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Wizards 104, Bucks 102 [UPDATED]


The Washington Wizards have suffered two agonizing losses in the closing seconds this season -- dropping games to Miami and Detroit that they likely should've won -- so they were grateful to come out ahead against the Milwaukee Bucks, no matter how gruesome the final minutes may have played out.

When Brandon Jennings kicked out his leg and hit that three-pointer to tie the game at 102 with 10.5 seconds remaining, the Wizards were probably pondering how they were even in that position. They shot the ball exceptionally well (54.3 percent), controlled the glass (42-36) and held the Bucks below 45 percent shooting. But they could never pull away because they also shot themselves in the foot, missing nine free throws and turning the ball over 17 times, which led to 18 points for the Bucks.

So what. For a team struggling to get wins, they'll take them how they come, even if the game was decided by the most unlikely hero -- Earl Boykins -- making two free throws with one second remaining. "I wish it wouldn't have come down to Earl having to make two free throws," Coach Flip Saunders said. "But it's a learning process. It's good for us that we've been in a couple of close games down the stretch. Earlier in year, we lost those games, now we've found a way to win a few of them."

The Wizards have won four of their past five games and the difference in three of those games has been the presence of Boykins, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, with Saunders relying on the same high pick-and-roll with him and Brendan Haywood. Saunders said he contemplated putting in Nick Young late in the game, but decided to stick with Boykins because the Bucks couldn't stop it. They just took it to Jennings, who played against Boykins last season in Italy.

"He's real quick. He was running on seven different screens at one point. How can you really guard that?" Jennings said. "He's so hard to guard because he is so little. Once he gets around the screen, he puts pressure on the big man. It's just hard to stop him."

Funny how Boykins was working out in Denver last month when the Wizards called him out of desperation because of their depleted backcourt. Three weeks later, he's on the floor with three all-stars in Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, and he's making plays in the end. Boykins has now closed out wins against Cleveland, Miami, Toronto and Milwaukee. He has done this in previous stops, so this isn't a surprise for Arenas or Jamison, who watched him do the same thing when all three were teammates with the Golden State Warriors.

"To you guys it's a surprise, but that's what Earl does. He was a great scorer at Eastern Michigan, he's been in the league 11 years because of it. He makes plays," said Arenas, who scored four points in the final period. "I was with him at Golden State and the same results. We played in the fourth quarter together and that's how we did it. Coach yelled at us four games ago...and said 'Why don't you run the [darn] floor?' and I was like 'Well, see me and Earl have this thing from the last couple years. He attacks and if nothing's there, he kicks it back to me. And then I drive and attack.' So, that's just how we play."

"Nothing has changed," Jamison said. "He's in the paint with the big fellas, shooting over the big fellas, shooting off-balanced shots. nothing has changed since we played with each other. The only thing that amazes me is, this guy was at home relaxing and then all of a sudden, he's on a team acting like he hasn't missed time at all."

The Wizards are now 4-1 since Saunders inserted Nick Young into the starting lineup, but Jamison said the team should be far from content. "We still got a lot of work to do," he said. "To me, the game shouldn't have been as close as it was tonight. it's still a lot of work. It's just good to see that we could get the win, found a way to get it done. We got to get to that point where you know what you're going to get night in and night out of us. We're not satisfied. We don't think we've turned a curve at all. We found a way to get [four out of five] and we want to finish the week up with two more wins."

Said Haywood, "December needs to be a big month for us, because we weren't that good in November."

By Michael Lee  |  December 3, 2009; 12:04 AM ET
 
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Comments

lol Earl called someone else little.

Posted by: Marine4Life51 | December 3, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Boykins is now going to take us to the NBA Championship?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Again, in the closing seconds Gilbert Arenas, the most clutch performer in the history of the franchise, and our best player, was being guarded by Luke Ridnour. Let me repeat, THE BUCKS HAD LUKE RIDNOUR - THE ABSOLUTE WORST DEFENDER IN THE NBA - GUARDING GILBERT ARENAS WITH THE GAME TIED AND 10 SECONDS ON THE CLOCK!! Why is Boykins driving against Jennings? It worked out in the end and I'm happy, but come on... that's not a good look.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 3, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Boykins is the MAN!!!

Boykins is playing great, but I am a bit disturbed that he's the only guy we can rely on to make plays at the end of games.

You gotta love the guy though… right now he is the closer for this team.

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 3, 2009 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Boykins is the MAN!!!

Boykins is playing great, but I am a bit disturbed that he's the only guy we can rely on to make plays at the end of games.

You gotta love the guy though… right now he is the closer for this team.

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 3, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

The 'Zards are a 'work-in-progress'. They have a lot of pieces but there are good signs (Blatche, Young). Gilbert's rust is a problem that hopefully goes away. Haywood is playing great and giving the wiz just what they need. They need health and more time together. Boykins is a stroke of luck who brings great energy to the team when they need it most and is agressive all the time (which the wizards need more of). I wonder how many times in his life Boykins had coaches and opponent's look at him and think "this guy is a joke" or "no way he plays for me'.

Posted by: dlong1 | December 3, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Scott Skiles gets kicked out early. Was LMAO at that. Anybody remember his temper when he played here? But anyway headcoach gets kicked out, no household names were lighting the scoreboard up and Wiz could have lost that game at home.

This is an average team and will be lucky make the playoffs. And i've been living here long enough to know that a change in direction ain't coming.

Posted by: millineumman | December 3, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

for all those who said signing boykins wouldn't matter to the wiz...do you still think that's the case?

can we finally bury the "big three" notion? sure they're very talented players, but they're not *that* much better than the supporting cast anymore - and that's a good thing. or do we bump it up to the "big eight" now?

Posted by: rm0659 | December 3, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I evaluate The game as C even if it is a win. The other night they display great defense, last night fast break and shooting 55% but could not stop 3 point shooting. They need to continue to work.I am getting my confidence on NY that he is going to be a good defender to the team.His shoot selection and movment without the ball is going to increase his value. I would like to see what he is going to do on allen next week. If he is able to dominate him on both ends I am going to consider him as my own Most Improved player, go ny.
The other observation i have is on AJ.At 34 he is going to have a hard time to sustain energy to play heavy minutes in back to back games and we are going to loss games as a result.Flip need to continue to give significant minutes to AB and call a play to late him take shoots.Hopefully the problem will resolve when MM is back.
EG need to work on midseason trade to gate a dependable big man that could take shoots like EB and rebound the ball.The way i see it now, even if wiz continue to win we are at the scale of 5 to 6 in the east,If AI turn the 76ers we will be pushed to 7.All these positions are opening the avanue to exit in the 1st round.A minimum we need a team that is going to take 4th or 5th and beat atlanta or miami in the 1st round.I have no vison on this roster to be there.Sorry i am not trying to be negative, i am a true fan for the team.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 3, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

We win 4 out of the last 5 and BF78 wants to talk about how boykins can't take us to the championship?

what a Dou che bag. If he were a wizards fan he would be happy we are winning some and have constructive things to say.

I don't think anyone here expects us to win the championship this year with or without Boykins. let's just keep playing hard and rack up some wins and see if we can get a solid 2nd round series this year.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I was following it while at the VCU game and both games came down to a couple free throws at the end.

Both teams got the ball to their best FT shooter at the end and thats how they won.

You get Boykins 2 at the line and you know you are getting at least one of them to drop. How many other guys on this team can you say that about last night or the night before.

The good teams find a way to gut these games out and win by 1 or 2 or 3. The bad teams (the wiz most years) lose them by 1 or 2 or 3.

The great teams don't get in this position often.

If we are a good team with Miller out and Caron and Gil still rusty, then where will be in Feb?

Plus, the back t back with travel was overcome...so that's a step in the right direction.

Keep on it Wiz.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

What is the problem with people on this Blog. You're pretending like this was the Redskins over the Rams or the Bucs. Wiz just won a back to back, which they never do, against a decent Bucks team and a Toronto team that was/is expected to make the playoffs. The Wiz are starting to play better, their defense is much improved, and Gil is starting to find his rhythm. While they aren't playing great, it's nice to get wins in the meantime and build momentum after such a rough start.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 3, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Hard to believe that a guy who was never in the Wizards plans is their MVP so far this season. Good win but can't we get the guys to at least fake playing defense? Gilbert and Blatche look so lazy on defense. That is why other teams get such good looks at 3s and AB picks up 3 fouls in 5 minutes.

Go Wizards.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 3, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with ZardsFan's post above. Can't anyone else see that the Wiz may be turning a little bit of a corner right now? They were losing games like this not too long ago.

Posted by: cannontl | December 3, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Also, I don't really get the criticism of the Wiz on defense. Compared to most recent past seasons they are playing pretty well. Opposing teams usually shoot worse than 45% and have to work harder to get open shot. And there is usually at least an attempt to close out on open shooters and get a hand in the face (unlike last year).

Defense is not really the problem, it's too many TO's, missed free throws and having trouble scoring (which may be improving).

Posted by: cannontl | December 3, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Boykins may be less of a factor as the season goes on, as the team becomes more established in FS's system, especially Gil.

Look for Gil and Young or Foye to handle more of guard duties down the stretch as the season progresses.

Posted by: cannontl | December 3, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"Saunders is a huge fan of Brandon Jennings......He reminds me a lot of Tiny Archibald......"His ability to score, make other guys better. Score from the perimeter, score from inside, just pretty much do anything. He's playing with a great amount of energy and playing with a lot of confidence."

This sounds like an apt description of BOY's play to this point on the WIZ.

Jennings worked out with the Wizards before the draft and he dazzled Saunders with his quickness and intelligence.

"You was my GM, ERNIE, ya' shoulda' looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda' taken care of me a little bit so we wouldn't hafta' take them dives for the short-end money.... Ya' don't understand, ERNIE. With BRANDON JENNINGS we coulda' been a contenda'. We coulda' had class. We coulda' been somebodies instead of bums which is what we are."

FLIP wants to reprise "ON THE WATERFRONT?" Or was he just blowing pre-game smoke toward a player he truely respects to keep him off the scent for one game.

BTW, Passes from BUTLER, dimes even!!!! WTF? If he keeps this up all season, I'll climb off the fence in favor of his continued presence on the WIZARDS.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 2, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

This is an average team and will be lucky make the playoffs. And i've been living here long enough to know that a change in direction ain't coming.

Posted by: millineumman | December 3, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I think change is coming in the form of LEONSIS. However, it took quite a few years with the CAPS to implement. Probably won't be that long with the WIZ because of less players and mistakes learned and corrected.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Defense is not really the problem, it's too many TO's, missed free throws and having trouble scoring (which may be improving).

Yeah, isn't DAVE HOPLA with the team anymore? He should be.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

blurred:

Going to the BLACK and BLUE CLASSIC? The result may be the same, but you'll find the SPIDERS to be a tougher out this time around. See you at the game, RAM.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 3, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I can see the light. The comment that Arenas mentions about Flip exhorting him and Boykins to run the floor is very telling for me.

Flip knows, like I thought, how to get this done. I got so much grief when I said that he failed with the Charlotte game. So many just wanted to put the blame on the players.

It just dosen't work that way. That particular game Flip knew that he too beared responsibility for that ugly lose as well as the players.

He owned up to it and the players did, but there are too many on this blog that are quick to find fault in the players.

Flip and his staff know what it is going to take to get this Team running with the top dogs in the East and they are on there way.

Earl Boykins is huge for us now, but I give Flip enormous credit for allowing Earl to do what he does.

Getting the point guard play right on this Team, is huge, especially for Gilbert Arenas.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 3, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

DOES ANYONE HAVE DAVE HOPLA'S EMAIL ADD?!?

Posted by: OffseasonChamps | December 3, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Nothing to get excited about in a narrow home win over a mediocre opponent. That (not getting excited) also applies to the previous game vs. the Raptors. One positive is that in the past two games, as contrasted to several games prior, Gil seems to still have something left in the tank at "crunch time". Also, on the plus side for the two wins is Blatche's positive contributions down the stretch including being the only Wizard able to knock down free throws against the Raptors. The biggest negative is last night's reappearance of DeBrickster. He's apparently been resurrected from Flip's purgatory. However, I've heard on good authority and apparently it was demonstrated last night, he's agreed not to shoot, whatsoever. The agreement extends to the point that he will pass up open looks even with the shot clock expiring!

Posted by: phil27 | December 3, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The defense is quite sad. Gilbert slowly back tracks on his man, AJ, Cb
both are beyond passive.
Defense starts with stopping the ball out front, but too easily penetrating this defense is what leads to open shooters all over the floor. Also can we stop Bh from popping out, as it results in him blocking out our defender, rather than slowing down the offensive player, now that we play non switching man to man, whiich I like for this roster.
But the Big 3 are pathetically the miniscule 3 when it comes to defense. They kill us on D.
Also we can not play Oberto with Ds, D mac and Bh as they have no offensive game. They have tobbe carefully substituted to allow offensive threats on the floor.
Ga remains a total inegma. He has no lift, energy , no foot speed. He is lost out there and spends more te whining to the refs than to his teamates or coaches. I hope he picks it up so we can dump
him along with Cb, Ds, Dmac, Obertp and Bh eventually.
Time for the future!!!!


Posted by: mricklen | December 3, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Blurred,

Just because I am a fan doesn't mean I have to believe the Wizards front office has a clue in what they are doing.

Boykins wasn't even in the NBA last year and their are people on here that think he is the guy who is going to make the difference?

I remember after Foye had one good game, everyone thought he was the next Kobe?

Were you a fan during the bogues and bol days?

They sucked back then too!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 3, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The regular season is a marathon. A win is a win. This team has a lot of issues that need to be ironed out. I am encouraged by one thing though, and that is for two straight games, the outcomes were in the balance going into the last two minutes, and in both cases, Les Boulez came out on top. That is an improvement. The next step is to prevent being in those "cardiac kid" situations. You can only play with fire so many times before you start getting burned.

As to the "Big 3", it won't be long before they become the "Too Big to Fail Three".

Posted by: mabkhar | December 3, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

You people man...I swear.

They just beat a team with a winning record. Was Milwaukee average when they beat Denver? People just wanna be negative. When they lose, it's how terrible they are. When they win...it wasn't pretty or they won't re-sign them next year anyway or look at the scores of the other teams games.

Leonsis this and Leonsis that. He damn near ruined the Caps. Traded his bad signings off for draft picks. Some of the picks worked out. He basically got the LeBron of hockey.

Unfortunately...it doesn't work like that in the NBA. There is no minor leagues for them to get better. It's prime time or bust. Chill out.

ATL, BOS and ORL won big SO WHAT??!? Winners win and losers lose. PERIOD. They got a win.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 3, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

And unfortunately people...Boykins is not the answer. For every good play he makes...I spend the 2 previous ones waiting for him to stop dribbling, or dribbling into traffic and getting stuck.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 3, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey G -

Richmond/VCU is always a good game, but I like our chances in the Stu. VCU has only lost 22 games there in 10 seasons (this being the 11th)

You can tell everyone after the game what a badass Larry Sanders is. I hope he doesn't go pro early.

Maynor was at the game last night, rooting on his boys.

You know if Jamie Skeen will be eligible by the Richmond game? If so, we may finish 27-1, having beat all the tough teams on our schedule already, except UR.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

And to everyone with perfect 20/20 hindsight pouncing on Ernie for not drafting Jennings. STUFF IT!!!

In the two months between the close of the last regular season and the NBA draft, none of you were singing about Brandon Jennings. NONE. He had done less in Europe than Ricky Rubio had, and everyone was begging Ernie to get Stephen Curry.

NONE of you KNEW that he was going to have a hot FIRST month to his rookie season. But did we know that in June? Absolutely NOT.

But again, just like DeJuan Blair, if we had drafted Jennings, it is very likely that he would be picking up bench splinters sitting behind the "Too Big to Fail Three". Just like Nick Young and Dominic McGuire.

In any case, I would also point out that for as impressive a performance he put up last night, Jennings went from Hero (three ball @ 0:10) to Goat (last second foul on Boykins) in about nine seconds. That probably won't happen too often again.

Posted by: mabkhar | December 3, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

BF78 -My first game was when I was 10 against SA Spurs in the 78 playoffs. Been a fan ever since.

I remember some truly mediocre and sad teams, but we were really never awful until we dismantled the criminal crew and had to rely on guys like Tracy Murray.

Even those Chapman/Skiles/Muresan games were fun to watch.

Except for the "season which shall not be named" (last year) we have been decent since Jordan left. I think we made some improvements and the guys are looking 20 x better now than they were 2 weeks ago, so I am hopeful for a nice playoff run.

We cleared a hurdle last night...won both ends of a back to back with travel. Hopefully we can win this weekend and be 6 for 7 and almost at .500 with 63 to go.

I think you are the only one here who thinks this season will be a waste unless we win the championship.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

so let me get this straight, some of yall liked watching earl dribble out the clock with no play called and the offense at a standstill with the game on the line. c'mon son! the last 3 possesions for the wiz were abysmal and i sure sign of poor coaching. earl saved flips arse creating the play to haywood, and getting the bailout foul call on jennings. i was really worried that we would lose. give all the credit to the 5 that finished the game they really gutted this one out, eventhough their stiffest opposition was themselves.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Actually, mabkhar ...right after summer league, my prediction for Rookie of the year was Jennings with Griffin and Blair at 2 and 3. I STILL think that if Blair got 30mpg he would be among the league leaders in rebounding.
What I didnt see coming was just how good BTH would rebound. I predicted about 7 or 8 for him. I have always been ad advocate and thought he'd play very well but he's definitely playing for a contract. If he continues at this pace, we've seen the last of him. A low mileage, no-drama 7 footer who rebounds and blocks shots will get lots of offers. Hopefully we can make some noise this year in the postseason.

Posted by: original_mark | December 3, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

yes of course it's always nice to get a win, but i dont see how peeps can be happy with the last few mins of the game where there was no offense being run and we were actually leaning on earl boykins to do it himself.

shouldnt we seee flip's system taking hold at some point here?

we will lose more than we win playing the way we did last night, gotta get some kind of legit offense established

some positives were Gil slowly looking like he's coming around, and continued superior defense to what we've seen here for years

Posted by: divi3 | December 3, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Bulletsfan78, let me try to follow your logic: Boykins is not going to make a difference because he played in Italy last year. Really. Seems to me that he has been the primary reason behind at least 3 Wiz victories. That is tangible evidence that he is making a big difference. Why do you care if Boykins is the guy making plays?

It seems to me that the D is noticeably better. They are doing a better job protecting the rim and contesting shots. However, dribble penetration remains a problem and the opposition is still getting too many good looks from 3.

What is most troubling to me is the terrible free throw shooting. I just can't understand how these guys can't average b/w 75-80% from the line. It has nearly cost them 2 straight games. If it continues, it's going to cost them some games.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

divi3,

The Wizards will "lose more games than they win" -- seems too pessimistic.

The Wizards resemble a lot of average or near-average teams in the East right now.

They do some things right, but they can be error-prone for stretches, tentative, sloppy, and just plain inconsistent, which leaves the door open for other teams.

That's about as close to the definition of any .500 team as you'll come -- especially one with pretty good talent.

Rather than lose more games than they win, I'd say that -- without upping the game and continuing to develop -- the Wiz will probably win just as many games as they lose. Hopefully, they continue to develop.

Posted by: JPRS | December 3, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

in the east teams have been 500 and i believe even below 500 and still made the playoffs. saying the wiz will lose more than they win isn't pessimistic given the teams propensity for injury and lack of cohesiveplay to date. by the was the last full season and (almost) a quarter the wiz have lost more than they've won.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey people...in the NBA, a win is not a given. Give the Wizards some credit. The 2 road wins in Miami and Toronto are especially noteworthy. Did anybody see Phoenix get destroyed in New York and Cleveland this week?

However, the Wizards still need to defend much better, make free throws, and commit to ball movement if they want to have any chance to make the playoffs. I'm a big fan, but unless they improve dramatically over the course of the season, they simply won't compete with the elite teams.

But it's been a good week...!

Posted by: EJHooper | December 3, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The zards are better off right now with Foye and Miller then having Jennings. That might not prove true in future years .. but for this season that's the case considering the contracts and personnel on this team.

Besides, Jennings worked out for the Wiz and was outplayed by the Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans in the same workout, nobody has a crystal ball. If the zards had kept the pick they probably would have gotten Rubio and he's not even in the league now!

Posted by: boblas | December 3, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Boykins has been great but lets not lose sight of the 2 major common denominators in the Wiz recent wins-- starting Nick Young and sitting Austin Kearns err I mean Deshawn Stevenson. Bout time they got that right~

Posted by: dovelevine | December 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

We may think that beating the Bucks (barely) is not that good of a win.

But we are 4-1 in our last 5 games, with the only loss being that scary loss to Charlotte at home.

We have some nice wins in there too, 2 road wins and home wins over 2 playoff bound teams (yes, the bucks are playoff bound right now).

I am optimistic at this point, especially seeing Gilbert realize last night that he is a much more effective shooter from 18 feet than 22 feet right now. He was killing it on the mid-range last night, great sign.

If NY continues to develop, this team has the potential to put together a pretty nice month to get us back into the mix for a 4-6 spot in the East.

Concerns now:
-Randy Foye, please stand up
-Arenas' drives look like he is closing his eyes when hes within 8 feet and he is either turning it over or getting a charge
-stevenson still rocking the "love nub" on back of his head

Good signs:
-gilberts midrange shots are falling
-boykins doesnt turn it over
-nick providing first half scoring
-gilbert finally getting the ball to caron so he can score
-Haywood being a beast

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | December 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young's been playin alright, he was leading the team in scoring last night til he got the hook with 9 mins left for "The Closer"

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I see that lost in todays conversation, was the subtle change in the offense last night that really helped Caron get into rhythm.

In the first half and for the first time this season, the Wizards ran four clear outs for Caron.

I was puzzled the first time I saw it, then they ran it on the next three trips down the floor. Caron got energized and played well in the first half. They got away from it later in the second quarter, but it helped Tuff Juice produce some numbers.

I think Flip deserves credit of adding that wrinkle to the offense.

What has happened to FlohrTV? That cat was good at analyzing basketball.

Posted by: bozomoeman | December 3, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

definitely miss flohrtv. since i've been riding cb like seabiscut the past few posts i must say that he played pretty decent last night. i don't have many complaints.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I noticed a few things that seem to be germane to this squad:

Help Defense/Rotation is a consistent problem. I see lips moving but no much communication going on.

Zero's shot selection is poor.

Haywood is gawky and uncoordinated; he should jump rope or chase a chicken like boxer's do. He missed a 2 ft. layup under the rim like some over 40 rec league baller.

Free throw shooting is horrible.

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 3, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Gil's comments about disregarding the coach and playing they way he and earl like might be the most interesting thing I've seen.

If it were football and Portis said that, I'd be concerned. But Chemistry, Confidence and Continuity are so important in basketball, that I am really encouraged to hear Gil say that - and even though Gil challenged Flip's direction, I'll bet Flip is thrilled to hear Gil's reaction.

Posted by: cballer | December 3, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Good win for the Wiz last night. I just knew we were going to loose.Thats the way the season has developed thus far. Getting better though and it's going to take some time. We are turning the corner though and the funny thing is we always pick it upo as the season progresses.

The big three have to learn how to play together again and we're incorporating a new coach with a new system and a host of new players. All real athletes know what I mean. Chemistry is not a given but it can dam sure be developed. Trust in your teammates can be developed too. We will be fine as the season goes on especially with a stroke of luck in the health department. Proven coach+ hungry vets+ nice nucleus of young talent+the desire to achieve and succeed =success.

It's good to see NY getting burn. He makes offensive players like DWADE chase him on defense. I'm glad DS is out of the rotation. It's really bad that we couldn't have traded him, although I value him as a defensive role player. He is just a liability on offense. We might have beat Cleveland last year if he had kept his mouth shut. That hold series was refereed with an advantage for Cleveland like that they don't already have one. Man I wonder how different things would've been if the ref would've called travel that first year we lost to them.

For all concerned Wiz fans, don't worry Earl Boykins adds another threat in the crunch time. His fourth quarter play will also help Gil gain his full confidence back. I was a little worried last night with the ball not in his hands but it worked out and the more I think about it, you couldn't really double anyone with the people that were ion the court. Gil can now be a decoy in the waning minutes of the game, Wow.We have multiple closers on this team. Mike Miller will be healthy again soon. I'm starting to get excited about the season again.

Posted by: JWADE4 | December 3, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This team should take a week and do nuthin but shoot free throws--seriously. What is up with that??!!

Posted by: dovelevine | December 3, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse


"I can see the light. The comment that Arenas mentions about Flip exhorting him and Boykins to run the floor is very telling for me. Flip knows, like I thought, how to get this done. I got so much grief when I said that he failed with the Charlotte game. So many just wanted to put the blame on the players. It just dosen't work that way. That particular game Flip knew that he too beared responsibility for that ugly lose as well as the players. He owned up to it and the players did, but there are too many on this blog that are quick to find fault in the players."


What are you talking about, Larry?
Arenas said that Flip was blasting them about not running the floor four games ago. According to my math, that would include the Charlotte game. So I don't think your opinion has been proven to be a fact just yet. In fact Arenas' comments tend to support the opposite of your assertions. Boykins and Arenas decided to play more a less a two-man game on O as opposed to doing what he had been exhorting them to do.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | December 3, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I know how everyone feels about stevenson and i have been in that camp forever but can anyone please agree or disagree with this observation? He still gets brought in as a defensive "specialist". If lebron or d wade is going to score 30 or 40 pts either way wouldn't it be better to have someone who can not completely disrupt the offense and actually be scoring 12-15 pts a game in the process. i am sick and tired of announcers saying he did a great job on d holding people to 30 points. thoughts....anyone?

Posted by: IZZY3 | December 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

he shoulda been traded as soon as he showed he could play in a a game without the back acting up on him. right now i'd trade him for two racks of basketballs.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

lilhollywood,

Reduce your demands to one rack of balls and kick in McGee or Blatche and you might find a taker. I don't foresee the Wiz trading either of our young bigs so Stevenson is ours.
Just not much of a market for SGs shooting 31% on FGs and 13% on 3-pts, not to mention slowing foot speed and a back surgery under his belt to boot, especially with two years left on his contract.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | December 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I guess the thing we will never know is if DSteve "holds" them to 30, would they have had 36, 40, 50, 64???? pts with someone else guarding them.

The theory is, that there is only one ball, so only player can shoot at a time. If you have 3 or 4 other folks shooting/scoring instead of DSteve, you haven't lost much.

the 12-15 pts you talk about come from shots someone else didn't take, so if DS is playing with Caron, jamison, Arenas and Haywood, then you have a balnced game..in theory at least, between the scorers and the defenders.

Hey...it's always better to have a complete gamer, but we all know there are way too few of them anymore.

Posted by: Blurred | December 3, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Paying defense isn't all about the number of points the other guy scores. It's about how hard he works to score them. If the opposing SG scores his average on Stevenson, but shoots 30% from the field doing it, and ends up taking a lot of tough, forced, contested shots that takes the rest of his team out of their offensive flow, then that's a job well done by the defense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 3, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

fair points blurred and kalo however, blurred...have you ever played ball against a team with one dead wood player...his man can igmore him and negatively alter everyone elses ability to shoot higher percentage because of the double teams and there are enough nba'ers..even on this team who are at least a threat to score if left completely wide open...

kalo...you point is a good one..the only thing i would say is that besides presenting himself with a good defensive stance i don't think he is causing the other teams best player to shoot any lower of a shooting percentage than nick young or any of our other two guards...and i believe is that all that really matters in the how much marginal better defense that ds could possibly play...ie..if ds holds someone to 32% shooting and someone else would hold him to 33% shooting on the margins you would give that up all day to have a competent offensive player.

Posted by: IZZY3 | December 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

fair points blurred and kalo however, blurred...have you ever played ball against a team with one dead wood player...his man can igmore him and negatively alter everyone elses ability to shoot higher percentage because of the double teams and there are enough nba'ers..even on this team who are at least a threat to score if left completely wide open...

kalo...you point is a good one..the only thing i would say is that besides presenting himself with a good defensive stance i don't think he is causing the other teams best player to shoot any lower of a shooting percentage than nick young or any of our other two guards...and i believe is that all that really matters in the how much marginal better defense that ds could possibly play...ie..if ds holds someone to 32% shooting and someone else would hold him to 33% shooting on the margins you would give that up all day to have a competent offensive player.

Posted by: IZZY3 | December 3, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz has won 4 out of the last 5 games, two of which were on the road. I'm sure that everyone who knows anything about sports knows that when you have a new coach, new system and new players, it takes a while to start implementing anything before you start seeing results. Well, I think that we're are finally STARTING to see results. No one really knows where this team is going to be come January at all but they have won against quality opponents. Gil is finally getting his rhythm in this offense, scoring at least 20 and getting 6 assists in the last two games. Allowing someone elst to be more of this distributor in the final minutes and playing overall team ball. Brendan is proving that he can matchuup with THE BEST centers in the eastern conference (had Bosh hesitating and pumpfaking in the post) that's a defensive presence. And the team is starting to learn how to not start slow and stay in the game since we've got AJ back.

My suggestion is since none of us have crystall balls, and this is a Wizards blog, let's just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'll start thinking about playoffs in March.

Posted by: justman1 | December 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

This is what the Wizards hav shown us so far-Arenas is not ready to start, he's not over his injury, and also not in condition to stay with the opposing 1 and 2s, he also turns the ball over a lot. He was leading the league in turnovers as a point. Newsflash, ARENAS IS NOT A POINT GUARD. A bold move is to bring him off the bench irregardless of his stardom, he should play his way back in shape with less minutes. The big mistake coaches make at all levels is to play the wrong person at the point. Most play a scorer at the point instead of a distributor. Caron, is also crash and burn lately. He will get at least two offensive files and two other turnover a game. He tends to not give you much until late in the games and as Jamison said, you need to go night in and night out consistently. Flip still does not have a handle of his personnel which was suppose to be his strong suit in individual matchups. If that's the case Young should have been in the starting lineup. Our starting five should be Jamison, Blatche, and Haywood and Boykins and Young. Caron would come in for Blatche and Arenas would spell Young. All of this may sound strange but if you look at the Wizards and their struggles a lot has to do with Arenas not quite back, and the turnovers. The team has depth, if Miller hadn't got hurt we'd be even more stronger. Foye actually looked good in the beginning but now he looks slow, his shot doesn't fall like at the beginning, and he tend to be a liability on the court as well at times. Jamison doesn't get a pass either, although he does score and rebounds, his D is suspect and if you give him the ball he sure isn't going to pass. He is however, the only one that is consistent, He and Haywood. Newsflash, ARENAS IS NOT A POINT; ARENAS IS NOT A POINT, ARENAS IS NOT A POINT!!

Posted by: washdc11 | December 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

For those saying Flip is an idiot, he didn't run any plays...all those possessions near the end started with the Hawk cut, that was Flip's system. He seems to like to stick with what works until it is stopped, whether it be personnel or play selection. That seems like good coaching to me.

Also, FYI the Bucks are above .500 right now and have a top ten defense. They are very physical and hack you all game long. For us to get a victory on the second night of a back-to-back against a good defensive team is a postive. We still have a lot of room for improvement, but I don't see the need for doom and gloom after this particular victory.

Posted by: OffseasonChamps | December 3, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

WashDC11, with all of your pessimism and bad facts, i can tell you've never been a coach. And if you did, you had to have a losing record. Your comments were just negative and off.

Posted by: justman1 | December 3, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

lilhollywood,

Reduce your demands to one rack of balls and kick in McGee or Blatche and you might find a taker. I don't foresee the Wiz trading either of our young bigs so Stevenson is ours.
Just not much of a market for SGs shooting 31% on FGs and 13% on 3-pts, not to mention slowing foot speed and a back surgery under his belt to boot, especially with two years left on his contract.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | December 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse
but he's a shut down defender he's dun dundun dun "Tha Locksmith" LMAO

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I know how everyone feels about stevenson and i have been in that camp forever but can anyone please agree or disagree with this observation? He still gets brought in as a defensive "specialist". If lebron or d wade is going to score 30 or 40 pts either way wouldn't it be better to have someone who can not completely disrupt the offense and actually be scoring 12-15 pts a game in the process. i am sick and tired of announcers saying he did a great job on d holding people to 30 points. thoughts....anyone?

Posted by: IZZY3 | December 3, 2009 12:07 PM
============================================

None of us, not even the staunchest DS supporters can answer that. I don't see how 'working hard to get 30' is any indication of how well a person was defended. To me, a well known scorer held to well below his season or game average is a better indicator.

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 4, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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