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Posted at 3:35 AM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Wizards "lay an egg" against Sacramento in final game of West Coast trip

By Michael Lee

Hurts to sit, more painful to watch. (AP Photo)


Just looking at the three opponents on this Western Conference trip, the Wizards expected some stiff challenges in Phoenix and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. But they probably looked at their game against Sacramento as the one they would most likely get, if they got any, no matter if it was the second end of back-to-back games. They certainly didn't anticipate that the Kings would hand them the most severe beatdown of the bunch, hammering them by 25 points.

I was at Staples Center to watch the Kings lose to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday and thought that they were pretty bad (still do). They did everything wrong in the final minutes of a 98-91 loss to the Clippers -- DeMarcus Cousins missed a point-blank layup, Tyreke Evans made a silly foul late, they never took the ball out of Eric Gordon's hands. I also assumed that the Wizards would show up in Sacramento intent on ending their long road skid and having a happy flight back to Washington. Instead, they had a performance that Al Thornton called "heartless."

The Wizards (6-15) have now lost three in a row overall, and 12 straight games away from Verizon Center. The locker room after the game was probably the quietest it has been all season. Getting routed, 116-91, by this Kings team was totally inexplicable.

Why do I say that -- aside from the fact the Sacramento entered the game with just four wins? Those victories were by a combined 12 points. The Kings led by 13 at halftime, 22 at the end of the third period and 32 with 4 minutes, 38 seconds remaining.

You might cut the Wizards a little slack since they were missing two of their three best scorers in John Wall and Andray Blatche. Wall was a late scratch when soreness in his left foot proved to unbearable for him to play. And Blatche warmed up before the game but decided that his bruised left hip wasn't ready to handle the grind. So, it wasn't surprising that the two players who had the best games for the Kings were the point guard (Beno Udrih) and the power forward (Jason Thompson).

Though shorthanded, the Wizards had no business looking so pathetic against a team that is equally pathetic. The Kings hadn't won a game since Nov. 19 and had lost 14 of their previous 15 games. Maybe Sacramento was overdue, but the Wizards should've felt they were to, since they were coming off a spirited second-half against the Lakers, when they outscored them 52-46. It was truly baffling.

"You've got to come out and compete, play smart and give it all we've got," Thornton said. "We proved that in the Lakers game. We regret that we had a chance to win the game and to come out here and lay an egg in Sacramento, heartless."


Good thing you sat this one out, John. (AP Photo)

The Wizards were terrible from beginning to end at Arco Arena, with JaVale McGee adding insult to an embarrassing night as he attempted a ridiculous dunk from the foul line in the closing seconds and lost the ball on the way up. The play would've been unnecessary if the Wizards were up 25 rather than down 25, but the fans in Sacramento sure gave him a hard time about it. McGee will likely make the SportsCenter Not Top 10 for that one. A bad look, indeed.

Wall was especially disappointed about delaying his first career matchup against Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, his friend and former roommate at Kentucky. He said after the game that the pain in his foot what started in his arch has suddenly moved under his toes, making it hard for him to push off the way he would like. Wall wasn't sure about his availability on Friday against the New York Knicks.

"It's tough to miss games," Wall said. "It would've great to play because of DeMarcus, but also just help the team get a road win. Came up short again. Just got to find ourselves. Start competing more."

When asked if he thought Wall's injury would force him to miss significant time, Saunders said, "I hope not. He's having problems with his feet. He's got to do something to get that taken care of."

With Wall sidelined for the seventh game, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich ran the show, but they weren't in sync with rookie starters Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker, who were given the opportunity after providing some hustle and tenacity in the second half against the Lakers. Saunders wanted to reward them, but it often seemed like a punishment for Arenas and Hinrich, who combined for 10 turnovers and a bazillion eye rolls.

Arenas couldn't hide his frustration after teammates were unable to handle his passes or weren't in the proper spots on offense. He cursed at Booker in the second quarter and walked away shaking his head when Booker failed to cut down the lane for an open layup, which led to a shot clock violation. Arenas and Booker spoke about the incident in the locker room and they have a better understanding.

"My frustrations was like, 'C'mon move, I see you open!' He's frustrated like, 'Why are you yelling at me?' It's just communication that we'll get later on down the line," Arenas said. "It just comes with experience. I'm used to playing with veteran players."

Arenas admitted that he has to remember to be more patient with a rebuilding team. "It's hard," he said. "In situations in the past, I would have taken 30 or 40 shots to try and keep us in the game. But that is not the case anymore. I'm not that player anymore. I would much rather play within the team concept. You just got to play. You can't worry about the score sometimes. You just have to play and try to get better each night."

After scoring a season-high 30 points the night before in Los Angeles, Nick Young was limited to just one-tenth of that total, as he scored three points on 1 of 8 shooting. Young let his frustrations go when he picked up a rare flagrant foul penalty one with 5:50 left in the game, as he grabbed Kings reserve Omri Caspi and assisted him to the ground on a breakaway layup attempt.

"Shot wasn't falling. I wasn't really involved tonight. I had to force it a lot," Young said. "We've got to play more as a team, share the ball more. We're still searching. When you're searching, teams can blow you out any given night. We had a good battle against the Lakers and we came out and did this. It's a tough one."

By Michael Lee  | December 9, 2010; 3:35 AM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton, Gilbert Arenas, JaVale McGee, John Wall, Nick Young  
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Next: Tough stretch looms for Wizards

Comments

Wall, Young, Seraphin & Booker - young TIGERS unearthed by one Ernest Grunfeld.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 8, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

and every other player on this roster plus Flip are Ernie guys also...

In Grunfeld We Trust will get us back into the lottery?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 9, 2010 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what an embarrassment last night. The Wiz didn't even look good for stretches. Way too much dead weight on this team and this must be addressed if this team is ever going to seriously compete. At this point and time, Saunders should go to an 8-9 man rotation and stick with this. If a little down the road the team is not improving, then implement your youngsters and see what they can bring to the table for future seasons. I like Nick Young coming off of the bench as a sort of JR Smith (Denver) player who will give you a scoring lift in a reserve role but the thing about Nick is that if he is not scoring, he brings almost nothing else to the table to help you win games. He is definitely on of the most one dimensional players we have on the team. Get rid of Armstrong, Gee and Martin. Josh Howard please get well soon, this team is in dire need of a player of your caliber.

Posted by: Coach2279 | December 9, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Let me follow up by saying that if Ted Leonsis is successful in turning this abysmal team around any time in the near future, that would be the greatest Houdini act of all time!!

Posted by: Coach2279 | December 9, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Wall, Young, Seraphin & Booker - young TIGERS unearthed by one Ernest Grunfeld.
In Grunfeld We Trust!!
Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 8, 2010 10:18 AM |
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
and every other player on this roster plus Flip are Ernie guys also...
In Grunfeld We Trust will get us back into the lottery?
Posted by: bulletsfan78
+++++++++++++++++++++
HEY!!!!! melodious_thunk.. you getting called out dog!!
Seraphin will be back in his country playing in a short while so get a good look at him now... another high wasted draft pick by Grunfeld, like Pecherov.
And the father and mastermind of this losing culture is your boy Grunfeld. It is not gonna get better until these people upstairs are gone!!!
"In Grunfeld we trust" my a+ss. - - - - TLG = Ted Lose Grunfeld... NOW!!!!!

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 9, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

arenas shoot jack up shots if the team neeads it, just so he can get his swagger back!!! spread the ball for sure, but if we need someone to step up, only ARENAS and somtimes nick can carry the team offensively! not really talking about last night, but in general. we need arenas to take over games once and a while!!!

Posted by: skinsfan09 | December 9, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"arenas shoot jack up shots if the team neeads it, just so he can get his swagger back!!! spread the ball for sure, but if we need someone to step up, only ARENAS and somtimes nick can carry the team offensively! not really talking about last night, but in general. we need arenas to take over games once and a while!!!Posted by: skinsfan09"

I'm sure he will a few times this season. But not like the old days. Nick obviously doesn't like Arco Arena as much as Staples, but then his tendency is up one night, down the next, like this Wiz team as a whole. That happens with outside shooters. He might try going to the basket a bit more, get a few free throw attempts.

Everybody's wondering what happened to Tyreke Evans. He finished 3 for 9 with a single trip to the FT line. Evans has never been a threat from outside but he's been devastating posting up smaller defenders. The issue is apparently an undiagnosed problem with his foot; he's having an MRI today.

Best to leave John Wall alone until they're clear on what's going on with his foot. Just too much risk otherwise. We've got two other reasonably healthy PGs; let 'em play.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

How many times can the Wizards players and coaches get away w/ the party line that they didn't play w/ effort, enthusiasm, energy, etc.? Maybe the problem is that the players and the coaching staff simply aren't very good.

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

"In Grunfeld We Trust will get us back into the lottery?"

Pretty much. If you like being in the lottery year after year then they are doing a great job.

I think you can count every game the Wiz play this year in those back to back games as a "loss." It's going to be a while before they learn how to win these games(as Gil said). Teams game-plan for Wall and if he's on the bench not so much. Nobody else on this roster scares anyone. NY is getting regular open looks because of Wall getting double and triple teamed. On nights like this Gil should really be taking more shots, not back off.

"Let me follow up by saying that if Ted Leonsis is successful in turning this abysmal team around any time in the near future, that would be the greatest Houdini act of all time!!"

You gotta have a good GM first.

Ernie Grunfeld's a BUST!!!

- Ray

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

Nick obviously doesn't like Arco Arena as much as Staples, but then his tendency is up one night, down the next, like this Wiz team as a whole

He leads the nba in 20pt games off the bench and is shooting 47%, so that really hasnt been his tendency this season. Nor has it been the Wizard's tendency, which is more akin to up one night, down the next 3-4.

Amazing how sloppy Wiz look on offense while running 2 PGs, just horrible last night, more TOs than assts for both gil and KH.

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

and to bench mcgee again, is just stupid. if mcgee gets yanked for messing up, hinrich definetly should too!! mcgee is young and learning and trying. hinrich would never lose PT cuz hes flips fav! yi being for booker makes sense. since yi is horrible and soft.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | December 9, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Why did Yi only play 13 mins last night and Booker gets 30???

I think I've had it with Flips rotations. It's like he's his own nemisis or something.

"Wow, we played well last night, let me screw the line up tonight!"

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 9, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"since yi is horrible and soft."

Watch Yi play then watch Booker then tell me who is better. Yes, Yi is a little soft but he's the ONLY player on the roster who can set picks and move. He also has good position on the boards and can play defense.

I agree with you about McGee. He was 1 of only two players last night who were on the "+" side of things.

Again, I have about had it with Flips rotations.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 9, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

a lot of hero ball last night. A lot of overdribbling. The ball really "stuck" out there. The offense didn't look very fluid. Beno and Jason Thompson went off last night. I dunno who was checking those guys but Thompson showed the full repertoire and Beno was unstoppable. Tough night shooting for NY. I didn't catch the whole game but he seemed pretty well bottled up. I saw 3 guys contest him on a pullup off the curl once or twice though. It's not gonna be easy coming off the bench as a marked man. He may be getting a little rep, and if he's not feeling his shot, opposing teams are gonna make it really hard for him to find a rhythm.
Seraphin and Booker are who we said they were all along. They're a coupla projects. Yeah, they bring toughness, but they also bring inexperience and "immaturity". Not that they're clowns, but their games are in their infancy stages. Starting both of them was a tough pill. kirk had a good game scoring wise. i didn't have too much problem with him from what i saw, other than him getting baked by Beno a lil bit.
It's a really bad loss though. Coming off a game where they slugged it out with the champs, to get run off the floor by that group of chumps is embarassing. There's enough blame to go around for this one. But i think back to when folks were advocating for NY to get the starting 3 spot. Some folks said there is no way to know for sure that the wiz would be markedly better with him as a starter, and that is good enough reason to stand pat. Well, one good half was enough to throw caution to the wind and start not one but 2 new players,even though there was no way anyone could know that they were gonna better the teams fortunes. Things worked out the way they should have. We started 3 "defensive players" one streaky shooter and one natural scorer. There was no doubt they were gonna start slow. What was surprising at first was that for all of their perceived defensive toughness, Beno was havin his way going to the cup, and Thompson was unstoppable. It was everybody's night in Sacto last night what with Landry and even Reke draining js.
All in all I think it was good for us to take this L. You have a "Moral Victory" in a close loss to the lakers and get to thinking you're something you're not. This should put things back in perspective.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Yi played only 13 minutes because he made one shot, had TOs, no heart down-low, abused by their 4 and 5's, couldn't rebound for sh*t!!!

All in 13 MINUTES!!!!!

John Wall is the only one who can make this team competitive and he didn't play. He is NEO! Whoooooa

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

Sad

Posted by: dcinmd1 | December 9, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Everybody's wondering what happened to Tyreke Evans. He finished 3 for 9 with a single trip to the FT line. Evans has never been a threat from outside but he's been devastating posting up smaller defenders. The issue is apparently an undiagnosed problem with his foot; he's having an MRI today.

Best to leave John Wall alone until they're clear on what's going on with his foot. Just too much risk otherwise. We've got two other reasonably healthy PGs; let 'em play.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I dunno bout Reke's injury status, but i know that NY was playing some tough defense on him. He played him a lot closer than i thought he would have.
NY's shot was definitely off yesterday 1-8, but the offense was really jacked up. I dunno the last game NY only got 8 shots, and a few of those were really forced. I also want the refs to look a littlee closer at the hand check and pushing on his pullup move, or maybe he's gonna have to work on a reggie miller leg kick.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Yi is terrible, but last night he was taking a ton of contact with no calls. How he manages to consistently get blocked at the rim is a mystery though

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Since when do bruises qualify as injuries that prevent professionals from playing?

I don't really think that Blatche would have helped us win last night, but still...

Posted by: Miks | December 9, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Arenas again came out and played terrible for the first 5 minutes and we were down 10-2 again just like against the Lakers.

We are stuck with this albatross for years.

McGee should be sat down for several games and his manhood needs to be challenged. I have never seen a player go through the motions worse and he has the lowest basketball IQ in the league. He's a disgrace.

Seraphin and Booker play hard at least. Play them.

But no matter how you look at it, as long as Gil is on this team we are screwed. Completely. I would even consider just sending him home and paying him to play video games online with teenagers.

He's a loser. At one point, he was so talented it was worth putting up with. Now he is an injury-hampered gunner playing out of position who couldn't defend when he was healthy and now is a true matador of epic proportions.

Pretty soon, Flip will get fired, they will say he lost the team, Grunfeld will go at the end of the season and then someone will come in and start the rebuilding process in earnest.

Now it is just a matter of time before Wall requires some form of major surgery.

Nice purchase, Ted.

Posted by: BigWesGoingToTakeA | December 9, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz got blown out by one of the worst team in the league and lost their 12th in a row on the road. However, I am very giddy and excited about the play of our vastly undersized 1st round picks. 6'6 Trevor Booker is a Barkely clone and 6'8 Center Seraphin is already playing like Dwight Howard!
It doesn't matter that the team is absolutely atrocious, it doesn't matter that it has no direction or leadership, it doesn't matter that EG is still in charge, as long as Booker and Seraphin can play well once a year against a disinterested Lakers team, then I am totally content.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 9, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Arenas -31 and blaming other guys? -- i've been a supporter based on the Wiz being stuck with his contract, but my patience is thinning (Ted's same thoughts?)-- think AP forced this one on Ernie. Flip is a flake!

Posted by: trnasell | December 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

6'6 Trevor Booker is a Barkely clone and 6'8 Center Seraphin is already playing like Dwight Howard!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 9, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Waken Baken u high as a jamaican! Dwight Howard? Fareal? Both of those guys are more effort than substance. They play "the right way" and give their all. But their lack of experience and know how is evident. Neither of them is head and shoulders a better defender then their counterparts Ab and JM. They are both tougher and stronger, but do they really stop people from scoring? Defense isn't just muscles and scowls.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse


I foolishly thought I was coming to Wizards Insider, but it appears that I've stumbled upon yet another haters convention!

The reason the Wizards lost last night is simple: In short, the Wizards have had more than their fair share of injuries to key players this year Saunders is mismanaging this team. It's bad enough that starters are CONSTANTLY in and out of the lineup due to injury, but Saunders is compounding the problem by making changes don't need to be made just yet. Seraphin and Booker are promising rookies who were just beginning to get a little confidence and gain a solid footing coming off the bench and what does Saunders do? He starts them! Too much change, too soon. Neither is quite ready for that role. With exception of Wall, our young tigers are best unleashed from the bench. For now.

Got it, haters? If Flip makes sensible moves, the Wizards will be fine against the Knicks.

On a different note, it appears that the injury bug that was supposed to just be visiting us for a few days is now buying furniture and will be with us all season. Do the haters lay that problem at the feet of Ernest Grunfeld too?

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

oh yeah and i'm attributing JWOW's feet problems to those abysmal,god awful, ZigTech shoes. I know it's his signature shoe, but maybe he should try a switch to a more proven Reebok model. His ReZig is the first one for bball i think. While it's not a prototype and has been tested thoroughly, i think that he was a Nike guy at Kentucky. Personally i prefer Nike Air technology, and it's airsole like in the airmax 97 or the Lebron 6-8s. Reebok is the first company to put a squiggly "ruffled" sole on a bball shoe. It may be affecting the kid, this type of shoe didn't even exist until last year.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to think Nick Young is really settling into this off-the-bench role. His FG percentage is well above career average and even more significantly improved from last year. He's still hitting a very respectable 38% from the arc, and he's about at his career numbers in the other measures. He still doesn't spend much time at the FT line, particularly for somebody who can execute that John Wall 360 layup, but that's not really his job. I said at the beginning of the season that I'd personally be very happy if he just kept sinking those outside jumpers and played a little defense, and so far he's been relatively consistent.

If he keeps it up, there's probably a nice contract in his future.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

but do they really stop people from scoring? Defense isn't just muscles and scowls.

I think Flip is banking on his zone eventually being better than the man defense the team could play with more success right now. This team is lost defensively, really makes no difference who is on the floor. Nobody is fully comfortable in the scheme yet, you never see anyone calling stuff out, and all the good defensive plays are from individual effort (for the most part)

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

It is clear that this team has problem with run and gun teams, New York, Toronto in the 2nd game, and Kings. When the opponents are running and gunning, we all look like a step slower, let them slice into our heart of defense like no man's land.

Still remember someone said that Yi can go inside against NBA players. Well, last night is the brutal truth, Yi cannot score inside. This is not China, having a 7 foot flame does not guarantee you success inside. After a couple of no calls, Yi looked totally frustrated and uninterested, didn't even try to grab the loose ball where he was the closest player on court.

Posted by: sagaliba | December 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"I dunno bout Reke's injury status"

Oh, there's definitely something wrong. It's getting worse. Normally he'd have eaten up that defense. From MSNBC:

"Tyreke Evans hit just 3-of-9 shots for eight points, four rebounds and five assists in Wednesday's win over the Wizards."

"There are conflicting reports about whether Evans has a stress fracture or plantar fasciitis, but he said after the game that he didn't have a fracture, but also didn't know what was wrong with his foot. but after Tuesday's quick trip to a foot specialist, a Thursday MRI is happening. Regardless of the truth and the drama surrounding Evans, the bottom line is that something's bothering him and he looks like half the player he was last season. Maybe the MRI will clear up the rumors and we can get a good feel for when he'll start living up to the lofty expectations placed on him prior to the season."

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Waken Baken u high as a jamaican! Dwight Howard? Fareal? Both of those guys are more effort than substance. They play "the right way" and give their all. But their lack of experience and know how is evident. Neither of them is head and shoulders a better defender then their counterparts Ab and JM. They are both tougher and stronger, but do they really stop people from scoring? Defense isn't just muscles and scowls.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sarcasm is lost on some people!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | December 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Still remember someone said that Yi can go inside against NBA players. Well, last night is the brutal truth, Yi cannot score inside. This is not China, having a 7 foot flame does not guarantee you success inside." Posted by: sagaliba"

I'm afraid I have to agree. I don't think he's a natural inside player. He's better if he can roam a little and take jump shots. Of course, with Blatche out the Wiz don't really have a big man who can score at the rim (not that Blatche does that much of it). In a way he's like McGee -- a forward in a center's body.

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

oh yeah and i'm attributing JWOW's feet problems to those abysmal,god awful, ZigTech shoes.
Posted by: lilhollywood10

Yes, those things are hideous!

I like Nick Young coming off of the bench as a sort of JR Smith (Denver) player who will give you a scoring lift in a reserve role but the thing about Nick is that if he is not scoring, he brings almost nothing else to the table to help you win games.
Posted by: Coach2279

All due repect coach, but I can never understand this everytime I hear it. I think it's an example of once someone forms an opinion of you, it's nearly impossible to change it. Nick Young is probably tied with KH for second best on ball defender behind JWall. The other things is that there have been countless players over the years that offer a specific skill set. Why do people ride NY so much for not being perfect? EG selected the players. I'm sure he had a role and a plan for each one.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, can we all agree that Seraphin sets great picks? If only we could combine the physicality of the Seraphin/Booker combo with the skillset of the Yi/Blatche combo, we'd really have something...

Tough loss, though. On to the next one...

As a totally random aside, I am LOVING Gil's shoe game right now. Half the fun (for me at least) of watching this dreadful team on a nightly basis is seeing which sneakers Gil will is wearing!

Posted by: MEssex | December 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

oh yeah and i'm attributing JWOW's feet problems to those abysmal,god awful, ZigTech shoes. I know it's his signature shoe, but maybe he should try a switch to a more proven Reebok model. His ReZig is the first one for bball i think. While it's not a prototype and has been tested thoroughly, i think that he was a Nike guy at Kentucky. Personally i prefer Nike Air technology, and it's airsole like in the airmax 97 or the Lebron 6-8s. Reebok is the first company to put a squiggly "ruffled" sole on a bball shoe. It may be affecting the kid, this type of shoe didn't even exist until last year.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 10:09 AM |

This. John Wall should have never signed with Reebok. Those of us who follow NBA footwear were baffled with the decision. Sure Reebok paid John Wall alot of money, but Nike, followed by adidas, makes the best basketball shoes. The source of John Wall's foot pain might just be those crappy ReZigs.

Personally, I only ball in Nikes with full-length Zoom Air...

Posted by: MEssex | December 9, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"..............Got it, haters? If Flip makes sensible moves, the Wizards will be fine against the Knicks.

On a different note, it appears that the injury bug that was supposed to just be visiting us for a few days is now buying furniture and will be with us all season. Do the haters lay that problem at the feet of Ernest Grunfeld too?
In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk
+++++++++++++++
There he is.. the Republican that defends Grunfeld against all reason - and anybody who sees the truth is a "Hater"... well dog you have been called out by so many people that you are seeing pink. Grunfeld is a bust and a bum. Get over it.
you propaganda is about the same quality as George Bushs'... you are a moron too... get over that too.

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"..............Got it, haters? If Flip makes sensible moves, the Wizards will be fine against the Knicks.

On a different note, it appears that the injury bug that was supposed to just be visiting us for a few days is now buying furniture and will be with us all season. Do the haters lay that problem at the feet of Ernest Grunfeld too?
In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk
+++++++++++++++
There he is.. the Republican that defends Grunfeld against all reason - and anybody who sees the truth is a "Hater"... well dog you have been called out by so many people that you are seeing pink. Grunfeld is a bust and a bum. Get over it.
your propaganda is about the same quality as George Bushs'... WMD?? you are a moron... get over that too.

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The starting lineup had no scorers except only Arenas. Flip took the Kings to be a easy win with that lineup he trotted out there.

McGee and Yi should have started. Arenas had no one to play with. Chemistry was no where to be found.

Just trot out anybody on the floor Flip and yeah you're right they should perform anyway. Doesn't work that way. You should know that by now, but you are stubborn.

You say that Nick is your back up guy off the bench, that may be true, but you can't continue to start everybodyelses Uncle and not start Nick.

It would have been better to start Nick. over Thorton last night with Book and Kev, so that Arenas had someone to score.

That lineup last night sealed the game. Sacramento realized that you Flip were taking them for granted and they busted your team and you.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

On a different note, it appears that the injury bug that was supposed to just be visiting us for a few days is now buying furniture and will be with us all season. Do the haters lay that problem at the feet of Ernest Grunfeld too?

Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, since he signs guys who are injured Howard and since he is the President of Basketball operations you would think he might get a better medical staff....

Ohh wait this is the guy who rewarded ETaps and made him the team's Director of Player Development.

Name a player who had developed under Ernie and his hand picked team?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 9, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Whenever I see one of "melodius_thunk's" posts, I just scroll right past it. Try it. It makes Wizards Insider much more readable...

Posted by: MEssex | December 9, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Why does it take over 30 years to rebuild a basketball team? We're talking 5-8 players right? We've been in the lottery for at least 20 of those years. Maybe if we would have had something to show for last year's 5th pick, we would be a little better. Oh by the way, how many points is Cash$$ averaging? Isn't that what we drafted instead of Dejuan Blair? Is Cash$$ on this year's All-Star Ballot? Even the Knicks who were in way worse shape than the Wizards, are respectable!! C'mon Ernie Grunfeld. What's the deal?????

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | December 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Whenever I see one of "melodius_thunk's" posts, I just scroll right past it. Try it. It makes Wizards Insider much more readable...
Posted by: MEssex
++++++++++++
U right- but its hard...morons like him are too hard to stomach. heres a question about Grunfeld... why in God's name did he resign and extend Blatche- why why why.. ? he is a loser and a fat slob.

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Name a player who had developed under Ernie and his hand picked team?"

This is an interesting question because I suspect what we're seeing in the first 20 games is some signs of player developing. Last year the only one people pointed to was Blatche. This season both McGee and Young are measurably better than they were last year. Opposing coaches have even commented to that effect. We're only a quarter way through the year so injuries could play a role, as they have with Andray. We haven't seen enough of Booker/ Seraphin to establish a baseline.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This season both McGee and Young are measurably better than they were last year.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Then why didn't Flip start Nick and McGee last night?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 9, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Why does it take over 30 years to rebuild a basketball team?"Posted by: hamptonpirates89

Another good question, but actually, it hasn't. The current rebuild began last season with the decision to blow up the roster following Gil's suspension and the trades involving the team's core. Currently all those traded players are on NBA rosters elsewhere. The team got little in return for them, and realistically is at least a year away from competence. By that I don't mean playoffs.

Washington went into last season hoping to duplicate the success of the team from mid-decade. Don't forget that in 2003-03 the club finished with 25 wins. The next year Grunfeld, Ed Jordan, and Arenas arrived and the team won 45. That was a rebuild as well.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

As a totally random aside, I am LOVING Gil's shoe game right now. Half the fun (for me at least) of watching this dreadful team on a nightly basis is seeing which sneakers Gil will is wearing!

Posted by: MEssex | December 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Was my man rockin Dolce&Gabbana sneaks in the lakers game? For the first time in an NBA game. he's definitely going for best on court kicks of the year.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I have an observation for the posters here that come on time after time and indicate that the players are the main reasons why the Wizards aren't playing well now and in seasons past.

It seems according to them that we have never had and don't have the right kind of players to win.

They say build through the draft and sign this player whose better or that one, and coaching/organization isn't the main issue because the players just don't measure up.

You know who you are. Grab a hold of this. If coaching/organization isn't the primary and most important factor and I believe it is, why is it that a Team like the Clippers never won anything in all these years that they had opportunity after opportunity to draft the best players year after year?

With all of there lotto picks they never came close to having anything close to a winning team.

And yet some here believe it is best for or a good thing for the Wiz to play for the lotto.

That would only be good only if you had a Org/Coaching knowhow that knew what they were doing.

I don't think we can include Flip and Ernie in that club.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I just don't get flip, like Ray say I'm getting fed up with him.

Look, we got two rookies in Booker and Seraphin who are looking for their way in this league. They both had good games vs Lakers in a roll they seemed comfortable with as energy & physicality off the bench.

So what does Flip do but thrust them into situation not ready for as starters and it threw off the whole team and the whole game!@!

Look, I like the idea of rewarding guys that play hard, but you maybe give them some more pt not change their roles. As starters they are out of sync and try to do too much, just not ready for yet.

How does Flip not know this?? He should of started McGee and Yi and brought those guys off the bench. Go with what was clicking vs Lakers, not change everything up on it's head. Flip is doing a terrible job and seems to have no common sense!

A young team more than anything needs consistancy and set roles. Not everything in constant flux and upheaval!

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Then why didn't Flip start Nick and McGee last night?Posted by: bulletsfan78"

Well, for one reason, because he seems to have been experimenting with Nick coming off the bench. He may even regard that as a factor in his improved play. As for Seraphin, maybe it's like he said: he wanted to reward him for playing so hard the night before.

Flip doesn't seem to place the same value on being a starter that some fans do. Some coaches feel that way, which is why you hear them say it so often. Agents value starting status because it gives them another argument come contract time. Personally, it makes no difference to me.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"How does Flip not know this?? He should of started McGee and Yi and brought those guys off the bench. Go with what was clicking vs Lakers, not change everything up on it's head. Flip is doing a terrible job and seems to have no common sense!"

I'm puzzled. McGee and Yi struggled against the Lakers.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

That lineup last night sealed the game. Sacramento realized that you Flip were taking them for granted and they busted your team and you.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

A vet coach like Westphal might've taken exception to the "I can just put anybody on the floor" attitude Saunders exhibited last night. Not that i care how much respect you show the opposition, but I'm sure Paul got in his guys faces about how the front line was making their first starts of the year (except AT), and how their unit should be better than the "first time" unit we started. It definitely seemed like Flip and the wiz took Sacto for granted and really got burned trying to teach Javale a lesson.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Again I will give this until Jan!

If we are healthy and Flip is still doing this garbage I will be mad!

When healthy we have an OBVIOUS starting 5 of Wall, Arenas, Howard, Blatche, McGee. That is what I expect to see!

With that group starting we have a solid bench with Yi, Seraphin/Booker, Thornton, Young, Hinrich.

IF this is not what I'm seeing by January I am done with Flip!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Why does it take over 30 years to rebuild a basketball team? We're talking 5-8 players right? We've been in the lottery for at least 20 of those years. Maybe if we would have had something to show for last year's 5th pick, we would be a little better. Oh by the way, how many points is Cash$$ averaging? Isn't that what we drafted instead of Dejuan Blair? Is Cash$$ on this year's All-Star Ballot? Even the Knicks who were in way worse shape than the Wizards, are respectable!! C'mon Ernie Grunfeld. What's the deal?????

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | December 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

THX for bringing back the Cash bit. I forgot about that one.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@bulltetsfan78,

Howard has nothing to do with the Wizards present situation, but don't let that stop you from wailing on Ernest for injuries to guys who were healthy at the beginning of the season.

Players who have developed under Ernest?
Arenas, Jamison, Butler, Haywood, Blatche, Young, McGee, Wall. Booker & Seraphin are getting there.

@dumbdude2, Utilityman, rmcazz, MEssex,

Think the Lakers would be tearing it up without Kobe and Gasol? Who's Kobe's backup? Who's Gasol's backup? Do those backups incite fear in the hearts of men?

Wall and Blatche are key to any success that this team will have and both are out injured. We, like the Lakers, don't have backups who provide the same level of production as our two best players at this time. You can't win a race if you don't have your horses.

Under Ernest Grunfeld's tireless leadership, the Wizards will continue to fight through adversity and will emerge victorious. Patience.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | December 9, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"How does Flip not know this?? He should of started McGee and Yi and brought those guys off the bench. Go with what was clicking vs Lakers, not change everything up on it's head. Flip is doing a terrible job and seems to have no common sense!"

I'm puzzled. McGee and Yi struggled against the Lakers.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

My point is that McGee and Yi are more prepared and accustomed to starting, and Seraphin and Booker thrived the previous game in the role of energy & physicality off the bench. Plus the other starters are more accustomed to it.

Thornton was the only one really who seemed to play well IMO.

P.S. I'd still love to see Blatche for Cousins deal. I like the idea of a Cousins & McGee 1-2 punch at center, and the potential of those two playing together. Yi and Seraphin also alleviate the loss of Blatche.

But Blatche is probably our most enticing trade asset and I would look to deal for a starting center.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Three thoughts.
Back to back games on a jet lagged, west coast swing.
Injuries.
Young, inexperienced team.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The starting lineup had no scorers except only Arenas. Flip took the Kings to be a easy win with that lineup he trotted out there.

McGee and Yi should have started. Arenas had no one to play with. Chemistry was no where to be found.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

I don't agree with everything in that post, but I do agree with the above. Starting both Seraphin and Booker definitely seemed to disrupt the teams rhythm. I understand wanting to reward them for their energy and effort against the Lakers, but Flip could have done that by giving them more minutes without necessarily starting them.

Unless the point was to send a message to McGee, Yi, etc that they need to play with more energy and effort. But even with that, I think it was more disruptive than instructive.

-----

I also agree with something that Sagaliba pointed out. The Wiz have problems with teams that have a slew of athletic or quick perimeter guys to throw out there, especially if some of those guys can shoot. Teams like NY, Sacramento and Toronto that maybe based on talent level and record, the Wiz should be able to compete with, tend to give them difficulty. I don't know if it's an actual deficiency or just a lack of effort on the road (because the Wiz did beat Toronto pretty easily at the Phone Booth).

Last night, it was Donte Greene, Casspi, Udrih and Jeter. Seems like every time I looked up (I stopped paying full attention somewhere in the third), one of those guys was finishing at the rim or running to an open spot for a clean look. And because the Wiz are not a good defensive team, once a team gets rolling, it's hard for the Wiz to disrupt their rhythm. Imo, that's on both Flip and the players. Jason Thompson seemed to have no difficulty getting that top of the key jumper whenever he wanted it, had a good rhythm and was knocking it down. Each of the times he shot it, I don't think there was anything more than a token hand in his face.

Btw, I'm not a big fan of the +/- stat, but ESPN has Thompson listed as being +45 last night. Is that even possible? Yikes.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yi is terrible, but last night he was taking a ton of contact with no calls. How he manages to consistently get blocked at the rim is a mystery though

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

With the new rules bout Ts and arguing calls, it's tough for a player to get after a ref or the refs for consistently blowing calls. I'd really like to see Flip call a TO sometimes and just rant, pick up a tech, show your team you support them. Call YI over tell him keep doing what you're doing. He does fight for position, he does go up strong. Sure the results are mixed, but Yi gets after it. If the ref aren't making the calls he can't take time to cry. Players have to play the game,coaches try to manage the game. I'd like to see Flipper go off one night, get a T maybe get tossed. He's got to put more pressure on the officials to respect his team. Refs don't respect bad teams. Players are arbitrarily suspended and fined for arguing calls so i think the onus is on the coach to ride the refs a lil harder. Some of the no calls last night were crazy. Yi got brutalized in the post and even one of the strips on NY's jumper stick out as two plays that would've gone the other way if the Wiz were defending (in fact i think they called a foul on NY the night before on a very similar play).I think that since Mark Cuban started sitting court side and really riding the refs and the league about officiating, he's found less and less stuff to complain about. All of the sudden you never hear about Cuban taping games and sending clips of missed calls to the league offices. A certain amount of pressure or scrutiny can really help in this area IMHO.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Anything" Posted by: melodious_thunk should be regarded as being written by either a blind-man or an idiot. "fight through adversity and emerge victorious" hahahahahahaha ----------------LOSERS dog! LOSERs! melodious_thunk-- get over it. You are so pathetic (and wrong) that you will probably be the next one Grunfeld signs..
TLG = Ted Lose Grunfeld.

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't it just a week ago or so that people were complaining about Saunders not sitting guys as punishment for weak effort and giving more PT to players as a reward for playing hard?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Yi is terrible, but last night he was taking a ton of contact with no calls. How he manages to consistently get blocked at the rim is a mystery though

Posted by: divi3

It's not really a mystery imo. To me, Yi has two problems finishing at the rim: one, he some times takes too long to gather himself and jump, but the second and more significant one is that he lacks the physical strength, esp upper body strength, to finish through contact. AB has some of this problem too, although AB also suffers from an occasional lack of elevation.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Like a lawn chair, my friends. Like a lawn chair.

Posted by: Blurred | December 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it just a week ago or so that people were complaining about Saunders not sitting guys as punishment for weak effort and giving more PT to players as a reward for playing hard?

Posted by: kalo_rama

Based on how the team looked last night, what does he do on Friday against the Knicks? Put AT out on the floor and when the ref asks for four more starters, pull the Gene Hackman from "Hoosiers" and say "My team is on the floor."?

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"P.S. I'd still love to see Blatche for Cousins deal. I like the idea of a Cousins & McGee 1-2 punch at center, and the potential of those two playing together. Yi and Seraphin also alleviate the loss of Blatche.

But Blatche is probably our most enticing trade asset and I would look to deal for a starting center."

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2010 11:46 AM

Dream big, I guess. The Kings aren't trading Cousins and no one is trading a starting C (at least one the Wizards would want) for Blatche.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 9, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Again I will give this until Jan!"

"If we are healthy and Flip is still doing this garbage I will be mad!"

"IF this is not what I'm seeing by January I am done with Flip!!"

Posted by: Darnell1

I assume you're posting solely for comedic effect. Well done!

Posted by: Miks | December 9, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"P.S. I'd still love to see Blatche for Cousins deal. I like the idea of a Cousins & McGee 1-2 punch at center, and the potential of those two playing together. Yi and Seraphin also alleviate the loss of Blatche.

But Blatche is probably our most enticing trade asset and I would look to deal for a starting center."

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2010 11:46 AM

Dream big, I guess. The Kings aren't trading Cousins and no one is trading a starting C (at least one the Wizards would want) for Blatche.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Beyond Kalo's point that that deal ain't happenin, while Cousins has a ton of talent, I don't trust Flip's or EG's ability to deal with his attitude. He may end up being a productive head case like Sheed or Artest, but I haven't seen good evidence from the current management that they would be able to deal with him appropriately.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

As for Seraphin, maybe it's like he said: he wanted to reward him for playing so hard the night before.

Flip doesn't seem to place the same value on being a starter that some fans do. Some coaches feel that way, which is why you hear them say it so often. Agents value starting status because it gives them another argument come contract time. Personally, it makes no difference to me.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Judging by the first sentence, one would think that Flip values the starting job as at least a reward. You say that Seraphin got the job as a reward for hard work. If starting status doesn't matter, how can someone be "rewarded" with this meaningless gift of a starting role?

Let's also talk about that little piece of reasoning some were doing about the NY status. It's better to keep NY on the bench because he's shown promise off the bench, but we don't know he'll ball as a starter. Just don't wanna mess up a good thing. However it is necessary to start Seraphin and Booker who have shown promise (significantly less promise than NY IMHO) in spurts.Why is there no concern for ruining their effectiveness by playing them out of their comfort zone?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Beyond Kalo's point that that deal ain't happenin, while Cousins has a ton of talent, I don't trust Flip's or EG's ability to deal with his attitude. He may end up being a productive head case like Sheed or Artest, but I haven't seen good evidence from the current management that they would be able to deal with him appropriately.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention Boogie didn't exactly ball outrageous last night. he had a decent night from what i saw (fell asleep in the 3rd) but i think Ab could eat his lunch (no pun intended). He may be more physical, but AB can score in more ways. I'd call their respective defensive prowess a push.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

i think Ab could eat his lunch (no pun intended). He may be more physical, but AB can score in more ways. I'd call their respective defensive prowess a push.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

If Cousins does not turn into a self-destructive head case, in a year or two, he'll be better than AB. The only thing he may never have is AB's jumper, but he's less likely to need it. Will he score as well as AB can? Maybe, maybe not. But he'll definitely board better, and by virture of being more physical, has the chance to be better defensively.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Effort, energy, and hustle (which is what Seraphin and Booker were being rewarded for/asked to provide) are the same (or at least should be), regardless of whether a guy starts or comes off the bench, or who he plays with. Scoring isn't. There are a lot more external variables that affect a guy having a good scoring night (who he's on the floor with, how many touches he gets, who he's being guarded by, how much energy he has to expend on defense, etc.) than just how hard he plays. Saunders thinks he's found a balance that works for Young and he's clearly not inclined to upset that balance in order to gamble on the unknown of him as a starter.

Also, if Booker and Seraphin falter as starters, he still has the option of bringing in McGee and Yi. If Young falters as a starter, who can he bring in off the bench to replace his scoring? If Yi/mcGee get the message behind their benching, then it's at least possible that they come in and play with more energy and effort. There's little to no chance that Martin or Gee are gonna come off the bench and score 20 if young trips up as a starter.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 9, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

All the blather, blame, and whining.

It's a very young inexperienced team that has had to endure nightly lineup changes due to the never ending Wiz/Bullets injury bug. So, I expect occasional glimpses of what can be with the talent we have now like vs the Lakers and other nights that are inexplicable like last night. It's pretty standard fare all things considered.

The most important attribute to have at this point is patience, which our new owner has demonstrated he has in abundance. Some of the current players rawer talents will blossom and some won't. But, making rash and game to game decisions like some of the nitwits in here is irrational among other things. Fire this person, fire that person, name me one...., blah blah blah. All so very shortsighted.

EG has been a very competent GM here and composed a team that without the Wiz injury bug would have made the playoffs 6 straight years! 6! 6! Get it? Should have been 6 straight years of playoff births for what was previously one of the most poorly run organizations in the NBA for decades. It's blown up now. That team could not sustain itself any longer so we have fairly quickly restocked with very young talent. But, there is talent in no small measure bc EG has a pretty damn good eye for it. And, Saunders may not be Larry Brown, but he is a damn fine coach as well. Certainly much better than a whole helluva lot of coaches that have coached this team in the past and better career record-wise than 95% of the coaches out there today. - Patience.

Personally, I see hope in Wall, Seraphin and Booker and to some extent McGee and NY. Blatche may even have more acts to follow just not sure which direction he is headed at the moment except to the buffet of laziness. But, I see some real pieces already in place that just needs maturing. Hell, sucking pretty bad for one more season wouldn't exactly hurt either if we get another young stud in the next year's lottery say a SF for the future. With patience, in 2/3 seasons a handful of the players currently on the roster will be making yearly trips to the playoffs for a decade deeper and deeper runs possible.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

For all his many shortcomings, I sometimes think Blatche is the victim of bloated expectations. There's a reason he was taken in the ass-end of the 2nd round. By any logical standard, if he never improves a bit from where he is now (conditioning, attitude, and effort issues included) he's still exceeded most reasonable expectations for a player taken at his draft spot. But he was so (I think, unfairly) pumped up (by both fans and the organization) as the Wizards savior-in-waiting during the "Big 3" era, that people were expecting him to be the second coming of Kevin McHale or something, which is ridiculous. That being said, however, since he appears to have accepted the mantle of those bloated expectations (and the cash that comes with them) then it's now incumbent on him to live up to them.

I remain skeptical about his ability to do so.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like an ugly loss to bring out the mouthbreathers. I'd like to see Seraphin and Booker should get another shot at starting. Blatche can come off the bench for a while just like Arenas and Wall have after injuries.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 9, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

In Grunfeld We Trust will get us back into the lottery?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 9, 2010 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully.

We need a serious big on defense that we can run with McGEE at the #5. ARMSTRONG tries, but he ain't happenin'.

SERAPHIN - BLATCHE will develop well together. BOOKER will learn as well and be an effective third #4 or #3 when needed.

N'DIAYE doesn't look ready for the NBA at all. D-league, and quick so he can get some PT.

JIANLIAN is strictly bench material, and soft in the middle. That gives the opposition bigs too many emotional ups when he's runnin' on defense. Hell, for that matter, the opposing guards as well. Lose him.

Don't sweat the #3 at this point. We don't know what HOWARD will bring to the table. GEE is adequate for the moment. THORNTON must heal up, we need him playing at 100%. MARTIN, O.K. as bench material for this season.

#1 and #2 are golden right now with WALL, HINRICH, ARENAS (shudder), and YOUNG who is really starting to get it on offense, and his defense is slowly picking up as well.

Man, I never thought frick (ARENAS) and frack (YOUNG) would buy into this re-build, but they at least are giving that appearance. We'll see.

SACRAMENTO....yuck....the vagaries of re-building a young team. It's a slow process at this point, but there is improvement from the beginning of the year if nothing more than we're beginning to see what each individual player's strengths and weaknesses are.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 9, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Effort, energy, and hustle (which is what Seraphin and Booker were being rewarded for/asked to provide) are the same (or at least should be), regardless of whether a guy starts or comes off the bench, or who he plays with. Scoring isn't. There are a lot more external variables that affect a guy having a good scoring night (who he's on the floor with, how many touches he gets, who he's being guarded by, how much energy he has to expend on defense, etc.) than just how hard he plays.

Also, if Booker and Seraphin falter as starters, he still has the option of bringing in McGee and Yi. If Young falters as a starter, who can he bring in off the bench to replace his scoring?

Posted by: kalo_rama

The problems I see with this:

1) NY's problems in the past have always stemmed from effort, energy and hustle. According to you, those should not be affected whether he starts or comes off the bench.

2) Scoring can be affected by all of those things you mentioned. With the team and it's 'rotations' as is, i.e. in flux, one, Young would be playing with a lot of the same guys if he starts or comes off the bench, and two, because of the changes being made to the starting lineups, who exactly he plays with in any given game changes anyway, even if he continues in his current role.

3) Who he guards / who guards him. Certainly this can be a factor. In terms of his scoring, NY went for 30 against the Lakers, largely being guarded by and guarding Kobe, Artest, and Matt Barnes. All good to great defenders. Kobe was the biggest challenge for him to guard, Artest (I honestly can't remember if he D'd up on Artest or was on someone else) would present the most physical challenge. But he was able to thrive against good competition regardless. Against Sacto, he laid an egg against defenders not in the same caliber. Tired legs? Very possible. But I think at this point, Nick is a little less susceptible to the playing vs starters / playing vs backups issues. It's more about him than who's against him.

4) Re: Losing NY's scoring if he falters as a starter. First off, this obviously is only an issue at all if he does falter. Secondly, if he falters the presumption is that he's so fragile that he couldn't return to his bench role and regain his mojo. Imo, that's being a little too precious with the guy. Plus, how much value is there in his scoring off the bench if the starters are faltering with their scoring? Guys like Gee and Martin can't replace NY's scoring off the bench, but they're supposed to replace AT's (or whoever's) as a starter?

For me, this discussion isn't really about Nick. In the short term, I think Nick's current role is the best one for him, especially if Thornton is healthy and able to score. It's really just more interesting to look at which pieces Flip decides to lock in place for 'consistency' and which ones he shuffles and what his criteria is for who plays when and how much.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"NY's problems in the past have always stemmed from effort, energy and hustle. According to you, those should not be affected whether he starts or comes off the bench."

Well, "according to me," the premise of that statement is dead wrong. While Young has certainly had issues with effort and energy, his biggest problems, as far as I'm concerned, were judgment and decision making (i.e., too many bad shots, too many of the wrong kind of shots, too many forced shots, too much trying to go for the spectacular rather than the basic). Those are the areas he's improved in. His effort on the defensive end has shown improvement but, as has been noted multiple times here, it's also inexorably tied to how well his offensive game is going. He doesn't give as much effort on defense when his shots aren't falling. That's a nonissue with Seraphin and Booker, as they aren't out there for offense.Their given role is effort, energy, and hustle, and they appear to know and accept that, so there's no reason to think their effort will flag if they miss a couple of shots.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Judging by the first sentence, one would think that Flip values the starting job as at least a reward. You say that Seraphin got the job as a reward for hard work. If starting status doesn't matter, how can someone be "rewarded" with this meaningless gift of a starting role?" posted by lilhollywood10

Because it's the player (Seraphin) who will perceive it as a reward -- not the coach. In this case, the coach has been clear that he's more interested in who is in the lineup as the game ends. Besides, there's no indication this is a permanent change.

Flip's not alone in his opinions. Gregg Popovich in San Antonio has said the same thing many times, and even used part-time players like Fab Oberto as starters. DeShawn Stevenson has started 16 of 18 games in Dallas this year despite averaging less than 14 minutes. Rod Beaubois gets most of the real court time at the position.

BTW, DeShawn -- who was known around here as DeBrick -- is connecting on 51% of his 3 point shots so far. He's no doubt doing this just to annoy certain fans on the WI blog.

Coaches develop philosophies of game management that they like to follow, usually because they've had success with them in the past. Whether we agree is another matter.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Let's also talk about that little piece of reasoning some were doing about the NY status. It's better to keep NY on the bench because he's shown promise off the bench, but we don't know he'll ball as a starter. Just don't wanna mess up a good thing. However it is necessary to start Seraphin and Booker who have shown promise (significantly less promise than NY IMHO) in spurts.Why is there no concern for ruining their effectiveness by playing them out of their comfort zone?Posted by: lilhollywood10"

I think the flaw in reasoning is your assumption that Flip is doing more than an extended experiment with Nick. At season's start, Nick didn't play much at all. Then the coaches started bringing him off the bench. It seems to have produced some more consistent performances, both on offense and defense. They may be interpreting this as a good outcome. They've had opportunities to bump Nick into the starting lineup (he started 23 games last season, out of 74) and haven't done it. Suggesting they like things the way they are going. In the past 3 contests, he's gotten 26, 32, and 23 minutes, considerably more than last season's average. Note he was on the court for 26 minutes last night even though his shot wasn't falling.

Just a guess on my part, of course. You'd have to ask the coaches.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't it just a week ago or so that people were complaining about Saunders not sitting guys as punishment for weak effort and giving more PT to players as a reward for playing hard?Posted by: kalo_rama"

Yes but that was last week. Tune in next week to see how it all turns out. And the week after that, and the week after...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Rod Beaubois gets most of the real court time at the position.
Posted by: Samson151

You know he hasn't played this year, right? Or did you mean Jason Terry? Just askin.

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

Well, "according to me," the premise of that statement is dead wrong.

Well, it was your statement. :)

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't it just a week ago or so that people were complaining about Saunders not sitting guys as punishment for weak effort and giving more PT to players as a reward for playing hard?Posted by: kalo_rama"

pretty sure most people were talking about AB.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or do our 7 footers get their shot blocked more than any other BIGS in the league? And yes, I am pointing the finger at you Andray Blatche. It seems as though Blatche gets his shot blocked 5-6 times a game. This should not happen and especially at the rate it does for him.

Posted by: Coach2279 | December 9, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9
Not even worth the cyberspace it's written in
except for this+++++++++++++++
Get a clue.. .

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 9, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"You know he hasn't played this year, right? Or did you mean Jason Terry? Just askin.
Posted by: ts35"

LOL you're right of course. Article I read said he'll be taking over soon... from Monday's Dallas Morning News:

"SEFKO: ...after a week or two of knocking off the rust, I think you'll see Beaubois as the starter for DeShawn Stevenson, who deserves more than just a handshake for how he's done so far this season."

"Somebody will have to pay the price in terms of giving up playing time because, as mentioned here before, the Mavericks must find out if Beaubois is good enough and tough enough to depend on for years to come."

"That means Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Stevenson all could see playing time dwindle. "

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Speaking to me fakedude2?

If so, debating in some sort of primitive idiotic code is really no debate at all. You make no counterpoints whatsoever. So, you should in fact take your own advice and get a clue. You lose or, shall I say, you loser!

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't it just a week ago or so that people were complaining about Saunders not sitting guys as punishment for weak effort and giving more PT to players as a reward for playing hard?Posted by: kalo_rama"

pretty sure most people were talking about AB.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

LOL you're right of course
Posted by: Samson151

Coming on these boards, I may have to frame this.....:)

Regardless, your point still holds, DeShawn technically starts, but usually doesn't play the bulk of the minutes.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

My input on the NY debate is simple. Why screw up a good thing?

This is what the team has waited for from NY for 4 years - instant consistent offense and effort off the bench. That was his intended role from the day he was drafted.

He also used to be so fragile that missing his first couple of shots would ruin his entire game for the night and I mean completely. Now, he takes better shots and plays more consistently on defense. He still doesn't rebound or create plays for others ever, but you take what you can get. He's playing up to the role intended finally so keep him there. An even worse suggestion was to start him at SF. Are you kidding me?

Most of the other players mentioned in relation to this debate have no defined roles yet. That is why they are jostling to see what they will one day become or, hopefully, become. Are they starter material? Are they role players? Who do they compliment the most on the court? All questions that will be sorted out over time. For now, it will and does look like a hodge podge at times. The necessary shuffling due to injuries hasn't helped much either.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Any team that often runs Wall, Gil, and KH at the same time should have zero qualms about NY in the SF role whether off the bench or starting. It's funny that Gil can go 1-10 with a slew of TOs, KH can often do next-to-nothing in 40mins...but it's NY who apparently is a liability unless his shot is falling?

I dont really care if he starts or not, but do think he's better than the guys ahead of him- meaning better suited to play SG than either KH/Gil.

Assuming KH hits the bench when Wall is finally healthy, a 2nd unit backcourt of KH/NY will probably perform really well

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Any team that often runs Wall, Gil, and KH at the same time should have zero qualms about NY in the SF role whether off the bench or starting. It's funny that Gil can go 1-10 with a slew of TOs, KH can often do next-to-nothing in 40mins...but it's NY who apparently is a liability unless his shot is falling?

I dont really care if he starts or not, but do think he's better than the guys ahead of him- meaning better suited to play SG than either KH/Gil.

Assuming KH hits the bench when Wall is finally healthy, a 2nd unit backcourt of KH/NY will probably perform really well

Posted by: divi3

If Thornton and Howard are healthy and playing well, I don't see any need to start NY there. But I don't see the harm others do in giving Nick some starts if the guys ahead of him (oh, wait, there is no 'hierarchy', I should say 'the guys whose roles are to begin the game on floor instead of Nick') are hurt or not playing up to snuff. You could probably make an equal (or better case) for the same thing for SG, but unless we get a rash of injuries, I don't see it happening. Too much invested in the 3 guards ahead of him.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

rhill721 if you draft a player with the intention of him coming off the bench and not being able to start, I wouldn't want you or anyone like you for my GM, and if the player didn't want to be a starter i wouldn't want him neither.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

LEST be honest please, i beg you, kirk is another little short fella , drible, drible until the clock runs out, please stop lying about his defense, and gil turn over king,can't shoot no D no handles,people when start pointing figers, be like the cross eyed man point every which away, they all have problems.Thorton bullyball,john speed wall he has blinders on, he only sees one way,FLIP can't coach saunders,oooooooooooon.

Posted by: maejude | December 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

When does Ernie pull the plug on Flip, like he did on EJ. Rather than Tapscott he can make Sam Cassell the interim coach and find a permanent coach in the offseason.

Posted by: NewManagement | December 9, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Open Letter To Gilbert Arenas:

Gilbert PLEASE get your swag back. This team needs you to put up 25-30 points per game. I know you can still do it. I also know the team hurt your feelings by taking down your image(s) but for the LOVE OF GOD, please start playing like I know you're still capable!

Posted by: squidward1 | December 9, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Open letter to Flip Saunders:

Please submit your resignation immediately! You have NO clue on how to coach this team. You appear clueless and the team clearly is not responding to you. Your offense is not for this team. There is NO movement and on defense you have been incapable of showing them the proper rotations.

Additionally, your infatuation with Kirk Heinrick is disturbing. This guy is NOT a starter. And for the life of me, why does he dribble SO MUCH! The shot clock is at 10 seconds and he STILL IS POUNDING THE BALL! Are you kidding me!

Please Flip do us all a favor and move on. We hardly knew ye'!

We beg you, please quit!

Posted by: squidward1 | December 9, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

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