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Blatche Comes to Play, Tapscott Wins Debut

If Andray Blatche brought it like that every night, Eddie Jordan would still have a job. The talented but inconsistent fourth-year forward was the story of tonight's 124-100 over the mildly-interested Golden State Warriors.

Blatche is the first player in the NBA to have at least 25 points, 12 rebounds, five assist and five blocks since Jermaine O'Neal did it on Feb. 27, 2007. Not bad stuff.

Other notables:

-I dug the big lineup Tapscott went to in the second quarter, one that had DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler at guard, Antawn Jamison and Blatche at forward and JaVale McGee at center. If you remember, I wrote a blog campaigning for that lineup a few weeks ago.

"I wanted to see some size," Tapscott said. "I think that was a good thing for us on the boards and so we got some offensive rebound and putbacks."

-Tapscott went with a tighter rotation and will continue to do so. Pecherov and Etan Thomas were dressed and healthy but did not get in.
"It's what I call the eight-plus-two plan," Tapscott said. "We're going to have a core of eight guys who are going to play every night. The two out of the remaining four are based on matchups and scouting reports. That way, I can say to guys: nobody gets put in the closet. Everybody is going to have a chance to make their contribution to the team but we can't always play 12 every night."

- Turning point: the Wizards went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter that was sparked by Dee Brown's three-pointer. From that point on, the Warriors were playing catchup.

- MVP: Blatche. He was everywhere all night long. Just really brought.
Jamison when asked where that has been all season: "I don't know but I like that it's here and hopefully he's here for awhile. The biggest thing is he played with confidence tonight. He didn't worry that if he missed a shot he was gong to get sat down or yelled at. Maybe for hiim, the biggest key is new voice or fresh voice in the locker room. That's the guy we've been waiting to show up all year."

-The quote of night came from Caron Butler, who was down about Jordan's firing but really brought it tonight (as prediected here earlier) and spoke to the media for the first time since last week after the game.

"Coach Jordan will be a lifelong friend and somone I communicate with for the rest of my life," Butler said. "To see him go, that was tough. That's why I didn't talk yesterday because it hurt but as the same time, now that we got Obama on the sideline with us now, we're going to ride with it."

Obama? You mean Tapscott?

"Yeah, he's light-skinned. He has a law degree. He stands for change, he uses big words, he's new in the district and he's in control now, so shout-out to Obama. We won tonight so we have hope."

-Don Nelson: "We played an inspired team tonight. They out-worked us, out-hustled us and out-played us." That was a truly pathetic effort by the Warriors tonight but that happens in the NBA, especially to mediocre teams on long road trips. The Wizards will - and should - take it.


By Ivan Carter  |  November 25, 2008; 10:59 PM ET
 
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Next: Predictify: Season Prospects Revisited

Comments

"If Andray Blatche brought it like that every night, Eddie Jordan would still have a job. The talented but inconsistent fourth-year forward was the story of tonight's 124-100 over the mildly-interested Golden State Warriors." - Ivan

Incorrectly worded.

If EJ didn't shut off AB's switch for the night every time he made a mistake, and instead, firmly encouraged and gave him the opportunity to step up and make up for it, then EJ might still be employed.

AB still made some mistakes tonight, but he kept going.

Also, AB knows that there's a new sheriff in town. A sheriff that doesn't need a co-captain (e.g. MeTawn) to be talking down to the other players.

Again, this is just one game and there will be plenty of blown games and mental breakdowns for this team, but this is a good step in the right direction.

It'll be interesting when Ivan/Mike Wise can get a hold of Eddie Jordan and see how he's doing.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 25, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that Randy Ayers was not on the bench?

Posted by: kevin3791 | November 25, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

If Andray Blatche brought it like that every night, Eddie Jordan would still have a job. If Eddie Jordan knew how to coach the young guy Eddie Jordan would still have his job. At least we now have a coach who puts the players in their right positions. DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler at guard, Antawn Jamison and Blatche at forward and JaVale McGee at center. Now all we need is a true point guard. Is there a team out there that is stupid enough to trade a point guard for Gil? How good would Chris Duhon look as a Wizard for 5.5 mil a year. I know you can't trade for him but WE NEED A TRUE POINT GUARD!!!!!!!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 25, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the key thing to watch here is how Tap handles Blatche. If he can get this degree of focus and intensity out of him on a consistent basis, the Wizards might be able to turn things around. I think EJ was too quick to yank Blatche every time he made a mistake, and that he had become afraid to assert himself as a result. When he's on, Blatche has the physical tools and skills to be a game-changer at both ends.
I especially like the tallball lineup with Blatche, McGee and Jamison, because Blatche has the quickness to guard 3s and the size to guard 4s. That helps to compensate for Jamison's limitations as a defender. And on offense, you've got three guys who can score in the low block or facing the basket from the wing. McGee has scary potential and just needs playing time to develop it.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 25, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"Did anyone notice that Randy Ayers was not on the bench?"

Buckhantz said during the game that he was having a "minor medical procedure" done.

"If Andray Blatche brought it like that every night, Eddie Jordan would still have a job."

This is an example of a reporter reporting the facts.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 26, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

If Eddie Jordan knew how to coach the young guy Eddie Jordan would still have his job. At least we now have a coach who puts the players in their right positions.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 25, 2008 11:47 PM

Exactly!!! Ivan, u should know it too

Posted by: forbid | November 26, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

And, again, Butler's words further dispel the supposed "fact" that Jordan had "lost" the players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 26, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"If you remember, I wrote a blog campaigning for that lineup a few weeks ago."

too bad Jordan would never move a guy who made an all-star team at one position to another, even if it might be better for the team...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | November 26, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Jamison and Blatche should switch jersey numbers cuz AB looked like CWebb lite (right down to the questionable after hour decisions)

Posted by: detox04 | November 26, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

And, again, I love the hypocrisy. People whined incessantly about Jordan playing Songaila and Etan at C, but then complained when he played Blatche there because he was "out of position." Short of playing McGee 48 minutes every night, what were the other alternatives?

But the same people give props to Tapscott for putting "the players in their right positions" while blithely ignoring the fact that Blatche played primarily at backup C behind McGee. (They were on the floor together only for a very short stint.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 26, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I hope the AB haters will start to shut the **** up now. It's not all about him nor was it all about BTH. EJ held them back. Now we'll see what he can do. It might not be like this every night but I guarantee better play from the youngun.

Posted by: original_mark | November 26, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I think EJ was burnt out and wanted to leave anyway. But to all you who is on this 1 game bandwagon, beware. We will see how well the Wiz will do. I still think there will not be more than 2 teams with a worst record than us, by the end of the year.
The problem may not even be ernie, who put this team together.
So then who is the problem, hmmmmm maybe the owner.

Posted by: dsquare | November 26, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Nice game! Finally got some hustle from this team. It's only one game, but if the team plays with the same spirit as tonight they'll be fine.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 26, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

both butler's comments and jamison's comments after the game shows that yes, ej hadn't 'lost' the team. but blatche's comments on csn afterwards showed that he at least thinks he's better off under a different coach.

whether or not that is actually true, if it means he'll play with more confidence and focus, than i'm fine with him believing what he believes.

i'm very curious to see where players like blatche are 10 games from now, and the team for that matter. the one 'benefit' of letting a coach go this early into the season is that there is still plenty of season left for the new coach to possibly make a difference.

i'm also interested in how the 'more experienced' mcgee and 'new attitude' blatche hold their poise when they have to face d.howard next :-)

Posted by: segastyle | November 26, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Finally Andray!! The potential is there, he just needs to show it every night.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 26, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

The reporters at the Post seem intent to write their feelings, but they don't seem to have mentioned that that was good coaching last night.

All one can ask from a coach is to get the most out of your players.

Wins are nice, but the development of McGee, Blatche and Young are key.

Posted by: Izman | November 26, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

It was nice to see CB at the 2. Once AD gets healthy I would like to see this line up, AD at 1 CB at 2 Twan at 3 Ab at 4 JVMG at 5. Defensive assignment can be based on match-up.

If AB knows he is in that "core of eight guys" he will be fine. He just needed some love.

Posted by: kfrazec | November 26, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

When Jordan was forced to play Haywood last year due to lack of alternatives, we saw what Haywood was capable of.

I have a feeling we'll see a similar improvement from Blatche, with a coach that encourages him, rather than one who demeans him and has a hair-trigger hook for him.

I'll be keenly interested to see if Tapscott practices what he preaches on defense from here on out, unlike Eddie, to whom D was a foreign concept. He preached it, but there were never any consequences for not practicing it.

Posted by: keithward64 | November 26, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

"I dug the big lineup Tapscott went to in the second quarter, one that had DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler at guard, Antawn Jamison and Blatche at forward and JaVale McGee at center. If you remember, I wrote a blog campaigning for that lineup a few weeks ago." - Ivan

And here's another case of a beat reporter offering his opinion.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night. Watched from start to finish and the Wiz worked both ends of the court offensively and defensively. I know it is only one win but I have a feeling that we will see more inspired play. My observation of the whole EJ situation is that EJ did not know how to motivate the "young guns". Notice how much playing time DMac had and how well he played. Blatche played out of his mind! For some reason EJ relied heavily on his vets, Songolia included and made the young guys nervous so they could not play with abandon for fear of making mistakes and being yanked. The most telling sign is the statement made by Blatche. He said in a post game interview that he felt free to just go out and play. I think EJ's unwillingness to play the rooks cost him his job. Anyway.............one down..........Let's see what Friday brings.
Go Wiz and congrats to Tapscott or Obama as Caron calls him.

Posted by: ivyleague | November 26, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Blatche is just another John 'Hotplate' Williams

Some of us are old enough to remember that the Bullets had a similar player back in the 1980's: All of the talent, but none of the motivation. Magic Johnson was incredibly impressed with his abilities, and for good reason. Like Magic he was a 6'9" player with the versatility to play any position on the floor. He was a dribbling, passing, and shooting phenom with an incredible knack for the game. But in the end what did it matter? He was lazy, he had the mentality of a child, and within a few years he ate his way out of the league. On this entire board there might be one or two people who even remember his name: John Williams.

He was better than Blatche. I'm not just saying that because I'm an old fogy who believes the 'old days' were better. At his best he was better than Blatche at his best. There is no doubt about that. At the time he had the kind of skills that only one other 6'9" player had ever possessed: Magic Johnson. In truth he was the anti-Magic, the same way Blatche is the anti-Garnett. Here and there you will see flashes of their talent, but the psychology just isn't there for them to ever be anything other than "potentially" amazing. Blatche might continue to tease us along for a good while longer, but 20 years from now we will scratch our heads trying to remember his name when the next unmotivated wunderkind bursts on the scene.

Fondest memory of John Williams:
One night the Bullets starting center was injured so instead of playing his usual point forward position he moved over to center. He had never played center before that night. He had played 1 through 4, but never the 5. He astounded everyone. He tore up the other team's center so bad they had to take him out of the game and try someone else on him. This wouldn't be that big a deal except the other team's starting center was Hakeem Olajuwon!!! I will never forget Mel Proctor (Buchantz's predecessor), freaking out that Houston was having to take Olajuwon out of the game because he couldn't handle John Williams who was scoring at will on him! And it wasn't like Williams made Olajuwon guard him outside the lane. The freaky, scary part was he was doing all these post moves that no one had ever seen him do, and Olajuwon couldn't even begin to stop him! That is one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen on a basketball court. Me and two other people on the planet are probably the only ones who even remember it ever happened. John Williams is now but a footnote in the sordid, miserable history of the Washington Bullets.

Posted by: MeviousMan | November 26, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

If Andray Blatche brought it like that every night, Eddie Jordan would still have a job. The talented but inconsistent fourth-year forward was the story of tonight's 124-100 over the mildly-interested Golden State Warriors.

By Ivan Carter | November 25, 2008; 10:59 PM ET

IVAN CARTER - FIRST OF ALL I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS BLOG FOR HARDCORE WIZARDS FANS AND THE GREAT INSIDE INFORMATION YOU PROVIDE FOR US, BUT THAT IS WHERE THE COMPLEMENTS END FOR ME.

NOW ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT INTRO LINE YOU JUST WROTE ABOUT AB!!!! DID HE EVER GET A CHANCE TO BRING IT "LIKE THIS" EVERY NIGHT UNDER EJ....????!!!!

I CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU JUST WROTE THAT.... MAN NOW I SEE WHY YOU WERE IMPLYING EDDIE'S FIRING WAS ERNIE'S FAULT NOW. AB IS A 2ND ROUND PICK!! NOT A TOP THREE PICK SO TO THINK HE HAD THAT MUCH TO DO WITH THE SUCCESS OF EDDIE IS UTTER NONSENSE.

AGAIN, ANYBODY THAT HAS EVER PLAYED FOR A COACH OR MUCH LESS WORKED FOR A BOSS WHO FOR WHATEVER REASON DID NOT LIKE YOU, MADE IT DARN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO PRODUCE AND SUCCEED.

NOW THAT EDDIE IS GONE AB DOES NOT HAVE TO LOOK OVER HIS SHOULDER OR START GOING BACK TOWARDS THE BENCH WHEN THE HORN BLOWS FOR A SUB BECAUSE HE KNEW HE WAS ON A SUCH SHORT LEASH WITH EDDIE.

WOW, I STILL CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY WROTE THAT AS YOUR INTRO LINE..... TO BLAME EJ'S FIRING ON AB IS CRAZY.

Again for the last time Eddie got himself fired BECAUSE:

1. No clue on Rotational Calls

2. No clue on when to call timeouts

3. No clue on when to switch his defensive sets.

4. Playing players out of position (i.e. Songalia at the 5).

5. Playing too much small ball.

6. Showing favoritism towards certain players.

7. Finding different folks to "mess with" (Haywood last year and AB this year) every year.

8. Not instilling confidence or showing any in any of the young guns on the team.

9. The list goes on and on........

Now I know you did not think you were going to write that intro line and not catch some body blows from some folks on this blog did you....???

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 26, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Izman, Add McGuire and Brown to that list. They both had really solid games last night. Like all the youngsters Brown didn't hesitate when left open and stroked some nice threes, ran the break, and pressured the other point defensively. He set up and ran the 1/2 court offense with authority even though Tapscott had put in a few new wrinkles in one practice.

I reallt liked the fact that Daniels really seemed to be working with the young guy when he came to the bench, that's something you look for in an injured vet.

McGuire was part of the tall ball lineup that moved Butler to guard, his activity on the boards was a nice lift. And even McGuire stroked a couple of nice shots and played with confidence and aggression.

Last night's game was something these guys really needed. But, don't go having illusions about this group will go on a win streak and climb right back in the race. Superman is coming to town tomorrow night, McGee & Blatche will have a really tough matchup and will get to know why they should be summering in the weightroom.

On top of that you don't win on the road with a group of youngsters in this league. Some of the calls that the Wiz Kids did and didn't get last night should show everyone why. The rest of this year will be about developing those young guys and weaving them and the Vets into a seamless group.

Young and up and coming teams often adopt a theme song. When they go on a rally and the other coach needs to call a time out and the Arena rocks as the fans get up and stomp their feet.

Last night watching the Wiz kids play loose, confident, and aggressive ball, I kept thinking to myself; Who Let The Dogs Out? Woof.. Woof... Woof, Woof!

Posted by: flohrtv | November 26, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

And, again, Butler's words further dispel the supposed "fact" that Jordan had "lost" the players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 26, 2008 12:02 AM

Is Caron speaking for AJ and himself or the whole team??? Caron and AJ were two of Eddie's favorites so of course he is going to say what he said. What about the other 13 players? I wonder if they have the same feelings?????

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 26, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I also like that Tapscott asked the players before the game did everyone have on their "Swagger Deodorant"? Caron said that comment brought smiles and chukles to the players faces and kind of released a little of the pregame stress. Nick Young is another of the rooks who I think EJ scared the bejesus out of.

Posted by: ivyleague | November 26, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

One more comment. When I was watching the game last night Chris Miller gave a report to the "homers of all homers" (Phil and Buck) about how now with a new coach some players that were in the doghouse now will have a new lease on life with Tabscott coaching now.

Low and behold, Phil was quick to jump in and say "I would not use the word doghouse because that was not the case". Now again, what games has he and Buck been watching?

Anybody with a clue could see AB was in Eddie's doghouse this year, just like Haywood was in his doghouse the year before.

See this is the stuff that I am talking about. Eddie was a very good coach who could have been a even better coach if he had not allowed his own stubborness and old school way of thinking trip himself up.

It is almost like all of the media folks and beat writers are afraid to speak the truth about what was going on. Again Eddie is going to be ok. He will be coaching by next year because he has great skills. However, he is not exempt from being called out on some of the results of that 1 and 10 start.

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 26, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Cmmon guys. Plain and simple, the players are in denial that they don't want to play for Eddie Jordan anymore and that change is needed. They just act like they are disappointed to see him go. They are probably tired of that Princeton offense. AB looks relieved that a new coach is in and it showed last night.

To all you AB doubters, you don't know how to see basketball skills!

Posted by: bdunkadunk | November 26, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"WOW, I STILL CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY WROTE THAT AS YOUR INTRO LINE..... TO BLAME EJ'S FIRING ON AB IS CRAZY."

I appreciate that you actually took the time to recognize Ivan's contribution before you criticized him, unlike others who think it's fun to bite the hand that feeds.

But I don't think he was saying that AB was the reason Jordan was fired...I think he was saying that if AB played like this every night, we wouldn't be 1-10 thus taking away the main reason that Jordan was fired. While there may have been plenty of reasons to fire Jordan, the primary motivation was the losses, and if AB played like this consistently, he would have been a game changer that would have created more Ws for us.

Posted by: crs-one | November 26, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

John "Hot Plate" Williams suffered a devastating knee injury. After that the guy apparently really struggled with depression. I'm not sure that the guy wasted his talent or if he couldn't cope and adjust to the loss of it.

As one of the old guys around here I'd agree it was one of the saddest chapters in Bullets history. Before that injury he could have been one of the best that ever played, I wonder what ever happened to the guy.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 26, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

BulletsFever: Excellent post above clarifying why Eddie was fired, I couldn't agree more. But guys like KALORAMA, are still out shopping for Eddie's going away gift.

Anyways, KALORAMA, read this quote by the "captain" AJ:

"Maybe for him the biggest key is a new voice," Jamison said, "a different voice in the locker room."


SOUNDS LIKE A GUY WHO REALLY MISSES EDDIE, HUH???

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

The above referenced quote by AJ, he is reffering to Andray. Is it just me, or is he saying the EDDIE was indeed holding Andray back?? It is as clear as day.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I appreciate the work that Ivan does with the blog. I think the coverage Eddie has received has been clouded by the personal relationship he has with media in DC. It's hard not to like him, but be thrilled that a local guy had succeeded so well.

However, his weaknesses and stubbornness are not new traits. The complete inability to implement and execute a competent defensive system is at the top of the list. His misuse of Haywood, even to the point of leaving him on the bench during a playoff series while Z tore us a new one was inexcusable. Eddie has strengths as a coach, but five years is an eternity in sports and one series win in that time is not overwhelming success.

I recognize that he has had to deal with a lot of injuries as well as losing some player to free agency. But I have never seen so much support for someone who has achieved so little.

I must point out that the Bullets' beat writer position has been occupied by some great writers: David Aldridge, J.A. Adande, and Ric Bucher to name but just a few. If you want to take the next step forward Ivan you have to be willing to set aside your personal feelings and biases to report honestly, objectively, and dispassionately about the team. You are a professional. It is all right for one professional to critic fairly another professional.

Posted by: benjammin | November 26, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I was as thrilled as anyone to see how Blatche played last night, and to see the hustle and focus up and down the roster. And we all know that Blatche has the potential to be a force in this league. The question whether his under-development at this point is because EJ kept him on too short a leash or whether it is because he lacks focus and commitment is not going to be answered by one "relief rally" game against an undersized post-trade team whose defensive liabilities rival the Wizards.

I would like to think we'll see a newly confident Blatche now that he feels room to grow, the way we saw a newly confident Brendan last year after Etan was removed from EJ's rotation. Last night was a positive first step. But let's not start declaring victory and talking trash after one game against the Warriors. Recollections of Hot Plate Williams and Kwame Brown are good reminders that even off-the-charts talent doesn't guarantee a productive NBA career. Let's see Andray bring it over the course of a season before we anoint him the next savior.

Posted by: Prazak | November 26, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Kalorama, how is Eddie doing? I'm sure you two have spoken since his dismissal, and ud Wiz fans are curious what his plans are. I'm sure you'll be the first to find out his future plans.

Keep us updated, pal!!!

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The funniest thing about Hot Plate was Bob Ferry's reaction on the podium after he announced the drafting of Hot Plate.

"HOT D@MNEDDDD!!!"

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

""Maybe for him the biggest key is a new voice," Jamison said, "a different voice in the locker room."


SOUNDS LIKE A GUY WHO REALLY MISSES EDDIE, HUH???

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 8:50 AM "

If anyone watched the post game interview with MeTawn last night, he took the chance to mention AB again on live tv, as someone who hopefully will "get it."

MeTawn needs to leave AB alone.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

benjammin, there's a difference journalistically between the newspaper edition of the Post and a blog. Don't confuse the two. Ivan's reporting in the paper has always struck me as a well-reported, well-written exercise in journalism. Then we have the blog where Ivan and Mike can let their hair down a bit, dish a little dirt, and call it like they see it.

Posted by: Prazak | November 26, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I diidn't get to see the postgame interview, I was at the game. Pretty empty arenas too by the way, but Deangelo hall was 2 rows down for me, for anyone who cares. Is this guy the new biggest Wiz fan in town??

Anyways, The quote from AJ I referenced, CLEARLY indicates that Eddie was holding Blatche back. To say the key for him was a new voice?? Guess that means the old voice wasn't working.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

ARENA, not ARENAS. Typo above.

Speaking of Arenas though: During timeouts, when the whole team was huddled up, Gilbert was busy looking at the jumbotron and laughing at the kiss cam. Meanwhile, AD, BTH, were both included in the huddle. What a team player.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Prazak, It wasn't so much the win, but how the youngin's played in the win. The "Anti Eddie" flipped the rotation. Etan sat and Blatche and McGee split the center position. And Songaila was used in spot duty to go BIG not small. What a refreshing use of the guy.

And the young guys didn't act if their only duty was to feed the Vets the ball. They just played ball instead playing scared...

Posted by: flohrtv | November 26, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"Anyways, The quote from AJ I referenced, CLEARLY indicates that Eddie was holding Blatche back. To say the key for him was a new voice?? Guess that means the old voice wasn't working.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 9:05 AM "

Don't forget the conspiracy theory 2 seasons ago.

AB was having a good end of season/playoff series but EJ sat him down before he got too hot. This was right before the summer when he became a free agent, and ended up getting no deals from any other team.

Of course, getting arrested for being a john didn't help either.

3 memorable plays from last night:

1. NY actually played defense and got 2 monster blocks.

2. NY looked goofy trying to do a Gilby impersonation at the end of the 3rd quarter and bumbled the ball.

3. AB's monster poster dunk over 3 guys in the paint.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting if ETap lets "Gilby be Gilby." I hope not, and I don't think he'll tolerate insubordination. That's what contributed to EJ getting fired.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

it is clear AB couldn't stand EJ. He played as if he wanted to stick it to him last night. What will be intersting, will be if he can keep it up. My bets are if he gets the minutes, he can give 17 & 9.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Where do you fit in an unmotivated, childlike, under-performing, young, talented player?

How about the bench?

Look, I'm all for AB getting a fresh start sometimes you need that. But I for one am not going to blame EJ for being a head-coach first and a wet-nurse 2nd.

This is a professional basketball team and players should be expected to be professional.

It's not like ABA was never given any chances. And if you think that he wasn't, you are sorely mistaken. Ab has been on the team for 4 years and we have seen him play well in streaks before. (i remember a game against KG and the Celtics last year where he played very well) but AB is streaky because mentally he is not maintaining focus.

Who knows why? But one thing I won't do is blame the head coach for that entirely. That is on AB just as much and more. Maybe it WAS time for change, and maybe that is best for this team. But calling out Jordan for the capriciousness of one individual after one night is a bit of wishful thinking.

If you think this team would have done more than 500 ball with another coach and a bigger role for AB then you must not have much regard for the rest of the NBA.

By comparison... I think we can all see the difference in the play of Javale McGee and Andre Blatche. JM brings intensity in his play, he makes youthful mistakes, but he is coachable, in that he listens to the what the coaches are saying and tries to incorporate that into his game.

Not too long ago I was in school, and I have vivid memories of students who didn't want to hear what a professor was telling them. They had a premise and they wanted to show that they were right. The professors weren't trying to 'hurt' the students when they challenged them, but some people just take it personally. And that is the fault of the student.

If you get into the NBA you should be thankful of the chance to play AND LEARN from your teammates and the Coaches. If you don't have that attitude then you must be at least a little bit dumb.

So here is hoping that AB get's some smarts brings some focus and actually listens to the new coach. We all knew he had the ability.

Posted by: gconrads | November 26, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"...but AB is streaky because mentally he is not maintaining focus. Who knows why? But one thing I won't do is blame the head coach for that entirely."

By you saying that you won't blame the head coach "entirely" for Blatche's shortcomings, you're saying that EJ was partly to blame.

Nobody is saying that Blatche's performances up to this point were ALL Jordan's fault. But as a coach, he is the primary man responsible for his player's performances. That's how it goes. That's why he's "Coach". Clearly Blatche is capable of big things. And it's clear that EJ wasn't able to get it out of him. It remains to be seen whether Tapscott can get it out of him consistently, but last night was a very, very good start.

Posted by: psps23 | November 26, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

But the same people give props to Tapscott for putting "the players in their right positions" while blithely ignoring the fact that Blatche played primarily at backup C behind McGee. (They were on the floor together only for a very short stint.)

Posted by: kalo_rama
------------------------------------------

Huh? Other than few you know who here, most would agree that AB is more suitable at backup C than Songaila! That's called "right position" given your roster!

Regarding AB showing up, Jamison said it well, "The biggest thing is he played with confidence tonight. He didn't worry that if he missed a shot he was going to get sat down or yelled at. Maybe for hiim, the biggest key is new voice or fresh voice in the locker room."

In fact, EJ only gave AB 10 min in Knicks game even when he played decently (3 for 3 shooting).

Posted by: sagaliba | November 26, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that Dee Brown actually hitting some shots is what opened the flood gates last night? If he nails open jumpers and stays aggressive jumping the passing lanes then this team can win consistently sans Arenas.
We know DeShawn will give next to nothing offensively so Dee needs to continue playing well for the Wiz to sustain this success.

Posted by: elfreako | November 26, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

FBI agents Scully and Mulder are investigating the disappearance of Andray Blatche an "NBA" player for the Washington Wizards the investigation was initiated by the Wizards upper management the player who took the court last night is suspected to be an imposter,the agents have concluded that Blatche was abducted by body snatchers........ PLEASE,I don't want to hear that EJ didn't know how to coach or "motivate" Blatche, that my fellow bloggers is bull s$#t and most of you know it thanksgiving night they play the Magic lets see how he performs against Dwight in the paint then I'll become a beliver my guess is that this will be a turkey like performance.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 26, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Some of you have lost your minds. If you think Blatche is going to start playing great consistently now, you are crazy.

Eddie Jordan had every right to yank him out of games and cut playing time the way he did. Thats what happens when you are lazy, done practice seriously, repeat the same mistakes, etc.

A lot of you Blatche supporters seem to think it is alright for this guy to screw around during practice and not take his job seriously. You overlook that and then wonder why he cant get consistent playing time.

Blatche needs a serious attitude adjustment, and should only be rewarded if that happens. The kid needs to grow up.

Posted by: Roman5 | November 26, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I can't stand Stevenson's antics, but yesterday, it was clear that his role was a facilitator & defensive specialist. That's why he didn't put up any points, though he did have 6 or so assists. I don't mind that at all, since we don't need him to go out there and start chucking 3's. He's such a streaky shooter & scorer that I would rather have him concentrate on distributing the ball and playing defense. Yes, even though he's the team's starting SG...

Posted by: -CN- | November 26, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I guaranteed a win to all my friends and I was right.


Secondly, if we beat and or at least stay competitive with the magic, who will be without Jameer nelson tommorow, the Wizards will have turned a corner and are ready to rule (cheesy). GUARANTEE IT !!!!!

GO TEAM!!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | November 26, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

DMac also found playing time that he didn't have before. He played 16.5 minutes, 8th most on the team. Judged by what ET said, he is going to have 8 players in "regular rotation," does this mean he is in?

Posted by: sagaliba | November 26, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Eddie Jordan had every right to yank him out of games and cut playing time the way he did."

Of course he did. Who said he didn't? But if he wants the "hard-working", "trustworthy", and less talented players playing in his stead (like ET and Songaila), then he better not complain about the "talent" he's "forced" to play with.

Posted by: psps23 | November 26, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

For all you people arguing with Kaloroma:

It is no use, in case you didn't know him and Eddie are in the same Bingo club and get together and play ever mon and thurs. Seriously, they have known each other since there days together at Rutgers, when Kalorama would shine Eddie's shoes. They still stay in contact and are good friends to this day. As a matter a fact, Kal will be stuffing the Turkey with Eddie's wife on Thanksgiving, a yearly tradition for the two families.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

In terms of the "8 players in" that Tapscott's references, he could mean:
D Brown
D Stevenson (can roll to the PG spot)
Butler (can roll to the SG spot)
Jamison
McGee
Young
Blatche
Songalia

With Dixon on the outside looking in. McGuire, Thomas and Pesh would probably get consideration based on match ups. This will most certainly change when Daniels is healthy, probably pushing Brown to the bench...

Thoughts?

Posted by: -CN- | November 26, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Ivan carter and Mike Lee will also be at Thanksgiving dinner at the Jordan household, along with Kalorama. Darius Songaila and Etan Thomas are also rumored to be there. Kal, I think Darius should take the turkey out of the oven this year and slicing it. Etan had the duty last year, but dropped the turkey after swinging his arms wildly and yelling (for no apparent reason) after removing it from the oven. Eddie laughed and insisted Etan is still "the best man" for the job.

Kal, ivan said he will be bringing the cranberries this year, so you don't have to worry about it.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Agree that AB was in Eddie's doghouse, but didn't he deserve it after doing nothing last year and actually regressing this year? His immaturity, poor work habits, and lack of conditioning were holding him back. The team captains Caron and AJ had talked to him after last year about how important his improvement was for the team to progress....sorry, I can't get too excited because he had one good game vs. a weak team on a long road trip.

A new voice in the lockerroom will improve the morale of the team, but it won't hide the team's deficiencies against good team. I am excited about Tapscott tightening the rotation and getting his best players on the floor even if it meant moving Caron to the 2 at times. I think he'll help with the development of NY and McGee, but AB is a different story.

A coach can only give guidance and support; the effort and motivation has to come from the player. That may have been lacking with EJ, but I am one of many who think AB will never be a starter, let alone an impact player. Let's see how he does when he's going against Dwight Howard on Thursday and gets his 1st two shot rejected or is dunked on at the other end. If he brings it consistently against for a sustained period, then I think its more likely he needed a new coach.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

For all you people arguing with Kaloroma:

It is no use, in case you didn't know him and Eddie are in the same Bingo club and get together and play ever mon and thurs...

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 10:32 AM


Kalorama is one of about 3 credible, competent people on this blogm, who u and ur weak-a$$-stepped-on arguments regularly get completely owned by

Posted by: prescrunk | November 26, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"A new voice in the lockerroom will improve the morale of the team, but it won't hide the team's deficiencies against good team."

A new voice may not hide the deficiencies, but a good substitution pattern certainly can. When you're undersized up front on all 3 positions and struggling in the paint, a simple adjustment can make a world of difference. Nobody on our team will be able to handle Dwight Howard 1-on-1, but at least if you have size at the other positions, you can counter that by being stronger in the paint at the 2-4 spots.

Posted by: psps23 | November 26, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

prescrunk: I guess you'll be at the Tahanksgiving day dinner at the Jordan Household also. Send Kal my best.

As far as arguments, Kalorama makes nothing but one-sided, biased points, based on his love for the "great" coach Jordan. Go back and read some of his garbage. This is the same dipsh!t who thinks getting to the 1st round of the Eastern Conf Playoffs 3 years in a row is and accomplishment. Yeah, Kalorama has a LOT of credibility. LOL!!

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

According to KALORAMA, the Wizards were foolish to let EJ go. I mean, how on earth can we find another coach to get us to the first round and lose every year?

Not to mention the fact Eddie's tremendous career record of 197-224. How on earth will the next coach live up to THE HIGH BAR that the great Coach Jordan set??

Any thoughts, preskunk.

Posted by: cj658 | November 26, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

John "Hot Plate" Williams appeared in an episode of ESPN's "Outside the Lines". He's a sphere, squandered his money, lost his house, and is working at low-wage job.

Posted by: yop32 | November 26, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Last night all cylinders were firing, fantastic!

To win consistently, the Wizards need balanced productivity, something like 60 points from their starting five and 50 from the bench.

Last night they got 84 from the starters and 39 from the bench. How often are they going to be able to sustain that?

Posted by: rickgonz | November 26, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I meant 85 pts from the starters last night

Posted by: rickgonz | November 26, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Loved the tall-ball in the second quarter!

And... AJ and CB each played less than 40 minutes tonight!!! Hope that becomes a trend.

DMac had some solid minutes, I'd like to see him get 10-15 a night in relief of CB.

And please keep Pech and ET glued to the pine ETap!

Posted by: jones-y | November 26, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

John "Hot Plate" Williams suffered a devastating knee injury. After that the guy apparently really struggled with depression. I'm not sure that the guy wasted his talent or if he couldn't cope and adjust to the loss of it.

As one of the old guys around here I'd agree it was one of the saddest chapters in Bullets history. Before that injury he could have been one of the best that ever played, I wonder what ever happened to the guy.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | November 26, 2008 8:32 AM

Man, I was just thinking about John Williams last night, and he gets mentioned here today.

He had incredible potential, almost certainly more than Blatche. But beyond that the comparisons are a little unfair. Blatche's work ethic may be called into question, but he hasn't ballooned to over 300 lbs in weight or gone AWOL from the organization. And at the young age of 22, Blatche still has much room/time for maturation and growth. It's up to him what he does with his career, though certainly I hope the future Wizards coaching staff(s) play their cards right with Blatche.

But back to Williams, I do wish the guy the best, whereever he is. I remember him bringing a lot of hope back to the organization. Unfortunately it didn't work out but we move on.

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 26, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

CN,

Agreed with top 7 except Songaila. He played less minutes than DMac last night. I think when AD is healthy he will be part of "the 8," and Songaila will be part of "situational substitutes."

Posted by: sagaliba | November 26, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I remember him bringing a lot of hope back to the organization...

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 26, 2008 11:41 AM


lmao. yeah like we played our cards right with Kwame. he also brought us a lot of rotfl hope

Posted by: prescrunk | November 26, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Fwiw flohrtv, clearly you weren't the one making the comparison of Blatche and Williams. Didn't mean to imply otherwise.

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 26, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

lmao. yeah like we played our cards right with Kwame. he also brought us a lot of rotfl hope

Posted by: prescrunk | November 26, 2008 11:46 AM

were you a fan of the Wizards during the John Williams era?

Posted by: johnnie_futbol | November 26, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

prefunk, you're the only one here who just saddles up when it comes to Kal.

As cj658 and others have said, even AJ attributed some of AB's improved play to EJ not being there to "yell at him and take him out if he made a mistake". This is a quote.

We can't expect AB to duplicate this performance every night but he's clearly the player with the most pure basketball potential on our team. Ih works at it, he has the size and physical skills to be a 5 tool player. He could possibly be a good shooter, passer, shotblocker, rebounder and dribbler.
What we saw last night was the summer league Andray. he was just playing ball without looking over his shoulder. It helped that we were playing an uptempo game against an uptempo team. That's actually the key for this team. We can't grind it out. We need to run.

There are a bunch of things last night that played out exactly as a lot of us had been hoping....

We need to play fast, not just small. Small and slow gets you killed. Small and fast gives you a good chance. run run run.
A helter skelter game plays to our strengths.

Ab is a good enough shooter to play pf. He was effective last night at C but he was really able to do his thing at the elbos where he hit a couple of cutters with good passes. His baseline J was nice, too. The optimal lineup (and I've been saying this for over a year now) is aj at 3 with ab at the 4 and Cb at the 2. We got a glimpse of it and it worked. We can even afford to have DS at the 1 with this lineup.


Posted by: original_mark | November 26, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

flohr, I agree with you completely. Refreshing to see a tall lineup, refreshing to see such defensive intensity, refreshing to see less of Etan and Juan and not to see Songaila manning the 5. Satisfying game to watch for us longsuffering Wiz fans.

I'm just saying, though, let's not pronounce EJ the cause of AB's problems or pronounce AB cured, after this one game. Some of the player quotes imply that EJ was "a" cause of AB's problems, and AB certainly played like a man unshackled. But part of why AB has been riding pine has been his lack of effort and focus during games, and his poor work habits off the court, especially last year, are well known.

Posted by: Prazak | November 26, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm not happy about the EJ firing, but I gotta say I have always liked Tapscott and was glad when he joined the coaching staff. He did a great job last night, is saying all the right things, and seems to be making some good moves.

I like his focus on defense. I like his plan to shorten the rotation. I like his use of the young guys and a bigger lineup. He appears to be keeping the princeton but with more emphasis on attacking the basket. Pick and rolls, backdoor cuts, ball movement, going inside and attacking the glass for offensive boards and putbacks.

I liked seeing McGee and Blatche in together. I liked seeing those who paired with Jamison at SF and Caron at the 2. I still don't like seeing DeShawn at pg and still not much on Dee Brown... I like the hustle, quickness and getting some steals, but he is a terrible passer and shooter, but that will end with the return of AD and definately Gil.

But I liked what I saw from the team. If he does well I don't see any reason not to keep Tapscott. I don't see any reason to bring in someone else. It looks to me like we may already have our coach.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 26, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

For all of the carping about Blatche's progress under Eddie He has steadily made some. Watching him play it's not always easy to see but the guy is progressing. It's just been in fits and starts, and hasn't lived up to the potential that he flashes.

Blatche may have needed to graduate. You know if he's have went the college route he'd be a senior now. Lots of guys are ready to come out after two or three years in college and get a fresh start with a new coach. At that age 3 years is an eternity.

Blatche wasn't the most mature guy to enter the draft at 18, but I'm not sure that he's that far below average, or is a chronic malcontent either. Unfortunately for Eddie the easiest solution with Blatche and the rest of the team was to try a new voice.

And I'd agree that Songaila is far from worthless if he's deployed properly. Last night's duty seemed about right to me. In "Anti Eddie's" new 8 + 2 rotation it does look like McGuire is in the 8.

Posted by: flohrtv | November 26, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Lets cut to the chase about EJ and AB,Andray was lazy and and had a poor work ehtic except when it came to clubbing and chasing skirts, for a person who came from abject poverty not to see the bigger picture is beyond any normal thinking person, but EG rewarded him with an undeserved contract, another brainiac move by an average GM at best, but EJ ends up taking the fall when the team starts the season off poorly i can't wait for the next three to four games to see the real Andray Blatche and then lets see if ET will be doing what Eddie Jordan has done the last four years, scratching his head and wondering just what the hell is going on.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 26, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Ab is a good enough shooter to play pf. He was effective last night at C but he was really able to do his thing at the elbos where he hit a couple of cutters with good passes. His baseline J was nice, too. The optimal lineup (and I've been saying this for over a year now) is aj at 3 with ab at the 4 and Cb at the 2. We got a glimpse of it and it worked. We can even afford to have DS at the 1 with this lineup.


Posted by: original_mark | November 26, 2008 12:14 PM "

He also showed a 3 point stroke.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

All Eddie ever did was dog him, it's great to see Blatche come to life. He told the sideline reporter he felt free with eddie gone, let's hope so.

Posted by: bford1kb | November 26, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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