Wizards Facing Foreclosure

It's becoming a tired tale already, with the Wizards losing for the eighth time in nine games last night in Atlanta. Coach Eddie Jordan's comments after their home loss to Miami on Tuesday really brought it home -- the Wizards are not a very good team right now.

And it really shouldn't be a surprise. I had a conversation with someone last night about why the Wizards were having such a difficult time this season and the best way I could explain it was by comparing the team to a subprime loan.

It's slipping out of my fingers. . . (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Follow me if you can. The Wizards lived above their means last season, meaning that they managed to make payments on a playoff house because they all played out of their minds. They got career years from just about every player on the roster -- Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood, Roger Mason, Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson, and even Eddie Jordan coached his tail off -- and they survived and thrived without all star Gilbert Arenas.

But the interest rates have increased this season -- the Eastern Conference has improved from a year ago -- and the Wizards have less income with Haywood and now Mason out of the equation for different reasons (Haywood is hurt; Mason is in San Antonio). The Wizards were banking on getting that bonus check to make those playoff payments, but Arenas remains out -- and the bill is due. No one is going to cut them any slack.

It's unfair to expect the Wizards players to duplicate their performances from a year ago -- or for the youngsters to skip stages of the learning curve -- and unless they can figure out how to finish games (which is always a problem for bad teams) the foreclosure sign might be placed in front of the Wizards' playoff house before Arenas arrives to supposedly save day.

That being said, there were two encouraging signs in the Wizards' 91-87 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday. First off, the Wizards looked more efficient offensively with Dee Brown pushing the tempo and spreading the ball around. One of the Wizards' primary problems this season is sticking-ball syndrome, a chronic disorder where players refuse to make the extra pass and elect to go one-on-one instead looking for assists. But the Wizards had 15 assists in the first half, after averaging 17.6 assists through the first eight games.

Secondly, Caron Butler was more forceful than he has been at any time this season, scoring a season-high 32 points. Butler hit a huge three-pointer at the end of the third period that brought the Wizards within 70-67 and kept their hopes alive. He later hit back-to-back three-pointers during a heat-check portion of the fourth quarter that gave the Wizards a brief lead in the period.

"I'm going to be more aggressive now," Butler said. "Win lose or draw, I'm going to be more aggressive. A lot of this stuff falls on the veterans and it's up to us to continue to keep the tempo no matter what's the case. Me being one of the captains, I'm going to be more assertive and establish myself early and late."

But the Wizards cannot win if Butler and Jamison are going to be the only two consistent players each night. They need someone who is willing to ride with them without getting in the way. There are still 73 games left, and anything can happen in this league, but things are looking pretty bleak right now. They need a bailout plan real soon.

Daniels plans on trying to practice Thursday morning to see if he can give it a go on Friday against Houston. But I don't think anyone expects that to change anything.

By Michael Lee |  November 20, 2008; 9:09 AM ET
Previous: Jordan Shakes Up Starting Lineup | Next: Daniels Practices


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Exactly! You cannot expect people to play over their heads year after year. In otherwords, you cannot expect the wizards to overcome injuries year after year.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 20, 2008 9:28 AM

Ivan, yes that comparsions only half ways explains what's happening with the Wizards. There half is that the Wizards stood still and didn't make moves to improve the team and bad coaching decisions. First, let me say as a fan I believe the Wizards made the right move in resigning GA and AJ (however, I do believe they over paid for his services), however, the Wizards watched over the last two years teams in the Western Conference sign players, make trades and whatever else to improve their team. The Wizards did nothing. In the Eastern conference over the last two years we've watched Boston, Orlando, Philly, ATL, T-Raptors, the Bucks... make moves to improve. The Wizards did nothing. To be Continued...

Posted by: 33dgriffin | November 20, 2008 9:36 AM

In keeping with your analogy, we need a bailout.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 9:45 AM

Last night was a step in the right direction. Glad to see that CB has finally decided to be aggressive. Not sure why it took 8 games but ok.
We just need to teach the youngster how to rebound and work with him. We also need to stick with D (5 from the bottom) Brown for now. I was watching when Juan refused to get that ball to AJ when Flip was on him and I was screaming at the tv. It was a pretty basic entry pass. Eventually after about 10 seconds, AJ gave up his post position (he had Flip pinned first behind and in front and Juan would still not throw it in) and then and left the post disgustedly as Juan threw up a poor shot.
we need a pg.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 9:52 AM

Sounds like something Tim Russert (RIP) would say. Very well put. At this point, I just want to see the young guys improve, instead of the Songalias, Thomases, and Dixons getting heavy minutes just because the team's trying to keep the deficit within 15 points. The latter is obviously not working, so a sink-or-swim mentality with the young guys needs to be implemented soon, so that they can gain valuable experience. Who knows what would happen at that point, but we're all well aware of ....'s happening with the current playing rotation....

Posted by: -CN- | November 20, 2008 10:02 AM

Note to Original Mark: I saw the same thing from Juan WTF was that all about just get him the ball,Dixon is a backup point blank, Does anyone know what Gil is doing is he practicing limited or otherwise is December still on the radar.This team lacks confidence they need a W in a big way.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 20, 2008 10:02 AM

At least there is the Capitals.

Seriously, Honest Abe and EG should take notes from McPhee and Leonsis. They built a winner and one of the best young teams in the league. They built it through the draft, and holding on to guys who play up to potential and are not constantly hurt in a far more physical game. Seriously, I'm a die hard Wiz fan, but this is becoming a hockey town before our eyes. For the amount of money abe and ernie have spent, that is truly sad. A caps game has twice the excitement as a wizards game now. Way to go Abe and Ernie.

Posted by: cj658 | November 20, 2008 10:02 AM

I definetly like the shake up...I definetly liked the fact that Eddie Jordan swallowed his pride and started two other guys and I liked the fire Caron played with. As much as we have been singing his praise Nick is YOUNG (LITERALLY) but he has to grow up and stop taking off balanced shots all the time. He is on when he squares up and shoots but when he is fading away and falling over he puts our team at a disadvantage.

Call me crazy but I think this team will win 43 or 44 games this season because when Arenas comes back nobody is going to just expect him to win the game for them but on the perimeter deswhan will be more of a slasher and a shooter and not having to worry about distrubuting the ball but will have the ability!

Posted by: SkinzFan4lyfe | November 20, 2008 10:20 AM

I looked at the NBA standings today since the Wiz played better last night. So far they are 1-8 just a little better than Oklahoma City/Seattle (1-11) the worst record in the NBA. This may be the race we will be watching this year for the #1 draftee. I hope the 2009 draft is not another Kwame Brown draft year where the best looking one is a bust.

Ernie G, it is time to make a trade. Your players stock prices are going down fast. Please include Blatche and Songaila.

Posted by: JoeC2 | November 20, 2008 10:21 AM

Hmm, "foreclosure sign," does that mean EJ get fired?

Posted by: sagaliba | November 20, 2008 10:21 AM

Don't tease us with such tantalizing headlines. A foreclosure will mean the bank (NBA) takes over the house (Wizards). And perhaps the bank sells the house to a better owner (someone not so tightfisted with money).

Anyway, yesterday's loss wasn't so bad. They played better than they had been doing.

Posted by: tundey | November 20, 2008 10:29 AM

I say not but I understand your point. Good synopsis, but I still believe this group of players can win games and be competitive. Problem is, EJ does not believe it. 1) Dee Brown showed that he is the fit at the 1 for this team. 2) Still giving too many minutes to ET and DSon at the 5 they donot deserve makes them inept on the floor. Give Dominic McGuire the backup 5 minutes to JM. 3) Let everyone else play there natural positions, but ET, DSon, and AD should be the last three off the bench. 4) With DB at the 1, always stress up tempo run and gun and you will see increased positive play from your players.

But, will EJ see any value in this, I think not which gives your Foreclosure point more credence.

I watched the NBA years ago when they were called the "NDL" the no defense league. Believe me when I say that all this emphasis on defense keeps good basketball players from becoming good teams.

EJ needs to think 100%, how do I keep my team scoring, not how we play defense, not how we matchup, not what the other team is doing.

I know this might seem simplistic, but that may be EJ's problem, he is making it too complicated,...IF this current makeup of players ain't running and gunning i.e. the "NDL" way, they just might be facing FORECLOSURE.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 20, 2008 10:30 AM

Somebody needs to tell Juan Dixon this isn't Maryland anymore....PASS the damn ball. 2 nights ago he took as many shots as CARON that should never happen. Luckily Dixon got benched last night but he still manages to come in and take basically the most important shot of the game. Why is Dixon on the court at that point and why is he taking the shot when he is 1-6 shooting up to that point. This guy shouldn't even be in the league and he is a major contributor on the team. Everyone is looking for a reason for why this team sucks....All you have to do is look at the roster and look at all the pathetic contracts Ernie has given out over the past few years and there is your answer. Half this team should be playing in Europe they are so bad.

FIRE EDDIE and FIRE Grunfeld and let's get this thing turned around.....long overdue should have been done after last season if not before that. Guarantee Eddie will never be a head coach for any other team in the league...so tired of hearing Eddie is a great coach and Grunfeld is a great GM...THEY BOTH SUCK...FIRE THEM!!!!

Posted by: beas13 | November 20, 2008 10:32 AM

Please with the stuff about Arenas as the savior of the franchise. Even the coach is doing it. Late last season everyone was saying how well the team was playing together without him. The only difference this year is Arenas has weak knees. We have two all stars on the team now and a bench that has been developed over time. Time to produce.

Posted by: andypitt | November 20, 2008 10:34 AM

Like Ivan's analogy. This team played over its head last season and EJ did a good job with essentially an 8-man rotation. Now we have no defensive presence in the paint (BTH) or our All-Star PG (or even a healthy AD). On a night when Caron and AJ combine for 50 points, this team should win.

I'm still at a loss how the Wizards would even allow the Hawks to shoot 3-pointers in the last minute up 4. Make them drive the ball inside to score or foul. The Wiz did not play smart on the offensive end either. Our last 3 shots were a horrendous 3-point attempt by DSS, a rushed 20-footer by Dixon, and a hurried follow shot by NY when the shot clock had reset. Caron or AJ should be taking the shots in the last minute.

Even if Arenas is back in a month, we could be 3-17 by Christmas!! Yikes, this team is bad and it's not going to get much better soon. I actually felt sorry to Eddie last night because he actually coached a pretty good game.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 20, 2008 10:38 AM

I am sick and tired of this soft reporting by Ivan. I have seen this coming for along time. How about we ask some real questions to these players?

Hey Nick Young, you are a turnover machine, and everytime you do it you walk to other end of the court smiling, and procede to get a three ball stroked in you eye? How and why is this happening? Oh and why do you think it is so funny?

Hey Jamison, How did you ever get the Wizards to sign you to a 4 year deal when you were 33 years old? I guess I was so caught up with the Arenas signing that, myself Ivan, shat the bed, and forgot to point out that you had a career year in your CONTRACT YEAR. What a coincidence? Jamison plays lights out for a season, and it just happens that the next season he will be seeking a new contract.

Coincidence, I think not.

Hey Andray Blatche, This was supposed to be your break out season this year. So far it has not turned out so great yet. A lot of people are saying you are out of shape and lazy. I think they are crazy, I know you have been practicing hard in b/w your weekly trips to Love Nightclub and other various DC hot spots. I also know that the entourage of Cousins and other various "homies" that live with you have been helping you stay focused. I mean none of them have jobs so they must serve some purpose, right?

Posted by: dominic10464 | November 20, 2008 10:38 AM

sagaliba I was wondering when someone would mention E.J. and the axe.

Is it time for him to go? Has he lost the attention of the locker room? Does he have the right players to play his system?

Are these the right questions to ask?

Posted by: Berndaddy | November 20, 2008 10:40 AM

This is an e-mail I sent my brother yesterday afternoon, before the Hawks game: "Once again to start the season off, the Wizards have all sorts of issues: injuries, playing defense, pushing the ball up the court & getting fast break points, rebounding, getting no production from 3 of the 5 starters, inconsistent outside shooting, no ball movement and team chemistry. This all equals to a very long season of losing if the team doesn't get it together ASAP. They can't wait for a "healthy" Gilbert Arenas to get back in the line-up, try to go on a winning streak & to make a playoff push. The Eastern Conference is finally back, so that means tougher competition on every game night & no "sneaking" into the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed. You think now we would be better off with an Elton Brand, Josh Smith, Baron Davis & Monta Ellis or is it to early in the season to make a fair judgement on this team??"

Posted by: ADloyalfan | November 20, 2008 10:45 AM

Since shout outs to players are being made, mine is, Hey Deshawn "I can't see my face" Stevenson,aren't you a vet as well? Why are you not playing out of your mind like Caron and Jamison. You did it last year. Was that just to get an anomaly and you can't play any better than you are currently playing. If that is the case, we should never have let Mason go. I knew it would come back to haunt us! I am calling out Deshawn! You think you and your game can show up on Friday?? Your team needs you as well. So man up and show us what you are working with? Jeeze, I am tired of my coworker calling my team the "Gizzards"!

Posted by: ivyleague | November 20, 2008 10:48 AM

By the way, I meant to say was that just an anomaly. Sorry for the typo :-)

Posted by: ivyleague | November 20, 2008 10:49 AM

Haha, some of these posts are funny, and some are way off the top. Come on firing Grunfeld or EJ isn't going to change anything on this team of backups. Everyone knows without Arenas, Haywood and Daniels this can be tough.

I do think EJ can better maximize his talent. My starting five would be JaVale, Jamison, Butler, Young and DBrown.

Bring AB, Dominic, DeShawn,and Juan off the bench. For God's sake keep Songaila, and Etan on the bench. The reason we are having these rebounding woes is that Etan is like a midget center and Songaila has like a 2 inch vertical. Blatche needs to get more aggressive and play smarter, so much physical talent but he has no clue how to use it.

I think the Wizards are starting to play better and if they make the changes Isaid they may actually be able to get to .500 by the time Gil is back.

Posted by: insanity999 | November 20, 2008 10:50 AM

I've said this about Grufeld since he was hired....this man has NEVER put together a championship team, so what made everyone here believe he was going to do it with the Wizards??!? If Grunfeld is SERIOUS about making this team a legitimate contender, he needs to fire Eddie Jordan and hire Avery Johnson. Johnson did a good job in Dallas--took them to the Finals, while Jordan has never reached the conference finals--and he gets players to PLAY, something Jordan seems to have a difficult time doing. This team has enough talent on it that it can be competetive without Haywood; I mean c'mon, it wasn't like Haywood was the next Olajuwan/Ewing/Jabbar; McGee is adequate to fill in for him, and someone needs to seriously light a fire under Nick Young and Blatche. Let's give Avery Johnson a call!!!

Posted by: marcarutledge@yahoo.com | November 20, 2008 11:01 AM

Any word on when Gilbert will be back?

Posted by: RomulusBeatRemus | November 20, 2008 11:24 AM

First, the above article is signed by Michael Lee so we need to lay off Ivan (at least for this one). ;)

Second, LarryInClintonMD is saying the same thing I'm saying and that is that we need to push the tempo. We can't win a slow game.

Finally, for all of the criticism that we are giving to players, it seems to me we lose because of the same issues ebverey game. Even Buck mentioned it last night. We have been poor closing out on 3 point shooters for YEARS. Lsst night was lost because of poor rebounding and poor defensive rotations. How many years do we have to watch this before we get a new defensive coach? I know Ayers is relatively new but this problem has persisted. Do we need to have practices where we don't do any offensive drills but go over rotations repeatedly until we get it right?


That's the question that should be answered. If we were even adequate at closing out, we'd have at least 3 or 4 more wins. The Knicks, Heat and now hawks all beat us because we're leaving guys wide open.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 11:25 AM

.....Let's play man to man and if we get continually beat off the dribble, so be it. Hopefully JM will be back there to help out. I'd rather die a slow death by 2's than get buried quickly by 3's. Not everyone can get a shot off in traffic. Almost every player in the league can hit a 3 when wide open.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 11:29 AM

AVERY JOHNSON!!!!!"AKA THE LITTLE GENERAL" AKA "THE BLACK NAPOLEON"!! AKA "COACH CRACK THE WHIP" NOOOOO!! That would be in a word, a disaster his players turned on him in Dallas went to Mark Cuban en masse and demanded he be fired and guess what? he was outta there in a heartbeat.Lets face it until Gil returns and shows he still has "it" they will have to play a little harder Caron showed it last night and the rest of these high paid ballers need to do the same.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 20, 2008 11:36 AM

And what have the Mavs done since they fired him?? Absolutely NOTHING! The Wizards need a taskmaster, someone who will demand respect, and make them work at playing defense; Eddie Jordan isn't getting it done, plain and simple. At the rate they're losing, they can't wait till Arenas returns, something needs to happen soon. Fire Eddie Jordan and get Avery Johnson.

Posted by: marcarutledge@yahoo.com | November 20, 2008 11:55 AM

At the rate they're losing, they can't wait till Arenas returns, something needs to happen soon. Fire Eddie Jordan and get Avery Johnson.

Posted by: marcarutledge@yahoo.com | November 20, 2008 11:55 AM

Why can't they wait? Is the proverbial window close to shutting on the Wizards?

I think not. They're not even in the freakin' yard yet.

Why not use this time to give ALL the yong players experince? This team isn't going ANYWHERE this year or for at least the next three. Mind as well see what you have with McGee, Blatche, McGuire, and whatever other "young guys" they can get on the roster.

I know that most likely can't do this but: Cut Daniels, Trade Jamison, Trade or cut Songalia, Trade or Cut Etan, Trade or Cut Stevenson

--*note, DeShawn Stevenson is atrocious. Flat out and utterly terrible. Matter of fact--CUT STEVENSON yesterday. I'm sick of his whole ACT already. Dude pops off at the mouth at someone who is WORLDS better than him, gets completely embarassed, and CHOKES or doesn't show up altogether when his team needs him the most. Keep shooting your stupid looking 3-pointers, and keep dispalying the perception that you can't do anything else.

DeD0uche Stevenson.

Last couple of re-signings have been: DeD0uche, Andray(LOL), Jamison, and Arenas, right?

Posted by: RedDMV | November 20, 2008 12:26 PM

"I've said this about Grufeld since he was hired....this man has NEVER put together a championship team, so what made everyone here believe he was going to do it with the Wizards??!?"

He's never put together a team that won a title, but he put together a Knicks team that got to the Finals twice (including one season in which their franchise player missed half the playoffs with an injury). And there's certainly no rule that says the only way to win a title is to hire a GM who's already won one, as Joe Dumars and Danny Ainge have proven.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 20, 2008 12:34 PM

I just love how rabidly people are turning on Juan Dixon. Everyone practically wet their pants when the Wiz signed him and shouted down any attempt to point out his fairly obvious flaws and limitations, expecting him to be the spark that turned things around and lifted the team in Arenas's absence.

Reality is hard, ain't it?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 20, 2008 12:40 PM

All GM's who have built championship teams had at one point not done so, so the argument that you need a GM with a ring on his finger is mind-bendingly stupid.

@ Ivan:

Interesting analogy. Here's my question: what does "foreclosure" look like for this team? Is it Eddie and/or Ernie being fired? Is it dumping high salaried vets (possibly Jamison and Caron) and tearing down and starting over? What do you think?

Posted by: TheFunBunch | November 20, 2008 12:42 PM

And out come the experts hoping to trade our garbage for another team's all stars. Do you idiots honestly think that YOU have a better grasp on the value of garbage like AB, DSS, DSong, and Etan than other people who get paid to evaluate talent?

It doesn't take a team of advance scouts to check last night's box score:

Blatche: 4 points, 2 boards in 17 minutes
Etan: 2 points, 5 rebounds in 16 minutes
DSS: 12 points (5-13 from the field, 2-9 (NINE!) from 3pt), 5 assists in 33 minutes
DSong: 2 points, 0 boards (how is that possible?) in 6 minutes

Which one of those guys are you trading an all star for?

Posted by: bryc3 | November 20, 2008 12:52 PM

I wanted Dermarr. Not that he would have made any difference but Juan is redundant with NY on this team. He wasn't able to play the point when he was here the first time around and still can't.

Kal's right in that he is what he is. No need in dumping on him now. Unfortunately, DBrown is probably our best option and that's downright scary. What's REALLY scary is that we're all waiting anxiously for AD to come back. He's incapable of playing uptempo. The fact that we actually need AD is a sign of the Wiz apocalypse.

Posted by: original_mark | November 20, 2008 1:08 PM

i think we're stuck with most of these players for this season. butler, jamison, blatche, young, and mcgee are probably the only tradable players right now, and you're not going to get a lot for the latter three.

on a positive note, players like thomas, daniels, and haywood are going to be in their final year of their contracts next season, so that's about 20 mil in tradable money the wizards could play with. and by then, the team should know more what the it really needs after seeing arenas play with this current roster for over half a season.

Posted by: segastyle | November 20, 2008 1:21 PM

I don't know if the majority of the posters had a chub when Dixon was signed. It probably came from the Terps bandwagon. I am surprised at how poorly he is shooting and given that he's 30 (he's a man, he's 30!!!), I think his minutes should be dwindled a bit and given to the young guys to see what they can do. Obviously, the story would be different if the team was performing better, but since that isn't happening, it's time for Plan B.

Not an overreaction, but a reaction, I'm not calling for a drastic change to something that, for example, has worked for 40 games, and just went bad for 9 games...

Posted by: -CN- | November 20, 2008 1:31 PM

Plan B? They're already on Plan C-.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 20, 2008 1:39 PM

This may have been said, but are serious Juan Dixon?

You stop your dribble to attempt a set play to Antwan, effictively engaged in a double team, with nowhere to go but shoot a standing jumper! That was horrible. Nick's frenzied turn around wasn't much better - NY we had 10 ticks on the clock.

The defense plays like 6th graders, collapsing to the paint like a bee-hive. Guys the lane isn't the Alamo.

This team stinks right now, and its gotta fall on the coaches some. No discipline, no fundamentals, and too many inconsistencies.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | November 20, 2008 2:07 PM

Plan D is to fire Eddie Jordan. Yes, he tweak the starting 5 but he could have made the adjustment about 3-4 games ago. Too late to react (as always).

I just love it when people stop mentioning Etan as the same or even better player than BTH.

Posted by: Dave381 | November 20, 2008 2:16 PM

Second Kal's comment. This team has little talent outside of AJ and Caron. Fact is we miss BTH greatly given the team's defensive deficiencies. He played the pick & roll well, clogged up the lane, and guarded the other team's top big man. Our young players are being forced into roles for which they are not ready (NY and McGee).

This is a 20-25 win team wihtout a healthy Arenas and BTH regardless of the coach. Maybe they'll win 30 games if Arenas is back in Janaury and can play at somewhere near his former level. Fans need to stop harping on what ET, D-Song, and Dixon don't bring to the table. Those are guys who would be at the end of the bench on a good team (and I'm a big Dixon fan.) The young guys McGee and NY should be getting experience, not counted on to play heavy minutes.

Avery Johnson isn't the answer and he has proven that he will alienate a veteran team very quickly. Let EJ ride it out for awhile and see if the team can right the ship. The time for changes are next summer when we're in the lottery and will have some expiring contracts as trade bait (ET, AD, and possibly BTH depending on McGee's development). By then, we'll know if Arenas is permanent damaged goods and whether the whole team should be gutted.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 20, 2008 2:43 PM

Fire Eddie Jordan and hire Avery Johnson.

Posted by: marcarutledge@yahoo.com | November 20, 2008 3:05 PM

He's never put together a team that won a title, but he put together a Knicks team that got to the Finals twice (including one season in which their franchise player missed half the playoffs with an injury). And there's certainly no rule that says the only way to win a title is to hire a GM who's already won one, as Joe Dumars and Danny Ainge have proven.

BUT??!? BUT??!!? Does Grunfeld have a championship ring?? No Does Dumars? Yes Does Ainge? Yes Will Grunfeld get a ring in the next 3 years as GM of the Wizards? Probably not. How can u attack a person's opinion when your own is full of holes?? Wow....

Again, fire Jordan....hire Johnson.

Posted by: marcarutledge@yahoo.com | November 20, 2008 3:11 PM

I missed last night's game and it's the best I've felt as a wizard's fan all season so far. I agree with all comments above - the biggest problem is that even with a healthy pre-surgery superstar Arenas, brendan haywood, etan thomas, this team was never competitive beyond getting to the playoffs. Why is it that night in and night out, the current wizards are getting their butts kicked by some teams that are also shells of their normal or former versions of themselves - see Miami Heat. They have rookies and 2nd year players who are starting and they don't seem to blame mistakes and deficiencies on the "young guys". If you're a professional basketball player, you should be able to shoot free throws, you should arrive for the game ready to play, and you should be diving for loose balls, doing anything to win. It's as if the Wizards are in a different league. Turn on ESPN or TNT to watch the Lakers and the Cavs. Then turn to a Wizards v. Miami game and it's as if we are in a non-basketball playing part of the world. It's really frustrating.

Posted by: fedup1974 | November 20, 2008 3:24 PM

Nice job by Darius crashing the boards in that picture.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | November 20, 2008 3:33 PM

The problem with the Wizards is that they have too many players who are comfortable and feel they have arrived as professionals because they've made the playoffs a few years in a row. Blatche, Young, and to an extent DeShawn Stevenson, think they're elite players, yet they really do give a consistent enough effort to justify their mindsets. Them--and a few other players--seem to play with a certain laziness or lack of focus. This team has no real passion or desire to be champions. They're more concerned with bling, nice haircuts, nice clothes, cars, and what club or party they have V.I.P. access to.

Posted by: marcarutledge@yahoo.com | November 20, 2008 3:44 PM

Nothing really pisses me off more than watching NY laugh at lack of ball-handling skills - happens a few times every game. That is not a mature way of responding to a mistake. And DeShawn Stevenson thinks he's the next Lebron James or something with his stupid "I'm blind" or "I can't see" thing he does every time he surprises himself by actually making a basket. It's really kind of embarrasing. You think a college coach would put up with that kind of BS?

Posted by: fedup1974 | November 20, 2008 3:50 PM

I realize we are shorthanded (haywood, mason, A-zero, but some simple things could help. #1-sit Young & Blatche down and tell them to stop trying to dribble between two defenders that are one inch apart..they are killing us with the turnovers. #2-on offense, we get no boards, have the shooter follow his shot in always or have the 2 forwards ALWAYS crash the boards after a shot. The wizkids take off after a shot while other teams always crash the boards on offense and get easy put backs. #3-why is it that professional athletes are allowing people to drive from the top of the key past wiz defenders and dunk down the lane uncontested. Each time,3 wiz defenders are in range, but are standing and watching. Why not slide over and take the hit before they get to the basket? I do not believe they played above their means last year, they just executed better..and they are not right now.

Posted by: leopsan | November 21, 2008 9:50 AM

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