BIg win in Detroit

I was there at Staples Center when Agent Zero went "hibachi" on Kobe and the Lakers for 60 and I missed the big win at Phoenix because I was stuck under the snow in Denver but it's hard to imagine a bigger road win this season than the one the Wiz pulled out tonight. First, if you haven't been to the Palace of Auburn Hills before, trust me. The place is nuts. The beer pours generously early, the crowd is into the game every minute and the place feels like it's going to explode whenever "Sheeeeed" or "Chancey B-B-B-Billuuuuupppss!" makes a big shot.

That said, the Wizards got out in first place because A) Caron Butler shook off a brutal shooting night to make four free throws and grab one monster defensive rebound in the final 15.5 seconds B) Agent Zero kept his composure when Detroit Coach Flip Saunders slapped that late double-team on him. He moved the ball, Caron got fouled and the Wiz got two points rather than a bad shot and C) Antawn Jamison - the man who has been traded 5,000 times by many faithful readers of this blog - dropped 35 and 8 and made Saunders look bad for for trying to abuse him with a Rasheed Wallace mismatch.

Also, how big was Brendan Haywood during that third quarter push? He made four free throws and did a nice little spin move to get past Wallace before dunking. That dunk gave the Wiz a nine-point lead. I'm keeping it short tonight because I have an early flight to Boston but like I said, big win.

By Ivan Carter |  January 26, 2007; 11:14 PM ET
Previous: Gilbert to start in All Star game | Next: On to Boston


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I wonder how much credit the national media that filleted the Wizards after their loss to the Suns are going to give them for winning at Detroit? Somehow I think it will be largely ignored.

Posted by: George Templeton | January 26, 2007 11:42 PM

Man I missed the first half. What happen to Stevenson? Did Jordan hold him hold him out because he wanted another ball handler(AD) in the game?

Posted by: dc | January 26, 2007 11:57 PM

If the Wizards were able to pull off the Jamison and a second round pick trade for KG I'm willing to wager that the margin of victory would have been even bigger.

Seriously, a very good win. A stated in an earlier post, if the Wizards make a run before the All-star break and hold onto first place in the Eastern Conference, I think there's a case to be made for adding Jamison to the All-Star reserve roster.

Posted by: JP | January 27, 2007 12:00 AM

Drop the pipe, nobody is offering KG. And even if they were, 'Tawn and a two' wouldn't do it.

Chicago dangled the two knicks picks plus filler and that wasn't enough. KG has never asked to leave, that's about the only thing that could force Minny to swap him.

Tired of that particular hamster wheel.

As for tonight. I loved the tight playoff-style rotation. Even sticking with the veteran defender AntDan in the second half.

Obvs there's still a halfseason left, lots of ball to play. EJ can't keep that up night in and out. But it gives a foretaste of how we can play if we need to. Just enough defense at crucial times to win.

EJ has made a point in the past to talk about pacing (limiting players minutes where he can; understanding it's a long season). But I guess he likes the idea of Coaching in Las Vegas, Might as well take it seriously and push it for the last few days before the break.

It's not like Gil or Tuff Juice will get tired, even if they play 40 mins each in the ASG. Plus overtime.

So fine. Let Jarvis sit; use Brendan as long as he can go. Just win a few more games then coast into the postseason and juggle wins/losses to try to face the Atlantic leader in the first round...

Posted by: doclinkin ( | January 27, 2007 12:28 AM

Ah, wait, satire. Got it. What do you mean slow of mind...

Posted by: doc | January 27, 2007 12:29 AM

Stop it with the trade AJ hate. I've been waiting 20 years for a legit Bullets contender, and here we are. you know what I'm talkin' about??? We LEAD the eastern conference, and PULLING AWAY at that. You don't trade one of the big three in this sitchyation, no sir, you just sit back and watch.....!!

Posted by: DC | January 27, 2007 12:38 AM

You damn skippy.

Without 'Tawn we don't sniff the playoffs. This year, last year, year before. At some point hopefully we graduate a Big to help him out --or hey, take his place-- and Antawn becomes our solid 6-man on that championship dynasty team we dream about.

But that day ain't today. No how no way.

Defense be damned, I don't mind winning a heart-attack game, as long as we're winning. Wiz fans thank your basketball gods for Antawn Jamison: certified grown-ass man. Respect.

Posted by: doclinkin | January 27, 2007 12:49 AM

Here here doclinkin, but Sunday night is the kind of situation where I hope the bench does get some more work. We need to have one eye on winning the top seed and one eye on having enough gas in the tank to do something with it.
And I thought the Atlantic winner was guaranteed the 4th spot or is it that they are just guaranteed a playoff spot?

Posted by: George Templeton | January 27, 2007 1:21 AM

to those jamison haters, without him there is no big three and for a fact not a birth to be first in the east. He was clutch tonight specially to hit the three pointer to give us the lead at 95-94. He showed why he is a captain and let's hope for more wins to come. Jamison for all star, that's my vote, that is the only way to keep pace in the east and to stay ahead. just imagine gil, butler, jamison and EJ coaching the all star!!! That's a die hard bullets/wizards fan dream to come true. let's show some love for jamison and for the wiz

Posted by: Diego Hondor9 | January 27, 2007 4:46 AM

DC, we might be in first but "PULLING AWAY" is a bit of a stretch.

I also think it is a bit of a stretch to say Jamison is an allstar. There are quite a few more deserving. I am a fan. I like his professionalism, maturity, etc.... But, on a championship level team he is the sixth man. Besides, this is one game with 35 and 8. Awesome, but it's not like that his been the norm for him either.

Missed the game, but I am glad we won. Guessing smallball took a break tonight. For all our flaws, it seems we are learning how to pull out some victories. That's never a bad thing! Detroit in Detroit was never a win for us in past years.

Posted by: Rob P | January 27, 2007 5:12 AM

Jamison was big last night, but Detroit's strategy of repeatedly going to whomever he's guarding is going to be copied by a lot of teams. That worries me.

Anyone else notice how the Wiz suffered big-time when Brendan was replaced by Etan in the first half? When Brendan came back in, with about 3 minutes or so left in the half, the Wiz immediately started coming back. We didn't see Etan at all in the 2nd half, if memory serves. Glad to see Eddie learned his lesson -- most nights, Brendan needs to be on the floor for us to win.

DC- nothing wrong with Stevenson. It's just that Daniels was much more effective tonight, and Eddie rode his hot hand.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 27, 2007 7:55 AM

Great win!! On the road no less. Not only is Twan a good player for this team, he is a PRO. NO trade!! Not now. Our chemistry is too good. Lets stop faking, this team is better with Brendon. He is a legit 7' footer and he play's with energy. It is SO obvious that he and Eton to not like each other. Watch the bench with either one makes a good play. The whole bench applaudes except for either one of them not in the game. I am a die hard WHIZ fan. Fix this problem before it explodes again. Am I the only one that notices this??

Posted by: luckydad | January 27, 2007 8:36 AM

Erm... teams have been going to the strategy "go to whoever Jamison is guarding" all season... Have you forgotten Reuben frickin' Patterson?

Jamison's threes bail out the offense a lot, I think his overall contribution to the offense is more than just his statistics show.

I think teams focusing on Jamison is a sign that Gil's defense has improved enough that now Jamison is the only weak link. That's an improvement, because it makes the other teams more one dimensional. Jamison is trying hard and rebounding well, so I'll take it. Still forces the defense to collapse, which leads to a lot of open jumpers, but well what can you do, except recognize and rotate faster. I'm still not happy with the apparent slow reflexes on defense, although it's getting better. Don't think! Rotate!

It is true that the only way to significantly improve this team is to replace Jamison with someone better defensively and equal offensively. I think it says a lot about Jamison that the only legit candidate for his replacement is KG.

Posted by: Zonker | January 27, 2007 9:31 AM

I agree IC BIG WIN!!!,

I couldnt even watch the game. I would only watch the sports ticker on-line. Twan came up big for us. I hope we dont have a let down in Boston.

Posted by: VROB | January 27, 2007 10:23 AM

Huge win and, more then likely, one they wouldn't have gotten last year. Does make some of the worse road losses this year (New Orleans comes to mind) a little more painful. Oh and how about Jamison straight-up for Tim Duncan? Then we'd really be set.


Posted by: Jake | January 27, 2007 10:49 AM

Wiz went almost exclusively with Gil, 'Tawn, Butler, Wood, and AD in the 2nd half, and for sure the entire 4the Q.

Jamison played well; Butler probably had the worst game of the season. You can even say Butler was outplayed by Haywood. (Here is the line, Butler: 8 pts on 1 for 9, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal; Haywood: 10 pts on 2 for 5, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 blk.) But Butler sunk the last free throws and got a big write-up in the Post. Sure the FTs were big, but statistically wouldn't someone who averaged only 53.5% but made 6 for 6 FT last night deserves more write-up than someone who averaged 88.5% and made the same 6 for 6. :)

Posted by: sagaliba | January 27, 2007 10:55 AM

Another big win for the Wiz ... and a very important statement after the Phoenix loss. Shows they are a serious contender in the East (and hey, let's not forget, they're 8-8 versus the West with some big quality wins, so all the national media haters can stuff it). EJ's rotation yesterday was great. Wonder if that means that he starting to understand where his quality minutes come from. No more small ball! Game day grades: Gilbert brought his B game, but made some A level decision making. Not forcing his shots in the last couple of plays was key. Antwan -- A+ ... he totally got jobbed on the non-goal tending call on Webber late, but had the poise to come back and hit the huge 3 that really gave them a chance to win. Overall, one of his best games of the season. Caron -- another solid B ... even though his shot wasn't falling, he hung in and made tough plays with key free throws and rebounds. B+ to Brendan who hit some big free throws and generally clogged up the middle effectively. And, a solid B to DeShawn/AD (they really are co-starters). Good to have the team win against a strong Detroit team -- on the road -- with mainly a B-level performance. Beginning to get redundant, but a great win for the Wiz!

Posted by: WestCoast Wizard | January 27, 2007 10:57 AM

Btw, I was joking about the Jamison and a 2nd rounder for KG.

If you believe that one, maybe I should have thrown in D-Wade and Kobe into the deal (e.g. we would trade the rights to Navarro to LA, who would send a second round pick to Miami--in exchange we would get both D-Wade and Kobe).

Not serious.

Posted by: JP | January 27, 2007 11:22 AM

Sags, The Haywood going 100% from the stripe was absolutely key, I guess the thing with Caron's FT's is that they were so clutch, and for a guy who has been stone cold all game to be able to stroke 4 clutch FT's to give us a lead, shows that he never gave up on his game or let his mental toughness go.

I have to concur with whoever wrote that Gil has been actually playing defense lately. A lesser team than Detroit would not have hit most of those 3's in the 4th that Billups and Sheed nailed, because Gil and AD actually put up a really stiff defense.

The lack of rebounding continues to confound me, anybody can box out, and it's not like we don't have the toughness to do it. Half of the guys who were getting boards for Detroit were lanky dudes like Rip, Prince, and Billups, who are not exactly musclebound freaks. We should have laid the wood to those guys early and often on the glass.

But yeah, no doubt the national media headlines are "Detroit fails to play hard" or something like that.

Posted by: Gack | January 27, 2007 11:45 AM

Antonio Daniels showed a lack of composure when Detroit made its run - two turnovers in two possessions in a row - surprising considering his generally excellent work. But I have noticed that he has no confidence in his outside shot and will only go to it when forced.

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | January 27, 2007 12:13 PM

So, the Lakers lose to the Bobcats, the Knicks absolutely torch the Heat, Orlando loses to the Hawks, and the Cavs nearly got waxed by The Sixers (man that would have been sweet).

It's too bad that we don't have a team capable of taking advantage and beating the best teams in the East. I mean, that's what all the so-called "analysts" keep saying.

...Laughing all the way to the playoffs....

Posted by: Gack | January 27, 2007 12:23 PM

Anybody know if the Wizards are going to be on Comcast Sportsnet+ Sunday night?

Posted by: George Templeton | January 27, 2007 12:46 PM

"Antawn Jamison - the man who has been traded 5,000 times by many faithful readers of this blog..."

Awww com'on Ivan, you know he can't play a lick of defense. Now if he starts dropping 35 every night then he might be worth keeping. ;)

I'm kidding of course. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 27, 2007 12:49 PM


Just realized the Wiz play a Sunday game.

Count it as a loss, watch and see.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 27, 2007 12:51 PM

George, yep, Sunday should be on CSN+. At least that's what the graphic said during the post-game show. I don't even know what that means, but I'm guessing it's some other network carrying CSN coverage because Hockey is on the primary CSN channel?

Sometimes I get Wiz games from CSN on Fox Sports Net channels I don't normally get, so I'm hoping that's the same deal Sunday.

Posted by: Gack | January 27, 2007 1:06 PM

1. I think one thing Antawn doesn't get a lot of credit for is his movement without the ball. When teams start to double gil, he sneaks around and gets those wide open looks.

2. Caron, deserves a write up because his play down the stretch was so clutch. And you look at where he is at this season I think it was a great game for him from the standpoint of keeping his head in the game.

3. Haywood had some great moments (sweet from the line,) and he deserves credit, but I still think it is premature for a Haywood feature. He needs to keep it up.

4. Grillbert's game was A++ I think it shows a lot of maturity right now. Passing out of pressure, getting teamates open, not turning the ball over, playing some good D, and still making clutch shots (end of 1st half was a really important shot.) Honestly as much as I love when he gets crazy hot, seeing last night I really believe his is a great player.

5. Daniels seems to be getting back into form, and I think that is really good news.

6. I like to number my posts.

7. Trading AJ would be like trading your tires. Ain't gonna get you nowhere.

Posted by: greg | January 27, 2007 1:28 PM

Besides me, did anyone else find themselves watching Webber play, remember how talented but very flawed his execution was? The cherry on the cake was when he tried that jump hook on Brendan and when it was contested, he brought out the offhand to try to keep it from getting blocked. So reminiscent of Webber, I remember him doing that so often when he played in Washington and how frustrating it was to watch. Talented he is, clutch he is not.

At times, I'd really wish we still had Rip because of how effective he is, but I don't ever remmember him complaining so much on calls. It's surprising what Rip can get away w/ in terms of the animated reactions when he's called for bumping and swiping. I honestly think he gets away w/ that b/c all that stuff is mild in comparison to Sheed's antics.

The officials really blew it last night, allowing McDyess to manhandle Jamison. It's bad enough many PFs overpower Jamison, but allowing them to play dirty and shove him like McDyess did was very tough to watch considering how tight the game was. I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised, considering they did play in Detroit. Very happy the Wiz came out of there w/ a victory.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 27, 2007 1:28 PM

Well, I certainly do not want us to trade Antawn - never have and certainly do not after last night. I just wish the Sports Center anchors would learn how to pronounce his name.

Posted by: Lisa | January 27, 2007 1:39 PM

Loved Buckhantz last night. Way too many times I busted out laughing after a Piston free throw miss and Buck would say, "Thank you very much." Those misses by high percentage shooters, Billups and Rip, played a hand in the Wiz winning the game last night.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 27, 2007 1:55 PM


The Wiz won a Sunday game last season - it was against Sacramento. I remember this because it was not televised and I had to listen to the game via radio.

Posted by: Lisa | January 27, 2007 4:36 PM

One game huh? :)

Oh well, there's always hope Lisa. ;)

They just can't play those Sunday games for some reason.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 27, 2007 6:14 PM

Yes, AJ is trade bait for us. Yes Aj gets attacked like a rag doll on Defense.

But you know hoe Abe loves a clean image & a lunch pale employee.

AJ is staying & dropping his 20 & 9 every other game.

Posted by: Victor | January 27, 2007 11:38 PM


Grillbert dropped 60 on Kobe on a Sunday.

Posted by: rurikbird | January 28, 2007 2:26 AM

Good grief Ray! Think you can be anymore negative??!!

I think the Wiz will pull it out in big fashion tonight. Caron will get his MOJO back because I am sure he was upset with his play against Detroit. As for Antawn, everyone keeps wanting to trade him, he may not be the best defensively, but, I have seen him time and time again make crucial plays late in the game that netted a win for the Wiz. Without him, they would have lost. I truly hopes he doesn't read these blogs. For a guy that is so valuable to the team, these bloggers don't show him much love. NO matter what he does, there is always somone out there finding the negative. You would have thought after a game last night, he would be getting big love from the fans! But, don't worry Antwan,the TRUE AND FAITHFUL WIZ FANS, "We got nothing but love for ya! "

Forget about the "naysayers" Antawn, and keep on doing what cha doing! Play your game!

Posted by: WizFanatic | January 28, 2007 9:34 AM

For those in the DC viewing area, the game will be broadcast on the CW network in the DC market only. Thank god I have one TV without satellite, this way I can still catch my Wiz! This TV picks up both the DC and the Baltimore TV markets

Posted by: WizFANatic | January 28, 2007 9:39 AM

I'll take Twans O, but please, can someone give him just a little D? Lower case even. He can not play d. It will hurt us. I wouldn't want to trade him, but I can not understand how he is so incapable on the defensive end. Try. Just try a little. His d is incompetent. Pitiful. Pathetic.

So, nice 3, but get some D.

Posted by: JoJo White | January 28, 2007 9:29 PM

JoJo: you are off base if u think AJ doesn't play any dee.

Watch what you write esp. when there are newbs reading.

AJ is a 20/9 player with neither a PF or SF body.
Not his fault. & he doesn't lack in effort.
But you get an F for misrepresenting his effort!

Posted by: Victor | January 28, 2007 11:36 PM

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