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Wizards (9-32) at Lakers (33-8)

(Starting lineups posted barring last-minute changes)

Wizards: Mike James, Caron Butler, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche.

Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Luke Walton.

Line: Lakers by 14 1/2.

-The Lakers beat the Wizards 106-104 at Verizon Center on Dec. 5...Caron Butler had a decent look at a potential game-winner but missed...Bryant scored 23 points in that game...The Lakers have won two straight after consecutive losses (at San Antonio and at home to Orlando)....Nick Young, an LA native, scored his rookie season high 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting here at Staples Center last March 30....In the last three games, Butler, Jamison and Blatche are averaging 67.7 points and 19.7 rebounds while shooting 52.7 percent....Jamison is shooting 58 percent in the last five games.

-The Lakers' 33-8 start is the best since the 1971-72 team opened 38-3.

-Bryant has posted triple-doubles in two of the last three games.

-The Wizards, winners last night at Sacramento, are 0-8 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season.

By Ivan Carter  |  January 22, 2009; 8:40 PM ET
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Next: Lakers 117, Wizards 97


Michael Lee your reference back to when Gilbert dropped 60 on the Lakers brings a smile to my face.

Those 60 pts even had Kolby crying, "them crazy shots was just lucky".

Thats when Eddie Jordan coached his best, the Wizs was called a Jack the Ball up First Team and They can't play Defense.

But, they were winning, they were taking the ball to the hoop and trash talkin and kickin butts. They were Ballin.

What happened to them Wizards?

Its simple, Eddie Jordan changed the flow of the whole Team by listening to the pundits and had this Team concentrate on Defense, instead of what was winning, and the Wizards have been downhill eversince.

I bull you not, check it out. That second half of that season was when Gilbert had his spat with Eddie about that change in focus for the Team to Defense.

Gilbert had his knee rolled up on toward the end of the season and the Wizards limped to the playoffs and got thumped in the first round. They got thumped due to Gilberts absence and more importantly because of the change to focusing on Defense.

They haven't been the same Team since.

Eddie Jordan got convinced that he had to play Defense first and the Wizards have been trying to win by playing Defense first and that philosophy blew up this Team and got Eddie fired.

What Eddie did not realize was, he already had fashioned a good Team by playing Superior Offense and he did not need to change his focus to Defense in order to win; He already was Winning.

In a Nutshell Ole' Chap'.

Until this Team realizes the Gem they had in Runnin and Gunnin, Shakin' and Bakin', Jack the Ball up First from Good Offensive Flow, and Stop me if you can Attitude, They ain't never gonna' git' it right.

And Michael and Ivan, can you please tell a lot of these Bloggers to stop Bashing the Players, because they have been hampered by some serious Bad Coaching, eversince Eddie Jordan made that fateful Decision.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 22, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

One day before the end of the season I will sign on here and read

(Starting lineups posted barring last-minute changes)

Wizards: Javaris Crittenton, Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 22, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

So what's the "turning point" for this game Ivan, the opening tip?

Please don't write anymore about how we need a closer in the 4th quarter of games, in the Tapscott era the games are usually over by the 4th quarter.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 23, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Please, all of those telling the rest of us that we shouldn't be playing the youngsters because it might harm their development, explain tonight.

Taps, as always, is giving virtually all the minutes to the starters, his beloved vets. It's now 85-59 late in the third. The vets are leading us right over the cliff of another blowout.

And what does Taps do? Leaves them in! Hey, they're vets after all. Can't take a chance on developing McGee, Pech, Critt, Young et al. and possibly dropping a game here and there. Gotta go with those stalwart veterans, because...well...uh...


Posted by: keithward64 | January 23, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

What's amazing is that Caron, Antawn, and Mike James all played more than 30 minutes!
Taps didn't want the game to get too out of hand, better to be down 30 instead of down 50.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 23, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Glad the youngsters played more tonight even though they all look lost out there. They are poorly coached and playing with either no confidence or just shock that they're playing more minutes than normal.

Posted by: demonj21 | January 23, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Taps said before the game that the Wiz had to play smarter, then he plays AB and AJ against two 7 footers. Huh?

For those who don't remember, Bynum absolutely stunk his first two years in the league. However, the Lakers stuck to developing him, and now he's finally starting to improve.

McGee is already better than Bynun in Bynun's third year in the league.

The rooks brought the game back to 20, lead by McGee and Critter. In the Wizard's scheme, that means that they should be relegated to 4 minutes next game for showing up the vets.

Posted by: Izman | January 23, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Mike James is as icecold shooting lately.

Posted by: jeremydvid | January 23, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Tapscott told Cheryl Miller that the Wizs had to play smart in order to win.

Her brother, Reggie had a field day with that comment. he even offered to sell Taps some land.

I wonder if thats the closest the commentators can come to saying a coach is clueless about what he is doing.

Does anybody think that Grunfield believes that sticking with Taps till the end is the right way to go?

My answer is, if he does, then his decision to continue to stick with a coach whom is clearly clueless for so long should call into question his competence as a GM...

Unless, its not his decision.

Does anybody know?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 23, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

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