This is a couple days old, but I've been swamped with SBNation.com stuff, so I missed it until now. Needless to say, this is a really, really interesting quote from Flip Saunders (emphasis mine).
Saunders made the odd move of inserting a new two-guard offense with three weeks left in the season, which has worked out well. The Wizards have scored at least 100 points in three of their past five games. Saunders said the offense was implemented with next season - and Gilbert Arenas - in mind.
"That offense is going to be conducive to whoever we have," Saunders said. "I thought we had become stagnant. I wanted to go to a two-guard offense, where you can still have a point guard running the show, but he doesn't have to have the ball in his hands all the time. I think it's helped us, we've had better situations not turning it over as much."
This is quite a departure from what Saunders said about Arenas' role at the beginning of the season.
"He has a great opportunity to improve a lot, because he's going to have the ball in his hands like never before. He's going to be able to make those decisions and get guys open shots."
So basically, it appears Flip has come to the conclusion that Arenas isn't Chauncey Billups. This was something I was a bit concerned about last spring, so much so that I spent way too much time trying to find the perfect combo guard type to pair with Arenas in the backcourt. (Ironically, Mike Miller was among the highest finishers using that criteria). Ultimately, when Flip said he wanted to go to a pure Hawk-style offense that put Arenas on the ball as the sole offensive initiator, I trusted him, because I figured he knew what he was doing, having developed so many great point guards, including Billups. It didn't work, as everyone struggled to adjust to their new roles and Arenas tried to shake off that rust.
So whatever, he won't develop into a pure point guard. That doesn't mean he can't be a very good player, because lead guards come in all shapes, sizes and styles these days, and I do think it'll make things a lot easier for Arenas if he's not asked to be the one guy creating offense for everyone.
But it does raise a couple other questions that need to be considered this summer. The first, of course, is who the right guy to pair with Arenas is. We might as well revisit the discussions we had last spring, because now those same qualities sort of apply. Of course, we also have to think about Shaun Livingston and whether someone who isn't a spot-up perimeter shooter is an effective player to pair with Arenas. That has to be settled.
But more importantly, there's this: the dirty little secret (okay, not so much) of this "new offense" is that it's a post-oriented offense. There are two major options out of the standard set. One involves the point guard giving it to the shooting guard, who then gives it to the small forward coming off a curl, who then dumps it into the post player (aka Andray Blatche) coming off a cross screen inside. The other is to do the same, except then reverse the ball and give the point guard (Livingston) a post-up opportunity. Both require Arenas to participate in a process designed to get someone a post up, and if you've followed Arenas' career at all, you'll know that he has never done that in his career. The Princeton occasionally ran Antawn Jamison or Caron Butler in the post, but not often, and usually in some odd, non-traditional way. The primary function was mostly to create perimeter isolations, predominantly for Arenas, but also for Jamison and Butler.
In other words, this will be a new thing for Arenas. He's used to getting the ball and attacking, not dumping it into the post and hanging out on the weakside. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to that situation.