Boston beatdown

When the Wiz were rolling along last season Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler did their thing, the other guys played their roles and the Wiz took care of the basketball as a team.

So far this season, the "Big Three" has been more like "Three Blind Mice" (Okay, I stole that line from Brendan Haywood, who dropped it to Mike Lee and John Mitchell of the Times after a loss three years ago), the other fellas haven't done much - mainly because those three are shooting so much - and the team has 38 turnovers (15 by Butler, who looks frustrated).

Things got out of hand against the Celtics in the second quarter last night AFTER Doc Rivers removed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen from the game. Paul Pierce got rolling and the C's outscored the Wiz 37-18 in the period. After the game, Eddie Jordan pinned that on himself, saying that he had the wrong "matchup" on the floor. What happened was this: he put Andray Blatche on Pierce and Pierce went nuts. Eddie got Andray out after three minutes but it was already too late: Pierce was feeling it, the Wiz kept clanging shots and that was that.

Now, some of the folks who read this blog are killing Eddie Jordan but chew on these stats for a quick second and tell me what he's supposed to do: In two games, Arenas has made 15 of 45 shots (33.3 percent) and 1 of 13 three-pointers. He has nine turnovers and six assists. Butler has made 14 of 32 (43.8 percent) of his shots and has 15 turnovers. Jamison has made 12 of 40 shots (30 pecent) overall and 3 of 12 three-pointers.

Haywood has played well but the bench has provided little and DeShawn Stevenson has not been involved at all. Again, it's early, but starting tonight, this team needs to show something. I can't speak for the players but I'm sure looking forward to a home game. The Wiz played the last three presason games on the road, came home for a couple of days and we've all been on the road again since Tuesday.

By Ivan Carter |  November 3, 2007; 10:18 AM ET
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Comments

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If you thought the exchange of words between Etan Thomas and Ivan Carter was over, you were wrongggg! check it out at

http://wizards.realgm.com/articles/275/20071028/an_open_letter_to_ivan_carter/

Posted by: ak47 | November 3, 2007 10:46 AM

Shot selection, find the open man, patience.

Posted by: joe c | November 3, 2007 10:57 AM

Here's what to tell the coach:

Tell Eddie to DEMAND respect from Gil. Make him tell Gil to calm down and run the offense instead of jacking shots or else he'll be benched. Don't reward crappy play by giving them more minutes.

Oh, and no more AJ/Song at the 4/5.

Posted by: David N. | November 3, 2007 11:47 AM

...despite what Arenas may think, there is a crisis in this house!!!
I will be in VC tonite and I will be booing.

Posted by: Union Station | November 3, 2007 11:57 AM

I kill EJ because of his rotations. It's tough for people on the bench to contribute when they don't get minutes. It's asinine to match up AB on Pierce, particularly after how well AB played KG last season. I don't understand why EJ continues to field those lineups with AJ and DS playing the 4 and 5. And sure, there aren't many options at back up center, but isn't it time he simply gave AB some legitimate run? Yeah, the shooting has been horrid, but EJ's rotations have stunk again.

If those guys are missing crazy amounts of shots, as AJ was early last night, EJ needs simply to remove them and try someone else. These three guys are missing shots, but they're still taking all of them, so it's no wonder DeShawn can't get involved.

Posted by: Colin | November 3, 2007 11:58 AM

Ivan, I can't believe you passed on the heading, "Beatdown in Bean Town".

That game was hard to watch. I was glad to see Haywood giving his all, at least. He had some nice blocks, and was annoying KG, which is good. I noticed that KG also got away with a number of cheap fouls, but then, there was no way the refs would side with a visiting team in this one.

The shots will begin to fall for the Wizards, that's only a matter of time. But the biggest questions are, (1) can they play solid defense for a full game, and (2) how are they going to develop their talented younger players, with the big 3 taking all of the minutes/shots? I think the best teams in the league got to where they are (partly) because they found a way to incorporate their talented newcomers with their veteran lineup (Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, etc etc.). I don't know what the formula is, but somehow or other, Nick Young, Dominic McGuire and Oleksiy Pecherov need to be brought along.

Etan Thomas needs to grow the hell up. He objects to the headline, "Wizards' Thomas has Heart Ailment Irregularity Could Threaten Career" - but guess what? It COULD threaten your career, Etan! Obviously it could! Somebody needs to take a desensitivity pill and chillax. He's a public figure, and should be used to people talking about him by now. Especially in this context, where the press and the fans are expressing concern for Etan's condition, the right way for him to handle it would be to say, "Thanks for your concern, but the rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated." That's appropriate, that's classy. But this egoistic rambling, without much support for his position, is not. Who knows, maybe it is the med's.

Posted by: satch | November 3, 2007 12:15 PM

Is the Princeton offense all about making 22 footers? I thought it was based on movement and finding the open man, and getting to the basket (or at least the FT line). Maybe the reason the "little three's" FG percentage is so bad is because they keep jacking up contested 3 - pointers and long 2's with 15 seconds left on the shot clock. It is curious how players like Tinsley and Rondo look upstoppable against the Wizards. Bad Basketball!!!!

Posted by: PJ | November 3, 2007 12:40 PM

Ivan, you asked what could EJ? Here's a few items:

1) stress defense
2) develop the young guys
3) pay attention to match-ups

It's easy to criticize after a loss, but I said this before the game on a Wiz blog:

" I don't think the traditional rotations will work for EJ tonight. With AJ and/or DS on KG, he could shoot 60% from the field and grab 15 boards. We also can't afford to "go small" tonight with AJ or DS at center.

I think Blatche is a better alternative to match up against KG (although KG will be ready for him this year). In pre-season, EJ said he wanted to try Blatche against some unique players such as KG. Let's see if he follows through".

I'm not sure why EJ would put Blatche on Pierce. Pierce is too quick for AJ and Caron. Blatche is not a good match-up. Why not give McGuire a learning experience?

The team really isn't as good as it thinks it is. It also seems stuck on certain "rules". Why not bring Jamison off the bench in a game where there is a match-up problem? Why not spread the minutes to be better prepared for the inevitable injuries?

You question seems to imply there are no alternatives for last night's play. It's hard to imagine that you really believe that after all of the positive stories.

p.s. Thinking of being positive, you'll feel a lot better after picking up the phone and talking to Etan. I have to say that I think both of you have provided a bad example in the aforementioned incident for today's overhyped youth.

Posted by: Izman | November 3, 2007 12:51 PM

Why is anybody surprised at the outcome of these first two games? These group of guys are will be not be together next year and it's painfully obvious that Gil and AJ are playing for contracts and Eddie Jordan knows that if he doesn't get it done this year he's out too! Witness the bad shots Gil and AJ put up with reckless abandon while Eddie says nothing and lets them just fire away say they won't turn on him. Let's just enjoy the 35-39 games we'll win this year and stop expecting he impossible. We'll have about $30M in cap space next summer, a new coach and maybe we can land some guys who can better mesh with the crew that will be left. We do have the makings of a good team 2-3 years down the road.

P.S. Gil showed just how weak he is mentally when the crowd booed and repeatedly chanted his name and all he could do was have one of the worst games of his career. If he's going to talk, you would think that he at least would show up and give the Boston fans reason to respect him. What an immature, attention-seeking goofball.

Posted by: Firuz | November 3, 2007 1:20 PM

Wow...hopefully this 2 games are not a sign of whats to come this season, because if they are we are in big trouble folks!
1)Whatever defensive help Randy Ayers was brought in to do, I dont see it yet! Maybe the players just aren't doing their part
2)I look around the league, good teams all have some sparks off the bench, seen zero so far from the Wiz Bench
3)Can anybody make a 3 pointer!!! These teams falls behind quickly when a team with good 3 point shooting starts attacking, and they cant make any of their own to keep up!

Posted by: GoWiz! | November 3, 2007 1:28 PM

Ivan, what game were you looking at last night??? Are you telling me nobody on this blog is justified in what we have been saying about EJ and his weak substitution calls??? As I have noted many times, I would like to keep EJ as coach, but the man does not know how to make adjustments during games.

He does not know how to call rotations, and does not know when to and not to call timeouts. Playing AJ the "whole" first half is totally crazy!!!!! The man is 31 years old, with a game tonight (back to back games)!!!!!Did you ask him why he did that, or did you miss it?

Is it possible DMac and AB are that "sorry" that they can not get a "few" of those minutes????? As for AB getting schooled by Pierce, so what????

Does that justify him not getting any minutes at all? Have him check somebody else. That is a lame excuse to use on why you did not put him back in. That's just weak stuff coming from EJ.

When AJ gets schooled and Gilbert gets schooled (every game by the way), does EJ reduce their minutes? Heck no!!! Ivan you are smarter then that then to make that statement in this blog on "what is Eddie to do" stuff. Anybody who has played the game as I have can clearly see EJ is lost when it comes to calling games.

EJ has to have more trust in his bench, that is the bottom line. Again, I used this term last year when he was jerking Haywood around with his minutes. Why come to a gunfight with nice guns and not use up all of your bullets (AB, DMac)?

What is Eddie doing, saving the bullets for a rainy day? If Eddie keeps this up, he will be signing his own pink slip real soon.

I am also one who has to admit DCMan88 is making some valid points about Gilbert. He has gotten to involved in his own "hype machine". Gilbert needs to focus back on the game, and stop worring about the "hollywood lights". Do what you are supposed to do, and the lights will come to you instead of you going out looking for lights.

I love the dude to death, but he is starting to worry me. That comment after the game was "telling". Butler and Haywood were fuming when they left the court, but my boy Gilbert had a slight smirk on his face. Where is the anger? He should be angry.

Lastly, please don't be surprised by what you are seeing from Haywood. All the dude ever needed was "minutes". Thanks EG for MAKING EJ give him some. AB you might want to get with Haywood for the "bench manual" EJ gave Haywood the last two years, you are going to need it........

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 3, 2007 1:39 PM

If you thought the exchange of words between Etan Thomas and Ivan Carter was over, you were wrongggg! check it out at

http://wizards.realgm.com/articles/275/20071028/an_open_letter_to_ivan_carter/

Posted by: ak47 | November 3, 2007 10:46 AM

Wow!!!!! This is some heavy stuff. Thanks AK47

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 3, 2007 1:50 PM

Well, it could have been worse, we could have been blasted like NJ was by Toronto last night.

But I did note one difference: in their hopeless loss NJ had 10 players getting 10 or more minutes. In our loss only 7 players got more than 10. (Including NY's 13 minutes, meaning that only 6 players got more than 13).

By the way, both teams were in the first game of a back-to-back. Has to say something about team management.

I hope to see NY, DMac and AB with at least 15 minutes each tonight, but I'm not betting on it. Let's see what they have. This team isn't going anywhere unless at least a couple of these guys and Pech can produce big time this year. It's a longshot, but worth a try. But EJ needs to make a concerted effort to develop them.

Posted by: Mitch | November 3, 2007 1:52 PM

Game Keys:

1) Haywood's true test

2) 3-Pointers

3) Fast Start


Read more at
http://truthaboutit.blogspot.com/

Posted by: truthaboutit | November 3, 2007 1:53 PM

Here is the stats of starters position by position:

PG: Arenas 21, Rondo 15; But Arenas shot 5/20 while Rondo shot 7/10 (took 10 less shots whilt made 2 more than Arenas).

SG: Stvenson 6, R Allen 17.

SF: Butler 18, Pierce 28.

PF: Jamison 10, Garnett 22.

C: Haywood 10/12/3 (pts/rebounds/B), Perkins 5/4/1.

Boston outplayed Washington in all but center position!

Other thoughts:
Have someone ate Wizards' 3-pt shot? 0 for 16, my god!

When Jamison scored as many points as Haywood, you know you are in trouble!

Posted by: Sagaliba | November 3, 2007 2:00 PM

You have it wrong, his good play warranted good minutes. Every coach of Bh has been as mystified by his play as EJ.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 3, 2007 2:01 PM

Two games now, Wizards' backup center AB only averaged 10 min a game, including some garbage time last night. Looks like EJ still does not trust the 3rd yr man. Granted, AB did not play particular well in these two games, but I think EJ needs to be patient with him. Coach him, but leave him there. EJ's small lineup does not work anyway. You play small lineup to be quicker than the other team, but Wizards' small line-up is not quick, and was completely out-hustled by Boston last night, giving up loose balls after loose balls.

Posted by: Sagaliba | November 3, 2007 2:08 PM

Thanks for calling it almost correctly, Ivan. I didn't agree with Mike Wise's column criticizing the guys outside of the Big 3. You said it correctly. How can the others get involved when the 3 are taking all the shots? There's no flow and there's no way for anyone else to meaningfully contribute. At this point, the problem is not a lack of talent on the bench. The talent is there. But, this team will never meet high expectations until Gilbert changes his philosophy of his own accord or until there's a new coach that will challenge Gilbert and force him to play the right way. Obviously EJ is content to let Gil, and then the rest of the 3, play selfishly and jack up shots. They don't play team basketball and I venture to say that they never will with Gilbert as the "leader."

Posted by: newposter | November 3, 2007 2:09 PM

i don't understand why Gilbert played 40 minutes last night - staring down his first back-to-back since major knee surgery. He should have been sitting since midway through the third quarter, by which point the game was obviously out of hand. If the Wiz had made a run, Eddie could have gotten him back in there. But the only things playing him that long did was: a.) increase Gil's chances of reinjuring the knee and b.) increase the team's chances of going 0-3. I don't know what Eddie was thinking.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 3, 2007 2:14 PM

Wouldn't it be safe 4 Arenas to start guarantying defeat...??

Posted by: Kwame | November 3, 2007 2:15 PM

If you thought the exchange of words between Etan Thomas and Ivan Carter was over, you were wrongggg! check it out at

http://wizards.realgm.com/articles/275/20071028/an_open_letter_to_ivan_carter/

Posted by: ak47 | November 3, 2007 10:46 AM

Wow!!!!! This is some heavy stuff. Thanks AK47


thanks, i just want to hear what ivan carter has to say about that...i haven't heard him respond it in his blog yet (maybe saying sorry to etan would be nice because of all the things that he had to go through)

Posted by: ak47 | November 3, 2007 2:18 PM

Ivan, Mike and the rest of DC reporters need to stop feeding the ego of Gilbert Arenas. He hasn't done nothing 4 us lately and someone better let him know.
We won't win anything with a shoot first(gun first)pass second point guard who won't defend and doesn't care about his teammates, coach or fans.

Can't believe those saying he's in the same league as Kobe...

Posted by: Mayor | November 3, 2007 2:28 PM

Gilbert Arenas is questioning Kobe Bryant in Sports Illustrated...

Wizards' star guard says Bryant should stick it out in L.A.
Arenas, who grew up in Los Angeles, compared Bryant unfavorably to Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.

"I've never seen Jordan act like that," Arenas told Sports Illustrated. "I didn't even see A.I., when he was going through them bad days, you know? They were always talking about trading him, and he was like, 'If they trade me, they trade me; if they don't, they don't . . . but this is my city.' And I don't understand how Kobe doesn't feel that about L.A. -- it's his city."

Arenas thinks Bryant should stay in Los Angeles and wait for the team to get better around him.

"With the Lakers, he's always going to have the opportunity to attract players," Arenas said. "A free agent is willing to go to a Laker uniform. Everybody wants to go to L.A. . . . Jason Kidd is up next season, right? He's a free agent [in 2009]. Why don't you wait? Maybe he'll just come over there. You never know."


Posted by: Union Station | November 3, 2007 2:34 PM

Posted by: Union Station | November 3, 2007 2:37 PM

So much for hiring a defensive specialist coach.

Skins vs Pats = A$$ Whooping
Wiz vs Celtics = Beantown Beatdown
BC vs VT = What had happened was........

Stick a fork in us, we're done.

Posted by: Tu | November 3, 2007 2:58 PM

Was there a mass of people jumping off the Washington Monument? I can't find a single diehard Gilby apologists here!

Check this quote out, for those of you who actually take the team and basketball seriously. I hope it soothes your pain.

"I know I'm going to get killed by all the analysts, but at the end of the day, the excitement was there," Arenas said. "The whole crowd was saying my name, booing me. That's basketball. I'm an entertainer; that's what basketball is. It's about entertaining."

Silly me, I thought basketball was about winning championships and pride, not about being a circus monkey on a bike, a seal with a ball, or a juggler. Maybe Gilby should consider a career with the WWE.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 3, 2007 3:40 PM

DCMan you're right for once. Gilbert's not a winning player. Great players know how to win and make thier teams better even when their shot isn't falling. When Gilbert's hitting he's amazing, but that's not enough and you can't apologize for him and simply say that he'll make more of those shots next time. He needs to reevaluate his whole approach to the game.

Posted by: newposter | November 3, 2007 3:45 PM

Let me understand this...Last year we were #1 in the East because we were all offense and little defense before injuries took us down. Rather than come back this year and see what transpires, we try to completely change the philosophy of this team (which had us at #1 last year til we got hurt). Now, since (by EJ's own admission) we spent virtually no time on offense during the preseason, we can't score. Shooting is a skill that requires repetition and practice. So what got us into the #1 slot last year before injuries is now being ignored for something that we aren't equipped to do (defense). NOw we're still giving up 100+ points a game and now we can't score, either. Somehow people on this blog blame it all on Gilbert because they want him to be Isiah Thomas or Nash and get 10 assists a game. Well, I say this...Who knows what would have happened had we not been injured ? Gilbert was shooting a lot and doing his thing last year and no one was complaining when our record was good. The blame is not on Gil. He's doing what he does best...shoot. The blam is not on AJ. He's also doing what he does best. Shoot. Caron is playing like crap (what's with the turnovers ?) but he's a poor defender, not average like I thought. Deshawn had Ray Allen on lock last night early in the game. I guess he got worn out chasing him around screens. Haywood is just what I have said he was all along..a top 10 center who you can win with if you give him the minutes. My main point is that we should not have screwed up a winning formula. Play it out and see what happens. Another thought: If Robert Horry had not fouled Nash and gotten Stoudemire kicked out, the Suns probably would have beaten SA last year. And you know they would have destroyed Cleveland. Would everyone be saying that defense wins championships then? Nope. Everyone would be running. Bottom line: scrap whatever Ayers has been pushing and go back to what worked for us last year. Blend in subs to keep our starters fresh and see what happens. Pierce and Allen play no defense, either. They understand that to win, you have to outscore the other guy. We need to understand that, as well. a 110-102 win is just a good as a 80-75 win.

Posted by: mark | November 3, 2007 3:49 PM

...and for all of you who want to bench or trade Gil for a guy who distributes the ball, remember the playoffs. AD led the league in playoff assists and we got our azzes kicked because we couldn't score. We NEED points from Gilbert. It's not his fault that this is the way the team was built. Incidentally, why does no one on here bash Caron? He's playing like crap and is getting a pass from everyone on this blog. He's very similar to AJ in that he's undersized at his position and gets abused. Don't confuse steals for defense. He's poor on D.

Posted by: mark | November 3, 2007 4:21 PM

Ivan, what I don't understand is how Eddie Jordan is praised for his offensive schemes when half of the time the Wizards have the ball, it's just one of the Big 3 doing a one on one isolation play with them chucking up a contested shot.

Sure, there are some back cuts and stuff, but how much movement is there really? Can you look that up for us please?

Thanks

Posted by: ten | November 3, 2007 4:29 PM

Mark we normally see things pretty much the same, but I have to disagree with you on some of your points.

First, the reason people and myself are questioning Gil is because he put the team in a bad position last night by getting a already "jacked up" crowd more "jack up" by that stupid prediction he made last month.

He did the same thing last year and got burned. He does not have to say things like that to give the other team more energy to burn him with. You definitely don't do it when it is the first home game of the year in Boston. Boston with a new team with KG, Boston.....??? That was just plain dumb.

We are not as critical on Gilbert as DCMan 88 is, but we also realize it is time for Gilbert to grow up and start acting like a leader. He wanted the superstar stage, he got it. Now he has to go to the next level and start making his team better, even if that means doing something other than scoring.

That brings me to my next point on what you mentioned about Caron. The reason Caron is getting a "free pass" is because the man is still scraping and showing desire when his offensive game is not going. Unlike Gilbert and AJ, Caron can cover a bad offensive game with the other "dirty stuff" he does.

On the other hand if AJ's and Gilbert's shots are not hitting, what else can they give us? Although I give AJ credit for being a very good rebounder.

So to summarize, Gilbert needs to keep his mouth close and work on his primeter "d" more. Forget the "hype machine" and all of the other "attention getting" destractions for himself and get back to being that hungrey player he was a couple of years ago. I still got much love for Gil and I would not trade him for Kobe, however he and EJ both need to make some major adjustments in their games.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 3, 2007 4:43 PM

Gil said in paper he's an "entertainer," and the fans in boston were entertained. Hey stick with being a basketball player first and win some games!

Posted by: AllyOop | November 3, 2007 4:46 PM

I half agree mark. Defense still wins championships bottom line. But if you have no offense defense only does so much. Not saying we have Defense cause we don't. But we need to have some offensive practice now badly. we are just not a defensive team. we are just plain lazy as far as D goes.Boston really only out played us in the 2nd quater. Other than that they had a one pt lead. Caron is a good team defender but that takes other players who are defensive minded which we don't have. So I agree in the sense we need to just get our Offense going. As far as BH top 10 I don't know. Maybe in the east but not league wide. He still can't score from anywhere past 5ft, maybe an ugly lucky hook here and there. But he is the only one that looks ready so far. I think their has been to much emphasis on defense and none on offense. But I do beleive the O will come around just hopefully sooner than later. OH and I'm not completely sure Phoenix beats San antonio with AS. If a team was to beat them it was phoenix but I can't say they would've because they didn't. But thats old news Not to be dwelled on for us cause we are no where near phoenix offensively. It does take a good defense to beat a good offense.If you have a great O against a decent defense the Offense will win but match them against a great defense and the defense gets em.

Posted by: the truth | November 3, 2007 4:46 PM

Ivan,
Nobody is saying Eddie is a bad guy or even that he could not be a successful coach in the league, well some of us might say that. With this group however, it has become clear that he is unable to light the fire. Sort of ironic that the exception to this is Haywood, but I suspect he is looking to make clear that without the head games and inconsistent playing time he can be a force for good.

I bought into maintaining the core roster for continuity but Arenas, Jamison and Butler don't display any chemistry. You never see the sort of two-man game that Daniels and Songalia play with the big three. Jamison is jacking shots like there is 1 second on the clock every time he receives the ball. Caron seems lost too much of the time and is not driving to the basket with the same frequency and ferocity he did last year. And Gilbert, well I am afraid the honeymoon is about over. It's sad but it really is driven more by his off court actions, statements and demeanor. If Gil would have stepped up after either of these games and said I am letting this team down and I am going to bust my tail to do better, we would all breathe a sigh of relief. Frankly, his priorities are not clear at this time and a lot of this is driven by his own enthusiasm for discussing his opt out at the end of the year. Instead of unifying the team for a run, as he may have thought would happen, it has caused everyone to play for themselves since it is clear this unit will not be back together.

With Gilbert being the franchise, Eddie dares not risk alienating him by sitting him down when he is hurting the team. If he did, then Gil would turn on him in a second and hasten his inevitable departure. I am afraid this team may be more interesting to watch off the court then on this year.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 3, 2007 4:52 PM

I'm upset by the weak start just like everyone else, but there's 80 games left. I agree with most that EJ is not doing a great job, and I don't think he'll make it past this season. But I do think the team will play better. There's some obvious things that we need to work on, and while we can assume that we won't play defense, we should be able to improve on running the offense and cutting down on turnovers. The wins will come and everyone will feel better, let's see what happens tonight (although I predict Dwight Howard has a monster game on us.)


Also, did anybody hear the announcers last night praising Haywood as a great defensive player? Funny how short some people's memories are, this dude has been a consistently inconsistent defender throughout his career.

Posted by: Andy | November 3, 2007 4:57 PM

Actually, Haywood has been the Wizards best defender for the past couple of years now.

Posted by: ten | November 3, 2007 5:03 PM

Don't be fooled people. The offense will come around. That is not our problem. Never has been with this bunch. Even when they get away from Eddie's Princeton principles their raw talent usually takes over. No, our problems and eventually our downfall are on the other end of the court. We need to let Blatche and MacGuire get more experience. The big 3 are what they are. It just may be that EJ knows that he has no time to give those guys experience. Ernie is looking over his shoulder and he knows it. If so, then it's definitely time for a closed door heart to heart between the 2 of them. If Ernie is expecting instant results from the new kids on the block then Ernie has a real gripe. I just have a suspicion that this is all about either Jordan's poor discernment of what the true situation is or his stubbornness.

Posted by: BmoreRev | November 3, 2007 5:03 PM

Going to the game tonight. Should be interesting.

Posted by: PTP23 | November 3, 2007 5:04 PM

You bet... I'm on my way there!!

Posted by: Union Station | November 3, 2007 5:19 PM


I Agree with those who note EJ's inexplicable overuse of AJ and GA and underuse of his bench, particularly AB and the young players; they need playing time and patience. Yanking players as soon as someone lights them up is demoralizing and undermines their confidence, (note the effect on Haywood over the years) more patience is required.
For the the 3-4 years of been following EJ and the Wiz I think a weak point is personel combinations on the floor and rotation/playing-time.
Gilbert is a creative baller and shooter but his own hesitancy regarding leadership role suggests he is not a point guard. Antonio Daniels at point and Gilbert at shooting guard would be a natural and more effective.

Posted by: pd | November 3, 2007 5:21 PM

pd,
Can't say I am with you there, both Arenas and Daniels are small guards and poor defenders. To start both of them would be a huge liability.

If there is one change that Eddie should make, starting tonight, it is to start Blatche and bring Jamison off the bench. Jamison, while rebounding well, is shooting miserably and might be well served to watch the game for a few minutes before entering. Blatche improves us defensively and the offense is a wash with Jamison shooting so poorly. We all want to see if Blatche can continue to grow exponentially with more playing time. What's the risk...we go 0-3?

Big challenge for Haywood tonight and I think he may be up to it. Go big fella.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 3, 2007 5:33 PM

The Wizards have not been as good or as entertaining to watch since losing Juan Dixon. They have never replaced what he brought, the intensity, the instant attacking offense and defense/steals off the bench. He was a guy who could come in and single handedly change the momentum of the game. He was a true competitor, a leader and a winner. No matter what he's done since leaving, he was perfect for this team. A class act, and a local sports hero. I will never understand why we didn't make more of an attempt to keep him.

Posted by: Darnell | November 3, 2007 5:46 PM

doc
You may be right about AD defensively but I was thinking more of his ability to distribute the ball and provide some much needed cohesion. I agree and would like to see Blatche used more liberally to relieve Jamison, even starting Blatche and using Jamison off the bench could be interesting.

Posted by: pd | November 3, 2007 5:47 PM

Ivan,

Don't put the blame on AB 2 minute stretch on Paul. The game was lost the minute EJ anounced his starting line up. AJ should have came off the bench and AB should have been in there guarding KG while Brenda was on Kendrick.

I have told everyone before that EJ does't trust AB and he definatley isn't going to play the rooks. Look what he has done to AB. This guy doesn't develope talent.

Gil and AJ are gunners.They have been that way all their carrers. Did anyone noticed that AB passed up a wide open J at the free throw ine in the 4th quarter. According to my sources which are very legit, He was told that he shoots to much. I believe that it comes from the preseason jealouse. Notice his game has gon south since the team from spain came to town.How can you shoot to much if you are not in the game. Remeber there are no plays ran for him so he basically a grabage man cleaning up the mess his gunners are leaving behind. When Songalia comes in firing no one complains about him taking shots. Somebody needs to check the stats and find the real culprits to this train wreck in DC.

In order to have a great team you need your leaders to be unselfish and I just don't see this from this leadership group. The only thing they care about is the allstar game in feburary. AB is in the dog house and he will not be getting out until EJ is fired and Gil and AJ are gone as well.

Remember AB has had some tough times in DC on a personal level so some of the players just can't seem to get over it. So they probably don't care to much for him as a young man. They know EG likes him and if he every get some real time the spotlight will not be on Gil anymore. Go to hoopshype.com and look at the cazy comments he (GIL) made in the Boston Globe after the game. All he is talking about is himself. This guy is a NUT!

Gil couldn't make it anywhere else in this league because he couldn't go to any other team in the league and jack up this amount of shots with out being challenged by his teammates and coaching staff. Even AI passes the rock! He strictly in this for the money. That is why he endorsed EJ last year because he know he can do anything he wants without being punished. Its tim fo EG to make a move quickley before this thing get out of hand by December.

Kind of funny how he started to get a little press in the preseason and was rasing his game and all of a sudden he can't seem to get of the bench.

This team will never be any good until Gil and AJ are out of town and EJ is fired. EJ is knows that his carrer is on the line so he is going to let Gil fire away at will.

Look for a blowout tonight by the Magic. And after the blowout if EJ takes the same approach in playing the starters 40+ expect EG to address this matter privately.

Posted by: The GodFather | November 3, 2007 5:48 PM

Eddie seems to think that players improve and develop their games in practice. And that they are not game ready until their game has developed to the point of being considered a veteran, and that this level of play is obtained in practice and watching games from the bench.

And this may be true to an extent. I'm sure that's how things were when he played, when he was on the Kareem/Magic Lakers, and the bench was filled with 10 year vets like McAdoo and Rambis. But in this age of free agency, where one team's bench is another team's starter, that is just hard to find. For a perennial playoff team, it is essential to use the regular season to develop your young players, so they can play like vets when the games really matter. This team just has not developed mentally the past couple years. We still seem like a team just happy to make the playoffs. We just don't carry ourselves like a championship contender, something you see from teams like San Antonio, Phoenix, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, and now Boston. It's an attitude. A "we are better than you" mindset. We still always seem like an underdog, like the little brother trying to get the attention of the older brother and his friends. It's a mentality that seems to run from the top to the bottom. Something needs to be done to change that.

Posted by: Darnell | November 3, 2007 6:20 PM

Our offense is stagnant. Quick long shots. Guys standing on the perimeter, Even when we attempt to move the ball, there is no body movement. Guys are just standing still to receive the pass. Short passes between two stationary players, and the defense is easily defending the passing lanes. Passes are constantly being challenged, barely staying out of the defenders hands, and leaving the defense in position to defend the shot and immediately harass the ball handler. There is no movement, no cutting, no flow, no spacing, no attacking the lane. It's guys playing stationary stagnant ball, short passes and jump shots. It is not the princeton. It exposes our weaknesses. We have guys who are streaky when taking straight up jump shoots, when not attacking and cutting and getting easy shots we go through long cold spells. And we are undersized at the forward spots, undersized and underskilled at sg. Those weaknesses are exposed when we play stagnant ball. Eddie I think is trying to improve on this when it happens by going with smallball, but that only exposes our weakness more by also making us undersized at center, and furthering our weakness on the boards and in the paint. It is simply happening because guys are not moving off the ball. They are not running the offense. They are taking quick long shots with no passing. Or making one or two short stationary passes, and taking standing jump shots. Doesn't Eddie see this? How can he not see they are not running the offense. It looks nothing like the princeton.

Posted by: Darnell | November 3, 2007 6:43 PM

Yo Ivan. So do you still think we are being to hard on EJ? Please pay attention on the minutes he is running his big three and AB's non minutes.

Again, AB looks like the new Haywood this year. In the doghouse for reasons not known.....

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 3, 2007 6:46 PM

(after the orlando game)

man, this team need to rebuid., we shoot too much jump shot and didn't make them most of the time, no inside scorer, arenas is getting too cocky and it seem like he even cares much more about himself nowaday, u heard him demand max money and he hasn't proved his worth on the court (no defense, too unpredictable each night)
the coaching staffs didn't know how to rotate players properly (where's blatche?) just let this kid plays how can he gonna improve if jordan just kept him in the bench when he makes a mistake, just let him play through mistake), also pulling out haywood and insert songaila in th 4th quarter also seem not to be a good idea. haywood had been playing well and then to take him out like that...what the hell? the team def showing sign of trouble and if it continue to be like this, not for long the coach will get fired and arenas might be traded which we should considering doing so now b/c he seems to become a player who care bout himself plus he turns the ball over freakin lot in the game,especially at the end of the game. we need to rebuild

Posted by: ak47 | November 4, 2007 12:18 AM

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