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Posted at 1:12 AM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Wizards experience more "lapses" as they drop to 0-18 on the road

By Michael Lee

Guys, guys. What's going on out here? (AP Photo/Streeter Lecka)


After the Wizards lost their 18th consecutive road game to start the season, JaVale McGee was getting dressed in front of his locker room stall at Time Warner Cable Arena, lamenting about how he only grabbed one rebound against the Charlotte Bobcats. But as McGee grumbled, Hilton Armstrong wanted an explanation for one of the more bizarre plays of a night filled with blunders: McGee's failed attempt to recover his second rebound.

Bobcats forward Stephen Jackson missed a long jumper and the ball was headed out of bounds. The Wizards would've recorded a defensive stop and claimed possession, but McGee tracked down the ball, leaned over and tapped it right off Nick Young's foot for a turnover. Scouts seated near me cackled and shook their heads. The Wizards only trailed by nine points, but Coach Flip Saunders immediately yanked McGee and Young from the game for good.

"All I heard was, 'Go get it. Go get it," McGee explained afterward. "I knew Nick was behind me, but I didn't know how far. I thought he was further behind me, so I was going to throw it to him. I didn't see what happened after that, but obviously, it was a turnover."

The error was one of many in the final 14 minutes for the Wizards, who once again managed to do little right away from home. Whether it was moving the ball, boxing out, running back on defense, they just seemed to be lost. Kirk Hinrich described it best when he said after the game, "We're not very mentally tough."

The worst example of the Wizards' lack of focus came late in the third quarter, when John Wall was called for traveling and the team simply stopped playing. While the Wizards walked back, paying no attention to the ball or the men they were assigned to guard, Gerald Henderson snuck down the floor and Stephen Jackson fired a pass to him for an uncontested dunk.

"We hang out heads and walk back instead of sprinting back," Saunders said. "Those are the things that on the road, you can't overcome those things."

Less than a month after recording their most lopsided victory of the season against the Bobcats -- a 33-point drubbing at Verizon Center -- the Wizards looked nothing like that team, or the team that suffocated the New Jersey Nets in a 20-point victory the night before. Charlotte running and scoring more since Paul Silas replaced the more rigid Larry Brown, and one Bobcats player described the change as a burden being lifted, but Saunders refused to credit the coaching change as the difference in the rematch.

"We caught them at a time when they weren't playing well, we were playing well -- and we were playing at home. That's the big difference," Saunders said.


Are you seeing what I'm seeing? (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

McGee blocked former Wizards No. 1 overall pick Kwame Brown's jumper on the first possession of the game, and appeared to be headed toward another performance like he had the night before against New Jersey. He had six blocked shots and shut down Brook Lopez, but Brown would get the better of McGee in the first half. Brown used his superior strength to backdown McGee for layups and scored seven points, forcing Saunders to call on rookie big man Kevin Seraphin to put a body on Brown.

"Things weren't falling for us, rebounds weren't coming to us, and it wasn't there for us," McGee said. "It's real disappointing, because we definitely wanted to come out with the same performance that we had at home. But just didn't work out as planned."

Young really struggled after scoring a team-high 16 points against the Nets. He made his opening jumper, which usually is a good sign, but grew increasingly flustered with Henderson harassing him on defense and giving him the business on offense. Young finished with seven points, failing to reach double figures for the second time in his past three road games. He eventually got frustrated in the second half, as he locked arms with Henderson and refused to let go until the two got separated.

"I was trying to get myself going, get myself going, get them fired up," Young said. "We was being bullied. They was trying to play too physical, I had to let him know, relax a little bit."

The Wizards are probably a bit too relaxed on the road, where they have to understand that home teams play harder with the support of their own fans. They should know, since they are better than .500 at Verizon Center. And after the game, Saunders found few bright spots. "I thought two guys played well," Saunders said. "I thought Kirk played really well and I thought Al Thornton, he hasn't played a lot, but he gave an unbelievable effort."

Thornton had 11 points, nearly matching his total from the previous three games (13 points). He also was playing hurt, emerging from the locker room in the second half with his right arm heavily bandaged. Thornton eventually tore off the bandages and finished out the game. Afterward, Thornton said he may have tweaked a lingering injury from his time with the Los Angeles Clippers. "It's like a small, minor tear. I think I may have re-aggravated it. I don't think it's that serious. I'm going to have it checked out [on Sunday]."

Hinrich and Thornton tried to keep the team competitive, especially during the third period, when they scored 11 points during a 17-4 run that helped the Wizards take a 71-70 lead with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left. Hinrich and Thornton combined to score 31 points off the bench, surpassing the total of the four Wizards starters not named John Wall. Young, McGee, Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis combined for 29 points on 11 of 30 shooting. The night before against New Jersey, they all scored in double figures, combining for 61 of the Wizards' 97 points.

Lewis was extremely quiet, as he scored just four points, and was shut out in the second half. He was saddled with foul trouble, picking up an offensive foul early in the third quarter that forced him to sit the final nine minutes. "I came back in the fourth and couldn't really get into a good rhythm," Lewis said. "But you got to do other things to win ball games, especially when you're not making shots. Maybe I should've been a little more aggressive on the offensive glass to get something going."

Blatche scored 10 points, but missed 9 of his 13 shot attempts. And, I know folks have been harping on this all season, but one of the reasons Blatche remains in his shooting slump is because he settles for jumpers when he has an ability to finish at the basket. Blatche was 3 for 6 inside the paint, 1 for 7 on the perimeter. So while Blatche considers himself a "finesse" player, Saunders's advice from Friday rings true.

"You've got to get to the free throw line. You don't want to settle. You've got to get to the free throw line," Saunders said on Friday. "If you're in a slump, the best thing to do is get aggressive, get to the free throw line, get a couple of free throws. Get in the open floor, get a layup off your defense, do little things. Those are the things that get you out of a slump."

After scoring just five points against New Jersey, Wall was clearly energized playing his first professional game in front of his friends and family in his home state of North Carolina. Wall scored 16 points and handed out 11 assists. "Today I felt great. I felt better than I did before and I just had the ability to attack the basket," Wall said. "It felt good [playing in front of supporters]

They watched me throughout my whole career. In college, I never had a chance to come back and play, but for them to see me on the last level that you can reach, it meant a lot to me."

It would've meant a lot more if the Wizards had pulled out a road win. As Wall explained, "It's just lapses."

Been the case all season.

By Michael Lee  | January 9, 2011; 1:12 AM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, John Wall, Nick Young  
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Next: Carmelo Anthony headed to New Jersey? Washington was never in his plans

Comments

Saunders said. "I thought Kirk played really well and I thought Al Thornton, he hasn't played a lot, but he gave an unbelievable effort."

but the rest of the players suck?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Coach you are the reason that the team looses. The team do not want Flip you to be their coach. Flip depress, the player, and Flip do not motivate the player's. Stop yanking Nick Young and Mcgee out of the game. Every player tonight had something wrong with their game tonight. Just allow the player to play through it. I now for a fact that the player's really dislike Flip. And Nick and Javale have a right to not like Flip. Nick go to Ernie, and ask to be traded.

Posted by: maejude | January 9, 2011 2:07 AM | Report abuse

And so RP, if you aren't one of the typical birds on the board, then what bird are you, atypical?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Come on Larry put yourself in RP, Samson and kal's shoes (for all we know they could be the same person)...if you've been posting on here for the last year and a half about what a great coach Flip is, what recourse would you have (since Flips record is showing he can't handle a young team) except either defend him with irrational comments or just call people names?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 2:31 AM | Report abuse

If Grunfeld and Flop make it through this season, I'd be surprised. It's one thing to not be good because of the lack of superstar talent, but another thing to be unprepared, undisciplined, unmotivated, etc.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 9, 2011 2:40 AM | Report abuse

"I now for a fact that the player's really dislike Flip."

lmao...really. And I believe you.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 9, 2011 4:28 AM | Report abuse

"if you've been posting on here for the last year and a half about what a great coach Flip is, what recourse would you have...except either defend him with irrational comments or just call people names?Posted by: bulletsfan78"

LOL if you've been posting on here for the last year and a half about what a terrible coach Flip is, what recourse would you have except either attack him with irrational comments or just call people names?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"You've got to get to the free throw line. You don't want to settle. You've got to get to the free throw line," Saunders said on Friday."

Unless you're Brendan Haywood. The ex-Wizard center is actually improving, going two for four over the past two games to reach 29.2%.

This from a career 61% free throw shooter.

Has to be a legendary case of the yips.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

About Kwame getting 7 of his 9 against Javale -- I was surprised to see that. Kwame's no scorer, but the one thing he's always been able to do is back people down in the blocks if you let him get the ball. You have to jump out and front him a little, like you do Hibbert. As any Wiz fan knows, frustrate Kwame Brown on offense and he folds up like Kleenex.

But at 16 minutes, Brown wasn't a major factor the way Gerald Henderson was. He shot well tonight, and defensively he looked like he was back with Coach K muscling some ACC jump shooter. First guy to make Nick Young look bad in a while.

A forgettable effort. Wall got his points but you wish the rest of the starters had been even moderately productive.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

GHenderson is good, I wanted him outta college.

This team lacks fire. There is no one in your grill intensity. We have some guys who play physical, but no one who intimidates. Not every team needs that, SA for example, but this team does. We just have too many finesse and soft players.

Thats why I want to trade for Cousins. Someone like David Lee would be good.

Blatche needs to go. We should also start looking at moving expiring contracts like Howard, Thornton, Yi, all of which I like but cant seem to stay healthy & their expiring deals are desirable assets as we get closer to the deadline.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 9, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

GHenderson is good, I wanted him outta college.

This team lacks fire. There is no one in your grill intensity. We have some guys who play physical, but no one who intimidates. Not every team needs that, SA for example, but this team does. We just have too many finesse and soft players.

Thats why I want to trade for Cousins. Someone like David Lee would be good.

Blatche needs to go. We should also start looking at moving expiring contracts like Howard, Thornton, Yi, all of which I like but cant seem to stay healthy & their expiring deals are desirable assets as we get closer to the deadline.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 9, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

When was the last time the Wizards had a player where the team could go into a half court set and go inside to that player? Certainly, not since Grunfeld been here. You would think that the people who are in charge of building this team would realize this by now. Andray Blatche, the starting power forward who gets more than 20% of the offensive plays and shoots jump shots after jump shots, game after game, is not being corrected by the coach.

It seems to me that the people who are directing the team is not doing a good job and that's just one example. It's not like Grunfeld inherit this team. This is his baby. Talent or no talent this team has no identity, no consistency and the players are unsure because the the coaching staff have no idea what they are trying to do.

Posted by: spades72 | January 9, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"GHenderson is good, I wanted him outta college."

He hasn't been that good, to date. He barely played in his rookie season and this year has been active for only 20 games, with 4 starts including last night. His previous two games, a win over Minnesota and a loss to Miami, he played 33 and 22 minutes and scored 7 and 6 points, respectively. He averages 0.4 blocks per game and got 3 last night.

I'm afraid Washington made him look better than he is.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

TLG-Ted Lose Grunfeld.

Posted by: member8 | January 9, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

A coach like scott skiles would never put a player like Andray Blatche on the floor with his style of play. And if Grunfeld is going to draft project players like McGee and Seraphin but do not have anybody to develop them what's the sense? Where is the blue print? It's time to turn over a new leave.

Posted by: spades72 | January 9, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Too much antelope, not enough buffalo. By my count, this is the third time AB has picked up an early 4th Q tech and then disappeared. I'd like to see him pulled the next time.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 9, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Since people like to throw out fantasy trade scenarios. Here is mine. The Wizards should draft Josh Selby from Kansas with their up coming pick and trade John Wall for a high draft pick or a very good yound power forward. That's how much I like Selby.

Posted by: spades72 | January 9, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"A coach like scott skiles would never put a player like Andray Blatche on the floor with his style of play."

Sure he would, if that's the best he had.

I remember after the first game of the season, when one of the stats sites proclaimed that the Wiz had to be the worst rebounding team ever put together.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Play this year out then get a running mate for McGEE. Someone with defensive toughness and an average offensive game.

Go get a pg to spell JOHN WALL, and put KIRK HINRICH back in the slot he was intended to fill i.e. spot duty only at pg, run with NICK at the two guard, and teach some perimeter defense.

How about a three way with THORNTON and JIANLIAN going to the NETS and DEVIN HARRIS coming here? Too much? Not enough? Money not right? I really haven't looked it up. Just a thought.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 9, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I remember after the first game of the season, when one of the stats sites proclaimed that the Wiz had to be the worst rebounding team ever put together

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 10:39 AM

And that have a whole lot to do with Blatche lack of contribution. Playing outside of the paint and being non existent on defense.

Posted by: spades72 | January 9, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, McGEE and DAVID LEE that's a nice tandem. I was touting getting LEE in free agency last year.

I think we've got to go high in the draft, and get that complete inside go-to guy, if there is one of course.

Otherwise, I think we have to get a sf because I have questioned whether JOSH HOWARD's knee would hold up, and I don't think it will. HOWARD is the best at the position, but is damaged goods.

AL THORNTON has his moments, but isn't all that effective unless he's busting his butt on every play. I don't think an NBA player can do that over the course of a season without wearing themselves out, and I'm not convinced AL is inclined to do that anyway.

MARTIN has his moments but is generally not an effective #3.

LEWIS can play there in a limited role, but if JIANLIAN and BLATCHE are too soft inside, RASHARD is needed at the #4. He can't do both at the same time.

SERAPHIN is not effective yet at the #4, and BOOKER should be given a full opportunity to carry the #3 load with HOWARD before we draft, leaving THORNTON on the outside looking in.

Trade THORNTON and JIANLIAN for a back-up above average pg that has a short shelf life, or a newbie with great upside.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 9, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

but the rest of the players suck?
Posted by: bulletsfan78

----

if you watched the games, you wouldn't ask that question, even rhetorically.

league pass wouldn't be too expensive for a guy with homes on both coasts (that's you, I think). of course, the down side of getting it would be that you wouldn't have the excuse of posting nonstop nonsense in the guise of some "I didn't see the game but this is philosophical" garbage.

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"if you've been posting on here for the last year and a half about what a great coach Flip is, what recourse would you have...except either defend him with irrational comments or just call people names?Posted by: bulletsfan78"

LOL if you've been posting on here for the last year and a half about what a terrible coach Flip is, what recourse would you have except either attack him with irrational comments or just call people names?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

The only rational comment I have to make to prove my point about Flip is post his record...

10-11 9-26 0-18 on the road

wait there is more...

09-10 26-56 and that was with AJ,CB,BTH,DS and Gil as his starters before Ernie decided to go into rebuild mode.

What happen to Flip when he had a vet team?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

And that have a whole lot to do with Blatche lack of contribution. Posted by: spades72

I like to pile on AB as much as anyone, but in this case the whole team is guilty. The wings miss a ton of long rebounds, and the PGs could step it up a bit, too.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 9, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"The only rational comment I have to make to prove my point about Flip is post his record...10-11 9-26 0-18 on the road"

And that's about as close to reason as you get. After that it breaks down.

This has been discussed ad infinitum and I don't see any reason to discuss it further.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

if you watched the games, you wouldn't ask that question, even rhetorically.

league pass wouldn't be too expensive for a guy with homes on both coasts (that's you, I think). of course, the down side of getting it would be that you wouldn't have the excuse of posting nonstop nonsense in the guise of some "I didn't see the game but this is philosophical" garbage.


Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I've been posting for a while that I think most of the players on the Wizards roster suck...gee maybe that's why I want Ted to fire Ernie...my post was to point out how Flip praises Kirk (even though they lose)every chance he gets but how often do you read him do that for AB, JM or NY when they have a good game?

Don't you think the players read his comments and don't you think if effects them to see Kirk is his favorite player...Flip made Kirk a captian his first year here...he didn't even have to earn it.

The reason I don't get the league pass is because I refuse to subsidise a league or the Wizards that produce a very poor product.

If more people would do the same the players would be making 5 mil a year and the ticket prices would be affordable enough that a family could go to the game.

But that's a whole different subject...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"AL THORNTON has his moments, but isn't all that effective unless he's busting his butt on every play. I don't think an NBA player can do that over the course of a season without wearing themselves out, and I'm not convinced AL is inclined to do that anyway. posted by glawrence007"

I've wondered about Al's minutes. He might be among the 2 or 3 most talented players on the Wiz roster -- he was on a more talented Clippers team, too -- and yet he's way inconsistent. When the coaches sit him for a couple games, he seems to come back with a roar and everybody takes note of his potential. Then he fades into the background a bit.

When you're a bottom-dweller, you do tend to have guys like Al on your roster -- talented underachievers, I mean. You sign them in hopes of a turnaround and sometimes it does happen. You'd think this would be a perfect opportunity for Al to show his stuff.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I wasnt fully focused on the game, but from what I saw, looked like AB was exterting himself pretty well defensively. His shot remains broken, but it looked like he was hustling at least as much as anyone else on the floor.

Shame Rashard disappeared, that was a chance to establish himself as a go-to guy for this team.

As much as it pains Flip, imo he should have left mcgee in there through the 4th. Yi brings nothing to the party and JM was not the only player last night who made mistakes

Posted by: divi3 | January 9, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

One thing about flipflop he's never wrong or take the blame, and he's never out of characther,deny deny, blame everybody else, he don't mistakes he's just always wrong.

Posted by: maejude | January 9, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Minn is supposedly taking offers for Love.

I would offer Blatche & our #1, Howard's expiring for a bad contract. That probably still aint enough though, but I'd give it a shot.

I'd love to get Lee. Cousins or houston's J. Hill would be nice for Blatche.

Havent seen much college ball, but liked what I saw from that guy Zanna when pitt played md.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 9, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Minn is supposedly taking offers for Love.

I would offer Blatche & our #1, Howard's expiring for a bad contract. That probably still aint enough though, but I'd give it a shot.

I'd love to get Lee. Cousins or houston's J. Hill would be nice for Blatche.

Havent seen much college ball, but liked what I saw from that guy Zanna when pitt played md.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 9, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

THE FANS OF DC DESERVE BETTER!! The above thread reflects the mood of the players on this team. The bigger issue and i've said this before the season started was that this coaching staff lacked the basketball acumen and discipline to take this squad to the next level. The player's have lost confidence in this coaching staff and in one another last night's game was another embarrassment the fourth quater has become laughable for this team. Flip Saunders doesn't have a clue what to do, but even more than that Ernie Grunfeld has depleted this team of real basketball talent the wholesale trade's of Butler,Jamison,Haywood,Arenas, and Stevenson was stupid and has proved ineffective in terms of this team's future. The day Ernie Grunfeld fired Eddie Jordan started this franchise on another downward spiral after experiencing years of frustration under Wes Unseld (coach,gm) and a carousel of coach's, Eddie Jordan's hiring signaled a new beginning we made the playoff's four year's in a row, but Grunfeld in all "his wisdom" decided to undermine Jordan by not supporting him in term's of getting Jordan the depth that he needed (for a deep playoff run) and in term's of Jordan's discipline with certain players (Arenas,Blatche & Haywood). The hiring of Eddie Tapscott (not one minute of pro coaching) and Flip Saunders( OVERATED!) has further depleted this franchise of any hope for the immediate future. I was optimistic when Ted Leonsis took over ownership of the Wizards but not any more, Abe Pollin (God rest his soul) backed Grunfeld in his firing of Jordan (a huge mistake !) Pollin was a visionary in term's of the Verizon Center and bringing pro sports back to DC but he made huge errors in terms of contract's and allowing Grunfeld to fire Jordan. The bottom line is that Leonsis will not fire Grunfeld or Saunders and that can only mean more misery for DC pro basketball fans.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 9, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

How can the overall play of this team not be attributed to subpar coaching by Flip? To retain Flip for the rest of the season would be much like the waisted season with Etaps.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree we should of kept Eddie Jordan. Ernie fired him at his first opportunity, Abe went along because he was in very declining health & just went along w/ grunfeld's decision.

Now this team has no identity or stability. This team is in a freefall. A downward spiral similar to a toilet flush.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 9, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I believed it was time for Eddie to be fired. I also believed that it was noway that a better coach would not be hired. l also believed though not my choice that Flip was a good hire. Boy was I wrong about the second two.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

All this woofing about Kwame Brown scoring a few hoops on McGee is stupid. Everybody forgets that he once scored 30 on Chris Webber, and that he scored 16 against Tyson Chandler in one quarter. KB has some skills, or at least he used to. It was his fragile psyche that turned him into a bust. As a rookie, he had so much anxiety that Collins had to put him on the DL for a while, so that his skin would stop breaking out.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | January 9, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Say, don't the WIZ have two exceptions to use before the expiration? Use 'um or lose 'um right?

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 9, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

How can the overall play of this team not be attributed to subpar coaching by Flip?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

Flip has Kirk playing really well...just ask him he'll tell you...

Saunders said. "I thought Kirk played really well..."

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

How can the overall play of this team not be attributed to subpar coaching by Flip? To retain Flip for the rest of the season would be much like the waisted season with Etaps.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

----

sure, we can say that coaching is part of their problem.

in addition, in case you haven't noticed, most of the team is young in chronological years and even younger in mental years.

too often most of our younger ones just seem to give up after something goes wrong. see them drag down the court after the travel call on wall in the fourth? pitiful.

not sure what a coach could do to prevent that. would have liked to see flip pull everyone on the court at that point but doubt it would have helped any since I'm sure they all knew they shouldn't have done it.

another problem of course is that there's really not a whole lot of talent out on that court, as much as we may like to tell ourselves that guys like mcgee and young will blossom into all stars.

in any case, this is a rebuilding year. both mcgee and young have made real strides in their play. wall shows promise. the whole team is playing more like a team (especially on defense) since gil left.

doubt a coaching change in the middle of the year would significantly improve either the team's record or individual players' development.

ted isn't going to make a change until one is clearly warranted. he's certainly not going to do it less than half a year into the rebuilding process.


Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree we should of kept Eddie Jordan. Ernie fired him at his first opportunity, Abe went along because he was in very declining health & just went along w/ grunfeld's decision.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 9, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I always found it kind of strange that Ernie could convince Abe to fire Eddie on 11/24/08 after Ernie exercised Eddie option for the 09-10 season on 9/22/08?

But Ernie couldn't convince Abe the Wizards shoud have drafted a player with their 5th pick or draft Blair with the 2nd pick last year?

Wait...Ernie told us there weren't any impact players after the first 4 picks didn't he?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The reason I don't get the league pass is because I refuse to subsidise a league or the Wizards that produce a very poor product.

If more people would do the same the players would be making 5 mil a year and the ticket prices would be affordable enough that a family could go to the game.

Posted by: bulletsfan78

----

ah, a philosophical objection, got it.

consider me part of the problem. both go to games and have league pass.

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

doubt a coaching change in the middle of the year would significantly improve either the team's record or individual players' development.

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Not making a coaching change could hurt a few individual players' development.

Have no fear ETaps is here!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Everybody forgets that he once scored 30 on Chris Webber, and that he scored 16 against Tyson Chandler in one quarter."

Tyson was a big part of Kwame getting drafted #1. They worked out against one another and according to Kwame, he destroyed Chandler. That convinced the Washington management that picking Kwame was the way to go. Eddy Curry was also in the mix.

Later on, Michael, um, regretted that choice. But it's not Brown's fault that he was overrated.

Tyson Chandler is an athletic big man who has had trouble establishing and holding position against stronger players. Should sound familiar to Wiz fans. It's not a fatal condition to one's career, but the player does need to adapt to it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Love on rebounding:

"[His father Stan Love] wasn't the best rebounder in the world when he played. But he played with Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes and a guy named Elmore Smith, who blocked 17 shots in a game once with the Lakers, and he played against Wilt Chamberlain."

"He taught me about what he learned from playing with and against those guys -- positioning and footwork -- but more than anything, he taught me there's a mindset to rebounding: It's about assuming every shot is going to miss and how Bill Russell always used to say 80 percent of rebounds are below the rim and knowing I could have a lot of success doing it."

"I didn't have to be the most athletic guy. I didn't have to be the tallest guy or have the longest arms. I just had to have brute strength and the tenacity to go after every single one."

"I'm 6-9 without shoes on the best day of my life. At the predraft camp in 2008, they measured my wingspan at 6-11¾, and I grew out my fingernails for that, too."

"And I don't have the biggest hands in the world. I certainly don't have Mike Beasley hands, which are freakishly big. Mine are pretty normal."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

More Kevin Love on rebounding:

"I learned to position myself on the other side if a shot is going up from the corner because most missed shots bounce over to the far side of the rim....I learned if it's a long shot, the rebound is long most of the time. If it's 15 feet or 10 feet, it'll bounce in that similar vicinity... I learned about rebounding "zones." There's the zone you're in and then there's the one to your right and the one to your left. Some guys can rebound in one area alone. But if you can rebound in two or three different zones, you can be a very special rebounder."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

ah, a philosophical objection, got it.

consider me part of the problem. both go to games and have league pass.

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, that's the problem with this country. People make decisions based on what they want right now and not what will be better in the long run.

That's why I have never and will never step one foot inside a Wal Mart.

I buy american made products when I can.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

sure, we can say that coaching is part of their problem.

in addition, in case you haven't noticed, most of the team is young in chronological years and even younger in mental years.

too often most of our younger ones just seem to give up after something goes wrong. see them drag down the court after the travel call on wall in the fourth? pitiful.

not sure what a coach could do to prevent that. would have liked to see flip pull everyone on the court at that point but doubt it would have helped any since I'm sure they all knew they shouldn't have done it.

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 1:07 PM

Never let them see you sweat.

Ummm, MinuMang, you ever heard that before? I'm sure you have. That simple little statement has meaning and wisdom well beyond the words.

You see, young players out on the floor as the Wizards and how they carry themselves has everything to do with philosophy, attitude, and the character that the Team/Coach wants to portray. It comes from leadership and coaching.

To think that these players go into the tank and mope and forget about the task at hand because they are just young is the wrong conclusion to draw. Because you are young, you do not have to show the character of a loser (never let them see you sweat). It is a teachable philosophy. Let your young players know that yes, you will make mistakes, but play on and don't get down on the court.

Flip constantly coaches to mistakes with the stick instead of the carrot. The way his team respond to mistakes is a direct result of his coaching philosophy.

Some coaches mostly let their players play through mistakes and even encourage them with positive advice to do and perform better. The instant McGee or Young make a mistake they know they are getting the stick and not the carrot, so who is going to hold up their head and respond positively in the moment to the stick. It is natural to respond negatively to the stick but on the other hand it may be natural to respond postively to the carrot.

With the stick approach, when a mistake is made, they are listening for the horn, looking over their shoulder to the sideline for they know they are getting benched.

Even last night Young got benched for standing up for himself. Where is the comraderie?

IMO the young player needs the carrot more than the vet, because you are teaching the young player and the carrot approach makes it easier to teach and also for the player to learn OJT as we say in the Army, On the Job Training, or more to the point, on the floor.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

anyone on here that defends flip as the right coach for this team is smoking an illegal substance! i am not saying that flip cannot coach a basketball team...i am saying that flip is not and cannot coach this particular tem and be successful and that's no matter if we get a full healthy compliment of players! also the defenders of andre blatche as a right fit for this team are using an illegal substance to gather thier thoughts as well...andre does not play defense...he takes terrible shots that the other squad rebounds and usual;ly scores off of...he is 6'10 248lbs and he plays like a small forward with no tenacity...andre needs to be traded and if we can get a tough defensive minded player for him we'll be very lucky! if the wizards continue to allow flip and andre to be apart of this team then we will probably continue to be winless on the road and go soft in the crucial moments of the game...ted wake up and do the right thing...FLIP AND ANDRE MUST GO!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | January 9, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Samson151,

That is great stuff on Stan Love, absolutely great stuff.

Unfortunately, the mentorship and leadership that he was fortunate to have through his father is mainly what is lost here or isn't materializing in a real way for these players.

All players know this stuff and realize in the final analysis they have to make it happen themselves.

But it is nothing like seeing the passion in someone eyes thats 'been their done that' and they are passing it on to you.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

anyone on here that defends flip as the right coach for this team is smoking an illegal substance! also the defenders of andre blatche as a right fit for this team are using an illegal substance to gather thier thoughts as well...

Posted by: ronniecope106 | January 9, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

ronniecope106

The illegal substance you are talking about is legal out here in CA and my doctor has told me I need to smoke it everyday but it hasn't hurt my judgement since when it comes to Flip and AB I agree with you...


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

crack ain't legal yet!! even in cali bulletsfan!!!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | January 9, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"That is great stuff on Stan Love, absolutely great stuff.Unfortunately, the mentorship and leadership that he was fortunate to have through his father is mainly what is lost here or isn't materializing in a real way for these players." posted by LarryInClintonMD

It's not a piece about mentorship. It's a piece about how to rebound.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

anyone on here that defends . . .is smoking an illegal substance!
also the defenders . . . are using an illegal substance
Posted by: ronniecope106

Interesting argument: If you don't agree with me, you are on drugs!

Posted by: nmik | January 9, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"All this woofing about Kwame Brown scoring a few hoops on McGee is stupid. Everybody forgets that he once scored 30 on Chris Webber, and that he scored 16 against Tyson Chandler in one quarter. KB has some skills, or at least he used to. It was his fragile psyche that turned him into a bust. As a rookie, he had so much anxiety that Collins had to put him on the DL for a while, so that his skin would stop breaking out."

Posted by: pjkiger1 | January 9, 2011 12:58 PM


Actually, the big problem with Brown has always been his near complete lack of skill. He came into the NBA with great size, strength, and athleticism, but never bothered to develop any meaningful offensive skill or moves to go with it. He was so good physically that, when he was younger, he could occasionally dominate opponents with sheer physicality (an ability which, as you noted, was often undermined by his fragile confidence), but now that he's closing in on 30, he can't really get away with that anymore.

A potential cautionary tale for McGee.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

It's not a piece about mentorship. It's a piece about how to rebound.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 2:56 PM

Being mentored by Bob Love whom just happens to be your father and was a NBA professional passing on the art of rebounding as he saw and experienced to his son isn't mentorship???

Samson151, stop splitting hairs. That was a good piece. Don't be petty. Accept it as that. What's wrong? Splitting hairs cause it is coming from me.

Surely the piece is about rebounding and mentorship from a father to a son as well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

no sir...defending flip and andre as neccessary components for this team to be successful especially with the record and the way this team is playing is what my issue(s) are with...they are not competitive and this squad has potential and should not be losing to squads like Sac by 15--20 points...they are playing a stretch of games right now where they should at the very least come out .500 lets see where they are at the end of this stretch...i am willing to give flip/andre till the all-star break but if we do that we will certainly be out of any playoff contention...it's really disappointing because i could tell after about 15 games that flip was not the man for this particular team...i really don't know why andre play so soft/weak I thought this would be a great year for him especially with the addition of a playmaker like wall and a vet point like hinrich...

Posted by: ronniecope106 | January 9, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Bob Love: "I didn't have to be the most athletic guy. I didn't have to be the tallest guy or have the longest arms. I just had to have brute strength and the tenacity to go after every single [rebound]."

JaVale McGee: "Things weren't falling for us, rebounds weren't coming to us, and it wasn't there for us. . . . It's real disappointing, because we definitely wanted to come out with the same performance that we had at home. But just didn't work out as planned."

Comment would be superfluous.

Posted by: nmik | January 9, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

anyone on here that defends flip as the right coach for this team is smoking an illegal substance! also the defenders of andre blatche as a right fit for this team are using an illegal substance to gather thier thoughts as well...

Posted by: ronniecope106 | January 9, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree anyone who thinks Flip is a good coach for this team would have to either be smoking crack or very delusional since his record is 35-82?

Smoking MJ can't get you that out of it...and believe me I've tried.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Comment would be superfluous.

Posted by: nmik | January 9, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

He is like all of Ernie's draft picks and his coaches they have potential which no one other then Ernie can see...

That's what makes Ernie a genius

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

JaVale McGee: "Things weren't falling for us, rebounds weren't coming to us, and it wasn't there for us. . . . "

Apparently McGee practices the Zen approach to rebounding, where you establish a peaceful symbiosis with the ball, calmly willing it to come to you of its own accord, rather than physically pursuing the ball in an aggressive manner, which only leads down the path of violence and disharmony.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

This enthralling, premature news can’t come to fruition soon enough. Friday night at the Phone Booth, Avery’s armadillos turned in the “no-est” of no-shows against those wonderful Wizards of “Take Back” Ted Leonsis.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/nets/melo_deal_would_revamp_nets_LSGirTGxp4sUd6x4wuln6O#ixzz1AZUxyy00

Hey Ted- They're making you into a joke... just like Grunfeld is playing you and making you irrelevant. Wondeful Wizards... LOL

Posted by: member8 | January 9, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Aaron Rodgers just said about head coach Mike McCarthy...

"the more respect he shows us the more we respect him."

who would have thought a coach can get more from his players by giving them praise and respect then he can by criticizing them in the media and blaming them for the losses?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"who would have thought a coach can get more from his players by giving them praise and respect then he can by criticizing them in the media and blaming them for the losses?"

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 4:29 PM

Certainly not Phil Jackson, Larry Brown, or Jerry Sloan (among many others), all of whom have frequently (and, in the case of Brown and Jackson, routinely) called out their players in the media. But they're only, by almost unanimous consensus, among the greatest coaches of all times, so what do they know?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"Bob Love: "I didn't have to be the most athletic guy. I didn't have to be the tallest guy or have the longest arms. I just had to have brute strength and the tenacity to go after every single [rebound]."

Bob Love is the 'Butterbean' who played for Chicago across from Chet Walker and later wrote a book about his severe stuttering problem, which plagued him after retirement. He eventually became a motivational speaker and director of community relations for the Bulls.

Or perhaps Courtney Love... she spent a lot of time on the rebound.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Smoking MJ can't get you that out of it...and believe me I've tried.Posted by: bulletsfan78"

Have you tried NOT smoking so much marijuana? Might clear up your thinking. If nothing else you could possibly remember what you said so you wouldn't have to repeat it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Bob Love is the 'Butterbean' who played for Chicago

LOL. Sure is, thanks. My apologies to both Kevin and Bob.

Posted by: nmik | January 9, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@kalo_rama: Yes and no, bro. KB didn't have much in the way of low-post skills, but as he displayed in the summer league in 2001, he had at least a few basic facing-the-basket moves, and he could make uncontested 15-18 footers. To me, Kwame' weakness--aside from his psyche--was that he wasn't really the sort of athletic freak that Amare, Howard or LeBron are. He was big and muscular, but he couldn't run the court or jump exceptionally well, and he didn't have great hands, agility, quickness or mid-air body control. Blatche and McGee are also works in progress, but they are both far better athletes than KB.


Posted by: pjkiger1 | January 9, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Have you tried NOT smoking so much marijuana?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

No...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Or perhaps Courtney Love... she spent a lot of time on the rebound.

Posted by: Samson151

Apologies, the rimshot machine is broken this week. :)

Posted by: ts35 | January 9, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Have you tried NOT smoking so much marijuana?
Posted by: Samson151

No...
Posted by: bulletsfan78

My favorite post of the young 2011.

Posted by: ts35 | January 9, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"the more respect he shows us the more we respect him."

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I think the Laker players respect Phil since he has a few rings...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Getting closer to a Carmelo deal, although they may still involve a fourth club. From ESPN:

"The primary elements... call for New Jersey to acquire Anthony, Billups and Hamilton; Denver to land Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow and at least two first-round picks; and Detroit to acquire Troy Murphy and Johan Petro."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if any of you follow this, America's only serious sports network...

http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Getting closer to a Carmelo deal, although they may still involve a fourth club. From ESPN:

"The primary elements... call for New Jersey to acquire Anthony, Billups and Hamilton; Denver to land Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow and at least two first-round picks; and Detroit to acquire Troy Murphy and Johan Petro."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 9:15 PM

I really hope the Pistons insist on at least one first round pick from the Nets in that deal. The Nets can write it off on the books as a "garbage removal fee" because the Pistons are gettin' crap in that deal (aside from cap space, of course).

I wonder if Billups' agent telling anyone who will listen that Chauncey wants a buyout if he gets traded to NJ has held things up any.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"I really hope the Pistons insist on at least one first round pick from the Nets in that deal"

More from the report:
"One key to the advancing nature of negotiations, sources said, is the Nets' and Nuggets' willingness to complete a trade without asking Detroit to surrender a first-round pick."

"When the talks involving Detroit as a potential third-team facilitator were first reported Friday night by the Bergen Record of New Jersey, sources told ESPN.com that the Pistons were balking largely because they were being asked to surrender a first-rounder."

"Yet sources said one of the remaining potential snags is New Jersey's insistence that the Pistons absorb the contract of Petro."

"The Pistons do not want to take back Petro, even though shedding Hamilton's contract in exchange for Murphy and the Nets center would represent an overall savings of roughly $17 million."

"Sources say Detroit's stance on Petro has prompted New Jersey to begin looking for a fourth team that might be willing to take on the 24-year-old big man."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Waitaminnit! The Nets and Nuggets were originally asking Detroit to give them a first rounder in that deal? Wow! That's pretty ballsy.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

So that makes winning the third priority after location and money, if Carmelo agrees to that deal. The team doesn't even make the playoffs if Billups leaves(Miami?).

With Hamilton off the books for next year, Detroit might be able to do something with Prince, instead of just letting him walk.

George Karl is really good with PGs, so this might end up a blessing for Harris. Denver makes out well in this deal, considering.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 9, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Waitaminnit! The Nets and Nuggets were originally asking Detroit to give them a first rounder in that deal? Wow! That's pretty ballsy.
Posted by: kalo_rama

----

detroit's been desperate for quite a while to unload rip's contract. doubt anything else mattered as much.|

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"detroit's been desperate for quite a while to unload rip's contract."

As I native Detroiter and decades-long Pistons fan, I'm well aware of this and agree fully that Hamilton needs to go. But expecting Detroit to take on a garbage contract (Petro) AND give up a pick so (A) NJ can land Carmelo and/or (B) Denver can be left holding something other than their own empty sack in their hands when Carmelo walks is like walking into a bank to rob the place and asking the guard if you can borrow his gun.

"doubt anything else mattered as much."

Posted by: MinuMang | January 9, 2011 10:55 PM

Apparently it mattered to Joe D. since, according to the excerpts from the article, he refused to give up the pick.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

DeShawn Stevenson, SG, Dallas Mavericks (8.4 percent owned): Stevenson has started 29 of the Mavericks' 31 contests this season, although he is quickly subbed out in most games, making his average minutes per game a paltry 16.1. In that limited time, he's been excellent from downtown, averaging 1.6 3s per game while shooting 46.3 percent. Now that Caron Butler is out for the rest of the season, his prospects have greatly increased, and he's been scorching of late. The Mavs suddenly need his offense from the perimeter to go along with his stingy defense, and he's played more than 33 minutes in each of the past three contests, going an insane 13-for-29 from 3-point range in that span. He might have been starting all season but wasn't really getting starters' minutes. Now that has changed with the Butler injury. He should be able to average double-digit points with around two 3s and close to a steal per game in his current situation, and his recent 3-point barrage demonstrates the fact that he has the green light to gun. Stevenson has made a case for being worth adding in all formats, and those who noticed his high 3-point totals on a per-minute basis and stashed him on their benches are reaping the benefits. He boasts few turnovers and solid percentages, so he won't hurt you anywhere, and he suddenly has become one of the most helpful sources of 3s in the game. Stevenson is a perfect example of a player performing well in limited time who just needed an opportunity to increase his aggregate production. Now he has that opportunity, so pounce to add him if he's still available.

http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/basketball/fba/story?page=wtw110107

Sincerely, Les Boules prophet jr. ftw

Posted by: prescrunk | January 10, 2011 5:23 AM | Report abuse

GET RID OF FLIP!!!! Oh, and GUMP-FELD!!!

Posted by: cbmuzik | January 10, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

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