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Morning brew

The Wizards broke out of their month-long funk last night with a 108-91 win over their "rivals," the Cleveland Cavaliers. After the game, Michael Lee took a deeper look at the victory. Michael Wilbon warned not to draw any conclusions from one encouraging game. And Dan Steinberg took a look at LeBron's night, in pictures.

Here's Mike Jones's game story in the Washington Times, and his observations after the game.

Before the game, Wizznutzz checked in with an epic blog post that is well worth your time.

Around the League ...

Howard Beck of the New York Times reverses field. Apparently, the Knicks are interested in Allen Iverson and plan on pursuing him as soon as he becomes a free agent on Thursday.

Knicks General Manager Donnie Walsh told the New York Daily News that the Knicks are likely to pursue him, but Frank Isola writes that the Miami Heat are also "hot" after the former league MVP.

The Hawks? The best team in basketball? They are certainly the most surprising team in the league after getting out to a 10-2 start. Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about how the Hawks have gone from worst to first in less than five years.

Want to know how you can tell that the NBA has moved on since the infamous brawl? It's been five years since Ron Artest charged into the stands in Auburn Hills, Mich., and nobody outside of Indianapolis is really talking about it. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star recalls the biggest black eye for the NBA -- before Tim Donaghy, of course.

Reigning rookie of the year Derrick Rose is playing so poorly that he's going to do something about it. Yep, he will not go to a barber until his game is back on track. The Bulls are hoping that he doesn't start looking like Jimi Hendrix, circa 1969.

Phil Jackson offers a scathing critique of Pau Gasol's acting on "CSI:Miami" and Gasol strikes back by mocking Jackson's marvelous turn in that T-Mobile commercial. Maybe they can kiss and make up when Gasol makes his season debut tonight against Chicago.

By Alexa Steele  |  November 19, 2009; 11:28 AM ET
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Next: Stevenson pleased to make James lose his focus


Somebody needs to tell the "big 3" there's a new star in town and his name is Mike Miller. When he gets hot, feed him until he bursts. Gil really needs some instruction on going with the hot hand until the hand goes cold.

Posted by: and_1 | November 19, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The big 3 don't need to feed Miller. Miller needs to shoot the ball instead of passing up shots.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 19, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I second that. M. Miller, shoot until you miss about 5 in a row!

Posted by: millineumman | November 19, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Good one Blurred on AB starting in place of AJ. Maybe in Bizarro World.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | November 19, 2009 10:48 AM |

Glad you got the joke.

As far as Caron goes, he just seems fuzzy, almost like he needs a jolt of caffiene to shake the rust off.

Posted by: Blurred | November 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he should go back to pounding the two liters of Mountain Dew during his pregame ritual. I heard he gave it up to get in better shape...

Posted by: MBUSA | November 19, 2009 10:50 AM |

Sorry you didn't get the joke.

Posted by: Blurred | November 19, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Miller reminds of many TEs in the NFL, instant fan favorites if you know what I'm saying...

Great pickup, always knew he had game and now with Jamison back there are some wide open 3s to be taken. And made by a career 40% shooter.

And for a guy nicknamed Skinny in college, he plays big in the rebounding dept. Battles alongside Brendon at times, good stuff.

AB only took 1 shot last night, what's up with that

Posted by: divi3 | November 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Gil really needs some instruction on going with the hot hand until the hand goes cold."

it's hard for Gil to go with the hot hand when he's more focused on trying to get his own hand hot. "hibachi" anyone?

miller can't shoot if gil and caron get the ball first and don't pass it to him. he was absolutely heating up in the second quarter last night and those two played as if they didn't want to be outdone. it's sickening.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 19, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering why AJ played some many minutes. I'd like to see McGee on the floor with Haywood for some spells. Miller was a great pick up but hard to tell how well they play when healthy after one game. Have a solid 8-10 consecutive win steak, then asses. AJ should start, he's a gamer in shooting and leadership. Very happy we didn't trade him.

Posted by: Gooddad | November 19, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

part of the reason MM is able to be so successfule is that the other teams know they have to play CB and Gil. Even though they haven't been hot lately, other teams know their history as all-stars and can't afford to let them get back in a groove without manning up.

That means other teams can't cheat and double team MM.

Then again, he can make his own shot.

I'd love to see Cb and GA start shooting 60%, but we won anyway, so it seemed to be working.

Posted by: Blurred | November 19, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey let's stop this posting about Miller replacing CB at the 3 PLEASE!!! can we let that idotic idea go the way of three steps to the hoop. Caron Butler is a player,competitor, and he will recognized as one of the best players along with AJ to put on a Wizards uniform when it's all said and done, I swear,some of you would trade your mother,Butler will be fine just give it time what are we ten games in? and now, trade Caron, replace Caron,bench Caron, just shut up would ya!

Posted by: dargregmag | November 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

WOW, you love you some caron Butler!

We are all sorry and apologize.
please accept

Posted by: millineumman | November 19, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Ball movement was lacking through most of the first half. In fact, I think Miller hit his back to back 3's after Boykin came on the court. Arenas dribbles, dribbles,dribbles, and the decide whether to drive, shoot, or pass. He needs to keep the ball moving. Too many time either he or Butler forced shots late in the shot clock.

Miller and Jamison seem to have grasped the offense much quicker and rely less on dribbling. Flip's offense is predicated on pass and shoot, not dribble and ISO. Arenas actually seemed more comfortable when he played next to Boykin in the 2nd quarter. Also, BTH got no touches in the low post which seemed strange since he usually has his way with Big Z.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 19, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I want to see the Wizzies when they are hitting on all cylinders.
CB &GA shot about 30%.
If we can get complete games from the starters we can beat anyone.
Did anyone else notice that MM is always the first to help a team mate up.
Pech had a nice line last night. Played 22 min and shot more than anyone else on his team.

Posted by: VBFan | November 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree that McGee should be getting at least 10 minutes per game. McGuire should be getting ZERO minutes.

Does Young even get to participate in warmups? :)

Would be interesting to see GA at the 2 for a few minutes and let Foye/Boykins handle the 1.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | November 19, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Caron Butler is a player,competitor, and he will recognized as one of the best players along with AJ to put on a Wizards uniform when it's all said and done,"

that has nothing to do with how he's playing now. he's played tunnel-vision basketball this season and he only has a decent ppg average because he's shot the ball so much. he stinks NOW.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 19, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I swear,some of you would trade your mother.....
Posted by: dargregmag | November 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If ma dukes had CB's to ratio and fg% and propensity to get fried by opposing players until DS comes in and rescues her, yes she would be traded, possibly for CASH, if i didn't owe her for the whole giving me life thing i'da cut bait 4 games ago. but i think trading CB now before the word is completely out that he's lost "it" might bring something of value back throw in NY and MJs expiring deal, who knows

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 19, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

If Miller starts at the 3, who starts at the 2?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"...the other teams know they have to play CB and Gil."

how long before other teams realize they dont have to play Caron?

let's hope his hot hand in the 4th was a sign of things to come. If/when he and Gil can up their fg% just a couple digits, team will start rollin

Posted by: divi3 | November 19, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"how long before other teams realize they dont have to play Caron?"

Soon, I hope. Because if opposing teams stop paying so much defensive attention to him, he'll get a lot of better looks and shoot a higher percentage.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Jamison being back will open things up for Caron, Gil, and Miller. They all will benefit from playing with each other. Miller has a great shot, Jamison is has a great outside shot for a 4, but neither penetrate from outside at a high level. They need Gil penetrating and dishing to Caron. Caron either dishing to Jamison in the corner or Miller in the high wing area for shots. If they aren't open, Caron can pull up for the medium range or drive. It all starts with Gil penetrating and kicking.

You can also give the ball to Jamison on the block.

What was missing earlier in the season is that you basically replaced a self-check DeShawn with a self-check Oberto, which didnt help open things up for the shooters. Blatche is playing like we hoped he would, but offensively, he is too jump shot reliant but his j is not as consistently pure as Jamison's.

Posted by: G-Man11 | November 19, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why everyone says jamison can't play inside. i saw him drive plenty last night. Just cuz he doesn't hurt his wrist on a dunk doesn't mean he can't finish. Anyone have a shot chart from where he shot and finished last night?

I know he doesn't take it to the hole from half court often, but he takes it from the top of the key or the corners often enough to keep his defenders a half step back, freeing up the jumpers.

talk about his "d" all you want, but no reason to knock any part of his offensive game.

Posted by: Blurred | November 19, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

shot chart on espn shows about 10 attempts in the paint for AJ, a few more on the blocks, and most of the rest outside 20ft.

Inside, out. Gets it done.

Posted by: divi3 | November 19, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Divi...that's what i see with my eyes, but sometimes that is deceiving.

Posted by: Blurred | November 19, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Gil is NOT a point guard. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, he plays the point for us, but 10 games into the season it is clear that he doesn't know anything about running a team. He displays that in his little tidbits during interviews.

His idea of what defines a point guard is "getting assists," which is only part of it. A true point guard knows how to get the team into its sets, knows where his players like to get the ball and in what position, and knows how to exploit the defense. Gil doesn't really know how to do any of those things. The reason he keeps the ball on a yo-yo is simply because he is looking for that one pass that will lead to the assist, rather than get the ball moving. It's not that he's selfish or doesn't want to lead the team. He simply doesn't know how to. We've seen him make some nifty passes this season, but there is a difference between that and actually running the team.

On the other hand, he is a helluva two-guard -- among the best in the game (which is, of course, stating the obvious). There is almost nothing he can't do with the ball from a scoring standpoint. If the Wiz were smart, they'd let him focus on scoring and take the huge load of responsibility for running the team off him. Boykins is a godsend in that regard.

They could use MM the way Chicago used to use Pippen. While he is on the floor (other than when Boykins is also on the floor), let him get the team into its sets, and then play his natural position from there. You don't necessarily have to alter the starting line-up, which is good in its present makeup.

Gil, though making a valiant attempt, is not ready for the responsibility they have thrown at him.

Posted by: bpybay | November 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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