Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 12:26 AM ET, 01/ 2/2011

New year, same problems for the Wizards

By Michael Lee

Andray Blatche had another difficult shooting night and had nothing to say after the game, ducking out of the locker room while reporters were speaking with Nick Young. JaVale McGee showed some flashes offensively and blocked six shots, but was in no mood to talk, either, as he sat in front of his locker room stall after the game with his back turned to reporters, and a towel covering the side of his face.


Oh goodness, no! (AP Photo by Jacquelyn Marti)

It's getting harder to say the same old things after every loss, especially with the Wizards still losing in the same old ways. The comforts of home seemed to carry the Wizards for only one half, as they came out flat in the third quarter, whereas the night before the second quarter was the period of choice to sleepwalk.

"We can't play for one half or for three quarters to win a ball game," said Rashard Lewis, who has only been around for two weeks but already seems to have his new team figured out.

The first game of 2011 but like so many in 2010 for the Wizards, who continue to waste opportunities to get that signature win against a team with a winning record. They had Miami on its heels and helped the Heat back up, then built a 13-point lead over the New Orleans Hornets and gave it right back through a string of turnovers and poor shots.

If Kirk Hinrich's value to the team was in doubt before his left thigh contusion, it shouldn't be anymore after these past two games in which the Wizards have committed a combined 39 turnovers. They averaged just 15.9 turnovers in the first 30 games that Hinrich played. "We've got to value the ball more," Coach Flip Saunders said. "It's something we keep on talking about. And it hurt, no question, not having Kirk tonight, because he has a tendency to settle us down a little bit."

Hinrich's absence has also had an affect on John Wall, who has committed 15 turnovers the past two games, after coughing up the ball eight times -- including four in the third quarter -- against the Hornets. In his first three games back from his right knee injury, Wall had a total of nine turnovers.

But in the past two games, teams have realized that the Wizards have just one ballhander of consequence and attacked Wall in swarms. In turn, Wall has tried to press the issue too many times, attempting to dribble his way out of double teams or force difficult passes to his teammates. The Hornets did a great job of making Wall pick up his dribble before he wanted.

Chris Paul used the knowledge that he has accrued over the past five seasons to teach Wall a few lessons, and the Hornets had a great scheme to fluster him in the second half. "We know how good John is in the passing lanes. We knew he would try to throw a lot of lobs to Rashard, but we just did a great job with our team defense," Paul said. "Just trying to show him how that you have to be the leader on the offensive end and defensive end. That's the thing I learned my rookie year is that I couldn't just come out and perform offensively I have to come out and lead my team defensively.''


Where's the fight, fellas. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Paul didn't have spectacular numbers (13 points, 11 assists, seven steals), but he completely controlled the game, picking his spots to score and consistently getting the ball to the right players. The Wizards had wanted to pressure Paul a bit more, especially in pick-and-roll situations, but Saunders said the team was often "soft" in those situations, allowing Paul to roam free. "Chris is not the easiest guy to defend," Saunders said.

"That's what he does, he attacks," said Paul's former teammate, Hilton Armstrong, who was disappointed that he was unable to get a win against the team that drafted him 12th overall in 2006. "You always want to beat the team that you come from. It would've been good for me. It didn't happen, so next time, when we go to New Orleans, we have to get them in New Orleans."

Wall had 12 points and 10 assists, but came away with a few tips after getting schooled by another elite point guard. Derrick Rose and Steve Nash have also left behind some valuable lessons for the No. 1 overall pick. "I learned a whole lot, especially on the offensive end, how he's patient with everything, finding his teammates and he does a great job stealing the ball," Wall said.

Hornets coach and D.C. native Monty Williams felt that Wall's rough outing against Paul was understandable. "Most young guys when they play against a primetime player like Chris, it is tough on them. I think it just happens to rookies," he said. "John is going to be really good. He will be an All-Star soon. I see a lot of positives about him and he will become un-guardable in the future."

The Wizards have also struggled the past two games as Blatche continues to shoot the ball poorly. The trade rumors may be affecting him, but he was held to just eight points for the second game in a row. He also shot just 4 of 12, one night after shooting 4 of 16. After the loss in Indiana, Blatche said, "I don't know where my rhythm's at. Hopefully, I'll find it soon."

Young bounced back from his bad night in Indianapolis to lead the Wizards with 24 points and showed a feisty side that he has rarely displayed on the court. Young mixed it up several times with Hornets guard Marco Belinelli, who attempted to get physical with Young. Young often struck back with an elbow or a shove, and it was encouraging to see him fight through the rough play.

"Every game they come out, try to be physical with me. I guess somebody must've said, 'That's how you get Nick Young off his game, by beating him up,' " Young said. "I got to start fighting back, start being more aggressive and not let anybody bully me around out there."

Young got tangled with Belinelli in the fourth quarter, picking up a personal foul when their arms locked. After they separated, Young got in Belinelli's face to say a few words and Blatche shoved away Belinelli. When asked what happened, Young said Belinelli had done some "European sneak moves. It was just a misunderstanding. That's how he plays."

McGee played a decent game, scoring 12 points with 13 rebounds, but he was probably a little shaken after Trevor Ariza had a crushing slam over him in the fourth quarter. "I thought JaVale was solid," Saunders said. "It was nice to see him bounce back after he got into some foul trouble in the last game. We just need to get some consistency with our main guys, with those guys all playing well at the same time."

New year, same problems.

"Like most games, we played good, played solid. Down toward the end, when it's a close game, we don't execute on either end, as well as we did," Armstrong said. "We've got to find a way to stay focused and stay disciplined for 48 minutes."

By Michael Lee  | January 2, 2011; 12:26 AM ET
Categories:  Flip Saunders, John Wall, Nick Young  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Open thread: Wizards (8-23) vs. Hornets (19-14)
Next: Continuity remains a goal for the Wizards

Comments

A TEAM effort is required for a team to be successful. It's not all about the players and it's not all about the coaching/mamagement. It's a combination of all of the elements. A problem with the Wizards is that they have no leadership, and I don't just mean on the floor. When Saunders appointed an untested 19 year-old rookie with ZERO NBA minutes and a newly-acquired NBA veteran with ZERO experience with the Wizards organization to be the Wizards team captains, it said more about the coach's lack of understanding of human relationships and how to motivate his team than anything else. It demonstrated his own lack of leadership. I mean this as no knock against John Wall or Kirk Hinrich. Saunders placed each of them in a very bad position. Hinrich will probably not last the season as a Wizard, but will be traded to a contending team in need of a back-up point guard with an expiring contract...so much for Kirk's leadership for the Wizards. John Wall had enough problems coping with the hype of being selected #1 without the added baggage of having to try to assert himself as the leader of a professional basketball team. The Wizards/Saunders did John Wall no favors by placing him in that position. To his credit, John Wall is saying the right things, but, to be honest, they sound ridiculous coming out of the mouth of a twenty year-old rookie. He is a basketball player with speed as his primary weapon. He has yet to demonstrate any of the other attributes of a good NBA basketball player. He is still trying to find his own way. He should not have been expected to be capable of fulfilling the role of the team leader. John is not the leader, Kirk is not the leader, but, more importantly, Saunders is not the leader. Ted L., please get us a real coach/leader who can help to develop a contender.

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | January 2, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

getabigboyoffense,

I reported your post for abuse...

If you keep writing posts like that the following will happen to Samson151 and kal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-03vYYAjA

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 2, 2011 12:42 AM | Report abuse

@bulletsfan78

Hi, there!

I'm back from vacation and ready to award Dumb Post awards again!

Remember to post in tonight's Game Thread.

Good luck to you! (I can sense you're revving up to be at least a finalist.)

Posted by: EestiLaps | January 1, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

and the winning post goes too...

"We've got to value the ball more," Coach Flip Saunders said. "It's something we keep on talking about. And it hurt, no question, not having Kirk tonight, because he has a tendency to settle us down a little bit."

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 2, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

we have to have a coaching change ASAP just to get the team motivated to win. and please PLEASE somehow let us find a way to trade off blatche for cousins! then he can teach javale how to rebound & play in the post! P.S.[here we come terrence jones]

Posted by: CantWait90 | January 2, 2011 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe promote Sam. I have yet to see Flip call an offensive play. Actually I think he called a timeout and a play for Nick Young in that Philadelphia game earlier in the season.

Ted the players are suffering please find a Head Coach. The Wizards never run back door plays the big guys rarely get easy buckets what type of junk offense are they running. These guys can play better. Too many players on the team think they have a sweet jumpshots.

Posted by: bonggong | January 2, 2011 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Ted one more note you are a G-Town Alumni. My buddy who is a big G-Town fan said that the game is played inside out. Check Ewing, Mourning, Hibbert and the reason the Wizards settle for tough shots is because they lack basketball fundamentals. They play outside in basketball.

If you notice every team that plays the wizards rotates the ball on offense, they dump it in score in the paint and set up their outside shots.

Wizards always come down the court and take low iq shots. Either pick up a player that plays in the paint or look for another coach and maybe a GM. Bad habits are hard to break and they have been playing this way for the past several years. The coach has helped them improve their defense but the poor playing players play too many minutes and they consistently make the same mistakes.

You guys got rid of McGuire, Singelton, Ross. these guys did not need to score to be effective. I watched McGuire frustrate LeBron a few years ago because he had defense ability and length, I watched Thorton physically frustrate Carmelo a year ago but he looks like he is on his way out as well. Most of the current Wizards are primarily jump shooters.

Posted by: bonggong | January 2, 2011 1:27 AM | Report abuse

The first post hits the nail on the head! I was planning on making similar observations, but that post pretty much sums up many of my own thoughts. HOF post in my opinion.

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | January 2, 2011 3:49 AM | Report abuse

AB had a -25 last night in 38 minutes. Heck, with that result I'd be ducking out of the locker room too:)

The team has no offensive rhythm whatsoever. JW may be a talent, but he's not an NBA point guard right now.

The controversy between the coach being at fault vs. the players is kind of laughable. Isn't there enough blame to spread around?

I do have to question Flip's feel for the game. Last night Martin had just hit two nice jumpers in a row. Then he picked up his third foul and Flip pulled him from the game. He was on a small roll, why not leave him in the game? Why are you worried about Martin getting more fouls, since you're not asking him to play more than 10-15 minutes anyway?

Is Flip thinking or is he just on automatic pilot?

Posted by: shovetheplanet | January 2, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

A TEAM effort is required for a team to be successful. It's not all about the players and it's not all about the coaching/mamagement. It's a combination of all of the elements. A problem with the Wizards is that they have no leadership, and I don't just mean on the floor. When Saunders appointed an untested 19 year-old rookie with ZERO NBA minutes and a newly-acquired NBA veteran with ZERO experience with the Wizards organization to be the Wizards team captains, it said more about the coach's lack of understanding of human relationships and how to motivate his team than anything else. It demonstrated his own lack of leadership. I mean this as no knock against John Wall or Kirk Hinrich. Saunders placed each of them in a very bad position. Hinrich will probably not last the season as a Wizard, but will be traded to a contending team in need of a back-up point guard with an expiring contract...so much for Kirk's leadership for the Wizards. John Wall had enough problems coping with the hype of being selected #1 without the added baggage of having to try to assert himself as the leader of a professional basketball team. The Wizards/Saunders did John Wall no favors by placing him in that position. To his credit, John Wall is saying the right things, but, to be honest, they sound ridiculous coming out of the mouth of a twenty year-old rookie. He is a basketball player with speed as his primary weapon. He has yet to demonstrate any of the other attributes of a good NBA basketball player. He is still trying to find his own way. He should not have been expected to be capable of fulfilling the role of the team leader. John is not the leader, Kirk is not the leader, but, more importantly, Saunders is not the leader. Ted L., please get us a real coach/leader who can help to develop a contender.

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | January 2, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that you didn't get the memo about these novel chapters disguised as postings. This is not a writting contest.

Posted by: zack9633 | January 2, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

"This is not a writting contest.
Posted by: zack9633"

Spelling either, apparently.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"Is Flip thinking or is he just on automatic pilot? Posted by: shovetheplanet"

Why restrict it to the coach? You could ask that same question about much of the fan base.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"...a problem with the Wizards is that they have no leadership, and I don't just mean on the floor. When Saunders appointed an untested 19 year-old rookie with ZERO NBA minutes and a newly-acquired NBA veteran with ZERO experience with the Wizards organization to be the Wizards team captains, it said more about the coach's lack of understanding of human relationships and how to motivate his team than anything else. It demonstrated his own lack of leadership."

A reprint from yesterday. Still a flawed argument. Why does the team need leadership? Because they're losing. How do we get the leadership we need? We fire and hire new ones. What will we do if the new ones don't win? Fire them and hire new ones? What will we do if those don't win, either? Fire them and hire some other new ones. And if they don't win? Fire and hire...

When will we stop firing and hiring leaders? When we have a champion. Unless those guys begin to lose...

People forget the negative effects a poorly thought out or poorly timed coaching change has on a young team. It's not as great as in the NFL, where coaching plays a bigger role, but it's significant. That's why ultimately the worst thing an owner can do is bow to fan pressure to make a change for change's sake. We fans just want to see a better product. But for the most part, fans don't know how to produce one.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"The team has no offensive rhythm whatsoever. JW may be a talent, but he's not an NBA point guard right now."

Oh sure he is. He's learning on the job, but when you're a 20 year old phenom in the NBA, that's how it works. You don't get a lot of practice time.

Given his inexperience and the time he's missed, he's actually doing very well. You'd rather have him sitting on the bench while someone else played?

As we saw during that streak of better play, right now the team is probably better when Kirk and Josh Howard are in there. Wall's the future, however. So we need to grow along with him.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

"...a problem with the Wizards is that they have no leadership, and I don't just mean on the floor. When Saunders appointed an untested 19 year-old rookie with ZERO NBA minutes and a newly-acquired NBA veteran with ZERO experience with the Wizards organization to be the Wizards team captains, it said more about the coach's lack of understanding of human relationships and how to motivate his team than anything else. It demonstrated his own lack of leadership."

A reprint from yesterday. Still a flawed argument. Why does the team need leadership? Because they're losing. How do we get the leadership we need? We fire and hire new ones. What will we do if the new ones don't win? Fire them and hire new ones? What will we do if those don't win, either? Fire them and hire some other new ones. And if they don't win? Fire and hire...

When will we stop firing and hiring leaders? When we have a champion. Unless those guys begin to lose...

People forget the negative effects a poorly thought out or poorly timed coaching change has on a young team. It's not as great as in the NFL, where coaching plays a bigger role, but it's significant. That's why ultimately the worst thing an owner can do is bow to fan pressure to make a change for change's sake. We fans just want to see a better product. But for the most part, fans don't know how to produce one.

Posted by: Samson151 |

You are the buiggest abuzer (no matter how spelled). I know you're tuning your resume the get M Lee's job but please, CUT IT OUT!

Posted by: zack9633 | January 2, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

"Is Flip thinking or is he just on automatic pilot? Posted by: shovetheplanet"

Why restrict it to the coach? You could ask that same question about much of the fan base.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

_________________

Have you ever considered giving the polemics a rest? Also, just out of curiosity, what do they feed a one-trick pony?

Posted by: shovetheplanet | January 2, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

@ Samson151

FYI. Being that I am NOT a writer nor do I play one on TV so you will find a type errors and "miss spelled" words from time to time . . . because, we all aren't blessed with the writer's touch. Most of us just want to get out opinions and thoughts out but for real, for real, many of us only read a couple of your lines and keep it moving. Darn, I exceeded the 7 line limit.

Posted by: zack9633 | January 2, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"AB had a -25 last night in 38 minutes. Heck, with that result I'd be ducking out of the locker room too:)"

The +/- stat is just a record of what happened to the score while he was in the game. Blatche played 38 minutes, and the score fluctuated quite a bit by quarter. Since he was on the court, his plus-minus reflects that.

The stat's useful when viewed over a large enough sample. You also need to adjust for the player's teammates. Stable results of the sort you need to evaluate a player take about a third to a half a season.

Blatche had no reason to be embarrassed by that stat in a box score. Probably doesn't even know what it is.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"@ Samson151
FYI. Being that I am NOT a writer nor do I play one on TV so you will find a type errors and "miss spelled" words from time to time . . . because, we all aren't blessed with the writer's touch. Most of us just want to get out opinions and thoughts out but for real, for real, many of us only read a couple of your lines and keep it moving. Darn, I exceeded the 7 line limit."Posted by: zack9633

Maybe that's why people keep asking those same dumb questions.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Have you ever considered giving the polemics a rest? Also, just out of curiosity, what do they feed a one-trick pony?Posted by: shovetheplanet"

Polemics -- 'I do not think that word means what you think it means' -- Inigo Montoya.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"You are the buiggest abuzer (no matter how spelled). I know you're tuning your resume the get M Lee's job but please, CUT IT OUT!
Posted by: zack9633"

Dear Zack -- you are not a smart man.

Short enough for ya?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Have you ever considered giving the polemics a rest? Also, just out of curiosity, what do they feed a one-trick pony?

Posted by: shovetheplanet

Ditto!
Even shorter

Posted by: zack9633 | January 2, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

BTW, that bar on the right of your screen allows you to scroll down past a post you don't feel like reading. That's what most people do.

Of course, it means you won't be able to comment on my longer posts, since you haven't read them. I'll live with that.

Good luck to you in future...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Dear Zack -- you are not a smart man.

Short enough for ya?

Posted by: Samson151

Probably could do a survey and about 98% would agree that most of your posting are weak and tend to be "a$$kissish" for EG & Flip. The other 2% are probably by you and your multiple posting names. . . I'm just saying though

Posted by: zack9633 | January 2, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Probably could do a survey and about 98% would agree that most of your posting are weak and tend to be "a$$kissish" for EG & Flip. The other 2% are probably by you and your multiple posting names. . . I'm just saying though Posted by: zack9633"

Good thing I'm not running for Blog Mayor, huh?

Now be sure and use that scroll bar when you see my name...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Too late. . . already do, right along with your alter ego DCMAN_88

Posted by: zack9633 | January 2, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game, and could have cared less.......but I didn't. Saw SECRETARIAT instead. A movie not worthy of a WIZARDS b-ball effort yet intended to memorialize the greatest non-human athlete I ever witnessed perform. What a shame. That was the greatest race-horse ever. The movie sux, WIZARDS style.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 2, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Too late. . . already do, right along with your alter ego DCMAN_88 Posted by: zack9633"

LOL now that's funny.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"What a shame. That was the greatest race-horse ever.posted by glawrence007"

I wondered about that. Struck from my Netflix queue. Not a lot of great racehorse movies out there. Seabiscuit was good. Don't think they made films about Ruffian or Cigar.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, not a lot of great basketball films either...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

How amusing... a flame war on Sunday morning.

Posted by: MeviousMan | January 2, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I agree making Wall a captain after 1 yr college ball was just lame.

Blatche looks like the trade rumor is affecting him.

I haven't heard anything about Howard. I hope is knee is ok.

Love the way ny is playin. Howard should be strickly tje backup 2 IMO, at least until he has more time to get stronger. He doesnt need to be pounded by bigger players. And I like the stabalizing ability of Howard/Hinrich of the bench in the backcourt & the defense. Go with Lewis backed by AThornton at SF.

Booker should be the backup PF, not sure why he is out of the rotation.

The team is starting to show some signs of whay it can do. Time, health & hopefully some wins & confidence we can still get on the right track.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 2, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I have not lost interest in watching the Wizards play but they are sliding down the list of things I rather do. Since the Wizards are in a rebuilding period I think its time for a new vision. Ernie you gave it a shot and it's not working out. Flip, I don't know if the players believe in you. The talent might not be there but where is the effort? This team needs a young coach with energy and motivation.

Posted by: spades72 | January 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree making Wall a captain after 1 yr college ball was just lame.

Blatche looks like the trade rumor is affecting him.

I haven't heard anything about Howard. I hope is knee is ok.

Love the way ny is playin. Howard should be strickly tje backup 2 IMO, at least until he has more time to get stronger. He doesnt need to be pounded by bigger players. And I like the stabalizing ability of Howard/Hinrich of the bench in the backcourt & the defense. Go with Lewis backed by AThornton at SF.

Booker should be the backup PF, not sure why he is out of the rotation.

The team is starting to show some signs of whay it can do. Time, health & hopefully some wins & confidence we can still get on the right track.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The Cavs have inquired about Wizards forward Andray Blatche. At 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, he has perfect size for a power forward. He's been quite productive, as he's averaging 16.7 points and 8.2 rebounds this season. With Rashard Lewis and Al Thornton on the roster, Blatche could become available. The News-Herald via HoopsHype

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As we saw during that streak of better play, right now the team is probably better when Kirk and Josh Howard are in there.

Eh, this team loses no matter who is on the floor. KH and JH would not have prevented a loss last night, New Orleans is just a much better team. Also, Mike Lee seems to have forgotten the Wizards season low in turnovers came against Indiana with Wall as the only available true PG.

Personally I am glad Wall got abused last night, it's all part of the learning process for him and it's probably a good thing in the long run that Flip had no choice but to let him take his lumps.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@ Samson151
FYI. Being that I am NOT a writer nor do I play one on TV so you will find a type errors and "miss spelled" words from time to time . . . because, we all aren't blessed with the writer's touch. Most of us just want to get out opinions and thoughts out but for real, for real, many of us only read a couple of your lines and keep it moving. Darn, I exceeded the 7 line limit.
Posted by: zack9633

Correct spelling requires a writer’s touch? Does correct brushing of the teeth require a dentist’s touch? Does correct boiling of the water require a chef’s touch? Does correct application of a band aid require a doctor’s touch? Does correct tying of the shoes require mommy’s touch?

Posted by: twomangame | January 2, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

BTW, anybody see what the Spurs did to OKC? 101-74. In San Antonio, of course, but still.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The Cavs have inquired about Wizards forward Andray Blatche. At 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, he has perfect size for a power forward. He's been quite productive, as he's averaging 16.7 points and 8.2 rebounds this season. With Rashard Lewis and Al Thornton on the roster, Blatche could become available. The News-Herald via HoopsHype

Blatche looked every bit like a guy who needs a change of scenery last night. He's lost all his confidence, is playing scared, and has been in a funk all season. If the Cavs want him, gotta think the Wiz will do it.

And wouldnt it be something to reunite him with AJ, too funny

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I have been a season ticket holder for 15 years and finally couldn't stand the same performance each year.
The problem lies in EG. Look at all the trades he has made over the years. They seem to be great in the short term, but in the long term we end up with nothing. His evaluation of talent is very weak if you consider who we have drafted over the past 7-8 years. We need to trade AB and find someone who can defend in the paint.

Posted by: Drkitchen | January 2, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Correct spelling requires a writer’s touch? Does correct brushing of the teeth require a dentist’s touch? Does correct boiling of the water require a chef’s touch? Does correct application of a band aid require a doctor’s touch? Does correct tying of the shoes require mommy’s touch?

Posted by: twomangame

If people are really worried about grammar and spelling, there is either microsoft word or works on everybody's PC's one can use. I know Kalo_rama uses it all the time. Just cut and paste and stay above the scrutiny. Oh, and there is plenty of online dictionary too.

Posted by: spades72 | January 2, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Samson151,

It all sort of comes together now. You indicate that the NBA is not rah rah and the captaincy is for the fans and don't mean much. Really.

It is any wonder that coaching doesn't mean much more than the players to the success of winning in your book.

Butchasee good fella, coaching/leadership/captaincy are huge determining factors in winning organizations.

I get you now. For real Samson151. Captaincy is for the fans. Oh, really. Who is leadership for? Who is good coaching for?

GetaBigBoyOffense is spot on in his assertion. And it does say a lot for Flip Saunders as a leader to name John Wall and Hinrich as captains.

This naming of those two as captains and leaders of the Team was/is an egregious blunder.

The Wizards should have named Gilbert Arenas and Andre Blatche as captains of the team. But the Wizards don't have the courage to make unpopular decisions that would not play well in public, but would have sent the right message to its players and would have helped this young developing team.

This team does not have any leadership/captaincy to speak of, but according to you Samson, this rah rah stuff don't mean anything in the pros, not even good coaching as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"The problem lies in EG."

You're preaching to the chior brother. Something most of us on here have been saying for a very long time.

"Blatche looks like the trade rumor is affecting him."

No, he's just really that bad. That's why nobody wants to trade for him.

"John is not the leader, Kirk is not the leader, but, more importantly, Saunders is not the leader. Ted L., please get us a real coach/leader who can help to develop a contender."

Wall will be but the thing here is the nobody is teaching him HOW to be a leader. They keep saying they brought Kirk in for that, to help teach Wall the ropes. The thing is that's what I thought the coach was supposed to do, but not on this team. I have said for a very long time that NOBDOY is helping the Javale McGee's on this team, and it becomes more obvious nightly. Flip is not the coach for this team. I'd go ask Hubie Brown how his health is doing and beg him to be the coach here. They need a teacher right now and Flip with his perma black cloud hanging over his head isn't helping anything.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 2, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards should have named Gilbert Arenas and Andre Blatche as captains of the team.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Sure, pick the impulse-control guy who was waiting to leave and the guy who just has trouble motivating *himself* to play hard.

I agree that there is a lack of player leadership (and probably coaching leadership) on this team. But it wouldn't have mattered who they named as captains. If there were real leaders to be had, they would have stepped up by now.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Right on ray. Larry Brown is available & is a well known teacher of the game.

Bring in LB short term to teach tjese guys to play "thje rigjt way", his former player Mark Jackson assistant & coach of future.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 2, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Right on ray. Larry Brown is available & is a well known teacher of the game.

Bring in LB short term to teach tjese guys to play "thje rigjt way", his former player Mark Jackson assistant & coach of future.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 2, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Main thing Josh Howard might have provided was better defense on Trevor Ariza (10-16). A NO outlet provided this breakdown of the crucial 3rd quarter:

Quarter score: Hornets 26, Wizards 15
Hornets points in the paint: 14
Wizards points in the paint: 4
Hornets second chance points: 2
Wizards second chance points: 0
Hornets fast-break points: 6
Wizards fast-break points: 2
Hornets biggest lead: 6
Wizards biggest lead: 5
Times tied: 1
Hornets leading scorer: Ariza, 13
Wizards leading scorer: Young, 8

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

As far as blatche to cavs, I dont know if they have anyone I'd want.

Blatche for cousins seems to make the most sense. I'd also be interested in Robin Lopez or Jordan Hill.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 2, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Main thing Josh Howard might have provided was better defense on Trevor Ariza

Why couldnt Booker have provided it? He seems tailor made for giving Ariza fits, he's bigger and stronger but just as quick and athletic.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"The Wizards should have named Gilbert Arenas and Andre Blatche as captains of the team. But the Wizards don't have the courage to make unpopular decisions that would not play well in public..."

And that one would have been reeaaallllly unpopular...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Why couldnt Booker have provided it? He seems tailor made for giving Ariza fits, he's bigger and stronger but just as quick and athletic.Posted by: divi3"

I suppose they could have tried that. He's enough of a 'tweener.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"As far as blatche to cavs, I dont know if they have anyone I'd want."

You wouldn't want Varejao?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Sure, pick the impulse-control guy who was waiting to leave and the guy who just has trouble motivating *himself* to play hard.

I agree that there is a lack of player leadership (and probably coaching leadership) on this team. But it wouldn't have mattered who they named as captains. If there were real leaders to be had, they would have stepped up by now.

I'm not going to say that who the chosen capts were would have made a difference in winning or losing...but I do agree Flip naming KH/JW is indicative of his poor managerial or interpersonal skills as was stated above.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Sure, pick the impulse-control guy who was waiting to leave and the guy who just has trouble motivating *himself* to play hard.

I agree that there is a lack of player leadership (and probably coaching leadership) on this team. But it wouldn't have mattered who they named as captains. If there were real leaders to be had, they would have stepped up by now.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 11:08 AM

Yes, ts35 there is mountains of reasons not to name Blatche and Arenas the leaders of this team, but there was no reason to name the two they did.

It is like Samson151 said, meaningless to name Wall and Hinrich. It made a mockery out of what true leadership/captaincy is.

On the other hand, if you named Arenas and Blatche the leaders/captaincy, it would have meant the most to those two guys and it would have caused the team to take a pause.

By naming those two captains and charging them to lead would have meant something to them. They could not have settled for par for course as they did and Blatche is still doing.

Sometimes you have to put the misfit 'sotospeak' in charge because there wasn't any other viable choices and by making that choice it might have given the Team the best opportunity to build good character and a will to succeed.

What two players besides Blatche and Arenas had more to prove than any other players on the Team.

It is like falling in horse manure and coming out smelling like a rose. It was the Wizards only choice, but like I said they aren't up to the hard decisions yet.

The next one ought to be firing Flip Saunders so we can stop with Samson and Kal covering his butt at the expense of the players.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Why couldnt Booker have provided it? He seems tailor made for giving Ariza fits, he's bigger and stronger but just as quick and athletic. Posted by: divi3

Lewis isn't a match up advantage against Ariza or West. It looks like Flip still sees him as the player he was in Seattle.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"It is like Samson151 said, meaningless to name Wall and Hinrich. It made a mockery out of what true leadership/captaincy is."posted by LarryInClintonMd

Hold up -- I didn't say that. I said the captaincy in today's NBA is mostly an honorific. I said many players aren't even listening to all those coaches they have, let alone the team captain.

So I don't think naming Wall and Hinrich captains made a mockery of the office. Or true leadership, for that matter.

On the other hand, I do think that dwelling on who got named captain is a waste of energy.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Lewis isn't a match up advantage against Ariza or West."Posted by: djnnnou

Not on defense, no. He is bigger than Ariza and West can't guard him away from the basket.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"The next one ought to be firing Flip Saunders so we can stop with Samson and Kal covering his butt at the expense of the players.LarryInClintonMD"

And I guess then you could stop misrepresenting what I say...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

OTO I do think that on the heels of last season, if you wanted to make a mockery out of any position of leadership with the Wiz, it would be to name Gilbert Arenas to it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Main thing Josh Howard might have provided was better defense on Trevor Ariza

---

Why couldnt Booker have provided it? He seems tailor made for giving Ariza fits, he's bigger and stronger but just as quick and athletic.
Posted by: divi3

Imo, I don't think Booker would have slowed Ariza down any. He might be as fast as Ariza, but he's not as quick.

That being said, I do think Booker should be played any time the team looks lethargic. Well, within reason, otherwise some games he would have to play 48 mins. But instead of having AB, RL, or JH jack up jumper after jumper, at least bring in Booker as an energy player to try to change the dynamic.

Posted by: divi3

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Lewis isn't a match up advantage against Ariza or West. It looks like Flip still sees him as the player he was in Seattle.

I'd forgotten how thick David West is, would have liked to have seen Booker get a shot at him too. At the very least West couldnt have pushed him around the way he did AB and Rashard. However I guess Flip didnt think Booker was good enough to put on the floor for even one second, not that coaching makes any difference in the outcomes of course.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

As Allen Iverson would say, "Captains? We're talking about captain? Captains?"

Oy vey. Saunders has to give Knute Rockne speeches to motivate the players. The captains are supposed to sing the Wizards fight song (do they have one?).

What is this a high school team?

These are grown adult men. It's about time some posters started treating them like men and professionals and stopped blaming others.

Yes, poor coaching can make a situation worse. But anyone thinking that a different coach would make anything other than a marginal difference - 3 games? 4? - is kidding himself.

What's going on with this team is pretty similar to what's happening to about 1/4 or 1/3 of the teams in the NBA. Or NFL. Or MLB.

The only difference is that it's been going on longer and we're all frustrated at the lack of any progress.

Again.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 2, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It is like Samson151 said, meaningless to name Wall and Hinrich. It made a mockery out of what true leadership/captaincy is.

On the other hand, if you named Arenas and Blatche the leaders/captaincy, it would have meant the most to those two guys and it would have caused the team to take a pause.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

It would have been just as meaningless and at least as much of a mockery, if not more so, to name Arenas a captain. First, he's coming off of a half-season long suspension for getting into a STUPID beef with a teammate (and not coincidentally effectively ending his NBA career). Second, he has been named captain before and refused to act like one.

I appreciate that you think naming those two leaders might have caused them to change their ways. Some times that happens. In my experience it is far more likely to do nothing at best or backfire at worst.

If either of those two, or anyone else on the team was cut out to be a captain of this roster, they would have stepped up long before. Say, perhaps, when the coach kicked the whole team off the floor for not being ready to practice. Captain or no, Gil could have stepped up then. He didn't. AB could have stepped up then, he didn't. AB could realize now that the team would be better off if he took 65% of his shots from within 10ft, instead of the reverse. He hasn't. The coaches clearly haven't either, btw.

But it's moot. Gil is gone and clearly AB does not look right now like someone who should be a 'captain'.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone watch the Capitals/Penguins series on HBO?

From what I've read, that's what a professional sports franchise does with its players.

Men players. Adults. Professionals.

There's no "win one for the Gipper" speeches. The coaches calmly - sometimes with salty language - go over the game plan and instruct the players on what they need to do. Film sessions, game instructions, practices. Professionals.

The players motivate and prepare themselves. They are highly paid adults who get themselves ready to play. Or don't.

Sure, the assistants help them work on individual things. But inevitably it comes down to the players. Who work on specific aspects of their game during the off season. In season is not the place to re-make a player's game.

The coaches job is to prepare they strategically for the game.

And their job is to follow through.

No holding hands, no instructions on how to wear their pants or brush their teeth.

They're men treated like men.


Posted by: SteveMG | January 2, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I do think Booker should be played any time the team looks lethargic. Well, within reason, otherwise some games he would have to play 48 mins. But instead of having AB, RL, or JH jack up jumper after jumper, at least bring in Booker as an energy player to try to change the dynamic."

I'm down wit' dat. But then I just like watching him and Seraphin play.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Say, perhaps, when the coach kicked the whole team off the floor for not being ready to practice. Captain or no, Gil could have stepped up then. He didn't. AB could have stepped up then

Kind of a chicken and egg thing too though. Naming a teenager and a guy who has been in town 5mins to be team capts is the kind of thing that can cause bad chemistry between the coach and the team to being with. AB had said and done all the right things the entire summer, has been here 6yrs, and had just signed the extension....putting Wall and KH ahead of him on Flip's pet list may not have been the best move. Of course he should be more mature etc etc...I'm just saying from the outside looking in it doesnt look like the best managerial approach from the coach.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"However I guess Flip didnt think Booker was good enough to put on the floor for even one second, not that coaching makes any difference in the outcomes of course.Posted by: divi3"

Maybe he just needed you to set him straight.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"I'm just saying from the outside looking in it doesnt look like the best managerial approach from the coach.Posted by: divi3"

LOL for a Wiz head coach, this blog must be like having your own Mini-Me.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

But then I just like watching him and Seraphin play.

Unfortunately Seraphin is terrible. However Booker is good enough that he should be on the floor, especially considering the supposed goals of the team.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

What a shame. That was the greatest race-horse ever.posted by glawrence007"

I wondered about that. Struck from my Netflix queue. Not a lot of great racehorse movies out there. Seabiscuit was good. Don't think they made films about Ruffian or Cigar.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Probably didn't want to upset the delicate sensibilities of the CLINTON's.

Ba-da-boom!

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 2, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, poor coaching can make a situation worse. But anyone thinking that a different coach would make anything other than a marginal difference - 3 games? 4? - is kidding himself.

So having 12 wins right now rather than 8 would only be a marginal difference? Or are you saying that coaches get millions of dollars to have a 3-4 game effect on an entire season?

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

But then I just like watching him and Seraphin play.

Unfortunately Seraphin is terrible. However Booker is good enough that he should be on the floor, especially considering the supposed goals of the team.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The bench is not going to make him any better either. I like KEVEEN's surly attitude even if he sucks on the floor. Hell, it ain't like he's gonna' cost us wins. He'll get better, and should be a good counter to BLATCHE when he learns how the NBA defensive game is played inside.

BOOK on the other hand looks the part [enforcer], but plays smart. He merits time now.

IMO, LEWIS was brought here to school BLATCHE, and show him nothing's given in the NBA. If being passed around the league doesn't convince 'DRAY that now's the time to excel, nothing will. I think that little dust-up with McGEE was pure frustration over BLATCHE feeling the heat.

JIANLIAN is both soft and brittle. No better than a limited role player.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 2, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

New year same posts...

It's like a Jr. High school dance

On one side you have the...

Wizard faithful who will defend the organization even if they are 8-23

and on the other side...

You have the realist who understand the game and know that there needs to be a change before the organization can go forward and as in any business (I hope Ted is looking at this like a business) it starts at the top.

Which means Ernie and Flip need to fired on Thursday April 14th.

Til then I'm sure everything will remain the same here in Wizard land.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 2, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

So having 12 wins right now rather than 8 would only be a marginal difference? Or are you saying that coaches get millions of dollars to have a 3-4 game effect on an entire season?

3-4 games at this point. Over the course of a year, I don't know: 10 games? That would be with an elite coach. I don't think there's much difference (wins wise) between what Saunders can produce and what 75% of the other coaches in this league could produce.

Those elite coaches - a Phil Jackson or Popovich - clearly make a big difference over the long haul. I.e., multiple seasons. That's their record.

But that's because they get rid of players who won't play their style. Jackson tried to get through to Kwame Brown but wasn't able to. So he got rid of him.

It's not because they motivate the players or give great lockeroom speeches or are great teachers.

It's because they get rid of the guy who won't play for them and find players who will.

At this level, it all comes down to players.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 2, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"So having 12 wins right now rather than 8 would only be a marginal difference? Or are you saying that coaches get millions of dollars to have a 3-4 game effect on an entire season?Posted by: divi3"

Players do, don't they? It's a crazy world. Doubt any of us are in that bracket, nor will we ever be.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78:

I'm telling you, LEONSIS is going to give his management enough rope to hang themselves, but he is a patient man. We've had the first make-over [only three holdovers from the start of 2009 season], and begun the second with LEWIS. A couple more of these machinations and some burn to see if it's workin' will convince TEDDIE if EG and crew are stayin' or goin'. "Stay calm [bulletsfan 78], all is well." KEVIN BACON - ANIMAL HOUSE

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 2, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"On one side you have the...Wizard faithful who will defend the organization even if they are 8-23. and on the other side...
You have the realist who understand the game and know that there needs to be a change before the organization can go forward and as in any business (I hope Ted is looking at this like a business) it starts at the top."posted by bulletsfan78

To the guy who used the term polemic earlier -- there's one above. It's designed not to foster discussion or debate, but just as an attempt to demonstrate superiority (in this case, a failed attempt, but that's beside the point). No real arguments advanced, just a restatement of an existing position in (the author hopes) a more persuasive way.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"We've had the first make-over [only three holdovers from the start of 2009 season], and begun the second with LEWIS."

You think Rashard is going to be here for the next few seasons? Not the impression I got. I thought the trade was about exchanging a toxic contract for a less toxic one. And unless Lewis is willing to take a serious pay cut at some point, he'll be leaving.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, 12 victories now would project (all things being equal) to 30 victories for the regular season, or four more than we had last season. Hard to predict but odds are it would put us in position for a lottery position in the 8-10 range -- Last season that would have been Aminu, Gordon Hayward, Paul George... which reminds how ungodly fortunate the Wiz were to get John Wall.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"We've had the first make-over [only three holdovers from the start of 2009 season], and begun the second with LEWIS."

You think Rashard is going to be here for the next few seasons? Not the impression I got. I thought the trade was about exchanging a toxic contract for a less toxic one. And unless Lewis is willing to take a serious pay cut at some point, he'll be leaving.

You mean you think LEWIS will ride the pine while EG looks for another option? These machinations are fluid as the management looks for the right mix of players. LEWIS isn't in the right mix in my book, but I'm not the one scrambling to retain my job. He may be here longer than either of us think.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 2, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Will there be a next season? At this point, looks like baseball is the only major sports venue with a future after 2011-12 [NHL].

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 2, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

3-4 games at this point. Over the course of a year, I don't know: 10 games? That would be with an elite coach....

Flip is paid like an elite coach, is it wrong to expect at least somewhat elite coaching results?

I think 12 wins right now would make a world of difference for this team. That would be 1 game out of the 8th spot and legitimately feeling (given we're 34 games in and have had so many injuries) that the postseason was a realistic goal in Wall's first year. The type of poisonous "oh well, who cares" attitude both players and coaches exhibited last night may not be on display.

The rest of this season may very well play out with no energy or focus, just a complete toilet bowl affair that in my opinion is detrimental to building success despite everyone's love affair with lotto balls.


Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I think 12 wins right now would make a world of difference for this team.

Okay, instead of a poor team they'd be, under an elite/top tier coach, a mediocre one. From 20-25 wins to 25-35 wins.

I think my +10 game difference is probably over-estimating things. +5? +8?

Jackson/Popovich/Rivers/whoever still needs better players.

Anyway, saying they're a poor team because of the performance of the player - and not because of coaching - isn't a defense of the organization.

After all, who assembled this group of players? EG selected them but I'm sure Saunders had input.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 2, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

After all, who assembled this group of players? EG selected them but I'm sure Saunders had input.

I doubt Flip was in favor of extending AB.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Ted Lose Grunfeld!! he's full of it like Sampson151
Seraphin ROY!!!!

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 2, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"The rest of this season may very well play out with no energy or focus, just a complete toilet bowl affair that in my opinion is detrimental to building success despite everyone's love affair with lotto balls.
Posted by: divi3"

Well, they certainly played with energy and focus against Indy at Verizon Center. And then without it yesterday. Of course, the Thunder are one of the hot young teams in the league, and they got smoked in San Antonio last night. So maybe they lack leadership, too.

Unfortunately, when the Wiz do what the Wiz decided to do, they need help from the lottery. OKC, their model program, certainly did. Maybe trading players like Andray Blatche could be a way to accumulate draft choices a la Sam Presti. Of course Sam sometimes turns around and trades them for veterans.

Like I said, I'm just glad I didn't spring for season tix, and I feel sorry for those who did. It's not pretty.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"You mean you think LEWIS will ride the pine while EG looks for another option? These machinations are fluid as the management looks for the right mix of players. LEWIS isn't in the right mix in my book, but I'm not the one scrambling to retain my job. He may be here longer than either of us think.
Posted by: glawrence007"

I was under the impression there's a ticking clock. Lewis' deal is effectively one year less than Gilbert's was, and that's a big reason the trade was made. Implication being that the Wiz can get out from under it sooner.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Flip was in favor of extending AB

Really? You think he told EG not to do it but EG went ahead anyway?

Tough to imagine FS telling EG, "I can't coach this guy. He won't play for me" and then EG signing him anyway.

OTOH, this is the Wizards so maybe you're right.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hoopdata has New Orleans going 21-25 at the rim. TOs contributed to that number, but P&R defense was back to being nonexistent. Wall and Blatche may be the worst P&R defenders in the league right now.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Kind of a chicken and egg thing too though. Naming a teenager and a guy who has been in town 5mins to be team capts is the kind of thing that can cause bad chemistry between the coach and the team to being with. AB had said and done all the right things the entire summer, has been here 6yrs, and had just signed the extension....putting Wall and KH ahead of him on Flip's pet list may not have been the best move. Of course he should be more mature etc etc...I'm just saying from the outside looking in it doesnt look like the best managerial approach from the coach.

Posted by: divi3

More like a scrambled egg versus hard boiled kind of thing. Meaning: if AB was inclined to be upset about not being named a captain, his issues with the coach and his situation went deeper than that and he would have found something to be upset about anyway. And, imo, one theoretical good offseason's worth of work (in 6 years -- and injury or no, all of that purported work seemed to disappear in a hurry) doesn't merit captaincy. Instead, he got an extension which some people didn't even think he merited.

Flip might have been better off not naming any captains at all this season.

But whoever the 'captains' may or may not be, shouldn't make as much difference as professionalism and professional pride kickin in. 0-16 on the road reflects poorly on everyone, players and coaching staff. Larry likes to complain about Flip not 'leading' by losing his mind on the sideline and showing emotion. I haven't seen any players do that over the losing streak either. I haven't seen any of the players call each other out. No infamous "player's only" meetings lately. Everyone seems too comfortable with the status quo.

Maybe that was part of EG's intent behind shopping some of the players. The problem is, fear of getting traded to another team probably isn't a real strong incentive right now.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Really? You think he told EG not to do it but EG went ahead anyway?

I don't think they have that kind of relationship. Flip has appeared to push for changes in roster several times, and nothing has happened. He couldn't even get the Ernie to keep Gee last season.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"...fear of getting traded to another team probably isn't a real strong incentive right now.Posted by: ts35"

I don't know if 'fear' is the emotion they would experience at the moment.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"The next one ought to be firing Flip Saunders so we can stop with Samson and Kal covering his butt at the expense of the players.LarryInClintonMD"

And I guess then you could stop misrepresenting what I say...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 11:46 AM |

I did not misquote/misrepresent what you said. I just bought home the full implications of what you said and is still saying.

You are saying that captaincy in the NBA doesn't mean much more than a name, a rah rah kind of thing that doesn't play in the NBA with these adults and million dollar contracts.

So if that is true according to you then the naming of captains really don't mean a thing, meaningless as I've said according to you.

But of course, captaincy means a helluva lot and the naming of such says a lot for your team and its players. Winning teams know this.

One of the most important things in the NBA, always has been and always will be is how new players and rookies are brought into the fold especially in winning organizations and leadership and captaincy plays a huge role in this tradition.

Anyone or any team that takes captaincy and leadership for granted and think it isn't hugely important to the success of Team might never find the path to winning anything at all, not even a road victory just yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

My concern going into the regular season was how the players, particularly Wall, would deal with the losing. I figured it was inevitable that they'd lose a lot of game, some very badly, and take a lot of criticism from the media and fans. That's what usually happens in such situations. I wasn't optimistic they'd be able to trade Gilbert, so that's an unexpected plus. But I thought Blatche would perform at a higher level and Wall would be healthier than he was, so those are minuses.

To me, it was all about the weight of expectations. They can crush a young squad.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

So I guess in that respect it's good that so many fans have decided to vent their anger on the coach and GM. They can take it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"I did not misquote/misrepresent what you said. I just bought home the full implications of what you said and is still saying."

Actually, you did. And pretty badly. And you didn't 'bring home the full implications of what [I] said' -- you distorted them to your purpose.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, looks like Caron Butler may be done for the season. Tough break. Real tough since this might have been his chance for a ring.

Might be a opportunity to get something for Howard. He goes back to the Mavs?

Posted by: SteveMG | January 2, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland being interested in AB is strange to me. That sounds like grasping at straws. Maybe, in part, based on their owner's challenge this offseason that they would win a title before LeBron's Heat team. Not sure. And not sure what they would be willing to give up that EG would want back.....unless it was the unthinkable.....

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"New year same posts...

It's like a Jr. High school dance

On one side you have the...

Wizard faithful who will defend the organization even if they are 8-23

and on the other side...

You have the realist who understand the game and know that there needs to be a change before the organization can go forward and as in any business (I hope Ted is looking at this like a business) it starts at the top.

Which means Ernie and Flip need to fired on Thursday April 14th.

Til then I'm sure everything will remain the same here in Wizard land.

Posted by: bulletsfan78"

New year same non-thought provoking useless drivel in here with non-bulletsfan78 as the leader of the useless ignorant drones.

Flip's resume suggests he is probably the best coach this team has had since Dick Motta in th 70's. Yet, the thoughtless drones in here don't realize the roster he currently has, while having a decent level of raw talent, is not ready to win now. Wonder why the word rebuilding is being used by the organization? Hmmm.... So, it doesn't really matter is Booker played 10 mins or not at all or whether KH plays too much or this sub or that sub...it's a losing team this year! Deal with it. Repeat after me...rebuilding, rebuilding, rebuilding.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 2, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"New year same posts...

It's like a Jr. High school dance

On one side you have the...

Wizard faithful who will defend the organization even if they are 8-23

and on the other side...

You have the realist who understand the game and know that there needs to be a change before the organization can go forward and as in any business (I hope Ted is looking at this like a business) it starts at the top.

Which means Ernie and Flip need to fired on Thursday April 14th.

Til then I'm sure everything will remain the same here in Wizard land.

Posted by: bulletsfan78"

New year same non-thought provoking useless drivel in here with non-bulletsfan78 as the leader of the useless ignorant drones.

Flip's resume suggests he is probably the best coach this team has had since Dick Motta in th 70's. Yet, the thoughtless drones in here don't realize the roster he currently has, while having a decent level of raw talent, is not ready to win now. Wonder why the word rebuilding is being used by the organization? Hmmm.... So, it doesn't really matter is Booker played 10 mins or not at all or whether KH plays too much or this sub or that sub...it's a losing team this year! Deal with it. Repeat after me...rebuilding, rebuilding, rebuilding.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 2, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Might be a opportunity to get something for Howard. He goes back to the Mavs?Posted by: SteveMG"

Not a bad idea...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland interested in Andray Blatche.....my take on that is that there are quite a few teams that would be interested in Andray Blatche.

Leave to the Wizards not to get the best out of Andray Blatche.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"
"Kind of a chicken and egg thing too though. Naming a teenager and a guy who has been in town 5mins to be team capts is the kind of thing that can cause bad chemistry between the coach and the team to being with. AB had said and done all the right things the entire summer, has been here 6yrs, and had just signed the extension....putting Wall and KH ahead of him on Flip's pet list may not have been the best move. Of course he should be more mature etc etc...I'm just saying from the outside looking in it doesnt look like the best managerial approach from the coach."

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 12:11 PM

Part of good management is knowing who's best and least suited for certain jobs and assigning those jobs according;y. If, based on his previous season's experience with him, Saunders felt like Blatche wasn't up to the job of captain, then not naming him captain was the right move. Sure, he could have given Blatche the title as a show of faith and hoped he'd stepped up. But that seemed to be the logic behind giving him the (entirely unnecessary) extension, and that hasn't seemed to work out too well so far. Given the makeup of the team, the remaining options were limited but, given those limited options, Saunders probably made the best choice available to him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

And to the point of why Blatche or Arenas did not step up in the void to lead and captain the team if they are true leaders is really a loaded question.

Why would they when the organization is trumpeting Wall and Hinrich. And it is clear now Arenas knew from the outset he was out of here. The team knew it we can also surmise as well.

Another double whammy for whilst Arenas is bidding his time, he isn't really giving his all as a player and and as a leader.

Why would Blatche step up as the leader. He wouldn't and isn't to this very day. Leaders become leaders for any myriad of reasons. Sometimes they have to be told.

I feel that Arenas should have been told that yes son we are looking at trading you, but while you are here, I expect you to give me 120% support and lead this Team for me. I expect you to lead and you are the Captain of this Team until circumstances dictate otherwise.

That puts the whole Team/Organization on the same page instead of the divided 'wait till Gibert is traded' 'Gilbert passing the torch and not giving his all' ecetera.

The naming of Wall/Hinrich explicably torpedoed anyone really leading this Team. We know Saunders isn't.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Cleveland interested in Andray Blatche.....my take on that is that there are quite a few teams that would be interested in Andray Blatche."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 2:48 PM

My take on that is that Cleveland is the worst team in the Eastern conference, with limited in-house options for improvement and desperate for an infusion of talent and/or hope. Their fan base has been used to winning for the last several years, and even the uniting emotion of Lebron-hate won't be enough to keep them coming out in support if they continue to lose the way they are. They can afford to take a gamble that a change of scenery will invigorate Blatche, because they can't afford to stand pat and do nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Why would Blatche step up as the leader. He wouldn't and isn't to this very day. Leaders become leaders for any myriad of reasons. Sometimes they have to be told."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 3:19 PM

No, they don't. A true leader doesn't wait for someone to tell him to lead. Nature abhors a vacuum. If the void of leadership surrounding the Wizards is as complete as you say, then a natural leader would have stepped up to fill it. If Blatche was capable or willing, he would have done so. He didn't. Because he lacks what it takes. End of story.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"And it is clear now Arenas knew from the outset he was out of here. The team knew it we can also surmise as well."

Well, sure. Hard to do that much damage to your employers and expect them to voluntarily keep shoveling buckets of cash your way. Both sides were just making the best of a bad situation, and deserve some credit for doing an OK job of it.

But Gilbert's a lot happier in Orlando, and we should be happier, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Cleveland being interested in AB is strange to me. That sounds like grasping at straws. Maybe, in part, based on their owner's challenge this offseason that they would win a title before LeBron's Heat team. Not sure. And not sure what they would be willing to give up that EG would want back.....unless it was the unthinkable....."

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 2:14 PM "

Straws are all they've got to grasp at, at this point. As for what they give up, I'm pretty sure the Cavs got a sizable trade exception in the deal that sent Lebron to Miami, so they could potentially take on Blatche's salary without giving up anything except picks.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"And it is clear now Arenas knew from the outset he was out of here. The team knew it we can also surmise as well."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 3:19 PM

For most of us, it was clear long before now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"They can afford to take a gamble that a change of scenery will invigorate Blatche, because they can't afford to stand pat and do nothing.Posted by: kalo_rama"

Maybe they'd give up Hickson. That's the problem: what have they got to trade? Except Varejao, and I'm not sure they're giving him up.

Draft choices?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"I feel that Arenas should have been told that yes son we are looking at trading you, but while you are here, I expect you to give me 120% support and lead this Team for me. I expect you to lead and you are the Captain of this Team until circumstances dictate otherwise."

I think anybody who causes as much trouble for the organization he works for should expect to be canned. Big contracts just make the process more complicated. A suspension is just delaying the inevitable.

Hope he learned from the experience.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think there is something of a learning problem among young b-ball players. The Post mag did a feature last year on the D-league that some of you saw. I recall this vignette about a practice with a high-caliber shooting coach who was instructing the guys to be ready on their toes when the ball arrived so they could get the shot off more quickly. The reporter noted that not one of the assembled players seemed to be willing to try it...

Maybe it was always thus.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I just love it!!! I TOLD YOU THEY WOULD RUE THE DAY THEY FIRED EDDIE JORDAN AND WHAT PRAY TELL HAS THIS FRANCHISE DONE SINCE EDDIE JORDAN WAS FIRED? NOT ONE DAMN THING!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | January 2, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If the Cavs do trade for Blatche, I'd pay money to see the look on Jamison's face when he hears the news.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"And it is clear now Arenas knew from the outset he was out of here. The team knew it we can also surmise as well."
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 3:19 PM

For most of us, it was clear long before now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:40 PM

A given. But for the organization, it is talking out of both sides of your mouth, when they said (Ted) Gilbert isn't going anywhere, and (Ernie) saying that Wall and Arenas could be one of the best backcourts in the League.

It does not contribute to your team being on the same page and doing its best to be the best it can be. Everything is on hold.

When do we start being about winning???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

If Blatche was capable or willing, he would have done so. He didn't. Because he lacks what it takes. End of story.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 3:31 PM

This may well be true for Andray Blatche, but unfortunately we may never know for Flip Saunders did not give him the opportunity to be even the Captain of this Team, an honorary role according to Samson151.

Clearly Andray did enough last year when he had to play after the trades to receive a meaningless honorary title according to your boy Samson.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"When do we start being about winning???
LarryInClintonMD."

I think trading Gilbert was a step. They had to take on another problematic contract, but it does have some advantages. Plus Gilbert's minutes went mostly to Nick Young. Who'd been pining for them.

Trading Blatche may be a second step. I'm not his biggest critic, but I recognize he isn't playing as well as he did late last year. Be nice to correct the error of that extension. I suspect he could be very useful to some other club that wouldn't have to depend on him as much as the Wiz do. It's just a question of what undesirables you might have to take on in an exchange.

There are a couple other players who might have value to teams with injury problems going into the second half. The idea being to accumulate picks for next year and the year after.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly Andray did enough last year when he had to play after the trades to receive a meaningless honorary title according to your boy Samson.LarryInClintonMD"

I don't think many people saw Andray as a leader. Even on a bad team. Even in a meaningless honorific way.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"I TOLD YOU THEY WOULD RUE THE DAY THEY FIRED EDDIE JORDAN AND WHAT PRAY TELL HAS THIS FRANCHISE DONE SINCE EDDIE JORDAN WAS FIRED? NOT ONE DAMN THING!!!!Posted by: dargregmag"

LOL they weren't doing much at the time he was fired, either. But that's beside the point. Problem isn't that they decided to fire Jordan. That's their prerogative. In view of what happened, Eddie was lucky to get out when he did.

Coaches move around. Even really good ones. Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich are unusual for their good fortune in 1) finding really good situations and 2) being able to stay there as long as they want to. Same was true for Auerbach.

I doubt the Wiz regret losing Ed, and I would guess Ed doesn't regret leaving Washington. He does probably regret taking that Philly job, however.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"A given. But for the organization, it is talking out of both sides of your mouth, when they said (Ted) Gilbert isn't going anywhere, and (Ernie) saying that Wall and Arenas could be one of the best backcourts in the League.

It does not contribute to your team being on the same page and doing its best to be the best it can be. Everything is on hold."


And how, exactly, would it have helped the team be "on the same page" for the owner and GM to publicly denounce the team's highest paid player and former face of the franchise as a locker-room distraction and black cloud hanging over their heads that they were desperately trying to get rid of?

The simple fact of the matter is that everyone in the locker room and the organization (including Arenas) was on the same page from day one, the page that read "Arenas doesn't want to be here, we don't want him here, and he's gone at the first available opportunity." Anyone who doesn't think that all of the players (including Arenas) understood this from day one is being incredibly naive. Leonsis's public comments about Gilbert being an important part of the team's future were thinly transparent P.R. spin, as should have been obvious to anyone. For him to say anything else would have only served to further devalue an already depreciated asset, and Leonsis is much too smart a businessman to do that.

Everything was "on hold" but it wasn't because of anything that was or wasn't said about Arenas by management publicly. It was on hold because the team couldn't move forward until Arenas was gone. Nothing anyone had to say would change that basic, undeniable fact.

"When do we start being about winning???"

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 3:54 PM

Sometime well after the 3rd month of the first season of a ground floor rebuilding process that comes right on the heels of a total roster detonation and ownership change. If you want a more exact date than that, you might want to invest in a crystal ball.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I imagine Gilbert figured out early on that his future lay elsewhere, not in Washington.

I don't know why it's so challenging for some of us.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The reporter noted that not one of the assembled players seemed to be willing to try it..

My memory of that story is that they tried it, but quickly reverted back to bad habits. That reminds me of a recent story about Travis Outlaw, and how the Nets coaches have to stay on top of him about working out and getting a certain number of shots up a day. Outlaw was the last member of that Jail Blazers team to leave Portland.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly Andray did enough last year when he had to play after the trades to receive a meaningless honorary title according to your boy Samson."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 4:02 PM

Not sure when Samson became "my boy." Beyond that (well, actually, including that) everything in that post is unadulterated bunk. All Blatche did last season was pad his stats. He didn't "lead" anything. Unless you consider feuding with the coach, refusing to re-enter a game, and complaining publicly about being underpaid after 4 1/2 seasons of being an unmotivated disappointment and a few weeks of stat-padding in blowout losses "leadership." (Which, apparently, you do.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

If the Cavs do trade for Blatche, I'd pay money to see the look on Jamison's face when he hears the news

Assuming that Blatche isn't traded for AJ.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Kalo wrote:
---
If the void of leadership surrounding the Wizards is as complete as you say, then a natural leader would have stepped up to fill it. If Blatche was capable or willing, he would have done so. He didn't. Because he lacks what it takes. End of story.
---
Agree totally.

My season-so-far-analysis:

Wall: already very good and only going to get better (I'd argue he is already in the top 8 PGs in the NBA, but we are seeing the rookie learning curve...)

Hinrich is fundamentally amazing. He is a phenomenal backup PG for us. Has weird turnovers, is too small to play 2, and is limited athletically, but he is a perfect 6th man for us and Wall will learn a TON from him. Love him (but not as a starter).

NY has shocked me, mostly on defense. Didn't expect him to blossom, and he seems to be blossoming. Still has a ways to go in the mental game, but has made tremendous progress. I never expected this, honestly.

Our 9 small forwards: Actually encouraging. Love Howard's contributions, Thornton brings energy, Lewis is a nice addition. Martin (as our fourth string 3) can shoot and works hard---we may be too deep here. For the record, I don't consider Lewis a 4. He is a much better version of what Blatche wants to be.

PF and C: Almost completely devoid of NBA talent. McGee may turn out to be very good, I still have high hopes, but is still a ways away and still has a steep learning curve. Blatche makes me sick. Keep wanting to hope he will turn the corner, but I fear it is too late. He is apparently in a curved hallway---he doesn't even recognize that there is a corner to be turned. The biggest waste of talent relative to skill (due to lack of desire) that I have seen in sports in a very long time.

After Blatche and McGee, there really is nobody. Really amazing a team could go into a season with this little depth at the 4 and 5 position. Awful decision-making, even in a rebuilding year, unless they were decidedly working for a high lottery pick.

Flip has a grand total of 0 post moves at his disposal from his bigs. McGee? 0 moves, cannot play with his back to the basket. Blatche? Refuses to go inside, how would we know?

FUTURE: I really think we are in good shape at 1 and 3, and in decent shape at 2. Could use a second round pick on a 2 guard to back up NY next year. Need to draft (hopefully in the lottery) a PF, and sign a decent PF/C (i.e. better than Armstrong and could start if needed), so we can have a rotation that would force Blatche and McGee to have to earn minutes and play with passion or sit.

Could perhaps trade a 3...

We aren't far away from being a playoff team, in my opinion. If we get lucky and get a legit post player, the missing piece would be one more decent post player.

P.S. I see flashes from Booker, but still really don't know where/how he fits on a good team.

Posted by: psdfx | January 2, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

If you read closely what Kalo_rama said about the direction of this Team and what Ted said and all that, it becomes clear that this Team is about where it should be.

The thing is, there was another alternative to the way Kalo_rama lays it out and very well I might add.

What Kalo_rama lays out as being the approach of the organization is a failed approach and it is born out so far with the current play of the team.

To me, if it is so clearly obvious to all that the team could only go forward without Arenas then whom was Ted and Ernie putting on a united public front for.

Who, pray tell, just who were putting on a good face for??? Other organizations/Teams, not hardly. What was the point of it??? If it is so clearly obvious as Kalo_rama is pointing out then why do it?

It was a flawed strategy and it put winning on the court on hold.

The strategy should have been, publicly and above board, yes, we will consider trading Gilbert, but while he is here, we will try our damdest to see if he and Wall can wreck havoc on the League.

This team did not seriously even attempt to see if John Wall and Gilbert Arenas could really mesh as far as I can tell.

You see folks, the thing that the Wizs is missing and some bloggers here is that winning is 24/7, it doesn't start with a trade, or a new player, or a number one rookie. Winning has to be already there 24/7.

Winning is how you get outa bed every morning, how you smile on the sideline, what you say to people, how you treat people, how you carry yourself, it is a everyday phenomenon.

But when you make decisions that detract and put winning on hold, like not even trying to see if Wall and Arenas could really play, thats not winning.

It doesn't matter if Arenas and Wall played only one game together, they got to know that the one game is for all the marbles.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"Really amazing a team could go into a season with this little depth at the 4 and 5 position. Awful decision-making, even in a rebuilding year, unless they were decidedly working for a high lottery pick."posted by psdfx"

Don't know what their intent was, but Ernie and Ted had to realize they weren't going to dig their way out of this pit without at least one more high lottery pick. And likely more than that.

Teams have had some luck with that 10 pick -- Brook Lopez and Brandon Jennings -- but when you're picking that low, luck is really what you need.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Thing is, there aren't a lot of big low post players in this draft so far. Sullinger, maybe Enes Kanter, a couple tall Europeans with jump shots. It might be that taking Seraphin and investing a couple years in developing him was a smart idea.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Who, pray tell, just who were putting on a good face for??? Other organizations/Teams, not hardly. What was the point of it??? If it is so clearly obvious as Kalo_rama is pointing out then why do it?

Because it was far from a given that they were going to be able to trade Arenas. You put the public face on to make it more tenable if Gil ends up staying.

It was a flawed strategy and it put winning on the court on hold.

The strategy should have been, publicly and above board, yes, we will consider trading Gilbert, but while he is here, we will try our damdest to see if he and Wall can wreck havoc on the League.

Don't know where you were, but that was the organization's strategy as far as I understood it. Their attempts to see what kind of havoc Wall and Arenas could create together was disrupted by their respective injuries. Not much the organization can really do about that. And while I don't think Arenas dogged it this year, clearly his heart wasn't in it.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they'd give up Hickson. That's the problem: what have they got to trade? Except Varejao, and I'm not sure they're giving him up.

Draft choices?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Draft choices?

Ernie traded his dream team CB,AJ,BTH,DS and Gil and didn't get back one draft pick...

Wait I get it you mean trade AB, Yi, Thorton and our 1st pick this year for AJ...

I can see Ernie doing that it fits right in with the youth movement?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 2, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

New Wizard lineup...

PG Wall
SG Kirk
SF Lewis
PF AJ
C Armstrong

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 2, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I feel that Arenas should have been told that yes son we are looking at trading you, but while you are here, I expect you to give me 120% support and lead this Team for me. I expect you to lead and you are the Captain of this Team until circumstances dictate otherwise.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

That's a joke right? You don't get that kind of effort from people have positive feelings about your organization and have something to gain from it. (That's putting aside the idea that Ted may have indeed told him exactly that).

I'm sorry Larry, but you're living in a dream world on this one, where somehow Gil's entire persona and history would be transmogrified by the act of naming him captain.

If the organization knew they were determined to move Gil, there was no point in making him a captain. Because there was no benefit to be had.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Ernie traded his dream team CB,AJ,BTH,DS and Gil and didn't get back one draft pick...
Posted by: bulletsfan78

To be fair and accurate, he did get Cleveland's first rder in the AJ deal.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

To be fair and accurate, he did get Cleveland's first rder in the AJ deal.

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

You're right...thanks

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 2, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The team could only go forward without Arenas then whom was Ted and Ernie putting on a united public front for.

With minor adjustment to adhere to the outer boundaries of reality, you've essentially answered your own question- The strategy should have been, publicly and above board, yes, we will consider trading Gilbert, but while he is here, we will try our damdest to see if he and Wall can wreck havoc on the League.
... basically what you suggest is what happened. Arenas was available, despite the formidable anchor of his contract and history. In the meantime there was a concerted effort frustrated by injuries, to play Arenas and Wall together. The inconclusive and preliminary results were not favorable and then a trade opened up with Orlando.

It doesn't matter if Arenas and Wall played only one game together, they got to know that the one game is for all the marbles.
Not sure what you're referring to here, some marbles gone missing?

it doesn't start with a trade, or a new player, or a number one rookie. Winning has to be already there 24/7.
Winning is how you get outa bed every morning, how you smile on the sideline, what you say to people, how you treat people, how you carry yourself, it is a everyday phenomenon.

Snap out of it Larry, you're channeling Dale Carnegie.

Posted by: midlevex_ | January 2, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Cavs are showing interest in Andray Blatche, Come On Mike Lee! do your research!

Posted by: mrhney03 | January 2, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the suggestion of swapping Blatche for DeMarcus Cousins. Why would Sacramento make that trade? They needed a big center and that's what they got in the draft. Of course, given his endearing personality, he may be able to talk them into it...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

To be fair and accurate, he did get Cleveland's first rder in the AJ deal

Which was used to move up and get Booker at 23, a player whom every draft board (i believe) had available in the 2nd round with our original pick:

Armed with the No. 30 and No. 35 picks, Washington trades up to get promising Clemson power forward Trevor Booker, who should have been available at 30 if not 35. Wall will change the franchise, and maybe the league. But a decent population of Wizards fans won't be able to enjoy that fully because their front office is still making weird, hard-to-explain decisions. Alanis Morrissette almost had it right. This ain't irony, but it is like rain on your wedding day. The bizarre moves can't ruin this draft because of Wall, but you'd still prefer Grunfeld didn't rain his crazy all over the place.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Ernie traded his dream team CB,AJ,BTH,DS and Gil and didn't get back one draft pick..." posted by bulletsfan78

I see somebody already corrected this.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

re: AB to Cavs

Last season JJ Hickson took 4 FGAs per game at the rim, and only 1 outside 16ft which would make him a guy who would probably fit in with what we'd all like to see from our PF.

Except that it what may be termed "the AJ effect", this season Hickson has moved away from the bucket- taking 2.5 FGAs outside 16ft and 3 at the rim.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"Armed with the No. 30 and No. 35 picks, Washington trades up to get promising Clemson power forward Trevor Booker, who should have been available at 30 if not 35. Wall will change the franchise, and maybe the league. But a decent population of Wizards fans won't be able to enjoy that fully because their front office is still making weird, hard-to-explain decisions. Alanis Morrissette almost had it right. This ain't irony, but it is like rain on your wedding day. The bizarre moves can't ruin this draft because of Wall, but you'd still prefer Grunfeld didn't rain his crazy all over the place.
Posted by: divi3"

Which bloviator penned that?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Which was used to move up and get Booker at 23, a player whom every draft board (i believe) had available in the 2nd round with our original pick:

Mock drafts attempt to predict behaviour, they don't rank/evaluate players. And when it comes down to it, Chad Ford and Draft Express are the only mocks worth looking at. I don't know where they thought Booker would go, but it's not Ernie's fault if they were wrong. They were probably wrong about where Quincy Pondexter went, too.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

And when it comes down to it, Chad Ford and Draft Express are the only mocks worth looking at. I don't know where they thought Booker would go, but it's not Ernie's fault if they were wrong. They were probably wrong about where Quincy Pondexter went, too.

Draftexpress had Pondexter at 29th and he went 26th. They had Booker at 34th and Seraphin at 22nd, we took them at 23rd and 17th respectively.

Posted by: divi3 | January 2, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Booker was definitely a late riser, going from 'borderline first rounder' (draftexpress) to the subject of a mild bidding war. It was due to those startling numbers at the Combine. I never saw him lasting until 30 (my hope was for Gani Lawal or Quincy Pondexter). We haven't seen much of Booker this season, but what we have seen is encouraging, particularly in concert with Wall's development. He's too short to be a traditional PF on the defensive end, but as an open court player, he could eventually be a real tough matchup.

As to why Ernie decided to pursue the guy, all we have to go by is what he said at the time: toughness and aggressiveness.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the other big draft site, NBADraft.net, here's how they rated the Wiz' selections immediately after the draft:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS
OVERALL GRADE: A-

"There's nothing left to say about Wall. He's the right pick. He's going to be a star. The trade to acquire Kirk Hinrich and Seraphin for a future second rounder was brilliant, while the deal that sent the 30th and 35th picks to Minnesota for No. 23 was a stretch. Booker does fit this team's needs, though. N'diaye could one day be a player in this league, which is all you ask of a late second rounder. This was a draft that could change Washington's future. And they didn't mess it up, even if they could have maximized it slightly better."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Draftexpress had Pondexter at 29th and he went 26th. They had Booker at 34th and Seraphin at 22nd, we took them at 23rd and 17th respectively.

Then they were wrong. I see that they had Alabi at 21. It's remarkable that no one told them about his condition.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

"Winning is how you get outa bed every morning, how you smile on the sideline, what you say to people, how you treat people, how you carry yourself, it is a everyday phenomenon."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2011 4:55 PM

I would bet that most people who actually understand the subject would say the exact same thing about leadership.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"To be fair and accurate . . .

Posted by: ts35 | January 2, 2011 6:18 PM

Have you forgotten where you are?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"It's remarkable that no one told them about his condition.Posted by: djnnnou"

It sure is. Possibly the player and his family hid it. The number of HepB positive persons in Africa is overwhelming. May have no effect on his performance except he'll keep coming up positive on TB tests. Or he could get sick.

Sliding in the draft was probably a bit of an overreaction.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get the suggestion of swapping Blatche for DeMarcus Cousins. Why would Sacramento make that trade? They needed a big center and that's what they got in the draft. Of course, given his endearing personality, he may be able to talk them into it..."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2011 7:46 PM

They wouldn't do it. And if they were willing to trade Cousins, they wouldn't trade him for Blatche.

Cousins had a rep as a headcase in college. He had a rep as a head case coming out of college and going into the draft. It was his rep as a head case that was largely responsible for him still being on the board when Sacramento picked at #5. Given all that, I'm not sure where people get the notion that the Kings are somehow shocked and horrified to discover that *gasp* Cousins is something of a headcase now.

They may eventually get to the point where the negatives of his attitude outweigh the positives of his talent, but it's gonna take longer than 3 months into his rookie year. A lot longer.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sliding in the draft was probably a bit of an overreaction.

I've heard that for pre-existing conditions the GMs are looking for a doctor to sign-off, and it's very difficult to get one to do it. At least, I believe that was the story with Blair.

Going back to Ernie taking Booker at 23, I'd like to point out that he didn't necessarily move up to pick at 23. All we know is that he felt that Booker wouldn't be there at 30.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 2, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"I've heard that for pre-existing conditions the GMs are looking for a doctor to sign-off, and it's very difficult to get one to do it. At least, I believe that was the story with Blair." posted by djnnnou

True enough. Blair's condition was pretty dramatic, however. Hep B (serum) isn't. A big percentage of IV drug users have had it for years. Here's from a Tampa area blog the day after the draft:

"An initial report in the Tallahassee Democrat said his freefall was linked to a letter sent to every NBA club shortly before the draft that raised a red flag. The Democrat reported Alabi had a "rare medical condition.'' While rare in the United States (about 1 million cases), Hepatitis B, an inflammation of the liver, is more common in Africa and Asia. It often can be managed by antiviral medication that lessens the infection and may decrease the chance for severe liver disease later in life."

"Still, if teams didn't understand the implications of Hepatitis B or have enough time to do the proper due diligence, it's easy to see how and why Alabi would drop. Although a gifted shot blocker and a solid shooter, he's considered a bit raw and in need of more bulk and has had a couple surgeries (one for a stress fracture to his right leg in January 2008 and a minor knee procedure after last season)."

"The Raptors, however, had been one of the teams most interested in Alabi (it needs size, especially if Chris Bosh leaves) and the club has a former pro player as an assistant general manager, Masai Ujiri, who's from Nigeria and figures to have a better understanding of Alabi's medical condition. "

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's what SI.com said about the Wiz draft grade.


B+ Washington Wizards
The Wizards scored perhaps the draft's only franchise player when they nabbed John Wall with the No. 1 pick. Whether Gilbert Arenas is on the opening-day roster or not, this is now Wall's team and Flip Saunders will shape the offense in his image. That means you can expect a more up-tempo offense in D.C. this year. The agreed-upon acquisition of Kirk Hinrich -- who comes with a $17 million price tag over the next two seasons -- was a little puzzling, especially considering that as part of the deal the Wizards are getting Kevin Seraphin, a raw rebounder/shot-blocker from France with zero offensive game. The Wizards did manage to land Trevor Booker, a rugged, undersized power forward with above-average athleticism for his position.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 3, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Which was used to move up and get Booker at 23, a player whom every draft board (i believe) had available in the 2nd round with our original pick:
Posted by: divi3

Isn't that the same guy you've been complaining of late that Flip doesn't play enough?

Posted by: ts35 | January 3, 2011 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Nice companion article from Mike Lee on the Wiz' improved defense. Apparently Rashard Lewis gets some credit as well as playing a taller lineup. But now they're scoring less LOL so the problem is getting the offensive production up to where it was.

Still, if you have to build from the ground up, it's a better foundation. Big change for fans of the Wiz, though.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

The other big man who surprised me in last year's draft was Hassan Whiteside. I had him going mid-1st and he fell instead to 33. He's a shotblocker but unlike many, also has a jump shot. He was stuck behind Cousins and J. Thompson in Sacramento and now he's down at Reno, stuck behind Nick Fazekas (why is that guy in the D-league? Nobody needs a 6'11 center who can shoot?) Anyway he's getting 12 minutes a game and still managed to foul out. Waving arm disease, I suppose. The big weakness in his game is rebounding. According to reports, he's a good rebounder 'except when somebody in a different colored jersey is in the way.' So if the NBA eliminates opponents, he's aces.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

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

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




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company