Back at it

The lazy days of summer are over for this reporter and it's time to get back to the business of hoops. The Wizards will have their official media day on Monday and training camp opens on Tuesday in Richmond so I wanted to put a post up asking fans for their input.

What are your three or four major questions/concerns going into camp Wiz? Did the Wiz do enough this summer to become the kind of team that can get to the Eastern Conference finals (last season's training camp goal, remember?)
Do you think the Wiz are being overlooked by hoop fans given the hype surrounding the moves made by Boston and other teams in the East? What do you need to see from key role players like Brendan/Etan, the rookies, Andray Blatche and a healthy Darius Songaila in the preseason before putting together your ideal playing rotation?

It's going to be an interesting camp/preseason and I'll be there every step of the way so let's get to it.

By Ivan Carter |  September 26, 2007; 10:33 AM ET
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Comments

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no big man, no title in the east

Posted by: cb | September 26, 2007 10:46 AM

Welcome back Ivan. Mike did a great job in your place. Both of you guys seem to work well together.

Anyway, as I have been suggesting before; could you please give us Wiz fans the "real story" between EJ and Brenden Haywood. How did this all start and when?
The Haywood/Thomas, EJ, and EG love/hate triangle needs to be told and explained.

We are about to go through another season of the Haywood supporters and the Thomas supporters clashing after each game on who should have been in playing and not playing.

At least if we have some background on why EJ treats Haywood the way he does, we can at least maybe understand some of the way he uses Haywood in games. As you can see I am one of the Haywood supporters, so any kind of story from you would really help. Thanks...........

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 26, 2007 10:51 AM

What about the center position!? The Biggest issue going into the summer was getting some sort of inside, banger presence; they did nothing to address that. Something needs to be done about the Haywood/Thomas situation also. If things start to look down for the team that could go from bad to worse really quick.

Posted by: Hoops for the Hungry | September 26, 2007 10:54 AM

The only question/concern I have at the center position. I'm of the firm position that Haywood needs to not only start, but also get a night-in-night-out consistent 28-30 MPG (that is, if we have any intention of ever becoming more than a laughingstock on defense). I don't think the consistent minutes are ever going to happen for him as long as EJ and Etan are here, but he still does have a realistic shot at starting, I hope.

The difference between whether EJ and Haywood can get on the same book (asking for the same page is probably too much) or not is the difference between me expecting a 40-42 win season and a first round bounce versus a 44-46 win season and potential to make some noise in the playoffs.

Posted by: MJG | September 26, 2007 11:04 AM

Is it realistic to expect some defense? Any defense? Suns of the East may work in the season, but not during the playoffs ...

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | September 26, 2007 11:12 AM

Will EJ try out different combinations for his first and second units in training? I hope so, to avoid his surprising comments on having an entirely new rotation after Caron and Gil were injured. He's got to know his players' strengths before the season, not heading into playoffs, LOL.

Posted by: rgz | September 26, 2007 11:21 AM

Jordan is not the problem with the Bullets/Wizards. BH can't play and his bad attitude should be relegated to on floor aggression towards his opponent. All of EJ frustrations are the lack of defensive play and rebounding from a 7'0 waste. There's no reason not to expect at least 9-10 rebounds a game from a 7'0 Center. BH should stop concentrating on scoring and rebound and defend the middle and his relationship with his coach and team mates would translate to a much happier environment. This not to say ET is much better, but his energy is substantially better especially in the forth quarter. Why this isn't apparent to the so called BH supporters perplexes me to no end! HE MUST BE SUPPORTED FOR OTHER REASON THAN BASKETBALL

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 11:23 AM

Yes, having bad centers doesn't help, but in no way does it doom the Wiz. How many teams have good centers?

The main question on my mind, Ivan, is this: Is Gil going to re-up? Does he hedge at all when you ask him about opting out of the final year of his deal? Is he happy in D.C.? This would seem to be the most important question at present.

Posted by: Keithinator | September 26, 2007 11:24 AM

main question,

does antawn get dealt at the trade deadline? would wiz deal his expiring contract to make a push for the playoffs? would they do that to their team leader? will antawn accept a salary reduction in the offseason (next year?

i think the wiz did enough. stronger supporting cast. healthy starters. no arvis!

Posted by: CreditZard | September 26, 2007 11:29 AM

Can Haywood and Etan play together? I don't care if they are BFF or arch-nemesis so long as they can put that aside once they get on the court.

How's Arenas body post-surgery?

How much is too much rookies to have on a team?

Posted by: Bart | September 26, 2007 11:29 AM

what's up

Posted by: testing | September 26, 2007 11:38 AM

will you get first dibs on viewing the Gil II Zeros when they debut in each city??
;-)

Posted by: hmmmmm | September 26, 2007 11:46 AM

how will EJ substitute? will he be fair with minutes going to the rookies and others like Blatche, Songaila? will Arenas favor the knee and settle for jump shots or will he attack the basket with reckless abandon? will we keep a lead in the 4th? will we get to 50 wins?

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 11:51 AM

Like others here, my first reaction to your question is the center position. Gil was of course right about Haywood. I say start Etan and let Haywood earn whatever playing time he can get. Last year Eddie spoke of experimenting with Songaila at center. They trashed that idea when he got hurt, any word of revisiting?

I'm expecting Opec to help right away, and for Songaila to log big minutes from the get go.

Posted by: Patrick | September 26, 2007 12:02 PM

Ivan, I have a couple of questions for the Wizards.

1. What was the reasoning for picking Nick Young over Marco Belinelli? When Belinelli came to Washington, you said in your blog that he was an impressive shooter who had much confidence in his shot. I believe the Wizard needed a person coming off the bench who could bring much need scoring and who could hit the open shot. I don't think they needed another swingman. In addition, Belinelli was playing pro ball and might not run out of gas at the end of the season as some rookies do.

2. Was Ruben Patterson ever a consideration to sign? The Wizard not only need defensive help in the post, but they also need it on the perimeter. Patterson would have brought that as well as toughness and energy off the bench. In addition, he would have been another strong defender to throw at LeBron James.

3. Will EJ let the rookies play? If the Wizards start slow will EJ stick with a rotation that (I hope) includes the rookies and Blatche, or will he do what he's done that last two seasons and start playing the starters 40 minutes a game. Look what Chicago did with Tyrus Thomas last year. Chicago's coach played him in the first half of every game, although he was making mistakes. It paid off for them at the end of the year when Thomas became a real contributor.

4. Will Wizards management pay the luxury tax if it means a better chance at a championship this season? I've read many management (Abe Pollin) does not want to play the luxury tax. I respect that, but will he let the luxury stop him from winning a championship? THAT QUESTION NEEDS TO BE PUT TO HIM. Fans pay all the taxes and fees to buy a ticket and should expect not to let a tax standing the way of winning! If a possible mid-season move is out there, will the wizards make that move even if results in having to pay the luxury tax?

Posted by: Dthefan | September 26, 2007 12:04 PM

I wish Les BouleS had a guy in the middle like Samuel Dalembert. I'm surprised we didn't show any interest when he was a free agent recently. Dude has got some of the longest arms I've ever seen.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 26, 2007 12:07 PM

I agree with everyone else, the center position has a ton of questions. How do BH and ET feel about another year together? How do EJ and BH feel about another year together? Most importantly: Is the drama getting to the rest of the team? How do they feel about maybe having to go through yet another year of problems with these guys?

Posted by: CurtisLee | September 26, 2007 12:11 PM

I'll throw in my 2 cents on the Center question.

Will EG package our multiple picks to try to move up in the draft to select a quality center? (Hibbert comes to mind).

With Thomas' tendancy for injury, and Haywood's problems - I would hate to have to rely on Pecherov, or Blatche for any real minutes at the center position. Why did the Wizards not pursue Mutombo, or at least try to resign Booth as their third center?


And as for Defense...
As lots of posters on this blog have said, Defense wins Championships! And I'm not talking about flashy defense like blocks and steals; but fundamental defense. Moving your feet. Keeping in front of the offensive player. Putting a hand in the face of a shooter. Defending the block AND the 3-point line!! We seem to have personnel that are quick enough (-Jamison), athletic enough, tall enough, etc.. Can the new defensive coach make a difference?


Posted by: Rook | September 26, 2007 12:12 PM

I'm with G$, substitution patterns are going to be key. Keeping Arenas, Jamison, and Butler fresh for late in the game is going to be key as well as keeping them fresh for late in the season. Here's hoping the injury bug can leave them the hell alone this year.
The other question is what role does Eddie Jordan envision for Dominic McGuire? He certainly impressed all of us at summer league and Jordan too. Could he be a defensive and rebounding force for 20 mins. a game off the bench spelling Caron, DeShawn or Jamison, depending on the lineup. McGuire definately should be in for Jamison for defense at the end of games in my opinion

Posted by: George Templeton | September 26, 2007 12:13 PM

1. What's the deal with Brendan/Etan, and especially Brendan/EJ? Can they all work together effectively?

2. How is EJ going to find minutes for Blatche and Pecherove and Songalia? Is Antawn going to be playing less?

3. Is Caron ready for the next step? He had a break out year last season and could be on the verge of becoming an elite player. Is he poised to make that jump?

4. How has Antonio Daniels felt about constantly hearing his name in trade demands? Will he still enthusiastically take up his under-appreciated role as veteran-off-the-bench?

Oh yeah, and of course: defense. What are they going to do about it? Like, really.

Posted by: Washington Ball | September 26, 2007 12:14 PM

Too bad Wizards let Chase sign with Heats. I think Chase is a better 3rd string PG than either Taylor or Mason.

Posted by: Sagaliba | September 26, 2007 12:20 PM

By the way, welcome back Ivan.

Posted by: Rook | September 26, 2007 12:22 PM

Thanks for the post Ivan. So here are my points.

1. Center position - Haywood is border line Kwame Brown in my book. BH could easily be one of the top 5 centers in the league but he simply has no heart. Etan is a power forward with heart but no hands, and no offensive game. Etan should serve as the team enforcer..give us 5-6 rebounds, use 4-5 fouls, put Lebron on the ground when he comes in for windmill. I would rather go with our strengh, small ball utilizing Pech at center. So, yes we give up points down low but I want to see Shaq try to step out with Pech beyond the 3 point line and try to keep up with us running. Who cares what the traditional models are...the game is evolving.

2. Can and will Gilbert be able to penetrate and expload. I have heard mixed reports. To me, this is the entire season. It is only when Gil is penetrating and drawing fouls that teams cannot handle us.

3. Everybody needs to back off of the Antawn trade garbage. 20-10 player who is a leader and will step up when the pressure is on. He does not just rack it up for the 1st 3 quarters...this guy gives everything, PROFESSIONAL. These people make me sick.

4. A healthy Songalia should be given a ton of additional minutes this year. 50% fg, hard nosed rebounding, good mid-range touch. Don't care that he can't clear the Sunday paper...he understands the game.

5. Jarvis is gone...woohoo! Sorry, really like him, and formerly his game but he could not throw it in the ocean the past two years. Very excited about Young and McGuire and hope they see enough minutes to early to contribute down the stretch. We really need scoring off the bench, I believe these two can deliver.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 12:42 PM

I think the reason the relationship between Haywood and Etan is so bad is because they have been competing for the starting role for 4 years, and nobody has one it outright. I challenge anyone to name a similar situation were two guys desperately want to start and play 30 mins a game, and after 4 years they are still on the same team, and nobody has established themselves as the winner. It is only inevitable for them to eventually hate each other

What I want to know is what is the rotation going to look like, with Caron down 15 lbs can he play the 2? Could a starting line-up with Gil, CB, AJ, DS/AB, and Bh/ET work? How much playing time does Jordan expect to give the rookies? How does Gil's knee look /is he taking it to the hole again or will we be watching him jack up 10 3s a game?

LETS GO WIZ, cant wait for the season

Welcome back Ivan

Posted by: Ben | September 26, 2007 12:43 PM

Welcome back IC,

1. Whats up with Haywood? He left at the end of the season much like Kwame did in his last year hear. And many of the fans are questioning his heart.

2. Does Eddie feel this is his deepest team since he took over?

3. Will Eddie get back to playing more zone defense this year? At times in the past few years it has work well in stretches.

4. 5 Seconds on the clock down by 3 and Gil drives to the basket. AJ is cover on one side of the wing. Who is going to step up and knock down the open 3 this year?

5. What will Nick Young roll be this year?

Of course everyone is sleeping on the 7th seed from last year that didn't make a trade or sign a BIG named free agent. But the way the cards fell in the draft I couldn't be more happy with the Wizards roster. Ok with the exception of Brendan on the team. If I see him pouting like a 4 year old on the sideline this year I swear I'll put a foot up his rear myself. If and when he becomes a distraction this year he needs to go.

Posted by: pg posse | September 26, 2007 12:50 PM

Abe is just jerking us around.As hoops hungery said ,going into the off season they said low post presance was one of the main concerns and they did nothing!!we've gotten younger and less experinced,I do like what we did with the exception of haywood,someone needs to explain to that 7ft oaf that the only way to get respect in this league is to show you can play and he hasn't.I hate haywood hes not a good hs center let alone nba.d wins titles and we just don't seem to care about anything but o,may the b-ball gods help us come playoff time.

Posted by: jcrock | September 26, 2007 12:56 PM

I don't see BTH improving and buying into the gameplan unless he gets his PT and especially his touches. I don't think BTH would agree with Gilby in that the guards and AJ will take care of the offense and all BTH needs to do is get the boards and defend.

Gilby is saying if Les BouleS win 50 games, he should be in the running for MVP. Gilby's ticket to MVP is scoring in bunches, not playing tough D. I expect Gilby to be the same player he was last season, and the same from AJ and DS also.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 26, 2007 1:03 PM

Big questions:

1. Will Eddie play the best player at center? To me, this could be BH, Etan, Andray, Songalia or Pecherov.

2. Arenas, Daniels, Jamison, Stevenson, Butler, Songalia, Thomas and BH are locks for the rotation. Will Blatche, Pecherov, Nick Young, McGuire and Mason break the regular rotation?

3. What positions will Songalia, Blatche, Young, McGuire, and Pecherov play most of the time?

Posted by: KSM | September 26, 2007 1:04 PM

I knew it! Can't go just one day! Too funny!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:11 PM

1. Gil may opt out next year, why don't we have a young PG to develop, DT is the answer???

2. Is EJ open to tinkering with his lineup and rotations? With the addition of the new guys and continued developmement of Andray, I hope EJ is open to some changes.

Posted by: Wizzy | September 26, 2007 1:16 PM

"I knew it! Can't go just one day! Too funny!

Posted by: | September 26, 2007 01:11 PM "

You are way too sensitive. Now what did I say that ruffled your feathers or was way over the top? I thought I made a fair statement about Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 26, 2007 1:16 PM

I'm putting this offseason question to management.

if we're looking at yet another season of friction with between brenda softwood and Etan and EJ, which is highly likely, how could management let this be a distraction (even, a potential distraction) with such an important season coming up? Did management simply forget about what happened at the end of last year? Did they not care? Did they think this would magically resolve itself after hitting rock bottom (have we hit rock bottom, or is there more to come?)? Or, did the "right deal" not materialize? If no "right deal" materialized, was management unreasonable in their demands?

bottom line: if there is a lockerroom problem and problems in-season, we all ought to look to management for accountability. the season will tell the tale, but management may have made our boys job harder because of logical, obvious moves they failed to make.


Posted by: gman | September 26, 2007 1:17 PM

When will you hold your first online chat?

Posted by: Me | September 26, 2007 1:21 PM

Grunfeld kept BTH around b/c he likes BTH. In contrast, he does not like EJ and probably regrets matching Etan's contract from Milwaukee.

He left EJ's staff hanging and gave them courtesy 1 year contracts, and then brought in 2 defensive coaches, with one leaving. Therefore, the writing is on the wall with EJ. Either they burst out of the barn, or EJ gets canned.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 26, 2007 1:22 PM

Welcome back Ivan, we're excited for the season.

Three concerns:
1. Is Gilbert's knee in shape?
2. Etan/Brendan/Jordan issue
3. Are our rookies able to help out and provide decent depth?

Posted by: gidge | September 26, 2007 1:28 PM

1. Is this Antawn's last year in D.C.?
2. How much p.t. will the 3 rooks get in the regular season?
3. Is Blatche ready to step up finally?

Posted by: 82-0 | September 26, 2007 1:32 PM

there was an article written last year (i forget the columnist) but it talked about Brendan and Etan needing each other. Both are so intent on who starts when it's not about that. Brendan got caught up in the statistics that suggested the team wins win he starts. There was more to it than that. I definitely think they can be used but EJ has to play chess. Brendan, for example, should always start and get more minutes against Ilgauskas and Cleveland because he gives him fits. In those contests, Etan should focus on being the bruiser and enforcer off the bench who uses his fouls and makes LeBronn think twice when coming down the lane.

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 1:35 PM

"I think the reason the relationship between Haywood and Etan is so bad is because they have been competing for the starting role for 4 years, and nobody has one it outright. I challenge anyone to name a similar situation were two guys desperately want to start and play 30 mins a game, and after 4 years they are still on the same team, and nobody has established themselves as the winner. It is only inevitable for them to eventually hate each other" Ben

You make an excellent point Ben. What my problem with the whole situation is you have Etan, a natural prototype "4", trying to play the "5" position. It works some nights, but for the most part most of the other teams "5's" shoot right over him.

As for Haywood, he is so easy to figure out it is not funny. If the man was to get 25 to 30 minutes a night and be in the last 4:00 minutes of the 4th quarter, you would see a totally different player night in and night out.

Why do you think Steve Blake and Juan Dixon "shot out of here" when their contracts were up. They both clearly said they want to play somewhere where they know what their minutes are every night. With EJ they never knew. Guess what, the same goes for Haywood and Thomas. The only difference is, Thomas knows how to handle it better then Haywood. The only folks who actually "know their minutes" every night is Gil, Caron, and Jamison, 40 minutes plus. And you wonder why they keep getting hurt near the end of the year.

I have seen many a games where Haywood would have it going and EJ would yank him with about 2:00 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and he would not get back into the game until about a 1 minute or 2 left in the 4th quarter, if that. Never could get that, and that is why I figured it had to be something personal.

Don't you find it strange Haywood played some of his best ball when Etan was out this past year? The reason why, EJ could not "jerk" Haywood around because he did not have Etan to use against him to take his minutes. Haywood knew that and he was able to play his game and really produce, because he did not have to keep looking over his shoulder.

Yes it is unfortunate Haywood is a little "weak mentally" but in the same sense he is nicely gifted to a degree physically for a 7 footer.

EJ and him need to have one more sitdown to clear the air, then EJ needs to call Etan into the room and then let them clear the air between themselves. Haywood should start because it is clear Etan will give you the same energy regardless if he starts or comes off of the bench. Haywood plays better when he starts vs. coming off of the bench.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 26, 2007 1:56 PM

I saw someone's comment on trading up to get at someone like Hibbert. First off I think its a little early to be looking to next year already.
BUT if this was a consideration I think the wiz could make some moves this year to put them in position to do that. One keep antwan (and use him as trade bait) get some of the rookies time this year and part ways with one of them in the package to get the rights to Hibbert.

I'm a georgetown guy so I'm biased BUT I think Hibbert has been under valued by most pro scouts / draft guys. He will be a dominate defensive guy from the get go. He will pull down atleast 10 rebounds a game. He will surprise a lot of people with his ability to score without getting looks. AND his post moves will steadily improve even throughout his NBA career.

So yes our center position sucks this year... but we have atleast one option next year.... just a thought.


Posted by: PJP | September 26, 2007 1:59 PM

trying this in two sections:

Ivan - welcome back and thanks to Michael for the good work in your absence.

I think an article about the Wizards finances and how the NBA works with money would be interesting. The reason I suggest this is that how the $ work in the NBA aside from the salary cap is pretty opaque.

To that end, it seems to be a recurrent theme on here that Abe is cheap. While I respect Abe, I am not his apologist, but do we all realize that Abe runs a business, and has a right to make some money on it? The folks who have pointed out the punitive effect of going over the salary cap are right, but even putting that aside, let's think about the numbers a little here.

As I understand it the players have a right to 51% of the league's revenue (which is defined as what precisely? Tickets and TV revenue?). If the salary cap is around $65M that means the revenue that each team gets is a little less than $130M. Let's assume that the Wiz are around the average in terms for revenue. Abe has to pay the entire staff, including some expensive folks like the coach, Wes, etc out of that money. He has to pay for all the flights and accommodations during the year with that money. He has to pay for the facility and to rent it for games(altho that kind of goes back into his pocket). Marketing costs. Lawyers cost. Insurance costs. Etc etc. The pool for that is 49% of the revenue.

A real business needs to run a decent margin. It also has to be have a good return on investment. Per Forbes the franchise is worth $274M. Abe could get 5% money risk free in a bank with that kind of ching, so minimally he should be pulling $14M out of the operations each year, and to account for the extra risk that you have with a business, probably needs to be more like $20M.

Posted by: charles jones | September 26, 2007 2:00 PM

Other teams have been able to win without key players -- Miami w/o Wade, Cleveland w/o LH. My question is: If one of the Wiz Big 3 gets injured and can't play, can this team win?

Rephrased: wasn't there an off-season failure in not getting a fourth "impact" player for this team?

Also I agree with others that it's unbelievable that the Poet/BH thing is dragging into another year. It says something about the FO's conservatism that neither of them was moved.

Posted by: Mitch | September 26, 2007 2:01 PM

Ben, You are right regarding BTH and ET. (Obviously, if one were clearly better than the other, it would have been easier for the other to accept it.) On top of that, we have a coach that likes to play small ball, so even the starting center don't play 30 min a game (more like 22 min).

As for the relationship between BTH and EJ, I think it started out because EJ somehow believed that Haywood plays better when he is mad. So he made some public comments that intended to "stimulate" Haywood (about 3 yrs ago). He did succeed in making Haywood mad, but failed to make him play better, and the relationship has been sour since.

Posted by: Sagaliba | September 26, 2007 2:02 PM

continuing. . .

Frankly I doubt he is getting that out of his revenue after player costs and all other costs.

I'm sure some of you are saying $20M that's ridiculous. It is in many ways, but at the end of day while owning the franchise may be a passion, an owner can only take so much of a pop in terms of the opportunity cost of having his money elsewhere.

Going over the luxury tax and that costing him $6M or $7M might not seem like a big deal, but it is a huge portion of his profit (@$20M would be 30%), and it likely makes his return on investment very poor. Keep in mind too that profitability drives price, and Abe is probably thinking about getting out at some point. Ted L. knows the numbers, trust me.


End of the day, no doubt that it is the city's franchise (and ours), but it is his money. That being said, we provide a lot of the revenue, and he is using our city's name, so we have some right to know the deal.

Posted by: charles jones | September 26, 2007 2:03 PM

Good Point Charles Jones. To piggy back on his theme. Ivan, how about a story on Ted Leneous (spelling????) and his "small stake" in the team.

Will Abe finally sell it to him, and then we would finally have an owner with some deep pockets who is not afraid to go into luxury tax territory if it meant winning the championship?

What's the deal with all of this with Ted and Abe turning the team over?????

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 26, 2007 2:04 PM

Hoops is almost here, thank god, as the Redskins begin their road to disappointment and heartbreak AGAIN.

I think it's a fairly simple analysis with this team.

Pro's
- Kept starting unit that was first in the East last year going into the all-star break together for another year. Hopefully, a nice cohesive unit returns, which should mean a fast start.
- Dropped Arvis from the roster.
- Healthier Songalia and, according to Michael, a very in shape Butler and Stevenson.
- Bench is potentially much improved.
- Andray Blatche has another season to live up to his "potential" and really contribute.
- McGuire might be a diamond in the rough.

Con's
- EJ is still coach.
- Overall team defense and AJ's pathetic defense in particular.
- Bench is really young.
- BTH and Etan together again. By the way, for people who take sides in this mess, they both are decent players that too often alternate between playing fairly well to disappearing during games. In that regard, they are identical.
- GA's knee. 100% or something less?
- No low post scorer/banger to keep defenses honest. Note: Most teams have this issue.
- How much time will the young bench/players be given to develop with EJ as coach? Last year the Big 3 were ridden hard and all three got hurt. Hmmm...does EJ learn from that mistake?
- Andray Blatche has another season to live up to his "potential" and really contribute.

Posted by: Rob P | September 26, 2007 2:11 PM

I think the key to this being a surprisingly good season besides staying fairly healthy is either Andray or McGuire has to play very well consistently. McGuire might be the more likely candidate.

Posted by: Rob P | September 26, 2007 2:17 PM

What are your three or four major questions/concerns going into camp Wiz?

Gilbert has to be 1-4. We need him to play at an MVP type level in order to make the jump to Top Tier team, and if he hasn't fully recovered then that may be an issue.

Did the Wiz do enough this summer to become the kind of team that can get to the Eastern Conference finals (last season's training camp goal, remember?)

Classic Ernie summer. He doesn't do anything that can hurt us (Jeffries/Hughes). He's the best GM we've ever had, so I trust him. I wanted to see Jamison swapped for Gasol or O'neil, but since the rumors only mentioned Marion or Randolph then I'm guessing we didn't have a shot at those guys or it wasn't in our best interest.

Do you think the Wiz are being overlooked by hoop fans given the hype surrounding the moves made by Boston and other teams in the East?

Who cares... 5 games into the season everyone forgets the preseason projections.

What do you need to see from key role players like Brendan/Etan, the rookies, Andray Blatche and a healthy Darius Songaila in the preseason before putting together your ideal playing rotation?

Brendan and Etan are the longest tenured players on the team, if we don't know what we'll get from them by now then we're just not being honest with ourselves. Darius cemented his role in the rotation in the last 15 games. I don't expect that to change. The biggest question mark is Blatche and can Blatche consistently perform like he did when Jamison went down. If he can, then its almost like we picked up another player but for relatively nothing.

Posted by: D-Young | September 26, 2007 2:29 PM

Good to have you back Ivan!

1. How far has/will Andray progress this season

2. What is the reality of OPEC contributing more than Andray?

3. Does Dom. MacGuire have the personality to make a big splash with this team - almost infective off the bench. I'm thinking "Space Man" from "Sunset Park." (played by Mr. Terance Howard).

Etan and Brenda need to grow up. It must be tough to make all that money, yet continue to let folks down.

Grow Up.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 26, 2007 2:34 PM

We know how good the Big 3 is. Cana the other 12 men step up?

Posted by: Soup's Uncle | September 26, 2007 2:39 PM

Another not-quite-great year, unless Ernie plays his cards right and springs on a defensive big man if/when he becomes available. That would invariably mean trading Antawn, but lets face it, a player with his deficiencies (height, weight, fluffy game, no lateral movement) will never lead you to a championship. AJ is either a great 6th man or a wonderful complement to an elite center...we gotta let him go at some point, people.

I also agree that if we aren't 12-8 by the first 20 games of the season, Eddie J should be outta here. I'd almost be willing to hope for a slow start....

Posted by: DC | September 26, 2007 2:57 PM

The talent is in place for a run in the East. The main key to me will be coaching. It will have the biggest effect on how our questions will be answered? Will we play the Big 3 too many minutes. What will the subsitution patterns be? Will the rookies be given minutes early in the season for experience that will help them down the stretch? Has Andray Blatche improved? The days they don't play well, will they be relegated to the bench for long stretches? Will we maintain leads and finish teams? Will we have a swag and consistently beat up on the lower echelon teams. Will we hold down home court? Will we be above .500 on the road?

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 3:01 PM

What do I need??...I need for Blatche to get serious about his career, I know he's young but damn! He could be a real factor at 7ft with guardlike qualities. I need for Abe Polin (or however you spell it) to sell the team to an owner who wants to spend the money to have a real contender, not that we won't contend for the playoffs, but realisticly, we can't win a championship with the pieces we have now...We need a better bench for that, or should I say a deeper bench. And that new owner needs to get us out of those cheesey @ss uniforms that make us look silly, and change our name back to the bullets. Thats what I need!

I Love my Bullets!!! Always will. Even if they wear the ridiculous name "the wizards."

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 3:06 PM

If I could somehow fly home and coerce the Wizards media staff into giving me a press pass for running Bullets Forever, here's what I would ask that hasn't already been said.

To Eddie:
1. Exactly what role will Randy Ayers have on staff? What type of scheme changes can we expect to see in the defense?

2. What must Andray Blatche do to get more playing time?

3. What do you anticipate being the breakdown in minutes among Jamison, Songaila, Blatche, Haywood, Thomas, and Pech?

4. What do the rookies have to do to become a part of the rotation?

5. Gil, Caron, and Antawn were all near the top of the league in minutes played. How do you give them more rest?

6. How do you plan on dealing with the Brendan/Etan feud, beyond simply playing one and not the other?

7. How do you compensate defensively for having a small forward and power forward that are often smaller than the men they guard?

8. How do you plan on defending the high screen and roll more effectively this year?

For Ernie (though he probably won't give yo a straight answer)

1. How close were you in finding a team to trade for Etan Thomas?

2. Why did you decide to wait so long to trade Navarro?

3. Before Andray Blatche was arrested, it was reported that he was set to receive a 5 year/12.5 million dollar contract. After he was arrested, he received a 5 year/15 million dollar contract. Why?

4. Generally, how concerned are you about Blatche's arrest and DeShawn Stevenson's run-in with a shooting at his house?

5. How much talk was there to adding another free agent to this team, even considering the money situation?

To Caron/DeShawn:

1. Why did you decide to slim down even more? How do you think the lost weight will help you this year?

To Caron

1. How can you continue to improve as an offensive player? What areas of your game still need work?

I've got more, but those are just off the top of my head.

Posted by: Pradamaster | September 26, 2007 3:12 PM

4 concerns heading into the season:

1. Defense - the D is bad on the perimeter and bad on the interior. The perimeter deficiencies may be a symptom of the weakness of the interior D. While it is easy to blame the center position, I think blame should be cast upon the 4 spot -- Jamison. He has neither the quickness, size, nor toughness to be an effective interior defender. As a result, the entire team suffers.

2. Can the bench contribute? The bench has to be a strength this season. And there is reason for hope. AD is a good leader and then you've got a bunch of options now: Andray, Young, D-Mac, Etan, Pecherov. If the bench plays well, then the starters can get rest, particularly at the end of games when the first team has created a sizeable lead.

3. EJ - Can he manage the players on the team by convincing them to put winning before personal achievment

4. health - everyone has to stay relatively healthy.

Posted by: M.E.G. | September 26, 2007 3:21 PM

I can't imagine that the deal making is done.

Ernie is not stupid enough to start the season with BH and ET. He has to come up with a way to get stronger and tougher. Boston, Orlando, NY, Detroit, Chicago are all very tough and got much better. We did not get better. We have a healthier line up, the same group of players that let us get bounced out after round 2 of hte playoffs 2 years ago.

I can't imagine that Ernie is done with the deals. I am anxious to see what rabbit he's going to pull out of the hat. We are barely a playoff team as is. We play no defense. And have no consistent rebounder in our centers. That collection of centers - BH and ET -- are pathetic excuses for basketball players. Pathetic. The only reason Ernie hasn't gotten rid of them is b/c no other team sees value in them. But Ernie being the genius that he is will find a way to package at least one of them plus Antwan for something solid in return.

Please Ernie, don't let us down now.

Posted by: NT | September 26, 2007 3:22 PM

For EG, have you made/taken any calls about Etan or Brendan from Portland who lost Oden for the year?

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 3:27 PM

Good point G$, being above .500 in road games and not losing focus when playing lousy teams are 2 traits of contenders, that this team did not have last year.

Posted by: CurtisLee | September 26, 2007 3:42 PM

"Another not-quite-great year, unless Ernie plays his cards right and springs on a defensive big man if/when he becomes available. That would invariably mean trading Antawn, but lets face it, a player with his deficiencies (height, weight, fluffy game, no lateral movement) will never lead you to a championship. AJ is either a great 6th man or a wonderful complement to an elite center...we gotta let him go at some point, people." - DC

Amen. Been saying this for two years now! Love how people consistently bring up the 20-10 player when discussing Jamison. First, he is not quite a 20-10 guy. Second, who cares when the guy your guarding goes 28-12? I hope this is his last year here or, if we keep him, he is cheap and he becomes the 6th man.

Posted by: Rob P | September 26, 2007 3:44 PM

1) How far do the Wizards think they can go with this roster? What are their goals for the season?
2) How likely are Jamison and Arenas to bolt after the season?
3) Does Ernie Grunfeld feel satisfied about the roster? Is this a roster he is comfortable playing the entire season with, or is EG looking for a trade before the season ends?
4) Who are the discontents on this years roster? Haywood obviously, but anybody else that's upset?

Posted by: Emmet | September 26, 2007 3:48 PM

Amazing nobody even mentions Nick Young. That will change.

Amazing some people would rather have Ted Leonsis as owner --- the guy who dumped every solid player but the goalie to get the payroll down to the lowest level in the league. Now is building back up with over-age defense guys and cheap rookies. Be careful what you wish for, folks.

With a new assortment of fit 7-footers, we're still obsessing about Thomas and Heywood? By December, we'll be long past that problem.

Posted by: joe c | September 26, 2007 3:58 PM

Yo Ivan I hope you are getting all of this.......... These are some great ideas for some stories for you and Mike.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 26, 2007 4:04 PM

Yo Ivan I hope you are getting all of this..........?? These are some great ideas for some future stories to write up between you and Mike.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 26, 2007 4:07 PM

There's no way the Wizards will compete for anything more than the 8th playoff spot -- and we'll be lucky to get that -- if we have to rely on Etan and Brendan. Ernie should have packaged those two, the kid from Spain and possibly Blatche for a quality big man.

Posted by: Frank | September 26, 2007 4:18 PM

Some good questions above, especially some of Pradamaster's. The questions I would like to see Ivan, Michael or whomever investigate and report are:

1. What really happened with Tom Thibodeau?
2. What is going to change on the defensive end of the floor this year?
3. Does Eddie plan to use small lineups this year? When and why? Who are the players that will play center in those small lineups?
4. How does Eddie feel about the departures of Ruffin and Hayes? Did he have input into those decisions? Did he agree with the decisions to not resign those guys?
5. Is the clock ticking on Eddie Jordan? If the Wizards are below .500 at the end of 2007, will a change be made?
6. Why did Susan O'Malley leave the organization?
7. Did the offer to Andrae Blatche change in any way after he was arrested? If so, how? If not, why not?

I know some journalists are reluctant to ask tough questions of Wizards management, but the Wizards are a business that will roll out the company line, and the only way to find out is to ask, develop sources, and push those sources for information. There are certainly many hints that this summer was a very interesting one at the Verizon Center, what with the assistant coach contract issue, assistant coaches leaving, Thibodeau, Navarro, O'Malley, Grunfeld being promoted, etc. But we've seen no great insight about what really was going on behind the scenes. That's been very disappointing.

Posted by: Henry | September 26, 2007 4:33 PM

please tell me what quality big man is out there? there are no elite centers in the game at this point other than yao ming and a declining (but still a force and match-up nightmare) Shaq. if you want to consider Tim Duncan, a center, he's great. Ben Wallace plays center in a forwards body. after that, you have some journeymen with no real consistency to their games. Oden is a good prospect but he'll be out a year and needs polish. the center position is evolving people. its a guard/forward dominated league now.

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 4:35 PM

We don't need an elite center. We either need a power forward or a center who can clog up the middle. He doesn't need to score, just be effective in stopping every opposing team from flying to the basked for layups, which has been the case until now. LeBron's walk-a-thon in the playoffs is still a humiliating, torturous memory.

Posted by: DC | September 26, 2007 4:44 PM

I can't believe some of the "Basketball IQ" challenged folks that respond on this blog sometimes!! What do you mean "what does Andray Blatche have to do to get more time?"...He has to play like he knows he belongs out there! He has to get stronger, and make better decisions with the ball! Do you even watch the games??? He needs to spend his off-seasons working out and on his game, Gilbert invited him to workout with him...thats how he should have spent this summer, not with the hookers on 14th and L.

What do you mean How do we get Jamison, Arenas and Butler less minutes on the floor??...Duh...you gotta have somebody coming off the bench who is solid and trust-worthy with game...a solid bench player...thus, a deeper bench like I said before...If you've noticed whenever those three aren't on the floor, the game starts slipping away from us. Thus, we need to spend a little mula on a deeper bench.

And we need to trade Jamison for a player (of coarse another SF/F) with offensive skills that also plays at least SOME "D", and won't watch LeBron drive baseline in a playoff game to score the winning bucket!

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 4:56 PM

Blatche always looks lost out on the floor, like a deer caught in headlights!! I love his potential, but he needs to live up to it.

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 4:57 PM

my sentiments exactly. we have centers who can do that but they have to take on that mentality and be consistent. problem is they're so concerned about who starts instead of maximizing whatever minutes they are given. but that is a direct correlation to their coaching and the flaky mind-games played especially with brendan. ej says he wants his centers to defend the paint but does he coach that with an open mind? i say teach them both to have a starters mentality no matter when they get put in. remember jordan's championship teams in chicago? they had a cohesive center-by committe in bill cartwright, stacy king, will perdue, john salley, and luc longley. each played a nice roll no matter who the starter was and p jackson found a way to give them a few touches on o which made them hungry on d.

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 4:59 PM

The only bench player that I have any confidense in is Antonio Daniels!! And most of you want to get rid of him...when we need more like him!

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 5:00 PM

But see, thats the problem, you can't make a player be something they are not! Haywood is a solid backup center at best, so is Etan, but on this team, they are the two best at that postion...if not tell me who should start in front of them, and dont say Booth, cause he is gone.

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 5:04 PM

name 2 centers other than those i mentioned in the east who you'd start over brendan or etan? and be sure they avg double figures or close in both points per and rebounds? i'd personally take zo mourning and start him. the sub would have to play the majority of minutes but i'd put zo in to start and finish games.

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 5:19 PM

and for the blogger who said we need to spend more $ on the bench. i think we've improved the bench potentially with this years draft and the gate shown to arvis hayes along with unproductive journeyman like boothe and ruffin. but a bench needs developing. that comes with coaching and time in games with something on the line. it comes with consistent playing time which develops confidence. that's how a daniels got to be dependable. they have to be allowed to make mistakes. i definitely agree blatche should have been working his tail off all summer but if he did, will ej give him the minutes other than flashes when 1 of the big 3 goes down. look at the benches of the last couple of championship teams. they each have role players who find niches.

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 5:34 PM

One question:
Is Eddie going to coach this team like a playoff team and reduce the minutes for his big three early in the year or is he going to coach scared again, like he needs to win big early to keep from getting fired halfway through the season?

Posted by: oddjob | September 26, 2007 5:37 PM

BTH and Etan are not the end of our season! Jeez...are they any worse than Zeke and whomever backed him up - Varajao??
Not by much and Cleveland was in the finals. I will even go so far as to say the Wiz are overall more talented than Cleveland! The biggest difference between them and us is they play championship caliber defense and we play no defense.

EJ must go!

Posted by: Rob P | September 26, 2007 5:42 PM

That's pretty easy, G$, even excluding Shaq and Big Ben:

1. Dwight Howard
2. Tyson Chandler
3. Eddy Curry
4. Alonzo Mourning
5. Zydrunis Ilgauskas
6. Samuel Dalembert
7. Andrew Bogut
8. Rasheed Wallace
9. Nazr Mohammed
Maybe even Nenad Krstic.

And if Etan can be the starting 5 I can think of a lot of other natural PFs I'd start in his place -- like Rasheed and Jermaine and Emeka.

Like someone else already said, there's no reason why a 7'0" guy with decent athletic ability shouldn't be getting at least 10/10 every night. Maybe playing time has something to do with it, maybe EJ's mind games have something to do with it, but I don't buy it. Even when he starts out aggressive the guy just hits patches where he checks out mentally. It's like he's got ADD or something. Maybe it's time for some meds...

It's really too bad Ernie gave Etan that contract. He should be playing 4 on a second unit somewhere, and we're already jammed at the 4 spot. I wish we could get rid of him, but the Wiz are so thin of big men that they would need to get another 5 in return as part of that deal. Too bad we let Booth go.

Speaking of thin big men somebody said that Blatche and Pech will make us all forget about our problems at 5. But they're both built like toothpicks and Eddie says he will use them at either forward spot. I don't know why he wouldn't also consider them at 5 when we go small.

Lots of great points above for Ivan to crib...

Posted by: Prazak | September 26, 2007 5:59 PM

Yeah I know, Tyson's not in the East anymore... Still, there are plenty of centers in the East I'd start before BTH or Etan.

Posted by: Prazak | September 26, 2007 6:11 PM

Keep in mind -- EJ was considered the brains behind the Nets in 2002 and 2003.

The Nets were great defenders. Top 2 in the league, I believe.

Maybe EJ needs some better defensive players?

Posted by: Steve | September 26, 2007 7:23 PM

Great comments. I do think the Wizards improved their bench considerably. They now seem to have enough depth
to sustain a high scoring attack while keeping the Big 3 at less than 40 minutes per game. The problem will be defense again, and unless Haywood finally rises up to his shot-blocking and reounding potential day in and day out... well there you have it.

The 2007-08 Wiz are an unusally complex blend of athletic talent, individual charm, psychological frailties and unrealized potential. I envy you having them as your beat, Ivan!

Posted by: khrabb | September 26, 2007 7:40 PM

The only way we'll be successful is if we can get 20+ per game from the center position and the same from Darius & Sevenson along with an emphasis on defense. 110 a game along with some improved D should put us in the top tier of the east.

Some insight on the center, ej go round would be much appreciated also. It just doesn't make sense. Someone needs to settle this. EG, AP or EJ needs to step up and make a decision. That's why they make the big bucks.

Posted by: Sdh | September 26, 2007 8:13 PM

G$, what you are talking about in a Center costs money that the Wizards will never spend without sacraficing at least one of the big 3, when what we need is in addition to the Big 3. Also we don't need a center that will score in double figures, we need a center that will keep people out of our house (the paint), the big 3 are suppose to handle the scoring.

Also I don't agree with what you said about the bench...the benches that you are mentioning did not develop with the team that they blossomed with, they developed with previous unsuccessful teams or unsuccessful situations and through trades and cuts ended up in their current successful positions only after maturing during that process and they now cost money...not the kind of money the Wizards are willing to pay.

A young inexperienced and unproven bench will not take us to the championships, and may not take us to the playoffs now that the celtics have drasticly improved and are still looking to improve by continuing to look for veteran big men (key word being veteran). Those are just the facts.

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 8:26 PM

Some question and concerns:

Will the Wizards be committed to playing defense this year or just pay lip service to it like they have the last two years?

Will Gilbert be a more of a complete player this year by playing defense and setting up his teammates more?

What did the the big three or other players on the roster do to improve their games this summer?

Did EG try to move BH or ET this offseason to improve the 5 position. Is EG still working on it?

BTW, I don't think EJ will be fired if the Wiz get off to a slow start this year. He has gotten the Wizards into the playoffs three years in a row, so he will be given some slack for that. However, as I have posted before if the team stays relatively healthy and doesn't get past the first round, he may not be here next season.

Posted by: Tim | September 26, 2007 8:31 PM

Clearly the Brendan/Etan question is first and foremost in everyone's minds. Most think that because Brendan is a crybaby if not starting, the best rotation is for him first and Etan afterwards, but...

The real question still is whether there is any possibility left to trade one of these turkeys.

Posted by: sfam | September 26, 2007 8:32 PM

The last sentence should have been: However, as I have posted before if the team stays relatively healthy and doesn't get past the first round, EJ may not be here after next season.

Posted by: Tim | September 26, 2007 8:36 PM

khrabb, please tell me how the Wizards have improved their bench considerabley! When have you seen them play?!?!...they are mostly rookies or unproven free agents.

Nick Young, their top draft pick struggled in the summer league against bums, rookies, journeymen, and the benches of other NBA teams, these aren't even the NBA starters and All-Star players!

I'm not saying he won't do well eventually, but it's going to take time. He's not the imediate answer, hopefully we will see that potential reached this season, but that is not a given. And even if he does, he's only one player.

Where is our dependable (key word being DEPENDABLE...and that don't necessarily mean 20 points per game) Who's gonna be the inside defensive presence coming off the bench, and please don't say Eton or BH, because which ever one finally gets to start, they both stay in foul trouble, they are both decent back ups at best.

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 8:46 PM

Dude, swapping out Jarvis and Ruffin for NYoung and DMac is already an improvement, having DSong healthy is a huge improvement, and having another 7-footer like Opec on the bench ain't too bad either. It's not the Spurs or the Mavs but it IS a big improvement.

Posted by: NateLo | September 26, 2007 10:25 PM

Look at who EG brought in this year...this is not a team currently built to make a run at the championship this year or next. All the young talent should be primed to go for the ring, the year we finally rid ourselves of ET's contract.

Posted by: oddjob | September 26, 2007 10:38 PM

NateLo: I'm talking about winning it all, and those players you just named; most NBA fans have never heard of. And thats my point.

oddjob: if, and once these young players pan out to be good players, even once Eton's contract is up, you are going to have to pay them to make them stay. Thats the point where we lose valuable role players and they go to another team and become the Rasheed Wallaces, or the Ben Wallaces, or the RIp Hamilton's, or the Steve Blakes. They are all proven veterans that once they matured to the level that you are talking about these curent young players reaching, we don't pay them, and they go somewhere else and be successfull.

Yall keep throwing these unproven players at me man...we need a veteran bench!!...and i aint talkin superstars or all-stars, but proven role players that you can trust with the game...We are not winning a championship with this team the way it is...and thats my point...shouldn't that be our goal...second place is still a losing position, so why aim for it.

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 11:21 PM

...And I didn't say they haven't improved, I said they haven't improved considerably. This years East it going to be far more competetive than last years. We may not have the same success we did last year.

Posted by: Only4Mal | September 26, 2007 11:25 PM

What Gilby's been doing all summer? Working on his shoe contract and his midrange jumper.

http://allhiphop.com/blogs/lifestylesports/archive/2007/09/26/18652103.aspx

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 26, 2007 11:28 PM

I dont think enough of you saw Songaila tear it up with Lituvia. He is a force when playing with teammates that share his awareness. With a healthy back he's defensively solid. He and daniels off the bench will be a spark. hopefully someone else can contribute off the bench down low, potentially start Darius at center and make BH and Etan equal as reserves (nothing to fight about).

Posted by: rich | September 26, 2007 11:29 PM

Hey man, I hear you. I don't think this team is built to win it all either, but I think Ernie's got a plan and he's building toward it patiently. He's working toward resigning Gilbert and hanging on to Antwan, he landed an all star SF in Caron, he re-signed a solid role player in DS, he put a nice piece on the bench in DSong, he kept Blatche from going off and being a Sheed or Rip for someone else, he's picked up some nice draft pieces. I don't think he's done at the center either.

He's assembling some promising pieces and building toward a championship team. It takes time. The Pistons didn't happen in a day. The Heat did by making a big trade but they still needed to come up against a team like Dallas that choked. They mortgaged their future and got lucky but now look at them. Boston's going to be looking pretty bad two years from now too.

Remember, this team was first in the East last year until the injuries hit. I think they're going to surprise people this year and I'm glad we finally have a GM who is methodical.

Posted by: NateLo | September 26, 2007 11:37 PM

NateLo is correct, the bench is more talented and that should translate into better (depends on how EJ uses them). He is also correct that a title team is methodically getting built.
The point of view "oh its not good enough to win it all, so its not good enough period" is incorrect. The Wizards need to take the step of being a force in the East first. They can't skip that step and be a world champ.

Posted by: George Templeton | September 27, 2007 12:22 AM

I'm of the firm position that Haywood needs to not only start, but also get a night-in-night-out consistent 28-30 MPG (that is, if we have any intention of ever becoming more than a laughingstock on defense). I don't think the consistent minutes are ever going to happen for him as long as EJ and Etan are here, but he still does have a realistic shot at starting, I hope.

Posted by: MJG | September 26, 2007 11:04 AM

You want Brenda Todette to start? How about he is put on the inactive list where his sissy, cancerous attitude deserves to be?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 12:27 AM

Well, what I just read right now from someone paints an overly optimistic picture on the state of affairs of Les BouleS. What I see are many hurdles that will need to be overcome before this team becomes a serious contender, not just a perennial playoff loser. Les BouleS are not even in the league of Chicago or Cleveland yet, and will be jockeying for position with serious competition from Toronto, Atlanta, Orlando, and Boston.

All I know is that when the season starts, and if things don't go smoothly, we as Les BouleS fans shouldn't be fed a line of BS about how they are still working kinks out and this or that. The core of this team has been together for awhile, and there should be no excuses for Les BouleS to not be in the top 3 in the east. This should be done by beating teams they should beat and being competitive with teams that are better.

We've heard nothing this offseason on how this team is going to improve on defense, and how players like AB, Opech, DSong, etc. may be integrated with the core. Hopefully, EJ will have a consistent rotation, and the team will understand that each individual may need to sacrifice their own games to play D, for the betterment of the team. Individual accolades should be secondary.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 12:42 AM

Overly optimistic posts and predictions. I hope the team does well, but there are questions regarding the unproven players and some proven players that we hope will act differently. A lot of ifs.

I am so sick and tired of the fire EJ because of his rotations talk that I do not know what to do. Help me to understand what he should have been doing with second rate players who could not be trusted with the game. Could he have played AB more, probably; but note that you are rewarding a player that does not work hard and has the wrong attitude...he is already biting the Wiz in the butt for their support of him...more nonsense may be in his future.

With regards to EJ and the defensive challenged Wiz. Tell me again how coaching gets the brunt of the blame for that when the "so called" genius GM put these defensively challenged players together. Note that EJ coached one of the top defensive teams in the league a few years ago. Further, when he asked his top player to play some defense he public lashed his coach who was then undermined by the GM. Please help me to understand how this fall disproportionately on the coach when we all agree that the bench was crap (improving the bench has been a focus for three years running) and we have too many players who do not/cannot play defense.

I know many of you belieave Ernie to be a god, which is pretty silly to begin with, but I believe he has made some key errors as well as some great calls. He did benefit from some of the moves of the previous regime. He deserves as much responsibility for the areas of success and failures as the coach and owner.

I do believe that bring AJ off the bench and starting Pech or some such idea may be a rotation worth experimenting with this offseason.

Posted by: Skeef | September 27, 2007 5:08 AM

Coaches always get the blame. Players, with their guaranteed contracts, rule in this league.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 7:44 AM

Yo Skeef, no disrespect to your post because you make some good points. However did you watch the games this past season? EJ and his rotations totally made no kind of sense most of the time, and because of that he constantly got out coached.

Why do you think EG made it a point of getting rid of Jarvis and Ruffin (two of EJ's favorite toys)? EG also tried like crazy to get rid of Thomas (EJ's other favorite toy) but there were no takers because of his "bloated contract".

If it was not for EG "stepping to" EJ the second game of the playoff series, Haywood would not have gotten in that game either (which he had a monster game). Has personal matters (EJ and Haywood, playing Jarvis too many minutes, etc etc.) taken first priority over business (winning games) for EJ? I would say yes.

EJ strikes me like Greg Williams of the Redskins. He is not as arrogant as Williams, but he sure the heck is as vindictive like Williams. They both seem to like to punish their players (who they have a beef with) by dressing them and not playing them when it is obvious to knowledgeable fans and teammates these people should be playing.

That is my only beef I have with EJ. His rotations "stink" and make no kind of sense, never!!! He never goes "offense" for "defense" in last minutes of games, instead he will leave Gilbert and Jamison out there to guard and they get toasted everytime.

Now Gilbert can play "d" if he wants to, but Jamison can not "even if he wanted to". Now is that his fault? No, it is the coach's fault for having him out there.

EJ does not want to "hurt" Gilbert's or Jamison's feelings by taking them out at the end of games when we need a defensive stop. EJ feels that they are the "leaders" on the team and it would look bad not to have them out there. Guess what, wrong move. EJ has to send a message to the teams best players, you have to play "D" too.

Once he does that a couple of times, the rest of the team will follow suit. If they constantly see Gilbert not playing "d" and saving himself for the game winning shot, we will never see true team "d". Now I am not a Gilbert basher by no means, that is my boy. But the truth is the truth.

I just want my main man to walk the talk and if he says he wants to be recognized on the same level with Kobe, he has to play both ends of the floor. That is what Kobe does. Gilbert is perfectly capable of doing it.

When Gilbert was just breaking into the league with Golden State a couple of years ago, guess what? He was known as a "defensive stopper" who came off of the bench and clamped down on the opposing teams "1". Guess what, the brother was no joke at it too. He can do it. He just has to make himself "want" to do it again before he got "large".

Lastly, I do not want to see EJ fired. The dude has a great offensive system and with the right pieces (i.e. Kings and Nets), this system can take you very far. He has gotten us to the playoff's three out of his 4 years I believe. He deserves credit for that. The defense thing is not totally all of his fault. He tries to teach it, but if your "face man" of the team is not buying into it and your other vocal leader (AJ) is unable to do it because of two left feet; what is EJ to do? EJ also needs to stop being so personal with his rotational decisions and make them business decisions instead.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 27, 2007 8:40 AM

of your list....

1. Dwight Howard
2. Tyson Chandler
3. Eddy Curry
4. Alonzo Mourning
5. Zydrunis Ilgauskas
6. Samuel Dalembert
7. Andrew Bogut
8. Rasheed Wallace
9. Nazr Mohammed
Maybe even Nenad Krstic

# 2, 7 and 8 all play the 4 position so rule them out. Etan truly is a 4 but we use him at the 5. I would not take Nazr Mohammed over Brendan or Etan. There's a reason he only started in Atlanta and had such a short stint starting in San Antonio. Ilgauskus gives you more offensively but he is inconsistent and injury prone. So is Eddie Curry. Mourning is past his prime although the attitude is there and I think he would be a good teacher for our 2 bigs in question. Tyson Chandler and Dalembert are intriguing and both protect the paint, block shots and rebound. But they are both waaaay overpaid now so to get them here would not be feasible. Plus Chandler is no longer in the East. And I would put Kristic above some of these but do we know if he's actually good or merely a product of Jason Kidd's greatness? J Kidd made the Collins kid look good one year, remember?

In no way am I promoting Brendan or Etan. I think Brendan is not consistently tough enough. With his height and athleticism, he should be dominating the East and be a consistent presence in the paint most nights. I agree with the earlier posters that with the makeup of this team, we don't need 20 and 10 from 1 guy, we need it collectively from the 5 spot.

And for the team we have and the style of offense we run, Antawn Jamison is valuable. If Opech can pull some of the bigs out of the paint with his range on O, that will bode well for the team as well. We haven't had that type of player at the 5. Definitely not with Booth and Ruffin.

Posted by: G$ | September 27, 2007 9:00 AM

Ivan, I love your inside tidbits. But to get inside, you need to be (mostly) a homer. Therefore, I suggest that you and Mike play good guy/bad guy with the reporting.

In particular, I would start with what EG and EJ said at the beginning of last season - and what actually happened. For example, right before the season, EJ said the players were committed to better defense and banging inside. They also predicted an Eastern crown based on continuity etc. Did they learn anything?

Relatedly, the center position caused some concern last year, along with defense. Also, EJ's rotations left most people scratching their heads. Is anything going to change on these fronts?

Finally, the average NBA player misses 7-13 games a year, depending on their age, number of minutes, etc. Does EG/EJ recognize this in their predictions and will they be ready when it happens?

Posted by: Izman | September 27, 2007 9:12 AM

My biggest question, why do we still have Etan AND Haywood on this roster.The two just dont get along and by the way they aint great either

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 10:31 AM

I want you to ask Nick Young if he is going to be a Beast. Please tell him to be a beast. Thank you.

Posted by: Jumpy | September 27, 2007 11:04 AM

Uh, both Etan and BTH are on this team b/c no other team want them. EG has said many times that he likes BTH and BTH has a favorable contract. I don't think EG worked too hard this offseason to try to unload BTH. I think BTH would be a more productive player if he was more involved in the offense. You gotta reward your big man for bailing you out on D.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 11:08 AM

To Only4Mal

I have to believe the bench will be better as much because of subtraction (Hayes and his often absent J... Ruffin and his remarkable ability to turn a critical late season victory against Toronto into a mind-numbing defeat) as addition.

Certainly Pecherov, McGuire and Young are unproven, but give Ernie Grunfeld some credit for picking talent, and assume that what we saw in the summer was a glass half full, at least.

Having Darius Songalia all year is an unquestioned plus as well. He played strong ball for Lithuania in Eurobasket without injury and should be in good shape for 2007-08.

And we can only assume that re-signing Blatche was based on the tacit assumption that he will be a year older, wiser and better on court.. and in the real world.

Posted by: khrabb | September 27, 2007 11:46 AM

We'll know whether the bench has improved when it's had 20 games to function as a bench.

I know it's fun to snipe at one another about "issues," but does anyone who cares/knows anything about basketball actually think Ernie/Eddie/Abe have missed the plain fact that the Wizards have next to no low post presence?

Bearing in mind that the coach and the presumptive point guard were decisions made prior to his arrival, I think Ernie Grunfeld's doing a superb job. And no, I don't think he's done for this year.

Barring dramatic change at other positions, I think I'll be particularly interested in the play of Songaila and Stevenson this year. I think there could be 3-4 games available there.

I don't care whose particular fault it might be; for two individuals who are paid in the millions per year to behave like the Wizards two mediocre centers is ludicrous. I'd sit the first offender this year for at least two weeks and raise the penalty by a week on each recurrence.

I think Gilbert can be brilliant, but I think he loses as many games as he wins for this team. To his credit, he has improved each year he's been here, so -- unless he's hurt or peaked -- I look forward to the 2008 release.

I think contributors who waste everyone else's time by ragging on Abe Pollin or Antawn Jamison are either lacking in history with this team or flat ignorant about professional basketball.

Looking forward to an interesting, probably frustrating non-championship season,

Posted by: Bill Carr | September 27, 2007 12:22 PM

Yep, players with guranteed contracts do rule. Ex. Kobe, Lebron, Wade etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 12:27 PM

D$, on the facts: Tyson was the starting center for New Orleans last season and will be this season also. Bogut was the starting center for Milwaukee last year until his foot injury. He's the starter this year too. Sheed played some 5 last year and word in Motor Town is that he'll be the starting center with McDyess starting at the 4.

On the merits: Your question didn't ask for contract considerations or injury considerations, just straight-up who's the better center. I would still start any one of those guys, and a few PFs in the East, ahead of BT or Etan.

Posted by: Prazak | September 27, 2007 12:34 PM

"I think contributors who waste everyone else's time by ragging on Abe Pollin or Antawn Jamison are either lacking in history with this team or flat ignorant about professional basketball".

how about that another so called fan happy with losing.Jamison is the reason we lose he couldn,t guard a trash can. who cares if he scores or opens the lane pech will be able to do that. Now maybe there isn't something out there to replace him but I bet we r abetter team without him.Scoring isn't the problem it's d and jamison has absolutly none

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 1:07 PM

speaking of ignorant read bill car

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 1:08 PM

This whole Brenda/Etan mess should have been cleared up. No praises to a GM that didn't clean up the #1 mess in wiz town.

As for what rookies play and how many minutes, isn't it reasonable to assume that will work itself out during TRAINING CAMP. It doesn't matter how good they were during summer league. Who was better than Andre Blatche two years ago? Yet he couldn't make his way into the lineup until an injury necessitated it. The reason he did not break into the lineup was not because of EJ's terrible substitute pattern ( as so many of you like to point out ) ... he simply didn't work hard enough to get there ( and based on comments made by Ivan about his work habits, I can see why ). All that said, I still believe the guy has game, and can only hope he has gotten himself together.

Brenda is clearly a baby, and only plays when the notion strikes him. Like Arenas said, if he doesn't start, he'll play good for a couple of games then tank it. IMHO, he does the same thing when you start him, a few decent games, and then he disappears. I don't blame EJ for not playing him in that Cleveland game, when he gave you 20 minutes (as a starter) and one rebound. The reason he only got 20 minutes is because he didn't get back into the game. I would not have put his lame but back in there either. This bum needs to go.

Hopefully, between Pech, Songalia, and Thomas, we can get some real production from the 5 spot, and leave this 7 foot baby on the bench. I don't really see AB being used too much at the 5, but I think he can do well rotating between the 3 and 4 spots.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 1:15 PM

Ivan - Another question we would like to know about is why Harvey Grant not retained for the next year. Is this more EG vs. EJ stuff? Thanks....

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 27, 2007 1:25 PM

Ivan - Another question we would like to now about is why Harvey Grant wasn't retained for the next year? Is this more EG vs. EJ stuff? Thanks....

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 27, 2007 1:30 PM

"I think Gilbert can be brilliant, but I think he loses as many games as he wins for this team. To his credit, he has improved each year he's been here, so -- unless he's hurt or peaked -- I look forward to the 2008 release.

Posted by: Bill Carr | September 27, 2007 12:22 PM "

If EG decides not to give him a max money contract, I would hope he would be able to trade Gilby and not just let him walk to another team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 1:37 PM

Bullets Fever #1 ... I believe you when you say you do not want EJ fired. But when your bench consists of MRuffin, DTaylor, CBooth, JHayes, MHall/JLang, RMason ... what's he supposed to do? These are the tidbits supplied to him by our most hallowed GM.

I'm glad most of them are gone, and I hope the 3 rookies can contribute.

I really hope Pech can earn bigtime minutes, and I think the team will be that much better with Songalia healthy at the start.

I find it hard to believe NYoung will do much this year ( but I hope he suprises me ). And I am really rooting for DMac. If he can translate what he did in summer camp with the big boys, then he may be special.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 1:37 PM

DCMan88, No one can give Gilbert more than the Wiz, so I would suspect that even if Gil decides to leave, he would do it as a sign and trade so that he could get max money. The good thing about that is that the Wiz aren't required to accomodate him unless its appealing to them.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 1:58 PM

My question was actually to name better starting centers that CURRENTLY played in the East. New Orleans/ Oklahoma plays in the west so Tyson Chandler is ruled out immediately... although his game would fit perfectly in DC. I took the liberty to add to his response with why they could not play in DC, thus, the contractual info.

I can name a slew of 4's that I'd take and convert to a 5, Sheed' included...but that wasn't the question, therefore he does not count based on what the Pistons might do with him this yr.

Jermaine O'Neal starts at the 4 also. Jeff Foster started at the 5 for them til they went out and got Troy Murphy from Golden State.

I stand corrected on Bogut being a 5. His 12.8 ppg and 8 rebounds per game (he played 66 of them out of 82) would be an improvement.

For me, Dwight Howard, Shaq and Ben Wallace are the only elite centers in the East. Everyone else is suspect.

And again, in no way am I defending the play or attitude of our bigs. I'm simply saying to all those calling for it that its not many franchise guys that we can replace ours with/ feasibly go out and get.

Posted by: G$ | September 27, 2007 2:05 PM

TO G$ and everyone else: all 9 guys on that list are centers excluding Rasheed Wallace, although he could and probably would start at center for the Wiz. Even Kristic is a center, as is Jermaine O'Neal, who in fact would be the ideal center for this team. And I will never undertand people who say Tim Duncan is not a center - the guy plays the post, defends the rim and is 7 feet tall. You can't penalize him because he is skilled or because Popovich almost always plays another center next to him! While Duncan and most of the guys on that list can also play the 4, a couple - including Tyson Chandler - lack the necessary shot/skill and are exclusively 5s!!!

There's a reason big (legit 7-foot) slow guys like Adonal Foyle barely have a place in the NBA anymore: the rules have changed (defensive 3 seconds, charging/blocking, etc) giving the quick an advantage over the strong. That's not to say strength isn't important or necessary but bulk is not as important as it once was as compared to height, length and quickness.

Posted by: stk | September 27, 2007 2:29 PM

Bullets Fever #1 - one more thing: Maybe Harvey has nothing to do with EG vs EJ. Harvey is not mentioned as being a part of EJ's staff on last year's roster (see following wizard's url: http://www.nba.com/wizards/roster/2006/ ), so he was there as a front office position, Director of Player Development ( not exactly EJ's territory ).

We all know how Abe likes to keep former Wizards/Bullets around (e.g., Ledell Eckles, George Muresean, Wes Unseld).

Here's a thought, maybe Harvey is a leftover from Susan O'Malleys regime, and it was a EG vs O'Malley thing.

Just a thought ... because I don't believe that everything that goes on in the organization revolves around some perceived EG vs EJ situation.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 2:35 PM

Had we drafted Marco Belinelli, we could have let D-song walk, and had money left over to sign JCN. Belinelli is starting this year for Golden State, N1, 2009??
Having clutch, experienced, and talented players like Belinelli and JCN would have been sweet at playoff time.....we are still pretty solid though.

Posted by: ??? | September 27, 2007 2:39 PM

Here's a funny guy who plays for the warriors too. He's got one of the worst free throw shooting strokes of all time.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=2427

He was picked 11th in '04 when we picked Devin Harris with the 5th pick and traded him to Dallas. Averaged almost 10-10 last season, while shooting almost 60%.

Les BouleS could have drafted Luol Deng that '04 year also, who eventually went to da Bulls with the 7th pick, or Josh Smith with the 17th pick.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 3:03 PM

stk,

the premise of my argument about the center position was based on the fact that the game has changed and the days of the classic 5...the patrick ewings, hakeem olajuwon, etc are a thing of the past. that's why 4's are not interchangeable. our centers are just as serviceable as the majority of the east's minus howard, shaq and wallace. we just need more out of them on the court and less drama off. J O'Neal is not a starting center even though he could be. I don't consider him ideal for the Wiz. He is past his prime now in my opinion.

Posted by: G$ | September 27, 2007 3:17 PM

"DCMan88, No one can give Gilbert more than the Wiz, so I would suspect that even if Gil decides to leave, he would do it as a sign and trade so that he could get max money. The good thing about that is that the Wiz aren't required to accomodate him unless its appealing to them.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 01:58 PM "

Amen to that. I think EG is savvy enough where he won't offer max money, but just enough above other teams. Or, send his max contract elsewhere for better goods.

Why would EG offer him max money if he's not one of the top elite players in the league yet? Here are a few that are clearly elite and deserve max money:

Steve Nash
Lebron James
Tim Duncan
Kobe Bryant
DWade
Carmello Anthony
Ray Allen
Amare Stoudemire
Shaq
Elton Brand
KG
JKidd
Jermaine O'Neal
Chris Bosh* (* indicates big men are alwys more valuable)
Dwight Howard*

Gilby better take the next step up this season if he wants to be considered an elite player and be award max money.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 3:19 PM

awwwhh, come on DCMan88. I don't really disagree with the list on who should get max money, but I do think Gil is worth max money. And if your really believe that Ray Allen deserves max money, then I definitely think Gil does too.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 3:28 PM

Here's a thought, maybe Harvey is a leftover from Susan O'Malleys regime, and it was a EG vs O'Malley thing.

Just a thought ... because I don't believe that everything that goes on in the organization revolves around some perceived EG vs EJ situation.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 02:35 PM

Good point 2cents4wiz. I can work with that one, because it makes some sense.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 27, 2007 3:54 PM

Ray Allen is at the tail end of his career, and is currently on a max contract, but I would not renew it at that max amount. He's accomplished a lot in his career, and he's done it with class and without a lot drama.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Allen

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 3:59 PM

Lots of interesting comments,
Center is the $50.00 question, my take is that this is a transition year. I wouldn't be surprised to see Darius getting more and more minutes this year at the center spot.

I like the notion of starting him and getting the competition to start between Brendan and Etan broken up. Then each guy will maybe start to think about what he can do to help the team instead of wondering if Jordan is favoring the other over him.

Grunfeld's moves indicate to me he's still building and thinks this team maybe just a couple of years away yet. He's got a core of really young talented guys on the bench that could really bloom in a year or two, this year alot of those guys will still be getting their feet wet in the NBA.

Anything less than a top three finish a failure? For a team that some experts are predicting as a borderline playoff team that's high expectations. I really think we'll be in the hunt for a home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

To rank the finishers in the east I'd have to see how some of these combinations that have been thrown together by other teams actually blend on the court. Some of these teams that are highly touted have holes you could drive a truck through.

Chemistry could be in issue on a couple of teams, so we could be in position to break out fast with our first 7 to 8 guys all experienced with playing together.

Of course Arenas health is important, but there are no indications that he hasn't been working hard at recovery. Weather or not he's been going to the hole hard while playing on pavement is really not important. The key is if he's ready to explode to the hoop once the season starts.

But really more importantly, he and Eddie are going to have to work together to keep his legs fresh all year. That's where the young guns are so important. If Young, McGuire, and Pecherov along with an improving Blatch give us some fire power off the bench the big three can all get some rest and keep the legs fresh.

If Caron takes that next step and becomes another go to guy, this team could have real fire power and Arenas will be even deadlier. If Caron can expand his range just a little more, teams won't sluff off of him waiting for him or Arenas to drive and things will open up more for them both.

If Darius can caretake the center slot while Pecherov learns for awhile. And Etan and Brendan learn tocome off the Bench realizing they can play hard and aggressive and not look over their shoulders, center might not be such a sore spot.

In a couple of years Pecherov could be the man there, but it's really hard to expect him to make an impact at the 5 right away. Eddie will have to pick his spots with the kid and it will be important to really work at his development.

That's why I do like bringing on Tapscott, Hopla, and Ayers. Can't hurt to have a new guys give a fresh look at some things. My big question with coaching is will Ayers be a front row or a back bencher? If the Wizards call a timeout and they need a stop, and their defensive coach is still 30' away from Eddie when the coaches are deciding what to do, then we'll know nothing's changed defensively.

With Veeremenko coming over next year we'll have a group of young big guys at the 4 and 5 spots and we might be looking at our inside play being more respectable as these guys grow together.

If Young would develop into a legit threat at the two we'd be deep all across the lineup and could really look at being a top contender in the east in the next few years.

But in all fairness to this team I really think Grunfeld is pointing at next year and the year after for us to become a real powerhouse in the east. We'll contend and there will be alot of excitment at the Phone Booth, but this isn't Grunfeld's finished team yet.

But it's fun to watch a guy that seems to have a plan put this team together. Arenas and Butler are still very young, he's building a team around them that could be a top contender for awhile.

That's what we had in the Unseld/Hayes era when we were in the hunt for a decade. Ernie's not putting together a one and done deal like Boston tried to cobble together this summer.

Posted by: GM | September 27, 2007 5:04 PM

This article from draftexpress.com doesn't exactly leave me salivating of the prospect of Veremeenko joining the squad next year.

Summing up, it says he basically has not shown much improvement over the past 3 years, is not quite the 6'10" he is listed at, and last but not least, "Defensively, he lacks the lateral quickness to stay in front of most players, getting by mostly on his smarts rather than on his physical attributes." ... and they are speaking of European players on that last quote.

He's at the bottom of this article: http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=1370

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 5:51 PM

There's more to that article on Veremeenko.

"Whether he is a great NBA prospect is certainly a matter of debate, but no one can deny the fact that Veremeenko is definitely an excellent basketball player. His skill level is extremely high and his talent is evident in the intelligence he shows in putting the ball in the hoop. He is a very good ball-handler and has a nice first step, which he uses consistently to create mismatches out on the perimeter and blow by his man. Veremeenko gets to the free throw line at an excellent rate, which comes from a combination of attacking the basket off the dribble and using his size inside to his advantage, mainly in the form of pivot moves and turnaround jumpers. Veremeenko is more of a mid-range shooter than a 3-point shooter, possessing a very quick, but low release reminiscent to a certain extent of Shawn Marion. He moves off the ball well, passes unselfishly and generally understands how to maximize himself as a bit of a freelancer offensively.

With the small-ball direction that many teams are headed in, Veremeenko could find himself a spot as a face the basket power forward in the NBA down the road. He will have to improve his accuracy from behind the NBA 3-point line, though, as well as become a more capable man to man defender."

Posted by: NateLo | September 27, 2007 6:09 PM

roger mason, welcome back young man -shoot there lights out this year

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 6:10 PM

NateLo, you are correct in pointing out his positives. I should have made myself clear in my point ... I was attempting to point out that he would not be the answer to our big man in the middle problem.

Overall, the article praises him, and that's why I put the link there, so you can all know what to expect.

I was tired of hearing his name mentioned as a big man solution without really knowing anything about him. I definitely think he can contribute to our team in other areas.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 27, 2007 6:27 PM

News Flash this team is still going to be a 500. ball club. AJ was on a sportalk show about 2 weeks ago and he was saying that the Wizard didnt need to be a top 10 defensive team, but the middle of the pack was good enough. I don know about you guys but that dont sound like a player who wants to win a title. Middle of the pack defense is not going to win it in the East. What do you guys have to say about that comment?

Posted by: Rock Star | September 27, 2007 6:51 PM

Ivan, Mike get us some answers.
Give us something on this BH-ET-EJ mess.
How can we move up?
Boston improved.
No one else in the east made much of an improvement.
SOOOOOO is it de ja vue all over again for the Wiz kids?
Lotsa 200+ total point games and ugly losses to the Knicks, Cavs & Heat.
I love em but want to see the front office bite the bullet and move us up a notch or 2.

Posted by: Sdh | September 27, 2007 8:30 PM

PLEASE IGNORE DC Racist88. DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM. HE IS RUDE, VULGAR, AND HIS POSTS ARE INAPPROPRIATE TO THIS BLOG.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 9:14 PM

"This whole Brenda/Etan mess should have been cleared up. No praises to a GM that didn't clean up the #1 mess in wiz town."

Well, I give EG a lot of credit. But I do agree that he messed up by not getting rid of Brenda. EG could have unloaded Brenda, but instead he tried to get rid of Etan's bloated contract. By the time we figured out that there were no takers on Etan, it was too late to dump Brenda. What a disaster. This is bizarre beyond belief. How could we still be stuck with Brenda after last year's mess? I recommend putting Brenda on the inactive list where he would stay until someone offers us a trade.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 9:37 PM

name 2 centers other than those i mentioned in the east who you'd start over brendan or etan?

Posted by: G$ | September 26, 2007 05:19 PM

All NBA centers are better than Brenda. Name one center who isn't better than Brenda.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 9:40 PM

2cents4wiz, you're absolutely right, Veremeenko is not the solution to our big man problems. I don't think Blatche or Pech are either. And the Haywood-Thomas duo isn't very promising. We can only hope Brendon plays like a new man or Ernie figures out a way to trade one of them, preferably Etan and his big contract, and get a serviceable big man to replace him.

Posted by: NateLo | September 27, 2007 9:44 PM

did u guys check out the pics of the new scoreboard??...here on www.washingtonwizardsblog.com

Posted by: Fulvio | September 27, 2007 9:44 PM

well guys im back...lol...

although u guys may think im just a guy who loves to play with the ESPN Trade Machine...im also just another huge basketball fan and most importantly a wizards fan

Posted by: Fulvio | September 27, 2007 9:46 PM

As someone posted above, is our center situation really any worse than Cleveland's? And they found a way to get to the finals last year.

Brendan does have an NBA center's body and at least some skills. He has shown he is capable of contributing something useful to the Wizards when he wants to. I say (if we have to live with him) consistently give him 20-30 minutes a game probably as the starter and a few more touches on offense if that keeps his head in the game and see what happens.

I believe if EG did not see something of useful in him, he would have found a way to trade him.

Posted by: Tim | September 27, 2007 9:56 PM

"Gilbert Arenas: My goals for 07-08 is: I want to enjoy basketball. I want to enjoy the sport. People always put stressful goals out and they never really enjoy the game. When I got hurt it made me reflect on things in my life, and I want to just enjoy the game of basketball to the fullest until my days are over."

I love that quote. Here's to a fun season, Gil. And a fun career.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 10:28 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 10:29 PM

As someone posted above, is our center situation really any worse than Cleveland's? And they found a way to get to the finals last year.

Brendan does have an NBA center's body and at least some skills. He has shown he is capable of contributing something useful to the Wizards when he wants to.

Potewd by; Tim

Tim, are you Brenda's agent? Or the president of his fan club, which consists of DC Racist88, who hates the Wizards, and one other fool? Most telling is your comment about Brenda playing better "when he wants to." Okay, maybe after we trade him, Brenda will play better than the clippity-clop, uncoordinated Clydesdale draft horse he is now because he'll have a change of scenery. Doubt it!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 10:34 PM

We need to see AB play this year with consistent minutes. This is a crucial year in his development and EJ needs to live with his mistakes early in the season and not panic or punish him for his enthusiasm. AB can be a beast but he needs to mature on the court by having the sh*t kicked out of him and his teammates start to rely on him.

Posted by: oddjob | September 27, 2007 10:39 PM

The biggest reason why BTH is frustrated is b/c he's got to play defense against his own guy and for anyone in the front court when they olay their man. Then BTH goes down the court and gets no touches. Why should BTH bail these ballhogs? He shouldn't.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 11:22 PM

How does making Brendan Haywood inactive help us get anything for him in a trade?

Posted by: George Templeton | September 27, 2007 11:23 PM

""Gilbert Arenas: My goals for 07-08 is: I want to enjoy basketball. I want to enjoy the sport. People always put stressful goals out and they never really enjoy the game. When I got hurt it made me reflect on things in my life, and I want to just enjoy the game of basketball to the fullest until my days are over."

I love that quote. Here's to a fun season, Gil. And a fun career.

Posted by: | September 27, 2007 10:28 PM "


This has got to be a joke. Owners don't pay players to enjoy the season or seek individual accolades. Owners pay players to win championships. Ridiculous.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 27, 2007 11:32 PM

I just found you, Ivan. Delighted with your insights and information and excited by the Wiz' chances this year - as good as any East team. Comment(s): I hope EJ has grown up and realizes and understands, by now, his attitude and approach to deal with the Brendon/Etan (center)matter which brought down Brendon while he'd improved. Brendon is Brendon, he ain't Shaq, period. Two-thirds of NBC teams don't have big, physical centers, and some did well, i.e., Nets, Bulls, Warriors, etc. I don't hate Etan, but the Wiz don't need him now, and I'm surprised that EG didn't, or couldn't have unloaded Etan by now, or he'd told EJ get over it and do it, or you won't. I love the Wiz personnel with the Big Three with rotating-in Darius, Andre, Pesch, Dom, Vince, et al. Gil and you keep us going, and thanks.

Posted by: RCoop75 | September 28, 2007 1:25 AM

The real fools are the ones that can't post a differing opinion without basically getting into name calling and then don't have the guts to post their name.

Posted by: Tim | September 28, 2007 6:57 AM

For me it's how a healthy Songalia with the addition of Pecherov will add to the dymamics of the team. Another big question is can we stay healthy (relatively healthy) throughout the year. My big prediction is a trade involving Haywood before the year is out.

Posted by: esteban | September 28, 2007 7:35 AM

So what if Gil wants to enjoy his job. I enjoy mine. I don't see anything so wrong with that quote. No one wants to go to a job and hate what they do even if you do make a lot of money. If you are going to have to do something day in and day out, it helps a lot to at least to get some type of satisfaction out of it. If you want to call me a Gil lover then so be it. But I "ain't" mad at him. Maybe if "some " people found joy in their careers, they wouldn't be so quick to hate on others.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 7:49 AM

It doesn't really matter who would start between Brendan Haywood or Etan Thomas, but it's the matter of fact how Eddie Jordan will manage to split their minutes. Even if Haywood started, do you think he would still be happy if he only played the first minute of the game and sat out for the next 47? Eddie Jordan needs to go into training camp and the pre-season and figure out where he can stick his big men at the right times. He's been criticized way to often in putting in the wrong guys at the wrong times.

As whether or not the Wizards can compete for a championship is still up in the air. Looking back at all of the championship teams this decade, the teams that did had the worst center rotations had to be the Spurs with Rasho Nesterovic in 2005 or Oberto/Elson duo this past season. They've shown they don't need a dominate center to win them a championship(Although Tim Duncan made it up A LOT at the power forward). If Haywood and Thomas are able to work together helping one another and that means not complaining whether who starts, give each other help on intangibles they have and general support off the bench, then we could easily be seeing another Oberto/Elson duo here.

We still haven't seen the team hit the court yet, so we won't be able to know whether the team defense is good enough to compete in the playoffs. It's obvious that we have enough firepower in our big three, small ball lineup and bench players to score 100 a game every night. That just won't matter if they can't do it in a 7 game series though and if you don't think so, just look back at the last 3 playoffs. We scored enough to beat the Cavaliers in 06, but we couldn't shut down their offense when it mattered and same deal this year when Jamison was able to pickup the scoring, we just didn't have the defense to stop them when it was needed. I'm not so worried where we end up at the end of the season as long as we get homecourt advantage, it's more of the fact whether Randy Ayers has had an effect on this defense.

Whether or not the Wizards are overlooked by the hype given to the Celtics is way past my mind. That just means the bar isn't set high for the Wizards to jump, while the Celtics know they cannot lose. It takes off pressure for our rookies who are still trying to fit into the princeton offense and they can just play at their own pace to win the division and make their own noise in the playoffs.

Posted by: Will from Rockville | September 28, 2007 8:17 AM

PLEASE IGNORE DC MAN88. DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM. HE IS RUDE, VULGAR, AND HIS POSTS ARE INAPPROPRIATE TO THIS BLOG.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 8:28 AM

I agree with the BH supporters. Two seasons ago he seemed to show a lot of promise. People were talking about his shot blocking. He was learning to score inside without dribbling, the way a center should. He had a huge game 6 against two seasons against Cleveland. But like other Wizard players outside the big three, good play doesn't guarentee minutes. He should never have had to compete with ET for minutes. ET is not a starter. He would thrive if EJ ever learns to coach centers or gets someone who can. I also think the WIZ would improve defensively if EJ learns to use his bench more effectively. Playing defense is tireing. The starters cant' be expected to play the minutes they do and shut down the other team's scorers.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 8:37 AM

BTH was most upset with Larry leaving, because Larry always looked to reward him for his hard work. Now that Larry left, nobody's giving him the rock.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 9:07 AM

I was a huge BH supporter and would argue people down about his potential. My BH detractors would say that he was soft and I have seen flashes of great play from Brendan. Brendans problem is mostly immaturity as a person and he is just not as consistant as he should be.

A part of his problem is also with the way EJ utilizes his player rotations. To be totally fair to Brendan, I have been at games where he was playing like a man possessed and from out of nowhere EJ takes him out. It drove me crazy because it changed the rhythm of the game, so I could imagine how Brendan felt. But, that is no excuse for the way he behaved late last season. As one Wiz player said, Brendan should man up and realize that he is not the captain of the ship and do as he is told. They also said he would stay out of the doghouse if he did that. Like most posters have stated and Gilbert as well, just let Brendan start and Haywood come off the bench. That seems like the best situation since it seems as if neither is going anywhere anytime soon.

Posted by: Lady Wizz | September 28, 2007 9:12 AM

"So what if Gil wants to enjoy his job. I enjoy mine. I don't see anything so wrong with that quote. No one wants to go to a job and hate what they do even if you do make a lot of money. If you are going to have to do something day in and day out, it helps a lot to at least to get some type of satisfaction out of it. If you want to call me a Gil lover then so be it. But I "ain't" mad at him. Maybe if "some " people found joy in their careers, they wouldn't be so quick to hate on others.

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 07:49 AM "

Why are you hating on me for offering an opinion on Gilby's nonchalant "enjoy the game" attitude?

Do you think MJ, Isiah, Bird, or Kobe would ever come out and say they just wanted to enjoy their jobs and not get stressed out? Heck, if you're supposed to be the leader on the team, what kind of message are you sending if you're busy enjoying your time on the court and being your quirky self? This team is out of whack b/c there's no one person who's taking this franchise on his back and getting into people's faces like MJ or Isiah or Shaq used to do.

Gilby has to raise the bar on the team and perform up to his max money expectations. When you are the face of the franchise, not only do you have to perform individually, but the team as a whole has to perform too. You can't say "well, I got my 28 ppg avg, I made the all star team, and I threw out 200 jerseys...my work is done."

He's got to put the onus on himself to step up and carry this team to do great things.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 9:17 AM

Nobody is hating on you. Trust on that! The season hasn't started yet and predictions are being made as to how Gil will contribute. I say give him a chance. We don't know what or how he is going to contribute until the season starts. You have a right to speak your mind just as anyone else does. You put Gil down, I pull him up. We both just disagree and I am fine with that. You have your opinions and post them so I can do the same. We just agree to disagree and move on. That's how mature folks handle it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 9:29 AM

Last work day before the Wizards are back at it!! Whoo hoooo!

I really think lots of people overreact to the Etan-Brendan stuff. The fact that Grunfeld didn't move one of them suggests that it's not such a horrible situation. Sure, it would have been great to move one of them and get equal value in return, but if it was such a nightmare scenario, Ernie could have easily moved one of them in exchange for $.30 on the dollar. He obviously didn't feel the need to do that, so maybe we, as fans, imagine the situation to be worse than it is. Maybe Etan and Brendan have their occasional spats, but in between, things are calm and not a distraction so Grunfeld felt a move wasn't necessary.

The real issue seems to be the Eddie-Haywood dynamic, and whether Eddie will go small so much that Etan and Haywood will be bench buddies.

Posted by: Sean | September 28, 2007 9:30 AM

Assuming that EG will not be able to upgrade the center position and we will have Brendan back next year, then it is up to EJ to make this work and get the most out of his players, including Brendan, who does have something to offer.

DC Mann88, you are right about BH's reaction to Hughes leaving.

Posted by: Tim | September 28, 2007 9:32 AM

PLEASE IGNORE DC Racist88. DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM. HE IS RUDE, VULGAR, AND HIS POSTS ARE INAPPROPRIATE TO THIS BLOG.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 9:34 AM

And by the way, everyone has leaderhsip qualities. Hey, even Caron has stated that Gil is not the type to get up in your face which is why he and Jamison handle that role. I too believe that he should show a little more maturity and also cringe at some of the remarks he makes that I think would have been better being left unsaid. But hey, he is who he is and I just accept that. He is a far cry better then some of the other players who have rolled through this town. I can't change him but I do have hopes that as he matures so will his game and his attitude about being a leader. I am willing to wait to see what happens as the seasn unfolds.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 9:34 AM

can somebody post the insider article by chris broussard on espn please...thanks

Posted by: jason | September 28, 2007 9:37 AM

When looking about Jamison's comments about not needing to be a top 10 defensive team I think you need to consider the pace that the Wizards play at.

The easiest way to improve a team's defensive statistics is to slow the pace of your offense to a crawl. Larry Brown and the "Czar" have shown that over and over in different cities. Brown always gets huge improvements in a team's defense his first two years on the job.

Question is, has this tactic proven to be highly successful at winning titles? The most sucessful formula has really been pushing pace AND playing strong defense. It's not an easy combination to acheive but is the most proven way to win.

Red's Celtics, the Bird era Celtics, the Bad Boys Pistons, the showtime Lakers, and Jordan's Bulls [except for the last few years after the comeback] would all run you into the ground and played tough physical D.

Top ten defensive statistics are nice, but if a team runs they will also give up some easy layups which always increases the other teams field goal percentage. If you run it also gives the other team more chances to touch the ball.

I'm not in any way trying to say that the Wizards shouldn't improve on defense. Or that their defense is exceptable if they want to advance deep into the playoffs, because the deeper you go the more pace slows. But a team also has to score to win.

The Wizards need to look at improving offensive efficency as much they need to work on defense. I really look for them to show some improvements in that area this year. For a team that had a rep as an offensive team, we've really had alot of guys that couldn't put a "pea in a wash tub if they were standing on the rim".

Look at the guys that aeren't going to be back, in almost every case their replacement has a better offensive game than they did. What was painfully obvious last season when the injuries struck was the lack of players that could get their own shot when needed.

No matter how great the point guard, or how good the offensive scheme, players can't always depend on catching the ball for a wide open shot or a layup. I'd look for Arenas's assist numbers to climb just by the fact that we won't have offensively challenged guys like Hayes and Ruffin on the court at crunch time in games.

It's interesting to read posts where different people post articales about players and then pull out only one line to make their point. Veeremenko isn't the answer at 5, he's a 4.

Not going to be quick enough to play alot of 3, but he's a rugged guy that can play and will mix it up. Much stronger than Pecherov, and is probably further along
and more NBA ready right now. But they have different upsides.

At best Veeremenko could be a solid unspectacular NBA starter, I really don't think the guy would ever be AllStar material. More likely to be a solid rotation guy that can play pretty physical if needed and has some offensive game.

Kind of like a Ruffin with offense, I'm not saying that's a savior, just another solid guy to plug in the rotation. Along with the guys here now he will make us very deep up front.

I really do think Pecherov is the guy that could develop into the Princeton center down the line. But remember he is still really a kid, I don't think he's 21 yet. Centers are generally older before they mature into solid players.

They might not pan out, but I think Grunfeld envisions Blatch and Pecherov in the 4 and 5 holes. That's why I think he still thinks this team is a few years away and is building in that direction.

If you think in those terms that's why he choose to retain Stevenson and draft Young intead of bringing in Navarro. For this year's team Navarro would have netted the quickest upgrade.

But I think Grunfeld's still looking down the road a year or two with this team when you look at his moves and think about them. I think he's taking the long view of this process since his core is still very young.

Posted by: GM | September 28, 2007 10:00 AM

"Nobody is hating on you. Trust on that! The season hasn't started yet and predictions are being made as to how Gil will contribute. I say give him a chance. We don't know what or how he is going to contribute until the season starts. You have a right to speak your mind just as anyone else does. You put Gil down, I pull him up. We both just disagree and I am fine with that. You have your opinions and post them so I can do the same. We just agree to disagree and move on. That's how mature folks handle it.

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 09:29 AM "

I'm fine with that, and knowing Gilby, he's probably not a guy you want to take literally. I really hope he doesn't think he can hop and skip along the season and just focus on himself, his own game, and his personal stats. I hope you feel the same.

In any regard, my main focus wasn't the fact that he said he wanted to enjoy the season. The main problem was that he said he wasn't going to stress. In my book, if you're not stressing, you're not trying. If Gilby wants max money, he needs to take this franchise by the throat and carry them to the top.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 10:07 AM

Think about it -- why do you think that Jamison said that this team doesn't need to be a top 10 defensive team? Self interest, at least in part. If this team is to become a top 10 defensive team, Jamison's minutes will have to go down. That's just a fact.

But cutting Jamison's minutes with this team makes no sense, because you'll hurt yourself more on the offensive end than you will help yourself on the defensive end. So Jamison's right, but he shouldn't be the guy to say it.

Posted by: Joe | September 28, 2007 10:11 AM

"And by the way, everyone has leaderhsip qualities. Hey, even Caron has stated that Gil is not the type to get up in your face which is why he and Jamison handle that role. I too believe that he should show a little more maturity and also cringe at some of the remarks he makes that I think would have been better being left unsaid.....

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 09:34 AM "

You're right, but do you pay any player max money if they are not the leader on this team? Are there any max money players on other teams that are and want to be quiet, unassuming, and not be the leader? Gilby is good at pushing his shoe and his jerseys and his NBA live game, but doesn't want to be the leader and/or face of the franchise on this team? Does that make sense? It shows a player who's too interested in himself and his own glory.

If Gilby just came here and kept quiet and put his numbers up, people would be fine, like me. But, then he had his coming out party, then he blasted EJ for making him play D, and then he reneged on his promise about not hamstringing the franchise by asking for max money, and he came up and said he had a personal vendetta and was going to drop bombs on portland and phoenix thus giving them added incentive to beat us, then he had the drama with Les BouleS helping him evade the authorities who wanted to issue him a court summons for his child support issues, etc., etc.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 10:15 AM

Joe is so right. It's sad to see AJ having to go to the bench whenever the game is tight and they need a stop on offense.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 10:16 AM

That is just plain stupid to equate stress with trying. LOL That has to be the most stupid statement that I havae read on this post. There are a lot of people that don't let stress get to them and do very well. And quite frankly more mistakes are made operating under stress. I am done with this because no matter what anyone says you are going to stay on the Gilby band wagon and I through feeding the dragon. What a joke! I reapeat, dumbest thing I have ever read.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 10:38 AM

"A part of his problem is also with the way EJ utilizes his player rotations. To be totally fair to Brendan, I have been at games where he was playing like a man possessed and from out of nowhere EJ takes him out. It drove me crazy because it changed the rhythm of the game, so I could imagine how Brendan felt". Lady Wizz

Lady Wizz you hit the nail right on the head. I posted similiar situations like this one in past posts after games. Just like you said, I saw Haywood having some monster games and out of no where EJ would yank him out and not put him back in the game. This happened on numerous occasions.

I was so pissed I wanted to throw something at the tv. EJ would then go to that stupid "small ball" lineup and end up losing the game. The average person in Haywood's shoes would be pissed off too if you kept getting done like that by your boss.

Now, has Haywood handled the situation well. Heck no. By acting the way he did, he has had folks who barely know anything about basketball and who are fair weather fans jump on the bash Haywood bandwagon. He fueled the fire with his latest behavior misfires. Alot of this is through the media and how they portray Haywood as a "big crybaby".

Why do you think Haywood got pissed off at Ivan last season when Ivan reported some negative stuff that went on at practice that day. All Haywood keep saying when I saw a interview on TV was "thats messed up Ivan, that messed up. I do not have anything else to say to you.." It made Haywood look real bad and added fuel to the fire for the Haywood bashers. Haywood was upset because the other side of the story was not put out there, just his reaction (which was not positive).

All that was reported was Haywood was pouting and causing trouble again. Yes, Haywood needs to work on that. It makes people want to judge him on that instead of what he can do on the court if given a fair shot and minutes.

That is why Ivan and/or Mike need to do a "complete story" on what is the real truth to why EJ has such a problem with Haywood. I am about winning ball games and this big distraction with EJ, Haywood and Thomas is not going to help the situation any. EJ playing mind games, Haywood showing his immaturity, and Thomas wanting to "knuckle up" all the time with Haywood.

I still say if Haywood is given a steady 25 to 30 minutes a game and was in the game the last 5 minutes (all defensive ends and some offensive) you would have a very productive player. Better rebound stats and blocks.

Why do you think EG has not traded him yet? He sees the same thing. Everyone does except EJ. If Haywood went somewhere else where the head coach does not have a personal vendetta against him, he would probably be pretty productive. Is EJ's treatment of Haywood personal or business? Most people who are in a supervisory roles in their own lives, business or at home, can clearly see what this is? That is not good for the team.

Lastly, the arguement people like to use against Haywood is; he is a 7 footer and does not get any or enough rebounds for someone his size. Let me break it down for you again (as I have done in past posts after games where folks were calling for Haywood's head). First of all, why EJ has his slow footed centers (Haywood and Thomas) "jumping" high screens on every possession near the top of the arc is beyond me.

EJ tells his "5's" to "jump out and flash" at the opposing teams "1" to make him give up the ball. Guess what, the "1" does exactly that and they then start to swing the ball around the horn and guess what? Now you have mismatches because everyone is out of position and scrambling all around, including our "5".

Now I ask you, who is our "5" in this firecracker drill, you guessed it Haywood? While this self inflicted chaos by inept defensive calling has started this process, Haywood is now trying to scurry back to the paint to postion himself for a rebound.

Guess what again, he can't because he is not fast enought to get back down there and re-establish defensive rebounding position to grab a rebound. Who ends up getting the rebound? Jamison. Why, because he is even slower than Haywood and he does not "flash" out high on screens so he is already down in the paint able to procure the rebound. That is why Jamisons numbers for rebounds are better than Haywood, which the bashers like to use in their arguements.

EJ then uses this (EJ's flaw in defensive calls) to punish Haywood and take him out just to say my 7 footer is not playing to his size, I want people in there who are aggressive and "wave their arms everywhere after getting a rebound even when there is nobody there, type of players. Guess what Eddie, if you just leave Haywood down in the paint, like they do Shaq, instead of "flashing" him everytime he would get you more rebounds.

It also does not help when you have Gilbert's man blowing past him every possession at the top of the key. Thus Haywood has to come off of his man to take him and then he dishs off to Haywood's man (who he just left to guard Gil's man) and he stuffs it home. EJ then punishes Haywood for letting his man score.

Does Gilbert get the blame, heck no. Does Jamison get the blame when his man takes him on the baseline and Haywood comes over to cover him and then Haywood's man scores? Heck no. Gil and Jamison stay in the game while EJ punishs Haywood. Go figure......?????? (Not a bash on Jamison or Gil, because they are my boys; but they both need to play better "d" and stop letting Haywood take the fall for their mishaps all of the time.)

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 28, 2007 10:45 AM

I never have liked the way they supposedly determine who are the best defensive teams: by how much the opposing team scores.

If the team plays up tempo then the other team gets more touches. And you really can't compare this to crawl ball teams where the opposing team will likely score less.

I always thought they should look at percentage of offensive possessions that the opposing team scores (incuding free throws) to determine best defensive teams. The teams that have the lowest percentage for this should be considered the good or better defensive teams.

This way you could better compare up tempo teams with half court set teams as far as defense goes.

Sorry for the aside, but I could not resist mentioning a pet peeve of mine since it was brought up.

Posted by: Tim | September 28, 2007 10:50 AM

"That is just plain stupid to equate stress with trying. LOL That has to be the most stupid statement that I havae read on this post. There are a lot of people that don't let stress get to them and do very well. And quite frankly more mistakes are made operating under stress. I am done with this because no matter what anyone says you are going to stay on the Gilby band wagon and I through feeding the dragon. What a joke! I reapeat, dumbest thing I have ever read.

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 10:38 AM "

You're right. Maybe if Gilby didn't stress, he probably wouldn't have choked on the free throw line against cleveland when LeBrong whispered sweet nothings into his ear.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 10:50 AM

"That is just plain stupid to equate stress with trying. LOL That has to be the most stupid statement that I havae read on this post. There are a lot of people that don't let stress get to them and do very well. And quite frankly more mistakes are made operating under stress. I am done with this because no matter what anyone says you are going to stay on the Gilby band wagon and I through feeding the dragon. What a joke! I reapeat, dumbest thing I have ever read.

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 10:38 AM "

You're statement is pretty dumb too. I guess to you, a person's anxiety level doesn't increase when they are in a pressure situation to hit a shot, make a stop, get a rebound, or get a critical win on the road.

I guess MJ just coasted in the playoff games against Utah and Portland on a crack high, and his anxiety level never went up and he never felt the pressure to get a road win and bring it home to finish off the series.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 10:54 AM

Stress kills fool!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:02 AM

"Stress kills fool!

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 11:02 AM "

I KNOW!!!

It must have been a tough summer for Gilby after missing all 3 of those free throws. It was actually kind of funny.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 11:09 AM

wiz will be ok

support my artist
wwww.myspace.com/youngidc

Posted by: jo | September 28, 2007 11:13 AM

Tim:

They already do something like that. It's called "offensive and defensive efficiency." Basically, you regulate everyone's scoring defense to a 100-posessions-per-game pace (which is more than anyone ever plays at). Essentially, it gives you a better idea about the rate at which a team scores and defends.

http://www.knickerblogger.net/stats/2007/o_oe.htm

Any questions, drop me an e-mail.

Posted by: Pradamaster | September 28, 2007 11:23 AM

Good post, BulletsFever, but you are wrong about Jamison's rebounding vs. Haywood's. Jamison averaged 8 rebounds in 38 minutes last year. Taking their per minute rebounding averages and extending them to 38 minutes, Haywood would have averaged 10.4 rebounds per game and Thomas 11.5.

Posted by: Sean | September 28, 2007 11:28 AM

Tim, they have come up with a stat for just what you are talking about, it is called defensive efficiency. Essentially its points per 100 possessions. Offensive efficiency is measured the same way.

Washington was 28th in defensive efficiency last year 112.5 points per 100 possessions.
Washington was tied for third in offensive efficiency with 111.1 points per 100 possessions.

Thanks to google and KnickerBlogger.net for the stats.

Bullets fever #1 gives the best defense of BTH I have ever read on here and his points are worthwhile and spot on I'm afraid. I am no fan of Haywood's but the running around and switching style of defense doesn't work. Hopefully Ayers will fix that. If the Wizards could do something as simple as keep their man in front of them, it would help a lot.
To me the biggest problem isn't overall defensive efficiency (although the Wizards have to get better in that regard), it is our defensive efficiency at the end of games, specifically the last 2 minutes of the game. And that could improve dramatically by subbing offense for defense and vice versa, that is something EJ must do if the Wizards are going to win some of the close games they lost last year.

Posted by: George Templeton | September 28, 2007 11:31 AM

Looks like Pradamaster beat me to it.

Posted by: George Templeton | September 28, 2007 11:33 AM

It'd be interesting to compare the offensive efficiency of Les BouleS last season from the 1st half vs. the 2nd half of the season. The 2nd half of the season was an entirely different animal, kinda like road kill, b/c they couldn't hit the side of a barn and then injuries hit the final quarter of the season.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 12:04 PM

Thanks for keeping me informed, Pradamaster and George Templeton.

Posted by: Tim | September 28, 2007 12:15 PM

On paper (or the computer screen) BTH looks pretty good, or at least superior to Etan. BTH has the size and length to play the 5. Etan, who looks to be barely 6 9", really ought to be playing the 4. BTH is a better post defender than Etan, and while neither of them are great offensive players, BTH has a servicable jump hook and drop-step move. (I wish he'd forget about those painfully awkward fadeaway jumpers, though, and just concentrate on catching and shooting short straight-up jumpers off the roll.)

What kills BTH as a player, though, is that he's so freakin' moody. He'll play one game at almost scary level of emotional intensity, and then he'll be totally flat and passive the next time out. He's almost a Kwame in that regard. Etan, in contrast, is pumped up every time he's out there...it's like he lives for the chance to rip a rebound out of somebody else's hands and throw down a one-handed flush. I can see why EJ likes Etan better, even though BTH is clearly the better center.

Posted by: John Brisker | September 28, 2007 12:23 PM

"What kills BTH as a player, though, is that he's so freakin' moody. He'll play one game at almost scary level of emotional intensity, and then he'll be totally flat and passive the next time out. He's almost a Kwame in that regard. Etan, in contrast, is pumped up every time he's out there...it's like he lives for the chance to rip a rebound out of somebody else's hands and throw down a one-handed flush. I can see why EJ likes Etan better, even though BTH is clearly the better center.

Posted by: John Brisker | September 28, 2007 12:23 PM "

That's where you need a leader to step in and motivate these mid level players. The stars need to do this.

Does anyone remember when Kareem retired and Magic inherited Vlade? Magic was the constant coach on the floor and taught Vlade how to play his position.

Does anyone remember MJ getting into it with Rodman, Bison Dele, and even Scottie?

Does anyone remember a 6ft. guard called Isiah Thomas getting it on with a 6-11 Bill Laimbeer?

Not every team out there is disciplined and self motivated like the Spurs or maybe the Suns. Most other championship teams have a player that is nasty and gets into people's faces. Maybe EG should seriously consider bringing Oakley in. He could be the difference maker, at least on defense.

Another advantage that BTH has over Etan is the intimidation factor. Fewer people are willing to drive into the hole if you have a long 7 footer in the lane compared to Etan. It's an intangible that he posses.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 12:43 PM

You have a point DCman88 about LH and BH. BH actually said that he played better when LH was in the game. I once saw LH feed BT for the winning basket over Yao Ming. Who else would have done that?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:02 PM

I love the Wizards but I don't like that two of our 3 big stars are "tweeners" Gilbert and Jamison. I would like Jamison to be traded for a 4 or have Jamison play the 3 like in the playoffs with Caron hurt and just let him do his "thing." Will Pech be able to play the 5? That would be cool because there aint no room for him at the 3 or 4.

Posted by: Hoser from Woodbridge | September 28, 2007 1:06 PM

"

You have a point DCman88 about LH and BH. BH actually said that he played better when LH was in the game. I once saw LH feed BT for the winning basket over Yao Ming. Who else would have done that?

Posted by: | September 28, 2007 01:02 PM "

BTH should be the new Charles Jones, Secret Weapon II. If Gilby, Caron, and AJ are always doubled teamed, then that means BTH is the most likely candidate to be wide open for the easy bucket!!! It's just a matter of the guys looking for him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 1:19 PM

"I love the Wizards but I don't like that two of our 3 big stars are "tweeners" Gilbert and Jamison.

Posted by: Hoser from Woodbridge | September 28, 2007 01:06 PM "

If you believe this, Caron should be considered a tweener also. Some have him at only 6'5", but he's a tough SOB, willing to challenge people like KG and Lebron. Haven't heard it recently, but Tough Juice is the man on this team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 28, 2007 1:21 PM

"Good post, BulletsFever, but you are wrong about Jamison's rebounding vs. Haywood's. Jamison averaged 8 rebounds in 38 minutes last year. Taking their per minute rebounding averages and extending them to 38 minutes, Haywood would have averaged 10.4 rebounds per game and Thomas 11.5".

Posted by: Sean | September 28, 2007 11:28 AM

Thanks Sean, but you lost me on what you are trying to say. If you are saying what I think you might be saying is given more minutes; Haywood numbers would look a lot better for a true "7" footer. I totally agree.

If you are saying Thomas should be in instead because his numbers pan out better then Haywood's by less then 1 rebound, that is cool too. But that is because in that "flashing" defense EJ uses Etan is a "little bit faster" then Haywood at getting back down to paint or rotating.

Thus that gives him a better chance at grabbing more rebounds. The best player from last year in running this stupid defensive set was Michael Ruffin. Ruffin was quick enough to "jump the screen" and still rotate and get back down in the paint to grab a rebound. That is why Eddie liked him so much.

That is all cool and everything, because I liked Ruffin also, but Eddie overused him. Instead of calling out defensive sets that fit your personnel, EJ tries to make the personnel fit to his defensive system (i.e. Haywood and Thomas - both slow of foot).

That is where I hope Randy Ayers notices this and allows Haywood and Thomas to stay in the paint and guard vs. coming way out and jumping screens and then trying to retreat down to the paint for a rebound.

This is why they call EJ an "offensive genius" not "defensive genius", because anybody who has played organinzed ball before can see that fatal flaw in EJ's coaching. Again, I hope EJ lets Randy Ayers run "his" defense and stay out of it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:29 PM

"Good post, BulletsFever, but you are wrong about Jamison's rebounding vs. Haywood's. Jamison averaged 8 rebounds in 38 minutes last year. Taking their per minute rebounding averages and extending them to 38 minutes, Haywood would have averaged 10.4 rebounds per game and Thomas 11.5".

Posted by: Sean | September 28, 2007 11:28 AM

Thanks Sean, but you lost me on what you are trying to say. If you are saying what I think you might be saying is given more minutes; Haywood numbers would look a lot better for a true "7" footer. I totally agree.

If you are saying Thomas should be in instead because his numbers pan out better then Haywood's by less then 1 rebound, that is cool too. But that is because in that "flashing" defense EJ uses Etan is a "little bit faster" then Haywood at getting back down to paint or rotating.

Thus that gives him a better chance at grabbing more rebounds. The best player from last year in running this stupid defensive set was Michael Ruffin. Ruffin was quick enough to "jump the screen" and still rotate and get back down in the paint to grab a rebound. That is why Eddie liked him so much.

That is all cool and everything, because I liked Ruffin also, but Eddie overused him. Instead of calling out defensive sets that fit your personnel, EJ tries to make the personnel fit to his defensive system (i.e. Haywood and Thomas - both slow of foot).

That is where I hope Randy Ayers notices this and allows Haywood and Thomas to stay in the paint and guard vs. coming way out and jumping screens and then trying to retreat down to the paint for a rebound.

This is why they call EJ an "offensive genius" not "defensive genius", because anybody who has played organinzed ball before can see that fatal flaw in EJ's coaching. Again, I hope EJ lets Randy Ayers run "his" defense and stay out of it.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 28, 2007 1:29 PM

I agree as well, my biggest question mark is the center spot. Like everyone else I'd love to get more info on the whole Eddie and Brendan situation. Can they really go through this season with the whole Eddie/Haywood/Etan drama again?? What happened to the whole Haywood statement about not wanting to come back if EJ was still the coach?? Seems to me something needs to change.

3rd PG won't make much difference on the season, but too bad about losing Chase to the Heat. Surprised we didn't offer him a contract instead of Taylor. Shaq and the Heat appearantly liked what they saw.

Posted by: Darnell | September 28, 2007 1:50 PM

I agree with you that Haywood should be the starting center, be given more minutes, and be on the floor at the end of the games.

But let's not go overboard and blame everyone else on Brendan's defensive lapses, or blame EJ for his attitude. The guy gets paid a lot of money to play a game, so stuff the attitude. And yeah, I've seen EJ pull him out when he's on a roll, but I've also seen Brendan check out mentally without any prompting from EJ.

Posted by: NateLo | September 28, 2007 1:52 PM

Bullets Fever, I think you make a very good point about EJ flashing our big men out to defend the pick and roll. I think it's the best way to defend the pick and roll, and it's too bad we don't have the big men to pull it off. But we don't so we really shouldn't expect Brendan to kloppity-klop out to the wing or high post with those big slow feet and then kloppity-klop back to the paint to protect the rim. (Someone called him a Clydesdale in an earlier post, which is a good description.)

GM's made the point before, but one of the big tests this season will be seeing how involved Ayers is at practices and in games. One of the Wizards biggest defensive vulnerabilities for a few seasons running has been their inability to defend the pick and roll (and their perimeter defense, starting with Gilbert and AJ). When are they going to work in some different defensive schemes to fix a glaring and recurring problem?

Maybe if Brendan is not asked to play outside his abilities he'll have a better attitude. But that's kind of pathetic when you think about it.

Posted by: Prazak | September 28, 2007 2:01 PM

For starters when going into this season their goal (once again) should be focused on defense. Too where the wizards couldn't hold leads or catch up to good teams because they lack defense. Once the players buy into it, maybe they can get into the Eastern Conference Finals. Thats how the Cavs made it to the finals(despite being swept)

As for the players on the squad, Gil and Caron, we need to see if there healed and playing like before; same for Jamison. Brendan and Etan need to put down the boxing gloves and start being more aggressive and really contributing to the team. Ruffin is gone and the other big men(Blatche and the Russian kid) are young, so it's up to Brendan and Etan to play well.Songolia needs to continue to work on his low post presence. Daniels, I don't see much playing time for him esp if the rook Nick Young plays to everyones expectation(not me I think his game is like Kerry Kittles). Dominic McGuire, I like him he might, of all the young players on the team, I think he'll make a huge impact.

Overall I see the team playing for a 5th or 6th spot in the playoffs. But if they improve their defense, then they can move into the top 4 spots. I'm definitely excited to the upcoming season because of their depth they can make some noise in the East

Posted by: Robert C. | September 28, 2007 2:03 PM

Check out Steinberg's Bog today. In it Gilbert says that Haywood and Thomas are friends now and

[Warning -- please sit down before you read this]

Jordan went to N. Carolina to visit Haywood to smooth things out. (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2007/09/gils_training_day_live.html)

All I was saying, BulletsFever, is that people who claim Jamison is a better rebounder than the team's two centers, and thus those centers must stink, are looking at the per game numbers, not thinking about the minute differential. I stay away from the Haywood - Thomas stuff (though I think Haywood is the better player) because, to me, the real issue is whether Haywood and Thomas will play a combined 45 minutes or whether smallball will rear its ugly head and they'll play a combined 35 minutes.

Posted by: Sean | September 28, 2007 2:10 PM

Prazak and Natelo. I agree all the way with your points. Haywood has to become more mentally tough and mature, no doubt about it. All I was trying to do was have so many folks stopping judging him off of the way he was reacting to his minutes so much and to judge him off of what he does on the court (when EJ put him on there).

I do not believe it is about "touches" that make Haywood tick. He just wants to be out on the floor "playing". He made the "touches" an issue after he realized EJ was going to yank him out of games regardless how well he played.

Now there was a time when he blasted Gilbert for "gunning up" too many shots and not passing the ball around. That did not mean he was talking about him getting all of the shots, he was talking about just passing the ball around more so "more" people other than one could get "touches".

Him and Eddie really need to sit down and iron this thing out, because if they don't; it is going to bring so much unwanted drama to that team that it will overflow to their play. And we do not need that kind of stuff going on.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 28, 2007 2:36 PM

Thanks for that info Sean.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 28, 2007 2:38 PM

God forbid if EJ starts that small ball crap again. He drove me insane with that and we almost always lost. I hope that EJ plays his bench more this year than last. Had the bench been better prepared for high level games I think we would have fared much better in the playoffs when injuries took away Gil and Caron. I also hope to see Blatche play more minutes. From my vantage point it seems like some of the players are always looking over their shoulders when they are playing. What I mean by that is, it seems that if you make a mistake, depending on who you are, EJ snatches you out of the game with the quickness and that isn't always a good thing to do. Blatche was one of the players who I thought EJ was too hard on. He never really let him get a good feel other than the MN game where he played extremely well against Garnette. I say let Blatche go and if he makes a mistake here or there, don't be so quick to pull him out of the game. He has the physical skills, he just needs help developing his mental game. I know it would help his confidence more.

I am glad to see that it appears EJ,Brendan and Etan have buried the hatchet. Hopefully this will have a positive effect on the Wiz's games this season. I can't wait for the season to start.

Posted by: Lady Wizz | September 28, 2007 2:39 PM

I don't know, Bullets Fever. I go back and forth on Brendan. I've been frustrated with his unwillingness to live up to his potential and I've been frustrated with the EJ's unwillingness to make good use of his strengths.

I want to hear more about that EJ visit to Brendan in NC!

Posted by: Prazak | September 28, 2007 2:48 PM

I guess we have to view Gilbert's revelation about EJ and Brendan with a little skepticism.
However, if it is true that EJ actually went down to North Carolina to talk to Brendan, then maybe we won't have any EJ vs. BTH crapola this season. I sure hope its true that they cleared the air with each other.

Posted by: George Templeton | September 28, 2007 3:15 PM

Very good conversation about how Jordan utilizes our centers against the pick and roll. My point since last season about Haywood is that for the style of center he is our defensive schemes play away from his strengths.

I'd hope that we'd have enough defensive flexibilty to vary our schemes to fit the strengths of the players on the floor. If we need to run the center at the point gaurd to play the pick and roll, have Songalia, Pecherov, or Etan do it.

Brendan's frustrations I think start with defensive schemes not with touches on offense. I've stated here many times that I wonder if Eddie Jordan had Bill Russell if he'd have Russell chasing a point gaurd around 30' from the rim.

Our centers'rebounding figures also reflect how much we deploy them away from the basket defensively. Some of that is how teams are playing now to counteract a big center, everybody's trying to pull them away from the hoop and trying to play inside out. Once they get the center out of the lane they look for other mismatches down low.

That combined with the center in the high post aspects of the Princeton and it's pretty easy to explain why our centers' rebounding numbers aeren't great. Songalia does a better job than anybody we have of moving his feet to get in rebounding position once a shot goes up. Defensively and offensively because of how they are deployed our centers are out of rebounding position and have scramble to get there once the shot goes up.

Nice to here that Jordan went to Carolina to sit down with Haywood. And that's an interesting point about Etan and Brendan.

Haywood's childessness at the end of last year really over shadows the fact that he had played very well in Dec. and Jan. when we were short on depth up front and he got minutes because Eddie didn't have alot of other choices.

I think Haywood felt the team was winning with him in the lineup and he should have continued to get minutes. But he had some games where he disappeared and Etan started to play better in flashes and Brendan's minutes got really weird again.

One thing last season proved, this is not a coach that a player can win a personality contest with. Even when it was apparent to about 19,000 other people he was the better matchup against Cleveland Eddie had made up his mind and wasn't changing it.

Posted by: GM | September 28, 2007 3:19 PM

I agree, Prazak -- details about the Eddie/Haywood visit would be great. What did they do? Go to the mall? Try on clothes and give each other their opinions? Go for a bike ride? Make crank calls to Ruffin? I assume a visit to Brendan's mom would be in order. Did she cook dinner? Did Brendan drive Eddie around in the car he got from Eastern Motors? Was this a day trip or an overnighter, with Eddie sleeping on Haywood's couch?
You really blew it not covering this visit, Ivan.

Posted by: Sean | September 28, 2007 3:21 PM

Good points Lady Wizz and GM. Lady Wizz I am real glad to see someone else was seeing the same thing. Haywood gets a bum rap, but he makes it worst when he acts in a negative manner after the "slapdown" from EJ happens. Again, I would be pissed off too if somebody was "carrying me" like EJ "carrys" Haywood all of the time.

Ivan/Mike Could you please follow up on this info the other guy here on the post has given us on the EJ visit down to NC? Could we please have the real "inside stuff from the "beat writer/writers themselves?????? I hope you did not get beat to the punch on this story.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 4:08 PM

Good points Lady Wizz and GM. Lady Wizz I am real glad to see someone else was seeing the same thing. Haywood gets a bum rap, but he makes it worst when he acts in a negative manner after the "slapdown" from EJ happens. Again, I would be pissed off too if somebody was "carrying me" like EJ "carrys" Haywood all of the time.

Ivan/Mike Could you please follow up on this info the other guy here on the post has given us on the EJ visit down to NC? Could we please have the real "inside stuff from the "beat writer/writers themselves?????? I hope you did not get beat to the punch on this story.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 28, 2007 4:11 PM

"Maybe if Brendan is not asked to play outside his abilities he'll have a better attitude. But that's kind of pathetic when you think about it."

How is Haywood being asked to play "outside his abilities"? Jordan has said, repeatedly, he wants his big men to focus on defense, rebounding and hustle and not be particularly concerned about offense. How is that outside of Haywood's ability? If anything, the exact opposite is true ... if he played within his ability and stopped trying to be finesse low post scorer on offense, which is well outside of his ability, he'd be a hell of a lot more effective.

Posted by: kalorama | September 28, 2007 4:42 PM

1st!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:01 PM

Everyone remembers everything differenty. The fact is, both of these guys should be coming off the bench. Throw in the fact that one acts like a baby, its no wonder he's not winning many fans.

Oh ... and one question ... whether you start or not, how is it possible to be 7 feet, play 10 minutes of a playoff game, get no rebounds, and no points. The only thing that shows in the stats is 1 personal foul. That's why Brenda only got 10 minutes and didn't get played in the next game. That egg followed up his best performance, where he had 13 and 4, so there was no reason for his head not to be in that game.

Lets look at the actual numbers for these guys, because nothing really stands out for either of them:

Haywood's numbers: http://www.nba.com/playerfile/brendan_haywood/season_splits.html

Etan's numbers: http://www.nba.com/playerfile/etan_thomas/season_splits.html

At least now, you all can make your arguments, pro or con, based on actual numbers.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 28, 2007 5:07 PM

Kalorama, that comment was in the context of a discussion of defense, not offense. I agree with you that Brendan should worry more about his fundamentals on offense -- spacing, catching, passing, rebounding. And on defense, he shouldn't be stepping out to the ball-handler as part of defending the pick-and-roll. He doesn't have the footspeed or the coordination to do that and then jump back to protect the paint.

Posted by: Prazak | September 28, 2007 5:07 PM

People questioned Haywood in college ... seems to me he is the same player in the pro's. Because he is 7 feet, people want him to be so much more than what he is.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 28, 2007 5:21 PM

PLEASE IGNORE DC MAN88. DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM. HE IS RUDE, VULGAR, AND HIS POSTS ARE INAPPROPRIATE TO THIS BLOG.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:31 PM

"And on defense, he shouldn't be stepping out to the ball-handler as part of defending the pick-and-roll. He doesn't have the footspeed or the coordination to do that and then jump back to protect the paint."

He's not being asked to do anything that every other big man in the NBA isn't asked to do. That's simply SOP for defending the pick and roll. And he's hardly Mutombo when it comes to "defending the paint," so it's not like keeping out of the P&R to is a surefire recipe for success.

"People questioned Haywood in college ... seems to me he is the same player in the pro's. Because he is 7 feet, people want him to be so much more than what he is."

Precisely. The book on him in college was that, despite his size, he was soft and lacked the toughness to fight for position down low and the strength to keep it. Six years into his pro career, the page hasn't been flipped. And no, that's not Jordan's fault.

Posted by: kalorama | September 28, 2007 5:35 PM

How does making Brendan Haywood inactive help us get anything for him in a trade?

Posted by: George Templeton | September 27, 2007 11:23 PM

Who cares? It gets his stinky but off the court and his stinkier attitude off the plane.

There's a few teams that would like a 7 footer on their roster. If we prove we don't want him, that would entice teams to go after him. Then we trade.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:57 PM

I agree with the BH supporters. Two seasons ago he seemed to show a lot of promise. People were talking about his shot blocking. He was learning to score inside without dribbling, the way a center should.
Posted by Brendan Haywood (it's really me, BH!): | September 28, 2007 08:37 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 12:02 AM

I agree with my supporters. Two seasons ago I seemed to show a lot of promise. People were talking about my shot blocking. I was learning to score inside without dribbling, the way a center should. I had a huge game 6 against two seasons against Cleveland. But like other Wizard players outside the big three, good play doesn't guarentee minutes. I should never have had to compete with ET for minutes. ET is not a starter. I also think the WIZ would improve defensively if EJ learns to use his bench more effectively. Playing defense is tireing. The starters cant' be expected to play the minutes they do and shut down the other team's scorers.

Posted by Brendan Haywood: | September 28, 2007 08:37 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 12:05 AM

Woops! I forgot to disguise my real indentity.

Posted by: Brendan Haywood | September 29, 2007 12:07 AM

BTH should be the new Charles Jones, Secret Weapon II. If Gilby, Caron, and AJ are always doubled teamed, then that means BTH is the most likely candidate to be wide open for the easy bucket!!! It's just a matter of the guys looking for him.

Posted by: Brendan Haywood | September 29, 2007 12:11 AM

Kalorama, that's not the only way to defend the pick and roll. It doesn't work with big slow defenders. You don't see Miami, for example, pushing the Diesel out to defend the pick and roll that way. Shaq isn't out on the wing or the high post flailing at a point guard and then trying to get back down to block or rebound. He's not fast enough and Reilly sensibly doesn't want him too far away from the rim. Instead you see help defense come and Shaq rotate away back to the paint.

That's the kind of team defense the Wiz should be employing against the pick and roll when Brendan is forced into defending the dribble. His footspeed isn't there. Eddie should stop expecting a Clydesdale to prance like a racehorse. Keep him down low on defense and you'll see more blocks and rebounds.

Posted by: Prazak | September 29, 2007 12:26 AM

Just got back in town. cannot believe they resigned Mason. A huge waste of money that could have paid an actual player with depth and size. not 6'3

Heard Thomas didn't work out again this yr. Just traveled with his book deals. What a waste. When I left AB was clearing up his prostitution charges. Hopefully he'll play to redeem himself.

Got no opinion of this team as of yet.

Why we kept last years garbage bench is beyond me. Every sports writer/commentator including our own Ivan Carter stated the day of the final playoff game:
"Get rid of the entire bench. They had their opportunity to prove themselves. It was pitiful. Everyone of them needs to go" That was Ivan on national radio.

Unbelievable - Who saves garbage? You set it on the curb you don't revive it. Wiz recycle it and rewarm it.

You need to have a strong bench to back up your starting players. Hopefully that concept kicks in by 2009.

Posted by: simply4wizards | September 29, 2007 2:30 AM

simplyNOT4wizards:

We dumped Ruffage, Arvis, and Booth from the bench, and we replaced them Young, McGuire, and Pecherov. So, your claim about the bench is inaccurate.

Furthermore, Mason is 6'5", not 6'3". Get your facts straight before you bash the Wizards.

And Etan is better than Brenda. That's why ESPN now lists Etan as the starter in its new depth chart.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 2:49 AM

BH is a big and should be used as a big I must admit that I have gone back and forth on him even when he was at UNC. Sometimes I think he will be a decent 5 and then he does something to make me want to just shot him and end my pain. ET isn't any better all those dumb pump fakes when he gets the rock or looking like what do I do now. Maybe EJ and or EG can have both along with AB go to a BIG MAN camp to learn how to play the post. It's not that hard folks. If you have been playing the game for a while then you know how the rock will come of the rim. Barkley wasn't the biggest on the court but he knew how to get in position and didn't play soft (BH&ET).EJ must I repeat MUST play the bech more early in the season so he will know what the guys can do. If you don't play em the how can you expect them to develope into players you can count on. As for BOSTON, ORLANDO & the other teams in the East I am not worried about them yes they got better but remember they were chasing us, once we get over loosing to Miami then we will take the next step, remember it took a while to get past DET before we realized we could beat them regularly (2005-2006).

GO WIZ!!!!!!!!

Posted by: GEE357 | September 29, 2007 3:52 AM

Wiz "center" problems? Simple answer: Eddie Jordan - smart personally and effective designing "offensive" Xs and Os strategies - but poor on matters pertaining to young basketball basketball players, some immature. EJ is best suited to be an assistant coach, like he had with the Nets. But he's our coach. His problem is he is a know-it-all, macho-man coach. He got beside himself, particularly last season, playing one player against another, Etan/Haywood. EJ's coaching common sense was compromised and hurt the team. A good coach would never allowed such friction between two highly-paid players (Heywood/Etan) on the "Team." EJ used Etan, a non-center and non-starter- skills, to make his point against Heywood, an adequate center, not Shaq, Yao or Amare, but adequate with some improving skills but needed encouragement. EJ defended himself when Gil reacted when EJ was haping about the team's poor defense after a loss (Jamison was injured) by a lack of leadership by "his captain", Jamison, a slap to Gil's face. Much of the Wiz's problems are caused by EJ, himself. By now EJ must know. EG knows well, and he is not an EJ wordhipper, and EJ knows that to. My guess is that Grunfeld read the "riot act" to AJ. In effect, EG probably told AJ something like this: "the team should be very improved the upcoming season but we have one remaining problem, the '5' position. We tried to unload Etan and his contract, but we couldn't, so we're stuck. We don't really need Etan now. We have Andre, Darius, Pech and Dom to handle those needs now, but we need Heywood, our center. So take your sorry ass down to North Carolina and make peace with Heywood, our only legitimate center and encourage him to be the best he can be. So, EJ cut out the small-ball BS. Ain't no more Ruffin and, forgot his name, our left-hander who signed with Philadelphia,gone. So make some Hay before it gets too cold. This is your last chance. Better help yourself. If you jif-up again, you're history. And I ain't foolin."

Posted by: RCoop75 | September 29, 2007 4:58 AM

Hoopshype.com says Tony Massenburg will be in training camp with the Wizards.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 10:34 AM

Interesting that the Washington Post reported this morning that new defensive coach Randy Ayers was with EJ when Haywood had his "clear-the-air" meeting with Coach in NC earlier this month.

Posted by: Tim | September 29, 2007 10:57 AM

Always interesting that so many people keep playing up that there is a Grunfeld/Jordan rift. If there was you'd never hear it from Grunfeld, but than again, Ernie for the most part isn't telling anybody anything.

But if the two guys aren't on the same page, and Grunfeld's looking for his first chance to fire him, it sure seems funny that he seems to keep building a roster geared toward the Princeton.

Pecherov, Songalia, Blatche, and even Veeremenko, who's still stashed in Russia,
all are 4's and 5's that are more suited to the Princeton style of offense than Thomas and Haywood. And Young and MacGuire are young wing guys that will work well as cutters in the Princeton.

Arenas is point that is also a scorer, the kind of guy that you really want as a Princeton point. Different than, say.. Nash, where if the play doesn't go the ball always cycles back to your point. Arenas can catch and shoot are look for the ball off of a screen or backdoor cut.

Ideally the Princeton needs a 5 with a face the basket game to pull the opposing center away from the hoop and handle and pass the ball and open the lane for the cutters. Thomas and Haywood are the last two remaining guys from the pre Princeton days here and are the two that least fit this offense.

Grunfeld may fire Jordan and go a different route at some point. But my take on things is like his team, he feels he's got a developing young coach. Does he have faults and have some screwed up rotations? Yes, but we've gone from a disaster on offense to the third best in the league.

Does he need help to coach defense? Hell Yes! The big question is is Ayers the right guy to do it, Harter never got in the inner circle with the coaching staff. The guy from Houston apparently knew he wasn't going to fit here in the first week.

I'd still love to know the inside story to that, but in Grunfeld's Wizards that's not happening. What is becoming increasingly clear is that Ernie is controling the keys to the Wizard's Castle. O'Malley, Grant and other hold overs from the pre Grunfeld era are falling by the wayside.

What seems to be emerging is a more unified front office and basketball operation than we're used to around here. A liitle less soap opera and a little more professional operation.

My big question coming out of training camp and pre-season will be Ayers role. If Jordan has intergrated him on to the staff as one of the lead assistants, than we may be looking at a smooth transition and defensive improvement will be a priority.

If he's sitting on the back bench looking like somebody's father that got added to the coaching staff, then you guys can get out the knives! Jordan could be history.

Posted by: GM | September 29, 2007 11:05 AM

I agree with one poster that EG may have influenced the meeting between EJ and Haywood.

When BH stalked off the court and out of the locker room the way he did after the last playoff game last year, my initial thought was that he would be gone by the start of this season. Then a few days later it was reported that EG had lectured BH on professionalism and how to conduct yourself. The fact that EG made this effort gave me an inkling that BH might still be around for this season.

My impression is that EG still sees some value in BH and he is not going to trade him unless he gets some value in return. BH also has a cap friendly contract. I think EG needs EJ to make this work.

Also, there were reports that EG did try to trade ET this offseason, but has so far been unsuccessful. ET does not have a cap friendly contract. It is too expensive for the value we are getting in return.

In addition I wonder if EG is putting more pressure on EJ to focus more on defense this season, with the hiring of Ayers and the fact that he was at the meeting with Haywood.

Pre-season should be interesting to follow this year. Three games will be televised: 9, 14, 19 Oct. Hopefully we will be able to see more emphasis on the Wizards playing defense. (It will also be interesting to see how our rooks look.)

Posted by: Tim | September 29, 2007 11:12 AM

The closer an expiring contract gets to the end the more the value grows. Grunfeld isn't going to give Etan away for pennies on the dollar, he'll bide his time.

Interesting thing is that extra pick he picked up for Navarro and Etan's and Daniels expiring deals could all combine together to give him some trade ammo in the future. That will give us the next couple of seasons to see what we really have with this group.

If Gilbert would prove hard to resign and Jamison wants more than we can sign him for, Grunfeld could use sign and trades next summer to start retooling.

It seems Grunfeld is covering his bases if this group pans out or not. Haywood's value was probably never lower than at the end of last year. It's best for everyone if he comes in to camp and plays hard.

If things don't work out for him here his best ticket out of town is to look good in the preseason.

Posted by: GM | September 29, 2007 12:35 PM

I agree, GM, that Ayers role on this team and the team's reaction to him will be key factors in whether the Wiz are going to buckle down on D. Tim, I was also encouraged by that line in the WaPo today that Ayers was with Ernie when they came to NC to meet with Brendan. Maybe that says Ayers is going to be an influential assistant, and maybe its an acknowledgement that some of BH's grievances are defensive in nature.

Or maybe it doesn't say a thing. Can't wait to watch the camp and the season unfold.

Posted by: Prazak | September 29, 2007 3:38 PM

I think we will see ET's minutes per game go down considerably this year--unless there is an injury. EJ must have learned his lesson, unless he is much more stubborn than we all think. This will difuse some of the attitude from BH. EJ will be searching for one of the new guys who can play center facing the basket and defend half way decently, to step forward and become the first 5 off the bench behind BH.

Posted by: oddjob | September 29, 2007 7:41 PM

Why r u all trying to pin Haywoods deficiencies on EJ. Oh yeah, I forgot, he looked promissing two years ago. Then there was that playoff game where he was decent. And don't forget his best run as a wizard, where he averaged a whopping 7.9 points and rebounds in January, and another 7.8 point and 6.2 rebounds in February.

This bum has been in the league for 6 years, and he is just like Kwame ... always the potential, but never the results.

I guess its EJs fault that Kwame is what he is too.

Dammit ... someone broke into my car while I was at a Nat's game ... I just bet that was EJs fault too.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 29, 2007 8:03 PM

I believe there are legit questions and criticisms that can be lodge against EJ as with any coach. However, what post posit as legitamate evidence nothing more than opinion passed off as fact, especially about the defensive role of a center. When basic pick and roll defense is then transformed into some strategy that BH should not be asked to do, I am sure folks from other teams are howling at us for complete fan ignorance of basketball. Again, there are very legitamate criticisms tht can be made. Let's not blame the coach for the immaturity and lack of skill that BH has.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 8:12 PM

I believe there are legit questions and criticisms that can be lodge against EJ as with any coach. However, what post posit as legitamate evidence nothing more than opinion passed off as fact, especially about the defensive role of a center. When basic pick and roll defense is then transformed into some strategy that BH should not be asked to do, I am sure folks from other teams are howling at us for complete fan ignorance of basketball. Again, there are very legitamate criticisms tht can be made. Let's not blame the coach for the immaturity and lack of skill that BH has.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 8:12 PM

I believe there are legit questions and criticisms that can be lodge against EJ as with any coach. However, what post posit as legitamate evidence nothing more than opinion passed off as fact, especially about the defensive role of a center. When basic pick and roll defense is then transformed into some strategy that BH should not be asked to do, I am sure folks from other teams are howling at us for complete fan ignorance of basketball. Again, there are very legitamate criticisms tht can be made. Let's not blame the coach for the immaturity and lack of skill that BH has.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 8:12 PM

Here is a Gilbert quote on the Wizards website from his talk with the media on Friday:

On the defensive focus in training camp:
"We are playing defense this year. I talked to Coach (Jordan) today and he said we will not be focusing too much on our offense in training camp. We focused a lot in the past on learning the complicated offense that we never really had a chance to focus a lot on the defensive end. This year Coach said he was going to simplify the offense in training camp so we can focus more on the defense."

I guess we'll see.

Posted by: Tim | September 29, 2007 8:16 PM

Here's the link for other things Gilbert said:

http://www.nba.com/wizards/news/quotes_arenas_070928.html

Posted by: Tim | September 29, 2007 8:29 PM

I've been a player and student of the game probably longer than you've been alive.

Before shooting your mouth off about ignorance, learn how to spell, how to hit "submit" once instead of three times, and how to rebut an argument instead of name-calling.

Then watch how Reilly uses Shaq on pick and roll defense. It's all about rotation, not sending the big guy out.

Posted by: Prazak | September 29, 2007 8:36 PM

Prazak, your analysis of the situation is accurate.

Actually, there are a multitude of ways to defend the NBA pick-and-roll.

The only one I saw used consistantly last year by the Wizards is the "hedge"; where the guard goes over the top of the screen and the center forces the guard to go high at least one dribble.

That defense requires a center with at least some quickness, and enough foot speed to get back quickly to his man.

When Jordan went "smallball" with either Songaila or Ruffin playing center, that defense worked. However, neither Thomas nor Haywood have the physical tools necessary to play that defense effectively.

So, either the Wizards have to get personnel that can play that style of PnR defense; OR they have to change to one of the multitude of other schemes of defensing that play.

Let's hope that Ayres has some answers.

Posted by: Rook | September 29, 2007 9:04 PM

That's right, Rook. There are indeed many ways to defend the pick and roll and much of it is situational: who has the dribble and what are their skills, who is screening/rolling and what are their skills, where on the court is the pick set, how many picks are involved? All of them require good team defense, communication, and timing.

Unfortunately, we don't usually have a 5 on the floor with quick footspeed, we have at least one forward (AJ) who doesn't rotate quickly when the 5 has been beaten, as is usually the case with the scheme EJ employs, and we have at least one guard (Gil) who doesn't rotate quickly when one of his forwards has rotated.

I think we'll see pretty much the same offense we've seen to date. It'll be very interesting to see what the Wiz do on the defensive side of the ball, with a new defensive assistant coach installed by Ernie.

Posted by: Prazak | September 29, 2007 9:49 PM

"Another not-quite-great year, unless Ernie plays his cards right and springs on a defensive big man if/when he becomes available. That would invariably mean trading Antawn, but lets face it, a player with his deficiencies (height, weight, fluffy game, no lateral movement) will never lead you to a championship. AJ is either a great 6th man or a wonderful complement to an elite center...we gotta let him go at some point, people."

Posted by: DC | September 26, 2007 02:57 PM

Get your facts straight: Elvin Hayes, the Big E, was the exact same height and weight at 6'9" and 235, and he led the Bullets to a championship. AJ is plenty tall and heavy enough. They are different players, though. Elvin had a serious post up game with his turnaround jumpshot off the glass and devastating spin move to the hoop for a monster slam, and he could play either power forward or center on O and D and he blocked shots. AJ brings another skill set to the table: outside shooting and unorthodox shots around the hoop. Elvin and AJ each had strong rebounding, so they shared that ability.

Our problem is that our two centers stink, especially Brenda. If we had a beast defender for a center then AJ's lack of defensive ability at the power forward spot wouldn't be such a problem. It's strange that people keep attacking AJ when it's obvious that he is one of our three best players because of his offense, rebounding, and leadership. When we have Brenda as half of our two-headed monster at center, then we get almost NOTHING for however many minutes he's on the floor: no offense, little defense, little rebounding, no maturity or team spirit or loyalty or proper attitude, etc.

You get a lot with AJ but you get almost nothing with Brenda except an ulcer. Put the blame where it belongs.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 1:58 AM

Get your facts straight: Elvin Hayes, the Big E, was the exact same height and weight at 6'9" and 235, and he led the Bullets to a championship. AJ is plenty tall and heavy enough. They are different players, though. Elvin had a serious post up game with his turnaround jumpshot off the glass and devastating spin move to the hoop for a monster slam, and he could play either power forward or center on O and D and he blocked shots. AJ brings another skill set to the table: outside shooting and unorthodox shots around the hoop. Elvin and AJ each had strong rebounding, so they shared that ability.

Our problem is that our two centers stink, especially Brenda. If we had a beast defender for a center then AJ's lack of defensive ability at the power forward spot wouldn't be such a problem. It's strange that people keep attacking AJ when it's obvious that he is one of our three best players because of his offense, rebounding, and leadership. When we have Brenda as half of our two-headed monster at center, then we get almost NOTHING for however many minutes he's on the floor: no offense, little defense, little rebounding, no maturity or team spirit or loyalty or proper attitude, etc.

You get a lot with AJ but you get almost nothing with Brenda except an ulcer. Put the blame where it belongs.

Posted by: | September 30, 2007 01:58 AM


at least during that time, we have wes unseld to help out in paint but currently we have....brendan todd haywood....so u get your fact straight too aight

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 10:15 AM

There's more than one way to defend the pick and roll and screens and which you use really depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the players that you have.

If a team doesn't run it very well it really doesn't take a special stategy to stop it. Look at how teams play us, 1/2 the time they'll let Thomas or Haywood go and double Arenas. They're taking the chance that our bigs will dribble the ball off their foot, fumble it out of bounds or miss time the jam.

They never play to protect against the open 15 footer by the big because those two will hesitate then dump the ball out front. Then Haywood will go back to the lowpost and act disgusted that he didn't get fed the ball.

But Prazak is right, you can play by switching and rotating and playing more zone principles. The pick and roll has been around forever, it's the first "play" most of us were taught when we learned to play. It's just plain elemental two man basketball, and alot of what teams run is based on pick and roll principles.

I've watched alot of basketball over 40 years, having your center switch and attack the point gaurd and drive him away from the hoop is one tactic and it can be effective. But I never saw Chamberlain or Russell, or big slow guys like Tom Boerwinkle ever chase a point guard around 30' from the rim. So saying that's the only way to attack it is just watching games and not seeing what's going on.

Most teams including the Wizards have 4 or 5 different ways that they attack the pick and roll and try and deploy them all depending on the players on the court and where the play is being ran.

The Wizards tend to attack the high pick and roll with their center alot no matter who's on the floor. And alot of teams play it that way. But sometimes it's just hard for Haywood to get back and find his man and he gets caught in between. We then give up an easy hoop when the gaurd passes out of it to a player that catches the ball drops it into the post quickly and catches Haywood out of position.

There's where a secondary defensive stratagy is needed. Hopefully Randy Ayers will bring that to the team. Interesting to read Arenas's comments about what the team will be working on in camp this year.

That's where having the same core guys back will really help, the offense is installed and by now should be getting to be second nature. Now it's time to work on the D til everbody just does it instead of thinking first and then being a step slow.

The next month will prove if the Wizards will really work at the D like they say. Ayers traveling to Haywood's home for a sit down along with Jordan could be a really good sign on a couple of different levels.

Haywood wants to see that there is a commitment to defense and as immature as some of his actions have been, he's a smart guy and wants to see the team work harder at stopping people. He knows from his Carolina days that it all starts on D.

Grunfeld seems to have everybody on the same page heading into camp, just hope it stays that way.

Posted by: GM | September 30, 2007 12:34 PM

Prazak & Rook. From reading your posts I can clearly see you have actually "played" the game at an organized level like I have. Anybody that has "played" the game at an organized level can clearly see what is going on with EJ's flawed "flash" system with the "5".

I completely agree with your posts and that is why I brought up EJ's whole flawed "defensive scheme" a few days ago and how it relates with Haywood's performance.

The Haywood bashers want to keep harping on Haywood's altitude and his "1" rebound a game for 10 minutes. Again, if these folks read my post about the defensive scheme EJ is running with "flashing" his "5's and read Prazak's and Rook's posts they would then understand why Haywood's numbers look so bad.

As I posted before, Ruffin was the only "5" on that team able to "flash" out near the top of the key and get back and still grab a rebound. He had very quick feet for a big man and that is why EJ liked him so much.

But again, EJ was asking Haywood to do something he is unable to do because he is to big and slow to do it. The same for Etan. If he just let Haywood "man" the paint and play help defense down low, you would see his rebound total increase. Also, if he is able to get a solid 25 to 30 minutes a game his rebounds would increase also.

As I have already said, Haywood's behavior was not what it should be, I grant you that. But can you really get so mad at someone who wants to improve and be out on the court helping his team win? Plus, the "mind games" EJ has done on him the last 3 years probably hit it's end point with Haywood when EJ tried to embarass him in the playoff games by dressing him and not playing him (can someone please say "mind game"). Why do you think he did what he did the last game by leaving the bench. People can "pluck" with you but so much before you snap. Folks on here need to stop faking like they never had a supervisor that "plucked" with them all of the time and try to embarass them in front of co-workers? How did you like it and deal with it?

Bashers of Haywood, stop going off of what the media is saying about Haywood all of time and take the time out to "really" watch the game and the flawed defensive schemes EJ employs for Etan and Haywood.

Then watch EJ's rotations involving the two. Also watch the "flashing" of the "5" and what happens when the other teams starts "swinging the ball" around. Then ask yourself if all of that is still Haywood's fault?

I believe Haywood could be pretty productive if "handled" the right way. EJ's "old school" way of doing things might work with some players, but not all.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 30, 2007 12:38 PM

GM. As usual great point and post. I could not have say it any better.......

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | September 30, 2007 12:42 PM

This is what EJ thinks about Haywood:

On Brendan Haywood:
"I told him it is like when you are playing golf: it is the shot right
in front of you. That is the most important - not what happened before,
not what you think can happen on the putting green. It is the shot right in
front of you that means everything to you. When I met with him, it was about
that meeting. It was not about training camp or expectations. It was about that
meeting. The next time I see him, it will be about that day, and that is how
we are going to take it. Brendan is very intelligent. People on our team like
to listen to Brendan because he is very funny. We want him to use that soap-box
that he can stand on to lead. Brendan loves to play, he has got a terrific body,
he is in great shape, and he knows how to play the game. We just want to maximize
the defensive end and the rebounding."

Posted by: Billy | September 30, 2007 5:15 PM

Hey everyone and welcome back Ivan. :)

"2. What is going to change on the defensive end of the floor this year?"

"I've stated here many times that I wonder if Eddie Jordan had Bill Russell if he'd have Russell chasing a point gaurd around 30' from the rim."

I could pull more quotes(you know I would quote you Henry), but I think this works. :)

I think you could add to this: Will the offseason distractions follow the Wiz into the season? I think a lot of stuff remains to be seen, but Gil said he was going to concentrate on defense this season whereas last season there was, well, none.

"But in all fairness to this team I really think Grunfeld is pointing at next year and the year after for us to become a real powerhouse in the east."

I agree and I think unless Jordan goes deep into the playoffs he's gone next year for sure. There can't be anymore "smallball" or Etan/Brendan scuffles either.

THEY HAVE TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP at being a contender. This is probably Jamison's last year here as well. I'm thinking he'll sign somewhere else next year or if things implode, be traded.

This is a very critical year for the Wiz. They showed that they can play with most teams when healthy, now they have to have the consistency.

For anyone who doubts this the Wiz could very well be starting completely over after this season if Gil decides to leave, Jamison is gone, and Jordan gets fired.

I was so sad for them at the end of last year. :(

Go Wiz! :)

- Ray

(when they post it I will put the link for the All-Star ballot here)

Posted by: Ray | September 30, 2007 6:24 PM

I guess Haywood was not handled correctly in college either. His reputation follows him.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | September 30, 2007 6:39 PM

Haywood is a peice of sh*t. I've played up through college,I'm a coach now, if i had a player that walked out on his team like haywood did he would never see the floor.Until brenda softwood decides he is here for the team and to help this team he will always be just that.The man has some game but only as a backup.If you drive straight at him he does the biggest no no there is,he turns sideways and watches WHY! because he is a female organ

Posted by: jcrock | September 30, 2007 8:51 PM

It is amazing that a player who has played the sameway since college is not lionized as a competent center. Brendan is who he is and chances are he will not change. 10 years of experience, including college tells us this. Additionally, he is bad for chemistry and young players...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 10:23 PM

I'm still waiting for some explanation on how adjusting Haywood's role in the pick-and-roll defense will improve his individual post defense, shot selection, free throw shooting, and bad hands.

Posted by: kalorama | October 1, 2007 12:05 AM

"If a team doesn't run it very well it really doesn't take a special stategy to stop it. Look at how teams play us, 1/2 the time they'll let Thomas or Haywood go and double Arenas. They're taking the chance that our bigs will dribble the ball off their foot, fumble it out of bounds or miss time the jam."

I think they're really taking the chance that the guy with the ball won't or doesn't have the ability to pass out of the double team anyway. I think these two bigs are resigned to the fact that they won't get the pass and instead, will get into position to get the rebound.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 1:12 AM

After reading this interview, I think it was worthless. Gilby says the injury was an awakening, thus making him realize he needs to cherish the game. WTF does that mean?

Sure doesn't sound like he means he understands the urgency of now and that he understands his own mortality and must ensure that the team works towards the goal of winning a championship before his career is over.

On another note, I saw Gilby's cover for the new NBA Live video game and saw a Les BouleS jersey that looked pretty good. I hope it's legit. It had a gold front with some wizards blue trim, and blue shorts with some stripes. Much better than those stupid gold and block uniforms.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 1:17 AM

I know you probably won't look at all 249 posts, but, if you do, here's my question. Ask the team if Gilbert's comments about Brendan will have any effect on the team this year. I'm sure you heard it but just in case, he said that Haywood should start because if he comes off the bench "he's gonna play mad for 3 or 4 games, then tank it." Those are some pretty strong words!

Posted by: C.Bell | October 1, 2007 2:34 AM

OK, so everyone here is wondering the same thing; who is gonna be the better center?

well, i have been wondering for a while now, why cant one play the 5-spot and the other play the 4? Furthermore, is the Euro kid going to actually play in the NBA this year? At 6-11/7-0 and 220lbs, this kid has the size to take up space in the paint, but will he show up this season and earn a paycheck? Being a shooting big man, he seems to fit the team by now wanting to clog up the middle while the guards do thier thing. Furthermore, if he shows up and has some skills, he could jump right past the other two for minutes if they keep squabbling with each other.

Posted by: Patrick L | October 1, 2007 6:44 AM

"I know you probably won't look at all 249 posts, but, if you do, here's my question. Ask the team if Gilbert's comments about Brendan will have any effect on the team this year. I'm sure you heard it but just in case, he said that Haywood should start because if he comes off the bench "he's gonna play mad for 3 or 4 games, then tank it." Those are some pretty strong words!

Posted by: C.Bell | October 1, 2007 02:34 AM "


My point exactly. If this quirky dude wants to be left alone and not be considered the leader of this team, then he's better off shutting his blow hole and not cause any controversy and do what he does while collecting his max money in peace. He's just making it uncomfortable for everyone else because he's not helping the situation.

I guess BTH is taking the mature approach, b/c he could easily reply that Gilby only cares about scoring and not play defense because defense requires hard work, and that Gilby needs to play his own man and not rely on BTH to bail him out.

Of course, if BTH said that, Gilby would throw a hissy fit and not shoot for one game and just try to play defense to prove a point to himself, and then resort to his normal ball hogging, shoot first self. Skills that he honed at Barry Farms and their 9 ft. rims while scoring 50 points against people on a court that are nowhere near pro-level while defense is foreign to them. Good job Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 8:22 AM

I'm still waiting for some explanation on how adjusting Haywood's role in the pick-and-roll defense will improve his individual post defense, shot selection, free throw shooting, and bad hands.

Posted by: kalorama | October 1, 2007 12:05 AM

What's Up Kalorama. First by no means are all of my posts implying Haywood is a legit starting "5" in this league. Haywood is a very good servicable backup center in my eyes. However, I make these posts in his defense because we only have two choices here to play the "5" and that is him and Etan.

With that said, I think Haywood is the better option starting and closing games than Etan. Etan is a poor man's Brian Grant in his heyday with Portland. Etan is not a "5", he is a "4". I think Etan is a very good "4" if put in at the right time.

My problem with EJ is that he tries to make Etan a "5" when he is not. Now to answer your question about Haywood's defense of the pick and roll improving his post defense.

First, EJ has the "5 flashing" every possession rather the opposing team is running a high pick and roll or staggered pick. Right there that shows you no imagination from EJ on disguising his defense so the opposing team does not know what he is running everytime.

Now, if you leave Haywood down in the block to defend you have a better chance of him being in position to deter shots or block them outright because he is not running all around the top of the key or trying to double back down (slow feet) to the paint to re-establish rebounding position, or much less defend.

Another poster mentioned how he sees Haywood "turn his back" when the defender is coming at him. Well if my man would take time out to look at the start of the play and see that man Haywood was going to defend was probably Gilbert's man who blew past him at the top of the key.

What happens next is Haywood runs at the dude and then realizes the dude might dish off to his (Haywood's) man who he just left. Guess what, Haywood has done that before and the man would dish off to his man, who Haywood left, and get an uncontested dunk. Guess what, who got the blame for not rotating quick enough?

You got it Haywood, and not Gilbert for letting his man blow past him after playing "ole" defense. Haywood then gets yanked from the game for not being "intense" enough. Go figure...??

Now to get to the "turn the back" to his man point. Don't you think if you were in Haywood's shoes and the scenerio's keep going like the one I just described you would eventually get "gun shy" about commiting to stopping Gilbert's man and leaving your man?

If he left his man, EJ benched him. If he stepped out on Gilbert's man and then try to time, thus having the apperance of turning his back, when the man was going to dish back to his man; EJ benched him. The dude could not win.

Haywood's shot selection is very poor. I do not disagree with you on that point. That is a byproduct of EJ's treatment of him and double standards on the team. Is it right to do take that altitude Haywood took, heck no. He was wrong in that aspect.

However, I have had teammates who liked to "gun" and it pissed me off a lot too. So guess what, when I got the ball I would sometimes take a shot I shouldn't have because I got tired of playing defense and not getting any touches at all. The dude is human man, he and all of the others are going to make mistakes. Just because these folks make millions of dollars does not mean they do not have emotions like the rest of us folks.

Free throw shooting. Name me more than two "true big men" other than Zeke in Cleveland that is a good free throw shooter? Not many is it? This is a dead issue.

Haywood's hands were terrible the first two years. However, the last two years they have been pretty average to above average. I have seen plenty of "dump-offs" to him after dribble penetration and he caught and completed the conversion. The only time he got to dropping passes was when the "full all out assalt of EJ's mind games" was in full display. So I do not agree with the bad hands thing.

Folks keep using the "Haywood in college" card a lot too. Was he soft then, dang right. But the dude in my eyes has done nothing but try to erase that tag and work hard in a flawed defensive system with a coach who does not like him. How is he to succeed if he has those two major things going against him.

I think with the right handling and steady minutes you will see a very servicable starting "5" by mid-year. Tough love is good, but this is a two word statement. All I have seen was the "tough" EJ has laid on him. Now it is time for the "love" to show itself. It would be better for the team as a whole.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | October 1, 2007 9:45 AM

Here's one question that would be difficult to ask Eddie Jordan because it would be hard to support the foundation of the question, but in a perfect world I'd love to hear the answer:

The question: You tried to run Haywood out of town at the end of last year but that didn't happen. How do you move forward?

Here is my thinking on the run Haywood out of town part -- last year, going into the playoffs, the Wizards were without Gil and Caron. ANY coach in that situation would think, "How can I maximize what I've still got?" Haywood had a history of shutting Ilgauskas down, and Etan vs. Varejao was a natural matchup. Jordan had to know that if he benched Haywood, he wouldn't get much out of him. So that's exactly what he did. I will never be convinced that Jordan started Thomas in that series purely for basketball reasons.

Then, Haywood had a very good game 2, but in 10 minutes of game 3, although Haywood didn't play that poorly, Haywood had 0 points, 0 rebounds. If Jordan wanted Haywood out of town (and I believe he did/does), Jordan knew that such a flat performance suited his purposes, so he didn't play Haywood at all in game 4. Why risk a good performance?

That's my opinion, at least. Not saying Haywood is Bill Russell, or that his play and behavior doesn't play a big role in all of this, but I certainly think there is much evidence pointing to the fact that Jordan wanted Haywood out of town at the end of last season. So what now?

By the way, don't know if any caught this, but on Friday when talking about his rotation, Jordan mentioned that his core 8 or 9 guys have been here for a while, "the starters," and Darius, Etan, Daniels, etc. Don't know if that was a meaningful slip when he grouped Haywood with the starters and Etan with the bench.

Posted by: Sean | October 1, 2007 10:35 AM

Haywood = Would've Could've Should've

Posted by: pg posse | October 1, 2007 11:08 AM

"well, i have been wondering for a while now, why cant one play the 5-spot and the other play the 4?"

Because neither of them is quick enough laterally to defend most PFs and having them both on the floor together would create an offensive null zone at two positions (as opposed to just one).

Oh yeah, and they hate each other.

Posted by: kalorama | October 1, 2007 11:19 AM

Here's a link that Tim posted earlier:

http://www.nba.com/wizards/news/quotes_arenas_070928.html

After reading the quotes from Gilby, I find it a bit presumptuous for him and EJ to assume that the team "does not need to focus on offense too much during training camp," based on the individual offense prowess of the players on the team. Once again, it goes back to chemistry, and the most overrated words used for this team, "the Princeton Offense."

Last season, they had such a hard time making it work that they often resorted to helter skelter. The question to EJ is whether he's going to make this "PO" work or not.

-------------------------------------------
EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:

Gilby:
We added a pretty good scorer in Nick Young off of the bench. He is a great shooter and he can create on his own. This year everyone is coming in healthy, so we do not have to worry about teaching players during the season our style of play."

More on the team:
"We have three guys that score 65-70 points a game combined. We have three scorers and playmakers and defenders with Brendan and DeShawn (Stevenson) in the starting lineup, and we have added scorers of the bench with Nick Young and Dominic McGuire."

On the defensive focus in training camp:
"We are playing defense this year. I talked to Coach (Jordan) today and he said we will not be focusing too much on our offense in training camp.

I have to prove that I am an MVP candidate and that I am one of the best point guards in this league.


------------------------------------------

Best point guards in the league? Not! Best shootfirst guards, maybe yes.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 11:21 AM

Don't much matter. In DC, Gil is the man!

GO WIZARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have tickets for the first home game and can't wait! I am not worried about whether Gil stays, Jamison is traded, etc. etc. This season is what I am waiting for and I hope the injury bug overlooks our players, that the bench makes a major contributtion like I think they can and that this proves to be a great season for the Wiz. I am pretty sure someone here will shoot down my post, so go ahead. I am still going to go into this season with nothing but positivity. GO WIZ! Can't wait to see the preseason games to before I comment on the players one way or the other.

Posted by: Die Hard Wiz Fan | October 1, 2007 11:57 AM

From the Wizards' website, quotes from Jordan:

"On Randy Ayers' role on the coaching staff:

Randy is bringing a lot of experience to us. He went to the finals with
the Philadelphia 76ers working under Larry Brown. He had a huge hand on the
defensive end with that team. He worked for Orlando for a couple of years and
they improved dramatically defensively. Randy is a terrific coach. He is a terrific
human being. He fits perfectly with the personality of our team and staff."

Notice how Jordan completely avoided the question about what Ayers' role will be.

Posted by: Red | October 1, 2007 12:01 PM

Randy's role in Philly may be exaggerated. It does help that he had both Deke and Dalembert manning the middle, nevermind defensive minded tough guys like Eric Snow.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 12:13 PM

Jordan must be a bigger offensive genius than any of us could have ever imagined. He took a team with two centers with poor hands and no offensive games and a top reserve at power forward and center that couldn't even make a layup.

He combined them with a sometimes starter and top reserve who completely lost his jump shot. It got to the point where many on this site tagged him with the name "Arvis" cause he'd lost his "J" or had no jumper.

And he gives the ball to a ballhogging point gaurd that heaves up threes and never passes to anyone. Is self centered, self promoting, and is more interested in his own birthday party then the team.

And somehow he manges to coach that group to having the third most efficent offense in the league last year. The man must be a genius to have pulled that off with a such a cancer of a point guard on his team.

If we'd simply release the bum and start any guy that we could find on the street I'm sure Jordan could coach us right to the Eastern finals. A man that's smart enough to make us this good with a guy like Arenas on the team could make into a league Champion over night if we'd just realease the bum Arenas.

Posted by: GM | October 1, 2007 12:23 PM

GM - please don't use sarcasm in your posts - it might actually be perceived as facts on this site ( ha ha ).

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 12:36 PM

Oh yeah, it 'twas the perfect storm.

If anyone recalls, last season was probably the worst for all teams in the eastern division. The west had so many better teams. If you stacked it up with the west, maybe only 4 would have qualified, or even deserved, to be in the playoffs (Cleveland, Chicago, Toronto, and Detroit).

It was funny how a team that was blazing in the first half of the season as the top team almost didn't qualify for the playoffs. This team was on a downward spiral even before Gilby and Caron were excused with injuries.

One can talk about offensive efficiency as much as they want, but the only stat that matters is wins and losses. How many conversations were had on this blog late last season about whether Les BouleS would qualify at all for the playoffs?

They ended up squeaking by at the end, and then get torn up by the Cavs. Swept.

Nobody said anything about releasing Gilby. What is being said is that Gilby needs to recognize that he needs to share the ball and play defense. Two things very foreign to him right now.

Les BouleS showed last season that they can beat some of the bad teams, some of the good teams, and some of the really good teams. What that boils down to is a lack of consistency, especially for a team with high hopes and which has had their core intact for a few years.

You can have the "third most efficent offense in the league last year," but unfortunately, that doesn't mean squat if you can't stop the other team from scoring (hint: play some D).

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 1:15 PM

when is the team media session today?

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | October 1, 2007 1:33 PM

Yep, the team media day is today. You will probably get some updates on Comcast Sportsnite. I think training camp starts tomorrow.

Posted by: Lady Wizz | October 1, 2007 2:10 PM

DCMan88 - I agree with a lot (not all) of your last post, but the wizards downfall of the 2nd half started with Antawn's injury on January 30. Eventhough the wiz managed to win that game against Detroit, they then went on to lose 8 of their next 12 games (ps - Caron also missed 3 of those games with back spasms).

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 2:11 PM

My two cents on the Wiz and all the defense talk is as long as you have AJ and GA on your starting unit your defense is going to be suspect. Those two should change into matador outfits at midcourt every defensive possession. Would I prefer to see BTH stay home around the basket more? Maybe. But then again, our perimeter defense was as bad as it gets in the league as well.

My other point is AJ and rebounding. STOP acting like he is a GOOD rebounder. He is 6'9 and plays around the basket most of the game. Put it this way...ten years from now what is his game going to be remembered? Nice offensive player with various awkward flip shots and a quick release and a good locker room guy. That's it!!! Rebounding is not going to cross anybody's mind!

Posted by: Rob P | October 1, 2007 2:17 PM

ed - how is his game going to be remembered?

Posted by: Rob P | October 1, 2007 2:19 PM

PLEASE IGNORE DC MAN88. HE'S A MORON.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 2:19 PM

"DCMan88 - I agree with a lot (not all) of your last post, but the wizards downfall of the 2nd half started with Antawn's injury on January 30. Eventhough the wiz managed to win that game against Detroit, they then went on to lose 8 of their next 12 games (ps - Caron also missed 3 of those games with back spasms).

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 02:11 PM "


Yes, those individual injuries showed how vulnerable this team is when even ONE of the big 3 get hurt. That usually means there was too much one on one reliance, and lack of an offensive system.

Recall again the fateful West Coast trip without Caron when instead of going 4-1 as many hoped, they went 1-4 against sub.500 teams who were without their big stars. I think the only game they won was against Seattle on that trip (Ray Allen out) and it required a miracle shot from Gilby.

Look at the stats and you will see how the downward spiral of the team started right before the all star break, and culminated with them "winning" 30% of their final 30 games and almost being eliminated from the 8th seed playoff spot.

Losing to charlotte twice, losing to the raptors, killed by Chicago, etc., etc....Then, the sweep by the Cavs in the playoffs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/schedule?team=was&season=2007

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 1, 2007 2:29 PM

Just wanted to let you fellow posters know that there is an interesting interview type article on DC Sports Bog with Brendan Haywood being interviewed for media day. Thought you all might want to check it out since he has been the topic of much coversation these past days.

Posted by: Lady Wizz | October 1, 2007 2:37 PM

This is the best post on here. BTH is bringing the whole team down with his attitude and effort.

"Jordan is not the problem with the Bullets/Wizards. BH can't play and his bad attitude should be relegated to on floor aggression towards his opponent. All of EJ frustrations are the lack of defensive play and rebounding from a 7'0 waste. There's no reason not to expect at least 9-10 rebounds a game from a 7'0 Center. BH should stop concentrating on scoring and rebound and defend the middle and his relationship with his coach and team mates would translate to a much happier environment. This not to say ET is much better, but his energy is substantially better especially in the forth quarter. Why this isn't apparent to the so called BH supporters perplexes me to no end! HE MUST BE SUPPORTED FOR OTHER REASON THAN BASKETBALL"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 2:38 PM

By the time the allstar game was played on Feb 18th, the wiz had lost 4 of 6 games without Antawn.

The wiz played 36 games between Feb and Apr. 20 of those games were played without at least 1 of the big 3. I believe their downfall lies with that 76% of the games during the 2nd half.

They regained all the big 3 for the month of March and a game in April. They went 500 during that stretch.

Stats for when one of big 3 did not play during feb and apr:

feb: 4-7 (Antawn 11 games, Caron 3)
apr: 2-8 (Caron 10 games, Gilbert 8)

I think injuries had more to do with the bad 2nd half than anything else.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 3:02 PM

"My other point is AJ and rebounding. STOP acting like he is a GOOD rebounder. He is 6'9 and plays around the basket most of the game."

Not in the games he's been playing for the Wiz the past few years. Since coming to the Wiz, Jamison has spent more and more time out near the three point line, launching away. He's set new career highs in 3-pointers attempted every season he's been in D.C. When he does spend more time around the basket, he can be a dominating scorer and more effective rebounder, even when the entire opposition's defense is geared towards stopping him (as was the case in the playoffs this past season).

Is Jamison a great rebounder? No. Is he a tough, physical, clutch rebounder? Hardly. But he is, by any reasonable definition, a good rebounder, esp. when you consider the fact that he's generally matched up against a bigger, stronger player.

The fact that people take note of his being the best rebounder on the team is less a compliment to Jamison as it is an indictment of the pathetic output of their so-called "big men."

Posted by: kalorama | October 1, 2007 3:09 PM

The fact that people take note of his being the best rebounder on the team is less a compliment to Jamison as it is an indictment of the pathetic output of their so-called "big men."

Posted by: kalorama | October 1, 2007 03:09 PM


Gee wiz ... I like Jamison ... but I can't bring myself to disagree with the above statement!!!

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 3:20 PM

There's no reason not to expect at least 9-10 rebounds a game from a 7'0 Center. BH should stop concentrating on scoring and rebound and defend the middle and his relationship with his coach and team mates would translate to a much happier environment.

Posted by: | October 1, 2007 02:38 PM

???? whatever your name is. How in the "heck" are you going to expect 9 to 10 rebounds from somebody who gets 15 to 20 minutes a game, if that much? How are you going to get 9 to 10 rebounds from somebody who is 7 foot and maybe 290 or more running back from the top of the key to get back down in the paint to get a rebound when you have lost position because you were out on the perimeter playing "switch" defense like you are a 6 foot 3 guard?

How are you going to get 9 to 10 rebounds when you constantly have to switch off your man to guard AJ's and Gilbert's man who just blew past them?

Do you know anything about the game, my man? Defense starts with the top of the key, perimeter defense; not interior. The interior is your "last line of defense" not your first. That award goes to the perimeter defense. Just ask the Spurs with Parker and Bowen. Can somebody say Gilbert please guard your man?

Defense starts with guarding your baselines. Can somebody please say AJ please guard your man? If this is not happening, Haywood is then sliding over guarding their man and thus giving up his positioning for rebounds. How do you think AJ gets all of those rebounds? He got burned but he is left under the basket where Haywood would be grabing the rebounds.

Once that happens, EJ and jokers like yourself are saying he is not getting any rebounds. Then to add injury to insult, EJ takes him out with 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter remaining and does not bring him back into the game into 2 mintues left in the 2nd quarter. He then takes him out with about 5 minutes in the 3rd quarter and he does not get back into the game into maybe the last 2 minutes. That is even when the dude is having some monster games.

How in the heck he to get 9 to 10 rebounds with those types of minutes? But guess what, when Etan (EJ could not "use" him against Haywood) was out and Haywood was getting 25 to 30 solid minutes a night he was averaging about 8 to 9 rebounds a game. Check the stats. I do not have any other agenda in Haywood's defense but to state the truth about how the game of basketball should be played.

There is a defensive flaw in calling sets (thanks to EJ) with this team and a personal vendetta by EJ against Haywood, so that is my agenda and nothing else. I want to see the best man holding down our "5" spot without any "political issues" clouding up judgements. That is my reason for my support........

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | October 1, 2007 3:21 PM

when Etan (EJ could not "use" him against Haywood) was out and Haywood was getting 25 to 30 solid minutes a night he was averaging about 8 to 9 rebounds a game. Check the stats.

Posted by: Bullets Fever

The Facts:
Dec: 26.7 mpg 7.9 rpg
Jan: 27.3 mpg 7.9 rpg
Feb: 25.3 mpg 6.2 rpg

The Source:
http://www.nba.com/playerfile/brendan_haywood/season_splits.html


Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 3:38 PM

The Facts:
Dec: 26.7 mpg 7.9 rpg
Jan: 27.3 mpg 7.9 rpg
Feb: 25.3 mpg 6.2 rpg

The Source:
http://www.nba.com/playerfile/brendan_haywood/season_splits.html

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 1, 2007 03:38 PM

2Cents - Do these stats you provided calculate to 1 rebound for every ten minutes? No. Is 7 rebounds in 26 minutes great. No. Is is bad. No. Could be better I agree.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | October 2, 2007 8:05 AM

Haywood is terrible anybody who backs him knows nothing about defense or the game. He brings down the team with his attitude and his constant whining and we keep him around for what? His pathetic Defense and his 6 and 6 a game. You could play him the whole damn game and he still wouldnt get more than 8 and 8. He would get 15 and 10 one game and follow it up with 2 and 3. He is a career underachiever and you guys are just to blind to see it. Watch the Games BRENDA SUCKS!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2007 10:32 AM

2cents4wiz do you undertsand how math works??

Those stats don't equal 8 or 9 rebounds a game. What they show is exactly what I always say BRENDA can't get the job done no matter how many minutes you give him

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2007 10:34 AM

"2cents4wiz do you undertsand how math works?? Those stats don't equal 8 or 9 rebounds a game. What they show is exactly what I always say BRENDA can't get the job done no matter how many minutes you give him"

Posted by:

You are making my point, I am on your side when it comes to Brendan ... that's why I provided the real stats ... because they don't work out to 8 or 9 rebounds a game. I didn't make the post saying he did, I was using actual stats to refute it.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | October 2, 2007 12:09 PM

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