Magic 112, Wizards 103

Can't be mad at the fellas tonight. The Wizards played and mostly well even after Caron Butler went out with a hamstring problem and had a chance late before a few key plays went against them.

Orlando closed the game on 13-6 push.

-Andray Blatche rolled his left ankle ankle early in the fourth and came out even though he wanted to play through it. Ed Tapscott said the trainers thought he'd risk further injury by stayin in.

-Antawn Jamison's 36 points were a season high.

-Tough call on Javaris Crittenton with 58.8 seconds left and the Wiz down 8. Crittenton tried to drive and appeared to be fouled by Rashard Lewis but no call came and he was called for traveling. He had a bruised thigh after the game and said it happened on that play.

-Good fourth quarter defense by JaVale McGee on Dwight Howard tonight. The kid really fought and I thought that his positioning was very good against one of the real forces in the league. He kept them in it.

-Good night from Nick Young as well. He put up 20 points on 8 of 15 shooting (guys get really aggressive when JJ Redick is on them) and had the highlight of the game: a hard dunk over Howard, who didn't jump on the play.
"He told me he'd give me one but not any more," Young said. "So, I'm glad I got one at least."

By Ivan Carter |  March 13, 2009; 10:12 PM ET
Previous: Wizards (15-50) vs. Orlando (47-17) | Next: Injury Update

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I saw some of the frivolity on the court tonight that was mentioned in a previous blog as being in the locker-room. Not good to bring too much of that onto the hardwood.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 13, 2009 10:25 PM

djnumb:

THIBIDOUX. Great coaching option, but didn't he spurn our offers - TWICE? DAMM, I'd love to see him on the sidelines next year as our head coach.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 13, 2009 10:27 PM

Can we say it?

Yes we can.

Another Chris Brown beat down.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 13, 2009 10:30 PM

Good signs for the young guys. Antawn was superb on offense. Caron needs to pack it in this year. He doesn't need to break down his body in a lottery year. Save it for a fresh start next year. Would like to see Pech play and find out whether he has any potential, or whether he's just a euro flunky that can be thrown into a trade scenario (might be able to get a 3rd round pick :-)

Posted by: creativefunk | March 13, 2009 10:35 PM

The Wizards made the game worth watching tonight.

The outcome wasn't great -- except for the whole lottery pick angle -- but it was good to see some of the young players get some PT. Even with the loss there were some good take-aways tonight. Nick Young resurfaced after a several game slump. Crittenton looked good -- he had a tough call on the turnover. Good energy. Good effort.

On the defensive side, the team did a good job collapsing on Howard and limiting his point total. The perimeter defense and rotation still needs some work. There was one defensive sequence I noticed where three players on the floor were chasing the ball, leaving a wide open look for Orlando. Kind of stuff that will probably be used as a good "teachable" moment during film session. Nice to see the team staying in the game and not quitting.

Posted by: JPRS | March 13, 2009 10:43 PM

Michael Lee did an article on BLAKE GRIFFIN quoting the soph as playing hard because he felt lots of people didn't respect him or the SOONERS team. Well, if lack of respect fires him up, GRIFFIN should be a monster with the LIZARDS

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 13, 2009 11:07 PM

If Rashard Lewis is making 16.5 mil/yr to shoot 3 pointer than Jamison should of held out for more money. And I can't believe JaVale is still doing that stupid salute. The Wizards need to hire Charles Oakley next year just to smack down all the knuckleheads. That includes you DeShawn.

Posted by: djnnnou | March 13, 2009 11:25 PM

Javaris Crittenton had 7 ast is that a record?

According to my man Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, Patrick Ewing wouldn't mind a call from Ernie Grunfeld this summer.

He'd probably be good for JaVale McGee but I'm not sure that Ernie would go for an inexperienced guy for this team.

Thoughts?

By Ivan Carter | March 13, 2009; 5:24 PM ET

My thought is he hired ETaps with no experience and if Abe is still paying EJ does that mean the organization will go after a less exsencive coach?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 14, 2009 12:30 AM

Yep, agreed...nice effort!

NY had one of his typical teaser games and will probably be back in a slump soon enough. He needs to learn to do other things on the court so that when he is not shooting well he can still contribute.

But, good game. Even McGee was steady and, surprise, he got a lot of mins. So everyone should be happy. Young guys got mins and played fairly well and we still lost to keep our lottery position.

Bravo!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 14, 2009 2:06 AM

This was a very entertaining game, the kids done good and AJ had a fine game on offense. It was nice seeing NY, JC, JVM, DM and AJ as our fourth quarter lineup. And Blatche played very well before he went down.

I agree with the poster above, Caron should pack it in for the year, he is clearly lame and those kind of injuries need time to heal.

As Jake said on Bullets Forever last night, this nice effort should set us up to win #16 against Sacto on Sunday.

Posted by: khrabb | March 14, 2009 7:20 AM

Taps: "I'm waiting for young players to grow up. We've got six who are 23 or younger. One of these days, I'm going to look down that bench and see guys who shave."

The young guys are more talented than the vets. They require minutes and the confidence of the coaching staff to improve.

In business, this guy would be moved out. In academia, he would be put in another job. In government, he'd be a career civil servant.

With the Wiz, he's the coach and former director of player development.

No wonder the young players are inconsistent and haven't progressed much.

Exactly what are the waiting for to set some player development objectives and plans?

Posted by: Izman | March 14, 2009 7:44 AM

Not a win in our division where we use to be odds on favorites, sad very very sad but thats what happens when the so called GM allows his personal feelings to get in the way of common sense and he fires a head coach who got this team to the playoffs four straight years that situation in and of itself should be reason enough to fire Dumbazz(Grunfeld)had we been able to keep Mason and with Jordan coaching we would still be competeing for a playoff berth given the sorry state of the Eastern conference playoff picture,instead we've been relegated to wishin and a hoping for the PING PONG BALL MIRACLE IN THE MEADOWLANDS,I only speak for myself but i would rather see us fighting for a playoff spot than talking ad nauseum about Griffin,Thabeet,and the like,even before the round of sixty-four starts.

Posted by: dargregmag | March 14, 2009 9:53 AM

One more time. The point guard play of the Washington Wizards has been resolved.

Good for Ernie on this one. We donot have to waste time looking for or trading for no point guard.

J'Crit is the man and I can't wait to see him with Gil at the 2.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 11:02 AM

As for coaching, here is my selection.

Mark Jackson: Coach
Patrick Ewing: Assistant
Andrian Dantly: Assistant
Kenny Smith: Assistant

Young minds with a good taste of experience.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 11:10 AM

LarryinClintonMd:

We actually agree on a point WIZARDS - JaVARIS CRITTENTON. He's the future PG on this team. He's already better than JAMES and gaining fast on the NBA with some serious burn.

Lets keep JaVALE in the game also. He's got a lot further to go, but you gotta' start somewhere.

Can't keep askin' D-Song to contribute miricle worker minutes out of position and beyond his abilities. A great role player at 7 or 8 in the rotation.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 14, 2009 11:18 AM

Man, I could have imagined Mason answering the Magic 3-point barrage and the Wiz pulling it out last-night *sigh*

It was nice to see some decent hoops last night. I give zero credit to Tap because injuries forced him to give more minutes to the youngs.

Posted by: closg | March 14, 2009 11:38 AM

Did anybody see my Tarheels squeak by Va'Tech yesterday? Did you notice how ugly and unorthodox that Tyler Hansbrough plays. Thats the only way he knows how to play and in the Pros he will have the same ugly game. It's the same game that Alonzo Mourning had coming out of G'Town.

What people don't understand is that game is built on strength, guts, hard work, determination to succeed, to be the best you can, in which, Alonzo epitomized.

Tyler is low on the draft board 'cause he is short for a power forward and his game is ugly.

Will it translate to the pros? There are many reasons why it will not. But I submit that it will, and it will, because of the fact that it is ugly and unorthodox. It's like checking a good left handed guy, if you know what I mean.

And one last point why I am so high on Tyler. If you look at him play right now, would you believe that he is going to break the alltime ACC scoring record?

No you would not, but it is a testament to how tough and good this guy is. 28 points yesterday, 26 to go. The first ACC player to win player of the year four years in a row in the ACC.

If I am right about this guy, he is the type of player, where you put him in the game and forget about him. And guess what, at the end of the day, there won't be no complaints about his game.

I am praying that if we donot get Blake Griffin or some other glamour guy you guys are hollering for that the stars line up and Tyler Hansbrough is a Wizard come next season.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 11:53 AM

MISTATEMENT: Tyler is the first player in ACC history to be named to the All Conference Team 4 years in a row.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 12:07 PM

"And one last point, why I am so high on Tyler. If you look at him play right now, would you believe that he is going to break the alltime ACC scoring record?

No you would not, but it is a testament to how tough and good this guy is.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 13, 2009 8:38 PM"

Ahhh Tyler is a rare 4-year player, that's why he going to break the ACC record. Tyler will be a decent bench-player in the NBA, a solid guy to help you in the play-offs. Still, he's on the draft board where he should right now.

Posted by: closg | March 14, 2009 12:15 PM

At this point, I see Critt as a good back-up, but not the answer to your point guard situation.If you look at most of your successful teams, they have points that can shoot the rock big time to keep the defense honest.Sometimes his speed gets him out of control, and he does not drop that many dimes.With experience, maybe those things will improve.

Posted by: RickMarcel | March 14, 2009 12:51 PM

This probably isn't the right time to raise this, what with him rolling his ankle in this game, and what with him playing against the likes of Dwight Howard, but it seems like Andray Blatche's effort level just isn't there anymore. Or at best, it's really inconsistent.

He's shown flashes of real talent in his career thus far, but especially if they nab a big man in the draft, I say: trade Andray Blatche. It doesn't matter how talented a player is if he won't give a consistent effort. Or am I reading this wrong? Is it the inconsistent minutes? Lack of confidence spawned by a dreadful season?

Posted by: satchmore | March 14, 2009 12:56 PM

Rest Caron, even if it takes the rest of the season. Give the young guys more minutes. If the Wiz have the worst record in franchise history, then so be it. It should be all about building for next year.

Maximizing for next year will help attract the best coach, assuming that is not already a done deal.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 14, 2009 1:07 PM

RickMarcel,

A guy like Crit grows by leaps and bounds. You will not recognize him next year compared to this one.

NBA teams that have a question at point guard now would pay a handsome fee to get Crit.

I can trust Grunfield enough not to give him up.

And guess what my man, HE AIN'T NO BACKUP.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 1:19 PM

Satchmore,

Nothing wrong with Blatch that a wise coach can't cure. You see, Blatch just needs good council to keep his butt on the straight and narrow and he will be fine.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 1:21 PM

Read the article today about Pat Ewing possibly being considered as a coaching choice.

I don't know how anyone feels about it on this blog, but anyone seriously considering Pat should be slapped.

This team, a veteran team, doesn't need a rookie coach to try to run the show. That includes Mark Jackson.

This team needs an experienced coach with good pedigree who can take this team to a new level, not OJT.

The only reason that EG/Abe would consider anyone so wet behind the ears is because they're too cheap to pay up for a legitimate coach.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 14, 2009 1:33 PM

DC_MAN88,

Your assertions are valid and I'm sincere.

However, sometimes you have to roll the dice, throw caution to the wind, you might lose, but nothing is certain.

You could also win.

Can you Imagine that coaching lineup of Jackson, Ewing, Dantley, and Smith. If we go 6-4 out the gate, this Team would be abuzz with NBA excitement and sellouts every game.

Wow!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

I know, Yes I'm a Dreamer. But, Wooowww!!!

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 1:58 PM

WE HAD A LEGIT COACH(EDDIE JORDAN) BUT OUR "WIZARD" OF A GM DECIDED HE WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH SO WE GOT RID OF HIM TO THE TUNE OF A EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR BUYOUT NOW HOW SMART WAS THAT? (PARDON MY CAPS)

Posted by: dargregmag | March 14, 2009 2:21 PM

Coach of the Year.
It will be easy to get a big name coach next year.
Anyone who takes the job will probbly be COY.
From worst to a team going deep in the playoffs.
Heck---I bet even Tap could get them to 500 next year.
If Ewing comes on board maybe he'll bring Oakly with him.

Posted by: VBFan | March 14, 2009 2:29 PM

"WE HAD A LEGIT COACH(EDDIE JORDAN) BUT OUR "WIZARD" OF A GM DECIDED HE WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH SO WE GOT RID OF HIM TO THE TUNE OF A EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR BUYOUT NOW HOW SMART WAS THAT? (PARDON MY CAPS)

Posted by: dargregmag | March 14, 2009 2:21 PM "

EJ's abilities as a coach were maxed out here.

He lost respect and control of the team based on his star system, and didn't focus enough on defense.

He was here and they went to the playoffs 3 straight seasons with one and dones. Then, he started this season badly just like he did last season, and turned the blame on the GM who didn't hire him.

He put the nail on his own coffin, but walked away with 8 mil and a smile.

No reason to feel bad for him...he'll work again.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 14, 2009 3:19 PM

"DC_MAN88,

Your assertions are valid and I'm sincere.

However, sometimes you have to roll the dice, throw caution to the wind, you might lose, but nothing is certain.

You could also win.

Can you Imagine that coaching lineup of Jackson, Ewing, Dantley, and Smith. If we go 6-4 out the gate, this Team would be abuzz with NBA excitement and sellouts every game.

Wow!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

I know, Yes I'm a Dreamer. But, Wooowww!!!

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2009 1:58 PM "

Now you're starting to think like lil' danny snyder...with regard to a coaching dream team.

I'll go with proven coaching experience and success instead.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 14, 2009 3:20 PM

DC MAN88: I respectfully disagree about EJ being maxed out here,no need to beat a dead horse but a coach and a GM need to work together the GM needs to have the coach's back with regard to discipline,Ernie never gave EJ the repect he deserved but like you said 8 million is a hell of a consolation prize!!

Posted by: dargregmag | March 14, 2009 6:38 PM

satchmore:

'DREY just got the word that IF the WIZ get first pick in the lottery and IF BLAKE GRIFFIN declares, then he's the odd-man out. TAPS will use D-Song as GRIFFIN's back-up and BLATCHE will be packaged with THOMAS and moved for cap room. So he's a little down right now.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 14, 2009 6:41 PM

"

DC MAN88: I respectfully disagree about EJ being maxed out here,no need to beat a dead horse but a coach and a GM need to work together the GM needs to have the coach's back with regard to discipline,Ernie never gave EJ the repect he deserved but like you said 8 million is a hell of a consolation prize!!

Posted by: dargregmag | March 14, 2009 6:38 PM "

Well, what do you call 3 seasons of one and done?

I think EJ would have had some more respect in the locker room had he not let Gilby run wild.

Gilby and his antics (such as his stupid rehab regime) really cost EJ his job.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 14, 2009 8:06 PM

larryinclinton: "J'Crit is the man and I can't wait to see him with Gil at the 2."

I thought Gil was one of those players that needed to have the ball in his hands all the time.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 15, 2009 9:01 AM

I'm under the impression that Ed Jordan lost his job because Ernie Grundfeld hadn't picked him in the first place and had always wanted to put yhis own guy in place. The Wiz' poor start just presented him with the opportunity.

In support of this explanation, I'll offer 1) the choice of Tapscott as the replacement, and 2) the Wiz' poor performance since Jordan departed. I suspect that despite his protestations, Grunfeld suspects what was going to happen with this team, and doubted that any coach would be able to do more than mitigate it a little. And I suspect he's planning to hire a veteran coach this year using that high pick as a carrot.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 15, 2009 9:08 AM

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