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Striking a Balance

As the Wizards continue their slide, interim coach Ed Tapscott continues to try to strike a balance between playing the kids and the vets. JaVale McGee slipped into the "palace of good play" (Tapscott's words) against Charlotte Saturday night.
Nick Young is coming off of consecutive good games. Javaris Crittenton is finally getting quality burn. Dominic McGuire and Andray Blatche continue to start. We even saw Oleksiy Pecherov in a game the other night and Little Dirk hit some shots (I think the guy can play, but that's just me).

Tapscott on the kids: "One thing I have to continue to remind myself is that Nick is a second-year player, Dom is a second-year player, Andray is really a third-year player when you consider how much time he lost as a rookie with the injury. Pech is a second-year player. JaVale is a first-year player and Javaris is a second-year player without a whole lot of experience. That's half my roster. All of those guys are playing key positions and getting key minutes at one time or another so what you're seeing is growing pains."

By Ivan Carter  |  January 12, 2009; 11:31 AM ET
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I am hoping after the all star break Tap realizes the ship sank a while ago and starts playing all the rookies

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | January 12, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Grow with the kids, and keep show casing some of the Vets for possible trades, while trying to keep the core guys happy...

I wonder if Tapps is sleeping better then Eddie was toward the end?

Posted by: flohrtv | January 12, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

No. It's me, too. I think Pech just needs a chance and a team that needs what he has to offer.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see the young guns getting some reps. What you'd like to see by the end of the season is a payoff by seeing these guys notch some Ws. If we can get to that point by the end of his year, where these guys are pulling out some games, then i'll feel much better about going into next year.

I'd hate to look at next year, see Gil, Twan, and CB, and an empty bench.

Posted by: Matte | January 12, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Growing pains, huh? What do you call it when AJ, CB, Deshawn and Songaila are all playing yet we're still losing?

Just wondering you'd call that type of pain. veteran pain? geezer pain? t-pain?

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for Larry Hughes to return!

It does not make sense to me to stand pat with this group unless the Wiz are really trying for the number 1 draft pick. We don't need more youth. Youth gives you a lot of losses.

The Wiz mix of two all stars, a super star that probably won't play much if at all this year, a bunch of inexperienced players with questionable long-term value, and few role players who don't contribute much isn't working.

Ernie G, a change is long overdue!

Posted by: JoeC2 | January 12, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Crit, Young, Mac, Blatche, McGee (Akers)


James, Dixon, Butler, Jamison, Thomas (Taps)

By the end of the year if they played together (if not sooner), the top team would be better.

Growing pains are a good thing, particularly if you are starting at a high skill level like Young, Blatche and McGee.

Wiz coaches coach for the next minute, which is part of the team's problem.

Posted by: Izman | January 12, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Wiz coaches coach for the next minute, which is part of the team's problem."

Exactly, and they aren't getting proper instruction from any of thier coaches either.

Taps tells them "Play better and you get more minutes" but how is the heck is that developement?

Play the kids and "teach" them how to play in the NBA. Caron and Antawn should stop feeling sorry for themselves and show them how to play, God knows they aren't getting that from the bench. They will be better off in the long run if they do this.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 12, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not understanding why at 7-29 Antawn and Caron are playing damn near 40 minutes a game. Am I missing something?? I'm all for not casting the Vets aside, but come on..... Reduce their minutes by 5 to 7 and give those to the McGee's and the Pech's (Crittenton and Young as well)!! The Vets have a certain amount of "useful life" allotted for their bodies. Why expend so much of their body for this "lost season"? And now you're throwing Antawn out there with a bad back and a various assortment of other injuries? For damn near 40 minutes? For what?? To lose to the Bobcats? Plan for the future and treat your rotation as if this were the preseason. The fans want a CHAMPIONSHIP, not a first round, one and done playoff team. They don't want to see their starters playing 40 minutes a game - AND LOSING!! See what you are working with and give those younger guys the valuable game-time experience that they need.

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | January 12, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Crit, Young, Mac, Blatche, McGee (Akers)


James, Dixon, Butler, Jamison, Thomas (Taps)

By the end of the year if they played together (if not sooner), the top team would be better.

Posted by: Izman


While I don't actually agree with this statement, the principle behind it is right. The team on top has potential to be a great second team. If Gil and Haywood come back healthy next year, and if Taps develops those youngsters properly, then you actually have a very good 9-man rotation next year between:


and then,


Add in a top lottery pick, and within 2 years the Wiz could go 10 deep with any team in the league. I truly believe that.

Posted by: psps23 | January 12, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm still really frustrated about McGee not getting time against the young frontcourt from Chicago, but it is good to see that he has left the doghouse and entered the "Palace." Etap needs to start giving the all the young guys at least a couple of minutes per game to earn more minutes. The NBA season does not leave enough practice time for bad teams to just wait until players earn their way back on the floor by practicing well.

Sometimes you have to let them sniff the floor when you are experimenting with different line-ups to make a comeback. Like they did with Pech the other day.

Posted by: SportzWiz | January 12, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Those of you that are old enough will remember the Celtic's twin towers, Kevin McKale and Robert Parish. I think that Blatche might become the Wizard's twin towers. I think that both are more talented and explosive than McKale or Parish although less disiplined. That will come from BTH. If that happens along with the possible return of Gil teamed with CB or maybe even Hughes in the backcourt. I'd say the rest of the NBA should be afraid, very afraid.

Posted by: browneri | January 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Reducing Jamison and Butler's workload would leave them fresher for crunchtime in the 4th. Part of the 4th quarter problems could be just plain fatigue.

While Stephenson is down, give Pecherov a little run while he's dressed. I'd agree with Ivan, the kid needs to play. He could give the Wiz a nice change of pace guy to throw at teams.

And we need to see Blatche at forward more, let him and McGee out there together some.

If Milwaukee's been stuck in traffic, the Wiz have been road kill this year. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | January 12, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

One of the many frustrating things about this season is that without 2 of your core players healthy and filling their roles it is difficult to completely and accurately judge the other players on the team.

We all know that DSteve needs to be surrounded by scoring threats in order to get uncontested looks. We know that AD is better if he can play limited minutes when his body is banged-up (like he does for the Hornets) rather than having to start. AJ can rebound better when the big man playing next to him puts a body on guys (Like BTH) rather than having to fight more than one guy for the ball.

Next year's team is certainly going to look different than what we see today, so I do not understand why ETap puts so much importance on how the young players are fitting into their current roles. For example, McGee and JCrit might be much more comfortable playing the uptempo game that this team plays when healthy than they are playing the slow down game that the Wiz currently employ.

Posted by: SportzWiz | January 12, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I like pech for songaila we might as well see what he's got, he's gonna give you more than slowfoot on d and his stroke was pretty against chicago

Posted by: bford1kb | January 12, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say Blatche and MacGhee as the twin toweers.

Posted by: browneri | January 13, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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