Jordan Shakes Up Starting Lineup

In an effort to get his team out of its rut, Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan tweaked the starting lineup once more on Wednesday, inserting rookie center JaVale McGee and point guard Dee Brown into the starting lineup and pushing Etan Thomas and Juan Dixon to the bench. It is the first career start for both players.

Dixon had started three of the past four games for the injured Antonio Daniels, but Jordan felt that Dixon best served the team as an aggressive reserve.

"I want to try it because I want Juan to be Juan," Jordan said. "I think a close two, Dee Brown is a facilitator first and he's going to give us some tempo."

McGee entered the game as the Wizards' third-leading scorer, second-leading rebounder and leading shot blocker is just over 21 minutes. Jordan spoke with Thomas and Dixon before he made the change.

"I think JaVale is going to give us some athleticism at the rim," Jordan said. "Etan, he's suited in his own way to come off the bench and give us some force with the way he plays. He has filled that role for years. We know what we have there, as opposed to Etan beng the starter, trying to find his way."

By Michael Lee |  November 19, 2008; 6:51 PM ET
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Finally. It only took 8 games and a humiliating loss, but JaVale is starting.

The Dee Brown start also shows some creativity. He's more of a facilitator than Juan and will hopefully lead to some fast break points for Caron.

Hopefully Etan doesn't end up playing 20 min off the bench.

Posted by: what5 | November 19, 2008 7:01 PM

Glad to see Eddie do something, hopefully it works out.

Posted by: bford1kb | November 19, 2008 7:02 PM

When Dee Brown has played in the regular season he has been embarrassingly bad. I don't agree with this, but then again I don't agree with anything Jordan has done this year. He shouldn't get any credit for starting McGee over Thomas, since even a middle school coach would have made that switch many games ago.

Posted by: KShark28 | November 19, 2008 7:13 PM

BTW is there anyone at that game? Looks like a preseason crowd.

Posted by: KShark28 | November 19, 2008 7:15 PM

Better start than previous games but this time the Wiz are actually getting stops but are letting the Hawks get the offensive rebound....got to REBOUND Wiz!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | November 19, 2008 7:27 PM

Stupid mental errors....25 seconds left in 1st half, 24 on shotclock and stevenson shoots too early...things like these are reasons why you lose games

Posted by: rachel216 | November 19, 2008 8:03 PM

Huh?

This change is like repairing a flat tire with Elmer's school glue.

How about EJ voluntarily resigning? That'll help the team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 8:50 PM

There's no way that Atlanta can win this game.

Both Josh Smith are out, and Al Horford has no minutes up to the 4th quarter and is probably hurt also.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 8:53 PM

AJ, middle of 4th quarter....14 jacks and no FT's yet.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 19, 2008 8:56 PM

Stupid idiot pathetic loser team. i hate this team.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 19, 2008 9:24 PM

This team needs a lesson on how to win close games and how to close games out. Everytime the score is close, they do all the wrong things... but they really lost because of OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS...hawks got all the offensive rebounds....so frustrating. This team too often goes into long stretches where they have no field goals...

Posted by: rachel216 | November 19, 2008 9:29 PM

Poor blocking out, many mistakes from the young-uns, but at least they played with heart finally.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 19, 2008 9:31 PM

DeShawn took two really ill-advised shots at the end of the game. He got lucky on the first one, off balance and fading away into the corner. Then he jacked that ridiculous 3-point shot that clanged off the bottom of the backboard. Pathetic, can't-feel-my-face nonsense.

This is the second team in a row where the Wiz should have exploited their size advantage down low, and failed. I think you have to hold the coach responsible for that. And I wondered during Eddie's post-game last night, when he was showing so much attitude, if he didn't know something about his own fate.

Posted by: Prazak | November 19, 2008 9:35 PM

Don't understand EJ, he put OPec, AB, and Etan all in at the same time, and next monet, he would put Songaila and Jamison playing 4 and 5. Wiz was leading by 6 pts when Songaila checked in, and was losing by 1 pt (Hawk's first lead since early 2nd Q) when he checked out.

The worst part of Songaila's game is his inability to rebound. At the current rate he would have gotten only 3 rebounds even if he plays the entire 48 minutes. Ability to rebound is nice to have for a guard, but for someone playing PF/C, it is an important part of the job description. Unfortunately, Songaila fails this part of his job miserably.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 19, 2008 9:38 PM

hate is a strong word. let's say strong dislike for the way they are playing right now. Will all due respect to Caron, they just don't have anyone to take the ball and take it to the other team like Gil used too. Let's hope returns to form soon

Posted by: T-ROB | November 19, 2008 9:41 PM

We couldn't have possibly had worse shot selection down the stretch, the jumper deshawn made was a prayer he then takes a ridiculous off balance fadeaway three that my grandmother coulda gotten closer to the hole and then juan picks up his dribble and takes yet another awful deep two with someone in his face, pathetic. We deserved to lose this game, our team is devoid of any intensity on the defensive glass and because of this we will lose, the offensive rebounding we allowed was awful. We made that scrub Pachulia look like dennis rodman on the boards. It's time mcguire soaks up songaila's minutes, he will rebound and play d. never pull mcgee after two minutes to start a half ever again eddie. Oh yea and also eddie, Al horford and Josh smith were out, did woodson claim that his team was built for them and now that they're out that the squad is incapable? no they came out and beat you. grow a pair eddie and man up for your mistakes.

Posted by: bford1kb | November 19, 2008 9:44 PM

What happened to Juan's shot? I was so pumped to have him back, and he had a few nice games early on (10 pts against Bucks, 11 assists/8 boards against Knicks). But recently it looks like he can't hit anything. He's always been known as a shooter, and we all remember his years at Maryland and the big 35 he had in the playoffs. Have too many years on the bench killed his shot?

Posted by: KShark28 | November 19, 2008 9:45 PM

Well..... all of you got what you wanted and still the same result,Rebounding is Desire when you continue to get outrebounded game in game out its all about you, Blatche is just woefull i just don't think he has the mental capacity to play the game at this level. They need Gil back as soon as possible like right now, every game Nick Young is being exposed poor shot selection, and would you please stop driving to the basket until you improve your ball handling skills,Antwan's age is beginning to show i mean he still has some skills but its not like it used to be Caron what can you say every night he plays to win and he almost won this game by himself,they need a point guard and a rebounder(no sh$t sherlock) they're killin me!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 19, 2008 9:47 PM

Sagaliba - I was going to say the same thing. The tide of the game changed when he went with "smallball" AGAIN. Just when I was ready to praise Eddie for making the changes win or lose he goes back to his old standby "smallball".....!!!????

That sequence lost us the game I think because we were controlling the game. Also Sasha killed us, as he always does. Eddie tried everyone on him except "DMac".

Not to say DMac could have battled on the boards with him but he has a "pogo stick" type jump that might have been able to keep some balls alive.

Other then Eddie playing smallball AGAIN, I liked the way he substituted this game. Just another tough loss. I still don't see what is wrong with taking a look at D. Stadamire?

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 19, 2008 9:48 PM

Wiz could have won this game, but they gave away too many offensive rebounds, again!

Haywood's 7 rebounds may not sound a lot, but he is actually a better "per minute" rebounder than Jamison, and Wiz obviously missed him. McGee relies on his athleticism, but on defense, he often positions himself too far under the basket, which means the only rebound he is going to get is when the ball bounces straight up off the rim, or skims the net.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 19, 2008 9:52 PM

I'm so sick of Andray Blatche, he will never live up to his potential. I feel like sometimes he just doesn't really even care, and when he gets the chance to make a play, he turns the ball over...

Posted by: rachel216 | November 19, 2008 10:02 PM

Poor shot selection by Deshawn and rebound kill us. Period.

Posted by: forbid | November 19, 2008 10:05 PM

Blatche should just play strong. theres one time where hes under the basket and he just lay the ball in. He should just f*** dunk the ball, stop tryin to be so flexible

Posted by: forbid | November 19, 2008 10:06 PM

The hawks just out hustled us when they were short of players bc of injuries.

The smallball with Songalia was just plain stupid. I saw NO reason why to even contemplate it. We were winning. We were rebounding. McGee had the proverbial "presence" underneath although his numbers weren't spectacular. When guys drive they hesitate when he is there and don't have uncontested layups! Also, how about running a play or two for the big guy? He had one play run for him the whole game that I recall and made a nice shot. You want him to grow or not? Butler also had him wide open on a fast break , but hesitated and did not give him his alley-oop fire up the team opportunity.

With this coaching, we will get a top three pick, but I'm not even sure we have cap space for such a player? Can any of you capologists help out here?

Imagine getting someone who can start in AJ's spot and have him, NY, and McGee coming off the bench next year!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 19, 2008 10:23 PM

If this team doesn't turn around and win like three-four games in a row (which seems incredibly unlikely) they are going to be so psychologically dysfunctional and at each other's throats--not to mention lost confidence in their coach--that is could get very, very ugly. Even if/when Gilbert comes back, what kind of sharpness, continuity and playing condition will he be in?

Posted by: jweber1 | November 19, 2008 10:28 PM

jweber1,

It's already getting very very ugly. We have not exactly had the hardest schedule in the league thus far! We flat out stink!

We got out rebounded by the Hawks by 18 without Horford!!! Disgusting! Part of the problem besides AJ and CB being overrated as rebounders is all the guard penetration. When JaVal cuts those guys off or is occupied by them and they throw up a shot that misses most of the time, he is now not in rebounding position. Songalia at center does not help either, which is when the rebounding started to get out of control.

AJ may get his boards, but he also gets absolutely abused on the boards himself. Marvin Williams ate his lunch this game. Butler is not much better.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 19, 2008 10:49 PM

Glad to see Javale start and he played good.

Etan looked good off the bench, the role he has always been good at.

What happened to Juan's shot??? When he first came into the league I thought he could be another Rip with that deadly mid-range. He's always been streaky but man! I wonder if his calf still bothering him, he's got no legs in his shot it looks like.

DeShawn played ok, finally

Blatche again with the dribbling, TOs, bad passes, and long shots.

Pesh got in and jacked a couple 3s. I've given up on him ever being a player.

Dee brought some energy and hustle early, but not much else.

Nick played pretty good... some bad TOs as expected.

Caron played good. Antawn did too.


Overall pretty decent effort and game... thought they had this one. Got badly outrebounded which killed them. Still could of pulled it out if they had hit a couple open shots.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 19, 2008 11:20 PM

I wonder if Eddie's comments about this team being built for Gil to lead us was a reference to the team's payroll restraints?


Basically pointing out that a team unwilling to touch the tax threshold, and missing it's star 100 million dollar man, doesn't have the financial ability to field a competitive winning team.

Remember everyone supposedly knew Gil being out until January the plan...

Yet we couldn't make any attempt to acquire players this offseason like Carlos Arroyo or Tyronne Lue, instead resorting to inexpensive solutions like Dee Brown. Even relatively bargain FAs like Matt Barnes were out of reach.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 19, 2008 11:30 PM

No worries. Tomorrow's a new day! The Wizards can only improve.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 20, 2008 12:07 AM

Forgetaboutit!
DS our, stopper, was horrendous on D...the whole defensive "scheme" is pitiful.
Having the bigs jump out and then be out of position is absurd.
Play man up D, just so much better than there helter skelter run at you too late schism now. The collapse inside just opens up 3's all night, and no one is manning up.
And how about running some plays through McGhee...they have to collapse on him, which would open the offensive rebounding, or kick out for open shots.
Look it all comes down to coaching, and this is where the Wiz are woeful.
They have no leadership or plan, other than to wait and pray for GA's return...pathetic!!!

Posted by: maxman2162 | November 20, 2008 2:38 AM

At least some adjustments. Hopefully, EJ can assess what worked and what didn't.

In particular, DSong at center doesn't work and probably cost them the game. McGee was 0 +/- but only played 22 minutes. He needs to get 30 with Etan filling in the remainder.

Pech doesn't add much.

There needs to be more experimentation with backcourt combos - particularly with Young and Dixon together.

The game was winnable if they had worked through some minor bugs earlier in the season.

Will EJ insist on playing DSong against Yao? No one knows, which is almost as bad as playing him in that role.

At 1-8, the win-at-any-cost and bank-on-the-vets strategy seems obsolete. Time to embrace a new approach. Is it possible with this management?

Posted by: Izman | November 20, 2008 7:06 AM

Songaila tally:
6 minutes, ZERO rebounds, opponent layup drill.

Songaila just stands there and watches as guys drive and score layups. He doesn't even jump or attempt to play any defense. Pitiful !

We lost to an average team that's missing their 2 best inside players. WOW. We all know that McGee and AB are gonna struggle sometimes to get rebounds against stronger players like ZaZa. AJ did his part on the boards. It's part of the growing pains (for us) as we watch the young guys get muscled. At least I see effort from JM.

For me, it was good to see us throw up some 3's tonight. We took control of the game late after CB hit 2 consecutive 3's. This is what we need to see more often. We couldn't sustain it but as long as he (and others) continues to shoot them, we'll at least be competitive.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 7:14 AM

Just looked at Hollinger's PER rankings. This info is for all players who've played enough minutes to qualify. Some interesting stuff...

Among all PF's in the league (71 total), DMcGuire is 2nd from the bottom. AB is 7th from the bottom. Songaila is 10th from the bottom. AJ is 9th overall.

Among Centers (51 overall), Etan is 9th from the bottom. McGee is 15th overall.

Among pg's (65 overall), AD is ranked 49th, Dee Brown is 5 from the bottom

Among sg's, Deshawn is 11th from the bottom (58 out of 69). Juan is ranked at 53. Nick Young is ranked 14th (5 spots ahead of Roger Mason, I might add)

Among sf's, CB is 8th overall.

What this snapshot tells me is that our all stars are playing slightly below all star level but still playing adequately. They are playing like 2nd tier guys (which they are) but need a big gun to take them over the top,.

It also tells me that we have virtually zero inside offensive.
This stuff suggests that we have no pg. Our lineup based on productivity should be Juan, NY, CB, AJ and JM.
Everything after them is a gamble.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 8:22 AM

For the life of me I will never understand Eddie's fixation with playing Songalia at that "5" spot. I think he likes Songalia's toughness and grit, however that does not balance out the fact we lose rebounding and have no shot blocking presence in the paint when he is there.

If you notice ever game, right when Songalia is put in at the 5, the other teams immediately start taking the ball to the hole. Once that happens it changes the "mo" to their side and then we end up losing the lead.

I applaud Eddie for finally making some changes (i.e. shocking seeing how stubborn he is), but he still has some more tweaks he has to make.

Again, Eddie you need to cut down on CB's and AJ's minutes during the 1st three quarters of the game. I liked how you took the both of them out early in the 1st quarter. I could not believe you took out Mr. Untouchable (AJ) and sat him down. That might have been one of the best moves you made because you let the team know there won't be anymore favoritism going on with you.

Now this brings me to my point about Songalia. When AJ comes out, Songalia should come in for him at the FOUR spot not the FIVE...!!! If Etan can bring that kind of effort off of the bench, then I say give him the "5" spot backing up McGee.

I hate to say this but I think my boy AB looks totally lost out there. I want to give that 4 spot's minutes behind AJ to AB, but he is not showing anything anymore. So my new 2nd unit looks like this:

5 - Etan
4 - Songaila
3 - DMac
2 - NY
1 - Juan

The problem is Eddie has four players that are question marks for him every game and he does not know how or when to use them because he never knows what he is going to get from them.

1. AB 2. DMac 3. Opec 4. Song.

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 20, 2008 8:26 AM

"I wonder if Eddie's comments about this team being built for Gil to lead us was a reference to the team's payroll restraints?"

It could have been sarcasm, and I think EJ is smart enought to know what team he has.

This team is built...well...really badly.

They should dump as many bodies as they don't need while those people still have value. Stevenson and Blatche should top the list, followed by Daniels.

Then they should cut Brown so they can sign a FA who knows how to play the point. He really sucks.

In the off season they can dump Etan and maybe Songaila. This way they *might* be able to sign another decent player who can start or some guys who know how to come off the bench.

This team is just not fundamentally sound at all. I feel really bad for Caron (and maybe McGee) because he's the only guy out there trying. Jamison can't play defense, all Stevenson wants to do is shoo farts away from his face after he makes 1 shot in 50 attempts, and Blatche is searching the stands for ho's.

Oh yeah, broken knee Gil is making jokes, getting wax likeness's of himself, and tattoo's while scamming/counting all of Mr. Polin's money away from him by his pool.

I mean seriously this isn't the team we all saw that made the playoffs against the Bulls a few years ago. Personally, I would take that one any day over the one we have today. Those guys played a lot harder and it was easy to cheer for them.

I'm like: "Yeah, I'm going to watch the Wiz tonight. They will probably lose."

Response from someone that never watches basketball: "Haven't they always been losers?"

They still don't get it, and I'm starting to think they never will. They are only great in thier own minds.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 20, 2008 8:45 AM

Andray Blatche needs to be told that a 6 foot 11 inch 250lb man doesn't need to fade away on every contested jump shot. If he took his shot straight up or maybe even leaned in, he would go to the line 12 times a game. He needs to be played down in the blocks and told not to come outside or dribble unless he steals the ball. The experiment of Andrea as a 3 doesn't work. As much as I can't believe I'm saying this.....if Brendan Haywood were here, playing like he did last year, we wouldn't be having all this hating. Other teams wouldn't be driving down our lane at will. It all starts with the bigs. Where was Dominic when your getting out rebounded by 18? He would have helped.

Posted by: hechttv04 | November 20, 2008 11:03 AM

If Eddie still has his job when we play the Warriors I will be very, very disgruntled. This man has no clue of how to coach, especially when it comes to match-ups. He has a serious "boner" for un-productive veterans and it's killing me to watch this. This team has talent and I'm willing to bet that if this were a team coached by Larry Brown or someone of his caliber we'd be over .500 even with our injuries. I am so damn disgusted with this sorry excuse of a coach!!

Posted by: terpwiz | November 22, 2008 10:24 PM

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