Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grunfeld speaks

English: Gilbert Arenas playing with the Washi...
This is a bit overdue, but I wanted to add this to the thin pile of Ernie Grunfeld utterances since the end of the Bullets' season. He said this about Brendan Haywood:
Haywood didn't play a minute in Game 4 of that series, and the nameplate was gone from above his locker after the game. Without getting into specifics, Grunfeld said he spoke to Haywood.
“There's a certain decorum and certain way that you should act during a game and after a game,” Grunfeld said. “And that message has been relayed.”

And this about Washington's defense -- or lack thereof:

Grunfeld did return Thursday to a theme heard often around these parts in recent years, saying the Wizards need to get better defensively if they're going to “make some noise in the playoffs.”
“That's going to be our goal for next year – to move up, not just to make the playoffs, but to do something in the playoffs,” Grunfeld said. “And I don't think that can be accomplished unless we improve on the defensive end.”

Washington allowed an average of 104.9 points, surpassed in the 30-team NBA only by Memphis and Golden State. On the other hand, led by Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards ranked fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 104.3.

Asked whether the responsibility for defense comes from a coach and his system or the players, Grunfeld said: “Everybody has to have a defensive mind-set. ... We have to want to do it.”
Nothing earthshaking, of course, but Grunfeld is so close-mouthed and careful that almost anything he says is worth noting.