Wednesday update

Get used to a lot of nights like this one NBA fans. Sitting here watching the NBA package. Early menu featured the following games in the East: Knicks at Sixers. Ugh. Bulls at Nets. Ugh. Orlando at Toronto. Mildy interesting. (it would be more interesting if the game was in high def - yes, I'm getting spoiled). Cavs at Pacers. Yawn. Pistons at Bucks. What's the point?

Now, check out the menu in the West: J Kidd and the Mavs at C Paul and the Hornets. Yes. Shaq and the Suns and Kobe and the Lakers. Heck yes. Mike Bibby and the Hawks at the Kings. Worth a peak. Grizzlies at Clippers. Ugly. Celtics at Warriors. Heck yes.

The West is loaded. The East? Not so much.

About those Wizards..... Caron Butler did not practice today but did some shooting and said he will practice tomorrow. At that point, he'll see how that left hip feels Friday morning, go through shootaround in Cleveland and determine his status for Friday night against the Cavs. Caron is anxious to get back out there but is afraid of aggravating the injury the way he did when he rushed back too soon for the Laker game.

"I need to feel good at practice, you know, pain free," Butler said. "I'm not going to go through a situation where I step back on the court and the same thing occurs again the way it did in Philly. I want to come back 100 percent so we can make a push at this thing.

More Caron, who is a good a guy as the come but is obviously sick and tired of answering the same questions about the same injury which doesn't appear to be healing very quickly: "I'm frustrated. And I know the people up top are frustrated and everyone in the locker room because obviously, they want me back out there and I want to be out there more than anybody."

Etan Thomas did some shooting and some other drills but no contact work. It may be that way for awhile. Gilbert was in practice gear but didn't do any practice stuff as he has done here and there, according to Coach Eddie Jordan. DeShawn Stevenson, who has been bothered by knee soreness, was in uniform but did not practice. He needed the day of rest. Antonio Daniels practiced but "gimped around" according to Jordan. This is a beat-up team but what are you going to do? The games keep coming.


By Ivan Carter |  February 20, 2008; 8:56 PM ET
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Comments

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Same sh#t, different day. A beat up, undermanned team that won't do anything in the playoffs. As I said yesterday, EG is content to ride this out, see who he resigns this summer, and build from there. There's no reason for Les BouleS to play any more games this season. Stick a fork in them.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 20, 2008 10:11 PM

"This is a beat-up team but what are you going to do? The games keep coming".

Posted by Ivan Carter

I just saw EJ on Comcast and the dude looked pretty pissed, but he had to choose his words carefully. He looked like he wanted to say I can not believe I am working for a team that is to cheap to sign two to three guys to some 10 day contracts so I can conduct a dang practice.

How many more people have to be hurt before EG signs some folks to some 10 day contracts? Is Abe that dang cheap.....!!!????? Man, this whole situation is getting so old.....!!!!!

By the way, did anyone notice Ted Leonesis had a seat right by EJ and the bench last night. I noticed he and EJ had a nice long conversation going there for a minute.

I bet you Ted was telling
EH hang in there, once "OR IF" I get this team, it will be ran like the Dallas Mavaricks and not like a Rite Ad store. Abe you are a good dude, but please give the team to Teddy if you do not want to spend to make the team better.....

Is it me, or is it the Wiz and the Cav's are paddling in the same boat??? When is the last time the Wiz have done any kind of a trade of any kind, 3 or 4 years. EG says he likes this team, but news flash. Everybody is hurt so when will we ever see this "team" he likes so much????

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | February 20, 2008 10:37 PM

We should just rest jamison/stevenson/daniels/haywood if we are going to just lose. Let the rookies get some min and rest the big guns so they can make a run for the playoffs if we make it. At this point what good is it to keep playing players who can only play at half speed and lose every night.

Posted by: G | February 20, 2008 10:44 PM

I hope all of these people ripping Grunfeld for not making a deal understand that he has a boss, and his boss has no doubt put a limit on how much money he can spend.

Posted by: kalorama | February 20, 2008 11:00 PM

"I just saw EJ on Comcast and the dude looked pretty pissed, but he had to choose his words carefully. He looked like he wanted to say I can not believe I am working for a team that is to cheap to sign two to three guys to some 10 day contracts so I can conduct a dang practice.

How many more people have to be hurt before EG signs some folks to some 10 day contracts? Is Abe that dang cheap.....!!!????? Man, this whole situation is getting so old.....!!!!!"


Eddie should be careful what he wishes for.


"Is it me, or is it the Wiz and the Cav's are paddling in the same boat??? When is the last time the Wiz have done any kind of a trade of any kind, 3 or 4 years. EG says he likes this team, but news flash. Everybody is hurt so when will we ever see this "team" he likes so much????"


Ernie can't be expected to pull a Caron for Kwame every year.

Posted by: Tay Biltong | February 20, 2008 11:16 PM

Take your time, Caron. Like 4 or 5 more games. The fear is clearly that we could drop out of the playoffs, but I think it may take a gutsy decision and commitment to get healthy that pays dividends in the end. I cannot imagine a healthy Wizards team not being able to make up a few games to reclaim the 6th seed. The reality is we're not getting the Nets or Hawks in the first round, so what do we care about playoff seeding...I think I'd prefer to face Boston over Det or Cle, for that matter.

Posted by: Pauly B. | February 21, 2008 12:28 AM

Yeah we're undermanned and beat up, but what the hell is EG supposed to do. It's not like the Wiz are the Redskins run like a fantasy team by the owner and his flunkie. EG is one of the best in the NBA. Maybe he is or is not hampered by Abe when it comes to signing players to 10 day contracts, but, regardless, it will not make us a better team.

Injuries happen. How good would the Lakers be without Kobe and Gasol? How good would Boston be without Pierce and Garnett? Add nagging injuries to a couple of their other key players and you got bad losing teams. Let's be real. That being said I think the real decision is how much you sign superstar players for who seem to be injury prone. Bottom line - with Arenas, Butler, and Jamison healthy, the Wiz can play with anybody in the leastern conference.

Posted by: Rob P | February 21, 2008 2:30 AM

Roger Mason's number speak for themself. As a starter he is averaging 17.6 a game, compared with Antonio Daniels 9.0 a game and Stevenson's 10.5 a game. There is an argument to be made that he deserves one of these spots.

He is much improved due to his summer workouts and is putting himself in a good position for free agency the summer. He is probably one of the best steals in the league this year as the teams second lowest paid player. Mason has also validated his gamble not to sign with San Antonio for three years at the minimum.

Mason's average as a starter is just a little less than Daniels and Stevenson combined.

Still can't believe we lost the Golden State game and last nights debacle.

Like everyone on here just hoping for a win.


Posted by: blue | February 21, 2008 7:46 AM

"I hope all of these people ripping Grunfeld for not making a deal understand that he has a boss, and his boss has no doubt put a limit on how much money he can spend.

Posted by: kalorama | February 20, 2008 11:00 PM "

We know that, and that's why EJ commented that he knows this franchise is on a budget, that they can't do everything it takes to win. Given that, there's no excuse for EJ's poor play calling, substitution patterns, and player development. EJ is lucky that the players that count on this team are self motivated.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 21, 2008 8:17 AM

If you think about it, Les BouleS are not that much different from Les Skins. With Les Skins, you have the owner making all the personnel decisions that end up looking like doo doo.

With Les BouleS, you have an owner who hires a great GM, but hamstrings him with a tight budget and doesn't trust him enough to let him make the personnel decisions, but instead, mandates that any personnel move must go through him, Abe, who is just like Danny. Neither has played sports at a professional level and are just people with money.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 21, 2008 8:21 AM

"I hope all of these people ripping Grunfeld for not making a deal understand that he has a boss, and his boss has no doubt put a limit on how much money he can spend.

Posted by: kalorama | February 20, 2008 11:00 PM "

We know that, and that's why EJ commented that he knows this franchise is on a budget, that they can't do everything it takes to win. Given that, there's no excuse for EJ's poor play calling, substitution patterns, and player development. EJ is lucky that the players that count on this team are self motivated.

Thanks DC! Kalorama thinks all of us here are a bunch of idiots and his words are divine and ALWAYS right. LOL

Posted by: Fortune Teller | February 21, 2008 9:50 AM

Not everything is because of the owner's tight budget. Songaila and Thomas with fat contracts was because...who knows.

Posted by: rgz | February 21, 2008 9:52 AM

Wanted to add this comment: staffing up a team is a proposition based on what you know about a player, and what you think he can contribute in the future. The value of that "promise" is how much you value him. This is true whether in sports or for any job. That some members do not pan out, or are unable to perform (due to injury, decline in skills, lack of conditioning/training, whatever) can not be foreseen in a crystal ball. Grunfeld's choices are on balance good decisions - but some of those choices put a constraint on what other moves he might be able to do at some point during the season. Same thing happens in a corporation, there are certain times when you have to bite the bullet and try to get through with what you have because the money for further investments is not there.
The point was made by someone else where the coach is responsible for obtaining maximum results out of what he has: developing players, winning games, avoiding injury or letting players rest, etc. Thus game plans, substitutions, defensive schemes, set plays, etc are his to execute. Coach & GM both have a job to do. They both will get their share of praise and blame. I don't think anyone who has commented is out of line, just stating some aspects, just discussing different points. We need to bring out each point, as each one has some validity.

Posted by: rgz | February 21, 2008 10:16 AM

"Not everything is because of the owner's tight budget. Songaila and Thomas with fat contracts was because...who knows.

Posted by: rgz | February 21, 2008 09:52 AM "

As I said before, it looks like a combo of issues such as both tight budget, and poor coaching/preparation. Can't really include ET in the bash fest b/c he's got a previously unknown medical condition. But, you can bash the medical staff for this latest setback by ET.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 21, 2008 10:19 AM

It's a chicken/egg or horse/carriage argument. In one hand, you have a tightwad owner who doesn't want to play luxury taxes and would rather field an undermanned team. In another hand, you have a coach who can't maximize what he has to work with.

For example, BTH has clearly shown EJ's error in his ways. BTH's FT % is about 20% higher than last year, and his other numbers are up too. Is BTH a worldbeater at the center spot? No, but he more than holds his own and would command a lot of money right now if he were on the open market.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 21, 2008 10:29 AM

OP, AB, DM, NY and RM are not injured.
Maybe EJ should take a valium and let them play lots of minutes.

The Wiz "regulars" get worn down and therefore the defense craters in the 4th.
If EJ is wedded to experience, let him play his traditional starting 5 for the last 8 minutes (but limit them to 25 minues up to that point).

EJ is grinding down more and more of his go-to guys with the present strategy. Who will be left standing as we head into the playoffs?

Posted by: Izman | February 21, 2008 10:44 AM

I have high regards to EG as a GM (ex. Michael Redd) but 2 things that I didn't like was the signing of DSong and drafting Pecherov when Marcus Williams was still on board. Boy, we could have need him during this stretch as back-up PG.

As for the O, does anybody here thinks that the Princeton O is not suitable for this team? Princeton Offense requires a lot of ball passing and player movement. Exactly what the Wiz don't have, players who can pass and athletic player who can move. Not a sermon just a thought.

Mark, I truly agree with you on BH position. Heck, opposing team can let their small players guard BH and the team still won't give him the ball.

Posted by: Dave, | February 21, 2008 11:24 AM

I agree with Dave on the Songalia signing and passing on Marcus Williams. Not in hindsight; I thought those were errors at the time. I like that Grunfeld takes a longer view and isn't making knee-jerk panic trades. I'd like to see a 10 day signing, and think that can happen without luxury tax implications (though Grunfeld may have a master plan for that money, i.e., using it later).

Jordan should keep his lips zipped for the time being in light of his poor 4th quarter/last play coaching decisions perhaps causing the team victories in 2 of the last 3 games.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 21, 2008 11:52 AM

"Kalorama thinks all of us here are a bunch of idiots"

not all of you ...

Posted by: kalorama | February 21, 2008 12:56 PM

"In another hand, you have a coach who can't maximize what he has to work with.",/i>

He's got an injury decimated, shorthanded team in the thick of the playoff race, while some teams that were predicted to be in the playoff picture are looking up at them. That sounds like maximizing what he's got to me.

Posted by: kalorama | February 21, 2008 1:01 PM

"Not everything is because of the owner's tight budget. Songaila and Thomas with fat contracts was because...who knows."

That's a separate issue than what I was talking about. People are ripping Grunfeld for not singing players, making deals, getting help. But he can't do any of those things as long as Pollin (like most NBA owners) wants to avoid the luxury tax. Whether all of his previous deals have been good ones is a different subject.

Posted by: kalorama | February 21, 2008 1:04 PM

Jeez, love the nitpicking on EG. Does anyone remember how the Wiz/Bullets used to be run for decades? Ok...Songalia and Thomas may have underperformed thus far, but they are still only getting 20 million not 30,40,50, which similar underperforming players get all the time. Look at the remaining contracts on the team and all the deals he has pulled off plus picks. CB - 50 GA - 60 AJ - 50 BH - 20 Stevenson - 14 That's damn near a whole starting unit with three all-stars for not much more than what Rashard Lewis makes! LOL...nit pick away, but as long as EG is here we will be a talented relevant team!!!

Some last comments about Songalia. One, he is at least playing for his contract - GA is not. Second, the dude was brought here to spot up from 12/15 feet when the other big three were drawing attention along with his hustle and banging. To me, he is now being asked to play a completely different role. He spends most of his time at the top of the key now with less room to do anything. They come back and he gets better instantly! I'll tell you so when it happens...lol.

Posted by: Rob P | February 21, 2008 3:46 PM

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