No Tanking Here

Well, one thing you can say about the Wizards is that they sure aren't tanking games in an effort to get the number one pick. Look at last night's distribution of minutes: Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler both playerd over 40, Dominic McGuire played 35, Mike James played nearly 30 and Andray Blatche played over 30 off the bench.

Rookie JaVale McGee meantime, played only eight and Nick Young played 13 (he scored 14 points on 4 of 9 shooting in that span). Javaris Crittenton played 12. Those three have periodically flashed talent with inconsistency and poor play. Such is life as a young player in the NBA. Ed Tapscott's theme all along, and it's been supported from upstairs, is that minutes must be earned in practice and on the floor.

This has been an ongoing theme most of the season and has driven some of the readers of this blog a little batty. I once again asked Tapscott about the distribution of minutes after last night's loss to New Orleans.

His answer: "The guys who play well are going to play. I think it's extremely important when you struggle that you maintain a very tight hold on what you consider to be your team values and your team culture. So, it's very easy to extend to people opportunities that aren't earned. But I don't believe that is the right way to develope your team. You have to work at the highest level. You have to work in this league at the highest level to earn opportunities, to earn minutes, to earn chances.

"And you sustain the opportunities you are given by quality play. For me to forsake that would be a big mistake. So, we're going to play the guys who earn their opportunities and the standard will be quality play. I think the fans deserve that, I think the guys on the team deserve that."

By Ivan Carter |  March 12, 2009; 8:35 AM ET
Previous: Hornets 109, Wizards 98 | Next: Maybe It Is Time to Tank

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



I understand the mantra of earning minutes, instead of just handing them out. I also 'appreciate' leaning on your star players to grind out important victories. However, when a team is 15-50 and going nowhere, it does not make sense to play our star players well over 40 minutes at this stage of this type of a season.

Really, for the last 20 games of this season, what is the advantage of playing Butler & Jamison for 40-45 mins/game each instead of 35? Will they not keep sharp or will they lose interest? Even the top teams like the Spurs & Lakers don't drive Duncan & Bryant, respectively, to the ground.

I feel that this is a totally different topic than not playing the pups, though less minutes for Jamison & Butler may lead to more PT for the kids...

Posted by: -CN- | March 12, 2009 8:47 AM

Just taking a static view of the games last night, here's some minutes played from the stars from some of the games, definitely more of a random sample:
Joe Johnson & Josh Smith - 44 & 42 mins, respectively, played for the Hawks fighting for home court in the first round

Deron Williams - 41 mins. Jostling for playoff position for the hottest team in the league

Paul Pierce & Ray Allen - 41 & 40 mins, respectively in a heavyweight bout vs the Heat

Dwayne Wade - 37 mins

Pau Gasol & Kobe Bryant - 43 & 40 mins each, while the Lakers are fighting for home court throughout the playoffs

Again, not a scientific analysis, but just to emphasize what many of us have said: cut back Jamison & Butler's mins...

Posted by: -CN- | March 12, 2009 8:55 AM

Wow! Every time I hear quotes from ETaps, I think about how many games DeShawn and DSong have played where they shot 20% from the floor (DeShawn) and kept firing bricks or getting consistently outrebounded and jumped over while playing little or no interior defense (DSong), yet they got the minutes? Or when you look at MJ continuing to start and play little or no defense, put in 30 minutes and have 1 or 2 assists? Sorry, coach, your words and your deeds don't match, so it's all hollow and suspect.

What about a guy like JM? Sure might be in the wrong position from time to time, he's a rookie and 20 yrs. old, that's gonna happen! When the vets can't play defesne, move their feet, stay in front of their man, or guard the perimeter, why do you expect rooks to do it so well? For min. played, JM and even NY have been productive. Sure, they both make boneheaded plays some times, but the vets don't? Even our All Stars, CB and AJ play little defense, CB can be a TO machine, and they both have their 20-30% shooting nights. Apparently, the standard is different. In most walks of life, that's called a double standard, talking out both sides of your mouth, and sorry "coach," that is not being consistent with everyone on the team, unless you consider being consistently inconsistent a positive team approach!

Ron

Posted by: faninAlex | March 12, 2009 8:56 AM

"But I don't believe that is the right way to develop your team. You have to work at the highest level. You have to work in this league at the highest level to earn opportunities, to earn minutes, to earn chances."

Ivan:
Some obvious follow-up questions to that answer:

- Then why sub Butler and Jamison out at all?
- Then why did Songalia only play 18 minutes?
- Then why are you coaching 48 minutes a game?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 12, 2009 8:57 AM

Or, playing a combo of vets that have proven they can't win IS TANKING!

God forbid the young pups go out there and gain some confidence and reel off a couple of wins...

Holding Arenas and Haywood out, when the scuttle butt filtering around the Phone Booth is that they are practicing, speaks more loudly then anything that you're going to hear from Tapps.

Trust me they've been tanking since 1-10. They'll tell you otherwise, but they're clearly tanking.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | March 12, 2009 8:58 AM

On distributing minutes. Tapscott obviously doesn't understand the goal of a professional team which is TO WIN. Professional teams are not here to provide value lessons on the work ethic. Since it is clear to any NBA fan that the Wizards don't have the personnel to even be marginally competitive in the NBA this year then OBVIOUSLY the goal should be to enhance their chances to WIN next year. To that end we should :

1. Not wear out old players like Jamesion in a futile effort.
2. We should play the young players as much as possible and see if they can develop or should be traded.
3. RECOGNIZE that this year to LOSE is to WIN. Any moron can see that.

No wonder ALL the many Wizard fans that I talk to are disgusted and fed up with the current Wizard policies.

Posted by: ktgeorge | March 12, 2009 9:00 AM

When you go in at half time appearing to be in a game and your vets come out and give up a 40 to 22 run.

What do you think the half time discussion consisted off?
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | March 12, 2009 9:00 AM

A more serious follow-up question:
- Do you think that a player can play intense, hard-nosed defense for 40+ minutes per game, when they also have the offense funneled through them?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 12, 2009 9:02 AM

"And you sustain the opportunities you are given by quality play. For me to forsake that would be a big mistake. So, we're going to play the guys who earn their opportunities and the standard will be quality play. I think the fans deserve that, I think the guys on the team deserve that."

LOL, this quote is hillarious. Quality play?!? There's nothing quality about watching Songaila start at C or Mike James and DeShawn Stevenson start at PG & SG respectively. I want to know what we as fans did to "deserve" this so we don't do it again!


Posted by: Dat2U | March 12, 2009 9:04 AM

This dissertation expains Tapscott and Grunfeld's total incompetency and the lack of direction of this organization. "Playing well translates into victories", all Jamison and Butler do is put up numbers, they don't win. A good coach/franchise would have changed direction 25 games ago and begun planning with an eye to the future. Tapscott's comment in this blog were "bush league" and cowardly (passing blame)clearly the stuff that leaders are not made of. 15-50 and this dude is talking about playing well. Get Real.

I will not renew my season tickets if this franchise does not make drastic leadeship changes. For Grunfeld to elevate the highly articulate and highly incompetent Tapscott to this position speaks volumes about his competency as well.

Posted by: NewManagement | March 12, 2009 9:21 AM

Tap is a hypocritical moron. As others have stated, Desuck and Lithuanian Thunder come to mind as far performances busts through the season and they started.

Tap's logic is flawed, he needs to wake up and smell the 2nd row bench because thats where he will be again next year not doing a good job developing our talent

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | March 12, 2009 9:31 AM

I would like to see a plus/minus system of rating players similar to the one hockey uses. My feeling is that JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche would be BIG pluses.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | March 12, 2009 9:32 AM

Here's the problem with what Taps is saying. If he's gone the entire season (which he has) with this mantra, and the pups still aren't doing the things they need to do to "earn" playing time, then that means that either we need to get rid of these players because they just don't have it, or he's doing a piss poor job of coaching/ motivating/ teaching them how to be successful in the NBA. Taps is in essence indicting himself. Bad way to interview for the position next season...

Posted by: jmadams | March 12, 2009 9:34 AM

It will be really interesting to see what happens this offseason with this team. I love Jamison. I think that dude is a classy guy and a good citizen. I also like Caron. The problem with one is age and the other deals with a lot of injuries. The fact that this team has 50 losses means that these two cannot carry the team anyway. I think playing the young guys in what amounts to an extended preseason for next season is important.

McGee should be playing until he fouls out. Let the kid develop so he can compete with Haywood next season for playing time.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | March 12, 2009 9:40 AM

HERE WE COME BLAKE! tank the rest of this season PLEASE. do your fans a favor. small victories these days mean nothing.

Posted by: whughes1 | March 12, 2009 9:45 AM

Tapscott is a moron, plain and simple. He's like Kevin Kline in "A Fish Called Wanda" -- an utter dolt, who thinks spouting philosophy makes him appear smart.

No one on a 15-50 team has earned anything. Oh gee, the young players make mistakes, so they're going to get minutes? It's hard to know what to say to such drivel. News flash - YOUNG PLAYERS MAKE MISTAKES, ED! Only by playing do they begin to eliminate the mistakes.

Ivan, you must challenge Tapscott on the lunacy of his stances. It's real simple -- are the Wizards trying to build toward anything, or not? If you're trying to work toward an eventual championship, it means getting your talented youngsters court time. It also means not exposing your veterans to unnecessary injury by playing them ridiculously high minutes.

If I hear one more time the mantra of "earning minutes" on a 15-50 team, I'm driving to MCI Center with a Ryder truck full of fertilizer.

Posted by: keithward64 | March 12, 2009 9:51 AM

Edit- "the young players make mistakes, so they're not going to get minutes..."

Posted by: keithward64 | March 12, 2009 9:52 AM

It is now clear that the only one head of the two-headed Tapscott-EJ monster, has been removed. It is imperative that Tankscott be gone at seasons-end. We have the head of "Player development" who doesn't develop players.

All of our competitors use the D-League to develop their draft picks, as-well as try-out potential pick-ups out on 10-day contracts. Why was Pech never assigned to the D-League during his rookie contract?...or Nick Young for that matter?
If we aren't going to give JM valuable playing time now, what is the plan to "develop" him?

If only Abe would retire (why won't he?)
The entire Wiz coaching staff needs to be fired and new team brought in.

Posted by: closg | March 12, 2009 9:52 AM

Tap is not in the hunt for the full time coaching position next year, and never has been... although I suppose a case could be made that he would probably have gotten the job if the team made the playoffs, but that was never going to happen with this group of players.

I do think that it might make sense to cut back on Butler's and Jamison's minutes at this point, down say to 33-35 a game, to give McGee, Blatche and Young more PT. But I don't think this subject is worth turning into a Holy Crusdade, as some othere on this site seem inclined to do.

As far as tanking goes, the current team is plenty mediocre enough to be eligible for lots of ping pong balls come mid-May, so why stoop to extreme, soul-destroying measures just to get a few more chances. Play the best you can, let the chips fall where they may... everything will work out if you let it (as Meatloaf once said).

Posted by: khrabb | March 12, 2009 9:53 AM

If Tap believes what he is saying to Ivan, then why the heck do I have to see Blatche play MAJOR minutes, inspite of taking ill-advised shots, dribbling the ball with no purpose beyond the arc out of position, going up soft in the lane, missing easy put backs in crunch time and most importantly loafing up and down the court while playing no defense! This dude had 2, count em 2 points deep into the fourth quarter! At least E. Jordan would put a foot in his butt and challenge him! He claimed he was free when he had that big game after EJ was fired! Yeah free to waste talent and not realize his potential. He makes me sick! At least you know you're going to get FULL effort when McGee is in there, but Tap banters out bs philosophy about his minutes distribution. What has Blatche done to earn the minutes he gets? Don't worry, I'll wait! -Katt- phuey!!!

Posted by: LaLa12 | March 12, 2009 10:03 AM

Neither Eddie Jordan or Ed Tappscot have consistent substitution patterns. Have you ever noticed how every team we play always subs several players minutes before we even sub one player?

Posted by: sjp879 | March 12, 2009 10:03 AM

It's a load of bull, as usual. If Tap was REALLY concerned about the fans, he would be playing the younger players more instead of Songaila and James.

Just about everything the coaching staff is doing is wrong. At this point, even if we lose, we win (lottery). We should be playing the younger players heavy minutes even if it doesn't give us the best chance to win. The last thing I want to see is Songaila and Jamison and James put together a winning streak against teams resting their starters for the playoffs. How dumb would that be ?

Start JM, start Critt. We get experience, we probably lose, we get Griffin.

Posted by: original_mark | March 12, 2009 10:23 AM

- Do you think that a player can play intense, hard-nosed defense for 40+ minutes per game, when they also have the offense funneled through them?

The ones that could are HOF worthy players. The ones that didn't make it were great players. ...(Sidney Moncrief, for example). IMO, it's a short list.

Posted by: original_mark | March 12, 2009 10:27 AM

At this point of the season.

AJ & CB 40+/game = Stupidity

We must be missing something.

Sometime soon maybe the lightbulb will light over Abe's, Ernie's or Taps head.

By the way Who is running this operation????

Posted by: VBFan | March 12, 2009 10:28 AM

I'm sorry but there is no way James has "earned" his minutes on the basketball court. and for that matter Butler hasn't exactly been giving maximum effort or playing very smart out there this year.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 12, 2009 10:31 AM

Taps says things that make sense in his world, but aren't supported by the facts. He did it again before the game last night.

Anyway, at the end of the season, what will the Wiz have garnered from this season?

1) good stats for Jamison and Butler;
2) big improvement from McGuire (but not yet a starter for an average team);

Unknowns:

1) Arenas' abilities when he returns
2) whether Haywood's last season was a fluke
3) Blatche, Young, Crit and McGee's ability to play competitively in the NBA
4) the lottery pick # (could be as high as a 25% change for the #1, but could be much lower)

The above balance sheet is worse than the 15-50 record so far. I guess losers lose on more than one dimension.

Posted by: Izman | March 12, 2009 10:37 AM

Given this team's draft history we might slip to 3 or 4 and draft a bust. Rubio to me is a very high risk prospect. Seriously, how many here have seen him play multiple times. I'm wary of foreign players as we just rely on somebody's opinion....remember Milicic and Yi. I know there are some that are exception (Parker, Nowizski, Manu) but these are players that are maybe one in a thousand. If we get the 1 pick, it should be a no brainer to pick Griffin.

Posted by: Dave381 | March 12, 2009 10:40 AM

Allow me to add my 2-cents (for what it’s worth, probably not much around here these days). The following quote sums it up and is the only logical thing that came out of Tapscott’s mouth:

I think it's extremely important when you struggle that you maintain a very tight hold on what you consider to be your team values and your team culture.

Let me explain something to all the people who insist Javale and NY and Pech should be playing 30MPG. This team pays Caron and AJ a lot of money. These two figure to be integral parts of this team for the next 3+ seasons. These two are also the team captains/leaders. If Tapps were to simply play AJ and CB 10-20MPG, and give all the rest of the mins to the “youngsters”, how do you think that would fly with AJ and CB? Better yet, how do you think that would fly with the rest of the league and the commissioner’s office? I do not care what the teams record is, when you have two healthy, well paid, all-stars, they play. Simple as that. Say what you want, but they are competitors. Did it ever occur to you folks that playing basketball every night is there JOB. Not all pro-athletes are like Gilbert Arenas, who just chooses to sit and watch and get paid for doing nothing, when he is perfectly healthy. Some guys actually enjoy doing their job and playing basketball and competing every night. They are the two highest paid players currently healthy, and they are at least out there earning a paycheck (although not being very successful). Success or not, they are going to work every night and playing. How would it look if CB, & AJ were on the bench next to Gil every night, drinking Gatorade, laughing it up while the young guys are getting blown out? How would that look to the fans, the league, and to management? Think about it people. Caron and AJ could have easily had the same attitude as Gil, and say “F*ck this, I’ll sit down and wait until next season”. That’s a coward’s attitude.

Posted by: cj658 | March 12, 2009 10:48 AM

In conclusion, this situation is no different than life in general. The Captain always goes down with the ship. Period. I commend AJ and CB for being men about this. They could have EASILY hung it up and made excuses and “claimed” to be hurt. They are riding it out. They are going to work every night, and putting up the same consistent numbers they have their entire career.

Posted by: cj658 | March 12, 2009 10:53 AM

Speaking of D-Leaguge, does anyone think the Wiz could be a .500 team in the D-League?

Posted by: demonj21 | March 12, 2009 10:58 AM

Tap should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY for playing CB 44 min and AJ 45 minutes when the Wiz are in 2nd to last place with 17 games left, considering there is only 1 consensus impact player in the draft.

EG should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY for continuing to let Tap implement this insane strategy aimed at making the Wiz return to the Unseld Era (worst franchise in the NBA - fire all Unselds, please).

The skeptic in me says that the management might be trying to get the 7th pick in the draft so they can justify trading it away for nothing to save money. Remember, this same crap owner traded the high 2d round pick last year for $$$. Do they care about winning or do they simply care about making $$$?

Tap, I have an idea, make the naughty players come in for extra practice sessions - that might cure their naughtiness.

Ivan, please grow a pair and challege Tap. Why not ask Tap how he can justify this insanity: risking injury to his best players with 17 games left, jeopardizing the Wiz place in the draft, benching young talented players -- because one has to "earn his minutes". I suppose DeSt "earned his minutes" shooting 26% from the field and 40% from the line. This is a bullsh** excuse, and Tap needs to be confronted on this.

Tap is a sorry excuse for a coach. Probably not much of a lawyer either given that logic - too bad a law degree doesn't make you a good coach.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | March 12, 2009 11:02 AM

cj658 is right on.
Its 20/10 & Tough Juice's job to play, why should they sit around and watch?

Its foolish to suggest otherwise.

The team has talent they need a coach to come in and motivate and focus these dudes. The first half of the season they sat around waiting for Agent 0, The second half the sat around waiting for the draft.

That is total BS. Someone has to get these dudes focused.

The most ridiculous thing is that the Fizz aren't losing in blowouts every night. Its 79-83 every game in the 4th quarter. Then the other team decides to win because these young kids haven't figured out that everyone kicks their game up in the 4th in the NBA.

That is leadership and coaching, its not a talent issue.

I don't think Tabscott understands the 4th quarter in the NBA. The players sure don't.

Posted by: NewCombo | March 12, 2009 11:11 AM

Definition of double talk:

1. Meaningless speech that consists of nonsense syllables mixed with intelligible words; gibberish.
2. Deliberately ambiguous or evasive language. Also called doublespeak.

Nuff said.

Posted by: t-train | March 12, 2009 11:14 AM

The so called big 3 led this team to mediocrity at a time when mediocrity was enough to sneak in the playoffs in the east. Those times are gone. The biggest problem with this franchise is that they believed they were better than they were. On a decent team, AJ is a role player off the bench, and Caron is a 3rd/4th option. While they can score, they are very flawed players (no D, no ball movement, TOs, failure to box out, etc.).

Unfortunately, the Wiz have committed themselves to this fantasy that the big 3 can lead them to the playoffs, and are grooming the young guys to be role players, at least for the next few years.

This is beyond stupid, but it is par for the course for this sorry franchise. The sad part is that if they gave up on this fiction, they actually have the parts to be a good team, with high upside potential. Oh well, that's why my TV has a remote.

Posted by: GGlass | March 12, 2009 11:14 AM

EG and Tapscott are not going to be satisfied until they run Caron and AJ into the ground. To play them 40 minutes a game is utterly ridiculous and is going to end up with one or both of them injured. Besides, it is not like playing them for that long is winning us games. Why do you think Caron has become the turnover king late in games. Hell, he is probably spent after playing every minute in every quarter.

At this point in the lost season, I would think the developement of the younger players is paramount. Use their errors as a teaching tool instead of yanking them out. Removing them from the game or not playing them every time they make a mistake is not doing anything to help their confidence and is probably a detriment to them mentally. Hence the inconsistency of Young.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 12, 2009 11:14 AM

Not to mention the 2009 draft is mad weak.
There are 0 sure shot players.
Thabeet gets punked by decent competition.
Griffen has 6th man energy dude written all over him. Who else are people so excited the Fizz draft? Playing for draft position especially for this 2009 draft class is stoopid.

Now if it were 2010 and DeMarcus Cousins has a sick one and done in Memphis maybe, but there are a lot of ifs ands and buts. The 2009 draft class is not going to change the Wiz.

Posted by: NewCombo | March 12, 2009 11:22 AM

CJ658,

Gilbert is not a coward!!!

And while your point about AJ and CB has logical merit, they should not be logging the massive minutes like they do. There is always more than one way to ensure that the two captains earn their bars. Tapscott has the wrong way. Bank on it.

Are you reading the comments on this thread. Is there one other comment here that aligns with yours.

Think about it.

Or, are you just playing Devils Advocate???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2009 11:24 AM

Bulletsfan1:

You make some very good points. But I disagree. Let me explain it this way. Let’s think hypothetically for a second:

Suppose Tapps has been doing what the fans have been clamoring for the past 3 months, playing the young guys 30+ MPG, and rarely playing the vets, (or not playing them at all.- Putting them on injured reserve for some BS injury, teams do it all the time). Suppose Tapps has been giving BIG minutes to NY, Javale, and Pech, and Critt for the past 3 months? Now I believe it’s safe to say the Wiz would have an equally bad record right now, or perhaps even worse. Then the whole argument on this blog would be:

Why are the vets just sitting and watching the young guys get murdered every night?
Why are we paying CB and AJ all this money to sit and watch with Gilbert?
How are these painful losses going to effect the young guys confidence?

Case in point, it’s a double edged sword. No matter which direction Tappscott chooses to go (as far as who’s playing), there will ALWAYS be critics and naysayers. When a team is in dead last place, it just comes with the territory. Again, if the young guys have been getting all the minutes, this team probably only has 7 or 8 wins right now. Suppose this Wizards team only had 7 wins right now. I guarantee all of you would be singing to a different tune. All of you would be saying, “Man, if CB and AJ were playing, we would at least be competitive”.

Fans do not pay to see young players they have never heard of get blown out by 30 every night. If the starting line-up consisted of: Critt, NY, Dom, Pech, and Javale, how many games do you think these guys could win in the NBA?

Let’s all take a deep breath and think for a second. Seriously, are you people really asking for this starting line-up to play 30 mpg?: : Critt, NY, Dom, Pech, and Javale! LOL! I could not fathom watching these guys starting and playing 30+ minutes, while 2 proven all-stars are healthy and watching the brutality from the bench! Think about it folks, the Wiz would probably have all of 5 wins right now if this were the case, and all of you would be on here bickering about how stupid Tappscott is for allowing these unproven youngsters to be playing that many minutes in the NBA.

Posted by: cj658 | March 12, 2009 11:29 AM

GGlass hit the nail on the head. AJ IS NOT A FRANCHISE PLAYER.
I repeat AJ IS NOT A FRANCHISE PLAYER. It is a fantasy.
He is a role player that can score, same with Tough Juice.
Don't get me wrong I have mad respect for AJ he gets a 20/10 every night and could easily just phone it in or fake an injury. Same thing with Butler.
It is a fantasy to think these dudes are cornerstones. They are the high character, scoring role players. That could solidify a line up with a real Franchise player. They are not franchise players that can put a team on their shoulders.

Posted by: NewCombo | March 12, 2009 11:29 AM

I don't think anyone is suggesting that CB and AJ sit for 30 minutes per game. We would just like to see the minutes pared down to maybe 30-35. Also, you can play JM and Critt full time and not at the expense of ANY minutes for AJ and CB because they pay different positions.

Posted by: original_mark | March 12, 2009 11:29 AM

NewCombo,

You're right about the 4th quarter let downs, but it isn't the young guys fault (unless they are doing something wrong while sitting on the bench). "20/10" (or 0 assists/0 D) and CB are not effective when defenses clamp down -- this is why good offenses move the ball, and get all the players involved. This was their basic problem in the playoffs, and its their problem now.

In terms of focus under defensive pressure, that can only be learned through experience. While in there, the young players do quite well, considering their limited minutes, and the structure of the offense. In fact, the only time the team shows any spark is when McGee and Blatche are in at the same time.

Posted by: GGlass | March 12, 2009 11:35 AM

Khrabb,

Thanks for some levity in this thread. I too still don't get the crusade that goes on in here on a daily basis. Tap is an interim coach that took on a thankless job and has handled himself with class and dignity. He has done nothing to create a loser mentality with what is hopefully a blip of a season.

Yeah, could Jamison and Butler play slightly less minutes? Maybe, but who cares? They are paid millions of dollars to play and do what they are doing. They both have also made statements in support of Tap. So, suppose everyone else in here knows how to do it better...lol.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 12, 2009 11:37 AM

Ed's comments seem to suggest that the kids are not doing what is expected of an NBA player, whether it is on or off the floor we do not know. If it is on the floor, that would not be surprising.

This team traded away the best floor leader it had, that would be Roger, its second best got hurt, and there is no third. In other words, when the team takes the floor they are leaderless, ruderless. That is not the kids' fault it is managements!

I believe that firing Edie has something to do with this. I believe that Edie was not happy with the trading of Roger, and that once Daniels went down, wanted some player brought in who could run things.

Ernie failed to do that. In the face of this, Tapscott's complaints about the kids rings hollow. A game of hide the pea. The pea is under the shell marked "GM."

Tapscott is faulting the kids for the GMs failure to have a few guys, even a few, who are capable of getting three others to deploy as a team, and having a coach who is capable of helping to make players smarter, more effective. This team had two such players which was too few, traded away the best of the two, and then fired a coach who knew what he was doing and had proven it to this city.

Give the kids' a chance, and stop bashing them for a problem that is oh so not of their making, is my position, and I'm sticking to it.

While I believe that it was a terrible misstake to resign Gilbert, I do not think that anyone can speak to whether that knee is ready for the grind of play but Gilbert. When you have three operations on a knee in a year, saying someone is "healthy" to me defies reason.

Posted by: cohenra | March 12, 2009 11:38 AM

Larry, I see where your coming from. You and bulletsfa1 make some good points, but I am a firm believer in my opinion I stated above.

As for Gilbert, he is a coward and a fraud in my book. ( Albeit, a very talented coward and fraud, I take nothing away from his raw skill). Ever since he missed those 2 free throw 3 years ago, I have felt that way. An 80-90% free throw shooter let LBJ punk him like he was his father. Lebron simply showed how weak Gilbert is mentally. Sad actually. Do you think that tactic would have worked on Kobe, Dwade, or Melo? I think not.

People were actually comparing Gil to LBJ during that series, when they were going back and forth game after game. People saying Gil is on the same level. LOL! Just take a look at what the two have accomplished respectively since that classic series. Take a look at the directions both of their careers have went, respectively. Gilbert will never be in the same class as LBJ, DWade, Kobe, etc. As much as he yearns to be, and as much as Ernie and Abe think he is, it is all fraud. To even give any amount of money close to what the NBA’s elite make is a pathetic joke.

Now, I am not saying he “sucks”. He’s a very talented player, just not elite. Case in point, a fraud. At best, he is in the same class as Stackhouse (in his prime), Monte Ellis, Stephen Jackson, JR Smith, Marbury (in his prime), Baron Davis, etc. but nowhere elite. Very good, but not worth 6 figures.

Posted by: cj658 | March 12, 2009 11:44 AM

I said 6 figures LOL. I meant 9 figures obviosly. ie 100,000,000+

Posted by: cj658 | March 12, 2009 11:48 AM

Cj658,

You make sense as well. However, your talking to frustrated fans who just want to complain no matter what. So, your basically wasting your breath. lol

This team will be in the thick of things next year with better luck as far as injuries go. Probably a 5/6 seed.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 12, 2009 11:50 AM

gglass: "On a decent team, AJ is a role player off the bench, and Caron is a 3rd/4th option. While they can score, they are very flawed players (no D, no ball movement, TOs, failure to box out, etc.)."

Don't think so.

They're both starters, flaws and all. Depends on the team, of course.

Jamison wouldn't start for the Celts, because of Pierce & Garnett. I'm guessing the Lakers would put him on the court right away, at one forward. Butler would definitely play SF for Los Angeles, ahead of Odom at least. Butler would slot right into Houston's lineup, at guard. Jsmison would start in Cleveland, except against some opponents. Orlando would be a good spot for Butler.

Really, any team with decent point play would really benefit from either guy. They just need somebody to get them the ball where they want it.

Butler would probably start ahead of Ray Allen in a number of situations.

Not franchise players, either one. But really good, hard-working, dependable stars.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 12, 2009 11:55 AM

GGLass,

I'm not blaming the young dudes for the the 4th quarter let downs. I'm blaming the coaching and system.

When the young dudes are out there in the 4th they look confused, it is to be expected thats how you learn but why would a team not play to win? I don't like the idea of giving up games to "develop" players. Put the players that give you the best chance to win. If that is the young players that put them out there TO WIN, not to develop them.

You are correct again the problem is there is essentially no offense system. That is why there is no movement. Get the ball to AJ or Tough Juice and the rest of the team watches or shots, kick out jumpers. It is a non system and don't get me started on efense there is no D of any kind.

Although this is going to be extremely unpopular what Terry Porter tried to in Phoenix is what the Wiz need to do. Ball movement and D.
The Suns just wanted to run though and had the talent to do it.

Posted by: NewCombo | March 12, 2009 11:57 AM

CJ658: You know we agree on very little but you were on point concerning AJ&CB you were a little harsh on Gil but i hear ya! I think i mentioned a couple of month's ago that Taps might be a permanent fixture on the sidelines, well i went to the Hawks/Jazz game last night with my son-in-law(great game by the way) and ran into Sekou Smith(AJC) beat writer for the Hawks and he told me it looks more and more like that will be the case,word around the league is that EG wants someone on the cheap and rather than bring in an unknown he might as well sick with Taps and retain the assistants after hearing that i went upstairs and had a double vodka!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | March 12, 2009 12:06 PM

Keithward64,

You know I love your comments and I have told you as such. But my man, you can't make that last statement, please edit it, surely you jest so qualify it as such.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2009 12:17 PM

NC: Sorry, I misread your comments. I thought you were saying the young guys needed to step it up. They clearly make mistakes, but the really mystifying part is how low the BB IQ is on the part of the vets, especially on D.

They have the personnel to have a top ten D (esp. when wood comes back). In fact, with dom, AB, and McGee, they have some real shutdown ability. But the lack of discipline on the part of the veteran players is downright embarrassing to watch.

In terms of scheme, they actually don't need anything too complicated, since they have multiple players who can protect the paint. If the perimeter players would just stay a couple steps closer to their man, and not double needlessly, the defense would improve substantially.


Posted by: GGlass | March 12, 2009 12:19 PM

after hearing that i went upstairs and had a double vodka!!!.

Damn, I would have a triple lol. I sure as hell hope Smith is wrong, but if it turns out to be true, than were in for a rough ride.

I have no problem with Tappscott, but this team needs a PROVEN coach/leader, not some first year experiment like Tappscott or Mark Jackson. There is TOO MUCH money invested in this core (Gil, AJ, CB), and the time to win is NOW. AJ and CB are not getting any younger. Abe pulled out the checkbook for a championship in to occur within the next 3 years.

Posted by: cj658 | March 12, 2009 12:19 PM

Samson151, I agree that CB would start for most teams, and be a valuable player. And, under the right circumstances, AJ could start on many teams. The big problem is that their flaws are similar, and therefore compounded. Neither distributes the ball well, neither plays good isolation defense, neither boxes out well (while AJ gets a lot of rebounds, he rarely puts a body on anyone), neither gets out on shooters quickly.

By starting both, the Wiz are resigning themselves to a team that gives up a lot of 3s, doesn't score well when defensive intensity increases, doesn't move the ball well, etc.

Posted by: GGlass | March 12, 2009 12:30 PM

Tapscott threw in the towel when Juan Dixon checked in with CP3 in the 2nd quarter while the Wiz were up 10, after Javaris and even DMG were d'ing up CP3 nice! They were both bigger and stronger than him and bullied him around a little bit. Then we go on a run while CP is out, and Juan, who if he were in NBA Jam would definitely be one of the tiny guys, gets worked by CP3 so bad that our lead got erased in less than 5 minutes and we go into halftime with no momentum. Then Mike James gets the keys for the rest of the game and Javaris cools down on the bench.
I have no problem with playing Caron and Tawn heavy minutes.. it's what fans pay to see (or so the front offices think), but that's only two spots on the floor. JC, NY, JM, AB, and DMG can still get good minutes in a mostly 8 man rotation. Tapscott is a law school guy, he should be able to figure out this logic puzzle easily. Thank you in advance Mike Lee for your next post.

Posted by: CKfromVAinGA | March 12, 2009 12:34 PM

cj658: I appreciate the civil discourse. However, I never said don't play CB and AJ. They should play 30 min/game tops. You'd cut their injury risk by a 1/3 compared to last night's game. 17 games left - absurd to play your stars the ENTIRE game.

My other concern with your comment is that you seem to be ok with mediocrity. If you want to win it all, you have to go after Griffin, who is the best bet by far to be a superstar. There's no lock you'll get the 1st pick by finishing last, but your odds are 25% (finish 4th to last, odds are 11%). Griffin's the Big Enchilada. IT'S FOOLISH TO WIN GAMES AT THIS POINT.

Intelligent folks cannot possibly believe it makes sense to win the remaining 17 games. What, they'd lose some revenue? Only 8 games left at home and 7 of those teams will crush the best Wiz players no matter what. A tiny amount of lost revenue over 8 games, compared to loads of increased revenue for many years, if you get Griffin. We should all want our odds to be 25% of getting Griffin.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | March 12, 2009 12:36 PM

Ivan grow a pair and ask the questions that need to be asked instead of letting this fraud of a coach get away with running this team and its fans into the ground withoug anyone questioning his horrible decisions.

He has failed to do his job to develop the young players and his rotations make no sense (who plays the starters for the entire 3rd quarter every game when it leads to us being down by 10 or 20?).

Posted by: Fontana1 | March 12, 2009 12:40 PM

CJ658,

About Gilbert. I beg to differ. Gilbert blew those fateful freethrows from that low-lifeded act by LBJ, because once the freethrower has the ball you are not allowed to come into the freethrow circle for anything. The refs should have called a technical foul on his butt. The league has since emphasized that rule and it is illegal to do such as it has always been.

That being said Gilbert the next season was tearing through the whole League lest you forget. EJ got to coach the Allstar Team and once the second half of the season begins EJ annouces he is going to start focusing on Defense. He and Gilbert squabble back and forth. Second half of season tailspins, Gilberts knee gets rolled up on, and Gilbert hasn't truly been back since.

So, my memory tells me that since Gil missed that fateful freethrow, he was more than redeeming himself, at the level of LBJ and Kolby, whom proclaimed he was just lucky.

NEWS FLASH, you don't score 60 some points on the Lakers in their Gym, with Kolby on the Team by Luck. You might just be a Damn Superstar.

The only thing that stopped Gilbert was a change in philosophy by Eddie Jordan to focus on defense and Eddie Jordan benching Gilbert Arenas for being late and when he puts him in the game, in less than 5 minutes he gets his knee rolled up on.

And when Gilbert pushed himself too fast to get back he reinjured himself.

Gilbert ain't now Damn coward. He is this Team's Star. And the year he dropped 60 on Kolby's butt, he was argueably the best player in the League before Eddie had to go and change up what was working.

Like I always said Iffin' ya' don't kno' ya' bedda' ask somebody.

CJ658, you asked, now I hope you understand why Gilbert is not a coward, he just might be a LEGIT' Superstar.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2009 12:48 PM

dargregmag: word around the league is that EG wants someone on the cheap and rather than bring in an unknown he might as well sick with Taps and retain the assistants after hearing that i went upstairs and had a double vodka!!!.

I bet they'll announce that after the season ticket deadline. If this happens that will be my last day as a Wizards fan. I hope the Verizon center staff is trainned in riot control.

Posted by: Fontana1 | March 12, 2009 12:49 PM


cj658,

how can you consider a player a coward for missing free throws(remember he got them into overtime with the 3-point shot). That's like saying Barkley was a cowards for not fouling MJ hard enough during the finals. The year prior to that, Gilbert hit a game winning shot to rescue the Wiz in Chicago.

Beside I don't think he's a coward for missing 4 free throws, he hasn't turned into Nick Anderson yet..lol There are plenty of stars who missed crucial shots it's all about how you recover is what consider you a coward. Good example, remember Kobe when he air-balled those 3-point shots in the Jazz game, or when Lebron last season missed those free throws in game 7 vs the Celtics. Or even Pat Ewing missing an OPEN LAYUP in game 6 vs the Pacers..lol I remember that one too well.

Anyways, Gilbert maybe consider a coward but not because that it's because of how he behaves with the coaches. He didn't show Eddie Jordan any respect and even his team. Remeber when Kwame complained Gilbert takes too many shots, which he does, Gilbert responed by not shooting the ball until the 4th qtr. He did the same crap when Eddie told him to play more defense in one game. So if you consider him a coward point out those antics.

One more point your theory on a person being a coward is nice but I would NEVER compare anyone to Kobe. He's the biggest baby on the floor. Only thing about his game is Kobe one of the most competitive player in the game (i think D.Wade and Lebron are tied for second) so it's overlooked but that guy complains way too much.

Posted by: rcnasa | March 12, 2009 1:02 PM


I consider Gilbert a good player but I would never compare him to any of the people you mentioned (Kobe, Lebron, Wade). Simply because they've all been to the finals. The jury is still out on whether Gilbert can actually care a team to the next level. Sure he's flashy, brings excitment to the team and is really good in the community. But, none of those things can produce wins and when he's career is over thats what he'll be compared to. Not how nice of a guy or the free throws he missed money, etc it's about the wins.

As for the young guys on the team Ed is right, you have to earn your minutes nothing is given in life therefore you have to earn them. Telling Jamison, Caron and the rest of the guys were benching you to tank the season dumb. Outside of Jamison and Caron(when Caron is healthy) this talent has ZERO TALENT!!! We don't have to worry about tanking a season because the Wizards aren't good enough to beat of the league.

I seriously doubt in 2 yrs most of the young players on the team will still be on the roster, (Young, Blatche, McGuire)

Posted by: rcnasa | March 12, 2009 1:09 PM

If you think Griffin is a stud that's the only tanking makes semi-sense. I think he is energy man I don't seem he posting up Howard and competing at that level. The 2009 class is not great.

Posted by: NewCombo | March 12, 2009 1:19 PM

Tapscott is pathetic, he uses the same rotations that have resulted in 15-50 and tries to claim that the minutes must be earned? Did he notice Mcgee's game against atlanta, where his 32 minutes left us with a productive interior presence on both ends of the floor? songaila shoots jump-shots, he does nothing that you want your center to do

Posted by: bford1kb | March 12, 2009 2:01 PM

and Ivan this is tanking, we found our losing formula and now we get to enjoy the spoils of veteran baller wisdom, aj lead us

Posted by: bford1kb | March 12, 2009 2:06 PM

GGLass,

I'm not blaming the young dudes for the the 4th quarter let downs. I'm blaming the coaching and system.

It's not coaching it's TALENT.
We ain't got much.
Your right teams pull away in the 4th because they have a lot more talent & the experience of being in that situation.
They make shots & we don't.
I think AJ & CB should bump into each other in practice & sit out the rest of the season with GA & BH & rest up.
Let Young, mcgee, pech & critt earn their $$$ and maybe then they'll practice harder seeing how far behind they are.

Posted by: VBFan | March 12, 2009 2:20 PM

Two letters for Taps: BS!!

Posted by: MEssex | March 12, 2009 2:34 PM

CJ658,

Mark Jackson has never coached before. We all know that Tappscott did a lousy job at American University. So we had some idea already that Tapps wasn't a good coach.

To put Mark in the same boat as Tapps is a big jump. A hugh jump. You ever heard the saying "You can't get there from here." It applies to your analogy.

One thing for sure, Mark Jackson ain't wasting no time on experiments, he is the kind of guy that wants to win now. Listen to his commentary.

A scientist he ain't. He is about winning it all know. Hire him and let him pick some experienced assistants, which he would do. Whether he succeeds or not is pure speculation. But, I would put money on that horse.

Mark Jackson would outcoach Tapscott with you as an assistant. I would love to see him given a shot at it.

And you might be having that triple shot of Vodka in celebration, rather than misery.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 12, 2009 2:55 PM

Why not trade the young guns(Young/McGee/Crittenton/Blache/etc) for veterans if you don't want to play them? Just have a roster of veterans.

Posted by: iamdawalrus | March 12, 2009 4:34 PM

That all sounds good and as a fan yes even if it's a lost season you want to see your team play hard. But let's look at another possibility how much excessive wear and tear is being put on Butler and Jamison playing them 35 to 40 minutes a game/ What if within these final games of the season playing the second of back to back games either on goes down with a serious knee injury? I'm not saying shut them down and I'm not saying they should tank the rest of the season. What I am saying is that this team is going to need those young guys that Tappscott is taking the hard line with to be confident and ready to contribute next season. Because Jamison will be a year older, Butler has taken quite a beating playing so many minutes. What will they get from Gilbert and Brendan? Lets not forget with the entire group intact they could only get to the 1st round

Posted by: zojoy1962 | March 12, 2009 11:40 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company