Thursday Update: Fixing Mistakes

With his team coming off of one back-to-back and facing another (tomorrow night against the Lakers at VC and Saturday night at Chicago), Wizards Coach Ed Tapscott ran a shorter practice than usual but did hold an extensive film session with an emphasis on the breakdowns that led to a 98-92 loss to Portland last night.

"We went over one or two of the pick-and-roll packages to make sure the rotations were set and established, and then we wanted to show both good and bad," Tapscott said. "We showed the good plays, too. We wanted to also show them that there were a lot of good things out there but that it just takes one play early in the game to get us to the point where we are not down six points, we are up six. That's all it takes: One play in the three previous quarters and it's a different games. ... It's small things. Small things."

With Kobe Bryant and the Lakers coming into town, those "small things" that have the hurt the Wizards -- a missed box-out, a failure to rotate, missed free throws -- could lead to a big loss if they aren't fixed quickly.

-I caught up with Caron Butler real quick as he was leaving and he said that left knee is a little sore, but he's in good shape otherwise. If you remember, Butler clanged knees with Bobby Simmons in New Jersey the other night and Butler went down in pain. Last night, he missed four of his five first-half shots and had to rally to score 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Unfortunately, with the way this team is built, it is not going to win many games when either Butler or Jamison has an off night.

By Ivan Carter |  December 4, 2008; 2:05 PM ET
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Comments

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It doesn't win very many when they have "on" night, either.

Posted by: pondaz | December 4, 2008 2:20 PM

Where was the crisp passing last night. 33 assists in the previous game and 21 last night. With good passing they would get better shots. Where was Dee Brown last night. He only played 16 minutes. I do like his quickness and it seems like he is improving.

Posted by: bailey5 | December 4, 2008 2:40 PM

touche', pondaz.

Posted by: original_mark | December 4, 2008 2:50 PM

The team really miss Brendan's interior presence in the court. JM is good but his super thin. Blatche is no C, he's a forward. And Etan, ahhh never mind.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 4, 2008 2:54 PM

I hope Tapscott is taking a look at his rotations and combos he has on the floor. Eddie Jordan kept repeating the same mistakes in losses over and over.

Tapscott seemed to bring a fresh set of to the roster, but in the last two minutes reverted back to one of EJ's tried and not always true combos at crunch time.

If the Wiz are trying to develop McGuire as a stopper, start to call on him to do it at crunch time. McGuire gave the team some good minutes last night, some of them in the 4th quarter. But Tapscott needed to try him on Roy.

Daniels is playing point guard at a Mark Jackson pace and trying to grind out wins. But the Wiz don't get enough 4th quarter stops for that style of play. Brown or Dixon might be able to force the tempo more. I thought Brown played a very solid game in what minutes he got.

And Coach, you can make offensive defensive switches down the stretch. Take some gambles to get some stops. And don't forget that it's just making the other team miss, you need guys on the floor with a nose for finding the ball.

McGuire just seems to have a knack at finding the ball, he needs to be on defense at crunch time. Don't fall into the Eddie Jordan same 5 guys down the stretch when some of them are really limited defensively.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 4, 2008 3:07 PM

Who knew BTH was such a big part of this team?
Well, I can think of three people...

KeithWard/Keithinator
Bullets Fever/BF1
mark/Original_mark

Now the best we can hope for against teams like the Magic is to hold Howard to 20-15 and hope Hedo goes cold.

Posted by: original_mark | December 4, 2008 3:10 PM

Count on another homegame loss tommorow.. The Laker's ARE going to kill em....

Posted by: brooksan | December 4, 2008 3:41 PM

You don't fix mistakes.

You trade them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 4, 2008 4:12 PM

If you're working with a young team you can't trade a guy everytime he makes a mistake.

The last couple of games there has been some progress by the younger players. Guys like McGuire and Brown seem to be playing with more confidence and seem to have an understanding of their assignments.

It's a process with young guys, lets hope Tapscott has the ability to pull it off.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 4, 2008 5:58 PM

I hope Tapscott is taking a look at his rotations and combos he has on the floor. Eddie Jordan kept repeating the same mistakes in losses over and over.

Tapscott seemed to bring a fresh set of to the roster, but in the last two minutes reverted back to one of EJ's tried and not always true combos at crunch time.

If the Wiz are trying to develop McGuire as a stopper, start to call on him to do it at crunch time. McGuire gave the team some good minutes last night, some of them in the 4th quarter. But Tapscott needed to try him on Roy.

Daniels is playing point guard at a Mark Jackson pace and trying to grind out wins. But the Wiz don't get enough 4th quarter stops for that style of play. Brown or Dixon might be able to force the tempo more. I thought Brown played a very solid game in what minutes he got.

And Coach, you can make offensive defensive switches down the stretch. Take some gambles to get some stops. And don't forget that it's just making the other team miss, you need guys on the floor with a nose for finding the ball.

McGuire just seems to have a knack at finding the ball, he needs to be on defense at crunch time. Don't fall into the Eddie Jordan same 5 guys down the stretch when some of them are really limited defensively.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 4, 2008 3:07 PM

flohrtv - As usual I could not agree more with your post. You are the former "GM" correct?

Your points were dead on. Tabscott must have one of those hidden bluetooths in his ear and is talking to Eddie J. during the games.

As I have said before, the last two games he has coached just like Eddie J. would have called the game.

If Tabscott is going to coach like that they my as well kept Eddie J.

*** Free Juan Dixon. Sit AD down 10 to 15 games and give more minutes to Dee Brown. Tabscott start calling the games like you did your first two.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 4, 2008 6:58 PM

It's small things. Small things."
Tabscott

Yo coach. The small things is what got Eddie J. fired and you are starting to repeat the same thing Eddie J. was doing. What is you and Eddie J's fixation with Stevenson? What defense does he play? Here are some tips for you:

1. Switch Offense for Defensive and vice versa the last two minutes of close games.

2. Insert Dee Brown orJuan Dixon ("1") and McGuire ("2") at the 1 and 2 on Defense.

3. Insert Stevensonor Dee Brown ("1") and NY ("2") at the 1 and 2 on Offense.

4. Sit AD down 10 to 15 games so he can get his knee right. He is a liability right now on both ends of the court and is taking Juan's and Dee's minutes unfairly.

5. Play only McGee and AB at the "5" spot the WHOLE game. Third option if both are in foul trouble will be Song. ONLY.

6. Play the youngsta's no matter what. We are losing anyway so why not let them learn with live bullets flying? This will only help the team in the future.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 4, 2008 7:10 PM

Original_Mark, I knew the value of Brendan years ago. In fact, before ET was diagnosed with his medical condition I emailed the Wizard organization and basically said that the reason why BH fought with ET in previous years was because that BH knew that ET was not a center and he knew that ET should not be taking playing time from him. I said that at best, ET should be the last PF off the bench and that EJ should not be playing ET instead of BH.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, if it had not had been for ET's medical condition, we never would have seen BH's value. EJ would have continued to play ET. I blogged earlier this year that ET was putting JM through the same scene and I said that EG would not allow him to repeat that sad scene again. EG did not and EJ is outa here.

I did not start bloggin until this year and I think you know what I been sayin.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 4, 2008 10:53 PM

Tabscott - Free Juan Dixon....!!! Sit AD down for 10 to 15 games....!!!! Give Dee Brown and Juan those minutes.....!!!!Give AB and McGee all of the "5" minutes.....!!!!

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 4, 2008 11:14 PM

Well, I went to Carolina, and have always been a BTH fan and advocate so add my name to the "told you so" list...

More important in the here and now, though, is the validity of the advice about defensive and offensive guard subbing in the last two minutes of a close game, shutting AD down until his body is able to let him play his normal hard charging game, giving DMac time at the 2-guard (or alternatively, moving CB to the 2 on occasion and letting DMac play the 3) etc... If Tapscott can do more to optimize the way he uses the guards we have, we might steal another win or two before Gilbert's return. None of our guards is a true first stringer at this point, but they all have the capacity to contribute more if they are used better situationally.

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

Can someody explain why DMAC doesn't get more PT?

Posted by: browneri | December 5, 2008 12:44 PM

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