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Nets at Wizards, Game 1

Pre-game information for tonight's regular season opener.

Starting lineups: Wizards: F Caron Butler, F Antawn Jamison, C Etan Thomas, G DeShawn Stevenson and G Antonio Daniels. Nets: F Bobby Simmons, F Yi Jianlian, C Josh Boone, G Vince Carter, G Devin Harris

Refs: Derrick Stafford, Dan Crawford and Curtis Blair
Line: Wizards by 6.

Inactives: Washington: Gilbert Arenas, Brendan Haywood and Oleksiy Pecherov.

Notables: Coach Eddie Jordan explained his decision to have rookie C JaVale McGee active this way.
"Number one, JaVale's had a terrific preseason. You guys have seen things he can do athletically. He's learned at a great pace. He's our first round pick and I don't want our first round pick, our first game at home after having a good preseason, be inactive. I think he deserves to be an active player tonight. Whether he plays or not, he deserves to be suited up."

"It's going to be like that every game, it's so close, who we're going to activate and make inactive."

- I asked Eddie about how he may or may not monitor minutes for his veterans, including Butler: "I'm going to do what I have to do to win the game. If I like the group that is in there, the way they are playing and they can carry their minutes, they are going to carry their minutes....I'm not going to rest people because of their minutes unless there are injuries involved and there are no injuries right now."

- From the lockeroom: Andray Blatche popped in sporting an old-school, late 80's high-top fade. Stevenson and Daniels immediately went nuts. Stevenson: "Shawn Kemp baby! You got the Shawn Kemp!" In fact, it does look exactly like the fade Kemp sported in his day, right down the slope running from the back to the front. No part though.

-Stevenson told me something I did not know: He's down to 227 pounds right now after playing at 245 all of last season. He says the lower weight will take pressure off a knee that has bothered him for years and make him quicker at both ends of the floor."

By Ivan Carter  |  October 29, 2008; 4:23 PM ET
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Next: Bad Shooting Leads to Rough Start


Let's face it, if Pecherov hadn't been their first round pick in 2006, he'd likely be gone.

And likely, more than just likely.

Nice guy, works hard, but simply can't play fulltime at this level. He's a role player at best.

Posted by: SteveMG | October 29, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like there is hope for my boy EJ after all. I thought for sure he was going to make him inactive. This is another time I can admit and say I was wrong.

Now the icing on the cake is going to be if he gives him any minutes........ 1 for 2 isn't bad. EJ is still my boy, he just needs to lighten up some on the young players and let them play through their mistakes...

Posted by: BulletsFever | October 29, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Pech is still only 22 years old, he will blossom in the league, it might take him a while, but I guarantee he will. I agree probably not as a starter, but I could see him as as nice change of pace big man off the bench.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | October 29, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Man, looks like this is what this season is going to be. Wizards struggle to win game against NJ, a team no one expects it to go anywhere this season.

McGee is raw, but when he is on court, there is energy (something the team seem lacking tonight).

Etan played well, hope he can keep it up.

Songaila struggled against NJ rookie Anderson. Not only was he bothered by Anderson's height, he was also a step slower.

Looks like EJ is still trying to feel his rotation, have no problem with EJ's substitution tonight.

On NJ side, Yi played better than I expected.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 29, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Looks like EJ is still trying to feel his rotation, have no problem with EJ's substitution tonight.

On NJ side, Yi played better than I expected.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 29, 2008 9:47 PM

I agree Songaliba. No complaints about EJ's rotation. He totally surprised me. It made me wonder for a minute if he reads these blogs sometimes.

I even have to give Etan a lot a credit. I have been dogging him a lot so I have to give him credit where credit is due. I only dog him because I do not think he is a "starting" 5 but a nice backup.

McGee did what I thought he would do. Look shaky, but confident. I am really surprised EJ gave him the minutes he gave him even when McGee was not producing.

Props to EJ to let the youngsta learn on the job and play through mistakes. That will payoff for McGee and Eddie later in the season.

8 or 9 missed free throws usually come back and bite ya in the tail. CB and AJ did not show up for this game so some of the blame has to be given to them for this loss.

Lastly, EJ also shocked me by giving AB all of those minutes. Looks like Kal was right that AB was not in the doghouse. Glad I was wrong on that one too.

Posted by: BulletsFever | October 29, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Less than 90 points at home? Its gonna be a long month til Gil returns.

Posted by: CBell29 | October 29, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

yeah sure looked like the first game of the season.

offense didn't have rhythm, some very questionable shots by all members, and a lot of points left on the court.

can't read too much into one game though so mustn't worry about anything specific right now.

Posted by: yukiwith2us | October 29, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

So, not only was McGee not deactivated, but he played during the "meat" of the game, not only was Blatche the first big off the bench, but he led all bench players in PT.

So much for Jordan's "doghouse."

People keep talking about how they're used to playing without Arenas after last season, but the flip side of that is that other teams have gotten used to playing the Wizards without Arenas. They'll have a better idea this season of what Jamison and Butler will like to do without Arenas on the floor and will be better prepared to make them work harder. The Nets loaded up defensively on Jamison and Butler and dared the other guys to score enough points. They couldn't. If the Wizards are going to have any chance of staying afloat, they need someone else to pick up a big part of the scoring load in Gilbert's absence, preferably more than one.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 30, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

"Nice guy, works hard, but simply can't play fulltime at this level. He's a role player at best."

If he ends up being that much it'll be a stunner.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 30, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

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