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Butler update

Caught up with Caron Butler after tonight's win at Indiana and he talked about his decision to pull himself out of the game early in the second quarter. Butler has been bothered by tightness in his left knee since getting kicked just above the knee last Wednesday night at Atlanta.

"I tried to gut it out. Eric (athletic trainer Eric Waters) told me to give them the word if it was feeling right at any time. I hit a shot and the shot felt great, the rhythm felt great but then it stiffened up on me, stiffened up a lot and when I sat on the bench for a minute, it really stiffened up and I just called it."

Butler did not rule himself out for Saturday's home game against the Hornets but combined with what he said on Monday when he first threw out the idea of shutting it down for awhile until the knee gets better, I have to think that he'll take at least a couple of games off and get his body right.

"However long it takes, it takes," he said. "I'm not going to be out there hurt and hurting my team. You take things personally and the team is on a losing streak and you know what your value is so you want to go out there and help but unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish out. I'm just happy we won."

The Wizards clearly needed this one and the got it but man, that Indiana team is struggling. They've lost 11 straight and from what I saw tonight, it could be a minute before they get a win. Jermaine O'Neal was back and a had a solid game but Jamaal Tinsley was out, Jeff Foster was out, Marques Daniels was out and the rest of the Pacers played like strangers just thrown together for a pick up game. The Wizards have another winnable game Saturday night at home against the Hornets though that team is far better than the Pacers and then the tough part hits: a five game roadie that begins Tuesday night in Portland.

The good news is that Gilbert appears to be getting the hibachi going again, Jamison has been rolling again and the bench looked good tonight behind Darius Songaila (5-5, 12 points), AD (10 points, 9 assists) and Jarvis Hayes (7 points, five boards). If Caron misses some games, this team is going to need those guys badly.

They have to win Saturday and then go no worse than 2-3 on the roadie though considering how the Clippers, Sonics and Blazers are going, it's not too much to ask for 3-2.

I had a great seat right by the Wiz bench tonight and I liked what I saw. Guys were encouraging one another, they were all into the game and Eddie was especially intense. I thought he was going to pick up at least one T after a couple of calls went against the Wiz in the first quarter. And I even saw Brendan and Etan chatting it up while sitting next to one another in the second half.


By Ivan Carter  |  March 14, 2007; 11:08 PM ET
 
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Next: MVP Is Nash's To Lose

Comments

"The Wizards have another winnable game Saturday night at home against the Hornets...."

Ivan, stop saying that stuff. I'm serious. It's winnable but they always play down to other teams and the Hornets always seem to play the Wiz well. The good thing is that other bad teams are starting to mail in games because all they want to do is end the season like Indiana did. What a horrible effort by the Pacers.

"The good news is that Gilbert appears to be getting the hibachi going again..."

I've noticed the last few games that Arenas feeds off of Jamison. When Jamison gets hot, it's almost as if Gil is playing "horse" or something. It's like he feels like he's being challenged so he plays better. Crazy.

I'm not making any more comments about Arvis. I know in my heart they still feel like he will be the starter next year when Stevenson leaves. What a mistake that will be.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 15, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Why deactivate Blatche if Caron is down? I know that Blatche is mainly a 4, but he can play the 3 and we don't have many options at the 3 except Jarvis Hayes while Caron is out. The only explanation I can think of is that Ruffin is back so EJ thinks he doesn't need Blatche to play the 4 or 5. For all EJ's strengths as a coach, one thing he cannot comprehend is utilizing his big men. We need Blatche -- that is so obvious. He can play all three front court positions, he can grab rebounds, and he blocks shots. He also handles better than any big we've got and he has reduced his turnovers to almost nothing. Man, I am stunned.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I love Caron. Feel better soon, CB.

Hopefully, BTH and ET were discussing how they can knock opponents to the floor! Call up my favorites - Jeff Ruland and Rick Mahorn - if you need a "how-to".

I hope during the time CB has off, Andray gets some run.

And I hope Darius steps up like he has been doing.

I hope EJ is sly like a fox!

I hope . . .

Posted by: Red | March 15, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Les Boules won a game that they were supposed to win. Great. Looking at the box score, they almost hit their season average for assists and they outrebounded the Pacers. Always a good recipe for a win. Les Boules really lucked out that Jamal Tinsley was out though, as he scored 37 against Minn. the previous game.

Don't want to beat a dead horse, but no one can figure out why AB did not get in the game. Possibly reason is his lack of defensive ability or physicality agains Murphy, O'Neal, or Dunleavy. Box score shows that he's not even listed. Maybe it was a behind the door disciplinary issue.

Also, to all the Jarvis bashers, he had a decent game, and hit some critical rainbow jumpers with 5 rebs to go with it. Booth did not play either. Booth, if he's not signed for next year, might leave, and so might AB. Ruffin is definitely more physical compared to Boothe

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I had great seats last night behind the Wizards bench and overheard Haywood's and Thomas's conversation:

Thomas: "Can you believe Ruff is getting this much run?"
Haywood: "You should fight him."
Thomas: "No, he's tougher than you."
Haywood: "And he has no hair to pull. Good call."
Thomas: "I'm thinking of asking the team to list my height as 6'6" so I get more run."
Haywood: "Smallball, baby!!"
Thomas: "Hey, check out Carter. He's always talking smack about what a great shooter he is."
Haywood: "What a punk. If he and Ruff had a shooting competition, I'd lay the money on Ruff."

Posted by: Sean | March 15, 2007 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Ivan & Mike - I am also chiming in on the AB deactivation? What's the deal with that. Are the Wiz trying to "stash" him (until they lock him up to a long-term deal) so he does not "show to much" and get a crazy contract offer from another team? This is crazy how he is deactivated when they knew Butler was not 100%. Hall was still deactivated. Is EJ trying to get Arvis another chance or what?????????

DC Man88 I have to disagree with you and join in on the Arvis watch. Remember a fellow the Bullets (mainly Unseld) use to keep around waiting for him to "blossom", but he never did? That fellow's name was Calbert Cheaney. I am not comparing their games but one thing I noticed about the both of them. All the talent in the world, but they lacked that one main intangable that you need to be good; AGGRESSIVENESS!

Arvis has a real pretty "j" but it never hits!!!!! (Clank, Clank, Thud....everyone position yourself for a "long" rebound because it is starting the opposing team break because the miss bounced out all the way to the halfcourt line). He needs to stop releying on it so much and take it to the rack with authority.......

I think Mike Hall would show more with those minutes EJ gives to Arvis. Thoughts???

Posted by: mikie | March 15, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Thomas: "I'm thinking of asking the team to list my height as 6'6" so I get more run."

I thought they already did. :P

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 15, 2007 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Mikie, here are some distinctions between Jarvis and Dogbert Cheaney.

Jarvis: not a starter; Dogbert a starter.

Jarvis: coming off 2 knee surgeries for cracked kneecap and tendon issue & hurt his back during a Nov. game; Dogbert, no such knee issues.

Jarvis: not getting many/any touches because of the big 3; Dogbert, was one of the primary offensive focuses on the team as a starter.

Jarvis: not college player of the year winner; Dogbert, player of the year winner and unanimous first team all american as a a senior, big ten all time scoring leader.

I can see why Unfeld waited for Dogbert, but I think if/when Jarvis gets more consistent PT, he'll do better. I'm not a psycho Jarvis fan like people here who are psycho Arenas fans, but for sure, you can't blame a benchwarmer for Les Boules' woes. Blame the big money big 3, and the coach for that matter.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

The Blatche thing is the real issue here. There is no reason he shouldn't be getting at least 14-18 minutes a game at this point. He showed enough when people were hurt to merit some playing time at least as much as Ruffin or Arvis.

Posted by: George Templeton | March 15, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

DC Mann88 - Great points on the comparisions. I will give you that on the great points, however I still think by giving Jarvis more minutes you are still going to get what you are seeing now, not much aggression or sense of urgency (contract year I would have thought would have been motivating enough).

As you noted, the two knee surgeries were huge in slowing down Jarvis progress, so yes I have to take that into consideration before I start roasting him. Jarvis seems like a good dude and as a true Bullets/Wiz fan I should cut the dude some slack.

However, my concern is if Jarvis is not "mentally" healed from these injuries where it is affecting his aggressiveness, he should be sat down and given time to regain his "swag" if he ever had one.

In the meantime, Blatche should be given those minutes, not deactivated, along with a little of Mike Hall (to see what he can do). Again, good points on Jarvis and I will now take that into account before I get P.O'ed about how long EJ is playing him in the future.

Posted by: mikie | March 15, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

EJ said he's cutting rotation down to 10 for the last part of regular season (and for playoffs). just my personal opinion, I think he should be expanding his options to 12, so as not to fatigue his main guys.

Posted by: rickgonz | March 15, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. I think one more thing that would benefit Jarvis, along with other players, is if we had a guard who could set people up. Jarvis plays above the rim, and if we had someone who could penetrate and dish, that would mean a huge difference for him and his output. If you have a game where AJ and Agent gilby are taking 40+ shots, then there's not enough touches to go around.

Given that, I think what hurts Jarvis is his tendency to just hang out in the wing and loft up 3 pt bombs. It makes him look aloof. But, I think he might have to do that because Agent Gilby drives to the hole a lot looking to score, and often times, the 2 guys who are not part of the offense are told to clear out, hang out in the wing, and wait for bail out passes (ie. like Paxson, Kerr, etc.) or get back on D.

Jarvis is a small forward, not a shooting guard, and his game is not in creating his own shot. Few small fowards actually have that ability, and those that are successful get the ball a heckuva lot (ie. Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, etc.). I think Jarvis needs to work on his rebounding if he's not going to get the touches.

Jarvis might not have the confidence after his injuries until next year. With Blatche, I think EJ sees him as a defensive liablity. He can't be in the same game with the Big 3 b/c who would play D or box out against the big guys? At 6-11, Blatche is rail thin, and typical of guys who have no college experience and fresh out of high school, they are mostly offensive players. Blatche will need to bulk up before he will get any signficant PT. Maybe come out and show D instead of showing that he can score.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

...and nobody mentions Songaila?

Posted by: joe c | March 15, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey IC,

How about some love for Antonio Daniels. Wasnt even mentioned in your article. He went 2-2 and 6-6 at the line, but had 9 assists in 26 minutes, and even 3 rebounds. Plus, he had that key steal/dunk.

I know everyone here hates small ball, but I really like him playing the point in the late 3rd/early 4th quarter, with Gil playing the 2. AD is aggressive at the right times but knows when to pull back as well. Doesnt turn the ball over much. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a traditional point guard, but I really like AD in the game, and I know he will be important down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Posted by: the cheat | March 15, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Folks, These are notes from the
Suns v. Mavs game about Stoudemire:

"He was unstoppable," D'Antoni said. "He had a little sore back, a little muscle cramp or something in the first half. ... But, man, did he rise to the occasion in the fourth quarter."

Soudemire - 41 points...Now that's what I'm talkin about! That guy plays like the players of old - you play thru it.

Wiz fans...keep that in mind when ya keep discussing & makin excuses...41 points with back spasms and cramps!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Jarvis has not played above the rim since his first knee injury. Seriously, when was the last time you saw Jarvis dunk? The surgeries and injuries have zapped Jarvis of his explosiveness -- without it, he has minimal value. He should play because we don't have many other options but he should not be starting -- he got his chance and blew it.

Why not slide AJ over to the 3 and give Songalia and Blatche more time? AJ gets beat on defense no matter who he covers and at least Blatche could possibly block a shot of a player blowing by AJ. AJ plays defense like a Spanish bull fighter. He's very good on offense, though still prone to talk a few ill-advised shots -- relies a little too much on the 3-point shot.

I liked the AD, GIL, DeShawn lineup. That will be okay if you play Songalia/Blatche at the 4 and Etan/Brendan at center. Go small at the SF, not the cente position. You could even move Songalia over to the center position and have AJ play 4 if you wanted a very perimeter based team with quickness and passing. Never, ever should AJ play the center position.

Lastly, Ruffin should not be playing. Does EJ have any idea how difficult it is to play offense 4 on 5?

Posted by: Chad | March 15, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

DC Mann88 - I am going to have to disagree with you on that assestment of Blatche not being able to play some "D". First of all, we Blatche first started getting some minutes back in the day he did come in looking to score. But after AJ went down and he started to get signaficant minutes, he ended up becoming a "rebounding machine". He clearly started focusing on his defense and rebounding and he did a darn good job at it to.

On the post game show, David Branch asked Walt Williams and Ed Tapscott who would they have in their "rotation" if they were coaching the Wizards. Surprise, both of them said Blatche because of his "length" and rebounding ablilites. That is coming from a former player and a former GM and coach. All they did was confirm what I already knew.

Check some of the box scores and do the math on his rebounds vs. minutes played the last few weeks AJ was out. It was pretty good for a "rail thin" player. He blocks shots and alters shots when he is in there. Is that not defense?

You have people who are not "rail thin" with "man" bodies who can not block out, grab rebounds or block shots. It is not the "size" that makes you a great defender. It is having that ability to "anticipate" and position yourself in the right spots on the floor when you are playing defense. This can not be taught, it is a gift and my man Blatche has it.

Truth be told, the way I see it is EJ or Management do not want Blatche "showing to much" more where he might get a crazy contract offer from another team (I believe he is a restricted free agent at the end of the year. They have Stevenson they want to resign without breaking the bank along with Jarvis Hayes and this past year's number 1 pick who is playing in Europe at the moment. A crazy offer by another team, like the Bobcats, could cause some serious "cap issues" for the Wiz if they match.

Posted by: mikie | March 15, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ruffin is only 6-8, but he did play decently against O'Neal yesterday. I mean, the guy used up his 5 fouls in only 15 minutes. He's not afraid to mix it up, and Les Boules might need his fouls if they decide to play hack-a-shaq.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Does EJ have any idea how difficult it is to play offense 4 on 5?"

No, EJ's only played and coached basketball at the highest level for his entire life, so naturally he doesn't know the inside secrets to basketball that are so obvious to all of the geniuses on this blog.

Of course you can't be a good basketball player if you don't score. That's why all of Dennis Rodman's teams sucked so much while they were winning championships. And don't get me started on that loser Bill Russell. That clown only averaged 15 a game and people treat him like he's some kind of god because of all that winning and stuff, while true greats like Dominique Wilkens (nearly 25 a game career) never get the respect they deserve.

Posted by: burke | March 15, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Are we sure that DCMan88 isn't really Arvis?

Posted by: San Diego | March 15, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"No, EJ's only played and coached basketball at the highest level for his entire life, so naturally he doesn't know the inside secrets to basketball that are so obvious to all of the geniuses on this blog."

"Inside secrets?"

Basketball is NOT rocket science, geeze.

And "NO" Jordan doesn't not know any secrets at all because if he did he would be a better coach. He gets outcoached nearly every time he steps on the floor.

Basketball is a game of "match-ups." The Miami game was a perfect example of this when Haslem shot right over Jamison to win. That play was designed to do that and it worked.

Miami plays GREAT team defense...IFFFF you let them get set. The Wiz had them on the ropes until Thomas and Hayes came in the 4th and slowed the pace down. You can't let them do that and they gave the game away.

And to everyone knocking Andray, yeah he's young(and thin) but he was STILL getting double-doubles in the spare time he played. He also took on KG and fared very well. The guy is going to be a beast one day, but it might not be with the Wiz if Jordan keeps sitting him on the bench.

You would rather have Arvis in there??? Get used to it because he's probably going to start in Caron's place now.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 15, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

No, I'm not "Arvis." As I've said once, I'm Michael Wilbon. If you don't like it, or don't like me, you know where I work.

Andray did well against KG during the first game, but all but disappeared during the second game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270225016

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

great post Ray. I agree with you all the way...... Matchup problems have been one of our bigger problems. I still like Eddie as coach, but he needs to work on his "substitution" skills some.

Again, I want him to stay as coach because he did turn this thing around for us. Before his arrival, this is the time I was usually looking at ping balls and the NIT and NCAA tournment to see who we were going to draft the next year.

Posted by: mikie | March 15, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or do more and more of the posts here seem to be coming from the same computor?
I don't know about anybody else, but it's enough to make me want to Gack up my lunch!

Posted by: GM | March 15, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad for Caron's parents that they drove 7 hours from Racine, Wisconsin to see their son leave the game early.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Andray, yeah he's young(and thin) but he was STILL getting double-doubles in the spare time he played."

He's had one double-double this year, so that's exaggerating a bit.

Actually, I like seeing Andray in there because he's fun to watch. However, I can understand that there's a tradeoff to be evaluated between what he brings in raw talent, and what he costs in inexperience. And that inexperience gets magified down the stretch, and especially in the playoffs.

There are two sides to every coin. You see not playing Andray as stunting his growth; I think it could be exactly the opposite: the Wizards don't want to make the same mistake that was made with Kwame by putting too much on him before he's ready for it.

Posted by: burke | March 15, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd hate to see Andray get stuffed into the hoop by Shaq like how Dikembe was during the Lakers-Sixers finals.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to second whoever posted that they liked the 3 guard set with Gil, AD and Stevenson. Stevenson has enough size and speed to guard most decent 3s in the league. As long as they play dont play Jamison at the 4, I think its a good lineup.

Songalia/Blatche at the 4 and BTH/Etan at the 5.

Posted by: the cheat | March 15, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

DC Man88 is actually Clewiston88, the troll from the ESPN Wizards board. He's really a Heat/Wade fan and he hates the Wizards. He is not Michael Wilbon, who would not write for free on this blog or anywhere for that matter.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

You must be a serious loser, wasting time writing anonymously about me and worrying about who I am on other boards.

I may be your dad too, but your mom couldn't afford the DNA test to see which of the 9 other guys had the winning sperm when she was ovulating 18 years ago.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 15, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I AM A FRECKIN MORON WHO LOSES IT @ A MOMENT'S NOTICE. I CAN"T GO MORE THAN 5 WORDS WITHOUT USING INVECTIVES.

I NEED ANGER MANAGEMENT HELP...PLEASE!!!

SINCERELY,

Clewiston88, ER I MEAN DC Man88

Go HEATS! er I MEAN WIZ!

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 16, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Fake DC Man88,

so so weak.....snore...

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 16, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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