First things first: I wrote about the Andray Blatche situation for SB Nation D.C. It's pretty much stuff I've written before, but with added emphasis because Flip Saunders' comments before the game were a bit odd to me. If Saunders and the organization are upset with the way Blatche has played this season (and they should be), they need to back it up with some action. Right now, there's not much accountability, and under those circumstances, why should Blatche change?
I do get what Saunders is trying to do. He thinks Blatche has lost confidence and needs consistency so that he's not always looking over his shoulder. But I don't think it's working, and at this point, Blatche needs some of the conditions to start changing. I don't even think Saunders has to be a jerk or bench him out of spite, but he does need to sit him if he's not playing well and start treating him like what he is: an average, inconsistent veteran player making an average salary, a guy who can help on some nights, but hurt on others. Stop treating him like he's a star, don't be afraid to sometimes call him out publicly and don't be afraid to cut his minutes if he is playing poorly.
Anyway, you can evaluate the work there. On another note, I was in the Nuggets' locker room after the game last night, and I figured I'd pass a couple things along.
First things first, Carmelo Anthony had some things to say about the Wizards and whether he'd ever want to play for them. At first, he feigned ignorance, saying he never even thought about it because the Wizards never wanted him.
"I never heard about the Wizards being interested in me. Real talk. I never heard that."
But of course, as Michael Lee notes, that's not really true. Eventually, Anthony essentially revealed that it's him that turned down the Wizards, not the other way around. When asked about playing in his hometown, Anthony said, "They ain't giving Baltimore no team. This is D.C. Not Baltimore."
So we can put that to rest. Other stuff:
- Anthony was asked about John Wall, because their career arcs are similar. Both were one-year guys in college, and both were the best players on their team from Day 1. "I can relate. I went through it. When I was drafted, I went to a franchise that only won 17 games the previous year. I'm pretty sure it's a big burden on him, being the face of the franchise his rookie year, but he's got a long way to go. He's getting better and better each game that I see him play. The team is young and the sky is the limit."
- I followed up by asking Anthony how difficult it is to take charge of a team as a rookie. "First, you got to get the guys to respect you," he said. "Once they feel like you can lead them, everything will fall into place."
- Chauncey Billups was also asked about Wall. "I like him, man," Billups said. "I think he's going to be a great player. He's fast, and he already knows kind of how to read defenses and make plays. When he gets more aggressive scoring the ball and making those shots, he's going to be a handful."
- George Karl said he felt his team had just one good defensive quarter - the third quarter. I guess that says a lot about the Wizards' defense.