Jazz at Wizards

Information on tonight's game:

Wizards: Etan Thomas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Antonio Daniels.
Jazz: Kosta Koufos (R), Carlos Boozer, C.J. Miles, Ronnie Brewer, Deron Williams

Wizards: Dominic McGuire, Brendan Haywood, Gilbert Arenas.
Jazz: Mehmet Okur, Kyrylo Fesenko, Moris Almond.

Refs: Jacke Nies, Michael Smith, Joe Forte

Line: Jazz 4 1/2

Notables: Deron Williams made his debut last night in Philly after missing the first six games of the season with an ankle injury. He finished with seven points, nine assists and two rebounds in 31 minutes. ...The Wizards (0-5) are trying to avoid their worst start in franchise history. ...This is the first Wiz game against a Western Conference team. They were 14-16 against the West last season and 8-7 at home. ...Koufos is starting because Mehmet Okur is in Turkey dealing with a family matter. ..It's an 8 p.m. tip-off because the game was originally scheduled to be on ESPN.

-Eddie Jordan just announced a short while ago that Antonio Daniels will go. Daniels missed the last game with right knee soreness and didn't practice Monday or Tuesday either. Antonio was not in the locker room during pre-game availability so I did not have a chance to gauge his level of readiness, but he's going.

-McGuire is the inactive and that means Oleksiy Pecherov is in uniform. McGuire is not hurt.

-Jordan's keys for the night: "We can't allow layups, easy postups and drives and rolls to the basket. They are probably the most effective offensive system in the league because they take away your space. We want to take away their space. When they screen, they screen hard, they cut hard, they seal you hard, they get deep plays. ... Boozer is like the Mailman himself and they get paint scores. It's just a heck of a system that we really admire. So, we have to bring physical play and hit them before they hit us first and really defend those pick-and-rolls."

-Boozer is shooting an incredible 60.6 percent from the field (sixth in the league) and as Jordan pointed out, he does most of his damage close to the basket. If he gets left, he's hard to stop.

By Ivan Carter |  November 12, 2008; 7:29 PM ET
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We're screwed.

Just kidding! We're gonna win this one. Go Wiz, turn this thing around starting tonight!

Posted by: Wittan | November 12, 2008 8:01 PM

The Verizon FIOS picture feed on the Comcast 2 broadcast is the absolute worst qualtuy picture I have ever seen - worse than a public access high school production. Verizon FIOS uses FIOS 1 (channel 1) for most MASN2 and Comcast2 broadcasts even though they boast about their bamdwidth and picture quality. If I were a Verizon executive I would fire myself. It is embarassing, unprofessional, and unnecessary. If you like sports and have an alternative, stay away from Verizon FIOS. I strongly regret my decision to switch to FIOS, but with a 2 year commitment I cannot switch without leaving money on the table. I might do it anyway.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 12, 2008 9:11 PM

Monkey off the back! I like the fact that EJ kept McGee in there till end. In addition, EJ used "big lineup" (McGee, AB, AJ, CB all in at the same time) at times, and did not use small lineup. No more Songaila played at 5, only Etan, McGee and AB manned the center tonight!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 12, 2008 10:28 PM

Where are the JMac critques now?!!
Go Ernie! Still 1 of the best talent evaluator unlike moron88.

Posted by: Rocc00 | November 12, 2008 10:49 PM

The key to this game: size. Size. SIZE.

The lineups many posters here have been calling for we started to see: Dixon/Stevenson at the point, Young at 2, Butler at 3, Jamison/Blatche at 4 and McGee at 5. In fact, in the 2nd quarter, we had my dream lineup, with Stevenson/Dixon at 1, Caron at 2, Antawn at 3, Blatche at 4 and McGee at 5.

It made all the difference in the world. We started getting rebounds, and all that size bothered Utah terribly. Wiz were strong inside. Defense led the way.

Notes: best game of the year from Blatche, by a mile. Smart plays, played in control, only one really dumb pass (another no-look in the 4th), good hustle, D and rebounding. I think he got another arm and leg out of Eddie's doghouse.

McGee: rookie of the year, folks. You heard it here first. His impact on the game is incalculable. He changes everything, both offensively and defensively. He hustles like mad, and gets to everything. He kept so many possessions alive with tips that he doesn't get credit for. He is a vacuum inside. Boozer was deathly afraid of him when McGee was defending him one-on-one. Yeah, Carlos got his points, but wasn't nearly as effective as he usually is.

McGee's the guy the opposition must account for on defense. You just don't go inside when he's protecting the hoop. Happened again and again tonight. His lateral movement is so much better than Haywood's (and you won't find many bigger supporters of Brendan than me).

Stevenson played fantastic defense on Deron Williams. Absolutely neutralized him; he wasn't much of a factor.

Antawn also had his best game. Stayed inside all night, and his best effort by far on D. Hit a huge 3 at the end. Took one or two others, but didn't fall in love with it and start jacking them up like mad.

Every team our starting team is on the floor, the Wiz fall behind or give up a lead. Always. Eddie realized that tonight, but he needs to change his starting lineup. Give those who've earned it the starting spots.

Tallball! Tallball! Tallball!

Posted by: keithward64 | November 12, 2008 11:07 PM

I said in an earlier blog(like many of you)let him(McGee)play you learn nothing by sitting on the bench the kid has talent and he hustles once he "fills out" he will give the Wiz another serious scoring option,he makes things easier for AJ and CB to score around the hoop, he keeps rebounds alive on the offensive end he actually tries to protect the rim he's a natural shot blocker,they are finally off the "schnide" now its on to Miami.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 12, 2008 11:16 PM

Great win. Ivan or Mike, any news on Gilbert's return? How is his rehab going? Is he cleared to practice with the team?

Posted by: CBell29 | November 12, 2008 11:18 PM

How great was it to see Carlos Boozer roll off the pick and stop cold when he faced up with McGee? When's the last time a Wiz interior defender intimidated anyone, let alone a beast like Boozer?

Loved that unit of McGee, Blatche, Antawn, Caron, and DS. Those matchups won't work every night, but loved seeing Eddie throw away a few sacred cows, like not playing Caron at 2, not giving meaningful minutes to rookies, not sticking with the veterans AD and DSong. Gotta say, I wasn't impressed with some of Caron's and Nick's shot selections there at the end. But they pulled it off, and McGee was a big reason why, as was Antawn's rediscovery of his post game.

Posted by: Prazak | November 12, 2008 11:20 PM

McGee +19
Young + 10 (top 6 in the league playing over 50% of minutes)

Thomas - 7
Daniels - 7

Even with the injuries, there definitely are combos that can play. The bloggers here have seen them all year. Yet Ej insists on spotting the competition 7 or more points each game by going with his guys. When will he recognize the obvious? Time for the new generation in Washington.

Posted by: Izman | November 12, 2008 11:28 PM

I was at the game tonight, and the crowd was really into it. Bravo, to Eddie finally seeing the light and letting his best 5 to 7 play most of the game.

Again, Eddie is a great coach; but his rotational calls during games are most of the time very questionable. However, tonight he called almost a perfect game.

I still think he should have gave Song. some of AJ's minutes in the second half, but overall great game called by Eddie.

AJ showed some life today until he made his scheduled dribble off his leg play and a "no look" pass in a crowd of 4. Other then that he looked like he was playing under control.

Lastly, McGee is the real deal. It looks like the sky's the limit for the youngsta.... Even Eddie had to give the young boy some props when he left the game.

For Eddie to do that really shocked me and to me that reaction by Eddie was the official sign of the end of smallball with Songalia at 5 and giving Etan major minutes.

By the way, loved the lineup with McGee, AB, AJ, Caron at the 2 and Juan or Stevenson at the 1. That was a "killer" lineup......... Keep up the good rotational calls Eddie................

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 12, 2008 11:38 PM

FINALLY. Let's not take too much out of this--Jazz are minus Okur and were coming off a back-to-back, while Wiz had the entire weekend off. Even so, I feel that J. McGee earned the start with his performance tonight--the dude COMPLETELY energizes the team when he's on the floor, gets the crowd amped, and is just an all around BALLER. Bout time the Wiz had a menace in the paint--this big man has LONG arms, blocks everything, grabs boards, and he has some SERIOUS ups. Reminds me of Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum. He really needs to work on his free throws, but he's a rook--give Hoppla some time to work with JMac and it's a whole new day.

Posted by: Crunkenstein | November 12, 2008 11:47 PM

I've said it twice before and I'm saying it again. JM will be the best player in this years draft hands down. The Wiz's have a steal and JM is special and he don't need to ride anybodys bench. He deserves major minutes whether he starts or not. And one of you bloggers had the nerve to say that he belongs in the D' League. Hater. Gag yourself with a maggot. EJ had the players on the floor most of the night that produced. He can't go backwards now. Sorry for ET, DS, & AD. Stay Deeeeep on the bench. Lets Go Wiz. EJ is not off the snide yet though. EG still got a short lease on him this year.

Bringing it hard to the page, LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 12, 2008 11:49 PM

that was EXACTLY what the wiz needed in their first win. grinding it out and making timely plays/stops against a quality opponent.

props all around and no one has mentioned DS defense on Williams. DW made some shots that an all-star caliber player is going to make, but for the most part DS stayed in front of him and clearly took him off his game

Posted by: yukiwith2us | November 12, 2008 11:53 PM

Good win, good effort by all concerned. Getting the win was important, but I wouldn't exhale just yet. The Jazz were short-handed and on the 2nd of a back-to-back, and Williams was only playing in his second or third game.

McGee has great enregy and instincts, but he sitll has a lot of actual basketball to learn. One thing I thought was encouraging is that he didn't bite on every pump fake like he did earlier in the season. Still got a lot to learn, but he's on the way.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 12, 2008 11:55 PM

Yeah, the Jazz were short-handed; but not quite as short-handed as the Wiz, with 40 percent of their starters out, including their best offensive and defensive players. And on a 5-game losing streak against a 6-1 team.

BTW yuki, I did mention DS' defense on Williams in my first post. It was very important.

Posted by: keithward64 | November 13, 2008 12:23 AM

lol ok my bad keith, just highlighting it again then...

Posted by: yukiwith2us | November 13, 2008 12:32 AM

EJ had no chaoise,everyone saw and stated the obvious, JMc has to be on the floor.
LOved that Wilbon, defended EJ, and in the same article in effect criticized EJ for the lack of defense and player rotations.
This looks like an uncoached team, esp against a superior coached team in the Jazz.
Notice that the Wiz had a grand total of 13 assists, that is embarrassing, and also an indictment of an uncoached, one one one offense.
This version of the "Princeton NOt" has to go along with it's promoter EJ.
Thankkfully the refs were on the Wiz's team tonight, or the streak would be continuing...
Love Mcghee and JD, and NY and yes even Blatche.
Look EJ, Songalia, AD and ET are nice guys, but of little value and benefit...exit stage right!

Posted by: maxman2162 | November 13, 2008 12:46 AM

LarryinClinton, I was one of the posts who said McGee needed to be in D League but that was during the preseason, before Brendan went down and before it wasn't so blindlingly obvious this guy wasn't just another 7-foot Grunfeld experiment. Under those circumstances, as between riding pine behind BTH, Etan, and Blatche, and getting some playing time in the D League to develop a game, the choice seemed obvious enough.

Posted by: Prazak | November 13, 2008 8:11 AM

As we would say in the school yard, Juvale, WHY MUST YOU BE SO MEAN!!!!!!!!?????.

Posted by: browneri | November 13, 2008 9:00 AM

Les BouleS lucked out against a team that had no real athletic inside game. Boozer is a very good inside player, but not that athletic, especially when you have ET blocking your shots. It was a good win for Les BouleS.

Of course, JaTravel had a good game overall. He does seem to like to put the ball on the floor and fumble, and bit on a couple of fakes/double pumps for easy shots by the Jazz.

I wonder how long it will take for opposing teams to figure him out and neutralize him. Last night, he benefited from Okur not being in the game and busting him up. Koufos who started for Okur wasn't even drafted. Jazz are just not an athletic team.

Caron and JaTravel carried the team and although AJ got his points, he had a bad shooting night. DS, AD, and NY did little also.

Of course, the guy they brought in as a free agent based on Gilby's charity, Dee Brown, wasn't even on the active roster.


Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 13, 2008 9:25 AM

Les BouleS lucked out

Completely, utterly untrue. The Wiz won this game. Man, you are nothing but glass half-empty. They won because they outplayed Utah, simple as that. Their defense was superior, and their stars outplayed Utah's stars when it mattered. McGee was better than anyone Utah had inside. That's why they won. Sorry you can't see it.

Posted by: keithward64 | November 13, 2008 9:30 AM

Ja Vale McGee has received many very high praises from opposing players. This is very similiar to what opposing players were saying about Chris Paul in his rookie year. Ernie did a great job with this pick.

It is time to move any or all of Blatche, Songaila, and Thomas.

It was a great win for the Wiz!

Posted by: JoeC2 | November 13, 2008 9:47 AM

I've seen J. McGee play in 5 of the 6 games this year and he's our only legit center. Eddie needs to start him so we can get off to decent starts. His energy, hustle, and defensive presence compensates for the loss of BTH. It's obvious that he causes other teams to rethink things on the defensive end and helps on offense by giving us an offensive rebounding threat. Ernie may have found a gem with the 18th pick after a dud like Pecherov in 2006.

This team is not playoff bound as currently configured and needs to be giving major minutes to J. McGee and NY to build for the future. IMO we're looking at two future starters and building blocks. No one is going to blame Eddie if he plays the young guys with Caron, AJ, and Dixon & we lose.

This game did prove the Wiz can beat a quality team if they play 48 minutes of high energy, smart ball and execute in the 4th quarter. Kudos to Eddie for staying with McGee the whole 4th quarter instead of playing more small ball with Songaila. I was actually shocked to read that CB3 got some run at the 2 when we went big.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 13, 2008 10:02 AM

How does EG expect this team to win consistently when he's carrying six stiffs? I'm talking about ET (a shell of his former self), AD (ditto) OP (no talent), DMac (ditto), Brown (ditto), Songaila (much too slow).

Posted by: shovetheplanet | November 13, 2008 10:18 AM

I don't often agree with much of what Mike Wise says, but he nailed it here:

Andray Blatche receives too much blame for what ails the Wizards, especially given that he has to play a different role with Haywood out. But the fact is he wants to be Chris Webber and he's not even John Salley at this point. If he had one of those pogo-stick games, where all he did was use his energy to tip in misses underneath the basket, block shots and take the occasional 10-footer, fine. That's a player the Wizards could use.

Another small forward trapped in a 6-11, 250-pound frame? Not so much.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 13, 2008 10:40 AM

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