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McGee Gets His Shot -- Again


Oh yeah, I'm way up here. Who's that fat dude with the beard over there watching me? (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)


Moments after JaVale McGee joined the long list of centers Shaquille O'Neal has abused over the past 17 seasons, I asked him what it felt like facing the future Hall of Famer. McGee shrugged and said, "It was good."

Hoping for more, I asked McGee two more questions: Was it a big deal playing him? Did you grow up idolizing him? In both instances, McGee shrugged and said, "No."

In the opposing locker room on Monday night, O'Neal, obviously, had a little more to say about McGee. O'Neal was impressed with how the Washington Wizards' rookie center took the physical pounding he inflicted and kept coming back for more. McGee had six points and seven rebounds in little more than 20 minutes against Phoenix, and afterward, O'Neal said McGee reminded him of one of his sons.

"He's light-skinned. Good looking," O'Neal said about McGee, before offering some more traditional praise. "I really like him as a player. He is going to be a special player in this league. I really like his game. JaVale is going to be one of those big men that we talk about in the future."

Although he reacted to playing O'Neal with the enthusiasm of a pre-schooler at naptime, McGee now has a shot at major minutes -- and possibly a starting job -- because of O'Neal. When O'Neal tripped up Andray Blatche in the fourth quarter of that game and knocked Blatche out for the next two to four weeks, Wizards fans who have been clamoring for interim coach Ed Tapscott to play the athletic 7-footer got their wish -- more McGee, starting tonight in Miami.

McGee is averaging 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in just 13.2 minutes per game this season. According to the ESPN stat geek John Hollinger's player efficiency rating (PER), McGee ranks 17th among NBA centers in per-minute productivity -- just ahead of, um, Blatche, Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut and Sacramento's Brad Miller. McGee's 16.52 PER is also better than Toronto's Jermaine O'Neal, Detroit's Rasheed Wallace and New Orleans's Tyson Chandler.

McGee had a career-high 18 points with nine rebounds in Los Angeles last week, but played only six minutes the next night in Portland. He should get more consistent minutes with Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov the only available big men on the Wizards' roster. The Wizards are 3-10 with McGee starting at center, which isn't that good but better than the combined records of Blatche (5-18), Etan Thomas (1-6) and Songaila (0-1).

It will be interesting to see what McGee does with more playing time. In his previous 13 starts, McGee scored in double figures twice, but averaged just 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds, with Tapscott usually letting McGee jump the opening tip, play a few minutes and watch the rest of the game. His playing time decreased from there, including that infamous stretch of four consecutive DNP-CDs earlier this month. But thanks to O'Neal, McGee won't see that happen for a while.

By Michael Lee  |  January 28, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
 
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Next: The Other Side: Miami Heat

Comments

I think we should petition Stern to let us have an emergency draft pick, and then grab Hasheem Thabeet for now.

We can still draft Blake Griffin in the real draft.

Posted by: ajedwardsjr | January 28, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what Taps tells the press, McGee has repeatedly shown that he can rebound, guard the rim and set picks.

The issues are consistency and confidence, which comes with playing time.

I wonder if Taps thinks Song is a better match for JJ than McGee? If so, he should be committed to St. Elizabeth's while in NY.

Posted by: Izman | January 28, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The next couple of games will be a good test and match-up for Javale. Miami with its short frontline and 76ers with a tall skinny center. Let us see how he performs.

I hope Andray's injury is not so serious. Its just ironic that he got injured to a play that a handful of the so-called experts here have said that he won't do which is to drive to the basket and use his quickness.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 28, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Ivan,

Any word on BTH? Its not been almost exactly 4 months and he's had that cast off for about 3 weeks or so now.

McGee did well against Phoenix's frontline. Wasn't out of position as much. Set some decent picks (still awful on the backscreens I saw). Was in position more than he usually is, both offensively and defensively, even though he got pushed out of position easily. There was one freethrow rebound in particular where he got pushed out of the whole play after tipping the ball.

He's putting it together, and to put it together against Shaq and Amare is also impressive! I can see him getting significant minutes from here on out, regardless of AB's health.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Pech is one step closer to the big time. Yay.

JM should have been the starting Center since the first couple weeks of the season with AB backing him and AJ up for 35 minutes per game. It took a couple of injuries but we finally get our wish.

Posted by: original_mark | January 28, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Jones-y:

In regards to your comment about BTH. BTH could be playing right now, and he should be. Because of his “so called” career year last year, he somehow thinks he is elite. He feels he is on Gilbert Arenas status, and he is enjoying every minute of seeing the team lose without him. (Gilbert is loving it even more though). He needs to realize he is nowhere near an all-star caliber player and he is an average center at best.

It is evident through his actions and comments. He has appeared in some commentary on CSN, and I recall one instance after our first meeting with the Rockets. When asked why the Wiz lost he said something along the lines of, “We had a young, inexperienced center going up against Yao Ming, and he got abused.” That was BTH’s explanation of why the Wiz lost the game. He continued to essentially blame the loss on Javale. Way to go Brendan, I’m sure that is really good for his confidence. BTH needs to realize Javale is the future of the center position in Washington (unless we draft Thabeet, which would give us a two-headed monster). I cannot tell you how much I can’t stand BTH and his game. He is painful to watch and always will be.

Now that is appears Javale will get a chance at 30mpg with AB injured, BTH is shaking in his Pumas (or whatever he wears). If JVM puts up say, 16 & 8 over the next month, it’s a wrap for BTH. See ya later!! I now have reason to actually watch the Wiz because I have something to root for. If javale can finish the season strong, it means no more BTH as a starter!!! My fingers are crossed.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what Taps tells the press, McGee has repeatedly shown that he can rebound, guard the rim and set picks.

No he hasn't. He's repeatedly shown he can jump very high. Anyone who can will snag a fair share of rebounds and block/alter a fair share of shots.

Until the Phoenix game, he hasn't consistently shown an understanding of positioning. That is the key element of a AJ's rebounding efficiency and the key element in defending the rim. And even last game when he got good position he was pushed out of the way (forgivable for a rookie big man - he'll get better as he adds weight and strength and utilizes leverage).

Picks and screens? Again until last game, he hadn't set a decent pick or backscreen all season.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Javale is getting some pretty good respect from some elite players. Let's see, Dwight, Shaq, KG, and more that I can't think of right now. How many NBA players were singing the praises of BTH after going against him his rookie year? LOL, yeah, we need not go there.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

If JVM puts up say, 16 & 8 over the next month, it’s a wrap for BTH. See ya later!! I now have reason to actually watch the Wiz because I have something to root for. If javale can finish the season strong, it means no more BTH as a starter!!! My fingers are crossed.

If stats were the tell-all, JM would've never been sent back to the bench. JM will most likely supplant BTH as the starter. In 2011.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Be fun to see young Tigger out there more. Less pressure now that the fans expectations have dropped into negative numbers. He can have those awful shooting nights without folks thinking there's somebody better sitting on the bench.

And Songaila is always there if things get embarrassing.

I've been thinking the fans' experience of the Wiz this season is maybe along the lines of that Kubler-Ross stages of grief thing -- you know, denial ("they'll make a big push in the second half"). to anger "fire the coach. Any coach!"), towards acceptance ("who's there at Number One next year?")

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

BTH could be playing right now, and he should be.

Where did you hear that?

If he could be playing right now, then we agree that he should be.

I feel the same way about Gil. Microfracture + MCL. Its probably a 2 year injury, I'll give him that. Its been 2 years.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

jones-y, your points about McGee's weaknesses are well taken. However, let's not discount jumping high! He alters and blocks shots in a way no one else except Haywood can do. I think he changes the mindset of the opposing players when he's near the rim.

When Songaila is at C, it's almost like a light bulb goes on for the other team: "Hey, the lane's wide open. Come and get it!" Remember the Portland game on Saturday? Literally, within a minute of moving to C, Songaila got dunked on. Then again. Then it happened about five more times in a row. It was actually comical.

As you pointed out, JaVale's learning positioning; combining that with his athletic gifts should yield good results.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 28, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

In regards to your comment about BTH. BTH could be playing right now, and he should be.
Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 9:34 A

once again, will you show us where you got this information that you speak of with such certainty?

Haywood's injury was projected with a 4-6month recovery. At the beginning of the season most people were saying that he'd probably miss the whole season.

Posted by: crs-one | January 28, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"Contrary to what Taps tells the press, McGee has repeatedly shown that he can rebound, guard the rim and set picks."

No he hasn't. He's repeatedly shown he can jump very high. Anyone who can will snag a fair share of rebounds and block/alter a fair share of shots.

------------

Therefore McGee can rebound and protect the rim. Unlike a player like Darius Songaila, who despite all the tactical awareness in the world, will never be as good at either as McGee is right now.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

keithward64, i agree with every single word. When he combines those raw skills with somr fundamentals, sky is the limit. That's why he gets high praise from the likes of Shaq.

He's a near-franchise-caliber player. It still amazes me that he fell to #16. With another year of college (as scouts suggested before the draft - he only had 1 year of PT, his freshman year he was behind Nick Fazekas and got mostly garbage time), he's a #1 pick and day-one starter. Steal of the draft, easily.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Therefore McGee can rebound and protect the rim. Unlike a player like Darius Songaila, who despite all the tactical awareness in the world, will never be as good at either as McGee is right now.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 9:56 AM

Yes, he can do both. But at far too great a rate, he's neutralized by his lack of fundamentals. He needs to combine those natural abilities with the fundamentals. Because at this point its all natural ability.

An analogy is the smart kid. He can pull a 3.0 on natural ability alone. But to get to magna cum laude level, he needs to harness that natural ability and use it effectively.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

But to get to magna cum laude level, he needs to harness that natural ability and use it effectively.

Exactly. Potential isn't nearly enough. The NBA is littered with players with great potential who didn't have the work ethic and study habits, and are fringe players at best.

The best description I ever heard of Michael Jordan: a supremely gifted over-achiever.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 28, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Samson 151:

Personally, I'm stuck somewhere between stage 3: Bargaining (surely someone will give us something good for E. Thomas and his crappy contract) and stage 4: Depression (Can there be anything more awful than being worse than OKC?)

Posted by: mugsybol | January 28, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Yes, he can do both. But at far too great a rate, he's neutralized by his lack of fundamentals. He needs to combine those natural abilities with the fundamentals. Because at this point its all natural ability.

An analogy is the smart kid. He can pull a 3.0 on natural ability alone. But to get to magna cum laude level, he needs to harness that natural ability and use it effectively.

Posted by: jones-y

----

I agree with that. I just don't agree with the assertion that because McGee isn't tactically aware right now, he doesn't deserve significant minutes (even when Blatche and Thomas were/are healthy). 20+ minutes a game is all I was asking for. At least he's now forced to receive it.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Another injury? This is actually the ideal scenario for Ernie G. Now next year he can keep this same group of players together along with the same coach and not make any changes and say "Hey if we didn't have injuries, we'd be a contender. This group just needs a chance to be together."
Just like the past 3 years. Look for Tap to return!!!

Posted by: dovelevine | January 28, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Now next year he can keep this same group of players together along with the same coach and not make any changes and say "Hey if we didn't have injuries, we'd be a contender. This group just needs a chance to be together."
Just like the past 3 years. Look for Tap to return!!!

Posted by: dovelevine

I'm pretty sure none of Nick Young, Javale McGee, Dominic McGuire, Javaris Crittenton, or our almost certain 2009 lottery pick to-be were here 3 years ago.

I really don't get why people say EG hasn't made any changes. This team is not the same team that was here 3 years ago.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Why wasn't Shaq assessed a blatant foul on Andray and why hasn't he been fined? Shaq rammed Andray with his knee...on-purpose.

Posted by: closg | January 28, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I really don't get why people say EG hasn't made any changes. This team is not the same team that was here 3 years ago.
Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 10:59 AM

Our entire starting team from 3 years ago is still intact: Arenas, Stevenson, Etan/Brenda/, Jamison and Butler. What changes? All the other folks are just "reserves"....people the coaches, Jamison and Butler can blame when they lose.
Sad!

Posted by: dovelevine | January 28, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yo Ivan. Very good story on OPEC. Now for the most part people pretty much know my disdain for Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott's coaching skills and his lame excuses that make no sense at all on why he does not play certain players. And on the flip side of that why he "always" plays another certain player or players when they do not deserve the minutes.

Now I will never agree with him and his weak excuses on why he does not play McGee and his even weaker reasons at playing Song. at the "5".

However I have to agree with him on his assestment of OPEC. OPEC will never see minutes until he decides to go in a game and stay in the paint only to rebound and not attempt one three pointer.

OPEC needs to look at how McGee is working his game. Every lame excuse Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott has used to keep McGee down on the bench, McGee has listened and incorporated finding a solution into his game.

For example, McGee no longers lets opposing "5's" come down and setup shop in the paint easily with them having McGee on their back trying to defend them. McGee now fights for position to "front" instead of giving up the position as easy as he used too. Lesson learned, one less thing Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott can use on him to keep him benched.

McGee also looks like he has gotten a little bigger, plus he goes after rebounds harder then he was at the beginning of the season and he is a very good shot blocker. OPEC may not be a shot blocker, but he has the size to eat up space and start grabing rebounds. Every coach likes that skill.

All Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott wants OPEC to do is play his game more like Etan Thomas and not Song. Once OPEC gets that down, then he can start looking to score, but from the paint and not the perimeter. That should earn him more playing time.

Lastly, OPEC does not have as smooth as a stroke as Dirk so he needs to stop thinking he can be as good as Dirk. OPEC's "J" is more like a set shot on a line; so he needs to stay down low in the paint and just get rebounds and then his minutes might increase.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 28, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"McGee has repeatedly shown that he can rebound, guard the rim and set picks."

For those who disagree with this, do you think McGee cannot rebound, guard the rim or set picks? Has he not done each of these things at least a dozen times this year?

The issue with McGee is consistency, not ability.

If a big man doesn't have the ability to rebound, guard the rim and set picks, he ought to be cut. (Compare Pech).

In contrast, everybody will have forgotten about these issues with McGee by next year and will be clamoring for him to put on some weight.

The stupidity of not giving this guy minutes this year because of inconsistent play is mind-boggling.

Posted by: Izman | January 28, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The only logical reason that Tap gives large minutes to Big Bum Songaila instead of McGee and refuses to play Nick even after he scores 30 pts in 3 straight games and continually professes his love for Stevenson, who averages 3 pts a game, is that Tap is in WAY OVER HIS HEAD and DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO COACH. Period. Which of course brings us back to one Ernie G.
I don't care if the season is over or not. Play the guys that deserve it and McGee and Young are on the top of that list.
It aint rocket science.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 28, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Line-up: Javaris, Nick, Dom, Pech, Javale....they could be blown out or they will blow by you. hahah

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 28, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

These are Tapscott's words from Ivan's article this morning...

"There aren't a whole lot of positions for 7-foot three-point shooters in the league," Tapscott said. "That's one of his strengths, obviously, but you have to do some other things...

...The one thing he's good at is rebounding, but right now, given our current situation, I need people on the box"


HUH?

So you need him on the box offensively and won't play him because his specialized skill is 3 point shooting? But he is good at rebounding?

First, when is the last time we had a C who scored on the box? Muresan? Before him, Moses and Ruland?

Secondly, aren't we near the bottom in 3 point shooting in the league? Don't we regularly get outrebounded?

Tap's argument holds NO water. A real coach would take a guy's strengths and make them work for the team instead of burying him on the bench/depth chart.

Posted by: original_mark | January 28, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"How many NBA players were singing the praises of BTH after going against him his rookie year? "

Dunno, but the Magic and the Heat were supposedly kicking themselves for not having drafted the guy. He's a middling talent, but with that size and four years of training at North Carolina -- he was a lot more ready for the day-to-day NBA grind than McGee. Looks like the reason he went late is because teams thought he was soft.

It was in Haywood's second and third years that he started to plateau. No idea what the problem was, but he stayed there, plugging along, a good game alternating with a poor one, until the beginning of last season, when he woke up. Why? You're guess is as good as mine. But he was a key to last season's success, such as it was.

All the more amazing that the Wiz did as well as they did that year. Didn't they win two playoff games against the Cavs? Given what we've seen this season, just remarkable. Read an article in a Canadian publication in which Butler and Jamison were insisting that with Arenas, Haywood, and Stevenson back, they still considered themselves playoff-quality. Is that denial? or do they know something we don't?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

..additionally, I find it hard to believe that Pech just continually defies the coaches and goes outside, ignoring the play that is being run. If you told him to either go down on the box or not play, I'm pretty sure he'd do it.

The problem is YOU, Tap. Stop blaming players. Incorporate Pech's 3 point shooting into your game plan. AJ is listed at 6'9" yet regularly shoots 3's. So am I to believe that it's ok to shoot them at 6'9" but once you pass the 7 foot mark, it's not ok?
Don't Okur and Bogut play that same game? They seem to be doing ok with it. Wasn't Laimbeer a pick and pop guy?

No more excuses. Ernie gave you a player who might be able to help us. We need help. Use him.

Posted by: original_mark | January 28, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I tend to notice a trend here with coaches! They tend to criticize the young players and never really give them playing time while other teams tend to give young players an opportunity. Let's look at Cleveland 2 yrs. ago when they reached the finals if anyone remembers it was a rookie by the name of Daniel Gibson that gave them a spark off the bench in the playoffs to help them get to the finals. He didnt play good defense he didnt always do the right things but you never heard Mike Brown say i can't put him out there because he's young and he makes mistakes. That only seems to come from here and our coaches. Here we have AJ now we all love what he brings as far as leadership and hustle and all that but has anyone noticed that he doesn't play defense either. He'll give you 25 & 12 every night but if you check the stats of the person he's guarding they'll have 20 & 15 every night. But you never hear Tap criticize that! If you have young guys with talent put them out there and let them learn. We all know they're going to make mistakes but let them play and learn from those mistakes and we all can see the rewards next year when we are fully healthy.

Posted by: chrisd3758 | January 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I just don't agree with the assertion that because McGee isn't tactically aware right now, he doesn't deserve significant minutes

Yeah we definitely don't agree there. He doesn't deserve significant minutes (yet). Nobody deserves anything. You get what your hands have earned.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah we definitely don't agree there. He doesn't deserve significant minutes (yet). Nobody deserves anything. You get what your hands have earned.

Posted by: jones-y"

How are you insinuating he "earns" it (or hasn't "earned" it)?

Is he not working hard? Does he not focus? Is he disrespectful? What does he do to make you say he hasn't "earned" it?

I know it can't be based on ability, as he is already a better player than Songaila as a center. So what is it? Is it only when he's tactically a better player than Songaila, regardless of the difference in natural ability, that McGee will have "earned" his minutes?

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"McGee has repeatedly shown that he can rebound, guard the rim and set picks."

For those who disagree with this, do you think McGee cannot rebound, guard the rim or set picks? Has he not done each of these things at least a dozen times this year?

The issue with McGee is consistency, not ability.

If a big man doesn't have the ability to rebound, guard the rim and set picks, he ought to be cut. (Compare Pech).

In contrast, everybody will have forgotten about these issues with McGee by next year and will be clamoring for him to put on some weight.

The stupidity of not giving this guy minutes this year because of inconsistent play is mind-boggling.

Posted by: Izman | January 28, 2009 11:20 AM

Izman, I agree with (and have previously addressed - in this thread and elsewhere) everything in your post (he's inconsistent, supremely talented, etc. - in fact I've described several times the source of his inconsistencies) except for that last sentence. He has to earn it.

Did anybody give you anything in life? At work? Did you get A's in school just for being smart? Nobody gave me nothing except a hug a kiss and a pat on the back from my parents.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

For example, McGee no longers lets opposing "5's" come down and setup shop in the paint easily with them having McGee on their back trying to defend them. McGee now fights for position to "front" instead of giving up the position as easy as he used too.

A bit premature, he's done that for all of one game.

he goes after rebounds harder then he was at the beginning of the season

Its not harder that counts. Its smarter. Prime example, AJ. He knows where to be in order to maximize his effectiveness. And it takes time, whether or not he's getting minutes.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Play the guys that deserve it and McGee and Young are on the top of that list.
It aint rocket science.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 28, 2009 11:29 AM

Neither of them deserve one single thing except what they've earned. Much like you or I.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It was in Haywood's second and third years that he started to plateau. No idea what the problem was, but he stayed there, plugging along, a good game alternating with a poor one, until the beginning of last season, when he woke up. Why? You're guess is as good as mine. But he was a key to last season's success, such as it was.

Why? He got a certain monkey off his back. Same reason why AB has been doing well this year.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think that JM's biggest problem is the Wiz's defensive schemes.
Why is he ever away from the basket.
The Wiz need to play in your face manomano tough defense, with switches...no jump outs by JM, which do nothing other than regularly place at least 2 defenders out of position.
Two passes against the Wiz, and at least 2 players are open.
Watched the Lakers and Charlotte last evening.
The difference in coaching is amazing.
LBrown has transformed his team. He got rid of poor defensive players, and now plays straight up, man on man...remarkable.
A joy to watch.
It is beyond obvious we need a good coach, with defensive orientation.
I appreciate the remarks on here about uptempo offense, but good defense is the trigger of pace, not just run and shoot like Knicks and old Phoenix.
Love JM and what he can be for this franchise, but not until we get that special coach who can utilize the skills of his players, and rid the team of those not skilled or interested in playing the correct style of game.

Posted by: maxman2162 | January 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The problem is YOU, Tap. Stop blaming players. Incorporate Pech's 3 point shooting into your game plan.

I agree.

AJ is listed at 6'9" yet regularly shoots 3's. So am I to believe that it's ok to shoot them at 6'9" but once you pass the 7 foot mark, it's not ok?

No. Its ok to shoot the 3 if you have demonstrated that you can hit them with some level of consistency, and if you can get floor time due to the fact that that is not your only skill (or conversely if that is the only skill they desire from you).

I do agree that its Taps' job to figure out how and when to use Pech. Especially since, by saying that he's not out there because of his skillset, you're essentially conceding that he is not experiencing a lack of PT because he is unready to contribute what he has.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Having watched the Suns game in person... God they have aged, but they are still a deep team... I do think it is time to take for the Wizards to take a long look at McGee and Pecherov up front. Songaila should get spot duty at the 4 and never be allowed to play the 5. He truly has negative elevation.

Also, if the coaching staff is going to continue to start McGuire, he needs to be given a green light to shoot a bit more, Otherwise he is left alone and the captains see more double teams.

Butler and Jamison played great for three quarters, but they were physically and mentally worn out by crunch time and that will continue to be the case unless Nick Young or one of the point guards (or zero-point guards in our case) can pick up the slack. We beat the Knicks in large part because Mike James came up big, but he has been a negative force on offense since then.

After the gane, my son and I repaired to a nearby bar to check on B Griffin and I believe he IS all that. If we can take him at Number 1, we should and then package Blatche and a bad contract to get a 2 guard who can score.

Like the Heat last year, I think we can profut from this nasty nasty season.

Posted by: khrabb | January 28, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

How are you insinuating he "earns" it

By doing, for example, what he did against Shaq. Playing a somewhat fundamentally sound game. (or at least more fundamentally sound than previously). By doing that, he had earned minutes in our next stretch of games, regardless of whether AB had gotten hurt.

And if he'd delivered repeat (or improved) performances over that next stretch of games, then he would've earned more floortime in future games. And so on, until he does it consistently over a season or two. Then he's beyond reproach, and no one can justify sitting him on lack of consistency.

Kinda like what DSteve accomplished by playing so well last season...

(or hasn't "earned" it)?

Because prior to the performance he put in against Phoenix, he hadn't played one single fundamentally sound game.

This entitlement thing is really foreign to me.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Is it only when he's tactically a better player than Songaila, regardless of the difference in natural ability, that McGee will have "earned" his minutes?

Not quite. Its when JM's fundamentals+ability is greater than or equal to DSong's fundamentals+ability.

Since JM is so extraordinarily talented, he's fast approaching that mark. In fact, Monday's performance against Phoenix moved him a lot closer.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Why is he ever away from the basket.

Because the man he's guarding is. Is he supposed to park in the paint and allow his man go set a pick and/or shoot a wide open jumper (as many centers can)?

The Wiz need to play in your face manomano tough defense, with switches...no jump outs by JM, which do nothing other than regularly place at least 2 defenders out of position.

I agree, but that strategy still doesn't keep their center parked in the paint. Unless the opposing center poses absolutely zero offensive threat.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"This entitlement thing is really foreign to me.

Posted by: jones-y"

It's not entitlement. It's smart investment for the future. You've got a young, talented player with a lot of upside, then you play him as much as you can to maximize his improvement over the season. With the Wizards not being any sort of contender (except for the #1 pick), they have a prime opportunity to do this. Since Jordan was fired, they have not taken advantage of it (with regards to McGee). It's painful to watch, and extremely short-sighted on the part of Tapscott.

I can see if he had an attitude, or was disrespectful, or didn't work hard, or was a problem off the court. But none of those things describe McGee (in fact they all describe the opposite of him).

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

For example, McGee no longers lets opposing "5's" come down and setup shop in the paint easily with them having McGee on their back trying to defend them. McGee now fights for position to "front" instead of giving up the position as easy as he used too.

A bit premature, he's done that for all of one game.

he goes after rebounds harder then he was at the beginning of the season

Its not harder that counts. Its smarter. Prime example, AJ. He knows where to be in order to maximize his effectiveness. And it takes time, whether or not he's getting minutes.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:19 PM

Jones-y - I read most of your posts that you have not missed any games. Like you I have been with the Wiz since 77 when I was a kid and I am a diehard fan.

Now, I have to question that "premature" only one game statement you just made. Every since that fateful game against the Magic in December and the following game against the Lakers against Bynum, McGee has been making a concerted effort to "front" the opposing "5".

I knew Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott was using those two games as his main excuse for benching the young boy, so I myself made a concerted effort to watch McGee defend in the paint after those games.

McGee had made the adjustment after those games, however it might not had looked like it because he still does not have the weight or muscle to keep is "front" positioning.

If you do not believe go back and look at some of the past games, WHEN HE DID GET SOME MINUTES, and watch his defense on the opposing "5".

Now I agree with your second point, the young boy is learning. Yes when I was playing football, sometimes I did get a chance to learn and pickup something from the bench vs. being out there, per say.

But with everything you need balance. How much better would I have gotten if the coach keep me there on the bench forever because he had his "favorites"??? If you translate what you learned in practice to game time, the best man should be playing. You learn by ducking "live bullets", not those fake ones being shot in practice....

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 28, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Its when JM's fundamentals+ability is greater than or equal to DSong's fundamentals+ability."

This was established at the beginning of the season. As a center, DSong should never, ever step foot on the court. At the 4, Songaila clearly has McGee. At the 5, it's completely the opposite. There is no comparison. Songaila poses zero defensive and/or rebounding threat vs any other center in the league. Even if he has the highest basketball IQ of any player in the league, he still would not match McGee's "sum".

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not entitlement. It's smart investment for the future.

Fine. But you do realize that that does not equal 'he deserves it'. That equals 'we (the wiz) deserve it'.

If that's what you meant, that's fine, but you should've said it. I still disagree with that notion, if that is indeed what you meant, but its an altogether different point (and different discussion).

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Fine. But you do realize that that does not equal 'he deserves it'. That equals 'we (the wiz) deserve it'.

If that's what you meant, that's fine, but you should've said it. I still disagree with that notion, if that is indeed what you meant, but its an altogether different point (and different discussion).

Posted by: jones-y"

It's both. I never used the term "entitlement". That was your term.

McGee deserves it because he's already the 2nd best option at center on the healthy roster (now 1st with Blatche out), AND because he displays all the proper intangibles (most notably effort and attitude). There is no "entitlement". You don't see me out here clamoring for Pech to get significant runs, so your insinuation that I think McGee's "entitled" to minutes is completely false.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The whole point of playing McGee now is just for experience only. We know he is not ready but if he understands what he needs to improve based on real playing experience then he will work that much harder over the off season. He definitely has more drive and self motivation than Blatche, so this experience will not destroy his "fragile" self-esteem as Tapscott is quick to erroneously point out. Playing against elite centers game after game is better than any "Big Man" school. Now I have something worth rooting for as I watch these lousy games!

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 28, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

McGee had made the adjustment after those games, however it might not had looked like it because he still does not have the weight or muscle to keep is "front" positioning.

You're actually right. I should've said "McGee has done it relatively effectively for one game." What's impressive is that that one game was against a top-5 all time center. I'm all for giving credit where its due.

And it seems that we both understand that it is a combination of knowing where to be and having the strength to get there and stay there. So far, he's demonstrating that he's learning where to be, and by that he's earned more minutes in future games. But having the strength is a long process, and a big part of the reason big men take longer to develop, they have to both grow into those frames (strength/weight), and learn how to use them (leverage).

Regardless of all that, he's earned minutes in the next game, based on his performance in the last. That's the system (for young players) as I understand it. For vets the only difference is the frame of reference. For example, Stevenson earned minutes this year based on what he did last year.

Similar to how you and I earn raises or bonuses at work, or A's in school. IMO its a fundamental principle. And in my opinion the principle of entitlement has a detrimental effect on pro sports. A prime example would be the NFL's diva receivers/running backs who think they deserve the ball, when 75% of their success is due to their linemen.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

psps23,

As I understand it, the principle of entitlement is an individual feeling that they deserve something that they have not necessarily earned. So that's why I introduced the word to the discussion.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

To Ed Tapscott: How many NBA teams out there are trying to get a Javale McGee?

How about a Deshawn Stevenson?

Posted by: iamdawalrus | January 28, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

And again, my stance is that he has not (up until the Phoenix game) earned more PT, because he had not previously demonstrated that he could play a somewhat fundamentally sound game.

IMO, there is no other way to earn PT. Do players get PT that they haven't earned? Yes, all the time. But that is not the system here (with EJ or ETap) and I have no problem with that system.

It teaches a valuable life (and basketball) lesson and weaves the fabric that makes the team greater than the parts (sorry for the waxing poetic thing... couldn't think of a better way to say it).

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"And in my opinion the principle of entitlement has a detrimental effect on pro sports. A prime example would be the NFL's diva receivers/running backs who think they deserve the ball, when 75% of their success is due to their linemen.

Posted by: jones-y"

Your comparison is the exact opposite. The "diva" WRs/RBs are all proven players in the league, and are given a pass based on what they've done in the past. That represents Stevenson, who "earned" his long leash based on his play last year.

What those WRs/RBs do NOT represent is a young, hard-working, rookie that has not proven himself yet, but doing everything he can in order to do so.

If you have a beef with entitlement like that, it should be with Stevenson, not McGee. Had you said something to the tune of not liking how NFL teams devote themselves to a young QB despite whatever growing pains come along, then your comparison would be more valid.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Jones-y - Again good points, but as you see you can start up a serious firestorm on this blog when it comes to McGee and his minutes, or lack there of.

I think what everyone is trying to say is we understand the "earn it " system because you are a Vet and you just don't get things given to you. But when you have the worse record in the league and your starting "5" has been hurt the whole year, and you have a AB who is a "4" playing the "5" and then backing him up with a undersized "4" (Song) and giving him major minutes make anybody who knows about the game or played it that much more angry.

As I have said before, If I know Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott was going to continue to play "slow small ball" and DECREASE McGee's minutes, I would have never called for EJ's firing.

I was cool with EJ as coach, other then his personal beef with Haywood and AB that transferred to the floor, which should not have ever happened.

It is like darn if you do or darn if you don't, EJ give McGee major minutes and really liked the kid but he dogged AB; when on the other hand Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott gave AB "good" minutes and he dogged McGee. Both of these coaches don't seem to know how to coach and incorporate "5's" in the game to me.

During the offseason the addition of a "REAL BIG MAN COACH" is needed. Nothing against Masenburg or Harvey Grant last season, but neither of these dudes were tradional "5's" in the league so how can they teach the position?

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 28, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"If you have a beef with entitlement like that, it should be with Stevenson, not McGee."

I will note that Stevenson did do an admirable thing by demoting himself. The problem should instead be bestowed upon Jordan and Tapscott for validating a sense of entitlement, regardless of current performance.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

it really doesn't matter what Tapscott says, he won't be here next year. Earnie needs to play the young guys as much as possible and figure out who he wants to keep, and who to let go....the team doesn't play much defense and needs to get some attitude on the floor...right now, it loses the fights and backs down when pushed...it can't stop anyone at point guard when it has to, and has no counter at the opponents forward position. Jamison and Butler ain't it for the future...they sell tickets but don't make a difference when it counts.

Posted by: outrbnksm | January 28, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Your comparison is the exact opposite. The "diva" WRs/RBs are all proven players in the league, and are given a pass based on what they've done in the past.

That wasn't quite the way I meant to use the example (and you're right in your analysis), but I brought it up mostly in reference to the detrimental effect of entitlement. Anyways, I think we see eye-to-eye!

Jones-y - Again good points, but as you see you can start up a serious firestorm on this blog when it comes to McGee and his minutes, or lack there of.

Yeah tell me about it...

Both of these coaches don't seem to know how to coach and incorporate "5's" in the game to me.

Well they were both point guards. That may have something to do with it. They both understand where the center should be (they were the ones responsible for getting their centers the ball), but they haven't worn those shoes, and maybe as a result they are hence a little less equipped to teach that position.

I don't know, maybe its a stretch... But you're right in that both EJ and ETap clearly have some issue with coaching centers.

Totally agreed on the big man coach thing. It'd be nice if EG could steal Pat Ewing away from Orlando. I think his job of teaching Dwight Howard is just about done... (and EG and PAt go waaayyy back...).

Speaking of EG's history, I keep having this feeling Jeff Van Gundy is gonna be our next coach... Don't know why (aside from the obvious - excellent and currently unemployed coach, EG gave him his big chance in NY, etc.), it just keeps popping into my head.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

What about Patrick Ewing as our coach next year? He was a hall of fame player, has coaching exp., could be our big man coach, has a history with Ernie, and the dude is hungry to be a head coach.

Jones-y I noticed you said he could come over and be our "big man coach". Unfortunately, it looks like the fans, and most importantly NBA people also are looking at him as a postion coach instead of a "Head Coach". I think he deserves a shot to run the show, because he has put in his time.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

jonesy wrote: "AJ is listed at 6'9" yet regularly shoots 3's. So am I to believe that it's ok to shoot them at 6'9" but once you pass the 7 foot mark, it's not ok?"

No, it's definitely OK for 7-footers to hit 3 pointers. It's just not OK for them to miss, because there's one less big guy in there to rebound.

I suppose Jamison is 6'9" on a small, all-purpose stepladder. However normally I think he's probably closer to 6'7".

The surprising thing about the guy is how effectively he gets those rebounds. He's a little like Shawn Marion in that respect. Always doing things a player his size isn't supposed to do.

Of course, Marion's a little shorter than Antwan, and a better defender.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

dunno, don't have an opinion either way on Pat as our head coach... Haven't read any analysis on him as a coach, aside from references to the job he's done with Howard.

I do think that you should at least be a top assistant coach (as opposed to a position coach - like Zorn) to jump to a head coaching slot. And I believe that EG (under Gundy) would give Pat that chance, in exchange for him taking AB, JM and OP under his wing. Keep it in the fam!

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, after reading through tons of gibberish, I have come to one conclusion. How can anyone in their right mind, actually say Javale has to “earn” his minutes. You people act as if the Suns, Spurs, Celts, Cavs, or Lakers drafted him LOL! He got drafted by the Washington Wizards, who have absolutely pathetic excuses of players currently at the center position. I guess Bosh, Dwight, Duncan etc had to “earn” their minutes also. Give me a break people, see the light please. It is as simple as 2+2, he is the best option. So what if he’s young and inexperienced. That’s actually a good thing, since the games don’t matter anymore, he can get abused, and become better from it.


Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, after reading through tons of gibberish, I have come to one conclusion.
Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 2:30 PM

talking about meritocracy

i don't think you've sufficiently impressed anyone with your logic or knowledge to merit condescending to EVERYONE.

Posted by: crs-one | January 28, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

So i guess you think BTH is "good" and that EJ was a "good" coach.

Fact is the majority of people feel JVM has to "earn" his minutes. It's a stupid idea and wrong, and it's just an example of people trying to sound like a coach or GM, just trying to sound smart. Then they start talking out of their a$$ to come up with some "logical" reason as to why JVM does not deserve to play. Give me a break. And that goes for EVERYONE who believes he has to earn his minutes, or ANYONE who believes he sould play back up to BTH. Makes me sick how people can sit here and defend a scrub like Haywood, No point in arguing about it anymore. I guess I offended you somehow.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

i love the discussions here today. no name calling or dismissal of other people's opinions, but real constructive back-and-forth. anyway, jones-y, you said this:

An analogy is the smart kid. He can pull a 3.0 on natural ability alone. But to get to magna cum laude level, he needs to harness that natural ability and use it effectively.

which i agree with. but i also thing that a center with a '3.0' average is already better than our starting center last year, who had in my opinion, about a 2.6 year.

Posted by: segastyle | January 28, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Gibberish? How could anyone say that you, the new guy, have to earn your promotion at work? You deserve it, because you are clearly the best option...

Bosh and Dwight were drafted to resurrect their franchises. SA got duncan as a #1 because Robinson got hurt and the team tanked the season before. McGee was a mid first rounder, primarily because he wasn't ready to contribute immediately. 'Needs another year.' The consensus before the draft, and continues to be my opinion.

And yes, players do sometimes get minutes they haven't earned. That is true, but that fact, in and of itself, does not mean that the wiz are somehow wrong for not doing so, or that doing so would be beneficial to them. Not to mention the fact that the players who do get unearned minutes are the potential future HOFer types (and are hence running up a tab, if you will - they'll earn that rookie PT in the future).

Tree: McGee needs minutes to develop. The wiz need to find floor time for him. Forest: The Wizards feel that their #1 objective is to win games, and hence they need to treat McGee as a part of the team, not the alpha and omega, and he'll see the floor when he can contribute to that objective.

McGee is not yet the best option at center. Not a better option than AB or BTH (when healthy). Song? its now close, but what we gain in team defense (and that's only when McGee isn't out of position) we lose in team offense, man-to-man defense, and offensive production from the center position.

Its clear that you nominated the discussion here as gibberish instead of reading it.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

So i guess you think BTH is "good" and that EJ was a "good" coach.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 2:59 PM

Being offended would imply that I had some emotional stake in this. It is, after all, an anonymous message board.

I do, however, take issue with how dogmatic you are about whatever you're talking about. But that's more of an annoyance than an offense.

Case in point: I assume it makes it much easier to "win" your arguments when you put words into the mouths of others and then continue with your argument from there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

As it so happens, I do think Haywood and Jordan are "good" at their jobs. If you want to continue to belabor that point, I suppose I could play along. but you still ignored the points made, namely
-If you're going to make definitive claims about Haywood's health, back it up
-It's ridiculous that you can speak with such absolution regarding how your points are as "simple as 2+2" but everybody else's points are "gibberish"


Posted by: crs-one | January 28, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

i love the discussions here today. no name calling or dismissal of other people's opinions, but real constructive back-and-forth.

I agree totally. We don't have to agree, but we also don't have to disagree disrespectfully either...

which i agree with. but i also thing that a center with a '3.0' average is already better than our starting center last year, who had in my opinion, about a 2.6 year.

I would rate JM a lot lower than a 3.0. Matter of opinion of course, but I don't think we win against Boston and Cleveland (and several other quality teams we beat) last year with JM (at his current level of experience/play) at center. In fact, I don't think we make the playoffs with JM as our center last year. We're 1-12 with him as the starting center this year... (not that its all on him, or that its all on BTH's absence - but you are your record, says the big tuna).

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

As far as JVM needing to earn his minutes. He absolutely does need to earn it. Nobody gives you anything.

Now, I would go out and say he has, in fact, earned more minutes than he has been given. I commend his patience and his time will come.

I agree that it may be detrimental to play him heavily and let him sink or swim. I think that reinforcing bad habits by playing him too much is a bigger risk than hindering his development by not playing him enough. But that's a matter of opinion, and I know plenty have opposing opinions.

JaBust is going to be a great center. But it's not going to happen this year or next, regardless of how much Tapscott plays him.

Posted by: crs-one | January 28, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Fact is the majority of people feel JVM has to "earn" his minutes.

No that is not a fact. The fact is exactly the opposite.

It's a stupid idea and wrong, and it's just an example of people trying to sound like a coach or GM, just trying to sound smart.

As opposed to you, the statistician? the 'numbers are the end-al be-all' guy? Is it coinkidink that coaches/GMs echo the same sentiments of 'earning PT' while you are limited to posting your feelings on an anonymous board?

I'd rather sound like the guy who's doing the job, than the one who's baselessly criticizing him.

Then they start talking out of their a$$ to come up with some "logical" reason as to why JVM does not deserve to play.

I have yet to hear you come up with some "logical" reason why he (or anyone else) deserves anything, including PT.

In your defense, I haven't heard a logical reason put forth by anyone else either (quite possibly because there isn't one???), but at least they're not condescending about it...

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of pasting links on the blog (thanks crs, much informative), I have one here for you. Check out our starting center:


http://www.facebook.com/people/Brenda-Haywood/720962982

Man, looks like he is our best otion.


Now, I know I tend to get bent all out of shape when this topic comes up, especially when it involves Brendan Tom Haywood. Jones-y, I would like to quote you:

“You deserve it, because you are clearly the best option”

“Tree: McGee needs minutes to develop. The wiz need to find floor time for him. Forest: The Wizards feel that their #1 objective is to win games, and hence they need to treat McGee as a part of the team, not the alpha and omega, and he'll see the floor when he can contribute to that objective.”

Well, Jones-y, I’m not sure what forest that tree is growing in, but it’s not the one JVM needs to be in. First of all, if the forest’s objective is to “win games”, it sure doesn’t seem like it. Worst record in the league, I think it’s time for this forest to invest in some new fertilizer, because the current fertilizer is preventing the trees from growing. And what’s a forest without trees?

In your previous post, you are acting as if the Wizards center situation is better than the Spurs, Magic, before they got their guys. My whole point is, the Wizards week point has been big man play for the past decade. When was the last time the Wizards have a had a center average over 8 rebs? When was the last time Wizards had a center average 12 ppg? You tell me. That said, with Javale walking into a situation as pitiful as this one, he deserves the right to prove himself in the meaningless games the Wizards are playing this year. And BTW, Brendan has done absolutely NOTHING to prove he has “earned” the right to start over JVM when he returns from injury. Averaging 10 & 6 (career year) does not entitle ANY 7 footer to anything in this league. Averaging 7 & 5 for his career, has not entitled him to ANYTHING besides having to fight for his position.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Jones-y, yeah, I know I do sound like a condescending prick when it comes to this topic ( I don’t mean it). And believe me I do enjoy engaging in intelligent discussion, but this topic is just quite frustrating to me. But I simply cannot stand BTH. He really thinks that he si good, and thinks he is on “elite” status.

Let me take you all back to last year’s playoffs: BTH told LBJ to "just play basketball." Really? A frontcourt player whose team just got wiped by 20 on the boards in a critical Game 4 is going to tell LeBron to play basketball? A guy with a 7.5 point and 5.9 rebound career averages whose team is about to get knocked out by the Cavs for a third straight season is going to tell the Cavaliers superstar what to do? An yes folks, he was HEALTHY for those 3 seasons. And he was “anchoring” the middle in game 4 when we out rebounded by 20!!! (Look it up). I cannot fathom how you honestly feel he is our best option!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Anyways, I think we see eye-to-eye!"

It's about time, haha.

I think jones-y and I simply disagree on how a player earns PT. My impression is that jones-y thinks the best player should be playing, taking into account everything from skill level, tactical awareness, fundamentals, etc. My view is from a team approach, where as long as your attitude and work ethic aren't detrimental to the team, PT should be distributed based heavily on a long-term vision (only because this season is shot). The more McGee plays, the more he learns, the quicker he improves, the better he becomes within the next 2 years, therefore the better the team becomes. The same cannot be said of Songaila or Etan Thomas.

At this point, the argument is pretty much moot because McGee is going to get significant PT with only 4 big men healthy. Let's just hope he takes advantage of this opportunity.

Posted by: psps23 | January 28, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Whoever suggested that the Wizards bring in a big man guru to work w/ the youngster, McGee, hit the nail right on the head. I watch a lot of Lakers games here on the west coast and you can see the development in Bynum almost on a game-to-game basis with Kareem as his mentor. A big man loses a lot of his utility without being properly schooled in the art of playing in the low post. Would hate to see McGee not realize his potential due to lack of coaching....

Posted by: randysbailin | January 28, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, lets’ take a trip down memory lane, say last year’s game 6.
Brenda, being the seven foot monster that he is, fouls out after scoring 6 points( going 1-6 from the field) grabbing 5 rebounds in 17 minutes. Yeah, he really gives us the best chance. I do not think Javale is ready to put up those type of numbers LOL!!!

Yeah, this was Brendan’s stat line from game 6, the elimination game. Yeah, I’m sure he’s the reason we are struggling this year. Again it boggles my mind to hear people say that JVM has to earn his way to play over Haywood.

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I think McGee is going to be a star in the league, so i'm right along there with most, including the other stars and superstars he plays against. He just needs playing time, and he can't get that sitting on the bench. We will have a top 5 draft pick next year, and whether it is a C, F or G it really doesn't matter, we just need the best player available. I want Thabeet because of his defense, then we can rotate him and McGee, Blatche and Pech in the future when Haywood is gone, it will give us a solid group of big guys.

And cj658, you are talking about 1 game where Haywood played bad. I don't know if you remember this or not, but Haywood almost doubled his stats in every single category last year and helped lead the team to the playoffs....if i'm not mistaken the team basically looks the same this year except for the fact that they have no inside prescence at all.... they don't have Haywood!

With Haywood in the lineup this team is probably a playoff team right now, with Arenas in the line up this team is a team fighting for home court advantage.

If people don't understand that, then they are badly mistaken!

Posted by: avbanig | January 28, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Let me take you all back to last year’s playoffs: BTH told LBJ to "just play basketball." Really? A frontcourt player whose team just got wiped by 20 on the boards in a critical Game 4 is going to tell LeBron to play basketball?

Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 3:43 PM

cj658 - I trying not to get into this debate you are having about BTH. If you were on the blog last year there was some knockdown monthly battles on BTH and EJ and quite frankly I finally got tired of them because I was on the side that was defending Haywood.

Lets make some things clear here on some of the things you have been posting about Haywood.

When Haywood made that statement about LaBron saying "just play basketball" all he was saying was Labron needed to stop crying like a little baby everytime somebody "brushed" up against claiming he was fouled. The dude is built like a linebacker yet was screaming like a little girl everytime he got touched.

Mind you the Detroit Pistons did MJ the same way but you never saw him cry like Labron and MJ was way smaller then Labron plus Salley, Lambier, Mahorn and Rodman was hitting MJ way harder then the Wiz were fouling LaBron.

So please do not take that statement out of context, because he meant just what everybody watching the game was thinking. You were number 23 and you walk and carry the ball 50% of the time (i.e. MJ) so be expected to take it and man up like MJ did and "just play ball"....!!!!! Get it now??

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 28, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Often guys in Pro Sports get minutes not because they've "earned it", but just because of plain luck. Plan was for McGee to see limited minutes this year. Haywood went down, Thomas went down, and now Blatche, McGee's getting some consistant run for awhile, ready or not.

I'd agree with Khrabb's assesment, Eddie Jordscott has been wearing Jamison and Butler out in the first three quarters. There has been no real change in substitution patterns, the Wiz are still stuck with riding the same players close to 40 minutes a game.

Only real difference is instead of just smallball now the wiz play smallcrawlball.

The Wizards are one of the few teams in the league playing the Princeton. But Tapscott can't see the value in a face the basket center that can shoot? No wonder Wes Jr. seems to be coaching the offense.

Posted by: flohrtv | January 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

cj

I might be wrong, but I think you were the first person to raise the question of whether Haywood is our best option. Right now, he's not an option. So we most all agree that JVM Is our best option because it's JVM vs. Songaila.

It seems that you're pretty bent on bringing up this topic that frustrates you so badly every chance you get.

Decent examples against the Cavaliers. But that kind of thing is going to happen against an (arguably) elite center like Z. That doesn't mean that, for every game that Haywood cost us in the manner you described, there was one or two games where he contributed to a win that got us to the playoffs. He was the reason we matched up well with the Celtics last season, so there's 3 to your 1 right there.

"My whole point is, the Wizards week point has been big man play for the past decade...When was the last time Wizards had a center average 12 ppg?"

It may have been our "week point" but our weakest point is (er, was) solid compared to most of the league. Center is the toughest position to fill. I'm curious to know how many current starting centers average 12ppg and if Haywood's 10ppg puts him in the upper half or the lower half of centers in the league. He's solid.

"Averaging 10 & 6 (career year) does not entitle ANY 7 footer to anything in this league. "

Ask Pat Riley. I'm sure he'd even take a 7/6 center to start for him. The Spurs have an 8/5 starting center (made up for by a 20/10 PF, i wish we had one of those...). I think Perkins' 8/8 entitles him to a starting slot on an nba champion squad.

True, Haywood would still have to battle for his position against a talent like McGee, but I think McGee's defensive deficiencies alone would more than seal the deal in Haywood's favor. At least, in the near future.

"Again it boggles my mind to hear people say that JVM has to earn his way to play over Haywood."

Again, he's never had to compete with Haywood for the job yet. But when he does, I think it's perfectly reasonable that he compete for a spot with a center who is better than half the starting centers in this league. It won't be long before JVM overtakes him, but still, there's no (basketball related) reason it should boggle your mind so easily.

Posted by: crs-one | January 28, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Okat stat-man, humor me for a moment.

If a career 7&5 guy is a 'garbo center,' then it must also follow that a career 5&3 center is also trash?

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this was Brendan’s stat line from game 6, the elimination game. Yeah, I’m sure he’s the reason we are struggling this year. Again it boggles my mind to hear people say that JVM has to earn his way to play over Haywood.


Posted by: cj658 | January 28, 2009 3:58 PM

cj658 - You are kidding me right? I am one of the biggest JVM fans on here and even I know he is not ready to supplant Haywood yet? Again, don't get caught up in the hype with what went on between Haywood and EJ. Haywood is a very smart guy who sometimes might not had reigned in his opinions as he should have when it came to dealing with EJ as player and coach.

EJ is known as a very smart coach and if he thought you were trying to do his job he might get a little pissed at you. EJ himself even said Haywood was one of the smartest basketball IQ players he has ever been around. With that said, Haywood might have suggested some things that pissed EJ off and EJ had to let him know who is in charge (i.e. playing Etan and Ruffin crazy minutes).

Moving to the floor. If you really watched all of the games last year, you would see how Haywood was really good at neutralizing most opposing teams "5's" because Haywood understands the positioning game (i.e. Songalia) and team defense. He knew everyone's place on the floor during defense, a testiment to his high basketball IQ. He knows how to use his size and is strong enough to hold his position against most "5's" except Shaq.

Now the problem why Haywood did not get many rebounds is because in this idiotic defense they play, the "5" is supposed to "show" at the top of the key every possesion (not every other one or every three) which makes it so easy for the opposing team's "1" to be ready for it and swing the ball around the horn accordingly.

What happens then you ask, mad scrambling around and everyone is out of position, including rebounding position. Also our "1" and "2" guards get blew by on the regular so Haywood had to come out and challenge them, thus taking him out of rebounding postion. Flawed defensive scheme my man, so please stop blaming Haywood on last year.

Lastly, JM and AB can learn a ton of stuff from Haywood because Haywood does not have nearly the God given talent they have but he works hard on his game, does not get in trouble off of the court and is at every charity drive the Wiz have. So please wait until next year when he comes back and then make your judgement on the man halfway through the season??

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 28, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who has some knowledge about basketball sees the point, accept our coaching staff...

I quote from the NBA waiver wire:

JaVale McGee (WAS) - The Blatche injury could also give the Wizards a chance to get an extended look at rookie McGee - which probably makes more sense for a last-place team than burning minutes on a journeyman like Songaila.

Tap & EG, imagine that you lived in The Netherlands (Europe) and that you have to watch this game that the wiz are currently playing BETWEEN 2PM & 4.30 PM!!! It makes it even more frustrating....

Now do yourselfs a favour and let JM play more & consistant minutes in AB's absence!!!

Posted by: Goelez | January 28, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I loved - loved these results.

Duke --- 85
Maryland --- 44

Boston College -- 76
Maryland -- 67

Prediction:

Miami -- 87
Maryland -- 58

Maryland will finish with a 15 - 16 record

No NCAA bid

No NIT bid

How can any parent, let their son play for a program like Maryland - with a 10 % graduation rate.

Carolina blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels ! - Let's go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | January 28, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Jones-y,

Do you have an objective standard for earning minutes for McGee? Does this standard apply to vets and rookies, or just McGee?

When I look at PER. points/40, rebounds/40 and blocks/40, I can't imagine anybody claiming McGee hasn't earned minutes vis-a-vis the alternatives.

In contrast, Taps has already announced that an objective standard doesn't apply to Stevenson. He's going to play no matter how badly he plays.

In this system, the young guys face an arbitrary and capricious system of being utilized. In fact, if they play too well, it seems that they will surely get less minutes.

The entitlement is to a clear and consistently applied objective standard (and it cannot be "one mistake and you're out").

Posted by: Izman | January 28, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

This team is awful.

Etan Thomas and Andray Blatche are not in the team's long-range plans at center.

The Wizards might as well find out what they have in McGee and how far he can go getting quality minutes now when the club isn't expected to win many games.

The experience in the lost 2008-2009 season will help McGee, McGuire and the other younger players heading into the next camp.

That's the way you have to look at it.

It seems obvious from his commentary early on that Arenas wrote off the 2008-2009 season and won't likely be returning until next season.

The only salvation is developing younger talent over the last half of the season.

That's it.

Sorry, Antawn and Caron.

No all-star bids this year.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 28, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is a 4 people....Not a 5 if Wiz Mgmt had things together-he will be Jamison's back up/Or Starter with Jamison backing him up (future).

Posted by: ABC1233 | January 28, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Do you have an objective standard for earning minutes for McGee? Does this standard apply to vets and rookies, or just McGee?

McGee played pretty well last game, so he earned the right to play through bad stretches this game. Stevenson played very well last season, therefore he has earned the right to play through bad stretches this season.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

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