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Tuesday Update: Blatche to Start Again

Interim Coach Ed Tapscott said he plans on sticking with the lineup he used last night, one that swapped rookie JaVale McGee at center with Andray Blatche, for the next few games.

Tapscott said he likes to break the season up into seven-game chunks, so you can expect to see Blatche with Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, DeShawn Stevenson and Juan Dixon for at least the next six.

"If Andray Blatche can give me double figures every night, we're going to be in good shape," Tapscott said of the fourth-year player, who scored 19 points with two rebounds in last night's loss.

-Center Etan Thomas was not at practice today. According to the team, he was at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic getting a routine checkup on his heart. Thomas is expected to meet the team in Detroit and should be in uniform tomorrow night against the Pistons.

-Nick Young has been on a short leash recently, but Tapscott said he plans on giving the second-year guard a little more margin for errror along with more playing time.

"I'm going to take a little blame for Nick's troubles," Tapscott said. "I've had him thinking a little too much. Sometimes you can stress execution, execution, execution and what that does is force a guy to start thinking about everything he does. Some guys [are] better just playing in the flow, so I gave him the release today. I told him, I'm going to play the full segment and leave you alone and let you play."

By Ivan Carter  |  December 16, 2008; 2:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

I read it, cj658 and I still believe that losing BTH was a bigger blow than we thought it would be. Sure, we're scoring less than last year but the main difference between this year and last is the defense and our TOTAL inability to stop ppl from coming down the middle of the lane at will. I see guards driving on both JM and AB and some times they don't even attempt to block it. The fear of getting a foul and getting yanked deters them.
Aggression can be taught but the lack of it can also be learned. Our big guys are like Pavlov's dog. They have been conditioned to avoid fouls by laying back and not attempting to deter drivers. What we SHOULD be teaching them is to lay some serious wood on the first couple of guys that come down the lane. With multimillion dollar contracts at stake, getting floored really would be a deterrent. If you can't block their shot, knock them into the support.

Also, BTH may not have been getting 10 rebounds per game but he was surely getting in the way and preventing a lot of these cheap second chance rebounds like we keep giving up nowadays..

Posted by: original_mark | December 16, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, what bothers Tap more about Pech? The fact that he's 7 feet tall or the fact that he's built more solidly than JM and AB?

Can you find out why he's not even being given a shot? I think even you mentioned that he seems to be a decent rebounder earlier this year.

Posted by: original_mark | December 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

can someone tell me why, if we were getting demolished on the boards last night, we didn't go big at all? McGee and Blatche can't play together at all? Put a line up of Blatche, McGee, Caron, Young, and Dixon on the floor at some point. Seriously Tapscott, do you really think you are going to have a job after this season. Does Ernie really think we have a chance to make the playoffs when GA returns. Yeah, Philly did it last year but the East is a bit stronger from 1 through 8 this year. You want to get more out of your younger players give them the opportunity to gain some expierence.

Posted by: jonnyflo14 | December 16, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

At least he is giving NY pt again...baby steps i suppose.

Imagine, one year ago, all us homers were stoked about Todd Collins and the skins and the arrival of CB3 as an all-star caliber player; with his team on his back winning games. One year ago :(

Posted by: BurgwithaU | December 16, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Tapscott is slow. We've been talking about giving Young PT for how long now? I'm glad he's seeing the light...whether this means less minutes for DeStank or not remains to be seen.

I feel you about Pecherov, Mark. Give the guy a chance, he's definitely going to do better than Etan (provided he doesn't jack up 3s like he does when he plays and actually bangs inside.)

Posted by: insanity999 | December 16, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, after beating a guy on the head with "you made another mistake, you're sitting the rest of the game", you're now going to tell him "ok, I'll give you ten more minutes to make mistakes" and expect him to produce? Great coaching and motivation huh?
See above original_mark's comment re. Pavlov. I agree.

What Wiz need is a breath of fresh air, new rotations, new offensive schemes, new defensive coach. Max 35 mins per player so they can still jump at the end of the game, conserve the knees so they last the whole season.

Maybe play pick n roll/pic n pop 30 times a game like Sloan does, at least it would be a change from the ring round the rosie then chuck up the ball in the last 5 seconds that they play now.

Posted by: rickgonz | December 16, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think EG not only is the GM, but has his hand so far up Tapps butt as well and is playing coach.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 16, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Someone asked me the other day if I have a dog house. I said, 'No I don't have a dog house, I have a Palace of Good Play.' I'm looking for someone who's playing well so I can put them in that palace."

— Wizards coach Ed Tapscott on his disappointment over the Wizards' struggling backcourt, which saw five players combine for 15 points in the loss to Indiana"

-- Mike Jones from the Washington Times


Um okay Tapscott....I SUPPOSE SHOOTING 30% FROM THE FIELD FOR 20+ GAMES AND GUARDING NO ONE GETS DESHAWN IN THE PALACE OF GOOD PLAY WHILE NICK YOUNG IS AVERAGING 10 PPG ON JUST 20 MIN OF PLAY IS BAD.

What a Joke.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 16, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"I'm going to take a little blame for Nick's troubles," Tapscott said. "I've had him thinking a little too much. Sometimes you can stress execution, execution, execution and what that does is force a guy to start thinking about everything he does. Some guys [are] better just playing in the flow, so I gave him the release today. I told him, I'm going to play the full segment and leave you alone and let you play."


Posted by Ivan Carter | Permalink | Comments: (6)
Other Blogs' Comments: Technorati

Can somebody say "duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". Either the light bulb finally came on or he got a visit from Ernie G. His same explanation should be applied to McGee also, because he has been doing the same thing to him.

Thanks for finding that out Ivan, because Tabscott strikes like to sharp and to smart of a dude to be dogging NY and McGee like he has.

He has done well with AB, now he needs to show the same "love" to NY and McGee.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 16, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I think that Tapscott's only good move thus far as coach is realizing blatche needs to play, that being said i still do not believe blatche should start at center, he should start at pf, bumping aj to 3, cb to 2, did you not notice how caron absolutely demolished richard hamilton, 2 guards can't guard him in any way and it gives our best player more responsibility(cb) and takes away responsibility of our worst(deshawn), it needs to happen, how can any move be rash at 4-18, like caron said obama(tap) needs change, change, change, but he has stunted the development of nick young horribly and javale is blocking shots at an insane pace since he's been given iffy minutes, he has 16 blocks in his last 108 mins(7.1 per 48min), since barely playing, compared to 11 in his first 240 minutes (2.2 per 48,1st 12 games this season), he's only got 20mins+ in 2 of the last 10, which is unacceptable on a squad where he is the only center , it looks like he learned which shots to challenge in a hurry but isn't given any time, ridiculous. blatche should play all the backup minutes, one of the two needs to be on the floor at all times (no exceptions barring foul out). I cringe with jamison at pf and when songaila comes in alongside him at the 5 i little piece of me dies. start james too, his game is simply more well rounded than dixon's, both gunners but james is better at everything it seems.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 16, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

My question is, what did Stevenson do to earn that much PT? The only thing I can think of is that he's an above average defender. And I have to exagerate that a little bit.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going say a word i'll just sit back and watch this next brainstorm(starting AB) BLOW UP IN ETAP'S FACE LOL!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Someone asked me the other day if I have a dog house. I said, 'No I don't have a dog house, I have a Palace of Good Play.' I'm looking for someone who's playing well so I can put them in that palace."

— Wizards coach Ed Tapscott on his disappointment over the Wizards' struggling backcourt, which saw five players combine for 15 points in the loss to Indiana"

-- Mike Jones from the Washington Times


Um okay Tapscott....I SUPPOSE SHOOTING 30% FROM THE FIELD FOR 20+ GAMES AND GUARDING NO ONE GETS DESHAWN IN THE PALACE OF GOOD PLAY WHILE NICK YOUNG IS AVERAGING 10 PPG ON JUST 20 MIN OF PLAY IS BAD.

What a Joke.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 16, 2008 3:50 PM

Can somebody same "double standard".....???? I will never be able to figure out what it is Stevenson has or had on both Eddie's????

Now I must admit I saw that dude really trying to get his game together the last two games, so I must give him credit for that. However, if it is his starting streak that is keeping him starting, that is not fair to the team then.

This is the perfect time to let NY get just as much if not more minutes then DS so he can develop for next year. It is not like Stevenson is a lockdown defensive stopper, so all this mess about NY can score but his defense is terrible is a bunch of whatever.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 16, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I am discouraged with the starting line up and propose a new one that maximizes athletic ability with scoring.

1.) Mike James/ Juan Dixson at the Point
2.) Caron Butler
3.) Jamison
4.) Blatche
5.) Mcgee

This would allow a shot blocker with Mcgee and blatche as a post presence with length for rebounding and block shots. Caron can outmatch most two guards. This makes all the sense in the world to me to improve your guard play while adding a defensive presence like Mcgee. NICK YOUNG NEEDS TO SEE MORE MINUTES.

Posted by: howells10 | December 16, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Nick young and mcguire both need increased roles, mcguire is without a doubt a better energy guy, defender, rebounder, shot blocker, overall presence on defense than our much tauted stopper, the deuce, divide his minutes in half between nick and dom. Our two best defenders are dom, the only guy who makes a shot reliably difficult for his man and our most capable rebounder, and mcgee, who scares guards into passing every time they penetrate and blocks shots when someone foolishly challenges his length. This being said he does get pushed around, so we need blatche at the four to help. move jamison as far away from the paint on d as possible, at least he'll have help when everyone blows by him like he's standing still. Did you see Rasho get sick with it, yes proven bum rasho, in the 1st half, at one point he was 5 for 5,6 for 6 in the game, we need blatche and mcgee up front in the most dire of ways.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 16, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson is a horrible defender and NY should start. In the first quarter last night DS' man, Marquis Daniels, was getting layup after layup...in a HALF COURT SET! And as for starting AB, 19 points is nice, but only getting TWO rebounds from your starting center is NOT going to win you games (as it showed last night).

The bottom line is this: we gave up 118 points to a 7-16, last place in their division, team AT HOME. For our second consecutive BEAT DOWN in front of the home fans.


Posted by: MBUSA | December 16, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Something needs to be done about Tapscott's preference to play Stevenson over Young. It has reached the point of absurdity. Let me throw a few statistics that help convey the extent of Deshawn Stevenson's ineptitude.

Stevenson currently ranks as THE WORST SHOOTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA. This is not hyberbole. He is literally the worst shooter in NBA history. If you run a screen of all NBA players since 1960, counting only those who have played 20+ games and average 25+ minutes, Deshawn Stevenson has the lowest FG%.
See here: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/tiny.cgi?id=bRwVD

Posted by: nate33 | December 16, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

If you look at all 3-point shoooters in NBA history averaging at least 4 3-point attempts per game, Stevenson's 3-point-percentage ranks 4th to last. Only 3 players in history have shot worse than him from 3-point range.
See here: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/tiny.cgi?id=DMba6

Posted by: nate33 | December 16, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson also happens to be among the worst free throw shooters among all the shooting guards in NBA history. I couldn't run a screen specifically for shooting guards, but if you look only at all players with a height between 6-3 and 6-6 who average less than 5 assists per game (to rule out big PG's), Stevenson has the 16th worst FT percentage in NBA history.
See here: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/tiny.cgi?id=oVleO

Posted by: nate33 | December 16, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

And finally, not only is Stevenson an historically inefficient shooter, he also happens to be terrible at filling up the rest of the box score. Only 13 players in modern NBA history have managed to average fewer points, rebounds and assists per minute than Deshawn Stevenson. Ironically, thanks to our brilliant coaching staff, Stevenson has managed to average more minutes per game than all of them except one.
See here: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/tiny.cgi?id=chKWY

Posted by: nate33 | December 16, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Taps is clueless if he thinks the Wiz will be alright if Blatche gives him double figures every night.

Posted by: Izman | December 16, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

that is the lineup to use, and has been all year(excluding the fact that mike james wasn't here until recently). James gives you more, he had six assists in 18 mins yesterday so even though his shot wasn't falling he was helping the squad produce offense and juan seems overwhelmed trying to be a guy that penetrates and scores/dishes, he gets the ball poked away or makes a bad pass or gets his shot blocked, he's simply a perimeter threat who can heat up in a flash every once and awhile and spark you.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 16, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Nothing matters if your coaching philosophy is just plain bad. I just cannot see EG letting this go on for the rest of the season.

This coaching sucks to high Heaven and it is not fair to the players on this team.

You might say prepare for next season, it thats what you want to do, then fine, but I do not see any level of competence in any direction from this coaching staff.

EG you must go to the well again.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 16, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, DS is having the worst season in history since 1960. The stats Nate33 used are for a single season and not career stats. Still, Nate is absolutely right in that DS should NOT be starting.

As long as Tap doggedly hangs onto this notion that a vet should be given time to 'snap out of it', I have no respect for him or his coaching ability. DS has done all the snapping he's gonna do. I appreciate his effort and his attempts to go to the hole lately and contribute in other ways but if we're looking for a guy who isn't gonna shoot much, I'd rather see McGuire. At least he'll get you some blocks, rebounds and above average defense.

Posted by: original_mark | December 16, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter who you put in the line up, if you gonna play slow foot BB, small BB, 4's for 5's, 3's for 4's, play to the other teams strengths instead of your own. What this coaching staff is doing is criminal.

Everytime they show a close up of CB in the middle of an And One, the look on his face says it all. It is not a look that says, Yeah we gonna win this game. The look says anything but that.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 16, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

CJ658, there may be something on, but I surely hope mismanaging the players and bad coaching is not it. But the harder I look, thats all I can see.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 16, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Nate33: Your statistics may be correct, but they fail to illustrate all the intangibles that Stevenson brings to the table: Can't feel my faces, hairstyles, hilarious back tattoos, consecutive game streaks that make you wonder, "how the heck did that happen?"

I actually like the way Stevenson plays -- he tries to contribute in all facets of the game, unlike most of his teammates. But he's not getting it done right now, and a coach does the guy no favors running him out there against starters night after night to put up historically bad numbers. Bring him off the bench for a while. Let him rest all of his injuries, regain his form a bit, and then his confidence. Rehabilitate him, in other words, rather than hanging him out to dry.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 16, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like no matter who's out there, the Wiz don't play together very well. They look confused.

That's usually the point guard, isn't it? Or point forward, depending on the offense.

So who's playing the point? Can't be Dixon or Stevenson -- they're off-guards. Mike James, he's a shooter if ever we saw one. Crittenden's a neophyte. Nick Young, he's not on the court.

Butler? Must be kidding. McGuire? Songaila? Pecherov?

Um, does anybody else think this is a problem? Must not, since we traded Daniels.

M

Posted by: Samson151 | December 16, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

that is an amazing set of stats, Nate, and merely backs up what we've been seeing all year. Good work.

Posted by: rbelleisle | December 16, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I've been hard on Stevenson cuz he's been playing like crap, but if you think about it, it's not all his fault. A good coach knows how to get a guy who's playing poorly, and the answer isn't always just continue to start him.

I've been advocating for weeks now to let him come on and play with the 2nd unit and against other 2nd units. Give NY a chance, give him a week with 30-40 minutes of PT and see what he does. It'll help NY and DS if you ask me.

But the coaching is horrendous and they're unwilling to think outside the box.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 16, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I've been hard on Stevenson cuz he's been playing like crap, but if you think about it, it's not all his fault. A good coach knows how to get a guy who's playing poorly, and the answer isn't always just continue to start him.

I've been advocating for weeks now to let him come on and play with the 2nd unit and against other 2nd units. Give NY a chance, give him a week with 30-40 minutes of PT and see what he does. It'll help NY and DS if you ask me.

But the coaching is horrendous and they're unwilling to think outside the box.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 16, 2008 7:55 PM

Yes insanity999 you are right. But for some odd reason, both Eddie's just will not give NY anything like 30 minutes two games in a row.

Just get used to Stevenson. As I said earlier, the dude was playing pretty hard the last two games and I noticed that.

However I think he would be well served to come off of the bench and get his game back that way.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 16, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"Yes insanity999 you are right. But for some odd reason, both Eddie's just will not give NY anything like 30 minutes two games in a row.

Just get used to Stevenson. As I said earlier, the dude was playing pretty hard the last two games and I noticed that.

However I think he would be well served to come off of the bench and get his game back that way.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 16, 2008 8:03 PM "

When you have bad games, or in a funk, that usually means your shot is off.

There is absolutely no reason that your defense should be off. DS supposedly started the season like 15 lbs slimmer.

Last night, he got torched by a guy name Marquis Daniels who had 20 pts, 8 rebs, 7 assists who just so happens to average 9 pts, 3 rebs, and 2 assists in his career.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 16, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"To be fair, DS is having the worst season in history since 1960.

Posted by: original_mark | December 16, 2008 5:17 PM "

Maybe because MeShawn is 48 years old?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 16, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Yay, this blog is making me smile again. :)

"Now I must admit I saw that dude really trying to get his game together the last two games, so I must give him credit for that."

Yes he is trying, but here's the deal with Stevenson: he's a very average to below average NBA player. His best year was last year and now people are defending him and he's choking badly. It's easy when you are left in the open, but put a hand in his face (other then his own) and he can't make a bucket. He's not talented enough to create his own shot so he has to spot up. Problem is someone is always there now.

He's "ok" on defense, but as someone mentioned it's not enough to warrant taking away minutes to NY. NY was one of the Wiz's best players last year down the stretch if you look back. Makes me wonder what Tapps is telling him so much to confuse him. :(

I wish they would move D.Mac to the 3/4 and Caron the the 2 but I don't think that's gonn happen.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 16, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, glad you're well, its good to have you back.
Out of the expected lottery picks who would be your top 5 for the Wizards.

Posted by: emmet1 | December 16, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's talk some Etan Thomas. First of all, why would he go to the Mayo Clinic to get a "routine checkup" of his heart? I guess there are no cardiologists who can do a "routine checkup" at GW, Georgetown, or Johns Hopkins. Or maybe it's some kind of passive aggressive protest over his total lack of playing time even though the team is losing and is getting killed on the boards. So he says Coach, I'm going for a routine checkup of my heart -- I'll be back from Minnesota in about a week. Or maybe he's getting checked out by another team for a trade.

Anyway, anybody think it will take more games for Etan to regain his veteran form, than it will take for Javale to become a veteran in the first place?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 16, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Thomas' surgery was performed at the Mayo clinic, so it would make sense that the doctors who did the original job would be the ones to check his progress.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 17, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: rmcazz | December 16, 2008 10:19 PM
I wish they would move D.Mac to the 3/4 and Caron the the 2 but I don't think that's gonn happen.

- Ray

I agree. Maybe Tap will do that during his next 7 game segment when we're 4 and 25.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 17, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Come on Ivan, thats a BS article you just wrote in the main edition of the post on Nick Young.

How do you mention all the quotes and talk about Mike James stealing NY's minutes but don't even mention all the minutes DeShawn has been getting? As a beat reporter I'd expect you to draw the comparison that DeShawn is averaging 30% from the field and 8 pts in 30 min a game, while NY gets 20 min a game (like 9 min the last 2 gamees) and still averages 10 ppg.

That article would have been that much more powerful if you drew that comparison. Not mentioning DeShawn in that article is like eating eating a banana split with no banana, no substance.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 17, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

As someone who didn't think the Wizards should fire Eddie Jordan, I think it is so funny that ETap is now stunting the growth of BOTH McGee and Young, eventhough he has helped Blatche's comfort level.

Most of us know that the Wiz will not show who they really are until BTH and Gil come back. So, I want to see the coach (who we all know will be back in the front office soon) give more minutes to players who need to be developed and the unknowns. What's the worst that could happen? You only win two games a month.

Posted by: SportzWiz | December 17, 2008 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Re Etan's "routine checkup" -- The guy is playing professional basketball. He either completely recovered before being released to play pro ball, or this is no "routine checkup." But I could be wrong -- perhaps his heart surgeon at the Mayo clinic is now his primary care physician. Maybe the doc is going to take the splinters out of his butt from riding the pines.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 17, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Here's an excerpt from an abstract of an article co-authored by Dr. Schaff of the Mayo Clinic, who operated on Etan Thomas:

"We retrospectively reviewed 160 consecutive patients (127 men) who underwent aortic valve repair between 1986 and 2001. Ages ranged from 14 to 84 years (mean 55 ± 17 years). Patients were categorized according to the main etiology of valve disease; 63 patients (39%) had annular dilation leading to central leakage, 54 (34%) had bicuspid valve, 34 (21%) with tricuspid valve had cusp prolapse, and 9 (6%) had cusp perforation. Repair methods included commissural plication (n = 154, 96%), partial cusp resection with plication (n = 47, 29%), resuspension or cusp shortening (n = 44, 28%), and closure of cusp perforation (n = 10, 6%).

"There was 1 early death (0.6%). Two patients required re-repair of the aortic valve during initial hospitalization. During a mean follow-up of 4.2 years, there were 16 late deaths. Overall, 16 of 159 hospital survivors had late reoperation on the aortic valve (mean interval 2.8 years) without early mortality. Risks of reoperation on the aortic valve were 9%, 11%, and 15% at 3, 5, and 7 years, respectively.

"Aortic valve repair can be performed with low risk and excellent freedom from valve-related morbidity and mortality. Late recurrence of aortic valve regurgitation led to reoperation in 8.8% of patients, but mortality associated with subsequent procedures is low."

I interpret this to mean that Etan Thomas has a 9% chance of needing a reoperation on the valve within 3 years of the surgery. So they are checking him out for that risk, I assume.

NBA players who have had open heart surgery include Fred Holberg, who had to retire; and Ronny Turiaff. Neither of them had the same exact condition as Etan Thomas.

So none of this is routine in my book. However, each and every Washington Post reporter has a sharp and inquisitive mind and the capacity and desire to use it. If there is a story here, I'm sure Ivan will get it and will not be scooped.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 17, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

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