What 21 Wizards Road Games Up, Zero Down Looks Like | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

What 21 Wizards Road Games Up, Zero Down Looks Like

Updated: January 25, 2011

Dateline: New York; Road Losses: 21, 0 Wins; Knicks 115 – Wizards 106.

What it was: Andray Blatche being Andray Blatche, somehow getting the ball stuck to his hands too many times on offense in the end instead of John Wall, who, some say, is the face of the franchise. But that wasn’t the game changer, it was the Wizards, themselves … being themselves. The Washington Post’s Michael Lee wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen Flip Saunders as animated as he was during a late-game timeout. The way Flippery stormed off the floor on television after the loss sure got my girlfriend to notice.

Blatche will be the most glaring non-existent in the box score — six points on 2-10 shooting with five rebounds, two steals and three turnovers in 28 minutes — but it could have been anyone on this night. The Wizards lost as a team. Not all the Mustafa Shakur’s can overcome 10 first quarter turnovers for the Wizards, three by John Wall and three by Blatche. Different cities, different names, different night, same result that can neither be explained nor coached away … at the this time.

Flip Saunders after the game:

“Can’t feel sorry for yourselves … no one else is going to feel sorry for you. Hey, I said one of the most impressive things we had, we came to the bench and Hilton [Armstrong], who hasn’t played in six or seven games, he was getting into the guys, telling them, kind of getting on them, you know, ‘Can’t hang your heads, you got to get into it … what are we doing?’ And we need more of that. Some of the guys feeling sorry for themselves because they’re not playing well or whatever, that doesn’t matter. It’s what your team does, not what you do individually.”

Those Wizards feeling sorry for themselves don’t have to be named, so don’t feel sorry for them.

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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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Sharon

    Flip Saunders suck and so will the Wiz as long as he is the coach. Enough said.

  • szr

    Flip may or may not suck, but I doubt zombie Red Auerbach could get much more from a team that starts Nick Young and Andray Blatche. Young brings nothing to the team except mediocre shooting efficiency combined with tons of shots. Blatche brings nothing except lazy defense and inconsistent offense.

    Seriously, those two guys wouldn’t be getting regular minutes on a contending team.

  • john

    I agree with the previous comment about Blatche, but are you serious with Nick? That guys has put in the work necessary to find success in the NBA and its showing this year, he has carried the Wiz through at least half of their wins this season. We must be watching a different Nick Young out there because the one I’m watching is a big time shooter who is improving steadily in every other part of his game.

  • Robby

    szr what is your beef with Nick Young? I understand everybody hates on Dray but you seem to go out of your way to trash NY. He may not be a great passer but he has a very good True Shooting Percentage, doesn’t turn the ball over and has been our only consistent scoring option this year. Add in the fact that he is in the running for Most Improved Player this year… there are other players more worthy of ragging on.

  • Robby

    John you beat be to it but this guy always seems to be down on Nick. Maybe it’s something personal who knows.

  • Well… I used to get down on Nick Young as much as or more than just about anyone …

    But I agree with you guys, Robby and John, right now, he is the furthest away from the problem.

    We need to recognize the strides Young has made … he’s even passing and rebounding a lot better lately. One of the keys to his improvement which Flip Saunders recently made was that now Nick is realizing when he makes mistakes without anyone having to tell him … that, to me, is progress (aside from what people think of Saunders as a coach).

    Young still has a way to go before really proving himself as a key part of the future, but he’s on a good path …

    Plus … imagine him on a team where he doesn’t, at times, feel he has to do too much on offense. He’d be a LOT better surrounded by a couple more quality veteran players … but then again, what young player wouldn’t be?

    Point is … we are no longer in the day where you can comfortably mention the names of both Blatche and Young in the same sentence about bad basketball….

  • szr

    Believe me, there is nothing personal about Nick Young, I just think he is bad for the team. Shooting a lot makes stars, but rarely makes a team better. Stephan Marbury also shot a lot.

    Basically, I like players who do the things that lead to wins – shoot efficiently, make assists, rebound, steal the ball, don’t turn the ball over, don’t commit fouls.

    When I watch Nick Young play, almost the only thing I see him do is shoot the ball, often passing up a pass that would give a team mate a better open shot. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, too.

  • Patrik Trimmer

    Nick Young really doesn’t shoot that much.

  • szr

    Patrik – Nick Young is leading the Wiz in FGAs (563), and FGAs per 36 minutes (15.9). Andray Blatche is second with 559 total FGAs and 15.4 FGAs per 36 minutes.

    I really do think that these two guys are killing the Wizards.

    Wall has WAY exceeded my expectations (as fellow board posters probably remember I was a Wall skeptic. Happily proven completely wrong). McGee is a lot better this year. Lewis has been a really pleasant surprise. Hinrich has been solid. The bench play has been pretty weak, but if Mustafa keeps up his play, that will certainly improve things.

    In short, I look at the Wizards as a whole and the two guys taking the most shots seem, to me, to be the problem.

    But I’ve been wrong plenty of times before, including in the very recent past when I thought the Wizards should have drafted Cousins instead of Wall, so I fully acknowledge I could be completely wrong.

  • Robby

    szr I agree Dray shoots too much and at a poor rate, especially for a big man. But Nick is shooting quite well, a very respectable 17th in the league amongst shooting guards, and 12th among starters:


    He is second on the team in TSP% to Javale. Somebody has to take the shots, and in my opinion I’d rather have NY taking them than anyone else. I’ll admit that it is occasionally frustrating to see low assist and rebound totals from Nick Young but lately he is even improving in that category, as Kyle mentioned. Also he has gotten a lot better in taking shots in the flow of the offense, whereas Dray is often guilty of breaking plays.

  • williesurvive

    Ny is doing his job-make sure ernie’s phone keeps ringing lol-but seriously he does seem to get it this year-he clearly understands if he has any more 40 point outbursts or 1 joe dumars inquiry that a magical mystical walking boot can or will appear out of thin air!!!!