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Morning brew

We know it's only one game, but the obvious question for Wizards fans: Was that game as good for you as it was for Gilbert Arenas? Check out Michael Lee's postgame thoughts (spoken and written) following Washington's 102-91 win over Dallas.

Arenas showed he was more than ready, scoring 29 points and dishing out 9 assists. Highlights below courtesy of NBA.com:

* Before the game, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said Arenas's move from being one of the most open and talkative athletes to going silent is an excellent way of promoting himself.

* And here's Marc Stein (via TrueHoop) on low-key Gilbert.

* The Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram shook its head at seeing more of the same from the revamped Mavericks.

Around the league on opening night:

* It's already panic time in Cleveland after the Cavaliers fell to the Celtics at home, 95-89, which we know delights Wizards fans to no end.

*Portland looked sharp in a 96-87 win over Houston at home. Former Terp Steve Blake scored seven points in a starting role.

*And in the late, late game the Lakers received their championship rings and then went out and handled the Blake Griffin-less Clippers, 99-92.

By Ed Guzman  |  October 28, 2009; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
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Next: Young lost in the shuffle

Comments

I almost forgot what good solid playoff caliber basketball looked like. The Mav's are a very good team, they are formidable at home. That was a very strong win.

Very good team victory.

Gil 29/9 and played good D. Enough said...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 28, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

F-F-F-F-F-F-FFFFFFFIIIRRRSSSSTTTTT!!!!!!!! Go Wiz!

Posted by: musicman65000 | October 28, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Darn you, flohrtv! And your quick typing!

Posted by: musicman65000 | October 28, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Blatche was outstanding last night and will present some interesting matchup problems as the season plays itself out. Although credited with only 7 rebs, he tipped a lot of potential rebounds to at least keep Dallas honest under the basket. I'm not trying to bash Jamison, but Blatche's ability to guard PFs and block shots cannot be duplicated with Jamison. It simply cannot. On the brighter side of things, Jamison's shoulder is probably starting to feel a whole lot better, LOL.

If last night wasn't an eye-opener for Nick Young, I'm not sure what would be. Randy Foye appears to be light-years ahead of NY in terms of overall basketball IQ and maturity. If anyone finds himself on the trading block this season it won't be Jamison, it'll be Nick.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 28, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

what's young's trade value to other teams if they can't see him play. not always, but usually teams showcase a player the intend on trading during games so that other teams can get film on him and decide if he's worth it. I dunno if burrying him on the bench is the way to get anything of value for him, but he definitley doesn't look like he was in flip's plan last night.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 28, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Context is everything.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 28, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Since when did you ever care about someone else's context?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 28, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10,

I don't think NY will ride the pine ALL season. He'll get his chances, just not at the expense of winning.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 28, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Good Win Wiz!
Thank God for TiVo!

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | October 28, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

come on people, calm down on Young. He played really well in the preseason. I was surprised he didn't get in the game last night but it's just one match. He needs to keep practicing hard and am sure Flip will give him a chance. Remember there are 81 more games to play. That's a lot of chances to Nick to show what he can do.

Now, let's hope AB can bring it consistently.

Posted by: tundey | October 28, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Nice looking W for the Buzzards. Looks like Flip has influenced the confidence level of these guys already. I hope he preaches consistency. As for NY, cut the hawk off and we might get a 2nd rounder for him instead of a scrub.

Posted by: qwollei | October 28, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'd not worry about trade value after one game. It is a long season and injuries arise and players get sick and wives/gf's have babies and....

Anyway, I said from the start that I thought Flip's 8-9 man rotation would be situational. There will be times when we need what Young delivers. Other times, we won't.

Had we gotten behind by 12, I believe you'd have seen him on the court more than DeShawn.

I still predict 51 wins and a competitve 2nd round or the playoffs. Even I can't see that far into the future.

Posted by: Blurred | October 28, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

So let’s review that June 2009 trade that turned out to be the Wiz’s big off-season move:

The Wizards traded their number five pick and forwards Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov to the Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller.

With that top-five pick, the Timberwolves selected Ricky Rubio, who teased the T’wolves but finally crushed them by opting to stay in Europe for at least two more years.

In other words, the T’wolves got zip (for at least two years) from the number five pick, and got saddled with three stiffs (two of them already sent off to other teams). The Wiz, on the other hand, got two key pieces for this year’s team.

Here’s how our two new cogs performed in last night’s opener:

Foye: 30 minutes, 8-14, 19 points, 2 steals

Miller: 22 minutes, 2-4, 6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals

The two dudes got four of the team’s six steals.

After one game, the verdict is in: another Grunfeld master-theft, along the lines of Caron for Kwama.

Posted by: farstriker | October 28, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Good Point........Good job Grunfeld. Anyone think we can get him to teach the Skins front office how to do that?

Posted by: rupertpupkin | October 28, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

flohrtv:

I have forgotten. Comes with the senile dementia. Last night's game was a genuine pleasure to watch. OMG, real defense. Haven't seen that in six years at least, maybe since the seventies.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 28, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I actually think this is a good place for the Wizards to start. They get to play a team who isn’t known for playing a lot of “D”, which should help them, find some much needed offensive chemistry.

CP ate Kidd up the last time in the playoffs and Kidd is a year older so we will see if Gil is back to his old form.

I think the biggest problem will be how AB and Oberto guard Dirk? Are they both going to be in foul trouble by half time?

Win or lose the season doesn’t really start till about 10 games after AJ comes back. That’s when we will see what this team can really do. Larry, run and gun!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 27, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I know some people on here hate my posts because I keep them real, but I did call it right before they even played the game last night.

Great game for Gil (Brendan Haywood, who scored seven of the Wizards' first 15 points), see how much it helps to get your team mates involved at the beginning of the game?

GM

The Mavs were the 6th seed in the west last year and are a very good "home team" but I don't remember anyone picking the Mavs to win the championship this year.

Time will tell and hopefully the Wizards will make me apologize at the end of the season if they win a championship but it's a long season and I refuse to get on the roller coaster.

I made my prediction and I'm sticking to it.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 28, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

BF78 -

I appreciate you making your prediction and also sticking to it. I know you'd like to be wrong come May.

AB's biggest accomplishment was not getting too many early fouls. In the past, if even a guy like Dampier ran at him, he'd hack and have 4 fouls in 8 minutes. the fact that he didn't rack them up so quickly and was still somewhat effective (who really ever is against nowitzki?) means he may be progressing more than I had thought. We'll see about consistency now.

Posted by: Blurred | October 28, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Did Mike Miller really get 8 boards in 22 minutes?

Wow.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 28, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes he did. He was all over the floor. Although he did grab one right out of Haywood's hand (or maybe AB???).

Posted by: Blurred | October 28, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

nah i don't think a trade should even be a thought right now, maybe round the deadline but we're very deep right now. NY played hard and worked hard in the offseason b/c he said he wasnted that starting spot. I think flip might be playin a lil Phil Jax headgame with NY to get him to take it up another level, why else would he work all summer on getting NY ready for the season.I wasn't tryin to talk up a trade, i was really just responding to folks who think NY will be traded b/c of his DNP-CD last night.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 28, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

it was AB. Blatch looked at Eminem like " thanx a lot for stealin my double-double cuz (1 reb short)"

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 28, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The Mavs are stronger then last year's team. Gooden and Marion are two good pickups, they've changed them from being a "soft" team. They're going to scrap for rebounds and defend.

The Wiz made good adjustments and after an early run pretty much kept Marion off the glass and out of the lane. Butler also started to work the matchup on the other end by driving on Marion.

That was an impressive win with very solid D. And Foye and Gil down the stretch looked like they'd been playing off each other for years.

I'm not bandwagoning yet, but Kornhiser will jump on board in about a week with most of the other DC bandwagon set since the Redskins stink to high heaven.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 28, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Did Mike Miller really get 8 boards in 22 minutes?"

Yeah and I thought he did a good job guarding Dirk, although the points he got might not reflect that.

I watched part of that Cavs/Celts game. The Cavs do not look like they did last year.

Maybe it's the Shaq curse, lol!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 28, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Obviously only one game but impressive win against Dallas in Dallas; they didn't fold when the Mavs made their runs at them.
Gilbert's 38 minutes surprised me only in that there were 38 of them. I thought initially they were going to keep him in the low thirties per game. Curious to see if there is soreness or swelling and how they handle Arenas in the back to back Friday and Saturday.

Posted by: midlevex | October 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

major statement game. foye, miller, and oberto are all ballers, all key components, and great additions to this team. grunfeld's drafts have been ok, but his trades have been brilliant for the most part. as long as we get CONSISTENCY from our front court, then this could be the best wizards team in 30 years. 30 years! the wizards/bullets haven't won more than 45 games since 1978/79. pending healthy, this could be their best team since then.

Posted by: swishjobs | October 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I hate to complain after a win, but do we really have to endure Debrick Stevenson again. What do coaches see in that bum? If NY had played, they win by 25.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | October 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

hate to complain after a win, but do we really have to endure Debrick Stevenson again. What do coaches see in that bum? If NY had played, they win by 25.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | October 28, 2009 11:53 AM
-------------------------------
Read what Flip had tosay about DeBrick's performance last night. There's a reason Jason Terry missed all those shots.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 28, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This is the deepest, most talented team since the 78-79 edition that went to the NBA Championship and lost to Seattlle....not that I'm predicting an NBA Championship, but this team should surpass 45 victories and be the 4th seed in the East and get out of the 1st round.

Flip's biggest issue looks like finding enough minutes to spread among a very deep team...Jamision may have to get used to 30-32 minutes a night to have something left late in the season and so AB gets enough PT.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 28, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Arenas brought his "A" game and the Wizards got solid contributions from Foye, Blatche, Butler and Miller to start the season on a winning note.

It was smart to let Arenas go hard against the Mavs to establish an identity for the team. Believe me, all the teams in the NBA East took notice of what Gil did. But, I think that Flip should limit Gil to no more than 35 minutes a night to give his knee a chance to get used to the rigors of the NBA game.

Foye, DeShawn and Nick Young will gladly eat up any available minutes. And you won't see a measureable drop-off in quality when they are on the court for short runs.

BTW, you guys who are concerned about Nick Young...forgetaboutit! Nick's going to be alright.

Posted by: musicmanjr | October 28, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

At this point in Jamison's career, it's probably better that he plays less minutes. Nice to have some depth. Blatche is going to be a dark horse for 6th man this year.

Posted by: FedorEm | October 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Vote for NBA TV to carry Washington Cleveland game on Nov.3:
http://www.nba.com/nbatv/#

Posted by: sagaliba | October 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Just bought tix to the game in Atlanta... it's about a 5 hr drive spend the night there with the misses but I am sure it will be worth it... few raws behind the wiz bench too! I'm gonna be yelling Hibachi when my man hits up! Go wiz, I'm a believer this seazon

Posted by: adisli | October 28, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

according to a new wiz policy gilbert confiscated the mavericks jocks and sneaks

Posted by: ewww | October 28, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The Mavs scored 17 in the 4th.
That's what the Wizzies would do the last couple of years.
I agree with cutting Gils minutes Nick, Foye, Deshawn & M. James can come in and play in spurts while he sits.

Posted by: VBFan | October 28, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson's 2 misses were ugly, but it was only 2 misses and he was all over the place, doing a little bit of everything. He was very solid. NY's gonna have to work very hard to knock Deshawn out of the rotation if Deshawn keeps playing like that.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 28, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Rumour has it that Antonio Daniels may join the Cavs after getting his contract bought out by the Timberwolves. The Cavs would have to cut someone like Coby Karl for Antonio to make the roster.

Posted by: rickgonz | October 28, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Good start for the Wiz. I'm glad Gil is back to his old self. I gave Grunfeld hell last year for firing Jordan 11 games into the season with an injury ridden team. Ernie did a hell of a job trading the 5th pick for Foye and Miller. We have guys who can score off the bench and now play defense. Well let's hold off on that defense verdict until the season is over. Can't wait til we play Celtics, Cavs and Magic. Hey Vinny learn from Grunfeld, this is how a REAL GM operates! Go WIZ!

Posted by: wizfan81 | October 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

hate to complain after a win, but do we really have to endure Debrick Stevenson again. What do coaches see in that bum? If NY had played, they win by 25.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | October 28, 2009 11:53 AM
-------------------------------
Read what Flip had tosay about DeBrick's performance last night. There's a reason Jason Terry missed all those shots.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 28, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I hate to harp on DS, but he played 17 mins tha Jett played 37 mins. he didn't just struggle against DS he struggled in general. JT's a great scorer, but can be streaky, i'd put his 4/15 shooting on opening night jitters before i say "The Locksmith" is back. and it's not just the 0/2 shooting, he did have 5 rebs and 2 assts and no turnovers, but at the same time his +/- was -1. I think that's why Flip went with Foye more in the second half.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The Zards looked organized on both offense and defense.
The substitution patterns made sense.
The minutes for key players were well regulated.

I haven't seen this level of professional basketball around here since the days of the Beef Brothers.

I'll live with whatever happens win or lose. I'm a homer and a basketball junkie. I'm just thrilled that the things they are trying to do on both ends of the court makes sense!!

Imagine...substitution patterns that make sense!

Observations:
Randy Foye may make Nick Young obsolete.
Mike Miller still looks awkward on the offensive end. So did Caron.
I love what Oberto brings to the court.
Thank goodness there are enough shooters on the roster that there's no need to rely on Stevenson's outside shooting.

Posted by: bozomoeman | October 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

A lot of players on every team are shaking off rust, but we got more than our fair share of players that have major rust to shake off. Most did. Perhaps, DS needs a few more games before he is declared "DeBrick" for the entire season. And, he did work extremely hard on the defensive end. Just like we need to see more from Blatche consistently to be able to say he has finally turned the corner on his career.

I think GA will be fine. I'm not worried about back to backs or any of that stuff. Tim Grover's workouts are the stuff of legend and helped make Jordan the best player in the world. Also, something not mentioned in these threads, GA looked almost small to me last night. He certainly has lost a good deal of weight, which is never a bad thing when it comes to bad knees.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 28, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Line: Mavericks by 8.

I think that says a lot about how underestimated we are this year.

Posted by: mistaheffa | October 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It must have been a nice start if Dargreg had something positive to say that doesn't involve defending EJ. lmao.

@Original_Mark,

Still don't see your theory that Blatche is a better offensive player than AJ. You must be confusing far flung potential with reality. And, one game is not changing that equation in any rational person's mind. Maybe if he does this for an entire season or two, we can talk.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 28, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Mistaheffa,

That's nothing. Did you hear the TNT crew's remarks after showing the highlights? It basically revolved around the Mavs and how poorly they played and how disappointed they were in them. No mention of the fact that we may have had something to do with that or the fact that we played very good defense for once. Love Barkley, but sometimes he is just clueless in his "expert" opinions. This is the same guy that called EJ a "great" coach after he got axed. What? Are you kidding me? Decent coach, yes. Pretty good coach, yes. Great coach, no way.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I hate to complain after a win, but do we really have to endure Debrick Stevenson again. What do coaches see in that bum? If NY had played, they win by 25.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | October 28, 2009 11:53 AM

What they see is a heck of a defensive player if you really feel that way from one game then you really did not pay attention to the game because it is not always how many points you score that counts

Posted by: rnorris6 | October 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

personally I'd like to see dom get some of deshawn's minutes because I believe he's better defensively and only marginally less effective as a passer,plus he's a terror in the open floor if the squad gets on the run, but in either case I was happy with what I saw from deshawn except of course the shooting which was very very ugly, even when gil wasn't on the floor we held our own, oberto's pass to gil was thing of beauty but gil stole his thunder with the crazy finish

Posted by: bford1kb | October 28, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Their are so many good-to-great scorers on the roster, makes Stevenson's ill-advised bricks all that more cringe inducing. It's great he is an active perimeter defender but dude needs Flip to give him the red light. Dont shoot!

Posted by: divi3 | October 28, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree he is not a great shooter any more but i watched the replay of last nights game on comcast and most of the shots he took were because there was not anough time on the clock to get a pass off to another player

Posted by: rnorris6 | October 28, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I like that Deshawn is such an obvious hurdle for Nick Young. Young fella knows exactly where the bar is set on his PT and what he has to do to further his career.

Flip is an excellent coach, and I suspect not playing a second last night was a clear message to NY and will motivate him further

Posted by: divi3 | October 28, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Sidebar: Most improved player? Andrea Bargnani of Toronto.

Real tough in his third year. Still soft but he can score.

Posted by: SteveMG | October 28, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

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