Wizards (18-60) at Cavaliers (62-15)

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

Cavaliers: Delonte West, Mo Williams, LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Refs: Tom Washington, Eric Lewis and Haywoode Workman

Line: Cavaliers by 16.5

You can wipe out that 0.01 percent chance of Gilbert Arenas playing. He is not going to go against the Cleveland Cavaliers. I caught him briefly before the game and asked him why he didn't want to stick it to Cavaliers fans, who were hoping to see their team extend its own record to 38-1. "I already did," Arenas said, mentioning how he helped end the Cavaliers' 13-game win streak last week in Washington.

Before the game, Arenas sat in front of his locker room stall, looking at a calendar on his computer and plotted out his workout plans after the season ends.

... Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott was asked about Arenas before the game and his answer was similar to the one that he already gave me this morning: "We said he'd play selected games. The issue really is taken out of the context of the knee; the knee is fine. But you know when you haven't played in a while, your body reacts to playing at a real high level. Soreness and all of those other things come in. We didn't want to overtax him. So, we're going to stick to that plan."

... Arenas might be sitting this one out, but the Cavaliers are bringing back all the troops, especially since they can lock up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a victory. Ben Wallace is coming back after missing the past 21 games with a broken right fibula. Anderson Varejao also will play after sitting out against San Antonio with a right wrist contusion. Makes you wonder if they don't bring back Austin Carr, Brad Dougherty, Mark Price, Larry Nance, World B. Free and anybody else to really pile on the Wizards, who have won two in a row against them.

... Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown said that he may start resting guys like LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mo Williams and, possibly, Wally Szczerbiak in the last few games. But that will wait for at least one night. What Brown told reporters in Cleveland yesterday pretty much summed up the attitude of the team going into this game against Washington. Here's a hint: It won't be cavalier. "I think eventually we may end up getting to a point where we may sit some guys if I feel it necessary. But I just started to think of that last night. Having said that, I know we're going to go into [tonight's] game trying to play our guys and trying to win.''

... Another interesting note. The Boston Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season. Guess which team was the only one to beat them three times in the regular season.

I'm not sure if the Wizards are going to be 3-1 against the Cavaliers after what Cleveland did to San Antonio on Sunday, beating the Spurs by 20 points. The Cavs look pretty focused.

By Michael Lee |  April 8, 2009; 6:49 PM ET
Previous: The Other Side: Cleveland Cavaliers | Next: Cavaliers 98, Wizards 86


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Michael, do you think we will contend for a championship next year as most people on this board are claiming? In your professional basketball opinion, evaluating this team, will we be a championship contender? Do most people who follow the NBA believe we will win a ton of games next year, be a 4-seed or above, and challenge Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, etc. next season?

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 8, 2009 8:18 PM

Posted by: jasonma1 | April 8, 2009 9:29 PM

I read the article. He's pretty vauge, saying we'll improve if the next coach "emphasizes defense". What coach doesn't emphasize defense? That's a broken record around here.

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 8, 2009 9:44 PM

So, Ayers was brought in to coach D, and they were atrocious this season. Now what?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 8, 2009 10:02 PM

I hear the Wiz are planning to hire bloggers to do the coaching, since they're all smarter than real coaches anyway. Oh, and DCMAN will provide the bilious commentary free of charge, permitting the Post to eliminate one additional position.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 8, 2009 10:17 PM


I think a few people on here could have coached as good as ETaps!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 8, 2009 10:26 PM


Umm, you don't have an opinion of your own? Assuming a normal level of health, I easily see this team as a 5th seed with potential to make someone sweat in the second round. Championship contender may be a stretch unless they get Blake Griffin and even then your looking at 2 yrs at least before we would seriously contend as in make the Conference finals.

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 8, 2009 10:58 PM

"I hear the Wiz are planning to hire bloggers to do the coaching, since they're all smarter than real coaches anyway. Oh, and DCMAN will provide the bilious commentary free of charge, permitting the Post to eliminate one additional position.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 8, 2009 10:17 PM "

Hiring bloggers as coaches can't be worse than the current situation right now for Les BouleS being the worst in the NBA...Sac. Kings have 2 fewer wins, but also 3 fewer "all stars" healthy.

Chew on that.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 8, 2009 11:09 PM

Glad the Cavs didn't wear those piss colored uniforms,and the Wizards did'nt wear their Duracell Battery uniforms.

Posted by: jeremydvid | April 8, 2009 11:14 PM

We just went 1-15 in our division! We almost didn't win a single game in our division, so how can you say we are definitely a 5th seed in the entire conference??? You are SO SURE that we are ahead of Charlotte and Atlanta, right there with Miami and challenging Orlando for the Southeast next season? Cause that's the way it will have to be if we are a 1-4 seed next year.

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 8, 2009 11:17 PM


I did not say I was sure, but, yes, we could easily be a 5/6 seed. It's called injuries my friend. Did you miss that part of the season? Yes, when healthy we are definitely better than Charlotte and as good as Atlanta and Miami if not better. I'll take Arenas, Haywood, Jamison and Butler as starters over those other teams you mentioned. Plus, possibly Blake Griffin and our "young" players with more experience. Yeah, it's not a bleak future. Maybe not a championship future, but solid playoff team. Definitely!

Posted by: rphilli721 | April 9, 2009 1:21 AM

If we are grouped with Atlanta and Miami, that must mean we are roughly on par with Philly, Detroit, Milwaukee, Toronto, and Chicago. Only 8 teams make the playoffs my friend. Hard to believe we are a lock for a 5th seed. Pretty much EVERY team in the Eastern Conference could be the 5th or 6th seed, you are hardly going out on a limb with your prediction.

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 9, 2009 2:32 AM

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