Butler out, Wiz and Spurs

Caron Butler is out for tonight's game for the Spurs (left hip flexor). I can't say what his plans are for the the upcoming roadie but I'll find out what I can when I can and update accordingly. And in case you don't know, Spurs PG Tony Parker remains out with a left ankle problem. Brent Barry is out as well.

By Ivan Carter |  February 6, 2008; 5:55 PM ET
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Not shocking

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2008 6:01 PM

i know he wants to play, but they should shut him down until he fully heals. last year they were great all year until caron and gil couldn't play in the playoffs. the east is weak and it will be better to squeek in and have a healthy arenas and butler than make it and have him banged up.

Posted by: james | February 6, 2008 6:32 PM

This is the one time I think trading for Shaq is a bad move.

I really thought the Suns were the best team in the West this year as they were.

Kerr is making a mistake with this one.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 6, 2008 6:36 PM

The Suns are a great regular season team, but they haven't shown they can break through in the playoffs. With the West being as stacked as it is this year and with so many relatively young teams on the rise, it would only get harder for them. This is a "sacrifice the future to try and win now" move.

Posted by: kalorama | February 6, 2008 6:42 PM

Having Shaq on the team isn't a bad idea, as long as he doesn't become the starter and takes minutes away from Amare.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 6, 2008 7:43 PM

Who knows, maybe having Shaq on the team is good for a least a few favorable calls by the refs during the playoffs, and for sure, nobody like Big Shot Bob is going to be tossing S.Nash around like a rag doll if he has to deal with Shaq. Take that to the bank.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 6, 2008 8:08 PM

For once I think I disagree with Michael Lee. I think the Shaq trade may help Phoenix. Maybe not in the regular season, but definately in the Playoffs.

There are those who say that Shaq will clog the lane, keeping Nash from penetrating. Those people don't know squat. Shaq didn't keep Kobe Bryant from penetrating, nor did he 'clog' the lane and keep Wade from penetrating.

Amare can move to his natural position at SF. The Suns will STILL have that breakneck fast break (just with 4 players instead of 5) - BUT, the big change will be in the Playoffs when they go against the Spurs, Dallas, or LA and everything seems to slow down. When the playoffs start, Defense becomes paramount - which is why Dallas and Phoenix have failed in recent years to bring home a Championship.

With Shaq, assuming he is reasonably healthy, Phoenix now has two legit low-post threats, can play better defense against the bigger teams (SA & LA), and
their 3-point shooters should have that much more time to spot up.

With LA's move to acquire Gasol, and Shaq going to Phoenix - it looks like Dallas is gonna be the odd man out this year.

Posted by: Rook | February 6, 2008 8:24 PM

Different Shaq now. He's a statue. He use to be able to move his weight around but he hasnt moved with any athleticism in a couple years.

He might help. I say its a 40 million dollar mistake made in desperation.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2008 8:49 PM

Shaq to Phoenix makes no sense, the Suns had the Spurs on the ropes in the playoffs last year, an odd turn events (Stoudamires suspension, Nash's missed minutes with a bloody nose) cost them a crack at the finals. I can't see them getting that far this year after this trade. Without Marion, unless Shaq starts a course of hormones and is somehow rejuvenated, this seems to be a step backwards for the Suns. Marion of course wanted out of Phoenix but this makes no sense, there is no championship in his foreseeable future.
Interesting to see Kobe's point totals way down the last two games, is he feeding Gasol trying to get him integrated into the offensive flow?

Posted by: myshkin | February 6, 2008 9:05 PM

They could've done so much more with Marion in a trade. Kirelinko? V.Carter, R.Jefferson... All of whom are on the move...

I thought Shaq was done last year. This year he is alomost a non-factor.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2008 9:10 PM

Heathly Shaq and D.Wade and 3 average players... They are competing for the Southeast Division not competing for the #1 lottery draft pick.

Posted by: JSchon | February 6, 2008 9:13 PM

Someone brought up a great point in the chat today. How does the trade help the Suns defense & rebounding like a lot of people are saying? Marion was their top rebounder this season and their most talented player on the defensive side.

Posted by: Dude | February 6, 2008 9:30 PM

Hey, just a thought, is it time to move Blatche to the starting 5? He's putting up a double double when he starts. Just a thought...

Posted by: C.Bell | February 7, 2008 12:27 AM

How can a big league NBA team only have 9 asists for a whole game?
Like I have said and said, the coach has to be aware of the offense breaking down into 1 on 1 basketball. The wizards are electric when they make the extra pass, move the ball, all touch the ball. It especially gives them defensive energy as well. That is unless DS is on the court.
EG has made many fine moves in the last several years, but the DS signing is hsunting this team. Either that or EJ as usual is not putting DS in comlimentary positions. DS is a 2/3 not a 1, but EJ loves that small ball with DS at the 1....still await the analysis as to +- when DS is on the court.
But it still all comes back to the Head Coach, and his ability to feel/see the situation and adapt. Dare I say this is not a strength of EJ. Far from it...

Posted by: mricklen | February 7, 2008 1:09 AM

Strangely enough, Stevenson's plus/minus numbers are unbelievably good.


There's nothing wrong with Stevenson...he's an average player making an average salary.

Posted by: Pradamaster | February 7, 2008 2:26 AM

CBell, AB is producing because he's playing in the correct positions. At the 5, he's undersized and gets into foul trouble. He's also too weak to keep guys from getting whatever position they want. His ideal spot is probably 3 or 4 but since we have all stars at those positions....
Also, starting AB at the 5 means benching BTH, who actually isn't playing that badly. Despite the occasional game where the opposing center steps out and makes jumpers, BTH is playing a solid defensive game and has never been asked to score much.
The move I've been asking for for at least a year or so is moving CB to the SG position alongside Gil and starting AB with AJ and BTH. In my opinion, that would give us the best starting 5 in the league. Unfortunately, that means taking an all star and moving him out of position. It'll probably never happen.

Posted by: mark | February 7, 2008 7:07 AM

Well said Mark. Why can't EJ see it?

Posted by: browneri | February 7, 2008 8:24 AM

Eddie called a lot better game last night. No complaints from me on this one. We just did not have enough firepower. As I thought AB played better, but not because he is a starter, but because he has the green light to look for his shot because he knows he won't be benched because CB is out.

Eddie looks like he heard our crys for more playing time for NYoung. However, NYoung did not have a good game and got down on himself. He shows what he is feeling on his face in every game and he is going to have to learn how to not show when he is getting down on himself on the court. That makes EJ want to pull him quicker.

Lastly, I want to give Stevenson some props. Who would have ever thought I would start to feel his "j" is going to hit before Mason's?? I was one of the people calling for EG's head about resigning Stevenson, but I have to admit I was totally wrong on that call.

The dude seems to me like he is getting better as the season goes along. Props to EG and the other Stevenson supports who said Stevenson's contract was fair. Looks like it is after all. Stevenson, keep up the good work.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | February 7, 2008 8:41 AM

Darius Songalia (SP?) was terrible last night... again. I don't understand what he brings to the table any more. He can hardly move his feet, which kills them on pick-n-roll defense. He can't score in the post b/c he gets no elevation, and now he can't hit his jumper. His poor play at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th quarter was really costly, and I couldn't understand why Eddie didn't pull him.

To Mark's point above, I too don't understand why AB and BTH aren't on the floor together more often. Who cares if there isn't an opposing "center" on the floor. They could play a zone. And the additional size on the offensive side would allow the Wiz to collect some of Jamison, Mason and AD's bricks.

Posted by: M.E.G. | February 7, 2008 9:55 AM

Besides Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Daniels maybe Blatche...the rest are ALL mediocre to average bench players.

You'd have to bunch em all up to trade for anything. Truly a waste. If they ever want to get serious(per Hubie Brown & others...they need to shed Mason, DMac etc. the entire bench - put together a descent team. None of these guys is consistent - NONE -

Majority of the time - or "crunch" time - Mason can't hit the side of a dang barn..looks "lost" worse than some 1st or 2nd yr rookie actually he does look worse cuz the rookies now are "fab" ie Rondo and the Spurs rookie point. MacG isn't going to get any better if he isn't given playing time...the rest???? Its equivelent to sending in DCMan and Rook to play...its all the same.

We get so used to "average to mediocre" play we've become numb. Then if a player actually begins to step his play above poor to mediocre - we think its exciting! But it isn't..its still mediocre.

Truth? They need a bench in the worse way that can play consistently every game.

The starting five are just that - champions rely on their bench to pull them thru - our bench drowns us.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2008 10:24 AM

The wiz had only 9 assists as a team. Gilby was hogging the ball.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 7, 2008 1:32 PM

I think Shaq is going to do good things in Phoenix. He's definitely going to take them over the top and into the NBA championship game. I see him having a rebirth in the land of the sun.

Posted by: JSchon | February 7, 2008 3:50 PM

My pants are at my knees as I watch a re-run of CHiPs. I love me that latin hunk Estrada.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 7, 2008 5:27 PM

Hubba hubba....

Posted by: JSchon | February 7, 2008 10:06 PM

You're right DSong has lost his game. Even his passing skills seem have left him. It is time to put on the end of the bench until he shows improvement in practice. NY has hit the rookie wall and can't get through it. Sit him as well. DMac needs to learn so much, he really needs to stay on the bench this season. RM is not a point guard and playing him there has screwed up his catch and shoot game. So EJ has neutralized a decent weapon off the bench by playing him at the point. So that leaves a rookie who is actually still recovering from an injury and can only play limited minutes and AB as YOUR ONLY BENCH players. It is no wonder they are losing now. They really need a solid back up point guard...but who doesn't know that at this point.

Posted by: oddjob | February 8, 2008 6:23 AM

Songaila actually appeared to be more effective last season when he was still suffering the effects of recovering from back surgery. I think part of his problem is that last season, because of the injury, he was forced to slow down a play a bit more methodically. This season, now that he's healthy, he seems to be trying to do things at too quick a pace and making mistakes as a result.

I don't know that PG is the Wiz's biggest need right now. Maybe if they had a full and capable bench, having a PG who could orchestrate things would be a major need. But they don't have that. Having a PG to run the offense off the bench won't help unless they actually have an offense off the bench to run. Right now, more than anything, they need someone coming in off the bench who can put points on the board.

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