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Grunfeld "likely" to sign a guard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld said that following the injury to guard Antonio Daniels, who is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained right MCL, the team will likely sign a free agent guard in coming days. The team is playing Sacramento tonight with nine healthy players.

Grunfeld: "It is very likely that we will. We are going to look around and see who is available. We have some names on our short list. In all likelihood, we will bring someone in."

Options include Brian Chase, who played on the Wiz summer league team in Vegas in July and went to camp with Miami before getting waived in October (he's in the D-League), Mike Wilks, who was released by Denver on Nov. 28, former Wiz Billy Thomas, who is also in the D-League, and Donell Taylor, who is under contract with a team in Greece but I hear that he has an opt-out.

Don't count on Earl Boykins unless Boykins has backed off his demand for getting a full mid-level exception.

Now, the team is right up against the luxury tax threshold but can sign a player and still avoid paying the tax because contracts don't become guaranteed for the remainder of the season until Jan. 10. Also, teams can sign players to 10-day contracts starting Jan 5.

Grunfeld's consistent position on the tax issue is that while he would prefer to not go over, he does not have a hard and fast mandate to stay under. Basically, he'll go over if he really, really, really, really has to. But, the team could sign a guy, keep him until Antonio gets back and then waive him and thus avoid paying the tax.

Grunfeld: "We will do what we think is right for the team. At this time, we are very short at the point guard position. We feel it is in the best interest of everyone to bring someone in to help us out."

By Ivan Carter  |  December 15, 2007; 7:51 PM ET
 
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Comments

Any chance they'll sign Tamir Goodman from the Maryland Nighthawks????

Posted by: Gburg Jew | December 15, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked and disgusted at how EG has finally decided to evaluate options out there AFTER AD's injury. He should have worked out guys beforehand so that he would know who could help the team.

At least pretend to not act like a cheap organization that places money over championships.

AD, get well soon. I know this team left you out there and hastened your injury.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why the guy above is so angry at Ernie Grunfeld. Even though the team is short-handed, there really is no urgent need to hurry up and sign some player who would get would only get limited minutes anyway. That's not even to mention the fact that it looks like the Wizards are about to pull out another victory tonight.

I don't think Daniels is hurt too badly, and he shouldn't have any problem with getting back on the court in 2-3 weeks.

I don't know why you're shocked and disgusted, and even if you want to call the Wizards a cheap organization, they'll sign a player if they feel it necessary. Calm down...

Posted by: Krem | December 15, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Ivan -

Is it possible for you to get an update on Jamison? He had a cast on his left thumb for the final 5 minutes of the game.

Posted by: Wizzard | December 15, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

As a pro JCN and anti Deshawn Stevenson poster during the offseason let me say a huge mea culpa to DeShawn. These last two games he has been excellent on both ends of the floor and he seems to have found his role very nicely. So much for the contention that I and others made that said he was worthless without Gilbert. Certainly Caron's presence is a big reason, but DeShawn has stepped up. Kudos to him and the Wizards for a comfortable victory!

Posted by: George Templeton | December 15, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Caron is the undisputed hear and soul of this team. He sets the tone each and every game. Tonight, he emphasized teamwork and racked up eight assits. He'd better get an all-star nod. If the Wiz keep winning, the votes should accumulate.

Blatche is really struggling with the fouls the past few games - on both ends of the court. He's taking himself out of these games. He needs to keep his head in the game; the Wiz need him on the court.

Brendan's unstoppable and DeShawn's on fire. Go Wiz!!!

Posted by: reispace | December 15, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked and disgusted at how EG has finally decided to evaluate options out there AFTER AD's injury. He should have worked out guys beforehand so that he would know who could help the team.

At least pretend to not act like a cheap organization that places money over championships.

AD, get well soon. I know this team left you out there and hastened your injury.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 09:06 PM

---
This guy is nuts, period. He is simply angree. What an existence!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice game all around. Nice to see D-Mac get some quality minutes and contribute...

Posted by: PK1 | December 15, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked and disgusted at how EG has finally decided to evaluate options out there AFTER AD's injury. He should have worked out guys beforehand so that he would know who could help the team.

At least pretend to not act like a cheap organization that places money over championships.

AD, get well soon. I know this team left you out there and hastened your injury.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 09:06 PM
------------------------------------------

Every post nothing but negativity. The Wiz have won 4 straight, 13-5 since that bad start, and 10-5 without Gil and all u do is B**ch and moan. If you haven't noticed they just won another game you jerk.
He must work for Barnum & Bailey, because he's clearly a clown.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I only caught the first few minutes of the game, just enough to see NY get into early foul trouble. How'd he do in the rest of the game? (I already saw the box score)

Playing DS 45 minutes a night isn't going to be a viable option over the next few weeks.

Posted by: amalg | December 15, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"Every post nothing but negativity. The Wiz have won 4 straight, 13-5 since that bad start, and 10-5 without Gil and all u do is B**ch and moan. If you haven't noticed they just won another game you jerk.
He must work for Barnum & Bailey, because he's clearly a clown.

Posted by: | December 15, 2007 10:21 PM "

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

It's funny how Les BouleS poser fans here can't comment about the team, but instead, like to yap on and on about other bloggers, especially those that don't have any foresight.

Why don't you call up EG and tell him not to worry about bringing anyone onboard. Tell him that they just keep beating sub.500 teams, and they'll be fine in the long run. What a doofus. No wonder you post anonymously. I would too if I were you.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

"Every post nothing but negativity. The Wiz have won 4 straight, 13-5 since that bad start, and 10-5 without Gil and all u do is B**ch and moan. If you haven't noticed they just won another game you jerk.
He must work for Barnum & Bailey, because he's clearly a clown.

Posted by: | December 15, 2007 10:21 PM "

BTW moron, check the topic of this blog. It's about EG and what he might do with regard to bringing someone in b/c of AD's injury.

Of course, you weren't bright enough to realize this.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"Tell him that they just keep beating sub.500 teams, and they'll be fine in the long run."

Have you looked at the Eastern conference standings? If we keep beating sub .500 teams we'll be just fine until Gilbert gets back.

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

Nice win. Glad EG is considering possibility of another PG, as Nick Young showed that he is probably still a bit too raw to be counted on for significant amounts of PT just yet. Good to see that DMac got some minutes and blocked a couple of shots.

And DeShawn, you keep it up and EG will be GM of the year for getting you so cheaply.

Good that we have a few days rest to ponder the Bulls.... 45 minutes from DeShawn is a LOT and he will have to deal with Kirk Hinrich who looks possibly reborn after a hideous start.... and if a new PG is signed he will at least get two solid days of team practice.

Posted by: KHRabb | December 15, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Brian Chase has been ok in the D League, but nobody could say he's been tearing the D League up.
http://www.nba.com/dleague/losangeles/statistics/

I'd be surprised if the Wizards add such a small pg to the team unless the guy is playing great.

Donnell Taylor had his chance to prove himself at the end of last season, and didn't step up much. He also didn't step up in summer league before last season.

Billy Thomas might be a nice fit for the team. Don't know if he would be the answer to guarding the small, quick pg's. He was born in 1975. But he is leading the D League in steals, with 22 in 8 games.

Randy Livingston is another guy who has paid his dues and is playing well. He was reported to have a back injury at the start of this season in the D League, however.

Andre Barrett, unlike Brian Chase, is tearing up the D League, but Barrett can't hit the threes.

Mike Wilks is only 5-10 too. He's a better perimeter shooter than Barrett, apparently.

Will Blalock is back in the D League, as of Dec. 8.
http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3568274
He has a good assist to turnover ratio, but doesn't seem to be a scorer.

Posted by: Quizzical | December 15, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Well I made it to the game, just barely. A few observations. (1) Something is going on with AB, his game has really degressed. He is not in the flow, doesnt seem to have a clue most of his time out there and trying to dribble to much. It seemed that for every one good thing he did, he did three bad things. (2) It took Eddie too long to realize that the Sacramento center Brad Miller is really nothing but a spot up jump shooter. They were not pulling BH out to cover him on the wing and left a guard to cover him, who he just shot over. It wasnt until late in the game Eddie put AJ and DSong on him to get a hand in his face and disrupt his stroke. Thats why they were only up one early in the third. BH played well, but Sac really doesnt have a real center. BH should have had 20 boards. (3) Teams are now double teaming CB early and agressively throughout the game, but particularly at the start of the game. Sac also went after AJ early with the double team, but didnt seem as agressively. Btw, during warm ups I heard that CB hit 16 3-pointers in a row, from 3 different spots. Sac didnt give him any room on block or beyond the 3 point line tonight. (4) CB is playing incredible defense. He looks like a lock for the all NBA defensive team. (5) did you see that suit AD had on? It was B.A.D. Dont even know how to describe the color. Not too many brothers could pull that one off. In fact the reviews were mixed in my section, but I liked it.

Posted by: oddjob | December 15, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"Have you looked at the Eastern conference standings? If we keep beating sub .500 teams we'll be just fine until Gilbert gets back.

Posted by: | December 15, 2007 11:11 PM "

You are stupid.

Gilby didn't do anything for Les BouleS during last year's 1-4 west coast debacle!

Les BouleS are getting by fine just now w/o Gilby and with a cheap owner who's fielding a depleted team. Get over your notion that Gilby is going to take this team somewhere they cannot go without him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

JCN had 27 pts tonight. If they hadn't been so cheap he'd be on the team, providing needed firepower.

Posted by: Wind Rider | December 15, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

DC man, i'm all for you writing things about the team. You think they suck. Great. That is your opinion, in bits and pieces...

But unless you expect us to believe that your name is ACTUALLY DC Man88 then I would submit that you actually post anonymously too.

Sure you use a 'handle' but it is as much your name as a blank space... actually DC man 88 kinda sound like a pho restaurant.

I know that isn't the topic at hand, but neither is calling anyone a moron... or a tool.

Anyway, it is ok, cause most of us know you are actually Gilbert's mom.

Posted by: g | December 15, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"DC man, i'm all for you writing things about the team. You think they suck. Great. That is your opinion, in bits and pieces...

But unless you expect us to believe that your name is ACTUALLY DC Man88 then I would submit that you actually post anonymously too.

Sure you use a 'handle' but it is as much your name as a blank space... actually DC man 88 kinda sound like a pho restaurant.

I know that isn't the topic at hand, but neither is calling anyone a moron... or a tool.

Anyway, it is ok, cause most of us know you are actually Gilbert's mom.

Posted by: g | December 15, 2007 11:27 PM "

Actually, your second sentence proves your talking out of your @ss. I said this is a team that's playing well w/o Gilby. Therefore, you know nothing.

Also, how can I be Gilby's mom when don't smoke crack? She probably can't even spell "computer," let alone log onto the internet.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

ooh you sooo got me with that...
way to go Columbo.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: g | December 15, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

SWADAGGGGGERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't feed the troll...

Trolls crave attention to temporarily distract themselves from their miserable lives. Pay no attention and the troll will go elsewhere.

Simple concept people - guarantee it will work, just give it a try (and yes it will be comical to see how far the envelope gets pushed trying to strike a nerve whilst being ignored).

Just sit back and laugh to yourself, don't give the troll any satisfaction with a response.

Posted by: Chode | December 15, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Chode the troll.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's "well-settled" that Abe Pollin's seen enough to know that money doesn't solve every issue, and certainly not many fan issues. Remember the Juwan Howard debacle? Remember the -- dare I say it? -- Michael Jordan fiasco?

Posted by: DocRH | December 15, 2007 05:09 PM

You must be a Pollin relative or a revisor of history. Abe's cheapness is what caused the "Juwan Howard debacle." Had Abe agreed to 6 yrs and 24 mil when the dude got drafted Howard wouldn't have become a free agent after two seasons and been a offered a $100 mil deal from the Heat that the Bullets, after getting a "do over" from the league, had to equal to end the PR nightmare Abe's initial cheapness (both post draft and post free agency) caused.

Posted by: LH | December 16, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow....love this team. Guts baby!

I love how the bench is almost forced to contribute and play and they are stepping up. Maybe that's why I like the situation, but we would never know bc EJ would still be playing his "core" guys 40+ a night most likely. Phil Jackson challenges his bench and plays them bc he knows it's a long season.

One nit pick tonight...why the hell were AJ and CB in the game past the 4 minute mark when the game was OVER. They played three more unneccessary minutes. Had they gotten hurt I would have flipped. Plus, EJ should be resting these guys as much as possible.

One other nit pick...could already see the perimeter defense is worse without Daniels. First half Udrih and others were just driving at will. Ugh!!!

Blatche has had a couple of down games (as pointed out by someone here), but he is hustling and I did not see him looking lost. He is just young and will be inconsistent. NY is a bigger concern for me. He does look lost again after a nice stretch. He needs to stop the lazy fall away jumpers. He had started setting up his man for a well balanced shot, but stopped doing that the last few games.

This a first. I think DC made some points tonight and was on topic until you guys attacked him. I've had my issues before with him as well, but he is not always off target. This organization has been cheap leaving the roster so thin. Why? To save 3/4 million dollars. I don't think Abe is going on food stamps anytime soon!!! It's not an EG decision though. I guarantee that!!!

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I got a quick I told you so for DC and other posters in here. And stay on topic without personal attacks DC, Stevenson and Mason have been great thus far this season.

I am record preseason requesting bringing back both Mason bc I think he is a nice player for the money and Stevenson although maybe slightly overpaid is a nice addition too! They both are playing NICE D too. Mason, I am beginning to think is a better perimeter defender than DS. Watch him and he STICKS to his man all game.

Last comment: What the hell got into Haywood at the foul line? That new shooting coach has already justified whatever he is getting paid. I hope we keep this guy around!

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Although JCN (the neverending saga) may have scored a lot of points tonight, he only scored 8 in his previous game.

Rob P, DCTroll is just an angry unhappy child - who does not even like this team so please do not give him/her any credit. He wants something to complain about.

I totally agree with Chode. Everyone needs to IGNORE him/her because he/she desperately craves attention plain and simple. But EVERYONE has to do it.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Waiving the temporary pg is the way to go then. We should only need someone for 4-6 weeks any way, barring other injuries. Plenty of good options to choose from and we will definitely have nights where ballhandling help is needed, so let's get it done! Looking ahead at match-ups, I wonder who makes the most sense...Wilks and Chase are smallish pgs, which gives us a little more speed, but can they guard anyone?

As for Blatche, I think he is learning to play through pain. A sore foot means difficulty pushing off and tentative footwork. Gotta be excited about his better nights, tho'...

Keep the faith! (or reinvest in some)

Posted by: Pauly B. | December 16, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

How many of you have counted more than four troll aliases?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Rob P, DCTroll is just an angry unhappy child - who does not even like this team so please do not give him/her any credit. He wants something to complain about. - anon

I don't disagree. I've had issues with him too! Especially the personal attacks be it to people in here or the team. But, to be fair, his reputation preceeds him like Rasheed getting quick technicals. He made an on topic point negative or not and people lashed out at him. That's all.

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Gerald Fitch

Posted by: Darnell | December 16, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Hell, I can be negative too at times bc I've watched crap basketball from the Bullets/Wizards my whole life and I know basketball pretty well.

His GA attacks do go to far, but I have the same general overall opinion of his game. Great player. Great personality. We are more talented with him for sure. But, to quote Bill Walton, "Gilbert needs to be more serious about basketball and not the show." That's from a Hall of Famer with a universal opinion that he was one of the smartest players ever. I am invested for a championship not just to make the playoffs every year and get knocked out the first round. Ironically, the style of ball the Wizards are playing now is better suited to winning in the playoffs. Gilbert has some more growing to do. That's all. I'll add a quote from last year when he was HIBATCHI from Barkley - "Gilbert is a great player, but he is not good at making others great."
It's most evident on the defensive end as well. This year the Wiz are probably a better than average defensive team. Having to sub par defenders in GA and AJ on the floor at the same time was like watching swiss cheese. Plus, the offensive mentality with GA is too loose. The jacked up shots lead to poor defense as well. The offense looks well coached all of a sudden!
That's partly EJ's fault as well.

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Gotta say love the way the team is playing. Stevenson has played really well, hope he keeps it up. He has surprised me and Mason also has impressed. Suddenly I feel alot more hopeful about the 2 spot with the way these two are playing, and Young has surprised me and looks to be alot better sooner than I thought. His shot is sooo smooth! Love to see McGuire get some run, he is showing some nice flashes in his limited spots.

As the saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If the team can make it through these injuries, we can be stronger for it come playoff time. With the way Jamison and Caron have stepped up, guys like Young, DMac,Blatche, Mason, and hopefully soon Pecherov getting playing time and confidence. Guys like Stevenson, Daniels, Songaila carving out their roles. If we get back Arenas and maybe even Etan to add to the mix we can be really good and really tough to beat.

Posted by: Darnell | December 16, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

The luxury tax is a reality but I'm getting tired of hearing about it whenever the Wizards start considering signing someone. THEY HAVE NINE HEALTHY BODIES. That's not enough for 5 on 5 in practice. Abe Pollin needs to do the right thing and authorize Ernie to do what is best for the team. It's one thing to go over the cap for an end of the bench guy who will likely never play. It's another to go over the cap out of necessity in the course of logical and rational business sense.

Stop talking about the salary cap. In this particular case, going over is a cost of doing business. Kind of like charter flights, uniforms, having an athletic trainer, turning the heat on in the lockerroom...

Its an interesting aside, a quirky situation, but it should not guide team personnel decisions in this case.

Posted by: Wei | December 16, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Agreed Rob P. I love the way this team is playing. Good hustle. Not too many mental errors. Everyone contributes -- everyone. Not a single wasted spot on the roster. Credit to the GM, coach, and the players.

As far as a reality check goes, the Wizards have been very fortunate with the way the schedule has played out the past three weeks -- especially in light of the injuries -- but they are still executing and performing the way I would expect a playoff caliber team to play. Fun to watch most nights.

As far as Blatche goes, I'm willing to cut him a bit of slack with the foot injury. If it's bad enough I would expect it to impact his play during the games. A lot of room for improvement still, but the upside is definitely there.

Mason too is making a serious case for that new contract. I am really impressed with his positioning, his ability to make good reads on the offensive end, as well the ability to sink shots from the perimeter. His basketball IQ is definitely on the high end. I can see exactly why the Spurs made a push for him in this past off-season -- hopefully the Wizards are able to secure him to a long-term deal.

Posted by: JP2 | December 16, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

I like to wink and smile at Gilby at the games. Do you think Gilby notices me when I sashay around?

Sashay!

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 2:12 AM | Report abuse

"You will forget about Navarro just like everyone eventually got over Kwame Brown and Patrick Ramsey.

Posted by: Wei | December 15, 2007 07:53 PM "

That's true for any player on this roster.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 15, 2007 11:09 PM

anything to make you sound a little smarter huh? too bad, you're just showing everyone how desperate you are to post idiotic stuff. so everyone will forget Gil and Caron really soon too huh? DCMoron, you really can't that stupid, can you?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 2:18 AM | Report abuse

"Pecherov won't be cleared to practice for another two to three weeks,..." really?

Posted by: BD | December 16, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Rob P, Mason is a pretty good defender but DS is still the better defender with his positioning. Mason is not quite as good moving laterally as DS, so if you watch him closely he'll use a good bit of body contact trying to stay in front of a player. If the player he is guarding isn't all that speedy, that type of defense is quite effective. But with guys that are a little faster, you'll see Mason get called for fouls a good bit.

DS moves his feet pretty well laterally so he stays in front of his man better and really just tries to make the offensive player make a great move/play to score when he's on them. He doesn't body them up that much nor does he try to block the shot but he generally will stay in front of that player and make them take a tough shot. That's the reason why you don't see him fouling that many players out when you consider that he probably guards the hardest position in the NBA.

All in all, both DS and Mason do a pretty good job playing some team defense with Mason the better outside shooter and DS the better slasher challenging the paint.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

First, I'm not saying that this organization and Abe can't be cheap at times.

Second, I'd say that there is no question that the Wizards need to get another body in -- and I really don't have a problem with the Wiz trying their best to stay under the cap to do so.

I'm not sure what "beforehand" was referencing, but I'm pretty sure that Ernie Grunfeld does not have an NBA injury crystal ball.

And on the other hand...he's an NBA GM, so I'm also preeetty sure that he's constantly evaluating players and has a contingency list/plan.

Sure AD's minutes have increased from about 20 minutes a game to 36 since Gil went out. But it's a little bit Drama Queen-ish to say that the team "hastened" Daniels to injury because of that.

What other choice did they have?

If you're going to make a ridiculous statement like that, then you might as well say that the way AD goes to the basket with reckless abandon at times would actually be him constantly hastening himself to injury.

Posted by: Truth About It | December 16, 2007 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Solid win! Of recent, they are just mentally stronger than their opponents. They are playing through rough stretches and making "winning plays", so no real criticism here given the current circumstances of the roster. I'm fine with EG signing a short term guy til AD gets back.

Right now they are the most resourceful team in the NBA. We can nitpick about various things (some of which are justifiable) but you win first and get really good later. Winning begets winning.

Posted by: Janitor | December 16, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Amen Janitor, the Wiz played well last night. Watched the game from beginning to end. Everyone thought they would lose last night but the Wiz keep finding ways to win. Go Wiz! Hope we can keep this thing going!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

While it is odd that the 'Zards have been slow to add players to their active roster, the bottom line is they are winning. If you're winning nothing else matters. Grunfeld's done a good job putting this team together, and Wizards fans should have confidence in him finding another point guard.

The reason this team is winning despite the injuries is partly due to EJ's coaching but mainly to the fact that Grunfeld has assembled a roster of quality, veteran, great make up players - Jamison is a classy pro, Caron is Run-DMC tough, Haywood is a smart Carolina-bred baller, Stevenson has kept his confidence throughout, and Daniels is a smart classy Jamison type. Give Grunfeld some credit here and confidence.

Posted by: Buck Worthy | December 16, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Another nice game from Beast-Hay. Last night his +/- was a +19. He's showing a nice little arsenal of inside moves and hook shots.

As others have said, it was good to see DMac get some PT. 2 blocks and 3 rebounds in limited minutes is pretty good. I like his quickness around the boards. Between him and AJ they can clean up the boards pretty good.

Interesting comments from DS in Ivan's piece in today's paper. Some of the posters here might get a little better understanding of the team if they read what DS said.

I really hope that AD doesn't try to come back too soon from this knee injury. Get a second opinion, dude!

Posted by: Mitch | December 16, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

How about Aron Miles it seems that everyone has forgotten about his play at the summer league. He could definently come in and give some stellar minutes

Posted by: Jay Mot | December 16, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Jay Mot

It is not that folks (or more importantly EG) have forgotten about Miles. The problem is that he is locked into a contract in the Euro League. He opted for Europe over the Wiz (and NBA) because he was offered a guaranteed deal, which the Wiz didn't put on the table at the time...

Posted by: PK1 | December 16, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

From what I remember of Miles, he would have been a good backup PG for the Wiz.

I think EG knew he was going to be right up against the LT this year and did not want to offer him a guaranteed deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

This team has an overabundance of shooting guards. EG should look into trading one of them.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

According to the WaTimes this morning the Wiz are looking at 4 or 5 players:

"The group includes Mike Wilks, recently released by the Denver Nuggets, and Eddie Gill, recently released by the New Jersey Nets. The others are Brian Chase, Keith McLeod and veteran Randy Livingston."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"I really hope that AD doesn't try to come back too soon from this knee injury. Get a second opinion, dude!

Posted by: Mitch | December 16, 2007 09:13 AM "

Amen to that.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"While it is odd that the 'Zards have been slow to add players to their active roster, the bottom line is they are winning. If you're winning nothing else matters. Grunfeld's done a good job putting this team together, and Wizards fans should have confidence in him finding another point guard.

Posted by: Buck Worthy | December 16, 2007 08:46 AM "

Winning is important, but also preparing your team for the future. As the cliche goes, "failing to prepare, is preparing to fail."

Les BouleS are fortunate that they have players like CBut who can step up and be the man. That's why he's the MVP of this team. Les BouleS would collapse without him.

Given all that EG needs to look into his crystal ball and start considering backup help. He should have done this a long time ago.

This is too early in the season for guys to start breaking down. Otherwise, it'll be another deja vu all over again compared to last season. Start off good, and then fade at the end.

I don't want to have to issue a "I told you so" once again and this time it will be b/c CBut is hurt. CBut can't get hurt.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm shocked and disgusted at how EG has finally decided to evaluate options out there AFTER AD's injury. He should have worked out guys beforehand so that he would know who could help the team.

At least pretend to not act like a cheap organization that places money over championships.

all the blame has to go to abe pollin b/c he made out of the decision.

Posted by: nv | December 16, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"failing to prepare, is preparing to fail."

Posted by: The Sphinx | December 16, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Pull my finger"

Posted by: The Spleen | December 16, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Why are we so contemptuous of this team that we cannot properly call them Washington Wizards, or any permutation or nickname thereof, and why do we insist on using a barb thrown at them by a columnist trying to be superciliously funny but not succeeding?

Posted by: rgz | December 16, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

More on Randy Livingston -- he was on the 1st team D League all star team, and was the D League MVP for 2006-07

http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/livingston_070412.html

Posted by: Quizzical | December 16, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Why are we so contemptuous of this team that we cannot properly call them Washington Wizards, or any permutation or nickname thereof, and why do we insist on using a barb thrown at them by a columnist trying to be superciliously funny but not succeeding?

Posted by: rgz | December 16, 2007 11:06 AM "

Because this organization does things half assed. Not only do the coaches feel this, but the players also:

-------------------------------------------

On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

"I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't fault EG that much to wait till AFTER AD's injury to consider add a PG (giving the luxury tax situation), because the team has been playing well, and Stevenson and Mason have started to be better at being part-time PGs. But I hope the team does not wait till Jan 10 to add another player. There are 10 games to be played between now and Jan 10!

Sure, the team won yesterday. But that's against the lowly Sacramento who also missing their starting PG. Besides, Sacramento didn't press the ball handler at all yesterday. The next 10 opponents may not be so kind.

BTW, did you guys see AD on the sideline giving tips to both Stevenson and Mason? A nice scene, this will benefit both players especially Mason. Mason's niche in this league will be a combo guard, a guy who can backup both guard positions well.

Posted by: Sagaliba | December 16, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"This team has an overabundance of shooting guards. EG should look into trading one of them."

This blog has an overabundance of posts from one particular idiot. The WA Post should look into trading him/her...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or do the Wizards seem to be a drastically improved defensive team?

They are allowing an average of 99.2 points per game...and getting better. (94.4 in the last 10-games, - 8th best in the NBA over that span - and that's INCLUDING>/b> the 122 points to the Suns !!)

I know that some of it is the fact that they are playing teams with poor records.
But still, I've noticed much better defense: including limiting guard penetration (except Nash of course),
quicker close out on 3-point shooters, and better pick-and-roll defense.

Obviously a case could be made that it is only because of the teams they are playing - see what the good teams have done against them (Suns = 122 points, Boston = 103 points, Denver = 118 points, San Antinio = 109 points)

But, I think it's more than that... The consensus on this blog has always been that if the Wizards could become even mediocre defensively, they could make some serious noise. It seems that they have done better than that.

I'd like to get other opinions - is it just the competition? Or have the Wizards really imporved defensively?
Why? (Ayers?, Different schemes?, Player buy in?, Butler's influence?)....

Posted by: Rook | December 16, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

if gil doesn't like our digs now he should of seen the days of the cap center and practicing at Bowie state

Posted by: reston bullets fan | December 16, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If I had a penny for every time DCTroll has posted that same tired quote (from last February no less!) I would be RICH!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think one reason that the Wiz are still finding success amidst the injuries this year is that they are improved on defense. (Anohter is that they have more depth.)

This is speculation on my part, but I think ultimately the prodding for a more consistent focus on defense is coming from EG. EG was behind the hiring Ayers and they are doing more than pay lip service to defense this year.

Posted by: Tim | December 16, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"If I had a penny for every time DCTroll has posted that same tired quote (from last February no less!) I would be RICH!

Posted by: | December 16, 2007 01:36 PM "

-----------------------------------------------

On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

"I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

How much do we really know about Wiz mgt's internal machinations? EG was behind hiring Thibedoue (sp?), but I was under the impression that Ayers is EJ's guy (good pick up, Eddie!). Did EG 'prompt' EJ to hire a defense-minded coach, or was it under mutual agreement? Are the one-year contracts for the other assistant coaches really a 'win now or else' statement from EG to EJ, or could there be another explanation?

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and did EG dump Ruffin, Hayes, and Booth in order to limit EJ's smallball options, or did EJ plead with EG to upgrade his bench?

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and did EG dump Ruffin, Hayes, and Booth in order to limit EJ's smallball options, or did EJ plead with EG to upgrade his bench?

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 02:33 PM

I don't think it was either... I think that after paying for their own Free Agents (Stevenson and Blatch), and signing the rookies (Young, Pecherov, and McGuire), the Wiz only had limited funds to sign additional players (ie: Roger Mason).. I'll bet if they had the money, EG would have resigned both Booth and Ruffin.


Let's face it reispace - Young dropped into Grunfeld's lap on draft day - and he also lucked into McGuire, who should have been a first round pick.

Last year's bench proved it could not get it done over 82 games.

This year's bench has proved it CAN - but only over 23 games... I also believe this year's bench is more talented, and has a higher up-side than last year's bench. - but they have to prove they can do it for 82.

Posted by: Rook | December 16, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

We really don't know that much about the Wiz's internal management, so it is hard to be sure.

It is just that Thibodeau was going to be hired for two years as a defensive coach and the rest of EJ's assistants only got one year contracts. I am not sure what arrangement Ayers has.

The two areas I would most fault EJ in the past are a lack of focus on defense and his handling of BH. Both of those areas seem vastly improved this year.

I know others on this board see it differently and perhaps I should not post this with so little to go on, by my guess is that EG has influenced EJ to improve in these areas.

Posted by: Tim | December 16, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Just ignore DC Moron (aka Clewiston). He's just angry his beloved heat were embarrassed at home by the Wiz this past week.

Posted by: Wizzz | December 16, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

When I say EG influenced EJ, I mean that he told EJ (or at least they came to an agreement) that these are some things we are going to do this year to improve the team.

Posted by: Tim | December 16, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

So are all ready to dump AD because we won w/o him last night running the point? jk... just some sarcasm. Lets try to be positive. The Wiz are playing great team ball, thats a given. We have played some dog teams but thats not our fault. We will continue to play some bad teams in the near future, so as EJ once said "You have to harvest your nuts". Its time to harvest some nuts.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"This team has an overabundance of shooting guards. EG should look into trading one of them."

This blog has an overabundance of posts from one particular idiot. The WA Post should look into trading him/her...

Posted by: | December 16, 2007 12:48 PM

That particular idiot + cash considerations to Boston for a bag of poop.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

So could the Wizards use Jarvis right now? Did Ernie screwup by not keeping Jarvis? Perhaps not, Jarvis' stat line looks almost identical with Detroit as it did last year with the Wiz...

Posted by: oddjob | December 16, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

rook and tim: my opinion: Wizards have improved defensively. Just the presence of Haywood and Blatche in the middle has improved the defense. Defensive schemes/methods have improved also with Ayers coaching, and with increased athleticism and fitness from all the players. Even Songaila has recovered some jumping ability. And the guards stick like glue to their men. Butler, Songaila and Jamison are not as fast, but still effective. Did you see that picture in today's WashPost? Awesome picture of Songaila, McGuire and Blatche blocking one guy's shot.

Posted by: rgz | December 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"If I had a penny for every time DCTroll has posted that same tired quote (from last February no less!) I would be RICH!

Posted by: | December 16, 2007 01:36 PM "

-----------------------------------------------

On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

"I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 02:26 PM

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Rook, there is no doubt the defense has improved. There is a lot made of who we've played thus far this year, but you can only play the team on your schedule that day. Should we play bad defense against those teams and lose instead? You know what I mean!

IMHO, the defense is better for a few reasons.

ONE - I think perhaps Ayers has gotten through to this bunch better than most. Ivan has mentioned how much of a voice Ayers has during the game. Sounds good to me!

TWO - I think Arenas getting hurt has changed the mentality of this team. The run and shoot offensive mentality leads to a lackadaisical defensive effort bc why play D when you can just outscore your opponents. Plus, we are "jacking" up FAR fewer shots, which most often leads to long rebounds and breakouts for the other team for easy scores.

THREE - Arenas was one of our worst defenders and he was replaced by a much better perimeter defender in AD. The defensive stat you mentioned of the last 10 games I believe backs up my assertions that Arenas was a defensive liability in more ways than one as he has not played the last 10. There is far less penetration with AD in the game bc he plays much better positional defense than Arenas. Already last night Benah Udrih and others were penetrating much more at will than they would have with AD in the game. I believe that's why the offensively challenged Kings hung in there with us during the first half. Get better soon AD!

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Rob P
You took the words out of my mouth. And I would add that the new center combo of Haywood and Blatche controls the middle better than the old Haywood and Thomas combo. And because of that we see no less smallball than last year. Ruffin is gone and Songalia plays the 5 a lot less.

The big picture is a that this team now has a totally different attitude. Many of us have longed to see this. They come to play together, they help one another, they take weak teams seriously, no longer thinking that the most talented team will always win. If this attitude continues the sky is the limit. We should attribute this change to Jordan, Caron, Antoine and Daniels.

What excites me is that I think both the players and EJ are convinced that defense is more important than last year. Last year EJ talked about D but seldom made moves with defensive mindset. This seems less true now. It may be that he doesn't have Gil as his closer so he is more cautious. Whatever it is I just hope he keeps it up and that Gilbert just gets in line with the program when he returns.

With a healthy Arenas this team can go deep now because they have learned to bring it on the D. As has been stated for several days without Arenas all we are is a nice story and a first round out.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

oops...
that was my post. sorry.

Posted by: BmoreRev | December 16, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I think the wiz defense is improved because of better play in the middle by Haywood and Blatche, and the absense of one defensive liability ( Gil ) being replaced by a good defensive guy. Let's face it, with both Gil and Antawn on the floor, it was impossible to play decent defense. Now usually Antawn is the only weakspot on defense. BTH is really taking care of the middle. Ayers probably has thrown in a few wrinkles, too. But from what I can see, the guys on the floor are getting it done. They are scrappy, and play like they know they have to put in more effort.

Its funny, during the 5 game losing streak in the beginning, lots of posters here ripped EJ for the lack of defense being played. Now you want to give credit to EG because they are playing better. And the cow flew over the moon.

As for EG making it happen, be f*cking real. If I listen to what most of you say, he and EJ hardly speak ( which of course is ridiculous ... you act like he can't wait to fire EJ, so he can get his own guy in. I love the way you guys fantasize ). We don't freaking know. All we know is what is reported, and half the time that's just speculation. Its been reported the Tigleaubou (spelling) was EGs guy, and Ayers is EJs.

Whatever, EJ is with these guys all the time. EG (if he is doing his job) is looking for additional bodies ( that will fit under the cap, of course).

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | December 16, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

In addition to distributing the ball more and generally staying within EJ's offensive schemes (which work), Gil will have to committ to defense. As a previous poster noted, Gil's notion of defense is defense = steals. Maybe he picked that up from Hughes. Caron was into that as well last year. One of my favorite plays from last night was Sacramento's turnover because the Wiz defense forced them into a 24-sec violation. That's defense. So is forced shots to avoid 24-sec violations.

Having said all that, I don't want Gil to turn into a Duncan-like robot. I like some flash. I like to be entertained. Gotta balance the discipline with a some thrills and even a little drama. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

One more.

FOUR - Haywood is playing better than he ever has. Also, he also has to deal with less penetration and can concentrate on his man and occasional weak side D. Blatche has improved defensively as well.

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Having said all that, I don't want Gil to turn into a Duncan-like robot. I like some flash. I like to be entertained. Gotta balance the discipline with a some thrills and even a little drama. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 05:34 PM

No, no, no,! You aren't entertained by the Spurs? They developed everything you need to be a winning team and have sustained it for a decade. Are you kidding? Give me no drama and multiple rings any day!!!

Posted by: BmoreRev | December 16, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

2cents4wiz,

I agree with you as my 4th point states. I thought I posted it earlier, but did not. Anyway, you did not mention that part of the reason the middle is better off is bc of a lot less penetration. Before Arenas' guy would get by him for the 15th time of the game, Haywood would step over to protect the rim, and Haywood's man would get a quick dish and dunk. It would happen time and again! Very frustrating to watch especially when it was happening against less than stellar players. Now, if Nash and gang come in and get on a roll offensively, I can handle that a little better. Most teams have their hands full with them. Just not a Benah Udrih to Kenny Thomas or whomeever. That's a little ridiculous!!!

I will give some props to Jamison as well. I have ripped him many times on his defensive skills while admitting he is too small for the bigger guys he plays and to slow for the smaller guys, but he is trying harder and playing the best defense I've ever seen him play - EVER! He is almost an average defender these days instead of being one of the worst defensive forwards in the game. His offensive rebounding has always been good, but I'll submit his hustle and almost menace on the defensive boards is what has impressed me most.

Posted by: Rob P | December 16, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Having said all that, I don't want Gil to turn into a Duncan-like robot. I like some flash. I like to be entertained. Gotta balance the discipline with a some thrills and even a little drama. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 05:34 PM

No, no, no,! You aren't entertained by the Spurs? They developed everything you need to be a winning team and have sustained it for a decade. Are you kidding? Give me no drama and multiple rings any day!!!


Posted by: BmoreRev | December 16, 2007 05:59 PM

Thrills, Chills AND Rings. Yeah, I enjoy the Spurs and I respect and admire Duncan, don't get me wrong. But I prefer Shaq/Kobe/Phil, Showtime, Jordan/Pippen/Rodman, and, of course, Dr. J/Moses. Championships spiced up with entertainment value. I hope to add Caron/Jamison/Gil to that list soon...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Previous post mine.

Posted by: reispace | December 16, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Pradamaster | December 16, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Rob P - I had a lot of issues with Brendan in the past, but one thing that you state is so true and was so obvious, even to Brendan's distractors, was his help defense when it came to Gilbert. Gil's man gets by (always, or either he was never covered), Brendan jumps over to help, and the pass is made to Brendan's man for an easy layup and/or dunk, and it looks like Brendan was out of place ... almost always it was Gil's fault.

Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for Gil to return, but he has to step up and be accountable for defense.

And ... kudos to Brendan.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | December 16, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

wilks isn't a bad stopgap for 10-12mpg. he won't kill you if he protects the ball. a bit smallish, but you can't ask for much when you're getting guys off the street.

Posted by: averagebro.com | December 16, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"There is a lot made of who we've played thus far this year..."

Of course there's a lot made of it, because the quality of the competition is a significant factor in measuring the quality of performance and results. It's a lot easier to play good defense against the likes of the Timberwolves or Kings (without their leading scorer) than it is to play good defense against the Spurs or Suns. We can't just pretend that that doesn't play a major part in the Wizards' results and record so far.

Posted by: kalorama | December 17, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

"I'll bet if they had the money, EG would have resigned both Booth and Ruffin."

I doubt that, Rook. The older veterans were a bit of a safety net for Jordan. I think, to some extent, getting rid of those guys (esp. Ruffin) was part of Grunfeld's plan to put more pressure on Jordan to use the young guys off the bench more.

Posted by: kalorama | December 17, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

To rephrase Billy Dee Williams in "Brian's Song"...Ladies and gentlemen, I luv DC Man88, and tonight, I want you to luv him too!

Posted by: Gilby | December 17, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

EG said it was his intention to resign Booth, he just signed with Philly instead.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | December 17, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Gotta echo a lot of other comments re: the defense. I don't believe that simply the absence of Gil made us that much better defensively, though. Anyone who watched the Olympic trials last year when Gil played knows that he can and will play good defense. The biggest difference with us this year is that EJ trusts BTH and Blatche to defend the middle lately and isn't leaving perimeter guys wide open as much as we used to. The one thing that all good defensive teams have in common is a big man or two in the middle who can block or alter or deter inside shots. We've had such guys and now we're starting to use them.
Lastly, there sure does seem to be a lot of Gil bashing in here regarding his defense or the fact that he shot a lot. Apparently people have forgotten those games where he was the only one who could score and when he was off, we scored 85 points. There's a reason EJ gave him a green light. Without his points, we were poor on offense. Caron wasn't good enough on offense to be the lead guy before this year. Now he is. If GA had taken the other tact and used his energy to lock down on defense, I'm sure we would have been in more low scoring games but we may not have won. EJ chose to exploit his offensive ability instead. If GA was not doing something he was told to do, EJ would have benched him. Haters need to realize that Gil shot because he was coached to and because we needed him to. While we're winning now (with a slightly different formula) why look back and bash GA for excelling on offense? Where were the haters when he was leading us to the playoffs for the first time in years?
Look back. It wasn't PG's that were killing us every game. It was perimeter shooters who were left open game after game or taller interior players who were taking advantage of Ruffin, AJ, or Etan's lack of height. GA is still the best player on this team even with CB and AJ playing their hearts out. I'm sure we'll all see that when he gets back. One final thought:
AJ really is hitting the baords hard these days. His rebounding is another big reason we're better defensively. We're limiting scoring opportunities for the other teams. I've never seen him attack the defensive boards like this before and it's REALLY impressive.

Posted by: mark | December 17, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting like you, GM..... 500 words posts. ;)

Posted by: mark | December 17, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Great post Mark. I agree with you about Gilbert and the offensive scheme. Also, you are right on point about AJ's defensive rebounding. Last season we must have lost 4-5 games due to failure to secure defensive rebounds in the final two minutes of the game, therefore giving the other team 2nd chance points. Part of it was due to Eddie's tendency to go with small ball in the 4th quarter. This season, AJ and BTH are doing a great job controlling the boards in the 4th quarter. It helps the perimeter defensive players a lot to know that when they get a stop, the big guys won't let the other team have a 2nd chance.

Posted by: PK1 | December 17, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Ivan - no comment on the Wash Times' Wilks scoop? Come on dude, I hate having to read that right-wing Moonie pulp.

Posted by: reispace | December 17, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

First - nice to know many folks know how to spend the team's money.

Second - Team has best chemistry I have seen for decades.

Third - most improved player in NBA is Brendan Haywood - potential All-Star invitee

Fourth - Ivan, how many players can the team have on 10 day rotations?

Fifth - Last year we didn't consistently beat the sub(+/-) .500 teams.

Sixth - Beating Miami is not about beating a sub .500 team. Beating Miami is a pyschological win.

Seventh - It is a long season. Sign the 10 day guy, make sure AD takes his time getting back, make sure GA takes his time, and finally, when up by twenty, give more rest to CB, AJ, & BH.

Eight - Best bench contribution for a decade.

Nine - Ivan, you need to share your popcorn with the table :>)

Posted by: Gareth | December 17, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Mark, rather read a 500 word post that makes some sense then 5, 100 word posts that are full of garbage.

Glad to know I'm not the only one that noticed that "the boys are back in town" and we're getting a batch of posters from the same computor. Wait to they start to fight with each other. It's a hoot...

Lot of good things to say by B-Rev, reispace,Rob P, and others about defense. Something to add to that conversation: One of the dirty little secrets about the Wizards of the last few years, for a team that had a rep as an offensive team the had very few offensive players.

Haywood has worked on offense until he actually has a few offensive moves now and is very active on the offensive glass. But what did we get from our centers offensively before this year?

Jeffries started at the two, or before that at the three and couldn't make an open layup. Jarvis Hayes, Ruffin, the list goes on and on. A whole batch of guys that couldn't throw a basketball in an ocean from the end of a long pier.

Sure Arenas took alot of shots, so did Jamison and Hughes and Butler, because if the Wiz didn't get 70+ points from their big three they weren't winning.

Teams also figured out that last year Butler had limited range and seldom if ever caught and shot the ball. Clogging the lane took away Butler's offensive game and limited Gil's drives at the same time.

Offensively the Wiz are getting better ball movement and spreading the floor for the backdoor cuts. But the Wiz are actually putting 5 guys out there that can hit a shot and make a basketball move.
When Gil was on the floor at crunch time with the likes of Ruffin, Jeffries, or Arvis, who do you want shooting the ball?

Not many guys that have to score that much and handle the ball that have alot left in the tank on D. As good as Jordan was, the man took long stretches where he coasted on D. He just always knew when and how to turn up the defensive pressure to start a run. Something I've noticed Caron doing alot lately.

In many ways Gil reminds me of the Pearl, when Monroe was with Baltimore people said almost the same things about him that are being said now. He went to NY and became known as a great offensive team player and was part of great defensive teams.

This team is a much different Wizards team than last year. Gil's smart enough and astute enough to see what this team needs from him and adapt his game. thebigc_1982 posted his stats in the first two games of the winning streak earlier this weekend.

If this team can get everybody healthy by playoff time and firing on all cylinders this could be the best team yet that Grunfeld's assembled.

Posted by: GM | December 17, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Drexler | December 17, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad that there are some reasonable people in here that arent ready to trade GA. GA is the best player on this team, although CB is getting better every year.

Princeton Offense doesnt need a true PG to run it. Watch, for those people who want AD to run the show when GA comes back, we had 19 AST on 41 FGM against the Heat with AD and had 20 AST on 36 FGM without AD against the Kings. All you need is movement and good passing. Last years team wasnt nearly as athletic as this years team making the Princeton O harder execute when Ruffin or Booth and Etan on the floor. They arent good passers. And I love AD, but he is better off of the bench.

Haywood is playing out of his mind, no one, I repeat no one thought he'd be this good.

Blatche is a year older and sometimes thats all it takes to switch that mental trigger.

1 more year of the core group staying together. Continuity has a lot to do with this team playing better.

Hiring Randy Ayers.

Songalia starting the season healthy, although he isnt the most gifted athletic guy, he is smart and can pass.

The emergence of Roger Mason.

This team will be better when GA comes back. We are playing some bad teams, but we cant help that. Harvest your nuts and wait for late Feb for the return of GA. We could be battling with the one of the top 3 spots in the East.

Posted by: JSchon | December 17, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Jschon,
Actually I thought he'd be this good. I think that on a team that features the center, he'd be an All Star lock. If he played 40 minutes a game, he'd probably make it this year based on numbers. Dale Davis made the team in '99 averaging 10 and 10. mark eaton made it in '88 averaging 6 and 10 (course he had a lot of blocks, too). Magloire made it in '04 with 12 and 9. We need to start a campaign to get BTH to the All Star game. Behind Dwight Howard, he might be the most imposing big man in the East. I'm not counting perimeter big men like Rasheed or Bosh or Oneal, either. Am I missing someone? In my opinion, BTH is better than Okafor because of durability.

Posted by: mark | December 17, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Do NBA teams take out insurance policies against injured players (a la the Orioles and Albert Belle)? Wouldn't that help with Etan's salary this year (and balance out the cost of popping thru the salary cap)?

Posted by: jdc | December 17, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I will echo and agree with a lot of the salient points said here and add that DeShawn Stevenson has proved me wrong. While he has been a bit inconsistent, he seems to have come up with a lot of good games when this team needed it most. And if Doc Rivers doesn't put BTH on the all-star team as a reserve, then shame on him.

Posted by: George Templeton | December 17, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It's not up to Rivers, George. All of the coaches vote for reserves in their conference, not just the coach of the all-star team (and with several weeks to go, it's hardly a lock that Rivers will even be the coach).

As well as he's playing, I still think the odds of Haywood getting voted on are pretty slim. Unlike Mark, the voters don't separate "perimeter big men" from any other kind (putting aside the fact that Rasheed Wallace is a devastating low post player when he decides to go there). It's a numbers game. The Wiz aren't going to get three players on the all-star team, and Caron is virtually a lock the way he's been playing. And if Jamison continues to average a double-double on the season, keeping him off will be pretty impossible. Haywood's the odd man out.

Posted by: kalorama | December 17, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I luv Gilby! Do you think he notices me when I wink and smile and sashay around at the games?

Sashay! '-)

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