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Wizards Insider: January 18, 2009 - January 24, 2009

Wizards (9-33) at Portland (25-17)

Wizards starters: Mike James, Caron Butler, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche. Trail Blazers: Sergio Rodriguez, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum. Refs: Steve Javie, Scott Wall, Zach Zarba. Line: Portland by 9 1/2. -A quick word on Portland: if you are ever out here and in need...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 24, 2009; 8:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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The Other Side: Portland Trail Blazers

I'm going up and growing up. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) While the Washington Wizards were getting trounced in Los Angeles on Thursday night, Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy was in a much more celebratory mood back home in Seattle, where the Washington Huskies retired his No....

By Michael Lee  |  January 24, 2009; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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McGee Gets a Chance

About the only good thing to come out of last night's debacle in Los Angeles was that the team's youngsters had a chance to play extensive minutes. We even saw a lot of JaVale McGee, and the rookie center finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds for one of...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 23, 2009; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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Lakers 117, Wizards 97

When the Lakers visited Washington earlier in the season they sleep-walked thorugh the second half and almost got burned. That didn't happen tonight as the Lakers, behind the frontcourt tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, pounded the Wiz in every way imaginable. The Lakers never trailed and led...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 23, 2009; 1:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Wizards (9-32) at Lakers (33-8)

(Starting lineups posted barring last-minute changes) Wizards: Mike James, Caron Butler, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche. Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Luke Walton. Line: Lakers by 14 1/2. -The Lakers beat the Wizards 106-104 at Verizon Center on Dec. 5...Caron Butler had a decent look...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 22, 2009; 8:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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The Other Side: Los Angeles Lakers

So, you've got your first 40-point game, huh, Andrew? You only need 93 more to catch me. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) Once again, TNT is stuck with a Thursday night game that looked good when the schedule-maker planned it, but terrible right now, with Gilbert Arenas sidelined...

By Michael Lee  |  January 22, 2009; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Mourning Retires

I had the honor of freezing my tail off at Barack Obama's historic inauguration on Tuesday, a moment in time that I surely with share with my kids some day -- whenever I have kids. But when it got too unbearably frigid for me, I walked from the parade route...

By Michael Lee  |  January 22, 2009; 3:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Three-Pointers a Huge Problem

For those of you who stayed up to watch the end of last night's game here in Sacramento know that it didn't have to be so close for the Wizards, who entered the fourth quarter with a 19-point lead and then watched the Kings whittle away at it with...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 22, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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What's That Sound? The Thunder Gaining Ground

After watching the Washington Wizards barely hold on against a really putrid Sacramento Kings team on Wednesday night, I skipped over the battle of Los Angeles (I knew the Lakers were going to beat the Clippers), and clicked over to Oklahoma City against Golden State to check out the other...

By Michael Lee  |  January 22, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Cheer or Jeer?

Last night's 110-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings appeared to boost the spirits of the 9-32 Wizards, but there were plenty of negatives, too. As Ivan blogged after the game: The Wizards won this one. I think. I'm not really sure because after nearly blowing a 21-point second half lead...

By Alexa Steele  |  January 22, 2009; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Wizards 110, Kings 107

The Wizards won this one. I think. I'm not really sure because after nearly blowing a 21-point second half lead with some bad defense and sloppy turnovers, the Wizards probably felt more relief than anything. "I guess they like drama," interim coach Ed Tapscott said. "Even though it drives...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 22, 2009; 1:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Wizards (8-32) at Kings (10-32)

Wizards starters: Mike James, Caron Butler, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche. Kings starters: Beno Udrih, Kevin Martin, Brad Miller, Jason Thompson, John Salmons. Refs: Mike Callahan, Bill Kennedy, Haywoode Workman Line: Kings by 2.5 -In his pre-game chat with reporters, interim coach Ed Tapscott said he would likely...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 21, 2009; 9:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Defense, Defense, Defense....

This is my fourth season covering the Wizards and yesterday, I wrote a story talking about the need to clamp down defense for oh, about the 1,000th time. The difference now is that without Gilbert Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood and Roger Mason Jr., the Wiz have to play...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 21, 2009; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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The Other Side: Sacramento Kings

We stink, but at least we aren't the worst team in our conference. (Photo by Don Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) It wasn't too long ago that the Sacramento Kings were relevant. Before Phoenix (in the Mike D'Antoni era), the Kings were the high-scoring, run-and-gun team of the early part...

By Michael Lee  |  January 21, 2009; 8:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Schedule to Get Tougher

It was an opportunity to at least dig their way out of the Eastern Conference basement. But in losing seven of their last eight, the Wizards have wasted the easiest portion of their schedule. Tomorrow's game at Sacramento will conclude a stretch of eight consecutive games against teams with...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 20, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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McGee Still Seeing Limited Minutes

When Etan Thomas went down with a torn MCL in his left knee, many assumed that rookie center JaVale McGee would see an increased role. To this point, that still hasn't really happened. McGee, who started 13 games earlier in the season and has flashed talent while showing that...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 20, 2009; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Warriors 119, Wizards 98

The Wizards held a 10-8 lead with 7:25 to go in the first quarter at Oracle Arena this afternoon but, in a sequence that pretty much summarized the game, Golden State's Stephen Jackson drilled a three-pointer to spark a 7-0 run and the Wizards played from behind the rest...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 19, 2009; 7:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Wizards (8-31) at Warriors (12-29)

Wizards starters: Mike James, Caron Butler, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche. Warriors: Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson, Andris Biedrins, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike. (Monta Ellis, Marco Belinelli and Brandon Wright are out) Refs: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brown, Derrick Stafford. Line: Warriors by 4.5. -The last time the teams met,...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 19, 2009; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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The Other Side: Golden State Warriors

Wait, did we just miss hands? (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) The Golden State Warriors helped welcome Washington Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott to the NBA in the best way possible: They rolled over in his coaching debut and gave the Wizards a much-needed 124-100 victory. That still stands as...

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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MMPG: The FourCast

Yeah, I'm reaching. I'm coming after that MVP award, too, Kobe. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) 1. Cleveland at Los Angeles Lakers (Monday) Of note: The debate over the league's best overall player usually comes down to two players -- Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Since he's...

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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MMPG: Player of the Week

Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic What do you have to say about me now? (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) Jameer Nelson used to be one of the reasons that it was easy to disregard the Orlando Magic as a legitimate contender. Not only was he short, Nelson wasn't a...

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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MMPG: Team of the Weak

Detroit Pistons I got you, Tayshaun. Who's going to catch us while we fall? (AP Photo) The Detroit Pistons always knew that acquiring Allen Iverson would be a high-risk, high-reward venture, but they likely had no idea that the experiment would have such maddening highs and lows. Just two weeks...

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 9:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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MMPG: Team of the Week

Philadelphia 76ers How are we going to keep this up when Elton gets back? (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) Don't rush, Elton. Take your time, big fella. If you feel any soreness in your shoulder, just shut it down and rest. The Philadelphia 76ers haven't exactly said...

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Monday Morning Point Guard

Barack's the name. Hoops is my game. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo) Barack Obama will not only become the nation's first black president on Tuesday, he will also become the first baller to live in the White House. Obama has already declared his plans to build a basketball court at 1600...

By Michael Lee  |  January 19, 2009; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Heading West

The Wizards practiced this morning before hopping a flight to the Bay Area for tomorrow's MLK Day matinee against the Golden State Warriors. It's going to be a challenging four-game trip for a Wiz team that has lost five straight away from Verizon Center and is 2-16 on the...

By Ivan Carter  |  January 18, 2009; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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