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Booth, Blatche and those struggling Sonics

It's not every night that you'll see Calvin Booth stroll to bench while soaking in an ovation and Andray Blatche is just starting to figure out what the heck he's doing on an NBA court but during tonight's 118-108 win over Seattle, those two were exactly what Coach Eddie Jordan and the Wizards needed.

Tough Juice (Caron Butler) poured in a career-high 38 while Agent Zero was sort of quiet on his way to a 16-point, 9-assist effort bu the Wizards rolled over a bad team because everyone chipped in. Brendan had 20 and 11, Roger Mason knocked down a 3-ball and Booth and Blatche helped change the game during a 32-point third.

Things won't be nearly as easy Wednesday night when the San Antonio Spurs but after two straight losses, the Wizards needed just what they got and the way they got it, with Caron offsetting Gilbert's quiet night with a big one while the subs helped out, was nice for Coach Eddie Jordan.

It helps that Seattle is a horrible basketball team right now. They've lost 15 straight on the road, five in a row overall and there are times when you look on the court and wonder who those five clowns are out there with Ray Allen. Mickael Gelabale??? Johan Petro??? Andre Brown??? Not exactly household names if you know what I mean.

I've blogged all season that key for Blatche would be turning himself into a rebounding machine, off-the-ball defender and overall high-energy guy. That's what he's basically become in spots. Now, there are still times when he has a bad turnover but the kid just needs minutes and if he plays like he did tonight and the other night against the Lakers, Coach Eddie Jordan will put him on the court and let him roll through some bad spots.

"You saw how easily the game comes to him," was one of Jordan's comments about Blatche after the game.

From the lockeroom:

-I tried to interview DeShawn Stevenson and got a couple of things from him despite Gilbert's constant background chatter about how he took $20,000 from DeShawn in that shooting game the other day. Gilbert has now taken to calling DeShawn: "Second" as in he finished second. DeShawn simply calls Gilbert a cheater and pointed out that Gilbert didn't hesitate to hit him with a pass at the end of the first quarter when DeShawn drained a three-pointer.

-Andray was a popular interview and you can really get a feel for how he's gaining confidence and an overall comfort level as a pro. Remember, he's still a pup but having seen him up close from the day he was drafted, I like where he' s going. I'll be writing about him for Friday's paper so check it out.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 5, 2007; 10:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Make-Or-Break Time For the Spurs?

Comments

I hope Brendan got some love from the crowd...he was great tonight and has been solid all season.

Posted by: Lisa | February 5, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

are any of the bullets getting tired of agent zero's constant banter yet? i hope the chemistry lasts throughout the season

Posted by: ct fan | February 6, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Great game! Let's trade somebody!

Posted by: burke | February 6, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

are any of the bullets getting tired of agent zero's constant banter yet? i hope the chemistry lasts throughout the season

Posted by: ct fan | February 6, 2007 12:06 AM

WTH does this have to do with the price of tea in china? Quit trying to divide us drama queen!

Posted by: Victor | February 6, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Noteworthy that the small lineup (with Jarvis at PF, for example) got killed last night, and the big lineup dominated.

Posted by: Sean | February 6, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Mid Third I thought I'd have to drive to the city and look for a tall building. There's an old adage in sports that says,"You're never as good as you look when your winning, and your never as bad as you look when you're losing".But boy did the Wiz look good in that rally!
Ray keeps calling for Booth and based on two of the three games he's gotten minutes Eddie needs to bring him on. Boy did he change that game without filling up a stat sheet. Blatch is so talented when he runs the floor, rebounds and plays high energy defense. But then he starts to think he's a point guard and you remember this kid would only be a college Soph.!
I'd still like to see depth move to get us another 4-5 that could play D and rebound. we've got an abundance of smalls and I don't think you can have too many bigs for the playoffs. (Think 6 more fouls to give on Shack). But I wouldn't trade a rotation guy to do it except maybe Hayes.

Posted by: GM | February 6, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the last poster. Jarvis Hayes' days in DC may be numbered. All he does is take jumpers all night long. If only he makes half of them.

Posted by: Bart | February 6, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

don't forget cal booth. he's surprised me the last 2 games how comfortable he's looked in the offense.

a few points, blocks and assists from deep in the rotation would be a big plus -- especially into the playoffs. i could see booth getting minutes in tight games, either as a defensive sub for aj or on the offensive end in obvious fouling situations (where we don't want haywood or thomas on the line).

Posted by: mike | February 6, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The last two games Jarvis got the start, and came out throwing up bricks. Do ya'll think he'll start tomorrow, or will Booth get the nod? Or...maybe...even...Blatche?

Posted by: Tuna | February 6, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I think EJ is gonna start Jarvis but I expect him to have a qucik hook. The Spurs are a tall team and I think EJ is starting to realize that small ball isn't working. Asking Haywood to duplicate his performance against Tim Duncan might be asking for too much. I bet he'll pick up 2 quick fouls and do alot of sitting. Not of any fault of his own. Its just that Duncan is an elite player and he gets a ton of crap calls for him. Think of him as a tall D. Wade.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 6, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

has jarvis ever had a good game even?

Posted by: bms | February 6, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Check out bulletsforever.com to really see the difference between Hayes at PF and Booth in there.

We also can't get overly excited for Blatche's performance, remember Seattle is one of the worst defensive teams out there. Encouraging, yes, but we can't realistically expect double figures from him every night.

Posted by: AV | February 6, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Not until he's old enough to buy a beer at least.

Posted by: Jumpy | February 6, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Blatche it up! At this point, can we say that Blatche is rising to the occasion and Hayes is not? We don't need another jump shooter in Hayes (not to mention he's not a very good jump shooter), lets keep Blatche in there and let him use his length to mix things up a bit.

Posted by: Jake | February 6, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I think we should start Blatche and get this kid rolling...Jarvis is not cutting it and if Blatche gets minutes, he will be valuable during the playoff stretch. Also like how Songolia is coming along.

Posted by: John | February 6, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The Jarvis bashing on this blog is tiresome. Criticism of his performance and shot selection at times is very warranted, but the constant refrain that he's a bum, is worthless and should be dumped off the team just reveals the ignorance of the posters. Players usually are lottery picks for a reason, namely talent, and while Jarvis has been injured and has struggled to regain his form this year, the bottom line is that he has real talent. He has been playing out of position all season, resulting in the team being unsuccessful when he is on the floor in great part due to the smallball lineup he is part of. He had a really good game less than a week ago, but some of his critics only see the negative things he does. If you're going to do that, fine, let's hold up every player to standard. And last night, under that standard the criticism should start with Arenas and his shot selection.

Posted by: Joe | February 6, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

bms, Hayes has had a few good games off the bench (most recently against Toronto--he had a real solid stat line there).

Last night Hayes shot 40% with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal in 16 minutes. That's not mind-boggling, but it's not terrible either.

I think he deserves criticism for his inconsistent shooting, but he isn't Kwame Brown. He's clearly putting in the effort on the court, and he's moving well without the ball. He's a smart player--probably will make a pretty good coach one of these days.

I don't have the same animus towards Jarvis that a lot of people seem to have here--but I do agree that he's got to earn back those starter minutes. Both Booth and Blatche's game last night have earned them extra floor time. Personally, I'd be tempted to give Blatche the nod--even against San Antonio; and have Booth come off the bench as he did last night. Actually Booth and Blatche looked pretty good when they were on the floor together too.

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Right on Joe.

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, don't kick Jarvis off the team, but I do think that Blatche should be a starter. Jarvis is still a solid bench player...

Posted by: John | February 6, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Actually, quick follow-up to your post Joe.

The lottery pick "rule" about quality players USUALLY applies. I think it's right to apply it in Jarvis Hayes's case.

If the guy doing the selecting is, say, Michael Jordan, I don't know if I would apply the same standard. Even if the lottery pick was #1 overall. MJ was a great player. He was definitely not a great GM.

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Eddie's comment about Blatche that the game can come easy to him is very true. When he stays near the hoop on offense his offensive rebounding can lead to him putting up great numbers without any plays being called for him. He is really long, quick and athletic and in time will be a special player. Let's hope he builds on last night. By the way, has anyone figured out why WTEM has the Redskins's guy Jerry doing the post game? He is absolutely clueless when it comes to basketball and makes you really miss Scott Jackson doing those shows.

Posted by: amg | February 6, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I like our redshirt rookie Bulletproof 32. He's got the basketball instincts that many prep-to-pro prodigies lack. Sure he'll make a lazy pass, but he rebounds, defends, and works for his points.

I also like the work that Eddie et al are doing in ensuring he learns the Big Man's duties first before showboating and jacking up outside shots.

Bright future with this kid.

-doc.

Posted by: doclinkin (realgm.com/boards) | February 6, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"Great game! Let's trade somebody!"

Sweet!

Let's trade Jarvis!

Oh wait, Lisa doesn't want us to so now he has to play more. ;) ;)

They could have probably gotten something at the beginning of the season but not now. He's a restricted free agent after this season and now he's just gonna walk away.

"He had a really good game less than a week ago."

He's NOT improving though. Are you gonna pay that guy 3-5 mil a year next year to be inconsistent at best??? I'm sorry but lottery picks are busts...and there are many. And one good game does not a season make, especially half way through the season. You can defend him all you like but he's not going to be a Wizard next year.

They aren't going to pay him AND pay Stevenson to boot. Take your pick. Polin has already said he has no intention of going over the luxury tax.

Tht guy is lucky he still has a job and it's crazy to me he keeps getting MORE minutes. Every Seattle highlight I saw last night had someone shooting over Hayes, and I'm serious.

He's definately not Kwame, but he can't play anymore. That is his fault because he elected to NOT have surgery to his knee and he broke the same knee the next year. People "boo" him because he can't play anymore. Be honest, if he said today "I quit playing basketball" would the Wizards even miss him?

I'm sure he's a "good guy" but it's time for him to move on. The only thing ignorant would be keeping him.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 6, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Joe, nobody's saying we dump Arvis, but OTOH, I do not think he has earned a contract extension, and looks like he's playing himself out of 2nd string.

Bottom line is, in this league, you have to be ready to be called on to step up and make the shot when it counts. Arvis has an opportunity here that so many NBA players would kill for, and he's blowing it.

Sure, he's had some okay games. And as I've said before, there are games where he's throwing up more bricks and air than a tornado, and just then he'll hit a huge three to keep the team going. But the bottom line is, in the role we need him to play, he's not reliable, he's not dependable. At least not right now.

Look at it this way, when Gil goes out and AD comes in, I feel confident that AD is going to protect the ball, drive the lane, distribute the ball, and generally hold the team together. Arvis' chief responsibility is to make his jumpers, so that the defense respects him and can't cheat on Gil and Caron. But nobody is scared of Hayes, and he doesn't make most of his shots when he needs to. On top of that, he has totally forgotten how to penetrate.

I think he stays around the rest of this year, but seriously, who thinks we are going to be building the future of our team around him? Not going to happen. We all know how this story ends.

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

And of course lottery picks have talent. 99% of players on NBA rosters are talented. That's not the whole story.

Shawn Kemp was one of the most talented dudes I've ever seen. When he could keep his head in the game and the drugs and booze out of his system.

John "Hot Fudge" Williams was super talented, could have been the best Bullets guard ever. If he could have stayed in the gym and out of the Ponderosa.

Bobby Hurley was pretty damn talented. And we all know how that poor guy's career went after his injury.

Talent is only part of the equation, and you can't wait forever for talent and potential to equal greatness. Sometimes it never happens.

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

since there are a lot of comments on Jarvis, let me offer one of my own.
He has to change his shooting motion. His arm backward motion delays by a millisecond and also does not give the ball the spin it needs. He needs a more economical motion that gains momentum starting below the waist. I can't express this well enough, but a shooting coach will know how to impart it.

Posted by: rickgonz | February 6, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Go Wizards - let's go for the top spot in the East, baby!

Posted by: Jake | February 6, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Cannot wait for Jamison to come back - Andray looks legit and Darius is starting to get his touch back...We're legit!

Posted by: Mike | February 6, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Agent 0 has cooled off, but Butler is heating up big time. We have a real chance to make the Finals this year!

Posted by: jen | February 6, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Not to beat a dead horse but Jarvis just plain can't play. I am not sure what Eddie Jordan or Ernie Grunfeld see in him. It is more than just not being able to get his shot. He always seems to turn the ball over when it is directed through him. He seems to not be very coordinated. They give him minutes that they should give to Blatche. At least he is developing into a player. I am not sure the same can be said of Jarvis Hayes.
Maybe he's got nude photos of Eddie or Ernie! Ha Ha Ha

Posted by: DMAN | February 6, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

obviously nobody should be questioning jarvis' manhood or attacking him personally...that's common sense. however, the guy is a multi-millionare who gets paid to play the game the right way. and right now he is not doing that, so as fans of the team we are within our right to complain about him. this is a business, and right now he causes more harm than good for this team by constantly jacking up bricks.

We shouldnt let this guy slide for the production he is giving. if your shot isnt falling, then fine, try to take it to the hoop to draw some fouls, or try developing some semblance of a passing game by generating some assists for the team

him playing out of position has NOTHING to do with him constantly missing wide open jumpers. he shouldnt get a free pass just because he has "talent". there are plenty of players who have had "talent" but couldnt produce.

I'm not saying we should cut him right now, but even if we did i'm not sure that there would be many teams willing to sign him.

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 6, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I heart Caron Butler. Bullets Fan in L.A. said at the end of the Lakers game he had a disgusted look (just like he had in the loss at Milwaukee) -- and that he was gonna come back hard. And he did. Straight-up gutta.

Much love also to Haywood, Blatche and Booth for their defense work last night... only thing is I'd like to see Haywood get that fadeaway in the lane out of his repertoire and go strong to the hole more often.

No bashing Jarvis Hayes, but I do wish he would opt to drive more instead of settling for a jumper when he's open -- which he did do before his knee problems started. If he tried that, he might get clicking even more with his jumper.

Posted by: iceberg | February 6, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Agent Zero has cooled off. His own team is stopping him. They come down the court and jack up some horrible shots without ever passing the ball back to Gilbert. The offense should be set up by Gilbert first and all the options should come from him directing the offense. Make teams stop your best player! When they double team then he passes to the open man. Also Eddie Jordan has problems with his substitution combinations he seems to not be very effective at this. He could really improve in this area. It is one of the reasons his teams cannot get past the HEAT. Teams can beat Shaq only when they wear the big fella down. See Detroit's play with Larry Brown at the helm.

Posted by: DMAN | February 6, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Whats all the excitement about beating a 17-30 team? Considering they had 9 turnovers in the first qtr and were down by 3 @ the half?

Yes, Blatch & Butler had a good game but who are they playing?

Note: - Denver v. Suns.
108 113
No Nash - Injured left in 1st qtr.
No A.I. - Neither team whined about somebody missing...they fought thru it.

I agree with Joe.

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

all I know is, I cant wait too see Eddie give Jarvis some clock in Vegas.

btw it seems odd that Jarvis has a siamese twin who couldnt even get into the league. doesnt Donnell Taylor have a twin too? Interesting that the wiz have 2 twins on the team.

good to see songaila finally in. And you know what that means right??...we finally have a token white guy on the team! havent had one since stevie blake I think. lets hope he doesnt turn into laettner 2.0

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 6, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting to me that last year people were bashing Haywood the same way they are bashing Hayes now, and Haywood has become a fan favorite of many.
One note about Haywood and his fadeaway jumpers. I don't know for sure why he shoots that shot, but I have a guess. When you think of centers taking fadeaway jumpers, who do you think of? Patrick Ewing, right? And Ewing was Haywood's big man coach during the MJ years. So I imagine it's something he has been coached to take and has worked on.
I agree with iceberg to an extent -- I'd like to see Haywood shoot the fadeaway on occasion, but only fade back a foot or so when he does it. He fades away about 3 or 4 feet when he takes it, and that is a really tough shot. And he usually has such separation and height he doesn't need to fadeaway that much.

Posted by: Sean | February 6, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

If they struggle to beat one of the worst teams what will happen for the next level up? Note these only a fraction of injuries.

Anthony aggravated his sprained left wrist, although postgame X-rays were negative. Reggie Evans played despite a sprained right ankle and Steve Blake played with a bandage covering his upper lip, which required 12 stitches after he caught an inadvertent elbow from Ron Artest 48 hours earlier.

"We've just got to figure out ways to win games down the stretch," Anthony said. "I know we're hurt, I know we're bruised up. But we can't use that as an excuse."
The Suns certainly didn't.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I did not see the first half last night. What I saw in the second half was the team going one on one and jacking up shots in the first few minutes of the third, and then Gilbert deciding to become a distributor, not a shooter, and the team started playing like a team -- passing the ball around until someone, not just the big 3 or big 2, but someone got a good shot. The team play on the offensive end seemed to inspire ramped up effort on the other end. It helped that Seattle stinks.
I think that's the template for team success while Jamison is out -- not relying on two or three "big" players, but working the offense, passing the ball, and getting everyone involved. Teams won't have much trouble stopping Arenas and Butler if that is the focus, but if the Wizards go at opponents as a team with all 5 contributing, it will be hard to defend.

Posted by: Henry | February 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Jarvis is so easy to bash! When you get paid to do something and can't do it then it's pretty easy for people to see the problem. He couldn't play before the injuries. Not to wish him ill but the team played better when he was out last year. People tell him to look for his shot and when he does it everyone in the building winces when those bricks clang clang clang off the rim! Bricklayer of the worst sort! Nobody has to pick on him. It is all self evident. Bricklayer!
The only surprise is when he makes one.
Hey Joe is your number 24? Maybe Joe is a nickname for Jarvis

Posted by: DMAN | February 6, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Whats all the excitement about beating a 17-30 team?"

The excitement is that the Wizards/Bullets teams we've had here for the past two decades or so didn't do this. They didn't consistently beat the teams they were supposed to, which is why even the relatively good Wizards teams always struggled to get above .500.

This team took an ugly game which could have been a really bad loss, and turned it into another harvested nut. This team's demonstrating more and more that they're not your grampa's Wizards.

That's exciting.

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

I think much of Jarvis's problem boils down to getting the majority of his minutes as a 4. He's not going to take many of those guys inside on offense. When you're a 2 or 3 playing at 4 you have to draw those guys away from the hoop with the jumper and that is failing him now. And diving to the hoop is hard when your man is playing off of you like everyone is doing. Sometimes when he gets the switch and has a smaller guy on him he fails to get himself in the block and force the double or get his turnaround over a shorter guy like he did before he was hurt.He plays hard and hustles passes well and gives effort on D, he's just not a 4!
My point about finding another 4-5 is based on the fact that this roster as it is today is heavy on 2's and 3's and is still light inside. Blatch may grow into a 4, but remember he's a second round pick and like Gil did he gets FA after this year. Some 2nd rounders get really stupid offers that NBA rules prevent a team from matching even if they wanted. Remember Jim McIlvaine and Brent Price?
I'm not saying EG should panic because AJ's hurt, and I don't beleive we're getting KG, Larry Hughes(by the way isn't he another 2-3?), Gasol, or any other big name guy out there. I'm just saying that look at how we stack up inside against teams at 4-5 and I just think we need more depth there.
It's really encouraging to see Darius back out there and the good play from Booth and Blatch. But unless Ruffin gets back to form we're still thin there for a team that wants to go deep into the playoffs,

Posted by: GM | February 6, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The excitement comes from the Wizards finally winning a game w/out Jamison and getting huge contributions from Booth and Blatche (which we are going to need a lot of in this next stretch).
And as for Joe's comment "Players usually are lottery picks for a reason, namely talent, and while Jarvis has been injured and has struggled to regain his form this year, the bottom line is that he has real talent."
Yes players are lottery picks for a reason, mainly that many GMs in the NBA are DUMB! Or have you forgotten the litany of busts, washouts and guys who were drafted in the lottery who were utter non-entities in the NBA. William Avery, Trajan Langdon, Tom Hammonds ring a bell and I could go back on nbadraft.net and give you countless others?
Now I wouldn't put Arvis in that category because before the knee injuries he looked like a pretty decent player in this league.
Since that injury he has stopped doing one of the primary things that got him drafted in the lottery out of Georgia, driving and slashing to the hoop. He simply settles for jumpers and he can't hit them. And because of that he is pretty useless at the moment and that is not a personal attack that is just the facts of the matter.
The part that sticks in the craw of me and some of the other posters here is that he continues to get minutes especially at PF (!) when Booth and Blatche at least deserve an opportunity for more minutes. Maybe there is still a way back for Arvis but he absolutely needs to get over whatever prevents him from taking it to the rack and do it. If Gilbert Arenas can take the punishment down low, so can Arvis.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 6, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Listen, the criticism of Arvis is that he does not hit OPEN jumpers. Think about that for a second. Forget his driving abilities, forget him playing out of position, forget his defensive abilities and all that stuff real quick. He fails to hit WIDE OPEN jumpers. They aren't even close either.

This is the National Basketball Association. And he fails to hit WIDE OPEN shots.

Posted by: AV | February 6, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Quick question for everyone in the group:

Do you all see the flaws?

Watching the Wizards, the flaws are so obvious to myself and Bernard King. Right in front of us. Does GMEG see the flaws? He must. It is just so obvious. The bottom line is that no one and I mean NO ONE fears playing us. I fear playing Miami, Detroit and Cleveland and to a certain extent Indiana. But my belief is that teams have no fear of playing us at all. And that is not a good rep to have going into the playoffs. We are the flawed Walker/Pierce-led Celtics team of a few years ago. Led by a superstar but soft as hell.

Posted by: The Governor | February 6, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Joe- if you're tired of hearing about jarvis' problems then for god sakes dont defend him. do you see the monster you've created on this blog today.

the only way this would have been worse is if you explained how great eddie jordans lineups and use of small ball is.

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 6, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If a supposed "shooter" can't hit 40% of his shots for his CAREER he can't be called a shooter. Steve Kerr shot 45% from THREE PT range for his career. And if Hayes can't shoot, what else does he bring to the table? And he hasn't nor does he get the majority of his minutes at the four. Even if he did, he should take advantage of it at the offensive end like Jamison does. Fact is some guys just don't have it at the NBA level no matter whether they were selected first or sixtieth.
More Blatche less Jarvis.

Posted by: LH | February 6, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

JP & Guv:

"Whats all the excitement about beating a 17-30 team? "

- and -

"But my belief is that teams have no fear of playing us at all."

Well, I'll say two things on this.

First, as bad as the Sonics are, there are plenty of reasons you need to be happy. Statistically, it's pretty likely they're gonna get hot and win one. Last year we would have let that game get away from us. We withstood a surge and came back strong, even with out Twan. We played team ball in the second half. The youngsters and the bench got good PT and confidence and delivered. Think about how many "good" teams in this league have been shocked by "bad" ones this year alone? The Lakers have been beaten by some pretty bad teams, same with Utah, the Spurs, Houston... there are no "gimmes" in this league. Every win is a legit win, IMO.

Now onto Guv's statement. Maybe other teams *don't* fear us, but IMO that's a good thing. It means they look past us. Especially to the point where they focus solely on Gilbert. I know one thing, regardless of whether teams fear us or not, we've beaten most of the elite teams in both conferences and have shown that on our good nights we're as deadly as any. The problem is just that on our bad nights, we can be as bad as the worst teams.

I also know that other than Phoenix, I don't fear playing any other team in this league when we're healthy and rolling. Certainly nobody in the East really scares me. We'll probably take every series to 7 games regardless of who we're playing, but I really feel that we can beat all takers this year in the East.

The only real question in my mind is whether we have the gas to go the distance.

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I was in Atlanta during the years Hayes was at UGA. He could handle the ball well. play the drive and kick game and was occasionally a force in the paint and on the baseline with range out beyond the NCAA 3 point line. The Wiz did not over or underestimate his talents. He was a legit lottery pick. The bloggers are right to point out his inconsistency in the jumper this year but he has a green light for a reason. I would rather see him taking those jump shots instead of clear-outs for Haywood & Thomas. Hayes does need to put it on the floor more but when he's playing the 4, the J is what the defense gives him. The guy can't be expected to be the "go-to" guy. He is a piece and a necessary one.

Posted by: G$ | February 6, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

No one fears us just like no one fears playing the Suns. Every team wants to run and with our style they get that opportunity. But can they keep up is the question. 28 wins so far proves that they can't. And why the hell would ANYONE fear ANY eastern conference team anyway? Have you really watched Cleveland this year? No pg and Hughes doesn't even start. And Lebron seems drained like all the other USA basketball participants (Gilbert included). I just watched the Pacers get ran outta their own building by the Warriors. Rasheed and Flip are fighting every night. And please don't get started about the Heat and their "soon-as-they-get-healthy thing." Bottom line is this really is the year for any eastern conference team to make it to the Finals.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 6, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I am a Jarvis basher and I'm proud of it. My reasons are simple. As someone else mentioned earlier, he fails to make WIDE OPEN jumpers. I've seen him pass up open looks and take a more difficult fade away shot on numerous occasions. Yes, he plays out of position but if you stop and think about for a second, a lot of people play out of position in the NBA. Lamar Odom is a perfect example. He plays the 4 but takes advantage of the man guarding him because he can hit a 3. So that brings his man out and gives him an open lane. Hell, even D.Wade plays out of position. If you noticed, Wade isn't that great of a shooter. Teams pack the middle and dare him to shoot sometimes. But he doesn't settle for it. Instead he attcacks the rim. So just because teams give Jarvis and open 15 footer, doesn't mean he has to shoot it. If Jarvis attacked the rim more, I (and others) wouldn't be so hard on him.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 6, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ivan or Michael: what is Blatche's contract situation next year? Is he an unrestricted FA?

Posted by: Ken (DC) | February 6, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line people...We can get to the finals with the squad if: WE COULD PLAY SOME TEAM DEFENSE! I don't know why but we cannot stop anybody. Even those no name guys from Seattle were scoring well above their avg. Can't really figure out why but if we played even middle of the pack D we would be great in the East...

Posted by: John | February 6, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Good point C.Bell!

My two cents:

Jarvis is a good dude it seems. He just has lost his shot and maybe more so his legs since he got injured. Whomever is criticizing his technique is crazy. The guy has one of the smoothest jumpers in the league. It looks great, but would look even better if it went in more!!!!

One point that has not been brought up and what really disappoints me about Jarvis is he has not improved his ball handling sills since he entered the league. Anything more than two dribbles and it's an adventure from there on out with him. That should answer all the questions about why he does not drive to the basket. He does not have the ball handling skill to do so!!!

Guarantee Booth starts agains SA!

Posted by: Rob P | February 6, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I've been telling this board that the Wizards need to take care and develop Blatche or else he might go to another team. I think Arenas got Eddie's press conf. message during the laker loss that there wasn't any teamwork during that game. I mean 9 for 29 shots? So Gil was very passive last night; therefore, the distribution of points amongst team members.

How can you have a deep bench when you got either Arenas, Butler or Jamison just putting shots up even with some of their teamates have open looks? Notice sometimes that Blatche would just not even look for a pass because either one of the big three aint looking to pass. I mean Eddie has got to call some set plays for these people trying to blend in.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | February 6, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, Blatche signed a 4 year deal. So he has two years left, which should be right about the time he is ready to make an impact - hopefully!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 6, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

What's up with this blog being so hard to find? Jeez, you'd think we were looking for Jimmy Hoffa or something. You almost can't find it today unless you got a LoJack.

Hey .com, put it on the home page!

Posted by: iceberg | February 6, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

statline for HAYES AND BLATCHE:
J. Hayes 17.0 min per game
ppg 5.8
rebounds: 2.1
steals 0.43
turnovers 0.6
assist/turnover ratio: 1.19

A. Blatche 7.4 minutes per game
ppg: 2.3
rebounds: 2.2
turnovers 0.5
assist/turnover ratio: 0.79

OK so I guess everyone's on this Blatche bandwagon now because he's had 2 good games out of 47.

This statline proves that pretty much aside from these 2 games BLATCHE hasn't exactly been lighting it up.

Is he better than Jarvis? Everyone's picking on Hayes for his poor shooting and turnovers. Blatche has just about as many turnovers in less than HALF the time Jarvis plays. He makes some PRETTY dumb passes, a la last night he threw a lazy pass that got stolen for a layup! He looks like a deer caught in headlights most of the time.

There's a reason EJ is the coach and you guys aren't. He knows that Jarvis is a much more smarter player than Blatche and brings a veteran presence. DUH!

What do you guys expect from Jarvis, to score 20-30 ppg? you can't expect that when the big 3 score 75% of the teams points. HELLO?

Look at what he did 3 games ago when he scored 13 points in Toronto, nobody was bashing him then, and besides he's a shOOTER. Majority of the shooters in the NBA are streaky and inconsistent, why do you think TEAM USA always loses in the world championships?? because NBA players don't know how to shoot and when they do it comes in streaks and eventually Jarvis will go on a streak himself and everyone will be kissing his butt and saying how Blatche is underdevloped and how we should trade him. So get off Jarvis' Back! if you wanna bash him bash antonio daniels too! he scores 1.2 more points than Jarvis and gets paid 6 million dollars a year. Way more than Jarvis gets.

Posted by: aj | February 6, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

iceberg:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider

You needs to git you one o' them fancy browser thingies what's got bookmarks 'n' stuff.

Posted by: burke | February 6, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

John, let's not forget that prior to the Lakers game, we had held like 5 of 8 opponents under 100 points. Sure, it's not the Spurs, but we can play a tighter defensive game that a lot of us think.

Most of the defensive lapses in the 2nd half against Seattle were due to guys like Andray doing a great job defending on the first shot and nobody rotating to help. Let's not forget how Ray Allen was locked down in the 2nd half and had no opportunity to hurt us. Wilcox got a lot of garbage buckets, but what else is new, a big man exploiting us down low? We just need to improve on our help in the paint.

I honestly think if the younger guys get more PT and experience we're going to be a much better defensive team come April. Team defense is not something you can master in practice, and the bigger part of individual defense is getting exposure to game situations and moves and plays specific players put on you.

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me started on Eddie Jordan!

Dude couldn't substitute if you spotted him the S and the U! Eddie is cool cause he's from DC but lets be honest he ain't no Red Auerbach. 30 teams in the league and maybe you would rank him the top ten maybe not. He can't seem to teach this squad how to play defense that's for sure!
They extended him but they may live to regret that. This team may need a Larry Brown to take them to the next level. They have some wide bodies but everybody in the league abuses them down low. They don't want to give up Antawn Jamison in a Kevin Garnett trade scenario but the need to get real about that. KG gives you something down low that Antawn never will and KG can run the floor as well as AJ. The real reason they wont go after KG has more to do with Abe's pocketbook than anything else. They need to take advantage of Gil and Caron while they can but no we will continue to have a squad that nobody respects and never gets beyond the first round. DC always accepts whatever local management does on every sports team: Wiz,Skins,Nats,Caps
All of them give you all kinds of excuses never any championships! We are gonna build through the draft - We are gonna build through free agency - We are gonna build through cheating and beating our loyal ticket holders! That's the fact JACK!

Posted by: DMAN | February 6, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

According to Hoopshype.com, Blatche's deal expires at the end of the year. But I recall Ivan saying the league changed the free agent rules after the Arenas/Golden State situation so that the Wizards can exceed the cap to resign him.

Posted by: Frank | February 6, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

aj,

Try to compare apples to apples, please. Andray is TWENTY years old, has played in 58 games, starting none, and averaged 6.8 minutes over his career.

Arvis is 25, has played in 192 games, and started 80 of them. He's averaged 25.6 minutes of PT over his career.

Gee, wonder why he'd look like a deer in the headlights. And why he'd have two good games under his belt. As a percentage of games played, how does that stack up to Arvis?

Project both guys to 48 minutes, look at their efficiency ratings:

Blatche 21.65
Hayes 14.41

It's also well known that Hayes has the lowest +/- of ANY player on the squad at -122. And that's from the EXPERIENCED guy.

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Damn Gack, where do you get off breaking out facts and stuff ;)

Posted by: Jumpy | February 6, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad somebody broke out the stats. Saves me more time. No one expects Jarvis to score 20 or 30 a night. But we do expect him to make OPEN JUMPERS!! BTW, when Juan was here, he'd give us 20 and 30 on occasions. Dammit, FREE JUAN DIXON!!

Posted by: C.Bell | February 6, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"DC always accepts whatever local management does on every sports team: Wiz,Skins,Nats,Caps "

DMAN: dude! Seriously....dude!

Let us compare and contrast:

Nats: Terrible last year; probably worst team in baseball next year.

Skins: Playoffs? Playoffs??!?!

Cap: OK, I don't know squat about hockey, but from the standings, they don't look so hot.

Contrast to Wizards: 1/2 game out of conference lead. Serious contender to go to the finals. Third year in a row in the playoffs.

Get real.

Posted by: burke | February 6, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Posting more than 3 times on one thread most likely means you are dragging down the thread.

I miss the good old days when only Ray did this.

Posted by: Wei | February 6, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey burke:

Don't do bookmarks. Sorry. But thanks for offering the link.

.com has all kinds of links to blogs, seems natural that this one should be on it as well, especially as it's basketball season.

Posted by: iceberg | February 6, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

quick point.

I love it when people extrapolate stats...

um, that doesn't work, just look at haywood, he get's most of his stats in his first 10 minutes of play. If he was only playing 10 minutes he might look like a god.

Besides which, stats often don't tell a complete picture, Booths play last night is a good example, he was great, but it doesn't show up in his line.

Trading more fans today if I can.
-g

Posted by: greg | February 6, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Burke,

"Serious contender to go to the Finals"

Dude, you must believe in the Penguin, Mr. Freeze and the Joker! Holy Cow Batman!

With the type of defense the Wiz play they are 1 and done in the playoffs. You are fooling yourself man. That's my point exactly. Abe is only to happy to see the people in this town go ape crazy over a competitive team. We should reserve ourselves a bit until he rolls out a championship quality team. Do you know how much they charge for upper level seats to Wiz games? It is scandalous! They should be ashamed of themselves. But Washington sports fans just blindly support garbage and do hold these jokers accountable. Old Abe has the nerve to be asking the City to pay him $50M for improvements to the Phone booth. Scandalous! The Wiz are a good not great team and the people on this blog get upset when someone criticizes them giving minutes to a guy who can't play and you don't need to be a GM or coach to see that this guy can't play. We spend good money to be able to criticize them. No but certain people want you to just accept whatever they throw out as their product. We have a right to be able to comment and criticize if necessary. Jarvis can't play and many Wiz fans have grown tired of them trying to prove that he can. We have seen what he can do and believe that it is time to give someone else a chance. We are tired of just average teams. Let's see if the Abe, Ernie and Eddie can resist the urge to be just good and try to become great. It starts with defense. I for one believe that this team needs to start playing some and many of us are tired of the excuses.

Posted by: DMAN | February 6, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

DMAN, I would ruthlessly dismantle your arguments one by one and show you the error of your ways, but I'm already over the posting limit for this thread.

Ooops. Way over now.

Posted by: burke | February 6, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, Gack, a very big reason Hayes has such a horrible +/- number is that he has been used so often in a smallball lineup. His +/- numbers with Jamison (he has played with Jamison mostly when Jamison has played center and Hayes power forward) for example are off the chart horrible.
Personally, I'd like to see Hayes playing solely as Butler's backup (Butler plays 41 minutes a game, so that's 7 minutes), plus a few minutes as DeShawn's backup (DeShawn plays 28 a game -- should probably play more -- so split the extra 20 with Daniels). Booth, Songalia and Blatche (plus Thomas?) can handle the four spot.

Posted by: to Gack | February 6, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I don't typically like to extrapolate unless I'm refuting a point based on equally bogus feeling and conjecture, especially when there isn't enough hard data to compare apples to apples.

You can say "extrapolating stats doesn't work" and while I know what you're saying, it's not as though running efficiency numbers for 48 minutes projected is completely out of line with reality. To wit:

Projected qualified 48min efficiency leaders:
1. Ming
2. Garnett
3. Nowitzki
4. Boozer
5. Wade
6. Duncan
7. Stoudemire
8. Nash
9. Gasol
10. Camby

Actual efficiency leaders:
1. Garnett
2. Wade
3. Nowitzki
4. Boozer
5. Ming
6. Bryant
7. Brand
8. Duncan
9. Nash
10. Arenas

The point being that obviously projections can't hope to capture reality, but the more similar a data range you have to base your projection comparisons on, the more accurate said comparison will be.

Blatche has a limited amount of games to base his comparisons on, but you have to believe that Blatche is going to get markedly better as he matures and gains experience, while Hayes *should* be coming into his prime

Beyond what I posted, you made my point for me as well, since Andray's play went far beyond his statline last night, as defense isn't captured in classic NBA production stats.

Plus, the +/- stats are pretty much irrefutable.

Sorry Wei, I couldn't help myself....

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Governor, People see only what they want to see. The Wiz have not beaten every team east and west. They are blessed to be where they are.

Whoever made the statement that GA finally got EJ's post-game message..You're exactly correct. EJ had enough of GA's self PR Wagon for the All Star Team and Publicity. GA needed to get back to team ball and is still insearch of discovering Defense. The Suns loss was the wakeup call.

C. Bell is correct - nobody in the East is a threat to anyone. These are not the Larry Brown Pistons, The Heat - well lets hope they can heat up. Cleveland plays better w/out LeBron there ain't much else. The Wiz are a streaky team with a streaky franchise player. You better pray AJ gets back to give this team stability. GA is not the "Answer"

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Blessed? And how is that? Have they been lucky so often that they should be a .500 team. Get out here with that bunch of baloney. This is a good team, but a flawed one. And since the Eastern Conf. is full of those why can't the Wizards be the ones to win it. There is only one team they have a true complex about and it is Miami and they can banish that this year!

Posted by: George Templeton | February 6, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, George but again I say blessed. The truth is a lot of their earlier wins were against depleted teams-injuries, etc. Yeah, they're good- better than they were. I will give them credit for that. Who keeps sayin they'll take the finals? Following all this publicity - have you wondered if GA has gotten any offers? when is his contract up? As I recall the Washingtonian Mag. Article - he said - he has a house in Grt Falls & he's holding land in Vienna. He's expecting to go to the Finals & a championship nothing less then he'll build. If not - he's selling the land. He's movin on. All this press & publicity is not for nought.
They have to move now or GA will want out.

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"since there are a lot of comments on Jarvis, let me offer one of my own.
He has to change his shooting motion."

You're exactly right rick and I think he's still hurting personally. But he does miss those open jumpers also, and that's very frustrating to watch.

"I've been telling this board that the Wizards need to take care and develop Blatche or else he might go to another team."

Yup, and that would be bad. By the way he's in the last year of his original deal. Here's the salaries:

http://www.hoopshype.com/salaries/washington.htm

You CAN sign dudes to higher deals, but again Abe Polin said he will not go over the luxury tax threshold.

Again, take your pick of who you want to sign and who you let go. Remember Jamison will make MORE money if he chooses to stay with the team this summer.

"J. Hayes 17.0 min per game"
"A. Blatche 7.4 minutes per game"

See, that's just not a good argument. Blatche has only been active 29 games compared to Hayes 47 games. Blatche is steadily improving and deserves to see more minutes while Hayes is regressing and STILL getting A LOT of minutes. Also, Daniels assist to TO ratio is one of the best in the league so that kind of squashes your argument on him.

This is why Hayes gets booed, he just can't play anymore. I think it's fair to blame injuries, but his shot is way off. It just doesn't look right coming out of his hand and I've seen it like rick has.

"I miss the good old days when only Ray did this"

Lol, thanks a bunch. ;);)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 6, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"The truth is a lot of their earlier wins were against depleted teams-injuries"

Ok, then Toronto and the Lakers were "lucky" because Jamison was hurt.

See how that sounds?

The Wiz had a lot of injuries early on and they won a lot of games. The thing the Wizards have to realize now is that people aren't taking them lightly anymore.

There's been times the Wiz have come out flat and lost, they rally in those games, but it's too late. The Suns and Lakers losses were like that.

They've beaten many of the good teams out west, and have also lost to those same teams.

They are blessed, but they are also a good team and it's nice to see them get thier props because they deserve it.

I just wish Jordan would have a set rotation, that's the only thing right now that bugs me.

They play the Spurs tomorrow night so we'll see. I believe they are healty also.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 6, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

JP, yeah, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Sure, we beat some teams when they weren't playing their best possible basketball. Such is the nature of the game! Otherwise, we'd all just hand PHX the trophy right now and call it a season. Also, the Redskins would be Super Bowl champs based on what they looked like on paper.

Chemistry and teamwork and fate and luck all play a part in this, along with skill, conditioning, and determination.

Also, you're off base with your comments about Gil bolting. What he said was that he didn't want to be one of those guys like Iverson or KG who spends his whole career looking for that "last piece of the puzzle" and never wins a title.

He OFFERED to take a pay cut if that's what it would take to land a player who would give this team that lift it needs to get to the finals.

I don't see what's so shocking about that, I can't think of any player who's out there saying, "yeah, I want to stay here and get paid and just flirt with the playoffs every year". Of course he expects the team to improve and get farther into the playoffs.

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Gents, no one said GA was "bolting"
You get testy over insignificant matters.
As Phil Jackson says, "The more seasoned teams learn to pace themselves this time of year-they know their limitations - they're running a marathon. Thats why Bernard, DMAN, Joe & a few others say the Wiz should have certain things already in place. ie Blatch, Taylor, Hayes, "the bench" should have had more playing time before now. That way they won't always have that "deer in the headlites look" perhaps he's wiser than one surmises.

"The race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but to the one who can hold out til the end." Lets watch the marathon - enjoy the run.

Its obvious none of us can see the end of the road. Just keep your eyes on the prize.

Posted by: JP | February 6, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Hindsight is 20/20 JP. That bench could have had more PT had we been winning games handily earlier in the season. It ain't like EJ was spitefully keeping the Big Three on the floor while running up the score against inferior opponents.

Some of you seem to forget that we're two months removed from a squad that was winless on the road and being called a train wreck by friend a foe alike...

Posted by: Gack | February 6, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Dang Gack, you are dropping jewels from your crown left and right.

Posted by: Jumpy | February 6, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

From the lockeroom:

[quote] I tried to interview DeShawn Stevenson and got a couple of things from him despite Gilbert's constant background chatter about how he took $20,000 from DeShawn in that shooting game the other day. Gilbert has now taken to calling DeShawn: "Second" as in he finished second. DeShawn simply calls Gilbert a cheater and pointed out that Gilbert didn't hesitate to hit him with a pass at the end of the first quarter when DeShawn drained a three-pointer.[/quote]

That's alot of money when you are only making $900K for the year -minus taxes!

Posted by: Jazzy | February 6, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Jarvis Hayes debate, I don't want to hear any excuses about Hayes playing out of position. Mismatches hurt you on defense, not offense. They should HELP you on offense.

It should be an ADVANTAGE on offense for Hayes to be defended by power forwards. He should be able to easily get his shot off, or break them down off the dribble. But he can't.

I'm willing to overlook Hayes' inability to defend a PF in the post. Obviously, at 6-6, Hayes is going to be defensively outmatched by 6-10, 240 pound big men. But that's not why he is being bashed. He is being bashed because he shoots friggin 39% from the field as the 4th option while matched up against guys who shouldn't be able to guard him.

Posted by: nate33 | February 6, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Keep this in mind during the summer league ball Blache was avg close to 20ppg . I dont recall Javis doing much when he played summer league ball.

Posted by: ANT | February 6, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

My bad. Blatche did sign a two year contract. Guess he will be a FA?

Enough of the Hayes talk already. Everyone knows he is not playing great.

I just want some D, player rotation, and ball movement improvement. It's more imperative now bc we can't outscore everyone now by running and gunning. I liked the second half of the Seattle game a lot. BUT, it was Seattle. That IMO was still some of the best TEAM ball we played all year on D and on O.

Need that same effort to beat SA.

Posted by: Rob P | February 6, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

gack,

I have no doubt that my comment supported your larger thesis that the play of blatche went beyond the stat line and was plain good. Or the comparative point that he played better than Hayes.

However, I do think that in order to accurately understand the value of extrapolating stats and efficiency ratings you would need to sample not only the top 10-20 players, but the middle 20, and bottom 20, giving each set the same opportunity over 48 minutes of actual play to verify the projections at each point in the curve. Since we both know that isn't going to happen, I will gladly acknowledge that a fair point is made, if in return we can agree that too much is made of too little with regard to stats.

The end result last night is that Hayes had a decent to marginal game, which we won. For which many fans here would gladly offer him as a human sacrifice.

I would like to know, more importantly, which teams are vying for Hayes services? We should keep a list of trade offers for Hayes that have been turned down.

Last year I sat in the stands as someone talked about how crappy AD was playing, and how he would always suck, and we needed to trade him, and why wasn't Chucky Atkins playing more. AD has turned into a solid bench player who I feel comfortable with when he takes the floor, I think it is reasonable for Ej to try and see if Jarvis can get something of his own game together which might help us come playoff time.

I for one have to believe that there are somethings EJ and EG see that we don't see, they are smart people, and I am happy with the progress this team has been making over the last 3 years. We are in position to win or at least play for our division and conference. when was the last time we could say that?

Also, we can't expect Blatche to carry AJ's load by himself, I think he is too young and inconsistent and at times looks lost on the court. These are all signs of youth and inexperience, and I think he is developing at a decent pace with the work load he is being given. Kwame never figured out that coach doesn't 'give' minutes to people. players earn minutes i EJs system, which is why I am fine with JH playing time. He must be earning those minutes.

Posted by: greg | February 7, 2007 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Fair point Greg, and I for one am plenty content to ride the rollercoaster and enjoy in the ride as much as anyone. I think what most people here are excited about is the prospect of a young combo big/guard starting to come to life and for once, doing it HERE instead of after he's signed or traded elsewhere. And, they're up in arms because Hayes just isn't the same guy we drafted.

But your point about AD and playing his way back to his mojo is well-taken, and I'd rather watch him struggle now than do it in April.

Posted by: Gack | February 7, 2007 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Rob P, I beleive Blatch will be a restricted free agent. The last collective bargaining agreement limited 1st rd. contracts to 3 yrs. and 2nds to 2.
What I'm not sure about is if the league changed the rule after we signed Gil about the team that holds the players rights ability to increase their offer over the original contract. There used to be a limit as to what they could offer. In the case of Gil the Wiz and Denver could both offer alot more money than the Warriors and it wasn't a cap situation it was percentage increase over orginial contract.
But it was ok when we lost a series of 2nd rounders to crazy contract offers. Jim McIlvaine and Brent Price got hugh deals. That kind of thing happens when you try and project a player that gets 10 minutes per game stats out to 48 minutes. Sometimes you just need to ignore stats and use your eyes. Calvin Booth changed the whole game the other night, did it show up anywhere in the stat line?
And speaking of Booth the crazy rule about 2nd rounders is why the MJ was willing to package him with Howard to Dallas. Dallas wasn't able to match other teams offer and he ended up Seattle. We were bidding for him and could outbid Dallas because of that stupid rule, but Seattle beleived in projecting his stats out over 48 minutes and saw an Allstar. And we all SAW how that turned out.
I'm wondering if Micheal or Ivan could address this because I'm sure not an authority NBA cap rules. Well I think I'm Right at the Ray Rule for this post so that's all.

Posted by: GM | February 7, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Greg, the only trade offer I can recall for Hayes was a few years back when Chicago was interested. They were offering their 1st round pick that year for Jarvis (don't know what else but that was the main components). Of course it didn't happen and the pick turned out to be Luol Deng.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 7, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

nate33,

I heard you. But sometimes, when you exert too much energy on defense, it does affect your offensive game. That is why sometimes when a opposing player is "hot," coach would draw up plays to attack him and force him to play some defense.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 7, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to the miracle of the Internets, the trade C.Bell references from a couple years ago was Hayes plus the Wizards' #5 pick for Chicago's #3 pick and an unnamed player. Of course Grunfeld used that pick instead to obtain Jamison.

Posted by: Steve | February 7, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Blatche, Hayes and Taylor are all restricted FAs. The Wizards have the right to match any tender offers they receive from another team. Blatche MAY get an offer elsewhere but I doubt it. Even if he does it won't be anything outrageous like what Milwaukee gave Etan.

Posted by: LH | February 7, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Blatche MAY get an offer elsewhere but I doubt it."

I don't doubt it at all.

A 20? year old kid drafted out of high school who is 6'10" can run the floor, shoot, and rebound....who improves every minutes he plays?

Two words: Jared Jeffries

If that guy can get a good deal I know Blatche can. The more Blatche plays the better he looks and there's a serious shortage of quality big men in the NBA.

People are willing to take a chance on a big man if they think he has potential. Blatche is no exception.

"Well I think I'm Right at the Ray Rule for this post so that's all."

:PPPPP

I hope the Wiz win tonight.

- Ray :)

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Ray: this might be heresy, but Andray has always struck me as a KG-type of player in the making (though he needs to hit the weights, I think). Both are 6'11, ~250 pounders (give or take), straight out of high school, with the ability to be a legit scoring threat from nearly any place on the floor.

Who wouldn't want to take a chance on that?

So I've shattered the Ray Rule... can we get a new thread??? :D

Posted by: Gack | February 7, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Would you ever trade Gilbert Arenas for Dwight Howard?

Posted by: Fake GM | February 7, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

In my travels, met with a seasoned sports writer(another major sports columnist) Later, I asked if he saw Wiz going on to Finals?? (Don't worry Gack - its not bad news but a point about a certain player you guys have discussed quite a bit.)
This is his response:
"I don't see it given their disinterest in defense of even the most minor sort and brendan haywood. but it's not like the conference is very deep. They should be in the mix to at least go a few rounds."

I think thats what most Wiz Fans have been hoping for - a few rounds. The issue about Haywood - I don't know. I thought he's been playing pretty good. Then how much do I know. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Posted by: JP | February 7, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Gack, absolutely no heresy there, Blatche just needs time to mature b/c the talent is obviously there. One thing though, he could become a better post player than Garnett was/is. His body can definitely fill up a lot easier than that of Garnett's. He has the body structure to allow more weight and strength than Garnett.

If you recall, Garnett was very thin and only about 215 lbs. when he was drafted out of high school. He has slowly worked on putting more strength and weight work into it through the years. Blatche was already around 235-240 when he joined the Wiz last year as a rookie. He can certainly put on a few more pounds strength without hindering his quickness and explosiveness. He may eventually become closer to Sheed in his prime w/o the attitude issues. In either case, he'll be a major force in the paint for the Wiz. A lot of time and PT will tell...

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | February 7, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Gack: "So I've shattered the Ray Rule... can we get a new thread??? :D"

LOL.

This is an informative thread.
It's a little over my head.
But you guys keep on posting
And I'll keep on hoping
That soon I'll understand what I read.

Posted by: Nancy | February 7, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Ray, the Jeffries comparison is not a good one. First, he was signed by the Knicks whose FO's decisions have been less than stellar. No other teams were beating down Jeffries' door to sign him, especially at that price. Second, Jeffries played in college and got a lot of burn in the league so personnel people got an opportunity to see him play often. Not so with Andray. Like I said, if he does get an offer it won't be for a ton of money.

Posted by: LH | February 7, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

And the KG comparison.... Stop it.

KG was very thin but was starting by the middle of his rookie year and by year two was averaging 17 & 8. KG is a 1 percenter. Don't do that to Blatche.

Posted by: LH | February 7, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Would you ever trade Gilbert Arenas for Dwight Howard?"

Before I answer this, Gilbert is my favorite player and I hope he retires a Wizard.

My answer: If I were a GM trying to build a championship team and this was offered to me I would do it in less then a second.

All you have to do is look at the Miami Heat and aquiring Shaq. The Lakers opted to go with Mike's beloved Kobe while Miami won a championship with Shaq.

Big men like that don't grow on trees. I love Gil, but to me a dominate big man gives you so much more then a guard does.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Look at Nancy going Etan on us.

Posted by: Red | February 7, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Ray, the Jeffries comparison is not a good one."

The only comparison to Jeffries I was trying to say is if he can a good deal then anyone can in the NBA.:)

Blatche is good for at least 3 million/3 years I'm thinking. That's a bargain in the NBA.

People are willing to take a chance on a big man before a guard.

Can we get a new thread guys?????

Seriously.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"Look at Nancy going Etan on us."

Yeah, what's up with that Nancy? :)

Maybe Nancy IS Etan. ;) ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This is a follow-up to JP's question to a reporter about whether the Wizards could go to the Finals. I would tend to agree that the Wizards would need to improve on defense before they could get to the Finals. Although they are in the West, Phoenix hasn't made it to the Finals yet, and offensively they are better than the Wizards.
As for whether Haywood would hold them back from making the Finals, I don't buy it. Think about some of the centers in the Finals the last couple of years: Dampier and Diop last year; Nesterovic and Mohammad the year before. I'd take Haywood (2006-07 version) over any of those guys. He'd probably be the weakest starter on a Finals team, but he is good enough defensively to be a solid contributor and to not hold the team back.

Posted by: to JP | February 7, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll give you all one more to think about as far as big men are concerned....

What if the Lakers traded Kobe INSTEAD of Shaq to Miami, kept Caron, and Phil stays as coach???

Do they win a Championship??

As a follow up to LH, my point with big men is people are more willing to take a chance and Caron coming here for Kwame is a good example. In either Ivan's or Mikes column today it was said that Jackson knew the Caron was a good player but they "needed to get bigger" and had "a lot of fowards."

Poeple are just more willing to take a chance on a big man.

Talk to you all after the game tonight. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If the Lakers trade Kobe to Miami, yes, I think the Lakers would win a title because: (1) I think Miami would have to part with Wade to get Kobe, so it's Wade and Shaq again; or (2) even if it's Caron instead of Wade, Miami would have to throw in more than they did to get Kobe, and Shaq, Phil, Caron and others could get it done.

Posted by: Red | February 7, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe Nancy IS Etan."

No, her poem didn't criticize Bush.

Posted by: Rob | February 7, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Rob, good point.

Also, at game time, when the national anthem is sung, I put my hand over my heart and I face the flag. I respect the right of people not to bow their heads or do other gestures of respect, I suppose. And I'm not trying to be catty in mentioning this. But, in all seriousness, I show respect for the flag.

That said, Etan's a bright and creative guy and more power to him, I suppose. I now a trainer who knows a trainer who says he really works very very hard on conditioning and such. I also know someone who uses the same hairdresser who says he's just the absolutely nicest person. So it's weird -- I'm like 2 degrees of separation from the guy here in DC.

Posted by: Nancy | February 7, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

What does criticizing Bush have to do with saluting the flag?

Posted by: Jeff | February 7, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I'll make this the last word on Hayes, because I know someone mentioned a post of mine earlier in the thread (by the way, thanks to whoever did that).

First off, every NBA player has talent. That much is certain. But that essentially makes talent not matter, because if everyone has it, then there has to be something else at work that separates the superstars from the Jarvis Hayeses. Hayes simply hasn't adjusted to the system the Wizards have in place. He's supposed to space the floor and shoot when he's open, but instead, he doesn't space the floor, and he shoots lots of contested shots. On this team, that's a problem, especially because every shot he takes means one less for a member of the Big 3.

The Hayes dilema has two layers. First, as a player, Hayes has regressed. Second, Eddie Jordan makes the problem worse by playing him too much out of position. Hayes has been a shooting guard all his life, so how can you possibly expect him to learn how to play power forward right away? It's not only his size disadvantage, but it's also his lack of experience. Charles Barkley was undersized, but he was a power forward his entire career. Hayes hasn't, so why play him there?

The other thing is that there's nothing inherently idiotic about the theory of playing a small lineup. Washington offense works only because they space the perimeter so well, giving all these lanes for Arenas, Butler, and Jamison. If you try to play a traditional 4, suddenly that spacing doesn't exist. As a curveball, going with four guards works because defenses won't know what to expect.

The problem is that Eddie Jordan doesn't understand that it's supposed to be a curveball. By starting Hayes, Jordan is defeating the purpose. It's fairly easy for a team to gameplan for a small lineup and then adjust to a big one (especially when the other options are perimeter oriented big men like Blatche, Booth, and Songaila). But it's much more difficult to do the opposite, because suddenly you're forced to make in-game adjustments and play players away from their natural positions. This is why Dallas beat San Antonio last year; they had so many different combinations of lineups that they forced the Spurs to adjust to them. By starting with the small lineup, Eddie's killing the whole purpose of a small lineup.

So essentially, with Hayes, it's part player and part coach. Hayes does bad things in the offense when he shoots contested jumpers, and, making matters worse, he tends to focus too much on scoring and not enough on other facets of the game. Eddie Jordan compounds this problem by playing Hayes out of position. If either one can pick it up, the Wizards will be much better, but it doesn't look like they will. At this point, it's much better to cut your losses, scale back Hayes' minutes, and move on.

For the record, if you check the site now and scroll down, you'll see something on Eddie Jordan's offensive genius. He's saddled with a tough situation, because none of his potential replacements at the 4 can do all the things AJ does. If you pointed a gun to my head, I say start Songaila and Blatche, play them equally, and go with Hayes at the 4 for a bit of a changeup.

-Pradamaster
Bullets Forever
www.bulletsforever.com

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 7, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Started Never Narvous Jarvis against the Spurs, down by 16 at 2 minute mark of 1st. Whether it is the player or the All-Star coach, I don't care. It SUCKS.

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

Arenas is playing pathetically on O and D.

PUT TAYLOR IN TO GUARD PARKER!!!

He is our best on the ball quick guard defender!

Posted by: Rob P | February 7, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the bloggers here need to start getting on Etan. The dude looks clueless out there sometimes. Zero basketball IQ. Ginobli just drove the lane stopped right in front of Etan and jumper OVER him for a layup. Etan did not even leave the floor. Hello!!! Shameful.

Posted by: Rob P | February 7, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Etan didn't improve at all. Jarvis 0 pts and already end of 1st half! My man Blatche is doing well on the boards and has 4 pts already.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | February 7, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Didn't catch the play mentioned earlier but did see Etan caught dead on his heels while Duncan made him look silly, but in his defense, The Poet did flush a nasty dunk right in Horry's face and then follow with some nice offensive boards the next possession.

The refs sure let a lot of contact go tonight, and the Wizards simply are taking bad shots and not making many of them. On top of all of that, I've watched more defensive sets than I can stomach where the guys played shockingly stalwart defense for 18-22 seconds, force a bad shot, only to have a freak rebound bounce right to an opposing player for an easy bucket.

Gil had a better game tonight than he's been having lately, against a good defensive team, but man, we just got manhandled. Watch Caron's one-handed putback dunk and you get a sense of the frustration the guys are feeling.

Oh and *cough*Arvissucks*cough*

Posted by: Gack | February 7, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

This is one of those games where it's hard to be too suprised about the outcome.

San Antonio is about as close to a fundamentally sound team as you'll find right now. They are superb in every aspect of the game and every single player on the team has a role and understands what that role is.

On the Wiz's side they didn't quit even when they were down 24 in the 3rd. That's the type of effort that you can build on. Another good game from Blatche too. Tonight they just got beat by a much better capital "T" Team.

In a 7 game playoff series I think I'd take San Antonio over pretty anyone right now in the West. Dallas, Utah, and Phoenix are still unproven in the crunch. The Spurs have earned their bragging rights--and unlike the Pistons--their players still look hungry.

Posted by: JP2 | February 7, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, I don't mean to give you a hard time, but what was up with your article on the Sonics game? Brendan Haywood got 20 and 10 and he got 2/3 of a sentence in your wrap-up. Calvin Booth had 2 and 1 and he got 2/3 OF THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. What the?? I'm wondering if we watched the same game.

On another note, all check out this link
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/rumors/post/Cavs-could-move-Hughes?urn=nba,23736

Cavs looking to trade Hughes. What can we do to get him back? Anything possible? I'd trade Jamison for him myself. What does everyone else think?

Posted by: Mike | February 7, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Mike, that's because Booth's entrance into the game corresponded to the point in the contest when we took control of the game and won. What's wrong with that?

I wouldn't take Larry back now, especially for Twan. Maybe for Arvis and some pocket lint.

Posted by: Gack | February 7, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

When he was here and healthy, Hughes was a pretty good compliment to Arenas. And I really like his game. But remember, HE left. He was the one that didn't want to be here.

Besides, he is injured a lot, and is only a career 40% shooter as a shooting guard. And although he gets a lot of steals, he is not a very good on-ball defender.

The last thing we need on this team is another jump shooter that only makes 40% of his shots.

Rook

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

Gack, there's nothing wrong with mentioning that Booth provided a spark. That is not comparable to writing about him for 2/3 of the article, considering his 2 and 1 impact was extremely minimal, while B-Hay, who absolutely dominated the game with 20 and 10, couldn't even get his own sentence.

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

Pocket lint? lol

Yeah, we need another gunning dribble the ball through the floor guard like we need a hole in the head.

Arenas did NOT have a good game and has had more mediocre to bad games the last few weeks than good ones if you think basketball is a TEAM sport. Our assist total was horrible! He dominates the ball, plays lackluster defense 90% of the time, and when he is not on fire playing this way the team looks completely out of sync as it did tonight. He shot less than 50% and had multiple turnovers as well.

I'll just say this team has a long way to go to even consider being championship caliber. I have said from the beginning of the season that ball movement, poor D, and bad bench usage/play were all areas of weakness on this team. Whomever said the bench usage idea is hindsight is not accurate bc it can't be hindsight when you state it at that time. That is called foresight!

Hope we keep improving and Arenas keeps learning how to make others better. Charles and Kenny's words are ringing in my ear right now "Gilbert is great at making Gilbert a great player. He needs to be able to make his teammates better".

AJ's injury will either help this team become a better TEAM and players like Blatche will make it deeper and stronger or we are going to get frustrated lose confidence and a bunch of games along the way. I think Arenas has more say in which direction we go than any player, which may be a captian obvious statement, but we'll see what happens.

Posted by: Rob P | February 7, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Mike, if he was so dominant, why were we unable to pull ahead of the lowly Sonics until Booth and Blatche entered? You're also forgetting Booth's pair of blocks and overall defensive lift he provided. As many besides myself have characterized, "Booth's contribution goes beyond what it said on the stat sheet".

Posted by: Gack | February 7, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"I'd trade Jamison for him myself. What does everyone else think?"

Nice try, 'Bron.

Posted by: burke | February 8, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Just read Ivan's notebook on Hayes starting. I actually missed the beginning of the game, but starting Hayes against the Spurs is damn near bush league coaching by EJ! I'm laughing to myself right now thinking about it. Hayes creating "mismatches"? When has Hayes created a mismatch ALL season or make that the last couple seasons that caused the other teams to adjust???? WHEN??? Was lightning supposed to strike this evening?

Wow...he should be barred from coaching the allstar game for starting Hayes against the Spurs and then making a comment like that. I'm astounded. Blatche would have been a better starter than Hayes although for ego check purposes I would be hesitant to do sush a thing. He already got a swollen head apparently from playing well in the SUMMER league...lol.

Unreal...way to go Eddie!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 8, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Gack, I'm with you on the Haywood line.

Fans can appreciate a 20/11--and it deserves a mention. But how often does this happen? 10 to 20 times every night in the NBA? If a 20/10 is what influences the outcome of a game, then IC should have focused on Wilcox. He had an even better state line than Haywood.

If the article was a story about Brendan Haywood's continued improvement, then the 20/11 lede might have flown, but in a game recap it wasn't the heart of the story.

The storyline was the 20+ point swing that took place when Booth entered the game in the 3rd quarter. That was the event that turned the game around.

Now if Brendan has a 20/20, or a 40/20 that's news. Those are the kind of numbers that can single-handedly influence the outcome of a game. A 20/11 helps, it was part of the story Monday, but Haywood's stat line wasn't the decisive turning point in the game. If EJ had stuck with Hayes throughout the 3rd there's a pretty good chance that Haywood would have still had his 20/11 and the Wizards would have lost.

Posted by: JP2 | February 8, 2007 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Rob P, your posts are right on. EJ is killing us with Jarvis starting (I'm frightened about the prospect of Ruffin returning--he too will be starting soon).

JP2, I think your "10 to 20 players per night have 20 and 10 games" is rather ridiculous. The NBA has a grand total of 5 players in averaging 20 and 10 per game: Kevin Garnett, Carlos Boozer, and Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph, and Chris Bosh.

To say Haywood's contribution wasn't decisive is just further proof of the absurd anti-Haywood bent to posters on this blog. Haywood put up his biggest numbers in two years. I don't understand how that was not the focus of the recap. He proved that if you actually give him 30 minutes (EJ does that what, twice a season?) he'll put up all-star center numbers.

Posted by: Mike | February 8, 2007 2:08 AM | Report abuse

We need Jamison back cuz this sink is shipping real fast

We need somebody to step up because the triple b's Blatch, Booth and Barvis aren't gettin the job done. NO offense, NO hustle, No D - btw Andray Blatche has more wrinkles in his Defense than a Botox party

Why doesn't EJ use a combo of ETAN and Brandon Haywood??? if memory serves me correct, ETAN played a lot of poward foward minutes in DALLAS. Maybe the extra D will create less scoring for other teams to compensate for our shortcomings on offense because right now aside from Butler and Arenas the offense is as non existant as Dustin Diamond's acting career.

Posted by: aj | February 8, 2007 2:36 AM | Report abuse

We need Jamison back cuz this sink is shipping real fast

We need somebody to step up because the triple b's Blatch, Booth and Barvis aren't gettin the job done. NO offense, NO hustle, No D - btw Andray Blatche has more wrinkles in his Defense than a Botox party

Why doesn't EJ use a combo of ETAN and Brandon Haywood??? if memory serves me correct, ETAN played a lot of poward foward minutes in DALLAS. Maybe the extra D will create less scoring for other teams to compensate for our shortcomings on offense because right now aside from Butler and Arenas the offense is as non existant as Dustin Diamond's acting career.

Posted by: aj | February 8, 2007 2:39 AM | Report abuse

I think Ivan's piece this morning about Jarvis starting tells you a lot about why this team is the way it is. With Jamison out, a coach will either think, "How will we defend?" or "How will we score?" Jordan's reasons for starting Jarvis were all about offense. He thinks about offense first, and that carries over to the team. Defense is a secondary issue.

Now, on the other side of the court, you have Greg Popovich, one of the game's best. He starts Francisco Elson at center (who Jarvis, a shooting guard, guarded). You think Elson starts for offensive reasons? No, Pop's a coach who values defense, and that carries over to the team.

Some people have accurately pointed out that Jordan's offense requires spacing and its power forward to be able to shoot long jumpers. Sorry, but if your offense requires you to guard the other team's center with a shooting guard, something's wrong with your offense.

Posted by: Henry | February 8, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Mike, if the name of this blog was changed to "Haywood Ownz You All" you would still find a way to complain that he isn't getting enough love.

He's playing good basketball. We all noticed. He's starting, congrats! Everyone thinks Etan sucks now, is that what you want people to say?

And guess what, the team is still winning and losing based on how the Big 3 perform.

Posted by: Gack | February 8, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

And aj, I think you're way off-base suggesting that Blatche and Booth are contributing "NO offense, NO hustle, No D" -- in case you hadn't noticed, Andray's been an outstanding rebounder and pretty effective near the rim on putbacks and inside play, and since this team doesn't really play defense as a whole anyway, both he and Cal Booth are contributing defensively in the form of blocked shots.

Of course there are holes in Andray's defense. He's barely out of his NBA diapers and is getting the first significant game PT of his career. You want to show me someone else on the bench who's ready to play better defense? At least the kid has energy and wants to get better.

Posted by: Gack | February 8, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Finally, to finish the trifecta of posts, let me drop some more science on Mike's completely out-of-touch-with-reality post:

"Haywood put up his biggest numbers in two years. I don't understand how that was not the focus of the recap. He proved that if you actually give him 30 minutes (EJ does that what, twice a season?) he'll put up all-star center numbers."

So first of all, Eddie's given Brendan 30+ minutes 12 times already this season, and four more games he had 28 or 29 minutes. Let's stop flailing about with the over-dramatized notion that we're keeping the secret weapon chained to the bench.

Secondly. Only a handful of centers in this league get more than 30 minutes per game -- Duncan, Yao, Camby, Okur, Bogut, and Blount. By the way, all of those guys are way above Brendan in efficiency and efficiency per 48. As are about 10 other guys.

Third, your assertion about Brendan giving you all-star numbers with 30+ mpg would be plausible if there weren't a suitcase full of contradictory evidence, namely a bunch of games where he logged 25-30 minutes and produced in the neighborhood of 4-8 points, 6-7 rebounds. And this isn't an isolated occurrence, it's every other game! Do you really intend to suggest that he'd more than double his production with an extra 5 minutes? Or maybe it's the "he was just gettin' warmed up!" theory.

Fourth, that game Andray had 14/7/1ast/1blk in 17 mins. Haywood had 20/11/1ast/1blk in 36 minutes. Do the math on that one, and consider who had the better game? But, this leads me to my final point:

Dude, it was freaking Seattle. Or at least that's how some here downplayed Blatche's career night. You can't have it both ways here.

You assume there's an "Anti-Haywood" bent because people have to go to such extreme lengths to try and show why the "Haywood is the key to our success" theory is just false.

Posted by: Gack | February 8, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the WaPo has some wishful thinking. They have the Wiz as the winners in their schedule page. :)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/wizards/longterm/2006/schedule/feb.html

Posted by: med | February 8, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

aj, no hustle and no D from Blatche and Booth? Dude, nobody is going to take you seriously making statements like that especially considering you mention Etan as a defensive tonic.

Etan is often lazy, slow footed, and has zero basketball IQ. Maybe he is composing his next poem in his head during the game. How many rebounds does Etan grab that get slapped out of his hands bc he has NO court presence? He had one game this year against Orlando that was AWESOME. He destroyed Howard!!! But, he played with a fire and intensity that is not normally present bc that was the first game after his fist fight with Brendan. If Brendan sucker punched him before every game, maybe he could be a real player. Otherwise, he just puts in his minutes, collects his checks, and writes his poems. Lovely!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 8, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

at some point you have to just call a spade a spade. the wizards are a 'middle of the pack' team in the NBA. however they are fortunate to be in the East where just about every team is a middle of the pack team compared to the West.

It doesnt matter who started or who finished the game, San Antonio (much like healthy Miami teams in recent years) is probably the worst possible matchup for us. the wiz didnt have a chance last night. we are not an elite team, the wizards are a decent team. we got our butts whooped and elite teams dont get shellacked like that.

Haywood and Blatche getting more minutes or Jarvis getting less minutes or firing Eddie is not going to turn us into a bonafide contender. We are lucky to play in the East, but the way we play ball we could very easily get bounced in the first round of the playoffs. just try to enjoy the ride and some of the exciting games that we get to watch.

Is it possible that the wizards could be in 4th place in the East when Eddie coaches the all-star game?

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 8, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

good call rob. my favorite part of that fight was that although it sounded funny bc etan lost a couple dreadlocks, that means that brendan pulls hair when he fights people.

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 8, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"we are not an elite team, the wizards are a decent team"

Decent overall and effective offensively (when healthy) is a major step forward from the past, and it's fun to watch them develop. The elite teams took years to compile, and we are in the middle of that process.

"just try to enjoy the ride and some of the exciting games that we get to watch" Exactly!

Posted by: reispace | February 8, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. There's nothing inherently wrong about Eddie's theory that playing Jarvis at the 4 will cause matchup problems. The problem is that when you start with the lineup, it defeats the whole purpose. Teams now have a chance to prepare for the strange lineup, and before they've even stepped on the court, they know how to react. If Eddie came with the small lineup rarely, and in wierd places in the game, it would be so much more effective. Starting with it simultaneously weakens the starting lineup AND the bench.

Pradamaster
Bullets Forever
www.bulletsforever.com

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 8, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Mike, don't get me wrong--I think Haywood was a key part of the win Monday--as were Butler's 38 points, Arenas's 9 assists, and Blatche's 14/7 in 17 minutes--he just wasn't THE reason.

I think Haywood is a quality NBA starter. He can hold his own defensively against some elite centers, and will drop his 9/9, or 10/10 most nights, but he is not an elite center. I don't even know if I would rank him in the non-elite top 10 category. He's good. He contributes. He's a part of the reason that the Wizards are 8 games above .500. He's a presence. But he isn't the type of guy who single handledly alters the course of games on a regular basis.

My point about the 20/10 wasn't about the guys who do it every night. It's that this is just a common occurence in the NBA every night. On average 10 to 20 guys in the NBA will drop 20/10.

5 of those guys do it every night predictably. But on any given night you will have another 5 to 15 guys, the Haywoods of the league, stepping up to the plate and dropping 20/10.

For example, let's take a look at the stats from Monday. How many guys did this:

Monta Ellis 21/10 (G.S. "W")
Jermaine O'Neal 24/11 (Pacers "L")
Vince Carter 23/10 (NJ "L")
Chris Wilcox 24/10 (Seattle "L")
Brendan Haywood 20/11 (DC "W")
Amare Stoudemire 36/13 (Suns "W")
Carmelo Anthony 31/10 (Denver "L")

7 guys had at least a 20/10 or better.

Another 8 came with a couple rebounds or a few points of having the 20/10.

Emeka Okafur 19/11 (Charlotte "L")
Sam Dalembert 14/17 (Sixers "W")
KG 18/12 (T-Wolves "L")
Shawn Marion 19/9 (Suns "W")
Nene 27/7 (Denver "L")
Al Harrington 16/10 (G.S. "W")
Lamar Odom 15/18 (Lakers "W")
Josh Smith 20/8 (Hawks "L")

When I say 20/10 is a common occurence in the NBA, that's what I mean.

Posted by: JP2 | February 8, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If you ask any GM or any sane person in the league, if one of their top scorers in the sl got injured would you replace them with Andray Blatche or Cal Booth they would drop dead from the ridiculousness of the question.

Trying to replace Jamison with these guys clearly is not the answer after witnessing last night's debacle against a top tier team in our own house.

These guys fill in well against a team like Seattle who's defense has more holes than an american embassy in Beirut, witnessed by Blatche's miraculous 14 points. But look what he did against the Spurs...2/11? thats pretty pathetic in my book.
ok grant it he got 12 rebounds but all those came in garbage time when Pop was using Bruce Bowen at center for christ sakes.

Everyone needs to realize that unless the Wizards
A) trade somebody real fast and real soon
or
B) gets Jamison back faster than hoped
the Wizards are going to never wake up from this nightmare. Nightmare's already begun dropping 3/4...in my opinion its time to PANIC.

Posted by: aJ | February 8, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

When I said the Wiz were blessed to be where they were - I got blasted. Ray Chris & reispace just repeated what I've said. All the prognosticatin in the world can't make them play Defense. I agree w/ Barkley & Kenny Smith - the Arenas self propelled P.R. wagon is for Arenas, Abe & Stern.$$$ Notice EJ played Arenas self-promotion "down." & kept touting "Team Ball & Defense?" Even in today's paper.

I am convinced,others probably dont agree, but I beleive EJ is doing his best with the team in hand considering. As someone said earlier -Arenas has a great influence over this team and his mouth has gotten them a few of the shelackings they've received. When he's not focused - the team suffers. The whole deal about constantly craving publicity and showboating - gets old. The Wiz are a good team - everybody acknowledges as such.i.e Tim Legler on 980 yesterday but they gotta pay EJ attention - learn defense and let Arenas be Arenas. Everybody is a Kobe hater but therein lies the difference. I am sure all kinds of comments will fly now but it is what it is. He's helping his rookie teammates get better so they can thrive as a team. Even our own Butler, upon arrival here, credited Kobe with being a phenominal teacher cuz he learned something everyday. Thats part of what helped develop "tough Juice" the beast he is. But, I don't recall reading Kobe bet him $20,000 & called in the press to promote it as a means to strengthen Butler & his his teammates game back at that time. Nor Garnett, Shaq, MJ Nash, Parker.
And why would we want Larry Hughes back? He's old, $$$ and very injury prone. The last real trade discussion for Wiz was Haywood & Hayes for Jamal MacGloire.

As I said previously:
"The great older teams know how to pace themselves. They know its a marathon."
Eddie Jordan is trying to pace them - they just aren't listening at this moment.
A great victory of war comes only after many battles.

Posted by: JP | February 8, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

aJ, are you serious? Have you actually asked any GM's that question? If not, you have no real basis for saying what you said. I hate to be blunt and come across as a jerk, but lots of teams struggle when one of their stars go down. The Jazz's best option behind Carlos Boozer is a second-round rookie. If Shawn Marion goes down in Phoenix, how are they supposed to replace him? It's impossible to have a security valve at every position for every potential situation.

JP, I was right with you until the shooting contest point. That was the only part of practice that was actually filmed; the only part that we actually see. How are we to say that Arenas isn't teaching Butler or anyone else anything behind the scenes? You never heard about Kobe teaching Butler while it was happening. Also, the Lakers had a similar shooting contest that was filmed a couple days after the Gil-DeShawn one.

The opposite approach to the Arenas model is the MJ model, and as we witnessed a few years ago, this doesn't do anything to improve young players.

Give Arenas time, he's only 25. Kobe wasn't much of a leader at 25 either. I'd love to see him become a better leader, but he's also, to a certain extent, in over his head. Cleveland's having the same problem with LeBron. It's so hard to expect a sub-25 year old to learn to be a leader overnight.

By the way, to all those that compare this team to the Celtics circa 2002 in worrying the Wizards will never get over the top. There's a reason why those Celtics teams fell off. It was because, in the interest of rushing to upgrade that team at the moment, the Celtics morgaged all their future assets. They traded away youngsters like Chauncey Billups and Joe Johnson for guys like Kenny Anderson, Rodney Rogers, and Tony Delk. The plight of the Celtics in that era essentially disproves your own points. The argument is that if we don't do something quick, the Wizards will be the Celtics. In reality, the Celtics suffered from doing things too quickly.

Patience, folks. Patience. It's all a process.

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 8, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I would take Paul Millsap over Andray Blatche any day. He's one of the leading candidates for ROY, and if Marion goes down they have more than capable backups, hell steve nash went down and the Suns still had enough firepower to win. Thats my point, the Wizards don't have guys like Paul Millsap or whoever to fill in the scoring void that's tryin to be filled by less than capable guys. You gotta b on crack to think these mickey mouse scabs are gonna get the Wizards back to being one of the top contenders again bc right now they're not in that league anymore. NOt even in the same ballpark. Grunfeld needs to make a trade or find somebody in the NBDL, get off his lazy butt and entertain offers. WE NEED a capable backup bigman and we just don't have that. Guardplay can only take u so far.

Posted by: aJ | February 8, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards have do have a safety valve backup in Darius Songaila. That's why Ernie signed him. Unfortunately, he also got hurt. There's very little you can do about two guys getting injured. Third stringers are third stringers...you can't expect them to get great overnight.

Paul Millsap has been impressive in limited minutes, but it's a whole another ballgame asking him to step in and be a starter.

And as for the Suns, take away Marion, and that entire team changes. Jamison is like the Wizards' answer to Marion. His ability to create matchup problems makes the Wizards better, just like Marion's ability to do all he does makes the Suns better.

Also, without Nash, the Suns won. In overtime. Against the Portland Trailblazers. Without Jamison, the Wizards won by 10 against Seattle with these third stringers. Neither game proves much.

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 8, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

you take away marion you have stoudamire, diaw, bell, nash, and barbosa and theyll still be winning games. taking out marion will maybe make a difference of one or 2 vic's. The suns are the best or 2nd best team bc they have the personel to back them up in case someone goes down. youre argument that if marion were to go down therefore the suns would lose games like the wizards shows your stupidity. If you want to be a contender you have to have personel that can step in if any of your players go down, and in the wizards case they just don't have that. One guy going down has made this team go from a top team to mediocre at best and that shows we don't have a solid bench/personel, and hasn't this been evident throughout the season even with jamison? the big three throughout the season have scored nearly 75-80 percent of the teams points, the bench hardly contributes, so get real and face the music we don't have a good all around team. Good starting 5 yes, overall NO and we're payin for it now.

Posted by: aJ | February 8, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I really don't want to get into a flame war, and I don't want to get into a game of name-calling. Admittedly, I may have started it, but still, you're misconstrewing my argument. So let's go step by step.


"you take away marion you have stoudamire, diaw, bell, nash, and barbosa and theyll still be winning games. taking out marion will maybe make a difference of one or 2 vic's."


You really don't know...it hasn't happened. But there's no doubt that the team changes without Marion in there. One reason Phoenix is so deadly (besides Nash and D'Antoni) is that Marion can outrun everyone and do so many things on the court. He's arguably their best defender (sorry Raja, Shawn's more versatile), their fastest and most explosive player, and their best finishes (outside of Amare). Take him away, and things change. Neither of us can know until it happens, but things definitely change for Phoenix. I personally doubt it'll just be one or two victories.


The suns are the best or 2nd best team bc they have the personel to back them up in case someone goes down.

How would you explain their last two playoff runs being severely affected by injuries to key players? In 04/05, Joe Johnson got hurt, and the Suns were killed by San Antonio. In 05/06, Raja Bell got hurt, and the Suns lost to Dallas.

There are many ways a team becomes a contender. Depth is one way (see the Mavericks). Star power invested in one player is another (see the Spurs). Incredible star power invested in a system is another (see the Suns). The Suns are good because they have Nash, Marion, D'Antoni, Stoudamire, and role players that fit the system. They're not good because they know how to deal with injuries (seriously, the team would struggle if Marcus Banks or Jalen Rose would have to play more). There's a reason they only go 7 deep.

youre argument that if marion were to go down therefore the suns would lose games like the wizards shows your stupidity.

See above. I never said the Suns would lose games like the Wizards. Please don't call my argument stupid if you can't comprehend what it is.

If you want to be a contender you have to have personel that can step in if any of your players go down, and in the wizards case they just don't have that.

History has proven very little about a certified method for being a contender. Many different types of teams have won titles playing many different ways. If there is one commonality, however, it's that title teams have star power. Being deep is nice, but by no means a necessity. The Celtics teams of the 80s weren't deep. Neither were the Lakers teams at the beginning of the 2000s. They both had incredible starpower. That's what made them great.

One guy going down has made this team go from a top team to mediocre at best and that shows we don't have a solid bench/personel, and hasn't this been evident throughout the season even with jamison?

No argument here on the solid bench front. The truth is, though, the team has been flawed from the beginning. I'm not going to argue with you there.


the big three throughout the season have scored nearly 75-80 percent of the teams points, the bench hardly contributes, so get real and face the music we don't have a good all around team. Good starting 5 yes, overall NO and we're payin for it now.

Here's what bothers me about your argument. The Wizards are a flawed team. We agree there. Our solutions, however, differ. You're advocating for the Wizards to panic and do something, immediately. I mean, you said it yourself.

"Grunfeld needs to make a trade or find somebody in the NBDL, get off his lazy butt and entertain offers. WE NEED a capable backup bigman and we just don't have that. Guardplay can only take u so far."

So I'm curious, just what would you do. If you have a legitimate idea of what to do, put it here. Remember, the trade has to work via the salary cap, and it has to make sense (e.g. it can't be something like this. Still thinking? It's tougher to come up with, now, isn't it?

Look, *speaks in Allen Iverson voice* we're talking about a one to one and a half month period. In the regular season. We're talking about a tiny sample size. We're talking about a small period where the team lost an essential player. This isn't a fantasy league where you can just plug holes. You have to think about the salary cap, the long-term implications, whether the other team has any incentive to do it, and so many other factors. It's not as easy as it sounds.

To those like you who want to make a drastic move, be wary of those Celtics teams that I mentioned earlier. There's a reason they are the worst team in basketball now. Don't trade a young asset for a quick fix. It doesn't get you anywhere.

Besides, name one title team that won with an key player injured and out of action when it counted.

Remember the Lakers dynasty in the late 80s? People forget that if Magic and Worthy don't get hurt in the 88 finals, and if Magic doesn't get hurt in the 91 finals, they could have won even more titles. But you don't hear people saying how those teams were flawed because they couldn't deal with losing a superstar. Injuries happen, and they suck. When a star player goes down for any team, they'll be dramatically affected. This doesn't mean you should trade the house for a quick, one-month fix.

Ultimately, the abstract concept of "dealing with injuries" matters very little. It's impossible to cover for every situation with the salary cap the way it is. What's significantly more important is improving the defense or finding a way to get Caron Butler going.


-Pradamaster
Bullets Forever, your Washington Wizards blog.

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 8, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

JP2, most of those players on your list of 20/10 are stars. Thanks for supporting my argument.

Posted by: Mike | February 9, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Pradamaster:
Don't contort yourself trying to reason with the panic-stricken. Most of us agree with you.

Posted by: Bob | February 9, 2007 6:13 AM | Report abuse

No I know, and I probably shouldn't have even bothered.

But sometimes, I can't take stupidity. I guess it's a blogger's instinct.

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 9, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Mike, if Haywood keeps dropping 20/10s, then yes, he'll be a star too.

At last check though he was averaging 8/8, which is good, but not great.

Also, out of the 6 guys that dropped over 20/10, 3 won, 3 lost. In the group of near misses 4 won, 4 lost.

In otherwords if a guy drops a 20/10 it doesn't predict a "W". That was your original point if I remember--that Haywood's 20/11 deserved more copy b/c it determined the outcome of the game. It made a difference, but there were other more significant factors at work too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that Haywood continues to develop and I think he's been a good presence this year.

On the issue of Brendan Haywood's influence on a 5 day old game, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.

On to Portland.

Posted by: JP2 | February 9, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

After this latest fight, it's time to trade Etan. We def need to upgrade our bench and Etan can start for some teams, so lets get rid of him. We got Ruffin coming back, so theres no need for this 5 ppg loser. Wizards team chemistry has been worse since his return and this fight further adds to the dirsuptiveness of the team, during a time when the team needs to work together even more w/ jamison bein out and losing 3/4 and slipping in the east. This gives Grunfeld a legit reason to trade Etan now so lets do it.

Posted by: aJ | February 10, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

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