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Wizards Insider: March 22, 2009 - March 28, 2009

Pistons, 98, Wizards, 96

Regardless of the final result, the mere presence of Gilbert Arenas sent a jolt of energy into the Washington Wizards and their fans that has been absent all season. Arenas has a flare for the dramatic, so it was only fitting that he had an opportunity to decide the game...

By Michael Lee  |  March 28, 2009; 11:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Detroit Pistons (34-37) at Washington Wizards (17-56)

Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, Dominic McGuire, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche. Pistons: Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Antonio McDyess, Kwame Brown. Refs: Luis Grillo, Derrick Stafford and Tony Brown Line: Pistons by 4.5. Gilbert Arenas will play, and he will start tonight. "The plan is holding, T-minus 59...

By Michael Lee  |  March 28, 2009; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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The Other Side: Detroit Pistons

I don't even know who we are anymore. (Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images) The Washington Wizards aren't the only struggling team to welcome back a former all-star guard on Saturday. The Detroit Pistons, who have plummeted from fifth to eighth in the Eastern Conference in the past...

By Michael Lee  |  March 28, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Mike James Done For Season

I'm out, y'all. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) In this worst-case scenario season, you can add Mike James to the list of injured players who won't play again this season for the Washington Wizards. Interim coach Ed Tapscott was hoping that James had merely jammed his finger...

By Michael Lee  |  March 28, 2009; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Tags: Arenas, Crittenton, Dixon, James, Tapscott, Young  
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Guess Who's Back?

Nope, this entry is not about the highly-anticipated return of Gilbert Arenas. It's about my return to the Washington Wizards beat. You may have noticed that there is no longer some dude grinning in a picture next to me anymore. Well, unless you've been under a rock the past two...

By Michael Lee  |  March 28, 2009; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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History Lesson

Our sister Web site, The Root, published an enlightening article this morning about the New York Renaissance, an all-black professional basketball team that played back in the 1930s. Check it out....

By Alexa Steele  |  March 27, 2009; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Arenas Likely to Start

Just wrapped up with practice and interviews here at Verizon Center. A quick breakdown: - Gilbert Arenas remains on schedule to make his debut Saturday night against Detroit and will likely start, according to interim coach Ed Tapscott. Officially, Arenas is called a "game-time decision" but as long as...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 27, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Tags: Arenas, Butler, Dixon, Haywood, James, Songaila, injuries  
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Morning Buzz

Michael Wilbon wrote for today's paper about how U-Conn. and Hasheem Thabeet have overcome a few distractions to reach the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament. The probable NBA lottery pick had a pretty good game, scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Wilbon said: The NCAA tournament, especially when...

By Alexa Steele  |  March 27, 2009; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Gilbert Breaks It Down

I figured folks would be chatting about the column Mike Wise wrote on Gilbert Arenas for today's paper so here's a link so you can weigh in. Throughout the season, I've chronicled the progress or lack thereof of the team's young core and Arenas hits that subject pretty hard...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 27, 2009; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Tags: Arenas, Mike Wise, Tapscott, young players  
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Race to the Bottom (9 Games Remaining)

After the Wizards' win over Charlotte and the Clippers' win at New York ... not much has changed -- the Grizzlies are now closer to the bottom than the Clippers. The standings: 1. Kings (15-55) 2. Wizards (17-56) 3. Grizzlies (17-53) 4. Clippers (18-54) Tonight, all four teams are idle....

By Alexa Steele  |  March 26, 2009; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Wizards Report Card: Nick Young

It seems appropriate to discuss Nick Young's season after his 23-point performance in last night's win over Charlotte because it offered a taste of what kind of talent the second-year guard has. Still, those nights have been too sporadic and his game too inconsistent to really have a read...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 26, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Wizards Report Card  
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Morning Buzz

Here are a couple of contrasting views on Gilbert Arenas's planned return to game action on Saturday. Chris Mannix at SI.com thinks Gilbert should slow down his comeback, while Roy S. Johnson on Yahoo!Sports eagerly welcomes back the league's "most valuable character," What do you think? poll by twiigs.com...

By Alexa Steele  |  March 26, 2009; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Wizards 95, Bobcats 93

What a way to go out. The Bobcats may have just tossed their playoff hopes into the dumpster with a stunning loss that was featured by 19 turnovers, including seven in the fourth quarter, 11 missed free throws and two missed layups in the final second. Wow. Give the...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 25, 2009; 10:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Wizards (16-56) vs. Bobcats (31-39)

Wizards starters: Javaris Crittenton, Mike James, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche Bobcats: Raymond Felton, Raja Bell, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Emeka Okafor. Refs: Tony Brothers, Scott Wall, Tom Washington -Injury update: Caron Butler will miss his seventh straight game with that left hamstring problem. Juan Dixon (achilles) and Darius...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 25, 2009; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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The Other Side: Charlotte Bobcats

I'm so hyped, I could jump through a brick wall. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) The Charlotte Bobcats have a chance to sweep the Washington Wizards for the first time in the franchise's five-year history, something that would surely trouble Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott, who is 0-3 against the...

By Michael Lee  |  March 25, 2009; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Race to the Bottom (10 Games Remaining)

No change from yesterday. All four bottom-dwellers were idle. The standings: 1. Kings (15-55) 2-8 in the last 10. 2. Wizards (16-56) 2-8 in the last 10. 3. Clippers (17-54) 2-8 in the last 10. 4. Grizzlies (17-53) 1-9 in the last 10. Tonight, it's Wizards at home vs. Bobcats...

By Alexa Steele  |  March 25, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Will Dominic McGuire Score Tonight?

I just need a few more opportunities like this. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) Anyone who has watched the Washington Wizards this season realizes that Dominic McGuire has a way of affecting the game that goes beyond the box score. But I was scurrying around the internet...

By Michael Lee  |  March 25, 2009; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Caron Butler Update

From Ivan Carter at Verizon Center: Caron Butler did some work in shootaround and is a game-time decision....

By Alexa Steele  |  March 25, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Roger Mason Jr. Strikes Again

Here I come to save the day. (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images) Once I saw that the San Antonio Spurs were struggling with the Golden State Warriors last night, I had to flip over on League Pass to check out the closing minutes. The Spurs have been...

By Michael Lee  |  March 25, 2009; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Tuesday Update: Arenas, Haywood Practice

A quick rundown from today's practice: -Both Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood fully practiced today and looked good according to teammates and interim coach Ed Tapscott. Tapscott said "the plan" calls for Arenas to likely play Saturday night against Detroit as long as all goes well the next few...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 24, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Wizards Report Card: Mike James

Mike James has been what Mike James is. That's about the best way I can summarize the season turned in by the journeyman guard, who arrived on Dec. 10 in that three-team trade that sent Antonio Daniels to New Orleans and brought Javaris Crittenton from Memphis for a conditional...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 24, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Wizards Report Card  
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Race to the Bottom

With the season quickly winding down, it's shaping up as a four-team lottery ball race with the Kings, Wizards, Clippers and Grizzlies all "hot" in the sense that they've continued losing at a solid rate. The standings: 1. Kings (15-55) 2-8 in the last 10. 2. Wizards (16-56) 2-8...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 24, 2009; 8:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Bulls 101, Wizards 99

The Wiz played most of the game with only eight guys but really put up a fight thanks mostly to strong efforts from Antawn Jamison and Javaris Crittenton but once again they came up short. As usual, the third quarter really hurt as the Bulls outscored the Wiz 33-20...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 23, 2009; 10:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Wizards (16-55) vs. Bulls (32-38)

Injury update: Caron Butler will miss his sixth straigh game with tightness in his hamstring whlie Juan Dixon (officially a game-time decision) will try to play after testing his sore achilles in pregame. Darius Songaila will not play. He suffered a pinched nerve in his neck against Utah Friday night...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 23, 2009; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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The Other Side: Chicago Bulls

Who knew Bulls fans were going to make a movie dedicated to me? (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) The Chicago Bulls were a bit overwhelmed the last time they came to Washington last month. First, they became the first professional sports team to visit with President Barack Obama....

By Michael Lee  |  March 23, 2009; 4:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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MMPG: The FourCast

This is my house. Chicago is my crib. (Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images) 1. Boston at Orlando (Wednesday) Of note: The Celtics and Magic meet for the final time, with so much on the line. A Celtics win would give them a critical tie-breaker if the teams finish with identical...

By Michael Lee  |  March 23, 2009; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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MMPG: Player of the Week

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers The rest of y'all need to catch up. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) How could LeBron James top a week in which he had two triple-doubles and a 50-point game? The front-runner for the MVP award led the Cleveland Cavaliers to four wins...

By Michael Lee  |  March 23, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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MMPG: Team of the Weak

Washington Wizards When are we going to get one break to go our way? (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) The Washington Wizards have had several bad weeks this season, but this campaign of futility reached another low last week. Not only did the Wizards lose four games by...

By Michael Lee  |  March 23, 2009; 1:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Arenas Update

I just talked to Gilbert Arenas and he kind of confirmed that he plans to try to play Saturday night against Detroit saying: "It's true if that's what ends up happening. First, I have to see how I feel in the practices this week, then I have to be...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 23, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Report: Arenas to Return Saturday

According to Chris Miller of Comcast, Gilbert Arenas told Miller via text that he plans on making his return Saturday when the Wizards host Detroit. Reportedly, Arenas texted: "Ur the first to get the truth. I'm playing Saturday against Detroit. And I'm only playin home games but I will...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 23, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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MMPG: Team of the Week

Houston Rockets Who knew that somebody would be happy to see me coming into the stands? (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images) The Houston Rockets are a case study in resilience. Take away one of their star players and they have enough role players to fill the void....

By Michael Lee  |  March 23, 2009; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Monday Morning Point Guard

Yes, yes, Yao. The next few weeks are going to get really crazy. (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images) Almost every team has played at least 70 games, but not much has been settled in the NBA, which means that the final four weeks of the season...

By Michael Lee  |  March 23, 2009; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Sunday Update

The Wizards completed their 0-4 roadie with a loss at Phoenix last night and then flew home, arriving back in DC around six o'clock this morning. Because of the packed schedule and the long trip home, the team did not practice today and will instead hold a full shootaround...

By Ivan Carter  |  March 22, 2009; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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