WASHINGTON D.C. - Fresh off losing their 21st straight road game, the Washington Wizards return home for a quick pit stop against Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets before hitting the road for a four-game Western Conference road trip. It seemed improbable that Anthony would still be with the Nuggets as of a couple weeks ago, but then the New Jersey Nets put the breaks on a trade that would have sent Anthony there.
Flip Saunders' attention, though, was on his power forward, Andray Blatche. Saunders was very reflective in response to comments by Blatche on the radio and the criticism that came before it. Saunders backed up his statement that Blatche was "terrible" against the Knicks, saying "the truth can be controversial. I was just stating a fact."
On the whole, though, Saunders defended his player, saying he was going through ups and downs fighting through pain.
"There's also a point where, if he's your main guy ... at some point in the fourth quarter ... you're going to have to get something inside," he said. "When you have main-type players, that's why you have them as your main players."
Saunders said John Wall, for example, has struggled on the road in key situations too, and Blatche should be able to work out the kinks, as long as his "energy level" stays high.
"Sometimes, in order to develop, you'll have to fail," Saunders said.