Quintessential Instances of Wizards Defense | Truth About It.net

Quintessential Instances of Wizards Defense

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Updated: December 21, 2009

Flip Saunders and I may have different perceptions of the Wizards. And for good reason, we are different people. He’s a professional, experienced coach. He sees countless things  I don’t see when observing his team. But I’m stubborn in my opinion that derives from the things I see. Agree to disagree if you will. For instance, let’s look at the quote below from Michael Lee’s story in Monday’s Washington Post:

Despite their 1-3 record, the Wizards (8-17) still believe they made progress on the trip, with Coach Flip Saunders and several of his players commenting on how the team could’ve easily won two more games if a few more breaks had gone their way.

The Wizards have recently patted themselves on the back for not quitting and being in close contests. “Breaks” … sure, Michael Lee’s words, but the franchise has conveyed the ‘if only a couple of plays’ argument, as if some fate has intervened.

I’m under the impression that if the Wizards wanted it a little bit more, especially on defense, if they had just a bit more focus, determination, hustle, you know, all of those intangible sports clichés, then they could have notched a couple more wins.

The perception of the “breaks” not going the Wizards’ way seems odd to me. It’s like saying they lost due to reasons beyond their control … interference from the basketball gods I suppose.

Losing falls under the supervision of Saunders and his players. Hoping for breaks is what crappy teams do. Good teams don’t rely on breaks, they use their collective talent to take control of games and get wins.


Ok, now that I’ve gone through the spiel, let’s take a look at two quintessential instances of Wizards defense. I chronicled every Phoenix point in my last post, but that one was obviously getting long and the screen shots of these two instances deserved extra attention, so here goes….

Example #1: Jamison & Boykins run into each other


Example #2: Randy Foye gets lost


Bonus: talking it out

This is a familiar scene you might see from any one of the Wizards’ three captains.

{best web hits}

[Michael Lee - Wizards Insider, Washington Post]

The schedule will show that the Washington Wizards played a game in Phoenix on Saturday, but for those who had to sit through all 48 agonizing minutes, it really appeared to be short three-hour layover on their return back home to the blizzard. Showing up for an actual game was optional. On the last night of their West Coast trip, the Wizards looked like a team that was ready to go home and make some snowmen.

[Mike Jones - Wizards Outlet, Washington Times]

We knew they were going to have a tough time because they were on the tail end of a back-to-back and because they had some banged up guys — Antawn Jamison (stinger), Caron Butler (ankle), Gilbert Arenas (bruised hip).

But Flip Saunders didn’t want to use any of that for an excuse for tonight’s poorest of poor efforts.

“You can come up with excuses every night, why not to play,” Saunders said. “It’s a back-to-back, we’ve been on the road for eight [days], it’s the last game of the road trip. If you want to even be an average team, those thoughts can’t enter your mind. It’s almost as though the last thing we wanted to do was to be out there tonight. It’s pretty much unacceptable.”

[Mike Prada - Bullets Forever]

Was the effort later unacceptable, as Flip Saunders said?  Of course.  But that’s kind of missing the real issue here.  The Wizards had to know that it was going to be tough for them to raise their energy level to play a racehorse game considering they played the night before.  They had to know the difficulty of playing the second night of a back-to-back.  And yet, they still tried to play a racehorse game against the best racehorse team in the league.  That’s being stupid.

[George Panagakos - Examiner.com]

What went wrong?  Well, it was another poor shooting night for Washington, only 36.4% from the field.  Also, the Wizards only had 14 assists.  Gilbert Arenas began the game strong with 2 assists early, but the Wizards missed six shots in a row, down 10-9 in the first, and then trust began to fade.  Arenas finished the game with only 4 assists on the night after a season-high 13 Friday night.

[Mike Schmitz - Valley of the Suns]

Just another day at the office for the Phoenix Suns in front of the citizens of Planet Orange at the Purple Palace. The Suns made easy work of the Washington Wizards, 121-95, to become the third team in franchise history to start the season 10-0 at home while remaining the NBA’s only undefeated home team.

[Paul Coro - The Arizona Republic]

The Suns’ substituting began with a 23-18 lead, and the bench stretched the lead to 16 during a span that covered the end of the first quarter and start of the second. Louis Amundson and Goran Dragic combined for 14 points during that stretch.



  • Vic De Zen

    A bit depressing, this.

  • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

    Depressing, sure, but an absolutely killer post, though.