Cavaliers 93, Wizards 89

I've been writing this blog now for three seasons and those of you who have read it regularly know that I rarely shine too much attention on referees. My personal belief is that NBA refs as a whole are pretty solid and do a good job of calling a very difficult to call, fast-moving game. Calls go back and forth and generally, the team that deserves to win does.

This game was different. Let's just say that the crew of Joe DeRosa, Luis Grillo and Courtney Kirkland made some curious calls.

With 1:33 to go and the Wizards up 89-84, LeBron James missed a three from the top of the key but was awarded three free throws when DeRosa ruled that Caron Butler made contact with James' face. From my seat, right at the scorer's table, Butler didn't touch him. Also, James is a guy who recoils in agony any time he's reomotely touched in the face area - we all remember him repeatedly grabbing his lip over years - but on this play he did nothing. Didn't flinch.

The next two calls that went against the Wiz involved Antawn Jamison. First, he was called for a charge (Kirkland) right after James made those three free throws, and then after Delonte West missed a three for Cleveland, he was whistled for his sixth foul while scrapping with Anderson Varajeo under the basket. It appeared that Jamison was pushed in the back on the play and the contact between Jamison and Varajeo was typical jostling for position stuff but the call went the other way and Jamison was done.

Ed Tapscott was diplomatic afterward:"We should have had the win but there were a couple of poor executions on our part and there were some other poor executions out there. Those were big plays that did not go our way."

It wouldn't look so bad if the entire game wasn't packaged as a LeBron James marketing tool. Everything from the uniforms the teams wore to the way the game was hyped to the non-stop playing of that chalk commercial was about one guy: James. Guess it's good to be king.

The Wizards certainly made some key mistakes that had nothing to do with the zebras. Jamison missed a key short scoop shot he normally makes, Butler was called for a legit charge with 8.7 seconds left (Jamison being off the floor really helped because it allowed the Cavs to trap Butler early on that play), Jamison had a turnover that led directly to a three-point play by James and DeShawn Stevenson tossed up a couple off bricks before getting yanked with 7:05 to go.

Bottom line: bad calls or not, struggling teams find ways to lose games like this and that is what happened to the Wizards. Again.

-Frustration is building for Javaris Crittenton. The guy was traded from Memphis to Washington with the idea that he would finally get a chance to grow and develop and yet, he's seen very little action and got a DNP last night. At some point, this team has to find out what it has in the guy. Unless Ernie Grunfeld has some trade in mind that will involve flipping Mike James, it's hard to see the value in not at least looking at Crittenton. Ditto for JaVale McGee, who was a DNP-CD despite facing a huge Cavaliers front line.

-Playing Dominic McGuire is already paying off. Yes, he remains a major work in progress offensively but the guy can defend multiple spots, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists with one block and no turnovers in 36 mioutes last night. if he can get to the point where he finishes plays at the rim, he'll be a really nice weapon.

-They are only whispers but I'm hearing chatter that Gilbert Arenas and the team is seriously pondering whether to bring him back at all this season. He originally targeted Dec. 1 as a possible comeback date and certainly expected to be in uniform last night but remains on the shelf with not clear date in sight.

-No practice today. I'm planning on having my x-mas when I get home this morning.


By Ivan Carter |  December 26, 2008; 6:08 AM ET
Previous: Wizards at Cavs | Next: The Other Side: Oklahoma City Thunder

Comments

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vs. OK Thunder:

Crit, Young, Mac, Blatche, McGee - 30-35 minutes

Posted by: Izman | December 26, 2008 6:50 AM

An imaginary foul on Bron's 3 point shot. A bogus offensive foul on Jamison, when he leaves the ground and the guy slides under him. Then, to top it all off, Jamison fouls out on a REBOUND for god's sake...

When was the last time an all-star fouled out on a rebound.

Wonder how much Nike paid the zebras for that one?

Posted by: jones-y | December 25, 2008 10:55 PM

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 7:21 AM

An imaginary foul on Bron's 3 point shot. A bogus offensive foul on Jamison, when he leaves the ground and the guy slides under him. Then, to top it all off, Jamison fouls out on a REBOUND for god's sake...

When was the last time an all-star fouled out on a rebound.

Wonder how much Nike paid the zebras for that one?

Posted by: jones-y | December 25, 2008 10:55 PM

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 7:22 AM

If I were ETap, I would've put McGee on the floor every single time big Z sat down. At the very least he can outrun varejao and big ben is old. Tell him his job is rebounds and blocks.

And why no offense-defense substitutions going down the stretch? And did anyone else notice that Etan looked lost out there?

And why, oh why, when you need a huge rebound on a freethrow with a minute to go, is Antawn Jamison the tallest man on the floor? Put JM, DM and AB in, get the rebound, call a timeout.

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 12:12 AM

-------------------------------
Well there are some positives. the wiz played hard, were in it at the end even with CB having a horrible night, and AB turned in another solid effort.

AB earned his PT tonight, he had a very respectable line, 12pts on 50% shooting, 6reb 2ast 2stl 1blk 1 turnover in 35 minutes.

I think I like the 1 turnover in 35min of PT stat the most.

And DMac was terrific, adding 11reb (5 on the offensive boards) and 7ast and turned in a solid defensive effort against the monkey (helped hold him to 18). But seven assists, wow. And no turnovers! He's playing like a vet. If he can keep that up (and add a solid jumpshot to his repertoire), he can be a James Posey type.

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 1:37 AM

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 7:27 AM

Ivan, you sound like you read my posts...

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 7:33 AM

"Ivan, you sound like you read my posts..."

Ivan does, that's why I like this blog. :)

I'm happy about D.Mac, sad about Crit, but here's the question that I still would like to know:

Why is Stevenson STILL on the floor at the end of games? Seriously, that guy is useless on so many levels. I knew when he was launching those bombs at the end the game was over.

You shouldn't just bench that guy, you should bury him WAY at the end with Etan.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 26, 2008 8:02 AM

It really amazes me how pretentious Queen James is. Having the team change their uniforms from home to road jerseys because of the launch of the guy's new shoe?! Are you kidding me?!

And the rosin-on-the-hands and tossing it into the air was NOT started by LeBron James, as it seems everyone wants people to believe. I saw Kevin Garnett doing that before James did. He just stole it from Garnett and made it his thing.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 26, 2008 8:39 AM

It was Christmas in Cleveland and the refs made sure it was a Merry one. They should have reffed the last 2 minutes with Santa hats on as they delivered a heisted victory to LeBron for his new shoe unveiling.

I used to be an NBA fan. Last year my interest in the league plummetted due mostly to consistently atrocious officiating that favors the game's stars. Last night was the first time I tried to watch a Wiz game, and the last couple of minutes gave me that sick feeling all over again.

Apparently the league has no problem turning one of their televised games into a Nike commercial. Then all the usual crap down the stretch - ticky-tack and imaginary fouls to hand the game to LeTravel. And what's with LeBron talking trash about a 4-23 team before the game??

Whatever...WWE Smackdown has more legitimacy in my eyes. At least they don't try to pretend like it's nothing but fixed entertainment.

Posted by: p1funk | December 26, 2008 8:50 AM

well I am posting from Cleveland, fan of the cavs for a long long time and I usually dont check in here until the postseason....

the bottom line was LBJ didnt play well last night- his teammates carried the team - also and inspite of that and his struggles at the FT line, he made 3 in a row when he had to. When the Wiz players had their chances it just didnt happen - Jamison's shot, Butler trashing through people like he's back on the playground and missed free throws, and an airball from the corner..

The Wizards did a great job moving the ball and dribble driving and dishing for scores...as the game drew to as close that last pass that was there the whole game wasnt made and they settled for some flailing shots...you can't go o - for the last 6 or 7 possessions and blame the refs. There are always dubious calls, always no matter who is playing...go back and watch Arenas and his footwork..he got away with as much as anyone....

Posted by: dcar403906 | December 26, 2008 9:04 AM

The league is on the heels of a game-fixing scandal. Is anyone surprised at this point by suspicious officiating? LeCryBaby and his team will always get those calls. But at least we weren't treated to his petulant theatrics last night. It says something when there is so little contact that even he doesn't cry about it, but the refs STILL give him the call.

How long with Tap, a DC native, continue to let DSS embarrass this franchise and city with his terrible play and antics? As if it weren't bad enough that he gets booed every time he touches the ball, he now has the commentators pointing out how ridiculous it is. He contributes nothing to this team, and it's time for him to go.

The coaching mistakes at the end of the game were typical. And even though I hoped we'd pull it out, you have to realize that if LeTravel is playing at home, on national TV, against your lineup that includes Darius Songaila, Dominic McGuire, Mike James, Andray Blatche and Caron Butler, you have no chance of winning. With the game on the line in what's arguably your best game of the season, you've got 4 D League players on the court. The Wiz are starting to look like the Nats.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 26, 2008 9:08 AM

Hopefully the Clipards finally understand the season is over and start thinking about next year and start

JC pg, CB sg, DM sf, AB pf, JM c
2nd team
MJ pg, NY sg, AJ sf, DS pf, ET c

The owner, GM and coach are not worried if the young guys can play. They are waiting for Gilbert to come back to put fans in the seats. It is all about the bottom line $$$$ when it should be about getting better. Why trade for JC if you are not going to play him?

At least the announcers brought up the fact how can DS who was shooting 25 percent wave his hand in front of his face and say he can not feel it. I liked it when LeBron slapped DS in the face, he felt it then!

I posted this last night, thanks Ivan for writing about it maybe someone will read what you write because I know they do not care what the fans think.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 26, 2008 9:22 AM

There are always dubious calls, always no matter who is playing...go back and watch Arenas and his footwork..he got away with as much as anyone....

Posted by: dcar403906 | December 26, 2008 9:04 AM

You've got to be kidding me...you really think that LBJ gets away with "just as much" as other guys like Arenas? Go back and watch Arenas's footwork???!!?? What the heck does that mean? Look at his footwork where? In what game? When did Arenas's "dubious" footwork win a game down the stretch for the Wiz???

The Wiz are crap right now. Granted. But I can certainly blame the refs for imaginary contact on LeBron's 3, I can blame them for a HORRIBLE offensive foul on Jamison, and I can blame them for a dubious ticky-tack on a loose ball to foul out Jamison - all within the last 2 minutes. Tell me down the stretch in the last 3 minutes if there was one - just ONE call - that the Wiz got...

Whatever, it's not like you can see it objectively...

Posted by: p1funk | December 26, 2008 9:32 AM

With 37 sec to go, Wizards led 89-88, Cavs had the ball, ET took out Blatche and put in Stevenson. Forcing your scoring weapon with 5 fouls (Jamison) to play center on defense is a move I can't understand. Defense has never been Jamison's forte anyway, if you want to play "offense-defense" substitution, why leave Jamison in (with 5 fouls no less)? Make you wonder if Wizards coaching staffs had lost track of the foul situation. Lo and behold, Jamison picked up his 6th foul trying to prevent bigger Varejao from getting the rebound. Varejao made both FTs; now Wizards not only had to catch up but without their top weapon of the night, game over!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 26, 2008 9:46 AM

Sorry guys I am going to break my self imposed sanction to weigh in on Queen James, David Stern has a mandate and that mandate is; to make sure the crybaby wins at all cost never mind that those calls going down the stretch last night were total BS.The wizards played hard last night didn't say they played smart but its hard to win when the ref's don't allow you to at least contest for a rebound or defend during the latter parts of a game.Stern and the NBA should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 26, 2008 9:48 AM

I read that Arenas may not play this year at all.

WTF???? that's why you pay a guy $111 millon? to enjoy life for nothing?

If they decide to do that, Gil should talk a pay cut of 20 millon buck for not showing up or trade him for good, which they should do last year before signing him up for that ridiculous amount of money.

Posted by: paparulo | December 26, 2008 9:56 AM

That game was a heart breaker. I agree with Ivan though, why guys like Crittendon and McGee arent playing is beyond me. That is just crazy.

I do like what I see out of McGuire. The kid is tough, defensive minded, and plays hard.....unoike other young guys such as Nick Young and Andray Blatche.

Posted by: Roman5 | December 26, 2008 10:22 AM

How do you keep Arenas out and still maintain you're not in it just for the lottery pick? I paid retail for season tickets; will there be a give-up refund? Does this mean the healthy guys can bag it too?

Posted by: joe2chase | December 26, 2008 10:33 AM

Everyone, get real. This game was routine, business as usual in the NBA. Meaning, the good teams win on a night to night basis with the minimum necessary effort. So the Cavs kept it close until they closed it out in the last 4 minutes.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 26, 2008 10:36 AM

With proper substitutions, this game may have been a little closer. First of all, CB should not be the one getting the ball in crunch time. He's not a closer. Nor is AJ, for that matter but at least he will try to drive sometimes and isn't one dimensional offensively.
Mike James was 10-14 from the field last night and was on fire. Why was he not involved in crunchtime? Caron finished at 3-13. I'm not suggesting that James is our regular closer but clearly CB was not on his game. It didnt take a genius to see that he should not be the one getting the ball when we need a bucket.
In a close ame, this team is missing 2 critical skills...
a guy who can draw a foul because he gets calls from refs and a guy who can make a shot without needing help.

Gilbert.

And for the record, I've had the same surgeries that Gil has had (and more). If he's not 100%, he's close. He could definitely be playing but he's being held out until he's at 100% because of the money paid out. I don't think we're purposely tanking it because we'd be starting rookies if we were.

Cav Fan, some of those calls last night WERE ridiculous. I'm a Wiz fan but I'm being impartial here. Even LJ looked kinda surprised at the foul call on the 3 point shot.

Posted by: original_mark | December 26, 2008 10:46 AM

Conspiracy. NBA has ref's foul out Jamison so Cav's won't lose on Christmas Day to the Wizards.
Surely, I jest. Have to keep the spirits up.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 25, 2008 10:51 PM

Ivan, I jest but I'm not laughing. That crew probably didn't think the Wiz's should beat the Cavs and there whistle calls showed their bias.

You know I been dogging the wrong coaching philosophy for this team steadily. Don't know what to say anymore.

We all can point to player error or bad play, but the final denominater is that something has to be done with the philosophical direction of this Team.

Even if we are giving up on the season, Hell, we ain't even doing that the right way.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 26, 2008 12:05 AM

Not playing JC is huge I think, ditto for JM. Mike James did well last night. I have to give him more credit, however, he is a grind it out PG. Not exactly what this team needs. We need to find out if JC is an UpTemPo PG. We need to get our scoring average over 100 per. We know JM can run the floor. GA can also UpTemPo from either guard position. From the comments he made during the game, I think he will return.

They need to make Stevenson practice with the Mystics (the Girls), clearly there is something up wit' that boy. After they slap his butt around for 'I'm so hot I can't see my face' he might be able to see the damn rim.

And, did yawl' notice the commentators were going on his donkey. Hilarious.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 26, 2008 10:50 AM

-Frustration is building for Javaris Crittenton. The guy was traded from Memphis to Washington with the idea that he would finally get a chance to grow and develop and yet, he's seen very little action and got a DNP last night. At some point, this team has to find out what it has in the guy. Unless Ernie Grunfeld has some trade in mind that will involve flipping Mike James, it's hard to see the value in not at least looking at Crittenton. Ditto for JaVale McGee, who was a DNP-CD despite facing a huge Cavaliers front line.

By Ivan Carter | December 26, 2008; 6:08 AM ET
Previous: Wizards at Cavs |

Well Ivan it finally looks like you are seeing what we have been seeing the last 10 games. How can Crittenton get any minutes when ETap is bascially going to a 3 guard rotation (James, NY and Stevenson)?

Again, there is no way Stevenson should be getting minutes over Juan or Crittenton right now. But for whatever reason, Etap has to play him just like Eddie J' had to play him. I don't know what that dude has on them, but it has to be something......

Grunfield is going to have to step in and remove Etap's two favorite options (Song. and Stevenson). That is the only way NY and McGee are going to get any minutes.

Lastly, as I have said before 2 weeks ago; Tapscott has to torch that idea about always having CB and AJ on the floor at all times. They are not Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.

CB is taxed by the end of the 4th quarter because Etaps does not give him proper blows to prepare for the closing run in the 4th. The same for AJ. Those minutes could be given to McGee.

Crittenton, Dixon, McGee, Thomas, Opec, NY all are DNP's or very little token minutes. Not good.

The only thing I like Etap has done was give AB consistent minutes and decrease Etan's minutes which Eddie J' would not have ever done. I have no problem with Mike James starting because he gives us playmaking ablities at the 1 which we did not have.

Other then that, AB and McMee should be playing togeter and OPEC should be the backup 5....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 26, 2008 10:54 AM

I have been a Gizards/Bullets fan all of my life, and sitting back trying my best not to allow emotions to factor in my opinion of the team --- here we go:

1) Franchise as a whole from marketing to personnel moves to even medical staff is still in the 1970's. We operate like we are a minor league team in a minor league market, when actually we are in a Top 5 market.

2) Lack of defense. I don't understand WHY the players do not buy into the concept. They don't even look vaguely interested in doing so.

3) Too, too, too many jump shots. The Princeton offense obviously is too complicated, especially when it takes months for a talent such as Crittenton to even get average minutes. Ridiculous!! I would think a 4-23 record, would allow the coaching staff and the players to analyze why. No penetration, lack of assists, lack of going to free throw line, lack of getting other teams in foul trouble. Ivan, is it possible to do a comparison of total free throws we have attempted compared to opponents?

4) Lack of the development of the youngsters. Its as if the franchise thinks we are still in contention. Look at the Miami hot for example. Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion along with other key players were injured last year. Riley made a decision to use that year to get his young players the experience they needed to help them make a CHAMPIONSHIP run. They did that plus received the 2nd pick in the draft. Look at them this year. Even if Gilbert and Brendan come back, WE ARE NOT a CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER!! This franchise should be making moves and planning to do what is necessary not to make the playoffs, but to WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!

Have I missed anything?? This is so painful!! Embarrasing!! Did you see how Barkley and Smith were clowning this franchise? Does this franchise have any pride not to be the national joke??!! Even Mo Williams talked about the lack of defense of the Gizards!!

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | December 26, 2008 10:57 AM

This has been a painful season, but yet most of us here continue to watch this games and torture ourselves. While the players share the blame for a lot of it, I'm most disgusted with the coaching, let's at least put good lineups and substitution patterns out there to give our good players an opportunity to improve. Enough Stevenson for god's sake and lets at least allow most of the team to get some minutes.

I for one will not go to another Wizards game this year if they shelve Arenas for the year. Practically and for a fan sense it makes sense to bring him back this year. The season is gone so Arenas can at least use it to work his way back so that all the kinks and rust will be off for the start of next year. If they bring him back next year its going to be half a season of him working his way back and gelling with the team as well as implementing the new offense of whatever coach they hire.

God, this team is so mismanaged.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 26, 2008 11:06 AM

Barkley is MJ's wife and takes every opportunity to clown us even when we're playing well. I'd ignore him if I were you.

Posted by: original_mark | December 26, 2008 11:24 AM

These comments are hilarious!!!
The funny parts is the fact that Wizzards fans call LeBron a crybaby when NOBODY cries like Wizzard fans! The CAVs (unknown to Wizzard fans and writers we have a whole team! We are not LeBron,we are the CAVs!!!)we have been kicking your butts for 4 years but according to these sore losers we have been getting ALL the calls for all of these years, yet you complain your own players are sorry. You talk about how sorry Stevenson is (quite correctly), you complain about Caron Butler (an excellent player), you criticise Jamison (a player we would love to have), you criticise your coach's substitutions (as your did for Eddie Jordan), you criticise your staff for resigning Show-up Zero (I'm mean Agent Zero)and we both know you would have criticised them for not resigning All-Talk Zero). Actually when you really think about it Mr. I can't feel my brain Stevenson, doesn't represent the Wizzard's very well in the national perspective but he does a great job of representing and duplicating your fans and basketball beat writers!"Minimize everyone else's accomplishments and do a lot of talking but don't back it up" THAT IS YOUR MOTTO!

Posted by: LandofCleve1 | December 26, 2008 11:29 AM

And by the way, I like Nick Young but he needs to stick to what he does best right now and that is scoring. I'm seeing more and more, what little PT he is getting, they have him trying to run the offense. Just have him spot up and score, whether he shoots or drives for his shot. If you ask him to do too many things, he could turn into a DStev. And good Lord, we donot need anymore DStev syndromes.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 26, 2008 11:32 AM

random thoughts:

Mo Williams said that we don't rotate very well. Uhhh, yeah.

Even when he's playing his best, Songaila is a ninth or tenth man who should get no more than 10 minutes per game. Why does he seem to be really bad at holding onto rebounds but catches every pass sent his way? I'm tired of seeing guys take the ball from him. He has selective hands of stone.


So Juan is worse than Deshawn now? He can't even get off the bench?

I hope no one is giving the coach(es) any credit for making a move that everyone here suggested a year ago...(moving CB to guard and playing McGuire.)

I saw Etan last night. I guess JM is our 4th best C behind AB, Etan and Songaila? Wow. How do you go from starter to DNP in a week or two? Same for Juan.

I saw this team really getting after it on defense for a stretch. This proved to me that it's all about effort and desire. These guys can be good defensively if they wanted to be. the key is getting it out of them and that's on the coach.

We should offer Thibodeau our head coaching position as soon as the Celtic season is over. As much as I love offense, I can only imagine what a good defensive coach could do with long armed guys like AB, JM, BTH, NY and McGuire.

Where's Pech? It would have been nice to be able to pull Sideshow BOB away from the basket on defense. An outside threat does that for you.

Posted by: original_mark | December 26, 2008 11:35 AM

I have not looked at this blog before, but I was so frustrated that I wanted to post something. I am proud of the fans for their willingness to take on LeChoke and the refs. I thought me and my sons were the only ones not heralding the "King." Where to start. First, the refs were an embarassment to the NBA. I think their role in the game (and everytime LeChoke plays) is worse than Donaghy. At least, it was money related for him (although I guess you could say that by making those atrocious calls the refs are keeping their employment sponsored by the NBA management solid). As to LeChoke, he is the worst crybaby, poor sport I have ever seen. The way he crys at every call (he got one foul and the Wizards had about 20 less free throws then the Cavs) is disgraceful. Remember, he is the one that went up to talk to Gilbert before he took free throws a few years ago. He always wears a scowl and shows off after virtually every basket. He will never be able to fill the shoes (although he has nice new ones!!) of Kobe, MJ, etc. Basically, he is classless and he didn't win the game yesterday--that honor goes to the refs and a few of his teammates. Toobad ET does not have enough money to call the refs out.

Posted by: jakles | December 26, 2008 11:38 AM

I realize that a moral victory is no victory at all, but this was a respectable performance by a badly struggling team. They outplayed Cleveland for 461/2 minutes, unfortunately the games are 48 minutes long.

I wouldn't blame the refs for the outcome. A little smarter play at the end of the game by the two co-captains would have resulted in a win last night.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | December 26, 2008 11:48 AM

Why are Cavs fans even here?

I'm a Skins fan (winning season) but I don't go to the Cleveland blogs and talk about the 4-11 Browns.

Face it, Cav. The main reason we lost to you guys for the first two times in the playoffs was because our coach was clueless about what he had on the bench in BTH.

The third time, we were hurt. You guys have yet to see us when fully healthy.


Finally, I watched a replay of the 2006 game where Gil missed those 2 free throws and I got a reminder of exactly what we are missing. What ppl seem to forget is that he hit a 30 footer to get us into OT in that game. With Gilbert, we are a vastly different team. We saw how close we can come to winning against good teams last night when Mike James did his Gilbert impression. I have no clue when he's coming back but I'd put this team up against any in the league with a healthy big 3 and BTH back there.

GA, CB, DM, AJ, and BTH as a starting set is potentially very good both offensively and defensively. Combine that with NY, JM, and AB coming off the bench and we'll have depth, too. Alternately, start AB at pf and bring AJ off the bench next year.

I may have to wait til next year to see it but I'm patient.

Posted by: original_mark | December 26, 2008 11:52 AM

Very, very frustrating game. Effort, patience and even some defense from the Zards. You had feeling that Cavs were not in it mentally and neither was the crowd. You waited for a run from the Cavs and they never got into a flow till the refs decided to help them out. I re-watched the last 6 minutes again this morning. So much happened.

1. Small ball again killed us. So did using Stevenson especially in crunch time. Very poor coaching rotation.

2. Jamison and Butler for some reason feel it is all on their shoulders. They played horrible down the stretch. Poor passes, charges instead of kicking the ball out to open teamates, stupid ticky-tack fouls. They are playing too many minutes. They also should know by now that you can't get close to James down the stretch cause he will get the phantom call. The "and one" that he had in the open field from Jamison was inexcusable. But weary players do things like that. (coaching??)

3. Calls by refs were clearly biased down the stretch. The rebounding foul on Jamison, which was his 6th foul was just regular NBA rebounding and positioning. Inexcusable... and it is games like this that turn people off to the league.

Positive takeaways were that they played hard and smart for the most part. Mike James came up huge, D Mac does everything well except shoot. McGee and Young need to play more, Stevenson needs to not play at all.

One of the real hidden takeaways is that I think a real unemployed coach (Sanders, Fratello, Van Gundy) who peeked at the game carefully would go away thinking that maybe there is hope for this team at full strength with some raw talent and not hang up if they happen to get a call from Ernie G. Fratello seemed to be impressed with McGuire. Coaches who stress defense appreciate guys like him and the fact that he plays within himself. Fratello pointed out his court vision, hustle, rebounding, assists and defense.

Like others I wish we'd see more of Crittenden and Juan and no Stevenson. He continues to be an embarrassment to the franchise. Marv and Fratello were killing him like most of us do. But Tap just keeps putting him in.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 26, 2008 12:12 PM

LandofCleve1,
You still woke up in Cleveland today right... Done with you.

Glad to see Ivan make the announcement which the Wizards will not. Gil is not coming back this year. Though he is capable of playing they are simply going to choose not to bring him back because they don't want to risk another injury.

Gilbert is paid to play basketball. If healthy, he has a resposibility to play and try to help this team win games. If the Wizards organization does not expect Gil to return this year they had better damn well say so. I knew this was going to happen and alluded to it in earlier posts but am none-the-less disgusted.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 26, 2008 12:13 PM

"I hope no one is giving the coach(es) any credit for making a move that everyone here suggested a year ago...(moving CB to guard and playing McGuire.)"

We're not and it's only obvious stuff that coaches do not do that irks me. It happens to much to my liking.

"The funny parts is the fact that Wizzards fans call LeBron a crybaby when NOBODY cries like Wizzard fans!"

That's ok, Cleveland wil be the only ones crying when Letravel leaves your sorry excuse of a city for NY. Start preparing yourselves for it now because it's coming with a vengence.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 26, 2008 12:19 PM

LandofClev1,

Your comments are onesided. We in Wizard land don't need kno' stinking cavalier to tell us about our Wizards. There are many of us here that completely understand what is going on here and we give the full picture with the reasonings to back it up.

If you want to criticize someone, criticize yo' own team. Like how they needed the stripes in order to beat my Wizards on XMas day.

And as Doc Walker, would say to a Cowboy Fan, you ain't qualified to come on my sight with yo' cavelier attitude and criticize my Wizards.

You should be thanking us for that XMas Gift that the referees gave your butt!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 26, 2008 12:20 PM

These comments are hilarious!!!
The funny parts is the fact that Wizzards fans call LeBron a crybaby when NOBODY cries like Wizzard fans! The CAVs (unknown to Wizzard fans and writers we have a whole team! We are not LeBron,we are the CAVs!!!)we have been kicking your butts for 4 years but according to these sore losers we have been getting ALL the calls for all of these years, yet you complain your own players are sorry. You talk about how sorry Stevenson is (quite correctly), you complain about Caron Butler (an excellent player), you criticise Jamison (a player we would love to have), you criticise your coach's substitutions (as your did for Eddie Jordan), you criticise your staff for resigning Show-up Zero (I'm mean Agent Zero)and we both know you would have criticised them for not resigning All-Talk Zero). Actually when you really think about it Mr. I can't feel my brain Stevenson, doesn't represent the Wizzard's very well in the national perspective but he does a great job of representing and duplicating your fans and basketball beat writers!"Minimize everyone else's accomplishments and do a lot of talking but don't back it up" THAT IS YOUR MOTTO!

Posted by: LandofCleve1 | December 26, 2008 11:29 AM

I think we have a right to go to a blog called Wizards Insider in our local newspaper and vent about all the frustrations with our team.

It bothers me that people like you come over to our forum to rub our faces in our own misfortune. That shows a complete lack of class.

Posted by: crs-one | December 26, 2008 12:25 PM

I didn't watch the game (preferred not to ruin my xmas by watching the wizards blown out). However when even an insider like Ivan is questioning the refs, it just reminds of everything that's wrong about this league. This is why no team, absolutely none, can win in the NBA without at least one legit star. If you go back the past several years, only the Detroit Pistons have won without a legit star (and one could argue they raised their "team" culture to star status). So unlike the NFL where you can win by outcoaching and out-executing the other team, in the NBA you win based on 1 factor and 1 factor alone: who has the bigger star? Even when your star can't abide by a simple rule as not traveling, you can still win 'cos the ref (i.e. the league) will bail you out

So to those that want Gilbert gone, which star are you gonna replace him with?

Posted by: tundey | December 26, 2008 12:50 PM

ERNIE GRUNFIED - If you are reading this blog, please take note of what is going on with your team. It looks like the only thing good that came of you firing Eddie J' is AB is getting steady minutes and Etan now gets no minutes.

Other then that at the moment it looks like it might have been the wrong move. Please for the loyal fan base that follows this team, go and have a serious sitdown talk with your boy Tapscott.

Issues that need to be addressed:

1/ No more minutes for Stevenson the "next 7 games".

2/ Give McGee 30 minutes a game sink or swim.

3/ Play McGee and AB together at least 20 minutes a game sink or swim.

4/ Deactivate Etan and activate OPEC and give him 20 minutes a game sink or swim as backup 5

5/ Trash the notion of "always" having CB or AJ on the court the whole 48 minutes. They can both be on the bench at the same time, this is not the 90's Bulls.

6/ No more "slow small ball" with Song. at the 5. Never....!!!!!!!

7/ Stevenson's minutes will go to Crittenton or Juan Dixon. Go back to a four guard rotation.

8/ Play more straight man to man defense without always having your "5" man always showing at the top of the key.

9/ Stop the double standard coaching and having coach's pets (i.e. Stevenson, Songalia, CB and AJ)

10/Stop making up excuses to not play McGee (i.e. the same way Eddie J' did with AB and Haywood).

ERNIE GRUNFIELD - Again, you are losing your fanbase. We are not mad at the players, just the coach. You need to hurry up and pull his chain because he can not coach...!!

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 26, 2008 12:50 PM

Again, there is no way Stevenson should be getting minutes over Juan or Crittenton right now. But for whatever reason, Etap has to play him just like Eddie J' had to play him. I don't know what that dude has on them, but it has to be something......

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 26, 2008 10:54 AM

He's a veteran who was a key part of last year's overachieving team. When he was healthy last year, he played his role very well. When he wasn't healthy down the stretch last year, not so much. He's clearly not healthy this year, and he admitted it (left knee) when he asked to be benched. He's nothing more than a role player, who was asked to increase his role last year, and did so admirably. LAst year he didn't lose games for us, and he actually his several big shots to win games or keep us in games down the stretch. You gotta give him the benefit of the doubt.

I think the thing that pisses me off the most is how ETap basically killed NYoung's season. He was playing well when he was getting minutes consistently. Now he looks hesitant, and its clear that he lost confidence in his shot. Unbelievable. But on the flip side, EJ was in the process of ruining AB's season, and he has played much better since ETap took over.

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 12:54 PM

I'm enjoying watching Mike James. It's nice to actually have a MAN playing for our team. The rest of the team looks and acts like 16 year old boys. James looks like he's there to pay his bills. He's no all-star, but we could use two or three more guys like him.

Posted by: jpish | December 26, 2008 1:11 PM

Like McGuire's play. There's a nice player in there. He's got some toughness, nice hands, does the dirty work.

Got to get some points if he wants more quality minutes. Hopefully, that will come (the sooner the better).

I don't like blaming refs either; it's impossible to referee these guys (too big/fast/strong). But they cost the Wizards this game.

A glimmer of hope over this performance. Ad this stage, I'll take it.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 26, 2008 1:14 PM

Ditto what bulletfever just said. EG has go to have a meeting with Taps and realize that the season is essentially over. Get a strategy regarding Arenas, a strategy on playing time for the young players and less minutes for the vets. Decide on whether to get rid of guys now or let it play out longer. Our interest in the team is waning by the day.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 26, 2008 1:17 PM

Please DeShawn, go to Tapscott and tell him to bench you, that's the only way it will happen.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 26, 2008 1:50 PM

Its games like this that make it clear that not only the mafia buys off refs' calls - the league does as well. While I don't think the betting line was in play at the end, the only way you get calls like that game is if they NBA sent the word to the refs that it would be really good if the Labron James show got a boost on national TV. Not only did the curious calls not really get replayed, they absolutely won the game for Cleveland.

That plus the overall free-throw disparity should make the average fan begin to realize that as time goes on, the difference between the NBA and big-time wrestling continues to shrink. The only thing they need to add now is to give the yelling agents a platform. Is there still credibility in victories? Sure...for some of the games. But lets all agree to dispense with the notion that every NBA game is a fair contest, mkay?

Posted by: ndickover | December 26, 2008 2:15 PM

Same as it ever was, to quote David Byrne.

Coaches always say there are no moral victories, but not getting embarrassed on national TV has to count for something. Although given that James coasted for most of the first 3 quarters, one gets the impression that if he'd asserted himself from the opening tip (instead of letting his cronies do the heavy lifting) the Cavs might have won big.

Nice job by McGuire. Did all of the little things/dirty work that should earn him floor time. Hopefully Blatche, Young, and McGee were taking notes. Mike James had a big game doing what he does. The question has always been can he do it on a regular basis? Still, it was nice to see someone other than Jamison or Butler with the stones to take a big shot in crunch time instead of looking to get rid of the ball to a teammate like it was coated in acid.

Leaving Arenas on the shelf is a perfectly logical decision. This season is done and there's nothing to be gained by risking another injury. Let him spend the time working on strengthening the knee so that it can be in optimal shape when they tip off next season. This team is going nowhere.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 26, 2008 2:22 PM

Whether this season is shot or not, I think there are questions that need to be asked about Gilbert's knee. Just how bad is it? I wish we could get a report.

If it is possible for him to be 100% well before the season ends, I don't see why he should not be playing. If it is not likely for him to be 100% this year, then what is going on?

Tim

Posted by: cannontl | December 26, 2008 3:02 PM

"Frustration is building for Javaris Crittenton...with the idea that he would finally get a chance to grow and develop and yet, he's seen very little action..."

Was that the idea? I was wondering why the Wiz picked him up.

Looks to me like it's almost impossible to develop a player during the NBA season, unless he's a prodigy like Rose or Dwight Howard. Ordinary players just don't get on the court enough. Everybody clamors to see the young guys, but don't want all the losses they bring with them. That's why you get players like Nick Young and Crittenton who've been in the League a while and aren't appreciably better than they were as rookies.

The D-League was supposed to help fix this.

As for McGee, he's clearly not ready to contribute much, but big men are different. Fifteen or twenty minutes a game wouldn't hurt the team that much, and at least he'd work up a sweat.

The NBA season is getting as bad as the NFL. More a war of attrition than anything else. 80 games and if you're lucky, another five or ten in the playoffs, all in a few months -- Young, Crittenton, and McGee would be better off in Europe.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 26, 2008 3:05 PM

I agree with many of the posters above, I think McGee should be playing at least 30 minutes a night no matter what. We should be using this opportunity to develop him as much a we can this year.

Posted by: cannontl | December 26, 2008 3:06 PM

I was actually going to make a thread about this the other day and after reading Ivan's blog I was just coming on here to make a thread about it. 1st off this is a little OT but Critt has to stop crying. He's the idiot that came out after his Freshman year, played on a good team in LA, went to a guard heavy team in Memphis, and now is playing on a team with a ton of young guys who are already ahead of him and some vets who have solid contracts. He has to wait his turn and shut up. Its not like he's been awesome in the limited run that he's gotten.

As for Gil, I totally disagree. I say that you just go by what the Doctors say. If he's healed then you play him. I know Im the only one but I still think that we have a good shot at the playoffs if he comes back in the next 10 games. Have you guys seen our sked for the last 3 months of the year? Its cupcake city. There are alot of bad teams this year and I think we can put on a run that will make your head spin. Plus, there's not hardly any studs in the draft and the one stud that there is, plays AJ's & Blatche's position. I also think that if you really want to see what the young guys really have then you bring Gil back because your not going to be able to fully judge them without Gil. He's the guy who can get the best out of there skill set. If we sit him & Wood until next season then there is no way that those young guys will play as good as they can play so what do you do in the offseason? You still wont know how good they are or who to move or what.

Playoffs or not, Gil should come back ASAP, and on top of that I still think we can honestly make the playoffs. Check the sked guys. Its also not fair at all to Caron & AJ. They have layed on the sword for us for 2 years. This is there prime and they deserve to have the chance to really win. Bring Gil back. However, if there going to wait another 15-20 games to bring him back then they should sit him because that makes no sense at all

Posted by: dlts20 | December 26, 2008 3:09 PM

"LandofClev1,

Your comments are onesided. We in Wizard land don't need kno' stinking cavalier to tell us about our Wizards. There are many of us here that completely understand what is going on here and we give the full picture with the reasonings to back it up.

If you want to criticize someone, criticize yo' own team. Like how they needed the stripes in order to beat my Wizards on XMas day.

And as Doc Walker, would say to a Cowboy Fan, you ain't qualified to come on my sight with yo' cavelier attitude and criticize my Wizards.

You should be thanking us for that XMas Gift that the referees gave your butt!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 26, 2008 12:20 PM"

Larry, until you know the RULES of the game, don't talk. The refs did not "help" the Cavs. Those were LEGIT fouls. Your team just sucks. Face the music.

Posted by: DeShawnStevensonisOverrated | December 26, 2008 3:15 PM

What is going on with Arenas? I thought he just had his knee scoped before the season started... That should have taken 2-4 weeks to heal. Now they may put him down for the year -- why???

If they knew the seriousness of the injury, then its hard to understand why the Wizards resigned a guy who will be out of the game for 2 1/2 years. It's questionable that will be able to regain the same quickness and jumping ability after sustaining such a major injury...

Posted by: siris | December 26, 2008 3:35 PM

Coach Tap, Please, please, please stop playing me and letting me shoot. I can't hit the ocean with a tennis ball. Why do you keep letting me shoot the basketball? Please tell me to stop shaking my hand in front of my face when I score a lay-up. I am embarrassing myself and the team. I appreciate your faith in me, but I can't play anymore. Maybe when Gil comes back and he's demands the double team or penetrates and collapses the defense so that I hace 5 seconds to get my shot up...maybe then you can give me a few minutes. I am going to make you be the first coach fired after the first coach was fired. Please put me out of my misery. On the telecast, Marv Albert said my knee was hurting, so use that as a reason to sit me down. Sincerely, DeShawn

Posted by: ptp23 | December 26, 2008 4:28 PM

Larry, until you know the RULES of the game, don't talk. The refs did not "help" the Cavs. Those were LEGIT fouls. Your team just sucks. Face the music.

Posted by: DeShawnStevensonisOverrated | December 26, 2008 3:15 PM

You must've been the guy in the nosebleeds with the 3d glasses on last night.

Its one thing to be partisan. But lets be for real, they were bad calls, no matter who they favored.

I guess this is karma for all the years Jordan squashed those 'decent' cavs teams, and chicago fans rubbed it in? Wish they had blogs in the 90s. Maybe you cavs fans could've plagiarized some nifty things to say.

Thanks for visiting!

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 5:25 PM

I still think we can honestly make the playoffs.

Posted by: dlts20 | December 26, 2008 3:09 PM

Check your kool-aid, i think somebody put weed brownies in it...

Posted by: jones-y | December 26, 2008 5:27 PM

after that horrible last 1:17 id like to forget this game and now I can look forward to 24 of Lebron James on TV!! Hooray for a guy that has not what jack squat yet!

http://www.wizardsextreme.com/showthread.php?t=2320

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 26, 2008 5:48 PM

Stop with the EJ was ruining Blatche post the only person stopping Andray from playing was Andray with his lack of work ethic you guy's kill me with it was EJ's fault about this EJ's fault about that PLEASE!!! same thing with Brendan Haywood it was EJ's fault that BTH wasn't living up to his potential here's a novel idea,how about the player trying to impress the coach and the staff with his work ethic? Blatche has not impressed me one bit did any of you see last night's game did you see Verajo go around Blatche after a missed free throw even though Andray had position!!! EJ gave minutes to the players that deserved minutes players who were in shape,players who showed up in the weight room,what did Ivan say about Blatche concerning his lack of conditioning and lack of participation lifting weights this is why he's a poor rebounder and can't finish around the rim. Tell you what, they play the Thunder on saturday lets see what ANDRAY!! can do against them they are as bad as the Wizards if not worse lets see if the serial skirt chaser,club love regular, and all around bo vi' voe man about town can do.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 26, 2008 6:20 PM

Forgot one thing.

Cav fans will get their justice when LeChoke signs with NY. Can't wait for you to be on the other side of the calls that he gets and his attitude.

I'm sure your perspective will change in 2010 when he leaves.

Posted by: jakles | December 26, 2008 6:43 PM

this is such a joke. we have 4 wins and we still won't play our young talent... this franchise has never been able to develop young talent.

Posted by: Heo3692 | December 26, 2008 6:52 PM

"And the rosin-on-the-hands and tossing it into the air was NOT started by LeBron James, as it seems everyone wants people to believe. I saw Kevin Garnett doing that before James did. He just stole it from Garnett and made it his thing."

Thank You for pointing that out. I'm always telling people that and the first time I saw that Nike comercial, I was like "Are they really trying to act like that is HIS calling card?"

I think it would be great if Addidas would poke fun at them with a KG ad. It could start-out with the sound of fans chanting MVP, then words appear on the screen and say "He came straight out of high school to the NBA." A close-up of KGs hands doing the chalk thing. Then, "He made a small market team into a contender." A close-up of hands dunking a basketball. Then, "He took his team to the NBA Finals...AND WON!" Show KG doing the "Anything Is Possible." Show a montage of KG that includes old shots of him doing HIS pre-game chalk ritual. Closes with "You're not a real King until you wear the Crown." Show KG with the trophy.

Sorry all of you. There goes my marketing degree rearing its ugly head again.

Posted by: SportzWiz | December 26, 2008 6:56 PM

Stop with the EJ was ruining Blatche post the only person stopping Andray from playing was Andray with his lack of work ethic you guy's kill me with it was EJ's fault about this EJ's fault about that PLEASE!!! same thing with Brendan Haywood it was EJ's fault that BTH wasn't living up to his potential here's a novel idea,how about the player trying to impress the coach and the staff with his work ethic? Blatche has not impressed me one bit did any of you see last night's game did you see Verajo go around Blatche after a missed free throw even though Andray had position!!! EJ gave minutes to the players that deserved minutes players who were in shape,players who showed up in the weight room,what did Ivan say about Blatche concerning his lack of conditioning and lack of participation lifting weights this is why he's a poor rebounder and can't finish around the rim. Tell you what, they play the Thunder on saturday lets see what ANDRAY!! can do against them they are as bad as the Wizards if not worse lets see if the serial skirt chaser,club love regular, and all around bo vi' voe man about town can do.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 26, 2008 6:20 PM

What's up dargregmag? I thought we were not going to hear from you and your "fan club" rah rah about Eddie J' until the new year? Couldn't help yourself huh?

Dargregmag. For the 1,000th time, EJ had just as much to do with AB and Haywood's lack of production as anybody. However, I give Eddie J' full credit on how he handled McGee the right way and with how good McGee was playing before Tapscott took over and ruined the young boy and his game.

All everybody was asking was for Eddie J' to give AB consistent minutes like he is getting with Tapscott. AB is doing real decent to be playing out of position. He will flourish at the 4 spot if given the chance.

dregregmag you and Ivan need to hear both sides of the story (from AB and Haywood) before you except everything Eddie J' tells Ivan and Ivan reports as the gospel.

Mike Jones had a report in the Times about AB and he reported on AB's side of the story. Ivan never put any of AB's side of the story in any of his reports, just Eddie J's side. All Ivan's stuff was always negative when it pertained to AB.

Lastly that line about work ethic when it came to Haywood was totally untrue. Ivan and anybody on the Wizards staff will tell you how hard Haywood works at his craft as much as anyone, plus he does not get into trouble out in the streets.

Also AB and Haywood are mainstays at all of the charity events the Wiz run. By the way, it is McGuire and Stevenson who do not finish around the rim, not AB.

I'm done.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 26, 2008 7:31 PM

18 points in the 4th.
This is the story of this Wizzies season.
18 points in the 4th.

All teams see that they just hang around for 3 Q's then play a little D and they're guaranteed a W.
Look at the Wizzies 4th Q history.

It ain't pretty.

Posted by: VBFan | December 26, 2008 8:04 PM

dargregmag - Please read the below story from Mike Jones in the Times about AB, the other side.

Change good for Blatche
Forward's play improves after Jordan is ousted
Mike Jones (Contact)
Friday, December 5, 2008

Throughout the Washington Wizards' preseason, there was a constant call for Andray Blatche to step up. But during the team's 1-10 start, Blatche showed the same occasional flashes, frequent inconsistency and questionable effort on both ends of the court.

Blatche's teammates and then coach Eddie Jordan continued to ask for more, both to Blatche's face and through the media. Jordan instituted a requirement that Blatche report to the arena early before each practice for mandatory weightlifting and training to improve his poor conditioning.

But the struggles continued as the 6-foot-11 forward/center averaged just 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds. In the five games since Jordan's firing, however, the Wizards have seen a change in Blatche. His teammates said he appears more focused and driven in practice, and he has become more vocal in support of his teammates even when on the bench. His statistics indicate improvement as well.

In the first game under Tapscott, Blatche erupted for 25 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and five assists. The last five games, Blatche is averaging 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.0 minutes.

"I think he's been giving us very good effort," Tapscott said. "There are some nights when he has his game going, where his shots are falling and he's getting good things off his drives. There are other nights when he can't get into a rhythm because the other forwards are going. But he's been rebounding the ball and playing some defense."

Blatche said the reason for the change is simple.

"It's just having a coach that gives me confidence, builds me up, and he gets me going," Blatche said. "He makes the game exciting for me, and I just give the effort. He has my back within practice and the game, and I just feel like it's my right to give him the effort."

Blatche still has struggled to avoid foul trouble. Called on to defend Orlando's Dwight Howard last week, Blatche fouled out after playing just 12 minutes and was limited to five points and five rebounds.

"It really limits his presence on the floor when he picks up fouls," Tapscott said. "I tell him I need him in there, that versatility he brings to the game. We can play him at the four and the five, and in a pinch we can squeeze some small forward out of him. His versatility is important for us."

Developing better habits -- mainly not reaching and playing more with his feet, according to Tapscott -- should cure that problem.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 26, 2008 8:05 PM

So everybody's talking about Crittendon...
The dude didnt even get off the bench in Memphis so
he must really suck...
So everybody should be quiet and whine about Gil not playing.
The Wiz are just a three ring circus tight now and Arenas is the jester...

Posted by: jimmydeanroundsausages | December 26, 2008 8:08 PM

I'm late, but I guess I'll put in my 2 cents...


The game was no surprise. Went about as I expected. Thought they'd play well, but lose to King James' TNT Christmas showcase.

I've never agreed with those fouls where someone "touches" somebody's elbow or hand or whatever AFTER THEY'VE ALREADY RELEASED THE BALL. To me if it doesn't alter the shot it's not a foul. And once the ball is released touching someone isn't going to change the flight of the ball. It makes absolutely no sense. They'll call that, then not call it when someone like Blatche is whacked upside the head going up for a shot in the paint. It's one of my major pet peeves about the NBA game. It's like the refs just call fouls when they want to. Like when they do and don't call traveling. It's pretty much completely random.

Agree about playing the young guys. If we keep losing it's going to come eventually, and we got a killer schedule coming up. Crittenton, Young, McGuire, Blatche, McGuire, Pecherov. I mean at some point we've got to start playing for next season, and we've got to see what we've got in these guys. And they also need to just get some experience and a chance to develop their game.

As far as Gil. Unless we make some kind of trade to bring in another major piece, I don't see Gil turning this around with his return. I'd rather make sure he's ready and healthy come training camp '09. I can just see him going out there this season and end up playing 48 min a night trying to do too much putting the team on his shoulders, and end up with another set back. Gil doesn't know how to take it easy on the court.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 26, 2008 8:43 PM

Everything points to a win against the OKC Thunder. Then the Clipards will be telling everyone that they are back on track, you should go out and buy your tickets to the playoffs! Send ABE your money for the tickets and he will hold it for you and collect the interest while you wait and see who they play. Don’t worry he won’t spend it on a free agent.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 26, 2008 9:26 PM

Please play javale, the current rotations which include zero centers cannot win, with dom getting time we've finally got something on d and mcgee would help tremendously by allowing blatche and song to play their natural spots and pushing jamison's defensive responsibility further away from the rim, it's obvious and has been for some time, play mcgee until he fouls out, crittenton not getting any floor time is almost as pathetic as javale's mishandling, ps the leniency for nick young never occurred by the way

Posted by: bford1kb | December 26, 2008 9:49 PM

Dom was a great 2nd round find given that he is by far our best defender/rebounder, is a tremendous weak side help shot blocker and he understands his offensive limitations and plays within himself, the seven assists show he has offensive value without being able to score, he needs to learn how to protect the ball when going up inside, he seems to expose the rock over his head before leaping, he's far too athletic to be getting denied in close and missing bunnies, dunk it. but either way he's a vast improvement over deshawn

Posted by: bford1kb | December 26, 2008 9:55 PM

It is time to start gauging interest in jamison, a championship contender needs his offensive game, an expiring contract would be ideal unless we can get a young athletic power guy who d's up

Posted by: bford1kb | December 26, 2008 9:58 PM

Anyone else think about The Czar as a possible coach for this team during that game?

I never thought I'd even consider him. But he correctly 2nd guessed a couple of Tap's moves during the game, quickly noticed and appreciated McGuire's value on the court. He's a coach who stresses good smart basic fundamental basketball, and that's definately something this team needs. Play defense, don't turn it over, share the ball, box out, feed the hot hand, take advantage of mismatches.

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 26, 2008 10:29 PM

Oh yeah... how about the halftime show with Kenny and Barkley calling the Wizards a "scrub team"!

And Barkley's shot "How's that coaching change working out for you?"!

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 26, 2008 10:34 PM

LandofClev1/DeShawnStevensonisOverrated,

Just got back in the House, but as Jones_y said you must have been in the Nosebleeds. And to come back at me like I don't know the rules, you got to be kidding. Weak, thats why you need to be criticizing your own team.

Rule number One. To go to somebodys' elses' house and criticize them is classless. Thats the only rule that you need to know. So the next time you go popping of away from home, you better remember that, and you won't have to worry about getting your card called and exposing the fact that when home training was taught in your house you wasn't at home.

You should be worrying about whether Cry Baby LeBron is gonna take his crying act to the Big Apple.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 26, 2008 11:13 PM

@insanity999

EXACTLY WHAT I'M SAYING!!!!!!! HE CAN SHAKE THE RUST OFF THIS YEAR, AND GET BACK TO GAME FORM SO THAT NEXT YEAR, HE WILL BE BACK TO APRIL 3 2006 FORM...

Posted by: RussianMachineNeverBreaks | December 27, 2008 12:33 AM

It's just having a coach that gives me confidence, builds me up, and he gets me going," Blatche said. "He makes the game exciting for me, and I just give the effort. He has my back within practice and the game, and I just feel like it's my right to give him the effort."

Bulletsfever

Statements like that underscore the perception that Blatche lacks discipline. When you're a professional, at whatever you do, you motivate YOURSELF. You can't depend on ANYONE else to "get you going" or "give you confidence." His inconsistency should not be blamed on his coach, but rather that he looks anywhere but HIMSELF for motivation.

The kicker is that the coach is the one who makes the game exciting for him. I get excited playing a pickup game, and i'm not getting paid millions.

Especially quit the ivan bashing. the guy's job is to watch guys like blatche play ball and ivan does his job better and with more enthusiasm than guys like blatche.

That being said, I do want blatche to do well. but the harsh truth is that he needs more discipline, and criticism should make him stonger not cause him to despair. For a good example of someone who can take negative criticism and reply with a vengence, look at arenas.

Posted by: crs-one | December 27, 2008 1:35 AM

There were some bad calls at the end of the game, but lets face it we did to ourselves...there's still way too many jumpshots on this team, and we don't have everyone that will just aggressively attack the basket and try to throw it down on someone.

Tapscott to me is just doing a woefully horribly job of coaching and Wes Unseld Jr. essentially seems to be doing the real 'coaching'. Tapscott seems to watch like he's a spectator as Unseld draws the up plays. The rotations are pitiful....we have 4 wins and yet DeShawn Stevenson gets the bulk of the minutes at Guard, Songaila gets the bulk of the minutes at Center, and McGee gets no PT.

Don't even get me started on NY, he was playing so well under EJ, Tapscott basically came in and ruined his confidence. The guy looks so confused, hesitant and scared on the court now.


And now they are thinking of not bringing Arenas back till NEXT YEAR???????? Are you kidding me??? Ivan, what sense does that make if they guy is ready to go and healthy? This is season is lost barring some triples of 15 game win streaks and they should be having Arenas use the rest of this season to get the rust off so we can make one final run next year with the big 3 with Arenas in tip top shape.

Part of the problem is Pollin is 95 and there is no accountability, Grunfeld just does whatever the hell he wants and hes not accountable for anything because Pollin is probably looking for his hearing aid most of the time they talk.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 27, 2008 2:41 AM

I was having a good nights sleep till my college age daughter walked in and told me she just lost her Blackberry in da' Club.

I can't tell what feels worse, knowing in my heart that if she wasn't always trying to be pretty carrying the phone around in her hand, instead of using her case thereby garanteeing that she might still have it:

or

knowing in my heart that if the Wizards had a coach that knew what the hay he was doing, they would at least be a 500 team or better.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2008 3:25 AM

By the way, speaking of not being able to develop young talent... Does anybody remember back when the Charlotte Hornets was a young NBA franchise and I think it was Dave Cowens who was the Coach? Cowens was a coach that did not want to waste time developing rookies and he made it known. So the Charlotte organization either had the number one pick, or picked Kolby Bryant with their 1st round pick, but in any event Kolby ended up as a Laker. Don't even remember what Charlotte got for Kolby in the deal.

Dave Cowens if I have the name right did not last long as an NBA coach.

Point being, coaches who refuse, don't know how, or will not play and develop or take a chance on young talent do not deserve to coach in this league. There is no reason not to develop and play your young prospects, especially given the current predicament of the Wizards.

Ernie Grunfield, you should know not to continue this insanity with Tapscott.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 27, 2008 3:56 AM

NOTE TO LARRY IN CLINTON MD:.Tell your daughter Andray's got her blackberry cause i'm sure he was "in the club".

Posted by: dargregmag | December 27, 2008 7:22 AM

I think one thing has become clear...the Wiz do need a real coach Ernie. Tap is a warrior and will do what is asked, but enough already. Ernie you must have had enough time to evaluate the best available coach. What I fear is you have and determined there is no one you want who is currently available and we will have to wait until the season is over. This is going to be a hard pill to swallow.

Second point on Cleveland fans posting on this sight...how pathetic. No other team has fans so fearful, insecure and sad. I know things are bad in Ohio, particularly when your governor is already whining to the President elect about how hard it is for him and needing a big bailout from federal officials...but come on get a life. Wait this cry-baby act sounds familiar coming from Ohio. The governor must has learned it from LB, whining and crying to the officials for special treatment. It works for LB in the NBA, maybe it will work for the rest of the sad state of Ohio!

Posted by: oddjob2 | December 27, 2008 8:59 AM

Ernie Grunfeld AKA Alexander Haig "I'm in charge here" No you're not, LMAO!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 27, 2008 9:30 AM

DeBrick Stevenson this month:
6.6 PPG on 33% shooting from the field. 15/53 from 3-point range (28%) and a jaw dropping 11/27 from the free throw line. That's .407 clip my friends. Here's the list of players shooting worse from the stripe this month:

1. Josh Powell LA Lakers 4/11 (.364)

Tap, seriously end the horror show that is DeShawn Stevenson. He's played 2 good games both against the Nets and stunk vs everybody else. Surely this team can get better production from either Crittendon, Dixon or Young. It's not fair to the paying customers or the team. Stevenson's pride isn't more important than the team's production is it?

Posted by: elfreako | December 27, 2008 10:20 AM

Especially quit the ivan bashing. the guy's job is to watch guys like blatche play ball and ivan does his job better and with more enthusiasm than guys like blatche.

That being said, I do want blatche to do well. but the harsh truth is that he needs more discipline, and criticism should make him stonger not cause him to despair. For a good example of someone who can take negative criticism and reply with a vengence, look at arenas.

Posted by: crs-one | December 27, 2008 1:35 AM

Crs-one - I agree, but you can check my record on these past blogs when it came to Ivan. Bashing is when you are saying something negative about somebody no matter what the subject is related to "all of the time".

I had an opinion about how Ivan always reported on AB and for the most part they were always negative. Granted, AB brought a lot of that on himself; but for the most part you could see for yourself the kid was not a hood rat. He just needed some direction.

He is a country boy who came into the big city and did not know or understand how to handle and conduct himself yet because of his lack of maturity.

With that said, for whatever reason Eddie J' decided he wanted to apply the "old school" way of management on the young man. I guess he felt like that was a good way to motivate the youngsta.

Yea, yea AB is a professional and should know how to act, but guess what everybody is not the same. Sometimes in management you have to learn how to "read your people" and apply the right management techniques to bring out the best production in your employee.

Eddie J's "old school" management style of AB was his way or the highway. Now when it came to Ivan, Ivan is going to ask Eddie J' the reason why AB is not getting any minutes. Low and behold, Eddie J' tell's his side of the story why AB gets no minutes and Ivan in turn writes everything Eddie J' tells him.

Not to say Eddie J' was wrong, but most of that stuff Eddie J' may have told Ivan might not needed to be mentioned to the public at large because it made folks get an instant impression of AB and it was negative.

I have thanked Ivan for his blog in the past and have never bashed him. I just had a strong opinion on how he seemed to always report out negative stuff on AB and Haywood.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 27, 2008 12:07 PM

NOTE TO LARRY IN CLINTON MD:.Tell your daughter Andray's got her blackberry cause i'm sure he was "in the club".

Posted by: dargregmag | December 27, 2008 7:22 AM

dargregmag - Can I ask what is your beef with AB??? Dang, cut the young dude some slack and give him a chance to learn from his mistakes.

We all have done dumb things in our early twenties that nobody knows about except you and the Lord. But guess what, we were forgiven and we moved on and learned from it.

Lets not be so judgemental on the young dude. Give him some time and room to grow. This is not Kwame Brown who we are talking about....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 27, 2008 12:16 PM

NOTE TO LARRY IN CLINTON MD:

It's Kobe Bryant not KOLBY.


Posted by: Darnell1 | December 27, 2008 6:49 PM

Sorry Ivan... forgot to tell you MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Hope you had a good one bro!

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 27, 2008 6:50 PM

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