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Posted at 6:03 PM ET, 02/ 5/2011

Open thread: Wizards (13-36) vs. Hawks (31-19)

By Michael Lee

The Wizards will play the Atlanta Hawks for the third time this season after losing the previous two meetings at Philips Arena. Although the Wizards have won 13 games at home, the Hawks (32-18) have won 15 games on the road, which ties Boston for the second-most in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks also have won 11 consecutive games against the Wizards, but they will be without all-star center Al Horford, who landed awkwardly on his backside after taking a flagrant foul from Blake Griffin at the end of their 101-100 win on Friday.The Wizards have lost seven in a row and are hoping to avoid setting a new season-high for consecutive losses after losing seven straight in December.

Let the conversation begin in the thread below. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee). See your tweets here by using #wizards.

Tipoff: 7 p.m.; TV: CSN; Radio: 106.7 FM. Check out a live box score from tonight's game here.

By Michael Lee  | February 5, 2011; 6:03 PM ET
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after a beat down last night with this being the 2nd game of a back to back and the Hawks being almost 20 games over .500 and has one of the best road records, I fully expect a complete drubbing.

I would like to see how Booker plays against Horford tho

Posted by: mrhney03 | February 5, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Man, how is it possible that I actually hate McGee getting the ball at this moment more then I did Wood? Man he looks so awful on Offense. No coordination but at the same time he's a great athelete. Its crazy.

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I know one thing for sure, if we get blown out then we really have to start looking at axing Flip because not only are we now losing but our effort lately is putrid. Now I cut him some slack in that we were playing hard and now weve played so many games lately that we might be running out of gas but still. These guys are looking like they quit. Not to mention the system is looking more & more putrid every day.

Again, not all his fault. Guys effort is sickening and you shouldnt have to motivate pros but still, sometimes teams can turn a coach off and then they dont play hard anymore. I know one thing, its far far far too many games left for us to be looking like this. We look like bad teams do when they have just like 5 games left in the season and they cant wait for it to end. Shoot, I watch the Cavs and they play hard. Byron Scott demands it. They just arent good. Our guys arent playing hard right now.

The flip side to that though is maybe its a good thing to keep him because he could help us get a top pick However, you cant let him finish the year just to axe him at the end, can you? On the other hand, why not? We dont owe him anything. Our guys would always play harder in games they knew were on National TV but they dont even do that anymore. Its like they dont care and just cant wait for the year to end and hope to come back better next season. Meanwhile a real pro like Kirk is the only guy who's bringing it every night

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

wow, we put the max effort/high energy lineup in the game and we look like a 10x better team.

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

do that every single time Dray. Strong aggressive moves towards the rim and keep backing em down untilt he make you pickkup your dribble. Nevermind, he settles for the lazy long 2 on his very next shot. Never fails. Anyways, I hoped that last unit will inspire the rest of these guys to play harder

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, McGee and Blatche have been really regressing these past dozen or so games.

Blatche will occasionally score some points but that's it. Otherwise, he's just pushed around or disappears.

I have no idea as to what McGee is thinking out there.

The play of those two are critical if this team is to go forward.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 5, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

you guys know how I always feel. Its not rocket science with me. If NY has a small guard on him to post him every single play. He's too good down there for us not to do that but Flip doesnt use it enough

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

NY's hair is so funny tonight. Straight up he looks like a 70's player tonight with the big fro, like Dr. J or

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

in Dray's defense though, again why do we always give Dray and even alot of our other guys the ball on the right block? We always do that. Flip hardly ever gives them the ball on the left block where they can do so much more and finish with there strong hand. On the right block 9 times out of 10 guys are just going to shoot a fadeaway over there right shoulder. I just dont get alot of Flip's philosophies

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 5, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

NY changes his hair style one game and the very next game he is back to his old style...Now he has completely changed to a style long ago used...doesn't this guy ever look in the mirror????

If he took half the time used on his styling to study the game of basketball he would be an all-star...Oh well....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 5, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

As in all pro sports...the final period separates the men from the boys...The Wiz can play inspired ball 3 periods but if you can't buckle down and play some consistent defense the final 12 minutes it means nothing in the end...we shall see again what they do........or don't do.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 5, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Wilkins comes right down the middle to slam the ball...McGee standing to his left at hard foul????

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 5, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

When the going gets tough, the Wiz get OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!

DeJaVu all over again.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 5, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"However, you cant let him finish the year just to axe him at the end, can you?"

That's usually how it's done. It's generally considered bad form for a GM to axe a coach midseason -- because who selected the coach in the first place? The Ed Jordan situation excepted.

There have been other exceptions. Word is that Larry Brown was agitating to break up the Hornets, the way he wanted to in NY. And that owner Herb Simon gave Larry Bird no choice in Indy. But for the most part firing a coach before season's end (or close to it) is a sign that your management team doesn't know what it's doing.

By the way, I had the impression you've been in favor of replacing Saunders all along.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Lewis, Blatche and McGee all played over 30 minutes and grabbed a total of 16 rebounds tonight. Atlanta's Josh Smith snared 15 rebounds by himself. The Wizards simply cannot afford to start those three in the frontcourt...they're just too soft.

Posted by: tgif11 | February 5, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing loss but a better performance than Orlando. Some observations: the Wiz had more field goals (39-34) which usually correlates pretty strongly with victory, particularly at home. They had one more 3 pointer. The game was lost at the FT line (Atlanta, 26 to 8, possibly the worst FT performance in the NBA this season) and on the boards, 45 to 33, which was mainly Josh Smith and Marvin Williams. Washington had a slight edge in assists, steals and blocks. The two teams were even in turnovers.

Worth noting that the worst offenders in terms of fouls were Booker and Wall, followed by Blatche. McGee managed to stay on the court tonight, to his credit.

The Wiz really should win a game like this.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, even though Les BouleS got beat yet again, I'm glad I recorded the game as I had to replay the Al Thornton dunk at least 20 times. I guess a 41" vertical lets you do stuff like that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The Hawks were right for the "taking"no Al Horford, Jamal Crawford cold and Joe Johnson not his usual killa game, but alas the Wizards reverted back to form in fourth qtr. I had a chance to listen to the Hawk's post game show on the radio here in the A-T-L and Hawk's asst. coach and former NBA defensive stalwart Lester Conner was interviewed by the Steve Holman( Atlanta's play by play voice) and Conner sounded like head coach material, emphasizing the Hawk's need for defense and having the right mindset until Horford returns, might be a guy to keep on the short list if Ted is thinking about making a change ( he better be! ).

Posted by: dargregmag | February 5, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Who was that player that said about the Wizards last week I believe that you already know what play they are going to run before they even start it?

Does anybody remember that comment? And if that is a fact, why wouldn't that be a huge concern for Flip Suanders and the players on the floor?


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 5, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I like what I saw from John Wall tonight. He was finally aggresive and his "j" actually looked like it had form and good ball rotation. I hold my breath everytime he turns on the "after burners" on those fast breaks. Not sure if he is going to get up because he hits the floor so hard.

As I have been saying when I do get a chance to post here, Flip still needs to hang it up. No since in using the old lets keep him so we can get a high draft choice. Please remember there is no clear cut #1 this year. 1 through 5 looks like it will be a crap shoot.

I also think Thorton deserves more minutes playing along side Booker. Slide Javale at the 5 and I think you have our best high energy frontline and also I best defensive.

I noticed Ted sitting on the floor again. Come on Ted, time to make this thing happen. Have EG call Sam Cassell into his office and give him the "keys to the car".....

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 5, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever: Sam Cassell are you kidding me, dude he barely qualifies as an assistant in this league much less a head coach.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 5, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Who was that player that said about the Wizards last week I believe that you already know what play they are going to run before they even start it?

Does anybody remember that comment? And if that is a fact, why wouldn't that be a huge concern for Flip Suanders and the players on the floor?


I believe that was Grant Hill. I also believe I've heard a lot of players say it's less about what you run and more about how well you run it. When Stockton and Malone were killing everyone on the pick and roll, do you think there were teams out there going "Holy cow, I never expected them to run that!"

Our real offensive problems stem from having one good scorer, a couple of average scorers, and a bunch of guys who don't scare anyone on offense.

Posted by: ts35 | February 5, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I meant the Bobcats, not the Hornets. I still remember the Hornets in Charlotte.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"Who was that player that said about the Wizards last week I believe that you already know what play they are going to run before they even start it?Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

That was Grant Hill and I believe what he said was the Wizards kept running the same play, presumably for Nick.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

It's possible the Wiz were just trying to get the play run properly...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz outshot Atlanta tonight, both in total FGs and in FG% and 3 point %. Doesn't happen all that often in a home loss. Because ordinarily the home team has a five or ten point advantage in FTs.

Except the Wiz. Washington shot 18 FTs and hit 8. Atlanta shot 35 and hit 26.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

50% shooting and only 9 TOs, the offense was fine. Defense lost the game, and the missed FTs didn't help. I think Flip should go back to giving Seraphin those 10 minutes(or 2 fouls) in the first half. Javale doesn't need to play more than 25 minutes.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 5, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

It was a tale of two half's once again. The Wizards were up 53-52 at the end of the first half but it all went down hill from there. In the first half, Nick Young was on fire, he ended up with 20 points in the 1st half, 5 in the 2nd. What was the reason? Reston, Virginia's finest, Grant Hill. Not only did he play great defense, there is a reason to that. Grant called out the plays for Nick. It was the same old plays and Grant knew that. He was studying film about Nick and figured out the offensive plays. Grant actually has some advice during the game for Nick, "if the first play don't work, then you gotta go to the second one," explained Nick.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"Who was that player that said about the Wizards last week I believe that you already know what play they are going to run before they even start it?

Does anybody remember that comment? And if that is a fact, why wouldn't that be a huge concern for Flip Suanders and the players on the floor?


Because they don't have enough good, offensively talented players to create enough variations to take anyone by surprise. They run limited offensive sets because they have limited offensive options. And, when it comes right down to it, there really aren't any surprise play calls in the NBA (or, really, any sport) because most teams run variations on the same things.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

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