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Jordan considering change at center


In the aftermath of last night's Titanic-like overtime loss to the Raptors, Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan said he is considering making a change, one that would drop struggling center Brendan Haywood out of the starting lineup. Jordan didn't say who he'd go with but he ruled out starting Darius Songaila in a "small" lineup so logic dictates that he'd consider going back to Etan Thomas, who won the job out of the preseason and made 21 starts.

"Maybe we make a change, maybe we don't," Jordan said after practice today. "We need someone to be playing at a high energy level and we need that starting tomorrow (at Milwaukee). There will be some dialogue between the coaches and respective parties and we'll make the decision."

Haywood played only 12 minutes friday night and posted no points, four rebounds and no blocks before taking a seat for good 41 seconds into the fourth quarter. In the last four games, Haywood has totaled no points, 13 rebounds and no blocks and his behavior during and immediately after last night's loss was, shall we say, not encouraging and a few of his teammates didn't appreciate the antics.

Look, we all know that Brendan hates coming out of games. He always has. He stalks to the bench, rolling past Jordan like he doesn't exist, mumbles under his breath and takes a seat. Sometimes you would think Eddie was yanking Bill Russell out of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. We saw all of that last night and more, especially Brendan not joining the team in the huddle during timeouts and later walking off the court after a gut wrenching loss smiling and laughing.

I felt that I had to write about it in the context of Jordan cutting Brendan's minutes last night and contemplating a change. Nothing personal. I actually like Brendan, always have. That's why I went out of my way to never choose a side in the whole Brendan/Etan fight drama from earlier in the season. I really could care less.

Brendan didn't appreciate me writing about his actions in today's game story or in the blog I wrote last night. Here's the deal: when I write something that is critical of a player/coach/GM etc., I make a point of making myself available the following day. I've been cussed out a few times in my career but in the large majority of cases, the individual respects that I show up to take any flak and everything turns out to be cool.

That's why I came to practice today with the intent of speaking with Brendan, thus giving himself a chance to comment/vent/explain himself etc. That's just an important part of the job in my opinion. So, one-by-one, the players filed out of the practice court and Brendan came last. He walked by and headed for the lockeroom.

"I need to talk to you Brendan," I said.
"You didn't have to write that stuff you wrote last night," Brendan said. "You made me look bad."
"Brendan, I had to write it. The way you were acting, you made yourself look bad. Fans notice that stuff."
"No man, I'm done with you Ivan."

And that was that. I stick by what I wrote.

Jordan's diplomatic take on the "behavior" issue: "I don't see a lot of it. I hear about it but a lot of it I don't see. I see what's happening on the floor and coaches and trainers see what's happening on the bench. I've gotten to the point where (pause) look, we all know the rules around here. We all know the rules for decorum and behavior and if you're out of line and don't really care, that will be addressed. That's all."

Bottom line: the Wiz need big play from ALL of their big men in these last 11 games.


By Ivan Carter  |  March 31, 2007; 2:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'd have to give Ivan a standing ovation for sticking to his guns and reporting what he sees. A lot of other "reporters" or "reporters on TV" freely admit that they are "in the tank" with some of these professional athletes (ie. MJ, Tiger, Donovan McNabb, etc.) and you know who they/he is. Great work Ivan. You've earned our respect and stay true to what got you where you are today.

On a side note, I think if EJ had a better option that BTH, he would have gone to him a long time ago. It's really "pick your poison" with this team's center options.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, you seem to be walking a thin line between buddying around with the players and then being brutally honest in your criticisms. I don't know how you do it, but keep up the good work.

Posted by: juandixonformvp | March 31, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, you deserve a lot of credit for both reporting what you saw, and giving everyone a chance to confront it head-on. Now if you went to Etan for a comment, you might put yourself in danger! Keep up the good work. This team deserves quality coverage that steers a middle ground between the passionate fans who feel Eddie and Gil can do no wrong and the equally passionate fans who feel the ball that flew out of Ruffin's hand actually came directly from Eddie and Gilbert should have blocked Mopete's shot.

Posted by: arnie | March 31, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

hey Brendan-
people that play well get playing time.

get 10 and 10 or shut up.

Posted by: ladelleacklesfan | March 31, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Ivan Carter will be around much longer than Brendan freaking Haywood. If Ivan was a you-know-what know-it-all like Skip Bayless, then Haywood would have a legitimate beef. However, Ivan seems to be a stand-up guy, and like Wilbon has learned that you have to face the athletes you critique. Haywood's problem is that it's ALWAYS someone else's fault. When he eventually is playing somewhere else, it will be the same old song and dance. Ivan's writing is infinitely better (and more enjoyable) then Haywood's game. I would miss Ivan if he got a new gig, but I wouldn't miss Brendan.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Tuna | March 31, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So, anyone else see a similarity between this and how Kwame Brown acted towards the end? Wonder who Grunfeld can fleece for Haywood. I mean, if he could get Butler for Brown...

Posted by: TG | March 31, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

IC's a pro. BH is not.

Posted by: joe c | March 31, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I think you did a great job Ivan and keep up the good work. I too saw his attitude and have seen it at games before. Brendan should be disappointed in himself and not in you. You are just doing your job an hey if you are man enough to behave in that manner then be man enough to own up to it.

Posted by: WizFanatic | March 31, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to quote Malik from a post this past October:

'I read an assesment of Brenden's game on ESPN.com today that was probably the most accurate I've seen. It said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Soft heart, hard hands - Brenden's got it all backwards".'

Nuff said - keep up the good work IC.

Posted by: JS | March 31, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

FYI, it's "I couldn't care less". Not "I could care less". If you could care less, it means you care.

Posted by: Brian | March 31, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Considering the fact that Brenda is not a good basketball player to begin with, it is an easy call to make that he is gone -- now -- with that kind of sorry, divisive attitude.

But we might get a second string player in a trade for him in the offseason, so you don't cut Brenda entirely right now. Just deactivate him for the rest of the season. Then find some stinky, gullible team desperate for a center who will trade a second or even third string player or a draft pick to us so that we can cut our losses and at least get something for this sorry excuse for a basketball player, Brenda Toddette Haywood.

This sure verifies what Rickster and I had been saying for months. Haywood stinks. Of course, so do all of our other options this season but none stinks as bad as a low talent, bad attitude cry baby named Toddette.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I've just been sitting here trying to figure out what to say and I can't think of anything.

Yeah I know, not like me at all. :)

Jordan needs fired and players need changed.

Actually I can think of one thing: blaming Brendan Haywood for the teams woes is kinda lame, it's not all his fault.

It goes much, much, deeper then that.

Ivan, write what you feel is right. Brendan should be playing better, stats don't lie and you don't have to explain yourself to anyone. Just be true to yourself.

Crazy thing is I went and got in the shower last night thinking the Wiz won. I'm in total shock right now.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 31, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Great work Ivan. It's much appreciated. Any chance you can tell us who the players you couldn't name last night were?

Posted by: Adam Anderson | March 31, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

There is so much depth to this posting that I don't even know where to begin. Brendan plays for the Wizards. Ivan works for the Post. Both are independently owned, right.

YET, for Ivan to do his job, he needs to be "pals" with Brendan. For Brendan to make money, he has to have a rapport with Ivan. But seriously, Ivan, do you have to kow-tow to these guys just to secure your position in the interview queue?

I just don't get it. As a journalist, are you really that limited by who you can and can't criticize? Are you writing for the general public, or to appease a player's ego? This reeks of tabloid journalism and seriously detracts from my opinion of both beat journalists and players in general.

Ivan, I'm not knocking you. I just didn't realize how pampered the players were that your ability to do your job, which really should be to serve US, is hamstrung and results in skewed reports. Best of luck. Brendan, shut up and play. 0 points in how many games!?!

Posted by: Strickland's Hot Dog | March 31, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

EJ Quote: "We all know the rules for decorum and behavior and if you're out of line and don't really care, that will be addressed".

Ivan, thank you for your insights, but please ask EG/EJ "when?". This little saga with Haywood has been going on for years.

The lack of any remedy speaks volumes to the quality of leadership on this team.

Posted by: Izman | March 31, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Just a pet peeve/grammatical correction. You wrote:

"That's why I went out of my way to never choose a side in the whole Brendan/Etan fight drama from earlier in the season. I really could care less."

What you meant to say, and what is correct, is: "I really COULDN'T care less."

Sorry, but this bugs me and it's a really common error.

Cheers!

Posted by: WR | March 31, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

"So, anyone else see a similarity between this and how Kwame Brown acted towards the end? Wonder who Grunfeld can fleece for Haywood. I mean, if he could get Butler for Brown..."

Once huge similarity is that both big guys hardly get any touches. Gotta keep your big men happy. Given that, Kwame never went 100%, and loafed a lot, but his confidence was shattered early on by Doug Collins and MJ. With BTH, he was schooled by the best at UNC, and trained with the best during the offseason, and still no one can figure that out.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"With BTH, he was schooled by the best at UNC, and trained with the best during the offseason, and still no one can figure that out."

It's clearly a respect factor there and to be honest if you had to deal with Jordan on a daily basis knowing he was a lesser coach then Smith would you respect him? Especailly when you don't get along with him?

Saying that I think the poster on the other blog who said Haywood is a 7ft tall man with a 12 year olds mentality is probably pretty close. He needs to grow up, I can't defend that guy anymore.

They can't win with Etan at center either, they really need to address this in the offseason and make a push for Gasol or something.

EG should dangle the Wiz's picks with some bodies and see what happens. They really don't have much cap room anyway and it's not like it's a deep draft.

Thanks for the Navarro update Ivan. I could see them dumping Stevenson and pairing that guy with Gil next year. I think if that were to happen and they pull something for Gasol the Wiz would be pretty amazing next year, but I know I'm dreaming a little bit here. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 31, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

For all of you that want to run Brendan out of town here are some facts:

When Haywood plays 25 minutes or more Wiz are 20-11.

When Haywood plays 20 minutes or less the Wiz are 14-19.

So, if what you desire is a return to the lottery, than yes, by all means get rid of the one player who focuses on defense and setting screens on offense.

It's unbelievable that Haywood could be used as a scapegoat for this teams poor play of late when he hasn't played more than 21 minutes in the last 8 games (the team's record in those games 3-5). What a joke -- Jamison is one of the worst defensive players in the NBA and Gilbert isn't much better, but what's all the talk about after Bosh treated Jamison like a kid in jr. high and TJ Ford made gilbert look absolutely terrible -- a guy who is upset because he isn't getting minutes he deserves. It never occured to EJ to put Brendan on Bosh as he did Ruffin.

I'm sick of the Brendan haters, including EJ. Give him minutes and he will perform and the team will win. Keep him on the bench and it's early exit in the playoffs. Guaranteed.

Posted by: Charlie32 | April 1, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

That's exactly why BTH was upset when Larry left the team, b/c Larry made sure BTH got his touches, and whenever he did, he flourished. This team is better off with a center like Ben Wallace who has no desire to be a part of the offense, and just wants to rebound, play D, and block shots. Unfortunately, none of our guys have the talent that Ben has...nevermind the fact that Ben was traded for Ike Austin and that move was praised when it happened as people thought Les BouleS got the better end of the deal. Oh how wrong they were.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 1, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"For all of you that want to run Brendan out of town here are some facts:

When Haywood plays 25 minutes or more Wiz are 20-11.

When Haywood plays 20 minutes or less the Wiz are 14-19."

That's great, except that now Brenda is tearing the team apart with his whining and the team is losing when he starts. He laughs and smiles when the team loses, right in front of everyone including the team, the fans and the media. The situation has come to a head and must be dealt with now. How would you handle it? Play him more minutes? You've got to be kidding. Send him packing.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 1, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Charlie32 talking some sense.

BTH has been soft and unproductive over the past 4/5 games and his attitude is certainly not helpful for sure. But the story here is, again, Eddie Jordan's inability to manage his players.

The numbers DO speak for themselves. Not only is the W/L very dependent on BTH's playing time but the overall +/- supports the theory that when BTH plays, the Wizards win. He is easily the best 5 on the roster.

BTH has been up and down and certainly down recently, but for the most part he has played well in the recent past and been continually stuck on the bench in the 2nd half....yet many of you would blame BTH for being frustrated by that. It IS POSSIBLE that BTH is exactly right by implying that the team would be winning if he were playing...he's just expressing it poorly.

And that's partly EJ's fault. I've been saying for a while that EJ's inability to define roles for players has seriously impaired team chemistry...and this is a function of team chemistry.

Those of you who think he will be cut or deactivated are nuts. BTH is a reasonably priced 7-footer who has decent or better stats/minute.

Recent struggles go WAY beyond BTH.

Posted by: JJ | April 1, 2007 6:00 AM | Report abuse

If Haywood has reached the point that he's pulled the Antics described by Ivan, then EG has no choice but to pull the trigger and get the guy out of here this offseason. But for God's sake don't release him, servicable bigs are hard to find. That's why EG was able to get an Allstar like "Tough Juice" for Kwame.
I'll agree with Ray, I've defended Haywood in the past, the guy is in a slump right now, but when you factor in the his normal defensive play in the limited minutes he plays he's a useful peice on a playoff caliber team. And he has been working hard to improve, but if he can't except his role on the team and his fued or personal dislike of Eddie Jordan has skewed his ability to be professional in he does need to go.
The NBA is a business, just like any workplace if an employee makes themselve into a bigger pain in the ass then what they are worth it's time for them to go. Sometimes people that you may like personally as a boss just can't fit in with a team. I'm sure that EG has been watching, and I'm also sure that we can manage to include him in package that will net us a gain.
Ray, I've got to admit that I've been thinking that Gasol at center thing myself. Not extremely farfetched, Memphis wants cap releif, we have a bundle of expiring contracts. We could send them a servicable NBA center that has a cap friendly contract to start or backup Oden if they land him. We're for the most part a young team, so giving up draft choices wouldn't hurt in the long term.
I posted awhile back that one of the problems with the Princeton offense is that the skill sets that it requires from your bigs don't often mesh that well with the attributes required to play post D and be a strong rebounder. Gasol has the hands and the face the basket game to come out high in the Princeton, is a good enough passer to pick up the cutters and is nimble enough to flash down the lane catch the ball and finish at the hoop. He also has the post up game that we need to make teams play us honest. And boy is he long, and has turned himself into a tough rebounder. Defensively, he'd be a Wizard,(pardon the pun)if he'd work at it, he could be servicable.
Also wouldn't hurt our pursuit of certain Spanish gaurd to have his Spanish National Teammate on our roster. Unless they get along like Haywood and Thomas. I don't envision that we'd have to let Stevenson go to get Jauan Carlos. Gilbert, Stevenson, and Navarro could form a very solid three gaurd rotation which would leave AD the odd man out. Doesn't Memphis need a point?
About Friday night's loss, I've really got to agree with doclinkin's post 100%. On a night that we didn't shoot well we showed alot of guts to be in that game. Ruffin made a terrible play, but if you really watched the game his defensive play on Bosh got us back in it. At the moment he was about all we had to throw at Bosh when he was going off like that. Remember what Bosh did to Booth in the game up there?
On a night when we had to go 4 on 5 on O for extended periods of the game the guys fought really hard to be in that one at the end. Tough loss, sometimes a blowout is easier to take then one like that. But the effort was there against a team that is 29 and 11 in their last 40 games.
I'm not ready to abandon this team, to some it's easy to forget where it looked like we'd be when MJ drove away in his car that still had IL tags. Speaking of MJ, my favorite commercial that he ever made was the one that showed him missing I think about 30 some shots at the end of a game over his career.
To build a championship team you have to have a core group that has gone through game like this and stuck together. Other then Haywood's antics I haven't seen a bunch of finger pointing going on. As a group they've been sticking together and playing hard. Considering some of the history around here that is a hugh step in getting where they need to go.

Posted by: GM | April 1, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Haywood has played terribly for 4 games. There is no arguing this.

However, prior to the last 4 games, he was the most consistent player on the team on a per minute basis (yeah, I said it). His PER (Hollinger's stat) has never deviated from 15 by more than 2 points in any 10-game stretch of the season. Indeed, Haywood's consistency this year has been truly remarkable. He has been giving 11 points, 11 boards and 2 blocks per 40 minutes all season long. Let's not overlook this.

Arenas, Jamison, Butler, Daniels, and Etan have all had their slumps. Now Haywood is having his.

I don't like the pouting any more than the next guy. I wouldn't read to much into his lack of enthusiasm for his teammates though. This isn't a Kwame Brown situation. Haywood hasn't quit on his team. He's not throwing his teammates under the bus. From what I understand, he gets along fairly well with his teammates.

Haywood is having a feud with his coach. Although that's not great either, it's fairly common in the NBA and it's not an insurmountable problem. Fortunately, I think EJ has earned some credibility here by continuing to start him despite the bad play of late. EJ can now look Haywood square in the eye and tell him that he's giving him an opportunity to play his way through his slump. EJ isn't being unfair to Haywood (like he has been in the past).

Haywood, please get over yourself. I've defended you in the past, but this time you are out of line. EJ has done the right think in curtailing you minutes lately. You aren't playing well. Shape up and go back to playing like you have been all season and everything will be fine.

Posted by: nate33 | April 1, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Kudos for being a professional Ivan. Too bad we can't say that about Haywood.

Posted by: fan | April 1, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

In the end it's all about winning, and you have a better chance with a motivated Haywood who is producing. Given EJ's history with Haywood, maybe he should try positive motivation instead of punishment. Start him, call some plays for him early in the game to get him refocused mentally and into the game. Give him 25-30 minutes and let him show what he can do. The Wiz have limited resources and have to make best use of those they have, so I would give it a try.

Posted by: Mitch | April 1, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

nate33,you're right, his stats are the exact reason we shouldn't throw Haywood under the bus now either. I think he's got more trade value then some would beleive. There were alot of teams sniffing around after the fight to see if he'd be available at the deadline.
I think EG needs to put an end to this in the offseason. Everytime Brendan goes in a slump he gets upset with EJ and his ever changing rotations. There may just be to much water that went under the bridge already for the two to co-exist. Throw in the fact that him and Etan can't seem to stand competing for time and you've got a disgruntled player.
I don't agree with Tom Boswell very often, some of his writing about the Nats being a just couple years away make me beleive he's either on crack or their payroll, but his column back after the fight hit it right on the head with Brendan and Etan. Neither one of these guys is really good enough to be a 35-40 minute a game NBA starter, but together they combine to make a servicable center. Elsewhere, or playing with another center here,they could get buried on the bench and see very limited playing time. In some ways they have had an ideal situation,if either of them played alot more the warts would really show.
The grass is always greener, I'm sure Brendan's agent is telling him that EJ is all that stands between him getting consistantly getting starter's minutes and a big payday. I think EG needs to take a hard look at letting him try somewhere else if he can make a deal to improve the team.
EG needs to queitly say to Haywood that the end of the season and the playoffs are his audition for other jobs and that nobody wants a malcontent. Shut up, play hard, and your chances of getting out of here go way up!

Posted by: GM | April 1, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry Ivan. I think Brendan is done with the whole city. And yes, Comcast did catch his antics coming off the court in the 4th. He was clearly upset and when Eddie tried to give him some dap, he pulled away like a little child. I'm glad you finally shed some light on this situation because for the last two years we the fans have been jumping on Etan for picking on Brendan but now it seems that Brendan might be more responsible than we first was led to believe. And to the Brendan Lovers out there, its easy to look at numbers and say that when he plays x amount of minutes we win. But I bet if you look closer at our record when he plays under 20 I GUARANTEE Brendan was being outplayed by his opponent or he picked up some cheap fouls trying to take a charge rather than going straight up and blocking shots. So why should Eddie leave him in when he plays like crap. And for 4 games now, he's been playing poorly.

Posted by: C.Bell | April 1, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Haywooed has to go. A team that seems to have such a fragile collective psyche can't afford to have such a devisive, negative presence as a key player, esp. when they don't know when he's going to go off. But anyone suggesting the Wizards just release him are kidding themselves. Grunfeld has proven himself a canny dealmaker with the acquisitions of Butler, Stevenson, and Songaila for reasonable costs. A 7 footer with some skill who can walk and chew gum at the same time will always have value in the NBA. Grunfeld will find someone to take him.

But it sure won't be Memphis. Most of the Wizards expiring contracts expire at the end of this season, making it impossible to trade them over the summer. And any deal for Gasol will have to include a high-potential starting caliber young player (which Haywood isn't) and/or high lottery picks, which the Wiz don't have. And if the Grizzlies land the first or second pick, they'll most likely hang onto Gasol to see what the team can do with him paired up with Oden or Durant.

Posted by: kalorama | April 1, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

And what makes matters worse is that this gives Eddie a chance to play his 2 favorite centers more. Ruffin and Jarvis. SIGH.

Posted by: C.Bell | April 1, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"When Haywood plays 25 minutes or more Wiz are 20-11.

When Haywood plays 20 minutes or less the Wiz are 14-19."

Maybe that's because he gets more PT and the team is more successful when he shows up to a game and actually CARES.

Posted by: Aaron | April 1, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"If Haywood has reached the point that he's pulled the Antics described by Ivan, then EG has no choice but to pull the trigger and get the guy out of here this offseason."

First of all, the so called "antics" amount to what -- brushing off his coach who has treated him with no respect for 2 straight seasons; not joining the rest of his team during a timeout; smiling as he walked off the court. You want to ship him out of town for this? All of these things happen on a regular basis in the NBA. Should Haywood be more mature, probably. But did you call for Gilbert's head when he threw a party for himself in the middle of the season and was hungover for 2 games afterward? Now that's immature. The person who needs to be sent packing is Eddie Jordan. He clearly has different standards for different players and the hyprocisy of not only him, Ivan Carter and the fans on this board is infuriating. You want to call BTH out for being frustrated? How 'bout you send Jamison off for giving a less than semi professional effort on defense for an entire season; send Ruffin off for failing to improve as a basketball player after 6 seasons in the league; send Etan off for sucker punching a teammate in practice; and finally, send EJ off for being a terrible game coach.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 1, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "When Haywood plays 25 minutes or more Wiz are 20-11".

Bonnie and Clyde had a better record than this, and we know what happened to them.

In a team environment, 100+ years of experience shows that leaders have to root out the bad apples (even if their bad attitude is not as obvious as Brendan's).

If the organization cannot get what it paid for mistake, then it needs to write it off.

Abe, Susan, EG and EJ have failed Management 101 on this issue. They first need to agree on who's got the conn and then empower that person to get it fixed.

Posted by: Izman | April 1, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, the loss to the Raptors probably actually helped the Wizards' playoff chances. The only way for them to avoid meeting Miami in the first round is if the Atlantic division champ (Toronto) finishes higher than the Southeastern champ (whether Wizards or Heat). In other words, if the Wizards get hot, win the divison, and pull ahead of Toronto, they meet Miami in the first round. If the Wizards tank but Toronto finishes ahead of Miami, the Wizards match up against Toronto. (The other possibility is that the Wizards win the conference but finish behind Toronto, and then they'll get the Bulls -- still preferable to Miami, I think.)

Point is, we should all be Toronto fans for the next couple weeks. I'd definitely like to see the Wizards get their act together for the final five games, but at the moment playoff positioning may be most important.

Posted by: neck of eackles | April 1, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Will today's game be available on my dish or is it blacked out due to ABC broadcasting conflicts? If I lose another weekend Wiz game to this insane policy I will not be happy!

Posted by: Scottsdale Dave | April 1, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

face it, you're not going 2 get any consistent play from either BH, Eton or Calvin Booth. now b4 all u guys run BH out of town, remember u have 2 replace him with another 7 footer. r there any 7 footers better than BH available this summer? who? if the Wizards r ever going 2 advance far n2 the postseason they better get themselves a center and a power forward who can REBOUND & PLAY DEFENSE. without that, this team will go nowhere. Jamison is a free agent this summer. does Ernie retain his services because of his scoring & constant doubles on the boards? or is their someone available who can pick up some of his slack and play some form of defense down low? what about the 2 guys they drafted last year? what is their status 4 next season? do they bang on the boards? i'm tired of watching opponents score easy baskets down low & grabbing critical offensive rebounds, & i'm tired of opponents always seeming to get career or season highs on the Wizards.

Posted by: koolkatt007 | April 1, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not so sure that the price for Gasol is going to be as high as once thought, this is a very deep draft. No one seems to be interested in parting with a lottery pick. The ownership situation in Memphis indicates to me that they are going to be searching for cap releif and looking to retool and save bucks.
Some of the things I've read indicate that this is a year that some vets will change hands at bargain basement prices because of teams seeking cap releif and an unwilligness of lottery bound teams to trade away the potential upside that could be there.
As for expiring contracts, teams sign guys to one year deals and trade them all the time so that the team they trade them to can cut them. Then they're free to try and catch on somewhere, not bad work if you can find it. We're not the most plausiable trade partner for Gasol, but it's not impossible.
There other guys out there, and there's always the possibility of being involved in a three way or four way deal. We've got a smart GM that will find a way to improve, he's been putting the peices together here and I don't think he's done yet.

Posted by: GM | April 1, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

My feeling is this.

Sure you can say Haywood playing more time has helped them win more games. And on average your statistics show that that is true. However, it is stupid to then assume that on a specific night leaving him in makes the team better if he isn't playing well.

I'm sick of reading some fanboy's posts where they dig up some bs stat to prove that being a self centered arse doesn't hurt the team. I mean COME ON! HE is laughing and smiling, cause the team lost cause poor wittle baby didn't get enough time. That needs to be called on the carpet. Of course I want Haywood to bee good. But the fact is, he isn't the heart of this team. And if coach wants to pull him from the game he needs to sit, and be ready to play. Bring it! Get the job done, what else is there? I care about stats, but they DON'T TELL THE WHOLE STORY!

I think this team will be OK, but Haywood needs to be a professional.

Posted by: greg | April 1, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Charlie32, are you Brendan's mom or something? You make it seem like Brendan is Shaquille-freaking-ONeal and the rest of the universe should spin around his precious 25 minutes.

The point that people make is not that Brendan is a total no-talent. The criticism is that he is inconsistent and when he doesn't get his way he's a whiner who adds a very negative element to the team and he has proved this with his play and behavior time and time again. When he's playing well, then great. When he's loafing and it is obvious that he's not getting the job done over a few games, then you take a seat and the coach goes to the next guy to get the production necessary for the team to win. Look Brendan isn;t THAT good. Not so good that the rest of the team ought to coddle his childish whining attitude when he doesn't get his way.

Posted by: pfunk | April 1, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

CHarlie32, if you haven't see the boxscore for today's game it looks like ETan and Calvin did a fine job platooning at center.

So far the Wiz are 1-0 when Brendan gets ZERO minutes.

Posted by: pfunk | April 1, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Brendan reads this, and taks heed with an open mind. It's not hard to improve my friend. Improve your coordination by hiring a ballet instructor, and play racquetball. This will greatly improve your foot work over the summer. Hire a personal trainer you specializes in bodybuilding, and add ten to 15 pounds of muscle. Hire a shooting coach to work on the little things that make big men excel. Maybe contact Hakeem Olajuwan and spend two weeks with him working on post moves. You're still young, and plenty of areas that you can make improvements. Last but not least, lose the attitude, and let the improvements in your play speak for itself. Your future is still bright, but only if you see the light.

Posted by: GUNNER | April 1, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

You know, it's okay to have a slump. It happens to pretty much all of the players at one point or another. And there are times when they will have to sit on the bench in order not to be a liablity to the team. It's Brendans attitude that is the problem. True, Etan may not be the best center there is but he has a lot of class and you never see him react the way that Brendan has. You did not see or hear him whine or moan when he came back from his injury and Brendan continued to start. He sat on the bench until his number was called and then came in and played to the best of his ability. While on the bench, you could see him actively cheering the other players on. I am not a Brendan hater, but this has been his MO for quite some time. Don't forget the way he acted when they released Chucky Atkins. I really believe that in his heart he is not a Wizard and would love to be traded. I say if that is the case, give him what he wants. And as for EJ, he needs to work on his player rotations because sometimes they just don't make any sense which I could see as somehow being part of the problem with this team.

Posted by: anon | April 1, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe all this EJ has to go stuff. I suffered through Wes, Hamilton, Gar Heard, Kevin Loughery and others. We finally have a consistent playoff team and an excellent GM. This team still has less talent than alot of teams and is still winning. No legit 5's and 4's (I love AJ, but hes a tweener). They are soft and un- athletic. Ernie will make the right moves but it takes time. Only bad move was letting Juan go and replaceing him with Daniels. AD was a great 3 pt shooter in Seattle but it seems his skills have diminished. Juan is high energy off the bench that we sorely lack. Don't know if EJ is the one to lead us to the Finals but he certainly has done well enough to be given more time and better players. Our bench is awful. When Brenda is traded to another team we will see what kind of player she really is. To be laughing after a heart-breaking loss is disgusting. It's time to go

Posted by: Bullets Fever 78 | April 1, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"Not so sure that the price for Gasol is going to be as high as once thought, this is a very deep draft."

The price for young 7 footers who can play is always pretty high. The price for a 7 footer just entering his prime who can get you 20, 10, 3, and 2 is going to be very high, regardless of how deep the draft is. But, like I said, it all depends on where Memphis's pick ends up whether they'll even still be interested in trading. In any case, it's exceedingly unlikely that the Wiz have naywhere near enough to make that deal.

Posted by: kalorama | April 1, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Great Job Ivan! The Wiz fans truly appreciate your honesty, even at the cost of upsetting a player.

Posted by: Mike | April 2, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Ivan: Did you give Haywood a chance to explain the body language you describe in a previous blog entry before you published it?

Posted by: wondering | April 2, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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