giving the reigns to a rookie bacause the organization says the rookie is the leader. A bad bad decision.

Are you with me now SteveMG?

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 2, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Do we think a more man-to-man defensive focus would create greater accountability for guys like AB?"

I think it will create better accountability for EVERYBODY!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 2, 2010 11:02 AM

It will also result in the Wizards giving up 150 ppg.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

LEADERS motivate MEN. LEADERS motivate MEN. Just maybe Flip Saunders isn't one

Oy vey. The Knute Rockne approach?

And leaders lead by, among other powers, being able to punish those that don't follow. Either can't or don't want to.

What can Saunders do to these grown, adult, highly paid with guaranteed contracts men? What punishment can he mete out?

It appears you think this is high school. Or the army.

The NBA is called a "PLAYER'S LEAGUE", Larry.

It's not the US Army or Notre Dame. It's the pros.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 2, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

And can we declare a moratorium on people repeatedly reposting their own comments from previous threads into subsequent ones? Did it ever occur to you that if no one cared enough about what you said to respond the first time you said it, that saying it over and over again isn't likely to make them care any more?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse


What can Saunders do to these grown, adult, highly paid with guaranteed contracts men? What punishment can he mete out?

Posted by: SteveMG

His biggest hammer is playing time. He has to bang that hammer. The guys who want to play will fall in line. The ones who don't give a "flip", won't.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse


nba = thug wannabe's

Posted by: hessone | December 2, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"His biggest hammer is playing time. He has to bang that hammer. The guys who want to play will fall in line. The ones who don't give a "flip", won't."

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 11:57 AM

And if one of the players he sits for giving crap effort happens to be one of the fan-favorite pets (i.e., Blatche, Young, or McGee) the wailing screams for Saunders' head on a plate will deafen all within earshot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


Flip has three years left on his contract and was hired by the current GM. Tht gives him a certain degree of power to impose his will on the team. In order to change the culture, Flip has to play the guys who do as he says to make the guys who aer slacking "see the light". Otherwise, he's every bit the coward that he was labeled as in Detroit.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse


And if one of the players he sits for giving crap effort happens to be one of the fan-favorite pets (i.e., Blatche, Young, or McGee) the wailing screams for Saunders' head on a plate will deafen all within earshot.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Screw 'em!

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

SteveMG,

This is these guys livelihood. You seem to indicate that they don't have enough pride in themselves to do the best job possible. Any player known to be doing that doesn't have a job when his contract ends.

Next, the coach that can't establish discipline and hard work won't be winning any championships. The coaches that do, win championships. You can't win anything by showing up and pencil whipping the job as they say in the government. You can't have the attitude that it is good enough for government work, as they say in the government.

You think these players are just bidding their time till there contract runs out so they can go home and not have to play anymore.

If these players are like you describe them MG, would I or you as the coach, the GM, or the Owner settle for this group.

Hell no you would not SteveMG. Somebody downs there at the VC don't know what the hey they are doing.

But, I just like picking on the Coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 2, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"This is these guys livelihood. You seem to indicate that they don't have enough pride in themselves to do the best job possible."

No, the players themselves indicated that when they admitted to half-assing their game prep, even though they knew it would undermine their chances of winning.

"This is these guys livelihood. You seem to indicate that they don't have enough pride in themselves to do the best job possible. Any player known to be doing that doesn't have a job when his contract ends."

15 year NBA vet Derrick Coleman would strongly dispute that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

You seem to indicate that they don't have enough pride in themselves to do the best job possible. Any player known to be doing that doesn't have a job when his contract ends.

The players have admitted that themselves.

At least on one occasion.

I'm saying they're men, not children. Your attitude seems that they should be treated like teenagers. I don't. They should be treated like men, which is what they are.

And that NBA coaches are greatly limited in their ability to motivate players.

The players motivate themselves. They have to prepare. They have to eat right. Get the right amount of sleep. Stay in shape. Do the mental preparation. Study films. Work on their games.

Coaches can't hold their hands and do this.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 2, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse


Coaches can't hold their hands and do this.

Posted by: SteveMG

Coaches also can't reward the players who don't do the above by giving them extensive playing time. They just can't. If the carrot won't work, Flip needs to whip out the stick and start handing out "wood shampoos".

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Coaches also can't reward the players who don't do the above by giving them extensive playing time. They just can't. If the carrot won't work, Flip needs to whip out the stick and start handing out "wood shampoos"."

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 12:29 PM

Which is just what he did last season and early this one with McGee and Young (despite the caterwauling from some fan quarters). And, to some extent, it appears to have paid off (of course, Flip's detractors will never admit to any cause and effect there). But it's one thing to do that with a couple of guys on rookie contracts on the verge of option/extension years. It's harder to pull off with a guy the organization just, inexplicably, gave an unnecessary 3 year contract extension, or a guy with 4 years and half a billion dollars left on his deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Coaches also can't reward the players who don't do the above by giving them extensive playing time. They just can't. If the carrot won't work, Flip needs to whip out the stick and start handing out "wood shampoos"."

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 12:29 PM

Which is just what he did last season and early this one with McGee and Young (despite the caterwauling from some fan quarters). And, to some extent, it appears to have paid off (of course, Flip's detractors will never admit to any cause and effect there). But it's one thing to do that with a couple of guys on rookie contracts on the verge of option/extension years. It's harder to pull off with a guy the organization just, inexplicably, gave an unnecessary 3 year contract extension, or a guy with 4 years and half a billion dollars left on his deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse
what about the guy just signed off the street inexplicably grabbing the starting 3 spot? or the overrated veteran pg we traded for, or the prized pg who'd dribble the air out of the ball if you let him. If you wanna credit Flip for finally giving NY more mins and starting javale by default go head and crown him. We've been having the chicken egg argument about Ny's mins and production for the past 2 yrs. I saw him play great d on elite players LAST YR. I saw him fill it up in games he played over 20 mins LAST YEAR. I don't see anything different about NY except he's got a fro and smiles less.
The new players on this team have been rewarded with starting jobs and captains spots without proving anything here yet.Why would guys work hard, when clowns can walk in off the street and get superstar treatment just for showing up? Alonzo Gee basically stepped off the plane into a starting job, just by virtue of riding San Antoinio's bench.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse


But it's one thing to do that with a couple of guys on rookie contracts on the verge of option/extension years. It's harder to pull off with a guy the organization just, inexplicably, gave an unnecessary 3 year contract extension, or a guy with 4 years and half a billion dollars left on his deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Agreed. My feeling is that Flip has to be willing to do what's difficult, because he's preaching hard work, focus, etc. and clearly rewarding guys who are not giving it up for him and the orgainzation. Flip's leverage with this organization will never be greater than it is now. He either does what is unpalatable for some or perpetuates a culture of lethargy and dysfunctional behavior.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"My expectations are quite simple; the team needs to forge an identity that we are energetic; have young legs– we are tough to play against–and we have upside. And that we play tough and that we play together. We are tight–we are well coached.

We didn’t show any thing like that last night– and to not have one road win yet this season is unacceptable."

A shot across the bow by Leonsis?

http://www.tedstake.com/2010/12/02/agree-ugly/#more-10904

Posted by: artiesliver | December 2, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

But it's one thing to do that with a couple of guys on rookie contracts on the verge of option/extension years. It's harder to pull off with a guy the organization just, inexplicably, gave an unnecessary 3 year contract extension

Rockets sat TMac when he was earning $20mill, then barred him from facility (or whatever) when he groused. But ABs $7mill salary ties Flip's hands?

Benching Gil lowers his trade value more than 1-10 shooting nights?

It's one think if EG is pulling Flip's strings on certain things, but I sincerely hope Flip isn't worried about standing up to....Andray Blatche

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Rockets sat TMac when he was earning $20mill, then barred him from facility (or whatever) when he groused. But ABs $7mill salary ties Flip's hands?"

At the time they did that, McGrady was in the last year of his contract and clearly had no future with the organization. Not quite the same thing.

But, of course, you knew that and, as usual, pretended not to in an attempt to make your point. And, as usual, you shanked it wide left.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

At the time they did that, McGrady was in the last year of his contract and clearly had no future with the organization. Not quite the same thing.

You could bench AB for roughly 3yrs and incur the same cost. Your point is that Flip cant demand accountability from Blatche because he signed a relatively modest (by nba big man standards) extension. So Flip can only coach guys on rookie deals or in their contract years? Can't handle a guy making $7mill?

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"The new players on this team have been rewarded with starting jobs and captains spots without proving anything here yet.Why would guys work hard, when clowns can walk in off the street and get superstar treatment just for showing up?"

Because it's their job and they're getting paid millions of dollars to do it. BTW, what exactly have the "old" players on this team proven? Not much by my count.

"Alonzo Gee basically stepped off the plane into a starting job, just by virtue of riding San Antoinio's bench." Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 12:52 PM

Of course that's nonsense. Gee got the starting job by virtue of all of the team's other SFs being hurt. If Thornton and Howard were healthy, Gee wouldn't see the court. Hell, he probably wouldn't have even been signed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Your point is that Flip cant demand accountability from Blatche because he signed a relatively modest (by nba big man standards) extension."

Of course, that's not my point. But that should go without saying by virtue of the fact that you said it was.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course that's nonsense. Gee got the starting job by virtue of all of the team's other SFs being hurt. If Thornton and Howard were healthy, Gee wouldn't see the court. Hell, he probably wouldn't have even been signed.

FYI, gee is 6'6" 220 and listed as a SG. CMartin is 6'7" and listed as a GF

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Of course that's nonsense. Gee got the starting job by virtue of all of the team's other SFs being hurt. If Thornton and Howard were healthy, Gee wouldn't see the court. Hell, he probably wouldn't have even been signed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse
I understand that,but we had a 6'7" guy on our team already who was in the process of throwing up 4 consecutive 20 pt performances off the bench. NY was more qualified to start at the 3 than Gee. Him starting and then bringing AT off the bench was a bad move last night. Toronto jumped all over us from the gate and it wasn't the right time to see what Al had in the tank.
I wouldn't speculate that Gee wouldn't have been signed either. He was a nice pickup late last year and a "fan favorite". He's a good energy guy but once again he should like............never start....ever.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The problem the Wiz have is basically what they had last year; Flip Saunders. I am not sure what it is about this dude but he can't seem to get players to listen to or play for him. It happened in Detroit,it happened last year with Jamison,Butler and co. and now with this team. This team of players is much better than their record shows, that is my humble opinion. And while I am typing away my angst, let me say one more thing, WTF is up with Hinrich??? Now I know why Chicago was in such a hurry to let this dude go. He is another Earl Boykins(dribble away the shot clock and then force a pass to another player, hence - turnover) Auggh!!! He drives me mad. How the heck did EG think Hinrich was a steal. Yea right! This dude makes me wanna pull my hair out. I love my Wiz to death but they are painful to watch at the moment. Something is missing from this team.

Posted by: ivyleague | December 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I will have a hard time to use the starting line up as an excuse for the poor performance of last night game.NY should continue to come from bench,he is productive ,if JH is coming it will probably be ideal to start NY and bring JH from bench to balance the team's 48 minutes performance.
I like Arenas, do not put me to his haters but if we are not keeping him until his contract is over or we are not convinced that he could play with wall why not trading him?
Who is hard to move a year from now ,Arenas or RL?.RL will get a hungery team by 2011-12 which is going to be the best time for wiz to hand big money for john wall.If RL comes to DC, he will balance the team if they play him as SF.There is noting objective about Arenas at this point.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

We all know that Gil has a sizeable contract. KH has about 17mil but only a handfull of years. Other than those two i believe the rest of the roster is constructed with moderate to low salaries and no more than 3 years. This is the time to change the culture around here. If players work ethic is not up to standard its time to start showing them the door. Caoches having to end practice and reschedule because of the lack of effort or shoot arounds where its obvious they are not ready to play have end! Theres been too much of it for too long. We can loose 50 something games with no names from off the street!

Posted by: gmac78 | December 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse


It should now be clear to everyone why Blatche was so eager to sign what most thought to be a below-market-value contract this summer--he knew he was putting it in cruise control for the foreseeable future. After all, if fellow big Kwame Brown can stay in the league for 10 years or more, certainly Blatche can.

Grunfeld will definitely lose his job over that extension if Saunders has to sit Blatche for dogging it.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 2, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

as frustrating as Dray is right now, he's pulling a jamison, giving us 16 and 8 a night. Only difference is he's doing it in his sleep. he's still not in shape, and his motor isn't especially high right now. I'm not apologizing for his lack of hustle or effort on the defensive end, but maybe that's all he can bring right now. A good gm might have a backup that could push him for the spot, or at least adequately spell him off the bench. I dunno if he's actively "dogging it" or he can't bring it like we need him to. The team defensive philosophy is for the guards to get beat 1 on 1 and leave it up to Vale or dray to "protect the rim" (and avoid foul trouble). i dunno if dray is in shape for that. He's always a step slow on his rotations,but surprisingly has never been called out for being lost on defense.
Just shootin one here, but i think this team would play much better at a faster pace. We aren't that much less athletic than toronto but we don't run. If we play faster,we'll have to practice faster, and maybe a faster paced system would force Drasty Cakes to get serious about his conditioning. Look at the physical changes that Jared Dudley and Channing Frye underwent as soon as they started playing in Phoenix fast paced system. Also notice the pillsbury doughboy-esque physique that Boris Diaw has workin since he left Phoenix a coupla yrs ago. You can't be a Fat Big on a fast, running team.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

This should really go without saying (although it’s not like anything ever does around here), but it’s quite obviously not just about money (which is why I made no reference to the actual size of Blatche’s contract). It’s about organizational priorities and directives and how a player’s contract reflects their value in the organization’s eyes. It’s about the degree to which the best paid players (and Blatche is the 3rd highest paid player on the team behind Arenas, whom they’d love to get rid of (regardless of what Leonsis says when the mics are on), and Hinrich, who only has 1 more year left on his deal) are often the ones with the higher profiles and greater locker room influence. The fact that they signed Blatche and Arenas to long term deals represents a belief about their value on the part of the organization (at least at the time the deals were signed). And even if those beliefs change over time (as they clearly with Arenas, and possibly will in with Blatche) their consequences still have impact. Talk all you want about how Blatche’s (or anyone else’s) contract is “moderate,” “reasonable,” “movable” or whatever else, but the fact remains that trade a player you don’t want requires another team to want him. And when a coach benches one of the team’s “star” players for lack of effort, lack of focus, lack of conditioning, lack of common sense, or lack of whatever else, it sends a message alright, but that message isn’t just received by the player, by all of the other owners and GMs in the NBA. Fans can crow all they want about coaches dropping the hammer on recalcitrant players, but, as is usually the case, things are never as simple on the inside as they look from the outside. Contrary to popular fantasy, most coaches don’t have the carte blanche to act as they please without clearance or consequence. Coaches are salaried employees who are answerable to their bosses and their bosses’ bosses.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Sure McGee can score when he gets the ball close to the basket. But he is not the type you can give him the ball and let him goes to work. Blatche can at least do that even though people may not like his finesse style as a PF. As for Seraphin, I have to admit, he hasn’t played enough to really tell, but so far he hasn't displayed that skill (including some clips that I saw on youtube). One positive about Seraphin though is that he is unlikely to be pushed around like other bigs on this team.

BTW, Booker's last two dunks were amazing, can he do that in real meaningful minutes?

Posted by: sagaliba | November 30, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

About Booker: Evidently not.

About Javale: I'll take his interior points all day long...or at least 21 of them in 27 minutes.

About this team: They are on track for 24-25 wins this season, worse than I expected, but not by much. John Wall is a great shining beacon of hope for this team and the guys who say he stunk must not have watched many 20 year old rookies with a nagging injury play in the NBA.

This year is not about winning. When will you understand that this year is about teaching the younger guys (mainly Wall, McGee, Young and Booker) how to play in the NBA and seeing how guys like Howard, Seraphin, Hinrich, Yi, etc pan out. Gil and Blatche are the only two players caught in the middle of that - ie: already can play in the NBA (winning is still questionable) and locked up long term (for better or worse).

Posted by: Blurred | December 2, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse


Contrary to popular fantasy, most coaches don’t have the carte blanche to act as they please without clearance or consequence. Coaches are salaried employees who are answerable to their bosses and their bosses’ bosses.

I guess benching a player without authorization could be considered breach of contract if Flip's contract is worded in such a way that makes clear that he must get approval for such an action or that it would be an act of insubordination to do so. Otherwise, Leonsis and Grunfeld can fire him for benching a player but they would still have to pay him. Since Saunders is still owed about $12-13 million, I doubt the Wizards would want to go that route.

Posted by: ahwyatt | December 2, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

all good, but at some point someone has got to be concerned with winning right? Coaches are fired and hired on the basis of being "winners" or never being able to "win the big one" or "get their team over the hump". If one or two guys effort could be the difference between winning and losing, i dunno what coach wouldn't make that move.Unless of course winning isn't the goal. All this talk about trade value and stuff can get lost on a fan base that has endured 100+ losses over the past 2 seasons. Most of us would like to see this team win, and would like to see the coach work on putting together the best winning combo, not just the combo that showcases your tradeable assets while throwing youth and player development to the wind.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Coaches are salaried employees who are answerable to their bosses and their bosses’ bosses.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The Flip Saunders/ Ernie Grunfeld trickle down effect. First it's Ern, who can't sign,trade or draft the players he really wants and the team really needs because the owner won't let him. Now the head coach can't coach his team because the Gm and Owner want him to maintain the profiles of our "tradeable assets" (BTW have we gotten one good trade offer yet, i mean one that could make the team better?) sheesh.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Yawn.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

tired...............yup that just about sums u up.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

And enough with the “Flip’s rotation is blocking the development of the young guys” guff. There’s only 1 player on the active roster who’s passed his 30th birthday, and only 2 with more than 5 years of NBA experience. This entire team is basically young guys. So whoever he plays, he’s ultimately “playing the young guys.”

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

As for winning . . . please feel free to present an argument that explains how benching Blatche to play the likes of Booker or Seraphin 30+ mpg will result in a sharp uptick in ins.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Make that “sharp uptick in wins.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Benching Blatche may encourage him to step up the defense, take a better look at his shot selection and find other ways to effect the game without just scoring. I'm hoping for a similar effect as in NY's case. NY wasn't rewarded for not doing his job and so he had to figure out how to do his job by languishing on the bench and working hard in practice. He also improved his body and seems to have matured. SOMEONE, in an earlier post, commented on how folks would be reluctant to credit Flip for the strides NY and Jmac have made. If I'm crediting Flip for doing NY and Jmac like this, than it would only be fair to question why flip hasn't gone about things this way with AB and any other underachiever on the team. But then again you answered that question earlier. If we bench Blatche he's not as valuable in a trade.
A swift kick in the rear could jumpstart AB. kinda like how the "unshackeling" last season after Ab left, got Ab wearing suits to games and taking a leadership role. I don't know what makes this kid tick, and i really don't care. If benching him for a game or "pulling" him early can light a fire under him so be it.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

after AJ left obviously

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 2, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

When the only winning coach this franchise has had in the last 10 years tried to talk about defense, the laziness of AB and the smart azz comments from a certain all star guard he was taken to task by a lot of you who post on this blog and he wasn't backed up by his know nothing GM and now as Malcom X once said those chickens are comming home to roost. This whole area's pro franchises are rife with disaray the Nat's,Skins and Wizards are all a joke and the future is like one long black tunnel with no help in sight.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 2, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Andray Blatche is horrible. i have said it for 3 years now. he had a good 2 weeks last year of which they lost all but 1 or 2 games. Sad part is this guy is still trying to live off that. The guy is just sorry. 1st any guy that makes over $500K and has face recognition as a pro athlete should not need to solicit a prostitute off K street. let's be real in that this guy is sorry all around. He is a sorry waste of great athletic size too. Any 6-11 guy that shoots reverse layups versus power moves is a bum. any 6-11 guy that shoots fade-away 17-footers is a bum. no team in the NBA wants that on their squad with any amount of value. i assure you, the Wiz will eat his $7M per year until it expires. And no one think Grunfeld's job should be on the line?

Posted by: oknow1 | December 2, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"The other disturbing realization is that Gil and KH are terrible perimeter defenders that flip has to protect with various (largely ineffective) zones. Jose Calderon broke our guards down last night. JOSE CALDERON."

How anyone can look at the box from last night's game and think the problem is Kirk Hinrich's defense is beyond me. You'd have to have a Hummer-sized axe to grind.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 2, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

How anyone can look at the box from last night's game and think the problem is Kirk Hinrich's defense is beyond me.

Simple, actually watch the game instead of just looking at the box score. You yourself said the problem was defense, not offense. You just don't like to hear that KH isn't a good defender. Neither is Gil.

Here's something from the box score for you- every guard on the Raptors roster (seriously, all 5 of them) eclipsed their season averages. Must have been Mcgee's mistakes or something huh

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Yawn.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

That's the response must on here have to you defending Flip like melodious_thunk defends Ernie.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 2, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"It will also result in the Wizards giving up 150 ppg."

LOL, like there is a big difference between giving up 130 and 150?!

Playing man-to-man at least allows us to find out whether or not those newly acquired players are as good defenders as they were billed to be!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 2, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Every guard on the Raptors roster (seriously, all 5 of them) eclipsed their season averages. Must have been Mcgee's mistakes or something huh

Posted by: divi3

Yes. In as much as everyone on the Wizards was atrocious last night defensively. Or was letting Bargnani dunk on him a clever part of McGee's strategy?

I believe Samson's point was that it's silly to look at last night's game and just isolate Hinrich or even the guards as the problem. Everyone sucked fairly equally. Bargnani went off in the first half. It wasn't Kirk or Gil guarding him. The team got outrebounded by 22, that's not all on the guards.

The guards (Wall and NY included) did get torched, very true. But the team, the whole team, got smoked, period.

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@Larry,

The Wiz played man up last night and got smoked. They tried to switch and got smoked. They tried zone and got smoked.

Re: Leadership. If Gil was prepared to be a leader, wouldn't he have already stepped up, captain or no? Forcing him into the role and requiring him to do it won't make him any better at it.

With Flip, it would be nice if all coaches were inspiring leaders of men, but the truth of it is that not all are, nor should they have to be with professional players. Certainly it should not be on the coach to inspire a basic level of effort. Many here preferred Avery Johnson as that type of inspiring, energetic, disciplined coach. The Nets are 6-13.

I'm not saying Flip is blameless for the mess they are in, clearly he bears his share. But a coach should not have to inspire players to not sleepwalk through shootarounds (or games for that matter). If nothing else, the prospect of being embarrassed (as they have been repeatedly) should be enough personal motivation. If the prospect of being embarrassed is not enough to motivate them, it's difficult to say that anything a coach could do would do much more.

Good leaders can do a lot, but they function at their best when they surround themselves with people willing to be led. Clearly Flip has not inspired this team with his leadership. But it is professional responsibility of the players to do their best to follow his lead, even if they disagree with it.

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"Playing man-to-man at least allows us to find out whether or not those newly acquired players are as good defenders as they were billed to be!"

Posted by: sagaliba | December 2, 2010 8:23 PM

I hadn't realized that was still an open question.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I believe Samson's point was that it's silly to look at last night's game and just isolate Hinrich or even the guards as the problem. Everyone sucked fairly equally.

Who said that wasnt the case? AB was equally ragged today, hollywood and myself have been saying bench him all day. The very same sentence mentioning Hinrich also pointed to Gil's lack of perimeter defense. Samson just doesn't like when the light is shined on KH

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The Nets are 6-13

Considering they won 12 games last year, is that so bad?

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The speed of the team is the speed of the leader.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

How about "A group can only go as fast as its slowest member".

Remember or let me remind you. Saunders did not toil in the NBA for years before he became a head coach. Saunders never played in the NBA and he got the job as head coach on who he knew and not what he knew and he only had minimal NBA experience.

Gregg Popovich also never played in the NBA. He had more experience in the NBA as an assistant (where he was first hired by his *friend* Larry Brown), but Saunders had more experience as a college and very successful CBA head coach.

Pop didn't get the head coaching job because of a friend, he got it because he was GM, and fired the head coach and took over himself, despite negligible head coaching experience. And coincidentally on the day that David Robinson returned from injury. Equally 'dubious' but it worked out pretty well. Having Duncan drop into his lap also helped.

The stars lined up and he lucked into Kevin Garnett whom he never won a championship with.

Out of 8 season's to the playoffs Flip and his Team lost in the 1st round of seven of them and only once did they make it to the West Coast Championship.

Larry Brown had plenty of experience in the ABA and NBA, and had Allen Iverson for what 6 years? And also never won a title with the Sixers. Jerry Sloan has plenty of NBA experience, and also had two of the top 50 players of all time in Stockton and Malone. Also has never won a title.

Seriously, Larry, I'm sort of lukewarm on Flip, but you need to check yourself here. In the years Flip made the playoffs with the T-Wolves, here are the teams he lost to: The Olajuwon/Barkley/Drexler Rockets, the Payton/McMillan/Shrempf/pre-drinking Baker Sonics, the Duncan / Robinson Spurs (x2), the 'Sheed/Pippen/J O'Neal et al Blazers, the Nash/Dirk Mavericks, and the Shaq/Kobe Lakers (x2).

Who else exactly did Flip have most of those years aside from Garnett? The *one* year he had more than that, with Cassell and Sprewell, he took them to the WC Finals. Go back through his playoff teams with the T-Wolves and show me which series he lost where he had more or even equal rosters to his opponents.

If you want to criticize his coaching, his strategy, his motivation, his rotations, I'm fine with it, even if I some times disagree, but this selective rationale for whatever his failings might be is just off-base.

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

For the people on here who don't understand the game of basketball take a look at the United States men's national basketball team.

In the 2004 Olympic Games they finished 3rd among 12 teams. That team had
Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony, Stephon Marbury, Richard Jefferson, Lamar Odom, and Emeka Okafor I guess these players didn't have the heart and commitment to win?

No they were coached by Larry Brown who didn't provide the right strategy to win against international teams.

In 2008 coach Krzyzewski understood that the team had to play by international rules and he provided a different strategy to win.

The question is did coaching make the difference between winning and losing?

Yes.

Are the reason the Wizards so bad all Flips fault...No. Ernie has hand picked a bunch of losers which includes his coach.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 2, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Who said that wasnt the case?
Posted by: divi3

More or less, um, you?

If the team is serious about all the defense they talked up during the offseason, shouldnt put GA/KH on the floor together and expect the bigs to bail them out all night (most especially with AB as one of those bigs)

"The other disturbing realization is that Gil and KH are terrible perimeter defenders that flip has to protect with various (largely ineffective) zones. Jose Calderon broke our guards down last night. JOSE CALDERON."

Every guard on the Raptors roster (seriously, all 5 of them) eclipsed their season averages. Must have been Mcgee's mistakes or something huh

I know you're speaking generically, but the implication is that somehow the bigs -- with the noted exception of AB -- or even everyone but KH, GA and AB are carrying their own weight. JM generally might come close, but last night was not one of those nights. Bargnani got the better of him, and AB, and anyone else who was covering him.

The Wiz got killed every which way last night. On the perimeter, in the paint, on the break, in the half court. Everyone got schooled.

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The Nets are 6-13

Considering they won 12 games last year, is that so bad?

Posted by: divi3

Ahh, got it. So truly inspiring leadership provides the difference between totally pathetic and slightly less pathetic. If Avery were the Wiz's coach, they would be 1-8 at home instead of 0-9?

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Sure BF78, let's totally skip over the part where USA Basketball totally remade the way it did business in those intervening years, such as securing earlier commitments from players and establishing that more practice time prior to the Olympics would be a requirement.

If it helps, the argument lends itself more to an indictment of Ernie than Flip.

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

And btw, Coach K was also the coach in '06 when they lost the FIBA Championship.

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

If I'm correct only 4 active coaches have won an NBA championship right now...

So I guess they haven't won anything either...

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 2, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

ts35

So do you believe a coach doesn't have any effect on a team?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 2, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

ts35

So do you believe a coach doesn't have any effect on a team?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

No, I do. I just thought it was a rather poorly thought out, inaccurate, and generally bad example, that ignored a whole lot of other, more compelling factors.

So between '06 and '08 did Coach K become a better coach?

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

No coach can win without talent. But talent alone doesn't win anything. It has to be the right kind and mix of talent.

Contrary to popular myth, this team doesn't have a lot of talent, and most of the actual talent it does have doesn't mesh very well on the floor. Saunders could be the bastard child of Adolph Rupp and Red Auerbach, and he still couldn't win with this team. This team simply doesn't have the pieces. And the simple truth of the matter is, that everyone in the Wizards organization likely knew that coming into this season. This is part of the rebuilding process.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, got it. So truly inspiring leadership provides the difference between totally pathetic and slightly less pathetic. If Avery were the Wiz's coach, they would be 1-8 at home instead of 0-9?

The Nets are gave up 101.5 last year, 98.4 this year. Scored 92.4 last year, 94.7 this year. Won their 6th game on Feb27 last year, Nov28th this year. Care to check the Wizards progress in the same time?

How'd they do it? Hired a coach who talked all summer about defense, who then came in and improved the defense by benching players who don't play D. Even when they are established $10mill vets like Troy Murphy, who now plays 18mins a night.

Point being, I'm not sure what about that scenario is cause for snarky comments. They at least look like they are turning things around. Do we?

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"In the 2004 Olympic Games they finished 3rd among 12 teams. That team had Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony, Stephon Marbury, Richard Jefferson, Lamar Odom, and Emeka Okafor I guess these players didn't have the heart and commitment to win?"

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 2, 2010 10:57 PM

Much of what was written about the team in the aftermath of the loss suggests that, for some of them, that was, in fact, the case. That they weren't fully committed to the task at hand and basically went through the motions, thinking they could just show up and roll over everybody. When that turned out not to be the case, they just put it on autopilot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"AB was equally ragged today, hollywood and myself have been saying bench him all day. The very same sentence mentioning Hinrich also pointed to Gil's lack of perimeter defense. Samson just doesn't like when the light is shined on KH. Posted by: divi3"

I can hear that axe a'grindin'. It's like bruxism of the soul.

I pointed out the box score in hopes it might illuminate the essential irrationality of your argument. Of course Gilbert played poor defense; he's always been a poor defender. Hinrich isn't. He's a limited defender, but not a poor one.

You may have watched the game, but you still didn't see it.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 2, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course Gilbert played poor defense; he's always been a poor defender. Hinrich isn't. He's a limited defender, but not a poor one.

thanks for the laugh

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"They at least look like they are turning things around. Do we?"

Posted by: divi3 | December 2, 2010 11:41 PM

In some ways not measured by stats? Yes. More consistent performances from McGee and Young. Promise being shown by a couple of the supporting rookies. A high draft pick with star potential. That's more than they had last season.

A straight line comparison can't be made between the team Saunders has now and the one he ended last season with, because they're almost entirely different teams. Only 4 players in the regular rotation were even on the roster at the end of last season (Blatche, McGee, Young, and Thornton). Every other player on the team is new, and (with the exceptions of Arenas and Hinrich) young and either still developing (Yi, Armstrong, Martin, Gee) or raw as a fresh wound (Booker, Seraphin).

In some ways the team probably would have been "better" if they'd kept the same cast from the end of last year, because that team had more veterans who understood the NBA. With some familiarity they might have looked less scattered and maybe won a couple more games. But the downshot of that is that the ceiling on potential improvement down the line would have been considerably lower. That's what a rebuilding year is about. This season is not a continuation of last season. It's ground zero starting over.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 2, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

So between '06 and '08 did Coach K become a better coach?

Posted by: ts35 | December 2, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he learned that he couldn't use the same approach that he uses to win games in the NCAA since the rules are different.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

"[The Nets] at least look like they are turning things around. Do we?Posted by: divi3"

See, this is what I mean by hopeless bias. NJ is 6 and 13 (46.1%); Washington is 5 and 12 (41.7%). These are not teams on dramatically different paths. They're much of a muchness -- and NJ is arguably the more talented of the two clubs, particularly when Wall isn't playing.

You really think any of these bottom-dwellers is significantly better than the others? They're not.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 3, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, it's late: NJ's actual win percentage to date is 31.6%; Washington's 29.4%. Much of a muchness.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 3, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"thanks for the laughPosted by: divi3"

You're welcome. Least I can do after all the entertainment you've provided me.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 3, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

The Nets are gave up 101.5 last year, 98.4 this year. Scored 92.4 last year, 94.7 this year. Won their 6th game on Feb27 last year, Nov28th this year. Care to check the Wizards progress in the same time?

How'd they do it? Hired a coach who talked all summer about defense, who then came in and improved the defense by benching players who don't play D. Even when they are established $10mill vets like Troy Murphy, who now plays 18mins a night.

Point being, I'm not sure what about that scenario is cause for snarky comments. They at least look like they are turning things around. Do we?

Posted by: divi3

Nope, the snarkiness stands as is, in context.

So far, AJ has benched one guy who doesn't play D the way he wants. By the way, when Flip does that, some (I think you among them) in the past have claimed he's hurting their 'development.'

The Nets have currently lost one game to injury among their top 7. And as far as I can tell, have no players who are coming off of injuries coming into the season (as far as I have been able to determine -- unless Lopez's mono counts).

Aside from that, compare their offseason moves...The Wiz brought in Hinrich and a bunch of reclamation projects, the Nets brought in Murphy (mixed at best so far), Outlaw, Farmar, Morrow, and ditched Yi. Those moves in and of themselves can account for those statistical improvements.

Now, you can fault Flip some for bringing in the players they did, because he certainly has a role in it, but it's really hard to assign any of the differences (or similarities) between the Wizards any of the teams with similarly bad records to 'lack of inspirational coaching leadership'.

Posted by: ts35 | December 3, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Yes, he learned that he couldn't use the same approach that he uses to win games in the NCAA since the rules are different.

Posted by: bulletsfan78

Could be. Or it could be that he, and USA Basketball finally learned the lesson that the previous coaches has been screaming about for years, that you can't have even an All-Star team show up for a week before the Olympics and develop the kind of cohesiveness necessary. And as Kal mentioned, the players may also have been sufficiently embarrassed to start taking the process seriously.

Apologies, though, not trying to introduce pesky facts to burst the bubble you inhabit.

Posted by: ts35 | December 3, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

So far, AJ has benched one guy who doesn't play D

Apologies, you can probably include Terrence Williams, since they D-League'd him. Not sure that was all about D (though it may have been).

Posted by: ts35 | December 3, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Jesus people, this is one of the youngest teams in the NBA rebuilding around a fresh-faced 20 year-old. There will be games where they get blown out. There will be games where they provide verifiable evidence of their potential. It's all part of the process.

Certain players are earning their way into long-term plans; others are proving the opposite. This is what rebuilding is about. Personally, this early season has got me excited about what McGee, Young, and Wall can do in the future. And despite what people are saying about him, I really like what Gee brings to the table.

Posted by: psps23 | December 3, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

ts35

Have you ever thought that players respect a proven winning head coach more then a retread?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

ts35

Have you ever thought that players respect a proven winning head coach more then a retread?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

I'm sure they do. Doesn't prevent the Bobcats from being 6-13. Larry Brown's a Hof'er. Flip has a .571 winning percentage (that's including last season and this season to-date) and has been to the Conference Finals four times. Does that make him a proven winner or a retread? Both? Neither? And how do you acquire a proven winning coach who's not also by some definition a retread?

All of the clips you posted are great, but they don't really change the fact that your initial example was poorly thought out, inaccurate, and ignores other, more relevant factors.

That's nothing against Coach K. As a UNC fan, I hate him, but respect his ability. But your argument doesn't really indict the coaches who came before him (or even him in 2006) as it does the poor process that was in place before Jerry Colangelo took over, as well as the narrowing of the gap by other teams internationally.

What it does argue for though is that if you don't have an organization in place that acquires the best talent possible that is also willing to work and buy into the system, it matters a lot less who your coach is.

Do we think Coach K is successful at Duke these days because he brings in lazy players and 'coaches em up'? Or does he recruit guys who fit his system and he knows want to work?

So if you want to us the USA Basketball example as an indictment of the Wizards Organization and talent acquisition process, go for it. It's just a poor and inaccurate fit for critiquing the coach. Plenty of other, much better examples you could choose.

Posted by: ts35 | December 3, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

ts35

The only point I was making was a good coach can make the difference on how a team plays.

There are some people on here who post the Wizard problems are because the players refuse to do it themselves and say the coach can't do anything about making them a better team.

The Bobcats made the playoffs with LB while the Wizards (who had more talent) ended up being a lottery team last year.

So, yes I am saying Flip sucks, the players suck and Ernie sucks.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm not crazy about Hin-Brick playing the point or starting. He should be a guy who comes off the bench for 10-15 minutes a game when the team needs a bit of steadying or veteran presence. And as a PG he's getting swarmed and dominated by defenders, resulting in failed possessions.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 3, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

"Do we think Coach K is successful at Duke these days because he brings in lazy players and 'coaches em up'?"

Definitely. Folks don't realize that before Coach K, Singler suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was out of bed only from 4-4:30PM daily. Fab freshman Kyrie Irving has a prosthesis instead of a left foot. Guard Nolan Smith takes 13 different psychotropic medications.

Coach K sees this as a challenge to his motivational skills. I fully support bulletsfan78's ongoing campaign to bring Coach K to Washington, or resurrect John Wooden, whichever is easier.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 3, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

The Bobcats made the playoffs with LB while the Wizards (who had more talent) ended up being a lottery team last year."

Actually, the Bobcats had more talent than Washington last year. It only seems otherwise because of the relentless hyping of the Wiz' young talent by fans here who claim to base their evaluations on having actually 'watched the game'. They don't always specify which game, however. It may be that they're studying contests between the Taipei Sun Crickets and the GuangDong River Demons and thinking Yi must be back from injury.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 3, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not crazy about Hin-Brick playing the point or starting."

I'm not crazy about this idiotic habit of making up unfunny names for players, either, but do you hear me complaining?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 3, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

If I'm correct only 4 active coaches have won an NBA championship right now...

So I guess they haven't won anything either...

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 2, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

That's how players are judged; at least players named Lebron. You can win back to back MVPs,Olympic Gold Medals, Numerous All Star appearances and NBA first team honors, but when it comes down to it all that matters is that ring. Flip's resume gets trotted out like he's been down that road, and he hasn't. He's working on his second 50+ loss season HERE. There is nothing about this man that says "winner".Are we surprised that the offensive guru hasn't inspired our defensively challenged group? Are we surprised that he's incapable of motivating and inspiring this group, what with him being fired from his last stop for similar reasons (and that was a championship team).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company