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Monday Wizards Update

After getting Sunday off, the Wizards were back on the floor for practice today with Coach Eddie Jordan placing an emphasis on defensive schemes and rebounding. The Wizards created some problems for the Pistons on Saturday night with some a timely halfcourt traps and other wrinkles.

"We want to continue that philosophy of being disruptive defensively with our pressure, traps, rotations and different sort of zones," Jordan said. "It seems like that's always been an underlying staple, being disruptive by forcing turnovers. Get the other team out of an offensive rhythm."


On rebounding: "That's the message we sent out today, that we're going to be in rotations and sometimes you're going to have a small boxing out a big or a big being aware that he needs to box out a small from the perimeter."

I asked Jordan to talk a little bit more about the smaller lineup he employed in Detroit, one that had Darius Songaila playing as an undersized center. With Songaila in there, the floor spread and the Wizards got on a roll but they also were at a rebounding disadvantage.

Jordan: "When you're down 16 you've to get some points up on the board and you've got to be disruptive and turn it up a notch. Darius was a part of that, especially in the second half."

-Jordan indicated that he may activate Oleksiy Pecherov Wednesday night at Milwaukee. Pech has been inactive the first two games. Not sure who Eddie will decide to sit but I would imagine that rookie JaVale McGee will play some Wednesday night after not getting off the bench in Detroit. That would leave Dee Brown and Dominic McGuire as possible candidates. Jordan cosistently praises Pecherov's work ethic, focus and attitude so look for that to possibly be rewarded with some playing time.

-I asked Jordan if Andray Blatche had a good practice today after being benched after a rough four minute stretch in Detroit. Jordan's answer said it all: "Next question." I'm not sure what's going on there but after praising Blatche following the season opener, Jordan was not happy with what he saw from the fourth-year forward-center the other night.

This is not a shock however. Before the season began, Jordan sat Blatch, Nick Young and the other young players down and demanded consistency, particularly when it comes to effort. Obviously, Jordan doesn't feel that he's getting that out of Blatche right now. Stay tuned....

By Ivan Carter  |  November 3, 2008; 1:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

If OPec is activated, I would guess Dee Brown would be deactivated (unless something happens to AD).

Posted by: sagaliba | November 3, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is already in the dog house. I still don't believe you bench the guy for games on end. Hopefully, he brings it in practice soon. They will need him in games.

Posted by: gregskins | November 3, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Obviously EJ's stern approach with Blatche is ineffective at getting him to play better. Maybe he should change his approach to see if Blatche responds better. I don't like the way this relationship is going...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | November 3, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

re: Blatche

EG might have to intervene like he did with BTH and then AB will blossom into a great player.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 3, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

re: Blatche

EG might have to intervene like he did with BTH and then AB will blossom into a great player.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 3, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

re: Blatche

EG might have to intervene like he did with BTH and then AB will blossom into a great player.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Research has shown that getting steals has a negative correlation with overall defensive efficiency, and that defensive field goal percentage has the highest correlation of any defensive stats.

Simply put, teams that force a lot of turnovers are generally not very good defensively, whereas teams that force a lot of misses are.

Until Eddie embraces this philosophy, the Wiz's defense will struggle.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | November 3, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The message has been sent, not only by Jordan, but bu Jamison, Butler, Daniels, and Arenas. If Blatche hasn't gotten it by now, maybe he'd hear better if he pulls his head out of his ass.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Research has shown that getting steals has a negative correlation with overall defensive efficiency, and that defensive field goal percentage has the highest correlation of any defensive stats.

Simply put, teams that force a lot of turnovers are generally not very good defensively, whereas teams that force a lot of misses are.

Until Eddie embraces this philosophy, the Wiz's defense will struggle.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | November 3, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The message has been sent, not only by Jordan, but bu Jamison, Butler, Daniels, and Arenas. If Blatche hasn't gotten it by now, maybe he'd hear better if he pulls his head out of his ass.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Research has shown that getting steals has a negative correlation with overall defensive efficiency, and that defensive field goal percentage has the highest correlation of any defensive stats.

Simply put, teams that force a lot of turnovers are generally not very good defensively, whereas teams that force a lot of misses are.

Until Eddie embraces this philosophy, the Wiz's defense will struggle.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | November 3, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

AJ and CB are averaging 40 minutes a game, and the Wiz are losing anyway. If a game goes into overtime, that will mean 45 minutes. It's just a matter of time to the next injury.

BTW, when the 2nd string plays EJ's vaunted starting vets, the games are a toss-up. That should say something to an unbiased observer.

The team needs a shrink.

Posted by: Izman | November 3, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

AJ and CB are averaging 40 minutes a game, and the Wiz are losing anyway. If a game goes into overtime, that will mean 45 minutes. It's just a matter of time to the next injury.

BTW, when the 2nd string plays EJ's vaunted starting vets, the games are a toss-up. That should say something to an unbiased observer.

The team needs a shrink.

Posted by: Izman | November 3, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Ivan
Everyone knows EJ is infatuated with “small ball”. But “small ball” shouldn’t be credited with the comeback against the pistons. With Etan starting at C we are already playing “small ball” so bringing in DSong doesn’t change that. The big difference in that game was bringing in Dixon and N1. This is typical EJ crap. Short leash for the big’s (BTH and AB) and way too tolerant of DSong and Etan.

Posted by: dhbond | November 3, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

If its the same msg he sent to BH, it did not work. When EJ had to play him, that worked.
Question. What is defense supposed to do? Answer: Stop the other team from scoring.
Question. If the opposing team can't stop you from scoring, what does that mean? Answer: It means that their defense is cannot beat you.

What this simply means is that the Wiz are not and never will be a defensive team and they will not win games by playing defense. This team is a run and gun team and EJ better realize that and he better start preaching the effectiveness of offense in the Princeton stye like he once did two years ago in the first half of the season. It's simple folks, if teams cannot stop your offense they can't beat you defensively. I'll take the 2nd highest scoring team in the NBA anyday over one that plays good defense and scores in the middle of pack.

Enough of this crap about disruption and defense, put your speed on the court with your veteran nucleus and run the ball.

See my comments from before on rotation. LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 3, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@LarryinClintonMD

Larry, go to http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/

Then click on the champion of each season to see their offensive and defensive efficiency rankings. You'll see that while they're both important, NBA champions are generally elite defensive teams.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | November 3, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA! This such a joke! EVERY, freakin year we read the exact same article, talking about how the Wizards are "focusing on improving defense". And we are always garbage on defense, year after year. You may as well cut and paste the same article from the last few years and replace some names.

Posted by: plive202 | November 3, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

So will Iverson make the Pistons competitive with the Celtics in the East? Do we care, I mean will it affect the Wizards?

Posted by: rickgonz | November 3, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"That should say something to an unbiased observer."

It says that vets with big multiyear guaranteed contracts and nothing to prove aren't very likely to risk injury by going full bore in an inter-squad scrimmage in practice.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

STOP TALKING ABOUT PLAYING DEFENSE! The team from a lineup from a height stand point is set up to fail on defense (61,63,66,67 1/2,68 1/2) if we tell the truth). Jamison is your four... great scorer, terrible at one on on defense. Stevenson is your starting two, bad shot taker, won't drive to the hoop anymore, not effective enough as a rebounder. As I have posted all day long... Move Jamison to the 2 put Blatche at the 4 and Start the Rookie at 5. At 2 Jamison is tall enough to disrupt jump shooters and instead of him being the last line of defense, some one with lateral movement and more than a three inch vertical will be protecting the rim. Coach Jordan... How's about mixing in some postups

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | November 3, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Pretty interesting discussion, although I don't understand why so many posts show up multiple times (happy fingers on the mouse?). Some valid points made by others:
1) steals don't indicate good defense. Larry Bird stole the ball a fair amount, and he viewed defense as a virus to be avoided.
2) team defense isn't the same as individual defense. It's better to have five guys working hard within a defensive scheme than it is to have one or two great individual defenders doing most of the work.
3) the WizArds star players -- Arenas, Jamison, and Butler -- are paid for offense. Defensively, Jordan and Pippen they're not. And probably never will be.

Great offensive stars can learn to play solid team defense (witness last year's Celts)but it usually takes extreme motivation, like a direct shot at a title (also the Celts). The Wiz aren't good enough and I suspect they know it. I mean, if the Pistons or the Sunds aren't good enough as configured, then certainly our team isn't.

It's not the coach's fault.

Who knows? We could get lucky. The defense fairy could smile on us. It's happened before, right?

By the way, Javale McGee, raw as he is, looks to me like potentially the best young center to come into the league since Dwight Howard. Yep, better than Oden.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 3, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Back @ the Funbunch.
Your point about the NBA champs having also good defensive numbers proves my point. No NBA champ has just a good offensive game. They all have had better than good offensive games which in turn fueled their defense because other teams aren't able to stop them. The Wiz will only get better defensely when they start to concentrate on the run and gun offensive game that their players are fit for. So, I'm not saying defense is not important, but your defense comes after you put the ball in the hoop and the way you shake and bake determines how you play defense and not the other way around. Keep concentrating on defense and not what is best offensively for your players, and I gaurantee you EJ will be looking for a job soon.

Stats! Yea right. Put the ball in the hoop and stats, defense, and whatever else you want to look will come next.

Come hard or don't come at all. LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 3, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the deal is with Blatche, but Songaila was terrible in the 2nd half of that game at center! He had two nice shots about 15 ft out one at the top of the key and one from the left baseline. Other than that he was slow reacting, getting out rebounded, no lift, TOs and bad passes. He cannot defend the rim, missed open shots, and turned it over numerous times! And having him out there with Jamison and Caron is a VERY small front court!! What are you trying to do!! I couldn't believe it went on for so long!!

What is the update with Etan's ankle?? I thought he hurt it which was why Songaila was out there! What is the update?? If Etan gets hurt like usual we are REALLY in trouble!!!

Blatche should of been out there! In that situation we needed Blatche out there! Unless he did something bad like a team violation or was obviously not prepared to play in which case he should of been inactivated. It makes no sense! Especially against the likes of Rasheed Wallace who Blatche can match up with but Songaila's got no chance!! It was soo aggravating to see! We are already down Haywood, then you're going to also take Blatche away on top of that, and it's by choice??!! Songaila is not a center, and I can't stand watching him trying to play it!

If Songaila had been playing good ok, fine! But he wasn't! He was making dumb fouls and turning the ball over. Am I the only one seeing this or what!!?


Also I think we gotta look at the backcourt... I think Antonio and DeShawn together is stagnating the offense. I think we gotta have either Dixon with DeShawn or Antonio with Young. Either one or the other so you got a scorer back there. I'd like to see us start Juan with DeShawn and bring Antonio and Nick off the bench together.

I think our best rotation would be a starting 5 of Etan, Jamison, Caron, DeShawn, Dixon and come off the bench with Blatche, Songaila, McGuire, Young, Antonio. I think our team would have much better flow... The starting 5 you got 3 scorers with 2 defenders, and the reserves you got young guys Dray, Dom and Nick who play well together with steady vets Darius and Antonio who also gel.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 3, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm just tired of the head games Jordan plays with his big men. 4 minutes of unfocused play by Blatche should not equal the doghouse. Encouragement and playing time makes a better player, not this stupid benching for the rest of the game stuff. We need a coach who is willing to give playing time to the young guys without a short leash if they make a few mistakes. He leans too much on the veterans, even when it's clear they are not the better players. Our starting backcourt is the worst in the league! One or both need to be replaced. Nick is clearly the only player on the team that can get his own shot. This will improve the scoring ability of the starters. Cut Jamison and Butler's minutes and give those to Blatche and McQuire. It's clear Butler is injury prone as his body breaks down in the second half of the season after high minutes. Also give McGee quality minutes behind Etan. He is clearly the best big we have. Let's face it with the absence of Arenas and Haywood we're going to struggle to make the playoffs with the improvement of the other teams in the Eastern conference. Why not give our young guys quality minutes to work through mistakes and improve and make us a better team down the road.

Posted by: garrybrown | November 4, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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