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Wizards 118, Warriors 109


While many saw a deflated, broken man when Sacramento rookie Tyreke Evans stripped Gilbert Arenas of the ball in the closing seconds on Wednesday, Arenas saw someone who was close to a breakthrough. While many wondered if Caron Butler could ever find a comfort zone in Flip Saunders's offense, all Butler really needed was some encouraging words from his coach.

Arenas and Butler have both struggled to find their grooves this season, which has played a major role in the Wizards losing 16 of their first 23 games. But with the Wizards in desperate need of a victory, the two most maligned players in Washington helped snap a six-game losing streak by coming through with the type of performances that people have come to expect of them -- although few could've predicted that Arenas was going to score 45 points and hand out 13 assists, even against a very bad, or rather non-existent, Golden State defense.

"The rhythm is coming back and I'm feeling good right now," Arenas said after topping 40 points for first time since March 21, 2007, when he scored 42 in a win against Seattle. "Feeling more confident handling the ball, getting into the lane. A lot more confident than I did a couple of weeks ago."

Arenas, who blamed a cold building for his poor performance against Detroit in the second game of that losing streak, credited being in California for his most dynamic performance in more than two years. He said he had a conversation with assistant coach Sam Cassell, who told him that getting away from home would be good for him.

"I kept making jokes, like, Man, I'll see you guys when we come back West. I'm going to stay right here until we come back West," said Arenas. "But it's the confidence. Once we get back, it's too late to rewind me back. This is the trip I needed, I think we all needed it. just to get away, breathe a little bit, then go home and refocus.

"When you're at home, sometimes you got pressure. You got pressure to win. It's the pressure sometimes. When you get West, you're away everybody, away from your family, away from your friends, away from most of the media. People off the street saying, 'Why y'all losing? Get it together.' You get away from that and you go on a trip and it's you and your team."

Arenas believes he had been building up to a game like this. "Once I when I was in LA I felt good, I just missed shots" against the Clippers, Arenas said. "Going in Sacramento, I put it together and I was aggressive at the end and I was making plays and it just carries over."

Butler has drifted between being passive and overly aggressive, which resulted in poor shot selection, hesitation and turnovers. But at the morning shootaround, Saunders reminded Butler of his success in a team drill when the Wizards take 40 shots in which they catch and shoot. "We chart them, and I told him he averages 36 out of 40 jump shots from those spots, and I said that's why I get on him. When he has those open 17 footers, shoot them."

Butler responded by hitting his first five shots and finishing with a season-high 28 points with 10 rebounds and five steals. "I wasn't second guessing myself at all. He was like, if you get this shot inside, I don't want you looking for nobody. I want you to take the shot. When a coach gives you confidence like that, it's like, alright, it's going up," Butler said. "He gave me an extreme amount of confidence this morning in shoot around and I took it and ran with it."

Butler explained his problems adjusting to the new system. "I said before, it's not going to happen overnight. You can't put somebody in the triangle offense or any offense and expect them just to 'Bam!' work immediately. It's a process," he said. "Getting into a rhythm, psychologically. Watching some old film of myself and trying to say aggressive. Picking and choosing my spots. Seeing Antawn [Jamison] go down, I had to play a little more aggressive."

Jamison took a scary spill in the second quarter when he lost the ball and collided with Warriors rookie Stephen Curry. Curry crashed into his right shoulder and the impact reached the other side of Jamison's neck, leading to a stinger. "They said it was the equivalent of a football stinger. That's why I play basketball. Can't have too many more of those," Jamison said. Saturday is "going to be the toughest day so just getting through the soreness. I've just got to get through the stiffness first thing in the morning."

Jamison left with the arena with his left resting in a sling, but he is expected to play against Phoenix.

Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 30 points, but Curry had a career-high 27 points. Curry said he had a little extra incentive to perform well against the Wizards. He had worked out for the Wizards and hoped that they would use the fifth pick on him. Instead, the Wizards dealt the pick to Minnesota for Randy Foye and Mike Miller (Miller is out with injury and Foye gets a perfunctory four or five minute run each game. It seems like such a waste to invest so much into getting Foye -- then not even try to see what he can do).

Curry is doing okay. "All the way up to that point (they traded the pick), it was an option," Curry said. "My agents are based in D.C. and they've got a good connection with the team. They didn't know what they were going to do until that point. They were trying to trade with the Knicks and do all sorts of stuff. That was definitely a spot that was on my radar."

Arenas was asked if he had any extra motivation on Friday and Jamison started chuckling nearby. "We lost six in a row, that's all the motivation we need," Jamison said.

Arenas tried to answer the question, but Jamison interrupted him again. "He got stripped the last play of the game" against Sacramento, Jamison said again, with a laugh.

Arenas's breakout performance came against the one other team that tried to sign him to five-year, $100-million when he was a free agent in the summer of the 2008. Arenas said he considered returning to the Warriors for nearly an hour.

"I was just happy that somebody else wanted me. It was so, like, they didn't even think about the knee, so here you go. I was like, well, should I go back to Oakland?" Arenas said.

After speaking with his father, Arenas decided to stay in Washington. He later got a call from Abe Pollin asking him to come back. "I said, 'Alright Mr. P. No problem.' "

By Michael Lee  |  December 19, 2009; 4:19 AM ET
 
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Comments

All I want for Christmas is another first round loss

Please Santa I've been really good and it's not like I'm asking for a playoff win or anything....just please let the Wizards get the 8th seed...and then anything can happen!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Glad they won. But people, it's only 1 game. They are still several games below 500. I'll celebrate when try string together a series of wins (against quality teams).

Posted by: tundey | December 19, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Do we win this game if Gil doesn't drop 45?

Posted by: closg | December 19, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

What's up with Randy Foye. I thought he was the steal of the Minnesota deal and now he looks lost. Please discuss.

Posted by: OutsideTheLaw | December 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Our D was almost as non-existent as theirs.

But seriously, when Haywood looks like an all star, our opponents really suck inside.

I'll take the win and hopefully there will be some confidence carry-over.

At least playing Pheonix they won't have to worry about having to face any D either. I am calling the over/under on that game at 252.

Posted by: Blurred | December 19, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

All I want for Christmas is another first round loss

78,

I actually believe you. Especially since the GM you lobbied for to replace Ernie Grunfeld hasn't been able to provide anything but that or less since 2001.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 19, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Defense? With the Wizards, you mean?

I'm not Dr. Naismith but here's what I see. The defense at both guard positions is beyond atrocious. A opposition guard's Pick-and-roll move, dribble-drive, anything, it doesn't matter. They quickly beat our guards and it a quick 3 on 2 down the lane for an easy shot. The breakdown happens so just so quickly that the switches don't come fast enough from the 3, 4, or 5 position.

But I'll tell you what. I may not know much, but I know this. Gilbert was tough last night. He made 'em, a lack of Warrior defense or not. He looked really good. 45 points off of 25 shots is pretty darn good. Butler too.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | December 19, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that a D.C. writer is finally reporting the truth on how bad Ernie has been for this team. Ernie's decisions are killing this team. He must go. Look at all the rookies the Wiz had a chance to draft with the first pick that are playing well. Instead Erie go for a broke down 10yr vet. Miller good player but hasn't played a full season in 10yrs. Foye can't get off the bench. He picks his buddy a fake winner coach when he could have picked any number of good coaches. Ernie and Flip need to go.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 19, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Jamison has a neck stinger? I'm wondering if this is the begining of persistant neck and shoulder injuries from him. Although it would suck, I guess Im used to the feeling now.

Golden State looked like our sister team out west.

Besides Gil, Caron, and Haywood, everyone else looked lost.

Posted by: millineumman | December 19, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, rnbrown. Grunfeld went for a coupla known decent players (Miller, Foye) instead of the potential transcendent one. He got Foye as an insurance policy if Arenas went down. But Foye is questionable starter material, let alone all-star caliber. His numbers at Minnesota were average, but inflated by playing on a terrible team with few scoring options. Sure, he can fill in for Gil, but not a deep playoff/championship level. Miller has real skills, and may give the team a couple really good years, but whenever you trade for players on the downside of their careers, you risk having them injured (something Grunfeld should have learned by now). In short, Grunfeld took a bunt instead of swinging for the fences, went for surety instead high risk-reward. You only build a contender with transcendent players, who usually only come in the top of the draft. Everyone kept bagging on the quality of picks after Griffin (it became the general 'consensus', due largely to the half-baked assessments of draft blogs), but as early returns show, there was some obvious exceptional talent out there to be had when we picked. Grunfeld showed no vision with the number five, and even less with the second, which he sold for cash despite intriguing prospects still on the board. The only thing good about winning just 19 games is that you get the opportunity to turn things around and pick early. You don't reload after a sub-par season with par players, you go all in.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 19, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@SammyT1;

well said, I have also said that our GM goes for the safe play. Always scared of the R word. And it does become popular opinion that the drafts are always poor. There have been some week ones no doubt but it is a necessary evil you must play with. I do wish we would stop with mediocre attitude and at least attempt to build a power house.

Posted by: millineumman | December 19, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I rewatched the game and I like what Im seeing from Gil but Im still sad. He’s right arm likes great, his left arm looks great, his right leg looks great, but his left leg looks still dead and it probably wont ever come 100% back. Maybe not even 90%. I remember I use to be happy that if he had to hurt his knee, Im glad its the left because all righties want to keep there right side strong. Then you watch the games and realize that 90% of the time as a righty, you are going to leap & explode off your left leg, not the right.

Thats Gil’s problem right now. Even last night he made a ton of great shots in the lane but he shot every single one of them from ground level. I still have his 54 & 60pt games on tape and he was never MJ or Wade but Gil use to explode to the rim and finish high. Now he lets the ball go from the floor basically and thats always going to suck. He could get better as the season goes on and most guys feel alot better in there 2nd year back but like I said, he always feels an extra boost against GS so if he couldnt get off the ground against them then he probably wont get off the ground against anyone.

Thats the only thing that saddens me. Still, we all saw an old MJ do well even without being able to jump. Gil is like that. He still has mad handles and knows how to position his body. He also still has unlimited range and good vision so he will produce numbers. The question is wether he’s good enough to throw up monster games against the big 3 or 4 in the East because the old Gil could. IDK if this guy can consistently without that lift and that burst at times but he’s getting there.

The good thing is that just like GS, the other team he kills on the road is the Suns. He doesnt kill them like GS but he still lights them up. Im worried because he looked tired last night and its a back to back but I could see him going for 40 again tonight against Nash and his boy Richardson. Who is going to stop him in the lane? Frye? Yeah right

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Posted by: kkshoe1205 | December 19, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Gil looked like his old self last night, but I just can't shake the feeling that the Wiz only won because they played a team (golden state) that is as bad defensively as the Wiz. Where to begin? As Mike pointed out, Flip's rotations are curious to say the least. Where was Andray? NY? Javale? Foye? And why is DS still getting run? Dude can't shoot, can't dribble, and is an overrated defender.

To top it off, this team's college collective IQ is scary low. I was literally screaming at my tv as the Wiz kept shooting jumper after jumper. So, the Warriors have no muscle down low, no shot-blocking at all and the Wiz simply refused to just take the ball to the cup. Absolutely no recognition of mismatches out there.

Glad to see Gil got his swag back a little; Caron played with confidence and decisiveness (still too many contested jumpers though); and Haywood looked good too. But this team consistently makes games harder by shooting so many contested jumpers, which is why there is NO WAY this squad makes the playoffs. Poor shot selection+low IQ=lots of losing basketball...

Posted by: MEssex | December 19, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"Arenas, who blamed a cold building for his poor performance against Detroit in the second game of that losing streak, credited being in California for his most dynamic performance in more than two years. He said he had a conversation with assistant coach Sam Cassell, who told him that getting away from home would be good for him."

Don't the LA Clips play in California too?

Just curious.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think if the NBA ever outlaws defense, the Wiz and the Warriors are going to be just fine.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 19, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

It was a good win by Les BouleS.

A good win against a team that is pretty much a mirror image of themselves, without the veteran experience and without the size.

A lot of run and gun, no defense, a lot of long J's, no discipline, and a coach (Nellie) who seems to run the same system that doesn't win anything, but looks exciting.

Caron, Gilby, and BTH had great games, but MeTawn couldn't hit the side of a barn.

Gilby, as the analysts said, clearly is not his old self and probably won't get there. He has no lift and does not finish strong. A lot of overdribbling and turnovers.

It was scary to see what Randolph was doing, and he's only 20 years old.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Do we win this game if Gil doesn't drop 45?

Posted by: closg | December 19, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse "

Nevermind your silly question, the real question is whether Les BouleS would even have had a chance without BTH dominating the middle?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"I kept making jokes, like, Man, I'll see you guys when we come back West. I'm going to stay right here until we come back West," said Arenas.

Ernie I know you're not the brighest bulb on the tree but I have changed my mind about what I want for Christmas.

Please help Gil's wish come true.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I've seen more "D" played at All Star games than I did last night.

BTH had a guy who is 6' 10" 210 and 20 years old? We saw what BTH can do when another team doesn't have anyone who wants to guard him?

The sad part is Randolph will be a better player in 3 years than either Blatche or McGee since he actually gets some real playing time?

Give Ernie a rasie?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

why pull negatives out of Gil getting his groove back? Geezus, you two hate the guy!

Beating gsw means nothing given the way they play, however they are a good tonic for what ails Gil and that type of success on the court is just what he needs to continue building his confidence.

Very happy to see that he can still get to the rim at will and his handle is almost all the way back? Will the lift ever return? Dont know, but there's no doubt his leg will be stronger in 6 months than it is right now.

Nice win, but Flip is still a stooge with his rotations

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

so steph curry says the 5th was in play til the last minute, is that enough for the EG haters who said he'd never use it because of $$$?

mike lee, ask a point blank question about mcgee's lack of minutes please. And dont take any crap about him "playing well in spurts" for an answer, clearly he's in the doghouse

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

divi3

Agree with you about the rotations, but at least Boykins wasn't the first guard off the bench this game, so Flip may be slowly weaning himself from Boykins' magic elixir. I'm still surprised Foye has been unable to get consistent minutes backing up Arenas though.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

so steph curry says the 5th was in play til the last minute, is that enough for the EG haters who said he'd never use it because of $$$?


Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Do you consider the "last minute" the day before the draft?

Yes, the trade was all about the ca$h.

Wait didn't they sell the 2nd round pick for ca$h?

But, we got Boykins instead of Blair?

Give Ernie a raise?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

however they are a good tonic for what ails Gil and that type of success on the court is just what he needs to continue building his confidence.


Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Great now Gil will think he needs to throw up 35 shots every game? Just what he needed?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

People EJ and Philly beat Bos last night does that mean Philly is a better team?

NO!

All that means is any team can get lucky now and then and I believe the Wizards got lucky last night.

59-0 from here on out?

Give Ernie a raise?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

There is no negative to come out of Gil dominating a game at this point in his return.

btw, he had 11 assists, so why the hating?

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

You're a joke with your made-up post, dude.
I never proposed any such trade as the 2:18 time stamp on your post makes clear. Again, what has Flip done this year that makes him better than Jordan? Just looking for your opinion. There's no right or wrong answer. :-)

Posted by: artiesliver | December 18, 2009 2:39 PM

Hey Artiesliver, my bad! I put your name on the wrong post. I think Flip has done a little better. I like that he's willing to try different line ups and he's a little more willing to stick with whatever line up is playing well. Jordan would run the big three out there even if other guys were playing better. However, someone needs to find why he won't let Foye or McGee get some run. We did trade he 5th pick for Foye.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | December 19, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Finally. A win.
Even though we tried to give it away.
Early in the 4th we have a 11 point lead after killing inside and then we started to jack up 20-25 ft. jumper after jumper and I thought deja vue.
Luckily it was GSW. Gotta play smarter tonight if we are gonna start a win streak.
Why let AJ play in that condition and keep Haywood out when we were dominating inside?

Posted by: VBFan | December 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Good win even if was against GSW. Gil is getting his act together and it is good to see that the 2009 Gil and the 2009 Caron can still play a complementary game.

Ouch the bench is a problem. I would consider sending Foye to the D-League for a few games to play heavy minutes and get his confidence back. It is not going to happen with the utilization he si getting right now.

We do need to see how the rotations come together when Miller returns as he is right now the only man on the team who rates as a starting 2-guard.

Posted by: khrabb | December 19, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee (Mr INSIDER)
Is it possible to get some answers from Flip about playing time?
Especially Foye & Magee.
Nice to see Nick finally getting PT. Will he be pushed back to the bench when Miller returns?
Why O Why is Stevenson playing ----any?

Posted by: VBFan | December 19, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Miller misses a month of every season in his career it seems. Will he stay healthy now that he's a little older?

I love what the guy brings, but hesitate to think we can lean on him given his fragile nature and that he'll be nursing two injuries upon his return.

That said, what he brings to the table helps us a ton!

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Flip is not even giving Foye enough mins to play poorly at this point, really makes no sense

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

I'm just gonna chime in here....

They STILL gave up 109 points to a bad team. All other things aside, they need to play better defense, most importantly layups.

Even the clowns on ESPN said as much.

I am happy they won though, maybe they win tonight against the Suns and start a streak the other way.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 19, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if we're witnessing the beginning of Jamison's decline. The former Iron Man has been nicked up quite a bit this season and at this rate will be lucky to make it to the all star break, let alone the end of the season. He's had a right shoulder dislocation, a left shoulder strain and a pinched nerve in his neck.
If Blatche steps up, the problem might take care of itself in that Jamison can play fewer minutes and maybe be more effective when he is in the game.
That said, I don't like Jamison's tendency to shoot almost exclusively long jumpers after he gets roughed up or in the later stages of the game. He's too craft around the basket to abandon that part of his game.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

correction:
too crafty

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't like Jamison's tendency to shoot almost exclusively long jumpers after he gets roughed up or in the later stages of the game. He's too craft around the basket to abandon that part of his game.


Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I think other teams will see the same thing and like Detroit use to rough up MJ I think other teams (if we make the playoffs) will do that to AJ.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if we're witnessing the beginning of Jamison's decline."

That's funny, was thinking the same thing last night while watching him roll around on the ground.

On a veteran team, he's an asset and a role player. I think Washington is asking an awful lot of him right now. They are bascially asking him to be "the man" until Gil figures out if he wants to be or not.

I'm thinking he's got this year still in him and if he makes the All Star roster, EG has to think long and hard of he wants to keep him for next year while he still has value.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 19, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

It's true about Gil being happy, even before the game he was smiling and just seemed so happy. I figured because he was in G.State and that was his 1st team and the team that offered him the big contract. There's a lot of pressure on him here, especially after him mentioning the one eleven comment. Someone stated that Gil thinks too much and he does care what people say about him, which is one of the reasons why I do like him as a player/person.

Posted by: washwiz | December 19, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Is Crittenton healthy now or what? I just don't see how it could be that the Wizards don't need a 6-5 pg to sub in for Arenas. It would give them a lot of flexibility in matchups.

It's not like Critt is a rookie.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 19, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that a D.C. writer is finally reporting the truth on how bad Ernie has been for this team. Ernie's decisions are killing this team. He must go. Look at all the rookies the Wiz had a chance to draft with the first pick that are playing well. Instead Erie go for a broke down 10yr vet. Miller good player but hasn't played a full season in 10yrs. Foye can't get off the bench. He picks his buddy a fake winner coach when he could have picked any number of good coaches. Ernie and Flip need to go.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 19, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Rnbrown4 - The writer was not reporting on how bad Ernie has done. He was questioning why Foye was not getting any burn since he was traded for the 5 th pick. This is not Ernie's call, it is Flip's.

As for "all" of the bad decisions you say Ernie made, name some? The only ones he made was matching the Bucks contract offer to Etan Thomas and offering D Stevenson a contract when no other team even offered him one. Mind you he corrected the Etan thing this past summer by getting Miller and Foye for him Song.

Foye problem is he is a point guard that Flip has to play at the 2 spot to give him minutes (Bokins gets the backup 1 mins. because he can not play at the 2 spot). By playing Foye at the 2 spot, he is not a great defender on most of the league's 2 guards. He gets toasted in the block and he is not a very good man on man defender.

Now, the reason why Ernie did not pick Curry is because Ernie's thinking was we already had Nick Young and he did not want to trade NY and he ended up hitting his stride and he would have been kicking himself for letting him go. Curry needs minutes so he and NY could not be on the same bench.

Yes Miller is often injured, but when that dude is not he is a serious force to deal with. Just watch when he comes back and see what he brings to the floor.

Lastly, there is nothing wrong with Flip and what he is trying to do. I can understand his thinking with Foye, but I admit I can not see why he can not give McGee 5 mins. a quarter to blow Haywood. We have a 7 foot "Birdman" version here on the bench, but he refuses to use him.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

so now its time to criticize his 45 and 13? it's been past time to trade aj

Posted by: bford1kb | December 19, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

He got Foye as an insurance policy if Arenas went down. But Foye is questionable starter material, let alone all-star caliber. His numbers at Minnesota were average, but inflated by playing on a terrible team with few scoring options. Sure, he can fill in for Gil, but not a deep playoff/championship level.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 19, 2009 9:37 AM

That's exactly why this was a good signing. Foye was taken as an insurance policy in case Gil wasn't able to make it back. He has a one year deal, so there is not much of a liability. He's gone after this year and his contract could have been trade bait if we were in contention and needed to big.

Posted by: saltine182 | December 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Please no more Boykins. Offense looks terrible when he's in the game, just too stagnant.

Posted by: saltine182 | December 19, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Everyones asking if we win that game if Gil doesnt drop 40, theres a lot of IFS in Bball. IF Curry doesnt have a career night and hit 5 threes, IF Monta Ellis doesnt hit 30, Gil could have hit 20 and we still would have won or maybe not. Any road win is good no matter how you get it. The fact of matter is - team goes as Gil goes, he has the ball 90% of time and it looks as if he's improving every game in the last 2 weeks. Thats a good sign. Let's see if he has any gas left in the tank for Phoenix. Any way we can get Boozer for Jamison + young player?

Posted by: lanka124 | December 19, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

imho Flip stinks so far, and his current refusal to play Mcgee and Foye is maddening.

every minute mcgee doesnt get is another minute he needs in the future to develop, it makes no sense whatsoever given JM's play so far this season.

Foye is a 24yr old player who has gotten better each season of his career. A big part of the positives thrown EG's way when we aquired him was that for all anyone knew he may already be better than Rubio ever becomes (or curry, or any other guard in the draft since you never know).

but rather than let his development continue, boykins gets all the mins. For what?

i'm sure Flip is playing mind games with youngsters, just like he DNPd nick consistently early in the season

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

i love me some AJ, but truth is he will have a fit if Flip tries to reduce his minutes. I cant stand seeing him log 35+ every fricking night, but he wont have it any other way. And given Flip's reputation for being soft on vets, I bet AJ basically controls his own PT.

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Mind you he corrected the Etan thing this past summer by getting Miller and Foye for him Song.

For him, Songaila, #5 pick and Pech.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"so now its time to criticize his 45 and 13?"

that's what i'm sayin!

how many players in the league ever have 45/13 nights? fuggin awesome to see Gil go off like that, and great for his swag.

he may go 7-25 tonight, i dont care, because it's taking all those shots for a stretch that will get his groove completely back.

he's got to show the league and himself that he can still dump a fitty spot on your head if you dont respect

then he can look to address "the pure pg" stuff people are on about. it's the threat of his offensive firepower that will create the assists and ez buckets

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse


"he may go 7-25 tonight, i dont care, because it's taking all those shots for a stretch that will get his groove completely back. he's got to show the league and himself that he can still dump a fitty spot on your head if you dont respect then he can look to address "the pure pg" stuff people are on about. it's the threat of his offensive firepower that will create the assists and ez buckets."

I think most of us will be satisfied with the Wizards putting some wins together and getting better as a team. With Arenas, I wouldn't be surprised if his performances are up and down all season, not to mention the occasional flare-up of one knee problem or another. It might be too much to ask for him to conistently score 25-30 points per game without shooting the Wizards out the game in the process.
They need a string of Ws and had better learn how to do it as a team.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 19, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"That's exactly why this was a good signing. Foye was taken as an insurance policy in case Gil wasn't able to make it back."

An insurance policy for what? So much is invested in Arenas that this team is toast anyway if he goes down. Having a guy who can step in for him and do a serviceable/mediocre job only guarantees that we resemble a serviceable/mediocre ball club. It's the kind of move that aims for respectability over title legitimacy.

"He has a one year deal, so there is not much of a liability. He's gone after this year and his contract could have been trade bait if we were in contention and needed to big."

No 'liability'? Not having Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, Demar Derozan running and gunning for us the next 12 years is a decade+ liability. What we have instead is a one-and-done HMO plan likely (& hopefully) to leave via free agency without giving us any compensation.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 19, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"I think most of us will be satisfied with the Wizards putting some wins together and getting better as a team."

i dont think Flip's propensity to start the Earl Show late in games gets us better as a team.

I'm not suggesting that Gil needs to score 30 every night and we eat all the bad shots that come with it.

I'm saying he (and we) need for him to feel like his old scoring machine self before we can expect the team to start functioning the way we'd envisioned it was supposed to prior to the season

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Why is Javale getting so many DNP's ?????
Looking a lot like Eddie Taps coaching technique last year.
Play the vets til they want to come out.
It's a long season. Letting the Vets bang for 40 + a game makes no sense when you could spell them for a few minutes a quarter & keep them fresh for the 4th.
Even though Javale's sitting he seems to be into the game. He's been the biggest cheerleader. Something bad musta happened tween him & Flip.

What we need is a "WIZARD INSIDER" to find these things out.

Lot of optimism here today. Don't get carried away. It was only the GSW.
It's our turn for a B2B. the last 2 teams that we played on their B2B they killed us. If we get blown out it could be the beginning of the end.

Posted by: VBFan | December 19, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Something bad musta happened tween him & Flip."

Flip yelled at JM after putting him for the .1sec at the end of the indiana game. JM looked pissed off when Flip yelled at him rather than apologetic, and that was the end of JMs pt for who knows how long.

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's tilt against the Suns is the last game on this road trip against a team that hasn't lost a game at home all season. If you're gambling man, you put your money on the Suns no matter what right?
After all the excruciating losses the Wizards have had, tonight the basketball gods make it right and what you will see is a game tailor-made for a Wizards victory!!
And I'm only half joking.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 19, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"i dont think Flip's propensity to start the Earl Show late in games gets us better as a team."

I agree with that wholeheartedly. You'll never hear me give the rallying cry to play Boykins.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 19, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. Mcgee needs more minutes. He's not a rookie anymore, the excuse for keeping him on the bench to season no longer applies. You have to begin bleeding your troops in their second years to legitimately groom them for later roles. Mcgee should be getting ALL of Oberto's minutes, and I'd like to see him in a second team of Boykins, NY, Blatche, Mcgee and Dom. That lineup can score and play decent D, with Boykins applying pressure on the ball, The Dom spazz-prowling the mid-range and Blatche & Mcgee providing hops, superior reflexes and shot-blocking in the middle.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 19, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait didn't they sell the 2nd round pick for ca$h?

But, we got Boykins instead of Blair?

Give Ernie a raise?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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

boykins was signed to address a midseason need for guards. if we had committed to blair we wouldn't have had that flexibility. so making it a blair/boykins situation doesn't really work

Posted by: crs-one | December 19, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Flip yelled at JM after putting him for the .1sec at the end of the indiana game. JM looked pissed off when Flip yelled at him rather than apologetic, and that was the end of JMs pt for who knows how long.

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 2:37 PM


Maybe Flip gets a bonus if he keeps his doghouse occupied at least 75% of the season. Nick Young moves out for a plush crib and McGee trudges in. If Blatche's body language doesn't significantly improve, I think we know who the next occupant will be.

Posted by: artiesliver | December 19, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind flip sitting Nick. They have a lot of players (especially in the backcourt) that need to be fighting over minutes.

For Nick to completely forget a play when he gets an opportunity or to be celebrating a 3...while the guy youre guarding is wide open on the other end shooting a three...that's unacceptable.

If McGee snapped at the coach...that's a problem too.

With that said...I know Foye hasn't been good defensively and takes some bad shots sometimes...but ANYTHING is better than Boykins dribbling around for 13 seconds.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 19, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

boykins was signed to address a midseason need for guards. if we had committed to blair we wouldn't have had that flexibility. so making it a blair/boykins situation doesn't really work

LOL...come on. They still complain about the Webber trade here. What else do you expect them to do?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 19, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

No 'liability'? Not having Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, Demar Derozan running and gunning for us the next 12 years is a decade+ liability. What we have instead is a one-and-done HMO plan likely (& hopefully) to leave via free agency without giving us any compensation.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 19, 2009 2:27 PM

They got rid of the contracts of Pecherov, Songaila, and Thomas, and avoided the contract of a high draft pick.
They picked up two solid pro's w/ expiring deals who could help the team win now.

How far into the luxury tax should we have gone? You really think any of the people you listed would be playing big mintues for the Wiz? Curry is averaging 11/game. Derozan is doing little. Jennings takes 20 shots/game for a team with no firepower and little veteran help.

Going into the season, expectations were really high and even in a league that is super-top heavy, the Wiz were thinking win now.

Someone is going to get moved, that's for sure. They're are too many people on the team who need shots and a lot of teams need cap flexibility for next year.

Just tell Jamison to stop taking so many three's.

Posted by: saltine182 | December 19, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

mcgee should get playing time when he stops sucking so much when he does get in the game. for every block and every dunk there are two bonehead mistakes. the bench is were he belongs. get him a soft pillow for xmas to sit on. blatche is three times as effective.

i have to agree about arenas - he doesn't seem to get up in the air at all. not good.

Posted by: stevie2 | December 19, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry a_ _ Stevenson, another 20 minutes, instead of 2 points, he got 1 point. How does he get into the game? and please don't say because of his D. They held on and won but Dabrick (as one blogger calls him) has got to go, he is a complete waste of time. And as Marv Albert said on national TV, he has the audacity to waive his hand in front of his Taliban looking face after he lucks up and make a shot with that ugly a_ _ looking jumper.

Posted by: ellis125 | December 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

'If McGee snapped at the coach...that's a problem too.'

Flip put Mcgee in with .1sec in the game after not playing him the whole night, we ran the prayer inbounds play and mcgee doesnt make the tip-in. Coming off-court Flip is screaming in mcgee's face and the kid looks disgruntedl, takes his jersey off and continues towards locker room.

What was Flip screaming about? Was it Javale who put himself on the bench while DS guarded a 6'11" guy at the rim?

Who knows, maybe he actually snapped at coach in the locker room later and you cant have that.

But Flip coached like a BUM in that loss, doesnt need to take it out on the youngns!

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"mcgee should get playing time when he stops sucking so much...blatche is three times as effective."

AB is getting softer and softer at 5, atrocious to leave him in no matter how many layups he allows. He's pretty much pouting oncourt at this point, unacceptable

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

mcgee should get playing time when he stops sucking so much when he does get in the game. for every block and every dunk there are two bonehead mistakes. the bench is were he belongs.

Posted by: stevie2 | December 19, 2009 4:23 PM

The same could be said about just all of their frontcourt players, especially Jamison and Butler, yet you give them a pass.
Don't fall for the "he had the audacity to make a mistake" baloney coming from Flip & Company.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 19, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

But Flip coached like a BUM in that loss, doesnt need to take it out on the youngns!

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 4:37 PM |


You're too kind. Flip's coached like a BUM all year. And I'm beginning to think the players know it.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 19, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

One thing I know for certain about basketball. Coaches play who they think gives them the best chance to win. No coach think "Yeah, he'll help me win but screw that."

Who knows what goes on in practice, who picks up what, the things we DON'T see/know. Missed assignments, not knowing what to do.

Players need to make it impoissible to not have you in the game. As much as I hate him, Flip started going to Boykins because he was getting the job done. I think he's terrible but that's just what it is. Maybe Foye, and McGee just aren't bringing it in practice. I think Foye will play his way in but who knows.

I hope Boykins get stuck under all the snow when they get back and can't play anymore.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 19, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

We have people trying to defend Flip sorry butt. He's really peeing me off with his coaching and the players know he's a bum and starting to rebel also. I will be so glad when Ernie and his sorry coaching friend get fired.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 19, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I understand not wanting to be too excited about Gilbert's numbers agains Golden State, but seriously, you guys making all the negative comments aren't fans. You're just a bunch of curmudgeons.

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 19, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

boykins was signed to address a midseason need for guards. if we had committed to blair we wouldn't have had that flexibility. so making it a blair/boykins situation doesn't really work

Posted by: crs-one | December 19, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

crs-one

They signed Oberto as a free agent instead of drafting Blair (since Houston paid them 2.5 mil for the pick) and kept Davis (remember him?) and let him go to sign Bpykins.

So they still would have had the flexibility to make a move.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

I would like to see the following poll

In a couple of years when neither MM or Foye are on this team and they are starting to rebuild (after not winning a championship)would you rather have a guy like Curry or Jennings or are you happy with Ernie trading the 5th pick in the draft?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 19, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this mess is all Ernie Grunfeld's fault. His owner knew his health was failing and he wanted to go for it. The fact is Ernie would've traded Antawn Jamison, maybe even Caron Butler, at the trade deadline last year, but his owner said no. I'm sure he'll have a plan for Leonsis and if Leonsis likes it, Grunfeld will stay around. However, I do expect major changes coming. From what I can gather, I think they'd move Gilbert Arenas if they could get something really good for him.

Interesting is EG was trying to trade Jamison and Butler last year I am beginning to believe he'll do the same, with Ted's concurrence, if they continue to blow. I'd really be surprised if they are trying to trade Arenas, however. Even if he stinks he still puts butts in seats. If he's gone there will be more empty seats then full ones.

Posted by: specialg7master | December 19, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, the Wizards will turn things around and make the playoffs. If beating another lottery team jump starts the wizards, then that's great. I just hope that we don't have another injury or the players quit listening to Flip Wilson(or is that Saunders?).

Posted by: Theone9 | December 19, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Antawn Jamison is a warrior, a fan favorite, a front-office favorite and he's productive. Having said all that, it's obvious that he's beginning to wear down. It's time to reduce his minutes to no more than 35 minutes a game.

Andray Blatche is 10 years younger, and if given 40+ minutes a night, would average a double-double AND give us some quality defense in the post.

JaVale McGee is a diamond in the rough. The man needs PT to refine his game. He was basically a spectator last season. If 'watching' the game made you a better player, I would be on an NBA roster.

Imagine a frontline of Blatche-Haywood-McGee on the floor in the 3rd or 4th quarter. The Wiz would have two athletic big men and a seasoned center on the court to complement Gil and Caron [or Nick Young]. Flip could always have the option of bringing Jamison back into the game once Blatche or McGee needed a blow.

Unfortunately, long as Antawn can drag himself onto the court, it won't ever happen.

As one poster said earlier, "AJ basically controls his own PT."

Posted by: musicmanjr | December 19, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"JaVale McGee is a diamond in the rough. The man needs PT to refine his game."

I like watching the kid. But he's no defender.

Bob Knight was on the tube for the Butler - Xavier game, and he downplayed the importance of the block as a defensive move. According to Knight, the offensive team usually gets the ball back and has another attempt anyway -- (exception for Bill Russell).

Posted by: Samson151 | December 19, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if we're witnessing the beginning of Jamison's decline. The former Iron Man has been nicked up quite a bit this season and at this rate will be lucky to make it to the all star break, let alone the end of the season. He's had a right shoulder dislocation, a left shoulder strain and a pinched nerve in his neck.
If Blatche steps up, the problem might take care of itself in that Jamison can play fewer minutes and maybe be more effective when he is in the game.
That said, I don't like Jamison's tendency to shoot almost exclusively long jumpers after he gets roughed up or in the later stages of the game. He's too craft around the basket to abandon that part of his game.


Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 12:33 PM

This IS the end of the line for Jamison. Ernie has to get something for him NOW before he completly breaks down and becomes untradeable. Think Lorenzo Williams!
Open you eyes, Grunfeld.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 19, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

For all of you guys that keep hollerin' about defense you might want to take note of the fact that the GSW avg 108. something pts per game.

The Wizards held them right at their avg and we, whom only avg 96. something pts per game actually scored 118. A full 22 points over our average.

I think that says that the GSW defense is much worse off than ours and that our defense is just as good as any other team that the Warriors have played against, for we held them to their average.

Now lets see how we fair against the Suns who avg 109 a game but only give up 107. The GSW give up 112 and we got 118, so you would think that since the Suns are 5pts better than GS and score more than they are giving up the Wizards should have problems duplicating tonite what they did last.

Lets wait and see you defensive Guru's.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"Grunfeld went for a coupla known decent players (Miller, Foye) instead of the potential transcendent one."

What "transcendent one"? There were a number of good players in this draft, but not a single one has come within shouting distance of "transcendent" so far.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 19, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"For all of you guys that keep hollerin' about defense you might want to take note of the fact that the GSW avg 108. something pts per game.

The Wizards held them right at their avg"

If they average 108 and they scored 109, how is that "holding them" to anything? Nonsense as usual. (Putting aside the fact that even if they had "only" scored 107, that's still too many points to give up.)

The Wiz won the game, and that's great. But the Warriors are an undersized, undermanned team with even less defensive capability (or interest) than Washington, so trying to paint this victory as some kind of game plan for winning is grasping at straws. It was one bad team beating another bad team at its own game.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 19, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Mark Jackson pulled no punches in his evaluation of the Wizards' bench, saying (as the camera panned across them) that they didn't have anyone who could be counted on to produce on a nightly basis. Hard to argue with him after recent results.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"..they didn't have anyone who could be counted on to produce on a nightly basis. Hard to argue with him after recent results."

has foye played enough for that to be determined? he had a decent game against Detroit, a stinker against Boston- and has barely played at all since.

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"..and he downplayed the importance of the block as a defensive move. According to Knight, the offensive team usually gets the ball back and has another attempt anyway -- (exception for Bill Russell)."

obviously he knows what he's talking about, but he didnt take into account that having a shot blocker on the floor alters untold shots. That's a good thing for a D and doesnt show up on the stat sheet.

also interesting to note that while a block may not be a great defensive move (if you're buying Knight)...the league leaders in the stat tend to be amongst the games better defenders. (Duncan, Camby, DHoward, Okafor, etc)

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Kalo_rama,

It is obvious by your comments that you really think that Mark Jackson is a competent fellow; So, why does it infuriate you so much when I indicate that he should have been the Wizards hire and might actually would be doing a good job of it?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"They got rid of the contracts of Pecherov, Songaila, and Thomas, and avoided the contract of a high draft pick.
They picked up two solid pro's w/ expiring deals who could help the team win now."

Yes, he did dump some bad contracts in the deal, but that's just it: We gave up a potential future star partially so that he could clean up his own mess. Lost in the shuffle of relief of getting rid of dead weight was the fact that Grunfeld drafted, signed and traded for said dead weight, and should be held accountable for it. Getting a couple solid pros, when your team is less than solid is all well and good... if your bar is .500 ball. Perhaps he thought he was sitting on a contender and was only a couple solid bench guys away. This season shows he was not only wrong, but not even close. There needs to be accountability for his decisions.

"How far into the luxury tax should we have gone? You really think any of the people you listed would be playing big mintues for the Wiz? Curry is averaging 11/game. Derozan is doing little. Jennings takes 20 shots/game for a team with no firepower and little veteran help."

We have luxury tax issues because Grunfeld pumped 111m into a self-obsessed, team second player with three knee surgeries, and $50m into a player on the downslope of his career (great guy, great player, but taken together, those two deals have limited his versatility elsewhere on the roster). Where is the accountability now that they're 8-17? Jennings just turned 20 and is already elbowing his way into the elite, not only with his scoring and passing, but his incredible speed which has immediately upgraded the Bucks' overall team pace. Curry needed about 20 games to get adjusted from small college to all-world NBA, but he's starting to take over the court like he did in college, plays smart, has second-into-the-future anticipation and can hit from anywhere with almost no set time and the quickest release I've ever seen from the three-point arc. He is rapidly becoming a terror. Derozan, 20, is still rough, but just the sort of full-on, athletic player this team sorely lacks.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 20, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

What "transcendent one"? There were a number of good players in this draft, but not a single one has come within shouting distance of "transcendent" so far.

Jennings ain't there yet, but he's hollerin', and if you saw the Wiz play Golden State and Sacramento, Evans is already a match-up headache and Curry has star potential. Curry could wind up being the best mid- long-range player in years. He reminds me of Richard Hamilton with +5 feet of range, superior passing skills and a higher court IQ.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 20, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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