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Posted at 3:51 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Polls: Checking in on the Wizards at halfway mark

By Michael Lee

The Wizards are about to play their 41st game tonight against the Phoenix Suns. The game was supposed to be on ESPN, but the network switched the schedule to go with Knicks-Spurs since the Wizards appear headed toward their third straight lottery appearance and there was no chance that these two teams could repeat the magic of that 144-139 overtime classic in December 2006 (especially with Gilbert Arenas a member of the Orlando Magic).

Anyway, the Wizards (12-28) are at the halfway point of the season, and they have basically been two teams: The White Team & The Blue Team. The White Team plays competitive basketball, goes hard for most of the game, and walks away victorious against fellow cellar dwellers. The Blue Team sometimes plays competitive basketball, goes hard for about 30 minutes, max, and walks away defeated against everybody. By now, you realize the White Team is the 12-8 at home Wizards and the Blue Team is the 0-20 on the road Wizards.

They've been wildly inconsistent, dealt with a flurry of injuries -- especially to No. 1 overall pick John Wall -- and provided flashes of promising and deflating play. But I thought this would be a good time to ask you guys for your opinion on the Wizards, to get a sense of where they are and where you would like them to be in the next 42 games. I came up with six questions that you can answer, but I'd like to open up the dialogue for comments, because I know you guys have a lot to say.

If you have other questions, feel free to submit them and they may be a blog post for down the road.

By Michael Lee  | January 21, 2011; 3:51 PM ET
 
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Next: Open thread: Wizards (12-28) vs. Suns (19-21)

Comments

Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in, Mike. Eager to see what everyone thinks.

Posted by: tigerquoll | January 21, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Nothing will change or improve long-term until Flip and Ernie are gone.

Posted by: FireGrunfeld | January 21, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Noteworthy Nick, runnin away with the MVP!

Posted by: divi3 | January 21, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm taking a wait and see attitude toward most of these issues and characters, although I have to say that John Wall is a phenom now and likely for the future. He's having some growing pains, but that's to be expected. It's only his first year of what back in the day would be his second year in college.

I appreciate the fact that we get to see this team on Comcast and I've seen all the games, although sometimes in fast motion hurrying past the painful moments. It's clear that we are making progress as a team, albeit very slowly.

I'm content to give Flip this year to help these guys learn the ropes and forge an identity, but I confess that sometimes his in-game performance baffles me. If you're going to use a three-guard offense it needs to be because it would be effective against the opponent, not because you want to have three guards on the floor. It doesn't make sense.

We have some versatile bigs that can play different positions, and I like the fact that we can have three 7 footers in the game at the same time. Why not take advantage of this flexibility, instead of forcing the small ball?

Tonight we're facing an undersized team that likes to run. It may be the chance for a three-guard lineup to thrive ... but maybe not. We've got bigs who can run the floor too!

Posted by: zinger1 | January 21, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Noteworthy Nick, runnin away with the MVP!

Posted by: divi3 | January 21, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Strange Kirk wasn't on that list?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If you have other questions, feel free to submit them and they may be a blog post for down the road.

Mike,

You forgot to ask...

Do you think Ernie is the right GM for this team?

Yes. Over his 7 years I don't blame him for having to rebuild 4 years into his last plan because it was Abe's fault.


No. Over his 7 years I do blame him for having to rebuild 4 years into his last plan.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

should have been 6 years into his plan

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I have three concerns in this young team
1/ EG is going to make another big mistake in this draft season
2/ If flip remain to be the coach of this team Ny is not going to sign to this team, Jw will continue to go down.This coach refuse to take any responsiblity for the down fall of this club.What is in Ted's mind ? Rebuilding with these two men is going to take 5 years.
3/The attempt to trade AB for noting is going to hurt us down in the road.AB has a hiden talent, the main problem is his willingness to work, get a big mab coach and try for the next 1 year.It would be very appropriate to trade him by 2012 midseason if things are not going well.open your eye gentlemen there are very few talented big men in NBA with Blache's income.They just need to look for that big man at the center.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 21, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Chicago would be interested in regaining Hinrich. They're not getting much offensively from the SG position. When they traded him, the Bulls basically replaced him with two players: Ronnie Brewer, who can defend but doesn't shoot from outside, and Kyle Korver, who can shoot from outside but is not much of a defender. They wound up playing both plus Keith Bogans.

Worth a look.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 21, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Chicago would be interested in regaining Hinrich

Didn't they let him go solely to free up cap space in an attempt to sign James or a big FA?

I think they'd take him back but for what is the question. Don't think they'd give up a first.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 21, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

There are a LOT of teams that want Hinrich, and I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't moved to a contender before the deadline. I would be sorry to see him go. He's a smart, tough and talented basketball player, offensively and defensively.

Posted by: zinger1 | January 21, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Chicago would be interested in regaining Hinrich. They're not getting much offensively from the SG position. When they traded him, the Bulls basically replaced him with two players: Ronnie Brewer, who can defend but doesn't shoot from outside, and Kyle Korver, who can shoot from outside but is not much of a defender. They wound up playing both plus Keith Bogans.

Worth a look.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 21, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Keith Bogans 3.5
Ronnie Brewer 6.6
Kyle Korver 8.1
Total 18.2

Kirk Hinrich 11.2

Korver and Brewer are both 6'7"

Why would a team with a team in 3rd place want to mess with it's chemistry that is working for a 6'3" mentor?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

There are a LOT of teams that want Hinrich, and I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't moved to a contender before the deadline.

Posted by: zinger1 | January 21, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

How do you know that do you have Ernie's phone tapped?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

He's a smart, tough and talented basketball player, offensively and defensively.

Posted by: zinger1 | January 21, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Ernie bought the hype too,

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

But you also have to wonder what the Wiz could get in exchange for Nick Young. Here's a player who might be at the top of his value. Why, divi3 says he's playing at an MVP-level.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 21, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Why would a team with a team in 3rd place want to mess with it's chemistry that is working for a 6'3" mentor?

As you know, he played with most of the current roster. And he'd hardly be disruptive as third guard.

He's a good player. This anti-Hinrich argument makes almost no sense to me.

He's hardly in the top ten problems with this team.

But folks like to grab on something when they're frustrated.

I hear you but....

Posted by: SteveMG | January 21, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"Keith Bogans 3.5
Ronnie Brewer 6.6
Kyle Korver 8.1
Total 18.2"

Actually, Korver plays a fair amount at SF. He's about 6'6", 225. The Bulls' hope was that he'd replace Kirk as a 3 point shooter, not specifically a SG.

You have to think in terms of the playoffs. Bogans is averaging 17.6 minutes, Brewer 23.8 minutes off the bench. That's a total of 41.4 minutes. Between them they're scoring 10 points. The Bulls like the open-court passing that Brewer brings. Having Kirk to alternate might give them superior outside shooting and defense. The outside shooting is a plus when Korver is out of the game. Plus they know Kirk and he knows them.

Thibodeau was most recently in that Boston system, where they collected a number of veteran role players.

Just thinkin' out loud -- wonder what they might give up?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 21, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Other likely playoff clubs that might find a use for Hinrich would be the Knicks and New Orleans. Both teams that figure to have to play a different sort of game in the postseason than they're accustomed to during the regular season.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 21, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Now that Rashard Lewis has decided to play defense, his value probably has gone up as well. He's a matchup problem for some playoff opponents. A team that needs to improve its wing play (Dallas?) could be a possibility. Or a young club like OKC.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 21, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

There are a LOT of teams that want Hinrich, and I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't moved to a contender before the deadline.

Posted by: zinger1 | January 21, 2011 5:18 PM

This warms my heart so. If this happens, it could turn out to be a great blessing to the fortunes/success going forward for this team.

The biggest boon it would give to the team is take away a crutch that Flip Saunders has that he doesn't need, iffinugetmymeaning.'

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 21, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

No way to tell if Seraphin or Booker will be NBA players or collasal busts as draft pix if Saunders doesn't give them minutes. Move Lewis and/or Howard to a contender for first round pix and go REALLY young and sink or swim with the kids (probably sink at first, but who knows once they get the feel of the NBA).

Posted by: dolph924 | January 22, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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