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Hornets 97, Wizards 85

Caron Butler update: I caught Bulter after the game and he told me that his sprained left ankle, which has forced him to miss three straight games, is still a problem. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow back in DC. (the Wizards do not practice)

"I can't push off of it right now," Butler said.

As for tonight's game, the story was Chris Paul, who posted the seventh triple-double of his career and three-point shooting. The Hornets made 10 of 28 threes and the Wizards made one of eight. Other than those two things, it was a competitive game. The Wizards hung around for most of it but the Hornets pulled away late.

-Rasual Butler was the killer tonight. When the WIzards did cut Paul off and prevent Tyson Chanlder or David West from getting pick and pops or dives to the basket, Butler too often spotted up and nailed jumpers after the ball reversed. He finished with 21 points on eight-of-11 shooting.

-Mike James had a solid game in his return to New Orleans but fouled out and had a strange meltdown late after referee Derek Richardson tagged him with his fifth foul with 3:49 to go and the Hornets ahead by nine. James had a smile on his face as he echanged words with Richardson as Paul lined up to shoot free throws but James must have said something magical because Richardson gave him a tech. As this was going on, Hornets coach Byron Scott, who was no fan of James when he was here, just stood in place with a smile on his face, arms crossed.


By Ivan Carter  |  December 30, 2008; 11:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Butler update

Comments

"This team sucks people."

This team sucks because its one true center and by FAR most talented player and PG are hurt. Miami was god-awful last season with mostly due to a hurt Dwyane Wade. This season they're back in the mix because he's healthy.

And this team suckes because it doesn't have a proper coach.

-Arenas (James)
-Butler (Young)
-McGuire (Jamison)
-Blatche
-Haywood (McGee)

That is a very good 9-man rotation. If this team had a coach that has the cojones to sit Jamison and let him be a valuable 6th man, and if this team is able to add another big, frontcourt 10-15 minute presence, they would become a great team. And that second situation could very well be possible with a high lottery pick next season.

Posted by: psps23 | December 31, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

No coach who had this roster would even consider bringing Jamison off the bench. You don't win games by benching your best player.

Even with all of their guys healthy, this is a mid-level playoff team that wouldn't get past the second round.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Even with all of their guys healthy, this is a mid-level playoff team that wouldn't get past the second round.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 12:24 AM

The problem is they resigned AJ and Gil since they are both losers?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 31, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

The reason cheap ABE resigned them was to keep the fans coming to the games. Guess what ABE it did not work so sell the team to an owner who wants to try to win a championship.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 31, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

If you think JaTravel is suffering on the bench, how about this uber hyped guy in last year's draft.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3411

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 31, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Joe Alexander can't get in games cause Milwaukee has a deep team, he hasn't had a chance to show anything yet.

It's getting harder to remember what it was like when the Big 3 was fully healthy, it's been almost 2 years.

Posted by: twigmuffin | December 31, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

"Joe Alexander can't get in games cause Milwaukee has a deep team, he hasn't had a chance to show anything yet.

It's getting harder to remember what it was like when the Big 3 was fully healthy, it's been almost 2 years.

Posted by: twigmuffin | December 31, 2008 12:39 AM "

Milwaukee is a deep team that has a record of 15-17.

Les BouleS are deep too....deeply below mediocrity.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 31, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Jamison was hurting the team tonight... 22 points, 25 shots. Without Butler the only guys who can create their own shots are James and Young, we need to give them the ball and hope they can stir up some offense.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 31, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Does Grunfeld understand you have to have 3 point shooters on the roster? Bullets have no 3 point shooters - unbelievable.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | December 31, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

...and that is the bottom line about this game. We will always have a hard time winning games when we aren't shooting 3's. The Houston game was an anomaly. It's the main reason I like Mike James. It's the reason I was calling for Pech. It's the reason I dislike Caron's offensive game. We played a pretty good game last night yet we lost. The story of the game will be Chris Paul in the headlines. The real reason we lost was because we were 1-9 and they were 10-28 in 3's.

Notice I said 'shooting 3's and not 'making 3's'. Sometimes the willingness to shoot them is good enough because it loosens up the defense. No one intentionally gives up open 3's and they have to respect it even if a guy has missed a few in a row. We're one of the few teams in the league that doesn't have a 3 point specialist on the team. That's what we miss from Roger Mason more than anything else. teams knew he'd let it fly. It's another reason we miss Gil.

Mike James has the ability but just needs the green light. He takes a lot of tough contested shots, too. How about running a play or two or screen to free him up just to keep defenses honest. That should help us out.

Although we've gotten better lately, we sure gave up a lot of open looks to Rasual Butler and Posey. Seems to me that when guys like that are on the floor,we stay with them and stop leaving them open. I hope Ayers addresses this.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Next year, the Wiz will have:

Haywood/McGee
Jamison/Blatche (or the other way)
Butler/McGuire
Arenas/?
?/Young

To be serious contenders, they need:

1) more playing time this year for JM, AB, NY and DM to enable some significant improvement (like we've seen lately from Blatche); and

2) to trade the lottery pick and some vets (not listed above) for a quality combo guard to play alongside of Arenas. (The team doesn't need another rookie who sits on the bench for a few years).

The final record this year is irrevalent. The young guys are exciting enough to bring people to the phone booth, if management is concerned about attendance with a losing record.

McGee has talent. His minutes don't cut it.

Posted by: Izman | December 31, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

It's also worth noting that Peja only had 9 points on 4-14 shooting against us. He always KILLS us when CB is playing him. It's one of the reason we stayed in the game. Good job on him, McGuire. Now if you could just remember to stay close to Posey and make him drive....

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

20 minutes from Songaila at pf and not a single rebound?

Hmmmmmm.

I gotta start this again...

FREE PECH!!!

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

FREE PECH!!!

Ehh, Pesh sucks. I was never impressed with him when he even played. A 7-footer who only takes 3's is not what this team needs.

The team has issues but it started looking like they had something going there. If Caron is out too long then they are going to be in real trouble.

For God's sake, bench Stevenson and never let him off of it. He's absolutely abysmal. For the same amount of minutes they can get MORE from Crits, I really don't understand that. "Learning the offense" is BS, all he has to do is spot up. How hard is that?

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 31, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"Does Grunfeld understand you have to have 3 point shooters on the roster? Bullets have no 3 point shooters - unbelievable."

Yes we have. We just let him go to San Antonio.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 31, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I think the roster is fine. We just have to tell the guys to shoot the 3 when they're open. Force CB to take the shot if he has it. Make NY pick a spot on the floor and practice 500 shots a day from that spot until he's comfortable.
Almost every team in the league has a 1, 2 and 3 that can make and will take that shot. NY rarely looks for it because I guess he's not that comfortable.

Cmon, Ray. Do we REALLY know whether Pech sux or not? You may be right but can't we at least see it so that I can turn the page? In reality, we don't need Pech. We have enough large bodies to get the job done. It would be interesting to see what he can do, though. I'd like to see him take Song's place. I think he's a better rebounder and he can't be worse athletically. If he shoots a lot of threes, I assume that he could at least shoot the same 2's that Song shoots. dunno, tho.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Why all this negativity? I liked this forum better yesterday....

Look people, the Hornets are a VERY good team. Chris Paul is not just a "real" point guard. He's the best point guard in the game. It's not like EG can just go down to the Wal-Mart and pick up another one like him.

I liked how the Wiz worked last night. They were a little late on some rotations (NY, I'm looking at you), but I am seeing much more hustle out of this team, especially on the defensive end, than during the losing streak. The body language is much better.

That said, they seemed tired in the second half. I am with others who question the conditioning of some of the newer players. Jamison is going to conserve his energy and maximize his minutes, but the others need to bring the energy all the time. Mcguire brings it, though. I like him more and more.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 31, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

As for 3-point shooting, yes the Wiz need more of it. The Hornets last night did a good job of closing out on shooters. The 3s that were available were tough shots over flying defenders. Very few open 3s. Wiz should watch and learn.

With Rasual Butler, Posey, and Peja out on the perimeter and CP and Tyson down low, the Hornets have a very tough inside-outside game. You just hope they miss some shots, and they weren't last night. Butler wore out that spot in the corner. You could probably find his shoeprints worn into the finish over there.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 31, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Another thing, the refs had another tough game last night--on both sides. Maybe I just don't understand NBA officiating. I know it's a tough job, but I just didn't think they called a very good game. Of course I thought the Wiz got the short end of that stick, but that's to be expected on the road.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 31, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Songaila would be a nice 8-12 guy on a solid playoff roster. The guy knows how to play, just doesn't have a lot of physical ability. On a team playing out the string that's been eliminated from the playoffs he's taking time from the youngsters.

But, for what he is and what he cost to acquire he wasn't a bad pickup at the time for the Wiz. Etan Thomas has been on the Wizard's roster the longest of anyone, I think. He's a guy that is what he is, he's terrible as a starter. He's never been able to produce when fed heavy minutes. Give him 5-15 minutes per game mostly against second unit guys and he can produce some nice minutes.

If I was Tapps I'd start to pick games to inactivate either Etan or Songaila and activate Pecherov. We saw 39 games of a rookie with no training camp and playing on a foot with a stress fracture last year. He missed much of the summer and preseason with sprained ankle.

If the guy's still not healthy or in shape, say so. If he is healthy now's the time to see what he has with some meaningful stretches of minutes. If Ray and others are right, declare him a bust and buy him out and let him go back to where he can get some real Russian cooking.

Blatche and McGuire both had solid but not great games. Those 8 rebounds a game and the defense from McGuire are really nice. Give the kid some time and he'll be putting up 8-12 points a game and will be a real solid starter.

Blatche is playing some solid ball at center, he'll do even better when he can slide to power forward or even play a little three.

If the Wiz would have won last night people would have been on here talking playoffs. Playoffs? You're talking Playoffs?!?

A top five pick will serve the team's purposes much better at this point...

Posted by: flohrtv | December 31, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

We've taken 3 of the best teams in the league down to the last couple minutes in the last few games and pulled one out. Cleveland is 2nd Houston 5th and the Hornets 2nd in their respective CONFERENCES. This team has definitely improved since the lineup change and has nothing to be ashamed of with the way they're playing right now.

At least I go into a game thinking that we have a good chance to win it now. Previously, I chalked up a loss against a good team. So we lost. This was another opportunity for us to learn and improve and I see us doing that.

Lastly, I like NY but he needs to step it up. Stop looking off open teammates and delivering the pass too late. There's no free safety in the middle, Nick. He also needs to learn how to shoot a face up jumper consistently. Every play doesn't have to be a drive, stop, turn and fadeaway.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

ERNIE GRUNFELD IS COACHING THIS TEAM,HELLO!! or at least ETAPS is following EG's directives, I hope Abe sells this team to Teddy Hockey so we can find a new coach and a real GM and last night was a perfect example of a rudderless ship going nowhere fast actually this game was winnable despite CP's triple double but we still can't or won't defend the three and NY needs some serious work on his handle and his defensive technique.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 31, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse


Free Pech !!

GM, I don't see what we could get with a top 5 pick that we don't already have. That's assuming that BTH and Gil come back healthy. Rubio would languish on the bench. Crittenden may actually be better. (on a side note, I like what I've seen from him. He almost broke CP's ankles with that behind the back move at halfcourt last night)

Would Blake really give up 20 and 10 like AJ is doing? Ppl already are talking about how Blake plays no defense. Greg Monroe? Isn't he AB-like? It seems redundant. Thabeet has bust written all over him.

I think we're deep and the only position we might want help at is sg. Assuming that the switch to sg is permanent for CB, we should be set there, as well.

I REALLY like the personnel on this team. We have lots of guys who can play multiple positions and that makes us really versatile. We just need good coaching.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Our depth the way I see it...

PG- Gil, James, Crittenden, Dixon
SG- Caron, Young, Gil, Stevenson,Dixon
SF- McGuire,CB,Blatche, McGee (yes, Mcgee)
PF - Jamison, Blatche, McGee, Pech
C- Haywood, Blatche, Mcgee, Pech


For the guys that are out, just slide everyone else up a spot.
McGee may not have the range necessary yet but he has the athletic skills to play sf like Sheed does. It just needs to be developed.

This is a versatile roster. Dam I wish we had a good coach.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt CB is gonna stay at the 2. First, he had his best year of his career at the 3, he's played the position since college, and putting him at the 2 creates a serious hole at small forward when the roster is healthy.

And I don't think the Wiz will be bringing in any more youth in next year's draft, especially in what looks to be a middling-to-weak draft class. They already have 6 guys under 23 on their roster (NY AB DM JC JM OP), that's 40% of the roster. I see them packaging the pick and some expiring contracts (ET/DSong/MJames) in a trade of some sort this offseason, or maybe even before the trade deadline in Feb.

Posted by: jones-y | December 31, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I think we're deep and the only position we might want help at is sg. Assuming that the switch to sg is permanent for CB, we should be set there, as well.

I REALLY like the personnel on this team. We have lots of guys who can play multiple positions and that makes us really versatile. We just need good coaching.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 10:07 AM

----------------------

Yes! Target SG in the draft. Crit showed something last night to me. He brought some defensive energy, and he looks like he can handle and distribute.

I don't know if I love our personnel right now, though. We've got good pieces, but I think we need more intangibles like leadership, and guys who take ownership on both ends of the floor. That can often compensate for lack of talent.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 31, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Still waiting for Larry Hughes!

Posted by: JoeC2 | December 31, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

jones-y,
I agree that they probably won't leave CB at the 2 and it's a shame. I believe we're much better off as a team with him there.
.
In fact (and I know no one will like this idea) I even think that a trade involving CB for a very good veteran would work for us. Caron's relatively young and not that expensive. We should be able to get a good all star caliber player that has the size to play the position properly on both ends of the court.
Would anyone here trade CB for Richard Jefferson? I'm looking for a player that shoots 3's, can hit an open shot and can defend well. I'd be all over Jefferson for CB in a heartbeat.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The Bucks may want to move Jefferson to give Joe Alexander time to play.

Pech and CB for Richard Jefferson?

I know it sounds crazy but the trade works for both teams.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Cmon, Ray. Do we REALLY know whether Pech sux or not?"

Well, I'll tell you this....

I would start him over Etan any day. :)

Lol!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 31, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

...of course, I'd want a future #1 oick with this trade, too.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

yeah we need to trade Etan before he kills somebody with one of those elbows. hey the Bucks wanted him years ago. Maybe they'll still take him.

CB + Etan for Jefferson + Charlie Bell (just so salaries work).

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"JaTravel". That's as funny now as it was in August. some serious comedy.

keep workin' it!

Posted by: doogiex | December 31, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

My New Years Resolution is to quit watching and going to Wizard games until CHEAP ABE sells the team.

Please do not tell me he spent money on Gil and AJ. It was all a con to get season ticket holders to renew their tickets. Gil may not even play this season. Only Golden State was willing to offer him a contract and they are another losing organization like the Wizards.

Good teams are willing to take chances to get better. Detroit resigned Antonio McDyess which put them over the luxury cap. Who thinks Juan is a better fit for this team then Roger Mason? Why did cheap ABE let Roger go? Because cheap ABE refuses to go over the Luxury cap no matter what!

If the team plays poorly they fire the coach and if that does not work they fire the GM? When you have an organization that operates like the Wizards the only thing left to do is fire the owner. Quit going and watching the games, boycott the advertisers then they will quit advertising at or during the games. The only way ABE will sell this team is when he sees he does not have the support of the fans and he quits making a profit.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 31, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I applaud the Wizards' effort in the last four games. The team is playing much better basketball. I'm concerned about the poor 3pt defense last night (more scrambling), but otherwise I thought we played pretty well. The simple truth is that we were just outmatched.

Three of our five starters were out last night. It's got nothing to do with Roger Mason, Pech, McGee's minutes, or Eddie's coaching. At the end of the game, it was CP3, West, Chandler, and Peja versus AJ and a bunch of young kids and/or scrubs. We were on the road at the tail end of a back to back. But we kept it competitive and had a shot. Can't ask for more than that.

Couldn't agree more with the notion that we're still in decent shape for next year. With the starters back, and the development of AB, DM, and possibly JM, this team could be pretty good.

And the last thing we need is another young kid in the draft. Package the pick with some of our garbage and NY and bring in a veteran. We've got all the 'potential' we need in AB, DM, and JM. NY still doesn't get it, and he has some trade value. Get it done, Ernie.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 31, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78,

Words can't express how sick of your whining I am. Please, please go cry somewhere else. I'm implore you to take your own advice, and leave this forum to people who actually care about the team.

"Quit going and watching the games, boycott the advertisers then they will quit advertising at or during the games. The only way ABE will sell this team is when he sees he does not have the support of the fans and he quits making a profit."

Posted by: bryc3 | December 31, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

bryc3,

Quit reading what I post then.

Just because I would like to see the Wizards win a chapionship one day and I am smart enough to know ABE is not willing to do what it takes, don't blame me.

Keep drinking the kool aid they sell at the games and 4 years from now everyone will be writing the same things on here about why the Wizards have not won.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 31, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I still enjoy watching our team because its our team for all us homers. Just the fact that NY and DM are starting makes me happy. Sure songaila plays to many minutes and Deshawn lost his way, but we still have a scrappy team. I think, in the long run, all of the injuries will serve our team better. This provides the young-guns ample playing time to prepare for next years summer league/pre-season and so on. Javale will get time in the next "7 person/7 games" stretch.

Eddie Jordan screwed up big-time when he said this team was built for gil. Just a dumb statement even if it is the truth. Sure its based on gil spreading the floor with his offense but there were other players not stepping up and playing. Now the players look crisper and more into it. EJ's woe-is-me mentality just plain sucked and EG knew it.

Sure, we let Mason. I was blown and am still blown about that but he's going on 29 i think and EG believed we may get a similar stat line from one of the young guards. I don't fault him. Hopefully it pays off.

I guess you can blame Pollin, but what good is that? The majority of owners don't want to spend alot

Let's just ride this out because as soon as we get health and experience, the skys the limit.

From one Homer to another Homer, let's go TEAM!!!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | December 31, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The Bucks may want to move Jefferson to give Joe Alexander time to play.

Pech and CB for Richard Jefferson?

I know it sounds crazy but the trade works for both teams.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 11:32 AM

Man, you gotta check yourself into rehab. Those drugs are really taking a toll on your mind.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

All of these close loses to good teams look fine if all you see is the box score and recap. Watching the games, it's a different thing entirely. The simple fact is that top-tier teams don't roll out their A-games against a team with a 5 and 20-something record. They coast through most of the game, thinking they can turn it on when it counts and cruise to victory. McGrady as much as said so. Every now and then they the Wiz may get lucky when a team tries to turn it on late and can't find the "on" switch, but anyone seeing moral victories in these close losses is looking so hard at the trees that thye've missed the forest entirely.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

My glass is half-full unlike this sh&*town

Posted by: BurgwithaU | December 31, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I say no to drugs thank you very much. I've had a problem with 2 guys playing out of position for a while. I like Cb's production but still believe we're a better team with someone else at the 3 because of his lack of size.

Is Jefferson that far below CB in terms of production? Doesn't he bring something to the table that CB doesn't like... ooooh maybe playing defense?

My official stance is that we have the pieces of the puzzle in place already and we should stand pat. If we feel like we really have to make a move, moving CB wouldn't be the catastrophe that you might think it might be. If we're talking about turning this team into one that concentrates on defense, somethings gotta give.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Caron for Jefferson? Are all of you suggesting this trade crazy? Caron is a complete player(rebound's,plays d,and score's)while Jefferson just score's, HELL TO THE NO!!!! Find something else to post about than suggesting these goofball trade's and just for the record EG mismanaged the cap(i've said it a hundred times if i said it once) that's why Roger Mason is in San Antonio you mean to tell me that EG could not have structured Gil and Antawn's money to make it work and keep Mason? it couldn't been more than an additional total of five mill over a number of years where Mason's contract was concerned,the Spur's made it work with Duncan,Parker and Ginobli's contract's on the books, its not like Roger was asking for the moon, hell he turned down strong money(an offer sheet) two season's ago!! and yes if he(EG)had sat down with the three of them and said "i want to keep the nucleus of this team together to give us another shot at playoffs and beyond" i think Gil and Antwan would have fallen right in line to keep Mason, that would have helped the wizard's this season given the team's current record(ya think ?)and yes he could have kept them under the luxury tax. This just in; Sekou Smith who covers the NBA for the AJC and the Atlanta Hawks and several nba broadcast analyst are saying Wes Unseld Jr. will be the head coach of the Wizard's next season if not sooner living here in the ATL i don't get to hear Buck and Phil on Comcast usually i get the teams opposing play by play announcers(NBA Season Pass) and that's the word on the street so to speak.UNFREEKIN BELIEVABLE!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | December 31, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78,
I think Roger was let go because it would be an expensive proposition to spend a lot of money on a guy who would be the 3rd string wherever he plays. The vision was to have Gil and AD at the point and Deshawn and Nick at the 2. It actually made sense to let him go if they really believed that Gil would be ready and they apparently did.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, Actually I'm the only crazy one suggesting it. I'm just trying to come up with a solution that gives us better size and defense and it's the only one that was semi reasonable since Jefferson is an all star quality performer.
I think I may be the only guy here who has consistently had a problem with our sf spot and the lack of 3's and defense from that position.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

..No way teams are coasting and trying to 'turn it on' at the end. Now THAT is crazy talk. We were in these games because we played harder than we have in the past. Coasting doesn't make you miss contested jumpers or get your shot blocked. How about giving these guys some credit? Ab has played well and so has Mcguire. Jamison and Mie James have been providing vet leadership, too. Truth is, if AJ had been on last night we might have won this one, too despite the 3 point shooting disparity.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

(A) Jefferson is not exactly a defensive stopper. (B) Butler and Jefferson are essentially the same player. (C) Jefferson for Butler does little to make either team significantly better. (C)(And this is the big one) unless the Bucks plan is to trade for Butler and then bench him 9which is, of course, a stupid plan) trading Jefferson for Butler does absolutely not one damned thing to "to give Joe Alexander time to play." He'd be stuck behind Butler the same way he is behind Jefferson.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

(A) Jefferson is not exactly a defensive stopper. (B) Butler and Jefferson are essentially the same player. (C) Jefferson for Butler does little to make either team significantly better. (D)(And this is the big one) unless the Bucks plan is to trade for Butler and then bench him (which is, of course, a stupid plan) trading Jefferson for Butler does absolutely not one damned thing to "to give Joe Alexander time to play." He'd be stuck behind Butler the same way he is behind Jefferson.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

And the fact that the Wizards have played harder and better recently in no way precludes the reality that good teams don't come out fired up to play bottom-feeders. The two are in no way mutually exclusive.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Based on what I used to hear about Jeff, he was a good defensive player on that Nets team. If not, you're right in that there's be no need to consider him.

Again, I believe that we have the tools now to win but I sure would like to have some 3 point shooting at the 2 spot (and 3). There's no way McGuire will ever be a good 3 point shooter and I can accept that AJ will pick up the slack.

Last nights game will not be the only one in which we play relatively well but lose if we don't address the disparity.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

You can tell if a team is really trying to win by how they play. Houston was really trying to win that game. N.O. and Cleveland would have loved to put us away early and rest their stars, too. They couldn't and in no small part due to the way we took it to them.
McGuire and AB have made a difference. Unfortunately, we face a murderers row with the next few games and if we lose, your point will appear to have been validated. I think we still lack a closer to put teams away like Gil used to do for us and like CP did last night.

Posted by: original_mark | December 31, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"You can tell if a team is really trying to win by how they play."

Exactly my point. The fact that good teams, teams much better than the Wiz, are allowing them to hang around until the closing minutes, when they bring the hammer down, is directly indicative of a mentality that they don't have to go all-out for 48 minutes to beat Washington. They can keep do just enough it close for the first three quarters knowing that when they ramp it up in the 4th, the Wiz will fold. It's happened almost every game.


"Houston was really trying to win that game."

Tracy McGrady was directly after the game:

"We just thought that we could turn it on in the fourth quarter and win this ballgame against a team that doesn't really show that they are as good team,'' McGrady said. "It really backfired on us.''

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"You can tell if a team is really trying to win by how they play."

Exactly my point. The fact that good teams, teams much better than the Wiz, are allowing them to hang around until the closing minutes, when they bring the hammer down, is directly indicative of a mentality that they don't have to go all-out for 48 minutes to beat Washington. They can do just enough to keep it close for the first three quarters knowing that when they ramp it up in the 4th, the Wiz will fold. It's happened almost every game.


"Houston was really trying to win that game."

Tracy McGrady directly after the game:

"We just thought that we could turn it on in the fourth quarter and win this ballgame against a team that doesn't really show that they are as good team,'' McGrady said. "It really backfired on us.''

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 31, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Right on the money, kalo_rama.

Why would a team bust their ovals when they just need to play for one Q?

Does the GM, Owner and Coach think playoffs are a remote possibility???

I think they are smarter than that.

Lets see who can play consistently. Give everyone a chance.

Look what happened with AB.
From the doghouse to a decent player.
Who else is sitting and will morph into a star?

We'll never find out til we let them go and they get picked up by a team that gives them a chance.

If we thought enough of them to draft or sign them then we need to see if they are worth keeping if not then let them go.

This season would be very entertaining if we get a chance to see everyone get a share of the minutes.

Or we can just plod along and wear out the players that we know can play and get new faces next year to sit on the bench and wonder if they can play.

Posted by: VBFan | December 31, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

AB was given oppourtunities by EJ but he showed no progress, in practice after practice game after game Blatche kept committing the same errors(trying to lead fast breaks after getting the rebound,getting dumb fouls off.&def.) missing weight room assignments and off the court issues so lets not act like Blatche was the victim, EJ was old school in a lot of ways concerning Blatche but IMO that was not a bad thing like i said lets see what AB does against formidable competition(Celtics,Cav's and the like).

Posted by: dargregmag | December 31, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Can Pech, McGee or Critt play????

We won't find out by letting them play 2 or 3 minutes a game once or twice a month.

What have we got to lose?????

If you're gonna pay em play em.

Posted by: VBFan | December 31, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

What position is Pech anyway? SF, PF, C, all of the above?

I agree with most posters on here, I mean this season is dead in the water, and the young'ins should be giving maximum playing time. Hire a defensive minded coach for next season please. Tap has improved the team recently but is not a long term answer.

Agreed, there are some nice peices, but the young guns have to play to see if they belong in the league. Critt - play him. Pech - play him. McGee - Play him. Continue to play Young, McGuire, and Blatch. Go for the high draft pick and try to package that along with a veteran for a quality starting caliber SG, going into next season looking like:

PG1 - Gil (hopefully fully healthy)
PG2 - Critt (Depending him getting some PT this season and showing some game)
SG1 - Jason Richardson, Larry Hughes (someone we can aquire using picks and vets)
SG2 - Nick Young (once again, assuming that he gets quality PT this year and improves)
SF1 - Caron Butler (nuff said)
SF2 - Dom McGuire (great off the bench defender, I really like the way he's playing)
PF1 - Jamison (I have a love/hate relationship with Jamison. I mean he puts up points and is a great guy/leader, but his game just doesn't do it for me with such lack of defense)
PF2 - Blatche (starting to look good)
C1A - Haywood
C1B - McGee (would love to see him push for a starting job, but once again, dependent on getting quality PT this season)
Rest of the bench: Dixon, Songalia, Pech, random 2nd rounder, random vet.

So there it is, just a NBA Live heads pipe dream of being the Wiz GM. (Oh, and I would still keep Jamison on the block...just in case.)

Posted by: City1 | January 2, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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