Young Sits Out, Jamison Headed to NCAA Final

Nick Young said his hyperextended left knee felt sore on Sunday -- the morning after he wound up on the wrong end of collision with Miami Heat center Jamaal Magloire on Saturday night. But he said on Monday that he will be ready to play in Cleveland on Wednesday. Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott held him out of practice as a precautionary measure.

"It's feeling better. I should play Wednesday," Young said with an ice pack wrapped around his leg. "I iced it and came up for treatment and it felt better."

Young said the team had yet to do an MRI on his knee, but he was okay. Young got twisted up after Magloire rammed into his right leg in the first quarter of the Wizards' 118-104 loss. The collision forced Young to plant his left foot awkwardly behind his rear end and his leg popped forward as he hit the ground.

Tapscott said that aside from Young and the three players who are out for the season --DeShawn Stevenson, Etan Thomas and Mike James -- the rest of the players participated, including Juan Dixon, who appeared to aggravate his sore right Achilles on Saturday. Dixon didn't seem to be favoring the leg as left practice this afternoon.

Tapscott said Young will a game-time decision. Young is one of two Wizards to play every game this season. The other is Antawn Jamison.

Jamison, a North Carolina alum, was in a bit of a rush after practice because he had to catch a private jet to Detroit to watch his beloved Tar Heels face Michigan State in the NCAA national title game. Jamison said New Jersey Nets swingman Vince Carter will be among the former North Carolina teammates to join him at Ford Field.

"Reunion time. Something that I never had the opportunity to experience," said Jamison, whose teams lost in the national semifinals in 1997 and 1998. "I haven't been to the Final Four since then. I haven't been to a Carolina game since then. So it will be good to go back see some familiar faces. It's exciting."

With the Frozen Four taking over Verizon Center this week, the Wizards will practice in Cleveland on Tuesday.

By Michael Lee |  April 6, 2009; 2:41 PM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Michael, if Abe didn't want to re-sign Roger Mason to a modest 2 year contract for fear of going over the luxury tax, why would he go over the luxury tax next season when the economy is tanking and everyone is projecting revenues to drop?

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 6, 2009 8:48 PM

It's funny/telling/sad how MeShawn has been gone for 1/2 the season and nobody's mentioned him since he left.

Nick Young...can we get a certified, no doubt, unequivocal, "Curse of Les BouleS" stamp already?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 6, 2009 9:16 PM

Ya know I'm watching these Tarheels take Michigan State apart.

I been preaching Offense all season and how important it is. And I keep getting these Naysayers' saying "Ya Got To Build Defense First".

They keep looking a the Championship Teams and keep talking about how good there Defense was. And they keep making the claim that they were built from Defense first.

Defense first is so bogus and it does not mean anything without Offense First.

Everytime a commentator talks about Carolina they always say that Defense is not there strong suit. Just tonight the pregame forecast questioned whether Carolina's Defense could hold up against Michigan.

Ya see, I know what good Defense is. Thats why I emphasize Offense. When the Wizards was at the top of there game with Gilbert, Teams could not stop them.

Offense makes the Defense Merry Go Round GO. Without good superior Offense, that Defense Merry Go Round will not circle.

Ya see when you have prolific Offense, the good organizations figure out how to stop you with there Defense as well.

The Tarheels has always been one of the best defensive Teams in the country. That never gets emphasized becuase of the Offense. It's almost like a secret weapon for them.

Eddie Jordan in his best as a coach did not what Defense was.

But one thing for sure, the best championship Teams in the NBA always had superior Offensive players who understood what good Defense was.

You ain't building no championship Team with Defense First without superior Offensive players first. And you might need more than 1 or 2 good O' players.

How many championships did Pat Riley win Kalo_Rama without superior Offensive Players scoring the ball.

When he let Mark Jackson go, only Patrick was left. All the great Defense that he brought to the Knicks fell short because of lack of Offense.

Ask the UTAH JAZZ about defense first with only one superior Offensive Player. Defense first without superior Offensive Players has not won any Championships. Not a Single one.

Do you hear me Kalo.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 6, 2009 10:30 PM

You don't go over the salary cap for a 2d or 3d string SG like Roger Mason -- you go over the luxury tax for a talent like Blake Griffin.

When the decision was made not to resign Mason is was assumed that Arenas would be healthy, that DeShawn would be healthy and that NYoung would continue to develop. Mason was a luxury. Mason wanted to get paid and to play -- something the Wizards could not guarantee. People need to get over it and look at the circumstances as they existed when the decision was made, not 6 months later.

Posted by: Chad32 | April 6, 2009 10:31 PM


Offense is definitely important but don't discount defense. Teams that win are very balanced. You don't win being the worst on offense or defense. The Wizards when healthy are a fantastic offensive team as we can see when Arenas is on the floor in just two games and him not fully pushing it or being rusty. The return of Haywood helps the defense but the Wiz need to get better. Adding Griffin will help the Wizards defensively because the guy is a monster on the boards -- that is a big part of defense, defensive rebounding.

Posted by: Chad32 | April 6, 2009 10:36 PM

Ok, so why didn't we exceed the luxury tax for Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, Roger Mason, etc. etc. Do you have an excuse for Abe for each one? The trend suggests that Abe doesn't want to pay the luxury tax at all.

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 6, 2009 11:23 PM

"Ok, so why didn't we exceed the luxury tax for Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, Roger Mason, etc. etc. Do you have an excuse for Abe for each one? The trend suggests that Abe doesn't want to pay the luxury tax at all.

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 6, 2009 11:23 PM "

Larry Hughes - EG did try to resign him initially at a lower amount and then at the amount he wanted, but LH already committed to the Bulls and EG was too late. He still continues to produce when healthy. His replacement, MeShawn, isn't doing so hot.

Roger Mason - Didn't even get a contract offer and went to a better team/situation. His replacements, MeShawn/NY, aren't doing so hot.

Jared Jeffries - Wasted draft pick. Picked him, let him walk, no compensation. BTW, JJ was picked 11 that year, and Tayshaun Prince was picked 23rd and John Salmons was picked 26 and Roger Mason 31 and Carlos Boozer 35 and Luis Scola 56.

Those are just a few of the sad stories of Les BouleS that keep repeating themselves...

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 7, 2009 12:12 AM


You don't go over the salary cap for a 2d or 3d string SG like Roger Mason -- you go over the luxury tax for a talent like Blake Griffin.

When the decision was made not to resign Mason is was assumed that Arenas would be healthy, that DeShawn would be healthy and that NYoung would continue to develop. Mason was a luxury. Mason wanted to get paid and to play -- something the Wizards could not guarantee. People need to get over it and look at the circumstances as they existed when the decision was made, not 6 months later.

Posted by: Chad32 | April 6, 2009 10:31 PM "

You shouldn't need to go over the lux cap for Roger Mason if you had a GM who didn't make bonehead signings for players like ET, MeShawn, and AJ and then make a max money offer to Gilby when no other team could pay him max money....nevermind a host of other mediocre players on the payroll like DSong, AB, and OPech along with guys who haven't met expectations like NY.

Don't forget, EG didn't offer Roger a contract, but then used the Gilby cap room to sign Dee Brown....who of course, isn't even on the roster anymore.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 7, 2009 12:16 AM

But Abe will defy conventional wisdom and pay the luxury tax this season even though his past history suggests that he avoids the luxury tax like plague. Yup, this kool-aid tastes good!

Posted by: twigmuffin | April 7, 2009 12:20 AM

EG is referring to our draft pick as an "asset". That suggests to me that they intend on trading it instead of using it.

Posted by: MeviousMan | April 7, 2009 12:28 AM

Yeah that's it DC_man -- long term the Wiz would be better signing Mason offer Arenas. Fantastic. The only boneheaded signing was Etan Thomas. The other players have or will live up to the deals. Mason is not that special of a player.

Now, the Wiz did not sign Hughes because he wanted more money -- based on how Hughes has played since leaving the Wizards, not signing him to the $14M/year contract was a great non-move by EG.

Same with Jared Jefferies -- the guy is average defensively and horrible on offense yet the Knicks wanted to pay him $6M. EG was very wise to let Jefferies walk.

DeShawn was good the first two years with the Wizards. He filled the role he was asked to play quite well. The first year, prior to Arenas and Caron getting hurt (65 games or so) DeShawn was shooting 50% from the floor and playing good defense. Last year, DeShawn was a good 3-point shooter and again the teams best perimeter defender. This year he played terrible and appears to be because of a back problem. The problem may last but he is getting paid less than Mason and was signed the year before -- you know, when Mason was barely in the NBA.

As for Jefferies being a wasted pick -- those other players are not really a comparison because apparently at least 12 other teams did not value those players as highly as Jefferies. Jefferies had just lead Indiana to the title game and was considered a great prospect. It was not a wasted pick, but a pick that simply did not work out. You have to look at the players picked near Jefferies to see if the Wiz had better options -- they did not (Melvin Ely --Hahaha -- Haislip -- whoever -- Fred Jones -- haha -- Nachbar -- that would have been a better pick eventually -- Jiri Welsh). The bad pick was Juan Dixon at 17 -- that is where drafting Tayshaun Prince would have made sense because then it would not have been such a reach.

Posted by: Chad32 | April 7, 2009 12:37 AM

And you definitely trade this draft pick if you don't get the #1 overall pick. Blake Griffin is the only player in the draft ready to come in contribute on a winning team immediately -- all the other players are projects. The Wiz already have 6 players 23 years or younger. If the Wiz can trade the pick and either Etan or Mike James for a legit SG that plays defense and can hit the 3 then trading the pick is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Chad32 | April 7, 2009 12:39 AM

Chad 32,

I understand the importance of Defense very well. I just get so flabergasted at comments about defense and some that make them that do not know what good defense is comprised of.

For instance, Antwann Jamison gets continually slammed for not being a good man-up one on one defenser. Thats true and also true that it is only a part of good defense. How many of those players that beat him for a score can outrebound him on both ends of the court. Hardly any.

Haywood also gets slammed for not being a more dominant center, tougher, shotblocker, and rebounder. But his value to overall Team effectiveness was not realized until he got extended play last year and was out due to injury this year. And still people want to get rid of him.

Time after time bloggers come on critcize what they perceive to be lack of defensive efforts by player after player on this Wizards Team.

They say Gilbert can't play defense, but when he was paired with Larry they led or was the top 2 or 3 guard tandem in the NBA in steals per game. Thats Defense.

You see Defense can be taught and you teach a Team Defensive philosophy that is comprised of all...of ALL the things that Defense is comprised of.

Individual defense will always be lacking without a strong Team strategy. Defensive team strategy has not been an institutional component of this organization. That being said, is why I am continuly astounded by the defensive criticisms of the players on this Team in the absence of adequate instruction.

The Carolina Tarheels blew away this National Championship hands down with what most thought was an Offensive Team. But in the end they realized they have great Defense too. They have always had great Defense.

I know what Defense is, but too many bloggers here that criticize the Players do not have a clue.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 7, 2009 12:51 AM


A very good win for your team, but remember the Terps beat both NC and Mich St without any McD's allstars.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 7, 2009 1:23 AM

DC fans make me sick sometimes. When Gilbert was healthy, it was Kobe of the East, East Coast Assassin. The man gets hurt and it's ship him out of town.

DeShawn has been solid the past two years, he plays with an injured back...ship him out of town.

It's about roles. Caron cannot carry a team...AJ cannot carry a team. However, they are both solid #2 guys. Deshawn is not a #2 guy, he plays defense and hits open shots. WHEN HE IS HEALTHY! The Wizards healthy and everyone in a proper role can be very dangerous. Songalia is NOT a backup C, but we saw what he can do against Cleveland in his proper role, stretch the defense with those jumpers and open up lanes for Caron and Jamison and Gil if he wasnt scared to drive.

We have been missing 3 point shooting terribly, the return of Gilbert and DeShawn and maybe a Mike Miller (who I think could vastly improve our offense and is no longer wanted in Minnesota) would be huge. Nick Young is not a starting 2 guard yet, that's not his role...everyone was out of their role and that is why you saw the terrible basketball that you saw this year.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | April 7, 2009 7:55 AM


I think I agree with you for the most part. The idea that defense alone is what the wiz need lacks a bit of nuance.

Same with offense. Back in the days before Webber and Juan Howard when Calbert Chaney and Tim Legler were playing people would say man those guys can shoot. But the offensive system didn't click. Offense is more than talent, it's understanding talent, evaluating your strengths and doing the best with them. I remember thinking how can such good shooters miss so many shots. It stinks to watch a basketball team that can't make clutch shots.

I think if you go back and look at Haywood as a player a few years ago you would have to say he was truly lacking 'something' offense? Defense? Desire? It's hard to say, but it seems like even in the few games he has played this year he has gained something that drives his game. Maybe it is minutes, but I think even if he saw less time and the team was doing well he would adjust.

AJ gets an unnecessarily bad rap sometimes, but if you look at the complete picture I would have to say no single player has contributed more to this franchise over the last few years. He is emotionally solid, and goes out and does what he can for the team. Do I wish his lateral speed was better and an extra 50 pounds made him more of a baseline defender? Hell yes, but frankly Jamison is just not going to be that player, yet he is still a damn good player overall. If Jamison Muxes it up on the baseline he might be less durable, so it is a trade off sometimes. Is it annoying sometimes? Yes, bu show me a team that plays defense like an NCAA team can in the NBA? It just isn't possible. The top NBA players can beat anyone in man coverage, and the distance that NCAA players can start putting pressure is just too far for the NBA, the alternative is the sag and react method. That is a place the wizards need to get better AS A Team. Their team defense can be improved by learning to communicate a bit better and learning to trust a bit more, all stuff that happens with time.

Its not often that players drop into your lap like KG and Ray Allen and say hey, we want to win a championship before we retire. The wiz aren't going to get that kind of love so they will have to settle for trying to build something with developing parts.

last thought.

I would like to vote for permanently changing the name to Zephyrs, it's so much better than wizards, and if we can't be the bullets the Zephyrs would be a great choice I think. It sounds classic / old school and I dig the jerseys.

Posted by: gconrads | April 7, 2009 12:17 PM

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