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Jamison and Stevenson injured in tough loss

The loss was rough but the news afterward was worse. Antawn Jamison suffered a sprained right shoulder while diving into the stands to save that ball with less than two seconds remaining. He appeared to be in serious pain after the game but was in the trainer's room getting treatment so he did not speak to reporters. X-rays were done on his shoulder but the team did not reveal the results. We'll know more tomorrow but it didn't look too good.

DeShawn Stevenson sprained his left ankle on the same play and was helped off the court. He was limping afterward but said x-rays were negative. "It feels bad," Stevenson said. "I am going to ice it down and get treatment tomorrow. I am going to try to practice. If I can't, I'll just get some more ice. Hopefully, I can play in the next game."

I wouldn't count Stevenson out, he's made 243 straight starts for a reason.

Caron Butler also appeared to tweak that left wrist that has been bothering him on that last jump ball but stayed in the game and said he would be fine afterward. "I'm in a little pain but I should be alright."

Gilbert Arenas, who surprised everyone in the building, including his own head coach, by returning tonight, did not speak with reporters before or after the game. As I reported in today's paper, Arenas was not going to play tonight (he told me so himself in a conversation we had last night) and he did not participate in shootaround this morning.

However, according to a source close to Arenas, he changed his mind after coming to the arena and getting some shots up on the practice court about two hours before the game. He didn't even have a uniform hanging in his locker before the game but, he was looking focused and that was a sign that he had changed his mind.

The final decision came so late, it caught Coach Eddie Jordan off guard.

"I found out," Jordan said afterward. "He didn't really tell me but that's Gil. I found out. Let's say it wasn't normal, proper, channels but I found out."

Roger Mason Jr. said it well: "Nothing surprises me about Gilbert Arenas. He is the master of surprises. He didn't miss a beat. He had a great performance and it's too bad we couldn't get the win."

It's not the first time that Arenas flat out changed his mind about something or bent the truth. Remember, in that conversation with reporters in Los Angeles on Sunday, he told us that he had not been cleared yet and would play as soon as he was. However, as I wrote in today's paper, he was told that he had been cleared less than 24 hours earlier in a phone conversation with Dr. Marc Connell, the guy who peformed surgery on his left knee on Nov. 21.

But, as they say, "that's Gil."

As for the play that led to the final Milwaukee possession, man, did that go wrong. Butler won the tip against Ramon Sessions and Jamison kept the ball alive and knocked the ball down court but Sessions beat Antonio Daniels to the loose ball and called timeout.

"I got a little piece of it but Caron got most of it and he hit it out," Sessions said of the tip. " I saw Daniels long and I don't think he saw me and he was kind of jogging to get the ball and I just ran down, tracked it down and was able to get it. I knew we had one timeout left so I called timeout."

As for the last play, Royal Ivey inbounded to Andrew Bogut who was going to attempt a shot over Brendan Haywood but Bogut saw Arenas sliding off of Sessions towards him and then passed it back to Sessions. He hit the game winner.

Bogut: "We were just trying to get the ball inside to get a good look at the basket. Gilbert came and doubled, then the rookie made a good play. I didn't know what I was going to do with the ball to be honest. I was just going to shoot a turnaround jumper. As soon as I caught it in the air, I realized Ramon's man came to help so I threw it straight to him."

A win would have clinched a playoff spot and kept the Wiz alone in 5th place but the loss dropped them into a three-way tie with Toronto and Philly.


By Ivan Carter  |  April 2, 2008; 11:20 PM ET
 
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Next: Thursday update II

Comments

What makes the loss so devastating is that DS and AJ and CB all got dinged in the last minute and you just have a feeling that not all of them are gonna bounce back quickly. Potentially this was the end of our season. Who out there has confidence on the team doctors to figure out clearly how these guys are doing?

But on the positive side, we saw a little more sharing of the ball by the team with Gil so I am not concerned about the offense. We also see that the other players get easier shots when Gil is on the floor. All the defensive players tend to "lean" towards Gil when he drives the lane.

But it seems that mentally they just relaxed on defense. Again too many open shots for opposition. Randy Ayres needs to do his thing again in practice Thursday and get this turned around quickly. Barring serious injuries we shouldn't get too discouraged. An adjustment period was to be expected. The deeper bench is another positive to take from this. AD will be better because he won't have to pace himself.

If we tighten up our D and the injuries aren't too serious we an still do our thing and surprise some people in the second season.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 2, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

If AJ's shoulder is not serious he needs to sit for 2 weeks and just let it heal. Whether we are a 4 or an 8 seed we got no chance without AJ contributing with his solid play.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 3, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Ivan, having to deal with this Gilby jerk who blatantly lies to reporters (and fans) which results in MISINFORMATION to the fans out there.

Ivan, you're doing a great job regardless of this diva's self-centered whims.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

It's really bad news to hear that AJ got hurt. AJ is a class act whom I hope Les BouleS retain in the offseason.

What this incident does present is an opportunity for AB to step up and prove his doubters wrong. I hope he does.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

GA comes back on the same night AJ and DS suffer new injuries with Juice tweaking his wrist. And the cherry on top to lose the game on a last second shot. Looks again like their playoff position will not be decided until the last game of the season. But don't worry, they will still make the playoffs, the East is weak enough for some teams to make it in even with a losing record.

Posted by: low | April 3, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

How do you lose this game. Come on seriously the Bucks. How do the Wiz expect to beat any of the eastern conference playoff teams when they lose a game like this. A sense of urgency or hey wait mabye they should take advantage of the bad teams they play and finsh them with tough D. If AJ is out that will be the true dagger. This team will always find a way to rip your heart out. Just when things seem like they might be going right a swift kick to the junk always take place.

Posted by: Jmoney | April 3, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

They lost this game because of defense, which is why they were set to lose all five games on their west coast trip.

We can rag on Gilbert's defensive skills all we want, and there isn't much any of us can say. But, he does play defense according to the Wizards strategy: Sag off your man and crowd the lane. Now, the two players who sag more than anyone else? Gil and Caron. Butler does it, too, folks, and it costs the team defensively. He makes up for it because he plays better on-ball defense and rebounds well.

When they were playing solid defense in the middle of the season, they weren't doing so much of that. But the past two weeks, the defense has been horrid. And let's remember that Gilbert hasn't played the last two weeks save for tonight.

Posted by: Colin | April 3, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Yea I agree with you Colin. Gil was not too hot on the defensive end. It definitely has to be improved for the team to be any good.

Only with the zards can you feel so good at tip off and feel so bad at the end...

Posted by: hibachi | April 3, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

What a roller coaster... Stay tuned, folks, this is going to be a wild ride.

Posted by: khrabb | April 3, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Said it before, say it again: Grunfeld needs to think long and hard about whether he wants to tie the franchise's future to a core of players that seems to always be on the bad side of the luck coin.

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Said it before, say it again: Grunfeld needs to think long and hard about whether he wants to tie the franchise's future to a core of players that seems to always be on the bad side of the luck coin.

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was impossible in 1.1 seconds to catch the ball and then pass it to sessions and take the shot and counting.

Posted by: D | April 3, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think its the players that are always on the bad side of the luck coin. It's the Curse O'Les Boulez striking again. I'm tired of this damn injury bugs hitting each season when my hopes are at their peak.

BTW, how many freakin' players do the Bucks have to injure on the Wizards before they are satisfied? It was also with the Bucks that Butler broke his hand last season. Not to mention thousands of wizards fans' hearts after so many heart breakers.

Posted by: nara | April 3, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

My real name is DC Fairy88.

Everyone knows why: I luv Gilby!

Sashay!

I am also known as Clewiston88, or "ClueLess."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow! That DC Man88 is "coming out" for everyone to see. Go on, girl.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

If you watch the replay of the final plays really, really closely, you can just catch a brief glimpse of the Bucks bench where Bobby Simmons, Michael Ruffin, and Awvee Storey are pushing pins into voodoo doll likenesses of C. Butler, D. Stevenson, and A. Jamison...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert's plus/minus was a team-worst minus seven. He didn't fight through a single screen he faced, and he completely lost track of his man on many, many occasions.

Come on, Gil, at least try! You're strong, smart, quick as hell, and you have a 6'-9" wingspan. No excuse.

If Gil is terrified of contact and can't play man-to-man D, the Wiz need to start practicing a zone D.

Posted by: TC | April 3, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Worst loss of the season. Made even worse by Jamison and Stevenson going down on the same play. But I saw some positives. I still think Gil needs to start. His game doesn't match the 2nd unit. There's no defense on the bench to pick up Gil's slack (maybe DMac but he's a rookie) and that's why the bucks' were +11 with Gil on the court. AD needs to get back to the 2nd unit and run the and unit. Nick, Roger, Darius, Dray & AD is a helluva 2nd unit to me.

Posted by: C.Bell | April 3, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Good comment by C.Bell... That's the kind of sorting out that needs to take place over the rest of the regular season...

It is fairly unusual for a team to play more than an 8 man rotation in the playoffs but the Wizards may wind up going 9 or 10 deep depending on the physical endurance of GA and AD and the matchups we wind up having vs either the Pistons (need for AB and DSong to step up against their back-up big men), the Magic (our big guards, GA, DS, Mason and Young, all have to play well to take advantage of their backcourt weaknesses), or the Cavs (need good effort from all the bigs and take advantage of our quickness to dominate the transition game).

It would have been nice to win last night but sometimes stuff happens... especially when the Wizards basically had too much adrenalin and too little discipline, and the Bucks, with nothing at stake, were loose as hell.

Posted by: khrabb | April 3, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

wow ! No D at all. Colin and bmorerev are right on about the defense. We need to stop doubling down and let haywood and Ab play their game. Granted, Bogut was killing BTH last night but I'd rather go with contested inside shots than open 2's and 3's. This was a game where we should probably have made some adjustments. Some guys are not good matchups for haywood. I think Songaila played Bogut pretty good during the time they were matched up. What in the heck happened to Ayers? Where is that defense that we played months ago?
It appears we're back to being the all offense, no defense Wizards we've been seeing for the past few years. GA wasn't fighting through screens at all and appeared to be a little tentative defensively. He also looked overweight. I heard this morning on the radio that we were outscored during his minutes on the court. It was a terrible defensive performance by everyone and it has to improve unless we're ok with the 7th or 8th seed .

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

BRENDA IS BACK!!

Brenda Haywood has been back full-force these past few games. Is there a softer playing 7 ft center right now?

* Slow
* Soft
* Can't rebound
* Bad hands
* Disappears during games

Posted by: Wizzy | April 3, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I may get dinged for saying this and it has been a long time coming but hear me out. I don't think that we have the wrong core of players. We have all seen what they can do when they really play. They can be quite formidable. Here goes: I think they have the wrong coach. Don't get me wrong, I truly like Eddie Jordan as a person but he is to lenient on the players and makes to many excuses for them not playing well instead of lighting them up when the f***k up. An example was the 40 point beating they took from Utah. He needs to lay down the hammer and let those players know that last nights performance was unacceptable. I knew in the third quarter that they were not going to win. They played with no intensity whatsoever which I found strange for a team that could clinch a playoff berth with a win. The crowd should have booed them off the court with that performance. The Bucks scored over 17 points off of careless turnovers alone. And how do you let a player from the D league take you out. I have tickets to the last couple of home games and at this point I am not sure if I even want to attend after that performance. That loss last night to me was just plain unacceptable and there are no excuses for their performance. It should have never come down to that. They should have put them away. Now, not only did they lose but two players got hurt scrambling to secure a win.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

And one more thing, they should be flat out embarassed.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm an EJ supporter but one thing that really irks me is that he did not know about Gilbert's return last night. Now, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't EJ the coach? I don't care who you are, you still need to communicate with the coach and let him know you're ready for a return. If I were EJ, I would have sat Gilbert through the first half and brought him in late in the 4th quarter.

Posted by: The AntiDCMan | April 3, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

You see AntiDCMan, that is exactly what I am talking about. I like EJ too but who is actually running the team? I would have sat his butt too but it didn't happen. How can you not know whether or not a player is going to play or not. Maybe I am just a basketball novice but I always thought that order to get the best out of your players, you HAVE to establish control and I just don't see where EJ has done that on a CONSISTENT basis.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Games have ebbs and flows. You win some, you lose some. One win is just as important as another.

However, EJ doesn't recognize this because he is wound up tighter than a drum. A good example is the overtime game on the road against LA. The star players logged mucho minutes with injuries (which were exercerbated) and they lost anyway. They haven't recovered. EJ has pressed them harder, and we see more minutes and more injuries. And there is no patience for mistakes by the young guys, and therefore player development is limited to non-suited injuries.

Despite the mediocre results, the player personnel is excellent. A nice blend of young and old. A lot of athletism. Combination of defense and offense minded players.

Yet the team's spirit and body has been broken before the playoffs get started.

You gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them. That requires a clear mind. But it won't happend with this team.

Posted by: Izman | April 3, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I did not see the 4th quarter of the game. From Ivan's description of the final play, it looks like we got killed again on the "double down" on the block defense.

Now I have two questions for Ivan or better yet EJ.

1/ First what the heck was Gilbert doing out there on a defensive set for the final shot? I would question that even if Gilbert never had two knee injuries. He does not play defense anyway, so why was he in there?

2/ Was it EJ's and Ayers call to have Gilbert double down, or did Gilbert do it on his own????? EJ used to "double team" the primeter or the block all of the time on final plays and we would lose everytime. Doubling is the dumbest form of defense in basketball I have ever seen. You can not leave "any" (14th Man) NBA player open for a wide open look because he will hit it everytime.

*** Eddie has not been playing this "double down" defense lately and has been playing straight man to man (which I am glad he starting doing), so I would probably bet Gilbert cheated and tried to double down and get a steal and Bogut caught him. Now I have been supporting EJ these last few months and I still do, however I have to question why Gilbert was in there on that last defensive stance?

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | April 3, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

As I said before and this is the last time I will say it I promise, right personnel, wrong coach. Have a great day all, I am going back to work.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Ivan, having to deal with this Gilby jerk who blatantly lies to reporters (and fans) which results in MISINFORMATION to the fans out there.

Ivan, you're doing a great job regardless of this diva's self-centered whims.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 12:06 AM

It's a good thing you're more concerned about a Washington Post beat reporter's feelings than the welfare of the team's most dynamic, prolific scorer, and the only guy that gives the wizards any shot of advancing through the eastern conference.

It was great to see that Arenas still has it on the offensive end. I think it's obvious he's nowhere near 100% right now, but to see him able to do all the things he used to do (explosiveness in driving to the basket, raising up for jumpshots over bigger defenders) is a good sign.

Where he was REALLY rusty last night was on the defensive end. It's clear that he's not as quick (right now) as he used to be, and you can see it in his body language that he was hesitant to put his body in any type of harm's way. The Bucks (smartly) attacked Arenas at almost every opportunity, and most of the time it worked.

What people seem to forget to realize is that coming back from consecutive knee surgeries is NOT an easy thing. It's completely unrealistic to expect him to be in full-force and playing at game speed right now, or even a week or two weeks from now. His offensive output surpassed my expectations, and that's a good sign. His defensive performance was right around where I thought he'd be. However, the only way to get Gilbert up to game speed is to force him to play at game speed. The wizards may take some lumps in the next couple weeks, and they'll have to sacrifice some on-the-court product, but they have to continue to play Gilbert...as much as possible. Don't overwork him, but they have to make sure he gets enough time to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The Wiz may suffer in the short-term, but the benefits come playoff time will easily pay that off.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

It's no surprise, the winning shot was put up over Arenas because he did not know whether to guard Sessions or double team in interior pass. That indecision is a repeated defensive lapse but you have to wonder why Arenas would be in on the last defensive stop anyway.

Posted by: Beeb | April 3, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Here is a thought to ponder as I reflect upon what happened last night:

What comes first, a coach's authority and control over his team or a championship? I think his authority comes first. Great coaches learn to manage great players. Good coaches don't. Jackson and Popovich are great coaches who control their superstars. Who runs the Cavs, Lebron James or Mike Brown? You know the answer. Where does E Jordan land in this conversation? Answer is obvious. With very good players he was coaching wonderfully. Gil returns and his personality seemed to change. (Now he had a migraine last night so I am give him a little benefit of the doubt but I am also thinking back to the pre-gilbert-injury days.) Is his personality strong enough to manage a supposed superstar? (I am not saying supposed to dis Arenas but he hasn't taken us to the finals yet.) I believe there is no question that he has had great success in coaching the Wizards this year. But now that Arenas is back he is in the dark about when he returns and just says "that's Gilbert."

The question is simple: do Abe and Grunfeld want to win rings or just entertain and make money? How do they measure success? Does he have their permission to manage a superstar? Riley and Jackson and Pop firured it out and had the right personality and THE AUTHORITY TO LEAD.

This thing may play out in such a way that Eddie Jordan evolves into a stronger coach but he is not there yet. He needs to be given the authority over his superstar by management or somebody is going to have to go: either Eddie of Arenas.

Maybe I am reading too much into one strange night. But I have a feeling last night was pivotal in a lot of ways.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 3, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

however I have to question why Gilbert was in there on that last defensive stance?

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | April 3, 2008 08:40 AM

The play before (the scramble), Gil was subbed out for Daniels. After the scramble, Deshawn and Jamison got hurt and came out of the game, and I guess EJ decided Gil was a better choice than Mason or Young.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Well that was enough for me. I don't ever want to see gilbert in a wizards jersey ever again. I knew he wuld ruin everything as soon as he came back. I thought he was going to be the assist man? Sure he scored 17 on a great shooting night but he also had 4 turnovers in 20 minutes and his man also hit the game winning shot. If Gil didnt play this would have been a 20 point win. Same story as the last 3 years we can't pull away with Gil on the court b/c he ruins the pace of the game and ruins the team D. Every time he stepped on the court the bucks went on a run. I will not be a wizards fan next year if Gilbert is on the team. HE RUINS EVERYTHING!!!

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I am reading too much into one strange night. But I have a feeling last night was pivotal in a lot of ways.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 3, 2008 08:46 AM

Yes, you are reading into it too much. Last night was Gil's first game back after missing 60-something straight. You can't read into ANYTHING that happened last night.

Phil Jackson did not lead his teams. He was the man, but the guys who ran the show were Jordan and Shaq(earlier)/Kobe(later). And this is evident by the fact that Jackson was run out of town by Kobe. No coach in the NBA is bigger than the superstar.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I will not be a wizards fan next year if Gilbert is on the team. HE RUINS EVERYTHING!!!

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 09:00 AM

Sorry but if I have to choose between Gilbert or you, I'm sorry but I'm going with Gilbert. Some people are ridiculous. One game back and you expect him to be playing 100%? Are you serious?

Gilbert wasn't ruining everything when we were 1st in the east last year with all the big 3 healthy. Now we're a better team because we were tied for 5th with him out of the lineup?

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

" The final decision came so late, it caught Coach Eddie Jordan off guard.

"I found out," Jordan said afterward. "He didn't really tell me but that's Gil. I found out. Let's say it wasn't normal, proper, channels but I found out.""

Great juice by Ivan.

EJ loses control of the team whenever Gilby is around.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised Gilby didn't request the DJ to play "Eye of the Tiger" when he decided to stroll down the walkway while the rest of the team was playing/getting mentally prepared. Or, how about Rupaul's "Supermodel" song.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Bad decision to have GA in there at the end. he clearly is not going to fight through picks yet and doesn't have his full quickness back. Either roger mason or even the rookie would have been better choices for that last defensive stop. I've been hating on this 'doubling down' crap ever since Lynam was here. I still have visions of Calbert Cheaney running out at guys too late and catching 3's in his face. When will it stop? Let the big man be a big man and play some post defense. Bogut had BTH on his back and would have had to shoot a turnaround jumper or a jump hook over a 7 footer with long arms. There was no time for him to make a move and get the shot off. I'm ok with it if he can make that shot. What I don't want is a guy wide open getting a good look at the basket. Incidentally, why do we have the only Boy Scout shot clock operator in the league? In any other arena, there's no way they get a pass inbounds, a pass to the perimeter and a shot in 1.7 seconds. It just wouldn't happen. The clock should have started as soon as the ball left the inbounder's hands. I have yet to see a referee replay a play because the clock started too soon. It may have happened before but I'm sure it's rare. I've seen the clock NOT started so that the home team could get a shot off in time but not the other way around. That's the purpose of having a home court advantage !! WTF !

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Worse loss of the season and you can't pin the blame on Gilbert. The team showed no defensive intensity or killer instinct after having the Bucks down by double digits twice in the 2nd half (once with 7 minutes to go). The game should never have come down to a jump ball situation where AJ hurt his shoulder and a D-Leaguer outhustled AD for the ball to set up a final shot. The Bucks clearly wanted the game more than the Wiz who were playing to clinch a playoff spot. No sense of urgency by the team in general, sloppy TO's, and poor shot selection in the last 3 minutes.

IF AJ is out for the rest of the regular season, don't expect the Wizards to end up any higher than a 7th seed and then be swept 4 straight by Detroit. It's truly sad to see such a class pro like AJ get hurt diving out of bounds to save a ball. He's done everything possible to keep the team afloat while GA and CB3 have been hurt and deserves better (as do loyal Wizards fans!).

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 3, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

This season is like something out of a movie scene. It's like one of those Final Destination movies. You know someone is going to get hurt but you just don't know how or when. Somebody on this team has some serious bad mojo and needs a spritual cleansing. I've never seen a minute like that last minute. Caron and Deshawn get hurt on the same play and then Aj gets hurt diving into the stands to save a ball. i was half expecting the Jumbotron to fall on BTH at that moment.
last thought: No one is saying anything about this, but if AD hustles and gets to that ball that Aj tipped after the jump ball, we win the game. AD was BS-ing. His wrist is hurt, not his legs.

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"The team showed no defensive intensity or killer instinct..."

I thought as much also.

It's weird, Gilbert comes back and it's like they entirely give up playing defense.

It's not his fault and I don't understand.

I hope it's just an adjustment thing and I hope Jamison is "ok" also.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 3, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Polin, please sacrifice two goats and three chickens in an attempt to reverse whatever curse you brought upon this team between the years of 1979 and 2008.

Posted by: In the ATL | April 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

last thought: No one is saying anything about this, but if AD hustles and gets to that ball that Aj tipped after the jump ball, we win the game. AD was BS-ing. His wrist is hurt, not his legs.

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 09:22 AM

I'm glad somebody pointed that out. And even when Sessions was fumbling with the ball trying to call a TO, Daniels was just watching. It's like he got stage fright for the last 10 seconds. Everybody that's ripping on Gilbert needs to acknowledge EVERY player's poor performances, not just Gil's.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I am more worry about the team's health than we lost the game. Hope everyone is OK. It's nice to see Gil still retain his quickness; some rustiness is expected (such as lost the ball while dribbling).

The team again gave up too many offensive rebounds, this had been the problem in past seasons. This season they seem to do better, but recently they have fallen back to the old habit. They need to go back to their defensive training camp!

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 3, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz lost by 3 in OT to the Reddless Bucks in January then beat the Bucks in a close one in March on Nick Young's first break out game, Redd had 26 points in that game.
The Wiz seem to matchup poorly with the Bucks.
The real news is not GA's return but AJ, AD, DS and CB's injury status.

Posted by: Myshkin | April 3, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

You could see that ending coming from the beginning of the second quarter. The Wizards occasionally mail it in against an inferior opponent, getting a 7 point lead and then coasting. The defense was AWOL last night.

The danger of that sort of approach is not only losing to an inferior team, but keeping your starters out on the court in the final seconds, and having two of them getting injured. It really serves the team right, especially Jamison who didn't play defense all night -- Villaneuva is going to send him a thank you card today.

Gilbert was -8 last night, the worst on the team.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

This quote says it all for me:
"I got a little piece of it but Caron got most of it and he hit it out," Sessions said of the tip. " I saw Daniels long and I don't think he saw me and he was kind of jogging to get the ball and I just ran down, tracked it down and was able to get it. I knew we had one timeout left so I called timeout."

How can you an 11 year vet on a playoff team justling for home court, allow yourself to be outhustled by a D leaguer on a 25 win team??? If AD hustles and pokes the ball out, we get the win, solidify a playoff spot, and give us some breathing room at the 5 spot. That was completely inexcusable by AD. This game is a microcosm of why our team is so mediocore.

Posted by: Owl Wizard | April 3, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Piss poor TEAM performance. Not Gilbert. THE WHOLE TEAM! No intensity and no real sense of urgency. They played with a lackadaisical attitude. Maybe they didn't know this game was to clinch a playoff berth because they sure didn't play like a team who did. The Wiz needs a coach like Boudreau of the Caps. That dude don't take no mess and demands excellence or pay the price.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Keep backing Gil after we lose every game the rest of the season except maybe Miami you people will see. Also watch chris quinn will have a career night against Gilbert. If Gil doesn't play we don't give up 100+ to the Bucks. Also psps23/douche bag Im not asking you to pick btw us. Im telling you the man ruins the team. As long as Gilbert is here the team will be stuck in mediocrity. We have a better record this year than last year without gil and caron has missed 20+. Use the money for someone or a couple people that will help the team and we will be much better. The way Gil plays will never translate to winning. Sure it can be exciting but I would rather play D and win. Instead as long as he is here it will be the Gilbert show and we will give up 108 a game and squeek out wins and maybe get 45 wins a year and lose 1st round every year. All I'm saying is im not wasting my life watching Gilbert Areanas you guys have fun Ill switch to a team that has a future b/c as long as he is here there is no future.

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The syndicates easily made their + edge. Two of the referees helped. did anyone see that foul on Stevenson where the Bucks player had his WHOLE BODY hand, elbow, arm, shoulder, chest, legs on Stevenson, Stevenson lost his balance and fell, the guy fell ON TOP of him, but no foul was called?
There were a few crucial non-calls. Very crucial. The NBA needs to do post-game audits of their referees.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Beas, move to another town too.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas is a cancer. But I still want to see him in Playgirl.

Posted by: Bullets70s | April 3, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

This team needs an athletic, skilled center, with defensice emphasis.
BH IS NOT NEARLY THE ANSWER.
Then we can play traditional defense.
Also they need to hit the weight room, esp Songalia, NY, AB...
A new coach who actually watches the game, and has a clue how to manage the game, without just relying on his prima donnas, would also facilitate a franchise shift.

Posted by: mricklen | April 3, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I have seen the Wizards play that exact same game for 3 years now... they hold a slim lead against an inferior team the entire game, you know in the back of you head it should be 10 points bigger... then the other team makes a push with 4 minutes left and the game comes down to the final possession, sometimes the Wiz pull it out, sometimes they lose. That game never should have come down to a final shot like that, they should have buckled down on D and put the team away in the 2nd quarter (especially given the energy of Arenas coming back).

It's incredibly frustrating that this team hasn't really gotten over the hump in 3 years and now it looks like Jamison is injured and Stevenson is dinged up. Not good. (Although Buck's call of the final shot was pretty funny)

Posted by: slim charles | April 3, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Said it before, say it again: Grunfeld needs to think long and hard about whether he wants to tie the franchise's future to a core of players that seems to always be on the bad side of the luck coin."

Don't agree with the assessment. Gil has many last second heroics himself. In 3 of the last 4 seasons (including this one), Wizards averaged less points than their opponents, and yet they won more than 50% of the games! I would say Wizards definitely not always on the bad side of the coin, unless you expect the coin is always "right side up!"

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 3, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Don't agree with the assessment. Gil has many last second heroics himself. In 3 of the last 4 seasons (including this one), Wizards averaged less points than their opponents, and yet they won more than 50% of the games! I would say Wizards definitely not always on the bad side of the coin, unless you expect the coin is always "right side up!"

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 3, 2008 09:56 AM "

As exciting as last minute heroics may be for a lot of fans, championship teams don't rely on last minute heroics. They crush their opponents soundly, and decisively, most of the time.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"Don't agree with the assessment."

There's a shock. And, yet again, you get it wrong, arguing a point I wasn't making. I wasn't talking about wins and losses. I was talking about injuries and the inability of the Wizards to field a complete, whole team for any significant period of the season. An inability that is only highlighted and underscored on a night where Arenas returns only to have Jamison and Stevenson hobble off the court injured in the final seconds of a tough loss.

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

" (Although Buck's call of the final shot was pretty funny)

Posted by: slim charles | April 3, 2008 09:55 AM "

Not bad by Bucky, but his best scream is from last year's Bucks game.

It was quite fair/honest by Bucky though, when he saw the replay and said that it wasn't even close. The ball clearly left Sessions's hand before the time ran out. Buck briefly complained about the clock, but it was weak, and the game was at home.

"NOT POSSIBLE...NOT POSSIBLE." - when Mo Williams, cold off the bench, intercepted Ruffin's toss up in the air and jacked the 3. Now that was sweet and the most freakish play of all time.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Gilbert Arenas is a cancer"

Only intelligent statement I have read on here all day.

Gilbert/the black hole will never take this team anywhere.

Also once again where was Gilbert the assist man? Didn't take him long to go right back to his same old self. He actually shot well last night as well. Wait til he has an off shooting night and turns the ball over 4-7 times. He doesn't have that explosion to the basket anymore after the surgeries so he has to rely on his jumper which is just bad news for the wiz b/c he has good shooting night about once every 3 or 4 games. The best part of his game is going to the basket and it is clear he cant move like he used to. I pray Ernie signs and trades him b/c I love Caron and jamison and the boys but I refuse to watch or cheer for anything Gilbert Arenas is a part of. He can go promote himself for some other losing team I don't want to watch it in DC.

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

There were no excuses for last nights lost, plain and simple.

Bucks were 25-58, and missing Li for most of the game.

An only worse ending last night would have been Awvee Storey or Bobby Simmons or Ruffin hitting the dagger, backbreaking, and winning jump shot, but last night was pretty bad.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

ARENAS WILL NOT PLAY TONIGHT.

nice headline guys. this from the folks who brought you DEWEY WINS DEWEY WINS.

whats next:

THIS JUST IN FRIED CHICKEN AND FRITOS LOWER CHOLESEROL.

brother nice work. how bout an apology!!!

Posted by: dk | April 3, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The way Gil plays will never translate to winning. Sure it can be exciting but I would rather play D and win.

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 09:48 AM

The entire team played crap D the last couple years, not just Gilbert. When Gil went down last year, it's not like the Wiz magically started playing great defense at the end of the season. They had to bring someone in to instill that side of the game (Ayers). The entire team gained a new attitude for defense, and it wasn't because Gil was off the court. Give Gil the time to settle into that system and he'll be fine.

And of course the D suffered when Gil was on the court last night. BUT you can't use that to knock Gilbert as a player (right now). He's coming off two consecutive knee surgeries, of course he's going to be rusty, both on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. If you couldn't tell that Gilbert wasn't the same player athletically and mentally as he was before, then you weren't watching the game close enough. Give him time and he'll keep getting better. Like I said before, we'll probably suffer in the short-term, but EJ has to put Gilbert out there to get him up to game speed. It'll pay off in the playoffs.

And all the talk of giving his money to other players to make this team better is nonsense. Nobody you bring in will be better than Arenas, and this team as it stands (without Arenas) is nowhere near ready to challenge the Pistons and Celtics for the east.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

EJ isnt to blame. NO ONE is going to control gilbert arenas. A new coach isnt gonna make Gil become a serious dude. You pay a price for working with a quirky guy and Ernie thinks its worth it. You dont think EJ wouldnt rather work with Jason Kidd or Chris Paul or Deron Willams?

Ernie is the one that compiled the "Suns of the East" which include players that dont specialize in defense.

The loss doesn't really matter in the grand scheme. When the Wizards are healthy, they can beat any team in the East in the playoffs. But they wont be healthy anytime soon, so why not let Gil get his rhythm and maybe learn a lesson about defensive rotations against the Bucks?

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert's back, looking sharp, up 10 with a couple minutes left, the big three firing on all cylinders, 5 seed with an angle on 4, then...

THE CURSE OF LEZ BULLEZ!

Posted by: Kev | April 3, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think kal was talking more about bad luck with injuries, and I would agree with him. This team is full of really likable guys and has a lot of talent, but at what point do you have to go in another direction because they can't all be on the court together. I think someone asked a question in the chat yesterday along the lines of "Is it fair to call Caron injury prone?". I think that question could be asked about Caron specifically and about the Wizards in general. I wouldn't go as far as to call them soft, because I honestly don't think any of the guys have been milking injuries, they are just really hurt. Ernie has some big decisions coming up because of age and injury problems.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, I was a little late on that post. Kal was talking about the injuries.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Said it before, say it again: Grunfeld needs to think long and hard about whether he wants to tie the franchise's future to a core of players that seems to always be on the bad side of the luck coin."

I guess you expect anyone who read your post above knows that your were "talking about injuries." Yeah, it's always someone else's fault that you are so misunderstood!

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Declaring Gilbert's return as a total success or failure after 17 game mins is a bit premature. Its gonna take at least until the end of the regular season to know what he can bring to the table. Also, Gilbert's not a cancer. The team likes and respects him. Rod Strickland was a cancer.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Declaring Gilbert's return as a total success or failure after 17 game mins is a bit premature. Its gonna take at least until the end of the regular season to know what he can bring to the table.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 10:32 AM

It's good to see someone with some sense posting on this blog.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

mricklen , every team in the league needs one but there aren't many out there. We should be able to win with BH in the middle. he had a bad game against Bogut but most of the time, he's one of the few guys actually playing defense.

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

This was as tough a loss as I can recall. Hopefully Tawn can recover quickly.

Posted by: Dellis | April 3, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Are we over-reacting?

I am certainly not one who is declaring the return a failure yet. Certainly t was a game we should have won. Certainly it was a game where key players limped off the court. so emotionally we fans are all still reeling.

However trying to be as objective as we can, there are several things that many of us rightly saw last night as signs that the Wizards we have seen all year will take back seat to the Wizards of old:

1/ Too much emphasis on the superstar
2/ An offense over defensive mentality that seemed to come back
3/ Less ball movement
4/ A Lack of killer instinct and attitude
5/ The Coach with seemingly less control. (This is the biggest problem I saw last night.)

The over-reaction is understandable. But it is tough to not panic when all this popped up in one night so clearly.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 3, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Terrible ending. Jamison pulls a ruffin while playing against... Ruffin.
Why didn't he just hold the ball and get fouled?
Hope he recovers quickly though as he's the backbone of this team.

Posted by: Gburg | April 3, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

THESE ARE OUR WIZARDS LADIES AND GENTS, NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN 3 YEARS - LOTS OF POINTS AND NO DEFENSE MEANS WE LOSE CLOSE GAMES AT THE END.

This team is snakebitten with injuries. AJ and DeShawn have been overplayed all season b/c of injuries to Gil and CB, and now it's caught up. Over the years they have habitually lost to less talented teams. They score bunches of points but with Gil on the floor, they never have enough to close out the game on the defensive end; and last night some schlub named Sessions beat them.

LET GIL WALK, MAKE A RUN AT ELTON BRAND, AND REBUILD THE TEAM AROUND CARON AND NICK YOUNG!

Posted by: p1funk | April 3, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

heck yeah it's fair to call him injury prone. Look up his record of games played in his career.In 6 seasons, he's played 70 something games only 3 years, 60 something twice and 50 something once (may reach 60 this season). I like his game and think he's a gritty player but I liked Kelvin Bryant and Pervis Ellison, too. I never called those guys tuff juice.

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is, AD, who normally plays hard, gave a half-assed effort on that last tip, and the Wizards got burned as a result. Terrible loss, one of the worst of the season, given the opponent and the situation.

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 3, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Someone should write a story about the clock operator. It's ridiculous how the Wiz have been killed at home because of a late starting clock.

Posted by: Larry | April 3, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Eddie made a costly substitution during that last possession. I thought it was wise of him to take Gil off the floor during the second-to-last defensive possession. But then just before that last possession with 1.1 second on the clock, he put Gil back in, I think in place of Deshawn (with his twisted ankle). As soon as I saw Gil in there on defense I said that's a mistake. Sure enough, Gil started shading over toward the paint to help out with Bogut and wasn't able to close out quickly enough on Sessions.

Maybe you put Roger in there, maybe you put D-Mac or Caron on Sessions, but not Gil. Even in peak conditioning Gil cheats on defense looking for a steal or a strip and then has a problem recovering in time to close out his man. But after such a long absence, and what must have been tired legs during his first game back, putting in for a defensive stop was a mistake.

Posted by: Prazak | April 3, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

In fairness to AD, I wonder how much his left wrist bothered him on that last scrum for possession?

Posted by: Prazak | April 3, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

On the Doc Walker show this morning he made a comment as to whether EJ can coach Gil and if not then one of them has to go. I totally agree. Gilbert is a TERRIFIC player, but he does what he wants to. If the leader of your team is uncontrollable then in the end so is the TEAM. Gilbert coming out with his grandstanding entrance was a total show of individualism and not team ball. EJ could have made a statement against it and not played Gil to show who is actually running the show. I like EJ but eventually I believe he'll be fired for not having enough control over his team. If I could do a sign a trade for someone of Brand caliber for Gil then I would in a heartbeat, because I have no doubts about him being about the TEAM FIRST!

Posted by: Jeff | April 3, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Calling Caron injury prone might be more appropriate if he were a finesse player playing on 60 games a year.

Posted by: Lou | April 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What we saw last night is no different from what we've seen in the past with Les BouleS, especially with Gilby in the game.

No defense played.
Close game with a sorry team.
Gilby gets his points anyway.
Game down to the wire.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

In Doc Walker I trust. EJ is in a lose-lose situation. He can only go as far as Gil feels like going. If he tried to put the clamp down, Gil would not shoot for 3 qtrs and throw a fit. Ernie seems to have chosen Gil. So the Wiz are the Wiz and it is what it is.

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Bucks have Brian James on their bench as an assistant. The guy sat in the Comcast analyst chair for a few years getting to know Eddie's sets and situational calls. I wonder if he's part of the problem, the way the Cavs seemed to intuit the Wiz when Larry was there.

Posted by: Prazak | April 3, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It was April 1st when Agent 0 was saying that he wasn't going to play. Whether he intended it or not, it was quite an April Fool's joke.

They have been holding teams to under 100 points for most of the year. I don't think it's a total coincidence that when Gilbert comes back, they get into a scoring contest with the other team, and give up playing defense. If they have a chance to do anything in the playoffs, they're going to have to go back to playing with discipline. I'm not sure if Arenas can do that.

Now with the injuries they have, it's looking like they're going no where. I hope it's not as bad as it looks.

Then again, a team who loses a must-win game to the Bucks at home at this stage of the season probably doesn't deserve to make the playoffs.

Posted by: olavsmith | April 3, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

AGAIN I ASK-- IF GILBERT CHANGES HIS MIND SO MUCH AND YOU KNOW THAT SINCE YOU COVER HIM SO MUCH, HOW ON EARTH DID YOU WRITE AN ARTICLE CARVED IN STONE THAT GILBERT WOULD NOT PLAY.
UN FREAKIN REAL.
GREAT JOURNALISM!!!!

DEWEY WINS DEWEY WINS DEWEY WINS.
NICE JOB FELLAS.

Posted by: dk | April 3, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz gave up 99 points or more in the last 5 games prior to last night.

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, I second your comment wholeheartedly. I've been a big Gilbert supporter since he arrived, and he was a huge part of getting this team back to the playoffs. But this year, the team is (hopefully) getting to the playoffs DESPITE him, and you have to think that the uncertainty about "will he/won't he" yesterday, that really affected the team's concentration and that his selfishness and need for attention really hurt the team. If he wanted to help the team, he wouldn't be fostering this self-centered will/he won't he circus that's been going on for the past week. You can tell the coaches and a lot of the teammates are tired of the questions and distractions, and it's bothersome to me that a player (franchise player or not) can just decide when he wants to play, not letting the coaches know beforehand, and gets what he wants. I have little doubt the Wiz would have been more focused and gotten this win if he hadn't played. I'm all for Gil getting in some run before the playoffs, but can't imagine this is the best way to handle it.

Posted by: Mike in SD | April 3, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there is any problem with the fact that Ivan reported that Gilby won't play. Gilby sent this info to Ivan.

Now, if Gilby decides to change his mind, then that's his prerogative. Of course, that's a huge distraction to the team, but Ivan wrote what was the best and most recent information that he had at the time.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz gave up 99 points or more in the last 5 games prior to last night.

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 12:08 PM

Thank you! Blaming this loss and performance on any individual player is retarded. To me this whole performance is a microcosm of the mediocrity that is the Washington Wizards these days.

AJ is too small and slow to consistently body and bang with the athletic PF's as shown by Villenueva lighting us up last night. Caron is too slow to consistently stop top flight SF, and he isn't an automatic scorer when we absolutely need it. As his 2 for 7 or whatever it was 4th quarter last night again reiterated. Haywood getting muscled by Bogut is completely unacceptable. Stretches where the bench feels like they don't need to play D is unacceptable. Gil trying to double a big 20ft from the basket with a min left is unacceptable.

This team has to be one of those sum is greater than its parts team. Thats why I was disgusted with AD's lack of hustle. The only way we win is with hustle.

Posted by: Owl Wizard | April 3, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Mike - I'm all for Gil playing now to get back in shape for the playoffs also, but I'm not for his selfishness. I'm even more against EJ standing up there being after the game and saying that is just Gil being Gil. The Zards have a very talented/athletic team with a good mixture of vets and young guys. They should be maximizing what they have by pressing and playing pressure defense to get easy baskets. Team defense is a mentality that is instilled by the Coach if he has control and ours doesn't.

Posted by: Jeff | April 3, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

...on the other hand, do you let a big man who's shooting lights out take a short shot against a guy who hasn't stopped him all night
or
do you double down and hope the young D-Leaguer misses?

catch-22. Either way we would have been griping. If Bogut turns and makes that shot over BTH, we all will complain about not doubling the hot hand. I think we should chalk this up to one of those nights where nothing goes right and hope that no injuries are serious.

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who says Gilbert is a "cancer" should turn in their Wizards replica jersey at Verizon center immediately. You're no longer needed as a fan of this team. That is all.

Posted by: Barno | April 3, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

EJ didn't crack down on Gilby because he knows that Gilby is opting out and controls the cards. If he were to sit Gilby out, after that grand entrance while the team was playing, Gilby most likely would have thrown a hissy fit and then threatened by saying "I'm done with Les Boules."

Either he'll walk straight up, or refuse to a sign a trade. Gilby still has more leverage over Les BouleS even with that gimpy leg and no defense to speak of.

Also, Bogut was about 18 ft. from the basket and had his back turned. No way Gilby should have come over to double team with so little time on the clock. The best shot was to Sessions who had a clear look at the basket, and he took it and made it.

Dagggerrrrrrrrrr!!!!

A good question for Ivan to pose to Abe is how impressed Abe was with the grand entrance and the swirl of drama leading up to last night. I seriously doubt if Abe would say "that's Gilby being Gilby."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Correct. I don't blame Gilbert for losing this game for us. That is totally unfair. Considering he hasn't played in a while, I thought he did play rather well. It was the total lack of focus and composure that upset me. The Wiz just did not seem to be playing with any real sense of purpose. They got what they deserved not withstanding the injuries. Antawn has been holding it down all season and I truly hated to see him go out. To me, Antawn is the one that keeps it going. I really nope that he is alright but it did not look good.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

LET GIL WALK, MAKE A RUN AT ELTON BRAND, AND REBUILD THE TEAM AROUND CARON AND NICK YOUNG!

Great post P1funk...I'm glad some of you are starting to see Gilbert isn't the answer

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Barno I feel bad for anyone who has a gilbert jersey. If I got one I would throw it away. The dude is all about himself and will never make anyone on his team better. He will never win a championship in fact he will never even make it to a conference championship. The guy isn't worth max money not even close. I wouldn't give him more than 70 mil. Sure he scores 28 points a game but he is also responsible for giving up about 30 a game and his assist/turnover ration is one of the worst in the league for PG's. He played 20 min and had 4 turnovers. Sure it was game 1 for him but thats typical Gilly. Ill take calderon and elton brand from FA anyday over Gil. If we give him a max contract we will have a similar fall to the bottom of the league like when we gave Juwan Howard 100 mil. Gil can score with the best of them but it just doesn't translate in to winning and team ball. We are better without him if we can use the money for team players that will help. Use the money to go after one or 2 of these guys and we will be better for it....Elton Brand, Calderon, Monte Ellis, Deng, Iggy, Okafor so many players that can actually help the team I hope ernie makes a wise decision instead of ruining the franchise for the next 5-10 years. I have already been through that once dont want to see it again.

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

You don't need to be an NBA-caliber coach to know that when you are up 1 with 1.1 seconds on the clock you don't put in Gil, especially in his first game back. Roger Mason would have been a better choice. If we're down one having Gil in there is fine, but he has no business taking the court for a defensive stand.

Posted by: Lou | April 3, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

ELTOON BRAND IS GOOD AND GILBURT SUX!!!!! ELTOON LED HIZ TEAM TO PLAYOFFS 1 TIME AND THAT IZ MOR THAN GILBURT HAS!!!! PLUS ELTOON IZ NEVER COMING OFF NEE SERGURY LIKE GILBURT SO HE IZ BETTUR!!!! ELTOON MAYBE HAZ PLAYED ON TEAMZ THAT ONLY WONED 20 GAMES HIZ HOLE CAREER, BUT HE CAN DO 20 PTS & 10 REBS AND IT IZ ALL ABOUT TEAM!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

In no particular order of importance:

1. No matter who is hurt, Gilbert shouldn't be on the floor for a defensive stop at the end of the game. Put in McGuire, put in Mason, put in whoever. EJ's unwillingness to sub offense-defense at the end of games is very frustrating.

2. As truthsayer so correctly pointed out, the Wizards's defense was poor in the stretch of games prior to this, so to blame Gilbert for a sudden drop in defense is ludicrous and ignorant of the facts.

3. Don't waste your breath or the internet space trying to defend Gilbert against some of the posters that constantly rail against him. No minds are going to be changed by doing it. It wouldn't matter if Gilbert went 7-7 from the field, with four assists and no turnovers. If the Wizards lost, those posters would blame him anyway.

4. I disagree with whoever said this loss doesn't matter because most of us here would prefer to see the Wiz play Cleveland or Orlando and not Detroit in round one. This team can't afford to lose games like this one ever.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This is all Gilbert's fault. AD would never have slowed up and jogged for that last pass if Gilbert wasn't on the court. He was distracted by Arenas, and therefore lost his ability to hustle. Haywood's complete inability to stop Bogut all falls on Arenas' shoulders. If Arenas wasn't there, BTH would've been all over Bogut last night, no doubt in my mind. In fact, I'm also pretty sure the distraction that is GA also caused Jamison and Stevenson to get hurt. No way that happens if Arenas was dressed in a suit rather than in uniform on the bench. Eddie Jordan has completely lost control of this team. Gilbert Arenas is leading a revolution against EJ, and there's nothing EJ can do to stop it. It's inevitable, the downfall of EJ is coming, Arenas is going to take over on the court, and we'll see nothing but anarchy. This one, single game was just the beginning. We're witnessing the greatest destructive force ever for a professional franchise at work. Take cover everybody, the sky is falling.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"LET GIL WALK, MAKE A RUN AT ELTON BRAND, AND REBUILD THE TEAM AROUND CARON AND NICK YOUNG!"

And how, exactly, will they "make a run" at Brand? The Wizards have (and will have) no cap room. The only way to get him would be a trade. What do the Wizards have that the Clippers would want? Arenas? That would only work with a S&T (assuming he opts out), which means Arenas would want to go to the Clippers. And why would he want to join the Clippers without Brand?

Rebuild the team around Nick Young? Seriously? People are all over Arenas for supposedly being a shoot-first scorer who only cares about his own shot and doesn't play defense. And how, exactly, is Nick Young any different, other than the fact that he's not nearly as good as Arenas?

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

On coaches and control: This ain't the NCAA.

Posted by: jones-y | April 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Updates on Antawn and Deshawn posted on the Washington Wizards official website. It looks like Gil is also doing well after playing last night. Doesn't appear to have any pain and is scheduled to play Friday.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Big picture is that the Wiz need to be concerned about the health of AJ, CB3, and DSS on the heels of last night's loss. Would any of the bloggers who are blasting Gilbert or EJ be saying anything if we won? I was more disgusted with the lack of hustle by AD on the play at the end when AJ went into the stands to save the jump ball. There was virtually no defense at all down the stretch and the Bucks were repeatedly getting offensive rebounds and loose balls. They were the hungrier team who executed their offensive schemes instead of resorting to isolation plays by CB3 and GA that resulted in bad shots.

Coaching has something to do with it, but this team has consistently played down to the competion of mediocre teams like the Bucks, Bobcats, and Hawks as evidenced by their most recent embarrassing home losses.....that is a bigger concern long-term which EG will have to address in the offseason since its been a problem for 3 years. He's going to have make some tough decisions on keeping EJ as the coach given the results of the last 3 seasons.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 3, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Gil is also at fault for global warming, the war in Iraq and the housing slump.

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

PLUS HE GAVE THE REST OF THE TEAM CANCER!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

1 game,
1 game 1 game 1 game.

I have lost all respect for anyone who has come on here and declared that Gil's return is a failure.

It was 1 game, his first game back and he played 20 minutes. He was good if not stellar, and the team has been playing up and down all season with or without gil.

That last 1.1 seconds wasn't what lost the game. The rest of the game played into it as well, and it was a team effort.


So I say again:

1 game 1 game 1 game.
1 game 1 game 1 game.
1 game 1 game 1 game.

Posted by: sodumb | April 3, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

yesterday's posts, there was a lot of bashing Gilbert for being cleared medically and not playing, or not knowing if he would play, he plays and more bashing. Good grief! This is Gilbert's first game back...you could see he wasnt fully in shape and all. He even said it takes 20 games to get in shape. If he didnt play, it would have been another day of bashing him for not playing.
This team lost to many teams during the season that they should have beat, Knicks twice, without Gilbert!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I have said this since 2 years ago. Has nothing to do with one game. Gil will never win anything. Most over rated player in the league. All he can do is score completely one dimensional. I cant wait to type on here next week after we lose out besides the miami game. Also if they resign him I feel bad for all the little gil jockers on this board

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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