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Spurs 98, Wizards 67

Roger Mason Jr. stuck it to his former team. That's the story of tonight. Roger finished with 25 points on 9 of 15 shooting, made 5 threes and dished out 5 assists.

It was nothing less than embarrassing for an organization that has huge money committed to a few guys who are either injured, can't play well enough to win basketball games or both. That's the brutal truth.

The 67 points were a season low, the Wiz shot 33.3 percent and were completely destroyed defensively as the Spurs created wide open shot after wide open shot.

Mason was the main beneficiary: "I felt good going out there early on and the shots were falling for me," said Mason, who had to get 50 tickets for friends and family. "It feels good to be a part of a championship caliber team. I'm blessed right now."

After the game, Ed Tapscott took far longer than usual to emerge from his office and when he did, he looked as if he'd been kicked in the gut. Imagine how Ernie Grunfeld must have felt. Afterall, he couldn't even consider matching San Antonio's two-year, $7.3 million offer to Mason last summer because it would've put the team in the luxury tax. Then again, the Wiz didn't worry to much about eating more than $8 million when they fired Eddie Jordan.

Tap: "Anything you use to justify a performance like tonight comes out as an excuse. I'm not going to let us make excuses. We had a bad night and didn't play very well."

By Ivan Carter  |  February 21, 2009; 11:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

"It feels good to be a part of a championship caliber team. I'm blessed right now."

Good for you Roger Mason!

"Imagine how Ernie Grunfeld must have felt. Afterall, he couldn't even consider matching San Antonio's two-year, $7.3 million offer to Mason last summer because it would've put the team in the luxury tax."

Stupid is what stupid does!

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 21, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

This game was awful awful awful! I looked up at the scoreboard halfway through the third and realized that only four players had scored (and one of them was Dominic McGuire who had two points) for our team. Zero bench points halfway through the third! Terrible. The players on this team need to get serious about their commitment to winning. I have been a season ticket holder since 2000-2001 and always stick up for our team. Understanding we have our best player and two other starters sidelined with injuries and that the situation we are faced with would cripple most all teams is no excuse for only four players with points halfway through the third period,

Posted by: jonathan30033 | February 22, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

And how does Grunfeld still have a job? Put together this crap roster, and has zero cap flexibilty. Oh, but it was all Eddie Jordan's fault.

Posted by: Roman5 | February 22, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Roman5: "Oh, but it was all Eddie Jordan's fault."

Yep, I bet the only person as happy as Roger Mason on this night was Ed Jordan.

Happy to be gone, that is.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

You know you are a mess if the AP starts out the story on your game like this:

"Oh, the humiliation!"

Good for Eddie Jordan and Roger Mason. I like GP's comments on Mason. Too bad Wiz got so many guys who think they have nothing to prove.

“When somebody makes it who has been picked in the 40s and 50s, who didn't get much respect, it's satisfying,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We purposefully try to find those guys, because they're not full of themselves, and they have something to prove.”

As Ivan said, "You can't fire the players," when Eddie Jordan was fired; but you can sure fire the GM. Grunfeld CANNOT have this job next season.

Posted by: t-train | February 22, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Who is on the shortlist for GM candidates? Time for a change.

We got back to the playoffs and won a series (and threw a party, yikes).

This roster isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: IHateJLC | February 22, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

ernie has to go. are those tee shirts still available?

Posted by: prescrunk | February 22, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Imagine how Ernie Grunfeld must have felt. After all, he couldn't even consider matching San Antonio's two-year, $7.3 million offer to Mason last summer because it would've put the team in the luxury tax.

But then just the other day you wrote...

Ernie: "We have flexibility. You want to be responsible but at the same time, we don't want to give up any assets that can help us as a basketball team."

Which is the truth, is the old man willing to spend what it takes to win a championship or is he too CHEAP!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 22, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

How has Eddie Jordan been vindicated? The team was 1-9 with him. He was replaced by a guy who isn't even an NBA coach and the team has gone 12-34.

That tells me Eddie Jordan brought no value to the team. Sure, our roster is not great, but the real test is what a legitimate NBA coach would accomplish with 2 all-stars.

We may never know the answer, but Eddie Jordan is not off the hook.

As for Mason, Jr., he is a good player and Ernie knows that. It's DeShawn's contract a year earlier that prevented us from re-signing Roger. I'm happy for him and hope to see him hitting big shots deep in the playoffs.

Posted by: read2 | February 22, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

That game was infuriating.


I can't believe we let Mason walk, a fan favorite who was just finding his game, an excellent shooter, can play both guard spots, can handle & pass and plays team ball, and is a good defender. Instead we keep a clown like Stevenson who is below average in every catagory except defense.


I say make Tapscott GM and bring back Eddie to coach.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 22, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

@Roman5 and others,

Get a grip. It was a bad game compounded by poor shooting. But the team remains in a great spot thanks to Grunfeld. No team that has a franchise player and 2 other starters out can be fairly assessed. McGuire and Songaila are terrible starters but great in their ideal bench roles.

Some of you need to understand that while there is no cap flexibility in this offseason, the team is holding valuable assets in expiring contracts next year and the window of opportunity extends 4 years with plenty of cap room to maneuver through the next 3 years.

Sucked seeing Nason stroking it but the only problem is that Mason is playing great and NY is playing terrible. Otherwise things are progressing nicely. All young players struggle with consistency and Tapscott is doing them no favors.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 22, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

I will contend again that we played decently until the end of the 3rd. All the missed open shots, foul shots, layups finally took the fight out of the team at that point.

We were crisp once again pretty much all around until then - the shots just weren't falling.

Songalia outplayed Duncan.

We had 1 turnover in the first half and that occurred with about 30 secs left.

We held our own on the boards.

Yeah, you could say SA had something to do with our shooting percentage, but we missed open shots, foul shots, every kind of shot as well. Mike James continues his streaking shooting.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 22, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

read2: "How has Eddie Jordan been vindicated? The team was 1-9 with him. He was replaced by a guy who isn't even an NBA coach and the team has gone 12-34. That tells me Eddie Jordan brought no value to the team. Sure, our roster is not great, but the real test is what a legitimate NBA coach would accomplish with 2 all-stars. We may never know the answer, but Eddie Jordan is not off the hook."

He hasn't been 'vindicated', actually. He just probably allowed himself some pleasant schadenfreude over the Wiz' struggles last evening. Can you blame him? He's human, too.

But a couple other things you said: "The team was 1-9 with him. He was replaced by a guy who isn't even an NBA coach and the team has gone 12-34. That tells me Eddie Jordan brought no value to the team."

It shouldn't. Jordan only coached the first 12% of the season -- not enough to let us draw solid conclusions about the remainder. If allowed to finish, he could conceivably have reached this point with a better record than Tapscott. We'll never know.

"Sure, our roster is not great, but the real test is what a legitimate NBA coach would accomplish with 2 all-stars."

Sort of a pointless argument -- we have no way of knowing how Flip Saunders or Avery Johnson would have done in his place. We can speculate how Randy Myers (sp?) might have done because he was sitting on the Wiz bench, but those other guys, at this point, are just fantasy figures.

About the two All Stars -- it is surprising they haven't done better, but once again we're in Imagination-Land. Suppose the Wiz had been built around Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, and Garnett had gone down along with the team's only veteran center? Would the other two have done a lot better than the current Wiz? Maybe. Maybe not.

"... Eddie Jordan is not off the hook."

Yes, he is. He was fired. Ernie Grunfeld took care of that. And not even twelve games into the season.

That's the one part we can be absolutely certain of.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

As for all the Mason talk. Jeez, love all the hindsight and spending millions of other people's money especially in this economy. It's easy to kick this team when it's down including EG, Abe whomever. But, I believe we will bounce back quickly next season and be right in the thick of things. If your still sweating everything this season, I don't know what to tell you. I just want a decent focus and crisper quality to our play which has occurred the last few games. Outcomes don't matter much anymore this year.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 22, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Samson, I agree about EJ.

He had a worse losing percentage than Tap does and he did not endure a complete overhaul at the PG position and they were still "in it" at that point so the team attitude was different especially with CB.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 22, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

I hope it's not piling on to remind everybody that Grunfeld fired Eddie Jordan not just because of the record but because of the quality of the team's play -- it was 'unacceptable'.

Wonder how Ernie would describe last night's game...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Winning or losing doesn't matter when you are 14 and out.

Player development does matter. The Net win represented more of a lost opportunity for player development than the loss to the Spurs.

It also matters what players the team tries to develop. What do the Wiz see McGuire developing into? At least Young could score 20 points a game for a second rate team like the Clippers and bring some fans into their arena.

Posted by: Izman | February 22, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

izman: "What do the Wiz see McGuire developing into? At least Young could score 20 points a game for a second rate team like the Clippers and bring some fans into their arena."

Brings up two interesting questions:

1. Is it worth it to develop a supporting player like McGuire, if all he'll ever be is a supporting player? My answer would be yes. Looks to me like he's got a future in the NBA, based on his ability to cover players who are bigger or quicker than he is. Sort of like Roger... no, I don't even want to say the name. McGuire will never shoot 3s like Mason, but Mason will never be able to cover a Carmelo Anthony, either.

2. On Young's scoring: the Clips probably don't need it as much as the Wiz do. If Grunfeld thought Young was ready to score twenty a night or thereabouts (not just from time to time), I'm pretty sure the Wiz would put Caron at SF and Nick at the shooting guard spot, defense or no defense.

The Clips don't look any worse than Washington does, most nights. Isn't this Eric Gordon kid supposed to be having a pretty good season? And there's absolutely nothing wrong with Baron Davis that a return to the Warriors wouldn't fix.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

At the beginning of last year I got ridiculed on this site for suggesting that Roger Mason was a legitimate NBA player.

Roger took the chance to play last year and made the most of it. The judgement here had as much to do with potential playing time as it did the Lux Tax. The Wiz were making roster decisions based on a healthy Arenas, Daniels, and Stephenson and they've got little to nothing from all three.

When Roger was here last year he was playing behind a healthy Daniels and Stephenson. Neither guy had a history of injuries that had cost them significant time. The Wiz also had a rookie first round pick that had shown a lot of promise.

Arenas's awaited return, and Young's development, or lack there of, have been bitter pills for this team. But who had the crystal ball to tell that Stevenson and Daniels would pull up lame?

Ernie recovered quite well as a GM shipping damaged goods to the Hornets and getting James and Crittenton back for a future #1 we were never seeing.

Nick "I could score 20 a night for the Clippers" needs to get serious about his game or he could develop into the next Ricky Davis.

On the subject of McGuire, what could he develop into? A Battier type player, which is the type of "glue guy" that every winner needs. Hope they don't make the same mistake they did with their find in Mason, and they value what they've got.

Sometimes a "hometown guy" that's bounced around gets cast a homer on the roster that's just there to fill space. Good for Mason that he made the most of his opening and parlayed it into a shot to play regularly for a top organization...

Posted by: flohrtv | February 22, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Occurs to me the Clips are actually having a worse season than the Wiz. They've won 13 games and have a healthier roster --- one that includes 'All Star types' like Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Al Saunders, and Marcus Camby, as well as a legit RoY candidate in Gordon.

I feel better already.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for the guys who are still defending EG: can I have some of that stuff you're smoking?

Posted by: shovetheplanet | February 22, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I wish Roger was still ours. He's such a great overall player, Ernie is an idiot. Roger is an awesome person, has great character, PLAYS DEFENSE, hits big shots, and is just a great basketball player. I hate Ernie, why'd you let ROger go?

Posted by: rachel216 | February 22, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

You can blame Arenas as much as EG for letting Roger get away. That "discount" he took did absolutely nothing for he organization.

Now Roger has a chance for a ring and the only ring Arenas is going to see is around that big a$$ pool he bought with Abe Polin's money.

Congrats Roger, we're all very proud of you! :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 22, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld must stay. Remember the Knicks fired Grunfeld halfway through a season after he traded John Starks and Charles Oakley for Latrell Sprewell and Marcus Camby. At the end of that season, the Knicks were in the NBA Finals. They would not have been there without Camby. Ernie knows what he's doing. His plan of a healthy Arenas, Butler and Jamison team will work. The question is can that core stay healthy for a season. If they aren't all healthy next season its probably time to blow it up. But either way, Ernie should stay.

Posted by: jonathan30033 | February 22, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

If I were Abe and read this blog, I would be thrilled that the people in here (I call James Jones Fans) are willing to accept and/or believe anything the owner tells them. They claim 20,000 people wasted their money by going to last night’s game?

There is no way Cheap Abe is ever going to exceed the luxury cap if he can have a season as bad as this one and people still support him financially. He runs this team like the board of directors run GM and the only difference is instead of the government Abe has the fans to bail him out.

He is making a profit without having to make the playoffs, so why should he take a chance (go over the luxury cap) to win a championship? The man has not won a championship in 30 years!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 22, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The same overreaction to one game as usual. If they happen to win five games in a row this year, they will then all of as sudden be the second coming of the Celtics.

EJ basically won last year and he was still criticized on this board a lot for his rotations, playing small ball and other things and now people seem to want him back.

Let's take the best player off the Spurs (we all know who that is) and other players comparable to BH and Stevenson (the way he played last year) and see how it turns out. Let's see what kind of season the Spurs have.

As far as Gilbert winning a ring or not that remains to be seen. I don't see where he is to blame for getting injured and having problems recovering. (You can criticize him not paying defense, but not having the misfortune of getting injured).

Posted by: cannontl | February 22, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

You people have to realize that an excellent role player like MASON has no place in WASHINGTON. We only get or retain the playa's that EG KNOWS fit best in his overall scheme of things.

All I gotta' say ERNIE is you better be right 'cause you'll get nice guy ABE POLLIN run out of town on a rail with you if you're less capable than you think you are.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 22, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Saturday observations:...It was like the Bullets at the old Cap Centre. Half the fans cheering for the other team. How quickly things have changed....The Spurs went around Mike James like a Metro turnstile. He's the worst defender on a horrible defensive team. Offensively, his shot selection is awful, or was last night....Blatche seems to have regressed. Offensively he seems lost. When he puts the ball on the floor to head to the basket, good things don't usually happen...Ditto Nick Young. He seems out of it. Is he overrated? Uncoachable? Or is he the victim of poor coaching?...The Spurs play uber-efficient basketball. Ball movement. Smart players. Commitment to defense. They seemed to have little energy last night, but they're so efficient, their system just ground the lowly Wizards into submission. Ugly, indeed. 

Posted by: WMDHoops | February 22, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

My dream scenario this offseason, but still within reality...


Get the #1 pick... draft Blake Griffin.

Trade Etan, Stevenson, James, Pecherov, 2nd round pick (1st pick in round 2) to Knicks for Hughes and Jeffries. Deal works in trade checker and frees some cap room.

This is the roster we'd be left with... when you look at the ability of some guys to play multiple positions we have great depth at each spot, and can throw all kinds of different looks out there.

C - Haywood, McGee, Blatche, Griffin
PF- Jamison, Griffin, Blatche, Songaila
SF- Butler, Jamison, McGuire, Jeffries
SG - Hughes, Young, Arenas, Dixon, Jeffries
PG - Arenas, Crittenton, Dixon, Hughes


Posted by: Darnell1 | February 22, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

cannontl, that dream of winning every remaining game and going 40-42 died hard last night. This season as a playoff year was done, over, stick a fork in it, when Haywood went down and Daniels showed up gimpy from a summer injury.

On this site we here constant harping about Gil playing at Barry Farms. Never heard a word when it was clear that Daniels buggered his knee playing summer hoops. Antonio can bear to play 5-10 minute spurts on that knee now. That's about all that's left in the tank.

He was a great competitor here, and deserves all the credit in the world for playing heavy minutes and helping will this team to the playoffs last year. But his injury was as big of a killer for this team as Gil's extended recovery.

San Antonio is the model franchise in this league, but how did they get Tim Duncan? For the tragically un-informed, when their star went down, THEY TANKED!

If Daniels and Haywood hadn't have gone down early, I know, Daniels was playing, but it was on one leg. And the 1-11 start hadn't occurred, this season could have been completely different. But without Gil this is a .500 team at best. Way back in Dec. it was tank time.

There was no way Gil was coming back and leading a charge to the playoffs down the stretch. Now it will be good if Gil can just get 10-15 games in to start and shake off the rust. Same with Haywood.

One note about Tappscott, I've beat the drum loudly for his replacement at the Allstar break. There was quite a period that this team seemed as lost as any I've seen in the NBA. The schemes are still a little High Schoolish, but in the last ten games or so the effort, and the execution have been better.

Crittenton and McGuire seem to be grasping what the tema's trying to do and are making the most of their opportunity. There seems to be some development amoung the young guys and the Vets are giving them some respect.

Under the circumstances, that could be the best we can ask for from a guy holding down the job on a temporary basis.

Posted by: flohrtv | February 22, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Blatch was dragging. He is obviously not back in shape. It seemed like Tap kept him in because playing games is the only way he'll get is wind back.

Posted by: cballer | February 22, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good post, flohrtv (the former GM?). At least there are a few on this board who have a little more depth of perception.

Posted by: cannontl | February 22, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Go Cavs!!!

Posted by: popopo | February 22, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Tapscott: "Anything you use to justify a performance like tonight comes out as an excuse. I'm not going to let us make excuses. We had a bad night and didn't play very well."

And there are people here who think the game was close and the Wizards competitive?

When the coach blasts his team in public, you know things were bad.


Posted by: SteveMG | February 22, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Where are the ppl who were saying yesterday that McGuire's play justified his minutes? My point about his inconsistency was validated and underscored last night.
The whole team just stank so let's call this an anomaly. (ignoring our record this year of course).

uuugh

Posted by: original_mark | February 22, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Darnell, If the balls bounce our way, I'd go a different route. Pick Blake and hope OKC is in postion to take Thabeet.

I know Thabeet looked horrible against Blair from Pitt, but he hyper-extended his shoulder in the opening minutes from Blair's takedown(in wrestling Blair would have got points deducted for that move!). I'm looking forward to seeing the rematch at Pitt.

I'd trade Griffin for Thabeet, and one of OKC's other first rounders this year and their 1st pick next year(they'd probably want it top 10 protected). To get Griffin OKC should be willing to pay a steep price. And with the solid young core in place they will be looking to add veteran talent not two more rookies.

The additional picks would allow Ernie to either package expiring contracts(Thomas & James), or other vets that aren't in the long term plans(Stephenson & Songaila), or young players of some value that haven't gained a role(Blatche? Young? Pecherov?)and look for some talent to fill a specific need.

Next year the starting five would still have a familar look. But depending on moves made with the additional picks there would be a young core of Thabeet, Blatche?, McGee, McGuire, Young, and Crittenton developing behind it.

Your Hughes, Jeffries deal works along with that scenario. I'd also suggest, Young & Jeffries along with our 1st rounder next year for, one of my most hated Dukies, Dunlevey.

Dunlevey's still young, he has had some injuries, but he can shoot the rock. If his knee is healthy he could be a valuable 6th man scoring off the bench at either the 2 or the 3.

For a change the Wiz could be big and deep up front, and they'd still retain the veteran scorers in the big three. With a strong defensive minded coach, there would be something to work with there.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 22, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

GRIFFIN is not in the GRUNFELD five year plan. THABEET is.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 22, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld = TOTAL INCOMPETENCE.

Posted by: SteveC28 | February 22, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

O'Mark, And you'd replace McGuire with?

McGuire was guarding an Allstar point guard much of last night because James couldn't stay in the same building with Parker. Didn't understand why Critt didn't get more minutes. If he wanted to try Juan it should have been at James's expense. James has been stroking the ball better lately, but he was really getting burned last night defensively.

Last night's game was a little like Maryland's game against Clemson. For awhile the effort was there, they even ran their stuff and got some open shots that didn't drop. A spunky early effort got turned into a rout when the other team starting stroking 3's.

Those three's at the end of the half buried an otherwise decent half of basketball for the Wiz. They were never winning that game last night, the Spurs are just too workman like. The Wiz gave a decent half of effort, then got buried.

I was kind of surprised Roger didn't stroke it for about 30 last night. Pop spent an extra year waiting for the guy. He loves that kind of player, and loves to beat teams with em'.

But it helps when you have a big that is one of the best of all time to build around. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 22, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not that big on Thabeet... I think Griffin is much better. The dude reminds me of Webber.

If we get #1 , which is a possibility, I hope we take him.

That move with a realistic trade with the Knicks, for the 2 players we reportedly wanted at the trade deadline: Etan, Stevenson, James, Pecherov, 2nd round pick to Knicks for Hughes, Jeffries...


Imagine a front 5 of Haywood, Griffin, Butler, Hughes, Arenas.

Blatche off the bench at C/PF, Jamison off the bench at PF/SF. Young and Crittenton off the bench in the backcourt. McGee backup center, Jeffries and McGuire off the bench for some D, Songaila and Dixon off the bench for some offense and veteran play.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 22, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Flohrtv,

The Spurs remind me of the Steelers. They are both are small market teams who have great front offices that work on tight budgets. I think what makes them winning organizations; they are great at scouting players, they promote a winning tradition, and they have consistency.

Yes, SA got lucky with the Tim Duncan pick, but I believe great scouting and wise draft picks (Tony Parker 28th and Ginobili with a 2nd round 57th pick) are just as important. Of course everyone wants to play in LA or NY because of the extra endorsement money but when you have guys like Horry, Finley and Mason who want to go to San Antonio and play, it speaks volumes about the team’s owner and the coach.

Not all teams win championships because they get lucky in the draft. LA traded for Kobe and Shaq, Boston traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, and Detroit took a bunch of ex-Wizards and won with them.

If you look at the current owners http://hoopshype.com/owners.htm there is a reason some of them win championships and others do not. I believe it starts at the top and works its way down. A great owner hires competent people to work for the organization and they turn the team into champions. Look at Chicago after Reinsdorf got rid of Jackson or the Cowboys after Jones got rid of Johnson?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Been out of pocket for awhile, but let me pick up where I left off. Still pertinent.

Tapscott has no clue and shows no improvement. Thereby, practically guaranteeing a top pick in the draft.

To just stand pat and sign the pick with our one open roster spot (JD) next year, the Wizs will go over the cap with top pick signing money.

Guess what, somebody has got to get real bright and and convince Mr. Polin that not only does he have to sign that pick he also has to eat the contracts of DSON and ETAN and Mike James.

Mr. Polin has to go deep in the money bags and convince those three to accept the money. Find a new coach who demands winning results.

He got to go deep like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and be as convincing as Barack Obama to get those dead weight players out of the mix.

If ABE wants a championship, he better start spending and convincing.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78,

Your comment to Flohrtv are genius. You hit on all the things it takes to win so nicely.

I just hope like hell that wisdom strikes Mr. Polin sooner than later.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78,
That's what I think the Wiz did when they got rid of the Susan O'Mally/Micheal Jordan three ring circus and hired Ernie.

This year ain't pretty, I was one of the few Mason fans on this blog, so I'm not going to be the guy to say that one wasn't a mistake. But other then match the offer to Etan had, he hasn't fouled up a lot. Who knew Etan would end up like this?

I still think that 9 out of 10 GM's in the league would have resigned Arenas and Jamison. If you really look at the cap situation and the alternatives it was the smart call. Considering the interest Jamison drew at the trade deadline, he's still got value.

The Wiz do have some flexibility coming up this summer, those contracts that Larry's talking about buying out will have some value to teams trying to make room for 2010. Or maybe the Wiz become one of them.

Darnell, I like Blake too. I just think he's not going to be quite as impressive as people think right away. I want to see him when he faces a good guy with a big body. Can he adjust when he can't overpower people?

Straight up I'd take him over Thabeet, or anybody else at this point. But you know the guy that I think could end up being the best power forward is Jordan Hill. He's impressed me more everytime I've seen him play.

I like to see what these guys do in crunch time and when it's life or death in the Tourney. Lots of guys that put up numbers in weak conferences don't really end up panning out. That's why I love to watch the Big East and the ACC, every game is important.

Hey Larry, how about the Maryland win!

Posted by: flohrtv | February 22, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I find the level of outrage over a blowout loss to the Spurs to be rather amusing. Really, what did you expect was going to happen?

I'm equally amused by the unbridled passion of all of the very, very late jumpers on the Roger Mason bandwagon. I said two summers ago that the Wiz would be better off letting Stevenson walk (rather than overpaying him) and turning the starting SG slot over to Mason, only to be met with choruses of "Stevenson's deal is below market value" "Stevenson is a bargain" "Mason is one dimensional" "Mason isn't a starting SG." And I said last summer, when Mason signed with the Spurs, that he was going to thrive as their starting SG. Then it was "Mason isn't good enough to start on a contending team." Sometimes foresight is 20/20 as well.

I was also a bit puzzled by Dixon getting so much run. It can;'t have been for defensive purposes. Has Tapscott never seen Dixon play? Besides, it didn't matter who defended Parker. No one can keep him out of the lane. Much, much better tams than the Wiz have tried and failed. Inserting Dixon did nothing to help the defense and actively undermined the offense.

"Where are the ppl who were saying yesterday that McGuire's play justified his minutes? My point about his inconsistency was validated and underscored last night."

Except you never had a point. First of all, I don't believe anyone actually said his play justified his minutes. What we did say that his play refuted your contention that he's one dimensional and doesn't contribute anything. Almost everyone concedes that he's not really a starting caliber player. But given the Wiz's current situation, their options are limited. As for inconsistency . . . he's a 2nd year player taken in the 2nd round who played sparingly in his first year, and is playing in a role (starter) for which he's not currently suited. His inconsistency is hardly a surprise.

But nothing that he did (or didn't do) in that Spurs game in any way supports your implication that he's a crap player and should be exiled to the end of the bench.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"But other then match the offer to Etan had, he hasn't fouled up a lot. "

I don't know about that. I've given Grunfeld a lot of very much deserved credit for his role in bringing this franchise back from the wilderness. But he's also made a number of missteps for which his successes do not absolve him of blame.

  • Overpaying Stevenson (essentially outbidding himself when there didn't appear to be anyone else at the auction). That move was directly responsible for them not being in a position to keep Mason.
  • Drafting Pecherov. Nuff said.
  • Bringing in Thibodeau in a way where it was obvious to everyone that he was setting him up to replace Jordan. You can't undermine the coach like that and expect it not to have fallout. If he wanted Eddie gone, he should have fired him upfront. Handling it the way he did just created additional tension and drama the team did not need.
  • Wasting second round picks and FA roster spots on go nowhere space fillers like Veermenko, Lange, Hall, Taylor, et al while other teams were actually managing to find not only useful contributors, but key role players and starters in the second round and in the lower/cheaper ranks of free agency. I still maintain that if he'd managed to fill one or two of those spots with useful players a couple of years ago, the Wizards wouldn't be trolling the cellar of the NBA right now. They'd still be in the lottery given the injuries, but they wouldn't be in a position where they're essentially trying to teach almost half the roster how to play NBA ball from scratch.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I read with glee all the support EJ is getting on this blog and I also read the post by his critics,bottom line EJ did very well with the hand he was dealt by management, knowledgeable NBA observers had said time and again that the Wizards were not playoff material but Jordan got them there four, count em four years in a row,Truth be told Grunfeld blew the Mason negotiations plain and simple it was a no brainer you get Arenas and Jamison to take less not a whole lot less just enough to re-sign Mason but Grunfeld had a bigger agenda; to fire Eddie Jordan and when the team started 1-10 that was all Grunfeld needed, by not improving the roster during the offseason(knowing full well that Gilberts return was 50/50 at best)he greased the skids for Jordan's departure if Grunfeld didn't believe in Jordan why not get rid of him before the season started? or at least wait until the all star break instead he pulls off an idiotic move, firing Jordan eleven games in and throwing the season into chaos and for the most part this squad has not recovered.I'm happy for Roger he was a solid citizen when he was here and is obviously thriving in San Antonio, good for him as far as Grunfeld is concerned he needs to go, the sooner the better.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 22, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Larry, I always enjoy reading you’re and flohrtv posts. There is no need to get personal in here since I believe we all want the same thing (but have different views on how the Wizards can win a championship).

I think the real reason the Wizards let Mason walk was because when you have Gil, AJ, and CB on a team and nobody wants to pass the ball, there just aren't enough scoring opportunities to go around.

Did anyone notice Duncan was 4-8 from the field and they still won. It is called team basketball.

That is my problem with the organization. EG resigned Gil and AJ which is the reason they are where they are. They could not win a championship when they were healthy why does anyone think they can do it now?

I would love to know the real reason EG and Abe resigned them? Was it because they thought they could win a championship or was it (when the big three score a lot of points) to fills seats?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 22, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I think people forget how key a player Stevenson was last year (and also Daniels as GM pointed out) and I don't think he was overpaid.

He is/was also at the SG position a good pairing for Gilbert because could play defense and hit an open three.

Stevenson is hurt and will have problems the rest of his career from what I hear. I don't think EG can be blamed for that.

As far Pech goes, the 18th pick is usually a crapshoot anyway. EG may have made up for it in picking McGee in the last draft.

Posted by: cannontl | February 22, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

It could be because the last time the big three were healthy (and they had BH and DS) they were leading the East. Perhaps that's why they were gungho on resigning Gil and AJ.

Posted by: cannontl | February 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

And how does Grunfeld still have a job? Put together this crap roster, and has zero cap flexibilty. Oh, but it was all Eddie Jordan's fault.

Posted by: Roman5 | February 22, 2009 12:17 AM

Roman, you are a complete and utter imbecile. Grunfeld is widely considered to be one of the best GMs in all the NBA. This is not up for debate. He took a Wizards franchise that had made 1 playoff appearance in nearly 2 decades and built them into a playoff team in 4 consecutive years. This year (and last) we have been devastated by injuries more than any other team in the league.

No serious observer can question Grunfeld's job security.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 22, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Then again, the Wiz didn't worry to much about eating more than $8 million when they fired Eddie Jordan.

By Ivan Carter | February 21, 2009; 11:21 PM ET

I used to respect Ivan Carter's commentary, but this is just plain asinine. The reason the Wizards didn't "worry to (sic) much about eating more than $8 million when they fired Eddie Jordan" is because they knew Eddie Jordan would coach again next season, and thus absolve the Wizards of having to pay the remaining "guaranteed" portion of his salary.

How Ivan Carter does not realize this is beyond me.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The wiz played with energy for two games in a row before they gave out of energy against the Spurs. They finally look like a real team thanks to the addition of two real guards. What can be done to improve Nick Young?? I SAW BLAKE FROM OKAHOMA FOR A BRIEF PERIOD. HE DOES NOT IMPRESS ME AS A FRANCHISE CHANGER. Even the PF at north carolina looks more promising as Pro.

Posted by: kcandlc | February 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

kcandlc, no one is claiming that Blake Griffin is a "franchise changer." The simple truth i that there likely are no franchise changers in this draft. But Griffin is the best player at a position/role where the Wiz have a huge need.

"Even the PF at north carolina looks more promising as Pro."

Hansbrough? Uh ... no. Just . . no.

cannontl, I remember quite well what a nice compliment Stevenson was to a healthy big 3. And, at his then salary of the vet minimum, he was probably one of the biggest bargains in the NBA. But without a healthy big 3 and at a salary about 4 times what he was making then, he's overpaid, even if he is healthy (which he's not). You don't pay the amount of money Grunfeld doled out for a starting SG who, even when healthy, only plays 30 mpg, can't create his own shot, and shoots 19% from the field in the playoffs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The first few posts exhibited the typical overreaction to a blowout loss, the 2nd game of a back-to-back against a fine team, no less. I found myself thinking that 95% of what gets posted after such games is worthless because it's all unreasoning, impulsive emotion. But then a half dozen posters restored my faith in WizHumanity by sticking up for EG and seeing that the future of the team will likely be good.

I don't completely understand how the team gets blown out after midway through the 3rd quarter. Granted the Spurs have a better team, but was it tired Wiz legs following a hard-fought game Friday night? Did they figure the Spurs would win, and not put forth enough effort? In some way, is the team playing for the lottery? Are they saving themselves for more beatable opponents? (I take them at their word when they say they're aiming for .500 post All-Star break.) Is it coaching? Or any of a half dozen other things? I don't know.

But I do know, and I do not forget, the horrible misfortune of having Gil and BTH out. We're reminded in the posts above that Antonio Daniels also fell to injury. Stevenson's play suffered from injury before he took himself out. And there have been others, as fans of this team know. But if Arenas, AJ, CB, and BTH play 95% of their peaks next year, given the improvements of AB, NY, Javale, Crit, DM, AND we get our coaching situation together AND we add a piece or two (which I leave to EG in his wisdom to do), then the Wiz will be a contender. Yeah, there are some ifs, but there always are, even for the Lakers and Celtics.

Posted by: 7snider7 | February 22, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Barno1, there's nothing "asinine" about Ivan's comment regarding Jordan's salary. There's certainly no guarantee that Jordan will coach next season. Will teams be interested in him? Definitely. But there's no guarantee that he'll be interested in the jobs that are open this summer. And since the Wiz are still paying him, he has absolutely no incentive to take the first job that comes along. If he doesn't like the opportunities available to him in the offseason, he may decide to sit out next season and wait for the next revolution of the coaching carousel. Certainly Grunfeld and Pollin know this, and they know it from experience. Doug Collins got coaching offers after the Wiz canned him and according to reports, one of the reasons he turned them down was because, with the Wiz still paying his rent, he didn't feel the need to jump back in if the situation wasn't right, just so he could have a gig. If you think Grunfeld and Pollin are sitting around assuming they'll be off the hook for Jordan's salary next season, I would counsel you to think again (although I'm sure they're hoping it).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Barno, Kal, and kc

Nice posts!

The EG bashing is funny. The best GM the franchise has had in decades and bc 4/5 guys are injured GA, BH, DS, AD (when he was here), Blatche for 8/9 games, CB for a small chunk and now all of a sudden he's terrible. If the team is still in this state next year then I might listen to it. Until then, it's absolutely absurd!

"Tapscott: "Anything you use to justify a performance like tonight comes out as an excuse. I'm not going to let us make excuses. We had a bad night and didn't play very well."

And there are people here who think the game was close and the Wizards competitive?

When the coach blasts his team in public, you know things were bad."
- Steve

One last time, the game was not "close". I simply stated the team played better than the final score would indicate. Plus, yes, after shooting 33% from the field and 55% from the foul line it was still a 9 pt game late in the 3rd and we had possession to cut it to 7. From there, we missed a couple more shots and lost our energy bc the effort was no longer paying off.

What do you expect the coach to say based on the final score when making a blanket statement about the game?

If you look at just the score, you would expect 20 turnovers, poor shooting or shot selection rather, bad rebounding, Duncan and everyone going "off" with no defending etc... That simply was not the case with the exception of poor shooting and a lot of those misses were after decent offensive possessions with the exception of when Dixon was in the game. Maybe that's too nuanced for you.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the Wizards blow out loss can be attributed mainly to two things: the Spurs can play a suffocating defense and the Wizards don't.

Posted by: cannontl | February 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it, any shooter in this league like to face Wizards, Mason is no different. He more than doubled his season average last night, and shot a better %, both in 3P and 2P!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's more fun picking apart the games when the team is actually supposed to be competitive and things like coaching decisions actually matter.

I see a decent team with a promising future and a lot of injuries so I feel no need to bash them/the coach/ or the GM.

Kal, the only thing I would disagree with you about is you always bring up the Pech pick like he was lottery mistake or something. I'll take EG's talent evaluation when drafting over most GM's in the league. Trades are a fairly strong suit for him as well. I would argue that his weakness as a GM is resigning players. But, I believe Abe has a lot to do with that as well (i.e. Etan Thomas, GA, Jamison)

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

This game was a text book example of a good/great team exerting just enough energy against a clearly over-matched opponent to stay in the game through 3 quarters and then dropping the hammer late, late enough to quash any hope of a 4th quarter comeback.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

NOTE TO BARNO1: There is no guarantee that Jordan will coach next year,Jordan is a talented coach he's not going to take just any NBA offer just to take Abe and Ernie off the hook,after the way Ernie handled that situation it might be just the opposite,as I stated in an earlier post Grunfeld could have dismissed Jordan before the season started or waited until the all star break but the way he treated Jordan.... well i wouldn't look for Jordan to do this franchise any favors and how do you credit Grunfeld concerning this roster? Gilbert came here via the flip of a coin, Jamison came by way of a trade for Devin Harris(now one of the best point guards in the league) Butler came in exchange for Kwame Brown(Ray Charles would have made that trade)so that was a no brainer,he lost Mason by not using common sense(see my earlier post)signed Pechorev(belongs in the D-league)made no moves to improve the roster this past off-season and then sent the season into a tailspin by firing Jordan,hardly the move of a savvy GM.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 22, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"Afterall, he couldn't even consider matching San Antonio's two-year, $7.3 million offer to Mason last summer because it would've put the team in the luxury tax."

Seriously, with Mason this season, we may win a few more games, but probably still gonna miss the playoff, is that worth paying the luxury tax for?

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This game was a text book example of a good/great team exerting just enough energy against a clearly over-matched opponent to stay in the game through 3 quarters and then dropping the hammer late, late enough to quash any hope of a 4th quarter comeback.

Spot on.

The Spurs toyed with the Wizards until crunch time and then pulled away. They could have done that at any time.

Tapscott knows this and it was why he said the team performed poorly. Even when it was relatively "close", he saw what was going on.

He didn't say, "Well, we played well for three quarters and then fell apart." No, he said they performed poorly. The only reason the Wizards weren't down 25 at half was because the Spurs were just taking their time.

Even if GA and BH come back relatively at full strength, this team's players at positions #5-12 or so are very very problematic.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 22, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Kal, the only thing I would disagree with you about is you always bring up the Pech pick like he was lottery mistake or something."

I've never done any such thing. In fact, I'm not even sure what that means. You make it sound like just because he wasn't a lottery pick that it was okay to waste a pick on him. Sorry, but I can't agree with that.

Lottery or not, when a GM drafts a guy in the top 20 who (based on evidence to this point) flat out cannot play at the NBA level, when there were several players still on the board who could not only play and contribute but are currently playing big roles (including starting) on good teams, that's a wasted pick. Period. The fact that it was no. 18 instead of number 8 doesn't change that. It simply reduces (slightly) the cost/magnitude of the error, not the fact of it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Barno1: "Grunfeld is widely considered to be one of the best GMs in all the NBA. This is not up for debate. He took a Wizards franchise that had made 1 playoff appearance in nearly 2 decades and built them into a playoff team in 4 consecutive years....No serious observer can question Grunfeld's job security."

Maybe no 'serious observer' can question Grunfeld's competence, but you can bet that Abe Pollin is questioning it. And he's the only one who counts, right?

As several folks on this board have said, Ernie's record is a mixed one, like most GMs, even the best. The NBA's a 'what have you done for us lately' league, so you have to assume his job is on the line, whether anyone in the Washington ownership group will admit it or not. Abe maybe isn't as unpredictable as the Danster, but remember, he's the guy who pulled the plug on Michael Jordan.

I'm guessing Ernie has next season to turn things around (although who knows exactly what that means in terms of W-L record.)

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, I was one of those last year arguing that Roger was one-dimensional and wouldn't start on a contending team. So I have to own up to the fact that I got that wrong, wrong, wrong.

But he is not the player now that he was then. That said, it should have been clear that he's a guy who is working hard on expanding his game. He wasn't then the player he had been the previous year, and next year he'll be even better than he is now.

Character and work ethic count for a lot in this league. Roger has it. Deshawn doesn't. Getting Deshawn for cheap was no bargain when it cost a guy like Roger.

Posted by: Prazak | February 22, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Prazak: "Character and work ethic count for a lot in this league. Roger has it. Deshawn doesn't."

He doesn't? His coach and teammates seem to think he does. What are you basing your evaluation on?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the DeShawn bashing is out of fustration, last year DeShawn played well on both ends of the floor the only thing he did wrong was mouth off before the playoff series against Cleveland, listen everyone we as fans banked on at least a playoff berth this season with or without Gilbert, nobody figured on BTH being gone for the whole season and EJ being fired,as most of you who post on this blog know i am a big fan of Eddie Jordan(ya think?) I thought he was perfect for this franchise; hometown boy makes good,played at Carroll(DC) and was a talented coach who payed his dues,the way EG treated him was classless and stupid and in my opinion it has backfired. EG needs to go and this franchise needs to start fresh with a new coach and GM.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 22, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

DeShawn was seemingly good for the team as it was constructed (with Gil healthy). As I mentioned before, he was a good pairing for Gil because he could play defense.

He did not need to be able to get his own shot because the Wiz had others that could perform that function. He could play defense and hit the open three when others went to the basket.

He was not overpaid for the role he was intended to play by EG. He fit and filled that role. Even last year when Gil was not around, he filled that role well enough to help the Wiz get into the playoffs.

It is too bad that an injury may keep him in the future from being the effective player he used to be.

Posted by: cannontl | February 22, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

It has been a while since I posted so let me make a couple of observations.

J Crittendon is a breath of fresh air. He is a keeper. With the time to get to know the system and then the increased time on the court he has proven that he can be at least a solid third guard for us.

D McGuire is a solid player. Somewhere between the 4th to 7th man on a good team depending on the rest of the roster's skill set. He has progressed just as many of us expected. He has become the designated defensive stopper that we envisioned, replacing DS, and only time will tell if he is worthy of that role. His offense can only get better. He runs the court, plays D, rebounds, passes well, hustles, is unselfish.

McGee- Needs lots of time in the weight room. He is a 3 man in a 5 man's body. EG needs to hire a big man coach desperately.

Like GM I have been around a long time. The Spurs pre-Duncan year has been chronicled. But let's go back even further. Does anybody remember Earl the Pearl's first year? We had offensive talent like Kevin Laughery, Jack Marin,
Gus Johnson (who could play a little D also!) and even with the Pearl finished last. The reward was a guy most of us only see as a poor front office guy but who initially was the man that turned the Bullets around--Wes Unseld! His first year we instantly became a consistent playoff team for the next decade. He perfectly filled the toughness,defense and rebounding role that the roster lacked.

Now obviously injuries have devastated the team. Getting mad at blowouts by the Spurs is just plain ridiculous. To me Ernie seems to have a plan. He seems to have his fingers crossed that Gilbert will recover. So this year is all about giving these guys maximum opportunity to show their stuff, figuring which parts to keep. in other words everyone except CB and AJ have needed to prove themselves to EG. I expect that only about 3 or 4 of the current guys in the 6-12 slot will be back next year when the dust settles. That dust will include some trades I believe. It would be great if the draft had more quick fix talent. But I think EG has shown us that he has the finesse and ability to get rid of bad contracts and get talent in here. No GM gets it right 100% of the time. We need to trust that he has a plan. Quick turnarounds do happen in this league. We old time Bullets-Wizards fans need to remind the younger ones that it is not time to panic but time to maintain our patience. It can happen here. Some of us have seen it!

One more thing, the big question is what kind of philosophic vision does EG have for the team? An offensive vision like EJ had or a tough gritty defensive? Let's not forget the 90's Knicks that EG built. Which players stay and who he gets to be head coach are all connected with his vision for the team and who EG sees as the building blocks.

Sorry for the long post but it has been a while.
BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | February 22, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

One more quickie that I overlooked: biggest disappointment of the year hands down has been Nick Young. Blatche shows some signs of being worth keeping but if anyone has botched an opportunity it is NY. Too much one on one stuff for me. Maybe the right coach can turn him around cause the guy has lots of potential.

Will he be around next season? Again it goes back to the question of Ernies's vision. But I would get rid of him while he has value.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | February 22, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

For sure, the test of whether EG is a good solid GM is yet to come. For, the returning players and decisions to be made for next year will be telling.

The most important decision of all, I think, is who the next coach will be. That selection by EG will determine his fate, for it must be a coach that demands winning attitudes, ways, and results for everyone on and off the court. The wrong selection, coming after Taps, will be fatal.

The second most important decision by EG is whether he can add value to the Team without loosing any.

I give him a pass on the Roger Mason deal, even though they clearly could have resigned him as some of you have pointed out. I give him a pass, because I cannot really fault him for thinking along the lines of DStev and Gilbert being healthy everyday contributors this year.

Most know that I think this Team ain't as bad as their record, and that I place a big part of the blame on bad coaching philosophy. With the entire nucleous hopefully all back next year with proper adult supervision, the Wizs could be an interesting Team.

Flohrtv, I was asked during the Tarheel Terp game was it bittersweet for me. I answered "No" 'cause I am a Tarheel first. Even when John Lucas played for Maryland I clearly rooted for them and still do, but when the Heels play I'm for them all the way. Maryland deserves great credit though and I take nothing away from them.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD.

Sure you don't have anything to worry about. While you are watching your tarheels march to the final four, us terp fans will be watching them in the NIT (unless they get real lucky in the ACC tourny)

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you noticed the Wizards offense? Jamison and Butler have the green light to shoot at will. They're the only 2 players with plays run for them and through them. If anyone else takes a shot, it's with time running out and/or not in their comfort zones. That's why NY, James and Dixon, who are scorers, look so terrible in this offense. Very little is run for them and when they try to get thier own offense, they're snatched out the game or given minimal PT. That's why Butler's getting so many TO lately. Too much ball handling; not his strength. Jamison can jack up any shot he wants and never fear getting pulled from the game, despite his lack of defense. The young guys are playing timid and cautious for fear of not playing or being yanked early and often. Even when Mason was here EJ never gave him the freedom or PT he is given in SA. We need a coach who understands the strengths of each player and then put them into position to maximize it. That is why the good coaches find success. As a coach, you can't expect to have every piece of the pie you want at every position. You have to take your star players, mesh them with the decent-to-good players and create a team. How can a team with 2 all stars, still not win more than 12 games to this point in the season? Coaching! I will consider Ernie a failure if he fails to bring a qualified coach in here for next season.

Posted by: garrybrown | February 23, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Maybe AJ and CB will take some time to watch the Boston Celtics play and learn what two real all stars can do when they are commited to playing team ball?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 23, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Let's not do AJ and CB a disservice by expecting the same kind of things from them that Boston expects and got from Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in the absence of Kevin Garnett against the Suns yesterday. The Wizards, sadly since they were among the many short-sighted teams who took a pass on him, do not have Rajon Rondo as a FOURTH option to fall back on. Rondo flat-out killed the Suns, exposing the defensive weaknesses of a rapidly fading Steve Nash at will.

As far as the Spurs game goes, I told my son that Mason would go off on the Wizards for about 35 (I over-estimated but then Mason had outside help from the seemingly-ageless Michael Finley) while we got a goose-egg from Mike James.

Now, was it right for Tapscott to go off specifically against his young players after the Sours game Saturday, as Ivan reported? Clearly, none of the kids stepped up when given the opportunity and clearly, Tapscott, whose forte is supposed to be player development was feeling real pain about the inability of his young men to show even one whit of the growth that each of them has shown, at least from time to time, and several of them had shown in the previous two wins. You really cannot blame him for losing it a bit when the kids regress so badly a day after a nice team effort against the Nets!

As far as EG goes, two summers ago it would have taken real prescience to let DeShawn Stevenson walk in favor of turning the starting 2-guard slot over to Roger Mason, Jr. At that point, Stevenson was rated as the team's BEST defender and was a reliable threat to hit the open three.

Let's all hang in there for a couple or three weeks, and see what happens when, as should happen, we get a chance to see Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood in action... and also come Mid-May when we get to see what the ping-pong balls bring us in terms of a lottery pick position. Right now the smart talk is that Blake Griffin is the only difference maker in the Draft, but there is still Conference Championship week and an NCAA Tourney to see if any new stud emerges from the pack of semi-decent players waiting in the wings... Suppose, for example, we wind up with a 4-5 pick and Ty Lawson has taken UNC to the Finals... Maybe someone with a 10-12 pick will want him badly enough to trade picks and a mid-level player for our pick and Etan's burdensome but about to expire contract. At 10-12, we could grab Stephen Curry (who will slip because people will doubt him for different reasons than people doubted Rajon Rondo...) and that young man is almost guaranteed to be a very competent NBA long distance shooter.

It has been a frustrating year, but there is no point in blowing this team up. The Wizards are not the Kings or the Clippers.

Posted by: khrabb | February 23, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

khrabb: "It has been a frustrating year, but there is no point in blowing this team up. The Wizards are not the Kings or the Clippers."

True, they aren't. The Clips are more talented, but also more unhappy. The Kings have a couple really promising young guys in Kevin Martin and Jason Thompson and a decent PG in Udrih, but otherwise mostly role players.

I'm not sure it's possible to 'blow up' a team like the Wiz, with that guaranteed cash already allocated to certain players. You could certainly trade Butler and probably Jamison, but probably not for a comparable younger star. Look at what the Spurs, desperate for scoring going into the playoffs, were willing to offer for Vince Carter -- essentially dreck. But lots of it -- I guess they thought quantity would make up for quality.

Don't take that personally, Bruce, Roger, and Fabricio.

The Clips made a big mistake in signing Davis, and everybody seems to know that now, so maybe the two sides will come together to work something out. The guy is one of the best PGs in the league. His dissatisfaction gives the Clippers an incentive to compromise in a trade that the Wiz don't have -- their two healthy stars are gold-plated solid citizens. Jamison and Butler thus have more value to Washington than they do to anybody else in the NBA. At the moment, at least -- things change.

Still, with Eric Gordon and Al Saunders, LA is in a fairly strong position to surrender Davis in return for another young star. Sacramento isn't -- it would be foolish of them to trade either of their two young lions, and they really don't have any other names to put in play.

Like Washington, they're going to have to go through the lottery.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 23, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

He is what we need," forward Antawn Jamison said. "A veteran who knows how to play the game, a guy who can play multiple positions, knock down big shots, defensively sound. That's a luxury we had last year, that's a luxury we don't have this year."


WOW! Jamison doesn't hide his frustrations well.

Posted by: CBell29 | February 23, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

your implication that he's a crap player and should be exiled to the end of the bench.

Never did I imply that McGuire is a crap player that should be exiled. In fact, he's our best defensive player and does a lot of good things. You're putting words in my mouth. What I'm saying (or implying) is that in my opinion, NY would probably contribute more if he was given minutes and the green light. One thing that I've noticed is that when we have three scoring threats on the floor, we usually fare a lot better than when it's just Cb and Aj.

I'm proposing putting CB back at the 3 and starting NY at the 2. Naturally this hurts us defensively but should help on offense. Since we play virtually no defense anyway and one man (McGuire) can't do it all, our chances of winning are better because we're more of a scoring threat as a team.

If we had a scorer at the point like Gil, I'd be all for starting McGuire with CB at the 2. As it stands, this team needs points more than defense. Just my opinion.

Posted by: original_mark | February 23, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Final thought..

Don't think I'm hating on McGuire at all. I've liked his game since the first summer league. I just think he needs to play 20 minutes per off the bench as the energy guy until he learns how to shoot.

Posted by: original_mark | February 23, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

B-Rev, If we knew we were living so long we'd have kept better care of ourselves! I remember those old Baltimore Civic Center days, what a wild crowd. If you want to call 4000 people a crowd. And remember when you could get about 13 Bullet games a year on UHF and the picture was so snowy you had to sit 3' from the old black and white TV?

Lots has changed, but you still have to put that round ball in the hoop more then the other team to win. Like baseball it's a very simple game that you can spend a lifetime watching and still pick up new things.

What Wes brought to those old Bullets is what the Wiz really need today. A defensive minded stopper, a tough rebounder that can help get the stop on defense and spring the break on offense.

Like in the old days one or two players can make a big change in a team's chemistry. The Wiz need defensive minded guys to surround their scorers with.

I like McGee as a player, I tend to think he's more of a Camby type. One that could play either center or the 4 depending on the roster make up. Is he a defensive minded force at center? Or, could he be paired with a guy like Thabeet and be that force at the 4?

Jamison wants to trade that pick and get him some help now. To build a that can contend for years the Wiz need to build around the young core. I hope Grunfeld takes the long view and not the quick fix.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 23, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Mike James, DSON, and ETON, 13,14, & 15 next years inactives if not bought out. Sign Tyler Hansboro for JD's slot. AJ, AB & Hansboro are our PF's. CB & DM at 3. BH & JM & TH at 5. GA, NY, DS at 2. JC, GA, & CB at point. Pech is Gunslinger off the bench at 2, 3, or 4. Watch and see.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

And trades. Just one point. Remember Red Aurerbach. Always trade for value and never give up any.

That simply means that if teams are doing their job, it is going to be real hard to pawn off DSon, Eton, and Mike James. In my book, with the right fit, Pech is more attractive than those three.

For all you that see nothing in Pech, that boy can really shoot the damn ball. Don,t care that people want him to be tough, pull down rebounds, do the heavy lifting... That ain't him, he could play for me, and his only measure would be to knock down shots and preferably from the three.

When I put him on the floor, he better be scoring first. All those other things yawl want him to do that clearly is not his strengths would cause me to bench him if he wasn't scoring first.

You see I am one that believes that championships are won by coaching to the strengths of your players and not the other way around.

John Wooden coached to players strengths and his system developed the players peculiar talents. Sky Hoop.

Red Auerbach coached to players strengths. Sam Jones did not play for Red because of defense, he got on the floor because he was a deadly mid-range shooter. Sam Jones could hit bankshots from 15' out like freethrows. 15-20 in a row. I seen him do it.

You think the pyramid was run for Michael to teach him how to play. Phil Jackson bought it in to enhance Jordans play and effectiveness.

Coaches like Tapscott who have not studied the history of their game and learned from it will never win anything.

So, forget about trades unless you are truly getting value without giving up any.

And get us a coach in here EG that clearly understands what it means to win.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Mark, As much as I hated Battier at Duke, and thought he was one of the most overhyped college players of all time, I think he's established himself as one of the real "glue guys" in the NBA.

That's what I see in McGuire. I'd agree 100% he isn't a real starter in this league yet. And his role maght be to a high energy guy off the bench on a good team, which I think this could be next year.

But to start Young beside James would be like putting up turnstiles and just telling teams to take the layup. Young has got to step up his overall game before starting in this league, or even getting steady minutes.

But right now the biggest reason Young isn't on he court is that this offense funnels through Jamison and Butler. And the two "Allstars" wouldn't have it any other way.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 23, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Flohrtv, your points are on the mark. This is also why the coaching of your Team is extremely important. It's why I have kept telling folks to lay of the players, cause' they are nearly as bad as they look with this poor coaching.

There is no way that AJ and CB should be wholly responsible for our offense, even with the current players.

Good coaching develops the whole concept and not just part of it.

When this coach constantly pulls young players for making mistakes and it seems that they are always inconsistent and not improving, it tells me that he is not doing an adequate job of teaching, training, and fine tuning their roles on the floor.

You cannot measure players by mistakes, because they all make them, even the vets.

When I look at the Wizards, I see no management improvement from one game to the next, week to week, or month to month, under this coach.

I see promising qualities of the young players that is not being incorporated to a winning philosphy with the Vets and Team play.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Still, with Eric Gordon and Al Saunders, LA is in a fairly strong position to surrender Davis in return for another young star. Sacramento isn't -- it would be foolish of them to trade either of their two young lions, and they really don't have any other names to put in play.”

I guess things didn’t work out with the Rams huh? Who knew Al Saunders could play basketball?? The jack-of-all trades, eh?

Posted by: cj658 | February 23, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Correction ...they are not nearly as bad...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

You tell em' Larry! All I read on here is this player can't do that, and that player can't do something else...

There is no such thing as a perfect player. Guys on here run Jamison in the ground all the time. But Cleveland sure was sniffing around looking for him as a final pc. of the puzzle. Funny how that is in the NBA.

What was James's quote when he came here? One team's garbage is another team's jewel. Or something like that.

And Larry you're right about Pecherov, coach to his strengths. Right now he's been told there's no role in the league for a big that can pop 3's. While he's sitting on the bench watching a big that makes a living by popping the occasional 3.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 23, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I was at this massacre Saturday night. This game pretty much summed up the Wizards season. Terrible and how much longer until 0 seconds in the 4 qtr on April 15th 2009? I cheered every time Roger Mason scored. I'm happy that he's with an organization that knows how to win. We witnessed why the Spurs have won 4 championships in the last 10 years and why the Wiz haven’t made it to the NBA finals since 1979. No one should be shocked about the final score. This Wiz team can't hang with any of the top teams. Open shot after open shot. 3 pointer after 3 pointer. We play no defense on a nightly basis. The Spurs game proved that point. Even with a healthy Wizards team, we’d still lose to the Spurs.

Tony Parker signed a 6 year deal for 66 million in Nov of 2007 and has won 3 NBA titles. Tim Duncan is getting paid 20 million this season, has won 4 NBA titles and is well worth the money. My point is why the hell would Ernie sign Gil for a 6 year deal worth 111 million and Jamison to a 4 year deal worth 50 million, when they haven't won anything yet???? If you win championships and are in title contention on a yearly basis, your players should be compensated well. If your players can't make it past the 1st round for 3 straight seasons, why would you reward them with huge contracts?

Abe isn't cheap, he makes poor business decisions. Like he and Ernie keeping Stevenson, but letting Mason go. He and Ernie firing Eddie Jordan after 11 games, but letting the inexperienced Tapscott take the Wizards to new franchise lows. The salary cap shows we can’t afford to keep the 1st round pick because we’ve overpaid for all our players. We need to keep the 1st round pick (possibly # 1 overall) and rework some contracts, or start trading some players out of here. I know this much, if we trade our 1st round pick the Wizards will be digging themselves a 10 year grave. We already have Gil’s big contract that could set us back 10 years and this team needs the best available talent. Blake Griffin is the best available talent come draft night and we better not trade that pick, regardless if it’s the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th pick.

I’m glad the season is almost over for the Wiz, but I’m more interested in seeing how Ernie and Abe are going to handle the offseason.

Posted by: wizfan81 | February 23, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Larry, You should send Grunfeld your resume...

Posted by: flohrtv | February 23, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"For all you that see nothing in Pech, that boy can really shoot the damn ball."

"And Larry you're right about Pecherov, coach to his strengths. Right now he's been told there's no role in the league for a big that can pop 3's. While he's sitting on the bench watching a big that makes a living by popping the occasional 3."

Just because a guy likes to do something doesn't mean he's actually good at doing it. Pech shoots 38% from the field, 31% from the 3. If that's the major asset he brings to the team, he belongs nowhere near the court.

Posted by: psps23 | February 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Here's the thing, if you look at the opponent's bench and you see Popovich, Rivers or others as their head coach and they have multiple Asst coaches who have been a lead coach at one time AND you look at the Wizard's bench and you see Tapscott as your head coach and Wes Unseld Jr as the lead asst coach that in all will tell you that the team is sick.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 23, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Echo a lot of the comments made by wizfan81. Terribly disappointed that the Wiz let Roger Mason leave without making a real effort to re-sign him. The Wiz could have moved Stevenson last offseason when he had some trade value or Nick Young. Mason was clearly the most complete SG on the roster last year and our only legit 3-point threat with Arenas hurt. I was actually thrilled to see him have such a big game coming back to his hometown.

I'm more convinced than ever that our problems exist in the front office and EG needs to go. I can't imagine a legit veteran coach like Jeff Van Gundy or top assistant like Tom Thibideau even considering the Wiz head coaching job with Ernie in charge. He tried to use EJ as a scapegoat and then made the team even worse by promoting his buddy Taps to be the caretaker coach. EG should hold himself accountable and stop repeating that the team would be competitive if healthy...this a poorly constructed team, by a GM who's made a lot of poor personnel moves for the last 3 years. He's made enough poor moves that the owner should step in and firm him after the season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 23, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

PSPS23,

With all due respect, the reason why Pech's %'s are inept is the same reason why this Team is inept. Lack of proper coaching and direction.

If Pech knew that his role was to make the net sing, his percentages would increase significantly, but unfortunately, we do not have a coach that is that smart to tell him that or the guts to define his role that way.

LarryInClintonMD.

PSPS23, be careful with stats, they in most cases are not good measures of a players talents or winning. You can find both good and bad stats on winning teams as well as bad ones. The teams that win have clearly something else going on besides stats.

It might be good coaching along with a few good men, players I mean, in which the Wizards do have in case you didn't know.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree witn Larry that the team lacks proper coaching and direction. Example is Nick Young. I see NY the same way as Rip Hamilton when he was still with the Wiz. Great scorers, NY has more range but Rip moves better without the ball (the best in the league). I'm pretty sure that if NY goes to an elite organization he'll be a very solid contributor or with an improve defense and court awarenes could be a step or 2 to be a borderline all-star.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 23, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't deny that coaching would help the players out significantly, but in this case, every player is subject to bad coaching. Pech is still one of the worst shooters on the team, percentage-wise. As a matter of comparison, he's still not as good as almost all the other players on this team.

That's just my opinion. He's nowhere close to being a true shooting threat for any viable team. This is not JJ Redick we're talking about. He just isn't good.

Posted by: psps23 | February 23, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"And Larry you're right about Pecherov, coach to his strengths. Right now he's been told there's no role in the league for a big that can pop 3's. While he's sitting on the bench watching a big that makes a living by popping the occasional 3."

Which big are you talking about? Bonner, in the Spurs game? Because Bonner pops more than the "occasional" 3. He leads the league in 3 point percentage at just under 50%. If Pech shot anywhere close to that, he wouldn't be nailed to the bench. Jamison? Because Jamison does more than shoot 3s (Pech doesn't) and while he's not a great shooter, he shoots it well enough from distance to keep defenses honest (Pech doesn't).

The bottom line is that of course there's a role in the NBA for bigs who can shoot the three. The catch is, they actually have to be able to make them as well as shoot them. That's where Pech runs into trouble.

"Just because a guy likes to do something doesn't mean he's actually good at doing it. Pech shoots 38% from the field, 31% from the 3. If that's the major asset he brings to the team, he belongs nowhere near the court."

Dead on, psps23.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 23, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

How many times this year did we read we adjusted to what they were doing? Great coaches either have a plan and go out and get the players that fit their plan or come up with a plan that fits the player’s strengths.

Joe Gibbs would run the ball and he never cared about what the other team was going to do. He built a top notch front line and stuck to his philosophy. Yes, he went out and got John Riggins, but does anyone remember Timmy Smith.

SA goes out and gets players that fit into their system. Like him or not EJ looked at the players he had and realized they were not going to win playing Piston style basketball (tough defense). ETaps on the other hand has no clue what he is doing and that is on EG. Hopefully EG has a plan on who he wants to coach this team next year but is keeping it a secret.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 23, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"PSPS23, be careful with stats, they in most cases are not good measures of a players talents or winning."

That's true. Nonetheless, as a general rule, a player's shooting percentage is always a pretty good indicator of his ability to shoot. For a guy who likes to shoot as much as Pech, he's really not very good at it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 23, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Point was about coaching. As is the norm here some people(KAL) looking for an endless debate, pull out a snipet here, and a snipet there, reprint, make a snarky comment, and they're off to the races.

Point was, and is, as a coach you work on a player's strengths and learn to use them. As a rookie or a second year player Jamison had no three ball range. Several of the Spurs players had no range as young players, but sure do now. Bowen is a prime example. Coaching developed their game to be a useful part of a team concept.

Pops could see that despite his weaknesses, Mason had strengths he could use. That was the point both Larry and I were making about a good team with good coaching.

Point is when the current head coach of the Wiz belittles the value of a player shooting the three, I doubt a player like Pecherov spends much time in practice working on it. Or has any confidence in his ability when he does get off the bench.
Look at the Wiz three attempts vs. the competition, Tapscott's just not getting how the NBA game is played.

Discussion was about coaches getting prodution out of players. You both reinforced the point that Pecherov is not producing. Real question would be,Why? Is it talent, or coaching?

Go ahead and snip away, and feel free to retort with a typical snarky comment. But did you(KAL) ever notice when it comes to basketball, which is the subject matter around here, how few people ever respond to you?

Other then to rattle your easily reachable chain when someone else is in the mood to fight...

Me,I'd rather talk about basketball. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 23, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"But did you(KAL) ever notice when it comes to basketball, which is the subject matter around here, how few people ever respond to you?"

No, because quite a few people do respond to me. The ones who don't tend to be the ones (GM) who take any attempt to offer an argument counter to what they say as an attack. And, quite frankly, I don't care whether such people (GM) respond to what I say.

"Point was, and is, as a coach you work on a player's strengths and learn to use them."

Point is and was that shooting is not his strength, it's just what he prefers to do. He has yet to display any real strengths on the court. Can't coach what's not there. Some guys just don't have it.

"Me,I'd rather talk about basketball."

Then maybe that's what you should have done.

I was talking about basketball. I was talking about Pecherov's weaknesses as a player and pointing out that comparing him to other bigs who shoot long-range was an invalid comparison, because he doesn't have the kind of touch that makes him a valid threat. How, exactly, is that not about basketball?

There was nothing in my previous post that wasn't about basketball. There was nothing in your response that wasn't snarky and an attempt to start a fight.

People in glass houses, old boy.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 23, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

FlohrTV: Well said, all of it.

Posted by: cj658 | February 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

“People in glass houses, old boy”

Just don’t let it streak.

Posted by: cj658 | February 23, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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