Wizards (7-25) at Magic (26-8), Lineup Change

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

Magic: Jameer Nelson, Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard.

Refs: Steve Javie, Mark Lindsay, Jason Phillips.

Line: Magic by 12.5.

Notables: Songaila replaces Andray Blatche at center in the starting lineup tonight after Blatche had started the last 10 games. Blatche is healthy but when asked the reason for the move, interim coach Ed Tapscott called it a "team matter."
I did a little asking around after Tapscott let us know about an hour before tip but wasn't able to find out what exactly "team matter" means but I hear that it's related to the way Blatche reacted after coming out of the game on Sunday against Cleveland.

-The Magic has beaten the Wizards twice this season by a combined 40 points...In those two games Dwight Howard has averaged 28.5 points and 15 rebounds. If you remember, Songaila actually did a pretty solid defensive job against Howard on Thanksgiving night.

-The Wizards have all kinds of matchup issues in this one starting with Songaila against Howard. With Jamison on Lewis, that leaves McGuire to chase Turkoglu around and through screens.

-Courtney Lee gets the start over Bogans, the DeMatha product. Mickael Pietrus and his 11.7 points per game average remains out with a fractured right wrist.

-Chatted with DeShawn Stevenson a little before the game. He remains out with the lower back problem and said it continues to be an issue. He told me that he's going to get a shot tomorrow with hopes that it will loosen up the muscles around a nerve in the back and allow him to function without pain shooting down his left leg.

By Ivan Carter |  January 6, 2009; 5:06 PM ET
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I am tired of people ripping Songaila on this board, Jamison would have never been open for that game winner if Songaila hadn't set a good screen, Blatche would have let his man run right through him probably.

Sure the guy is slow and can't jump, but he and D-mac are the only garbage men on the team, and you need guys like that.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 6, 2009 6:44 PM

It's official. Tap has to go. For every good screen or loose ball or deflection that Songaila makes, he gives up a rebound or two. I'd think that Tap would appreciate AB not wanting to come out of a game. Reprimand him by not starting him but putting Songaila in there against Howard is just stupid and counterproductive. Etan should get the start since Jm would probably not fare well at all. Etan would get abused, too but he's at least able to do other things that Songaila can't. He'll at least challenge other players that waltz down the lane for layups.

sheesh. It's really hard to root for this team.

Posted by: original_mark | January 6, 2009 6:55 PM

Oh my. The Magic are starting a rookie. Have they given up on making the playoffs?

Posted by: Izman | January 6, 2009 7:06 PM

Etan Thomas comes in before Blatche? Why must every coach keep dogging Blatche?

I am all for discipline, but Blatche has been playing hard and playing well for a handful of games now.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 7:29 PM

@original_mark: I might agree with you if Blatche doesn't get a lot of minutes tonight. I didn't watch the Cleveland game but I can't find fault with a coach not starting a player for "team matter". If the punishment is strictly limited to AB not starting, I don't think that hurts the team.

Posted by: tundey | January 6, 2009 7:29 PM

What kind of "coach" keeps his best center option on the bench just because he expressed passion in wanting to play vs. the best team in the NBA?!

Tapscott is a bourgie, over-sensitive, pseudo-intellectual GUMP that HAS TO GO. I'm tired of his over analytical assessment of "how" the game is supposed to be played.

Blatche should be starting vs. D. Howard. PERIOD. For 2 reasons... he's their best defensive option and he's their best offensive option against him. He gets in foul trouble, that's another story. But to put him on the bench because you're "sensitive" to his passion for the game is ridiculous.

Maybe by the All Star break, the Wiz will get a REAL coach... because this one SUCKS.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 7:37 PM

Blatche looks like a whipped dog out there, and while there is no excuse for that, it appears that Taps coaching technique did not produce the desired outcome.

But why is this a surprise? Havent we seen for years that Blatche doesnt know how to respond to being put in the doghouse?

Give him minutes and confidence and he plays well. And Tap has been around and should know that.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 7:43 PM

A team matter. Got to be more than him not wanting to come out of the game.

In any event, lets hope AB not starting is the end of it.

On the other, I guess they all better be smiling when they come out the games know. I wonder what Javale did. Is he still on the team? I ain't seem much of him in a while.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 7:43 PM

Dee Brown >> Crittendon

Crittendon is terrible. A PG with no shot, cant finish and no basketball IQ. Pecherov might still have a chance but Crittendon looks like an EG whiff to me.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 7:50 PM

I think ETaps should have taken issue with that foul on Blatche. The Majic are mugging them and Taps needs to stand up for his Team.

Even Eddie new how to do that when required.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 7:51 PM

Oh, and for the record, I have no problem with Songalia... he's a hard nosed player with a decent short range game. He just shouldn't be starting.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 7:56 PM

Good analysis UltimateFootballNetwork... you're 100% correct.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 7:59 PM

Taps left the team back home. No one bothered to show up.

Anyway, we weren't going to win in Orlando. Why screw around with everybody's head? McGee will probably play the last 50 seconds when we're down 30.

What are this team's objectives? Is developing the talent to go more than one round on the list?

Posted by: Izman | January 6, 2009 8:14 PM

I can tell by the way JC is playing that he does not have the green light to push the ball up the floor which is a natural strength for him.

They have to force the action offensively. ETaps' knowledge of offensive flow is atrocious. And he continues to make decisions based upon mistakes that really mean nothing to actual success of the game.

There offense has no flow, because he has them trying to set every play.

Even if you play well from the set, you're only going to score about 75 points a game.

ETaps has them playing to their own weakness.

If you play from the set all game long, you got to have the best defense in the whole damn league to win any games.

Doesn't he know that even though basketball is an organized team sport, that spontaneity is still and always has been a major facet of the game.

Spontaneity is what make great players great, great teams great, and great coaches great. Coaches that think they know how the game is supposed to go on the floor will always be boring, stymie player development, and always lose.

Six points in the 2nd quarter. The Majic's defense ain't that good. That comes from offensive ineptitude.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 8:18 PM

UltimatefootballNetwork and Eclectik56,

The reason why JC looks so bad is because ETaps has him running, or shall I say walking the ball up the floor for set plays.

That is not his strength. If Etaps wants to play that way, he should have kept Daniels.

On the other hand if EG made the trade decision, then clearly ETaps is not following orders by playing slow ball.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 8:29 PM

You know there is a famous saying:

"You better be careful what you ask for."

A ton of us asked for a coaching change. We were right in asking and we got it.

But the famouse saying bit us in the rears.

ETaps is worse than EJ, a lot worse.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 8:34 PM

I wish we coud shoot 3s

Posted by: insanity999 | January 6, 2009 8:37 PM


I am not speaking to how they are playing, I am speaking to Crittendons game. He has none of the attributes you want in a point guard. None. He wont be an effective player in any system and its clear why 2 teams have already given up on him.

As for Blatche, he looks miserable. He looks like a guy who is sick of being picked on and isnt motivated. Before he sprained his ankle vs Boston he looked like a motivated budding all-star.

Blatche finally looked like he was breaking out and Tapscott seems to have derailed that.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 8:37 PM

And for what its worth I was also pissed at Tapscott for pulling Blatche vs Cleveland. Blatche was playing great and got benched then too.

The guy cant seem to win so I get his frustration.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 8:43 PM

Blatche definitely doesn't look motivated. You gotta remember, he's a developing young player that needs to be motivated more than criticized. There's no doubt he has skills, but if he feels picked on, he loses his focus. And let's be honest... a 7 - 25 team really isn't in a position to criticize ANY "one" player.

Butler is goin' off tho. As for Crittendon, I haven't seen anything from him yet that's benefitted the Wiz. Nothing. Looks like a wasted trade to me.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 8:45 PM

What Butler did in the 3rd came from his desire, a hot hand, and spontaneity.

Get you team to play this way as a matter of strategy. Setting up every play will always inhibit what Butler just did in the 3rd Q'



Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 8:49 PM

it's funny how some in here are critizing JC, who hasn't gotten any minutes and been able to build his confidence, but those same people talk about how NY, DM, AB, JM need to have their minutes so they can build confidence and learn from their mistakes. This is only JC's second year in the league. Quite a double standard from some of you.

Posted by: jonnyflo14 | January 6, 2009 8:52 PM

I'm not watching the game, but the play-by-play online has gilbert arenas in the game in the 4th quarter. Is this true????

Posted by: dcball | January 6, 2009 8:54 PM

JC has not developed his NBA shot yet. He also has not been given any amount of PT with any of the Teams he's been on.

Don't forget, he only played 1-yr of college ball.

All that been said, if you have checked what little PT he's had so far w/the Wizs, his ball handling and natural instinct to push the ball and pass first are commendable.

He is a keeper.

Ult'FB'Net, his play does look bad tonight, but he is a better, and I think a good prospect.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 9:05 PM

I agree that its silly to bench a guy that has been playing well, especially when he can contribute heavily. But if Blatche is looking like he is "sad faced" or unmotivated because he didn't start, then this guy is obvisouly mentally weak and probably won't last too long in the league on any team.

Blatche has been coddled enough by this team. I mean, when do you stop breast feeding this dude?

If he can't handle not starting (He isn't benched), what else can't he handle.

Grow up, Andray.

Posted by: RedDMV | January 6, 2009 9:05 PM

Nah, Gilbert's not playing. You got some bad data.

I've been watching Crittendon and even when he's in, he does nothing and looks out of sync.

Blatche is again on the bench during crunch time. Another dumb move by Tapscott... the pseudo-intellectual coach.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 9:06 PM

Look peeps... I'm a diehard Pistons fan... born and raised in Detroit... so I've seen it all. And I know when a team isn't being coached right and when players look out of sync and unmotivated.

And that's what the Wiz look like... moreso with Tapscott than with Jordan, the latter I thought was given the shaft too early.

The Wiz players just aren't responding well to Tapscott. Sure Butler and Jamison go off, but they're supposed to; they're bonified All-stars. The key is getting every one else to play at their level.

Because I don't care how good they are, 2 players can't beat 5 ANY day.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 9:12 PM

Check it, with the tremendous play of Butler in the 3rd Q', our offense is hampered by poor philosophy, we are at 71 points w/less than 3 min's in the game.

That's walk the ball up the floor offensive set game plan. That is inept coaching philosophy.

Folks, this ain't college ball, this is the NBA, we got bad NBA teams that score more than that on a regular basis.

ETaps should be Noble and just quit, resign.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 9:16 PM

7-26 now. So now they'll have to win 34 of the last 49 to have a chance at the playoffs.

The Wiz are making it real hard to remain my "2nd" favorite team. Portland is gainin' on 'em.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 9:25 PM


You got some good points, and I agree with them all except for one.

You are dead wrong about JCrit.

I don't know if your analogy is based on just this game or not, but JC hasn't had a chance to drive around the block yet.

He looks Damn good in the driveway and on his street, but until he gets his full chance to go aroung the block, I think your analogy is premature and flawed, much like ETaps coaching philosophy.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 9:28 PM

I missed most of this game b/c it was probably not worth watching, and I was right.

Still can't figure out why Tap didn't throw JaTravel or Juan out there.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 6, 2009 9:29 PM

To LarryInClintonMD:

Yep, you're right... VERY poor coaching philosophy. Butler in the 3rd was fantastic, but he can NOT do it all... and more importantly, he shouldn't have to.

I agree... he's in over his head and doesn't have a clue on how to win with a team with obvious talent.

Also, the Wiz are dead last in 3 pt. defense... and next to last in 3 ptrs. made in the NBA. So you'd think a coach would be smart enough to tighten that up "at least".

That's if he WAS smart enough.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 9:30 PM

This late-game ineptitude is just inexcusable. They can't get the ball in bounds. (Why is Nick Young in-bounding the ball, he's a crappy passer?) Just giving the ball to Caron and allowing him to go one on three is not a strategy. I hate to say this, but Caron's body language at the end of the game was, "I put on a little show so I'm not that upset at the loss." They have no late-game killer instinct. They need plays that assume Caron and AJ will be closely guarded so kick it to somebody who can knock down a shot.

Posted by: jweber1 | January 6, 2009 9:30 PM

This is hard to watch...

Seeing Songaila at the 5 vs Howard makes my skin crawl. Of course we couldnt defend the pick-n-roll down the strectch.

Why is the offensive philosophy to give CB the ball and get out of the way?

Both CB and Antawn are forcing way too much.

If you are going to discipline Blatche (which I disagree with), not starting ET vs Dwight Howard is unforgivable. Mind bogglingly stupid.

@flo, No its not a double standard. The other youngsters have talent and game and need experience to figure out how to use it. Crittendon has no game and no talent.

Andray Blatche was playing ridiculously well for a few games. His minutes went down mysteriously and now he is in the doghouse again. I cannot figure out a viable explanation for this. I am confused ON BEHALF of AB.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 9:32 PM


What do you think Crittendon does well? I see nothing.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 9:34 PM

Did not watch the game but the few stats that jumped out at me were: AJ 39:01 5-17? While Blatche only played 24:55 and had 7 rebounds why wasn’t he playing more? Does the Wizards organization understand making a shot from behind the three point line counts as three points? You don’t win many games win the opponent make as many 3’s as you take Wizards 3 for 11, Magic 10 for 26?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 6, 2009 9:43 PM

Smart coaches know that when a player is playing well. And they KNOW that you DO NOT do ANYthing to disturb his focus or his groove. That was Blatche. He played vs. Yao nagnificiently, was handling Garnett until he twisted his ankle, and was ballin' vs. Cleveland until Tapscott disturbed his groove by benching him for "personal" reasons... which has obviously disturbed AB's groove and focus.

Above ALL things, making those kind of decisions is the TRUE sign of a LOUSY coach who is far too insecure to coach professional ballers... and he needs to go ASAP.

Watching the Wiz as my 2nd fav team behind the Pistons lose game after game is VERY hard... so I KNOW it's beyond that for you diehard Wiz fans.

Posted by: eclectik56 | January 6, 2009 9:48 PM

Smart coaches know that when a player is playing well. And they KNOW that you DO NOT do ANYthing to disturb his focus or his groove. That was Blatche. He played vs. Yao nagnificiently, was handling Garnett until he twisted his ankle, and was ballin' vs. Cleveland until Tapscott disturbed his groove by benching him for "personal" reasons... which has obviously disturbed AB's groove and focus.

Exactly. Baffling.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 6, 2009 10:00 PM

I'm watching ETaps post game interview and he said that they let the first quarter get too fast and they ended getting buried in the 2nd Q'.

That means that ETaps already felt from his pregame analysis that the Wizs could not run with the Majic.



After hearing that, if EG does not pull this guy in and tongue lash him at the least, then BulletsFan78 is totally right about this team.


Where did ETaps get the idea that this team cannot run the ball? He has never tried it.

Guys, Guys, Guys, Everybody, is anybody buying the fact that Ed thinks this Team can't run. Gag me with a maggot, they got buried in the 2nd when they walked the ball up the court every play.

What is ETaps looking at?

Those of you that are familiar with my Blogs know that I am a Run and Gun kind a guy. But this guy, ETaps really believes this team can't run.

Am I reading this wrong.

Hell, Kalo_rama, you must have already new that ETaps did not want to run the ball. No wonder stone cold trashed my prediction that the Wizards had a 'Huge' chance to make the playoffs.

Aww Man, Gag Me Wit A Maggott.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 10:04 PM

Oooooooh! So now Etaps can't coach because he bench's the serial skirt chaser(Blatche) I've told all of you armchair coach's you know nothing about the NBA and how it works, getting playing time is an earned privilege not a right Blatche didn't like comming out of the game Sunday and i can appreciate that attitude and competitive spirit but you and the "coach" work that out behind closed doors not on the bench during the game.For all you critics of Caron, because we don't have a real coach we have no offensive sets and if Caron doesn't take it upon himself to score they lose by twenty,EJ had a playbook full of offensive scheme's which i'm sure Wes.jr and Taps are using but they don't have a good grasp of how to use the personel in the proper situations this is where EJ excelled but your boy Grunfeld didn't think so, yeah! workin out real good for you, huh Ernie?

Posted by: dargregmag | January 6, 2009 10:06 PM

Songaila starting is awful, how do people think he can play center, even comcast's producers were smart enough to not list him as a center in the starting lineups, we officially started three forwards, two of which can guard no one, leaving dom to do all the defensive work. The magic played awful and aside from caron butler catching fire, they smashed us with a very uninspired effort on their part. Jamison had nothing tonight so we lost. caron made it somewhat interesting but still it was just a might as well jack it up, we're awful and aj isn't making anything. Coaching is what you get out of your players and that's virtually non-existent aside from the marked improvement of the d since dom and randy ayers entered the fray, blatche is also a large part of our d improving. Songaila and aj let jameer nelson have two uncontested layups and gave up an offensive board and subsequent 2 points to dwight on the final stretch defensively, blatche needed to be out there, he's our best pf option to play the five. Songaila should never play center... ever. Mcgee, etan and blatche can man 48 minutes at that spot, javale not playing is incompetent coaching, he is a serious shotblocker and has incredible defensive potential right now, he and the team both need him painfully badly, he would allow our players to play in their proper positions for once.

1.pick a guard, not deshawn, right now i'm leaning toward juan 2 caron 3 aj 4 blatche 5 javale
dom sees 30 off the bench and nick gets as close to thirty as possible but never less than twenty

Posted by: bford1kb | January 6, 2009 10:07 PM

Tapscott seems to think of himself as some kind of 'intellectual' and an articulate basketball mind. The way he coaches though makes him seem like an AAU coach. I know Butler got hot in the 3rd but it's ridiculous to me to allow him to shoot fade away 20 foot jumpers EVERY SINGLE TIME down the floor in crunch time. The Wizards esp. AJ and CB love loooooong 2 point jumpers which make no sense to me.

They need to be attacking the rim as much as possible. Also, Mike James got shredded by Jameer Nelson there at the end and there was no help defense...why the hell did we not have McGuire on him in crunch time.

I think Tapscott is way over his head and cant get the fundamentals right much less nuances like putting your best on the ball defender on a penetrator in critical situations of the game.

Posted by: insanity999 | January 6, 2009 10:09 PM

tap is killing the squad, promote randy ayers, he would have gotten the nod he had not had some medical issue, at least i hope he would of, that experience at american is pretty glaring these days

Posted by: bford1kb | January 6, 2009 10:11 PM

I can't imagine being a player on the Wizards during the past several years, especially a young player, including Tapscotts brief stint. This team does not give players defined roles, seems to arbitrarily fluctuate players minutes, and favors vets proven to be underaverage (Thomas, Songaila, Stevenson, James, Dixon, over young talented guys, even when we are 7-25 and the future is all that matters.
The coaches have to quit treating our young guys like dogs and driving them crazy with this rollercoaster ride they have them on, going from starting to 10 mpg to starting to being benched and back to starting. Enough. I think I speak for all Wizards fans that we would rather see our young guys get loads of playing time and win 5 games the rest of the season, than Dixon, James, Songaila, Thomas, and Stevenson play 20 to 30 mpg and play .400 ball the rest of the season. At least the young guys have promise and potential.
and Tapscott better have a damn good reason why McGee sat the whole game, if not $1000 to the person who hits him with a pie.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 6, 2009 10:13 PM

jordan deserved his fate, not the injuries which really got him canned, but the stubborn pride that got him, his tragic flaw, he had burned to many bridges to survive his 1-10

Posted by: bford1kb | January 6, 2009 10:16 PM

I agree tap should understand he's hurting the squad by trying to prove he's the man in charge when really the players in this league have all the power

Posted by: bford1kb | January 6, 2009 10:21 PM

After hearing that, if EG does not pull this guy in and tongue lash him at the least, then BulletsFan78 is totally right about this team.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 10:04 PM

EG put the guy in when he had a losing record as a college coach. Nothing is going to happen to Taps the way things work with the Wizards he might get a contract extension.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 6, 2009 10:25 PM

I got home and only saw the last 3 minutes so i am about to watch this game. But reading these posts tonight got me ticked. Did anybody watch the thanksgiving game? Howard was killing each center that they threw at him till Songalia used his savvy to slow him down. Mcgee, Blatche were in danger of fouling out before halftime. Songalia was put in and things got back to sanity. Now anyone who knows me knows that I hate smallball but that is what worked to some degree and the usage of Songalia tonight was no surprise. in terms of the disciplinary action, we are not inside the locker room and don't know the degree of AB's attitude of insubordination. So to say he should not have made him sit is ridiculous to me.

I am not an apologist for Taps, but I see more heart, more hustle, more competitiveness and better usage of the bench since he started coaching the team. Yes, I know that it was only an injury to DS that got him on the bench. Yes, I know that he still plays too much smallball. But he makes defensive matchups more seriously and we see very little of Jamison at the 5 and despite the record they are still competing.

I do agree that we should run and gun more. Taps said in his radio pre-game interview that one of his goals tonight was to control tempo. So yes, he thinks we shouldn't run. I agree with Larry from Clinton that we would be better if we ran more, especially now that we can rebound and actually get the ball. But I am not sure it would make us so good that playoffs would be possible. Unless Gil and Brenden come back right now we ought to just forget about that. But the talent to me warrents more of a faster pace.

Six points in the quarter? I gotta see how that happened.


Posted by: stanlong23 | January 6, 2009 10:30 PM

If Ed Tapscott is trying to play set up basketball instead of catering to the offensive strength of the team, which is up-tempo basketball, then why should Gilbert even try to come back this season? We can see that there is no way Gilbert will comply to the slow down tempo of the current game played by the Wizards. Bottom line, Tapscott is a clueless, arrogant dictator!

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 6, 2009 10:38 PM

Tapscott spent eight seasons at American, amassing a 109-117 and this is the guy EG hires as the coach? CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 6, 2009 10:38 PM

lets remember deshawn told the coach to pull him from the lineup, that's embarassing

Posted by: bford1kb | January 6, 2009 10:39 PM

And another thing that ETaps said was that this team should learn from their mistakes and go forward.

Let me tell you something and some of yawl already know:

The only thing you gonna learn in the NBA from playing slow ball is 'HOW TO LOSE'.

What does ETaps think that shot clock means?

Why does he think the NBA changed the rules of the game to facilitate offense and scoring the ball?

Why does he think that the NBA markets the Stars of the game and that, home cooking for the Stars and Vets of the game are in Play?

In short, if you Ain't Scoring, you Ain't playing the NBA Game.

The NBA, You, or I, don't want to see no Slow Ball. If you ain't scoring, you ain't gonna win nothing in this League.

The NBA changed the defensive rules of the game because of the Detroit Bad Boys. The NBA wants to see exciting Basketball by its Stars, and scoring. The Bad Boys waylayed teams and the NBA said, No, we are not having that in this League.

It appears that ETaps doesn't know his NBA history like George Bush it appears didn't know history either, (bankrupting the Country).

All slow ball gonna do is teach you 'HOW TO LOSE' and the NBA will ensure it.


What NBA team won a Championship playing slow ball? None, not even the Detroit Bad Boys.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 6, 2009 10:45 PM

Folks, none of you are 6'11". When you are 6'11" like AB, you average 26 points and 16 boards in high school. No one ever yells at you or even critizes your play. You are adored.

So when the young superstars come into the league, for the first time, they play against somebody better than them, and they they get yelled at. They need minutes and good coaching to get better. Most of them do not have the emotional maturity to handle being yelled at.

NBA coaches get paid a lot of money. They ought to know this.

EJ and Taps play each minute as if it's the last minute of their lives, and thus they miss the forest for the twigs.

Posted by: Izman | January 6, 2009 10:46 PM

Gosh, I wonder if Tapscott is keeping Blatche in the same doghouse Jordan used or if he had a new one custom built.

Yeah, right.

Songaila got the start because he matched up better defensively against Howard. And, in fact, he and Thomas did a pretty credible job of putting a body on him and making him work at both ends, at least in the first half. You can't stop Howard, you can only hope to contain him. Blatche simply is not physical or tough enough to contend with Howard (and the few minutes he played him head to head in this game proved only it).

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 7, 2009 12:15 AM

The pace of play always slows down in the playoffs, esp. the Finals.

When was the last time a team won a championship by running and gunning and playing no defense?

I'll save you the trouble of looking it up.


Posted by: kalo_rama | January 7, 2009 12:26 AM

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