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Wizards (19-61) at Raptors (31-49)

Wizards starters: Javaris Crittenton, Dominic McGuire, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood.

Raptors: Jose Calderon, Anthony Parker, Shawn Marion, Chris Bosh, Patrick O'Bryant

Refs: Mark Wunderlich, Derrick Collins, Mark Ayotte

Line: Wizards by 2.5.

Gilbert Arenas will miss his fifth consecutive game and 78th overall. Interim Coach Ed Tapscott reiterated that Arenas has experienced no setbacks in his surgically-repaired left knee, only that his body is sore. "We just want to make sure we are as conservative as possible," Tapscott said.

... The Wizards are also without Andray Blatche, who is out with a sore left knee. Blatche played 11 minutes in Toronto. This will be his 10th game missed this season.

... Tapscott was again asked about his future with the organization, with the team focused on hiring Flip Saunders as the next Wizards coach.

"Considering I have two [games] left, I think it's just best that I not comment on any of that," Tapscott said. "I think that's really a question better directed at Ernie Grunfeld and the management side. I think its best for me to focus on finishing the season as strong as possible and giving our players the full attention that they deserve ... And I think if you can roll with that answer, that's pretty good. You've got to have a sense of humor about it, c'mon."

... Caron Butler reflected on his second game-winning shot of the season last Friday. Butler melted down the final 16 seconds, then drove inside, stopped, dribbled between his legs and buried a step-back jump shot over a frozen Shawn Marion to give the Wizards a 100-98 victory. One player said Butler shoved Marion so hard, Marion couldn't move. I asked Butler if that was his Jordan-Bryon Russell shove-off shot.

"It was one of htose things where coach put me in a great situation to get a shot off and kind of create," Butler said. "Shawn Marion did a great job individually, but I got to an open spot and I nailed the shot, something I worked on often. Nice little go to move. Something we work on in practice often."

... The Raptors will be without Andrea Bargnani (sore left heel) who will not play in back-to-back games. Bargnani had 17 points and six blocks against Philadelphia yesterday in Toronto. Patrick O'Bryant will make his second career start.

... The gold jerseys are getting retired tonight. Will anybody miss them?

By Michael Lee  |  April 13, 2009; 6:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards: No Saunders Deal Yet

Comments

how is Gil still sore?

Posted by: PVGtownAz | April 13, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope ZERO people show up tonight at the game as a thank you to both this organization and Arenas (for his terrible rehab program and lack of interest in actually playing now that he's healthy). Season ticket holders were the big losers this season.

Sorry you didn't feel like playing Arenas.

Posted by: superwilks | April 13, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible that Javale we'll get a look tonight? This has been my biggest complaint with ET.

Posted by: zxhoya | April 13, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Were I come from, the only way to wear off soreness is to keep working. Soreness means your out of shape and you can get back in shape sitting on the bench.

Posted by: vwilli1 | April 13, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Those black and gold jerseys actually have grown on me a ton over time. Maybe its just the utter blandness of the regular home/away jerseys. The color scheme and or logo should be revamped. I'd love to go back to the old Bullets name but that just make me sounds 'old', heh.

Posted by: usiel3 | April 13, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the first commentor..how the hell can Gil be sore, lol.

Posted by: usiel3 | April 13, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Arenas said "he is not going to play tonight".

I hope they put this quote on their media guide next year and offer a refund to anyone who buys season tickets if he does not play more them 25 games. You know the old man has an insurance policy on Gil's salary.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 13, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

If I were Saunders, I would make sure I knew exactly what Arenas' condition was before I came here.

Posted by: cannontl | April 13, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I kinda liked the gold uniforms. Simply because Gil droped 60 on the lakers in those:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm2XO28YRYU

Posted by: dcball | April 13, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I like the gold uniforms too. They didnt last long?

Posted by: washwiz | April 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

6 minutes for McGee in the first half. And Taps had the audicity to say in the press briefing that he's improved.

From what I remember, EJ started McGee. Conversely, ET didn't give him any minutes in at least a half dozen games.

Taps did nothing to improve McGee's play. Reporters need to learn how to ask the obvious follow-up question(s).

Posted by: Izman | April 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Guys we are exactly tied with the Clippers with only two games left. Please don't worry about Gilbert being "sore."

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | April 13, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Anybody seen Pesh? Any reason AJ & CB are playing heavy minutes?

Posted by: Gooddad | April 13, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"If I were Saunders, I would make sure I knew exactly what Arenas' condition was before I came here.

Posted by: cannontl | April 13, 2009 7:38 PM "

You mean to make sure he has some trade value?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 13, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

izman: "Taps did nothing to improve McGee's play. Reporters need to learn how to ask the obvious follow-up question(s)."

Obvious follow-up questions like:

'Coach Tapscott, how do you explain your apparent failure to agree with the people who criticize you on that Washington Post blog? Clearly, you are insane. Have you submitted yet to a full battery of psychological that will no doubt confirm this fact?"

And other even-handed journalistic asides along that line....

Posted by: Samson151 | April 13, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

That's what bad teams do. Could that be anymore gift-wrapped for the Raptors? The Wizards succeeded in giving the game away. Horrendous turnovers and a 13 point lead gone. Unbelievable. I think this game basically sums up the season. Many boneheaded plays. :/

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

JUAN DIXON = AN IDIOT!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 13, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I bet everyone thought in their mind once Dixon threw it away, "great, here we go again.."

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Samson quote: "Obvious follow-up questions like:

'Coach Tapscott, how do you explain your apparent failure to agree with the people who criticize you on that Washington Post blog? Clearly, you are insane. Have you submitted yet to a full battery of psychological that will no doubt confirm this fact?"

And other even-handed journalistic asides along that line.... "

This is what is known as a non sequitur.

Posted by: Izman | April 13, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Did not watch the game but the stats that jump out at me were....

AJ and CB scored 51 points

Wait a minute

CB and SM scored 50 points


What happen did an All-Star game break out and everyone quit playing any D?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 13, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

One particular play stood out to me. In a specific sequence in the 2nd half, Joey Graham pulled in an offensive rebound under the basket. As Graham was maneuvering to get his shot off, McGee was caught too close to Graham to do his patented superman swat, so McGee did what a smart big man was supposed to do: stood his ground and let his length bother the shooter. It worked, Graham was disrupted and missed the shot -- though ended up getting his own rebound. This time Graham attempted to go up strong, only McGee went up equally as strong. He gave a hard foul that honestly could have gone either way (Chenier was making a point of this on the CSN broadcast). Graham had to earn his points at the FT line.

That sequence of plays, although seemingly negligible, illustrated to me how McGee has improved his game. Early in the season, he would have bit on the first shot, and on the second shot he would have likely gone for the "finesse" block instead of the hard contact. In both cases, he would have given the player a chance at a 3-point play. Tonight, he played the situation properly, and although he ended up giving the foul, he also ended up sending a message.

Tonight, McGee's most telling stat was his +/-. It wasn't an anomaly this time. He earned that statistic, and it showed when he was on the court. Aggressive, active, and smart. That's the McGee we're hoping to see on a consistent basis next season (with 15-20 lbs of muscle extra, if it's all the same to Javale).

Posted by: psps23 | April 13, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Great game tonight from Arenas. Glad to see since he's a 100% physically, he's going out and playing hard for his paycheck. He was really a difference maker tonight. Also, glad to see his me first, selfish attitude took a back seat to his determination to help this team will a ball game. He's a true champ.

Posted by: superwilks | April 13, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

JUAN DIXON = AN IDIOT!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 13, 2009 9:31 PM

How is that not Haywood's fault? If someone is double teamed, the other four guys can't just stand around doing nothing! Haywood also just stood there following the pick and roll, refusing to run out at his man and giving up the wide open game-winner.

Posted by: KShark28 | April 13, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess Juan demonstrated why, despite all the Wiz injuries, he hasn't gotten big minutes all season. He should've just held onto the ball and called timeout or let one of those two defenders foul him because isn't he a good free throw shooter?

Posted by: rxs85 | April 13, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Guess I'll be the one who has to break the news...

Wizards reach deal with Saunders
By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports

Flip Saunders has reached a verbal agreement on a four-year, $18 million contract to become coach of the Washington Wizards, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.

While terms have been agreed upon, sources says, the deal won’t be finalized until Saunders returns a signed contract to Washington. Nevertheless, the two sides have completed most all of the negotiations.

Saunders was telling associates on Monday that he is accepting the job, and team officials are planning to introduce him at a news conference early next week.

Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld and assistant GM Tommy Sheppard have been courting Saunders for several months, and sources say that the framework of an agreement has been in place since the All-Star break. They wanted badly for a veteran coach to take over the Wizards, who have the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 19-61. Nevertheless, the return of Gilbert Arenas to rejoin Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison – coupled with the possibility of the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft – makes the Wizards an attractive job. If Arenas can return to past form, the Wizards should make a swift return to the playoffs next year.

In his 13 seasons as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, Saunders won 50 games seven times and advanced four times to the conference finals. After taking the Pistons to three straight Eastern Conference finals, Saunders was fired at the end of last season. He has a career record of 587-396 (.597).

Saunders will replace interim coach Ed Tapscott, who is expected to return to the Wizards’ front office. Former Washington coach Eddie Jordan, who was fired in December, has emerged as the top candidate with the Sacramento Kings.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=y ... &type=lgns

Posted by: mohammed10 | April 13, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Dixon was double teamed and Haywood was just standing there all alone in the front court. Why didn't he just continue to the basket? Dixon made a mistake by not calling a TO but still, Haywood stood there like a spectator, not a guy on the court. If Haywood continues, everyone would praise Dixon for his "court vision" and game sealing play. How about Butler's selfish play at the end? I know he won the game a few nights ago but he either needs to figure out immediately if he has a play, needs to dish, or at least give the team enough time for an offensive rebound if his shot is shot--like it obviously was. He didn't create anything off the dribble and settled for a near impossible, highly contested reverse layup. Plenty of time on the clock to get a good play or two off.

Posted by: superwilks | April 13, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld and assistant GM Tommy Sheppard have been courting Saunders for several months, and sources say that the framework of an agreement has been in place since the All-Star break.

Posted by: mohammed10 | April 13, 2009 9:58 PM

So why didn't they bring him in at the All-Star break? Maybe he would have played some of the young guys to see if they can play?

What the ???? are the Wizards doing?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 13, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Juan Dixon cannot pass and has always been vulnerable against double-team, there is no surprise there. The question is, why is he in at the end, to protect the ping-pong balls?

Posted by: sagaliba | April 13, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't Haywood's fault. Tapscott told them that they were supposed to call a timeout. Haywood didn't continue running cause he KNEW that Tapscott was calling a timeout and cause Tapscott told them in the huddle before. Seems to me someone wasn't listening. It's just stupid. All they had to do was hold the ball, call timeout, get the ball inbounds and let the Raptors foul and knock down some free throws. It's common sense. There was no need to get Haywood the ball in the first place. Bunch of idiots!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Dixon was double teamed and Haywood was just standing there all alone in the front court. Why didn't he just continue to the basket? Dixon made a mistake by not calling a TO but still, Haywood stood there like a spectator, not a guy on the court. If Haywood continues, everyone would praise Dixon for his "court vision" and game sealing play. How about Butler's selfish play at the end? I know he won the game a few nights ago but he either needs to figure out immediately if he has a play, needs to dish, or at least give the team enough time for an offensive rebound if his shot is shot--like it obviously was. He didn't create anything off the dribble and settled for a near impossible, highly contested reverse layup. Plenty of time on the clock to get a good play or two off.

Posted by: superwilks | April 13, 2009 10:00 PM

Not to mention the fact that, on the very next play, Haywood stood like a statue under the basket instead of running out at his man, leaving the game-winning shot completely uncontested. And the Butler play was nothing new, 1 on 3 instead of passing because he still thinks he has the magic touch even after a whole year's worth of evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: KShark28 | April 13, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, Dixon was double teamed and Haywood was just standing there all alone in the front court. Why didn't he just continue to the basket?"

Because Coach was calling a timeout, everyone except Dixon heard it. In fact, according to Comcast, Coach indicated he wanted a timeout in the previous hurdle. That's why everyone was kind of standing there.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 13, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

KShark28: You're not really going to blame Haywood on this are you? He had so many blocks in this game, he played a fantastic game. It's not Haywood's fault because the most logical way to win this game was hold the ball, call a timeout, inbounds the ball and shoot freethrows. It was Dixon not listening to Tapscott and not using his brain.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the fact that, on the very next play, Haywood stood like a statue under the basket instead of running out at his man, leaving the game-winning shot completely uncontested.

Posted by: KShark28
-------------------------------------------

Did you watch the game? If not, go check the tape! It was a pick and roll involving Dixon's man and Haywood's man, Dixon was trailing after the pick by Bosh. Haywood had to pick up Dixon's guy, because he is driving towards the basket. Dixon needs to cut off the passing lane between the ball handler and Bosh, but Dixon continued to chase the ball handler and ignored Bosh.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 13, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

KShark28: You're not really going to blame Haywood on this are you? He had so many blocks in this game, he played a fantastic game. It's not Haywood's fault because the most logical way to win this game was hold the ball, call a timeout, inbounds the ball and shoot freethrows. It was Dixon not listening to Tapscott and not using his brain.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 10:14 PM

I'm well aware of how great Haywood played on defense, but that doesn't mean he can't make bad plays at the end. Same with Butler; he played a great game but had bad judgment at the end. As far as the timeout goes, why did no one call it if it was predetermined? Were they just going to wait until they called 5 seconds on the person stuck in the double team?

Posted by: KShark28 | April 13, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I for one am glad we lost this, win #20 would have put us over the Clippers as far as standings go (and below them as far as ping pong balls go)

Posted by: KShark28 | April 13, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

It was both of them. Dixon had a brain lapse, Haywood had a brain lapse. Dixon should have held the ball, Haywood should have ensured everything was secure before heading to the sideline. Neither made the "correct" play there.

Haywood's defense on the Bosh 3 was fine. Not too much you can do when a big man who almost never attempts 3's decides to pull the trigger on the biggest shot of the game.

Posted by: psps23 | April 13, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Dixon had one great play in the closing minutes with his steal that he took in for a score. His defense was suspect in the closing minutes; the 5 turnovers didn't help (neither did the 19 by the rest of the team) -- the timeout was just the icing on the cake. Arenas could have made a difference tonight, but for whatever reason he opted out.

I understand that Tapscott wanted veterans on the court at the end -- it worked in Toronto with Jamison in the game. Dixon was part of that win. Tonight it wasn't in the cards. What an ugly, ugly loss.

Posted by: JPRS | April 13, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

KShark28: You're not really going to blame Haywood on this are you? He had so many blocks in this game, he played a fantastic game. It's not Haywood's fault because the most logical way to win this game was hold the ball, call a timeout, inbounds the ball and shoot freethrows. It was Dixon not listening to Tapscott and not using his brain.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 10:14 PM

I know, I know, it was mostly Juan's fault...I guess as a big Juan fan I had hoped he would go out with style. He was almost there with that hustle steal, but the pass...

Oh, well. Juan as a Wizard pt. 2 turned out to be kind of a bust, at least he had those first 2 years.

Posted by: KShark28 | April 13, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"It was both of them. Dixon had a brain lapse, Haywood had a brain lapse. Dixon should have held the ball, Haywood should have ensured everything was secure before heading to the sideline. Neither made the "correct" play there."

Except one thing, Dixon fired the ball not at Haywood, but at where he expected Haywood to be, further downcourt. Knowing that coach is calling timeout, of course Haywood did not run downcourt.

I agree that if Dixon had fired the ball at Haywood, then Haywood should have paid attention and caught it. But this is not the case. I think it is hard to fault Haywood didn't run further downcourt, because that's not the instruction of the coach's.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 14, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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