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WIzards (9-36) at 76ers (22-22)

Wizards starters: Mike James, Caron Butler, Darius Songaila, Antawn Jamison, Dominic McGuire.

76ers starters: Willie Green, Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert, Andre Miller, Thaddeus Young.

Refs: Scott Foster, Tony Brothers, Kevin Fehr.

Line: 76ers by 10.

-Elton Brand will come off the bench for Philly as he continues to have his struggles in his first season with the club. The team is 13-8 since Tony DiLeo took over as coach for Mo Cheeks. His first game was a win over the Wizards here in Philly.

-Songaila will make his second straight start at center in place of the injured Andray Blatche. The Wiz got off to a good start at Miami Wednesday night but were crushed in the second and third quarters.

-One area that continues to kill this team is three-point shooting. Basically, opponents regularly make 'em and the WIzards don't. The Wiz rank 30th in 3-point shooting (32.2 percent) while their opponents are hitting (38.2 percent) to rank 20th.

-Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood are with the team but no real update on either player. Arenas continues to rehab while Haywood still can't do anything basketball-related with that right wrist.

By Ivan Carter  |  January 30, 2009; 6:18 PM ET
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Next: 76ers 104, Wizards 94


I've been a fan since I was a kid. I have followed the Caps almost from the beginning when they were by far the worst team in the league. I have been a loyal fan of all the local sports teams.

But with this organizational mess, I can feel my interest leaving. How much longer can I last as a lifelong fan? It's going. I hope something changes soon. It's a sad organization.

Posted by: charley42 | January 30, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Express your sentiments about the Wizards management --

Free Fire Ernie T-shirt

Email address to

Posted by: erniegone | January 30, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I grew up with the Bullets, the Colts and the Orioles.

Man, this is a hard town to live in. (Not Washington. The other one. A little bit north.)

Posted by: ajedwardsjr | January 30, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Wizards are bad this year, but it has been much worse, say the early 90's. Then they were bad and had little talent.

There is a lot of youthful upside to this team, largely due to the efforts to EG since he has been here.

The Wizards are playing without their best offensive player (Arenas) and their best defensive players (Haywood, Stevenson). Not many teams would be very good under similar circumstances.

I have been a Wizard/Bullet fan since the 70's and plan to remain one.


Posted by: cannontl | January 30, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It's probably just a case of TMI - too much information.

Posted by: charley42 | January 30, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Just tune in and we're down big time. Every game I keep telling myself we aren't that bad. Are we really the worst team in the NBA?

Posted by: demonj21 | January 30, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

In fact, it is happening. The Pistons this season, at the behest of president Joe Dumars, are about retooling on the fly and serving the youthful likes of Stuckey, Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo and Jason Maxiell. Those are rookie coach Michael Curry's marching orders and that's why Curry is the man calling the cadence. Fans of the Pistons are spoiled, of course, but they're wasting their breath clamoring for Curry to go. Team insiders say Curry has Dumars' full support. So count on the new coach to remain the one nudging along the young guys, no matter how many rookie mistakes -- overloading players with info and adjustments -- Curry makes or how often the veterans feel they could run on autopilot.

This paragraph shows why the Wizards will always be losers until they get a new owner.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 30, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

McGee made three silly mistakes - and he still played twice as well as Songolia.

When the youngsters starting replacing the cherished vets, the mo changed to the Wiz.

It's hard to fathom what Tapscott is thinking, assuming that he has the ability to think (although even that seems questionable at this point).

Posted by: Izman | January 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"Shut up Steve..."


Posted by: yukiwith2us | January 30, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Positives: the play of Crittenton and McGuire. Who says the young guys aren't developing?

Posted by: cannontl | January 30, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Did not watch the game but here is the stat...

D. Stevenson 23:29 0-6 0-4 1-2 1 point

Why is this guy playing?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 30, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

A while back Arenas told you that he planned on playing in Summer League this year. Do you know if he is eligible to play in summer league, and if he does indeed still plan to play in summer league?
Thanks Ivan

Posted by: emmet1 | January 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Crittenton's +/- for this game was +10. He has been looking better and better. I would suggest starting Crittenton at the point for a while and letting James sit and see how that works out.

Posted by: cannontl | January 30, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

13 minutes for McGee, 25 seconds for Pecherov.

Yeah, Groundhog Day may be Monday, but for Wizards fans, every day is Groundhog Day.

It's pretty clear (hell, I think) that the Wizards know that Pecherov simply can't play.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I loved how in the closing minutes, while the game was likely over but the Wiz were making a run...Tapscott puts Mike ames in for Crittendon. Like the Wiz couldnt make the run without his 2 point effort.

And again, while the game was pretty much over in the final minute or two, McGuire stole the ball and got it ahead to Caron Butler, who proceeded to force a 1-on-2 runner and didnt even get a good shot.

That selfish play summed up Caron Butler for me. What has happened to him?

Tapscott really, really, has to go.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 30, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse the coach states after the game, "We have to share the ball, can't just stand there and dribble and shoot, need to share the ball"...just who is he referring to? Certainly not the youngins, but who?
The illustrious coach was also asked if he was considering starting JC next game, just because he played the best 20 minutes at point guard this team has seen in 10 years.

The coach says, "why change things, he gave us good energy coming off the bench"..Mr Coach also said he likes the way we are now!
He also said we can not continue to start the games in the hole...15 points down in the 1st quarter is a lot to overcome.

The same coach said "why change", when NY was on fire and carrying the team 2 weeks ago. He instead proceeded to cut NY's time to fill in, and the magic has disappeared.

With 24 seconds to go in tonights game, down by 8-10, he puts in AP, JM and JC, huh?
DS in his welcome back game, put up a remarkable 0 points in 24 freakin minutes, put up brick after brick, but did have 4 assists when he couldn't wait to get rid of the ball. He consistently was left flat footed on D, per usual.

Does Etap have a clue. I mean he is suppposed to be smart, yes?
He was player development before his promotion(?), was he not?

This is beyond scary, this coach is either on the verge of a nervous breakdown, or is way way over his head, or he is Chauncey the gardener from "Being There", ala Peter Sellers , reincarnate.

He likes where we are, why change..I think we should send him to where he belongs, perhaps that will be change he can believe in.

Posted by: maxman2162 | January 30, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

However embarrassing it is to fire an interim coach, having this buffoon coach another game is infinitely more embarrassing.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 30, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I can understand not wanting to start Crittenton yet. Let him continue to come in off the bench and build up his minutes and experience.

It's the minutes, not whether they start that matters at this point.

If there is a point.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 30, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

wow great lineup again. This would be a very big lineup...if this was 1955. 3 guys "listed" at 6'9 and then Butler and James. This is just brutal. Will the league investigate the Wizards for making a more than obvious attempt to tank games.

Also, i find it pretty ridiculous to continue to hear butler and Jamison complain about the young guys and blame them for a lot of the mistakes being made. Pretty sure Caron has been a turnover machine this season and has completely disappeared in many games and Jamison continues to prove you can't teach an old dog new tricks--or how to play defense.

3 centers out, Arenas out, a completely ineffective Stevenson, no head coach and the WORST record in the league and the young guys STILL don't get playing time? There couldn't be a better scenario for getting these guys minutes.

No one will know what McGee can do because his minutes are less than sparse, he often plays with only 2nd team players against the other team's garbage unit, and when he does play with the regulars, he looks completely ignored by them. Nick Young is a streaky shooter who gets no minutes anymore. How can he perform in 5 minute bursts?

This team is just ruining their confidence if they haven't already. Sad, sad season continues...

Posted by: superwilks | January 30, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BulletsFever | January 30, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

This organization's management is in the tank, and the club has flat-lined. It's not about the players, it's really about the losing culture. I was critical of Eddie Jordan's coaching before but Tapscott is pitiful, woeful!! For all of those who speak so highly of Eddie Grunfeld, I've given him the benefit of the doubt and I have to wonder what's he doing to make this club a winner--from what can be seen, NOTHING. If this is what Abe Pollin is selling, it won't be too long before nobody's buying. If you're content to lose, why sit your top draft pick on the bench. It won't be long before he (J. mcgee) is contributing to the winning record of another team. Pitiful!! They're not worth tracking.

Posted by: zbopjazz | January 30, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse


This is what I just read about the Pistons...

The Pistons this season, at the behest of president Joe Dumars, are about retooling on the fly and serving the youthful likes of Stuckey, Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo and Jason Maxiell. Those are rookie coach Michael Curry's marching orders and that's why Curry is the man calling the cadence.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 30, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Either Tapscott is one of the worst coaches every to coach, or he's just playing the fool so we can get the #1 lottery pick.

There's no way to explain Songaila getting so many minutes and JM, Pesh, and Nick Young getting no run in the game.

Also, I think we can expect to continue this when he plays Stevenson 25 minutes while shooting 0-6, despite Nick Young going off a few weeks ago.

This guy either is most foolish coach ever, or he's just playing a fool so we can be assured of the #1 pick next year, there's no other rational explanation.

Posted by: insanity999 | January 30, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

insanity999, I think the Wiz are losing on purpose because I find it hard to believe they are as bad as they seem. Having said that, The Wiz may not get the #1 pick overall but having to draft anywhere from 1 to 3 give us a great opportunity to rid some of our high pricing players. I think we'll be back at the top 5 next year, all pending on payers staying healthy along with a new coach.

Posted by: demonj21 | January 30, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Before EJ got canned he said they were losing but didn't have losing habits. Now they are losing and have some serious losing habits. Need to have Tapscott removed from coaching. Hire somebody - anybody!!!

Posted by: t-train | January 30, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

if you think about it, does it even matter if the Wiz get the number 1 overall pick? that guy will sit on the bench all of next season anyway. bye bye season tix. no one should have to pay for this.

It still makes me laugh that the Wizards sent the ticket holders an email like a day after the payments were due saying Arenas would be out until December so don't worry...hahaha

Posted by: superwilks | January 30, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Our starting center played 32 minutes and grabbed one rebound (but he was off the charts in veteran savvy). Our backup center played 14 minutes and got six rebounds. Explain to me why the one is starting and the one barely gets any PT for a pathetic team? These are questions for which we'll never get the answers, I suspect.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 30, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

well at least deshawn was in mid-season form right off of his injury

Posted by: bford1kb | January 31, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

"...all things are open when a team has its struggles but right now, I like where we are."

Worst record in the NBA.
No player development.
Hostile environment for rookies.
Fans steamed - not about W-L - but lack of player development.
Overplaying best players (risking injury for next year).
Aging and underperforming vets - James, Stevenson, Dixon, Songolia, Thomas

What exactly does Taps like? What is he trying to accomplish?

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

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