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Arenas will start

I just got back from the lockeroom where Gilbert Arenas was in uniform, with his head phones on and looking like he's ready to play some ball. Arenas said he'll start and wants to come out playing hard. Coach Eddie Jordan said Arenas will play most of the first and some of the third quarter along with the other starters.

I asked Eddie about his rotation and he said that he's looking to play his two top units together and then mix the other guys in. We know that first unit refers to Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood. The second unit will likely include Antonio Daniels, Darius Songaila, Andray Blatche (at center), Oleksiy Pecherov or Dominic McGuire and Roger Mason. Donell Taylor should get some run as well.

Eddie on what he wants to see out of rookies Pecherov, McGuire and Nick Young: "Effort and organization," Jordan said. "But I also want to see them take in the moment, the moment of being here in the NBA, feeling good about themselves for getting here. It's a big moment for them and I want them to enjoy it."

By Ivan Carter  |  October 9, 2007; 6:32 PM ET
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Next: A solid start


Can't wait to get a look at Blatche playing the 5 spot.

Posted by: Berg | October 9, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Witnesssss.....A.Blatche this year!!!

Posted by: jeff | October 9, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is looking pretty good... McGuire has been rough so far though.

Posted by: Jason | October 9, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Holy Cow, Arenas to Blatche is looking amazing. Two great assists by Arenas to Blatche in the last few minutes.

Posted by: Smith | October 9, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

ooooh my god we are looooaaded!!!

Posted by: Nina | October 9, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Blatche's ability to run the floor and finish with dunks is something the Wizards havent had in a while... if he gets minutes this year he is going to be a factor.

Posted by: Jason | October 9, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Arenas is the best shooter in the league from 30 feet and out. Im convinced.

Posted by: Jason | October 9, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Give us that trophy already!! Where is the cake...???

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Swadagger!!!! At the half....

Ayers sitting front and center and the team working at defensive execution...

Rookies and Blatche all looking good, shooting isn't great, but we forced 15 turnovers in a half and allowed only 29% shooting for the half.

Solid half of work...

Posted by: GM | October 9, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Man, this is fun.

If they stay healthy and Brendan keeps trying....ahhh someone stop me.

Posted by: Patrick | October 9, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

what type of medicine Daniels its on to take hits like that days in & out...I want some of that!!

Posted by: Dave | October 9, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

That 2nd unit played some pretty good defense. I liked Blatche at center, and McGuire at the 3.

No easy baskets for Cleveland when they were in there.

Posted by: Rook | October 9, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Lots of qualifications (rotations, minutes, schedules, etc.), but still, a very encouraging game! I like much of what I saw tonight.

Posted by: iceberg | October 9, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

If AB does not have a breakout year, it'll be a tragedy, because the reason will be he's not getting enough PT. Looks like he's playing a step ahead and a speed faster than everyone else, above the rim. Second team looking really loose and hungry.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 9, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I am probably saying this too quickly, but from the game tonight, I don't see Massenburg making the team.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game, but from the stats it looks like D-Mac had a good all-around performance. However, Jason's post above suggests otherwise. Can someone who watched please elaborate...

Posted by: PK1 | October 9, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Defensively, we look very good. Cleveland can't shoot, but we were very active and agressive on D. We defended the pick and roll very aggresively. Offensively, the first team shot poorly but ran the offense.

The second team blew the game open, however. AD played very well. Blatche and Mcguire make you feel good that they are on the floor. Songiala played well also.

BTW, I have to admit that Brendon played VERY well! If he plays the way he played tonight all season, we'll win alot of games.

EJ also had a 'tall ball' lineup of Brendon, Blatche, Pech, AD, and Gil. Watch out for that lineup!

Posted by: kblack | October 9, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Dominic was great! Played with energy on both ends! Showed skill on both ends.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

We are really weak at 2 guard. DS is so-so and Mason stinks. Like an Orioles minor league pitcher that comes up and throws nothing but balls. Mason may be a great practice shooter but in the game he can't hit the ocean from the beach. JCN had 21 today and a bunch of 3's. We really needed firepower off the bench at the 2, it fell in our lap, and we gave it away. Ernie let Hughes, Atkins, and Dixon all go for nothing too.Thats the loss of a lot of firepower for nothing.

Posted by: Dave | October 9, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Guys that stood out in this game:

AB: Very active on both ends of the court. Made a difference when he was in the game. Needs to give up the ball when trapped. Great in transition game. Probably Les BouleS best finisher. They need to get this dude the ball b/c he's going to present huge matchup problems.

DMac: Showed some good things. Can shoot and defend and drive. With him and AB in the game, there's a step up in defense, and offense is not compromised.

DSong: Active and aggressive. Nice shooting stroke.

BTH: Showed that given the opportunity, he's going to make the most of it. Got decent touches and PT. Good offensive moves, good defense.

Caron: Not convinced that the J that he worked on this offseason is going to elevate his game just yet. Didn't look fluid.

AJ: Still taking a lot of long bombs. Not hanging around too much in the middle to play D or get the board.

Opech: Did a little of this and that. Not sure how he's going to fit into the rotation or gel with the other players.

DS: Didn't do much.

Gilby: Shot 2-11. Did other things. Had a huge knee bra on.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 9, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

That is one deep team. There are going to be a lot of teams that play us this year wondering who the hell these guys are off the bench whipping their butts.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The 2, the 2, the 2...what will we do?

a) When DS is out, slip Gilbert over and give AD more PT at 1.
b) Try AJ at the 2, since he's going to be firing away from there anyway.
c) Tell Memphis we were just kidding.
d) Bring back Jeff Malone; or better yet Kevin Grevey.
e) Pray.

Posted by: oddjob | October 9, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

As long as Stevenson and Mason play decent D and knock down the open shots, the Wiz will be okay at SG. Would it be nice to have 4 all-star caliber players in the starting 5 as opposed to 3? Sure, but that ain't gonna happen. The way this team is made up, the SG position is going to be filled by a role player. That was going to be true even in the unlikely event that Navarro was still around.

Posted by: kalorama | October 9, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Nick Young drafted to be the 2?

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 9, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Knock down the open shots. Not going to happen with Mason. Nerves. Think how much better we'd be with a Jon Barry type to come in and hit shots. Even a Dixon or a JCN would be a lot better. Mason and Taylor certainly proved they weren't the answer last year. Put under pressure DS didn't do so well either.

Posted by: Dave | October 9, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Mason hit a number of shots under pressure in games that counted last season (including shooting 50% from 3 in the playoffs). He didn't have much consistency overall, but that was largely a function of his inconsistent PT. He should be better with a more defined role.

Posted by: kalorama | October 10, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I was encouraged by the game, but then I read this from Ivan this morning:

"We're moving more towards calling them big men and not necessarily calling them centers or power forwards," Jordan said. "We're utilizing an offense where we may have three smalls [guards] and two bigs [forwards and centers], so they're pretty much interchangeable. They can all do different things to help us."

Here we go again. Notice Jordan's focus is solely on offense, and he apparently learned nothing last year about what happens when you stick a power forward in at center. Also, that quote is a bunch of bull. Have you ever seen Jordan put a lineup out there for more than a minute that doesn't have a point guard? As a former point guard, he realizes the importance of having a point guard on the floor. He obviously doesn't realize the importance of having a center out there.

On a related note -- Ivan, you made an error in your article. You said, "Songaila, whose ability to rebound, dribble, pass and shoot makes him an ideal big man for Jordan's system...." I'm sure you meant to say, "Jordan's OFFENSIVE system."

Posted by: Henry | October 10, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

PK1, I can't say whether Massenburg was bad last night or not. But the Wizards are carrying 17 players and had been planning to drop two as soon as this week, I believe.

Posted by: iceberg | October 10, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If Massenburg makes the team, it'll only be to fill the Calvin Booth "break glass in case of emergency" role. he won't actually be in the rotation.

Posted by: kalorama | October 10, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz reports look pretty good. Re 2 guards, I just watched the Memphis Grizzlies lose an exhibition game to Malorca of the Spanish league. JCN put on a nice offensive performance, raining three pointers and scoring some nice little floaters in the lane. But he really offers nothing on defense and perhaps that is why EG passed on him at the end of the day. I am with those who say let's give Nick Young a chance to develop... Ivan, Malorca has a Center named Bonifacius Ndong who looks like NBA material Is he on anyone's screen ?

Posted by: khrabb | October 10, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

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