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Raptors 99, Wizards 93

This was the first of eight straight games against teams with a losing record for the Wizards but they came out flat and went down to the 15-win Raptors, who played without Jose Calderon, Jamario Moon and Jermaine O'Neal.

Caron Butler: "You look at the Orlando game and we were still upbeat because we lost to a very good team on its floor and we competed all the way down to the wire. But when you come back the next day to a team like Toronto which is a good team but a team missing key players, and you come out - there's no excuse it being a back-to-back to be so flat. It just wasn't there tonight and that's frustrating."

Keys to the game:
-The Wizards fell behind 8-2 right away, trailed by 13 in the first quarter and never truly recovered.

-Key stats: Toronto, one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, finished with a 39-28 edge on the boards, made three more three-pointers and seven more free throws.

-Turning point: The Wizards trailed 89-83 with two minutes to play when the Raptors came out of a timeout and worked the ball to Andrea Bargnani, who drained a three-pointer. After the Wiz drew within five on a layup by Antawn Jamison with 39.7 seconds left, Bargnani was fouled and hit two free throws.


By Ivan Carter  |  January 7, 2009; 10:21 PM ET
 
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Next: Crittenton Gets Some Run

Comments

Raptors shoot 54.4% from the field and 50% 3 point shots? You can't win too many games that way.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 7, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld has to take responsibility for putting this awful product on the floor. Not only are we losing, but we are boring, have no identity and no passion (except when we play Cleveland).

Plus, the young guys have shown ZERO improvement. What kind of rebuilding project is this?

Grunfeld put himself on the line by firing Eddie Jordan, he's got to own up to it.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 7, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

And the arena experience is horrible. The concession stands are closed upstairs and there are no fans in the seats. The organization is falling apart. What a mess.

Free T-shirt -- Fire Ernie

Email erniegone@hotmail.com

Posted by: erniegone | January 7, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Plus, the young guys have shown ZERO improvement.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 7, 2009 10:42 PM

You can't be serious. You really can't. Name one of them that's not playing better than they did last year. Name one that's not playing better than they were 15 games ago.

Posted by: jones-y | January 7, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivan,
Why did Tap hold Dixon and McGee out tonight? They looked ready to go in warm ups and the team could have used McGee for some rebounds.

Posted by: CapitalCenter | January 7, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

The in-game experience for fans has gone down hill since Susan O'Malley left. She was a capable sports management executive. Abe Pollin's product is in the garbage. And yes, Ernie Grunfeld is the problem.

Posted by: SteveC28 | January 7, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"Name one of them that's not playing better than they did last year. Name one that's not playing better than they were 15 games ago."

Javale McGee, that's obvious. Nick Young should have made a big leap this year, instead he's flat-lined or regressed. Blatche was awesome last year backing up Haywood, while he has more offense this year, what happened to the blocks? For a 4th year guy, he should be better. D-Mac is getting more playing time and is in his 2nd year, all Tapscott did was start the guy, he's not responsible for him being a better player.

Do you see a future all-star out of any one of them? They should be breaking out this year like Rodney Stuckey in Detroit, not stuck in neutral.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 7, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

EG has to go, no doubt about it. He's the progenitor of this monstrosity.

Wouldn't it have made more sense for Rasclott to essentially concede last night's game by resting Butler and MeTawn for tonight's game, one which they had a better chance of winning? But no, he rode Butler to the hilt last night and wound up with 2 losses instead of a split in the two games.

And Ivan, please stop talking about the team "moving up" by beating the other bad teams. To paraphrase what MIke Lee said on the post-game show tonight, don't you think the other bad teams are licking their chops thinking of facing the Wiz? Simply put, there is no team the Wiz "should" beat. Any other team in the league expects to beat the Wiz.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | January 7, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

McGee wasn't here last year, and he didn't do all that well once he got figured out by opposing teams. For every point he scored, he gave up three.

NY should have made a big jump is a bit different than NY has shown zero progress. And besides, who's to say where his development should and shouldn't be?

Blatche was nowhere near awesome last year. Not even CLOSE. He wasn't even solid last year!!! And, as you mention, he was the backup. A much different role: Teams key in on starters and consistent minutes guys. And this is really his third year, since he mist 75% of his first year.

Who cares who is responsible for DMac's improvement? The point is, 15 minutes ago you said he (and the rest of them) had shown ZERO improvement.

Future All-star? AB, depending on whether he pulls it all together. JM definitely. Jury's still out on NY and JCritt. You don't make the all-star team for playing defense, so DM is out.

Posted by: jones-y | January 7, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

You are right it is Ernie's fault...and guess what? We could have Gilbert, Haywood and DeShawn back at 100% and we still wouldn't contend for a title because ERNIE HAS BEEN TOO CHICKEN TO PULL THE TRIGGER ON A MARQUEE BIG MAN!

Not even LeBron or Kobe can deliver a ring without a marquee guy in the post, and while guys like Garnett, Gasol, Brand, Shaq, Randolph and Artest have been moving around the league, Ernie's been busy tying up $160 mill on a guard with a busted knee and an old tweener who plays the 4 like a 2.

Posted by: p1funk | January 7, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

all Tapscott did was start the guy, he's not responsible for him being a better player.


Posted by: twigmuffin | January 7, 2009 11:23 PM

You mean Ed Tapscott, the Wizards director of player development? Nah, he had absolutely nothing to do with DM's development.

Posted by: jones-y | January 7, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

And on top of that, the Wizards can't even tank a season correctly...who are they gonna take with a high pick this draft? Blake Griffin? Stephen Curry? Please...

Posted by: p1funk | January 7, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

jones-y, I generally like what you have to say, but predicting All-Star-dom for Blatche and McGee is wildy over the top.

At his current level of play, Blatche would likely be no more than a 20 mpg backup on a really good team. The boy's got talent, but not enough talent to get by on talent alone. Unless he finds a way to light a fire or someone lights it for him (which seems unlikely, because every time a coach tries, he sulks and pouts), his slow motor and soft execution will always hold him back from maxing out his ability.

And McGee "Definitely" an All-Star? Please. He's got to actually learn how to play basketball first, at that seems to be a ways away yet.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 7, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

That was homely. But take heart -- the T-Wolves did even worse to the Thunder.

A Wiz fan must take comfort where he finds it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 7, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I liked what I saw from Crittendon. A PG who can penetrate a dish is always a nice chip. He needs to spend the summer working on his jumper, and he may just be something.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 7, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

"You mean Ed Tapscott, the Wizards director of player development? Nah, he had absolutely nothing to do with DM's development."

That's like saying Tapscott taught McGee how to jump. I don't know what he did the past couple years as director of player development, but judging from his performance as coach, it was probably nothing more than giving corny speeches that used really big words.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 8, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

kalorama,

first thanks! your 'light a fire' is what I meant by 'put it all together'. What I'm saying is that, if there is any chance that the 24pt "I'm Free!" game is any indication of what he can become, then he has an honest shot at the all-star game as a coaches pick. He's got too much baggage (john school, bullet wounds) to ever make it in as a starter, but if he reaches his potential (which I realize many don't, and that's why I caveated the statement in the first place) then its within his reach.

As for JM, sky is the limit. Ask me ten times do I see a future all-star there, and I will respond yes ten times. Certain things have to fall in place, like for example he has to stay healty, play for a contender, block shots at a ridiculous pace, etc. but you cannot deny that a developed JM will excite everyone who watches him. And that is exactly how you write your ticket to the all-star game.

Shaq and Sheed will be done and Duncan and KG will be declining, Yao and DHoward will be the last remaining dominant big men, Bynum is coming into his own, but he plays on a ridiculously deep and talented team. Amare is really a 4. And so on. The field is almost wide open 3-4 years down the line. Oden and Hibbert will be in the mix, but IMO Oden is the only young center I can think of with as much or more potential than JM. He just has to stay healthy.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

That's like saying Tapscott taught McGee how to jump. I don't know what he did the past couple years as director of player development, but judging from his performance as coach, it was probably nothing more than giving corny speeches that used really big words.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 8, 2009 12:06 AM

Well, just like you, I don't know what ETap's old job was, or what he did on a daily basis as the guy responsible for developing young talent.

But as with most organizations (except the federal govt...) a person's title is normally commensurate with his job duties. And the brother didn't get himself fired...

So we have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Now, a year ago, I said, on this blog, DM has the tools to be a defensive stopper. All he needs to do is learn the fundamentals (stay in front of your man, move your feet, how to foul without getting caught, etc). Well I know one thing, he didn't learn the fundamentals through extensive playing time last year...

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

That's all pie in the sky happy face talk, jones-y. That's like a teacher telling every kid in her 3rd grade class they can grow up to be president. It's technically true, but the reality is that most of them will probably die working minimum wage jobs.

The history of the NBA, recent and long-term, is filled with players who've never fulfilled their potential. It's too early to say anything even close to definitive about whether McGee will, but even if he does, he's got a long road. And the fact (and it is a fact) that Blatche has repeatedly failed to display the kind of initiative and desire needed to make the next step makes any all-star appearances in his future damned unlikely, unless he grows a new personality on-court. And I don't see any reason to think that's going to happen.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Let's be more positive. All the Wizards need to turn around is for Etan Thomas to make a bigger contribution. He'll get there.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 8, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah its all best case scenario, but Blatche has taken the baby steps this year. He is not, and never will be an energy guy, but my position is and has been that looks can be deceiving. IMO he plays with effort, and while it may not appear that way, he is producing, and will continue to improve.

McGee I'll admit is all speculation, and I didn't even get to see him in college (except for his highlight reel) but not only does he have heaps of potential, he has drive, and lots of it.

Anyway, we disagree, but time will definitely tell.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

A guy who has all-star potential, should be well past the "baby steps" stage by his 4th year in the league.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Point well taken kalorama. He hasn't pulled it all together yet. And maybe he should've by now, but big men take longer to develop. And AB has 2 extenuating circumstances. He's playing out of position, and we have an entrenched all-star at his natural position.

And not to make excuses, but I consider this his third year, given that he lost most of the first year to a bullet.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

And the arena experience is horrible. The concession stands are closed upstairs and there are no fans in the seats. The organization is falling apart. What a mess.

Free T-shirt -- Fire Ernie

Email erniegone@hotmail.com

Posted by: erniegone | January 7, 2009 11:02 PM
----------------------------------------

Do we really get a free tshirt if we email you?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 8, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

People on this blog are stupid. Ernie Grunfeld has made this team consistently respectable for the first time in decades, but they're having a bad year. It makes a lot of sense that they are having a bad year. They've had some serious injury issues the past few seasons, and the healthy players are human beings who don't want to kill themselves to make the playoffs like last year when they know they're not an elite team without GIlbert, let alone Gilbert and Brendan. But this is a very talented team with a potentially very deep, very young bench. At the same time, there are vets who make a lot of money and want minutes and need to be kept happy, even Deshawn, who's been good before and could certainly be good again. Worst case scenario (or maybe best case) some of the vets are getting minutes to up their trade value.

Also, Eddie Tapscott's is not going to be the coach next year. When teams fire coaches, they put in interim coaches, hope it turns out great, and if it doesn't, see who's available in the offseason. Considering his prior role with the team, his main job now is to evaluate the roster from up close, not win meaningless ball games (the more losses the better, anyway, but yes, I'd at least like to see them play good games. But they're gonna get a very good draft pick and their young players are getting many more minutes than they would otherwise. You people need to accept that the season is over and focus on the positive. You people are seriously impatient. If you are children, I understand. If you are adults, stop it. Being a jerk doesn;t do anybody any good.

Posted by: IrenePollin | January 8, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, how about some info on McGee? Its like the movie where the womans daughter disappears and when she talks to her friends about it, they all look at her puzzled and say "you didn't have a daughter."
Mcgee started a string of games, then at a minimum played 10 mpg the rest of em, now the last two games he's gotten DNPs. And both on this blog and on Bulletsforever it seems to be completely unaddressed.
What happened? Did Tapscott think McGee gave him a mean look, or did Tapscott put names in a hat to determine who'd be in the doghouse and this time it was McGee's name he pulled out? What the hell

Posted by: emmet1 | January 8, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

"Ernie Grunfeld has made this team consistently respectable for the first time in decades"

Yeah I always thought Eddie Jordan was overrated. Ed Tapscott would have been a better coach over the past 4 years.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 8, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

"Considering his prior role with the team, his main job now is to evaluate the roster from up close"
-Irene Pollin

Ivans been on Taps case about this from the start, about his failure to accept this as a lost year and develop the young guys.

Heres how the Wizards minutes have changed from Eddie Jordan to Ed Tapscott

Young- 26 mpg to 18.3 mpg
Blatche- 17 mpg to 23.6 mpg
McGuire- 10.7 mpg to 19.4 mpg
McGee- 22 mpg to 9.6 mpg
Pecherov- 2.9 mpg to 1.8 mpg
Crittenton- 0 mpg (for sake of argument)
to 6.7 mpg

The collective mpg allotted to the five young players has changed from 78.6 to 79.4 from EJ to Tap. Virtually no increase even though our playoff hopes have gone from bad @ 1-10 to completely erased @ 7-27(pointing out here that as the season became more futile you would expect the coach to play younger players more, therefore making the negligible increase under Tapscott even more appalling. Add to that the fact that there have been injuries to two vets (Butler and Stevenson)and the addition of a young player (Crittenton) since Tap took over.

Irene, we aren't complaining because our seasons down the tubes. We are complaining because our seasons down the tubes and coach still won't increase playing time for the young guys who might be able to give us a not-so-down-the-tubes season next year. We are looking to the future in the midst of this lost season and that my friend is WHY we are upset, not because we care about whether we are winning or losing the meaningless games we have left in the 2008-2009 season.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 8, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Since when is 89-83 with 2 minutes remaining a close game? The other team is in complete control at that point.

I'm tired of this close game nonsense, the other teams are sleepwalking when they play us and when we get to within 7 they wake up and put us away like the 7-26 club that we are.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 8, 2009 4:36 AM | Report abuse

I understand and have seen that Javale gets taken advantage of defensively but how is he supposed to learn and improve with DNPs or less than 5 minutes of playing time a game?

Id rather see him out there getting scored on and giving up some dumb fouls in hopes that he will work through it and learn that way instead of not seeing him at all. If you put him out there and yank him after giving up a quick 6 points or two fouls i dont see what you are really teaching him.

Posted by: riskus | January 8, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

The McGuire experiment should be coming to a close soon. In his last 5 games, he's averaging 29 minutes but less than 6 points and less than 5 rebounds. He gave us a spark when he first started but he is clearly not even the short term answer at sf as a starter. Until he learns how to shoot (which you would have thought he was doing over the past couple years), he's a liability. When he's doing 10 rebounds, he's ok. Otherwise, not so much.

Caron at sg seems to work but all that move really does is replace Deshawn with McGuire. That's a wash since neither is doing much.
I applaud Tap for trying McGuire but now it may be time to try something else. The lineup I'd like to at least test is JM, AB and AJ all starting. I think AJ is too slow to play the sf spot but AB certainly has faceup skills and JM actually may have the ability to stay with some sf's. It's a gamble but what do we have to lose but another game? I could see JM giving a guy like Turkoglu problems because of his length. On a side note, wouldn't Bosh have been the perfect type of guy to try JM against? Bosh isn't overly physical JM's arms length may have given him some problems.
I can't see too many teams pounding us on the boards with all three of those guys in the game. It also frees AJ up to go out side and we can run some plays for him on the perimeter. Some of his 3's are what kept us in the game. I can't harp on this enough. We have to be able to keep up by making some threes.

Posted by: original_mark | January 8, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

A few little things can turn this thing around. Another basket, another couple of FT's, a blocked shot, and losses turn into wins.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 8, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

This isn't rocket science....

Our three point shooting sucks, and we can't stop the other team's outside shooters. Where's Dixon? He can shoot (somtimes) and plays with intensity which was clearly lacking last night. Give him some minutes, at least he's a leader, and not a whiner like half of the Wizards.

Posted by: lk11 | January 8, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

ESPN PER Stats:

AB - definite improvement over the last four years and now above the league average of 15 (but below all-star potential of 20)

10.01
12.11
15.35
16.16

NY - no improvement from last year

11.78
12.00

DM - improvement from last year, but still weak

6.56
9.98

JM - trending down since Taps, but still above the league average

15.44


Taps' minutes for the young players is myopic.

Pam McGee for coach. She's coached before and won.

Posted by: Izman | January 8, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

id like to see crit, blatche, and songaila on the floor together since they appear to be the best passers on the team.

ball movement is fun to watch when people can catch and dish.

with scorers like butler, jamison, and young on the floor it could be fun.

Posted by: riskus | January 8, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

on that last shot by Bargnani, I think it was Ivan or Michael Lee who was getting interviewed by CSN. Anyways, I watched that play like 5 times, cause I couldn't believe he got such a good look, after he had been killing us all game.

Jamison was on him, Bosh had the ball, Bargnani slowly walked to the top of the key. Jamison for some reason decided to play zone and dropped off him and pushed at Jarvis to go get him. Bosh passed off toe Bargnani, Jarvis was late getting over and he hit that huge shot which basically put the game away.

There were other reasons why we lost, but that play pretty much tells it all. Our defense is horrible. Either we don't know what defense we are in (zone or man), or our star players (Jamison) don't put enough effort into working on defense. I mean all he had to do was stay close to the guy. And its not like the guy cut hard, or curled off a screen, he slowly walked to the top of the key, where he had been hitting all of his shots all day. He had only missed one shot up to that point (7-8) and had already hit 3 threes. Ridiculous.

Posted by: tedunni1 | January 8, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Season's over. Taps doesn't care. He'll keep riding the vets, wearing them down, as if another stray win is somehow important. He'll keep McGee glued to the pine, and keep playing Songaila at C, where he's hopelessly overmatched, game after game. When Deshawn comes back he'll start getting his 25-30 mpg while continuing to shoot 30 percent, and Crittenton will move back to the bench.

Ivan, when are you going to report on the criminal misuse of McGee, and ask Tap difficult questions about what he's hanging onto, and why he doesn't feel the need to find out if McGee can be a player? Related question is why is Song the backup 5, when he a) can't stop the layup drill that begins every time he's inserted and b) Can't rebound.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Bosh would have eaten McGee alive.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

None on of the current Wizards "youngsters" will ever be all-stars. They weren't even good in college. The only person who looked good in college was Blatche. And I like Crittenton at Wake Forest also.

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

So Bosh eats McGee's lunch. Very likely but the Wiz lost the game, they probably still would have lost but McGee should have gotten 5 to 10 minutes of quality time with Bosh. You can say all you want about young players showing something first in practice, the Wiz don't have a Bosh for McGee to work on in practice.

Posted by: pdarroch | January 8, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Ethan Thomas is an also good center. He should start all the time. His a big, ferocious man. He is also is friends with Mcnabb, he so should start now. OK.

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Bosh should have went to college. He would have been an much better and stronger player, then others. He should look at the Ethan Thomas for motivations.

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

McGee wouldn't have been working on Bosh; it would have been the other way around. Not sure what McGee would have learned in the 8-10 minutes he would have played before likely fouling out after biting on multiple pump fakes from Bosh or reaching in while Bosh was blowing by him to the hoop.

I think McGee has a ton of potential, but he's not really an NBA ready player right now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The only person who looked good in college was Blatche. And I like Crittenton at Wake Forest also.

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 9:27 AM

Another of your patented 'jokes' huh? LOL!

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

TO ALL YOU "COACH'S" Don't badger Ivan about questioning Tapscott I told all of you weeks ago that Grunfeld is coaching this team period end of story,if you haven't realized it yet these players are going to play out the string the youngin's hoping to get some run and vets hoping not to get hurt or embarrased on a nightly basis,EJ had a plan i'm sure that's news to Ernie,but he did, bring McGee along slowly backing up BTH that way he's learning and not getting his confidence destroyed and by season's end he'd be ready to contribute maybe even in the playoff's but EG in his wisdom derailed all that,of course when BTH got hurt that put EJ up against it,well here we are forty plus games to go,man I hate this.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what McGee would have learned in the 8-10 minutes he would have played before likely fouling out after biting on multiple pump fakes from Bosh or reaching in while Bosh was blowing by him to the hoop.

Maybe he would have learned to not bite so often on pump fakes. Some players do eventually learn, and get better, with playing time. It's been known to happen.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 8, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

He doesn't need to get extended run against all-star caliber players to learn something as basic as not to bite on pump fakes. That's the kind of thing practice is made for.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The collective mpg allotted to the five young players has changed from 78.6 to 79.4 from EJ to Tap.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 8, 2009 3:14 AM

Is that an unreasonable amount? (I have their collective minutes a little higher, but that's besides the point. They played over 100 minutes last night.)

I'm not quite sure what you folks want, but starting with your 80 minutes per for the young guys, and adding in AJ and CB's 80 combined minutes, there are only 80 minutes left for the rest of the roster (JD, ET, DSong, DSteve, and MJames).

In my mind that's a solid and reasonable distribution of minutes, especially with Critt and Young being developed as bench contributors (AB and JM are IMO being groomed to eventually replace AJ and BTH, respectively). The only major change I'd make is reducing CB and AJ by 5 minutes apiece.

Posted by: jones-y | January 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't help noticing Bargnani's comment on SI: that he was uncovered all night. Not just on that late shot, either -- all night.

He was just showing us what those European big guys can do without a hand in the face. An American big man will miss an open jumper about half the time, but the Europeans don't. That's their game.

Has to be the scheme, in that case. So whu' happened?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 8, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"He doesn't need to get extended run against all-star caliber players to learn something as basic as not to bite on pump fakes. That's the kind of thing practice is made for.

Posted by: kalo_rama"

True. But you can't compare the experience from a Wizards practice to a live game against Chris Bosh. That kind of practice would only be similar if the Wizards had a Bosh style player for McGee to go up against. Against Songaila and Thomas, McGee has no reason to think of biting on pump fakes. Blatche? Maybe. But Blatche is no Bosh. Practice can only be as good as the players who are participating.

At some point, the kid's got to learn on the job. He's not NBA ready right now, but he's close enough to get a run for a team with no real playoff aspirations.

Posted by: psps23 | January 8, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

He doesn't need to get extended run against all-star caliber players to learn something as basic as not to bite on pump fakes. That's the kind of thing practice is made for.

Posted by: kalo_rama"


PSP, you said it best. How the #&^% is Javale supposed to get better by going up against the likes of AB, Song, and “the poet”? Give me a break Kalo_rama. Players get better by going up against the best. It is plain and simple. It’s not like we are battling for “home-court” in the 1st round, so if Javale gets cooked by Bosh, so be it. I guarantee he will 3 times as much from guarding Bosh in 30 mins of play, then he would learn from guarding Song and AB in 5 months of practice.

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

EDIT:

He will "LEARN" 3 times as much

Posted by: cj658 | January 8, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"But you can't compare the experience from a Wizards practice to a live game against Chris Bosh. "

I wasn't comparing the two. Just the opposite, actually. I was pointing out that they're two different things with two different purposes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What's with the television coverage? The Wizards are relegated to CSN+ (not in HD) so that CSN can air the Maryland - Morgan State game?

I realize the schedule was probably determined before the season starts, and I understand why the Capitals sometimes preempt the Wizards on CSN, but seriously, Maryland - Morgan St?

Posted by: TheTim | January 8, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"At some point, the kid's got to learn on the job."

I absolutely agree. I simply don't see that last night against Chris Bosh was such the ideal time for it that some people seem to want to make it out to be. I have no problem with him playing regular minutes. But all of the calls to start him and play him major run well before he's even close to ready is just as likely to do him more harm than good in the long run. I would have thought that people learned that lesson from what happened with Kwame Brown.

There's nothing lost by bringing McGee along slowly and letting him learn and develop at a measured pace.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

TheTim, do you really think the Wiz are a bigger draw than Maryland right now?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 8, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

kalo -
We're not talking Maryland - Duke, we're talking Maryland - Morgan State! Maybe I'm hung up on the matchup, but I can't help it...is there anywhere online we can see TV ratings for the Wizards vs. Maryland?

Posted by: TheTim | January 8, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I wish Taps were playing McGee more, but the truth is that he does take some awful shots, and he's not yet physically strong enough or skilled enough to guard the big guys in the post. He's got to forget about putting the ball on the floor and shooting long jumpers and off-balance runners, and concentrate on learning some simple post moves, as D. Howard has done--Drop-step-and-dunk, jump hook, short turn-around jumper, going backdoor for alley-oops. When a guy with McGee's length--and who can jump like he can--is capable of scoring a lot of points with a few simple well-executed go-to moves.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | January 9, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

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