Arenas out, Pesh to play tonight in Toronto

Checking in from one of my favorite cities on the NBA circuit. If you haven't checked out Toronto before, do so. I love the place. Really nice scenery.

For the Wizards, tonight is really simple: don't get anyone hurt. Gilbert Arenas will sit out to get an extra day of rest on that left knee. Antonio Daniels gets the start. The team if off tomorrow and will hit the court for a intense practice on Sunday with the idea of getting sharp for Wednesday's opener in Indy. Oleksiy Pecherov, who has missed the last two games with a thigh bruise, is good to go tonight and will see some action according to Coach Eddie Jordan.

Eddie said he's going to play his starters in the first and third quarters, use his regular rotation in the second and turn the game over to the "young guys" in the fourth. He also said that he's going to look at a couple of lineups we really haven't seen. One will include Darius Songaila at the five with Antawn Jamison at the four. He also may use Brendan Haywood at the five with Andray Blatche at the four (we haven't seen that since first preseason game if I'm not mistaken).

Not sure whether we're going to see Nick Young with the first unit again the way we did at Detroit the other night. If you read my story today, you may have noticed that Eddie said he wants a little more out of the shooting guard spot and said that while DeShawn Stevenson is playing good defense, he wants more offense from him (Eddie will send a message to player via the media from time to time).

I'd look for DeShawn to come out aggressive tonight. The Raptors hosted Cleveland last night so I wouldn't be shocked if Coach Sam Mitchell gave his bench heavy minutes. Word is that former Wiz Juan Dixon is in a battle for the team's last roster spot with Luke Jackson. The beat guys think Juan may have the edge because he gives Mitchell a streak shooter off that bench. By the way, Cleveland looked really bad last night and with Anderson Varajeo and Sasha Pavlovic nowhere to be seen, it may be time to wonder how good that team is going to be. We all know that the East is going to tough.

Thoughts?

By Ivan Carter |  October 26, 2007; 6:14 PM ET
Previous: Hall released, Pesh out for tonight's game | Next: Ugly end to preseason

Comments

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Too bad Pech is out. Instead of monkeying around with another small-ball lineup with Darius at the 5, I'd like to see more of that triple towers line-up with BTH, AB and Pech in the front-court. I don't think we ever saw that line-up with Caron at the 2 and Gil on point, but I'd sure like to see it come regular season.

Posted by: Prazak | October 26, 2007 6:41 PM

Maybe tonight, with DMac in at the 3...

Posted by: Prazak | October 26, 2007 6:42 PM

Prazak,

Ivan said Pech is good to play tonight...

Posted by: Lisa | October 26, 2007 6:50 PM

Yeah...I got thoughts on Stevenson...
He's a punk...I've met him twice...and he was a punk both times...not to mention the fact that he tried to make a deal to get some "white girl" on his myspace page. The same myspace page...that he showed his Amex Black card on...numbers and all...

Posted by: Shakin My Head... | October 26, 2007 6:52 PM

What channel is the game on tonight?

I have directv. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 26, 2007 7:14 PM

Ray, if you find that it's on, please post again.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 7:38 PM

They look bad, real bad. Kool-aid drinking beware.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 7:40 PM

Stevenson is having a good game - 10 points in the first quarter. I guess Coach knows how to motivate in the press.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 7:49 PM

If EJ is going to use his regular rotation in the 2nd quarter, he has Mason, Young, McGuire, Song and Blatche in there.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 7:53 PM

"I don't think there's any doubt they'll make him a max offer.

Posted by: kalorama | October 26, 2007 01:06 PM "

Les BouleS don't have to offer Gilby $1 over what any other team can offer him. Let's say Les BouleS offer him 5 million more, but not max. It'd be funny if Greedy Gilby will swallow his pride and take it, or cut off his nose to spite his face and go somewhere else. He might make more in endorsements in LA, but not in a small market city.

In any regard, Gilby needs to maintain the level of play that he had the 1st part of last season. If not, then there's no reason why he should get max money.

Because of the emergence of the young players on this team, and if Gilby's average drops to let's say 23 ppg, doesn't improve on defense, and doesn't become a leader, then why would that deserve max money?

Gilby's best bet is to chuck the ball as soon as he gets it, because there are other hungry dudes on this team that will be stepping up, and that would result in Les BouleS relying much less on Gilby heroics.

Just hope that Gilby doesn't blow out his knee, because then all these discussions about max contracts will be easily closed.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 26, 2007 7:59 PM

Actually, it is possible Gilbert will take a little less next year so the Wiz can sign AJ and a valuable free agent.

In any event, by Gilbert opting out, it could be a win win for the Wiz and Arenas.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:04 PM

I'm afraid Gilbert is too talented to not be useful this year and the youngster are not ready yet to carry the team. Sorry.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:14 PM

I am not buying the pre-season does not mean anything and don't believe the Wizards are capable of flipping a switch to overdrive a few days from now. I hope I am wrong. 28% shooting and 12 turnovers at half while the Raptors shoot 47% and 43 from 3. We stop nobody.

Pretty funny that Stevenson makes a few shots to start this game after Eddie tells him the future could be sooner than he thought. Young will be starting before the All-Star break.

Hope Blatche gets in front of Jamison too but not sure EJ will do that.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | October 26, 2007 8:19 PM

If and when the Wiz do offer Gil max money, you will then be able to say that someone far wiser and a lot more preceptive than you, i.e. EG, did make the offer.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:20 PM

Toronto has been a tough team for the Wiz to play in the past. It is too bad that we seem to still be having our problems with this team.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:24 PM

Toronto shooting 51%, not good. Offense looks inefficient, lots of jump shots...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:27 PM

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAWB!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:28 PM

It is not Toronto's toughness, it is our lack of toughness and our inefficient offense. Not good people

Posted by: Anon | October 26, 2007 8:30 PM

It's the last preseason game, maybe our veterans aren't too motivated, but Toronto is.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:31 PM

30 point blowout.

It's preseason, but the Wizards need to get focused and play defense consistently. Eddie needs to play who is really contributing.

Posted by: KSM | October 26, 2007 8:35 PM

I bet if we had Gilbert in their tonight it would be different.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:36 PM

Hey, we have scored more 20 points in the third quarter, still behind by 29.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:40 PM

Gilbert's assists will go up this year and his defense will improve, due to his usual hard work and leadership.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 8:44 PM

I really appreciated Rook's analysis on the previous thread and the followup comments by GM, Rook and others.

This is the kind of reporting we ought to see in our Sport's pages.

Posted by: Tim | October 26, 2007 8:57 PM

The torture is over - Wiz lose by 34.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 9:13 PM

Ivan, why don't you tell us who decided on the slogan "Ready to Rule"? Maybe the team should add a question mark to it. Either this slogan makes the Wiz look foolish, or it incites the competition.

Why not something like Defense First, or Help Defense or something related to an explicit team strategy?

Posted by: Izman | October 26, 2007 9:24 PM

"I'm afraid Gilbert is too talented to not be useful this year and the youngster are not ready yet to carry the team. Sorry.

Posted by: | October 26, 2007 08:14 PM "

You're right. The 3 seasons that he's carried Les BouleS to the eastern finals, since that bum Larry Hughes left, only to lose in the finals (4-3 each time) to the Spurs dynasty has led me to believe how valuable he is to the franchise, the city, the world, and its future.

He's clearly the team leader and has shown the young guys the ropes each time. He leads by example, doesn't argue with the coach, doesn't attract more attention than he needs. I can barely find any information on Gilby since he's such a recluse, desiring to hide inside VC being the gym rat that he is. I'd only wish that he'd at least set up a blog so that the world can know more about him.

I'm especially impressed not only by the way he's averaged over 30 pts and 8 assists per game, but also average 3 steals and an assist to turnover ratio of 10.

If EG can sign Gilby at the max contract, then it will be a bargain. Read it again, a bargain. Damn the "big three," I think Gilby could win a championship with only 3 other guys on the court at the same time, shorthanded.

If I were Abe, I'd take it a step further and make him my godson too. I'd welcome him into my synagogue with open arms. I'd throw him a belated bar mitzvah and have him eat kosher costco sheet cake. All on the house. There's a lot of spare change left after I refurbed VC's lux boxes and jumbotron.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 26, 2007 10:13 PM

An ugly game at both ends for the Wizards--everybody played bad except perhaps Mr. 50 and Nick1--but totally meaningless. The most important thing is that nobody did a Rodney Stuckey.

It's amazing to me that Juan Dixon is struggling to make the team in Toronto. Last year, it seemed as if they loved the guy. I kind of wish the Wizards hadn't let him go. Sure, he's got his deficiencies, but he's got the knack for coming up big when it counts. Remember that 35-point game he had against Chicago in the playoffs three years ago?

Posted by: John Brisker | October 26, 2007 10:18 PM

Nevermind Juan, Steve Blake turned out to be a pretty good player also, as he showed he was able to run a team given the chance. He would never get that chance here b/c he wouldn't be able to get into a groove. Hope he does well in Portland also.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 26, 2007 10:27 PM

Ivan, Micheal...what's this story from Sam Smith about Gil for Kobe? Please say its nothing!
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/cs-071028smith,1,4671748.column?page=2&coll=cs-bulls-headlines

Posted by: DC | October 29, 2007 10:46 AM

What channel is the Raptors and bulls playing on tonight?

Posted by: Sunshine | November 10, 2007 10:01 AM

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