McGee Sits

No practice today so nothing to update there, but I did want to do the best I could to address the JaVale McGee situation. Specifically, a lot of folks are wondering why the talented but raw rook has fallen out of the rotation. He hasn't gotten off the bench in three straight games, including last night's loss to Toronto.

Interim coach Ed Tapscott explained his decision not to play McGee last night by saying he would've been a bad matchup against a Raptors team that has big men who play a lot on the outside (Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh).

"It's all based on matchups, flow of the game and strategy," Tapscott. "Nothing he's done wrong, he's working hard."

But that doesn't explain why McGee didn't see the floor against Dwight Howard in Orlando or against Cleveland on Sunday. I do know this: He hasn't seen the floor since taking a really bad shot in the late stages of the loss at Boston last week.

By Ivan Carter |  January 8, 2009; 1:22 PM ET
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"It's all based on matchups, flow of the game and strategy," Tapscott. "Nothing he's done wrong, he's working hard."

Interim coach Ed Tapscott explained his decision not to play McGee last night by saying he would've been a bad match up against a Raptors team that has big men who play a lot on the outside (Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh).

When they played the Bulls he did not play McGee because Aaron Gray was too physical?

If ETaps philosophy is to only play McGee when there is a perfect match for him then we will only see him when the other team plays a first year mid round draft pick with no playing experience?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 1:48 PM

Tap's response is a pile of horse turd. If somebody can convince me that we would be worse than 7-27 with McGee playing, I'll change my mind. But this crap about matchups is just ridiculous.

I thought Ed's previous job was player development? He sure as hell isn't showing he's any good at that with this crud.

lebron sucks.
www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: jmg878 | January 8, 2009 1:49 PM

So because Bosh and Bargnani play "a lot on the outside", we want to sit our most athletic big man with better range than Song and Thomas?

Huh?

Posted by: psps23 | January 8, 2009 1:53 PM

thanks for reporting on this

Posted by: riskus | January 8, 2009 2:01 PM

LMAO!

If JaTravel is a bad matchup against Aaron Gray (as Tap said in the past), then he's probably a bad matchup against any big man in the NBA.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 8, 2009 2:09 PM

Yeah, horrible explanation. Sounds like an outright lie to me. And its perplexing because its not like the truth is damning. Truth is, the boy ain't ready. Nowhere near ready.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 2:11 PM

did anyone really expect a better answer from tap?

Posted by: riskus | January 8, 2009 2:11 PM

Tap's response was simply stupid.

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | January 8, 2009 2:12 PM

A new nickname to go with CHEAP ABE is CLUELESS ETAPS

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 2:26 PM

I totally agree with the past few posters..huuuuuuuuuuuh? Let's see..the great Aaron Gray is too big and physical for him inside, but their heights are comparable and experience as well?? Bosh and Bargiani shoot from the outside and may be too quick, but JM has the longest wingspan on the team and he's quicker than Etan (and much longer), far quicker and far more bounce than the lead-footed, snail-like Songaila (although DSong's passing, shooting, and experience make him an option at the 4 spot). None of this makes any sense. Here's my take:

Despite coming from the front office and being EG's man, ETaps dreams of the spotlight of being a head coach, and given how EJ was doing, I am sure he watched the games from upstairs and said, "hey, I know more than this guy and I could coach this team, they're not as bad as EJ thinks."

ETaps feels that playing the vets, his situational substitutions, etc. will show that he can translate his supposed "basketball IQ" to victories on the court as HC.

Unfortunately, it is obviously not working. This team is not focused, always falls behind in the 1st qtr. They are horribly coached in the 4th qtr and for the end of games, it's ridiculous how many games/leads they have blown in the 4th qtr, and don't get me started on his lineups and substitutions..oh boy!

I hope EG is smarter than that, and friend or not, ETaps is not retained past this season. Further, hopefully, EG steps in soon to say, "it's a lost season, and here's the strategy I want you to follow to develop the young players and prepare them for next year."

The only thing we don't know is if EG is telling ETaps to play certain players prior to the trading deadline to increase their value (as some have stated), because he may have a trade in the works. Having said that, I would still think our expiring contracts would have more value after this season is over. After all, who wants to have some of our sub-par spare parts taking up space on their bench and getting paid?

Ron

Posted by: faninAlex | January 8, 2009 2:28 PM

Who the hell cares about the matchups? We have won 7 games. We just want to see what we have in our young guys this year so we know where we stand. This is ridiculous, McGee is one of the exciting parts of this season and he isn't getting minutes.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | January 8, 2009 2:28 PM

You people act like you've never heard coach-speak before.

Seriously, what did you expect him to say?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 2:29 PM

Another good nickname is Incredibly Annoying bulletsfan78.

Posted by: IrenePollin | January 8, 2009 2:34 PM

kalo.."You people act like you've never heard coach-speak before.

Seriously, what did you expect him to say?"

I would have rather heard I am coaching for a job next season and don't think JaVale is ready to play.

The matchups stuff is bs, and to the poster who mentioned that he is not ready, why in the hell wouldn't you give him the time now to go against these "real" nba players so that we are not in project McGee mode next year.

He either gets better by playing against the best, or he withers away and we blew a 16th pick on him. We are no worse off with him in the starting lineup. I've had enough of Etan Thomas and Darius rotating at the 5. They are not the future..McGee was drafted to be.

Posted by: jmg878 | January 8, 2009 2:35 PM

What a crock of ish!! Just come out and tell us the truth Taps, that you just don't want to play the rookie or that he's in your doghouse or something.

He keeps using the same lame excuse every game of "it's just a bad matchup". Well you know how a kid learns how to play against different matchups? HE PLAYS AGAINST THEM!!

I guess I'll just give up on seeing McGee play any time soon...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 8, 2009 2:41 PM

Amazed Tap would even let that one cross his lips. He DOES have a law degree, though.
As others have said, who exactly is McGee going to match up well against? Let's wait until we play another team with a rookie C who is only playing 10 minutes a game but gets a start because of injuries. THEN and only then will McGee start.
Ridiculous.
I would think that since strength is JM's primary weakness right now (and inexperience), guys that shoot from outside are the PERFECT matchup for him.

This is a classic example of someone pi**ing on our heads and telling us it's raining. Tap must think the fans are complete idiots. I'm not clamoring for JM to start (although that would probably be best alongside AB and AJ) but at least find some way to get his feet wet.

Posted by: original_mark | January 8, 2009 2:44 PM

"and to the poster who mentioned that he is not ready, why in the hell wouldn't you give him the time now to go against these "real" nba players so that we are not in project McGee mode next year."

That would be me. Regardless of whether or not he plays another minute this year, or averages 20 a game from here on out, he will continue to be a project next year.

"He either gets better by playing against the best, or he withers away and we blew a 16th pick on him."

These are, by no stretch of anyone's imagination, the only possible outcomes, and you know it.

"We are no worse off with him in the starting lineup."

We're way worse.

"They are not the future..McGee was drafted to be."

And the future ain't here yet.

Not that I'm surprised, but the shortsightedness and lack of patience here is really incredible... How many times do people here have to say that we're not developing our young players when we clearly are, they're not getting PT when they clearly are, and they're not improving when they clearly are?

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 2:45 PM

I meant to say that these are NOT the only possible outcomes>

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 2:47 PM

"I would have rather heard I am coaching for a job next season and don't think JaVale is ready to play."

That's only half true. And Tapscott saying the half of it that is true to a reporter for McGee to read in the paper or see on TV does no one any good.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 2:51 PM

I would think that ... guys that shoot from outside are the PERFECT matchup for him.

Posted by: original_mark | January 8, 2009 2:44 PM

And I would agree with you that its the best possible matchup for him right now. Except that then he's neutralized as an interior shot blocker and rebounder. So then all he has left is 1 on 1 D (which he's not good at, whether on the interior or the perimeter).

So while its the best possible matchup for him as he currently is, its still a horribly bad matchup.

In other words, at his current state of progress and physical maturation, there are no good matchups for him. That's why ETap's explanation is perplexing, because he should be saying that all matchups are bad right now, as opposed to stating that specific matchups are bad.

Bottom line the boy ain't ready yet. And there's nothing wrong with that. He's a rookie big man. three year project any way you cut it. Big minutes this year will not speed his development. Lack of minutes this year will not retard his growth. Next year is a different story, but its not here yet...

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 2:54 PM

And Tapscott saying the half of it that is true to a reporter for McGee to read in the paper or see on TV does no one any good.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 2:51 PM

I don't see how it doesn any harm either. And that's exactly because as the player development guy, he must me communicating to McGee that he's simply not ready. What difference does telling the same thing to the media make?

At the very least, it will help the fanbase understand that the organization is indeed handling McGee's development properly, as opposed to just tossing him out there to sink or swim.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:02 PM

The Wizards Insider kiss of death. Same story was written a week back on why Crittenton was not playing (think it was by Michael Lee??). Lo & behold, Crittenton begins to get minutes the very next game and has seen his minutes increase.

Hope McGee follows suit. Sidenote: Thomas did only play 7 mins yesterday...

Posted by: -CN- | January 8, 2009 3:08 PM

Bottom line the boy ain't ready yet. And there's nothing wrong with that. He's a rookie big man. three year project any way you cut it. Big minutes this year will not speed his development. Lack of minutes this year will not retard his growth.

This statement could not possibly be more wrong. McGee has showed tremendous potential in his very limited playing time. And it kills me that everyone assumes he's a "three year project". Says who? You *know* right now what his growth curve is? Ludicrous.

Don't forget that he played two years of college ball. He's not Blatche, coming out of high school.

Big minutes this year could substantially speed his learning curve. Teams that are playing for a championship can afford to take their sweet time developing youngsters; rebuilding teams can't. And lack of minutes could most definitely retard his growth.

Pray tell, what is the downside to giving McGee 20-25 minutes per game? That we'll jeopardize our playoff positioning?

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:10 PM

Doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me, but decades of history tells us that athletes have prickly egos and often don't respond well to being publicly criticized by their coaches. It's one thing to rip a guy who is (or should be) ready for not getting the job done or not giving effort (a coach's Cardinal Sin). That's a guy failing to do his job. But right now, McGee's job is to work hard in practice, learn, and try to get better. As long as he's doing that, there's no point in doing or saying anything that could potentially undermine his confidence.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 3:11 PM

Tapscott is an idiot.

Posted by: SWA69 | January 8, 2009 3:13 PM

Shouldn't a rook's play determine how much PT he gets? McGee has a PER above the league average. Granted, it's a tiny sample, but the evidence of my eyes (and that of many other fans who post here) says that McGee is a difference maker. The lane isn't wide open when he's there, as everyone respects his shot-blocking and shot-altering ability. And he is, by far, the best outside shooter among our legitimate (i.e. Haywood and Thomas being the others) centers, already.

Yeah, he makes big mistakes. Just like every rook who ever played. But I'd rather see him make mistakes than see Thomas and Songaila flail around out there, grabbing a couple boards per game and scoring a couple points. No contest.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:17 PM

Let me apoligize for the anger off the top.

BAD MATCHUPS? WHAT THE HELL WE ARE 7 AND WHO KNOWS AND TAP IS TALKING ABOUT MATCHUPS. WHEN WE STEP ON THE COURT IT IS AUTOMATICALLY A BAD MATCHUP!!!!!

Seriously why arent we playing all the young dudes with Caron and Jamison. Nobody is going to trade us for James, Stevenson, Thomas or even D.Song. Time to start thinking about the future. Man o man this stinks!

Posted by: rdskns1975 | January 8, 2009 3:18 PM

There is no good reason for McGee to not be playing. This year is a waste year so it is appropriate to play the young guys heavy minutes.

Let's see how these young guys do this year and then next year, we have a good idea who can/can't play.

And what was the reason for drafting Pech? Maybe it is a matchup problem :)

Kevin

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 8, 2009 3:21 PM

"McGee has showed tremendous potential in his very limited playing time."

You're right. He's shown potential. And nothing more.

"And it kills me that everyone assumes he's a "three year project". Says who? You *know* right now what his growth curve is? Ludicrous."

Its an educated guess, and a stance that most everyone around the league takes on big men. Dwight Howard was a three year project. And he's a number one draft pick.

McGee is a mid-first rounder. Mid-first rounders are typically that because they might or might not pan out, or because their ceiling is perceived to be a bit lower, or because they're extremely talented, have buckets of potential and are extremely raw. McGee fits the third description.


"Don't forget that he played two years of college ball. He's not Blatche, coming out of high school."

No, he sat behind an all american named Nick Fazekas for a year, and played for a year. And on top of that, the scouting consensus on him was 'needs another year'. Translation: he's raw as rabbit food.


"Pray tell, what is the downside to giving McGee 20-25 minutes per game? That we'll jeopardize our playoff positioning?"

Stunted development, as all he will learn is how many ways he can get abused defensively, how many ways he can contribute to a loss, and how many ways he is not ready. Please see Los Angeles Clippers.

Next.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:23 PM

Seriously why arent we playing all the young dudes with Caron and Jamison. Nobody is going to trade us for James, Stevenson, Thomas or even D.Song.

Posted by: rdskns1975 | January 8, 2009 3:18 PM

We are. Yes they will.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:27 PM

"I'd rather see him make mistakes than see Thomas and Songaila flail around out there, grabbing a couple boards per game and scoring a couple points. No contest."


For Shizzle, Keithinator. Flailing is the right word for it. Songaila tries and tries hard and I give him credit for doing what he can.
But like I was saying a while ago, give me a guy who runs 100mph in the wrong direction and can correct himself later by running 100mph in the right direction over a guy who runs 20 mph in the right direction to begin with. Songaila just doesn't have the physical skill to compete against anything other than 2nd or 3rd liners. Same with Etan. Playing those guys heavy minutes is the same as waving a white flag.

Posted by: original_mark | January 8, 2009 3:29 PM

Its an educated guess

Emphasis on "guess." You have no facts to back up your statement. None. And as far as D. Howard is concerned, he got lots and lots of PT in his rookie year. Didn't seem to stunt his growth too much, didn't it?

Hmmm. Maybe playing real minutes as a rook out of HS actually helped his growth. I wonder if there's anything we can learn from this...

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:33 PM

But right now, McGee's job is to work hard in practice, learn, and try to get better.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 3:11 PM

CHEAP ABE’s job is to spend some money so this team can win a championship That means on a great coach not just spend up to the luxury cap and wait for the check from the NBA from the teams who spend to win!

CLUELESS ETaps job is player development and the only way a player can develop is to play. Look at the Manning brothers they both were thrown into the fire and both have won Super Bowls. If Kal, ETaps, CHEAP ABE and IrenePollin ran the Giants organization, Eli would be ready to start next year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 3:33 PM

Note to Jones-y: Bottom line if Taps had a clue he'd "no comment for now" questions concerning his young center's lack of playing time I've kept articles in my office concerning the NBA draft from last year USA Today article dated 06/23/08 by Andrew Alberg rating NBA big man prospects and Javale was rated very high given his Div.1 experience and the other D-1 prospects that had declared for the draft with BTH being injured Javale should be getting no less than 15 minutes per game regardless of the matchup he should be the first center off the pine unless we're talking Dwight Howard and even then let him have his turn in the paint,the kid's a "freak" he can block shots,and he can shoot and he can run the floor hey we've won what? seven count'em seven freakin games how is not playing Javale helping us win? HEY TAPS IT AIN'T WORKIN BRO so scrap your so called strategy and let the kid play.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 8, 2009 3:34 PM

Whether it is EJ or ET it is the same old refrain...matchups. The Wizards enjoy having the game dictated to them.

There is zero benefit to playing the vets when there is zero potential of going to the playoffs. ET's only focus should be building up Crit, NY, McGee, Blatche & DMAC by giving them heavy minutes and heavy input on their positive and negative contributions.

You can say McGee is not ready all day and I say ready for what?...where are we going? What is the risk?...we lose yet more games and potentially get a higher pick. Frankly, I am more inclined to think the Wiz do not play the kids because they are actually fearful of them winning a few more games. By sticking with what has got them there the Wiz feel confident of being well positioned for the lottery. Hard for this organization to look worse but I have every confidence they will find a way.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 3:35 PM

Ivan:
Did you ask Tapscott what he considers to be good matchups for McGee, and under what conditions he would see playing time? Those seem like obvious follow-up questions.
It's pretty funny that Songalia on Chris Bosh or Bargnani are considered good matchups, but McGee on anyone is not.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 8, 2009 3:37 PM

From ESPN.com. Stats for D. Howard, rookie year:

04-05 ORL 82 82 32.6

That's 32.6 minutes PER GAME. Good thing they kept him on the bench. Wouldn't want to stunt his growth, after all. Gotta keep those rooks under wraps.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:37 PM

"Emphasis on "guess." You have no facts to back up your statement. None."

Yeah because no one has ever spent 3 years developing a mid-first round big man in the last 20 years that I've been a fan of the sport.

Emphasis on "educated." Emphasis on "ask a scout and he will tell you the same thing."

Dwight howard was a number one draft pick. Much different situation. And it still took three years.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:38 PM

keith,

I challenge you to name another big man on Orlando's roster that year. There is a reason they had a number one pick in that draft. And there was a reason they played him heavy the following year. They had a lot of ping pong balls, and no players.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:40 PM

How long are you going to continue to use Howard as your argument? It's a loser, you know. Howard was a HIGH SCHOOL player. By definition, he came into the league more raw than a two-year college player. Come on, jones-y. You've gotta bring more than that.

If McGee had shown nothing, you could possibly make that argument. But he's shown a lot in a little bit of time. Time to move on.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:42 PM

he can shoot

Posted by: dargregmag | January 8, 2009 3:34 PM


He can?

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:46 PM

And there was a reason they played him heavy the following year.

Don't we have exactly the same reason? You have a potential franchise center - but remember that it was by no means guaranteed that Howard would be the star he's become. Many experts thought Okafor would be the better player, and Howard had significant bust potential. But Howard played as a rookie -- a lot -- and because he played, he got better.

I am NOT saying McGee is Howard or will ever be Howard. But neither was Howard, when he came into the league. We need to find out what we've got with McGee. Riding the pine won't help us determine that.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:47 PM

"How long are you going to continue to use Howard as your argument?"

I'm sorry I thought you were. We can drop it, its not like it was giving you an advantage...

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:47 PM

all he will learn is how many ways he can get abused defensively, how many ways he can contribute to a loss, and how many ways he is not ready.

Next.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:23 PM

whats to say these are all good thing to learn in your first year to help motivate you during the off season?

how many times were you told something as a kid only to disbelieve it until you really experienced it yourself?

Posted by: riskus | January 8, 2009 3:49 PM

And there was a reason they played him heavy the following year.

Don't we have exactly the same reason?

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:47 PM


No.

Okay here it is folks:

Depending on a few things, we are positioned to be playoff contenders next year, the following year, and the one after that. That's our window. McGee does not play into those plans until that third year (which will be his fourth year) when we begin to phase out AJ and BTH. At that point a new window opens. Caron is up for a new contract, gil is a year away from free agency, and NY, AB, DM, JC and JM are seasoned vets, because they've been contributors to playoff teams for the past three years. Consequently, no rush on McGee.

Geez you guys are shortsighted.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:52 PM

And exactly the reason why EG has, in my estimation, done a very, very good job in his time here. At no point in the last 20 years could Wiz fans say they had both a current AND future window of potential success.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:57 PM

Geez you guys are shortsighted. I'm amazed that you continue to completely miss the point. If McGee could be a contributor this year, why not let him be one? If he gets minutes this year, he'll likely be better next year, and even better the following year. Why on earth is it shortsighted to get a guy ready to play by actually playing him? If Howard had played 5 minutes a game his rookie year, do you honestly think he would have improved as rapidly as he did?

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 3:57 PM

What did Eddie Jordan see that Tap doesn't? The kids body language should tell you something. Earlier in the year he played like a lion for Jordan. With Tap his playing like someone's going to yell at him for any wrong move. Tap is fooling himself. Let the kid play...

Posted by: Berndaddy | January 8, 2009 3:58 PM

we are positioned to be playoff contenders next year, the following year, and the one after that. That's our window.

Geez you guys are shortsighted.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:52 PM

jones-y I want to win a championship not just be a playoff contender and if you think this team can win a championship with AJ, Gil, and CB you do not know anything about basketball. That is the reason this teams need to find out if the young guys can play.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 3:58 PM

"McGee has showed tremendous potential in his very limited playing time."

You're right. He's shown potential. And nothing more.
___________________________

In the 4 games McGee has played 25+ minutes here are his numbers:

-10.75 pts per game
-7.75 rebs per game
-.5 stl game
-2.25 blks game

^Keep in mind those are the only 4 games he played 25+ minutes. Here are some other pretty good games:

11/25 vs. Golden State
Played 20.25 minutes- 14 pts, 5 rebs, 1 stl, 1 block

11/8 vs. Orlando
Played 17.18 minutes- 9 pts, 6 rebs

That sounds like more than just potential. He is producing when given the minutes. I don't think it is as cut and dry as you say. I don't agree that giving him minutes will stunt his development at all. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that sitting on the bench and not playing at all will stunt his development.


Posted by: LooseCannon1 | January 8, 2009 3:58 PM

So chill out with the "NEXT" like you gave some great response that answered all questions.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | January 8, 2009 4:00 PM

I will give you a bad match up:

"Interim coach Ed Tapscott against Wiz opponent's head coach"

Posted by: NFeKPo | January 8, 2009 4:00 PM

kal since you work for CHEAP ABE and IrenePollin I have one question?

When you change his diaper is he too cheap to use depends or do you have to rinse and wash the cloth ones?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 4:08 PM

In the 4 games McGee has played 25+ minutes here are his numbers:

...

Those look like Haywood's numbers... Not bad. Not end all be all, let's start the kid and let the franchise rest on his wingspan good either.

Sorry, but next.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:10 PM

and if you think this team can win a championship with AJ, Gil, and CB you do not know anything about basketball. That is the reason this teams need to find out if the young guys can play.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 3:58 PM

Did I say anything about a championship? My wife stuffs words in my mouth all day every day, so there's no more room bulletsfan.

Are we not finding out 'if' and 'that' the young guys can play right now?

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:12 PM

kal since you work for CHEAP ABE and IrenePollin I have one question?

When you change his diaper is he too cheap to use depends or do you have to rinse and wash the cloth ones?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 4:13 PM

Something to ponder:

Mario Chalmers, a rookie and a second round draft pick to boot, is starting for the Miami Heat this year and averaging 32 minutes a game.

Miami is in playoff contention.

Mario is going to be a whole lot better next year.

Teams around the league are developing young players.

These teams are leaving the Wiz in their dust, and the Wiz management is oblivious.

When would be a better time for any team in the history of the NBA to play the young fellas?

Crit, Young, Mac, AB and Javale

Pam McGee for coach.

Posted by: Izman | January 8, 2009 4:13 PM

Geez you guys are shortsighted.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 3:52 PM

What is short sighted about wanting to develop young talent in a losing season? I can't imagine anything being more long term focused then developing the young talent on the team during a lost year. Literally all we lose is watching Etan not catch the basketball, watching Darius trying to defend true centers and watching DS lose feeling in his face after making 1 of his 4 3pt attempts. Yes, the kids might be able to lose in a more spectacular fashion but that is a risk I would be willing to take.

How does playing the vets heavy improve this team at this point in time? Anyone?

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 4:14 PM

I'm amazed that you continue to completely miss the point. If McGee could be a contributor this year, why not let him be one? If he gets minutes this year, he'll likely be better next year, and even better the following year. Why on earth is it shortsighted to get a guy ready to play by actually playing him? If Howard had played 5 minutes a game his rookie year, do you honestly think he would have improved as rapidly as he did?


Contributor to what? 7-75?

Next year he'll be behind BTH and AB. Let him wait until 2010-2011.

Likely better next year? Would that be an educated guess????

I thought we were off Dwight Howard. He was drafted to be the savior of the franchise. McGee was not. McGee was drafted to be a beast when BTH is done here.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:16 PM

How does playing the vets heavy improve this team at this point in time? Anyone?

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 4:14 PM

The vets will carry us for the next 2-3 years while we are playoff contenders. Until the current crop of young guys are themselves vets.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:18 PM

In the 4 games McGee has played 25+ minutes here are his numbers:

...

Those look like Haywood's numbers... Not bad. Not end all be all, let's start the kid and let the franchise rest on his wingspan good either.

Sorry, but next
____________________

Yeah NEXT what? You are trying to basically say we do not need to play him right now. I am giving you statistical evidence of how he performs when given a certain amount of playing time. And I never said he was a dominant center. But why would you leave him on the bench on a team that will struggle to win 20 games this year? He is putting up way better numbers than Songaila and Etan, who we all now are not part of the future of the franchise whil McGee is. It just seems like taking a step backwards in his development by benching him.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | January 8, 2009 4:18 PM

Okay gang I'm done. I've stated my peace.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:19 PM

Except for this one:

'statistical evidence'

Lies, d@mned lies, and statistics.

Songaila is indeed part of this team's future. ET ain't. but Song definitely is. He's a bargain for what he brings. I bet Boston would love to have him

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:21 PM

How does playing the vets heavy improve this team at this point in time? Anyone?

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 4:14 PM

The vets will carry us for the next 2-3 years while we are playoff contenders. Until the current crop of young guys are themselves vets.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:18 PM

I specifically said "at this point in time"...today. Not the next 2-3 years...this losing season. What is the net gain for playing the vets heavy this season with zero potential for playoffs.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 4:22 PM

I agree with Jones-y. Playing the vets heavy minutes this season has resulted in incredible improvement in their skills. Did you see that crossover dribble and jam that Songalia threw in Dwight Howard's face the other night? How about Mike Jones' triple-double last night? These guys are improving so much, I don't think the Wizards even need Gilbert back to make the Eastern Conference Finals.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 8, 2009 4:24 PM

Okay gang I'm done. I've stated my peace.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:19 PM

shocker...can't give an answer so best to shut it down. Run away.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 4:25 PM

CONTRIBUTOR TO WHAT? 7-75?
NEXT YEAR HE'LL BE BEHIND BTH AND AB. LET HIM WAIT UNTIL 2010-2011.
LIKELY BETTER NEXT YEAR? WOULD THAT BE AN EDUCATED GUESS????
I THOUGHT WE WERE OFF DWIGHT HOWARD. HE WAS DRAFTED TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE FRANCHISE. MCGEE WAS NOT. MCGEE WAS DRAFTED TO BE A BEAST WHEN BTH IS DONE HERE.
POSTED BY: JONES-Y | JANUARY 8, 2009 4:16 PM
---------
True, McGee may have been drafted to succeed Haywood. Thing is, Haywood is out! Sooo, while McGee should or should not start (different argument), he should at least be playing. That is, unless McGee was drafted to play center behind Songalia & Thomas on a bottom-feeder.

The situation would be understandable if the team was in the playoff hunt, and I think that is where Gar Hea... errr, Tapscott is confused with.

What better way to turn around a season than taking some risks? Playing McGee (not necessarily starting him) 15-25 mins "based on matchup" (snicker, snicker), is not a huge gamble. Not like I'm suggesting to sit Butler & Jamison for the whole game and play Pesh & Dee Brown for 45 mins each...

Posted by: -CN- | January 8, 2009 4:29 PM

shocker...can't give an answer so best to shut it down. Run away.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 4:25 PM

I've answered your questions. Several times, before you even asked them. But for your sake, I'll do so again.

First: Are we not developing our young talent? They are getting 1/3 to 1/2 of the available minutes on a nightly basis. Sounds like development to me. We are developing four guys under 23 with a combined total of 6 years of prior NBA experience. McGee has to wait his turn.

Second: You need to keep the vets engaged. Or else they won't be engaged next year. They're vets, they've earned PT in this league and you have to respect that in a league where a grand total of roughly 200 guys get regular minutes. 95% of them are 3+ year vets. The other 5% are high first round draft picks or sophomore standouts.

For example. DSteve can't hit the side of the barn this year. Now we find out its due to back problems, which have spread to his knees. He was a key part of our success last year. Sit him? Give his minutes to a rook? Then you've lost him permanently. Then he won't be a key part of next year's potential success.

OK?

Shortsightedness.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:44 PM

So, playing vets who've helped the team to a 7-27 record is a good idea, so we can keep them "engaged." Makes perfect sense. It's all so clear to me now!

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 4:46 PM

There are quarters where we score only six points from outside shooting. Surely you can put him in the game to get a few post up attempts. What will it hurt? Guys do not get better in practice unless they are praticing against superstar teamates. Who is Mcgee practicing against that is going to make him better? Thomas? Song? Blatche? He needs to play against the best, get beat up by them over and over again if we want him to get better and speed up his development. Lebron coaches did not limit his playing opportunities in his first year and it did not hurt his development. Put the man in the game until he fouls out.

Posted by: SPUD2 | January 8, 2009 4:49 PM

Song definitely is. He's a bargain for what he brings. I bet Boston would love to have him

Agreed 100 percent, if he's playing backup 4. Do you think Doc Rivers is stupid enough to give minutes at C? I don't.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 4:50 PM

hey, glad to help keith lol! we're gonna need DSteve's backcourt D next year (just like we'll need DM's frontcourt D) when Gil comes back. He's a key part of our success. To sit him based on performance this year is extremely shortsighted. Its shortsighted looking back to last year's playoff berth, and looking forward to next year's potential playoff run.

this year is a wash, keep the vets engaged, develop the young guys, get your key guys healthy. that's the strategy.

So what are you guys all up in arms about? The fact that mcGee is (rightfully) in the back of the development pecking order. Shortsighted.

McGee will probably get some significant burn this year. He just has to wait his turn, and continue to practice hard.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:54 PM

Vets are made to STAY ready, it's the kids you need to keep engaged. Remember Anthony Peeler? Guy was ready whenever engaged. Same can be said about Dixon, Thomas, & Songalia; they won't gripe and/or get down with the decrease in PT. The puzzler is that McGee was playing 20 mins +/-, but he's just disappeared...

Posted by: -CN- | January 8, 2009 4:58 PM

Song definitely is. He's a bargain for what he brings. I bet Boston would love to have him

Agreed 100 percent, if he's playing backup 4. Do you think Doc Rivers is stupid enough to give minutes at C? I don't.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 4:50 PM


No way he plays out of position on an adequately manned and healthy team. We are neither adequately manned nor healthy this year.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 5:02 PM

i bet a bunch of teams would like to have songaila and i wouldnt be surprised if thats part of the reason he is getting so much time right now.

Posted by: riskus | January 8, 2009 5:04 PM

develop the young guys

Hey, we're agreeing more and more! I believe that playing the young guys helps their development, however.

Why is McGee "rightfully" in the back of the pack? His numbers, and the evidence of our eyes, shows us he's the most promising rook we've had in years. Why give McGuire, Young, Crit and Blatche minutes (which I think is good), and not give McGee minutes? Makes no sense to develop some guys and not others.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 5:05 PM

Vets are made to STAY ready, it's the kids you need to keep engaged. Remember Anthony Peeler? Guy was ready whenever engaged. Same can be said about Dixon, Thomas, & Songalia; they won't gripe and/or get down with the decrease in PT. The puzzler is that McGee was playing 20 mins +/-, but he's just disappeared...

Posted by: -CN- | January 8, 2009 4:58 PM

I somewhat agree, and somewhat disagree. Of course you have to expect vets to be professional (except for the divas and certain other personality types), but just like young players, they need to be confident in knowing they have defined roles and knowing what their pecking order is in the grand scheme of things.

For example, a rook's role could be to develop and be developed with an eye towards future contribution (McGee). Or you may have a veteran fifth guard whose job is spot duty and to step in when there's an injury (Juan Dixon). Or you may have a top 5 pick who gets immediate PT with the expectation that he carry the franchise.

You have to keep everyone engaged, but a lot of people assume that you don't have to in the case of vets, which is why I placed my emphasis there.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 5:08 PM

OK?

Shortsightedness.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 4:44 PM

Thanks for the response but it's hard for me to imagine you actually believe this. I would pay money out of my own wallet to get Stevenson off this team.

I personally see no logic to any of your positions but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 5:10 PM

Makes no sense to develop some guys and not others.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 5:05 PM

I see your point. But 'not getting significant PT right now' does not equal 'not being developed'. He simply has to wait his turn. give him 20 minutes a game, and either the vets are then down to 40 minutes a game (not enough time to keep them in the thick of things) or you're cutting into Blatche's minutes.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 5:11 PM

jones-y, why is draft position important? McGee has shown his tremendous potential, even if he's green (just like every other rookie). Isn't that enough to give him minutes? Why should a 1 pick get big minutes, and a 16 pick get 4 minutes? As depleted as the Wiz are, they need to be playing everyone on the roster, and developing ALL the youngsters, given that this is officially a rebuilding year.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 5:11 PM

Thanks for the response but it's hard for me to imagine you actually believe this. I would pay money out of my own wallet to get Stevenson off this team.

I personally see no logic to any of your positions but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 5:10 PM

I see value in Stevenson. He's a very good perimeter defender (when healthy) and he's added a respectable 3 pointer to his game that teams have to respect (when healthy).

He's a nice piece that a lot of playoff teams would take as-is. ESPECIALLY at his salary of 3mil per.

I've got my opinions, and truth be told, I'd like to see McGee get more burn. But as has been said, it would look too much like throwing the towel in. And EG simply cannot allow that. Its the equivalent of him sitting himself in the hotseat, especially since he told Abe that we can be competitive this year with what we have.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 5:19 PM

He simply has to wait his turn.

Wait for what? This team has exactly ONE healthy, legitimate C with skills- McGee. Blatche and Song are 4s and Thomas is a joke.

I'd like to see Blatche and McGee get all the minutes at C. Even though he's not a natural there, he's a lot better than Thomas. Song should never, ever, ever be a 5. Thomas, who continually mistakes (as Bill Walton says) effort with achievement, simply can't play a lick.

I hope you're right that McGee gets more burn as the season progresses, but I'm not hopeful.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 5:21 PM

Not sure that playing McGee = throwing the towel in on the season. You could make that argument for playing any of the young guys, in that case. Giving McGee 20 min/night would be smart coaching IMO, not throwing in the towel. As you've said, it's simply player development, something this young team needs desperately.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 5:24 PM

Ivan, can you please stop going so easy on Andray just because he reads your blog?

ANDRAY, if you're reading this...you're a joke.

Please see why here:
http://wizardsextreme.com/showthread.php?t=2379

Ivan, that you haven't written a piece yet tearing into Blatche's work ethic is a damn shame. Seems like you've become a yes-man for this team.

Posted by: bryanman8 | January 8, 2009 5:25 PM

jones-y, why is draft position important?

because bad roster = higher draft positioning = better player drafted = more PT the following year due to the bad roster and higher talent level of the draftee.

So a #1 pick is much more likely to get immediate PT, because he is (ostensibly) a better player, and because he is joining a team with worse players, than a #16 pick, who is going to a team that made the playoffs last year.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 5:25 PM

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 5:27 PM

because bad roster = higher draft positioning = better player drafted = more PT the following year due to the bad roster and higher talent level of the draftee.

That's a whole barrel-full of assumptions. McGee has shown that he can potentially be a very good player. When a player shows promise like that, he needs to play, plain and simple.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 5:35 PM

ETaps is the best marketing person in the organization. More people are interested in the foolish things he says then they are in the games they play on the court.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2009 5:43 PM

Of course it is assumptions.

But the fact of the matter is that in every major sport, the draft is designed to elevate the weaker teams by giving them the better draftees. Drafts, salary caps, and free agency are (amongst other things) designed to promote parity.

It only makes sense that the worst teams should get the best players. And it only makes sens that those players should bump somebody currently on the roster for PT.

the same cannot be said of a team who is good enough to qualify for the playoffs. That team is ostensibly better than at least 14 teams. The players the team will find available when it drafts are the future role-player types, guys with a lower potential ceiling, or the extremely talented yet extremely raw types (kobe was a #15 pick).

Of course, like kobe, scouts sometimes get it wrong, and let a Gil or Michael Redd type player slip all the way to the 2nd round, but for the most part they get it right on a whole.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 5:50 PM

MATCHUPS!!! McGee needs to be on the court for 10-20min a game so he can be ready to contribute next year!

Posted by: WatkinsJr | January 8, 2009 6:12 PM

Grunfeld and Tapscott definitely have a reason that McGee isn't playing right now. In all likelihood, there's something they want him to do that he's not doing. They probably want him to internalize that playing time is earned and not his birthright because he's talented and the team sucks.

Also, most of the posters in this forum have the collective IQ of a fruit fly.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 8, 2009 7:08 PM

This is a lost season, so Tapscott should be playing all of his young guys. Just get them experience and run so that next year, when (or if) the team is completely healthy, he'll have some other folks to go to down the stretch. It's ridiculous that a seven-win team wouldn't play its young players. Do they honestly think this season can be salvaged? Gilbert shouldn't come back, JaVale, Crittendon, Young, DMac, etc., should all be playing big minutes.

Posted by: CDon | January 8, 2009 8:06 PM

They probably want him to internalize that playing time is earned and not his birthright because he's talented and the team sucks.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 8, 2009 7:08 PM

For what reasons do you believe this is a lesson the Wizards want McGee to learn? I don't recall seeing anything about this kid having a chip on his shoulder. I kind of get the opposite sense in fact; from what I have seen he seems to fairly appreciate his opportunity.

No question the Wizards organization must have some rational in not playing him or needs to play someone else prior to the trade deadline. I do expect the Wizards to make some move before that time and thereafter give the majority of focus to developing the younger players with more playing time.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | January 8, 2009 8:49 PM

"Pray tell, what is the downside to giving McGee 20-25 minutes per game? That we'll jeopardize our playoff positioning?"

Stunted development, as all he will learn is how many ways he can get abused defensively, how many ways he can contribute to a loss, and how many ways he is not ready.

Posted by: jones-y

I had to respond to this comment.

(1) It's a horrible argument to think that making mistakes would cause "stunted development". A majority of the time, it's the exact opposite.

(2) Yes, he will learn all those things (though it's not "all" he will learn). LEARN is the operative word. Learn what he does wrong, learn why he's doing it wrong, learn what he needs to do in order to get it right, then learn how to implement what he just learned.

(3) Finally, he will learn what he's GOOD at, and what he can do to be effective. He'll learn what can and cannot be done at this level. He'll learn the difference between game speed at the college level and game speed at the professional level.

Practice is for learning scheme, refining technique, developing fitness. But you CANNOT simulate the adjustment to game speed at practice. That will never happen. He will always look lost and behind the play until he gets consistent minutes.

Posted by: psps23 | January 8, 2009 8:51 PM

A lot of hatin' on Etan up above.

Look, assuming that Etan has no lingering medical issue concerning his heart, then logic says that with playing time Etan will get back to being the player he was two years ago, faster than McGee will become a reliable veteran center. That's because he's building on many years of experience.

It's that Malcolm Gladwell thing of needing 10,000 hours to be expert in anything. Etan has the 10,000 hours already.

I'm not saying that Etan should get more than 13-15 minutes a game right now or that McGee should sit on the bench, only that it would be a prudent investment to try to get Etan all the way back from his surgery.


Now if there are lingering medical doubts and issues about the heart, that's another story. But I haven't seen anything in print suggesting that.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 8, 2009 9:09 PM

"It's that Malcolm Gladwell thing of needing 10,000 hours to be expert in anything. Etan has the 10,000 hours already."

Malcolm Gladwell also talks about how important circumstance and environment are for talented people.

Darko Milicic. Very talented. His circumstances? Coming into the league, he was stuck behind two all-star big men and playing on a team that is was a perennial contender. As such, they couldn't afford to play him. Could that have affected his development?

We have a golden opportunity to develop our youngsters with on-the-job training without sacrificing much in terms of product. That is something that should be taken advantage of, not disregarded.

Posted by: psps23 | January 8, 2009 9:34 PM

Are we not developing them? JC, AB NY and DM are playing extended minutes.

The fact that JM hasn't gotten much run to date (save for November) does not indicate that we are not developing him. I don't understand how ppl are making that connection. And we are most definitely developing the rest of them with plenty of on-court time (80-100 minutes a night).

I guess I just tire of hearing people say that we need to do something that we are CLEARLY doing. Sounds like my wife nagging about dishes.

JM will most likely get some run this year. The season is not even halfway over. Even if he starts getting burn after the all-star game, he will have played more games than he would've at Nevada. Plenty of time folks. No need for panic.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 10:07 PM

Yeah I like Etan too. But McGee's gotta get some run! He should be their in place of Songaila and/or Blatche. Those two should be seeing more time at PF, with Jamison getting more of his minutes at SF. I'd like to see Etan at the 5 with McGee as his main backup. Blatche and Songaila fill in remaining spot minutes or when fouls or injury necessitate.


Caron was sounding frustrated to me on the radio today on John Thompson Show. Anyone think he could resent the fact that Gil is the "franchise" player when he hasn't even played the past 2 seasons, when Caron has fought and given everything he's got every game. He goes out there hurt, he's suffering losing almost every game, he's trying to carry this team and teach the young players. He plays at nearly the same level as Gil, but he isn't paid anywhere near as much. Now this talk that Gil may not come back because the team isn't doing well. On the show he referred to Gil as "the million dollar man", and the guy the franchise views as their "savior".


I'd love to see McGee, Blatche, McGuire, Young and Crittenton out there together, even if it's just garbage time! I'd be so happy and surprised I might crap my pants!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 8, 2009 10:14 PM

I had to respond to this comment.

...

Posted by: psps23 | January 8, 2009 8:51 PM

You make very good points, and I can definitely see the validity there, IF we were winning, or even playing close to .500 ball. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much benefit in prematurely inserting a super-raw rook into the starting lineup (or giving said rook extended minutes because of nothing more than potential) of a losing squad, unless he's the designated savior.

This is a playoff team that's lost a year to injuries. He's definitely not the savior of a team that has enjoyed moderate recent success. Teams like that need a piece or two to get over the top in the short term. Fortunately our GM is positioning us for BOTH the short term AND the long term, (and doing a very very good job of it if you ask me) and Javale is in the long term portion of the plan.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 10:17 PM

He (Caron) plays at nearly the same level as Gil,

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 8, 2009 10:14 PM

No he doesn't.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 10:23 PM

"He (Caron) plays at nearly the same level as Gil,

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 8, 2009 10:14 PM

No he doesn't.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 10:23 PM "

Caron is not a franchise player, and neither is Gilby.

It's really worthless to compare the two since both haven't gotten the team out of the first round for the past 3 years. Then again, Les BouleS have proven that they can have the same results without Gilby on the team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 8, 2009 10:42 PM

"It's all based on matchups, flow of the game and strategy..."

I think Taps is getting out-coached, so he should be benched.

Sounds good, right? :)

Taps isn't coahcing anything as far as I can see, most importantly defense. He doesn't even call the plays at the end of the games.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 8, 2009 10:58 PM

Ivan, thank you, I know you have to be strike a diplomatic balance between addressing the issues on the minds of the fanbase and maintaining good relationships with the coaches and players (otherwise won't get as many scoops, which would suck for us as your our only source). Thank you for addressing the topic, because there are clearly some serious issues facing this team and sometimes when they aren't addressed in the Washington media, we at home feel like "iceberg, dead ahead" and everyone else on the ship is sipping tea and being chatty.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 8, 2009 11:11 PM

People need not waste any more time talking about ETap and his lack of coaching ability.

He's filling in this season as a favor to EG.

He's not the long term solution, and he and EG know it.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 8, 2009 11:13 PM

Apart from Haywood being hurt, I wonder how much of the lack of offensive production at center this year is related to the problems at pg.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 8, 2009 11:34 PM

I mean, I remember how Kwame Brown was much more productive when he played with Steve Blake at pg.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 9, 2009 12:21 AM

JaVale has Rookie Of The Year written all over him.

It takes an organization like the Wizards to not to even give him a chance, I repeat, not to even give him a chance, to prove it.

It just plain criminal, pathetic, and downright rotten.

Yeah, he is a raw rookie that has a lot to learn, but he should be playing and not sitting on the bench with all that talent being wasted away.

Use it or lose it, WIZARDS!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2009 12:32 AM

KeithWard64,

Where did you come from, Greetings to you. Maybe I've been missing your posts, but you are absolutely expert in dispelling those inept reasons why JM should not be playing.

Post more.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2009 12:47 AM

Ivan,

I think this has been one of the biggest postings since EJ got fired. That alone should tell you that something is amiss with the way the Wizs is handling this fine rookie.

Hope this in some way, Ivan, could spur the Wizards to start doing whats proper for this Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2009 1:08 AM

I understand when teams have to rebuild and look ahead to the next season and all that but;

How can the Wizards go through 80% of the season with incompetent coaching philosophy that is killing the Team?

Ivan,

Doesn't this really waste the whole season and put you further in the hole?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 9, 2009 1:22 AM

the next coach should be Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2009 7:25 AM

"I think this has been one of the biggest postings since EJ got fired. That alone should tell you that something is amiss with the way the Wizs is handling this fine rookie."

Angry ramblings of the fans don't tell anyone anything of any real value.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2009 7:39 AM

Other than the obvious facts that fans are easy to anger and like to ramble, of course.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2009 7:41 AM

Bottom line about JM that keithinator and others have been making...

When BTH comes back, he's undoubtedly the starter and AB will be the backup for the foreseeable future. There may not be any minutes for JM to be able to display his talent and grow at that point. The time for him is NOW!! The stats are there proving that he produces when given the time. The comparisons are there re: Dwight Howard and others who were given pt and produced. Why is this so hard to understand for Taps and others?

I can understand if a guy was given 25+ minutes and did nothing (Deshawn Stevenson) or did little (Songaila) and you decided to bench him. What's perplexing to me is watching guys get minutes, not perform and still get more minutes. And these guys are veterans on the downsides of their careers with no room for improvement.

Songaila - 17 mpg, 6points. 2.5 rebounds, 6 blocks. Oh wait, my bad. That's 6 blocks ALL YEAR in 574 minutes of play! So every 95 minutes he'll get you a block. Nice.

And don't tell me he does 'the little things' because I can name a lot of little things that he does, as well. Like very little rebounding, very little shotblocking, very little impeding players as they drive to the hoop. He's the kind of guy who should be hacking guys as hard as he can as part of his defensive strategy because no one is afraid to come down the lane when he's there.

DStevenson - 28mpg
7 ppg (yes you read that right)
31% FG% (again, not a misprint)
53% FT% (I'm not making this stuff up)

Started 25 out of 30 games and HAD TO GO TO THE COACH to get out of the starting lineup.

These two vets continue to get as many minutes as possible and JM can't even get on the floor? Tap needs to be relieved of his duties and Ayers should run the show starting today. Ayers should also be given a directive to get the team ready for next year when all of the players are healthy.

Posted by: original_mark | January 9, 2009 7:46 AM

...and by 'getting the team ready', I mean playing the young guys to get them game experience.

Posted by: original_mark | January 9, 2009 7:52 AM

Anybody that thinks Tapscott knows what he is doing is laughable. This guy is out of his league. That crap about matchups is crazy. You have to establish a rotation in order for the players to get a feel for each others tendencies. New line ups every game is what is killing the Wizards. EG and Tapscott has turned this team into an absolute laughing stock in the NBA. Don't fire a coach unless you have a replacement in mind. Tapscott talks a good game during post game interviews but I am not convinced that this team would be in this shape had they retained EJ. Just my opinion.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 9, 2009 7:56 AM

Perhaps it was unfortunate that JVM showed us all too much, too soon... but the deed was done and, as a result, a large number of Wizards fans rightly or wrongly feel that he has leap-frogged a big arc of the usual big man learning curve, and thus deserves serious playing time.

The issue is further compounded by the fact that the team is 7-27, which suggests there is nothing to lose by giving the young man his minutes and letting him develop on the job.

Here us where I come down, for what it is worth:

The romantic in me sees this as a Lou Gehrig - Wally Pipp story. Wally, the regular Yankee first basemen, is injured. Gehrig, the raw rookie out of Columbia, steps into the lineup and the rest is sports history.

Of course, MLB in those days did not have a Union, much less a CBA. The Wizards starting center is Brendan Haywood, and Etan Thomas is his back-up. Between them they tie up almost $13 million in salary, even though Haywood is hurt and Thomas is only a year removed from major open-heart surgery. Now, a healthy Haywood probably has a decent market value, but Etan Thomas, even if he were totally healthy, does not.

If you give JVM the starting Center job this year and he develops a bit, wouldn't you be setting him up for a serious fall next year when his minutes would necessarily go down by way more than half? Or, would you want to risk your next season by trading Haywood for, say, a PF (there are NO centers of equal value available) and gambling on a center combination of JVM and Etan, when your Big 3 is (hopefully) fully healthy for the first time in three years?

That is a doubtful strategy at best. What you would do instead, is assume Haywood will come back in 2009-10 and give you 30-35 solid minutes a game and that JVM and Etan will play the the remaining 13-18 minutes between them. On that basis, I think, you would prefer to invest the "developmental minutes" available this year lead to your other young frontcourt players, Dray and Dom... which, surprise, surprise is EXACTLY WHAT THE WIZARDS ARE DOING.

Note too, that there is a further risk in permitting JVM to develop too fast. His body is still filling out and if, god forbid, he was injured (either an accidental-impact injury or a repetitive-stress injury) the consequences could be much worse than would be the case if he was physically more mature. Dwight Howard, right out of HS, was a grown man... no problem throwing him to the lions, he just ate them...

I loved the JVM highlights early this season, and I do not think he should be getting as many DNPs as he has of late, but let's be realistic here.

Posted by: khrabb | January 9, 2009 8:30 AM

good points Khrabb but my main concern here is that we wind up keeping JM on the bench for a few years and then in his fourth year at 24, he becomes a perennial all star for someone else. I'm tired of being the farm system for other clubs with big men. Sheed and Ben Wallace still haunt me. So does Rip, for that matter.
I don't think everyone here is asking to give the guy 40 minutes a game. But is 15 too much to ask? I could even understand sitting JM if he was taking time away from AB (another young big who is further along in his development). But we're talking about Songaila and Etan here. Neither is gonna get us anywhere. In fact, neither will be on the roster by the 2010 season. Why waste time on them?

The way I see next year, BTH will be the starting C and he's still relatively young and healthy. He was underused for years and he's not injury prone so he has a lot of mileage left. the team also now understands his value so he is undoubtedly the starter. That leaves 15 minutes at the C position. With the way AB is playing this year, he will definitely get those minutes. What's left for JM but garbage time in games when we're ahead or behind by 30 with 5 minutes left?
BTH and AB will be here for a while. JM is stuck behind them. Hey, if we can somehow get him time now and he starts to improve, he could push those guys for time. How about a three headed monster of JM, BTH, and AB next year? We could potentially have 3 C who ALL contribute and who could start for most teams in the league. We just need to use this 'downtime' to groom the third one.

Posted by: original_mark | January 9, 2009 8:43 AM

I have a solution for our frontcourt next year.

BTH - 30 minutes at C
AB - 8 minutes at C, 20 minutes at PF
JM - 10 minutes at C
AJ - 28 minutes at PF

Pech, Songaila, Etan - ML Carr-style towel wavers only

This keeps everybody fresh and gives us matchup options. If we get JM ready this year, we could be beastly inside next year.

Posted by: original_mark | January 9, 2009 8:51 AM

On a side note, anyone catch UMD lose to Morgan? Does anyone think they have a shot at the playoffs this year. I know Morgan won't make the playoffs, how about the terps. Morgan State has too tough a schedule, playing in the Big East.

Posted by: cj658 | January 9, 2009 8:52 AM

Tapscott - "If you look at Caron, Antawn and Mike James, they are getting 35, 37, 38 minutes, so I'm not overly concerned with putting young guys in just to put young guys in. We're trying to give them a chance to grow up and learn to play, but not at the expense of winning basketball games. So they have to contribute."

-Not to worry Ed, the Wiz aren't winning many games. How about thirty to thirty five minutes for the vets; here's why -

"It's all about getting out there and feeling comfortable on the floor," said Crittenton... "The more I'm out there, the better I feel and the more confident I'll be."

Precisely and what does ETaps have to say about this radical idea? "The young fella I thought grew up tonight," said Tapscott... "He's a young player playing a difficult position, and he's playing for a point guard. So I told him he's not going to have easy nights and easy practices. He's going to have to get used to every decision getting analyzed and examined, but I thought he played with energy, guarded well and I thought some of our better moments were with him in the game."

I think the same can be said about McGee, he certainly plays with energy. Okay mistakes are made, even by vets but game time experience is a unique, irreplaceable element in the process of developing young players.

The same things Tapscott said about Crit apply to McGee. The hope is Tapscott will shortly find some more time for McGee; there may be stretches with a young player where they need to sit and mull things over but the Wiz are going nowhere fast and with the injuries, they shouldn't be sitting long.

Posted by: pdarroch | January 9, 2009 9:16 AM

KeithWard64,

Where did you come from,

Hi Larry,

Thanks for your kind words. I used to post here a lot, mostly the last few years, under the name keithinator. I mostly stopped until the last couple of days, because of several posters (and one in particular) who weren't interested in debating, but rather in insulting or lecturing the rest of us.

One doesn't come here that much anymore, and one is still here regularly (he's the one who posted earlier in this thread that fans are utter morons who know nothing), but I don't communicate with him.

I used to enjoy discussions with mark, bulletsfever and others, but too often, because of the Nameless Two, the conversation devolved into name-calling and personal attacks, and I got tired of it. I just had some burst of energy yesterday about JaVale, who excites me every time he's on the court, and Taps has decided to phase out.

As mark pointed out quite well, Taps is full of it when he says playing time is earned. Stevenson and Thomas have "earned" permanent spots on bench; Songaila has certainly not "earned" time at the 5, yet they get plenty of PT. It's obvious he's in way, way over his head.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 9, 2009 9:25 AM

EG must be pulling the strings on this one. He's thinking we need to win now to save his hide, and doesn't want the young guys playing too much and make mistakes. Even if it's win 30 games. Maybe that's why EJ got canned. EJ wanted to shake things up with McGee but EG had different ideas.

Posted by: t-train | January 9, 2009 10:06 AM

I wonder if Tapscott is just trying to avoid hurting a young players' feelings. McGee is wonderfully talented and would probably benefit from a year in the d-league...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 9, 2009 11:03 AM

EG must be pulling the strings on this one. He's thinking we need to win now to save his hide, and doesn't want the young guys playing too much and make mistakes. Even if it's win 30 games. Maybe that's why EJ got canned. EJ wanted to shake things up with McGee but EG had different ideas.

Posted by: t-train | January 9, 2009 10:06 AM


Yes EG is saving his hide. He probably told Abe we could make the playoffs this year with what we had. What he didn't count on when he told Abe that, was Gil not returning until Feb (or later, or not at all), BTH missing the first 4 months of the season, and DSteve's production basically being lost to a bad back, and EJ continuing to stunt AB's development.

The young guys are playing 80-100 minutes a night and I'm gonna scream the next time someone implies that they aren't getting VERY significant run.

EJ got canned (IMO) because he was stunting AB with his mindgames, and promoted a raw and scrawny rook ahead of him based on some highlight-reel-worthy dunks and blocks.

EG cannot, under any circumstances, allow this organization to appear as if it were throwing in the towel on the season. That will cost him his job.

Posted by: jones-y | January 9, 2009 12:40 PM

ETap's comment that playing time is a meritocracy is an absolute joke. ETap should stop looking at the leaves and recognize the forest. When your record is bottom 3 in the NBA nearing the All Star break, YOU HAVE TO PLAY YOUR YOUNG PLAYERS EVERY NIGHT. ETap is smart, but his roster juggling is a joke. Crittenton, Blatche, Young, and the Irish boys, McGee and McGuire, HAVE TO PLAY AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES/GAME EACH. If not, they should fire ETap.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | January 9, 2009 1:42 PM

Fire your interim coach while you're still in the interim. Yeah that's a plan.

You guys are soo knee-jerk.

The young guys are getting 80-100 minutes a night. I've decided to just keep repeating that FACT.

What more do you want? Oh, you want certain guys to get those minutes based on what you, an outside observer, think is right. Right.

Posted by: jones-y | January 9, 2009 5:15 PM

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