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Posted at 1:13 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Wizards' latest loss could result in a lineup change

By Michael Lee

How are we supposed to win like this? (Reuters Photos)


There was a moment -- perhaps when former Wizard Quinton Ross nearly crashed into me at press row and was set to make another trip to the free throw line - when this boring, foul-plagued game had me drifting. I stopped to look around the nice-looking, but very frigid, Prudential Center to see if I could spot one or all of the celebrity significant others of various New Jersey Nets.

But Beyoncé (wife of Nets part owner Jay-Z), Kim Kardashian (girlfriend of Nets forward Kris Humphries) and Maria Sharapova (fiancée of the newly acquired Sasha Vujacic) didn't show up -- just like the Wizards in the first half.

The Wizards really had no excuse to come out so flat on Thursday against the Nets. They may have been missing Andray Blatche, John Wall and Yi Jianlian, but they had enough against a Nets team was wobbling on an eight-game losing streak and appears to be more interested in acquiring Carmelo Anthony than winning games right now.

But the Wizards were the distracted team, falling behind by 23 points, before pride kicked in and they attempted to compete. They came back to tie the game, before losing 97-89, but what took so long?

"I don't know," said Al Thornton, whose layup evened the score at 75 in the fourth quarter. "If that team would've showed up in the first half, it wouldn't have been no contest. I don't what it is with this team, we need to start playing like that from the beginning. We get behind. It's tough, man. It's really tough. Regardless of the guys that we didn't have, we still should've won this game."

After the game, Coach Flip Saunders called out his team for not playing with the same "energy" throughout and saved his most derisive words for JaVale McGee, who was abused in his duel against Brook Lopez, a fellow first-round pick from the 2008 draft and Team USA invite last summer. McGee had five fouls, five rebounds and just two points, while Lopez finished with 18 points.

"We've got guys that have great opportunities with playing time. We've got guys, and JaVale's an example, he maybe is not a starter right now," Saunders said. "When he gets matched up against the better guys, he's either in foul trouble or getting killed. But when he matches up against second-tier guys, he can play. But we're in a situation, where those guys have to produce."


It's like being back in Team USA tryouts, huh? (AP Photo)

When asked if he would have to make some more adjustments to his starting lineup, Saunders said, "Either that, or there's going to be a lot shorter leash. It's not fair to the guys that really do care, that are putting in the time, off the court, to prepare for games. It's not fair to those guys."

Saunders didn't name anyone specifically with that second quote, but it almost goes in line with Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest's observation on Tuesday that he doesn't think McGee does enough to prepare for games, suggesting that he plays video games instead. "Possibly Atari," Artest said.

McGee responded on Wednesday by saying, "I don't really care what people say. I know what I do, so it doesn't affect me."

After the loss to the Nets, McGee was hard on himself, saying that there was "no excuse" for how he played. When told that Saunders said his starting job could be in jeopardy, McGee said, "I'm not worried about my job as a starter. I'm still coming out here, leading the team in rebounding, and that's what he wants me to do is rebound. If that doesn't please him or whatever, I don't know."

Gilbert Arenas, who overcame a rough start to score 19 points, agreed with Saunders's general assessment that something has to change with this team, especially with this road losing streak causing the Wizards to sink deeper into irrelevance. "You never thought it would get this far, but we lost to one of the teams that was with us, but we've got to keep fighting," he said. "I feel that some of these players do need to sit and watch the game and they'll learn, because they are not learning by playing. We're 20-something games and we're not learning. Some players need to learn, sit, watch what veterans do, then go in. When everyone's young, there's no sitting."

Trevor Booker nearly had a double-double in his second career start, as he finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. He might not understand where he needs to be on offense all the time, but he showed his physical strength in the first half when he grabbed the muscular Humphries and simply moved him to the side with both hands to fight a rebound. Booker also flattened Harris with a pick in the second half that had Harris laying face down on the court for several seconds.

Nick Young also had a solid game, scoring 15 of his team-high 22 points in the first half, and basically making sure that the Wizards weren't down too much to make a comeback. He didn't have much fear, as he drove right at Lopez and got fouled while trying to dunk on him. He attempted 10 free throws in a game for just the third time in his career. "I went to the line 10 times today? I just wanted to attack more. Last game, I settled for jumpers. I'm used to Lopez, I dealt with him in the Pac-10."

But the Wizards don't seem to have enough plays of aggression, as they continue to get pummeled on the road. The streak is now at 13, with the Wizards helping the Nets win by repeatedly sending them to foul line. How despicable was this rhythm-less game between the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference? The Wizards and Nets combined to commit 62 fouls and shoot 75 free throws and neither team scored 100 points.

And, after losing their past two road games against Sacramento and New Jersey, how can they expect to get a road win this calendar year, with San Antonio, Houston and Indiana up next? "It hurts to see something there and you can't grab it," Armstrong said. "You just want it so bad."

The Wizards have a funny way of showing it, though.

By Michael Lee  | December 17, 2010; 1:13 AM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton, Flip Saunders, Gilbert Arenas, JaVale McGee  
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Comments

I don't think I've ever seen Gil as angry as when he got that game losing T tonight. I thought we might have another incident on our hands. He played pretty great the rest of the game, but he could have been twice as good if he'd get his head on straight and stop the pity party and get his swag back. he's just passively standing around half the time. Also, Javale needs to step up and prove Artest wrong, very disappointing. I still love to watch this horrible team though. At least they are entertaining. Nick Young is finally starting to come around. We are OKC Thunder three years ago. Let's go number 1 pick! Get Wall his Scottie Pippen!

Posted by: bosshog7169 | December 17, 2010 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Saunders said. "When he gets matched up against the better coaches, he's getting killed. But when he matches up against second-tier coaches,he's still getting killed?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Get wall some crutches... is it too late to trade him for Cousins?

Posted by: eyekey416 | December 17, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

This team is not going any where until the owner gets rid of the GM and Flip Saunders.

Posted by: SBRUCE8 | December 17, 2010 4:19 AM | Report abuse

Flips an idiot and its a shame that he singles out Javale as his scape goat.

Posted by: bobilly1 | December 17, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Flip's gotta go. If you get can't get your winless-on-the-road team fired up to play the NJ Nets...then it's obvious the team's tuned him out. And yeah, it doesn't take rocket science to know that McGee has never and will never be the "Great Fundamental". And the problem is his freakish athleticism. I have seen him give guys an easy route the basket because he wants to block shots. He just isn't going to be your traditional center.

And Gil...dude what's wrong with you? You need to find your swag (until then fake like you've got it).

Posted by: tundey | December 17, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Javalle can't help it. He's a bean pole that's why he can't compete against the better centers.

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 17, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Javalle looks tired, I don't know if its his health,all the losing or Flip.
Where is the salute?
Wiz need a big man coach!
Nick look good.

NO, they had to break up the team from last year. Whatever..

I been watching this team since the 70's it's always something.

Posted by: shamken | December 17, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Way to call out one of the few bright (or at least lit) spots of the season so far. You can't single one player out when your team falls behind by 15 in the 1Q and later by 20-some points. They were not prepared, pure and simple. And guess who that falls on?

Fire Skip. And you can show EG the door too. This organization just needs a fresh start, a do-over. J-Wow's a nice starting point, but it's only the 1st step.

Posted by: BMoreChil | December 17, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Flip.....

Posted by: BMoreChil | December 17, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Who in the world can't see that Flips offense is not working with this team! The Wizard continue to look just as lost on the court as they sound in post game interviews. No fan should have to suffer this!!! No fan...

Ted, I am DONE!

Posted by: bazteal | December 17, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

It seems as though, Flip is the type of coach that needs a team loaded with Vets to show his worth. Flip does not seem to be a good teacher or molder of young talent. There is some type of disconnect with him and young players. It looks as though we are heading for another lottery pick.

Posted by: kstew44621 | December 17, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Flip & Ernie aren't on the court; they're not the problem. Wouldn't matter who coached this team, they'd still be just as bad. I just hope Wall's not another Oden. Wiz will be this bad all year & beyond. They are several starters & at least 2 years from being relevant.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 17, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Flip's an idiot. As bad as McGee has looked at times, you never call out a player to the media. You deal w/ it behind closed doors. Flip's looking for scapegoats. Hopefully, he'll soon be looking for another job. He's a third-tier coach.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 17, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree that Flip is not the coach for this team. But getting rid of him sends a message to slackers like JaVale that he can continue his thing without penalty, since it's the coach who has to pay the price.

Posted by: JuniusPublicus | December 17, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld and Saunders "are" the problem. Grunfeld overestimated the potential of this roster and he also overestimated the ability of Saunders, and all his coaches for that matter, to get anything out of them. Anyone can see they don't play together but just jack up the first shot available and on defense they can't guard their men so they play compromise defense called a zone. Where is the owner in all this?

Posted by: dandyhuffman | December 17, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Amen to all of the comments that Grunfield and Saunders need to go. They are blaming everyone but themselves. If they want McGee to play better then they need to get a Big Man coach to help him and the other Bigs with their positioning and his footwork. Telling them to play better will not get it!

Posted by: oakiedokie | December 17, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

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


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

Posted by: CBell29 | December 17, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Flip's gotta go. If you get can't get your winless-on-the-road team fired up to play the NJ Nets...then it's obvious the team's tuned him out.
----

you're saying the players're so dumb they haven't noticed they haven't won on the road? or so dumb that they're waiting for the coach to tell them they should care?

Posted by: MinuMang | December 17, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Flip & Ernie aren't on the court; they're not the problem. Wouldn't matter who coached this team, they'd still be just as bad. I just hope Wall's not another Oden. Wiz will be this bad all year & beyond. They are several starters & at least 2 years from being relevant.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 17, 2010 7:53 AM

I agree with the fact that Flip & Ernie aren't on the court, but when you see the dis-unity that exist with the Wizards, one has got to know that Flip & Ernie don't have the attention of this team. It's time to get a management staff that knows how to get players to play!!! Look no further than the turn around Oklahoma experience.

My firends.....It Is Time For A Change!

Posted by: bazteal | December 17, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

yeah, McGee's stats are crazy good per 36 and Flip definitely has it out for him. Its always Javalle's fault and he has by far the shortest leash on the team. With that being said, if he's not going to get major minutes then maybe its best for him to come off the bench. If he's only going to get 28mpg then his numbers would probably be even better against backups and give us a much needed energy boost. Him & NY together with Kirk could be a very good 2nd unit for now, if our starters can get it together when healthy. This is just one of those things that could go either way.


PS- Arenas needs to shut up with his Jason Campbell "its not my fault" act. I was a Campbell fan but soured on him when it was never his fault for anything. Thats how Gil sounds now. He's been worst then most of the young guys half the time and Im the biggest Gil fan there is. When is he going to say something about himself needing to do better? Its easy to pick on the young guys just like AJ did but play like crap yourself

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 17, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone say Mcgee has been the lone bright spot on the team!? I agree with all of the criticism Flip puts on JM.McGee doesn't know how to put a body on someone what so ever. He clearly depends on straight out jumping opponents for boards. Hes not the only one, Blatche and Armstrong are included. Anyone who has ever played the game knows that can get you so far. ALSO, every time he tries to throw someones shot into the first row, it allows an opposing player to squeak in an have an easy put back. Its extremely frustrating! Until we get some other players to draw some attention off of Arenas, we're going to keep losing.

Its funny to see that Gilbert still has his hate fan club around. Nitpicking every move, Arenas is still by far the best player we have.

Sorry for such a long post, this is my first all year so I needed to vent. Enough with the moral victories.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

dlts, I couldn't disagree with you more.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

What, about Gil? Why do you disagree?

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 17, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Flip and Ernie's time is up. They lost this team at the beginning of training camp when they named Wall as captain and dimished every player on the squad not named Wall and Hinrich. Terrible x and oo's coach terrible motivator with a second rate caoaching staff. Ernie chose this dude. Coaching s=chand=ge after the first of the year.

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

Oh, if youre talking about Javalle, this is actually stuff I wrote on another Wiz site and just pasted here. I actually wrote that last so I kinda screwed up by putting that on here 1st. What I wrote 1st on that site is this?
-------------------------

Im actually starting to come around with those who say that McGee & Dray may not be the best mix, atleast not right now while Dray is soft & injuried & McGee is still a little too thin. I think Flip will start HA but I may like to see what we look like with Dray & Seraphin together. Im a McGee fan but he's regressed a ton lately. I could see him doing better coming off the bench with his energy and I think he dominates all the backup bigs in the league, espically with his new experience. I dont mind HA for now for a defensive presence but if he sucks then I hope we give Seraphin a look. Him & Dray together could be a nice duo.

I definetly wouldnt be upset if McGee kept his job though, atleast for awhile because he probably looks alot better with a healthy Wall pushing the rock and he will also look better when we get fully healthy in a few games and he is the last option who doesnt get any attention

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 17, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Ok people.. did any of you expect this team to magically pull a rabbit or in this case, many wins out of hat this year. We are talking about NBA basketball. It's not basketball, its entertainment :)... the wizards were expected to be horrible. John Wall, a great player, plays soooooo out of control and too fast for his own good. Gilbert is just doing his thang in hopes that someone will eat his salary for a trade then we have the magical act of now you see them, now you dont, cast of characters that make up the rest of this team. Same guys that would be cheerleaders and huddle makers during timeouts!!! We have a coach that really is overmatched night in, night out but you cant blame him because he truly has nothing to work with. Ted told everyone, we have to learn to fail miserably before we can expect winning..... it is his mantra that he used with the Caps and now it is what he is doing with the wiz or Zars (Some people call them which is really pathetic). This team will not be relevant for another 3 years.... if they stick to the plan. By then, individual frustration from players will kick in and a lot of this hodge-podge of players will be gone. Yet again, we are talking about the NBA... where taking 8 steps and "crab dribble" is legal, where certain teams and players get every call because... its entertainment and these guys sell action :)

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

Dlts- With saying Gilbert has played worse than the younger players most of the time this season. Take Gilbert off of this team and it would be 10x worse. At times Arenas looks like hes playing with college players. No assistance whatsoever. I agree with Arenas saying that certain young players need to watch more before they get out on the floor.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The team has no leader and no one will to step up and take charge.

Maybe it is John Wall but he hasn't played but five game this year.

Does Flip still think it is wise to have given Wall some many minutes in the summer league?

Posted by: dcinmd1 | December 17, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Also, I know his shots are falling right now..but am I the only one who cringes every time Young touches the ball? I forgot which analysts on NBA TV said it, but during a highlight reel, he said "Young doesn't pass up a glass of OJ" Once he touches the rock you can guarantee him throwing it up. I guess it wont become a problem until he starts missing them right? SMH.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Also, I know his shots are falling right now..but am I the only one who cringes every time Young touches the ball? I forgot which analysts on NBA TV said it, but during a highlight reel, he said "Young doesn't pass up a glass of OJ" Once he touches the rock you can guarantee him throwing it up. I guess it wont become a problem until he starts missing them right? SMH.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

JaVale McGee leads the team in PER, rebounds, and blocks. Naturally, Flip singles JaVale out for criticism. Where I come from, we call that a punk move. I agree that McGee is playing out of position at center. But are we really going to sit through a 70-loss season waiting for Kevin Seraphin or Hamady Ndiaye to learn the position?

As far as any criticism of Gil on this board, I don't get it. Arenas has taken over the scoring lead and is #2 in assists. He whines a lot. But so did Kobe, MJ, Iverson and any other team leader. Gil and Nick are about the ONLY reasons to watch Wiz games this year.

Posted by: musicmanjr | December 17, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Also, I know his shots are falling right now..but am I the only one who cringes every time Young touches the ball? I forgot which analysts on NBA TV said it, but during a highlight reel, he said "Young doesn't pass up a glass of OJ" Once he touches the rock you can guarantee him throwing it up. I guess it wont become a problem until he starts missing them right? SMH.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

My Friend...Can't you see we've got bigger problems than Nick Young? If you notice the above postings, you will see it is this team management.

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

"Take Gilbert off of this team and it would be 10x worse."

True. But 10 X 0 = 0.

As for the coach: "He can't motivate them." "He's lost their attention."

True. But that's on the players more than anybody. Gil's been in the league 10 years now, has more money than God, and hasn't won jack. And he'd still rather be a booger stuck under the bench than a team leader.

Don 't mean to pile on Gil, he's just the best example of how the players on this team can't communicate clearly or effectively, can't learn to play together, and lack any one worthy teammate to look to for leadership in tough times, or any time.

You are radically overstating the role of the coach, and ignoring the fact that a coach has enough to do without being expected to fix THAT type of problem. This isn't The White Shadow. These guys are pros, and adults, not Flip's psychiatric patients.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | December 17, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Is Flip supposed to praise McGee? I don't see it as a punk move. How is he out of position playing the 5 spot? You expect him to play the 4!?
I'm baffled at all of the McGee supporters. This quote explains it all!

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

Hes clearly settled on trying to get numbers and not focusing on the smaller aspects of what makes a good big man. If only we threw some money at Amare :(

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I actually agree with crisco00786. Look, I'm not into bashing Nick Young but when he receives the rock, he is shooting no matter how poor of a shot it may be. I like NY coming off of th ebench as a scorer but he needs to add another dimension to his game (called passing) and it would make him a much better player overall. This team is LOST and is just about the worst Wizards team I have seen in several years. I still don't understand the Gil bashers???? Yes Gil does make questionnable decisions but he is one of our best scoring options right now and leads the team in assists. If we get rid of him, who will replace those stats. This team is scoring deficient as it stands now, getting rid of Gil will only compound that problem.

Posted by: coach55 | December 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

bazteal--- I'm not knocking Young, hes playing out of his mind right now..BUT how far can a team get with a SG shooting the rock every time he touches it. I'm just saying the a majority, if not all of our loses are due to the lack of interior defense and offense. Point, blank, period.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

**Sorry about the typos. bazteal--- I'm not knocking Young, hes playing out of his mind right now..BUT how far can a team get with a SG shooting the rock every time he touches it. I'm just saying that a majority, if not all of our loses are due to the lack of interior defense and offense. Point, blank, period.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

crisco00786, Im the biggest Gil fan there is and I agree with you in that aspect that the young guys arent in the right spots & so on but that still has nothing to do with Gil coasting either. He started off perfectly fine but since then he has been on total cruise control. Thats 3 straight games where he has 0ft attempts. Its a joke.

Then he comes out in every interview saying how he's a team guy now and he wants to move the ball & so on. He said back in the day he wouldve takened 40 shots when we were losing like that but thats not his role anymore. Then what is your role? When were injuried, our starting lineup is probably the worst scoring lineup in the NBA thanks to Flip. They need Gil to be aggressive.

All he's been doing until the 2nd half yesterday is standing at the top of the key & passing the ball to guys off the curl or running a pick & roll where he immediatly always passes it back. He was a big part of us being down by 23. He's still the oldest guy. He's the vet. Lead them, atleast by example with your energy & will. He wasnt doing that until Kirk tookover in the 3rd.

I could literally get Sam Cassell to come out there and do what Gil has been doing lately. Those assist arent even real for the most part. Im not impressed with your 10ast-1to game when all you did was basic stuff. All assist arent the same. They werent the same kind of assist he was getting like he did in the Detroit game.

Earlier this year Gil would control the game even when he didnt shoot well. He played much faster, drove more, and then when the D collapsed he could kick. Now he just stands outside doing basic stuff while having no sense of urgency. He's making those comments but we are still paying you 20mil per year. Were not paying you that just to be a role player like he's basically saying he is. We could get Kirk to do all of that for only 4.5mil per year.

Its no coincedence that when he played with more urgency in the 2nd half that we came back from 23 down and when he started driving more, his shots started falling. He has to attack. I keep saying that there is no way you can cruise then just throw up a shot. Even if youre wide open then you will miss because there is no tempo or rythm to the shot. I said that if he just plays faster, harder, & more aggressive then he will be making alot more of these shots because he will be in more of a rythm.

You cant just walk around and shoot. Thats why Ill be glad when Wall gets back because like I said, Gil right now is just standing at the top of the key making basic passes. He cant do that with Wall in that role. He'll be forced to be a more aggressive shooter/play maker. All I want him to do is play with more aggression. He's got 6'8 guys on him who are too slow to stay with him yet he wont try to blow by them. Scrubs like Farmer on him and he tries nothing. You guys are ok with that?

I said before that we cant beat anyone if Gil plays like that, espically when were hurt

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Again, Im not dissin Gil. He's my favorite player. I know he wont be his prime self but he can still put up numbers while shooting solid if he wanted to. He's got to get mentally right. He has to try to jump higher at the rim. Most of all he has to play faster, with more tempo, and just flat out be more aggressive. If not then he's no different then a role player or Kirk Hinrich. He'll get it though.

As for NY, I agree with the others. He's been great this year but lately he's been even more of a ball hog then when everyone hated him. He cant be that dumb not to see that sometimes there are guys open when he drives. All he has to do is kick it to them but he shoots it every single time. His game turned from so pretty back to ugly again, even when he's playing well. Our team just has such low IQ at times

Posted by: dlts2041 | December 17, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Is Flip supposed to praise McGee? I don't see it as a punk move. How is he out of position playing the 5 spot? You expect him to play the 4!?
I'm baffled at all of the McGee supporters. This quote explains it all!

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

Hes clearly settled on trying to get numbers and not focusing on the smaller aspects of what makes a good big man. If only we threw some money at Amare :(

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:51 AM

One of the oldest tenets of management states "Praise publicly, criticize privately." You take a guy to the woodshed in private, not in the press conference. Remember, this is the same JaVale who sat on the bench while Brendan Haywood ate up all the minutes at the 5.

Lastly, it's obvious to me that McGee's athletic abilities are more suited to the Power Forward position. JaVale doesn't have the footwork or back-to-the-basket positioning to defend the better centers in this league. Right now, he's a better fit at the five than anyone else on this team.

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

>>"Possibly Atari," Artest said.

It's comforting Artest thinks this is 1982. :D

Posted by: blackjack65 | December 17, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Saunders said. "When he gets matched up against the better coaches, he's getting killed. But when he matches up against second-tier coaches,he's still getting killed?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 17, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

--

LMAO

Posted by: dc202jp | December 17, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Goodbye Flip... you can't coach a young team... Hello,Sam Cassell... you get a chance to coach this team until the End Of Year when EG will join Flip along with the entire training staff and all the team doctors!

Posted by: ronniea54 | December 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Lastnight's game was like watching streetball. The offensive sets for the Wiz were sloppy. The cuts to the whole were not crisp and the defensive rotations were almost non-existent. Which=Bad Coaching!!

That being said, players play and coaches coach. Even if the coach is being out-coached, the players have to have heart and desire. You cannot teach heart and desire. Some of the players seem to care more than others. Which is what Gil was saying. I am quite sure there are many things going on behind the scenes that we don't see or know that are causing the team's in-house frustration. Ron Artest didn't just make up his statement about JM. I bet he was told that by some of JM's teammates. Ron just said what other players are thinking and seeing from JM.

Trading Gil may not seem to be the immediate fix, but if there is a possibility of trading him to Orlando for an expiring Vince Carter contract, I say let's do it now before Gil gets hurt. Once or if that happens he will be untradeable for sure. Dwight Howard is putting pressure on the Magic management to get help and I believe he would plead the case to get Gil. Without Gil's contract on the books, along with the other current expiring contracts, the Wiz will have some money to spend.

I have been a fan for life in this area, but I am also a realist and it is time to rebuild from scratch. Let JW stay out until he is 100% healthy and play the rest of the guys to see what you want to keep for next season. I am very disappointed with JM's attitude. If you know (and you say)that you are not performing up to par then you have to take the initiative to get better. He could hire a big man coach on his own to work with him if he really wanted to improve. But that is the key, he doesn't really want to...

I am so frustrated with the teams in this area...

Posted by: TEliasB | December 17, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

dlts2041---Nicely said. I agree with everything you said. And yes, its frustrating to watch Gil defer his offensive game.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Flip is an excellent BLAME coach. He did it in the media with Young (pre-season) Gil for faking injury and getting Young a chance, the frontcourt within the first 5 games, supposedly Wall for not playing with pain, and McGee since he was born. This team has a great player in Blatche who does none of the things that makes him great, on a regular basis. When he competes he changes the way that McGee is affected. When he actively goes for a rebound, tip in, blocked shot, or position, it leaves McGee in a position to be a high flyer shot blocker intimidator. When Blatche plays lazy and opens the flood doors by moving out of position it leaves McGee to play one on five defense. Our guards cant guard the refrigerator. That leaves five on one with McGee being the lone defender. Give him a legitimate defensive abled PF and you then put him in the right environment. You can not have 3 guards and a baby poop PF and expect the center to control the game. FLIP MUST GO he is ruining our chances of keeping our free agents or other free agents. He is ruining this team for years to come. If Ernie does not change Flip then he needs to be changed. After last years problems he got rid of guys who were not getting it done. He got the best players that Washington could attract. The players seem good the system seems bad.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 17, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

When an athlete makes a comment they are always at the mercy of the guy interviewing them. Our press in Washington is about the worst in the nation. What did McGee say before and after that line. The coach just dumped on him what do you expect him to say. All of our frontcourt guys have stated this season that they did not understand their roles. Blatche, Thornton, McGee have all made this comment. FLIP needs to go, he has never been a defensive coach. We have no big man coaches who have experience playing the low post position, most of our coaches are guard oriented, and see what that gets us. If Blatche would play defense, then McGee would have help, Martin would provide shooting, defense and hustle, Gee would provide defense and penetration, and any of our point guards could distribute the ball, Wall would give us the best defense and good offense. Flip, try it, you might like it. You said there may be a lineup change, lets try better defense and good offense, rather than good offense and no defense.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 17, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Dwight Howard is putting pressure on the Magic management to get help and I believe he would plead the case to get Gil.
Posted by: TEliasB

I've seen some of the recent Orlando games and they definitely need off-the-dribble scoring help. Unfortunately, they also seem to need defensive help at the guard position. I'm not sure they can find both in one player, but I'm pretty sure they can't find both in Arenas.

Posted by: nmik | December 17, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with anyone who says we are playing the way we are capable of playing and that we are a bottom feeding team. Sampson151 suggest that. This team with the correct lineup can cause some problems. Fix the Blatche problem of laziness and you can have this team winning a couple of different ways. We can have an offensive running team, or a defensive team with good offense, depending upon the lineup. What will not, and what has not ever worked is three defensively challenged guards on the floor at the same time, along with a soft/lazy PF and any type of center with those combinations. It will never win, and were a quarter through the season with no correction in sight. It is frustrating to see the same strategy, that no one in basketball would agree with, still being used nightly. FLIP IS AN IDIOT.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | December 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Also, I know his shots are falling right now..but am I the only one who cringes every time Young touches the ball? I forgot which analysts on NBA TV said it, but during a highlight reel, he said "Young doesn't pass up a glass of OJ" Once he touches the rock you can guarantee him throwing it up. I guess it wont become a problem until he starts missing them right? SMH.

Posted by: crisco00786 | December 17, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

NY's jumper looks the purest of any wizard other than the Old Gil. While you may not like the fact the he doesn't pass much, that shot is a thing of beauty, rarely catches rim most of the time. Honestly NY is the only guy i'm really comfortable with shooting the ball while AB and JW are out. I like Kirk spotting up from behind the arc, but not so much anywhere else. Gil's on and off and his selection is kinda erratic. Obviously none of the bigs we play now should be shooting too much from the perimeter. So unless you're griping about NY forgoing passes to open cutters to shoot IDK what the problem is other than the lack of production from almost everyone else.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

NY's jumper looks the purest of any wizard other than the Old Gil. While you may not like the fact the he doesn't pass much, that shot is a thing of beauty, rarely catches rim most of the time. Honestly NY is the only guy i'm really comfortable with shooting the ball while AB and JW are out. I like Kirk spotting up from behind the arc, but not so much anywhere else. Gil's on and off and his selection is kinda erratic. Obviously none of the bigs we play now should be shooting too much from the perimeter. So unless you're griping about NY forgoing passes to open cutters to shoot IDK what the problem is other than the lack of production from almost everyone else.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 17, 2010 12:24 PM

lilhollywood10, that was right on target! Nick Young is the least of our problems. Based on his production versus our sparkling won-loss record, Nick should be starting instead of coming off the bench. Thank God that his "shots are falling right now."

Posted by: musicmanjr | December 17, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

How long, Mr. Leonsis, how long do Wizards fans have to suffer at the hands of Flippy the Clown? It's time for a change, and everybody on this post knows that if Eddie Jordan or any other coach with a hint of melanin in his skin lost even 8 straight away games his behind would have been shot out of a cannon. People have been dogging Eddie Jordan but, say what you want, he had the Verizon Center sold out for the last 3 years he was here. Flippy will literally be in a clown suit soon, (him and 'Ernie the Nose') handing out free tickets at the gas station. Mr. Leonsis, do the right thing and GET THAT CLOWN OUTTA HERE!!

Posted by: guisher | December 17, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Flip Saunders continually calls out Javale McGee but says nothing of wannabe Globetrotter Kirk Hinrich.

Am I alone in noticing the, less than usual, lack of ball movement whenever Capt. Kirk initiates the offense? When bringing the ball up the court, he more often than not begins the possession with a 15sec dribbling exhibition before attempting to initiate some semblance of the offense. Just once, I'd like for Flip Saunders to make mention of that in his press comments -- or is Kirk Hinrich immune from criticism in his book.

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | December 17, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

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