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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Wizards get set for in-season 'training camp'

By Gene Wang
Morning brew

The Washington Wizards' 95-76 loss to Milwaukee last night was one of the team's most dreadful of the season and included a cavalcade of miscues, from shooting 38 percent to 21 turnovers to the starting back court missing 21 of 30 shots.

Certainly injuries were a factor, with Rashard Lewis, Josh Howard and Cartier Martin unavailable before tip-off and Andray Blatche hurt minutes after the start of the game. That left Washington considerably shorthanded and young as underscored by a four-minute stretch when Coach Flip Saunders used an all-rookie lineup.

Still, the ninth loss in 10 games, including six of seven at home, was so intolerable that Saunders indicated afterward he would use these next three days as an in-season "training camp" to determine the rotation on Saturday, when the Wizards play their next game.

"Whoever is going to play and start on Saturday, we'll determine over the next three days," he said. "It's like a wrestle-off. If you can go beat somebody out and the team can play better when you're on the floor, we're going to give people opportunities whoever they are."

FROM THE POST
Here are the game story and postgame wrap-up from yesterday's contest.

Columnist Tracee Hamilton wishes the Miami Heat had shut up about crying in the locker room. Meanwhile, the Heat lost again last night.

Dan Steinberg reports that tickets to last night's Wizards-Bucks game were selling on StubHub for as low as $1.98 (DC Sports Bog).

Former NBA star Stephon Marbury is thriving in China.

The NBA is considering a formal concussion policy.

AROUND THE WEB
Kyle Weidie monitors JaVale McGee's development
(Truth About It).

The Nuggets have signed Coach George Karl to a three-year extension (CBSSportsline).

The players on the court last night hardly represented those the club had envisioned when the Wizards began the season. The few regulars included rookie point guard John Wall, shooting guard Nick Young, center JaVale McGee and Blatche, but the starting power forward didn't stick around very long after spraining his right shoulder with 8 minutes 46 seconds to play in the first quarter.

Washington already was without forwards Rashard Lewis (knee tendintis) and Josh Howard (sore hamstring) and swingman Cartier Martin (patella tendinitis), and the loss of Blatche compounded the misery. That left Saunders to turn to a lineup that included rookies and newcomers, most notably Jordan Crawford, who finished with a team- and career-high 22 points.

Crawford came to the Wizards on Feb. 23 along with Maurice Evans and Mike Bibby in a deal that sent guard Kirk Hinrich to playoff-bound Atlanta. Washington subsequently reached a buyout agreement with Bibby and waived the veteran on Feb. 28.

The starting lineup could look drastically different on Saturday when the Wizards play the Los Angeles Clippers at Verizon Center. If Lewis, Howard, Blatche, who is schedule for an MRI this morning, and Martin are out, the potential starting five could be Wall, Young, Evans, Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee.

It also could be the second game when five rookies play at the same time. Wall, Crawford, Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Hamady N'diaye did so last night bridging the end of the first quarter and the start of the second.

"It was probably one of the best moments we had due to the fact that it was all rookies going hard," N'diaye said. "We didn't have anything to lose. We just wanted to go out there and play our heart out, and that's exactly what we did."

By Gene Wang  | March 9, 2011; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: Jump ball: An all-rookie lineup?

Comments

Re: in-season training: A little too late for that, isn't it? Why wait till the season is over before getting tough?

Posted by: tundey | March 9, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

After last night, couldn't agree more. Let's let SHAKUR take WALL's place for awhile.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse


Reading some of the posts from previous threads, one would think that the Wizards are doomed. Foolishness! Ernest Grunfeld is making all the right moves and will have this ship righted in no time.

Haters: Stop spewing your venom for a minute and you'll see that the Wiz are being positioned very well for the future and will be able to snare some quality free agents (at a time and place of Ernest's choosing).

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | March 9, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good one, melodious_thunk. I gotta admit, for a few seconds I thought you were serious.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | March 9, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Michael -
What, exactly, IS the problem with JaVale McGee? And what's the solution? He's filling out physically, his offensive game is evolving, and his interviewing skills are improving as well. Yet he STILL makes the same defensive errors he made as a rookie. For a while, I figured maybe he's simply STUPID, but his recent interviews indicate otherwise. Nor does he appear to be LAZY. Weidle refers to the "stubborn rock sheltering McGee's cerebral willingness" to learn & change. Is that it? He's too HEADSTRONG to listen to his coaches? If so, CAN that be corrected? Would a change to a "teacher/coach" (NOT Flip's forte, IMO) make any difference? Or should we all just accept that JaVale will never be more than a mediocre back-up?

Posted by: DCtoDE | March 9, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

After last night, couldn't agree more. Let's let SHAKUR take WALL's place for awhile.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 9, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

do u watch basketball?

Posted by: mrhney03 | March 9, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: cannontl | March 9, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Although the game last night was a complete blow out, I do have to say the best moment was when Flip started the rookies in the second quarter. The rooks played with intensity and heart. Why doesn't Flip send a message and play the rookie lineup more often, I thought the whole point of this was to build from the draft, and here we are with 5 rookies who finally got to play together after 3/4 of the season is finally over. Another interesting point was when I watched the game last night CSN with our announcers and Phil made a good comparison between Javale and Seraphin. Now why is it one big man (rookie) has learned how to body up while the other (non rookie) has yet to learn how to, don't they have the same coaches?

Posted by: newschoolbullets | March 9, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards need to hire a psychiatrist. My loyalties are firmly with them, i will be watching every game next season as i did this but this is gettin to be a waste of time. The draft is bad this year and ernie needs to make the right picks in order to get the best of the draft. i'm not a hater but this needs to be sorted within the next couple of years otherwise my allegences will fall with another team.

Posted by: Joe08121990 | March 9, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Javale actually looked a little better last night. Kyle Weidie had it about right on how teams are playing him.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 9, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

yaaaawwwnnn. Give it a rest Flip. You not fooling anyone! Half the roster is "hurt", the other half is rookies. You not talking bout Wall. You not talking bout Nick. Dray's hurt. Josh and Lewis too. So this side talk about Javale is getting frustrated. Instead of bashing him through the media (isn't that how Eddie did BTH?? And Doug Collins did Kwame? What is it with our coaches and centers?!?) Try getting him a coach! He has a coaching staff made up of guards and you wonder why he dribbles?!? There's actual video footage of Sam freakin Cassell showing him post up moves!!! Get him a coach!

Posted by: CBell29 | March 9, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Who scouts for this team??? I am watching other NBA teams play (San Anton, LA Lakers, etc.) and I am seeing first and second year players that really contribute. I look at where NY and JM are now in their maturation process and something is missing...Are we selecting the right players or what???

Please get a serious big man coach...Also, we need a few veterans for next year to work these guys hard in practice. Back in the day the practice in the NBA was just as intense as the actual games. Can you imagine what the Celtics practices must be like now...KG probably has the whole gym fired up. MJ used to give Scottie migraines during practice...LOL!!!

We need that type of intensity. That's how the young guys actually learn to respect the game. No cameras, not press, just man up and go at each other for a couple of hours...

I remember when the "Dream Team" played and all the players talked about was how intense practice was. I can only imagine MJ, Magic, Charles, Socttie, and rest of the guys just going at each other...

I would rather watch that then some of their games against other countries...

You have to have veterans to teach these young guys how to respect the game. AB and JM certainly missed that boat...

Posted by: TEliasB | March 9, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Now why is it one big man (rookie) has learned how to body up while the other (non rookie) has yet to learn how to, don't they have the same coaches?

Posted by: newschoolbullets | March 9, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

They have been coached by the same coaches this year, and Javale for the last 2 of his 3 seasons, but Kevin was a member of the French Junior national team (Javale Multiple cuts from team USA) and was playing in a top tier french pro league before he was drafted to the NBA ( McGee spent a coupla yrs at Big Man hotbed Nevada). It's quite possible that Kevin had the good fortune of receiving good instruction and coaching at the higher levels of french hoops while McGee was labeled a project every step of the way (not that he hasn't received coaching, but he doesn't look well coached does he, then again neither does the rest of the team). Similar to how the reigning Big East defensive player of the year, and four year college product Ndaiye actually looked like a serviceable big for stretches last night. But hamady also had the benefits of some d league time, unlike Javale.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Flip's playing 5 rookies together was a way of saying to the league: "Look at the personnel this organization has stuck me with." And he's right. No coach could have a respectable record with this roster. By the way, regardless of what he might say I'd assume that Flip was very well aware that he was fielding all rookies.

As for Melodius, if you are serious in lauding Grunfy, you'd have a bit (not much) more credibility if you stopped accusing all of Grunfy's critics of being "haters." One can disapprove of the job a guy is doing without hating him.

Finally, Mike, can you put on your investigative hat for a moment and look into the rumor that the new Heat theme song is "Cry Me a River?"

Posted by: shovetheplanet | March 9, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

McGees problem is and always has been his love for the highlight play over the fundamental play.

The potential is there but his bball iq and huge ego are holding him back.

I agree with bringing in a big man coach for him. His game should be centered around rebounding and defense not fadeaway jumpers and # of salute worthy plays per game.

Posted by: DMoney28 | March 9, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

They have been coached by the same coaches this year, and Javale for the last 2 of his 3 seasons, but Kevin was a member of the French Junior national team (Javale Multiple cuts from team USA) and was playing in a top tier french pro league before he was drafted to the NBA ( McGee spent a coupla yrs at Big Man hotbed Nevada). It's quite possible that Kevin had the good fortune of receiving good instruction and coaching at the higher levels of french hoops while McGee was labeled a project every step of the way (not that he hasn't received coaching, but he doesn't look well coached does he, then again neither does the rest of the team). Similar to how the reigning Big East defensive player of the year, and four year college product Ndaiye actually looked like a serviceable big for stretches last night. But hamady also had the benefits of some d league time, unlike Javale.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I gotta disagree. It's all in the mentality. JaVale doesn't want contact and all that. Seraphin LOOKS for it. It's been evident since day 1. Kevin couldn't speak English on draft day but they asked him what he brings...he punched his fist. That's just not JaVale. Some want to be physical...and some don't.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Training Camp in the middle of March. LOL

The season was over 2 months ago at least for this team. The team has not been any good all year and that is not going to magically change this week.

They are who we thought they where.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | March 9, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

That synopsis by Kyle Weidie pretty much exposis a player that hasn't found the right mix between help defense, guarding his own man, and protecting the paint.

It is glaringly clear that McGee isn't maintaining good defensive positioning in either scenario consistently.

The question is though as I viewed the tape is: Is it all a lack of mental decision making on McGee's part coupled with his growth to maturity and current coaching philosophy?

Now that is a heavy handed question, but anwered properly I think we can get a grip on McGee's struggles.

First off, McGee has to recognize when teams are playing him, more to the point, suckering him. He is being duped by the planned strategy of other Teams. This continual struggle on his part could come from a lack of low self-esteem on his part and the perception could be fostered by the opinions of those around him.

The Wizards are a team that has a heavy handed approach to structure on the court. In order for some players to get consistent minutes they must consistently meet the structualized guidelines.

McGee consistently fails to meet the basic structure requirements the Team sets and it isn't because he isn't trying.

McGee, I believe from watching the tape has the toughest job of any defender on court. Because of his athleticism he is expected to do well most of the time.

McGee is expected to guard his man, always help on drives into the lane, and protect the rim. He isn't given any leeway for his own decision making or the circumstances on the court. Every game he is pulled for making any mistake in any one of those areas.

Young McGee appears to not have the intelligence to master all that is expected of him and he is taking all the blame for it.

Because of McGee's low self esteem on the court, I see a player trying to appease his coaching and thereby not really making sound decisions. Any player would know you cannot do those three things all the time. Reguardless of what the strategy is McGee should really concentrate on KISS.

I see a player in McGee trying to to do too many things on the floor with no one helping him and yet he is being crucified for trying to help everyoneelse and coming up short.

It is coaching, People. There you go. I said it and I mean it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

What in the hell are you talking about Larry?

KISS is completely the focus for Mcgee.
1. REBOUND
2. Play sound defense. (not falling for pump fakes and leaping out of position for highlight blocks...which lead to goaltends)

THAT'S IT. Not worry about low post moves or offense or anything. Just focus on rebounding and being in the right position.

He doesn't want to do that...he wants to lead the break.

How much simpler do you want it to be for him?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ernie's trade of Hinrich was a brilliant move. He probably knew the Bibby would accept a buy out and Hinrich might have helped the Wiz in win a few more games down the stretch. As for me, I'd like to see the Wiz lose the rest of their games and have as many ping-pong balls as possible. The chances of getting a dynamic scorer like Harrison Barnes or an inside player like Sullinger would be Step 2 in a long rebuilding process.

Wiz fans need to get used to being bad for awhile as it will be another 2-3 years before there is a core to even consider bring in free agents.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 9, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"I gotta disagree. It's all in the mentality. JaVale doesn't want contact and all that. Seraphin LOOKS for it. It's been evident since day 1. Kevin couldn't speak English on draft day but they asked him what he brings...he punched his fist. That's just not JaVale. Some want to be physical...and some don't."

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 11:42 AM

Exactly. The suggestion that Seraphin has better development because of the high-level of learnin' he got from the French National team is ridiculous. The kid was, what, 19 when he was drafted? He sat out out summer league, preseason, and most of camp recovering from injury, came into the season behind the curve, out of shape, and barely speaking the language. Two months ago he was a lost lamb on court, now he's moving his feet on defense, running back in transition, and uncorking some nice looking post moves. Did he fly back to France for a tutorial between now and then? I doubt it. He's improved more because he's worked harder and appears to actually listen when the coaches tell him what he should be doing. Hey, there's an idea. Maybe McGee should try it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I would be perfectly fine if Saunders decided to sit McGee and Blatche the rest of the way and gave all the 4 and 5 minutes to Seraphin, Booker, and N'Diaye. What is there to lose?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Larry, all you ever blame is coaching. I dont think JUST coaching has lost us 47 games. It may be an component of our losing ways but you have to throw some blame towards the players as well. You can see the frustration on Nick and Johns face when Mcgee screws up. Over...and over...and over. Maybe its his self esteem, but that just shows me that he's not yet fit for the NBA. Maybe that's the problem. I'm a huge fan of Javale and want him to succeed but if he truly is having self esteem issues then he can take his weak mind elsewhere.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | March 9, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

This is JaVale's third season...if he's so fragile after three seasons then we definitely need to cut bait. All that estrogen isn't a good thing for an NBA player.

You blame coaching but Booker, Seraphin looks pretty good and Nick is better than he was before Flip...but that's not coaching...that's by magic right? Since players don't get better on their own.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Training camp in March. Interesting. IMO this goes to the Low BBall IQ slapped on the Wizards. Another charge I deplore.

You have to sit back and ask yourself, what is the probability of the Wizards seemingly owning this title for a minute now?

What is the probability that Ernie Grunfield has accumulated a group of players over a span of about 3-5 years that seemingly are considered low IQ players?

A group of players that seemingly lack the mental capacity to become good fundamental basketball players over a period of time.

An unwitting collection of players that Ernie has assembled that lack basketball cognitivation.

How did Ernie stumble into this. A weird fate of circumstance might I say.

Or, is it more probable that Ernie has since the firing of Eddie Jordan hired to two of the worst coaches that whom unwittingly can't teach and grow/develop players, or even how to put their uniform shorts on right?

((Aside): You folks should know that John Wooden even taught his players how to wear their socks.)

Coaching should not be taken for granted. Do that and you might end up with your team being called dumb.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

It has been very difficult watching this team this entire season and many seasons before, so I can understand why people say these things.

But the change we should try to understand is we have a new owner. Next year we are changing these funny as* colors while improving the team. These players all should be better next season especially this draft class. We need to fill out our roster because we have alot of one year and expiring deals (josh howard, cartier martin, yi, mo evans, nick young, ndyae,shakur)thats six roster spots. we have 3 draft picks to sign and maybe squeeze out one free agent, like jeff green or wilson chandler. out of that group i only expect young to come back. for next season 2011-2012

now the third year (2012-2013) in this rebuild if the players get better which i think they will(booker,crawford,wall,seraphin) along with lewis, blatche, resign young maybe add jeff green, get lucky in the draft(2011-2012) and get sullinger this team will be ready to be in sign a big name free agent in the 2012 summer, perhaps a brook lopez, kevin love, andrew bynum.*** note-- if Dwight Howard goes to LA bynum would def go somewhere else and we can throw alot of bread at him because were staying under the cap and developing players

This team will be a playoff team for the next ten years if they are healthy and stick together especially with a big man the caliber of bynum or lopez. SO as ted says always: be patient

Posted by: mrhney03 | March 9, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Because of McGee's low self esteem on the court, I see a player trying to appease his coaching and thereby not really making sound decisions."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 11:49 AM

Really? So in the first half, when he tried (comically) to post up on Bogut and threw a wild "hook shot" up over his head (backwards ) w/o even turning to see where the basket was and it clanged off the glass about 6 inches to the side of the rim . . . he was trying to "appease his coaches"? Really? When he grabbed an offensive rebound and immediately turned towards the basket and started dribbling with his head down only to plow into a Bucks defender (I think it was Bogut) who had time to set up a Renaissance Fair booth in the lane while waiting to pick up the charge . . . he was trying to "appease his coaches"? Really?

Really?

Come on, man.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah yeah john wooden whatever.
These aren't college freshman. Javales been on the team long enough to know Flips system..a system that Ben Wallace had no issue adjusting to. It is tough to be a center in this league. He's shown signs of promise which is why i believe a lot of his problem is effort. That is something you can't coach. Until he stops hiding behind excuses and begins giving it his all, he won't be anything for the Wiz.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | March 9, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Come on, man.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

arent you a pistons fan?

Posted by: mrhney03 | March 9, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"What is the probability that Ernie Grunfield has accumulated a group of players over a span of about 3-5 years that seemingly are considered low IQ players?"

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 12:19 PM

Based on the available evidence, 100%. But that's what happens sometimes when you draft a player based on potential, who's most significant asset at the time of the draft is raw physical ability, which was the case with Blatche, McGee, and Young. All 3 of those players were projects from day one. And projects sometimes don't get finished the way you envision them at the start. At some point the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it becomes cost and time ineffective to continue to waste time, money, and effort on something that simply isn't going to turn out like you want it. Sadly, Grunfeld failed to come to that realization before giving Blatche that ludicrous extension, but he still has time not to make the same mistake with McGee.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it's becoming clearer by the game that McGee is not a long term solution at center. You can throw any athletic potential out the window bc he doesn't have the mind to make it work. It's not coaching. It's not bc he doesn't have a 7'6" personal coach teaching him things that only another extremely tall person can possible know. It's not bc he needs to gain 20 lbs. It's just Javale McGee.

He was drafted bc he was a freakishly athletic tall player and that is basically all he is still after three seasons. I've seen zero progress from the beginning of the season until now. If anything, he has gotten worse as the season has progressed.

The good news is Seraphin and Booker should be getting more and more minutes and even Jordan Crawford. It's from this soon to be growing pool of young players (upcoming draft) the Wiz need 1 or 2 gems to expedite the rebuilding process. If that happens, the cap flexibility kicks in and we can plug in capable veterans or even go after a bigger name if they think the talent is here. I think EG can pull this off as he has built 3 teams now to be perennial playoff contenders and one to be a championship contender.

The bad news is the games are about to get a lot less competitive and a lot uglier.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 9, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

What in the hell are you talking about Larry?

KISS is completely the focus for Mcgee.
1. REBOUND
2. Play sound defense. (not falling for pump fakes and leaping out of position for highlight blocks...which lead to goaltends)

THAT'S IT. Not worry about low post moves or offense or anything. Just focus on rebounding and being in the right position.

He doesn't want to do that...he wants to lead the break.

How much simpler do you want it to be for him?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 12:02 PM

SDMDTSU,

How can you know that KISS has been prescribed for McGee. We Fans may want McGee to focus and keep his game simple, but how can you know that is all he is being asked to do on the court.

It certainly doesn't appear that way from observing the way the Wizs play on the court. I see no evidence that McGee is being told to concentrate on any one area, not even rebounding, which would be my first priority.

I remember watching Moses Malone play. Malone could pull the rebs and you could tell that any ball that went up he was positioning himself through hell and highwater to get it.

He wasn't trying to help defenders out in the paint as McGee is being asked to do on every play.

What are you looking at SDMDSTU?

Are you really saying that McGee is the one responsible for making the decisions to help everyone in the paint thus always giving up his rebounding positioning and the positioning against his man as well?

Are you really saying that after looking at the way this guy plays defense? He is constantly being suckered out of position in the paint. Is he really that dumb, or is he trying to accomplish what is being asked of him in the paint?

You be the judge.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse


"Sadly, Grunfeld failed to come to that realization before giving Blatche that ludicrous extension, but he still has time not to make the same mistake with McGee."

Posted by: kalo_rama

Wrong.

Blatche looked good last year when Flip went away from his trash offense and ran things through Blatche and ran more conventional sets. Blatche's numbers suggested he was worth that and then some (just go back an read what NBA analysts said at the time).

Anyway, now we're back to Flip's trash offense, with the predictable results. Come to think of it, even before the Wizards traded away the big 3, Flip's offense was looking awful.

Blatche is not the problem here. The problem is Flip and the fact that he either a. couldn't coach his way out of a shower or b. has been tanking games (at management's behest) all season so that the Wizards can more closely follow the 'Oklahoma model' and rack up high lottery picks. Flip's decisions on lineups and his in-game strategies have been, if I may put it bluntly, bizarre all season.

Thank you.

Posted by: roscoepcalhounbrownjriii | March 9, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"How can you know that KISS has been prescribed for McGee. We Fans may want McGee to focus and keep his game simple, but how can you know that is all he is being asked to do on the court."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 12:44 PM

Because Saunders has said so, time and time again, In preseason interviews, in frustrated post game news conferences, in post-practice interview sessions. He has made the point over and over again that he wants McGee to focus on defense and rebounding. Hell, McGee himself has said it. During that brief, long forgotten stretch where he looked like he was turning the corner, he was asked what the difference was in his game that was making him more effective; he said he was focusing on defense and rebounding like the coaches wanted him to.

We all know you suffer mightily from selective hearing, memory, and comprehension, but for someone who claims to follow the team so closely, there's no way in hell you didn't hear any of that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche looked good last year when Flip went away from his trash offense and ran things through Blatche and ran more conventional sets. Blatche's numbers suggested he was worth that and then some (just go back an read what NBA analysts said at the time)."

Posted by: roscoepcalhounbrownjriii | March 9, 2011 12:51 PM

Wrong.

Blatche looked good last year because, with no other options available, he got a green light to shoot it all the time and was thus able to put up some utterly meaningless numbers on a terrible team. All his numbers suggested is that if you give a guy enough PT and enough shots he can score a lot of points without having any impact on whether his team wins. There's a long history of that in the NBA. And there's an equally long history of guys like that being exposed when asked to produce in a situation that requires them to operate in the context of actual team basketball that requires them to have a goal other than getting theirs. I made the point last season when everyone was raving about Blatche's "breakout" and all he's done this season is prove me correct.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Flip is the reason that Nick Young, will not be coming back.

Posted by: maejude | March 9, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

I have a feeling I don't even need to answer you because it's going to get done for me.

Flip has been saying JaVale needs to work on defensive rebounding all season and improve his focus on defense. Please don't make me pull up article links because I'm not doing anything at work anyway.

JaVale is responsible for HIS decisions. PERIOD. When he gets a goaltend trying to block a shot that's CLEARLY a bad shot and gives away 2 points...that's his fault.

When he jumps out of his shoes on a pump fake or goes for a block that he misses that gives up an easy putback...that's on him.

Every shot isn't blockable no matter how athletic you are.

Every seemingly BLOCKABLE shot doesn't need to be blocked.

Good defense isn't blocking shots it's forcing bad shots as a TEAM.

He's suckered out of position because he's too bent on blocking every shot. You can't get by on just athleticism. You ever notice some of the most winningest team are the LEAST athletic? Why do you think that is Larry?

TEAM DEFENSE...it's not one on one.

That's what I see from watching just about every single game.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

he got a green light to shoot it all the time and was thus able to put up some utterly meaningless numbers on a terrible team. All his numbers suggested is that if you give a guy enough PT and enough shots he can score a lot of points without having any impact on whether his team wins.

Wait, are you talking about Blatche or Nick Young?

Posted by: djnnnou | March 9, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"All his numbers suggested is that if you give a guy enough PT and enough shots he can score a lot of points without having any impact on whether his team wins."

Posted by: kalo_rama

Wrong again.

They beat some good teams (Denver, Boston, New Orleans) last year by giving Blatche the ball and letting him score, draw double teams and/or distribute the ball to the right man. This year, not so much. From the outside looking in, it appears that Flip is only interested in inflating his rookie point guard's stats and he's doing a good job by that measure. This year they haven't beaten any really good teams, and judging by Flip's lineups, they don't intend to.

Posted by: roscoepcalhounbrownjriii | March 9, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

promote Cassell or hire VanGundy

Posted by: ryjufox3 | March 9, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"How can you know that KISS has been prescribed for McGee. We Fans may want McGee to focus and keep his game simple, but how can you know that is all he is being asked to do on the court."
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 12:44 PM

Because Saunders has said so, time and time again, In preseason interviews, in frustrated post game news conferences, in post-practice interview sessions. He has made the point over and over again that he wants McGee to focus on defense and rebounding. Hell, McGee himself has said it. During that brief, long forgotten stretch where he looked like he was turning the corner, he was asked what the difference was in his game that was making him more effective; he said he was focusing on defense and rebounding like the coaches wanted him to.

We all know you suffer mightily from selective hearing, memory, and comprehension, but for someone who claims to follow the team so closely, there's no way in hell you didn't hear any of that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 12:54 PM

So what pray tell my good man out of defense and rebounding would you like for Mr. McGee to be focusing on. And yes, I am well aware of that broad and superflourish statement.

Defense and rebounding is not a simple order as I've described above. I broke them down into three areas, guarding your man, protecting the paint, and protecting the rim.

Those are the areas it appears that McGee is asked to perform well in. That is far from being a KISS and you should know you can't do all three and be responsible for all three areas on this Team, whilst you aren't getting help from your Mates.

Defense and Rebounds might sound like a KISS to you, but let me tell you my good fellow, it is far from it.

McGee is taking the heat for being asked to do too much in a bad bad system.

This Team has a revolving door to the paint and if Bill Russell was playing center behind this Team the first players he would slam would be his own.

But McGee can't do that and Flip Saunders isn't smart enough to realize that he is asking McGee to cover up to many things in the paint.

McGee's role isn't defined, it isn't KISS, it is huge. Watch the defensive end objectively and you will begin the see all the things that he is responsible for.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 9, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"They beat some good teams (Denver, Boston, New Orleans) last year by giving Blatche the ball and letting him score, draw double teams and/or distribute the ball to the right man. "

So? They also lost to a bunch of terrible teams by doing the same thing. Three quality victories don't count for much when measured against dozens of terrible losses. On any given night a good team can lose to a bad one. That doesn't mean jack in the grand scheme of things.


"From the outside looking in, it appears that Flip is only interested in inflating his rookie point guard's stats and he's doing a good job by that measure. "

So you're against stat inflation when it comes to Wall, but all for it when it comes to Blatche? Yeah, that's a logical argument. From the outside looking in it appears you've got an ax to grind. Grind away.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"And yes, I am well aware of that broad and superflourish statement."

Seriously? How can a rational person be expected to respond to that nonsense?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The bigger question is do we trade JM,NY and AB now and try to get something in return for them, or do we allow them more time to "develop?"

We were already told in an earlier post that there was some interest in JM from other teams...

Posted by: TEliasB | March 9, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse


"So? They also lost to a bunch of terrible teams by doing the same thing. Three quality victories don't count for much when measured against dozens of terrible losses. On any given night a good team can lose to a bad one. That doesn't mean jack in the grand scheme of things."

Yet, the losing matters more, especially in view of his supporting cast last year? Blatche lead the team to quality victories last year when teams were making their playoff push. This year the Wizards have no such victories.

"So you're against stat inflation when it comes to Wall, but all for it when it comes to Blatche? Yeah, that's a logical argument. From the outside looking in it appears you've got an ax to grind. Grind away."

I never said anything about Blatche's stats being inflated. You did. If anything, I'm suggesting that his numbers meant more because the Wizards did have some quality wins against good teams. Nice try though.

Posted by: roscoepcalhounbrownjriii | March 9, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"So? They also lost to a bunch of terrible teams by doing the same thing. Three quality victories don't count for much when measured against dozens of terrible losses. On any given night a good team can lose to a bad one. That doesn't mean jack in the grand scheme of things."

Yet, the losing matters more, especially in view of his supporting cast last year? Blatche lead the team to quality victories last year when teams were making their playoff push. This year the Wizards have no such victories.

"So you're against stat inflation when it comes to Wall, but all for it when it comes to Blatche? Yeah, that's a logical argument. From the outside looking in it appears you've got an ax to grind. Grind away."

I never said anything about Blatche's stats being inflated. You did. If anything, I'm suggesting that his numbers meant more because the Wizards did have some quality wins against good teams. Nice try though.


Posted by: roscoepcalhounbrownjriii | March 9, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It has been very difficult watching this team this entire season and many seasons before, so I can understand why people say these things.

But the change we should try to understand is we have a new owner. Next year we are changing these funny as* colors while improving the team. These players all should be better next season especially this draft class. We need to fill out our roster because we have alot of one year and expiring deals (josh howard, cartier martin, yi, mo evans, nick young, ndyae,shakur)thats six roster spots. we have 3 draft picks to sign and maybe squeeze out one free agent, like jeff green or wilson chandler. out of that group i only expect young to come back. for next season 2011-2012

now the third year (2012-2013) in this rebuild if the players get better which i think they will(booker,crawford,wall,seraphin) along with lewis, blatche, resign young maybe add jeff green, get lucky in the draft(2011-2012) and get sullinger this team will be ready to be in sign a big name free agent in the 2012 summer, perhaps a brook lopez, kevin love, andrew bynum.*** note-- if Dwight Howard goes to LA bynum would def go somewhere else and we can throw alot of bread at him because were staying under the cap and developing players

This team will be a playoff team for the next ten years if they are healthy and stick together especially with a big man the caliber of bynum or lopez. SO as ted says always: be patient

Posted by: mrhney03 | March 9, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Larry, I'll concede this much, that all of McGee's struggles on the D end certainly aren't all his fault. His teammates aren't playing great D either, so occasionally he is left hanging out to dry. That being said, I'm sorry you can't put all of his struggles on the coaching or the structure or his teammates. Some of his failings are pure McGee and his attitude. Your claim is that he is being asked to defend his man, rebound, and protect the rim...all true. And all exactly what every other center in the league is asked to do.

And then definitely in transition and on offense, you can see that he is acting as an immature (from a bb sense) player. How many times does he have to try to lead the break and turn the ball over or try to attack his man off the dribble from the high post, and turn the ball over, or try his triple spin, reverse, no-look hook shot and turn the ball over before he gets it? I don't think that any of those come from the "structure" of the offense. I don't think those come from low self-esteem. It comes from not understanding how to play. He's 7'1", can jump out of the gym and had his shot blocked, what, three times last night?

Certainly the Wizards should do everything they can to instruct him. But I can't teach someone if they're not open to learning it and then implementing it. You frequently like to refer to McGee as Run and Jump. My opinion is that he keeps trying to run, when what he needs to do first is learn how to crawl and then how to walk. Learn how to 'play big'. Master the jump hook, then worry about the reverse pivot fadeaway. And for goodness sake someone needs to teach him the proper way to move his feet on D. He and Wall both. It's like neither one was ever taught a proper defensive stance.

Posted by: ts35 | March 9, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"In season training" should have begun in November. The non-rookies in the front court are afraid of contact, perhaps they could be groomed as 3's.
Booker might be the next coming of Rodman, without the nutty baggage. Play the other front court rookies to see what they can do.

Posted by: lrmc623 | March 9, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, can the Wizards please invite Courtney Sims to this in-season training camp, on a 10-day contract? Let's see who he can beat out for playing time.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 9, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the answer is to hire JaVale's mother to coach him in his game and his thought process during a game. If you are not aware his mother was STAR in woman's basketball in college and the pro's--it could be she can get his head into what is required to play with the big guy's

Posted by: vergens2 | March 9, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

folks discount Seraphin's experience on the french national team and on a high profile french pro team when comparing him to McGee. Serph was chosen as a teen to rep on the french team and then to play professionally, because of something they saw in him (physicality,good feat, ideal size) they worked with him to cultivate that talent. Maybe he had to learn the lingo,Metro routes and US money stuff, but he was already an exceptional ball player.....at least by french standards. Javale is a 7 footer who was 6-7 his jr yr of HS. The past 5-6 yrs he's been learning to play the game at his size on the fly. it's totally cool not to want to accept his progression at this point. All I'm saying is that Seraphin may look better because he was brought along by the french national team and a french pro squad prior to him coming to the NBA. Whereas Javale spent a coupla yrs doing not very much at Nevada. To call that ridiculous is just silly.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 9, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Seraphin started playing basketball at age 15. He's 20 now. You're telling me training with the French team for 5 years is better than playing 3 years of NBA basketball and 2 years of college basketball?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 9, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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