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Sunday update

-Antawn Jamison did not practice today (right knee strain) and will be re-evaluated at shootaround tomorrow. Expect him to play, trust me.

-Speaking of injuries, I just bumped into the elusive Mr. Arenas in the hallway after practice and hit with: "Hey man, you're going to play this season you and I both know it."
Arenas: "Yeah."

Of course, no timetable folks and he's not close to practicing. My guess? Late February or early March.

By Ivan Carter  |  January 11, 2009; 2:04 PM ET
 
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Next: Monday Morning Point Guard

Comments

Hey Ivan, you watching this game between the UNC and Wake. Thats the kind of basketball I grew up on.

I seen players come from that region and be dynamic pro players.

Can you imagine how it makes me feel to see NBA coaching such as whats going on here with the Wizards.

You know why now I always say that I feel sorry for the Wizards players.

These players are much better than their record indicates.

To allow economics to prevent you from having the best coach your Team deserves is down right sorry to me.

Ivan, from all the Bloggers on this Blog, I think that BulletsFever78 has the most important point.

When they rightfully fired Eddie, they should have found and paid for the best coach available, especially if they believed that this Team was better than a 1 and 10 Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 11, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

Don’t even try to explain to kal, he knows nothing about basketball.

You must not be old enough to remember the four corner offense? You talk about slow ball.

Anyone who knows the history of basketball understands the Princeton offense was designed by Franklin “Cappy” Cappon, who coached at Princeton in the late 1930s and perfected at Princeton University by Pete Carril. The reason Carril used it was because he could not recruit like the big schools and could not out run them. This was the offense Eddie Jordan was trying to run here? The hallmark of the offense is the backdoor pass, where a player on the wing suddenly moves in towards the basket, receives a bounce pass from a guard on the perimeter, and (if done correctly) finds himself with no defenders between him and a layup. Too bad no one on this team ever wanted to pass the ball since they were only worried about their own stats.

There is a reason no big time free agents would want to sign with the Wizards. ABE has turned this team into the Clippards and why would anyone want to come and play for a losing organization?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 11, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Why wasn't this play mentioned by the Post or the official Wizard website?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMWK472WPNU

Separately, what's does Taps' jibberish about Pinochio mean?

Posted by: Izman | January 11, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"-Speaking of injuries, I just bumped into the elusive Mr. Arenas in the hallway after practice and hit with: "Hey man, you're going to play this season you and I both know it."
Arenas: "Yeah.""

Ivan Carter the terrible giving Bob Woodward a run for his money. Great investigative reporting.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 11, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's get Ernie Gone

Fire Ernie T-shirt

Email ErnieGone@Hotmail.com

It really is his fault things have gotten this bad.

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

He's not coming back this year. what would be tne point?

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

Brand came back last season with something like 8 games left and his team long out of playoff contention. Other players have also done it in similar situations.

Coming back makes sense for the player because it gives him a head start on getting into shape for next year, let's him know how far back they are, and because he just wants to play and compete.

Now, from the organization's perspective, there's really not much reason for it. The playoffs are a pipe dream and they don't want to risk further injury.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 11, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Brand came back last season with something like 8 games left and his team long out of playoff contention. Other players have also done it in similar situations.

Coming back makes sense for the player because it gives him a head start on getting into shape for next year, let's him know how far back they are, and because he just wants to play and compete.

Now, from the organization's perspective, there's really not much reason for it. The playoffs are a pipe dream and they don't want to risk further injury.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 11, 2009 11:54 PM

Brand came back and played because he was a free agent and wanted to show other teams he was healthy? How many games has he missed so far this season?

Head start for next year? They are off all summer so it doesn’t help them at all in that aspect. He just wants to play and compete? We are talking about Gil right? If he ever wanted to compete he would learn how to play the point guard position the right way and be willing to play defense.

Now, from the organization's perspective, there's really not much reason for it. You are so far off on this one it is a joke. The Wizards want to sell tickets in the off season and con their fans into believing they have a chance to make the playoffs once they get Gil and BTH back. It is all about making money when you own a business.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 12, 2009 4:49 AM | Report abuse

I echo what bulletsfan78 said except for the part about Gil wanting to compete. He's probably one of the best competitors this team has ever had.
I'm not sure what bulletsfan78 means by 'the right way' but Gil led us in scoring and assists with 6 per game during his last semi-healthy year (06-07). That assist number tied him with LeBron but put him ahead of guys like Tony Parker (who incidentally plays zero defense), Kobe Bryant, Mike Bibby and a host of other good players.
As far as his lack of defense goes, no one on this team played defense during that season except for maybe BTH/Etan/Ruffin. Our offensive rating put us at 3rd in the league and our defensive rating placed us at 28th. It was reported that all practice time was devoted to offense.
Gil gets the blame because he has the biggest mouth and the biggest contract, I guess. But if all 5 starters had all outplayed their counterparts like Gil did that year, we'd probably have won 75 games. He wasn't the problem.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

original_mark

I believe a point guard needs to get the rest of the players going before thinking about getting his own points. Once the other players are making shots it forces the defense to play straight up. I don’t know how old you are but if you ever got to watch the best point guard ever to play the game (Magic Johnson), he would pass the ball into Kareem or Worthy and when the defense collapsed around them they would pass the ball back out, and then Magic would get his points. It wasn’t like the Wizards, where the team just stands around and when Gil drives to the basket and the defense double teams him, he passes the ball out and that is how he gets his assists. Why do you think BTH had his best year last year? Because AD worked the offense first which means getting the other players involved and not playing selfish basketball.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 12, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78,
I'm in my 40's so I got to see Magic and all those guys. I think I started watching pro ball some time in the mid 70's. My favorite players all time is 'Ice' Gervin. I'm with you and appreciate the pass first pg. I actually preferred the younger Isiah who'd make great passes to the one who would look to score. I was a big fan of KP when he was here and appreciated Penny more for his passing than his shooting.

I think we're on the same page as far as pg's being guys that are supposed to make teammates better. I just think we differ on how to do that. I'm not sure whether it's more EJ's system or Gil but when guys play here with Gil, they have career years. When they leave, they look extremely average. Caron and AJ are examples of guys who were solid but became all stars with Gil. Jared Jeffries and Larry Hughes are guys that looked good here but as soon as they leave, they look extremely average. I don't know of any guys (and there may be but I've forgotten) who played here with Gil, had success and then went somewhere else and thrived. My belief is that Gil is a different yet effective type of pg who DOES make teammates better.
There's the AI type who dominates the ball and makes teammates cold because they stand around watching and there's the Nash/Kidd type who put the ball in the hands of guys in places where they can succeed. I think Gil is the hybrid type who demands so much attention that his teammates get good looks and easier buckets. We know that offensively, he shoots 3's and drives, drawing fouls. It's impossible to determine the effect that he has on defenders who have to play more tentatively because they are in foul trouble. Who's to say that AJ doesn't benefit because his man has 2 fouls in the first quarter because of Gil? Impossible to determine, really.

I actually really believe that BTH's improvement is strictly a result of more playing time. If Etan had not been out, we'd still be wondering whether BTH could play or not because he'd never have gotten the chance last year.

On a side note:
Someone else (Bill Simmons)is finally saying what I've been saying all along...Steve Nash is a good pg who looked great as a result of that Suns offense. A few years ago I said that if Gil was in that system, he'd have gotten 10 assists and scored 30 points. I still believe it. Jason Kidd might have done at least as well and LeBron could average a triple double playing for D'Antoni. 2 MVP awards for Nash? Ridiculous.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"Why do you think BTH had his best year last year? Because AD worked the offense first which means getting the other players involved and not playing selfish basketball.

Posted by: bulletsfan78"

If only that translated into more wins, this argument would hold water.

Posted by: psps23 | January 12, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, bulletsfan78. If you were down by one with 10 seconds left and needed a bucket and had a fully healthy Wiz team, who would you want taking that shot?
I think all of us would agree that Gil is the guy based on his past.

The reason I ask is because if we're thinking it, Gil certainly is. He's probably thinking that he should be setting himself up first before others because he gives us the best chance to win. Just a guess...I'm not in the dude's head. It would explain the shoot first attitude, though.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"I don’t know how old you are but if you ever got to watch the best point guard ever to play the game (Magic Johnson), he would pass the ball into Kareem or Worthy and when the defense collapsed around them they would pass the ball back out, and then Magic would get his points."


Right. I agree. As soon as Kareem or Worthy step onto the court, I think Gil should become a "prototypical" pass-first PG.

Posted by: Good2bOK | January 12, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

LOL. That's pretty funny, Good2bOK.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Bulletsfan78: In reference to the Elton Brand situation above: you are exactly right. He was a FA, and he HAD to prove to other teams that he could still play. I find it humorous that someone suggested he came back to get a “head-start” for next year. Yeah, he played in 8 meaningless games to get a “head-start” for the next season which is 6 months away, makes a lot of sense lol. But my opinion on Gil is if he can play, he needs to play, regardless of the Wiz record. Main reason being, the 6 year 111 million dollar deal. Essentially, (by not playing at all this year) he has transformed that deal into a 5 year, 111 million dollar deal. That is 22.2 mill per season. That is Kobe money, LBJ money, DWade money, but NOT Gil money. The guy had “debris-removal” before the season even started, and to think, this is going to cause him to miss the ENTIRE 82 game season? Pathetic. Fact is he could be playing right now. So the team says why risk it? Well let me tell you this, if he comes back now, and hurts his knee again with the season already almost half way over, then it just proves he is fragile and a terrible investment.

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Fact is he could be playing right now. "
Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 9:49 AM

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

Man, looks like Ivan got scooped. Apparently he missed this important "fact."

CJ, send us a link of your insider blog, sounds like a quality news source that we should all be keeping up on.

Posted by: crs-one | January 12, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Crs-one: Give me a break. The guy had “debris-removal” well before the season started. His original return date was December, or January at the latest. It doesn’t take a micro surgeon to figure out the guy could be playing right now. I guess you live and die by Ivan’s “wonderful” inside information. Yeah, he sure does get us all the latest scoops, so “anything” he says regarding the Wiz must be true. What on Earth was I thinking by even “suggesting” Gil could come back now

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and you ask me where I get my “insider info” from? Here it is: www.ivancarter.com

This guy knows his stuff.

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

78, I do remember 4-corners and Phil Ford. I got to see Phil Ford when he played in high school.

Phil Ford was a push the ball up the floor with a string scoring phenon. The 4-corners was invented for him at Carolina, a prime example of fitting your coaching to your players and not the other way around.

Phil Ford could push the ball behind his back, through his legs, spin, all the things you see players doing today without carrying the ball, and stop and shooot from anywhere on he court and hit nothing but net.

Dean Smith was in the gym watching this guy do this stuff throughout his high school career and thats why he ended up in Carolina.

When he played at Carolina, they ran the ball, they did not play slow ball. The 4-corners was invented for Phil Ford as a way when Carolina was up at the end of the game, they could garantee a win, because no one could take the ball away from Phil nor keep the Heels from scoring.

The 4-corners at its best expanded Carolina's lead at the end of the game.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 12, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Gil had micro fracture surgery last year. My big question is why did Gil or management think he could come back at the end of last year? Micro fractures have pretty typically been a year or more layoff, and a second "flush procedure" is pretty standard.

If I was still a season ticket holder, I would more then slightly dismayed about the timing of the announcement of Gil's second surgery. That's kind of akin to putting in your payment on a new sports car and then finding out the dealer's sending out a used Yugo.

The Wiz seemed to be expecting the Vets could hold down the fort and play near .500 ball until Gil could come back and help with a playoff push. A 1-10 start doomed that notion. Eddie was never quite Ernie's guy and he was terrible with young players.

There was beginning to be a real Veteran vs. the young ones scism on this team. I think that was part of the reason Daniels shipped out as well.

Over the years I've seen many of the great points play going all the way back to Cousy's last years. There's definetly more then one way to play the position and be effective. There have been some great scoring points as well as pass first points.

But the hardest player to find in all of basketball is a finisher, doesn't matter what position he plays, but that guy that will put the ball in his hands in the 4th quarter and find a way to win.

The Wiz have lost 14 4th quarter leads this year. If Gil is nothing else he's a guy that can finish games. MJ/Nike used to run the commercial about how many times he took a last second shot and missed. Just like a closer in baseball, a finisher in basketball can't let a missed shot shake his confidence.

Butler or Jamison are not finishers, they can take last second shots if they get the open look or a pass from Gil, but they can't finish games in the 4th. Gil can.

The whole point of this season now is to develop the young players on the team, while showcasing some Vets for potential trades and not have guys mail it in. Not an easy task. This team needs a top 5 pick to infuse more talent onto the roster.

Should Gil play? Not til the knee's fully sound, and the team is far enough out of it that no one is tempted to start riding him 40+ minutes a game. The reason to play this year would be to slowly ramp up his minutes and manage his playing time as part of the recovery process.

Anybody that has had a knee done will tell you it takes court time before you forget. Gil needs to get some of that time this year in managed minutes so that he can come to camp fully confident in the knee.

The Wiz need to get an idea of what they have in Gil before the draft. An unhealthy Gil, Curry would make a lot of sense. A fully healthy Gil and the Wiz may want to look big. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | January 12, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

cj658, I can dig it on the 'debris removal' stuff. I've had scopes, an ACL repair, a cartilage implant, and drainages so I know a little bit about knee related procedures.

This was more than a debris removal. If it was just debris or a trim of loose cartilage, it could have been done with a scope. We all know that even football players whose knees take more of a pounding come back from scopes sooner than this. There was obviously more going on in there than we've been told.

That said, I still think he oughtta wait until he's 100% til he comes back. As soon as he's there whether there's 1 game or 20 games left, he should be brought back and reintroduced gradually. Knee injuries are not the kind of injuries where it can get better while you play. You have to rest a knee completely and allow it time to heal or it will get worse.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Flohrtv: Good points about Gil, but as for the draft, I beg to differ. This year’s draft class is pretty pathetic. I’m not sold on Curry, he is a microcosm of Gil: Just younger, smaller, less experienced, and more turn-over prone. Basically, he is poor-man’s Arenas. Say he is still available when we draft, then what do we do with NY, DS, Mike James, Juan & Javaris? Don’t forget, Gil will be healthy at some point. Fact is we will have an overload of guards. And they are all guards who are shoot-first, with the exception of Javaris. EG is going to have to make some moves. Either DS or Juan is out, or both. Also depends on what they do with Mike James. Bottom line is, drafting Curry would be foolish. The best player in college this year is James Hardin, but he too is not the type of player the wiz need. I just believe this year’s draft class is overall pretty pathetic, and of all the years to have a “lottery” season, this is not the one.

As for Gil being a closer, yes that is true. But he is also a tremendous defensive liability in the fourth quarter also, which is the reason he has yet to get anywhere close to the eastern Conf finals when he was healthy.

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

This is the quote from Arenas back in September...

"I just had some floating debris in there that was slowing me down," Arenas said. "It was irritating the knee so we decided to go in there and clean it out. This should actually allow me to come back faster."

And in October....

Arenas (knee) said Wednesday that he is "a lot ahead of schedule" in his rehab from knee surgery and could return by late November, the Washington Post reports.

in November.....

In late October Arenas said he was ahead of schedule and could return by late November, but there have been no recent indications that this will happen. For now, tentatively plan for a late December return for Arenas.


December....

Neither Arenas nor the team has yet to establish a firm timetable for a return. Arenas, who continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left knee, has slowly ratcheted up his workout process but has yet to be cleared for contact work. A return sometime in January is still a possibility at this point.

now this month....

Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott says that Arenas is showing "signs of progress," the Associated Press reports. "He can shoot and cut, so that obviously shows signs of progress, but the medical staff will determine when he'll be able to step that up," said Tapscott.


OK this is more than just a cleanout of debris. The team must have known something and they didn't want to jeopardize revenue from ticket sales and concessions. Obviously no-shows hurt the bottom line. Would have been nice if they'd come clean and told us the truth.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

78,

I too understand the Princeton Offense and you explain it well. I have brought up in detail in some of my past Blogs why the Princeton offense worked for EJ when they were playing their best ball.

What Eddie did with the PO is blend it with a push the ball up the court first offense to score and if no easy shot then go to the PO set.

This was when EJ got his Allstar accolade and the Wizards were #2 in scoring in the NBA and were also called a Jack the ball up First team. Coincidently, when they got all this criticism, i.e. Jacking the Ball, and weak defensively, they were winning to the tune of the best record in the East prior to the AllStar break. Go Figure.

That was Eddie's success in the NBA, his Niche, but he listened to the pundits and changed in the second half of the season, to a more concentration on Defense and also ran afoul with Gilbert whom that philosophy worked great for as well as the Team.

Had Eddie kept doing what had brought brought him his greatest success he might still be coaching.

For the irony of all this is, the Princeton Offense takes into account that you may not have the best defensive players and your Team may not be as good on paper as others.

Eddie did not need to change his Team for the sake Defense as he thought, for the Princeton Offense takes into account the whole philosophy of winning games against supposedly better Teams.

That was Eddie's fatal mistake.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 12, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

My question to you is, since you mentioned that you've been opened up several times, is Arenas be the old Agent Zero even if his 100% fully healed. I guess the mgmt think he will since they've signed him a multi-million contract.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

cj658, I believe that AJ and CB are much more of a liability than Gil defensively. It's just my personal opinion and I know a lot of folks may disagree.

Gil's plus/minus rating (net points (+/-) for the team while the player was on the floor) his last healthy year (06-07) was +200. The next closest guy was Jamison a +97. We were outscoring people when Gil was on the floor.

Of course, to put that in perspective, all of the Celtics starters were ate +500 or more last year. Pierce and Garnett were at +700 or more.

Posted by: original_mark | January 12, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

cj658, You can say all you want about curry being under sized etc.

But the kid's got scorer's stones, Coach K threw everything he had at him and he still dropped 29 and fought an undermanned team back into the game at Duke.

I wager he'll play and play well at the NBA level. Is he what the Wizards need? I'm not sure, but put him in New York and in that system and he'll be a star for sure.

Posted by: flohrtv | January 12, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

OriginalMark: Thanks for that recent timeline of Gil. That is informative. Kind of sounds like when he originally injured his knee in 07. He basically said he was going to come back “stronger” than he was before, to start the 07-08 season. We all see how that worked out. There is definitely a lot more going on. I have been saying this for quite some time. Here’s a quick tidbit:

Gil was originally injured on April 4, 2007. When the current season ends, the Wizards will have played a total of 182 games (including playoffs), since that date. If Gil does not return at all this season (which is looking like the case), then Gilbert Arenas would have played in 20 of 182 possible games since April 4, 2007. That is ridiculous. That is 9% of the Wizards games over the past 2 seasons plus. (do the math). Yet, when he returns next season, he will essentially be making over 22 million per year for the next 5 seasons (He transformed his deal into a 5 year, 111 mill deal. In reality Gilbert has rewarded himself with A-Rod money, for only paying in 9% of The wizards games over the past 2 seasons. I am not sure how people can still support him and remain patient.

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

FlohrTV: Yes, I watched that Duke game, and he played well. He went 1-8 from three range, but still dropped 29. He proved he can make up for off shooting nights. I think he can be a good NBA player, but he the Wizards simply do not need a player like him right now. If the wiz weren’t so overloaded with guards, I’d say take him.

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

channel 7 news said last night that Gil will not be back, something about his knee not responding as well after the 2 on 2 workouts. Also, they quote the article in today's W Times. Also, the article today states that Gil wants to play summer league this summer to get back in shape, something like that anyway. The news last night said he's pretty frustrated and said he's not even close to returning. I really feel for the guy.
Washingtonian

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

cj658 and originalmaek mark, you're so brutal! I know, maybe we can get his wax effigy at the wax museum to fill in for him. It probably has health knees.

Posted by: browneri | January 12, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Crs-one: Give me a break. The guy had “debris-removal” well before the season started. His original return date was December, or January at the latest. It doesn’t take a micro surgeon to figure out the guy could be playing right now. I guess you live and die by Ivan’s “wonderful” inside information. Yeah, he sure does get us all the latest scoops, so “anything” he says regarding the Wiz must be true. What on Earth was I thinking by even “suggesting” Gil could come back now

Posted by: cj658 | January 12, 2009 10:18 AM

Which is a perfectly fair "suggestion". And if you had presented it as a "suggestion", you wouldn't have heard anything from me.

Now when you take your speculation and start calling it "fact," that's where you should expect critique.

Posted by: crs-one | January 12, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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