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Wizards Lose To Timberwolves, Blatche Questions Saunders' Message

8:38 PM, Jan 8, 2012   |    comments
Flip Saunders is running out of ways to make this work. Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- I usually end my articles with a section I like to call "Notable Quotables." I think its great for the reader to be able to separate what the Wizards players are saying from my analysis.

Sunday night its only appropriate to begin with the notable quotables up front, because frankly, the players are the only ones who can explain themselves at this point.

The Wizards had 15 total assists; Ricky Rubio had 14. Washington only managed 72 points and shot 34.5 percent.  Minnesota went on a 17-2 run late in the game. Washington scored 17 points in both the first and second quarters, and just 12 in the fourth.

John Wall actually summed up exactly what happened Sunday afternoon in one of his quotes. "They just picked us apart. Rubio and Ridnour got to the lane. They just found people who made open shots." said Wall. The Wizards defensive woes put them into selfish mode on offense.

You get the point. Echoes of boo's are starting to infiltrate the Verizon Center and rightfully so. The Wizards fell to the lowly (but very intriguing) Minnesota Timberwolves 93-72. The 0-8 start has a distinct possibility of becoming 0-15 -- more on that Monday.

Let's let the few who spoke try and explain themselves.

Notable Quotables

"I didn't expect it to be this tough...It's just not good right now." John Wall

"My job over the next two days is to try and find five guys who can play the right way, and play with some heart." Flip Saunders

"Flip's message should be getting through to everyone, but we get out there and sometimes lose focus on what he says. I don't feel like everyone is listening and following what he says." Andray Blatche

"We are not good enough as individual players. And we have a sense where we think at times we're good enough to just go and play. We're not that." Flip Saunders

"Frustrating...Sickening...Embarrassing...They booed us tonight and we deserved it." Andray Blatche

"We tried and go by the game plan, but you gotta' help when somebody gets beat." John Wall

"You can't give 82 new Rocky talks a night. Your job as a professional in this league is to start preparing the day before and be ready to play." Flip Saunders

"We tend to panic when we are down seven or nine points, we go into panic mode. And everyone tries to be that guy to get the nine points back."  Andray Blatche

Final Observations

*Ricky Rubio sliced up the Wizards defense like a childbirth physician performing a C-section. Rubio's quite flawless at drawing multiple defenders towards him on drives, and consequently dishing fastball passes to wide open shooters. It was like watching a show rather than a sport. He's great for the NBA and lived up to the hype.

*I will give one Wizard credit. Trevor Booker had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and played above average defense on Kevin Love. Though his energy didn't rub off, it was noted by all in attendance.

*Whoever the new coach becomes, or if Flip Saunders is allowed to make changes to his staff, don't you think its time for the organization to bring in a big man coach? Meaning a specific coach on the staff who is solely going to hone in on making JaVale McGee better with the ball. Patrick Ewing is one example in Orlando with Dwight Howard.

Defensively he's a menace but often offensively he's a dunce. I've defended JaVale as of late, but Sunday was garbage. McGee had all the tools to have a big start against Minnesota, that could've saved this one from becoming a blowout. He takes so many bad angles and rushes nearly every heave attempted at the hoop. He jogs a lot more than he sprints too. Instead of torching Darko, he went 3-for-9 with eight points.

*Today -- and now that I think of it so far in his career -- Chris Singleton was only effective in the fast break offense. He seemed squeamish in trying to find a spot on the floor and all of his attempts looked forced. Good to see the rookie play a team-high 40 minutes, but he needs work.

*Speaking of rookies, welcome to the NBA Jan Vesely! His forgettable first game included an air ball on a free throw, two points on one dunk, nine minutes and a frightening -21. He fits in perfectly to the Wizards! Fellow T-Wolves rookie Derrick Williams was quite the outside shooter, hitting four three-pointers en route to 14 points off the bench.

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