Arenas Sits Out Practice

I just showed up at the Verizon Center and the team is scrimmaging. Reporters haven't been allowed to watch yet, but I've heard that Gilbert Arenas is sitting out. The team got the day off, but Arenas is going to rest his surgically repaired left knee one more day with the expectation that he will be raring to go tomorrow night against Philadelphia. The key will be how Gilbert feels on Wednesday against Charlotte on Wednesday. His scratch on Saturday was totally unexpected. The team had a brief shootaround prior to the game and Gilbert was involved in every drill, Eddie Jordan said. But once he started feeling some soreness, the team's medical staff decided that it was best to sit him out rather that let the injury linger into this week, which is especially important for the Wizards. They will play two back-to-back sets, and Gilbert has really struggled on the second end of back-to-back games this season. It's no coincidence that the Wizards went 0-2 in those games against Orlando and Denver, when Gilbert shot a combined 10-for-28 and scored just 28 points.
The key to the win Saturday was not that the Wizards shot the ball well, but that they moved it great. They matched their season-high with 26 assists, with Antonio Daniels leading the way with 10. The Wizards are 3-0 this season when they have at least 20 assists, and they should focus on better ball movement even when Arenas returns. I just got called into practice. I'll be back to check in later.

By Michael Lee |  November 19, 2007; 12:18 PM ET
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Comments

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It was just a great job by the rest of the team to step up and play together on Saturday. I was proud of the lack of turnovers more than anything else. Seems like if this happens on occasion (back-to-backs), it could actually made the team better.

Michael, do you know how far in advance the players found out that Gilbert was going to sit out against Portland?

I'm just curious how knowing right before tip-off vs. perhaps an hour or so before the game affects individual preparation, as well as the teams.

Thanks for the update.

Posted by: www.truthaboutit.net | November 19, 2007 12:26 PM

I don't see the need to keep up this "will he or won't he play." Gilby should just rest up until he's healthy enough play consistently.

Team will win and lose without him. It'll give a chance for some younger guys to step up. I'm sure Gilby feels the pressure to back up his boasting during the summer though, not to mention proving that he's actually worth something near a max contract. Les BouleS will be fine without him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 19, 2007 12:28 PM

I like what I am seeing out of the coaching and the rotations. Tall Ball is where it is at. Also liked players stepping up Saturday while Gil rested. Good overall team game was played. Keep it up for tomorrow and Wednesdays game.

Posted by: LooseCannon | November 19, 2007 1:08 PM

Just wondering, if Gil signs with another team, will you stalk him on their fan Website DC Idiot?

Even when you try to say something nice about Haywood, you use it as a chance to insult other fans and but down Arenas.
You really are pretty sick.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 1:09 PM

Take care of the rock + share the rock = you'll rock.

Keep it going Wizards.

Posted by: iceberg | November 19, 2007 1:33 PM

DC Dude you really need to quit with your Gilbert hating! It is getting quite tiring. We fans want to know what the deal is with "our" star player. So, that opinion is strictly your own! You don't speak for all of us.

Hurry and feel better Gil but until you do the rest of the team has your back. GO WIZARDS! Let's make it 4 and 0 tomorrow.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 1:54 PM

Allow me to illustrate the Haywood issue once and for all:

1. I have been a starter on the team for many years and have always meshed better with my starting teammates better than my counterpart(s).

2. But I start with at least 2 guys that have always acted like sieves playing defense. One PG and more frustratingly, my good buddy from NC, the PF AJ.

3. Now what happens when either of their men drives right past them to bucket, possession after possession? I gotta help out and when I help out, they're not there to help out on the rebounding or boxing out or rotating. It gets the whole team discombobulated defensively. I mean the 4 position should be helping me out protecting the paint, but instead he's playing the ole' defense and putting all his efforts on the other end of the court.

5. When I need to rotate to help them out, I'm caught out of position to rebound - I'm not a smaller quick guy like a young Ben Wallace; I can't recover like those guys can. That's another reason why I can rebound so much better off the offensive glass - I can seek rebounding position knowing the shot is going to go up and I don't have to react and recover like I do on the defensive end.

6. Then this cat, EJ, calls me out in front of teammates and in the papers for not getting enough rebounds and playing defense and all that. Like this is all my doing and I'm not putting any effort. All this while my boy Gil and AJ are exempt from defensive criticism or effort except for lip service by EJ. One man, or 3 can't play team defense for 5 guys!

7. This pisses me off getting repeatedly thrown under the bus by this defensively challenged coach who can't see the big picture. I may not be the most gifted and best defensive center, but my plus and minus numbers for my whole career speaks for itself when I'm on the floor.

8. On the flipside, I'm not going to go to the press and openly call out my 2 teammates (even though I am here) about their defensive weakness because really it's EJ's fault for not holding them accountable. They can certainly play passable defense, but they get a free pass from EJ and that's where my beef with him is at. How much motivation do I have playing help defense and rebounding when my efforts are not appreciated but instead I'm being thrown under the bus by the head coach? How fair is that? And I don't even have to mention the inconsistent minutes. EJ is lucky I didn't throw AJ, Gil, ore more appropriately EJ himself under the bus like he did me but I'm a team player so I just say that if given the consistent minutes I would perform.

9. With Coach Ayers help and input, defense is now more than just a lip service by the WHOLE team and it is so much better team defense when AB is playing next to me. I don't have to worry as much about his man beating him off the dribble and having to play help defense as much. Things are that much better and that allows me to rebound and play to my strengths. That is the reason why this is my best season so far.

HOPE THIS CLEARS UP EVERYTHING ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!

BTH out!

Posted by: BTH | November 19, 2007 2:06 PM

I'm thinking the constant attack on DCMan got old ages ago. I'm not even seeing what's that inflammatory about what he's saying ... I personally like the idea of Arenas resting up and getting healthy, especially in the first month of the season.

It was good to see the team win their last one. One more win and they're back to .500. Hopefully they'll keep developing so that they can play against the better teams :-)

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | November 19, 2007 2:09 PM

The Wiz ought to rest Gilbert on Tuesday and see how his knee feels on Wednesday.

As you previously pointed out, EJ has a good plan for when Gil is out. The team should show some confidence in the other guys. Who knows, they might actually improve with a little confidence and playing time! We'll need all 12 to be ready by playoff time.

Posted by: Izman | November 19, 2007 2:09 PM

5 and 0 don't you mean?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 2:11 PM

I'm with you BTH. I just hope ths isn't some IDIOT posting under your name. I'd hate to be on his side.

Posted by: mark | November 19, 2007 2:14 PM

Mark, do you really think (1) Haywood posts to this blog; and (2) calls himself "BTH"?
Etan is probably the only player who communicates in writing to Ivan.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 2:29 PM

All that BTH is correct. Of course the real BTH does not post here. Just like Ledell "neck of eackles" Eackles does not post here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 19, 2007 2:47 PM

BTH...Breaking it down - I love it...But if that is you - Interesting take - Although I am not into blaming vice explaining...you did explain once of the differences between the team last year and this (Coach Ayers and AB is a big help). But your (BTH's) focus and conditioning are likely bigger factors...Freethrows and being in the proper position are outcomes of this. On the real...for the sake of the team - look at what you can do better vice calling out poor performances by your teammates...Bro, you are having all star numbers which I hope will continue. Keep up the great performance...

Posted by: Fitz | November 19, 2007 2:54 PM

I say any person who is foolish enough to believe the real Brendan Haywood is posting on this blog under the name BTH should be forever banned from posting another comment on this blog.

This includes Mark and Fitz. Please do not post here again boys, this board is for grown ups.

Thank you.

Posted by: Barno | November 19, 2007 3:02 PM

And is it just me, or did anyone else expect the headline for this blog posting to be "Four in a row"

And if they lose their next game, I am blaming you MICHAEL LEE for jinxing us!

Posted by: Barno | November 19, 2007 3:04 PM

Fitz, BTH means more importantly that not necessarily calling out poor performances by his teammates but by making all of them accountable for at least trying to play team defense not just talk about it and no real concerns when their man repeatedly break them down off the dribble. There should be at the very least more attention brought to it every time there is a failure to execute proper defensive positioning/rotation by calling a timeout. Too many times EJ only calls timeouts when there is OFFENSIVE executions are blundered. If you talk about defense, try to back it up. It starts from the coaching staff making everyone believe it. That's the only the Wiz are gonna make some real big noise in the playoffs; they're obviously not going to get too much more potent offensively especially with the core of of the team unchanged.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 3:17 PM

Anyone else concerned with the state of the team when Michael Lee is getting called into practice. Just how bad is the guard situation with Gil out?
To Barno's point, maybe the Wiz had taken note of the deviation in post titles and they've called in Michael to "convince" him to change the title to "Four in a row"

Posted by: IntheATL | November 19, 2007 3:18 PM

OK...gatekeeper Barno...NOT!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 3:24 PM

The BTH poster makes a very insightful point on the difference in rebounding on the offensive end v the defensive end for Brendan. It's spot on.

In terms of Gil's knees, I think EJ just needs to get it through his head that he can't play him more than 30 mins a night. It is absolutely aggravating to see him out there working forty plus when a game is well in hand. That being said, while I'd love for him to be able to sit out some games, the Wiz need to wrack up a bunch more wins, and while we have a better change of winning with him in there against good teams, if he is playing against bad teams we ought to win everytime. A win is a win at this point.

No surprise but you can see that on the court Caron has become the leader of the team. I wonder if that will play on the Gilbert decision to stay or go.

Also, with his knee hurt, if Gil has a relatively down season, might he decide to play the last year of this contract in order to justify the max contract the year after? I don't think he is allowed to talk to other teams about what they would pay him unless he formally opts out of his contract. Makes for interesting decision for Gil potentially.

Posted by: charles jones | November 19, 2007 3:25 PM

I was hoping we were done with the Brendan debate...

BTH makes some good points, and there's two sides to every argument. But it doesn't change the fact that he's paid good money and should have been giving it his all every game. And it doesn't make the moral of the story that it's Eddie's fault for not giving BTH enough minutes.

I'm glad to see Brendan playing so effectively at the 5, and I agree with a previous poster who said let's focus on the positive and look forward instead of backward. Whatever happened in the past, I'm in Brendan's corner now, cheering him on, and hoping he sustains this level of effort.

Posted by: Prazak | November 19, 2007 3:37 PM

Charles Jones said:
"No surprise but you can see that on the court Caron has become the leader of the team. I wonder if that will play on the Gilbert decision to stay or go."

Charles, I wonder how Caron's emergence as the team leader will impact the Wizards' decision as to Jamison. If the Wizards need Jamison only for his play, and not for his play and leadership, that could change things.

Posted by: Sean | November 19, 2007 3:55 PM

Good post by "BTH."

BTW, I don't think we should be so cavalier in not having Gil play right now. Unless it is really affecting his long term recovery, Gilbert should play as much as he can.

Just because we were able to beat a bad Portland team playing on the road on the end of a back to back does not mean it would always be this easy without Gilbert agains so-so teams. It took everyone to step up for us to finally blow them out.

The Wiz should continue to get out of this early season hole they got themselves into and get above .500. Tougher competition for the Wiz is right around the corner.

Posted by: Tim | November 19, 2007 4:18 PM

I would like to suggest to Gilbert Arenas that he alter his dollars-for-schools program to include numbers of points scored AND assists. Emphasizing the assists, along with the points, would add to his stated desire to improve as a league point guard. We are really enjoying the increased number of assists the whole team is contributing--and they are leading to a much improved brand of basketball!

Posted by: Patrick Fleeharty | November 19, 2007 4:42 PM

Hey BTH! Chump!!! I'm a player, just like you. I even get paid more than you, Chump. The best way to get a starting position in this league, is to earn it, Chump. Just cause you are 7' dont mean you get a free pass on earning a starting position. You have to work for it, Bro ( I mean chump ). I can think of 5 million reasons why you should be giving it your all. There's about 6 million reasons why I bring it. I may not be the best, hell, I may not even be better than you. But I dont give up on my team. I don't start playing a game acting like I'm not the slightest bit interested in what's going on.

I gotta give you props though, since I been out, you defintely been bringing. Just keep it up, man. That's all anybody wants from you. I know you and me fight sometimes, and you and Eddie, and you and Kwame ... hell, is there anybody on the team you aint had to fight? But still, I love you man. You doing good man ... Keep it up.

And if AB start to get super good and eat away at some of your time, its OK. Keep doin what you doin now and you will get yours. Actions speak volumes.

E

Posted by: ET | November 19, 2007 4:51 PM

Patrick, I have made his same point in a previous thread. I agree wholeheartedly.

Posted by: Tim | November 19, 2007 4:52 PM

Does anyone ever watch Wizards games on Comcast On Demand? They keep advertising that they are available "one hour after the end of the game for 24 hours or until the next game." Every time I try to watch one, all I get is the one-minute commercial, but no game. I called them, and they have no idea what I'm talking about. ?????

Posted by: G Diddy | November 19, 2007 4:53 PM

Boy this Haywood thing is getting out of hand. I still assert that he has taken plays, quarters, games, even weeks off since his days at UNC. I don't care what the statistics say or how much defense other players play. It's clear just from watching the games. Makes me wonder if some of you actually watch them.

Still love him, still root for him. He's been awesome so far this year.

Posted by: Patrick | November 19, 2007 4:53 PM

Boy this Haywood thing is getting out of hand. I still assert that he has taken plays, quarters, games, even weeks off since his days at UNC. I don't care what the statistics say or how much defense other players play. It's clear just from watching the games. Makes me wonder if some of you actually watch them.

Still love him, still root for him. He's been awesome so far this year.

Posted by: Patrick | November 19, 2007 04:53 PM

I agree with you 100% Patrick. He has been truly frustrating over the years. I, too, wonder if some of these posts actually watch the games.

Now that hasn't been the case this year, and I hope he keeps it up. He now looks to be what everyone had hoped he would be.

Plus, Eddie isn't the first coach to pull him once he starts to disappear in games. Eddie didn't even open the competition for start until last year, so he had 3 years under EJ, before EJ finally opened up the competition. And like someone posted earlier, if BTH was so great, its no way he signs an extention for $25 million over 5 years. Other teams would have been throwing millions more at him. And this is the deal his agent got for him. Now if he keeps playing like is now ... his next contract will be huge. Here's hoping he breaks the bank with his next contract!!!

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | November 19, 2007 5:00 PM

Great point Patrick Fleeharty!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 5:05 PM

Hey Patrick, who do you think was playing alongside Haywood at UNC? Mr. Ole' himself.

BTW I see Haywood's point about being treated fairly (even though emotionally he is not tough). How many times have any of you ever seen something unfair from your own workplace and made it known to the boss but nothing became of it? Then you got fed up and pretty much said f' it, I don't care any more. Betcha plenty have. It's not an excuse, but it is a common human tendency - wrong or right.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 5:19 PM

Has anyone considered the possibility that BTH is not Brendan Todd Haywood, but rather Benjamin Theodore Haywood, his evil twin? In fact, judging from all these double-doubles we're suddenly seeing this season from number 33, I'm wondering if the evil twin has been the one suiting up.

Posted by: John Brisker | November 19, 2007 5:26 PM

"I would like to suggest to Gilbert Arenas that he alter his dollars-for-schools program to include numbers of points scored AND assists"


Why don't you put up the money?

I can't believe anyone would criticize Gilbert for his program. And yeah, suggesting he include assists is definitely a criticism.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 5:30 PM

No one is criticizing the program. But why should the team and Gilbert support making him out to be only a shooter.

He is supposed to run the team and get his teammates involved along with make plays. The idea is not for Gil only to score points. He is mostly the PG not the SG.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 5:53 PM

And Abe Pollin buys into this also. It's little and not so little misperceptions by him the last few decades that have kept the Wizards/Bullets a losing organization.

Gil is your PG man. Come up with ideas that will not only help good causes but make your players and teams better.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 6:03 PM

The last hurdle would be the name. "Scores and Assists for Schools." Nope, no ring to it.

And would a dish then equal $200?

Posted by: jonesy | November 19, 2007 6:10 PM

Yes, I think so - $200. You could still call it "Scores for Schools" because assists lead to scores.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 6:14 PM

Charles, I wonder how Caron's emergence as the team leader will impact the Wizards' decision as to Jamison. If the Wizards need Jamison only for his play, and not for his play and leadership, that could change things.

Posted by: Sean | November 19, 2007 03:55 PM
--------------------------------------------
Leadership doesn't work that way Sean. I don't claim to be the expert on the skill, but the fact that a new leader develops/emerges, does not render the old leader obsolete.

Posted by: jonesy | November 19, 2007 6:23 PM

Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison played together at UNC for only one season (1997-98). That season, Haywood (who at that point was pudgy enough to earn the unfortunate nickname of "Baby Huey") was pretty much a freshman bench-warmer.

Jamison and Vince Carter left UNC after the 1997-98 season (their junior years) having fallen just short of winning a national championship. Haywoood stayed on through graduation in 2001, slimmed down and became a major contributor in the UNC line up, in fact becoming the first Tar Heel player (remarkable considering all the brilliant ones who preceded him) to score a triple-double in the school's history.

As an aside, Jamison was a 19-10 player his last year at UNC, as he still is!

Bottom line: The Wiz need both men to keep contributing, and pulling us back up over .500 and beyond.

Posted by: khrabb | November 19, 2007 6:39 PM

AJ is still a leader on this club. After having a few so-so nights, he stepped up against Portland with 30 points and 11 rebounds when Gilbert was out. He was actually the player of the game.

After his performance in the playoffs last year, he is still a major scorer in his own right.

Posted by: Tim | November 19, 2007 6:48 PM

Not that I want to get this started again, but as far as BH's often poor play last year and earlier, I think the coach EJ has to take at least some the blame. Refer to the earlier "BTH" post for the details.

It is EJ's job to get the most out of his players and he wasn't getting the most out of Brendan, as we are seeing now. It was not like BH was a lost cause like Kwame Brown. BH does wants to play and contribute and be a team player. Being treated fairly goes a long way.

Posted by: Tim | November 19, 2007 7:00 PM

BTW, a Gil assisted three point shot or play would be worth $300.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 7:05 PM

They'd have to take one or two hundred away for a turnover, right? How about steals? Blocks?

I got it! Fantasy philanthropy! Pit the schools against each other for OUR entertainmnet.

Posted by: Patrick | November 19, 2007 8:15 PM

No, you don't get it, but that's ok.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 8:19 PM

It's great to see so much excitement about our starting center! I love the production but more importantly, his presence alone (defensively and offensively) is making a real impact on the game.

I know it's early but if he projects similar results throughout the year then, he's at least (imho) a top 5 Center in the East.

Posted by: Janitor | November 19, 2007 9:15 PM

"BTW, a Gil assisted three point shot or play would be worth $300.

Posted by: | November 19, 2007 07:05 PM "

True dat, b/c it's so rare.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 19, 2007 9:39 PM

Tim, I disagree that Kwame was a "lost cause." Kwame was a good kid with some potential who was put in an impossible situation as the no. 1 overall. He really needed a couple years of college ball before the NBA.

Posted by: Mitch | November 19, 2007 11:10 PM

From SI/CNN: Juan Carlos Navarro, Memphis Grizzlies
With Darko Milicic hurt, the Grizzlies have gone small. That's good news for Navarro, who had a breakout week. Navarro hit eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points in Friday's loss to the Hornets and had 14 a night later against Dallas. The bad news? In the loss to the Mavs, he missed two open threes to tie the game. The good news: the Grizzlies trust him with the ball with the game on the line.


He is ranked number 8 in the rookie rankings. What were some of those comments again about JCN? From a pure value perspective, I am still scatching my head on passing him up for a so so pick (Because we may not get it soon and/or a 1st rounder.)

Posted by: Anonymous | November 19, 2007 11:12 PM

Thank you GM for explaining about the concern about knee stiffens if Gilbert takes too much time off. So here is another question for the board. What is tougher on the knee (and by extension can Jordan can tailor his plans with Gilbert to decrease the troubles with his knee)? Does it take more out of him to drive the lane or take spot up shots. What about close shots or long attempts? I think we all are in agreement that Gilbert should pass the ball more, of course because that makes the Wizards' offense ven better. But is it even more imperative because if Gilbert takes 20+ shots a game that is going to make it more difficult for Gilbert to ever get close to 100 percent.

Posted by: George Templeton | November 19, 2007 11:19 PM

From SI/CNN: Juan Carlos Navarro, Memphis Grizzlies
With Darko Milicic hurt, the Grizzlies have gone small. That's good news for Navarro, who had a breakout week. Navarro hit eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points in Friday's loss to the Hornets and had 14 a night later against Dallas. The bad news? In the loss to the Mavs, he missed two open threes to tie the game. The good news: the Grizzlies trust him with the ball with the game on the line.


He is ranked number 8 in the rookie rankings. What were some of those comments again about JCN? From a pure value perspective, I am still scatching my head on passing him up for a so so pick (Because we may not get it soon and/or a 1st rounder.)

Posted by: | November 19, 2007 11:12 PM

It'll never stop will it. People still actually believe we had a chance to get JCN. We didn't pass him up. Navarro and his agent worked it so we couldn't sign him. Not to mention his defense would have definitely hurt us more than his offense would've helped. This team didn't need scoring help we needed defensive help. With nick young coming along it mad no sense to give Navarro the 3+ million he wanted(not to mention he signed with mem for 500k). The only way we would ever see anything from Navarro was to trade him to MEM for whatever we could get. No one else would give us as much as they did, and if someone else would've spain would've just jumped the buyout back up and the other team would've denied. So basically there is no point to any argument about this whole situation. We got what we could out of it. GREAT JOB EG!!

Posted by: the truth | November 19, 2007 11:47 PM

one more thing JCN is not starting because millic went down. swift is now starting.

Posted by: the truth | November 19, 2007 11:53 PM

Caron's emergence won't have any effect on the team's signing of Jamison. Aside from his leadership (and having more than one guy with leadership qualities is a good thing) he can still get 20+ and 9 on a given night, and they aren't going to be able to replace that on the FA market with what they'll have to offer moneywise.

Posted by: kalorama | November 20, 2007 1:00 AM

Doesn't sound like playing 40 minutes the next 4 of 5 nights is in the cards for Gil. So will he sit out Charlotte tomorrow or GS Fri? I gotta think he'll be motivated to play the GS game.

Posted by: reispace | November 20, 2007 6:33 AM

George Temp,

Seems to me Gilbert ought to work on driving and dishing more anyway. This will up his assists and improve the teams shooting percentage. I think going all the way to the hole and getting banged around is what will do wear and tear on his body. so he needs to be careful for a while.

Actually, I wish that he would take more pull up 15 footers. He has a deadly mid range game but chooses to either take threes or get to the rim.

Posted by: BmoreRev | November 20, 2007 6:49 AM

No I didn't really think it was the real BTH. I'm not THAT naive. Barno, for you to think that someone here thought that it was really Haywood is pretty silly. It was signed 'BTH" so I responded to 'BTH'. LOL

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 7:43 AM

I'd agree with B-Rev, learning to "drive and dish" or "stop and pop" will ease the wear and tear on Arenas's legs somewhat.

NBA yore says that a few years ago that AI took Gil aside and talked to him about going to the rack more. That the "and ones", and the foul shots he would he get if he got fouled and doesn't get a shot off are easy points.

All of the top scorers foul shot attempts per game are high. Guys learn little tricks like bringing the ball up under a defender's outstretched hand, or the Reggie Miller kick at the end of his follow through to make contact.

But going all the way to the rack takes a toll on a guy, look at all of the injuries Iverson has had in his career. Being surrounded by better offensive players can help, it's always easier to dish if there is a confidence your teammate can finish.
Dishing off to Ruffin, or Hayes for a wide open jumper, isn't an automatic assist.

But I do beleive Gil needs to trust his teammates more and work on his mid range game to help the offense flow. He can pick his spots and still go to the hole and finish and make defenses know they've got to protect the rack. But it will make it easier on his body if he learns to pull up and shoot or use a floater in the lane a little more.

And I'd agree with Reispace that Gil's not likely to play 4 games in 5 nights. The second night of back to backs when there's a flight in between have to be tough for awhile bcause flying increases the swelling. I'd guess he might sit out Charlotte, but he's had some rest and might go the first two and see how it goes.

I made my Navarro comments after I had watched him go 8 for 9 from three, he hasn't grown 2" and gained 50lbs of muscle in the last few nights so I'm really not ready to eat my words.

Paired with a defensive minded point that can apply alot of ball pressure like Lowry, you might get by with Navarro at the two some. Memphis goes to a matchup zone and Juan Carlos tries to jump in passing lanes when he's in the game. Otherwise their playing 4 on 5 on D.

But the Truth has it right, he never ever was coming here, and Grunfeld got the best deal that he could. I agree with what Robin said here months ago, the league brokered this deal to get another Euro star into a city that was really struggling at the gate and to keep Gasol happy and in Memphis.

Navarro wasn't coming here to be a role player off our bench. And if we paired him with Arenas at guard we'd had to have installed speed bumps to slow down guys from driving the lane.

And then so much for the Happy Haywood we're seeing now.

Posted by: GM | November 20, 2007 8:22 AM

"Tim, I disagree that Kwame was a "lost cause." Kwame was a good kid with some potential who was put in an impossible situation as the no. 1 overall. He really needed a couple years of college ball before the NBA.

Posted by: Mitch | November 19, 2007 11:10 PM "

MJ and Dougie Collins ruined him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 8:55 AM

Thanks B-more Rev and GM. Lets hope this injury and rather age and losing some of that quickness modifies Gilbert's game so he can reach the next level as a PG, where he perfectly balances his need to score and his ability to run the offense and set everyone else.

Posted by: George Templeton | November 20, 2007 9:10 AM

George, He does appear to be picking his spots a little more in recent games, which to me is a sign of a little maturity.

I think I remember reading when Kwame was here as a rookie and Collins, MJ, and Oaktree were giving him a dose of tough love, he broke out in hives and his hair started to fall out. And he was only 19 years old.

He just wasn't ready for the type of pressure those guys excerted on him. If you've ever been to Brunswick GA, there's know way the kid was ready to jump striaght to the pros.

He played at a small GA High School, not one of these basketball power house prep schools where he'd have been exposed to alot of travel and top players. He had maybe the highest upside of all of those guys at the top of that draft, but was the least ready to make the jump striaght to the pros.

I thought at the time Gasol was the safest pick but Jordan was never going to be the first to pick a Euro guy. Chandler was the other guy most thought we'd take but Kwame destroyed him in a one on one workout.

So much for letting a draft pick come down to a one on one game.

Posted by: GM | November 20, 2007 10:01 AM

Maybe so GM, but I am to wonder what happens when Gilbert pronounces himself completely healthy or 100% or whatever. Will he remember these successes and continue to work more within the frame of the Princeton offense and more within the larger concept of moving the ball on offense and using all the weapons the Wizards have at their arsenal.

Posted by: George Templeton | November 20, 2007 11:23 AM

MJ and Dougie Collins ruined him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 08:55 AM

They sure were merciless, weren't they? MJ yelling at the poor kid all over the court, then Nutso Collins calling him "insidious." Sad.

Posted by: Mitch | November 20, 2007 11:39 AM

Jordan coming down from the executive suite and putting on a uniform is what really did Kwame in. If not for that people would have looked at the Wizards for what they were, a young team in the early rebuilding stages. In all likelihood, no one would have paid any attention to what they did on the court. But as soon as Jordan suited up, the spotlight fell on the team, expectations were created, and hopes were raised. Jordan created a "win now" environment for a team that didn't have a chance in hell of winning now. And, as the #1 pick, much of that attention and expectation fell on Kwame and he was in no way ready for it (nor should anyone have expected him to be).

Posted by: kalorama | November 20, 2007 12:12 PM


Eddie finally let the rookies out of their corners to play..lol. We all had a chance to see Young's performance which was excellent and McGuire's. Of course Young won't be shooting that well every night but I hope the rookies get to see more consistent minutes because the bench needs as much support as they can get. My question is what is wrong with Stevenson's shooting??? He's really struggling he didn't even bother to take a shot last game, was he trying to make a statement? If he keeps this up then Eddie will be forced to use Young for scoring. As for Gilbert, they should save him for the Bobcats game, looking at the Bobcats previous games, they are really playing well so the Wizards will need to be at full strength to battle the Bobcats.

Posted by: Robert C. | November 20, 2007 12:59 PM

The best, or worst, Kwame tale I heard was that if anybody screwed in practice MJ would boot the ball in the stands and then scream at Kwame to chase it even if Kwame wasn't on the floor.

Any head coach that would stand there and watch his prized number one pick in all of the draft get treated like that was nothing but a complete chump.

To this day I have a hard time taking Collins seriously when he does color work. I wonder if Kwame wasn't around if Jordan would have just had Collins chase the ball instead.

Posted by: GM | November 20, 2007 3:53 PM

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