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Posted at 12:37 AM ET, 02/ 5/2011

Rough schedule wearing on Wizards

By Michael Lee

It ain't easy being the man, huh? (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


The Wizards have lost seven games in a row, and if not for John Wall's three-point bank shot against Boston two weeks ago, they would be on a 10-game slide. After they lost to Milwaukee, it was easy to spot this difficult patch in the schedule, with the Wizards playing five consecutive back-to-back sets against teams that were either championship contenders or in position to make the playoffs.

Add in the fact that half of the games were on the road, it's a wonder that the Wizards have been able to escape with any wins. The grueling stretch will end on Saturday when the Wizards host Atlanta, but the frustrations were revealed on Friday at Verizon Center, as Wall got his first career ejection after receiving two technical fouls and Nick Young also picked up a technical foul while complaining about calls.

The Wizards may have been fired up emotionally about facing former teammate Gilbert Arenas and the Orlando Magic, but Trevor Booker and Kirk Hinrich were the only ones who were able to really let it show through their play, as their energy helped keep the team in a game that they eventually lost pretty handily, 110-92.

Arenas had 10 points and six assists off the bench as he came away with a victory, but he was gloating more about his defense on Young, who continues to adjust the difficult role of being the primary scorer. Arenas claimed that he taught Young every move he tried, but the fact remains that several teams have made it hard for Young in recent weeks. In the past 10 games, Young has only shot better than 44 percent twice, and was just 7 for 20 against the Magic. He's a target now, and he has to figure out how to fight back.

"It's tough. Because if I get past one guy, the next guy is right there. That's something I got to learn. I've got to pick up more, watch film," Young said. "Like [Wizards assistant Sam Cassell] said, if you want to be the man, you got to take what comes with it. It's a lot that comes with it, but I'm preparing myself well for it."

Wall is also finding it difficult to command the respect of officials, who continue to overlook his repeated crashes to the floor on his drives to the basket. He made a layup near the end of the half and got knocked to the floor, rolling around for a few seconds before pushing himself up. He later rolled up the compression tights on his left leg and limped off the court.

After fighting for a rebound with Dwight Howard and getting tossed to the ground, Wall couldn't contain his anger and confronted an official, picking up a technical. He collected his second technical shortly thereafter, as he continued to complain. "I think he's frustrated," Coach Flip Saunders said. "He is getting knocked down a lot. I think he is getting knocked down and he is not getting many calls when he goes to the basket."

Wall explained afterward that he's not sure "what calls rookies are supposed to get," but his problem is that players on losing teams -- veterans or otherwise -- rarely have the respect of the officials.

Hinrich played well, as he scored 17 angry points, knocking down three three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Wizards keep up with the Magic's three-point barrage, led by J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson, who combined to make five of Orlando's seven threes in the final period.

"They just did a good job of picking us apart," Hinrich said of the Magic."We didn't do a good job of stopping them. We were just trying to get something going. We just weren't able to string the stops together or score consistently enough."


I ain't scared of you. (AP Photo)

Rashard Lewis really wanted to get a win against his former team, but he had to endure a lopsided loss and some endless trash talk from many of his friends. "It was a little talking. It was all out of fun," he said. "Just the fact that it was the team that I played for the past three years, and this year as well, so it was some emotions involved, because I have some close friends on that team, a good relationship with that organization. At the same time, I had to be professional. I'm on the other team. I had to represent the Washington Wizards and try to get a win."

It's really unfair to call Howard's games against JaVale McGee matchups, because they often are so one-sided. Howard made life difficult for McGee, and McGee didn't exactly help himself as he either stepped back and let Howard take control or helplessly fouled to avoid battling with him inside. Howard made the game simple, as he rarely wasted any motion and took shots close to the basket, mostly uncontested dunks that came after lobs from Nelson.

"I seen in both of Jameer's eyes every time he threw it," said Lewis, who was on the right side of a few of those lobs before getting traded for Arenas. "Even when I was guarding Dwight, it was nothing I could do about it. That spin out lob is just something they have a little chemistry doing."

McGee spent a lot of time cursing in the third quarter, as Howard scored six consecutive buckets to turn a close game into a rout. Unlike Howard, McGee made matters worse as he tried to do too much with his questionable decision-making. He took long jumpers and even tried to lead a fast break, with fans groaning the entire time he dribbled up the floor before he eventually lost the ball out of bounds.

"Everyone in the arena doesn't like that he takes the ball at three-quarter court and thinks he's a 6-2 guard," Saunders said.

While McGee tried to force his way into the highlights, Trevor Booker made his way there through some hard-nosed play. Booker elicited the greatest reactions from the fans, and even his opponents. Late in the fourth quarter, Booker caught a pass from Young and elevated over Magic reserve Earl Clark for a ferocious jam. Clark's teammates had to give him a hard time over that one, as Jason Richardson was heard singing the theme music from ESPN's SportsCenter, "Dini-net, dini-net."

Booker was the one front-line player who didn't appear to be intimated by the challenge of facing the Magic, as he went hard almost every second he was on the floor. He had a career-high six blocked shots, including a nice rejection on Arenas that got a few fans excited. When asked about the last time he had so many blocks, the rookie forward from Clemson gave an obvious and brief answer, "College."

Then, with Hamady Ndiaye and Kevin Seraphin playfully acting as reporters, Booker said, "I had nine against UNC my freshman year."

Seraphin interrupted, "You're lying."

The truth remains that in order for the Wizards to get some wins, even at home, they will need a lot of luck -- and for their opponent to have a rough outing. But Hinrich believes that the Wizards have to at least give themselves a chance. "The opponents are good. But this is the NBA," Hinrich said. "Everybody has got good players. We're playing some really good teams on this stretch. But I just feel like we need to have more consistent effort. We always try to do the right things at both ends at times, then we get off the mat and that's when we get in trouble."

By Michael Lee  | February 5, 2011; 12:37 AM ET
Categories:  Gilbert Arenas, JaVale McGee, John Wall, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young, Rashard Lewis, Trevor Booker  
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Next: Open thread: Wizards (13-36) vs. Hawks (31-19)

Comments

"It's tough. Because if I get past one guy, the next guy is right there. That's something I got to learn. I've got to pick up more, watch film," Young said. "Like [Wizards assistant Sam Cassell] said, if you want to be the man, you got to take what comes with it. It's a lot that comes with it, but I'm preparing myself well for it..."

Son, if you KNOW you have to "pick up more" and "watch film..." you should have been doing THAT all along. What did you think, that this was gonna be easy? This is the NBA son, not an LA playground.

Who/Where is Javale's BIG MAN COACH?

Posted by: dcjazzman | February 5, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Who/Where is Javale's BIG MAN COACH?

Posted by: dcjazzman | February 5, 2011 1:18 AM |

I forgot who our big man coach is(think its banks or something like that).

But i can tell u where he came from(Blame Flip for that).

now can someone time me why he(or she for that matter)is still coach them because we are not getting ANY results??

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 5, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Relax folks, the show has barely begun. If GRUNFELD is the schlep many of you think he is, these next two and a half seasons are not going to be pretty. In fact, they will become uglier bettier.

And if he's the genius a few think, then the ride will be wonderful to behold. We will all be proud to be D.C. fans.

As in most things, I'm personally inclined toward a mixed bag of positive and negative results figuring we'll be stuck in the middle of the NBA pack.

But, whatever.

And a note to NICK. Guy, the league is onto you and 'DRAY. They know that when you get the rock in your hands eighty percent of the time it's going up.

If this is FLIP's design, he should be fired over it.

If however, and I'm guessing here, it's only partly his doing, than you need to develop a team-oriented concept, because the league is on you like a collective rash, and it ain't going away until you change your act.

Oh, by the way, GIL's assertion that he taught you all you know is his snide way of mocking your intelligence.

So give up the love-fest for the brother, and develop your own style, or you'll continue to be dog-meat in this league.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

TLG = Ted Lose GRUNFELD

Posted by: member8 | February 5, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

lol this is fact here Dray and Mcgee are Not the bigs of the future of this team. These 2 are best at role playing roles and that it. they have no effort at all and i'm sick and tired of see this every game it's really old. Dray in his 6 year and has not show that he can become that power forward that we keep thinking he can be constaintly(even last year he was not that good we lost 19 straight game really =/). Mcgee on the other hand yea has hes good moment and is young, etc BUT he in his 3 year and in he 3 year have not really done anything that say he our big for the future(mayb a a few highlight play but yea). My point in saying all this is that if we are really going rebuild then it has to start at our front court cuz we not going anyway or going do anything unless we have a front court that brings effort, toughness, smart, etc.back I believe is set for atleast 4 year (if we decided to resign Young which I hope face fact not many good SG out there atm) and John Wall. So in this up coming draft I pray that we invest in front court players so we can get this rebuild done in 3 or so year. As for the season I get on Flip a lot on his coaching but in honest truth i believe he can coach this team but he has to let go of trying to win or make the playoff this year and let the young guys play(meaning BT, and KS. enough of this AB and JM(adding Yi in that list) getting all the PT just cause they are experence. If they come out with no effort beach them play the rook's and let move on( You can keep Yi beach for the hold game). Well just play the rook's how bout that :).

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 5, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"Any update on Shakur?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 5, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse "

What what? Wuz I right again?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"Let's just wait and see how he plays.Posted by: PostSubscriber"

Well, we do have one prediction in hand -- DCMAN says he'll be with us a few days (presumably 10, since that's the contract). So if he gets reupped once, I guess that's success.

You have to root a little for these guys who work so hard and pay so many dues.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 23, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I loved this description from one of the Orlando blogs:
energetic rookie Trevor Booker, who's built like a freaking washing machine

And evidently the six Magic shots that Booker blocked constituted the most blocked shots in a game against the Magic since Andrew Bynum of the Lakers blocked seven Magic shots in December of 2007.

http://bkref.com/tiny/Qeehv

Posted by: nmik | February 5, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"Who/Where is Javale's BIG MAN COACH?"

You're kidding right?

"So give up the love-fest for the brother, and develop your own style, or you'll continue to be dog-meat in this league."

Couldn't agree with this more.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 5, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Who/Where is Javale's BIG MAN COACH?

You got to be kidding! McGee is a little flea compared to Howard. Ain't no coach gonna be able to fix his twiggy frame.

Posted by: MeviousMan | February 5, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

And a note to NICK. Guy, the league is onto you and 'DRAY. They know that when you get the rock in your hands eighty percent of the time it's going up.

If this is FLIP's design, he should be fired over it.

Posted by: glawrence007

The league is onto Dray & NY? What is it to be onto. This looks like a style set by Flip because it's every game. If Dray (and now NY too) gets the ball, it's like a black hole. It's not gonna get passed, it will almost 100% goes up to the basket or be turned over if it's Dray. I've said it over and over that while you watch the other NBA games, there's ball flow and sharing but with Flip's offense, bring it and if you have an open look, put it up. Crazy and not even fun to watch.

Posted by: zack9633 | February 5, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"I loved this description from one of the Orlando blogs:
energetic rookie Trevor Booker, who's built like a freaking washing machine

And evidently the six Magic shots that Booker blocked constituted the most blocked shots in a game against the Magic since Andrew Bynum of the Lakers blocked seven Magic shots in December of 2007.

http://bkref.com/tiny/Qeehv

Posted by: nmik | February 5, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse "

...which is why we don't need to be trading KH for Ron Ron.

Keep in mind though, we've been served with a lot of "flash in the pans" over the years and seasons who've done some nice things here and there, but didn't amount to jack. There's no reason for excitement until this team is consistently competitive, has a new GM, a new coach, and probably a name change.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"Who/Where is Javale's BIG MAN COACH?Posted by: dcjazzman"

LOL I thought you were.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Dwight Howard is a load for any center if you let him set up low and get those passes from Nelson. Number of current NBA players who can stop him from scoring in that situation: zero. The only alternative is to send him to the line, and you better be deep if you're going to try that, because your front-line players will be on the bench.

But Javale has been flagging recently. Last 3 games, his only decent outing has been against NO, and he wasn't really good in that game, either. He's picking up dumb fouls and playing less than 20 minutes. With Javale you're never entirely sure whether they're sitting him for his play or because he's tired.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse


Play all the tricks you want. They played more minutes and their production increased bc of it. That's like saying a game the Wiz win by 4/5 pts and Cartier Martin happens to drop 9 that he was the reason they won the game. It's absurdity! Not to mention ignorant. Ryan Anderson is a pretty damn good shooter if you haven't caught on by now. That is why he is on their team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 5, 2011 3:48 AM

Only Anderson and Clark didn't score 9 points. They combined for 29 points and 15 rebounds! They had a major impact on the outcome of an 18-point Wizard loss and that's all there is to it, Blind Man (or can we blame this on that lobotomy you're rumored to have had?). When a discussion is beyond the scope of your intellect, you really should refrain from commenting.

Posted by: and_1 | February 5, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"[With other teams there's]......ball flow and sharing but with Flip's offense, bring it and if you have an open look, put it up......" zack9633

I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, I don't know if they're adhering to FLIP's design, or if the players take it upon themselves to shoot in almost every circumstance.

I see LEWIS taking shots, but he tends to take relatively open ones, or he passes off if heavily defended.

I will reiterate, as you said zack, shot's forced continue to occur again and again, over and over, game after game, conspicuously by both YOUNG and BLATCHE.

If that horrific design is the coach's, as the GM, I would have him move on.

If it's on the players however, they have to change their act, or move on.

Or we continue to exist in the dungeon of the NBA.

Two and one half more years of this result, and LEONSIS' patience will be tried to exasperation. Only then will a new GM and Coach be forthcoming.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

i love the team so much but the facts are:

as long as this teams' name is the wizards, we will not be getting any top tier free agents. i have never heard of wizards for any team on any level except the d league. free agents take that into consideration

if we want to win games and have a good team blatche, lewis and mcgee can not be our 3 4 and 5.

since were all but out of any playoff contention..Booker needs to unseat blatche at that 4 and seraphin unseat mcgee. we need depth, some shooters,more scoring from the pg position and a bona-fide go to guy closer.

in conclusion. the team right now is poorly constructed, and as a fan ernie needs to be held accountable for his decision making to the fullest.

Posted by: mrhney03 | February 5, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Until Javale 'Magoo' stops dreaming that he is a 'Human Highlight Reel' and starts to develop a basketball I.Q., he is well on his way to being the next Peter John Ramos! JAVALE: WAKE-UP DUDE! You may well be punching your own ticket, not out of town but OUT OF THE NBA!

Posted by: bazteal | February 5, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Hey Ted. If you are reading these blogs, "it is time".... Time to pull the plug on Flip and let Sam Cassell take over the reins. Yes I know he will have the same players, but right now it is to a point where they are not hearing Flip anymore.

Case in point. The Wizards have owned the 76er's, correct? Well to my total surprise, I have NBA TV on and I watched the highlights of the 76er's vs. Knicks game.

The 76er's won the game and are now have 23 wins and 26 loses. Say what??? That is about the only team that looked worse then then the Wiz when I last seen them. Looks like Mr. Collins is "coaching the young fellas up" don't you think?

If it is the dollars you are concerned about (Flips contract), just let him stay in the organization as a "high paid" consultant. You will not have to pay Sam "Big Dollars" because he has never been a head coach.

Let Sam grow with the team. I know they would respect him and I think they would give him more effort. Again, nothing against Flip but his time is up.

Now as for Mr. Grunfield. I have defended him since he has got here against the likes of co-workers, my pickup game running buddies, and all of my AAU folks that I shoot ball with. I never had a bad word to say about him and I agreed with just about every move he made, other then matching Etan Thomas contract offer from the Bucks way back in the day.

Now fast forward, I am thinking Ernie really needs to focus on finding some 4's and 5's that have some bulk on them in the next coming draft or free agency. Sherapan is ok, but I do not know how he got picked so high. I did not like that pick. Booker, all I can say is "WOW".....!!!

EG needs to find more outside shooting also. Roger Mason is sitting on the pine in NY collecting dust. Lets make a run at him. EG also needs to draft a "3" who can create his own shot.

We need a real big man coach (nothing against Gene Banks), but he was a undersized power forward who did not really play with his back to the basket. We need a "former 5" who played the position in the Pro's (i.e. Kareem or Patrick Ewing).

Lastly, if the Lakers want Kirk then by all means trade him. I have grown to really respect Kirk's game and I must admit I underestimated him. He deserves better, so EG "free" him and see if we could get Artest back in return.

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 5, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It's a terrible injustice to make the Wizards play other NBA teams. It is detrimental to their win loss record and diminishes their chances of making the playoffs. To stop this tragedy the Wizards should be allowed to play practice games with their teammates and the best team in the building should be allowed to skip the first two rounds of the playoffs due to their sparkling record and play a one game series against the Cavs for the championship.

Posted by: fish4 | February 5, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Now as for Mr. Grunfield."

He's not a good GM, and until he's gone they really can't start over.

You have to get rid of Flip and EG at the same time. I don't see either happening until after the season.

Ted is getting all kinds of pressure on this as noted from his blog (including some emails from me) so at some point he's going to have to pull the plug on EG and friends.

One thing EG can do is make trades so I am hoping he clears out Lewis and Hinrich, then whomever comes in this summer will have a clean slate. Booker is solid but beyond Wall, who my mother could have picked and she doesn't even watch bball, he's got ZERO to show for anything.

I think next year will be better, but EG needs to go as well. For some reason he likes those soft big men who can only shoot three's. That's great overseas but not in the NBA. It's time for a new philosophy because what has happend for the last 7 years just isn't working.

EG has been here for SEVEN years and the team still has no direction. The Wiz have thier franchise player in Wall, now let someone who knows what they are doing build around him Ted.

EG and Flip need to go.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 5, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"

It's a terrible injustice to make the Wizards play other NBA teams. It is detrimental to their win loss record and diminishes their chances of making the playoffs. To stop this tragedy the Wizards should be allowed to play practice games with their teammates and the best team in the building should be allowed to skip the first two rounds of the playoffs due to their sparkling record and play a one game series against the Cavs for the championship. Posted by: fish4"

LOL now that's outside the box thinking.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

some good comedy on this board today. specially liked the business advice for ted, sure he'll appreciate it.

Posted by: MinuMang | February 5, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Come on, guys. Leonsis has said what he's planning on doing for the next two-three years.

Do you really think you can nag him into changing his mind?

Posted by: nmik | February 5, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Do you really think you can nag him into changing his mind?Posted by: nmik"

Apparently.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Five questions with Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich:

Q: Does this basically boil down to you guys being a young team that doesn't know how to finish games on the road yet?

A: We've got guys that have years in the league. John [Wall] is a rookie, but it's not like we're starting a bunch of rookies.

I think it's just mental toughness. It's a different approach. For some reason, we're very comfortable at home and we have trouble playing the right way on the road.

There's a different intensity level that winning teams play with. It starts from Day 1 and it's every day. It won't happen until we understand that. Weekend Dime

He sounds like Shaun Livingston did last year. Guess who's left from that team? I'm ready for the All-Star break. Wall will come back healthier, and maybe Blatche can get it together and become serviceable for the rest of the season.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 5, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"There's no reason for excitement until this team is consistently competitive, has a new GM, a new coach, and probably a name change.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 9:37 AM"

Amen to that.

Posted by: KTV1 | February 5, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Sam Cassell tells Nick Young, "If you want to be the man." Jeez, NY will never be THE MAN on this team or any other team...he is a jump shooter, no more, no less...a complement to other good players...He plays no defense to inspire his teammates, doesn't rebound and hasn't learned to conquer the double team...

NY stated, "It's tough. If I get past one guy, the next guy is right there." "I've got to pick up more, watch film."....Really Nick????????

What have you been doing the past 2 summers?????Hanging with Gilbert? Enough excuses......

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 5, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

You know, I wasn't hired to be legal counsel for Nick Young. But there's a Gang of Five posters on this board who will never be satisfied with what Nick Young does for this team. He's the only bonafide scoring threat. He DOES play adequate D. I would like him to show more energy, but he's a laid-back Southern California guy. Perhaps NY should hire a spokesperson to speak for him since he's suffers from a bit of foot-in-mouth disease. Who cares what he says as long as remains a consistant threat to score 20 every time he laces them up. No one else on this squad [other than Dray] is a legitimate threat to do that.

So, in conclusion, chill out! We got a lot of other issues on this team that are more important than griping about Nick Young's basketball ability.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 5, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This must be the second time this has happened to him in a game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6091676

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

NY is what he is. And that's all he'll ever be until he adopts team-oriented play.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Gilby is not an innocent bystander in this situation with Laura Govan, but both Laura and her sister are clearly gold digging who#res who are hell bent on hooking up with NBA stars.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 5, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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