Wizards 110, Kings 107

The Wizards won this one. I think. I'm not really sure because after nearly blowing a 21-point second half lead with some bad defense and sloppy turnovers, the Wizards probably felt more relief than anything.

"I guess they like drama," interim coach Ed Tapscott said. "Even though it drives me nuts."

MVP(s): Antawn Jamison (33 points) and Caron Butler's 32 points were huge for the Wizards on a night when noone else really had it going. Andray Blatche got off to a great start and hit two big free throws late.

Turning point: After Francisco Garcia capped a two offensive rebound possession with a three-pointer to draw the Kings within one with 3.9 seconds left, Blatche was intentionally fouled after receiving an inbounds pass and then made two free throws. Garcia's rushed three-pointer at the buzzer missed.

Key stats: The Wizards finished with a 47-31 rebounding edge. Seven of the team's nine wins have come in games when they have finished with more rebounds.

-The Wizards (9-32) are the halfway point of their season.

-Rookie JaVale McGee got some run tonight and finished with one point, six rebounds and a turnover in 11 minutes.

-MIke James played heavy minutes because Javaris Crittenton had some rough first half possessions and really appeared to frustrate his coach. Tapscott had several deep conversations with the second-year point guard.

-Jamison hit one of his biggest shots of the season when he drove around Shelden Williams and flipped in a layup, giving the Wiz a four point lead with 43.2 seconds left.

By Ivan Carter |  January 22, 2009; 1:22 AM ET
Previous: Wizards (8-32) at Kings (10-32) | Next: Cheer or Jeer?


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" Key stats: The Wizards finished with a 47-31 rebounding edge. Seven of the team's nine wins have come in games when they have finished with more rebounds."

True. That's because they're a poor rebounding team by nature. When they can overcome that flaw, it really helps them. When they get way behind in the board count, it's almost impossible for them to beat anybody.

"-The Wizards (9-32) are the halfway point of their season."

Yeah, this is when we should see the kids play more. The fans will hopefully be less critical of the coach (I might be dreaming on that one) and everyone can read the writing on the wall: it says lottery.

"-Rookie JaVale McGee got some run tonight and finished with one point, six rebounds and a turnover in 11 minutes."

That's actually a promising line for him. He'll eventually be a good scorer, but at the moment he isn't, so it's probably best that he find other ways to contribute while avoiding turnovers.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2009 2:10 AM

If there's such a thing as a bad win, this was it. Giving up a (very) late 3rd quarter 21-pt lead and having to scrape and claw to the final possession to beat the woeful Kings?


Posted by: kalo_rama | January 22, 2009 2:25 AM

Glad the team won but NY and JM got yanked awfully quickly in the 2nd half. McGuire was playing well so I can see leaving him in but AB was off the floor for a long spell in the second half also. I'll take the win but it was pure hell having to wait and see if the Wiz would blow this one at the end...

Posted by: edP2 | January 22, 2009 2:37 AM

Like others have said, plenty of negatives in this loss.

I had the Sacramento feed and the Kings announcers were gushing over Blatche. While I am no longer shocked to see Songaila at the 5 in the 4th, when Blatche finally came back in at the 4-5 minute mark, the Kings broadcast team mentioned that they couldnt believe Blatche wasnt back on the floor earlier. At least he got back on the floor...

The idea that the young players mistakes keep the team from winning games is ridiculous. Caron Butler almost cost the Wizards the win TWICE in the last minute when he SELFISHLY took a very contested drive rather than dish off to a wide wide open Blatche for a dunk. The Kings got their 3 pointer to get back in the game off that one. Then Butlers stupid foul put Salmons on the line with the clock stopped.

No rookie will make mistakes worse than those.

It is simply bad basketball, a bad precedent, and bad habits to continue letting Caron and Antawn play selfishly on offense and not bother trying on defense.

When Songaila goes in at the 5, the secret is out, teams go RIGHT DOWN THE LANE. And it works for them. McGee had 6 rebs and altered a handful of shots while he was in there.

Why cant we see McGee and Blatche together? And I am drooling at the prospect of a Haywood/Blatche/McGuire defensive frontcourt. That is a tough group to score on. Well, if the Wiz have a coach smart enough to use it...

McGuire was awesome. Blatche simply dominated early. It shows what some consistant playing time and experience will do for a young player.

Speaking of which, 11 minutes for Nick Young is criminal. So is 11 minutes for McGee.

The Kings are a bad bad team right now, so winning this game is no big deal. We wont beat any real teams with Caron and Antawn hogging the ball and taking bad shots.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 22, 2009 4:30 AM

Its not that Caron is even taking a ton of bad shots, what's killing me is he cant seem to finish around the hoop anymore. I think i counted 3 missed layups n the 4th. Mcgee's minutes were very effective tonight and I think he benefits from playing with Mike James, our best ball handler. Andre finally got minutes in the 4th. He may be prone to picking up fouls but hes got to earn his respect out there with the refs. He is playing center and he has to be allowed to make a little contact. Blatche is getting better and more consistent week to week and I hope he can secure more 4th quarter minutes at the 5.

Posted by: AWizinLA | January 22, 2009 5:51 AM

Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding. Songaaila at the 5 has to be one of the worst rbounding centers in the league.

That's at the crux of what some of us have been saying for years. Wizards coaches can't keep complaining about getting out rebounded going down stretch while they have their rebounders glued to the bench.

Give TALL ball a chance! McGee, Blatche, McGuire, Young and Critt deserve some run together.

Posted by: flohrtv | January 22, 2009 7:46 AM


I got the Sac feed too bc I watch on the NBA package. The quote was "I was beginning to wonder" when Blatche was going to be put back in the game. Perhaps, your bias is showing up in your misquote.

Yeah, Butler made mistakes, but none of the rookies you speak of would have a line of 33 pts, 7 rbds, 5 asts. So, stop with all the play the rookies at any cost mantra! It's plain stupid.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 22, 2009 8:41 AM

If you watch games via other teams feeds it's really interesting to hear what they have to say about the Wizards. The fact that Tapps isn't playing the young talent in an otherwise lost season amazes these guys.

Most of these guys have a lot higher opinion of Blatche then some of our resident experts on this site. The first time that McGee went up on a TNT game Reggie Miller just went whoa! Oh my the kid's got hops!

A lot of announcers really like McGuire and his all around game. And everybody gushes over Young's offensive game.

Posted by: flohrtv | January 22, 2009 8:50 AM

In regards to yesterdays argument, RE: BTH & the lack of defense (Wizards Woes):

Jones-Y, Larry, CRS, and anyone else who thinks BTH would have been a factor this year: I got news for you, and my name isn’t Wolf Blitzer. OK, many of you point to stats, saying stats don’t mean much, and say that I’m manipulating stats. Well 5 rebs and 5.9 rebs is not a substantial difference. Stats mean a lot in this league, as a matter of fact, stats mean almost everything. You don’t see NBA champs giving up 103ppg, period. And that’s a stat. You don’t see too many starting centers averaging 7 & 5.9 over a 8 year career. BTH dwarfs everyone else on the court most of the time. And it just BOGGLES my mind that you people can actually sit here with a straight face (I assume), and say BTH is one of the main reasons the Wizards are a bottom feeder. That is laughable. If Boston lost Kendrick Perkins, would they be a bottom feeder? Hell, if the Spurs lost Timmy, would they be a bottom feeder? No. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, good teams (supposed playoff teams) make up for the loss of a 7 & 5.9 center. Period. And some refute the argument by saying he was only averaging 20 mpg, and he finally got his just due last season (regarding playing time). So he got more minutes last year, and he had a career year, OK I agree with that. BUT, let I remind you that when he was only getting 20 mpg, he was sharing time with Etan, who essentially averaged better #’s than BTH in the same amount of minutes, look it up. That is why Etan was rewarded with the payday. The ONLY reason BTH averaged 10 & 7 last year, was because Etan had heart surgery. I guarantee if the roles were reversed, Etan would have averaged the same stats, if not better, in the allotted minutes. Fact is, 10 & 7 being a career year for a 7 footer who weighs 265 (who is a 7 year vet) is PATHETIC! And don’t try to tell me about his defensive presence, our defense was absolutely horrid the past few seasons. We experienced success by SCORING. This year, we simply are not scoring. Combine that with the fact that we still have a horrid defense, and that gives you a bottom feeder.

Posted by: cj658 | January 22, 2009 8:51 AM

When Songaila goes in at the 5, the secret is out, teams go RIGHT DOWN THE LANE. And it works for them. McGee had 6 rebs and altered a handful of shots while he was in there.

Truer words were never spoken.

stop with all the play the rookies at any cost mantra! It's plain stupid.

Explain this comment, rphilli. The playoffs aren't happening. What's the point of playing the vets all theses extended minutes? We're rebuilding, plain and simple. We're looking toward next year, and the next, and the next after that. Why not play them, get them experience, so they can be key contributors?

McGee didn't play like a rookie last night. He was a defensive force. We have no idea of Pech can play, because he can't get on the court. Young's minutes continue to fluctuate wildly, as do Crittenton's. What goal is served by keeping them glued to the bench?

Sorry, but winning is no longer a priority. The first goal of a team is to make the playoffs. The Wiz won't reach that goal. The next goal, when that isn't attained, is to improve. We know what the vets bring. Improvement will come by getting the kids on the floor, with consistent minutes, and letting them play through mistakes.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 22, 2009 8:58 AM

I'm not advocating this line-up, but

Crit, Young, Butler, Jamison, Center

have been on the floor 9 times together this year and they have outscored their opponents on every occasion.

Taps can try to destroy the confidence of the youngsters, but those are the facts.

Posted by: Izman | January 22, 2009 9:37 AM

How many minutes did Butler play last night? I'm sure he was worn out and if he and Jamison hadn't played as well as they did then you can rack up loss no.33 which will probably be tonite against the Lakers losing Brendan has been huge but obviously Gilby not playing is even bigger,now here this; word on the street is that Taps might be back next year because of the economy and the fact that they had to pay off EJ's contract(8 mil.yeah that was smart of EG).I mean is that crazy or what? hopefully that's just a rumour say it ain't so.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 22, 2009 9:39 AM

Kalo_rama, there's no such thing as a bad win when you're 9-32.

Posted by: rbpalmer | January 22, 2009 9:41 AM

If you choke at the end of games but still hang on for the win, that's drama. If you choke at the end of games and lose, you just suck. The wizards suck. Hopefully next year will be different. In Gil we trust.

Posted by: Matte | January 22, 2009 9:47 AM

I agree with cj above re BH, he is a pedestrian center at best.
I love the posts that tout the virtues of BH. The defense was horrid with him and without him. He has no "hops", bad hands, and does not hustle but for short and infrequent moments in a game. He is a big zero, when compared to any other teams centers.
Taps is also a waste.
I heard him interviewed during NY's tremendous offensive run last week. He in effect said "why change NY's status when it is going well". Duhhhh you change when you are still losing...and unbelievably, with him playing well, he proceeded to cut his court time...what 12 minutes last night.
Also the reason we lose all of the 4th quarter games, is because, as has been stated redundantly here, CB is still trying to prove himself the "finisher" ala Arenas, though woefully at best.
CB hogs the ball, and will only relinquish to AJ in the 4th. Even though sharing the ball is what got them a lead.
The other team picks up defensive intensity, which means others are open, but instead it continually becomes AJ, CB and DS time...beyond pathetic....and what more can be said of "small ball"...do the coaches have a brain?

Posted by: maxman2162 | January 22, 2009 10:03 AM

Maxman, well said. The vets on this team need to held accountable. They are getting the bulk of the minutes. And for all those who though CB is/was a franchise player, he is proving his worth now. He is a good # 3 option at best, who can average 20ppg on subpar teams, when he has others to take the attention on him. He has been the model of inconsistency. His 20ppg is the most inconsistent in the L. I can count on two hands how many times he has scored in the single digits and played nearly 40 mins. If NY were to score 9 points in 40 mins, he would never even get a chance to redeem himself. As for BTH, the comments harping on how important he is, these are the same people eho were calling him Brenda 2 years ago. Most of the bloggers are just looking for a scapegoat for the Wiz bad season, and he is the logical choice.

Posted by: cj658 | January 22, 2009 10:21 AM

Caron Butler almost cost the Wizards the win TWICE in the last minute when he SELFISHLY took a very contested drive rather than dish off to a wide wide open Blatche for a dunk.


Except Blatche doesn't dunk.

Posted by: crs-one | January 22, 2009 10:25 AM

cj. you miss the point.

i clearly said i recognize that extra rebound per game doesn't negate your point. what i said is that it shows that you are biased, manipulating stats, and thus more concerned about getting worked up about complaining rather than looking at it objectively.

and nobody is disputing that his numbers historically are subpar. nobody said that 10/7 is enough to put him in the league's elite. nobody said his defense made the wizards a good defensive team.

What is being said is that last year he outperformed his history. So he should be recognized as a solid 10/7 center instead of focusing on his past like you insist.

We say everyone wants an all star center, which haywood is not. but in the absence of an all star center, having two all stars anchored by a solid-not-spectacular center will do just fine.

We're saying that our defense was bad last year, but this year is even worse. losing a solid-not-spectacular interior presence contributes to that.

Yes, when the celtics lose perkins or if the spurs lost tim duncan (their starting PF, not center), they have the depth to make up for it. We don't. which makes the loss of a solid starting center more egregious.

Nobody is saying losing haywood is the only source of our problems. but it would definitely help if we had him. you're arguing only the points you want to argue, putting words in our mouths and not actually addressing the specifics we're raising.

Posted by: crs-one | January 22, 2009 10:50 AM

crs...nice points, not much of an aguement that we are better with BH than without, but that is not the arguement that many are making. They are justifying the collapse on the loss of BH, which we all know to be absurd.

Even with GA and BH this was only a playoff team, because of the weakness of the conference.

One and out was the rule.

Now the conference is stronger from top to bottom (Wiz).

We need so much more than just BH, we need a coach that will allow youngins to floursih, and coordinate their time with the vets. Someone to implement an offense that maximizes the talents of the players on the floor. A defensive insistent coach, that will sit players that do not apply themselves to the defensive commitments required.

Watch the better coaches, fuse the rooks with vets to optimize their confidence and skills.
Also they have schemes and plays to run in crunch time, as well as increased defensive plans to shut down the opposition in "crunch time". Does this sound like anyone we have/had?

Is there any doubt that a competent coach would be getting better results with these players available, and be actually building a team for the future?

Posted by: maxman2162 | January 22, 2009 11:08 AM

So if NY isn't scoring at a 70% rate, he gets 10 minutes a game? It's not like James is lighting up the scoreboard. Young has reason to complain about his inconsistent playing time . . . although the fact that he's a bad defender, rebounder, and passer doesn't help his cause. At least showcase him for a while so the Wiz can trade him.

Posted by: dwarren12 | January 22, 2009 11:08 AM

Pradamaster over at BulletsForever pointed us to this article before the game against Sacramento last night.
In the article, Jamison, Tapscott, and James express their refusal to give up on the season and start favoring the young players over veterans in the distribution of minutes.
Is this what you are finding? And what is your reaction to this plan.

Thanks Ivan

Posted by: emmet1 | January 22, 2009 11:39 AM

For those fixated on salvation from Brendan, Blatche is already a top 13 center:


Last year, Brendan cracked the top 20 centers in the league.

Blatches PER stats are even higher when you just track his time at center.

Net, net: Brendan is not the salvation.

Posted by: Izman | January 22, 2009 12:29 PM

Interesting story from the Times.

The obvious follow-up question is what benefit is it to the team to let the vets play a dominant portion of the minutes (other than to comfort their egos)? If Taps thinks he can win more games with the vets (which doesn't seem to be the case), then what is the benefit of those extra wins?

Posted by: Izman | January 22, 2009 12:33 PM

I didn't realize that the Kings were so bad. Another pathetic 4th Q by the Wizzies.
At least they scored more than 18.

Javale plays with energy. Sure he makes mistakes but his effort is there. He needs to be on the floor much more.

Same with Blatche.

I do not understand how Pech & Dixon don't even get off the bench.

Kings make 12 of 23 3pointers the Wizzies make 2 of 10. What's wrong with this picture?

Mike J. was a smart move by EG.

Young 10 minutes?????

AJ & CB 40+ minutes/game? How much more of this can they take?? Wizzies are 9-32. There's nothing to play for.

Season's over.

Look to the future.

Posted by: VBFan | January 22, 2009 12:38 PM

Looks like same old same old stuff with that future Hall of Fame coach we have. CB, AJ and Song. are running the team and the rotations, not Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott.

I saw the first half and really liked how Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott called his rotations. I fell asleep at half and woke up to see the last 2 minutes of the game.

After reading the posts it looked like he yanked McGee and Young out again and OPEC got no run. Wow.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 22, 2009 1:04 PM

"Except Blatche doesn't dunk."


Posted by: kalo_rama | January 22, 2009 3:38 PM

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