Wizards (9-33) at Portland (25-17)

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

Trail Blazers: Sergio Rodriguez, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum.

Refs: Steve Javie, Scott Wall, Zach Zarba.

Line: Portland by 9 1/2.

-A quick word on Portland: if you are ever out here and in need of a good breakfast/brunch spot, go to Mother's on Stark. Trust me.....

-The Wizards have lost three straight here at the Rose Garden (This place and San Antonio are the only NBA arenas where I've never covered a Wiz win).

-When the teams met on Dec. 3 at Verizon Center, Portland erased a nine-point deficit to pull out a 98-92 win. Roy led the way that night with 22 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Jamison scored 22 points to lead the Wizards.

-DeShawn Stevenson, who has missed the last 12 games with a lower back issue, will be in uniform but probably not play according to interim coach Ed Tapscott. Tapscott said he wants to see Stevenson get through a couple of practices first. The problem is that the team hasn't had much time to practice and won't have much time in coming days either. The team won't practice tomorrow after getting back to Washington around six in the morning but will have a shootaround before Monday's game against Phoenix.

-Former Wizard Steve Blake is out for Portland (right shoulder).

-Obviously, no game is easy for the Wizards but these getaway games at the end of a long road trip can be particularly tricky so it will be interesting to see how the Wizards bring it early. The Blazers haven't played since a home loss to Cleveland on Wednesday so they should be very fresh.

-Judging by Tapscott's comments following the loss to the Lakers the other night, it's safe to assume that rookie center JaVale McGee earned himself another chance to play extended minutes. It's a good thing because the Blazers have a huge and athletic front linne with Oden and Aldridge plus Joel Przbilla off the bench.
In the first meeting, McGee posted six points on three-of-seven shooting with seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals in just under 18 minutes. However, he also got into early foul trouble.

By Ivan Carter |  January 24, 2009; 8:07 PM ET
Previous: The Other Side: Portland Trail Blazers | Next: Portland 100, Wizards 87

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-DeShawn Stevenson, who has missed the last 12 games with a lower back issue, will be in uniform but probably not play according to interim coach Ed Tapscott. Tapscott said he wants to see Stevenson get through a couple of practices first. The problem is that the team hasn't had much time to practice and won't have much time in coming days either. The team won't practice tomorrow after getting back to Washington around six in the morning but will have a shootaround before Monday's game against Phoenix.

Oh well. NY can now count on getting 5 to 10 minutes again..... (sigh????) Please answer this question Ivan!!! Why is Stevenson trying to come back?????? It is not like he is a main cog in the engine?

I do not know who Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott loves the most, Songalia or Stevenson. I am really pondering "sitting out some games" again and maybe the rest of the season if I see an overage of minutes given to Stevenson, Songalia, AJ and Caron at the expense of the youngsta's.

Ernie G. you need to talk to your boy, because now this is going to be an issue about the money at the gate for next season too.

The vet's can't do it plus they are BORING to watch. If Gilbert does not come back we can expect more of this next season. In order for fans like ourselves to invest in tickets for the rest of the season and next, we need and want to see McGee and NY get extended minutes for the rest of the season.

This is a weak product with the vet's right now and Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" Tapscott is not going to change unless Ernie G. puts his foot down and on Eddie "The Waterboy Coach" tapscott's throat and make him decrease the vet's minutes (esp. Songalia and Stevenson) and increase the youngsta's minutes.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 24, 2009 10:07 PM

Dude, get a life.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 24, 2009 10:56 PM

So much for getting McGee extended minutes.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 24, 2009 11:03 PM

This is the most pathetic thing I have ever seen.

It took a bad foul putting Butler on the line to beat the LOWEST point total for a Blazers opponent in team history.

This isnt the Lakers and it is still not even a competitive game.

How can a team that scores 31 points in a half not find any time for Nick Young?

I love me some Blatche, but his effort is pathetic. I do not blame him though, since the veteran leaders Antawn and Caron have given up. They should be ashamed of themselves.

First half totals- 12 made FG, 13 turnovers. OMG.

The team may HAVE to fire Tapscott as the team is no longer competitive in the NBA, and that is truly pathetic.

Trail Blazers halftime comments "The Washington Wizards are playing like the Washington Generals...throwing the ball all over the place."

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 24, 2009 11:18 PM

Why don't we be seeing JaTravel vs. Oden?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 24, 2009 11:29 PM

LeMarcus absolutely owning MeTawn early on.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 24, 2009 11:30 PM

I think Les BouleS should petition Stern to allow 6 on 5 to make the games more competitive.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 24, 2009 11:32 PM

Game turning into Maryland vs. Duke part 2.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 24, 2009 11:39 PM

Songaila got dunked on non-stop when Taps put him at C in the third quarter. It was breathtaking to see.

Tapscott has an IQ of about 17. He understands nothing about basketball.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 24, 2009 11:46 PM

I am so glad to see that Young, McGee, Pech, Critt et al. can't get off the bench. We need to keep the vets playing as much as possible. Don't want to affect our winning streak.

I'm going to jump into a Domino's pizza oven.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 24, 2009 11:53 PM

Wow! Can you guys believe it! We were so in the game in the last 5 minutes, down by just 18 points! Gotta give it up to the vets and I hope the young guys were taking notes.

Seriously, it time to fire Etap! For the love of God, DC, LarryinClintonMD, DC_Man, IVAN, Myself, FIRE ETAP! FIRE HIM NOW!!!! The dude is like a roach who serve no purpose on earth. Now I can understand the benching of JM - the guy been pushed around way out of position but you can't just not play him for a whole half, wtf!

Posted by: demonj21 | January 25, 2009 12:33 AM

Nuff said.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 25, 2009 12:44 AM

Point:
"-Judging by Tapscott's comments following the loss to the Lakers the other night, it's safe to assume that rookie center JaVale McGee earned himself another chance to play extended minutes."
Counterpoint:
5:46

Why won't we fire Tapscott? All we need is somebody who's willing to give the young players experience, we don't need a coach who thinks he has any shot at coaching in the NBA, we don't need a coach with an ego.

What the hell was Grunfeld thinking hiring an interim coach with such a humongous ego!!!

Posted by: emmet1 | January 25, 2009 12:47 AM

I've been following the Wizards religiously since 1999, in these ten years Tapscott is tied with Kwame for the most obnoxious hateable member of the organization.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 25, 2009 12:49 AM

I knew McGee was going to be banished to the bench when he did not secure that rebound off of that missed free throw.

McGee also had a bad looking turn around long jumper that was way off. Two mistakes, time to sit "son".....

Wow, his is a rookie. He is going to make mistakes. What is "you know who" expecting? Watching games are no more fun anymore......

Posted by: BulletsFever | January 25, 2009 12:54 AM

Hey add me to the list. I've been on the 'get rid of Tap' boat for a while now. I was asking for Ayers but judging by our defense, he's probably no better. Can't be worse, though.

Posted by: original_mark | January 25, 2009 1:10 AM

Another game another loss.

Tap did lose me this game when AJ and CB were put back into the game in the fourth. The game was clearly over and it was pointless. That should have been McGee, JC time for sure.

What is up with Caron? 9 turnovers? He played as sloppy as possible. Of course he had 31 pts, 10 rebs, but he had no impact on the game really. His sloppiness overshadowed it anyway as it seemed to be contagious with the rest of the team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 25, 2009 1:15 AM

Agree I don't understand why at the end of the game when we are getting blown away and we still have Butler, Jamison, Songaila on the court.

He's not one of the young guys, but it was nice to at least see Dixon get some PT finally.

Am I the only one who always thinks Blatche looks like he's high? Maybe he's not, maybe that's just how he looks?

DeShawn's coming back? Actually that's good... hopefully he and Etan can get back on the court so we can trade them.

I still wish we hadn't fired Eddie Jordan.

As far as next coach, the more I think about Avery Johnson the more I like it. I hope we can get him, and I will be mad if we don't try. Alot of things I like about him... He's young, and has already had the learning experience of being a head coach. He knows the game, and has run a championship team from PG. He was a pg which I think is good for coaching Gil. He appreciates the game, had to work to make it to the league, seen the highs and lows and knows what it takes to win. He coaches an old school style and stresses fundamentals and defense.

I hope we get Blake Griffin. I'm not ready to blow it up. Get the young guys experience this season, get a good draft pick, bring in a good new coach, make 1 good trade (move any combo of Etan, DSong, DeShawn and/or Pecherov), and we should be in good shape and ready to rebound next season IMO with the same core group.

Posted by: Darnell1 | January 25, 2009 1:24 AM

Even if everyone is back healthy next season, the Wiz don't have a shot at contending without a major roster overhaul. They have too many holes in key areas (defense, rebounding, toughness, size)> While they've been working overtime the past 4 years to overcome injuries and not lose ground, the rest of the Eastern conference has passed them by. Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Orlando have all gotten significantly better than they were when the Wiz started their "run" while, even by the best case scenario, the Wiz are essentially the same. Dwayne Wade is healthy again and driving the Heat bus, the Nets have an immediate infusion of talent in Harris and Lopez, and if Philly can figure out how to use Brand, they could be dangerous.

Grunfeld will have some tough decisions to make this summer regarding the direction of this team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 25, 2009 1:36 AM

This one was particularly hard to watch because it was obvious that if we could hold onto the ball we would have a fair chance to put it in the hole.

Sure sign of the team quitting. Or at least certain team members who better have monster years next year to make amends to the fans that had to view the stinking corpse of a product they put out there on the floor tonight...

Posted by: jones-y | January 25, 2009 4:06 AM

Darnell 1,

PLEASE stop with the Avery Johnson talk, he’s NOT needed or wanted here. Superstars in Dallas went to MC and stated if he’s comes back, they want out. He’s a locker room killer. I’m for hiring an assistant from LA like Kurt Rambis (or at least an interview) or one from San Antonio (look at the Cavs, the D is great). Assistant coaches from SOLID teams seem to be doing well; we don’t need to recycle old talent i.e. Sam Mitchell & Avery Johnson. As for a trade (sorry AJ and CB), trade Etan Thomas, D Steve, AJ OR CB in a sign and trade with Phoenix for Amare . He’s going to free agency and we need him. Imagine a starting line up and roster:
1. GA/JC/MJ
2. NY/DM
3. AJ or CB/DM
4. Amare/Javal
5. BH/Pesh
And spot duty for the rookies. With Arena’s and Jamison making soooo much we can’t afford a lottery pick or to make a trade to someone that will make a difference unless we make some moves. AJ is a natural 3 not a 4, but yes put ET back in the background.

Posted by: Gooddad | January 25, 2009 8:14 AM

I love me some Blatche, but his effort is pathetic. I do not blame him though, since the veteran leaders Antawn and Caron have given up.

-----------

it's okay. sometimes it seems like he doesn't blame himself either.

Posted by: crs-one | January 25, 2009 1:37 PM

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