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Wizards 111, Wolves 103

Not much to really say about this one folks. That was two bad teams flopping around and the Wizards, after blowing a 19-point first half lead, pulled it out thanks to a 16-5 game-closing run that included a pair of big threes by Mike James (the guy who once got Kevin McHale to give him a fat payday in Minny - how ironic).

If you folks are a bit down about what has happened to the Wizards, consider that yours truly grew up a huge T-Wolves fan. Hard to believe that franchise was 58-24 and one Sam Cassell hip injury away from the Finals in 2004.

Anyway, we did see some good things from the Wiz: Antwan Jamison was his usual double-double self, Andray Blatche looked pretty good after missing nine games with a strained left knee in 27 minutes of action and Javaris Crittenton did a nice job in 24 minutes. His 11 points and four assists don't look impactful on paper but if you were just watching the game, it seemed that he had a much greater impact. I really liked that first half play when he shook Rashad McCants in the open floor before lofting that alley-oop to JaVale McGee. Nice.

Then again, that was a Minny team that was without Al Jefferson and gave heavy minutes to Brian Cardinal tonight so there it is. Brian Cardinal.........

Interim coach Ed Tapscott had an interesting quote when asked about the trade rumors. It vibes with the general idea that while Ernie Grunfeld's phone has been ringing with interest, the Wiz aren't actively looking to move either Butler or Jamison (though, I did hear that Jamison could go if the "right" move came along. I don't know what that move is or, was).

Anway, this is what Tap said: "You can't always be in charge of names that come up but let me ask you soemething: if you were one of the other 29 teams in the league who would you ask for? You'd ask for Jamison or Butler. So, we can't be in charge of who people ask for. All we can do is say yes or no. My belief is that people are inquiring and as far as I know, the answer is no. We believe in the core of this team, we know why we are where we are. We just don't have healthy bodies."

I found that answer interesting because it vibes with what Ernie has been telling me.

-One injury note: Butler appeared to tweak his right hip after falling on it in the fourth. Tapscott said he pulled him from the game as a precautionary reason. After the game, Butler said it was sore but he didn't think it was too serious. I'll have an update tomorrow after practice.


By Ivan Carter  |  February 17, 2009; 10:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Wednesday Pre-Practice Update

Comments

GO WIZ.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 17, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Javaris Crittenton has some serious handles,just wish the veterans trusted him more.

Posted by: jeremydvid | February 17, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I thought "injuries are not an excuse". Yep, seems Gunfeld is hypocrite- EJ gets the axe because the team should be better, but Tapscott gets a break even though 2 key guys in Butler and Jamison have been pretty injury-free this season.

Posted by: twigmuffin | February 17, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

This is my trade proposal, and Cavs should include at least one 1st round pick.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cqzqo2

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 18, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Roger Mason for scoring 20 tonight. Too bad he wasn't good enough for the Wizards with all their great outside shooters.

Funny comment by Tapscott about them clearing the beaches in the Bahamas if he showed up there.

Too bad the guy can't coach.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | February 18, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Ernie will keep Antawn and Caron. They are two terrific, first-rate players.

But, we are dealing with Ernie here.

At present they are in luxury tax territory. Surely he will make a move to get under the tax.

Imagine if this terrible team has to pay the luxury tax.

Posted by: erniegone | February 18, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, we're not breaking up the '86 Celtics, we're trying to make changes to a 12-42 team. And you agree that getting under the tax next season is a top concern. I would not fault mgmt for making a reasonable trade, especially with our current record which I do not believe is a mirage.

Posted by: twigmuffin | February 18, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

It’s not that hard to figure out that with; a healthy Gilbert, a younger AJ, a happier CB, and a physically fit BTH they could not make it past the first round.

Now you are looking at: Gil who no one knows at what level he can play at, an older AJ, a disgruntled CB, and BTH who is on his way out the door after next year and people want to keep this core of players together?

They cannot win a championship and I don’t care who they bring in to coach this team.
It is time to accept reality and move on and start the rebuilding process.

Everyone knows Abe will not exceed the luxury cap so trade some players, free up some cap space and rebuild through the draft. Next year they can move some players like DSong, CB, MJ, BTH, and let OP walk.

Unfortunately no top free agent would ever want to come here so they need to trade for a player where they can offer him more than if he were to sign somewhere else.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 18, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards need to get rid of Jamison immediately. He is overpaid, and with 3 years/40 million left on his contract will prevent the Wizards from achieving more than 45 wins in that period. Another problem is that with him and Butler, we are just good enough to squeeze out another 7-8 wins and finish 4th or 5th from last place. This draft only has 3 blue chippers in it. With Arenas, Haywood, Butler, and the others back next season, we'll never be bad enough again to get the caliber of player we could with a top 3 pick. It is urgent that we dump Jamison, tank the season, and come back well prepared for the next 5 years.

Posted by: scottsdale | February 18, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I'd much rather get rid of Etan and James for the earlier reported Hughes offer.

Ivan is that still possible? We can get rid of 2 horrible players, get hughes who can play 3 positions score and be a better defender, and then use our draft pick to sign an etan replacement.

Once Gilbert comes back we'd have

BTH
Blatche
Jamison
Butler
NY
Arenas

Bench
McGee
Griffin
Larry Hughes
Darius
Dominic
and others

Not bad if you ask me....

Posted by: insanity999 | February 18, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Ivan,

What are your thoughts on Crit overall?

Posted by: riskus | February 18, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Did you catch that Eddie Jordan interview on Comcast? Classic EJ.

He said that if the personnel wasn't going to change, he should have been fired (because he didn't believe that the team could win). He then listed the types of players he wanted:

1. A veteran physical frontline -- that's a criticism of both Haywood and Jamison.
2. A quick point guard -- not an Antonio Daniels fan, apparently.
3. A three point shooter -- not thrilled with Caron's and DeShawn's shooting.
4. Just a tough player at any position -- "paging Michael Ruffin" ....
5. A skilled center. This is the one that really got me. He wants a physical, veteran center who is skilled. I take skilled to mean good shooter and passer -- a Princeton offense center, who is also physical on the defensive end. Name all of the guys in the league who fit that description. Yao Ming is the only one I can think of. Ilgauskas (sp?) is skilled but soft. If Songalia were good and taller, he would fit the description. Maybe there are others, but the point is that they are rare, so to get one, Grunfeld would have had to trade Arenas, Butler or Jamison, plus other things, to get one. So much for doing the best you can with what you have.

Then, after taking no blame for the team's 1-10 record, after saying he couldn't win with that roster, after throwing Grunfeld and most of his players under the bus, the interview ends and Chris Miller says, "A class act." What???!!!

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 18, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

The teamm's stated objective coming out of the all-star break is to play .500 the rest of the way.

Whoopee. That's supposed to build momemtum and make them better next year?

With their current record, the best thing for the Wiz to do is to embrace and play the younsters.

There is talent on the bench, but the players need court time to improve their confidence and consistency.

Posted by: Izman | February 18, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Critter looked very solid for the Wiz last night, not quite ready to start but maybe in a couple of weeks...NY looked like he had been partying the whole break--totally out of sync and one dimensional. I'm beginning to think we should try and move him this summer if possible--showcase him the last two weeks of the season, and then maybe ship him to the Clippers if they are willing to part with their 2010 or 2011 1st round pick. The Wiz already have one big goofball (GA) they dont need a second.

Posted by: oddjob2 | February 18, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Next year should be interesting. Hopefully Javaris gets a lot of PT.

Posted by: tundey | February 18, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

disgruntled fan: [about Ed Jordan] "Then, after taking no blame for the team's 1-10 record, after saying he couldn't win with that roster, after throwing Grunfeld and most of his players under the bus, the interview ends and Chris Miller says, "A class act." What???!!!"

So, do you think Ed Jordan could have won with that roster?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Also, wasn't it actually Jordan who got thrown under the bus? Along with some pointed comments from Ernie Grunfeld that the Wiz' play was 'unacceptable'? And they should be .500, even with the injuries?

Just a little payback, I'm sure. He probably thinks the Wiz went out of their way to embarrass him. I doubt he's criticizing Jamison and Butler. Haywood, yes. Daniels, maybe, but remember, it was Ernie who traded Antonio long after Jordan's departure -- for Mike James.

The mistake was the timing. Bear with me for beating an expired equine, but if Grunfeld wanted Jordan out, he should have done it during the off-season. If he couldn't, then he should have let Jordan take the team into the second half. Then he could have fired him and we all would have been left with the pleasant fantasy that the Wiz would have been better if only they'd had a different coach.

This way, we can't even kid ourselves about that.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

we all would have been left with the pleasant fantasy that the Wiz would have been better if only they'd had a different coach.

This way, we can't even kid ourselves about that.

Not that it would stop anybody...

Posted by: jones-y | February 18, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Here is what one reporter wrote about the Hornets trade...

The Hornets painted themselves into a corner with their previous free-agent mistakes, most notably the decisions to use full midlevel contracts on Mo Peterson and James Posey and the overly generous contract they gave Peja Stojakovic. As a result, they were going to be several million dollars over the luxury tax next season if they didn't dump a large contract.

With a few names changed it looks like it could have been written about the Wizards

The Wizards painted themselves into a corner with their previous free-agent mistakes, most notably the decisions to use full midlevel contracts on Deshawn Stevenson and Darius Songaila and the overly generous contract they gave Gilbert Arenas. As a result, they were going to be several million dollars over the luxury tax next season if they didn't dump a large contract. AJ instead of Chandler?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 18, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

disgruntledfan, I saw the Eddie Jordan interview and came away with a totally different perspective than yours. I did not think Eddie threw his players (or anyone) under the bus.

And he did come across as "classy" - especially considering that he had taken the team to the playoffs 4 straight years and was fired after only 11 games - and has the team improved since his firing??? Nope.....

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 18, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Neither Stevenson nor Songaila are signed to full MLE deals.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Neither Stevenson nor Songaila are signed to full MLE deals.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"You really just can't admit you were wrong about something, can you?"
Posted by: Pradamaster | February 17, 2009 8:36 PM "

"Nothing new there."
Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 17, 2009 11:28 PM

--
--

Hahaha. Looks like ignorance runs and hides when it is called out. What a shock!

Pradamaster, I read your debate in the “Trade Rumors Updated” post yesterday, and found it quite interesting. You pointed out some facts and provided details. You proved the person you were arguing with WRONG, and he (or she, it wouldn’t surprise me) runs and hides. After your final post yesterday, you did not receive a response from the other blogger, after you proved him/her wrong.

In conclusion, you provided very good points, and did a very good job “shut-up” a talking head who thinks he knows everything. I commend you.

Tell Kalo_rama that you allow him to speak again, I think it’s safe to press the button and turn the mute “off”. lol.

And DCMAN, I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"You really just can't admit you were wrong about something, can you?"
Posted by: Pradamaster | February 17, 2009 8:36 PM "

"Nothing new there."
Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 17, 2009 11:28 PM


Hahaha. Looks like ignorance runs and hides when it is called out. What a shock!

Pradamaster, I read your debate in the “Trade Rumors Updated” post yesterday, and found it quite interesting. You pointed out some facts and provided details. You proved the person you were arguing with WRONG, and he (or she, it wouldn’t surprise me) runs and hides. After your final post yesterday, you did not receive a response from the other blogger, after you proved him/her wrong.

In conclusion, you provided very good points, and did a very good job “shut-up” a talking head who thinks he knows everything. I commend you.

Tell Kalo_rama that you allow him to speak again, I think it’s safe to press the button and turn the mute “off”. lol.

And DCMAN, I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Neither Stevenson nor Songaila are signed to full MLE deals.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"You really just can't admit you were wrong about something, can you?"
Posted by: Pradamaster | February 17, 2009 8:36 PM "

"Nothing new there."
Posted by: DC_MAN88

Hahaha. Looks like ignorance runs and hides when it is called out. What a shock!

Pradamaster, I read your debate in the “Trade Rumors Updated” post yesterday, and found it quite interesting. You pointed out some facts and provided details. You proved the person you were arguing with WRONG, and he (or she, it wouldn’t surprise me) runs and hides. After your final post yesterday, you did not receive a response from the other blogger, after you proved him/her wrong.

In conclusion, you provided very good points, and did a very good job “shut-up” a talking head who thinks he knows everything. I commend you.

Tell Kalo_rama that you allow him to speak again, I think it’s safe to press the button and turn the mute “off”. lol.

And DCMAN, I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz already have one big goofball (GA) they dont need a second.

Posted by: oddjob2 | February 18, 2009 7:31 AM

actually they have like 10 big goofballs

Posted by: prescrunk | February 18, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Ha

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Neither Songaila nor Stevenson is signed to a full MLE deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=acejyk

Alright, what do you guys think? I'd love to keep Jamison but if we're going to have to dump a good draft pick at the last minute, maybe it's best to make a move now... this trade gets us David Lee to replace Jamison and consolidates our contracts so that worst case scenario, we can have substantial cap room in 2011. From what I can gather from various news outlets the other teams will accept this deal.

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | February 18, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Ernie should have been fired along with EJ. He has ruined the team just like I said he would. Should have never resigned Gilly or Jamison. Need to make the trade with the cavs but I would try to get Hickson and Wally's World for Jamison. I don't know if I could ever forgive the wizards if they trade Caron.

Posted by: beas13 | February 18, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

NOTE TO LISA R: It would take a womens smarter perspective to explain the Jordan/Hernandez interview aired on Comcast last night.Jordan at no time during the Q&A threw anybody "under the bus" he just stated the facts,EJ took a group of players that no one thought could get to the playoffs and did it four straight years,Jordan has every right to be bitter but when you have to deal with a snake like Grunfeld what options do you have, makes me wonder if Abe Pollin is in control of all his faculties for hiring that piece of krap,Jordan a hometown,homegrown,sucess story, excellent bench coach sent packing after eleven games and haven't they "flourished" under Tapscott,Jordan did display a lot of class last night because had it been me it would have been a expletive deleted interview. Thanks Lisa for telling it like it is.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 18, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Liked the interview with Edide last night and he didn't throw EG under the bus. His point was that the team he was given didn't have the personnel to be a very good team. Even with a healthy Arenas and BTH, he pointed out that they were missing a physical, frontline player behind Haywood & Jamision who could play some quality minutes. Rony Turiaff would have fit the bill and Golden State signed him as a RFA knowing LA wasn't going to pay him that much.

Second, his point about a 3-point shooter was a direct shot at EG's inability and or ownership's unwillingness to go over the luxury cap to re-sign Roger Mason to what was a fairly modest FA contract. We've seen what Mason has done in an expanded role on a better team this year in San Antonio (and he's a classy guy who deserves the success).

Look at the moves that Cleveland has made the last two season to improve the supporting cast around LeBron. EG could have made similar types of moves but has insisted the Wiz "when healthy can be a very competitive team". Even healthy, the team had holes after the 2006 season which would have kept them from being a contender but were never addressed. Now, we hear talk about unloading one of our two legit cornerstones to free up cap space? The bad contracts like ET, James, Songaila, and of course Agent Zero's are the huge albatross on the franchise, not those of AJ or Butler

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

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