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Posted at 8:05 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Hinrich regaining his touch, not dwelling on trade rumors

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

Since returning from a hyperextended right elbow injury that cost him four games, Kirk Hinrich has finally started to find his rhythm again. Hinrich has scored in double figures in each of his past three games, averaging 13.3 points on 55.2 percent shooting, for the Wizards (13-37).

Hinrich admitted that it still feels odd to wear the protective goggles that he has worn for the past month, but he is starting to grow more comfortable in his role off the bench. "I just want to come in and be ready that first possession," Hinrich said. "I feel like sitting in, see what's going on, see what's working, what's not working, what other teams are trying to do. Just go in, having that in mind, but main thing, just trying to bring energy and my game."

As one of the captains, Hinrich said the Wizards' eight-game losing streak has been discouraging. "We're trying to win games, any way we can. We've been struggling as of late. It's been kind of the same story over and over again. We can't continue to make the same mistakes. Games are won, usually down the stretch and we just haven't been good enough."

Hinrich has been mentioned as a player that the Los Angeles Lakers would like to pluck in an effort to shake up the two-time defending champion. The Lakers aren't willing to offer anything that would interest the Wizards and while he has heard the speculation, Hinrich said he wouldn't allow it to bother him.

"As far as I know, it's just rumors," Hinrich said. "For the last two or three years, every February, my name comes up in some sort of rumor. Nothing has ever happened. I just keep going about my business. I don't really dwell on it at all."

FROM THE POST
Hamady Ndiaye was recalled from the D-League recently and his sunny disposition was a welcome presence in an often gloomy Wizards locker room.

With Al Thornton, Nick Young and Yi Jianlian nursing injuries, Josh Howard is hoping to come back by this weekend.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the Washington Capitals are about 25 percent ahead of the Wizards in local TV ratings (DC Sports Bog).

The Cleveland Cavaliers (who host the winless-on-the-road Wizards on Feb. 13) lost their 25th straight game last night.

AROUND THE WEB
Jon Kelman wonders if the Wizards might already have a few parts of their next championship squad in place (Bullets Forever).

David Aldridge looks at Gilbert Arenas's return to Washington and comes away asking for more Trevor Booker (TBD.com).

Arenas's claim that cold weather affects his playing could have some truth to it (Eye on Basketball, CBSSports.com).

Jack Nicolaus of The Good Point takes a look at JaVale McGee's dunks.

Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated's Point Forward said Nick Young is a restricted free agent who has increased his stock this season. His teammates, Yi Jianlian and Al Thornton have not.

NBA.com's Art Garcia catches up with Rashard Lewis.

By Michael Lee  | February 8, 2011; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards dealing with injuries, Josh Howard closer to return
Next: Jump ball: Evaluating Young, McGee and Blatche

Comments

That SI article mentions Utah, Chicago, and New Orleans as team's that may want to sign Nick...I suspect Ernie will want to keep him as he drafted him. However I doubt NY wants to stay, but as an RFA maybe has no choice?

Mentions Yi as a failure. Knew that going in, nice try I guess, but his minutes will probably decrease as we try and get Booker and Keveen more looks.

Article also down on Thornton, but I have to say on this team of softies it's easy to appreciate what he does. I would still give him a chance to earn a spot, despite how up-and-dwn he's been.

Posted by: divi3 | February 8, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

And Kirk has been playing the same "playstation" ball that everybody else has, he seems to be in "get mines" mode as much as Nick or Blatche. Probably a sign that none of the guys on the team have formed a shred of chemistry or trust as of yet. Everybody feels the need to rely on themselves rather than a teamate or Flip's system. Could help create a trade as that scenario tends to hype individual skills amidst the losses. However it would be nice to see at some point this season a unit on the floor that appeared to be running Flip's offense with some measure of consistency...I don't think that is too lofty a goal to place on the coach and players.

Posted by: divi3 | February 8, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

mean, thinking longer-term, what questions might be answered? I can think of three:

1. What about Andray at the 4 spot? This is 6th season in Washington. Does the team gamble on him as a starter, think about making him a part-timer, or possibly replace him?

2. Same with Javale at center. He's only in his 3rd season. We've seen great and not-so-great things from him. Plenty of both.

3. And Nick at the 2 spot -- now in season 4 in Washington. Keeper? Part-timer? Replace?

Posted by: Samson151

I have said this once i say it again if we truely want to rebuild this team we have to replace our front line 3,4,5. AB and JM are not the front line that going carrier us to winning sad but true.

As for Nick Young Kalo points out that he just a shooter and is putting good numbers on a bad team but i have to disagree on this. 1 Nick yea takes a lot of shoots and it makes him look like a ball hogger and not a play maker but what most people have to understand is WHEN YOU ARE THE BEST SCORER ON THE TEAM YOU TAKE A LOT OF SHOOTS. I don't see or even believe there is a problem with him take 20 shoots a game, If he your best scorer do that(Lebron James do it,Wade do it, Derek Rose do it, etc). Also Nick cant make play not because he can't (because he can) but because the OFFENSE we run don't call for him to do so. If you look at numbers and don't look at what going on on the floor you wont agree what i'm talking about but from what I see our point is most the play maker on this team(which is not bad but show Flip offense is not really that good). Reason 2 WHO DO WE HAVE ON THIS TEAM THAT NICK(or even John WAll for that matter) CAN GO TOO? This goes back to my point in we need to rebuild our front line because we have no one in the front line that can help our back court and make their life easier atm SAD BUT TRUE. So to answer the 3 statement i say keep Nick see how he and John work while getting or front line in order and if it don't work out then we will be moving on then.

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 8, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Hinrich does not make all that many turnovers, but it always seems to me that they come at crucial times in a game.. Also they lead to layups by the o's most of the time.

Posted by: puttforever | February 8, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

And Kirk has been playing the same "playstation" ball that everybody else has, he seems to be in "get mines" mode as much as Nick or Blatche. Probably a sign that none of the guys on the team have formed a shred of chemistry or trust as of yet. Everybody feels the need to rely on themselves rather than a teamate or Flip's system. Could help create a trade as that scenario tends to hype individual skills amidst the losses. However it would be nice to see at some point this season a unit on the floor that appeared to be running Flip's offense with some measure of consistency...I don't think that is too lofty a goal to place on the coach and players.

Posted by: divi3 | February 8, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

What are you watching? I was at the Orlando game that spawned the Playstation comment and I was thinking the same thing. Since that 4 game road trip...Nick has been reverting back to the "old" Nick.

I remember one possesion in the Orlando game...top of the key...two between the legs...crossover. Lost the ball....got it back more dribbling...bad shot. He's been gunning lately. Taking on two defenders lately...and that's not what had him looking better earlier in the season.

Hinrich's shot has been nice...most of them all net. Pretty much means he's locked in. I guess if that's Nick...it's keep feeding the hot hand though right?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

What are you watching? I was at the Orlando game that spawned the Playstation comment and I was thinking the same thing. Since that 4 game road trip...Nick has been reverting back to the "old" Nick.

I remember one possesion in the Orlando game...top of the key...two between the legs...crossover. Lost the ball....got it back more dribbling...bad shot. He's been gunning lately. Taking on two defenders lately...and that's not what had him looking better earlier in the season.

Hinrich's shot has been nice...most of them all net. Pretty much means he's locked in. I guess if that's Nick...it's keep feeding the hot hand though right?

Posted by: SDMDTSU

Is it bad for him to try and career a shot for himself?
i remember in the Magic game where when he drove got 2 defender to comment and pass 2 booker for the hammer dunk.
I do agree through that Kirk need 2 shoot more because we dont have many other that can.

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 8, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Matter of fact I wanna bring Larry's rebuilding comment to this blog:

When is the last time you've seen Boston go through a rebuild? When is the last time you've seen the Lakers go through a rebuild? When is the last time you've seen San Antonio go through a rebuild? Did Detroit go through a rebuild when they won their last Ring or even the ones with Isaiah? Did Chicago rebuild when Michael showed up? Did Miami go through a rebuild and are they going through one now?

You see that is why blow it up and rebuild stinks to high heaven and is for losers. Winners don't rebuild, they retool, and add pieces, they don't rebuild. The minute that the owner of Chicago said that Michael and Phil were done and he was going to rebuild they haven't won sheisse since.

Winners don't rebuild SDMDTSU, they find ways to win. They don't blow Teams up, they make them better.

Evaluate very closely what I am saying, Winners don't rebuild, they are too busy winning.

Name one Team SDMDTSU that has went to this 3-5 year rebuild plan that has won an NBA championship. Name just one. It doesn't happen that way.

LarryInClintonMD.

Someone already discussed the Boston rebuild...and upcoming rebuild.

Chicago was a pretty bad example...it was actually a really bad one. They drafted Jordan...and took lumps while they built around him.

The Lakers have stayed pretty decent for a while...but they've always had one or two guaranteed hall of famers on the roster. They even had a losing season and two first round exits to get back to the top.

San Antonio was discussed...and Miami.

Now my favorite...besides Chicago and Boston...Detroit.

http://www.nba.com/pistons/history/1980s.html

Right there in black and white. They BUILT that team.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Is it bad for him to try and career a shot for himself?
i remember in the Magic game where when he drove got 2 defender to comment and pass 2 booker for the hammer dunk.
I do agree through that Kirk need 2 shoot more because we dont have many other that can.

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 8, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

It's bad if he has to force it...or decides he's going to create a shot for himself no matter what.

Yeah I remember that too...and since he's a focal point it's something he's going to have to do more often because defenses are going to be set up to stop him and they WANT him to create those bad shots for himself that he's been taking.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

What are you watching?

The one's where Kirk dribbles directly into 3 defenders and has the ball stolen, or shoots a 3 early in the clock with no rebounding in place (Hawks). Or dribbles around for 20secs looking for his own shot and then makes bailout pass that leads to nothing (every game). Or when he hits his shots and singlehandedly keeps us in the game (11pts in a quarter), it's still the same thing.

It's not a matter of if the player is hot or not, it's a matter of whether they are working within the offense and creating for others. Kirk isnt, and neither is anyone else save for Wall (basically).

Posted by: divi3 | February 8, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Basketball is like driving a gushed out luxurized full throttled horse powered automobile. But wait, you have to stay within the speed limit.

But hell, who doesn't push 65-70 in a 55mph zone. Who doesn't put 80-85 in a 70mph zone. Who doesn't just push the limit on more than a few occasions just for unmitigated thrill of it.

Playstation is like pushing it. The speed limit, aka the system, is meant to be exceeded whenever possible. You got to know when to throttle up and when to throttle down.

Thats the problem with Flips system. His system hasn't taught them boys when to exceed the limit with the best of them.

Flip just want to do 55. No gushing the gas pedal allowed, no playstation indeed.

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

If the Wizards pass, there are a bunch of teams with a lack of scoring at shooting guard (including Chicago, Utah, Indiana and New Orleans) that might look at Young as an obtainable consolation prize.


I can't see any of those teams interested in Nick Young. Cleveland and maybe Jersey could make an offer, but that depends how Nick finishes the year. Lately, he hasn't looked so good. A rebuilding team shouldn't commit a lot of money (and years) gambling on a role player when it still hasn't established a core. It was a mistake with Blatche, and I think it will be a mistake with Nick. The best scenario for the Wizards may be a team offering Bobby Simmons type money, or for Nick to pull a Jared Jeffries and make it publicly known that he doesn't want the Wizards to match.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 8, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Right there in black and white. They BUILT that team.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 10:11 AM

Now that we have attributed a 3-5yr rebuild plan to every successful NBA team, it is now apparent to me that my narrow view of what the 3-5yr rebuild plan is just simply doesn't wash with everyone here.

It we take all the criteria as personified in all those teams mentioned everything can be called a rebuild.

Take San Antonio for instance whom was playoff team with Robinson pre-Timmee, but Robinson got hurt so there record plummeted so bad they ended up getting Timmee' in the draft and voila, back in the playoffs again. That's a rebuild?

But okay, by yawls standard and I am an understanding guy, we can just about call every successful reign a rebuild.

So, a given. So be it. I just got one question. When is the part of the rebuild piece where a coach get's fired for non-performance going to occur in the Wizard process?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It's bad if he has to force it...or decides he's going to create a shot for himself no matter what.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

Yeah when he do force it that bad(and he do force it alot) but i still don't believe it's bad for him to try to get his own shot(consider we have NO ONE ELSE that can). If you are the best scorer on the team you sometimes have to be alittle greed but not to the point in forcing bad shot and (Nick if we sign him) will learn that this coming summer(I hope and hope John can shot for that matter :)).

it's not a matter of if the player is hot or not, it's a matter of whether they are working within the offense and creating for others. Kirk isnt, and neither is anyone else save for Wall (basically).

Posted by: divi3

Well the thing is John Wall is the play maker in this offense because Flip offense is design to make the point guard make plays. Is there a time when u don't see John without the ball in has hand on most of the sets we run?

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 8, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

It we take all the criteria as personified in all those teams mentioned everything can be called a rebuild.

Take San Antonio for instance whom was playoff team with Robinson pre-Timmee, but Robinson got hurt so there record plummeted so bad they ended up getting Timmee' in the draft and voila, back in the playoffs again. That's a rebuild?

But okay, by yawls standard and I am an understanding guy, we can just about call every successful reign a rebuild.

So, a given. So be it. I just got one question. When is the part of the rebuild piece where a coach get's fired for non-performance going to occur in the Wizard process?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

So you're going to ignore the Boston, Chicago, and Detroit examples right? Oh okay.

San Antonio never had to rebuild. They got lucky and got to put two hall of fame big men together. Like I said...the common factor with all of those teams is a hall of fame caliber player. A hall of fame caliber player and a average supporting cast can get you a first round exit every year. Ask Kobe, KG, etc. That David Robinson injury was like a said...a "blessing"

Chicago and Detroit did it the same way...Boston did it a different way. Compiled youth and talent and traded it for vets. Either way...they were rebuilds.

The part where the coach gets fired for non-performance usually comes in year 2 or 3 of the rebuild....so get comfortable.

And I found this for all those throwing out the Thunder/Scott Brooks comparison:

http://www.bulletsforever.com/2011/2/4/1972338/the-flip-side-a-few-basics-and-nobody-remembers-scott-brooks

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I am not ready to call John Wall a playmaker just yet. When I see that John Wall, but more specifically, when I see that the Wizards are taking advantage of John Walls speed to run breaks with his teammates as a major attack of the their designed offense, then he will have earned the playmaker mantra.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Mike Hall Wants You To Know That Things Are Different In Europe

Another perspective on the NBA lockout. Really fantastic writing.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 8, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if all 3 of the young Wiz -- Nick Young, McGee, and Blatche -- are 'role players' on a contender. That's not to say one or more wouldn't start at some point and be productive. They've all played better for stretches than they're playing now, and may again. Might help if less was expected of them, or if (in Andray's case) he got some extended time off to heal up and get in shape.

In addition you have to wonder what the trade value might be. Nick's had the best season, Javale's the upside pick, and Blatche is probably at a low point in his value. That's not likely to change in the remaining third of the season.

The main player evaluation question IMO is who on the current roster fits best with a team led by John Wall.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Why not let Wall play alongside Kirk more in the last 30 games? See if he's more comfortable with a complementary player like Hinrich and can get his rhythm and his scoring touch back. Kirk won't be in Washington for the long term, but there are other candidates.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

So you're going to ignore the Boston, Chicago, and Detroit examples right? Oh okay.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 8, 2011 11:03 AM

No, I did not ignore those examples. In fact, I accepted the premise of you and the boards case for a rebuild and said that my premise just didn't measure up as comparable to the criteria as encompassed by the board.

I have a narrow minded view of what a rebuild is and that being so I recognize that my view does not carry as much water as the boards. The boards view is more more broader and all encompassing than mine when it comes to what a NBA rebuild is.

I am accepting the boards view on this one.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 8, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Winners don't rebuild SDMDTSU, they find ways to win. They don't blow Teams up, they make them better."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Even if that were true (and it's not only not true, it's pretty much empty gobbledygook) it's utterly irrelevant with regards to Washington, because the Wizards haven't been winners. The Wizards (unlike San Antonio, which seems to be your go-to red herring), are not a former perennially contending team going through transition. The Wizards are a team that's made 4 playoff appearances in the past 2 decades and only made it out of the first round once. So the whole "winners just win" ethos has no bearing here because in order to keep winning, they first have to start winning. And in order to do that, they have to have the right pieces to compete and win. And there's little to nothing to suggest that a critical mass of the players currently on this team are must-have components of that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"I am not ready to call John Wall a playmaker just yet."

Oh, he's a playmaker, all right. I think that'll be his eventual strength -- setting the pace and winning games at the end. Probably never be a defensive stopper, but most great PGs aren't.

I'd like to see the team focus on getting Wall back into his game. Get his shot to fall, get him comfortable taking the ball to the basket the way he was at season's start.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Stick to the rebuilding plan and stay under the cap. Its painful in the begining but it will work out in the end. I think in the off season we need to take care of our young core: Wall, Young and Mcgee and build around them.

So i like Glen Davis from Boston at the 4
and because NY is in love with Melo Mania, they will forget about Chandler. And we can sign a Wislon Chandler to play the 3.
Push Blatche and Lewis to the bench and plug those 2 players in the 3 and 4. Draft a harrison barnes or jared sullinger and just let them continue to develop. It seems reasonable, cheap and your still keeping a young team together

Posted by: mrhney03 | February 8, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Why would Hinrich be bothered by a playoff contender trade rumor? That was just too silly to put in the article.

Posted by: bobilly1 | February 8, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

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