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Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 03/11/2011

Jump ball: The JaVale McGee puzzle

By Washington Post editors

Box Seats blogger Kevin Broom posed an intriguing question yesterday in his post about JaVale McGee's production. (Some have argued that when McGee plays more the Wizards have a better record.)

Broom asks:

Is McGee playing well (and the team winning) because he's getting more minutes, or is the team winning and McGee getting more minutes because he's being productive?

Broom's conclusion:

The data suggests that when McGee plays well and stays out of foul trouble, he gets more minutes and the team plays better. It does not appear to support the argument that the team would be better if only the coaching staff would get him more playing time.

Do you agree? And do you think Flip Saunders is using McGee effectively?

By Washington Post editors  | March 11, 2011; 12:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

Like most I just don't know about McGee. There are flashes where I am like wow, this guy can be great and capable of giving even the likes of DHoward fits. But most of the time I am like what is he doing, and we gotta get rid of this guy he will never get it.

I think he could be better served with a move to PF. He just doesn't have the leg strength, no weight in his trunk, to be a low post presence. Players like Sampson, Bol, McIlvane come to mind. Maybe he can develop into a Chandler or Camby type. I don't know. He just doesn't seem to have the fight or work ethic or desire. If you see the videos he makes he just comes off as a goof. Seems to be more interested in fashion than ball, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 11, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I am excited about the upcoming draft.

Players I have targeted that should definately be available at our picks:

1st round - Terrance Jones

SF with size and athleticism, among SEC leaders in scoring and rebounding as freshman. Allstar potential, and physically NBA ready now.

ATL pick (1st round) - PF Markieff Morris

Big, strong and athletic 6-10 low post player in mold of a Carlos Boozer type. Plays phyical, can defend and rebound, with offensive potential.

2nd round - SG Justin Holiday

Fast and quick perimeter defender, brother of Jrue Holiday. Needs to get stronger and improve offensively, but very fast defensive oriented player with with good length (6-6) and high motor.


If we come out of the draft with these 3 I will be thrilled! Unfortunately, does not address the center position. Perhaps we can bolster the center spot via free agency? Or maybe a trade involving Blatche for a center? If not I suppose we can stick with McGee and give him another chance.

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 11, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

McGee simply doesn't know how to play the game of basketball. He's extremely raw. While I think kids should have the right to come from High School and play, I can certainly see why they shouldn't.

We can say Dwight Howard made the jump but remember when he first reached the NBA he played on athleticism. Now with Patrick Ewing's help he has the skill behind the athleticism.

Posted by: sire1 | March 11, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@Darnell1,

All those players would be great but I'd be shocked if Morris made it that far.

Also, This draft class isn't as bad as people are saying. There are quite a few players I'd love to see in a Wizards uniform.

All those you mentioned or maybe Perry Jones who will open his game up a bit once he reaches the NBA. Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter would be good pick ups as well.

On another note. Sullinger would be a disaster.

Posted by: sire1 | March 11, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

those were detailed stats. the way i see it

pump fake + Mcgee = foul
foul + more fouls = bench

Posted by: jefferu | March 11, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing mysterious about Mcgee's game to this point. On offense, he hasn't developed a go to move often relying on a hook shot that he often tries too far from the rim and on defense, where most of the time he's constantly out of position and tries to make up space with his athleticism which usually means foul trouble. He is a work in progress but the danger is if he fails to work on his craft and start believing his own hype...

Posted by: BORNSEAN | March 11, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

And do you think Flip Saunders is using McGee effectively?

How about which player has Flip Saunders used effectively?

And Yes it is also up to the player to want to become better but the organization has to realize that it is in their best interest to provide them with the best coaching (big man coach)?

Looking at the players Ernie has drafted (Blatche, Young, McGee)they all seem to have the same problem. Either low BB IQ and/or a poor work ethic.

I have been saying for years the Wizards will not win with both the C and PF being finesse players.

Booker is too short to log a lot of mpg at that position.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 11, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

kid is just a freak athlete who doesn't think. like blatche, only less lazy. sigh. we gotta keep javale for now, since that rookie contract = cheap labor. but every day before the trade deadline i was praying for blatche to get shipped out. i would take anything back. i mean ANYTHING.

Posted by: LoveTheWiz | March 11, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

also to your question: flip saunders does not use ANYONE effectively. therefore, his use of javale mcgee requires no debate. i honestly think he's just waiting to get fired now.

Posted by: LoveTheWiz | March 11, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Does the NBA keep stats on goaltending? I think Javale might be breaking some sort of record.

Posted by: rbelleisle | March 11, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE DISCONTINUE ALL POSTS BY Washinton Post Editors. Especially Jump Ball.

Posted by: prescrunk | March 11, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

By the time McGee gets it, he'll be too old to play. He'll never have an NBA body and is too wrapped up his stats to contribute as he should. Blatche is showing signs of caring at least part-time. Maybe the new cast of characters around him is having an effect. At least he's got some low post savvy and a variety of decent shots. Now if he could just defend and pass!

Posted by: joe2chase | March 11, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I do not consider myself even a student of basketball... just a sometime fan of the game who used to have second row season's tickets at mid-court back when the team was the Bullets and played in Landover. I still watch a lot of games on CSN, however, and I have come to the conclusion that both AB and JM have a low IQ for the game. JM even moreso than AB. Clearly, he is not strong enough to go up against most of the league's premier centers. On defense, he's almost always out of position and trying to make up for that with block attempts. On rebounding, he seems to have no sense for where the ball is going to go. Both JM and AB seem to have weak hands/fingers or maybe they lack the aggressiveness needed to rebound. They can't seem to hold on to the ball when it's in their hands coming off of a rebound or going up for a shot. Trevor Booker is a much better rebounder. And with AB (seemingly) being the team's first offensive option (and this is the only team in the league where that would be true), the probability of turnovers seems to go up significantly. More times than not JM just seems clueless about what's going on around him, where he should be and why. And many times, he just looks tired. Maybe it's his asthma. Instead of participating in the slam dunk contest, he could have spent that effort on learning how to be a team center. And if it's possible, Yi Jianlian seems to have even less basketball IQ than the others on the team.

Posted by: crice2 | March 11, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

When Mcgee doesn't get early fouls and is not making huge errors early, his lenth is a disruption enough for the Wiz beat marginal to bad teams. I also think using him at the 4 should be considered. Thing is, he's got to put in crazy ridiculous hours in on things like footwork. He's going to have to become obsessed with drills and working on his game in general if he is ever going to be anything in the league. He just doesn't have natural game. It's like a person that doesn't dance often but when they decide to, they have good rhythm and look natural. Mcgee doesn't have that natural adaptation to the game.

I don't think he is only concerned with stats and highlight plays. I think he is attempting the only things he *thinks* he excels at.

Posted by: gmac78 | March 11, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mcgee in his 3rd season: 9 pts and 7 rebounds

Camby in his 3rd season: 7pts and 5 rebounds

Granted, Camby was hurt for half that season. but the fact that McGee does not seem injury prone shoudl be a factor in his favor.

I, too, am oftenperplexed by Mcgee. But he is only like 23, right? We would be foolish to let him go. If he never matures, it was draft pick from 4 years ago that never paid off, if we trade him and he matures, it will have been a good draft pick from 4 years ago and a stupid trade.

If we keep him and he matures, then it was a good draft pick and we get the benefits.

By this risk analysis, I think we extend his contract for the full 5 years (if it has not been done yet) and hope for the best.

And by hope for the best, I mean get the guy some good coaching and require him to add some beef and learn some skills.

Posted by: Blurred | March 11, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The more relevant question is whether Flip and Gene Banks have effectively developed McGee?

The answer is clearly no. McGee seems to have gotten worse as the season progresses, or at least, seems to have lost some zeal.

From an outsider's perspective, the constant yelling and yanking from a game by Flip and Whitman hasn't worked and seem counterproductive.

Rather than following a past formula, the Wiz ought to figure out a way to connect with McGee and get him on board. That should include involving him more in the offense and figuring out how to better utilize his comparative strengths.

Posted by: Izman | March 11, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I think McGee at PF would be a big mistake unless he's with a mobile and highly-skilled center. On defense, playing PF would take him away from the basket, which is where his length and shot blocking can be an advantage (at least in theory). On offense, McGee can't shoot, which makes it easy for his defender to be big in help.

Posted by: KevinBroom | March 11, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Javale is in a unique position playing for the Wizzies. If he wins or loses games who cares at this point.
On almost any other team he would only see mop up duty.
The only way that he can possibly improve is to keep him on the floor until he fouls out.
Experience is the best teacher and the best way to evaluate his potential.
He needs at least another year to show what he is or what he can be.

Posted by: VBFan | March 11, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Mcgee in his 3rd season: 9 pts and 7 rebounds

Camby in his 3rd season: 7pts and 5 rebounds

Granted, Camby was hurt for half that season. but the fact that McGee does not seem injury prone shoudl be a factor in his favor.

I, too, am oftenperplexed by Mcgee. But he is only like 23, right? We would be foolish to let him go. If he never matures, it was draft pick from 4 years ago that never paid off, if we trade him and he matures, it will have been a good draft pick from 4 years ago and a stupid trade.

If we keep him and he matures, then it was a good draft pick and we get the benefits.

By this risk analysis, I think we extend his contract for the full 5 years (if it has not been done yet) and hope for the best.

And by hope for the best, I mean get the guy some good coaching and require him to add some beef and learn some skills.

Posted by: Blurred | March 11, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

No matter what type of defense you play, there is one fundamental thing that is consistent. All five players must use their peripheral vision ("V" concept) to be aware of the person they are guarding (or one closest to them) and ALWAYS keep their eye on the person with the ball. It is obvious that no one has every taught McGee this basic fundamental because he is ALWAYS losing track of his man and the guy with the ball. All he wants to do is block shots and dunk the ball because it's all about the flash for him. He should watch film of Tim Duncan and learn something. However, he is not the only one on the team that doesn't understand this defensive "V" concept. The Wizards need an aggressive defensive leader on the court that constantly demands the other four players to communicate on the court. Flip Saunders is an offensive-minded coach that obviously hasn't instilled these defensive fundamentals in his players. We need a new coach like the one in Chicago that DEMANDS accountability on the defensive end. The Wizards have fine young and athletic players, so there are no excuses for the pathetic defense.

Posted by: FredN1 | March 11, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Good point, blurred. Despite the frustration and the slow progress, it's too early in the process and McGee has too much upside for the Wizards to trade him.

Hopefully, he'll get the willingness to work on his game. He has that running hook out of post-up. I'd like to see him add a drop step from either side, plus an up-and-under. He needs to get stronger. He needs to study film, listen to coaches, do whatever drills that can be invented to become a good defender.

Posted by: KevinBroom | March 11, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

What determines High mpg? How he plays in the first few minutes of the game.

There's no evidence of this.

Over the past 12 games as a sample, McGee usually gets subbed for around the 6:30 to 7:30 mark (6:30 or 7:30 into the quarter). Against Orlando he was subbed for at the 2:30 mark, because he picked up two quick fouls.

In those games, which offer a mixed bag of performances, he played 25, 31, 14, 22, 12, 36, 29, 27, 18, 29, 30, and 25 minutes. The 14 and 12 minute outings stand out, but the rest are pretty darn consistent. Were his stats the same in all of those 25-30 minute outings? Nope. Were his performances in the first quarters of all of those 25-30 min outings the same? Nope.

I'm sure his first quarter performance affects Flip's thinking, but McGee always has an opportunity to 'redeem' himself or improve on his performance upon his return.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Mcgee in his 3rd season: 9 pts and 7 rebounds

Camby in his 3rd season: 7pts and 5 rebounds

Granted, Camby was hurt for half that season. but the fact that McGee does not seem injury prone shoudl be a factor in his favor."

Posted by: Blurred | March 11, 2011 3:01 PM

Honestly, I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a serious argument or a brilliant spoof of divi3. But on the chance it's the former . . .

Camby averaged 14 pp, 7 rpg, and 2 bpg as a rookie (and was first team all-rookie), 12 ppg, 7 rpg, and almost 4 bpg in his second season. His missing half the 3rd season due to injury isn't just some incidental aside, it's the primary reason his numbers fell. Even when he played, he wasn't actually healthy. Prior to his third, injury ravaged, season he'd already established himself as one of the best defensive young bigs in the game and an offensive factor. In other words, he'd already established himself as being leagues better than McGee is, so the "two guys had similar stats in similar stages of their careers years/decades apart so the more recent one must be as good as the older one argument" is even more bogus here than it usually is. And make no mistake, it's always extremely bogus.


McGee ain't Camby and never will be. If there was any chance of that we'd have seen some sign of it by now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Hopefully, he'll get the willingness to work on his game. He has that running hook out of post-up. I'd like to see him add a drop step from either side, plus an up-and-under. He needs to get stronger. He needs to study film, listen to coaches, do whatever drills that can be invented to become a good defender."

Posted by: KevinBroom | March 11, 2011 3:26 PM

In other words . . . he needs to learn how to play basketball. But given that he not only appears to have made no effort to do that during his 2 years in college and 3 years in the NBA, but seems to be actively rebuffing any attempts by the Wizards coaching staff to teach him, what logical reason is there to think that giving him multiple years of guaranteed money despite his having done little to nothing to earn it, will somehow inspire his thirst for learning?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Mcgee in his 3rd season: 9 pts and 7 rebounds

Camby in his 3rd season: 7pts and 5 rebounds

Granted, Camby was hurt for half that season. but the fact that McGee does not seem injury prone shoudl be a factor in his favor.

Granted, Camby played 20 mins to McGee's 26 and oh, yeah, was playing BEHIND PATRICK EWING. Just sayin'.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh and I don't know if Camby was hurt or not, but it was the Strike Shortened Season....granted. They only had 50 games that year and he played in 46 of them.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Oh and I don't know if Camby was hurt or not, but it was the Strike Shortened Season....granted. They only had 50 games that year and he played in 46 of them."

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 3:54 PM

Damn, I missed that. Good catch.

So his numbers fell because he played less and was a backup instead of being injured. Either way, it's a reason/excuse that McGee doesn't have.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Saunders should be playing Javale more. It appears that the team plays better when he is in the gane. Nevertheless, This kid ahs so much talent, he should be coaxed along just as John Wall is. We don't focus on his weeknesses , but on his strength and belive that the more minutes he gets the more he will progress. You know that the next team to take Javale will do just that. Among the reasons given for firing of Obrien was that he didn't play Hibbert enough and was hurting his psche and development. I think the same applies to Javale.

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 11, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The team is clearly better when McGee plays well -- this is especially true on the offensive end.

My sense though is that teams have been able to identify his weaknesses and tendencies and have used the information to shut him down. In the low post he's continually getting cleared off the block on defense. When he gets the ball at the free throw line on offense (or off rebounds away from the basket), his tendency is to hesitate, and then attack the basket on the dribble, rather than kicking the ball out to guards on the perimeter. I'm sure there are many other aspects of his game that more trained basketball observers and scouts have picked up on.

He's taken a big step backwards since the All-Star break in his production and development after a pretty promising start to the 2010-2011 season.

Posted by: JPRS | March 11, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I read some responses and the biggest fallacy is that Javale doesn't get minutes because he fouls too much. Javale gets taken out of the game at 5 to 7 minutes of the first halof and then usually only polays half the game. The team doesn't respond to Saunders. WE know that individually. Wall , Mcghee, YOung and Blatche have talent. They need to bring in a proven small forward even if thay are tied up with Lewis. And
I agree with other posters who say that Saunders doesn't know how to rotate his his subs efrfectively. The low point was Saunders playing all rookies including ndaye. That was a negative statement againnst the rest of his team. playing ndaye is retarded. It looks as if the Wizards will be trying for the lottery again. There are many analysts that think th3e Wix=zards have talent enough to be much better record wise. One of those is Tim leghler. They are definately under performing. Sometimes the coach creates that atmospher. Look at Indiana and Charlotte.

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 11, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"And what is the major factor in McGee having a good +/- performance? High mpg."
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2011 1:17 PM

Nope.

Let me first reiterate how utterly meaningless I consider the +/- stat to be. That said, however . . .

There's really only 1 factor that determine's a player's =/- rating and it ain't PT. Plus/minus is determined by whether and how much a player's team outscores the opposition when he's on the floor, regardless of PT.

In other words: A guy can play 30 minutes, but if his team gets outscored by 12 in those 30 minutes, he's going to have a -12 plus/minus. Conversely, a guy who plays 8 minutes, but whose team outscores the opposition by 6 in those 8 minutes will have a plus/minus of +8. Playing time has nothing to do with it.

That concludes the fact-based portion of this proceeding. Please continue with the meaningless, empty rhetorical portion.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2011 1:44 PM

That being said and you've made that point over and over about the +/- statistics.

However, your point does not obviate the fact that McGee's +/- stats mirrors the trend of the Team's.

When McGee's +/- stats are good so are the Teams. When McGee's +/- stats trend poorly so does the Team.

That says something to me. It simply says Kalo_rama based on your own synopsis of the +/- statistical ruler that the Team plays well when McGee plays well and they play poorly when he plays poorly.

Flips answer to this is to bench McGee thus removing his poor play from the equation, but however, the benching of McGee does not appear to affect the +/- of the Team positively as noted in Broom's statistics.

Your analysis of why you think the +/- is meaningless does not supplant the results as revealed by Mr. Broom.

So it would behove IMO as I've stated for Flip to figure out how to have McGee to perform better over a longer period of time during games when he appears to start badly rather than just cut his minutes which does not appear to help the Team perform any better.

The stats show Kalo_rama even with your explanation that the Team performs better when McGee performs better. The stats do not show that the Team performs better when McGee is benched and not on the floor as Flip seems to think.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I read some responses and the biggest fallacy is that Javale doesn't get minutes because he fouls too much. Javale gets taken out of the game at 5 to 7 minutes of the first halof and then usually only polays half the game. The team doesn't respond to Saunders. WE know that individually. Wall , Mcghee, YOung and Blatche have talent. They need to bring in a proven small forward even if thay are tied up with Lewis. And
I agree with other posters who say that Saunders doesn't know how to rotate his his subs efrfectively. The low point was Saunders playing all rookies including ndaye. That was a negative statement againnst the rest of his team. playing ndaye is retarded. It looks as if the Wizards will be trying for the lottery again. There are many analysts that think th3e Wix=zards have talent enough to be much better record wise. One of those is Tim leghler. They are definately under performing. Sometimes the coach creates that atmospher. Look at Indiana and Charlotte.

Posted by: bobilly2

Indiana has currently lost 5 in a row. Charlotte has lost 6 in a row. Charlotte thought so much of their team under their new coach, they decided to ditch their best player Gerald Wallace for the Vanilla Gorilla, Joel Pryzbilla.

They did play 5 rookies. Of course 3 of them get good minutes already. And of course the Wizards were without several players because of injury. Furthermore, the Wizards shouldn't be embarassed by the play of 5 rookies, they should be embarassed by the play of the vets.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I get tired of the fickle fans in DC that always want to get rid of players like we're swapping player cards. You don't get rid of 23 year old big men with talent. McGee is a big time talent that needs a better coach. Each time you hear Flip talk about the young players, it's always his cop out to say they don't get it. Then what are you doing as a coach to help them get it. Javele is taught to protect the rim. So he leaves his man to do that. Then his man is left to get an offensive rebound then it's his fault. By the way, no one notices or talks about how Wall can't keep any point gaurd in the league from beating him to the rim for countless layups. Get a coach and a big man coach to work with him over the summer. Other teams are salivating at the chance to take McGee in and teach him how to play and use his length. i.e. Camby or Chandler as another poster mentioned previously. The Bullets/Wizards always lose their talented, young players to other teams only to see them flourish in other systems. Rasheed Wallace anyone? Keep Mcgee on the floor, on the team and let him grow and mature. Get rid of the coach!!

Posted by: garrybrown | March 11, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

LarryinClinton: I think you're misreading the +/- data. (I'm not a big fan of +/- either, but it's a data point, and it's something to look at in combination with other stats.)

When McGee plays less, the team gets outscored by more WHILE HE'S IN THE GAME. I didn't include the team's overall scoring differential in those games, nor did I calculate an on/off for McGee in those games. (I think those are good ideas for another study.)

And, I don't think Flip is merely benching McGee when Javale has a poor start. I'd need to look at play-by-play data, but I suspect the biggest difference between higher minute games and lower minute games is 4th quarter minutes.

Posted by: KevinBroom | March 11, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

No matter what type of defense you play, there is one fundamental thing that is consistent. All five players must use their peripheral vision ("V" concept) to be aware of the person they are guarding (or one closest to them) and ALWAYS keep their eye on the person with the ball. It is obvious that no one has every taught McGee this basic fundamental because he is ALWAYS losing track of his man and the guy with the ball. All he wants to do is block shots and dunk the ball because it's all about the flash for him. He should watch film of Tim Duncan and learn something. However, he is not the only one on the team that doesn't understand this defensive "V" concept. The Wizards need an aggressive defensive leader on the court that constantly demands the other four players to communicate on the court. Flip Saunders is an offensive-minded coach that obviously hasn't instilled these defensive fundamentals in his players. We need a new coach like the one in Chicago that DEMANDS accountability on the defensive end. The Wizards have fine young and athletic players, so there are no excuses for the pathetic defense.

Posted by: FredN1 | March 11, 2011 3:02 PM

This FredN1 is a very good. We've had the same bloggers highlight time after time how bad McGee is but overall the entire Team does not appear to be getting any better or improving as a unit. These same bloggers keep pointing out that it is the players and how they cannot be coached and are not progressing. Never once do they stop to think as you have just revealed whether or not this whole exercise in futility could be a result of the message being fed to the recipients.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

That says something to me. It simply says Kalo_rama based on your own synopsis of the +/- statistical ruler that the Team plays well when McGee plays well and they play poorly when he plays poorly.

Or it means that when the team is already playing well, McGee benefits. And when the team is playing poorly, McGee's play suffers.

So it would behove IMO as I've stated for Flip to figure out how to have McGee to perform better over a longer period of time during games when he appears to start badly rather than just cut his minutes which does not appear to help the Team perform any better.

Or it behooves McGee to work harder after a bad start. Or not to have bad starts. Or for you to read the above and note that I splashed a little water on your "cuts his minutes after a bad start" idea.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

And, I don't think Flip is merely benching McGee when Javale has a poor start. I'd need to look at play-by-play data, but I suspect the biggest difference between higher minute games and lower minute games is 4th quarter minutes.

Posted by: KevinBroom

Based on the quick look I took, it was some 2nd and some 4th qtr. I think it does lean a little bit more to the 4th. But he usually gets his 6ish minutes to start the 1st and 3rd at minimum.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

This FredN1 is a very good. We've had the same bloggers highlight time after time how bad McGee is but overall the entire Team does not appear to be getting any better or improving as a unit. These same bloggers keep pointing out that it is the players and how they cannot be coached and are not progressing. Never once do they stop to think as you have just revealed whether or not this whole exercise in futility could be a result of the message being fed to the recipients.
LarryInClintonMD.

Nor does Larry every stop to think whether or not this whole exercise in futility could be the result of the recipients not paying attention to the message.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Among the reasons given for firing of Obrien was that he didn't play Hibbert enough and was hurting his psche and development." Posted by: bobilly2

I posted a chunk of an Indy blog the other day about the Pacers' recent struggles and the sudden decline in Hibbert's performance (as well as Collison's). It did seem odd to me at the time that the guy Hibbert gave credit for his improvement -- O'Brien -- was subsequently fired for suppressing his development... but that's the NBA.

We'll have to see how the Pacers do during the rest of the games. They're blessed with a fabulously favorable schedule, so they may get into the playoffs anyway. But recently they've been doing their level best to avoid it...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to see how the Pacers do during the rest of the games. They're blessed with a fabulously favorable schedule, so they may get into the playoffs anyway. But recently they've been doing their level best to avoid it...

Posted by: Samson151

Sounds like the new coach has lost the team. They need to fire him.

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

About Hibbert: you have to wonder if there's not something else going on with the guy. He told the media he was thinking of consulting a sports psychologist, which his fans blamed on the coaches being overly critical (gee, where have we heard that before?). But seeing a sports shrink isn't necessarily a sign you're being abused. Roy's a player with skills but not much natural athletic ability and it could be he's just frustrated with his play and needs some re-focusing.

Of course, maybe Javale is a natural athlete without much in the way of skills who could use some re-focusing as well.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like the new coach has lost the team. They need to fire him.Posted by: ts35"

LOL. Supposedly the owner wants to hire Mike Brown anyway. Unless the team turns it around quick, I'm not at all certain we're going to see Larry Bird there next season.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"These same bloggers keep pointing out that it is the players and how they cannot be coached and are not progressing. Never once do they stop to think as you have just revealed whether or not this whole exercise in futility could be a result of the message being fed to the recipients. LarryInClintonMD."

Or not.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"From an outsider's perspective, the constant yelling and yanking from a game by Flip and Whitman hasn't worked and seem counterproductive.posted by Izman"

Hmmm... how's his PER?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"Hmmm... how's his PER?
Posted by: Samson151"

Just kidding, of course.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@KevinBroom,

I don't think I've mistread your good report at all. I think I get it and I think you did a very good job of qualifying your data.

The importance of McGee to the success of the Team is being supplanted here to easily by some bloggers and Flip.

Here you come with some statistics that seems to indicate that McGee's play does impact the Teams play, but you have a guy like Kalo_rama say essentially that the +/- thing doesn't hold much water.

That's the guy I think you should go after rather than to say you think I misread you.

I don't think I did. Good job.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"That says something to me. It simply says Kalo_rama based on your own synopsis of the +/- statistical ruler that the Team plays well when McGee plays well and they play poorly when he plays poorly."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2011 4:58 PM

Nope.

I won't go into detail about why because (A) you won't actually listen and (B) it's fairly obvious, but . . . no.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Here you come with some statistics that seems to indicate that McGee's play does impact the Teams play, but you have a guy like Kalo_rama say essentially that the +/- thing doesn't hold much water.
LarryInClintonMD.

Remember the part where the author said you're misreading the data.......

Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Response to ts35: You are right that sometimes the players do not listen to the coaches. However, there is any easy way to get them to listen. What do ALL players want to do. THEY WANT TO PLAY. If you don't listen to the message about playing hard and smart on defense, the coach needs to drive the message home by replacing that player with someone that listens and applies the fundamentals being taught to them. With that being said, I still don't think Flip is teaching the right defensive fundamentals or sending the right messages. If he were doing this the right way, the team would show incremental improvement on the defensive end. It didn't take long for the Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau to get his players to improve on the defensive end! The right message has to come from the head coach.

Posted by: FredN1 | March 11, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Response to ts35: You are right that sometimes the players do not listen to the coaches. However, there is any easy way to get them to listen. What do ALL players want to do. THEY WANT TO PLAY. If you don't listen to the message about playing hard and smart on defense, the coach needs to drive the message home by replacing that player with someone that listens and applies the fundamentals being taught to them. With that being said, I still don't think Flip is teaching the right defensive fundamentals or sending the right messages. If he were doing this the right way, the team would show incremental improvement on the defensive end. It didn't take long for the Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau to get his players to improve on the defensive end! The right message has to come from the head coach.

Posted by: FredN1

I have no problem with the first part of that. If players don't play the right way they should sit. However, if you've been tracking the ongoing dialogue, Larry among many others believes that if a player isn't playing the right way and is consistently making mistakes, that the coaches should continue to play them to let them figure it out, otherwise it damages their self-esteem.

As for the second part. One, the Bulls have been a good defensive team for years. Pretty much since Skiles was the coach, and definitely since they brought in Noah. I'm sure Thib is making some difference, I'm also sure having Rose in his third year and bringing in a 19/10 PF is making some difference.

Defensive oriented coaches can make some difference, but always the biggest factor is having players willing to do the work to play good defense. And beyond that is having players capable of playing good D.


Posted by: ts35 | March 11, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the experts debate the finer points of individuals stats and comparing them to star players ignores the obvious. This TEAM is lacking something. Whether or not McGee or anyone else on this team is under or over-utilized does not make this team a 40 win team. There is a disfunction and it needs to be discovered and addressed. No single player, either already on this team or drafted or brought in from another team, will cure that.

Posted by: okelley2nd | March 11, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

" With that being said, I still don't think Flip is teaching the right defensive fundamentals or sending the right messages. If he were doing this the right way, the team would show incremental improvement on the defensive end. It didn't take long for the Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau to get his players to improve on the defensive end! The right message has to come from the head coach.Posted by: FredN1"

You realize this is backwards reasoning?

In the first place, you haven't actually demonstrated anything wrong with Flip's coaching -- you're just insisting that something must be wrong or the team would be playing better defense. What evidence do you offer? Just that the team isn't better than it is. And to support that, you cite another coach in another city with a different (and demonstrably more talented) team...

Come to think of it, Fred, welcome to WI. You should fit right in around here.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at the experts debate the finer points of individuals stats and comparing them to star players ignores the obvious. This TEAM is lacking something. Whether or not McGee or anyone else on this team is under or over-utilized does not make this team a 40 win team. There is a disfunction and it needs to be discovered and addressed. No single player, either already on this team or drafted or brought in from another team, will cure that.
Posted by: okelley2nd"

OTO, Fred, compared to okelley, you're a paragon of logic.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Javalle will never reach his full potential. He doesn't have the mental toughness to be a great player. Basically, he is a clown.

It's sad because he has all the tools to be a great NBA player.

Posted by: squidward1 | March 11, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of people said what I have thought about JM all along: he's better at the four than the five. He's also better off coming off the bench. And you don't have to get rid of him. Keep him...But find some real starters...somewhere. Anyway, JM plays like most of these guys coming in the league play now. It's all about the flashy dunk. If he had a low post move, he could be a pretty good player. Or if he was a little dirty or mean. Man, how hard is it these days to find that guy who like to mix it up. Nope, most of 'em just want to be buddy/buddy. Oh, how the ghost of Dejuan Blair continues to haunt the Wiz.

My other thought about JM is that he came out of a school, Nevada, not known for it's high level of competition. It's rare to find guys who come out of less competitive schools who have what it takes to compete on the NBA level. I know there are cases, but it's rare. There is something to be said about guys who come from schools with tough competition as far as their preparedness for the NBA.

Posted by: PizzaMike | March 11, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I think McGee will be trade bait in the off season. He may land some where that will enhance his career but 3 or 4 years in Washington with little improvement in the basic skills of basketball is enough to prove to me that his time here is over. Right now he has developed a bad attitude because the coaches yell at him so much as if everything is his fault which it isn't of course but nevertheless he would do better with a change of venue. Time to move on whether his lack of development is his fault or not.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | March 11, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

The sad part about all this is I was looking at who was drafted after McGee. At no. 19, JJ Hickson. Man, I would love to have that guy instead of have to talk about this idiot.

Posted by: PizzaMike | March 11, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

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