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On to Game 6

A few good quotes from the day:

- Last night, Charles Barkley repeatedly said that the Wizards were about to be sent to the golf course for the summer by the Cavs. Today, Caron Butler was asked about that.

"I don't golf," Butler said with a very straight face.

-Darius Songaila was given a technical for hitting LeBron James in the face with a stray elbow last night. Neither he nor Eddie Jordan felt he deserved the tech because they say he was trying to pull arm free from James and the contact was accidental.

Darius: "We got tangled up, my arm got caught inside of his and when I tried to free myself, my arm caught him in the face. It was an accident. He lifted my arm and it caught him in the face. If anything, it was caused by him. It wasn't intentional or anything."

Jordan, who flipped out when the tech was given last night: "I stand my ground. I thought he got tangled up with LeBron and LeBron tried to get untangled and in his method of getting untangled, Darius' arm flew up and at his chest."
Jordan paused and smiled before delivering a great line.
"And LeBron's a terrific actor. We've all seen his commercials."

- Later in the game, Songaila caught a nasty but inadvertant elbow to the face from fellow Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas. No call was made and James cruised in for a dunk while Songaila was trying to feel his face, Stevenson style.

"Yes he did," Songaila said of Z's space-clearing smack. "I'll have to talk to him about that. Hopefully he plays with the (Lithuanian) national team this summer so we can talk about it." (Z is very respected among Lithuanian b-ball players and hoop is huge over there)

-On the final play of the game, James drove and missed a short shot while receiving some contact from Songaila. Last night, I pointed out that Songaila appeared to be moved into James by Z (who did the same thing when he "helped" Samuel Dalembert fall into Devin Brown at the end of that controversial Philly/Cavs game at the end of the season, a game that determined homecourt in this series by the way. Go look it up on www.youtube.com)

Songaila: "I was in front of (Z) and when I stepped forward, he put his hip into me and turned me sideways. I was relieved when I saw that the ball didn't go in."

- A few folks on the blog are up in arms about Songaila getting so many minutes behind B Haywood over Andray Blatche. For you good readers, I asked Eddie Jordan about it today.

Eddie: "Darius is playing harder, a little more veteran-like and we can rely on him a little bit more and trust him a little bit more. Andray's had some spotty moments which a young player will have but you know, we think Andray's still going to have some minutes somewhere, but wer'e going to rely on Darius first."

-According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cavs missed 15 layups last night. They also missed some open jumpers (wonder how long Mike Brown is going to stick with Wally World, who was getting killed by the fans at the Q last night?). They may not miss so many in Game 6 and the Wiz might not want to give James another chance at a game winner. Something tells me that he won't miss the next one, contact or no.

By Ivan Carter  |  May 1, 2008; 5:58 PM ET
 
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Next: Songaila Suspended for Game 6

Comments

My rag!!!

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 1, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"And LeBron's a terrific actor. We've all seen his commercials."
I like that..haha thats the truth.He always check his mouth whenever someone touch him... Unbelieveable..BTW Charles Barkeley also acted like Lebron?

Posted by: Lin | May 1, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz (especially Caron Butler) are finally realizing that Wally World is not Bruce Bowen. Wally's World is falling apart.

Posted by: low | May 1, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Everything the Wizards do is "an accident" or "not intentional"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Everyone your mom does is "an accident" or "not intentional"...

Posted by: Sweet Feet | May 1, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

DIAPERS - DIAPERS - DIAPERS

I think everyone should bring diapers to the game on friday, waving them instead of towels every time LeCry is at the free throw line or has the ball


Maybe the cavs will work exclusively on their layups during their next few practices. What a dumb stat from the akron beacon journal.

Posted by: M.E.G. | May 1, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Ivan - I recorded Game 5. Went back to watch the final play again, in slo-mo....

You're right. Ilgauskas clearly pushes Songaila in the back, right into James... The baseline referee was looking right at it.

Perhaps that's why no foul was called?

Posted by: Rook | May 1, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Ivan,
There is a lot of discussion about the manner by which Gil informed Eddie that he was not going to play. Eddie has subsequently confirmed that he was in fact informed of Gil's decision by the press.

But Caron said in his post game interview that he knew the day before the game that it was possible that Gil was not going to play. So, if Caron knew something was up, then surely Eddie new something, too. What's the real scoop.

Posted by: M.E.G. | May 1, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

For those who continuously say the Wiz is better off without Gil, you need to read the quote from Captain Antawn Jamison from Dan Steins DC Sports Bog. Jamison clearly stated that the Wiz are a better team with Gilbert. Period. It seems he is tired of saying it. So there. The Captain has spoken. Now maybe all of you Gil bashers will quit it long enough so that the Wiz can concentrate on winning these next two games without you all trying to get rid of their star player! I was lucky enough to get my tickets last night and will be in the phone booth loud and proud!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"The absolute WORST coached basketball game that I've ever seen."

"They need to fire [ Insert coach here] and get someone that can actually draw up a PLAY!"

"This team is so far away from championship-caliber it's not even funny."

"Jacking up 3 point shots. Why not drive to the basket?"

[Insert player here] "needs a coach who is going to make him accountable , not kiss his @ss."

"All I know is that right now, this team isn't very good, they don't play to win, and they are really only worth watching for shallow entertainment value."

[Insert player here] "has to be held accountable for..... dribbling the shot clock away and hoisting crazy off balanced shots"

Some quotes taken from this blog about Gilbert Arenas, Eddie Jordan and the Wizards?


NO - they're from the Cavalier's blog....!!!

Sounds eerily familiar... especially after a Wizards loss..

LOL

Posted by: Rook | May 1, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Rook, that was too funny!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Good post, Rook. Right up my alley!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the game 5 replay and the refs missed by my count 19 calls (fouls and travels on the Cavs). The league needs to investigate why refs don't make calls for road teams in the playoffs. It's way too obvious.

Posted by: bryan | May 1, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU ROOK, FOR THAT TIMELY BIT OF INFORMATION.It seems we as fans let our game day emotions overide common sense especially when it comes to our team. Now back to your regularly scheduled program,tomorrow obviously is HUGE the keys to victory rebound,defend the three,shoot 90% from the free throw line don't settle for jumpers get Z in foul trouble.I was SHOCKED!SHOCKED!! that Lebron did not commit a foul in game five,who were refs Stevie Wonder,Ray Charles,Ronnie Milsap see you sunday in CLEELAND.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | May 1, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Rook, great post, but the truth is EJ needs to go. He's good. Good will not get you past the first round very often. He helped make the Wiz relevant again, now we need someone who can take them to the next level. Let's see what D'Antoni or A Johnson can do in the Eastern Conf Playoffs. Without Timmy D in the way.

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 1, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Just flew all day from Warsaw to be at the game Friday. Booked the tickets the minute after LeBron clanked that last layup... after I stopped screaming my lungs out.

What a great victory under difficult circumstances. Caron Butler played as fine a game as you could ask of any player.

Posted by: khrabb | May 1, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I find it humorous that people are clamoring for Jordan's ouster because of his "failure" to win a title with a team they (incorrectly and borderline delusionally) think is contending material, and their leading candidates to replace him are two guys who just got fired for repeatedly failing to win it all with two teams that were immeasurably more talented than any one Jordan's had in Washington.

AJ and D'Antoni are great coaches, but both are bad fits for this Washington team. D'Antoni because the Wizards lack the athleticism, shooting, and playmaking needed to implement his offensive scheme and Johnson because they lack the players and the attitude to play the kind of defense he tried (with limited success) to get Dallas to play. In order for either coach to be successful, significant roster moves would have to be made. And if that's going to be the case, then there's no reason not to make them now and give Jordan a chance to compete with a properly constructed (and hopefully healthy) team.

Posted by: kalorama | May 1, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

who cares where you were and that you got tickets crap (I mean khrabb)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

kalorama, so is your suggestion to do nothing? It's not that I think EJ is a bad guy, I just think EG can do better. There are some quality coaches out there and I don't think the answer is let's try the same thing again, and see what EJ can do with Healthy players. This is the NBA, teams rarely have healthy players, and this is the Wiz\bullets we NEVER go through an entire season without major games missed.

I'd love to see a stat of the past decade to see what team been hit hardest. giving weight for the players PER or position in the rotation, something like that.

ANYWAY with all that being said, I'm a VERY LOYAL WIZ FAN! GO WIZ!!!!! I think this team can pull this off, and I think they will do it for ABE and I think he announced this is last year or something like that.....

GO WIZ!

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

What's the update on Etan Thomas....

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 2, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

"i love gilbert arenas - his game, his personality...it all. but where does a player get off telling the media right before the game he's out for the year, before informing his coach? two things: gilbert has no respect for EJ or, more likely, he has no respect for anyone but himself. teams - which, in the NBA, consist of 12 individuals and a man paid to lead them - that don't respect their coach don't go very far.

Posted by: thickman | May 1, 2008 5:34 PM "

Ivan, I think a fair question for you to ask Gilby is whether he has any respect for authority, and if he does, then why he didn't give EJ the "courtesy" to let him know when he decided to shut it down? It's not the first time he's done this, and it's not the first time EJ has told the press that he was never clued in directly.

You really need to ask Gilby this.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

DC Man88, it's not all Gil, a lot has to go to the coach. He needs to MANAGE the team. From espn sports nation.

4) Which coach is the best at developing young talent?
26.6% Byron Scott
20.0% Phil Jackson
15.1% Maurice Cheeks
14.5% Nate McMillan
11.1% Stan Van Gundy
6.5% Don Nelson
3.3% Mike Woodson
2.9% Eddie Jordan

If we get a leader, manager, coach in hear that the players will listen to and respect, this group of players can go all the way.

By the way, what about Etan? As soon as he's back and EJ puts him in the lineup, Haywood will go back to his old ways. Again,,, due to lack of leadership.

EG, make the change,, take the WIZ to the next level.

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

"kalorama, so is your suggestion to do nothing? "

My suggestion is what it's been all season whenever this topic comes up: Keep the coach, who's gotten more out of a continuously injury ravaged team than anyone had a right to expect, and upgrade/repair/remake the roster as need to fill in the (many) gaps and weaknesses to give this team a better chance to compete. My suggestion is that anyone who believes another coach can take this team, as currently constructed (injured or not), and get anywhere close to winning a title needs to stop fooling themselves. This team is just good enough to get knocked out in the second round. That won't change until the team is better. And that won't be accomplished just by changing the coach.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

DC Man88, by the way I have read these posts for years. You have misguided you frustration with the team. The players should not manage the team and get away with the crap Gil does. But that's not his fault (I know, I know). Think about it what would you do at work if you knew there was nothing your boss could do about it. Wouldn't you do and say whatever you want? and why don't you... Because they would fire you. Leadership. Find some, bring it to Washington, and Implement it. Most of what you have disliked about Gil over the years,,, goes away.

One other point to make, this is why young players for decades have left the wiz with a bad rep to become stars on other teams. The Pistons have half their roster as ex-wiz players for the past 5 years, and they win...

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

"this is the Wiz\bullets we NEVER go through an entire season without major games missed."

A situation which will in no way be altered by doing nothing but changing the coach.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

kalorama I respectfully disagree.
We have a top 3-5 player in the East at every position. truly, rank the East Centers, PG, SG (here is the biggest question) and forwards. you will find our starting lineup has less weakens then most in the East. (pistons and Celts aside) anyway the wiz denied my application for the GM many times. :) So I will have to sit on the sideline and hope you are correct, because I do not think EG will make the change.

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

should say "lineup has less weakness" sorry and good night.

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"DC Man88, by the way I have read these posts for years. You have misguided you frustration with the team. The players should not manage the team and get away with the crap Gil does. But that's not his fault (I know, I know). Think about it what would you do at work if you knew there was nothing your boss could do about it. Wouldn't you do and say whatever you want? and why don't you... Because they would fire you. Leadership. Find some, bring it to Washington, and Implement it. Most of what you have disliked about Gil over the years,,, goes away.

One other point to make, this is why young players for decades have left the wiz with a bad rep to become stars on other teams. The Pistons have half their roster as ex-wiz players for the past 5 years, and they win...

Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:41 AM "

Dude, none of your comments made any sense.

The bottom line is this. If you can't make it to work, and you don't call your boss directly, and you make a habit of this, then you're likely to be reprimanded or fired.

EJ should fine Gilby for his lack of respect towards authority and send him a message.

"Gilby being Gilby" doesn't cut it anymore, especially if he EJ wants his authority to be respected by the team. EJ is lucky he has vets like Caron, AJ, and AD, or otherwise, this team could easily turn into the Portland team of a few years back, or a team like the Cincy Bengals.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

"We have a top 3-5 player in the East at every position."

No, they don't. And even if that were true (and it's not even close to being so) last i checked, the benches count as well when determining a team's quality. The Wizards are a middle of the pack playoff team with too many weakness that haven't been addressed on the roster. Until that changes, they won't be anything more than a middle of the pack playoff team.

And, for the record (and in no particular order):

C: RWallace, Ilgauskas, Horford, Howard, O'Neal, Bogut, Okafor

SG: Hamilton, Johnson, Redd, Allen, Richardson, Gordon, (Parker and Evans are about even)

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

C: RWallace, Ilgauskas, Horford, Howard, O'Neal, Bogut, Okafor

Totally disagree with this list. The only player demonstrably superior is Howard. When you look at both offense and defense, I'd put Haywood ahead of everyone else -- partially because Wallace plays a lot of 4. If Wallace is considered a 5, he would be ahead of Haywood also. O'Neal's been finished for years. Horford - you're kidding, right? Could be great someday. Now -- no. Ilgauskas is a little ahead offensively, but miles and miles behind defensively. Bogut -- matador. He's the center version of Arenas. Okafor -- Not close to the inside presence Haywood is.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 2, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Wiz play better without an injured Gilbert. As I predicted before the game, switching to a Butler-centered attack would result in victory. When Gilbert gets back, he will have a serious superstar in Butler to work with. Perhaps his injury was a blessing in disguise for the team?

That being said, WE WANT CLEVELAND!!! I said this series would go to 7, and I have a feeling tomorrow night will be a blowout...

Posted by: Crunkenstein | May 2, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm finally starting to wonder if the Wiz are truly better off without Gil. Not saying I've made up my mind, but it's entering my thoughts.

Not because Gil's not a great offensive player, because he is. But Caron comes alive when Gil's out. He leads this team in a way he doesn't when Arenas is on the floor.

A team that adopts Caron's personality, I believe, will go farther than a team with Gil's personality. They have a mental toughness about them that seems to be missing with Gil out there -- they're less flash, and more substance, I'm starting to think. They believe they can win with defense, something that seems to evaporate with Gil playing -- then, they're trying to win with offense only.

It seems that the players take more individual responsibility for winning, instead of relying on Gil to bail them out and the end of games. They also know that they must play a more team-oriented game to score, since points will be harder to come by without Gil's transcendent offensive abilities.

This is a definite shift in thinking for me. But it might be that a sign-and-trade for a bigger, more defense and pass-oriented starting PG will help the Wiz, in the end, go farther. I'm not sure I've settled on this view, but it makes more sense, for me at least, than it has all season.

What say you, Wizards Nation?

Posted by: Keithinator | May 2, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

"Totally disagree with this list. "

The beauty of free speech and free will in a democracy. Disagree away. Doesn't change the fact that there's not likely a coach or GM in the NBA who would rank Haywood top 5.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

One other point to make, this is why young players for decades have left the wiz with a bad rep to become stars on other teams. The Pistons have half their roster as ex-wiz players for the past 5 years, and they win...


Posted by: ericmc1998 | May 2, 2008 12:41 AM

Not sure anyone that left here had a "bad rep"... perhaps excepting Chris Webber

AND, not ALL the players that have left (or been traded) have "become stars on other teams".. (Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, Jarvis Hayes, Christian Laetner, Juwan Howard, and most notably, Kwame Brown)

AND I'd like to know which players "left the wiz" - Most of the players were TRADED away (Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton ; the three you mentioned on the Piston's roster come to mind)... They didn't just walk away. Admittedly, most of those trades were bad - made by previous Wizard GM's.

Is the point you tried to make about "players leaving" have something to do with the coaching? I assume that's what you mean by "Leadership". Because I think it has much more to do with poor management - specifically the General Managers (Wes Unseld, Michael Jordan, etc...)..than coaching.

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

New Lebron diss track by DC rapper! you guys need to hear this!!

"queen james"
http://www.zshare.net/audio/11393141a5ecf151/

Posted by: Queen James | May 2, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

"Look, he came back and we didn't win this year after he re-joined the team. He was great before, but he's clearly not helping the team now, and we may just be better off without him. I'm basing this on the games that are freshest in my memory, which only extends back about a week. Prior to that, I have no recollection but I hear he was pretty good. But as for the future, we'd be better off without him." -If Wizards fans were Bulls fans, this is what they would have said about Michael Jordan in 1995

Posted by: Btown Represent | May 2, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

The problem with this situation is that we don't have any idea until next September if Gilbert will be anything like he was before these injuries.
It depends on what Gilbert asks for when he opts out and until we know what that is it seems pointless to argue whether it is better to have Gilbert here or not.
The good news for the Wizards is that they established a rhythm when Arenas is not there and now they are back in it. I am sitting in 427 tomorrow night, I can't wait.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 2, 2008 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Very nicely done Queen James.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 2, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

@ Kal,

Or you could say that Avery and D'Antoni have WAY better career winning percentages than the Wizard's coach, who still has a 44% winning percentage, and they just got FIRED. I can find just as many holes in yours and other's argument about how "good" a coach EJ is. I guarantee both those coaches will not be unemployed for long.

Posted by: Rob P | May 2, 2008 5:41 AM | Report abuse

To all of you who continue to diss Eddie about Gil's strange behavior, has it not occured to you that EG has probably instructed Eddie not to mess with Gil? To let Gil do as he wants...if he wants to play...let me him...if he doesn't want to play...don't make him play. I'm betting that is the case.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

If Gil is to stay, he needs to find away to be Gil within this style. When he first talked about coming back this year, everyone knew it would be successful if he could fit within the current framework. That didn't happen. Maybe it was Gil's fault, maybe it was the rest of the team standing around deferring to him. He wasn't well enough to carry the team, and it seemed like CB and AJ sat back and let him try.

Why didn't Caron and AJ speak up before this? Was it because they were deferring to Gil? There's no doubt that Gil was a star--he's one heckuva player, but he is not a leader. I'm pretty sure that he's clearly stated he does not WANT to be a leader. Maybe someday he'll grow into that roll, but he's not close now.

If our team returns as is, Gil needs to stop monopolizing the ball and the other players AND THE COACH need to stop deferring to him. That last possession of Game 4 really said something. No way that play should have been called for Gil. No way. This is not his team. Not this year. That shot goes to CB or AJ.

I like Gil. I like Eddie. I (heart) CB and AJ. I'd love to see this team give it another go next year. BUT, that will only work if Gil is forced to (or willingly) shares the spotlight. If that won't happen, then I do think we may be better off without him. As someone else said, Caron-style ball is going to take us further than Gil-style ball, and if Gil can't conform, then we start shopping.

Posted by: Lou | May 2, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"this is the Wiz\bullets we NEVER go through an entire season without major games missed."

A situation which will in no way be altered by doing nothing but changing the coach.
------------------

The above response fails to recognize that Eddie's core principles of coaching lead to increased injuries.

That is, Eddie believes that great players play through injuries. He also plays each game as a "must win". Therefore, he doesn't rest his stars to recover from injuries. Conversely, he doesn't manage their playing time to be ready for the playoffs.

Eddie's own words support these truths as well as the statistics and game replays. For example, GA played over 40 minutes per game at the BEGINNING of the season after a major knee surgery. After 2 major knee surgeries, he had to be told to keep GA's minutes down. Even then, GA played 32 minutes at home in a game in which he wasn't needed.

The same routine has occurred with Caron. Up to possibly the last game, he's been playing hurt in the playoffs. Why? Because each regular season game is crucial to EJ, and Caron must play full bore.

But this philosophy hasn't produced good mid-season results and leaves the team short-handed in the playoffs.

Moreover, we don't get any lottery balls, and there is no emphasis player development. Not a winning combo - in the short-term or long-term. And it's hard to change one's core principles.

Posted by: Izman | May 2, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Interesting what Eddie Jordan said about playing Songalia in front of Blatche.

If Eddie's job really is on the line if he doesn't get to the second round, how entirely appropriate that he has decided to rest his fate on small ball.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Gil isn't good but his D is very suspect and it will be even worse after all of these knee surgeries and rehabs. He just doesn't care about the defensive end and stated that last season. Without him our defense doesn't get broken down as much. Mason and Daniels are actually great on-ball defenders. Take Gil's money and pay Mason, Elton Brand, another quality free agent and resign Jamison and draft a defensive minded player (pg or big).

Posted by: bryan | May 1, 2008 4:59 PM

bryan, if you know anything: just because you don't resign Gil doesn't mean you have money for Brand, Mason, etc... Know the salary cap restrictions/implications before posting ill informed crap.

On the defensive side, Gil may not be a good defensive player nor putting out max effort on that end, but the real issue was that before this year, the whole team never put much emphasis on KNOWING HOW TO PLAY DEFENSE. If you were really a fan, you'd know that last year and previous too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't change the fact that there's not likely a coach or GM in the NBA who would rank Haywood top 5.

I never said that, either. We're talking Eastern Conference. Again, I can point to PER ratings, where Haywood was second among EC centers.

I never said he's a great center, because he isn't; I said he's a solid center who should get more touches and minutes, because he's produced all year when he's had both. And yes, there are lots of coaches who would like to have Brendan on their team, especially after this season.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 2, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

As far as Jordan coming back, I'd say he's earned it this year. Yeah, I'm still mystified about his reluctance to give BTH more minutes (although he's improved in that area), but overall, I think he's been quite good.

This team was ravaged (again) by injuries, and he's kept them together and competing at a high level. The offense, for the most part, has been good, and he let Ayers have free reign on defense. There wasn't much dissension during the two losing streaks (beginning of season and when Caron got hurt), and guys have played hard most games, from what I've seen.

I've been a huge critic of Eddie's in the past, but now I'd be happy to see him get an extension. I think he's grown a lot this year, and has really come into his own.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 2, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"James cruised in for a dunk while Songaila was trying to feel his face, Stevenson style"

Without a doubt the funniest line in this blog in a while.

Posted by: mark | May 2, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"C: RWallace, Ilgauskas, Horford, Howard, O'Neal, Bogut, Okafor"

Kal - Horford, Okafor, Bogut...you got to be kidding, right? O'Neal is ALWAYS been a PF.

I guess you have to add Etan on the list ahead of BTH as well.

Posted by: Dave | May 2, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

EJ is the longest tenured coach in the Eastern Conference. I guess the team has given him ample time to prove himself with or without injuries. He's a "good" coach but he's not a winner. We thought that he was the reason for the Nets' success. Well Byron Scott just won the COTY and put the hornets in the 2nd round..... It's time for him to go.

Bucks got Skiles , Bobcats already have Brown. EG must move fast.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | May 2, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey Fortune Teller, in the middle of the Playoffs.... that fast enough for you?

Let's not even wait until the season is officially over - and FIRE the coach.

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

What a moran

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

There is no surprise to read EJ's comment re. Songaila vs. Blatche. We all know that EJ trusts/likes Songaila more. If Songaila makes a mistake, EJ will still keep him there. while if Blatche makes a mistake, he is more likely to be yanked.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I absolutely butchered Darius on this blog over the past five months,that being said he has earned his minutes, why is he playing more instead of Andray? because "Dray" drifts in and out of games mentally and physically commmits dumb fouls and turnovers this is the playoffs (HELLO!!)EJ can't risk it, every possesion is critical Andray should be further along in his maturation but until he stars taking it(his career) seriously he won't see much of the court.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | May 2, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

1st question on around the horn last night....."Are the Wizards better without Gilbert Arenas."

Its no longer just local discusion its now nation wide. I have been watching ever since he got here and he is one of the most overated players I have ever seen. I have been saying for years we will never win with his style of play. Its enough for me that people are talking about it...everyone see's it. The Gilly chuggers like to deny but they see it to.

Gilbert is done in washington unless he doesn't opt out.

Posted by: Beas | May 2, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you totally on the Haywood thing, Keithinator. Add the fact that he shoots a decent percentage from the free throw line and he's clearly ahead of most of the guys on that list. I believe that J. ONeal plays PF, doesn't he?
I'm not sold on getting rid of Gilbert, though. Not when one of our main guys is 33 years old and undersized for his position. You have to wonder how much longer AJ will be putting up the numbers he's putting up right now. We haven't yet seen what Gilbert does when he's fully healthy and looks to pass first. My reasons for keeping GA are:

We know that he's a pretty good passer when he wants to be. Even when he was looking to score last year he was getting 6 dimes a game. Not bad for a shoot first guy. During this playoff series, he was making some decent passes in his limited minutes. (A lot of one handed dangerous ones but still decent). Now, imagine the predicament a defender is in if Gil is able to either drive , shoot, or pass. No stopping him.
I am assuming that Gilbert has been looking to score over the course of his career for a couple of reasons. The first is that it's what he does best. There's no denying that when he's right, he's one of the best scorers in the league. If he has a fresh contract under his belt (assuming that he reups with us for whatever $$ amount), there's no need to keep trying to increase his numbers to justify a big contract. ne he signs that next big contract, winning is probably most important to him. Most guys want to score and make the big money until they've been in the league for a while. Once they're sure that they're set, they concentrate on winning games to establish their legacy. I'm hoping Gil is no different.
Another point that a blogger made is that the team operates better with CB as the lead and CB may have been deferring to Gil. No way an all star should defer to another guy so much that he's underperforming. I don't buy the argument that Gil was disrupting CB's game. If that was the case, then CB should have been abusing Wally when Gil wasn't in the game and that didn't happen. It was all about Caron, not Gil. He didn't play well. Now he is.

Posted by: mark | May 2, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

deuche @ 9AM.

What do you know, pal?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wonder what EJ bases his rotation decisions on. Yes, Songaila is a veteran with good instincts, on the other hand without Haywood we're getting killed on the boards! We're also in need of a few blocks per game, and so far Songaila has not produced any. Don't get me wrong, I think he is just fine as a sub for Antawn, just not for Haywood. At least play Songaila in with Haywood or Blatche at the same time, but not with Jamison.

and khrabb thanks to you and folks like you who are real Wizards supporters!

Go Wizards!

Posted by: rgz | May 2, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

New Lebron diss track by DC rapper! you guys need to hear this!!

"queen james"
http://www.zshare.net/audio/11393141a5ecf151/
-----------------

Don't bother. It's lamer than Wally Z's defense.

Posted by: John Brisker | May 2, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Rook - Of course it's AFTER the playoffs. BUT if he can take us to the 2nd round and be competitive then I may reconsider my judgement.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | May 2, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I am taking offense with the wapo head line saying 5 minus 0 is still 5. Yes, Agent Zero has been hurt this whole season and he has his goofy ways, but that does not mean that we can sustain long term without him. We have done well without him this year, but imagine how much better we would have been with a 100% Gilbert. If Gilbert were healthy this year we would have chanted MVP, MVP once again. I am amazed how quickly people forget.

We have a lot of player this year who have developed nicely. Blache, Roger Mason, Stevenson and Nick Young. Our team has very good depth. All we have to do is stay the course and get a healthy Gilbert back.

Agent Zero is the best thing that happened to the Wizards. I can't believe people are bashing him when he is down and hurt.

I am sure he is going to come back and prove people wrong again. I hope he does it in Wizards uniform.

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

As for Eddie's rotations, he does what most coaches do in the playoffs: shortens his bench, and goes with the vets. Happens everywhere.

Mark, I used to agree with you on Gil. But it just seems that his very presence changes Caron's game, as he starts deferring to Gil offensively. It doesn't feel like "his" team in the same way.

That, however, is more of a gut feeling, and why I don't know if I trust myself here. I love Gil; he (and AJ) helped change everything here, from a culture of losing, lottery lifers to winners and constant playoff contenders. Just not sure, with Caron's ascension, if the chemistry works properly.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Anon, questioning whether or not the Wiz are better with or without Gil is not "bashing" him. The question can be asked without it being a rip against him.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 2, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree that CB shouldn't defer to Gil, but he did--both on the court and off. Maybe I'll buy that he wasn't 100%, and as he's feeling better he's playing better. BUT, the difference between CB3 Game 5 and CB3 Game 1 was HUGE. Way more than a couple of days of feeling better. I honestly think that the entire team mentality changes when Gil is in uniform.

I don't want to see Gil go--I've got a signed jersey, I want to keep him here as long as possible--he's exciting to watch and talented as all get out. BUT, I think our team mentality needs work. I hope that mark is right and if we do resign Gil it is more about winning than him scoring.

I also think that EJ either needs to feel secure enough in his job to be a hard nose with Gil or we need to get a new coach that will have the organizations support. That's EG as much as EJ. EJ always feeling like he's always on the ropes makes it difficult to discipline a player of Gil's caliber.

IMO, he shouldn't have played one second in that game where he came back unannounced. He should have sat the bench. He shouldn't be punting basketballs after practice--I'll buy the dumb shooting contests, at least that's job related. Punting basketballs at practice during the playoffs is like spitballs at a board meeting. Completely inappropriate. It can be fun and lighthearted without being ridiculous (or dangerous!). Ugh. I do like Gil. I do, but this stuff is nuts.

Posted by: Lou | May 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I can't understand how people are calling for EJ to be fired when we just won a HUGE road game to get us back in the series. We finished as the 5th seed minus GA for almost all of the season, CB for 20+ games and he's still playing hurt, and NO backup center because EG wouldn't sign one after Etan had heart surgery in preseason! Does any person who knows basketball think that D'Antoni or Avery Johnson could have coaxed more out of a more depleted team? I think Kal is one of the few voices of reason who says EJ should get one more year with a complete team based on what was accomplish this year under tough circumstances.

EG has escaped any blame on this site for not acquiring a true backup PG or Center despite injuries. The contenders all signed veteran players to supplement their rosters in the 2nd half. I'd like to see how D'Antoni, Johnson, or other coaches who could have fared better...EJ has made some questionable calls during games but the players have continued to play hard for him including guys like AD and CB3 who could have ended their seasons early to have surgery and rehab. The only player who's loyalty to EJ that I question is GA who may have played his way of out of D.C. We have a lot more options to build on the current core of talent than Cleveland who is essentially a one-man team with a bunch of veterans.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 2, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

BTW--how insulting that we're on ESPN2 while Celts/Hawks gets ESPN top billing!

This game should be way more interesting.

Posted by: Lou | May 2, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Mark makes some good points. I was the blogger who suggested that CB defers to Gil when he's on the court (at least one of the bloggers who said as much), but that's NOT an indictment on Gil. My post was based on comments coming from Caron after game 5 when he referred to himself as the "facilitator" and "glue" guy for the team when he's played with other stars (not just Gil, but also Kobe and whoever else he's played with). It's up to CARON and EDDIE JORDAN to take control of this team. Caron has to take the mentality that HE's the man on this team, no matter who else is on the court. Eddie Jordan needs to let it be known that the offense and team will be run HIS way, not anyone else's. Those two need to be held accountable for their own (Caron) and the team's (Jordan) performances, whether Gil is on the court or not.

Arenas understands star-power. He understands what it takes to make it big. Look at the "hot" names of this season, who everybody is going crazy over. Chris Paul, DWilliams, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Lebron James. Every single one, with the possible exception of Lebron, has sacrificed a little bit of themselves and their stats for the betterment of their teammates. Even Kobe. Gil has seen this team play extremely well running the offense EJ-style, he's seen the trend around the league of superstars sacrificing a bit to team up with other superstars, and he knows what sells. He may be self-centered, but he's not an idiot. You could see it in his game when he returned, how much he wanted to be the facilitator who set players up. He'll be thinking the same next year. Only he won't be a gimp coming directly off of two knee surgeries, with the rust of trying to get back into shape on the fly.

You simply don't get rid of a talent like Gilbert Arenas unless you can receive equal or greater value in return. And talent-wise, he's a top-10 player in this league, so you'll be VERY hard-pressed to find equal or greater value in return for him, especially coming off such an injury-ravaged campaign. Unless someone can PROVE this can happen, then there's no need discussing it. Arenas isn't going anywhere next year.

Posted by: psps23 | May 2, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@ Posted by: | May 2, 2008 8:10 AM

To all of you who continue to diss Eddie about Gil's strange behavior, has it not occurred to you that EG has probably instructed Eddie not to mess with Gil? To let Gil do as he wants...if he wants to play...let me him...if he doesn't want to play...don't make him play. I'm betting that is the case.

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 8:10 AM

Even if that is the case, don't you think Gil should have still informed his coach? If Gil, as he says, respects his coach, then he should've of told him prior to telling the media. We all have had immediate supervisors we like/disliked before, but I bet you still informed he/she when you were not going to be at work.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

deuche @ 9AM.

What do you know, pal?

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 10:03 AM

learn to spell first, douche bag.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

EJ is 4-15 in his last 4 playoff series. You don't think that at least makes it an open question whether he will return?

My view is if he gets the Wizards to the 2nd round, he should stay (and he and Ayers should have a Haywood type of meeting with Arenas this summer). If the Cavs win, and there are good candidates available, it's time for the team to hear a new voice.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"Even if that is the case, don't you think Gil should have still informed his coach? If Gil, as he says, respects his coach, then he should've of told him prior to telling the media. We all have had immediate supervisors we like/disliked before, but I bet you still informed he/she when you were not going to be at work.

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 11:03 AM "

I totally agree. It's apples and oranges.

Gilby, as a "professional," needs to let EJ know directly and as soon as possible when he decides not to play. EJ needs to know this information because his entire gameplan and strategy depends on this information. To dispute the importance of this is pure horsecrap, especially for a critical playoff game!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

psps23:
Stop making sense. This blog isn't the place for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

deuche @ 9AM.

What do you know, pal?

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 10:03 AM

learn to spell first, douche bag.

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 11:08 AM


wow aren't you smart for pointing out someones spelling errors. you too damn smart, really. i guess its why you spend your day spell checking a blog that has comments posted about once an hour. get a life or real job, first, jackass.

did i spell that right?

idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The debate as to whether Gilby is good or not for Les BouleS will go on forever. What is clear is that with and without Gilby, you have 2 entirely different teams, and the team without Gilby has proven to be very successful, team oriented, has shown great chemistry, defense, and a will to win.

With Gilby in the lineup though, the Wiz is a team that is forced to wait on a guy who commands the ball a lot, thus forcing his teammates to watch and wait to see what happens....a very tentative team that can also be explosive one game, but ineffective another game.

I think the former example is better for the long term viability of the "TEAM" and success for the Wiz. Also, Caron clearly has emerged as the MVP and most well rounded player on this team that inspires and demands his teammates to step up and leads by example. Caron is not going to shy away from what is required from a leader.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Another point that a blogger made is that the team operates better with CB as the lead and CB may have been deferring to Gil. No way an all star should defer to another guy so much that he's underperforming. I don't buy the argument that Gil was disrupting CB's game. If that was the case, then CB should have been abusing Wally when Gil wasn't in the game and that didn't happen. It was all about Caron, not Gil. He didn't play well. Now he is.

Posted by: mark | May 2, 2008 10:02 AM

The Wizards will be a better team if they retain Arenas, but there's no question the addition of Arenas hurt the team's flow. I don't think it's so much Butler's failure to take a lead with Arenas in the lineup, but I do think the chemistry of that team was off with Gil inserted into the lineup.

They play better with Daniels running the show right now because that's what they've been doing all season (let alone Gilbert hasn't been close to 100%).

My assumption is EG keeps this team and coaching staff largely in tact next year. I look back to the last time when this team was 100% healthy (more or less), back when the wizards had the best record in the East during the first half or so of last season.

Posted by: Johnnie Futbol | May 2, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

deuche @ 9AM.

What do you know, pal?

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 10:03 AM

Sie sprechen Deutsche?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Everyone says we can't possibly be better without Gilly. Well here is a perfect example. The 76ers....they were better in the short term and long term without Allen Iverson. Guess what Gilly isnt even as good as AI. Andre Miller runs the team better and gets more players involved and they are clearly better for it. The same thing the wizards do when Gilly isn't on the court. If we can add a draft pick and a couple pieces for Gilly we will clearly will be better for it.

Also EJ needs to go as well. As fun as it is losing in the 1st round every year except when we beat the college bulls team its clear EJ can't get the job done. EJ's rotations are terrible, his overall record is terrible, his playoff record is even worse, he can't even control the team or have any idea when his players are playing or not...It just gets old. EJ can't even stand up to Gil..Its just pathetic.

If this wizards want to stay stuck in mediocrity they stick with Gilly and EJ. If they want to improve in the future you get pieces for Gilly and you get a coach who can take you to the finals.

Posted by: Beas | May 2, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

psps23,

of those three names you mentioned, only two averaged more assist than Lebron, Paul and Willimas. of course they're able to get more assist becuase of the position they play. Still Lebron averaged, what, 6 or 7 assist, playing on a team who's talent level doesn't rival the Celtics, Lakers, Jazz, or Hornets. I know this fanbase has a dislike for Lebron, but he is a very, very good player.

I'm not calling him king or great yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

deuche @ 9AM.

What do you know, pal?

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 10:03 AM

learn to spell first, douche bag.

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 11:08 AM


wow aren't you smart for pointing out someones spelling errors. you too damn smart, really. i guess its why you spend your day spell checking a blog that has comments posted about once an hour. get a life or real job, first, jackass.

did i spell that right?

idiot.

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 11:16 AM

He's probably not that smart but at least when he dissed you, he was smarter than you. Another thing, weak counter man.

Posted by: G | May 2, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

When I suggested the other day that we should take a look at D'Antoni to replace Eddie, I prefaced it with the fact that I consider injuries to be a valid excuse for a coach. If we lose for the third time in 3 years to the same team, it's gonna be up to Abe to decide whether he thinks we are losing because of injuries or because of the coach.
Looking at this completely objectively, we have 2 all stars that played a good portion of the season. We also have a C who (statistically based on that boob Hollinger's PER rating system) is the second best C in the East. We also have key veterans who can play (AD, DS, RM and Songaila). In the mix are also talented young players (AB, NY).
On paper, we should have been able to win at least close to 50 games even without Gilbert in a weak Eastern conference. You have to wonder whether another coach would have been able to get more out of a good cast like we have.
No indictment on Eddie, just looking at the talent we have. let me say this...As much as I hated Wes Unseld as a coach, I believe that he would have been able to get to 50 with this team. He got the most out of the talent he had (which was not much).
If I were the GM, I'd keep Eddie probably. But it should not be an open and shut case.

Posted by: mark | May 2, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Is this the twilight zone or what. DCman88h has been having great posts without ripping Gilbert a new butthole (no offense ok? ) and now there is someone else on here doing what DCMan used to do. By the way DCMan, you are correct in that Gil should have manned up and went to EJ first,it is a respect thing. Yes EJ tolerates his quirky behavior and I love him to death, but that was truly uprofessional. Jamison says it best in that they want and need Gil on their team and I think he is getting tired of saying it. He was quite perturbed when posed the question concerning Gil. You all say the offense doesn't flow with Gil as PG but don't you guys remember the original Big Three? Arenas,Huges and Jamsion. This was before Butler(who I also love) They would score at leas twenty a piece most games. Now I ask you, how is that possible if Gil was hogging the ball. Give my Agent Zero a break and wish him a speedy recovery for next season.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I'll be up in the nosebleed section 413 tonight yelling my arse off tonight and making noise. You all with the good seats need to represent, as well. You might get a popcorn shower if you're sitting there with your arms folded. Lets intimidate LeBron. It CAN be done. GO WIZ !!!!!

Posted by: mark | May 2, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I also remember Gil telling Caron when he first got here to not be shy and fire away when he gets the ball. And Caron said that himself. So him not shooting or being himself when Gil is on the court is on him. Hughes had no trouble getting his when he was here. Neither did Jamison.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

One thing that people seems to forget is that when Gilbert played his first few games coming back he was not forcing shots and becoming the pass first PG that some people always wanted. Ex., is the game when he had a few nice assist to AB and CB. In game 1 he got like 4 3-pointers in less than 20 min of PT and he thought that he can be the agent zero of old so he went back to his shoot first mentality and that's what affected the Wiz in the series. I hope in his next return he'll be the pass first PG and will know that he will still gets his points. I sure wish that he can still play for about 5 - 12 minutes just to relieve AD and be the decoy of the team.

Posted by: Dave, | May 2, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Mark I am in 402 section row F yelling my arse off right with you! I can't wait!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I meant, I will be in sectin 402. Not ther yet of course :0-)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"

Is this the twilight zone or what. DCman88h has been having great posts without ripping Gilbert a new butthole (no offense ok? ) and now there is someone else on here doing what DCMan used to do. By the way DCMan, you are correct in that Gil should have manned up and went to EJ first,it is a respect thing. Yes EJ tolerates his quirky behavior and I love him to death, but that was truly uprofessional. Jamison says it best in that they want and need Gil on their team and I think he is getting tired of saying it. He was quite perturbed when posed the question concerning Gil. You all say the offense doesn't flow with Gil as PG but don't you guys remember the original Big Three? Arenas,Huges and Jamsion. This was before Butler(who I also love) They would score at leas twenty a piece most games. Now I ask you, how is that possible if Gil was hogging the ball. Give my Agent Zero a break and wish him a speedy recovery for next season.

Posted by: | May 2, 2008 11:38 AM "

Gosh...what would Joe Gibbs do if one of his players talked to the press before talking to him. Scary.

I agree that with Gilby, Caron, and AJ, they are a tough offensive team. Problem is that you have to play defense in order to have success in the playoffs, and you have to involve the other 2 guys on the court.

Nevermind Gilby, the team looks good without him and have had a lot of success without him which got them the 5th seed. That can not be denied.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

He's probably not that smart but at least when he dissed you, he was smarter than you. Another thing, weak counter man.

Posted by: G | May 2, 2008 11:28 AM


aren't you the kid that had to picked up in the middle of the class to "reading"? cut it out with your co-signing, hand job comments. if you want his nuts that bad ask em' and the two of you can go somewhere private. otherwise go pick out which dude to call 'dad', that your monther is getting roasted by, mmmmk corner boy?

Posted by: G is a tool | May 2, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"kid that had to picked up in the middle of the class"

wtf?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

word just in...songalia suspended for tonight.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Just heard that Songaila is suspended for hitting Lebron! Unbelievable!!! I'm done with the NBA! That hit was Lebron's fault...just goes to show the NBA wants the Cavs to win!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks dgz...

and to the anonymous and clearly angst-ridden blogger who ripped me for saying I was happy enough with the win Wednesday night to hop a plane and cross an ocean to see if his team could win one more game... I am embarrassed for you.

Posted by: khrabb | May 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe I find myself agreeing with DCMan... Is that really you writing about Gil in such reasoned tones?

If Gilbert could fit into the flow of the team instead of dominating the ball, if he could let the shots come to him in the flow of the offense instead of jacking up shots with 20 on the shot clock, if he could buckle down on rotations and perimeter defense, if the other players could remain aggressive with him on the floor, Gilbert would be an invaluable piece of this team.

The problem, and we saw it again in this series, is that Gil reverts to form. And Eddie lets him, and his teammates defer to him. The other problem is that he'll opt out this summer and Ernie will have to decide before the evidence is in which Gilbert will come back next year, and he'll have to lock into that decision for a long-term near-max contract. I don't know that it's worth the risk, especially considering his injuries. But I'm glad Ernie will be making that call (instead of, say, Wes Unseld or Michael Jordan).

And for those of you faulting Ernie for not obtaining a big man, consider the luxury tax ramifications. That's an owner's call, not a GM's.

Posted by: Prazak | May 2, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Songs suspended for game 6...the NBA is a traveshamockery

Posted by: Donk | May 2, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The NBA definitely wants the Cavs to win....and we are sunk without Songaila. I'm done with the NBA!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

No comparison between LBJ's premeditated direct blow at AB's jaw and DSong's inadvertent back-hand against the side of LBJ's face. And I don't think the NBA will provide an explanation for this disparate treatment.

AB better bring it tonight.

Posted by: Izman | May 2, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

i never took myself for a conspiracy theorist...but there's no other way to explain darius' suspension. i'm in shock.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

and the team without Gilby has proven to be very successful, team oriented, has shown great chemistry, defense, and a will to win.
Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 11:17 AM

You are right that the Wizards have shown "great chemistry, defense, and a will to win." But, Sorry, I don't call 4 games over 500 "very successful". I call that mediocre.

The Boston Celtics were "very successful" this year....
The Detroit Pistons were "very successful" this year....
The Orlando Magic were successful...

Without Gilbert Arenas, this is a team that can make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps get to the second round (if they don't have to play Cleveland!)... But the Wizards, as they are currently constructed AND WITHOUT Gilbert Arenas, are not, and will never be, a Championship contending team.

The only way this team becomes a real contender, is if Gilbert Arenas comes back 100% - AND (as you suggested DC Man88) if he becomes more of a facilitator (more assists), less of a "ball stopper", and makes a more concerted effort on Defense.

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Nobody was even suggesting that he might be suspended. This is game 6 of a playoff series -- there should be a compelling reason for the NBA to step in and artificially influence things. Of wait, there is -- this is an opportunity for them to increase the odds of LeBron playing in round 2.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Kal, re Eddie, I'm not criticizing him "because of his 'failure' to win a title". I'm criticizing a specific pattern of coaching decisions. I like him very much, and think he's a great offensive coach and a great player's coach who kept the team together in difficult circumstances.

Maybe you're right that he deserves one more year to see what he can do with this squad when (if ever) it's healthy. But after this many seasons, his limitations as a head coach are pretty clear. Ernie might be thinking the same thing, given the one-year contract extensions for Eddie's staff and his moves to insert Thibodeaux and then Ayers at Eddie's right hand.

Rook, just because the same can be said of Mike Brown (and he is a lame coach) doesn't mean it doesn't apply to Eddie.

Kal, just because Avery Johnson didn't get the Mavs to the promised land doesn't mean he couldn't do it here. Larry Brown's a good example: great coach, couldn't get the Sixers or the Pacers over the hump, but was the perfect fit with those 2004 Pistons. Avery might be the perfect fit with these Wiz. Or not, but I wouldn't dismiss him based on the Mavs' post-season woes.

Posted by: Prazak | May 2, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Darius suspended for game 6??????

NO F WAY.

This is the NBA at it's absolute worse. WHAT A JOKE.

Next time you think of buying some crap nba apparel just say no. David Stern and he group of gangsters are never seeing another dime from me. First Phoenix and now this sh#$%#$.

Posted by: pg posse | May 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"The only way this team becomes a real contender, is if Gilbert Arenas comes back 100% - AND (as you suggested DC Man88) if he becomes more of a facilitator (more assists), less of a "ball stopper", and makes a more concerted effort on Defense.

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 12:46 PM "

Too many risks and question marks to warrant anything near max money.

Keep in mind, this team was predicted by many to be lottery bound when Gilby went out. For the Wiz to go "4 games over .500" with Caron missing 20 of those games, it's a great accomplishment. Also, with all 3 guys healthy...what was it...2 years ago...the Wiz still lost in the first round when Gilby choked on the free throws.

I don't care what Gilby becomes..facilitator, ball hog, team mascot, etc.

This team has proven to be very good without him, and with the money saved from not spending on his max money hopes, they in turn can be channeled towards other players (free agents) and will also allow other guys with simliar skills (eg. Nick Young) to step up.

I don't want Gilby to walk scott free, but I wouldn't mind a sign a trade for a big man who can defend and get his own shot.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm not dismissing Johnson. I said he was a great coach. But I don't think he's the right coach for this collection of players. In order to coach the kind of style he seems to prefer, Grunfeld would need to make the several upgrades to the roster. That being the case, I see no reason why he shouldn't make those upgrades now and give Jordan, who's done a fine job with a depleted, injury ravaged, thin-benched roster over several years, a chance to go into battle fully loaded.

Posted by: Prazak | May 2, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oops. That last one was from me to Prazak (not from Prazak). My bad.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"And for those of you faulting Ernie for not obtaining a big man, consider the luxury tax ramifications. That's an owner's call, not a GM's."

The luxury tax had nothing to do with him drafting a jumpshooting Euro 7-footer who can't seem to find the rim, when a wide-bodied space eater like Paul Millsap was still on the board.

Grunfeld has done a fine job as GM, no doubt. But he's made his share of missteps.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I will be in 420 helping cheer on my team despite the fact the NBA is doing everything it can to have the Wizards lose. I have not been a big fan of Songaila in this series, but getting suspended for that is a crock. Come on Wizards!

Posted by: George Templeton | May 2, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Rook, just because the same can be said of Mike Brown (and he is a lame coach) doesn't mean it doesn't apply to Eddie.

Posted by: Prazak | May 2, 2008 12:50 PM

[ Coach name ] "must go. His [ insert strategy here ] will not work, especially with the roster he's got now, and he simply doesn't develop young talent."

"I am so tired of him getting outcoached by [ Coach name ] in the playoffs every single year. He needs to go NOW."

"[ Point Guard name ] just does not care about playing defense!"

"Someone here has called [ Coach name ] a great offensive tactician; but I note that he has hopeless tunnel vision and inflexibility regarding matchups and lineup changes."

"[ Coach name ] is going to have to get the team focused on defense first......"

"Another one and done! [ Coach name ] needs to go!"

"Trade [ Point Guard name ] while he still has some value..."

Statements made on this blog about Eddie Jordan and Gilbert Arenas? (or perhaps Mike Brown??!?! Prazak?)

NOPE - From the Sun's blog talking about Mike D'Antoni and Steve Nash!

People keep calling for Eddie's head! Keep saying he can't use the bench - can't get the team to play defense - AND some are lobying to hire D'Antoni or Avery Johnson???!?!?

LOL - AGAIN!!!

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

So, you guys think the Cavs get special treatment? How about the UNC Tarheels in the All-Carolina Conference? What other team gets to play games for two rounds in the NCAA tournament on "neutral courts" that included Raleigh and Charlotte, NC? Does anybody remember Phil Ford's famous 10-step layup? And do the Heels ever get called for more fouls than their opponents? B'ball has biased refereeing and biased treatment for some teams at all levels, that's all there's to it.

Posted by: Tim | May 2, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This team has proven to be very good without him, and with the money saved from not spending on his max money hopes, they in turn can be channeled towards other players (free agents) and will also allow other guys with simliar skills (eg. Nick Young) to step up.

I don't want Gilby to walk scott free, but I wouldn't mind a sign a trade for a big man who can defend and get his own shot.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 1:13 PM

Not to poke a hole in your "money saved" theory - but the Wizards are OVER THE SALARY CAP - Even if Gilbert opts out, and the Wizards just release him - they're STILL over the cap. They would not be able to just sign free agents, willy nilly.

With a sign-and-trade, the Wizards would almost certainly not get equal value in return. The only player that comes close in value AND meets your description of a "big man who can defend and get his own shot" would be Elton Brand (also coming off major surgery)... Problem is, he plays the same position as Jamison, Blatche, Songaila, and Pecherov.

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Rook, while your observation of the Wizards' cap situation is spot on and I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of Brand becoming a Wizard under any circumstances, I feel compelled to point out that if there was a realistic chance of it happening, it's pretty unlikely that Grunfeld would view the presence of Songaila, Blatche or Pecherov on the roster as a reason not to get him. All are signed to fairly reasonable contracts and could be easily moved along if it meant making room for Brand.

Again, not that that's going to happen.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"With a sign-and-trade, the Wizards would almost certainly not get equal value in return. The only player that comes close in value AND meets your description of a "big man who can defend and get his own shot" would be Elton Brand (also coming off major surgery)... Problem is, he plays the same position as Jamison, Blatche, Songaila, and Pecherov.

Posted by: Rook | May 2, 2008 2:48 PM "

Equal value?

For a gimpy legged 1 guard who shoots more than he passes, and has a history of injuries while on a team that has thrived without him??

Gilby's stock has dropped based on the recent events, and EG knows this. There's no more discussion now as to whether he's max money or not. The question is whether he's even going to opt out, and if he does, whether to keep him and if so, how much to give him.

Elton Brand plays both ends of the court compared to the guys you listed. I think AJ could easily move to the 3, and Caron to the 2. AJ is better suited for the 3 anyway.

And please, stop mentioning DSong and OPech in the same sentence or even paragraph, with Elton Brand.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Rook, I don't see what your point that has to do with Avery Johnson's coaching ability. Or, for that matter, D'Antoni's: just because a fan on the Suns blog thinks D'Antoni is a lousy coach doesn't make it so -- a comment I gather Kal would agree with when it comes to my criticisms of Eddie.

Kal, this is Pech's first year. Aren't you among those who argue that most rookie big men need time to develop? Pech might turn out to be a great acquisition, he might not, but isn't yours a hasty judgment after just one season of limited playing time?

At the time he selected Pech Ernie was signing Songaila to go along with Antawn (and Ruffin) and had Etan and Brendan (and Calvin Booth) at the 5. The need for a banger wasn't as obvious as it is now, hindsight being 20/20.

Posted by: Prazak | May 2, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Aren't you among those who argue that most rookie big men need time to develop? "

You must have me confused with one of the charter members of the He-Man Haywood Sack-Hangers Society.

My position is that future good players, even early in their careers, generally show some hint of what they're capable of becoming, even if they're several years away from fulfilling their potential. I have seen no such hints from Pecherov. He hasn't shown any indication of proficiency at any basketball-related skill. It's particularly troubling that he's such a lousy shooter, because the reports that were floated around after Grunfeld drafted him was that he was a "typical European big man" and shooting was his strength. Yet, two years later, he can't hit a wide open 3 pointer to save his life. Couple that with his lack of quickness and athleticism (both vertically and horizontally) and I don't see much to get excited about. It's not like he's just out of high school and still has to learn to compete against better players for the first time. He's been playing professionally and competing against grown men (including some who are significant contributors in the NBA) for years prior to coming to the U.S.

I'm not saying the guy is a total bust or will never be an NBA quality player. I'm saying that, based on what he's shown so far (not much) I see little reason to believe he'll ever be good enough to justify using a top 20 pick on him, esp. when there were several players still on the board who are (A) better and (B) currently contributing in major roles on playoff caliber teams.

If he'd been taken in the second round, it wouldn't even be an issue.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"At the time he selected Pech Ernie was signing Songaila to go along with Antawn (and Ruffin) and had Etan and Brendan (and Calvin Booth) at the 5. The need for a banger wasn't as obvious as it is now, hindsight being 20/20."

Which only further validates my position that drafting the best player available, regardless of position, is a better strategy.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"They would not be able to just sign free agents, willy nilly."

Very true. And it's too bad, because Willy is a hell of a post player and Nilly is money from the outside.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"At the time he selected Pech Ernie was signing Songaila to go along with Antawn (and Ruffin) and had Etan and Brendan (and Calvin Booth) at the 5. The need for a banger wasn't as obvious as it is now, hindsight being 20/20.

Posted by: Prazak | May 2, 2008 4:12 PM "

True.

The East, unlike the West, is known as a finesse conference, and it's not like the East had or would continue to have big bangers like DHoward, Okafor, Bogut, Curry, Troy Murphy, Jermaine O'Neal, Zo, Bosh, Rasheed, Villaneuva, etc.

Getting big guys who can bang and play D is so overrated. Why not just get big slow guys who like to shoot?

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

By Amar Panchmatia | May 2nd, 2008

E-mail | Print | Share

Now that we've made an annual tradition out of the Cleveland Cavaliers beating the Washington Witnesses in the first round of the playoffs, it's time to honor the recipients of this rare and unique treatment.

Let's face it: it's hard to lose to one damn team in the postseason over and over again. Yet, the Witnesses have achieved this feat flawlessly. They lost in six to a Cavs team that was a playoff virgin in '06. They were hurt and undermanned in getting swept out by the James Gang in '07. And they trash-talked, cheap-shotted, and whined their way to another six-game loss in '08.

Truly versatile. My hat is off to Eddie Jordan, Gilbert Arenas, and the rest of the Witnesses for creating an art form out of losing to LeBron James. The only thing left is giving your fans infinite hope that this...might...be...the...year you beat King James and forcing it to seven games, only to lose to LeBron in Game 7.

Hey, that's what 2009 is for.

These Witnesses, however, have been the most special group of them all. So special, in fact, that each one of them deserves a special farewell salute as they go home early for summer vacation courtesy of the Cavs yet again.

Gilbert Arenas: Remember these words?

"I think everybody wants Cleveland in that first round. They've been a .500 team ever since they made that trade and everybody wants a chance at that matchup...We want Cleveland for our own reasons, we don't think they can beat us in the playoffs three years straight. It's hard to beat a team three years straight. We want to try our luck."

Well, the Cavs were a .667 team in the postseason against your Witnesses, Gilbert. That's actually worse than the .800 winning percentage they've had against your squad as the previous two postseasons combined, so I see your point about Cleveland getting worse. You may want to think twice before calling out a team that has your number again and again and again. Especially when that team has a player that eats you for breakfast, brunch, lunch, mid-afternoon snacks, supper, dinner, and still won't leave any of you left over for midnight snacks.

"Everybody wants Cleveland in that first round." Sure, that might be true, but you're the Washington Witnesses. The last thing you want is a playoff series with LeBron James.

Posted by: 2funny | May 2, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Brenda Haywood: Today, we salute you, Brenda. Pioneers like you and Laura Hughes have shown that the WNBA isn't the only outlet for young women looking to pursue a career in professional basketball.

Trying to mock LeBron whining and then telling him to shut up and play basketball was a true sign of leadership on your part. I mean, screw leading by example. So what if you were part of a frontcourt that was beat, 51-31, on the boards in Game 4? So what if the rest of your team was amped up for Game 4 and claimed that they wanted to win that game badly to send a message? The game came down to one last shot, anyways, so the minus-20 rebounding deficit couldn't have made that much of a difference, right?

When you average 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and then try to play the role of a safety in football in a basketball game, you're clearly qualified to tell LeBron James to "play basketball." So what if he's ended your season in convincing fashion for three straight seasons? He's the one that needs to focus on just playing basketball, not you! You tell 'em, Brenda!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Andray Blatche: You just don't know any better, Andray. You're in your third NBA season, all of which have been with the Witnesses. A world in which your season doesn't end in the hands of Cleveland just doesn't exist to you. There's death, taxes, and losing to the Cavaliers in the first round.

Hitting LeBron in the face in Game 1 was a good start in trying to alter your destiny in life, but you can't change fate. And if I'm not mistaken, you did have a change to change your fate last offseason when you could have signed with the Cavs as a free agent. But hey, you seem to be enjoying this. Get used to it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Antawn Jamison: You're a good guy, but I'll never forget how you wrecked my chances of winning my NCAA pool back in '98 by choking against Utah. It's okay, though. I won because of Rip Hamilton and UConn the following year.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

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