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Butler breaks it down

Caron Butler showed up with a fresh look today. He has "Tough Juice" shaved into the back of his head, old-school style. Why? Well, it's the Wizards. That's why. One never knows what to expect from this team which is why Dan Steinberg so enjoys coming to the VC regardless of where the series is at.

Butler on the team's offensive funk: "Whenever things are not going according to plan, each individual sometimes decides to go off on their own and try to carry the load on your own. That's not us. It hasn't been our success story all season. The reason why we've been successful is because we move the ball, share the ball, and play off of one another very well. But sometimes when you face adversity, guys try to carry it on their own shoulders and I fell victim to some of that as well so we just need to get back to playing team basketball and believe in the system and let it work for you."

I asked him about his health. Before the series Butler, who missed the last three games with a bruised right knee and earlier missed a large chunk of the season with a hip injury, answered this way:

"It doesn't really matter because we have to play tonight and I'm going to be out there. I have to leave everything on the court. Just gotta play. No excuses for anything whether it's a nagging injury or anything. I'm going to look in the mirror and be comfortable with whatever happens in this series. Let's just go out there, leave everything on the court and see what happens."

Eddie Jordan threatened players with bench time if they don't play better basketball.
"We broke down the word discipline and first, it's self control. Then second, if you can't control yourself, the enforcer must control it and that's me. And how do you enforce discipline? With punishment. In the world of the NBA, it's not a ruler to the backside, it's a seat to the backside. So, let's go out and let's control our emotions, let's control our execution and if you can't do that, I'm going to sit you down and have somebody else do it."

One thing to keep in mind about this team heading into Game 3: It has been a resilient bunch all season. After the ugly 0-5 start, the Wizards won six in a row. When Gilbert Arenas went down, they sucked it up and keeping winning. After a bad loss at Memphis, they turned around and won at Dallas. After a tough home loss to Houston, they won at Atlanta and beat Boston in back-to-back games. After a brutal home loss to Milwaukee, they won five of the next six including another win over Boston.

"It's not about being negative, it's about being accountable," Jordan said. "We have to be accountable. We've been so successful through all of the adversity, let's get back to that and be successful in front of our home crowd."

Jordan said he won't pulling a Pitino by wearing a white suit tonight.
"No, I'm not going to do that," Jordan said. "He changed at halftime. I only have one suit."

By Ivan Carter  |  April 24, 2008; 12:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

I like it. EJ has his game face on. Time to buckle up and enjoy the ride, this should be one hyped up game.

Posted by: psps23 | April 24, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Wiz win, on the road, in game 7.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 24, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

EJ sounds like he's toughening up !!

Posted by: mark | April 24, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Go Wiz!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Not sure I understand CB's comments. He didn't really try to do it on his own from what I saw. Seemed to me he was too passive.
I always though sports were about exploiting favorable matchups (lefty pitcher vs. righty hitter, tall baller vs. short defender, fast receiver vs. slow cornerback etc.) I agree that this democratic offense works well most of the time when we play unselfishly but sometimes you have to impose your will on a team and force them to react to what you do to them. In our case, I'd say that the BTH and CB footspeed advantages over Wally and Z need to be exploited a little bit.
Defensively, I hope we try to take a couple steps back and make LeBron shoot jumpers. Clearly letting him into the lane ain't working. I like our chances. If EJ is fired up, hopefully the players are, too. I'm pretty sure that at least one of them reads this blog occasionally out of curiosity if nothing else. They need to know..the real Wiz fans are behind this team and think we can win it all.

Posted by: mark | April 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

It frustrating that it takes a 2-0 deficit and an almighty shellacking to get the team refocused. Lets hope they actions can match the words.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 24, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay, that's the stick for poor individual play.

How about the carrot and stick for team play? We know that to win, the Wiz need to stay focused each quarter. Thus, how about:

For every quarter they win tonight, a day off from one regular practice session next year. And for every quarter they lose tonight, an extra practice session next year. Or something like that.

Posted by: Izman | April 24, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll shave my head when I get home tonight.

Go Wizards!

Posted by: rgz | April 24, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"So, let's go out and let's control our emotions, let's control our execution and if you can't do that, I'm going to sit you down and have somebody else do it" said Eddie Jordan.

IMO, that is a statement was directed to GA, for his stupid tripping foul on Delonte West. You can't have your field general doing childish things in times of adversity. COME ON WIZARDS BEAT THESE TRAVELIERS!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bullets_0000 | April 24, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Or, how about just going out there and doing the job that they're paid multiple millions of dollars to do? You know, instead of yapping and whining.

Arenas is a clown. Did he win any money on the half court shots at shootaround today?

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Thank you very much for the update Ivan! Can't wait for tonight!!!

Posted by: Darnell | April 24, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Ivan is on sportstalk 980. This series depends on Caron Butler. HE MUST STEP UP!!! He was the man all year.
C'mon juice

Posted by: Wayne from Bowie | April 24, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Wiz win, on the road, in game 7.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 24, 2008 1:14 PM


Funniest thing I've heard in a long time! Thanks, fool.

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with bullets 0000, that did sound like it was directed at Gil. I gotta say, Gil's been the worst of Gil the first two games without any of the best of Gil. Being selfish with the ball works sometimes when you're one of the most lethal scorers in the league, but when you're still finding your legs and the rhythm of the game you gotta play inside the offense. If he could do what he did that 4th Q against Philly -- draw the defense, move the ball to the open man, let the open shots come to him -- he'd be a great asset to this team. But if he's going to try being the hero again, it's just as well to let the man go play somewhere else this postseason.

Posted by: Prazak | April 24, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I can't make it to the game tonight, but we need our crowd to be crazy like it was for the Caps. Can someone makes signs like "Cleveland Traveliers" or "LeTravel" or something that the Cavs and Refs can see. Also, we need to shout out something when Lebron has the ball or is at the FT line. I think some have suggested "Traveling" or Cry Baby." We just need to the crowd to be involved.

If anyone else has any other suggestions for signs and calls please make them. The crowd will be very important for this game

Posted by: Bangladesh | April 24, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

That's more like what I'd expect to see from Caron.

I think he was saying that he was the victim of other players trying to do it all themselves (ie he's not getting the same number of touches he has previously). He watched it happen instead of inserting himself in the midst.

It sounds like he's planning on being a bit more aggressive tonight.

Posted by: Lou | April 24, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Wiz win, on the road, in game 7.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 24, 2008 1:14 PM


Funniest thing I've heard in a long time! Thanks, fool.

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:45 PM

Funniest thing I've endured is this stupid drought that Cleveland has had for 50 years. Even I won't be able to end this drought. That's why I will opt out and leave this pathetic city just like the Browns did.

Posted by: Lebron James | April 24, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh wait. I'm currently IN "the District." I'll be leaving THIS pathetic city on Sunday, after sweeping the Generals.

And, man, the Generals fans are ALMOST as crazy as Agent Zero!

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Haywood don't give me another one of those hard fouls tonight, 'cause I can't bear seeing Mike Brown break into tears.

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

3-13. Three years running. Bring it, Brenda!

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

LeTravel should shave his head and put the letters: H.S.J

"Hop, Skip, and Jump"

I'll be there tonight, remember when LeTravel is at the FT line, everyone do the "travel" sign, especially behind the basket. This should get air time on TNT as well as send a message to the zebras.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Oops. 2-10. I think there's something in the water here that makes you stupid. And crazy.

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards will get it together tonight. They were just distracted by the smell of Cleveland. The odor of hot trash and failure is hard to get used to, unless you live there.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The worst part about getting fouled, though, is having to shoot free throws afterward. Even Ben Wallace is calling me "LeBrick" these days.

Posted by: LeBron James | April 24, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Damn, Sam Smith torched Gilbert on Kornheiser's show this morning. Said that Ernie should take Brand in a heartbeat for Gilbert. I don't agree necessarily, but it's not just Wiz and Cavs fans that are hard on Gilbert at the moment.

Posted by: Kev | April 24, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a pathetic Cleveland Fan. Can I please post on your blog? It's the only we can feel good about ourselves and city. We get happy about small accomplishments such as a 2-0 series lead to over compensate for the fact that our pathetic city hasn't been able to win ANY sports Championships. On top of all that, Lebron will opt out and leave us just like the Browns did. We won't have anyone else's nutz to slurp on anymore. I hope you understand. You will be seeing us around your blog a whole lot, we got 50 years to make up.

Posted by: Cleveland Fan | April 24, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody care what I think?

Posted by: Sam Smith | April 24, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I like the way Caron was so diplomatic in his words. Shows his maturity.

In a nutshell, he said this season has been going great because of teamwork, chemistry, and defense. Then Gil returns and instead of being a distributor, he's shooting like it's going out of style. Then, Caron diffuses the blame on Gil by implying that he's been doing a bit of it too.

Posted by: Gack | April 24, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Gack. Even when Gilbert isn't in the game, Gilbert's mere presence on the bench causes the other Wizards to go one-on-one. Shame on you, Gilbert!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree, because having Gil on the team throws the entire team's chemistry and approach out of whack. It's like walking down the street with a pebble inside your shoe. It just throws the team dynamic off.

Posted by: Gack | April 24, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: HOT TRASH & FAILURE | April 24, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Caron will have 25-30 pts, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Gil will score closeto 20 and the bench will show up led by Mason in double digits. Wiz blow out.

Posted by: You heard it here first | April 24, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Caron's hair gonna save the world. A haircut can change history... think about it, the Caesar cut...

Posted by: Da HAIR | April 24, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I like the way Caron was so diplomatic in his words. Shows his maturity.

In a nutshell, he said this season has been going great because of teamwork, chemistry, and defense. Then Gil returns and instead of being a distributor, he's shooting like it's going out of style. Then, Caron diffuses the blame on Gil by implying that he's been doing a bit of it too.

Posted by: Gack | April 24, 2008 2:20 PM

I agree, Gack. Even when Gilbert isn't in the game, Gilbert's mere presence on the bench causes the other Wizards to go one-on-one. Shame on you, Gilbert!

Posted by: | April 24, 2008 2:30 PM

I agree, because having Gil on the team throws the entire team's chemistry and approach out of whack. It's like walking down the street with a pebble inside your shoe. It just throws the team dynamic off.

Posted by: Gack | April 24, 2008 2:35 PM

Yeah that's true. Gilby played horrible. Jamison played great. Butler played great. Daniels played great. The whole bench played great. Every one took great shots and played great D except Gilby. Gilby had 2 major surgeries this year, but that's not excuse at all. Even I can play great after 2 surgeries. It's all Gilby's fault.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 24, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I concur. Gil is shooting too much. What is Gil distributing?

Posted by: Robbie | April 24, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Another omen, Caron got Though Juice cut into his head. These guys need to put it on the floor, enough with the distractions and empty gestures.

Posted by: Wizzy | April 24, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

And now it is time for the Wizards and their fans to rise to new heights.

It ain't over yet.

Posted by: khrabb | April 24, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Time to refocus and go back to what got us here smart ball movement, stong backdoor cuts to the hoop,cut off Letravel's drives to the basket, get to the free throw line and convert rebound both sides of the ball make Z foul out and most of all keep the crowd hyped!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | April 24, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Or, most of all, win. That might be preferred over keeping the crowd hyped.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a pathetic Cleveland Fan. Can I please post on your blog? It's the only we can feel good about ourselves and city. We get happy about small accomplishments such as a 2-0 series lead to over compensate for the fact that our pathetic city hasn't been able to win ANY sports Championships. On top of all that, Lebron will opt out and leave us just like the Browns did. We won't have anyone else's nutz to slurp on anymore. I hope you understand. You will be seeing us around your blog a whole lot, we got 50 years to make up.


I know you guys won big tonight, but I'm sure me and other pathetic Cleveland Fans will continue to come to your site and talk trash. We talk trash even though our city hasn't won any championships, so why stop even if we got our butts kicked by 36 pts.

Posted by: Cleveland Fan | April 24, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

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