Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Wizards Tip Off Tonight

The NBA regular season opened last night with a trio of games. Michael Lee covered the Celtics beating the Cavs and receiving their championship trophy. The Bulls defeated the Bucks and former coach Scott Skiles, as No. 1 pick Derrick Rose experienced some ups and downs in his home town. And finally, Greg Oden and the Trail Blazer got off on the wrong foot against the Lakers.

Tonight the Wizards debut against the Nets at Verizon Center. Ivan Carter and Mike Wise preview the season in today's newspaper. What do you think are the keys to the Wizards' season?

By Alexa Steele  |  October 29, 2008; 9:25 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ranking Paul Pierce
Next: Nets at Wizards, Game 1

Comments

One primary key: can Blatche bring it every night? If he can, they can tread water at around .500 until Gil gets back and rounds into game shape. You know what most everyone else will bring (yeah, the youngsters are a little iffier, but they won't be game-changers, by and large).

If Dre can give us quality minutes at C, that leaves Song to back up Jamison, with Pech sliding between backup C and PF as need dictates. That seems to be our best lineup, IMO. But Blatche is the linchpin.

-- the poster formerly known as keithinator

Posted by: keithward64 | October 29, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Ditto on keith's assessment of AB. I think people are missing the boat that think using McGee as ET's backup over D-song is the big decision. D-Song is a backup PF for AJ and never played the 5 until EJ had to resort to small ball in certain games and the playoffs. I see AB being the 1st guy off the bench behind ET and possibly will slide over to the 4 as needed (or D-Song has a bad matchup).

There's also no reason to think that AB couldn't play at the 4 next to ET during 2nd quarter substitutions. Blatche can be the primary backup at all 3 frontcourt positions if he plays with intensity and intelligence nightly. I would like to see J. McGee over Pecherov on the roster even if its only to get his feet week early in the season against some weaker opponents like NJ, NY, and Milwaukee.

Pecherov would benefit from some time in the D-League where he'd learn to play the NBA game. He's not going to learn it as the 13th guy on the roster who plays during blowouts or garbage time.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 29, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This Wizard team is a mystery to fans. I renewed my season tickets but not because I believe. Grunfeld is a better basketball man then these decisions reflect. Is he reacting to Abe's simplistic commands? Looking at the team, we appear hard pressed to be at .500 and not that long ago, this looked like it was nothing but up.

Posted by: Beeb1 | October 29, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what's going to come out of Oden's MRI, but I said it a long time ago before the draft that Oden to me seems injury prone and may never realize his potential.

During college, he seemed to have issues with his stamina, and it's known that one of his legs is about 1.5 inches shorter than the other, which affects his coordination.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"One primary key: can Blatche bring it every night? If he can, they can tread water at around .500 until Gil gets back and rounds into game shape. You know what most everyone else will bring (yeah, the youngsters are a little iffier, but they won't be game-changers, by and large).

If Dre can give us quality minutes at C, that leaves Song to back up Jamison, with Pech sliding between backup C and PF as need dictates. That seems to be our best lineup, IMO. But Blatche is the linchpin.

-- the poster formerly known as keithinator

Posted by: keithward64 | October 29, 2008 9:40 AM "

"Tread water at .500 until Gilby comes back????"

The team is a .500 team anyway with Gilby in the lineup!

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/standings?season=2007

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/standings?season=2006

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/standings?season=2005

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The team is a .500 team anyway with Gilby in the lineup!

Perhaps. But Caron has progressed so much in the last couple of seasons, that a healthy, 27-28 ppg. Gil may push us further. Depending on other factors, of course, like Blatche, Young and McGuire's development.

Posted by: keithward64 | October 29, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The biggest issue this year is for the fans to keep their sanity despite poor rotation management and lack of player development.

Of course, we can expect the 3 allstars to be overworked and injured along the way.

But then again, we've been to this play several times before. Maybe the players and reporters should just go down the street to the Shakespeare Theatre and rehearse a better ending.

Posted by: Izman | October 29, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Everyone talks about AB coming off the bench. But he's shown that he needs to start to be at his best. Are the wiz so stacked with talent at center that AB has to come off the bench? Who do we have at center that's so gifted? Certainly not ET who is NOT a starting center and the wiz will not win with him.


Posted by: browneri | October 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I watched most of the Cavs-Celtics game last night on TNT. It is a Bron-Bron & Ilgauskas plus Mo Williams team. West seems always ready to play and score and Sideshow Bob is pesky and still error prone. It was cool watching them get beaten by Boston. I have to admit that the Cavs defense is still pretty good.

Oden was a non-factor in last night's Blazers-Lakers game and then he got hurt too. The Lakers look excellent, this is Farmar's year transitioning to a starter/finisher which he will be by next season. Bynum was back to his old self, and Odom was a spark off the bench.

And tonight.... I don't know. If the starters can move fast and get their shots in the first quarter, the game's ours. If not... the young uns won't save it.

I agree with other folks on here that Jordan needs to play the young uns, play them good. Play them through their mistakes. It's a long season, there is no need to restrict the rotation to 8 this early.

Posted by: rickgonz | October 29, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I watched the 2 games last night and what struck me was how deep the roster for all 4 teams. I mean their 2nd unit was way above average. I have much respect on EG but I don't think he did a fairly job in getting the players the team will need to improve. When people talks about Opech, Dmac and the rookie to have much impact to the team then it means trouble. Prediction....pain!

Posted by: Dave381 | October 29, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Keithinator, I hope like heck Songaila isn't the first backup off the bench at any position. He's a below average player regardless ofwhere you put him.
I agree with browneri that AB deserves to start at C and we should ride him til we can't. If he gets into foul trouble, fine. Just bring Etan in then.
I also agree with yesterday's posters about JM. The comparison with young-Sheed is correct. Sheed told the coach when he got here that he was not a C. Neither he nor CWebb wanted any part of it. At least JM is not balking at playing the position. With this team as it is, JM needs to be active and deserves some minutes. He's a better option than Songaila at both C and PF as a backup. Some of the posters on this blog are probably better options than Songaila.

Posted by: original_mark | October 29, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Mark, sorry to disappoint you but EJ has other ideas:

"The Wizards finished 2-5, were blown out three times and often struggled when the team's starters and veterans were not on the floor.

For that reason, Jordan said he would rely on a "veteran rotation" tonight -- one that will likely include forward Darius Songaila and guard Juan Dixon off the bench -- and evaluate his young players on a day-to-day basis."

As long as EJ's the coach Etan and Songalia won't have problems with their PT.

Posted by: Dave381 | October 29, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Perhaps. But Caron has progressed so much in the last couple of seasons, that a healthy, 27-28 ppg. Gil may push us further. Depending on other factors, of course, like Blatche, Young and McGuire's development.

Posted by: keithward64 | October 29, 2008 10:51 AM "

That's assuming everybody's building on everybody. But, you don't stack scoring averages on top of scoring averages from different seasons. When Gilby returned last season, he threw off the chemistry of the team.

Look at Caron's stats. He's taken more shots since Gilby's been out, and has almost 3 times as many 3 point attempts.

Gilby over his career averages 17 shots (6x 3's), and 7.5 FT's a game.

During Gilby's highest scoring year, he averaged 21 shots (8x 3's), and 10 FT's a game.

When/if he returns, those shots he takes are going to come from other players.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Perhaps. But Caron has progressed so much in the last couple of seasons, that a healthy, 27-28 ppg. Gil may push us further. Depending on other factors, of course, like Blatche, Young and McGuire's development.

Posted by: keithward64 | October 29, 2008 10:51 AM "

That's assuming everybody's building on everybody. But, you don't stack scoring averages on top of scoring averages from different seasons. When Gilby returned last season, he threw off the chemistry of the team.

Look at Caron's stats. He's taken more shots since Gilby's been out, and has almost 3 times as many 3 point attempts.

Gilby over his career averages 17 shots (6x 3's), and 7.5 FT's a game.

During Gilby's highest scoring year, he averaged 21 shots (8x 3's), and 10 FT's a game.

When/if he returns, those shots he takes are going to come from other players.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

If Dre can give us quality minutes at C, that leaves Song to back up Jamison, with Pech sliding between backup C and PF as need dictates. That seems to be our best lineup, IMO. But Blatche is the linchpin.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 10:32 AM


how long u think he is gonna take to get us those quality minutes? why is everyone being mean to him?

Posted by: prescrunk | October 29, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The keys to this game and season is going to be EJ's substitution calls and his trust in his young players. EJ is old school and he puts all young players in the same box (DNP's).

Now, if all young players approached the game like NY and AB I would see why EJ gets upset. But, it seems to me like DMac and McGee approach the game like it supposed to be approached, so they should be rewarded with playing time not stuck in that same rookie box EJ carries.

This is going to be a rough game to watch knowing EJ is going to run "that starting five" 35 to 38 minutes. Like I said before, I will be waiting for the 2nd quarter when he inserts some of the youngsta's.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | October 29, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Pencil me in as a guy who would rather see Gil shoot more than any other guy on this team, 88. I don't mind if the shots reduce the number of shots from other players, actually. Recent Wiz history has shown us that offense isn't a problem when he's in the game. We were poor defensively. It wasn't all his fault but he was part of the problem. Since he's the star, he took most of the blame. I think Lenovo stats showed that we weren't getting killed at the pg position (it was sg).
But back to your point, you're right about the stacking. A lot of people think that if you take 5 guys that can score 20 ppg, you should win a championship but it doesn't work that way. I haven't checked but Pierce, Garnett and Allen probably all saw a slight dip in their recent averages.
I think we all make this game out to be a lot more complicated than it is. All we have to do is play solid defense and allow our best players to score in key situations (end of game). Every good team in the league tries to play solid D and then goes to their star in the clutch. As long as we can keep games relatively close, just give the ball to GA and let him either score or find CB or AJ. It should be that simple once Gil gets back. Til then it'll be a struggle.

Posted by: original_mark | October 29, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Watching Thibodeau during last night's ring ceremony, I couldn't help wondering again what he saw in the Wizards organization that made him run after one day here. Not that the Wiz would have won a world championship had he stayed, and not that Ayers is doing a bad job -- quite the contrary. But still, Thibodeau is a great defensive coach, and Boston's got the rings to show for it.

Can't wait for the game tonight. I do wish Eddie would show some faith in the youngsters. I know all he wants to do is hang on in an improving Eastern Conference until Gil gets back to help position the Wiz in the playoff seedings. But the way he rides his vets into the ground every year is getting stale. And some of those vets (AD, DSong) haven't been looking that great this preseason.

I have great seats for the Lakers game at the Verizon center next month. Much as I dislike the Lakers franchise, the way they looked last night I'm actually looking forward to seeing them.

Posted by: Prazak | October 29, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"how long u think he is gonna take to get us those quality minutes? why is everyone being mean to him?

Posted by: prescrunk | October 29, 2008 11:58 AM "

Don't ask me. I didn't make that post.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

To original mark,

It's great for Gilby if he is shooting and getting his numbers, but the death blow to the team is that they end up standing around and watching the Gilby show.

The flow of the team comes to a halt.

It'll be interesting to see when/if he comes back whether he can help or hurt the chemistry of the team.

* On a side note, even though NY is young and erratic, I want to see him in the game not only because he's unpredictable where he might just suddenly dunk on someone, but that he might throw another one of those gorgeous no look passes like he did to Juan in the Cleveland game.....yes, that one that got intercepted and turned the other way for a fast break....I LMAO when I saw that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

To original mark,

It's great for Gilby if he is shooting and getting his numbers, but the death blow to the team is that they end up standing around and watching the Gilby show.

The flow of the team comes to a halt.

It'll be interesting to see when/if he comes back whether he can help or hurt the chemistry of the team.

* On a side note, even though NY is young and erratic, I want to see him in the game not only because he's unpredictable where he might just suddenly dunk on someone, but that he might throw another one of those gorgeous no look passes like he did to Juan in the Cleveland game.....yes, that one that got intercepted and turned the other way for a fast break....I LMAO when I saw that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Ivan - Any word on who is going to be inactive tonight? It better not be McGee, but I see it happening just because it is EJ.

Posted by: BulletsFever | October 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

EJ may have no choice but to rely on youngsters given that AD can probably only play 30 minutes a night and Etan even less. IF EJ decides to use DSS as the backup PG when AD is on the bench, that will mean more minutes for NY to see if he can be our scorer off the bench. Dixon gives a nice alternative when we're playing a team with smaller backup guards.

I agree with many posters that D-Song is clearly too slow to be a major bench contributor. His back injury only made his lack of mobility and quickness even more noticeable. EJ's continued belief that he's part of the team's core is misplaced and he should be investing in the future by playing the youngsters like D-Mac and J. McGee those minutes instead.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 29, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah 88. Gil used to always get blamed for the lack of flow. I guess he trusts more in himself than anyone else. I always wondered why the 2 all stars couldn't talk to him and get him to share.
When AD is in the game, it's definitely better as far as ball movement goes. The advantage of AD starting now is that everyone should get their share of looks and it'll be hard to key on someone. Deshawn just needs to keep taking those open 3's that he gets. We've seen what happens when he hits his first shot or two.

Posted by: original_mark | October 29, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with many posters that D-Song is clearly too slow to be a major bench contributor. His back injury only made his lack of mobility and quickness even more noticeable. EJ's continued belief that he's part of the team's core is misplaced and he should be investing in the future by playing the youngsters like D-Mac and J. McGee those minutes instead.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 29, 2008 1:36 PM

I agree with your last statement for the most part except one thing. Yes Song. is slow, but I disagree with you that he is not a solid bench contributor.

Song is a solid "4" who can give you a little of everything. He is tough, he "shows" very well (i.e. Ruffin) on the top of the key in their rotating defense, has a solid face up game and decent handle.

He should be getting minutes without a doubt. My problem with Song. is him playing the "5" spot and not the "4". That is when he becomes a non-contributor. Now Song. never professed to be a "5". That is EJ "forcing" him to be a "5" like Etan.

However to EJ's defense that is the only spot you can put Etan, because today's "4's" have faceup games, handles and are very agile. None of these abilities Etan possess. Etan is to short to be a NBA center and to thick to be a power forward. He is your classic "tweener", like Juan
Dixon.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | October 29, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz just need to stay afloat until Gilbert gets back. I'm hoping Haywood can be back by sometime in march so we can finally make a playoff push with the whole roster. I'm excited to see what Nick Youngs going to do with more minutes. DUNK CONTEST!!!

Posted by: Dwe316 | October 29, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The key to any playoff hopes until Gil returns will be development and consistency of Andray Blatche we know what Antwan and Caron will do night in and night out for the most part. It all falls in Andray's lap this year he more than anyone else will determine the Wizard's playoff fate with the Eastern conference stronger and more formidable the Wiz could be lottery bound by the all star break if AB is inconsistent.Nick,Dominic,and the rest of the cast can help but its really AB that can make this team fun to watch he has a tremendous upside but all the fans have seen so far is an elevator of potential,it all starts tonite.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 29, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The key to any playoff hopes until Gil returns will be development and consistency of Andray Blatche we know what Antwan and Caron will do night in and night out for the most part. It all falls in Andray's lap this year he more than anyone else will determine the Wizard's playoff fate with the Eastern conference stronger and more formidable the Wiz could be lottery bound by the all star break if AB is inconsistent.Nick,Dominic,and the rest of the cast can help but its really AB that can make this team fun to watch he has a tremendous upside but all the fans have seen so far is an elevator of potential,it all starts tonite.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 29, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone talks about AB coming off the bench. But he's shown that he needs to start to be at his best."

Not really. If anything he's shown that he needs to play at his natural forward spot (which is where he played in the majority of the games he started last season, when Butler was out) rather than at C, where he's physically overmatched and lacks the toughness to overcome it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 29, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Arenas's return is probably still two months off, but the Gilbert "love" is in mid season form today.

Arenas should have never tried to play at the end of last season. He hoped to give the team a boost but he was performing at maybe 50%. He ended up setting himself back again and didn't help the team either. Shutting it down was the smart decision.

Caron Butler is matured into a different caliber player since Gil's been down. Gil is a smart player, if he comes back by mid season, chemistry won't be a problem. When Gil gets his legs under him, the pace will pickup and the scoring per game will pickup too.

And of course so will the points allowed, the Wiz won't be walking the ball up once Gil gets back and the kids get broke in. Nobody will be "standing around" it's going to be get the ball and lets go.

But Gil is smart enough that Caron and Jamison won't lack for touches. With Caron's improved range, look for him to become a three point threat this year.

Eddie is of the old school, tough love, I don't give playing time, you earn it coach. The "veteran rotation" comment was sending a message to the youngsters, when you get in there produce or sit.

When Daniels comments on liking what he's seeing from Blatche, you know the kid's getting the message. By December the Kid will be the starting center, or at least getting as many, or more, minutes then Etan.

The over/under on the Wiz is 38.5 games for the season. I'd take the over for a buck, but I'm not a betting man.

I've been saying all summer, this year is really about the kids. If they improve this team could be really good down the stretch.

Posted by: flohrtv | October 29, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Les BouleS probably aren't going to get anything out of AB.

Because of this, they should probably just trade him. Ivan talks about not getting equal value for AB due to his reasonable contract, but in truth, Les BouleS aren't getting ANY value out of him if he remains on the team and continues to languish or worse.

My bet is that AB would thrive on a West Coast team, namely one like the Suns.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Arenas should have never tried to play at the end of last season. He hoped to give the team a boost but he was performing at maybe 50%. He ended up setting himself back again and didn't help the team either. Shutting it down was the smart decision.

Posted by: flohrtv | October 29, 2008 4:50 PM"

Give them a boost?

Gilby came back for financial reasons....to show teams what he can do, but that turned out to be limited.

Les BouleS paid top dollar anyway.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 29, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company