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Sunday update, Wiz at Suns

Neither Caron Butler (strained left hip flexor) nor Antonio Daniels (right ankle soreness) went through the full shootaround this morning and it appears that both players could be out tonight against the Suns. Andray Blatche, who has been stacking up double-doubles as a starter, would get the nod for Butler once again and Roger Mason Jr. would likely start for Daniels.

If Daniels can't go, rookie Nick Young should get a chance to log some heavy minutes and tonight would be as good a time as any for Young to bust out with a big game. He turned in a solid effort the other night in the loss at Denver with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

Shaquille O'Neal was expected to fly from Miami to Phoenix today and will not play. He has yet to practice with the Suns and could see his first action later in the week. The Suns won their first post-trade game the other night over the Sonics.

From where I sit, the biggest issue for the Wiz tonight will be getting back on defense. Then, they have to at least make the Suns earn their points. It was way too easy for Carmelo Anthony (49 points) and the Nuggets on Friday night. I counted 10 dunks and didn't bother counting the number of easy lay ups. Allen Iverson coasted to 18 points and 11 assists and the Nuggets won easily.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 10, 2008; 4:16 PM ET
 
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Comments

A plan

Start:

Wilks (sign him to a couple of 10-day contracts)
Stevenson
Young
AJ
Blatche

Second unit:

Mason
DMac
Pecherov
DSong
Haywood

The starting line up would inject some juice into the offense. AJ, Blatche, and Young can all score. And if we were to make this change now and stick with it then players would adapt to it and get into a groove.

Of course, it won't happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 10, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, I really think you need to get an answer from EG about the situation now with an even more depleted and undermanned lineup. The start date for 10 day contracts has come and gone and nothing.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 10, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

whats the stat about the wiz record w/o caron? out again tonight = no chance. still, an interesting point made here on this cb blog i found.

http://caronbutler3.com/?p=18
"Two games on the NBA docket today illustrate how things can change in the NBA over the course of a few seasons. Miami vs. LA and Phoenix vs. Washington feature the results of a high stakes game of musical chairs that took place among five teams, via four trades across four seasons. During the 2003-04 season, Kwame Brown was a Wizard; Shaquille O'Neal was a Laker; Caron Butler and Lamar Odom were in Miami, Shawn Marion was a Sun, and Pau Gasol played in Memphis. Five seasons later, Caron is in DC, Odom and Gasol are in LA, Marion is in Miami, Shaq is a Sun and Kwame's lost in Memphis. How did this happen? Well...Miami traded Caron and Lamar to LA for Shaq, then traded Caron to Washington for Kwame, and finally moved Kwame (among other things) to Memphis for Pau. Meanwhile, Miami moved Shaq to Phoenix for Marion.

So essentially we went from this in 2003-04:
Kwame Brown: Washington
Shaquille O'Neal: Los Angeles
Caron Butler/Lamar Odom: Miami
Shawn Marion: Phoenix
Pau Gasol: Memphis

...to this in 2007-08:
Caron Butler: Washington
Lamar Odom/Pau Gasol: Los Angeles
Shawn Marion: Miami
Shaquille O'Neal: Phoenix
Kwame Brown: Memphis

So who won and who lost this game of musical chairs?
...Washington turned Kwame Brown into Caron Butler - WIN
...LA exchanged Shaquille O'Neal for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol - WIN
...Miami traded Caron Butler and Lamar Odom for Shawn Marion (but rented Shaquille O'Neal for long enough to get a Championship out of him) - WIN
...Phoenix swapped Shawn Marion for Shaquille O'Neal - To Be Determined
...while Memphis morphed Pau Gasol into Kwame Brown and a bunch of spare parts - Memphis thinks they won. Does anybody else?"

Posted by: Anonymous | February 10, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to hear any negative talk on here tonight. This team is WAY undermanned and they played a very good game against the Pacific leading Suns.

Posted by: Section101 | February 11, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to hear any negative talk on here tonight. This team is WAY undermanned and they played a very good game against the Pacific leading Suns.

Posted by: Section101 | February 11, 2008 12:17 AM

So, what Section 101. You can't hear on a blog anyway, duh!! you read!! Without Gil the Wizards are a tired team.

The Suns were also undermaned as well..they lost two players..So excactly did the Wiz do? Same ol Same - played another undermaned team..oh and lost.

Posted by: Section002 | February 11, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Great effort by the Wizards tonight. No surprise that they came up short (esp. since they were playing (5-on-8), but they went down fighting.

I;m not usually one to complain bout the officiating, because I figure it all balances out over time ... but Jesus Christ the refs were awful in this one.

Posted by: kalorama | February 11, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

You won't hear any negativity from me. They played great tonight. My only problem was with Nick Young. I am a big fan of his and think he has the potential to be an all-star, but for the life of me, why wouldn't he take Nash off the dribble??? There was at least 4 plays where he could have cleared the side and just took him one on one. But instead he tried to feed to the post (mostly Jamison) and either made a bad pass or turned it over. For someone who idolizes Kobe, he needs to think like Kobe. At times he is out of control, but for the most part, I haven't seen a defender yet who was able to stop him off the dribble. He has a great first step, tremendous leaping ability, and the 3rd best step back in the NBA (Kobe 1st, Wade 2nd, and I mean that truly). He needs to understand that this is the time for him NOW. Once Gil gets back, he's not gonna see the court again til the summer league. He's gonna get buried behind Gil, DeShawn, AD, and Mason. That makes him the 5th guard and we all know Gil's gonna play 40 a night. So Ivan or Mike, if one of you guys can pass a message to Nick, tell him its time to be a little selfish and be more like his idol before Eddie buries him on the bench next to D-Mac.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 11, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

In response to section002, the suns had a 2 time mvp and and Amare on the court. They made up for the loss of Shaq with that home cooked officiating. I agree with kalorama, that was TERRIBLE!!(in my best charles barkley voice)

Posted by: C.Bell | February 11, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Where's the production from Songaila?!?!? Was he not signed as a vet/banger who could bring energy and a post presence off the bench? More than 20 minutes, zero points, 4 boards and 4 assists is simply not good enough when we're missing what we're missing right now. Is there an injury we're not being told about? If not, then give those minutes to Pech, he could use the experience and 'he gets buckets'.

Posted by: Conor | February 11, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree, the team played 5 against 8 last night. There were multiple phantom foul calls. And yes, give Songaila's minutes to Pecherov now please.

Posted by: rgz | February 11, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Hell No!!! Keep giving Songaila his minutes. Keep Jamison Jr. on the bench as long as possible. He shoots too much and never plays D or gets a board.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 11, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Songaila has maxed out and his ceiling is lower thanwhere Pech is right now with virtually n experience. It's time to live or die with the rookies til after the all star break. By then hopefully the vets will be back.

Posted by: mark | February 11, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I cetainly hope that was tongue in cheek, about getting Songalia more minutes?
He is incompetent and not an NBA quality or skilled player.
But of course EJ will ride him.
Also does it not seem that the young Wiz should hit the weight room?
Young, Pech, Blatche and even Mason, need to bulk up to compete in this very physical league. We do have a conditioning and weight crew, yes?
Also the officiating is abysmal.
It is the one main distraction from this league that I love.
I understand that a Kobe and a LeBron, can not shoot and miss without supposedly being fouled, but please give some of our Rooks some love.

Posted by: mricklen | February 11, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow, was Tim Donaghy in the house? We've seen a lot of bad officiating against the Bullets/Wiz, but that game was one of the worst. The front office needs to send that tape to the league for review. It was like night and day, a tick tack foul on the Wiz on defense, but the Suns could do no wrong.

However, it was still a wonderful effort last night. They fought it out until the end. My only concern is that Mason put up some bad shots.

Posted by: The AntiDCMan | February 11, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

In case you fellow bloggers are not aware their is a unwritten league mandate that certain "stars" are untouchable almost like the Jordan rules when he was playing. Now back to the Wiz,I've written many times about Darius(tippy toes)Songalia no lift on his jumper poor defense no skills whatsoever why is he playing? because EG can't afford to be wrong,how many games did he miss last year ? a ton contributions this year? none and now we have Pecherov a 7 footer who shoots 3's now let me be fair he has been injured. what? another Euro player injured and not contributing say it ain't so EG. THEY NEED TO WIN THESE FINAL TWO GAMES ON THIS ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 11, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I would not give Darius's minutes to Pech. As someone pointed out, Darius is a banger, he hustles out to the front court for D and gets back on his man. Also, he will bang in there for rebounds and does not have hands of stone like Michael Ruffin. He is just not a scoring machine. I like Pech, but he is a seven footer that wants to stay outside and shoot 3s. If you notice, he also plays D with his arms down all the time, instead of keeping them up. I

Posted by: Section101 | February 11, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Miami and Memphis lost...

Memphis gets nothing except another chance to rebuild. - LOSS

Miami got one (1) Championship out of O'Neal, but sacrificed their future for it. Marion will opt-out of his contract, and Miami will be at or near the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the next several years. - LOSS

LA simply exchanged parts (Caron Butler and Shaq for Odom and Gasol) - but in the intervening years, Kobe had to endure poor teams - EVEN

Phoenix got rid of a locker room cancer. A player that did NOT want to be there, and constantly and loudly said so - and picked up a 4-time champion with a great personality. - Not sure if it will help them in the regular season, but Shaq WILL help Phoenix in the playoffs - WIN

Posted by: Rook | February 11, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I understand that a Kobe and a LeBron, can not shoot and miss without supposedly being fouled, but please give some of our Rooks some love.

Posted by: mricklen | February 11, 2008 09:01 AM

LOL

Posted by: Rook | February 11, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Everything is skewed, minutes, production, expectation because of the injuries.

Mason starting @ the 1 = joke
but what are we suppose to do? sign Wilkes (or some other scrub from the D league?)for 10 days so he can play 8 minutes a game?

GA, CB and AD accounted for 100 minutes per game, those minutes have to go to players, who arent nearly as talented. But that is our situation.

And, btw, AD has been playing awful for several weeks now, maybe its the bone spurs maybe its not.

This team needs a healthy dose of "get healthy" asap.

I think at this point they just need to make the play-offs, how they do it? Play the people it takes to win games. Missing the play-offs is out of the question.

Hopefully, GM, CB and AD will be ready in March to reclaim their minutes from our under experienced and skilled bench.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Back to the tape gents.

Darius is a situational player, he is a role player nobody ever said anything else about him. And he is pretty good in specific roles. Unfortunately the best way for him to play is with other players who make outside shots, and understand passing lanes.

Last night Darius ran at least 3 pick and roll plays to perfection, creating nice passing lanes. I was saying, hey darius just ran a pick and roll... by himself. He gets the backk at the top of the key, pressures the lane, passes back to the top of the key and moves inside while his defender and the guards have to get around him.

No passing. Oh there were passes, bad passes galore. We were in that game on pure hustle, and I was happy to see it. But Nick Young and Andre especially haven't seemed to really grasp where the best passing opportunities are. They let the pressure catch up to them before squeezing the ball into a tight spot where the guy who gets it has little chance if they can even hold it.

I like both of those guys, but we don't have a chance against a team like the suns if they are passing the ball like that.

Frankly AB just seems to hold on to the ball too much. I like that he is agile and fairly skilled for his size, but that is more novelty than of value at this point. If the only time he held the ball was right before he dunked then he would be playing to his game much better. I do like his hustle, but he should use his agility and speed WITHOUT the ball to create high percentage opportunities and alley-oops

Watch the tape again and you will see a suns team getting wide open looks by passing ahead of defensive rotations. 1-2-3 no hesitation and the defense really doesn't have a chance. Darius may not have ups, but he moves well without the ball, he understands his roll, and he is generally waiting for a few good passes.

Posted by: g | February 11, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Yo Ivan. Can you please tell me why the Wiz have not signed any point guards to any 10 day contracts? What is there excuse now? It is now after January, and they can now sign point guards to two 10 day contracts and then let them go.

Then find another guard and do the same thing for two 10 days and by that time Gil should be ready and AD healed up a little better.

Dang, is Abe that cheap where he won't spend on 10 day contracts?

However, I will give Abe his props on what he does for the community as a whole. Him and is wife doing the "score for schools" thing is great, so I don't want to rain on the man to bad........

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | February 10, 2008 04:15 PM

Ivan. I posted this comment yesterday. On your next update, do you think you could give us some info? Thanks..

By the way, the Wiz played just about as well as they could. I liked EJ's call of the game with his sub's. They are just out gunned right now.

I watched the game on ESPN (whenever I get a chance, because Buck and his same old sayings really wear on me), and any other broadcast is better then hearing "daggar", "can you believe that" or "oh my" 100 times a broadcast.

I relish the chance to watch games when Hubie, Van Gundey (spelling???), or John Barry are doing the games. You can learn a lot.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | February 11, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The officiating was horrible last night. BTW C.Bell, NY did drive to the hole quite a few times and was fouled repeatedly with no call. As was AB. Overall, I think this is good experience for the young guys. It will help come playoff time, but more importantly next year. AB proves he can prouduce as a starter in the event AJ leaves via free agency. With the better overall defense the team is playing, I believe will make the Wiz a stronger team in the East next year.

Posted by: Garry | February 11, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Bullet Fever, I unfortunately agree about comcast vs. espn. But last night they got the D team on the game and all they wanted to talk about was Shaq. Hubie the other night was great though. Team is banged up and played valiently. I really like Ernie saying it is not a streak. It is 1 game at a time. Wants them to keep their head up and focus. maybe we can steal one of the next 2.

Posted by: BmoreRev | February 11, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I REPEAT MY STATEMENT FROM YESTERDAY. WIZ NEEDS HEALTHY BODIES AND IT IS DISINGENOUS FOR THE MANAGEMENT TO PLAY THE CURRENT TEAM UNTIL THEY DROP THE WAY THEY DID LAST YEAR. IT IS NOT UNLIKELY THAT ETAN WILL REQUIRE AT LEAST SIX MOS TO HEAL.ALSO GIL MAY OR MAY NOT BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE LIKE HIS OLD SELF FOR SOME TIME INTO THE FUTURE.
THE FANS DESERVE BETTER. BY THE WAY. EDDIE JORDAN HAS BEEN GROSSLY OUT-COACHED IN RECENT GAMES BY THE KNICKS AND PHILLY. HE SEEMS TO BE AIMING FOR THE POST SEASON. WILL THERE BE A POST SEASON FOR THIS TEAM WITH LOSSES IN NINE OF TEN GAMES??

Posted by: CHARLES | February 20, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

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