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Wiz and Jazz, Butler out

Forward Caron Butler just told me that he's out for tonight's game. He's had that strained left hip flexor since the Milwaukee game and also has been bothered by a bad bout of the stomach flu for several days.

"I'm just going to get some more treatment and try to get my body right," Butler said.

Eddie Jordan has addressed the media yet but my guess would be that Andray Blatche will get the start.

Utah (28-18) starters: PG Deron Williams, SG Ronnie Brewer, F Andrei Kirilenko, F Carlos Boozer and C Mehmet Okur. It's going to be interesting to see how the Wiz defend that pick-and-roll. Okur can step out and shoot it and Kirilenko has been shooting it much better from outside as well.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 1, 2008; 6:19 PM ET
 
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Next: Saturday update

Comments

CB: I love the YMCA. I'm just a chip off the old block, I'm just a regular dude. I am an average Joe and I do not want to be treated any differently. I just like to do the same things I used to do before I ran into this unbelievable wealth. I just try to act as naturally as possible.

http://www.hoopshype.com/interviews/butler_woelfel.htm

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 1, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Someone please explain to me why Darius Songaila is still in the NBA.

Posted by: JW | February 1, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, the coverage of the game is so much better on ESPN.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 1, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Defense was bad again tonight in the second half, when it was important that they played it. Awful. EJ has done a great job this year, but his rotations were terrible down the stretch. He left Songaila out there for too long. He played Nick Young too late in the game and left him out there for too long. He didn't play Haywood and Blatche together much in the fourth quarter. He sat AD most of the fourth quarter. Embarrassing.

Posted by: Colin | February 1, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

CB: I love the YMCA. I'm just a chip off the old block, I'm just a regular dude. I am an average Joe and I do not want to be treated any differently. I just like to do the same things I used to do before I ran into this unbelievable wealth. I just try to act as naturally as possible.

http://www.hoopshype.com/interviews/butler_woelfel.htm

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 1, 2008 07:33 PM

That Caronie! What a self promoter. When is he going to stop talking about himself and start making his teammates better?

Truely great players know how to win - and Caronie has not done that yet.

He compared himself to Lebron and Kobe? What a joke.

He needs to stop with all the interviews and concentrate on his rehab.

Kids? He left his kids to go on a road trip! What kind of father is that?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 1, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Seriously!

LOL!

I'm still waiting for him to throw a coming out party, kick his babies and babies' momma to the curb, dodge getting served by a lawyer, criticize his teammates and NBA peers, throw a temper tantrum after not getting into an all star team, threaten to run up the score on all those coaches, offer to give up on season just to play against a college team, run around with a parachute, complain to EJ about playing D, refuse to shoot in the first half of a game, create a blog, produce a cartoon, complain about the franchise being cheap, threaten to opt out, bike around town without a helmet, cruise around town in his ferrari with mike wise, throw his jersey to the crowd after every game win or lose, etc.

Let me know when all that happens, K?

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 1, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

We were short handed tonight, plain and simple. Again, for the 10,000 time, take two all-star starters off of any team and you are going to have issues. On the way home from every game, I listen to the wrap up show on 980. 80% of the people that call in have no idea what they are talking about. Have faith and be patient.

Posted by: Section101 | February 2, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Caron being out hurt. Stevenson turning into a ghost and the bench only scoring 4 points hurt even more.

If the Wiz have any hope of making some playoff noise after Gilbert comes back, they're going to need someone on the bench to provide a reliable offensive presence. It's way too hit and miss for them to be counted on right now.

Posted by: kalorama | February 2, 2008 2:06 AM | Report abuse

ESPN had some good interviews last night, usually lacking from comcast. Gilby said he plans to return on March 2, and Caron said that they expect to be even better during the 2nd half of this season.

I wouldn't get too too worried now since the all star break is coming up and there's time for the team to regroup. Also, AB is getting some good PT in the meantime.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 2, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Kal - I agree that the bench is unreliable right now.....

But when Caron returns, Blatche can return to the bench. When Arenas returns, AD can return to what he does best - being a reliable back-up point guard.

Mean time, we'll have to live with the kiddies getting playing time and watching as they either sink or swim.

Posted by: Rook | February 2, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of which, AK47 looked very active last night. Great defender. I wish we could have him on this team instead of the slow footed DSong.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 2, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Surely EJ didn't think the Jazz would continue to shoot poorly the whole game did he? The bench offered no help again D Song was as invisible as was Deshawn they need to make a move before the trade deadline something anything to get EJ some bench production, LA is here Sunday and I know Kobe can't wait torch us after what Gilbert did in LA last year and now they have Gasol Whew!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 2, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Haven't been on the blog for a while...wondering if the BIG question has been addressed:

With Arenas coming off of 2 major knee surgeries and planning to opt out of his K so that he can get max dollars, are the Wiz contemplating NOT resigning him now that they have seen Bulter/Tawn lead the team? Do you think they are considering investing those max dollars some place else?

GA is a phenomenal once-in-a-generation offensive talent, but he brings nothing to the defensive end, and nothing in terms of team/locker room leadership...seems like a goofball little brother type who is a bit self-absorbed and immature...

I think that when GA comes back in the 2nd half it is going to be a sort of audition to see if the Wiz plan on maxing him or investing those max dollars elsewhere and building around Caron...what are your thoughts?

Posted by: p1funk | February 2, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"But when Caron returns, Blatche can return to the bench."

Blatche hasn't exactly been a model of consistency and dependability.

Posted by: kalorama | February 2, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"EJ has done a great job this year, but his rotations were terrible down the stretch."

Wow, I'm actually going to defend EJ on here.

Caron plays, they win. It's really that simple. As Rook said they have to depend on the young guys when the vets get hurt.

My only complaints are that Songaila look overmatched at times and I thought Stevenson could have played better(1-9/0-7). I was expecting him to anyway, he was the only starter not to score double digits.

As good as he is, Jamison by himself is not enough to beat a playoff caliber team. If this were the case then the Wiz would have won a game in them last year.

They only ran 9 guys last night, that's tough to do when you have injuries the way the Wiz do.

Cut them some slack for now, but if they faulter after the break then be worried. They came out stumbling like that last year after the all-star game and never recovered.

"Blatche hasn't exactly been a model of consistency and dependability."

He's been impressive as a starter, last night included.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 2, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

They competed last night, thats all you can expect with CB and GA out.

DS doesnt start for most NBA teams but he starts for us because he plays solid perimeter defense. If you have to rely on his points to win games you arent a very good team.

When the GA, AJ and CB are all playing together, DS will take his normal role as the 5th option perimeter defender.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"He's been impressive as a starter, last night included."

And he's been much less impressive overall as a backup, which is his actual role on the team.

Posted by: kalorama | February 2, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If I were DS I would work exclusively on my 3-ball...he'd be a pretty devastating complement to the other scorers and become the East's Poor-Man Bruce Bowen if he could knock it down consistently...at this point some nights the shot is there (Raps at home) and sometimes it really really isn't (last night).

Posted by: p1funk | February 2, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Blatche hasn't exactly been a model of consistency and dependability.

Posted by: kalorama | February 2, 2008 10:25 AM "

Neither has EJ's minutes for him. You just got to put the kid on the court whether he makes mistakes or not, b/c he's not learning on the bench. He's falling asleep.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 2, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

blatche has been sick as a starter and i think he should stay there. go with daniels, caron at the 2, blatche, jamison, and haywood. stevenson would be fine off the bench.

Posted by: dagnasty | February 2, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

If I were DS I would work exclusively on my 3-ball...he'd be a pretty devastating complement to the other scorers and become the East's Poor-Man Bruce Bowen if he could knock it down consistently...at this point some nights the shot is there (Raps at home) and sometimes it really really isn't (last night).

Posted by: p1funk | February 2, 2008 11:58 AM

The problem is we need it to win now because of injury. When we are healthy, DS's points are nice but we are deep enough to win sans his points or lack of points.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The problem is we need it to win now because of injury.
Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2008 01:34 PM


The problem is not Stevenson. We already know he can't create his own shot. He proved in the Playoffs last year that he can't step up his game to overcome the loss of an All-Star player (Arenas & Butler). That's why no other team made him an offer this off season, and the Wizards signed him for LESS than the league average. He's an average NBA guard. Nothing special. At some point, Young will take his starting position, and Stevenson will be an average backup being paid a below average salary.

When we have one of the core players out, and this year that means Butler and Jamison, we need to get more production from somewhere else. That means Blatche, Young, Pecherov, or Songaila; or some combination.

Unfortunately, as pointed out by kalorama, that's a hit or miss proposition .... Mostly miss, lately.

Posted by: Rook | February 2, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"The problem is not Stevenson. We already know he can't create his own shot."

Good point Rook.

I'm not worried right now to be honest. They are going to get some bodies back and not have to rely so much on the young guys.

I still like thier bench this year compared to last a lot better. Young is going to be highly sought after in a couple years, that guy has a ton of potential.

I think Blatche is doing fine, and I thought before Pesh came back Songaila was playing well. Now you have to adjust minutes as more bodies come back and you really can't be fair to everyone. Etan coming back makes this more complicated as well.

This where EJ is not at his best. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 2, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Did you guys bother to read my entire post or just part of it?

My point to the partial readers is that DS is expected to do more because of injuries, but he is nothing more than a streaky shooter who starts because he plays defense. DS doesnt start on any other team.

Its nots DS's fault, I never said it was. I'm just reiterating to those who complain about how streaky he is that he no more than an below average offensive guard.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The problem isnt DS, its that we need DS to produce to win due to injury.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I misunderstand JSchon. In one sentence you say the problem isnt DS... Then you say we need DS to produce to win...


Ray - I hear you about the bench. Far superior to last year's bench, even with the inconsistent play. The best thing is that the current bench has the potential to be REALLY REALLY good for years to come.

Posted by: Rook | February 2, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

6-8 Shooting Guard, 27, 8 mil a year....avg 17 pts, 7 rebs this season, being shopped by his team.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=0558

Who would Les BouleS have to ship out in order to bring him here, and what would they have to give up?

Trade machine says DSong and DS would work. They might want NY though.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-gasollakers020108&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 2, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Memphis has been dumping salaries for expiring contracts.

That would be a good trade for the Wiz (Stevenson/Songaila for Miller) - but there's NO WAY Memphis would do the deal. Nothing there for them. No expiring contracts... No young talent to build with.

Even if you add Nick Young (which I think would be a mistake for the Wizards), the trade "works" salary wise - but then the Wizards would only have 11 players under contract - they would still be right up against the Luxury Tax. Under league rules, A team must have 12 players on its active roster - therefore the Wizards would have to add ANOTHER player (and contract)....and go over the Luxury Tax.

That deal will NOT HAPPEN.

The only other option would to pull in a third team - which is very difficult to work a deal to everyone's satisfaction.

Posted by: Rook | February 2, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

A trade that WOULD have worked would be Jamison for Gasol and one of Memphis' young point guards.

Memphis probably would have jumped at that deal. Obviously Jamison's is a better expiring contract than Kwame Brown's... not to mention that he's a better player.

I don't think it would have benefitted the Wizards - Gasol is a good player, and has similar stats to Jamison - but you don't know how it would affect the team's chemistry..etc...

Posted by: Rook | February 2, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the problem last night was Darius Songaila, he was absolutely abysmal in the start of the 2nd and 4th quarter when he was in (notice we were outscores by 10 in both?). He's not physical enough to defend down low, and he's not quick enough to guard anyone.

I hope he can play better than this, he did down the stretch last year. Is his ankle still bothering him? If so, why isn't Eddie letting him rest instead of hurting the team by leaving him out there in crunch time?

Posted by: JW | February 2, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Why did so many people act surprised by the Gasol/Kwame trade. It made all the sense in the world for MEM. They got rid of 14m off of the books for 3 years, got draft picks and a player that may turn into something. The Griz will have some money to spend next year.

Why MEM, or WAS for that matter, would entertain the trading of Stevenson/Songalia for Miller? Add NY? Thats nuts.

It doesnt make sense for either team. That trade would make both teams worse long term and short term.

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Mike Miller is EXACTLY the player I've been thinking about when saying the Wiz need some reliable scoring off the bench. If the salaries matched, I'd trade Young or Pecherov for him in a heartbeat. But there's no way they'd trade him for Songaila. As pointed out, they're going into rebuilding mode, that means cap space, picks, young players.

Posted by: kalorama | February 2, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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