Wizards Stung By Turnovers, Lose to Hornets 115-110: The Run Down, Locker Room Portraits and Quotes | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Stung By Turnovers, Lose to Hornets 115-110: The Run Down, Locker Room Portraits and Quotes

Updated: January 11, 2010

Well, the Wizards lost again on Sunday, nothing new. Thing is, they actually looked decent, as they did on Friday, but shot themselves in the foot, if you will, with 19 turnovers. By the way, go read this interesting piece on True Hoop regarding the NBA and gun-play analogies.

Stepping back, it’s still hard to fathom how surreal the deplorable state of the franchise is. Whether it’s Gun-Gate related or not, every day more of the shit show emerges from the sewers, literally. Tales of Gilbert Arenas taking a dump in the shoe of Andray Blatche … I mean Christ, how immature can you get?

Let’s see, what else? Caron Butler, while off games are okay, is still a quandary — hey, Caron wanted to be “the man” and then got all sad with his second fiddle when Arenas returned, but now that Arenas is gone again …

Of course, unfortunately it seems that Caron’s definition of being “the man” involves taking bad shots and halting ball movement. I don’t mean to unfairly pick on Butler, but again, for someone who all but rested his laurels on defensive improvement before the season, it was interesting, as pointed out to me by Mike Prada of Bullets Forever, that on Friday against the Magic, Butler was matched up against Matt Barnes while the just returning Mike Miller had to take on Orlando’s big gun, Vince Carter.

Ok, what else? Well, Mike Miller is turning into Mr. Glass, aggravating his calf muscle against New Orleans on Sunday. He’s supposed to get an MRI on it Monday … and the saga of woes with the Wizards’ training staff and team doctors continues. It also says a lot that the Wizards are seemingly so dependent on Miller for ball movement (see Brendan Haywood’s quote below).

The other guys are basketball players, right? Why is it so hard for them to get the ball moving? (And I hope to have more on this soon).

Guess that’s just one of the many reasons why Ernie Grunfeld is selectively looking for places under his roster to insert dynamite.

And? Andray Blatche evidently got kicked out of practice today and is suspended for Tuesday’s game against Detroit. An incident on Sunday where Blatche refused to see the trainer for treatment on his knee also contributed to the suspension, among other things … supposedly.

After getting dressed, Andray gave himself around 12 pumps of Randy Foye’s cologne as he told trainer Eric Waters, “Do I look like I care about my knee?” … reports on if Blatche’s apathy toward his knee and the over-abundant need to smell good are related have not surfaced. All I have to say is ‘C’mon Dray, what would your mama say?’

Oh yea … Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson missed practice on Monday to speak with authorities. This was after Fabricio Oberto and Randy Foye spoke to officials on Friday. Someone please conclude this investigation soon … and what will really suck is if one of the trainers/managers/ball boys catches heat for wheeling Javaris Crittenton’s loaded gun out of the locker room in a laundry basket. Who knows.

I never thought this franchise could so immediately do worse than last season’s 19 wins … yet here we are. I blame Tony Kornheiser.

{post Hornets game locker room portrait quotes}

Matching up facial expressions with what was said.

Flip Saunders

On turnovers and Nick Young …

“One of the things we try to tell our guys is not to leave your feet to pass the ball. If you’re going to leave your feet, shoot it. Mike Miller got caught in the first half, Nick Young got caught in the second half. It just puts too much pressure on you. It wasn’t from lack of trying. Nick gave a good effort, made some big shots to put us right there again and for him it continues to be a learning process.”

Nick Young

On frustration of turnovers leading to a loss …

“It hurts because we’re fighting so hard. We got a key player out right now and we’re trying to rally together as a team and be strong. So, when we’re fighting so hard and winning, to have that happen at the end hurts.”

Randy Foye

On guarding Chris Paul …

“I wasn’t really trying to be physical. If he came to me, then I was physical because I know most of the time, if you’re physical with him, he’ll flop and get the call. I was going to use my size and length over him, and when he shoots, put an arm up, and contest him. And in the beginning he was missing, but that last two minutes of the game, he made some big shots.”

DeShawn Stevenson

On tribute to Gilbert Arenas …

“I’ve been doing that for the last three games … you ain’t seen it? I’ve been having that already … I’ve been having that the last couple of games since he’s been suspended. He’s still part of the team, he’s my brother, so I’m going to stick with him through rough times. So, it’s like my little tribute.”

Mike Miller

On aggravating his calf injury, for which he’s supposed to get an MRI on Monday …

“It’s like playing with a spasm in your calf the whole time. I think that’s from a lot of minutes the other night … maybe I came back a little early, who knows … it’s just frustrating.”

Brendan Haywood

On the energy the Wizards have played with while Gilbert Arenas has been out over the last two games …

“The biggest thing for us is the ball movement for the last two games has been better. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Mike Miller was playing in those games when the ball was really moving. He didn’t play in the second half and we had some problems with ball movement. So, he’s a guy who encourages ball movement, so does a guy like Earl Boykins. We need those guys who, you look up, they might only have eight or nine points, but they have four or five assists, they made the pass that led to the pass, and they really got that ball moving. You can’t say enough about that for our team, we really need that. When we do that, we play well. When the ball doesn’t move, we don’t play well.”


[Mike Prada – Bullets Forever]

How you view yesterday’s loss to the New Orleans Hornets depends a bit on your perspective.  The Wizards played hard … but they didn’t always play smart.  The starting lineup played great … but the bench guys did not.  Mike Miller’s return once again sparked excellent ball movement … but he then got hurt again.  Chris Paul was mostly kept in check … but he emerged down the stretch and hit some huge shots.  The Wizards hung in against a pretty good team … but they couldn’t finish.

[Michael Lee – Wizards Insider]

It probably also wasn’t a coincidence that Haywood only got two shots in the second half, despite not missing any of seven attempts from the floor. Haywood has made 13 consecutive field goals, becoming the first Wizard to accomplish that feat since, you guess it, Kwame Brown. What? You thought I was going to say Gilbert Arenas or something. When Haywood heard that he was in the same uncharted territory as Brown, he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. “I don’t want to be with him,” Haywood said, smirking.

But Haywood has become a reliable option right now because of one simple reason: “I basically outlawed anyone passing him the ball outside of 15 feet,” Saunders said. “Let him roll to the basket and get the ball there. He’s done a good job. He made some shots.”

[George Panagakos – Examiner.com]

Washington, down as many as 14 points to New Orleans, tied the game 101-all with three minutes left in the fourth.  And while Nick Young positioned the Wizards for that tie, his two turnovers which followed, and one by Randy Foye, gave the Hornets too many opportunities to put points on the scoreboard.  The Wizards played the foul game but the Hornets made their shots, and Washington couldn’t make up the difference.

[William Yoder – Agent Dagger]

Despite the Wizards shooting .579 from the field, and out rebounding the Hornets 41-29, they still couldn’t pull a win together at the Verizon Center. It, of course, didn’t help that the Hornets also shot .525 from the field and .565 from three. However once again it was likely turnovers that did the Wizards in Saturday, as the club recorded 19 of them to 22 assists. It seemed that with Gil off the court the rest of Washington was picking up the slack as the only Wizard to not commit a turnover was Dominic McGuire. He only played eight seconds. Foye, Miller, Butler and Blatche all had three turnovers a piece.

[Niall Doherty – Hornets 24/7]

The Hornets have won the past six games by margins of 4, 4, 4, 5, 4 and 5 points. The Bob Lichts will point out that the Hornets have done great to win all those close games, and a win is a win at the end of the day, but I’m not so optimistic. At the level they’re currently playing, I’d expect the Hornets to make the playoffs but I’d also expect them to get bounced easily in the first round.

I’d argue that the only thing that has significantly improved in the past five weeks or so has been the team’s chemistry. Guys have gotten acclimated to each other, are more familiar with their roles and have learned how to compensate for individual weaknesses. While that’s great and I hope it continues, I’m still not overly impressed with the team’s focus and execution at either end of the floor. I’m seeing more offensive plays being run and an effort to get different players different looks, but those attempts appear to break down quite frequently. When the defense takes away the first option, it often looks like the Hornets have no second option to resort to. Plus, the offense will frequently relapse into that over-reliance on Chris Paul.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.