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Wizards Let Down Their Guard Again

ATLANTA - I don't know why the Wizards have to play to the level of their competition all the time. To be taken seriously as one of the elite teams in the East, they have to beat bad teams on the road - and they have to destroy bad teams that are shorthanded. The Hawks were missing all-star Joe Johnson and they are a lousy team with him. Last night was a time to pounce. It was a time to stomp. But the Wizards repeatedly find a way to let up, loosen that grasp and give their opponents life.

It's funny, because before the Wizards lost to the Hawks last night, I told my friend Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that this game was going to be closer than he thinks because the Wizards don't play well against teams who are missing their stars. Smith laughed and told me he was ready to write another 'Hawks get blown out' story. After the game, I was like, "Hate to say I told you but I told you."

I actually was wrong. Although the Wizards lost by three points, the score was not indicative of how badly they were outplayed in the second half. The Hawks led by 11 in the final minutes, which hardly made any sense.

These kind of losses cannot continue to be the norm for the Wizards. They've already lost to Denver without Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets without Chris Paul, David West and Peja Stojakovic, the Miami Heat without Dwyane Wade, the Memphis Grizzlies without Pau Gasol, the Houston Rockets without Yao Ming.

Most of those teams - with the exception of Memphis - are in the playoff chase. The Hawks were missing three starters and do themselves no good if they win (the Phoenix Suns get their pick if they don't finish in the top three in the lottery), so the Wizards had to win that game. With Shaquille O'Neal playing like a man possessed since Dwyane Wade went down, the Wizards cannot punt away games, because the Heat is breathing down on them right now.

I can remember how Eddie Jordan once used the term "harvest our nuts" when he was describing the games the Wizards needed to win in case they hit a rough patch. The Hawks were a "harvest the nuts" game. These kind of losses come back to bite you in the long run, especially in what is quickly becoming a tightly contested race in the Southeast Division.


By Michael Lee  |  March 8, 2007; 8:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Two Heartbreakers

Comments

Zaza Pachulia? Are you kidding me? How does the team not have an answer for defending this stiff?

You could find someone at the rec center that would play harder D, and with definitely more pride when you are getting lit up like that.

This team just has no heart. No killer instinct. Am I jumping to conclusions? We just lost to the HAWKS.

Posted by: AV | March 8, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Not just the Hawks, but the undermanned Hawks (sans Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, and Speedy Claxton). Hawks were on a 6 game losing streak until the beat Les Boules last night. Ouch.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 8, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

can someone explain to me how the hawks shot 42 free throws to our 20????

Bad reffing in this game....

but how many freakin' wide open shots did we miss in the second half????....7-10, that killed us because the hawks just packed their defense and dared us to hit a jumper (which we couldn't do...)

we have to pull off both of this games coming up this weekend (otherwise we are going to turn into another punchline...'can't even hold off the heat without their best player')

Posted by: guinness4health | March 8, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say this but seeing the way the Cavs, Pistons, and especially the Heat are now playing, we don't stand a chance.

Posted by: Lisa | March 8, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

guiness-4health,

Don't look at the free throw discrepancy as a reason they lost. It's misleading. Refs called a good game for the most part.

The Hawks were about to blow out the Wizards towards the end of the 4th quarter as time was expiring, but Les Boules went on a fouling spree to try to catch up because some of the Hawks players were missing free throws.

That's the main reason why the final score didn't look so bad, but with 3 minutes left, the Hawks were up by almost 10 points. Hawks were trying to play keep away while Les Boules were trying to steal one. Wizards were assessed 9 more PF's, but 6 fouls were called against Les Boules with less than 3 minutes in the 4th quarter.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 8, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic. Pathetic on all accounts. I can't express how pitiful that performance was. Of course the Wizards find a way to make any random scrub a star...Pachulia?? Are you kidding me?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

And the Wizards pay these guys how much a year? After year?

And we pay how much for our tickets, cable, TIVO, Direct TV, etc. year after year? And we gotta be on our knees prayin that they decide to come to play night after night? For what they get paid - couldn't they decide to bring it everynight?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

i said this on a previous entry but i will say it again.


Id rather lose the game on the road against phoenix or the home game against dallas and beat these teams that we are supposed to beat.

Posted by: riskus | March 8, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Mike,

Have you asked Eddie why one night the Wizards will move the ball around with crispness and vigor one night and then barely pass it and go into 1-on-1 stagnant ball the next? After recording 29 assists against Toronto, last night's performance made no sense.

Posted by: George Templeton | March 8, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Hawks game last night was a Florida Evans moment: "Damn, damn, damn!"

Consistently inconsistent. I, too, can only wonder why they play up or down to the level of their competition and why they allow bench players to have career nights or look like the second coming of MJ.

Glad the NCAAs are right around the corner...

Posted by: iceberg | March 8, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This team gets bumped in round one of the playoffs, if they make the playoffs. What a loser effort they put forth. They still, after almost three years, haven't learned how to win. EJ needs to get control of this team and start holding all these guys accountable.

Posted by: Colin | March 8, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

People, its one game. Every team has a let down game in the season. The Wiz are 4-11 on back to back away games this season. Remember this team beat Phoneix, LA, Detroit on the road. They have harvested some nuts. This is what they need, its time to get serious about the stretch run... NO MORE LET DOWNS. Tough west coast trip coming up.

Posted by: TBone | March 8, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I really really would like to hear exactly what EJ tells this guys in the hurdle during yesterday game. 'Cos the guys on tv (Steve and Phil) kept saying all night how the Wizards couldn't afford to overlook the hawks. Yet, that's precisely what happened. I know sometimes you lose focus but to do it when you can see it coming is just plain stupid. I am sure they'll bounce back and wallop the no good Knicks but loses like this say a lot about this team.

Posted by: Bart | March 8, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

they could be only 1 game up on miami after sunday

Posted by: riskus | March 8, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"The Hawks were a "harvest the nuts" game."

Yeah, that IS the bad part. Good grief, I'm agreeing with Mike Lee. ;) ;)

"This team gets bumped in round one of the playoffs, if they make the playoffs."

Chill people, they had one bad game AFTER playing the night before and ON THE ROAD with people still getting thier wind from injuries. The Wiz looked tired.

And I'm as critical as anyone in here, you know?

Now, my only only criticism of last nights game is that the Wiz had the chance to pull away and didn't. They still need that "killer" attitude.

The Wiz will be fine, relax. Watch in a couple weeks everyone is going to be on the bandwagon again. People just last week were saying they couldn't beat Toronto and look at what happend. The Wiz won like 11 of the last 14 or something against Atlanta, it was bound to happen eventually.

I think Jordan needs to figure out who can play quality minutes on those back to backers consitently. But then again this IS Jordan I'm talking about. ;)

Home court is critical for the Wiz in the playoffs to go anywhere. If they give that up it will be tough for them.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 8, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I really think Eddie is trying his best to get to these guys, but after the Raptors win, I think they're just too impressed with themselves and "what they can do" if they want to take other teams seriously. Maybe towards the end of the Hawks game, it wasn't a good thing that the almost caught up.

If they had caught up and won against the Hawks last night, it would have given them the false sense of security that they can do it anytime. A team with a lot of good individual players is not good because each player will always have the mindset that "hey, I did my job by putting up the numbers.....not my fault that we lost...."

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 8, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Was I seeing things, or did the second team + Gil do much better last night than the first unit? Of course they were going against the ATL "Bench" but then so were the starters. I was not able to watch the whole game, and only saw parts of the first half and some of the third quarter - so let me know if my impression was wrong.
by the way for whatever it's worth, ATL only played 9 players last night.

Posted by: rickgonz | March 8, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Rickgonz, there wasn't much of a second team. Blatche played 6 minutes, Jarvis played 10 minutes, and Mason played 6 minutes.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270307001

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 8, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

This is a game the Wiz should have won. I am not getting down on them but dagg, can they not play with the same level of intensity for two games?!!?? They are going on a rough road trip and they really needed all of the wins they can get since Miami is only three games behind. I love them to death but last's night play was incredibly sloppy during the second half. The turnovers and rushed shots killed us. What happened to the passing until you got an open shot like they did against Toronto? What happened to the assists? Butler, Stevenson, Haywood, all of them not protecting the ball. Sloppy and errant passes. I truly hope the Wiz don't play like that agains the Knicks because they have also been winning lately. If they want to be taken seriously and considered an elite team, then we can't have losses like this. I would like to see them win a string of games impressively for once. Just for once.

Posted by: Frustrated Fan | March 8, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It was an EJ lose!!!!

Yeah, the second unit + Arenas played pretty well. Well enough to not play them again in the second half with the starters struggling. EJ really is an idiot coach sometimes. The team is inconsistent bc his coaching is inconsistent!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | March 8, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

They hadn't taken Atlanta seriously all year not sure why last night should be any different.

11/28 Win 96-95
3/2 Win 93-92
3/7 Loss 97-100

Has anyone seen Haywood? His been M I A the past few weeks.

Posted by: dc | March 8, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. I'm sick and tired of the 'they get tired on the second of back-to-back games on the road' excuse. Same with the 'playing on Sunday afternoon' excuse. Yet another game where their lack of poise & composure cost them. I used to blame their immaturity, but I'm starting to blame the coaching. When inconsistency gets to be a pattern, you have to look at the coaching.

Posted by: reispace | March 8, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert did not seem agressive about his shot, especially from the outside, the whole second half. When we were down in the 4th he needed to see if the Hibachi would cook and he didn't.

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | March 8, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"When inconsistency gets to be a pattern, you have to look at the coaching."

Eeeeeyup. :)

Been saying it all year and that's why I don't believe what Jordan is trying to sell anymore.

Teams take the form of thier coach in any sport.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 8, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Some of the blame has to be put on Eddie and his staff. A coach has to be able to motivate his players when there's no reason for them to be motivated. Gibbs used to do a great job of this during his first reign - I wonder what's missing here.

Posted by: Eric | March 8, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to welcome Anthony Johnson to the Luscious Harris All-Stars.

He joins Eddie House and Brostjan Nachbar of the Nets on this year's team. Congrats Anthony! Now please get shin splints.

Posted by: Bernard King | March 8, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Ray, Its hard to swallow the: "
Its only one game,it was a back to back & on the road" stuff cus when you watch Cleveland/Miami/Golden State
76'ers all play "on the road, missing players, playing back to back games
& WIN!! Thats why it sucks!

And its NOT just one loss..its a pattern of ineptness - being too cavalier - too cocky - so much so that Zaza(as in Gabor) racked up more assists and rebounds than our franchise players. Thats what sucks

What are we talkin about here? Playoffs?

Maybe they'll kick their game up a notch if it gets televised? Gil sure will
Come to think of it...
Yep boys & girls - that just might be the trick for this team - televise their games. They love it.

just thought about Butler's words at
All Star: "Wow, it reminds me of playin in LA. When we played - it's always movie stars, televised our games. It was great! I love it. wish it could be like this all the time." Ernie - get the games televised.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Reispace, I totally agree with you and with the last poster. I am sick of the excuses too! All of the other teams can win back to back and do win back to back games. They also win on Sundays. I just could not believe the turnovers. They would steal the ball and then either throw it away with an errant pass, loose control while dribbling or shoot up a brick. Last night's game was God awful and they are going to be one and done if they make the playoffs. Time out for saying it is only one game. At this point in the season, we can ill afford to give away games like we did last night. Last question, what was up with the lineup? Sometimes, I think the wrong players were in the game at times. You can't put the starting five back in at 5 minutes and always expect them to pull it out.

Posted by: Frustrated Fan | March 8, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

OK, so far we have "Frustrated Fan" (is that your real name?) and "Colin" down as having the Wizards one and done in the playoffs.

Anyone else agree?

I want to make sure I have complete list of people who need to ridiculed come the end of April.

Posted by: burke | March 8, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Has anyone seen Haywood? His been M I A the past few weeks?"

Haywood's per-minute averages over the past 10 games are actually slightly better than for the season. On a per-40 minute basis over the last 10 games, he is averaging 13 points, 10 boards, 2.3 blocks and 59% shooting.

For the season, he is averaging 12 points, 11 boards, 2.0 blocks and 58% shooting per 40 minutes.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Some more Haywood-related stats: Over the course of the game, Zaza played 25 minutes matched up against Haywood and 14 minutes matched up against others.

In 25 minutes against Haywood, Zaza managed: 11 points (FG:5/7 FT:1/1), 8 boards, 3 assists and 3 turnovers. In 14 minutes against Others, Zaza managed: 16 points (FG:5/10 FT: 6/8 ), 4 boards, 1 assist and 1 turnover.

If you project his production over 40 minutes, Zaza was on pace for:

vs Wood: 17 pts, 13 rebs, 5 ast and 5 to
vs Othr: 45 pts, 11 rebs, 3 ast and 3 to

Season avg: 17 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast, 3 to

Zaza had a modestly above-average night against Haywood. He destroyed Booth and our "small ball" lineup.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

both posts above made by me.

Posted by: nate33 | March 8, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think EJ was trying to spell Haywood a bit on the 2nd night of a back to back. considering the back spasms, and Etan's absence, I don't think that is a bad strategy. I think last night this team had the look of a team trying too conserve some energy and get ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately I think they looked a little too far ahead, and forgot to get the win.

I did get the feeling that Roger mason picked up the tempo when he plays with gil. Booth had some decent plays too. For whatever reason they stopped running the offense in the 2nd half, and that is what cost them the game.

Sucks, but i'm not ready to pack it in just yet. Go wiz! I look forward to playing miami, cleveland or detroit in the playoffs. Have to win a series against those teams to get respect, and I think this team has a better shot than any yet.

Posted by: greg | March 8, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Said it before, and I'll say it again, I don't really buy into the projected minutes stuff. It's too wonky, and assumes too many other things about the game, sets, and basically it's boardism at it's height. The snapshot of stats in VS comparison is useful just as that. You would need a much larger sampling of data to construct anything useful . It's the math in me. There is no real trending, it is a single value. I'm not saying ZaZa wouldn't have had lower numbers against Haywood if they played the entire game, but I'm saying that there is no real way to know where those numbers would wind up.

That said, I think Haywood needs a bit of rest if he has been having back spasms. AND frankly if I did take those numbers seriously either of those projections is disturbing in it's own way. he is having a career night against, Haywood too, with more boards. Eeesh. That is supposed to save us?

We basically know what Haywood is going to give us, and leave out. I do think he played some good D last night, basically everyone played well in the first half.

Posted by: greg | March 8, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The point of my per-40 extrapolation in the Zaza post is merely to compare the numbers on an apples to apples basis. If I tell you that Zaza had 11 points and 8 boards in 25 minutes against Haywood, and 16 points and 4 boards in 14 minutes against Others; it's hard to truly visualize how dramatically better he played against Others. The per-40 numbers are simply for perspective. I could have just as easily made them per-25 numbers.

Posted by: nate33 | March 8, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The best +/- from last night was the smallball lineup of the big 3 + Mason & Hayes. They were +6.

Unfortunately, we only had this lineup in for 1:03 -- extrapolated to whole game, we would have won by 274 points with this lineup. That'd probably be a record or something. Smallball rules!

Posted by: burke | March 8, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"I want to make sure I have complete list of people who need to ridiculed come the end of April."

I ain't on that list. :)

"Sorry Ray, Its hard to swallow the: "Its only one game,it was a back to back & on the road" stuff.."

Ok, lets put this to rest now...

If you look at Atlanta's schedule, they beat Phoenix back on February 9th.

Oh no! Phoenix sucks! Man they REALLY suck! They lost to Atlanta!

Just the other night GS beat Detriot.

Again! Detriot SUCKS! They lost to GS!

If the Wiz lose to Dallas or someone as good as them would some of you even be writing this crap?

The Wiz have thier faults but they aren't going to win every game. They just blasted Toronto the day before. Remember?

In fact, if you go back and look at the Wiz's schedule most of the games they lost this year was when they played that second game of the back to back ON THE ROAD.

Ivan called it in his blog, and he was right. The second game of back to backers are the most difficult of the NBA season, especially on the road.

This is a LONG season. Jamison is coming back from a lengthy injury, Caron had a bad back. Haywood was just sick or something and he got back spasms. Gil had a shoulder issue.

Relax.

Just enjoy watching them this year, but if they don't improve in the next two years then you definately have something to worry about.

The Wiz have thier issues **cough**Jordan**cough** and God knows I've been tough on them but they aren't going to win a championship this year. It'll interesting to see how far they get in the playoffs though.

It's just one game, good grief.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 8, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

When are you guys going to a full update on Pecherov and the 2nd round pick from last year? How are they doing on their seasons? What's the outlook for next year? How will it affect the rotation and decisions with Ruffin and Hayes? Could they possibly bring Pecherov in for the playoffs? What would the buyout if any be if they did that?

Posted by: Kinny | March 8, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Your team talks more than plays and they really dont even talk that well....a star who shoots a whopping 41% feels free to dis LeBron .... Gil..or agent zero, (is that his neck size when there is pressure on?)is about Gil..not about his team...enjoy another first round out....

Posted by: DC in Cleveland | March 8, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

"Your team talks more than plays and they really dont even talk that well...."

Sounds like someone is jealous to me. :)

At least Gil isn't holding back just to get his coach fired. Talk about selfish.

I guess you can say Mike Brown will be a "witness" after the season eh? :P

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 8, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

"When are you guys going to a full update on Pecherov"

He's doing well and they expect him to be in a uni here next year, he won't be on the roster this year. Nothing has been decided on Hayes and Ruffin for next year.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 8, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz will not go very far in the playoffs if they continue playing poorly. I don't see a team they can beat with there up and down play. Ej needs to get a handle on his team and let them emphatically know that lack of hustle will land a player on the bench.EJ sits on the bench and acts like he is lost as to what the problem is .A blind person knows when the effort is lacking.Come Ej earn those bucks ,coach and stop letting these players just do what they want without reference to team play.

Posted by: Ron | March 8, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

i'm with Ray, it's the NBA and the beauty is there's a chance to come back the next game and win, ala the bulls coming back after their a**whooping and beating the magic. It's a long season and they'll be okay, losing to the hawks is not the end of the world.
having said that, i'm afraid they are going to get overtaken by the heat if shaq keeps this up.
The problems on this team are obvious: lack of leadership and lack of coaching discipline. but they're fun as hell to watch most nights and better than they've been in years (they never were going to win it all this year) so i'll enjoy

Posted by: numero tres | March 8, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Where did all the Gilby apologists go? A division leading team with 2 all stars with championship aspirations doesn't get almost blown out by a team that was on a 6 game losing streak, that's got a .371 winning percentage, and was missing 3 of their starters.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 9, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse

With only 20 games left and a division race that's getting tight, you can't let them off the hook after displaying a complete breakdown in discipline against a depleted team that's no good even fully manned. It's ok to the ATL game because they're not going to win the championship this year? And their lack of composure is not isolated to just one game, which would obviously be a fluke. This is a pattern. Someone needs to get angry, and more importantly, the team needs to address it and fix the problem. Losing to the Bulls or Heat on the 2nd of back-to-backs on the road is understandable; this isn't. No one is asking them to win every game, but they need to win the gimmes. Who cares that they beat Phx or the Mavs, ATL is a conference game, it's more important!! If they don't become more consistent and the Heat overtake them, it IS a dicey proposition to think they can win four on the road in the first round.

Sorry for the long post, I'm still pissed and in no mood lighten up - but who cares what I think; I just hope EJ is feeling the same way.

Posted by: reispace | March 9, 2007 6:53 AM | Report abuse

If and when Pecherov starts playing for Les Boules, I wonder where and how he will fit in. The dude is 7 feet tall, but only 210 lbs and is considered to be someone who likes to face the basket.

Grunfeld probably took the best prospect available, but we need some beef that can score. I expect and hope Grunfeld to acquire someone this summer at the 5 who can do that.

"Pecherov has a weak upper body and will need weight training before he can match up well with most NBA post players. He is not a super athlete but makes the most of his size and plays the game with smarts."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2604578

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 9, 2007 7:06 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards are the streakiest team I've ever seen. They can win 5 in a row against the best competition. They can lose 5 in a row against the worst competition. You have to have alot of patience and energy as a fan to watch them. It's a constant roller coaster. They can beat the raptors by 20 and lose to the hawks the next day and look like different teams. I think this is because Gilbert takes most of the shots and he is a very streaky player. I'm not that angry about the hawks loss because there was alot of bad luck involved on alot of those turnovers. Guys stepping out of bounds, random passes and fumbling the ball out of bounds will not happen when they are concentrating later in the season. Plus Gilbert is heating up so I predict they will go on a win streak. The team follows his success.

Posted by: Andrew | March 9, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Back after the Portland came I said in a post that over many years of watching NBA games I had pegged an average of about 10 games a year that an NBA team mails one in.
Actually the Wiz mailed in half of a game in this time but it was enough for a disappointing loss. I'm not offering excuses, but to me this is part of the process of a fairly young team attempting to grow up. Sometimes the only way to learn is disappointing losses. But it's about time this team and their coaching staff learn some tough lessons or they won't be together as a unit next season.
One thing that has concerned me all year with this group is the lack of a low post player on this roster. A lowpost threat doesn't always have to be a center or even a power forward. There are guys around like Rubin Patterson that can get it going from the blocks that are small forwards. And they don't even have to be a starter but you need thet threat on your roster sometimes to make teams play honest D.
Haywood has been working at his post up game but he isn't truely that kind of guy. Jamison is more of a lowpost player that relys on his quickness for putbacks and darting moves to the basket. When our shooting goes cold teams can concetrate on our cutters in the Princeton offense. In the last two games against the Hawks Smith had an insane number of blocks coming off his man.
We seem to have a lack of a player that can make the other team match up honestly in the blocks. Guys like Smith are roaming inside and getting an insane number of blocks from off the ball. The beauty of a guy like Elvin Hayes, Karl Malone or Shack is that when everything else breaks down you can pitch the ball into the post and everybody has to match up honestly on their man or get burned when that ball comes out of the block.
A low post threat slows down the defense and you can get an honest look at what they are really doing. The Wizards are having problem with teams that shade their guys toward the lane and and challege us to shoot sometimes. When their shooting goes cold you get second halves like the other night. Teams will swarm to the ball and take away the drive and guys like Smith roam all over the place. By the way isn't there a defensive 3 second rule?
Like Chicago our lack of a post up threat is problem that we need to take a hard look at if we want to go deep in the playoffs in the future. A lowblock threat can go a long way to solving some of our Jeckel and Hyde tendacies on offense.

Posted by: GM | March 9, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So I waited to post in order to have a bit more perspective on the Atlanta game. It helped, a little.

GM is right - NBA teams do mail it in from time to time. The Wizards exacerbate this by the fact that they rely on offense to win. This means they lose when they mail it in and they lose when they aren't hitting their shots. In the second half of the Atlanta game, it was the Perfect Storm of mailing it in and cold shooting.

You can always play defense hard. You can't always play offense well. It's just the way it is. This is why the Spurs and Jazz for instance are so tough - even on down offensive nights, they rarely let an opponent run away from them on the scoreboard.

The Wiz are playing for home court in the first round. That's what the next 20 games are for. The #2 seed should be doable.

In terms of expectations, the goal this year, and as fans we should be satisfied with, 2 (perhaps 3) rounds in the playoffs. Our stars (Caron and Gilbert particularly) need playoff experience. It's a process, and it takes patience. Teams need several years of getting stopped short in the playoffs before they can push through - this was true for the Pistons, Bulls, Lakers, even San Antonio in the modern era. We don't have the spectrum of horses on the team right now to win the Finals regardless now, so experience in the playoffs is the end game this year.

Gil will get hot again. Hopefully it will coincide with the playoffs.

BTW - Jamison looks great. I'm very hopeful about this. I love the array of low post moves he is using now from the block - he didn't seem that active there before the injury. Great to watch - he starts his moves, and it is almost like they happen so slowly that the defense has trouble reacting b/c they are set in a different, higher gear. Jamison's like a knuckleball in the low post.

cj

Posted by: charles jones | March 9, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Michael Lee:

"A major reason the Wizards struggled against the Hawks was because the Princeton offense -- which worked to perfection against Toronto, as the Wizards had 29 assists, three short of the season high -- morphed into a one-on-one free-for-all, as players took turns in isolation.

The ball wasn't rotating, the shots weren't falling and the turnovers kept piling up. The Wizards had just 15 assists compared with 21 turnovers. After the game, a few players were grumbling about the lack of ball movement. "A lot of people are mad," DeShawn Stevenson said after going 1 for 8 for six points and five turnovers on Wednesday. "We don't like losing. We got to bounce back because we got a sour taste in our mouth."

Butler said the Wizards just need to play with the necessary energy to get through the grueling stretch ahead. "If we play 48 minutes with no drop-offs and keep playing good team basketball -- and nobody's trying to be a hero and go out there and do it on their own -- we'll be fine," Butler said. "We've got to trust the system Coach put us in and we'll be all right.""

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/08/AR2007030802234.html

You can't help but laugh, b/c otherwise, you'd cry.... This team better right the ship before it implodes.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 9, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with Charles Jones about D. It would be nice to have another guy that can really defend the blocks well. When Haywood is off the court to often guys go to the hoop at will. After a game off smallball raised it's ugly head again.
There's where I agree with Ray about not beleiving what EJ's selling, if he's concerned about defense and rebounding he couldn't possibly put some of the combos on the floor that he goes with and not think he's hurting defense and rebounding!

Posted by: GM | March 9, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Brendan is our best option at the 5, but I wouldn't be singing his praises too quick though. Zaza torched him during the Hawks game, and the painful part is that Brendan ended the game with only 2 personal fouls.

When a guy is on fire like how Zaza was, you have to hammer him until you foul out. You have to put the fear of god in him. Does anyone think Charles Oakley would have finished the game with only 2 fouls against Zaza? What's going to happen when we play the Heat again, or during the playoffs, and our big men have to play against Shaq and Zo, who are even tougher than Zaza. Scary huh?

Also, a few games ago, people were singing the praises for Booth. Where did they go? He's still a viable defensive option, but only played 11 minutes against the Hawks and had 1 block, which is 1 more than what Brendan had. Booth is only 30 yrs old.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270307001

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 9, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Signing a solid center would be nice in the off-season but do any actually exist? We already have close to $10M locked into Brenda and Etan. We simply cannot afford to dump more money into that position.

Ruffin and Hayes are on their way out. Pecherov and our other European will easily replace them. Pecherove may have a weak upper body but Hayes plays like he has a weak upper body and soft heart. Hayes looks flat-out scared to drive hard to the basket. He's 6'8 and can only shoot jump shots. He is like a misfiring Dennis Scott. Ruffin provides nothing on either end. I like his hustle but there are better players available.

Posted by: Chad | March 9, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

When we discuss the Raps & the win the other day - don't forget Raptors were short handed - missing a prominent player, Barganini. He's their Jamison who contributes big for them. Family emergency - in Italy.

We need to keep that in mind cuz we might not handle them so easily the next time if there is one. swag or no swag.

It would help if we keep each game in perspective and properly prepare. We get so excited we have a team thats finally winning but if their foundational skills aren't solid - they won't go very far.

Perhaps they don't have solid foundational skills. It would be indicative of the way they play. Inconsistent. Get lax don't execute properly. That's why other teams below 500 are sittin like a junk yard dog -just waiting to pounce.

Its cool to have all this "swag" they keep braggin about but why talk about it?
Isn't it better to say little but perform big? I say enough of all the excuses already. Enough of everybody gotta say something to the press. Why?

Get focused. Pay attention to your basics that got you guys here.
Watch tapes - practice - practice-practice
and "SHUT YOUR MOUTH" LET YOUR GAME SPEAK FOR YOU. They're almost at the top - why keep abandoning that which bought you here?

In marathon training - the most important part was the mental focus and maintaining my solid basic skills. One does not deviate

Posted by: Pete | March 9, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Well DCman we all know you were taking a short at Gilbert and without saying so, essentially blaming him for the lack of ball movement. Well too bad you the facts get in the way of a good story. Gilbert took 19 shots (not a lot by his standards) and not even the most the other night.
The blame goes to everybody but since you incapable of blaming anyone other than Gilbert for this team's woes, then keep on cackling every time the Wizards lose.

Posted by: George Templeton | March 9, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm just happy that we ain't been playin Ruffin at center and that Blatche has really improved his game over the course of the season. That makes me very happy to see that development. Early on he was lookin like a big bust, but he has really turned it around. He is a nice player now off the bench at PF and a great option for Eddie at center to satisfy his small ball urges. At least with 'Dray in there we can run and go more offensive, the benefits of the small ball, and he is a guy who gives us more perimeter skills at center but can still contest shots and pull down some boards and defend the rim. So I am happy about that, and hopefully when Ruffin returns his pt will keep going to Blatche!

Posted by: Darnell | March 9, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld's going to need to work some magic this offseason. Etan might not be movable, but Brendan is, if necessary. There was much interest in him up until the trading deadline, as teams were calling to gauge his availability after the fight.

Jarvis has had some major injuries. Recall he broke his kneecap twice, and also he had a bruised back/head when he got hammered against the Cavs back in November Up until then, he used to drive and dunk with some force.

I agree that Jarvis needs to step up his game, but it's tough to rake a benchwarmer over the coals when you have 3 all stars on this team and one of them was hyped as being an MVP candidate. If you read CButt's quote, his main gripe is about following the coach's gameplan and not trying to be a hero. I seriously doubt if he was referring to Jarvis.

Wasn't Jarvis selected by EJ/Unseld/Pollin right after MJ was fired and before EG was hired? Who needs to be blamed for the Jarvis pick if he eventually leaves without compensation like Jared Jeffries did? Players drafted after Jarvis include Boris Diaw, Barbosa, Pietras, Josh Howard, Jason Kapono, Luke Walton, the infamous Zaza Pachulia, and Kyle Korver.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 9, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

George, I actually didn't lay any blame on Agent Gilby at all, although he's the PG and his job is to run the show. I didn't come out and hammer him after the Hawks game b/c it's like beating a dead horse now. We know it as a fact now what Agent Gilby likes to do. I thought he had a decent offensive game, but just didn't hit his 3's. I did see a lot of one on one though.

Getting back to blame, I think the people who are blaming are Michael Lee who called it in today's article, and CBut who called it in his quotes. I seriously doubt if CBut was calling himself out for trying to be a hero and not listening to the coach. Everybody here is just interjecting with opinions, but the main opinion that matters is from CBut, b/c he's actually playing with Agent Gilby and sees it day in and day out.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 9, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Pretty hard to hammer a guy from the bench. Haywood had 25 minutes the other night. All and All didn't play too bad of a game. Just not enough of it!

Posted by: GM | March 9, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I rarely disagree with you, GM, but I don't think the Wiz mailed in the 2nd half at ATL. Maybe for a few minutes in the 3rd Qtr, but later, as they lost their lead, the problem wasn't apathy it was panic. They had open shots not going in because, I assume, they got tight. They stopped moving the ball because they became impatient and somewhat desperate. They made unforced error after unforced error because they were flustered. Caron had four turnovers and five PFs, so I think he WAS talking about himself, not Gilbert. The worst was Deshawn - don't think he can talk to himself after that game (12.5% shooting). Five TOs!

The only way they can make up for this pathetic loss is to win in Miami - the second of a back-to-back on the road on a SUNDAY against the Heat. Slay all the demons in one fell swoop. I'm not putting any money on it happening...

Posted by: reispace | March 9, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Ruffin and Hayes are on their way out."

Don't bet on that at all. Jordan loves both those guys for whatever reason. Like someone said a while back the only way that changes is if EG makes it so.

"I'm just happy that we ain't been playin Ruffin at center and that Blatche has really improved his game over the course of the season."

Darnell! Where you been at man?? :)

"In the second half of the Atlanta game, it was the Perfect Storm of mailing it in and cold shooting."

Exactly CJ, they were up by 11 and just stopped playing. They've done that a few times this year, but it's also hard to keep up the intensity like they did against Toronto the very next night.

Think about it. You're one of the big three and your run constantly for THREE HOURS straight one night and have to do it again the next night.

Personally speaking, I'm just hoping everyone stays healthy for the playoffs. The Wiz ain't changing from here out, what you see is what you get.

It would be nice for them to get hot again right as the playoffs start. They really are a streaky team, you get one extreme or the other.

The Wiz HAVE to get home court for the playoffs to go anywhere. They aren't a dominate road team just yet, they've only had one good road trip all year.

Just waiting for the playoffs at this point.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 9, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Ray, the Wiz aren't even a good road team. Dominate is not even on the horizon.

I like this team along with virtually everyone else in here, but I honestly don't see this particular mixture of players winning a championship, ever - the Atlanta game is just a symptom. I see yearly 1st or 2nd round losses and while this is an improvement on the past it is not the end goal. There is a definite lack of focus, leadership, intensity, defense, etc...on this team. Otherwise, see ya in the finals this year.

Next year Pecherov should be playing here, which should mean Ruffin is out and Navarro, I hope, is playing here as well. If paying the 10 million buyout or whatever it is provides us with enough depth at PG to contend, do it! I've heard he's one of the best Euro's out there. Maybe they will be the ingredients to better success.

Posted by: Rob P | March 9, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Did you notice - Hollinger has the Wiz ranked just above the Clippers.


The problem with the Wiz is that they can beat the Western Conference elite one night and fall to the Hawks without three starters the next. Which team will show up in the playoffs?

Posted by: Shots | March 9, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards need something to to fire themselves up. And I think what would do that would be some more leadership from Gilbert Arenas, he needs to realize that Antawn Jamison isn't considered the star of the team anymore.

Posted by: Liam | March 9, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Reispace, I'd have to agree they didn't mail in the whole second half. They came out flat as this team often times does with a lead at half. I've kind of come to the conclusion I don't like to see them up by more than 10 at the half. That's what was so impressive about the Toronto game they came out focused and went for the juglar, did they think that they would just cruise against Atlanta?
Don't know, but then panic set in, did they panic because they weren't hitting their shots, or were they not hitting their shots because they had paniced?(OH those chicken or the egg questions!). What I was trying to say was those are the times that having a low post threat can really help.
What I see that they lack as a club is that guy that can post up make defenses play them honest or even draw a double team at the block and slow defenses down when the shooting goes cold. Can't be fixed this year, but it's something that needs to be addressed for the future.

Posted by: GM | March 9, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Ray, the Wiz aren't even a good road team. Dominate is not even on the horizon."

Right.

This is what I'm saying, if they are STIL like this 2 years from now then Jordan is going to be fired and the roster will be shaken up.

The way I look at it is they took a BIG step last year, but have taken a step foward this year in thier developement.

It's still too soon in my book to be thinking chapionship, but as we all know in the playoffs you never know. It's totally different in the playoffs.

It's SO hard to win games in the NBA on the road, especially on the second night of a back to back.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 9, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

"The way I look at it is they took a BIG step last year.."

Big step bakwards, sorry. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 10, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I only watched the last :46 seconds. So let me be the first to say it. What the @#)*(&#*($&#*@(&$#(@&$(@#*&$(#*@. To lose because of that motherf'in, crybaby, piece of #)@*&@#*)(&$#@*($#@ Steve #@&$^*&^#@!*#@!# Francis. Just shoot me. With 7 of the next 8 on the road (including the Lazarus Heat), what a (expletive-deleted) disaster! Now back to March Madness for me. Congrats to the Colonials. Go Hoyas!

Posted by: George Templeton | March 10, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"I only watched the last :46 seconds."

Lol George!

Exactly what you just did is what the Wiz did tonight against the Knicks: meltdown.

Ehhh, the Wiz have bigtime flaws.

Can't finish a game, can't play defense. They look like the exact same team that started the season right now.

They ain't beating the Heat tomorrow and they are gaining ground on the Wiz.

I don't really have anything else to add. :(

Get some sleep George. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 10, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say this - and it really hurts - but we are toast. To lose to "cry baby" Francis and "can't wait to play for Isiah" Jeffries is inexcusable.

The Wiz can't stop the bleeding and will be ROAD KILL tomorrow night against a resurgent Heat team with suddenly ageless Shaq. The Heat are the Eagles of the NBA. I can't bear to watch any more.

Posted by: Lisa | March 10, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Man we are sinking fast

Posted by: ashamed wiz fan | March 10, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Didn't understand EJ's rotations tonight.

The Wiz go up 6 in the mid-4th with Blatche and Thomas in, and EJ decides to slow down the momentum by bringing Jamison back and pulling Blatche out and the 6 point lead is gone within a minute. It seems like it would have made some sense to continue riding the wave of momentum--e.g. sticking with what was working. But I guess EJ had other plans tonight.

I though EJ used the bench well in the last 2 minutes, but he didn't set himself up with the rotations during the previous 46 minutes.

The loss against Atlanta may have been a step back for the players. But tonight's game was a step back for the coach.

The Wiz need to continue developing their bench.

Posted by: JP2 | March 10, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Correction: "rotations" should read "substitutions".

Posted by: JP2 | March 10, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Since the allstar break,Caron Butler has acted as though he must display some super human basketball powers; not passing the ball,running over people,taking crazy shotsand killing some momentum with his selfish play.Of course EJ sits there and let him continue .We need team play and EJ apparently can't see that.EJ perhaps some bench time for Mr. BUtler will impress upon him the need to pass the ball and to get his head in the team game.Ej please start coaching and stop sitting there like you don't know what the problems are. I hate to see what's going to happen in Miami .

Posted by: foots | March 10, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

First of all Caron is one of my favorite players, but the accross the body reaches in the late stages of the game are just mindless! Contact or not they will get called, they always do and always have.
Last night really ended up being a trap game, apparently Stevie Franchise was just minutes away from signing a buyout agreement with the Knicks before this latest rash of injuries. So you have a guy that has been an Allstar in this league who's been buried, or faking an injury depending on who's version of events you beleive, with a chance to prove he's still got it in front of his home town fans including his mama!
If Stevie couldn't get fired up for that he should just take the 20m and ride off into the sunset. Throw in Jared "Son of Isaih" Jeffries and you had the makings for a perfect ending. If Jeffies could ever learn to shoot the Wiz would have never let him walk. Talk about a guy that came into the league looking like a gifted offensive player and some how just lost all confidence in his offensive game. How did I wander into talking about Jarvis? And just how and the hell did he get in at the end while Arenas was on the bench?
Watching EJ try and start to make defensive/offensive substitutions at the end of a game 2/3 of the way through the season is like listening to George Bush talk about "Strategery" or what ever he calls it. If you're going to use those type of substitutions you need to have practiced them and have guys understanding what they're in there to do. It looked like Eddie was throwing that lineup together during the timeout. Did you notice Gil standing there and scratching his head? and a couple of the guys going on to the floor acted like they were trying to figure out who's got who. Kind of like three years into...oh forget it!
On the lighter side, how many million do you think Stevie earned last night? He was prepared to give the Knicks 20m of the 40m he was owed over the next two years back. Do you think the Knick fans will sit still for that now? Or even if that deal goes through, I bet he'll be looking for more than a Mid-level excemption now.
Well it's Sunday morning and as the Country Church Minister says when it's time to pass the collection plate, "folks, it's time to dig down deep! really deep, and give everything you have! The mighty Devil is at our door! He's nipping at our heals, and trying to make us slip and fall into the deep abyss! He's trying to make turn on each other and fall apart! So we've all got to give everything we've got to keep this house a standing!" Amen.

Posted by: GM | March 11, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"Since the allstar break,Caron Butler has acted as though he must display some super human basketball powers..."

You know, that's funny becuase I was thinking the same thing last night watching the game.

It's not so much the foul on Francis, it was the fact it was a dumb reach in and he let him make the shot.

If you're gonna foul him, then FOUL him.

On a side note, Jordan got out coached yet again.

That's sad.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 11, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I makes perfect sense to have Jamison in the game with 3 seconds left to defend Haslem?????

Stupid EJ coaching strikes again!

At least last night he has smart enough to pull Arenas for defensive purposes at the end. But, tonight, he got the case of the stupids AGAIN.

Posted by: Rob P | March 11, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow. What a horrible couple of losses this weekend. The next few games will be quite interesting. Can the coach help them keep their head up? I dread we will look back on this weekend as the turning point in our season.

The foul AJ was certainly a joke but so was the make-up call on Payton so we can't whine.

I agree that Caron is not the same player he was a month ago. Is it just his back? I am not sure why Shaq didn't play more minutes but the combo of our centers tonight put a smile on my face. Maybe there is hope if we face the Heat in a series.

Posted by: BmoreRev | March 11, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

A fantastic second-half effort only to be foiled by crappy officiating and (yes Ray I have come around to you and others' positions) terrible rotation choices by coach Jordan.
Let us go back to a familiar theme. The Wizards enter the 4th with a 9-point lead and who enters the game and plays while that lead quickly melts (Etan Thomas and Jarvis Hayes). Why? What in the name of all that is reasonable are they doing playing THAT MUCH in the 4th quarter of a monstrous game for the Wizards. I don't know. I agreed 1,000% with Rob P on Jamison covering Haslem.
My other question is the same one Dave Branch asked, why no Hack-a-Shaq. And by the way that moving screen call was crap and yes the Wizards got a make-up call but they got it with too much time left on the clock.

Posted by: George Templeton | March 11, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

This one really hurts. I admit, I thought it would be a blow out.....but the Wiz played their hearts out tonight. It just seems so unfair that Miami always has our number.

We are dropping fast....Miami has a very easy schedule here on out and we do not. Cleveland keeps winning...so much for securing second or third place.

Posted by: Lisa | March 11, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz lost tonight because they can't play defense. Yes, everything all of you said applies but when it came down to it they couldn't stop Miami from scoring one lousy bucket.

On a side note Miami was exposed in the 3rd quarter. If you let them set thier half court D then they will kill you. I really think the Wiz should have kept applying the pressure in the 4th because Miami was on the ropes and couldn't keep up with the Wiz's speed.

Instead they brought in Hayes and Etan "I can only foul people" Thomas and the pace slowed down and Miami caught right back up.

I understand getting your players rest but it was a real shame I thought. The moment those guys stepped on the floor everything changed. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | March 11, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

How does EJ have Jamison on the floor at the very end?

As long as Jarvis keeps playing key minutes in the 4th quarter the Wizards are going to be in trouble, EJ left Stevenson on the bench too long in the 4th.

Posted by: AG | March 11, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

It's about knowing your players. EJ pulled Arenas last night in the final seconds for defensive purposes. They had a quick shot of Arenas on the sideline and he looked shocked. Why? I don't know. We lost, but it was still the right move.

Tonight. Arenas and Jamison were on the court for the last shot. WHY? WHY? WHY? Neither plays great defense although I will say Arenas has the ability to. Jamison provides a lot for this team as was proven by his latest absence, but defense is not one of them. Riley saw or assumed or had a play drawn up for Jamison's man in case he came into the game. Haslem got a WIDE OPEN 8 foot shot in the lane - a pro makes that shot 9/10 times. Jamison swiped at the ball and then it was over. He may as well been watching on TV with us. Jordan is just not good guys. I think he is a great person like Hayes, Ruffin etc, but at some point results have to count for something.

Posted by: Rob P | March 11, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

One final vent. Just a few games ago EJ was playing all 12 guys and getting decent results. He said it was time to play his bench. Well, tonight and last night the bench disappeared. You can't play your bench against the Knicks minus three of their better players??? You go small against a fairly big Knicks front court??? WHY? I watch these games and just beg for better coaching. We just demolished somebody on the boards recently by going tall on our front court for long stretches. Not against the Knicks. Then tonight EJ's rotations just make no sense again.

If it cofounds us, just think of what the players are thinking?

With better coaching, we win both games this weekend. Oh well, it's not in the cards.

Finally, Arenas is playing fairly well, but it just seems like he is coasting for some reason. Where is Mr. Swag/takeover? He overcame the coaching for long stretches in the beginning of the season by dominating, but has been only average for him in 2007.

I think he does not know what EJ wants out of him either. Run the offense or dominate? He obviously does not know how to do both at this point in his career.

Posted by: Rob P | March 11, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Tough lost. I wish he would have played Blanche more down the stretch for his defense. He would have bothered that shot by Udonis. Wiz will be okay.

Posted by: PTP23 | March 11, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

I said it before, I'll say it again:

You can't help but laugh, b/c otherwise, you'd cry...


Key Miami game stats:

Wizards 10 assists, Miami 25 assists
Wizards 14 TO's, Miami 5 TO's
Wizards 1 Steal, Miami 8 Steals

Shocking: Wizards 85% FT, Miami 40% FT, but they still lost.

Interesting NY game stats:

NY 18 ORebs, Wizards 8 ORebs
NY 57% FT, Wizards 84% FT

Caron 5-13, Gilby 5-14, and Deshawn 4-12

Sounds like they got beat by straight hustle, and couldn't hit the side of a barn, by a team that's at .460, 8th in the eastern playoff race.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 11, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Franchise is no cry baby - 26 & 9 he hit the winning shot with the wiz standing around grinnin. what kind of crap is that?

We can't afford to criticise Francis, jeffries or anybody else for that matter.

The Wiz are playing now the way they were at the beginning of the yr. Sadly.

Butler & Arenas put all their show into getting to the all star game....After that its been one excuse or injury or blah, blah blah No real effort. Its simply pathetic. Lets hope they suck it up & decide to start out aggressively at the start not the 3rd qtr like they regularly do..Ya think the other teams don't notice??? SUreeeeee they do.

Hey am I the only one but does Arenas look lost and lethargic out there to you?

Posted by: Shots | March 12, 2007 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Just to note, the Knicks were missing one of their keys, David Lee, who was out with an injury. He's giving them 11.2 pts and 10.7 rebs this season. Lee leads the knicks in rebs this season.


AP News:

Washington is at Miami on Sunday; the Heat have won 17 of the teams' past 18 meetings. "After a win, we're going to have a party in Miami," Jordan said, then paused to gauge reporters' reactions. "You can write it," he continued. "I didn't guarantee it, but you can write it."

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 6:28 AM | Report abuse

It is time for some one in the Wiz organization to have a serious talk with EJ.Some of his coaching decisions just don't make sense,especially how he substitutes at critical times ofthe game. Why did he breakup the the ream on the floor when it was on a roll and the Heat falling apart? I like EJ,but he is not doing a very good coaching job right now.What is his defensive strategy? It appears that teams always have a man wide open and shooters not being challenged.That has to be attributed to coaching or lack thereof. I see other teams playing defense.Everyone knows that you must play defense to win consistently. Everyone apparently but EJ.Come on EJ wakeup we want to win ,you have talented players coach them.

Posted by: ron | March 12, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Ron, did you miss Arenas' speach about playing defense a few weeks ago? As much as EJ has hammered on the point about playing some D, I don't think it's hit home with the players yet. Either that, or they can just not play any D whatsoever.

You have teams that score a lot of points, and you have teams that play tough D. Not many teams do both well. Les Boules would fit in the first category. Players aren't that athletic, and would prefer to make baskets as opposed to playing D. Playing D is not as glamorous. Few players make it to the all star game for their D ability. Arenas would have told you that if asked.

I think Les Boules would much rather outscore a team, rather than stop them from scoring. Arenas' philosophy is "a good D is a good offense."

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Shots,

Oh yes, Francis is a cry baby...that is practically all he has down his entire career....whine about something....last minute winning shot does not change that fact.

Posted by: Lisa | March 12, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Lisa, to be fair though, Agent Gilby has done his share of whining since he's been in the league, AND since he's been here. Hibachi doesn't change that fact either, and hibachi has been out of fuel since all star weekend.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Anyone still think we're going to win 50?

Posted by: Bernard King | March 12, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

DC Man, of course you would say that....all you do is hate on Gilbert. And no, he has NOT whined. He may have complained about refs calls (but all players do) and once about Eddie but that is pretty much it.

Francis on the other hand whined that he would not play for Vancouver, whined when he was sent to Orlando, whined when Cuttino was traded away from Orlando "I can't play without my boy" - skipped practiced, I could go on and on. There is no comparison whatsover to Gilbert (plays his butt off) Arenas and Spoiled Cry Baby Francis.

Posted by: Lisa | March 12, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Could someone on this post please, you all seem to know the team very well, please tell me what it is the Wizards organization sees in Hayes. Once, again last night, he was wide open for a crucial jumper, caught the pass, took the shot and missed, as he does 80% of the time. When they put him in during a crucial time, I am about afraid to watch. Why does the coach insist on installing him during crucial parts of the game and have Stevenson on the bench. Am I missing something? I understand he can play a little defense but someone should tell him to pass the ball to someone who at least has a shot to hit and quit shooting!Pass first and shoot last. Please help a confused fan understand! Thanks!

Posted by: anonymous | March 12, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Foots, the issue of passing the ball instead of forcing up tough shots is not unique to Caron. You see it with Haywood, Poet, Stevenson and others. With Gil making ample use of the blank check he has to shoot the ball, players feel if they pass the ball out there's no chance of getting it back. So they take the ill-advised shot, force a drive leading to an offensive foul call, etc.

By the way, if you took a guard like Marbury, told him, "this is your team, shoot whenever you like, don't worry too much about D, and no matter how many bad shots you take you stay in the game," don't you think he could average over 28 points a game? Aren't there other guards in the league who could do the same?

Does the term, "one round and out" ring a bell?

Posted by: Mitch | March 12, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

'Nard....sure if we combine two seasons' worth of wins.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Does the term, "one round and out" ring a bell?"

Ding ding! One more to add to the list of people I get to taunt come the end of April.

I have to say from what I've seen posted, some of y'all are a little old to be doing all this hopping on and off the bandwagon. That's gonna make your arthur-itis kick up something fierce if you keep it up.

Posted by: burke | March 12, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Lisa, surely you would stick up for Agent Gilby b/c you're an Arenas apologist.

Last I checked, complaining and whining are synonymous. Here's a short list to refresh your memory.

* Whined that the has a chip on his shoulder for being selected in the second round. Said he was going to exact revenge on all teams that bypassed him.

* Whined about being told to play some defense by EJ, and how it hurt his offensive game. Had his @ss chewed out by Antawn as a result.

* Whined about not getting on the World Basketball team even though he thought he did everything he was supposed to do. Threatened to embarrass D'Antoni, Coach K, and Nate M.

* Whined about not getting the star treatment that Kobe, Dwade, and Lebron get.

* Refused to shoot early in one game b/c he got his feelings hurt after someone called him a ballhog.

Surely, you must know that Gilby draws a lot of unnecessary attention to himself. He's a little prima donna/diva whiner.

PS. I'm not and will never be in Stevie's fan club, but stop hatin' on him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Quick Question to all:

Where have all the "back to back" conspiracy theorists/prognosticators gone? Some people recently said Les Boules always have a tough time winning the second game of a back to back two games in a row type of situation.

Problem this time is Les Boules lost the first game (NY Knicks) of this back to back also.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Is this jerk focused on winning the game, or focused on jawing with fans? When did MJ ever waste him time talking to fans?

"Arenas, who clinched a one-point win over Golden State with three free throws in a similar situation last Sunday at Verizon Center, made all three attempts and then responded to some spectators' chants of "choker" by wrapping both hands around his neck while staring at the hecklers."

Another tough question:

The Indiana Pacers, currently a sub 500 team (.468) and #7 to make the playoffs are currently on a NINE game losing streak. Les Boules play the Pacers on Wednesday. Good news for Les Boules, or bad news?


Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

DC M, Antawn did not chew Arenas @ss out...when he made the statement that he "took him out and spanked his butt" (or something like that)he was joking....Antawn laughed when he said it. I sure he did "talk" to him...chew him out..NO...not Antawn's style. But then again, you love to think that because you HATE ON Arenas. Do I like it when Arenas get a little egotistical...NO. But I compare him to Chad Johnson of the Bengals more than a real egostical jerk. He is simply having fun.

And I will never stop hatin' on Francis....when you have the opportunity to play for the NBA and make a ton of $$$ don't whine because you don't want to leave home and play in Vancouver....do you have any idea how flippin' fortunate you are, Steve Francis? I will never forget that.

Posted by: Lisa | March 12, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

NBA>stevie

Posted by: Victor | March 12, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

analogies/synonyms:

Lisa a hater telling someone else not to hate

complaining whining

chewing someone's @ss out "took him out to the woodshed and kicked his @ss," said Antawn


Semantically identical.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

analogies/synonyms:

Lisa/a hater telling someone else not to hate

complaining/whining

chewing someone's @ss out/"took him out to the woodshed and kicked his @ss," said Antawn


Semantically identical.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey Burke, if they make it past the first round, feel free to taunt me all you like. I'll be too happy to notice.

And I don't mind being accused of getting on and off the bandwagon. Just don't accuse me of having fallen off a turnip truck.

Posted by: Mitch | March 12, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I saw Antawn make that statement and he was joking....he laughed when he said it.

Posted by: Lisa | March 12, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Stevie has a huge ego. I heard on the radio onetime that he was approached by an AA dark skinned female for an autograph onetime and he brushed her off and told her that he "don't talk to dark skinned girls..."

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I have have a huge ego. Onetime I was approached by an black female and I brushed her off and told her that I don't talk to dark skinned bitty on da boards with respect.

Why? Cause I am a cracker who has nothing else better to do.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Fake Dc Man88,

I actually heard it on the Russ Parr morning show a couple of years ago. It was so so funny.....wouldn't put it past Stevie Franchise though, but he's got every right to do what he wants...

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 12, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

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