NBA Roundtable

Wizards Bottoming Out

In General NBA on November 22, 2009 at 11:05 am reports

The Wizards (3-9) have lost eight of nine games. Against San Antonio they shot a season-worst 33 percent. Perhaps more embarrassingly, they had just as many turnovers as assists (nine) heading into the fourth quarter before finishing with 12 assists to nine turnovers by the end of the game.

Arenas goes off

Gilbert Arenas said players on the team had “hidden agendas,” noting that eight players on the team are free agents following the season.

“I guess when you start losing everyone wants to start pointing fingers everywhere else,” Arenas said. “I converted my game to try to get people involved, but at the end of the day, to be honest, this is the same team since three years ago. We added a couple of pieces, but everybody else is basically the same player.

“I’m sitting here thinking ‘Do I have to go in attack mode like I was two years ago to get us over this hump?’ I hope not. I hope we’re strong enough mentally that we can get over this.”

Arenas leads the team in total points and assists. But heading into Saturday’s game he had taken 55 more shots than the next player.

When asked about sacrificing his game in order for the team to win, Arenas replied, “I think the only person who actually had to sacrifice is me. Everybody else can just play their game.”

Brendan Haywood pleads for more team-play

That’s not sitting well with at least one player. Wizards center Brendan Haywood said players need to “check their ego at the door.”

“It’s very frustrating because out talent isn’t winning over our egos,” Haywood said. “If you normally score 20 and you don’t get your 20 but the team wins, who cares? Let’s try and win.

“That’s what the Celtics do. Paul Pierce can have 12 in the fourth quarter. [But] if they’re up, he don’t care. That’s what we gotta do. Check your ego at the door. Move the ball. Play some defense.”

Miller Injured

RealGM reports

Wizards guard Mike Miller injured himself while colliding with teammate Gilbert Arenas on Saturday night.Washington lost to San Antonio 106-84.

Unable to walk on his own, Miller had to be helped to the locker room with what is believed to be a torn calf muscle.

The team says he could miss four to five weeks of action.

Good injury for Washington? Perhaps … hopefully it will force them to put in another defensive player into that starting lineup. It will also allow Butler and Jamison to get more touches/shots, not that Miller was taking up that many.

Hopefully, Miller’s time apart from the team will help them establish more of a defensive mentality in that starting lineup. Then when he returns he can slot in beautifully as the team’s sixth man.

That’s the bright side … the negative side is that Miller is making the largest non-scoring contributions of any Wizards perimeter player. This could just as easily push Washington into an even more scoring-centric mentality.


  • Gilbert Arenas is playing badly. He can’t point the finger at anyone because he’s not doing his job.
  • I feel sorry for Brendan Haywood, always have, he’s such a talented defensive player and he gets so little help from his teammates. It must be incredibly frustrating for him to have play on this squad.
  • Washington’s performance last night was disgraceful. Everyone quit … heck, they quick before tip-off.

Final Thoughts

  • If Washington are serious about winning then they need to break up the Arenas-Butler-Jamison trio. They’re just too poor defensively. The Wizards also need to split up their supporting cast (Foye, Miller, Blatche, Young) and bring in some role players who play defense. The Wizards could make up a lot of ground in the East by making some good trades that create better balance.
  • If the Wizards do not go that route … then they should be able to right their ship anyway and win 45 games or so. This is a talented team. They’re nowhere near as bad as they look right now. Just be patient with it.
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