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Wizards (2-2) at Cavaliers (3-0), LeBron James Out

Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche, Fabricio Oberto

Cavaliers: Daniel Gibson, Jawad Williams, Anthony Parker, Anderson Varejao, Shaquille O'Neal

Line: Cavaliers by 6.5.

Flip Saunders has been tinkering with his starting lineups all preseason and Wednesday night, he decided to go big with the Fabricio Oberto (6-foot-10) at center, Andray Blatche (6-11) at power forward, Antawn Jamison (6-9) at small forward, Caron Butler (6-7) at shooting guard and Gilbert Arenas at point guard. Saunders used Butler at shooting a little during training camp in Richmond, but decided to add him to the mix with Nick Young, DeShawn Stevenson, Randy Foye and Mike Miller. "Just another experimentation," Saunders said. "Just sort of a different lineup and see how they play together. Caron and Antawn aren't as familiar with the [shooting guard] and [small forward] spots, but I think they'll be able to figure it out."

Saunders is using his big lineup on a night when the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to be shorthanded without three of their starters from last season, with LeBron James (flu-like symptoms), Mo Williams (groin) and Delonte West (personal reasons). James isn't even in the building, as teammates Coby Karl and Darnell Jackson are also out sick. "In these situations, you just worry about yourself," Saunders said. "We're doing a whole new system with new players and new coaching staff. We've got to take advantage of that opportunity. I've always said, in the NBA, there are not bad players, there are bad teams. You got to respect who you play. I've never seen a team get shut out in the NBA. Somebody is going to find a way to score."

And uh, the Cavaliers still have Shaq.

If you thought there was nothing more to this Wizards-Cavaliers rivalry, you haven't been around DeShawn Stevenson much. He couldn't even get off the plane without getting harassed. Stevenson has become one of the most hated players in Cleveland ever since he dared to call James "overrated" and the fans here haven't forgotten. After the Wizards got off the plane, one of the airport workers greeted each player on the Wizards, but scoffed when he saw Stevenson. Stevenson said the guy told him, "I hate you." Stevenson responded with some unmentionables. Butler can vouch for the incident. "Obviously, it ain't dead," Butler said of the rivalry.

By Michael Lee  |  October 14, 2009; 6:44 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards 109, Cavaliers 104

Comments

I love Stevenson just because of that. Because I HATE the crabaliers as well!

Posted by: adisli | October 14, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Randy Foye just said "ya know" 22 times in a 2 minute interview with Phil Chenier. Just seemed a bit much. That is all...carry on...

Posted by: fushezzi | October 14, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

oberto, mcgee, and blatche on the floor.

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Funniest line of the game so far...

"McGee out muscled under the basket by Gibson."

LOL

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 14, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

i might be a little too excitable about mcguire, but he caught and fired an 18 footer without hesitation and nailed it

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Word was that McGuire worked on his mid-reange jumber during the off season at Saunders suggestion.

Posted by: cannontl | October 14, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Wiz gave up 60 points in the first half and tons of three's. Sound familiar?
But man, Blatche looks like he's finally ready to be a player! I think we're a better defense with Blatche at PF and Jamison, a true 'tweener if ever there was one, coming off the bench. I know Flip wouldn't have the stones to do it, but it would be nice.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 14, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

A couple of words about McGee:

1. He can outrun any center on offense, but on defense, he let Ilgauskas out runs him. Man, you got to play with the same intensity on defense as you play offesne.

2. Stay down, don't go for every fake. You are 7 foot, you really don’t need to jump that often. Play good posititon, bother the shot, and wait to get the rebound!

* Nice to see Miller displays his shooting skill, and hope Jamison is OK.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 14, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

11:10, comcast graphic of wizards on the floor

miller, blatche, butler, o'neal, arenas

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Mike Miller is going crazy with threes!!! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | October 14, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Miller with 5 threes! omg! I'm getting so excited for this year!!

Posted by: rachel216 | October 14, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

did i see gil dive on the ground at OLDberto's feet cuz he couldn't bend over to pickm up the loose ball ?that guy will haunt us

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

oberto has been looking good. good position, setting screens and picks, just being in the right place at the right time. did you see the play where he ended up right underneath the basket with nobody within 4 feet of him, just waiting for someone to pass him the ball?

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Dray is doin his F'in thing!

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

......or the point blank butt-naked wide open layup he missed. I'm sorry Oberto's just a body i don't think i've seen him make many "plays" to have me excited about him.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

i like dray's energy, he followed that shot

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

MM and Gil make a good pairing for being on the floor at the same time. It will be interesting to see what rotation Saunders comes up with for the regular season.

Posted by: cannontl | October 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I am LOVIN' Foye and Miller!! And Blatche has played fantastic as well.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 14, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Foye really taking over the fourth quarter.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 14, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Oberto's just a body i don't think i've seen him make many "plays" to have me excited about him.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 8:55 PM

----------------

didn't say anything about being excited about him. he's not going to be great. but he's a solid backup role player...far from "haunting" us and not exactly worthy of obnoxious nicknames.

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

We win! Really excited! Saw A LOT of good things tonight. A lot. Really happy to see Miller and Foye contibuting so much already.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 14, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

after finally getting a look at foye and miller, i'm pretty excited about them.

i mean, they're no ricky rubio, but...

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

aw rachel. i had it on dvr. you spoiled the end for me by 2 minutes.:)

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Let me just say this:

I don't know what the thinking was in Minnesota, but there is no way in hell I would have given up 6'8" Mike Miller for Ricky Rubio.

We had that big discussion on whether or not Ernie pulled the trade to quick. In hindsight, I was one of the ones that said he should have waited a bit. Once Ernie knew he had Miller, I can clearly see now why he did not hesitate to close the deal.

I'm getting a good look a Miller tonight and his value is off the charts compared to Rubio for several years to come.

Rubio may never measure up to Miller.

LarryInClintonMD.

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

I just hope Jamison injury is not serious. The Wiz depth is ridiculous. There 2nd team is going to beat most other NBA teams 2nd teams. Foye is cash money from the free throw line. He's going to be icing a bunch of games at the end. Go Wiz!

Posted by: ptp23 | October 14, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

crs-one- haha sorry!! ;) Well now you're not mad cuz we won! (even if it's just preseason!)

Posted by: rachel216 | October 14, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

hope aj is alright but in general tonight was very encouraging seeing miller and foye show what they can bring to the table javale looked pretty dead and blatche started slow with a bunch of deep j's but kept working to get better shots, and oberto did some very nice things as well, the prettiest play of the game had to be his give and go with caron and his between the legs pass to miller for three was also sweet, guess were not gonna see much of the trade hate appearing on the board tonight

Posted by: bford1kb | October 14, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I wish nick would have seen some more minutes but at least deshawn looks like he's not physically incapable of performing this year

Posted by: bford1kb | October 14, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Oberto isn't "exciting" but heroes the things that people who want "exciting" don't notice. Position defense (you see how he played shaq even though being physically overwhelmed?) SETTING PICKS. He was setting great picks. Sometimes the players you don't notice are the ones who are actually doing what they're supposed to do.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 14, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the depth of this sqaud is a beautiful thing. I remember way back when time after time folks was saying trade our best players/core for someone eles's.

But I kept saying no, get rid of the dead weight but keep our best players. This blogger responded to what I was saying, and he said what a novel idea. Upgrade the bench.

Am I gloating now, Hell Yes. It's gonna be hard for Flip to use only eight of these players.

These players look smooth. They play with confidence. They are buying in to the coaching philosophy.

Damn, I know I'm biased, but this Team is deep and good. Did somebody say ssssiixty...sixty wins.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

haha nice larry. we heard it here first

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

What's the word on Jamison's shoulder?

Posted by: pjkiger1 | October 14, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

They are still saying a sprain. Flip just said on comcasr sports net it may have popped out and then popped back in. They will know more tomororw. Cross our fingers. I also have to say I liked th ebig line-up with caron at the 2 and Blatche at the 4. Give us good size.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 14, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Well said SDMDTSU, Oberto definitly knows how to play positional defense and set screens.

Paul Davis also played solid. I was thinking this guy is a keeper until he missed his two jump shots. :)

Posted by: sagaliba | October 14, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

What's the word on Jamison's shoulder?

Posted by: pjkiger1 | October 14, 2009 10:08 PM

Comcast just had an interview with Flip were he said the shoulder popped out and back in. It's sprained but Flip says this is usually a injury that takes 7-10 days to heal.

Posted by: jp1970 | October 14, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Jevale may need another year though, huh? I think I'm more comfortable with Blatche or Oberto as the backup C right now. Jevale is money but he makes the game about himself - when he's on the floor, the team goes as he goes. Everyone else seems much more cohesive.

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | October 14, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Nice game tonite i'b be more impressed if the Lebron's were not so short handed the serial skirt chaser looks like he's getting there and i like Randy Foye and Mike Miller a lot alas it looks like the GM has finally done something right, hope all is well with AJ and Gilbert looked good, they open in Dallas right?

Posted by: dargregmag | October 14, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Watched the whole game start to finish, although I'm sure I'm not alone there. If Dray brings his B+/A- game like he did tonight (he took/missed some bad jumpers) we MUST find a way to get him 25-30 minutes per night (up from 24/night last year). His game seems perfectly suited to play alongside Brenda. I like Dray at the 4 with either Millertime or Twan at the 3, and CB at the 2.

The one negative thing I will say about tonight: our on-the-ball defense was horrawful. Daniel Gibson blew by Gilbert at will...Boobie does NOT blow by anyone. Caron looked a step slow. And Jamison, well...I guess the man didn't play too much anyways, but we know what we have there in terms of D.

Regardless of who starts at the 2, Randy Foye or Mike Miller will be on the floor in every single late game situation this year with the Big and Brenda presumably. Both are too polished, poised, and possess huge cajones.

Posted by: dfresh58 | October 14, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear: "(he took/missed some bad jumpers *or it would have been an A+*)"

Posted by: dfresh58 | October 14, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Shucks....

"Regardless of who starts at the 2, Randy Foye or Mike Miller will be on the floor in every single late game situation this year with the Big *TRES* and Brenda presumably. Both are too polished, poised, and possess huge cajones."

Posted by: dfresh58 | October 14, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

deshawn is win and letravel is overrated.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 14, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"deshawn is win and letravel is overrated.

Posted by: prescrunk | October 14, 2009 11:55 PM "

I'd take an overrated player on Les BouleS any day who can carry them to the Eastern Finals and Eastern Semifinals like Lebron has, by his tender age of 24 straight from high school with no collegiate coaching.

Can anybody on Les BouleS brag about such a feat on their resume? I think not.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 15, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Let's be real this was a scrimmige that all no Crabwalking James, Big SQ only did enough to break a sweat and rested rest of the game. This team is still no better than 4th in the Conf. I would still rather see McGee in instead of Brenda and Jamison hurts himself by not moving his feet on defense but instead reaching duh.

Posted by: getagripped | October 15, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Miller and Foye were great. Blatche was exciting - hope he can keep that up. Arenas still looks healthy. Caron is great as expected - love him. As long as Jamison is okay, we are looking more promising than ever. On a side note, will always like Stevenson for calling the Big Baby out - and sorry but Miller needs to find new shoes now that he's in a Wizards uniform!

Posted by: JennaWDC | October 15, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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