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It's over

Before the series began, I said my two X-factors would be Wally Szczerbiak for the Cavs and Roger Mason Jr. for the Wizards.

Last night, as the Cavs closed the Wizards out for the third straight year at Verizon Center, Wally World came through in a big way by making six three-pointers and putting up a series-high 26 points. I've been baffled at his shooting struggles since the trade. Normally, when he gets his feet set, the guy is money. During the 2001-2002 season with the T-Wolves for example, the guy made 50.8 percent of his shots and 45.5 percent of his 3's.

-Roger had a solid series, averaging 8 points on 40 percent shooting and helped get that Game 3 butt kicking underway by making some key shots in the second quarter but wasn't a huge factor last night as he finished with 7 points on 3 of 11 shooting. He was 1 of 7 on 3's and the only way the Wizards were going to hang in that game in the second quarter last night was to knock some of those down.

-Cleveland's reserves outscored Washington's depleted bench 32-16.

-Mike Brown catches a ton of heat in Cleveland (if you go through any of the blogs in that city or listen to sports talk radio, the guy just gets killed) but the man can coach defense. Last night, the Cavs really put the clamps on the Wizards after a 31-point first quarter. The rotations were tight, they swarmed Caron Butler any time he tried to put the ball on the floor and took Antawn Jamison of of his sweet spots in the post and on the wing. Just a great defensive effort by that team.

-Mike, you're a good coach so stop debasing yourself with the over-the-top flattery of your star. We get it: "he's terrific" but did you have to say it 12 times? And please refrain from calling him a "special human being" and sprinting on the court to defend his honor every time he gets a love tap. It's just uncomfortable to watch a good coach and a grown man do that stuff.

-A key stat from the series: the Cavs finished with a 138-94 edge in assists. Last night, it was a 29-11 advantage.

-No way Darius Songaila should have been suspended last night. Even the Cavs said so. Just a bad decision by the league and one of those things that makes people wonder about the integrity of the game. That said, the Wiz can't chalk that up to the loss. The Cavs earned it.

-Folks are asking about Coach Eddie Jordan's status. Here's my read: unless Ernie Grunfeld experienced a major change of heart the last few days, I think he's safe. He's under contract and folks all over the league feel that he and his staff did a great job with an injury-ravaged team this season. I know folks are emotional about this whole thing and want major changes now but take a deep breath and ask yourself a serious question: are any of these coaches who are out there better than Jordan? Another: did any other playoff coach go through what Jordan did this season with the injuries and an ownership that refused to budge on the luxury tax, thus forcing him to consistently practice with seven or eight bodies? I've covered this team for three full seasons now and feel that Eddie did his best work this season. That said, folks are free to disagree.

-As for the series, I'll put it like this: Mike Brown had LeBron James and Eddie Jordan did not.
He didn't have a healthy Gilbert Arenas or a fully healthy Caron Butler. One thing here: I can't speak for Ernie on this. So far, he has not come out and said anything on the record one way or the other. Fact: Ernie has fired a coach only once in his career as a GM and that happened in New York where Don Nelson was trying to make Patrick Ewing into a point guard.

-There was no access to the team today as everyone got a day to get away from it (well, except for me but hey, summer's here baby!) but the team will have exit meetings tomorrow and Ernie will address the media either tomorrow or Monday.

-It's a huge summer for the young guys. Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, O Pesh and Andray Blatche have to get better. The three rookies will play in summer league and Blatche told me that he wants to play as well. One question for Andray: Do you want to be a great player or just a player? I have no idea.

-From a beat writer's perspective, this was very strange season. I was reflecting on this last night from a stool on the deck at Marvin (great music on a nightly basis). It began with me driving to Richmond for the first day of training camp and hearing that Etan Thomas had a heart issue and ended with the mysterious suspension of Songaila.
Throw in Gilbert's on-again, off-again goofiness, Caron's strange battle with a hip injury, Stevenson's "overrated" claim, a ton of late season travel that made it feel like I was never home (my dog was thrilled about that) and a wacky playoff series and I'm not sure what to make of it all. I need a few days at the beach to sort it all out.

Then again, we've all got it pretty good. Late last night, as I was downing a few Stellas and listening to a good dj spin some James Brown funky stuff while pondering the season's end, my buddy (Sven "Ole" Olson pride of St. Olaf College football) in Iraq dropped me an e-mail.

"I'm hanging in there. I've reached this point now where I don't think about the days and months I have left to endure. Do you remember the movie "Platoon" where Charlie Sheen's character is talking to the blonde haired surfer type who advises him "to just count backwards oor something man..Keep it positive?" It's hillarious to me now but I know the feeling. Anyway, I've resolved to simply battle each individual day now and forget about the rest although I can't help thinking about the day when I can slide on down to a local pub that's showing the Vikings game, sip on a cold foamer, relax, and enjoy watching the Vikes defense feast on helpless qbs with some fellow Vikings faithful. Take care and tell LeBron to stop traveling. I can see that from here."

- So there it is, everyone should grab a cold one and watch a sporting event tonight for Sven and all the other men and women who are in dangerous places wishing like hell they could trade places with us if only for a night.

By Ivan Carter  |  May 3, 2008; 2:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Monday update

Comments

"One question for Andray: Do you want to be a great player or just a player? I have no idea."

That makes two of us, Ivan.

Posted by: kalorama | May 3, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Ivan, it was actually Anthony Mason that Don Nelson was trying to turn into a PG in NY.

Posted by: kaloramsa | May 3, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

David Stern got his boy on TV more, so he is happy. There is a part of me that wants to write the NBA and ask for my money back for the playoff tickets.

Lebron is a great player, but I have never seen someone so protected in all my life.

On to next year...................

Posted by: Section101 | May 3, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Ernie should give serious consideration to re-building given the defensive deficiencies this group has shown. He must do this because both Gilbert and AJ are free agents and this opportunity only comes along so often.

First I would start by firing Jordan and hiring avery johnson or tom thibidou. You will recall thibidou was almost an assistant coach here this year. Ernie was thinking ahead. Defense wins championships, not the princeton offense. Ernie is D'Antoni lite---time to go with just one more year left on his contract we do not need a lame duck coach.

Second, sign and trade AJ or let him go to free cap space. We are right at luxury tax level and really should not go above for this group. AJ is a third option who is getting old and plays poor defense though he is a good clubhoue guy. I blame AJ for failing to rotate to cover west in game 4. There are other examples.

Third sign Gilbert. He is young and is a clutch player. Coach him to play better defense and to share the ball with Butler.

Fourth, trade Haywood or if possible Etan. They are both back-up centers. Haywood has high trade value coming off his career year 10 points 7 rebounds. Blatche can fill in.

Fifth, acquire defensive and rebounding role players. Reggie Evans or DJ Strawberry would make good targets. Consider if Haslem or Camby can be aquired.

Draft or trade and nurture a point guard of the future. Lowry or conley would be great in this role. Maybe Gilbert could play the 2 more often.

This team as currently constructed will never win a championship no less get out of the first round. Ernie has shown an ability to resist signings like Hughes or Jeffries so I believe he may consider rebuilding rather than giving this group another cahnce when the window has closed on them and young teams like Atlanta, Orlando and Phily are surging, Chicago under-achieved and the Celtic and Detroit look like they have a few good years left in them. Just do it Ernie. We believe in you.

Posted by: wizfanatic | May 3, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yep, the ball is in Ernie's hands now. My money says he will deliver.

Posted by: khrabb | May 3, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

wizfanatic-

This isnt NBA Live where you can take the salary cap option off. You want a player that played for the Nuggets defense, DJ Strawberry doesnt even get PT in Phoenix, and you seriously believe Ernie didnt try to get Lowry when they traded for Navarro.

Posted by: VWillliams | May 3, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Carter

Do you realize its because of people like you that the Wizards fan base is so dumb? The people there HONESTLY believe the NBA fixed this series so that Lebron would move on. Did you WATCH the first 2 games of the pistons/cavs series last year? The cavs got screwed out of both of those games.. but its the NBA giving lebron everything..

I find it unbelievable reading most of the comments on your blog.. i cant believe people would say the things they do, but its really because of you. For instance the cheap shots you just took at Mike Brown in this one. There was no reason to say any of it, you aren't here and you don't know what you're talking about. But because you say things like that it gets your fan base all riled up.

Then people actually believe the Songolia suspension was the reason they lost the game. Sure, it hit your depth A BIT, but give me a fricken break. The cavs havent had sasha pavlovic, A STARTER, and we dont sit here and make excuses. Songalia wasnt going to be anywhere NEAR the reason that team won or lost games.

You should be a decently smart NBA man.. does lebron travel? Every once in a while, sure. Does he travel like all of you think? Hell no. You know he doesn't.. you should write a blog about how thats WAY OVER-PLAYED. Watch the replays and count the steps man, im pretty sure you can count to 3. When he stops dribbling then count. Oh and big steps still count as 1 step.

You know, im glad we lost game 5 in cleveland. It only made it THAT MUCH BETTER closing it out on your homecourt for the 3rd year in a row.

We know your players dont have any class, but as a beat writer you should be able to swallow your ridiculous pride and write fairly. Read my boy Brian Windhorst.. now thats somebody who knows whats going on. The whole series was just one big excuse to you people. You lost go home and think about how you'll lose next year.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

70% of the Wiz fans want change given the futility of the past several years versus the potential. The easiest and most effective way to do that is the coach.

Most of the other Wiz fans are risk adverse and therefore are willing to gamble on the status quo in the hope of achieving that ever elusive improvement.

And Kalorama wants the same thing - year after year after year because no change is possible and every conceivable strategy is flawed. All I can say is to try ex-lax for the brain, my friend. Hope to hear from you in the Fall.

Ivan, thanks for all of your insights. I hope your son comes home safely in the near future.

Posted by: Izman | May 3, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey idiot,
Don't generalize the entire team about no class when it was Stevenson who ran his mouth. Maybe, you should know what you are talking about first.

I find it funny that the Wiz are generally labeled as a "soft" perimeter team with little defense. Of course, the media goes and hypes everything up and now the Wiz are the new NBA thugs...give me a break.

Posted by: DC | May 3, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

This is a decent team which seems to be teetering and I could see them going either way -- up to the top of the East or falling behind upstarts like Atlanta and Philly.

AJ pretty much had a career year. How many more of those can we expect. So too did Brendan.

One thing that was unsettling from this year was the number of blowouts. It seemed like the Wiz were on the receiving end of many but dealt very few. Although they played some great games against the top teams, they also laid several eggs and never seemed to easily put anyone away. For those folks who say we should let Gilbert go and keep the roster intact, I point to that as my reason as to why things have to change beyond simply letting GA walk.

This is a decent team but one which could easily fall flat on its face next year if they stand pat. Sounds a bit like the Redskins I think...

Posted by: Ed | May 3, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Now is not the time to ponder what moves to make this summer. Emotions are way too high. I guarantee Ernie Grunfeld will say something like that during his next press conference. Don't expect him to give out any clues about what decisions he will make. We all just need to cool down for a while.

Posted by: low | May 3, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@ Cleveland: "They're trying to hurt me, Danny!"

Posted by: Tricky Gnosis | May 3, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Vwilliams---

I am well aware of the salary cap. Camby is reportedly available (2 years left on his deal), Memphis has said it would trade one of Lowry or Conley in the right deal (ie, not for Navaro)(imagine if it wins the draft lottery and picks Rose) and other possible moves could be made under the cap. AJ comes off the cap or could be signed and traded. Haywood, Songaila may have trade value. Go to RealGM and play with the trade checker. The team can be re-built and be competitive.

BTW, all of the assistant coaches contracts are set to expire now. Jordan only one year. Ernie gave this group one last year to perform and he is set to reload if he wants. This was the plan.

I hope Ernie re-builds around Butler and Arenas and DEFENSE first. AJ and Haywood could be good chips.

Posted by: wizfanatic | May 3, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow if this Cleveland fan is in any way representative of any significant # of Cleveland fans...how sad. Very very sad. Even after a win, their level of insecurity, fear and poor self-esteem is highly evident. How sad that they are still in deperate need of simpathy and pitty. They clearly crave the enabling felacio only Mike Brown and the rest of Lickbron's sidekicks know how to deliver. Boy it must really suck to be from and or live in Cleveland.

Posted by: oddjob | May 3, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Think of it this way: The Wizards finished as the fifth seed in the East and won more games than they did the previous year, and took a playoff series to six games--all without their best player for most of the way, and never at even close to 100 percent in the few games when he did play. How well would Cleveland have done without LeBron? Houston is the only other team I can think of that overcame as much adversity. They had four guys--Butler, Stevenson, Mason and Haywood--who significantly ratcheted up their games to another level this year, and two other guys (Blatche and Young) who need to get more consistent but were excellent at times. They should be proud of what they accomplished.

With four straight .500 or better teams nad playoff appearances, Eddie's been the most successful coach that the Wizards have had in a long time, and all these people who criticize him are idiots. Abe's opinion is the one that really matters, and I'm sure he views Eddie as a keeper.

I'm going to sign off for a while, I think...much thanks to Ivan for his always interesting and informative blog. See you guys in October.

Posted by: John Brisker | May 3, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and what should Ernie do?
EJ was valiant this year, but he is not the answer. This offseason is the year to make a change. I like the idea of D'Antoni and there may be one or two assistants who should stay.

I agree with keeping Gil, unless you can get near equal value for him. Elton Brand would do it, in my opinion. If you keep Gil, he has got to be moved to the two.

AJ is a tough call. Love his heart, citizenship, etc. But if you can do a sign and trade and get him to a West Coast playoff team, that sees him as a great 6th man (which he is) and get a legitimate point guard in return, you need to do it. Otherwise, if AJ is willing to resign for a bargain, keep him, if not save the cap space.

Nobody wanted ET before his heart problem. Nobody wants him now, the Ernie is stuck with him. I would see what teams want for BH, but unless you can get a steal you need to keep him. The Wiz have nobody else to play the position.

RM is nice to have if you can afford to keep him at a higher paygrade. The Wiz cannot. Plus even if they add a starting PG, I would also draft another one. AD can't keep it up much longer and Gil must be moved to the two.

So, the PG position is their most glaring weakness. Followed by a rebounding 4 and 5. The two or three toughest positions to fill in the NBA.

Ernie, GO TO WORK!


Posted by: oddjob | May 3, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Mike Brown really does need to stop debasing himself. Hearing him say things like:

"You have to give Washington credit, especially Eddie Jordan and his staff. I thought it was a terrific series for them. Eddie did a terrific job preparing his team and getting his team ready every night. This series was to the point that each game could go either way"

is just embarrassing. Or is that the correct number of "terrifics", Ivan?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Then people actually believe the Songolia suspension was the reason they lost the game. Sure, it hit your depth A BIT, but give me a fricken break. The cavs havent had sasha pavlovic, A STARTER, and we dont sit here and make excuses. Songalia wasnt going to be anywhere NEAR the reason that team won or lost games."

The post specifically said that missing Songaila did not cause the team to lose. I under stand that you were missing Pavlovic, A STARTER, but the Wizards were missing Arenas, THEIR BEST PLAYER - this year and last.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow if this Cleveland fan is in any way representative of any significant # of Cleveland fans...how sad. Very very sad. Even after a win, their level of insecurity, fear and poor self-esteem is highly evident. How sad that they are still in deperate need of simpathy and pitty. They clearly crave the enabling felacio only Mike Brown and the rest of Lickbron's sidekicks know how to deliver. Boy it must really suck to be from and or live in Cleveland.

Posted by: oddjob | May 3, 2008 6:01 PM

Oddjob personifies the image that all NBA fans now have of Wiz fans. That of a bunch of sour, bitter, crude, insecure fans who lash out every which way when their team loses (you also have the worst of traits, you can "dish it out but you can't take it").

Too bad for DC. Your team deserves a classier fan base.

Posted by: HawksFan | May 3, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Great job as usual this year Ivan

Kep up the fine work.

Look forward to reading your thoughts for 08-09

IMO.

Wiz have to acquire two types of players. But they wont be easy.

1) A Bruce Bowen type defender
2) Get rid of O-Pec and Thomas and get a Reggie Evans/Kurt Thomas type player.

Finally. Eddie Jordan and his staff did a decent job and deserve another go around.

Posted by: Faster Than A Speding Bullet | May 3, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Watch the replays and count the steps man, im pretty sure you can count to 3. When he stops dribbling then count. Oh and big steps still count as 1 step.
Posted by: | May 3, 2008 5:14 PM

No wonder Cleveland fans don't think Queen James travels!!!

Posted by: Rook | May 3, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

What to do now....Well definately don't fire Jordan. I never understood the bashing he gets here. Damn fine coach. Going out the same way three years in a row is pretty frustrating, but injuries have been brutal. I say keep an open mind trade-wise. I guess Haywood's value is at an all time high, but we'd have to get a big man in return, so I don't know if anyone's gonna want big for big. I guess we need to step back and let the emotions from the series die down.

Posted by: Patrick | May 3, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Mike Brown really does need to stop debasing himself. Hearing him say things like:

"You have to give Washington credit, especially Eddie Jordan and his staff. I thought it was a terrific series for them. Eddie did a terrific job preparing his team and getting his team ready every night. This series was to the point that each game could go either way"

is just embarrassing. Or is that the correct number of "terrifics", Ivan?

Posted by: | May 3, 2008 6:25 PM



Perhaps Ivan was referring to a quote from Mike Brown, Yesterday:
"Terrific, terrific, terrific, terrific, terrific performance by our guy LeBron James," Brown said. "Terrific."

Methinks Sir Brown has a thing for Queen James....

Posted by: Rook | May 3, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"Mike Brown really does need to stop debasing himself" - Ivan Carter




That and the fact that EVERY time that LeBaby fell down in the series, Brown sprinted onto the court cajoling the referees, and checking on the Queen.

It was really quite embarrasing to see a grown man, fawning over another grown man.

Posted by: Rook | May 3, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivan - thanks for another great blog and all your hard work this season. It'll be fascinating to see what Ernie comes up with, and to see what everyone brings to training camp. Have a great summer. Cheers

Posted by: southpacific | May 3, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Tell your boy Sven I'm downing one for him. I've been where he's at now. Good job this year Ivan - keep it up.

Posted by: Icantfeelmyface | May 3, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

How well would Cleveland have done without LeBron?

Posted by: John Brisker | May 3, 2008 6:12 PM

I think that their 0-6 performance when LeBaby had a sprained finger pretty much tells you what would have happened.

You know, it's funny. I used to despise Kobe Bryant. Besides the off-court stuff, I just thought he was a selfish ball player.

AND, at the beginning of this Series, I liked Lebron James - I thought he stood for everything good about the game - skill, hard work, integrity, fair play, honesty...

Now, Kobe is playing team basketball.. Sharing the rock. Glorifying in "team"..

While LeBron scowls at officials if someone breathes on him. Elbows players in the head. Talks to the media about "not talking trash", but then just gets someone else to do the dirty work to disrespect other players (Jay-z, Damon Jones). Crys that "they're tyring to hurt me, Ronnie!" DURING a game!! Talks about himself in the 3rd person?!?@? Says stuff like "They want to hurt LeBron James" in the newspapers.

I'm sorry, but a person like that does not deserve respect.

Posted by: Rook | May 3, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Watch the replays and count the steps man, im pretty sure you can count to 3. When he stops dribbling then count. Oh and big steps still count as 1 step.
Posted by: | May 3, 2008 5:14 PM

No wonder Cleveland fans don't think Queen James travels!!!

Posted by: Rook | May 3, 2008 6:53 PM


By the way Cleveland, here's the actual NBA rule for traveling. The count, by the way, is two (2) steps!!!

From the NBA rule book:
A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may use a two-count rhythm in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball.

The first count occurs:
(1) As he receives the ball, if either foot is touching the floor at the time he receives it.
(2) As the foot touches the floor, or as both feet touch the floor simultane- ously after he receives the ball, if both feet are off the floor when he receives it.

The second occurs:
(1) After the count of one when either foot touches the floor, or both feet touch the floor simultaneously.



Perhaps someone in NBA League Headquarters should forward this rule to LeBron James, The Cleveland Cavaliers Team, Mike Brown, and all the NBA referees. - - - Oh, I forgot, that's not their job.... they're too busy suspending players for non-existant punches.

Posted by: Rook | May 3, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again for all your work, Ivan.

Hopefully you can feed us some more info when we get close to the scary July 1st date where Arenas can opt out -- and we can hopefully re-sign him and AJ.

Posted by: Adam | May 3, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, great work all season. Good luck to Sven as well, its gotta be tough on him.

As for the team, this is obviously a huge off-season. If Gil opts out of his contract he is absolutely insane. He declined to answer that question last night, and I really think he is giving strong consideration to just playing out the last year (or at least someone should be in his ear telling him this). Neither the Wiz or any other NBA team will give him a max deal after this season. The knee can't be trusted yet, and it is too risky. He needs to come back healthy next year and prove that he still has it. He will be losing a lot of money if he opts out, not getting more like he originally thought.

AJ will be back without a doubt. He will take a pay cut, but still get a good chunk of money.

Health will be the biggest thing facing this team. Will Caron, Gil, Etan, etc. be ready to go for camp on October 1st? These guys need to be healthy, and maybe even a new medical staff be brought in. Some things are out of their hands, such as the Etan situation, but guys like Caron and Gil are always hurt, and never get cured properly. That is very bothersome.

With AJ guaranteed for a smaller salary next year, hopefully this team can fill out a 15 man roster while staying within the luxury tax. That obviously was a downfall this season, and the lack of depth hurt. This team needs a full squad of players in case injury problems creep up again.

I am excited for the off-season. I expect the core guys to be back, and some bigs added. Maybe a free agent PF/C who can come off the bench, and a young big through the draft. Heck, maybe even a big trade is needed to shake things up. It will be exciting to see it play out.

Posted by: Roman | May 3, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"We were hurt all year" Stop your fricking crying. Who are the cry babies now? Sasha (a starter) was unavailable and injured a good portion of the year. Verajao was injured a good portion of the year and even signed late, we had fricken Larry Hughes who was hurt for a good portion of his Cleveland career, Daniel Gibson was just now getting back. No one want to hear your "misfortunes" everyone has them. No respect for the writer of this article.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"Sasha (a starter) was unavailable and injured a good portion of the year. Verajao was injured a good portion of the year and even signed late, we had fricken Larry Hughes who was hurt for a good portion of his Cleveland career,"

and none of them have an impact on the team like Gil and Caron do with the Wizards. that's like saying songaila and deshawn were injured, and comparing that to lebron and big z being injured. There just is no comparison. That said, Cleveland has a full 15 man roster, even with the injuries...Washington had how many? 12? With almost half being rookies...nobody is taking anything away from the Cavs, because they won in convincing fashion, so stop getting all fussy and huffy.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Without Gilbert who is the best and probably only penetrator on this team, Wizards is a jump-shooting team. When the shots are falling, they are good. But when the shots are not falling, such as last night, they got blown out.

On defense, a good 3-pt shooting team is always going to beat Wizards the way Wizs play defense. Last night, how many Cleveland's 3-pt shots were wide open? And they did hit them, 11 for 24, 45.8%! In a 7-game playoff series you cannot reply on them keep on missing the open shots!

On last word about LeBron, he is a good player, he is not overrated, but he is over-protected, and a good actor.

Posted by: Sagaliba | May 3, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivan and co., what do you guys think abuot Mason? Is he worth going after? Did he prove his worth this season? To me, he seems to have had a solid year, but there is just too much inconsistency (this applies to the whole team). The only real consistent player is AJ (and BTH to some extent). Even Caron seems to follow up all-star caliber games with ones where he just fires up jumpers all day. Is that a sign of bad coaching, or is it the team showing needs to mature? And who else is excited to see a (seemingly) more low-key and healthy Arenas join the Wiz next season? Can't wait to see if he really matures (there have been flashes of this thus far this postseason...he hasn't really run his mouth or done much of anything but focus on bball). If he does, then this taem can really explode next season (assuming they finally get a reliable jump shooter. Roger Mason is not reliable.)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Outcomes like this make it hard to follow a team for a grueling 82-game season, when you know the deck is going to be stacked against you in the playoffs. The evidence to this is in the silly Songaila suspension, and LeBron's special treatment, his taking three and even four steps on drives to the basket with no calls. Tom Knott's article in today's WTimes recognizes the same thing. If I wasn't such a sports fan I would give up on the NBA in general, but I'm a sucker for the drama.

Posted by: DC | May 3, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Ivan means by, "unless Ernie changed his mind over the past few days," but if Ernie doesn't fire Eddie now, he:

1. Needs to give Eddie a new contract -- coaches almost never coach with only the current year on their contract; and

2. Needs to give new deals to Eddie's assistants, likely more than one year.

I don't see that happening. Give your coach a new contract after he lost in the first round for the third year straight? It seems like the contracts are set up so that now is the time Ernie will start anew with a new coaching staff.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Great, great post Ivan.

You and Michael make tuning into this blog worthwhile... not just for the latest news or behind the scenes perspective, but for your guy's intelligent, informed opinion. It's clear you both have a love for the game.

I can be very hard on Eddie, but for today I will simply say that he did a solid job this season considering the circumstances, and I will leave it at that. He handles himself with dignity and self respect and a healthy sense of humor (the LeBron acting in commercials quote was priceless), in contrast to Mike Brown who I think may be embarrassed to look back at how he acted this series a few years down the road.

Posted by: Wei | May 3, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! The series was fixed! DC people are always full of excuses. Man up and take responsibility for your team. They are garbage - poorly coached, emotionally unstable, and heartless. To get BLOWN OUT like that on your home court in an elimination game is SHAMEFUL. You pathetic fairweather DC fans got exactly what you deserved. Bunch of gangbangers and government automatons. Not exactly the makings of a loyal fan base.

Everyone on this blog is talking about resigning the "Big 3." Foolishness. Butler is the only one worth keeping. Deal the other two for a big man with some BALLS. Brenda is not going to get it done for you punks, ever. Big Z owned him, and all he could do when he rotated to help was foul. Great draft picks over the last few years, Grunfeld. Blatche, Young, Mason, total non-factors last night. Boobie Gibson? Money in the bank. And that was a SECOND round pick.

Enjoy the traffic, humidity, and murder rate this summer, while you're watching the Cavs make a run to the title.

Posted by: Bye Bye Crybabies | May 3, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! The series was fixed! DC people are always full of excuses. Man up and take responsibility for your team. They are garbage - poorly coached, emotionally unstable, and heartless. To get BLOWN OUT like that on your home court in an elimination game is SHAMEFUL. You pathetic fairweather DC fans got exactly what you deserved. Bunch of gangbangers and government automatons. Not exactly the makings of a loyal fan base.

Everyone on this blog is talking about resigning the "Big 3." Foolishness. Butler is the only one worth keeping. Deal the other two for a big man with some BALLS. Brenda is not going to get it done for you punks, ever. Big Z owned him, and all he could do when he rotated to help was foul. Great draft picks over the last few years, Grunfeld. Blatche, Young, Mason, total non-factors last night. Boobie Gibson? Money in the bank. And that was a SECOND round pick.

Enjoy the traffic, humidity, and murder rate this summer, while you're watching the Cavs make a run to the title.

Posted by: Bye Bye Crybabies | May 3, 2008 10:11 PM

Dude, move the f on. Go play Boston. Find another blog to troll.

Posted by: Johnnie Futbol | May 3, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

That's what I thought...no comeback at all. Where's all that smack talking now? Oh right, DC's fairweather fans have forgotten all about the Witnesses already.

Posted by: Bye Bye Crybabies | May 3, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

What is simply ridiculous is Cavs fans wasting their time posting on a Wizards blog on a Saturday night!

You are a Cavs fan...your team advanced....IT'S FLIPPIN" Saturday night!

Obviously, you are teenagers.....or have no life. How pathetic.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't BELIEVE people want Eddie Jordan fired. Do you people calling for his head REMEMBER how bad we were, for how long? How we lived in the world of the mediocre for the better part of two decades??

True his team has lost in the playoffs three straight years to the Cavs, but last year we had no chance due to injuries, and this year with Gil out and Butler apparently hurting more than he let on, what would one expect?

Jordan has been great. Grunfeld has been great. Grunfeld, in my view, has made some very tough calls over the last couple of years (and I disagreed with the Larry Hughes decision at the time, but now realize he was way right and I was way wrong), and virtually none of them have been bad. I look forward to seeing what he does this offseason and would be thrilled if the ENTIRE CAST were back next year.

I think Haywood's year was not an anomoly---I think he improved. Blatche will continue to get better, as will Nick Young. My biggest fear is that Caron Butler will become the franchise guy, but will continue to play with the reckless abandon that defines him, and will ALWAYS be nicked up with some injury or another. NOT his fault, but rather just the way he plays. Daniels is similar. Fearless, play hard type of guys that take too many shots too often...

If we have to make a splashy move or if we think our rebounding weakness was what we can expect from this team as constituted, make a run at Elton Brand. Not sure we can get him, but worth a shot. Would shore up our internal scoring weakness and our non-rebounding issues. (BTW, yes, AJ rebounds, but he gets shoved all over creation by big PFs and Cs.)


Posted by: psdfx | May 3, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

As my life reaches my 42nd birthday tomorrow, I can't help but reflect on the great journey this season has been for the Wizards. The team perservered through a season without it's best player (GA), it's toughest inside player (Etan Thomas), and yet managed to beat some of the best the NBA had to offer. It's a shame that the team ran out of gas in Game 6, but I enjoyed the season and never lost faith in EJ or the team.

I would sorely miss AJ if he leaves after the leadership, class, and production he has provided but sometimes change is needed. Bottom line with even a healthy GA next year is that we simply need some stronger, bigger bodies that can play the 4 and 5 positions. BTH has progressed and is now a finished product....a solid center on a team that is undersized at the other frontcourt positions.

I hope that EG looks at things from a glass half full and doesn't blow up the team before deciding whether EJ is the man to lead us further in the playoffs. Given a deeper roster with more size and a healthy GA, there is definitely room to improve next year. This is a not an old team and the window has not closed. AJ has at least 2-3 strong years ahead of him and only Daniels is on the down side of his career. This summer is paramount for the overall direction of the team and EG has many hard decison to make.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 3, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse


"Do you realize its because of people like you that the Wizards fan base is so dumb...We know your players dont have any class, but as a beat writer you should be able to swallow your ridiculous pride and write fairly. Read my boy Brian Windhorst.. "

While we're talking about class, it sure would be nice if the classy Cavs fans would quit coming over to DC blogs with nothing but insults and bragging.

This is our blog. This is where we come to talk about everything that could have been and should have been. We believe in our team, and we believe that we should have won. That's what fans do. And when the unbelievable happens, we try to explain how it might have happened.

If you're going to be coming over to our blogs, telling us how hopeless our team is, you're going to have to listen to us talk about how things might have been different if our #1 player was at full health, and how one of our most solid bench producers could have affected the game. It's not whining. It's discussion.

And get over yourselves. Quit hiding behind Lebron James. One day he's going to be a free agent and he's going to move to a New York or a Los Angeles, a real basketball market. And you know you wouldn't have done half as well without your top player as we have done without ours.

Posted by: Chris | May 3, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the traffic, humidity, and murder rate this summer, while you're watching the Cavs make a run to the title.

-----

Dude. The cavs will never make a legitimate run to the title. you can't beat orlando, detroit, or boston in seven games, much less any of the remaining west coast contenders (granted you went 2-0 against la, but i don't think anyone would believe you.) Last year proved you need more than just lebron james to really make a "run to the title."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Ivan,

Can you let your readers know how to make their voice heard to EG? I really want to see Roger Mason back next year.

Posted by: Christopher Short | May 3, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Cavs will be eliminated long before summer.

And no one here wishes they were in Cleveland this summer.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Roger Mason, Jr had a fine year ... but assuming Gilbert returns, which is a MUST, if we keep Mason and Daniels there is no room for Nick Young to get PT and you have to believe he is potentially 18-3-3 (i.e Rip Hamilton territory). Ergo, Mason needs to be packaged with Jamison (signed and traded) and, if needed, Blatche, to get us a serious big man.... to the Clips for Brand; the Blazers for Aldridge; the Bulls for Tyrus Thomas and Chris Duhon; the Sonics for Chris Wilcox and Luke Ridenour... you get the idea. The NBA is in the midst of an interesting transition to teams that are young deep and quick (look at what Atlanta is doing to Boston, win or lose, and look closely at New Orleans and Orlando) and the Wizards are poised to be a part of that providing they can uh bite the bullet and part with the past (Jamison, Daniels, Mason) and embrace the future (which should include a draft choice like Roy Hibbert).

Field a team that includes Arenas, Butler, Haywood, Wilcox (or Thomas or Aldridge or Brand), Stevenson (much less nutty than Artest or Jackson), Young, Hibbert etc and you will see another banner in the rafters sooner than later.

Eddie Jordan can coach a team like that well enough.... Mike D'Antoni could possibly do it better.

It is not necessary or desirable to "blow up" the Wizards in their present state but a minor tweak will not suffice.

Posted by: khrabb | May 4, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Well, I trust EG, but I don't envy him.

We will probably have the same coach and team next year, but I frankly don't ever see this bunch being true "contenders"! Therefore, we will be tied to this core of players for the next 3/4 years with 1st and 2nd round exits the norm.

Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward two steps. Seems some fans in here are against it bc "remember what we used to be like" seems to be the motto. But, look at the Capitals who stuck to a real rebuilding plan. They did it perfectly right and I will be shocked if the Caps don't make the finals in the next few years and perhaps win the Stanley Cup. EG is quite capable of doing the same!

Philadelphia seems to have recovered from trading AI fairly quickly and we could do the same. NY could replace GA's scoring for the most part as soon as next year, but he'll do it from the 2 guard position. So, someone on d and rebounding up front and a PG would go a long way in making us forget GA.

Who said Mason was not a reliable shooter? He was probably our most reliable shooter this year! But we won't resign him and the other two. No way!

Posted by: Rob P | May 4, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

"And Kalorama wants the same thing - year after year after year because no change is possible and every conceivable strategy is flawed. All I can say is to try ex-lax for the brain, my friend."

So basically, as usual, all you can say is ignorant garbage with no substantive value? Big shock. Aside from being, as usual, wrong and an idiot, you've now added willfully misleading and densely obtuse to the menu. Well, I guess that's progress.

I want the "same thing year after year"? I realize that actually reading what someone writes before pretending to respond would unduly tax your limited mental resources, but would it really be too much to ask for you to simply shut the hell up when you don't know what you're talking about? Obviously it would.

For months now I've been holding to the same line, that if the Wizards get ousted early that Grunfeld needs to look at making significant changes. I've said it again several times in the last couple of days. It's been my consistent position for months. And yet here you are, dribbling some watery sh*t from your lips about how I don't want to change anything. Talk out your ass much? Because the smell is indistinguishable from when you talk out your mouth.

Hope to hear from you in the Fall.
Posted by: Izman | May 3, 2008 5:21 PM

The feeling's not even slightly mutual. I sincerely hope to never have to f*cking hear from you again.

Moron.

Posted by: kalorama | May 4, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

My final comment is this:

I HARPED on our 3 pt field goal defense and assists the whole second half of the season.

Well, they were the two reasons we lost to the Cavs. Rebounding hurt us, true, bc they are a bad rebounding matchup for anybody particularly us. But, if we had more assists (trusted the offensive sets more) and kept Boobie, West, and Wally from going crazy from the 3 pt line we would've won regardless of the rebounding!

So, those two things HAVE to improve big time!

Somebody had a great line in here.

The least amount of assists for a Princeton Offense ever! Quite true if not literally!

Everyone have a great summer!

Posted by: Rob P | May 4, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Wizards fans think they still should have won this series.. i mean its like they think their Suns fans from last year against the spurs. I could see Suns fans still bitter over that loss, but WIZARDS fans this year?? LOL You've won like 4 games against us the last 3 years, why the HELL do you think you're better? The first year you had ALL your players and it was lebrons FIRST time in the playoffs. LOST IN SIX ON YOUR HOMEFLOOR!

You're a freaking better team without ballhog 40% shooting arenas anyways, so stop with the excuses. Tough Juice aint that tough and he came up like the little girl he is in the playoffs. The only player you have is Jamison (hopefully the cavs sign him lol) everyone else is too worried about their ego.

The way wizard fans have been attacking lebron this whole series just blows my mind. he is one of the classier guys in the NBA and you'd think after reading these blogs that he was the devil himself. Does he complain after certain fouls? sure WHO DOESNT. he isnt tim duncan, or the whole piston team though. get over it you lose shutup and move on.

Whats funny is all of you thought stevenson was right in calling him overrated. Then he comes out and DOMINATES the whole series, puts up SICK numbers, makes all the right plays, and EVEN WIZARD FANS notice this so they have to pull the "i dont respect him" card. Its pathetic. "He whines after every non-call" Um, no he doesnt. he just torched your asses for 6 games so you have to say something to make yourselves feel better. Have fun fishin wiz fans

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

@ Kal,

What do you think about this? I know you don't like Blatche's "potential" and I don't either anymore. If another team over values his "potential" as LA did with Kwame, we got to move him BIG TIME! Not that I am expecting a CB in return. But, the kid does not have the ambition to be what he could be. The weight room should be his first priority even over summer league!!!!

There are too many Carl Landry's, Brandon Bass', Jason Maxiell's in this league to have the all length no strength team that we have. Even McGuire is a skinny dude, which I did not know until the season began.

Hilarious mistake by the Cleveland fan "just watch the ball and count to 3"! Ha!
That's what I did about 5/6 times this series and he got called for one traveling infraction that I can remember! At least they started calling Z. They should just rename the team the Cleveland Traveliers!

Posted by: Rob P | May 4, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, this is the first time I've posted even though I've lurked all season. I just wanted to say thanks for the service your provided.

One thing I have to disagree with -- Mike Brown is not a great coach. LeBron is a hell of a player, but I could coach that team. It's funny how wins change the perception of a coach (ex: Doc Rivers: horrible coach last year -> coach of the year candidate this year -> horrible coach in the playoffs). But wins really come down to the players on your team. And you give me Lebron and 11 scrubs and I could win 45 games as an NBA head coach.

Posted by: RJH | May 4, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

I never said I don't like Blatche's potential. I think his potential is very high. I just question his commitment to putting in the hard work needed to maximize that potential. If they can trade him for good value, then I've got no problem with it. I've said many times already that the lack of an active, physical, energetic presence inside is a major weakness for the Wizards. But they aren't likely to get the kind of player they need in exchange for Blatche. The reason the Lakers took a roll on Kwame was exactly because he had size and strength. Teams will always take a chance on that. Blatche is a finesse player with raw skills who seems unwilling to work to polish them. He's a project. I doubt his value is that high.

Posted by: kalorama | May 4, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! The series was fixed! DC people are always full of excuses. Man up and take responsibility for your team. They are garbage - poorly coached, emotionally unstable, and heartless. To get BLOWN OUT like that on your home court in an elimination game is SHAMEFUL. You pathetic fairweather DC fans got exactly what you deserved. Bunch of gangbangers and government automatons. Not exactly the makings of a loyal fan base.

Everyone on this blog is talking about resigning the "Big 3." Foolishness. Butler is the only one worth keeping. Deal the other two for a big man with some BALLS. Brenda is not going to get it done for you punks, ever. Big Z owned him, and all he could do when he rotated to help was foul. Great draft picks over the last few years, Grunfeld. Blatche, Young, Mason, total non-factors last night. Boobie Gibson? Money in the bank. And that was a SECOND round pick.

Enjoy the traffic, humidity, and murder rate this summer, while you're watching the Cavs make a run to the title.

Posted by: Bye Bye Crybabies | May 3, 2008 10:11 PM


OK lets correct your ignorant post.

1) Mason was not drafted by us. Get your facts straight.

2) Gangbanger? Honestly? You sound like Mike Brown

3) What makes you think we are fair weather fans, your home crowd sucked compared to ours.

4) BIG 3. OK when healthy, Arenas is arguably one of the best scorers in the NBA. Every year since we got him he has improved. 15 per game when we got him to 29 per game last year. Next Caron is an all star that can turn it on and get 30 - 40 on any night when healthy, which as much as you want to disagree, he wasn't during this series. Jamison is a 20 point, 10 rebound per game guy. Yeah how many guys in the league can do that, not Lebron even though his is as big or bigger than Jamison with more athleticism.

5) Brendan Haywood played the best season of his career and just to let you know he is only about 25. We don't need an all star, we have those.

6) Last night? OK one game, see game 3 for the definition of not showing up.

7) Um Arenas Second Round Pick, money for a season, not just a game. But go ahead and ride boobie if you want.

8) Poorly coached, how about you take away 30 points per game(or Lebron James) and then make the playoffs having beaten boston 3 times(only team in the league to do that), then becoming the 5th seed only one referee call back of the sixers for some free throws away from 4th. Oh yeah, your team would be fighting for the most golf balls in the lottery with Miami.

So in the end you uneducated Cleveland fan with an incredibly low basketball IQ, please go away and make a nice home for yourself in Cleveland, the city that has never won anything and we will stay here with our 78 basketball championship, our 3 Superbowl rings, our new baseball team, and our MVP Alexander Ovechkin. Peace!

Posted by: Alex | May 4, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

"You should be a decently smart NBA man.. does lebron travel? Every once in a while, sure. Does he travel like all of you think? Hell no. You know he doesn't.. you should write a blog about how thats WAY OVER-PLAYED. Watch the replays and count the steps man, im pretty sure you can count to 3. When he stops dribbling then count. Oh and big steps still count as 1 step."

Posted by: | May 3, 2008 5:14 PM

what an idiot???? count to 3? I guess Cleveland fans are as dumb as I thought.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE3PATzV_rM


Wizards/Cavaliers playoff mixtape I made to commemorate the series.

Posted by: Will from Rockville | May 4, 2008 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Keep this team intact.

I can see AJ remaining effective into his 40's. Not many players out there who depend less on athleticism than AJ. Points come on wacky flip shots and open-look threes. Rebounds come from intelligence- anticipation and nose for the ball. I'd try to see if he'd be willing to sign for less in exchange for a long term contract. And towards the end of that contract, maybe he could transition to taking on some assistant coaching duties.

Do what it takes to keep Gilbert. The guy has been phenomenal at everything he's put his mind to on the basketball court. Yes, it's frustrating that he hasn't put in the effort to become a great defensive player. But he has all the tools to potentially become great at that end of the floor, too. No way in hell, I'd let him go and risk seeing him put it together for another team.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Alex, Brendan's actually 28, but I agree with the rest of what you said.

Posted by: re Alex | May 4, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I think Wilbon put it best yesterday. We have 3 all stars on the team, but there is no single great player who can impose his will on his teammates and on his opponents on a consistent basis. There is no player who is in the elite level like Kobe, Lebron, MJ, etc.

Without Lebron, the Cavs are easily a lottery team. Could any one of our all stars be put in Lebron's position and carry them throughout the season and win in the first round? Nope.

Gilby is a great offensive player, but his need for the ball in his hands comes at the detriment of the team and other players. Caron and BTH wouldn't have had the seasons they had if Gilby was healthy and took his large share of the shots. That includes Mason.

Also, Gilby is a defensive liability, and with all the injuries (abdominal strain, dislocated clavicle, two knee surgeries, limp wrist, etc.) that he's had, indications are that he is not that durable and may be breaking down. He doesn't like physical contact. It won't be long before he loses his quickness, and can't rely on the drive and foul/basket.

Caron is a great all around player, but I think he needs more discipline in his game and needs to take smarter shots. There were no 3 point set shooters in the game for him to kick to when he drove and was stuck.

AJ is a reliable 20-10'ish guy. But that 20-10 is from taking strange shots including a lot of 3 pointers for a 4 guy. You can't rely on AJ to be a consistent low post/in the paint threat. AJ made good strides as a defensive player this season, but he's not a stopper that you fear when going to the hole.

Based on this season, no player on the team is worth max money, and no player is untouchable, with Caron being the closest. EG should consider packaging all stars with a guy like AB/OPech and seeing what he can get.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 4, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

To be perfectly honest,you talked smack and got our ass kicked.Now what?You can talk all the post series crap you want,your still one and done.I remember when I had to fight the bullies in school.Once you started to pounding on them,they had nothing.I raise my four sons, no one can beat you with their mouth.But if someone puts their hands on you,fist to the nose fast and hard.My father taught me and my two brothers the same thing.He made us fight,if we got beat,he made us shake the other guys hand and it was over.I remember telling a guy,"you the best" after we fought a hard fight.We are best friends today and we went on to help each other in fights.Most of the guys who talk a lot of smack are cowards when it comes down to fist fighting anyway.STICKS AND STONES...

Posted by: blackontime | May 4, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Moron.

Posted by: kalorama | May 4, 2008 12:55 AM

Hey Kal - didn't you mean to say Moran?

[grin]

Posted by: Rook | May 4, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Moron.

Posted by: kalorama | May 4, 2008 12:55 AM

Hey Kal - didn't you mean to say Moran?

[grin]

Posted by: Rook | May 4, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I still don't understand why Nick Young got no PT this series, esp in game 6. In the 2nd quarter, when I could've sworn I was watching a repeat of game 4, why doesn't he go in to try and provide an offensive spark. One of the biggest improvements this season was with the play of the wizards bench. However in this 2nd quarter, Songalia is suspended, Gil is out, Blatche was a non-factor, and Mason couldnt throw the ball in the ocean.

How do you let the cavs of all teams go on a 15-0 run. The last 5 or so minutes of game 2,4,and 6 killed us.

Posted by: Sean | May 4, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I will never understand how people can continue to defend Eddie Jordan's coaching. Most of them don't remember that at the time they hired him his boss at NJ, Byron Scott, was available too. The excuse at the time was that Eddie was a homey and the brains behind him. How good did was that excuse looking late last night? If not for Ayers, the Wizards would not have even made the playoffs this year. Hiring Avery Johnson or D'Antoni or even Thibodeaux would be a definite step up. But I doubt it will happen as long as Grunfeld has to answer to Pollin, the General Franco of pro sports.

The team needs to be rebuilt. As it's currently contsituted it won't do any better than last year--ever. And maybe a lot worse. Haywood has proved he's a keeper and is a major reason for the resurgence on defense, so trading him away would be insane. Etan Thomas will never start again, probably will never play again. IMO neither will Arenas, reliably and effectively. I think what we've seen lately is a preview of the rest of his career. The Wizards play better without him and should let him walk--if anyone else wants to take a chance on him. I love AJ but he's a Bernard King on defense and should only be re-signed for half his current contract as a 6th man. The only hope for the Wizards lies in their young players, who need to be worked in as starters, especially Blatche and Young. They need another good draft and a strong free-agent signing for a point guard.

Posted by: KTV | May 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Some how trade up to get Derrick Rose.
Move Arenas to the 2 because thats what he is.
Get rid of haywood and get a dominat center that isnt soft to go after rebounds.
We have a full roster as it is and we can add one more player.
Stevenson is a spot up shooter at best...so trade him with our first this year and next along with next years second for the top pick to take Derrick ROse. and use the second rounder on a big.
Crazy but it would work.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

OK I am over my weekend long depression after another disappointing early exit from the playoffs where do I start? I firmly believed we'd be playing today in Cleveland maybe even catch the LeBrons on their heels and sneak out of there with a win, but alas it was not to be,where does this team go from here? after bantering with Rob P about EJ'S coaching ability I must admit I was a little befudlled about his not using Dominic and Nick friday night what did we have to lose? it was clear that the regular rotation was getting outplayed it was do or die so why not,its water under the bridge so what the hey.EG has some tough decisions about Antwan,Gilbert,Roger and the draft.First resign Roger, sign AJ but not for a ton of money Gilbert is tricky he is the consumate pro as far as dedication but obviously a little quirky,the knee situation merits a sitdown with him offer him fair compensation but not max money throw in some incentives,(heavy cash) tied to team performance i.e. wins,conf.ranking,and for him scoring avg. assist to turnover ratio.Look at some free agents that can have immediate impact,an animal on the boards and for goodness sake expand the roster.Finally having just recently moved to atlanta to be closer to my grandchildren who woulda thunk the hawks !! the hawks? would take the celts to seven games!!

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | May 4, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game Fri night. So disapointing.

Posted by: Darnell | May 4, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

One thing this team needs to do is make sure they have enough money to have a 15 man roster so when someone gets suspended or injured, they can still field a full bench.
Ernie Grunfeld does have a lot of decisions this off-season and seeing his track record, I do believe he can get this team to next level.
Whole Heartedly agree about Mike Brown, he needs to know LeBron can take care of himself and that he needs to act like a top flight head coach and not run out on court everytime James gets touched.
GO WIZ!!!!
BBD36

Posted by: BBD36 | May 4, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

For all those wiz fans that thought the series was rigged the cavs had 139 fouls called against them and the wiz had 137 called against them, and the cavs shot 175 free throws and the wiz shot 174. Those referee's must of been biased.

Posted by: It's good to be alive | May 4, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"For all those wiz fans that thought the series was rigged the cavs had 139 fouls called against them and the wiz had 137 called against them, and the cavs shot 175 free throws and the wiz shot 174. Those referee's must of been biased."

And the Cavs committed about double that number of fouls, but weren't called for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

OWNED. Now i can go back to not caring about the wizards. Again, we are not your rivals we never have been. You wiz fans may think you are but you simply aren't on our level. Long jump shots and no defence don't make a good playoff winning formula. I like Caron and Twan but the rest of you team is secong rate. The assist line for the series speaks for itself the Cavs are just a better all around team then the Wiz.. Cheers to another round of playoff basketball.

Posted by: It's good to be alive | May 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Wizard fans are among the dumbest, most immature, and jealous fans I have ever encountered. You guys are a disgrace to the Wizards team, oh wait the team is a disgrace all by itself.

Your team and fans talked a lot of trash before the series, and once you lost one game, the excuses just come flowing out like water. "NBA cheats for LeBron" "We're not healthy" "LeBron is on HGH" "LeBron is not really 23" "The rims in Cleveland are rigged"

Please grow up you sad Wizard fans, and enjoy your summer, cuz the Verizon Center (at least the b-ball court) is CLOSED UNTIL OCTOBER!!!!

LOSERS!

Posted by: Tom | May 4, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

One more thing, I forgot to add the Washington Media to the list too. You guys are also a joke. LOL

Posted by: Tom | May 4, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Won't be watching anymore of the NBA playoffs...you can have it....3Step Bron is who NY wanted to see play and they got it. So they'll realize that outside of 3Step the Cavs are OLD and they will bow out.

The Bullets just need to add to the bench depth and Eddie Jordan to play the kids in the playoffs and things will be fine. You can roll out the vets for that many minutes night after night as they will be gassed. Bring Hibbert and Gist home and lets gear up for next season.

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Tom,

The Verizon Center won't be closed until October for bball....we have the lovely Mystics about to start there season in there. How about those Cleveland Rockers....oh that's right they rolled out since 3Step Bron couldn't suit up for them and have enough of u dumb Cavs fans care for them.

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ben,

LOL, what a joke, now your bragging about your Washington Mystics. Who the heck cares about the WNBA. LOSER!!!

Just another example of the idiocy that is personified by Washington Wizard fans.

Have fun rooting for the Mystics, we in Cleveland will be rooting for an actual NBA team, the Cavs, aka "The Kings of the Verizon Center"

Posted by: Tom | May 4, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Tom, why are you wasting your time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon on a Wizards blog? Our series is OVER, the Cavs are going to the next round...why are you HERE? Simply pathetic.

Why not go out and enjoy the sunshine or watch the Celtics game since they are the Cavs next competitor?

Obviously, the Wiz has you spooked since you have nothing better to do.

PATHETIC!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"For all those wiz fans that thought the series was rigged the cavs had 139 fouls called against them and the wiz had 137 called against them, and the cavs shot 175 free throws and the wiz shot 174. Those referee's must of been biased."

And the Cavs committed about double that number of fouls, but weren't called for it.


AHH.. a wizard fan at his best! DOUBLE the number of fouls LOL

MORON

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Tom,

First respect the ladies game. Secondly no 1's bragging about the Mystics...it's simply answering your non-fact statement in the Verizon Center will be closed to bball until October. Third...Loser, have fun watching 3Step Bron and "watch the elbows" Z play in the next round...I'm sure it'll be short after you get the walkers for Ben Wallace & Joe Smith

The Only King of the Verizon Center is Antawn Jamison...as the Cavs have no answer for him.

So enjoy the sunlight u joker....as it's only dark days ahead in Cleveland....

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Dont you idiots see that you CANT talk as much trash as you did at the beginning of the series and then still make as many excuses as you are when you lose??? it makes NO SENSE!

What did you think you WOULDNT be complaining about the refs or lebron or the NBA at the beginning of the series??

WIZARD FANS ARE PATHETIC!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yea AJ is sure the King of the Verizon Center..

3 straight closeouts on his homecourt in the postseason

lol losers

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

The series was rigged...u have 3step Bron doing his thing (sometimes actually taking 4 steps to the basket but who's counting), add to that that halo and skirt Bron has since you can't actually play D on him without him crying to the officials about being touched...come on it's the playoffs kid-grow up. U also have Z with the elbows and that walking traveling hook shot of his.
So when shall we see the 3step Bron/Jayz commercials that the NBA so much wants to have out there.

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It's not trash talking...it's simply telling the truth-3step Bron is OVERRATED, you can't play defense against 3step without him fallin down, checking his teeth, hands and skin to cry to the ref each time...they fouling me too hard-it hurts, don't they know I'm just a kid and my team is old and will be done shortly. But u enjoy the rest of the playoffs. We rather have AJ than Wallace/Joe Smith/the Brazilian FLOPPER and I'm sure u have 1 or 2 others on that bench that's just a waste of space.

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Someone give Ben Canada a tissue. loser

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Some give you a dose of reality.....JOKER

Face the facts

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

This from the AP:
"Kevin Garnett took a behind-the-back pass from Paul Pierce, slammed in the dunk to make the lead three dozen points and then slashed his hand across his throat to signal what the Atlanta Hawks already knew. ''It's over,'' he told the crowd."

It will be interesting to see whether the NBA penalizes Garnett as it penalized Deshawn Stevenson for making the same gesture. Something tells me - and it's just a hunch - that they won't.

Posted by: satch | May 4, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I caught that weird terrific quote from the Cleveland coach on the news too. Maybe he's a little worried about job security if Cleveland doesn't advance past the next round.

Posted by: Cav man | May 4, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

folks let me explain this much to you guys yes Eddie Jordan needs to go this is the problem i have with the prineton offense against strong defenses it always seems to struggle now iam not saying the cavs defense is strong enough to bother the wizards offense what iam saying is that the Wizards are way too inconsistant in too many areas such as three point shooting game in and game out where sometimes they shoot 2-16 and sometimes they shoot 10 or 11 of 16 three pointers as for playing against the cavs the refs allowed James and Illogaskas to get away with way too much and the problem with the NBA is that the calls are not consistent where the sane call can be called on the other end and to this day i don't think what James is getting away with what Jordan got away with and james is a great actor and the refs need to realize that they need to study the tapes and see if he's acting or not.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Satch,

They'll explain the Garnett thing as he was doing it to the crowd during a timeout and that none of the ATL players were witness to it or it was done in front of so he'll get nothing from it other than that slap on the hand from Stern saying don't do it again.

Posted by: Ben Canada | May 4, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

the fcukin series is over and the cleveland goons are still in here?

Its one thing to lose for a few years... its another to never have been a winner...

Good luck.

Posted by: jones-y | May 4, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I think one of the biggest issues that was revealed in this series was the lack of focus and mental toughness during critical situations. I'm specifically talking about game 1 and 6. When things started swinging back towards the cavs, rushed jump shots were jacked up, passes were sloppy and defense was awful.

Fixing this will take work from both EJ and the players. EJ needs to have his players believe the offense will work in key situation. He also should develop "high percentage" plays that the wiz can default to in tough stretches and that the players are comfortable with to help keep composure.

The theme for the players next year should be "focus". Don't get ahead of themselves and stick to the gameplan even when things get rough. AJ has the leadership to impose calm in-game, and CB has the potential to be another floor general if he can keep his own cool. They should keep an eye on gilbert and talk to him alot in-game to keep him from jacking up shots in critical points.

The talent is there; if we can mesh into an efficient and steady scoring machine, we can do damage. But alas, we say that every year...

Posted by: Lenny | May 4, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

oops, I guess I hit a nerve. Truth hurts.

Posted by: oddjob | May 4, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"Ben,

LOL, what a joke, now your bragging about your Washington Mystics. Who the heck cares about the WNBA. LOSER!!!

Just another example of the idiocy that is personified by Washington Wizard fans.

Have fun rooting for the Mystics, we in Cleveland will be rooting for an actual NBA team, the Cavs, aka "The Kings of the Verizon Center"

Posted by: Tom | May 4, 2008 2:05 PM

Tom, why are you wasting your time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon on a Wizards blog? Our series is OVER, the Cavs are going to the next round...why are you HERE? Simply pathetic.

Why not go out and enjoy the sunshine or watch the Celtics game since they are the Cavs next competitor?

Obviously, the Wiz has you spooked since you have nothing better to do.

PATHETIC!!!

Posted by: | May 4, 2008 2:13 PM "

Huh? So why is this anonymous person doing the very same thing that Tom is doing?

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 4, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

What's clear after the 3rd straight year of being eliminated in the first round is that this team is 3 years older, and not that much closer to getting to the second round.

People can use injuries as an excuse, but every team deals with injuries. If you want to use injuries as an excuse, then you keep using it, because there's no guarantee that the team will be injury free next season.

Nevermind Gilby's injury, a big reason why Caron and AD got beat up was b/c the team was completely undermanned throughout the entire season. EG had better structure the team so that they can bring in emergency help if needed without going over the cap, because that cushion will be needed.

What we've seen also is that the very weaknesses that this team has against opponents has nothing to do with who was injured and not playing.

Even when completely healthy, this team is sorely lacking in an inside presence at the 4, athleticism for their bigs, defense in the paint and at the 1, rebounding, and spot up shooters.

Paying Gilby max money or any money is not going to erase any of those problems.

The teams that are successful in the league don't have a pattern of getting eliminated in the first round on a consistent basis. They either bring in people who produce instantly, or have a great draft because they did their homework. They include the Spurs, the Lakers, the Cavs, the Pistons, etc.

I can't recall a team that kept it together even after 3 seasons of being shown the door after the first round, and then marched on deep into the playoffs and to a championship when they "got healthy." It's an excuse for losers.

BTW, trading Caron for Kwame was a great move by EG, but an even greater move by Kupchak was trading Kwame for Pao Gasol, a guy who the Wiz could have drafted outright.

Also, it's clear that Lebron gets a lot of preferential treatment. Even his teammates like Gilbson and West take many steps to get set and dont' get called. None of that will probably change, so you just go to deal with it and beat them outright.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 4, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

Trading Kwame for Caron....

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 4, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately 88, a healthy gilbert sells tickets. Although we probably won't sign him for max money, unless EG can bring in an immediate contributer at the 4 (shifting AJ and CB down a spot each with AD at 1) gilbert is here for the foreseeable future. The popular candidate has been Elton Brand but keep in mind that his touches would drop dramatically because, well, he's wouldn't be playing for the clippers anymore.

Dropping gilbert for a better than average 4 would make a more complete team but trading away the most interesting and exciting DC athlete in a long while (MJ doesn't count lol) would be hard for fans to stomach.

Posted by: Lenny | May 4, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert said today that if he is not 100% percent he does not expect max money.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately 88, a healthy gilbert sells tickets. Although we probably won't sign him for max money, unless EG can bring in an immediate contributer at the 4 (shifting AJ and CB down a spot each with AD at 1) gilbert is here for the foreseeable future. The popular candidate has been Elton Brand but keep in mind that his touches would drop dramatically because, well, he's wouldn't be playing for the clippers anymore.

Dropping gilbert for a better than average 4 would make a more complete team but trading away the most interesting and exciting DC athlete in a long while (MJ doesn't count lol) would be hard for fans to stomach.

Posted by: Lenny | May 4, 2008 11:40 PM "

Selling tickets by the Wiz does nothing for the fans who want to see a winner. "Interesting and exciting athlete" who's injury prone doesn't put championship banners on the rafters. Last minute shots and goofy statements gets old after 3 years of one and done. All talk, no results.

Elton Brand averages about 15 shots/game, while AJ averages almost 17. If you get rid of Gilby, who averages over 17 (and roughly 21 during his big scoring years), then that's plenty of shots to go around, especially if you don't bring in a shoot first guard like Gilby.

Wouldn't it be great if EG could trade for Devin Harris, a guy that got traded by the Wiz after a draft? He gets 3.9 mil/year, and averaged 15pts, 6 assists this season while playing tough defense.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 4, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"Gilbert said today that if he is not 100% percent he does not expect max money.

Posted by: | May 4, 2008 11:43 PM "

LOL! Even if Gilby was healthy, he still doesn't deserve max money, and wasn't going to get it anyway, so talk about Gilby stating the obvious.

Plus, please reference Gilby's statement a few weeks ago where he said the Wiz should take care of AJ first, and leave him with whatever's left.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 4, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

88, we have to keep in mind that elton is also damaged/questionable goods. just like no team will be willing to take gilbert after playing about ten games post 2nd surgery, I doubt EG has the cajones to go after him after only one game back.

The truth is, gilbert got DC excited about the wizards again. The game winner over chicago three years ago single handedly brought basketball back to the city. His face became synonymous with the wizards. Despite taking a year off and CB having a breakout year, as soon as next year comes around it's going to go back to being "Gil's team" (or at least that's how the media will portray it and the casual fan will see it). I am in no way saying the team would be better not trading him, you just have to see it'll be hard to get rid of him.

And yeah it would be sick if we got Devin Harris. Too bad never in a million years. If only...

Posted by: Lenny | May 5, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Lenny, you are correct. When introductions were made at the Phone Booth during the playoffs, which name got the crowd excited when announced? Not Caron or Antawn....but Gilbert Arenas....

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I respect EJ but would much rather have Avery J. We need an aggressive coach who won't back down to the players and will stress defense.

Arenas either needs to play the 2 or be traded. Period!! I would prefer he and Haywood or the entire bench be traded for a throw it down 4 or a headsy point guard. We also need to move up in the draft to get a real star. THis team can not take it to the next level as is.

Lebron walks... he travels...never seen anything like it.

What we need is a MAN. Someone who is going to come through every night and get in guys' faces. Someone who can lead and back it up. That starts with the coach. Arenas is an egotistical baby who is more concerned about himself and his shots then anything else. We need a star who can put him in his place.

Finally, nothing wrong with the mystics. They have more assists and three pointers each night then the wizards. Maybe they don't dunk, but their fundamentals are better than half of the teams in the NBA.

Have a good summer..

LK

Posted by: LK | May 5, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

I gotta say before I start that it was good blogging with you guys (and Lisa) this year. It has been an interesting yet still entertaining year.
I see a few folks want to get a defense minded coach in here but I don't know that this would work with our team. We still have undersized guys whose primary skill is scoring. The only way we win with defense is to get new players and that would mean blowing the team up. Can we be better defensively? Probably. I hate to bring this guy's name up but if we were planning on going the defense-first route, we should have kept Jeffries. Long arms go a long way in this league. It's one of the main reasons Elton Brand is effective. About Elton...why give up a hurt guy like Gil for another hurt guy like Brand? Going after Brand means getting rid of not only Gil (can't afford both) but also AJ since Brand plays only PF. I don't like that deal. Two all stars for one doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.
As I said previously, I think that injuries are a valid excuse but not a lot of folks believe that. I think EJ should be given a 1 year extension and told up front that he needs to develop the bench to avoid wearing out the stars. We should be able to get to 40 wins with the big three only playing 35 minutes a game. AB, RM, NY, DM, OP are good enough to get us 13 minutes. It's apparent that our health is what decides how far we go. Let's work on preserving our health next year. We've burned our guys out for 3 straight years and seen that it ain't working.
Well, as much as it pains me to type this...GO CELTICS !!!
While a few of the Cav fans were polite, most were arrogant and I will take great joy in seeing them go down. As a favor, can someone post the link to their blog so that when the Celtics put their shamrock up the Cavs azz, I can be as rude on their site as they were on ours?

Keithinator, Bullets Fever#1...we were right about Haywood. He showed up this year and has proven what we knew all along.
We just need to get the guy a consistent 35+ minutes and we're set at the C position for years.

Posted by: mark | May 5, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

According to a news report I saw on TV this morning, Arenas told ABC-7 News that he will not opt out of the last year of his contract. If true (or even if it isn't), this is the only course of action that makes sense for him. No owner in his right mind is going to commit megabucks to a player who has missed most of the last two seasons with a knee injury, and who has not proven that he will ever be the player he was before he got hurt. In order to get the huge contract that he wants, he's going to have to prove that he's fully recovered from the injury, and that he can actually stay healthy for a full season. The way to do that is by dilligently rehabbing the knee over the summer, coming back next year and playing out his contract, and then becoming a free agent next spring. And, LK, trading him before next season is impractical, since he has little or no value right now due to the injury.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 5, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

"The truth is, gilbert got DC excited about the wizards again. The game winner over chicago three years ago single handedly brought basketball back to the city. His face became synonymous with the wizards. Despite taking a year off and CB having a breakout year, as soon as next year comes around it's going to go back to being "Gil's team" (or at least that's how the media will portray it and the casual fan will see it). I am in no way saying the team would be better not trading him, you just have to see it'll be hard to get rid of him.

And yeah it would be sick if we got Devin Harris. Too bad never in a million years. If only...

Posted by: Lenny | May 5, 2008 12:32 AM "

Well, it was a packed house for Game 6, and everyone knew Gilby wasn't playing.

What it boils down to is success attracts interest.

Sure, Gilby got DC excited, but that's so 3 seasons ago. What has "got DC excited" done for success in the playoffs?

It's funny how "his face became synonymous with the wizards" even though he didn't want anything to do with leadership and just did things his way, not the team way.

The clear answer for the Wiz to move forward is for EG to do whatever it takes to move up in the draft in order to get Kevin Love or another 4 who can defend, rebound, and score. No one is untouchable on this team. Closest being Caron. Sure, it's a pipe dream, but hey, stranger things have happened.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

mark, yeah, glad to see Brendan get the run he's deserved (although he should still get more) and come through.

Mike Wise's column today is interesting. Basically, he says keep the core together one more year and see what happens with a healthy team. I agree, and I don't actually think we have a lot of choice. Since Abe won't go over the luxury tax, our options are limited. If we can get that bruiser-type PF/C, it will help a lot.

The key, to me, is Blatche. If he grows up this summer and becomes a pro, he can put us over the top. I think he's the most talented player on the roster, and that includes Gil. But he doesn't have Gil's or Antawn's drive or work ethic -- yet. Can he get it? This will be the summer that we find out.

I think Deshawn needs to give way to Nick Young next year as the starter. If Nick really works this summer, he's got the potential to be the best 2-guard we've had since Jeff Malone (and the potential to be better than Malone, as Jeff was essentially a spot-up shooter; a great one, mind you, but he didn't have Nick's slithery moves.) Stevenson is just too streaky a shooter, and too reluctant to go to the hole.

I'd say that no one on the roster is untradeable at this point, depending on what Eddie's offered in return. But I don't see a massive overhaul coming.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Some RFAs and UFAs who might be available the right price, that the Wiz should take a look at:

Carl Landry, Rockets
Andris Biedrins, Warriors
Jermaine O'Neal, Pacers
Emeka Okafor, Bobcats
Elton Brand, Clips

I like all these guys as very solid backups, guys who will get the job done. Most of them you'd have to trade for; if EG could get a good deal on them, I'd go for it. None of them are stars (except perhaps Brand, and he's a damaged star), but they would give the Wiz the rebounding and toughness they need.

I wouldn't include any of the Big Three in a deal, but if a team wants to trade one of them for draft picks and potential (guys like Blatche, McGuire, Young, etc.), it's worth considering.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

My wish list for 2008 - 2009 season.

1. Draft Big. The team needs a Jason Maxiell type of player.
2. Rooks plus AB needs to put in some bulk.
3. Don't trade AB...lots of potentials in him.
4. There should be NO more questioning who's the starting Center for the team. Etan should be the 10-15 back-up.
5. Good Health for all players

Posted by: Dave, | May 5, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Most of the pieces are place....assuming we resign both GA (and he's healthy!) and AJ returns, but we get his minutes down to 30-35 like the Pistons have done with Rasheed Wallace. We played an entire season without a true backup bigman and its unfair to heap blame on AJ or say he's a 6th man when he played over 40 minutes per night. Ernie has made two VERY questionable picks in the drafts the last 2 years. I watched Paul Milsapp, who was picked after Pech two drafts ago, dominate in the paint/boards on both Friday and Sunday against Houston and LA. We don't even have a player like Rony Turiaff who is the Lakers THIRD string center!!!

This year is a deep draft and EG needs to think of packaging some players to move up in the draft to get a inside player like Kevin Love or Darrel Arthur. If that isn't possible, use FA to sign a legit 4-5 bigman to backup BTH and AJ. EG needs to earn his money this year as he's basically done nothing since the trade of Kwame for CB3 three years ago. Draft picks for 2005 - 2007 have not panned out, yet people only want to blame EJ who didn't pick the players. If we're all honest with ourselves, a coach is only as good as the players he's given and Phil Jackson or Pat Riley wouldn't have done any better with the current squad.

Everyone have a great summer and I've enjoyed all of the posts from Kal, Rob P, Izeman and DCMan88 who kept it interesting this year!!

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 5, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Cleveland fans are still getting on this forum, even after they won to complain about Michael and Ivan's partiality to the Wizards. Hey, take a look at your own rag, and see how impartial they are. See what kind of "witty" wisecracks they write about the Washington players. You love to whine about everything except you forget to look around your own town, your own paper, your own forums. Get a life and get the heck out of here. This is our town, our paper, our team.

Posted by: rgz | May 5, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I saw Arenas interviewed on Sportnet last night and he said that he does still plan to opt out but that he may not asked for max money. He did say he wants to stay in DC.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Keithinator,

O'Neal, Brand, and Okafor are in no way backups, esp. at the price it would take to land any of them. And Brand looked to be in pretty good shape in his short stint at the end of the season. Even if the Wizards had cap space, they wouldn't have enough to sign any of those guys. And unless they're willing to part with one of the big three, they don't have assets to trade for them.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

As I stated before, Gilby saying he's not going to ask for max money is about as funny and as dead of an issue as they come.

He wasn't going to get max money anyway. And, he already stated a few weeks ago that he wants AJ to get paid first.

Given all that, having Gilby back does not address the weaknesses that came to light during the season and into the playoffs. If the Wiz want to win now, they need to bring in a vet big, or move up in the draft order.

Darrell Arthur, assuming he comes out, would be a great pick up at their spot. He was a standout during his freshman year, and really bulked up during his sophomore year. I think Beasley overshadowed him this season at KSU.

Besides Beasley and Love though, are there any other franchise players in the draft? Ivan and Mike need to start a new blog. These discussions will continue all summer like they did last year.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Okafor would be a great pickup, but it's unlikely that he will come to the Wiz for 2 reasons.

1) He's under contract for a division rival, and most importantly 2) MJ is probably not interested in doing business with the Wiz, unless the trade is for AJ, an ex UNC'er.

As I said before, for a team that's been one and done in the playoffs for the last 3 seasons, no one is untouchable.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I read Wise's piece in the post and while his point about continuity is well taken, it's continuity after assembling a contending caliber team that makes a difference. Keeping continuity on a team that has major injuries and first round exits every year is a more questionable proposition.

There are some improving young teams in the East (and West), as well as a couple with talent (like Chicago, Milwaukee, and CHarlotte) that have will get new coaches that may make a difference. Standing pat and hoping that the teams issue work themselves out isn't really a proactive approach. Haywood isn't going to get any more athletic or physical. Jamison isn't going to get any taller, Daniels isn't going to get any younger. The Wiz have some of the pieces, perhaps. But the rest of the puzzle isn't going to fall into place on its own.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I like our roster.

I think a lot of our problems in the middle will be solved once Etan gets back. Etan's presence on the active list frees up AB and Songaila to play alongside a real center, instantly making our team much, much bigger.

I hope Gil and NY keep playing one-on-one against each other. If they can learn to stay in front of each other, that will go a long way towards improving their on-the-ball defense.

Our biggest personnel need is a small, quick point guard. Should be easy to find someone serviceable. Hell, if they can't find anyone better, how about bringing in the little Japanese guy that was briefly on the Suns' roster a couple of years ago? He's supposed to be fundamentally sound, and the extra publicity should more than cover his minimum salary.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

And unless they're willing to part with one of the big three, they don't have assets to trade for them.

Kal, you may be right about that. O'Neal, I think, is an UFA, so it would depend on what they'd do capwise to dump salary. To get Brand would probably take Gil, and I don't know about that. He's got some mileage now.

Of the Big Three, I'd say Jamison is the most replaceable. I love the guy, but his shortcomings were really exposed against Cleveland.

As for Wise's column, it's hard to know if the Wiz have built a deep playoff team, since we never see them together.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"I like our roster.

I think a lot of our problems in the middle will be solved once Etan gets back. Etan's presence on the active list frees up AB and Songaila to play alongside a real center, instantly making our team much, much bigger.

I hope Gil and NY keep playing one-on-one against each other. If they can learn to stay in front of each other, that will go a long way towards improving their on-the-ball defense.

Our biggest personnel need is a small, quick point guard. Should be easy to find someone serviceable. Hell, if they can't find anyone better, how about bringing in the little Japanese guy that was briefly on the Suns' roster a couple of years ago? He's supposed to be fundamentally sound, and the extra publicity should more than cover his minimum salary.

Posted by: | May 5, 2008 10:51 AM "

Way to make a post anonymously while suggesting the Wiz bring in a little japanese guy. Then you probably won't get roasted like I did for suggesting Sun Ming Ming, who probably could have been at least good for a few blocks and a few fouls for a cost of chump change.

Getting back to your input, bringing back Etan Thomas at even 100% of his past production isn't going to mean much. He has no offensive ability save a few layup moves in his "arsenal." Plus, he's not that athletic and doesn't really block shots. The Wiz needs someone at the 4 who can both play D and score.

Keep the Wiz as they are now and you'll have a rotation that's slower, older, and less athletic than a lot of teams out there.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I think people can stop the discussions about Jermaine O'Neal. The reason why he was getting blocked all this season before he shut it down was because he's totally lost his wheels and can't get up that much anymore. Dude is shot.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

get rid of agent dildo.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"As for Wise's column, it's hard to know if the Wiz have built a deep playoff team, since we never see them together."

And at least some of that may have to do with the makeup of the team. They starters are undersized, outmuscled, and/or outquicked, at several positions. And because they lack quality depth, that means that the big guns carry a heavier load and take a bigger beating. Another thing that won't just change or improve with more time.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, you're pretty funny...

In today's paper, you wrote "it will be a huge year for Dmac, NY, Opech, and AB."

Didn't you say that last season for Opech and AB? Opech was supposed to be some sort of gym rat who was hitting from everywhere and AB was living in VC b/c of the free snacks and drinks, nevermind being busted by the john police, and was going to justify his 14 mil signing.

And, what came of Opech and AB this season? Ehhh, nothing really.

Groundhog day again.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"And at least some of that may have to do with the makeup of the team. They starters are undersized, outmuscled, and/or outquicked, at several positions. And because they lack quality depth, that means that the big guns carry a heavier load and take a bigger beating. Another thing that won't just change or improve with more time.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 11:09 AM "

And while you're putting together your recipe, sprinkle in some "the owner will not go over the cap no matter how undermanned and over extended the players are."

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Keith. Of the Big 3, AJ seems to be the one that the Wiz can easily let to. Too small as a PF plus he's more of a finesse player. Plus age (and mileage) is catching up plus the 40+ PT is making it worse. I can see him as the ultimate 6th man for the team if we do keep him for a multiple year contract. That and his leadership makes him a very valuable asset to the team. As for Roger Mason, love the guy and his work ethic but he'll be detrimental to Nick Young's progress. If he's asking too much then they can let him go also and maybe that can speed up adding a big man instead.

Posted by: Dave, | May 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Bill Simmons on the little japanese point guard:

"And by the way, if you haven't seen Yuta Tabuse in action, make sure you TiVo the next Suns blowout. I don't want to spoil it for you. Just imagine if you crossed Earl Boykins with a sushi chef, pumped caffeine into him and threw a uniform on him. Would you be interested to see what transpired? I thought so."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Back to Arenas bashing. Ho-hum.

Posted by: rgz | May 5, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

jermaine o'neal is finished. we all know that he was an incrediable jumper. for those who can't dunk, i don't think they inderstand how hard it is to dunk. it takes a lot of effort and energy. even for a someone who is damn near 7 feet.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yuta Tabuse was cut by three different NBA teams, before or soon after season start (3 seasons since 2003), and was cut by three different NBDL teams during the NBDL seasons. This guy who is all of 5'9" is also no young un, but for that reason might be helpful to some teams who have the size but not the hustle. We have neither

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

NO MORE GUARDS UNDER 6-6!!!!!!!

NO TO YUDA BOOZE!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If the Wizards are going with the practically the same lineup as this season then I don't see any progress for the team. Basically the Princeton O is not compatible with the players at hand. They have a PG who is a shoot first PG. Plus their big men are no adept at passing either. It's either they change their style of EJ should go. I have said it many times unless you get players who are good passers then Princeton Offense won't work.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | May 5, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

After reading Mike Wise's article today, I can't think of a worse argued, hole filled piece of writing that he's ever produced that's worse than today's. He must have been on an extreme deadline and resorted to copying and pasting snippets from his past writings.

I'm going to keep this brief, but first off, he talks about the Spurs and the Pistons success because they kept it together. Uh, both those teams were good from the onset, drafted well, and weren't one and done teams for 3 straight seasons. Also, those are real teams, not one on one glorified And1 ball.

I think Wise's main reason for wanting to keep Gilby is so that he can rehash the same boring article that he's written for the Washington Post magazine the past 2 years about Gilby and his childhood. It'll be called "Sob Story Pt. 3" if Gilby stays and Wise gets to dig it out of the grave once again.

As I said before, these playoffs revealed weaknesses to the team both related and unrelated to Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I see the Pollins and Ted Leonsis exchanging their majority owner/minority owner roles this summer.

Posted by: fearless forecast | May 5, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

draft darrell arthur.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"

Bill Simmons on the little japanese point guard:

"And by the way, if you haven't seen Yuta Tabuse in action, make sure you TiVo the next Suns blowout. I don't want to spoil it for you. Just imagine if you crossed Earl Boykins with a sushi chef, pumped caffeine into him and threw a uniform on him. Would you be interested to see what transpired? I thought so."

Posted by: | May 5, 2008 11:31 AM "

Hey, how about bringing on the Professor and Hot Sauce from the And 1 crew while you're at it?

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Keithinator,
Biedrins is a BEAST on the boards. Of all of the guys you mentioned, he'd probably help us the most. The problem is that he'd cos a lot and he plays AJ's position. We can all stop talking about AJ leaving. His value to this team not only on the court but in the locker room makes him the most indispensible player we have. They'd let Caron go before AJ. GUARANTEED ! That's not me talking. I'm just positive that it's what Abe, EG and EJ are thinking.

We all agree that we could use a big defensive minded rebounding PF. It aint happening at that position because AJ is gonna be here. Our options are to look for the rebounding and inside presence from either C or SF. Well, BTH gives you defense but is never gonna get more than 10 rebounds a game. Caron is undersized and just does not have the size to do what we need from that position defensively. (Kirilenko for AJ this past offseason would be perfect for us but we would have been offensively challenged.) I'm staring to sound like a broken record here but this team has been built incorrectly for what we're trying to do. If we're running and bombing away from three point range (which leads to longer rebounds and a better chance for us) we would be ok with this undersized group. As it is, we're short. The big variables are AB and McGuire. Playing them for 25 minutes whenever CB and AJ are out would work if they was able to step it up and concentrate on rebounding and defense. They need a lot of work in the weight room and I don't know if relying on a couple of rookies is what we want to do. Also, Pech was overlooked this year. He's put up decent rebound numbers when he's been in there. How about seeing whether the guy can play or not? Let's not do a Haywood and wait til 2011 to see what we've got.

Posted by: mark | May 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

if the wizards draft another guard either daniels or mason becomes expendable.

who?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"NO MORE GUARDS UNDER 6-6!!!!!!!

NO TO YUDA BOOZE!"

Agreed that we should be able to do better than Tabuse, but there's definitely some value to the idea of bringing in a small, quick guard who can stay in front of the Tyronn Lues of the league.

Sure, whoever we bring in will give up points on jumpers over the top, but that's still better than what we do now- give up points in the paint and fouls on our bigs.

When our guards keep allowing penetration, you can see what it does to the enthusiasm of our bigs, Brendan in particular.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

draft roy hibbert.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

mark,

Good point about OPech. He stunk in his very limited minutes, but he was a rookie, and injured half the year. I think this season was a mulligan for him.

As for trading/not resigning Antawn, I'm not sure I agree with you. I think EG has complete control of the team, and I don't know that Abe would veto any of his moves. At least I hope not.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

wizards hold 18th and 48th pick in 08' draft.

death.
taxes.
wizards draft position.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Pollin has an established track record of being involved in the teams' moves. Perhaps his illness has caused him to pull back on his involvement, but his history is to be very active in the team's operation.

Pecherov's problems go beyond PT or stats. Even in limited minutes a player can display hints of his potential strengths and skills. The only thing Pecherov showed was the ability to miss wide open 3 pointers.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not feeling this mock at all. especially the wizards picks. *eeck*


http://www.nbadraft.net/index.asp?content=mock2008

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Pollin has an established track record of being involved in the teams' moves.

Not really. Stuff is run by him, but I don't remember a single instance where he vetoed a specific move (not counting "Don't go into luxury tax territory", which isn't about specific players or team direction, only a command to not spend over the threshold.)

Yeah, he has favorites, but I've never heard that he has told a GM "draft this guy", "don't trade that guy," etc. He's generally perceived as a hands-off owner.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

maybe a little too hands off.

i don't think abe pollin should be like cuban or the maloofs, but i think it won't KILL the wizards to go a little over the luxary tax.

Posted by: crack the pig! | May 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Another move that EG needs to ponder: maybe the Wizards need to hire an assistant coach for dramatics & theatrics. I think WAS is far down the list of players with fouls drawn/fouls committed. Varejao was tops on this list last year, though he is a low #21 this year with 33 charges taken. WhoMe Nocioni took 39 charges at 12th place. But none of the Wizards show up till about 45th place by Daniels and Haywood with 23 charges taken each. Those charges taken can and should translate into points!

They also need to review those tapes, focusing on how LeTravel barrels through opponents, and teach our players how to act/react at the opportune second so that the maximum charging calls will be made.

Butler got real frustrated in that last game with the pounding he got from a charging Letravel. He better learn how to make use of his body language to indicate he got hit. There's no use being Tough Juice if you want charges called.

How about it Ernie?

Posted by: rgz | May 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Reportedly he was the prime mover behind the trade of Webber for Richmond because he was tired of Webber's off-court antics and wanted a guy with more "character." It was also widely reported that he has the reason behind then-GM John Nash's hard line with Juwan Howard during his rookie year contract impasse.

Those are just the two examples that come readily to mind.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Wise's column, as I wrote about on BF, is that it stretched a perfectly valid narrow point (keep the Big 3 and Eddie Jordan) way too far. Like kalorama said, you maintain continuity after achieving success, not before. Winning begats continuity, not the other way around.

Posted by: Pradamaster | May 5, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Back to Arenas bashing. Ho-hum.

Posted by: rgz | May 5, 2008 11:32 AM

nope. just back to bashing.

rgz, you're a assclown.

get rid of agent dildo.

end.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

To underscore Prada's point, anyone looking to use the Pistons as a model for the Wizards' continuity plan needs to look a little more closely.

The Pistons won 50 games and the Central division title on 2001-2002. By the time they won the championship in 03-04, there were a grand total of 2 players remaining from the regular rotation of the 01-02 team, and they had a different coach.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Jordan, I really like the guy, but I think it's time that he goes and explores other opportunities.

Some for Gil, I like him, but I think we need to let him walk and court a true PG.


There's a lot of great coaches out there who have done a lot more than EJ and lost their jobs anyway (Johnson and Napolitano, to name two). Let's see what one of those guys can do with the Wiz's core -Gil.

Posted by: Duffman | May 5, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

rgz, you're a assclown.

get rid of agent dildo.

end.

Posted by: | May 5, 2008 12:38 PM

Cute riposte.

Posted by: rgz | May 5, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The NBA is rigged. Either that or David Stern likes to portray that image. How can you say Songaila's suspension didn't contribute to the loss? How can the announcement of the suspension of a key reserve 5 hours before tip off not hurt a team? Why did the league office wait so long to make the announcement? And how does a play that led to a simple technical foul lead to a suspension after "review"? Come on! LeBron gets away with a deliberate elbow to Andray's face and Darius gets suspended for a ticky-tack foul. Sure the NBA is clean.

Posted by: Bart | May 5, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ok, any word yet on KG getting fined for the throat slash gesture?

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Not really. Stuff is run by him, but I don't remember a single instance where he vetoed a specific move (not counting "Don't go into luxury tax territory", which isn't about specific players or team direction, only a command to not spend over the threshold.)

Yeah, he has favorites, but I've never heard that he has told a GM "draft this guy", "don't trade that guy," etc. He's generally perceived as a hands-off owner.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 12:26 PM "

Abe was the reason for the Gar Heard hiring when he said Gar blew him away during the interview. Enough said.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not feeling this mock at all. especially the wizards picks. *eeck*


http://www.nbadraft.net/index.asp?content=mock2008

Posted by: | May 5, 2008 12:17 PM "

The lower Kevin Love is projected to go, the more promising it is that EG can trade to get in position to get him. How about sacrificing the next 2 or 3 years of first round picks like we used to do?

Also, if we get Love, there's no way we can keep Gilby. Love would never get any touches.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The best thing about trading for the rail thin Biedrins is that you'll always get a good chuckle every time he goes to the charity stripe.

He's got to be the worst free throw shooter of all time coming out of Europe.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The NBA is rigged. Either that or David Stern likes to portray that image. How can you say Songaila's suspension didn't contribute to the loss? How can the announcement of the suspension of a key reserve 5 hours before tip off not hurt a team? Why did the league office wait so long to make the announcement? And how does a play that led to a simple technical foul lead to a suspension after "review"? Come on! LeBron gets away with a deliberate elbow to Andray's face and Darius gets suspended for a ticky-tack foul. Sure the NBA is clean.

Posted by: Bart | May 5, 2008 1:04 PM


*whine whine whine*
*cry cry cry*
*sob sob sob*

For the IDIOTS who can't figure it out, its simple. Lebron James is Lebron James, okay? The Washington Wizards are the Washington Wizards. Lets put it another way: If it ever came down to keep Lebron or the ENTIRE Wizards franchise, lets just say it would be some serious talks going on, with probably a little more than half of the league in favor of keeping the Wizards.

You people must understand there is a pecking order, a food chain if you will. The Wizards clearly aren't at the top of the list.

Join the other 12-14 other teams, you're not alone. So get over it, or yourselves, and seeing how Lebrorn ISN'T going anywhere anytime soon, I would suggest the latter.

idiots.

*cry cry cry*
*whine whine whine*
*sob sob sob*

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kal, that's literally the exact same example, almost word for word, that I used. I like how we're on the same page.

http://www.bulletsforever.com/2008/5/5/472851/a-wise-man-once-said-do-no

Posted by: Pradamaster | May 5, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I am no Wizards fan - but I can tell you the Wizards are going to be fine - they need to stay healthy and play together. They have proven the ability to hang with anyone when healthy and be a dominant team..but have they proved it for more than 20 games?? no but the signs are there...its just the self promoting assassin needs to make big shots, stay healty if he can and understand the game is about W's.....period...the offense creates good shots which means they better keep and find minutes for Mason..the other kids just have to wait...need obvious help under the rim with rebounding and overall hustle...but its not the time to part with Arenas and Jamison - now Stevenson - buh bye...fans equate stardom inthis league with gaudy offensive stats, but the later the season goes the more team defense carries the day.....talk at ya next year for round 4 of cavs / wizards

Posted by: old and grey | May 5, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

No to Love. kevin love reminds me of the dude, tyler in UNC. too slow and weak to compete with the forwards in the NBA.

yes to darrell arthur.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Lebrorn"

Lurn haow to spail furst.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Cavs fans are nothing if not hypocritical.

"Michael Jordan gets away with everything! MJ gets preferential treatment from the refs! It's not fair! Anyone could see how he pushed off Ehlo! We would've won if not for that! MJ gets away with everything! Not fair!"

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: | May 5, 2008 1:22 PM

So you're actually agreeing with Bart? NBA is crooked, so get over it - that's what you're saying?

Posted by: anonymouse | May 5, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Hands-off" doesn't mean "no touch". Yes, Pollin has occasionally been involved in team matters. But that doesn't make him Dan Snyder. Again, he trusts EG, I think, more than he's loyal to any one player. I seriously doubt he'd intervene if Ernie wanted to move Jamison or Arenas. It's not his M.O., if history is any judge.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

get rid of agent dildo.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

On the news yesterday, channel 7, Gilbert said that Pollin wants Jamison and him back. The reporter asked him when did he (Pollin) last say that, Gilbert said 'everytime he sees me". I think he really likes both Antawn and Gilbert. Gilbert also mentioned the money thing about paying Antawn and something about if he's not 100 percent then he wont ask for max. He thinks he will be ready because he said he knee was starting to feel better already.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

No one said he was Dan Snyder. But he has, in fact, taken an active hand in personnel matters in the past. And given that he's been portrayed as having a degree of respect and affection for Jamison that we haven't seen expressed for any other player of recent vintage (and knowing how much he values character in his players), it's certainly premature and presumptive to assume that he wouldn't have anything to say about Grunfeld getting rid of Jamison.

Of course, in the final analysis it's most likely moot anyway, because there's very little chance that Grunfeld will even consider trading Jamison unless Jamison himself decides he wants out.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

But he has, in fact, taken an active hand in personnel matters in the past.

No, he has not. Coaching matters, GM matters (Bye, Michael!), but not, for the most part, players. Just not true. But I agree it's very likely Jamison and Gil both stay.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 5, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Prada and Kal, I would argue that discontinuity has been the norm around here as a result of the injuries. We haven't even been able to determine whether we have a winning formula yet. Before we can make a determination as to whether we want to achieve continuity, we have to see what we have. We've not yet seen the Wizards team that EG/Abe and EJ have envisioned.
We may actually have a team that can go deep into the playoofs but don't know it yet because they haven't all played together. It's pretty much a crap shoot. Do we stand pat and hope again...or do we make big changes that could potentially take us from a playoff team to a fringe team?

Posted by: mark | May 5, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

As for folks trying to get rid of DS, I'm not sure that would work in terms of chemistry. Nick Young is a scorer. I can't see him deferring to all four of the other starters. I also can't see Aj, CB and GA being ok with him shooting a lot. At least DS knows his role and only shoots when wide open pretty much.

Posted by: mark | May 5, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"No, he has not. Coaching matters, GM matters (Bye, Michael!), but not, for the most part, players. "

Howard and Webber were both players and he took an active hand in how they were dealt with (one coming, one going). This is documented fact. Again, no one is saying he does it all the time. But he has done it, for players with a high profile on the team, profiles similar to the one Jamison has. Does that mean he'll do the same with Jamison? Not necessarily. but the fact that he has done it means that the possibility of him doing it again cannot be casually dismissed.

Posted by: kalorama | May 5, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I agree with you, mostly. I think it's foolish to break up the Big 3 at this point. Gilbert's value is so low right now that we aren't going to get anything valuable, both for the present and the future, if we trade him now. We can't let Antawn leave because we don't have anyone ready to step into his spot right now. Blatche has shown a lot of potential, but we have a roster that's built to win now, and having him or Songaila step in next year clearly makes us worse. At the very least, though, nobody should be an untouchable.

If we were to break up the Big 3 right now, I think we'd sputter like the Milwaukee Bucks did at the beginning of the decade. Ironically, that team was GMd by Ernie Grunfeld. Methinks he's learned from his mistakes there.

The problem with Wise's argument is twofold. First, he claims continuity has kept Detroit and San Antonio afloat. This is wrong for two reasons. First, he's mistakening cause and effect. San Antonio and Detroit maintained continuity because they were successful. They weren't successful because they maintained continuity. Secondly, they didn't actually maintain continuity. Detroit had just two holdovers from its 2002 squad on its 2004 championship team. San Antonio had Duncan in 2003, but Parker and Ginobili grew incredibly from 03 to 05, and they replaced practically all their role players except for Bowen. From 05 to 07, they kept Parker, Bowen, Ginobili and Duncan, but have an entirely new set of role players (Oberto, Thomas, Finley, etc.).

The second problem with Wise's column is that he uses his faulty "continuity is king" thesis and interprets it as meaning we shouldn't do anything. He suggests keeping Roger Mason, because he's a "professional," a Vinnie Johnson in training, and can fill it up. But the Spurs and Pistons don't maintain success by locking up their role players; they maintain it by changing them. What's the point of keeping Mason at 3-4 million a year (DeShawn money) when you already have DeShawn and Nick Young at his position? Use that money to upgrade the roster elsewhere.

Posted by: Pradamaster | May 5, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

So, Ok, the Wizards lost again - 1st round of the playoffs, the 3rd year in a row.
Its done now. Abe Polin, I understand, is quite ill and aging. I personally don't believe they'll let anyone go. Grunfeld will follow Polin's requests about about Butler and Jamison. Keep them. Arenas is a true ego maniac - still looking for the "Big payday" If he wants to stay - fine. If he wants to go.."God Bless him"
All of his PR was self promoting anyway.

But, In all honesty - what should be done with Mason? Under great pressure - it seems he can't hit the side of a barn..other days..he's money.Do we invest a $1+mil in him or invest in NY, whom we drafted BTW. Mason was a summer league hold over who has been working (according to him - to impress another team for more $$$)This IS his peak..not so for N Young - it his beginning - the future looks bright..so what do we do? Haywood was good - Stevenson added "flavor & fun to the mix. I'd keep him. Daniels old but steady..I think they should sit tight and prepare for next year determing to keep everyone healthy if possible. What's your thoughts? Not just B & moaning & complaining but honestly.

Posted by: Sam 08 | May 5, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't see why people are so crazy about Mason. He's a guy who's always looking for his shot and does not do anything well enough to start. Also, he's a bit slow and lacking in defense. Oh sure, he's good for getting his shot off here and there, but what is the point of keeping a guy who's a very one dimensional player?

Keeping Mason is just going to take PT from the players they need to develop, like NY.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 5, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As long as Abe owns the team Jamison is not going anywhere. That cripples Ernie's ability to really shake up the roster. The same could be said of Jordan. I think he's made the playoffs too many times for Abe to allow him to be fired even though its the best thing for the franchise long term.

Detroit fired Rick Carlisle after a 50/60 win season. Why? because he wasn't the guy to get them over the hump and into the Finals. Larry Brown was. Eddie was the guy to get this team winning again, that does not mean he is the guy to get this team into the Eastern Conference Finals. All continuity promises you is the chance to win 40 games and lose in the first round again. Yay for continuity! Wise sees it coming so he pulled out the trumpet early.

I agree with those who say the current group isn't built to win beyond what we've seen the last few years. The leadership and chemistry is all wrong. You have:

-A Player's coach who depends on veterans to lead but also needs management to back him up.
-A shoot-first PG and primary ball handler who shirks leadership responsibility but demands the ball and does whatever he wants with it.
-An All Star 3 in Caron who this team needs to lead, but gets cut off at the knees because he has to defer to Gilbert on the court.
-An All Star undersized 4 who gets the high majority of his points outside the paint and/or 3pt line, can't defend his position and has trouble holding his ground against bigger players. He's a leader but a quiet one who also has to defer to Gilbert on the court.

Meanwhile the 4 kids at 22 or younger on this team follow Gil's behavior but not his work ethic.

I'm a Carolina guy and enjoy AJ being on this team but the fact remains the Wizards cannot take the next step being small and slow defensively at the 4.

But since we're locked into "continuity" Ernie will have to get creative with Daniels, Stevenson, Mason, Haywood and Songalia. At least Haywood's value has never been higher.

Just going by the numbers this team has no room to sign new players without trading someone. So the question is the same one that tails the Redskins, is it contuinity by design or by default?

Their current salaries for next season add up to $54.2 Mil including a minimum contract for #5 and Gilbert's current salary of 12.8. So thats 57.4M if you bump Gilbert to 16M per year. Jamison is coming back and we know that will be near or at 10M. That puts the team at 67.4M with 2 roster spots remaining. The luxury tax threshold was 67M this season.

Posted by: Monte | May 5, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The changes I would like to see are as follows: (1) bring back Jamison for ~$10MM/yr but as a 6th man, (2) bring in a true point guard that can handle and dish, (3) move Arenas to two-guard and Stevenson to the bench as 7th man, (4) bring in a backup small forward --- Blatche was too weak and not a slasher, and (5) bring in a rebounding-shot-blocking power forward to help Haywood on the glass and I dont mean Etan Thomas because he can't shoot. If he could shoot, it would be a formidable front line with Haywood, Butler and Thomas.

Posted by: Wiz Manic | May 5, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

10 turnovers tonight from LeTravel. This is what happens when the League decides to call the game fairly: he ain't allowed to walk all over the place.

Posted by: DC | May 6, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Well the season is over. It has been 4-5 days and I have resisted posting a knee-jerk reaction because quite honestly my opinion on whether to blow this thing up continues to waver. I see a break in the thread tonight so I'll chime in. Warning: this will be a long post, so forgive me.

Ernie G has a tough, tough decision. He has publically been saying he wants continuity. But I am not sure we can believe the public statements. It is his job to hide his strategy. Trying to read what is happening behind the closed doors and what is really in his head is very difficult. There are so many questions. The top 4 decisions are:
*Do we keep Coach Jordan?
*Do we keep Gilbert ?
*Do we keep Jamison?
*Do we try to improve down low via the draft, free agency, or by current players improving?

But the most important question is "Which of these 4 decisions is top priority?" Once that question is answered then the dominoes begin to fall. Let's look at each of these:

If keeping Jordan is most important then it has implications on our offensive philosophy (the Princeton) and it means that Gilbert and EJ will need to have the kind of talk that he had with Brendon last summer. His frustration with Gilbert became very public during the playoffs, culminating in the revealing comment that he found out that Gil was shutting things down when the press found out. It is clear he is not in control of his best player. Has EJ taken us as far as he can? Or is it simply that a Gilbert-led team can't go further? Or that a he needs more front court talent? Though I have some issues with EJ he clearly deserves another shot in my opinion. Releasing him after the last 2 playoff runs would not be fair. The only exception would be if I were convinced that he can't coach with a healthier contending team. If that's what EJ believes, then he may pull the trigger and I would understand why. He'd need to have a better coach up his sleeve though.

If the Gilbert decision is priority one then will it mean that he gets his money at any cost? At the cost of losing Jordan? Or Jamison? (Is he honest about accepting lower number to keep AJ or was that just "Gilbert being Gilbert?") Or at the cost of not improving down low? Is he the face of the franchise and the decision-maker as well even above the coach, getting to help mold the other parts? The reality is that he has no ring and has not reached the level where he can have that kind of superstar power. But is Abe afraid to lose him by ticking him off? We have already seen that EG is very willing to tell players "here is my (lowball) figure. Think about it and get back to me." Does he have the permission (from Abe) to do that with Gil? I don't think he is untouchable but I don't think there is a deal out there worth gambling on. I love Elton Brand's game. But he is a 4. I am not sure having Brand, Jamison and Caron works. Clippers would have to offer another solid starter to even think about that kind of move. Maybe a Cory Maggette? I think a healthy Gilbert, with a distributer mindset and a commitment to better defense is worth gambling on.

If the decision is to keep Antwan then it really means to me that they think that the big 3 as constituted, with a slightly improved bench and a maybe serviceable big man added can get the job done. Though I am not sure they should get rid of AJ, I just don't think standing pat will work. I do think they should be open to offers. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if Abe gives EG orders to make AJ an untouchable. I see him as Wes Unseld III. He could get locked up and promised a position on the front office when he retires in a few years. I think Abe really appreciates what AJ has done for the team, as we all should. He essentially rescued Abe from the MJ fiasco in the eyes of the public. Without his leadership as "big brother", Gilbert would not be in line to get the contract he is going to get.

But I actually think that the most important priority should be, but probably isn't, improving the front court. Last year we said the same thing and there was improvement because Haywood stepped his game up. But somehow through the draft or through bringing in someone new we need to solve this problem. So the decisions on Blatche, Pech and McGuire's upside are absolutely crucial. I think we encourage them all to make necessary improvement s while also bringing in a veteran who can help immediately. I don't think there is a monster big man in the middle of the draft that fits the bill and can give immediate help.

My main thought is that the big 3 as currently put together can go only a little further but can't go to the top. They are 3 perimeter players. Butler and AJ at the 3 and 4 can't get it done. And I love both of those guys who bring it every game. We will need to use one of the three, plus Mason, Blatche, and/or a pick to upgrade in the post. We can't rely on current guys getting that much better.

One last thought- anyone who saw tonight's Celts-Cavs game 1 can see that in the east especially, you better bring some defense. Against the kind of D I saw this evening the Zards with their lackadaisical passes would have 40 turnovers. We have got to upgrade our intensity, quickness and size to compete with the eastern elite.

Well this I know this was a mini-book. But those who simply say "fire EJ" or "resign Gilbert" need to realize the various implications of these actions and explain their thoughts. This we do know: Ernie G is a good poker player. So we have no idea what he is really thinking. Should be quite an interesting summer!

Posted by: BmoreRev | May 7, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

How about a trade for Jermaine O'Neal? The Wiz need to improve its low post O and D. Preferably we could teach Nick Young how to play D too, so we had another offensive force on the floor.

Posted by: Dellis | May 7, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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