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Posted at 8:01 AM ET, 12/30/2010

Refreshing turnaround for undermanned team

By Gene Wang
Morning brew

With Coach Flip Saunders absent from the start and point guard Kirk Hinrich unavailable for most of the game, the Washington Wizards put together one of their more complete games of the season last night in beating Indiana, 104-90. Go figure.

Also unexpected was how energetic the team was defensively, especially in the fourth quarter when the Pacers tried to stage a comeback. Guard Nick Young drew a pair of charges and got a steal. Reserve guard Cartier Martin had a steal, as did swingman Josh Howard, who had to play point guard briefly when Hinrich was out nursing a left thigh contusion and John Wall was cramping up.

Those contributions made sure Indiana drew no closer than eight points in the final minutes after Washington had built a 17-point buffer moments earlier. It also was a refreshing turnabout from its most recent debacle, when the Wizards failed to hold a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter in a 100-93 loss to Houston on Monday.

The victory also was the first for Washington since Rashard Lewis joined the team in a deal that sent Gilbert Arenas to Orlando and was another step in establishing even just a bit of continuity on an evolving roster that includes Howard and Wall both coming back recently from injury.

"We've talked and preached a little bit since all the changes have come about of it's not about who you draw a play up for," said top assistant Randy Wittman, who filled in for Coach Flip Saunders while he attended to a family emergency. The Pacers "scout us just like we scout other teams. They know our plays. We know their plays. It's about playing basketball when it comes down to it."

The Wizards may have to do that again without Saunders and perhaps Hinrich, who played just 12 minutes before departing with a left thigh contusion. Hinrich will be evaluated more today, and his status is day-to-day.

Fortunately for the Wizards, Wall's cramps in the fourth quarter were only temporary. After leaving the game briefly for treatment, he re-entered to help Washington close out only its third victory this month. The No. 1 overall pick was able to play 35 in his third game back since being sidelined with a bone bruise in his right knee.

As for Saunders, it remains unclear if he will be back to coach the team when it plays Indiana tomorrow for a second straight time. Saunders missed yesterday morning's shoot-around, at which time team officials indicated he would be unlikely to coach against Indiana later in the day.

Given his previous NBA coaching experience, Wittman was the natural choice to step in for Saunders. Wittman most recently was the head coach for Minnesota from January 2007 through Dec. 8 2008, when Kevin McHale replaced him. Previous to that stop, Wittman coached the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1991 to 2001.

Wittman got the Wizards to play some of their most disciplined basketball of the season. They committed a season-low nine turnovers, and they drew four charges, the most they have all season as well. Washington's inspired play, however, doesn't mean Wittman is seeking long-term employment as a head coach.

"I didn't do anything different" than Saunders, Wittman said. "We followed the same concepts. We didn't reinvent the wheel here. I'm an extension of Flip, and I don't want to be here on Friday doing this, but if I have to, we'll do that. I didn't do anything differently than what Flip does, and we'll keep it that way."

FROM THE POST
Here are the game story from today's newspaper and the postgame wrap-up.

Two Western Conference executives say the Wizards are gauging interest in Andray Blatche to determine if trading the forward is best for the organization moving forward.

Check out Shaq's "dignified" response to being fined $35,000 (Early Lead).

AROUND THE WEB
Washington City Paper offers a different angle on the Andray Blatche-JaVale McGee altercation.

Bullets Forever's Mike Prada and Truth About It's Kyle Weidie were interviewed by Magic Basketball (ESPN.com's TrueHoop network) about Gilbert Arenas.

Weidie weighs in on the possibility of trading Andray Blatche (Truth About It).

The Celtics are waiting to see how serious Kevin Garnett's right leg injury is (Boston Globe).

Charley Rosen looks at what's wrong with the Lakers (Fanhouse). But a lineup change may have turned things around (Los Angeles Times).

By Gene Wang  | December 30, 2010; 8:01 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: JaVale McGee keeps Roy Hibbert in check
Next: Flip Saunders's status unclear

Comments

Randy Wittman know where his bread is buttered.
Flip gave him this shot, and he is smart not to step on his bosses toes, so to speak.
But if he can not say the obvious I will.
The very big difference is the team played with "confidence".
Wittman's own words.
He told Ab to keep shooting, he kept NY in there to keep shooting in spite of terrible stretches for both.
You could see an attitude change. There was smiling and excitement.
This is my biggest complaint with twitch, he is not fun. He is nervous and more nervous.
You can not instill confidence when the younger players are yanked after a few bad moves. Everyone makes mistakes but the ability and inclination to improve is what tests the mettle of the man. This can only be done by playing not scowling or being punished.
Wittman let the players get through the rough stretches. They survived and flourished. One of the strongest performances by a short handed and heretofor tentative team.
The defense has become incredibly strong. I like what I am seeing.
The future is looking much better.
I have been a supporter of Ab, Ny and Jm. Thy are all talented and quite unite players. A good coach intent on building their confidence is needed. And then and only then will this team flourish.
The groundwork is layed

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I have been a supporter of Ab, Ny and Jm. Thy are all talented and quite "UNIQUE" players. A good coach intent on building their confidence is needed. And then and only then will this team flourish.

Posted by: mricklen | December 30, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Great job Randy Whitman!

It was nice to see the team smiling and playing as a team. I also liked the way AB followed up a couple of JM's misses and vice versa. Apparently they really have put the incident behind them.

JW looked good eventhough he still looks like he is laboring a bit. Hopefully he can get fully healthy soon. He still needs to work on his J, but he is getting better defensively.

Should be an interesting game in Indiana...

Posted by: TEliasB | December 30, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

WOW! 7-22. Losers.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | December 30, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

finally a supportive coach. he supported mcgee, and blatche. if any one saw the post game interview he was telling blatche to keep his head up after he missed so many shots, saying "those are good shots, take them again". finally a coach who will support our young players. my point is FIRE FLIP.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | December 30, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Right on mricklen. I noticed a big difference between yesterday's game and the previous one, they looked comfortable, not panicked. In the Houston game it became pretty clear that they started to panic in the late 4th but in the Pacers game they didn't panic instead they just played the game. This is the problem with Flip he constantly subs, and players never get to warm up and as soon as they are warmed up he subs them out. I think Flip overthinks the game. Wittman followed the kiss approach (keep it simple stupid). Maybe Flip should take one out of Wittman's playbook.

Posted by: newschoolbullets | December 30, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

flip is a nervous wreck, he cant handle close situations, throws his players under the bus, subs out key players in crunch time, plays hinrich too much, yanks mcgee way to much. hurts players confidence. i feel like he is a big reason for the gloomy losing culture. wittman was a breath of fresh air. i rather see him coaching/encouraging our players the rest of the season..

Posted by: skinsfan09 | December 30, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I did like how he encouraged them to keep shooting, I mean most of these guys are young they still need a coach to support them. My only problem I had was when Blatche missed three or four jump shots in a row from the top of the key, they were good shots but if you start to notice that your a little cold then adjust and move in a little closer. Sometimes you got to get a layup to get warmed up. By the way I missed the first quarter and a little of the second how did Kirk get hurt and when?

Posted by: newschoolbullets | December 30, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"I didn't do anything different" than Saunders, Wittman said."

Sure you did, you won.

In all seriousness, Wall should be starting if he's healthy. Hinrich just doesn't scare anybody.

Flip's made some very questionable moves this year and as some of you have pointed out he's not the abudundance of leadership that some of these young players need.

Flip needs to go, he's just not the coach for this team. They showed last night they don't really need him.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 30, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Funny that Flip played Kirk 48mins the other night because there was supposedly no other choice, while he has Cartier glued to the bench. Last night KH goes down and rather than play Wall every second remaining in the game, Whitman put CMartin in there and he does more than hold his own. He hits shots, passes the ball, and uses his size advantage on D. When Flip wont sub KH out for one second of a game, he's telling Martin and anybody else that he doesnt believe in them. I'd bet you that after just one game under Whitman, and his one postgame presser he has the majority of the players wishing he was the coach. You could see it in their body language during the game.

And nice work Javale. Just last year, Hibbert was constantly mentioned as one of those guys who would always be "too big" for skinny Javale. Guess not.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

yeaa, i think most people agree slip sucks. and hinrich apparently hurt his thigh, im guessining in the 2nd.

also anyone know y al thortan dint play? it said dnp coaches decision. thats pretty sad, hes a good hard working player, i hope he gets traded for somthing valuable. not cuz i dont want him, but cuz i feel hed be better off where hel play more. i still rather him play more than rashard lewis, but i doubt itl happen.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | December 30, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering how much the sudden discussion of trade efforts energized our inside players. Blatche hearing that the team wanted to move him, and McGee that they (apparently) didn't.

Of course, you never know if they preferred to stay or go...


Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

It was nice to see the team smiling and playing as a team. I also liked the way AB followed up a couple of JM's misses and vice versa. Apparently they really have put the incident behind them.

Posted by: TEliasB | December 30, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Javale only missed 3 shots, so Blatche must have been right on all of them.

Blatche however, went 9-23 (39%), so Mcgee had plenty of opportunities to pick up his misses. I am glad that Blatche came through in the stretch, though.

howard went 2-9 (22%)
Wall: 4-12 (33%)
Nick: 10-26 (38%)

We won this game because of three things:
Defense
Rebounding
and persistence

Javale completely messed up their whole team offense by flat out scaring the Pacers, setting picks and covering huge areas of the floor.
Nick, Lewis & Wall stymied their ball movement.

We grabbed 54 boards, of which 21 were our own missed shots

We kept tossing them up, even while hitting only about 40%

Then again, it was only the Pacers and they looked just awful...if they could have made a few shots with about 7 minutes to go, they could have swayed the mopmentum. But they didn't. And I think the main reason they didn't is because we gave them so few good looks and made it hard for them to get plays running.

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

"Just last year, Hibbert was constantly mentioned as one of those guys who would always be "too big" for skinny Javale. Guess not."

You must have missed the article. Hibbert pared down from 275+ to 255 during the off-season to increase his quickness. He's the same size as McGee. Seemed to benefit his overall game, and probably his health.

Of course the thing that really negates a size advantage is when you wind up on the bench most of the game.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse


"I'd bet you that after just one game under Whitman, and his one postgame presser he has the majority of the players wishing he was the coach. You could see it in their body language during the game."

I'd bet you're right. Whitman might have the majority of the fans rooting for him too. I can't put my finger on it, but Whitman, himelf, comes across as more confident than Flip and I think it trickles down to the team.

"And nice work Javale. Just last year, Hibbert was constantly mentioned as one of those guys who would always be "too big" for skinny Javale. Guess not."

Hibbert, like Marc Gasol, gave JaVale the blues last year. What a difference a year makes.

The next step for JaVale is consistency. Might not happen this year, but I believe it will happen.

Posted by: and_1 | December 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

from the city paper article:
Still, it's hard to believe that media-savvy athletes would be stupid enough to get into a public scuffle without being completely blasted. And the way the Wizards are playing this year, would you blame them for drinking away their sorrows?

I think the author gives too much credit to McGee and esp Blatche by calling them "media savvy." Nothing Blatche has done in the past 6 years indicates he has the least bit of savvy-ness or regard for the media implications of his actions.

But the last line rings true.

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"We kept tossing them up, even while hitting only about 40%"

Yes, our FG% hasn't been great. 37.5% against the Spurs, 40% against Houston, 39% last night. We get to test ourselves against Indy on the road 12/31, then home against New Orleans and road again in Philly. Wall ought to be feeling like himself by then. Be interesting to see what happens to his FG%.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Whitman might have the majority of the fans rooting for him too. I can't put my finger on it, but Whitman, himelf, comes across as more confident than Flip and I think it trickles down to the team."

Randy's a good assistant coach who's had some ill luck as a head coach. He was Flip's assistant in Minnesota before going to Cleveland where he finished 62-102. He went back to the Twin Cities to succeed Dwayne Casey but was fired by the owner in Dec '08 after a 4-19 start (you probably remember that Kevin McHale, the GM, was forced to step in). Wittman got a lot of the blame from fans for problems in both Cleveland and Minneapolis. Unfairly, but then that's usually the way it is with fans.

We heard a lot about him during the NCAA tournament last year because his son was the shooter for Cornell during their run.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You must have missed the article. Hibbert pared down from 275+ to 255 during the off-season to increase his quickness.

Maybe that was a mistake, he looks like nothing special next to Javale now. I know he's been talked of as Most Improved, but he's been very bad lately.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

When they finish one out on the road I'll be convinced that there was some big change in the air last night. For 75% of the game they played pretty much the same game as they did in Houston. Points allowed in the first 3 quarters were almost identical.

Difference was they didn't have a 4th quarter meltdown. Funny thing is the big difference between the two nights was J. Wall went to the side with cramps. Josh Howard took over the point and Martin and Young were at the wings. Shotmaking, defense, poise, and veteran leadership stopped the charge last night.

The change in the air has been going on since Lewis got on board, and Howard came back from injury, they've played some very competitive games against good teams. It's
just a matter of these guys jelling together on the fly.

Right now this team will miss Hinrich if he's down for any amount of time. It's going to be tough to get by with Josh Howard at the point when teams have game planned for it. Got to give Martin credit for staying ready and taking and making shots when the Pacers were trying to make a run.

J Wall might not be ready to close out games in the 4th yet, he will be soon, but maybe not yet. Blatche and McGee need to get props for how well they played up front, those guys take endless crap on this blog when they don't play well. It would be nice if a few of the experts around here say a peep when they do play well.

Look for round two to maybe get a little chippy. The Pacers have some guys that think they're real tough guys up front, they tried to get extremely physical up front and the Wizards stood right up to them.

That shot Wall took was a flagrent 1 that didn't get called. McRoberts comes in the game I'd send in Seriphan to throw him in the stands. While he's at it give Hansbrough a little toss too...
GM

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

Gene,

The information about Wittman is inaccurate, he only coached the Cavs between 1999-2001.

Posted by: meatkins | December 30, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to agree with Wittman that the team has actually been playing better together the last "4, 5, 6 games" and just hasn't been closing it out in the fourth. Houston was certainly an example -- the team went into the final stanza with a lead, having outplayed their hosts, and basically fell apart in the last 8 or 9 minutes. Fouls, turnovers, and defensive breakdowns that seemed to snowball.

But outside spotty shooting, they'd been playing better defense and seemed to be more of a team than a collection of basketball players. They'd been quoted in the media as saying they were close, and last night they managed to stick one in their pockets.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The other nice thing to see last night was Wall trying to get Javale the ball as he was moving towards the basket. He must have picked up 3-4 fouls that way, a couple of them on Hibbert. Javale is utterly invisible to Kirk (maybe on Flip's instruction) and Gil rarely went to him at all. Good to see Wall trying to get his big guy involved, makes a big difference in the game

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

But the real key seemed to be just getting big Roy off the court. Hard to beat on you if he's on the bench with fouls. If Hibbert had avoided foul trouble, the Pacers may have been able to make an adjustment.

Anyway, outstanding effort.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

This was my point yesterday. hibbert is prone to rack up some fouls. If you run straight at him, you can gwet him on the bench. You might get a few swatted in the short term, but long term, you make him a non factor.

Unfortunately, that has historically been true of JaVale, as well.

I missed the first half of the first quarter, but it seems Javale got hit with 2 quick fouls and was bench bound until the 2nd quarter. he didn't get another foul all game, mainly because Hibbert had to lay off and them sit.

I reccomended playing Blatche (or Armstrong) as the starting C to get a fould or two on Hibbert before McGee came in.

Of course, Mcgee didn't start on the bench, but he was sent there pretty quickly, so it panned out about the same.

When you have a young, poor-to-middling NBA team, You've got to play these matchups right, when you can. Flip doesn't seem to get that and just wants to play his "best" 5 (or 9, if you are talking rotation) against their best 5 (or 9). Unfortunately, most nights, their best 5 or 9 are going to be better than ours.

We beat a team with some pretty glaring flaws, but only because we were able to take advantage of those flaws. Just rotating your best players based on fouls or windedness doesn't cut it.

Thanks for proving that, Randy.

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Hibbert's shooting touch has been off the last few games. Still at 45.6% for the year, but that won't hold up if he keeps having off-nights like the Wiz game. Indy's offense is allegedly built around Hibbert's superior passing from the post, so when he's not on the court, their game suffers more than most teams when their center is out.

Be interesting to see how it plays out in Indianapolis on NY's Eve.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

" McRoberts comes in the game I'd send in Seriphan to throw him in the stands. While he's at it give Hansbrough a little toss too...Posted by: flohrtv"

Those are some irritatin' dudes, huh?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Difference was they didn't have a 4th quarter meltdown. Funny thing is the big difference between the two nights was J. Wall went to the side with cramps. Josh Howard took over the point and Martin and Young were at the wings. Shotmaking, defense, poise, and veteran leadership stopped the charge last night.

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

Don't neglect the impact of having Booker playing good D and generally hustling. Stat line doesn't show much, but he had a very active 7 minutes and his 2 pts on a breakaway (am I remembering this correctly) that stopped a small run by the Pacers in the middle of the 4th.

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Like I said, this upcoming game in Indy is a great opportunity to measure the team's recent progress -- playing the same team home and away in short order. Wall isn't back to himself yet, but Howard and Lewis seem to be getting the hang of things and maybe Blatche's motivation will remain high.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Javale completely messed up their whole team offense by flat out scaring the Pacers, setting picks and covering huge areas of the floor.

Exactly what he was doing against Houston, and something that doesnt necessarily show in the stats. As much as some folks criticize all the blocked shots he gets, there's no denying that once he swats a few opposing offenses tend to go into a bit of a funk as guards start taking ridiculously rainbow'd shots. Javale covers a tremendous amount of ground, moreso than any other 7ft'er in the league I am guessing, that's a big defensive asset for us

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

great game for the Wiz.. everyone played within themselves offensively which was nice to see. Guys are going to miss shots but they all played to strengths, played hard. Got rebounds and defended. Wanted to defend. Obviously Wall makes a HUGE diff out there. See if they can keep it up. Being a pro means bringing it every night. Guys on this team have had a hard time understanding that. We'll see... Maybe they enjoy this feeling and find it's worth the effort..

Posted by: unkonchus | December 30, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

And just so you all know...I am starting to feel a LOT better about Nick Young. He still has his issues, but with confidence, his defense is improving and he no longer seems to feel like he HAS to take every shot, so he is starting to make a lot more passes.

I think he knows now that he is going to see plenty of floor time, so he also knows that he will get enough touches to make his shots. Therefor, he doesn't mind sharing the ball. Good for him and great for the team.

I liked after the game when they did the quick interview, he said he made Martin play the PG because he wants to be the SHOOTING guard. Play to your strengths, but add to them whenever possible.

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Got rebounds and defended. Wanted to defend."

My biggest critism of them this year is that they are giving up too many lay-ups. I think if they learn to crash the boards more alot of that would be resolved.

Again, January looks bright for the Wiz. They don't play anybody, should bode well for thier confidence.

Unless Flipper takes that away. :P

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 30, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I thought the big difference for McGee was going to the line. He actually played fewer minutes than in Houston or against Chicago but in neither of those games did he get a single trip to the line. He's not a bad FT shooter for a big man (62.5%)but 8 of 10 is definitely above average for him.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

As I said last night, I too am impressed with the perception and attitude to the game of Wittman. In the end, it is all about just playing the game. Sure, you have systems, but you just have to play.

Samson, I kind of felt that SD would not get what I was saying about champion big men last night. You too said my comments were not clear, but from what you said you stated clearly exactly what I am alluding too.

Those big men cited were good in their own rite and they excelled at what they did in their own way. Alajawon, Reed, Unseld, and some playing now, Duncan, Shaq, Garnett.

I was merely pointing out that for some reason here we always complain about what our big men don't have and wish they would do things that we think that big men should be doing.

Simply, we need to push and teach and develop them to hone the talents that they have. The talents that they have is what got them here and we need to make sure that we are developing those talents rather than trying to get them play like what we think a big man should be doing.

You see it is actually a how could I be so stupid kind of thing. Things is, if you have a big man doing the things that he does well on the court, then you have a big man that is probably helping your team.

If you have a big man constantly trying to learn things not natural to him and he isn't or can't flourish, then he isn't helping.

Let him flourish and learn those things that he can do well within his talents and all those other things will follow.

Wittman seems to embody pushing the player to excel at what he can do best rather than emphasize and always respond to weaknesses and what we would like.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

re: AB, one of the big criticisms he always gets is being a 6'11" player who settles for 17ft Js. People say it here all the time, and for good reason.

But there can be no mistaking from Whitman's comments that those 17ft Js are what the coaches want him to do. Flip runs a jumpshooting offense, always has, and part of why ABs playing time remains safe is probably because he's in fact doing what the coaches want him to do (for the most part) even as fans don't like it

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Blurred you're certainly right, Booker came in and played like a NBA vet when needed. Booker's steady play along with the arrival of Lewis and Howard getting healthy has pushed Thorton down the bench. Yi's going to have a tough time getting consistant minutes when he gets back too.

Samson151, I'm a Maryland guy, so I've had years to develop a distaste for Hansbrough.

McRoberts is a very marginal NBA talent so he seems to have tried to develop this tough guy style of play to carve out a niche. Foster and Murphy always played that way for the Pacers, so he had good teachers. That shot to Wall last night was just a dirty play, and it doesn't help that it came from a former Dukie.

Every notice how Dunleavy just seems to get smacked around a lot as a pro?

Posted by: flohrtv | December 30, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"If you have a big man constantly trying to learn things not natural to him and he isn't or can't flourish, then he isn't helping.Let him flourish and learn those things that he can do well within his talents and all those other things will follow."

Well, presumably at some point the big man's learns the new skills, and he becomes a real asset to the team. That's what is supposedly happening with Hibbert. He's still doing what comes naturally -- passing, blocking shots -- but he's quicker and has more stamina, and is more aggressive on both offense and defense, per his time with Bill Walton.

We sure didn't see it last night, but we have another game against Indy coming up.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"I was really proud of JaVale," said Wizards assistant coach Randy Wittman "He came in tonight and played Hibbert as good as we've seen leading up to this game and watching tape on him."

Randy,

Complementing a player to the press...I think we found our interim coach...if Jerry can fire Wade then Ted can fire Flip for the betterment of the Wizards organization.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Just food for thought:

We are only 4 games out of the playoffs right now.

We are also the 4th worst team in the league.

The consolidation of talent has left a lot of very mediocre teams.

We really need to play the right match ups and hustle like last night, and we should catch more than our shares of those.

Although I am caught between wanted to sneak into the playoffs and stay in the lottery hunt.

been busy, so haven't had a chance to keep up. How is the draft depth looking?

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought the big difference for McGee was going to the line. He actually played fewer minutes than in Houston or against Chicago but in neither of those games did he get a single trip to the line. He's not a bad FT shooter for a big man (62.5%)but 8 of 10 is definitely above average for him.

Yup, and the reason he went to the line is because Wall fed him the ball off picks etc. He cant get to the line when he is frozen out of the offense and living off scraps and putbacks. Not saying he should start getting 20 touches a game or anything, but when he is out there it pays to toss him the ball a few times as he breaks for the hoop.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Maryland guy,

Posted by: flohrtv | December 30, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Is Jordan Williams coming out this year since we are having a bad year and will be playing in the NIT?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Samson151,

JM and Hibbert may be the same weight, but they are not the same size. There is a difference between weight below the waist and above the waist. Hibbert has a bigger butt and when rebounding this can be an advantage. Remember how Rick Mahorn used to use his big butt to rebound with a very limited vertical.

If you watch JM most of time he gets moved out of the way while the ball is in the air, but he trys to make up for it by out-jumping the other big man. He needs to learn how to get position while the ball is in flight.

I forgot to give props to JH for lastnight also. It seems that he has pretty much picked up where he left off last year. His experience helps a great deal. Once he gets his legs back he will be back to old form.

Looking forward to the next game. We'll see if Flip uses some of Wittman's technique once her returns. The post game conference certainly was a breath of fresh air...

With young ballers motivation has a greater impact over dictation...

Posted by: TEliasB | December 30, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I can hear Ted's phone conversation with Flip already when Ted calls him today

Flip answers...Hello Sir, I am sorry I missed the game last night, Ernie told me you understood it was a family emergency

Ted...Flip no problem, I hope your mother is feeling better

Flip...Thank you I think I could make it to Indiana for the game Friday

Ted...Don't be silly, take all the time you need

Flip...are you sure

Ted (thinking)...we got to stop this losing road trip somehow and I need to know if letting Ernie trade AB is the right decision...uhm.. Randy handled the team really well last night and complimented his players...

Ted says..Flip I think it would be best for you to take care of things there we'll be just fine...by the way I'm sending Ernie to check on you too.

Flip...but sir

Ted...hangs up

Flip...?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I can hear Ted's phone conversation with Flip already when Ted calls him tomorrow

Flip answers...Hello Sir, I am sorry I missed the game last night, Ernie told me you understood it was a family emergency

Ted...Flip no problem, I hope your mother is feeling better

Flip...Thank you I think I could make it to Indiana for the game Friday

Ted...Don't be silly, take all the time you need

Flip...are you sure

Ted (thinking)...we got to stop this losing road trip somehow and I need to know if letting Ernie trade AB is the right decision...Randy handled the time really well last night and even complemented the players?

Ted...Flip I think it would be best for you to take care of things there we'll be just fine...by the way I'm sending Ernie to check on you too.

Flip...but sir

Ted...hangs up

Flip...?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Although I am caught between wanted to sneak into the playoffs and stay in the lottery hunt.

I would definitely prefer sneaking in. The solid play, defense, and general energy it would take for us to get in would be a nice step in the rebuild. Our guys looked hyped last night! We just don't see that, and that sort of infectious energy and attitude on a more nightly basis would signal some of our young guys coming together and buying in

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed Flip (sorry I mean) kal hasn't made a single post the whole time he has been away...

Kal,

our prayers are with your family

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"JM and Hibbert may be the same weight, but they are not the same size. There is a difference between weight below the waist and above the waist. Hibbert has a bigger butt and when rebounding this can be an advantage...If you watch JM most of time he gets moved out of the way while the ball is in the air, but he trys to make up for it by out-jumping the other big man. He needs to learn how to get position while the ball is in flight."

Hibbert is built for the low post, and McGee isn't, that's very true. Hibbert's a good fit for that Indy offensive scheme because of his superior passing. McGee will hopefully be a good fit for a Wall-dominated offense because of his ability to run the court.

I think if you put McGee in the middle of Indy's scheme, he'd flounder, because he's not really a 'true' center at all. But in a full-court offense, he can be very effective.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

But there can be no mistaking from Whitman's comments that those 17ft Js are what the coaches want him to do. Flip runs a jumpshooting offense, always has, and part of why ABs playing time remains safe is probably because he's in fact doing what the coaches want him to do (for the most part) even as fans don't like it Posted by: divi3

Good point, but Flip has asked Blatche to get his "big butt" in the paint more. That's something he's put more effort into since the suspension. Most of his shots last night were within 10', and only 9 of 23 were greater that 15'. That's contributing to better rebounding numbers, too.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 30, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Ricky Mahorn is in the Big Butt Hall of Fame. Or shame, maybe. Having Rude Rick and Ruland on the floor at the same time was just unfair.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Ted...Flip I think it would be best for you to take care of things there we'll be just fine...by the way I'm sending Ernie to check on you too.

Flip...but sir

Ted...hangs up

Flip...?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind that one bit

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Although I am caught between wanted to sneak into the playoffs and stay in the lottery hunt.

I would definitely prefer sneaking in. The solid play, defense, and general energy it would take for us to get in would be a nice step in the rebuild. Our guys looked hyped last night! We just don't see that, and that sort of infectious energy and attitude on a more nightly basis would signal some of our young guys coming together and buying in

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I agree. Its' just hard to see this group getting very far without some more talent.

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

No coach builds his offense around having big men shoot from 16 to 23 feet, which are known among statisticians as basketball's "sh** shots", because FG% can be expected to drop precipitously in that range. If you're getting two points from each FG, why not focus your efforts on high-percentage shots closer in? Out beyond the arc the advantage reappears, because you're getting 3 points for each made FG. You basically need to connect on only 33% of 3-pointers to record the same number of points as you'd get from shooting 50% on other shots.

So why take a lower percentage shot unless you expect to get 3 points for it? Or at least that's how a lot of coaches think, and the numbers seem to support the notion.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Richard Hamilton is probably the best I've seen at getting open for the 10-15 foot jumper, which he connected on with great regularity.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

No coach builds his offense around having big men shoot from 16 to 23 feet

Did you ever watch Kevin Garnett play in Minnesota? He was taking half a dozen 16-23ft'rs nightly. When AB does the same thing, many people say he is settling for Js. He's not, they want him to take a grip of 16-23ft'ers nightly

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

No coach builds his offense around having big men shoot from 16 to 23 feet

Did you ever watch Kevin Garnett play in Minnesota? He was taking half a dozen 16-23ft'rs nightly. When AB does the same thing, many people say he is settling for Js. He's not, they want him to take a grip of 16-23ft'ers nightly

Posted by: divi3

I thought you were tired of always having AB compared to KG?

And btw, AB now to KG then is not an accurate comparison, nor an accurate assessment of how KG played.

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

JM and Hibbert may be the same weight, but they are not the same size.

No doubt they are built differently, but I think the advantage goes to Javale in a big way. Mcgee is flat ripped, all his weight is muscle rather than fat and that's why he is such a tremendous athlete. In just one summer he's significantly bulked up his upper body, at age 22 it's reasonable to hope that over the next 1-2 yr his lower body can fill out. Only a damn fool would trade him now.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

And btw, AB now to KG then is not an accurate comparison, nor an accurate assessment of how KG played.

Agreed, KG was taking even more 16-23ft his last year in Minny than AB is taking now.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"No coach builds his offense around having big men shoot from 16 to 23 feet"

Did you ever watch Kevin Garnett play in Minnesota? He was taking half a dozen 16-23ft'rs nightly. When AB does the same thing, many people say he is settling for Js. He's not, they want him to take a grip of 16-23ft'ers nightly

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 11:51 AM

Throw in Bill Laimbeer as well. It really isn't about building an around a big man that shoots 15' jumbers, but rather can your big man hit them.

Hell, Kareem could hit the 15' hook shot for crying out loud and it wasn't luck. Sometime I wonder if people really know ball.

Alajawon was deadly inside but he also had a damn good outside shot as well.

LarryInClinton.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 30, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Did you ever watch Kevin Garnett play in Minnesota? He was taking half a dozen 16-23ft'rs nightly."

Not that I noticed. Kevin used to be more of a jump shooter, but I think that was more the coaching staff taking advantage of his remarkable skills than of a philosophy of play (KG actually took a fair number of shots from outside the 3 point line).

Certainly the staff here has been after Andray to play closer to the rim. That's not because they think he's really effective launching jumpers from 17 feet and beyond.

BTW, this could be a bad injury Garnett has sustained. They're talking a month or longer.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Sometime I wonder if people really know ball.

Olajawon was deadly inside but he also had a damn good outside shot as well.

LarryInClinton.

Most of the great big men could do both. So what's wrong with wanting AB to work on his inside game? No team wins, certainly not deep in the playoffs, without an inside scoring threat.

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the comfort of predictability. Wiz get a win against a mediocre opponent and the euphoria swells.

And, of course, the anointing of Randy Wittman (career head coaching record: 100-206, .326%) as the new messiah could be seen coming from a mile away. Maybe when he takes over he can bring back Alonzo Gee, Earl Boykins, and Shaun Livingston.

Nice win (but, of course, any win is a nice win). Good effort, although we've been seeing that ever since the trade. This time they were able to close it out, in part because, unlike the Spurs or Rockets, the Pacers don't really have enough veteran players with experience in tight situations to keep them organized and composed under pressure. The additions of Lewis and Howard really help the Wiz in that regard.

I knew Rashard Lewis was a skilled all around player, but he's a lot more savvy off the dribble than I expected. Maybe the last few years in Orlando of just spotting up and raining jumpers wiped away the memory of of his other talents.

Best moment of the game was Wall getting fired up after McRoberts decked him. Liked seeing the intensity from the team's presumptive leader-to-be.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Samson, I kind of felt that SD would not get what I was saying about champion big men last night. You too said my comments were not clear, but from what you said you stated clearly exactly what I am alluding too.

Those big men cited were good in their own rite and they excelled at what they did in their own way. Alajawon, Reed, Unseld, and some playing now, Duncan, Shaq, Garnett.

I was merely pointing out that for some reason here we always complain about what our big men don't have and wish they would do things that we think that big men should be doing.

Simply, we need to push and teach and develop them to hone the talents that they have. The talents that they have is what got them here and we need to make sure that we are developing those talents rather than trying to get them play like what we think a big man should be doing.

You see it is actually a how could I be so stupid kind of thing. Things is, if you have a big man doing the things that he does well on the court, then you have a big man that is probably helping your team.

If you have a big man constantly trying to learn things not natural to him and he isn't or can't flourish, then he isn't helping.

Let him flourish and learn those things that he can do well within his talents and all those other things will follow.

Wittman seems to embody pushing the player to excel at what he can do best rather than emphasize and always respond to weaknesses and what we would like.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Here. Find me a team with a lead big man that didn't even ATTEMPT to play defense...and shot a bunch of jumpers.

Dirk is probably the best shooting "big man" of all time and he's won nothing right?

And AB definitely isn't Dirk. I'm tired of AB getting a post entry pass, facing up...dribbling back 10 feet and shooting a contested jumper. That's weak.

And for all the Jamison hate we were used to....AB is nothing but a younger Jamison to me.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 30, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

So what's wrong with wanting AB to work on his inside game?

Who said there was anything wrong with an inside game? I think all of us would prefer AB stay as close to the rim as possible. My point was just that numerous long distance 2s are part of the gameplan rather than him just being lazy.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"Throw in Bill Laimbeer as well. It really isn't about building an around a big man that shoots 15' jumbers, but rather can your big man hit them."

Laimbeer had little in the way of an inside game (no vertical leap) but developed an excellent outside jumper -- almost a set shot, really. Other players occupied space underneath on offense. Laimbeer was one of the first US big men to become proficient from the 3 point line. One season he took 20% of his shots from outside the arc -- almost unheard of at the time for a big man.

"Hell, Kareem could hit the 15' hook shot for crying out loud and it wasn't luck. Sometime I wonder if people really know ball."

Reading the above, I wonder the same thing. The hook shot used to be a lot more common that it is today. Kareem's achievement was to extend its range beyond five or six feet. He's really the only one to make the hook a go-to move at that distance. Magic used to have a 'baby hook' that he would use against shot blockers, mostly closer to the basket. Shaq will put up a hook with some frequency, but these are inside moves.

You can see the hook today in Europe.

"Alajawon was deadly inside but he also had a damn good outside shot as well."

That came late. Olajawon worked hard to develop his midrange jumper because he wasn't close to his listed height of 7'. He relied on quickness and strength against taller players like Ewing, and the ability to move farther outside for the jumper was an integral part of it.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW, in our games against Orlando, I haven't noticed any significant improvement in Dwight Howard's search for a go-to move. Am I missing something?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, in our games against Orlando, I haven't noticed any significant improvement in Dwight Howard's search for a go-to move. Am I missing something?"

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:23 PM

Don't know that he has a signature move yet (although he does seem to favor the sweeping hook as he rolls across the lane), but he has been showing a wider range of offensive moves inside and more confidence in using them. He's become difficult to guard for reasons other than brute strength (although that sill helps.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Who said there was anything wrong with an inside game? I think all of us would prefer AB stay as close to the rim as possible. My point was just that numerous long distance 2s are part of the gameplan rather than him just being lazy.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

So whenever a player does something weak...it's the gameplan.

Like when AB ignored pick and roll defense and watched Rondo walk to the basket...it was because Flip told him to?

You don't even make sense with your stuff sometimes. Tell him to get in the paint...give him paint touches...that he turns into jumpers.

Yeah that's part of the gameplan.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 30, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"And for all the Jamison hate we were used to....AB is nothing but a younger Jamison to me."

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 30, 2010 12:19 PM

Jamison was actually a very skilled post player and seemed willing to mix it up inside. But because he was so undersized for the PF position, he was really only effective down low when he got a favorable mismatch (like being guarded by a SF). Blatche has a legit PF body that he too often fails to put to legit PF uses.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

And, of course, the anointing of Randy Wittman

I think Flip would have shat his pants after Kirk went out and either forfeited the game or played Wall every second of the remainder. Then after the loss talked about how we're really nothing without Hinrich and how Javale cost us the game. But that's just me.

Ok, I'm being facetious. But having Cartier play PG in a pinch worked very well and is an option Flip has ignored in 1-2 close losses this season. Advantage Whitman!

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So whenever a player does something weak...it's the gameplan.

Where did anyone say that? You might want to try reading more closely.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"No doubt [McGee and Hibbert] are built differently, but I think the advantage goes to Javale in a big way. Mcgee is flat ripped, all his weight is muscle rather than fat and that's why he is such a tremendous athlete. In just one summer he's significantly bulked up his upper body, at age 22 it's reasonable to hope that over the next 1-2 yr his lower body can fill out."

IMO the big difference between these two young centers (who were drafted next to one another) is skill and athleticism. Hibbert has always been something of a plodder who has overachieved via some unusual skills (such as the passing game). The weight loss seems to have improved his quickness, but he needs the right system to excel, and he's found it in Indiana. McGee is the opposite in athleticism, but he also needs the right system to excel.

I'm not sure what it is that allows some players to establish low post position where others of similar size struggle. Olajuwon could anchor low against bigger players, while the impressively muscled Ralph Sampson would struggle from time to time at the same task.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse


If Hinrich hadn't gotten hurt, Martin likely never would have gotten off the bench. (Martin didn't get his first minutes until the 3rd quarter, after Hinrich went out.) Wittman went to Martin because Hinrich was hurt, Hudson was inactive, and he had no other viable option. It was hardly a masterpiece of strategic planning and foresight.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I like Roy a lot, but watching him last night (granted, a poor outing for him) I was wondering if he's given up too much bulk and is now the same heft as players much more athletic than him. He's had a very good year til the last 2 weeks or so however, so hopefully it continues to work for him.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"But having Cartier play PG in a pinch worked very well and is an option Flip has ignored in 1-2 close losses this season. Advantage Whitman!Posted by: divi3"

Cartier was only in there for 13 minutes and most of that was spent shooting (including 3 for 3 from the arc). He had no assists and no turnovers. I think Howard was more a factor in the point equation. And Nick Young and Rashard recorded 3 assists, Andray 4.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

But having Cartier play PG in a pinch worked very well and is an option Flip has ignored in 1-2 close losses this season. Advantage Whitman!

Howard handled the ball, and it was reported that Flip was practicing with him at PG after the Arenas trade. Hudson wasn't active and Wall had cramps, so there wasn't really a choice.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 30, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Who said there was anything wrong with an inside game? I think all of us would prefer AB stay as close to the rim as possible. My point was just that numerous long distance 2s are part of the gameplan rather than him just being lazy.

Posted by: divi3

I'm sure that's *partly* true, but not completely as evidenced by the following example we've all witnessed as posted by SDMDTSU

"I'm tired of AB getting a post entry pass, facing up...dribbling back 10 feet and shooting a contested jumper."

Or doing the same thing then attempting to drive to the hoop. These days it works some times, but he's also losing the ball a lot and falling off balance a lot this year trying it.

I don't think the 'gameplan' calls for taking the time to get the ball to AB in the post, only to have him back it out and shoot a 15ft J.

What happened to the turnaround J from the block he used effectively last year and the counter up-and-under Sam I Am taught him last year. Is it as simple as Kalo says (I think) and other teams have scouted it and taken it from him? Really? He can't get that turnaround J all day against Tyler Hansborough and Josh McRoberts?

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Interesting reading these comments in the aftermath of the big victory. Makes me even more interested in what happens in Indy. You know the Pacers are only 8-8 at home -- not much of a home court advantage.

This is where somebody says we should be able to break the road losing streak...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The AB / JM trade talk is smokescreen for a Josh Howard trade.

He is showing that he could be a solid rotation player on a contender. His contract and age make him an easy-to-move player, and he's too old to be part of a rebuiding project.

We should be able to cash him in on a prospect and/or a pick.

It's also essential to move him if we want to make sure we don't sneak out of the lottery. Letting Lewis, Howard & Heinrich carry us to the 8th playoff spot is not the gameplan.

Posted by: cballer | December 30, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

All was good last night, I just more players get more PT. No need to have a tired team when you can sub them out. Martin played great as still Howard @ the 1. I'd love to see Al get more PT.

Posted by: Gooddad | December 30, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Jamison was actually a very skilled post player and seemed willing to mix it up inside."

Agreed, Jamison's faults were on defense however.

Blatche is lazy and his games shows it.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 30, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If Hinrich hadn't gotten hurt, Martin likely never would have gotten off the bench. (Martin didn't get his first minutes until the 3rd quarter, after Hinrich went out.) Wittman went to Martin because Hinrich was hurt, Hudson was inactive, and he had no other viable option. It was hardly a masterpiece of strategic planning and foresight.

What did Flip do when he had only 1 PG? He played Kirk 48 full minutes without a single fricking breather for the guy. The game against Miami where KH understandably stumbled a bit down the stretch. Cartier could have played 10-12mins in that game, he's really good defender who hits Js and can handle the ball in a pinch if needed as we saw last night. But Flip is obsessed with his vets or whatever so that he ran Hinrich into the ground instead.

I'm not saying Cartier wins the Miami game, I'm saying Whitman had the same option as Flip and did it differently to good result

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought Cartier handled the ball quite a bit in that stretch where Wall was out, maybe I was drunk

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

So whenever a player does something weak...it's the gameplan.

Where did anyone say that? You might want to try reading more closely.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay I'll re-phrase. Whenever AB does something weak it's the gameplan. Pick and roll defense...and how damn soft he is. I mean how many people have to say he's lazy and soft before you just accept it? Kurt Thomas said it, AB was called the LAZIEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE. People aren't just saying it for fun. It's not hard to see it on the court either.

And the foot isn't an excuse anymore. He broke his foot in June. 8-10 week recovery time. That's 3 months tops. It's been 6. I don't wanna hear about his foot anymore.
He is what he is.

Dirk is a jump shooting big man who plays lousy defense, teams with him as their best player perform as such. The record speaks quite clearly for itself.

Posted by: divi3 | November 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 30, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Is it as simple as Kalo says (I think) and other teams have scouted it and taken it from him? Really? He can't get that turnaround J all day against Tyler Hansborough and Josh McRoberts?"

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 12:43 PM

Think again, because that's not what I said.

I never said anything about anything being "taken from him." I said that now that they know his moves they're defending him more physically to make it tougher for him to get to his spots and get his shots off. The shots are still there, but he's going to have to work harder and pay a price for it. And it seems to be work hee's unwilling to do and a price he's unwilling to pay.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Howard handled the ball, and it was reported that Flip was practicing with him at PG after the Arenas trade. Hudson wasn't active and Wall had cramps, so there wasn't really a choice.

Granted his 1st game back, but Howard was active for the Miami game.

I thought Wall was pulled for a breather towards end of the 3rd, then got cramps midway through 4th and had to come out for a few minutes.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"The AB / JM trade talk is smokescreen for a Josh Howard trade."

I dunno, I was reading yesterday that two GM's out west confirmed that Blatche was indeed on the block.

I don't think they are thinking about trading Howard right now unless someone offers them something they can't refuse.

"If Hinrich hadn't gotten hurt, Martin likely never would have gotten off the bench."

True, but I tend to think things happen for a reason and had said after the Houston game that Wall should be starting if he is healthy enough to play. Really dumb move in my opinion.

I still don't like Flips rotations. Martin showed he can play and deserves more minutes then Flip is willing to give him.

Flip is not a good coach.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 30, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Jamison was actually a very skilled post player and seemed willing to mix it up inside.
Posted by: kalo_rama

We are talking about Antawn Jamison, right? "Very skilled"?

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I read an article on JM and when he was younger his mom had him handling the ball preparing him for a guard position instead of working on his low post game. Hibbert probably always played down low and is more comfortable there and had more refined skills at the present time. You are right though, Hibbert does have an in orthodox(almost sloppy, but effective)game. Alonzo and Mutumbo had that type of game also. I remember watching Alonzo in high school at Indian River and he was so clumbsy, but he played so hard that it made up for his lack of refined skills.


I agree that we should not trade JM. I think in a couple of years he may be a 10 pt and 10 reb center with 3 to 5 blocks per game. That is really all you need consistently from him as long as you have the right pieces around him...

IMO, AB is tradeable at the present time. Like I said with GA, trade him while he has value before he injures himself. It is easier to find another 4 that can shoot J's, but there are not many young kids with the raw talent and atheleticism that JM has.

Posted by: TEliasB | December 30, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@SDMDTSU, I really have no idea what you are going on about. All I said was that Whitman's comments clearly indicate the gameplan is for AB to take a good number of long 2s every night. I think he took 10 shots 15ft or greater last night, not every one of those indicates he's playing soft. The coaches want him taking many of those shots, as Whitman just said last night.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Jamison was skilled. The flip shots were ugly...but I mean according to Larry. That's what made him great right?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 30, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not saying Cartier wins the Miami game, I'm saying Whitman had the same option as Flip and did it differently to good result
Posted by: divi3"

Wittman didn't have the same option, did he? Hinrich was hurt.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The problem with AB is not taking js. It is the useless dribble at the corner of the court which is hurting the team.
1/ it affect ball movment
2/ expose turnover,fast break on the other side
3/decrease motivation of the team.
AB need to move the ball and/or move with out the ball,he had few inside scores in the 4th quarter,I like the one he got from RL.His movment is very important since teams are already recognized him that the majority of the plays are going through him.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 30, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

”I'm not saying Cartier wins the Miami game, I'm saying Whitman had the same option as Flip and did it differently to good result” Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 12:47 PM

Different game, different PG, different opponent, different circumstances. Hinrich wasn’t coming off a long injury layoff. Wall was. The Pacers aren’t a veteran team with proven playmakers at multiple positions. Miami is. And, the Wizards were in position to win the Heat game in the last minute, so Saunders gameplan wasn’t quite the horrible disaster you seem to be trying to paint it as. Was Hinrich likely tired by the end? Sure. Is that the central/primary/only/reason they lost? Not so much. They lost by one point to the best team in the division, one of the best in the conference. Not exactly a hanging offense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Wittman didn't have the same option, did he? Hinrich was hurt.

The point is Flip had the same option and chose not to play Martin. By my recollection, Whitman had already sat Wall once before he had any cramps, rather than trying to play him every remaining sec of the game after KH went out.

IMO, Martin has shown himself to be serviceable player every chance he's gotten and it was good to see Whitman go to him rather than try and forcefeed Wall minutes

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

BTW, SDMTSU, I think some of these posters are referring not to Randy Wittman but to [Walt] Whitman. You're talking b-ball, they're singing the body electric.

Hope that helps...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Was Hinrich likely tired by the end? Sure. Is that the central/primary/only/reason they lost? Not so much. They lost by one point to the best team in the division, one of the best in the conference. Not exactly a hanging offense.

KH was 0-3 in the 4thQ with a couple TOs and missed a FT, few mins rest could very well have been the difference in the game though we'll never know. As Samson has said, Flip wishes he could chain the ball to KH. That's a lame way to coach imho, I liked seeing some faith shown in Martin who seems to work his butt off at all times

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought Wall was pulled for a breather towards end of the 3rd, then got cramps midway through 4th and had to come out for a few minutes. Posted by: divi3

I don't know when the cramps started. I believe he was supposed to see restricted minutes, and he had already put in a lot of time. He was subbed for the last minute and a half, that's when Martin hit one of his big threes. Howard was already in the game, and would remain in the game until Wall was subbed back in for the final stretch. Wittman said in the post game that Howard was acting as the PG, and he is the one that had an assist. And like I said, Howard was already viewed as an emergency backup.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 30, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Martin was in the game instead of Thornton right? If the Wizards decide that all 3 PGs have to be activated does that mean Thornton is in street clothes?

Posted by: djnnnou | December 30, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Howard has been practicing full contact for nearly a month, and with Wall hurting, he has been getting some time initiating the offense as a point guard. He said his playing time would be determined by "feel" and he expects to get about 20 minutes against Miami link

Posted by: djnnnou | December 30, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

KH was 0-3 in the 4thQ with a couple TOs and missed a FT, few mins rest could very well have been the difference in the game though we'll never know.
Posted by: divi3

Might have. Of course, Miami also might have taken the chance to press the heck out of the Wizards and crack the game open.

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it, if a coach has a choice between a tired vet and an inexperienced player who doesn't normally play that position, the coach goes with the tired vet.

But sometimes the magic works; sometimes it doesn't.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"KH was 0-3 in the 4thQ with a couple TOs and missed a FT, few mins rest could very well have been the difference in the game though we'll never know."

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 1:17 PM

Coulda, woulda, shoulda. The fact is that the Wiz went into that game undermanned and huge underdogs. That they were in the position they were in at the end was a pretty significant feat and the result of a combo of any number of factors that can necessarily be quantified by anything found on a stat sheet.

Blatche shot 8 for 21 for the game, missed two shots and had two TOs in the 4th. Was he tired? Howard missed three shots and two crucial FTs in the 4th. Was he tired? Young turned the ball over in a crucial situation down the stretch. Was it fatigue? Why would Hinrich's misses be any more impactful than any of those others in a 1 pt loss?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it, if a coach has a choice between a tired vet and an inexperienced player who doesn't normally play that position, the coach goes with the tired vet.

Kirk is Flip's crutch, you've said so yourself though maybe without realizing it. Looks like Howard was available to play some PG in that Miami game, pretty ridiculous to play KH every second and then expect him to make plays down the stretch. Akin to hoping Earl Boykins can score 10pts every 4thQ and pull out wins for you. Just my opinion.

Posted by: divi3 | December 30, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed Flip (sorry I mean) kal hasn't made a single post the whole time he has been away...

Kal,

our prayers are with your family

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the comfort of predictability. Wiz get a win against a mediocre opponent and the euphoria swells.

And, of course, the anointing of Randy Wittman (career head coaching record: 100-206, .326%) as the new messiah could be seen coming from a mile away.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Flip,

Welcome back hope to see you on the bench tomorrow so we can keep our losing streak intact.

I vote for getting another lottery pick versus losing in the first round which would give Ernie another mid 1st round pick to waste.

If Hinrich hadn't gotten hurt, Martin likely never would have gotten off the bench.

If you were coaching last night you would have played Kirk the whole 2nd half even though he was hurt.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 30, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Make that: . . . "the result of a combo of any number of factors that can't necessarily be quantified by anything found on a stat sheet."

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Every coach who's ever coached any sport has a certain player or players he leans on more heavily than others. Call them "favorites," "cruthces," "teacher's pets," whatever. But it's an undeniable fact. Pointing out that Saunders has one is pretty weak sauce as far as criticism/condemnation goes. It's like mocking him for carrying a clipboard. It's what coaches do.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Kirk is Flip's crutch, you've said so yourself though maybe without realizing it. Looks like Howard was available to play some PG in that Miami game, pretty ridiculous to play KH every second and then expect him to make plays down the stretch. Akin to hoping Earl Boykins can score 10pts every 4thQ and pull out wins for you.Posted by: divi3"

Howard's not a PG either. Once again, when it comes to playing a tired vet versus another vet who rarely if ever plays the position, most coaches go with the tired vet.

IMO the big difference in the team over the past five or six contests is that they're playing better defense (it's not improved shooing percentage). Having Howard on the court is probably a factor in that. Removing Arenas is probably another factor -- possibly a larger one.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Kirk is Flip's crutch, you've said so yourself though maybe without realizing it."

LOL I do realize what I'm saying. I'm not sure some others do, however. If they did, I wouldn't have to repeat it so often.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"it's not improved shooing percentage"

Correct that to 'shooting'. They're shooing as well as ever.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I thought the shooing left with Gil.....or would that be shoeing?

Posted by: ts35 | December 30, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Flip,
Welcome back hope to see you on the bench tomorrow so we can keep our losing streak intact.
I vote for getting another lottery pick versus losing in the first round which would give Ernie another mid 1st round pick to waste.
If Hinrich hadn't gotten hurt, Martin likely never would have gotten off the bench.
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

I don't know what the point of the above was, but I can't see any point in further responding to it.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 30, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I love all of the defiant, chest-thumping "only a fool would trade McGee" talk. Didn't yesterday's article state specifically that McGee wasn't on the trade block?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 30, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

you guys know there is a new thread? I htought everyone had been quiet. been checking that one for over an hour.

Posted by: Blurred | December 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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