Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nick Young on road losing: "It can't be us every night"

Really, it was bound to happen, though I'm surprised it took the Wizards' 23rd straight road loss for a player to start complaining and pointing a finger at someone else. And that player was Nick Young, who, more or less, expressed some frustration after the team's most recent loss, a 107-93 beating in Memphis.

According to The Washington Post's Michael Lee, here's what Young had to say:
But after the Wizards lost . . . Nick Young openly questioned the play calling as he slipped on his sneakers in the visitor's locker room. Young was upset that the team had abandoned the scheme it had used the night before in Oklahoma City, when it pushed the Thunder to double overtime.

"I don't know. We don't stay consistent with play calling," Young said. "It's crazy. It can't be us all the time. The same thing we run against the Thunder, we came out with a different plan. It can't be us every night."

[. . .]

"We've got to be consistent really," Young said. "We got to work on just staying together really. I think that's what's making us go out there and play this way. Everyone feels they can change the game and be a game changer. We've just got to stay consistent with what we was running. We should've carried over what we had against the Thunder. We should've came out excited and ready to pump and going with the same routine."
Maybe Young is right. Maybe the Wizards coaching staff could call better plays and put the team in a better position to win. Many fans have been calling for Flip Saunders's job, believing that the Wizards should be playing better than they are and that Saunders hasn't done a very good job in his time in Washington.

But at the end of the day, players play and coaches coach. Young undoubtedly knows this and is disappointed with the constant losing on the road. But is Young really the guy who should be complaining about the plays that are called? In the double-overtime loss to the Thunder the other night, Young (32 points) took 33 shots -- 13 more than anyone on the team. He made just 13 of them. That's not terribly efficient basketball, but it's not surprising that Young favors the chance to take that many shots. Against the Grizzlies last night, Young made just two of nine shots and had eight points. (It's also worth noting that he played 28 minutes before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a calf injury.) In two games, Young took 42 shots and made only 15 of them, yet he has the audacity to complain about play calling and possible coaching mistakes. Even if what he's saying has some truth to it -- and it does -- he didn't exactly pick the best time to make those comments.

For what it's worth, the Wizards shot 42.6 percent as a team against the Thunder. Against the Grizzlies, they shot 42.7 percent.

The Wizards' next two road games are at Dallas and at New Orleans, which won't provide any easy wins. The only light at the end of the tunnel appears to be a road game at Cleveland on February 13, but with a team that will probably be 0-25 on the road heading into that game, there is no such thing as a guaranteed victory.

At the end of the day, it's hard to be too upset with Young. Honestly, who wouldn't be frustrated after consistently losing on the road like this for nearly half a season? But Young -- and the entire team -- needs to play much better to eventually get that road win. And that means scoring 43 points on 42 shots in two games won't get the job done -- no matter the play calling.

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