So we learned that the selfish comments recently made by Gilbert Arenas were directed at Caron Butler, and mostly crafted out of Arenas’ frustration with the offense. Needless to say, Arenas never should have said anything publicly, but apparently the two have talked and patched it up.
So glad it didn’t evolve to the point where someone is asking how their *ss tastes.
Now, onto the true root of this problem; the Wizards struggles to adapt to Flip Saunders’ offense. We know it can work and work well; Saunders’ success in Minnesota and Detroit supplement this point. So what’s not working for the Wizards?
In Minnesota, Saunders’ had Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell. In Detroit, he had Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince.
See what’s missing for the Wizards?
The Wizards, while they do have a vastly improved Brendan Haywood, do not have the interior presence that is necessary to free up the perimeter for Arenas and Butler. Antawn Jamison can score inside and out, but certainly not with his back to the basket on post up moves. Jamison moves outside-in, not the obverse.
In turn, you have a Wiz team with offensive-minded Arenas needing to decide if Mike Miller for three, Butler in the iso, Jamison on the iso, or himself on the iso is the best option. Every. Single. Possession. All four need touches, and they’ve yet to learn which is the best from situation to situation.
If there were a legitimate back-to-the-basket scorer, there would be far fewer issues. Ideally, this would be Andray Blatche, but we know that Seven-Day Dray has quickly devolved back into "Turnover in the Flesh". The Wizards have to have somebody to throw it to in the post, and if that option is gone, a variety of options available for spot up shooting or drives to the basket.
The offense can’t go through Gilbert’s decision making process in Flip Saunders’ system. Arenas is not Sam Cassell and he’s not Chauncey Billups; he hasn’t yet mastered when it’s his time versus his teammates. Most of that is attributable to injury and a lack of games played, but thank downright basketball immaturity for some of it.
An eighth of the season is over, and Orlando, Atlanta and Miami have put a stamp on the Southeast division. It’s one thing for Arenas and Butler to break up and make up, but it will be something more challenging for the team to figure out its deficiencies and make up ground in the Eastern Conference.