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Random Musings on the Super Bowl, Prince, Florida and the Heat

I know this is a Wizards/NBA blog, but I'll get to that later. I have to comment for a second about the Super Bowl. I know, I know. I just want to say that I'm not really an NFL fan, nor am I really impressed by the Super Bowl - it's usually a boring football game surrounded by really stupid commercials - but I had to watch yesterday because the Florida A&M Marching 100 performed with Prince at halftime. It was an awesome thrill, because I'm a Florida A&M graduate and I'm a Prince fan, so I was having a good time. You had to love "Purple Rain" on a purple stage in the pouring rain. That may have been the best halftime show ever.

(By the way, where does Prince find those women to dance with him? And, what was the deal with that dumb Budweiser commercial where Jay-Z outcoached Don Shula in a game of football? Who thought of that pairing? I'm thinking most Jay-Z fans don't have a clue who Don Shula is, and most people who know Don Shula as a Super Bowl-winning coach have children/grandchildren who listen to Jay-Z. Not a good fit. If anything, what would've been more entertaining is watching Don Shula beat Jay-Z in some "8 Mile"-type rap battle. Now that would've been amusing!).

But speaking of Florida, after seeing Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman give his Bad Rex performance yesterday - and just hand Indianapolis the game - I am a little concerned about the Miami Heat's chances at repeating as NBA champions. Now, I've been consistently killing the Heat in this space this season - and they already look suspect with Shaquille O'Neal in the midst of a decline and Pat Riley still on leave following hip surgery - but what's the connection here? Think about it. No school has had a more impressive run in the past year than the University of Florida. I don't know if they put something in the Gatorade or not, but it's been pretty amazing.

It started last April, when Joakim Noah led the Gators to the NCAA championship, continued in June when Florida alums Jason Williams and Udonis Haslem helped the Heat win the NBA championship and again in October when David Eckstein, another UF alum, led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series championship in baseball, and finally last month when the Gators demolished Ohio State in the BCS championship in college football. Grossman, a former UF quarterback, was supposed to keep the run going but he decided to just throw passes to the Colts in the fourth quarter. The Florida mojo is no mo'.

I say that with the Heat finally beginning to round into shape. O'Neal has been in foul trouble in the five games since he returned from his knee surgery, but he had his best game of the season last Satuday, as he scored a season-high 20 points in a win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Dwyane Wade has quietly been playing phenomenal basketball the past 15 games and Miami has won three in a row to creep back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

And here's a scary thought for the East: After that lousy start, the Heat (22-25) has a chance to enter the all-star break with a .500 record - Miami has one toughy against San Antonio and four winnable games against Charlotte, Boston, Portland and possibly, Cleveland, on the horizon - and can really begin to push the Antawn Jamison-less Wizards for the Southeast Division in the second half of the season.

Over the next few months, expect the Heat bandwagon to pick up some of those people who jumped off back in November but I wouldn't bank on a title defense - even if Williams can return from his latest ailment, an abdominal strain. That Florida mojo is gone now. More troubling, I read that Wade - whose T-Mobile commercials with Charles Barkley aired during the Super Bowl at a $2.6 million price tag - attended the game and sat at the, um, Gatorade luxury suite at Dolphins Stadium. Hmmm.

By Michael Lee  |  February 5, 2007; 8:45 AM ET
 
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Next: Booth, Blatche and those struggling Sonics

Comments

"And here's a scary thought for the East: After that lousy start, the Heat (22-25) has a chance to enter the all-star break with a .500 record"

Yup.

Don't count them out if Shaq stays healthy.

I'm right with you on this Ivan.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Ray can't Read

Posted by: Michael is not Ivan | February 5, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I think Ray is speechless now, realizing that he ACTUALLY agrees w/ Michael on something... lol

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | February 5, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Ray can't Read"

LOL!!

I'm sooooo sorry Mike!

My face is so red right now, if you could only see it.

You're right, I can't read. :)

I think Ivan mentioned something similar so I assumed(and you know where that gets you).

Dude, I'm really sorry. I can't say it enough...but I do agree with you. :)

Geeze, I'm such a butt-head.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"I think Ray is speechless now.."

Yeah I really am and if knew me that's pretty hard to do too. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Tonight's game is one we "should" win. It will be interesting to see what is what with that. And, I think I got the last Bud as I always call Rock - you can have paper.

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | February 5, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

So... Memphis is shopping Pau Gasol more heavily and he's leaning toward a trade to Chicago.

LA Times reports the Grizzlies reportedly asked Chicago for Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and the Knicks' No. 1 pick, which the Bulls own. Now Memphis is down to Deng or Gordon plus another young player such as Thabo Sefolosha, P.J. Brown's expiring contract and a 2009 first-round draft pick.

Hate to fuel the rumors at a time like this for the Wiz, but do you move anyone to get Gasol? If only to keep Chicago from getting him?

Seems like a Gasol/Nocioni combo, even without Deng and Gordon, would be very tough to stop in the East.

Posted by: iceberg | February 5, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

To get Gasol, a player who doesn't fit into the Wizards uptempo style, you would have to give up Butler, a player who does.

Posted by: to iceberg | February 5, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Ivan I feel you on the Prince comment. I love him and that was the only reason I watched the game too...it was an amazing performance.

RE: Heat...yeah they will to make some noise in the East with Shaq, but I don't know if Shaq can rebound from the surgery and be quick enough to contend in the West...he is a heavy dude and his knees are paying for it.

Posted by: Oz | February 5, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Gasol isn't very tough physically or mentally and isn't the kind of player Ernie Gruenfeld pursues. I'd be pretty surprised if the Wizards were seriously interested and also very disappointed because the guy is weak and makes ridiculous funny faces when he gets wronged by officials.

Posted by: Wei | February 5, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

poor Michael Lee - twice in the same morning he's referred to as Ivan. We're gonna end up giving him an identity complex.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 5, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I feel you both on those observations re: Gasol. Hadn't gotten a good picture of his mental toughness.

I just fear that with Chicago, they'd be tough to match up with and could either kill a team on the break with Nocioni or in a halfcourt set with Gasol.

Posted by: iceberg | February 5, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think Gasol would fit perfectly into our rotation. Only problem is he's owed 60 mil over the rest of his contract. We ain't got nothing to match that unless Gil is involved and we all know that's not happening. But I will say that something has to be done to stay afloat in Jamison's absence. And Jarvis Hayes is not the answer. It's time to give Blatche an opportunity. I was at the bar watching the game against the Lakers and everyone their was pleased with his play. Then for no apparent reason, EJ snatched him out. We all just shook our heads in disbelief. Another note from the bar; Everytime Jarvis TOUCHED the ball, the whole crowd moaned. You heard it hear first, Jarvis Hayes is slowly becoming the next Kwame Brown. Getting by only on potential.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 5, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I definitely fear Miami.

Posted by: Nancy | February 5, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Lemme find out Mike got some MEAC flowing through his veins! I didn't attend FAMU (got accepted but back then I was terrified of flying so I punked out and went to Delaware State instead) but I root for any school with MEAC ties. And Bethea from the Colts went to Howard too. Who would've thought you would get 2 MEAC references and the Super Bowl in one sentence! But Mike, you didn't like the Jay-Z, Don Shula spot? I know the pairing seemed odd but you gotta understand that Jay is old now. Which makes most of his die hard fans old :-) So I'm sure the majority knew that was Shula. I also liked that high-tech football style chess game they were playing. Probably one of the coolest ideas I've seen in a long time. I can actually see something like that being played in the future. And to correct you, Jay didn't "outcoach" Shula, he cheated. He had help from the "weather girl". Hey, if I say what she really did, I'd be banned from this blog...so i'll leave it at that.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 5, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Fear a bunch of old geezer? Ha.

Bring on Miami and their AARP plan. Chicago should have bounce them in the first round last year. You're never gonna beat someone you fear.

When Gasol gets traded the only player in the top 10 from 2001 draft still with the team that drafted them would be Jason Richardson.

Gasol and Ben Wallace? How is that going work out?

Posted by: dc | February 5, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I was at the Lakers game and I've never been so depressed as a Wizards fan after it was over. To lose by 16 to one of the biggest jerks in the league on your home floor, and to have the hope taken out of me that the Wizards had finally developed a championship team, was sickening. I feel like a Philadelphia fan right now, the Wizards are cursed. Every time they put together a winning streak, someone gets hurt and blows up the team.

Posted by: Andrew | February 5, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Chill Andrew, it was only one game.

Posted by: definitely not andrew | February 5, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The Prince Super Bowl half-time performance was the best ever, it was amazing.

Fear the Bulls & the Heat IMO.

Posted by: Wizzy | February 5, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Just a Note Wiz Fans. Did you know what he did with his team prior to playing the WIZ? They did not practice. He took them on a tour of Washington and its museums and monuments. Most are young rookies. Like the Wizards..they have players out with injuries as well(Walton)(DNP) as do most teams but they just roll on.

The Wizard's theme for 2007 should be:
"NO MORE EXCUSES!" Enough is enough

Posted by: D | February 5, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Like wearing black, smoking seems to be a requirement for entry into the glam world of high fashion. And supermodels like ultra-thin icon Kate Moss routinely are photographed with a smoldering cigarette dangling from their well-manicured fingertips.

These images create the impression that smoking and thinness go hand in hand. It's a connection that appears to resonate with body-conscious young women. But what does science say about this suggestive relationship? Does smoking promote weight loss?

The short answer: No.

Posted by: loco mullin | February 5, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

My brother doesn't even like Prince and he agreed it was probably the best halftime show he had ever seen. He rocked it, and the rain was perfect.

Posted by: greg | February 5, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I hope this prompts Ernie Grunfiel to do 2 things:

1) make a move. Somehow some way. Please. A power forward. I'd even settle for an NBA calber shooter at this point.

2) Smack himself for drafting Oleg Tektarov who will not help us until Gilbert has opted out of his contract. There were SO MANY players we could have had that could have helped us on our run. So frustrating.

Posted by: Bernard King | February 5, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Wizards have lost two in a row. Now is the time to throw out the long term plan, panic, and make a trade.

Posted by: Joe | February 5, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree Bernard. Its like we have to keep "makin do" with second best. Truth be told..beside Blatch & the rookies, Mason & Taylor have been around for a while - at least 4-5 yrs - not to be playin better than they do. Subpar is not acceptable. We need to spend some money for quality. There were definitely other players available. Its mid season & EJ has to keep saying - "Lets get focused."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 5, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize it was the FAMU band doing the halftime show. Dammit I would have paid more attention if that was the case. Hey Mike I used to watch the Fla. Classic on Sunshine Network when I was kid and I loved the battle of the bands. That game always seemed like one of the greatest atmospheres in college football, what was it like when you went.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 5, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Regarding that Florida domination theme, you left off Emmitt Smith, Dancing with the Stars Champ.

Regarding the Heat, they are going to need get another point guard by the trading deadline. Jason Williams is too injury prone and Gary Payton is not The Glove he used to be. Nevertheless, if they get the 8th seed in the East that would be problematic for the Top seed.

Posted by: Three | February 5, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A little perspective: Who cares if Miami wins the SE division. It ain't going to happen, but who cares? As long as the Wizards win 50 games and are competitive in the 2nd round of the playoffs, that's a successful season.

With the way the season is going (better than ANYONE dreamed of or could have expected), wait till the offseason to do anything drastic or even minor.

Gasol is a weak player physically and mentally and on top of that has an attitude problem as evidenced by the way he's handled his situation in Memphis. Keep him away.

No trades necessary for now. This team is on track and ahead of schedule.

And the best halftime show ever was U2 in the Superbowl after Sept 11. It was as close to a religious experience a halftime show could ever be.

Posted by: Wei | February 5, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"poor Michael Lee - twice in the same morning he's referred to as Ivan. We're gonna end up giving him an identity complex."

**Michael Lee is NOT Ivan Carter**
**Michael Lee is NOT Ivan Carter**
**Michael Lee is NOT Ivan Carter**

See, I'm not the only one. :)

"1) make a move. Somehow some way. Please. A power forward. I'd even settle for an NBA calber shooter at this point."

Agreed BK.

I think that EG needs to make a move to sure up the bench and have all season, as some of you have suggested. Unless his name is "Arenas" losing one guy should not mean the inability to win.

We're half way into the season and there's still "trust" and rotation problems on the team.

We'll see how the next few games go, but this can get ugly real fast if Jordan lets it. Don't focus on the players, focus on the coach these next few weeks.

Again, adversity isn't always a bad thing and it starts with Jordan.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Ray and BK. Sorry Joe, Its not panic.
Its prob too late for this yr anyway.
But sure makes you wonder..I think somebody wrote..the Lakers didn't "practice" they toured D.C.
Even missing 2 players to injuries they beat the Wiz handily. Its a whole lot of season left - In truth, Grunfield stated he will be doing no trades at this time anyway. Keep in mind, Arenas isn't dumb. He's been shoppin himself all year long.
He isn't diggin up every piece of publicity he can get his hands on...P.R. Marketing 101

Posted by: Anonymous | February 5, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I know I can't possibly know what's going on in DC from way out here in PA. So somebody please tell me, after two losses are Wizards Fans jumping from tall buildings?
My son's using my tickets tonight, I'd really hate to have one land on my car! Hang in there guys, the difference Sat. night boiled down to last time Jamison played, Odom didn't and Gil outscored Kobe big and this time Kobe and Gil basiclly offset each other and we really are out of sync without Jamison.
Starting tonight, I think they'll start to put it back together. Or I might have to drive to the city and look for a tall building!

Posted by: GM | February 5, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Why is this (by far) the least updated of all the WaPo blogs (that i read - goff, steinz, skins)? Why are there 2 contributers but not a lot of content? why are there so many non-wizards items?

how is songaila doing picking up the offense (and what about that russian drawl)?

does etan communicate with his teammates or is he just another kwame (inability to play TEAM defense)?

has the ej/haywood relationship been repaired?

what is jarvis' role sposed to be?

is gilberto the greatest latino (he is cuban right?) basketball player ever?

does Ej's all star accomplishment mean he will feel a bit more free about lobbying the refs (admittedly he's done more this year)?

any pecherov updates? what about juan carlos?

give us content - we beg - it's not the offseason - please

Posted by: Free DC (from the carpetbaggers) | February 5, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

People keep talking bout the Lakers had 2 people missing. Last time I checked, Luke Walton and Kwame Brown (and Chris Mihm, but people don't say much about him) wasn't Bird or Mchale. All that mattered was when we won, no Odom. When they won, no Jamison. I'm not making excuses but the facts are the facts. And its hard for Ernie to make a trade when Eddie gives no one on the bench outside Daniels and Hayes a shot at some real playing time. No one knows what Lang can do. No one knows how good a shooter Mason is. No one knows whether Etan and Brendan can coexist on the court together. Why? Because nobody I just named has the initals J.H.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 5, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Just got off of ESPN.com and it seems that Larry Hughes is upset over playing time. And they said don't be surprised if he's not traded by the deadline. And I just read where Juan is unhappy as well. See what happens when you go for the money? Karma comes n kicks you in the A!!

Posted by: C.Bell | February 5, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"Why is this (by far) the least updated of all the WaPo blogs"

Until the last few days it's been pretty well kept. We usually get one blog a day, Ivan is a "beat reporter" and everyone just confuses Mike with Ivan. ;)

"how is songaila doing picking up the offense (and what about that russian drawl)?"

Too early to tell, he's only been back one game.

"does etan communicate with his teammates or is he just another kwame (inability to play TEAM defense)?"

Etan plays in spurts but until recently was injured. He does pretty well when he's on the floor but Haywood is 100% the teams starter.

"has the ej/haywood relationship been repaired?"

Yes, they "high five" a lot. ;)

"what is jarvis' role sposed to be?"

His role *should* be sitting the bench but Jordan has a fascination with him for some reason. Role has yet to be determined. :(

"is gilberto the greatest latino (he is cuban right?) basketball player ever?"

Cuban? Is he really?

"does Ej's all star accomplishment mean he will feel a bit more free about lobbying the refs (admittedly he's done more this year)?"

He does it anyway but no one is listening, trust me.

"any pecherov updates? what about juan carlos?"

Grunfeld said Pech is doing fine and should be on the roster next year but Juan Carlos isn't going to be here anytime soon with that buyout clause in his contract. They should really trade his rights to NY or something.

"give us content - we beg - it's not the offseason - please"

They do a good job here, this is one of the best blogs on the Post. Fans know the game on this blog, so if you visit regularly you'll catch an awful lot. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Just got off of ESPN.com and it seems that Larry Hughes is upset over playing time."

I heard that also CB.

I wish he was a Wizard again. You all can make fun of me for that if you want, but he's a really good fit here.

- Ray

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

I agreee with you Ray. He would fit great here right now. move Stevenson to the bench. Having a combo of Gil, Caron and Larry sounds a lot better than the Big 3 as it is now. Also, Juan Dixon would be PERFECT right now for us. Instant offense off the bench.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 5, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I just used the trade machine on espn.com (if you've never tried it out, you really don't know what you're missing!) and I traded Daniels and Etan for Larry. I need feed back on this one. I think it'll work because it makes us better than it makes them. Daniels would instantly start but Etan would get buried on the bench. But Varejao's contract is up at season's end so Etan would be a nice fall back in case they can't resign him. As for our end of the deal, it gives us 4 potential all-stars on the court at one time (and a new nickname as well. Either Fantastic 4 or the 4 Horsemen). Stevenson would strengthen our bench with his scoring and gives Taylor some more burn at the point. Just enough so Larry and Gil (mainly Larry) won't tire out. Talk about spreading the floor. Nobody would dare double up on Gil with that line up

Posted by: C.Bell | February 5, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"I think it'll work because it makes us better than it makes them."

I like it because Jordan's mentality right now is "Big 3 and throw everyone else in." He doesn't use his bench very well either, at least to me.

You could actually have a "Big 4" in this scenario and a good defender to boot, but it all depends if A) the Wiz are willing to give up Etan? and B) Will Stevenson be willing to move to the bench?

Who will backup Haywood?

It looks good for next year also depending on what Jamison does and with Pecherov's status.

It might be just me but I don't think Jordan likes Daniels. Call it just a feeling, but he always wants to cut into his minutes and he yells at him more then anyone else that I've seen. At least on what they show on TV.

I like Hughes so I'm a little biased. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

My bad....Michael...not Ivan! Ivan posts more often so I assumed just like Ray...sorry :)

Posted by: Oz | February 5, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

My bad....Michael...not Ivan! Ivan posts more often so I assumed just like Ray...sorry :)

Posted by: Oz | February 5, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post.

I agree with a lot of you guys and have been saying it since the begining of the season too: EJ needs to play the reserves more! We have great shooters but they don't get enough PT to get into rhythm and build confidence. Although shooting 100 uncontested shots is different then game time shooting, it's nice to know that we have shooters with potential...Stevenson can shoot 71/100 with Gilbert in his face & Mason can shoot 81/100 in Gucci shoes. LOL

BTW...Kobe 360 dunk was nasty, Gilberts cross over on Kobe was sweet, and great D by Mason on Kobe...didnt fall for the fakes!

Posted by: Oz | February 5, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I can answer that Songaila question now:

He doesn't have his game legs just yet, all of his shots are short and he's huffing and puffing.

The Wiz better not lose this game, it's halftime right now and they aren't playing a lick of D.

The Sonics aren't that good either.

Oz, are you Darnell by chance?

What happend to that guy?

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Is this team ever going to win a game without Antawn? Another pathetic display so far. Jarvis can't make a shot even if Ledell Eckels was guarding him! Gilbert you better give your MVP trophy to Antawn.

Posted by: eric, baltimore | February 5, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Who's Darnell?

I am watching the Miami game, since the WIz game isn't televised up here....and they are killing CHA by 19 in the second with 1 min to go. It's early, but I think they might win. So yeah it does looks like Heat is slowly climbing up in the standings. Just dont knock my Raps out of the 8th spot!

Posted by: Oz | February 5, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Just tuned in, so I missed the first half, and apparently, I didn't miss much. But boy the 3rd was entertaining. Gil suddenly turned into Steve Nash with the no-look zip passes, Cal Booth is a man on a mission directing and distributing, and Blatche-Tuff Juice go on an insane rampage to end the quarter, 5 points in 5 seconds...

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

EJ looks like a genius right now. The Booth for Hayes switch in the 3rd triggered a 20 point swing.

Also, gotta say that I'm on the Blatche bandwagon after this one.

Posted by: JP | February 5, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, I know the 'Tonics are the cure for what ails you when you're on a losing streak, but whatever Cal Booth and Blatche had for lunch today, let's get that chef on speed dial!

The "dipsy-do" circus shot aside, Andray looks comfortable and is running the floor like a man possessed tonight. All of a sudden I love our bench -- WHAT'S GOING ON?!?!?!?

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

whoo!
let's cheer for haywood, for a brilliant 20-10 night. hope it's the first of many many in his career as a wizard.

Posted by: k-man | February 5, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"The Booth for Hayes switch in the 3rd triggered a 20 point swing."

Yeah boy, who said the Wiz should start Booth?????? ;)

It's time to say goodbye to Hayes as well as "smallball" once and for all. It's not a coinsidence that they started playing better DEFENSE when Booth came in.

Blatche clearly wants to play more, he's improving each minute he plays. He had a heck of a good night(even though he had another lazy pass there).

How about this for a new slogan:

"Go all BIG!"

:)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Cal Booth: 2 points on 1-4 shooting, 1 rebound, 2 dimes, and 2 blocks.

IN TEN MINUTES (!)

Andray Blatche: FOURTEEN points on 5-8 shooting (!!!), 7 rebounds, 1 dime, a block, and perfect 4-4 from the stripe.

IN 17 MINUTES (!)

If Blatche can string another game or two together with lines like this, he ought to move above Arvis in the lineup for sure.

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Re: Gordon for Gasol -- Bulls would be crazy to do this. I just saw him knock around the Blazers (and Juan Dixon in particular) and man, he and Hinrich are sick - fast, physical, relentless. Add in Duhon and they have a great backcourt on defense and offense. I hope the Wizards don't meet them in the playoffs. Hinrich makes Ridnour look like, well, Gil on defense and Hibachi only got 14.

As for this game -- I think Blatche made a good case to start. Consider what he did versus the performance of Never Narvous Jarvis.

Finally, seeing production from rookies like Milsap (drafted in the 2nd) and Josh Boone (who's starting to have some good games as was drafted after Oly) I wonder if underwriting Ukranian basketball with our draft pick this year was the smartest move.

Posted by: Spork | February 5, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Can you say "HiBlatche"! Glad everyone else is getting on the bandwagon now. He is our most talented player on our bench, but somehow can't find any minutes? He's had quite a few more games where it seemed he was going to have games like tonight, but Mr. EJ pulls him for one bad play or perhaps two. Hmmmm...Arenas makes lazy passes all the time. At least one or two a game.

By the way, is Arenas gassed or what? He is playing some listless ball lately and I'm still convinced the ball change has severily affected his shooting percentage.

Go Hiblatche!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 5, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"As for this game -- I think Blatche made a good case to start."

I think it's too soon for that, depends on how he can take pressure. I thought tonight he was used perfectly however.

He should definately see more minutes ahead of Hayes though.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 5, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Didnt get to see it, but looks like an amazing 2nd half.

Career high for Caron! Is that a career high for Andre & Brenden?

Posted by: Oz | February 5, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

No love for Hinrich here, that guy seriously compensates for gaps in his game by just plain playing dirty. He roughed up D-Wade this year and did the same to Gil.

If we meet them in the playoffs and I was EJ, the first thing I would do is send Calvin over to set a moving pick with his elbow.

Posted by: Gack | February 5, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Also, no Gasol!

This team is fine for the time being and this bench can play if given the opportunity. This team just needs more time together. A quick fix is not going to accomplish anything now or in the future. We're one or two years away regardless.

Jamison getting injured may turn into a blessing in disguise. He gets rested for the stretch run and Blatche and the bench can finally develop some confidence.

HiBlatche!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 5, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ray, I only caught parts of the game but I did see the spurt at the end of 3rd quarter and man alive Booth and Blatche were getting after it.
I think the biggest thing with Blatche is to make sure he doesn't try too hard. As for Daniels, I think Eddie sees him as a valuable veteran leader and I agree.
Even though it would nice to have Hughes back I am not sure we wouldn't have a difficult time re-integrating him into the offense. The next question would be can he replace the leadership that Daniels provides. Chemistry has been a key element of this team's success and Wise was right in an earlier column when he said don't mess with it.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 5, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Watched tonight's game at a Hollywood sports bar and I'm on the bandwagon to start Calvin Booth over Arvis. He was great on the defensive end and moved the ball on offense. Wouldn't it be great if Blatche played as well for the rest of the season as he did tonight? Other than a bad pass and a couple of missed put-backs, he played flawlessly. Congrats to Caron for setting a new career high.

Posted by: Bullets Fan in L.A. | February 5, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

You all simply amaze me.....we have the best team that we've had in FOREVER and all you can do is talk about trades. Yes, we have pretty much sucked since Jamison went down (oh mercy, you all wanted to trade him too!) but don't most teams have an adjustment period when one of their impact players gets hurt?

I loved Larry Hughes when he was here and was devastated when he CHOSE to leave...but hey, he's hurt a LOT.

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

Ray, gotta give you credit on the Booth call. Don't know if the same thing would have happened if he was the starter, but you definitely got the sense that the starting 4 just didn't have confidence in Hayes. Their play was uninspired until the EJ timeout and move in the 3rd.

Hayes's stat line was OK tonight. Booth's stat line didn't do his presence justice. Blatche really stepped up tonight. The 30-9 run was something to watch. Great team effort all around.

Posted by: JP | February 5, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think it should depend on matchups, but Blatche or Booth should start instead of Arvis.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 5, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Lisa - AMEN!!!

Trade Daniels for Hughes? So Daniels starts in Cleveland and Larry plays all of what, 20 games???!!! That's a real upgrade.

Posted by: reispace | February 5, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Just checked Wilkipedia - Gil's paternal great-grandfather was Cuban. It's probably a stretch to call Gil Cuban, but, being born in Havana myself, I'll take it.

Posted by: reispace | February 5, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Gilberto! Sounds more fun to say than the french pronunciation of Gilbert. Jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllllllbbbbbbbbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: George Templeton | February 5, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I really like grillbert, reminds me of Q-bert and dilbert, and gilbert, and grilling.

Where the heck is my global warming?
-g

Posted by: greg | February 6, 2007 12:52 AM | Report abuse

"You all simply amaze me.....we have the best team that we've had in FOREVER and all you can do is talk about trades."

We're guys, that's what we do Lisa. :)

- Ray

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

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