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Friday update

So Dan Steinberg, a.k.a the mad bogger, a.k.a the white Sam Cassell, filled you in on the Gilbert/DeShawn 3-point shoot-off that took place after today's practice. Gilbert won, picking up a cool $20,000 in the process though his tactics were somewhat questionable. Each guy took 10 shots from five different spots around the floor, around and back. Gilbert had to shoot one-handed set shots from college 3-point range while DeShawn had to shoot a normal jumper from NBA 3-point land.

By the way, Gilbert is notorious for this. Last season, after a shootaround in my hometown of Minneapolis, Gilbert and Chucky Atkins engaged in a 3-point shooting contest. Gilbert made 10 in a row from the top of the key and bet Chucky (Don't remember the amount that was on the line) that he couldn't match. Chucky matched by making all 10. Gilbert then stepped up and made 10 straight again and Chucky bowed out so he wouldn't lose any more money. Yes, you read that correctly, Gilbert swished 20 consecutive NBA 3-balls, all the while providing a running commentary. He's good.

Among the highlights of yesterday's shoot-off:

-When Gilbert hit a rough patch and missed a few shots in a row, DeShawn unloaded with: "Get them legs into it. Do you like you do at halftime, change your shoes."

-After DeShawn made his first nine NBA three's, Gilbert rolled up and said: "Damn, did you borrow my arm?"

-After DeShawn missed three in a row from the far corner, Gilbert got in DeShawn's face and asked: "You want to switch balls?"

As Dan explained, DeShawn came down to the last 10 shots needing to make all 10. That's when Gilbert poured it on. First, he tried to take the ball away from Caron who was serving as the official rebounder. Then, he went into a funky chicken dance in front of DeShawn trying to distract him. DeShawn cooly made his first four but the fifth bounced long and Gilbert fell onto the floor to do a quasi breakdance. Classy.

While we're on the subject: DC's own, Roger Mason Jr., wanted to set the record straight about what the mag bogger wrote in today's paper. Arenas told Dan - you always have to verify a GIlbert story - that he "crushed" Roger in a 3-point shooting contest up in Toronto.

According to Mason, and I believe him, here's what really happened: Mason was minding his own business one day when some of the other players mentioned that during his day's at Virginia, Mason was a better college three-point shooter than Gilbert was during his two years at Arizona. Gilbert being Gilbert, he go "mad" (Roger's word) and challenged Roger to a shoot-off. Roger said fine but only if Antawn Jamison could be present as his sponsor and financial backer. Gilbert wasn't having that and challenged Roger to a shoot-off when Antawn wasn't present. Roger said he was wearing Gucci shoes and a pair jeans at the time and still hit 81 of 100 from college 3-ball range. "I was off. Normally I'm good for 90 or 91 out of 100 but like I said, I had dress shoes on."

Gilbert came down to the last two shots needing to make one and did it, narrowly edging Roger out for the win. So, to set the record straight, Gilbert didn't "crush" Mason.

Other tid-bits from today's practice:
-Coach Eddie Jordan all but committed to starting Jarvis Hayes tomorrow night against the Lakers. My guess is that the lineup will consist of Gilbert and DeShawn at guard, Jarvis and Caron at forward and Brendan Haywood at center. Going small should not hurt as much against the Lakers, who are not nearly as big as Toronto.

-Both Eddie and Darius Songaila said that Songaila could dress and see his first action tomorrow night if all goes will with the morning shootaround. This vibes with everything I've been hearing all week. My journalistic instincts tell me that he's going to play, perhaps in the five to 10 minute range. That's a start.

-Jarvis by the way, was on the court alone for a good 45 minutes to an hour after practice taking shot after shot. Three-balls, turnarounds, pull-ups - the whole array. I think he understands how big this is for him. He can not only help this team stay afloat without Antawn, he can also make himself some good money. Remember, he's set to become a restricted free agent next summer.

-Caron Butler played a full season with Kobe Bryant. He knows Kobe Bryant. And he knows that Kobe Bryant is going to come out like an unleashed pit bull tomorrow night. I asked Caron how many times he thinks Kobe has watched Gilbert's 60-point game. Caron: "Oh, he's big into film. I guarantee he's watched it a bunch. Kobe's the kind of guy who circles the calender for certain games and this is one of them."

By Ivan Carter  |  February 2, 2007; 3:06 PM ET
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Next: Random Musings on the Super Bowl, Prince, Florida and the Heat


This anecdote should serve as a great example of just how good ALL NBA players are -- on the practice court.

And how hard it is to actually translate that into points in a game situation. So much mental toughness goes into it.

Not to take anything away from Roger, but you have a hard time imagining him hit 91/100 trey's even from college range, based on how out of the zone he appears when he does get into a game. But again, that's all upstairs.

That's of course why Hibachi can pull up from Greensboro.

Posted by: Gack | February 2, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It's all about game speed, and adjusting yourself to it.

Posted by: AV | February 2, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

i truly hope jarvis' hard work pays off. i donno why, but i really like the guy. he's much like caron butler in the sense he's from the era of the last good mid-range jump-shooters. if he can get into a groove over the next couple months + playoffs, damn, he can be a hell of a 6th man.

Posted by: k-man | February 2, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

DeShawn can afford to bet $20,000 on a 3 point shooting contest? Isn't the guy making the league minimum this year?

Posted by: juandixonformvp | February 2, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

In DeShawn's case, the league minimum is still about $1 million, but yes, I wondered the same thing.

The Bog entry suggested some lingering bitterness from DeShawn. Hopefully Gil's not crossing the line with his teammates.

Posted by: AC | February 2, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Kobe will get his 40 tomorrow night. Zero just needs 50 to offset it.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 2, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

i hope gils ego isnt rubbing team mates the wrong way. its hard to tell how light hearted these things are.

Posted by: steve | February 2, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"Gilbert won, picking up a cool $20,000 in the process though his tactics were somewhat questionable."

Must be nice to have that kinda of money to just throw around. :/

Can I get some of that cash??????


Tomorrow night should be interesting, the bench really needs to play. I expect Kobe to have a huge game because of what happend last time.

Gil has to step up and match him. If he does then the Wiz win, if not then I think it's a loss with Jamison being out and such.

It will be nice to finally see Songaila though. I hope all goes well with him because the Wiz are going to need him down the stretch.

Personally I want to see Gil and how he plays AFTER this last loss to Toronto. He had that look in his eyes from the beginning of the season.

Herrrrrrreeee'ssss SMALLBALL!!!! :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 2, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

For me, the key for Saturdays game is big D just like what they did with the Pistons. If they have been playing D just like what they did with the Pistons they could have more wins.

It's nice to hear that Darius is back. He will surely help them play D, rebound and perimeter offense when his fully healed.

Posted by: Vince | February 2, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if I need to pull out the Gilbert throwback Bullets jersey for tomorrow's game...hmmm special occasion.

Posted by: Victor | February 2, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Ivan can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think DeShawn was bitter in a bad way. More in the way you get mad at your friend for cheating at wiffle ball when you're in 6th grade, but then you still go over to his house to play video games and eat sugary cereals the next day (because your own parents won't buy you sugary cereals). Virtually the whole team stayed after to practice to watch this contest and they were all laughing; I'd say it's all more a positive than a negative. Except for DeShawn's wallet.

Sources tell me Comcast is doing a piece on the contest on the 6:30 show tonight.

Posted by: Sports Bog | February 2, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Smallball great, we can watch Radmanovic and Luke Walton post Jarvis up all night! That's what we all are looking forward to.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 2, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Has the DC sports scene ever been this fun? Does Kobe do this with his team?

Posted by: Wei | February 2, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

That was extremely entertaining. I think being in the NBA is really as fun as you dream it would be.

Was Ivan blogging about Steinberg's blog, or was he actually there?

To the person who doubted Roger's game - I went to high school with him and I've shot around with him (among others) before and seen how wet his shot is. he could absolutely hit 3s like that and this was back in his Good Counsel days.

Why is Jarvis starting? Why adjust to the other teams lineup with smallball. Why not go big, get all the boards, and force the other team to adjust to you?

then again eddie is coaching the all-star game.

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 2, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear the news about Jarvis. Hopefully he was also practicing floaters, Jamison style circus shots, and most importantly attacking the hoop.

I think he'll do alright once he finds his shooting rhythm.

Posted by: JP | February 2, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say this but I think the game will be a Lakers blow out tomorrow night....worse than what the Suns did to us. Kobe will shoot 60 or more and Gil will be cold. Ever since he has been double teamed, Gil has not been as "hot." Kobe wants to embarrass him and will do so.

Posted by: Lisa | February 2, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Wiz are going small ball because there is no way that Calvin Booth can defend Radmonovic on the perimeter.

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


I wasn't trying to say Roger can't shoot -- to the contrary, I was just pointing out how a great deal of NBA players (even/especially young, little-used guys) are light-out shooters in practice or in college, whatever. But you would never know it from the way they sometimes shoot in games, because of nerves, a defender rattling them with a hand in the face, or what have you.

It seems to be a fairly common thing in NBA circles to hear about a guy who can hit freak circus shots all day long in practice, but just seems to throw up bricks in game situations.

Of course, if we could ever put opponents away early enough, some of these young guys could get some PT at the end of the game and learn to work out that anxiety a little bit...

Posted by: Gack | February 2, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

And for the record Lisa, I think you're wrong about tomorrow. I think both Gil and Caron come out smoking because both want to make statements, and this one turns into a track meet.

Don't go gettin' all 1990's Bullets Fan "They're gonna choke" on us now! BELIEVE!

Posted by: Gack | February 2, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

If Jarvis has 20+ plus, then the Wiz have a good shot.

The key is for Arenas and Butler to work within the offense. Hayes should have plenty of open looks. If he makes his shots, then shots will open for Arenas and Butler in the second quarter and in the second half.

If he doesn't, or if Arenas and Butler try to win it by themselves out of the gate. Then it's a repeat of the Toronto game + another 10 points.

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

Lisa:Normally I would agree with you. But the Fakers are playing tonight and will not be fresh enough to handle us tomorrow.

Posted by: Brian"The Brain"Billick | February 2, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Ivan - I need an explanation as to why DSteinz is "The white Sam Cassell".

Posted by: tmc | February 2, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Brian, I thought your response to Lisa made sense -- or I would have thought so until a few hours ago.

But the Lakers scored low and lost tonight. Weird, low-energy came. Almost as if they were saving up energy.

Makes me nervous!

Someone wrote: "I don't think DeShawn was bitter in a bad way. More in the way you get mad at your friend for cheating at wiffle ball when you're in 6th grade, but then you still go over to his house to play video games and eat sugary cereals the next day." Hmm, they interviewed DeShawn on Comcast's SportsNite. He seemed kinda pissed. Maybe he'll be ready to eat sugery cereal at Gilbert's Super Bowl party, but I hope Gilbert hasn't messed him up for tomorrow.

Posted by: Nancy | February 3, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Lisa....cmon! Get your heart into the game.
Can't quit on us now...1/2 way thru the season! What will happen to you when we really face adversity down 0-3 in the playoffs?!


I think the AJ injury could be a blessing in the disguise. AJ gets to rest for the second half run. The bench gets more playing time, experience, conmfidence. All these things we had wish will happen tho in a weird way! So what if we lose the top seed or home court.
You can't tell me with a rested AJ & a more experince bench that teams aren't afraid of us!

Posted by: Victor | February 3, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

imagine the match up of jarvis hayes and lamar odom

Posted by: darren | February 3, 2007 4:22 AM | Report abuse


I AM NOT quitting on the team! Hey, I've been a supporter throughout the many bad seasons. All I was saying is that I have a bad feeling about THIS game. Jamison is out, Arenas and Butler will be double teamed, Kobe wanting to shove it to Gil..on our home court like Gil did it to him on his. The point is...another guy besides Gil and Caron needs to step up.

Posted by: Lisa | February 3, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"Smallball great, we can watch Radmanovic and Luke Walton post Jarvis up all night! That's what we all are looking forward to."

Lol, George. :)

You forgot them going to the foul line also. ;)

I agree with most of you. The Wiz need more DEFENSE not more offense. Again, if you score over 100 points you should win, not lose.

I liked having Booth in there to cover Haywood's backside, Toronto didn't beat them going to the hole. They shot mostly jumpers.

"I hate to say this but I think the game will be a Lakers blow out tomorrow night...."

Oh no, Lisa is being negative! What's the world coming to! ;);)

I think if Jarvis comes out bricking then Jordan will pull him. It's really weird with that guy, one night he has a good shot and others he's horrible. I think he's still hurting myself. I guess We'll find out.

I'm gonna say it now, *if* the Wiz lose tonight that doesn't bode well for future games without Jamison. We might have another situation like when Caron was out last year.

Secondly, that last game against Toronto.....Gil was a little glassy eyed because he wasn't getting calls. If you remember correctly that's how he looked at the beginning of the season.

The Lakers playing last night and the Wiz being at home are both good omens. But I agree with Lisa and *cough-choke* Michael Lee. Kobe is a great player and if he's motivated to score 60 points tonight then nothing is going to stop him.

We'll see I guess.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 3, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least it wasn't Kobe that killed us. It was us going stone cold.

Can we officially close the book on the Arvis debate now? In my mind, he's just played himself out of a contract extension.

So yeah, team MVP == Antawn.

Posted by: Gack | February 3, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

gack, agree w/ you 100%.

jamison is clearly the difference...the defense hasn't gotten better with the absence of AJ, but offense has clearly suffered...with AJ, this game is much much closer, if not a Wiz win....caron and Gil just need the next guy to put up some points to relieve stress on them

Posted by: k-man | February 3, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I still think Hayes is the starter in Jamison's absence. 45 minutes to an hour though of jump shots after practice won't cut it. Gil needs to convince him to show up for one of his 2 AM shootarounds (starting tonight).

On the plus side Songaila looked good in his limited minutes. Not a great stat line, but he looked solid on defense and was in position for put backs on offense. He had great movement on both ends of the court without the ball. Blatche also had some great hustle plays. If he cuts down on the mental lapses, he's going to be a quality starter. Probably still another year or two away though.

Posted by: JP | February 3, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

What a horrible night for Washington sports. First Art gets the shaft AGAIN, while "White Lines" Irvin gets in.

Then, this. Man, I'm really irritated.

Posted by: Gack | February 3, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

What the extended loss of Jamison has shown is that EJ hasn't done enough to develop the bench. If kids like Blatche had been given regular minutes, he would be better prepared to step in and take up that slack and the team wouldn't be dependent on Jarvis. I say it is time to move on from that guy. He gives the team nothing. If he can't make open jump shots what good is he. I'm ready to live with Blatche's mistakes. His confidence and aggressiveness would be higher if he knew he would be allowed to play through mistakes.

Posted by: LH | February 3, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

No one is going to trade anything of value for Jarvis. They should bench him and play Blatche, Taylor or Mason more. It was dispiriting to see them in the game and then just go away starting in the late 3rd quarter.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 3, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for Jamison to return! I hope he will be out 3 weeks instead of 6.....our season can completely fall away.

Let's see...this week is 1 week...then next week....then the All Star break.....hopefully he will return by that time.

Ivan,what in the world is wrong with Ruffin's foot? I can't imagine why it is taking it so long to heal.

Posted by: Lisa | February 3, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

LH, you're right of course, but our uncanny ability to turn any game into a close, 4th quarter thrilling finish means EJ hasn't had much safe game time he could spend on the The Youngsters.

Agree wholeheartedly with you and George though. Nobody's going to give us anything for Arvis and he's blown far too many opportunities to step up and make a difference when we needed him to.

If we're gonna lose these games until AJ gets back, I'd rather do it while letting Gil, Caron, DeShawn rest a little and gain some trust in The Youngsters, while giving those guys a chance to gain confidence and earn more minutes.

On another note, I think it's time for the press to start dissing Gil again. He seems to have lost the killer instinct he had in December. He seems too comfortable right now.

Posted by: Gack | February 3, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert might not have another fire lit under him until he plays Portland. If he drops his promised 50+ on them then that might spark another hot streak.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 3, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Gack, I've gotta agree Art Monk getting left out of the HOF is even more irritating when Irvin went in ahead of him.But Russ Grimm,the Hogs, and most of the rest the Redskins Super Bowl players getting left out is beginning to look like a real snub. But back to basketball.
After the Wiz game did anyone else tune into the Terps? Gist hung on the rim and then made a gesture toward a Wake player and got T'ed. Gary Exploded off the bench and you didn't have to be a lip reader to get" You f-----g a--hole" being screamed at Gist and he was pulled from the game. Mayland's 23 point lead then dwindled to 6 before they pulled out the win. If they lost that one I wouldn't have wanted to be Gist on that ride home!
I asked about Ruffin in the last Blog. Anyone hearing anything about about his status? I'm wondering if he's dealing with something that could keep him out for the year. I know this started an interesting and sometimes funny debate about his value, but the way the Lakers were banging us around under the rim we could have used his 10 min. 3 fouls and about 5 rebounds and one missed layup!
Loved the list of the Bullets/Wiz big guys that were offensively challenged. Tonight we could have used Ruland and Mahorn AKA the "Beef Brothers" for no other reason than one of them would have put Kobe in the stands after the Elbow to Stevenson's jaw.
After being remorseful about his suspension it didn't take him long to get off an elbow upside a player's face when he was closely gaurded!
This was a tough game coming on 2nd game after AJ going down. The Lakers length was tough to handle inside. Bright spot had to be Darius getting out there and looking ok. Blatch has moments when he looks so good! And then has lapses that remind that he would only be a soph. in college. Well at least he's getting paid while he learns and doesn't have to listen to Gary or Bobby Knight scream at him!

Posted by: GM | February 3, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse


I didn't even realize the Terps were playing tonight. The way this season has been going, I've pretty much determined watching this season won't do anything but raise my blood pressure.

Pains me to say that, but Gary's got a bunch of underachieving seniors on this squad, and Greivis and Hayes need another year of growing up to do. He really needs to find someone solid and dependable down low in the next recruiting class, though.

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

Jeff Ruland (IONA!!) finally wins (#43 - a great half of the BEEF BROTHERS). Jeff (and Rick Mahorn) knew how to play, and how and when to knock people down!!!!!!!!

Art Monk is left out again (by mostly fat white guys who never watched or played), and the Wiz lose without a Tar Heel while the Tar Heels LOSE! Such conflicts . . .

Life sucks (well - the Tar Heel loss is still great).

Boycott Disney and the Pro Football HoF and the writers who vote!!!!!!!! Art is Hall of Famer. WE know it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wiz - go beat Seattle!

(NOTE - I am white - but I think Steve Largent made the HoF because he is white, and exceeded the expectations of the ignorant writers).

Posted by: Shotgun | February 4, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Ironically, Largent's the one guy in Canton who I don't mind being there, despite Art having superior numbers to.

Krieg to Largent was always exciting to watch, even though those two never got it done in the important games...

Posted by: Gack | February 4, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

No question Monk was robbed. Mark Schlerth went off on the HOF selection committee tonight during ESPN's pre-Super Bowl coverage. Absolutely beautiful moment.

In defense of (J)arvis, the game was tied when he left early in the 2nd period. I think EJ should have brought him back with the regular rotation towards the end of the 2nd period rather than icing him on the bench for 12 minutes of game time. He was out of the flow by the start of the third period, and the Wiz were down.

Blatche has shown some real flashes of potential--he runs the floor well, has incredible athleticism, and often shows great hustle. But I'd still be reluctant to give him the position by default. Ideally you'd like to make him earn the position, rather than give it too him. Especially for a young player you don't want him to take anything for granted.

I'd say give Hayes a couple more starts, and don't skimp on minutes. If he doesn't show improvement, then I'd start looking at other options.

Posted by: JP | February 4, 2007 1:18 AM | Report abuse

LISA: my bad! you are as good an analyst as any1 on this board! Maybe a psychic too! Stick with us tho!

Now: was @ the game last nite. Now I understand why Arvis is without the J. He was bricking them early & late! Boo!

Caron just had a tough luck night. He attacked the basket the entire night & never got any luv from the rim or refs. The difference was Odom outscoring Caron.

& AJ being missed.

Andray Blatche needs to play more no questions. He's a defensive presence AND rebounds! Any offense @ this moment is bonus but I am willing to live with it like some1 said earlier!

It wasn't as bad as the score indicated, but it was no fun either.

Posted by: Victor | February 4, 2007 3:11 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, the more I see DeShawn, the more I am impressed.

If & when this team becomes a championship team, I can see him maturing into our version of Paxson or Horry or Bowen.

A clutch shooter & defensive coverman.

When he was 1 on obe wan, the dude was making him work for everything. It's just obe is that much better than every1 else.

Posted by: Victor | February 4, 2007 3:49 AM | Report abuse

I heard Caron was so upset he did not even speak with the media after the game.

Posted by: Lisa | February 4, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"Jordan said Hayes ability to spread the floor with his shooting and ball handling makes him a better option."

See this is why I don't agree with Jordan. Hayes is NOT a better option, and his smallball keeps losing games.

The Wiz gave up 118 points, went to the free throw line more, ANDDDDD had more rebounds then the Lakers did last night and still lost.

The Wiz need more DEFENSE, not a guy who's had a broken knee for the last two years on the floor. 25 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebs, 0 assists, and shooting 2 of 8 is a better option??? How? Maybe on the Bullets/Wizards of years past but not a first place team.

Also as much as I like Blatche he's just not ready. He made too many mistakes last night, and the Lakers took advantage of it. He had 7 points but he also had 3 costly turnovers.

In my opinion, Booth should be the starter because he gives you more DEFENSE. How many layups did the Lakers get anyway? And as George said they just shot over the Wiz every time.

If Jordan absolutely must go with his losing smallball routine then he should be starting Daniels because he has the experience to not be overwhelmed in situations like last night.

Now is not the time to be experimenting.

The Lakers won because they played DEFENSE. Every time the Wiz shot the Lakers put a hand in the thier faces.

The Wizards should NOT be losing games because ONE guy goes down unless his name is Arenas.

Jordan was outcoached yet again, albeit by one of the best. They should have never have lost that game last night.


- Ray

PS - What's the world coming to when a loudmouth, crack-head addict, receiver gets into the HOF before Art Monk does?

They said on ESPN Monk did not have enough "signature" plays in his career and did not talk to reporters enough(and these same people are the HOF voters).

Talk about priorities. Monk should tell them all to go to he** and not put his name on the ballot anymore. This is getting utterly absurd, the HOF is a joke.

Posted by: Ray | February 4, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"I heard Caron was so upset he did not even speak with the media after the game."

Caron played his heart out lasy night, that's why. He had a bad shooting night but he also had 4 steals, 7 assists, and 10 rebs.

That guy is all world.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 4, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Victor, I agree re DeShawn.

He won the three-point contest that counted last night.

Posted by: Nancy | February 4, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem is, Wizards seem do not know how to play without Jamison.

In Lakers' game, the big two shot 14 for 47 combined, less than 30%. Antwan's main replacement Hayes shot 25%. That's not the way to get the job done. I wish Hayes can try to drive to the basket sometimes. Butler seemed try to take it upon himself too much. He made a nice drive a dish to Blatche once. Maybe they should have a couple of designed plays like that. Once they run that a couple of times, opponents will be reluctant to double team Caron, and he should find his going a lot easier.

Every team goes through the season with some sort of injuries, this is the time coach earns their keeps by facing up to those challenges and devise a plan to keep the ship afloat.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 4, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The Pro football HOF is a really screwed up system. If I remember it right there are only two writers per team on the comm., which allows individual writers to have hugh power. I heard John Steadman once saying that he kept John Mackey out of the HOF for 15 yrs because of a dispute between the two. Mackey didn't get in until another sports writer and some other old Colts got them together and patched things up.
Last year I was in IL on business when the HOF vote took place and it was really interesting to hear the local sports talk show guys out there and their take on the Redskins getting snubbed. Since the owners want to make the HOF inductions into a weekend all about them, they were expressing the opinion that many HOF votors don't want Snyder to have his day in the sun! They say that many will never forgive Snyder for the way they preceive Turner got treated here.
If there's any truth to that what a sick reason to keep Monk out of the Hall, he had nothing to do with Norv or Snyder except Norv let him go to make room for some ex-Cowboys! I hope Jerry hires Norv and then when he gets fired for the THIRD time and people will realize he's not a head coach!
The Wiz have been really lacking at Power Forward all year. With AJ and Darius both healthy their depth may be ok if Ruffin can give them his limited hustle play defense minded minutes. But when two of the three are down we're really thin there and last night Darius was only available for limited minutes. Teams are just playing volly ball inside and just tapping the ball around even when Butler gets great position. With the Lakers going 7/0, 6/10 & 6/10 much of the game they were just keeping the ball alive and wearing us down inside.
The east is there for the taking this year, I wonder if we can go to the finals trying to carry three projects at once(Blatch, Taylor and Lang) and try to get Hayes back in the rotation at the same time. I wonder if Ernie is starting to sniff the air looking for a Vet. 4 that can give us some minutes. There's some guys around that are on the market. We've got to remember that we have 2 more big man projects overseas.
Jarvis has got to get back to driving to the Hoop. When he scores on a couple of drives his whole game picks up. When he trys to be a spot up shooter it gets in his head when his shot doesn't drop. I think it is bothering him not being able to figure out am I a 4 or a 2, but I'd like to be a 3. Some guys have trouble with changing roles, he could be one that it gets in his head.
Blatch has Huge potential, he just needs to get it in his head that this team needs a 4 and not a point forward. I think Eddie should fine him a $100.00 per bounce when he decides to dribble!

Posted by: GM | February 4, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ray your point about starting Daniels if the Wizards are going the small route is a good one. The only way Arvis will start driving the basket again is if Jordan threatens to bench unless he will. Mason and Taylor should play more.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The L.A. broadcast of the game showed a close-up of Caron on the bench towards the end of the game - and he looked absolutely devastated. To me - that's a good thing. It shows how much he hates losing. He's going to be huge vs. Seattle.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 4, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Mason and Taylor should play more."


Mason has that shooter's mentality and I just like Tayor's game in general.

The only thing good about Jamison's injury is maybe it will cause EG to re-think making a trade before the deadline.

It's all speculative, but if Jordan is counting on Hayes to bail them out then I think the Wiz are going to lose a lot more games.

I understand they are trying to give the guy confidence, but his mechanics are totally flawed right now. Like I said, it's not the time for experimenting.

Caron and Gil both are going to get doubled a lot more now and Stevenson has been stepping up.

Saying this, I still think they need more defense and would prefer Booth to start. He has that nice little baseline shot working for him and he gives them a lot on the boards.

Also, Daniels started some games last year and he has the experience to do well so I wouldn't be against that since Jordan loves "smallball" so darn much.

To me it's not Jamison being out as much as it is Jordan being coach. Good coaches find ways to win in adversity. They still have Caron and Gil, no way they should have lost to the Lakers. We're half way through the season and Jordan still does not have a set rotation. That really bugs me.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 4, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Ray, I don't think EJ is looking for Hayes to do anything exceptional. Hayes just needs to start making his shots. If he shoots in the mid-40s with his 10 to 14 looks rather than in the mid-20s, then the floor will open up for Arenas and Butler.

The big thing is that Hayes knows the Princeton offense better than Blatche and when his shots are falling his play complements the other 4 players on the offensive end better than with Booth at the 4. When Jarvis hits his 17-footers and three points, the floor opens up for his teammates. He needs to hit his shots, that's the bottom line.

I agree with you that Booth brings more on the defensive side, but not enough to offset what the team loses on offense. That was the big thing that I saw against Toronto--the Wiz's offense completely broke down. The players weren't running EJ's offense. The same thing started happening last night in the first half, and during the second half there was a complete breakdown.

I think Booth is a solid reserve--his skills also seem to match-up with the other second unit players well. I think he's a better match at the 5 with the regular starting rotation, than he is at the 4 with Jamison out (at the 5 he's still third on the depth chart to Haywood, and Etan).

Blatche has the potential to be a starter in the NBA, but he's still just a second year player out of the high school ranks. If Hayes continues to struggle, he's probably the one that I would look to. Songaila may be an answer too once he gets his legs under him.

I keep stressing offense, because this is the Wizards strength. I think they can improve their play on the boards, and defensive intensity--they can also improve their defense by taking high percentage shots, so that they have time to get back in transition. But I don't think they have the right personnel right now to re-tool what they've been doing. Right now the key seems to be to hold the line as best as possible until Jamison comes back.

At least that's my read . . .

Posted by: JP | February 4, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse


EG has said he is not looking to make a trade and who, pray tell, would they trade anyway? Most of you wanted to get rid of Jamison and now it is evident how important he is to the team.

Posted by: Lisa | February 4, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

A couple random observations:

1. I noticed the item in the Wizards Insider about Phil Jackson taking his team to D.C. sights on Saturday rather than doing the team shoot around. I can see the master psychologist taking his team to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam and Korean Veterans Memorials--a little walk over to the Jefferson. The reminder: We are lucky to be doing what we are doing--never forget that. Very much in keeping with Jackson's "this season is a journey" approach. A great team building exercise.

2. Don't know if people have been watching college hoops, but I've been very impressed with Texas A&M the past couple years. They have a PG/SG Acie Law IV who reminds me a lot of Michael Redd. He's a great clutch shooter and a solid character guy. The TAMU program also has a nasty defensively focused mindset (I think they're #1 in the nation as far as opponent shooting percentage goes). They could be a program to watch over the next few years. They had a nice upset victory of Kansas on Saturday, and have another showdown Monday night against Texas.

I suspect NBA scouts may be starting to notice Law. TAMU has a couple other guys who are likely on the NBA bubble (Joseph Jones and Antanas Kavalaskus).

Posted by: JP | February 4, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Booth can be useful at the 4 when Eddie picks his matchups. Using him against Detroit was a great matchup for Booth. As talented as Duncan is the fact that his game is mostly from 15' in favors using Booth over our other options right now.
Against LA and Odom operating out of the triple post Booth would have been exploited in open space. Eddie will be able to use him against certain teams at the 4 but I don't think he could have helped Sat. night.
Darius looks like he could help maybe sooner than expected, gave us a solid 11 minutes the other night. Getting these guys back in the gym and refreshing basics will also help. The Princeton offense is flexible enough to compensate for changing lineups with different strengths. They just have to run it and trust it.
This team's one big weakness(besides consistant defensive effort) is lapsing into periods of forcing early shots instead of attacking then pulling the ball out and running a half court set if there's nothing there. Sac. & NJ at their peak would insinctively start to run the Princeton if they didn't get good early look. We still want to pass the ball to one of the Big 3(now 2) and go 1 on 1 unless Eddie calls a set. And too often they take too long to get into their sets if they don't get that early shot.
What do we have to trade? You could start with a former starting center who hates the present starter, we have 3 projects on the bench(of them Blatch has the most value), 3 more projects overseas(some say Jaun Carlos is NBA ready), I think we have our Mid Cap exception and future draft picks all in place.
In short if EG decides a trade is needed he has some things to work with. I don't think a blockbuster is in the offing. Don't even start the KG talk again. But there are guys out there that could possibly fit here. I just think we need another guy who can pound the boards not get out heighted and out muscled in there. I know he's been trade 3 times but I've got to wonder if Jamal Magloire couldn't be a fit.

Posted by: GM | February 5, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"If he shoots in the mid-40s with his 10 to 14 looks rather than in the mid-20s..."

I hear you JP and agree with what you say on the offense/strength and stuff, but they need to play a little more defense if they are going to win anything. The Lakers played better team defense and that's why they won.

It's half way through the season and there's no improvment with Hayes. He shouldn't be playing 25 minutes is what I'm saying.

"EG has said he is not looking to make a trade and who, pray tell, would they trade anyway?"

I agree with you also Lisa, but again it's half way through the season and Jordan is still talking about players "trusting" each other. That shouldn't be the case either and that's not necessarily Jordan's fault.

I like Blatche, he's just too young right now. He had a couple costly turnovers when he was pressed the other night. Hayes time on the floor needs to be re-assesed. Arenas and Caron are looking for Stevenson more which is a good thing, but this is where Jamison is missed(trust factor).

We'll see in the next few games how they respond, and yes I hope they win. Again, Jordan's rotations drive me nuts.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

A comment on your note about Phil Jackson taking his team on a tour of D.C.
They did not practice and were missing Walton & one other player.
That point alone should be thought provoking for the Wiz fans.

Why should Seattle be an issue for the WIZ?
I expect them to naturally win. Anything less - any further excuses about missing Jamison is unacceptable.

Every team is missing a pertinent player.
I can guarantee you - the men going to The HOF didn't waste time makin excuses.

Posted by: DJ | February 5, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

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