Hawks at Wizards

Information on tonight's game:

Wizards starters: JaVale McGee, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Dee Brown.
Inactives: Brendan Haywood, Gilbert Arenas, Oleksiy Pecherov.

Hawks starters: Zaza Pachulia, Al Horford, Marvin WIlliams, Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby.
Inactives: Josh Smith

Refs: Marc Davis, Tom Washington, Zach Zarba.

Line: Wizards 1 1/2 points.

Notables: A huge key for the Wizards will be rebounding. Pachulia pulled down 18 boards in a win over the WIz on Nov. 19 and had 17 last night in a loss at Toronto...The Hawks continue to play without F Josh Smith (ankle). They are 5-6 since he last played...The Hawks lead the league in 3-point shooting percentage (41.7 percent) and 3-pointers made (138)...A good stat from my story this morning and one I couldn't quite believe: Washington's starting guards are averaging 12.0 points a game. No other team has starting guards averaging fewer than 20.


By Ivan Carter |  November 29, 2008; 4:59 PM ET
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Comments

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If AD is healthy enough to play point, their best line-up is AD, CB, AJ, AB and JM.

If you look at the stats on 82games.com, AB is playing better than the general scuttlebutt depicted on this blog.

Let's see if Taps can adjust and figure out a way to stop the barrage of 3s. Should be a good game.

Posted by: Izman | November 29, 2008 6:38 PM

It doesn't matter: what players start or which ones play, who they get to coach this team or even if they were to hire a new GM, as long as the old man owns this team they will never win a championship. That takes commitment and money and he will not commit his money for the fans to have a winner. So quit giving him your money and maybe he will sell the team to an owner who wants to win a championship and doesn’t just look at the bottom line.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 29, 2008 7:40 PM

According to this source (NBA payrolls), the Wizards are about in the middle of the pack (16 out of 30) for team payrolls.

Pollin is not aggressive enough (there's a euphemism for you) spending; but that, it seems to me, isn't the major problem. After all, the Knicks have been spending enormous sums and have been awful.

It's what you do with the money; not how much you spend (minimum requirements notwithstanding).

Posted by: SteveMG | November 29, 2008 7:47 PM

DMac just had one of the best blocks you will EVER see with 4 minutes to go in the second quarter. But a phantom call erased it. Ridiculous. He didn't even touch him.

Posted by: bryc3 | November 29, 2008 7:58 PM

the wizards have two serious problems on offense. First, they have no inside presence. Thomas doesn't have the skill, Blatche and Songolia are too small, and McGee is too skinny. Second, the guards cannot drive to the basket. None of them. Daniels can, sort of, but he's been out. Bulter is the only one that can take it to the hoop.

Because of these shortcomings, the only thing the Wizards can do is take outside shots. Because the other team knows they cannot pass it inside or drive it to the basket, they can contest the shots. therefore, the Wizards' guard don't get a lot of buckets, and their percentage is low.

How can this get fixed? They can't fix the lack of a center issue. it seems that the only thing they can do is hope Areana's make it back at full strength. He gives them threat to drive to the basket which will open things up for the others. the other thing they have to do is start playing more aggressively, make steals, and run the ball so the lack of a center is less of a problem. probably not going to happen with this group.


Posted by: stevie2 | November 29, 2008 8:23 PM

stevie2, Even if Arenas come back, I don't think he can fix the Wizards problem (It will take 2009 fall before we see the real Arenas again). I think the key to the Wizards is Haywood. He give you that inside present that make this team compete, with or without Arenas. This team is done for this season and beyond until Pollin hand over the key to Ted. Until then, I can't wait for JM to beef up, this dude is going to be unstoppable.

Posted by: demonj21 | November 29, 2008 8:39 PM

So Chris Miller just reported the upcoming play with 12 sec left...what the heck? Last thing we need is someone's family member watching the game and texting one of the assistant coaches. am i paranoid?

Posted by: crs-one | November 29, 2008 9:26 PM

D. Stevenson is THE WORST starting two guard in the league....would someone please tell me why we can't start Nick Young...if we need "bench scoring" we have Songalia, Blatch, Dixon, etc. I have officially had it...no more Wizards basketball for me until Gil gets back. This is a JOKE!!

Posted by: cedric_lockhart | November 29, 2008 9:29 PM

I know ETap can come in and change the mentality of the team, although not necessarily the output just yet, but can anyone figure out why DS drove for a layup with 12 seconds on the clock and Les BouleS down by 3? Of course, he got fouled, and only made 1 FT.

I heard from Bucky that Wes Jr. drew up the play, but how about rotating the ball around and having AJ or Caron shoot a 3?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 29, 2008 9:46 PM

Did Eddie Jordan just coach that game or what? If I did not know any better that is what I would have thought if I did not see Tabscott standing over there.

I can not believe I have to start complaining about "slow small ball" AGAIN....!!!!!???? The Magic game I understood why Song. got all of the minutes at the "5" because he was the only one halfway giving SUPERMAN any game.

What was with Tabscott jerking McGee in and out of the game? The only thing I liked was Tabscott giving AB good minutes. Other than that he went with slow small ball way too long.

Lastly, what is Tabscott's fixation with Stevenson....??? That last camara shot near the end of the game was "telling". AB, McGee, NY and DMac were regulated to the bench and they all had blank looks on their faces. Wash Eddie Jordan coaching the game, via cell phone?????

Stevenson was still strugling and Juan Dixon got a second DNP. Dee Brown is just plain sorry at the point. I don't care what all ya are saying about Malbury, but I will take him in a heartbeat.

If he such the cancer everyone says he is, then cut him after he starts some stuff in the locker room or bench. What harm would it be to give him a try. Our backcourt is TERRIABLE!!!!!

**** NOTICE TO ED TABSCOTT - IF YOU ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO CALL SUBSITUTIONS LIKE THAT, WE MY AS WELL HAD KEPT EDDIE JORDAN. ALSO STOP DOUBLING THE BALL AND SAGGING THE 5 MAN UNDER THE BASKET. HOW MANY WIDE OPEN LOOKS DID MO HAVE DUE TO THIS STUPID DEFENSE....?????

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 29, 2008 9:51 PM

Yes, Juan is being phased out, although today's article in the Post said that they are looking for more scoring from the backcourt.

Les BouleS have the lowest scoring starting backcourt in the league, at 12 pts/game, and tonight, they had 8 pts.

Can't complain too much about "small ball" b/c DSong produced decent numbers, as did AB.

Also, I heard during the game that "Tabscott" chewed JaTravel out for trying to do too much in the scoring department. Thus, he ended up with only 13 min and 2 fouls.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 29, 2008 9:58 PM

"This is my third year here and I've never, ever had to create for myself," said Stevenson, who has racked up 33 assists in the last five games. "My game is to spot up and hit threes. When you look at the shots I made [Thursday night], they were spot-up threes. That's no excuse. I'm a pro, but right now, we need a point guard to distribute the ball to our scorers and that's what I've got to do.

WOW....!!!! What starting "2" guard in the league that you know can not and I repeat can not create his own shot?????? If you are a spot up shooter (i.e. Paxon, Kerr, Hodge, Riddick) what in the heck are you doing starting?

Just to think we let Mason go because of him? Now this one I can blame on Ernie G. Other then that that roster they have now is not a 2 and 12 team. We should be 5 and 8 at best.

Time to start NY and stop worring about scoring off of the bench. Tabscott did not play NY that much anyway so why does bench points matter????

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 29, 2008 10:03 PM

I thought DS's "game" was to play D and shut down the opponent's high scoring 2/back court?

Well, both Bibby and Johnson ended up with 39 pts total, 8 rebs, and 9 assists.

ho hum.....

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 29, 2008 10:10 PM

OH NOOOOOOOO!!!! ETAP played small ball are you going scream for his head on a plate too? This man can't coach cyo basketball much less nba this was Grunfeld (cya) as i have said ad nauseum Grunfeld wanted EJ out from day one when he became GM, and Wes Unseld Jr. drawing up plays LOL/LMAO!!! WHATEVER, This franchise is going to be the laughing stock of the league soon and all of you idiots who wanted Jordan gone for no good reason i might add, will get to enjoy ETAP and Grunfeld making fools of one another,good luck with that.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 29, 2008 10:11 PM

Note this:

Since both EG and ETap will tell you to your face that ETap is only the stop gap for this season, and that a new coach will be hired for next season, don't expect any changes/trades to happen this season.

In fact, having a lottery pick might encourage a coaching candidate to want to come here, especially if it's a high draft pick.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 29, 2008 10:12 PM

I only saw second half tonight. A few observations to repeat from earlier in the week:

Too many missed easy shots. Javale especially needs to gather himself and power dunk the ball. Also, wrong people are still taking the shots down the stretch. That Deshawn drive at the end was ridiculous. Caron or Antoine MUST take that shot. wonder if they changed play after that time out or if DS just decided to abort the plan to go to Butler?

Also Songalia played o.k. again surprisingly. But where did the right eye shiner come from? from the court or from a teammate in the locker room?

Obviously team still playing hard but not always smart and still undermaned. I don't think the S Marbury idea is ridiculous. What do we have to lose? We need talent. we need a dependable third option. If it can't be down in the hole then get a proven scorer at the point. I don't know if he is a true knucklehead or just a frustrated guy, but maybe a new lease on life is what he needs.

Posted by: stanlong23 | November 29, 2008 10:21 PM

SteveMG,

Look at the payrolls and the teams that have a chance to win are Cleveland 90 mil, Boston 81 mil, LA 79 mil, Detroit 72 mil, Phoenix 72 mil, Houston 77 mil and the Wizards 69 mil (good luck). It would have cost the Wizards about 2 million more a year to resign Mason versus Dixon but that would have put them over the cap and that is not going to happen with this organization. Which one is the better player and would have made this a better team?

Yes I agree that a team needs to spend their money wisely but look at the teams that have a real chance at winning a championship they are willing to do what it takes. The Knicks, Mavs and Blazers have three of the highest payrolls because their owners are billionaires and are willing to risk the money because like all great businessmen they want to be number one and will not settle for less. The teams that operate with the bottom line philosophy are the ones who make the playoffs, keep the fans attending games but do not really care if they win a championship.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 29, 2008 10:22 PM

previous post was mine...one more thing, Let's all give Taps some time to turn this around. I think there is a lit going on behind the scenes in the locker room after the changes this week.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | November 29, 2008 10:27 PM

Well I come outta this one encouraged. It was great having AD back. Hopefully his knee is healthy and he'll start until Gil gets back!

Posted by: elwyn | November 29, 2008 10:30 PM

"It would have cost the Wizards about 2 million more a year to resign Mason versus Dixon but that would have put them over the cap and that is not going to happen with this organization. Which one is the better player and would have made this a better team?"

The success of this team isn't about Mason or Dixon.

It's about spending $111 mil on a gimpy legged me first shooting guard and spending $50 mil on a 32 year old tweener 4 who can't defend and has no low post game.

Neither guys have had much success in the playoffs either.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 29, 2008 10:33 PM

DC_MAN88,

I agree, what do you think the real reason the Wizards resigned these two guy was? I think it was to keep the fans coming to the games.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 29, 2008 10:40 PM

Stevie2 you point is well put. Thats why I been saying that the Wizs must Run and Gun. Ernie T. starting DB is the right decision, but he must advise DB to run the teams tongues out or else there is no need to play him.

With this lineup, the Wizs must Run and Gun to overcome their shortcomings as you have so correctly pointed out.

DB must push the ball like he is trying to score in 5 seconds on every play. Sure you are not going to shoot in 5 seconds on every play, but it will create so many easy baskets and it will also increase the efficiency of all the players. And the scoring average of the team should increase to over 100 per game.

If you are scoring 100 points per game it will make it easier for you to defend. If you are a low scoring team, then your defense must be supreme and this team never will be a superior defensive team.

I have said that it will only take 10 games to prove why EJ needed to be fired and I maintain that even after tonights game and we are 1 & 2 so far.

BulletsFan78, Big Dog, take it easy on the Ole Man, as long as the Bullets start to Runnin and Gunnin like they should, it won't matter who the owner is.

And you True Wizard Fans, all we need to do is encourage in our Blogs that the Wizs should Run and Gun and I guarantee that if the Wizs do Run and Gun that they will have unbelievable results.

And to all of you that keep saying, we have no centers, and DStevenson is the worst 2 in the league, and AB is inconsistent, and AJ can't guard....Chew on this.

Why is it that a 6 foot 9 inch guy could play every position on the floor?

No No No, don't answer, I will answer for ya'. It was because he was Runnin and Gunnin Showtime and his name was Majic Johnson. Positions don't matter that much if you are Running and Gunnin and Skakin and Bakin and Trash Talkin wit' a smile.

And why were the Boston Celtics one of the best franchises in the League for years?

Naww, don't answer, I'm goin' to tell ya'. It was because they had one of the most consistent and best fast breaks ever in the entire NBA and it made everything else they did on the floor so much easier.

Folks learn how to score first and all the other things yawl keep talking about comes second.

Did you see the smile on the Hawks faces tonight every time they scored a basket.

And can anybody tell me what true positions they played on the floor. Naww, you can't, cause they played all over the floor.

Holla back at me if you can.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 29, 2008 10:53 PM

I agree.

Abe wants to win to a certain degree. Obviously, winning means making more money as a franchise, but he's already in the black with Gilby on his team, and with the lux tax welfare. So, his desire to win is average/below average at best.

Also, VC is booked like 260 days out of the year, so he gets plenty of cash from that. And then DC gave him 50 mil to upgrade VC which he'll give to DC after x years.

With Abe's health, he's got more important concerns beyond making Les BouleS a champion team again.

-------------------------------------------

On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 29, 2008 10:56 PM

OH NOOOOOOOO!!!! ETAP played small ball are you going scream for his head on a plate too? WHATEVER, This franchise is going to be the laughing stock of the league soon and all of you idiots who wanted Jordan gone for no good reason i might add, will get to enjoy ETAP and Grunfeld making fools of one another,good luck with that.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 29, 2008 10:11 PM

dargregmag - nope I ain't calling for his head if he calls the games like he did the first two games. But if he is going to call the game like he did tonight, we might as well kept Eddie Jordan here.

Tabscott called that game exactly how Eddie J would have called it, and that is what Eddie J fired. Tabscott played his "vets" down the whole streach and we still lost.

Guess what, that is time again the youngsta's could have been getting if we were going to lose anyway. That was my main grip with Eddie J.

Now if Tabscott is going to call the same substitutions like Jordan and also use his very flawed defensive sets Ernie could have went on and keep Jordan then.

If you are going to fire Jordan, the dude you replace him with needs to come with a totally different approach then what we saw tonight from Tabscott.

YO TABSCOTT USE THE SUB PATTERNS YOU USED IN THE FIRST GAME, PLEASE!!! STEVENSON AND BROWN NEED TO SIT AND BECOME THAT "OUTSIDE" EIGHT OF THE ROTATION.

1st Unit

5 - McGEE
4 - AJ
3 - CB
2 - NY
1 - AB

2nd Unit

5 - AB
4 - Song
3 - DMAC
2 - CB/Stevenson
1 - Dixon

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 29, 2008 11:00 PM

OH NOOOOOOOO!!!! ETAP played small ball are you going scream for his head on a plate too? WHATEVER, This franchise is going to be the laughing stock of the league soon and all of you idiots who wanted Jordan gone for no good reason i might add, will get to enjoy ETAP and Grunfeld making fools of one another,good luck with that.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 29, 2008 10:11 PM

dargregmag - nope I ain't calling for his head if he calls the games like he did the first two games. But if he is going to call the game like he did tonight, we might as well kept Eddie Jordan here.

Tabscott called that game exactly how Eddie J would have called it, and that is what got Eddie J fired. Tabscott played his "vets" down the whole stretch and we still lost.

Guess what, that is time again the youngsta's could have been getting if we were going to lose anyway. That was my main gripe with Eddie J.

Now if Tabscott is going to call the same substitutions like Jordan and also use his very flawed defensive sets Ernie could have went on and keep Jordan then.

If you are going to fire Jordan, the dude you replace him with needs to come with a totally different approach then what we saw tonight from Tabscott.

YO TABSCOTT USE THE SUB PATTERNS YOU USED IN THE FIRST GAME, PLEASE!!! STEVENSON AND BROWN NEED TO SIT AND BECOME THAT "OUTSIDE" EIGHT OF THE ROTATION.

1st Unit

5 - McGEE
4 - AJ
3 - CB
2 - NY
1 - AB

2nd Unit

5 - AB
4 - Song
3 - DMAC
2 - CB/Stevenson
1 - Dixon


Posted by: BulletsFever | November 29, 2008 11:05 PM

Give me a player with average talent and a whole lot of attitude, and we'll trash talk like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Kenny Smith, and when we score on you, we gonna holla, "Lets Go Back" cause when you come down the floor wit' the ball and don't score, you gonna get scored on and Trash Talked on and all the while I'm gonna be laughing at ya'.

The Wizs might just learn the Wisdom to what I just said from Ernie Tapscott and if they do, you want have to worry about the Owner, the Players, and certainly not Defense.

I Believe the Wizards will learn the Wisdom of what I just said this year, with Ernie as coach, and I will laugh at all of you that believe it can't be done.

True Wizard Fans, you got to come hard for the Team, or don't come a'tall. You got to be a believer in how it gotta work and not how it is not working.

BulletsFan78, tell me how this current coach and squad can win. All of us can see why it is not working, but how many of us can see how to make it work.

Coming Hard For The Wizs, LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 30, 2008 12:18 AM

LarryInClintonMD.

I am sorry to disappoint you, I can live with AJ at SF, CB at SG, AB at PF, JM at C, but without a true point guard who will get the players the ball at the right time, I do not see this team winning many games. Look at Boston, Cleveland, LA, Phoenix, Houston and the other teams that have a chance to win a championship they all have good point guards (other then Nash who is a star) that just play the position the right way. They need to make a trade for a real point guard, NY got Chris Duhon and Cleveland got Mo Williams last year and with the amount of money this team could have saved by not giving Gil his contract they could have signed someone. Maybe there is a backup out there a team will trade for Nick Young? I wish I could sound more positive but I call it like I see it.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 30, 2008 12:48 AM

"WOW....!!!! What starting "2" guard in the league that you know can not and I repeat can not create his own shot?????? If you are a spot up shooter (i.e. Paxon, Kerr, Hodge, Riddick) what in the heck are you doing starting?"


John Paxson was mostly a starter for those Bulls teams that won titles. Rip Hamilton plays mostly off the ball as a 2-guard, catching and shooting off screens as opposed to creating his own shot, and is both a starter and an All-Star. Reggie Miller was a spot up shooter who rarely created off the dribble and is headed to the HoF.

Also, ever heard of Jeff Hornacek? Raja Bell? Nick Anderson? Craig Ehlo? The list goes on.

None of which is meant to be a defense of Stevenson (who's played poorly most of the season) of course. Just pointing out the fact that just because a guy's a catch and shoot player does not automatically preclude him from being a starting caliber 2-guard. Of course it helps when (A) there's someone on the team who can get him the ball in the right spots and (B) once he gets the ball he actually hits the shots.

Speaking of getting guys the ball in the right spots ... kudos to Tapscott for integrating Songaila into the offense. They were making a concerted effort to use him in the pick and roll and dives to the rim and it paid some dividends.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 30, 2008 1:19 AM

If Tapscott wants more scoring from the starting guards and scoring off the bench, his best bet may be to start Young and Stevenson, with Stevenson running the point and bring Dixon and Daniels together off the bench. He's going to have to do some mixing and matching, because going with a "traditional" lineup clearly isn't going to get him what he wants. Whatever else he's good for, Brown won't put points on the board.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 30, 2008 1:26 AM

"Obviously team still playing hard but not always smart and still undermaned. I don't think the S Marbury idea is ridiculous. What do we have to lose?"

That's a ringing endorsement.

The better question is: what do they have to gain? Aside from his stint in Minnesota when he first came in the league (a situation he sabotaged with his selfishness and greed and ego) Marbury has generally failed to make teams significantly better by joining them. Matter of fact, most of his teams actually got better after he left.

The last thing a team that with a number of young players whose focus and attention to detail is already a concern needs is a guy like Marbury in the looker room.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 30, 2008 1:33 AM

EDIT:

"locker room"

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 30, 2008 1:34 AM

Nice posts stevie2. I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 30, 2008 1:38 AM

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