Jordan not a fan of Hack-a-Ben strategy

It was late in Sunday's Game 4 when Cavs F Ben Wallace wound up with the basketball near the rim and was fouled by Caron Butler. At the time, the Cavs led 90-87 with 6:12 to go. Wallace, who is the worst free throw shooters of all time, missed both attempts.

The thought that popped in my head at that moment was: If Cavs Coach Mike Brown leaves Wallace in the game, will Eddie Jordan consider going to the Hack-a-Ben? My thought was that Eddie would not. Not his style. And sure enough, he didn't . The Wiz hung tough and were in the game right down to the finish.

Today, I asked Eddie about whether he has seriously considered the Hack-a-Ben as a strategy.

Eddie: No. We haven't really thought about that yet. It's something where a lot of other things can go wrong for you. You can miss a rebound if he misses the free throw and then they have an offensive rebound. You can get somebody in foul trouble that you don't want to have in foul trouble. So, we haven't thought about that yet."

As a general philosophy, are you not a fan of the hack-a-whoever?

Eddie: "I don't like it. Pure basketball is what I'm about. I think to play the game the way it's supposed to be played. That is the way to go. So, I don't know about that right now for us."


By Ivan Carter |  April 29, 2008; 2:17 PM ET
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I was screaming at the Wiz to foul Ben Wallace all game. The reason "Hack-a-Shaq" is even a household term is because it works. Teams wouldn't go to it if didn't work...

We could've won game 4 had we put Wallace on the line instead of allowing the Cavs to shoot open 3 pointers time and again.

Posted by: Barno | April 29, 2008 2:35 PM

I agree that things can go wrong if we employ the hack-a-shaq on Ben Wallace...but the way to make sure you don't get guys in foul trouble that you wouldn't otherwise want in foul trouble is to activate Etan Thomas and instruct him to go out there an foul Ben Wallace.

Or just put Pecherov out there with the same instructions.

Posted by: Barno | April 29, 2008 2:37 PM

When you are down double digits with about 5 minutes to go, I say you do it. By the way, it's "Bang-a-Ben," not "Hack-a-Ben." Hack-a-Ben is just silly.

Posted by: playoff beard | April 29, 2008 2:38 PM

Or you could say "Wack-a-Wallace"

Posted by: playoff beard | April 29, 2008 2:39 PM

i really, really hope Barno is right

Posted by: prescrunk | April 29, 2008 2:45 PM

Ding, Ding, Ding!!!
We have a winner, Wack-a-Wallce it is!!!

Posted by: CN | April 29, 2008 2:45 PM

hack-a-shaq works because his teams are significantly worse when shaq moves to the bench (at least they were in his prime). therefore you put the opposing coach in a dilemma. wack-a-wallace would last for about a series, then he would send in varejao, and there really wouldn't be a difference on the court.

the only way i could condone this would be if we were down by a lot with little time left. it would be acceptable for the sole reason of saving as much time on the clock as possible.

Posted by: psps23 | April 29, 2008 2:48 PM

They were outrebounding us anyway, at least put Big Ben at the line. I was really mad about that in Game 4. Oh well, this whole team has been a shell of itself in this series anyway. I hope they can out in Game 5 and give us another Game 3.

Posted by: LeTravel | April 29, 2008 2:49 PM

Personally, I like Hack-a-cry-baby-Le-Travel.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 2:55 PM

Yeah, but then it's only a matter of time before you'd hear a copycat plea of, "Danny, they're trying to hurt Ben Wallace!"

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 3:01 PM

"Pure basketball is what I'm about."

Except when I have a chance to go small and play my tweener power forward at center.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 3:10 PM

And give out free coupons for offensive rebounds.

Posted by: kwamesnani | April 29, 2008 3:18 PM

I hate this "pure" basketball bullsh!t. Each year the Wizards keep getting bounced in the first round and you talking about pure basketball. Nobody plays pure basketball when practical hack-a-whoever works. Or when lobby-the-refs-to-get-free-throws-for-my-superstar works.

Why wouldn't you foul the WORST free throw shooter IN THE HISTORY of the NBA? Am sorry that's just a stupid strategy not to foul him. Coaches say "don't foul a jump shooter', "don't allow lay ups". They say these things to play the percentages. Anyone can score on a layup and free throws are easier than jump shot. Not because of some ephemeral purity of the game.

Posted by: Bart | April 29, 2008 3:18 PM

He's saying he would rather do it his way than win. You know, if I were Grunfeld I'd say to EJ, "Eddie, we have a special door for you to walk through, which will allow you from now on to do it your way...by yourself!"

Posted by: DC | April 29, 2008 3:20 PM

@psps23: So let Mike Brown counter by putting in Verajao. Then you counter with another coaching move. That's what playoff basketball is about: coaches making adjustments. Not coaches being dogmatic about a single approach. If the princeston offense isn't working, dump it and use the triange. Or use ISO if your players are hot. It's all well and good to stick to a single strategy when you have 82 games to tweak it. But when you are facing elimination and THE WORST FREE THROW SHOOTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA is on the court, PLEASE, you foul him until you tie the game, his coach takes him out or he starts making the shots.

Posted by: Bart | April 29, 2008 3:22 PM

If the princeston offense isn't working, dump it and use the triange.

lolz!

Posted by: kwamesnani | April 29, 2008 3:23 PM

Regardless of how he does it, I would think Eddie is gone after this year. Sometimes you have situations where a coach has simply gone as far as he can with a group of players. At that point either you implode the team or you bring him another coach to take them over the hump. Eddie Jordan, as good as he is, can't take this team much further.

Posted by: Bart | April 29, 2008 3:24 PM

was ben wallace in on the last cleveland possession on sunday? if so, why not double lebron with wallace's man? then if lebron passes to wallace, a help side defender could have fouled wallace if he tried to score. the other three guys stay on the shooters.

i am against fouling intentionally off the ball hack-a-shaq style. i don't understand why the nba does not change the rule. why can't the rule be that an intentional foul off the ball is 2 shots and the ball to the offense? that would stop the silliness right away. use the same rule they use under 2 minutes.

Posted by: gary halperin | April 29, 2008 3:30 PM

the way the wiz were rebounding sunday, why on earth would anyone assume they would have rebounded big ben's unpredictable misses? 51-31 rebounding disadvantage lost that game, not a lack of cheap fouls.

Posted by: kmcass | April 29, 2008 3:38 PM

A comment for Mr. Jordan:

Eddie, this is a playoffs series and your team is stuck in a hole, the only thing that matters is to win, so you do everything you have to do to get it done, and deal with the right way to play later.

Posted by: elbeto | April 29, 2008 3:44 PM

Here we go again with dissing EJ.

I'm sorry, but until a coach with a proven winning post-season record makes himself available, Eddie Jordan is the coach. And here's another thing to consider: if EJ goes, most likely Arenas and Jamison goes too.

So that leaves Washington with Butler, Haywood, Daniels and a bunch of guys who are either role players or too young to really contribute to a serious contender. Despite the fact that Butler is the best overall player on the team, is that really what people want to build around?

The problem isn't the coach, or Arenas or Stevenson. Look at the championship teams of the recent past: more often than not their bench consisted of savy vets with enough in the tank to make crucial game-winning plays. In the playoffs, star players are mostly decoys (every's going to key in on them) so that's when the BJ Armstrongs, Lindsey Hunters and Mario ellies come in.

They have the stars. They have the coaching. They have the system. What the Wizards need is an older, wiser bench that won't turn to dust when the playoffs roll around.

Posted by: pryme54 | April 29, 2008 3:49 PM

Bart, I don't think EJ has been dogmatic at all this series. He's tried a lot of different combos, switched defenses regularly, he's gone big, he's gone small, he's used a lot of different strategies. The Cavs have flat-out out-hustled and out-performed us (outside of game 3). I've seen Caron play about 5 quarters of basketball that we're used to seeing, Gil has been extremely hot-and-cold (to be expected), and only Jamison has been his usual steady self. There's not much a coach can do if his players aren't performing.

Even if you do the wack-a-wallace, he's still scoring at a 43% rate. Only he's getting shots off at every possession, eliminating any turnovers that they may give up, and allowing their defense to set-up in the halfcourt (their strength, our weakness). I think automatically fouling anybody is a stupid idea. Most of the time, it'll come back to bite you.

Posted by: psps23 | April 29, 2008 3:50 PM

You play to win. Let the high school coaches teach "pure basketball". Do what it takes to win the game.

Posted by: DC The Kid | April 29, 2008 3:57 PM

if you go back and read my posts from yesterday youll see i already suggested fouling wallace. then again i told you 3 weeks ago to bench austin kearns and i told you months ago to sit stevenson but then again some of us are ahead of the curve.

the spurs have been doing it to shaq the entire series and i dont think any1 will accuse them of not playin good b-ball and i dont think they have to apologize for being up 3-0.
when it matters, foul wallace. he cant hit fts. simply smart ball.

Posted by: dk | April 29, 2008 4:14 PM

somebody wrote:
""Pure basketball is what I'm about."

Except when I have a chance to go small and play my tweener power forward at center."

that is exactly when we lost all momentum at the end of the 3rd, and gave up like 6 or 7 offensive boards in a minute and a half. playing Darius at center hasn't worked all year, and the fact that Eddie never figured this out, and it in turn cost us game 4, and possibly the series... I know the press loves Eddie and the "great" job he's done this year, but I say his days are just about up.

and why didn't Caron go at Lebron on EVERY single offensive possesion after Lebron got his 5th? Eddie should have called timeout, and said from here on out, every play is who ever Lebron is guarding. he's not going to foul, so just go right at him. and if he does foul, game over. instead we have Gil jacking up a shot, and Haywood shooting a jumper down the stretch. Caron had been feeling it too.

Posted by: Ledell lives | April 29, 2008 4:14 PM

They have the stars. They have the coaching. They have the system. What the Wizards need is an older, wiser bench that won't turn to dust when the playoffs roll around.

Posted by: pryme54 | April 29, 2008 3:49 PM

We had older last year. Maybe not wiser, but definitely older lol. And everyone on here was calling for a young athletic bench...

Posted by: jones-y | April 29, 2008 4:15 PM

I thought that was what the Wiz had been doing with all that pushing people out of the air stuff.

Anyway, from a Cavalier fan I hope you and your families are doing well, heard about the tornado in Virginia.

Since I know that at least you bloggers are then, now....Blow the whistle

Posted by: Blow the whistle | April 29, 2008 4:17 PM

Ouch, Charles Oakley has officially called the Wizards out for their tactics and said they'll be going home soon. That must be tough to take and just shows again how in over their heads the Wizards are.

Posted by: Kris | April 29, 2008 4:24 PM

Too bad Etan couldn't heal up quicker- he might have made a difference in this series. With Etan to back up Brendan, we could have matched and even exceeded Cleveland's size by playing Blatche at the 3.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 4:29 PM

That southern va - near where your boy Mike vick is from. At any rate, I'm sure the property values are booming there in comparison to that "turbulent" cleveland market.

Posted by: Joe Diesel | April 29, 2008 4:29 PM

Why the hell is the game on at 6pm?

Posted by: Game time | April 29, 2008 4:37 PM

"Pure basketball is what I'm about."

Unlike that fool Gregg Popovich, who employed the Hack a Shaq strategy in the Spurs-Sun series. Where has that strategy ever gotten Popovich?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 4:41 PM

"Eddie: No. We haven't really thought about that yet".

And that folks is the story of the EJ's years with the Wiz.

Posted by: Izman | April 29, 2008 4:44 PM

Ledell:
You are right to criticize Jordan for not getting the ball to Caron after LeBron's 5th foul. But criticize the players too. If we, a bunch of dopey fans, are smart enough to realize that should be the strategy, shouldn't 5 guys who are paid millions of dollars a year, and who play basketball for a living, be smart enough to do it without being told? It's a no-brainer. I remember doing it in high school.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 4:44 PM

Ouch, Charles Oakley has officially called the Wizards out for their tactics and said they'll be going home soon. That must be tough to take and just shows again how in over their heads the Wizards are.

Posted by: Kris | April 29, 2008 4:24 PM

He took a nice sideways swipe at the other 14 Cavs too:

" Despite the hard fouls on James, so far his teammates have not exactly retaliated, and that made Oakley laugh.

"I guess they don't have anyone cut like that," said Oakley, about the Cavs' non-response for James. "But LeBron is big enough to get back at them, but they can't ask him to fight, score, sell tickets, sell popcorn and park cars, too. Somebody else has to do something." "

Posted by: jones-y | April 29, 2008 4:52 PM

Yeah, right posters....blame this series loss on the coach! Is the coach the one flapping his gums? Not rebounding? Getting in fights?

This team could have won this series if they had only focused on BASKETBALL instead of trash talking. I feel really bad for Jamison and Daniels -and for us fans.

Another year down the drain with the other teams in our division on the rise.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 4:54 PM

"Eddie: No. We haven't really thought about that yet".

And that folks is the story of the EJ's years with the Wiz.

That's ok. He has all the time in the world to think about it during off season....which for them will start on Thursday.

That is also the difference between a Popovich and a Eddie Jordan. GP makes an adjustment during the series while EJ thinks about it first and make the adj AFTER. I sure hope they let him go.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | April 29, 2008 4:59 PM

This team has alot of heart, I wouldn't count them out yet. It ain't over til it's over. Wizards win in Cleveland and bring it back home to tie it up, it gets to a game 7... one game, anything can happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 5:16 PM

"I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE!!!"

DeShawn Stevenson and Joan Rivers

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 5:20 PM

6 pm. wow talk about no respect. theyd rather show hawks/celts than us. wow.

Posted by: dk | April 29, 2008 5:20 PM

Missing Etan is really killing us this series.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 5:30 PM

This team has alot of heart, I wouldn't count them out yet. It ain't over til it's over. Wizards win in Cleveland and bring it back home to tie it up, it gets to a game 7... one game, anything can happen.
Posted by: | April 29, 2008 5:16 PM

huh? we've played 4 games and lost 3. what makes you think all of a sudden we're going to win the next 2 and possibly 3? seriously, what is that based on? little reality here folks.

Posted by: dk | April 29, 2008 5:37 PM

"Missing Etan is really killing us this series."

Yeah, because Etan really lit up the Cavs in last year's playoffs.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 5:46 PM

That southern va - near where your boy Mike vick is from. At any rate, I'm sure the property values are booming there in comparison to that "turbulent" cleveland market.

Joe Diesel,

Was just trying to show a little concern for the tornado victims but since you got to be like that. Forbes ranked the DC area as the 5th worst city in terms of debt and second mortgages. So shut your broke azz up. You probably dont read Forbes magazine, too heavy for you. Now, Blow the Whistle

Posted by: Blow the whistle | April 29, 2008 6:21 PM

You know I hate to do this thie early cause I know the team still has a chance, but they Wiz are lucky the played Cleveland in the first round again. The reason I say this is cause if they had played Toronto, Philly, or Atlanta they' have lost maybe even swept. Could you imagine the sh*t storm behind that. So playing Cleveland kinda gives them an easier out as far as explaining it to the media and the fans.

What do others think about this thought process?

Posted by: Skip in VA | April 29, 2008 6:38 PM

Brunnhilde hasn't sung yet.

Go Wizards!

Posted by: rgz | April 29, 2008 6:38 PM

Regardless of how he does it, I would think Eddie is gone after this year. Sometimes you have situations where a coach has simply gone as far as he can with a group of players. At that point either you implode the team or you bring him another coach to take them over the hump. Eddie Jordan, as good as he is, can't take this team much further.


And who do you hire as coach?

Posted by: Skip in VA | April 29, 2008 6:41 PM

Skip in VA;
You have a point, the Wiz have not done well against the younger, faster, more athletic teams having lost to all three.
Imagine what happens next year when the same teams will have one playoff experience and a whole bunch of now-ready sophomores?

Ayayay, and we will still have the same bench?

Posted by: rgz | April 29, 2008 6:45 PM

That southern va - near where your boy Mike vick is from. At any rate, I'm sure the property values are booming there in comparison to that "turbulent" cleveland market.

Did a Wiz fan just try to make fun of Cleveland's socio economic status? hahaha. Do you know you're living in one of the worst economic area's in the country? I guess you're just following suit with the Wiz players. Making fun and talking trash to a far superior entity...sad.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 6:47 PM

They may not make the playoffs. Really the only reason that they have over the past few years is cause of the other weaker teams in the East.

This will no longer be the case move over Wiz make way for the new kids (Atlanta, Philly, Toronto). Atlanta will be tough to beat and Charlotte just hired Larry Brown, are you kidding the Wiz don't stand a chance.

Posted by: Skip in VA | April 29, 2008 6:55 PM

I think tomorrow night will be a blowout with the Cavs lighting us up again. Makes me sick.

To make it worse, the Cavs may go all the way to the Finals again. Boston is not looking very good and Detroit has been inconsistent.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 7:07 PM

I just saw Haywood's comments about LeTravel. Thanks Haywood. Now, once again, LeTravel and the Cavs have the fuel they need to throw another beat down on us. When will these thugs learn to keep their mouths shut. How are they still talking trash? What a disgrace and embarrasment. LBJ is just baiting them now. He throws out a comment like "They're trying to hurt Lebron James" and the idiot Wiz players bite with more trash talk that they can't back up. You're falling right into his trap. Can anyone else see this? They're making us look like fools.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 7:20 PM

There's been talk recently that D'Antoni's job may be over with the Suns:

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/115017

D'Antoni would be the right fit for us: he runs a similar running offense to the current Zards, but also knows how to manage a game and preach defense.

Unlike some others, I think we have the makings of a very good young team next year: Haywood, an improving Blatche (I think he's the real deal), Caron in his prime, and Nick Young. If Arenas is on board with a new, disciplined system, then that looks like a Conference finals team to me.

Posted by: DC | April 29, 2008 7:58 PM

D'Antoni is a good coach but preach defense? Have you watched the Suns play?

And Eddie is not the reason we lost this series. Unless you count the fact he did not tell the players to just shut up and play ball.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 8:03 PM

They're making us look like fools.

They Wiz looked like fools when the first started the trash talk, even before the playoffs.

Posted by: Skip in VA | April 29, 2008 8:04 PM

I kinda of now wish the wiz were a lottery team again. The only thing is the draft falling the way they need it to. They need a big guy in the worst way.

Posted by: Skip in VA | April 29, 2008 8:06 PM

Heywood is exactly right and I'm glad he said it. The Cavs don't need press clips to get motivated and people need to call LJ out on his absurd whining. If the Zards somehow make it back alive I hope LeBron's pathetic ehining will be the crowd's rallying point. It would actually hurt his image, he would know that, and it might bother him.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 8:07 PM

Finally someone who has good sense, pryme54 thanks "bro" for the support of EJ who has endured various rants from certain so called fans,second guesser's abound on this website the shoulda, woulda,coulda crowd is alive and well.Now they want Eddie to feed into the lunacy of fouling Ben Wallace why? lets win one game tommorow and then we can discuss strategy for friday and beyond,you were right on about if Eddie goes then Gilbert and Antwan are history then what? Ernie has cut off Eddie's access to Abe Pollin why? so he can grease the skids for EJ's departure Ernie figured EJ was done after Gilbert went down never figured EJ could rally this team after that but he did in fact they played better without Gil but the critics continue, after they win tommorow then everyone will see.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | April 29, 2008 8:08 PM

Finally someone who has good sense, pryme54 thanks "bro" for the support of EJ who has endured various rants from certain so called fans,second guesser's abound on this website the shoulda, woulda,coulda crowd is alive and well.Now they want Eddie to feed into the lunacy of fouling Ben Wallace why? lets win one game tommorow and then we can discuss strategy for friday and beyond,you were right on about if Eddie goes then Gilbert and Antwan are history then what? Ernie has cut off Eddie's access to Abe Pollin why? so he can grease the skids for EJ's departure Ernie figured EJ was done after Gilbert went down never figured EJ could rally this team after that but he did in fact they played better without Gil but the critics continue, after they win tommorow then everyone will see.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | April 29, 2008 8:08 PM

In the interest of self preservation, I think EJ needs to try all strategies and tactics to win game 5 and ultimately the series. Otherwise, he might be on the unemployment line this summer and Ayers will be the coach.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 29, 2008 10:01 PM

Even if Jordan gets fired, Ayers isn't likely to be the next head coach. If they can't get someone with established success as a head coach, they'll probably go with a young up-and-comer to bring some fresh energy. Ayers doesn't fit either description. He didn't get his first head coaching gig in the NBA until he was about 50, didn't do well, feuded with his star player, and got fired after 50 games. He's really a college guy who's likely a career assistant in the NBA.

Posted by: kalorama | April 29, 2008 11:50 PM

EJ makes one dumb comment after another.

You can get somebody in foul trouble that you don't want to have in foul trouble.

The last time I checked, you have a team full of bench warmers that you can send in and Hack-a-Ben. What coach would send their best player to intentionally foul a bad free throw shooter? You think Popovich sends Duncan to foul Shaq? No, he sends in a scrub for one possession to do that.

"You can miss a rebound if he misses the free throw and then they have an offensive rebound."

If you are worried about giving up offensive rebounds, then stop putting a teeny tiny lineup on the floor where your tallest guy is 6-9.

No. We haven't really thought about that yet.

It's ridiculous that EJ "hasn't thought about it." You would hope that he's thought about this strategy since everyone at home watching was yelling "Hack-a-Ben!" These are the playoffs, we play to win the game. Who cares about your pride or about the way to play the game. All we care about is winning the game.

EJ, seriously, imagine that there's actually a worse free throw shooter than Shaq out there?

Posted by: disremembered | April 30, 2008 12:15 AM

Wiz fans, let it be known that most of Cleveland respects your coach for not doing the hack-a-Wallace. When I first saw the Spurs doing it to Shaq the other night in the second quarter, I not only felt bad for Shaq but I also felt bad for the fans who had to sit there and watch teams shoot free-throws instead of an entertaining basketball game. If you cant beat a team straight up playing ball, then you don't deserve to win. So I respect Eddie Jordan but Deshawn Stevenson is a different story, if you want to have someone to blame for your team losing...blame the guy that called our superstar "overrated" and in return got 34 points 12 rebounds and 7 assists dropped on him. Why would anyone want to give a superstar more motivation to beat their team? BLAME DESHAWN. HE IS THE REASON. NOT YOUR COACH.

Posted by: ItsOVER | April 30, 2008 12:35 AM

EJ really comes off as not too bright and I'm basing this on his quotes only (paraphrasing):

"I saw we were giving up a lot of offensive rebounds and I have to go big to start the 4th."

Genius Eddie. Genius. A little too late by that point. Momentum lost!

"I thought it might be a good idea to use GA as a decoy, but we already broke from the huddle."

Wow...more genius! Quick thinker are ya?

"Hack-a-Ben is not pure basketball, I have not thought about doing it."

What does he think about it? A nice vacation in the Bahamas? The Spurs have been doing it to Shaq and I believe their coach and team are champions and they just won the series - Shaq was 9-20 from the line tonight! Who cares if they pull Ben, good! Then play "pure" basketball again at that point after they have just lost a couple of possessions. Or would you rather be staring at LeBron at the top of the key with Boobie and West waiting for wide open threes on the wings. Good God Eddie!

Posted by: Rob P | April 30, 2008 1:24 AM

Beautiful article about abe pollin...

Posted by: Terpin It | April 30, 2008 1:33 AM

@ Dargreg,

You talk utter nonsense and if this series has not allowed you to "see the light" on the lack of coaching from EJ then your hopeless. We would have had a much better chance of winning that last game without GA. He improved slightly in the second half (could barely dribble in the first half), but he still got way too much run and giving him the final shot was absolutely absurd. The dude can barely jump and it's part GA's fault too for trying to be a hero when it's not in him physically right now. "Hey coach, they think I'm going to get the shot, why not use me as a decoy and get AJ or CB an open look" - what GA should at least now, but never would say!

Anyway, just one of a myriad of bad coaching examples this series. You probably like the way he has control over the behavior of his player's this series as well. You think DS would be doing this crap on Utah, San Antonio etc...NO WAY IN HELL! There is NO LEADERSHIP or DISCIPLINE on this team and it starts with EJ!!!!!!!!!! BYE!

Posted by: Rob P | April 30, 2008 1:38 AM

@ Terpin it

Totally agree! I've never been one to bash Abe on his "frugalness" either. Not since he built the arena downtown with his money and did not try to blackmail the city as every other sports team does.

He's a real kind nice man from everything I've ever heard or read about him. Hell, he had the guts to stand up to his "Airness" too when it was obvious the country club general manager was not going to work!

Hang in there Abe!

Posted by: Rob P | April 30, 2008 1:44 AM

I have teased about Abe's financial tightness in the past, but he is the epitome of an old school owner who cares about his team and his community. And I do hope this team gives him a resounding win in Cleveland tonight and then either wins or goes down fighting on the home floor in Game 6.

I remember an opening home game at Cap Centre years ago. I forget the opponents, but they were strong and favored and we beat them on a last second shot by Rex Chapman. Abe ran out on the floor and hugged Rex and was literally dancing with him for joy.

It's only a game, but then again it is so much more than that when you care that much.

I saw a bit of that spirit when a one-legged Gilbert Arenas hit his impossible inspired shot to tie Cleveland at 97 on Sunday. Even the bitter loss that followed (or the agonizing sequence at the end of the third quarter when Joe Smith scored his inspired tap in at the buzzer) cannot take away the unique value of that moment.

That's why we keep showing up, isn't it?

Posted by: khrabb | April 30, 2008 8:30 AM

Good god NO! Whomever wants us to pick up D'Antoni, no no no. He is just a glorified EJ who does not use HIS bench nor preach any defense either. The dude has Strawberry on the bench who could keep Parker from going wild, but has failed to even look at it during a game...why?

The only similarities between D'Antoni and EJ are that they should BOTH be on the proverbial hot seat!

Posted by: Rob P | April 30, 2008 8:36 AM

"Even if Jordan gets fired, Ayers isn't likely to be the next head coach. If they can't get someone with established success as a head coach, they'll probably go with a young up-and-comer to bring some fresh energy. Ayers doesn't fit either description. He didn't get his first head coaching gig in the NBA until he was about 50, didn't do well, feuded with his star player, and got fired after 50 games. He's really a college guy who's likely a career assistant in the NBA.

Posted by: kalorama | April 29, 2008 11:50 PM "

I don't expect Les BouleS to get anyone with "established success" because Abe isn't willing to pay top dollar for coaching. Do you think he could afford Larry Brown if Larry Brown was interested? Doubt it. Only if Leonsis was the owner right now.

Is this team, at its current maturity, ready to deal with a "young up and comer?" At first slip, the coach will be tuned out. Getting a young coach would be akin to starting over...rebuilding.

Bad teams get young coaches. Mediocre teams get good/great coaches. Great teams get the best coaches.

I don't see EG putting his job on the line for a "young up and comer" who is still learning the ropes. You might end up with another Mike Brown, Sam Vincent, or Larry Krystkowiak.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 30, 2008 9:30 AM

?!??!!!*@#!?!@@@!?!?@*&@*@*!!!

Has Eddie been watching his team this series? They've pretty much said that they are going to give LeBron hard fouls every time he's around the rim. So he doesn't seem to mind "Hack-A-Bron"; but putting the worst free throw shooter in the history of league on the line to limit Cleveland's scoring opportunities and get one of their top rebound threats (where we've been getting KILLED) off the court is a "no-no" b/c he wants to play "pure" B-Ball ?!?!?!

Am I missing something?

Greg Popovich has 4 titles and no problem playing Hack-a-Shack, and now his team is in the 2nd round. Our guy is down 3-1 and worried about "pure B-ball"...

Posted by: Prognosticator | April 30, 2008 9:40 AM

Amen to Mike Wise's peice about Abe Pollin!

I've never seen a guy in all of my years of watching the NBA openly discount the other team's chance to come back down 3-1 like Lebron did.

The Wizards need to play basketball and forget the hack-a-anybody. They have a shortage of big bodies for a playoff team against a team built around LeBron, three point shooters and alot of big rugged guys.

Whenever Jamison or Butler get their bigs in space they can't match up. I wouldn't count these guys out tonight.

If they bring it back home for game 6 the crowd will be a big factor. Jordan needs to just get these guys back in their game and forget about the punk stuff with LeBron.

These cheap fouls and scuffles are hurting the Wiz more then they help. It's just not this team's style.

I happened to be in Cleveland on business and my sons got me tickets to game one. That crowd is scared of the Wizards, they really thought the Wiz were taking that game and it was more of a feeling of releif when Butler missed that open three then anything.

I've still got a good feeling about tonight. Taking the series is an up hill battle, but I still think we take one in Cleveland.

Posted by: GM | April 30, 2008 10:43 AM

To Rob P: Again with your fire EJ rants,who signed Stevenson? not EJ,no discipline? it takes discipline to run the princeton offense and for it to be effective no leadership? they have won despite their best player being injured for most of the season and CB being gone for more than twenty games,a bench that did not produce until late in the season,a GM who to date has done nothing to help you even when injuries ravaged your team of course your "brilliant" solution is to fire the coach a healthy squad would not have EJ being criticized by you naysayers when they come back from this defecit and win this series you all will be eating your words!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag@AOL.COM | April 30, 2008 11:16 AM

"Do you think he could afford Larry Brown if Larry Brown was interested?"

The Wizards wanted to hire Larry Brown during the coaching search that ended in their hiring Jordan. And Brown is far from the only established coach who is (or was, at this point) or possibly will be on the market.

"I don't see EG putting his job on the line for a "young up and comer" who is still learning the ropes. You might end up with another Mike Brown, Sam Vincent, or Larry Krystkowiak."

Or you might end up with another Rick Carlisle, Byron Scott, Scott Skiles, or Avery Johnson.

Posted by: kalorama | April 30, 2008 2:03 PM

"The Wizards wanted to hire Larry Brown during the coaching search that ended in their hiring Jordan. And Brown is far from the only established coach who is (or was, at this point) or possibly will be on the market.

Or you might end up with another Rick Carlisle, Byron Scott, Scott Skiles, or Avery Johnson.

Posted by: kalorama | April 30, 2008 2:03 PM "

There's a difference between Les BouleS considering someone like Larry Brown to be their coach vs. bringing him in, interviewing him, and negotiating salary. I don't believe Larry ever came in for an interview, and for all we know, it was probably just media hype that Larry was a candidate.

Les BouleS is a veteran team, and bringing on a "young up and comer" who's won nothing would be akin to rebuilding. I don't think this team would respond well with someone who has less to offer than the current coach, EJ.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 30, 2008 4:08 PM

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