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Game 6

The NBA's Stu Jackson explained the decision to suspend Darius Songaila in a conference call with reporters earlier today. It was farely standard stuff until I asked Jackson whether James would have been suspended for this game had he caught Darius in the face with a hand.

Jackson, who I presume kept a straight face: "Again, we evaluate each of these plays based upon the merits and not the inviduals. If the roles were reversed, the answer is yes, he would have been suspended."

If you believe that, I have some land on the moon I want to sell you.

Jackson said Songaila was suspended because the contact was deemed to be "intentional" and came after the play. As for the elbow James threw to the face of Andray Blatche in Game 1, that was different.

"In our evaluation, that was in the normal cause of a basketball movement," Jackson said. "LeBron was aligning from the floor and in a shooting motion did make contact with his forearm or elbow with Andray Blatche's head. Again, that was in the course of a basketball motion."

The timing of the announcement was odd. The Wizards didn't learn of it until after they went through shootaround this morning, meaning Eddie Jordan and his staff went through a full practice yesterday and shootaround today thinking Songaila would play.

Eddie wouldn't comment on the suspension itself but did answer a question about when in came down. Jackson said the league needed time to conduct its "investigation.
"
"I would've had Andray with more reps with the first-team guys," Jordan said.

Darius can't be in the building so he can't speak on it.

James: "It was something that wasn't basketball-related. They asked me if I thought it was intentional or if I had anything with Songaila in the past. Was it intentional by him? I don't know if it was intentional or not."

I know this: if the Cavaliers and Celtics win tonight, the league will get a juicy Sunday matchup pitting those teams. The Arenas-less Wizards won't make nearly as sexy an opponent.

Or, maybe the NBA was just taking this "white out" thing seriously....C'mon, that's funny.

Keys to the game for the Wizards:
1. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison must play like all-stars.
2. Blatche must rebound his tail off and make the bunnies he's been missing.
3.The bench, particularly Roger Mason Jr., must come through with good minutes.

Keys for the Cavs:
1. Pound the rock into Z and try to get Brendan Haywood in foul trouble.
2. Daniel Gibson and Delonte West must make outside shots. The Cavs are 3-0 in this series when Gibson gets at least 10 points.
3. LeBron James be LeBron James and that means go to the cup hard instead of settling for long jumpers.

By Ivan Carter  |  May 2, 2008; 6:33 PM ET
 
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Next: 56-48 Cavs at the half

Comments

GO WIZ!!! send it to game 7!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

In terms of team play, I'd like to see tenacious D (with lots of subs to keep the energy high), a deliberate style of play (minimum turnovers) and hustle/boxing out on the defensive boards.

Posted by: Izman | May 2, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

this woman is quite possibly the worst announcer ever...i mean how much more could she be in favor or everything cleveland and lebron...

Posted by: bryan | May 2, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Great post Ivan. The NBA really hurt the Wizards by not announcing this before practice yesterday or today. What a shame.

Posted by: Roman | May 2, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

This ESPN2 broadcast is awful already. They showed all those fouls on LeTravel, as if the Wizards haven't been fouled hard in this series, as well. It's ridiculous how much the media and the NBA coddle the biggest wuss in the history of the NBA. It's awful.

Stu Jackson is an idiot.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Awful end to the first. They're up eight, give up an offensive rebound, followed by a rushed Mason 3-pointer, followed by an easy lay up from Gibson. Wizards need to crush LeTravel and his band of walking men.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It's all these quick 8-0 runs the Wizards give up that crush them. They've done this the past couple of years. It's always these fast 6-0 or 8-0 runs that take them from leads to deficits.

The Wizards have gone from up 41-35 to down 43-41. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Looking good so far. My only thing is shouldn't Nick Young get some playing time - at least 10 minutes. Don't get me wrong, he not an all-star yet but the boy can fly which would cause problems for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. You get him out the game with foul trouble we'll win this game.

Posted by: DeMj | May 2, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

How many double digit runs has this team given up to the Cavs? This is god awful. Why can't they maintain leads? I don't friggin' understand it. When Cleveland scores a couple of baskets, the Wizards start heaving up jumpers that they'll never make. When they face adversity, they don't attack, they just chuck. It makes no sense. A 15-0 run in a must-win game? Are you kidding me?

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

DeMj, the team looks pretty bad. This is a must-win, so they need to come out with a little more focus, like they did for most of the first quarter. I don't know if they thought the Cavs would roll over and go away, but this second quarter has been terrible. They've been outscored 23-10. That's really awful.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, unfortunately the Cav game plan now seems to be taking a toll. Also helps they are not missing from 3. Looking bad.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | May 2, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

To hell with the Wizards. To hell with them.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Good on the refs for T-ing up LeTravel. Good on them. About time something works out for the Wizards.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

What an awful effort from the Wizards in the last five minutes of the second half. It has nothing to do with the Cavs defense, but everything to do with the Wizards settling for jumpers.

I know EJ is supposed to be a great offensive coach, but I find it unbelievable that the team can't run plays to get Caron the ball in open space more often.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

We've reached a point in the NBA where nothing the league office says can be believed. I can't remember any star player receiving the kind of treatment LeBron gets -- at least not through the 80s, 90s, and up until now. Cleveland "fans" should be ashamed.

The NBA -- Where Manipulation Happens.

Posted by: Bad Joke | May 2, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Whoops. Second half=second quarter.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you Colin. When I post my previous message they were leading by 6 points. Now out of no where Cleveland just took over. Are we over playing our starters? During the season we had probably the 4th or 5th best second strings in the NBA (Correct me if I am wrong). Until then win or say good bye to EJ. Avery anyone?

Posted by: DeMj | May 2, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

DeMj, I agree. Blatche was playing well, and I think he should've gotten some more run. Mason, though, is missing his jumpers, and if he's not shooting well, he's a huge liability. But I think AB could be playing more. I think the team needs to go to a bigger lineup. Sit DeShawn eight minutes into the third quarter, put in AB, and play with a lineup of AD, CB, AJ, AB and Haywood. And get some offensive rebounds out of that lineup.

Posted by: Colin | May 2, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

cant help wondering if the only black player on the caps was given an suspension and a white writer wrote it was a black out thing...its funny...it would be racist...racism is racism you should be ashamed

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

cry babies..............who is crying now?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

When you look at the playoff record of these two teams, when you look at the success of LeBron over the years and this year, the Washington folks in here are mostly too biased to see anything clearly. Politics and hockey are killing your eyesight. Just play basketball. Haywood's mock crying was ridiculous. Play basketball and keep your mocking to yourself.

Posted by: ncc2 | May 2, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Two good games by Caron this series, two wins. Four poor games by Caron, four losses.

Thanks to EJ for helping to change the culture of this franchise, and for helping make the Wizards a playoff mainstay.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

ncc2-
What's worse -- actual crying, or mock crying?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

OK WIZ fans,

Enjoy your off season. You can go home and cry now; at least it won't be that far. Take your "Crybaby" t-shirts and bibs and either hold onto them for next year OR better yet sell them on Ebay.

You pointed out that MJ owns Cleveland. Well LeBron owns DC.

Its done and you are done!! Don't drink and drive!! Maybe the Cavs will party again at LOVE nightclub.

Buh bye!!!

Posted by: Rich | May 2, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

You "cant remember any star getting the treatment Lebron gives?" Really, your memory is that short, you can't even go back to the 1998 Finals when Jordan clearly pushed off the Jazz player in game 6? that ended the series. Jordan got a ton of love from the refs; don't act like he didn't. Lewuss is cute too. If only all wusses dropped triple doubles to end yet another Wizards season.

Posted by: Akrowdy | May 2, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

NBA superstars always seem to receive preferential treatment...they bring in the big $$ and the TV ratings.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Lebron "Drama Queen" James....He certainly was in the heads of the officials throughout this series. Wonder what kind of drama he will stir up in the next series.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"Jordan got a ton of love from the refs; don't act like he didn't."

Apparently you never actually watched a Bulls/Knicks or Bulls/Pistons playoff series. LeBron should hit his knees and thank the Stern that he wasn't treated like Michael Jordan. He'd probably be in the hospital right now, as fragile as he is.

Posted by: Jimmie | May 3, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Hard fouls, soft fouls, "LeBron" fouls. It really doesn't matter. There will be no fouls for the Wizards until next season. They can, along with their fans, sit back and think about how they lost to the Cavs - again. Maybe, just maybe, the Cavs and the Wizards will meet again next year in the playoffs. But for right now, the Wizards and their fans can sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the playoffs. No need for trash talking because the ball don't lie!!

Posted by: fanofthecavs | May 5, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

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