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Two in a row

Wizards 103, Pacers 90

That was the most complete performance this Wizards team has turned in since late last season. From start to finish, they played with energy, they moved the ball and they played solid defense. Caron Butler was a monster early and Brendan Haywood stacked up another double-double. GIlbert Arenas played a solid floor game. He didn't force the action but picked his spots and made shots when his team needed. His 11 dimes were a season high.

Eddie Jordan also used a big lineup for long stretches, one that moved Caron Butler to shooting guard, had Antawn Jamison at small forward and then had either Andray Blatche or Dairius Songaila in the frontcourt along with Brendan Haywood.

Caron, who played a lot of SG with the Lakers and Heat before coming to Washington, certainly liked it: "It makes a team adjust to us."

So did Arenas: "It makes us a lot bigger. That's a lot of length we had out there."

Eddie Jordan made it sound as though he's going to play a lot of bigger lineups in the games ahead though that could mean little action for the rookies, who have not played in two straight games. Hey, when you start 0-5, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Eddie: "It's going to be something we have to do to keep our best players on the floor. If we were 10 games over .500 maybe we could keep Caron at forward and play the young guys at guard, but we don't have that luxury. We have that sense of urgency of keeping our best players on the floor and maxing out those times."

One other thing: Indiana, which has lost five straight since a 3-0 start, just might really stink. Other than Danny Granger, there isn't a player on that team I'd want starting for me right now and that includes Jermaine O'Neal, who seems to bog their offense down more than help it. No matter, the Wiz will have a chance to build on these two straight wins with games coming up at Minnesota (Friday night) and at home against Portland (Saturday night).

By Ivan Carter  |  November 15, 2007; 10:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Three in a row

Comments

Excellent game, good defense with just a few lapses allowing Pacers to penetrate - a few too many paint penetrations for my taste. But hey they won with tallball, and just one instance of Jamison and Songaila, quickly got fixed within a minute when Haywood came back in.

Posted by: rgz | November 15, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Finally EJ used his creativity in his line up! Nice rotation and Gil didn't really force the action.BH and Caron set the tone early. Two points I noticed (not to ruin a pretty good game for the Wiz). First is that they force long passes that ALWAYS a turnover. I see them make this mistake a couple each game. Second is I hate to see Songalia guard a 4 who like to shoot 3. He is way too slow to cover the shooter. But overall I grade them a B+ on that game.

Posted by: Dave | November 15, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Nice all-round game last night against a slumping Indiana squad caught on a back-to-back.

EJ has finally woken up and played a taller line-up. The Portland game should really be a battle.

Posted by: Wizzy | November 15, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Greetings All,
Just back from the West Coast and happy to see the Wizards waking up a little. 11 dimes for Gilbert was huge, I have been all over him for pressing too hard and not sharing but he played a great floor game last night. It's just Indiana though and we should have had this result in our first meeting. Next two games are cupcakes and the final scores should reflect that. We will have to wait to see the Wiz play a quality team to see if there is real tangible progress.

Brendan continues to play well and I am now at the point where I believe they need to focus on getting him 10-12 shots a game. Also, really happy to see Caron at the 2 since Deshawn is still struggling. I am still an advocate for bringing Jamison off the bench and starting Blatche. It is clear that Blatche and Haywood on the court is very disruptive to other teams interior games, can't remember the last time anyone had to think before driving down the lane against us. Jamison will be fine with a 6th man role and will provide a nice punch off the bench.

Lastly, I understand that EJ is a cornered animal and is playing the core eight because he believes this is the only path to getting back .500. However, if he does not develop the young players in game situations we will perpetuate the 3 year process for being granted 10 min playing time a game. Good coaches know how to integrate young talent during the season so come show time they have the comfort and confidence to contribute. Also, as pointed out on this board over and over, one or more of the big three is going to sustain injury if pressed to play 40 min every night.

I still don't believe this team can get to the next level with EJ. I think the players on this team would be better served long term with a Jerry Sloan type coach.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 15, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It was interesting to read of EJ's big lineup. But, that big lineup leaves the bench really thin. I don't think EJ can use this rotation against teams that have stronger benches, since Indiana was without both Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 15, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Doc,

Next two games are cupcakes and the final scores should reflect that.

There is no such thing as a cupcake where the Wiz are concerned. They specialize in playing down to the competition. That's exactly the attitude they don't need. How many games did they blow last year to teams playing without one or more significant players?

Re: Eddie -- I have been very harsh in my assessment of him over the last couple of seasons, but he's made progress the last two games. If he can keep it up, the calls for his head -- including from me -- will start to diminish.

Posted by: Keithinator | November 15, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I liked Eddie's rotation at the end of the game again. It is simple and comes down to two points. People do not want to drive when you have a 7 footer and a 6'11 guy near the hoop, allows us to play better D. Dray and Brendan made a few key blocks and got the rebounds we have to have. Good stuff there. Eddie may finally be getting the TALL BALL. I also really like that lineup that I have said 3 or 4 times on these posts and someone actually ripped me for it

Gil
Caron
Antawn/Dray
Dray/Antawn
Brendan

That is our best lineup in our Princeton offense.

Posted by: LooseCannon | November 15, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I've said this all along and Jordan mentioned it in his postgame--the Wiz aren't in a situation where they can afford to weather the kind of game-costing mistakes you get when rookies play extended minutes. They dug themselves a hole with a bad start and they not only have to make up ground, they need to build momentum. Rookies (unless they're blue chip A-list talents, which the Wiz's rookies aren't) don't usually further that goal. Most good coaches on veteran playoff caliber teams use rookies sparingly for just that reason.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I think last night's game could possibly be the best ALL AROUND game this core group of players has played. They played smart on offense with great passing. The stopped most penetration on D and played really good all around D. Not too many uncontested shots at all. I'm in shock right now. Last night's team is a threat to make it to the conference championship. Hell, GA's injury might end up being a blessing in disguise.

Posted by: Rob P | November 15, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Keithinator,
Agreed that the Wizards traditionally play to their competition. If this team has regained some focus though, and wants to dig out, they have oppotunity to do that with these next two games.

A four game streak would do wonders for them and us. EJ could probably unpack for a bit...

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 15, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey kalorama,
Most veteran playoff caliber teams (Detroit, San Antonio, Phoenix, Dallas) have benches loaded with competent veterans. Manu comes off the bench in SA and Grant Hill for Phoenix...

Our 6th man is who...Roger Mason?!! ok...so now it is maybe Blatche but he is also a young guy. My point is we do not have the veteran benches that these other teams have and therefore must develop the talent we have. Most teams have 15 players, we have 11 and what we are only going to play 8 and pray nobody gets hurt?!! Not feeling too good about that plan.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

sorry...last post was mine.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 15, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There are still over 70 games to be played and the rookies will get their chance. Right now the Wiz are trying to string together a few wins and the rookies are not yet ready to contribute. I watched the game from start to finish and think overall, they are looking better. I think that they will improve even more as time passes. I also liked the way Gil distributed the ball. I think he now sees he can distribute the ball around and still get his. And did Caron bring it or what!!??!! Great game by him and Brendan. I truly hope Brendan keeps this up. I even saw him and Eddie joking after the game. Great job Wiz!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Strangelove (my favorite movie, BTW),

I think you're off base on a number of points.

First of all, saying Roger Mason is our 6th man is an obvious exaggeration. He's the 9th man. Men 6-8 are Daniels and Songaila (both capable vets) and Blatche (a young up-n-comer with demonstrated talent who has developed and is continuing to do so). All of them are in the rotation because Jordan knows (more or less) what they can be counted on to bring. He doesn't have that comfort level with the rooks, and the Wiz aren't in a position where they can afford to venture too far into unknown territory.

Also, it would be different if the rookies played at positions where the Wiz were woefully short on bodies. But the only position where that's really the case is C. And the only one of the rookies who can possibly play C is Pecherov and he's hurt. Between Arenas, Butler Jamison, Songaila, and Daniels, the Wiz have enough proven ability at G and F that unless Maguire and Young show out at an extremely high level, they aren't going to leap frog any of those guys for PT. That's the way it works on just about any vet playoff team.

"Most teams have 15 players, we have 11 and what we are only going to play 8 and pray nobody gets hurt?!!"

Most teams (esp. good ones) only play 8 or 9 man rotations and the only time anyone further down on the depth chart gets any run is in the case of injuries. Once again, in that regard the Wiz are no different than most other teams in the league.

If you want to make an issue about the lack of veteran depth on the bench, then they guy you should be targeting your ire at is Ernie Grunfeld, not Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards do traditionally play down to the level of their competition. These next few games will be a good test to see if these guys can maintain the sharpness they came out with last night.

Eddie's lineups and rotations are starting to reflect getting the best players on the floor in a position to be successful. A little less "system oriented" and a little more of the traditional NBA coaching method of creating mismatches. Got to wonder if Randy Ayers is having a role in this change of thinking.

I don't know why many on this site really scoffed at the idea of Butler at the two. He's played it before in the pros and many times he's giving up size at the three. Besides there's alot of two's in the east that are really more like small forwards anyway.

It also gives the Wiz a real mismatch to exploit against the Bulls when they have Gordon at the two. One of the nice things that I saw last night was players seeing mismatches and going after them right away. Arenas took Tinsley down low and posted him up a couple of times and scored right over him.

Depth, going big will allow Jordan to create roles to better utilize Pecherov and TMac's skills. Besides if Blatche or Haywood get in foul trouble Jordan can always go small again. It just gives him a better way to use all the guys he's got.

Don't forget, Grunfeld is very high on the pairing of Pecherov and Blatche. With Blatche's ability to guard every frontline position, we could see the two of them out there in all kinds of combos.

I really liked the move to not have Jamison and Songalia at the 4 and 5 together. Again I've got to wonder about Coach Ayers input in not having a lineup out there on D without a shotblocker on the backline.

I'd be really interested to hear from Ivan about the changes in the dynamics of this coaching staff with the new additions. We already know coach Ayers played a role in bridging the Eddie/Brendan gap last summer.

Has he had a role in some of the new thinking we're seeing from the bench? Because we're seeing wrinkles from this coaching staff that we've never seen before.

Posted by: GM | November 15, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Eddie Jordan may finally be learning that substituting players with a strategy & purpose instead of just exchanging bodies is the way to go.The tall ball lineup with Andre & Brenden on the floor at the same time allowed us to have two of our best defenders on the court together.The offense looked crisp,of course it helps when you shoot close to 50%.The assist were up & the turnovers were down.Caron is starting to look like a beast again.Can you imagine a world in which Gilbert looks to pass first & still gets his 25/30 points a game.He made a superb block on a three pointer.There was one sequence when AD played great man up defense on Tinsley that forced a 24 second violation, one of three violations that i can remember.If they can keep it up i see them reaching 10 wins before they hit 10 loses with their favorable schedule.Remember they started 4-9 last year before they caught fire,was 0-5 the turning point this year.Let's hope so.

Posted by: dcpirate1 | November 15, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Kalorama,
Very cool to have another Kubrick fan on the board. No surprise then that you used terribly sound reasoning to rebut my grievances about playing time for the young kids.

I do think, with the exception of Butler playing some 2, shooting guard is a position we need help at. Maybe Deshawn will get back to his game but we seem to be lacking some output there.

Also, I am not saying the rooks should be playing in front of vets but rather to pick some moments to drop them in a few minutes a game. Becuase Young and DMac have not played particularly well thusfar everyone now thinks the cup is half emtpy. In the pre-season DMac was hailed as the next Scotty Pippen. Yes, all that talk was premature but these guys do have talent.

If I was Eddie I would pick spots to put them in and give very specific instructions, "You have 6 min DMac, give me 3 rebounds, a block and no turnovers.", "Nick, you have 5 min, make Hamilton go left and get me an assist."

ok...really I just want to see Young windmill in a game. Is that so wrong? :)

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 15, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

""Most teams have 15 players, we have 11 and what we are only going to play 8 and pray nobody gets hurt?!!"

Most teams (esp. good ones) only play 8 or 9 man rotations and the only time anyone further down on the depth chart gets any run is in the case of injuries. Once again, in that regard the Wiz are no different than most other teams in the league.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 01:26 PM "

That argument only makes sense if the case is that the 14 or 15th man on the team is the one hurt. In Les bouleS case, it's the 6 or 7th man that's out right now, ET, and Opech probably would have had a lot of PT by now if he was healthy.

Both of our guys that are hurt are easily the top 9 on this team, so it does hurt that Les BouleS are shorthanded.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 15, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd be in favor of keeping the young guys on ice for a few more games. Play two or three more with the veterans, bit more of a recovery against the poor start, then give Nick a few more minutes.

After all, it's still only two wins. We're not out of the woods yet ...

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | November 15, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Also, I am not saying the rooks should be playing in front of vets but rather to pick some moments to drop them in a few minutes a game."

I agree with that, in principle. What I'm saying is that there are situations where it would make sense for Jordan to do that but, coming off an 0-5 start, the Wiz aren't in that situation. If they get to the point where they have a few game cushion and they start blowing teams out, I'd fully expect to see more of the young guys. (Notice how most of Blatche's PT against INDY came during the period when the Wiz had a comfortable double-digit lead and that, when things started to tighten up, Ernie took him out?) But they aren't anywhere near the point where that's a consideration. Right now their margin for error is too slim to intentionally invite mistakes from guys learning on the job.

I don't think there's much question that Young and Maguire have talent. but they don't have the kind of talent that forces a coach in Eddie's situation to play them. And in cases like that, they have to sit and wait. It's just part of the process.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I recall Ivan's headline before the game calling for adjustments, and he got one (a big one). Yeah!

And we won. Yeah!

Let's try some more combinations and see what works best. Here, here!

Let's plan for some injuries to the Big 3! Here, here!

Let's not play every game as if it's Eddie's last stand. Here, here!

Let's make Blatche a special project for further development, no matter if it gets a little sloppy along the way. Go big guy!

Let's have the rooks do something other than carry the bags. Can they at least mop-up, please? (For the historians out there, the Garden used to go wild when Hawthorne Wingo would come in as a substitute -- now that's the spirit we could use in the Verizon Center to help change Abe's/EG's/EJ's mindset on playing the rooks).

Posted by: Izman | November 15, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the Wood Man bringeth.

Another great game by C-But too, and a nice performance by the Agent. AJ didn't have his best game but it was good to see him not trying to force things on offense.

I agree with Sean that to a large extent EJ has been forced into playing the right guys, but for whatever reason, at least he is now playing the guys he should be.

Last night's rotation gives due consideration to the fact that it's better to play tall, more talented players than small, less talented players:)

EG's roster (quite intentionally, I'm sure) and Poet's absence have created a situation of "addition by subtraction" whereby the ATOFPG (Average Talent on the Floor Per Game) is now much higher than last year. This is because last year EJ went with Poet (a guy with much less ability than BH), Ruffin, and Hayes a lot. Reliance on these 3 guys with average talent at best was bound to reduce the ability of the team to produce wins.

Now the real issue is when the inevitable injuries take place what will EG do. I don't this team is built to handle even 1 or 2 injuries.

Posted by: Mitch | November 15, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

So are our rookies so far down the skills scale compared to Horford, Green, Durant, etc. that there is no way to put them in for extended minutes? Are those other coaches "forced" to use their rookies because they have no one else as good on their team? Or those coaches being smarter and are they using the rookies giving them 20 minutes NOW so that they can get to higher level in about 20-30 games?

Posted by: rgz | November 15, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

rgz, those teams aren't veteran laden playoff teams. those guys are getting big minutes so that they can grow together, through thick and thin.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

So are our rookies so far down the skills scale compared to Horford, Green, Durant, etc. that there is no way to put them in for extended minutes? Are those other coaches "forced" to use their rookies because they have no one else as good on their team?,

1) Yes, the Wiz rookies are that far down the scale compared to those guys, who were all top 5 picks. Those guys get minutes because they're among the most talented players on their teams and their teams have no better otpions. The same cannot be said about Young and Maguire right now.

2) All of the players you named are playing for young, rebuilding teams that are most likely headed for the lottery. The Wiz aren't one of those teams. Those teams can afford to play rookies extended minutes because they're using youth as part of a long-term rebuilding plan. The Wiz are in a win-now scenario. Their situation isn't even remotely analogous to Atlanta or Seattle.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

HEEEYY folks. The boy is back. Kalorama and GM whats up man? Been a long time.

Last time I was on here when we were trying to figure out what to do with JCN and Stevenson I told everyone what the starting lineup should be:
C. B. Haywood/E. Thomas
PF. Blatche
SF. Jamison
SG. Butler
PG. Arenas

When you have Jamison at PF you are not thinking Defense. No one was scared of our small lineup last year. This lineup is more disruptive. Good job Eddie it took you a year to get it together but Im glad you did!!

Posted by: Wayne from Bowie | November 15, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

During EJ's tenure, there have been many nights where he would do something to make me pull out whatever hair I had left, but last night was different. And I agree what he said about tightening the rotation and not having the rooks play right now due to their sense of urgency. Many here seem like they're hearing him say that rooks ain't ever gonna get another minute the whole freaking season. Give it some time, the rooks have quite a bit of talent and will get some minutes sooner or later. Either when the Wiz start rolling (that'll be nice) or when an injury forces EJ to play them (God forbid, but it did happen a little at the end of last year with Blatche getting some PT). It'll come, have patience; Rome wasn't built in one day.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Horford and Durant are significantly more talented players then our picks and they are their teams best hope at this time. Huge disparity between top 5 pick and 46th pick. I still believe EG delivered outstanding talent with the picks we had. That's what he does better than anyone in this league.

"It'll come, have patience; Rome wasn't built in one day."

True and point taken but I am not convinced EJ plans beyond 3-5 games out. Not sure if Rome would have had cart roads and sewage system if Eddie had been charged with development.

Nick Young would say, "Look at the hater, he's a hater."

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 15, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Strangelove - Detroit plays 8-9 deep most games. They have 9 players averaging 10 minutes or more for the season.

The Wizards have 8 players averaging 10 minutes or more for the season - Not including Nick Young, who has been in 5 games, and is averaging 9 minutes per game.

Frankly, given the Wizards record, I'm surprised that Eddie Jordan has given that much time to the rookie this early in the season.

Look for Eddie to get the rooks more time when the Wizards record climbs above break even.

Oh yeah, another thing - I'd rather have the 12 talented players we have on the roster this year, than the 15 we had last year that included Jarvis Hayes, Calvin Booth, Mike Hall, Donnell Taylor and Michael Ruffin.... or in previous years when we had such stellar players as Peter John Ramos sitting on the bench.

Posted by: Rook | November 15, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if any of you guys caught it yesterday, but Steinberg on this blog wrote about DS and Drew Gooden being in a competition to see who could hold out the longest in growing out their beards, and when Steinberg asked Caron about it, Caron said he doesn't do facial hair. He had all of it removed by laser.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 15, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Little off course here, but has anyone checked out RealGm today? Stations in Detroit, and Ric Bucher, reported that the Pistons agreed on Tuesday night to a deal in principle to send Hamilton, Prince, and Johnson to LA for Kobe, but Kobe vetoed the deal. Is this man insane???? What the hell does he want? He could go to Detroit and play for a winner, which he wants. What a bum. I guess the only positive is that this makes it a little easier for the Wizards, Detroit would be sick with him.

Posted by: Roman | November 15, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Oh yeah, another thing - I'd rather have the 12 talented players we have on the roster this year, than the 15 we had last year"

Amen to that!

The primary example I will cite is the Friday game against the Denver Nuggets. Being crushed by 20 and EJ has all of the starters in during most of the 4th quarter. Was this team better served by rubbing it in the face of the starters and risking injury in an unwinnable game or should we have let the kids run? What if Arenas had blown the knee during the 4th quarter of that game. Would there be a person not calling for EJ's head on a platter?

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 15, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

First of all, if I read the sky was blue on RealGM, I'd rush to the window to check. Second, as a Detroit native who still follows the Pistons, I seriously doubt that deal was ever offered and if it was offered (A) Kobe would have jumped on it and (B) if anything, the Pistons would have been the ones to turn it down.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Surprised Verizon isn't being picketed by the International Mason's Union when you look at that cast of Bricklayers that we got rid of!

For those that keep calling for Ernie to go over the luxury tax level to sign a player, I've yet to see anybody that's still out there that would be worth paying a combined cost of 3 to 6 million dollars for.

And after Jan. 15th the Wiz can bring in guys and audition them on 10 day deals and they don't count against the luxury tax threshold. That might be a way for us to get a sneak peak at some D-League talent.

There's still avenues to bring in guys if injury strikes and somebody's going to be out long term so I can't see spending money on a guy that wouldn't dress now anyway.

Pecherov should be back soon so the Wiz will be back up to 12 guys, I can't see bringing in a guy off the street to come to shoot arounds and eat at the buffet.

But now that I think about it sounds like a really good gig to me! Where can we apply!

Posted by: GM | November 15, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone realize if Jamison doesnt take our 10 mil/yr offer then Josh Smith is avail.? I think he would take it.

Posted by: Wayne form Bowie | November 15, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

is Josh Smith even going to hit free agency. I think they keep him. If they don't then...offer him 8 mil and try to snag another veteran

Posted by: The Owl Wizard | November 15, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards wouldn't be able to offer Josh Smith $10 mill. The only reason they'd be able to offer that much to Jamison is because they have his Bird rights and could exceed the salary cap to keep him. They won't be able to offer that much to another team's FA.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Which explains why, no matter what some people think, we'll more than likely see the same big three back here next year.

Posted by: GM | November 15, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about this season and it seems like it could be one of those years that teams sometimes have where almost everything goes right. This is what I see...
Bad: Etan goes down, Booth leaves, Ruffin leaves.
Good: EJ is forced to start BTH, who responds with a career.
Bad: EG signs DS and practically gives JCN away
Good: JCN stinks it up in Memphis and DS gets a contract that is not prohibitive
Bad: DS plays erratically
Good: EJ plays CB at the 2 and realizes that this gives us size and a matchup advantage. It also opens up a slot to give minutes to AB
Bad: AB gets caught soliciting
Good: He subsequently kills his value and the Wiz are able to sign him for long term on the cheap
Bad: Gil hurts his knee and isn't 100% for the start of the season
Good: Since he's not as explosive because he's not healed completely, GA is forced to pass more often and involve teammates.
Bad (for him): McGuire falls to the 2nd round
Good: We got him
Bad: Pech sprains his ankle and is forced to sit out and rehab his legs
Good: He comes back with a stronger base and a more accurate shot since all he can do is work out and practice shooting. He subsequently wins rookie of the month for December.

OK I made that last one up.
Someone needs to call Kornheiser and tell him the Curse of Les Boulez is over.

Posted by: mark | November 15, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

damn mark, you are one Kool Aid drinkin' mofo! :D

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The Tall lineup really works! I noticed the Vets are very tentative in setting Blatche on offense. Wuz up with that! Give the boy more looks.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | November 15, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Many are saying that EJ has all of a sudden gotten creative with his tall ball and some of his other substitutions this year.

Remember he did not exactly have much of a bench to work with last year to be creative with.

I think small ball last year was like tall ball is this year: an attempt by EJ to keep what he feels are his best players on the court. (Although EJ may have been wrong last year in thinking BH was not one of his better players).

Tall ball also seems to have an added benefit in that it may create matchup problems for at least some other teams.

Posted by: Tim | November 15, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Liked your post, mark.

Posted by: Tim | November 15, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Right now, this minute... name two centers in the NBA East playing better than BTH...

Not Ben Wallace anymore, for sure.

Shaq? Dalembert? Eddy? Z? Stop-gap Sheed? Bogut? Rasto? Kendrick Perkins?

Dwight Howard and it pretty much stops there... Remarkable!

Posted by: khrabb | November 15, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

krabb,

Give Mark back his kool-aid.

Haywood's playing the best ball of his career (I'll refrain from any mention of damning with faint praise) but it's a long season, and consistency has always been one of his biggest problems.

And, numbers aside (and his numbers ain't bad) Rasheed Wallace is playing better overall. Haywood is averaging 9 ppg as the 5th option in the Wiz's starting lineup, with defenses pretty much ignoring him. Wallace is averaging 16 ppg as the 2nd or 3rd option in the Pistons starting lineup with defenses keying on him. And Haywood is playing solid defense now, but for years Wallace has been considered one of the best defensive big men in the NBA by coaches, players, and analysts.

Posted by: kalorama | November 15, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Bad: EG signs DS and practically gives JCN away
Good: JCN stinks it up in Memphis and DS gets a contract that is not prohibitive
Bad: DS plays erratically
Good: EJ plays CB at the 2 and realizes

Someone needs to call Kornheiser and tell him the Curse of Les Boulez is over.

Posted by: mark | November 15, 2007 03:49 PM "

So where's the "good" out of signing DS?

Also, if Curse of Les BouleS is over, at 2-5 now, then I guess you live in the bizzaro world.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 15, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

When someone only sees and dwells on the negatives and can't see the positves that is the real bizarro world.

Actually, though, what you see is only reflective of the problems inside yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't make any changes in the starting lineup right now, since DS is finally starting to find his stroke and he's the best on-ball defender on the perimeter right now. But I really, really like the idea of frequently shifting to a tallball lineup with AB at the 4 and Caron at the 2.

My prediction--by midseason, AB is going to be a difference maker at both ends.

Posted by: John Brisker | November 15, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I applaud the solid effort and think it's great the wiz played well. We need to remember they played a poor team on the 2nd night of a back to back...so I like where this is going if it continues and am taking the wait and see approach. Tallball baby! What a concept?!

Posted by: Wyowiz | November 15, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I hope shortening the bench is only a temporary thing. The rooks need some PT. I think that using Caron at the 2 and Jamison at the 3 scares me as a permanent solution. They will get even more dominated on the defensive end than they already are. Jamison has problems keeping up with power forwards so imagine him with small forwards. And he'd be in no position to get rebounds either. I just don't see him as a 3. It can work at times against some teams. Like some have mentioned, I would also love to see Jamison as 6th man and Blatche in the starting lineup.

The Atlanta and Indiana games may have been important in that we seemed to be gaining our confidence back. We seemed to still want to actually stop people. Maybe the talk of defensive improvements was not just talk. It will be interesting to see whether this edition of the Zards will play down to the talent like last year or get the killer instinct to dominate people.

I like what I see all of a sudden. Props to EJ. We should probably all lay off of him for a while, though I am still not sold on him as bench coach.


Posted by: BmoreRev | November 16, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I really liked how aggressive they were last night late in the game.
Indy made a little rally, but the wiz didn't lose focus. They looked like they wanted to win by 30.

That is the attitude they need. Every ball should be theirs. attack!

Posted by: greg | November 16, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Good gravy - the Wizards suck! Whats with all the congrats and backslappin? So, you beat the tired Pacers..Your own darn reporter wrote how lethargic and nothing the team was. The sad thing is it was doubly pathetic the Wiz let them beat them by more than 13 pts in their first meeting -missing their major players no less. So big hairy deal the Wiz won 2 whole games. They'll probably beat Portland too then what. For all the millions these guys make - they should be winning more than that. Arenas is the ONLY reasons any body bothers to watch the Wizards..they are lethargic and robotic - give the apearance of bumbling around. Ya better keep Arenas with all his theatrics cuz other than than..you won't sell a ticket. Get a life and watch some real basketball.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Well let's see, they were third in offensive efficiency last year and had the best record in the East until injuries hit. And they did all that without a bench.

They play an exciting up tempo game and now they are even starting to take defense seriously.

What planet are you on, anyway?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 6:53 AM | Report abuse

The last 2 posts are pretty funny. We have a lot of extremes here. I prefer to look at the positive. We have a veteran team that has played together and had success together. That continuity means a lot in this league. If we stay healthy, we will definitely win a bunch of games. Anon, we don't care who watches the Wiz or why. We just want to win and the exciting thing for any real fan is that we seem to have possibly found the formula (read: EJ finally found the rotation). We've all been railing on EJ to try a couple things and when he finally did it and got a win, it's refreshing. Kinda like if the Skins started to PASS THE BALL !!

Posted by: mark | November 16, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

B-Rev is on target that Jamison maybe the best option as a scorer off the bench. But simply having Jamison, Blatch, and Haywood play in a three man rotation is probably the best option for now.

Not sure how Jamison would respond to not starting, but I think he would respond to Jordan coaching like he has three starter quality guys for two positions. Eddie could begin to use Blatche much in the same way Boston used to bring McHale off the bench at the first clock stoppage.

I'd agree that Jamison isn't going to always match up with other team's small forwards. That's why as Jordan is able to develop his depth more he could make a great scoring option to come back in the game with the second unit. I'd love to see MacGuire and Jamison paired up some at forward with Haywood, Blatche or even Pecherov in the post.

Songalia isn't the quickest guy in the world either, but he does work at D and gets his body into small forwards. It appears to me that when Jamison and Songalia have been out there on the court together, Darius takes the tougher matchup weather he's big or small.

I'd agree with Tim that you have to give Eddie a little benefit of the doubt, because last year the bench was pretty banged up the first half of the year and we made that really good run with almost no depth.

By the time Ruffin, Etan, and Songalia got healthy, and Hayes started to get in any kind game shape, we only had a short window before the big three started to get nicked up. So Eddie never really had much to work with in the way of depth all year.

But what I'm noticing is that we seem to be starting to think about matchups and searching for a mismatch more then I've ever thought Eddie has done before. In the past he's seemed to be more of a "system coach". A guy that looks for the 5 players to run his system the best and pretty much ignoring looking for a mismatch. Let alone responding to one that the other team has.

I wonder if the influence of Ayers on the bench is having an impact on the way Eddie's coaching. And yes, he just plain has more options then he had last year.

Posted by: GM | November 16, 2007 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of who we are playing a win is a win. Obviously it sucks that we dug ourselves a hole at the beginning of the season - but of the five games, it is reasonable to expect we would have lost the NJ and Boston games, one of the two games at home against Denver and Orlando, and should have won the game at Indiana. Thus by my reckoning we should have gone 2-3 rather than 0-5. Gave up 2 games - will have to get them back sooner or later, but the 0-5 start is not as bad as it might appear to be (tho losing a 20 point lead in NJ hurts).

Love the big ball as others have pointed out. Interesting that Caron digs it to. Issue will be that tho we gain size, we lose speed so Eddie will have to work the matchups (which isn't always his strength).

One thing that has continually plagued this team in the last few years is lack of depth and the 2 and 3 spots. Gil covers some of it by being a hybrid 1, but SG and SF are the easiest positions to fill with decent players given the NBA talent pool. I don't know why we struggle with that. I love what Songalia (passing smarts, mid range and post up game, plays within himself) and Blatche (full skill set, size) bring off the bench, and AD can still play, but we need someone who can hit the jumpers, be a scorer off the bench at the 2 or 3 position. Only real hope on the team is Young for that. Eddie needs to develop him and so he has to give him 10-12 minutes a game.

cj

Posted by: charles jones | November 16, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good gravy - the Wizards suck! Whats with all the congrats and backslappin? So, you beat the tired Pacers..Your own darn reporter wrote how lethargic and nothing the team was. The sad thing is it was doubly pathetic the Wiz let them beat them by more than 13 pts in their first meeting -missing their major players no less. So big hairy deal the Wiz won 2 whole games. They'll probably beat Portland too then what. For all the millions these guys make - they should be winning more than that. Arenas is the ONLY reasons any body bothers to watch the Wizards..they are lethargic and robotic - give the apearance of bumbling around. Ya better keep Arenas with all his theatrics cuz other than than..you won't sell a ticket. Get a life and watch some real basketball.

Posted by: | November 16, 2007 02:48 AM

Is that you, DC Moron...


Posted by: Wizzz | November 16, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if or where the game tonight in Minnesota will be televised? The Post said CSN Plus????

Looks to me like it is not televised.

Posted by: arnie | November 16, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

It's an interesting theory but I don't agree with bringing Jaminson in off the bench. If the 4 and 5 are not offensive weapons, the other 3 better be.

Posted by: Patrick | November 16, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if or where the game tonight in Minnesota will be televised? The Post said CSN Plus????

Looks to me like it is not televised.

Posted by: arnie | November 16, 2007 10:01 AM

It is most likely channel 8 (check your local cable box)

Posted by: Wizzz | November 16, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Charles Jones, I think they were hoping that Mason could play the role of the guy coming off the bench and hitting jumpers. Unfortunately he's been misfiring so far. Maybe they need to give him a little more PT so he can hit some shots and get his confidence together. (Obviously, as everyone has noted, EJ can't take too many chances with his bench due to the poor start, so we're talking about using him judiciously).

Posted by: Mitch | November 16, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I thin CSN+ is 640 if you have DirecTV. Must be 8,20, or 50 for local stations.

Posted by: mark | November 16, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

i agree that jamison would be a great 6th man off the bench. problem: while he is a good guy and is overall team-first, he's in a contract year, so would be less likely to take that role this year without being a little p%^^#$ off about it.
also, has blatche really showed enough to earn a starting spot yet? let's wait and see before benching the guy who has helped bring this team out of the cellar.

Posted by: steve colter | November 16, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Mark, great comments. What bothers me is that we never put anybody away. Don't get me wrong; a win is a win, and I'll take it against Indiana, but why can't we EVER put anybody away. We should have crushed Indiana in the third. That hasn't happened since Larry Hughes left.

Posted by: Ned_E_Boy | November 16, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

88'er posting comments under strange names, other people's names, or none at all...nah...that would never happen!!!

Posted by: GM | November 16, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the game will be available on any p2p sites tonight?

Posted by: Brandon in PA | November 16, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

NO! It isn't DC Moron!
Nor whoever you think. It doesn matter.

I repeat - you better figure out a way to keep Arenas cuz without him - your tired team can't sell a ticket. Bottom Line.
Like one of the recent posters just wrote - Until this team learns to "put a team away" and we ain't talkin about a high school, college or totally depleted team(Which you guys start poppin the bubbly cuz you got a win)No they need to get a team by the throat, get em down and put their foot on their backs and don't let em back in. Until then - they will be considered weak and confused. Arenas and maybe Butler are your two hot weapons.

You'd know if you watched more competitive B-Ball. Obvious, most of the regulars on here only have eyes for the Wiz..

Get a life & an education..watch other teams. You'll like it
My hats off to Mike Lee..Excellent job.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"You're missing Etan, you're missing Pecherov, so that's a 7-footer and a physical force down there," Jordan said. "And when you look at the league, there are some large shooting guards and large small forwards, and those first few games it felt like we were dwarfed out there at times. [The bigger lineup] allows us to protect the rim, protect the paint, but we can still have skill guys out there at the three, four and five spots with Antawn, Darius and Andray."

EJ - You're my boy and everything, but please do not expect me to believe you are just discovering this advantage (AB & Haywood playing together) you have had at your fingertips since last season?

We were often "dwarfed", as you put it, by other teams because of your insane obsession with "small-ball" and not giving Haywood and AB a fair shake last season. Everyone on this post had been screaming for you to try this lineup since last year, but you refused to do it, much less, entertain the thought for some reason.

You even could have maybe tried Etan and Haywood in together sometimes for defensive stops last year, but you never did. I do not want to here you could not put Etan out at the 4 spot because the other team's 4's had perimeter games and he would not be able to get out there to contest their shot. How about making teams adjust to us vs. us trying to adjust to other teams all of the time?

Just some food for thought. Keep up the good job and calling this game and all future games like you called these last two. No more small-ball!!! More TALL-BALL!!! Also substitute offense for defense at the end of quarters. Thanks..

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 16, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

NO! It isn't DC Moron!
Nor whoever you think. It doesn matter.

I repeat - you better figure out a way to keep Arenas cuz without him - your tired team can't sell a ticket. Bottom Line.
Like one of the recent posters just wrote - Until this team learns to "put a team away" and we ain't talkin about a high school, college or totally depleted team(Which you guys start poppin the bubbly cuz you got a win)No they need to get a team by the throat, get em down and put their foot on their backs and don't let em back in. Until then - they will be considered weak and confused. Arenas and maybe Butler are your two hot weapons.

You'd know if you watched more competitive B-Ball. Obvious, most of the regulars on here only have eyes for the Wiz..

Get a life & an education..watch other teams. You'll like it
My hats off to Mike Lee..Excellent job.

Posted by: | November 16, 2007 12:23 PM

Wow, it is DC Moron after all.

What an interesting point you make about losing a superstar on your team. Geez, I wonder what Minnesota would look like if Garnett left. Oh wait, he did and the team stinks now.

Posted by: Wizzz | November 16, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

NO! It isn't DC Moron!
Nor whoever you think. It doesn matter.

I repeat - you better figure out a way to keep Arenas cuz without him - your tired team can't sell a ticket. Bottom Line.
Like one of the recent posters just wrote - Until this team learns to "put a team away" and we ain't talkin about a high school, college or totally depleted team(Which you guys start poppin the bubbly cuz you got a win)No they need to get a team by the throat, get em down and put their foot on their backs and don't let em back in. Until then - they will be considered weak and confused. Arenas and maybe Butler are your two hot weapons.

You'd know if you watched more competitive B-Ball. Obvious, most of the regulars on here only have eyes for the Wiz..

Get a life & an education..watch other teams. You'll like it
My hats off to Mike Lee..Excellent job.

Posted by: | November 16, 2007 12:23 PM

I haven't commented in a while caused this turned into the dcman88 blog But this HAIRLESS BALL who wrote this is simply put a DILDO. No balls to put a name with his post. For your info most people on here do watch other games also hell I follow hoops from 7th grade all the way to pros, but he purpose of being a fan is watching your team. The people on here enjoy talking to each other about our team. so why don't you F*CK OFF and go post on your teams blog since you domn't have the balls to name yourself on here. ALthough Dildo seems to fit you well!!

Posted by: the truth | November 16, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Bullets Fever #1,

While I agree with most of your comment, I do not think Haywood and Etan would work together on the court, and I am not talking about them punching each other (*chuckle*). The skill of Etan and Haywood is too similar, they occupy the same spot on both offense and on defense. On defense, neither can defend the perimeter (not quick enough). On offense, they both need to be near the basket to be effective, since neither of them can shoot jump shot. Blatche, OTOH, has different skill than Haywood-Etan, which allows for pairing.

Posted by: Sagaliba | November 16, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's leave the name calling and the personal put downs to the school yard and get back to basketball and this team in particular.
It will be interesting to see how Caron adapts to playing SG and whether his minutes will increase there over the season. It is obvious that the strength of this team in the future (if the kids develop as hoped) is at the 2 forward positions, with Songaila, Blatche, Pech, D-Mac. Any playing time at center this year for any of them will be becauase of the Etan situation. Pech and Blatche weren't drafted to play center and if Haywood continues to stay consistent you can be sure that next year Ernie will make sure this team has a legitimate backup center- either Etan or someone else with real experience.

It is exactly the opposite at the SG position where Stevenson is barely adequate, Daniels has a limited time left on his contract, Mason is what he is and probably won't be a major factor. Only Young has real potential and he will take some time. If Caron can play serious minutes at SG, the possibilities in the future open up enormously. Now that it appears that Eddie has pulled the trigger on this move, we'll watch with great interest.

Posted by: arnie | November 16, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

In addition to both of them lacking the skill set to adequately guard most NBA PFs, having Thomas and Haywood on the floor together would pull the rug out from under the Wizards offense. They'd have two guys on the floor whom defenses would feel no need to respect, allowing them to load up on defensively on the actual scoring threats.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Well well well, the $12 million dollar man just went down again for 4 weeks for the Cavs. Anyone still miss Larry Hughes and wanted EG to sign him for that? The man can't shoot straight and can't stay on the court for even 70 games let alone 82 in a season.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

DC Man 88's last signed post was at 9:01 pm last night. My god he's went almost 17 hrs. without posting!

Should we call 911 and file a missing...well that would be a problem wouldn't it?

Whom ever the new Jerk that just showed up here to insult people is... At least 88'er
has enough balls to take the heat for his comments.

I'm sure he'd never stoop to posting unsigned trash on here just to try and get another fight started.

I can tell that lots of people that come on here watch lots of NBA ball and not just the Wizards.

If we want to feel good about our home team and talk about them, just what and the hell's a matter with that.

I'm sure some where there's a site where miserable bastards can tell each other what lousy screw-ups they are.

Keep surfing til you find it! And you have a nice day now...you here. Us'n unedukat'eds will em just a try an akarre on wit out ya.

Posted by: GM | November 16, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm back, what happened? Looking forward to the game tonight. There's more to life than just Les BouleS.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Well well well, the $12 million dollar man just went down again for 4 weeks for the Cavs. Anyone still miss Larry Hughes and wanted EG to sign him for that? The man can't shoot straight and can't stay on the court for even 70 games let alone 82 in a season.

Posted by: | November 16, 2007 02:00 PM "

Whatever LH does or did in Cleveland has nothing to do with what he did, or could have done had he stayed with Les BouleS. It's ludicrous to think that.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering why Mason isn't getting more time. He has by far the team's best +/- numbers, which of course doesn't mean that he's some great player, but it does mean that the team has played well with him on the court.
But if Mason has to sit so Caron can play some 2 and the Wizards can go big, I'm all for it.
Still, I'd like to see McGuire here and there. They need to get that guy up to speed.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Being injury prone IS what he was good at here!

Posted by: Rook | November 16, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I'm wondering why Mason isn't getting more time"
___________________________________

Because he is terrible at defense and he can pretty much only jack up threes. And he is streaky at that. When he is on its good and he shoots very well, but he is off almost as often.

Posted by: LooseCannon | November 16, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever LH does or did in Cleveland has nothing to do with what he did, or could have done had he stayed with Les BouleS. It's ludicrous to think that."

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 02:17 PM

That's pretty funny coming from the guy who keeps bringing up the fact that Hughes made it to the Finals with the Cavs as an excuse to bash Abe Pollin for being "too cheap" to keep him. If what he does on one team has nothing to do with what he does for the other, why keep mentioning it?

As for injuries, he's been in the league going on 11 years and played for 4 different teams. He's played 70 or more games only twice (not including the strike season). So the possibility of him going out with an injury pretty clearly is not a location-specific concern. The guy has longstanding problems staying healthy that aren't going to get any better as he gets older.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Why do peeps write the Blazer game in the win column for the Wiz? That game is no gimme.

Posted by: Charlie | November 16, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"In addition to both of them lacking the skill set to adequately guard most NBA PFs, having Thomas and Haywood on the floor together would pull the rug out from under the Wizards offense. They'd have two guys on the floor whom defenses would feel no need to respect, allowing them to load up on defensively on the actual scoring threats".

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 01:57 PM

Kalorama and Sagaliba. Oh yea I can agree with that. I only used Haywood and ET as an example to say they could have maybe been used when we needed one important stop at the end of the game. Once we made the stop, we would substitute one of them back out (my choice would have been ET) and put AJ back in the game.

Instead Eddie would revert to using small-ball as a defensive tactic using Ruffin/ET at the 5 and AJ at the 4. What that did was make that unit super slow and also to "short" to grab the defensive rebound.

Then to make matters worse, EJ started it again this season but he had Songalia in at the 5 instead of Ruffin/ET and AJ at the 4. Small-ball is supposed to be used if you are able to "out-quick" the other team on both ends of the floor.

With Songalia at the 5 and AJ at the 4 how in the world were they supposed to "out-quick" anybody? Add on the fact we gave up size, so we could not get any rebounds and we could not contest any shots in the paint. I just hope EJ has put this small-ball stuff away somewhere and lets keep it going with more TALL-BALL.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 16, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Last couple of games are the first time I've seen Jordan pay much attention to matchups and start to make offensive defensive switches.

Songalia at the 5 with Jamison at the 4 works on offense in the Princeton. The Wiz can get away with it in small stretches. But at the ends of games Eddie better get one of them off the floor on defense.

Using Butler at the two some may open up some room for TMac to get out there at the three from time to time.

Larry Hughes has had a hard time staying healthy his entire career, sad thing is he got his money but has never been a happy guy in Cleveland. It's a shame because he's basically trpped in that contract because I don't think Cleveland can unload him. And boy have they tried.

Speaking of Cleveland, the King had to hit three straight free throws to get them to overtime the other night before they lost it. Boy is he having to carry a heavy load for them to win.

That group surrounding is not getting any younger.

Posted by: GM | November 16, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"In addition to both of them lacking the skill set to adequately guard most NBA PFs, having Thomas and Haywood on the floor together would pull the rug out from under the Wizards offense. They'd have two guys on the floor whom defenses would feel no need to respect, allowing them to load up on defensively on the actual scoring threats."

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 01:57 PM

That makes no sense. The defense would leave two players in the post to guard guys on the perimeter? Hey, that would be great!

The fact of the matter is that playing Etan and Haywood together at the 4 and 5, which has never happened, makes a lot more sense than playing Hayes and Jamison at the 4 and 5, which DID happen with horrible results last season. Perhaps Etan and Haywood together wouldn't work, but we don't know because it never was tried. I would much rather see Etan guard a PF than Jarvis.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Plus, Haywood guards PFs all the time and very effectively, so Etan could guard the center.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"The defense would leave two players in the post to guard guys on the perimeter? "

Uh ... no.

At least one of the two would be forced to guard a player away from the basket, something that neither of them is particularly good at. And leaving them alone under the basket isn't really an advantage if they don't have the ball and can't get the ball because multiple defenders are pressuring Gilbert or Caron away from the basket and not giving them a clear passing lane. If you really think having two guys on the floor who can't hit a shot more than two feet from the basket is an asset for a team's offense, I'd suggest you watch a Chicago Bulls game sometime when they've got Ben Wallace and Tyrus Thomas on the floor together.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Plus, Haywood guards PFs all the time...

No, actually he doesn't.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Surely EJ has been around long enough to remember the Celtics "twin towers", Robert Parish and Keven McCale. What took him so long to recognize "tall ball".?

Posted by: browneri | November 16, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks LooseCannon. Sean - What stats are you reading that say Mason has the best stats? He's a ghost of last seasons bench that has YET to improve. He is a liability for this team. Don't want to talk about the past but as David DuPre, Wilbon said: a certain player(JCN) would have been wiser to keep than Mason. MacGuire, Blatche, Young are all great rookies - will progress as we can see in AB. Mason's been around league 5/6 yrs has NOT improved. I was pissed to hear they resigned the guy after every team he tried out for passed even the struggling Kings. I guess its better to stay with the devil you know than one you don't know. Besides Mason & DS - the others are great

Posted by: Rick | November 16, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse


Yes! Sean aka "One who lacks intelligence"

One can see for you - ignorance is bliss. Right at home in that vacant BAT Cave of a head. Go get jobs or a life.

Writing trite verbage isn't soley left to you and GM

Yes IMO the Wiz so long as they have Arenas should be able to beat Portland.

Posted by: Dick Cheney | November 16, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Whatever LH does or did in Cleveland has nothing to do with what he did, or could have done had he stayed with Les BouleS. It's ludicrous to think that.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 02:17 PM

You may be right, DCMan, in which case we should all shut up about all the Bullets players who went on to become great Pistons. Or you may be wrong, in which case we're entitled to applaud Ernie for not overpaying the guy.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The small ball tactic was used becasue EJ instinctively thinks offense first. The fact that he is getting away from it might mean that he is thinking more about defensive matchups. However, he states that he just wants to put the best players onthe court. If we believe his words, then small ball may not be buried. Just a thought.

I agree that either Etan or Haywood guarding most power forwards would have been a disaster even in the crunch. But Jarvis was not the answer either. Blatche and MacGuire are potentially our best defensive power forwards to me.

By the way, keep an eye on Songalia as a screener and in screen roll situations. He is invaluable and rightly is getting about 20 minutes. But against very athletic power forwards EJ needs to pull him. Whenever a substitute is made it is fascinating to ask yourself, "did EJ do that for defensive purposes or for offensive purposes?" I may even chart that one game just for fun. But as I watch it seems that about 3/4 of the time it is for offense. But that still beats the 90% we saw last year!

Tonight is all about attitude. Will we have killer instinct and put the wolves away or mess around and keep it close. I'd love to see the bench cleared with 6 minutes to go! Home or away shouldn't matter if we are who we think we are. It is about attitude.

Posted by: BmoreRev | November 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Rick:
Mason is averaging +8.6 per 48 minutes on the floor this season. Check out http://www.82games.com/0708/0708WAS.HTM

Dick:
If I could understand what you said, I'd respond.

Kalorama:
You're really disputing that Haywood routinely guards opposing PFs?? Do you even watch the games? So far this season Haywood has guarded Ike Diogu, Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, and Al Horford. Basically, if you've watched the Wizards in the past couple years, you would have seen that Haywood guards the opposing team's best post player, be it a center or power forward, and Jamison guards whoever is left.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The Wolves are lacking and on the ropes.
Why pray tell is everybody worried the Wiz will lose?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Because this team has a well-established history of playing down to supposedly lesser teams, and an 0-5 start has done nothing to convince anyone that's changed.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"You may be right, DCMan, in which case we should all shut up about all the Bullets players who went on to become great Pistons. Or you may be wrong, in which case we're entitled to applaud Ernie for not overpaying the guy.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 04:28 PM "

Let's not give Ernie too much credit, because he came first with a decent offer (lower than Cleveland by about 5 mil), and then came back with another offer identical or better than Cleveland's, but by that time, LH had made his decision already.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"The small ball tactic was used becasue EJ instinctively thinks offense first. The fact that he is getting away from it might mean that he is thinking more about defensive matchups. However, he states that he just wants to put the best players onthe court. If we believe his words, then small ball may not be buried. Just a thought."

Posted by: BmoreRev | November 16, 2007 04:51 PM

I'd say that it is more a reflection of how much Blatche has improved and Deshawn's recent slump. As Blatche goes, so goes "tall ball."

Posted by: Sam | November 16, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"That's pretty funny coming from the guy who keeps bringing up the fact that Hughes made it to the Finals with the Cavs as an excuse to bash Abe Pollin for being "too cheap" to keep him. If what he does on one team has nothing to do with what he does for the other, why keep mentioning it?

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 02:31 PM "

However you want to stroke it, Les BouleS have regressed in the playoffs since he left. Also, LH has enjoyed success in Cleveland, whether he's happy or not, despite losing his brother.

It goes to show that even if you get more money, you might not necessarily be more happy. Same applies for Gilby. Just b/c Les BouleS can outbid any other team, doesn't mean he'll be happier here with that extra year of money.

My gripe with Abe and EG is that he told the fans that he's going to do everything they can to keep LH. Not only did they lowball him first, which was turned down, but then they came back with a much better offer, which was turned down. Management and ownership shouldn't have played these kind of game, but we've seen it before with Rex Chapman and Juwan Howard. Don't be surprised if we see it with Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"So far this season Haywood has guarded Ike Diogu, Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, and Al Horford."

All of the players you mentioned play a traditional C role on offense, regardless of what position they're listed at in the program (and you can throw Duncan and Howard onto that list).

"Basically, if you've watched the Wizards in the past couple years, you would have seen that Haywood guards the opposing team's best post player, be it a center or power forward, and Jamison guards whoever is left."

I've watched almost every Wizards game for the past several years. Apparently the difference is that I actually understood what I was watching. If you understood what the C designation represents, you would know that all you're doing is simply reinforcing my point.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's not give Ernie too much credit, because he came first with a decent offer (lower than Cleveland by about 5 mil), and then came back with another offer identical or better than Cleveland's, but by that time, LH had made his decision already.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 05:22 PM

I'm a big Larry fan and I think Ernie was right to try to keep him. But you often excoriate the guy for letting Larry go, which I don't think is fair.

Larry was a better backcourt pairing with Gil than DS, that's for sure. But now we have Caron at the 3, who is turning out to be at least as good a replacement for Larry. I don't think the Wiz's regressions in the playoffs were about Larry being gone. This past year they were about injuries. The year before that, a couple of free throws...

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Kal. You said Brendan never guards PFs, then when it's pointed out that he frequently guards PFs you respond "yeah, technically they're PF's but they're really playing center so you don't know the game of basketball". You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Let's not give Ernie too much credit, because he came first with a decent offer (lower than Cleveland by about 5 mil), and then came back with another offer identical or better than Cleveland's, but by that time, LH had made his decision already.

_____
This is the history that most on this blog seem to look pass. I still do not understand the idol/god status that he earns from the vast majority of bloggers. I not sure if Mason will emerge this year as the season goes on, but I cannot help the feeling that we lost out on the JCN (A number one pick that will not be using next year or ever and a player superior in many respects to what we currently have.)

Posted by: Skeef | November 16, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a big Larry fan and I think Ernie was right to try to keep him. But you often excoriate the guy for letting Larry go, which I don't think is fair.

Larry was a better backcourt pairing with Gil than DS, that's for sure. But now we have Caron at the 3, who is turning out to be at least as good a replacement for Larry. I don't think the Wiz's regressions in the playoffs were about Larry being gone. This past year they were about injuries. The year before that, a couple of free throws...

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 05:36 PM "

It's one thing for EG to give an offer and say that's that, but then to up it seems desperate, nevermind the fact that you went on record to say that you're going to do everything to keep him.

You can really blame injuries for last year's debacle. Gilby was gone the last few games, but the team was hanging on for dear life and ended up #8. How do you go from #1 in the east at the all star break to #8? Only during the last few games did you have 2 of their all stars out. For the most part of the season, you had only 1 of their all stars out if at all.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Larry was a better backcourt pairing with Gil than DS, that's for sure. But now we have Caron at the 3, who is turning out to be at least as good a replacement for Larry. I don't think the Wiz's regressions in the playoffs were about Larry being gone. This past year they were about injuries. The year before that, a couple of free throws...
____
I agree and would add that Caron is way superior to LH in both defense and scoring from his position. And he means much more to the heart and maturity to the team that LH was bringing to the table at the time.

When the Wiz lost out on the LH it was a very good thing. They would be hamstrung now financially. Who knows, however; maybe this would have caused them to play the young guys more, especially; when LH would be injured.

Posted by: Skeef | November 16, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to say Caron is a way better player now since Caron has worked diligently to improve his game. When Caron first got here though, who the heck knew anything about him besides his history with UConn?

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to have it both ways. My point has been consistent all along.

Haywood and Thomas can't play together because neither one of them is any good guarding away form the basket. Despite repeatedly suggesting that's not true, Sean pretty clearly reinforced my point by saying:

"Basically, if you've watched the Wizards in the past couple years, you would have seen that Haywood guards the opposing team's best post player, be it a center or power forward, and Jamison guards whoever is left."

Which is exactly my point. Haywood can't guard big men who play away from the basket. That job is always given to someone else. But that someone else is never Thomas, because he can't handle it either.

The actual position title designation is irrelevant. (Does anyone really still think Tim Duncan is a PF?) According to skill set, which is the only issue to be considered her (as opposed to semantics, which is what Sean's dealing in) big men who play down low, close to the basket are playing the role of C (whatever you choose to call them). Big men who play more away from and facing the basket are playing the role of forward.

Both Haywood and Thomas are best suited to guard the former. neither is any good at guarding the latter. Which is why playing them together is a bad idea. A fact that everyone else but Sean seems to get.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, DCMan, but there was no bench backing up the big three, so if any one of them went down it had a bigger impact than it would on, say, San Antonio if Parker, Duncan, or Ginobili went down. NJ's experienced the same thing last year when Jefferson went down and is losing now without Carter.

The point, though, is that last year wasn't about Larry Hughes going to Cleveland...

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to say Caron is a way better player now since Caron has worked diligently to improve his game. When Caron first got here though, who the heck knew anything about him besides his history with UConn?

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 16, 2007 05:50 PM

______
I did, two years in Miami and one in LA sealed it for me. I knew his story, stats., and the fact that both Riley and Jackson were mightily disappointed in his leaving. While LH is more athletic, Caron was and is always a BEAST!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Kal, I'm not arguing with you about Haywood and Thomas: playing them together doesn't work, for the reasons you've stated.

But you did say quite vehemently that Brendan never guards PFs, and when you were flat out contradicted by the facts you changed up. The only consistency there is a refusal to admit when you're wrong.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Kalorama. Anyone who would claim that Garnett plays center on offense doesn't know what he is talking about. Half his offense is mid-range jumpers. Same with O'Neal. And Diogu. (Don't know enough about Horford yet.)

Is it that hard to say, "You're right, I'm wrong?" Try it, it might be cathartic.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

don't need to have it both ways. My point has been consistent all along.

Haywood and Thomas can't play together because neither one of them is any good guarding away form the basket. Despite repeatedly suggesting that's not true, Sean pretty clearly reinforced my point by saying:

"Basically, if you've watched the Wizards in the past couple years, you would have seen that Haywood guards the opposing team's best post player, be it a center or power forward, and Jamison guards whoever is left."

-----
You are trying to have it all ways. Funny, keep it going--excellent comedy.

Posted by: Skeef | November 16, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Skeef, I'm not saying Ernie is God. I'm sure he would take back that Etan contract if he could.

But you have to admit, Kwame for Caron was one of the deals of the decades.

This team did not need another small on-ball guard. You see what happens on defense when Gil and AD are in the backcourt together? It would have been worse with JCN. The guy's small and a sieve on defense. Even Memphis is barely giving him any minutes. Locking down Deshawn was the better move.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Just read Kalorama's 5:53 response, which supports my initial point. An Etan-Haywood tandem might work against an opposing PF-C tandem where both guys are interior players, like Jermaine O'Neal and Jeff Foster, to pick last game's example. Haywood would check O'Neal, and Etan would guard Foster. It wouldn't work where the PF was a true perimeter player like a Marvin Williams or Antawn Jamison, though, but I'd guess that around half of the NBA has PF-C tandems more like Foster and O'Neal than not.

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Bullets Fever has an interesting point about EJ. I'm a huge fan of the guy, but he's talking about this bigger lineup thing like it has just occured to him. Seems like this should have been looked at before now.

While DCMan is a little too smart alecky for my tastes, for the most part he keeps things on topic and usually doesn't get personal. I can't help but laugh at people pining away, eager to spar.

The game's on channel 19 in Richmond. Not in hi def but hey it's on. Go Wizards I can smell .500.

Posted by: Patrick | November 16, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who watched Caron at Miami knew he had the potential. Anyone who watched him in LA knew he was realizing his potential and working hard. And he played for two of the best coaches in the business. And didn't Ernie get Chucky Atkins thrown into that deal too? Insult to injury...

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Skeef, I'm not saying Ernie is God. I'm sure he would take back that Etan contract if he could.

But you have to admit, Kwame for Caron was one of the deals of the decades.

This team did not need another small on-ball guard. You see what happens on defense when Gil and AD are in the backcourt together? It would have been worse with JCN. The guy's small and a sieve on defense. Even Memphis is barely giving him any minutes. Locking down Deshawn was the better move.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 05:58 PM
_________
While I agree that Caron for our Duffus was a great trade for us, keep in mind many GM's would make that same trade now (stupidly) because of the sparseness of 7'0 footers...still a feather in the Grunfeld hat, but he is still not a god. In fact, I give him more credit for drafting Opec, McGur, and the 2 guard. I really think these guys are going to be stars that form our run to the championship. I am not sold on DS. He has lost a lot of athleticism...a lot! And he is not so skilled...just do not know about him. Oh, one other point, if AD and GA are getting killed on defense, why not have someone that can at least give you some offense if all your guards are no good defensively anyway. This applies to AD more than GA, but I hope you get the point I am trying to make (especially since JCN sorta fell into our hands).

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"But you did say quite vehemently that Brendan never guards PFs, and when you were flat out contradicted by the facts you changed up. The only consistency there is a refusal to admit when you're wrong."

And ... nope.

Sean said:

"Plus, Haywood guards PFs all the time..."

To which I replied:

"No, actually he doesn't."

And, in fact, he doesn't guards PFs all the time. That's a simple, irrefutable fact. He does sometimes in some matchups, but that's a small minority of the time. I never said Haywood never guarded PFs (let alone saying it "vehemently"). What I did say (admittedly somewhat vehemently) is that he sucks at guarding PFs (as his work on the aforementioned Kevin Garnett would clearly attest). (Also, if you'll recall the Boston game, Jamison, Blatche, and Songaila also shared the time "guarding" Garnett. So much for "all of the time.")

All of which underscores why, in contrast to Sean's insistence, Haywood and Thomas can't play together.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I have often wondered and wish that they should play together. And after hearing that a few folks feel that they cannot, I am now more than eager to see this pairing.

Posted by: Skeef | November 16, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"While DCMan is a little too smart alecky for my tastes, for the most part he keeps things on topic and usually doesn't get personal. I can't help but laugh at people pining away, eager to spar." by Patrick

Patrick, what the hell are you talking about? Obviously, you are a newcomer or infrequent blog reader. DCIdiot ALWAYS gets personal and nasty. Should be locked up.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"Just read Kalorama's 5:53 response, which supports my initial point."

LOL!

Would that be this initial point:

"That makes no sense. The defense would leave two players in the post to guard guys on the perimeter? Hey, that would be great!

"The fact of the matter is that playing Etan and Haywood together at the 4 and 5, which has never happened, makes a lot more sense than playing Hayes and Jamison at the 4 and 5, which DID happen with horrible results last season. Perhaps Etan and Haywood together wouldn't work, but we don't know because it never was tried. I would much rather see Etan guard a PF than Jarvis."

In which you said absolutely nothing about about perimeter versus interior?

And you have the nerve to accuse someone else of revisionist history? Unbelievable.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Mmm, I wonder who Haywood will guard tonight? Ratliff the center, or Al Jefferson the power forward?

Posted by: Sean | November 16, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

good old kal el is baaack! getting creative with your excuses again aren't you?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't you mean Al Jefferson the PF/C?

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/al_jefferson/career_stats.html

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Patrick, what the hell are you talking about? Obviously, you are a newcomer or infrequent blog reader. DCIdiot ALWAYS gets personal and nasty. Should be locked up." by

Um...guilty on both. Can't deny it. Well, I read all the posts, but not all the comments.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Oops that's me above.

Posted by: Patrick | November 16, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

And Sean, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the irony/hypocrisy of you calling me wrong all over the place only to do a late 180 and claim that the argument I've been consistently putting forth (re: the relative ability of Haywood/Thomas to guard interior vs. exterior players) is now not only now not wrong, but that you thought of it first!


Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

Posted by: kalorama | November 16, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

whatever kal el you're unbelievable, you're getting ever closer to DC Moron status.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Is tonight's game on tv?

Posted by: Tim | November 16, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow - leave for a few hours and someone always seems to come back to JCN!!!

The guy never wanted to play here.

He waited until EG was deep into negotiations with Stevenson before "announcing" that his Spanish team, out of the goodness of their hearts, had decided to let him buy out his contract. (smell fishy to you?)...

He talked about needing at least $3 Million a year, to pay off his buy-out.

AFTER the Wiz had already pretty much set aside all their available money for resigning Stevenson and Blatche.

Then he, or his agent, had his Spanish team come up with that phony trumped-up deadline.

He had is buddy Gasol pressure the Memphis management to bring him to the Griz.

Ernie dangled him around the league. Miami offered a low 2nd round pick for him (remember, that's Pat Riley in Miami - one of the best GM's in the league - offering a 2ND ROUND PICK!).

Ernie got the best deal he could. A Memphis conditional 1st round pick.
(A nice EXTRA chip to hold for future deals!!!)

Then he signed with Memphis for $500K a year? (What happened to his Wiz demand for $3Million ?)


I would have let the sumb*tch rot in Spain.

If you've been watching Memphis games (I have NBA League Pass, so I do watch), you would know that JCN is a stiff.

He's the 5th guard at MEMPHIS. (Kyle Lowry, Mike Miller, Mike Conley, Damon Stoudamire and Casey Jacobsen ALL get more minutes than JCN). As in, the Memphis Grizlies!!! One of the worst teams in the league. He's averaging 13 minutes a game on a bad team. AND, his minutes are going DOWN! 27% shooting percentage. Matador defense.

Do I really have to say more?

Posted by: Rook | November 16, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

tonights games is on csn+

Posted by: the truth` | November 16, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks the truth. That'd explain why I didn't see it on my guide.

Posted by: Tim | November 16, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow - leave for a few hours and someone always seems to come back to JCN!!!

The guy never wanted to play here.

He waited until EG was deep into negotiations with Stevenson before "announcing" that his Spanish team, out of the goodness of their hearts, had decided to let him buy out his contract. (smell fishy to you?)...

He talked about needing at least $3 Million a year, to pay off his buy-out.

AFTER the Wiz had already pretty much set aside all their available money for resigning Stevenson and Blatche.

Then he, or his agent, had his Spanish team come up with that phony trumped-up deadline.

He had is buddy Gasol pressure the Memphis management to bring him to the Griz.

Ernie dangled him around the league. Miami offered a low 2nd round pick for him (remember, that's Pat Riley in Miami - one of the best GM's in the league - offering a 2ND ROUND PICK!).

Ernie got the best deal he could. A Memphis conditional 1st round pick.
(A nice EXTRA chip to hold for future deals!!!)

Then he signed with Memphis for $500K a year? (What happened to his Wiz demand for $3Million ?)


I would have let the sumb*tch rot in Spain.

If you've been watching Memphis games (I have NBA League Pass, so I do watch), you would know that JCN is a stiff.

He's the 5th guard at MEMPHIS. (Kyle Lowry, Mike Miller, Mike Conley, Damon Stoudamire and Casey Jacobsen ALL get more minutes than JCN). As in, the Memphis Grizlies!!! One of the worst teams in the league. He's averaging 13 minutes a game on a bad team. AND, his minutes are going DOWN! 27% shooting percentage. Matador defense.

Do I really have to say more?

Posted by: Rook | November 16, 2007 07:04 PM

Finally, someone else who has seen the light. I've been saying this since the start of negotiations with this fool. He is an undersized 2 at the best. His shot is streaker than a 90 year old mans underwear. He couldn't guard a 2 legged catapillar and thats on his best day. Thank god we got what we did for him. Although, I agree we should've let him rot in spain.

Posted by: the truth | November 16, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

New post by Arenas:

http://my.nba.com/forum.jspa?forumID=400032200

"When you think about it, as bad as I've started off, I'm still better than 97 percent of the players that are playing right now...."

It's not the knee it is the mouth!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Fenty | November 16, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like there is someone else posting now as "Tim."

As far as Caron goes I was also aware of him from the beginning and wished the Wiz could have drafted him.

The rumor (perhaps fact) was the Wiz would have taken him with the I think 10th pick in that draft. Instead Miami snatched him with the 9th pick and we ended up with Jared Jeffries if memory serves me correct.

I remember seeing Caron that year when Miami played the Wiz and wished we would have gotten him.

I really appreciate someone who works hard and is willing to improve himself. He seems like a class act also.

Posted by: Tim | November 16, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

BTW, up where I am at in Frederick the game is on 97.

Posted by: Tim | November 16, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Channel 4 on Comcast in Montgomery County.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

659 on the dish

Posted by: charles jones | November 16, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

csn+ = Channel 77 (c-span2?) in Alexandria

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Just found the game. It is on Comcast 2 Channel 68 for Bowie

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

My guess would be the Wiz won't win this game.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, we are up by 12 now with 2 minutes to go. A win is a win. But why can't we come out and dominate and coast? I like the new Gilbert. He picks his spots and then turns it on when it is needed. On the court in 4th quarter when we took the game over: Daniels, Arenas, Butler, Blatche and Haywood. Took over with tough D and easy fast break points. Anybody surprised?

Posted by: BmoreRev | November 16, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

So, about 2 min left in the 4th and the Wiz have me grinning ear to ear. After playing to the Wolves for 3 1/2 quarters Butler barks at everyone and tells them the time is now. From that point a 15 to 1 run with Gil just scoring at will. This was a killer instinct, turn the switch performance that I truly can't recall from last year. To understand the moment and have a player call everyone out is the single most significant event of this year for this team.

Butler was the man from the start of this game as well as the last. He is the heart of this team. Blatche also looked good in late play after Jamison had fatiqued.

Butler just hit another big 3 at the finish. Somebody pass the Kool Aid.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 16, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess they were just toying with them. I hope you liked my reverse jinx above.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

C. Butler 46 11-16 1-1 6-8 2 8 1 1 2 0 3 29

Posted by: Caron - Fan | November 16, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Terrific line for Caron...Trade for Kwame will be remembered as the most lopsided of it's time. Go EG!

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 16, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

anybody see that EJ listened to those that wanted him to play the rooks? he got Young in there for about a 5 minute game span and the kid turned the ball over like 4 straight times and an 8 point lead turned to a 6 point deficit before EJ even called a timeout. way too late to call the timeout imo.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

All I can say about the T-Wolves game is I hope that Jordan continues to make use out of the BIG rotation. The Daniels, Butler, Arenas, Haywood, Blatche combination clicked tonight (with the occasional fill-in by Songaila for Blatche). Obviously EJ still goes with the normal starting 5, but the BIG rotation is another tool in EJ's toolbox that I don't remember him using much last year. Good mix of offensive and defensive talent with players whose games complement each other well. I'll be curious to see how the combination stacks up against teams with a .500 record or better.

Posted by: JP2 | November 16, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Larry was great when he was here and on the court, and he and Gilbert had great synergy. That said, to sign him for the kind of money Cleveland's paying would have been a disaster, especially in light of his continuing injury problems.

Bottom line, C-But is a better player and much more durable and a phenomenal team leader. Would have been nice to have him and Larry at the same time, but the problem with Larry is that he's just out with injuries too much.

As to tonight's game, I only saw the fourth quarter but C-But and Gilbert were obviously outstanding again and BH is continuing his strong play. AB is coming to life with getting consistent PT, and that run late in the fourth quarter was real nice.

I have to commend EJ and his staff and C-But and the rest of the players for really making some positive adjustments since the opening 5 games. Nice work, guys.

Posted by: Mitch | November 16, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

My comments on the game.

The wiz played like they should for half the game, and played to the level of the comp for half the game. Gil doesn't hit those three J's back to back with 6 min left in the 4th and the wiz lose.

Pretty good rotations for EJ. No small ball in sight. But when he went deep into the bench (i.e. NY) in the second quarter they lost all their momentum.

Blatche has a ways to go, but he's showing plenty of promise. He still looks lost too much for my taste, and too many out of control plays. NY is talented but extremely raw.

Did DS sit the whole second half? It sure seemed like it...

And finally, Gil needs to work on his drive and dish. I thought I counted like three consecutive turnovers in the second half when he tried it. Its funny because a few weeks ago I recall him saying something to the effect that he could fall back to being a traditional PG (i.e. pass-first) while the traditional PGs in the league (i.e. Deron Williams, etc.) couldn't be him... On the plus side, it seems like he's looking to pass yet still getting his numbers scoring wise. Double plus, his points are down slightly but his assists are way up in these past few games. Whatever Jason Kidd put in his ear I just hope he types it up and frames it over his bed...

Shoulda been a blowout all the way, but at least they closed it out instead of allowing yet another rebuilding squad hang in there and set themselves up for a potential bad loss.

Posted by: jones-y | November 16, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Rev,

Well, we are up by 12 now with 2 minutes to go. A win is a win. But why can't we come out and dominate and coast?

Wow, I'm a little surprised by that comment. They struggled early, but turned it on hard when it counted, and ended up blowing Minny off the floor. I couldn't be more pleased.

Anyone else notice that the game turned around the instant Eddie went to tallball, with Brendan, Andray, Darius and Caron? I mean, it was like turning on a light switch. After that, the Wiz totally, completely dominated the Wolves. Destroyed them. Chewed 'em up and spit 'em out.

Two plays of the game for me: Arenas' pass to Songaila at the end of the first half. Gilberto lined up for a three, and all eyes, of course, turned to him, as they should in that situation. Gil threw a beautiful pass to Darius, who was wide open next to the basket. Very, very smart. Two great games in a row by Gil.

Second play: near the end of the game. Walker (who played, I thought, an outstanding game -- looked like his old Celtics self), guarded by Blatche. Andray overplays him to his right, which is how you play Walker. Walker spins left. Andray keeps funneling him toward the baseline -- right into Brendan. Walker's trapped. Turnover. Perfectly executed defense; funneling your man into your huge center. That's the way you draw it up, folks.

I really think defense won this game. With the big guys in, everyone seemed to get ramped up defensively. It was awesome to watch.

BTW, anyone else notice Gil's markedly improved defense this year, especially the last three games? He's all over the place.

Yeah, it was the Wolves. But it was on the road, and what was a close game, that I believe the Wiz would've lost last year, becomes a big win. Be happy, everyone.

Posted by: Keithinator | November 16, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Another nice game called by Eddie. Unlike another coach in this town, Eddie looks like he is willing to change some of his ways and go with suggestions from someone other than himself.

AJ was stinking the joint up in the 4th quarter. The old Eddie would have kept him in there instead of benching him and then looking for someone else to give the team a spark.

But guess what, Eddie took AJ out of the game near crunch time and slide in AB. Can somebody say TALL-BALL in the closing minutes of the 4th? To EJ's credit, he left that same lineup in to finish the game.

The old Eddie would have put AJ back in the game once they tied the game. This time he stuck with AB and AJ sat, as he should have. AJ did not have it tonight.

It looks like Eddie is finally starting to use his brain coaching now, and that is a good thing.

Yo Mark and Keith is Haywood making us look good or what? Again to all the Haywood naysayers, 11 rebounds and 8 points. 30 or more minutes and the man is producing. EJ could have had this going with Haywood last year (as we tried to argue to no avail), but he had an ax to grind with Haywood for some odd reason.

Anyway, good job Eddie; keep it up.....!! Thanks again for using all of your bullets in your gun..

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | November 16, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

One more thing: Why are folks all over kalorama? He doesn't need me to defend him, and I've certainly had my disagreements with him, but he brings a lot to this board. His comments are always cogent, well thought-out, and I, for one, find his presence here (I assume you're a he, kal; please correct me if I'm wrong) invaluable.

He has a lot of insight and a lot of good things to say (like many of you), and almost never gets personal. That's something to which we should all aspire (the not getting personal, I mean).


Keith

Posted by: Keithinator | November 16, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

BF#1,

AJ was stinking the joint up in the 4th quarter. The old Eddie would have kept him in there instead of benching him and then looking for someone else to give the team a spark.

Great, great point. That's exactly what would have happened.

This is the most I've liked Eddie in years. He seems to be evolving.

Randy Ayers for president!

Posted by: Keithinator | November 16, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Was just looking up some stats. The Wiz are now giving up fewer than 99 pts./game. That's directly attributable, I feel, to Brendan playing more, and the effect of tallball. If the Wiz can hover around that mark all year, they'll have a good shot at 50 wins, since the offense is starting to come around.

Posted by: Keithinator | November 16, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Keithonator,

I am of course thrilled with the win. But as I said before the game the issue with the Wizards is attitude. We came out doing everything right and then kept losing focus. Minn. would get a run and quickly catch us. then we'd make a run. We fell behind and at times you wondered if this was just another game of "playing down to the competition" like the last few years. Suddenly in the 4th quarter they got serious and absolutely blew the game open. My point is that if we are to be a deep playoff team we cannot go into a place like Minn and mess around. You go in and dominate in the first half just like we dominated the last 6 minutes. And I still stand by that.

And again...I hope the difference was the five on the floor were digging in on defense, making stops and scoring in transition. Yes the ending looked fantastic! My point is let's do that tomorrow night for 48 minutes.

Posted by: BmoreRev | November 16, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

After all the times we have watched this team piss away leads and games in the 4th quarter (like the Nets and Pacers' game this season for instance), it was very heartening to see this team put the pedal to the medal and drop the hammer on someone in 4th. It was easy street with 2:30 to go.
It's only Minnesota, but after watching this team lose so many games like this to bad teams, winning them is a good building block towards where we hope this team will be.

Posted by: George Templeton | November 16, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

""While DCMan is a little too smart alecky for my tastes, for the most part he keeps things on topic and usually doesn't get personal. I can't help but laugh at people pining away, eager to spar." by Patrick

Patrick, what the hell are you talking about? Obviously, you are a newcomer or infrequent blog reader. DCIdiot ALWAYS gets personal and nasty. Should be locked up.

Posted by: | November 16, 2007 06:13 PM "

Whatever Lisa, get a life, you wannabe anonymous freak.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 17, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, DCMan, but there was no bench backing up the big three, so if any one of them went down it had a bigger impact than it would on, say, San Antonio if Parker, Duncan, or Ginobili went down. NJ's experienced the same thing last year when Jefferson went down and is losing now without Carter.

Posted by: Prazak | November 16, 2007 05:53 PM "

Not when you get beaten by lottery bound teams that are w/o their "superstars." Dropping from #1 to #8 during the second half of the season constitutes a major implosion.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 17, 2007 1:47 AM | Report abuse

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