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Life without Gilbert begins

Well, Gilbert's locker was pretty much empty before the game tonight but other than that, and the sight of Caron Butler in a cream suit, nothing felt all that different. The fellas went through their usual pre-game routines, Eddie Jordan had his usual pre-game chat (wait, have to interupt this blog post with the news straight from the mouth of Andray Blatche: "I just got cleared. I'm playing Tuesday night." That's good news. Could use his long arms tonight against LeBron though)......anyway, things were the same as usual.

some nuggets:
-Calvin Booth is out with a sore left knee. He was hurt in the last game and didn't practice yesterday but hoped to play tonight. He says he's day-to-day. What is it with left knees on this team anyway?

-Donell Taylor on what Coach Eddie Jordan said to him: "He just said: be ready, we need you."

-Roger Mason Jr. "It's time to play some ball. It's money time."

-Jarvis Hayes: "Gotta have it."

-Mike Hall: "If coach wants a guy to go in and play defense and grab rebounds, I'm his guy."

By Ivan Carter  |  April 6, 2007; 8:13 PM ET
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Next: Limping to the finish


Not bad so far. They gotta be way more careful with the ball.

Posted by: Jim | April 6, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"The emotion demonstrated by this forum is quite refreshing."

I'm gonna pull this from B.Rev off the previous blog. I agree with his entire post and can identify with past experiences, but to spare you all I just took this. :)

I'm gonna repeat something I posted as well. Right now the Wiz are up on the Cavs with about 11 mins left in the 4th. Either way, I think the Wiz win 5 out of the next 7 games.

"Ray are you crazy???"

No and here's ball. Thy are doing what they should have been doing all year, spreading the ball around and not relying on one person to win games. Gil is a GREAT player, but he needs to take less shots next year. He really needs to be back at the 2 spot.

This team NEEDS a point guard next year, not Gil to run the show. You get a point guard next year that spreads it around, Gil take LESS shots and they win more games.

Anyway, it's up to Jordan and EG to figure that out(yes Jordan gets another year). I know you all are going to kill me for saying this but if you just tweak the team some, keep most of whom you have(ie Etan AND Haywood), get someone who can drive the car, the Wiz will have a better team.

Navarro would be awesome, I hope they can work that out somehow.

By the way I would NEVER want Larry Brown as coach for the Wiz. I can't stand that guy, and he shafted the Wiz a few years back. He got what he deserved in NY. He's a chump.

Anyway, 5 of the next 7 games are wins.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 6, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Nine out of eighteen from the free throw line? I just realized what we're gonna miss the most from Gilbert.

Posted by: Jim | April 6, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

5 of 7?? i'd be shocked if we lose less than 5 of 7. horrid free throws and clumsy turnovers from AD, Songaila, Deshawn. no rebounding down the stretch. we just look tired out there. brenda is pathetic. everyone else played their hearts out. really badly officiated game. who knew washington was worst shooting team in the 4th q in the entire nba?

Posted by: ct fan | April 6, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

what r u smoking on Ray? i guess now the Wizards will win 5 out of their next 6 right? and that team ball u was boasting about is looking real good n the 4th qtr. looking at the schedule their only victory might come against Atlanta. and with this teams lack of talent, Atlanta is not a guaranteed win.

Posted by: koolkatt007 | April 6, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

what r u smoking on Ray? i guess now the Wizards will win 5 out of their next 6 right? and that team ball u was boasting about is looking real good n the 4th qtr. looking at the schedule their only victory might come against Atlanta. and with this teams lack of talent, Atlanta is not a guaranteed win.

Posted by: koolkatt007 | April 6, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Clearly a winnable game. TO's and missed FT's did us in.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

yeh they fought hard tonight & the other night against the Bobcats, but still it's a loss. unfortunately tomorrow's game is the 2nd night of a back 2 back. u know their record on 2nd nights.

Posted by: koolkatt007 | April 6, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, are Eddie and Gil on the outs? Eddie was asked pre-game if he has spoken to Gil since his surgery and he said no...laughed and said that Gil had not been good about returning calls. However, Caron has spoken with Gil and they have texted each other. Gil has also texted or spoken with Mike Wise.

Posted by: Lisa | April 6, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I just saw that Dwyane Wade is expected to play next week....just in time for the Wiz game. What about that old saying "Never kick a man when he's down?" Just adds salt to the wound.

Posted by: Lisa | April 6, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

If you read Mike Wise's article today and heard him on WTEM yesterday, you've really got to take his opinions with a grain of salt. I think Wise feels indebted to Gilby for giving him access early in the season and riding in his Ferrari down to Barry Farms.

Wise admitted that he was in the tank for Gilby. We need more impartial guys like Ivan and Michael who get us the scoop (ie. Brendan Haywood) and not people like Wise and Wilbon who chum up to people like Gilby and Tiger Woods. Don't sell out like those guys.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable!!!! Now I've heard everything! Thought it was bad enough when he said Gil should have moved out of Gerald Wallace's way but now he's picking on the sports reporters who like Gilbert!! Unflippin believable! And just last week he LOVED Wilbon....quoted him INCESSANTLY. Guess we know who he is going to pick on since Gil is out of the picture. Dude needs serious help.

Posted by: Lisa | April 6, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Deshawn Stevenson didn't show us anything tonight. He was more hype than output. I was really surprised at how many TO's AD had. If you look at the TO, Steals, and FT% discrepancy, that's your answer to tonight's loss.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I thought you weren't supposed to read my posts?

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Fellow bloggers, I gotta make a confession. Since the MJ & Polin issue, I've not had any interest in the Wash Wiz.
I found the entire incident & the treatment of MJ disturbing. Thing is, because I love basketball, I'd keep up with other teams but avoid Washington until I came accross this site thru reading Ivan & Mike's articles. I found the entries/comments funny and enjoyable. Some kind of groupie like but over all fun but serious. From GM, Ray, BeMorev to Kalorama, Colin and others each giving his own opions & insights. DCman,hilarious, pretty on point and loves to bug Lisa & Gack. Everyone manages to agree even in the face of a loss. A wonderful sense of community. That said:
I am so proud of the remaining Wizards. This is closer to Princeton offense. Ad is a heck of a pg. Turnovers & poor free-throws are to be expected from guys not allowed to play all yr. EJ needs to get them past that 4th qtr blues.


Posted by: Robin | April 7, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Fellow bloggers, I gotta make a confession. Since the MJ & Polin issue, I've not had any interest in the Wash Wiz.
I found the entire incident & the treatment of MJ disturbing. Thing is, because I love basketball, I'd keep up with other teams but avoid Washington until I came accross this site thru reading Ivan & Mike's articles. I found the entries/comments funny and enjoyable. Some kind of groupie like but over all fun but serious. From GM, Ray, BeMorev to Kalorama, Colin and others each giving his own opions & insights. DCman,hilarious, pretty on point and loves to bug Lisa & Gack. Everyone manages to agree even in the face of a loss. A wonderful sense of community. That said:
I am so proud of the remaining Wizards. This is closer to Princeton offense. Ad is a heck of a pg. Turnovers & poor free-throws are to be expected from guys not allowed to play all yr. EJ needs to get them past that 4th qtr blues.


Posted by: Robin | April 7, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Lets see another game where the Wizards led entering the fourth quarter and then blew it. Another game where bad foul shooting and sloppy ballhandling bite the Wizards on the behind. Hmmmm this doesn't seem any different and you know what, the Gilbert haters out there can't even blame him. Although I am sure some will find a way.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 7, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I was at tonight's game, and anybody who still thinks this team is better off without Gilbert is smoking some good stuff.

While the first half looked like some nice team ball, what you really saw was the Wiz come out shooting hot as they have done often this year, and the Cavaliers coming out stone cold.

The 2nd half was another story entirely as the same thing that has plagued this team all year occurred -- an inability to stop basic offensive plays like a pick and roll, and no answers when the team gets cold from the outside.

AD tries to penetrate, but he's not half as quick as Gilbert, cannot handle the ball as well when he does, and absolutely can't finish the shot OR the free throws.

You also got a glimpse tonight of a team down to the bare metal with guys who are not conditioned to running full bore for 48 minutes just running out of gas. Say what you will about Gilbert, but that guy plays all but a handful of minutes every game and is ALWAYS a threat to go coast-to-coast at any time during the game, especially late in games.

Tonight I saw a team that look spent and exhausted by the 4th quarter.

I didn't know Booth was out with a knee, that certainly explains why Eddie didn't have him in there because I kept screaming it over and over (as Ruffin got abused again tonight repeatedly).

Not sure what the deal with BTH was, he played a little, made a little noise with a little hook shot or two, then at some point in the 3rd he went back to the locker room. Did they say why on CSN?

Boy does this team need Booth and Blatche right now.

Posted by: Gack | April 7, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I guess I should have said the obvious, that Twan was huge on offense tonight (minus the painful FT misses, though he wasn't alone) and Songaila continues to be the only dude on this team who is cash money to hit an open shot anywhere inside the arc.

Poet had a good first half but a pretty bad 2nd. A lot of turnovers were generated by guys trying to force the ball into Etan down low, and this for a guy who isn't even a sure thing to throw down a dunk with authority.

Posted by: Gack | April 7, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

The anon post at 1 a.m. was me.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 7, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh but Gack it is always Gilbert's fault when the team turns it over 20+ times abd it is always Gilbert's fault when the team misses FT and it is always Gilbert's fault . . .

Posted by: George Templeton | April 7, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

You HAVE to remember - With all of Jordan's strange rotations, none of these guys besides Jamison, played close to 30 minutes or all game. They have to get the opportunity to play together for 48 mins. I agree wwith Robin, its up to Eddie Jordan for getting the team past the 3rd & 4th qtr freeze or slump. This is the closet this team has been to the Princeton offense primarily because when Arenas is in the mix - he does his own thing. There is no Princeton Offense per se and that is why its hard to get ball movement. Its not criticism per se because Jordan has altered the Princeton to fit in the Arenas game in order to let him score.

Bad part is: The other players have not had ample opportunity to grow and advance. As Lisa said, it might be a blessing in disguise for the other players. They HAVE to get some experience or they will never get past the first
They have to learn to play with their basic foundational skills and team work. The coaches have to make them work on turnovers, free throws etc. 23 ouch!!

I agree - i'm proud of wiz..hope they get better.

Posted by: Rob | April 7, 2007 2:20 AM | Report abuse

George and Gack, I don't think anybody said anything about Gilbert..but you. Right now, he's insignificant. We're trying to support a group of guys struggling to save a sinkin ship.

It takes more courage to continue in light of such loss and with so little preparation and support. DS, AJ,AD, Song, Blatch, Booth, Thomas...these guys are fighting for their lives tho ill equiped.

Lets stay supportive

Posted by: Rob | April 7, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

I am supportive and Gack is too, but the Gilbert haters who have bashed him for everything under the sun that is wrong with the Wizards saw what life was like without him.
And unfortunately a lot of the same problems (the ones Gilbert took all the blame for) popped up. They turned the ball over in several critical junctures, they couldn't get good shots when they needed them and most of the guys on the floor couldn't get their own shot.
And of course the Wizards gave up critical rebounds on the defensive end and couldn't get stops when they had to have them. Daniels and Hayes weren't any better at keeping their man in front of them then Gilbert was. The Gilbert haters need be clubbed over the head with this because they weren't just a little wrong, they were very wrong and tonight is just more proof of that.
Now where Eddie Jordan should take some blame is that he plays Daniels and Stevenson more minutes than they are used to playing. Well then he should bite the bullet play both Roger Mason and Donell Taylor more so that Daniels and Stevenson have something left in the 4th quarter. I also think Mike Hall should get some PT out there until Blatche gets back. Anything to reduce Arvis' playing time.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 7, 2007 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Just finished watching the tape of last night and was quite encouraged. Our top 2 stars are out. What should we expect? The team made you proud to be a fan. It has been said before earlier but not this week: whenever we have an injury this year it seems to force Eddie Jordan to make the right adjustments! He is showing now that he is not a horrible coach when he gets the attention of the players. As much as we like Gil, his star status hindered the team from doing some of the good things that they did last night. They are protecting the rim now, they are sharing the ball, they are depending on each other. Maybe as Gil watches he will allow Coach to adjust his game. Make no mistake, we clearly need him and Caron. And it looks clear that Etan does not want to give his job up. He is playing like a monster, even with his limited height. They wore down last night, just as they did on Wednesday. With Blatche still out I thought Mason should have played more. As they get more accustomed to this new style they will get better at it.

I think we will win another 3 games and have to face the Heat. Oh well! I don't think that not going deeper this year should enter into any decisions about the Coach. These injuries must be taken into account. The decisions must be made based upon all that has happened this year.

I too am not a great Larry Brown fan. But he would be just what we need for a year or two. A defensive mindset, discipline and great respect for a coach with rings. Becasue Gil is our best player but not our leader I think that is the kind of coach we need. If not him, someone like him. Wouldn't it be nice if they could take the mic out of John Thompson's hand and get him on the bench!

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 7, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Spot on, George. Gilbert has plenty of flaws and is in no way beyond reproach. Would I have loved to see this team beat Queen LeTravel last night? You bet I would. But in the 4th quarter we looked like the Bullets of old: nobody with any gas left in the tank, nobody capable of taking over a game and putting the team on their back and saying, "we're going to win this". Gilbert has that, despite his many flaws as a player, quirks, and whatever traits that some find undesirable.

It's the same reason that LeTravel had a horrible shooting night (was 3-17 at one point and still kept shooting) but took over in the 4th and imposed his will as the Zards totally wore down: he's just that kind of player.

I also agree with a lot of what you're saying, Rev. Etan may not have the physical attributes of Brendan but he always does look like he's playing with passion. Every board looks like he's fighting for his life. And maybe he is :)

Anybody know why Brendan went to the locker room in the 3rd and never returned?

Posted by: Gack | April 7, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Surprising that B-Hay, who usually plays well against Ilgauskas, played only 8 minutes, especially when EJ basically used a 6 man rotation. I agree with George, it looks like the starters just wore out. Guys like AD and even D-Steve aren't used to playing these kinds of minutes.

Posted by: Mitch | April 7, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Really liked the effort last night. But boy did we miss Caron and Gil and their ability to get to the line and then make them. Thought EJ should have stole some minutes for Taylor or Mason to keep Daniels fresh,down the stretch he, Etan, and Jamison all were spent.
More than a lack of defensive stops our ability to secure the ball after a stop is a pure killer! Again last night we allowed Cleveland three shots on one possesion at a key time in the 4th. Boy, does that hurt, there is nothing that is a bigger backbreaker than to defend a team twice and then have them score the third time. I think that broke our back last night just like it did in Charlotte.
Etan deserves alot of credit, Nice to see our big play the rim in a physical manner. But why were we trying to force feed him the ball in the second half? It's not like he's Duncan all of the sudden.
We really need Blatche and Booth, with them back and if Eddie can steal a little rest for Daniels we might be able to make a series interesting. But, these guys need to cut down on the turnovers, that and foul shooting lost that game last night.
Giving up offensive rebounds, passes from your point gaurd bouncing off of guys hands, forced passes in the paint, poor shot selection, I thought Gil being out would cure all of those things?
Caron and Gil will learn and grow from this, sometimes being forced to watch for a while can relly help. I hope that some of the other players use this time to step up like Etan has already.
Looking toward next year I really do think EJ should and will be back. Hopefully he can use this time to get a better grip on this team and what it's strengths and weaknesses are sometimes your star players can cloud that. And I would like to see us have a defensive assistant that could get of the back row if Eddie is back.
And for love of God, please no Larry Brown! He has battled with his players more and more as he's gotten older. And he loves to drag his fueds into the press and have his players pointing fingers at each other to reporters! Kind of like divide and conquer! He won a title in Detroit and they couldn't get rid of him fast enough. He's played footsie with us before, he'll only use us to drive his price up elsewhere.
When I see our lack of ability to secure the ball two players start coming to my mind. Jamal Maglorie and Tyler Hansbrough, put either of those guys within 10' of a loose ball and they'll get it or knock somebody's teeth out trying. Maglorie is a FA and doesn't look to be getting a hugh contract, Hansbrough has slipped down many draft boards because people think he's really only 6'7".
Two guys that might be reachable and could help our rebounding woes. Just a thought.

Posted by: GM | April 7, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the no Larry Brown. Larry would have them in a half court set every game, and would bench anybody who would attempt a "fast break".

Eddie just needs some new pieces to work with, and an assistant coach from the Spurs or Pistons to "coach up" our boys on Defense.

I must say as much as I have been bashing Etan (and EJ for using him), I have to give him his props. I thought playing a legit 7 footer was going to give him problems, but man was I wrong. I have disagreed with how EJ has used BTH, but it looks like he made the right move.

Lastly, I still think EJ should use DTaylor more to see what he's got. Hall should be at least given some of Jarvis minutes, because Jarvis is still not doing anything. If he does not get his new contract, he has no one to blame but himself, because the dude still looks like he is PASSIVE out there.

Posted by: mikie | April 7, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Anyone reading today's (Saturday) Washington Post Sports section will notice that on the second page, they printed my comment taken from the blog.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 7, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, GM... I couldn't disagree more on Magloire. I have to admit to being incapable of being objective as far as Hansbrough goes, being a UMd fan. IMHO that dude wears "whiney face" way too much for my taste.

My kingdom for a big man who can catch lob passes and throw down a dunk in the paint! You can see it in Etan's play that he's got the aggressiveness and passion to do it, but something about his game has him getting rejected an awful lot, or when he does get it to go, it's often one of those faux-dunks where he barely gets the ball over the rim (like what I could do in high school, before I gained 50 pounds in college ;)

Posted by: Gack | April 7, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Why oh why is Jamison guarding Leborn in the last 2 minutes of the 4th, And on top of that he had 4 and then quickly 5 fouls?

Posted by: dc | April 7, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Eddie was rotating Jamison and Ruffin at that time, on nearly every dead ball.

But ultimately, what else was he going to do? LeTravel had been held to a really low FG% and was having a terrible game, except for the cheap buckets he was getting as a result of guys utterly failing to defend the pick and roll properly.

Honestly, the way Cleveland played last night, could have been a 25 point blowout loss to many other NBA squads. Their fans should be giving them hell on their blog today.

Posted by: Gack | April 7, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I was at the phone booth last night for my first live Wizards experience. I was totally disappointed. Not with the team really, but with the overall atmosphere. While A.D., Antawn, Etan, and Darius were playing their guts out, the fans were seemingly uninterested in the fact that all we need is one win to clinch a playoff spot. Why do fans need a scoreboard graphic to tell them when to cheer? Why do fans make more noise when the blue mascot thingy is shooting T-shirts into the crowd than when the Wiz needed a stop down the stretch? I found the atmosphere to be dull and boring (many times I was the only person in my section cheering, and when I asked the father and son sitting next to me why no one was cheering, they deadpanned, "Nothing's happening." WTH!? The GAME is happening!)

All I can say is that Bill Simmons (of was right, Americans are terrible fans in general, who need gimmicks and scoreboard graphics to tell us when to cheer. When did this happen? When did it become appropriate to passively watch a game live? Ima stick to 'Skins games because at least there is some PASSION...

Finally, Brendan Todd is finished in DC. He sets some of the most halfhearted "screens" I've ever seen. He just doesn't care. Good riddance...

Posted by: Essex | April 7, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Gack, I loved that "faux dunk" line. I was somewhat similar, couldn't get quite high enough to throw it down two handed. And my hands weren't big enough to control it one handed and more often then not lost on the way up or clanked on the back of the rim. I had guys say, "what was that sh$t", I never thought to tell the brothers that was my faux dunk!
You gained 50 lbs in college? Starchy dorm food or the beer? Late night fast food, cokes and candy bars did me in, and yeah, well the beer.
About Maglorie and Hansbrough, I've hated them both and kind of think they're on the edge of borderline dirty. I'm coming to the conclusion we need a couple of guys like that around here. Ruffin is a guy that does that kind of work now, but he's a complete liability on offense and has to go, you just can't play 4 on 5 in this league on offense.
I'm not sure that either would start but I'd like the Combo of Maglorie and Etan better than Brendan and Etan. Hansbrough could give us a tough scrapper off the bench that would tear people's heads off for the ball. Neither would be an allstar but the would increase our toughness.
With Pecherov, possibly Navarro and getting something for Haywood we could have a much tougher bench.

Posted by: GM | April 7, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Essex, sorry that was your first Wiz game. You may be right about the fans, but take what you saw last night with a grain of salt, given what you saw was a group going to a game with a collective broken heart. Even so, the crowd seemed pretty raucous at the end of the first half on ESPN.

I'm not on the Larry Brown bandwagon, but I can't say I've never been curious what he could do with that group,if he could get Brenda to play like a Brendan, if he could do with Gil what he did with AI. I also wonder if I'll ever top that run-on sentence. More likely EJ is by far the better fit.

I'm still excited about next year. This team has a GM that isn't crazy or stupid, a coach that can push all the right buttons, a superstar player who doesn't have the ego of one, some frontcourt help honing their games in Europe instead of the D-League, a few very solid bench players, and no horrible contracts. Ask a Knicks fan if they'd rather have that.

Posted by: Jim | April 7, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

is anybody giving the Wizards a shot tonight against the Nets? they don't do well on the 2nd of back 2 backs, and 4 years now Kidd & Vince Carter have given them hell. with the injuries & the team coming apart at the seams, how many more regular season victories can we muster up? looking at the our roster & the schedule, i hope we can get 1...

Posted by: koolkatt007 | April 7, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Amen Rob. Gilby is so so yesterday's news. People here are still obsessing over him even though he's done. Stop apologizing and get over it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 7, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks DCmann but I don't think they're obscessing about GA. Just trying to figure out what schemes or plays could be drawn up to help the team. Its like in a family & suddenly the mother or father gets sick..everybody's been so used to depending on that person for certain things and then "bam" they're gone for a bit and ya gotta rewire your thinking in order to succeed. They are VERY limited on bodies & experience but are still required to handle some pretty tough opponents.

They really gotta sike themselves up mentally like Muhammed to themselves, do some trash talkin get crazy!!!!Think about nutty Rodman throwin himself on the floor divin for looseballs, envision MJ or Dr. J elevatin to the rim.

Its mental -That's how ol phil finally got the Bulls to their first championship and after. He had to work on them mentally especially MJ. wiring the brain to think "team ball & I'm invinsible!!"

Eddie's games w/haywood not good for the team now-too disruptive. I say leave his behind alone til the end of season. If he plays PF and produces great - if not sit him and ignor him. Focus is critical now.
Lets hope AD, AJ & Stevenson can hang tough.
Talk to you guys maybe after the game.

Posted by: Rob | April 7, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The "beauty" of the Princeton offense is that it's less about individual play and more about team play. If this team can stick to this formula and execute, then they should easily beat the scrub teams out there. As bad as Les BouleS have been playing recently, Joisey is still 4 games behind Les BouleS, and are 5-5 over the last 10 games.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 7, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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