All-Star Streak Over?

You get the feeling that former Coach Eddie Jordan and Antonio Daniels likely aren't the only casualties of the woeful start to this season.

The Wizards are 4-16 after last night's embarrassing 122-88 loss against the Boston Celtics, but they still have a mathematical, best-case-scenario, dream-the-impossible-dream chance of making the playoffs (Though unlikely - the Wizards are projected to win just 16 games this season - they trail eighth-place Chicago by just 5 ½ games with 63 remaining). But even with an improbable, Gilbert Arenas-fueled second-half run, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Wizards' string of four consecutive seasons with at least one all-star will also come to an end next February in Phoenix.


Will you vote for us?

The first all-star voting results were released on Thursday, and no Wizard came within a 13-hour flight of one of the five starting positions in the Eastern Conference. An interesting situation involves New Jersey forward Yi Jianlian, who probably shouldn't have been on the ballot but could disrupt things a bit if Chinese fans decide to elect their countryman over Kevin Garnett and LeBron James. Yi is nipping at Garnett, which is pretty shameful. But let's assume that Garnett and James will get the nods as starting forwards. And, since the coaches certainly wouldn't pick Jianlian, that still leaves only a few slots open at forward.

Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison combine to form the highest scoring forward tandem in the NBA, and they are one of two sets of teammates that average at least 20 points each this season (New Jersey's Devin Harris and Vince Carter are the others). But the Wizards' terrible record practically guarantees that they won't be making a repeat of last season, when both players represented the organization in New Orleans.

The Wizards have had at least one an all-star representative each year since Arenas and Jamison made the team in 2005. That four-year run is the longest since the Bullets had all-stars in three consecutive years from 1986 to 1988.

But it doesn't compare to an incredible stretch in franchise history when the Bullets/Zephyrs were represented in every all-star game from 1962 to 1980 -- a run that started with Walt Bellamy and ended with Elvin Hayes. Earl Monroe, Gus Johnson, Terry Dischinger, Bailey Howell, Dan Ohl, Wes Unseld, Jack Marin, Archie Clark, Phil Chenier, Dave Bing and Bob Dandridge also made all-star appearances during that astonishing, 19-year run.

The Wizards have had just three different guys the past four years (could've been four if Larry Hughes hadn't been hurt in 2005).

After James and Garnett, Chris Bosh is a virtual lock and Paul Pierce pretty much is one, too. That leaves possibly two more forward slots -- if the coaches decide to choose only forwards as their wild cards. Indiana's Danny Granger and either Hedo Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis from Orlando could swipe those forward spots once occupied by Butler and Jamison. Elton Brand could leap into the discussion if Philadelphia can get break free of its early season stammer.

Coaches could decide to put Bosh in as a backup center, but if the fans somehow vote for Yi, Butler and Jamison will definitely be on the outside looking in -- although, considering the circumstances, those two pros surely would trade an all-star appearance for a few more wins.

It's difficult to focus on individual accolades in the midst of team misery -- those are the things that really lead to splintering among teammates -- but I was wondering if you think Butler and Jamison should get some sort of honor for consistently bringing it, even when their chances of winning often seem slim.

By Michael Lee |  December 12, 2008; 11:36 AM ET
Previous: TNT's Halftime Report | Next: Stevenson's Struggles

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



People, people, people, facts are facts. This Wiz dillema is simple. They DO NOT, CAN NOT, and WILL NOT defend the 3 ball. It's as clear as day. I read all this hogwash about BTH being the remedy, and that is nonsense. He is garbage, along with Etan, and Javale (who should be solid if he gains 25 lbs in the next year or two, his athleticism and gifts aret hings Etan and BTH do not and never will have).

Back to the subject at hand, when I saw Ray Allen hit 4 open 3's in the 1st quater, I knew it would be long night. Then Eddie House got in on the act, and Paul missed a few wide open ones.

Another problem, (i love Juan Dixon, i really do), but Juan is NOT a PG. I know, I know, we had no other options, but he is a scorer, not a PG. As much as I hate to say it, we really did niss AD and Dee last night.

Now finally, the bottom line: NICK YOUNG NEEDS TO BE STARTING FOR DS, AND GETTING 30-40 MINS PER GAME. DS looked like a D-league player last night on National TV. He is veteran who's been in the league a long time, no excuses. Yeah, we all know Nick is not a good defender, but if DS is supposed our "defensive guy", then it is clearly not working. His D is very overrated. How much worse could Nick do on the defensive side. I mean come on, were giving up 103.5ppg, 2nd worst in the East. Sure NY will not help the defensive issue, but at least he will give us consistent scoring and the ability to create his own shot and penetrate (not to mention highlight reels). ED needs to give him 35mpg minimum for the rest of the year, and I GUARANTEE you all this kid blossoms into a great player by next year. He will get us 17ppg if he gets the mins. DS is averaging 7.9pts in 29.2 mins. NY is averaging 11ppg in 23.4 mpg. Do the math people. We NEED scoring out of our 2-guard spot, it is as clear as day. Very Simple. Come on folks, the season is pratically lost, let NY develop into the All-Star he is capable of being. DS has no hope of ever being an All-Star.

So there you have it, thanks for reading. I hope Tapscott takes notes.

Posted by: cj658 | December 12, 2008 11:53 AM

Hollinger's take on who won and lost in the Wiz/Hornets trade. Interesting

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime

New Orleans has to be feeling like it got something for nothing. Wednesday's trade of Mike James for Antonio Daniels went under the radar, given the bigger deal made by Phoenix, but it's really going to help the Hornets. Backup point guard had been an open sore for them all season, and in one swoop, they addressed it with a productive veteran who might benefit from the reduced minutes he'll have to play in New Orleans.

The Wizards lose on this part of the deal. James had a player efficiency rating of 8.75 in 2007-08 and is at 6.14 this season, and he is among the worst defenders at his position. Meanwhile, Daniels registered 13.65 last season and is at 11.19 this season, with a caveat to the latter figure being his recent track record of slow starts and strong finishes. The trade was cap-neutral, with each player at $6 million and expiring next season, so it's really a free upgrade for the Hornets.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 12, 2008 12:01 PM

CJ658, those facts you are talking about are made insignificant by the weakness of your opinions.

Kalo_rama, your analogy makes sense. But, given your analogy I believe it is a win win for both teams. AD gets healthy and gives the type of backup play that NO's want. And if JC pans out for us, cause our point play sucks, then we win too.

LarryInClintonMD

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 12, 2008 12:25 PM

(A)It's not my writing and (B) what analogy?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 12, 2008 12:30 PM

Interesting stats for the Wizards:

+/- per 10 minutes this season (Opec, James, and Crittenton were excluded due to lack of reasonable minutes):

Darius Songaila + 0.4
Nick Young + 0.024
Andray Blatche - 0.031
Juan Dixon - 0.26
Dominic McGuire - 0.54
Caron Butler - 1.46
Antawn Jamison - 1.76
Javale McGee - 2.37
DeShawn Stevenson - 2.71
Etan Thomas - 5.92


DSong and NY are the only 2 players in the positive for the season. DeShawn is the worst starter of the group. Etan Thomas costs the team roughly 1 point every 2 minutes he's on the court.


(Just in case anyone was interested, OPec has a + 4.45 per 10 minutes on the court)

Posted by: psps23 | December 12, 2008 12:31 PM

Hollinger's assessment is correct if it was AD to James trade-off. It was not. He's missing a couple of players involved in the trade.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 12, 2008 12:47 PM

LarryinClinton MD: So I guess you are authorized to state who's opinions make sense, and who don't. Thanks for the much needed feedback (cough, cough).

In reality, everything I stated was backed up with facts, go back and read it pal. (NY's stats, DS's stats, the Wiz giving up threes, Juan is not a PG, etc, ALL FACTS).

Posted by: cj658 | December 12, 2008 1:17 PM

I agree with Dave381 on Hollinger's assessment.

It kind of misses the point.
Antonio Daniels is an upgrade for NO at backup PG, but the NO part of the trade is a footnote to the real deal we were trying to swing, which was returning a conditional pick to Memphis for Crittenton, which we couldn't do unless another team was willing to get involved. Enter NO.

Now, if we thought we were in position to make a serious playoff run, keeping AD for the short term might have made sense, which is why it works for NO, but clearly the GM was looking to use the remainder of this season to build for the future and evaluate talent.

Whether that makes sense is open to debate, but I think Hollinger is looking at this from a narrow perspective if he thinks we upgraded NO for nothing.

Posted by: gconrads | December 12, 2008 2:17 PM

Michael Lee said: "But I was wondering if you think Butler and Jamison should get some sort of honor for consistently bringing it."

Have you been watching the same games I have, Mike? Plus, since when is someone an all-star just because he tries every game (on the offensive end)?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 12, 2008 3:11 PM

The thing about the NBA, even the WORST teams can score 88 points a night. All this nonsense about AJ and CB being the highest scoring forward tandem is bunk. They are so because they have a rookie center and the WORST back court in the NBA. Somebody has to be scoring the points, and we all know it's not going to be DeShawn Stevenson.


Posted by: MBUSA | December 12, 2008 3:21 PM

psps23, based on the +- numbers the answer is simple--they need to free Pech, and let him get some buckets, son! Hopefully not get dunked on too often . . .

Posted by: bucky_katt | December 12, 2008 3:38 PM

Kalo_rama, What part of this posting isn't you?

Hollinger's take on who won and lost in the Wiz/Hornets trade. Interesting

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime

New Orleans has to be feeling like it got something for nothing. Wednesday's trade of Mike James for Antonio Daniels went under the radar, given the bigger deal made by Phoenix, but it's really going to help the Hornets. Backup point guard had been an open sore for them all season, and in one swoop, they addressed it with a productive veteran who might benefit from the reduced minutes he'll have to play in New Orleans.
The Wizards lose on this part of the deal. James had a player efficiency rating of 8.75 in 2007-08 and is at 6.14 this season, and he is among the worst defenders at his position. Meanwhile, Daniels registered 13.65 last season and is at 11.19 this season, with a caveat to the latter figure being his recent track record of slow starts and strong finishes. The trade was cap-neutral, with each player at $6 million and expiring next season, so it's really a free upgrade for the Hornets.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 12, 2008 12:01 PM

What am I missing?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 12, 2008 5:33 PM

CJ658, the facts you state are of no significance. Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, and Majic Johnson were not true points, but they played some of the best point in the game. Extrapolating facts is good, but if we want to use that, then why isn't JM, DM, Pech, and AB all not playing more.
Why did not DB get more PT when he showed the capability to not only run the team but to hit 3's. And when he played the team played better in case you didn't notice stat man.

And this statement,

"I read all this hogwash about BTH being the remedy, and that is nonsense. He is garbage, along with Etan, and Javale (who should be solid if he gains 25 lbs in the next year or two, his athleticism and gifts aret hings Etan and BTH do not and never will have).",

is hogwash. You obviously do know what an NBA center is. ETan is not, BH and JM are and they are not garbage. JM has reach and he can jump out of the gym, but because he can do that is no reason to trash BH.

You must have been one of the BH haters from the git go and one of ones always moaning "we don't have no center", Yeah we didn't have one because Eddie Jordan kept him stuck on the bench and never gave him a fair chance to prove himself.

You can't get stats if you stuck on the bench and once you get in the game and break a sweat, you get yanked. Can't get stats that way. And what about last year stat man, when BH had to play cause EJ had no choice but to play him. Give me those stats, Stat Man. Yeah you probably say they wasn't good enough.

CJ658, sometimes the best stats in the world are the ones you cannot measure.

Wilt Chamberlain has stats in the NBA that will never be broken and he is one of my favorite all time players, but when you count NBA champioships stat man, I don't think has has the most.

Stat Man CJ658, stats might tell you some things, but they don't tell you everything.

Your stats tell you that this season is lost. "I Beg To Differ". And since you so smart wit your stats, That phrase is famous. What does it mean?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 12, 2008 6:22 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company