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Wizards (8-16) at Suns (17-9)

Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Suns: Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill, Amaré Stoudemire, Channing Frye

Suns by 10.5

The Wizards' 118-109 win against Golden State helped them maintain an NBA record-tie with the 1976-77 Phoenix Suns for the most consecutive losses by four points or less. The Wizards had lost their previous six games by a combined 14 points.

Antawn Jamison plans to play despite suffering a stinger in the left side of his neck in the second quarter on Friday. Jamison collided with Warriors rookie Stephen Curry and left the court momentarily, but was having his neck worked out on the training table before the game.

Jamison isn't the only Wizard who is a little banged up right now. Gilbert Arenas landed hard on his right hip while scoring a season-high 45 points with 13 assists and was in some slight pain before the game. And, Caron Butler had his left ankle heavily wrapped after the game, but he intends to play as well. He has been changing shoes all season to get better support for his feet.

Arenas and Butler both played more than 43 minutes against the Warriors, but Coach Flip Saunders said he wasn't too worried about them being fatigued against the fast-paced Phoenix Suns. "We're going to have to use some of our bench," Saunders said. "The positive of last night, they played 40 minutes, but they were going to play 34, 35. So they play five extra minutes. With timeouts, ESPN, you have so much rest time. Sometimes when you get in that motor-type style, you don't think about being tired. You have to keep up with that pace."

Saunders thought that the team would be able to return to Washington after the game, despite the blizzard that has taken over the area. The team usually flies into Dulles International, which had already cleared its runway by Saturday night.

"We plan on making it back. We've gone back and forth, whether we stay over, go," Saunders said. "I guess the one positive is we'll all be driving going the same way. There shouldn't be a lot of traffic on the road."

Saunders said the win against Golden State was a few weeks in the making. "Over the last couple of weeks, we've been playing pretty good. We just haven't had anything to show for it. Like last night, it's not like we played a lot better against Sacramento or a lot worse. We had a few more plays. Gilbert made a few more plays. Caron made a few more plays. We're still playing well but we still had some poor shot selection at times. We still have to go through the process of cleaning that up and try to build off that."

By Michael Lee  |  December 19, 2009; 8:56 PM ET
 
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Next: Suns 121, Wizards 95

Comments

For the Wizards to keep this within a 20 point loss, Gil will need another 40 point night.

Posted by: bozomoeman | December 19, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm just more and more fascinated by the enigma called "Deshawn Stevenson, starting 2 guard"...

Posted by: bozomoeman | December 19, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse


Flip calls a TO early in the first quarter to organize things and what happens? Jamison shoots a 3-ptr with 16 seconds left on the shot clock! Amazing.

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Flip loves him some Boykins...

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

bozo, would you say starting DS is more confounding than Snyder's inexplicable allegiance to cerrato? If Danny can change, then I think there is hope for us... not that it will matter.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does it seem like Gil is starting to get calls again? He was getting a lot of blank stares at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 19, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

alright, it's time to abandon the Andray Blatche project.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I dont mind us losing but I dont want to lose without even trying and thats how we look right now. Like everyone is just in a daze and is not even going hard, espically Gil. When he plays like that then the rest of the team follows

Posted by: dlts20 | December 19, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

does Caron turn it over every time he attempts to dribble?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Starting Stevenson = Starting 10 Points Down

Posted by: artiesliver | December 19, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Can we get some Foye? We need offense.
Geez.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 19, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Does Gilby push off with his left arm every time he drives?

Yes.

It should be an offensive foul.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse


Phoenix averages 116 pts at home and Flip starts Stevenson anyway. Great strategy Flip!

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

bozo, would you say starting DS is more confounding than Snyder's inexplicable allegiance to cerrato? If Danny can change, then I think there is hope for us... not that it will matter.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 9:48 PM
=====================

ZardFan,
Interesting comparision.

Yes, I find starting DS something beyond confounding. At least in Snyder's case I understand what Cerrato's role was. It was Cerrato job to be the front man for all of Snyder's personnel moves.
This Stevenson thing is something else all together...

I am also beginning to suspect that CB has been replaced by one of those pod creatures from "Invasion of The Body Snatchers".

Posted by: bozomoeman | December 19, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

If Dom or Nick starts in place of Stevenson in the second half, I'll consider it a tacit admission of stupidity by Flip.

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"Phoenix averages 116 pts at home and Flip starts Stevenson anyway. Great strategy Flip!

Posted by: tgif11 | December 19, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse "

Isn't MeShawn supposed to be the defensive stopper?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

It's hilarious watching Stevenson get down real low in a defensive position and his man blows right by him. He's got Flip fooled because he gets in a defensive crouch.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful shot by Steveson coming out of the half...all air.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Isn't MeShawn supposed to be the defensive stopper?

Posted by: DC_MAN88


He did a great job holding Wade to 80 points over two games.

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson and me haven't scored in the game yet. Wait a minute, I'm watching the game from my couch.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

MeShawn with the 3 point airball, and then later, a charging call...yeah.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Jason Richardson backs Gilby down low....quick turn, score and foul...Gilby had no chance.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

LMFAO about Stevenson!!!
Flip actually gave him the green light at halftime!! Hilarious!

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@VBFan

Javale does not have to do any butt smooching. Do your think he and his mother are stupid. I don't think so. The Wizards and Flip are blowing it with this guy.

When his contract runs out he will be out of here if the Wizards do not wise up. And he will get a good contract.

Do anyone doubt that the good organizations do not know what a good prospect he really is? I don't.

Javale McGee is the real deal and it is a shame that Flip Saunders dosen't realize it.

It is just as bad as Dave Cowens who did not care for rookies and traded the rights to Kobe Bryant from Carolina to the Lakers for veterans that did nothing to help the Charlotte Hornets win anything.

No way does Javale McGee has to smooch any butt to prove that he is a player in the NBA.

It will be the Wizards loss, AGAIN.

Ask Javale McGee and his mother do they know that patience is a virtue.

He only has I think one more year to put up with this Flip Saunders crapola.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Why is this team still carrying Stevenson much less playing him?

He's worthless offensively and marginally decent defensively. Surely they can find someone better?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Lordy, if I hear one more complaint about Saunders my head will explode.

First it was Eddie Jordan. Then Tapscott. Now Saunders.

Geez, maybe it's the players they have?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Why Saunders does not play BH and AB or JM together for strecthes is beyond me.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

At least they can look forward to coming back from the West Coast to 20 inches of snow.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

This Wizards wasted five game minutes with Stevenson in the second half before Nick was subbed. There was NO reason to play Stevenson in the second half. None whatsoever.

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Flip..why not let Foye play..this game is over

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Scoring from the SG position. What a novel concept!

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Larry, Javale is terrible. He can go the way of Jared Jeffries, another bad draft pick not worth a second contract.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I actually think this might be the last straw. There will be at least one trade by the end of the first week of January. But I expect that caron and jamison will be traded and a couple other clowns.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

This Wizards wasted five game minutes with Stevenson in the second half before Nick was subbed.

Yep. They needed offense at that position.

Obviously the Wizards can't get into a run-and-gun game with Phoenix. They'll get slaughtered.

Phoenix is just a horrible matchup for them. Athletically better at every position.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Geez, maybe it's the players they have?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 10:44 PM

Just the vets. All the young guys are future superstars and victims of megalomaniacal conspirators.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 19, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

If these two teams played 100 games against one another, Phoenix would win 80-90 of them.

Flat out simple mismatch.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Comcast at its best.

Showing highlights of games in the past where Les BouleS beat the Suns.

Like.....Who TF cares?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Men with Boys.

Posted by: oljakers | December 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Larry, Javale is terrible. He can go the way of Jared Jeffries, another bad draft pick not worth a second contract.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | December 19, 2009 10:51 PM

Obviously, you and Flip are on the same accord.

Good luck winning a championship with just your proven veteran players.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young's feet are ten times quicker on defense than Stevenson's. Physically it's not even close between those two.

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Heck with this game..Saints undefeated record on the line.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson's shooting 27% from the field, 12% from the 3-point line.

Yeah, on the list of problems this team faces, he's #453 but that is flat out unacceptable.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Cowboys hanging out with the Wizards. Just missed a 24 yd field goal to seal the game.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 19, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I feel like Flip gave up before the players did. Why else would he put Javale in without Brendan.

If you play Javale and Brendan together they shut down the middle.

Does anyone doubt that.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Nick and Randy have 29 points combined. Hopefully this will put a damper on the love fest with Boykins down the road.

Posted by: elfreako | December 19, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

OK. I'm there now.
I've been trying to wait until January to evaluate this team, but the past few weeks have been eye-opening. There's nothing here, folks.
In a nutshell - the players and the coach simply do not know how to win.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | December 19, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The Phoenix announcers said it best. They are playing like they don't care and are unhappy. This team is finished mentally.

I see total chaos on the court at this point.

Trade has to be made.

Why Foye is not the primary second unit PG I have no earthly idea.

I've never seen so many half-a s s ed stupid shots in my life.

For all the McGee fans, he is playing as bad or worse than anybody else. Dude is still clueless. Basketball IQ and court awareness equals ZERO. I see no progress from last year.

Blatche has digressed the last few games. Coasting again. I am telling you he is a much better player when he starts.

If I bet on games, I would have taken the Suns over the spread in a heartbeat tonight. The final road game and the second night of a back to back after the starters played major mins last night. I would have been surprised if they were competitive in this game.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 19, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

You know it just dawned on me. Flip will never play AB and BH or JM together for extended stretches.

That would be unconventional. Flip is a proven traditional NBA coach. His coaching philosophy is in the vein of that traditional NBA blogger Kalo_rama whom would never approve of playing BH with an unproven inexperienced snotnosed greenhorn who dosen't know how to play the game yet.

Excuse me for wishing Flip would pair BH and JM together on the floor at the same time to gain an advantage in the paint.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to hear Flip's presser.

No energy, too many quick, bad shots and too many minutes for the worst starting SG in the league.

Posted by: and_1 | December 19, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

HORRIBLE DEFENSE AS USUAL. Suns superior passing and penetrating easily exposed us. I was in and out of the game...how did Arenas hurt his hip?

Expect major meltdown by somebody on that coast to coast flight tonight. This trip was the defining moment of the season and going 1-3 against those 4 teams says it all. Nothing less than a split would do. So Flip will make some changes on Tuesday for sure. If he doesn't he becomes another EJ in my opinion. He should have seen enough of this by how.

When does Miller get back? Obviously he is desperately needed. Foye may get the start now.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | December 19, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Last year the ones in the know kept saying that Tapscott was just the caretaker so Ernie could hire the coach he wanted.

However, I said that Tapps was so bad that it was pointless to keep him and that keeping him would do more harm than good.

I said that Ernie should hire the coach he wanted right away.

But Ernie was wrong to let Tapps coach this Team for the rest of the season and Ernie was also wrong to bring in a traditional NBA coach for the type of players that we have.

If he had hired a coach way back when everybody saw that Tappscott was an incompetent, would we be going through this crap now?

Flip Saunders might not have as much of a clue as Tappscott did. I could care less about his resume and what he has done in the past.

He isn't getting it done and I am convinced that the moves that Ernie Grunfield made with this years draft was hugely influenced by Flip's input.

I do not think it had anything to do with the money as some has alleged. Ernie Grunfield consorted with Flip and this is what we end up with.

Mike Miller and Randy Foye...Timberwolves...Flip Saunders...Timberwolves...Apples never fall to far from the tree. Conspiracy and influence.

LarryInClintonMD.

The plan seemed to be a good one except that Flip Saunders may not really be the right guy for this Team.

So we blow it up and get some more players, well good gosh, it might be quicker to have hired the right darn coach.

MARK JACKSON.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Hello everybody, does sorry a_ _ Stevenson actually get paid millions of dollars? we are all in the wrong business.I would bet my house that there are at least 10 D league players better than sorry a_ _ Stevenson. How can you win or call yourself a playoff team when your shooting guard can't shoot and has the worst looking shot in basketball, all of basketball, high school and college.

Posted by: ellis125 | December 20, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Let me tell yawl something about why I never blame it on the players but would rather blame it on the coaching and the organization.

As a young fella all the way till now, I have always observed that the teams that won always had better coaching and better organizational structure than the teams that lost.

I have seen teams go from loosing to winning with the same players only because something structurely changed that facilitated success.

Last year when Tapscott proved that he should not coach this team one minute more this organization should have fired him immediately.

To fire Eddie Jordan and go the rest of the season with Tapscott was equally as bad if you were truly about winning.

You cannot do that if you are truly about winning. We wasted a whole season and now it appears we did not hire the right coach.

BulletsFan78, O' Great One, I bow.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Hello everybody, does sorry a_ _ Stevenson actually get paid millions of dollars? we are all in the wrong business.I would bet my house that there are at least 10 D league players better than sorry a_ _ Stevenson. How can you win or call yourself a playoff team when your shooting guard can't shoot and has the worst looking shot in basketball, all of basketball, high school and college.

Posted by: ellis125 | December 20, 2009 12:04 AM

This is why we should start AB and move AJ to the three and CB to the two, but leave CB on the floor to anchor the 2nd unit.

JM subs for either AB or BH and NY comes in the CB.

Flip Saunders says he wants an UpTemPo game but I don't think he knows what UpTemPo is.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I thought that Flip would do well with this Team. I think that I may be wrong about him.

Who out there amongst the mighty bloggersphere thinks that Flip will get the job done.

LarryInClintonMD.

Or, the players stink and even Phil Jackson can't win with these players.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78, O' Great One, I bow.

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse


LarryInClintonMD

Thanks, but I hate the fact that I am right about this organization because we will never win a championship till the Wizards rid themselves of Ernie!

Didn't see the game since I am in San Diego (I don't like snow) but by reading the post on here it looks like a few people are starting to realize I may have been right about Abe, Ernie and the players.

It's going to be a long season my friends and the only thing we get to look forward to (if Ernie is the GM) is another trade of a promising young player for a teams vets that suck!

Giove Ernie a rasie?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 20, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD

What happen to your Tar Heels?

Wait till they play the Terps!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 20, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Lordy, if I hear one more complaint about Saunders my head will explode.

First it was Eddie Jordan. Then Tapscott. Now Saunders.

Geez, maybe it's the players they have?

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

BLASPHEMY!!!

"Just the vets. All the young guys are future superstars and victims of megalomaniacal conspirators.

Posted by: djnnnou | December 19, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse "

Exactly.

"Nick and Randy have 29 points combined. "

Nick and Randy had most of their production in the 4th quarter, when the game was a 30 pt blowout and they were going against the Suns second and third stringers. And the Suns still won by 26 points.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 20, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

"Flip Saunders says he wants an UpTemPo game but I don't think he knows what UpTemPo is."

No one knows what "UpTemPo" is. Uptempo? Sure, everybody knows what that is. But this "UpTemPo" nonsense only exists in your head.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 20, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I saw the game and Texas runs a smooth fastbreak game. Reminded me of last years Tarheel squad. These Tarheels will get much better each week though.

If they meet Texas again, they will beat them. As for Maryland, they will beat them now.

Don't tell me BulletsFan78 you jetted to San Diego just because of the snow.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Mike,

Another poll I would like to see is who do the fans think is the cause of this team being as bad as they are...

1)Abe being too loyal

2)Ernie clueless (hasn't made a good draft pick since Michael Redd)

3)Flip, Etaps, EJ

4)the Vets gil, DShawn, CB, AJ, BTH

5)the bench NY, RF, Dom, AB, JM, MM, Oberto, Boykins, Critt, MJ

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 20, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who still thinks coaching is the biggest problem with this team is seriously deluded. This team has the same flaws and weaknesses under Saunders that they had under Jordan and Tapscott. The difference is that with age and injury affecting the big three, they can't just go out and overwhelm opponents on offense they way they did under Jordan, pre-Arenas injury. But that approach is so ingrained on them that they're flummoxed when trying to play any other way. Some serious changes are in store. Even if they got hot, went on a run, and stumbled into the playoffs, the owner/GM (whoever they end up being) would have to be the world's biggest optimist, insane, or from Clinton, MD (or all three) to think that this team, as currently constructed, is anywhere near contending quality.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 20, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Mark Jackson had it dead on in Golden State> He said the difference he saw between the Wizards and the Warriors was that one team was playing like they trusted each other and the other one wasn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 20, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Don't tell me BulletsFan78 you jetted to San Diego just because of the snow.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 20, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Larry my friend I did. If you've ever been out here you would know San Diego is the best place to live in the US. I have family (grandkids) still in the DC area so I keep a place there and like it in the spring and fall.

The Tar Heel game 2/7/10 2:00 pm is at College Park and you know Gary has your teams number and maybe we can get Flip to coach that game for us?

Maybe put a dinner on the game if you think you can handle it?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 20, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

How do you yell at a NY lets say for taking a boneheaded shot when your three best players are equal opportunity offenders? That is what Barkley et al mean when they say this team has no leadership. No coach seems to get through to them or EJ might have actually encouraged it. Flip can't stop the game while it's happening like it's a practice. As reported, Flip has never yelled "bad shot" so much in his coaching career.

The most perplexing thing to me is that he still plays Boykins who minus 3 games has been atrocious. I don't know how Foye would be bc for some reason he can't get mins. He lost them to a guy who was not in the NBA last year while he was a starter and at worst the 3rd best player on the T'Wolves last year. Don't get it!

As far as DS is concerned, there are not many options at the moment except Foye or moving Butler there and starting Blatche. Who the hell comes off the bench? If Foye is your starter, then Boykins still gets mins to lose leads in the 2nd quarter and end of the 3rd/beginning 4th. DS seemed to add some continuity back into the starting unit for a couple of games, but tonight was pretty bad. But, then again, NY is not much better. His first two games as a starter were impressive and then he disappeared again.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 20, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

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