Wizards 107, Pistons 94

MVP: The Washington bench scored a season-high 59 points and helped turn the game with some high-energy play by Dominic McGuire, Andray Blatche, Darius Songaila, Juan Dixon and Nick Young.

Key stat: Juan Dixon had 16 points, four rebounds and seven assists and posted an unreal plus-33 plus/minus rating. He also played some pretty solid defense on Allen Iverson.

Turning point: The Wizards led 92-88 with 2:19 to go when they came out of a timeout and ran perfectly executed inbounds play that led to Songaila layup off a pass from Dixon. (For more on that play, read my game story).

Analysis: Just a good, solid win considering that the Wiz had lost three straight and fell behind by 17 early in the second quarter. When things weren't working early, Tapscott changed things up by sitting JaVale McGee and Dee Brown and riding Caron Butler, Antawn Jaminson, DeShawn Stevenson and his bench. Songaila's defense on Rasheed Wallace was also big.

Antawn Jamison only had 10 points to go along with 11 rebounds but his defense, of all things, was big.
"The defensive play Antawn gave us tonight was phenominal," Tapscott said. "It was Antawn who clogged the lane, got into passing lanes and did everyhing you could ask a defender to do in terms of disrupting their pick-and-rolls."

The Pistons are 7-9 since Allen Iverson made his debut with the team and they look nothing like the well-oiled machine we've seen in the past. At times, their body language is downright discouraging. Did you notice Tayshaun Prince walk off the court before the game was even over?

-Nothing new to report on the Javaris Crittenton trade talks. The Wizards have interest and the Grizzlies want to move the second-year PG but they are clear about wanting that conditional draft pick back that they gave the Wizards for Juan Carlos Navarro's
The Wizards have 15 players on the current roster and would have to trim one as well as some salary in order to fit Crittenton's salary under the luxury tax threshold. I'll keep you posted.

FYI, Here is how the conditional pick the Wiz received for JCN breaks down: It's top 16 protected in next summer's draft, top 14 protected from 2010-2012 and top 12 protected in 2013. If the Wizards have not received the pick by 2013, they will receive a second round pick and cash considerations.

By Ivan Carter |  December 9, 2008; 10:53 PM ET
Previous: Pistons at Wizards (Trade Rumor Update) | Next: Should the Wizards Make This Trade?


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Antawn played defense and the bench killed it, what else do you want? OH YEA BABY!!

Good win by the Wiz kids. Javale showed tonight that he is not worthy of going against the bangers of the league and tonight highlighted his lack of weight being an issue but no worries! Sooner or later he will bulk up and handle business

If the bench can play like this each night then we have a chance of getting to .500 soon but I wont hold my breathe ;)

Anyone else notice Deshawn sucked it up as usual? 1 made 3 from like the 246,871 he took? What the hell! I used to root for him but I cant anymore unless he magically starts raining 3's over KG's head


Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 9, 2008 11:12 PM

Excellent effort tonight. If the Wiz bring that type of energy from quarters 2-4 on a nightly basis, regardless of how "on" they are, they'll easily be a .500 team from here on out.

I still don't get the love affair with Stevenson. What has he done to earn the benefit of the doubt in continuing to get minutes regardless of performance? Officially beginning my "Start DMac" campaign...

Posted by: spizzle | December 9, 2008 11:21 PM

Antawn Jamison only had 10 points to go along with 11 rebounds but his defense, of all things, was big.
"The defensive play Antawn gave us tonight was phenominal," Tapscott said. "It was Antawn who clogged the lane, got into passing lanes and did everyhing you could ask a defender to do in terms of disrupting their pick-and-rolls."

Too bad he can not do it every night

Posted by: forbid | December 10, 2008 12:01 AM

"The defensive play Antawn gave us tonight was phenomenal," Tapscott said. "It was Antawn who clogged the lane, got into passing lanes and did everything you could ask a defender to do in terms of disrupting their pick-and-rolls."

Antwan had 10 points and 11 rebounds while Tayshaun Prince had 8 points and 11 boards, all the Wizards have to do is keep playing teams that have 6’9” 215 lbs power forwards.

This was a good win against a team who is still working on their chemistry.

Sorry Larry it is the best I can do until this team shows me some consistency.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 10, 2008 12:31 AM

Nice solid win tonight! Maybe just maybe Tap knows what he is talking about when it comes to matchups for McGee. While he needs PT, you don't want him getting destroyed needlessly and the team does not need it either. And he is too raw to just say that he can be his own mismatch on the other end. Just not there yet.

I have never seen Javaris play, but if he can play at all or has pretty good potential I don't see what we would be losing by trading the protected pick. For Memphis it's a top 5 pick, for us it's a 2nd rounder in 2/3 years most likely. Big deal! Cut whomever you need to cut if he does in fact have some real point guard potential.

By the way, the best play of AB's career tonight! Wow! That's why he was resigned. If and when he matures fully, he will the steal of his draft and from the second round nonetheless!
Much like McGee could be the steal of this years draft! I guarantee this. If they redid the draft right now, McGee would be a lottery pick easily!

Where is Dargregs whining post about EJ or something about Tap's coaching or how bad a GM EG is?

-Rob P

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 10, 2008 3:00 AM

Great win, and totally unexpected.

ThoughtAI would light it up, but something is wrong with the Pistons Why acuire AI and not let him run the offense? He will be speaking out soon, you can bet on it.

Also wouldn't Mcdyess have looked good in a Wiz uni?

Now for the negs, DS is a total wasate. He can not guard or stop penetration, and has no real big time offensive skills.

Also I do pray that Atap does not fall into the EJ trap of Asong at center. Yes it worked against an undersized center/forward Sheed, but let's hope there is more insight than EJ showed re Asong.

Love McGuire's presence and energy, and even hitting jumpers and driving.

This team can cook when they move the ball, push and run...which precludes AS from being on the floor, and the same for AD.

If we can swing the trade with Memphis for a point guard, so long Dee...he is the only real option to be cut, that could satisfy the cap concerns.

Agree that McGhee is not strong enough or sophisticated enough offensively, but let's get him on the court for defense when the match ups work.

Welcome back Juan...your heart, skills and will are a blessing and much needed with this basically bland personality team.
He is a WINNER, and I know it had to eat him up, to be sitting behind Dee, of all players.

The real test, like always is the next game and the coaching adjustments that Atap can see and make.

Posted by: maxman2162 | December 10, 2008 3:12 AM

As the leading Songaila basher here, I have to say he did a great job. His defense on Sheed was superb and he was very effective. I hate to be the fly in the ointment but here's the real deal...

If we are depending on Juan and Songaila to give us great efforts every game, we're a lottery team. We scrapped and won a game against a dysfunctional Pistons team because an average and a below average player played above their heads. The matchup was also in our favor. I'd feel much more comfortable if we had won this game with NY,AB,DM or JM playing larger roles.
The bad thing about this win is that Tap may try to use it as some sort of 'winning template'. The fact is that if we played that same lineup for 82 games, we'd probably win 20.
Good to get a win just to get the guys feeling good about themselves as a whole but at what cost? OK, two old vets (Songaila and Dixon) are feeling pretty good right now. Our future is still sitting on the bench for long stretches and may not feel as though they are capable of doing it themselves if their minutes continue to dwindle.

Some folks may (and have) call(ed) me crazy but I'd rather see the young guys fight and learn in a close loss that win it with old guys with NO upside. It's not about wins now for me as a fan. It's about the mid and long term. Pick your poison, Wiz. Either take our lumps now with the young guys or later. I'd rather take then now and have a solid team in the future when all of our players are back.

Posted by: original_mark | December 10, 2008 7:12 AM

Also, The Wizards have to be one of the only teams I have EVER seen that consistently changes lineups to match up with other teams. We've been playing this 'reactive' ball for years. Most good teams pick their best 5 players at each position and play them regardless of the opponent. Then, they play their best 3 or 4 bench players.

I'm guessing that for our next game, the subs will be drastically different. This approach puts too much pressure on the coaches to try to figure out where the advantage and disadvantages might be and increases the likelihood of an error.

Songaila played well last night but he's only effective against big guys that don't play inside and don't drive. Sheed is a big man that likes to stay outside and can't put the ball on the floor. 90% of the other PF's and C's in this league are effective against Songaila. DSong runs almost Muresan-like and appears to have trouble getting more than 6 inches off the ground. I honestly think that his back or leg is bothering him wayyyy more than we've been told.
Please don't develop a man-crush on him like EJ did, Tap. He'll only disappoint.

Posted by: original_mark | December 10, 2008 7:23 AM

As for Crittenton, he was measured at 6'3" without shoes, 194 lbs. and his scouting report says that he is a very good ballhandler who is primarily a scoring pg. He has great quickness and the ability to be a good defender.
This sounds a lot like Arenas to me. If we're drafting him to get rid of AD, fine. Any other expectations need to be scaled back. Here's a scouting report on Crittendon from his last college game in the NCAA tournament...

"March 16, 2007
While his teammate Thaddeus Young had a mediocre game, there is no other way to describe Javaris Crittenton’s performance than as an absolute disaster. He went scoreless and was held without an assist in the first 18 minutes of the game, which helped UNLV coast to a double digit lead that they maintained for most of the first half. Crittenton settled for ill-advised outside shots and pounded the ball incessantly, which meant that Georgia Tech’s offense lacked any kind of direction. He struggled with the fullcourt press and turned the ball over repeatedly on terrible decisions, not making any reads in the half-court and constantly making the same mistakes over and over again."

He's still a good prospect. Take him if we don't have to give up much and we can groom him to replace AD. Just don't expect miracles since he's only 20.

Posted by: original_mark | December 10, 2008 7:42 AM

Why does Stevenson still get so many minutes?!
I am not seeing what he brings to the game, aside from ensuring that the Wizards have someone out there to miss critical free throws at the end of games....

Posted by: boc772000 | December 10, 2008 9:29 AM

"Why does Stevenson still get so many minutes?!
I am not seeing what he brings to the game, aside from ensuring that the Wizards have someone out there to miss critical free throws at the end of games....

Posted by: boc772000 | December 10, 2008 9:29 AM "

B/c he's Gilby's boy. That's why he got resigned, after playing out a 1 year contract after he got almost no offers.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 10, 2008 10:23 AM

NOTE TO ROBP: Nice to be mentioned even when i don't post, happy holidays to you and yours; now lets get down to business first and foremost I don't whine I have strong convictions about EJ that being said the win last night was more about what the Pistons haven't been doing than about what the Wizards did, since the trade(Iverson for Billups) the Pistons have been in a semi tailspin, no offensive continuity and giving up leads,they miss Billups more than i'm sure they will admit if he's still on the team the Wiz don't win this game plus I don't think Justin Maxiell played at all last night he usually kills the Wizards but all in all i'm happy they finally got a W and yes i think EG has screwed up and EJ was the scapegoat for the teams poor start given the fact that BTH and GA are absent what could any reasonable fan or GM expect if they beat the Celts and the Sixers this week then i'll back off ETAP a bit,should be interesting.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 10, 2008 10:28 AM

Yeah, I don't get the Stevenson thing either. As well as McGee was playing, I had a fit when midway in the 4th Taps pulled McGee and Juan and subbed Jamison and Stevenson. It was at that moment that the Pistons cut the lead down to four points. They get it back together, and AJ played really well on both ends. But why pull guys who are playing well, and why sub in Stevenson?

Posted by: Prazak | December 10, 2008 2:12 PM

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