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Nets 115, Wizards 88

It was a game for nearly a half and then the Nets ripped off a 25-2 run that spanned the second and third quarters and that was that. The Nets shot better than 60 percent for the first time since 2003 while the shorthanded Wizards, who played without Caron Butler (flu) shot 42.4 percent.

Once again, the disparity in three-point shooting was striking. The Nets made 12-of-22 while the Wizards made 3-of-18.

Devin Harris (26 points, seven assists) killed the Wizards on the pick-and-roll. (That will be addressed in my game story).

The moment of the night for me came in the fourth quarter when a chant of "E-D-D-I-E J-O-R-D-A-N" went up for a minute or so. It was funny....and sad at the same time, as if Wiz fans really don't know what to do right now. I don't blame them. It's brutal out there.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 4, 2009; 9:57 PM ET
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Next: Pecherov Gets In


Ivan how does it feel to be covering one of the worst teams in the league.Ivan as a beat writer i guess you cover the UP'S and downs of a team. right now this is a down time.

Hang in there Ivan

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | February 4, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Did not watch the game but here are the stats the stand out

AJ 4-20 1-7 1-2 10 pts

While getting out played by the young guys NY 21 pts, OP 13 pts, JM 10 pts

This has to be the worst organization in all of sports. How can they resign Gil without knowing if he ever would come back from his injury? How could they waste 10 mil on AJ who never plays defense and does not know the meaning of team basketball?

Rumor has it Dean Smith has had North Carolina remove all traces of AJ ever playing there.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 4, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The fans don't know what to do? How about the management? They don't seem to know what to do either.

Posted by: artbrodsky | February 4, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about the Wizards anymore????
I for one will stop reading this blog, stop going to games, stop wasting my money and time.
Good night and Good-By
There is no remedy to save this ship that has already sunk.
Too many long term contracts, too many young players that are not "developing," GM makes bad decisions - owner needs to stay out of player signings (see Arenas!!!!)
Can they even sign a first round first pick - if they get it - with the cap space they don't have?
EG: "great Job"

Posted by: johnbear1 | February 4, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Fairweather out today...cheer up it will get better with health, just like lots of teams...the youth will get better...stay up

Posted by: BurgwithaU | February 4, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"The moment of the night for me came in the fourth quarter when a chant of "E-D-D-I-E J-O-R-D-A-N" went up for a minute or so. It was funny...."

Yeah, it was funny, guess those fans want Wiz to win only 10% of the game and ensure most ping pong balls in the draft!

Not that I am a fan of Tapscott, but he is just an "interim coach" anyway. Just hope Wiz can find a good coach next season.

Songaila was dominated by Lopez. When DSong was out there Nets got offensive rebounds, when Pech and/or McGee were out there, Wiz got offensive rebounds. Sure, both of them are still leaning how to play, while DSong knows how to play. But I think the main job for Tapscott is to teach youngsters how to play, and not worry about W and L. This is the job of an interim coach, who cares how many games you win!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 4, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh BTW, saw Haywood's interview during timeout. Why is it a good thing that Haywood is "below" his playing weight, I think Haywood needs to put on a few pounds (within reason) to hold the center position better.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 4, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

McGee is out of position 30% of the time on D, and he's still better than half of the centers in the league including Songolia.

It would be interesting to have Kevin Garnett on the same team as McGee and Blatche for a week or so. He could impart some learning and intensity in a hurry.

Posted by: Izman | February 4, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight...Coach? Taps, said do not blame this loss on AJ, he wanted no part of that...

Then when asked about NY's performance went into a rant about how he dribbles too much, with nary a positive to state.

PATHEIC is the only word to describe this man's Atap's ability and insight...

I suppose it is a better plan to continue to run MJ out there, watch him wave at his defensive assignment, if you will excuse the expression.

Yes JM is out of position on defense, but so is everyone else on this team.
JM should never be forced to jump out, ever, it continually places at least 2 men every time out of defensive position.

The defensive scheme is the problem. It is time for mano mano in your face defense, with switches so that the bigs to not wind up outside. JM should never be further than 5 feet from the rim on defense, and this is accomplished by switching inside.

Offensively NY is unstoppable. He can do it all offensively, and his defense and ball handling are not bad.

I agree with those who profess an uptempo game is warranted, but only if they play tight man on man D...

Also the +- numbers repeatedly used as evidence on this blog are irrelevant. It all depends on who is on the floor with you. So what if JM is +- 10, if he is on the floor with DSong, MJ, AJ and DS, of course his number will be terrible as will the teams.

It is time for JM to be on the floor, with AP, JC, NY, and either Dsong, CB....

I have no problem with Dsong as a backup 4...he has some shots, sets picks, can play D on a 4, not a 5, and he hustles...

Too much dead weight, DS, ET, BH, MJ, JD...

I also have no problem with AJ....obviously he has no confidence in his teammates other than CB. He and CB are playing indiviual ball right now, more stats than team.
It is inevitable with this situation this team is in now.

I really feel that a 2nd iterim coach is called for now. Atap is beyond clueless...he is coaching as if he is battling for a playoff spot...Duhhhhh!
I know it will be embarrassing for everyone, but what could be worse than continuing this debacle for another 3 months.

Posted by: maxman2162 | February 4, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I like ESPN's report tonight about Gil walking around the locker room with a hotel Don Not Disturb sign around his neck. Mum is the word on Gil it appears. I have never seen anything like it. He must have had a set back. For someone's whose injury was not suppose to be as serious as Amare Stoudeemire, he is going on 2 years of not playing.

Posted by: ptp23 | February 4, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Man..I could hear the Eddie Jordan chant on the TV. I am headed out there for Friday's nationally televised game on ESPN against the Nuggets. Should be ugly.

Posted by: ptp23 | February 4, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Jordan now looks like the greatest coach in NBA history.

Ernie is a very unsmart person.

Posted by: SteveC28 | February 4, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Roger Mason is in the 3pt competition. well deserved.

Posted by: crs-one | February 4, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"Wiz fans really don't know what to do right now. I don't blame them. It's brutal out there."
Ivan, you and Michael Lee are the leaders of the Wizards fanbase right now and if it wasn't for the two of you this season would be unbearable. Thank you for taking it upon yourself to keep us so well informed.

In the first half, McGuire, Songaila(who had zero), and Jamison combined for 3 rebounds. That was the heart of the problem as the Wizards were being outrebounded 30-18 early in the second half. With Pech and McGee in (who combined for 21 pts and 10 rbds in 45 mins), the Wizards held their own in the paint and then in the second half with neither of the two playing, the Nets ran away with it starting off on a quick 9-0 run.

Pech seems unable to hold down the center spot at the moment and needs another true-center in with him to function well (in the second half with Songaila in for McGee, Pech didn't perform nearly as well as he did in the first half with McGee).

There were two groups of players on the court tonight, according to the +/-
A Team:
Pech -4
McGee -6
Critt -7
Young -9

B Team:
McGuire -22
Jamison -24
Songaila -29
James -34

Posted by: emmet1 | February 4, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"Who cares about the Wizards anymore????"

Hang in there, the Wizards will be back next season.
Arenas, Critt
Young, Stevenson
Butler, McGuire
Jamison, Blatche, Pech
Haywood, McGee

We have a good future ahead of us.

Posted by: emmet1 | February 5, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

to all the idiots who used the Memphis game as an "i told you so" regarding the young guys and the McGee vs Songaila mess at center...

Songaila's +/- tonight was -29
McGee's +/- tonight was -6

Songaila played 30 minutes and only got 2 rebounds...and those rebounds came later in the 4th when the deficit had already reached about 30 points. Anyone who still thinks he's a better option at center is insane. Of his 10 points, 6 of them came in what, the first 4 minutes of the game? It's a shame that he's still seeing that many minutes when clearly he doesn't match up against ANY center in this league. I can't think of one area of his game that warrants him to start over McGee. McGee will make mistakes but it's not like he's making as many mistakes as these so called veterans. PATHETIC

Posted by: superwilks | February 5, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"Hang in there, the Wizards will be back next season.
Arenas, Critt
Young, Stevenson
Butler, McGuire
Jamison, Blatche, Pech
Haywood, McGee

We have a good future ahead of us. "

What are you talking about, I'm not excited about that team at all. Gilbert will miss some time next year, after 3 kneee surgeries, you think he'll play 82 games? So then Critt is our PG, and you basically have the same team we have now plus Haywood. Is that anything to get excited about?

Posted by: twigmuffin | February 5, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Never seen an NBA team quit before. I know that Ernie is smart enough to know thats the case and think he doesnt want to ruin the career of his friend Ed Tapscott. Remember, Ernie convinced Tapscott to take this on.

We are now down to being able to stay competitive for a half? At home against one of the worst teams in the NBA?

Something has to be done.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 5, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Great coaching move to get Jamison back in the game at the 10 min mark of the 4th when the lead was cut to 21. He was owning it offensively, and only needed to drop in a half dozen or so 3-balls to get the Wiz back in the game.

Keep grinding the old man when the game is well out of hand; he is gonna break down soon enough.

Posted by: Henchlow | February 5, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you UltimateFootball, but there is a small but vocal minority who are screaming that we do nothing, make no changes, and we'll win a championship next year! It's completely mind-boggling, maybe they want to be invited to Grunfeld's annual press conference when he explains why he didn't make any moves.

Posted by: twigmuffin | February 5, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Agree with HENCHLOW. Same goes for BUTLER. We lose by 10+ with him. We lose by 20+ without him.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse


HAYWOOD - maybe. I'm excited, how about you?

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing that can or should be done about the roster (short of a trade) right now, but it is clear that the Ed Tapscott experiment is a disaster. Will Grunfeld do the right thing and get rid of his friend?

As for the dumbest thing I have ever heard from a basketball coach on any level..

Tapscott said before the game that his script would be "AJ left, AJ right, AJ up the middle," but Jamison was a non-factor and finished with just 10 points.


Now we know why Antawn was chucking up all those shots...Tapscott told him to!

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 5, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Like ARRINGTON, ARENAS has mostly himself to blame for his predicament.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

OMG! I take it back! Tapscott is getting to the point where he should be committed to a mental institution. He seems to have no understanding of the game of basketball...

"Please don't ascribe any blame to [Jamison]," Tapscott said. "They loaded their entire defensive package to stop him."


Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 5, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Now a quote from Devin Harris...

"It's been a while since I got easy shots at the basket," he said. "It's been a struggle. I'm constantly taking contested shots. It's good to finally get a night where I could just kind of control the paint."

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 5, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Get up off SONGAILA. Everybody knows he's no center. Frankly, he very limited at PF. He's an excellent passer, and gets good offensive and defensive positions against certain players. A veteran bench presence is all he's good for, and when given the opportunity, he does it well. Don't blame him for his limitations. Blame management and coaching for not playing McGEE more.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

superwilks: "to all the idiots who used the Memphis game as an "i told you so" regarding the young guys and the McGee vs Songaila mess at center...Songaila's +/- tonight was -29. McGee's +/- tonight was -6"

That's a little like comparing financial statements for Ford and GM.

Songaila's not a real NBA center. Unfortunately, at this point, neither is McGee.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

twigmuffin: there is a small but vocal minority who are screaming that we do nothing, make no changes, and we'll win a championship next year! It's completely mind-boggling,"

Small, but they're not all that vocal, I think. Much louder are the calls for changes, no matter how radical. Even recall somebody suggesting (I think seriously) that Tapscott play the kids a bunch of minutes, and if they don't produce, sit them down for the remainder of the season.


I imagine Grunfeld can think of a hundred moves he'd like to make this offseason -- cuts, trades, free agent signings -- but he won't be able to make them. That's life in the guaranteed world of the NBA. The only things he knows he can accomplish -- a new coach, and a draft pick.

A coaching candidate will get a look at that roster, unfortunately, so we probably won't get the cream of the crop. We may even lose a promising candidate or two over the way Ed Jordan got treated (coaches don't like to see a frat brother get shafted). Now that I think about it, hope Flip Saunders doesn't read this board -- all the vitriol might scare him off. Or maybe he just demands more money.

The draft pick -- well, it's a bunch of balls in a birdcage. We could get lucky. Or not. And even if we did, we could blow the pick. Ask Michael Jordan.

And this year doesn't look as strong as last.

The thing about a new coach is, even if get a really good one for a change, it may be too late to pull us out of the necessity for a major rebuilding effort. It just may be too badly screwed up.

Think Obama. He's got a similar dilemma.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why when Tap saw the 3rd quarter getting out of hand, he didn't go to the squad that held its own in the 2nd. And if you know that the othet team is going to gear up to stop Jamison, doesn't it make sense to run some plays or devise a strategy to get someone else going? We didnt start going to NY until the game was over in the 3rd. What did NY do? He hit about 5 shots in a row...some of them really tough shots. This coach is baffling. Seriously.

In the postgame show, Tap talked about how hard Pech has worked all year and how he's told him to be ready when he gets an opportunity. Well, if that's the case, reward him. When he produces, leave him out there. I know he did most of his damage against the second team but we need to know what he'll do against solid competition. ...And why exactly is Pech guarding small forwards ? This is the second time I've seen that. If you can't ask AJ to do it, why put Pech in that position?

Posted by: original_mark | February 5, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

There's quite a battle shaping up for the worst record in the league.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 5, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

By the way, that comment from Devin Harris, that it had been a long time since he'd been able to control the paint like that... tells us a lot about the Wiz defense. We can talk about relative plus-minus and PER all we want, but truth is, we don't have good defenders on this team.

Maybe why the coaches and players are so fond of Stevenson...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

...which is why our best shot of winning is by running and hoping we can make more shots than they can. Since we don't shoot a lot threes it's doubtful but it gives us our best chance and would at least entertain the fans.

Posted by: original_mark | February 5, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to really believe that the Tank-o-rama has begun.

Tanks for a great season, Tap.

Posted by: original_mark | February 5, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

originalmark: "...which is why our best shot of winning is by running and hoping we can make more shots than they can. Since we don't shoot a lot threes it's doubtful but it gives us our best chance and would at least entertain the fans."

Hmmm? We should run and shoot because we're not very good at it?

Fans are entertained by winning. If you race up and down the court and win some they didn't expect you to win, the fans put up with your weaknesses for a while. If you walk the ball up and run set plays, and win, they do exactly the same thing.

But if you lose where they expected wins, they start calling for your heads.

It's all about the W's, and how many your fan base expects from you.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: dargregmag | February 5, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Nights like this are why some of us have been calling for Ernie to make a move. It's time to play Taps for the Tapps era.

The guy is in over his head and the Vets have quit on him. The stench of losing has over come these guys. Jamison flat out quit last night, after saying he didn't sign on to play the young guys.

Dixon, just joined Arenas, Thomas, Blatche, and Haywood in street clothes. The guys sitting in suits seem to be enjoying things more then the guys on the court.

It's one thing to lose because you don't have the horses. It's another thing when your team quits on you. And I'm afraid that's where the Wiz is....

Posted by: flohrtv | February 5, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The season is a train wreck with, or without firing of Jordan!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 5, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Samson151.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 5, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Jordan wasn't the reason this team is bad, the player's aren't the best in this league. Get rid of Deshawn, ASAP to make room for some talent next season.

Posted by: brooksan | February 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, where IS Ernie Grunfeld. Does he attend these games and if so,any word on how he feels regarding the crowd at Verizon center is now starting to turn on the team. Is there ANY concern on his part as GM and doesn't he realize that this can also translate into poor ticket sales not only this year but next year well??!!??

I just find it odd that he fires EJ after a 1 and 10 start and yet Tapscott who clearly is in way over his head stays. Is his intent to completely tank this team this season????

Posted by: ivyleague | February 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Letting tap take over this team is abhorrent, the resume he had is surely the worst in nba coaching history and what we've gotten from him is no surprise. it's sad that grunfeld decided to give up on the year at 1-10 with tap, there is no other reason for him to have gotten the job than to lose like we have been doing. hope that pick tap is desperately trying to get isn't marred by bad karma.

Posted by: bford1kb | February 5, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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