From the sounds of it, it looks like the Wizards responded pretty well to Flip Saunders walking out on them at yesterday's practice. (Before we continue: a huge round of applause to Sean for covering the hell out of this yesterday). That's good to hear, and we have lots of game time to see whether it made a difference.
But there are a few questions that still linger in my mind about this, questions that I think are pretty significant down the road. I figured I'd throw three of those out there for discussion.
1. Why is Flip Saunders playing this card so early in the season? I understand that Saunders was upset, and I am all for the coach forcing his players to be accountable for his actions. But we still have 77 games to go, and we have a team that is young and, very clearly, rebuilding. Isn't it a little early to play this desperation card? Saunders said he's done stuff like this before, but all of the players said this is the first time they've had it done to them on the professional level. Saunders is taking a risky move walking out of practice like this. It makes you wonder: if his patience is already wearing thin at the five-game mark, can he get through 77 more games of this?
2. What's the major issue here? Based on Sean's reporting, it seems like Saunders was angry at the players' constant complaining during the scrimmage rather than focusing on good practice habits. But is that an effort issue? Complaining is some form of competitiveness, which takes some sort of effort. Maybe the bigger issue is a capacity to learn, not a lack of trying to learn. If so, we then have to go back to the first question: is it worth playing the effort car so soon?
3. Why was Hilton Armstrong the one to rally everyone? Nothing against Hilton, who at the very least is emerging as a sage voice on the team, regardless of his play on the court. But he's not a captain, a key player or (likely) a part of the future. Where were the captains? Isn't this one reason the team brought Kirk Hinrich in? Where was Gilbert Arenas, the longest-tenured player on the roster? I applaud Andray Blatche for speaking publicly on the matter, but why didn't he rally his teammates? If John Wall is a special leader, why didn't he speak up? There are reasonable answers for all of those questions, but at a certain point, a captain or veteran player needs to do their job. This speaks to a gap in leadership that makes you wonder going forward.
That's just me, though. Time will tell whether this will work. Anyone else have any concerns?