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Posted at 10:07 AM ET, 01/30/2011

John Wall, Trevor Booker, get lessons in Memphis

By Michael Lee

This is how you take out two rookies at the same time. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)


John Wall has already begun to realize that it doesn't matter if he's facing Russell Westbrook or D.J. Augustin, Derrick Rose or Keyon Dooling; he is not allowed to have an easy night in the NBA. As the No. 1 overall pick, he's a target and opposing point guards are looking to leave an impression and/or leave him in the dust.

Wall got another example of what he's in store for every time he steps on the floor this season on Saturday in Memphis, where Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley blew past him to set up Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol and efficiently run his offense.

Conley is a burner on the court, one of the fastest with the ball in the length, but he was in so much control that he seemed to be moving around in slow motion. He made the night difficult for Wall, as he handed out 12 assists and scored 15 points in the Wizards' 107-93 loss. Wall rarely gets a game when his opponent is at his worst.

"Every guard is going to give me a challenge. Every guard is going to try to put his statement down," Wall said. "It doesn't matter what age you is, what draft pick you was, they coming to leave a statement. Mike Conley is not an all-star, but he's another great point guard who sets his team up, does the right thing he needs to. This is my rookie year, I'm taking every game and learning something new."

Wall had 14 points and eight assists, which isn't a bad stat line, but he faces more challenges than just trying to keep down his turnovers or getting his teammates in the right spots. He also has to focus on slowing down his opponent, and disrupting the offense. And that begins with ball pressure at the start of the attack, to keep teams from doing what they want.

Kirk Hinrich is the Wizards' best perimeter defender and Wall said he is learning from watching, but he needs to carry that over to the court. He started pressuring Conley in the fourth quarter, but the game was out of reach.

"I'm giving the guards too much comfort level," Wall said. "That's something I've got to do better and that's pressuring the ball and not letting the guards feel comfortable because when I get the ball on the other end, they are pressuring me. There are certain ways they want me to guard a player and I'm guarding them the way I want, I'm just not being aggressive. The game plan is great. I get kind of slack with it."

After Wall chased around Westbrook and Conley, the road doesn't get any easier for him or the Wizards in the final two games of this four-game trip. He will get Jason Kidd and Chris Paul on back-to-back nights.


We're all going to go hard against you, rook. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

"Every night is a new learning experience," Coach Flip Saunders. "John, he's making good progress, but he's learning not only to run a team, but also, he's going against great guards. He's got a lot on his plate and that's part of the whole process."

Wizards fans should hope that Wall has a long memory, and that he takes note of how he is being guarded and how teams are attacking him on the defensive end. The more upset he gets, the more likely he'll be eager to kick butt in the same way Westbrook did on Friday in Oklahoma City. Saunders called this a "no mercy league" and players will continue to go hard at Wall until he bucks back.

"I always want to be a competitive person," Wall said. It's going to be ups and downs. I've just got to be more aggressive."

Kidd, Paul, Rose, Deron Williams, Steve Nash and Rajon Rondo all had to their lumps before they knew how to hand them out. There are more lessons to learn, and it's a wonder how it will all come together, or split apart, as the losses and frustrations continue to mount.

"It's tough, getting drafted high, it's a rebuilding year. You don't want to be a losing team, but we're coming out fighting," Wall said the Wizards lost on the road for the 23rd time this season.

Trevor Booker certainly continues to put up a fight, as he gets the opportunity to start in the absence of JaVale McGee. He tried his best to keep up with Randolph, a 10-year veteran, and while he couldn't slow him, he did compete. He also had his second straight double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

"Trevor was great," Saunders said. "He responded in a great way. He was in there battling. He had a horse to battle and he rebounded and rebounded against the other guys. You have to be in charge and be aggressive."

The 6-foot-7 Booker is also showing some good range defensively, going from the jump-shooting gazelle Kevin Durant to the plodding rhinoceros Randolph in consecutive nights.

"Two tough matchups in a row," Booker said. "First, KD and then, Zach Randolph. I was up to the challenge, both nights. Coaches had a lot of confidence to start me two games in a row. I had to play Zach, a good physical guy. We had similar games. I just tried to keep him off the glass and make him work for everything."

As hard as Booker tried, Randolph came away with the upper hand, in the box score and in the win column. "It's frustrating," Booker said of the losing. "At the same time we've got to keep fighting and just try to keep improving and learning from our mistakes."

By Michael Lee  | January 30, 2011; 10:07 AM ET
Categories:  John Wall, Trevor Booker  
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Next: Remembering a (preseason) road win

Comments

Conley's a good example of a PG who was largely considered a possible bust his first two seasons in the NBA and now, after 250+ games, is beginning to get some respect. He wasn't anywhere near as good as Wall as a rook. His 3 point shooting, a strength in previous seasons, is down around 33% this year. But his assists are up. Of course he has better players to pass the ball to.

Memphis is also the Zach Randolph story. Here was a guy that teams were hesitant to take on even as a trade throw-in. He's always put up good numbers but now he's playing at legit All-Star level. He probably outweighs Trevor by 40 lbs but the experience never hurts. If nothing else Booker learns that there are some players he doesn't match up with.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

If nothing else Booker learns that there are some players he doesn't match up with.

Exactly why it would have been nice to see a little more Keveen! Gasul/Randolph are exactly the type of frontcourt he was drafted to counter, or at least it would seem.

Posted by: divi3 | January 30, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I would have enjoyed seeing young sera-PHEEN out there banging on those guys. They would at least have known they'd been in a football game.

Oh wait, they weren't...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

What Serephin can do well right now was a perfect match for the style of game that Memphis plays. But leave it to Flip to not recognize that it would have been better to start Serephin at center, but still give Booker significant playing time.

Serephin is tough as nails in the paint and does not hesitate protect the basket with flat out toughness.

That is what Serephin can bring to floor ritht now.

And what does Memphis do that is the forte of their game and style. They take the ball of the D'rim and fastbreak to the paint, to the O'rim. Aren't they putting up record numbers scoring in the paint? Yes, they would be.

But noooo, leave it to Flip to start AB again at center instead of realizing that Serephin was a much better choice at center for the way Memphis plays. AB isn't a shotblocker, nor is he a tough defender at the rim.

Talking about starting out weak in the paint to a Team where the paint is where they destroy Teams.

But Serephin made mistakes in the last game, so I guess he was kinda on Flips doggy list.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the mistypes.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Seraphin is not ready to play in this league at this time. He should be overseas or in the development league.

He's still way too raw, is still learning the game and is little more than a blowout sub. Perhaps a 3-4 minutes but nothing more.

Randolph and Gasol would destroy him.

To expect him to play quality minutes at all is just asking too much.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lee. I beg to differ. Kirk Hinrich is not, I repeat, he is not the best perimeter player on this team.

He was presumed to be from the day he was asquired to us and he has showed heart and experience, but he simply isn't the best perimeter player on this Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lee. I beg to differ. Kirk Hinrich is not, I repeat, he is not the best perimeter player on this team.

He was presumed to be from the day he was asquired to us and he has showed heart and experience, but he simply isn't the best perimeter player on this Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

So the question remains: who is the best perimeter player and perimeter defender on this team in your opinion?

Posted by: Goelez | January 30, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

To play a back to back, with the first game being an extra ten minutes, I have no idea why you do not play your fresh legs for your tired ones. Limit Blatche, Lewis, and Nick, but play Martin, Seraphin and Booker more. Distribute time based on the gas they have and serve the youth for games like this because we're not winning the title, going to the playoffs, being 500 or winning on the road. This is the time to learn...we haven't even begun to take our bruises! Let them start now. Booker is our best rebounder and he's practically half a foot shorter that our Twig-like big me. Love, Randolph, Gasol...these are the models for strong inside presence. Javale still has that chance, but Blatche I believe has hit his ceiling, but he can't break it because he has weak arms. He's very quick but very weak for the position he plays. Good luck Ted, you're gonna need it.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 30, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Wall is not a one-on-one defender. He plays like a free safty and cannot (or will not) stay in front of his man.

Whoever says he plays good defense when we drafted him is wrong!

Posted by: sagaliba | January 30, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Seraphin is not ready to play in this league at this time. He should be overseas or in the development league.

He's still way too raw, is still learning the game and is little more than a blowout sub. Perhaps a 3-4 minutes but nothing more.

Randolph and Gasol would destroy him.

To expect him to play quality minutes at all is just asking too much.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2011 12:58 PM

Despite all of the above, he has shown enough to get tough inside minutes on this Team. And if my recollection is correct, did he not actually start one game?

Like I have said before, the Wizards have to learn to go with what they do have instead of what they don't have.

You obviously are enamored with the don't group.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

You obviously are enamored with the don't group.

I'm more "enamored" with them then a 20-year old who's played less than 6 years of organized ball - and all of that overseas.

He's a project and is simply not ready to play at this time. They're not going to "learn" anything about him throwing him into the deep end of the pool.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

So the Pacers have reportedly fired coach Jim O'Brien, who was previously fired by Boston and Philadelphia. He will reportedly be replaced by Mike Brown, a former Pacers assistant, who was previously fired by Cleveland.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Lee. I beg to differ. Kirk Hinrich is not, I repeat, he is not the best perimeter player on this team. LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Then it's your good luck that Lee didn't say he was.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

So the question remains: who is the best perimeter player and perimeter defender on this team in your opinion?

Posted by: Goelez | January 30, 2011 1:22 PM

IMO, Kirk Hinrich is the 6th or 7th best perimeter defender on this team. The top perimeter defenders are:

1) Trevor Booker
2) Nick Young
3) Josh Howard
4) Rashard Lewis
5) Cartier Martin
6) Mustafa Shukur
7) Kirk Hinrich

And in case you haven't noticed, where I play basketball, small forward is a perimeter defender.

Michael Lee said the best perimeter defender period. Heart, hustle, and experience is important and is a must for good team defense. But when you say the best perimeter defender, that goes straight to the point of how well you defense your man. One on one, can you stop him, minimize his efforts, and keep him from eluding you and scoring.

Kirk Hinrich man up is just plain sorry and anyone he checks knows it. The fact that Flip believes and that anyone believes that he the best perimeter defender explains a lot why this team is just sorry defensively.

They might not know what real defense is.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Like I have said before, the Wizards have to learn to go with what they do have instead of what they don't have." LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

In fairness, I feel compelled to point out that not once during this long, difficult season have the Wizards gone with a player they don't have.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Michael Lee said the best perimeter defender period."LarryInClintonMD.Posted by:LarryInClintonMD

Yes, it was you who got mixed up, not Mike.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

He's a project and is simply not ready to play at this time. They're not going to "learn" anything about him throwing him into the deep end of the pool.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2011 1:57 PM

Well to that, I say, you would never know unless you throw him end the deep end of the pool. It works pretty damn well in training a Marine.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Kirk Hinrich is the Wizards' best perimeter defender and Wall said he is learning from watching, but he needs to carry that over to the court. He started pressuring Conley in the fourth quarter, but the game was out of reach."

Exact copy from what Mr. Lee wrote above. So you guys are not reading this as what Mr. Lee wrote.

Strange.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Kirk Hinrich man up is just plain sorry and anyone he checks knows it. The fact that Flip believes and that anyone believes that he the best perimeter defender explains a lot why this team is just sorry defensively.They might not know what real defense is. LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Here's from the article: "Kirk Hinrich is the Wizards' best perimeter defender and Wall said he is learning from watching..."

The suggestion is that Mike Lee and/or John Wall regard Kirk as the best. I believe Phil Chenier has said the same thing on a prior occasion.

I don't see Flip's name there, however. Or any of the Wiz coaches.

But don't let that stop a good rant...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Marines get four-plus months of boot camp and training at Parris Island before they're sent into battle.


Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"1) Trevor Booker
2) Nick Young
3) Josh Howard
4) Rashard Lewis
5) Cartier Martin
6) Mustafa Shukur
7) Kirk Hinrich"
LarryInClintonMD Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Wow, it looks like in Larry's opinion, Kirk is one of the WORST perimeter defenders on the team.

Excepting Al Thornton, of course. Or maybe Larry just forgot about him.

I'm beginning to think Larry doesn't know all that much about defense, either...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Exact quote from LarryInClintonMD:

"Mr. Lee. I beg to differ. Kirk Hinrich is not, I repeat, he is not the best perimeter player on this team."

Mike Lee never said he was.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Duke is getting absolutely murdered by St. John's. Doesn't Steve Lavin, ex-UCLA, coach them?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The suggestion is that Mike Lee and/or John Wall regard Kirk as the best. I believe Phil Chenier has said the same thing on a prior occasion.

I don't see Flip's name there, however. Or any of the Wiz coaches.

But don't let that stop a good rant...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:36 PM

If John Wall is learning defense from Kirk Hinrich, is it any wonder he gets blown buy consistently. A trait that Hinrich has as well. LOL.

Wall would be better off to start looking at someoneelse so far as how to play D. Kirk Hinrich ain't it. When others look at Kirk and give him praise it is clearly for his heart, his desire, and effort. But to say he is a good perimeter defender is a whole nother ball game.

Those players and folks and that know a thing or two about good individual defense understand where I am coming from. Heart, desire, and effort comes first, but there is more to it than that.

If it was only heart, desire, and effort then McGee would be a great defensive player woundn't he. He isn't yet and we all know for sure that it takes more than that.

Hinrich isn't fast enough afoot to be a good perimeter player. He cannot stay in front of anybody.

Wall is very fast, so what is his problem. He probably needs to stop watching Hinrich.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I missed the part in Larry's post where he acknowledges he initially misread Mike Lee's statement. That was way back before he went on that rant.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The Grizz also do a great job of setting moving screens that are apparently immune from being called as such by the refs. One play (in the 3rd I think) Gasol was setting a pick at the top and literally moved 3 steps in the course of setting the pick.

This has been driving me nuts all year, I thought the league was supposed to emphasize that particular call. And as I recall the good guys picked up several per game early in the season...Flip should get himself a T over it

Posted by: divi3 | January 30, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Excepting Al Thornton, of course. Or maybe Larry just forgot about him.

I'm beginning to think Larry doesn't know all that much about defense, either...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 2:40 PM

Yeah, I did forget Al Thornton. He is a better perimeter player as well. And yes I am saying that besides John Wall, Kirk Hinrich is the worst perimeter player on the Team.

And what about Mike Lee's statement indicates that he isn't saying that Hinrich is the Wizards's best perimeter player? How are you reading his statement not to indicate that?

You see, I am not going to accept what Michael Lee said at face value. Kirk Hinrich isn't by a longshot the best perimeter defender on this Team. He just isn't.

It is one of the biggest assumptions that just isn't true about this Team.

The next biggest assumption that might get some play is that this team is just plain bad and can't win games, especially on the road, is all the players fault.

WHY, PRAY TELL, DID NICK YOUNG FEEL THE NEED TO QUESTION WHETHER IT IS JUST THE PLAYERS FAULT???

You ready for that can of worms Samson151. I know you and your posse have a million reasons why Nick is wrong and should just shut up as some have already said. Just play ball Nick, but never let it be said he has an opinion about anything. Just play and shut up. The nerve of some people.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Sampson151= Troll

Posted by: member8 | January 30, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"And what about Mike Lee's statement indicates that he isn't saying that Hinrich is the Wizards's best perimeter player? How are you reading his statement not to indicate that? LarryInClintonMD. Posted by LarryInClintonMD"

Well, what Mike wrote was, and I quote:
"Kirk Hinrich is the Wizards' best perimeter defender..."

And what you wrote was, and I quote:
"[Kirk} is not the best perimeter player on this team."

Since Mike never wrote that he was, your rant was beside the point.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

" I know you and your posse have a million reasons why Nick is wrong and should just shut up as some have already said. Just play ball Nick, but never let it be said he has an opinion about anything. Just play and shut up. LarryInClintonMD. Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

I was in fact thinking that somebody should shut up, but it wasn't Nick.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Sampson151= TrollPosted by: member8"

When a troll calls somebody else a troll, is he really just trolling for an argument?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, now Larry has put himself in the position of having to defend his assertion that Kirk is actually worse at perimeter defense than seven other Wizards.

I'll step back and let him explain.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

weak.

Posted by: member8 | January 30, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I missed the part in Larry's post where he acknowledges he initially misread Mike Lee's statement. That was way back before he went on that rant.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:12 PM

Yes, you missed it because in fact I did not misread Lee's statement. He said that Hinrich was the best perimeter defender on the team. Here it is again copied verbatim for your perusal from above.

Kirk Hinrich is the Wizards' best perimeter defender and Wall said he is learning from watching, but he needs to carry that over to the court. He started pressuring Conley in the fourth quarter, but the game was out of reach.

You see Samson151 it says right there that Kirk Hin....

What now, smarty.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Larry- sont waste so much time w Sampson (lol)... when he can't defend ernie and this poor excuse for a team.. he insults, deviates or whatever to be what he basically is: a troll (which is what he calls members here or "sock puppet" and the like. forget him.. he's what he is. You make very good points. This is a wasted year- another one- under the management of E Grunfeld. Bottom line.

Posted by: member8 | January 30, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Pacers have fired Obrien, maybe firing season has begun. Something tells me they'll get it right before this team will and they were/are a better organization with not much better players.

Posted by: zack9633 | January 30, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Sampson- you're it.

Posted by: member8 | January 30, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Sampson151 staring trouble on the blog again, no new news there lol

Posted by: zack9633 | January 30, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, now Larry has put himself in the position of having to defend his assertion that Kirk is actually worse at perimeter defense than seven other Wizards.

I'll step back and let him explain.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:55 PM

Thats the easiest part of it all for someone who is willing to make and objective conclusion from watching the games. Thats what I do.

You see I never bought into the hype of the Hinrich deal and value that he would bring to the Team. He had to show me and he hasn't. I said that Sean Livingston would beat him out on the floor, but we never got to see that happen for obvious reasons.

The fact of the matter is we brought in Kirk Hinrich for $9M and we've had to justify it on veteran know how and showing our number one rook the way.

My assessment of the whole Kirk Hinrich deal so far is that it has not faired nearly as well as it is being reported. That boy can't play defense. He isn't leading anyone. And he isn't worth $9M. Daresay anyone have that opinion about the Hinrich affair. I do, though. It has failed just as miserably as letting Tapscott drive this Team in the ditch for a whole friggin year because you knew you had Flip Saunders on the come. And how is that working Samson151?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

In the Laker Boston game Lamar Odom just fouled Big Baby on a heave shot from beyond the half court stripe.

Big Baby is shooting three free throws to close out the half.

Talking about criticizing another player the game being more than just Run and Jump coming back and biting you in the arse.

LMAO.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The disaster called the Washington Wizards is to be blamed on one name and one name only: Grunfeld.

Posted by: member8 | January 30, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"The fact of the matter is we brought in Kirk Hinrich for $9M and we've had to justify it on veteran know how and showing our number one rook the way.My assessment of the whole Kirk Hinrich deal so far is that it has not faired nearly as well as it is being reported. That boy can't play defense. He isn't leading anyone. And he isn't worth $9M. Daresay anyone have that opinion about the Hinrich affair. I do, though. It has failed just as miserably as letting Tapscott drive this Team in the ditch for a whole friggin year because you knew you had Flip Saunders on the come. And how is that working Samson151? LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Say, where's the part where you justify your claim that those other 7 Wiz players are superior perimeter defenders to Kirk?

I'll check back later.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Talking about criticizing another player the game being more than just Run and Jump coming back and biting you in the arse.LMAO.
LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

You believe the game ISN'T more than just Run and Jump? Or you think he shouldn't have criticized another player?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Say, where's the part where you justify your claim that those other 7 Wiz players are superior perimeter defenders to Kirk?

I'll check back later.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 5:01 PM

Oh, I guess you'd rather role with the fact that some people say that it is so than by evaluation on the court, which is what I go by.

Start citing those on the court plays of individual defense by Kirk that makes him defense emeritis. Why don't you do that?

You can't tell me how many times that Kirk and John gets blown by on the court that you haven't seen. Don't play naivetet with me.

LarryInClintonMD.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Momma, there goes that man again. Give me good O over good D any day of the week says Mark Jackson in his remark of Paul Pierce's picture perfect jump shot.

Mark Jackson, now thats a guy we should have backed to Brinks Truck up to his house to get him to come out of the annoucing booth to COACH for us.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

What Serephin can do well right now was a perfect match for the style of game that Memphis plays. But leave it to Flip to not recognize that it would have been better to start Serephin at center, but still give Booker significant playing time.

Serephin is tough as nails in the paint and does not hesitate protect the basket with flat out toughness.

That is what Serephin can bring to floor right now.

LIClint

LOL, yeah, six fouls.

Seriously though, I'm not downing you [LARRY] or SERAPHIN. He is what he is at this point, but that's needed inside. So he does bring something of value to the floor. And I like his curled lip, and surly disposition. He'll learn although I'm not sure yet just how high his upside is. In the 2014-15 season we should have a much better take on KEVEEN.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 30, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

98

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 30, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@ LarryInClinton

I totally agree on "Momma there goes that man" as the next COACH and who would you have as GM as we sure as heck need one of those too? This team could use a young coach that has been involved with winning basketball instead of the retreads as coaches with winning percentages but hasn't won anything. I'd understand the percentage theory if we were close to being a winning team. The FLIPside to that is that M Jackson probably won't be given a real chance to turn this thing around which would require building this team. MJ would be a far better mentor for J Wall than Flip.

Posted by: zack9633 | January 30, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

That photo is brutal. I never read about the Wizards sending tapes to the league for review like other teams do. Maybe that's because Grunfeld rarely talks to the press, but it would be nice to know.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 30, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, I guess you'd rather role with the fact that some people say that it is so than by evaluation on the court, which is what I go by.Start citing those on the court plays of individual defense by Kirk that makes him defense emeritis. Why don't you do that?...Don't play naivetet with me.
LarryInClintonMD.LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Hmmm... I've never seen a rant that included three LarryInClintonMD.'s before.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, it looks like Frank Vogel will be the new Interim Head Coach of the Pacers. He's a current assistant who some of you might remember from his term here in Washington, where he was an advance scout. He's also been an assistant to Jim O'Brien in Philly and Boston. Frank's only 37 and will no doubt bring a fresh new perspective to head coaching. He also has experience as a video coordinator so expect the team to be watching lots of tape.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Bird was bothered by O'Brien's refusal to give more minutes to the team's young players. Bird said he'd like to see rookie Paul George play more, and he was frustrated with how little forward Tyler Hansbrough played early in the season. He felt that O'Brien's public berating of center Roy Hibbert damaged the 7-foot-2 center's confidence. Bird and Vogel agreed that Hibbert is an important piece of the team's future.

Bird also said he would like to see rookie Lance Stephenson get onto the court. The second-round draft pick has not played this season.

Many fans criticized O'Brien because he constantly changed lineups, at times leaving players inactive, then suddenly making them starters and sometimes leaving players who were performing well on the bench for long stretches.

Interesting reading. Grunfeld is stuck, it's his coach and players. What will Ted do?

Posted by: closg | January 30, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Bird was bothered by O'Brien's refusal to give more minutes to the team's young players. Bird said he'd like to see rookie Paul George play more, and he was frustrated with how little forward Tyler Hansbrough played early in the season. He felt that O'Brien's public berating of center Roy Hibbert damaged the 7-foot-2 center's confidence. Bird and Vogel agreed that Hibbert is an important piece of the team's future.

Bird also said he would like to see rookie Lance Stephenson get onto the court. The second-round draft pick has not played this season.

Many fans criticized O'Brien because he constantly changed lineups, at times leaving players inactive, then suddenly making them starters and sometimes leaving players who were performing well on the bench for long stretches.

Interesting reading. Grunfeld is stuck, it's his coach and players. What will Ted do?

Posted by: closg | January 30, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that really does read like a Wizards script with the names changed. Maybe Ted needs to hire Larry.

Posted by: divi3 | January 30, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, that really does read like a Wizards script with the names changed. Maybe Ted needs to hire Larry.Posted by: divi3"

Or Herb Simon needs to fire him. That's also been suggested many times in recent weeks.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Doggonit' Divi3, when I was reading that post by Closg, I was going 'Wow' as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"Sampson151= Troll"

No, Samson151 is not a troll. What he really is is Mike Prada from BulletsForever. By posting here constantly, correcting other commenters, and repeating the Wizards' official line over and over (not to mention his daily links to BulletsForever) articles, he's hoping to inherit part of Lee's job when he inevitably moves on.

Posted by: KTV1 | January 30, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"No, Samson151 is not a troll. What he really is is Mike Prada from BulletsForever. By posting here constantly, correcting other commenters, and repeating the Wizards' official line over and over (not to mention his daily links to BulletsForever) articles, he's hoping to inherit part of Lee's job when he inevitably moves on.Posted by: KTV1"

Wow -- I did not know this!! You read it here first!! And I don't even read BulletsForever!!

Hey, it's a long season...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

From the AP story:

"Vogel, 38, becomes the NBA's youngest head coach, an distinction that had been held by New Orleans' Monty Williams, 39. Vogel's head coaching experience amounts to the 3:23 he ran the Pacers when O'Brien was ejected from what turned out to be his final game, a 110-89 loss at Chicago on Saturday."

"This season is the first time Vogel has been a lead assistant in the NBA, and he was an advance scout as recently as the 2006-07 season with Washington. But Vogel, who names Rick Pitino as his biggest coaching influence, said he has prepared for 1,400 NBA games in his 14 years as a coach, video coordinator and scout."

"I'm not concerned about my experience," he said.Vogel says he believes any chance he has of becoming the Pacers' permanent coach depends on them making the playoffs, a point Bird also made. It remains to be seen if Vogel can duplicate the success of the NBA's other midseason replacement coach of 2010-11, Charlotte's Paul Silas."

"On Dec. 22, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan replaced Larry Brown with Silas who, at 70, had been in retirement since Cleveland fired him in 2004-05. Since then, the Bobcats (20-26) have gone 11-7 and climbed into a tie for seventh in the Eastern Conference."

"Sunday's move could be the start of a total makeover for the Pacers. Bird and most of the teams other top executives are in the final year of their contracts. Also, the team is about to shed almost $30 million in expiring players contracts and are on pace to have more salary cap space than any team in the off-season. However, Bird also said he could make a deal before the Feb. 24 trade deadline."

"I'll make moves any time," he said. "I've said it over and over, if I see that right move out there, we're going to make it."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

More on the Indy situation, not to be confused with what's happening in Cairo:

"You want to have a steady rotation, but if you're losing games, how do you stick with a steady rotation?" Vogel said. "We're trying to find combinations that work, and you'll see that play out over the next few weeks."

"The Pacers were one of the league's leaders in field-goal percentage defense early in the season, but Indiana allowed more than 110 points four times during its six game skid."

"You are what you work on," Vogel said. "The first half of the year, we were a defensive-minded team. We got so good on defense, and we were winning games with it. But our offense was killing us, so we made a dramatic shift to improve our offensive execution in practice. That has come and that has improved, but the defense has slipped. We have to find a balance."

"Bird said he expects Vogel to lead the Pacers to the playoffs this season."

"I said that three years ago, that I think in the third year, this team should make the playoffs," he said. "We're 10 games under .500. I'm not saying we're going to win a championship, but this team should make the playoffs."

"We have a three-year plan and we're right on it," he said. "I looked the other day and we're going to have more money than anybody in the summer to go out and either trade one of our expiring contracts or go into the free agency market and get the pieces we need."


Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, now Larry has put himself in the position of having to defend his assertion that Kirk is actually worse at perimeter defense than seven other Wizards.

I'll step back and let him explain.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:55 PM


In all fairness to Larry i help answer this.
If i remember right in the OKC game when Nick Young was check Westbook he didnt get that may easy layups or driving lines, where on the pother hand JWall(Kirk student)is get he buttt beat every time by Westbrook.

Posted by: YEAwizards | January 30, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, now Larry has put himself in the position of having to defend his assertion that Kirk is actually worse at perimeter defense than seven other Wizards.

I'll step back and let him explain.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 3:55 PM


In all fairness to Larry i help answer this.
If i remember right in the OKC game when Nick Young was checking Westbrook he didnt get that may easy layups or driving lines, where on the pother hand JWall(Kirk student)is get he butt beat every time by Westbrook.

Posted by: YEAwizards | January 30, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The disaster called the Washington Wizards is to be blamed on one name and one name only: Grunfeld.

Posted by: member8 | January 30, 2011 5:00 PM |

It is worth noting that one Gilbert Arenas sat out Orlando's victory over Cleveland due to non-phantom soreness in his left knee, which many are beginning to call arthritis.

This is 2+ years after his last surgery. He says it gets bad in the winter months. Unfortunately, that's when most of the NBA season is played.

Aren't you at least a little glad that it is going to be Otis Smith cutting Gil's checks rather than Ernie Grunfeld?

Posted by: NWDC3 | January 30, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness to Larry i help answer this.
If i remember right in the OKC game when Nick Young was check Westbook he didnt get that may easy layups or driving lines, where on the pother hand JWall(Kirk student)is get he buttt beat every time by Westbrook.Posted by: YEAwizards"

I'd say that's just about the way Larry would have answered it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"WHY, PRAY TELL, DID NICK YOUNG FEEL THE NEED TO QUESTION WHETHER IT IS JUST THE PLAYERS FAULT???"

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 30, 2011 3:28 PM

Because he's tired of looking/feeling like a loser and needs a scapegoat.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 30, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

"Aren't you at least a little glad that it is going to be Otis Smith cutting Gil's checks rather than Ernie Grunfeld?Posted by: NWDC3"

Gil's really struggling. Probably help to sit him a bunch before the end of the season. They wanted him mainly for the playoffs, anyway.

But he's clearly not the same player he was before the injuries. I think it took folks (both NBA types and fans) quite a while to realize exactly what that meant.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Mark Jackson, now thats a guy we should have backed to Brinks Truck up to his house to get him to come out of the announcing booth to COACH for us.

LarryInClintonMD.

From the files of "Let the buyer beware", former players becoming good commentators doesn't necessarily translate into being good coaches or GMs. This is know as the Matt Millen rule.

Posted by: ts35 | January 30, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Larry Bird may be next in terms of the unemployment line the Pacers haven't done squadoosh since Bird has been El Presidente of basketball operations for the Pacers plus his drafting of Lance Stephenson( a punk azz thug imho) left many scratching their collective heads.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 30, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

WHY, PRAY TELL, DID NICK YOUNG FEEL THE NEED TO QUESTION WHETHER IT IS JUST THE PLAYERS FAULT???

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Well, maybe because he feels like it's the coach's fault.

Also, maybe because he's mad/upset he only got 9 shots last game as opposed to 33 the night before.

Also, maybe because he's feeling the pressure of being the focus of defensive attention.

Also, maybe because he's upset that the Memphis defenders took him out of his game.

Also, maybe because, like the rest of the team, he's feeling the pressure of being 0-for-the-road.

Maybe....all of the above.

Posted by: ts35 | January 30, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Or perhaps after hearing Flip dog him out, Nick decided to say what most of the players are probably thinking. Was great to hear one of them say that Saunders is responsible for this mess too, good for you Nick.

Posted by: divi3 | January 30, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't think nick young is in any position to question his coach publicly. It proves nothing.

Larry, I'm puzzled about how strongly opinionated you are at the moment. You're usually somewhat more balanced and less apt to attack others, even when I disagree with what you say. It's pretty odd for you.

I do have to say that it seems that hinrich is widely regarded throughout the league as being a very strong perimeter defender (and he does have an all defensive second team award on his resume.) there's a pretty strong onus on you to prove that he's not a good defensive player. So far it seems all you've said is that we should be able to tell by watching him, and that's simply not good enough.

Sorry I can't back you here.

Posted by: crs-one | January 30, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I have high hopes for seraphin, but he's a long way from being able to handle serious minutes. Some of his plays would seem totally boneheaded if it werent for the fact that he was a European player who's just not comfortable with the NBA game yet.

On the other hand, I am a huge Booker fan now. Great effort and hustle consistently. Good rebounding. And even though he's not a prime scoring option, he's got the touch of a bona fide professional. Watching the ball go in on a few of his layups, it's clear he's not just putting them up and getting lucky. Hes got the touch that a lot of rookies don't, where the ball will bounce or spin just right and fall in.

And he's physical. And often in the right place for an easy layup or alley oop.

And did I mention the effort?

Posted by: crs-one | January 31, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"Also, maybe because he's mad/upset he only got 9 shots last game as opposed to 33 the night before."

Wow, I failed to notice that one. 33 shots. That's five more than Kevin Durant took. And Durant got 40 points.

Also it's 13 more shot attempts that the next highest Wiz.

No wonder he wanted Flip to run those same plays.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 31, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

If Flip stays true to form, for calling out his coach in public Nick will be punished with the start against Dallas and 35 plays run for him.

Posted by: divi3 | January 31, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

"Nick will be punished with the start against Dallas and 35 plays run for him.
Posted by: divi3"

LOL and then, magically, Nick will once again find faith in his coaches...

I think maybe we went through this with Andray Blatche last season.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 31, 2011 5:10 AM | Report abuse

crs-one,

I don't think I have really attacked anyone, really. The most I did was to call Samson smarty, but thats not really attacking him. Opinionated on this Hinrich issue, yes, very, but my opinion reference Hinrich has been the same throughout.

I can only go by what I've seen on the court since he has been here. What he did elsewhere doesn't help us now.

I would encourage others to take a closer look at play on the floor, for that is the only way to realize that we are being fed a shovel full of Kirk the experienced player, that plays better D than any perimeter Wizard player, that is the best mentor for John Wall, is more a publicity trade reality than fact on the floor.

Flip Saunders bought into that mess and is why Hinrich got superstar treatment on this Team. Might also explain why the Team is so bad when you place so much emphasis on someone not deserving and hasn't earned such treatment.

This team would not justify paying a legitimate center $6-7M a year, but made a trade to pay Kirk $9M a year, a good backup at best, named him captain, and now we wonder why this Team is a mess.

I say, we beddar take the blinders off rounds here, so we might can see whats really goins' on.

Hell, that no account center that many still criticize would have certainly helped us to win one on the road by now.

Why hasn't Kirk? What are we paying him $9M a year for? Really look at it people.
Time will show whether this Kirk deal was all it's being cranked up to be, but I have the wisdom and vision to tell you now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 31, 2011 6:02 AM | Report abuse

In all fairness to Larry i help answer this.
If i remember right in the OKC game when Nick Young was check Westbook he didnt get that may easy layups or driving lines, where on the pother hand JWall(Kirk student)is get he buttt beat every time by Westbrook.Posted by: YEAwizards"

I'd say that's just about the way Larry would have answered it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 9:59 PM

Yep, thats about the way I would have answered it, but I didn't. I know that was a poke at my typos, but thanks anyway.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 31, 2011 7:03 AM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78, after my Tarheels lost to Texas, Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Minnesota, they have went 5-1 in the ACC and still haven't gotten any love in the National polls.

I think they will be a bit of a surprise this year and get back in the NCAA hunt.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 31, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

In all fairness to Larry i help answer this.
If i remember right in the OKC game when Nick Young was check Westbook he didnt get that may easy layups or driving lines, where on the pother hand JWall(Kirk student)is get he buttt beat every time by Westbrook.Posted by: YEAwizards"

I'd say that's just about the way Larry would have answered it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2011 9:59 PM

Yep, thats about the way I would have answered it, but I didn't. I know that was a poke at my typos, but thanks anyway.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 31, 2011 7:03 AM |


Glad that I can help out (even with the typo :D)

Posted by: YEAwizards | January 31, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@crs-one,

I haven't really weighed in on the Hinrich as a defender debate, because, well, there really wasn't much point. But I will say this. To Larry's point, as I've watched Hinrich this year, he's struggled some on the defensive end, especially with quicker PGs. But I don't take it as far as Larry does.

I think Hinrich's the type of defender who would be better on a better overall defensive team. While that may seem to be a "No duh" kind of comment, I think there's more to it than just having better defenders along side of him. I think his defensive understanding is higher than most on the team, I just don't think he has the ability he may have once had to stay with his man. But on a good defense team, it's easier to compensate for that if you have teammates who are on the same page. It may sound like I'm blaming his deficiencies on others, I'm not. He's definitely struggled. But I also don't think he's the worst perimeter defender on the team.

Posted by: ts35 | January 31, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hinrich is the best perimiter defender on the team, while he is not the quickest he does understand angles and has great anticipation and a high basketball IQ..yes he get's beat one on one sometimes but everybody in the L does,you can't expect to stop your man all the time but that's where your help defense comes in.

Hinrich fights thru screens and throws his body around with reckless abandon and that's why he stays hurt so much, so if you ask me he is a perfect person to teach Wall the nuances of defense in the NBA..now point guard he has terrible decision making and that he is not nor ever be mistaken as one.

The lakers have shown some interest they give us Ebanks, Artest and a #1 and we will give them Hinrich and Rashard Lewis.

Posted by: Hottdogg | February 2, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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