Game 1 Saturday

As expected, the Wizards and Cavaliers will get started with Game 1 on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN. Game 2 is Monday at 7 on TNT. The Wiz come home for Game 3 on Thursday at 8(TNT) and Game 4 next Sunday at 1 p.m. on ABC.

The Wizards want folks attending Games 3 and 4 to be ready for "White Out" conditions, meaning they should be wearing all white. Judging by the crowds that attended games all season, the Wizards will be lucky if they get fans with an actual pulse. It's been pathetic at the VC all season, so good luck Wizards. Maybe they'll get lost and think they are at a Caps game.

The Wizards clearly wanted this series with Cleveland and now they are getting it. Time for Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and crew to proove that they are something more than a nice regular season team that puts up nice numbers and beats the league's big boys from time to time but never actually breaks through and is taken seriously.

By Ivan Carter |  April 17, 2008; 2:27 AM ET
Previous: Big 3 sitting, DeShawn speaks and AD kills my shirt | Next: Butler back

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here we go again with round 3....if we can't get this one then whats the point of keeping this going next year...

...unless the zebras win it for the cavs....again :-(

Posted by: tiny jordan | April 17, 2008 3:04 AM

thanks from an insomniac for the late night post. it makes studying for finals a little more bearable.

can't wait for stevenson to hold lebron to less than 20 on saturday

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 4:06 AM

Despite the Cavs makeover, these teams know each other too well so expect the crankiness to show up early in this series. Don't be surprised to see a jump in Gilbert's minutes. Caution often gets thrown out the window when everything is on the line. Forget about what is being said, let's see what actually happens. I think it will prove to be too difficult to keep him limited to only 25 minutes in the playoffs.

Posted by: low | April 17, 2008 6:03 AM

I expect Gil to get more minutes in the playoffs also. Look for him to come off the bench in the beginning of the series but you will see him on the floor in crunch time.

It should be a very entertaining series that could go 7 games.

But something tells me Wiz in 6.

Posted by: JP | April 17, 2008 7:55 AM

"Don't be surprised to see a jump in Gilbert's minutes."

And points. Again, no Larry Hughes to guard him and he was HUGE in keeping Gil's numbers down the last couple years.

Wiz will win this time, I think they are on a mission. I honestly see the Wiz as this years GS Warriors.

The Wiz have a genuine shot this year of going deep *if* they get some breaks/calls.

I just hope the refs don't get "star-itis" when Lebron starts getting away with crap. I know that's too much to ask for and I'm not holding my breath however.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 17, 2008 7:57 AM

Let's get this thing going! The Cavs are extermely vulnerable right now. Even though they were the least impressive 50-win team I've ever seen last year, the Cavs had 3 identifiable strengths: (1) LeBron James (2) Rebounding (offensive and defensive) and (3) Defense. By stupidly trading away Gooden and Hughes, the Cavs have effectively eliminated strengths (2) and (3). Why people keep picking the Cavs to me is baffling. I just don't see it. This is NOT the same team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Matter of fact, I think they are tangibly worse.

Meanwhile the Wiz have FINALLY gotten healthy. It will be a fair fight this time around since we now have a better, more experienced bench and our three best players are ready to go. Remember, even though we got swept last year, the Cavs had to work HARD to do it. People (i.e. the popular media) forget that fact. We matched their intensity but we just didn't have the firepower to win in a seven game series. This year, I expect Tawn and Tough Juice to do their thing. The X-Factors will be Arenas coming off the bench and Mason's three point shooting. I think Big Z and Haywood will cancel each other out and Songaila/Blatche will have to keep Varejao off of the boards (no small task). I think this is the toughest, most experienced team the Wizards have had since probably the early, mid 80s. Even with an "angry" LeBron, the Cavs will have trouble winning more than two games this series because the Wizards are just a superior team right now. Too many weapons and too much swagger (Thanks DeShawn! Somebody had to say it. LeBron's game consists entirely of dribble drives where he lowers his shoulder and knocks defenders down like duckpins and that ugly, inconsistent jump shot. Rinse, lather, repeat. The most disappointing thing about LeBron's evolution as a player is his passing. Remember the comparisons to Magic? Seems like forever ago huh? He used to be a beautiful passer in high school and now his game is totally predctable because he doesn't trust his teammates. Overrated indeed). Prediction: Wizards in 6!

Posted by: Essex | April 17, 2008 8:17 AM

I was at the recent Celtics game, the crowds got into it big time. It's the playoffs I am sure the crowds will be going nuts. Wiz in 6!

Found this site about restaurants and bars by the Verizon Center, cool guide to know where to go.

http://www.straycompass.com/article_page.php?recordID=14

Posted by: Kwame Brown | April 17, 2008 8:26 AM

UGH! First game is Saturday at 12:30, we don't have a good history with these early games.

Don't look past the Cavs, you can bet that they will have their shyt together by Sat.
Their big front-line is equal or better than our big-3 depending upon our shooting%

Posted by: Wizzy | April 17, 2008 8:28 AM

It's been my experience that the crowds get bigger, and more "jacked," when playoff time comes around. Yes, VC doesn't get very loud for regular season Wizards' home games, but I think that's because, unlike the Caps, there hasn't been the excitement generated by a team that has gone from the absolute bottom of the league to the playoffs, Arenas and Butler, players who might generate that kind of excitement, have missed a significant number of games, and Wizards fans are sophisticated enough to know that the regular season just doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot. I think that when the playoffs start, VC will get louder. I plan on attending at least one of the home games, and I know that my son and I will wear white and do our part in the noise department, too.

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 17, 2008 8:45 AM

Does anybody remember a couple years ago when the Wiz played Miami and Miami did that White Hot crap. Does anybody remember how ridiculous the entire crowd looked? Well get ready for our version. Because I'm a giant wiz fan I'll play the part of lemming and wear white to the two games but I won't be happy

Posted by: Not a fan of WHITE OUT | April 17, 2008 9:02 AM

That's funny, I agree with the last post. What I don't understand is why they picked white. Most Wizards apparel is in different colors, like dark blue. Normally when I go to a game I want to wear my Wiz colors proudly, not something in white??

Posted by: Not a fan of white out II | April 17, 2008 9:14 AM

Eddie Jordon last night on the comcast pre-show before the game said - "we're ready to rumble"....and he doesnt have a problem with them talking trash,but gotta back it up.
Yes, the Verizon center was really alive at the 05-06 playoffs with Gilbert and Caron. If Tawn is anything near what he was last year in the playoffs, without Gil and Caron (and DeShawn's slump), then its looking good.

Posted by: washingtonian | April 17, 2008 9:16 AM

How 'bout this:

Everytime LeTravel touches the ball, every fan should do the travel sign, especially during his free throws. This will 1) show the national tv crowd that LeTravel gets the calls 2) make the refs think twice before giving him the easy calls and 3) maybe throw him off his game.

Thoughts?

Posted by: CJ | April 17, 2008 9:24 AM

Random question: I am a huge Wizards fan that is currently stuck overseas in the UK. Can anyone recommend where online the game can be watched? Thanks!

Posted by: alec | April 17, 2008 9:26 AM

I do worry about the Saturday afternoon start time. It's definitely been a problem for us in the past. But, it is only ONE game. So I won't overrreact too much.

And I'm worried about Haywood vs. Big Z. Seems to me that he did not have a good game against Z the last time I saw us play them. Or maybe it was the game before the last game. In any event, what do people think of that matchup?? I do think Blatche, on a good day, can contain Sideshow Bob. Will Blatche have a good day? We don't know.

I think it's going to be loud! Yes I do! Esp. because we're playing Cleveland again.

Posted by: Frosty Freeze | April 17, 2008 9:32 AM

Time for Ivan to "proove" he knows how to use the spell-checker.

Posted by: jh | April 17, 2008 9:40 AM

Alec, try Famous Three Kings, off of the West Kensington tube stop. I caught every Redskins game there when I was in London for three months, but they also got huge crowds for basketball games, so it seems like they'd be showing the NBA playoff games. You should be able to at least catch games 1 and 4. Not sure if they'll stay open for the late games though--that's 3 am local time there. F3K is great, though. Your other option is Sports Cafe, off of the Picadilly Circus stop, but that's like the ESPN zone of London. Kindof boring and filled with drunken rugby blokes.

Posted by: Jeff Lee | April 17, 2008 10:09 AM

Oops, just saw that you said "online." Sorry about that.

Posted by: Jeff Lee | April 17, 2008 10:10 AM

International Wiz fans? Cool. Please tell me you're watching the game because of us and not LeTravel/TravTrav.

Posted by: mark | April 17, 2008 10:18 AM

As good as LeBron is, they key to beating the Cavs was not to stop LeBron, but to stop everyone else. Accept that he will get his, and try to limit everyone else.

The Wizards haven't done a great job of that the last 2 years.

I think that the Post-Trade Cavs are different. There's no one else (maybe Gibson?), it's all LeB. I think they can focus more on him this time.

Just my $0.02

Posted by: Duffman | April 17, 2008 10:30 AM

Alec

I'm a wiz fan living in Beijing. I think your best bet is to "watch" the game online on ESPN.com (gamecast) while listening to the Wiz local announcers on nba audio league pass. Sometimes the audio is a bit out of synch with the ESPN gamecast, but on the whole it works pretty well. I've followed the boys this way all season...

Posted by: PK1 | April 17, 2008 10:32 AM

"Everytime LeTravel touches the ball, every fan should do the travel sign..."

Maybe just at the free throw line. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 17, 2008 10:37 AM


We've lost the last two Game 1's to Cleveland, and I don't see that changing. The fans there will be fired up, and it's going to take some suspect calls - and the outburst about those suspect calls - to make this series more evenly matched from a refereeing standpoint. Plus, Arenas always seems shaky in playoff games and comes out tight because he is so worked up. Although perhaps coming off of the bunch might counteract that a bit.

Still, I say the Wiz take the series at the Phone Booth in Game 6.

I like the idea of doing the traveling call while LeBron is at the line. If he sees enough of it, maybe it really will make him think about whether he's traveling and keep him out of "the zone." So CJ, you've got one more person willing to do it. I'll be in 115, so he should be able to see me from the line.

Posted by: VeCente115 | April 17, 2008 10:41 AM

I will be making the Travel sign from NY. Great Idea.

I'd like to see that stick league wide.

Posted by: g | April 17, 2008 10:46 AM

We've lost the last two Game 1's to Cleveland, ...

Posted by: VeCente115 | April 17, 2008 10:41 AM

Which is why the LeBron travel non-call, subsequent Ilgauskas shove non-call, and the foul call on Dalembert that giftwrapped 4th place for the Queen James and the Traveliers was such a travesty. We'd be talking about a first game IN WASHINGTON...

Detriot went on to pound Cleveland in the last game - and Washington rested ALL of their stars in a loss to Orlando.

And I also agree that it would be good if there were some type of controversy about suspect calls in the first game - something that the Wizards coaches can point to and talk about - something that the National media will pay attention to. Perhaps, then the officials would be more inclined to call charging and travelling on the Queen.

Posted by: Rook | April 17, 2008 11:08 AM

Ivan - NICE! Way to call out the fans on this one. DC just has a subdued audience but I've seen the Verizon Center jumpin during playoffs in the past couple years. . . I hope the same energy comes out this round. BRING IT PEOPLE!

Posted by: rob g in annapolis | April 17, 2008 11:22 AM

One more thing... the playoff atmosphere is LIVE. The "Kwame Brown" poster was right that the two Celtics games this year were totally off the rocker. Best believe that place will get hyped, ESPECIALLY if we get to Round 2 and beyond. Trust me when I tell you to get tickets if there is any chance you can make it happen.

Posted by: VeCente115 | April 17, 2008 11:24 AM

why the heck would the nba schedule the wiz game at the same time as the caps game? to give the injured wiz as little rest time as possible to help aid queen letravel as much as possible! whatever, the travs need all the help they can get ... no, thank you david stern

Posted by: Mike | April 17, 2008 11:30 AM

The problem with LeBron is that he's been travelling since High School - and no Coach has corrected the problem - simply because, at every level, the officials have not called it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx2K0zGbwYQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVIBGxzrhas

Looks eerily familiar to the playoff travel, doesn't it?

Posted by: Rook | April 17, 2008 11:41 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:47 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:49 AM

Alec

I have watched games via http://www.myp2p.eu all season long. You will have to download a 3rd-party streaming video program (sopcast or TVants) but generally the signal is great. Come playoff time, the signal might be bad from too many people trying to watch, but at least its closest to the real thing.

Posted by: Crunkenstein | April 17, 2008 11:53 AM

"Everytime LeTravel touches the ball, every fan should do the travel sign..."

Maybe just at the free throw line. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 17, 2008 10:37 AM

Or maybe every time he touches the ball, the crowd starts a loud TRA-VEL chant. That's something that could definitely get in the head of Lebron/Referees.

Posted by: psps23 | April 17, 2008 11:54 AM

I agree with the posters who talked about the early start time for Game 1, the Wizards always seem to be asleep when they have an early game.

And the poster that talked about stopping everyone else is right on. Specifically don't let Szczerbiak, Boobie Gibson or @#$%$@&$@&%#%@ Damon Jones (oooh I hate him!) get open shots and get into a rhythm. I don't want to see us sag into the lane everytime LeBron drives or the ball goes into Big Z. Stay with straight up defense and don't give up those open 3's, especially the ones in the damn corner!

Posted by: George Templeton | April 17, 2008 11:55 AM

Love the London Wiz fans chat. I might be there around finals time.

I agree with the anti-white out comments. It's time to get rid of "outs". Just cheer people - preferably for the home team.

Posted by: Kev | April 17, 2008 12:02 PM

How 'bout this:

Everytime LeTravel touches the ball, every fan should do the travel sign, especially during his free throws. This will 1) show the national tv crowd that LeTravel gets the calls 2) make the refs think twice before giving him the easy calls and 3) maybe throw him off his game.

Thoughts?

Posted by: CJ | April 17, 2008 9:24 AM

*******************************************

I agree... I will be doing the travel sign ala Daunte Culpepper :) GET YOUR ROLL ON!!!!!!!

Posted by: bullets_0000 | April 17, 2008 12:04 PM

I'm with George. The problem isn't necessarily ONE player sagging in the middle. The problem is that the Wizards typically have two or three guys sagging. That's exactly what LeBron wants to happen.

Haywood needs to check Z one on one, and he needs to check Z closely on the perimeter, forcing him to drive rather than taking a jump shot. If the Wizards double Z, that spells trouble.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:06 PM

Easy on the fans. The Wiz aren't nine games over .500 for nothing.

http://washingtonwizard.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:10 PM

"I don't know how Arenas got labeled a ball hog. You can't be a ball hog when every year 2 other players avg 20 pts/game (Jamison & Hughes, Jamison & Butler). Plus none of these players were ever All Stars until they started playing alongside Arenas.

Posted by: Bangladesh | April 16, 2008 4:00 PM "

You're labeled a ball hog when the offense stalls and waits to see what you do with the ball before others can get a pass.

You're labeled a ball hog when often times, you just dribble the ball down the court and jack the shot from 25ft+ without even making a pass.

You're labeled a ball hog when you dribble down the court, make a move, and then get fouled.

Of course others on the court will get their points. Otherwise, at Gilby's highest scoring average of about 30 pts/game, and an average NBA game score at 90, that's 60 more points that other people have to make up.

It was clear that when Gilby was out with his knee injury, the offense flowed better, other players emerged, and there was more chemistry. No one was standing around waiting for one particular guy to either shoot or drive, and maybe even pass.

It's up to Gilby to change his image, and the playoffs may be a time for him to share the ball and sacrifice his personal goals for the sake of the team.....Of course, his personal statistician will still be there to give him updates on his game stats.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 12:10 PM

Haywood has a recurring tendency, when defending the pick and roll, to stay too long with the dribbler, trying to trap on the perimeter, instead of flashing out then hustling back to his man. He needs to cut that out or else the Cavs will pick the Wiz apart, with James and West zipping passes to Ilgauskas for open scores.

It would also help if the Wiz made a token effort to match up defensively in transition. Giving up 3s on penetration and dish is one thing. But letting good shooters walk into open threes in transition (which they've been doing a lot of lately) will kill them.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 12:14 PM

Ivan, you've been ripping on the Wiz crowds a lot lately. and while I agree
with you, I find it a curious time to be focusing on this. if the
atmosphere is anything like it was 2 years ago, we should be good. the
playoffs are when you get all the actual fans at the games, not a bunch
of douchetards with company tickets, taking their respective clients
out, ocassionaly paying attention to the game only to discuss what college so-and-so went to.


Posted by: Ledell lives | April 17, 2008 12:23 PM

From ESPN:

NBA Postseason Trends Since 1983-84
Playoff Seed Win-Loss Percentage
No. 1 150-45 .769
No. 2 146-60 .709
No. 3 131-80 .621
No. 4 106-111 .488
No. 5 111-106 .512

Looking good for the 5th seed!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:26 PM

I agree that we give Lebron his 30 and stop everyone else on the Cavs. Have a feeling Daniel Gibson might be a big factor in the series. Gibson will probably receive plenty of kick outs from Letravel when he gets doubled. Need to stop those open 3pt perimeter shots!!!

Posted by: Wizzz | April 17, 2008 12:35 PM

BTW, Gilby was never an all star until he came to Les BouleS and played with LH, AJ, and Caron.

Also, his second all star game was only as a sub for Jermaine O'Neal who couldn't play because he got hurt. Then again, who gives a crap about all star games?

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 12:45 PM

I'm all for the travel motion during foul shots and when her gets the ball.


Hope the rest of my peeps in section 105 join me!

Posted by: Cballer | April 17, 2008 12:45 PM

dc boy

your hatred is comical!!! keep up the good work!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:05 PM

Hey, y'all should come up on the hill sometime. We're rowdy.

And we'll be wearing white.

'Cause Coach Eddie told us to and he's the coach and we're the sixth man.

EVERYONE GET ROWDY!! We're going to win this thing!

Posted by: Nancy | April 17, 2008 1:12 PM

For a contrary point of view, I think GA and CB should be limited to 25 minutes a game for the first two games.

The biggest risk to the Wizards losing this series is the loss of one of these two to further injury. On the other hand, the chances of losing this series doesn't go up very much if these two guys play only 25 in the first two games.

Of course, we know EJ will go to the wall (unless senior management continues to constrain him).

Posted by: Izman | April 17, 2008 1:15 PM

Instructions for DCMan 88 only:

When doing the travel sign, take one arm over the other in a rolling motion. Not too fast or too slow, a nice even pace.

There you got it now...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:15 PM

I will be representing in my white tee on my couch at home - Go Wiz!

Posted by: robert | April 17, 2008 1:28 PM

Loved that comment from Michael regarding BH's hard foul on Lebron in the playoff series - Lebron acted like he was shot or something.

Lay the wood on him when he takes his usual 3 - 4 steps to the bucket.

Posted by: Wizzz | April 17, 2008 1:33 PM

Hard to believe that some guys are predicting a Wiz victory. Even that boob Hollinger has us winning in 6.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/series?series=wascle

Posted by: mark | April 17, 2008 1:52 PM

You're labeled a ball hog when the offense stalls and waits to see what you do with the ball before others can get a pass. - UNLESS your name is LeBron James.

You're labeled a ball hog when often times, you just dribble the ball down the court and jack the shot from 25ft+ without even making a pass. - UNLESS your name is LeBron James.

You're labeled a ball hog when you dribble down the court, make a move, and then get fouled. - - UNLESS your .... well, you get my point!

Posted by: Rook | April 17, 2008 2:14 PM

I'm with George T. I can't stand Damon Jones either. Guards, do not leave your man to double LeBron in the paint. Blatche, Songaila, Heywood and Antawn will have to be the help if he gets by Stevenson.

Posted by: G$ | April 17, 2008 2:21 PM

People, please realize that some people do have neglect issues deriving from not getting what they need from their parents as far back as while they were even in the womb. Neglect causes people to seek negative attention. You wonder why some people even cut or stab themselves. They are seeking attention. Negative attention is better than no attention in their minds. They can't control themselves. They don't realize they are doing it. When I do this, please empathize with me. Please be understanding. My mother did not love me or want me. I never knew my father. Please. I can't help myself. Don't you understand.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 2:30 PM

DC man, What the Hell? You say some of the stupidest things I have ever read. Gibert was never an All Star until he played with LH,Caron and AJ. Uh duh????? If I recall, neither was AJ. What?? That statment defies logic because they played off one another and made each other better. The bottom line is he was chosen as an ALLSTAR and played. Whether he came off the bench or was chosen by coaches etc, he was an ALLSTAR. Bottom line. Quit Hatin. It's playoff season, put the hate away for a minute and lets all get along and cheer our home team.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 2:31 PM

I was interested in the "ball hog" comment by a previous poster... thought I'd look up some information...

I looked at 2006-2007, when Arenas, Jamison and Butler last played a significant number of games together:
Arenas averaged 21 shots per game. (28 ppg scoring average)
Jamison averaged 16 shots per game. (20 ppg)
Butler about 15.5 shots per game. (19 ppg)

As a comparison, I looked at the Cavalier's top shot takers this year:
LeBron James = 22 shots per game (30 ppg)
Ilgauskas = 12 shots per game (14 ppg)
Larry Hughes = 12 shots per game (12 ppg)

It's pretty obvious. If you play for the Cavaliers, and your name is something other than LeBron James, you won't be seeing the ball much.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 2:37 PM

I can't stand that Damon Jones either. That is one egotistical dude and I hope the Wiz lay the wood on him too. Or send him to the floor with a monstrous block on his perimeter shots. He and West will have to be defended. The Wiz needs to play man to man on all of the other players so no one is open when Lebron dishes. I agree with the other posters, let him get his and contain the others.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 2:43 PM

man dodged a bullet. have tix to see the nats wed vs mets plus i bought first home game wiz playoff tix and was holding my breath hopin that game didnt land on wednesday.

when i heard the first game was saturday, i was pretty worried. but i slid in safe and missed it by a day.
what an upcoming week. nats v mets wed, and wiz vs cavs thu.
lovin life.

Posted by: dk | April 17, 2008 2:44 PM

I won't be able to be at the VC for game 3 or 4. Hopefully I won't get the opportunity for game 6 because we will be already on our way to the next round.

The Cavs seem to think that they are an elite team. While the Wizards aren't the Cavs aren't even close to an elite team. The Cavs played an injury depleted team last year, if they think it is going to go the same way they are in for a rude awakening.

Posted by: B.A.M. | April 17, 2008 2:48 PM

wiz havta win it in 6. gotta steal an early 1 on the road cause youll neva win road game 7. neva.

Posted by: dk | April 17, 2008 2:51 PM

Pech looked awful last night. Kal made a good point about Brendan's pick-and-roll defense, but man, Pech looked like he'd never seen the play before, flailing around out there. It'll be good to have Etan back and get Pech some serious minutes down in D League.

Ivan, what's going on with Etan anyway? By his absence at every game it seems we won't be seeing him in the playoffs, but I haven't seen any progress reports or announcements in a while.

Posted by: Prazak | April 17, 2008 3:09 PM

I hope that the enthusiasm of the die hards will spread with the shirt and tie DC yuppies in the court level section.

As far as the game, if Big Ben or Joe Smith guards AJ then AJ should go outside to shoot 3s and same time move his defender out of the paint. And if Z or Andy is matched up with AB then AB should utilize his quickness over them. Just my $0.02.

The last thing I want to see in this series is DAmon Jones doing his 3 point ritual and low five his Queeness. Hate that!

Posted by: Dave | April 17, 2008 3:09 PM

I don't want to get down on O Pech but he's a wasted 1st round pick for us. Especially that my man Marcus W was still on board.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | April 17, 2008 3:14 PM

Anyone read the article on ESPN about players/coaches with the most to gain/lose in the playoffs? Gilly was #6 on the list and here is what it said...

"The Washington Wizards' season after Arenas went down went beyond Bill Simmons' Ewing Theory. This is not just a case when a team does better without you. This is a case of people inside and outside the organization believing the team is better without you.
With an opt-out and potential free agency looming, how does Gilbert prove he's still got it without disturbing what Washington had going on this season? It looks like he'll get his chance by coming off the bench for the Wizards."


Finally!!!!! Im just happy someone else see's it besides me. Once he leaves we can start building in the right direction and use that money for someone who actually helps the team.

Posted by: Beas | April 17, 2008 3:17 PM

Last night wasn't the first time Pech looked bad. With every game I'm struggling to find something that explains why Grunfeld used a mid-first round pick on him. He'll have one or two nice plays every few games (like the bounce pass to McGuire for the score last night) but overall he hasn't shown much to suggest he's an NBA caliber player.

Prazak, I think it's a safe bet to assume Etan is done for this season. After his aborted comeback attempt, it makes sense that they'd decide to play if safe. Hope he comes back strong next season, because a strong, physical, aggressive presence on the interior is one of the Wizards biggest needs in my eyes. Their big guys are skilled, but they're mostly all finesse guys. They need someone who'll lay some wood into opposing players down low.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 3:18 PM

I would love to see the Wiz make a run but I would much rather see us get swept 1st round and Gilly leave.

Posted by: Beas | April 17, 2008 3:20 PM

Who could this be?

Posted by: Beas = Someone Else on this Board | April 17, 2008 3:22 PM

Beas, you can forget it. Go and cheer for someone else because Gil WILL be here next year and if you don't like it then you have the option of cheering for someone else. We TRUE fans want and expect Gilbert to be back not only next year but for years to come. How about that!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 3:23 PM

O-pech sucks...He's all awkward and seems uncoordinated. He has some potential but I just don't see him panning out. Definitely disappointing b/c we left some talent on the board when we took him. Such as rondo, Marcus williams, josh boone and kyle lowery just to name a few off the top of my head.

Posted by: Beas | April 17, 2008 3:26 PM

looks like im in the minority but im a big pech fan. just dont think hes gettin the coachin. he spends half his time on the perimiter looking to hoist 3s.
we have enough 3 pt chuckers. especially from a 7 footer.
we need him on the low block playin like a 7 footer. the dude can shoot. and he can ball.
he just needs some coachin and discipline.

Posted by: dk | April 17, 2008 3:28 PM

A true fan wants what is best for the team and that is Gilly gone and trust me if Gilly resigns especially for max money I will be cheering for a different team next year. Also find it funny you guys think I am someone else. I post about once a month and its always hating on Gilly. Dont really care who you think I am...I'm just putting my opinion out there.

Posted by: Beas | April 17, 2008 3:29 PM

Love how you talk smack and say how about that and then dont even put a name on it. Everybody thinks he is a BIG BOY on the internet. Like I said a TRUE fan likes what is best for the team and that is Gilly gone! "How about that!" chugger!

Posted by: Beas | April 17, 2008 3:32 PM

"its always hating on Gilly"

Save it for another forum.

Posted by: Get a life | April 17, 2008 3:38 PM

dk, I've got no problem with a 7 footer shooting 3s, as long as he can hit them. Pecherov is shooting 28% from 3, and most of his looks are wide open. He's shown no sign of having real low post offensive moves, he has no handle, he's slow and nonathletic, and he's a bad defender. I just don't see what he brings.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 3:39 PM

I hate wizard fans. Complaining about lebron getting calls just means you NEVER watch cavs games. And Arenas gets just as many calls. Speaking of which, nobody remembers this but on lebrons first "travel" 2 years ago (the one where he got punched in the stomach) arenas COMPLETELY traveled on his way to making the layup that even made the game that close at the end. no call though

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 3:44 PM

One more key point I forgot... Sasha Vujacic is out for the first round, so that is HUGE. One last Cav to kill us from beyond the 3-point line. It will be interesting to see how many minutes Damon Jones gets because he's been getting a lot of DNPs lately. I hate him too.

By the way, this "white out"... does it include white Wizards jerseys, or just a plain white shirt?

Posted by: VeCente115 | April 17, 2008 3:54 PM

I think you mean Sasha Pavlovic. Sasha Vujacic plays for the Lakers.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 4:19 PM

Makes it pretty clear why our old friend Larry Hughes was so unhappy in Cleveland when you look at Cleveland's shot distribution of offense.

It's not just Lebron's shots per game it's his percentage of the total shots. Cleveland plays at a crawl most of the time so there's so many less shots for the rest of the guys to get.

Many of the shots that Lebron's teammates get are also in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock. That does fit into their grind it out style, but lots of players have a tough time performing in a "I can't do something with it," so here you throw up a three pointer enviroment.


Posted by: GM | April 17, 2008 4:21 PM

Lots of hate towards Damon Jones...love it!

Always thought he was a CBA player that somehow snuck into the NBA.

Posted by: Wizzz | April 17, 2008 4:23 PM

You're right about the crowd. DC used to be a basketball town but, so many of the season ticket holders are political transients now, just passing through until the next episode. They better get with the program because this will be the best series in the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by: Jay-O | April 17, 2008 4:34 PM

Re: Opech -- it's still waaayyyy too early to pass judgment. He was out the first half of the season with the injury, and hasn't played much the second half of the season. Yeah, he's looked like cow dung when he's played, but this year is essentially a scratch for him.

Lots of rookies look real bad; don't forget how putrid McGuire looked early on. Coming off the injury, we shouldn't have expected much from the guy. Now, if he hasn't shown improvement by this time next year, we can start flirting with the "B" word.

Posted by: Keithinator | April 17, 2008 4:47 PM

The key is stopping the Cleveland 3-point shooters from getting hot (Szerbiak, Jones, and Gibson). The Cavs are a slow half-court team except for LeTravel and have no one else who causes matchup problems for the Wiz now that they traded Gooden and Hughes. If the Wiz can make it an uptempo game especially when GA is in the game, they should get a lot of easy points in transition plus some steals on defense.

If the Wiz win 1 of 2 to start the series, they win the series in six games. The NBA/ David Stern did everything they could to help LeBron and screw the Wiz by scheduling the 1st game on Saturday at 12:30....who else would get that bad of an opening draw on the road?????

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 17, 2008 5:05 PM

dk, I've got no problem with a 7 footer shooting 3s, as long as he can hit them. Pecherov is shooting 28% from 3, and most of his looks are wide open. He's shown no sign of having real low post offensive moves, he has no handle, he's slow and nonathletic, and he's a bad defender.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 3:39 PM

All true. But when you've got a young 7-footer who is a hard worker, as Pech reportedly is, I think you've got to keep him around at least another year to see if he can develop a low post game, or a mid-range game, or SOME game, or whether he can put on 20-30 pounds of muscle and turn into a banger underneath the boards.

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 17, 2008 5:06 PM

"Even that boob Hollinger has us winning in 6."

Uh-oh!

That boob...err...shmuck is always wrong. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 17, 2008 5:08 PM

Re: OPech, it was a bad pick from Day One. They needed a space eater big man who could block shots or a quick PG to develop behind GA and AD. They passed on Josh Boone and Marcus Williams who are both starting for NJ. EG's drafts have been weak, but he has built the team through trades and free agency (GA, AJ, CB3, DSS). I'd like to see them do better than someone like Pech when there is a deep draft like this year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 17, 2008 5:15 PM

I actually think this last draft was one of the better ones for a pair of mid-rounders. a potential wing threat, and a potential wing stopper. Two key areas in today's game.

Buckhantz on O'Pech: He's never met a 3-pointer he didn't like... lol

And Beas, separated at birth comes to mind. Were you born in 1988?

Posted by: jones-y | April 17, 2008 5:20 PM

"All true. But when you've got a young 7-footer who is a hard worker, as Pech reportedly is, I think you've got to keep him around at least another year to see if he can develop a low post game, or a mid-range game, or SOME game, or whether he can put on 20-30 pounds of muscle and turn into a banger underneath the boards.

If he was an 18 year straight out of HS, I might agree. But he's a 22+ year old with professional playing experience overseas. He's at a point where it's not unreasonable to expect to see some sign of actual game-level skill from him, and we haven't. He simply hasn't demonstrated any real pro caliber ability at shooting, scoring, or rebounding. And unlike a young guy like Blatche or Amir Johnson, he doesn't have the kind of raw athleticism that make GMs willing to wait while their skills are still developing.

I'm not saying he's a total bust or that he'll never develop. He could end up being a serviceable journeyman player. But given his age, the fact that he has pro experience, and the lack of physical tools or demonstrated skills, I'm hard pressed to believe he'll end up being good enough to justify his selection in the middle of the first round, esp. considering some of the guys who were still on the board. He's rawer than Blatche was when he was drafted, and Blatche was a second round pick.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 5:22 PM

"They passed on Josh Boone and Marcus Williams who are both starting for NJ."

I would have preferred Paul Millsap, Rajon Rondo, or Jordan Farmar.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 5:30 PM

Opech has to realize and understand that he's got to be in the paint to be of value to Les BouleS. Les BouleS already have too many outside shooters, so what they need is a guy who can get boards down low and score without being part of the offensive scheme.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:03 PM

"You're right about the crowd. DC used to be a basketball town but, so many of the season ticket holders are political transients now, just passing through until the next episode. They better get with the program because this will be the best series in the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by: Jay-O | April 17, 2008 4:34 PM "

People can't expect Les BouleS fans to be jumping out of their seats and screaming at the top of their lungs until the team gives them a good reason to do so. Teams have to prove that they deserve the love, and that includes the Skins, Caps, and Nats.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:06 PM

"Makes it pretty clear why our old friend Larry Hughes was so unhappy in Cleveland when you look at Cleveland's shot distribution of offense.

It's not just Lebron's shots per game it's his percentage of the total shots. Cleveland plays at a crawl most of the time so there's so many less shots for the rest of the guys to get.

Many of the shots that Lebron's teammates get are also in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock. That does fit into their grind it out style, but lots of players have a tough time performing in a "I can't do something with it," so here you throw up a three pointer enviroment.


Posted by: GM | April 17, 2008 4:21 PM "

Wow, that sounds familiar in this part of town, but it must be working for the Cavs since they've had playoff success and went to the finals last year. Hasn't worked as well here tho.

Funny thing is the reason why Larry wanted out of Cleveland could be the very same reason he jumped ship out of this place as quickly as he did.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:10 PM

But Blatche was a gamble beacause of some less then mature behavior in HS, that continued somewhat here in the first two years. Blatche has a much higher ceiling but still is a bigger risk then Pecherov.

Pecherov is a hard working 7' with some basketball skills. Dwight Howard made him look like Bambi out there. He's a guy that needs to stay here year round and get on a weight program.

When Z came over years ago he was about that gangly too. If Pecherov works at it he'll be a solid rotation guy, if not a starter.But he's not a power forward in my book. I'd agree with Grunfeld in that I look at him as a center and Blatche as a the power forward.

I'd disagree about Grunfeld's ability to draft. He plucked Blatche and McGuire with the second round picks, and and Young and Pecherov without a lottery pick. Not bad.

We can always find a guy that slipped in the draft to point out that the Wiz missed. I'm sure there are alot of teams that wish they would have gotten Blatche in the second round too.

Posted by: GM | April 17, 2008 6:11 PM

Larry jumped ship for the money and the heart transplant unit that was caring for his brother were in Cleveland. Larry said so more then once that he really missed his teammates here in Washington.

He got traded from Cleveland in part for a lack of consistant production. He didn't have that problem here when healthy.

Posted by: GM | April 17, 2008 6:17 PM

BTW, Cleveland "plays at a crawl" not because of a Lebron, but b/c of Mike Brown's offensive approach.

Still, even with Lebron's "total percentage of shots," he still managed 7.2 assists this season (much higher than Gilby EVER averaged) and Lebron has fewer weapons to work with compared to Gilby, and has scored at a higher average, and is nowhere near being the point guard on the team.

Result of the slam on Lebron: WEAK!

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=1966

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=974

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:20 PM

BTW, Gilby was never an all star until he came to Les BouleS and played with LH, AJ, and Caron.
Also, his second all star game was only as a sub for Jermaine O'Neal who couldn't play because he got hurt. Then again, who gives a crap about all star games?

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 12:45 PM

What a lot of BS - as usual!!!

Larry Hughes has never even been an All Star, and Jamison and Caron were not All Stars until coming to the Wiz (and playing with Gil).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 6:27 PM

"Pecherov is a hard working 7' with some basketball skills."

Well, I guess that's where we disagree, because I have yet to see him demonstrate any significant basketball skills. Early in the year, when Young's shot wasn't falling and McGuire was looking lost out on the floor, you could still see the raw talent that made you think they had a shot. I haven't seen that from Pech.

Time will tell.

On a different note, Dupree gives the Wiz some pub.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/david_dupree/04/17/wizards/index.html

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 6:28 PM

Pecherov is shooting 28% from 3, and most of his looks are wide open.
Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 3:39 PM

sometimes average stats don't tell everything.
Pecherov's 3p% .283 is better than McGuire's .167, Songaila's .000(!), Blatche's .231, Daniels' .230, and is just a shade over Arenas' .282.

He has also had the least minutes (9.1) on court, though a shade less than McGuire's 9.9.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 6:35 PM

"What a lot of BS - as usual!!!

Larry Hughes has never even been an All Star, and Jamison and Caron were not All Stars until coming to the Wiz (and playing with Gil).

Posted by: | April 17, 2008 6:27 PM "

LOL!

And to you I guess, teammates have nothing to do with each "all star's" success.

To you, Larry had no impact to Les BouleS which is why they for some strange reason beat the Bulls in the playoffs and then went on to get a big contract from the Cavs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/schedule?team=was&year=2005

Ooops, I guess Larry did do well against the Bulls in the playoffs.

Oh, I forgot, and with Gilby out all this season and having no effect on AJ and Caron's success this year, not only did the team produce two all stars in AJ and Caron, but they exceeded expectations because most people wrote them off after Gilby got hurt.

Again, this anonymous person doesn't know anything about basketball and only pretends to be a fan.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:42 PM

"Pecherov's 3p% .283 is better than McGuire's .167, Songaila's .000(!), Blatche's .231, Daniels' .230, and is just a shade over Arenas' .282."

You just proved your own point. Stats don't tell everything. Because anybody who looks at those stats and even attempts to conclude that Pech is a better shooter than Arenas is nuts.

Saying he's a better shooter than McGuire or Blatche is saying nothing of consequence, because neither of those guys is primarily an outside shooter. (And bringing up Songaila is just silly; he's taken a total of two 3-pointers all season). By contrast, almost half of Pecherov's FG attempts (60 of 125) have been from behind the arc. Outside shooting is his default offensive skill and he's terrible at it.

Posted by: kalorama | April 17, 2008 6:44 PM

Again, this anonymous person doesn't know anything about basketball and only pretends to be a fan.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:42 PM

Yet ANOTHER IDIOTIC statement...especially since the DCToilet has never palmed a basketball and probably never even been to a game. Hilarious!


Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 6:45 PM

BTW, I think Les BouleS can beat the Cavs during the playoffs. I think Les BouleS are peaking at the right time, while things aren't workout out so well for the Cavs. They include Lebron being hurt, the other main guys (Big Z and Danny G.) just coming back from injury, Sasha is out, and trying to blend in a bunch of guys that were just traded to the team, nevermind the sorry offense by Mike Brown.

I will definitely not be surprised if Les BouleS win, but I wouldn't call them a finals team like that other nutjob on this blog.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:52 PM

"Yet ANOTHER IDIOTIC statement...especially since the DCToilet has never palmed a basketball and probably never even been to a game. Hilarious!


Posted by: | April 17, 2008 6:45 PM "

Yeah, you've never palmed a basketball either, but you do get credit for palming yourself.

BTW, Lisa is such a ho and idiot.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:54 PM

"Larry Hughes has never even been an All Star, and Jamison and Caron were not All Stars until coming to the Wiz (and playing with Gil).

Posted by: | April 17, 2008 6:27 PM "

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess Gilby deserves credit this season for getting AJ and Caron into the all star game, even though the FIRST 5 games that they all played together early in the season, were all losses. Those last 3 games before Gilby went out must have been humdingers, and this anonymous person must know about humming dingers.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 6:58 PM

I think it's funny that our slogan has suddenly changed from "Ready To Rule" to "Rewriting The Rules".

Sounds similar. However, the meaning is totally different. Ready To Rule implies winning it all, and the beginning of a dynasty. Rewriting The Rules does not. It's like a slick salesman pulling the old "switcheroo". I know, we told you we were ready to rule, and you bought that as our intention and desire, and you followed us this season believing we'd do whatever it takes, and our time is finally here. But actually, I mispoke. What we actually meant to say was that we are rewriting the rules.

What is this saying exactly?? Rewriting The Rules? What does that mean? Does it mean we're not ready to rule? Do we need more time? Do we need more practice? Do we need to add some new players? Does it mean we can't rule under the current rules, and must first rewrite the rules before we can be ready to rule? Do we have to cheat and change the rules to win? Do our players not have to follow the league rules and policies, such as the dress code, because we are rewriting the rules?

What does this message say to the kids?? Hey little Johnny and Sally, you don't have to follow the rules... you can Rewrite The Rules! Is this saying we are rewriting the rules about what qualifies as a successful season? Sure "Ready To Rule" was a ballsy statement. Sure it was arrogance from a team that hasn't done anything to back the announcement. But after running with that slogan all season long, why change it now as we enter the playoffs?

We may not be Ready To Rule. We've had alot of injury issues all season, and still aren't 100% and have potential chemistry issues unique this time of season. But the East is wide open. We have had very good past success against the two teams considered the best in the East, Detroit and Boston. The Wizards should stick to their guns! Don't back down now! We are healthy, our rotation is set, and we got some payback for Cleveland!

THE WIZARDS ARE READY TO RULE!!!

Posted by: Darnell | April 17, 2008 7:20 PM

He got traded from Cleveland in part for a lack of consistant production. He didn't have that problem here when healthy.

Posted by: GM | April 17, 2008 6:17 PM

You're right GM.... and part of the "lack of consistent production" is the fact that he mostly only got to touch the ball on the perimeter, after 'His Majesty' ate up 17 of the 24 seconds on the shot clock. They wanted him to be a spot up shooter - and that's not Larry's game.

Posted by: Rook | April 17, 2008 7:23 PM

What's strange about "his Majesty eating up the clock" and not passing is that he averaged over 7 assists in the game while scoring 30 pts/game at the small forward position.

You have to blame Mike Brown before you blame Lebron for this slow down system that doesn't take advantage of the player's abilities.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 8:51 PM

30-8-7. Oscar Robertson, MJ, LeBron. Nuff SAID. I don't believe your still crying about the refs when youlost 4 straight like a bunch of punk-a** b**ches. DeShawn who? The problem with banging LBJ around is he's stronger than anybody on your team.Talk trash when you win a series, instead of one and done again

Posted by: doughboy | April 17, 2008 9:05 PM

"

30-8-7. Oscar Robertson, MJ, LeBron. Nuff SAID. I don't believe your still crying about the refs when youlost 4 straight like a bunch of punk-a** b**ches. DeShawn who? The problem with banging LBJ around is he's stronger than anybody on your team.Talk trash when you win a series, instead of one and done again

Posted by: doughboy | April 17, 2008 9:05 PM "

One guy can't win it alone tho. You're going to need Big Z and Danny Gibson on their game, and the new guys making contributions.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 17, 2008 11:12 PM

FU{K the Cav's fans. Stay the FU{K off of our site. We'll see if you guys come back after the series.

Posted by: Bangladesh | April 17, 2008 11:44 PM

Damn Ivan, your rather harsh on the Wiz fans.
The games where they played well ala the last Celtics game I saw a good crowd.

The real fans can't afford tickets anyway! Let's face it, basketball is an urban sport whereas hockey is the proverbial suburban crowd. Big difference in fan socioeconomics. The NBA is going to price itself away from it's real base if it hasn't already. Plus, your talking about a team that has done nothing in 30 years. Hard to get behind mediocrity or worse for all those years. It's now on the team not the fans!

Posted by: Rob P | April 18, 2008 12:35 AM

Thanks a lot Ivan. I was at the playoff game with Cleveland where Gil missed the last free throw and the crowd was off the chain the whole game. I tell you, you reporters with no real ties to the area suck. It would be nice to get some hometown sportswrtiters that are actually root for the home teams period, not just when they are winning or have a winning record.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 9:44 AM

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