I Do Not Believe What I Just Saw

BOSTON - Hmm. Where do you begin? That was some win - to put it lightly.

I can honestly say that I didn't expect that one. Like the fans at TD Banknorth Garden, I was silent in the closing seconds on Monday night. My mouth was wide open, my bottom lip was about ready to hit the keyboard, when I realized the Wizards were really going to steal a win in a place that left them with so many humiliating memories last November. They were going to win a game they had no business being in.

After that thrilling win Saturday night, I thought the Wizards would join Cleveland and Detroit and become the third team to beat the Celtics and lose in the second meeting. After all, the Celtics were the only team in the league that hadn't lost consecutive games this season.

Even Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan was expecting the Celtics to come out pretty fired up. Before the game, he said "they've been monsters after losses." And they have, clobbering teams in the game immediately following a loss by an average of 25 points.

But before last night, the Celtics never met the team that beat them in the very next game. And they never met a team like the Wizards, who appear to have their number right now.


Watch me crank it, watch me roll. Watch me crank dat Soulja Boy and Superman that ... (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

How else do you explain how the Wizards let the Celtics build a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and still pulled out a gutsy, 88-83 win?

How implausible was the comeback? Let us count the ways.

1. The Wizards scored 25 points in the final five minutes, 57 seconds of the game. They scored 35 points in the entire first half.

2. Caron Butler scored 11 points - one less than Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined - in the fourth quarter after going missing seven of his first 11 shots for just 10 points in the first three periods (Wanna talk about a money player? How does 3-for-6 from the field, 5-for-5 from the foul line, with three rebounds and steal in the final period sound?).


Hey, Paul. I learned this by watching you. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

3. The Wizards held the Celtics to just one field goal - a rebound tip by Garnett - in the final 6:22. (Do you realize the Wizards have held their past six opponents under 100 points?)

4. Before the Wizards went on that decisive 25-6 run, the Wizards had missed their first five shots of the fourth period and were outscored 14-4.

5. The run started when Brendan Haywood (14 points, 7 rebounds) was credited with a rebound tip. Actually, Brendan was the closest Wizard to Garnett when he accidentally knocked in a rebound.

6. In their first 34 games, the Celtics had only lost one time this season when they entered the fourth quarter with a lead - against Detroit. The Wizards have come back to beat them in consecutive games.

How much have the Wizards improved defensively the past two months? They held the Celtics to just 37 points in the first half. The Celtics had 37 points in the second quarter when the teams met in Boston on Nov. 2.

Even more unlikely: The Wizards are just 1 ½ games out of first place in the Southeast Division. Raise your hand if you saw that coming when Gilbert Arenas had knee surgery in late November? Put them down. You know you didn't.

The game had a playoff feel to it. The rebounding numbers were about the same (48 Celtics, 47 Wizards). Neither team shot particularly well (41.9 percent Celtics, 38.6 percent Wizards). Guys were scrapping and clawing for loose balls (all you had to do was check out the pain on Wizards assistant Mike O'Koren's face when James Posey came crashing into him after battling with Jamison for the ball early in the fourth quarter).

After the game, Jordan still wasn't ready to go overboard after beating the Celtics twice. "I don't know if one game catapults into another game to the next," he said. "It depends on how you react after this. You just can't fall flat on your face the next two weeks."

He's right. If they follow up these wins with losses to the New York Knicks tonight and Friday, this would've meant nothing.

The most impressive part about the win, though, was that the Wizards weren't overly excited after the game. They were calm. They walked around the locker room like they did what they were supposed to do.

"Not too many people gave us the chance to get one," Jamison said after they swept the home-and-home with the Celtics. "We've been doing a bit of soul searching here lately, trying to figure out what type of team we want to be. We knew this was an important stretch for this team, and it just shows the type of character we have on this team, as far as always believing."

During the game, a Boston writer asked if I had to pick one Wizard to make the all-star team, which one would it be - Antawn or Caron?

It was like handing me a bag of Lays. I can't pick just one. Both of those guys deserve to be on that squad for the way they have stepped up the past two months.


Come and get some! I'm an all-star. I even got stars on my jersey. Eastern Conference coaches: Vote Butler/Jamison in '08. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The numbers they've put up are enough, but the leadership they've provided is something else. You should've seen the way Caron was shouting at his teammates in the fourth quarter, letting them know that the game wasn't over, no matter what the scoreboard said at the time.

Butler admitted that his one-on-one battle with Pierce was special. "You know obviously through the course of my career watching Paul Pierce. When I was at Uconn, always trying to model my game after him. He was the guy that went with the 10th pick [like Butler] and obviously, he wanted to make people pay as well. It was like some big brother type stuff, so it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to go at him like that down the stretch."

I still haven't figured out how you describe that ridiculous shot in the final minute, when Butler drove left, drew some contact and flipped the ball high off the square - and away from Garnett - for a score. That finger roll over Pierce that gave the Wizards the lead for good was simply a smooth move.

Butler's offense saved the Wizards, but Jordan added, "He was just as awesome at the defensive end, he was checking everybody."

Butler help keep Pierce in check after Pierce put Boston ahead 72-63 with a driving dunk (Pierce had just two free throws the rest of the game), but the real unsung hero last night was Brendan Haywood.


Where you gon' go, KG? I'm all over you. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Garnett tried to intimidate him all night, talking some serious trash after blocking his shot in the first half, but Haywood stayed with him and made him work for everything he got. He forced Garnett into a difficult shot that clanged off the iron in the final 20 seconds.

As for the Celtics, who have lost three of their past four games, it will interesting to see how they handle their first dose of adversity.

"I think our energy the latter part of the year in January, it's just probably the hardest of the schedule," Garnett said. "It is what it is, everybody in the league is going to go through the same thing so we are not [bad word] and moaning about none of that. We gotta deal with it, just like everybody else had to deal with it.

"It's not gonna be easy, it's a process," he said. "Gonna take our lumps now. I'd rather take them now than later. I'd rather learn now than later."

Point guard Rajon Rondo, who missed the game Saturday, returned from a sore back injury, but he was limited to just 21 minutes. The Celtics have responded to doubters all season, but if there is an area where they are thin, it's in the backcourt. GM Danny Ainge may want to look into adding a veteran point guard, because Rondo is the only real ballhandler on the roster.

"Rondo adds a different dimension to the game," Pierce said, "but that's no excuse, other guys have to be ready to step up."

The Wizards certainly are right now.

By Michael Lee |  January 15, 2008; 7:51 AM ET
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Comments

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I couldn't see the game on TV so I followed in the internet and my mouth dropped just like Michael's when I realized what was happening. Hopefully there won't be a letdown tonight against the Knicks. The Wiz have a great opportunity with the next 2 games to get a little cushion going in to a tough part of the schedule. But it will be tough tonight to recapture the intensity they had in the last 2 games.

Posted by: arnie | January 15, 2008 8:15 AM

Believe ! We're for real and getting better every game. DS has been the key lately. Aj and CB are doing what they do but DS has stepped up. Having another 3 point threat on the floor makes us really hard to defend. Way to go Wiz.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 8:15 AM

Thanks for breaking down the game a bit more than could be done in the paper (and from a bit more personal perspective). It's valuable to have read both the gamer and this post.

Posted by: Lindemann | January 15, 2008 8:18 AM

Glad to see Lee giving BTH some love. I give him so much credit for the team's improved defense that I thought I'd be better off not mentioning it this time. Even when Kg was 4-5 or 5-7, he was taking tough shots and was clearly bothered by BTH's defense. Brendan was even moving his feet and taking the drive away from Garnett, who I though would have the quickness advantage.
While I'm glad that Etan is working out again, I hope EJ resists the temptation and leaves Brendan out there. As big as CB and AJ have been this year, I really beleive that BTH, because of his long arms and basket-guarding ability, is the difference. Clearly our D is why we're winning now and BTH is the key to that. (AB is also part of that, with his shot blocking ability and rep.)

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 8:23 AM

Wow! What a game, this is a team that is really hitting their stride. As Gil said last year, finding their swag.

Stevenson and Butler stuck the dagger in the Celtics to finish two games in a row. Great win, now on to NY to keep it going!

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 8:26 AM

Great game, got to hand it to the guys. They have really shown a solid demeanor, been positive and Caron, Antawn and AD have all shown great leadership. You can see how this is an Abe Polin team. Go Wiz.

Posted by: Don | January 15, 2008 8:49 AM

From everyone's discussions on the last post; all this "the wizards are better off without gilbert" seems eerily similar to the "start betts, trade portis" redskin talk from last year. when it comes down to it, gilbert is still by far the most talented scorer on this team. and while these players have certainly stepped up and proven they can play with the best in the league, coming down the stretch and in the playoffs, you're going to need a spark like gilbert to move this team from a challenger to a contender. right now, we know we CAN beat the celtics, but every time we do, we know it's an upset (as evidence by the fact we're all so giddy right now). but adding offensive firepower like gilbert would put us in consideration to be true contenders, on the same level as the other "powers" like the celts, detroit, etc.

could you imagine having to try and defend arenas, butler, and jamison (the way the latter two are playing now) coming down the stretch in the 4th quarter of big games. this team would be lethal.

Posted by: psps23 | January 15, 2008 8:55 AM

I love sexy imagine of Twan Twan cranking that and making Superman cape over whole of the Celtics!!!! Enjoy super affixtion Wizardly seed of Clark Kent Jamison, KG, you mouth breather!!!!

www.wizznutzz.com

Posted by: Jarkko Ruutu | January 15, 2008 8:57 AM

Can I whine for just a moment? The "Daily Dime" on ESPN.com has ignored the Wiz all year. I was sure they'd cover the back-to-back wins against Boston as the lead today. But what's the lead? Another story about the Lakers! This time about an injured player. Ridiculous.

Hope the Wiz use it as fuel.

OK. Whine time over. Return to your lives, citizens.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 15, 2008 9:08 AM

Great Game!! That's how you earn All-Star votes, Tough Juice. He definitely deserves more votes after that effort.

The whole team looked phenomenol.

I don't know what's better - last night or Sunday's Dallas loss!!!

Posted by: Evan | January 15, 2008 9:16 AM

Like the dance moves in the picture also and the Wiz better be happy they resigned Deshawn!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 9:21 AM

Yeah, Keithinator. I noticed that, too. One small pic of CB and that's it. I think people see it as an aberration. We need to sweep these next 2 games from the Knicks convincingly to get ppl to start believing.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 9:24 AM

Great post, Michael. You really captured why that game was so special.

Posted by: Smith | January 15, 2008 9:34 AM

HEY BEANTOWN - SHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
signed the wiz

Posted by: random dude | January 15, 2008 9:39 AM

Hey, Keith, stop visiting espn.com. It will make you saner and smarter.

The team this year is just different, isn't it? It's not because Gilbert drags them down. I think there are a number of reasons:

- Bill Simmons is always talking about players making "the leap," i.e., going from good to great. That describes Butler, doesn't it?

- I have been critical of Eddie Jordan at times in the past, and for good reason. But isn't he making the leap, too? He is coaching differently. The pairing of Ayers and Jordan has been fantastic -- they are making sweet music together.

- Hopla, baby!

- Finally, more than lip service to defense, and a real appreciation for what Haywood and Stevenson bring to the team. No coincidence that the game turned around when those two re-entered the game last night in the 4th quarter. Watching Haywood shut down Garnett was pure joy.

Posted by: Sean | January 15, 2008 9:44 AM

Agreed on Hopla. If you look at average margin of victory (espn has the standings) you can see how big the 2-3 extra free throws you get every game from DeShawn/Haywood really are. I attribute that entirely to Hopla. Those 2-3 points (along with the improved defense) are the difference between average teams and good teams.

If the Wiz margin of victory last year was around +2 with no defense and awful foul shooting but with Gil, and now they're +3 with defense and great foul shooting, you'd think that just Gil is worth a couple of extra points overall when he comes back. Even one or two buckets a game where the offense doesn't generate a shot and you have to just give him the ball, get out of the way, and let him a jumper or get to the foul line turns this team into an elite team. Get those parachutes out Gil! We need you this year.

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 10:01 AM

This team is finally playing shutdown D down the stretch in games. Agreed, the Celtics looked tired, not a good sign when the season isn't half over yet. But teams hit a wall at different times and have to battle through it. I thought the Wiz looked a little shaky a couple of weeks ago.

Nice to see Ray and some of the other Vets back on the site.

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 10:09 AM

Forever the underdogs. Words can not describe the happiness I feel right now. Its strange to have a team elate you or break you win or lose, but who gives a hoot. We are almost 1st place in our division. Who needs the big three when you have the highest Forward scoring tandem in the league, Sike!! I love me some Arenas drives to the lane for and one baby

GOOOO WIZARDSSSS!!!!

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | January 15, 2008 10:18 AM

Agreed Joe, With Gil this team could leap to elite status. I'd then put the Wiz big three against the Beantown boys any day of the week!

On top of that Brendan and Stevenson would round out the Wiz starting five better then Rondo and Perkins. And then the Wiz would have a deep bench with Daniels, Blatche, Mason, and Songaila before they'd even have to look to Young, Pecherov, and McGuire.

If Etan could come back and start to contribute backup minutes this team suddenly gets deep. With the way this coaching staff is clicking this could be a dangerous team in the making.

Let ESPN continue to ignore them, these guys seem to like to play with a little chip on their shoulders.

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 10:20 AM

The biggest difference between Jordan's coaching this year and last is that he's seen the value of tallball. He likes going big now, and is trying different combinations of bigs on the floor. When Etan comes back, I think that will only help, because he can use two bigs more often without worrying about foul trouble.

Joe, great point about the FT shooting. It's made a huge difference, if somewhat hidden. The improvements by Stevenson and Haywood are amazing. Look at DS at the line now; he looks totally cool and confident. It didn't seem he got rattled at all in these last two games.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 15, 2008 10:23 AM

This group is definitely playing with much more toughness and determination than they ever have in the 4 years they've been together. They use to make such killing mistakes and lose games like they won last night. I hope Gilbert is on board with this and can fit in. This could be a special season after all.

Posted by: dcwizard | January 15, 2008 10:34 AM

17-11 WITHOUT Arenas we are better without him!!!!

Sign and Trade for something that will actually help the team!


This game tnt against the knicks is the real test. I bet we end up losing. 4th game in 5 nights on a back to back.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 10:41 AM

Here's hoping minutes & scoring comes from the bench tonight. I can tell you what hurts the Wizards today aside from sore legs and arms: sore backs, sore ribs, and sore shins from getting hit, poked, pushed and tripped last night. I marvel at the Celtics' speed, being able to keep up and stay in front of their man while guarding so closely. Also I think one of the main reasons the Celtics are winning so much is intimidation, which is also how the Bulls were playing the Wiz last year. Well no more getting intimidated, the Wizards are playing tough!

Posted by: rgz | January 15, 2008 10:43 AM

Want to echo the sentiments on this board and give props to Michael and Ivan for the great work they do for us, the fans. I watched the game and couldn't believe what I was seeing with Caron. What a baller. Lots of trash talking going on and Tough Juice simply responded with his play, not his mouth (Pierce eating humble pie is priceless). But Michael's post above made me also think back about how true it is about Brendan and his amazing defense of late. You can't shut down Garnett, but heck, Brendan did just about that last night, huh?

Again, great article and much more insightful than the AP's story and meager ESPN/SI/CBSSPORTS coverage. Now the question is, do we want to lay low in the media or finally start getting Caron and Jamison some press?

Posted by: Drew | January 15, 2008 10:45 AM

I agree with Mark that along with CB, AJ and DS, BH was the catalyst of a very good defense last night. He did a good job on KG the whole game and also had a hand on giving Ray Allen a difficult 3 point shot in the last seconds of the game.

Now the question is how will be the relationship of EJ and BH once ETan comes back. Will EJ be the smart coach or will he coach by emotion. Stay tune.

Posted by: Dave, | January 15, 2008 10:46 AM

Yeah dude, not better without Gil. Doing things better that have nothing to do with Gil while Gil is hurt doesn't mean that they're happening because Gil's out. I'm sure you took a class at some point where you learned about causation.

Gil didn't keep Brendan and DeShawn from learning how to shoot

Gil didn't keep Caron from expanding his range.

Gil didn't keep Jordan from playing Ruffin, Jarvis, Etan when there are more productive players who could play.

Defense... yeah he's not a good defender. But I'd guarantee you his offense is more valuable than his lack of defense.

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 10:52 AM

Let me use some numbers to proof how important our improved FT% is.

In this game, Wizards shot 27 for 30, 90% FT, Celtics, 72%. Had Wizards shot the same percentage as Celtics, it would have made 22 instead of 27 (30 x 0.72 = 21.6 rounded up to 22). In other words, Wizards would have scored 5 points less, exactly the difference of the ball game!

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 15, 2008 10:53 AM

I love eddie, and agree he's doing a great job this year. however, a large part of his strategy is playing butler and jamison huge minutes - it's a good strategy, but still, it's a long season. agree with rgz - against the knicks i hope to see about 30 min. for the big 2 and look for blatche, mason and nick young to carry a bunch minutes and scoring. OPEC anyone?

Posted by: random dude | January 15, 2008 10:54 AM

Gil not playing is the reason for everything.

1. Defense

2. Brendan coming out of his shell

3. Caron playing the way he is.

4. Team ball and team Defense

5. Young Players can actually develop.

All of this is b/c Gilbert Arenas isn't on the court.

I actually want him to come back and ruin the season so everyone will see what he does to this team. If he comes back we will go right back to giving up 104 a game.

We had the same record at this point last year with him. Let the Circus(arenas) go and lets add to the real team.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 10:59 AM

"Defense... yeah he's not a good defender. But I'd guarantee you his offense is more valuable than his lack of defense."


wrong we would have never beat the celtics with him. Notice we lost by 20+ with him. when we were down 14 he would have hoisted about 8 3's in a row and game over. When Gil plays the entire teams revolves around him. if h is playing well the wizards win if not we get crushed b/c he shoots about 5/20. Ill take team ball and team effort anyday over the gilbert arenas show. Most overrated player in the league by far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:01 AM

"Gil not playing is the reason for everything.

1. Defense

2. Brendan coming out of his shell

3. Caron playing the way he is.

4. Team ball and team Defense

5. Young Players can actually develop.

All of this is b/c Gilbert Arenas isn't on the court.

I actually want him to come back and ruin the season so everyone will see what he does to this team. If he comes back we will go right back to giving up 104 a game.

We had the same record at this point last year with him. Let the Circus(arenas) go and lets add to the real team."


If anyone argues with this post they are clueless and clearly have the home blinders on. Notice Gm's, sports analysts former coaches all talking about how the wizards play team ball without Gil. It might not be as fun to watch for the casual fan but its real basketball and thats the way you win. I don't see the spurs playing like Gilbert....I see them playing team ball and team Defense.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:07 AM

I agree with the numerous posts about the lack of love our boys have been getting in the press. Every report isn't so much about how well the Wizards played to beat Boston, but more about what could possibly be wrong with the Celtics. Come on!

Anyway, wouldn't it be great to see either Caron or Antawn (whomever makes the All-Star squad) turn down the invitation in protest, assuming the other doesn't get a similar nod? Talk about teammates...

Posted by: respeck | January 15, 2008 11:12 AM

"Anyway, wouldn't it be great to see either Caron or Antawn (whomever makes the All-Star squad) turn down the invitation in protest, assuming the other doesn't get a similar nod? Talk about teammates..."

That would just be stupid but Caron or Jamison might actually do it for eachother.....Now Arenas on the other hand...no chance

Posted by: stevie | January 15, 2008 11:15 AM

I agree with the anon poster about his list. How is anyone supposed to develop their game or their chemistry with the black hole on the court.

the black hole=arenas

Posted by: stevie | January 15, 2008 11:17 AM

Caron and jamison will both make the all-star team all b/c of these 2 wins!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:17 AM

Brendan came out of his shell because Gil isn't playing? I'm sure it had nothing to do with getting minutes, not having Etan, and learning how to shoot free throws so he wouldn't be scared to go up strong.

Caron's playing the way he is because gil's not playing? Maybe his numbers are better because he's getting the ball more (and he improved his shot), but Caron was great last year.

And words like team ball are substitutes for "hey they're still scoring without Gil. how are they doing this??" Oh ... it's team ball. No, it's guys who have improved their individual games. If it were this amazing "team ball" wouldn't they have more assists? They're not passing the ball anymore than they were last year. In fact, at least by the numbers their offense is a lot worse even though all these guys have stepped up.

and if they are trying harder this season, which I think might be true actually, especially on D (and that's not just substituting Daniels for Gil, that's everyone trying harder), well I don't put that on Gil.

But you're right, we won't see until he gets back. Who knows, maybe all these improvements are because he was holding them back. I doubt it though, dude.

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 11:21 AM

wow. no words can describe what we just accomplished. This is monumental, like if the Skins' knocked off the Patriots' perfect record. 30-4 coming into town to meet the Wiz, 30-6 with their tails between their legs two days later. This is a gritty team with a healthy dose of veteran leadership to guide the ship in the right way. We still get no love from the media, but that's cool... Flying under the radar can be good for us. ESPN/SI has never shown us love anyways, we don't need them to keep doing what we do.

When Gilbert comes back, this team will be something to fear for the elite teams, not just in the East, but in the West as well. Veteran team built around three stand out veterans, a team that is disciplined in both defense and offense - and employing two players with the ability to completely change the game come crunch time. Be scared...

Posted by: Asian Zero | January 15, 2008 11:25 AM

if gil returns and plays defense like has since arriving in washington the defensive improvement will disappear and so will the wins. their success is predicated on team defense and pressuring the ball. if one player slacks off the defense breaks down.

if gil returns and plays defense watch out east. if gil returns but plays defense as he has done in the past then first round exit again.

Posted by: gil lacks d | January 15, 2008 11:27 AM

"When Gilbert comes back, this team will be something to fear for the elite teams, not just in the East, but in the West as well. Veteran team built around three stand out veterans, a team that is disciplined in both defense and offense - and employing two players with the ability to completely change the game come crunch time. Be scared..."


AHHAHAHA we were really feared last year with GIL! The team will only get worse and give up more points once Gil comes back. Everyone's production will drop.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:28 AM

Joe I'm happy you feel that way but their is no doubt everyone's production has gone up b/c Gil isnt on the court. The team is better in every aspect of the game except scoring but with the D we play without him it doesn't matter. Sign and trade for something that helps the team win. Anyone but Gilby

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:30 AM

Great post GIL lacks D. I'm happy someone can see through the home blinders.


People try to be objective for once.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:36 AM

I SAY, ERNIE TRADE GA FOR KEVIN MARTIN OF THE SAC.KINGS, A GREAT SHOOTER AND HAS A HIGHER FG PCT THAN GA AND DOES NOT DRIBBLE THE SHOT CLOCK AWAY,WHAT A PERFORMANCE BY THE DC5 BTH CAME ON IN THE 4TH QTR.AND REALLY STEPPED UP WITH EXCELLENT D ON KG.CB AND AJ ALONG WITH DS PLAYED WITH GREAT HEART AND DESIRE.CAN YOU BELIEVE THE CELTICS HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THEIR LOSS LAST NIGHT WITH KG AND PP LOOKING LIKE THEY HAD JUST LOSS THE CHANPIONSHIP.LAST BUT NOT LEAST THE CELTS BROADCAST TEAM ARE THE BIGGEST HOMERS IN BASKETBALL GIVING THE WIZ NO CREDIT WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | January 15, 2008 11:39 AM

I SAY, ERNIE TRADE GA FOR KEVIN MARTIN OF THE SAC.KINGS, A GREAT SHOOTER AND HAS A HIGHER FG PCT THAN GA AND DOES NOT DRIBBLE THE SHOT CLOCK AWAY,WHAT A PERFORMANCE BY THE DC5 BTH CAME ON IN THE 4TH QTR.AND REALLY STEPPED UP WITH EXCELLENT D ON KG.CB AND AJ ALONG WITH DS PLAYED WITH GREAT HEART AND DESIRE.CAN YOU BELIEVE THE CELTICS HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THEIR LOSS LAST NIGHT WITH KG AND PP LOOKING LIKE THEY HAD JUST LOSS THE CHANPIONSHIP.LAST BUT NOT LEAST THE CELTS BROADCAST TEAM ARE THE BIGGEST HOMERS IN BASKETBALL GIVING THE WIZ NO CREDIT WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | January 15, 2008 11:39 AM

oh, there's no doubt, eh. Well, hard to counter that. Guess you win.

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 11:40 AM

"And words like team ball are substitutes for "hey they're still scoring without Gil. how are they doing this??" Oh ... it's team ball. No, it's guys who have improved their individual games. If it were this amazing "team ball" wouldn't they have more assists? They're not passing the ball anymore than they were last year. In fact, at least by the numbers their offense is a lot worse even though all these guys have stepped up"

Joe the team factor is more about the Defense. If one person doesn't do their job their are holes everywhere. Thats how it was last year. Then on offense notice how everyone gets their touches including bench players. Most times down the court 4 or 5 players actually touch the ball before a shot goes up. You tell me how often that happened last year with Gil on the court

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:44 AM

No one touches the ball when the black hole is on the court!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:46 AM

Oh, I agree about the D. It's MUCH better this year. Though I don't think you can put that all on Gil being out.

1) Ayers hired
2) Haywood playing more
3) Antawn rebounding more effectively
4) less ridiculous small lineups

No numbers to back it up, but the few games Gil in there this season, the defense was still a lot better than last years, right? They were losing those games because they weren't scoring.

And the 4 or 5 times thing, yeah I remember Gil just coming down the court and shooting without anyone touching it. That happened, I'd say at most two or three times a game. And he probably made some of them. They still just take turns going one on one and then maybe making one pass to a shooter. that hasn't changed at all.

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 11:49 AM

Oh, I agree about the D. It's MUCH better this year. Though I don't think you can put that all on Gil being out.

1) Ayers hired
2) Haywood playing more
3) Antawn rebounding more effectively
4) less ridiculous small lineups

No numbers to back it up, but the few games Gil in there this season, the defense was still a lot better than last years, right? They were losing those games because they weren't scoring.

And the 4 or 5 times thing, yeah I remember Gil just coming down the court and shooting without anyone touching it. That happened, I'd say at most two or three times a game. And he probably made some of them. They still just take turns going one on one and then maybe making one pass to a shooter. that hasn't changed at all.

Posted by: Joe | January 15, 2008 11:49 AM

AHHAHAHA we were really feared last year with GIL! The team will only get worse and give up more points once Gil comes back. Everyone's production will drop.

Posted by: | January 15, 2008 11:28 AM

I don't know what was in any players mind, but they should have been afraid last year and they sure wont like seeing us on the schedule now after these improbable wins.

Last year we catapulted ourselves into first place with two big wins over the only team given any credit by sportswriters as a threat in the East. We had two big wins against Detroit going into the allstar break. Eddie was on the bench at the big show in Vegas. Doc should be there this year, but he will know which coach has his number. Resting Haywood in Atlanta while Blatche was producing put us in the position to battle hard against a Garnett led team. We are the real deal. Gilbert is another winner who the team seems to support and wants him back. Why would the fans want anything less?

Our team is cursed, but it by the invisible player on the court, the one who brings the team down where in other towns, he lifts them up. He is the fans, the ones that want to break us up and think the answer is outside what we already have. The fans need to get in the positive mix of team chemistry and support the team that is always dangerous enough to bring down the best teams in the league. OUr team is a winner, add Gil who is a winner and the only thing dragging us down is fan attitude.

Posted by: yankeevicar | January 15, 2008 11:54 AM

Only one poster on here that uses Gilby. We're to beleive he is suddenly speechless but an annon. poster shows up using Gilby.

80% of the crap posted on this site still comes from one computor.

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 11:55 AM

First it was trade Jamison, trad Stevenson. That's all you heard. Now, its trade Gil! How STUPID are you people?I am so glad none of you work for the Wiz. Are you even Wiz fans. Why can't you all see that Gilbert is a part of this defensive transition. The Wiz won, and each time you hear one of the players talk, they all can't wait for Gil to come back. Geeze back your damn team with the players we have. You might be surprised at what you get. Hurry back Gil and Go Wiz!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:56 AM

All of this flexing and strutting after beating the Celtics will look mighty silly if they proceed to lose to the Knicks. They need to go into these next two games against NY with the same intensity and defensive toughness they showed against the Celtics. Otherwise they stand a good chance of being embarrassed. Just ask the Pistons.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 11:56 AM

Alright people, trading Gil is never an option. If you are going to ask Caron and Antawn any given minutes that if they rather would have these two awesome wins or have Gil in the roster but minus these two wins, they might say they rather have Gil back.

Posted by: fire starter | January 15, 2008 12:05 PM

Lets move away from the Gil bashing for a second (not that I don't agree) and talk about something that could also be a large thorn in the Wizard's side in the coming weeks/months - the return of Etan.

Nearly everyone that has posted has agreed that Brendan's improved play is one of the primary reasons why the Wizkids are playing so well right now. His shot blocking presence has helped shore up our previously shoddy interior defense. His rebounding doesn't give the opposing team any shot at second-chance points. And those 11 points per night that he provides is much better than the 6ppg that he used to contribute.

All in all, he is a much improved player...and his affect is proven by the improved team play.

But what happens when his arch-nemesis returns?

Yes, there has been a supposed smoothing of differences between Brendan and Coach and Brendan and Etan. But I seriously doubt that there isn't a little bit of residual anger/fear that is somewhere inside of Brendan - the fear of losing minutes, of losing the trust of the coach, of losing his value to the team.

I don't want to see our current momentum thwarted by some silly internal bickering. Coach Jordan needs to keep giving good minutes to Brendan.

Posted by: Fly the Coop | January 15, 2008 12:06 PM

These people who are indicating that The Wiz are a better team without Gil are the same people who were cheering and jumping for joy when he was making those last second jumpers/winners last season. I will delay my opinion until I see Gil 100% playing with the team. BUT I surely doubt that "without Gil" comments are true.

Posted by: Dave | January 15, 2008 12:10 PM

And, conversely, Haywood needs to just play ball. If he's quivering in fear at the prospect of Thomas's return, then he's not the tough guy he likes to make himself out to be on the court. If he wants to keep getting minutes he needs to keep playing at maximum efficiency regardless of who's on the bench behind him. If he starts slacking off because he's too busy looking over his shoulder, then he'll just be opening the door for Jordan to turn to someone else.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 12:11 PM

Btw, did any of you see the EJ commercial for a local Mercedes dealer? That was some of the worst acting I have seen ever.

Posted by: fire starter | January 15, 2008 12:14 PM

I think if you ask CB or AJ, they will tell you that so long as the ball is moving around, Gilbert makes them better, not worse, because he can score in bunches and creates steals. It's not like CB and AJ don't take a lot of bad shots on any given night. Let's face it, Pierce was easily winning the ill-advised duel thru 3 qtrs last night.

The laundry list above ignores the efforts of Randy Ayers, Etan's health problem, Caron's hard work, Blatche's inevitable development, and the overall sense of urgency that is all linked to how good this team could be at 100% health in the face of last year's disappointing end. I will concede that with Gil on the floor I don't think we see the 3pt shooting of DS take on a bigger role and probably don't develop Young or Mason. Gil will ruin the season when he gets back...switch to decaf, baby.

Posted by: Pauly B. | January 15, 2008 12:16 PM

Can we get a rest from the "trade GA" stuff? News Flash: It ain't gonna happen. Besides, the Wiz were pretty good last year with him. Remember that they beat the Pistons home and away, and actually were on top of the East until Antawn sprained his knee.

Also remember that Antawn and CB weren't such great on-ball defenders last year, either. Look at how much they've improved on D this season, especially Antawn. If they can do it, so can Gil.

Posted by: John Brisker | January 15, 2008 12:20 PM

DC Man88 back at it again. The village idiot speaks.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 12:20 PM

What is the black hole?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 12:26 PM

the only thing that will settle this is time - best case scenario is gil comes back at 100%, has taken note of how the team moves the ball and plays d, and adjusts his game accordingly. say what you will, but the dude is smart, and wants to win. does he have a huge ego and desire for the spotlight? of course, but he's a little older, the injury has given him some perspective, and, CB has the teams support if he has to go at gil and tell him what's up and put him in a line a bit.

Posted by: random dude | January 15, 2008 12:28 PM

Fly the coop, that was my big concern. I don't think that the rivalry between BTH and The Poet is the issue.It's EJ and the Poet's relationship that worries me. He has had so much more faith in Etan that BTH in the past that he didn't always look at the end results. BTH is a better Center. There's no other way to look at it. I'll give EJ the benefit of the doubt, though. I think he's smart enough to realize that even if BTH has 4 points and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes, it's not a good idea to use Etan to 'motivate' him. I pu motivate in quotes because though that may have been the intention, it never worked and always backfired. In fact, no one else is saying it but I'd go so far as to say that EJ may have cause the rivalry by pitting one against the other. Now's his chance to put it to rest by declaring that BTH is the man no matter what. Let's hope it happensd.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 12:32 PM

Anyone else P*ssed that the Wizards are not the front page story on the Sports page today, but a tired Georgetown loss to Pittsburgh- god who cares?

This should have taken up the top fold of the front page, and there is no excuse for it-

Posted by: Wiz get the Shaft | January 15, 2008 12:35 PM

"I think he's smart enough to realize that even if BTH has 4 points and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes, it's not a good idea to use Etan to 'motivate' him."

No, but if he's putting up 4 pts and 5 rebs in 30 minutes, it probably is a good idea to put in someone else who'll produce better, regardless of who it is. Haywood is not entitled to minutes. As long as he keeps playing the way he has, then it's a closed issue. He's the starter. If his play slacks off because he's more worried about what's going on on the bench while he's on the court, then it's his own fault if he gets yanked.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 12:39 PM

John hit that nail exactly on it's head. There is not one reason to beleive that Gil won't blend into this team when he gets back.

Anybody that knows basketball and has access to a DVR can see that the changes in D that have been progressing game by game as the coaching staff has installed their defense and have expanded the principals as the team has picked up on it.

As I said before I'll take the Wizards' Big Three any day of the week over the Bean Towners when Gil gets back. Add Gil into this mix and this team gets really exciting, Ernie Grunfeld has put together a core that has some real potential here.

He sure didn't listen to the trade Jamison talk on here last year, or the ditch Stevenson talk last summer. Or the Haywood's a bum talk, even when it was coming from his coach. I can't imagine that he's going to do more then laugh at the trade Gil line.

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 12:41 PM

Some people lack the tools and the insight to realize that teams evole, players get better, coaches get better.

Little things can be the difference...

Like adding a new coach... (Ayers)
No more squabbles between coach and player... (BTH)
Improving range... (CB)
Becoming better defensively... (AJ)

I will concede that GA being out has done this... Galvanized our team, which GA is a big part of.

Players have stepped up and have done things that there werent use to doing. The coaching staff has to be commended for making it all mesh. Playing with 10 players with 2 of them rookies and AB who is 20 for most of this year is an amazing feat.

GA is still our biggest weapon, he still is the hardest person to cover, he still is our best finisher and he still is our biggest scoring threat. I'm not worried about GA meshing back into the fold. AJ and CB will make sure of it.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 12:44 PM

As long as he keeps playing the way he has, then it's a closed issue.

The problem as I see it, Kal, is that Jordan often yanks Brendan no matter how well he's playing. I've seen it happen numerous times, even this year; Haywood is playing his butt off and being very effective, and next thing you know he's on the bench -- usually for a very long time.

I agree with your premise that he deserves to get benched if he's not getting it done. But far too often, he gets pulled even when he is getting it done.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 15, 2008 12:52 PM

Great, great win last night. Always happy to see beantown quiet for once.

One thing - all this talk about Wiz better off without Agent O is insane. Yes, we are having a nice streak lately, especially with the 2 straight wins over the mighty Cs. But this is the NBA and things can drastically change next week.

What happens when they fall in a 2, 3 or 4 game losing steak which is inevitable. Do we reverse course and say this is only happening cuz Gil is out?

Sit back and enjoy the growth of the team. Adding Gil back to the lineup will only make this team one of the legit contenders in the East.

Posted by: Wizzz | January 15, 2008 12:59 PM

I agree with Keithinator. A lot of times last season, EJ pulls out BH even if the latter is playing good. He made it a personal issue with BH that is why I criticized him often.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:04 PM

Or AJ will "take little brother to the woodshed".

JSchon, to add to your list, AJ was a good rebounder before, he's now almost in the Elite class now. It's not only the increase in rebounds, now he has to be accounted for all the time.

Butler improved his range, but he also added a complete new wringle to his game by being able to catch and shoot. He's worked really hard on getting himself into position to shoot everytime he catches the ball. Then he added the jab step which he never had before to freeze guys, now he's starting to blow by them if they come up hard to take away his jumper.

The guy's really elevated his game since he got here, but he always had that steely determination. I think it's taken him a year to settle into a role as one of the team's leaders and show it here.

But I'll always remember him and Juan Dixon locking up in that classic game in the NCAA tourney, two guys that just refused to lose. Maryland came out on top, but I've always respected Butler as a player since that game.

I just think we're all seeing how good he can be now and having a guy as dangerous as Arenas on the floor will make everybody that much tougher to defend.

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 1:05 PM

Well keith, not surprisingly, we seem to be watching different games. The only times I've seen Haywood benched is when (A) he wasn't being effective and/or (B) his replacement was playing at a higher level. For example, the Atlanta game where he picked up early foul trouble and proceeded to play tentatively, while Blatche came in and made his presence felt defensively and on the boards. And, in cases like that, Haywood has no cause to complain because he wasn't getting the job done. In such a circumstance Jordan would be foolish not to seek out someone who can. And, again and still, Haywood needs to understand this (as do his many boosters).

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 1:05 PM

Herb Bridges, come out come out where ever you are...

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 1:22 PM

For out of towners who can't get Wizards on tv or radio, check out the washingtonwizardsblog.com webcast. I believe they usually do voice webcast even on away games. That is, they webcast what is heard over the radio. no video.

Posted by: rgz | January 15, 2008 1:25 PM

THE WIZ WILL NEVER WIN WITH GILBERT!!!!!!!!


Take the home blinders off people. Same record as last year at this point and the record would be better if he didn't play those 6 or 7 games at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:29 PM

Kal, against some teams, BTH is simply not the better option. When we play the Suns, for example, they shoot long er range shots (longer rebounds) and they are up and down faster. You'd expect that AB would be better suited to playing C against that sort of team and that BTH may not put up the best numbers. I'll say it again....If Brendan has a game where he plays 30 minutes and has 5 points and 4 rebounds, it is not a good idea to start Etan the next game. Everyone has a bad game or stretch. If you don't believe me, look at CB's start to this season. He was a turnover machine. Let the veteran play through it and right the ship. He has earned that.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 1:30 PM

Arenas is the most overrated player in the league

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:30 PM

Y'all are crazy. This time last year, we were all loving Gilbert. Let's remember: game-winners, 60 and 54 against the Suns and Lakers. Now Caron could hit a buzzer beater, but put up 60?
We're winning cuz we are playing DEFENSE (pretty huge difference) and we have a center. Plus, with Gilbert out for so long, other guys have gotten prime NBA playing time.
When Gilbert comes back, there's no way Eddie or CB and AJ will let him just play however he feels. It wont be the Gil Show, cuz all this winning without him has to be humbling.
But all of a sudden, Caron and especially Antawn wont be seeing double teams. Deshawn will be wide open for ICantFeelMyFaceThrees. And that's cuz with Gil out there, defenses will have to put guys on him. And guess what? He'll still score.
We'll have the 4th highest scorer in the league (remember?) to go with our two all stars, a bench with experience (and no Calvin Booth/Ruffin/Hayes), a team with chemistry, and, for the first time EVER: Defense!
Dont get it twisted, thinking this is all cuz Gil's not here. We're getting better DESPITE Gilbert Arenas not being there.

Posted by: TooIntoIt | January 15, 2008 1:32 PM

I'm seeing the same games that Keith sees. Many times, BTH plays well early and gets benched for huge parts of the game. I'd understand if AB was balling hard every time but there have been games when BTH's presence might have made a difference. Ask Kevin Garnett.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 1:33 PM

Gilbert will not be back next year and he himself knows it. Notice his comments about if his team doesn't want him back he will go somewhere else for less.

Thats a real team oriented comment.

He is basically saying he will sign here for big money but if he can't get it then he will go to a real contender for less and try to win.


You guys are all right....thats the kind of player i want on my team. Gilbert and his broke back mountain personality can move on as far as I am concerned. Caron is better than him...Ship the black hole out and get someone who helps the team

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:34 PM

TooIntoIt

The Defense will be gone once the black hole returns. Not only does he not play D but he takes so many quick shots the other teams score 100 almost by default.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:37 PM

Whats up Herb? or should I call you DC Man88?

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 1:39 PM

Best post on here

"Gilbert will not be back next year and he himself knows it. Notice his comments about if his team doesn't want him back he will go somewhere else for less.

Thats a real team oriented comment.

He is basically saying he will sign here for big money but if he can't get it then he will go to a real contender for less and try to win.


You guys are all right....thats the kind of player i want on my team. Gilbert and his broke back mountain personality can move on as far as I am concerned. Caron is better than him...Ship the black hole out and get someone who helps the team"

I am done with Gilbert

Posted by: stevie | January 15, 2008 1:39 PM

jschon....if you think the anon who is hating on Gilbert is DCMANN88 you are wrong.

My name is Lance if you would really like to know and I hate Gilbert and what he does to our team

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:41 PM

What does he do to "our" team?
Actually, never mind, all I have to do is read DC Man88's post.

Keep up the good work.

Lance/Herb/DC Man

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 1:44 PM

there are more Gilbert haters than you think. By the end of the season everyone will be on the bandwagon

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:44 PM

I actually dislike DCmann88. You can tie me in all you want but I'm not a part of his made up name's. I don't even know what the herb reference is. Sorry i don't spend my entire day on here like all of you. Like I said earlier I hope he comes back and ruins the team so everyone will see and we don't sign him.

Posted by: Lance | January 15, 2008 1:46 PM

Glbert could care less about this team/city/fans

Gilbert will not be back next year and he himself knows it. Notice his comments about if his team doesn't want him back he will go somewhere else for less.

Thats a real team oriented comment.

He is basically saying he will sign here for big money but if he can't get it then he will go to a real contender for less and try to win.


You guys are all right....thats the kind of player i want on my team. Gilbert and his broke back mountain personality can move on as far as I am concerned. Caron is better than him...Ship the black hole out and get someone who helps the team

Posted by: lance | January 15, 2008 1:48 PM

I think the people talking trash about Gil are the SAME people who said trade Antawn and DeShawn. I'd be willing to put money on that.

Everybody in this forum was saying trade Jamison. It's pretty funny to imagine all these people thinking they have more basketball knowledge than the actually franchise of the Wizards. I think EG is the GM for a reason.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:48 PM

Lance doesnt spend all day here, yet he's reposting the same thing he posted 10 minutes ago? Lame.

Keep wasting your time hating Gilbert. It seems a lot of people are jealous of his skills.

There is no question that the Wiz have played better team ball since he's been out, because everyone has stepped up and improved their game. This does not mean the moment Gil comes back, its back to the same old system. He has seen what playing like a team can do.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 1:50 PM

I hate Gilbert never said trade Jamison though. I was on the Navaro bandwagon and a few huge games from stevenson isn't going to change my mind. Navarro plays about 6 less minutes a game and puts up better #'s. The only stevenson has on navarro is Defense

Navarro
PPG 10 | APG 2.1 | 3P% .384


Stevenson
PPG 9.5 | APG 3.1 | 3P% .367

Posted by: Lance | January 15, 2008 1:53 PM

"Lance doesnt spend all day here, yet he's reposting the same thing he posted 10 minutes ago? Lame"


10 min ago is really all day douche bag. At least make sense if ur going to try to make fun of me

Posted by: lance | January 15, 2008 1:54 PM

I'm done with you douche bags

Tak the home blinders off and actually be objective for once!

Posted by: Lance | January 15, 2008 1:55 PM

just one point to gil's positive affect on the team - you think deshawn would have practiced his 3's as much without gil and those shooting contests? i know hopla is huge for this team as a shooting coach - but i gotta think that gil brings out a healthy competitive nature in some of the other guys at practice.

Posted by: random dude | January 15, 2008 1:56 PM

Douche Bag? Wasn't that one of 88'er's signature insult lines? What a clown!

Posted by: GM | January 15, 2008 2:07 PM

I can't believe everyone gets so angry. For all you know you could be arguing with an 8 year old with a fake name. People can just steal anyone's name and use it.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:07 PM

We have 3 Village Idiots...

People meet Lance and Herb and you already know DC Man88...

Hey, JSchon, we're looking at the same guy...

I know....

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 2:11 PM

Hollinger is having a chat room session on ESPN at 3pm...

I might have less of an opinion on him than DCMan88 or his other persona's

I'm going to rake him over the coals for predicting 5th place in the Southeast Division for Wiz.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 2:15 PM

Trade Jamison. Trade Gilbert. Bench DS. Start Etan. Trade Haywood. Sign JCN. Fire Eddie Jordan.

Now that that's all out, hasn't the best move been to ignore all of these suggestions? Lance, post away. I happen to disagree with you and can't wait to see what happens when GA gets back but you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Whether he's a 'black hole' or not remains to be seen. I think it's gonna work out and we're going to the Finals.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 2:17 PM

Come on people get off the I love Gilbert wagon. This team is much better without him. The first example is Haywood is playing much better because he has a chance to get involved with the offense. Now we spread the ball around as opposed to Gil jacking up shots before we can have a person to rebound. Gil takes too rushes too many bad shots.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:18 PM

Yay, Lance is gone. Gotta wonder about people who repeat post the same thing. Probably indicates no one pays enough attention to them.

Everyone, hate on Gil. Go ahead. Like I said, same people who said get rid of Jamison and DeShawn, yet will never admit it. Oh Jamison is weak. No defense. Blah blah blah.

I didn't know being a 'fan' meant hating on every player that is going through some sort of mini-slump.

I have always preferred Caron to Gil, and games like last night shows why.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:20 PM

I agree,

Besides Arenas not playing defense he does rush to many shots and doesn't let the big man get into position to rebound.

Plus-you folks should realize the wiz aren't going to invest a lot of money in arenas with a questionable knee, and GA said he will leave unless the Wiz give him max dollars. Gilbert is only in it for the money!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:21 PM

It's also funny to me how all this Gil-hating wasn't going on last year when he was tearing things up, hitting game winners, etc.

Gil has to be one of the most scrutinized, hated players in the league.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:21 PM

who is the fool who wouldn't take jason kid for gilbert. Jason Kid averages 12 pts, 10-A, 9 Rebounds a game and plays defense!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:26 PM

Just the fact that you guys cant get it through ur thick skulls that I'm not DCMANN88 proves my point. Be objective for once. Not everyone has the same opinion. Just b/c there is more than one guy who disagrees on this website doesn't mean we are the same person. You can think i am whoever you want its not going to bother me.

Posted by: Lance | January 15, 2008 2:27 PM

I wouldn't take Jason Kidd for Gilbert and i hate Gilbert.

Jason Kidd is 35...Arenas 25

who is the idiot who would take him

Posted by: lance | January 15, 2008 2:29 PM

Lance, I thought you were done with 'us douchebags'. Already contradicting yourself.

There's a different between being objective, and bashing players outright. Everyone can see that the Wiz have played better without Gil in this stretch, no question. But that doesn't erase what he did all last season until his injury.

It's not that you have a different opinion, its that you just come and bash players and then call us douchebags. Way to stay reasonable.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:30 PM

Kal, I don't know that we're watching different games. I tend to agree with you on most of your observations; it's just Haywood that seems to be the trouble.

It's interesting that after Gilbert, Haywood is the most controversial player on this board, at least this year.

I think we can agree (and be happy) that he's playing more and better this year, whatever the cause. And Eddie has seen the light on big lineups.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 15, 2008 2:30 PM

Lance, it appears you've been hangin around this site for the last hour. And you try to hate on the poeple who post here saying you 'dont spend all day here'. I think an hour is longer than 10 minutes.

You know, it really is hard to argue with people like Lance. So irrational and crazy, how can you argue with you irrational and crazy? There has to be a level of reason for people to have a legitimate discussion/argument. You are just spouting hate. Take it somehwere else already.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 2:32 PM

Its not a matter of a "I Love Gilbert Bandwagon", Its whether or not we are a better team with him or without him?

Some dopes say trade for inside presence that can score. Well wouldnt that take BH out of the lineup?

Get another PG? Why? Cause GA doesnt pass? I got news for you AD is averaging .5 more assist per game than GA as a starter. All while averaging 18ppg less.

Cause AD plays defense? I've got news for you dopes, PG's are very hard to cover even for good PG's. PG's have the ball in their hands because they are good at dribbling, attacking a defense and penetrating. Covering someone who can create their own shots is hard to do, why? Cause they can create their own shot.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 2:33 PM

you know, I don't really understand the Gilbert hatred by fans lately. Yes, we've done well without him in the lineup - numbers prove that the first 8 games, our defense was already improving WITH him in the lineup with a gimpy knee. He's never had the support this current version of the team is able to give him, instead choosing to pick his spots on the court. All indication points to him being an intelligent player, one that can read the game well, you think he's not watching our games and studying how we're playing now? I have no doubt he'll integrate himself perfectly within our offense, and play the type of defense Randy Ayers has demanded from this team since the beginning of the season.

Posted by: Asian Zero | January 15, 2008 2:56 PM

Asian Zero, you are wasting your time trying to get that point across to these numb skulls. They started learning Ayers defense in preseason camp where Gil was present and practiced. So, he knows exactly what is going down. Everyone else is allowed the benefit of the doubt but not Gil. I remember reading how they thought AJ was a detriment to the Wiz just like they are now saying Gil is. This post if full of hypocrites and not true fans. True fans don't dog their players. Let me tell you, if you are new to this blog, almost all of the Wiz players have been ran through the trade mill. ALL OF THEM. So, please read the articles but don't waste your time defending Gil here. The people who post here don't want to hear it!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 3:03 PM

JSchon's right.
I put a link out yesterday to 82 Games website and it shows that oppposing PG's are hurting us more with AD in the lineup than with GA. If you look at last year's stats, Gil averaged 6 per game to AD's 5.3 so far in 2007-2008. Even DS said this morning that 'you can only imagine how good we'll be when Gilbert returns'. Glad the team recognizes his value.

Posted by: mark | January 15, 2008 3:03 PM

Give credit to Ernie G, Eddie Jordan and Eddie's assts, particularly Randy Ayers.

-Kwame for Caron
-Not re-signing Larry Hughes
-Not re-signing Jared Jeffries
-Signing AD

Jarvis Hayes has played a little better than Nick Young, but Nick is only a rookie and should improve.

Help and trap defense is much improved. Blatche has really helped with shot blocking and rebounding.

Posted by: KSM | January 15, 2008 3:10 PM

Pretty cool that we get to spend our time debating about whether Gil will cause the team to regress or take us to the brink of a championship when he returns. With Gil, Etan and Pech out for virtually the whole season it would not be a stretch to have thought we could all be chatting about potential draft picks at this point. I thought we could hang around .500 but we seem to really be pushing the envelope.

Also, I am absolutely blown away that Etan may return this season. Does this strike anyone else as a near miraculous recovery? I obviously have zero understanding of his condition and procedure because I was uncertain he would ever be permitted to play another pick up game much less return to the NBA in less than 6 months! Wow.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | January 15, 2008 3:30 PM

It is nuts, Etan's apparent comeback. However, my dad had quad bypass and was home in 5 days, he was way out of shape and 55. Etan's surgery, from what I understand, isnt anywhere near as complicated (moving arteries, cleaning...), he also was in great shape and 28. Modern medical science is truly amazing.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 3:39 PM

The fact that Etan's coming back isn't a shock. Rony Turiaf from the Lakers returned after open heart surgery (and I believe at least one other player did as well). But his practicing in full speed contact drills so soon is a surprise.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 3:42 PM

Tonight.

4th game in 5 days. 3rd one on the road. CB and AJ play a lot of minutes.

I hope we come out strong and get up by 20 and put it of reach and give some legs a rest.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 3:44 PM

For all you fans who want to hear Caron getting some love on Boston's postgame wrapup:

http://www.celticsblog.com/images/stories/media/audio/csl/archivedshows/1.14.08-Podcap.mp3

And Gilbert haters, c'mon. He's the Wizard's best player... by far. Don't forget that at last year's All-Star break, the Wiz had the East's best record -- with Gilbert, but without Randy Ayres, BH shooting 80% from the foul line, or a bench that actually makes a contribution.

Posted by: patrickhenry | January 15, 2008 3:47 PM

If Gil hurt this team then why do these guys keep saying wait to see how good we will be when he gets back?? That was a great win, great effort by everyone and the game winning hoop by Caron was FANtastic.

Posted by: Me | January 15, 2008 3:53 PM

I agree with most of the positive talk on the blog today (and of course ignore the usual nonsense). I wonder if those of you who have watched the team for a while see the same thing I'm seeing.

I remember that back in the 70s the Bullets were an persistent, optimistic bunch, hard to count out of any game. They were also one of the bluest collar NBA teams.

Somewhere along the line, though -- I'm thinking mid-80s -- they lost the persistence, the optimism, and the blue collar grit. No matter how well things may have been going, a couple of setbacks would routinely escalate to a loss or near loss.

Of course during the twenty years in question, the Bullets/Wizards couldn't make foul shots and were easily psyched. I know it's death to say anything about Gilbert Arenas around here these days, but of course I knew Gilbert would miss the two foul shots that caused the playoff loss to Cleveland; after all, I'd had twenty-odd years of training.

Last night I watched the fourth quarter of the Boston game in a state of suspense -- not anxiety, suspense. There was no question in my mind that Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Antonio Daniels understood the importance of a win and would give what they had to get one; there was no question in my mind that they were the leaders on the court. Despite lots of earlier evidence to the contrary, I'm starting to believe that I should feel that way about Brendan Haywood, too.

Whether its a long-term development or not, right now of course I'm pleased with DeShawn Stevenson's play, mostly because he's clearly the kind of blue collar player I think this team requires.

I appreciated Ivan Carter's "one comment" last night because I thought all the trade/fire talk over the last couple of month's was largely uninformed and often nonsense. But that's what corner bars are for, isn't it? I'm happy enough that I'd buy you all a beer if I could.

Or most of you.

Posted by: Bill Carr | January 15, 2008 3:59 PM

Go Wiz! The team is playing great ball now; hope it keeps up. Also, cant wait for Gilbert to come back with his closing abilities (which we will need against those western teams down the line). Also Gilbert's new blog is out (may have posted above). He's excited for the team and gives Caron and Antawn all the praise! I do think he wants to come back, maybe with the max deal. We need to go with this team, including Gil, who has gelled and have consistent play and knows each other and have played together for years now...Like the Detroit Pistons.

http://my.nba.com/forum.jspa?forumID=400032200&start=0

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 4:12 PM

What is up with the Celtics' Perkins constantly moving on picks and not getting calls at all, except for that one time because it was so blatant and Caron was trying for a steal? Drives me crazy! BH does it too, but he gets called for it all the time. Last night, he must have gotten 3 or 4, earning EJ incredulous stares.

Celtics do play a little dirty sometimes, a la Ray Allen shoving AJ in the back, trying to set a pick, away from the ball near the end of the game. Not a legal pick, if it was around the ball, it would be called. But no call at all, the officials are keeping their eyes on the ball and not noticing that type of thing plus they let a lot of things go on the last one or two possessions in a game.

That type of sly, veteran moves come up big sometimes but it feels a bit too dirty for my taste...Maybe it won't if we had a few Wizards who could do those types of things without getting called for...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 4:18 PM

Keithinator,

At the very least, Gil gives the Wiz exposure and the media pays attention to the Wiz more when he is part of the magic. Otherwise, it's oh the Celtics blew a lead, etc. No credit whatsoever, with Gil there is some...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 4:22 PM

What's all the Gil bashing about? I am resigned to think that Gil is learning from watching his teamates demonstrate what they can do when they need to. Gil doen't have to do it all to win every game, what a nice thought. Gil will come back with the utmost respect for what AJ, CB, BH, DS, AB has done and if he is smart tailor his game around that. Upon his return Gil will still need some recovery time, so this won't be all about him. I think Jordon is smart enough to assemulate Gil into what has been a successful mix.

Give credit to EJ, RA and the coaching staff too, good job guys. Developing an inside pressence, and palying solid defense when it counts is great for this team.

Personally I am looking for the Wizards to turn it up a notch when all the pieces are back on the floor.

Now go out and kick some Knicks butt.

About the media coverage, I am canceling my subscribtion to ESPN and SI!!

Posted by: Pete | January 15, 2008 4:32 PM

This trade Gil business is hilarious...

...any GM who would trade Gil at this point should be shot or sent to Minn.

Gil is a premiere talent. Even if (as some people suggest) this team is better without Gil, the organization would HAVE to see that first hand for the rest of this season. Then decide the best option is to trade him. Which i predict will not happen.

Gil is good, I mean really good. He wins games for us, if you look back at our schedule and look at some of the games we have lost I can easily see us picking up a few of them. The real issue has been the surrounding players have needed to step up their games. We have had no real bench depth for almost 20 years. We are finally starting to see the reward of building young talent and having consistency in the organization.

Let me repeat that...

Consistency in the organization.

yes, to review. IF some of the smarty pantses on this board had their way, the organization would have:

Fired EJ before the season, instituting a new system for our young players to learn.

Traded AJ before the season.

Traded BTH - (even I thought this might have to happen, based on the personality conflicts)

Released DS in an attempt to sign JCN - this would have been great. Washington could play the jilted bride at the altar while JCN happily played out his career in Barca where he was the man.

Trade Gil - Well if we had done everything else written above we would have to because the team would be in disarray.

DO all these moves and you know what you have?

Some fantasy league wet dream. That is it.
You don't build a contender being as fickle as a fanboy. You work on the engine, you find out what your strengths are. You spend time shoring up some weaknesses and bolstering your team.

EG is clearly a whole lot smarter than most of us. I'm fine with that. And if this team continues to improve and develop, I think most of us will be pretty happy.

Go Wiz!

Posted by: g | January 15, 2008 4:34 PM

Just about everyone is having a career year and the Wiz are just doing as well as last year.

Caron, BH, AB, DS are all playing so much better. AJ is not shooting that well but is rebounding and playing defense like never before. His outside shooting slump may be because he is not getting quite the open look he does when Gil is on the floor. The whole team is playing the best defense ever...? Rotating, helping out, rebounding, blocking shots, deflections, etc... The bench actually contributes this year! Holy cow!

I mean, all those things are going right for the Wiz and they "ONLY" have the EXACT record they had last year when only the Big 3 did well, not really anyone else.

Gil will make them that much more dangerous.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 4:37 PM

"What is up with the Celtics' Perkins constantly moving on picks and not getting calls at all, except for that one time because it was so blatant and Caron was trying for a steal? Drives me crazy! BH does it too, but he gets called for it all the time."

Pretty much every big man in the league moves on picks, because they know they won't get called for it 90% of the time. Mourning was a master at it.) It's just like traveling, palming, or 5 seconds on the inbound, if they wanted to the refs could call a foul or violation on pretty much every applicable play.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 4:39 PM

I SAY, DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM IS F''KING LAZY BIOTCH! What's the matter? Too hard to take the CAPS LOCK key off? BIOTCH!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 4:42 PM

Another thing,

I don't really mind seeing KG do well for Boston, I think it is good for the league and adds some needed drama to the east but. If you look at Boston, you can hold it right up next to Miami as far as long term Team building.

If you look at Washington you see a team that is being developed for the long haul. A team where eventually young talent gets developed and the team continues to win. A team that minimizes 'rebuilding' cycles.

That is the number one goal, I'd rather take more time to develop the franchise and have the Atlanta Braves of the NBA (always in contention) than bet big and die trying like many franchises do.

So much about basketball comes from team chemistry, and if you ask me, that is the most exciting thing about this team right now.

Posted by: g | January 15, 2008 4:43 PM

I'm with those who think we will be better with GA back on the court. However, I would like to see him more committed to playing defense and be more of a team player on offensive.

Posted by: Tim | January 15, 2008 4:48 PM

"I can honestly say that I didn't expect that one."

That's because you're a Kobe lover Mike. ;)

Again it's not that the Wiz BEAT the Celtics, the Celtics are just playing poorly.

Poor, poor, Celtics....cry me a river. :P

The only place I've seen give them any credit is Fox Sports.

I can't wait for Gil to come back, I hope it's this year anyway.

"What is up with the Celtics' Perkins constantly moving on picks and not getting calls at all.."

Dude, I've never seen so many NON calls against one team in my life and that includes some of MJ's teams. What about that last tip/shot KG took OVER Brendan's back? It was pretty rediculous.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 15, 2008 4:51 PM

g, great post man - someone who knows how to state the facts.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 5:02 PM

Ray,

Glad you're seeing the same thing I'm saying, as opposed to Mr. So Called I'm Mightier Than Thou Kalo.

"Pretty much every big man in the league moves on picks, because they know they won't get called for it 90% of the time. Mourning was a master at it."

Except Perkins ain't the master of ANYTHING, he's so blatantly moving, you don't even have to look for it and you can see it! News to you, Kalo, you ain't as smart as you think you are. Eventually everyone in life realizes that sooner or later except for those disillusioned fools...

The C's are certainly getting the benefit of the doubt on those non-calls for sure, Ray.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 5:10 PM

The Lakers are also WAY WAY BETTER without Kobe, too! Right Michael Lee? :D

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 5:12 PM

The team is not "better" without Gilbert. But, with Gil being out early in the season we do get some benefits. Some thoughts about the team.

Without Gil:
-Caron is learning to be a clutch player at the end of games. Having two guys you can go to at the end of the game in the playoffs will be huge for us. He's making that transition from "good to great".

-Roger Mason Jr is forced to play more, and he's showing us that yes, he is a good 3PT shooter.

-DeShawn's confidence is growing cuz he has to shoot the ball, and Nick Young is getting valuable experience minutes that a rookie needs. For that matter all bench players get valuable experience.

Things that happened regardless of Gil being out:
-Haywood has severe mental issues when Etan is around, so now he's obviously playing better with Etan out.
-Blatche is starting to show his potential and will only get better
-We have a first round draft pick that is actually capable of playing minutes in his first season (when was the last time that happened?????)
-Stressing defense finally materializing after 3 years of talking about it.

When Gil Gets Back:
-Gil always has a chip on his shoulder, so this year he will play to prove that the team is NOT "better without Arenas". He always listens to the media and plays to disprove anything bad that anyone says about him. So, that means playing defense and sharing the ball (not that he hasnt before avg 6 APG). And with most of the season missed, it will be pointless for him to chase stats. He will chase WINS.

It's been said a million times, but no one knows how good the team would have been at the end of last season if Caron and Gil had been 100% healthy. I hope to see that in the playoffs this year. Will Gilbert be 100%, its tough to say.

But if he is, you have a team that was top of the East last year plus at least 4 players who have visibly and statistically improved over the off season. We could be dangerous.

I just want to hear Buckhantz shouting DAGGGGGGGGER!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: AL | January 15, 2008 5:14 PM

Gil's blog everyone.

He's sure not shy is he? :)

http://my.nba.com/thread.jspa?threadID=400025518

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 15, 2008 5:15 PM

"But if he is, you have a team that was top of the East last year plus at least 4 players who have visibly and statistically improved over the off season. We could be dangerous."

I agree with everything you said AL, I do think Gil has to put his ego aside and take less shots(more assists) for this team to be successful when he comes back though.

I honestly don't think that will be a problem but I guess that remains to be seen. His blog is very telling, says he'll be back after the All-Star break.

Etan coming back is sooner however. If Haywood pouts because he's getting less minutes that could put a damper on things. Jordan has to be smart about this and realize what's best for the team and not necessarily Etan Thomas.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 15, 2008 5:20 PM

the wizards are playing like the 1978 bullets championship team...with alot of grit...Gilbert is not going to be 100% when he comes back and eddie jordan is not going to change his lineup if it continues winning this way because the wizards are playing playoff basketball right now..Gilbert will probably be counted on to come off the bench and produce while he recover like charles johnson for the 78 bullets or vinnie johnson for the the 89, 90 and 91 pistons....

Posted by: dave | January 15, 2008 5:24 PM

2003-04. Jarvis Hayes: 10 pts, 4 rebs, 1.5 assts in 30 mpg his rookie year.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 5:29 PM

And, let me reiterate, anyone who is so afraid of standing behind what he says that he won't even attach a FAKE name to his comments isn't worth my time to respond to.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 5:31 PM

Thanks to whoever gave the link to the Celts postgame podcast. It was refreshing to hear some love for the Wiz from a few objective reporters!

Big game tonight but you know I am not concerned. If you remember the former edition of these Wiz, we would be up and down losing to inferior teams and teams that were playing second stringers. It is all about the mental aspect and this now bunch now has the mental toughness that the new leadership won't let it happen. A Caron led team is tougher than a Gilbert led team.

Leadership is a function of personality and character not just skill. I am not sure Arenas will mature into a leader. Are leaders made or born? That has been an ongoing discussion for years. But this edition of the Wiz is clearly better with Caron in the drivers seat.

So tonight they will come out and dominate because they will not just try to outshoot the Knicks. I expect that they will play tough D, get a big lead on the hapless Knicks and not let up. Hope to see some Pech and McGuire in the 4th quarter tonight!

Posted by: BmoreRev | January 15, 2008 5:34 PM

Ah yes, Hayes' rookie season - his best year to date.

Let's hope that same downward slope doesn't happen to Nick.


One other thing I wanted to mention about Gilbert. He's not the team leader, and he knows it, and everyone else knows it. Caron fits that role perfectly. Gilbert is a pure scorer (maybe he should be SG instead of PG???)...perhaps one of the deadliest scorers the league has right now. Why wouldn't you want him on your team?

A team leader that is tough as nails + a deadly scoring threat. Caron is what Iverson in Phi or Ray Allen in Sea and so many others lacked

Posted by: AL | January 15, 2008 5:37 PM

Some kind of posting glitch. This:

2003-04. Jarvis Hayes: 10 pts, 4 rebs, 1.5 assts in 30 mpg his rookie year.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 05:29 PM

Was in response to this:

"We have a first round draft pick that is actually capable of playing minutes in his first season (when was the last time that happened?????)"

Posted by: AL | January 15, 2008 05:14 PM

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 5:38 PM

Am I the only one who finds it a little interesting that, after hearing nothing about Etan for months, the team just happens to provide a promising update about him as the trade deadline approaches?

Posted by: Sean | January 15, 2008 5:40 PM

"Am I the only one who finds it a little interesting that, after hearing nothing about Etan for months..."

NOBODY is going to take that guy right now. Not only does he have a questionable heart, but a killer contract.

The only thing the Wiz can hope is that he decides to retire.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 15, 2008 5:48 PM

Doesn't sound like retirement is in his plans. And I doubt that's what the Wiz brass are hoping for. Thomas's physical toughness inside is something the could use. I doubt Jordan or Grunfeld are crazy about the idea of Blatche being their only viable backup at C. If they were they wouldn't have brought in the likes of Massenburg in camp. Blatche has performed reasonably well, but he's not really a C.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 5:52 PM

The unity on this team can not be overlooked. GA, CB and AJ are all close and understand what they all need to do. All you have to do is listen and read. CB and AJ need GA on the court.

The first 5 games were a failed experiment by the coaches and players. After they went back to a more recognizable style of play the won 3 straight with GA scoring 25ppg and 8ast per.

Basketball people know what they are doing. I trust EG, EJ, CB and AJ know what they are talking about it when it comes to whether or not GA makes them a better team.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 5:53 PM

Gilbert's blog states that he knows if he's not ready mentally/phsically that he will be there for practice...that sounds like he's about the "team". I just hope he heals and is able to come back full throttle by the end of the season (play off time). We will be unstoppable with his closing abilities.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 6:08 PM

"Thomas's physical toughness inside is something the could use."

Etan is soft, and that's why EG has repeatedly tried to trade him. Saying this no one is going to want him now, not with a questionable heart.

To be blunt, he sucks when he's healthy.

Haywood finally came out of his shell when given the chance to be the fulltime starter. I'm interested in seeing what happens when and if Etan comes back this year to Haywood's attitude.

And if he comes back Blatche and Songaila's minutes get messed up as well.

They've all played great in Etan's absense. I'm sure they want to keep what they have going.

Pesh didn't look so good last night either in spot duty, I hope it's just rust. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 15, 2008 6:11 PM

"Etan is soft, and that's why EG has repeatedly tried to trade him."

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 6:18 PM

Ray,

I know Haywood is your boy and you're all about pumping him up, but come on ...

Trying to argue that Etan is soft is just silly. You don't like him as a player? Fine. But soft ...? Please.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 6:20 PM

Im more worried fitting ET into the fold than GA.

Ray is right, ET is very limited on both sides of the ball, not quite a bruiser and certainly not a finesse player. He cant shoot or hit free throws.

The ET situation is going to be interesting.

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 6:21 PM

we still need to sign another pt guard.

Posted by: oddjob | January 15, 2008 6:34 PM

OK, i confess--I AM DC MAN88! AGGGH!!!

Just kidding, but I made you look.

Posted by: Gilby | January 15, 2008 6:42 PM

Both the Gil haters and apologists make good points. He is a premier scorer, but without his shoot-first mentality, the team is playing the Princeton offense better by sharing the ball. It is also more balanced defensively... whether that is partially because Gil is not back there remains to be seen. The real questions are 1) for a player so reliant on speed and explosiveness, will he be the same player after two surgeries? 2) Will he demand a max contract and, if so, is giving him one a wise decision given his recent injury history? See New York with Allan Houston and the Orlando Magic with Grant Hill). 3) Do you want to give your one max contract a player who, by his own admission, does want to be a team leader? Especially if your team is thriving without him and you have a promising replacement (Nick Young) coming up through the ranks? Would it not be better to save the cap space for a player the current line-up could really use, such as a young premier point guard or, the ever popular Dominant Big Man (as good as BH and AB have been, it will be hard for the Wiz to win a championship without at least one)? I don't know the answer. I love Gil. As a 30-year suffering Bullets/Wiz fan, he, more than anyone else, has helped to rebuild their NBA credentials. But there are serious issues regarding his signing that will affect the direction of this team for half a decade. Hope smarter basketball minds than mine make the right call at the end of the season.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 7:04 PM

Bad news....Antonio Daniels is not playing tonight....sore knee.

Posted by: Lisa_R | January 15, 2008 7:34 PM

This is ugly...

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 8:04 PM

Is the game on tv tonight?

Posted by: mike | January 15, 2008 8:20 PM

Yes, the game is on tv but you don't want to watch. Wiz are getting blown out by the Knicks.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 8:25 PM

But what channel?

Posted by: Mike | January 15, 2008 8:29 PM

They're showing the caps game on my CSN.

Posted by: mike | January 15, 2008 8:32 PM

If you have DirecTV, it's on 659

Posted by: Rook | January 15, 2008 8:33 PM

try CSN+

Posted by: reispace | January 15, 2008 8:34 PM

Wiz turned up the intensity and cut it to 10 at the Half.

Pecherov looks good. 3of4 for 3-pointers, 9 points, 2 Rebounds in only 7 minutes.

Haywood is playing well - but everyone else is throwing up bricks.

Posted by: Rook | January 15, 2008 8:36 PM

For them to be only down 10 given the circumstances is pretty good. EJ needs to continue to use the bench liberally until the stars get a second wind.

Posted by: George Templeton | January 15, 2008 8:41 PM

What's with Antonio??

Posted by: J Ep | January 15, 2008 9:44 PM

Thanks guys, I found the game and they simply look tired. Which is understandable. Going 3-1 over this stretch of games is something us Wiz fans should be happy about. Lets see how the Knicks fare on Friday against a well rested healthy Wiz squad.

Posted by: mike | January 15, 2008 9:46 PM

Disappointing loss here. Missed first half but looks like he used bench due to starters not getting it done. I was clearly wrong about the intensity factor. Our weariness, no Daniels and 2 Knick guards that were ridiculously hot did us in tonight. Glad to see Pech get some good playing time. Let's get them back on Friday.

Posted by: BmoreRev | January 15, 2008 9:52 PM

It just wasn't there tonight... the effort was decent, shots just weren't falling.

Posted by: Jason | January 15, 2008 9:54 PM

Clank, clank, dink, clang, dong, clank, clang, dong...

No one could shot tonight except for Pech it seemed... Bad misses too... real short, real right, real long...

No legs... 4 games in 5 days (3 on the road)
a couple days off... i hope EJ gives these guys some time off...

Posted by: JSchon | January 15, 2008 10:03 PM

Yeah, that stretch was rough.

It is a long stretch, I'm gonna buy a ticket to Friday's game, we need to show up big and really this team the support / accolades they deserve!

Who is with me?

Go wiz!

Posted by: g | January 15, 2008 10:56 PM

I totally believe what I just saw.

Can't say I'm surprised. As soon as they came out firing up jumpers instead of attacking the basket against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, I knew it was going to be a bad night for the Wiz.

Posted by: kalorama | January 15, 2008 11:11 PM

Can't say I'm too surprised about the letdown. The two games against the C's seemed emotionally and physically draining.

On the (very small) plus side, maybe this will shut down the anti-Gilbert crowd for a few days and will lead to more realistic expectations from the commentors on the blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 11:32 PM

I'll ask the regulars because I could only catch bits and pieces of the game. Did EJ use the bench enough in the second half?

Posted by: George Templeton | January 16, 2008 1:39 AM

A full squad with Pech and Gil in March/April is gonna be something to see. I'd like to see EJ use Pech as the backup C rather than PF (where he's playing him now). Then he could put AB in at PF where he won't be overpowered as much. That would get you some rest or AJ and also allow us to see AB and BTH together to see if the combo works. Pech shooting 3's will pull the opposing C away from the basket and give NY, AD and McGuire and others on the bench more driving lanes. I like the way this team is shaping up.
The loss was bad but not totally unexpected. If we lose again on Friday, I'm distraught. Otherwise, this was all about fatigue.

Posted by: mark | January 16, 2008 7:36 AM

Without GA - the Wizards are playing better D, moving the ball better and the players are moving more not just waiting on Gil to go one on one. This has allowed the whole team to be involved on O not just 3 players. Although scoring is down, I believe the tough defense they are playing is a direct result of everyone more involved in the offense. They are more focused and involved on the defensive side. DeShawn is benefiting especially.

Of course the players esp CB and BH have worked hard in the off-season to improve their games even more which has helped.

There is a good balanced article on the what the loss of GA means to the Wiz.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080116/SPORTS05/898544439/1005/SPORTS

Posted by: jjames | January 16, 2008 8:29 AM

Just how good is Etan Thomas really?

Posted by: Browneri | January 16, 2008 8:36 AM

BTW I'm not saying the Wiz are better off with GA, just that there have been noticeable benefits and in the team chemistry on the court.

Hopefully, GA can blend in without effecting the team chemistry that has been built up.

One other thing to think about. Ej is giving both CB and AJ lots of minutes on the court, maybe by necessity. What will be the effect come playoff time? The Spurs coach GP specifically limits his stars minutes during the season and rests them more if they are nursing injuries with the attitude that games in the playoffs are more important even if it means more losses now. Of course, they have a lot more room to work with regarding talent level and bench. With the Wiz and GA injured, just getting to the playoffs may be more of a concern.

Posted by: jjames | January 16, 2008 8:39 AM

Great thoughts from Tom Knott.
I am not one of those who reads Gils blogs. For those who do I have a question: how has his attitude evolved during this absense? Do you get the sense that he is eager to come back to win or eager to come back to regain attention? I'll have to to take some time to glance at it myself at some point but I know some of you are regular Agent Zero blog fans.

Posted by: BmoreRev | January 16, 2008 9:28 AM

Bmorerev,
Arenas is "full of it" There was a full article on here from the Boston Globe -quoting him "DISSING" the Wizards and praising the Celtics. constantly criticizing Wiz(the haven't beat a descent team since Dec. 1! etc. "Theyre not better without me, obviously." Now, after the 2nd win - he's so fake, he changes his sick story. I could care less if he comes back or not.

Posted by: J.T. | January 16, 2008 11:57 AM

"Bmorerev,
Arenas is "full of it" There was a full article on here from the Boston Globe -quoting him "DISSING" the Wizards and praising the Celtics. constantly criticizing Wiz(the haven't beat a descent team since Dec. 1! etc. "Theyre not better without me, obviously." Now, after the 2nd win - he's so fake, he changes his sick story. I could care less if he comes back or not.

Posted by: J.T. | January 16, 2008 11:57 AM "

Gilby is just jealous that his teammates are thriving without him. Gilby has a fragile ego, which is why he's always thrusting himself out there in hopes of attaining greater love.

Too bad the "greater love" that he receives from fans is superficial, while instead, he should be focusing his energies on attaining love and admiration from his babies's momma, his 2 kids, and his own estranged momma.

Gilby has a warped sense of reality.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 17, 2008 10:00 PM

"Great thoughts from Tom Knott.
I am not one of those who reads Gils blogs. For those who do I have a question: how has his attitude evolved during this absense? Do you get the sense that he is eager to come back to win or eager to come back to regain attention? I'll have to to take some time to glance at it myself at some point but I know some of you are regular Agent Zero blog fans.

Posted by: BmoreRev | January 16, 2008 09:28 AM "

It's funny you ask that. Somebody posted link to his blog the other day and it was all "me, me, and more me (Gilby)."

In one hysterical and ridiculous paragraph, he laments the fact that his standings in the all star game voting for this season has dropped below JKidd, and realizes that he won't get voted into the game. But then, he soothes his pain by saying that he's still #7 in the rankings for this year and it was somehow better than last year when he was actually playing. I think it was that. I just clicked off that blog b/c it was too self serving and ridiculous.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 17, 2008 10:03 PM

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