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Morning brew

Game day is here, and it's a home game on TNT against the Boston Celtics. But some on the Wizards are taking a big-picture approach to things, such as team president Ernie Grunfeld, who told Michael Lee in a story in Wednesday's Post that he had hoped things would be further along for his team.

After practice yesterday, Brendan Haywood and Gilbert Arenas shared their views on the Tiger Woods scandal and blogging in general. Later, Haywood responded -- on his blog -- to a critical comment.

At the Washington Times, Mike Jones wrote about Haywood's online superstardom for the newspaper and blogged about the Wizards' preparations for tonight's Celtics game.

The D.C. Sports Bog reflects on the clips from the 1978 title run that were on display at Abe Pollin's memorial on Tuesday night at Verizon Center, including the one below.

Elsewhere, ESPN.com's Marc Stein speculates on the possibility of Mike James going to Miami. With such a crowded back court, something's gotta give.

Around the League ...

Nine games on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers, and Shaquille O'Neal, look out of sorts in a loss to Houston. The Lakers continue to roll, their winning streak now at 10. The Sixers continue to slide, even after adding Allen Iverson, their losing streak now at 11.

Forbes released its team valuations on Wednesday. The Lakers are the most valuable team, and the Wizards dropped to 19th after being 15th last season.

CBSSports' Ken Berger writes that ticket revenue through the first quarter of the regular season is down 7.4 percent throughout the NBA. The Detroit Pistons are suffering more than any team in the league, while the Atlanta Hawks have seen a dramatic improvement in attendance.

Remember the Greg Oden-Kevin Durant debate before the 2007 draft? It's pretty lopsided right now, with Durant emerging as a star and Oden going down, again, with another season-ending injury. Durant tells Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman that he "almost drew a tear" when he saw Oden's latest knee injury.

Unlike his friends Chris Bosh and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade is still talking about becoming a free agent in 2010. And he really doesn't care. Wade speculated to the Miami Herald's Michael Wallace that all three could stay right where they are.

Wade also tells Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears that he wants to stay in Miami, but he also wants help.

Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice writes that it might be time to stop looking at the Rockets as the cute overachievers without Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, this team is actually good.

Disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy is still talking to anyone who is willing to listen. He sits down with the Philadelphia Inquirer to discuss his lonely life in Florida.

Was Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Thomas really beefing with folks at Denny's? Maybe, maybe not.

Here are the top 10 plays courtesy of NBA.com:

By Ed Guzman  |  December 10, 2009; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Ernie Grunfeld; Washington Wizards; NBA; Abe Pollin; Gilbert Arenas; Caron Butler; Allen Iverson  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Haywood & Arenas discuss Tiger Woods, blogging
Next: Mike James rumors and Arenas's all-star quest

Comments

First!

Posted by: Bellman | December 10, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/11416/mike-james-back-to-miami-maybe

Mike James for Haslem or Q? Get creative EG, and make this work somehow.

Posted by: Bellman | December 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how they really need either one.

Haslem I can't be too upset about...but Richardson? Nah.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 10, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't really understand the motivation for this trade. James is an expiring and we need cap space at the end of the year to re-sign free agents. So we'd trade James for another expiring player who we also don't need?

I'd be against doing this for Haslem or Q. Haslem's a good player but is just going to take away minutes from our young bigs. He makes sense if we're really going all out for THIS year. I just don't see this team making noise this year. We're really in transition.

The problems haven't been lack of depth (except we can't really replace Haywood) but lack of production from our core players. We either need to find players that make our core more productive (read: distributor or a smart jack of all trades type) or we need to shake up our core.

The only thing I can think is maybe we'd make a move for Haslem so that we can move Jamison to SF and trade Butler for someone who fits this system better? I'd be for that.

Posted by: manifested | December 10, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse


Ok, guys. The Wiz always play up to the competition, so rest assured the Wiz will show up. I'm not predicting they'll win, but they and their energy will be in the building tonight.
I hope Flip drilled into their heads the need to move the Celtics defense with ball movement and penetration and finding cutters. We need inside buckets!
Finally, Flip did NOT sound too thrilled about having to conduct a remedial session with these guys on how to set screens and how to properly initiate/execute a fast break.
LarryInClintonMD, I concede that you were right about (some of) your points made yesterday about fastbreaking. However, Gilbert still has to look to make it happen. If he leads, the others will follow.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 10, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Readings Haywood's comments written in the Grunfield article, I keep getting the impression that practice is not transferring to the game.

Haywood's earlier comments about ego's would also fall along those lines.

You have to know that at Carolina that Haywood played in a program that practiced what they wanted to do in games and then went out and did it to the best of their abilities.

His comment indicates that the game action is far removed from practice.

Of course gametime is different from practice, so to indicate that would seem to infer that the players are not following the gameplan.

The players haven't completely bought in, or, they haven't figured it out yet.

That would be frustrating for a player like Haywood who gets it and is wondering what is the problem with the players who isn't getting it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 10, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

We should resign haywood now and deal him in the offseason for a couple picks and solid vet.

If we could get haslim for james, I would be happy.

Posted by: Blurred | December 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

No! Will Haslem improve this team one iota? NO! so why bring him in trade for the sake of trading yeah, deflect some of that heat EG, how about this Ernie, find Dave Hoopla so we can make some free throws and stop giving games away at the foul line!!

Posted by: dargregmag | December 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree. We don't need another undersized PF.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 10, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I guess i am just skewed in my thinking b/c Hasleem has beat up on us for years. I haven't seen him in too many other games, so I'll take your word for it, but i always see him out muscle our guys and out hustle them too.

Posted by: Blurred | December 10, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Haslem would be an okay addition for a half-season rental (not a big difference maker, but I'd rather have him as the emergency vet big than Oberto), but there's almost no chance the Heat trade him. And adding another guard in QRich when they don't have enough minutes for the ones they've already got makes no sense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Larry, while you're up there, what do Haywood's large intestines look like?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Larry, while you're up there, what do Haywood's large intestines look like?

Posted by: kalo_rama

Carolina Blue is my guess. LMAO

Posted by: tgif11 | December 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"The players haven't completely bought in, or, they haven't figured it out yet."

I think it's both Larry.

They played for Jordan for what? 5 years?

Look at Gil's face when he brings the ball up...he looks like someone farted and he's smelling it(for the lack of a better term).

Haywood needs to be more agressive under the offensive rim. Dude is as big as anyone and lets smaller players D him down. It's frustrating to watch at times.

I love Boykins, but some dude you just picked up shouldn't be your "go to" guy at the end of the game. It's unfair to Boykins and EG keeps saying "We have three All Stars" but the only one who plays nightly is Jamison.

Make Boykins sit the bench late in the 4th on purpose for a while. I know you want wins, but how can Gil or Caron be "the man" when they aren't "the man" right now.

To agree with Kalo (gasp!) bottom line is they need a PG still, and they definately have the bench warmers to make a trade if they need to and still have a good bench.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 10, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"To agree with Kalo (gasp!) bottom line is they need a PG still . . ."

I never said they needed a PG.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Ok then the Wiz still need a PG. :)

On Flips other teams he always had a quality PG, this one has none.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

On Flip's other teams he had players at the PG position who could score big and run an offense (Brandon, Marbury, Billups, Cassell). He never had a "pure" playmaking PG. So the suggestion that he desperately needs one now is utter fiction. Does Arenas need to play better for the team to be successful? Of course. Does he need to be an 11 apg Stockton clone to do it? Nope.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse


EG said it's "business as usual" with regard to trades, so the Wizards might have at least a limited ability to make roster changes. That quality PG might be a trade away!

Posted by: and_1 | December 10, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Practice on screen setting? No matter screen is going to be set, CB will remain confused for the rest of the season,either we have to fire the coach or trade CB.No one can teach him to shoot right away at this stage of his professinal life.His driving and ball handling are killing his performance and the team.I just can not see it improved.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 10, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

This comment from one of the posters from the Mike James story had me in tears:

"In other unrelated news, Washington has also expressed an interest in a bag of Mesquite BBQ flavored potato chips, and would be willing to trade Mike James for a bag of 'appropriate proportions'."

Posted by: Fontana1 | December 10, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Why would the Heat trade big for small? There's no way they deal Haslem for Mike James without the Wizards throwing McGuire or somebody else in the equation.

I say hold out for another scenario. Injuries happen and some team might get desperate.

The trades at the deadline always seem to benefit one team more for some reason.

Posted by: elfreako | December 10, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I could def see Haslem helping THIS team THIS year. He's undersized, but battles hard in the paint. Rebounds well. Hits free throws at a decent clip. We could use more of those qualities on this team.

Would he put us over the top? Of course not. But I think a rotation could work with him and the young bigs getting roughly equal minutes -- plus or minus depending on matchups and other game situations.

I also think Q would be a great fit offensively playing in the Earl and Gil lineup. Unfortunately, there's the defensive end to worry about -- and I wouldn't be nearly as inclined to take on Q here this year.

But we aren't in a position to take on more salary, so don't you guys think it's "expiring for expiring" deals that we are realistically going to be faced with -- in terms of trying to improve the team this year? And I wouldn't move Haslem either if I were the Heat. But I can see where a Mike James makes sense for them. My initial point was wondering aloud if there's any way to sweeten the pot in order to GET Haslem.

Posted by: Bellman | December 10, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

There's no "sweetening of the pot" in a deal like this. The Wizards would be foolish to give up anything more than a corresponding amount of expiring salary for Haslem in a direct swap with the Heat. And, really, what could they give up that the Heat would want? Miami isn't interested in taking on any guaranteed salary.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I gotta say, for years I've thought Haslem was exactly the kind of player we needed. Dude absolutely battles AND hits his open shots.

but what purpose would he serve now with Oberto on the roster? And AB needing more minutes?

precursor to moving someone else maybe...

Posted by: divi3 | December 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

On Haslem:
I think the Heat would give up Haslem for Miller. However, if the Wizards make that move they can kiss goodbye any chance of making it past the first round of the playoffs. Mike Miller is the best three-point shooter on the team and in that regard gives them something they desperately need. Conversely, the Heat become a dangerous team with Beasley, Miller and Wade on the floor.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Who said anything about Mike Miller...

Mike James man....JAMES

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 10, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

According to reports, the Heat are interested specifically in James because they need PG help, someone to be the primary backup for Chalmers. Miller is a good facilitator for a SG/SF, but he's not a guy you use primarily at PG. Also, the salaries don't match between Haslem and Miller, and unless they cut Boykins, the Wiz can't do a 1-for-2 trade because they don't have an open roster spot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Really, it's all much ado about nothing. Like I've been saying all along, keeping the cap flexibility provided by James expiring salary is a bigger asset to the Wiz than anything they could get in trade. They really don't have any strong incentive to make a deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I can read as well as you, SDMDTSU. One blogger felt that the Heat wouldn't do a "big for small" trade, and I happen to share that view. Miller, on the other hand, is a frontcourt player who rebounds and scores and might be more palatable to the Heat.
OK, man?

Posted by: 2020doc | December 10, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Good info, kalo_rama.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Agree that it's all much ado about nothing. But fun to play pretend GM. Since Miller was brought up, the salaries and expiring MJames + MMiller contracts work for UHaslem + QRich. That sounds potentially beneficial to both teams for me.

Posted by: Bellman | December 10, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards aren't trading Mike Miller.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

go back to work guys, these trade proposals suck......except maybe the one involving bbq chips (I ate an early lunch). seriously you trade MJ for haslem just so you can have another tweenish PF. 3yrs ago u mighta felt like you were geting something with a haslem for MJ swap, but right now it seems a lil one sided in MIAs favor. and lets leave QRich outta this

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 10, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Admittedly, I would rather eat BBQ chips than trade Miller ...

Posted by: Bellman | December 10, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


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