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Wizards (17-58) at Grizzlies (19-54); Haywood Will Make Season Debut

Wizards starters: Javaris Crittenton, Dominic McGuire, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche.

Grizzlies: Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur, Rudy Gay.

Refs: Mike Callahan, Ed Malloy, Zach Zarba

Line: Grizzlies by 3.

Brendan Haywood will make his season debut tonight in Memphis. Haywood knocked on interim Coach Ed Tapscott's hotel room door this afternoon and told him that he was ready to play. Tapscott plans to play Haywood for 20 minutes off the bench, likely using him for 10 minutes each half.

This is decision rather sudden and surprising since Haywood stressed that he needed "five-to-10" practices before he played in a game, but the reality is, given the Wizards' remaining schedule, he would only have about two or three hard practices the rest of the season.

Yesterday, Tapscott said that Haywood wasn't close to getting back because of his wind. He mentioned how Haywood had the ball in the post and attempted one of his turnaround jumpers. "That normally is a good shot for him," Tapscott said. Then Haywood shot an airball. "He looked at me and said, 'No legs,' " Tapscott said with a laugh.

Things changed in a hurry, though. "First thing I asked him was, 'This isn't an April Fool's Joke is it?' " Tapscott said, recalling their meeting this afternoon. "He said, 'No.' "

... As for Gilbert Arenas, it doesn't appear that he's going to play. He worked out with Haywood before the game, delivering entry passes to the post. But he was wearing his cutoff black sweats rather than his uniform. He also was cracking jokes in the locker room, rather than wearing his headphones and tuning out the world, like he usually does when he's going to play.

"He's always a gametime decision," Tapscott said with a shrug. "We said we will try to stay away from any back-to-back situations. And if we have a back-to-back like this, considering who he is, I think we owe it our fans to let them see him if he's going on a back to back."

... As I reported earlier, Darius Songaila will play tonight after missing the past four games with a neck injury. Songaila said he originally got hurt against Sacramento but continued to play the next four games out West, even after aggravating the injury in the first game of the Wizards' road trip in Utah after colliding with Andray Blatche on a rebound.

... Dominic McGuire will try again to contain Memphis rookie O.J. Mayo, who scorched the Wizards for a career-high 33 points on Feb. 2. His teammates gave him a hard time about his defensive performance that night, so he will probably be a little more charged up tonight.

... The NBA schedule maker surely didn't see this coming last summer, but the thought of the Wizards and Grizzlies playing on April Fool's Day makes me laugh a little bit.

By Michael Lee  |  April 1, 2009; 7:35 PM ET
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Next: Grizzlies 112, Wizards 107


Hey Mike,any update on the new coach.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | April 1, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

What update could there possible be on a new coach??? Not like Ernie is going to say anything or interview anyone while the season is still going on.

Welcome back Haywood. We need you.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 1, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I give up. The picture quality on CW50 is so bad, it's unwatchable. What a joke. Meanwhile, ESPN is showing a high school basketball game in HD.

Posted by: bryc3 | April 1, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

i co-sign that. i can't stand when games aren't in hd. step it up cw50. nonetheless, good to see haywood back out on the floor. or is it haywood cause i can hardly see the numbers on the jerseys, lol. i'm really ready for this season to be over. let's go o's!

Posted by: jslonaker12 | April 1, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

How does Haywood look? This team really does have a lot of pieces with potential, i.e. talent and alot of guys who bring something specific to the table, now it all just needs to come together

Posted by: dingersoll1 | April 1, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Can't get CW50 on FIOS so my picture's worse. Who won?

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 1, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

That was a joke right? We just lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, a team starting a combination of rookies and 2nd year players. Exactly how are the pieces coming together?

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 1, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Haywood looked impressive tonight. Not much support on the offensive end, but he had a steal, three blocks, and helped to alter a few shots in the closing minutes by getting in shooters' faces. Good to see him back on the court. Turnovers killed the Wizards. 3-pointers killed the Wizards too.

Posted by: JPRS | April 1, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Javaris Crittendon and Gilbert Arenas playing together next year would be a guard tandem that would be DAMN NEAR UPSTOPPABLE!!!

Will it happen? Depends on the coach. It looks like the tea leaves dictates that Javaris will back up Gilbert.

My intuition tells me that those two playing together would be golden. Money in the bank.

If you think the chemistry between Gilbert and Larry was efficient, my guts tell me that Javaris and Gilbert together would be LETHAL.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 1, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

No joke. I thought the WIZ might actually pull one out. Did ARENAS and CRITTENTON play together. I post with a HAWKS group that follow CRITTER because he's a GA. TECH player they got to watch in ATLANTA. The consensus from college is quite good I might add.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 1, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse


You can't be serious. We don't want to win. Tappscott don't know how to win. Ease up friend. It's gonna be allll' right.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 1, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

It is imperative that we hire a coach next year that knows how to manage Team play.

The makeup of this Team is easily a serious 8-10 deep. The combinations are versatile and easily interchangeable.

A coach that knows how to meash a 10-deep roster could do wonders with this squad.

The system next year will be crucial to the success of the Wizards. Players like Blatche, Magee, Crit, McGuire, Young would have tremendous impact in the right system.

The right system would also alleviate tremendous pressure on the Vets to carry the Team.

Mr. Abe Polin, Can ya' hire Mark Jackson.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 1, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

In reference to the Phoenix Suns the question was what to do with the Team next year.

Mark Jackson said the first thing that he would do was to have a meeting and ask who wanted to play Defense and go from there.

His point was if you ain't playing Defense you are out the door.

Now if he asked the Wizards that question, I donot think a single player on the roster including Gilbert would not answer in the affirmative.

But whats so funny about Mark Jackson saying that is that I know that the only reason that Mark wants to play D' is so that his scores will count.

Mark Jackson loved to score the ball. He relished it. His desire to play D' is like Michael Jordan playing D'. You play D' cause you want your scoring to count.

MICHAEL LEE, can you put the word in the organization. Can you whisper to the players and to Ernie and pass to the word to Abe.

Tell them there's this Wizard Insider blogger out there that is insisting that Mark Jackson is there next coach.

You don't have to tell them its me, but in the military they have a saying when you want to suggest something to the high ups, or the chain of command, they say "Run It Up Flag Pole".

So Michael Lee, can you "Run It Up The Flag Pole" for me and let us know what the Organization thinks about it.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 2, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I get it, JPRS, April fools joke, right?

Nothing against Haywood but he was embarrassingly bag-on-the-head terrible for most of tonight. Looked to have more rust to scrape off than a late Model-T.

Also enjoyed Caron's 31 points and 31 turnovers.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | April 2, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

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