Another Night, Another Wizards Loss

It's hard to know exactly where to start with this one. The Wizards dropped to 1-7 with a 94-87 home loss to the Miami Heat at Verizon Center Tuesday. It's the worst start for the team since 1999.

-Unlike Friday night in MIami, this was a game but mistakes down the stretch did the Wizards in. Nick Young had two turnovers, Caron Butler had another, rookie JaVale McGee got nailed on a drive but failed to get a call, Antawn Jamison missed a jumper that would have cut the Miami lead to one with 1:28 to go, and that was pretty much that.

-Coach Eddie Jordan said after the game that starting McGee "is under consideration." Obviously, something has to be done because the starters once again fell behind at the start of the game and again at the start of the third.

-Then again, the bigger issue is a lack of frontline NBA talent. From where I sit, this team currently has two legit starters (Butler and Jamison), some good young players who don't know what they are doing (Young and McGee) and a bunch of role players. That sounds harsh but it's true. The numbers don't lie.

Jordan: "This team is built for GIlbert Arenas to lead us; this team is built for our all star forwards to do certain offensive things for us and for Brendan Haywood to have a career year manning the middle for us. We don't have those things. You're asking people to do things they are not capable of doing. They are not capable of carrying the load for us like a Dwyane Wade, like a Gilbert Arenas. You've got young guys who aren't going to make veteran plays night in, night out. They're going to be good here and there, so to be in the game is a credit to everyone in our organization right now. It's eight games into the season and you've got to be positive but you've also got to be realisitic about things."

Jordan was VERY realistic after this one.

"Let's see how it goes as far as finding a rhythm and learning to play with one another. Juan is our starting point guard, you know, so that tells you a lot right there. We don't get fast breaks. Juan backs up [Antonio Daniels]. AD backs up Gil, so where are we? JaVale is 19, 20 years old and he is probably our best, most exciting pivot man. So, where are we, you know?"

-The locker room was empty pretty quickly as the team had a flight to Atlanta, but to honest with you, I really didn't know what they were supposed to say.
Jamison tried: "It's tough right now but we're going to stay positive and continue to work hard. We're going to do everything possible to turn this thing around. It's tough when you put yourself in position to win, but you just can't get it done. We're going to get on a plane, learn from our mistakes, and once we touch down in Atlanta, we need to get focused on a pretty good Atlanta team that is playing well at home."

By Ivan Carter |  November 19, 2008; 8:32 AM ET
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"This team is built for GIlbert Arenas to lead us..."

Where, from his pool counting his money? Gil said himself he's not the leader of the team, so that's a scary thought right there. Gil is incapable of leading a franchise.

EG should really consider making a trade, they aren't going to make the playoffs this year. Dump Blatche, Stevenson, and a few others and play your kids.

Even is Arenas was back they Wiz are not a championship caliber team.

Blatche is ALWAYS out of shape and clearly has no commitment to the game. He looks at basketball like it's a part-time job. Very disappointing.

I bet if you put a protitute at the ends of the court he would run a lot faster. ;)

Stevenson can't shoot when someone is in his face and had a career year last year.

Etan was never a good center to begin with.

You let Roger Mason go, your best bench player.

I mean seriously, this team was doomed this year thanks to EG. McGee is a nice find, but down the road.

Start Young and McGee, EJ. What do you have to lose since you're not really winning.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 19, 2008 8:47 AM

Now maybe EJ isn't the right coach to have at this stage. Right in terms of helping develop younger players. The right temperament.

But that's another story.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 18, 2008 11:10 PM

SteveMg - And that sums it up in a nutshell. Eddie can coach, but his old school way of thinking is killing him right now. With Gil, Haywood, a healthy AD and Stevenson EJ is able to do pretty good coaching jobs.

However without that four, this is where the true test of your coaching skills come to the forefront. Eddie is killing himself insisting on playing:

Etan (undersized, no offensive game or rebounding production)

Stevenson (who is only average when playing beside Gil plus having a injury that nobody knew about until last night - the heck with that starting game streak this is supposed to be about the team)

Songalia (playing him at the 5 spot when he is a 4 Songaila takes the blame alot here because he is called to play out of position)

Jamison (playing him way to many minutes instead of giving some of those minutes to Songalia. Takes way to many jumpers and needs to stay inside more.)

AB (The dude played a lot better last night in the first half, yet did not get back in until the 9 min mark in the 4th quarter)

Juan (Yanking him in favor of Stevenson at the Point.....????)

Yes this is a Gil oriented run offense but you still have two "so called All-Stars". You have McGee and NY. Eddie has to change that starting five tonight or the Hawks are going to run them right out of the gym..........

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 9:06 AM

The problem with this team starts with the GM. Why didn't the Wizards draft or trade for a PG? No doubt JaVale will develop into a good/excellent player but so might Blatche, Pech, Young, McGuire. So that's 4 of 15 players you can't count on. AD is out with an injury, Arenas is out for months, Haywood is out for the season. That makes 7 of 15 players that can't contribute. So when half your team can't contribute, how can you expect to win anything? I wonder how much opposing teams must be salivating when they find out Juan Dixon (a streaky skinny shooting guard) is our starting PG. Wow! Honestly, go position-by-position and see how many NBA teams the Wizards are better than. You won't find many.

This team is in for a long long season of losing. I know the owner is loath to spend over the salary cap but we'll how he feels when the fans don't come to watch the half-Wizards stink up the joint.

Posted by: tundey | November 19, 2008 9:12 AM

Can someone here tell me how much it would cost to sign Damon Stoudimare as a "quick fix" for our point guard situation? The dude is quick, and unlike Dee Brown he has a offensive game.

I know he will demand the vet's minium, so how will that affect the luxury tax. This is a point guard driven offensive and we do not have one there right now (no offense to Juan).

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 9:13 AM

"This team is built for GIlbert Arenas to
lead us..."

I think you know what he meant when he says lead us, to do what Gilbert does, score 30 and to push the ball. Gil's precense makes everybody's job easier especially CB & AJ.

They really miss Roger Mason and I know EG wishes he had Roger instead of D. Stevenson, that was a mistake

Eddie knows what the problem is and there is nothing he can do about it. He will talk about holding people accountable but JaVale will continue to come off of the bench and A. Jaminson will continue to be the worst defender @ his position in the entire league.

The return of Gil will make us competitive but not a contender.

Posted by: zxhoya | November 19, 2008 9:13 AM

BTW, for better or worse, this team is built around Gil. He may not be the vocal leader or the leader in the locker room but on the court, he's the leader.

Posted by: tundey | November 19, 2008 9:13 AM

I've seen nearly every game this season and will tell you exactly what is wrong wit this team. On offense, there is very little ball movement and no penetration. The Wizards feign like they run a Princeton offense, by initiating passing above the key to start the offense, then there is no real ball movement that makes the defense get unbalanced and produces easy shots. And the offense is the least of the teams problems.

The Wizards defense is absolutely atrocious. This is the worst team defense I have ever seen from an NBA club. No one (with the possible exception of Stevenson), even attempts to move their feet and stay with their man. Players lose their man within a few dribbles, then the defense immediately rotates, getting out of balance...usually, it only takes 2 or 3 passes by the opposing team to get a wide-open jump shot. Add to that that anyone is allowed to penetrate the lane at anytime...only McGee provides any type of deterrence once in the lane - by that time, the rest of the defense is sagging and the penetrator dishes out for an open J. There is no anticipation on defense...none of the Wizards players seem to anticipate where a pass might go or where an open man might be. I see it happen over and over again.

Then there's rebounding- or the lack of it. Watch the next game...no one actively puts a body on their man when the shot goes up - they simply turn to the basket and hope the ball bounces towards them - I'm talking about simple, fundamental basketball.

The lack of energy or urgency in the team's play is appalling. Last night, even McGee looked passive and uninterested -perhaps the rest of the team's demeanor is rubbing off on him...I hope not.

Blatche is an embarrassment. I don't even know where to start with him. He's a turnover waiting to happen....he should NEVER touch the ball unless his back is to the basket.

We know they're undermanned, but the players who are playing are losing not by talent, in most cases, but by fundamentals and effort. I'm thinking Eddie Jordan is quickly losing this team. If I'm E. Grunfeld, I sit down with Jordan today and give him an ultimatum - either Jordan gets the team to play sound, fundamental basketball by the end of the year, or he's gone...seriously. If this continues, this team will not win 25 games this year...cut/paste, save this post - but mark my words - not 25 games.

Posted by: sunnyman1 | November 19, 2008 9:14 AM

We are doomed. Let's just hope we lose enough to land a ready-to-play draft choice. But I won't be surprised if we signed yet another raw player with "upside".

Posted by: tundey | November 19, 2008 9:18 AM

Looks like there are several "non contributors" some because of lack of talent - DB, ET, Dsong; AB because he's a screwed up kid; OP for whatever reason.
An answer: cut D. Brown, sign Damon Stoudimare for the vet minimum, funded by suspending AB without pay (team rules) until he gets in shape. The Wiz have enough attendance from healthy bodies penciled in at 4 and 5 to not miss AB.

Posted by: lrmc623 | November 19, 2008 9:30 AM

We need a PG. Juan is not a PG. Memphis has like 3 of them. Trade for Kyle Lowry. He deserves big boy minutes.

Posted by: rantcity | November 19, 2008 9:47 AM

I've never been one to call for EJ's head, but after his postgame comments I think it's time for him to go. True, the Wiz are hurt and desperately lacking starting NBA talent, but his comments sound like the beginning of the "ain't my fault" PR campaign designed to save his job. Barring an unlikely trade or pickup, this is his team for the remainder of the season. You've got to man up and do the best with what you've got...let the chips fall where they may. You don't think EG and Abe know the team has been decimated by injuries and only has two legit starters? It doesn't take talent to move your feet on defense and box out...

I've given the staff credit over the yeras (aside from the seemingly awful job the they've done grooming AB and holding him accountable). But coaches are the ultimately leaders and role models for their teams, and perhaps Eddie isn't suited to be one. I can't see how this press helps bring on a second win.

Posted by: thickman22 | November 19, 2008 9:47 AM

This is a disfunctional organization.
The owner is cheap, and has too much control.
I disagree with all of the AJ dissing.
He is a class act and a great player. He is solid and good for 20+ and 10+. He is overplayed by the coach as is CB.
The coach is just incompetent. For him to come out and applaud staying close against a team that won no games last year and is playing with 2 rookies and a new coach, is abysmal. He should be gone yesterday.
His arrogance in continuing to play ET, DS, Dsong and small ball, when we should be dominating on the boards with the young trees, is an embarrassment.
Also this team from top to bottom needs to get into the weight room. They are mostly spindly and weak, which also affects the energy.
I have the NBA package, and the athleticism of the rest of the league in regatd to the Wiz, is astonishing. It is time for strong, athletic and skilled players. The WIZ have 2,CB and Jmc...all others are undersized and willowy.
Also all the one on one offensive is symptomatic of a losing team.
I would insist on at least 4 passes each possesion.
Bag the so called "Princeton Offense Weave", which is a waste of 15 seconds of the shot clock. I know none of these changes will occurr until EJ is long gone, and Abe stands in the way of that happening.
I agree with whomever argued that the double teaming has to stop, it is time for solid one on one in your face D.This requires a defensive pitman like Mcghee. As soon as EJ removed JM Wade drove the lane.
Also if playing for the top draft choice is the solace, where is the money going to come from to pay them, Abe?
None of this will happen until there is a change of ownership/coaching.
A very long year indeed!

Posted by: maxman2162 | November 19, 2008 9:59 AM

Ivan: "From where I sit, this team currently has two legit starters (Butler and Jamison), some good young players who don't know what they are doing (Young and McGee) and a bunch of role players".

True, but only half of the story. The job of the coach is to anticipate problems and adjust. DeS, AD and ET have performed much worse than JV, NY and JD. The team is 1-7. Why not develop the younger players with potential? If I recall correctly, Ivan thought that the Wiz would only win 36 games this year (at most 42 if everything went right).

No matter what the player profile, EJ has underperformed almost every year in DC. Moreover, he has a very bad habit of overplaying the key players, even when they are injured or returning from injuries.

The Wiz are a soap opera. An absentee owner, a GM and coach with different strategies to success, and players utilized (or not) for no logical reason.

Ivan, I would suggest you go back and look at the win against Utah and honestly report what worked. Even with the injuries, the Wiz could be 4-4 - and growing in confidence.

In contrast, EJ has them believing that the current roster cannot win and the young guys aren't ready. Sounds like a Bushism to me.

Posted by: Izman | November 19, 2008 10:03 AM

This team is built for GIlbert Arenas to lead us\your kidding\adj 1. Play no defense 2. Come down court and throw up wild shots 3. Never pass the ball and play selfishly 4. Worry about your own numbers and do not concern yourself with winning in the playoffs 5. Show other player (AJ, CB) that padding your numbers gets you a big contract but it also keeps you off of the Olympic team

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 19, 2008 10:12 AM

Oh, Ivan. We know we can always count on you to be an EJ apologist.

Ivan: "From where I sit, this team currently has two legit starters (Butler and Jamison), some good young players who don't know what they are doing (Young and McGee) and a bunch of role players".

Do you really need to be an allstar in order to be a legit starter, Ivan? How many teams start 5 allstars? Etan has been EJ's preferred starting center for years. Stevenson has started how many hundred consecutive games? Are you saying that Stevenson didn't deserve to start any of them? Blatch started many games that the Wizards won last season.

Jordan's quote in your piece is nothing short of disgusting. "You're asking people to do things they are not capable of doing." Way to throw your team under the bus, EJ. Way to step up to the mike and tell your players they aren't talented enough (EJ did this a couple of years ago, too.)

I don't care whether it is true or not. A real coach would step up to the mike and say, "Because of injuries, we need some players to play different, expanded roles. I wish they could just flip a switch and do that, but that's not how it works. We are going to need to work on it, but I think it will happen. Our guys are really talented. I believe in them, and I believe we can do it. We just need -- players and coaches alike -- to roll up our sleeves and work, grow and find the very best in ourselves."

Instead, EJ offers excuses and covers his own backside. What a moron.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 19, 2008 10:17 AM

By the way, good suggestion by bulletsfever (as usual), above.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 19, 2008 10:18 AM

Sure Wiz is depleted right now. But what does Miami have? Wade, Marion, and rookie Beasley (who has played 11th NBA games). How many Miami players you have heard of them before? In fact, they have another rookie running the point, and he is killing the Wiz! And EJ is complaining about he has two all stars and bunch of young guys?

Forget about EJ "developing" young players? Who exactly has EJ "developed" before? I am not calling for him to get fired, because I haven't given up on this season yet. But if the team is thinking about using this season for "development of the future," I don't think EJ is the right choice.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 19, 2008 10:35 AM

Come on fellas we're 8 games into the season and you're already killing them? They're without 40% of their starting lineup, I know as a fan you think they should be able to overcome it, and I do think they will at some point, but give it some more time, as long as they are within sniffing range of .500 by the time Arenas gets back, all bets are off.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | November 19, 2008 10:42 AM

People,
Shockingly, the Wiz's collapse was foreseen; check out ESPN's John Hollinger's forecast of the Wiz's season:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/trainingcamp08/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=WizardsForecast0809

This is a catch and shoot team(i.e. Stevenson, AJ(to a degree), Songalia, Dixon, Pech) who defensive rotations collapse when a opposing team's penatrator gets into the lane. The secondary problem is that the team's few penatrators (CB and NY) are volume shooters who hunt their own shots primarily instead of finding shooters. They also force shots instead of making the extra pass for a better shot. AB is still a kid (imagine if you were 21 w/money living in DC with no college) that has talent and little prepatory determination. EG banked on GA and BH to be healthy, which is the most visible mistake, but at this point, esp. in the next home game vs. Yao, it would be more suitable to start JM, although I give all the respect in the world for ET's comeback. 35-40 wins is the ceiling.

Posted by: bernard_thompson | November 19, 2008 10:50 AM

I agree with Imjustlikemusiq. When your best offensive and defensive players are on the shelf, and your backup PG is ailing, it's going to be tough for anyone to win. Miami, with a healthy Wade, should be able to beat this Wiz team. One great player can control a game in the NBA -- witness what LeBron is doing in Cleveland, without a lot of help.

I still like the idea of Abe moving into Luxury Tax-ville and signing Marbury, while cutting the utterly useless Dee Brown. If this can't be done for some reason, please correct me. I don't know, nor do I have any interest in, cap economics.

Posted by: keithward64 | November 19, 2008 10:59 AM

Scrap the Princeton offense and play regular NBA sets. Play to our strengths.

We're not a half court team. We need to get the ball and run. Almost every one of our players is better in an open game. DS, Juan, NY, AB,CB, JM are all probbly better off playing an uptempo game offensively. There are only a couple players on this team that are better suited to a half court style (ET, DSong, maybe Pech).

Running is hard to do when you're getting pounded on the boards, I know. We need to stop this rotation/collapsing crap and put JM in the middle with AJ at the 4, CB at the 3 and NY at the 2. NY, CB and AJ should all have standing orders to shoot the three whenever it's open without hesitation. We'd have to rely on Jm inside for defense and shotblocking.

"Under consideration" ????? That alone should be enough to get EJ fired. Why does it take 8 games to see the obvious?

As soon as I saw the starting lineup last night, I knew we'd lose. EJ still has not learned. I supported the guy for years but no more. I bet Nellie (or another decent coach) could win some games with 2 all stars and young talent. Put Cb and Aj in positions to succeed and stop blaming Gil's absence. Sure, Gil and BTH would make us better but they aint here.

BF, Stoudemire is not a bad idea but I think the issue is mainly with the coach, not the players.

Ayers needs to be called out, too. After watching so many open 3's and no adjustments, it's time for his head, too.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 11:01 AM

Eddie, JM is averaging 9 and 6 in 20 minutes per game.

NY is playing better than Deshawn.

What are you thinking?

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 11:18 AM

STEVE FRANCISE.... I Would rather the Wiz go after him, know matter what steve play to win.

Frustration.... EJ is just frustrated just like everyone on this post. EJ is doing the right thing as far as playing rotation. If the season is a lost why burn out a promising but under-weight young center take time with him. Nick young needs surgery at the end of the year,take time with him. We only played 8 games,70 or so to go. I Agree though, Ernie needs to make a move "Blatche". He will never survive here in DC, cant handle the women so he will not commit to the game.. . AJ is not the answer at the 4 he will have to come off the bench in 2 years, "Blake Giffin is though"..Can you imagine Blake Gif, McGee and CB front line,could be nice. AJ, Haywood and McGuire backing up. The wiz should the next fifty games keep it real and rebuild,(for one year). We would have a healty Gil,a season Young starting and backing up would be another PG, not on roster. But we would also Stevenson for Defense and Juan for offense.

Posted by: dsquare | November 19, 2008 11:40 AM

Everything is EG and EJ's fault. This team is one of the worst run franchises around. Not one team in the league would have given gilbert that contract especially coming off multiple knee surgeries. The only team that came close was the warriors...another one of the worst run franchises in sports. Jamison is 32 and we give him a 4 year deal. In 2 or 3 years we are going to be begging the entire league to take him. EG signed-Songalia, etan thomas, daniels and stevenson all to multi year big paying deals when not one of them deserved more than a 2 maybe 3 year contract. EG can't draft even though i do love Javale. Pecherov, Dee Brown, Juan Dixon, and Songalia, if not etan as well should all be playing in europe. EJ runs the worst rotations I have ever seen in my life and has continously crippled this team for the past 3 or 4 years. He also can't develop a single draft pick they all are barely better than when we drafted them. Look at our entire roster not 1 single player we drafted and groomed not one home grown star really even contributor. Anyone worth talking about was traded for or signed as a FA. Keep hanging on to 1st place at the all-star break 2 years ago.....look at the east its ten times better and continuity only works if you have the talent in the 1st place and the wizards dont have it. Not even close even with Gilbert. Anyone who defends EG/EJ or this team is a complete fool and is clueless about basketball. Then on top of all that EJ's press conference last night...are you serious 8 games into the season and he has given up and trashes are whole team and says their not good enough to get it done. Then says we should give everyone in the organization credit for even being in the games. WHAT ARE YOU SERIOUS?????I personally will not watch or go to another wizards game until either EJ or EG(I pray to god both) are gone. I would fire Eddie this morning....Both these guys should have been fired after last year...it sure in the hell better happen this year.

Posted by: beas13 | November 19, 2008 11:48 AM

I agree with everybody's comments: a lot depends on Eddie Jordan. He can not keep making excuses, he can not throw the whole team under the bus with his stupid demoralizing remarks. I also blame the assitant coaches, what are they here for? To just stand around and say nothing? They need to give real advice, solutions, defensive schemes, offensive plays, teach the bigs, etc. Otherwise fire them all. Oh yeah, keep Hopla but make sure each player has two hours with him every practice.

BTW, the Wiz were playing against 8 very often last night. Phantom fouls and lots of no calls. In a different situation I would say it cost the Wiz the game, but this time I'll just say what can you do when the team gets no respect even on their home court?

Posted by: rickgonz | November 19, 2008 12:01 PM

relax. we're like the Hawks last year. Hibachi is gonna come back and run s#it. we do need to nix the Princeton offense tho.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 19, 2008 12:04 PM

bring Stack back

Posted by: prescrunk | November 19, 2008 12:08 PM

I agree about the bogus calls. That's one overlooked thing that Gil gave us...star appeal. We'd (he'd) get calls that we're not getting now. It makes a difference.

Songaila update:

I watched the first 4 defensive possessions last night after he came in at C and there were offensive rebounds for the Heat on all four of them. On the fourth, he tied the guy up but didn't win the tip.

Final line - 7 minutes ZERO rebounds.

Put the 3 point shooting guy in the game. We shot eight 3's last night. EIGHT !! The Heat shot 25. We'll continue to lose unless someone on our team decides that they have the stones to put it up. It'll loosen the D and we actually might make a few. CB started off last year with his 'newfound 3 point range' and after a few games, it was the same old midrange 'stutter, dribble, pull up' game.
Any time your PF leads you in 3 point shooting, you know you're in trouble. He and DS are both 9-31 on 3 point attempts. How many teams in the league are like that?

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 12:15 PM

Yeah, I'm not sure I liked the Coach throwing certain players under the bus when the whole team looked awful last night.
It was the turnovers and lack of shots that killed the Wiz last night.

Even so, I am still not ready to put the nail in the coffin quite yet. They will (and have to) start winning soon.....

Posted by: sammy5 | November 19, 2008 12:17 PM

Eddie Jordan needs to go. It was evident last night.

Example #1 - at the end of the game, we are down by 7 with about 32 seconds to go, heat have the ball. Instead of fouling them and extending the game, he throws in the towel and allows them to run the clock down to 11 seconds. Yeah, 7 pts is a lot, but you don't just give in.

Example #2
We are down by 5pts with the ball with about 2 minutes to go. Instead of calling a time-out and setting up a play because this was a key possession. He doesn't do anything and we turn the ball over.

I like EJ, but he is no longer the right fit for this team. His message is not getting across to the younger players and we've now come to the point where it appears that he's given up waiting on Gil to return.

Posted by: tedunni1 | November 19, 2008 12:18 PM

By 'he' I mean Jamison. He's shooting more 3's than anyone else on our team.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 12:19 PM

Those above comments that EJ made about his team are not realistic, they are just said. In a nutshell he is saying that his current group of players cannot win.

When did he arrive at this conclusion? And if the players and assistant coaches thinks that this is his opinion of them, might this just affect their play, their confidence, and most importantly THE WAY HE COACHES???

Hey guys and gals, your head coach can't do this. No wonder they are not competitive, much less winning any games.

Eddie is the General that prepares and leads his team to battle with a no-win phylosophy. He must be President Bush's 3rd cousin. EG needs to Obama this guy. QUICKLY!!! Change we need. Gilbert's tattoo on his fingers must be prophetic.

And please stop ragging the players, it aint their fault. By the way, the Wizs haven't had a real 1, since Mugsy Bogues.
Get a good General first and the right phylosophy and players will follow. The Old Man and EG ain't going nowhere. Change must come from the Head Coach in this organization. If Eddie cannot untie his hands then we need somebody with the knowhow and guts to do it.

BulletFans78, Holla at me.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 19, 2008 12:20 PM

Also, Nick Young should not be on the floor at the end of a game. Whenever he gets the ball he drives right, right into a player. Then he picks up the ball and makes a bad pass. It wasn't just those two killer turnovers. Another time, he kept the ball and passed to Caron with about 2 seconds on the shot clock about 4 feet behind the 3 point line, and Caron had to take a desperation shot. Another time, he was fed the ball in the corner - wide open with about 7 seconds on the shot clock - just take the shot. Instead he pumps once (no one was on him), and then drives right into his defender, and takes a contested shot.

He doesn't have any court presence. Probably good for a good couple of minutes off the bench but not someone you can count on for extended minutes.

Posted by: tedunni1 | November 19, 2008 12:22 PM

Jordan: "This team is built ... for Brendan Haywood to have a career year manning the middle for us."

LOL, EJ was ready to rid off BH the year before he had the career year. Wonder what was his plan back then?

Posted by: sagaliba | November 19, 2008 12:28 PM

And please stop ragging the players, it aint their fault.

You think Thomas and Stevenson and Daniels have been doing their jobs?

That's 3/5s of the starting lineup.

The reason the Wizards are losing, then, is not (in part) because of the output of those three but because EJ isn't using them right?

Posted by: SteveMG | November 19, 2008 12:35 PM

Anyone who expected this to be a good team after Haywood went down is a fool. People want to blame Abe because he's one of maybe 26 owners who don't want to pay the luxury tax, or Ernie, who's put together the best team this franchise has had in 20 years, or Eddie, who coached this team into the playoffs last year. You know who you should blame? Yourselves, for being a bunch of unrealistic babies who throw tantrums when things don't live up to your naive expectations.

Posted by: IrenePollin | November 19, 2008 12:42 PM

Wait, so Juan Dixon is the reason we're losing? Even though he had 5 beautiful assists (including the nice strike to Songalia) last night, you took him out for the last two minutes, and we did nothing but TURN THE BALL OVER. Seriously, when he went out we were down two scores and we did nothing but cough up the ball over the last two minutes. Juan has done a great job filling in as PG, but when you have Stevenson and Blache playing the way they do, it's not going to matter much.

Posted by: KShark28 | November 19, 2008 12:45 PM

EJ is just trying to save his job. I didn't hear him complaining about a lack of talent and how this team is built for Gilly last year. Can't wait til EJ and EG get fired. Then this team will finally start moving in the right direction again.

Posted by: beas13 | November 19, 2008 12:49 PM

Also, if this team is built around Gil (who may never play a full season again), that tells you everything you need to know about the front office.

Posted by: KShark28 | November 19, 2008 12:50 PM

Reasons why we are losing:

1) Daniels, Etan, Deshawn starting and not perfroming

2) Javale Mcgee not starting when he is our best 5 option (Songaila can't rebound like he can, nor Etan)

3) Injuries are important. Gil is our star, we need him. (D Wade missed practically the whole season last year and look how that ended. Now he's back and killing it)

4) I guess Haywood, but he's soft. Eventhough he is an average to better center 10 and 7 ain't great but his presence is huge)

5) We are the worst defense. As soon asomeone drives the lane we collapse on him and they kick it out for an open shot (this is why we need Gil. this is another dimension of offense he brings)

Posted by: BurgwithaU | November 19, 2008 12:53 PM

Hollinger's been predicting the Wizards' demise prior to every season for the past several years. It's like the crazy homeless guy who walks around screaming "The end is near! The end is near!" Inevitably the end will be near at some point, so if he keeps screaming it long enough, eventually he'll be right.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 12:57 PM

I consider myself a student of the game and I honestly don't see any reason why Nick Young should be in any game, let alone down the stretch of a close game. Why would Eddie elect to keep him in knowing his talent for turning the ball over. I saw this last year from Young and he continues to do it night in/night out. He drives right everytime and his ball control is horid.Watch him play and you'll see him lose control on 30% of his drives.Eddie needs to bench him until Young gets himself under control.His turnover at the end of the game last night was inexcusable. He's bringing the ball upcourt and travels with no one on him.He's clearly to nervous to handle the ball in critical situations.He's not there yet and I doubt he'll ever be a reliable player.Last thing, I've been calling for Dominic Mcguire (i know mispelled his name) ever since the 3rd home playoff game last year when our rebounding was a joke. Think about it. In Dominic you have a player who plays solid D and is a rebound machine. Why doesn't Eddie play him? I understand he doesn't do much on offense, but that's why you have 4 other guys on the court.At a time when our rebounding and defense is dreadful I wish, beg, someone could explain why Dominic gets no pt? I could understand if Eddie decided to go with the 5 players last night cause there was no one else to go to, but Grunfeld drafted McGuire to fill the gap we had of poor rebounding and defense. Can someone respond and tell me if it’s just me, but when I’ve see Dominic play he hustles, plays solid D and is an outstanding rebounder, yet Eddie has Blatch or someone else in, who takes every other play off. I hate to say it, but Eddie is doing a horrible job with the Dominic M situation. Everyone is preaching to play the young guys and here you have workhorse, a player who likes to do the dirty work and one of our few young players who doesn’t seem completely lost on the court. Javale's confusion is understandable, but watching him and young try to rotate on D last night was a complete joke.Why put both in with the game on the line knowing they are lost on D? These are basics the coaches should have been able to teach by now (how to play D on a pick and rol). Please, tell me what I’m missing about Dominic? I know he doesn’t have the size of a Ben Wallace, but Dominic is one of those rare players that enjoys rebounding and playing good D and is good at it, yet Eddie continues to leave him on the bench while we get banged out on the boards. Can’t Eddie understand it makes sense to put Dominic in so Jamison/Butler can conserve some energy on the rebounding front and use that energy on the offensive side of court? Why doesn’t Eddie recognize that a player like Dominic is rare, a player who can come in to energize the team and most importantly show lazy bums like Blatch and Young that it is NOT Okay to stand and watch everyone fight for a rebound, but you actually have to bang down low yourself to get results.

Posted by: mad18mike | November 19, 2008 1:05 PM

Last night was just more of the same. Wizards still can't play defense. In the 1st qtr the Heat had so many open looks. That's not bad coaching, that's terrible commitment by the players to play good solid defense. EJ was dead on with his assessment of the team.

For all the fans calling for EJ's head, who's going to coach and turn this thing around? How about no one. Not with the current lineup they have on the floor every night. I think some of the fans must have amnesia. Before EJ showed up, when was the last time the Bullets/Wizards made the playoffs 4 straight seasons? Oh yeah back in the early 80's.

Gilbert Arenas, Agent Zero, Gil whatever you want to call him. He's started the 08' and 09' seasons hurt for an extended amount of time. You can't do that and expect your team to win. He's supposedly the franchise. While Gil has been hurt Lebron has gotten better, same with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudamire, Chris Bosh, the list goes on.

EG said he knew Gil would be out to start the season. Funny, none of the fans knew that when Gil signed that 6 year deal for 111 mil. If you want to start playing the blame game, start with the GM. He signed Gil and Jamison to those big contracts. He could've spent the money elsewhere, seeing what happened with another 1st round loss to the Cavs.

Bottom line, the Wizards have to regroup and think about this season. Until Gil gets back, this team will continue to struggle. The eastern conf. has gotten better and the Wiz didn't add any major players to keep up with the rest of the teams. Curse O' Le Boulez is back, sadly.

Posted by: wizfan81 | November 19, 2008 1:07 PM

tedunni1, your so dead on. I see the exact same thing from Young. He needs to go! The guy plays with no heart and is so predictable. He is a liablility anytime on the court. EJ is an idiot for playing him more than 5 min a game and never putting in a solid defender/rebounder Dominc M

Posted by: mad18mike | November 19, 2008 1:16 PM

Why is it that every team we play seems to have 5-7 guys who can hit 3s on us all night? And we answer with Dee Brown and Jaun Dixon. Why can't we find some sharp shooters to come off th bench and drain 3s like these other teams?

DS is horrible, he brings nothing to the table. Start Nick Young ASAP. ET is a backup power forward, with no hands, touch or anything. Juan Dixon, I love the guy, but he's done. He can't even hit his bread and butter mid-ranger let alone a 3. I guess all those days on the pine in Detroit, Toronto and Portland have shatterd his confidence.

Blache is an embarasment, and I'd like to see more passion and energy from CB and AJ. Dudes, you're one and seven!! Show me some anger, or at least a pulse. And what's with CBs poor free throws and careless turnovers. His head isn't there. Where is Tough Juice?

Posted by: quinn3 | November 19, 2008 1:18 PM

Only half joking, my choices to start tonight:
McGee
Jamison
Butler
Young
Dixon

2nd unit
Pecherov
Songaila
Blatche
McGuire
Stevenson

and mix em up.
The other two need to stay on the bench:
Thomas
Brown

No excuses from Jordan. He needs to mix these guys up in practice, not just his same old tired white vs. black.

Posted by: rickgonz | November 19, 2008 1:19 PM

gotta second what kal said about hollinger. the last few years he predicted us having a non-playoff season, and every year we finish around 10 games better than his prediction. if anything his prediction this year is a good omen for us!

Posted by: segastyle | November 19, 2008 1:23 PM

mad18mike, from what i've seen of mcguire, he looks real good in the summer league, and is certainly a leaper, but hasn't really put together many good minutes in live, regular season action. but you now, that could just be a result of a lack of minutes on the court.

as for nick young, i can tell you exactly why he's getting playing time for us: he's not afraid to score. right now, other than butler and jamison, no one on our team can score. young is one of the highest scoring players off the bench in the entire league right now.

you're right, he turns it over too much. probably because he's asked to do a lot more ball-handling than he should, as a result of our lack of pg depth. but you now what, he's not our worst offender in that area, especially considering his position/role.

butler is turning it over 2.8 times a night. pretty high, but then he also touches the ball more than anyone else and is our third highest assist man. but blatche is second in turnovers at 2.4. besides being a bigman, he's also only averaging about 17 minutes a game. he shouldn't be anywhere near the top of the list for turnovers.

on a positive note, jamison, for all the touches he gets, is third lowest for turnovers while still managing 4th best at assists with almost 2 a game. nice for a 'big man.'

more on young, he's our highest percentage shooter on the floor for a non pf or c. he gets to the line second only to butler. and he's our best free throw shooter at 89% (dixon technically is perfect from the line, but he's only take 1 shot this season)


what i want ti know is, considering our need for a young pg to help asap, why did we not offer 2 second round picks and cash to minnesota for chalmers? we could've had him for almost nothing, as far as draft-worth goes.

Posted by: segastyle | November 19, 2008 1:46 PM

mad18mike, I'm with you completely. We need someone who can rebound or at least wants to rebound.

Towards the end of the 3rd we takes out McGee and puts in Songaila. After McGee went out on the Heat's next 14 possessions they either got an offensive rebound (or two) or made a shot or took a foul shot. So basically, if they didn't make a shot or get fouled, they had at least 2 attempts. To be fair they did miss some free throws, and they didn't always score when getting the offensive rebound. One kid who was killing us was this J.Anthony was only stands at 6'9" and averages 3 rebounds a game.

What the ef? Was EJ watching the same thing I was. Get someone in there who can rebound!

Posted by: tedunni1 | November 19, 2008 1:56 PM

it's ridiculous that people blame blatche, he's a second round pick and people are talking kwame brown type bust, I may need to remind you kwame was #1 draft pick, Blatche #49. Even if nick makes mistakes he needs minutes, how else do you learn to win these games? deshawn is awful on the offensive end and only above average on D nothing to rant and rave about. Cant wait to be down 13-2 tonight only to creep back by the third and watch a double digit run by the hawks which absolutely decimates the hope our of team. If eddie wouldn't have done such a good job last year this year wouldn't be such a cruel twist of fate, please get a w, so we can see if mike woodson throws his entire squad under the bus and says they can't win because josh smith is hurt, way to take responsibility for your actions eddie, go cry it out until gil heals and the suddenly hall of fame quality haywood is back.

We need to go big and in a hurry, we have no advantages personnel-wise unless we do.

Posted by: bford1kb | November 19, 2008 2:00 PM

segastyle, I have to take issue with your observation about Nick Young not being "afraid to score." Watching the 4th quarter last night, it appeared to me that a number of the mistakes and turnovers he made were a direct result of him playing tentatively on offense. There were a few instances where he passed up potential (albeit tough) shots and tried to make even tougher passes that resulted in turnovers, because he didn't appear to have confidence to take the shot. It's reasonable that the pressure of a season that looks like it's spiraling down the drain would wear on young players who are new to this, but if he's not going to look aggressively for his offense, he's pretty much useless to the Wizards, because he doesn't bring anything else to the table.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 2:08 PM

Although I think we need to try something new, I think McGuire was in the bottom 5 in the league last year based on Hollinger's PER ratings. He turned it over, fouled and didn't really justify being on the court. Of course, that was last year.
His jumper looks better this year and he needs a chance to prove himself..or prove that he doesn't belong.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 2:14 PM

One issue I have with McGee is that he is not more assertive. I sat courtside last night and I just wish he was more confident and felt invincible. I love his body and feel once his mind catches up(along with his body getting stronger) he has HUGE upside. Blatche at times has a similar personality, more of a follower than an assertive player. Just some thoughts. Yes I realize they are both extremely young. By the way where is this defense EJ has been preaching about? It never materializes...its an attitude. For that I question his coaching abilities. Go Wizards!!

Posted by: pgraham2 | November 19, 2008 2:17 PM

It's too bad Rudy Tomjanovich has retired from coaching. We sure could use someone like him now to get the "hearts of champions" into our guys.

Posted by: rickgonz | November 19, 2008 2:19 PM

To the person who said, "keep holding on to 1st place in the east at all-star break 2 years ago," I just want to say that I plan on doing just that.

Jordan needs to get his head right, it's as simple as that. We aren't nearly as bad as he makes us out to be, which is really a shame because he's the head coach.

Posted by: Wittan | November 19, 2008 2:27 PM

Although I disagree with EJ basically saying the Wiz have subpar talent, I don't think it's anything people don't already know. With a healthy BTH, McGee would be learning the position and playing 10-15 minutes a night as a backup. A healthy Agent Zero would make it easier for the rest of the team to get shots because defenses must focus on him every possession. I blame EG since he drafted and signed the players. Eddie has two All-Stars, two backups (ET and Dixon), and a role player (DSS) as his starters. Everyone wants NY to start but we see how he performed down the stretch last night against Miami's starters - two brutal TO's and no D.

This league is about talent and I'd be hard pressed to name more than 4-5 teams that have less than the Wizards do currently (Memphis, Clippers, Minnesota, and Oklahoma City). Even if we change coaches, this team will be lucky to win 25 games with BTH and Arenas out. Roger Mason might have given us another 5-6 if he was resigned, but this isn't a playoff team by a longshot.

EG needs to start thinking about next year and how to move some of the deadwood. I'd be happy to see him unload ET, AD, AB, and Songaila by next season to clear some salary cap space. Maybe Memphis would part with one of their three PG's for AB to give him a 2nd chance since he certainly isn't going to make it here.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 19, 2008 2:28 PM

tedunni1, your so dead on. I see the exact same thing from Young. He needs to go! The guy plays with no heart and is so predictable. He is a liablility anytime on the court. EJ is an idiot for playing him more than 5 min a game and never putting in a solid defender/rebounder Dominc M

Posted by: mad18mike | November 19, 2008 1:16 PM

Mad18mike - Are you kidding me...?? What does DMac have to do with NY's playing time. They play two different positions and have two entirely different games.

No heart and predictable? Are we looking at the same dude? NY is the only one other then Gilbert and CB that can create his own shot. His defense has improved from last year and he can get his shot off almost at will when he decides he is going to shoot.

NY's only problem is he has trouble driving to the basket and then he gets caught up in doubles because he dribbles the ball a bit too long allowing the defense to double down on him.

Remember this is his first time getting major minutes, so you have to take the good with the bad. As for DMac I do agree with you that he should get more minutes. The dude is a rebounding machine and plays the other teams's 3 pretty well.

I would have thought his game was tailored made to be a Eddie "favorite" (i.e. Etan and Ruffin). The problem is he plays behind CB and as we all know Eddie is going to run CB and AJ into the ground because he thinks they need to be in the game 37 minutes or more.

There in lies the problem, CB and AJ are not taking over games in the 4th quarter as "all stars" are supposed too maybe because they are winded from all of the minutes they play. They are not going to remove themselves from the game, Eddie has to do it......

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 2:29 PM

NY and AB need pt and need to be given a little latitude and room to make mistakes. Because we've been so bad, there's a tendency to rush to judgement on young guys. AB and NY will make mistakes. We either have to live with them and hope they grow and improve or cut them and let someone else deal with the inevitable growing pains associated with most young players.

Kobe averaged 26 minutes per game his second year and 15 points with a couple TO's and a couple assists.
I'm not trying to say NY anything close to Kobe but let's wait and see what we have before we throw him overboard.

We all know Jermaine Oneals's story in Portland. The same applies to AB. Let's give them time.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 2:29 PM

Anyone who says Juan Dixon is "done" should take a long hard look in the mirror. Juan Dixon is Juan Dixon. Juan Dixon is far from, and never will be, done.

Posted by: Wittan | November 19, 2008 2:32 PM

"This league is about talent and I'd be hard pressed to name more than 4-5 teams that have less than the Wizards do currently (Memphis, Clippers, Minnesota, and Oklahoma City)."

I think a case could be made that some of those teams have more talent overall than the Wiz, but they have other issues (age, attitude, injuries, inexperience, tougher conference/divisional competition) going against them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 2:40 PM

EJ is the same guy who coached the team to a winning record last year. On the other hand, the personnel is weaker with BH injured and DB and JD essentially replacing RMJr. and AD on an everyday basis, and AB and Stevenson playing poorly.

So the coach is the same and the personnel is different (and worse). Seems to me that if the team's doing much worse we should look to what's changed and not what's the same. So blame the personnel and the front office who put them there.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | November 19, 2008 2:45 PM

What about my Damion Stadamire question I posted earlier? Can anyone give me the "cap hit" and luxary tax implication, if any because he is a vet, if we signed him? Thanks.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 2:47 PM

"We all know Jermaine Oneals's story in Portland. The same applies to AB. "

No, it doesn't. O'Neal was benched in Portland because he was playing behind several seasoned vets who were still in their primes and playing at a high level (some of them current or recent All-Stars), and they were winning. There wasn't the opportunity for him to break through. With the injuries to Thomas and Haywood (and Butler) Blatche has gotten the opportunities and repeatedly failed to fully seize them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 2:47 PM

Stoudamire is done. And even when he wasn't done, he was never as good as his numbers.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 2:48 PM

Ernie,

Please bring Stack back and get Chris Kaman.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 19, 2008 2:52 PM

wizfan89,

The main difference between last season's personnel and this season's: BTH. But how can you blame his injury on EG?

I thought Juan Dixon should be able to offset the loss of Mason. But the problem is Dixon doesn't shoot well when he also has to run the point. Dixon is more in the mold of "Microwave" V Johnson back in Detroit's "Bad Boys" days. He came in to shoot and never had to worry about running the point (Dumar would take care of the 1 when Isaiah was out).

BTW, how many of the Heat (who beats us twice in a row) players are legit starters? Wade, and Marion, and at most, Beasley, who is only a rookie and will be coming off the bench on a talented veteran team.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 19, 2008 3:11 PM

What has happened in the first 8 games is what will happen for the rest of the 74 games. I don't expect anything to change. This offense just doesn't work, so many times they are not even moving the ball around, the shotclock goes down to 3 and they just jack up a shot. What's even worse is this defense, i mean seriously, there were parts of the game last night when the Heat made like 7 consecutive field goals in a row. Their three point defense is horrific, also. It will be a long and losing season for the Wiz, sadly.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 19, 2008 3:13 PM

One thing I don't understand is AB. AB not only played well during the summer, he showed hustle and heart, and seemed ready to take the next step. But since the season started, he looked totally lost, and did not know what to do. I don't think his conditioning is an issue, his mental state is. I also don't think open criticism of him to the public by his coach helps.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 19, 2008 3:18 PM

"Let's see how it goes as far as finding a rhythm and learning to play with one another. Juan is our starting point guard, you know, so that tells you a lot right there. We don't get fast breaks. Juan backs up [Antonio Daniels]. AD backs up Gil, so where are we? JaVale is 19, 20 years old and he is probably our best, most exciting pivot man. So, where are we, you know?"

EJ seem to blame EG for not gettin him a good plyers so he has to take what he has right now and move on, kinda feel a bit bad for EJ..

Posted by: forbid | November 19, 2008 3:27 PM

Where are all the people from last year who said that this team does not need Gil? Right! And we need Brendan as well. When (if) Gil comes back, if the morale has not gone to hell in the meantime, the team will make a playoff run. As for Blatche, looks at his plus/minus ratings. One of the best on the team. Caron and Atwan are great but if Blatche (or anyone else) put up their stats, they would be run out of town.

Posted by: h20law2000 | November 19, 2008 3:30 PM

Stoudamire is done. And even when he wasn't done, he was never as good as his numbers.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 2:48 PM

well at least hes a proven vet and better than dee brown

Posted by: forbid | November 19, 2008 3:31 PM

Ok. You're right. So AB and JO are not on parallel paths so far. IS it time to cut ties with AB already? He only got court time last year. In terms of experience, he's a second year player. Maybe if the coach gave him a position and let him stay there, he'd be better off. Make him the heir apparent at PF, play him solely at that position and teach him how to play it.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 3:38 PM

It is always interesting to see the brilliant solutions that so-called fans have when a season goes awry. A bunch of you say that the Wiz should play all the young guys and focus on developing them. That’s a fair suggestion, but at the same time you have a bunch of the fans here complaining about the mistakes that Young and Blatche make. Coaches have to play a careful game when it comes to letting young guys play. They have to get enough minutes to make mistakes and learn from them, but as a coach you have to make sure that they know repeated mistakes will lead to reduced playing time. Truth be told, EJ has struggled in this area. Hopefully, this frustrating start will help him improve his development of young players.

As Wiz fans, we need to accept that this could be a long year due to injuries (*see Miami last year). Personally, I do not think the sky is falling. I remember what it was like for the Wiz prior to EG and EJ. I expected the team to look this way last year when Gil went down, but they OVER-achieved (despite ridiculous claims that EJ’s teams always underachieve). I’d rather be realistic, yet optimistic this year. Expect to have to ride out a storm and hope for the best.

Posted by: SportzWiz | November 19, 2008 3:40 PM

I always thought Stoudemire was a result of the 'Juwan Howard effect'. That is, he was the best player on a bad team, making him appear to be better than he was.

Juan is good enough. he just needs to have the green light and should stop trying to play AD's game. He's a scorer so he should look to score and not try to be Steve Blake. If he does that, everything else falls into place for CB and Aj because they'll have more open looks.

As for the defense.....????

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 3:41 PM

"well at least hes a proven vet and better than dee brown"

What, exactly, has he proven? Being a vet just means he's been around a long time. Doesn't mean he can actually do anything to help.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 3:42 PM

kal, i agree he looked hesitant in those last few minutes, as did almost the whole team. but in general during the regular flow of the game he does not. he still makes bad decisions, but he doesn't appear to be hesitant.

i'm going to attribute last night's final minutes to the suffocating defense played by chalmer, wade, and marion on our perimeter players at times (also the refs letting them play without calling fouls for the most part). plus, some of those plays looked like young was trying so hard not to take the "bad" shot he's been criticized about and as a result, sending an ill-conceived pass to get the ball into one of the teams "go to" players.

Posted by: segastyle | November 19, 2008 3:45 PM

Blatche still has plenty of potential, and he's only 22. A lightbulb needs to go off in his head, and that could happen sooner or it could happen later. But at 22 there's still a lot of time for maturation.

Should the Wizards trade him? He might be better off on a team that's willing to give him plenty of PT at the 4 position, no matter how inconsistent he is. But I don't see that happening in DC. It doesn't look like he's going to contribute as soon as the Wizards want/need him to. But the jury is still out, way out, on what kind of NBA player Blatche will become.

ON the rest of the stuff, some people here should chill out. The Wizards *aren't* a good basketball team without Arenas or Haywood. The are a good basketball with those two healthy, and possibly a little better. And players like McGee and Young could be quite a bit better in a year or two.

You can't build a legit championship contender over night. And clearly a team that must rely on a raw, underdeveloped 20 year old at center, no matter how gifted he is, faces quite an uphill battle.

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 19, 2008 3:52 PM

o'neal and ab are definitely not the same player. their situations are somewhat similar, as Ab while getting spot duty here and there at center, pf ,and sf, hasn't really had much of a chance to get consistent playing time at his, imo, best position, pf. and in that case, he is playing behind an all-star

in fact in his case, i think the injuries we've had at center have hurt him, as he is just not physically suited to play that position, and it's perhaps messed with his confidence.

none of us can speak to blatche's offseason workout program or conditioning. and i think we've only heard from EJ on that matter, and i think he's shown a particular knack for being negative towards blatche.

that goes to my theory that blatche's biggest problem is his psyche/emotional state. when he's playing confident and 'worry-free," he plays well. he definitely has issues with offensive decision-making, but he's not fumbling about like he has been most of this season. last season he got on the court more because of some injuries, looked good right out the gate and got confidence boosters from both haywood and EJ. blatche wasn't worried about a mistake costing him the rest of the game.

early this season, perhaps because of expectations brought on by some of the vets' comments about how hard he worked this offseason (i believe it was DS who said something in print) or because of his play in summer league, EJ seemed less patient with him. i saw blatche get yanked right after a mistake in the first game. after that, i've seen him a few times look over at the bench after a mistake.

i'm probably reading more into it than should be read, but if blatche does have confidence issues, the coach needs to be doing anything and everything BUT undermining those issues. getting yanked after a dumb mistake that results in an easy basket or turnover when a player like songaila comes in and take 2 or 3 absolutely terrible shots he has no business taking, basically resulting in a turnover but gets to stay in the game, makes no sense.

of course, ultimately as a player and a person, it's up to blatche to work on his own issues, but as a coach of the team, EJ should be trying his best to help blatche along. tough love just doesn't seem to be the style that works for him.

anyhow, just a thought. no real proof of any of this.

Posted by: segastyle | November 19, 2008 4:03 PM

Looks like Les BouleS are positioning themselves for the Tyler Hansborough sweepstakes this coming May/June timeframe.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:14 PM

What about my Damion Stadamire question I posted earlier? Can anyone give me the "cap hit" and luxary tax implication, if any because he is a vet, if we signed him? Thanks.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 2:47 PM
My opinion, hypothetically if the Wizards hire a 10+ years veteran like Stoudamire, he might be offered a minimum vet salary (using minimum player salary exception) of $1,262,275. Of that, Wiz would pay $797,000 which counts towards the team salary, and the league would pay $465,000.

According to ESPN's Trade Machine, the Wizards are currently at $69,643,207.
Lux Tax threshhold is $71.15M. So they are under the lux tax limit by about $1.5M.
Letting Dee Brown ($711,517) go for example would allow the Wiz to hire someone like Stoudamire and still be under the lux tax.

Posted by: rickgonz | November 19, 2008 4:16 PM

"Jordan was oddly unstable after the game, lecturing reporters that the team was built for Arenas to be the leader and suggesting that without he and Haywood that it lacks the talent to win. He even praised players for doing so well, considering. It's amazing a coach would admit that, A) because he is publicly throwing EG under the bus. When a team starts eating its own young, meltdown is not far behind. B) because he, as the alleged motivator of the team, is setting an extremely low bar for his players. Isn't it a coach's job to inspire players and encourage confidence? How does telling them that they lack the talent to compete achieve that? This ship is sinking fast. And he continues to go with the roster which has achieved 1 win versus 7 losses, a plan which had the team down 12-2 at the beginning of the game. Why is he starting Deshawn when the team admitted today that he has nerve problems in his hand?

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 18, 2008 10:21 PM

"

EJ should have said that they are not only lacking in talent on the player level, but also the coaching level.

This sorry team has been beaten by 4 teams that were in the lottery last season and 4 teams with new coaches.

EJ conveniently forgot that there are two all stars on this team.

Whenever Gilby comes back, he won't eliminate the problems on this team, maybe mask them.

Having Gilby back or Roger Mason isn't going to get rid of the problems Les BouleS have with no interior or perimeter defense or interior scoring.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:17 PM

Actually, letting Dee Brown go wouldn't accomplish anything. Even if he's cut, his salary still counts against the Wizards' cap/luxury tax for the remainder of the season (the life of the contract).

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 4:19 PM

I've said it in all my other blogs EJ&EG are not on the same page, If all of you remember EJ wasn't assured of a job when EG took over and that was after the Wiz had made the playoffs two years running he was allowed to swing and twist in the wind,that sent the wrong message to the team, think about it;EG has not improved the roster; that's his job then in one of the most baffeling moves ever he allowed the best bench player(Mason) to go to Spurs now before you say he had no choice if you are thinking future(you should if you're the GM)then you plan contracts and manage the cap in accord with your rosters needs you sit down with the coach and owner and tell them why it would be foolish to offer certain players huge contracts and how it will affect the teams future, if the owner is not willing to listen then EG and EJ hands are both tied but i can't see that being the case as i've said many times EG has his own agenda for this team and it doesn't include Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 19, 2008 4:21 PM

EJ is a moron.

Les BouleS did just as well last year without Gilby compared to two years ago when they had Gilby.

The main problem is they don't have colossus to man the middle and bail guys out on defense (e.g. Antawn "Mr. Holy" Jamison).

Even AJ and DS admitted that the biggest lost so far was not having BTH in the middle.

With Gilby's eventual return, that's not going to change the fact that they have problems in the paint. JaTravel isn't going to suddenly become Karl Malone. He's got no inside game beyond an alley oop dunk.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:22 PM

"Come on fellas we're 8 games into the season and you're already killing them? They're without 40% of their starting lineup, I know as a fan you think they should be able to overcome it, and I do think they will at some point, but give it some more time, as long as they are within sniffing range of .500 by the time Arenas gets back, all bets are off.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | November 19, 2008 10:42 AM

"

Get a grip on reality Mr. cup so full it's overflowing!!!

Les BouleS lost to lottery teams from last season and teams with new coaches/systems!!!!

Les BouleS have 2 all stars on the team!!!

Les BouleS have the 2nd longest tenured coach in the league!!!

Les BouleS have the 9th wonder in the world, JaTravel McGoo!!!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:26 PM

"I agree about the bogus calls. That's one overlooked thing that Gil gave us...star appeal. We'd (he'd) get calls that we're not getting now. It makes a difference.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 12:15 PM

"

"Star appeal" got you 3 consecutive seasons of one and done!!!

Les BouleS have two all stars.

Stop making excuses!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:27 PM

"Blatche at times has a similar personality, more of a follower than an assertive player. Just some thoughts. Yes I realize they are both extremely young. By the way where is this defense EJ has been preaching about? It never materializes...its an attitude. For that I question his coaching abilities. Go Wizards!!

Posted by: pgraham2 | November 19, 2008 2:17 PM

"

How can you be assertive when you have the team captain, AJ, and the coach, EJ, giving you the doug collins/MJ - Kwame treatment?!?!

People like Ivan need to quit with the "don't trade AB b/c you won't get equal value" because what AB would get in the trade market right now IS HIS VALUE!!!

EG, that dunce, gave AB 15 mil dollars when no other team out there offered him a contract when he was a free agent!!!! Go figure that out!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:30 PM

At times the WP's coverage of this team is as bad as Jordan's coaching. Carter and Lee, as professional reporters assigned to cover this team, I wonder how you consistenly manage to miss major parts of the story of what is going on with this team!

So Eddie went from saying that our vets haven't been playing well and we need to play at a much higher level to now saying that without Gil and Haywood we are a 1-7 team?

"TO BE IN THE GAME IS A CREDIT TO EVERYONE IN OUR ORGANIZATION RIGHT NOW."

I apologize for the caps, but what the #$@*??! Just being in the game against the Miami Heat, who start 2 rookies along with
Haslem, Wade and some nobody, is a major accomplishment for us? No. No. NO. NOOOOOOO. I will not let him lower the bar for this organization like that.

First he said he couldn't win because the veterans weren't performing. Now he says he can't win because of injuries. If he
thinks we are a 1-7 team then he needs to go right now.

This was our second game in a row against the Heat. A 1-4 road team. There is not one coach in the NBA, not OKC, Memphis, whoever, that would say its a major credit just to be in a home game against the Heat.

And I doubt there are too many NBA beat writers that would let a coach get away with contradicting himself, no matter how much they personally like the guy. Nor would they let a coach's meek admission of defeat go by without putting a spotlight on it, and what it says about the organization. Man up WP!

Posted by: tmilt27@aol.com | November 19, 2008 4:33 PM

AND... As far as missing a major part of the story Ivan, you can blame this loss on late turnovers. But there was only one cause for this loss. And its the same as every other game.

After the subs cut an immediate 1Q 10 point deficit to 2 points at
half, Eddie put the starters back in to start the 2d half. We were down 14 within 3 minutes. That's it. Game over. The turnovers were bad, but when you go down 14 in the 3d you need to play near-
perfect basketball to win.

I also don't understand why he played Songaila at center again for 7
minutes in the 3d and 4th quarters (during which time he had 0
rebounds) when Andray was playing pretty well. And McGee was available. But as absurd as that was, it pales in comparison to the decision to start Etan in the 2d half. He must have been -16 in
only 10 minutes.

Posted by: tmilt27@aol.com | November 19, 2008 4:37 PM

Lux tax owed is calculated on the last regular playing day at the end of the season. If anyone with a partially guaranteed contract is let go, only that portion of his contract that is guaranteed will be paid and will count towards the team salary.
If anyone is hired additionally, he will be paid for the time he played prorated not the whole season salary.

It is in trades where the team includes the complete season salary of its new players, and omits the salaries of its traded-away players. (For example if we somehow traded for Larry Hughes and gave Chicago three of our players in trade)

So the theoretical calculations can be done based on the assumption that these are done at some point where they are possible.

But actually I agree with you, letting Dee Brown go so as to hire Damon Stoudamire won't accomplish much seeing as how his last season numbers (7 pts & 4 assists in 30 mins) are not very impressive.

Posted by: rickgonz | November 19, 2008 4:37 PM

I think EJ is doing a great service to the fans and season ticket holders.

He's saying that the team will continue to suck until both Gilby and BTH return.

In the meantime, save your money or get a refund if possible for your season tickets.

There's no reason to swing by VC to watch a game unless you like to throw good money into the garbage.

Maybe Dan Snyder should send some of those extra white towels to VC for Les BouleS fans. Season over.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 4:40 PM

I missed something.

If anyone with a partially guaranteed contract is let go, BEFORE the guarantee kicks in...

Posted by: rickgonz | November 19, 2008 4:41 PM

88, one and done is better than watching Susan Omalley sit at a table with a smirk on her face as the commish pulls a Wizards envelope out of the barrel and puts it in the #13 slot.

Say what you will but we're a playoff team with Colossus and Gil and a lottery team without. At least that's how it's looking. There's still plenty of time for a coach to make a difference but he needs to start now.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 4:56 PM

AB is being forced (like many other Wizards) to play out-of-position. He should not touch the ball unless he gets a pass below the foul line. Because he can handle the ball better than most other big men doesn't mean that he is a ball handler. I watch him warming up playing offense against a coach. He fakes, dribbles behind his back, between his legs and then behind his back again to score over a 5'11" coach. Why doesn't that coach kick his butt when he pulls that crap. They let him get away with it in practice so he thinks it's okay to use those moves in a game.

Last night he went HARD to the basket the first few times he got the ball...and EJ took him out. GO FIGURE.

The Princeton offense is NOT A BIG BOY OFFENSE. Let's get an NBA offense that allows us to spread the court; play three on three; and score some points.

It was bad enough when Gil was playing and our defense was bad. Now without Gil the defense still stinks and we score like a college team. At least when we were scoring it was fun to watch.

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | November 19, 2008 4:59 PM

I also don't understand why he played Songaila at center again for 7
minutes in the 3d and 4th quarters (during which time he had 0
rebounds) when Andray was playing pretty well. And McGee was available. But as absurd as that was, it pales in comparison to the decision to start Etan in the 2d half. He must have been -16 in
only 10 minutes.

Posted by: tmilt27@aol.com | November 19, 2008 4:37 PM

Again, this is where Eddie is just plain stubborn. It seems like everyone else has noticed this negative trend but him.

The four things that are killing the Wizards which Eddie controls is:

1/ Playing that stupid rotating defense they can not play. Please Eddie take it back to the school yard days and everybody pick a man to check and you stay with him wherever he goes. Single man coverage will stop the wide open look's for J's.

2/ Change the dang lineup. Insert McGee for Etan and NY in for Stevenson. Etan should not be getting any minutes and Stevenson "starting game streak" needs to be shutdown. This will avoid the slow starts and the subs coming in trying to climb back in the game.

3/ Cut AJ's minutes and give them to OPEC or Song. Also Give more of CB's minutes to DMac so both he and AJ can be fresh when they enter the 4th quarter around the 6 min mark. Stop playing them both the whole 3rd quarter and part of the 4th. This is why their jumpers fall short and they start turning the ball over is because they are winded from playing all of those minutes. They are not Labron James....!!!!

4/ Play Songalia at the 4 and not 5 and AB at the 4 and not 5. Let AB play through his mistakes and greet the dude with a high five when he returns to the bench.

Eddie, it is not as hard as you are making it. We still have two all stars. You have to start "calling" games better and start your best 5 now before it is too late.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 5:01 PM

Simple cures for our ails:

1. start JM
2. start Juan and allow him to be a scorer and not a distributor.
3. scrap Princeton offense.
4. make Cb and Aj shoot 3's when open
5. Glue ET and Songaila to the bench...in the locker room so there's no temptation
6. Start NY at the 2
7. make Ab a pf and ONLY A PF. Give him 13 minutes per game at pf and AJ the rest
8. Give DM 13 minutes per game at sf and CB the rest.
9. Give Pech 13 minutes as the backup C and JM the rest


This will keep CB, AJ and JM fresher for the stretch.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 5:03 PM

"I bet if you put a protitute at the ends of the court he would run a lot faster. ;) - Ray"....best line ever!

Posted by: cedric_lockhart | November 19, 2008 5:12 PM

Very nice post by tmilt, above, at 4:33 p.m.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 19, 2008 5:12 PM

"If anyone with a partially guaranteed contract is let go, BEFORE the guarantee kicks in..."

Exactly. The guarantees on Dixon and Brown's contracts kicked in when the regular season started and they were still on the roster. Their deals are fully guaranteed for the remainder of the year.

So, as I said, cutting Dee Brown now will not save the Wizards a cent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2008 5:17 PM

BulletsFever - AJ and Caron played virtually the entire 2nd half because the Heat outscored the Wiz 14 - 2 in the first 3+ minutes of the half. After putting in McGee and NY with AJ, Caron, and Dixon, we cut into the lead and had it to 6 by the end of the 3rd. Eddie should be starting McGee since he would give us energy to start the game and 2nd half. Caron and AJ are forced to play 40+ minutes to even keep the game competitive.

Whether we were 4-4 or 1-7, the Wizards are NOT a good team without Agent Zero and BTH. Eddie's mistake was saying this in public when his team's confidence was already shot. Best hope is Agent Zero's knee actually heals, the team's young players improve (NY, McGee), and we have a high lottery pick in the draft.

I've accepted that this is going to be a bad year and no coaching change is going to help midseason. Offseason will be the time to hire a new coach and medical staff to gear up for next year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 19, 2008 5:25 PM

We go down by 10 in the first in every game and Jordan goes to Young and McGee to get us out of the hole along with the all-stars. This has happened every game this year. The most incredible thing to me is that Jordan marched those same starters out at the start of the second half last night just to let the same exact thing happen again. NY is a young guy, he's gonna make mistakes, we should have had a better handle on the game at that point anyways. We need to start JM and NY, it's as simple as that.

Posted by: Wittan | November 19, 2008 6:06 PM

Well I haven't given up yet...


Haywood being out is just killing us. Other than Haywood and Etan our entire team is perimeter players, and Etan simply has not returned to his pre-surgery game. Haywood was good enough defensively for the most part to cover the fact that we have a SF playing PF. Jamison is a finesse perimeter player who does not play physical and plays no defense, and camps at the 3 on offense. With Haywood out we have no interior defense at all and no post scoring threat.

Caron is playing too much one on one

Stevenson has completely disapeared. We can't see his face or anything else including any hint of an NBA game.

Young and McGee have shown strong flashes, but can't be counted on for more than that.

We are missing Roger Mason Jr.

Dixon IMO needs to be more aggresive offensively. He is focusing too much on playing pg and trying to set up everyone. We need him to score, and we need him to shoot more.

Blatche needs to play more... but a bunch of times I have seen him play like he is trying to give Eddie reasons to take him out! Dribbling too much, going one on one and bouncing it off his foot, TOs, behind the back passes straight to the defense, acting like he is a 2. If he could play PF like he played the 5 last season with energy, defending and blocking shots, scoring down low... then he'll be on the floor more! And we need him out there and giving us that game!! He's got to give us some of what we're missing from Haywood!! Somebody tell him please!


I would like us go to a rotation of McGee, Blatche, Jamison, Caron, Young, Dixon as much as possible. These are the guys we need on the court right now and I hope to see these 6 getting HEAVY minutes here on out.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 19, 2008 6:30 PM

"Say what you will but we're a playoff team with Colossus and Gil and a lottery team without. At least that's how it's looking. There's still plenty of time for a coach to make a difference but he needs to start now.

Posted by: original_mark | November 19, 2008 4:56 PM

"

Yes, Les BouleS are a playoff team with Colossus and with or without Gilby.

A team with 3 consecutive seasons of more of the same one and done needs an infusion of quality talent/free agency...not more of the same.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 8:45 PM

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