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Was Haywood That Good?

We knew that Brendan Haywood had a strong season last year and was a big factor (along with Roger Mason Jr., Eddie Jordan, a healthy Antonio Daniels, etc.) in helping the Wizards pull out 43 wins last season, but was he really that good?

I was chatting with a scout from another team last night and basically asked him that question.

His response: "I don't know how many more wins because this is obviously a different team in a lot of ways but I'll say this: Protecting the rim like he did covers a lot of sins. He really set their defense, and with his improved free throw shooting he was a lot more confident on offense. You had to at least account for him."

-In a related note, I have no idea what is going on with JaVale McGee's role. He's seen a steady decline in minutes since Ed Tapcott replaced Eddie Jordan, and last night he played only three first-half minutes. When asked about McGee, Tapscott hasn't criticized the rookie or implied that he's slacking off in effort or approach. He simply talks about sticking with the guys who are playing well.

Andray Blatche has shown more recently and Darius Songaila has been pretty solid, but it's still hard to explain how McGee has totally dropped from the rotation. It would be one thing if the team were playing Etan Thomas heavy minutes in an attempt to drive up trade value but that's not happening either.

- I'll ask a few more specifics about that after practice today. Also, look for an update on Antawn Jamison, who sprained his left thumb last night.

By Ivan Carter  |  December 18, 2008; 10:05 AM ET
 
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Comments

Short answer: yes

Posted by: original_mark | December 18, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Now go back and imagine if he had been in the lineup when we lost to Cleveland the first 2 years.
We may well have gotten past them into the 2nd round. Granted, BTH improved last year but it was mainly because of increased pt. Popla helped with the ft shooting, as well. Same story with Ab. Give them time and patience and they will probably develop provided they are surrounded by vet leadership and support.

Posted by: original_mark | December 18, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Ask about Pech, please. I think Tap'd rather sign a guy to a 10 day contract and start him than put Pech in the game.

Posted by: original_mark | December 18, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

This is a terribly sad season. Injuries are the big driver, but bad bad bad bad front officing is a close second.

Posted by: SteveC28 | December 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The easy answer to the McGee question is because Tapscott has no idea what he is doing. Songaila and Jamison should never, ever be in together as our PF and C -- that is just a disaster of a lineup. Can the season get worse? We should be playing McGee and Blatche together some to see how it works -- maybe sprinkle in some Pech -- not because I have great confidence in Pech but because we at least owe it ourselves to see what he has to contribute to this team.

By not playing McGee, Tapscott is ruining goodwill with the fans -- on Monday, fans at the VC cheered when McGee went in and booed when he went out. This team is dreadful to watch right now and by not playing McGee Tapscott is giving people even less reason to come to the VC.

Can we get an update on Arenas? Any word on his return or how rehab is going?

Posted by: Chad32 | December 18, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The front office is fine -- it is terrible game management from the bench that is the problem. The lone FA people wanted that the Wiz did not pursue was Brand -- he's really making a difference for Philly and he just went down with an injury.

Complain about Arenas deal because he has not played but if he returns in the next 2-3 weeks and starts putting up 28 ppg and does not get hurt again, then his contract is a great one.

Posted by: Chad32 | December 18, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Short answer: yes"

Agreed.

He's a very big body who can run the floor which was why I was frustrated with EJ always wanting to play Thomas over him.

However, he learned how to play D in college not with the Wiz. :P

"He simply talks about sticking with the guys who are playing well."

Sounds like "trade" to me as far as Blatche goes. We'll see.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Given some of the idiotic things this team has done over the years, it doesn't surprise me at all that they're not playing McGee. JaVale provides energy and gives the fans something to cheer for.

I'm going to the game Friday night and for the first time in 30 years, I'm actually not looking forward to going, lucky for me, I didn't pay for the ticket.

Oh and did anyone catch that play late in the game when DeShawn turned it over in the fourth qtr, then just stood there allowing the Pistons to fast break? IMO, he's given up...

Posted by: peej9999 | December 18, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

could this be the injury to either Jamison or Butler that we should expect every year that keeps him/them out 10 games or so?

Butler has never played all 82 games in his career, so I expect him to get hurt at some point and miss a few games, even if Jamison is ok...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 18, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Again, BTH is some garbo. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a moran. He averaged 10 & 7 last year, give me break. Any I might add those are the SOFTEST 10 points and 7 rebs in the game. Much like AJ's 20 & 10, soft as a cupcake. What the wiz need is banger, who goes hard: Anyone see Marcus Camby's line last night: http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=281217004 yeah, enough said.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Can we get an update on Arenas? Any word on his return or how rehab is going?"

Not an insider, but last I heard (like two weeks ago) was he is not running right now but still taking lots of practice shots and he is having no pain.

I'm sure they are in no hurry now with the season the Wiz are having.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 18, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if an NBA team has fired two head coaches within the first half of the season?

Posted by: peej9999 | December 18, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Ivan for asking those questions. It lets us know as fans you are reading the blog......

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Oh and did anyone catch that play late in the game when DeShawn turned it over in the fourth qtr, then just stood there allowing the Pistons to fast break? IMO, he's given up..."

Posted by: peej9999 | December 18, 2008 10:26 AM

YES, I saw that!! Thanks to DVR, I rewound it and on the baseline view, as soon as AI stole the ball DS just kinda put his hands to the sky and then just kinda rolled his eyes. Never even made an effort to chase AI.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 18, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Man, this blog must be on time delay, by about 6-8 months.

I've said since last season that BTH (ska Colossus) was the key to the team's success last season, and that his role/ability was critical in wins against the Celts and the Magic in defending KG and DHoward.

Even MeTawn said earlier this season that he relies on BTH to tell him where to go and whom to defend.

If BTH were healthy right now, Les BouleS wouldn't be in the sad state that they are now, nomatter if Gilby were healthy or not.

BTH is not Patrick Ewing, DRob, Hakeem, or Shaq, but he is a solid above average center who can fill the middle and keep offenses honest.

And to think that the much ballyhooed EJ played mind games with BTH and wanted to get rid of him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 18, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Ivan:
Please ask Tapscott whether sending Pech and/or McGee to the D-League has been considered.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 18, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh and did anyone catch that play late in the game when DeShawn turned it over in the fourth qtr, then just stood there allowing the Pistons to fast break? IMO, he's given up...

Posted by: peej9999 | December 18, 2008 10:26 AM

Not surprised. But once again this will put Stevenson in Tabscott's "palace of good play" vs. the doghouse like it would have done for McGee or NY.......

DOUBLE STANDARD COACHING...... Can we for once find a coach who does not do that???

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Ed Tapscott makes Gar Heard look like a Wizards coaching genius.

Posted by: peej9999 | December 18, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I think it's fairly evident Tapscott is a moron. He's reducing minutes of our most athletic big man, he's continue to give heavy minutes to our worst guard who is just playing atrociously. I mean come on, DeShawn wasn't even close on those free throws. I guess I can be happy he gave NY a few more minutes yesterday, but you can tell it's going to take him some time to get back into the groove after not playing.

Can we get an update on Gil, he seems to keep playing one on one with people but isn't healthy to practice? Also, will Pesh ever even get an in game look by tapscott? He's definitely more athletic than Songaila and better than Etan, they just need to tell him not to jack up shots when hes in the game and bang inside.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

“If BTH were healthy right now, Les BouleS wouldn't be in the sad state that they are now, nomatter if Gilby were healthy or not. BTH is not Patrick Ewing, DRob, Hakeem, or Shaq, but he is a solid above average center who can fill the middle and keep offenses honest.” - DCMAN88

Man, that is the funniest thing I’ve heard all month. So according to you, BTH is the difference between a 4-19 team, and a 12-12 ream. LOL!! Man I need some of that stuff you’re drinking! The man is some complete trash! Above average center?? Are you kidding me?? CAREER 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds. Pitiful for a 7 footer. 5.9 rebounds for 7 footer? Yeah, above average. Half of the small forwards in the L average more rebounds than him. And defense?? The Wiz are horrible at playing D now, and have been for the past years, with or without BTH. Sure, he makes a difference against guys like Dwight, Z, & KG, but by NO means is he an impact player who makes the difference between a 4-19 team and playoff team. LOL!!! Thanks for a good laugh this morning, DCMAN88!!!!!

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Not going to commit on the Haywood question, because everyone here already knows my stance on that subject. All I can say was Mark, Keith, a few others names I can not remember and myself have been proven right about Haywood and what he could do when given a fair chance.

The same applies to AB, NY and McGee. Maybe even OPEC, however I never saw any flashs from OPEC to make me want to see more of him like the others I mentioned.

We had weeks of agruements over the Haywood issue last season and I think the end result of this season so far shows that the "pro" Haywood supporters like myself have been proved worthy.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think it's fairly evident Tapscott is a moron. He's reducing minutes of our most athletic big man, he's continue to give heavy minutes to our worst guard who is just playing atrociously. I mean come on, DeShawn wasn't even close on those free throws. I guess I can be happy he gave NY a few more minutes yesterday, but you can tell it's going to take him some time to get back into the groove after not playing.

Can we get an update on Gil, he seems to keep playing one on one with people but isn't healthy to practice? Also, will Pesh ever even get an in game look by tapscott? He's definitely more athletic than Songaila and better than Etan, they just need to tell him not to jack up shots when hes in the game and bang inside.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 18, 2008 10:45 AM

Insanity 999 - Could not have said any better myself....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

FREE MR. MCGEE!!!!!!

IF NOT FIRE ED TABSCOTT..........

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

cj658,

To be precise, 10 and 7 in 28 minutes. Haywood plays most of his career under a coach who is reluctant to play him. Look at the stat that you linked, every starter except Gray played heavy minutes. Haywood rarely played "starter minutes." Granted, Camby is a better rebounder than Haywood (at a steeper price tag too). But Haywood's stat would be better than 10 and 7 (with 1.4 blocks, I might add) had he played real "starter minutes."

Most importantly, Haywood's value is on defense (as his teammate AJ said as much), the intangible that does not show on the stat sheet.

Posted by: sagaliba | December 18, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line is this team does have enough talent to compete and actually do better that what they're doing. Problem is is that Tapscott does not have a freggin' clue as to how to coach...especially concerning match-ups. He continues to trot that worthless Stevenson out there with his 10 bone-head plays per game and low-account shooting skills...continues to play Songalia in crucial parts of the game when you need a shot-blocking presence back there (McGee). I don't care if the youngin' has his problems on the floor...the only way to work thru them is to ALLOW him to play thru them. He is so much better than Songalia and it kills me to see this idiot of a coach mess with this kids development. Same with McGuire, Young, and now Critteton. These youngin's need to play!

Posted by: terpwiz | December 18, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Haywood is ok. He won't necessarily kill you if he's on his A game but he's not a difference maker. I don't think his presence would translate into many more wins this year.

Posted by: asbloom | December 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

FREE MR. MCGEE!!!!!!

IF NOT FIRE ED TABSCOTT..........

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

the key part is "he covered other folks sins". let's face it, if the opposing team has a solid inside scorer who checked him... Haywood! He compensated for defensive weaknesses of man other Wizards.

haywood isn't all that, but when your starting PF is Jamison, it magnifies his importance. Jamison gives you 20 pts and 10 rebounds, but it's a soft 20-10 with 0-presence. Haywood check the other teams PF when jamison could not. He covered for jamison when Jamison's man beat him to the basket too. Is haywood an all-star, he11 no! Is he a solid NBA player yes, and you need to keep that type player.

Posted by: oknow1 | December 18, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It's official, the wheels have fallen off the bus ladies and gentlemen. I think Tapscott is a nice enough guy, but, it appears to me he hasn't a clue as to what he is doing. How can they play well when the sets they play are so inconsistent and the lineup changes from game to game. Look at them on the floor, they look completely clueless sometimes as to what they are doing. It really is quite painful to watch them at times. EG has jacked this team the hell up! Don't be surprised if Antawns thumb is broken.( Besides, I wouldn't blame AJ if he wanted to miss some games to avoid being a part of this shiggity) That is the karma this team seems to have.

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

"Man, that is the funniest thing I’ve heard all month. So according to you, BTH is the difference between a 4-19 team, and a 12-12 ream. LOL!! Man I need some of that stuff you’re drinking! The man is some complete trash! Above average center?? Are you kidding me?? CAREER 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds. Pitiful for a 7 footer. 5.9 rebounds for 7 footer? Yeah, above average. Half of the small forwards in the L average more rebounds than him. And defense?? The Wiz are horrible at playing D now, and have been for the past years, with or without BTH. Sure, he makes a difference against guys like Dwight, Z, & KG, but by NO means is he an impact player who makes the difference between a 4-19 team and playoff team. LOL!!! Thanks for a good laugh this morning, DCMAN88!!!!!

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 10:47 AM "

LOL!

I do not care if you disagree with me.

You just need to look at last season's team compared to this season's team. The main difference being BTH not in the lineup.

Chew on this:

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

"Jamison said the Wizards are struggling while trying to find a replacement for center Brendan Haywood, who could miss the entire the season following surgery on his right wrist. His replacements have been Etan Thomas, a veteran who is still working himself back after missing all of last season with a heart ailment; Andray Blatche, who leads the team in scoring this preseason but has baffled the team with his inconsistency; and JaVale McGee, a rookie who is raw athletically and still trying to grasp the team's plays. Aside from providing a defensive presence, Haywood was also a vocal leader on that end of the floor.

"We got accustomed to Brendan being out there and talking. I got accustomed to him telling me where to be at," Jamison said. "That's a luxury that we don't have and that I think we definitely need to get situated quickly, as far as which big is going to start for us, which big is going to play significant minutes for us." "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/20/AR2008102002849.html

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 18, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Look at the stat that you linked, every starter except Gray played heavy minutes. Haywood rarely played "starter minutes." Granted, Camby is a better rebounder than Haywood (at a steeper price tag too). But Haywood's stat would be better than 10 and 7 (with 1.4 blocks, I might add) had he played real "starter minutes."

Posted by: sagaliba | December 18, 2008 11:04 AM

Sagaliba: I agree with you on one point, his intangibles in D. But as far as starter minutes, keep in mind BTH was constantly getting into foul trouble, mainly due to the Wizards horrid exterior defense. (Guys blowing by Gil, AJ, and Caron), and BTh would have to step in, and usually committed a foul. That would explain why EJ had to yank him so often. He did average 28mpg last season, and I doubt his stats would have been that much better, in 8 more mins. Granted, they would be better, but not anything glaring. Camby played 40+ mins last night because he does not get into foul trouble like BTH. I honestly think BTH could not go 40 mins, even if the coaches depended on it. He would be fouled out by the time he got to 35 mins probably. Camby knows how to play D and is a shot blocker like Haywood, difference is, he knows how to keep himself in the game by not committing fouls.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

DCMAN88: All that article does is point out the fact that AJ is a fraud, and an excuse maker, who will point the finger at anything/everyone except himself. Need I remind you that the Wizards were a horrible defensive when BTH was healthy?? They are still horrible defensively, and do not look any better or worse on the defensive end with or without BTH. The Wizards were and ATROCIOUS defensive team last year with BTh playing 28mpg. Just check the stats my friend. So AJ is basically saying he is not a good defender this year because BTH is hurt. LOL! AJ is and always will be pathetic. He is the team captain, he needs to look in the mirror. The problem is not defense. You people talk as if defense & BTH’s presence is what got us to the playoffs 4 straight seasons. LOL. It was SCORING. This team simply does not have the personnel to be a defensive team. They hovered around .500 because they could outscore people, this year, they cannot. BTH conversation is irrelevant to Wizards woes. You people talk as if losing BTH is like the Celts losing KG, come on guys, wake up and look at the reality of the situation.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

cj658,

If Haywood is so crappy, then please explain the difference in the record. It's basically the same team as last year; the difference is Haywood's absence. (And don't say Daniels is gone; they were terrible this year when he was here).

I'm waiting with bated breath...

Posted by: keithward64 | December 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I have no clue why people are cracking on AJ. He's never going to be a Kevin Garnett defender, but he's a solid player. He gives you consistent points and consistent rebounds every night, but to say he's horrible or terrible is just ludicrious. Same about people bashing CB, these guys aren't superstars or meant to be superstars, they're just blue collar guys who've exceeded their potential and play hard.

They are the least of this team's problems, so to crack on them to me is just silly. The largest problems on this team right now are bad coaching and playing time distributions, DeShawn Stevenson killing us on the floor (either he screws us by taking a ton of shots missing or not taking any and contributing anything out there while snagging a ton of minutes), and overall just bad team defense.


They're not an amazing team but they definitely have enough talent to be winning more games than they have been.

Posted by: insanity999 | December 18, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Keith: I have explained my theory in recent posts, it is long, thus I will not repeat it. But there is reason they are so crappy. And I would love for you to tell me with a straight face that Brenda Todd Haywood is the difference maker between a playoff team and a 4-19 team. Come on, just listen to how that sounds. All Wiz fans were calling him Brenda 2 years ago and were on the Etan bandwagon until he had heart surgery. Then BTH averages 10 & 7, and he is next best thing since sliced bread?? Come on, just ask yourself how that sounds. So according to your logic, if big z gets hurt in Cleveland, than the Cavs would shrink to a 4-19 team. LOL. After all, he is there best defensive big man, and a big body in the middle. His stats are comparable to BTH’s. NO, they would still be a playoff team, because the stars on that team would pick up the slack and make up for the loss of MEDIOCRE center. Get real people.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, with all due respect, you need to educate yourself my man. There's a host of information available that tells us in pretty definitive terms that, yes, Brendan is that good.

The stat-heads over at RealGM have been banging the Brendan drum for years (often in the context of the fact that EJ was crazy for not playing him more).

Advanced "Moneyball-esque" hoops statistics have shown Haywood to be one of the best defensive centers in the NBA. Last year Sports Illustrated had a blurb that to the effect that he forces more missed shots than all but a couple of centers. He's completely indispensable to the Wiz.

If you have yet to do so, read The Wages of Wins.

Try some Kevin Broom stuff too:

http://www.realgm.com/src_goaltending/50/20050415/evaluating_the_wizards_defense/

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/basketball/nba/specials/playoffs/2005/05/04/defense/

Posted by: TheFunBunch | December 18, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"cj658,

If Haywood is so crappy, then please explain the difference in the record. It's basically the same team as last year; the difference is Haywood's absence. (And don't say Daniels is gone; they were terrible this year when he was here).

I'm waiting with bated breath...

Posted by: keithward64 | December 18, 2008 11:43 AM "

And, you don't hear any of the players moaning about Roger Mason not being here and how they miss him.

What's killing Les BouleS now is the lack of interior defense which directly translates to a lack of effectiveness on the offensive end too.

It's going to be ugly, real ugly, on Christmas night. Might want to send the kids to bed early. MeShawn might call in sick.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 18, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Not only was BTH much improved physically, but mentally he had become the heart of the team last year. The Wiz players felt BTH had their back, in more ways then one. Last year BTH was typically the first one to step up when one of his teammates caught a cheap shot or a harder than necessary foul. This as much as anything is what forced EJ to play BTH as much as he did...though he still did not give him enough playing time most nights. BTH matured a lot last year, and this maturity is one of the big things missing this year.

Also, I agree Tap needs to find a way to get the rookie at least 10 consistent minutes per game. And MJames looks like the interim answer at PG...and maybe longer. I bet Tap reinserts GA at the 2 when he comes back, at least initially.

Posted by: oddjob1 | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

DCMAN88: I'm honestly expecting Stern to change that game. If he doesn't I wouldn't be suprised if DS does something stupid to garner attention to himslef, like hitting LBJ or somethign along the lines of that. They (he) will have nothing to lose, but he'll get a lot of media attention. That is what this team is all about anyways.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

FREE MR. MCGEE!!!!!!

IF NOT FIRE ED TABSCOTT..........

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Was Haywood that good? That raises other questions.
EJ insisted on playing the pre heart surgery Etan Thomas significant minutes, notwithstanding the presence of Haywood on the roster.

Was EJ that bad a coach?

Or was Etan that good?

And why isn't Etan getting any playing time at all now?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 18, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

This weeks SI in its NBA section refers to ETAP as Grunfeld's "puppet" basically saying that Ernie is coaching the team.Not suprising in the least,that's why O'Koren and Ayers didn't get the job because they were loyal to Jordan and refused to stab him in the back!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 18, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Last year's team came as close to the promise of a Princeton-like offense as Edie's arrival portended. They had two guards who understand the game and do not seek to dominate it, an essential in any old-school passing game, be it the Princeton, the Triangle, or whatever.

More importantly, last year's team got Brendon a lot of touches. He could therefore be discerning on when to attack when he received the ball. He chose well and was effective.

Being effective on the offensive end improved all aspects of Brendon's game. Being able to assert one's will against a defender always will elevate your game and take the wind somewhat out of theirs, in particular, in the pivot.

Notice I said "pivot" and not "5" or "Center." Brendon became integral to the offense. He was able to contribute to this team's scores by making plays, other than operating just as a blocking back setting screens although that is certainly a big ingredient to any offense.

Last year's team, which almost always had one of the team's smartest players on the court, and both are very smart in understanding the game and are very generous of spirit as the game commands, I think that Brendon for the very first time got a chance to really play ball on a consistent basis for the Wizzards.

I think that we saw what he can do. Do I think that he would be performing the same now if he came back healthy. No.

Posted by: cohenra | December 18, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm really stunned how poorly the Ed Tapscott era has worked out. I mean, you would think that if you elevated to head coach of a cratering NBA team a guy who hadn't been a head coach in 20+ years (and at a mid-level college, at that), the transition would have been seamless, and the results fantastic.

A visionary hire by Grunfeld undone by forces that none of us will ever be able to comprehend.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 18, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry cj658, I don't know why you said "BTH was constantly getting into foul trouble." This is simply contrary to the truth. In fact, one good thing about Haywood is that he rarely got into foul trouble (and often being criticized as too soft). You can see from the stat, he rarely fouled out, and averaged only 2.7 fouls a game.

I do agree with you that BTH has to cover other folks' defensive lack, and hence, his value to the team.

Posted by: sagaliba | December 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Without BTH in the line up the Wiz should be playing more like Mike D'Antoni's team. Look at what he did in NY. Don't tell me the Knickerbockers play solid D. They beat you with Offense and that is the Wizards' strong point.
And yes, BTH is that good its just so unfortunate that he's injury coincide w/ EJ's firing. It could have been a better year for him this season.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 18, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

By no means I would say Haywood is "great," but given the personnel of this team, he is "good enough" to make this roster work.

Posted by: sagaliba | December 18, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

yes, we need haywood badly...or we need Gil back so we can just outscore folks...

As far as McGee is concerned what we are learning is exactly what many of us thought we ETap was hired, he is not an NBA coach... Good guys...probably. Articulate...sure. But an NBA coach... definitely not.

After EJ was fired, I posted on this blog that I had no issue with his firing if it would get us a championship caliber coach, especially since the team's defense hasn't improved at all under EJ. That said, let's be clear EJ was/is a good coach.

I am very worried if the Wiz decided that ETAP or Unseld Jr. would somehow be a better than EJ (they are not!). If, in the off season, we bring in a REAL Championship caliber coach (e.g.- Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders or even someone like JThompson III), then I think EJ's firing is 100% justifiable...if not, sadly, I think we are in for a return to the sorry days...

Posted by: cedric_lockhart | December 18, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

McGee isn't playing becuase he's completely ineffective. A team that is losing every game can't afford to play somebody that's not contributing. He did show some ability early on, but not much lately. If i were the coach, i'd keep him on the bench too. Once the season is deemed by management a lost cause, then McGee plays.

Posted by: stevie2 | December 18, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

No! Brendan Haywood is not good enough.
He just played better compared to himself last season. He's a seven footer who likes to take fadeaway shots. I would like to see him and Deshawn (wasted minutes) Stevenson traded. Trade them please, Ernie Grunfeld.

Posted by: iamdawalrus | December 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

This weeks SI in its NBA section refers to ETAP as Grunfeld's "puppet" basically saying that Ernie is coaching the team.Not suprising in the least,that's why O'Koren and Ayers didn't get the job because they were loyal to Jordan and refused to stab him in the back!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 18, 2008 12:10 PM

dargregmag - Really...?? If Ernie was the "one" really doing the coaching, do you think he would be dogging is number 1 pick (McGee) with no playing time like Tabscott is doing?????

Trust me, I believe Ernie told Tabscott to make sure AB got minutes, which EJ refused to do, probably after Ernie asking him nicely.

However, I do not think Ernie banked on Tabscott copying all of Eddie's substitution calls and not playing McGee and NY.

I suspect a visit to Tabscott soon, like the one for NY from Ernie. You might see Tabscott change his stance with McGee, I hope.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"This weeks SI in its NBA section refers to ETAP as Grunfeld's "puppet" basically saying that Ernie is coaching the team.Not suprising in the least,that's why O'Koren and Ayers didn't get the job because they were loyal to Jordan and refused to stab him in the back!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 18, 2008 12:10 PM "

How so?

EG hired Ayers despite EJ's insistence that he didn't need a defensive coach.

I don't think there's any Norv Turner - Ray Rhodes or Greggggg Williams - Greg Blache type of soap opera going on here.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

FREE MR. MCGEE!!!!!!

IF NOT FIRE ED TABSCOTT..........

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 18, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A few of you have already figured out that I am a Tarheel Fan. The reason why is, I am from Durham and the ACC was the big conference on TV in my young days and the best players of color still had to go to the Black colleges. Dean Smith brought in the first Black player in the ACC, (Charlie Scott), and I have been a Tarheel fan every since. With BH, I'm biased, but it is undeniably factual that he was always a credible NBA center who did not get a chance to prove it with regular minutes and support by EJ.

Carolina teaches team defense and that is why the chemistry of the Wizards was always better when Brendan got minutes on the floor. You guys that love to quote stats need to understand that yes they are important, but they never give you the whole value of a player. A lot of you are so focused on individual statistics, you are forgetting that basketball is a team sport.

Individual sports is were stats are overwhelmingly important...i.e.golf, swimming,tennis,track,billards,etc. for crying out loud.

Carolina don't turn out no Duds at the Center position. If you play 4-years at Carolina, you can Play'.

And everybody knows that God is also a Tarheel Fan, Why else is the Sky always Carolina Blue?

LarryInClintonMD

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

In the 6 games that McGee has played more than 20 minutes, he has averaged 13 points and 9 boards on a 40 minute basis. These stats compares favorably with Haywood, particularly given that McGee is a rookie and only 20 years old.

The kid is still growing and will be putting on a few pounds of muscle in the coming years. He's athletic, a great shot blocker and has a good shooting touch for a big man.

What is there not to like? A few rookie mistakes on a 4-19 team? Let's get real, folks.

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

"If you play 4-years at Carolina, you can Play'."

Tell that to Ed Cota

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Ed Cota comment was just a joke. I may argue a lot, but I cannot deny the fact that UNC has produced, by far, the most successful NBA talent over the last 2-3 decades.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Was Haywood THAT good? No...

But he was an important part of the team, his space filling in the lane covered the defensive deficencies of playing a 3-4 at the power forward and a 2-3 at small forward.

This team is not as bad as it is playing, but once Gil's knee needed a flush job which was pretty predictable if you follow the history of microfracture surguries, this team was going to be scratching and clawing for wins.

When Daniels showed up lame and Haywood went down in camp a playoff nod was going to be really tough. Then Eddie started 1-10. He was understaffed but he blew 3 to 4 games with some seriously poor coaching. The difference on a marginal team between 1-10 and 4-6 is bigger then it looks. This was not a roster that was going on a 9-1 or even an 8-2 roll without Arenas, Haywood and with a gimpy Daniels.

Bottem line is that the Wiz are now playing for the bottem which is actually the top if you're looking at draft order.
This will give Tapscott the ability to work up a plan and stick to it with Arenas and slowly get him in shape.

I'd be surprised if the Wizards are done dealing either. Jamison could be the next vet to earn his way out of town and onto a playoff roster. My quess is they'll hang onto Butler, I'd like to see more of the 2 guard experiment myself.

This move is not a conspiracy to make Arenas look better, it's the pure exceptence of where a 1-10 start left this team and what they are playing for now. A lottery spot.

Blake Griffin looks to be the goal at this point. But that's just my opinion.

Are there some office parties going on today? Reading some of these posts leads me to beleive there's some serious drinking going on in Washington.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 18, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The_Shadow_Knows,

You are one that obviously believes that these dire circumstances are mostly due to the ineptitude of the players. I do not believe this. This team can rebound and they still have a player in JD that can push the point the right way if coached properly.

In the Blog where we Wizards fan were asked to give one thing that could make a difference for this team, I gave a full explanation why this team needed to run and how.

Unfortunately, the Blog owner (who I have been told is Kalorama) held my comment. I have asked twice for it to be released, join me, for therein is a full answer to your quetion.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 18, 2008 12:19 PM

Larry,
That's quite a leap to say I wholly blame the players when I was among those calling for EJ to be released as I felt he was not doing a good job of managing them. That said, these are professional athletes who are paid tremendous sums of money and I will not endlessly seek to blame external factors for players not working hard on the court. Everyone has off-days shooting the ball but defense and rebounding are and always will be more effort based than influenced by coaching. Players that are hungry for the ball go and get it.

Juan is not a point guard...he has had multiple coaches in college and the pros and been an adequate point under none of them, much less a good point guard. So are all of these prior coaches incapable of providing proper instruction to a point guard as well? No...it is just not his game.

I like a lot of the players on this team and am optimistic that some may develop into 1st tier NBA players. They need time to play and make mistakes; it's going to require patience.

Again, appreciate your enthusiasm but just disagree this is wholly a coaching issue or that simply running the ball every play is going to make any real difference in the win/loss column with the current personnel on this team. It may put a few more folks in seats and I am sure the players and Abe would appreciate that.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Dallas fans think they're team is "America's Team". And that there's a hole in Texas Stadium so God can Watch "his team".

And Carolina fans think that God even made the sky "Carolina Blue".

Boy, it's sure fun to beat those guys! Only thing better is drowning out the Dukies with a win on their own floor.

Go Terps!

But Larry, you are right, the Wiz need to run!

Posted by: flohrtv | December 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line...we need to finish with as few wins as possible, get a top 3 protected pick, and get either blake griffin or ricky rubio.

allow gil to get healthy, produce a little bit, and then get rid of his worthless a** while we can, before he gets hurt again.

his 111 mil and Antawn's 50 mil are just crippling contracts for this franchise.

Posted by: anonymousinva | December 18, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Haywood was that impressive at "protecting the rim." Respectable but not a major shot blocker. What he was very good at was one-on-one defense against the opposing team's center, especially the bigger ones. It's only something you notice when it's not there. While unspectacular as a back-to-the-basket offensive player, he was improving and was getting at establishing some kind of inside game early, which openned up the perimeter shots. I'd say if he was healthy and playing this team would have won 3-4 more games; Roger Mason would have won them another 2-3 games. But they'd still not be very good.

Posted by: jweber1 | December 18, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If Tap played Mcgee 30 minutes a night he would average 15 points 7 or 8 boards and block at least 2 shots.

BTH couldn't put up those numbers in those minutes because he has hands of stone and no reliable post up move. The guy is just your average athletically challenged 7-footer who thinks the game better than he plays it. Has he ever put together back-to-back consistent seasons? Uh no... then why would anyone suppose that he wouldn't be in some type of funk like DeShawn and Antonio were (are).

Props to Tap for starting James and letting Young & Dixon get their chemistry going again.

Posted by: elfreako | December 18, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

A pivot man is as good as the number and quality of the touches he gets. Eddie's adaptation of the Princeton, with either Daniels or Mason on the court, and both Jamison and Butler being smart enough and with it enough to make the passing game work, you saw what Haywood could do and it is impressive.

Haywood was never able to show, to be the player he is, as long as he had to play with Arenas, who simply cannot throw the ball inside. No, I didn't say he doesn't like to; I have no idea as to that. I am convinced that Arenas does not see the game in terms of looking for passing lanes into the interior to develop, or working to develop them. Outside his skill set.

The few games that it seemed Eddie ordered Arenas to get it inside, Arenas's entire game would go South. He end up scoring 9 or 10, and making a mess of the art of the entry pass.

I do not think that Young has shown himself suited to a Princeton-type passing game of the sort Eddie developed, and I do not see the 5s for the Wizards having a chance to really play the pivot. The only time we catch of glimpse of an inside out passing game and what this team can be with it is when Shangaila is in the pivot. Then, he, Jamison, and Butler, can create and guys like Dixon can participate.

Ernie made a terrible mistake in trading away Roger. Whether either of two guards he got for Daniels can actually involve the center in the pivot play Eddie's system permits, and whether that system is even still an offensive option, will tell a lot about whether any pivot player on this team will live up to anyone's minimal expectations.

If you don't get it often and in a system with live options from which to chose, it is difficult to do well on the inside on offense. And, if you do not have a significant impact on how your team scores the ball, the likelihood that a big will be effective on the boards and on defense is greatly diminished. Anyone who has played this game and looks inside himself knows this to be true. You might win with defense, but you will not get good defense with impotent offensive players. It will not happen, and, if it does, it will be an aberrition.

I think that Haywood can make a tremendous contribution to this team if the new guards play with the same type cleverness in a system comparable to last year's Princeton-derivative. That, however, is a big if.

On the other hand, if the intention is to keep Arenas on this club, my singular purpose as GM was to trade Haywood before he and Gil have a chance to play together. The more they do, the more Haywood's stock will go down.

Posted by: cohenra | December 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

flohrtv/GM,
Do you also see JD as the point for this team to run? I am scratching my head trying to understand who is going to start cleaning glass and then who that person would then thow the ball to. I just don't see a point guard on the team and I can't imagine how the team can run without one. If it is just entertainment value being sought I get that.

It seems as simple and infeasible as saying they need to pound it into the post to get higher percentage shots when there are no low post players to give it to.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

McGee has awesome potential, but let's get real for a second folks: Where does the ball go when he's in the game and the opposing team has posession? It goes to whoever McGee is guarding. There's a reason for that.

He's a huge defensive liability, on a team with a gaping interior defense problem. If I were tap, he'd go into the game for some 'energy' for 3 minute stretches in each quarter.

Once he gets some meat on his bones, and learns the fundamentals of interior defense (hope he watches Haywood very closely), he'll be fine. But right now, his only redeeming factor on the defensive end is his natural shotblocking ability. Other than that, he's a huge liability on the defensive end. So much so, that it outweighs the benefits on the other end right now.

He's not 5 minutes per game bad, though, and I think Tap is gonna get into his head with those bullsh1t minutes just like he did to NY.

NY was on absolute FIRE to start the season, and I really felt like his offensive production outweighed his defensive weaknesses. And now look...

Posted by: jones-y | December 18, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if NY's knee is still giving him trouble. Before the season started they were talking surgery and then they said he could probably play through the year. I would like to hear from Nick if it is still bothering him.

Another thought on NY, he has been dreaming of the slam dunk contest since childhood. I wonder if you have to play a certain number of minuets to qualify for the opportunity. I also wonder if anyone in the Wiz organization has been an advocate for him to the league to try and get his a spot. I personally don't care about the contest but if it helps him to get excited and potentially helps his confidence the organization should be trying to make that happen for him.

...of course it probably also helps to actually dunk the ball in a game and I have not seen Nick throw down in some time.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 18, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

As a Celtics Fan for most of my life, do not count on the draft lottery. Very rarely do things go according to plan when it comes to the lottery (remember Tim Duncan or Greg Oden). The thing you guys should be most upset about is giving 111 million $'s to a guy who clearly does not care about playing basketball. And when he does he is not a guy that you build your team around, you will never win a title with Arenas and his contract on your books. He is going to hold that team hostage for the duration of his deal. I know a few weeks ago he said he would "definately be ready to go 100% on Jan. 1st" Well from everything I've NOT heard that is not a realistic possibility. As someone who has been lucky enough for the last 2 seasons to watch a team that truly loves the game and the competition It makes you appreciate guys who really care about winning and playing basketball. I'm not trying to to come on this board and gloat or take shots I'm just saying that the management for the Wizards made a monumental mistake by staking there franchise on Gilbert Arenas for the forseeable future. I have no rooting interest in the Wizards success or failures, I'm just a fan of the NBA and people like Gil give the NBA a bad name

Posted by: jordansonthego | December 18, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

your evidence that gil clearly doesn't want to play basketball being?

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Jordansonthego: I'm a die'hard Wiz fan, and I echoe everything you just said. Gil cares about $ and marketing, not about winning. That has been proven by his words in actions. Worst signing in franchise history. I couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic.

With Haywood: opposing guards drive the lane and dish.

Without Haywood: opposing guards drive the lane and score.

Posted by: jones-y | December 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a number of people comment on how not playing young, mcgee, dom,and pech has disenfranchised the fans and i could not agree more. It is over with the current formula 4-19, the kids need to prove whether they belong, the season should be dedicated to teaching these young players and as anyone who watches any sport knows, you only get better by playing. Play blatche and mcgee together, that combo at 4 and 5 will actually allow us to be somewhat competitive by not instantaneously conceding the paint as we do with a front line of song and aj. Both song and aj only have value offensively and for an awful team that plays zero defense that is not going to help us, the both of them should be shopped around. I feel like songaila would attract some suitors looking for bench offense "inside", at pf but all jump shot. And nobody could possibly want deshawn or etan. Hopefully someone gets desperate and comes after aj to be the sixth man on a championship squad.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

haywood was soft as hell,repeatedly i would scream the television trying to let him know how much larger a man he was than everyone on the court, but the squad certainly misses his sheer size in clogging up the middle, right now our only center doesn't even get on the floor, last night was inexcusable,2:31, AB blossoms next to mcee guaranteed.
The Haywood issue is blown out of proportion, yes we miss him, but there is no way the squad should simply fold like they are doing without him. He was a serviceable nba center at his best last year and that is all.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

A serviceable center, yes. And how bad do we look with NO serviceable center...

Posted by: jones-y | December 18, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Jordansonthego: I'm a die'hard Wiz fan, and I echoe everything you just said. Gil cares about $ and marketing, not about winning. That has been proven by his words in actions. Worst signing in franchise history. I couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 2:25 PM

Seriously? How about juwan's 100 million, did he deliver the constant playoff team and all-star appearances his contract led us to believe were in the works? "Gil cares about money and marketing" hahahaha, you are boys with gil and he has unveiled his plan to market himself as a loser to get rich? Glad someone so grossly hallucinatory about the squad is privy to this knowledge, did gil not win more games than anybody in the franchise in the last 30 years? Ah, i see, the winning was to set up the losing and the marketing.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

bford1kb: Well said.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

losing haywood hurts but it in no way takes the squad from middle of the pack to worst

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:02 PM

Gil won those games with a lot of help. And what ded he accomplish?? An early exit each year. If your one of the morans who thinks Gil is worth 111 mill, I pity you.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

losing haywood hurts but it in no way takes the squad from middle of the pack to worst

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:04 PM

Proof is in the pudding man. He's the most significant loss from a playoff team. How else do you explain it?

Posted by: jones-y | December 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

the fact that our squad came as close to playing error free as possible last year, we completely maxed out the talent last year, we had no margin for error last year and were able to make it to the playoffs knowing we'd get slaughtered by any team we saw in the first round

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't pretend to know that he's worth the loot or not, but i do know he's the best player this city has had since i've been alive and he got the contract prior to his surprise third surgery over the summer, if it were my money and i knew he had to have another major surgery he doesn't get the contract but when the contract was given out there was no discussion of another surgery two weeks later

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Bford: I'm not arguing the fact he is a great player ( I agree with you, he is the best this city has seen in a long time), but 111 mill, no way. He has the ability to take over a game, penetrate, and get to the line, all of which the Wiz lack right now. BUT, he plays no D, doesn't shoot a great percentage, is not a leader (he admitted it), and of course, above all, the injuries. Combined the pros and cons, over 6 years he's worth around 60 mill. Still a great salary for a high end player, but 111 mill is nonsense.

Posted by: cj658 | December 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You fail to mention Gil helped win those games in the Eastern Conference at a time when the EAst had never been worse. $111 dollars for a guy who shoots 40% on 25 shots a game is bad business. There is no way to justify that. Not to mention that when his team needs him like NOW, he says maybe it's best that he sit out for awhile and the Wizards end up with the worst record in the league. I'm sure Michael Jordan would say the same, as would Bird, Magic, Garnett ect. Those guys all played hurt throughout there careers because they would do whatever it took to win. Can you say the same for Arenas?

Posted by: jordansonthego | December 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Players like gil are who i despise in the league, but once I saw that talent play for my squad i forgave bad shots, careless d, low% shooting and any weirdness on his part, I couldn't help but be sucked in and yes I am still concerned that gil is exactly the type of player i'm afraid of, one that will never win anything important because as a point that shoots first it's very hard to do,(ask AI, third highest scorer ever, but from the organization's standpoint i wholeheartedly believe they needed to give him the loot(once again before knowing a 3rd surgery was needed). But for the organization they could not afford to let a guy who put d.c. on the national bball map walk back to golden state a star, he made the wiz a relevant squad, they had to give him the money for their own credibility

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Re McGee: Yeah, I can see why Tapscott won't play him. After all, you don't want to jeopardize such a promising season by giving big minutes to a rookie, even one with as much upside as Javale. After all, when you're in the thick of the playoff race, you can't afford rookie mistakes. That might cost you a game or two, and when you're fighting for homecourt advantage, every game is crucial. Let him watch the game, rather than learn how to play the game. Can't take a chance right now. Gotta keep those W's piling up.

Posted by: keithward64 | December 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

McGee has a lot of upside, and if he can fulfill his potential, he will be better than Haywood, no question about that! But right now, he is not as good as Haywood, especially defensively. jones-y hits the nail right on the head. Other than his shot blocking, McGee's defense is lacking, and he doesn't understand the offense either (even though he has better tool than Haywood). Too bad, it would have been ideal that McGee can come off the bench for Haywood for couple of years, and maybe the two can reverse roles (if McGee does develop into what we hope).

Posted by: sagaliba | December 18, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

you want him to play hurt in order to do what exactly, to never get healthy and never earn a penny of that 111? how many major knee surgeries did those hall of famers have in the span of 2 years? oh wait they had a combined one major surgery between the four for their entire careers, surprise surprise, their hurt ain't hurt my man, pain and being hurt are two different things. You should notice you only chose to compare him to lock hall of fame players.

Posted by: bford1kb | December 18, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Haywood was the Wizards only defensive presence around the basket and masked a lot of the defensive deficiences of AJ. His ability to block/alter shots, play the pick & roll, and cover the other teams best 4 or 5 is an intangible that can't be measured in points and rebounds....how many wins is that worth? It's hard to know for sure, but I think this team would be close to .500 and playing more cohesively.

The Wiz have lost too many close games down the stretch where having a true big man underneath would have helped. Also, BTH was tough on the offensive boards and required defensive attention. None of our other big men can provide what he gave.

People also forget that our best shooter and 6th man Roger Mason is in San Antonio. He'd have been our starting SG early this year when it became apparent that DSS had lost his confidence. The knee problems of AD and his pick & roll game with BTH also were another problem that this team had to deal with this year.

Hate to say it, but the injuries and a key FA loss are the main reasons why this team is so poor this year. It won't get any better until Arenas returns healthy and we have a legit center (BTH) on the roster. Look for this team to win 15-20 games and be picking in the lottery.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 18, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes. i kept telling my dad before the season even started that Haywood would be missed more than Arenas. You can totally see that. He's the one player that we don't have this year. This team is basically the same as last year. Adding Dixon and some other players don't change this team. Not having Haywood is a HUGE difference. Everyone is still the same as last year, we were still a good team without gil but with no Haywood we don't have any inside presence, you can see a big difference

Posted by: rachel216 | December 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Re: if you take Z off the Cavs floor, do they become a 4-19 team

No. Take Z and James off the floor. That's a much closer approximation to what happened to the wizards.

that was pretty funny that you tried to laugh off DCMan. I have to say, I've agreed with him on Haywood for awhile, and I was disappointed that he chose not to dignify your comment with a longer response. the prospect of his response was more exciting than a wizards game.

Posted by: crs-one | December 18, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Depends on how you define "good."

Is he a franchise changing player? Not even close. Is he anything more than an average (on good days) player? Nope. But on a team with as slim a margin for error as the Wiz had last year (and every year, for that matter) it doesn't take much to tip the whole apple cart over.

It's not about good or bad, it's about having all of the working parts in the right place and functioning. The WIz are missing too many parts and they don't have enough good spares.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 18, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Tapscott should be starting Blatche and McGee with Butler, Jamison & take your pick at the point. Maybe try the D-League for a point.

There is no chance of making the playoffs so you might as well be rebuilding. Let McGee and Blatche play until they foul out.

Tapscott has been unimpressive to say the least. He is not an improvement over Jordan. You might as well have me coach.

Posted by: klondike_dave | December 18, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Proof is in the pudding man. He's the most significant loss from a playoff team. How else do you explain it?"

He's not the only loss. Mason played a big role for the Wiz, He was their primary backup at two positions and played time at a third. Plus there's the issue of age and wear. Jamison and Daniels aren't exactly kids and plying all of those minutes no doubt took a physical toll that carries over (note Daniels being injured before the season even started).

I think the big factor is actually mental, not physical. The Wiz have had to deal with major injuries to key players pretty much every year of the current regime. They've pretty much found ways to play through it, but the constant roller coaster of starting the season with big expectations only to see them get undermined by injury has to take a toll mentally and emotionally. The first couple off times it happens, it's easy to say "hey, we can still do this." But ever time it turns out that they can't do it (which is every time it's happened) it gets harder and harder to keep spirits, focus, and energy up. I think last year just took it all out of them and left them wrung out.

They've got nothing left in the tank.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 18, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"McGee isn't playing becuase he's completely ineffective. A team that is losing every game can't afford to play somebody that's not contributing. He did show some ability early on, but not much lately. If i were the coach, i'd keep him on the bench too. Once the season is deemed by management a lost cause, then McGee plays."

Posted by: stevie2

Ha, if I could give you a hug I would, bc your post is one of the very few that makes any sense in here. Yeah, he had flashes at the beginning of the year, but he is what he is. A very talented RAW big man who is 20 years old. You don't feed him to the wolves just bc some fans want to see him make one or two plays a game.

"In the 6 games that McGee has played more than 20 minutes, he has averaged 13 points and 9 boards on a 40 minute basis. These stats compares favorably with Haywood, particularly given that McGee is a rookie and only 20 years old." - Izman

Izman, those games were weeks ago at this point. He is NOT playing like that right now. Just not, sorry. I wish he was too! Blatche is playing fairly well right now and deserves those minutes. Not McGee.

Hey, I know everyone is frustrated and I am too, but I am not going to nitpick Tap or anyone else at this point bc it does not matter this season. It just doesn't...don't watch anymore if you don't like.

Next year when BH and GA are back and the young guys have more experience, I think this team might be better than anyone thinks. Maybe not championship caliber, but definitely back on track!

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 18, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFever,

I too was a BH bandwagon guy. He is a very solid veteran center who is also much brighter in the basketball IQ sense than he is given credit for. In other words, his time had come. I don't feel however, that NY's or McGee's time has come. Their situations are completely different and they don't merit starting minutes now. They just don't. Hopefully, it's Blatche's time this year to prove he can be a more consistent professional basketball player. He is starting to show it ever so slowly.

- Rob P

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 18, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

To give McGee more minutes shouldn't come at Blatche's expense. Right now to get McGee on the court it should come in the form of a big lineup. I'd like to see him out there with Blatche at power forward, and Jamison at small forward.

Or better yet with Songaila and Blatche, because Songaila is a stronger defender then Jamison. Or even with Songaila and McGuire if you want to run him more in the second quarter with the second unit.

All of these lineups are putting McGee on the floor with another big who can defend better then McGee at this point. Putting him out there with a front court of Jamison and Butler is feeding the kid to the wolves. Big lineups would give Pecherov a way onto the floor as well.

Putting him on the court with a big lineup gives the kid the chance to excel and plays to his strengths. Songaila or Blatche could take on the other team's strongest big so that team's wouldn't just post up McGee like they are doing now.

All of these lineups would move Butler out of the front court, which to me is ideal. Giving McGee more minutes should come at Stevenson's expense not Blatche's.

Right now Stevenson is the one guy who's getting minutes that should be cut a lot. Going big would help cut his minutes and make more time for McGee and McGuire up front.

McGuire is a guy that needs to work on a few spots on the floor where he can catch and shoot. Once he develops a mid range spot up jumper he'll be a really solid rotation guy. Right now he's a scrappy defender, a good shotblocker, and he's got a great nose for the ball.

Picking up the tempo could allow Tapps to go deeper into his rotation and cut guys the length of guy's shifts. Guys would get winded quicker and want off the court and he could give some minutes to those that are buried at the end of the bench.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 19, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Going big also paves the way for Haywood's return and picking another big in the draft.

Blatche is this year's center, he could end up playing the 3 sometimes next year.

And Arenas and Butler would form a high powered back court.

Posted by: flohrtv | December 19, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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