Live from Chicago

Just returned from the lockeroom where the Wizards were lamenting their uniform choice tonight (the gold and black alternatives) and where Brendan Haywood, Antonio Daniels, Gilbert Arenas, Jarvis Hayes and strength coach Drew Cleary engaged in an argument over tatoos and nicknames. To make it quick: Hayes, Daniels and Haywood are of the mind that players should not get a tatoo of a nickname because when they get older it will look stupid.

"How's that gonna look when you're 45?" Daniels asked. Arenas wasn't in the conversation at the start but once he heard it, he had to chime in and as you would imagine, he had a different take.
"What's wrong with Agent Zero?" Arenas asked. "Why can't I have that nickname forever, it's not a young name or anything."
Daniels: "When you retire, people aren't going to call you Agent Zero, they're going to call you "Gilbert Arenas."
(Haywood nods his head in agreement)
Arenas: "Yes they will, a lot of guys are still called their nickname when they retire."
Daniels: "Name one."
At this point, I had to roll out because Eddie Jordan was getting ready to do his pregame rap with reporters but the end had to be sensational. I'll try to get the details on what else went down.

As for Coach, I asked him about going with Michael Ruffin late in last night's win over Sacramento and he said that A) He liked Ruff because he's able to get out on a perimeter shooting big man like Brad Miller and B) Ruff is good at getting out and switching on pick-and-rolls, the kind the Kings run with Bibby and Miller. I pointed out that whatever Ruffin brings defensively, his being in the game allowed Miller to float on defense because Ruff is no weapon at that end and can't' make free throws. Eddie accepted this logic by nodding his head but felt that his guys could have made up for Ruffin's presence by making some open shots and not committing some stupid turnovers.

Just wanted you faithful bloggers to know that I'm trying to address some of the burning issues you all have. FYI: Andres Nocioni is out tonight for the Bulls (foot) and Wizards killer Ben Gordon is starting. Jordan said his team has to defend the draw-and-kick game, get back on defense and avoid taking bad shots that let the Bulls get rolling. To put it simply: Gilbert can't go 4-17 and 1-of-9 from three-point range with 6 or 7 turnovers.

By Ivan Carter |  February 23, 2007; 7:50 PM ET
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Wow, that's some inside access, Ivan! You're going to have Agent Steinz steaming :)

The refs are already killing us tonight. Gil's been clobbered three times on drives to the hoop, Caron got thrown the floor and no call and a few other guys have been stunned by the no-calls. Looks like the Ben Wallace aura is totally getting the Bulls freebies at the moment. Of course I'm sure about half of the blocks we've accumulated were really fouls, but still...

Oh, and Caron's shot was clearly good. Why do I feel like if we hadn't won by a review last night that it would have been called as such just now?

Posted by: Gack | February 23, 2007 9:08 PM

My GOD Haywood sucks. That guy couldn't hold onto a basketball if it was coated in superglue. He's tapped like 5 loose balls right into Wallace's hands for putbacks and he absolutely cannot finish unless he's standing squarely in front of the rim with nobody nearby.

This is horrible, and it has nothing to do with "Smallball". Guys just aren't doing any defending and once again we've managed to forget such tough concepts as "the box out".

Seriously, someone needs to tape this game and count how many times BTH just fumbles the rock like it's a greased beach ball. What a clown.

Posted by: Gack | February 23, 2007 9:38 PM

i didn't catch the first half, but i guess brenda was so bad EJ decided to play etan the entire 4th quarter. unfortunately, the poet looks clueless out there. Deshawn bringing the ball up court. what is that about? got picked 3 times in a row. whole team looked awful tonight. outcoached, outhustled, less talented. why doesn't AD play more down the stretch? he can handle the rock and takes the ball out of gil's hands. there's really not a single good passer on the wizards. Caron's performance has really dropped a notch in the last 10 games, besides that one where he scored 38.

Posted by: ct fan | February 23, 2007 10:26 PM

Gilbert aside they were all clueless tonight. The turnovers has something to do with no Jamison but mostly to do with them. How about more ball movement and crisp passing fellas? This was a game that was there for the taking after 3 quarters and it sucks to see them piss it away like they did.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 23, 2007 10:42 PM

Do we want anybody else handling the ball besides Gil? He scored 19 of our final 20 points or something ridiculous like that. This was a terrible, terrible loss. We made a team that isn't that good look really, really good tonight. And 90% of it was just hustle.

Posted by: Gack | February 23, 2007 10:43 PM

Nope Smallball wasn't the reason the Wiz lost tonight. The Bulls shared the ball and got contributions from many while the Wiz only had Gil playing well. Caron didn't do too well, Stevenson also didn't play that great. On top of that, our defense was bad. Overall rebounding wasn't what was needed either. Deng outshined Butler tonight. Many little things done better than the Wiz. Overall, the Wiz just got beat. We'll see how they stack up when Jamison comes back (Nocioni for the Bulls).

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | February 23, 2007 11:02 PM

"Just wanted you faithful bloggers to know that I'm trying to address some of the burning issues you all have."

Thanks Ivan, we appreciate it.

Funny thing he failed to metion is that Miller shot right over him. Someone needs to tell him Ruffin is not a good player.

"Deng outshined Butler tonight."

There's no point agreeing or disagreeing with any of you at this point in the season because I do on both ends.

It's not just Jamison being out. Totally lame excuse and unless his name is "Arenas" the Wiz should not be losing. To me it's called defense and the Wiz just don't play any.

You all see that stat Hubie threw down on screen? The Wiz are 28th in defense. I always love it when Hubie Brown calls the Wiz's games because he knows the game of basketball.

Anyone here could have coached the Wiz tonight because as Hubie said they weren't even running an offense. Too much "one on one" if I remember hearing correctly. You call time out(before it's too late mind you), and Jordan tells them to run a play. How hard is that?

To agree with many of you, the Wiz didn't even show up the second half. But to beat a dead horse they were leading until Hayes, Ruffin, Daniels, Taylor, & Sonagaila came in to replace the starters late in the 2nd quarter.

Think about this line-up for a minute before you comment. And yes these players were on the floor all at one time.

"We made a team that isn't that good look really, really good tonight."

The Bulls are a good team and this is why everyone is picking the Bulls vs. the Pistons in the Eastern Finals. They spanked the Cavs last night and the Wiz tonight. Again, everyone is going to play the Wiz harder because of thier record and they aren't responding.

I'm sorry but you can only look at the coach when a team plays like they have been the last couple weeks. Jamison ain't D-Wade, they shouldn't be playing like this.

From here on out I am not repeating anything you all post. I'm only going to be critical of one person.....Eddie Jordan.

The players are what they are and there's enough good players on this team for them to able to win.

- Ray

PS - You all see Hayes limp tonight and grab his knee?

Posted by: Ray | February 23, 2007 11:34 PM

Ray weren't we all hoping they would just keep their head above water while Jamison is out. Right now they are 4-5 w/out him, if they finish over .500 w/out him in this stretch then they have done well.

Second point, not sure if anyone read Bill Simmons trade roundup but this is what he said about the Wizards:

The Wizards have an MVP candidate and a likable team in a crappy conference, but with a catch: their two centers (Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood) despise one another and fought three times in the past two seasons. Most teams would proactively try to move one of them -- for instance, they could have offered Haywood, Jarvis Hayes' expiring deal and their No. 1 for Jamaal Magliore and Portland's No. 2 -- but since this is the NBA, and nothing makes sense, the Wiz chose to stand pat. I asked my buddy House (a Wizards fan) about this and we had the following exchange:

House: "They like Thomas and Haywood together because they play 42 minutes a game combined and give them a 12-11 every night. ... They didn't want to mess that up."

Me: "Wait, they were worried that their production would drop from a position that was giving them a 12-11 every night?"

House (after a pause): "Whaddya want from me? I didn't say it made sense."

For the record I was one of those who didn't want Magloire either and I know quite a few of you agree.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 23, 2007 11:49 PM

Agreed that there was no offensive system ran tonite. Just something offensive that was run though.

Is it me or is Caron in a slump right now?

The t/o's the last 2 games have to be disconcerting. Guys getting pick pocketed while dribbling up top!!
For once, I just wish EJ plays his starting lineup in the 4th!
Arghhh this is so frustrating.

Posted by: Victor | February 24, 2007 12:13 AM

Ray, all due respect, but the Bulls are not as good as we made them look. They have depth, and are physical, but as George so deftly put it, this game was ours for the taking, and we simply refused to care enough to go out there and out-hustle this team.

On another note, Kirk Hinrich may be fast rising up the ranks of my "most despised player ever" list. I just really, really hate that guy. And come to think of it, I always hated Duhon when he was in college, and after tonight I still hate him.

Since the Cavs pretty much suck now and it's no fun to hate them, I think I may hate the Bulls now, even more than the Lakers. Yeah, I think I do. Wow, that feels good!

Posted by: Gack | February 24, 2007 1:09 AM

I agree with Gack about Hinrich. Did you see him jump and pump his fist right before a made 3 pointer in the first half? It made me want to throw up.

On another note its pretty sad that are best passer is Songaila

Posted by: riskus | February 24, 2007 6:19 AM

A tough game to watch. The Bulls' defensive pressure did a great job of exposing the Wiz' multiple weaknesses. (For just one obvious example, "Mr. Fifty's" ball handling or lack thereof). For those of you who are saying "the game was there for the taking," think for a moment about the degree of difficulty of the average shot each team took last night.

Posted by: Mitch | February 24, 2007 7:20 AM

First, good job by Ivan asking Jordan about Ruffin. All you can do is ask. Not a surprising response, and it's notable that, along the lines of Ivan's point to Jordan, Arenas' string of consecutive points last night came when Ruffin was on the court (i.e., the offense stagnated, and Arenas had to do it all himself).

It seems Haywood is the "starter," and Thomas is "second string," but the guy Jordan really depends on is Ruffin. Why doesn't he just start Ruffin? How many third string centers get key 4th quarter minutes? Probably none, so is Ruffin really third string? Is Etan now third string? Is Haywood still first string?

Some other game notes:
- Chicago's good. They make you work for everything.
- I thought the Wizards came out really sharp, especially on defense. I thought they played a good first half, except for turnovers.
- Butler is struggling lately. Hasn't been going to the basket much, it seems. Perhaps protecting an injury?
- The one-on-one, isolation tendencies of this team continue to bite them. It plays right into the hands of good defensive teams.
- Jarvis played well last night UNTIL he was inserted as a PF. Hmm.
- Not sure what game the Haywood haters watched, but he seemed to play pretty well. Don't forget he was being defended by Ben Wallance, a multiple Def. Player of the Year.
- I had the same thought another poster did -- Songalia's the team's best passer.

Posted by: Henry | February 24, 2007 8:16 AM

"Ray, all due respect, but the Bulls are not as good as we made them look."

Good enough to beat the Wiz though right? They played better "team" ball right? If you're coming from a stanpoint that the Wiz could be playing better then I agree with you on that.

Personally I like what Chicago is doing, but I still have questions on Big Ben as a "good fit."

"Ray weren't we all hoping they would just keep their head above water while Jamison is out."

Yup, and I was bummed when he got hurt. But again, he's not D-Wade. The same crap happend last year when Butler was out 5 games. Don't you think the Wiz are better now then a year ago? If not, then shouldn't they be?

The only thing about the center position is who is better? Mags or who the Wiz have. That's not an upgrade. And to agree with who you quoted, I agree. Why don't you try and move at least Hayes? One reason: Eddie Jordan. And I'm willing to bet the house Hayes is back next year in a Wiz uni.

The way that I've always looked at it is that Etan plays smaller then 6-10, and Haywood needs more then 20 minutes a game to be effective. Also, you can't have someone 6'7 covering your center's backside and ask this team to be effective defensively. BK said this earlier in the season(who knows where he is now) and I agree. Haywood should be getting at least 30 minutes a game like he was when Ruffin and Etan were hurt. They both came back and now he's playing 20 minutes or less.

What gives with that? Why does Jordan try and fix something that doesn't need fixed?

Ruffin comes back and now Blatche plays less minutes.

Ruffin comes back and now Booth is no where to be seen.

Henry threw a stat down, and I can't remember it, but it was something to the effect that the Wiz were most effective when Arenas, Jamison, and Haywood was on the floor. Now that I think about it don't the Wiz have a guy like that on thier team? If not it should be Henry. :)

Ok, Jamison is out so where is Haywood? On the bench.

Blatche has been giving you double-doubles, where's he at at the end of the game? On the bench.

I could go on, but this clearly rests on the shoulders of one man: Eddie Jordan.

Teams take on the personality of thier coaches and the Wiz is inconsitent at best. This is what worried me even when they were playing thier best ball this year. There's too much talent on this team for them to be giving games away like this.

Is it me or is Caron in a slump right now?"

Yes and no. I've noticed people have stopped doubling Arenas as much and now they are sticking thier best defenders on Caron. I guess they figure it's better to take him out then trying to stop Gil.

"- Chicago's good. They make you work for everything."

They are a good team and it's silly to think otherwise.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 24, 2007 9:05 AM

EJ's combinations killed us tonight. The real weakness in his coaching is his inability to have the right combinations in the game at the right time. Blatche should have shown him by now that he deserves minutes but EJ is now taking minutes from him to give to Ruffin? Give me a break! Every time Etan gets the ball it doesn't come back out. Etan shouldn't be a shooting option. This team doesn't know how to get the ball to the open man because they play too many weird combinations where people don't know who should be shooting. It was ugly to watch. This team might have gone as far as it can with EJ as coach. He's flawed in that he can't teach defense and his sub combinations, i.e., small ball are killing the team.

Posted by: DMAN | February 24, 2007 9:23 AM

Uh, Dray played quite a bit last night. And so did every big man on our squad, because Eddie kept throwing guys out there looking for someone who could attack the basket with enough authority to put it through or at least draw a foul. Didn't happen.

At a certain point, I get the feeling they just conceded the inside game because Wallace was getting every call and frankly we couldn't flush a toilet last night.

I saw Caron attack the hoop at least twice for dunks that put him on the floor and drew no whistle, though he's not that great of a leaper and he started from too far away both times.

As for BTH, I'm fully aware of Ben Wallace's credentials and that the Bulls are a stout defensive team. But let's stop making excuses for Butterfingers. I'm talking about securely grabbing rebounds. I'm talking about boxing out. Let's not even get into BTH's ridiculous post attempts -- I'm looking for a guy to just execute the basics here. If you're a seven footer and you can't finish when you get the ball in the low post AND you can't rebound with authority...

And Etan played in the 4th, he came back in for Ruffin if I'm not mistaken.

It's pretty stunning to me that EJ continues to take flak here for what boils down to sloppy play in my book. But, this is the same tired old ground that's been beaten senseless since the first month of the season, so I'm pretty much not going to bother trying to argue the point.

At this point in the season this blog has become the same people arguing the same points, over and over.

I think I'm just going to stop posting and pray for a game where Haywood gets all 45 minutes, so I can come on here and post 50 times I told you so.

Posted by: Gack | February 24, 2007 9:56 AM

Les Boules pretty much played the same way they did against Sacramento, but this time it bit them in the butt because Chicago (32-25) has more talent and Sacramento is 23-31.

There was way too much one on one during the 2nd half, especially by Arenas, and when Arenas gets caught with a double team doing that or has a long armed guy (Sefalosha) guarding him, he's stuck b/c he's not used to passing so there's no bailout option. The other players are just used to him jacking it up, so they're standing there open and watching, or going for the rebound.

In contrast, Chicago ran an efficient offense b/c of Hinrich. Did anyone see that excellent passing and rotation of the ball? Duhon was ejected, and Nocioni wasn't playing, but they still won and rotated the ball. There was much more hustle on Chicago's side (12 more team assists and 7 more rebounds). I couldn't help but be impressed by the interior passing. Deng got mostly open looks, and hit them.

Gilbert needs to learn to set people up and pass the ball. We all know he can shoot and score. Many times during last night, he was caught in a double team, but instead of looking for the OPEN man, he tried to split the D and ended up with a turnover or bad shot. I think when Arenas proves that he can look for the open man and dish, he will get better because the defense will have to play him honest.

People will look at the box score and say they did ok because the shooting percentages look good. If you saw the game, you saw a lot of great individual play, but a lack of team play. Individual play results in 14 TO's, while Chicago only had 5 TO's. Gilbert had 3 assists, Hinrich had 12 assists to go with 20 pts, and Chicago is lacking much more in interior scoring compared to Les Boules.

In two consecutive possessions, I saw something interesting. Deshawn came down and got a great shot off for a 3, it was a 3 that was clutch b/c they were slumping a bit. The next possession, not to be outdone, Gilbert just came down the court, did some moves, and then launched a FALLAWAY 3 pointer. Needless to say, it just clanked. If we want to go far in the playoffs, there needs to be less one on one, and more rotation of the ball.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2007 9:56 AM

Also, I wouldn't put it past Brendan to not go all out and play D and/or bail out guards being O'layed by the front court if he is not getting any touches with the ball. Goes back to the saying about how you gotta keep your big men happy.

Posted by: Dc Man88 | February 24, 2007 10:02 AM

EJ has no clue on how to coach defense. There were multiple occasions in the game last night where Hienrich came off the screen at the top of the key and was fouled by the Wiz big men inability to cut him off or even show and get back to thier man. Just awful. AND how many times did Caron let Deng come off that baseline screen for a wide open jump shot, that he made all night. Come on EJ!!

Posted by: Boulez | February 24, 2007 10:11 AM

Nobody noticed how the Bulls totally disrupted the Princeton weave, thus forcing the clueless Wiz into 1-on-1? No answer to a hustling and well-coached Chi defense.

Posted by: joe c | February 24, 2007 10:41 AM

Man, I am staring to wonder if Etan "it's always Haywood's fault" Thomas is posting as Gack on this blog.

This is a terrible game by the Wizards, they turned the ball over left and right, but to Gack, it is all because Haywood tabbed the ball to Wallace!

Last time he couldn't do his math right, claiming that Haywood started with 3 TOs but ended with just 2!

Listen, dude, Haywood is not on Wallace level, everybody knows that; but Etan isn't either (who also contributed to one of the TOs; or was it two by Gack's math?), and that's what Wizards got, so live with it!

Posted by: Mike | February 24, 2007 10:45 AM

Here are some choice quotes from Ivan:

"The real killer for the Wizards was turnovers, which Chicago converted into 21 points. The Bulls turned over the ball only five times, held a 47-40 advantage in rebounding and a 26-9 edge in fast-break points.

"That's how they play," said Wizards forward Darius Songaila, who played for the Bulls last season. "They move the ball -- draw-and-kick -- they make the extra pass and they are a really good strong-side defensive team so you have to move the ball against them.""

"For most of the game, Washington's ball movement consisted of Arenas or Butler squaring up against a defender -- in Chicago's case, that usually is a long-limbed, quick-footed one such as Deng -- before either taking a contested jump shot or driving into the teeth of Chicago's defense.."

"For an 8-minute 40-second stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters, Arenas was the only Wizard who scored, and as the Bulls put away the game with a 32-point fourth, any semblance of offensive cohesion was gone as Arenas was relegated to taking contested shots from outside or to driving and trying to work his way through a swarm of waiting Chicago defenders."

Yeah, that's b/c for that 8 minutes, only Arenas touched the ball. You can't score if you don't get any touches. Way too predictable team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2007 11:30 AM

"And I'm willing to bet the house Hayes is back next year in a Wiz uni."

Why does Grunfeld let this happen?

Posted by: riskus | February 24, 2007 11:50 AM

#1 Haywood has the worst hands in basketball. He is an awkward mess. But everyone says he's 7ft, so I guess we have to live with him.
#2 Wizards play ghetto ball. They don't pass the ball around. Caron, Gil, or whomever just play one one one ball and either take a bad shot or drive into traffic. We can do that against the T-wolves but not a playoff caliber defense.
#3 Sadly, Songolia is our best passer. He's sees the court well, and also seems to find someone inside. Lacking a true point guard will again hurt us come playoff time. We'll see.
#4 I would start Ruffin
#5 We should have traded for a gunner, e.g. juan dixon. Gilbert is our only player with a consistent jumper.

Posted by: Justin | February 24, 2007 12:14 PM

Seems people are suggesting Grunfeld should cut Ruffin so Jordan can't play him, like Vinny/Danny cut Wuerffel so The Ballcoach couldn't play him.

Ruffin's new nickname: Wuerffel.

Posted by: Sean | February 24, 2007 12:25 PM

I'm bring this up again because again this Sunday's game is NOT ON TELEVISION...

Now I know the reason is that ABC has games nationally at the same time as the Wizards games -- and the Wizards benefit from this national contract. So this leaves several questions...

Why don't the wiz/twolves reschedule the game from 330pm to 6pm so it can be broadcast?
Is it laziness not to do so?
Does the league forbid the schedule change? If so, why? Games are normally played at 7pm.. so it seems a 6pm game doesn't affect anything.
Why doesn't Comcast tape the game and broadcast it at 6pm? I'm still going to be watching off TIVO like I do every game. I could care less when it officially broadcasts.
How is it possible that the NBA can have an exclusive contract like this that harms competition? Do they have an exemption from antitrust authorities to do this? If so, doesn't this abuse it, much the way the NFL Ticket with DirecTV is violating the NFL's antitrust exemption? (and was subject to hearings this past December?)

Let's get some answers to these questions.
Blindly saying that it's not the Wizards fault does not help this discussion. I don't care whose fault it is. I just want all 82 games on television.

We should demand access to our team much the way this blog provides access. We want to see every minute of bball.

Could you imagine if Nowitziki got hurt playing before 13K at the arena but not on television? Cuban would be screaming at the Stern if that happened.

Hey Washington Post, you're a top level investigative organization, can we get some info on this?


Posted by: Fightinotter | February 24, 2007 12:35 PM

Last night I had a dream that I ran into Ivan and Michael at a bar. I decided this was a sign that perhaps I'm reading way too much about the wizards these days..

Posted by: Craig | February 24, 2007 1:08 PM

Maybe the Bulls D deserves credit for the lack of ball movement, there have been games (the one against the Knicks comes to mind) where Gilbert was more effective at distributing.
It seemed that the Bulls rotations were so good that even when Gilbert did pass it did not lead to an open shot. As Justin said the Wizards offense is only good when the ball is moving and there is a lot of passing.
As for Mitch's point, you are correct the Bulls had easy shots all night and the Wizards didn't, but even with all that the Wizards were down only 3 after three quarters. They had some momemntum after Duhon showed his mastery of Kryzewski way of dealing with the referees.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 24, 2007 1:08 PM

earlier i said songaila is our best passer but actually i think taylor might be.

in regard to grunfeld cutting ruffin:

Ideally thats what a GM is supposed to do. The coach just needs to work with what hes given. If hes a good coach it shouldnt matter if he likes someone or not.

Posted by: riskus | February 24, 2007 1:40 PM

Here is my point, Haywood does not have the greatest of hands; but last night he ended up with 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in 23 minutes, which makes him "serviceable," IMHO. Sure his stat is not as good as Wallace's, but Wallace played 42 minutes. Besides, Wallace has taken rebounds away from many people, not just Haywood. Last night, Wallace ended up with 12 rebounds. According to Gack's observation, 5 of Wallace's rebounds should have been Haywood's. That would make Haywood 12 (in 23 minutes) vs. Wallace 7 (in 42 minutes).

If Haywood is that good, then Wizards would have paid him Wallace's salary (which is 2.66 times of Haywood's), but Wizards didn't. So stop bickering and accept the fact that Wallace is going to snatch some rebounds away from Haywood (or other centers in Wizards current roster).

Posted by: Mike | February 24, 2007 1:57 PM

Fightinotter: the answer is David Stern's greed for money. He obviously could have settled for a smaller contract with ABC for nonexclusive broadcast rights, but instead he decided to screw over the fans of the 10 teams that are playing Sunday but aren't on ABC/ESPN.

Greed, pure and simple. He earns his salary by squeezing every dime he can for the NBA owners.

Secondardy blame to the owners for putting up with this cr@p; I'm sure they could have put a stop to it except that they probably make more money from splitting the national broadcast $$$ than they would from local broadcast $$$.

Posted by: burke | February 24, 2007 2:01 PM

Fightinotter, it is my understanding that no NBA games are to be shown on any network on Sundays other than the ABC games. Does not make sense to me and I don't know why they cannot change the time. But it's not the Wizards choice.

Posted by: Lisa | February 24, 2007 2:02 PM


The reason for the rule in ABC mind is two parted I believe.

first, they dont have to worry about other games on at the same time televised locally competing for viewer ship so they can get better ratings.

Secondly, having the rights to all the games on at the time gives them flexibilty in the game they televise. if they think another game is going to give them better national ratings they can just change the game being televised easily.

Posted by: riskus | February 24, 2007 2:47 PM

OK, I can understand Blatche's stat line, he is young... But I have to agree about Haywood, he just gets way too much love here for being as uninspired as he is. I WANT TO LIKE HIM, I promise, I'm not a part of EJ's supposed conspiracy (lol) against him. Jeeze Loise. If BTH really wanted to, I mean if he desperately wanted to... He could abuse Ben Wallace. Sure he has tiny hands, but if he breathed technique and dreamed hustle, and committed to hard work...

(sigh) but yeah... I guess it's all on EJ.

Posted by: greg | February 24, 2007 3:24 PM

Yes Mike, I'm Etan like you're Brendan. And Ray is Gar Heard, or something. Someone who wants EJ's head, at any rate.

Anyway. For the record, I think both our centers are mediocre in different ways.

That said, you know I'm far from the only one who's commented repeatedly on how maddeningly unreliable BTH is.

Posted by: Gack | February 24, 2007 3:28 PM

Can we please stop talking about bringing dixon back? I was a terp and will always love him, but letting him go was a good move by grunfeld. juan's go-to move was dribbling the ball ten times then shooting a fade away brick. all people seem to remember is his 30-point game in the playoffs. PLEASE. theres a reason he has been moved twice in two years. he's an undersized gunner. if anything keeping blake would have made more sense.

"#2 Wizards play ghetto ball". I couldnt agree more. in additio, when your playing pick-up there is nobody more aggravating than a point guard like arenas. he forces you to shoot any time you touch the ball because you wonder when the next time you touch the ball will be.

"And I'm willing to bet the house Hayes is back next year in a Wiz uni." I couldnt DISAGREE more. just because eddie is a moron and plays him doesnt mean Ernie will give him the opportunity to do so again. Jarvis is G-O-N-E.

I would do Haywood for Maglouire in a second. Haywood MAY be slightly better than Mag's but simply removing half of the Etan-Haywood feud could help this team greatly.

Someone earlier said Haywood and Etan would be traded this summer: NO CHANCE. Haywood is too much of a bargain, he gets paid appropriately for a backup center-- Ernie wont trade him.

Etan is a overpaid backup center -- Ernie CANT trade him. Nobody will take him. I hate to say it but we may be better off just waiving Etan and relying on Andray and Songaila. Why do we even need Etan??? Either way one of these two centers HAS to go, but there is no way that both will be packing their bags

"I always love it when Hubie Brown calls the Wiz's games because he knows the game of basketball". I totally agree, he really knows his stuff and its nice to hear his critique of the wiz.

Although he didnt have a great game at all, what a treat it is to see the development of Blatche?

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 24, 2007 3:31 PM

more on the tv issue:

The ABC blackout only applies while ABC Games are on television. ABC broadcasts games in the 1 and 330 slots. Their reign ends at 6pm.

A number of teams have their games scheduled for 6pm and those games are being broadcast on television.

The wizards game (330pm) and one other (orlando v. houston) is on at 2pm and should be subject to the same blackout.. however, right now orlando's game is labeled as being broadcast. how's that possible?

this still doesn't explain why the wiz/wolves don't move the game to 6pm so it's out of the blackout period. This is what we should be asking to be answered.

Stating that the reason is greed is stating the obvious. It doesn't answer the why. I understand greed drives the blackout. But why schedule a game during the blackout, when you could wait three hours and broadcast it? One answer could be so that ABC has options. Alright then. But after ABC chooses, why not switch the game time. NFL does this constantly.

anyhow. There are answers to these questions, we just need the Post to ask someone to explain it. Because right now, I'm saving watching the sacramento game last thursdasy to watch tomorrow on my lazy sunday -- when I'd rather be watching a wizards game live.

Posted by: fightinotter | February 24, 2007 3:56 PM

"Although he didnt have a great game at all, what a treat it is to see the development of Blatche?"

I couldnt agree more. When the wiz are sucking stuff like this makes me happily watch.

"Alright then. But after ABC chooses, why not switch the game time."

I think its because ABC holds the right to change its schedule at the last minute if they wanted to. At least late enough that it would be too difficult to reschedule the game to a later time.

The whole etan/haywood this is frustrating.

I agree with the poster that said he really wants to like haywood but just cant.

I think he would bolt in a second if he could and I just dont think he has maturity to not let that affect his game in the mean time.

I also agree that Etan is a backup center at best. He has flashes of productivity but thats all its ever going to be.

I would hate to ever have to choose between them. If I did? Unfortunately I would pick etan soley because I just dont think haywood wants to be here.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2007 5:35 PM


Agreed on we have mediocre centers.

I said what I said before only because you called me a BTH man first (i.e., if I am a BTH man, then you must be a Etan "I rather be a boxer/poet" Man). LOL!

Cease fire.

Posted by: Mike | February 24, 2007 5:47 PM

Did the site crash thursday night because people were writing in about how happy they were to see Eddie play smallball the whole 4th?
Was away for a day, family funeral, by the way my aunt who just lost my uncle from a long illness had a sunnier outlook then many of our posters lately.
We've went through a stretch where we are playing teams with tough,rugged, physical front line players. Some of them are not the most talented guys but their strength and physical determination are tough for a guy like Blatch to match up with. Give the kid enough minutes against teams like that to know what he's up against and get him out of there before he losses confidence. Against the Kings he was bouncing around like a ball in a pinball machine.
Blatch will need another summer to work on his game and his body. I think Ray had pointed out that Kobe and KG started to bloom in their third year so I think he's on course in his development. I'm most impressed with his work effort so far. Phil Hubbard and Wes Unseld Jr. should get alot of credit for the time the put in with Blatch before games.
Brendan deserves credit to for the work he's been putting in before games too. Is Eddie's turning to Ruffin have anything to do with Etan and Brendan being in the doghouse for their spat? Body langauge on the bench tells me those two guys are on a list and it's not for Christmas gifts.
In case no one noticed we are now in the NBA's second season. After the Allstar break the games get rougher, the playoff bound teams get the calls, and the stars get more calls. Goes up another notch in the playoffs. Anyone notice how the Wiz couldn't keep their jersey's in their pants? Both times Hinrich stole the ball in the open court he got a huge handful of shirt and no call. Time to toughen up and get used to it and drive for the playoffs.
Game last night was a game of swings, Wiz down by three going into the 4th. Bulls got one last run the Wiz on the road on a back to back didn't. Against the tough Bulls AJ's importance sticks out like a sore thumb, He's really our only consistant post player, most consistant rebounder, and the three point threat that spreads the floor so the Princeton can work. Not to mention he's an effective passer. No, he's not a defensive force, but does Ben do any of the things I just mentioned?
Right now we're 3 and 4 since AJ went down. Hanging close to .500 ball which is the goal. Life is short, NBA seasons last fore ever!

Posted by: GM | February 24, 2007 7:12 PM


No, I don't think Haywood can "abuse Wallace if he wants to." He simply lacks Wallace's quickness. I believe you are sort of born with the quickness, and it has nothing to do with "want" or not.

As Gack said, he is a mediocre center (I call it "serviceable"). Fortunately, he also has a mediocre contract, so I am OK with that.

See, you are showing more love to Haywood by saying he could abuse Wallace if he wanted to; I am not. :)

Posted by: Mike | February 24, 2007 8:59 PM

Thx to Ivan for asking EJ about Ruffin. Perhaps he could work these stats into a story in the near future:
Wizards are 20-6 when Haywood gets 25 minutes or more.
Ruffin's +/- = -148 (truly remarkable how bad this number is considering how little he has played this season)
Haywood's +/- = +184. (this stat is very indicative of the teams's productivity with Haywood on the floor because he has played almost exactly 50% of the total minutes of the season).
People can say whatever they want about BTH, but last time I checked the idea was to score more points than the other team and it is impossible to argue that the team scores more and gives up less with Haywood on the floor. Either EJ isn't aware of the team's effectiveness with Haywood on the floor -- in which case he has no business being an NBA coach or he is aware but chooses to keep him on the bench anyway -- in which case he has no business being an NBA coach. Either way...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2007 10:10 PM

That Bulls game was tough. It was refreshing, as someone said, to hear Hubie's honest take on the Wizards. But gosh, we can't seem to beat them on the road. Our sloppy, lackadasical passing and lack of assists won't work against a team that plays playoff caliber defense like da' Bulls.

Hinrich reminded me of Nash - a classic point guard. The ability to drive and get assists is so much in contrast to our offense that is amazes me that there is so little attention paid to it. We are a one on one, jump shooting team. We drive enough to the hoop that we get to the line but, especially without Jamison we have no real low post presence. Even Caron's points are mostly from the outside.

I saw Thomas, Haywood and Blatche protecting the paint wonderfully for a while. But the entire game the high pick and roll was major problem. Don't forget that Coach Jordan told us the other day that Ruffin plays shooting centers better, shows on the screens and rotates back better than the other 3 centers. So despite the paint protection that we saw earlier, in the fourth quarter, to no one's surprise, he had Ruffin at the 5. And instead of getting back into the game, it got out of hand quickly. But I think the better team won last night so I am not going to blame the whole loss on smallball.

I think what we have is a consistent, philosophic, defensive commitment from Coach Jordan: don't give up the 3, play for steals that lead to easy points. I believe defense must have as it's foundation not giving up layups and dunks. Protect the paint. Jordan's theory is that even if they hit a few we will go right back at them with a 3. I wonder if he has come to that because of the kind of player he was, as someone mentioned a few days ago, or because that is what he thinks these players do best?

Well, I guess that is why they pay him the big bucks and we all sit around looking over his shoulder while we try to crank out a decent living! I hope time proves us wrong. But I am afraid it won't.

Posted by: BmoreRev | February 24, 2007 11:09 PM

Arenas: "Yes they will, a lot of guys are still called their nickname when they retire."
Daniels: "Name one."

Dr J

Posted by: dc | February 25, 2007 1:57 AM

these stats:
20-6 when Haywood gets 25 minutes or more.
Ruffin's +/- = -148
Haywood's +/- = +184.
...last time I checked the idea was to score more points than the other team

Thanks anonymous poster.
Differential of 332!!! OMFG EJ!!!

Posted by: Victor | February 25, 2007 4:32 AM

First, sorry to hear about your uncle, GM. Our best to your aunt and family.

Second, someone other than me posted +/- stats! What is the world coming to? Gack made a good point the other day about how +/- stats can be misleading because they do not reflect who is on the court with that player. So I did a little investigating:

- The Wizards have outscored the opposition this season by a total of +15. Haywood and Thomas, who never have been on the court together, are +131, which means when neither of them is on the court, the team is -116.

- Haywood and Thomas have played 77% of the team's minutes this year, so when you extend those numbers to a per 48 minutes basis, when Haywood or Thomas is on the floor, the Wizards outscore the opposition by +3.2 per 48 minutes, when not, the Wizards are outscored by -9.5 per 48 minutes.

- But let's take a look at individual players. calculated player pair statistics up to the allstar break (so all these stats below are as of the allstar break). Some really interesting stuff.

Arenas: +190 in 2026 minutes played this season. +209 in the 1623 minutes he has played with Haywood or Thomas, -19 in the 403 minutes he has played without them. So, he's +6.3 per 48 minutes with one of them on the court, -2.3 per 48 minutes without either of them.

Butler: +80 in 2029 minutes overall. +168 in 1601 minutes with Haywood/Thomas, -88 in 428 minutes without them. So, he's +5 per 48 minutes with Haywood/Thomas, -9.9 per 48 without them.

Jamison: +88 in 1691 minutes overall. +209 in 1350 minutes with Hay./Thomas, -121 in 341 minutes without them. That's +7.4 per 48 with, -17 per 48 without them! I guess playing Jamison at center doesn't work that great.

Stevenson: -9 in 1402 minutes overall. +92 in 1159 minutes with Hay./Thomas, -101 in 243 minutes without them. That's +3.8 per 48 with, -20 per 48 without them.

Daniels: Just to throw in a non-starter, -68 in 1075 overall. +0 in 752 minutes with Hay./Thomas, -68 in 323 minutes without them. That's obviously +0 per 48 with, -10.1 per 48 without.

You can draw your own conclusions, but mine are:
1. We all know Haywood and Thomas are not great centers. But the game has evolved such that it is well-established that teams function best when they have a PG, SG, SF, PF and C on the court. It offers the best diversity of skills, spreads the offense, and offers the best coverage on defense. The above numbers bear this out for the Wizards.
2. When Jordan gets cute and doesn't have either his first or second string center in the game, he sets his players up for failure, especially Jamison, and also his team.

Finally, people have given me credit for finding this stats, but they are really easy to find -- I found and calculated this stuff in about 5 minutes on If I can do it in 5 minutes, so can the Wizards' coaching staff, and the thing is, I bet they have these number, but choose to ignore them.

Posted by: Henry | February 25, 2007 8:56 AM

It's a slap in the face of Les Boules that ABC is not showing our game, since Les Boules are the top team in the East...especially with Wade out now which will make the cleveland-miami matchup less intriguing. Oh well, crank up your radios if you're desparate.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 25, 2007 12:36 PM

Excellent stats Henry. I still think Ruffin can give the Wizards a decent 8-12 minutes a game, but the stats don't lie Haywood or Thomas should be out there. It seems like the stats prove that it doesn't matter how the minutes are divided up.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 25, 2007 1:47 PM

this is like when I was 7 listening to the games in my room while studying.

Jeff Malone around the screen, jumper from the elbow... it's good.

seriously. why not televise the game on tape delay after the fact? comcast does that with original broadcasts. Don't even need the playbyplay/analysis.. no offense steve/phil.

Posted by: radio/tv | February 25, 2007 2:48 PM

Too bad Dave Johnson is really bad as the play by play radio guy. Too abrupt. I liked it when Michael Adams used to do the post game chat.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 25, 2007 5:23 PM

Ray Chris, the only thing about Eubie Brown's comments regarding the Wiz. Eubie stated on Sports Talk w/John Thompson, he really "liked" Brendan Haywood. He felt he wasn't being trained and played the right way. Sorry to knock your note but I posted his comments sometime back. He felt somebody like Phil Jackson would be better at handling an intelligent center.(Eubie Browns' words - not my mine.)

But I also agree w/ Mike..we need to stop looking for and making excuses.

MJ in an interview said..the guys now have no hustle, don't strive for excellence, no great desire to win. Thats what drives a winner.

Instead of EJ giving them "time off" to relax - he ought to have real training and practice sessions and as Avery Johnson says(quite loudly)If you can't play to win - sit your a-- on the bench.

Posted by: Robin | February 26, 2007 3:25 PM

Ray Chris, the only thing about Eubie Brown's comments regarding the Wiz. Eubie stated on Sports Talk w/John Thompson, he really "liked" Brendan Haywood. He felt he wasn't being trained and played the right way. Sorry to knock your note but I posted his comments sometime back. He felt somebody like Phil Jackson would be better at handling an intelligent center.(Eubie Browns' words - not my mine.)

But I also agree w/ Mike..we need to stop looking for and making excuses.

MJ in an interview said..the guys now have no hustle, don't strive for excellence, no great desire to win. Thats what drives a winner.

Instead of EJ giving them "time off" to relax - he ought to have real training and practice sessions and as Avery Johnson says(quite loudly)If you can't play to win - sit your a-- on the bench.

Posted by: Robin | February 26, 2007 3:25 PM

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