Five Qs For the Wizards

It looks bad. Real bad. Like, "Do the Wizards belong on the same floor?" bad. "How are you to believe that the Cavaliers won't bring out the broom?" bad. This bad (look below):


The Wizards loss in Game 2 was the most troubling postseason performance the Wizards have ever had under Coach Eddie Jordan. Even last year, when the Wizards faced the Cavaliers with two hands tied behind their back, they put up a better fight.

One of the reasons I thought Washington could win this series was because I figured you add Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas, even at less than 100 percent, to the Wizards' effort against a superior Cavaliers last season (and I don't care what has happened in the first two games, this Cleveland team is not better than the one Washington faced the past two seasons).

It looks like the Wizards have had Butler and Arenas in name alone on Monday. Arenas is still playing with a bad left knee, then he sprained his right wrist. Arenas didn't blame his 2-for-10 shooting on his injury. But if he is okay, he needs to try and impact the game by doing more than just putting up wild jumpers and trying to draw fouls. Butler had a team-high 12 points - and that should say enough. When the Wizards leading scorer has 12 points, it's a wrap.

About the only positives you can take from this series is that playoff series don't get serious until a team loses at home, and the Wizards came back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat the Chicago Bulls three years.

The main difference, and it's a huge one, is that the Bulls best player in the first two games of that series was Ben Gordon. The Cavaliers' best player doesn't even need to be mentioned because I'm sure everybody knows by now. But also, the Bulls were playoff novices who had never been in a hostile road enviroment. The Cavaliers are the defending Eastern Conference champions, and new pieces Ben Wallace and Wally Szczerbiack have both been to the conference finals. Wallace has an NBA championship ring.

Now that the Wizards are returning to Washington on Thursday, a few questions have to be raised over the next few days.

1. Does Eddie Jordan decide to put Gilbert Arenas in the starting lineup for Game 3?

The Wizards haven't gotten much out of Antonio Daniels in the first two games (eight points total).

2. Does Brendan Haywood get suspended?


This is not my normal flight pattern. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

The flagrant 2 penalty should be enough, but the league might be looking to send a message after the Wizards were vocal about wanting to "hit" LeBron James. Seeing James thrust into the air immediately made me think back to Game 4 of the 2006 NBA Finals when Jerry Stackhouse bodychecked Shaquille O'Neal into the photographers. Stackhouse was suspended for Game 5. I didn't think Stackhouse needed to get booted for another game, but the league really tries to protect its superstars - which probably explains why James didn't receive any sort of penalty for throwing an elbow at Andray Blatche in Game 1. I know James said it was unintentional, but there are no inadvertent elbows to the head.

3. Is Caron Butler right?

You have to wonder how bad his hip/knee injuries are, because Wally Szczerbiak is looking like Bruce Bowen right now. Butler might be living up to his nickname, "Tuff Juice," just by being on the floor. Butler is picking his spots and he doesn't look aggressive. He often looks like a decoy on the court. I asked Szczerbiak if Butler looked right. Szczerbiak said, "He had three dunks. Looked okay to me."

4. Can the Wizards pick up the tempo?

They cannot continue to score 86 points and beat the Cavaliers.

5. Will Antawn Jamison make shots in Washington?

Jamison shot 14 of 37 (37.8 percent) in two games in Cleveland. The Cavaliers defended him well on Monday, forcing him to create his own shot off the dribble. He simply missed some open looks on Saturday. He's carried the Wizards all season. To save the season, Jamison is going to have find his jumper over the next two days.

By Michael Lee |  April 22, 2008; 11:17 AM ET
Previous: Final: Cavs 116, Wizards 86. | Next: Back in the district

Comments

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Wizards need to speed up the tempo, even passing needs to speed up. Moving the ball around till there is an opportunity is grindingly slow. They look very tentative right now, much slower even than the Cavs who are not known for a full court game.

Posted by: rgz | April 22, 2008 11:29 AM

Very disappointing. The Wizards are playing like a bunch of punks. The are playing like they are mesmorized by Lebron. They'd better bring it in DC or the season is over there will be changes. Just plain embarassing.

Posted by: dcwizard | April 22, 2008 11:34 AM

Is it too late to ask Tom Coughlin to send Eddie Jordan any leftover "Shut up and play!" t-shirts that seemed to work well for the Giants? The worst part about the trash talking is that there is no point to it. Confidence comes from within -- but it should also stay there.

Posted by: gdb | April 22, 2008 11:36 AM

It may be time to re-evaluate this franchise altogether. Even if we were to beat the Cavs (and I don't see it happening), we're not championship contenders. And I'm not sure we would be if we returned everyone fully healthy.

Same players, same coach, same results. Ernie's got his work cut out for him in this offseason. The Wizards need some change and a true superstar, not just an all-star (or 3)...

Posted by: Sam | April 22, 2008 11:42 AM

The good news is we've been blown out before this season and responded pretty well in following games. These two games are behind us now.

Our gameplan of knocking down LeTravel hasn't worked and it has given us a bad reputation with the media and the refs. This is not how the Wiz won 40+ games this season. We made the playoffs by playing good D, with some better than average offense. We also need our bench to supply some sort of offense. RM has to come off and make some shots. Here's an idea, how about every player must take it to the hole once before settling for the outside jumper? We need to play our game, not Cleveland's.

Now I'm over the embarrassment of last night's game, it's time to regroup and play solid ball on Thursday night.

I'll be there in my white cheering on our team and booing the refs and LeTravel everytime he touches the ball.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 11:42 AM

Let's get out and run. Wally is right. CB is not hurt THAT badly. He's just playing poorly. Let's stop with all the talking about driving and drawing fouls and just play our game.

Posted by: mark | April 22, 2008 11:45 AM

Series is over.......Cavs in Five. Having Lebron is simply too much for the Wiz to overcome.

Posted by: lenny | April 22, 2008 11:46 AM

"Shut up and Play" is right. The Wizards have done nothing but talk. I do think you have to reevaluate this team and its talent. The "injuries" excuse is not a viable one anymore. All teams have players that are banged up. They have some talent, just no leadership. The coach allows players to check themselves in and out of games and to talk openly about an opposing star before a game.

Posted by: rich | April 22, 2008 11:46 AM

I don't know about all the "over the backs" you guys are talking about. There is one easy way for a team to start getting those calls and it's called boxing out. If the Wizards bigs put a butt on Z then they will get those calls, but they did a very poor job of that last night.

Posted by: JC | April 22, 2008 10:08 AM

JC - You can box out and still have a taller player "jump over your back" to tip it to himself. Boxing out does not have anything to do with someone going over your back.

Lastly, will the officials ever start calling moving screens? Big Ike looks like a "pulling guard on a halfback sweep" on the high pick and rolls with LaBron. The charging call Big Ben got on AD or CB was crazy too. His TWO feet were inside the circle plus he was "leaning". How bad does the NBA want LaBron to continue his quest? The answer is pretty clear don't you think???

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | April 22, 2008 11:51 AM

Ivan, I have to disagree with you. I believe once the players jelled (and Wiz in this series may help them just that), this Cavs team is better than last year.

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 22, 2008 11:53 AM

No more blaming the refs and no more excuses. Is LeBron getting some calls other players wouldn't? Sure. But in order to get calls of their own, the Wizards need to step up, make some plays, and win some games in this series.

Talk is cheap. No more "you can't see me" and no more talking about being the best clutch player in the world. Just win some games; the Cavs aren't as good as they've looked. Step up to the challenge, Wizards.

Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 11:54 AM

the weirdest thing about the haywood incident is he has been the biggest cupcake his whole career. thats been one of his biggest problems--that he never put a body on any1.
hes never hit any1 before. so for him to get a flagrant 2 is unheard of.
crazy man.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 11:56 AM

zards need to go after j vangundy. ejs time has passed bigtime. hes got no one to blame but himself.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 11:57 AM

Shup up and Play!

The Wizards need some motivation for Thursday night. In Wilbon's article today he basically called out the Wiz as Chumps, saying they're best three are no match for LeTravel.

I'd love to post Wilbon's article in the Wiz locker room. It may give them the extra incentive to play some solid ball on Thursday night.

Posted by: CJ | April 22, 2008 11:58 AM

as a along time bullets/wizards fan, it hurts to see them play this way against a cavs team that isn't that good,yes lebron is all world,but this is still a team game. the wizards lack mental toughness, and heart, meaning, they have no one on there roster that can will the team to a win at the end of close games.this is something that you must earn,this is the third season in a row that you are playing the same team, and you still have no answers or shown any plans to stop one player that is killing you.until somebody shows some pride,and plays committed defense on lebron, like taking charges and make him play defense,the wizards will never beat the cavs.

Posted by: bigG | April 22, 2008 12:02 PM

"It may be time to re-evaluate this franchise altogether. Even if we were to beat the Cavs (and I don't see it happening), we're not championship contenders."

I don't think re-evaluation is require to see that this team isn't a title contender. Anybody not looking through fan colored glasses should have known that well before this series tipped off. As currently constructed the Wizards were never going to be anything more than a middling playoff-caliber team. They have too many weakness at too many positions.

Posted by: kalorama | April 22, 2008 12:03 PM

great post, michael. where wiz during the season were getting great help from stevenson, daniels, and mason, you havent seen much out of them when theyve gotten a chance to produce (i know getting gil back makes it harder for them to, but theyve had chances).they looked tentative, and when we havent, we get called on some tawdry fouls. hopefully arenas can be more careful with his drives as he was in the second half with a layup or two, and not get outright blocked by joe smith again and think he'll get the call by yelling loud enough.

Posted by: CreditZard | April 22, 2008 12:06 PM

If I was a Wiz fan, I am not, I would hope my team gets out of this now. This is embarrassing. Its ok to talk trash, but they have no edge, if you talk trash before a game history shows you increase your chances of losing.

TRADE Stevenson, he is an embarrassment to your franchise.

AND GET RID OF THOSE UGLY JERSEYS!!!!!

Posted by: LEBRON MVP | April 22, 2008 12:06 PM

Ivan or Michael,

Any word on player reaction from last night? What's the plan for Thursay? Plan B?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 12:06 PM

this all comes back to coaching. ej as much as admitted he had no answers. what an embarrassment.
this would never happen if jerry sloan was the coach or some1 with stones. you ever watch the jazz play, thats a well disiplined hard hat bunch.
this series is a disgrace a freakin disgrace. and it all comes back to the coach.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:09 PM

Damon Jones's imitation of Stevenson should be even more of a slap to the face because he only played during garbage time.

If the Wizards have any pride or heart at all, they'll come out in Game 3 and actually play their game. If not, expect more of the same from LeBron, Jones, and the Cavs bench.

Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 12:10 PM

the wiz looked completely lost out there. how does that happen. please explain eddie jordan.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:10 PM

Cleveland is really guarding the rim well and limiting second shots. Because our two great slashers (Gil and Caron) are lacking their usual explosiveness, we can't get their frontcourt in foul trouble via a half-court set. So they pack it in to limit us to one shot. I think Cleveland has been lucky that we've been unable to put together any consistent perimeter shooting.

The Wiz need a team goal in the first quarter and that goal should be to get Z in foul trouble. The Cavs have 4 solid bigs, but Z is by far the most skilled (and the biggest). I don't believe Wally and Damon and Delonte and Boobie can beat us 4 out of 6. It's Lebron and the bigs that are doing the damage.

Being tougher than the opponent is great, but you gotta be smarter, too.

Posted by: Pauly B. | April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

"...this Cleveland team is not better than the one Washington faced the past two seasons"

Cleveland's front court is bigger then Washingtons, and when Haywood goes out it's even MORE bigger. It's an obvious mismatch.

Washington is having to settle for jump shots (again) and they have no inside presense.

"You have to wonder if how bad his hip injury is because Wally Szczerbiak is looking like Bruce Bowen right now."

Hip injury? I thought he was supposed to be miraculously healed? Go figure.

To me, this is the most embarassing point of the series. There's no way Caron should be looking like he is against Wally World. Wally Szcerbiak sucks, and after they move on from this series you will never hear from him again.

"1. Does Eddie Jordan decide to put Gilbert Arenas in the starting lineup for Game 3?"

No and Gilbert doesn't deserve it after last night's debacle. Again, I've championed Gil on here and on his blog but if he keeps this up(bad wrist or not) then he should sit on the bench. Gilbert Arenas is NOT a max player at this point in his career.

*IF* they get swept, and it looks like they are going to, I honestly don't know how you can give Gil a max contract and sign Jamison who is over 30 years of age both long term deals?

This very well could be the last of these Wizards as we know them(coach and all). They better get thier heads out of thier a$$es and play better.

No excuses this year....none!

Mike I thought you loved Kobe, not Lebron? ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

Who the hell keeps bringing up Jerry Sloan? I agree he's one of the best coaches in the league, but the goal is to win championships -- he has none.

I'm not happy with the Wiz coaches in this series, but the difference in this series isn't the coaches -- come on, Mike Brown coaches the Cavs. The problem has been on the court, and until the Wizards find their identity in the playoffs, it doesn't matter who's coaching the Wiz.

Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 12:13 PM

,i>"Who the hell keeps bringing up Jerry Sloan? I agree he's one of the best coaches in the league, but the goal is to win championships -- he has none."

But he does have a 2-0 lead in a series where his team doesn't have home court advantage. He also has an established history of getting teams to play tough physical defense that punishes opponents for driving the lane without drawing undue attention from the refs.

Posted by: kalorama | April 22, 2008 12:17 PM

Embarassing!!
Stick a fork in the Wiz!!
I have no answers but thank God that arenas' contract will be up!!

Posted by: BaBaBoey | April 22, 2008 12:19 PM

and until the Wizards find their identity in the playoffs, it doesn't matter who's coaching the Wiz.
Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 12:13 PM

totally disagree. a teams mentality starts with the coach. i keep bringing up sloan because hes an example of a coach who can win even with lesser talent. he makes them believe. its a mindset.

i always thought the cavs had no coaching only a player but now i have to give them props because they believe and james believes.
the wiz do not believe. and when you dont, its over pretty quick.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:19 PM

I'll tell you what's wrong with the Wizards: they are mentally weak. When teams get in their heads it takes the Wizards a while to get them out. Miami was there for a long time. Looks like it's the Cavaliers this time. Yesterday's game was embarrassing. Losing by 30 points in a playoff game is absolutely unjustifiable. Heads better roll once this debacle is complete. 'Cos I can't imagine Eddie Grunfeld saying this team is good with a straight face.

Posted by: Bart | April 22, 2008 12:19 PM

If Haywood is suspended the series is done. Haywood needs to be fed down low- he's clearly the hungriest person in a zards jersey right now. Songaila looked good off the bench; keep him in the rotation. Caron & Jamison need to find their mojo but I think they can work through this. Stevenson has disappeared and looked almost as shook as Arenas. I'd limit both their minutes.

Posted by: rob g in annapolis | April 22, 2008 12:20 PM

every1 said michael jordan believed and he made his teammates believe. but who made jordan believe. phil jackson.
great coaches make a difference. good coaches make a difference.
in 3 years jordan has never had a play or an answer with the game on the line. it was either give the ball to arenas and pray or send them out there without gilbert and pray.
this coach has consistently let the team down.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:23 PM

The "officialing" last night was horrible at best! How do you eject Brendan Haywood after Anderson Varejao nearly decapitated Caron Butler, knocking him awkwardly off balance in the first half, similar to the way LeBron was sent flying through the air!?

Posted by: Only4Mal | April 22, 2008 11:52 AM

Its funny how many Bammas from Cleveland are on LeBron's "D" (and I mean bamma with a capital "B"). I'm a grown man. Personally I wouldn't "jock" another grown man or anybody else. Cleveland fans talk like they are LeBron's moms or somn. News Flash: "LeBron wouldn't Pee on half of you to put you out if you were on fire.

But in all honosty we really looked bad last night...I think we were too focused on "hard fouls" and not strategy or execution. If we don't come with a better strategy other than "hard fouling" this could be a quick series.

Posted by: Only4Mal | April 22, 2008 12:05 PM

Hey Cleveland, look at ya Boy: Click Here! LOL, you gotta admit this picture is hilarious, I guess he really is the air aparent!

Posted by: You might want to read these: | April 22, 2008 12:24 PM

I have to ask this; in the second quarter, I believe, Ben Wallace took a charge from a Wiz, can't remember who. On the replay which TNT only showed once, Ben clearly only had ONE foot on the ground as he slid under to draw the foul. It's inconsistencies like this that frustrate me to no end.

Now I realize we blew it last night, no desire, no will to win, but it's like we're playing five on eight sometimes. Oh and how about the "hand checking" foul on Caron?? It's a double standard people. Unfortunately, it's not going to change until the Wiz prove they can play against the Cavs and accumulate some respect.

Posted by: CJ | April 22, 2008 12:25 PM

Ben clearly only had ONE foot on the ground as he slid under to draw the foul. It's inconsistencies like this that frustrate me to no end.
Posted by: CJ | April 22, 2008 12:25 PM

not only that, he actually had a foot inside the circle. but so what. wiz stink and thats the bottom line.
its groundhog day all over again. nuthin has changed in 3 years.
amazing.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:28 PM

This just in: LeBron said he would Pee on yall even if you weren't on fire.

Posted by: Rrrrrr Kels | April 22, 2008 12:28 PM

Game 1 was frustrating, because the Wizards had a pretty good chance to win and let it slip away in the last 50 seconds. I just don't know what to say about Game 2. They were just awful on every level. Everybody was bad, even the role players. They didn't try to run the offense most of the time, and didn't knock down the relatively few good looks they got. On defense, they just gave up and started fouling on practically every Cavs possession.

The really sad thing about this is that the Cavs don't have to win this series. The Wizards are giving it to them.

Posted by: John Brisker | April 22, 2008 12:30 PM

first off a couple of words about deshawn. every1 here knows how i feel about him. but in all fairness, its not his fault, its eddies fault to have a guy in there starting who really is a subpar player taking up that many minutes a game.
this is nuthing new. the guy cant shoot. he cant defend. hes jared jeffries twin. this isnt new. hes played like this all year.
he stinks. did you think he was magically going to become a different player once the playoffs started.
the wiz should have won this series and they are going to lose in 4.
whos that on?

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:32 PM

in 3 years jordan has never had a play or an answer with the game on the line. it was either give the ball to arenas and pray or send them out there without gilbert and pray.
this coach has consistently let the team down.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:23 PM
-----

To make the argument, as you've obviously kept doing, that coaches are important is pretty self-explanatory. But you're placing sole blame for the Wizards' losing on Eddie Jordan, and that's just plain wrong. Jordan isn't the one missing wide open looks or making comments to the media that pisses off the other team and makes the Wiz look like a bunch of idiots.

You fail to say anything about Mike Brown -- how great of a coach is he? I know Arenas is the guy who has created for the Wizards at the end of games, and he still will be. But LeBron does the exact same for the Cavs. The Cavs aren't a good/great team because of their coach. They're a great team because of LeBron.

The Wizards PLAYERS need to produce similarly on the court and step their game up.

Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 12:32 PM

Posted by: Cleveland Biteme | April 22, 2008 12:33 PM

Hate to say I told you so.....

I know its early, and I hope the wiz can turn this around and make a series out of it... As a former clevelander living in DC, I definately have dual-loyalty, and dont have a real care as to the outcome, but the wiz are definately better than this, but I'm not sure the Cavs are worse than they've been playing, as the blogger above suggests.....

Posted by: AgentZEROdefense | April 22, 2008 12:34 PM

I'm going to the game on Thursday night and I'm looking to make a sign, any thoughts?

1) LeBron and Donaghy in '08
2) Travel safe with AAA - endorsed by Lebron
3) Whaaaaaaaaa - LBJ
4) Hey Lebron, want some cheese with that whine?
5) Cleveland Cavs - 0 Championships - priceless

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 12:36 PM

I'm going to the game on Thursday night and I'm looking to make a sign, any thoughts?

1) LeBron and Donaghy in '08
2) Travel safe with AAA - endorsed by Lebron
3) Whaaaaaaaaa - LBJ
4) Hey Lebron, want some cheese with that whine?
5) Cleveland Cavs - 0 Championships - priceless


Posted by: | April 22, 2008 12:36 PM
*******************************************

Here's a suggestion for your sign

Posted by: Biteme harder | April 22, 2008 12:38 PM

And here is another suggestion for your sign:

"I'm suprised you can play LeBron with me swingin from your jock"

Posted by: Biteme even harder | April 22, 2008 12:42 PM

Jordan isn't the one making comments to the media that pisses off the other team and makes the Wiz look like a bunch of idiots.
The Cavs aren't a good/great team because of their coach. They're a great team because of LeBron.
Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 12:32 PM

krem, hate to keep bringin up jerry sloan but, do you ever hear any trash talking statements coming outta the jazz. if one player did that, sloan would simply say, dont let the door hit your ass on the way out. he doesnt allow it.
the coach has got to control his players.

as for james, of course hes the straw but whos givin all the other players confidence. whos makin james totally comfortable to be even better. brown i guess.
the cavs werent the best team in the east last year. and 1 player cant beat the entire pistons. maybe its time to give brown his due.
believe me you cant do it in spite of the coach. it all starts with the coach.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:44 PM

after the wiz made all their pre playoff stupid statements, ej simply said, well its a players league. what does that mean. whos runnin the asylum.
charles barkley even called out the wizards nationally for being the stupidist team ever.
whos feet does that fall on. eddie jordan. and now ernie grunfeld. its time to make a change. we've become a national laughing stock.
its pathetic.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:48 PM

as for james, of course hes the straw but whos givin all the other players confidence. whos makin james totally comfortable to be even better. brown i guess.
the cavs werent the best team in the east last year. and 1 player cant beat the entire pistons. maybe its time to give brown his due.
believe me you cant do it in spite of the coach. it all starts with the coach.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:44 PM

-----

With all due respect, did you actually watch the Cavs play the Pistons last year? Mike Brown had nothing to do with them winning that series -- LeBron put that entire team on his back and willed them past the Pistons. He was absolutely lethal; it was one of the best playoff performances ever, hands down. And that's coming from a Wiz fan who can't stand LeBron. It all doesn't start with the coach; obviously it can, but it doesn't have to.

Posted by: Krem | April 22, 2008 12:49 PM

Yeah #2 was hard to watch and an inexcusably poor performance. But it's amazing how so many comments talk about cleaning house and GA and AJ and CB don't deserve new contracts. Everybody has an off night -- even James -- it's just awful that it's happened in a playoff game. So Superman King James has never had a sub-10-point game recently? Gil comes off a longgg injury and gets 24 points and he's a hero -- untli he sucks one night and now he's bum not worth his pay? Stevenson swishes 7 threepointers and he's a hero, then a couple days later has an awful night and should be canned? True, it's pathetic when your most consistent player is Darius (and he is), but the Wiz are more than capable of BLOWING OUT the Cavs at home and tying this up.

Posted by: johnhva | April 22, 2008 12:51 PM

Before the Cavs backed their way into the Finals last season over a Pistons team that thought all they had to do was show up, the book on Mike Brown is that he would be gone before the ball tipped at the beginning of this season. And if they don't make it back to the Finals, he might still be gone. Anyone who thinks Brown has anything to do with Lebron's confidence or comfort level doesn't know anything about James. The guy isn't exactly in need of a boost in the confidence department.

Posted by: kalorama | April 22, 2008 12:51 PM

Arenas' d has gone from bad to worse. Why in the world was he guarding Lebron for a few plays? Best case, he can be used to change the temp of the game and guard somebody who isn't much an offensive threat (West?).

The 3 C's win games - consistentcy, confidence and concentration.

EJ talks about faster, harder, etc., but what plays are they supposed to be consistently running? These guys have playing together a lot. By now, the plays should be executed consistently. The ball and the players need to be moving.

On d, Lebron wiil get this points. The Cavs should be able to get plenty of open 3's. But the Wizards need to clog the middle and get the defensive rebounds.

Somebody needs to give EJ instructions on how to coach. Pick an plan of execution (different from what they've been doing) and stick to it.

Posted by: Izman | April 22, 2008 12:56 PM

Anyone who thinks Brown has anything to do with Lebron's confidence or comfort level doesn't know anything about James. The guy isn't exactly in need of a boost in the confidence department.
Posted by: kalorama | April 22, 2008 12:51 PM

and what about the mighty gibson (13 pts), iggy (15 pts), and wally (16 pts). 3 other players in double figures. and the mighty smith and wallace had 17 between them.
whats their stories???

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 12:59 PM

"Dance with the girl what brought ya."

The Wizards are not a physically-defensive, slash-straight-to-the-basket-on-offense team. They've changed their game to "match" the Cavs. It's the main reason they lost Games 1 & 2.

It was bad enough in Game 1, where they abandoned the Princeton Offense for Lets Takes Turns and See Who Gets Hot Offense. In Game 2, it became Every Man for Himself around the 2nd Quarter. They lost poise. They lost control. They lost the game.

There are a few other factors, but not as big as the team not sticking to the offensive and defensive schemes that got them there. Bench players typically play better at home than on the road. Players coming back from injury need serious playing time to get back in game shape. Any sports fan will tell you that just like in football where you need to establish the run before you go pass-crazy, in basketball you need to establish a post-presence before you fall in love with the jump shot.

The Wizards simply need to start playing the way they've been playing all season. It was good enough to get them to the playoffs; it's good enough to get them at the least three victories, at the most a Game 7 in the Second Round.

That being said, now is not the time to go crazy. There are no stars, All-Stars or Superstars stepping over each other to come to DC. This is not a mecca for basketball like LA, Boston or New York. Watch the Knicks over the summer; there's no doubt that players both great and talentless will fight to get on the roster. That team will always have coaches who will want to come there. You just can't say these things about DC, and every Wizards fan should be on their knees thanking God that the team is at least competitive after years in the Lottery Desert. Even with someone as capable as Grunfeld, the management astmosphere will not change as long as Pollin is the owner.

And to the people who say "James is just getting the calls MJ did" obviously don't recall the time MJ was playing here. He couldn't buy a call most nights. I wouldn't say refs favor the Cavs more than the Wiz; it's that the Wiz get little respect from refs period. The franchise's history (last four seasons notwithstanding) has been so atrocious no official takes them as a serious contender. Jerry Stackhouse, who made his mark by slashing to the basket and get the And-1 while in Detroit, was reduced to a medicore jump-shooter. Rip Hamilton was being knocked aroun like a pinball here; he goes to Detroit and becomes a Poor Man's Reggie Miller. And again: there's MJ; the only respect he got was in the All-Star Game.

The Cavs are a legit team, but I saw how badly constructed they were when James sat down for about three minutes. They are not a championship team. I don't remember their coach (or James) complaining about being fouled when San Antonio was sweeping them out of the Finals last year. I also don't remember the Spurs talking about doing a 180 on their game plan.

The 2004 Lakers had bigger, better stars...and the Pistons beat them. The 2006 Mavericks had a better offensive team...and the Heat beat them.

If the Wiz have given up *mentally*, then yeah, it's over. If not, they still have a shot.

Posted by: pryme54 | April 22, 2008 1:00 PM

people have always said lebron makes his teammates worse not better--just ask larry hughes. so whats happening that the cavs are all coming together now.
just wondering.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 1:01 PM

I got game 3 tickets at the VC for The WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs The CLEVLAND TRAVELIERS!!!!!!! you can log onto TRAVELZOO.com

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 1:22 PM

Please, all you Cleveland fans are hruting me...there are too many of you on my jock...please, get off.

Posted by: LeBron James | April 22, 2008 1:22 PM

"They played with a lot more intensity and discipline," the Wizards' coach said. "They beat us. We beat ourselves. Their coach kept his team disciplined. This coach could not keep his team disciplined enough to stay competitive."

perfect. wow.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 1:23 PM

and also this from le eddie:

"I did a horrible job of trying to keep our guys organized on the floor," he said.

way to come up small when it counts the most.
this unorganized team cries out for coaching and it gets none none none.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 1:26 PM

lest any1 forget, the cavs are not that good a team. this was complege and utter bs and it begins with ej.

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 1:27 PM

As Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said, "For us to look like we don't know what we're doing, it's disappointing. We were undisciplined. We played too much one-on-one basketball. We were taking five dribbles and keeping the ball to one side of the floor."

hello? this is not a preseason game. this is not a wednesday night game in january.
this was game 2 of the postseason.
wtf!!!!!!

Posted by: dk | April 22, 2008 1:29 PM

I'm going to the game on Thursday night and I'm looking to make a sign, any thoughts?

1) LeBron and Donaghy in '08
2) Travel safe with AAA - endorsed by Lebron
3) Whaaaaaaaaa - LBJ
4) Hey Lebron, want some cheese with that whine?
5) Cleveland Cavs - 0 Championships - priceless

Posted by: | April 22, 2008 12:36 PM


I like:

1) LeBron and Donaghy in '08

5) Cleveland Cavs - 0 Championships - priceless

Posted by: Bangladesh | April 22, 2008 1:37 PM

Posted by: Only4Mal | April 22, 2008 1:48 PM

How about Cavs 2 - Wiz -0?

Simple and to the point.

need I remind anyone, last night was a blow out.

Wiz fans need to distance themself from the trash talk, and let their game speak for themselves.

Love the hypocrisy of all these people accusing LeBron of being a cry baby, when this whole board is full of whining about the refs, the NBA, the Pope...everybody's out to get them.

Posted by: NYandy | April 22, 2008 2:04 PM

How about this NYandy, Let your game speak for itself.

Posted by: NY sucked this year, remember! | April 22, 2008 2:24 PM

Really, I remember a Super Bowl trophy coming home.

Well at least you guys can celebrate your victory in.....ummm, help me out here. Have you guys even had a team in contention?

Posted by: NYandy | April 22, 2008 2:51 PM

Ivan, I saw you out wearing a No. 0 Wizards jersey last night. You need to get fitted for No. 19 Cavs jersey...

I still can't feel my face.

Posted by: Damon Jones | April 22, 2008 3:01 PM

Dog, I aint feelin' you face either...for-realisticly doe!

Posted by: The Damon Jones Stopper | April 22, 2008 3:07 PM

NYandy...this blog is about Basketball son....duhhh

Yall were so bad, you brought up football...LOL

Posted by: NY Knicks sucked this year, remember! | April 22, 2008 3:10 PM

This is a Basketball blog sun!

Posted by: Anything named NY sucks! | April 22, 2008 3:12 PM

Deshawn should not do the 'I can't feel my face.' Only real ballers do that.

Posted by: Tim Thomas | April 22, 2008 3:23 PM

From the WashWizards website blog page Info:
UPDATE: Just got back from practice. And while I say practice it was much more of the team talking and watching film than practice. The team went in for film to start which is very rare and they talked for about an hour. From what I understand Coach Jordan talked to the team while they watched film and it really helped perk the mood of the guys. Following film the team went through individual shooting drills and one thing that caught my attention was DeShawn Stevenson. The guy went out and at one point made 25 consecutive three points from four spots on the floor. I will have quotes coming soon.

DeShawn Stevenson
On Wizards fans treating the Cavaliers like Cleveland fans treated him
""I really hope are fans come out loud and support us," said DeShawn Stevenson. "After the way the Cavaliers fans treated me over there. They had thousands of signs, and putting my comments on the scoreboard so hopefully LeBron and the Cavaliers get the same kind of treatment in our building. We need for them to feel like they are on the road and not at home."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 3:55 PM

Awww, sorry for the reminder that Washington sports suck.

So you guys can trash the cavs and cleveland sports (and NY), but when someone throws it right back in your face, the crying starts all over again.

Chicken or the egg scenario. Are wiz fans whiners because Desh and GA are, or does GA get that way because of you gals?

Posted by: NYandy | April 22, 2008 3:59 PM

NYandy: Bamma, this is a basketball blog, we are not talking about any other sport here but basketball. Brag about your sorry @ss knicks, or Isaih Thomas!! I'm a die-hard Bullets/Wiazrds fan chump, even when they lose...no whining here!

Posted by: NYandy, his knick and his Giants can bite me | April 22, 2008 4:14 PM

NYandy:

What you said about the chicken and egg scenario is correct. You are a chicken, and the words that you are speaking are rotten eggs that seem to fall out your @ss with wreckless abandon. Now Bounce to that!

Posted by: NYandy: professional Bozack jocker | April 22, 2008 4:44 PM

"people have always said lebron makes his teammates worse not better--just ask larry hughes. "

Who are these "peopl"? Because I've never heard them say that.

Posted by: kalorama | April 22, 2008 7:32 PM

I've never heard that either, but I wasn't going to say anything, I was too busy ripping NYandy

Posted by: The NYandy Ripper!!! | April 22, 2008 10:08 PM

Ripping? Dude, your team looked like a HS team against the pros. Your team (apparently like their fans) do a lot of talking and don't have anywhere's near the game to back it up.

And instead of placing the blame where it lies (on your head case of a non-contending team), you guys spend hours posting complaints about the refs, LeBron, the NBA, the fans, etc.

Grow a pair. Stop with the conspiracy theories that the NBA is out to get you. It's just embarrassing.

And obviously I'm not a knicks fan, but cavs all the way.

Posted by: NYandy | April 23, 2008 9:09 AM

I don't blame you NYandy, I wouldn't be a NY fan either because they've sucked for a long time. Amazing how someone who claims NY (i.e. NYandy) is a cleavland fan.

And speaking of growing a pair...You seem to fit well on LeBrons Jock. Good thing we are writing on a blog, I don't think I could understand what you were saying with your mouth always full of "King James" bozack. Don't talk w your mouth full son!

If you are a Cleavland fan, then go run your mouth on their blog. Now bounce to that!

Posted by: Ripping NYandy once again | April 23, 2008 4:27 PM

Are all Washington sports fans sore losers and bitter? I'd have thought you gals would have gotten used to losing, as often as your teams have sucked. And I'm a bit concerned about your obsession with LeBron's male parts.

Are the Nationals even still considered major league, or Triple A.

Look for me in the seats at a Cavs game in the next round. This warm up session is over.

But we do appreciate the help you provided in getting our newer players to gel a little.

Posted by: NYandy | April 24, 2008 9:49 AM

This coming from a NY guy who is a "Band Wagon" Cleavland fan. LOL. No bitterness here son, just a die hard Washington fan, because it's where I'm from. I don't jump jocks from one hot team to the next like it appears you NY bammas have to do. And didn't I tell you this is a basketball blog?! stay focussed! You are simpley shiftless son! Now bounce to that.

Posted by: NYandy dosen't learn | April 24, 2008 1:42 PM

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