Being a pro

I was talking to a scout before a game recently asked him about Caron Butler.

Scout: "I think he's one of the most improved players in the league," the scout said.
Me: "What? The guy was an all star last year. How improved can he be?"
Scout: "Everything he did last year, he's better this year plus he's improved other areas of his game. He's better passer, he's added range to his jump shot, he almost never forces bad shots. He still gets himself out of position defensively but the mistakes he makes are aggressive mistakes and you can live with those."

Wow.

The entire exchange got me thinking after the team's vets recently made a change to the lockeroom by breaking up the youthful trio of Andray Blatche, Nick Young and Dominic McGuire in the lockeroom. The idea was to create a more professional environment and encourge the young guys to do a better job of preparing themselves on a daily basis. Basically, Antawn Jamison walked in Sunday morning before the game against Seattle and didn't like what he saw.

"From now on, it's going to be, you do what I do. You lift when I lift. You get up shots when I get up shots. You get here when I get here. No more of this stuff."

The point is this: no players on this team prepare themselves and work harder on a daily basis than Butler, Jamison, Antonio Daniels and Brendan Haywood and the results are obvious. None of the vets bashed the kids - they all enjoy being around them and sincerely believe that they can help this team down the stretch - but they clearly sensed that something wasn't right. I think it was obvious during the Detroit game when the Pistons bench dominated the game and held a 33-8 edge in scoring over the Wiz reserves.

Before that game I posted a blog about how the Pistons have an unusual (one I've never seen) pregame routine that has every reserve on the court going through intense games of 3-on-3 as well as shooting drills and some five-on-air stuff. When those cats checked into the game, they were warm up and ready to roll.

The Wiz vets want similar energy from their bench. DeShawn: "Our margin for error is thin right now without Gilbert, we know that so we need it from everybody. If we didn't think those young guys could help us, we wouldn't say anything but enough is enough."

Now, everyone knows that Gilbert is the loosest, most playful guy in the league at times in the lockeroom pregame or otherwise but DeShawn made a good point about that as well.

"Only one person can do that, laughing and joking, and that's Gilbert Arenas. He scores 30 points a night so there's not too much you can say to him. When these young guys start doing that, they can act however they want but for now, we need it to be more serious around here. We keep trying to tell them but they keep laughing and joking so super-vet over there (Antawn) is going to do something about it. We gotta win basketball games."

By Ivan Carter |  January 8, 2008; 1:02 PM ET
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Comments

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Great to hear the Vets taking ownership of the team. Jamison is the rock that holds this team together in good times and bad.

It's great to have a loose lockerroom where the guys have some fun, but when it's time for business these young guys need to learn how to put in the work to be good pros.

AJ should be a Wizard for as long as he wants to be. This team needs to be aware that others may have an interest in a leader that can play like AJ. He won't get 16m to resign, but the Wizards need to be prepared, he's a valuable assest that can't be found easily in this league.

What about it Ivan, is Pecherov suiting up tonight?

Posted by: GM | January 8, 2008 1:36 PM

I'm interested to see how focused the bench looks tonight against Houston. The young guys have been slackin lately, and this might be just what they need.

Posted by: Aaron | January 8, 2008 1:36 PM

A couple of comments:
1. I'm surprised that you were surprised by the scout's comments about Butler. His improvement -- especially passing and shot selection, as well as leadership -- has been very apparent this year.

2. I initially was surprised that Jamison et al. made the locker room rearrangement stuff public. It seemed like an unnecessary slap in the face to the kids. I also was surprised it took Jamison so long to put these sort of changes in place. But reading that the vets had been telling the kids to stop goofing around, but they were ignoring them, it now all makes sense.

Posted by: Sean | January 8, 2008 1:43 PM

Sean, My guess is that Jamison and the vets action combined with Eddie's statement the other day is sending a loud and clear message to the youngsters on this team.

Like Aaron I'll be real interested to see how the bench responds.

Posted by: GM | January 8, 2008 1:52 PM

Not sure if you guys remember but the Cap also called Arenas to the carpet last year for some comments he made. And it was done on the air. So, it is no surpise to me that this has occured and occured publicly. I think EJ was going to get on them and both Tough Juice and the Cap told him that they would handle it. The last 2 or 3 games, EJ has publicly stated how disappointed he was in bench production. Every one but Roger Mason. I also listened to an interview with Green after the Sonics game and he talked about how the vets were helping him in his game and how to conduct himself as an NBA player. IE: handling the road, getting enough rest and eating properly. As I have stated before, Nick Young sometimes to me looks too lackadaisical when he is on the floor. I am glad to see the vets step up and handle the situation now because if the Wiz have any chance of playoff activity, the bench has to be ready because the starters cannot do it all.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM

Good story Ivan. Nice to hear what the scout said about Caron. The big question of the day though.... is Pesh suiting up???

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 8, 2008 2:22 PM

That's a BS copout excuse for Gilby by DS. You have CBut and AJ putting up big numbers, and they don't need anyone to give them a reason to act a fool. You'll never have a cohesive team when you have different rules for different people.

Reeeedickulous....

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 2:37 PM

Interesting, Ivan, that you didn't mention DS when you talked about the hardest daily workers on the team. DS chimes in about the kidding around but I'm curious as to whther he is working as hard as the other vets. He's a guy that could use some extra practice. I think that skipping college could manifest itself in a lot of different ways. Discipline is stressed in college. AB and DS missed out on that. Some are self motivated like LeBron and Kobe and Garnett but for the most part, the immaturity shows on and off the court.
DS is right in that when you perform on the court, it's hard to be second guessed. GA plays around a lot but when he steps on the court, he's all business. I got no problem with that.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 2:46 PM

What DS neglected to say was that GA also logs in more time in the gym than anybody else on the Wizards. Takes more practice shots. All of these things you hear about how the veterans practice and prepare all stem from what GA has been doing for years and what he has brought to the Wizards locker room.

There are plenty of scenarios where superstar treatment did not effect the outcome of a season, having said that, I dont believe someone who prepares as vigorously as GA could be described as someone who takes advantage of his stardom.

Acting a fool is also not a description of GA. He may not be the team captian type but he certainly isnt a trouble maker, bad influence, team cancer.

In fact, those are words I would use to describe DC Man88.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 2:47 PM

The point about Arenas is pretty obvious: His loose pregame attitude doesn't hinder his ability to be focused and ready come game time. It appears, however, that the same can't be said of the Wiz kids.

Posted by: kalorama | January 8, 2008 2:49 PM

Mark, I guess you don't get the notion about leading by example...no double standards, especially since this team hasn't sniffed the second round of the playoffs for a long time. This is a team sport, not one where an individual just needs to do his own thing on the court and all is forgiven.

Not surprised that DS gave Gilby his blessing to do whatever he wants...after all, it was Gilby who "strongly encouraged" EG to re-sign him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 2:50 PM

88,
Your first comment is another Gil bash? You completely ignored the point of Ivan's article and focused on GA. And you are surprised at the reaction that you receive?
Incredible!

GM,
I'm really starting to get concerned at the brevity of your posts. Where's the old 3 paragraph guy we're used to? Is this the real GM?

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 2:51 PM

"The point about Arenas is pretty obvious: His loose pregame attitude doesn't hinder his ability to be focused and ready come game time. It appears, however, that the same can't be said of the Wiz kids.

Posted by: kalorama | January 8, 2008 02:49 PM "

Ok, Gilby being loose by himself in a corner and telling himself jokes is one thing, but cracking jokes in the locker room can be a distraction to all who are trying to focus.

I guess playing online poker or blackjack during half time while the team is strategizing, and sometimes regrouping, doesn't matter as long as you just go out and get your individual stats, win or lose.

One team, one set of rules. That's why Pistons and Spurs are champs, while others are chumps.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 2:52 PM

mark, I guess you completely missed the last paragraph. you're the type that sees "me" in team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 2:54 PM

My sentiments exactly, JSchon.

888, as I just posted in the previous blog article by Ivan, who started the 'extra shots after practice' thing? Who started the shooting competitions? Who's the most competitive guy on the team? GA ! His attitude has other guys stepping up their games. How do you not call that leading by example?

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 2:55 PM

88,
Personal attacks aside, you are still focused on GA and not the article or the team. Can you reasonable explain why? Seriously. If you would just explain to me why you always talk about GA when he's not even the subject, we might all understand and possible even agree with you sometimes. This article was about CB, AJ, leadership and you pick the GA part to comment on. Why?

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:02 PM

Good move vets. Cats like Nick Young need to grow up. They treat the NBA as if its just playin ball with your friends at the local park. Kids like Young and Blatche need to grow the hell up

Posted by: Roman | January 8, 2008 3:05 PM

This will not only help the rookies but I think it will refocus anyone else on the team that might be drifting a little bit mentally. With such a long season that is what tends to happen and a move like this might be the sort of thing that gets everyone's attention and puts it right back on winning and moving up the standings.

Posted by: George Templeton | January 8, 2008 3:10 PM

It's well within AJ's right to call out anyone on this team when necessary. He's the veteran all star and he knows GA from their GS days. That's why he's the captain. I'm glad he did it and did it publicly. It oughtta let the kids know he's serious about it.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:11 PM

Mark, do you not see that this report by Ivan was great and showed that the team was serious and wanted to focus all the way up until the end when DS gave Gilby his blessing to do whatever he wants? Do you not comprehend that?

The article was about splitting up the young guys because they were laughing, joking, and carrying on too much in the locker room, and then DS ends it by saying Gilby can laugh and joke as much as he wants.

Check CBut and AJ's stats. They're just as critical to the team as "Gilby's 30 pts." Do you see CBut and AJ leading by example by joking and laughing in the locker room also? Lucky for Les BouleS, there's CBut and AJ to enact some discipline in the locker room. Otherwise, the young guys would take Gilby's lead and play black jack, poker, shoot pool, and laugh and joke just like he does.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:13 PM

There is nothing in history that shows that you have to have all 53 players, 25 players or 12 players walk a straight line in order to succeed. There are plenty of examples of both ends of the spectrum. Detroit has Rasheed. The Bulls had MJ and Rodman. The Red Sox have Manny. The Cowboys had Irvin.

Still, none of these players are comparable to GA. GA isnt taking advantage of any situation. He is loose, he is the funny guy in the locker room. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Why? Because he does everything else it takes to be a professional. Even the veterans have learned a thing or two from the 26 year old.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 3:16 PM

"Detroit has Rasheed. The Bulls had MJ and Rodman. The Red Sox have Manny. The Cowboys had Irvin."

Whoopeee!!! All these guys have multiple championship rings. How many does Gilby have?

I'll cut Gilby some slack when he's brought the city of DC a championship. Fair deal?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:18 PM

88,
EJ explicitly said that he didn't name GA captain because he's not ready to lead. the young guys know they aren't GA. They're acting young because they ARE young, not because they are emulating Gilbert. CB and AJ are concerned because they don't like the young guys' preparation. I think that the laughing in the locker room was just the icing on the cake. AJ states that from now on, 'they lift when I lift, they shoot when I shoot'. That says to me that if they were lacking in preparation physically. If they were doing the prep work to be ready to play, he'd probably have no problem with them joking in the locker room. It's not about the laughing and joking, it's about the game preparation and improving their games.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:22 PM

88, The only way you give a guy slack is when he brings a championship? I wonder how Karl Malone or Stockton or Nash would feel about that. Be honest. It's personal with you and Gilbert. You have a dislike for the guy.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:24 PM

You guys we have to ignore that Fool! Let's just comment on the post that aren't idiot tyrants about Gilbert. Isn't this the same nut who just said in the post below to focus on the other players and not Gilbert and out all of the content in the article Ivan just wrote, what does the blog fool do? He latches on the Arenas name like a dog on a bone. Let's face it, whoever this DC88man/woman person is, they are clearly obsessed with Gilbert and trying to argue with an idiot will give you nothing but headaches. I'm glad to see the rookies are being taken to task by the vets. Let's hope some maturity developes in those young cats. Let's go Wiz! I'm o-u-t !

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 3:26 PM

"Gilbert is quirky but he takes the game seriously. When it's time to play, he plays.

Posted by: | January 8, 2008 01:41 PM "

Except when he's consumed with online blackjack during half time while the team is talking strategy, or when he's engrossed into a game of pool and misses the start of the second half of the game.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 02:39 PM

DCMan88, you were doing such a good job talking about basketball - that is valued by all here. The Gil obsession, rants, and personal attacks, however are tiring and really not good for you. Whoever you were getting professional help from, please go back for everyone's good - yours included. Really.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 3:27 PM

So are you blaming the young guys laughing and joking in the locker room on Gilbert, 88? If I was 20 years old with a million dollars and playing ball for a living, I'd be immature and happy all the time, too...and it wouldn't have anything to do with Gilbert Arenas.
Is there anything good about GA from your perspective? Can you say anything positive about him or do you just think he's a selfish player who will never win anything more than a playoff round or two? Please don't mention anything about his personal life. I dont care whether he has a nice grotto or not.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:29 PM

He is 26, and this is his 5th year. What have you done in your life?

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 3:30 PM

Mark, Not selling snow shovels, but otherwise pretty busy, but it's still me.

Oh, Wow! 88'ers off to the races already on this post. Gil does lead by example, first in the Gym and last to leave from EVERY account I've ever seen. That's leading by example.

Gil in some ways is almost a little like Charles Barkley, a guy that's really known for his clowning around, but never any question about his commitment or his putting in the time.

Gil would be more likely to bet a guy that he couldn't can more three's in practice then to come in and lay down the law. But I wonder, did all the three point contests that he held have anything to do with Mason finding his shot that he couldn't find at any other stop in his pro career? Or his friendly shooting duel that lead to Mr. 50% having the best shooting year of his career?

Guys find different ways to push their teammates. If there is anyway possible the Wiz should do everything they can to keep all three of their leaders. Gil, Caron and Jamison have complimentry talents and each lead in different ways.

Caron has brought a toughness to this team that they never had when Hughes was part of the big three. Jamison is that guy that will take his teammates to task when needed. Gil's the guy that will challenge his teammates and chide to try in beat him.

Not many teams lucky enough to have three guys like that who like and respect each other too...

Hope that was enough for you Mark, gotta to get back to work.

Posted by: GM | January 8, 2008 3:31 PM

OK. I'm going to stop trying, all. I just figured there was a reason 88 talks about GA that he could explain.
Go Wiz. I got NY going for 17 tonight against Houston. He's the most likely guy to put up numbers. I hope Pech gets in the game even if it's just to lure Yao away from the basket with his 3's. What a threat that would be if Pech could get the long range shooting going !

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:32 PM

Thanks, GM. I was getting worried. Barkley is the perfect example of a guy who was a clown yet a top 50 guy at the end of the day.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:34 PM

Mark:

"But Jamison, Stevenson, Butler and Antonio Daniels were not happy when they walked into the locker room Sunday morning and saw how Blatche, Young and McGuire were getting ready for the game -- joking, laughing and not concentrating on basketball."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/07/AR2008010703554.html

I guess Gilby is able to joke, laugh, play online poker, shoot pool, and concentrate on team basketball at the same time. Must be nice.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:35 PM

Bottom Line: The team is making the adjustment. EJ and AJ know the pulse of this team, and it's time to change the atmosphere.
Little over a 1/3 into the season and I like this pro-active approach.

Some will say the Wiz should have done it earlier in the the season. Right on time in my book. EJ setting the tone in conjunction with AJ and others.

Posted by: Janitor | January 8, 2008 3:35 PM

"88, The only way you give a guy slack is when he brings a championship? I wonder how Karl Malone or Stockton or Nash would feel about that. Be honest. It's personal with you and Gilbert. You have a dislike for the guy.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 03:24 PM "

Mark, somebody called out rasheed, rodman, irvin, etc. as an example. I said those guys were champs. That's it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:36 PM

"DCMan88, you were doing such a good job talking about basketball - that is valued by all here. The Gil obsession, rants, and personal attacks, however are tiring and really not good for you. Whoever you were getting professional help from, please go back for everyone's good - yours included. Really.

Posted by: | January 8, 2008 03:27 PM "

I probably wouldn't have commented on Gilby if Ivan hadn't printed that quote where DS gives Gilby his blessing to be a goofball in the locker room, which goes against the direction the team is trying to move towards according to the captains.

Then again that quote was made by DS, Mr. 50 and 'can't feel my face," so DS has little credibility after all.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:39 PM

"So are you blaming the young guys laughing and joking in the locker room on Gilbert, 88? If I was 20 years old with a million dollars and playing ball for a living, I'd be immature and happy all the time, too...and it wouldn't have anything to do with Gilbert Arenas.
Is there anything good about GA from your perspective? Can you say anything positive about him or do you just think he's a selfish player who will never win anything more than a playoff round or two? Please don't mention anything about his personal life. I dont care whether he has a nice grotto or not.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 03:29 PM "

You're missing the point mark. If the captains want the focus to be on basketball and not goofing off, then everybody needs to be on the same page. You don't exonerate one individual from the rules just b/c you think he's quirky.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:41 PM

"He is 26, and this is his 5th year. What have you done in your life?

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 03:30 PM "

What have you done in your life?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:42 PM

My gosh GM, I guess that makes Gilby a captain in your book. Let's hope these shooting contests lead to some progress in the playoffs, not just high scoring averages. Or is that all you need to get by and feel warm and fuzzy?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:44 PM

Well - I got no comments about Mr. 88 but I do have another observation......
Wiz only win against depleted or missing their star players so...

chips fall in their direction tonite...

NO T-MAC!!!!!

Tracy McGrady & a couple of other pieces R out tonite...

Thats usually what it takes for the Wiz to get a win so - get happy folks.

Don't worry about Pech...its just another limping, injured team. They can "flex their muscles.. AHHH AHHHH
They got the 2nd best record in the sorry eat..Look out western conference!!

Posted by: OJ | January 8, 2008 3:46 PM

"Thanks, GM. I was getting worried. Barkley is the perfect example of a guy who was a clown yet a top 50 guy at the end of the day.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 03:34 PM "

Barkley was a leader and played tough on the court, not a guy who wanted nothing to do with leadership and to be left alone in his own little world.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:46 PM

I'm not being critical... you are

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 3:46 PM

I'm glad to see the veteran's are adopting these youngsters & taking them under their tutelage so they can learn that life in the NBA is not all about fun & games.That was hard to do with Gilberts influence because he is a prankster.With him getting 30 pts. a game what can you say to the guy. It is hard to criticise the youngsters when you have someone in the locker room doing the same thing.Maybe that's why Gil was not a captain when he was heathy & lighting up the league.Caron leads by example & Antwan is a true professional on & off the court,in the locker room ,in the weight room,etc...Which is why we need to resign him. How many fowards will get you 20&10 every single night.Sure we can cry about his defense,but he is impossible to stop with his unorthodox moves & floaters.So go ahead & teach the youngsters now ,then when Gil returns the team will be one the most dangerous teams in the east.

Posted by: dcpirate1 | January 8, 2008 3:47 PM

Speaking of which, GM, it's funny how you quoted Barkley b/c it was a few weeks ago that you blasted Barkley for being fat just because he has a low opinion of Les BouleS, but thinks of Caron highly.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:47 PM

DC 88:

You may have heard of a coach, Red Auerbach, who one a few championships. He made a point of having different rules for different players. You can look it up in Feinstein's book.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 3:48 PM

"I'm not being critical... you are

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 03:46 PM "

I guess you don't see the irony in Ivan's post where he clearly states that the team is trying to get focused and then DS, a non leader on this team, really, is giving Gilby a bye.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:49 PM

someone mentioned that Aj called GA out last year. Would it make sense for a non all start to cal;l out an all star, though? Unless GA was hurting the team, Aj should let him be. How many times have we heard 'That's just Gilbert' from Cb and AJ? It's because they put up with quirkyness because he produces on the court. Same thing with John Riggins back in the 80's. Why would you tell a star to change the way he lives his life when the results on the field or court are there?

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:52 PM

"DC 88:

You may have heard of a coach, Red Auerbach, who one a few championships. He made a point of having different rules for different players. You can look it up in Feinstein's book.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 03:48 PM "

Funny, and Red had quite a few championships didn't he? How many does EJ/Gilby have? Talk to me then Walter.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:53 PM

Barkley IS fat and has a low opinion of the Wiz because on his friendship with Michael Jordan. He hated the way that we fired Jordan. Those are facts. GM never said that Barkley wasn't a good player, though.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 3:55 PM

I agree, Gilbert has been known to stay at the gym, or have them open it in the wee hours to practice, or run the steps. That sounds like a disciplined athelete to me. Also, he reads basketball books all the time and quotes other veterans practices.
I saw where Nick was the team jokester on his college team, they even showed him dressed up in halloween customes and all. He's young, as stated above.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 3:56 PM

Gilby is better off not shooting at the wee hours, but instead, scheduling regular workout times with the rest of the team. Also, I highly discourage him from biking around town or running with a parachute from now on.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:58 PM

"Barkley IS fat and has a low opinion of the Wiz because on his friendship with Michael Jordan. He hated the way that we fired Jordan. Those are facts. GM never said that Barkley wasn't a good player, though.

Posted by: mark | January 8, 2008 03:55 PM "

So what does Barkley being fat have to do with his low opinion of Les BouleS?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 3:59 PM

But what does DS saying something to Ivan Carter have to do with GA? What is GA's part in all of this? Is DS speaking on GA's behalf?

You twisted his comments around. The "problem" is the young players weren't taking their jobs seriously. Not just the joking around and laughing prior to games but hitting the weights, taking extra gym time, getting early and leaving late. Their performance shows that.

The fact that GA laughs and is a character doesnt interfere with him getting to gym, taking extra shots, getting in early or leaving late. His performance on the court displays that too.

And any other conclusion is reeeedickulous...

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 4:01 PM

DC 88:

"Funny, and Red had quite a few championships didn't he? How many does EJ/Gilby have? Talk to me then Walter."

I'll do that, DC!

Meanwhile, you keep driving by looking in the rear-view mirror.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 4:01 PM

Great article, Ivan. I like how you've been on this locker-room switch story. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see improvement from the rooks and AB after this. Antawn Jamison defines "veteran leadership." Don't forget that it was his arrival, along with Gil's, that led to the resurgence of the last few years. He really, really needs to be resigned, probably at about $10 mil/year, as Kal suggested recently.

It would be good to see Pech get 5-6 spot minutes tonight. That should be enough for him to jack up four shots, the way he likes to shoot! He's what Seinfeld would call a "chucker."

Posted by: Keithinator | January 8, 2008 4:01 PM

DC 88:

"Funny, and Red had quite a few championships didn't he? How many does EJ/Gilby have? Talk to me then Walter."

I'll do that, DC!

Meanwhile, you keep driving by looking in the rear-view mirror.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 4:02 PM

DC 88:

"Funny, and Red had quite a few championships didn't he? How many does EJ/Gilby have? Talk to me then Walter."

I'll do that, DC!

Meanwhile, you keep driving by looking in the rear-view mirror.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 4:03 PM

"But what does DS saying something to Ivan Carter have to do with GA? What is GA's part in all of this? Is DS speaking on GA's behalf?

You twisted his comments around. The "problem" is the young players weren't taking their jobs seriously. Not just the joking around and laughing prior to games but hitting the weights, taking extra gym time, getting early and leaving late. Their performance shows that.

The fact that GA laughs and is a character doesnt interfere with him getting to gym, taking extra shots, getting in early or leaving late. His performance on the court displays that too.

And any other conclusion is reeeedickulous...

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 04:01 PM "

In actuality, I'm blasting DS for giving Gilby this blessing to do whatever he pleases.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 4:05 PM

"Not just the joking around and laughing prior to games but hitting the weights, taking extra gym time, getting early and leaving late. Their performance shows that."


JSchon, I guess you didn't read the article:


""But Jamison, Stevenson, Butler and Antonio Daniels were not happy when they walked into the locker room Sunday morning and saw how Blatche, Young and McGuire were getting ready for the game -- joking, laughing and not concentrating on basketball."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/07/AR2008010703554.htm"

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 4:07 PM

"The fact that GA laughs and is a character doesnt interfere with him getting to gym, taking extra shots, getting in early or leaving late. His performance on the court displays that too.

And any other conclusion is reeeedickulous...

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 04:01 PM ""

If such is the case, then why did Ivan feel the need to conclude with DS's comments where DS gives Gilby a bye on his behavior?

Gilby can get his 30 pts average, but if Les BouleS do nothing in the playoffs, then it's not doing anything for the team. It's just an individual accomplishment. Individuals alone don't win championships.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 4:09 PM

Songaila and Pecherov need some time in the weight room, they both need legs. So AJ, get on their butts too!

Posted by: rgz | January 8, 2008 4:09 PM

"Meanwhile, you keep driving by looking in the rear-view mirror.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 04:03 PM "

You have to look forward and backward.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 4:10 PM

OK, DC, sorry if I missed it since I'm new to the room -- would you look forward and give me your prescription for the team? Taking everything, including salary cap, into the picture, what are the major moves you're going to make, say in the next couple of years? (I want to give you a little time, Rome wasn't built in a day.)

Be specific and realistic, please! I want to get you on the record.

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 4:17 PM

Walt dont waste your time. Dc Man88 is manic and schizophrenic.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 4:20 PM

Who was it that said we shouldn't be talking about Gilbert since he's not on the floor? Man, does every thread have to turn into a food fight about Gilbert?

Nobody on the team works harder than Gilbert does. That's leading by example. In fact he worked too hard, too quickly, on his rehab.

Everyone has their pre-game routines, as AJ mentioned recently. If part of Gil's is keeping it light or getting into a zone with video poker, so what? It doesn't take away from all the hard work he puts in. What I'm getting from AJ's comments is that the youngsters don't have a pre-game routine, they just jack around and don't put enough time in the practice gym. That's a different thing than what Gilbert is doing.

Posted by: Prazak | January 8, 2008 4:25 PM

88'er on Gil rant.

Legen...wait for it daree....

And so there's no confusion, I like Charles Barkley, most of the time he's pretty funny. I don't mind when he jokes about the Bullets/Wizards, since it's been nearly 30 years since the last title, we've got to have a sense of humor.

But some of his commentary on the Wizards is like 88'er's stuff. Off target and yesterday's news. The Washington front office was pretty disfunctional before Pollin hired Grunfeld, and Barkley's friend MJ was a big part of the mess.

We had some pretty disfunctional teams around here too. But It's clear that the Vets are taking ownership of this team and they're a pretty determined bunch. The Wiz aren't blowing alot of games that they shouldn't these days.

Barkley can't admit that his friend left this team in shambles or acknowledge the rebuilding job that has been done here after MJ drove away in his car that still had IL tags on it. Like he ever wanted to really be here in the first place.

The only reason he ever came was this was the only team that would let MJ come in and hold his farewell tour, pay his buddies too, and hire a coach that he could tell what to do. MJ could well be the best player to ever play this game, but his ego so far has made him a poor guy to run a team.

Posted by: GM | January 8, 2008 4:27 PM

JSchon, I thought I heard a few groans as I typed the question. I'm hoping he might take a shot at a positive approach, given the opportunity.

What about it DC?

Posted by: Walt | January 8, 2008 4:27 PM

Off to the Verizon Center in a few minutes. The Wiz have to look to this as game that they should win, at home vs a average team missing one of their best 2 players.

Anything short of a win will be disappointing.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 4:34 PM

Look, if Gil wasn't preparing himself well for games, not only would he not avg 30 ppg, but you would see AJ and CB as captains to tone it down as they see fit. Obviously they have no problem with it because his so called "goofiness" doesn't interfere with his job on the court! And have you even paid attention to how AJ is when he's around Gil? He's always laughing and having fun alongside Gil, but his preparation, professionalism, and productivity, like Gil's is still topnotch.

Doesn't seem like NY has any problems with it, from the Times, 'Jordan cited the effort the Detroit Pistons received from the bench in their 106-93 win over the Wizards last week. Detroit's bench -- also filled with young players -- outscored Washington's 33-8. While Jordan did not blame the loss on the bench, he expects it to play with as much energy or more than the starters.

That message seemed to get through to Young after Sunday's win over Seattle, when Jamison announced the locker room shuffle.

"We have to be like Detroit," Young said. "Their bench came out with a lot of energy, and they were fired up. And we've got to be the same way."

So what does he think about the new seating arrangement?

"When Antawn does something, you know he's doing it for a good reason," Young said.'

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 4:34 PM

GM,

You're spot on about MJ's days here. And now he's ruining Charlotte, too. I wonder if his ego just won't allow him to admit that although he's the best player of all time, he's LaBradford Smith when it comes to running a team.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 8, 2008 4:35 PM

"Antawn Jamison defines "veteran leadership." Don't forget that it was his arrival, along with Gil's, that led to the resurgence of the last few years."

Actually, Gilbert was here first and they were still bad until Antawn showed up. More than talent the Wizards needed a new attitude to erase the perception that anyone who came to the team was doomed to lose. Jamison provided that in spades. I think his arrival was key to the turnaround. If, instead of Jamison, they'd gotten a player who was more talented on the floor but didn't provide his leadership and steadiness, I don't think they'd have been anywhere near as successful as they have been.

Posted by: kalorama | January 8, 2008 4:46 PM

He's LaBradford Smith when it comes to running a team...What a great line Keithinator!!! Really funny...

Almost makes it worth wading through all 88'er's crap today!!!

Walt, he's got to find his way out of his mother's basement before he can build his empire.

Posted by: GM | January 8, 2008 4:51 PM

Kal,

I more or less would agree with you on your above statement but I think not only is AJ's leadership and steadiness important to this team, it's his game that meshes so well with that of Gil, and later on CB's. AJ could always score and when he was younger he played with some great vets, but his teams never went anywhere. Once he played with Gil in GS, things clicked really well between the two - probably a big selling point for Grunfeld trying to trade a non-leader and team cancer in BrickStackhouse. Gil did pretty darn well here in DC before AJ got here, just not enough overall team talent though to see. Still exciting to see him play then, he brought excitement to the team that was lost once Webber and MJ got booted out of town.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 4:54 PM

The time that AJ commented about Gil after the Portland game. He said sometimes we've got to take "little brother" to the woodshed... With a huge smile on his face and he got a big chuckle out of the reporters.

These guys definetly like playing with each other and it shows.

Posted by: GM | January 8, 2008 4:57 PM

Wish it didn't have to get so personal around here.

In any event it will be interesting to see whether Nick and AB respond well to the bash-the-rookies campaign Eddie, AJ, Brendan, and DS have been waging in the press. Might not have been a good idea to take it so public. These guys are still barely into their 20s.

Posted by: Prazak | January 8, 2008 4:58 PM

"I more or less would agree with you on your above statement but I think not only is AJ's leadership and steadiness important to this team, it's his game that meshes so well with that of Gil, and later on CB's."

I certainly didn't mean to imply it was ONLY his leadership that was important. Obviously the guy can play. The point is, just being able to play isn't enough. A successful team needs those intangibles from it's best players, esp. one that was trying to dig itself out of the deep hole of loserhood the Wiz franchise was mired in.

Put Ricky Davis or Wally Szerbiak in Jamison's spot and they could get you 20 a night, easy. But the team wouldn't win nearly as many games.

Posted by: kalorama | January 8, 2008 4:59 PM

"He is 26, and this is his 5th year. What have you done in your life?

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 03:30 PM "

BTW JSchon, I think this is actually Gil's 7th year in the NBA at 26, even after playing 2 years at Arizona! Amazing huh? Only 4-5 years older than rookies NY, DMac, and high schooler (3 years ago) Blatche. We forget how bright Gil shines even for his age and experience, oh how we sometimes we take him for granted...

Posted by: Takin' a Wiz | January 8, 2008 5:01 PM

or in DCMan/Woman's case, trashed relentlessly!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 5:13 PM

Now you see why Jamison, Butler, and Daniels are so very vital to this teams success. That right there is priceless and is exactly what you need from your veterans. I love it!!!

Posted by: Stew' | January 8, 2008 5:26 PM

PLEASE IGNORE DC MAN88 (aka DC RACIST88). HIS POSTS ARE INTENDED TO BASH GIL FOR MISSING TWO FREE THROWS IN A PLAYOFFS GAME, WHICH CAUSED THIS FOOL TO LOSE A $7,000 BET. AND HE BASHES BLACK PLAYERS AND SUPPORTS WHITE PLAYERS BECAUSE HE IS A RACIST.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 6:09 PM

Kudos to whoever remembered LaBradford Smith, whose most memorable and possibly last recorded quote was, "Nice game, Mike!"

Agree, Nick Young has to step up tonight, and specifically he has to outplay Luther Head, a similar player who can score in bunches.

We will also probably need a 30+ offensive show from Antawn, who should have the least problems matching-up offensively against the Rockets, especailly if they continue to underutilize Scola.

Caron will have to shape his game to take advantage of whatever openings Battier gives him, which probably means hitting some early perimeter shots to create some driving space.

AD needs to neutralize Alston, who is having his best year I think... and DS better be ready to put the clamps on both Bonzi Wells and Mike James.

Above all this needs to be Brendan's night to shine against Yao Ming, and he will need a big assist from Songaila and hopefully Blatche.

This is a very good benchmark game for the Wizards, fingers crossed for a nice win.

Posted by: khrabb | January 8, 2008 6:15 PM

Nice Win?

The Rockets are missing their Main player.

Why do we need to pull out the rosary beads?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 6:24 PM

DS is a dork for encouraging Gilby's out of whack behavior. Then again, DS knows not to bite the hand that feeds him. Not surprising, but still stupid coming out of DS's mouth.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 6:45 PM

Wow, the knuckle-headedness must have gotten really bad in the locker room and in practices for this to happen. 21 year old multimillionaires riding the coat tails of 4 really strong players--AJ, CB, BH, AD. Let's hope it turns things around quickly.

One word about the Joe Gibbs retirement: Hallelujah.

Posted by: oddjob | January 8, 2008 7:21 PM

Not surprising, but still stupid coming out of DC Man88's mouth.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 7:37 PM

Funny, EJ was interviewed today and it was broadcast on Comcast. He was quoted as saying that he needs his bench to step up and to get focused. He said "we need the young guys to follow the right people....guys like Caron and Antawn..."

Not surprised he only named those two names.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 9:34 PM

"Not surprising, but still stupid coming out of DC Man88's mouth.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 07:37 PM "

Note also how some losers like to post using my blog name.

Hmmm, I'm sure nobody would like it if I were to post using their name.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 9:38 PM

Rockets kept giving us chances to get back into the game, but our All-Stars both had off nights.

Not going to win against most teams if that happens. BTH looked great and for the most part our defense played solid for most of the game.

Rockets have some quick hands.

Luther head almost outscored CB and AJ by himself.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2008 10:19 PM

I'm thinking AD is still not right. His stats showed he did almost nothing.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 8, 2008 10:38 PM

I believe AD and Mason may start sharing PG minutes in order to allow AD to heal up right and be fresher late in the season, when whe'll need him most.

Posted by: akmed0 | January 9, 2008 12:12 AM

A learning experience... other reasonably talented teams can also adapt to the absence of one of their all-stars...

Concern about AD's health status is well-placed I think. Alston is having a fine year but there is no way he would dominate a healthy AD to that extent.

Who was on Luther Head? By the numbers on the box score, it appears that no-one was guarding the second-best player (after Deron Williams) from that fine Illinois team.

Posted by: khrabb | January 9, 2008 5:10 AM

88 - your posts are really redundant.

I'd like to propose system of shorthand to keep the troll posts shorter.

Simply type "gilby"

followed by a :

and the corresponding numerical codes (separated by commas) for the points you would like to reiterate.

1. Selfish
2. Childish
3. Bad daddy
4. Grotto
5. Laura dirty house
6. Double standard
7. Personal life bad
8. Poker at half time
9. Talks too much

You can mix in some modifiers for special points you commonly use example.

A. Family insult
B. You don't read
C. I know everything
D. You love gilby
E. Gilby Gilby
F. Why he not call me?
G. Where is our championship
H. Come back

An example post could be easily shortened to:

Gilby: 3, 5, 6, D, 7, H, A, 7, 6, 8, 8, H!

Posted by: i smoke | January 9, 2008 5:13 AM

one other question Gilbyman 88,

From your posts you seem to make the point a lot that GA could do whatever he wants AFTER he wins a championship, until then he needs to do everything your way.

OK, to play along. You are inferring that Gilbert has or is holding them back from winning a championship, by making that the qualifier for his behavior. Which i think if you really stop to contemplate you would realize is a bit silly. Reason: not one should have expected them to compete for a championship before this season and even this season. They are still clearly a work in progress and many of the players have not fully matured on many levels. That is the nature of being a youngish team, and having a youngish star. We ain't the lakers, we'd like to be, but we ain't. So I think what people should be looking for on this team is really progress.

I'm not saying they can't and shouldn't be competitive, but suggesting that they should already be at the top of the league is a bit silly. The boost AJ and GA and now Butler has provided to this franchise is huge, but I don't think anyone inside or outside the organization would suggest we are a finished product. Like EJ says, the wiz aren't good enough to play down to anyone... That is just a reality check.

Do I want them to do well? Off course, but I don't wet my pants when they look like a still developing team. Cause that is what they are.

Posted by: i smoke | January 9, 2008 5:23 AM

Also, double standards are a fact of life. The sooner you get over that the better.

Posted by: i smoke | January 9, 2008 5:24 AM

i smoke, allow me to translate the example you gave above...

Gilby is a bad daddy because Laura keeps a dirty house and the Wizards have a dbl standard for him. His personal ife is bad and he came back too soon. His feet stink and his personal life is bad because he plays too much poker at halftime. POKER AT HALFTIME ! Came back too soon !

- thank you

Posted by: mark | January 9, 2008 7:28 AM

I only watched half of the game last night but...who in the heck is Luther Head? And what happened to BTH? At halftime, Yao had 8 points and BTH had 7. I watched the last quarter and AB was trying to guard Yao. 7'0" 215 vs. 7'6" 310. AB was planted to the floor and couldn't get so much as a fingernail on the ball at times. I also say Songaila trying to guard Yao. What the
he*l happened ? BTH wound up with only 4 fouls and had a decent game based on the numbers. 29 minutes, 5-7 with 6 rebounds and a couple blocks (one on Yao's jumper).Couldn't he have had a positive effect? Meanwhile, Yao played 40 minutes. Was this another case of poor substitution? Please someone tell me that BTH had a cramp or something and that's why EJ took him out. I just don't get it. I know we're trying to involve AB more but putting him on Yao is just ludicrous. And Songaila ??!!!How dare he challenge Yao with his primitive skills? (quote borrowed from Mike Tyson).

Posted by: mark | January 9, 2008 7:39 AM

BTH played great last night. A couple of bad fouls by him and called by the refs on him limited his playing time. Blatche didnt play bad defensively against Yao, he actually blocked a couple of his shots and might have had 2 steals too, he did all he could before fouling out.

BTH kept us in the game on both sides of the ball, actually he kept it from being a complete blowout, we were in the game for about 5 minutes.

I think at half time we only had 14 rebounds.

Posted by: JSchon | January 9, 2008 7:54 AM

Battier pretty much shutdown CB and had him turning the over a bunch of times. AJ started cold but got a few shots down, just not consistent enough. BTH did quite well on both ends vs Yao. DS did OK shooting the ball, but collapsed a little bit too much and Head took advantage of a few nice passes from Yao. Alston drove the lane and caused a bit of havoc on the Wiz's defense, made AD seem too slow and ineffective. Bench played with more energy and intensity but not super efficient either. Overall, the Wiz got outplayed and EJ actually coached a pretty good game trying to get a good combination out on the floor to compete.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 8:31 AM

"i smoke" is clearly smoking.

mark should call Laura and ask her how great a person Gilby is.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 9:19 AM

I'd agree Eddie seemed to be trying just about everything to get the Wizards going.
I'm not sure either why he didn't comeback to Haywood more.

Blatche did do a very good job on Yao considering how overmatched he was size wise, even got a couple of blocks.

Darius, I feel for you man, trying to gaurd a guy that's got 8-9" on you and is stronger, quicker, and has more skills. I bet Eddie asked him in the huddle, why aren't you keeping that guy off the boards? He's killing us in there!

Posted by: GM | January 9, 2008 9:27 AM

So 88'er, are you saying that you've been in touch with Laura?

Posted by: GM | January 9, 2008 10:04 AM

Yeah, she's sweet. I don't know why anyone would throw her out of their house.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 10:21 AM

Anon, You should write cliff notes for a living. good synopsis.

Posted by: mark | January 9, 2008 10:23 AM

I was at the game last night. Wizards looked a step slower the entire game, and Houston is not known to be a fast team!

For the most part of the game, Haywood was the leading scorer, and seems like he was the only one who can shoot jump shot. Now, that's scary!

Houston used a lot of hands on defense, stripping the ball away every time when a Wizards player tried to drive. Either they were very good at it, or that Wizards were fouled and ref didn't call it.

The thing that puzzled me the most is when both Haywood and Blatche were on the court, but Jamison was the one who was guarding Yao on two consecutive processions. Of course Yao didn't have any problem shooting over Jamison. Was this by design (a strange one), or Wizards just did a terrible job on rotation? From watching Jamison for years, he does have a tendency to hang around the basket even though the guy he is supposed to guard is outside (that's how he got so many defensive rebounds).

All in all, a bad night for the Wizards, big two only scored 26 pts combined. Only Haywood and Young shot well (Songaila was OK too, but he only scored 4 pts, no significance at all.)

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 9, 2008 10:33 AM

Sounds like there's nothing much we could have done to win that game since CB was D'd up by Battier. Unless somebody else gets hot, we're short on firepower right now. "He who must not be mentioned" sure would have helped us out last night.

On a different note, has anyone taken a look at J Kidd's last 5 games? I think he's actively trying to get triple doubles now rather than letting them come naturally. I wonder if people will eventually start looking at it as selfish play. I'll bet a certain someone here would !! I think that as long as he's contributing in a lot of different areas, who cares if he passes up a shot to get an assist because he's at 9 and needs 10. Just my opinion, tho.



Posted by: mark | January 9, 2008 10:37 AM

So I'm getting this straight, 88'er you're claiming that you've gone so far as to contact Gil's girlfriend?

Posted by: GM | January 9, 2008 10:54 AM

GM, he's gotta be yanking your chain. Only a serious psychopath would go that far.

Posted by: mark | January 9, 2008 11:30 AM

"So I'm getting this straight, 88'er you're claiming that you've gone so far as to contact Gil's girlfriend?

Posted by: GM | January 9, 2008 10:54 AM "

No, she called me up.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 12:12 PM

DC Troll, F|_|CK YOU, @sswipe.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 12:22 PM

"So I'm getting this straight, 88'er you're claiming that you've gone so far as to contact Gil's girlfriend?

Posted by: GM | January 9, 2008 10:54 AM "

GM, you're either really gullible or just plain goofy. Just b/c I write about Gilby on this blog and pretend to be uptight about him does not mean I actually give a crap about Gilby.

It's just comical how everyone gets in a tizzy every time I write one sentence that mentions their agent zero hero. You guys are clearly more sensitive about him that I am.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 12:24 PM

"DC Troll, F|_|CK YOU, @sswipe.

Posted by: | January 9, 2008 12:22 PM "

Thanks for the warm wishes.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 12:25 PM

Can I please ask those of you on this Wizards Blog this question?

Why did EJ not have Antonio Daniels as PG last nite? Why Mason? It was the most lethargic and out of sync - rhthym game with Mason struggling to pass & shoot(hitting the back board or rim)then passing back & forth to Nick Young?

They were so confusing they eventually threw Houston off. The score sat at one point at least 10 mins before either team could score.

Why wasn't A. Daniels who is a true PG & holds a championship ring not at point last nite. I was at the game & it was a dragging mess? Nick Young is a rookie - ok but Mason has been in & around the league 7 yrs..still has no real control of the ball. Did anyone notice Houston's Rookie pg? Please explain cuz I wasted a lot of time & money going to that stupid game.

Posted by: Tyrone | January 9, 2008 12:33 PM

mason 7 years? come on. but anyway, we can't pin yesterday's poor performance on him.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 12:56 PM

EJ is playing Mason way too much. Mason should come out and shoot some shots. He has no business trying to run a team or run any sets. And, he can't defend either.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 1:29 PM

Tyrone,

Well, AD WAS the starting PG last night. But he cannot play for 48 minutes, can he? So somebody else must be PG when he is not on the court. This has been the case since Gil went down. AD played for 23 minutes last night, less than his "normal load," maybe that was your question?

But the problem last night was the starters did not play well. Unlike in previous games where starters established lead that was lost by the reveres, Wizards were trailing in this game the whole time!

The ball was knocked out of Jamison and Butler's hands numerous times on their drives to the basket. The passes for the "Princeton" backdoor cut were deflected repeatedly. So the team mostly just stand around and shoot jump shots, which did not fall either. The slow Houston team actually had more fast breaks than the Wizards. The only pleasant surprise was that I found out Haywood can shoot jump shots (but he lost his new gained free throw touch).

Houston also turned the ball over many times (at one point, it was like competing who can turn the ball over more), but Wizards did not capitalize.

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 9, 2008 1:46 PM

So, is tomorrow the first day to start signing people to 10 day contracts?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 9, 2008 2:44 PM

I'm an admitted BTH fan but isn't he playing big time Centers pretty much even this year and playing better than the others?

Posted by: mark | January 9, 2008 2:50 PM

Slurp, glug, oooh, Gilbee . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 3:02 PM

See Butt. Tee hee . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 3:05 PM

I thought we played well under our capabilities last night. We are NOT that bad of a team by any means. It was just a very off night in a lot of different areas. No need to panic, but hopefully we can learn from some of our mistakes.

Posted by: g diddy | January 9, 2008 3:14 PM

I think that Mason plays solid defense 88. Agree he is not always great at running the team.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 5:22 PM

when the pg is awful, the entire game stinks..no leadership nor direction..thats how they looked last night. They need pg leadership...thats Daniels.

In response to the question above:
yes, 7 yrs...Mason went to school with my kids. Not being cruel but he cannot run a team..sorry to those of you who disagree.
I don't think anybody that saw the game is blaming the loss on him. The game crawls gets disorganized because he doesn't know what he's doing. Appears EJ is giving him this stage to assist him in moving on to another team..but at what expense to this team?


Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 6:32 PM

Agreed Anon. Mason's clueless. If they want to let him loose off the bench towards the end or something - ok. Otherwise............

Also, I agree - its not that bad a team but I agree with Anon Mason is gosh awful at point..therefore the team doesn't have a clue whats going on..then they all struggle trying to get in sync. It was clear last nite.

Posted by: TJ | January 9, 2008 6:37 PM

he was still at uva in 2002 and he spent two years overseas. he hasn't spent 7 years in the nba.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 6:39 PM

Not sure how this info will help you all.
Mason's not worth the ink...

RM a late 2nd rnd. Chicago Bulls (2002-2003)traded & waived from various other teams... Maybe not 7 yrs but obviously long enough to have better ball handling skills. A project. Rookies coming in have better upfront skills. exp. Deron Wms., Houston's Aaron Brooks 22pts last nite. Chris Paul. We do have AD & thank God we have Gil..who should be back after the break. Then RM pleez take a seat(thank you)& they can get back to more organized goal oriented NBA ball. Welcome back AD & Gil!!!

Sorry DC 88'er...I will be applauding..

Posted by: Greg | January 10, 2008 1:19 AM

"So 88'er, are you saying that you've been in touch with Laura?

Posted by: GM | January 9, 2008 10:04 AM "

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

For a 70 year old, you sure are gullible, naive, and goofy.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 10, 2008 8:28 AM

greg, your information is tilted to the negative side and also incorrect. mason was the first or second pick in the second round, not a late second round pick (still not a first rounder, but just pointing out that you are wrong). he was only waived from one team, toronto and was never traded again after the initial chi/tor trade. at that point he went overseas and did not return to the nba until the wizards. not sure what you're getting out of being so anti and wrong.

you are correct, he's not a real point guard. you are obviously correct that chris paul and deron williams are better. they are among the best point guards in the league. what is your point?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 1:06 PM

When you look at his production and then consider that his contract is the absolute minimum (i.e. what you would pay a 12th man) for an NBA player, then you would have to say that Roger Mason has given the Wizards superb value for the money to date. His job was to be the team's fifth guard, not its first guard of the bench. Give the man a break, folks, he has been a darn decent contributor!

The big issue is getting Nick Young and Andray Blatche to play up to their potential... and to get a consistent 8-10 points and 4-5 boards a night out of Darius Songaila.

Short of getting Gilbert back, and assuming ongoing good work from the current starters, that is what it will take for the Wizards to stay in serious playoff contention (i.e, NOT 7-8 seed first round fodder for Boston or Detroit).

Posted by: khrabb | January 10, 2008 1:53 PM

Khrabb, I'd agree 100% for what the guy is being paid to do he's played solid ball. I don't think he was ever expected to start, he did and the team didn't collapse when Daniels was out.

Normally he'd be a deep rotation player, the kind of guy that gets 10-20 min. sometimes when needed and then may not break a sweat on another night.

Young, Blatche, and to a lessor extent Pecherov are the keys to this team improving between now and Arenas return. McGuire is going to have a tough time being a factor unless Caron would go down for awhile. Which would probably about trash the rest of this year and Eddie might as well play the kids anyway.

These guys have done well to win as many as they have through a stretch where they got down to the third point guard starting with a rookie being the first guy off the bench.

Posted by: GM | January 10, 2008 3:52 PM

Common sense would suggest that the vets are mad at the Wiz kids because they do not show intensity or practice enough and instead joke around. On the other hand Arenas jokes around but is also the hardest worker. The vets are not trying to suffocate anyones personality, just be more serious, because they are not producing as of late.

But I cannot ask for common sense from DCMan I suppose.

Posted by: arenasmvp4ever | January 10, 2008 8:27 PM

"Common sense would suggest that the vets are mad at the Wiz kids because they do not show intensity or practice enough and instead joke around. On the other hand Arenas jokes around but is also the hardest worker. The vets are not trying to suffocate anyones personality, just be more serious, because they are not producing as of late.

But I cannot ask for common sense from DCMan I suppose.

Posted by: arenasmvp4ever | January 10, 2008 08:27 PM "

Maybe if MJ joked around more, he would have won more championships.

As a veteran, you lead by example, not by double standards.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 11, 2008 7:47 AM

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