Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

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 his best statistical nights of the season.

Yes, 10 of the points and four of the rebounds came in the fourth quarter after the game was well out of hand, but McGee showed some good things. Still, he remains very much a work in progress, especially at the defensive end where he easily gets out of position, gets pushed underneath the basket too easily and doesn't always get to his man in transition.

One play that stood out was when Pau Gasol -- not the most physical big in the league -- backed McGee down and dunked over him in the first half. Then again, McGee had a few of his own highlight plays, as he always does.

"We just figured: This is our chance, let's go out there, work hard and have fun," McGee said of the fourth when he was on the floor with Javaris Crittenton, Dominic McGuire, Nick Young and Oleksiy Pecherov. "Don't worry about the score just play. Pretend that it's tied and try to win the game."

-Guard Mike James has struggled with his shot the last three games. He's 10-of-29 from the field and one-of-11 from three-point range.

-I thought Dominic McGuire did a solid job on Kobe Bryant one night after doing good work against Kevin Martin in the win at Sacramento. Bryant attacked McGuire on the first three possessions and wound up with: a missed shot at the rim after backing McGuire down before spinning into the lane, two made free throws after driving and drawing a foul on McGuire and a missed jumper.
Granted, Bryant didn't have to to do much on a night when everything else went right for the Lakers, but he scored only 11 points on four-of-11 shooting.

"I just tried to stay in front of him and contest every shot," McGuire said. "He's obviously a great player, great scorer so you just have to do your best and make him work."

By Ivan Carter  |  January 23, 2009; 9:09 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Lakers 117, Wizards 97
Next: The Other Side: Portland Trail Blazers

Comments

Re-posted from the last entry:

And please folks, don't jump in here talking about how the young fellas played well in the fourth quarter.

Ivan, I hope you're not becoming Tapscott's mouthpiece. So, if the pups played miserably against the Lakers' bench, you'd be saying "See, the youngsters can't even get it done against L.A.'s scrubs."

When they do play good, according to you, it's meaningless. Pretty hard to win, isn't it?

Of course their fourth-quarter play has to be taken in context. So does the whole game. Our starters, our hallowed vets, got absolutely annihilated against the Lakers' starters. Is Taps going to recognize that? That this loss, like all of them, are on the vets he clings to? Will they be kicked out of the Palace of Good Play?

OTOH, the kids did well, albeit against backups -- but that's what they are, too. Makes it pretty even, in my eyes. So will the youngsters get more PT, since they at least held their own? Certainly they played more inspired ball, worked hard and acquitted themselves well.

Will we see more of McGee -- 18 pts., 9 boards, 2 blocks, 2 steals in 23 minutes?

What about Crit -- 10 points, 6 boards, 3 assists in 16 minutes?

Pech -- 5 points, 5 boards (including 4 offensive boards) in 12 minutes?

My point is that when given the chance, no matter the circumstances, they produced. They can't help who they played against. All they can do is play their best when they're in.

Will they do that against starters? Probably not. But they played well when asked. According to Tap's reward system, they should get more PT to see if they can make meaningful contributions in non-blowout games. If they stay on the bench in those games, we know Tapscott is a liar, and that you play based not on your production, but based only on your veteran/non-veteran status.

I would add this about McGee: He certainly does get out of position easily (although on the Gasol dunk, he hooked JaVale with his elbow and spun around him -- it was patently obvious on the replay), but his shot-blocking, rebounding presence, in my opinion, clearly more than compensates for his mistakes. And remember, the more he plays, the fewer times he'll get out of position.

More than that, he's our most effective C right now -- unlike Blatche, he wants to be inside. Like so many other bloggers here, I'd love to see McGee at C and Blatche at PF.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 23, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

It’s getting quite annoying when writers/coaches/players/fans continue to try to see “positives” about this season. The Wizards looked like a college team last night. Seriously, I do not think the Lakers could have scored 72 points in the 1st half against Duke, but they did it to the Wizards. The veterans on this team should hang their heads in shame, and donate their salaries to charity. There are absolutely NO positives from a team that sits so deep in last place. The fact that Songaila and Mike James continue to log big minutes has gotten to the point where something has to be done. It is a crime to continue to reward these “vets” with big minutes when they do not deserve it.

What is particularly disturbing is that Caron Butler was quoted in yesterdays post of saying:

"You've seen cases in the past where teams struggled but guys who performed at a high level still got the opportunity so hopefully that's the case," said Butler, who entered Wednesday's game at Sacramento averaging 19.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists. "One of us needs to go. Hopefully that happens.”

You have got to be kidding me. If this guy seriously thinks that him or AJ deserve to be an All-Star this year, there must be drinking more than “tuff juice”. He is averaging 19ppg on the worst team in the league. Pathetic. The fact he thinks this has made me lose a lot of respect for him. He should be ashamed to be one of the leaders of this embarrassing team.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, whats the old coaching proverb, experience does not come without experience? Pass that on to Tapscott in case he thinks about giving McGee anymore 6 minute games. Apparently Tapscott at times benches McGee for his lack of experience.

From http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/21/wizards-wont-give-up-on-the-season/
In regard to McGee, who after starting 13 games was sent back to the bench to watch and learn more, Tapscott added: "I don't fault him. He plays hard, gives his best effort. It's just a lack of experience costs him and others in certain situations, and that will come with time."


Players don't learn by watching, otherwise Pecherov would be an allstar by now.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 23, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Apparently performing 'at a high level' does not include defense.

Posted by: original_mark | January 23, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

...maybe the last time we'll ever see the words 'Pecherov' and 'all star' in the same sentence. He still deserves to play, though.

Free Pech !

Posted by: original_mark | January 23, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I wish the Wiz would take responsibility for the terrible team they have. It is true that they have had lots of injuries. However, it is also true that the players they drafted have not produced.

Defense is and has been a problem forever. How good defensively are the draft choices Ernie? How much potential do they have defensively?

How physical are the draft choices? How well do the draft choices rebound?

Ernie should say the truth like the previous coach Eddie said that this team was built for offense. When the offense cannot produce because of injuries, there is nothing left. You have the worst team in the league.

Ernie it is time to bring defensive players to the Wiz. Time to bring players who can rebound. Time to bring a coach who is a great defensive coach and give him some players who can play defense.

As bad as the Wiz are, you can fix it. Start!

Posted by: JoeC2 | January 23, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

(from last post)
I saw most of the game. The only thing I got out of watching last night was the continued assurance that the Zards coaches and tv analyst are either blind or lying to us. How refreshing is it to see objective national sportscasts tell the truth about the team we care about!

Though biting their tongue occasionally Miller and the Czar's insights sounded more like the things I read here from the regulars than the things we hear from broadcast and print reporters who follow the team regularly.

I loved the discussion about whether AJ and CB are all-stars. Every non-wizards broadcast that I hear, whether radio or tv constantly talk about our horrible defense, especially Jamison. But all we hear is that he plays hard, which is not untrue. But playing hard doesn't automatically translate into stopping your man. He clearly played hard and played well on offense after we went down 7-0. But it really didn't matter.

I realize that national guys don't have to relate to the players daily, travel together and all that. So I understand that there is different dynamic. But it sure is refreshing to hear the truth that we can all see expressed so clearly.

McGee is raw. Very, very raw. But obviously has a huge upside. What better time for him to learn than now? They are not handling him right. I know that understanding a person's personality, how they handle failure, etc. is important. They must think he is overly sensitive and will get discouraged or something. But that's why they are charged with keeping his hopes up and teaching him...correcting his mistakes. They are not managing him well. Put him out there, let him fail and learn from his mistakes.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | January 23, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"And please folks, don't jump in here talking about how the young fellas played well in the fourth quarter."

Keithward64:

You are right, that quote from the previous blog from Carter was nonsense. But do you really think the Wizards beat writer feels that Mike James and Dsong deserve to play 30mpg?? Of course not.

Say what you want about Ivan Crter, but he is no idiot, he knows basketball. The Post doesn't just hire bums of the street to cover a team. The Post is one of the largest, most circulated newspapers in the world.

That said, Ivan Carter is well aware that the youngsters should be getting a lot more playing time. Anyone with a brain knows that. All Ivan Carter is doing is trying to stir something up for this blog. By making that quote, he is trying to get people pissed and arguing. It will bring more traffic to the blog, and draw more attention to him. Since the Wizards totally suck, it really gives him nothing to write/blog about. Fans are losing interest and starting to become Caps fans.

It’s not Ivan’s fault, it’s just common sense: When local teams win, the local media profits. When local teams lose, the local media does not profit. It’s plain and simple. The Capital Insider gets 3 times as much traffic as this blog. Do you think that was the case 3 years ago? Of course not. One cannot be mad at Ivan for simply doing his job. He’s giving it his best shot.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I personally think that Ivan can only say so much for fear of being blackballed like Jason La Canfora with the Skins.
Ivan has to be in the middle of the road. I can't blame him for that. If I were in his position, I'd be careful about what i said, too.

Posted by: original_mark | January 23, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Rev -- What did the TNT guys say about Butler and Jamison as all-stars? I missed that part of the game. Thanks.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 23, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Adding on to my previous post, it is a well known fact that young players do not get better by “sitting and watching”. This is the case in all pro-sports. Just look at the Caps. Do you think OV, Semin and Backstrom got good by riding the bench? O course not. It took OV 3 years to make the playoffs. He was 19 when he first played in a Caps uniform, and got big minutes. Semin was 18, and he got big minutes (although he returned to Russia to play, then returned to the Caps 2 years later, still only 22 when he returned). Backstrom was 19 last year and a key player.

I know this is not a hockey blog, but is common sense that young players get better by playing real competition. And don’t give me that crap about hockey is different than basketball. In fact, it typically takes players longer to develop in hockey, than in basketball. That is why the NHL has a minor league system, much like the MLB. If a player is not ready for the big-leagues yet, he plays in the minor league. All coaches a know a player NEEDS to play to get better.

So if JVM and NY and Pech are “not ready”, then send them to the D-League, so they can play. Tapscott was quoted as saying “lack of experience” is what is hurting JVM. If that’s the case, there is only one way to fix that, give him experience.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Gasol and Bynum humiliated the Wiz last night. I think the defensive liability was firmly exposed. Blatche and Jamison were PATHETIC! McGee simply thinks he can jump and block any shot, and has no clue on positioning first. blatche was quitting on the play as soon as the entry pass was made. Jamison was his usual horrible self on the defensive end. Odom just drove down the lane for a dunk right over him. Jamison simply shadowed him enough to be in the photo.

Posted by: oknow1 | January 23, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Despite being consistently belittled by Taps and Ivan, McGee has the second highest PER rating of any rookie in the league.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics?sort=per&qual=true&pos=rookies&seasonType=2&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fhollinger%2fstatistics%3fsort%3dper%26qual%3dtrue%26pos%3drookies%26seasonType%3d2

Ivan and Taps are committed emotionally to a vision from the past so they cannot see a new future.

Posted by: Izman | January 23, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

dsong should never play

Posted by: jnicol2 | January 23, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Players don't learn by watching, otherwise Pecherov would be an allstar by now.

Posted by: emmet1"

Quality line. I'm liking it.

Kudos to Tapscott for playing McGee that many minutes. Now he just needs to do it more often.

As far as this quote: "especially at the defensive end where he easily gets out of position, gets pushed underneath the basket too easily and doesn't always get to his man in transition."

...I was thinking the exact same thing watching Blatche play down low last night. Regardless of whether McGee is NBA ready right now, for this team, he's already one of the top 2 options at center, and there's no reason he shouldn't be playing.

Posted by: psps23 | January 23, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

he's already one of the top 2 options at center

You realize that that's not saying much, right?

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

he's already one of the top 2 options at center

You realize that that's not saying much, right?

Posted by: jones-y

-----

100%. He still, however, should consistently get the minutes he received last night. There's no reason not to.

Posted by: psps23 | January 23, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Tap's new name should be Contradiction. Is it possible to get an interim coach fired and let the players coach themselves at this point? I dont how the outcome would be any different in lieu of a guy writing witty 1 liners on the board like those crappy Motivational posters seen at the dentist office

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | January 23, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse


Long term, the Wiz are dependent on Gil coming back 100 percent or close to it. Without that, the Wiz have cap room tied up for years. What is the road to challenging for a championship? This road is not clear, especially with Jamison at 33 by the end of the NBA season.

Just looking at the short-term, Eddie Jordan had much better player rotations than Tapscott does. OK, Ed needs time to learn, but player rotation seems kind of random at times now. Why was Eddie fired? JaVale should be starting. And what does Tapscott see in McGuire? A good role player and rebounder, OK, but starter? At least with Eddie Jordan, the team would develop the best it could, searching for the best talent within the current roster, as limited as that is.

Posted by: EdDC | January 23, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I am willing to bet the Wizards are trying to develop Dominic into a Bruce Bowen. Seriously. When I say the Wizards, I mean management (Ernie). That is the only logical explanation as to why he continues to start. He would not be starting anywhere else in the NBA, including OKC. Having in the starting 5 essentially turns it into a starting 4. He is absolutely no threat on the offensive end. Maybe that’s why Eddie was fired, he refused to play Dominic. Who knows.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I think McGee's quote, "We just figured: This is our chance, let's go out there, work hard and have fun...Don't worry about the score just play. Pretend that it's tied and try to win the game," speaks a lot to he level of maturity. That is the perfect way to look at getting into a game during trash-time.

Jamison and Butler are averaging over 38 minutes a game. There are currently only 8 players in the the entire league averaging more minutes! And of those 8 only 2 are older than our guys, and one of those two is Iverson, who let's face it, could be 50 and still average 40 minutes a night without slowing down.

There's no reason why we can't drop their minutes down to the 35-36 range. Nothing disrespectful about that. Kobe Bryant, Dight Howard, Pau Gasol all fall into that range. That's an extra 4-5 minutes for the young guys.

Everyone talks about our lack of defense, and while our young guys are not necessarily very good defenders yet, they seem to be more defensive minded. McGuire is already a very good defender on the wing. Blatche while not spectacular, is better than anyone else we have at PF, and actually is pretty solid when he's got a defensive center in the game to back him up. McGee gets out of position, but at least he's looking to block shots and be a presence. Crittenton can give guys trouble with his size and athleticism. And Nick.....well ok, maybe not all the young guys are defensive minded...................

Posted by: segastyle | January 23, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

McGuire is a perfect starter for this team, if not now, then definitely when Gil comes back. He's the best defender on the team, best rebounder on the team, best energy player on the team, and has decent and improving passing skills. He's not a scoring threat yet, but that's not needed when Caron, Antawn, and Blatche are on the court (and Gil when he comes back), so long as he's put in the proper positions to space the floor and attack the offensive glass. He does have potential to be a finisher at the rim with his explosive athleticism.

McGuire is a definite bright spot for this team. He's going to be a starter somewhere in this league for a long time.

Posted by: psps23 | January 23, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I disagree about McGuire not being an offensive threat. He has started to knock down some midrange jumpers and is always good on the offensive glass for putbacks. You can't have 5 all offensive players an expect to compete on a nightly basis. See how well Golden State and the Knicks are fairing with the all offensive little to no defense approach.

Crittenton is the one that REALLY needs to work on his jumper. Has he even made one bucket outside the paint since getting here? His shot is Chris Dudley at the FT line ugly. Otherwise I like his game. He has nice upside.

Posted by: Henchlow | January 23, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Once upon a time everyone was talking about how great EG was. Least now with the bad play and bad players, we are not hearing about EG walking on water.

Basically, the major highlights have been: obtaining Butler and getting rid of Kwame.
jury still out on Young and McGee
resigning AJ

The negatives have been:
keeping Etan
keeping Steph
drafting Pech
getting Songalia

?s
Arenas

Must be the curse!

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 23, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Rev -- What did the TNT guys say about Butler and Jamison as all-stars? I missed that part of the game. Thanks.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 23, 2009 10:02 AM


DGF- The all star discussion was about the selection of subs and whether they should pick players from losing teams. They used Butler and Jamison as exhibit A: Last year they lifted their team making other players better and deserved to be all stars. this year they have not and don't deserve it. It is all about the numbers on losing teams being less meaningful. I agreed with their analysis.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | January 23, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Why keep Taps until end of the year? Get rid of him now and get the guy that will be coaching for several years.

In order to feel good about the Wizards all we have to do is listen to Bernie and Chenier and not watch the video. This way we can assume the Wizards are playing in the NBA finals.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 23, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Avery Johnson! The wiz are defensively challenged. Johnson is a fiery coach and a fresh face to the organization. Ernie needs to grab him ASAP. Tap is doing his best but his talents can be best utilized in the background.

Posted by: Stevie-J | January 23, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Dom and Crit are fun to watch and hope they continue to reach thta upside we all see. This whole season hinged on Gil droppin 30 a game. He's not, our center is gone, and we are soft on defense, minus Dominic who has become my favorite player on the team. Seriously, everytime he makes a basket, gets a rebound, or plays tough defense, I just get super excited and hope he stays with this team for the rest of his career. Sure I'm jumping the gun, but he is exactly the type of player that we would trade, while still growing, to the Pistons...he would be perfect for that team.

We don't have chemistry or a head coach that understands the youth movement. We suck, are going to contiue to suck, so why not let these damn kids play extended minutes and leave darius, JD, and DSteve on the bench to help out our future.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 23, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards has taken the personality of Antawn Jamison's play...hard work and a lot of scoring but no DEFENSE..NOW THAT'S BAD...obviously

Posted by: iamdawalrus | January 23, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the above poste whole heartedly. Tapscott needs to go. NOw. Not at the end of the season. Actually, I would like to see the Wiz come back after the All Star break with a new coach.

Hey Ivan, any word on whether or not the Wiz will bring in a new coach before the season is done? I find it hard to believe that EG can find this acceptable and if he does, he needs to be canned as well. I wish Pollin would go on and sell the team to Leonsis.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 23, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Last night was one the first times this organization committed to seeing what their future looks like. In spite of their record this is not a loss season but frankly a blessing in disguise. If Gilbert was healthy and Haywood was here, this team would be a playoff team but still a first round loser. Now the team has developed McGuire well beyond what anyone had imagined, Blatche has improved and is starting to show that he cares. Nick Young has proven that he can score but needs to work on defensive and ball handling deficiencies. Crittenton is improving and will be a solid athletic backup at the two spot.

McGee is one of the biggest sleepers in this league and has the potential to be of All Star caliber. In spite of his lack of experience and physical strength, on a per minute basis this young fellas numers compare with anyone. All of his detractors should remember, he just turned 21 and is a rookie. Remember Bynum's first two years, Kobe almost got this young fella traded. Experience and Kareem has made this kid one of the best centers in the league. McGee will get biggger physically just like Bynum did through aging and training. The big thing is he like the rest of the Wizards young players appear to be quality kids which is the first issue with young player development.

The Wizards young guys would have never gotten to this point without having the injuries and such a horrific start. And to boot they get a chance to add another quality player with the lottery pick.

With proper coaching and a new culture, a healthy return of Arenas and Haywood and a committment to develping the young players for the balance of this season, guarantees a playoff birth next year for this squad. In two years there is no reason we can't compete for the Eastern Conference Title.

Posted by: NewManagement | January 23, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I have never seen fans who hate their sports teams soo much. I mean the only thing worse than a bad team is bad fans. As bad as the knicks have been knicks fans still love the knicks. Most wizards fans sound like imports who are mad because their adopted team, the wizards are not winning. Wizards fans dont deserve a good team. You didn't appreciate them when they were a playoff team. Fans are getting what they deserve.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 23, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Once upon a time everyone was talking about how great EG was. Least now with the bad play and bad players, we are not hearing about EG walking on water.

Basically, the major highlights have been: obtaining Butler and getting rid of Kwame.
jury still out on Young and McGee
resigning AJ

The negatives have been:
keeping Etan
keeping Steph
drafting Pech
getting Songalia

?s
Arenas

Must be the curse!

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 23, 2009 12:25 PM

My take is a bit different than yours.

highlights:

-signing gil
-trading kwame for CB
-drafting two very solid contributors (AB and DM) in the 2nd round (mid 2nd round - 49 & 47 respectively)
-drafting NY
-drafting JM
-getting DSong for peanuts (not EG's fault that coaches have used him improperly)
-trading AD for MJames
-turning JCN into JCritt
-ditching Michael Ruffin
-trading stackhouse/laettner/harris for AJ
-letting larry hughes walk instead of overpaying him
-keeping BTH
-signing AB and DSteve to very cheap long term deals
-signing randy ayers

mistakes:
-announcing then losing tom thibodeau
-releasing patrick ewing from coaching staff
-AJ shoulda got a smaller/shorter contract
-not keeping RMason
-drafting party john ramos
-letting jared jeffries walk
-matching milwaukee's offer on Etan

jury still out:
-resigning gil/AJ as nucleus
-drafting pecherov
-drafting vermeenko

upcoming decisions:
-hiring next coach
-resigning CB
-trading or keeping expiring contracts (ET & MJames in particular)

Here's a nice rundown of EG's transactions:

http://hoopshype.com/general_managers/ernie_grunfeld.htm

Overall I think EG has done a very good job.

Sidenote: Anybody remember Vladimir Vermeenko???

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Why keep Taps until end of the year? Get rid of him now and get the guy that will be coaching for several years.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 23, 2009 12:30 PM

Do you think that's plausible? Or alternately would you like me to explain (again) why it isn't?

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

so why not let these damn kids play extended minutes

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 23, 2009 12:33 PM

Are they not playing extended minutes?

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Last night was one the first times this organization committed to seeing what their future looks like.

McGee is one of the biggest sleepers in this league

Posted by: NewManagement | January 23, 2009 12:56 PM

I agree with everything in your post with the exception of the two things above.

Our young guys are averaging 100 mpg.

McGee is no sleeper. EJ let that cat out of the bag. There are probably 6-7 teams that passed on him that now regret it.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

By the way, is there some conclusive evidence somewhere that indicates that the risk of major injury increases with playing time?

People keep repeating it as if its some sort of proven fact that more minutes = more injury risk. An injury can happen at any moment.

Maybe we should limit JM to 2mpg to ensure the doesn't get hurt? LOL!

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

100 miles per gallon?

That's pretty good mileage for a young guy.

Posted by: original_mark | January 23, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Keep Tap. He is our best chance for getting the most pingpong balls. We don't want a coach who can win more games. Really. With the season shot, we want to lose while we develop the kids. Play them all. What has Pech got? We have no idea. He is worth nothing to the team and wouldn't get a second round pick in 2015 because no one knows if he can play. Play the kids and we will develop them, know what we have, and have some trade potential. Rest Butler and Jamison. NO more than 25 minutes a game and give them days off. We need to let them heal. Forget the All Star game. Ernie needs to be heavily involved in player development this year. He picked Tap so he can insert himself into the process. Work on D and ball movement. Create a real rotation that puts all the kids in every single game. We need to know if Pech will ever play inside. If not, get rid of him soon. Quit worrying about McGees' delicate psyche. He can take it. The kid is mentally tough. He needs PT and schooling. Blache needs to be yelled at a lot. He does not play up to his potential most nights. He gives up on plays. He has Garnet potential with the heart of Kwame Brown. Play him and lean on him to work harder.

Posted by: smallwhiteforward | January 23, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else but me noticed how Caron "tough juice" Butler has let his game decline to a pattern of catch dribble and either a 20 foot shot or a turn-around, fade-away 15 foot jumper? But the young guys get chastised and pulled from the games because they don't know how to play. Did anyone notice how many times Lakers were able to drive uncontested to the basket for layups and dunks, or shoot uncontested 3 pointers? Now mind you, all this happened in the infamous "72-point" half in which for the most part, the STARTERS played!! So what is the excuse now for not playing the young guys in more meaningful portions of the game as opposed to "garbage time?" The ticket holders (all 4 of them) would like an explanation!

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | January 23, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

have you seen this?

http://www.nba.com/wizards/photogallery/mcgeedunk_090123_1.html

Kids got major hops, love watching him play, i go to the game early just to see him dunk in warmups.

Posted by: Igetbuckets | January 23, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I have a question? Who is our "big man" coach? If someone says Wes Unseld Jr. I will have to say, what? If it is Tony Massenburg (by the way I think he is not being paid), I would have to say, what?

Look at the dominant big men in the league and their development and you will see D. Howard has Patrick Ewing and Bynum and Gasol have K. A. Jabar. If my memory serves me correctly, I do not remember Gasol playing with his back to the basket like he is doing now?

I do not remember D. Howard having much of a low post game either. The difference in their games is that got major playing time right off of the bat once they came in the league and they have two of the best all time back to the basket big men showing them their craft.

I would like to know if Hakeen "The Dream" Ala(spelling???) is available to coach our big men up.

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 23, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Trying to find positives in anything that happens in the 4th quarter of a 30 point blowout (which is what it was before Tapscott waved the white flag) is like looking for WMDs in Iraq. Everyone wants them to be there, but no matter how hard you look you come up empty.

McGee's line looked nice enough, until you factor in that he got most of his PT in the 4th when he was matched up against that juggernaut known as Chris Mihm.

McGee has plenty of potential, and should look to make the most of every opportunity he gets. But using his statline in a dung heap of a game like this as a club to batter Tapscott about not playing the youngsters is ridiculous.

And once again I ask: why was this game on national TV? I get that the NBA has a mandate to pimp Kobe and Lebron for all they're worth, but they should at least want the games they put on display to have a reasonable chance at being competitive. Everyone in the free world knew this was going to be a massive blowout the minute it came up on the TV schedule. Miller, Fratello, and Stockton should demand hazard pay for having to sit through that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Jones-y: Very good run down of EG’s transactions/moves. I agree with it all, whole heartedly. There are far too many fans here who believe he is the problem. Not true. He is the reason the Wiz went from worst to playoff contenders, not EJ, not Gil, not AJ. Ernie built this team, but never had “his guy” as coach. EJ was not brought in by Ernie. EJ kept the team in the playoffs, so EG couldn’t can him. That would explain why EG wasted no time in firing EJ this year after the slow start. He had a window of opportunity and sized it.

It’s not Ernie’s fault the Wizards had an incompetent, soft coach who could not get them out of the middle of the pack during his tenure. With the amount of talent, all the Wiz needed was a tad bit of discipline and coach who knew what they were doing, you know a leader. EJ had a good basketball mind (x’s & o’s), but he was NOT a leader, and that led to his ultimate demise. The players ran all over him like a hopscotch game at recess. They had no respect for him and it showed. He played favorites and was hard on the youngsters, but soft with the Vets, and that created locker room rifts. It essentially ruined the team chemistry, and EJ was to blame .

The Wizards need a coach who is stern, who can lead, and who can lead by example and not play favorites. They need a coach who does not let his personal grudges influence the way he coaches. EG knows this and he will get the right guy in here. Mark my words. His track record proves it, as noted by Jones-y in the post above.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

sized=seized: typo.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

D. Howard has Patrick Ewing

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 23, 2009 1:50 PM

One of EG's first moves as our GM was to fire Patrick Ewing...

If my memory serves me correctly, I do not remember Gasol playing with his back to the basket like he is doing now?

He did. And he also did everything else, as he basically was the team in Memphis.

I do not remember D. Howard having much of a low post game either.

He had none when he came to the league. His only offensive move was the dunk.

They had tremendous skill coming in, and were developed by their teams. They got lots of PT as young players, but that's only one part of the whole picture, and that's also attributable to the fact that they were brought in as saviors. Aside from that, both of them were more polished and NBA ready coming in than either AB or JM.

AB was a mid-second-round draft pick (and anything we get from him is more than we could've expected in an age where the 47 pick is often a throwaway).

The consensus on JM by talent evaluators before the draft was 'loads of talent but needs another year,' and that's quite evident now. Remember, he spent his freshman year at Nevada on the bench behind All-American Nick Fazekas. So he really only had one year of college experience.

Wes Unseld was a great player, but its pretty apparent that he cannot coach or make smart personnel moves as a GM. If he could teach the game, he would be an excellent big man coach. Olajuwon would too, providing he can teach. Just because he could play doesn't mean he can teach someone else to play.

I do 100% agree that we need a big men coach, however, and let's not forget that when EG fired Ewing, we had no big man to develop.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

jones-y, the only item on your Grunfeld's best of list I take real exception to is Jared Jeffries. Given the amount of money he was looking for and the minimal impact he had (and continues to have) in the NBA, letting him go was the right move. I know he got lots of pub as being the Wiz's best defender, but that has to be taken in context. he was the best defender on one of the NBA's worst defensive team's. Guys like him can always be found in the draft or FA for a lot less than what he makes. he didn't provide the Wiz with anything they can't get from McGuire for a fraction of the cost.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

For those who think it is wrong to use JVM’s game last night as a barometer of his success, you’re kidding right? What he did last night further proves he should be getting the minutes and that Tapps is simply stupid or working for a higher cause. (I believe the latter).

OK, sure, he put up those numbers against “bums” (Mihm). Yes, I agree. All JVM did last night is WHAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO DO against lesser talent: Dominate and put up numbers in limited minutes. How can we say it doesn’t matter? Those “bums” on the Lakers are still pros, and are not just going to “lay-down” for the Wizards. They are trying to show Phil that they should be getting more minutes. SO JVM comes in and does what he is supposed to do, and people say it was irrelevant. These are the same people who would be saying he sucks and he is a work-in-progress if he came in and scored 4 points against Mihm and the Lakers subs. Fact is, he did his job, and did it well. I guess some of you won’t be satisfied until he comes and drops 40 & 15 with 7 blocks. Give me a break. Let him start, play 35 mins, if he gets abused by Dwight, Bynum, Shaq, etc, then SO BE IT. He will learn from it, and he will be tougher and a better player down the road. He will not become better by watching DSong and AB play out of position and get torched every night by the opposing teams big men. It’s clear as day folks.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

OH!! So now we're running Caron out of town? great first we run one of the best coach's this franchise has ever had out of a job and we get a know nothing to replace him and the team become's the laughing stock of the league and now some of you "expert's" have got the nerve to critcize the best player this side of Gilbert.WHAT? He's not carrying the team on his back,he's not giving enough effort,he's shooting too much,his body language is wrong, WHATEVER!! I know this he has a right to want to be an all star its probably written into his contract and what wrong with that i mean the season is kaput for all intent and purpose.Caron knew the season was gone when EJ was fired and they hired er Red Auerbach,ah Pat Riley,ah Dean Smith oh i mean Eddie Tapscott yeah that soon to be HOF coach! Leave Butler alone and let him do his thing he'll be gone soon enough and then you "experts" will be happy.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 23, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Everyone in the free world knew this was going to be a massive blowout the minute it came up on the TV schedule.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:04 PM

Assuming that the TV schedule was created in the offseason, I would have to disagree. At that point, the Wiz were still last year's overachieving team, and were very competitive night in and night out against everyone, including the best teams.

Should they have changed it? Yes of course. Was it a good selection for nat'l TV at the time it was chosen? Yes, I think so.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Make that two items on your list I take exception to.

"One of EG's first moves as our GM was to fire Patrick Ewing..."

Absolutely untrue. Ewing asked to be released from his contract and Grunfeld granted that request to a man that he considered a friend (they were together in NY when Grunfeld was GM and Ewing was the franchise). To not honor Ewing's request under those circumstances would have been a classless move by Grunfeld esp. considering that, as you yourself stste, the Wiz had no big men on the roster who really required Ewing's particular expertise.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards need a coach who is stern, who can lead, and who can lead by example and not play favorites. They need a coach who does not let his personal grudges influence the way he coaches. EG knows this and he will get the right guy in here. Mark my words. His track record proves it, as noted by Jones-y in the post above.


Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 2:08 PM

cj,

Thanks, and I agree with almost all of your post, except for the 'stern' part. Modern day pro sports doesn't support stern coaches.

The only place it works in in Utah, and that's because Sloan is the organization. They remind me of a college bball program, where the coach is the face of the organization.

However, the wiz (and especially the young players) do need a coach who is a natural leader. EJ wasn't.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"For those who think it is wrong to use JVM’s game last night as a barometer of his success, you’re kidding right? What he did last night further proves he should be getting the minutes and that Tapps is simply stupid or working for a higher cause. (I believe the latter)."

It proves no such thing. The only thing it might prove is that the next time the Wiz find themselves in a 30 point blowout, McGee has earned the right to play extended garbage time minutes. But using what happened last night as an argument that he deserves to play extended minutes in the meaningful part of a potentially winnable game (or that the team would be well served by giving him said minutes) is an extreme leap of logic.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

DARGREGMAG:

My, my, my. Saying EJ is one of the best coaches this franchise has ever had is not saying much. It’s kind of like saying Popeye Jones is one of the best players to ever play at Murray State. Catch my drift? It’s really not saying much. Again, if you are satisified with yearly first round losses, and .500 teams, then EJ is your guy. If you are satisfied with a soft coach who had no control, then EJ is your guy. Personally, I think we can do a lot better. And you seem to continue to get Tapscott’s title wrong. He is not the head coach. He is the INTERIM head coach. Note the key word in that. EG has not signed him to a deal in any way shape or form. He is just a warm body to hold down the fort until Gil returns and EG can hire “his guy”. EG already knows who it is, and I am sure that person has been in communication with EG, and a deal is in the works. They are just waiting for this massacre to end.

And FYI, tell Caron to be a leader and play up to his contract. As a veteran leader of this 9 win team, he has failed miserably. Facts are facts.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

he (jeffries) didn't provide the Wiz with anything they can't get from McGuire for a fraction of the cost.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:19 PM

Very good point, but the reason I labelled it a mistake is that McGuire didn't exist at the time. We essentially replaced jeffries with DSteve, and what we lost (he's a better perimeter defender than stevenson) in defense and activity around the rim, we only marginally improved in offensive production. In hindsight it was probably for the best, and at worst it was a wash, but at the time it was a mistake IMO.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Make that two items on your list I take exception to.

"One of EG's first moves as our GM was to fire Patrick Ewing..."

Absolutely untrue. Ewing asked to be released from his contract and Grunfeld granted that request to a man that he considered a friend (they were together in NY when Grunfeld was GM and Ewing was the franchise). To not honor Ewing's request under those circumstances would have been a classless move by Grunfeld esp. considering that, as you yourself stste, the Wiz had no big men on the roster who really required Ewing's particular expertise.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:26 PM

Didn't know that. My mistake.

List duly amended. Now someone make 'ErnieGone' read the list and eat the rest of his free t-shirts.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"We essentially replaced jeffries with DSteve, and what we lost (he's a better perimeter defender than stevenson) in defense and activity around the rim, we only marginally improved in offensive production."

I greatly disagree. Stevenson, when healthy (which he hasn't been for a while) is easily a comparable defender to Jeffries (in the sense that neither of them is really much more than adequate). However, the added offense that Stevenson brought (esp. his 3 pt shooting which, again when healthy, was a significant tool for the Wiz) was a definite plus, and a huge upgrade over Jeffries' complete nonexistence at the offensive end of the floor.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I know EG had Van Gundy when in NY but who was coaching in Milwaukee when EG was GM there? Can we extract anything about the type of coach he prefers from his track record? The part of me that gets frustrated with the Wiz being, at their best, a goofy bunch of nice guys who can't get out of the first round says that Avery Johnson could whip these guys into shape but those who have commented that a stern taskmaster only works in Utah probably have a valid point.

Posted by: mugsybol | January 23, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse


“It proves no such thing. The only thing it might prove is that the next time the Wiz find themselves in a 30 point blowout, McGee has earned the right to play extended garbage time minutes. But using what happened last night as an argument that he deserves to play extended minutes in the meaningful part of a potentially winnable game (or that the team would be well served by giving him said minutes) is an extreme leap of logic.”


I almost totally agree with the last sentence. That is true, it does not mean he should get minutes in a potentially winnable game in crunch time. Same goes for most rooks who are as raw as JVM. But, the key factor is the Wizards have absolutely nothing to play for.

That statement would be true if the Wiz were in the playoff race. They are not. They have been playing the so called “vets” in the meaningful parts of games, and that has gotten the Wizards 9 wins so far. Hasn’t worked out to well. What more do they have to lose? The big money guys are not earning their money, so let the small money guys play to get the big money. Why not? There’s the old saying “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”, well this thing is broke. Time to try something new.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The idea that "stern" coaches only work in Utah is flat out wrong. Plenty of currently, recently, and soon-to-be again active coaches have reps as tough taskmasters (Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle, Avery Johnson, Scott Skiles, and Sam Mitchell come to mind). The fact that Sloan is the only one that's kept the same job for 20 years has less to do with any kind backlash against tough coaches than it has to do with the fact that Utah's ownership is old school and doesn't care much for change.

Now, if by "tough" you mean guys who yell and scream all the time, then sure, that won't play well. But coaches can be tough without being outright a%%holes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

hamptonpirates89, I've been saying it for months now. Until the GS game it's been dribble between the legs, dribble between the legs, stutter step, head fake, pull up since he got injured.

Unfortunately, since he's putting up numbers, no one else seems to mind it. He doesn't get to the line hardly because he rarely drives. This pattern makes him really easy to guard. Just crowd him and he's gonna look to pass it.

Posted by: original_mark | January 23, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Mcgee is without a doubt our best defensive presence inside and in no way should he be the third center on this squad minutes wise, he should play half the game at the five regardless of the score.

Posted by: bford1kb | January 23, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jones-y,

The kids are getting run NOW but I want MORE!!!!

We're Fuc**d so they should be playing more and developing chemistry. GA, AJ, CB, BW had chemistry and our second unit needs to develop that as well for next year

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 23, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Logic states to me that if JM (as a raw rookie) can outplay the 2nd sring C on one of the best teams in the league, then he should be AT THE VERY LEAST the backup C on his own team.
If you are better than a backup, what does that make you? In my book, it makes you a starter...or a top backup. JM isn't even THAT on this team. While it's silly to anoint the kid based on last night, I'm sure Mihm (seasoned vet) wasn't trying to give up points and rebounds and wasn't trying to get his shot blocked.

Give JM some quality time...and FREE PECH.

I'll keep saying it...This is the way our frontcourt should be broken down...

C - AB starting for 20, JM for 28 min.
PF - AJ starting for 33, AB for 15 min.

This gives us rest for AJ, time at C for JM and AB at his natural position for 15 min.

Posted by: original_mark | January 23, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

1.crit 2.ny 3.cb 4.ab 5.jm
aj and dom both get thirty off the bench, with song and pech fighting for twenty

Posted by: bford1kb | January 23, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"Logic states to me that if JM (as a raw rookie) can outplay the 2nd sring C on one of the best teams in the league, then he should be AT THE VERY LEAST the backup C on his own team."

And when, exactly, did McGee outplay Pau Gasol?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

My level of frustration is such that some yelling and screaming works just fine for me. But your point on toughness is well taken. With just a little effort, one can imagine Avery Johnson coming in, shaking things up and getting this group to buy into playing better defense as opposed to talking about playing better defense.

Posted by: mugsybol | January 23, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm down for Avery...he got a bad rap in Dallas

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 23, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I think Johnson's a good coach but I don't think he'd be a good fit for the Wiz unless there's a major roster overhaul.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

And when, exactly, did McGee outplay Pau Gasol?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 3:25 PM

No objective observer would ever consider Gasol a backup. He is an All Star caliber veteran either at PF or Center. Get Real!!

Posted by: NewManagement | January 23, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

No one said Gasol was a backup. But he is, as a matter of basic fact, the Lakers second string C, as he slides over to the C spot when Bynum goes to the bench. After Bynum, it's Odom, when they go to a small lineup.

Mihm is not the Laker's 2nd string anything. He isn't even in the Lakers' rotation. He's played in 10 games this season for a total of about 50 minutes. Josh Powell, a 6' 9" journeyman has seen more minutes at C this season than Mihm. So, again, getting all hot and bothered because McGee supposedly schooled Mihm in the closing minutes of a runaway blowout is utter nonsense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

No way EG can be kept around after this mess. I'd be shocked if he's still here next season. Wiz are a jump shooting team who take an awful lot of contested low percentage shots. Hubie Brown once said, "At this level we all know you got game, now pick your spots where you can shoot a high percentage."

Posted by: t-train | January 23, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I greatly disagree. Stevenson, when healthy (which he hasn't been for a while) is easily a comparable defender to Jeffries (in the sense that neither of them is really much more than adequate). However, the added offense that Stevenson brought (esp. his 3 pt shooting which, again when healthy, was a significant tool for the Wiz) was a definite plus, and a huge upgrade over Jeffries' complete nonexistence at the offensive end of the floor.

And I disagree with you. Here, Jeffries was used as a backcourt/wing defender (and a starting backcourt/wing defender when Larry Hughes left). In that role he excelled (whereas DSteve is little more than adequate), because of his height, length, skillset, and tenacity. New York uses him as a frontcourt reserve where his job is to come in and scrap.

True he has no offensive game (and couldn't even reliably make layups and putbacks...), and DSteve is an upgrade offensively (I said marginal but upon pondering its more than marginal), but to me Jeffries is the far superior backcourt/wing defender than DSteve. And also remember that DSteve didn't bring that 3pt shot with him. He developed it here, or at least turned that skill into a weapon in his time here.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mcgee is without a doubt our best defensive presence inside

Posted by: bford1kb | January 23, 2009 3:15 PM

McGee is without a doubt not our best defensive presence inside. He's not better than AB. DSong is better fundamentally but doesn't have McGee's skillset, so he's almost as ineffective as JM, but not quite.

And when you factor in injured players, McGee slides even further down. He's not better than BTH or ET. Will he be? Yes, most definitely.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

No way EG can be kept around after this mess. I'd be shocked if he's still here next season. Wiz are a jump shooting team who take an awful lot of contested low percentage shots. Hubie Brown once said, "At this level we all know you got game, now pick your spots where you can shoot a high percentage."


Go back and read my post on EG's record here. In fact, I'll save you the trouble. here it is:

highlights:

-signing gil
-trading kwame for CB
-drafting two very solid contributors (AB and DM) in the 2nd round (mid 2nd round - 49 & 47 respectively)
-drafting NY
-drafting JM
-getting DSong for peanuts (not EG's fault that coaches have used him improperly)
-trading AD for MJames
-turning JCN into JCritt
-ditching Michael Ruffin
-trading stackhouse/laettner/harris for AJ
-letting larry hughes walk instead of overpaying him
-keeping BTH
-signing AB and DSteve to very cheap long term deals
-signing randy ayers

mistakes:
-announcing then losing tom thibodeau
-AJ shoulda got a smaller/shorter contract
-not keeping RMason
-drafting party john ramos
-letting jared jeffries walk
-matching milwaukee's offer on Etan

jury still out:
-resigning gil/AJ as nucleus
-drafting pecherov
-drafting vermeenko

upcoming decisions:
-hiring next coach
-resigning CB
-trading or keeping expiring contracts (ET & MJames in particular)

Here's a nice rundown of EG's transactions:

http://hoopshype.com/general_managers/ernie_grunfeld.htm

Overall I think EG has done a very good job.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter whether Stevenson had the 3 pt shot before he got here. All that matters was that he did have it when he got here. He shot 40% from 3 pt range his first season in D.C., making him a nice complement to the big three.

As for the rest ... sorry, but Jeffries was vastly over-rated as a defender. He (like Stevenson) was good, not great. He got a lot more credit than he deserved because, in the context of a team where basically no one else bothered to play defense, his decent-at-best effort stood out. But he was hardly a lock-down defender, and it's not like the Wizards "defense" (such as it was) really suffered in his absence. They were bad with him and bad without him. Nothing he did for the Wiz would have been worth paying him the kind of money the Knicks are currently wasting on him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Good to see the veterans getting some splinters and the youngsta's getting the burn. Always good idea to develop the players you believe in for the future. Of course, the team takes a multitude of embarressing losses in the process. But we are now deep into the rebuilding phase, and I'm assuming the brass signed JAMISON and ARENAS to long-term contracts to be used as trade equity next year.

Problem is they're not building any value this year. If ARENAS returns to form, we may make a move next year with HAYWOOD back and BLATCHE/McGEE/McGUIRE/YOUNG/CRITTENTON as experienced veterans. We gotta' keep SONGAILA for solid bench duty and lose both STEVENSON and THOMAS. They're done. I feel JAMISON is headed in the same direction. His best days are behind him, not ahead. But he's given the team its money's worth. I'm not sure PECHEROV is gonna' pan out either. Let the tampering continue. Draft THABEET this summer.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The idea that "stern" coaches only work in Utah is flat out wrong. Plenty of currently, recently, and soon-to-be again active coaches have reps as tough taskmasters (Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle, Avery Johnson, Scott Skiles, and Sam Mitchell come to mind).

And if memory serves me correctly, weren't all of them fired from one job or another due in part to the fact that their sternness grated the players (we talkin 'bout practice? practice? LOL). This is a player's leage. In fact, of the big 3 major sports, pro basketball is by far the most player oriented of them all.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

And when you also factor in that Jeffries was looking at an MLE offer from the Knicks and Stevenson's was originally signed for the vet minimum, letting Jared walk was a no-brainer.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Kal,

What happened? I agree with all that you say these days...lol.

McGee is getting just about the amount of minutes he deserves at this point in the season. I hope the "play the young guys at all costs crowd" really watched the 4th quarter. There was nothing there that even resembled good basketball or anything close to execution. It was absolute garbage in the truest sense.

I have to say that McGuire is starting to impress me very much. He brings the energy, athleticism, defense, and rebounding as we all know. But, what I like now is that he looks comfortable on the court, he passes fairly well, and stays within himself on offense. Hell, he no longer makes me cringe if he decides to make a drive to the hoop or take a midrange jumper on occasion. Kudos to him! This is a development along with Blatche's improvement that WILL help us next season with a fully restored squad.

- Rob P

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 23, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

But we are now deep into the rebuilding phase, and I'm assuming the brass signed JAMISON and ARENAS to long-term contracts to be used as trade equity next year.

You buggin out dude. Put the kool aid down. Regardless of whether or not you desire that strategy, what's clear is that is not the strategy.

We're not rebuilding. We're injured. We're developing our young players around the GA/AJ/CB nucleus. We are building (not re-building) around them. And GA and AJ's contracts are of the untradeable variety (unlike for example blatche's contract or stevenson's contract), so the mere fact that they just signed them six months ago should indicate that they are here to stay.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"And if memory serves me correctly, weren't all of them fired from one job or another due in part to the fact that their sternness grated the players (we talkin 'bout practice? practice? LOL)."

I was waiting for someone to go there.

It is true that every one of them was fired. It's also true that, with the exception of Mitchell and Johnson (both of whom will coach again, Johnson most likely next season), every one of them was rehired somewhere else.

With the exception of Sloan (and, maybe, Popovich) every coach in the NBA has been or will be fired at some point. Unless you're attempting to argue that being fired from a job is prima facie evidence that a guy is a bad coach (which would be a ridiculous argument) ... pointing out that they've been fired proves nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

If ARENAS returns to form, we may make a move next year with HAYWOOD back and BLATCHE/McGEE/McGUIRE/YOUNG/CRITTENTON as experienced veterans.

Aside from Blatche, no one else on that list of young players can be considered an experienced veteran next year. Maybe the following year, but that's dependent on them being contributors to next year's team.

Draft THABEET this summer.

Right, another big man project. First, there's not enough roster space for four big man projects on a playoff contending team. And second he's a 3 year project at best(McGee is at best a 2.5 year project who should be ready to contribute by the midpoint of the 2010-2011 season, and should make BTH expendable in the 2011 offseason).

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

pointing out that they've been fired proves nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 5:11 PM

No, I was pointing out that they had been fired, and that in all 5 cases (at least if memory serves me correctly), there were whispers that part of the reason was their sternness in at least 4 of the 5 cases. Not quite sure about Sam Mitchell.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping to trade them both for real playa's or cash and keep BUTLER after this season. If JAMISON and ARENAS have no-trade clauses then the mortgage on this franchise becomes a "toxic asset." And we all know what they're worth even if our government doesn't.... That would be the biggest mistake the club's made lately-----since KWAME BROWN anyway. I was screaming no to that deal in JULY when they inked it.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Avery Johnson was already offered the Grizzlies job.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3855045

He denied it, quickly. Could leave one to believe he already has something set for next season. Wizards?

Say what you want about Avery and the way he left Dallas, but results are what matters in the league. He was successful. Period. He would have a ring if it weren't for the refs love affair with Dwade. That was a dramatic series, and it led to his and the Mavs undoing. Sure the players may not have liked him, but he won. That's all that matters.

He would be good for the Wizards, but one would have to imagine how he would mesh with one Gilbert Arenas. That could be a very questionable relationship to say the least. The Wizards invested 111 million in Gil. That said, they are going to find someone that has "his approval". Although the Wizards need a stern coach, it may not happend. I have faith in Ernie, although one can never be too confident based on the history of this franchise.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

And BTW (although off topic), if Thabeet is available, draft him. No brainer.

Posted by: cj658 | January 23, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"No, I was pointing out that they had been fired, and that in all 5 cases (at least if memory serves me correctly), there were whispers that part of the reason was their sternness in at least 4 of the 5 cases."

And I was pointing out that, despite their reps for being tough on players, they got hired again (and, in Brown's case, again, and again, and again).

So, again, pointing out that they got fired because of their supposed "sternness" is irrelevant, because that rep didn't prevent them from (A) being successful coaches or (B) getting hired again after getting fired, which undercuts any attempt to put forth an argument that "stern" coaches can't succeed in the NBA today, because they have, can, do and are.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 23, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I see. YOUNG and McGUIRE will not be veterans by next year?

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

This (McGuire) is a development along with Blatche's improvement that WILL help us next season with a fully restored squad.

- Rob P

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 23, 2009 5:05 PM

Yep! And Nick Young should be able to be the hired gun off the bench. And Critt may even be able to be the backup point guard, but I have a feeling that they'll keep Mike James around for the first half of next season and then trade his expiring contract to some team that wants to be a player in the 2010 free agent class.

All thos play the youngins at any cost guys lack perspective. They can't see the plan unfolding. The plan is for the young developing nucleus to be contributors on playoffs for the next 2-3 years, and after that take the reins. We have the luxury of taking our time to develop them, because we've got solid (but currently injured) vets in front of them.

So we have two windows of opportunity:

The next 2-3 years with a hopefully healthy GA, an aging AJ, and a hopefully resigned CB, and with BTH and DSteve rounding out the starting five, and with our current batch of youngins (and a few vet reserves like DSong and JD) providing the bench support.

The following 2-3 years when AB, NY, JC, JM, and DM surrounding GA and CB, with a 36-37 year old AJ on his last legs giving us 15 quality minutes of veteran savvy a night.

EG has done a solid job, and should be commended. Unfortunately, most of the folks here are severly shortsighted.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

If JAMISON and ARENAS have no-trade clauses

I don't think they do, but I'm not sure. Their contracts are untradeable because

1. we can't get equal value in return, so trading either one of them is a setback for us.

2. Other teams will have to have someone (or several players combined) with an equivalent contract to trade, and chances are that they will have to sacrifice so much that acquiring GA or AJ still won't put them (or keep them) in playoff contention.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I see. YOUNG and McGUIRE will not be veterans by next year?

I don't consider any 3rd year player a veteran. 5th year, yes, 4th year maybe.

Posted by: jones-y | January 23, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Wizards totally stink, they can't even make a game competitive anymore, this season sucks. :(

Posted by: rachel216 | January 23, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Well jones-y I DO. That is if they're worth a damm. Smoke that over for awhile. Later

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 23, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Blatche needs to play the four and mcgee will block and alter twice as many shots as blatche in the same amount of time, they need to play together

Posted by: bford1kb | January 23, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

believing songaila is more valuable at the five than mcgee defensively is just foolish, song may be in the right spot but basketball is not a stationary game and that positioning does not lead to any semblance of decent defense, mcgee despite getting pushed around still affects the game like no one else on the squad does inside.
mcguire, mcgee and blatche are the only players on the squad who help us defensively, and in that order despite mcgee's lack of minutes

Posted by: bford1kb | January 23, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"I hope the "play the young guys at all costs crowd" really watched the 4th quarter. There was nothing there that even resembled good basketball or anything close to execution. It was absolute garbage in the truest sense."

As opposed to the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd quarters, which were full of quality, fluid, and efficient execution...

Posted by: psps23 | January 23, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I remember playing softball once and we had a player coach. We were beating this team by about 6 runs, so the player coach decided to pull about three players out the game and play his buddies. We barely won by one run.

Myself and two others got together and presented an ultimatum to the player coach. You either play or coach. He decided to play. We went out and found us a coach that was open minded and listened to reason. He did not know much about coaching softball, but he was smart enough to listen and learn. For three years in a row we won the championship for our conference.

All of you that keep thinking that whats is going on here is due too the inadequacies of the players need to go and blog track, golf, poker, checkers, chess, and any other individual sport or non-sport you want to keep bashing the players about.

A team of allstars could do well in this league coaching themselves.

However, a team of allstars would not do well in this league if they were being coached as incompetently as the Wizards are.

And supposedly, we only have two allstars.

So, all this bashing about AJ can't play defense and JM, JC, & NY has no experience, AB this and CB that blah, blah, blah...

All this individual bashing of players is uncalled for and unjustified.

If Ed Tappscott was coaching the Boston Celtics and he had the control of the Team like he does this one they would be losers too.

But the difference is, Boston would have been fired his butt, but you get my point.

So, lay off these players. Until we can get some adult supervision, these baseless criticisms don't mean jack.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 23, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Mihm is about the same quality as Haywood. Their stats are similar and the experts rated them as comparable until last year.

Posted by: Izman | January 23, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

...ETap was cheap and available as an interim coach. EG is no fool, he knew with GA and BTH out the season was over. IF the Wiz come out of this season with one well developed 2nd year player, they will be ahead of the game. How many teams are able to get more than one of their 1st or 2nd year players to step up and be ready for major minutes during the course of a season. This is why EG had to make the move on EJ when he did, or none of the 2nd year players would have ever matured. Now the Wiz have the oppty to have essentially two 2nd year players (I count AB as basically a 2nd year player because of all the time he missed and the fact he came right out of HS.) ready for prime time next year. And if NY continues to blossom then maybe even three. Next year will be the year for Crit and McGee to mature, this year they need to mostly sit and learn...

Posted by: oddjob2 | January 23, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"Next year will be the year for Crit and McGee to mature, this year they need to mostly sit and learn...

Posted by: oddjob2"

To quote my man emmet1 up above, "players don't learn by watching, otherwise Pecherov would be an allstar by now."

The only reason youngsters on other teams sit to "learn" is because they would significantly and negatively impact their team's performance. That is not the case with McGee and Crit, or any other youngsters on this team.

There is no reason for McGee not to see consistent, meaningful minutes (~20 per game). No reason whatsoever.

Posted by: psps23 | January 24, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Free Fire Ernie T-shirt

Email ErnieGone@Hotmail.com

Posted by: erniegone | January 24, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

If Johnson turned down the Grizzlies job, there's no logical reason he'd be holding out for the Wizards. The Grizzlies are actually a better job as they've got a number of young players taken high in the draft with top 10 potential at their position. They're bad now but have a shot at a bright future. The Wiz are bad now and, barring some major changes, their short-term future (best case) is a couple more years as a mid-level playoff team before Jamison shuffles off into the sunset and the rebuilding starts.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 24, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit that I have actually been pretty happy with the way that McGee has been used lately. Unlike some folks, I do not feel that the Wiz should just play their young guys all the time or think that BTH and Gil should be parked for the rest of the year.

Once BTH and Gil are COMPLETELY healthy and can pass whatever physical tests can be thrown at them, they should play to get their rhythm back prior to next year.

And for now the Wiz should play the youngsters enough minutes to have in-game examples that can help the coaches teach them. But, I agree that they should be forced to earn more PT rather than have it handed to them. When they are doing more good than harm, they should be allowed to stay on the floor. McGuire seems to be responding well to his oportunity. (For those that do not think he brings anything to the table because he does not score alot, stick to playing XBox and watching the And-1 Tour because real B-ball is way over your head.)

Posted by: SportzWiz | January 24, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

And when, exactly, did McGee outplay Pau Gasol?


Pau is the starting power forward on this team. Mihm is the backup C. The depth chart is on cbs sports.com and a bunch of other places.

Posted by: original_mark | January 24, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

About the defensive prowess (or lack of it) on this current edition of the Wiz -- NBA teams are mostly designed on a Big 3 model. You set out to draft or sign three All-Star caliber players who become the focus of everything you do. Then you build the rest of the team around them. Since the NBA game is about individual matchups instead of team-style play you find in college, you're in essence relying on your Big 3 to carry the team in most situations and the rest of your squad to act as support, stepping up when needed and fading into the background when not.

So the Spurs, for instance, are Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili and a bunch of other guys. Roger Mason is a perfect role player. He sometimes takes the big shot at the end of games (because he can hit it and is probably open) but that doesn't make him a star. Still, when the Big 3 are healthy and get some help from the rest of the cast, the Spurs win championships.

The problem comes when one of the three gets hurt, or starts to fade. Boston is already facing this with Ray Allen. They need someone to step up. That's why even as they prepare for a title run, Ainge is on the phone looking for help.

The Wiz' problem is Arenas. With him out, Butler and Jamison have to carry the team, and they're not up to it. Partly because neither one is a ball-handler or a big man.
Looking at the team this year, you realize what a miracle it was they made the playoffs last season. But take Mason and Haywood off that team, and they become truly bad.

This is hard to remedy through the draft. Young players need to develop, and by the time they have, Jamison will be old and Butler well on the way. This was supposed to be their run, and instead, everything turned to kaka.

But about that defense -- the team wasn't designed to play defense. They were designed to outscore most of their opponents. In that sense they're not that different from Phoenix or Dallas, both of whom started with more talent. But teams think they can go out and hire some defensive guy like Avery Johnson to turn scorers into defensive aces. Works sometimes with young players, but not often with mature ones. They are what they are, and the coach has to live with them.

Detroit would be an exception. That's a club that's built to play defense. However that's not winning titles so now they're taking it apart.

You can see how well that's going.

So when you're tempted to blame Tapscott or Ed JOrdan, ask yourself: what in the history of these players would make you think they would become a good defensive club in the course of a single season?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 24, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Tapscott or Jordan should have realized the strengths and weaknesses of their own team and continued to play to that instead of going to small/crawl ball!

Jamison and Butler aren't grind it out in the half court and get some stops at the end kind of players. Tapps has maintained an illusion with grinding the pace to a halt. The Wiz go into a lot of 4th quarters with a lead or within 10 points(normal NBA striking range), but they don't have the type of players to win a grind it out game.

Tapps is just grinding his own guys down. I'd agree with Jones-y's take on the roster. I'd tend to disagree with him on the harm that Tapps is doing to this team right now. I think it's reached a point where Grunfeld should declare the Interim over and make a move.

Even if he has to make a McHale like move and sit on the bench himself for 1/2 a year. Fulltime coaches do get hired at midseason. Memphis just did it. There's a whole group of coaches out of work now. If Grunfeld took over now and made it clear the team was evaulating mode and in the market for a coach he'd find out who's intersted in the job now.

The Wiz have a young core to develop, Tapps is struggling to intergrate a development plan into his rotation.

If Jamison, Butler and James think it's too early to "give up on this season" Grunfeld needs to have a heart to heart with those guys. It appears to me at times they're more concerned the Allstar game then anything else now.

My take, let the two vets play out the string until the Allstar rosters are set. Then the playing time and the rotations need to change to continue to develop the kids to play foe next year.

At the same time the Wizards will have to start to slowly ramp Gil up while possibly getting Haywood sometime too. Is Tapps the man for all of those jobs?

Posted by: flohrtv | January 24, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

flohrty wrote: "...Grunfeld should declare the Interim over and make a move."

The interim designation is generally used because the coach(es) you really want aren't available til next season, if at all. That's why interims almost always come from within the club. Sometimes you give a promising assistant a chance, but the selection of Tapscott implies that Grunfeld doesn't see a favorite on the current staff and wants somebody he knows will step aside at some point without protest.

Tapscott isn't harming the team. If anything, the team's play is harming poor Ed Tapscott's peace of mind.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 24, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz have a young core to develop, Tapps is struggling to intergrate a development plan into his rotation.

I disagree. I think that Taps is having trouble integrating NY (but that's also due to NY's one dimensional play which can take you over the top if he's hot, and can take you out of the game when he's cold), but AB, JC, and DM are excelling under Taps. Those four players are the ones that figure to contribute heavily next year, and Taps is for the most part doing his job with respect to getting those 4 ready for next year.

With the possible exception of AB who is playing out of position, but that's due to his being the only legit option left at center, and due to AJ being entrenched at PF.

Posted by: jones-y | January 24, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Pau is the starting power forward on this team. Mihm is the backup C. The depth chart is on cbs sports.com and a bunch of other places."

Mihm is the Lakers' backup C the same way that Pecherov is the Wizards backup C. In fact, they've both played about the same number of minutes and games. The Lakers C rotation is Bynum, Gasol, Odom, and pretty much anyone else other than Mihm. The depth chart is on the floor of every Lakers game, and Mihm isn't on it.

And no matter what kind of semantic gymnastics you try to apply, the basic truth remains the same: The fact that McGee had a decent game against a guy who can't even get off the bench in a meaningful game doesn't make McGee a rising star, anymore than someone on another team schooling Pecherov in the 4th quarter of a blowup makes that guy a ready-for-prime-time player.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 24, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

comparing pech to mihm is ridiculous, mihm used to be a starter and has seen plenty of time in this league the same cannot be said for pech, if all you want to do is hate on mcgee then fine be a miserable person but he is better than song at the five and deserves to play 20 a night at center

Posted by: bford1kb | January 24, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

'deserves'? How so?

Posted by: jones-y | January 24, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Just a note, this page has been improving lately.

Posted by: Bullets72 | January 24, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

he deserves this time because he is better than songaila at center

Posted by: bford1kb | January 24, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"comparing pech to mihm is ridiculous, mihm used to be a starter and has seen plenty of time in this league the same cannot be said for pech"

Arguing that just because a guy was a starter or has played a lot of minutes on bad teams means he doesn't suck is almost as ridiculous an argument as saying that just because a guy outplays a good team's 12th man that he deserves to play major minutes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 24, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"he is better than song at the five and deserves to play 20 a night at center"

He doesn't "deserve" anything because he hasn't earned anything. That being said, I'm already on record as saying that playing McGee a regular 12-15 mpg wouldn't hurt (if for no other reason because things are so bad that pretty much nothing could hurt). It's the idea that his okay performance against an end of bench scrub in a 30 point blowout somehow "proves" that he should be playing major minutes that I'm rejecting as invalid.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 24, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Despite being consistently belittled by Taps and Ivan, McGee has the second highest PER rating of any rookie in the league."

Proving nothing except the meaninglessness of the PER stat.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 24, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I never said mihm doesn't suck but he is still much more of a center than pech will ever be, I also never said that the game against the lakers had anything to do with mcgee playing either, he has needed to play all year, he does deserve these minutes by being a better player, tap's trying to win these games right?

Posted by: bford1kb | January 24, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

so 15 is cool, but 20 means major minutes?

Posted by: bford1kb | January 24, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The thing is that McGee played well in the 1st half so what's all this "meaningless 4th qtr" talk about? He shouldn't get minutes because he's a youngster, he should get minutes because he earns them everytime he gets on the court. No one on the team plays harder (maybe except DM) and with more hustle than him and that reason alone should get him consistant minutes.

Worst record in the league with the vets, what in the world do we have to lose.

Posted by: zxhoya | January 24, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company