Magic at Wizards

Happy Turkey Day! (If only someone in the NFL office would wake up and take that game away from the Lions. Either that or find a way to bring Barry Sanders back. My goodness)

Information on tonight's game:

Wizards starters: JaVale McGee, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Dee Brown. Record as a group: 1-3. All others: 1-7.

Inactives: Brendan Haywood, Gilbert Arenas, Oleksiy Pecherov (healthy scratch).

Magic starters: Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Mickael Pietrus, Anthony Johnson.

Inactives/Injuries: PG Jameer Nelson (hip flexor) and G Keith Bogans (fractured left thumb) are out. Mike Wilks is out for the season (knee).

Refs: Monty McCutchen, James Capers, Pat Fraher.

Line: Magic by 3 1/2.

Notables: This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. On Nov. 8, the Magic beat the Wizards 106-81 thanks to a 31-point, 16-rebound game by Dwight Howard...In his last five games, Caron Butler is averaging 24.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game...Antawn Jamison already has posted eight double-doubles, putting him on pace to surpass last season's 44....DeShawn Stevenson continues too look for his shooting touch but he has averaged 6.8 assists in the last four games....The Magic has won five straight road games including last night's 96-94 victory at Philadelphia.

-Antonio Daniels will be in uniform after missing the last two games with soreness in his right knee.

-Coach Ed Tapscott's message to Dee Brown, who will make his fifth start at point guard:
"I told Dee: you are never wrong if you throw it to Caron or Antawn. I'll just make it simple for him. Run the offense, run the defense and do all of those things but you are never wrong if you throw it to one of those two."

By Ivan Carter |  November 27, 2008; 5:58 PM ET
Previous: The Other Side: Orlando Magic | Next: Magic 105, Wizards 90


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Orlando is on fire. We at least were getting a hand in their face on the three's. Howard has toasted us in the 1st quarter!

I thought starting Etan might have been the right move tonight. JaVal and Blatche just aren't strong enough to keep Howard from dunking in their grills! 2 quick fouls each, gone!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 27, 2008 8:50 PM

And... the Wiz are awful again. So much for the fresh slate theory. Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith ripped the Wiz to shreds at halftime, saying they aren't very good, and wouldn't get any better. Ouch. Howard isn't even trying, scoring at will in slo-mo between yawns. Their entire starting five are big, athletic, muscular and fast, and we counter with... Darius Songalia. It's Caron Butler against the Orlando Magic. We should just call ourselves the Washington Caron Butlers. Jamison has really lost spring and speed in his jump shot this year. He looks like Kevin Grevey heaving set shots in Pleasantville. This is as bad as I've ever seen the team.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 27, 2008 10:04 PM

And their No. 1 pick from two years ago is scratched.

Folks, he's not good enough to be on the bench. For a team with little to no big men.

What a wasted selection. If he hadn't been their first round pick, he'd have been cut already. Simply cannot play at this level. Not athletic enough.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 27, 2008 10:54 PM

"And their No. 1 pick from two years ago is scratched.

Folks, he's not good enough to be on the bench. For a team with little to no big men.

What a wasted selection. If he hadn't been their first round pick, he'd have been cut already. Simply cannot play at this level. Not athletic enough.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 27, 2008 10:54 PM "

Who the hell are you talking about?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 27, 2008 11:00 PM

OH NOOOO!! You don't mean that ET doesn't have any answers for the Magic,and you thought Andray would come back and have another game like He did against Golden State PLEASE!!! He is a BUMM the sooner they can trade him the better OHHHH but all you EJ haters were singing Tapscott's praises the other night,Ernie made the right move ET knows how to use the roster,WHATEVER.... This man has never coached in the NBA ever! but he is the saviour, EG needs to go ASAP and don't give me that krap about all of his so called smart trades,the Kwame for Caron trade;Ray Charles would have made that trade the McGee pick well, if you have half a brain for scouting....Now back to DC's serial skirt chaser did you notice Dwight's physique I mean how could you not,you think the other HS grad that came out would be as dedicated as Mr.Howard was and still is in the gym, not a shot this man as Ivan Carter indicated the other day is a coach killer but all of you so called know it alls thought EJ deserved to be fired but all of you as this season morphs into oblivion will rue the day Eddie Jordan was fired!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | November 27, 2008 11:02 PM

This loss by Les BouleS tonight is nothing more than expected.

If they won the game, great...they played above their ability.

But, they lost, and lost news there.

I did notice that Caron seems to be doing too much one on one and set jump shots with a guy in his face.

As much as Caron wants to carry the load of this team, he just cannot, and the only way they will get wins is as a team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 27, 2008 11:04 PM

Who the hell are you talking about?

As Ivan noted:
Inactives: Brendan Haywood, Gilbert Arenas, Oleksiy Pecherov (healthy scratch).

Posted by: SteveMG | November 27, 2008 11:11 PM

EJ is gone, get over it!
Yes this was a horrible performance, but no one said we ahd an answer to DH, and with the exception of a few teams, no one does.(LAKERS, CELTICS, CAVALIERS).
It is just a bad matchup for this team.
Let's give the team under ETap a chance. We put up with EJ's shenanigans for over 5 years.
The Golden State game just showed what is possible, not what is probable.
And yes AJ did seem slow, no push and inadeqaute, but he will deliver consistently. He is not the problem, and yes there is much dead wood on this team.
THey will be moved shortly...bye bye, ET, DS,AP,AD, least DSONG has shown some spark when substituted correctly at the 4, not the 5.
It still remains a team that can not compete without the extra passes, and team help defense.

Posted by: maxman2162 | November 27, 2008 11:14 PM

Let's recap, shall we?

1) Teams often get an energy boost in the first game for a new coach after the old one is fired

2) It usually doesn't last

3) The Warriors stink

4) The Magic don't stink

5) Blatche is a very talented player who can't be counted on to produce consistently from one game to the next

6) The Wizards are not a very good basketball team right now, regardless of who the coach is

Barkley, Smith, and Fratello all got it dead solid perfect in their analysis of the situation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 28, 2008 12:27 AM

Hope everybody had a thankful, peaceful day.

Teams with a monster center are clearly our toughest match-up. Only surprise with tonight's result is that it wasn't a 25-30 point margin at the end. Orlando played inside out ball and got all our bigs in foul trouble. Just a smart team!

Did you hear Gil say that he is 80% healthy but listening to the doctors this time? My thought was, the Wizards doctors? Uh oh... better get a second opinion!

Has any one else noticed that we seem to be getter better shots but aren't making them? McGee especially needs to just dunk on folks more. Blatche as well. That's what I like about D Howard. Catch-pivot-slam!!! and if anyone gets in his's an "and one!" But since the first few games of the season they are settling for jumpers a lot less often. The fact that they can get open shots is wonderul but the fact that they keep missing such a high percent of them is driving me crazy. That is why I essentially think that the offense is fine. It is on the defensive end that I have my concerns.

Taps will need a few games to see how well they setle into patterns of play. obviously tonight Blatche and Stevenson were problems.

Oh yeah, props for Songalia tonight. Though I hate him at the 5, I must admit that tonight he hung in there against the monster in the middle better than all the others. Hope he helps school McGee on post positioning.


Posted by: stanlong23 | November 28, 2008 12:38 AM

Barkley just called the Wiz a 'glorified developmental league team'. He's right.

All this talk about injuries and how we need to give the team a chance to get healthy is bunk. The bottom line is that Ernie has spent the last three years trying his best to keep a one-and-out playoff team together. This isn't 2004-05 anymore, the league has gotten faster, bigger and, most importantly, athletic. How many players do we have that are pure, cut, fast, imposing athletes? Arenas, before three knee surgeries, but who else?

Look at our roster

- Andray Blatche (skinny, out of shape)
- Dee Brown (no fluidity and undersized)
- Caron Butler (cunning & tough, but not an elite athlete)
- Antonio Daniels (old, injured)
- Juan Dixon (undersized, skinny)
- Brendan Haywood (tall, but creaky and slow footed)
- Antwan Jamison (old, undersized)
- Javale Mcgee (great verticality and potential, but skinny and can only handle limited minutes)
- Dominic McGuire (hops, but without skills for backcourt, size for frontcourt)
- Olesky Pecherov (Mr. Burns from 'The Simpsons'
- Darius Songalia - perhaps the least athletic player in the NBA
Deshawn Stevenson - Undersized, slow
- Etan Thomas - To slow and no skills for PF, undersized for center
- Nick Young - Fast, but too skinny and little physical presence

We are the most physically inadequate, position-inappropriate team in the league. We have seven players Daniels, Deshawn, Brown, Songalia, Dixon, Pech, Mcguire, Thomas who would likely not be picked up by other teams if they were cut today.

Honestly, how is EG NOT to blame for this team? How can he be genuinely thought of, as Wilbon is apt to say, as a 'shrewd judge of athletic talent'?

Ernie likes to cite 'continuity' as important. That is misguided. True, it is important if you have a championship caliber team, but even the best teams retool, while average to early playoff teams such as ours aggressively look to upgrade. For every shrewd move, trading Brown for Caron, there has been two bums he has brought to the team and proceeded to sign to puzzling long term deals, even in cases when no one else wanted them. For every good draft pick like Mcgee, there has been a Pech.

Ernie was watching Jordan, but who is watching Ernie? Pollin has been a great community guy and loves this team like a family. I respect that, especially in this day and age. A lot. But one has to question with the recent deterioration in his health whether he is still in charge, or up for making the business decisions needed to bring our team back to respectability. Namely, to ditch Grunfeld. Immediately. Grunfeld has not only assembled an awful team, but with long-term deals, guaranteed that it will be awful for a long, long time to come. Like Obama after Bush, the next GM will inherit such a stinking, monumental mess that will take years to undo. Like NY with Thomas, we need to start a Fire Grunfeld fan campaign now.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 28, 2008 12:55 AM

Rather than sink the ship after 2 games with a new coach in midseason, panty of time for that, let's be realistic for a few seconds.
Yes last night's game gave teh EJ squadron a reprieve, but this is not time to bury Cesar yet.
It was obvious that with the 2 "bigs" on the bench JMC and AB, the etam resembled the EJ clan. So it becomes potentially obvious, that these 2 can bring energy and some skills to tyhe team, that is taotally lacking without them on the floor.
Yes they have their limitations, strength and stamina, but their energy adds so much to an otherwise listless and bland lineup.
Also what do you think the final score would have been before ET?
There are more difficult tests ahead, but let's at least give this new regime some time to make a difference, given that last night was a regression.

Posted by: maxman2162 | November 28, 2008 4:27 AM

Bad matchup. No one on our team can slow Howard besides BTH. Not many teams have a big man that will require a double team like Howard does. Neither of the past 2 games represents what we should expect to see for the rest of the season.
Why skewer AB for getting into foul trouble against the best big man in the East? The next two games against Atlanta and Nj should give us a better indication of where we are.
Tapscott, to his credit, is playing CB at the 2 and AJ at the 3 occasionally to see if it works. He's not stuck with the old rotations. I think we'll comeout and play a lot better next game because we won't have to worry about one guy killing us inside. Turkoglu has always given us problems, too. These 2 games were aberrations, IMO.

Lastly, how is it that Pech is not even getting into the game yet he's being pilloried? Everyone is calling him a bust but he hasn't even proven that yet. He may well be but can we at least see him get scorched before we permanently bench him? Can he be any worse that Songaila?
At least he'll get us some rebounds. What is it they they are seeing (or not seeing) in practice? Every time I watch him, I see a big guy who's relatively active on the boards but prefers to stay outside and shoot. I also keep hearing about how great a shooter he is in practice. If the coaches wanted him to go down low, I'm sure he would. Why is he being criticized for standing outside and shooting when that must be what he's being told to do?
Can we get a 30 minute game out of him just so I can finally make a decision on him as a fan? Songaila's continuing to get opportunities when we know what we'll get from him. Same with Deshawn.

Posted by: original_mark | November 28, 2008 9:20 AM

I gotta disagree that we don't have athletes, SammyT1.

I think the problem is that we misuse our athleticism. When we play uptempo, our athletes shine. For their positions, we have the quickness advantage at almost every position.
The old Gil had superior quickness and strength. Caron is quicker than almost all sf's. Aj is quicker than most PF's. Javale is quicker than most C's and Ab is quicker than most guys his height. I think the problem is a strength disadvantage. In a half court game,we can't compete and the lack of size/strength kills us.

perhaps what Tapscott is experimenting with (and what I've been calling on for over a year now) by playing cb at the 2 and aj at the 3 will help negate that disadvantage. As long as we don't have to play Howard or Oden or someone really strong down low every night, we should be ok.

Posted by: original_mark | November 28, 2008 9:28 AM

First, who ever extended Eddie Jordan a coach who been bounced three straight years in the 1st round should be fire. Its not like he would of been some hot candidate after this season. The Wizards problem is they seems to be starting over. They drafted Andray Blatche it seems he has not progressed, then they draft Mcghee they are saying the same about him as they were about Blatche three years ago. The Wizards problem is they have no inside presence, Haywood is good but is not the answer. Honestly, I dont see them winning 35 games.

Posted by: kennethlperry | November 28, 2008 9:57 AM

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