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Wizards 107, Nets 96

Dare I ask: are we watching the red hot Washington Wizards? They've won two straight and three of the last five.

The Nets came out flat and pretty much stayed that way all night, but credit the Wizards for being the more assertive, aggressive and crisp team tonight.

The key stats were as follows: The Nets shot 37.9 percent while the Wizards finished with a 54-41 rebounding edge and a whopping 60-36 edge in second-chance points. For the first time all season, all five starters scored in double figures.

What's funny is that early today, in a chat, I suggested that while Dominic McGuire has been solid in his role, I needed to see more hustle points and tonight, he got 'em. He finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks (though he had at least two more) and he played some good defense on Vince Carter, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting.

McGuire also hit what I thought was the biggest shot of the night. With just under six minutes to go and the Nets making a push, McGuire backed Keyon Dooling down and banked in a turnaround jumper off the glass. It was a huge shot, the kind of shot that the Wizards haven't made in that kind of game all season.

The Wizards go for three in a row tomorrow night against the well-rested Spurs, who did not play tonight.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 20, 2009; 11:27 PM ET
 | Tags: Dominic McGuire, Nets  
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Next: The Other Side: San Antonio Spurs

Comments

It was stunning to see an NBA caliber effort on defense, both individually and as a team. Rotations were excellent tonight.

McGuire was great, but I am losing faith in NY. He does not seem to have any basketball IQ.

Blatche would have had a double-double had he stayed out of foul trouble and he does not have his conditioning back yet. Blatche is going to be a stud.

As I have been saying, add a good coach, Arenas, Haywood, and a lottery pick and this team could be very dangerous. This game shows that it was and has always been the coaching rather than the talent. Tonights effort shows that they were mailing it in earlier.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 20, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. A real win streak.!!!! Careful boys you might miss out on the THABEET sweeps even though DEJUAN abused my man severely the other day.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey speaking of Jarvis (from the last post) why do some Wiz fans automatically boo ex-players?

What is the point in booing Jarvis Hayes, Larry Hughes, Michael Ruffin, Calvin Booth and other harmless ex-Wiz?

I understand the boos for Stackhouse, J. Howard, and Kwame.

Hopefully Roger Mason will get a big warm welcome tomorrow. And the same for Antonio Daniels when he returns March 11.

Posted by: SteveC28 | February 21, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Once again, McGuire proves his doubters wrong.

Dude's a pure baller. Knows the game, plays it the right way. Just wait until he develops a reliable jumper. He has CLEARLY moved ahead of Nick Young on the youngster pecking order. Talk about a steal.

Of course, knowing the Wizards, he'll probably be let leave for some one-dimensional "talent" in a couple years.

Posted by: psps23 | February 21, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

UltimateFootballNetwork: How does NY show anything with 11 min. of PT? And of those, he was in and out. No player can establish a rythym with the inconsistent PT he's been getting all season. The guy is a baller and has shown it. The coaching staff has to understand how to use him properly(he's a scorer) and I have not seen that from either EJ or ET. Same with McGee. I've noticed on this blog that folks will jump on the bandwagon when trashing a Wizard's player. Most folks called Blatche a bum, but now given some consistency in PT, he is producing, albeit not at his natural 4. Get these guys a real coach next year and a healthy Arenas and Haywood and I guarantee we'll be a playoff team next year with some real potential and the naysayers of the what the so called scrubs we have on this team, will be the great supporting staff of next year.

Posted by: garrybrown | February 21, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow! I'm damn near speechless. The sharpest game I've seen the team play in a long long time. Defense, passing, cutting, rotations, rebounds...everything....except for about a 5 minute lull in 4th in was a damn near flawless game.

Everyone played pretty damn well except McGee. Funny, the crisper/better the team plays the worse he looks when on the floor. He'll be fine in due time I do believe or I hope anyway!

garrybrown,

So I guess you got it all figured out? Maybe NY doesn't deserve to get major consistent mins bc he does nothing on the floor other than score and that comes and goes too. He can't dribble, pass, play d, rebound...nothing. And when the team is scoring like tonight he is not needed.

Also, yeah, Blatche is playing better. But, did you ever think consistent minutes comes with consistent play??? The team does practice...although I have to laugh at that myself bc at times this year it was hard to tell. The silver lining is McGee getting minutes at all this season bc otherwise he would have played about as much as Pech without the injuries.

Anyway, great win. Seems like the team was in a funk for a long time and now they are focusing much better. At least their watchable for the moment!

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 21, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

The Bergen NJ Record reported the Spurs had offered Roger Mason, Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto, and last year's number one George Hill, for Vince Carter....

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

anybody know why CB has so many turnovers this year...it seems every other game he has 6 turnovers.

NY is one dimensional, always has been. He needs to get a clue and show he can play team ball. His shots will come. I can see EG packaging NY with ET this summer for a PF.

And yes I will be booing RM tonight from behind the SA bench...its half the fun of being there.

Posted by: oddjob2 | February 21, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

oddjob:"anybody know why CB has so many turnovers this year...it seems every other game he has 6 turnovers. NY is one dimensional, always has been. He needs to get a clue and show he can play team ball. His shots will come. I can see EG packaging NY with ET this summer for a PF. And yes I will be booing RM tonight from behind the SA bench...its half the fun of being there."

Butler's handling the ball too much. He needs to be the receiver, not the QB. Nick Young is looking like an off-the-bench scorer, not starting material. Grunfeld would love a decent power forward -- that's what he hoped Etan would once again be. Mason doesn't mind if you boo. He's just really, really glad he missed this season with the Wiz...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

By the way, that supposed Spurs for Vince Carter trade would have been among the stupidest in memory. You don't trade a franchise-type player (even an aging, unmotivated one) for a bunch who will never, ever become franchise-type players (unless you see something in George Hill that I don't). No, Vince Carter would probably have made sense in some place like Houston or Dallas. But he would have required a young star, and nobody had one to spare...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Of course, knowing the Wizards, he'll probably be let leave for some one-dimensional "talent" in a couple years.

Posted by: psps23 | February 21, 2009 2:31 AM

The difference between the (when that used to happen) and now, is that now we have a good GM.

So let's fire him, I mean what is Detroit to do now?

Posted by: jones-y | February 21, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

meant to type: the difference between then and now

Posted by: jones-y | February 21, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Could it be that CB has more turnovers because he's playing the 2 guard instead of his natural SF?

I agree, NY needs to get clue quickly. Too many turnovers, too many bone headed moves and too many high-risk-low-reward risks.

Anyway, games like this make you wonder what a healthy wizards team could have done this season.

Posted by: tundey | February 21, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Didn’t I just read this someplace a couple of days ago?

As I said in a story I wrote on Ernie Grunfeld's "plan" the other day, the future of this team will hinge on three factors: the health of Gilbert Arenas, the development of young fellas like JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Javaris Crittenton, Dom McGuire and Nick Young and what Grunfeld does with that lottery pick this summer.

It looks more like Ernie Grunfeld's "real plan", is have Gilbert Arenas and BTH come back and play before the end of the season (so they can sell some seasons tickets for next year), develop the young fellas like JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Javaris Crittenton, Dom McGuire and Nick Young as long as it does not cost them any wins, they need to win so Grunfeld does not get the first pick it the lottery this summer because….other than Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, the Wizard scouts Ivan has spoken with, do not see a real instant impact guy. Assuming that Arenas and Brendan Haywood come back, wouldn't it be a good move to package any pick below No. 1 with a bad contract and bring a vet in here who can help? That way we do not have to worry about going over the luxury cap!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 21, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

That Javaris guy looks pretty good, keep playing him more Ed! Oh, and Dominic is awesome, he brings it every night, not the most talented guy but he DOES bring it every night and he's a great energy guy for us. I say we keep playing the young guys and finish the season off strong. This is really good for the young guys, they'll getting a lot of good experience right now.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

And yes I will be booing RM tonight from behind the SA bench...its half the fun of being there.
Posted by: oddjob2

That is simply ridiculous! Roger is a great hometown guy who did not want to leave our team. It's worked out very well for him though.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 21, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse


And yes I will be booing RM tonight from behind the SA bench...its half the fun of being there.
Posted by: oddjob2 | February 21, 2009 8:02 AM

Man. Please don't boo Mason. Boo the whole Spurs if you want, but don't single out Mason. The guy was good to us, this is his hometown, and he's an overall classy guy. He doesn't deserve it.

Posted by: crs-one | February 21, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

oddjob2, don't boo Roger, he didn't want to leave. It was that idiot Ernie who said they couldn't afford Roger, but they could, but they gave all their money to Gilbert.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 21, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

This just in: Ernie has no plan if he did then he would have done a better job at managing the salary cap,and he would have fired EJ before the season started or at least waited until the end of the season not eleven games in and throw the whole season into chaos,That move(firing EJ)speaks volumes about EG's thought process, why let personal feelings get in the way of what's best for the long term welfare of the team, he has also made a number of befuddling moves starting with the appointment of Eddie Tapscott as head coach, what was he thinking? The head coaching position on any NBA team isn't for OJT and since you decided to fire a playoff tested coach why bring in someone who hadn't coached in almost two decades,then you sign a number of players to extensions that maybe didin't deserve those contract's finally you overpay for two players albeit two all stars, one who has serious knee problems and who has only played in a handfull of games in almost two years.Truth be told i am not a fan of Ernie Grunfeld, in my humble opinion Grunfeld let personality get in the way of common sense concerning the Jordan situation,that along with some personel moves that have been mind numbing makes me wonder if he is an asset or a liability as the GM.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 21, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see that win. Our defensive strategy of cramming the lane and leaving their shooters open for uncontested 3's paid off! The went 7-29 from 3, while our interior defense caused plenty of steals. That's a great example of the phrase, "A stopped clock is right twice a day."

I'll cheer for Mason during the intros. My guess is that he'll get a nice ovation and the three people on this blog who plan to boo will be the only folks booing.

Posted by: cballer | February 21, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The difference between the (when that used to happen) and now, is that now we have a good GM.

So let's fire him, I mean what is Detroit to do now?

Posted by: jones-y

-------

You've got me wrong. I like Grunfeld. It doesn't change the fact that the Wizards have in the past, and still have recently (Mason), let some pretty underrated players leave with the hopes that other talents (Nick Young) can easily fill their role.

Posted by: psps23 | February 21, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I would not boo Mason or Juwan Howard. They were class acts and solid professionals when they were here.

Juwan ended up getting a contract that was a lot higher than his skills warranted, but that was not his fault. It was due to the mistakes of the owner and the front office at the time.

Also, EG gets way more criticism on this board than he deserves. If Gilbert can come back and be close to the player he was, then the cup is more than half full for the Wiz. They then would have three all stars and a lot of developing young talent. Who brought all these players here?

There is so much criticism about the lottery pick we have and where we are right now with salary cap and luxury tax. Why don't we wait to see what happens first before we criticize.

Last year a lot of people criticized getting the conditional first round pick for Navrro. EG eventually parlayed that into a trade than got us Javaris Crittenton, who may end up being a very fine PG for us.

Posted by: cannontl | February 21, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Good job Wiz, there goes Blake Griffin.

Instead of trading out of our lottery pick if we don't get the first pick in the draft (say third or fourth pick instead) how about packaging that pick with a player and a future #1 to move up to #1 and take Griffin?

Anyone else we draft won't be good enough to crack our rotation consistently next year and will rot away at the end of the bench anyway. More of the Wizards trademark of "roster duplication".

Remember ten years ago the Spurs had David Robinson, their franchise player, who got hurt and missed pretty much the entire season.

The Spurs fell on their face without him, finished with one of the worst records in the league (not the worst) and got lucky and won the lottery. They added Tim Duncan #1 overall and have won championships and been a contender ever since. These are the types of seasons that can vault a team from decent to great. This draft is huge!!!

BLAKE GRIFFIN BLAKE GRIFFIN BLAKE GRIFFIN!

Posted by: jpish | February 21, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

You've got me wrong. I like Grunfeld. It doesn't change the fact that the Wizards have in the past, and still have recently (Mason), let some pretty underrated players leave with the hopes that other talents (Nick Young) can easily fill their role.

Posted by: psps23 | February 21, 2009 12:17 PM


Get your facts straight before putting down EG. He did not just let Mason go Old Abe would not let him go over the luxury tax threshold to sign him.

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 21, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

rnorris6:"Get your facts straight before putting down EG. He did not just let Mason go Old Abe would not let him go over the luxury tax threshold to sign him."

Well, that lux tax does hurt. Mason was a loss, but the Spurs did overpay for him, at least based on his past record. The Wiz do have a history of trading some players who turn out to be awfully good -- just ask the Pistons.

Anyway it's not a put-down of Grunfeld. Ernie would be first to admit he's blown a few in Washington. Price of being a GM in today's NBA/ |

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Get your facts straight before putting down EG. He did not just let Mason go Old Abe would not let him go over the luxury tax threshold to sign him.

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 21, 2009 3:17 PM

Get YOUR facts straight.

(1) I didn't put down EG.

(2) I said The Wizards let players like Roger Mason leave. That refers to ANYONE that is making decisions in the front office.

Try actually reading it next time.

Posted by: psps23 | February 21, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

All Grunfeld had to do was sit the three of them down together(Mason,Arenas,Jamison)and say "look I want to keep the three of you, will you Gilbert take x number of dollars same for you Antawn so we can stay under the cap/lux tax so we can give Roger the money he deserves" now how hard would that have been?

Posted by: dargregmag | February 21, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Can we not hear any more trash talk about Dom McGuire up in this joint? Last night was a prime example of what McGuire brings to the table. (That tip-slam in the 3rd quarter was RIDICULOUS!!) Please do not confuse his inconsistency with a lack of ability. He will get more consistent as he gains more experience. Remember, he didn't play as much last year as he is this season. I see him as our future "LeBron-stopper." Contrary to what some of y'all think, Dom McGuire isn't going anywhere anytime soon...

Posted by: MEssex | February 21, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

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