Bucks 97, Wizards 91

Same old, same old folks. The Wizards played well enough to be in the game thorughout and even held a five point lead entering the fourth but couldn't finish. The killer came from Michael Redd who curled around a screen and drained a three-pointer to give the Bucks a 93-89 lead with 1:20 to go.

The Wizards led by 13 in the third and got a career-high 30 points out of Nick Young but that wasn't enough. Again.

"Doesn't it feel like we've seen this movie before," is how interim coach Ed Tapscott opened his post game presser.

Yes, we have.

-Caron Butler missed some layups early and never got going. He finished with six points on two-of-13 shooting and failed to register an assist for the first time all season.

"It was tough," Butler said. "I missed a few layups and tip dunks - a lot of shots I normally make and establish a rhythm for me. I never really got into a rhytym."

-Antawn Jamison appeared to be feeling it a little bit on that knee but still posted 25 points on nine-of-14 shooting.

-Young has been hot the last three games. He's 30-of-43 in the three games and has been basically unstoppable.

-Center Etan Thomas left the game in the first half with a left knee strain and did not return. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

By Ivan Carter |  January 12, 2009; 10:28 PM ET
Previous: Wizards (7-29) vs. Bucks (18-21) | Next: Worst Ever?


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I think Crit should get the starting nod for the next wave of games. He's clearly the most talented PG we have outside of Arenas, and regardless of whatever sets James can run, the offense flows much better with the ball in Crit's hands (mostly because Crit actually pushes the ball and gets things going before the defense gets set).

I'd also like to give NY the starting nod, but I'd be wary about watching his performance. He's on fire right now coming off the bench, nearly unstoppable offensively. So long as he gets 30-35 minutes, I won't care if Taps leaves him on the bench to start the games.

Finally, Butler should be fine at the 2. The intensity he's playing with has nothing to do with him being out of position. He's simply not bringing it right now.

Posted by: psps23 | January 12, 2009 10:36 PM

Taps has got to be accountable for this mess and he can't hide behind the "interim" label, he's had plenty of games and practices now to put his stamp on the team, and the worst part is we're stuck with this guy for the next 40 games, we haven't even played 1/2 the season yet!

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 12, 2009 10:42 PM

The model for this season was shown by Miami last year. Let the kids play and get experience. Allow GA to heal and not bring him back until he is 100%. Hopefully, by end of March, early April so he can play a couple of games, if possible. Then, use the lottery pick to get a young starter. This season is lost, so everything should be about getting ready for next year. Follow Miami's model from last year. DWade is back and healthy and they picked up Michael Beasley for all their pain.

Posted by: Section102 | January 12, 2009 10:44 PM

This isn't the NFL where you need training camp to implement your program, our training camp was 4 days at VCU, or roughly the same length as a Larry Brown practice. Ivan, please hold this guy accountable and don't start talking about next year when there is still 1/2 a season left!

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 12, 2009 10:46 PM

When Gilbert went down last year, did Eddie Jordan pack it in and let the kids get experience? He led the team to 43 wins last season and took 2 games off the Cavs in the playoffs. Wasn't EJ fired because 1-10 is not acceptable and "we have 2 All-stars and more than enough to get it done"? I'm using Ernie Grunfeld's words, not mine.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 12, 2009 10:50 PM

Same old story huh.

Next time just copy and paste it so u dont have to write much

Posted by: forbid | January 12, 2009 10:51 PM

The glass is starting to look half full to me. NY has career highs in 2 of the last 3 games with limited minutes. DMac is playing a versatile game while developing as our enforcer, also not pressing on O. Critt looks to be a point guard I can get behind, love his length/handle/penetration but obviously needs to get friendly with Hopla. Blatche, while still grossly underperforming, is still more consistent than any time previously. McGee is inexplicably bottled up still...even with ET having an achy knee. And yes, need more Pech too.

I am also really enjoying not watching Stevenson. I know of course once he does heal up and Gil returns they will be the 1/2 again. Would be nice if this team could start looking forward instead of daydreaming about 3 years ago and what could have been.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 12, 2009 10:59 PM

Taps doesn't know what works and what doesn't. For some unknown reason, he doesn't like to tinker with rotations.

More specifically, he didn't come back to the 5-man line-up of JC, NY, DM, AB and JM at all in the second half, despite it being the momentum changer in the 1st half. His lack of confidence indirectly affects these guys' performance.

Yet the vets have been playing poorly and losing game after game. Do you think his confidence is misplaced?

Maybe Tapscott can stay home for one game?

Posted by: Izman | January 12, 2009 11:05 PM

Did anyone else see the segment of Tapscott's press conference on ComCast post-game? All those old-timey coaching proverbs and the guys having "writer's block" right now and needing "vocabulary lessons"?! If he's spouting that nonsense in the locker room, I can just see the eyes rolling and the brains tuning out everything he says (apart from Etan the Poet of course). Truly cringeworthy stuff.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | January 12, 2009 11:31 PM

They've got to give Butler and Jamison some rest I think.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 12, 2009 11:45 PM

Get a free t-shirt to express your bummed-out-ed-ness concerning the Wizards management and President Ernie Grunfeld.

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Email ErnieGone@Hotmail.com

Posted by: erniegone | January 13, 2009 12:03 AM



I'm sorry but this is some of the worst coaching I've ever seen. They got numerous offensive rebounds because Bogut was just getting rebounds over the hopless Songaila!!!!

We actually played well enough to win this game if the coaching had been better. Nick Young was going off, and how many weeks have people been talking about giving him minutes. But TAPSCOTT WASN'T SMART ENOUGH to let NY play offense and put McGuire on Michael Redd till it was way too late.


Posted by: insanity999 | January 13, 2009 12:06 AM

Anyone see the press conference with Caron? He seems to be holding his tongue about being unhappy with moving to shooting guard. He believes that he is struggling because the offense is set up for the forwards not for the guards. It won't be long for he insists on being moved back to forward.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 13, 2009 12:38 AM

"He believes that he is struggling because the offense is set up for the forwards not for the guards."

if he believes that, then how does he explain arenas' ability to score so much, or young's scoring the last few games?

Posted by: segastyle | January 13, 2009 12:54 AM

"Doesn't it feel like we've seen this movie before," is how interim coach Ed Tapscott opened his post game presser.

That would be 'Ground Hog's Day.'

Posted by: pdarroch | January 13, 2009 7:03 AM

"Doesn't it feel like we've seen this movie before," is how interim coach Ed Tapscott opened his post game presser.

- "Ground Hog's Day?"

Posted by: pdarroch | January 13, 2009 7:35 AM

Really liked the "future" lineup he had on the floor in the 2nd. Regardless of what happens this season, Ernie has done a nice job in building a young nucleus that we can look forward to.

Posted by: CBell29 | January 13, 2009 7:54 AM

Different game, exact same results! What can you say. Checked in at the end of the 3rd quarter, Wiz up by 13 or more, came back at 1 minute left in the game and the Wiz were losing. Changed the channel because I knew what the result would be. I can't believe we as fans have to endure this for the next three months.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 13, 2009 8:01 AM

"I can't believe we as fans have to endure this for the next three months.

Posted by: ivyleague"

Who cares at this point. The season's over, and now Tapscott is finally giving almost all the youngsters burn. Can't really ask for much more (although I'd like to see McGee get up to 20 minutes instead of ~15).

Posted by: psps23 | January 13, 2009 8:22 AM

The reliance on jumpshots in the fourth quarter can be stopped by sitting those who do it. Let those whose game is to take it inside play. No player on this team is so great that he can't be replaced. The message will get through.

Posted by: browneri | January 13, 2009 8:33 AM

The big three concept was built around having three primary scorers in the Princeton. If all three were clicking the Wiz were right in most games. They could beat anybody in the league on a night when one guy(mostly Gil) went off and scored 30+.

With Gil down for what will soon be two seasons the Wiz have limped along with two guys that really were never really primary scorers. The Wiz can't survive a night when one of those guys is off like Butler has been lately.

I really enjoyed the stretch of the second quarter watching the young ones get some run together. There is some talent in that group and there's something to build on there. Add Blake Griffin, Hardin, Jordan Hill, or Curry to that group and there's a real future here.

I'm one of the guys on this site that thinks Songaila is a solid NBA reserve. AT FORWARD! Playing him down the stretch at center against a team with 7' center AND a power forward that is bigger then Songaila too, is just giving the game away.

But then maybe that's the point, a couple more balls in the machine for the Wiz.

Posted by: flohrtv | January 13, 2009 8:55 AM

We have not seen this kind of production out of the 2-guard spot over a 3 game span in quite some time. NY is finally showing what he can do. With the season lost, it is simply his time to solidify his starting spot for next season. Gil, NY, CB, AJ, BTH---Not too bad, this line should score a lot of points. Bench—Javaris, James, Dom, AB, Javale. I still like Juan getting minutes when needed as a spark off the bench, PLAYING THE 2-GUARD, NOT THE 1. I hope DS is taking notes on how to put the ball through the net, which is attached to the rim.

Posted by: cj658 | January 13, 2009 9:02 AM

Bogut destroyed Songaila, but it didn't matter to Tapscott, who undoubtedly loves the veteran's "savvy". Never mind that he was completely overmatched, and McGee has the length to deal with him. Tap refuses to get it.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 13, 2009 10:02 AM

Playing Butler at two guard puts him out on the perimeter, where he's at a bit more of a disadvantage. He doesn't really have a height advantage over most 2 guards, so he can't just shoot over the top, and he's not quick enough to blow by most good 2s off the dribble. He could probably uses his strength to exploit them in the post, but to do that, the coach has to run plays for him down low, which doesn't seem to be happening much. He seems caught in no man's land.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2009 10:41 AM

Not to defend Darius (didn't watch the game, so he probably did struggle in the end), but his plus/minus on the game was +1. I know it doesn't tell the whole story, but he was part of an effective team at least part of the time.

All starters were negative: Cutler (-11), James (-7), McGuire and Blatche (-5) and Jamison (-3). Bogut was +16 and Villanueva was +11, and Redd was +10.


Posted by: grounder | January 13, 2009 10:54 AM

Tap needs to sit Songaila much more. Ernie made a big mistake signing him - very average player. It's time for Pech to get Songaila's minutes. Also, as much as I love Dixon, he's too old to be mediocre. He should be cut, as he should have been before the season, and the player that earned the position should be on the team - namely DerMarr Johnson. Dixon couldn't hold DerMarr's jock based on preseason play. U got Critt, so there's no need for Dixon now - go get the more versatile, rangey player, who can actually shoot halfway decent. Again, WHERE ARE YOUR 3-POINT SHOOTERS, ERNIE? Horrible stuff.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | January 13, 2009 4:28 PM

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