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Posted at 8:29 AM ET, 02/23/2011

Another lopsided loss raises questions of accountability

By Gene Wang
Morning brew

The Washington Wizards have been through plenty of rough patches during this rebuilding season, but last night's 113-96 loss to Indiana was especially disheartening given the lack of effort. What's more, the Wizards had nearly five days off to rest during the all-star break yet displayed little energy in their 11th loss in 13 games and their third in a row at home by double figures.

It also was the worst way to begin the final 28 games of the season for the Wizards, who immediately following the loss faced some difficult questions about how to explain the poor showing after talking so much about setting a new tone.

"We've really got to pick it up," Nick Young said. "We've got to end this year off good. The last two home games we were down by almost 30 each time. We've just got to come out and play harder. We've got to fight out there, and that's something we're lacking."

Young was among the most conspicuous culprits. In his first game back after missing last Wednesday's 101-76 loss at Orlando because of knee bruise, the Wizards' leading scorer missed his first nine shots and finished with 16 points on 4-for-15 shooting. Rookie point guard John Wall had 15 points but shot 5 for 15. He had 10 assists and eight rebounds but six turnovers.

Then there was starting center JaVale McGee, who gained some national exposure during the dunk contest this past weekend. McGee finished with five points in 22 minutes. Andray Blatche was the only starter who managed to shoot better than 50 percent.

Coach Flip Saunders, according to players, addressed the recent pattern of uninspired performances, intimating playing time could be at stake should there be more of the same.

"His message to the team was if the [starting] five is not out there performing or guys aren't getting the job done, I'm going to my bench to find five guys that can get it done," said Rashard Lewis, who played 20 minutes in an effort to give him more time to manage the tendinitis in his right knee. "The guys on the court have to get it done regardless if they're starters or second string. If they're not getting it done, he's going to find five guys that are going to go out there and at least play with effort."

It wasn't only the starters who failed. Washington's bench produced just 25 points while the Pacers got 48 from their reserves, including 17 from Tyler Hansbrough, who outscored all but one of the Wizards' starters.

"The thing we're trying to find out is if some of our starters, and we don't know, do they feel like they're entitled as far as to play 30 to 35 [minutes] no matter how they're playing?" Saunders said. "They're not going to develop that way. They do have to have a sense of urgency."

With three games this week against playoff teams, the Wizards can hardly afford to have a repeat of last night. Washington plays Philadelphia tonight, then travels to Miami on Friday and comes home to face Dallas on Saturday.

The 76ers occupy the seventh slot in the Eastern Conference, and the Heat is second. The Mavericks are currently the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, and like Miami are chasing San Antonio for the best record in the league.

"The consequences are you don't play," Saunders said when asked what repercussions his players face if the trend continues. "Those are the consequences."

FROM THE POST
Here are the game story and postgame wrap-up.

Michael Lee joined the gang on Post Sports Live to discuss the Carmelo Anthony trade.

The NBA is hoping to speed up games with warning horns.

AROUND THE WEB
Kyle Weidie offers advice for surviving the Wizards Blues (Truth About It).

Sean Fagan briefly recaps the disheartening loss to the Pacers (Bullets Forever).

As Carmelo Anthony's debut as a Knick draws closer, Adrian Wojnarowski analyzes Isiah Thomas's role in the trade (Yahoo!Sports).

David Aldridge weighs in on the trade and a variety of other topics (NBA.com).

By Gene Wang  | February 23, 2011; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards bench provides little support
Next: Wizards could be quiet at trade deadline

Comments

HAWKS INTERESTED IN HINRICH

The Atlanta Hawks are interested in Washington Wizards veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich, according to league sources, but the Hawks are not willing to give Washington both a young player and a first-round pick for Hinrich, the Wizards’ current asking price.

Atlanta is trying to convince Washington take back veteran Mike Bibby for Hinrich, pointing out the potential cap savings for the Wizards. Hinrich is scheduled to make $8 million next season, while Bibby only will make $6.2 million. Both would be entering the final year of their respective contracts next season. The Wizards, though, want to continue their youth movement–though Washington isn’t interested in taking on the two years and $15.7 million that will be left on swingman Marvin Williams‘s contract after this season.

The Hawks are reluctant to put a first-round pick in the deal, especially considering the Wizards already got a first from Chicago last year when the Bulls traded Hinrich to Washington to clear salary cap space. The Wizards used that pick to select French big man Kevin Seraphin, who has played sporadically this season for Flip Saunders.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

i say get what we can for hinrich, bibby and a first round pick would even be enough for me, even though a younger player would be better.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

The accountability lies squarely in the front office. This is, simply put, a lazy, soft, uninspired and unphysical team. Mcgee, size and hops notwithstanding, is no offensive threat on the inside save for the occasional lob dunk. On the defensive end, every block of his is nullified by allowing his man an easy layup or failing to slide over to prevent a teammate's man from making one. Mcgee remains rookie potential, just. Young, too, despite lighting it up more as a streaky shooter than in years past is hardly what you would call a consummate pro. He is still soft, still rarely fills up the rebounds and assists in the stats sheet and mopes more than asserts. He is never, and will never be aggressive, disciplined, tough. Blatche, meanwhile, has regressed back to the Antwan Jamison era, playing soft, selfish meaningless ball. Josh Howard is a pro's pro, but had serious injury issues before Grunfeld re-signed him as an expensive reclamation project, as he is apt to do. John Wall is the only night-in, night-out pro we have. With the exception of Hinrich, the view gets worse the further down one looks on the bench. This is the mess Grunfeld has assembled and Flip has failed to coach up. "Rebuilding" is just a word the front office uses when it wants to excuse its poor performance, especially when the GM has been there for 8 years and the coach two. Why always make it about the players? As far as I remember, there hasn't been a single blog about the poor performance of Grunfeld over these past three seasons, which have been dismal even by Wizards' standards. That's where the real question of accountability lies.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 23, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

In Grunfeld We Trust... NOT.
TLG = Ted Lose Grunfeld ............ pleeeeeeeeez.

Posted by: member8 | February 23, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't read too much into the Indy game. Basically a question of one team showing up to play basketball and the other still mentally at home enjoying the long weekend. The Pacers went right at McGee -- always a good strategy against a shotblocker -- and no doubt Hibbert enjoyed sticking it to his fellow big man. The Pacers are fighting for a playoff spot and looked it. The Wiz are 27 games from the end of a miserable campaign.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Marvin Williams for Hinrich? YES. He plays an area of need, he's young, and he's good. Bibby would be terrible, and a draft pick in the bottom 20 of the draft has very little value, particularly in the 2011 draft.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 23, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

blatches stats are always decieving, his stats look decent but his play is awful. he is the face of losing the wizards losing basketball. sad but true, hes soft, and even worse hes lazy.

and

"The thing we're trying to find out is if some of our starters, and we don't know, do they feel like they're entitled as far as to play 30 to 35 [minutes] no matter how they're playing?" Saunders said. "They're not going to develop that way. They do have to have a sense of urgency."

but still saunders will play blatche no matter what.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

yea marvin is better than williams, but i dont see him being worth his contract. but something needs to be shaken up with this team...

---------------------------------------------Marvin Williams for Hinrich? YES. He plays an area of need, he's young, and he's good. Bibby would be terrible, and a draft pick in the bottom 20 of the draft has very little value, particularly in the 2011 draft.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 23, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Why always make it about the players?" Posted by: SammyT1"

Because they're the ones out there on the court. If they were high school kids, or at some NCAA program, or NBA rookies, then you'd have a point. But the core of this current team -- Blatche, Nick Young, McGee -- has played a total of 839 games in Wizards uniforms. It's time we let them take responsibility for their own performance.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

funny how the Wiz claim KH was hurt a week ago in the Magic game, when everyone knows he's perfectly fine but is about to be traded

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Coach Flip Saunders, according to players, addressed the recent pattern of uninspired performances, intimating playing time could be at stake should there be more of the same."

Hey, coach, don't make any snap decisions here. There's still a few games left this season, so you don't have to rush into anything. Caution above all, I say.

Posted by: sparman | February 23, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"and a draft pick in the bottom 20 of the draft has very little value, particularly in the 2011 draft."

Actually it has some real value. The back end of this draft class is unlikely to be any weaker than last season, or the season before. The uncertainty lies at the top of the lottery. You can package a pick in the 20's with a player or another pick (say, from 2012 o4 13) to move up in the draft -- much harder to do that with a player and existing contract. The stronger teams may not have space on the roster or under the cap for rookies.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Why are we saving Javale like we're gonna need him to close out games? He should foul out of every single game. Like it or not, we play better when he's in there whether he's giving a halfhearted effort or not. His length alone makes a difference.

Let's play the young guy a full game, treat him like a starting C and see what we've got. I see far too many games when he plays 24 minutes and winds up with 4 fouls. It's not like we have a young Alonzo Mourning behind him waiting to come in. Let it ride.

Posted by: original_mark1 | February 23, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Of course Flip shares responsibility for this team's record, it's his team. Just look how the Pacers have completely turned around since changing coaches and going with a young guy. We're 50 games into a toilet bowl season and last night is when Flip finally decides to talk about accountability? I'm sure they'll all listen now.

Doesnt matter though, Flip is just a placeholder same as most of the players on the roster.

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't mind dealing kirk to the hawks for Marvin Williams. Apparently he's on the block. That would give us more depth at SF. Don't want Bibby though. I'd take Kirk over Bibby right now.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | February 23, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I follow the HAWKS. Believe me you don't want either one. Even though WILLIAMS' value stats match HINRICH this season, we need a seasoned two to take HINRICH's place.

And I question 'Duck's abilities, although he's improved this season. Not a believer in his overall body of work to this point, nor his future in the NBA long-term. Bench material/marginal starter at best in my estimation.

We have a higher probability of getting the best three in this draft, and we should aim for that slot.

Unless we get lucky and grab JARED SULLINGER. Then we could trade BLATCHE for another piece we need, say a partner for McGEE at the five with SULLINGER, SERAPHIN and LEWIS at the four.

BOOK as a tweener.

And keep THORNTON and HOWARD with MARTIN as back-up at the three/two.

Or a five in the draft strong enough to let McGEE try the four in spots. LEWIS and McGEE running four with SERAPHIN/BOOKER as back-up might look good with someone solid who has their back.

N'DIAYE remains a mystery at that slot. Unfortunately, ARMSTRONG is not any longer, and is not the answer. Strictly bench material.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 23, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Why are we saving Javale like we're gonna need him to close out games? He should foul out of every single game.

Agree 100%. Has he fouled out once this season? Let him foul out and watch backups come in and try to take his job. Players need to learn to play with fouls.

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

There was such a mad rush by Ernie Grunfield to get rid of Eddie Jordan and to bring in his boy, Flip Saunders (might as well be Flip Wilson). The results have been horrible!! Who is holding Ernie accountable for his decision making and who is grading Flip's coaching acumen? They both should be fired and the sooner, the better!! Let's get a credible GM and coach here, finally!! These guys don't deserve to be allowed to clean out their offices!

Posted by: JosephColeman1 | February 23, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Remember too, I'm a five down kind of guy, not a one up builder of champion NBA teams. Or one and five with fill-ins if you have that option.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 23, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Seems like there many fan opinions of the players and their play. What I would like to see is a column from someone at the Post giving an honest assessment of the players and the coach. These guys are around them every day and should have a good feel for what is going on. I think as fans we deserve to know. What say, guys?

Posted by: okelley2nd | February 23, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Grunfield MUST go-how do we get Ted to get rid of im-STOP attending games-see what Ted does when 3000 people show up every game-i stopped going to games years ago-why waste my hard earned $ on a franchise that has stunk for over 3 and a half decades-remember some of the gm's of the past? it all starts with them,and their lack of picking good talent-Washigton gm;s have picking mediocre talent down to a T-Wall is exception-but if nothing around him improves,you think he resigns?? no way

Posted by: NMB-Bob | February 23, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Why always make it about the players?" Posted by: SammyT1"

Because they're the ones out there on the court. If they were high school kids, or at some NCAA program, or NBA rookies, then you'd have a point. But the core of this current team -- Blatche, Nick Young, McGee -- has played a total of 839 games in Wizards uniforms. It's time we let them take responsibility for their own performance.

----------------

Of course, they are absurdly rich pros who need to account for themselves. However, simultaneous with any evaluation of them on a given night is the issue of whether they are the right players to begin with. This blog assumes they are and surmises that there will be a line-up shake-up if they do not improve. What if, for whatever reason - a lack of talent, mental toughness, passion, skills etc. - they will never be championship caliber, or even above-average players? At some point you can't blame a driver for not winning the NASCAR if he's driving a jalopy. A deeper analysis points back to the Architect. His name is Grunfeld. He's the teflon man. There hasn't been a single negative word written about him by the Post staff despite a .400 winning percentage over eight years and soon-to-be a third straight year at the top of the Draft lottery. When he traded the fifth overall pick for two average vets who left in a year with nothing to show, then sold the second pick instead of drafting Blair, not a peep from the Post. Mr. Lee, I dig your post and think you have a bright future, but continuing to give Grunfeld a free pass is becoming notably conspicuous.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 23, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

im sure steve bukhantz and phil chenier agree with most fans on these message boards, id be curious to hear what they had to say about the coaching but no one wants to lose there job or get in those types of messes.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I said it when EJ was coaching here Blatche is typical of a lot young players he thinks he's entitled, no matter what he's told he has all the answers well we see the result of that mindset. The Hawk's will not part with Marvin Williams and if i'm Grunfeld i don't want Bibby. Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, and Joe Johnson are the reason Mike Woodson is no longer coaching here in the A-T-L. Javale McGee will not get better until he has a coach that stays in his azz 24/7 and can teach McGee the nuances of the center position, until that happens he'll be just another seven foot jack in the box.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 23, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Questions, frustrations, ponderings:

Why does it seem the biggest offenders on the team seem to be the ones expressing the lack of player effort during interviews?

Why does it seem that Blatche gives the most uninspired 20-10 in the NBA. This kid has the ability to dominate and be a top 10 player but for some reason isn't.

Is Nick Young the most frustrating player on this team to watch from game to game?

I know JaVale is young, but is he really a starter?

When the entire team goes for quarters without being able to hit shots am I the only one that wants to run onto the court and see if I can shoot any better?

John Wall must be wishing he only had a 1 year contract.

Does anyone else find themselves bored during the game and switches channels back and forth to Dirtiest Jobs?

Why doesn't Flip break bad on these guys. I WANT them scared to death that if they don't perform they will be on the bench!

Enough, for now.

Posted by: okelley2nd | February 23, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't make a trade just to make a trade. Hinrich was brought in to mentor john wall just as Kirk and lindsay hunter mentored Derrick Rose. Bibby is having career low stats and hinrich has bibby beat in every statistical category but 3pt FG%. I haven't heard of Bibby being a locker room guy and mentor.

Although Jordan Crawford seems like an interesting project. I remember the preseason game with the wizards where he scored 30 pts and dunked on Lebron in that infamous video. Bibby and crawford and that would be something to consider.

Posted by: jefferu | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Who is holding Ernie accountable for his decision making and who is grading Flip's coaching acumen? They both should be fired and the sooner, the better!! Let's get a credible GM and coach here, finally!! These guys don't deserve to be allowed to clean out their offices!

Posted by: JosephColeman1 | February 23, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The man who writes the checks, TL. The one who is waiting and watching. Two plus years more before accountability hits the front-office.

The coach will be the first to go, mid-season or later next year if he goes at all. EG in two plus if things don't improve.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"However, simultaneous with any evaluation of them on a given night is the issue of whether they are the right players to begin with. This blog assumes they are and surmises that there will be a line-up shake-up if they do not improve. What if, for whatever reason - a lack of talent, mental toughness, passion, skills etc. - they will never be championship caliber, or even above-average players? At some point you can't blame a driver for not winning the NASCAR if he's driving a jalopy. Posted by SammyT1"

I don't think WI assumes anything of the sort. I suspect Mike Lee and the gang know as well or better than we do exactly how untalented this team is. But unlike some of us, they understand that's what happens when you 'blow up' your troubled roster and embark on a wholesale restructuring. Once that decision has been made, what's the point of endless remonstrations about the end product? We already know (or should have known) what was to come.

Certainly Ernie and Flip and Ted hoped for better. But they were clearly prepared for worse. You can't stick around the NBA and pro sports without learning something about how these things work.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

A soft, athletic, tweener with high upside and great length whose contract is a year more than Hinrich's. No thank you--stop talking about what people thought this guy could become when he was the 6th man on UNC. Get draft picks!

Posted by: audacitea | February 23, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

ted wont hasnt fired flip or ernie yet because its a business in his eyes. he doesent want to lose money by terminating their contracts early. sure winning would make him happier, but hes still happy as long as hes making more money, ticket sales are going up, and his groupons are selling.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Blatche, Young, McGee -- 839 games, guys. 290 starts.

Let the players take responsibility for their play.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

i'd do it. hinrich is terrible

Posted by: slick3 | February 23, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Just look how the Pacers have completely turned around since changing coaches and going with a young guy. Posted by divi3"

Couple notable differences:

1) Indy is in Year 3 of a rebuild, not Year One. That's a big reason they made a coaching change.
2) The Pacers won 32 games last season. They've won 25 so far this year, on pace to finish with around 37 victories.
3) They're motivated by the fight for a playoff spot -- the Wiz aren't in the running.
4) That's a more talented team than Washington.

Not that the above has any impact on fan logic, but worth noting anyway.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"I suspect Mike Lee and the gang know as well or better than we do exactly how untalented this team is. But unlike some of us, they understand that's what happens when you 'blow up' your troubled roster and embark on a wholesale restructuring. Once that decision has been made, what's the point of endless remonstrations about the end product? We already know (or should have known) what was to come."

The "point" is whether the man who built a house so poor that it needed to be 'blown up' is the right architect to rebuild it. It is a legitimate question and one this paper has yet to address. I'm not looking for an 'endless remonstration', a single focused analysis would do. Anything. Until there is some accountability on the issue, Grunfeld will continue to run the team into the ground by drafting soft, skinny jump shooting interior players, immature projects, foreign players who never play a lick for us, re-signing injured vets or marginal players to ill-advised long-term deals, trading quality for other teams' underachieving projects, etc.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 23, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Why are we saving Javale like we're gonna need him to close out games? He should foul out of every single game. Like it or not, we play better when he's in there whether he's giving a halfhearted effort or not. His length alone makes a difference.

Let's play the young guy a full game, treat him like a starting C and see what we've got. I see far too many games when he plays 24 minutes and winds up with 4 fouls. It's not like we have a young Alonzo Mourning behind him waiting to come in. Let it ride.

Posted by: original_mark1 |

I agree 100%!!!!!

Posted by: bobilly1 | February 23, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Talent or no talent, the lack of effort on the court remains a constant theme here.
Why it took Flip this long to figure out that several players take their positions for granted is beyond reason.

The rag tag team the Wizard had post last year's trade didn't win many games, but they were fun to watch.
Singleton, Gee, Thornton and Livingston are not world beaters, but there was visible hustle and effort.

Assuming that was a byproduct of the motivation of earning a place in the NBA, who is responsible for deteriming which players are driven to be winners and which will become complacent once they have an NBA contract?

How did Doug Collins get a poor performing team like the 76ers to show growth and intensity with basically the same roster Eddie Jordan had quit on him?
Philly's not a good team, but at least progress can be seen.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 23, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Bibby would be terrible, and a draft pick in the bottom 20 of the draft has very little value, particularly in the 2011 draft. Posted by: ZardsFan1

Right now that pick would be #21. That's good in any draft. Throw in Pape Sy and the trade is even better. Next season there should be a lot fewer minutes for Hinrich, so getting someone that will be strictly a backup PG makes sense.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 23, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

not a lot of booker and yi or thornton early on last night, Flip must've been holding them accountable for their lackadaisical attitudes and poor work ethic over the all star break.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 23, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

There's no arguing that the Wiz are a undertalented team in year one of a rebuild. A lot of the fustration could come from (let's be honest) They held on to the "Big Three" at least a year too long. To think they were going to compete for a title was dellusional at best. It really should not be year one of the rebuild.

Okay, they are were they are. Most sensible fans and just observers know that the Wizards roster just doesn't stack up. This notion that the players don't bear any responsibilty is an excuse. Everyone says they suck. What I think the point of the debate should be is in spite of their roster disadvantages, should they be as non competitve as they are. Being blown out by Indiana at home, after the all atar break. One road victory etc...

Their may not be a clear answer but it's a valid question.

Posted by: gmac78 | February 23, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey Ted, get rid of Grunfeld and give Saunders one more year. Pathetic for people making that kind of money. Fans should Boycott along with 'Skins.

Posted by: mofares | February 23, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

When I saw the headline "Another lopsided loss raises questions of accountability", I thought that we might actually be going to discuss the truth about the Wizards and accountability. However, the article turns out to be just more of the same. The treatment of Flip Saunders and John Wall is the Wizards version of The Emperor's New Clothes". It's way past time to recognize that what you see from John Wall now, is what you are going to get from John Wall in the future...out-of-control speed, poor judgment, and bad shooting. What you see from Flip Saunders now is the same that you could have seen throughout his career, little-man basketball. As evidenced by last night's game, the Wizard's are a better basketball team with John Wall on the bench. Also, as evidenced by comparing last night's Pacer's game to the Pacer's game the Wizard's won, the Wizards are a better team without Saunders coaching.
It's probably worth a try to replace Saunders with another coach who might be able to help John Wall develop something other than a head-long rush to the basket and alley-oop passes to McGee. But, if the Wizards consider that option they should pull the trigger now. It just might give fans some hope for next season and a reason to consider renewing season ticket plans. Not too many are going to sign up for a repeat of the past two seasons under Saunders. Fool me once and I'll give you another chance; fool me twice and you're done. Turn Saunders over, he's cooked.

Posted by: tomd1753 | February 23, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If you asked me the question about Ted sitting on the sidelines and getting a comfy feeling about the direction on the Team as specific to Saunders coaching, I would answer that it can't be anyways possible that Mr. Leonsis could grade Saunders positively.

Now, as suggested above, if it is a business decision not to replace the architects of this mess, then you have to evaluate whether Ted is making a good business decision.

My bet is, if when he took over the team after Grunfield blew it up, Mr. Leonsis should have made sure that all the fragments were cleaned up and outahere to include the GM and the Coach.

Now that would have been really blowing it up.

Start the whole thing over fresh starting with the GM, a fresh new young coach as per the new GM's wishes, (Mark Jackson) and by now the millions that he had to eat by firing the GM and the Coach, the Owner would be well on the way to recouping those millions by now.

Now thats a business decision.

And by the way Samson151, no team is giving a player and a number one pick for Kirk Hinrich.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

It's way past time to recognize that what you see from John Wall now, is what you are going to get from John Wall in the future...out-of-control speed, poor judgment, and bad shooting.

Hey, tomd1753, I hope that your prediction regarding John Wall's basketball future is inaccurate. Other than that, I agreed with everything else you had to say.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 23, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

good move for nets, but they still suck. wizards need to make a move or 2 before tomorrow

Sources: Nets to get Deron Williams

By Marc Stein and Chad Ford
ESPN.com

Trying to rebound from the disappointment of their failed pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, the New Jersey Nets have agreed to a blockbuster trade with the Utah Jazz for Deron Williams, sources said on Wednesday.

The Nets will send Derrick Favors and Devin Harris to Utah for the All-Star point guard.

Posted by: skinsfan09 | February 23, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

On another note, Sullinger doesnt look good. Watched a bunch of the OhioSt game last night and think he's going to drop in the draft, kid has "college player" written all over him IMO

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

And the Flip new line of benching players for not performing. Well, that's nothing new for McGee.

And hell yes, McGee will never learn how to stay out of foul trouble on the bench. Flip of all people should know that big men learned how to stay out of foul trouble by playing.

It is a fact that everyone knows that you are only allowed on 6 NBA fouls. It is a known fact of every player. However, the treatment and overuse of this 2-foul to the bench phenomenon that most all coaches employ nowadays is odd applied to most players.

McGee has to learn, not mentally, but physically how to play without getting fouls called. The referees just blow the whistle whenever he puts his hands up. McGee is getting the Dennis Rodman effect. The refs would find Rodman and blow the whistle.

McGee's foul delima is a product of coaching and not being allowed to play with fouls on the court and refereeing.

When McGee played all out and tried to go for blocks his fouls were not a huge issue. Now that he is trying to show restrait (coachability) by staying in position and going for the less blocks, his fouling is up and his blocks are down and he is less of a factor.

It is a coaching thing. But, don't let that stop Flip and Samson151 for blaming it all on McGee.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately this isnt the NFL where having multiple picks leads to a great team, even if none of them are top10 selections. It would be nice to get a late first or early 2nd for Kirk, but it's shuffling deck chairs until the team acquires another all-star calibre player to go with Wall. And that assumes Wall gets much better over the next 2yrs

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

2) The Pacers won 32 games last season. They've won 25 so far this year, on pace to finish with around 37 victories.

They were 17-27 and on a 6 game slide when they canned their coach. Specifically because of how he related to the players. Put the 37yr old guy in charge and they've gone 8-3 while breaking 100pts in every game. Hibbert is suddenly resurgent after falling off the map previously. The coach makes a difference, it couldn't be more obvious. Now they show up and compete every single night, whereas previously they were laying eggs.

That's what should be expected of Flip. Not wins from an sub-talented roster, but a team that competes every night. There is no excuse for soft, lackadaisical efforts.

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Vogel took over the Pacers and slashed Dunleavy's minutes shortly thereafter. How could he do such a thing to an established VETERAN?? Maybe Mike wasnt playing D, maybe he was playing lazy, but his minutes went into jeopardy immediately and suddenly the team was playing better.

Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse


"It's way past time to recognize that what you see from John Wall now, is what you are going to get from John Wall in the future...out-of-control speed, poor judgment, and bad shooting."

Posted by: tomd1753

Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber, you exceeded my expectations. I'll type this slowly for you: Wall's...a...rookie...on...a...bad...team. His numbers compare to those of C. Paul, D. Williams and D. Rose in their respective rookie years AND Wall's doing it while battling injuries, dealing with a talent-lean roster and a dysfunctional team culture. Wall's not the problem in the Wizards organization.

Posted by: bobabuie | February 23, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"They were 17-27 and on a 6 game slide when they canned their coach. Specifically because of how he related to the players. Put the 37yr old guy in charge and they've gone 8-3 while breaking 100pts in every game. Hibbert is suddenly resurgent after falling off the map previously. The coach makes a difference, it couldn't be more obvious. Now they show up and compete every single night, whereas previously they were laying eggs." Posted by divi3

More of the unique reasoning process we've come to know as 'divi-nation'. Of course they were on a slide when the coaching change was made -- why else would they make it? And who in his right mind would think that the key ingredient in Indy's success was the coach's age? Hibbert is 'resurgent', but have we completely forgotten how well he was playing earlier in the year, when SI was nominating him for Most Improved and he was giving praise to his coach -- Jim O'Brien?

BTW, guess the Bobcats better fire Paul Silas -- he'll be 68 in July. And Greg Popovich turned 62 last month -- let's put him out to pasture. Doc Rivers is 50, better line up a replacement -- maybe the video coordinator?

Indy's a team playing to hold on to the 8th playoff spot -- in other words, mediocrity. The very same thing folks around here criticized the Wiz for prior to last season's Big Meltdown.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Aside from all that hyperbole, the fact remains that the Pacers got rid of their coach and are now playing better and are more competitive.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 23, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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