Onto the swamp

Of all the NBA trips, the one to New Jersey is the worst. The arena, now called IZOD center, is a dump that sits in the middle of nowhere and is surrouned by the world's biggest construction zone. The crowds are usually decent but hardly rabbid and the place has all the atmosphere of an empty garage.

Still, the Wizards have always struggled against the Nets in New Jersey. They've dropped five straight, including an 87-85 loss back on Nov. 8, and 13 of the last 14. The good news heading into tonight's game is that the Nets have struggled all season and been particularly mediocre at home (6-11). Jason Kidd is obviously an all-time great point guard and they still have Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson but this is a team utterly lacking in inside play without Nenad Krstic, who remains out while trying to rehab from that torn ACL he suffered last season. They also miss Mikki Moore who signed with Sacramento over the summer.

It's the worst three-point shooting team in the league but also one that isn't particularly nasty at the defensive and the Nets have experienced more than their share of "chemistry" issues (ah, that word) so this is a game the Wiz can get if they can get the kind of performances from up and down the roster they got the other night in Charlotte.

Antonio Daniels practiced yesterday and is listed as "doubtful" for tonight. He may play as soon as tomorrow night against the Heat.

The latest all star voting returns are in and Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison stil aren't getting much love despite the fact that both of them are having all-star type seasons. Among East forwards, Butler is behind KG, LeBron, Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce (isn't he guard? He plays like a guard) and Yi Jianlian (China is a big country with a lot of laptops). Jamison is 10th behind Butler, Hedo Turkoglu (what????), Tayshaun Prince and Rashard Lewis.

One of them deserves to be in that game.

By Ivan Carter |  December 28, 2007; 1:04 PM ET
Previous: Strange win but a win | Next: Daniels and Shaq out

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



First!

Posted by: Allen | December 28, 2007 1:38 PM

If you look up last year's all star voting, Caron didn't get into top 5 but he got in because the coaches vote for him. As long as Antawn and Caron keep doing their thing, they will be there.

Wonder if Blatche ever make it there...

Posted by: fire starter | December 28, 2007 1:52 PM

In my earlier post on all-star voting, I omitted Chris Bosh, so the coaches will have to choose from among Pierce (a lock because of the C's record), Bosh, Jefferson, Caron and Antawn for probably 3 spots. I agree with Kal that Jefferson is probably out because of the Nets' record (to this point), but how can you leave out Bosh? If you think that Pierce and Bosh will make it, CB and AJ could be fighting for one slot from the coaches who select the reserves. If one of them gets left out, maybe David Stern will rescue him with the Commissioner's pick like he did for Gilbert 2 years ago.

Posted by: Rockville | December 28, 2007 2:15 PM

Wondering if Blatche will ever make the Allstar game is like wondering if Doritos will ever be served at Morton's.

Also, I'm shocked to read that some place is New Jersey is less than desirable!

Since we're getting updates on the Nets, anyone one know if/when they'll be moving to Brooklyn? Also, I know I'm wrong for this upcoming question, but I have to ask... anyone have new measurements on Kidd's son's head, haven't seen that dome in a minute and I'm hoping his body caught up.

Posted by: Wiz South | December 28, 2007 2:21 PM

Nets games have good hot dogs - http://insidehoops.com

Posted by: InsideHoops | December 28, 2007 2:28 PM

"IZOD center is a dump that sits in the middle of nowhere and is surrouned by the world's biggest construction zone" -

Ivan, did you go back in time to the 1970s Cap Centre?

Posted by: Shotgun | December 28, 2007 2:36 PM

DC gets no love most of the time

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | December 28, 2007 2:41 PM

remember how dark it was in the Cap Center. always had this dreary feel watching on tv or being at a game there.

Posted by: G$ | December 28, 2007 3:36 PM

Yeah the Cap Center was not great, but then again we don't play there anymore!

I give Blatche about a 15% chance of being in an all-star game during his career at this point. Not sure about his desire. He sure as hell has the talent to get there eventually.

Butler will make the all-star team, but most likely Jamison will not, which is a shame bc he is having his best season for the Wiz by far. Butler's PER is second only to LeBron's at SF if I'm not mistaken. KG, LeBron ahead of him at forward ok. Virtually anyone else I have a hard time believing and that includes Bosh (who I believe is not having that great a season thus far) and Pierce.

Posted by: Rob P | December 28, 2007 3:54 PM

I think the Eastern coaches will be seriously remiss if they didn't get Caron in. Sucks that he has to go in as a non-starter though.

Posted by: Bart | December 28, 2007 3:58 PM

This suggestion may not get both Caron and AJ in the All Star game, but the NBA should change the way they choose starters for the game, because it can be a joke at times when you just let the fans do it.

The NBA should adopt the way the NFL does it and base starters on fan voting, the coaches, and the players - with all three having equal weight. This way you still get fan paricipation but would likely get more reasonable choices for all the starting positions.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 4:23 PM

One problem with the fans is that players that have name recognition, but are past their primes often get selected, but younger and lesser known players that are more deserving can't be a starter.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 4:26 PM

I check SI and ESPN everyday. The only time they cover the wizards with a link on their NBA page is if the team they're playing is one of the teams they cater to. It's amazing to me that a team with a virtual lock on yet another playoff appearance gets less coverage than the Knicks, Heat and Bulls.

It's no secret why Wizards get no love. They get no press. Maybe another hooker incident or break-in would bring our guys some votes.

Posted by: JQuest | December 28, 2007 4:27 PM

I think it is good that Wiz are under the radar at this point... they will be the stealth team of 2008.

Caron will get into the All-Star game one way or another, and it would be nice if AJ could too as he is having a fine season.

Go Wiz! Take care of some "bidness" in the swamp tonight.

Posted by: khrabb | December 28, 2007 4:46 PM

I agree with you on the name recognition issue, Tim. I generally don't have a big problem with who the fans vote in as starters because the coaches generally balance things out with their reserve selections. But in the past there have been a number of times when fans have voted in big name players who had missed most or all of the season up to that point with injury (Hill, Carter, and Shaq were the ones that come to mind). There should at least be a minimum number of games played requirement in order for a guy to qualify for All-Star consideration.

Posted by: kalorama | December 28, 2007 4:57 PM

"One problem with the fans is that players that have name recognition, but are past their primes often get selected, but younger and lesser known players that are more deserving can't be a starter.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 04:26 PM "

That's common in all sports.

Mario Williams had 14 sacks (2nd) going into this weekend's final game, and he didn't get into the pro bowl. He's in his second year, and was almost declared a bust his first year.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=9587

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 28, 2007 5:06 PM

Interesting, DC Man88. I would have expected it to be less prevalent in the NFL (but maybe it is).

I would add as a possible example on the NBA side: Michael Jordan when he played for the Wizards was voted in both years. Did he really deserve to be a starter?

I agree with you kalorama on a minimum number of games, but if the coaches and players had a hand in it, it probably would not occur either.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 5:33 PM

You know, there is a possibility if BH turns it up for the next 3-4 weeks and gets a bunch of double doubles, he could have a chance to be at the all-star game...particularly if he buys his own ticket.

Posted by: oddjob | December 28, 2007 5:40 PM

Hey Ivan, what's THE worst stadium? NJ? Indiana? Somwhere else?

Posted by: Patrick | December 28, 2007 6:00 PM

The players vote on the Pro Bowl in the NFL as well - and they rarely get to watch the players they are voting on since they are playing at the same time.

Posted by: Lisa | December 28, 2007 6:04 PM

Perhaps, Lisa, but I would expect the players to generally make better choices than the fans. Players do see other players play during the year and review films in preparation for games.

I guess what set this off for me was seeing what Ivan posted about Butler being behind Yi Jianlian in the voting.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 6:20 PM

In my opinion there's no way you can please everyone. I mean, we all know these all star games are popularity contests and everyone in the sports understand the best players don't necessarily start. So the coaches usually pick the reserves and get most of the deserving players in there. Plus, those "on the bubble" get lots of press so at least that's something for guys that don't get in. All in all not the worst of systems in my opinion.

Posted by: Patrick | December 28, 2007 6:44 PM

Tim - How about Jamison being behind Jianlian, but also behind Turkoglu and Tayshaun Prince !!

I mean - come on!!

The guy is averaging 22 ppg and 11 rpg. Name another Eastern Conference forward averaging 20 and 10...................

go ahead...................I'll wait, while you look it up.
..................uh...........nope,........no, not him either.........hmmmm....... - - -

That's right, NO ONE!!!

19 double doubles.... The team he is on is missing their high scorer, and most explosive player - yet he keeps getting it done, night after night.

Hedo (freaking) Turkoglu ?!!??!?

I still can't get over that one...

Posted by: Rook | December 28, 2007 6:46 PM

"Interesting, DC Man88. I would have expected it to be less prevalent in the NFL (but maybe it is).

I would add as a possible example on the NBA side: Michael Jordan when he played for the Wizards was voted in both years. Did he really deserve to be a starter?

I agree with you kalorama on a minimum number of games, but if the coaches and players had a hand in it, it probably would not occur either.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 05:33 PM "

Yes, and Marion Barber (Dallas) got voted into the pro bowl and he doesn't even start for the Cowboys, although he does have 10 TD's and almost 1K yards.

MJ did not deserve to be in the all star game, but it was great for Stern (ratings) that he was voted in.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 28, 2007 6:56 PM

check SI and ESPN everyday. The only time they cover the wizards with a link on their NBA page is if the team they're playing is one of the teams they cater to. It's amazing to me that a team with a virtual lock on yet another playoff appearance gets less coverage than the Knicks, Heat and Bulls.

It's no secret why Wizards get no love. They get no press. Maybe another hooker incident or break-in would bring our guys some votes.

Posted by: JQuest | December 28, 2007 04:27 PM

JQuest. I agree with you all the way. This is why it is good to have a guy like Gilbert, because he brings the "national spotlight" to the team. I might not agree with "all" of the things he says and does, but he is great for our team.

The Wiz have never gotten any national love until he arrived here. You could search the internet for days and not find one story on the Wizards before Gilbert got here.

Get well soon Gil, and we look forward to having you back on the team shooting "daggers".......

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | December 28, 2007 7:17 PM

Anyone know of the largest plus/minus margin since they started reporting on that stat?

Just found Sebastian Telfair with a -44 in a 12/3 game vs. NO.

The stat can be a bit tricky; although -44 pretty much tells you Mr. Telfair was not partying after the game.

Well, not as much.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 28, 2007 7:43 PM

Yes, Rook, I am as impressed with AJ as I am with Butler. Ever since the playoffs last year, AJ really showed me something, and he is having a great year this year also.

Both AJ and CB are worthy of being all stars this year.

Yes, DC Mann88, I did not say it as strongly as you did, but MJ probably should not have been an all star those years with the Wiz, but I am sure Stern loved it.

Posted by: Tim | December 28, 2007 7:47 PM

Turkoglu has had an outstanding season and should be in the conversation. Did anyone read Hollinger's column on ESPN today? He said:

"Speaking of All-Stars, a surprising name I heard mentioned recently: Hedo Turkoglu. Somebody in a position to know these things told me he's the most underrated player in the league, and he might have a point. I can't think of any other 6-10 guys who can create off the dribble and reliably make good decisions while running screen-and-roll, and surprisingly it's been he -- not Rashard Lewis -- that has been Orlando's No. 2 option so far"

Posted by: BZB | December 28, 2007 9:46 PM


What a disappointing game. This damn New Jersey team just has the Wizards number.

Comparing the Izod center to an empty garage may have been an understatement.

Did you hear how quiet the crowd was down the stretch of an 'edge of your seat' game?

Now that was just sad. I complain about how much DC fans can be out of it -- the Verizon Center crowd is 65% better than those bums in New Jers.

Posted by: TruthAboutIt.net | December 28, 2007 11:07 PM

Yep, another Wiz winner on their way to the 2nd round of the playoffs. Can it get any more exciting.

Oh I forgot - yes it can. Next they play the depleted Heat..No Shaq, No Jason Williams, No Zo. Somebody wrote today..."the only team worse than the Nets?
You guessed it: Miami, Heat" They don't even have eight me to suit up..(what about the sorry Timerwolves? they lost their too.
Again, No. Zo, No Jason Williams, No Shaq(they have no center) No Point guard

OK GM, KAl, keithinator, Bulletfever get your rosary beads out ..pray for another win...

How can they lose to these teams?
As weak as the east & southeast..If they're playing as "good" as you say they are..why aren't they at least at 600 minimum?


Posted by: Phil | December 28, 2007 11:34 PM

I just want to check on the MJ in the allstar game bit... I don't think he was voted a starter... didn't AI or someone give up their starting spot?

Posted by: greg | December 29, 2007 12:52 AM

I think it was Vince...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 29, 2007 2:07 AM

There are alot of laptops in Turkey too.

Posted by: narbus | December 29, 2007 7:10 AM

Frustrating game last night. The Wiz just couldn't get it done down the stretch (despite a huge effort from CB). Brendan in particular seemed to disappear during the 4th quarter and let Sean Williams kill us with some easy dunks and offensive rebounds. I also think EJ did a lousy job coaching at the end. I can't believe that he didn't call a time out on either of the last 2 possessions when the Wiz had a chance to tie the game. The guys looked a bit disorganized but Eddie just sat there..

BTW - I was at the game (one of the few Wiz fans in the arena). The place is indeed a bit dingy, and there were a lot of empty seats. But it wasn't nearly as dead as it may have seemed on TV. The crowd was really into the game in the last 2 minutes.

Posted by: PK1 | December 29, 2007 8:03 AM

The blathering of blithering idiots - those who question the desire of Blatche. The beat writers - those who see him every day - say he is a positive example to the rookies on the team. Watch the game, he hustles on every play. Bonehead - the description of those who feel they have to say something even if they know nothing.

GAR

Posted by: Bridgewater | December 29, 2007 9:04 AM

Didn't MJ hit the potential game winner on a last second contested shot...only to see Kobe get a foul call with no time left on the clock and send the game into OT? I was pissed at the ref for calling the foul. It would have been sweet to see MJ win his last all star game. also, didn't he score 50 that year? I thought he deserved to be there. course, i'm a homer.

Posted by: mark | December 29, 2007 9:31 AM

I thought the Wiz played pretty well for the most part last night. When you're playing against Kidd without both of your PGs, it's going to be difficult. I think if Daniels had played, the Wiz win this game.

It was good to see Young break out of his slump last night. He went to the basket several times, something he hasn't done of late.

On the other hand, man, Sean Williams looks good, doesn't he? Very athletic, quick leaper, great anticipation on his blocks.

Mike Wilks simply doesn't register. He's tiny for one thing. He probably doesn't know the offense well enough to do much of anything. Please AD, get back soon!

Posted by: Keithinator | December 29, 2007 9:34 AM

HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH THE EJ COMMENTS, PLEASE! WHO DO YOU WANT AS COACH? I KNOW SCOTT SKILES RIGHT EJ HAS DONE A TREMENDOUS JOB WITH THIS TEAM GIVEN THE HAND HE HAS BEEN DEALT, FOUR PLAYERS HURT ONE OF THEM A TOP TEN PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE AND THEY ARE STILL 500 MAYBE IF HE HAD A GM WHO WASN'T TRYING TO SABOTAGE HIS COACHING CAREER YOU WOULD NOT BE SO CRITICAL. AS FAR LAST NIGHTS GAME IS CONCERNED SOMETIMES AS A COACH YOU HAVE TO TRUST THAT YOUR PLAYERS WILL MAKE GOOD PLAYS AS THE GAME WINDS DOWN WHEN THEY DONT YOU CANT ALWAYS BLAME IT ON THE COACH.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | December 29, 2007 10:15 AM

For the 2002 and 2003 all star games, MJ was listed as a guard on the ballots even though he played forward for the Wizards.

In 2002, MJ was the highest vote getter among Eastern Conference guards. (Vince Carter received the most votes overall - as a forward).

In 2003, MJ was the third highest vote getter among Eastern Conference guards after Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson, but apparently was chosen to fill out the roster by the coaches. (Kobe Bryant received the most votes overall).

Since 2003 was to be MJ's last all star game, both Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson offered MJ their starting spots which he declined, but MJ later accepted Vince Carter's last minute offer and started the game in his place.

http://www.insidehoops.com/nba-all-star-weekend-2002.shtml

http://www.insidehoops.com/nba-all-star-voting.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_NBA_All-Star_Game

Posted by: Tim | December 29, 2007 10:26 AM

MJ did score 50 somewhere along the way with the Wiz, probably in 2003. I was there that night and I think I still have the ticket stub somewhere.

Posted by: Tim | December 29, 2007 10:31 AM

Dargregmag

1st of all, there is no need to shout (which is in effect what you are doing when you type in all caps on a blog).

Second, it is not unusual to make comments about coaching decisions after a loss in a close game. For the record, I think that EJ has been doing a good job this season, given the injuries and such. However, in my opinion (you can agree or not) he was remiss last night in not calling a time out at the end to set up a play. I agree with you that sometimes, as a coach, you let the team play and trust that they will get it done. But when you are playing without an experienced PG in the game, and the offence has looked a big ragged for the previous few possessions, it makes sense to call a time out to calm things down and set something up that will give the team the best chance of tying up the game.

Peace

Posted by: PK1 | December 29, 2007 10:50 AM

I had believed all along that it would be tough against NJ because we had no active PG to balance JKidd. At the end we had no sustainable answer to him, and thus a difficult game management problem as time wore down.

Would a late time-out have helped restore offensive discipline? Pure hindsight.

We just did not have the horses to match up against a future hall of famer who is still capable of dragging a dysfunctional team into playoff contention.

I believe that our life in the NBA East will get easier if Kidd is traded to Dallas, which given the recent woes there has to remain a possibility.

Miami at home tonight is a different story, especially so if Daniels can return for some effective minutes and DeShawn can handle DWade as he did in Miami a while back.

Fans need to get used to the struggle, without Arenas staying just above .500 is about as good as it is going to get.

PS did anyone watch the Raptors stifle the Spurs in San Antonio last night? That was pretty impressive, and shows how much Manu matters to the defending champs.

Posted by: khrabb | December 29, 2007 11:29 AM

I think Les BouleS lost their cool towards the end again in a close game on the defensive end. They looked rag tag, scrambling around, with guys trying to make a big play with a steal. Instead, I think they should have calmed down, switched off better, and boxed out. Oh well.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 29, 2007 12:14 PM

This lose was not EJ's fault. We are just short handed right now. We are playing without a "true" point guard, so what more can anyone expect?

EJ's doing a pretty good job with what he has. You will see a big difference when AD comes back. Although Wilks has not done much, you can see the difference in the offensive sets when you have a "real point guard" running the show.

The Wizards are in every game without AD and Gil. That is saying a lot. Once the Wiz are fully healthy (i.e. Gil and OPEC) look the heck out. They are showing max effort and that is all you can ask for.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | December 29, 2007 12:31 PM

pk1 not shouting but just like to write in caps, by the way you used the wrong (offence) it should be offense a noun not a adjective.that being said you might be right about calming things down i just thought while the wiz were into the flow they catch nj napping on defense a timeout gives doogie howser(lawrence frank) a chance set up the inbound defense.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | December 29, 2007 12:43 PM

Given their poor record in N.J. and no true PG playing, a loss isn't surprising even. Win tonight and the Wizards stay on schedule, the Heat are just awful.

Posted by: George Templeton | December 29, 2007 1:00 PM

Dargregmag

Thanks for the civil response (something we need more of on this blog) as well as the grammar correction. BTW, I love your Doogie Howser reference - LOL. Lawrence Frank certainly does look like he is 15 years old....

Posted by: PK1 | December 29, 2007 1:00 PM

The only way for both Jamison and Butler to be on the All Star team together is if the Wizards start winning way more games. That grabs the columnists & bloggers attention, and then ESPN, newspapers and NBA.com will start giving them more headlines, etc etc. The fans (outside of Metro DC) will follow and start giving them votes. As it is, I don't think that will happen this year.

Posted by: rgz | December 29, 2007 3:28 PM

BTW, I hope the Wizards don't underestimate the Heat tonight. They put up a good game against Orlando last night. It's going to be another grindout game, I don't think it's going to be an easy win.

Posted by: rgz | December 29, 2007 3:32 PM

Agreed...team wins increase All Star chances. But with the slew of injuries and the number of guys down with injury it's interesting to think about how the Wiz manufacture wins. What I find as amazing as the supporting cast (AD/AB/Mason/BH) stepping up since Gil went down is what the remaining two of the big three have done with their games in essentially the same amount of minutes they got last year.

Sure Caron picked up his steal avg, rpg, and points, but he was showing us these skills before. Now he has reinvented himself as a clutch three point shooter and an assist guy. These are facets of his game he has adapted.

And 'Tawn...who becomes a 11 rpg guy all of a sudden? He has never averaged double digit rebounds. He is 3 rpg above his career avg!

These contributions are what keep the Wiz above/near 500 and why both guys should be all-stars. If they only got to the line as much as James and Jefferson, they would be competing with them as the top scorers at the F position.

But more wins and national games would help the rest of the country to the same conclusion: the best starting Forward-combo in the East plays in DC. (And it might help refs get these guys to the free throw line too)

Posted by: av | December 29, 2007 5:03 PM

gnkxb pyir nmgk jrvdfiu tyge bzpegu dpjeq

Posted by: ekfnuwx tbcjegky | February 5, 2008 12:53 AM

yorv uvbpjhe uwpi zyeioh qjwdnhl pbklieq elmcd http://www.xhfzuy.evts.com

Posted by: fehmjbv otyilpc | February 5, 2008 12:53 AM

otdscqj etnaiu rlkvx
http://nursinghome.thephphost.net nursinghome

Posted by: nursinghome | August 15, 2008 5:14 AM

otdscqj etnaiu rlkvx
http://nursinghome.thephphost.net nursinghome

Posted by: nursinghome | August 15, 2008 5:15 AM

wksyo rpuvl ihbx
http://nursinghome.thephphost.net online

Posted by: online | August 15, 2008 9:39 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company