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Rockets at Wizards

Information on tonight's game.

Wizards starters: JaVale McGee, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Dee Brown.

Inactives: Gilbert Arenas, Brendan Haywood, Oleksiy Pecherov.

Rockets: Yao Ming, Luis Scola, Ron Artest, Tracy McGrady, Rafer Alston.

Inactives: Steve Francis (knee), Shane Battier (foot).

Refs: Violet Palmer, Bennett Salvatore, Ron Olesiak.

Line: Rockets by 6 1/2.

Notables: Yao will go after missing the last game with a sore foot...McGee and Brown will make their second straight start for the Wizards...G Antonio Daniels, who missed four of the last five games with right knee soreness, is in uniform and will play according to Coach Eddie Jordan...The Rockets have won six straight over the Wizards...Houston is allowing a league-low 89.5 points per game.

Keys to the game:

1.Make Yao run: McGee is raw but one major advantage he should have over Yao tonight is his quickness and speed, particularly in transition. Look for the Kid to get up and down.

2. Rebounding: The Wizards were killed on the boards in Atlanta and Houston has the size to do the same. The guards have to dig back and help out.

3. Bench play: Tonight would be an ideal time for Andray Blatche to have his first real strong game of the season. It would also help if Juan DIxon can do what he did in the first few games: make shots.


By Ivan Carter  |  November 21, 2008; 4:49 PM ET
 
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Next: Rockets 103, Wizards 91

Comments

Well, EJ put Songalia on Yao for a bit. Surprise, surprise - that didn't work. I'm not sure why he even tried given that McGee and Blatche had outplayed the big guy up to that point.

AD also looks a step slow.

Hopefully, Dixon and Young play together in the second half.

Posted by: Izman | November 21, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Juan is so much better when he doesn't have to create his own shot. I like the AD/Dixon combo.

Posted by: KShark28 | November 21, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, now it's official, EJ is the problem. All you have to do is watch tape of the 4th quater. That,s all I'll say. Pathetic coaching.

Posted by: cj658 | November 21, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

EJ went small again with thomas and songaila guarding yao in the 4th quater. From that point on thier 9 points lead dissapear and all the momentum went to the rockets. HE WENT SMALL AGAIN lol...cant belive it, EJ is that stupid!

Posted by: forbid | November 21, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Rockets decided to play in the fourth quarter and that was that.

Wizards simply do not know how to protect against the three. They lose their men and then just scramble around with no purpose. Any team that makes that third pass will get open shots.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 21, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The commentary on ESPN was interesting. For 3 quarters, Mark Jackson said what a great coach EJ is. In the 4th quarter with the Wiz up 9, EJ put in a bonehead line-up that Van Gundy immediately said wouldn't work. He said it again 3 times before EJ made any changes. By then, Houston had tied the game and had the momentum.

After the game, Jackson said AJ and CB went out at the wrong time and AJ needs to get shots down the stretch (which he didn't).

I suspect EJ and Ivan will chalk up the loss to injuries, rookie mistakes and something like poor 3 point shooting by the Wiz as the reasons for the loss.

What else is new?

Posted by: Izman | November 21, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

whoever's bashing the "small ball" did you even watch the game?

DSong played mostly in the middle of the game when the rockets played small and wasn't even matched up against yao. he went 3-3 btw.
etan played from the beginning of the 4th quarter and if you actually look at the facts, yao didn't score on him.

it was javale that got pushed around, outmaneuvered, and outplayed by yoa down the stretch.

fact is, the wiz had no real options when the rockets really wanted to push it to yao

Posted by: yukiwith2us | November 21, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

BUCKY BUCKY BUCKY.....

I wish I had known the game was also on ESPN, and I would have watched it on that channel instead of CSN.

Instead, as the game ticked below 2min in the 4th quarter and as Houston hit DAGGER AFTER DAGGER SHOTS....no peep from BUCKY BUCKHANTZ.....

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The momentum of the game changed when Yao checked in at 85-76 Wiz leading. EJ refused to send in his taller center, so the team had to double teamed Yao, and scrambled on defense. Rockets ran up 9 unanswered points to tie the game. Etan is just too short against Yao, even on the offense end, he fumbled the ball under the basket intimidated by Yao's size.

Mind boggling, the two young 7 footers had played Yao very well the whole game. With 8 minutes to go, they still have 3 fouls to give among them (neither of them fouled out at the end), there is no reason not to substitute. I feel AB played the best game of the season. He defended Yao by fronting him while McGee played behind Yao and allowed Yao to catch the ball close to the basket. This is something McGee has to learn as he matures.

Songaila also showed that when not playing center, he could contribute by grabbing 2 rebounds (even though one of the rebounds just bounced his way at chest high). Jamison played his butt out, pity.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 21, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

lol oh CSN... steve is so ridiculous...

Posted by: yukiwith2us | November 21, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Played better. Give them that. They really miss Roger Mason Jr. His late-game offense would have helped to win a couple of these close ones. Like Juan, but can't do what Roger can.

Posted by: jweber1 | November 21, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The WORST THING EJ did as time ran down was to substitute JaTravel for ET.

ET was doing well in the game.

Instead, EJ should have subbed JaTravel for AJ.

In any regard, JaTravel had little effect on Yao. Yao ate his lunch.

BTW, what did you folks think about Mr. Feast or Famine (ska Deshawn Stevenson).

Early in the game, he was proud of himself because he hit some shots.

Later on, when TMac came in and started hitting shot after shot to put them on that double digit run, DS couldn't do anything. Even DS's last second charity layup was blocked in his face.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"Played better. Give them that. They really miss Roger Mason Jr. His late-game offense would have helped to win a couple of these close ones. Like Juan, but can't do what Roger can.

Posted by: jweber1 | November 21, 2008 9:58 PM "

Les BouleS didn't miss Mason at all in this game.

Juan came in and had a good game.

In fact, Juan is quicker and a better passer than Mason.

It's Dee Brown who had no impact in the game, and he started, as EJ benched Juan.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

it's just a matter of stringing 2-3 good offensive+defensive possessions in the waning minutes...

I find it hard to be that angry at this game. of course I hate that the wiz lost, but they played out of their minds for 3.5 quarters.

but that doesn't change 1-9

Posted by: yukiwith2us | November 21, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry DC_Mann, Juan was absolutely terrible. He has no sense that he should be the third or forth option when he's in the game with Butler and Jamison. He kept forcing shot after shot at the end of the 4th.

I just can't comprehend EJ's lineup in the when they gave up that 9 point lead in the 4th. Ridiculous. WHo is going to score? Ad? Etan? Songaila? Jaun? Stevenson? Terrible?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | November 21, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I find it funny that Gilby is openly talking about this team being in the lottery next year and only 10 games have been played.

The only way this will happen is if EG continues to sit on his hands with more of the same below mediocre coach and team.

Waiting for next year's lottery is akin to telling the fans that Les BouleS are on the 3-4 year plan. Portland, Seattle, Charlotte, Houston, Orlando, etc. have hit jackpot in the lottery but still haven't made it to the finals in their conference. Only Cleveland has done that as of late.

Ivan, please report to us on what Gilby was talking about with regard to the "new playbook."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: patience-is-key | November 21, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry DC_Mann, Juan was absolutely terrible. He has no sense that he should be the third or forth option when he's in the game with Butler and Jamison. He kept forcing shot after shot at the end of the 4th.

I just can't comprehend EJ's lineup in the when they gave up that 9 point lead in the 4th. Ridiculous. WHo is going to score? Ad? Etan? Songaila? Jaun? Stevenson? Terrible?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | November 21, 2008 10:25 PM "

Sorry, but you be wrong.

Juan played 18 min and shot 4-8, had 3 assists, and 2 steals.

Caron, on the other hand, shot 5-15 and booted the ball out of bounds in the final critical minutes.

Also, DS (3-12) couldn't hit the side of the barn in the late quarters and could not stop TMac.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281121027

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz played a good game and they just couldn't finish. The players they have now aren't good enough to bring us a championship even when Arenas and Haywood come back. I say, be the worst team in the league and draft Blake Griffin ( a solid monster forward who will bring toughness the wiz need). Trade or get rid of Stevenson, Thomas, Daniel, Dee, Pecherov, and Songaila.

fall 2009

PG - Arenas
SG - CButler
SF - Jamison
PF - Blake Griffin
C - JaVal

Off the bench

PG - Somebody new
SG - Nick Young
SF - Blatch
PF - Griffen/Jamison
C - Haywood

Last, maybe it time to get a new coach. I like Eddie but he change up players way too many times.

Posted by: demonj21 | November 21, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

BTW, everyone can give me credit for yet another correct prediction.

For those who read the Post, you'd have noted today that Les BouleS have another Family Night deal advertised for a game against Atlanta.

4 nose bleed seats
4 dogs
4 sodas

All for the cheap price of only $79.

I'm sure they're going to sell like White Castle hamburgers.....in India.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I purposely decided to watch the ESPN broadcast because Phil and Buck are just too close to the Wiz organization. As mentioned before, for the first 3 quarters Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson praised Jordan for keeping his guys motivated and in a fighting spirit. However, Van Gundy noted, after Jordan substituted Etan Thomas and Darius Songalia into the game, that it was a highly unusual coaching move to put two guys in a game that was still undecided when said two guys had been on the bench for the entire first half and that it might backfire. And the lead magically disappeared within, what, 4 game minutes? I thought Van Gundy's comment was significant because coaches usually go out their way not to criticize another coach. My interpretation of the comment was Van Gundy saying essentially, "Bad move, Eddie".
Van Gundy then stated that he didn't think that a team trying to gain its confidence and badly in need of a win should go long stretches with its top two players on the bench. Translation: "Bad move again, Eddie". Mark Jackson said over and over that Eddie should go back to Blatche or McGee in the middle and bring CB and AJ into the game. But Eddie watched Houston hit jumper after jumper after jumper and only then did he call a timeout and make a long-overdue sustitution. After the game ended, I tuned to the post-game show on Comcast and, as usual, Buck and Phil were talking about a completly different game from the one that Van Gundy and Jackson had seen. Buck and Phil spent their time praising the opponent ("Man, the Rockets really got hot, didn't they"? Well, what can you do when a team just starts feeling it"?) instead talking truthfully about the Wizards' self-induced meltdown. My conclusion after watching the game is that Eddie may not be entirely the problem here but he is most certainly not the answer.

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 21, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"Last, maybe it time to get a new coach. I like Eddie but he change up players way too many times.

Posted by: demonj21 | November 21, 2008 10:38 PM "

You're on crack if you think BTH deserves to come off the bench if he's healthy enough to start.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

"My conclusion after watching the game is that Eddie may not be entirely the problem here but he is most certainly not the answer.

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 21, 2008 10:46 PM "

ET actually played well while he was in the game for all of 5 minutes.

He made a nice block against Hayes and had a nice overly enthused dunk.

Nomatter if AJ or Caron came off the bench, none of those dudes was going to stop TMac who was on fire at the end of the game.

Aaron Brooks, a nobody, came into the game and lit Les BouleS up also, and Artest was like a bull in a china shop. In one play, he leveled AD on a pick.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281121027

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Look at what the Knicks new GM and coach have done.

They have cleared cap space for Lebron, for two years down the line, and within those two years, can also be a lottery team and get even more players.

Les BouleS? More of the same.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The only thing less inspiring than the Wiz roster these days is the Phil/Buck tandem. Those guys - bless 'em, they seem like nice dudes - have been around way too long. No one expects them to rip the team, but their observations are simplistic and they rarely offer any X's & O's insight. Phil always sounds like someone woke him up five minutes before tip off, and Buck like an Ourisman Dodge used car salesman. Maybe they've just been doing it too long. Unless you have Harry Carey, you have to switch up the announcers every decade or so.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 21, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Right on point Izman. Your observation of the ESPN's crew game analysis says it all.
I too agree and this sums up how bad coaching fouls up whatever good work your players are capable off.

And Yukiwith2us, the reason why we bash small ball is because when EJ goes small, he is just going small and slow. Small ball means that when you go small you better be running the other team's guts out. Small and slow don't fit any basketball that I know about.

And why did not DB get no more PT when clearly his point play clearly pushed the ball for the Wiz and got them out the blocks running the ball successfully?

Yao can't run and if DB was in the game in the fourth Q' pushing the ball down the throat, then JM would have had a fair chance to minimize Yao in the fourth, cause Yao can't run. This ain't hard folks.

They played well in uptempo style, then here comes Eddie with ET, DSon, and AD and now he wants to play precision offense, and call every play up and down the floor, even on defense, and guess what, you ain't runnin and gunnin no more, and guess what, same old Eddie curtain call.

They should have won this game. I know a lot of you know, but where I come from, when that ball starts to bouncing you have got to let your players control it to the best of their abilities. The coach does not and cannot orchestrate play from courtside. Eddie does not understand where coaching ends and the players play.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 21, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but you be wrong.

Juan played 18 min and shot 4-8, had 3 assists, and 2 steals.

Caron, on the other hand, shot 5-15 and booted the ball out of bounds in the final critical minutes.

Also, DS (3-12) couldn't hit the side of the barn in the late quarters and could not stop TMac.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281121027

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 21, 2008 10:34 PM

Amen to that.

Posted by: KShark28 | November 22, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88,

ET played well, but not against Yao. His 2 pts and 1 blk came before Yao checked in. Houston made the 9-0 run with the matchup of Yao vs. ET. Wiz had to scramble to double team Yao and let McGrady went wild (who shot 3 of 7 before that but connected on 4 of 5 shots since).

Posted by: sagaliba | November 22, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Sagaliba, Thanks for pointing out who was on the floor when Houston made that 9-0 run. Two many bloggers want to point to the two plays Yao made against JM after Houston had taken back the game.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 22, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

dc-man, do you really think Juan is better than Roger Mason? Are you insane? You obviously like Juan because there is no way you can objectively say that unless there is some bias for Juan.

Roger is Quicker, faster, taller, a better passer and ball handler and by far a better shooter. I like Juan but EG is sick to his stomac for letting Roger go, we all are.

And who the hell is JaTravel.

Posted by: zxhoya | November 22, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,

I don't understand why some people keep on saying the problem is the roster and has nothing to do with coach. Look, there are at least 3 games this season the questionable substitution has caused Wiz the game! With a reasonable coach, the Wiz would have been 4-6 (1 game behind 500) instead of 1-9. As long as Wiz can be somewhere close to 500 before Arenas returns, then there is hope. On the other hand, if Wiz can only win 10% of the game, then might as well tank the whole season. Is this EJ plan to do? And who is Tim Duncan in this draft?

Posted by: sagaliba | November 22, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

are you actually comparing roger mason with juan dixon. dixon has 29 games with 20 or more points in his career with barely any starts and he is probably the best jump shooter on the team. he can score 20 points a game like caron or arenas if he jacked up 20 to 25 shots a game like arenas butler n jamison n he has good defense. roger mason has 6 games with 20 or more points. hmmm i think id like to go with dixon. my personal opinion is juan should be starting every game even when arenas is back. the starting lineup should be arenas/dixon/stevenson/jamison and haywood. wed have more than 1 win lemme tell u lol

Posted by: manny312 | November 22, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"DC_MAN88,

ET played well, but not against Yao. His 2 pts and 1 blk came before Yao checked in. Houston made the 9-0 run with the matchup of Yao vs. ET. Wiz had to scramble to double team Yao and let McGrady went wild (who shot 3 of 7 before that but connected on 4 of 5 shots since).

Posted by: sagaliba | November 22, 2008 11:12 AM "

Uhh, that's why I said ET should have stayed in, along with JaTravel. ET would have manned the 4.

Look at what Carl Landry did. Has anyone ever heard of Carl Landry? He's a 1 year vet.

19 pts (6-7, 7-7FT's), 6 boards, 27 minutes.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281121027

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Manny312, that was a stupid point. Pretty much any player talented enough to make it to the NBA could score 20 points if given 20-25 shots.

Posted by: patience-is-key | November 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"dc-man, do you really think Juan is better than Roger Mason? Are you insane? You obviously like Juan because there is no way you can objectively say that unless there is some bias for Juan.

Roger is Quicker, faster, taller, a better passer and ball handler and by far a better shooter. I like Juan but EG is sick to his stomac for letting Roger go, we all are.

And who the hell is JaTravel.

Posted by: zxhoya | November 22, 2008 1:16 PM "

I replied to a posting where I said Juan did well in this game, and that Juan is a better passer and is quicker. Go compare the stats, nevermind the fact that Mason gets paid more than 3x what Juan gets paid.

How is Mason quicker? He gets most of his points from shooting long J's.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=1721

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=1707

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

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