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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Kirk Hinrich: Skiles team is 'going to play hard'

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

Kirk Hinrich probably knows the Milwaukee Bucks better than anybody with the Wizards since he spent nearly four seasons playing for their coach, Scott Skiles, in Chicago. Skiles took over as head coach of the Bulls midway through Hinrich's rookie season and they made it to the playoffs in each of the next three seasons.

"He had a huge influence on my career. He helped me learn the NBA game. He was very influential in me becoming the player that I am today and just how I view the game," said Hinrich, who had his best seasons under Skiles, averaging 16 and 6.3 assists from 2004-07. "As soon as he got there, every player was held under a different precedent, and he holds everybody accountable, he demands the best of you and he demands that you be a pro and bring it every night. I think he's a good coach."

In Skiles's time in Chicago, the Bulls were one of the better defensive teams in the league, as they embodied the toughness of a coach who famously got into a scuffle with Shaquille O'Neal when he was a member of the Orlando Magic. The Bucks (14-24) have struggled this season, with Andrew Bogut working his way back from a serious arm injury and Brandon Jennings missing 13 games with a broken left foot, but Hinrich said there are certain expectations that come with a Skiles team.

"They are going to play hard," said Hinrich, who is 4-4 against his former coach the past two seasons. "Scott's teams have always been very good defensively. So it's going to be a challenge for us, obviously, because we haven't won a road game. I just think we've kind of lacked mental toughness this year, especially on the road. It seems like we're a little more confident, feel more comfortable on at home. Hopefully, we'll play with a lot of urgency and want to get that monkey off our back, keep playing well."

The Bucks have lost three in a row and six of their past seven games overall. They will be looking to avoid becoming the first team to lose at home to the Wizards, who are 0-19 on the road. "We're going to have to be able to match their intensity," Hinrich said. "If you're on that team and you're not going to defend, you're not going to play on Milwaukee. We have to be able to move the ball. We're not going to be able to go one-on-one. We're going to have to move the ball and be sharp, defensively. We're going to have to play with the same intensity that we've been playing at home."

FROM THE POST
Flip Saunders missed practice yesterday to tend to his ailing mother.

YI Jianlian has started to settle in and play well since knee injuries slowed him down earlier this season.

The panelists on Post Sports Live wonder if Monday's game could be a turning point for the Wizards.

John Wall talks about Monday's win over Utah.

A rare "Dagger!" was heard on Monday. Announcer Steve Buckhantz describes how it felt to use his signature call for possibly only the second time this season (DC Sports Bog).

AROUND THE WEB
USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt writes about Nick Young's emergence since the Gilbert Arenas trade and his rough journey to this opportunity.

At FanHouse, The Works analyzes LeBron James's latest Twitter disasters. Bonus: Scroll to the bottom for Wizards' sweet dreams.

The Heat lost their fourth straight game last night, but Greg Cote says don't read too much into it (Miami Herald).

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger hands out midseason awards. And here are awards from other writers at CBSSports.com.

By Michael Lee  | January 19, 2011; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: Nick Young's 'homecoming' in Milwaukee might help Wizards end road woes

Comments

"YI Jianlian has started to settle in and play well since knee injuries slowed him down earlier this season."

I watched the Utah game and I though Yi played okay. Saw enough to think they should let him play the perimeter mostly and get more clean looks for outside shots. He can make them pretty well and could get better with repetition. They might as well forget about him providing a post presense. Between him and AB I don't know who has the weaker strenth base in their legs. They simply cannot elevate in traffic. If they allow Yi to spread the floor more it could open things up a bit for Wall.

Posted by: gmac78 | January 19, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Really looking forawrd to seeing the individual matchups. NY vs Salmons, Lewis vs Maggs is so unique, and then McGee, Dray, and your boy Yi against guys like Bogut, Gooden, Illy, and Luc. Im the biggest Skiles fan there is so I know it will be hell but we're due. With that being said, I just want to see us show up for once.

You would think that with 0 road wins these guys would be so pumped and come out so focus but like the last 5 games they have come out so flat, looked competely nonchalant, no passion, and then we fall behind by 20 before making a run. That better not happen this game. If NY, Dray, and Wall play great against this D then Im sold on them the rest of the yea

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 19, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Kirk says that Skiles held every player accountable. Interesting when you look at Kirk's extremely long rope here. I guess once you prove that you are worthy, then carte blanche, no matter how you play is a given also.

My only problem is that logically, a young player, given the fact that they make mistakes should have a threshold were they have earned accountability as well.

It should not be the same as a veteran player. In this system, I don't think young players have any way of showing they are accountable in anything they do.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 19, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It's about time we start to win some road games. Now we'll see if Saunders uses his personnel wisely and DON'T leave players in the game if they're not producing.

If Blatche starts to shoot 3 pointers, he has to sit his rear end down. If a player is not performing, he has to look to his bench. We have ample players who are capable and willling to produce.

Posted by: carterm1 | January 19, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Is Flip back though? It would not be good for him to have Randy spur this team to its first road win.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 19, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Is Flip back though? It would not be good for him to have Randy spur this team to its first road win.

LarryInClintonMD.

Good question LarryInClintonMD, I'm not sure.

Posted by: carterm1 | January 19, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"In this system, I don't think young players have any way of showing they are accountable in anything they do."

LarryInClintonMD.

What do you mean?

Posted by: fansincebullets | January 19, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

It should not be the same as a veteran player. In this system, I don't think young players have any way of showing they are accountable in anything they do.

LarryInClintonMD.

In the words of Inigo Montoya, "I do not think this word means what you think it does."

Posted by: ts35 | January 19, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"In the words of Inigo Montoya, 'I do not think this word means what you think it does.'"
Posted by: ts35

Ah,thanks. I thought I was missing some hidden meaning in that post.

Posted by: fansincebullets | January 19, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Last year I was reading about how John Hammond was the reason for Detroit's success. Then over the summer Hammond spends a ton of money on Salmons and Gooden, and trades for Maggette. He turned a young up-and-coming team, into a team with first round exit as their ceiling. Dumars is owed some apologies.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 19, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Joe D went yard with the whole Darko over Melo thing. I dunno about Hammond's role into building a playoff team one yr after a lotto campaign that netted them brandon jennings. But on the surface it looks like they have some good pieces to build with and some good pieces for trades. All while still being competitive. How well has Detroit done since Joe D lost the assistance of Mr. Hammond?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 19, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"In the words of Inigo Montoya, 'I do not think this word means what you think it does.'"
Posted by: ts35

Ah,thanks. I thought I was missing some hidden meaning in that post.

Posted by: fansincebullets | January 19, 2011 11:25 AM

Missing something. So am I. This seems rather obviouse to me.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 19, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

How well has Detroit done since Joe D lost the assistance of Mr. Hammond?

Rebuilding on the fly was always going to be risky, and the team is up for sale which limits what Dumars can do. If he can get rid of Hamilton, and with another lottery pick, I think the team improves quickly.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 19, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

obvious without the e.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 19, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"Dumars is owed some apologies."

Posted by: djnnnou | January 19, 2011 11:57 AM

Not so much.

Whoever was primarily responsible for putting that Pistons title team together, Dumars basically rode it until it ran out of gas. He didn't make a lot of moves to shore it up after they lost most of the key bench players from the title team (McDyess was really the one move he made that worked on that score) and pretty much just kept trying to squeeze blood from an aging stone. He's made some godawful 1st round picks (Darko, Rodney White, Mateen Cleaves), kept firing coaches over and over to the point the players became unmanageable (hello Rip), and overspent on b-list FA talent (Ben Gordon). He appears to have found a few keepers finally in Jerebko, Monroe, and Daye, but it may be too little, too late. I wouldn't be surprised if thee new owner gives him his walking papers.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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