Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 1:02 AM ET, 02/ 6/2011

Wizards get lost searching for fourth-quarter hero against Atlanta

By Michael Lee

With the Wizards struggling to get a win on Saturday, there was no shortage of volunteers to take on the role of hero. Problem was, as Nick Young tried to take his man off the dribble, or Andray Blatche worked his way in the post, or John Wall drove inside, their teammates stood around and watched.


Now that I'm up here, what should I do? (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Wizards know by now that they don't have that one individual who can lift them from their struggles -- not yet anyway. Too many players have been thrust into roles for which they aren't accustomed, so they really need to rely on each other in order to win games. Coach Flip Saunders has tried to convey that message all season, but it doesn't always sink in. And, too often, the Wizards are sunk.

If you look at the final box, it seemed like the Wizards had a decent offensive night, as they shot 50.4 percent from the floor. But you wouldn't necessarily call them efficient, especially in the final period, when they struggled hit shots from the field and the foul line.

The Hawks had half as many assists as the Wizards in the fourth quarter, but they were more effective because they moved the ball until they got the shot they wanted, attacked the rim -- and made their free throws after they got fouled (Atlanta was 13 for 13 from the foul line, compared to 1 for 6 for the Wizards).

Sounds simple, but the Wizards have had problems with just about everything during their season-long eight-game losing streak. Even playing at home and feeding off the energy of the fans isn't a remedy anymore.

But after the game, Saunders and his players all agreed that they won't get out of this funk by hoping that one man can save the day. "They was getting and-ones," Wall said of the Hawks, "and we was taking one pass or no pass and taking the shot. They was coming down and getting three or four passes. We've just got to make more passes and start trusting each other and finish out game. They didn't care who took the big shot."

The Wizards (13-37) haven't won since upsetting Boston, 85-85, on Jan. 22, when Wall made the game-winning three-pointer on a broken play. "That night, nobody cared who scored, nobody cared who got a career high, that's how it's got to be every night for us," Wall said.

Saunders wasn't being overly critical. He was simply offering a frank assessment of his team after it made some runs, but never seemed to trust the system enough to solve the problems together. "We get times where we play very individualistic. We have a tendency, and it's something that we keep on working to overcome, we have times when we throw the ball to somebody, and the guy will go, 'Oh,' -- knowing no matter what that guy's going to shoot the ball. We can't predetermine too many times what's happening on the floor because when you do that, you're too easy to defend, and they run people at you, and they trap you, and you end up taking bad shots or bad floor-balance shots."


Why am I not in the dunk contest? (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Saunders singled out Young, who has emerged as the Wizards' primary offensive option, and described some of his one-on-one moves as "PlayStation." But he expressed some understanding for the situation. "That's what happens in the heat of the battle, in pressure situations where you're trying to scratch out a win. It just seems that there's that time when the heat gets turned up, I don't want to say we panic, but you revert back to what you're most comfortable doing."

Young really got caught up in trying to do too much in the fourth period. He has become the Wizards' best offensive weapon, but lost track of how he assumed that position. It wasn't from trying cross-over dribbles and going one-on-one; he was more effective when he was running the floor, cutting and providing spacing for Wall, who using found him in his comfortable spots.

Young played well through the first three quarters, even caught an alley-oop pass and converted a reverse dunk, celebrating by rolling one arm over the other repeatedly. But when the Hawks adjusted their defense, Young started to press, and he missed 5 of 6 shots in the fourth quarter. He also missed two free throws.

"I had a couple good looks that I want to take back. That's how it's been going for me," Young said. down the stretch, players feel like they can get the job done. It's having a lot of confidence, but at the same time, we gotta get the ball moving. I'm a part of that myself."

After the game, Saunders was asked if he believes his comments have started to fall on deaf ears following so many losses. He replied, "If we were playing that way all the time, then I would say yeah, it's fall on deaf ears, but it's not like that."

Said Blatche, "I hope nobody has deaf ears in here. We all have to listen and change, because what's happening now is not working. Like I said before, we have no selfish players. We just all are trying to be that player to get us over the hump."

Blatche, who had five assists, added that coaching has not been the problem. "Coach [Saunders] is a very well established and successful coach. Anything he says has got truth to it. He's been around this business for a long time. He's not going to tell us nothing that's not going to help us."

Wall added that the team is well prepared for each game. "Coach is doing us a great job of setting us up and giving us the game plan. They can't go out there and play for us, all they can do is give us the best preparation they can."

But there often seems to be a disconnect from what the coaches tell the players and what the players actually do on the court. And that's why the Wizards have lost 10 of their past 11 games. Of course, the competition has been much better, but the Wizards have had opportunities to win. They just have little to show for it.

"It gets tough at times, and when you go through a stretch with a lot of games against good teams, you've got to rely on each other and be sharp on both ends and we haven't been good enough in both areas," Kirk Hinrich said. "At this point in the season, the question is, will we ever do it consistently. I think the times we have done it, we played good basketball and got some big wins at home and when we don't, we usually struggle down the stretch and teams clamp up the defense."

By Michael Lee  | February 6, 2011; 1:02 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, John Wall, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Open thread: Wizards (13-36) vs. Hawks (31-19)
Next: Trevor Booker learning to play small forward

Comments

Thank God there's the Cleveland Cavs. The nataional neg pub aways if we can't win in Cleveland. As much as we're looking to end the road woes, they have a streak they're trying to shake off too.

Posted by: zack5 | February 6, 2011 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Well LBJ owed us for ruining Arenas and the 'big three'.

Seriously people, do not let LBJ touch you in a non-basketball manner.

Posted by: jaguar2490 | February 6, 2011 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Immediate change I'd make... I'd like to see a starting 5 of Yi at center with Mcgee at PF, Booker at SF, and Young & Wall i. the backcourt. Come off the bench with Seraphin, Blatche, Thornton, Howard and Hinrich.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Immediate change I'd make... I'd like to see a starting 5 of Yi at center with Mcgee at PF, Booker at SF, and Young & Wall i. the backcourt. Come off the bench with Seraphin, Blatche, Thornton, Howard and Hinrich.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 4:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm up watchin the replay on NBATV.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 4:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm up watchin the replay on NBATV.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 4:18 AM | Report abuse

Interesting blog. I've watched several of the games lately, and I'm disappointed in the chemistry or lack thereof of the team. I'm glad it's not lost on the team. My assessment is that some change is needed and I hope the owner is analyzing what's happening with some pros who know how to turn this around. Andray Blatche is a talented guy but doesn't have a good strategy for the game. Javale McGee's talent is astounding, but his fundamentals and footwork need a lot of work. His game these days looks like he's been watching Wilt Chamberlain. Not a bad thing, but how about studying Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Hinrich is looking like a pure role player. There is just too much jump shot shooting. Live by the jumper, die by the jumper. Rashard Lewis hasn't found his shot since he's been here. He doesn't have enough arch on the ball and looks like he flinging it, like a catapult. Al Thornton is attacking the rim. The guy from Clemson is attacking the rim. It looks like a disjointed circus. It sounds like Flip knows what he's talking about, but there's a disconnect, no one seems to be listening.

How is this going to change? I'm totally perplexed about where this team is going and how it will become successful. We need the proper identify as a franchise. Good people are here, but the right people don't seem to be here. I've said enough. Go Wizards.

Posted by: zbopjazz | February 6, 2011 6:15 AM | Report abuse

NY + AB = Losers

Posted by: fish4 | February 6, 2011 6:39 AM | Report abuse

they play the game but have no idea how to play to get a win; they play every game the same way in hopes of outscoring the opponent but can't stop anybody.
the post play is pathetic and lacking fundamentals, the guard defense is not very good at all.
saunders is soon out the door, and it shows in the way he talks to the press, he knows this can't continue.

Posted by: outrbnksm | February 6, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Different game, same story (excuses) for bad play. It seems after every game, Flip and the players say the same thing, not trusting each other, not passing the ball, yada,yada,yada. If they know the problem, why do they keep doing the same things the same way? THAT, is the million dollar question. Everyone keeps saying wait on the draft. If the number one pick, doesn't really know all of the fundamentals of basketball,then we will be right back at this point next year with a losing season. I guess this team will go on this way until the fans become disinterested and Leonsis and Monumental begin to feel the finanacial looss.

Posted by: ivyleague | February 6, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

This team is not getting any better. Matter of fact they seem to be going backwards. They are not going to play for Saunders because if they were, they would have done so by now. Ted, thank Saunders for his service and then tell him that you need to make a change!

Posted by: oakiedokie1 | February 6, 2011 8:30 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? LarryInClintonMD. Posted by:LarryInClintonMD"

I think the point isn't that the Wizards ran the same play, it's that by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, players had already started free-lancing. Reverted to bad habits -- 'Play Station' stuff.

A phenomenon we saw early last season, before the old core was broken up. Somebody described it as 'waiting for Gilbert and Antawn to be 25 again." That about sums it up.

It's a team game. I like that John Wall seems to understand this, even if some of the older players don't. The Wiz played well enough to win that home game last night, and somehow managed to trail most of the way.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"Saunders wasn't being overly critical.....Michael Lee

The ARENAS culture created by the previous ownership sure dies hard doesn't it? Almost makes one think that the players believe as long as they're getting paid, they can do pretty much anything they want despite being told otherwise.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 6, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

saunders is soon out the door, and it shows in the way he talks to the press, he knows this can't continue.

Posted by: outrbnksm | February 6, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

He's going nowhere, but several players will, maybe soon.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 6, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Well LBJ owed us for ruining Arenas and the 'big three'.

Seriously people, do not let LBJ touch you in a non-basketball manner.

Posted by: jaguar2490 | February 6, 2011 4:00 AM | Report abuse

You better hope he doesn't 'touch' you. He's been dead since '73.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 6, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Immediate change I'd make... I'd like to see a starting 5 of Yi at center with Mcgee at PF, Booker at SF, and Young & Wall i. the backcourt. Come off the bench with Seraphin, Blatche, Thornton, Howard and Hinrich.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 4:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree. That would give us 3 players we can build on and give them serious playing time. I still think we lack a center and power forward.

Posted by: junkmail0153 | February 6, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. An acronym the military uses in its instructs.

Sometimes the best plans are only just plans. Is it coincidence that when Howard came in last year and Blatche was thrust in as a starter the Wiz had a bump in good play? When Lewis first came in, we remarked how the team seemed to mesh a bit better.

Is it coincidence that when mostly we had to shoot from the hip, KISS so to speak, because circumstances dictated that system was not in full effect that we have a bump in good play?

Is it conincidence that Booker seems to excell in his play when given a chance?

When Wall gets aggressive, we like that, why?

No, they are not coincidences at all and I think they are easily explainable.

It is very simple to me. Structure is to bring things in control, once they get out of hand. Basketball, or sport is spontaneous, because you can't preditermine how the ball bounces.

So you can't be all structure, all the time, or else you become stale and predictable. Spontaneous play has to be as much a part of your game as the structured system. It should be encouraged and not criticized or penalized for.

The Wizards play is stale and predictable every night because of the system. Structure is needed, yes, but so is the freedom to play spontaneously as well. When you play spontaneously, you make the extra pass, you post up an inferior defender, you free lance, you cheat, you gamble, you stay with the hot hand, you stay with what is working and then you use structure to keep it all together.

Just like back in the day when we used the zone for a few minutes and then went back to running the ball and our opponents off the court, game over.

Flip is afraid to let the players just play basketball. I think he thinks and like a lot of folks that these players aren't smart enough to just play the game. A huge mistake. The players have to learn when to rely on the system and when to break from it in an instant. They can't be looking to the bench when they know they did something not inaccordance to plan.

The Wizards do not do a good job of just playing basketball. They are trying their damdest to run a system that isn't working for them instead of just playing.

There is too much system and not enough balling. Booker excells because he just comes out on the floor and balls.

You have got to ball first and then you use the system second. Flip has this upside down.

Now some will say we don't have good enough players yet, maybe so, but for sure the players that we do have should be competing and winning at a better pace than they are now.

Play first, KISS.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The Hawks are a much more talented team.
The Wizzies were within striking distance the whole game.
Overall not a terrible game considering what we got & what they have.
It may be a while before we get another win.
I wouldn't count on the Cavs game. They'll be pumped for a win.
It's gonna take a while to get the players to get this team headed in the right direction.

Posted by: VBFan | February 6, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Immediate change I'd make... I'd like to see a starting 5 of Yi at center with Mcgee at PF, Booker at SF, and Young & Wall i. the backcourt. Come off the bench with Seraphin, Blatche, Thornton, Howard and Hinrich.

Posted by: Darnell1

Sure, 4 guys who have trouble scoring and one guy who can. That should help us immediately..............

Posted by: ts35 | February 6, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

You guys can say all you want about shard Lewis. At $23 Mil, his numbers are no ways in comparison to his salary. He doesn't show much, very unreaiiable shooting the ball. If there is a team willing to take him for the playoff push, EG should make the trade. Outside of the rooks, I can't see any reason to keep anybody but NY and my thoughts on him are changing each game. Clearly, you need another scorer as everyone just loads up on the only scorer you have. Wish list should include 2nd option to score and a force in the low post.

Posted by: zack5 | February 6, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the players have a problem "keeping it simple". The stupid part, however....

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Play first, KISS.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Larry, there's another acronym, one that programmers use....GIGO. Garbage In Garbage Out. It's stretching it a bit for these purposes, but essentially the principle is that it doesn't matter what the programming or structure is if the source material is flawed.

Posted by: ts35 | February 6, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"As I told Nick a couple of times, it was like PlayStation," Coach Flip Saunders said.
Realistically, this man is an Idiot. He's Grunfeld's boy and Ted needs to show both of them the door. TLG = Ted Lose Grunfeld (or you join the Idiots Club too)

Posted by: member8 | February 6, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Immediate change I'd make... I'd like to see a starting 5 of Yi at center with Mcgee at PF, Booker at SF, and Young & Wall i. the backcourt."

Well I think that's best 5 for the Wiz's future developement, but as others have said on here it's definately a lack of chemistry.

Here's the thing though, you can't have chemistry if your "flip"ing the line ups every night. It's half way through the season and I don't wanna hear it's "injuries."

"He's going nowhere, but several players will, maybe soon."

I disagree. I think this is Flip's last season here. But I think some players will be going soon as well. To me the coach is the "leader" on any team. Flip has to pull the players together and have a "plan" going down the stretch and he just doesn't. He's got to pull Blatche aside when he takes those one pass jumpers from 18 feet out and say "You can't do that, so-and-so needs to have the ball." He just doesn't have that ability. He would rather blame the players then himself.

The story goes "if you watch the last 5 minutes of basketball of any game then you've seen the whole game." I don't think it's a coincidense the Wiz fall apart during the last five minutes, mostly because they are young, but moreso because they are not very well coached.

Flip HAS to tell these guys what to do and who is supposed to get it I just don't see it. He can't even put the same players on the floor any night. I see the wrong people taking 18-20 foot bricks at the end of games and then they lose. Sorry, but that's on the coach. You're best two options down the stretch are Wall and Young, going to the hole and hopefully to the line. It's just not happening.

It's a process, it's going to take a couple years. But Flip and EG aren't the answer either.

"At $23 Mil, his numbers are no ways in comparison to his salary."

That's why Orlando traded him and at the time Ted just wanted to get rid of Gil so it was a good deal for both clubs at the time. I'm hoping they can unload him and Hinrich before the deadline, or this summer.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 6, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Larry, there's another acronym, one that programmers use....GIGO. Garbage In Garbage Out. It's stretching it a bit for these purposes, but essentially the principle is that it doesn't matter what the programming or structure is if the source material is flawed.

Posted by: ts35 | February 6, 2011 10:28 AM

TS35, that would be true.

GIGO, Garbage In Garbage Out.

However, IMO, the source material in this case, I give a much higher value and credit to than I believe Flip and most bloggers here do.

You see somehow another, I kinda get the feeling that some believe that this is the best this compilation of players can achieve and that Flip believes the same about the players as well.

I don't believe that. I sincerely believe that this Team as currently constructed should be further along the winning curve than they are.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It's time to stop hoping that the core three of AB, NY and JM start to grow up and get it. They may still be young, but they aren't rookies. It's doubtful that any of them will ever develop into anything more than good bench role players. For every night NY gets hot, there are about five nights where he goes 6-23. The other two are even more inconsistent.

They are true Grunfeld players: athletic and exciting, but dumb and with no commitment to defense.

Good analogy by the coach. All three of them take a Play Station approach to the game, especially on defense. Saunders is not the best coach for this group, but it is unlikely that any of these guys will ever become stars.

Posted by: NYPDee | February 6, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

" I sincerely believe that this Team as currently constructed should be further along the winning curve than they are.
LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Is our team better than this one?

Mo Williams G
Antawn Jamison F
JJ Hickson PF
Daniel Gibson G
Anderson Varejao C
Jamario Moon SF
Ramon Sessions PG
Manny Harris G
Leon Powe F
Ryan Hollins C
Christian Eyenga G
Anthony Parker SG
Samardo Samuels PF
Alonzo Gee SF

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if part of the problem is that our team can't communicate with each other, in fact it is hard to tell that they are speaking the English language. Maybe the coach needs to speak in tongues or use hand signals because they may want to learn but can't figure out what the words mean. Cause I is sure that nothing ain't goin to work if they ain't hearin in the same language.

Posted by: andypitt | February 6, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I sincerely believe that this Team as currently constructed should be further along the winning curve than they are.

LarryInClintonMD.

I disagree.
This team is lucky to be where they are right now.
Wall is a 20 year old kid running an NBA team.
Other teams know that Nick is the olny scoring threat.
Blatch is double teamed and can't figger out what to do next.
This team is constructed out of inferior material.
Upgrades are gonna take a while.
Get used to it and enjoy the very few wins that will come til then and enjoy seeing signs of progress from time to time.

Posted by: VBFan | February 6, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think the playstation comment was a low blow.

That comment by Flip will not get him anything.

When you get off the plan, off the system, it is playstation time in Flip's opinion.

When plays breakdown in sports, all sports, improvisation is a must. The better you are at it the better as a team you will be.

I am telling you guys that Flip does not coach spontaneous basketball. He feels the system is all his Team needs to learn.

When the play breaks down on Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket he uses his physical skill and talent to still make a play and perform well.

This team is so whipped with Flips system that when things go haywire they don't know how to perform well.

Good spontaneity is huge in basketball and it is missing from this Team and if a player or two starts to revert to natural instincts instead of relying on the system, I guess Flip calls that Playstation Time.

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is.................................. the Wizards don't have any game changers and the Hawk's had at least three and that was with all star Al Horford injured, when the Wiz had the big three (AJ,GA,CB) as a fan you felt they had a chance to win the close games now they are barely a conversation in the fourth quarter. A lot of you wanted "change" you wanted EG to purge the roster of so called overpaid players" MeTawn,"Agent Zero, Tough Juice, now what? we've got a bunch of backup's now thrust into prime time and they can't handle it.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 6, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe the Wiz are a better roster than this one?

Kevin Love PF
Michael Beasley SF
Corey Brewer G
Jonny Flynn G
Wesley Johnson G
Darko Milicic C
Luke Ridnour G
Wayne Ellington G
Sebastian Telfair G
Kosta Koufos C
Martell Webster G-F
Lazar Hayward F
Anthony Tolliver F

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Wiz roster is superior to this one:

DeMarcus Cousins C
Sam Dalembert C
Tyreke Evans G
Beno Udrih G
Donte Green F
Jason Thompson PF
Omri Casspi F
Carl Landry PF
Francisco Garcia G
Luther Head G
Darnell Jackson PF
Hassan Whiteside C

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The answer is we NEED an all-star that takes over the endgame, like Kobe and...KEVIN DURANT!!! He's up for FA, right?, GUeRRE-ON-TEE he would bring instant success to the Wizards- Bring homey on home..

The Hawks just outhustled the lackluster Wizards last night.. If Flip can't motivate and coach better in the second half, maybe replace him..

But definitely should obtain Kevin the Closer...

Posted by: frak | February 6, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

You see somehow another, I kinda get the feeling that some believe that this is the best this compilation of players can achieve and that Flip believes the same about the players as well.

I don't believe that. I sincerely believe that this Team as currently constructed should be further along the winning curve than they are.

LarryInClintonMD.

What I think Larry, and I think you see it reflected in the statements made by KH, Lewis and even AB, Wall and NY is that this team is going through the growing pains of learning the basics of how to play basketball the right way.

You like to say that the speed of the team is the speed of the leader. I like to say that the group can only go as fast as its slowest member. Until they are all mostly on the same page about what they are doing, it doesn't make sense to give them a lot of room to freelance (though imo, some of them feel free to take that room). Better to lose now learning how to play within the team concept than sacrifice the team concept in pursuit of a few more wins.

Basketball is a game of flow, no question, but it never flows without some inherent system, choreography or understanding by the players on the floor.

Posted by: ts35 | February 6, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Is this Team better than Cleveland is a subjective question? What measurement are you using? Wins? Losses? What?

My point is though that this group of players should be further along the winning curve than they are. What that translates to is also subjective.

On any given Sunday a much lesser assumed team can take home victory, but does mean they are a better team or better that day?

I am speaking more to performance level and competiveness.

However, when we play Cleveland we should beat them I feel, but what if they whip us and make us look bad?

Would people start to say then like myself, that, we really are not that bad.

In medieval times when the jester didn't perform just right, the King would say off with his head. But today in modern times, we'll just say Fire the Coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

A starting 5 to me of Yi at C, McGee at PF, Booker at SF, Young & Wall in the backcourt is the group with the most upside that I'd like to try to develop. I like moving McGee to PF where he can focus more on help D and will be a matchup nightmare for other teams. Let Yi play the post and focus on rebounding, along with Booker to help. Defensively McGee and Booker together will be tough. Wall has passing abilities to McGee or Booker cutting to the hole or kickout to Yi or Young for jumpers.

Start getting Seraphin more pt as the primary backup center to Yi, bring Blatche off the bench maybe we starts playing with more passion with demotion. Thornton backup at SF, Howard as a defensive pressence off bench for Young, and Hinrich at pg.

Trade Lewis to contender for any kind of a draft pick.

Offseason #1 priority get a FA center to replace Yi in starting lineup (M.Gasol!). Use top draft pick on best player available regardless of position (except pg of course).

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

In medieval times when the jester didn't perform just right, the King would say off with his head. But today in modern times, we'll just say Fire the Coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Sure, because a season and a half with essentially three separate rosters is more than enough time for a coach to establish a winning team.

Posted by: ts35 | February 6, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Larry.

You say allow them the ability to be spontaneous. You ever notice that's when they look the worst? Nick playing hero ball? JaVale trying to be a
PG?

Last game everytime Nick touched it...he shot it. Three crossovers back to all the herky jerky and BRICK. I think this blog is a very accurate depiction of the Wizards right now. Even Flip's words. It does feel like they feel like "okay...my turn to shoot" no matter what.

And about Grant Hill...maybe Nick should've learned this too: WATCH SOME DAMN TAPE.

When JaVale balls against Hibbert from watching tape...it's on him but when Grant Hill picks up Nick's plays from watching tape...sounds like a good veteran to me.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing is...with so much hate for Kirk and all the talk of PGs with "career games" against him...

How many career games have people had on Dray? Jesus. He really has no heart. It's sickening. Especially to see it in person.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Is this Team better than Cleveland is a subjective question? What measurement are you using? Wins? Losses? What?"LarryInClintonMD. Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Um, that's why I posted the rosters. So you could compare.

That's the measure.

Most of the NBA puts the Wiz in a category with those 3 clubs and New Jersey, talent-wise. Larry insists the team could do better and blames the coach.

Are the Wiz really more talented than the 3 other worst teams in the NBA?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Darnell's ultimate offseason plan for rebuild:


#1 Resign NY and Yi , let go of Howard and Armstrong.

#2 Deal Lewis and Blatche for expiring contract and/or any kind of draft pick.

#3 Sign a FA starting center. My top choice is M.Gasol! Need a big body down low who can board and hit the open J. Backup will be Yi and N'Diaye.

#4 Move McGee to PF. Here he is a matchup nightmare for opponents. His athleticism and shot-blocking will be dominant. Backup will be Seraphin.

#5 Draft a SF (Terrance Jones?) with top pick. Move Booker to SF to compete here and be a defensive stopper/rebounder off the bench. NY can also get minutes here when needed.

#6 Draft a SG with 2nd rounder to challenge/backup Young (Scotty Hopson?).

#7 Wall and Hinrich at PG.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 6, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

the current set of canned responses Flip is using is just something to say rather than the truth....that Nick is the only legitimate scoring option on the team. Wasnt it just a week or so ago Flip yelled at the squad for not getting Nick the ball enough? Now it's that Young shoots too much? Sure. There's nobody else, every opponent knows it, and it continually plays out the same way.

And it's absurd to expect Young to morph from the guy half the fan base wanted to get rid of into a player who is dropping 20+, playing good defense, AND facilitating everybody else on offense. Come on.

Much of the current trouble can be fixed by Wall developing into the playmaker he's expected to become over the next 2 seasons.

Posted by: divi3 | February 6, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

My take is that, up and down the roster, the Wiz are less talented than Minnesota and Sacramento and roughly comparable to the Cavs.

Mo Williams and Varejao are injured, but when healthy try this comparison:

Antawn Jamison/Jamario Moon -- Al Thornton/Josh Howard
JJ Hickson -- Andray Blatche
Mo Williams -- Nick Young
Anderson Varejao -- Javale McGee
Ramon Sessions/ Daniel Gibson -- John Wall/ Kirk Hinrich

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Larry.

You say allow them the ability to be spontaneous. You ever notice that's when they look the worst? Nick playing hero ball? JaVale trying to be a
PG?

Last game everytime Nick touched it...he shot it. Three crossovers back to all the herky jerky and BRICK. I think this blog is a very accurate depiction of the Wizards right now. Even Flip's words. It does feel like they feel like "okay...my turn to shoot" no matter what.

And about Grant Hill...maybe Nick should've learned this too: WATCH SOME DAMN TAPE.

When JaVale balls against Hibbert from watching tape...it's on him but when Grant Hill picks up Nick's plays from watching tape...sounds like a good veteran to me.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 12:18 PM

This is all well and good, but when I am referring to a spontaneous game everybody is on the same page. Spontaneity isn't a coached strategy for Flip. His system is the main primary focus and gameplan.

For instance, lets say the point says we are fastbreaking on every play. Rebound, turnover, made basket, we are still running to the hoop. That would lead to spontaneous play though we've decided thats what we are going to do and it puts everyone in the same frame of mind.

The spontanity I am referring is not a player going own his own. There is a method to spontaneity.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

There is a method to spontaneity.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh okay. That makes it all make sense now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This is all well and good, but when I am referring to a spontaneous game everybody is on the same page.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

But would that not be called....structure?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The spontanity I am referring is not a player going own his own. There is a method to spontaneity.
LarryInClintonMD.

If you have a point, you need to restate it since being spontaneous by definition rules out having a method or plan.

Posted by: nmik | February 6, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Wasnt it just a week or so ago Flip yelled at the squad for not getting Nick the ball enough?

I remember Flip yelling to get Lewis the ball more.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 6, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

For instance, lets say the point says we are fastbreaking on every play. Rebound, turnover, made basket, we are still running to the hoop. That would lead to spontaneous play though we've decided thats what we are going to do and it puts everyone in the same frame of mind.
LarryInClintonMD.

Actually, I believe that leads to everyone running into each other at the hoop. Also, since after a few tries, most teams learn to get back on D, it leads to 4 secs of running and 20 seconds on "Now what?" Come to think of it, they may be running your system already.

Posted by: ts35 | February 6, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Booker shows some potential of being that force of a young D Howard in his rookie year at times.

Posted by: zack5 | February 6, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Most of the NBA puts the Wiz in a category with those 3 clubs and New Jersey, talent-wise. Larry insists the team could do better and blames the coach.

Are the Wiz really more talented than the 3 other worst teams in the NBA?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 12:36 PM

I am sure one of the reasons they get put in put in the bottom tier of the boat is because of the results.

I am not sold on the fact that the results we see now from every game are the right ones. I think our results should be better and yes I place the blame for the underachievement squarely and mostly on the coaching.

I believe we should be better than we are, I just do.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 2:49 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

Dargregmag. Long time no hear from from our daily battles the last two years about your boy Eddie Jordan. Anyway, so who do you have in mind then? And please tell me it is not another "retread" for a coach....???

Now, could you tell me what "qualifies" a person to be an NBA assistant? Hummmm??? Let me think here....

Sam Cassell Bio:
1/ Has 3 RINGS (3 RINGS......!!!)
2/ He played in the league for 15 years for 8 Teams. (Guess how many coaches he has had a chance to learn from?)
3/ He is a NBA All Star and All NBA Team member.
4/ He played with at least 7 bona-fided HOF's during the duration of his career.
5/ He played the point guard position. That is like playing the quarterback on your football team.
6/ Sam had to know everybody's position including his own. He was the timemanager on the floor and the play setup man. What better "under fire" experience can somebody have????

Did Mike Tomlin "barely" qualify to take over being the coach for the Steelers? At the time you could have asked the same thing. More teams should use the examples of the Steelers. Bill Cowher and Chuck Knoll were also in their 30's when the Steelers hired them.

Don't know how much NBA ball you have watched, but everytime you watched a game where Sam Cassell was running the point, all of the various NBA Analysts and former players always said he would be a great NBA head coach once he hung up his sneakers. And yes, I totally agreed with those assestments.

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 6, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I believe that leads to everyone running into each other at the hoop. Also, since after a few tries, most teams learn to get back on D, it leads to 4 secs of running and 20 seconds on "Now what?" Come to think of it, they may be running your system already.

Posted by: ts35
Confirmed: You're an idiot.
Samson151: same old "divert attention" PI_P.
signed, sock puppet.
eat it.

Posted by: member8 | February 6, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Posted by: ts35
Confirmed: You're an idiot.
Samson151: same old "divert attention" PI_P.
signed, sock puppet.
eat it.
Posted by: member8"

Definitely a phony. Say, haven't seen bulletsfan around much lately...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Don't know how much NBA ball you have watched, but everytime you watched a game where Sam Cassell was running the point, all of the various NBA Analysts and former players always said he would be a great NBA head coach once he hung up his sneakers. And yes, I totally agreed with those assestments.
Posted by: BulletsFever"

I watched a lot of Sam's games beginning with Florida State and I sure don't recall that. Mostly I heard him described as a showboat.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever; In response to your post Sam has a nice resume in term's of playing experience, i noticed you mentioned pro football coach's, i think pro football lends itself to a completely different style of coaching. I think Sam needs more time surrounding himself with better mentors, the good news; by being around Flip Sam is hopefully learning what not to do. I'll throw out two candidates; Mike Woodson, who i think got a raw deal in Atlanta last year after taking the Hawk's from worst to a playoff team, and Lester Conner (Hawk's assistant) who really impressed me while being interviewed after the Hawk's escaped the other night against the Clippers. The other side of the scenario with the Wiz is that they need to rid themselves of Andray Blatche aka the serial skirt chaser needless to say EG and Flip have got to go.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 6, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

This is all well and good, but when I am referring to a spontaneous game everybody is on the same page.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

But would that not be called....structure?


Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 6, 2011 1:14 PM

Precisely, ole' boy, ole' chap, ole' friend of mine. It is the kind of structure that some liken to street ball and the kind of structure that the good teams take advantage of all the time.

As Hubie Brown says all the time, you push the ball up the floor so that mismatches will occur and you take advantage of them. That has to be done quickly up the court and left to the talents and decision making on the spur of the moment of the players on the court.

The Wizards from my observation, except for John Wall, run to get into the system, but John Wall is running to score but no one is running with him and filling the lanes when he is breaking to the basket.

When Wall fastbreaks, I don't see any evidence that anyone is being coached to fill the lanes.

From watching the Wizards, I do not get the feeling that they are being coached to use the fastbreak as an important part of their offense. Fastbreaking for Flip I think is like streetball and Playstation and he wants none of it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 6, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The only way Javale is going to get better is more consistant minutes and the offense to to develope Jmac getting the ball in the low post. The Wizards need the points in the paint and the fouls! Javale could develope that jump hook or "sky" hook a la Jabbar. It will be very tough to stop. He has the physical talent to do it.

Posted by: bobilly1 | February 6, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever; In response to your post Sam has a nice resume in term's of playing experience, i noticed you mentioned pro football coach's, i think pro football lends itself to a completely different style of coaching. I think Sam needs more time surrounding himself with better mentors, the good news; by being around Flip Sam is hopefully learning what not to do. I'll throw out two candidates; Mike Woodson, who i think got a raw deal in Atlanta last year after taking the Hawk's from worst to a playoff team, and Lester Conner (Hawk's assistant) who really impressed me while being interviewed after the Hawk's escaped the other night against the Clippers. The other side of the scenario with the Wiz is that they need to rid themselves of Andray Blatche aka the serial skirt chaser needless to say EG and Flip have got to go.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 6, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Ok I might could go with the Mike Woodson selection, but again he is another "old school" coach and those type of guys (i.e. Jordan, Tapscott, and Flip) don't seem to work for this team. Now I like Lester's resume, but he strikes me like he is a little bit laid back like Larry Drew.

Nothing against that but this young Wiz team needs somebody that is animated and a in your face type of coach and that is another reason why I want Sam for the pick.

As for the football comparison, if anything coaching football is way more difficult to do then basketball because football coaches have way more people to deal with on three sub teams (Offense, Defense and Special Teams).

Lastly as for AB, he needs to look at some tape of himself the first two years he came into the league. If anyone remembers, he was the guy who came off of the bench with all of the energy (i.e. McGee) and blocking shots. I think AB has to do the "Rocky" thing and go back to the old dirty gym and get back the "eye of the tiger".

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 6, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever; I personally don't think AB "gets it" EG made a huge mistake giving Blatche a contract extension and in doing that sent the wrong message to the rest of the team as far as work ethic is concerned.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 6, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever; I personally don't think AB "gets it" EG made a huge mistake giving Blatche a contract extension and in doing that sent the wrong message to the rest of the team as far as work ethic is concerned.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 6, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Dargregmag - I understand what EG was thinking. He was taking advantage of a loop pole in the expiring contract the owners have with the players. I can not remember it exactly, but the Wizards were able to pretty much get AB on the "cheap".

After last years display of putting up good numbers, EG thought he could sign him on a cheaper end contract before AB really blew up and would be asking for crazy money. Remember he is only 24 years so this is a relatively cheap contract for somebody with is "potential"...(smile).

Again, AB needs to go back to the ball player he was when he came in the league. He was more hungrey then. He looks like he is not into it, but that could be because he has alot of injuries. I say judge him after next year, and then you should have a good idea if he is bust or not.

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 6, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever; I personally don't think AB "gets it" EG made a huge mistake giving Blatche a contract extension and in doing that sent the wrong message to the rest of the team as far as work ethic is concerned.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 6, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Dargregmag - I understand what EG was thinking. He was taking advantage of a loop pole in the expiring contract the owners have with the players. I can not remember it exactly, but the Wizards were able to pretty much get AB on the "cheap".

After last years display of putting up good numbers, EG thought he could sign him on a cheaper end contract before AB really blew up and would be asking for crazy money. Remember he is only 24 years so this is a relatively cheap contract for somebody with is "potential"...(smile).

Again, AB needs to go back to the ball player he was when he came in the league. He was more hungrey then. He looks like he is not into it, but that could be because he has alot of injuries. I say judge him after next year, and then you should have a good idea if he is bust or not.

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 6, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

"From watching the Wizards, I do not get the feeling that they are being coached to use the fastbreak as an important part of their offense. Fastbreaking for Flip I think is like streetball and Playstation and he wants none of it.LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Well, Flip has said that Wall needs to push the ball and play fast to succeed. It's a reason they drafted Booker, a pick that was much criticized by some of the people on this blog. It may be that the Wiz are not very good at filling the lanes, but it's unlikely that's because the coaches haven't urged them to do so. So I suspect the above opinion is mostly just a reflection of Larry's personal biases.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company