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Ugly In Berlin

The short-handed Wizards are getting thumped by the New Orleans Hornets here in Berlin (it's 86-57 right now). The Wiz missed their first nine shots, trailed 36-9 at the end of the first quarter and have never been in it. You name it - a lack of ball movement, silly turnovers, bad shooting - it was all there during the first half when Chris Paul and the Hornets had their way.

- The lopsided score hasn't taken any enthusiasm out of a sellout crowd here at the O2 World Arena. They're really into it and cheer whenever either team does anything. This is very good crowd for a preseason game.

-Lot's of NBA jerseys in the house. Among those represented are Michael Jordan (Bulls and Wizards versions), Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Baron Davis, Allen Iverson (Sixers version), Shawn Kemp (Sonics version) and Alonzo Mourning (Heat).

-The team store upstairs is selling two types of Arenas jerseys but no Butler or Jamison jersey. I ran into a German fan who said he wanted to get a Butler jersey. NBA should've had some here.

-I'll have a full injury update after the game but it looks as though Antawn Jamison and Antonio Daniels will play Friday night. Not sure about Juan Dixon yet.

-Interesting moment in the rookie life of JaVale McGee a short while ago. On the offensive end, McGee threw up a questionable turnaround jumper early in the shot clocck. Eddie Jordan shot up off the bench and asked for Etan Thomas to come back in. Before Thomas could check in though, McGee had a great defensive play where he rotated over and swatted away a shot by Hilton Armstrong.

-The folks here really like DeShawn Stevenson's hand in front of the face thing after he makes a shot.

By Ivan Carter  |  October 14, 2008; 3:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Dixon Plans On Playing Friday Night

Comments

At least the Wiz pulled it together a bit in the second half. Nice game for DerMarr Johnson. Still, it's a beat down and the Hornets didn't even have David West playing.

Posted by: Kev | October 14, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I guess as long as DeShawn is doing the hand-waving thing, I'm happy, even if they are down 49-7. Tee hee, giggle, giggle.

When was the last time Eddie Jordan shot off the bench to yank a VETERAN who took an ill-advised shot?

Posted by: Not amused | October 14, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Who's Hilton Armstrong?

"-The folks here really like DeShawn Stevenson's hand in front of the face thing after he makes a shot."

Yes, yes. We love it too. It's super-fantastic.

Posted by: Choowee | October 14, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Terps and Juan Dixon fan... but we'd be stupid to keep Juan over DerMarr Johnson...

Posted by: Sam | October 14, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Terps and Juan Dixon fan... but we'd be the Wizards to keep Juan over DerMarr Johnson...

Posted by: Correction | October 14, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Can they not keep both Johnson and Dixon? At least till Gil returns...

Posted by: Kev | October 14, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Too bad they like the "hand waving by DS.
I was hoping it would go away for good.

When are the Wizzies gonna put together some kind of GAME?????

Preseason or not they gotta get something going soon or the reg. season is gonna be a long one.

Posted by: VB Fan | October 14, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

You think it's UGLY in Berlin just wait til they bring that s__t to the phonebooth.

Posted by: VB Fan | October 14, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"Eddie Jordan shot up off the bench and asked for Etan Thomas to come back in."

Way to go Eddie Jordan, that's exactly how to instill confidence in your young players - NOT! Instead they will be timid, hang around the top of the key and not try to create anything.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Can they not keep both Johnson and Dixon? At least till Gil returns..."

Only if they waive Dee Brown, and that's pretty unlikely.

Posted by: kalorama | October 14, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Way to go Eddie Jordan, that's exactly how to instill confidence in your young players - NOT! Instead they will be timid, hang around the top of the key and not try to create anything."

Or, conversely, (and much more likely) by getting their knuckles rapped for making bonehead plays they'll learn not to do it again in the future, in a game that actually matters.

I believe that's called "coaching."

Posted by: kalorama | October 14, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Jordan is known for being extra lenient on the veterans, but ultra-hard on the young uns. Same mistake, two different reactions depending on who made the mistake.

Posted by: rgz | October 14, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

In other words, Jordan is like most coaches in pro sports.

Everybody makes mistakes. The difference between a pro and a newbie is that a pro knows when he's made a mistake and will endeavor to avoid doing it again. Newbies often don't. They need to have their mistakes pointed out and be held accountable for them, to lessen the odds of the mistakes becoming bad habits.

I believe that's called "coaching."

Posted by: kalorama | October 14, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Jordan's disdain for calling timeouts is gonna kill the Wiz this year. When they fall behind by 20 points in the first quarter either call timeout or make wholesale substitutions. Nobody outside of Caron or Antawn should feel confortable with their minutes.

Barring an off the court incident or missing a practice, McGee shouldn't get a DNP all year! Stop playing head games with the kid and let him develop!

Posted by: el freako | October 14, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"The difference between a pro and a newbie is that a pro knows when he's made a mistake and will endeavor to avoid doing it again."

Posted by: kalorama | October 14, 2008 6:03 PM


Apparently you don't watch any Wizards games.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

EJ benched Blatche for DSong presumably because of his 2-12 performance in the prior game.

The move didn't work out for either of them.

Kallie, you make it sound like a coach/manager can have no influence - positive or negative - on any team member. Setting challenging yet realistic objectives is crucial to any person's development. It's more of an art than a science. And it seems lacking on the Wiz.

Posted by: Izman | October 14, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the lottery!

Posted by: wixfanatic | October 14, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Juan deserves a sopt on this team. Just because DerMarr Johnson had a decent 2nd half in a meaningless preseason game doesn't mean he's a better player.

Juan won us a playoff game for Godsakes! What has DerMarr ever won?

Juan can step up and take up some of the scoring slack while Gil's out. Sorta like the role RMJ had last year.

Wiz will be fine. You can't put too much stock in preseason games. I suspect Etan can give us solid minutes at C as he has done in the past in place of Brenda.

Jordan is a helluva coach. Just look what he's done the last few years. Once we get Jamison & AD back, we'll be more than competitive.

Posted by: Eddie Jordan fan | October 14, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"Setting challenging yet realistic objectives is crucial to any person's development."

You mean objectives like getting a young player to understand the difference between a good and bad shot on the court, and holding him responsible when he doesn't?

I believe that's called "coaching."

Posted by: kalorama | October 14, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Coach EJ at his ever loving best...what a starting lineup.
And he wonders why they started slow?
Etan Songalia, Brown, Stephenson...please!
How anyone can defend this coaches intelligence and awareness is beyond me.
Songalia is a mop up at best, no skills or physical prowess, esp against athletic teams. I think Etan is a good man, but hardly an athletic and skilled NBA bigman.
Dee Brown shows no ability to score, but can run a fantastic pace up and down the court, but no scoring ability.
It only leaves Caron to guard.
I have no confidence in this team, when Songalia and Etan are on the floor.
And even less in EJ's ability to distinguish match ups and any other head coaches required insights.
Beyond a long season!

Posted by: mricklen | October 15, 2008 3:21 AM | Report abuse

I watched the second half on satellite last night.

I don't mind that Dee Brown is not a big scorer and he threw some nice passes, but it was disconcerting to see him clank two free throws in the 3rd quarter... everyone misses but his stroke was wretched, not what you want from a point guard.

DerMarr did play well, and, Ivan, I liked your choice of a quote from Caron about what he thinks DerMarr brings to the table. Better a stroke for DerMarr than a cut on DMac, who really is having problems with his outside shot.

Etan looked great at the end, I think he must have made some friends in Berlin.

Enjoy Barcelona, be sure to take in the Gaudi architecture, nothing like it in the world.

Posted by: khrabb | October 15, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

DerMarr did look good. Nice quote from Caron.

Enjoy Barcelona, be sure to check out the Gaudi architecture. It is unique.

Posted by: khrabb | October 15, 2008 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Just because DerMarr Johnson had a decent 2nd half in a meaningless preseason game doesn't mean he's a better player.

Juan won us a playoff game for Godsakes! What has DerMarr ever won?

Posted by: Eddie Jordan fan | October 14, 2008 10:27 PM

1. Dermarr brings more options than Juan. They both can score... they both have similar career shooting %.... but Dermarr has a better career True Shooting Percentage (57% to 51%) because he gets to the line more than Juan.

He's also a better on-ball defender than Dixon (Juan tends to gamble and go for steals).

Dermarr is 6'9" and can play both Shooting Guard and Small Forward; both areas of need for the Wizards.

Dermarr can post of smaller guards; Juan will get posted up by bigger guards.

BEFORE his 19 point game yesterday, Dermarr was averaging 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and a block per game in 19 minutes of playing time this Preseason. He does more than just score.... Juan has yet to play.

Yesterday he had 19 points, 3 rebounds, a steal and a block; and was one of the only bright spots for the Wizards

2. How long do we hold on to that "Juan Dixon won a playoff game for us"? Let it go! That was almost 3 years ago for Godsakes! Since then, he's done squat!

Posted by: Rook | October 15, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm not giving Eddie Jordan the benefit of the doubt with regards to his quick yank of McGee. While perimeter players have developed and flourished under Eddie (e.g., Gil, Hughes, Dixon, Stevenson, and Butler have all done better in DC than anywhere else), I can't think of one big who has shown dramatic improvement in DC during Eddie's tenure. Jeffries never developed. Kwame never developed. Pech hasn't improved. Blatche continues to tantalize, but has yet to turn the corner. Haywood had a career year last year, but how much of that was due to Eddie being forced to play him greater minutes after Etan's surgery?

I'd feel a lot more comfortable about McGee's future if we had a coaching staff with a track record of successfully grooming young bigs.

Posted by: Keynote | October 15, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Jeffries never developed."

Jeffries (A)stinks and (B) despite being 6' 11" isn't really a "big" man.

"Kwame never developed."

Kwame was damaged goods long before Jordan showed up, courtesy of MJ and Collins. Kwame was never going to be anything but miserable in D.C. no matter who the coach was.

"Pech hasn't improved."

Improved compared to what? He's played one season (half a season, really) and his second season hasn't started yet. There's no basis of comparison yet.

"Blatche continues to tantalize, but has yet to turn the corner."

Blatche is leaps and bounds a better player now than he was when he was drafted.

Posted by: kalorama | October 15, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

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