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Home Opener: Nets (0-2) at Wizards (1-1), Butler Out

Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Fabricio Oberto, Brendan Haywood

Nets: Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Yi Jianlian, Brook Lopez

Line: Wizards by 6.5.

Caron Butler is out with a bruised left knee, but Coach Flip Saunders said he is expected to be back on the floor against Cleveland next Tuesday. Butler injured himself late in the first quarter and continued to play, but Saunders said the knee began to stiffen up while Butler sat.

It didn't look good for Butler that he was still on the training table getting treatment when reporters were allowed in the locker room after the game. I heard that when the team arrived back from Atlanta, Butler was moving pretty delicately off the plane.

"He's a little too sore," Saunders said. "It's more precautionary than anything else. We're going to wait right now. With him, he's had knee issues in the past. We wanted to be more cautious about than jump into something. I think he feels better now that we've had him looked at."

Mike Miller will move over to small forward and Randy Foye will get the start at shooting guard, a combination that worked well in Dallas. With Butler joining Antawn Jamison on the shelf for the home opener, Saunders made an interesting note about the Wizards' starting five tonight. None of them were on the Wizards' active roster on opening day this time last year. Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood were out with injuries. Miller and Foye were in Minnesota and Fabrico Oberto was in San Antonio.

The crazy thing about the Wizards losing Jamison and Butler this early in the season is that you can't fault them for how they got hurt. Jamison was trying to commit a hard foul to prevent a layup and had his right shoulder pop out. Butler was trying to hustle for a loose ball, dove to the ground, got a few court burns, and bruised his left knee.

Saunders also took some time to praise Arenas -- for his defense? He noted that Arenas held Jason Kidd and Mike Bibby to a combined nine points in the first two games. I'm not sure how much credit Arenas deserves for those performances, because Kidd doesn't shoot and Bibby missed several open jumpers. Kidd took six shots (making two), while Bibby took nine shots (making just three), but Saunders called Arenas an "underappreciated defensive player."

"I didn't realize he is as smart a player as he is," Saunders said. "He understands concepts. He understands where he's supposed to be. He's pretty competitive. Understanding what you're supposed to do is half the battle. I didn't realize he was as intelligent, defensively, knowing those things as he is.

"I look at his overall game and how he's progress instead of just him with the ball. that's sort of the same thing that happened with Chauncey [Billups]," Saunders said. "Chauncey, when I was there three years, he was all-defensive team all three years I was there. That was his progression, too."

Fans here are getting Arenas masks for Halloween. Who knew they should get into the defensive stance upon receiving them?

I didn't get a chance to get into last night, but JaVale McGee really played well in limited minutes against the Hawks. The Hawks led 65-54 when Saunders called on the second-year center to inject a life into his listless team -- and he delivered right away.

McGee got on the scoreboard in a few seconds when he ran down the court to catch an alley-oop from Randy Foye. He later helped the Wizards get within 79-72 when he and Foye again connected on an alley-oop. McGee had seven points, two rebounds and a block in just 11 minutes and Saunders said he could earn more time in his rotation. "He played well. We played him until he couldn't get any more oxygen out of the arena, so we took him out of the game," Saunders said. "But he did a nice job."

I took a shot at giving McGee a nickname last night on Twitter. What do you guys think of The JaValevator?

By Michael Lee  |  October 31, 2009; 4:54 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards 123, Nets 104 [UPDATED]

Comments

Gil is a monster. Can get to the basket and is strong enough to finish but still has a jumper. If he ever puts it ALL together...it could be scary.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 31, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

why is NY in the game?

Posted by: Utilityman1 | October 31, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

i think AB's new speech impediment (the braces/rubberbands must efect his speech) and afinity for tha ;adies warrants his new nickname McLovin

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 31, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

i think AB's new speech impediment (the braces/rubberbands must efect his speech) and afinity for tha ladies warrants his new nickname McLovin

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 31, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 31, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young enters the game.

4 minutes 31 seconds later, the Wizards increase their lead by 6 points.

Flip clearly f-cked up.

We will now undoubtedly lose the game because Flip did not heed the cries of jealous commentators on the Insider blog.

God help the Wizards.

Posted by: JPRS | October 31, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Say it ain't so, Blatche three games in a row!

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 31, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe I hated the trade for Foye and Miller when we first did it. Now I love it! These two players would've been better than anyone we got in the draft. Go Ernie Grunfeld! And Oberto is awesome as well.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 31, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Good to see DeShawn Stevenson playing well: 4-4, 2-2 from three pt land, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal, 10 points in 18 minutes so far.

After his first game this season, some of you seemed to think he wouldn't contribute this year.

Now we need to get NY on track.

Posted by: cannontl | October 31, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I find it hilarious that some of the regulars on here were really saying that NY needed to be the starting SG...LMAO

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 31, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Gil needs to come back this game.

Posted by: cannontl | October 31, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

ANDRAY BLATCHE CAREER HIGH!!!!!! This guy is so talented and he's FINALLY playing to his potential!

This team is so fun to watch!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | October 31, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Miller and Foye were tremendous additions. As much as I like CB3 as a player, Miller is a better passer, ballhandler, and rebounder. It's as if he's been playing with the Wiz for years. He's also a lot better defensively than I thought having played on bad teams.

As for Blatche, it looks like he's playing both smarter and with more intensity than anytime in his career. Flip must be getting through to him. We'll have great depth on the front line when Jamison returns to the lineup.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 31, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Andray Blatche is so good.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 31, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

LOL...this almost looks like a video game. They just won't miss.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 31, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's get Songalia 2.0 in there! LOL

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 31, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Get Foye out and let's see Mike James!

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 31, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I am sure DCMAN and Bullets78 will be on shortly to calm everyone down. Just the skinking 0-3 Nets, nothing positive to take away blah blah blah....hilarious.

Best thing for me was seeing Gil be able to bring it on a back to back game...and then gets to sit for the entire 4th quarter. Beautiful.

I can't remember the last time a Wizards team had this many assists in a game. All this without two starters, both former All-Stars....yikes.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | October 31, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The game ball definitely goes to Blatche on this one.

The Wiz got off to a bit of a slow start -- Blatche enters the game and they started breaking the game open (e.g. Blatche's mid-range jumpers ended up freeing the perimeter AND the post on offense).

Another 79 games like the past 3 and Blatche is going to get some attention for 6th Man of the Year.

Posted by: JPRS | October 31, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Stinking Nets...sorry for typo.

Also, 3rd consecutive focused effort from Blatche...already ate my hat with Gil returning to form and now sprinkling some salt on foot. Not too bad.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | October 31, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Granger, Lebron, and Wade next week. We could very well win all 3, but I expect a 2-1 record.

Posted by: ATLredskin | October 31, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

The JaValevator?

Um, no.

Posted by: farstriker | October 31, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm making it official here tonight: Dre Blatche is the greatest player in the history of inflatable round-ball sports.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | October 31, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"I am sure DCMAN and Bullets78 will be on shortly to calm everyone down."

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows

LOL!!!

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 31, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow...that's about all I can say. They completely destroyed the Nets in all phases of the game. The passing was the best I've ever seen from this team and that is not hyperbole.

Everything that was wrong with the team under EJ even when healthy does not exist now. Better passing by a mile - actual assists, better depth, better defense. And, it's been there all three games. Last game they just got a little out of sync after Butler went down and never recovered.

Blatche, what can you say. It's not just the numbers it's how he is playing. He's caught lightning in a bottle before, but now he is completely under control and in rhythm. In other words, it doesn't seem so flukey anymore.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 31, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The_Shadow_Knows,

Your right, and they should calm us down it's early. The one thing that is impressive though is they beat a team that had no business being on the floor with them and they beat them bad. Thats what you have to do.

Posted by: sire1 | October 31, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

They were talking on the radio about Blatche being 6th man of the year. If he keeps playing like this, he will win it. It's great that he's only 21 years old!!

Posted by: rachel216 | October 31, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

And Eddie Jordan Siers just lost a 17 point lead with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The game is in overtime right now and the Knicks is winning by 3...

Posted by: ATLredskin | October 31, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Go Wiz

Posted by: T-ROB | October 31, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again with posters like rphilli721 making goofball remarks about how things are so much better now that Flip is here as opposed to EJ's tenure, PLEASE!!! EJ took an injury riddled squad with no Arenas to the playoffs, he had them playing at a high level after they opened the season two years ago with a depressing losing streak and they won the season series against the eventual NBA champs(Celtics) and Western Conf.semi-finalist(New Orleans) and that was with no help from the front office like Flip has already received with the addition of Miller and Foye look Flip's a good coach and everywhere he has gone he's had very good to excellent players in Minn.and Det. so stop ragging on EJ,when Eddie Jordan came to Wshington the franchise was unwatchable unless you call that era when an aging, self centered, superstar whose career was on a downward spiral and who drafted one of the biggest bust in NBA history(Kwame Brown) watchable,Jordan made basketball in DC viable again, he turned Gilbert Arenas into an nba all-star along with Caron Butler who credit's Jordan with making him a better player, Jamison too, so before you start your usual EJ bashfest know what you are talking about.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 31, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I confess that i was mistaken about McGee. I was killin' McGee during the offseason. He has played very well in limited minutes. If he's not asked to do too much, I think he'll continue making a positive impact.

Now that I've got that out of the way, those of you who were hating Oberto need to admit that he is a great addition. The man contributes in so many ways.

Front court depth appeared to be the primary weakness on this squad, but it looks like there is some real quality depth.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 31, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I had my doubts about Oberto being much of a contributor, but glad he's proving me wrong. The man simply knows how to play the game and is a winner. There was a reason he was a starter on a championship team in San Antonio.

The enthusiam and vibe around the team is completely different now. The vets support the young players and Arenas is rapidly becoming a leader. Nice to see how unselfish play by Miller rubbed off on teammates. It's the first time in years we've had quality depth on a Wizards team.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 31, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

They were talking on the radio about Blatche being 6th man of the year. If he keeps playing like this, he will win it. It's great that he's only 21 years old!!

rache- 7-day Dre is 23, but I agree that he may have finally arrived

Posted by: mohammed10 | October 31, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The_Shadow_Knows

If you take the time to read my posts you would have known I wrote earlier that....

The Wizards with or without CB and AJ should smoke this team at home.

At least that's what good playoff teams do!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 31, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It's a good win against a lottery team, but it's sort of like when the Terps play Towson at home, you have to take the win for what it's worth. It’s not like Towson or the Nets are going to be in the hunt for a championship at the end of the season.

The 76'ers scored 141 points does that make EJ an offensive genius?

Just becasue I choose to keep it real and haven't become a homer doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 31, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Big win tonight.

The second game of a back to back is always hard in the NBA.

No Caron and Jamison either. Can't wait to see this squad in one piece.

The Atlanta game was just plain weird.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 31, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

i like "JaValevation," which I think michael also suggested on his twitter

Posted by: mr91 | October 31, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

On the reality check side -- the Nets didn't have their All-Star reserve PG. The Wizards defense was at best adequate tonight against a pretty woeful offense (averaging just 40.1% FG coming into tonight).

By the end of the 2nd quarter the Wizards had basically broken the will of the Nets -- it's the kind of win you'd expect from a quality veteran team against an opponent in rebuilding mode. The next match-up will provide another bench mark against a much tougher opponent.

Posted by: JPRS | October 31, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

For the fans who suffered through last season's debacle, I'm sure it's great to see Les BouleS finally beat the teams that they should be beating, such as the NJ Nets.

The Nets of course, were without Devin Harris and with VC traded, the starting lineup looks like dudes who probably wouldn't make it off the bench of a playoff team except for Skip to My Lou from And 1, whom Les BouleS could not stop.

I wonder if Nets fans are on their blog complaining about the phantom foul calls that Gilby got against them.

Les BouleS do look like they have picked up their team defensive intensity though.

I'm glad Gilby is finally taking the game more seriously that I wrote here 3 seasons ago that he should stop the nonsense.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 31, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag,

You can't have it both ways. You say Eddie Jordan got no help from the front ofice, yet you readily admit that the front office brought in Arenas, Jamison and Butler. Those moves alone tell me that Eddie got plenty of help. Keep in mind: Eddie Jordan has said numerous times that he told Grunfeld he didn't even want the Wiz to sign Arenas because he had "heard stories" about Arenas and his recalcitrant ways.

Yes, Eddie took the team to the playoffs when Arenas got hurt, but he still had two all-stars to work with (and Roger Mason, another Grunfeld signing).

One could argue that it was the players that Ernie Grunfeld acquired that brought success to the Wizards. If Jordan takes an also-ran like the Sixers and turns them into something special this season, then maybe you've got a good argument. Otherwise, how about giving some of the success achieved to Grunfeld who, coincidentally, arrived in Washington the same summer as Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 31, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78,
I did see the post but I also feel you would like to see the Wizards do poorly simply to affirm the team assembled could have been better...if only Abe weren't so…

Look, I get it. I know you are a fan with lots of scar tissue. Almost all of us could do the compare scars scene from Jaws...look at this, got this one when they drafted Kenny Green instead of Karl Malone. That's nothing...check this out, got this one when they traded young stud Webber for 56 year old Mitch Richmond. We all have them.

This team is one of only a few which is way over the salary cap. I was against resigning Arenas in the condition he was in at the time, thought they were mad to do so, now I have to admit I was probably wrong. I was not even sure about resigning Jamison when they did but the guy gives all he has and is a great role model. In order to expand the core, and to address specific weaknesses, we took on contracts over the summer which gives us among the highest payrolls in the league.

The team is now playing basketball as most of us like to see it played....unselfish with lots of players happy playing their roles to help the team win and that tends to be contagious.

Yes, we beat a team we should have tonight but even when Gil, CB and AJ were healthy and playing together three years ago it was a rare event for the Wizards to blow anyone out. Most of us recognize there is something happening here. Why not just enjoy the team performing well? Come on in the waters just fine.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | October 31, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

if AB's play stays consistent, guess it isn't so far fetched to consider a Jamison & DeShawn trade for a couple of expiring contracts to make us potential big players for the Chris Bosh sweepstakes.

Gilbert
Butler
Bosh
Blatche
Haywood

Foye
N-Young
Miller
Oberto
McGee

that's way better than what we have now.
it's also my prediction for what Grunfeld has planned. he knows that today's team can be very good, but not championship good, and he's gotta be looking for that next final piece to the puzzle.

Posted by: kman2 | October 31, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Dargreg,

I got one thing to say to your typical defensiveness regarding EJ - 44% career winning percentage and has never made it out of the second round of the playoffs! I see HOF as a coach for EJ before his time is up - lol. Yeah, you're right, I'm clueless.

And, to say he "turned" GA into an all-star is preposterous. No coach bestows upon players special powers to turn them into anything. Quite obviously he had the talent all along and just finally got the opportunity here. Just like AB now. FS may have a better relationship with AB and he may be starting to flourish as a player, but FS hasn't "turned" Blatche into anything. The lights might just be starting to come on to match his talent. A coach can help that to occur through whatever motivational techniques, but it's really up to the player. I don't think GA has ever had a motivation problem.

As far as FS always having good teams, you must have missed the team he guided in MN to however many consecutive playoff appearances. The franchise barely existed before he took over. Besides, perhaps FS is always a coach of good teams bc good teams want him as their coach much like a Phil Jackson. EJ is once again the coach of a fair to middling team.

Hey, I appreciate some of the things EJ did for the franchise and I think he is a classy guy. But, if you think he is the same caliber coach as FS, there is no hope for you. This team was going no further with him as coach irregardless of the additional talent, which I'm surprised you recognized bc you usually like to give little to no credit to EG.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 31, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

@The_Shado_Knows,

I give you post of the year thus far for your last post. Nice job!

@DCMANN,

Leave it to you to bring some sort of negative into an otherwise positive moment. Yeah, we beat a team we should beat. Sure. Ok. So what? We also destroyed that team and played great team basketball in the process. How many times did the big three when healthy have such a good game that they sat out the entire 4th quarter? Virtually never bc for that to happen you also have got to be able to play defense. No lead was ever safe with that team.

Of course, again, to further your negative agenda you leave out the fact we did it with 2 of our best 3 players out, but quickly point to Devin Harris being out for the Nets. Nice job! I would hate to live in your world.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 31, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain this Bosh obsession to me?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Firuz1 ... why do you hate on EJ so much. He, along with Grunfield, turned this franchise around. Everytime the wiz do something good, you act like they had never done it before under EJ, but they have. When all big 3 were healthy, wiz had best record, and EJ coached the allstar game ( eventhough he had a razor thin bench ... and always did). I like Flip, but EJ wasn't a bad coach. And Andrea finally seems to have it together ... to bad it only took 5 years, 3 arrests, and a gunshot wound. Injuries, with no depth behind the big 3 did EJ in. After a while, the players turned him out ... but isn't that what has happened to Flip everywhere he's been. It happens to all coaches if they don't win the big.

Just let the hatred for EJ go ... He's gone. Who cares what Philly does unless they are playing the Wiz?

Posted by: original2cents | November 1, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

@Kman,

I love how when the team looks pretty damn good and things look like they are starting to come together, people like you start fantasizing about mystical trades that will and should never happen. Keep up the good work and please join us in this world anytime you feel like it. It's not so bad!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 1, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

SDMDTSU,

not "obsessed" with bosh, but he's a player that can play the 3, 4, or 5, and he's agile, has some good moves on the post, and can rebound with the best of them. most of all, he's about to hit his prime (JUST 25 YEARS OLD), and has several years left in the league. jamison, on the other hand, is a solid player that is owed 38 Million through the 2011-2012 season, but doesnt' play any defense. Yeah, he has meant the world to this team, and has been the impetus behind the resurgence of this franchise, but he's 33 years old and is on the way out. Let's put it this way--we're not winning a championship with this team, and the only player of significance (contract-wise) that can be traded is Jamison.

Posted by: kman2 | November 1, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The talk about Bosh can be put to rest once AB proves that he can be consistent and can be replied upon to bring it. I think his late night sessions with Sam Cassell has helped him.

Even better to see him getting his grill fixed.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 1, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

There's absolutely nothing wrong with talking about trades especially if many of the guys on the team can be gone near term via FA within the next couple of years.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 1, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@2cents,

"Everytime the wiz do something good, you act like they had never done it before under EJ, but they have."

Well, first I think you are confusing "hating" on EJ with being realistic and also comparing him to our new improved talent at the coaching position.

If you can honestly say you don't see improvements in many areas of this team already that were lacking under EJ's tenure, I don't know what to say to you. We used to have the worst or one of the worst 3 pt differentials in the league year after year. We gave up way too many 3's (most wide open looks) and didn't score enough of them efficiently. I think we are in the top 5 in that category after 3 games. Our defense has improved across the board. I don't think anyone has shot over 42% against us yet when night after night teams used to be at or near 50%. Plus, most in here were constantly grappling with EJ's substitution patterns, use of small ball, etc etc... Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly at the moment as far as those sorts of things are concerned as well. Yeah, 3 games, but it's about the coaching style and the schemes, which is not going to change and I'm glad it's not for once.

So basically you are wrong to say that what we are doing now we have done before.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 1, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Firuz1 ... why do you hate on EJ so much ...

Sorry Firuz1 ... that comment was meanth for rphilli721 ... not you.

Posted by: original2cents | November 1, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

rphilli721,

haha thanks. i'm not coming up with mystical trades. it's quite realistic to think a team that is desperate for a shooter/slasher will trade an expiring contract for jamison.

look, i'm very happy for this team just like every other wizard fan, and i'd love to see this team get to 50 wins and have a home-court series in the playoffs. so, if anyone thinks i'm trying to rain on the parade, that's not my intention.

however, i do think that in the future, we need a solid low-post PF that can get us 20/10. now obviously trading jamison won't do us any good if bosh doesnt become a free agent or if we cant get a scoring/tough low-post PF....but the point i'm trying to get across is that Jamison's contract significantly handicaps us in our ability to improve this team in the future. If we don't trade Jamison now, imagine after next season, when Butler's contract comes up. We're already knee-deep into luxury tax territory....re-upping Butler and his massive contract might not be possible unless we get rid of other big contracts.

Again, not trying to rain on the parade. i'm just trying to say that
1.) we need a MUCH BETTER low-post PF for this team to take the big step up to ELITE status, and
2.) we need to help trim salaries so we dont end up in luxury tax hell.

to me, that points all the signs to Jamison and Stevenson.
feel free to disagree, and state your cases too.
have a good night, and have a great Sunday, one that will hopefully be fun since the Skins won't lose. or will they?

Posted by: kman2 | November 1, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

From a lot of quarters around here, Jordan got a disproportionate amount of blame when things went wrong and almost no credit when things went right. The man's a very good coach who did a nice job with what he had. All that being said, there's no question in my mind that Saunders is a better coach than Jordan in several respects. But even the best coaches can't win without the right talent.

There's no question that Saunders has more weapons in his arsenal than Jordan ever had in his. The depth on this team now is light years ahead of anything during Jordan's tenure. I've been critical in the past of Grunfeld's failure to provide the big three with enough support back when, and I'll be the first to give him credit for correcting that misstep. Just wish it hadn't taken so long.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

original2cents,

Maybe you should re-read my post.

I never implied or wrote that I hated EJ. I just don't think EJ was as put-upon as dargregmag suggests. That said, Eddie's not a bad coach, but I don't think he is a special talent either.

Q: When have I acted like the Wiz never
did anything good under Jordan?

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

"however, i do think that in the future, we need a solid low-post PF that can get us 20/10."

Every team needs one of those. Most of them will never get them.

The Wiz definitely need some physical, inside offensive and rebounding muscle, but unless the get really lucky late in the draft or pull off a straight-up hijack of a trade like Kwame for Gasol, they aren't likely to get a 20/10 guy anytime soon. And, really, they don't necessarily need one. A low post guy who is solid and consistent but short of all-star material could do them very well. They just need someone who's good enough on the blocks to make the defense react to his presence, which will open up the perimeter for the rest of the guys on the floor.

As for Jamison . . . he's not going anywhere. The only teams that would be interested in him are contending teams looking to make a "win-now" jump, and no team in that position is going to trade an immediate impact low post player for Jamison. Because if they had one of those, they wouldn't need Jamison. And Bosh is certainly not the answer to the Wizards problems, whatever they may be. And why the hell would the Raptors trade Bosh for Jamison, even if they thought he was leaving?

This gripping desire some people have to dump Jamison continues to befuddle me. It defies any conventional sense of logic.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 1, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

original2cents,

Sorry. Just read your correction. LOL!!

Posted by: Firuz1 | November 1, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Actually, This great start has to do more with Gil's health and the addition of Miller, Foye and Oberto. And I will be the first to give credit to EG for them. And the defense is starting with Oberto (who did EJ ever have that played like that ... no one), and a MUCH MUCH MUCH improved Brendan.

Its only 3 games, and in one of them, the wiz looked just like the wiz of old. I don't buy that Caron leaving and they fell apart. The fell apart well before he exited.

Don't get me wrong ... I'm a fan. I've been a season ticket holder for 15 years. I'm loving what they are showing that they are capable of. I worry about injury, but not quite as much because they are so much deaper than they ever have been. But I'm not going to put blame where it is not warrented.

I like Flips offense, no arguments. I like the princeton, too.

These are two very different situations. Give Flip the team that EJ worked with ( and the same injuries ) and I doubt the outcomes would have been any different ... making the playoffs with a 1st round exit. And Flips had his share of 1st round exits.

I'm only bringing this up because you are always nitpicking about something with EJ. Geeze ... give it a rest ... then maybe no one else on the site will defend him. Personally ... I'd rather talk about how good the wiz look with a healthy Gil, and the new additions, and the new Andre.

Posted by: original2cents | November 1, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

how do you italicize or bold in these boxes?

Posted by: kman2 | November 1, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Again, not trying to rain on the parade. i'm just trying to say that
1.) we need a MUCH BETTER low-post PF for this team to take the big step up to ELITE status, and
2.) we need to help trim salaries so we dont end up in luxury tax hell.


Adding Bosh does neither of those. He's a jump shooting PF who doesn't play much defense either who is going to make MORE money than Jamison for a longer period of time.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 1, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@ DC_MAN88: man you really have a high opinion of yourself. You think Gilbert is changing his game because of what you wrote here 3 years ago?

Posted by: tundey | November 1, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

@Orig

I am not the one to bring EJ up and I don't nitpick or pick on him. I simply state facts and respond. His schemes particularly on defense were terrible. His vaunted Princeton offense while at times very productive usually lacked in ball movement and assist totals. Our three point defense was at or near the bottom of the league every season. Shall I continue? Again, I like the guy. Class act, but a top tier coach he is not. And, yes, given those same teams EJ had I would say that FS would have gotten more wins for the simple reason that the defense would have been slightly better with the same players.

And, now, you want to give the credit to EG for the additions and GA's knee instead of the improved coaching we are getting. Oberto has not changed this defense around by himself. That's absurd. Obviously the team is deeper, but what you are seeing is more than just being a deeper ball club. They are better coached as well. As someone mentioned earlier, it's as if the collective IQ of the team has shot up about 50 points.

Finally, that Atlanta game was not the same old stuff we used to see. Not in the least. If we played that horribly in the past offensively the game would have been over at halftime. Instead, we held them to 41% shooting and remained in the game although by a thread til the end.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 1, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

@Kal,

I understand your frustration about not having more players surrounding our core sooner, but, c'mon, you can't just build an instant contender over night. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. He has slowly and methodically built a very good team with a nice balance of young and veteran talent. A team that should start seeing annual trips to the playoffs for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 1, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

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