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Wizards at Pacers: Pre-game

Marc Carig here, pinch-hitting for Ivan Carter. He's pretty ill; There's some debate as to whether the cause is the flu or prolonged exposure to the Wizards. My money's on the latter.

Anyway, here's the latest:

- Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott changed his starting lineup on Monday, starting Andray Blatche over rookie JaVale McGee against the Indiana Pacers. After reviewing film, Tapscott said Blatche worked better in tandem with Antawn Jamison on defensive rotations.

The move comes after Blatche played more than 30 minutes off the bench in Saturday's loss at Philadelphia. McGee got into early foul trouble and logged just 5 minutes 31 seconds, even though he started.

- Center Etan Thomas is inactive because he's gone for a routine heart exam. Oleksiy Pecherov takes his spot on the active roster.

By Keith McMillan  |  December 15, 2008; 6:29 PM ET
 
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Next: Disappointing Game

Comments

Looks like people are just too numb to comment at this point.

Marc, you are doing a great job of pinch hitting.

Ivan, hope you are feeling better.

Now just how long do we have to wait before our brain trust moves Caron to the 2-guard ... Marquis Daniels went 10-17 against DS, our alleged lock-down defender, duh ... and tries a big front line of McGee, Blatche and Jamsion? Just do it once or twice and if it does not work, a number of us will shut up and let the this train continue to roll towards its sorry destination.

Posted by: khrabb | December 16, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Pecherov, 2 minutes - 2 shot attempts. He really does average a shot a minute!

Posted by: twigmuffin | December 16, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Somebody wake me when this season is over. As the other poster said, at this point, there is just nothing to comment on. Ground Hog Day, different day, same result. Another Loss!

Posted by: ivyleague | December 16, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

At this point in the season, the only reason I look forward to watching Wizards games is to see how our 4 youngsters with potential are progressing (AB, NY, JM, DM). Seems like I can throw that out the window, with AB the only one averaging more than 10 minutes a game recently. Now I can just stop watching the games altogether. Looks like box scores from here on out.

Posted by: psps23 | December 16, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I was looking at some stats this morning. Check this out:

According to 82games +/- stats as of December 15, the defensive on/off stats, which measure how many points the opposing team scores when a certain player is on the court versus off the court, are as follows:

The Best:

Young: -14.6 (meaning that when he is on the floor, the Wizards give up 14.6 fewer points per 100 possessions than when he is off the floor)
Blatche: -14
Songalia: -6.3
McGuire: -6.2
Dixon: -4.8
And Pech is actually -20.9, the best on the team, though with very few minutes.

The Worst:

Thomas: +18.8 (meaning that when he is on the floor, the opponent scores 18.8 more points per 100 possessions than when he is off the floor)
Stevenson: +11.9
Daniels: +11.2
Jamison: +9.5
Butler: +6.1
James (in 33 Wizards minutes): +14.5

Note how the worst 5 were the Wizards' starting 5 for much of this season. A team that cares about defense wouldn't start its five worst defenders. And then those 5 horrible defenders wouldn't run into the locker room after the game and rip the youngsters.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 16, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

At this point in the season, the only reason I look forward to watching Wizards games is to see how our 4 youngsters with potential are progressing (AB, NY, JM, DM). Seems like I can throw that out the window, with AB the only one averaging more than 10 minutes a game recently. Now I can just stop watching the games altogether. Looks like box scores from here on out.

Posted by: psps23 | December 16, 2008 8:15 AM

psps23 - I will also have to agree with you. I am as hardcore a Wiz fan as anybody and have watched them since the early eighties. I even watched every game when they had bad teams.

However, something about this whole thing is different. Like you, I look forward to seeing the youngsta's get run. But it looks like Tabscott is determined to run AJ and Caron into the ground along with Stevenson and Song.

It is just not any fun anymore watching. I only enjoy it when he has AB, McGee, NY and DMac out there. Heck, I would even like it now to see if OPEC is a bust or not.

I have seen so much of CB, AJ, Stevenson and Song. I am now starting to switch the channel to something else until Tabscott puts the reserves in. Still a fan, however I think I might lay off watching the games until Tabscott starts giving the youngsta's more minutes.

The Wiz. organization must be crazy if they think anyone is going to pay for tickets to see this product. I hope they noticed the whole crowd got fired up when McGee came into the game at the (wink, wink) 5 min mark in the 2nd quarter?

Abe and Ernie, be real careful. You lost some fan base when you fired Eddie J'. I was not one of them that didn't support the move . However, to replace him with somebody who is following the same blueprint for rotations Eddie J' was using; you my as well keep Eddie J'. At least he was not jerking around McGee and NY like Tabscott is doing.

*** Ernie G. again you need to make a stop in Tabscott's office and "URGE" him to play the youngsta's more (McGee, NY).....

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 16, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"My money's on the latter."

Lol, geeze Marc thanks for the positive review! ;)

Anyway, there's no nit-picking what the Wiz are doing at this point. Either way, they are going to be in the Lottery at the end of the year as this one is already a wash as well as have a new coach.

In addition, Haywood and Arenas will be back which means next year should be very exciting in Washington.

Think about it this way, you put Haywood and Arenas back as starters, with Jamison and Caron, and then hopefully a NEW 2 guard and move some of the kids who are playing now back to the bench they look really, really, good for next year.

We're all just going to have to suffer a little this year. A lot of people on here(me being one of them) thought they could not win with what they have on the roster, and beat the heck out of Jordan's coaching. That will all change next year.

It's just going to be a bumpy ride until then. Go watch the Caps until then.

Feel better Ivan. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 16, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"Bulletsfan,

What are you talking about? EG built the NY team that went to the finals TWICE and would have won minus Jordan. Then, he went to MILWAUKEE of all places and made them into a perennial playoff team, which is no easy feat. Then, he put the team together that got us to the playoffs 4 years in a row. Come on man....make some sense! He is the best GM the Wiz/Bullets have had in my lifetime by far!

- Rob P

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 16, 2008 12:17 AM "

EG's past accomplishments may possibly be meaningless to a degree, with what he can and will be able to do here.

Remember, back when he was with the Knicks, I believe they were owned by big money MSG/Cablevision, as they are now.

Les BouleS are on a different budget.

EG's hands are a bit tied here with regard to making trades and signing people.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 16, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Saw this in ESPN's piece on last night's Suns-Knicks game:

"The Suns, to this day, say that they wanted D'Antoni to stay. Sarver and Kerr contend that the only condition they put on D'Antoni was the hiring of a defensive specialist as an assistant, after D'Antoni resisted the hiring of Tom Thibodeau following the Suns' crushing second-round exit to San Antonio in 2007. Thibodeau wound up going to Boston and helping the Celtics win the championship in 2008 defensive coordinator from the outside when the Spurs ousted the Suns in Round 1."

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 16, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I hit submit before I was done:

"The Suns, to this day, say that they wanted D'Antoni to stay. Sarver and Kerr contend that the only condition they put on D'Antoni was the hiring of a defensive specialist as an assistant, after D'Antoni resisted the hiring of Tom Thibodeau following the Suns' crushing second-round exit to San Antonio in 2007. Thibodeau wound up going to Boston and helping the Celtics win the championship in 2008."

So, that's two coaches fired because they wouldn't retain Thibodeau.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 16, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I, too, look forward to seeing the future now. But I think there is some risk involved. It's easy to say that Tap should just play the young guys, but you cannot just play the young guys unless they demonstrate that they are deserving of minutes. Otherwise, I think you create a real lockerroom problem. Take Nick YOung for example. WHile he is a solid offensive player, his defense is atrocious and he doesn't seem to care. If Tap rewards NY with minutes, then what does the guy who is deprived of minutes think? Why should he work hard?

So, I think that if you're going to play the young guys, you've got to try to unload some of these vets. And to me, that includes Jamison. He must be of some value to a team that needs a scoring 6th man. Listen, whenever this team becomes competitive again, Jamison will be on the severe downslope of his career.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 16, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Feel better, Ivan.

Maybe EG should reach out to Thibodeaux now, before the other 5 teams with openings call him. (Yes, I know his is with the C's, but it doesn't need to be "formal" or even overt.) He seemed willing to come work for EG once before. Maybe this is the spot for him.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 16, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"Take Nick Young for example. WHile he is a solid offensive player, his defense is atrocious and he doesn't seem to care."

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 16, 2008 8:52 AM


Um, Zardsfan1, take a look at my earlier post -- 5th one from the top.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 16, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"Take Nick YOung for example. While he is a solid offensive player, his defense is atrocious and he doesn't seem to care. If Tap rewards NY with minutes, then what does the guy who is deprived of minutes think? Why should he work hard?"

Surely you are joking. Please tell me that. If NY does get the minutes (which he should), that will be cutting inton DS’s minutes. So I guess you are saying DS deserves all those minutes over NY??? DS is trash all around, and does not deserve all those minutes over NY. Sorry to break it to you.

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

BF,

I feel exactly the same way you do. I want to see the kids play. If we lose, at least we lose with energy and excitement; and they get valuable experience.

I am sure this is not what EG envisioned when he canned Jordan (in terms of rotations/keeping young guys on the bench). I'll bet we start seeing the pups more as the season spirals further down the drain...

Posted by: keithward64 | December 16, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Nice story on the game, Marc.

If you keep this up, Ivan will get well real soon.

On the other hand, you would be covering the Wizards.

Sorta' good news/bad news: "Hey Mom and Dad. I'm covering the NBA for the Post."

"Great, which team?"

"The Wizards."

(click)

Posted by: SteveMG | December 16, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Rob P and Kal up at 3AM talking Wiz? WOW! I thought I was a fan.

Anyway, FREE PECH. Let's close the chapter on the guy one way or another. It's amazing to me that we have a young 7 footer who's shown rebounding potential on our bench while we stand by idly and watch the team get pounded on the boards...repeatedly.
Like I wrote in another post, just put the guy out there and let him prove me wrong. Every player on this team (including journeymen James, Dixon and Brown)has gotten a chance to play but our 7 foot first rounder languishes on the bench. Even proven POOR rebounders like Songaila have gotten good minutes.
Can I get my option year picked up? I can give them as much floor time as Pech is giving them. What was the logic in picking it up if he's never going to play unless 3 centers and a pf are in the hospital?

Tap would rather play JM, AB, ET and Songaila at C before Pech. This is plain stupidity to me. Now if he ever gets in, he's out of shape because he's never getting any burn. Chances are that his conditioning will be used as an excuse not to play him thereafter.

Posted by: original_mark | December 16, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

How can Blatche only collect 2 rebounds? Juan Dixon had 3!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentleman, I am convinced there is something else going on with this team, you know, more than meets the eye. This was a playoff team last year minus Gil. How on Earth can the same group of guys be THIS much worse?? And don’t tell me Roger Mason and BTH are the x-factors, come on folks, get real. While they are both good players, they do not make the difference b/t a playoff team and a last place team. There is much more going on. Continued…..

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Do you remember all the talk last year, “This team is better without Gil”, and “They are just as good without Gil as they are with him”?? Remember that. Than EG/Abe sign Gil to a record deal to make him the franchise player for the next 6 years. Think about this folks: How would EG/Abe look if the Wiz continued to win without Gil, (just like last year)?? So Gil all of a sudden gets another mysterious “knee surgery” which will keep him out half the season (for debris removal lol, great timing too). So now all of a sudden without Gil the Wizards are ATROCIOUS. Now management, media, and fans are saying we are bad because we are missing our franchise player, the 100 million dollar man, Gilbert. I GUARANTEE you Gil, EG, and Abe are loving each and every minute of watching this team sink lower and lower without him in the lineup. In conclusion, with the Wiz playing so poorly without Gil, it makes him look pretty valuable huh? All the Wiz have to do is be a .500 team when he comes back, and EG/Abe will look like geniuses for the signing. Now I’m no conspiracy theorist, but, well I’ll let you people be the judge of this entire situation.

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and lastly, I truly, firmly believe everything I just posted above. Please take the time to read it. I honestly believe there is much more going on, and remember guys, this is a business. And signing Gil was a HUGE business move, with potential for LARGE risk/reward. I truly believe the fans are being played, and management/coaching had this all planned out the day they signed Gil. Call me crazy (I don't care), but I truly believe it.

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

No PG play! Tapscott's record before the trade: 3-5, after the trade: 0-3! Dixon is NOT a PG. James and Crittenton haven't really into it yet. James only has one good shooting night in 3 appearances, Crittenton, OTOH, totaled 5 turnovers in 8 minutes!

Entire backcourt shot terrible last night, Dixon: 2-8, DS: 2-6, James: 0-5, Young: 1-4, combined 21.7%. Jamison, Butler, Blatche, and DSong OTOH, combined shot 54.7%. Of course, as everybody knows, the inability to corral the rebounds really kills them and has been their Achilles heel for some times!

Posted by: sagaliba | December 16, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Call me crazy (I don't care), but I truly believe it."

I don't only because Polin does not want empty seats at MCI and to lose money, he's not getting any younger after all. EG was just plain DUMB for signing Gil to that contract. Did EG want his own coach? Sure, and that could very well be Thibodeau next year.

I still think there is another trade in the works somewhere. I would be surprised not see another one. I would still like to see Blatche and Etan in a trade to bring in a veteran. EG nearly had Etan gone once, he could do it again.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 16, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, as everybody knows, the inability to corral the rebounds really kills them and has been their Achilles heel for some times!"

Well, other then Caron and AJ I think it's more about experience on the floor. Stevenson doesn't rebound(or even score for that matter) and other then those two they are playing a bunch of kids. Jordan never taught them to play defense, let's be honest there. So they are what they are.

IMHO I like what D.Mac brings to the table. Start him and move Caron to the 2. What could it hurt to try it out for a few games? He gives you defense and Stevenson give you nothing.

They should really trade Blatche while he still has value. I just don't see that guy getting any better and you just can't rely on him every night.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

RAY: I agree with you on one account, there is another trade in the works, and it is Blatche. Why else would he be starting now?? It’s strange how he is all-of-a-sudden getting bug minutes, but the rest of the young guys get nothing. It’s simple, they are trying to up his trade value. Believe me, 95% of the league would jump all over a guy like Blatche (despite what Kalorama says).

Now on the other topic, you’re right, Abe doesn’t want empty seats, but he is willing to sacrifice empty seats for 1 season, if that means full seats for the remaining 5 years on Gils contract. Again, I think this planned from the beginning. And honestly, I think the vets are in on it too. DS, AJ, & CB. It’s all about $, and no telling how much EG is compensating them for tanking. It accomplishes 2 things for Ernie: A) he gets a reason to fire Ej, so he can bring his own guy in, & B) it will make the Gil signing look brilliant when Gil returns. It is making fans miss Gil, and people are staring to believe Gil was the real reason for the team’s success (far from true). Ernie killed two birds with one stone. And he could not have done it without the help of his 3 vets, who are all getting damn near 40 mins a game. (not a coincidence).

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

bug=big

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Who woulda thunk that BTH is the achilles heel of this team? Yes, it is true, not Gilby.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 16, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Disgruntledfan,
By your logic, none of the starters should play because their plus minus numbers are worse than the subs. No one in their right mind would claim that NY is a good or even average defender. That's why no one should pay any attention to your post.

I agree that NY and the other young guys need minutes, but a coach has manage the entire locker room. His only reward to players is minutes. If guys aren't serious, don't put in the time, and don't demonstrate that they care, then Tap cannot dole minutes to those guys.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 16, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Zards fan 1: And what makes you think DS is serious??

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Conspiracy Theory

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

CJ658,
I think I railed against your one of your Blogs a few days back. But your point of something else going on here cause this team can't be that bad. I totally agree.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 16, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Larry: Thanks. I’m glad you agree. Again, I may sound like a conspiracy theorist, but there is just no possible way this team can go to playoff team (that beat the Celts 3 times) last season, to quite possibly being a 15 win team. It has gotten that bad, I see them winning 15 games. I’ve been watching basjetball for a long time, and I have NEVER seen a complete step backwards like we are seeing now. It makes no sense. This team has 2 all-stars, and they’ve only won 4 times this season??? Ridiculous.

Posted by: cj658 | December 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

CJ, I don't know if I agree 100% with you, but I do think you are right about something else going on behind the scenes.

I keep thinking aobut this one scene from The Wire. Bunk is grilling Omar about the code of the street and the old neighborhood, and he says "I can't believe how far we done fell" or something like that.

Ain't that the truth!

Posted by: gdiddy7 | December 16, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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