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Latest News, NBA / Dec 30, 2009 / 4:46 pm

Flip Saunders bashes Wizards, Gilbert Arenas says: “We stink”

Gilbert Arenas, Dime #29

Gilbert Arenas, Dime #29

As much as the end of a calendar year lends itself to making New Year’s resolutions, it’s also a time to look back and brag or try to forget what you did right and wrong over the last 12 months.

Over the summer, I predicted the Bucks would become the next appointment-viewing team on NBA League Pass, followed by a prediction that the Wizards would make the 2010 playoffs. “If the core guys stay healthy, a seventh or eighth seed isn’t just a lofty goal, it’s a likely scenario.”

A lot of people got on me for low-balling the Wizards, insisting they’d be a top four or five seed easily. Now a couple of months into the season, Washington is 10-20, last place in the Southeast Division. They’re two and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the East, so while the postseason isn’t totally out of the picture, a 4th-5th seed sounds kind of ridiculous, right?

Anyway, after last night’s loss to the Thunder, in which Kevin Durant dropped 35 and OKC scored 110 points, Washington coach Flip Saunders has seen enough. From the Washington Post:

Saunders tried everything he could to get the Wizards to slow down Oklahoma City — switching from a zone defense to man-to-man — and after his team lost its third consecutive game, 110-98, he came to a conclusion: His players cannot stop anyone.

“This team needs a mind-set change,” Saunders said. “This team, for the last five years has been known as one of the worst defensive teams in the league. We could take five guys in this room out here and we could have a chance. I think I can go out there on the floor and take anybody on the team, one-on-one at [54] years old, and drive right around them. They can’t guard anybody.”

Saunders unleashed his most scathing evaluation of his team after the Wizards dropped to 10-20, far below the expectations of a team that still boasts three former all-stars in Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler. That trio combined to score 60 points against the Thunder, but Saunders has seen enough of his offensive-minded team to realize that names and reputations don’t equate to results, especially on the end of the floor that counts. And, this team is not getting the job done, even with the playoffs within range in the weak Eastern Conference.

“I didn’t come here to make the playoffs,” Saunders said. “I came here to win a championship. We need a total mind-set change about how we’re going to do that. Until we have that — and that’s from everybody, staff and players and everybody is committed to that — we’re going to have games like this where we’re going to hang around, hang around and then when it comes times to make stops and if you don’t have an ability to do it, you’re going to lose games.”

The coach added that nobody’s spot in the rotation is safe (“If guys don’t like it, I’m fine, because that’s the way it’s going to be.”), and center Brendan Haywood referenced a play in the fourth quarter where Durant drove baseline for an uncontested dunk, saying guys should be getting hard fouls in that situation.

Of course Arenas had his say, and he went in on his team as hard as Saunders:

“Right now, we stink—and we’re showing it,” Arenas was quoted by the Associated Press. “You can sit here and talk about it every day, every game, every loss. But until we can turn it around, we stink.”

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  • Coop

    The sky is blue

  • Keith

    Gotta say I called the Wizards being terrible this year. Arenas has been and always will be a jacker, Jamison and Butler see themselves as alpha-males who must get frustrated when they see Agent Zero hoisting up twice as many shots as them

    Blatche is maddeningly inconsistant, while the rest just kinda watch. There isn’t any teamwork going on there. I don’t see any team being led by Arenas getting close to the conference finals. He’s earning near-max money for that too

  • Reddi Red

    i hate to say this but……..the Wizards are exposing Flip Saunders.
    I said it while he was here in Detroit–HE CANNOT COACH–.
    The T-wolves proved it. KG saved him from complete dispair, and in Detroit, he basically walked into a championship team, but the Wizards are making him coach and guess what……HE CAN’T !!!

  • phong60073

    Flip is not a defensive coach, never has been. Can’t say the Wizards record is much of a surprise. Watching them play, is basically watching an entire team of jackers. Once they get the ball on offense, its bascially 4 guys standing around while the guy with the ball goes 1 on 1 and tries to score EVERYTIME. I think they just said screw it and decided to take turns just jacking up shots. Even the young guys, yea, I’m talking to you Nick Young, are gunners.

  • http://law.ufl.edu Big Freeze

    Mark my words: the Wizards will be a playoff team….as soon as the NBA allows 14 teams per conference in the tourney.

  • James

    http://nikelebron.net/2009/12/28/nike_air_max_lebron_vii_low_new_york_city_sample_colorway/

    Have you guys seen that? LeBron is going to NY and Nike is going to guarantee that.

  • Michorizo

    Arenas ain’t Agent Zero anymore…Injuries suck but it is what it is…some of it is in his head…the confidence is just not all there anymore…what happened to cocky ass Agent Zero…seems to me like he lost his swagger…

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    Another team I thought would be better this year

  • James

    @7

    Will you have confidence if you heard Shaq was creeping with your baby mama?

  • http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/ProphetGK ProphetGK

    LMFAO!! Wiz are done, better for my Raps, watch us take that 6th seed…

  • “Tha Boddy” Agent Zero DMV Hero

    The Wizards will make the playoff’s Arenas is coming around and they need his jacking to win.It’s Caron Butler who has been alittle off this season once he gets set with the pecking order then all will be well in D.C.

  • gettums

    all i know is gilbert arenas prided himself for being all quiet and shit early in the season and be the assist man…next thing u know he still jackin up shots and can’t guard nobody…zero needs to be a hero soon or else he gonna get dealt

  • QQ

    You know why the Wizards suck?

    Gilber Fucking Arenas.

    Acts like a franchise player, but selfish as hell.

    Says he would adjust his game for his team, but is still selfish as hell.

    Wants to be treated like a leader, but because he’s selfish as hell, doesn’t take responsibility for anything.

    Damn, when will teams learn? You’ll never go anywhere with a selfish no.1 guy. NEVER. As AI, T-Mac and VC (yes, he on my team now, but I am talking about the time where he’s the best player on the team. I call it how I see it), selfish guys won’t ever achieve anything in the L.

  • ponky alolor

    @QQ, well kobe and MJ were considered selfish and look where it got them. I think u need to redefine it a bit further, selfish and one-dimensional players like arenas dont amount to winning the chip in the L.

  • http://www.yoooouuuknooooww.net athome

    In related news:

    @1:22 sec point of video~ Does it count as being “tea bagged” if it was done by a female? Maybe it called be called, Beavered or something like that…check the vid

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-LQF0VhQB4

    @DIME, How you guys haven’t done a covery story yet on her is beyond me. Don’t do the ESPN thing and wait for her to blow up. Make your own footprints in the sand.

  • sh!tfaced

    Okay, Kobe and MJ are way more talented than Agent Loser anyway. Just because you act like it don’t mean you are.

    The Hibachi stinks, maybe the coach too…

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    this Wiz team is terrible. maybe the biggest disappointment in the league. remember, a few seasons ago, they had the best record in the east at one point.

    they need a defensive BAD. i mentioned on here before that they need to go after marcus camby. get him to add some backline defensive help. a shot blocking presence. then, they need to trade deshawn stevenson for raja bell.

    raja can be their perimeter defender. i know raja and camby aint no spring chickens no more, but the wiz need 2 players in their starting lineup (1 guard and 1 big) that come into every game only thinking defense.

    and until they get both of those guys, they gonna suck!

  • QQ

    @14:

    Selfish as in a selfish attitude. MJ and Kobe are selfish? Yeah, they have that drive to win that they seem to go in gunner mode when the their team needs, but I wouldn’t call that selfish. That is the LAST thing I would call them.

    Selfishness is an attitude. Players who don’t work hard. Players who always want the spotlight on them and cries when it’s not. Players who wants to be treated like a superstar yet doesn’t play like one. MJ and Kobe are like those players??? Dammit. Prepare to be burned, my friend.

  • chris

    keep mark miller and javale mcgee, good riddance to the rest…haywood, blatche, jamison, butler, arenas, stevenson have all had their time to shine, and none of them pass or play D enough to EVER be on a 50 win team

  • wizfan

    i have to agree. there is no commitment to defense on this squad. They need to trade one of their scoring shooting guards (nick young, randy foye, mike miller) for a defensive one who can stretch the floor at the same time. I know what you’re thinking we have deshawn stevenson for that. No we dont, that guy is TERRIBLE and overrated.The wizards are usually successful when they had someone who attempted to guard the opposing teams best player.

    Also, despite his 20 and 10 stats, Antawn Jamison is charmn 2 ply SOFT!!! i’ve been pleading for him to be traded for years. if he does another one of those soft ass floaters or layups i’m gonna scream.

  • wizfan

    ^^17

    mike miller is one of the worst defenders i’ve ever seen. he’s on the same level as wally szczerbiak. he needs to go too.