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Wizards 110, T-Wolves 99

Wow, I've spent all season watching the Wiards lose and then came back to hometown tonight to witness an even worse situation with the Timberwolves. The Wizards won tonight and didn't have to play all that well to do it. After the Wizards took control late in the third quarter, you never sensed that the team Kevin McHale destroyed would make a push.

-Good stuff from Juan Dixon tonight. With Mike James out with the flu, Dixon came off the bench and contributed nine points, six rebounds and four assists in 24 very solid minutes.

-Caron Butler (27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists) was the best player on the court tonight. He did a little bit of everything and hit some big shots while scoring 12 fourth quarter points to help put it away.

-Darius Songaila really gave it to rookie Kevin Love early, hitting his first seven shots en route to scoring 19 points. It was the case of a savvy vet taking advantage of a rookie who is going to be solid pro but still has some learning to do.


By Ivan Carter  |  March 9, 2009; 11:07 PM ET
 
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Next: Race to the Bottom (18 Games Left)

Comments

Ivan, Flip Saunders will not be our coach, we can't afford him. Look for an assistant-type who will command a lower salary like Tom Thibedoux.

Posted by: twigmuffin | March 9, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivan you are going to be pretty upset i am asking you this,but whats the deal on Flip Saunders. will Ernie name him the coach after the season or whats going on.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | March 9, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, this is back page material. Minnesota without Jeffeson is a very bad baskeball team. The most important stretch (and the most exciting) was the first quarter. Your triumviate of Buter, Jamison and Songalia, who have played all the important minutes are 15-49. Every game from here to the start that we don't focus on giving our young players time is a loss.
We have the dumbest organization in the league (ESPECIALLY the coach and the GM).

Posted by: NewManagement | March 9, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

+/-

McGee + 11
Young + 11
Blatche + 7
Dixon + 9

The starters averaged +3.

12 minutes for McGee and 32 minutes for Love.

Posted by: Izman | March 9, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Won a game and lost another ping pong ball.

Posted by: VBFan | March 9, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Obviously playing Blatche and McGee together created no driving lanes, some blocked shots that led to fast breaks. I think the Wiz shot up to their largest lead with the Blatche/McGee combo.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 10, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Juan Dixon is a better player than Mike James. However, why did we force feed Mike James and not Juan Dixon.

Just another example, of just horrible coaching.

And to think, Juan Dixon is out of hear because his contract ends this year, and not because he is any less of a player than MJ, Etan, Darius, or Pech. Go figure.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 10, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey Larry - take a break. We all know what's up.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 10, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

we've needed blatche and mcgee on the floor together all year, blatche is much more valuable as a four and mcgee benefits by having blatche's size next to him, helping to protect the paint, they had combined for 5 blocks

Posted by: bford1kb | March 10, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The coaching genuises strike even during a win.

lol

Mike James is a very streaky player offensively, but can consistently play a savvy veteran floor game. To say Juan Dixon, who is nearly out of the league is better, well...there is not much to say. Great, he played ok tonight and actually knocked down a couple of open shots for the first time in a while...the only floor game Dixon has is trying to dribble the ball through the court.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 10, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

This has been the most painful season of my life for any Washington sports team. While I'm only 22, I've seen much of the entire Wizards saga play out over the past 10 years or so. Like you all, I've seen the Wiz be good and and I've seen them be terrible. I've seen Lebron pretty much drive a stake through Gilbert heart--the guy who was even DCMan's favorite player at the time (don't lie). I've seen us consistently lose to inferior opponents and I've seen us fall victim to the injury bug every time it looks like there might be some light at the end of the tunnel.

The thing that makes this season the most painful is how every single person who loves and follows this team knows exactly what the Wiz should be doing right now...except for, apparently, the coach and the GM. I don't hate Ernie for one move he's made (ok, besides appointing Tap as interim). I hate him because he continues to let Ed Tapscot irreversibly cripple our young players. Confidence is something that is nearly impossible to restore without a change of scenery--not a change of coach or GM, a change of jersey. Every time Nick Young takes a shot he's looking over his shoulder wondering if he's going to be taken out if he misses. Every time McGee follows a thunderous dunk with a missed assignment he knows Tapscot is benching him. It's impossible for ANY basketball player to succeed with that kind of pressure--I mean, literally for the young guys its perfection or the bench ASAP. And even with perfection they are usually headed back to the bench.

It's insane, it's mind-boggling, it's more painful than watching Caron and Twan's combined TWELVE turnovers that single handedly lost us the Dallas game. Did I mention that those two shot 39% that game while the rest of the team shot 70% from the field....and Tap has the gal to say after tonight's pathetic victory, "My veteran guys have been terrific. I keep making the point to my younger guys to follow them and we'll be fine."

I'll leave you with a quote that literally made me want to fly back to DC, buy a courtside ticket next to Tap, and bunch him in the jaw. Regarding being appointed interim coach: "For his part, the affable and extremely quotable Tapscott has approached a very difficult challenge with a mixture of old-school resolve, professorial insight and gallows humor." That quote was written by Ivan Carter.

Ivan, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

-kill me

(I was kidding about the punching Tap in the jaw part....please don't delete this post)

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 10, 2009 5:27 AM | Report abuse

dfresh58: This has been the most painful season of my life for any Washington sports team. While I'm only 22, I've seen much of the entire Wizards saga play out over the past 10 years or so"

Don't worry, kid -- there's a lot more pain coming, and it ain't from basketball.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 10, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

The coaching genuises strike even during a win.

lol

Rphilli721,

Ain't nothing genius about about being able to ascertain that this coach sucks.

And I gaurantee you that if we had given the steady PT to Juan that we gave MJ, that Juan would have far outperformed him.

But we will never know, but my vote is for JD.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 10, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, kid -- there's a lot more pain coming, and it ain't from basketball.

ROFLOL

Posted by: original_mark | March 10, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Neither MJ nor JD is good enough. Critt is the answer for this team right now at pg even with his inexperience.

Posted by: original_mark | March 10, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I stayed up last night and watched Miami/Chi. double overtime game Dwayne Wade is the league MVP hands down,one of the ten greatest performances by a single player that I have ever seen 48pts,15as.and 6reb.and a the game winning shot after a steal in the second ot a 25 footer on the dead run as time was expiring!!!! plus he tied the game in regulation with a trey as time was running out UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!.Plus he's dating Gabrielle Union.

Posted by: dargregmag | March 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Ye-s-s-s. CRITTER is the future of the WIZ PG situation. At least as long as EG's GM. Quick, strong, penetrator, great passer, learning distribution and spacing in the offense, adequate defender, his shot is the one glaring negative. He'll find it when his time comes.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 10, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Quote: "I stayed up last night and watched Miami/Chi. double overtime game Dwayne Wade is the league MVP hands down,one of the ten greatest performances by a single player that I have ever seen 48pts,15as.and 6reb.and a the game winning shot after a steal in the second ot a 25 footer on the dead run as time was expiring!!!! plus he tied the game in regulation with a trey as time was running out UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!.Plus he's dating Gabrielle Union."

Posted by: dargregmag | March 10, 2009 9:26 AM

Don't tell anybody, but D-Wade hired EJ as his personal coach a few months ago.

Posted by: Izman | March 10, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

dfresh58,

good post.

1) Ivan is beholden to the (management) hand that feeds him. Recall the bashing of AB and Young, and now the puffering of McGuire.

2) Speaking of McGuire, Taps has done a good job there. However, who picked McGuire to invest the time and patience for development? It seems that he started with, and still has a lower potential level, than McGee, Blatche, Young and Crit. Said another way, which one of these five young players would bring the most in a trade? Certainly not McGuire.

3) keep an eye out for the development series on 82games.com

Posted by: Izman | March 10, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Gabrielle Union is just aiiight. DWade needs to be seeing something along the lines of Jaime Lee Kirchner

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm614306816/nm1830388

Only then will he achieve true MVP status.

It's gotten so bad that it's hard to even talk about the Wiz.

Posted by: original_mark | March 10, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Juan Dixon came in the league as a natural two guard where he starred at in high school and college despite where he had to overcome the ignorance of his lack of size which continues to this day. Gary Williams did not develop him contrary, to popular opinion, but did give him a chance to flourish, which I commend.He was not a blue chip recruit in high school because of his size, not ability. A lot of colleges blew it.Facing the same mindset in the NBA, he has tried to re-invent himself in to a point guard.His ball-handling ability has consistently improved, but you'll never shake initial labels, especially with those suffering from tunnel vision.Of the true guards on this squad,only Nick Young has a overall, higher shooting percentage,he has the highest 3-point percentage, the highest free throw percentage. If you adjust for minutes played, he has the highest assist totals, rebounds, steals.Look it up . Stats don't lie. He just isn't in Grunfield's plans for some reason, but will be a jewel for another t6eam.

Posted by: RickMarcel | March 10, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

RickMarcel, the bar was set so low that JD can shuffle over it without lifting his feet. Compared to Mike James, Nick Young and DeShawn Stevenson this year, he does look pretty good.

If you consider CB to be a true guard who was playing out of position for a couple of years, JD doesn't stack up. But if you're looking at CB as a sf, you're right.

That said, maybe Harden really IS our best option in the draft.

Posted by: original_mark | March 10, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

rickmarcel: "Stats don't lie."

Oh please. Of course they do. You never read the Congressional Record?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I think we need somebody to run the team on the court.

Now before you gasp Javaris Crittenton's name, let me point out that he's very young and very inexperienced.

Back when there was still hope for this season (and I'm talking early), I said we needed a Steve Blake type. Hopefully with a better outside shot, but failing that, somebody who does for the Wiz what Blake did for Portland.

That's still true, by the way. We've had some glimpses of point guard play (Mike James for a dozen games when he first arrived, Dixon last night, youngblood Crittenton on occasion), but overall we've lacked someone who consistently does what Blake specializes in, and that's settle down young players and get them to play together with the vets.

So when the team loses focus, you've got somebody who can come in and get them back on track.

That would go IMNSHO a long way towards making Butler and Jamison more effective. They could forget about the task of running the team and just play.

It would certainly help a phenom like McGee figure out where he's supposed to wind up after he comes down from one of those sky-rending jumps of his.

It would help Nick Young with the subtler aspects of basketball, such as that there were options available other than putting up a jump shot.

Mostly it would help the team get back its focus after one of those episodes when they forget what game they're playing and why. They'd see this guy get off the bench and breathe a collective sigh -- ok, he'll do the thinking, we can go back to playing ball.

Yeah, I know pros shouldn't need that sort of babysitting, but they do.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 10, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Critt impressed me again. Obviously he's not out there to put points on the board, but he runs the offense well. Everyone else plays better with him in the lineup over James. Next year it's clear to me who gets the backup PG job.

I agree that the Blatche/McGee lineup was very interesting on defense. It's certainly going to be effective for a while until opponents adjust. The problem is offense where unless they're running on fast breaks the offense stalls.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 10, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It also occurred to me that Blatche excels at ugly basketball. When the ball is bobbled, defenses aren't set, offensive sets get screwed up, etc.. that's when Blatche seems to somehow come up with the ball and score or make a good play. I guess it's due to his natural athleticism and size. Those situations happen a lot when McGee is on the floor.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 10, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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