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Gasol out

Memphis F Pau Gasol (back) is out for tonight's game against the Wizards as is F Stromile Swift (ankle). "La Bomba" otherwise known as Juan Carlos Navarro, will get his 12th start of the season. The Grizz smacked the Wiz down in Memphis back on Nov. 24 124-118 despite a 41-point effort by Antawn Jamison.

Navarro scored 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting and hit some really amazing long range shots as well as some floaters in the paint ala Jamison.

Gasol is the team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder so the Wiz should come out and get this one. I say "should" because they are coming off a beatdown at Cleveland and have been known to slip up against teams who played without a top dog in recent seasons.

The Wiz have allowed 87.6 points in the last five home games and are 4-1 in those games.

By Ivan Carter  |  January 25, 2008; 6:48 PM ET
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This game better be a beatdown. Although you never know with those young Memphis cats, sometimes they come to play. The trademark of a young team is inconsistency, something Memphis is all too familiar with.

Posted by: Roman | January 25, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Memphis on pace for 36 points. Of note, Wiz are undefeated (0-0) when holding opponents to 40 points or less per game.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The biggest key so far: Making Memphis turn the ball over 11 times.

The Wiz also held them to 2-11 from 3-point land....a big change from that 10-19 in the first game.

Nice bounce-back-ability from the Wizards so far.

Hopefully they can keep it up.

Posted by: | January 25, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Ivan! You jinxed us!!!

Posted by: Zonker | January 25, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still want JCN instead of Deshawn?

Posted by: PK1 | January 25, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Good bounce back win. This year it seems they have been able to beat teams that have some of their better players injured.

And Cleveland and Orlando lost tonight.

Posted by: Tim | January 25, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Good win by the Wiz. Anybody know why AJ didn't start?

Memphis badly needs a point guard who can run the team. They have some good pieces though.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 25, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Juan Carlos Who ?

Posted by: mark | January 25, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 25, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Cavs and Nets lost too. It's a good night for the Wiz.

Posted by: Prazak | January 25, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I got to hand it to DeShawn Stevenson for outplaying JCN and making us pro-Navarro folks look bad tonight. Nice work DeShawn, keep it up.

Posted by: George Templeton | January 26, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Stevensons stat lines just start looking more and more robust - and when you watch him play you know why.

He is a top 15 SG even though he is a fourth option offensively - unusual for the position.

Posted by: ATLwizFAN | January 26, 2008 3:18 AM | Report abuse

The issue for some of us was never Navarro vs. DeShawn. The issue was letting Navarro walk for what may turn out to be next to nothing. The fact is that Grunfeld managed the cap such that he had to choose either Navarro or DeShawn, and if he chose DeShawn, whether to keep Navarro's trade rights or not.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

At the game last night. Navarro is a lights out spot up shooter but really provides nothing else. Most NBA teams can use a shooter like that but they need to be really strong defensively to cover-up for his defensive shortcomings (See John Paxson, Craig Hodges, etc>)

Posted by: PTP23 | January 26, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Eddie should watch a few Memphis games, alot of the games they play tend to get ugly. Some teams tend to make other teams look sloppy when they play them, Memphis just seems to be one of those teams.

Posted by: GM | January 26, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

After Milwaukee, brutal, brutal schedule all the way to the all-star break. Wiz need to elevate their play for the next three weeks.

Posted by: reispace | January 26, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Last night was very sloppy EJ should be upset, if the DC5 consider themselves a top team then they need to stomp teams like the Grizz who were without Gasol no excuses you see what the LEBRONS did to us the other night. The WIZ must adapt a killer instinct,the vets should have been sitting for most of the fourth, instead of trying to hold off a late Memphis charge.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | January 26, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I think when you play a weakened team during an 82 game schedule there will be moments where even the best teams turn it on and off. The defense was off in the 3rd, back on by the fourth. The Grizzlebees really never threatened. Routine W. Losing focus happens this time of year...That we got it back is what is important.

JCN is a nice player, but DS is a better fit for the Wiz talent mix. As for the comment about EG mismanaging the cap and losing him for next to nothing, remember that JCN is going be lost again to whoever is holding his contract at the end of this season, since he has a one-year deal at around $550K. Also, if you like Roger Mason, the trade meant he could be re-signed. Then there was the lobbying to play with Gasol. I dunno, guess the cap issue angle seems like a quibble to me in light of everything else. We really don't have any horrible contracts. IMO, Etan's is the worst and it's really not that bad unless he can't get back to where he was.

Posted by: Pauly B. | January 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Since the class act Joe Gibbs walked away from the Redskins, we can see how they have already degenerated into disarray and disrespect for people.

There is a classy way to do things and then apparently the Snyder way of doing things.

Agree with reispace above, we have a pretty challenging schedule coming up before the all star break, including a four game western road trip. Hopefully, we can still be above .500 when GA gets back.

Posted by: Tim | January 26, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Kalorama's comments regarding Daniels are interesting, he may not fit the PG mold that Iverson and Wade played with, but he has proven he knows how to run the team and win."

That's exactly the point. He knows how to run the team. But in order to run the team he needs to control the ball. He won't be able to control the ball if he plays most of his minutes with Arenas, who also needs to control the ball to be effective.

"As to the refrain, 'taking the ball out of his hands is rendering Gil ineffective,' "

I never made any such refrain. I said taking the ball out of Daniels' hands would render him ineffective, because if he's starting with Arenas, odds are Arenas will be the one with the ball most of the time. Which leaves Daniels unable to do what he does best. -Kalorama

What I am suggesting is that Daniels, as point guard would be the "game controller" and thus have the ball in his hands. I am suggesting this is possible and citing AI and D. Wade as analagous players at the two.
You are suggesting that Gilbert could not make the adjustment to that approach, I think he could.
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, because the conventional wisdom along with EJ and EG agrees with you, that it's nuts to take the ball out of Gilbert's hands.
Which then brings us to the question of what kind of team we will have when Gil returns at point if, as you believe, he can't play without the ball in his hands.
One other thing, I suspect Gilbert can play defense and not only that, he can also move and create without the ball in his hands. Great players make adjustments, perhaps Gil is that good.

Posted by: Myshkin | January 26, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Gil will have the ball in his hands when he gets back, as he should. He draws so much attention with the ball; that's what opens things up for everyone else.

I think what will happen is that AD will still get a lot of PT, now that Eddie has seen his value to the team. I don't think we'll see Arenas at 40-45 minutes per night anymore; more likely at around 35 minutes, which is where he should be.

And I do think AD will see some more minutes at SG, to spell Deshawn. He's a natural point, but having two ball-handlers in at the same time ain't a bad thing.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 26, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"What I am suggesting is that Daniels, as point guard would be the "game controller" and thus have the ball in his hands. I am suggesting this is possible and citing AI and D. "

I know what you're suggesting. And I'm saying that's a bad analogy, because in the case of Iverson/Snow and Wade/Williams, the nominal "PGs" (Snow/Williams) did not have the ball in their hands most of the time. The SGs (Iverson/Wade) did. Which is what will likely happen if Arenas and Daniels start and play most of their minutes together. And such an arrangement puts Daniels at a disadvantage and mutes the primary strength of his game.

Posted by: kalorama | January 26, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I am still with the school of thought that GA should come off the bench initially when he returns. I think he will provide instant offense... AND rather than producing a situation where the rest of the second unit will stand around and watch him, I think he will find ways to give NY a chance to complement him as he did with Hughes and will open up interesting opportunities for Pech and AB.

As far as the next three weeks go, take 'em one game at a time, starting with a solid road win at Milwaukee. The Raptors home game that follows will be a big test.

Posted by: khrabb | January 26, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"He draws so much attention with the ball; that's what opens things up for everyone else.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 26, 2008 12:03 PM "

If having the ball in Gilby's hands opens things up for everybody, then how do you explain AJ, CBut, and BTH having great years with increased averages since Gilby's been out? The players clearly have much better chemistry on the court sans Gilby.

Don't just praise Gilby's potential positive impact on the offensive end, consider also Gilby's detrimental impact on the defensive end.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 26, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Weak win, good thing Gilby was out.

Posted by: Clewiston88 | January 26, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Weak win, good thing Gilby was out.

lol, won't let me post under Clewiston88 anymore.....hmmmmm, something fishy going on here

you'll never get rid of me, Ivan.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 26, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Lisa sucks.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 26, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Lisa sucks.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 26, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Arenas will detract from our defense. The whole team has improved defensively this season, Arenas included in the games we had with him early on. To think that Arenas will hurt the team defensively is naive. Consider last year: horrible defense, both Jamison and Arenas were bad defenders. This year, Jamison still playing all season, but improved team defense. Arenas coming in won't change what the team as a whole is doing; there was evidence early on before his re-injury that he had also bought into the defensive schemes along with everybody else. Arenas will help this team tremendously.

Posted by: andy | January 26, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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