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Blatche to start, Ruffin to play

The kid is going to get his shot against the Portland Trail Blazers today. Andray Blatche will make his first career start at forward in a lineup that will include Arenas, Stevenson, Butler and Haywood. Also, Michael Ruffin will be active for the first time since late November. He's been out with a sprained foot. Coach Eddie Jordan said that he's going to shift Jarvis Hayes back to playing exclusively at guard rather than using him in a smaller lineup at forward. I'm curious to see whether Jarvis is going lose heavy minutes. Today will be interesting.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 11, 2007; 12:45 PM ET
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Next: Bad gets worse




Posted by: fightinotter | February 11, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

so why schedule the game for 1pm if the following is the case? what a joke.

No Television

Today's game will not be televised in the Washington area, or any other market, because of ABC's exclusive rights to games played between 1 and 6 p.m. The network is airing two games, San Antonio at Miami at 1 p.m. and the Lakers at Cleveland at 3:30 p.m.

Posted by: fightinotter | February 11, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

At least you are blaming ABC for it. Although as awful as the Wizards are playing maybe it is better that we all don't see it. 32-16 down to the Blazers! Yuck!

Posted by: George Templeton | February 11, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, PF to "exclusively at guard?"

I think Jarvis can play SF, subing for Butler.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 11, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The halftime breakdown from my courtside seat: sloppy, disjointed and damn lucky to be down only 41-30.

Posted by: Ivan | February 11, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Coach Eddie Jordan said that he's going to shift Jarvis Hayes back to playing exclusively at guard rather than using him in a smaller lineup at forward."

Sounds like the common sense train finally pulled into the coach's office.

Posted by: Joe | February 11, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are playing (can we call it that?) HORRIBLY today. I'm not sure they will even score 60 points total.

fightinotter, you are SO OUT OF LINE!!!! Not the Wiz's fault the game is not televised....blame that on ABC.

Posted by: Lisa | February 11, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Arenas has 9 points thru three quarters. That can only mean he'll score 41 in the 4th.

Posted by: It's okay | February 11, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

It's Okay,

That is so not going to happen. Gil is really off today. This one will be chalked up to a really BAD loss. Can't wait for Jamison to return. I'm not sure we will even score 70.

Posted by: Lisa | February 11, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Only 8 mins left and Arenas is still at 9 points. It's still okay, it only means he'll score 41 in the next 8 minutes.

Posted by: It's still okay | February 11, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's see - Wiz scored a grand total of 30 in the first half. They're down by 24 with 7:33 left in the game. Zero is 0-7 from behind the arc.

The team should be ashamed of itself playing at home like this.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 11, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Gil has been off more than a month. I think it's time to stop giving him a free pass. His shot has been terrible, he commits sill turnovers, he doesn't even try to play defense. Something's up with this guy, and it has to stop, or the Wizards will struggle just to make the playoffs.

Ivan, I know you stick up for Eddie all the time, but c'mon. What's the deal where? This team still has Caron and Gilbert. Why can't he get them to play even competitive ball. The rotations are still a mess. Jarvis plays more than he should. (He should play zero minutes.) Then he starts Blatche, but by the time the fourth quarter starts, Ruffin has more minutes than Andray. What's that about? EJ has got to get this thing together because there are still enough parts there, even without Jamison, to win games against lesser opponents, like Portland.

Posted by: Colin | February 11, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope the fans are booing them out of the building! Anybody out there play SF? The Wiz are now taking applications. Will we win another game before Antawn comes back? I doubt it!!!!!

Posted by: eric, baltimore | February 11, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

you're right. I didn't want to see that game.

Lisa, I actually think it is the Wizards fault (not ABC's). The Wizards know the rules with regard to ABC's contract, so why schedule a game during the window when you know their broadcast will trump? Doesn't make much sense.

Posted by: fightinotter | February 11, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

gil is back to playing like he did at beginning of year when refs were buggin him. his emotional inconsistency leads to days like today, when he goes 1-8 on 3 pointers.

looks like we don't have to worry about being the number 1 seed and playing the heat.

Posted by: ct fan | February 11, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Pecherov's season is almost over. Any chance the Wizards will cut Lang and buyout Pecherov's team to bring him over here? The Wizards are dying for bench scoring and defense. They need someone who is capable of scoring 20 or more when the Big Three are off like when Juan Dixon was here.

Posted by: Kinny | February 11, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

To Fightinotter -- So you think that the Wizards set their own schedule? Why don't you look something up before you start making accusations, and before you waste our time on this blog.

Posted by: Don | February 11, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Humble pie tastes so bitter doesn't it? This team was full of itself during its run, with the fake swagger and the "hibachiiiii." Now, the only hibachiii they scream is when they're in the toilet after getting @ssreamed during the past 3 games. These last 3 beatings and clownings by West Coast teams have shown them that they aren't as good as they think they are. And, don't ride on the "Antawn Jamision" is injured BS. Many other teams that they got blown out by were missing key pieces also.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for the people who paid and watched the game this afternoon at the Phone Booth. Yes, we lost Antwan but this team is capable of beating Portland. Some soul-searching is badly needed - starting NOW!!!

I wonder if Gil's shoulder is still bothering him. He hasn't been the same since that injury in early January. What's so interesting is that Gil's shooting slump coincided with the switch back to the old ball...

The BigE

Posted by: The BigE | February 11, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

This freefall comes to you courtesy of the youth of this lineup. Don't blame Jordan completely - it's the players fault primarily. Eddie needs to find a way to reach them, because they're completely out of synch. I can understand losses, if they're competitive, but not consecutive blowouts.

Posted by: reispace | February 11, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Guess what? If Arenas has a sore shoulder, then I highly encourage him to sit out the All Star game. Then again, he's so full of himself that he would never turn down the opportunity to baske in the limelight.


reispace: Youth is no excuse anymore. This team has been together for 3 years. Still the same immaturity and the lack of focus on team, but instead, busy screaming "hibachi" and getting into fights in practice and the locker room.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side the bench is getting some game time during the regular season.

On the negative side, it sounds like the Wizards are continuing to lose not only games, but that they are wasting these losses with poor execution and fundamentally unsound basketball. If you execute, the scoreboard takes care of itself. If you just throw up shots and play individual rather than team ball, you get burned, and you don't have a foundation to fall back on during tough stretches in games.

The Jamison injury just demonstrates the value of his own court leadership.

This team has a lot of young talented players, but in terms of its play it hasn't reached a mature level of development. If these guys get where they need to be, they should be pretty good. I'm still optimistic long-term.

Posted by: JP2 | February 11, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

What happened today? Is it true that Eddie and Haywood had a shouting match after the game?

Posted by: DC | February 11, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I should get a refund for today's game. Today I stop making excuses for Gil, who should stop trash talk he cant back up, learn to pass the ball and stop thinking he's a 3 point shooter. He's just been lucky so far and maybe Kobe was right after all.Eddie, like your mistake with Butler/Daniels, stop going to Jarvis. After 3 years you don't owe him anything. He should be lower down the bench. Also stop trying to be a friend to everyone and do your job.And Ivan/Michael..stop sucking up to the coach and players and report it like the way the fans see it. WE actually subscriber to the paper.

Posted by: Richard | February 11, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

As reported by ESPN.

"They booed the home team off the court following the game."


Posted by: DC Mqn88 | February 11, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

To Clarify:

As reported by ESPN.

"The crowd of 20,173 at Verizon Center was the Wizards' 14th sellout of the season, matching their total of last season. They booed the home team off the court following the game."

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse


I'm with you....Gil has not played very well ever since the old ball came back. He started off slowly with the "new" ball then adjusted to it and started scoring lights out. Then we switch back to the old ball and he is disjointed again.

Our team is falling apart at exactly the same time the other teams in the East are rising......sad.....

Posted by: Lisa | February 11, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Old ball vs. new Ball.

Sure didn't affect Steve Nash, Duncan, Kobe, etc. when they played Les Boules.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Here are some numbers for all of you. Since the game against Utah, in which Gilbert dropped 50+, Arenas has shot 92-for-234, which is 39.3 percent. That doesn't include today's miserable totals. He's probably down to about 38 percent. That's inexcusable. I'm glad they got booed because Jamison or no Jamison, they still lose to the Lakers, Spurs and Blazers. I think we're finally seeing what kind of team this is. A bunch of players who buy into their own hype, after creating their own hype, who also refuse to play anything resembling defense. The Wizards have a superstar who can't seem to shoot, a coach who can't rotate players properly and two less than mediocre centers who only show any kind of passion in practice when they fight each other.

Posted by: Colin | February 11, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

EJ's Answer: "Big pattern of recent losses is lack of leadership due to AJ being out hurt."

Uhhh, do they muffle AJ while he's sitting on the bench? Does he not get into the huddles? Is he busy playing internet poker during halftime or picking up a hot dog at the concession stand? The scary thing is I hope EJ is not starting to believe his excuses for this team's recent losses.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Arenas' recent poor shooting percentage is nothing new. He almost always shoots at a low percentage, but gets his points from shooting a lot of shots. He'll easily put up 25 shots a game.

Posted by: Dc Man88 | February 11, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

We are slowly but surely being exposed. Again, I have watched the terribleness of the Bullets/Wizards for over 20 years, so I appreciate the season they are putting together, but when no one fears playing you, you will not go very far in the end. We need something. When Andray Blatche is your starter and Ruffin gets 22 minutes, you cannot be taken seriously in the playoffs.

Posted by: The Governor | February 11, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This team is losing it. First the players fight during practice, now the whole team didn't show up for game. Afterward, Gil questioned coach putting too much pre-game emphasis on defense, and EJ talked about missing AJ's leadership. Well, how about some coach-ship? It's the time for EJ to put his foot down. Otherwise, all-star coach may be the only highlight of EJ's career.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 11, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

"Ivan, I know you stick up for Eddie all the time, but c'mon."

Thank you Colin for posting this.

Look everyone, I've been saying on here since the pre-season that Jordan is not the coach for this team and now I feel I'm FINALLY being proven right.

The Wizards have won this year DESPITE Eddie Jordan. They should 100% have won today as well as against the Lakers. Unless anyone who is hurt name is "Arenas" there is no freakin way this team should be losing like this. Period.

Jordan has some kind of thing for Jarvis Hayes that I cannot possibly begin to understand ans why the heck Booth isn't starting while Jamison is hurt is beyond me.

The two games Booth has played significant minutes the Wizards have WON....I repeat they have WON!

Michael Ruffin: 22 minutes - ZERO points!
Andray Blatche: 27 minutes - 8 points
Jarvis Hayes: 20 minutes - 8 points

Here's the kicker:

Brendan Haywood: 24 minutes - 8 points


Didn't they just suspend Etan Thomas? Hasn't Ruffin been out since like Thanksgiving???

Calvin Booth: 7 minutes

There's no freaking way the Wiz should be losing like!

He keeps getting outcoached time and time again. They lose, they get the day off? Michael Wilbon was right, they are going to go right down the tubes until Jamison gets back and it might be too late by then.

By the way, Juan Dixon scored 14 points and went 7-11 from the field. But he's too small right?

And look out Eastern conference, here comes the Heat. They kicked the crap out of San Antonio today, the team the destroyed the Wizards ther other night. Old stinky Shaq is still the best center in the game. I don't think Tim Duncan went in the paint once today but he sure did against the Wizards didn't he?

Eddie Jordan doesn't deserve to be the Eastern confernece head coach in the All-Star game. This team wins despite him, he couldn't coach a team to victory if his life depended on it.

This is why many on here have been so cautious with the Wiz's wins this year. They play no defense and have A LOT to work on. Even if you don't like Jamison it's completely unfair to say that he's the reason they are losing right now.

Eddie Jordan is a fraud.

"The Wizards have a superstar who can't seem to shoot, a coach who can't rotate players properly and two less than mediocre centers who only show any kind of passion in practice when they fight each other."

There you go, couldn't have said it better myself. There just HAS to someone better then Eddie Jordan out there who can coach this team.

Screw smallball and welcome to November.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 11, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"When Andray Blatche is your starter and Ruffin gets 22 minutes, you cannot be taken seriously in the playoffs."


- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 11, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Could the fact that Zero's girlfriend is pregnant be a distraction?

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 11, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse


because we got our ass kicked and it was garbage time. im tired of brendan and his freakin minutes rants. if we play like crap (like today) he doesnt deserve those minutes. haywood playing 40 minutes would have had the same bearing as haywood playing 5 minutes today. he sucked just as much as everyone else. this loss is on the players and im glad ej showed some balls in the postgame.

Posted by: veritas | February 11, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I hate to be an I-told-you-so person, but I was the only one here complaining about the ridiculous "Gilbert for MVP" talk, and I was the only one criticizing the fans for doing insane MVP chants at games. It's obvious that it all went to his head, because now he's playing like a punk again. All he cares about is scoring 50, the team game is secondary (or completely meaningless) to him. Like I said a few weeks back, Gilbert isn't the MVP of his own team, let alone the league. Caron brings it every night, doesn't talk trash, doesn't have a chip on his shoulder, doesn't demand respect, and doesn't have an inflated ego. Gilbert is killing us right now.

Posted by: Mike | February 11, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Ray and Colin, your posts are on point. Eddie is a disaster, like Ray said, the Wizards had been winning despite him. The fact that he played Michael Ruffin 22 minutes proves that he doesn't have a functioning brain. 22 minutes, 0 points. Un freaking believeable.

I wish his all-star job could be revoked with the collapse he's overseen the past 2 weeks.

Posted by: Mike | February 11, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm as angry as anybody on this board about the way the wiz played today and have been playing since Antawn went down.

I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel though

Gil has embarrassed himself in front of the country - I'm sure he is getting a lot of flack from his peers around the league. If he is, its only going to fuel him to thrive in the second have.

We are still up in the standings and have come nowhere close to peaking. We are making adjustments - Antawn will be back soon and we will be a better team for having gone through this humbling experience.

Posted by: Joe | February 11, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

To the BigE and everyone else, I've been posting about Gilbert's bad play for two or three weeks now and made the observation that his shooting percentage has gone down ever since the ball switch. Having enough horses to outscore a lot of teams hide many problems with this team. I think Ray, myself, and some others have been constructively critical for a long time and even got grief for saying no D, no rotation/poor coaching, and no ball movement was going to hurt this team. EJ is really starting to look bad.

We still have TWO all-stars on this team and lose to Portland at home????? Dallas, for instance, has ONE all-star. I know another maybe should have made it, but that is not the point. Phoenix can play this way and be a contender bc they have 5/6/7 guys that can score 20 on any given night, they play well together as a team with Nash (great passing), and they have Amare in the middle. We have none of that and EJ hides none of our weaknesses when the Big 3 is not scoring 75/80 points.

Oh well, I hope we right the ship and turn this around, but it's going to be on Arenas. He wanted to be considered among the very best and he definitely climbed that mountain, but he has taken a hard slide pretty much since his B-day party/Ball switch.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 11, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Ray & Mike, why don't you guys coach the team??? Ray in particular seems to know everything. That remark you made to Ivan yesterday in his previous post was just ridiculous unless you work for the Wiz. Since Ivan is a reporter and talks with the Wiz frequently I'm sure he has the inside scoop.

Tony Kornheiser said last night on Full Court Press that bloggers live in their parents basement.....I'm beginning to believe it.

Posted by: Lisa | February 11, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Ray, I'm with you, man. I have not been on the EJ bandwagon ever. I mean ever. I have been suspect of his coaching acumen since Day 1 in Washington. I criticized his rotations from the first game of his tenure, so my feelings about him are nothing new.

Gilbert needs to shut up, end the blog and start playing basketball. He has created his own reputation, and now he's not living up to it. I know Gil is a volume shooter, but he's never shot this poorly in his career. Right now, at this point in the season, it's fair to call him a chucker because what else does he do to help the team win? No defense, two assists today. He also shouldn't complain about a pregame defensive emphasis, if he, in fact, did that. One poster said he did. Gilbert needs to realize that he has to play defense. It's frustrating to watch because he doesn't even try. His defensive stance would make a high school basketball coach cry. Just half-way decent defense makes this team difficult to beat.

Here's when Gil started worrying me: Last year before the Cavs playoff series, Gil was on Stephen A. Smith's show. Smith asked him how many games he wanted the series to go. Gil said seven. He wanted a seven-game series. Listen, Gil. You're not a fan or studio exec. You're a basketball player, and you're paid to win basketball games. A proper response would've been four games. He and EJ and the rest of the team have this too loose attitude, whereby they win close games against terrible teams, and they say, "A win's a win." No it's not. That's called complacency. And who's going to shake that out of them? It certainly won't be EJ.

I know how well this team was playing earlier in the season, but the more I reflect on those wins, the more I think they were a product of the team getting hot and putting together a nice little streak. In other words, some of those wins (Suns, Lakers, for example) look like aberrations, not constants. There has been little consistency shown by this team. If they make the playoffs, they can't rely on getting hot. They have to grind out wins, something they haven't proven they can do this year.

Posted by: Colin | February 11, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, if you don't want to see criticism of a coach, don't come to a blog. What a joke. What do you expect to see here, a bunch of people on their knees extolling the virtues of a coach who is pretty darned dumb?

Posted by: Mike | February 11, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Colin great post. "He and EJ and the rest of the team have this too loose attitude, whereby they win close games against terrible teams, and they say, "A win's a win." No it's not. That's called complacency. And who's going to shake that out of them? It certainly won't be EJ."

This is so accurate. Did you see after they got demolished by the Spurs, EJ said "well if you're going to lose that badly, at least it was to the best team." UNBELIEVABLE. He accepts losing. He said to his team that he understands getting destroyed. What a garbage coach.

Posted by: Mike | February 11, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, how much credibility does Tony have these days anyway? He's definitely not at the forefront of any technology vanguard, so his assessment of bloggers (and I'm not one, really) is completely inaccurate. He's probably just bitter because Dan Steinberg took his column space on page 2. Good thing, too. At least Steinberg doesn't mail it in.

Secondly, EJ is fair game. I don't know if Ray or Mike assume they could coach the team, but maybe they do happen to recognize some of the mistakes EJ has made. For example, as I said in my earlier post, I have criticized EJ's rotations since his first game in Washington. I've always found them confounding and mostly inexplicable. For example, today, playing Hayes at all, staring Blatche, but playing Ruffin more minutes, leaving Booth on the bench entirely and opting to play Ruffin. Why? EJ loves giving big minutes to guys like Ruffin and Hayes who add so very little to the on-court proceedings.

Posted by: Colin | February 11, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

That last anonymous post was made by me.

"Gil has embarrassed himself in front of the country - I'm sure he is getting a lot of flack from his peers around the league. If he is, its only going to fuel him to thrive in the second half."

Maybe or it could fuel him to make himself play better, but I keep going back to the Barkley/Kenny statement during Gilbert's Hibatchi days. "Gilbert is great at making Gilbert a great player. He need to get better at making his TEAM better."

"We are still up in the standings and have come nowhere close to peaking."

Joe, I hate to say it, but this team did peak in December. To say we have come nowhere close to peaking is crazy. I seriously doubt we will play that well the rest of the season.

Bottom line - Wiz should have a great future, but they are still a 1st or 2nd playoff losing team unless we somehow learn defense or become the "Hibatchi" team of December.

Posted by: Rob P | February 11, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse


I have every right to be on this blog as you do. And every right to take up for Eddie if I so desire. The team sucked today - not that any of us saw the game unless we were there - and may continue to do so. But they did play well in December and this team has been much better than the teams we've had in FOREVER. In fact, before Eddie (and Gilbert who everyone is harassing as well) arrived, we were truly DISMAL.

Firing a coach right now would further dismantle the team.

Posted by: Lisa | February 11, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

This whole hibachi thing is misleading, I think. Hibachi = hot streak. It doesn't mean consistency. It also doesn't mean good.

Their good play in December was just a matter of the stars aligning for this team. Unfortunately, I don't think that was a true indication of this team's abilities.

Lisa, you're right, before Arenas arrived, the Wizards were terrible. I won't give EJ that kind of credit, though. But right now, Arenas deserves whatever criticism is thrown his way. He had been mouthing off and complaining about his rep. Now that he's gotten his hype, where has his game gone? Until he demonstrates consistency for long, long stretches of a season, he deserves to be ripped. I would feel for him more if he didn't open his mouth as much.

Posted by: Colin | February 11, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Amen Lisa. Mike, if people were chanted "Brendan Haywood MVP" would you also be telling them to tone it down? Just curious.

Posted by: JP2 | February 11, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I think losing skids like this build character, and more importantly, allow us to seperate the bandwagoneers from the diehards.

With the exception of a few teams in the West, *every* team goes through losing streaks at some point. The trick is getting back on the horse and making your run at the playoffs. And we couldn't have picked a better year or conference to make a run in the playoffs.

Playoff seeding might matter to some teams but this one plays to the level of its competition anyway, so I don't really care if we lock up the #1 seed, anyway. I can assure you Dallas and Phoenix have more important things on their minds than killing themselves for top-seeding.

I sort of chuckled after reading the ESPN recap of the game and then seeing the Poet-Haywood dust-up listed there, just knew this place was going to be filled with people writhing in agony about how the whole season's gone to feces...

Posted by: Gack | February 11, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

And JP, no, Mike won't be satisfied until there is a "I Heart Haywood" blog.

This place really has turned into the twin blog of the Redskins Insider.

Posted by: Gack | February 11, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

re: Losing skids build character.

Oh yeah, look at the positives that have been reaped by the Skins losing since Gibbs first left. The Wizards have been perennial losers for over 15 years. You can keep the character, most people will take wins anyway.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

CBut is the heart, soul, and MVP of this team. That's probably why he was so pissed off after the Lakers game that he left without talking to reporters. Gilbert is starting to become a TO for this team.

And for anyone who's riding high on Tony K's BS about the bloggers living in their mommy's basement, he should shut his pie hole. Tony K is a loudmouth fraud himself, and at least Wilbon, with all the smack that he talks, GOES TO THE GAMES AND TALKS TO THE PLAYERS. Tony K. is a friggen couch potato sports writer and gets by due to his self overhype. He played no professional sports, and generates a sense of credibility from his loudmouth and longevity. His schpiel is very tired though.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 11, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

DC Man88, I don't know about character, but maturity is part of the equation. Especially if you are talking about championship level play in any team sport. You need guys who are able to put egos in the right place and put the team first.

This team has demonstrated that it can compete at a high level at times. But it still needs to take the next couple steps before it can get to the promised land. I have no complaints about the work of EG or EJ over the past 3 years. The growth curve is in the right direction, even if there have been set backs (such as the last 5 game stretch).

Posted by: JP2 | February 11, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes their high level of play is confused with the team simply being hot. Can they consistently compete against top teams? They haven't shown that yet. Maybe they still can. Who knows?

Gack, are you implying that people who are critical of a team are bandwagoners? If so, I take large issue with that because it's simply not true. I want this team to do well. If that was not your implication, then my inference is incorrect.

Posted by: Colin | February 11, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Gilbert needs to realize that he has to play defense. It's frustrating to watch because he doesn't even try. His defensive stance would make a high school basketball coach cry. Just half-way decent defense makes this team difficult to beat."

Great posts Colin. We see eye to eye. I have commented on this too!!! Gilbert stands straight up and also doesn't watch the ball and the player he is guarding at the same time. He usually stares at the ball bc he loves those 1/2 steals he gets a game. I don't even need to mention what happens once the player he guards gets the ball. Not hard to blow by someone who is standing straight up. The worst part to me is he has a I don't care attitude when it happens - no look of frustration. When I played pick up games and in the 30+ league I am in now, I'm pissed when that happens to me, but at least I try!!!

Lisa, why is EJ so off limits from being criticized? Don't get it. He has a losing overall head coaching record and has won one playoff series. Somehow that makes him immune from criticism? He is a good dude and a home town guy, but he is not above reproach.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 11, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Colin, no I'm not implying that at all. I'm calling out the people who were chanting "East Champs" in December and now ready to throw the season away.

And DCMan, we've already established some prime differences between the way this team is run and the way the Skins are. Fact is, the Wiz have more success against the best teams in their league THIS YEAR than the Skins have since Joe left the first time. I love me the Redskins, but they are a train wreck in the front office.

Posted by: Gack | February 11, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Losing streaks don't build character. They test character. Will the team fall apart or come together.

Posted by: Spork | February 11, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the MVP of the Wizards is EG to be honest. This whole we were not winners til EJ and Gilbert arrived is bogus. EG brought Gilbert here, signed H'wood to a good contract, stole Caron, let the overpaid often hurt Hughes go, let the overpaid often hurt Jeffries go, has Blatche and the Euro guy developing, has brought a vision etc etc.... He is a maestro. EVERY good team starts with a good GM/front office structure. It's what the Skins are seriously lacking since Snyder bought the team and why I can't stand that man and why I am not the rabid fan I once was. At least Abe was an upstanding community guy while losing, Snyder just wants to bleed every last penny from the fans and then doens't put product on the field that is worthwhile and doesn't feel he needs to answer to anyone. What ego!!! This team will contend in 2/3 years. I believe in EG more than anyone else on the team.

Posted by: Rob P | February 11, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Eddie needs to get these guys to get back to playing within themselves. To me that seems to be the problem as much as anything.
And yes while I think it is fair to criticize Jordan (I have on the smallball) it is ridiculous to say already that Eddie isn't the right coach for this team (when Gilbert was giving him a lot of credit for his improved play over the summer when Eddie got the extension) and it is absolutely moronic to suggest that Gilbert = T.O. as one poster said.
Yes Gilbert is struggling and it is because he is trying to live up to what he did in Dec. All he needs to do is let the game come to him. To equate him a multi-franchise killer is out and out idiocy.
Look I think Eddie is having trouble at the moment figuring out the rotation w/out Antawn, but if their performance when Larry Hughes was hurt is any indication he will get it right (9-11 w/out him 2005). And yes I know they were 0-5 w/out Butler in 06. I think it will be good for most of this team to catch their breath at All-Star Break. Hopefully the fun in Vegas will distract Butler, Arenas and Jordan from their recent struggles and everyone's head will be clear after the break.
I am not giving up on this team yet and I think it is a little too soon for everyone else to do so, they are still close to the top of the conference.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 11, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Jeez. I like how all these people are coming out of the woodwork to pile onto Eddie Jordan and Gilbert now that they lost a couple games. Maybe you can find some puppies to kick too, if you really need to let out your anger.

I don't know how many of you were at the game today, but I was. It was embarrassing, yes. It was terribly played by the Wizards. But you can't hang it all on EJ (though YES it is his job as coach to get these guys to put in effort and play smart and play defense) and you can't hang it all on Gilbert either. It's not all on him that the Wizards - the whole team - NEVER ran their offense. It was nothing but "sit around holding the ball for a while, one pass, maybe two, jack up an outside jumper" from EVERYONE today.

The Wizards were in a huge hole early and late because the Blazers DID execute a motion offense in exactly the way the Wizards SHOULD have been. And because the Wiz - again, all of them - came out missing shots and not getting quality shots or inside shots or rebounds. They looked like they were tired, no energy at all. The irony is, they actually held Portland to a pretty low point total for the Wizards: Portland had less than 80 points when it still could have mattered (partway through the 4th). Problem was, the Wiz only had about 55 at that point. Gilbert's shot sucked, Caron's shot sucked, Hayes's shot sucked, Haywood wasn't getting much done, neither was Blatche, and may I add that Booth showed ZIP in his seven minutes to suggest that more minutes from him would have helped the situation. He was just as useless as anyone else out there. (Except Ruffin, though you would expect that from Ruffin since, one, he's not a scorer, and two, it's his first game back.)

Bottom line in my opinion: the whole team stunk up the joint today. But it's not Gil's fault more than the rest of them. If nobody's going to move without the ball, how's he going to pass it to them for a score...?

Posted by: Josh | February 11, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game, so I'm not going to take the flamethrower out just yet. But one thing to keep an eye on moving forward, and many people have mentioned it, is that Haywood played 24 minutes, while Ruffin played 22 despite coming off an injury. The Wizards were up 1 when Ruffin replaced Haywood after 6 minutes in the first quarter, and the Blazers outscored the Wizards by 10 the rest of the quarter. The Wizards offense pretty much stopped when Ruffin came in. No surprise, since he doesn't score. (I came across this stat today -- do you realize that Ruffin has taken 4 shots ALL SEASON??? Teams know when he is in that he need not be guarded, so it's 4 vs. 5.) Through the first three quarters, Haywood had a +/- of -1 while his replacement, Ruffin, was -12. This continues a trend from early in the season when teams just demolished the Wizards when Ruffin is on the court. So we'll see if Jordan continues to play him, especially when Etan is back, and whether Ruffin can be more effective.

Posted by: Henry | February 11, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Henry, thank your for the information (had no idea since the game wasn't on TV). I am so sick of this crap from EJ. Haywood's +/- is ridiculously high. I really can't stand it now, knowing that the Wiz were up 1 until B-Hay was removed. What an idiot we have running this team!!!!

Posted by: Mike | February 11, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Only time will tell if the Arenas turns into TO. Based on yesterday's post game conference, there's a possibility. Never before has EJ dismissed Arenas' comments, and never before has Arenas thrown EJ under the bus, but it started yesterday.

Also, someone commented about the Wizards not being like the Skins because they beat good teams already. Whatever. Wizards beat good teams that were without their stars, and lost to really bad teams without their stars also. When they beat the Suns in Phoenix, everyone knew that the Suns just got off their plane 2 hours prior to tipoff.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 12, 2007 6:34 AM | Report abuse

"Ray & Mike, why don't you guys coach the team???"

Sweet, we'll win more games. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 12, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

How about Arenas shooting less? He is shooting 41% from the field and shoots much more that anyone else on the team! Arenas gets his points, but he is not as "efficient" as Melo, Wade, Kobe, LeBron, Nash, and a whole bunch of other guys...He needs to shoot less and distribute more!

Posted by: Hero | February 18, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

How about Arenas shooting less? He is shooting 41% from the field and shoots much more that anyone else on the team! Arenas gets his points, but he is not as "efficient" as Melo, Wade, Kobe, LeBron, Nash, and a whole bunch of other guys...He needs to shoot less and distribute more!

Posted by: Hero | February 18, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

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