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Posted at 12:32 AM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Wizards take more lumps, back down against Bulls

By Michael Lee

I hope to catch up to you one day, Derrick. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)


The Wizards have had their share of humiliating home losses this season, but their 105-77 loss to the Chicago Bulls is certainly up there among the worst. It's not just they got manhandled by a Bulls team that spent most of the night toying with them. Or that Derrick Rose used them to pad his personal highlight reel.

They got booed by their home fans -- many of whom left midway in the fourth quarter -- leaving the lower bowl to be get filled by a sea of red and black. The remaining fans in the stands screamed, "Scal-A-Bri-Ne!" for Brian Scalabrine, the seldom-used red-headed forward who was also a cult hero in his previous stop in Boston.

Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau eventually put Scalabrine in the game with 1 minute 3 seconds remaining and he made a running bank shot 30 seconds later that caused the crowd to erupt. The chants of "Scal-A-Bri-Ne!" were more deflating than the repeated MVP serenades for Rose, who really is playing like one.

"We're hearing boos, chanting MVPs for the other team. That's tough," Nick Young said. "Being at home, you're supposed to have your home crowd behind you and have support. When you see more black and red than blue and gold, or blue and white, that's tough."

People who wondered why Mike Bibby decided to give back $6.2 million rather than stick around for a rebuilding situation got all the evidence they needed on Monday night, as the Wizards lost their sixth in a row and 15th out of 17 games overall. They got pummeled on the glass, roughed up, and backed down in a manner that has become far too consistent of late.

The Wizards (15-44) have harped on being more competitive and playing hard, but for they have lost by at least 17 points in five in their past eight games, with the only win coming in Cleveland, where they halted a 26-game road losing streak. They have 23 games remaining, with 12 on the road, and need to win at least five games to avoid matching the franchise record for futility.

"I knew it was going to be a struggle," Andray Blatche said. "We came in, they're young, everybody first year playing together. It's the same thing everybody was saying about Oklahoma City a couple of years ago, when they was all young and coming up. now look at them. They are one of the best teams in the West. You just have to give these younger guys a chance to grow and develop. I really just feel, we have a bunch of rookies and we're still learning. I knew it was going to be a learning process for a lot of guys, but I like our heart."

Blatche continued, "I hope we get better and have a 360[-degree turn] season next year."

He meant 180, because there is no way anyone wants to come all the way back to this.


Get that weak stuff outta here. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Wizards will likely add at least two rookies to the roster next season, after adding a pick from Atlanta to go along with the lottery pick that's coming from this abysmal season. But on Monday, Coach Flip Saunders had to give extended minutes to four rookies, including newcomer Jordan Crawford, who still hasn't had his first real practice with the team. Another rookie, Mustafa Shakur, was signed in the afternoon and had to back up John Wall.

Saunders mentioned that the team probably missed the veteran presence of Bibby. "There's no question that when we put him in the game, he'd settle us down. We'd have that," he said.

"When you're bringing in a rookie for a rookie, and another rookie for another rookie - your three point guards are basically three rookies right now - so you don't maybe have that calming effect and we're limited. Josh [Howard] was limited to 20 minutes tonight. Rashard [Lewis] was limited but also has been sick all day. We didn't have a lot of those type of veteran leaders."

Saunders added that he has to find the delicate balance between prodding and punishing after players make mistakes. "You try not to - you don't want to yell at guys and get them at a point where they shell up. It's like JaVale tonight. He had a lot of situations where he loves to take that full court dribble, and it drives everybody crazy. We talked to him about it, and talked to him. I don't know what we're going to do to get him to break that. But there's no question that is just not - those are the things we're talking about, where we can't keep on making those glaring [mistakes] - that's a very basic play, but we just keep on pounding them."

And the Wizards keep on getting pounded by their opponents. The Bulls played a relatively sloppy game, but they also played hard, which compensated for those mistakes. They didn't necessarily overlook the Wizards, but they didn't exactly bring their best effort -- and still won by 28 points.

One sequence in the first half pretty much said it all. Wall was defending Rose near the three-point line when Rose broke down Wall with a vicious cross-over dribble. As Wall stumbled, the fans in the arena started cheering. Instead of hitting a jumper over Wall, or blowing by him for layup, Rose simply stepped back, pulled back out to the top of the key, and called another play. It was as if he was saying, "I want you know what I can do to you, but I won't do it."

Rose said after the game that he is starting to get used to turning opposing arenas into United Center satellites."It's getting crazy on the road but I'm loving it right now. Being able to come into every arena and having fans from everywhere cheering for me is wonderful and I'm so thankful we're winning. We just want to keep doing that and we'll see what happens at the end of the regular season."

The Wizards will too, but from a much different perspective.

By Michael Lee  | March 1, 2011; 12:32 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, John Wall, Mike Bibby, Nick Young  
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Next: Evans, Crawford not surprised by Bibby's decision

Comments

Not to make you boys too jealous, hell we lost by 28, but I had the privilege of sitting courtside this evening. I think there is something to be said about literally seeing things up close, so here are a few thoughts:

1. Andray Blatche and JaVale need to be moved in the next year. I don't need to say much about Dray - pretty much the entire forum is in agreement here and he will be gone by next yrs trade deadline. McGee, on the other hand, is a debatable topic. Several times during the game, Nick Young and Wall were FURIOUS with McGee for his ineptitude and laziness on both ends of the court. At one point in the fourth quarter McGee got the ball, lowered his head, and took two dribbles as Young's defender collapsed and swiped the ball off McGee's leg for a turnover. Young turned around disgusted, screamed some expletives looking up at the sky, and said, "You've got to be kidding me." We've seen this from McGee all season. Also, he is one of if not the softest players on the team. He is the absolute paramount of what Kevin Durant was talking about when he said, "there are a lot of fake tough guys in this league." You know how you can just tell whether a guy has "it"? McGee doesn't have any of it. It's a shame he is so damn freakishly talented but he really does have a brighter future on the Globetrotters than the Wizzies. Couldn't be happier that his minutes are trending more and more to Seraphin.

2. Nick Young needs to stay. As goofy as he is off the court, he really does seem to want to work and play hard right now (oh yeah, he's up for a contract this season..). Anyways, he and Wall were feeding off of and encouraging each other all night. He's actually a pretty good defender too, and he's been improving that all season. He does need to mature a lot, but he genuinely cared about trying to win the game even with us down 20 in the 4th. I've never seen him as frustrated though as he was with the sloppy play of some of the other guys on the court. I have a feeling he takes a HUGE leap this offseason when he has plenty of time to watch film and work with the coaching staff as a starter. Nick & John's games compliment each other perfectly.

3. I thought Flip was going take a chair and smash McGee over the head with it at one point tonight. Once in the 1st half and once in the 2nd he came back in for Seraphin and within a minute he gave up horrendous "effort" offensive rebounds. The first time, Saunders stared him down, turned to the bench, yelled for Kevin to get his a$$ to the scorers table and here is the sequence of McGee's reaction. 1st, rolls his eyes, starts audibly b!tch!ng while play is going on, someone get's an easy layup. 2nd, demands ball next offensive possession and forces up a wild hook shot that almost breaks the backboard. He's young and learning, but like I said, you can tell he doesn't have "it". Some team will give up a lot for him this summer though, I can’t wait.

4. Josh Howard is a great vet to have - plays super hard.

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 1, 2011 1:02 AM | Report abuse

A Blatche returns and along comes the 25+ point loses again. Also noticed that when McGee was in the game, the middle was always wide open, the leads by Chicago were extended to double digits after they cut into those huge leads with K Serp in the game.

Posted by: zack5 | March 1, 2011 3:49 AM | Report abuse

@dfesh58,

What a scathing firsthand report. I said a few threads back the Wizs might not win but 5 more games this year. Your report causes me to reconsider. Three, maybe.

So not only is McGee, you indicate just does not get it, but is openly doing his own thing. Wow.

My question is, why does Saunders play him at all?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 1, 2011 5:07 AM | Report abuse

Im still in the minority on Dray. I think he got a big head after last season and the broken foot totally set him back. If he has a fully healthy offseason then I think he will be humbled, workout mad hard, and come back next year looking like a stud. I still say that is the case. People forget how good he was late last year, bad team or not.

Most of the problems now is from that injury, other injuries during the year, but I will admit that he probably hasnt worked as hard as he couldve. Still, I think he's just done with this year and has his mind set on what he's going to look like next year. He will be in much better shape, leaner, & quicker. At the least I think he looks exactly how he did late last year and at best I think he will go from total dud to straight monster stud

Posted by: dlts2041 | March 1, 2011 5:47 AM | Report abuse

dlts2041,

That foot injury was a LONG time ago. After playing many games of basketball you would think he would be in shape, leaner, and quicker. Regardless if he's in shape or whatever, he's still a soft dummy. Takes terrible shots and doesn't get the boards he should. Wouldn't be sad to see him gone for someone who will play for the team.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | March 1, 2011 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with dfesh58 I can only watch it on league pass because I live in England and I get frustrated when we don't play hard and I can't help but notice that no one on the team cares, but after your rendition dfesh58 I can assume people are getting angry with bad plays and stupid decisions. Joakim Noah lost a rebound one play and almost ripped his hair out! Our players just seem to go oops better luck Next time. With the exception on some, John wall the front runner to the hard play and terrific effort, even though he doesn't always contest jumpers. Nick young is certainly trying to work on his d. But dray and javale have been there far too long and they have always been bench earners behind Jamison (in blatches case) and Haywood. So expecting them to do great things and come into their own is just foolish. We need to draft sullinger or kanter, but he has knee problems apparently. So blatche and javale are merely role players on a bad team. Which equates to free agency and d league material for even some one like Detroit. We need to get it sorted in the off season because at the moment I only have 3 maybe 4 legit starters on this roster.

Posted by: Joe08121990 | March 1, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Wall is over matched.....thats a fact. He does not have an NBA body yet. He gets knocked around like a pinball and pushed all over the place. Remember the play where he drove into Boozer and almost passed out from the contact? He should have stayed in Kentucky two more years. The starting and 1st sub guards are just as fast as him in the NBA, he can't bow by them and they just push him around, then he makes dumb midcourt passes or takes a wild drive that gets blocked or has a turnover. Plus the idiots Jvale and Blatche are the ones he is throwing to...

Posted by: nowhine | March 1, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

McGee is the most frustrating Big man to come to the wizards in a long long time. He has such little COURT AWARENESS, such a small BASKETBALL IQ and yet, is an AMAZING athlete.

I think some team will give us players/picks because of his size and recent spot light in the SLAM DUNK contest (the only this he does well his dunk and block shots).

I'll be sad to see him go because I wanted to see him develop, but can anyone REALLY see him making a difference getting big minutes for a team DEEP in the playoffs when the possessions are more important and the players on the floor ALL have a high baskball IQ? I can't.

Posted by: truesense | March 1, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

McGee is the most frustrating Big man to come to the wizards in a long long time. He has such little COURT AWARENESS, such a small BASKETBALL IQ and yet, is an AMAZING athlete.

I think some team will give us players/picks because of his size and recent spot light in the SLAM DUNK contest (the only this he does well his dunk and block shots).

I'll be sad to see him go because I wanted to see him develop, but can anyone REALLY see him making a difference getting big minutes for a team DEEP in the playoffs when the possessions are more important and the players on the floor ALL have a high baskball IQ? I can't.

Posted by: truesense | March 1, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

1. I feel Blatche and McGee are SOFT to be playing their position. I was disappointed Blatche was not traded this season. To be a 6’11 PF/C he definitely does not play like it. We don’t get rebounds because he waits around the perimeter so he can shoot jump shots and tries to dribble to the basket. That’s what our PG, SG and SF are for. He needs to know his role and position on this team. McGee is just not ready to step up to the plate. There is a lot of development that needs to be met with him, and I pray the staff drills it into his head during the off season.

2. I like Nick Young and he has definitely stepped up as this teams leading scorer, but let’s not fool ourselves Nick hinders this team with his lack of defense. I will also add he is a heist box (ball hog). He looks to shot the ball first instead of swinging the ball along the perimeter to establish a better shot. I am hesitant to resign him next year because we already have signed a previous player (Blatche) to big bucks based on what we thought he could do and look where it got us now, a lazy and lackluster big man who is too dainty to box out and rebound. So unless Nick can show improvements in defense we might need to let him go.

3. I am not sure how everyone else feels but I have a problem when the leader of a team publicly states he does not know how to discipline his troops. By Saunders saying that, it makes his players feel like they can get away with anything because their will be no consequences i.e. constantly making the same mistakes all season long. He needs to make a stand and start roughing some feathers to make a point. Players who do not listen to the coach need to face the consequences by minutes being reduced and/or not playing at all. If Saunders doesn’t become stern our young guys will start picking up the same bad habits of the spoiled apples on this team.

Goose from Wash, DC.

PS
We need a SOLID big man in this upcoming draft or free agency.

Posted by: JNelson20 | March 1, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards don't have an Eastern conference frontcourt. We need to tailor the frontcourt in the rugged sense of the competition of the East. Trade everyone except Seraphin (& maybe Booker) for Western conference players that can hold their own in the East (Blatche/McGee for Zach Randolph is pipe dream perfect), & draft Jared Sullinger

Posted by: bernard_thompson | March 1, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

@JNelson

Nick is actually a pretty strong perimeter defender. When he's on a man, he actually has pretty good position and does a decent job of staying in front. He has to work on help defense and fighting through screens, but has come a long way. I'd definitely resign him and see if the other areas of defense can be improved upon. As far as him on offense, he's playing the role designed for him. Flip has essentially dumbed the offense down for him. He comes off screens, and if the shot is there, he takes it. If not, he gets it back to Wall. It doesn't seem Flip lets him makes decisions with the ball. Every team needs a scorer. The difference btw him and Baltche is that Nick takes the shots he's supposed to take. I'd actually argue the team doesn't get Nick the ball enough....especially in crunch time.

I agree with the coaching. Flip is not the guy to develop this team. He is a veterans coach. he's way out of his league with a young team. He lierally looks clueless during games...it's pathetic. He doesn't seem to be a very good teacher. The young players still look pretty much like they did at the beg of the season. Where's the progress?

The big men are definitely infuriating. Baltche absolutely has to go asap. If I had the money, I'd offer Ted to buy him out myself. As soon as he comes back into the lineup, the team starts looking lethargic and crappy again. He sucks the life out of the team. He will absolutely hold the team back from going anywhere. McGee is starting to wear my patience thin. He only seems to get motivated 1 out of 10 games, and doesn't seem to take criticism at all. I think the coaching staff should start Seraphin the rest of the season. See if that motivates him to get focused during the offseason and improve next year. His contract expires after next season. If he does not show proper improvement, don't bring him back.

Posted by: VaWizard85 | March 1, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Great posts, especially dfresh58. The question may be are AB and JM timid because they are weak, or just weak and timid? Last week they were complaining about being bullied. As a Syracuse Nationals fan, that saw several members in the playoffs with broken bones (pre Russell), I have to wonder. How often did Russ, or Wilt, or even Wes complain about it?
There may be a light at the end of the tunnel - only 8 people are signed for next season, with a team option for AT, and the need for qualifying offers for YJ and NY. Only Lewis and Blatche have longer contracts.
The Flip question is simple - Who has he developed?

Posted by: lrmc623 | March 1, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Wizard need to use the moderate trade value of JM to get a vetran big on draft night.If they hit the 4-8 position they should move up to 10-19,add JM and get a qualified big that can play with AB.AB either will get better or he could be send by the next trade date.We all go back and see the history of this club in the past,we send the two wallace's, hamilton and others but JM does not have any element to continue to have him.Three years in NBA, he still fall to the fake in 99% of the time,very soft,no clue about the court,most off all he is not coacable.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 1, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Ted's style is to just keep coaches as long as they are competent NBA coaches (Flip is that) and as long as they have time left on their contract. When their time is up, then re-evaluate.

When the Wiz replaced Eddie with Taps, you could see a drop-off right away, and even the players knew the season was totally over. The Wiz paid Eddie millions for taking it easy. Players were developed less well than they were before.

How much time is left on Flip's contract? Does anyone know?

Of course Flip could be a better teacher and coach. In the players' league that is the NBA, how much better are you realistically going to do? A college-type of teacher-coach often does not translate well to the NBA. The Wiz will be getting an infusion of new talent coming in next season and the season following, so that has to factor into the coaching decision.

Posted by: EdDC | March 1, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Jesus Christ. Flip Saunders has coached most of these players for one season. Who has improved? Well, we all remember AB of last season who played like a quasi all-star for 35 games. Hmmm, NY is on the short list for most improved player I'm sure. John Wall would be ROY if not for Griffin. And, the other two rookies Seraphin and Booker have absolutely improved as the season has progressed. What are you smoking? If you are not buying into the rebuild and are frustrated, so be it. But, don't let that cloud your perceptions or let it. It doesn't make you correct.

Trivia question: What coach has sent more players from the CBA to the NBA?

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 1, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

dfresh 58 - u need to replace the current Wizard journalist.

Posted by: cevans1019 | March 1, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

VaWizard, I'm of the opinion that NY does not have the skill set to handle the ball more, at least not yet. In fact, I think he is excelling this year because he is being decisive and judicious when he does put the ball on the ground. Let's face it, he's a poor ball handler and once he puts it on the floor, he's got blinders on. How many times do you remember NY creating opportunities for others after he's begun his dribble?

You hit it on the head though in terms of his defensive ability. He's a pretty good one on one defender, and he's pretty good at chasing his man through screens, but he does not handle screens well when his man has the ball.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | March 1, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Competent? FS is certainly competent. He has the 8th highest winning percentage among active coaches. Guess what? The number one guy on the list is coaching NJ and he has two wins more than we do this season. Now, FS is no rising star coach and may not be the coach of the future, but he is certainly not THE problem with this team currently.

You know who I would love to have and he might be the coach now if not for EJ - Tom T. the coach of the Bulls. If EJ had not run him out of town as the defensive specialist assistant coach, he probably would have been promoted to HC. Hmm, wonder why EJ didn't want him around...lol. Tom T. certainly looks like a rising star and was identified by EG a couple of seasons ago as such.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 1, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"VaWizard, I'm of the opinion that NY does not have the skill set to handle the ball more, at least not yet. In fact, I think he is excelling this year because he is being decisive and judicious when he does put the ball on the ground. Let's face it, he's a poor ball handler and once he puts it on the floor, he's got blinders on. How many times do you remember NY creating opportunities for others after he's begun his dribble?"

Yeah, and who do you think has drilled these concepts into his head to make him a better player? - Flip Saunders. I'll give NY credit though. He seems a helluva lot more coachable than say JM.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 1, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Every team needs a scorer. The difference btw him and Baltche is that Nick takes the shots he's supposed to take. I'd actually argue the team doesn't get Nick the ball enough....especially in crunch time.

I agree with the coaching. Flip is not the guy to develop this team. He is a veterans coach. he's way out of his league with a young team. He lierally looks clueless during games...it's pathetic. He doesn't seem to be a very good teacher.

This pretty much sums up my feelings about Flip Saunders coaching style. Not saying that Phil Jackson, Larry Brown or Pat Riley could turn the current Wizards into winners. But those coaches body language indicated that they were "involved" with the on-court action. Flip seems entirely detached from the game.

Posted by: musicmanjr | March 1, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

OK, maybe Flip needs to take some body language lessons. Other than that, I would simply want to know how much time is left on his contract? If he has more time, it wouldn't hurt to keep him. The Wiz are in the first year of a rebuilding project, and have not shed all the salaries yet that they would like. Lewis will take another season of making the big bucks. So you really judge a coach by how well he can do with at least minimal NBA talent, which we have to wait until next year to get. It gets even better the next season.

All this losing cannot be pinned on the coach. I would pin it on the bygone era where mediocrity was cultivated in hopes that it would pass for respectability. The Wiz are beginning to dig out from that attitude.

On Blatche, what would it take to rediscover the hungry guy just getting his break last season? If the Wiz could find that guy, they might have something. Is he still in the Blatche body somewhere? I would like to think he is! I wouldn't want to dump him just yet, and watch him recover his promise--unless you can strike a great deal somehow for him. But everyone else sees what we see. So it would be a semi-dump of Blatche, at least, which could easily backfire. My guess is that he needs talent around him to stimulate him more. It shouldn't be that way, but it might be.

Posted by: EdDC | March 1, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Flip is the problem.
The players most complained about on this blog are Dray, McGee and Nick Young.

The players that have shown the most progress are Booker, Seraphin, Wall and Young. All players that were scouted by Flip, worked out by Flip and coached by Flip.

The others are all on Ernie. Considering his relationship with Eddie Jordan and some of the comments from Jordan in interviews after he was fired, I believe he had very little to do with player acquistion.

The FA moves of the last two years were salary dumps and attempts to pick up draft choices. So Hinrich, Lewis and even Howard are not part of any long term solution.

Yi is Blatche with a better work ethic and bad hands.

Dray is lost cause. When I listen to his post game interviews, its clear that he has an inflated view of his play on the court.

McGee reminds me of Tyson Chandler. Its going to take JM another 3 years to grow up. He acts like a college frosh.

Nick has shown a great deal of growth in his understanding of the game,(under Flip's stewardship) but there's something off kilter about him.

If Booker, Seraphin and Wall finish the season strong, both Ernie and Flip likely will be back. Maybe then, with recommendations from Flip, Ernie can work a miracle deal to bring in a veteran big and draft Sullinger.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 1, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As much as I do not like the way season is going, one has to think Ernie and Ted are seeing what we are we seeing. They cannot be that blind! I have to think they tried to unload Blatche and McGee furiously before the trade deadline, but I don't think they got any decent offers at all. That's my positive spin at least, becausee if they think those two are building blocks, then any idiot can be GM....

Posted by: eb14 | March 1, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

With all this evaluating what about the coach? They are simply not responding to Flip Saunders period. I have not seen him do anything inspired since he has been here. It's said that his strongest point is personnel matchups and even when he had some talent it always seemed that the wrong players were on the floor then. What happened to the draft pick we gave up for all those Timberwolve players that are not even on the roster any more. We passed up Curry and other notables. I thin Flip needs to go.

Posted by: washdc11 | March 1, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The Flip question is simple - Who has he developed?

Posted by: lrmc623 | March 1, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young. He is totally responsible for his emergence. Along with trading Gil.

Posted by: AllDCSports | March 1, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

OK. This is pathetic.. the "show" last night was for everyone and anyone connected to this franchise to drop their head in shame.; but they will not. From the top down we are having money stolen from our pockets.. this is not NBA basketball.. this is a JOKE... a bad, bad, sad, sad joke.
Please Ted- Lose Grunfeld and bring in someone with a criteria other than just getting paid.
Rebuilding!.. LOL.

Posted by: member8 | March 1, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

OK. This is pathetic.. the "show" last night was for everyone and anyone connected to this franchise to drop their head in shame.; but they will not. From the top down we are having money stolen from our pockets.. this is not NBA basketball.. this is a JOKE... a bad, bad, sad, sad joke.
Please Ted- Lose Grunfeld and bring in someone with a criteria other than just getting paid.
Rebuilding!.. LOL.

Posted by: member8 | March 1, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

They lost to a better team. I don't think Grunfeld is the problem.

Posted by: AllDCSports | March 1, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Well Saunders has had two different types of teams in Washington. A veteran squad and a rookie filled squad. His winning percentage for both squads has been below 30%. So when the Wizards start giving a 70% discount on ticket prices to match the leadership on the floor, I will start coming to games again. Until then its the old VCR.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | March 1, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@ZardsFan

I was not implying Nick should handle the ball more. My point was in repsonse to someone who said Nick should not be resigned b/c he does not swing the ball.

@rphill

When it comes to coaching, FS has not delivered what he set out to do. He harped on fundamental basketball during training camp. Yet this team cannot set screens, box out, execute a pick and roll, defend the pick and roll, provide help defense, properly seal off the baseline, etc. I have not seen progress in these areas. Seraphin and Booker who have shown they can perform some of these duties sit or play limited minutes. I want a coach whose not afraid to play the rookies over vets. I am excited for the rebuild. I just don't think FS is the right fit for developing players. He seems a better fit with polished vets who he can direct within his syetm rather than teach the fundamentals needed to then execute the system.

Posted by: VaWizard85 | March 1, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@ rphill also

I was ecstatic when T Tibo was brought on to coach defense. Did EJ really run him out? I thought he took one look at the team and realized it was too long of a climb uphill to get them to play defense.

Posted by: VaWizard85 | March 1, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Great discussion. Thanks from someone who doesn't get to see the games on TV.

Posted by: justsayin | March 1, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Interesting conversation about Flip Saunders and whether he's a competent coach or not. But I will take Flip to task because I have coached young kids before and took them from 0-3 to undefeated the rest of the season and had parents wanting me to coach their son's teams because I was so effective.

Flip is not coaching this team. If you think he is, if ANY Wiz fan thinks he is seriously coaching this team, you are WRONG!

The fundamentals of coaching are very simple and Flip is not teaching this team fundamentals!!!!

Fundamentals have not changed in this game since it's inception. the ONLY the thing that has changed is the TYPE of player on the court.

There are basic concepts that make this game work and if it's not working, you need to reevaluate your coaching to make it work.

Flip watches the same thing not work over and over and over and over and over again. What does this have to do with Ernie Grumpsfail?

I can take this exact squad and turn them into a .500 team just focusing on fundamentals. There is NO way McGee does what he does on the court without some type of disciplinary action off the court that makes him understand this type of attitude can not and WILL not be tolerated on the court!

How can you foster a winning atmosphere when you let players sulk on the court when things don't go right? I agree with dfresh58 and what he saw on the court.

I have been at games and yelled at players myself when they have that crybaby attitude on the court only for them to look over their shoulder and gesture like they don't care...our WONDERFUL Wizards team!

Flip is the reason this show is a freak sideshow. He is the most disengaged, non-caring, buying his time for reading books on his Kindle, drinking vodka at home coach I have ever seen.

You let me talk to Blatche and I guarantee you money won't mean anything after I get done with this cat. He'd be playing more defense then Ben Wallace ever did in the league. I'd have JaVale playing harder then Kevin Garnett after a couple of session.

It's all about fundamentals people. Stop getting into who's doing this, that and the other on the court because the job of the coach is to KNOW what he has in way of talent and skill and DEVELOP that into what works for his team.

And Flip has HORRENDOUSLY failed at that. That give me that "he's a competent coach" stuff because of his previous record. Coaches who get stuck in these veins of "this only works for this type of team vs this type of team" or "this only works for this talent pool vs this talent pool" it's all hogwash.

The biggest example of that is Lebron James. Lebron systematically plays outside of his position in the NBA and caoches let him because he's a megastar in the league. But Spo was trying to coach this kid fundamentals and what does Lebron do? Start plastering his coach in the media!!!!

Flip, you need to resign effective immediately. Bring back JORDAN!!!! rant over =]

Posted by: cbmuzik | March 1, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What's very obvious is you can be supremely talented but just not very bright

Posted by: petercat926 | March 1, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I can take this exact squad and turn them into a .500 team just focusing on fundamentals. Posted by: cbmuzik | March 1, 2011 11:59 AM |

If cbmuzic can take this exact team and get to .500, why not hire him? Since you are a rookie NBA coach, would you settle for a couple million to do that?

Aside from cb, no one is going to make any kind of team out of this bunch. The Wiz are focused on the future, in the first year of a multi-year effort. They are well ahead of schedule, given all the slary cap clearing they have been doing over the past 13 months. With some new pieces, Flip will start to be a "better coach," simply because he has more to work with.

As far as teaching fundamentals: no, you can't just teach fundamentals inside of one season at the NBA pace. The game all happens in split seconds. Learning fundamentals in split seconds takes time, to build body memory and build on success. Fundamentals have to become routine, and you need the athleticism. And what if millionaires don't want to bother learning? cb says he would yell at them. OK, good luck with that over an 82 game season.

Don't get me wrong, cb, I think you would probably do just fine with this group--maybe as well as Flip, who knows?

Posted by: EdDC | March 1, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, I didn't mean fundamentals on the court during playing time, that's something that has to be developed during the offseason. You would hope your players are professional enough to understand they have "roles" to play and to play them well.

But some coaches do good with helping players understand playing basketball, even though you have a basketball in your hands and you did this growing up, is a JOB! And Flip doesn't get this across, regardless of contracts. Then again, I wonder what the new owner is saying in all of this.

People are expendable on jobs. You're job is not secure if you are not a top performer. And today's players, for the majority, don't see that.

The Wizards DEFINITELY don't see that. So the fundamentals I speak of aren't on courtside, it's a mental infrastructure you have to develop in order for players to succeed on and off the court.

Take Kevin Garnett and Kobe. Though these guys came straight from high school, they had the proper introduction into the league to understand you have to work hard. Forget the show they put on, these guys are tough mentally.

It took a coach to get them there.

If we go back to Wes Unseld, he was a cupcake of a coach and this team faired the exact same way they are fairing today, players who WANT to play but a coach who doesn't want to coach his problem players to get better.

Flip....sheesh...I've said enough. lol

I'm truly a frustrated Wiz fan who is sick and tired of this organization playing us for fools...the reason now I only watch from the flat screen and not in the arena any longer.

When this org shows it cares about a winning product, they'll get my money once again.

Posted by: cbmuzik | March 1, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

1. Great post dfresh58! My only thought on McGee is the Wiz need a starting caliber guy and he won't bring one in return. I think the Wiz could should offer both to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan. Truth is Blatche and McGee are backup type guys being asked to play starter minutes. my biggest issue with McGee is the guy will not block out to save his life. he gives up 4 pts a night by not blocking out. it's like the guy still thinks he is playing against kids and his athletic ability allows him to do anything. it's starting to be quite obvious the guys does not listen and is not developing.

2. Are the Wiz still run like a second rate organization? there was a lot we excused or just understood under old cheap Abe Pollin, but what has changed under Ted Leonisis? These guys still seem to have the lingering attitude of the old regime. they don't care if they lose and surely doesn't matter if it is by 3 or 30 either. If that attitude was not accepted upstairs, it surely wouldn't be accepted on the court either.

The attitude and approach to the game i see from Blatche is indicative of the recent history of the Wiz. he plays like he doesn't give a damn. Says the right thing after the game, yet never shows a hint of improvement.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 1, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

JOKE... a bad, bad, sad, sad joke.
Please Ted- Lose Grunfeld and bring in someone with a criteria other than just getting paid.
Rebuilding!.. LOL.

Posted by: member8 | March 1, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

They lost to a better team. I don't think Grunfeld is the problem.

Posted by: AllDCSports | March 1, 2011

Duhh! that statement goes for 99.9% of the teams that we play against.. dUH!! did you see the game? the attitudes? the lack of ....... everything.. get a clue man.

Posted by: member8 | March 1, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

cb,

Of course the Wiz have been playing us for fools. To sit in pretty good lower bowl seats, you need to cough up $300, with parking and food. That's like a digital camera. The players go through the motions and lose. They earn more than twice as much as they should and have long-term security that makes many of them wealthy for life. Ticket prices are also twice what they should be. So we are fools, no doubt.

I just think now, with Ted, the team is being built the right way, and great days are ahead. Not this year, but it is getting much better, clearly. I can see the upside, even during the dismal present. The upside is in the future draftees and future free agents, along with maybe a couple (or three) of the current guys.

As far as teaching kids the fundamentals: I meant the same thing you did. You can teach fundamentals in practice and one-on-one teaching segments, but a player absorbs it all in games. You can't just react and do it when the game is so fast. By the time you think, the play is over. So you have to build it all into your muscle memory. Success helps you remember "instinctively" what works. Also other good players around you drive you to learn.

I'm not excusing Flip. Maybe he should be doing much more. He's pretty limited, though, with the current talent level.

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

Someone ought to compose non-highlight reels of the Wiz, showing McGee fumbling the ball off his leg, Blatche messing up that ridiculously telegraphed drive along the baseline and kicking the ball out of bounds, and Rashard Lewis taking those lackadaisical who-cares-if-I-make-it threes that clang off the back of rim. These guys just don't care, period, and I don't blame Flip at all. He's coaching a team of losers, who've completely stopped caring (except for Wall, and maybe Nick). I can't remember the last time that I watched the second half of a game, and I can't bring myself to waste money on a ticket.

Posted by: SportsPhan | March 1, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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