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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 minutes," Coach Ed Tapscott said in his pre-game talk with reporters. "He's feeling good. He's ready to go. And he's going to start." Arenas dipped in an out of the locker room before the game, music blaring from his headphones and taking note of the unusually large media crush. He took time to needle guard Nick Young for wearing some gaudy, gold earrings that said, "Young." He looks ready to go. . .

Caron Butler also decided to give it a go on the left hamstring that has kept him out of the past six games. Dominic McGuire will have the responsibility of chasing around Pistons guard Richard Hamilton, who came back after missing the past six games with a groin injury. "I told him, put two pairs of socks on, because there is going to be a lot of running," Tapscott said. . .

As I reported earlier, Mike James is done for the season with a broken right pinkie. He seemed to be handling it relatively well, as he joked with teammates Young and McGuire before the game. James won a champonship with Detroit in 2003-04. He said he gave his championship ring to his father. James said he still has his championship belt from Rasheed Wallace and told me the special message on the belt. It's not fit for print, but it is reminiscent of a classic Dave Chappelle skit about a late, great R&B/funk star from the 1980s. . .

Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace participated in the morning shootaround to test his sore left calf, but he elected not to play. Wallace was lacing up a new pair Carolina blue Air Force Ones as he explained how difficult it has been to sit out the past nine games and watch his teammates slip to eighth place in the Eastern Conference. "I realize we're on the bubble right now," Wallace said, keeping mind on the NCAA Tournament as he explained his need to get healthy instead of rushing back because of the fall in the standings. "We just got to in. Just get in and you can win the championship -- just like Carolina."

By Michael Lee  |  March 28, 2009; 6:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Pistons, 98, Wizards, 96

Comments

Hey mike I know we get gil back and everything,but what's the lastest on the new coach.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | March 28, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

It is SO STRANGE to see Gilbert. I forgot how he looked in a Wizards jersey, or even a NBA jersey at that.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

TAKE THE WIZ!!!

Posted by: Barno1 | March 28, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Now that "Gil" is back, will all the posters to these discussions and the callers to sports talk radio stop complaining that the Wizards are trying to win?

Posted by: Dungarees | March 28, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that saying on Mike James' championship belt is a classic. Rasheed made those for all the players, so he gets all the credit for that one. Hilarious.

Posted by: Roman5 | March 28, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I bet if that were Lebron or Kobe, then they would have called a foul on that last play, but when you only have 17 wins, you usually never get those calls.

Posted by: rxs85 | March 28, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

With a 50% Arenas and a 50% Butler and horrible coaching you can still see what a different team this is with Arenas on the court.

A true franchise player and worth his contract. When he gets his wind back and we can add Haywood (and hopefully Blake Griffin) this franchise is in good shape.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 28, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Told you all to TAKE THE WIZ. They covered the spread.

Bang!

Posted by: Barno1 | March 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barno,

I gotta take a leak, come hold my tube steak for me while I go. Don't forget to shake it twice before you put it back in you clown.

Posted by: dspinx | March 28, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"I bet if that were Lebron or Kobe, then they would have called a foul on that last play, but when you only have 17 wins, you usually never get those calls.

Posted by: rxs85 | March 28, 2009 9:31 PM "

Why should a foul have been called on Gilby's last second play?

He ran towards the ball to retrieve his rebound, grabbed it, and turned around and shot.

It was clear and obvious that his momentum took him out into the seats.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"With a 50% Arenas and a 50% Butler and horrible coaching you can still see what a different team this is with Arenas on the court.

A true franchise player and worth his contract. When he gets his wind back and we can add Haywood (and hopefully Blake Griffin) this franchise is in good shape.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 28, 2009 9:46 PM "

How was the team different?

They still lost while AI and Rasheed didn't play.

Gilby shot 3-12 in 29 minutes.

Funny how Gilby railed on the youngun's in Mike Wise's column, but it was the youngun's who were hustling and kept the game close.

When Gilby started the game, it almost reminded me of when Cal Ripken played the game where he broke Lou Gehrig's record and the opposing team lobbed him softball tosses for him to hit a home run.

Early on, Detroit backed away from Gilby and let him do some things.

Gilby in fact, picked a good night to come back because AI was not on the court to make Gilby play D.

Then, Stuckey turned on his game, even though he's not an attacker, and Gilby was backpedaling all night to a point where ETap called for the team to play zone defense.

I even remembered a funny play during the game where Maxiell drove by AJ along the baseline, AJ bounced off his shoulder like a ping pong ball, and Maxiell poster dunked him with a reverse.

All AJ did all night was cry to the refs.

Gilby did some good things tonight, but he clearly does not have any elevation in his legs, and when he plays against attacking guards, he's going to have a lot of trouble.

Gilby was fumbling and tumbling all night, but clearly, he was in shape as he probably could have hit the court 3 months ago, but dragged it out until tonight.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barno,

I gotta take a leak, come hold my tube steak for me while I go. Don't forget to shake it twice before you put it back in you clown.

Posted by: dspinx | March 28, 2009 10:10 PM

Why would you want a guy holding your schlong while you take a leak, you freak.

And give Barno his props. Nice call buddy

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

DCMAN,

You're a f'ing idiot. After reading that last post, that is not up for debate. I'm guessing no high school diploma for you. Am I right?

HAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

When Gilby started the game, it almost reminded me of when Cal Ripken played the game where he broke Lou Gehrig's record and the opposing team lobbed him softball tosses for him to hit a home run.

Early on, Detroit backed away from Gilby and let him do some things.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:35 PM

You are a moron. I hope you know that. Yeah, Detroit (in desparate need of a win to keep pace in the playoff race) "backed away from Gilby and let him do some things" a la Cal Ripken, because Detroit really gives a rat's *ss about Gilby.

DC MAN get a clue.

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Gilby railed on the youngun's in Mike Wise's column, but it was the youngun's who were hustling and kept the game close.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:35 PM

I assume you're referring to McGuire, considering he was the "youngun" (sic) doing the hustling, with 4 4th quarter steals. Well, actually, Gilby gave McGuire credit in Mike Wise's piece YOU IDIOT.

Please do yourself a favor DC BOY and keep your asinine comments to yourself buddy.

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Even though Gilbert can run the point, I think our best guard tandem will be him and Crit together.

They could both run the point while playing together and this also will give Gilbert the oportunity to score more freely without having to run the offense on every play.

A primary reason why Gil and Larry was so successful together was because they both could control the ball for the Team up and down the floor and play off each other.

I donot think having Gill as the primary point with Crit as the backup is the way to go.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

"I assume you're referring to McGuire, considering he was the "youngun" (sic) doing the hustling, with 4 4th quarter steals. Well, actually, Gilby gave McGuire credit in Mike Wise's piece YOU IDIOT.

Please do yourself a favor DC BOY and keep your asinine comments to yourself buddy.

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 10:51 PM "

Sorry, there's no "sic" in youngun since it's slang....girl.

Gilby railed on the youngun's, and without them tonight, it would have been a blowout, and that includes NY, JaTravel, and JCritter, whom Gilby railed on.

Maybe if Gilby didn't miss 9 shots, and let the hot hand take some shots, then Les BouleS wouldn't have lost.

3 for 12 = 25% sick!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"Even though Gilbert can run the point, I think our best guard tandem will be him and Crit together.

They could both run the point while playing together and this also will give Gilbert the oportunity to score more freely without having to run the offense on every play.

A primary reason why Gil and Larry was so successful together was because they both could control the ball for the Team up and down the floor and play off each other.

I donot think having Gill as the primary point with Crit as the backup is the way to go.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 10:52 PM "

Ok, so that makes sense to have a 6.5 mil Mike James on the bench next season.

Brilliant EG, and the fans support you!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The star of the Team, will always control the flow and the ball as a whole.

That being said they donot have to run point.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

"The star of the Team, will always control the flow and the ball as a whole.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:07 PM "

Yeah, it's been shown to be great for team chemistry the past 4 seasons when he hasn't been out injured.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, there's no "sic" in youngun since it's slang

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 10:57 PM

I knew you were an idiot, but didn't realize your level of idiocy was this great. Slang CAN be misspelled, guy. And you badly mispelled it.

Wow you are just not the brightest tool in the shed are you?

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Mike James will not be in the mix next year. His 6.5 mil butt is outa' here and if not outright, he will hold either slot 13-15 next year.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"I knew you were an idiot, but didn't realize your level of idiocy was this great. Slang CAN be misspelled, guy. And you badly mispelled it.

Wow you are just not the brightest tool in the shed are you?

Posted by: brianxp | March 28, 2009 11:10 PM "

Nevermind the fact that your "input" has nothing to do with Les BouleS or Gilby, it really doesn't matter to anyone else but you that your slang dictionary has "youngun'" spelled differently.

Boo F'n Hoo. Call the dictionary police. Call Merriam Webster. Call Funk & Wagnalls. Call the ghetto police. oh gosh....the world is coming to an end!!!

You are utterly irrelevant and asinine and you know it!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

DCman is a moron. You think Stuckey isnt an attacker? Man, that guy's whole game is based on penetration and driving the lane. His outside shot/game is where he needs work.

Posted by: Roman5 | March 28, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

DC_Man88,

Can you be bit more specific, I'm a little bit slow ya' know.

What do you mean by "Yeah, it's been shown to be great for team chemistry the past 4 seasons when he hasn't been out injured."

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

"Mike James will not be in the mix next year. His 6.5 mil butt is outa' here and if not outright, he will hold either slot 13-15 next year.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:17 PM "

When did you become GM?

Last I heard, Les BouleS offered him a contract where MJ can exericise an option for 6.5 mil for next season. That was after he didn't bother to propose a contract to Roger Mason, while signing Dee Brown instead.

Again, brilliant strategy by EG.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

"DCman is a moron. You think Stuckey isnt an attacker? Man, that guy's whole game is based on penetration and driving the lane. His outside shot/game is where he needs work.

Posted by: Roman5 | March 28, 2009 11:26 PM "

Yeah, I'm sure Gilby would have rather faced Stuckey instead of AI.

Maybe in your Bizarro world.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I've been one of the biggest critics of re-signing Gil due to his injuries, selfish play, denial of leadership responsibilities, etc. But I have to admit he looked pretty good. The team hasn't moved the ball that well - in the lane, on the fast break or perimeter - all season. They actually looked like an NBA team, not a college team trying to break a zone with perimeter Princeton passing and outside shooting. He still appears to have some of his speed, and it was refreshing to see the team move laterally for a change, as well as to see the drive, collapse defense, kick-out opportunities we've lacked this year. He was actually able to spark McGuire's offensive game, no mean feat, and had a couple of exceptional passes. With the exception of jacking two back to back threes, he seemed less selfish, more savvy and Buddhist in his decision making. Perhaps being out of the game so long has allowed to focus on tactics, team flow, spacing and patience, whereas before he seemed content to tackle the entire opposing team armed only with his superior athleticism. Gil, please continue to make me look like a fool for writing you off.

What he really needs now is some frontcourt muscle to clear lanes, collapse defenders inside and get O rebounds off his misses. Griffin is certainly the best option. Don't like Jordan Hill, who seems a more flexible, similarly-passive & skinnier version of Etan Thomas. Harden, who bombed in the NCAA tournament against tough competition, has skills, but is yet another physically unusual & un-imposing player, which we have too many of already. Thabeet looks good, but I have difficulty imagining how he and Mcgee will share the frontcourt in the years ahead. The more I see him, the more I think Blair might be the answer if we don't get Griffin.

Posted by: SammyT1 | March 28, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

"DC_Man88,

Can you be bit more specific, I'm a little bit slow ya' know.

What do you mean by "Yeah, it's been shown to be great for team chemistry the past 4 seasons when he hasn't been out injured."

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:26 PM "

You said the "star of the team controls the flow and the ball as a whole," as if it was a good thing with Gilby in the past.

In reality, in the past, with Gilby controlling the ball has resulted in everyone else standing around and waiting for him to decide what to do...either to shoot first, shoot second, shoot third, or shoot again, before deciding to pass.

That's why people said two seasons ago with Gilby out and BTH still in that the team ran more efficiently and effectively without him.

Gilby had some decent passes tonight, but as he gets more accustomed to playing again, he'll be back to his shoot first self.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

"What he really needs now is some frontcourt muscle to clear lanes, collapse defenders inside and get O rebounds off his misses. Griffin is certainly the best option. Don't like Jordan Hill, who seems a more flexible, similarly-passive & skinnier version of Etan Thomas. Harden, who bombed in the NCAA tournament against tough competition, has skills, but is yet another physically unusual & un-imposing player, which we have too many of already. Thabeet looks good, but I have difficulty imagining how he and Mcgee will share the frontcourt in the years ahead. The more I see him, the more I think Blair might be the answer if we don't get Griffin.

Posted by: SammyT1 | March 28, 2009 11:32 PM "

Nevermind drafting Blake Griffen, Les BouleS will need to get rid of a lot of the dead weight up front (EG gems such as OPech, ET, DSong, and possibly AB) in order to get a decent big vet onto the lineup.

The best thing for EG to do is to trade AJ for a low post scoring big man.

All in all, Detroit is a shell of the team they used to be, at 35-37.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, for all of the pros and cons of Arenas, this was definitely the most excited I've been for a game all season. I've been DVR'em most of the season and have watched most games quickly to kill time. Not this one!

DCMan woke up now that GA is back. For those that don't know, all he does is rail on him.

Nice game for GA for the first game in forever. You could see where this team got easier shots just by Arenas being on the court. The last shot could have gone either way as far as a call was concerned. Yeah, it was a crazy desperation shot, but there was a lot of contact from the waist down and that was the reason he ended up on the Piston's bench.

The game was actually lost when the Wiz let Hamilton shoot 3/4 wide open 3's from the same corner in the 3rd quarter. The first job of the next coach has got to be to get this team to get a clue on defending the 3 pt shot. We have been at the bottom or near the bottom of the league in that category for 4/5 years now! It's getting really annoying!!!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 29, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"DCMan woke up now that GA is back. For those that don't know, all he does is rail on him.

Nice game for GA for the first game in forever. You could see where this team got easier shots just by Arenas being on the court. The last shot could have gone either way as far as a call was concerned. Yeah, it was a crazy desperation shot, but there was a lot of contact from the waist down and that was the reason he ended up on the Piston's bench.

The game was actually lost when the Wiz let Hamilton shoot 3/4 wide open 3's from the same corner in the 3rd quarter. The first job of the next coach has got to be to get this team to get a clue on defending the 3 pt shot. We have been at the bottom or near the bottom of the league in that category for 4/5 years now! It's getting really annoying!!!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 29, 2009 12:27 AM "

Apparently YOU have been sleeping.

I've been writing on this blog all season, and I did give kudos to Gilby for a few of his passes.

I think you need to rewatch the replay and reread the post above. Gilby said himself that it was not a foul, and Gilby ended up on the bench because his momentum carried him there.

You don't run to the corner at full speed and turn around and shoot without falling out of bounds. It would have been a total farce had the ref called a Lebron foul.

Again, the game wasn't lost when they couldn't stop Rip.

The game was lost when Rip started to show not only that he has a mid range game, but also a long range game now.

Many times, he just dropped bombs in DMac's face who was right there and DMac couldn't do anything but take it.

It's one thing when guys get lost/confused when rotating, but another thing when your @ss gets beat physically for a shot.

In tonight's game, AJ showed again that he's soft when Maxiell drove down the baseline, dropped AJ off like a bug when he tried to body up, and then did a reverse poster dunk on him.

Boris Diaw did a driving dunk in his face the last Charlotte game.

I want to hear AJ try to explain those poster shots.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 29, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Gilby had some decent passes tonight, but as he gets more accustomed to playing again, he'll be back to his shoot first self.

-------

I realize you're entitled to your opinion, but you'd enjoy the games a lot more if you give gilbert the benefit of the doubt. face it, he's here for the next several years, and you won't change that by posting comments on wizards insider. but he has shown more confidence in his teammates, not just yesterday but last season when he came back as well. At the moment it seems like he's matured into a role of facilitator. And while it's possible--and looking at the kind of guy he was two years ago, very likely--that he would return to his old ways, he looks like a different guy and might be a vastly different player. I don't know if you have fun waiting over him like a vulture finding every mistake, but it's annoying. Let him play before you pass judgement.

-----------------

"Mike James will not be in the mix next year. His 6.5 mil butt is outa' here and if not outright, he will hold either slot 13-15 next year.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 28, 2009 11:17 PM "

When did you become GM?

Last I heard, Les BouleS offered him a contract where MJ can exericise an option for 6.5 mil for next season"

Larry approached you rather respectfully, which I admire. No need for the snarky GM comment.

I was under the impression that we traded for James' contract, rather than offering him one. And it was fairly equivalent to Daniels' contract. Still looks like a decent deal to me. We were able to get more minutes out of James than we would have Daniels, and that's what we needed with our slew of backcourt injuries.

Posted by: crs-one | March 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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