Race to the Bottom (2 Games Remaining)

The Wizards' win over Toronto last night helped them avoid finishing with a record worse than the 2000-01 team, but it essentially knocked them out of the race for the league's worst overall record this season. The Sacramento Kings basically rolled over last night in Los Angeles, losing by 31-points to the Clippers. With just 16 wins and their next two games against San Antonio and Denver, the Kings are basically assured of entering the May 19 draft lottery with the most ping-pong balls.

Even if the Kings manage to win their final three games and the Wizards lose their final two, Washington owns the head-to-head matchup with two victories against Sacramento. Of course, things would get a little more complicated if the Kings, Clippers and Wizards finish tied for the worst record at 19-63. The Clippers went 1-3 against Sacramento this season and 1-1 against Washington.

But I'm pretty sure that won't be a concern. The Wizards are gunning for at least 20 wins, with a winnable home game coming up against the Raptors. The Kings desperately need Blake Griffin and their current seven-game losing streak -- with the past three losses by a combined 66 points!?! -- is a clear sign of surrender.

The standings:

1. Kings (16-63)
2. Wizards (19-61)
3. Clippers (19-60)

Tonight, the Wizards and Kings are idle, while the Clippers take on Portland. Given their struggles against Sacramento, the Clippers are a bit of dark horse with their final two games coming against Utah and Oklahoma City.

By Michael Lee |  April 11, 2009; 12:59 PM ET
Previous: Wizards 100, Raptors 98 | Next: You Tell Us: Grading Tapscott

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



I saw former Wiz beat reporter Ivan Carter last night at Bobby Lous near Adams Morgan. Walked in, ordered one beer, looked around, then asked the bartender to keep it cold for him and left. And never came back.

Every time I see Ivan Carter at bars, he's by himself. Makes me wonder, does this guy have ANY friends?

Posted by: brianxp | April 11, 2009 1:57 PM

Even if the clippers finish with a worse record and pick ahead of the wiz, the wiz will get the better player cuz it's the clippers. Messing up is what they do best.

Posted by: detox04 | April 11, 2009 2:00 PM

I say try to win the remaining games Hell i'm tired of losing.See my post in the previous blog about the draft if we don't get Griffin or Thabeet.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 11, 2009 2:48 PM

The race to the bottom started last summer when the Wizard management chose to tie up all that money long term in Arenas and Jamison and had to let there only spot up three point shooter go Roger Mason. Where is the money going to come from to sign their lottery pick? It ain't there and no one wants to take any of these absurb contracts off their hands so what's next? Arenas has been cleared to play for some time but he doesn't so what was the return on that deal? McGee played zero minutes last night so what's that all about?

Posted by: dandyhuffman | April 11, 2009 2:57 PM

Even with a top pick, the Zards don't have any cap room to sign him. They will have to make some moves to create some cap room maybe even trading a guy like Blatche or Nick Young. I don't see Abe paying the luxury tax. I wouldn't be surprised if they traded the pick if they don't get the #1 overall pick. Griffin is the only sure thing in the draft and can help them right away.

Posted by: misremembered | April 11, 2009 3:05 PM

"Every time I see Ivan Carter at bars, he's by himself. Makes me wonder, does this guy have ANY friends? Posted by: brianxp"

The bartenders?

Posted by: Samson151 | April 11, 2009 3:13 PM

What's up with all the Ivan Carter hate? This season can't end soon enough.

As far as the luxtax goes, I think Abe can trim a little of salary by buying out James and Etan for 1 or 2 million less than what the last years of their contracts are worth. (Hey Etan, would you rather practice for 300 days and travel with the team for 41 road games to earn $7.3M, or go take a long vacation in Cancun for $5.3M?)

There's also a chance that the league institutes another "Allan Houston Rule" where teams are permitted to cut one player and remove their salary from the luxtax calculation (the player would still get paid). A whole lot of teams are going to be bitten by the unforeseen reduction in the cap threshold, so my guess is that the league works out some way to relieve the pain.

Posted by: nate33 | April 11, 2009 3:40 PM

"Even with a top pick, the Zards don't have any cap room to sign him. They will have to make some moves to create some cap room,"
-misremembered
I think it's becoming clear and has been suggested on these pages, that should the Wiz 'step in it' and actually land the Griffin pick they'd probably sign him and eat the luxury tax for a season.

Posted by: midlevex | April 11, 2009 4:39 PM

-midlevex

If they get Griffin, I think they'll sign him. But I don't think they will eat the luxury tax. They would have to trade a young guy like Young or Blatche and package it with a Etan or Mike James to create some cap space. If they get the #1 pick, they will make it happen one way or another.

If they don't get the #1, I think they may opt to trade it for a future pick. I don't see anyone else in the draft helping them right away (not even a project like Thabeet).

The other option would be to take Ricky Rubio and keep him in Spain for another year and bring him back in 2010. Move Gil to the 2.

Posted by: misremembered | April 11, 2009 4:51 PM

Brianxp---

Why would you say that? What could possibly be your problem? You're that pathetic that you have to attack others? You know nothing about him at all. Nothing. So why would you say stuff like that? That's the lamest post I've ever read.

Posted by: Urnesto | April 11, 2009 4:58 PM

Ivan actually has a very pretty girlfriend....she went with him to Europe on the Wizards "pre" preseason trip....

Posted by: Lisa_R | April 11, 2009 5:28 PM

"Ivan actually has a very pretty girlfriend....she went with him to Europe on the Wizards "pre" preseason trip....

Posted by: Lisa_R | April 11, 2009 5:28 PM "

Ivan also has a stalker....Initials "L" and "R."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 11, 2009 5:47 PM

I was not attacking, I was simply stating that when I see him frequently at bars late at night by himself it makes me wonder if he has any friends. I have seen him at least a half dozen other times solo in the past few years. Just wondering what's going on with him. You could say mind your own business, but when someone is a public figure (and, locally, he is a public figure) he has to accept that he will be recognized at bars when he's out by himself.

By the way, Ivan hit on my friend's wife at Chadwicks once. I thought that was hysterical.

Posted by: brianxp | April 11, 2009 6:06 PM

Re: Ivan's stalker

I would say brlanxp sounds more like a stalker than lisa R. I mean really. You "frequently" run into him at bars?

And I like how you chimed in with the Chadwick's story on top of it. Gossip girl comes on Mondays. Get your fix there.

Posted by: crs-one | April 11, 2009 6:26 PM

Brianxp---

Why would you say that? What could possibly be your problem? You're that pathetic that you have to attack others? You know nothing about him at all. Nothing. So why would you say stuff like that? That's the lamest post I've ever read.

Posted by: Urnesto | April 11, 2009 4:58 PM

+1

Posted by: crs-one | April 11, 2009 6:27 PM

I think Abe/Ernie would go over the luxury tax limit for the right player and they have indicated as such as mentioned above.

However, there are lots of possibilities and it might depend on whether we get the #1 pick or not.

Tim

Posted by: cannontl | April 11, 2009 7:14 PM

Off topic, but Obama needs to act on those Somali pirates.

During the debates with McCain, he said he would be decisive in case of a terrorist attack.

This pirate attack is small scale compared to 9/11. It must make Americans shudder to think how decisive he would be in case of a homeland attack.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 11, 2009 7:16 PM

DC_MAN
I shudder to think how off topic and how far from your sphere of knowledge, i.e. all things Gilbert hating, you have strayed.

Posted by: midlevex | April 11, 2009 8:07 PM

lol

Posted by: original_mark | April 11, 2009 8:16 PM

"During the debates with McCain, he said he would be decisive in case of a terrorist attack.This pirate attack is small scale compared to 9/11. It must make Americans shudder to think how decisive he would be in case of a homeland attack.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

Yes, Bush/Cheney would probably have invaded by now -- Somalia plus at least two neighboring countries.

Makes you wonder how DCMAN88 would respond to an actual attack on the homeland.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 11, 2009 10:24 PM

"Yes, Bush/Cheney would probably have invaded by now -- Somalia plus at least two neighboring countries.

Makes you wonder how DCMAN88 would respond to an actual attack on the homeland.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 11, 2009 10:24 PM "

Sorry, don't direct your blame on me....I didn't run for president, and I didn't make the promises.

Focus your attention on the captain who gave up his freedom so that his crew could leave safely. Hopefully, this brave captain will be saved before it's too late while leaders are sitting on their hands.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 11, 2009 11:06 PM

"DC_MAN
I shudder to think how off topic and how far from your sphere of knowledge, i.e. all things Gilbert hating, you have strayed.

Posted by: midlevex | April 11, 2009 8:07 PM "

Too bad for you.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 11, 2009 11:07 PM

This season of futility ends with an upbeat tune from 1965, "My HAYWOOD's back and you're gonna' be in trouble, hey nah-ne-nah my HAYWOOD's back"

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2009 12:24 AM

dandyhuffman:

My sentiments exactly. FIRE the owner.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2009 12:26 AM

"This season of futility ends with an upbeat tune from 1965, "My HAYWOOD's back and you're gonna' be in trouble, hey nah-ne-nah my HAYWOOD's back"

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2009 12:24 AM "

For how much longer?

BTH will command big money when his contract is up.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 12, 2009 12:27 AM

The Wizards' win over Toronto last night essentially knocked them out of the race for the league's worst overall record this season.

The Wizards are so bad they do not even know how to lose right?

I am taking bets the Wizards do not win a championship next year with BTH and Gil back healthy.....do I have anyone who wants to take that bet?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2009 12:37 AM

Yes, Haywood needs a backup - all the players out of position this season was a mess. We all NEED a shooting guard...

The Wizards spent the season as a work in progress. I wonder what goes on in practice -- we (the fans & observers) could all see where the holes were, but game after game they were not filled (prob with the exception of Crit - once he stopped trying to make every shot he took under the basket a reverse layup, his percentages improved & we also saw him TAKE more shots under the basket vs. always passing). McGuire was the standout of the "young guys" and I can see his role shifting from being out there just to rebound & defend to more offensive plays - assists & taking the shots).

While I hate to see him go, bye Blatche... he showed promise in the beginning of teh season, but just became stagnant. Thomas - who would eat his contact? James - he just lost heart as he became one of the losing guys... he may not have started w/ the Hornets, but at least he felt victory...

Posted by: 2StepsAway | April 12, 2009 1:09 AM

"Thomas - who would eat his contact?"

Thomas's contract expires at the end of next season. With the salary cap possibly going down and teams losing money left and right and trying to shed salary, plenty of teams would happily "eat" the 7+ mil in cap space Thomas's expiring deal represents. The bigger questions is will anyone offer anything the Wiz will really want/need, or will it be in their best interests to hold onto him and take the cap space themselves.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 12, 2009 1:45 AM

"Hopefully, this brave captain will be saved before it's too late while leaders are sitting on their hands.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

Try focusing your attention on the neocons desperate to make political hay out of the situation.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2009 5:24 AM

In the name of staying on topic, let's move the Somali discussion off this blog, OK? Here's a link to the most current Post story on the situation. And there are many political blogs on the site, all of which welcome contributions of all stripes...


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/11/AR2009041100566.html

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2009 5:58 AM

Just taking note of what seems to be happening to Orlando -- they've really struggled the past few games, surprising given how well they've played all season. Brook Lopez, he of the leaden legs, blocked four shots and outscored and outrebounded Dwight Howard in only 21 minutes. The Nets ran away with the game. Rashard Lewis is complaining of tendinitis and Hedo Turkoglu may have sprained a knee in the game... this is a team that looked like one of the three best going to into the playoffs. You can see Van Gundy is worried.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2009 6:08 AM

Oh, like the Wiz don't desperately need Blake Griffin too --- what a dumb thing to say Michael Lee!

Posted by: bestmick1 | April 12, 2009 7:01 AM

Is it just me or does anyone else notice what the playoff team all have in common?

A little hint......

Clevland......PG Mo Williams
Boston........PG R Rondo
Orlando.......PG R Alston
Atlanta.......PG M Bibby
Miami.........PG M Chalmbers
Philadelphia..PG A Miller
Chicago.......PG D Rose
Detroit.......PG R Stuckey

LA Lakers.....PG D Fisher
Denver........PG C Billiups
Houston.......PG A Brooks
Portland......PG S Blake
San Antonio...PG T Parker
New Orleans...PG C Paul
Dallas........PG J Kidd
Utah..........PG D Williams

and then there are the losing teams like...

Washington who has a player who is too short to play SG so they made him a PG. I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but that does not win you a championship.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2009 7:15 AM

Excellent points bulletsfan78. Ernie Grunfled never had the foresight to groom a back-up PG and the results have been disastrous: Dee Brown, Juan Dixon, Mike James, are you F'ing kidding me?

Part of me want's us to get the 2nd pick so we can draft Rubio and finally have a real point guard.

Posted by: closg | April 12, 2009 8:47 AM

JAVARIS CRITTENTON. The future of PG on the WIZARDS. He's the ticket.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2009 9:02 AM

HAYWOOD gets his. He looks pretty good for being laid up all year. The WIZ let him walk in this contract year and they're done.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 12, 2009 9:07 AM

bulletsfan78: "Is it just me or does anyone else notice what the playoff team all have in common?A little hint......

Clevland......PG Mo Williams
Boston........PG R Rondo
Orlando.......PG R Alston
Atlanta.......PG M Bibby
Miami.........PG M Chalmbers
Philadelphia..PG A Miller
Chicago.......PG D Rose
Detroit.......PG R Stuckey

LA Lakers.....PG D Fisher
Denver........PG C Billiups
Houston.......PG A Brooks
Portland......PG S Blake
San Antonio...PG T Parker
New Orleans...PG C Paul
Dallas........PG J Kidd
Utah..........PG D Williams"

Um.. big oversimplification, bulletsfan78.

I'm a fan of PGs, but look at that list you have kindly provided. How many of them are better than Arenas?

Speaking of PGs whose role is score first, please include Mo Williams, Rafer Alston,and Mike Bibby. LeBron carries much of the ballhandling load for the Cavs, as Kobe does for the Lakers. Tony Parker is the Spurs' main offensive weapon, like Derrick Rose is for the Bulls-- and Gilbert Arenas is for the Wiz, when healthy.

Rajon Rondo and Rose are PGs in the sense that they take the ball to the basket and dish it off. Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Jason Kidd play more complex roles. The Lakers offense runs through Kobe Bryant, not Derek Fisher.

You're right that the Wiz needed a good backup PG, and Grunfeld decided the pass-first Antonio Daniels wasn't the guy. Not a decision I would have made, but I'm not the GM. Mike James was supposed to provide additional scoring and looked like that would come to pass until he went on an extended cold streak.

I'm afraid a Wiz turnaround requires more than just signing a Steve Blake or an Andre Miller. Those guys can help, sure. But the team's needs go deeper.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2009 9:12 AM

JC anyone? I think he's shown enough talent and improvement since we got him that he will be a more then adequate backup for Gilbert next year. Point guard is not an area for improvement.

Posted by: dante232 | April 12, 2009 9:35 AM

Samson151

How many of them are better than Arenas?


As far as being a PG I would say most of them. That is what is such a shame, because Arenas has more god given talent then most of them. If he would just watch some game tapes of Chris Paul he too could be one of the top PG in the NBA>

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2009 9:46 AM

bulletsfan78: "As far as being a PG I would say most of them"

I guess I'd have to say the numbers don't support your argument. Neither did Arenas' play in the two games recently, for whatever that's worth.

If Chris Paul was available, I'd say sign him, draft him, trade for him... in fact, rumor has it that's exactly Marc Cuban's plan.

You know what might really help the Wiz, even if Arenas is healthy? Some inside scoring.

And of course, some accelerated development for the young guys.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2009 10:04 AM

DC MANN88: Last week when I asked fellow bloggers to take a moment to reflect on the 41st anniversary of MLK assasination YOU!!! stated that my post was out of place, how is your politically generated post about the current situation in Somalia any different?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 12, 2009 10:12 AM

Looks like Flip's our guy according to ESPN.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4062098

Posted by: ptp23 | April 12, 2009 10:12 AM

I think Uncle Grunny should be given one last year to make an impact on this roster. He has been horrible in the draft. None of the prospects are showing any sign of future stars.

Posted by: thewayitis | April 12, 2009 10:31 AM

"DC MANN88: Last week when I asked fellow bloggers to take a moment to reflect on the 41st anniversary of MLK assasination YOU!!! stated that my post was out of place, how is your politically generated post about the current situation in Somalia any different?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 12, 2009 10:12 AM "

Want some cheese with that whine?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 12, 2009 10:38 AM

" If he would just watch some game tapes of Chris Paul he too could be one of the top PG in the NBA>

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 12, 2009 9:46 AM "

How easily you forget.

When EJ first started here, coming from NJ, one offseason, they went to watch JKidd play in hopes of studying his style and learning how to pass/share the ball.

Easy to say it didn't work out so well.

Gilby learned that in order to attract attention and to get max money, he needs to put the ball in the hole, plain and simple.

...not pass the rock...especially if he doesn't have the natural instincts to do it like JKidd.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 12, 2009 10:42 AM

Just to expand a little on Arenas as a PG: I thought the best comparison would be Tony Parker, for two reasons. First, they're about the same size (Gilbert is heavier) and second, they're both asked to be the primary scorer for their teams. Parker is generally recognized among the five or six best PGs in the NBA.

Here are Parker's stats for this season, a good one:
Pts: 21.9 Assts: 6.9 FG%: .490 3pt: .313 FT: 72% Reb: 3.0 TO: 2.61

Now Arenas' for his last full season, two years ago:
Pts: 28.4 Assts: 6.0 FG%: .418 3pt: .351
FT: 81% Reb: 4.5 TO: 3.2

Based just on numbers, they look very similar. Parker has the edge in assists and turnovers, but not a very big one; Gilbert prevails as a scorer and 3 point shooter, but not by all that much.

There are many differences between the Spurs and the Wiz, of course, but overall quality of PG play is probably not a main one.


Posted by: Samson151 | April 12, 2009 10:53 AM

"DC MANN88: Last week when I asked fellow bloggers to take a moment to reflect on the 41st anniversary of MLK assasination YOU!!! stated that my post was out of place, how is your politically generated post about the current situation in Somalia any different?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 12, 2009 10:12 AM "

Want some cheese with that whine?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 12, 2009 10:38 AM


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

Have to say he makes a good point. Mocking him isn't a legitimate response.

Plus, it wasn't even a particularly clever/amusing/original response.

Posted by: crs-one | April 12, 2009 10:54 AM

I think Wizards will be #3. Wizards is likely to win tonight, while Clippers and Kings probably would not win another game!

Kings is so far ahead (or behind), it won't matter if it did win one or two!

Posted by: sagaliba | April 12, 2009 11:07 AM

Oh BTW, I think in lottery, teams who are tied share the percentages, not by tie breakers.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 12, 2009 11:09 AM

PTP23,

The best thing about that article is that the Wizs will be hiring and not one of these we already got.

If it is Flip I hope he proves me wrong. I don't think he is the right coach for this Team. So believe me when I say if it is him I want to be wrong.

I seriously believe that this Team, healthy, and the one right addition this offseason, could contend deep into the Easterns playoffs. After that, anything could happen.

To do this the mesh of the young players is critical. JC, AB, NY, DM, and the new addition will have to be in the mix. It cannot be done with only BH, AJ, CB, DS, & GA and 1 or 2 spot subs from the bench.

There has to be a mesh of 10-players and playing time for this Team to maximize their effectiveness and limit bodily wear and tear.

Can Flip Saunders tailor his coaching style to this and win. I hope so.

Another point from above is that we seem to be set on Gilbert running the point BULLETSFAN78. Maybe Gilbert should run some point, but I think this Team takes it to the next level with J. Crit running the point and Gilbert killing Teams at the two.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 12, 2009 11:51 AM

Re: Ivan's stalker

I would say brlanxp sounds more like a stalker than lisa R. I mean really. You "frequently" run into him at bars?

And I like how you chimed in with the Chadwick's story on top of it. Gossip girl comes on Mondays. Get your fix there.

Posted by: crs-one | April 11, 2009 6:26 PM

I'm a "stalker" because I've run into Ivan Carter at bars? Hah! Um, no. If anything I'm the exact opposite of a "stalker" because I could care less about the guy and have never, not once, approached him at any of these bars. Like I said before, he's easily recognizable (being a local public figure) and it stands out that every time I have seen him, he's been by himself at a bar. It's just very odd, that's all.

Posted by: brianxp | April 12, 2009 1:55 PM

Arenas - Parker comparison seems about right.
Arenas' pre-injury game was highly skilled but not seasoned toward maximizing the components of the team, as a result the Wiz were never good enough to move beyond early playoff rounds.
His reappearance late this year in a couple of games has been interesting, the offense flows and teams have to adjust for his presence. The big question is not only about his knee but how much he has matured.
The rest of the team has matured and we have had an indication of how important Haywood is to the team. If they stay reasonably healthy next season the Wiz will be fun to watch. Whether they can move past the first round will depend on Arenas' commitment to maximizing the players around him and also on Blatche, McGuire, Young, McGee and their seasoning.
I think people would be surprised how mch better a coach Ed Tapscot would look with a healthy team next year.

Posted by: midlevex | April 12, 2009 2:01 PM

Oh BTW, I think in lottery, teams who are tied share the percentages, not by tie breakers.

True.

Posted by: KeithMcMillan | April 12, 2009 11:24 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company