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Tapscott Searching

Like Eddie Jordan before him, interim coach Ed Tapscott continues to search for a rotation that will work on a consistent basis. Lately, second-year SG Nick Young has seen his minutes reduced as Tapscott has played starters Juan Dixon and DeShawn Stevenson and veteran newcomer Mike James the bulk of minutes at guard.

As I wrote in today's paper that may change starting tonight.

Two points about the Young situation: Tonight's opponent, the Detroit Pistons, are 2-1 since second-year G Rodney Stuckey was made a starter in a three-guard lineup that also includes Allen Iverson and Rip Hamilton.

Stuckey was selected by the Pistons one pick ahead of Young -- and three picks ahead of Javaris Crittenton -- in the 2007 draft. It's going to be very interesting to track how those three develop as the season and coming seasons play out.

Also, Young's former USC backcourt mate, Gabe Pruitt, is finally starting to get real minutes in Boston's rotation.

By Ivan Carter  |  December 17, 2008; 8:59 AM ET
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Next: The Other Side: Detroit Pistons


Ernie FedEx'd this season to oblivion by removing Eddie Jordan. EJ would have had this group rebound.

Posted by: SteveC28 | December 17, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young gets his minutes reduced to almost nothing for mistakes and DeShawn Stevenson gets rewarded for absolutely no production. If Nick started the next ten games I bet he would produce good #s in at least 3-5 games, will Deshawn do the same, I don't think so.

I understand a coaches competitiveness to win and show that he/she can coach but at what cost to the team? It's clear to most of us that this team as presently constructed and the players available to us, we are not going anywhere. We need to groom our young players for the future and I'm not saying start all or any of them, just give them meaningful minutes so they can develop into productive NBA players sooner rather than later.

Posted by: zxhoya | December 17, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

You will never see the coach of the Wizards be critical of his vets for their mistakes and I guess there is a human dynamic that would have us respond exactly the same if we were in EJ or ET's position.

I would like to see start, Blatche at center, JaVale at power forward Jamison or McGuire at small forward, Butler at big guard and pick a point guard. I think JaVale is agile enough to guard the perimeter and the paint from the power forward spot and Andre is more equipped to deal with the big centers in the league.

Nick, Deshawn, McGuire or Jamison, darius etc. off the bench.

Posted by: zxhoya | December 17, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Free Pech !!

Ivan...dude. Wassup with Pech? Why can't he get some burn?

Posted by: original_mark | December 17, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious that Tap does not see Pech as a viable option at this time and may never will.

Posted by: zxhoya | December 17, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what Mike D'antonio(sp) would do with Pech?

Posted by: zxhoya | December 17, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what Mike D'antonio(sp) would do with Pech?

Nothing - slow bits who wont go inside have no attraction to him

Posted by: h20law2000 | December 17, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

slow bigs, I mean

Posted by: h20law2000 | December 17, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse


"there is not a snowballs chance in hell these 2 guys are the difference b/t a .500 team and a 4-18 team."

And, as I noted, there are many reasons (in addition to their absence) why this team isn't as good as last years. you just choose to ignore them because they didn't fit your scenario and you couldn't come up with a workable argument to refute them. Business as usual, in other words.
Posted by: kalo_rama | December 16, 2008 7:16 PM

Well Kalorama, you sound stupid once again. In your initial response to my theory, you gave me TWO reason, A & B (which I’m not going to quote, you know what you said). I would hardly call that “many reasons”. Way to exaggerate. You stated the fact that BTH & Mason are missing, and the fact that a few guys had career years. That’s two reasons dipsh!t, and I refuted one of them. Again, your argument to my theory is terrible, and your facts are baseless. Nobody had a career year except BTH, and it wasn’t even a good year (it was on his low standards). So in conclusion, you gave me two piss poor reasons, not “many reasons”. Think before you write. I’m sure you have a thesaurus and dictionary next to you as you write, but your logic and thinking is pitiful. I’m assuming you live in Kalorama Triangle somewhere, so I guess you are very successful businessman, what do I know lol.

Posted by: cj658 | December 17, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else read 'give more minutes to NY' as 'reduce the minutes of an underperforming veteran starter (guess who...) without hurting his feelings'?

That's about the most diplomatic demotion I've ever seen...

Posted by: jones-y | December 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

you guys need to get over Pech. 7 foot tall and he is the slowest guy with the least amount of vertical hop on the court. His shot only works in pre-game shoot around otherwise he is a brick machine. I digress..

Nick needs to have a big game to get him out of his mental slump, hope he gets it done against Detroit tonight. If he can manage 15+ points and everyone else does their jobs we can get a W

go zards

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 17, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Nobody had a career year except BTH

Posted by: cj658 | December 17, 2008 9:59 AM

I have to disagree with you there. In addition to BTH, DSteve and CB both had career years. And Mason had a few marquee games, and an extremely solid year overall. Wouldn't quite call it a career year for RM, but he stepped up.

Posted by: jones-y | December 17, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the reason we beat Detroit last go-round, was because of their small lineup. Our appaling weakness inside was not exposed by them.

And even then, if Maxiell had played he would've killed us. He does every time.

Posted by: jones-y | December 17, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I think DS problem is that he fell in love too much on his ability to make 3 (w/c is not exceptional btw). Coming out of HS he was know more as a dunker/slasher ala Vince Carter. I don't know how much age has taken over his high flying ability but he needs to drive more to be a help to the team.

Anyone who think DS is a great defender should just watch the last 5 mins of the Wizards/Blazers game and see how B Roy run rings around him.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 17, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is a lost season. Stevenson isn't helping a young guard rotation develop.

NY minutes need to increase, along with Blatche, Crittinton and McGee. All four of these guys have enough physical tools to be solid NBA players at some point. The sooner that happens, the better for the Wiz. Now that the season is lost, they need to be given adequate playtime to develop, learn and gain confidence.

Will the veterans (Stevenson, Songalia, Jamison, Dixon, James) accept a reduction in minutes and a few more losses so that their bench can develop for next year? I hope so. It's what will determine if we're a playoff team next year or a contender to win some playoff games.

Posted by: jon_quest | December 17, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

“I have to disagree with you there. In addition to BTH, DSteve and CB both had career years. And Mason had a few marquee games, and an extremely solid year overall. Wouldn't quite call it a career year for RM, but he stepped up.”
Posted by: jones-y | December 17, 2008 10:20 AM
I see where your coming from, but in reality that is what is expected of CB. Anything less than what he did would be a disappointment., for what we paid him. Caron is a consistent player, I would hardly say he went “above and beyond” his abilities last year. DS had a career year in a sense that he is a mediocre player at best. DS averaged 11ppg last year, and is averaging 8ppg this year, a 3 point drop off. His career average is 8.8 ppg. Again, DS did not go “above and beyond” his capabilities last year. And as I’ve said all along BTH and RM are NOT the reasons of the Wiz struggles, nor were they reason of the team’s modest success last year. They are both average roll players at best. The way Kalorama was talking, you would think CB averaged 28, DS averaged 17, & BTH averaged 15 & 10, and AD averaged 12 &8. Now THOSE #’s would be career years. Again, nobody on the Wiz last year preformed beyond their capabilities, and BTH is the only player who even remotely had a career year.

Posted by: cj658 | December 17, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

My whole thing is, according to most people’s logic (kalorama), if we had BTH and Roger, we would be a .500 team right now. That’s right folks, those 2 “all-stars”, would be the difference between a 4-18 team and a 9-9 team. LAUGHABLE!!!

Posted by: cj658 | December 17, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

11-11, I meant.

Posted by: cj658 | December 17, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Pech is a slow guy but he's also 7 feet tall and has shown a penchant for rebounding. Admittedly, he's fond of the long ball and likes to hang around outside. He cannot possibly be slower than Songaila and I guess that's my main point. I'd be willing to bet he's as good a shooter, too. I KNOW he's a much better rebounder. We're all much better rebounders than Songaila.
I'll concede if he tries and fails but I want to see him try.

Posted by: original_mark | December 17, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I could see that. Our main liability on D is the interior (isn't that amazing that our interior D makes our horrid 3-pt D look good this year...) and we can't hit a 3 to save our lives. Not to mention the fact that we're horrible on the defensive boards.

So yes, BTH and RM would've made a huge difference this year IMO. I can't quantify how many more wins it would've translated into, of course, but we would've pulled out at least 3-4 of those close games where we couldn't hit a key shot or get a key rebound or a key stop defensively.

As for 'career year':

DS doubled his 3-pt makes per game and added another assist per game. from the prior year. And he hit some big shots down the stretch in several games. And his D was the best I had ever seen it to that point, until near the end of the season where he was obviously laboring with injuries.

Caron went from second fiddle to the object of opposing defenses' concentration, and maintained or raised his stats across the board. He was the go-to guy down the stretch (which he wasn't the year prior) and he delivered consistently.

Those are career years to me. Just barely in the case of DS, but I would also submit that we would've lost an additional 3-4 games had it not been for some clutch 3's and defense by DS.

Posted by: jones-y | December 17, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

For all of the grief that DS takes over his defense, Marquis Daniels ran by Cb at least a few times the other night. Not all of it was on DS. I wish there was a way to break down each opponent basket and see who is at fault. It's not as simple as blaming our sg when their sg scores o vice versa.

CB is NOT playing good defense and never has. At least I see AJ trying to step it up on D and DS is trying as well. CB saves his energy for the offensive end.

Posted by: original_mark | December 17, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Dom McGuire is the only player on the team with true defensive instincts imo.

Posted by: zxhoya | December 17, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

yep. DM is the only guy who can be called a stopper right now. Perhaps JM in the future.

Posted by: original_mark | December 17, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

While I don't think Pecherov is the next Nowitzki I agree with Mark. They need to at least give him some minutes to play and see what he can do...otherwise why waste a pick/money on him? Thing about Pecherov is he's kind of soft and not really a banger, and as much as he's more athletic than Songaila, Songaila is always money on the jumper, plays smart and doesn't usually take stupid shots. Pecherov, launches dumb shots in the limited minutes I've seen him and there would be a big learning curve for him.

Still need to start out by at least making him active and giving him a few minutes to spell JaVale or Antawn occasionally to see if he should at least even be on the court.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 17, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

...or on the team.

Posted by: original_mark | December 17, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

hahaha defending jamison's d is sad, really who cares if you try as long as you are still the worst defending pf in the league who starts, i have never doubted his effort, he is simply incapable of defending anyone and deshawn does nothing well, nothing, his cop out "I play defense" is no longer valid with dom showing you what good defense actually looks like. I agree caron doesn't play much d but how could you when you're asked to be the most physical presence on the floor as a sf?

Posted by: bford1kb | December 17, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Something internal is wrong with this team and I can't quite put my hand on it. Suffice to say, chalk up another loss tonight because the Pistons are NOT going to let the Wiz win tonight. They should have played harder the other night because tonight it "ain't" happening! Still love my Wiz but tonight they lose.

Trying reverse psychology, maybe it will work and they will win :-)

Posted by: ivyleague | December 17, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse


Can you tell us about Ayers' situation? Isn't he supposed to join the bench soon (if not already)?

Posted by: sagaliba | December 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Marbury, who said he was working out and training in Los Angeles, said another team already has expressed interest in his services should he and the Knicks reach an agreement for his exit.

"All I've got to do is get free," Marbury said. "Once I get free, the team I'm going to go to, I think a lot of people will be shocked."

From a chemistry standpoint, no. In terms of talent, he can pass and he can shoot. Cap may prohibit it but it would certainly be the shakeup that this team needs.

Posted by: original_mark | December 17, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

what is the latest on gilby?

Posted by: insanity999 | December 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Lets just get real for a second all you armchair coach's can argue,discuss,suggest and do anything you want, as much as i hate to say it EG tanked this season when he fired one of the most competent coach's this franchise has ever had, ETAP coaching this team is like one of us driving a Nascar at the Daytona 500 we'll be fine for a minute but as soon as the speed picks up we will crash and burn same thing's gonna happen to ETAP he is in over his head that is the bottom line and the players know it, he has no experience with x's and o's that is why Wes jr is drawing up the plays during timeouts(laughable)say what you want about Jordan he was well respected throughout the league and by most of the players on this team sans Andray Blatche.Jordan had them in the playoffs four years in a row two years without Gilbert!!. He had a grasp of the situation even when this team was one and nine and really what could he or any other coach do? once Gilbert and BTH were lost and EG did nothing to make this team better during the offseason. He let Roger Mason get away, where did that leave Jordan? Yes he may have stuck with his vets too long but most coach's would have done the same and really what has ETAP done? not a damn thing and by the way where is Randy Ayers? The reason why Ayers and O'Koren are gone is because Tapscott knows they have more knowledge about the team and strategy and when you think you know it all you certainly can't have anyone showing you up in public or behind closed doors,somehow they need to find twenty more wins by the all star break i don't see that happening so for us its good luck in the lottery.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 17, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Eddie jordan had this squad actually playing worse than they are now, despite the obviously overwhelmed tap, he did a great job last year with a squad that had no margin for error, but he seemed lost this year and him stubbornly feeding deshawn and song minutes sealed his fate, they quit on eddie and they appear to simply be doing nothing to change the energy of the squad except inserting blatche, who needs to play but should be at pf alongside javale at the 5, Mcgee needs the time more than anyone on this roster to help develop, young and dom also need these minutes to grow

Posted by: bford1kb | December 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

He had a grasp of the situation even when this team was one and nine and really what could he or any other coach do? once Gilbert and BTH were lost and EG did nothing to make this team better during the offseason.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 17, 2008 3:58 PM

dargregmag - How could ANYONE have a grasp of a 1 and 9 record??????? If he had a grasp, they would not have been 1 and 9???

Funny how you mention once Gil and Haywood were gone it was nothing Eddie J' could do. This is the same dude who refused to play Haywood at all a year before. This is the same dude who was FORCED to play Haywood only because one of his favorites (Etan T.) was lost for the season.

Let me tell you something, I guarantee you if Haywood had not gotten hurt this season, Eddie J' would have given Etan at least half or more of the 5 spot minutes away from Haywood anyway. Please tell me how much sense would that have made,

Does Eddie J' play the vets too long as you stated, heck yeah. However the curveball in all of this is Tabscott is doing the same stupid stuff, go figure.

For all the folks still saying EG is at fault for not giving the team enough talent, that is a bunch of crap. The thing Eddie J' and Tabscott are failing to do is use the size we have on the bench to our advantage.

Both Eddie's stick or stuck with Steven way to long. Both Eddies have their own personal "whipping boys" (McGee and AB) and they both put AJ and Caron way to high (i.e. Clinton Portis) on pedestals.

Again, your boy Eddie J' lost 4 early games alone on very bad substitution calls, plain and simple. If Eddie J' would have called those games right, those extra 3 to 4 games would have had the Wiz in a totally different situation right now.

What is that situation you might ask?

Answer. He would still be coach right now...

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 17, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dargregmag | December 17, 2008 3:58 PM

Posted by: bford1kb | December 17, 2008 4:34 PM

Surely I'm not the only one who scrolls past the meandering, punctuation-less wall of text posts, right?

We don't need a better basketball team, we need remedial English courses for our fans. Yikes!

Posted by: bryc3 | December 17, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Note to bryc3: If you're going to criticize my grammar you would be better served helping out the kids in the dc public school system.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 17, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I bet if Eddie Jordan has started to get some sleep, and relax, and unwind, he'd look back at some of those early games and wonder, how did I blow that one?

Eddie Jordan has always coached like a man who's hair's on fire and he's looking over his shoulder for the guy with the bucket of water. He doesn't want to get wet but sure hopes sombody puts him out of his misery before he gets badly burned.

He always coached scared, and he always has been trying to protect his reputation as an offensive guru. He's the basketball version of Norv Turner, he'll get another job because people around the sport will talk about how he got screwed by the crazy owner in Washington.

But after about two more stops people will realize the guy's over his head, or a little black storm cloud always follows him around. Star players get hurt, he never gets a call, his team always gets bad breaks, etc.

Tapscott and Wes Jr. were on Eddie's bench, you can't expect a drastic departure from what the head man did when assistants are given the reigns on a temporary basis.

Turn the year around? Ernie would have to bring in a new coach with a new system. Right now the Wizards are closer to the worst record in the league then a playoff berth. Worst record in the league assures a top three pick.

I'm not sure the intent is to turn this season around. The impact of a top three player could be more important then an 8th seed and another first round loss.

Three steps that could be taken now to usher in a big turn around next year. Start to run, the blowouts could get bigger some nights. But don't stop running.

Play the team's young size, to run a team has to secure the ball, the Wizard's lineups and rotations are too small. Free Pecherov from the inactive list, play McGee, Blatche and McGuire more. Songaila is doing a decent job at the 4 but never play him at the 5 until Blatche, McGee, and Pecherov have fouled out.

And play McGuire a lot, he has a nose for the ball.

After that get Gil healthy and close out the year with him building his game back toward full strength.

And Ernie, scout, scout, scout. A top five pick could make a big difference for this club.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 17, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Just want to say that is the best assessment of Eddie Jordan I have heard. You nailed it.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 17, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

jones-y, thanks for saving me the trouble of having to write yet another detailed response to that idiot's empty-headed nonsense.

(Although I will add on to your observations and note that Jamison had a career high in rebounding, Daniels had a career high in apg, and Blatche set career highs in minutes, points, rebounds, and blocks.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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