Portland 98, Wizards 92

-Key to the game: Former Wizard Steve Blake made three of four free throws in the final 13.2 seconds, Brandon Roy scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the WIzards had a few breakdowns late in the game.

-MVP: Roy. He controlled the action when it counted and did it by repeatedly attacking off of the dribble. A righty, Roy is more dangerous driving to his left and he did just that when he scored one of the game's key buckets by going around DeShawn Stevenson and making a layup to give Portland a 94-90 lead 35.8 seconds to go.

-Turning point: Roy's drive and score was big but so was Rudy Fernandez's rebound and putback of a miss by Blake with 2:19 to go. Caron Butler appeared to miss a box out on the play and that allowed Fernandez to fly in for the putback.

Key stat: The Wizards lost despite shooting 50.7 percent and committing only 12 turnovers. The Wiz are 2-3 when shooting at least 50 percent on the season.

The quote: "We have to take a look at the little things during the game and towards the end that help decide the game. Those things will be addressed tomorrow."
-Wizards Coach Ed Tapscott.

By Ivan Carter |  December 3, 2008; 10:39 PM ET
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Reality Check People,

The reason the old man made Tabscott the coach is because he is already on the payroll. Have you ever heard of a team that hires an interim coach this early in the season? Abe does not want to pay another coach as long as he has to pay Jordan.

The season is over, sorry Barno1, I hate to be the one that has to explain it to you, but this team has no shot at winning a championship this year. Everyone knows what you get with AJ, DS squared, AD, JD, and ET. It’s time to play DB at point, NY at SG, CB at SF, DM or AB at PF and JM at C. This team is going to lose anyway, so play the young guys to see if any of them have any potential. The reason Portland is so good is because of the draft. This team needs to rebuild through the draft since we all know ABE is too cheap to sign first tier free agents.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2008 10:48 PM

Tapscott the coach

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2008 10:49 PM

Wow, to shoot 50% and still lose is very telling.

"This team needs to rebuild through the draft since we all know ABE is too cheap to sign first tier free agents."

I disagree, they paid a lot of money this past off-season.

The sad part is Polin was talked into over-signing AJ and Arenas by EG and giving them money no one else would have. You don't pay over $150 mil to two players unless you think they can win you a championship and those guys can't.

Now they are stuck with the team they have. Again, don't blame Tapps, blame EG for the coachless sucky team that you are currently watching.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 3, 2008 11:05 PM

Congratulations to bulletsfan78 on being the new consistently stupidest person to post here! Tapscott is Grunfeld's guy, and is a great person to analyze the roster from up close. And Abe Pollin has never been cheap about signing players. Never.

Posted by: IrenePollin | December 3, 2008 11:42 PM

Congratulations to bulletsfan78 on being the new consistently stupidest person to post here! Tapscott is Grunfeld's guy, and is a great person to analyze the roster from up close. And Abe Pollin has never been cheap about signing players. Never.
Posted by: IrenePollin | December 3, 2008 11:42 PM
It’s a new world we live in. I will be the first one to admit free agency has ruined all professional sports. It’s great for the players, but bad for the owners and fans. The players have no loyalty, they just want to make the most amount of money they can. That’s why unfortunately Teams need to be owned by people who have deep pockets like Mark Cuban an American billionaire entrepreneur, billionaire Paul Allen, Charles Dolan, Net Worth $3.2 billion, Heat owner Micky Arison’s net worth dropped from $5.8 billion in 2007 to $5 billion this year, William Davidson (Net Worth: $2.8 billion),
It’s like trying to keep up with your neighbor they go and buy a new car then you need to go a buy something better. In the NBA when a team refuses to resign a player (Roger Mason) because it would put the team over the luxury tax threshold and end up signing a player like Juan Dixon that’s cheap. Read the paragraph from the post. If Abe doesn’t have the money to compete with the big boys everyone will understand. If he sold it to someone who does and we can win another championship we’ll build him a statue.
"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 4, 2008 12:58 AM

DC_MAN88 thanks for the article

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 4, 2008 1:16 AM

I continue to be amused by all of the "Abe Pollin is cheap" ranting, esp. because the people doing the most pissing and whining are the same ones who can't reload fast enough to keep taking shots at the underperforming players Pollin paid craploads of money to get/keep.

If Pollin was as cheap as they believe,he wouldn't have paid starter money to backup/complementary talent like Thomas and Stevenson. He wouldn't signed Daniels to a full MLE deal to be Arenas' backup. He wouldn't have singed Songaila to a 5-year deal.

And he certainly wouldn't have shelled out about $160 mill to keep Arenas and Jamison.

Again, it's about how you spend, not how much.

As for the game ...

Same as it ever was. Play hard, stay in it, get a lead, lose the lead, fade down the stretch.

The fact that they manage to stay in games until the closing minutes would be encouraging if this was a young team just learning how to win. But for a team with this much playoff-tested veteran talent, constantly choking under pressure is a dire sign.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 4, 2008 1:48 AM

we HAVE to make this trade!

Etan, AD, Nick Young, Pecherov


Vince Carter

It's got to be done...

VC at the VC!

We have made a major commitment to Antawn... this says we are not rebuilding, we want to win now, or in the next year or 2...

NY will NEVER be as good as VC....

Nick Young... that is what we are giving up.

The 1st rounder.... we'd have to wait 3 or 4 years on that player to develop... meanwhile our "Big 3" are wasting away.

We lose NY but we still have alot of young developing talent with the likes of McGuire, Blatche and McGee.

Look at Boston...

Does VC match up with Ray Allen? Does Caron match with Pierce?? Does Jamison and Arenas match up with KG and Rajon Rondo?

This would be a major move and one we shoudl make it we can... and i bet we can!!!

We gotta make this move if we can!!

Etan, Daniels, Young, 1st round pick


Haywood, Arenas

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 4, 2008 2:20 AM

kalo_rama and Irene

I will make it very simple, hopefully you will be able to follow along and finally understand; the Wizards/Bullets have not won a championship in 30 years. Let's find someone to blame, was it: all of the bad players, all of the bad coaches, all of the bad GM’s, all of the bad draft picks, all of the bad trades, and/or all of the bad free agent signings, no that is not the real answer.

Since it has been 30 years the only person to blame is ABE.

What do you think he means by “We want to stay within a certain budget (cheap), and we’re not going to be like other teams that can do anything it takes to win?”

Abe doesn’t have the money to compete with the big boys like Mark Cuban an American billionaire entrepreneur, billionaire Paul Allen, Charles Dolan, Net Worth $3.2 billion, Heat owner Micky Arison’s net worth dropped from $5.8 billion in 2007 to $5 billion this year, William Davidson (Net Worth: $2.8 billion),

Sell the team to someone who has the money to compete in today’s NBA. I want an owner who wants to win versus just making money.

Please Santa I have been a loyal fan for the last 35 years all I want for Christmas is a rich owner who really wants to win a NBA championship and will go over the luxury cap threshold.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 4, 2008 5:59 AM

I can't blame Abe for this team's problems. I'd agree that in the past he was seriously tightfisted but as he's gotten older, he's made it clear he wants to win a title before he dies. He's paying a crapload of money. If our entire team was healthy, we'd probably be a 50 win team. Complaining about AJ getting paid while the guy consistently puts up double doubles for us doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Without him, we'd be winless. AJ is averaging 21 and 9. Elton Brand is getting 17 and 10. Where are all the people who were clamoring for Elton (while he was still recovering from an injury)? Granted, AJ is no defensive force but to say that we overpaid for him isn't reasonable considering his production right now.

Complaining about paying a guy who's rehabbing and hasnt played yet this year doesn't make too much sense, either. Everyone who's GA-bashing will probably be quiet as soon as he starts putting up 20 and 6 for us.

This just happens to be a season where we're injured. Period. There's no way we can fairly judge the job that EG has done until you see all of the pieces of the puzzle together. It appears that he hasn't done a good job at times but how many teams could survive without their best offensive player and their best defensive players in the lineup? The fact that we still have competitive talent on the floor every night is a tribute to both Abe and EG. (I can't beleive I just typed that but it's true)

It's just a metter of getting the new guys to mesh and we'll be fine. It looks bad but we need to ride oit out and play hard every night and we can go .500 from here out even without Gil and BTH. If Gil comes back, that's gravy this year.

Asfor the game, I keep talking about how 90% of NBA champs in the last 25 years have had a great defensive player on them and we have none. Well, McGuire IS that player. The dude needs consistent pt. I don't know where it's gonna come from but he provides hustle, rebounding and a spark that no one else provides. I like JM's hustle...I LOVE DM's hustle. This team will be ok if we hang in there.

Posted by: original_mark | December 4, 2008 7:33 AM

Ok... messed up

Etan, AD, NY, Pecherov, #1 pick


Vince Carter

The deal actually puts us even more below the tax threshod.

We get a starting 5 of Haywood, Jamison, Caron, VC, Arenas...

McGee off the bench, Blatche, McGuire, Stevenson, Dixon, Daniels, Dee

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 4, 2008 7:40 AM

Also, where is that crisp ball movement we had the other night? AD is a black hole and the whole game comes to a grinding halt when he's in the game. No one moves and he just stands around with the ball wasting the shot clock or dribbling from on side to the other. We need to play an uptempo game and it doesn't happen with him in the game. Dee Brown isn't great but he's a better option with this team than AD. According to the stat sheet, we had 4 fast break points. FOUR !!!
Still not getting the Songaila infatuation. 18 minutes, 1 rebound, 5 rebounds taken from him. Dude can hit an open shot and he's strong enough to bother some offensive players but is that reason for pt? For every good defensive play he makes, he makes 5 bad ones. Those rebounds that he drops or gives away lead to second chance points. Give AB all of his time if you have to. On nights when Ab is playing well like last night, Songaila should never see the floor. That's how we build Ab's confidence and help him develop consistency.

Posted by: original_mark | December 4, 2008 7:43 AM

I partly agree with Bulletsfan78. I don't think, come hell or high water, that Abe Pollin is going to go over the luxury tax threshold and thereby lose his share of the luxury tax payout. On the other hand, I would never call Abe cheap. He's put out significant dollars to sign key players.

Unfortunately, there were injuries to Haywood and Arenas. Now, like it or not, it is a lost season.

But not totally lost. The Wizards are now in the running for the draft lottery. That's the best option for them now to add another piece to a winning team (once Haywood and Arenas are back).

The draft lottery, it should go without saying, is no guarantee. Even if you get the No. 1 pick (e.g., Kwame Brown). So I have no illusions about that. Still, other than blowing the current team up and starting over, it's the best option.

So bring us to the lottery, ET! That's your real mission.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 4, 2008 8:12 AM

If I had my druthers right now, McGuire would be starting. DS provides minimal defensive impact and minimal offensive impact. The only reason he plays is because he works hard, has experience, and most importantly -- it seems like there's a lack of a better option. Well that's not the case anymore. McGuire is already a better energy player than DS, clearly a better rebounder, he's a better perimeter defender, and with Stevenson's offensive output so far - starting DM wouldn't be losing much. Right now DM should be starting with Caron as the 2/3.

Additionally, similar to how Tapscott always wants to have one of either Jamison and/or Caron on the floor at all times, I'd do the same with AB and JM (unless it's absolutely necessary to sit them both). The lane is simply wide open without one of those two in there. Why we had our 2 best interior defenders and our best perimeter defender on the bench down the stretch, when this team was trying to make stops, I have no idea.

Finally, AD would not see more than 10 minutes a night unless he is completely healthy. I his current state, he cannot get it done. Too slow, not explosive enough, can't shoot. Other than being able to bring the ball upcourt, he adds virtually nothing on the offensive end, and he certainly adds nothing on the defensive end. He's like Deshawn, only worse in every single attribute (other than ballhandling). I would rather see Nick Young run the point if necessary (seriously).

That's my rambling for the day.

Posted by: psps23 | December 4, 2008 8:35 AM

Courtside versus TV

I'm not a fan of Dee Brown, but it didn't require Chenier's commentary last night that Brown was playing well and with confidence in the 1st quarter, and the team also played well. Yet he hardly played again.

In the 3rd quarter with AD in the game, the ball literally came to a standstill, and the lead quickly evaporated.

Is this difficult to see from courtside in the heat of the game? The Post reporters also seem to miss these dynamics. What's the deal? Should one of the assistants be watching the game on TV?

Posted by: Izman | December 4, 2008 8:56 AM

Two things I have learned Stevenson is a liability, can't cover and can't shoot free throws. Blatche is one of the lasiest players i have ever seen.

Posted by: oldtimer4 | December 4, 2008 9:25 AM

What happened to the Offense-Defense substitution pattern late in the game? We all know EJ doesn't know how to use it, it seems Tapscott is following suit. Dmac was huge defensively but they rather have AJ doing the defending. Roy just toyed with DSS. They should have tried Dmac on him.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 4, 2008 9:43 AM

I givesincere kudos to Abe Pollin, for the dismissal of EJ, one of those he obviously admired and respected. I am sure it was a difficult decision for him.
The dismissal was greatly needed and warranted, however.
For Kaloramo...we were nut screaming for Ed TAPSCOTT, we were screaming for a change to a more progressive and astute and flexible replacement for EJ.
It is unfortunate, so far, that ET seems to have fallen into the same trap as EJ, with the so called veterans. he has implemented the EJ philosophy with the exatt same staring lineup, and then the same immediate removal of DB and JM.
Perhaps ET will adjust , but so far more of the same, with the exception of Dsong mainly as a 4 replacement and not at 5.
We need speed, uptempo and defense...which seems to interpolate to more court time for the younger guys to everyone, except to our head coaches.
DS is inadequate at best, AD forgedaboutit and the same with ET.
I love AJ and GA, and do not understand the bashing and crticism. They are are strength, and possibility. They alone offer potential for elevation of this team. AJ is a class act, consistent and a leader. He is not perfect as is no one in the league or on the planet. GA brings charisma, flash, style energy and loads of talent. He can ignite, like no one else can.
Go young and have some fun plus AJ and GA....

Posted by: maxman2162 | December 4, 2008 9:43 AM

Why Dee wasn't on the floor at all in the 4th quarter is a mystery to me...clearly our best point option. Terrible rotations once again by a wizards coach. The Lake show will feast on backdoors and alley-oops all night tommorow.


Posted by: BurgwithaU | December 4, 2008 9:46 AM

typical 4th quarter "lets not move the ball and make stupid sub's" move by a Wiz coach. Why doesnt he get it?


Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 4, 2008 10:04 AM

bulletsfan 78
i will make it simple hopefully you can follow along and finally understand.

it's not hard to compete with mark cuban. he's never won a championship.

The Knicks haven't won a championship in over 30 years

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Blazers are under the threshold. And I think the Pistons are consistently below the threshold.

So that leaves the Heat. I think they were under the threshold in 2006 when they won their championship.

The reasons we're getting blown out can't be solved by watching others throw away money.


And while we're at it, I liked Ivan's article about the placid 12,000 fans in attendance of a very exciting game.

Let's put it this way: do we have any right to complain about someone not spending millions of (arguably unnecessary) dollars on a team whose fans won't even spend $20 to show up?

Posted by: crs-one | December 4, 2008 10:53 AM

I guess for all those who didn't follow the free agency movement over the summer, for once and for all, Wiz would have had to give up BOTH Jamison and Arenas to be able to sign ONE free agent. Who could that have been that would have replaced both of them in scoring?

Arenas earned $12M the season prior. The Warriors would have paid him the max for 5 years, particularly after they lost Baron Davis. Arenas has said he would have taken it if the Wiz lowballed him.

As to whether anyone was going to pay Jamison more than what he got from the Wiz ($10M for 2008) we will never know.
- 76ers for one were interested, but Jamison never talked to any other team. After Antawn signed with the Wiz, Philadelphia signed Brand for $14M 2008-09
- Jamison was earning $16M the year before for his production of 20/10, and he is still producing the same this year

So all the couch GMs need to look at their crystal balls and imagine both Jamison and Arenas gone, with one other FA in their place, with maybe Roger Mason still on the roster and a couple other cheap FAs to fill it out. Would that team have been better than this one? Would there be a better starting unit?

Baron Davis? No, he wanted to be in LA.
Elton Brand? maybe
Who else have you got in mind?

Who would you have traded in the summer and to whom? Who would be interested in Songaila, Thomas, Daniels, Pecherov, McGuire, Stevenson?

Posted by: rickgonz | December 4, 2008 11:11 AM


This team with AJ and GA will never win a championship. The organization should have let both of them walk, have a losing season this year (like they are doing anyway), get a good draft pick, and with the cap space sign a top tier free agent when one becomes available. I write that ABE is cheap a lot since he will not go over the luxury tax, but if he were to take a step back for a season or two (which would hurt him where it counts, the pocketbook) to become a better team in the future, I would support that type of move 100 %. Because it was based on trying to win a championship not just putting fans in the seats.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 4, 2008 11:32 AM

Can we get a Dee Brown Fan Club going at the VC. Maybe, EG or somebody will see that, we got to go full uptempo. The significant reason I saw for the lost of this game was going with AD playing a slow point. THEY CANNOT WIN THIS WAY, as more of you are starting to see.

I called hard for EJ's head, but I am still holding out hope that ETaps will have this team Runnin aan Gunnin.

ETaps, 2@3. LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 4, 2008 11:44 AM

I've got to agree that Daniels has really become a liability on the court. He's now doing a Mark Jackson grind it out point guard routine. That might be ok if the Wizards had a roster that could grind out wins in the 4th. They don't.

Dee Brown has continued to impress me with his play since Tapscott has taken over. He really was playing crisp and efficent point again last night. Why did he disappear in the 4th? In fact he wasn't seen much after the 1st quarter. Tapscott needs to continue to work with the guy and develop his playmaking skills. The kid really has shown some quickness and poise at the point, play him and let Daniels come in for spot duty only.

If McGuire is supposed to be your defensive stopper, why stop using him in the 4th quarter. The kid can't score a lick, but neither could a young Bruce Bowen. I'd have really liked to have seen him on Roy in the 4th, Stevenson hasn't proven to be a very effective shutdown guy.

The Wiz need to groom McGuire for the shutdown role at the 2-3 position. He's also a demon on the boards, the team got a couple of stops in the 4th but couldn't secure the ball and then gave up second chance points. McGuire could help secure the ball and erase those second chance points.

He's a liability now on offense for sure, but he's a hardworker and can develop an offensive game. If the Wiz would get out and run he really runs and fills the lanes. Another reason to sit Daniels

Songaila is effective when used in big lineups, when he was on the floor in combo with playing Jamison at the 3 and Butler at the 2 it worked well. Last night down the stretch McGee, Jamison, Butler, McGuire, and Stevenson might have been worth a look defensively. And on offense Songaila and Young could have subbed in for McGee and McGuire. Tapscott missed multiple chance for defensive/offensie switches.

Or he could have went back to Brown and tried to push the pace and get Portland out of the 1/2 court game.

Darnell, I useally agree with you, but there's no way I'd trade this year's number 1 pick in a deal to get Carter. This team is so far in the hole the lottery is a virtual certainty. I can't see giving up what could be a top 5 pick to acquire carter's bloated contract.

Pull that deal of without sending along a number one pick, or even next year's pick and that might be worth some discussion.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 4, 2008 11:56 AM

I saw some of Jordan's influence on Tabscott near the end of the game. Why in the world would you have Stevenson and AD in the backcourt when you needed important stops and Roy was killing you?????

Where was Juan Dixon or better yet DMac to go out and check Roy??? AD is clearly still hurt, so why is he still trying to play??? You can give those minutes to Juan Dixon.

As hard as I have been on Dee Brown I have to give him some credit because the little dude has now played 2 good games in a row. If you noticed when he was in there he pressured the ball on the perimeter and made it difficult for the Blazers to get into their offensive sets.

Why he was no where to be found in the 4th quarter I do not know. If it was a size issue and Tabscott being afraid he was going to get posted up, so what? Let them do it first and then adjust.

***** Tabscott needs to sit AD down for 10 to 15 games and give his minutes to Juan Dixon. Also, AB's game is coming along; he needs more minutes. But on the flip side he needs to stop trying to be the "iceman" and finger rolling everything and instead start attacking the rim like the "rainman" used to do.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 3, 2008 9:49 PM


Posted by: BulletsFever | December 4, 2008 12:38 PM

"if he were to take a step back for a season or two (which would hurt him where it counts, the pocketbook) to become a better team in the future, I would support that type of move 100 %. "

No you wouldn't. Maybe you say that now, looking at 2-12. No fan would be happy watching their team go from the playoffs to letting their two best players go so they can tank a season and rebuild. That's ridiculous. As for the cap space, the free agents with the biggest impact will come around 2010... as if Lebron would give up New York for Washington.

Posted by: crs-one | December 4, 2008 6:19 PM

I would of liked to seen Dixon going against Blake.


Posted by: Darnell1 | December 4, 2008 10:36 PM

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